Do you ever notice, on all those forum threads about mission salvagers, how the mission runners in their big fat carefully-tanked battleships like to talk about how unfair it is that there is “zero risk” to the people who probe down and salvage their missions?

Well, that hasn’t been my experience.

It seems like every time I go mission probing in a covert ops ship (for the probing speed bonuses) I lose the damn thing and swear I’ll use cheaper ships next time.

Yesterday, I lost a Buzzard to lag in Dodixie.

I’d jump-cloned down that way because my alliance peeps were having a big operation there, but I was too late for most of the party. So I fitted out a covops with cheap gear and started on an ordinance survey of the system; if I’m going to play there, I need a set of probing bookmarks.

My early work with long range probes got me several good hits on mission runners well away from the ecliptic, so the project was a smashing success; with the bookmarks I got, I can now reach almost anywhere in the system that a mission runner is likely to be.

Unfortunately, in the process I found a Dominix battleship sharing a deadspace with a bunch of wrecked Amarr Navy battleships, and three that weren’t wrecked yet. In fact, it looked like the last three were “way over there” and not woke up yet.

I couldn’t ignore all those lovely armor plates, so I started salvaging. And heck, if those battleships wake up, I’ll have plenty of time to warp out when they start targeting me, right?

I forgot I was Dodixie, a mission hub every bit as notorious for lag as Saila was back in the day.

I’m salvaging, three un-agroed battleships on my overview. There’s a noise, as of lasers firing. My screen refreshes. I’m in a pod.

My client, apparently, didn’t bother alerting me to the whole “you’re being locked” part of the process.

It wasn’t really a problem, long run; I got in my free Ibis, put salvagers in the top slots, came back for my loot, salvaged my wreck, finished salvaging the mission, and came out with an Ibis-load of the mission runner’s loot on top of that. In fact, I got so many Armor Plates, I think I may have paid for the ship I lost. But it was annoying.

I had a little bit more fun with the diplomatic contact that resulted from this combat the day before yesterday. You’ll remember that I wasn’t quite sure what the Retriever pilot had done to start flashing red. Well, I got this convo:

Careos Ordo > Hail sir.
Marlenus > Hello, what’s up?
Careos Ordo > I understand we had an incident between our corps in the last few days.
Careos Ordo > It appears to be a misunderstanding, I didn’t want any ill feelings.
Marlenus > Did we? If so, it’s news to me
Careos Ordo > Its on the front page of your site.
Marlenus > Oh. That’s not an incident, it’s just normal business.
Careos Ordo > Not the way we operate.
Careos Ordo > Your ship was accidentally attacked by a drone.
Marlenus > Hmm, I do not believe so. “The logs, they show nothing.”
Marlenus > And the drones were not in space.
Careos Ordo > Well, my pilots assured me whatever happened they meant no aggression.
Marlenus > Hmmm, I must agree that scooping of the drones would seem to support that story.
Careos Ordo > If you loot, that is your way, I will not judge you for that…I just wanted to let you know that there was nothing from our side. I don’t want to start a war.
Careos Ordo > They had kill rights on your man because he had looted a wreck earlier.
Marlenus > No worries, I’m not in the diplomatic loop for my alliance … there’s zero risk of war to you guys from the incident, I’d say
Careos Ordo > They might have been worried the drones would attack, or they did on accident…something.
Marlenus > And I never take offense at getting shot at
Careos Ordo > Interesting business you guys run there.
Careos Ordo > I still don’t know how your indy was able to take out a mining barge.
Marlenus > Heh, that’s actually no secret
Careos Ordo > it is to me, obviously
Marlenus > The blockade runner is not an indy, it’s a transport…
Marlenus > …and it has fitting for a heavy missile launcher
Careos Ordo > oh, my guys reported an indy
Marlenus > It’s basically a cruiser with one gun
Careos Ordo > gotcha.

There was more, but that’s the gist. A perfectly civil, careful diplomatic contact that’s a credit to their corporation. Why am I mentioning it here? Because it underscores what I love about flying the blockade runners. There isn’t an industrial in the game that can launch heavy missiles, but when people see me coming, all they can see is “harmless indy” and it’s an impression so strong, it colors their perceptions even after they’ve flown home in a pod.

Of course, that Retriever would have died just as fast to a well-fit BattleBadger or your basic Iteron-of-Doom; I’m not trying to slight those time-honored (and funny as hell) combat platforms. I’m just saying. People see what they expect to see.

One Response to “Explosions and Diplomatics”

  1. Makyllis Braiden says:

    I’ve been reading up on your blog, great stuff, love your stories. My character is technically a few years old but I haven’t even played EvE for a solid year yet (RL issues) but I’m back into it and I just wish I would have stuck with it from the beginning, I’d kill to know half of what you’ve forgotten!


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