Got it, that is, if by “it” we happen to mean “a talent for getting crazy miners to shoot at me in Empire.” It’s not as much fun as it used to be, but I cannot tell a lie: it’s still fun.
It’s been 182 days (before today) since I blew up anybody’s ship in EVE. And I started today, like I start all my days, by cruising the belts of the system I’m in to see whether I could find any miners with an overdeveloped sense of aggression.
What I found was a miner in an Osprey, name of Croydon, with a birth date in 2007 and a sparse employment history, plinking roids and flying Hornet I drones for rat defense. When I look at those tea leaves, I see “recent returnee to the game”. Well, that only makes sense … you don’t see too many mining cruisers out there these days when ISK is cheap and barges are, too.
So, I paid his ore can a visit, flying one of Ironfleet’s many Crane blockade runners that have the one heavy missile launcher in the high slot. He had more ore than would fit in my hold, so I temporarily spaced the rest in an Ironfleet can. And then, because I was getting no reaction, I went and started removing the loot from his rat wrecks.
After all, how dangerous can the helpless hauler be, if the driver is so poor he’s cruising around at hauler speeds collecting worthless trash?
Croydon finished his mining laser cycle, went to put his ore in his can, and didn’t find his can. There was a pause. (There’s always a pause.) And then … he began to lock me up.
That’s always a good sign, but it’s by no means a guarantee that I’ve got a fish on the hook. Some miner pilots use lock as a sort of “fuck you” aggressive gesture, but never shoot. Still, a lock is escalation, and escalation is what this little game is about. Without it, there’s never any shooty-shooty. So I love to see it.
And then, finally, he shot a missile at me. That’s the end of the story; in any true miner smaller than a hulk, there’s not likely to be any drama after that. All the fun is in getting the mark to bite the baited hook; actually killing them with one heavy missile launcher is just a long process of belaboring them lightly, for as long as it takes:
Damage Taken: 5204
Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 5204
Shield Recharger I
Widowmaker Heavy Missile, Qty: 434 (Cargo)
Havoc Heavy Missile, Qty: 7 (Cargo)
Rich Plagioclase, Qty: 1345 (Cargo)
Heavy Missile Launcher I
Medium Shield Booster I
Miner II, Qty: 2
Widowmaker Heavy Missile, Qty: 18
Survey Scanner I
Sometimes after one of these affairs there’s hope the victim will come back in another ship with revenge in his eye. But not this guy … he logged off directly.