Archive for the 'Salvage Notes' Category

Today I was flying about in a belt in my newest (shiny!) Prowler when I spotted an oddity.

I like oddities; they usually spell opportunity.

Today’s oddity was a Retriever, jet can mining, flying three TII drones. Usually Retriever = newbie miner = tech one drones.

So I took a second look. He was sharing a jet can — his jet can — with a Hulk. The Hulk pilot had corp and alliance tickers, but the Retriever pilot, tigris32, was Science and Trade Institute (starter NPC corp) and was a full two and a half years old. I thought about that for a second, and guessed that he was alt hauler for the Hulk pilot, who must have decided to put him to work. So, I started creeping (still cloaked) toward the can.

Before I got there, the Retriever pulled his drones in and flew away.

To get the hauler? Looks like it; the jet can is full.

Now, normally I haven’t been a can flipper, not in the pure sense of trying to use the flip to fool the other pilot into “stealing” from me unwittingly. That’s just not got a high enough success rate for me; jet can miners tend to pay better attention.

But, there’s nobody around, the Hulk pilot probably has no eyes in this grid at this moment. I flipped the can, moved a way a little bit, and cloaked. Worth a try.

Rumble rumble rumble, here comes tigris32 in a Badger II. He swoops right to the can, and without any hesitation at all he starts flashing red to me.

Uncloak, start locking, lock lock lock, warp scramble, missles away! (I really enjoy it when I get to play the Romulans.)

I’ll give him this much, as Badgers go, this one had some crunch. But he never had a prayer:

2008.12.25 01:33:00

Victim: tigris32
Corp: Science and Trade Institute
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Badger Mark II
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 3357

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Prowler
Weapon: Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 3357

Name: Guristas Imputor / Guristas
Damage Done: 0

Destroyed items:

Shield Recharger I
Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2
Depleted Uranium S, Qty: 30
Cargohold Optimization I, Qty: 3
‘Anointed’ I EM Ward Reinforcement
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold II
Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Small Shield Booster I
250mm Light Carbine Howitzer I
Heat Dissipation Field I
Depleted Uranium S, Qty: 962 (Cargo)
Ballistic Deflection Field I
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)

After he went pop, I scooped his modules, and one of the three giant secure containers that fell out, and as much of the ore as would fit. Then I moved away some and cloaked again.

By now his egg is gone. What will he come back in?

Would you believe, he came back in a Navy Raven?

I just watched from under cloak for awhile. Eventually, he flipped the Ironfleet can back into one of his. Normally I’d have stalked him until he parked the Raven, then tried again to get the ore; but I had a real-world obligation. So, instead, I crept out to about 30 clicks, orbited the can, and uncloaked long enough to blow it with one missile. His cruise missiles, I’m pleased to report, were plenty survivable; I couldn’t have tanked them forever, but as expected, I had lots of time to blow the can and warp out.

He had stuff to say in local in an unknown language.

While checking the belts today I found an unlooted Dread Gurista wreck. Looted it for a Multiphasic Bolt Array (high-meta ballistic controls worth 10M+ in my location) and a Dread Gurista copper tag.

The fun part? The person who killed the DG, John Crush, was mining about 10km away from the wreck. In a Badger II. He hadn’t bothered to loot.

“Safe”, of course, being a purely relative term.

After another day prowling around in Morsus Mihi space, I decided it was time to come home.

I learned a lot on that jaunt.

One thing I was hoping was that I’d find poorly-secured loot to scoop. I did come back with half a dozen nice high-meta named mods that I found cleaning up after local ratters, but nothing substantial in value. In low sec and empire, you often find drifting garbage associated with POS projects, especially stuff left drifting inside force fields that remains after the POS goes unfueled and the forcefield drops.

I didn’t find anything like that in 0.0 space. I don’t know if it’s a general rule, evolutionary pressure, or just a clean operation by Morsus Mihi tenants, but I put eyes on every POS installation in close to twenty MM systems, and the only scoopable object I found there was a single Giant Secure Container. Unfortunately, it was floating just outside the shields of a very serious-looking death star, and I didn’t feel comfortable trying to scoop-and-scoot under the POS guns, complete with webbing and scrambling batteries. I don’t know how fast the warp scrambling battery can lock a transport, and I’d like to test it in a disposable (preferably “borrowed”) Badger II before trying it in my blockade runner.

Those were some ship-shape POS installations. Clean, tight, and devoid of anything that could be readily shoplifted.

I also looked at every belt rat in those twenty systems, and shot a fair few of them. What I learned from that is what I already knew, which is that my Prowler is a bit puny for 0.0 rats. I can, however, kill most anything up to cruiser size with the fit I was packing, and with some fitting changes it wouldn’t be too hard. As I was fit (for agility and speed) it was a challenge; and I burned far more ISK in faction missiles than I got back in loot. As expected; this was a voyage of discovery and science.

The one hauler spawn I found had four cruiser escorts and two medium “Gatherers” based on the Osprey hull. It was a challenge killing the first cruiser with the DPS I had, while surviving the fire of the four enemy cruisers. But once I killed the first one, the rest dropped easily, if slowly. One Gatherer dropped a million units of Tritanium, which was nice, but not so useful fourteen jumps from the nearest station I can dock at. The other one dropped 30k units of Isogen.

I only saw one faction spawn, and it was a Dread Gurista battlecruiser that I could not scratch. I did try, just for giggles, but his natural shield regeneration shrugged off my puny missiles.

Coming home, with a hold full of loot even if it wasn’t enough to pay my ammo bill, was uneventful, with one notable exception. Jumping into the last system before lowsec, I expected to find a gatecamp on the Taisy gate. No worries; on my last trip through, I made a bookmark 300km off the gate so I can scout the camp and make sure I’m not warping through a bubble.

What I did not expect, being an awful noob at 0.0 combat, was the huge frickin’ bubble around the gate I jumped IN through … the next gate down the pipe in the direction I was coming from.

After I got done soiling the interior of my pod, I took stock. It was hard to see my position within the bubble because the camera was zoomed all the way in. There were wrecks on my overview, there was a handful (or more) of live ships present, I could hear the sound of some other poor fool being shot at, and most importantly, something had decloaked me. I needed instant action.

I hit the afterburner and the cloak button, in that order. Cloaking failed because I was being targetted, and indeed, I now saw three or four ships targetting me in the overview. The distant Taisy gate was visible sort of vaguely in front of me, so I right-clicked it and attempted to warp. No joy, still in the bubble, but moving fast now. Shields are melting, I’ve got some active tank so I turned it on, this shit is getting serious. Am I out of the bubble? Have they got me warp scrambled yet? Surely I’m dead. Let’s try that warp again!”

Hey! “Warp drive, activated!” Yay! But it’s not like I was aligned, and the shields aren’t looking good. Let’s kill the afterburner, shall we?

And….WHOOOOSH. I am gone, I am cloaked, and they never even scratched the armor. Remind me to send a postcard of appreciation to Core Complexions, Inc. for building the finest blockade runner in known space.

The above is how I remembered it; I wrote it before I looked at the ship’s logs. The logs show I was actually in a 20km bubble from a Warp Disrupt Probe, presumably launched by MrHooke who was present in a Heretic inderdictor. As for damage, I took:

* four Bloodclaw Light Missiles from Grantavius Fowler, for 50ish each
* two Caldari Navy Paradise Cruise Missiles from Ensidious, ouchy at 520ish each
* one volley of three Wrath Cruise Missiles from Yurrin Range, much calmer at 120ish each
* one volley of six mixed heavy missiles from Argos Knightblade, mere tickles at 20ish each
* one exceptionally painful Caldari Navy Bloodclaw Light Missile from MrHooke, for 243.8 damage (how he do dat?)
* one little gunnery scratch (13.9), also from MrHooke.

We rejoin our intrepid dirty-underwear-wearing hero in mid warp to the Taisy gate:

There were ships present at the Taisy gate, but no bubble; I hit the stargate, uncloaked, and was back in sweet bubble-free .3 space. It felt safe, which told me I’d been in 0.0 for too long.

Now I’m back in high security, ship and cargo and all. I’ve got plans to refit before the next voyage out, sacrificing a smidge of agility for better damage. More on that as the plan comes together.

I knew there’d be salvage to be had, if I skulked around 0.0 long enough.

Jumped into Yet Another Empty Morsus Mihi System (YAEMMS). I’m alone in local. Only: is that a cyno?

It is. How is that even possible? I thought you needed a ship and pilot to put up a cyno field.

So, I warped (cloaked) to it, at 100 km.

Two ships there. A Badger, apparently piloted, and a Kestrel, unpiloted. And a cyno field.

This I cannot explain. I keep staring at the pilot’s name, then looking back at local and seeing it still empty. WTF?

So I decide to watch and see what happens.

About a minute later (I’m guessing), the cyno field drops and the Badger vanishes. If it warped, I didn’t see it.

There’s still an empty Kestrel sitting there. I watch it. It sits there. Time passes (not a lot).

I remember I am a salvager, and there’s no telling what might be fitted on, or stored in, that unclaimed frigate.

Still nervous about pilots who don’t show up in local, I decided to park my prowler in the short-term lot. Then I egged to back to the Kestrel and jumped on board. A quick hotwire and we were outta there!

The Kestrel, it turns out, is a bare hull except for a fitted cyno generator. I considered flying it all the way back to Taisey to repackage it, but I wasn’t keen on leaving my Prowler in a shallow safe that long. So, I blew it up, hoping the module would fall out. No joy. Salvage: failed. (Although I did get 90k ISK from the Interstellar Commerce Commission.)

So, I assume the Kestrel put up the cyno, and then the pilot bailed out and jumped into the Badger. Then (perhaps when I came into the system) logged off or disconnected? What I don’t understand is why the Badger did not warp away from that spot, if it was a logoffski situation. I also don’t know enough about cyno fields to know if they stay up longer than the piloted ship that puts them up.

If anybody can explain what I saw, comments would be welcome!

Flying the new cloaked blockade runner has a lot in common with submarine warfare. Which makes it great fun, if you’re willing to be patient.

Today I was flying around when I spotted a Retriever mining barge mining into a jet can. He was a long way away at the other end of the belt, so I bookmarked his can and warped away to a planet, warping back to the jetcan at zero.

He was gone.

The jetcan was full. It had a name.

I created an Ironfleet can. I gave it the same name. I put the ore from his can into my can.

Does this trick ever work? I mean, the can is the wrong color. But then, there’s greed to consider.

I moved away a few kilometers, cloaked, and waited.

Sure enough, within just a few seconds the Retriever pilot was back, this time in a Badger II. Upon warp in, he sat motionless a long time.

Then, he crawled over to my can. Again, he sat motionless a long time.

Then he heeled around, clearly aligning to something. Le sigh; he’s not falling for it. And if he does a clean grab-and-warp, I won’t have time to decloak and lock and scramble him.

Then, another lengthy wait. He’s clearly thinking about it, and thinking hard.

Ah ha! Now, he’s red flashy.

Decloak, wait for the uncloak delay, target, lock, locking, locking, locking… sweet! He’s scrambled. Fire all torpedoes!

Except, of course, what I’ve got is one heavy missile launcher. It will have to do.

Boom, boom, boom. He’s tanked pretty well, this is taking time. His shields are about gone though.

What’s this? He has initiated self-destruct? That, I’ve never had anybody do before.

No worries; he doesn’t have two minutes. Boom, boom, boom, he’s popped.

Two giant secure cans full of ore fall out, some useful modules too:

2008.12.11 01:13:00

Victim: Cavros Demetri
Corp: Firestorm Tactical Industries
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Badger Mark II
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 3187

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Prowler
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 3187

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 3
Shield Recharger II, Qty: 2
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 11142 (In Container)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 11142 (In Container)

Dropped items:

Invulnerability Field I
Medium Shield Booster II
Burned Logic Circuit, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Sensor Booster I (Cargo)
Salvager I
Shield Recharger II
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 11142 (In Container)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 11142 (In Container)

While I’m hauling his full cans, I notice that he’s smacking in local. We converse. It actually goes fairly well once he calms down, even though somebody who used to smacktalk me back when Ironfleet was a baby and I was salvaging in a tricked-out Badger II) can’t resist chiming in to share her low opinion of me:

Cavros Demetri > marlenus you’re a knob. you tipped my can then got my badger. what a cock cheese
Marlenus > I got your cans of ore too. ;-)
Cavros Demetri > hope you choke on them
Marlenus > It seems unlikely
Cavros Demetri > hmmm… welll hope you’re refining chokes you lol
Marlenus > You thought about that load a long time before taking it … you can’t say you didn’t have a bad vibe
Cavros Demetri > i spend nearly an hour mining for some knob to nick it. yeah it was mine. the principle of it
Marlenus > Oddly enough, it was floating alone in space when I found it.
Marlenus > From my perspective, some “knob” nicked it from an Ironfleet can
Cavros Demetri > funny that. you obviously didnt realise that a jet can needs a larger ship to recover it
Marlenus > Larger that what? Your cans are in my hanger
Marlenus > Your former cans, I should say
Cavros Demetri > you’re just taking the piss. shame you cant mine you’re own stuff eh?
Marlenus > Why should I mine, when there’s ore floating abandoned in space?
Cavros Demetri > you knew exactly what you were doing.
Cavros Demetri > you waited cloaked for me to warp
Marlenus > Of course I knew what I was doing, Ironfleet has been in the salvage business for almost three years
Marlenus > How many blockade runners do you see in this business? It’s a specialized trade
Cavros Demetri > nothing hard a bout sitting cloaked waiting for someone to warp away for their hauler.
Cavros Demetri > no skill at all
Valeria Crossroads > 3 years of being a bad human, sad that some are proud of it
Marlenus > LOL at Valeria
Marlenus > I’m just playing the game, same as the rest of you
Cavros Demetri > “LOL at valeria” 3 years and thats the best you can say
Valeria Crossroads > ore thiefs are people who would be a traitor in a real world war
Marlenus > It’s plenty good, she doesn’t have any merit to her attacks
Cavros Demetri > but she hasnt been dishonest
Marlenus > She’s one of the many who confuse in game fun with out of game morality
Marlenus > I haven’t been dishonest either
Cavros Demetri > you took out a harmless badger. ( is quite funny )
Cavros Demetri > yeah you played with the rules though
Valeria Crossroads > stealing is bad, in or outgame
Marlenus > Nothing dishonest in shooting at a ship that goes flashy red
Marlenus > And in-game, it’s not stealing.
Valeria Crossroads > yes it is other wise you would not been flagged as a thief when you do
Rocky Dean > it’s only stealing if you get caught. : P
Cavros Demetri > then firing cruise missiles at a badger. is that what you consider challenging?
Marlenus > Cruise missiles? I wish. You try to fit cruise missiles on a blockade runner, just let me know how it works for you
Cavros Demetri > well i wont be jetting when i get my hulk. and the corp will be told about you.
Marlenus > Oh good.
Rocky Dean > um, ya, I’m gonna tell my corp on you too Marlenus. : P LOL
Cavros Demetri > ill tell my mummy while im at it
Cavros Demetri > lol
Marlenus > My alliance chief will be delighted at the publicity.
Cavros Demetri > lol
Rocky Dean > oh, by the way Marl, any other juicy spots i could join in on the free lunch with that you’d suggest? : )
Cavros Demetri > try uitra
Marlenus > Not sure what you’re asking Rocky
Marlenus > It’s a full time job for me just keeping the local belts free of nav hazards
Rocky Dean > cans with free ore in them, i love those. : )
Cavros Demetri > you’ll find a few ibis’s there. thatll challenge you
Marlenus > Actually Cavros it’s not as easy as you think finding people who are willing to go flashy red like you did. There’s plenty of challenge to it.
Cavros Demetri > well, to be honest i did align to the station but clicked the wrong frigging one when i tried to warp so lost alignment bugger the thing lol
Marlenus > Yeah, you’d have got away if you’d done a clean flip-and-scoot
Cavros Demetri > i knew you would attack when i took the ore back
Cavros Demetri > yeah but im down to using this darn mouse touch pad thing on my laptop its driving me nuts
Marlenus > Ouch, I couldn’t fly with a touchpad
Cavros Demetri > yeah it pissed me off. sorry mate i know its a game just pssed i got the wrong station to warp to
Marlenus > I understand, no hard feelings on my end
Cavros Demetri > lol nope. fair play i like the tactics. not seen that before
Marlenus > I do try to be original, and the cloaking blockade runner is new tech for everybody
Cavros Demetri > right. i need sleep so ill catch you all later. well done marl. you got my ore:-)
Marlenus > Night Cavros
Cavros Demetri > nite! i might reset your standings tomorrow lmao

I found myself inside a mission today, in one of my odd shipfits that looks more dangerous than it is, and salvages better than it should.

Mission runner was there salvaging in a destroyer, but I saw a cargo can, which turned out to have several million ISK worth of robotics in it. So I flipped it to Ironfleet possession, put it on tow on my tractor beam, and wandered around salvaging a few of the more worth-while looking wrecks.

Mission runner was aggrieved. We had this convo, where I’m attempting to be as polite and friendly as possible without being unduly helpful:

Ziief > why do you have to flip my can man?
Marlenus > I don’t have to. I’m just salvaging
Ziief > u just took my robotic parts man, that’s messed up, i havent played this game for long and need the isk more than you could ever
Ziief > and cant you run your own missions so u can salvage your own wrecks?
Marlenus > I don’t think you understand … salvaging stuff floating in space is what I do, just like you run missions
Ziief > you saw me salvaging my own wrecks dude, is not like it was abandoned wrecks floating in space like you like to call it
Marlenus > Um, wrecks are not owned, so they weren’t “your own”
Marlenus > Wrecks are free to whomever gets there first
Ziief > ohh really? what about the robotic parts you stole from me man?
Marlenus > I scooped some parts floating in space, nothing in this game is yours if you don’t have it under control
Ziief > do you really have the need to steal crap like that?
Marlenus > I don’t consider it stealing
Marlenus > Have a look at the blog, you’ll get a better sense of why we like to play the game this way
Ziief > alright you fucking piece of shit, i tried to come to terms with your cocksucking ass, you’ll have it your way, this shit you stealing from me, will cost you dearly, be prepared to face a serious raping, you’ll learn a nice lesson you piece of shit

Oh, my.

We tremble, we do.

My alliance brothers in the Suddenly Ninja corporation have a monthly contest for who can generate the choicest “spouting off” from a salvage customer (although they don’t put it quite like that). It’s not an alliance-wide contest, I don’t think, or I’d have to enter this one.

Since robotics are bulky, I went back in one of my combat Cranes, and even then I had to leave a few behind. Ziief showed up right behind me in his Badger II, and I briefly thought I’d get to shoot at him. But he executed a smooth scoop-and-warp on the handful of remaining robotics, and (whether because of lag or client-side sluggishness) the can didn’t pop and he didn’t turn flashy until he was already (from my perspective) vanishing into warp. Ah, well, can’t shoot ’em all.

Jim here again. (Marlenus still appears to be off farting around with the TEARS boys in Gallente space.)

Is there a whole crop of new players who don’t yet know about the hazards of jet can mining?

I ask only because, right now, there sure seem to be a lot of barge pilots out there right now with dreams of bloodlust.

Right after my latest encounter with SPJR, I stumbled over a Retriever pilot, mining into a transfer jet-can (placeholder: 1 unit of Veldspar) and thence into a Badger II. A perfectly sensible mining method, if you can calmly accept that sometimes you’ll lose your unit of Veldspar.

When I took that one unit of Veldspar from ScarletMint (a pretty face in Star Caliber [SCAL.], member of the 25-corporation OWN Alliance [OWN]) she apparently flipped out. Why else would a Retriever pilot launch two Warrior Is and a Hammerhead I, and then sic them on a Rifter?

Result predictable:

008.12.07 19:56:00

Victim: ScarletMint
Corp: Star Caliber
Alliance: OWN Alliance
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Retriever
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 2167

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Rifter
Weapon: 250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Damage Done: 1973

Name: Guristas Saboteur / Guristas
Damage Done: 194

Destroyed items:

Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Veldspar, Qty: 11530 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Warrior I (Drone Bay)

Note it was a completely unfitted Retriever. I think that’s the worst loot drop I’ve ever seen from a player wreck.

There’s a corp in that alliance called Pleasure and Pain. If there’s justice in the world, OWN will send them after me.

Jim Bridger here, again.

Remember SPJR, who lost a Cormorant to my Rifter yesterday, then suicided a Caracal under the sentry guns in a vain attempt at revenge?

Today during my routine sweep of the belts, I found him mining … in another Caracal. Which is a terrible abuse of a fine missile boat in my unsolicited opinion.

So I hastened to clean up his drifting hazards to navigation. And he commenced to trying to kill me, again.

It went badly for him, although at least this time he did get into my armor:

2008.12.07 19:16:00

Victim: SPJR
Corp: GunSlingerSquad Corp
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Caracal
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 8111

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Rifter
Weapon: 250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Damage Done: 7974

Name: Guristas Imputor / Guristas
Damage Done: 137

Destroyed items:

J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I
Medium Shield Extender I
Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 86
Power Diagnostic System I
Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 3271 (Cargo)
Warp Core Stabilizer I (Cargo)
Dual Diode Mining Laser I, Qty: 2
‘Malkuth’ Assault Missile Launcher I, Qty: 2
Small Energy Neutralizer I (Cargo)
Supplemental Screen Generator I
FZ-3 Subversive Spatial Destabilizer ECM (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Tracking Disruptor I (Cargo)
Ballistic Control System I
‘Malkuth’ Assault Missile Launcher I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Medium Shield Extender I
Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 43
Medium Clarity Ward Booster I
Murky Energy Transmitter I (Cargo)
‘Malkuth’ Assault Missile Launcher I
Shield Recharger I (Cargo)

Given some of the fitted items, like the warp disruptor, I think we are looking at a young EVE player aggressively groping toward a bait-and-gank fitting. If so, congratulations!

As I was scooping the ore in my hauler, his CEO was seen in a Merlin, but didn’t engage.

Hey, everybody, Jim Bridger here again. The fun I’ve been having in my little Rifter!

Today I happened upon a guy mining in a Cormorant destroyer. Being a destroyer guy myself, I’ve had trouble convincing myself to take them on in a frigate; but a miner-dessie shouldn’t, as a rule, have the guns and tracking to pose a problem.

So I sidled up to this guy and rectified the hazard to navigation his jetcan was posing. (As I’ve explained before, Ironfleet jetcans use the latest beacon technology; once we get abandoned ore safely stowed in OUR cans, we feel much safer.)

He didn’t seem to notice, so I looted and salvaged some wrecks he’s got laying about. (Yes, I have a salvager fitted on my Rifter. You wanna make something of it? Take it up with Marlenus, I just work here. I can hear him now, all sarcastic: “A pretty fine salvager you’ll make, with no salvager fitted on your ship. Mark my words, some day you’re going to come upon a dying dreadnaught, and you with no salvager. How stupid will you feel then?” Trust me, it’s not worth it.)

So anyway, today’s winner of the “I got salvaged by Ironfleet and all I got was this stupid shirt” prize finally noticed the flashy red frigate, and decided (need I even need to keep saying “unwisely”?) to shoot at me.

He got a few hits in as I was setting up my orbit, but then his guns began to miss very reliably. Whereupon, I blew him up:

2008.12.06 23:59:00

Victim: SPJR
Corp: GunSlingerSquad Corp
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Cormorant
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 2270

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Rifter
Weapon: 250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Damage Done: 2270

Destroyed items:

75mm Compressed Coil Gun I
Miner I, Qty: 2
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 166
Dual Diode Mining Laser I
Pyroxeres, Qty: 586 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

75mm Compressed Coil Gun I, Qty: 2
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 82
Dual Diode Mining Laser I
Overdrive Injector System I

Just about then, I was called away from my computer by events beyond New Eden’s event horizon (girlfriend with food, helpless to resist) for about half an hour.

When I came back, I realized I never hauled the ore, and there was, like, half a jet can full. So I jumped in my rust-bucket Wreathe and undocked to go and check on it.

First thing that caught my eye was my new best friend SPJR, in a Caracal cruiser. Right next to him is his corpmate and CEO, MasterGladiator, in a Badger.

I am taking this in, when SPJR begins to target me. While I am still mentally wondering WTF his deal is, he begins hitting me with light missiles, as I’m reading this go by:

(notify) SPJR, Criminals are not welcome here. Leave now or be destroyed.
(notify) SPJR: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.

And kaboom! There was a brand new Caracal wreck to loot and salvage. (Nothing too exciting there, perhaps a couple of low-meta T1 launchers.) Note, his CEO was present in a hauler, but either did not try to loot his stuff, or was too slow.

At this point I’m beginning to suspect GunSlingerSquad Corp of being a non-stop parade of fail, so I paused to look at their corporate info. I nearly laughed up a lung when I saw the corporate description:

GunSlingerSquad: -=GSS=-

The GunslingerSquad Smaller than most Corps
The GunslingerSquad Military Training and honor
The GunSlingerSquad moto team work fight hard


Mess With The Best-Die Like The Rest!

Being new, I have a lot of sympathy with. Being new and arrogant? Not so much sympathy.

Seeing as how the CEO had a hauler, I assumed that the Ironfleet jetcan would be long gone, but hey, it never hurts to look; so I proceeded to my can bookmark to check. Hey, whaddya know, it was still there! So I hauled it in a couple of trips (I really need to upgrade my hauling skills if I’m going to keep working for this outfit) by which time, I had MasterGladiator attempting (more fail) to have a menacing conversation in private chat:

MasterGladiator > i figure u owe me 670.000
Jim Bridger > Really?
MasterGladiator > yea
MasterGladiator > really
Jim Bridger > On what theory of obligation?
MasterGladiator > my cargo containers you took
Jim Bridger > Are you someone’s alt? I don’t remember you
MasterGladiator > SPJR corp
Jim Bridger > You said “my” like you were talking about something of yours?
MasterGladiator > it’s ok if you don’t fill like you have to will all work out…
Jim Bridger > I’m still confused what you are on about
MasterGladiator > it was mine..he was mining for me
Jim Bridger > “He” being who?
MasterGladiator > you took cargo containers that did not belong to you..
Jim Bridger > You didn’t answer my question
MasterGladiator > my clan member
Jim Bridger > Eve doesn’t have clans?
MasterGladiator > no problem big will work will see

And then he was gone from chat, before we could have a conversation about why I am supposed to owe him money.

And that would have been the end of this episode of hilarity, but for a conversation that got started in local after MasterGladiator decided to try his case in the court of public opinion. He managed to troll up a bored mission runner who wanted to make, but was unwilling or unable to defend, a variety of snide remarks and false aspersions about Ironfleet’s line of business:

MasterGladiator > hey dude.. u need to bring my ore back…
MasterGladiator > so steal stuff all the time?
MasterGladiator > just started with eve…but every dog has his day…
Jim Bridger > Ironfleet prefers to call it “salvage”
Takatii > Pretty good gig…if anyone fights back, they sic the mercs in their alliance on you.
Jim Bridger > It’s a living. Worked pretty well when it was just Ironfleet, to be honest; the alliance has more salvagers (Suddenly Ninjas et al) than it does combat pilots.
Takatii > lol…yeah, just as long as you don’t piss any real corps or alliance off.
Takatii > gotta love the baby pirates
Jim Bridger > I leave the politics to my Alliance betters, but the word from on high is that we welcome all war decs. Me, I just work here.
Jim Bridger > So far as I know we don’t have any actual pirates in the Alliance, but I could easily be wrong
Takatii > lol… you sure you’re not a diplo? You have the verbage
im Bridger > Meh, I used to read too many books on long salvage trips
Jim Bridger > My CEO, now, THERE’s a talker!
Takatii > Talker, as in word count, or vocabulary?
Jim Bridger > Word count, vocabulary, arguments per hour, pretty much any way you want to measure it. Inebriated by the exhuberance of his own verbosity? You name it, he’ll talk it to death.
Takatii > Most politicians can talk for hours and not say a damn thing
Jim Bridger > I think he may have been a lawyer before he took up an honorable salvage profession and started working for a living.
Takatii > lol…lawyer…that figures
Takatii > a true pirate
Takatii > Well, I guess missions DO get boring after awhile… and pirates usually can’t hack 0.0, so it’s back to hassling miners and hoobs
Takatii > But, as you say, it’s a living
Jim Bridger > Oh, you were aiming that at me? I’m no pirate, that’s for sure
Jim Bridger > You should check out the Ironfleet blog at, it will give you a better idea what we do for fun
Takatii > Oh, I know what you guys do for fun…. been on the butt end of it myself
Jim Bridger > I don’t think Ironfleet has ever ransomed anybody, I’d think that was the irreducible minimum for calling somebody a pirate
Jim Bridger > We just like to haul stuff, and sometimes that means prying it loose first.
Takatii > Hahahaha…. You DO love the semantics game, don’t you?
Jim Bridger > I guess my boss has rubbed off on me a little bit
Takatii > Thanks for reminding me why I love Empire life so much
Jim Bridger > Just one of the many services Ironfleet Towing And Salvage is happy to provide!
Takatii > LOL
Takatii > Just for laughts, how much do you charge to hauls someone’s ore?
Jim Bridger > We haul ore for free. Unfortunately, your selection of destinations is very limited.
Takatii > I’ll bet
Takatii > And how much to get the ore BACK?
Jim Bridger > Meh, I have no idea; my CEO does something with all the ore, not my department.
Takatii > Wait, let me guess….that’s not an option
Takatii > Ahhh… I see
Takatii > Well, good luck in your ‘noble’ endeavor
Jim Bridger > Who are you quoting? I don’t remember seeing “noble” in our corporate recruitment literature.
Takatii > lol…the emphesis is my own.
Jim Bridger > Quotation marks are not a good choice for emphasis as a rule, that’s why I didn’t understand you were trying to emphasize your own adjective
Takatii > If I were quoting, I’d have used ” “, not ‘ ‘
Jim Bridger > Since when is a pair of misplaced apostrophes supposed to be emphatic?
Takatii > never mind…. I can see you can’t survive without playing the semantics game. And it’s getting boring. good evening

Sorry about the rough language, but it seems I met a Covetor pilot who knew my mother. :(

Jim Bridger here, again.

As a young pod pilot, I developed an unholy fascination with destroyers. One result of this is that I don’t have much experience with my native Minmatar frigates.

Another result is that I’ve got hella gunnery skills. ;-)

The recent technical changes that have made tiny ships a little harder to catch and kill throughout New Eden has given me a new interest in playing with them; hence, the Bantam Of Doom project, from earlier.

The main idea there, of course, was that military experts agree: the Bantam is a useless helpless harmless ship. Making it irresistible, as bait.

Just now, though, I decided to play with a Rifter. This may be the single-most respected T1 frigate in the game; it’s got a reputation as a serious PVP platform, although I think modern tech advances have mostly relegated it to the nostalgic past. But I was concerned, nonetheless, that a Rifter wouldn’t seem harmless enough for my purposes.

Still, I wanted to play with a fitting, so I fitted one out.

On its very first outing, I set up my gun stacking while in warp, and the guns were reloading when I dropped into the first belt. And what to my wondering eye did appear but a big fat Covetor mining barge, and five tiny reindeer. (No, wait, those were Hammerhead drones.)

CCP said they rebalanced medium drones to make them less effective against small targets; I wonder how true that is?

My friendly local Covetor pilot (name of Sideshow Pete, member of Geniality hop [GENIA]) had a jet can out, which I always hate to see; such a hazard to navigation, doncha know?

So I sidled up to the can and flipped it into an Ironfleet can (we have better safety beacons, the ore is much safer now), then commenced to orbit the barge at a handy range.

He targeted me. I returned the courtesy.

His drones began shooting at me. Again, I returned the courtesy, turning on my lovingly-polished artillery pieces.

I also hit the warp scrambler and the afterburner, noting as I did so that his medium drones were MISSING, horribly and completely. (Well, not quite completely; his five drones scored a total of eight hits during the fight, according to the logs.)

The next thing I noticed was that Republic Fleet EMP ammo makes awful short work of a Covetor’s shields. Damn barge melted like snow on a hot skillet. It was almost sad, after all the years I’ve spent watching Marlenus pry those bad boys open the hard way, with a single missile launcher, a hot screwdriver, and a lot of patience.

So my new best friend Sideshow Pete went kaboomski almost before I knew what was happening:

2008.12.05 03:32:00

Victim: Sideshow Pete
Corp: Geniality hop
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Covetor
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 4729

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Rifter
Weapon: 250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Damage Done: 4729

Destroyed items:

Veldspar Mining Crystal I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Survey Scanner I
Plagioclase Mining Crystal I, Qty: 2
Modulated Strip Miner II, Qty: 2
Hammerhead I (Drone Bay)

Dropped items:

Mining Laser Upgrade I, Qty: 2
Plagioclase Mining Crystal I
Modulated Strip Miner II
Plagioclase, Qty: 9461 (Cargo)

The one strip miner is a several million ISK loot item, so that’s the whole ship and most of the modules paid for on the maiden voyage. I can live with that!

Mind you, between the ore I flipped and the ore he dropped, I still had more than half a jetcan to haul home. Normally I’d just whistle for Marlenus and a Bustard, but he’s still down Kaimon way. But I have a dirty little secret, which is that you can’t really stay in Ironfleet if you can’t fly a hauler. So, much as it pains me to admit, I had to jump in a rusty old Wreathe and make about three trips to get the ore home.

Somewhere in all this, I noticed that Sideshow Pete had posted something in local:

Sideshow Pete: “come on”

So I answered, as seemed only polite:

Jim Bridger: “Yes?”

Sideshow Pete: “son of a filthy whore”

I was tempted to respond “Dad? Is that you?” But, I didn’t.