Archive for the 'Salvage Notes' Category

Wow, how long has it been since I had a chance to defend an Ironfleet can with heavy missiles? Months, I think.

Tonight, I did, though. And how!

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been forced to do a bit of mission running lately, for standings. I finally worked my way up to a high-quality Level III agent in a convenient location, and so last night I began to relocate my fleet into that system so I can work out of there when I simply can’t stand the fork-to-the-face boredom that is mission running.

So, tonight I took the Crane out for a sweep of the belts, hoping to haul some ore before getting down to missions. And I saw an unusual thing: a guy, member of a corp in an alliance, who’s been playing four months longer than me, jet-can mining … in a Retriever. Flying a full set of mixed Tech 1 combat drones.

Needless to say, I was suspicious it might be a trap. Checked the graphics, yup, he’s got two lasers running; check the can ownership, yup it’s his can at least. No telling how many friends he’s got, though, just waiting a short warp away to pwn the careless and greedy.

Still, faint heart never won fair lady. I approached the can. Hey, it’s mostly full of plagioclase! So I grabbed a Craneload, flipped the rest into an Ironfleet jetcan, and hauled ore for the station.

Hauling all that in a Crane is not going to be easy — better to use a bigger hauler after the agro timer expires. So, I’ll jump in the handy Cerberus and go guard the Ironfleet can.

Remember my Cerberus? Have I mentioned my Cerberus? INDY was flying one against me during Chebri’s War, and I admired it. A lot. So I finished the necessary skilling, and bought one. It’s a hangar queen and a toy, mostly, but I luvs it to death and polishes it to a high shine every Saturday afternoon, whether it needs it or not. Aside from one brief-but-exciting encounter with a Vagabond, I haven’t had a chance to do any combat flying with it, although it blows through low-level missions like you would NOT believe. Overkillus Maximus!

Speaking of overkill…

When my Cerberus came out of warp thirty clicks from the Ironfleet can, there was no Ironfleet can.

What there was, was a flashing red Retriever. Really? Oh no, he didn’t!

Oh, yes, he did.

Lock, fire. In my haste, I somehow managed to miss turning on one heavy missile launcher, and I forgot to load the fancy missiles. So the first volley of four is on its way. Is he going to flee?

Let’s go to the videotape:

Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 184.9 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 184.9 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 225.6 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 231.2 damage.

Volley one! Is he fleeing? Why, no, he’s sent his drones after me. He wants to fight!

Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf places an excellent hit on you, inflicting 13.8 damage.
Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf hits you, doing 8.6 damage.
Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf heavily hits you, inflicting 11.6 damage.
Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf heavily hits you, inflicting 10.9 damage.
Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf heavily hits you, inflicting 10.6 damage.

Oooh, that smarted! Volley two, away!

Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 231.1 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 290.3 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 308.2 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 308.2 damage.
Heavy Missile Launcher II deactivates as ArcticIcewolf’s Retriever begins to explode.
Heavy Missile Launcher II deactivates as ArcticIcewolf’s Retriever begins to explode.
Heavy Missile Launcher II deactivates as ArcticIcewolf’s Retriever begins to explode.
Heavy Missile Launcher II deactivates as ArcticIcewolf’s Retriever begins to explode.

Oops, that was fast.

A moment’s pause. And then, in local:

ArcticIcewolf > Marlenus you fucking prick

I decide not to dignify that with a response, but there’s a bystander:

Waxau > lol
Waxau > NERD RAGE!

Here’s the killmail:

Victim: ArcticIcewolf
Alliance: Chances of Misfortune
Corp: Hearts of Obsidian
Destroyed: Retriever
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.5
Damage Taken: 2067

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Cerberus
Weapon: Scourge Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 1964

Name: Thorn Rocket / Guristas
Damage Done: 103

Destroyed items:

Strip Miner I

Dropped items:

Strip Miner I

So, I’m closing with the wreck to scoop that stripminer, and I’m thinking, this guy’s been playing longer than I have, he’s in an allianced corp, he should know better. What was he thinking?

I scooped the miner, flipped all the plagioclase back into an Ironfleet can, filled my cargo hold, and docked. Decided to go back and guard the can some more, until it’s safe to take a hauler in.

Back I went. In the Cerberus. Parked about 70 clicks out.

Here comes ArcticIcewolf, still flashing red, in an industrial (Bestower). I guess he still wants the ore. Doesn’t he know better?

Apparently, not:

Victim: ArcticIcewolf
Alliance: Chances of Misfortune
Corp: Hearts of Obsidian
Destroyed: Bestower
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.5
Damage Taken: 1956

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Cerberus
Weapon: Scourge Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 1956

Destroyed items:

Civilian Expanded Cargohold, Qty: 2

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he’s been playing since December of 2005 and he’s fitted his hauler with CIVILIAN EXPANDED CARGOHOLDS!

By now, I figure he’s mad, but there’s been no further smack in local. I continue guarding the can until the agro wears off, and meanwhile, I strike up a chat with a friendly bored hulk pilot. We’re talking about unrelated stuff, he mentions an ISK windfall he just got, and I mention a market killing I made once due to another player’s error. Suddenly, we’re hearing from ArcticIcewolf in local. During the conversation you are about to read, I had time to haul all the ore in my Crane (sadly, I didn’t have a larger hauler in system, so it took about four trips) and then come back in my salvage destroyer to salvage both of ArcticIcewolf’s wrecks. My favorite part of what follows is where ArcticIcewolf explains that he can’t fight because he has a life, and thus cannot play enough to afford any combat vessels:

09:04:54: ArcticIcewolf > hey you cant help being an asshole its in your nature
09:05:03: Marlenus > Lol, still chafing are we?
09:05:17: ArcticIcewolf > just a tad
09:05:38: Marlenus > Honestly I’m not sure why you came back in the hauler when I had an Ironfleet can to defend.
09:06:15: Lord Vindicarious > Did you boys get in a pissing match?
09:06:22: ArcticIcewolf > well concidering you stole all my shit i dunno think bout it
09:06:30: Marlenus > Naw, just an altercation over ore floating in space
09:06:42: Marlenus > Cerberus versus retriever, it was fast but ugly
09:06:43: ArcticIcewolf > yeah fucker stole my ore
09:07:03: Marlenus > actually, you were flashing for taking ore from an Ironfleet can, if we must be precise
09:07:23: ArcticIcewolf > because you stole the shit put it back out as yours
09:07:36: Lord Vindicarious > Tisk, tisk
09:07:50: Marlenus > All that fit, I kept, and I’m still hauling it as we speak.
09:07:52: Lord Vindicarious > Honestly, that’s what you get for not using a secure can
09:08:01: Gregory Wallace > sounds shady
09:08:07: ArcticIcewolf > oh that justifies it ?
09:08:26: Lord Vindicarious > Well, yeah that’s what you get for being a dumbass
09:08:30: Marlenus > You make it sound like I was trying to be deceptive, when I was just doing good honest salvage.
09:08:36: Marlenus > Of ore jettisoned into space.
09:09:19: Lord Vindicarious > People can only take what is unsecured
09:09:51: ArcticIcewolf > Lets see its rite next to me and you take it and then Rejettison it as your own, thats Honest ?
09:10:15: Marlenus > Just cleaning up the spaceways, one of the services Ironfleet Towing And Salvage is always happy to provide!
09:10:21: Gregory Wallace > someone picking a fight is what it was
09:10:32: Marlenus > Nah, somebody hauling ore is what it was.
09:10:41: ArcticIcewolf > its you being a dooshbag
09:10:52: Lord Vindicarious > And if you are flying a mining barge, you really shouldn’t jetison unsecure cans unless you WANT some prick to to pick a fight with you
09:10:55: Marlenus > I didn’t really expect the guy in the mining barge to pick an actual fight.
09:11:21: Lord Vindicarious > LOL, sorry but you get no sympathy
09:11:41: ArcticIcewolf > lol why because you just as disshonest as him ?
09:11:47: Lord Vindicarious > Nope
09:11:53: ArcticIcewolf > really
09:12:02: Lord Vindicarious > I never bother stealing ore, it isn’t worth my time
09:12:07: Gregory Wallace > with mining u have to have muscle with u- have a buddy or two cloak a recon by u
09:12:09: ArcticIcewolf > standing up for a disshonest player dont really put high marks on your moral opinions
09:12:42: Lord Vindicarious > However, if I am in my salvager and there are unclaimed wrecks laying about, I’ll salvage them
09:13:10: ArcticIcewolf > even if they rite next to the miner and you know whos it is
09:13:31: Lord Vindicarious > If you are in the belt, i’ll ask first
09:14:08: ArcticIcewolf > well great for you , but marlenus is as disshonest as they come
09:14:15: Lord Vindicarious > But as to your origional gripe of somebody flipping your can, sorry but that is like the oldest trick in eve of picking a fight with somebody
09:14:42: Lord Vindicarious > He did it so you would give him a reason to be able to shoot you
09:15:02: Marlenus > Actually, Lord V, that’s where you are wrong — nobody believes me but I really do do this for the ore.
09:15:25: Marlenus > I was in a T2 transport when this all started, hauling.
09:15:26: ArcticIcewolf > why cant earn your own
09:15:39: Marlenus > It is my own once it’s in my hangar.
09:15:47: Lord Vindicarious > LOL
09:16:22: Lord Vindicarious > I’ll tell you what though Mar, if you ever tried taking MY ore I’d kick your ass
09:16:39: Lord Vindicarious > I wouldn’t just whine about it in local
09:16:59: Lord Vindicarious > (hint hint)
09:17:00: Marlenus > I can respect that. Whether you’d succeed is an open question, but that’s a perfectly respectable approach to take.
09:17:30: ArcticIcewolf > hint all you like lord, some of us have a lifes and arnt on enough to earn biggger badder ships to fight back
09:18:29: Lord Vindicarious > I’m only on for about an hour or so a day, I think I “have a life” thank you
09:18:38: Marlenus > No salvage on the mining barge. :(
09:19:20: Marlenus > couple of burned logic circs from the hauler wreck
09:19:44: Lord Vindicarious > However, that being said, I’ve been playing eve since 2003, so I think I just might have the combat skills to kick your ass Mar if we are both in the same type of ship
09:19:56: Marlenus > Of that, I have NO doubt.
09:20:01: Lord Vindicarious > LOL
09:20:01: Marlenus > I am not a combat pilot…
09:20:14: Marlenus > …and I try very hard to start any fights with an overwhelming tonnage advantage.
09:21:05: Lord Vindicarious > Drones are nice, too
09:21:19: Marlenus > But I am very very good at getting ore out from under the guns of combat escorts, you might be surprised, once.
09:21:39: Marlenus > Having the element of surprise helps a lot
09:21:48: ArcticIcewolf > well, i do respect that you are honest about being Disshonest
09:22:06: Marlenus > You made up that dishonesty part, I see nothing dishonest about salvage
09:22:18: ArcticIcewolf > thats not salvage thats thievery
09:22:36: Marlenus > I believe we disagree on that point.
09:23:06: Lord Vindicarious > LOL, this point is getting a bit stale
09:23:07: ArcticIcewolf > nothing made up, your a poor player, you just admitted a few sentences up about being very good at getting ore from uder other players noses
09:23:25: Marlenus > Not “admitted”, rather I think I was bragging just a bit
09:23:40: Marlenus > And I don’t consider that any sign of being a poor player
09:24:02: Marlenus > Lord V, if you think it’s stale, how do you think I feel? I hear this sort of thing quite often, as you might imagine. ;-)
09:24:32: Lord Vindicarious > Artic, I’m sorry but when you consider the nature of this game then you have nobody to blame but yourself
09:24:40: ArcticIcewolf > if you hear it quite often then i’d prob say your logic of thinking nothing is wrong is missconstrued
09:24:47: Lord Vindicarious > DON’T USE UNSECURED CANS
09:24:56: Marlenus > Well, somebody’s logic has a problem, I’ll grant you that much.
09:25:11: ArcticIcewolf > I can respect that Lord but, to say he was rite in his actions is not rite
09:26:02: Lord Vindicarious > I am NOT saying he is right, I AM saying however that YOU are wrong for using unsecured cans and not expecting to be stolen from
09:27:46: Marlenus > Good night gentlemen, it has a been a pleasure providing salvage services and public entertainments to the good citizens of [redacted].
09:27:58: Gregory Wallace > night
09:27:59: Marlenus > Ironfleet out.
09:27:59: Lord Vindicarious > LOL, night

I think I’ll leave you with a bit of bedtime poetry (for it is far past my bedtime as I write this.) This is copied, verbatim, all spelling and punctuation unchanged, I shit you not (although I did add line breaks) from ArcticIcewolf’s bio:

I Hunt in the deepest and darkest reaches of Space,
I hunt those who wrong others,
I hunt where no man dares to go,
I protect those who cannot defend themselfs,
I hunt those who believe in enslavement of others,
I will not Rest
I can Not die,
therefor I am like the Wolfs of thee Arctic on our Homeworld whome we Lost contact with long long ago,
I run with the pack I die with the pack,
the only problem is,
;) the pack never dies!!

It pains me to to admit it, but lately I’ve been running some missions to improve my faction at stations where I do a lot of refining and reprocessing. I’ve never been a big mission runner, though, and one of the reasons is that the loot tables are so boring and predictable. I’ve always felt that a good MMORPG loot table should have a chance of dropping unexpected goodies, and most of the loot tables in EVE, sadly, just don’t. (The unpredictable loot tables for player loot drops, however, more than make up for this deficiency.)

Imagine my surprise, then, when I was doing a Level II “Save A Man’s Career” in a .7 system, to find a +1 Charisma implant (Limited Social Adaptation Chip) in the wreck (*not* the loot can or the mission reward) of the named guy (Sangrel Minn) I was supposed to kill in the mission. In all my Eve career, I’ve never heard of implants for boosting basic stats dropping from mission rats (although I have gotten two fancy implants off of dread gurista belt rats).

I simply did not know this was possible. It’s nice to be surprised, even if the implant itself is not terribly useful.

Well, it’s been six weeks and a couple of patches since I’ve played EVE. I had some internet problems, I had to do some travel, there was some work stuff, there was some family stuff… and, y’know, I just wasn’t feeling the EVE lust. It happens.

So, this was the dustiest login I’ve ever had to do. As usual after patches, I had to redo all my settings. I had to pay a bunch of office rent bills, and I think I’ve got to go collect some stuff from offices that got repossessed. My skill training was done (not long done though, I managed to polish off Advanced Weapons Upgrades V during the break). I didn’t remember where anything was, or where I was.

Changes-wise, the two big ones affecting Ironfleet seem to be the new junk cleanup routines (sob, all that lovely salvage that went poof) and the removal of the “refine shuttles” cap on Veldspar prices.

The junk cleanup was hard on Ironfleet in one sense — probing down old shuttles in ancient safespots with goodies in the cargo was one of my best entertainments in the game — but the manifest benefits to the game cannot be denied. And the cleaner roid belts make salvage a lot easier, especially as it’s easier to find the Giant Secure Containers that aren’t anchored, now.

So far, all I’ve done is one survey of the belts in my current local system. Found a Catalyst mining into a free-floating Giant Secure Container, so I went for a cargo ship. Catalyst was gone when I came back, so I scooped container and ore (not a lot of ore) without drama. In the next belt over, I found a guy in a Retriever barge, jet-can mining; he had enough ore to fill up my hauler, so that was nice. We had this conversation:

Sterling Wilkes: What is your problem?

Marlenus: No problem.

Sterling Wilkes: Janfot.

Marlenus: And a happy rumfut to you too, sir!

Ironfleet Towing And Salvage is back in business, baby!

Today I espied a Hulk mining into several jetcans. So I hopped in my Crane transport and went to get some ore.

I’d flipped the first full jetcan of Veldspar into an Ironfleet can when the Hulk woke up and launched five drones. I responded with heavy missiles, and after things began to settle, it was clear that I could tank the drones for a very long time but not forever, and that the Hulk could probably tank me for longer than that, but again, perhaps not forever. So I resolved to blow up some drones.

Reloading with precision missiles…

Start over. After cussing out my crew for failing to stock up on precision missiles, I went back to shooting heavy missiles at drones. And the hulk pilot began micromanaging his drones, pulling them in after I had begun to hurt whichever one I was shooting at. But I was battering them each time, and he was running out of drones with armor and structure left.

Finally, I popped a drone. By now I was at about half shields and about half cap, and beginning to think that (if he did not have another set of drones in the bay) I could turn my attention back to pounding on the hulk.

Which is when his corpmate in a Drake warped in and began unloading heavy missles onto me in 7-missile volleys from point blank range. Time to go!

My Crane is a stout ship, but it’s just a hauler, and we were already low on shields. The second volley hit me just before I hit warp, and I got away with a substantial dent in my armor. It’s questionable whether I could have weathered volley number three, and number four would have been certain death.

Of course I came back in a stealth bomber to see if I could defend the Ironfleet can. And, indeed, the Drake did not seem to be fitted with a full Drakish tank, as I was able to beat well into its shields until it chose to leave. But the hulk pilot came back in an armor-tanking battleship that I could not scratch, and there was no more that I could hope to accomplish with the ships available to me. We danced a bit and I launched a lot of missiles for the pleasure of the noise, but in the end, I had no choice but to blow up the Ironfleet can (full of veldspar!) to keep it out of enemy hands, and then return to my hangar.

Conclusion, tentative: If the Hulk pilot had failed to get backup, I might have been able to take him.

It’s not the most profitable salvage I do, but the peaceful scooping of unanchored “secure” cans is very satisfying. Perhaps I played too much Pac-Man as a child?

In any case, I was sweeping the belts when I came upon one Curse Straken, mining in an Osprey. His ore, he was putting in a Large “Secure” Container.

With flashing green nav lights.

Named — I shit you not — “Container #9″.

So I zoomed out, and sure enough, he was surrounded by an entire canstellation of unanchored large secure cans. They were carefully spaced five kilometers apart, as if the hauler pilot who launched them for him had a clue, but it appeared Curse had not been briefed on the anchoring procedures.

So I began scooping.

After scooping the fourth can, my chat window pops up. Curse Straken wishes to converse with me. I accept the chat and begin motoring to Container #5”.

[ 2008.01.26 23:54:11 ] Curse Straken > dude, what are you doing
[ 2008.01.26 23:54:20 ] Marlenus > Salvaging
[ 2008.01.26 23:54:31 ] Curse Straken > why u taking my containers?
[ 2008.01.26 23:54:42 ] Marlenus > They aren’t yours, they are floating loose in space?
[ 2008.01.26 23:54:56 ] Curse Straken > uhh no, theyre mine
[ 2008.01.26 23:55:03 ] Marlenus > Sorry to say it, but no they aren’t.


At this point, he began locking me. Really? A visit from Concord? And I get to watch from the expensive seats?

Sadly, no. I finished my scooping unmolested, and went on my way.

Today I was giving an EVE demonstration to my friend, the one who wrote the poem. So I took my covert ops frigate out looking for some ore to salvage.

Found a pair of hulks mining into a jet can. Interesting. I’ve met some very dangerous hulks. If they launch tech II combat drones, they can dramatically out-damage my one-gun hauler. They can tank well, they can warp scramble, they can web. The question is, can they do all of those things at the same time?

Answer: yes. But how likely are they to be doing all those things while fitted for optimal mining?

More data needed.

So, home to get the Crane, back to get some ore. Grabbed a load, flipped the rest of the (nearly-full) jet can into an Ironfleet can.

Fweep fweep fweep, Captain Kronos in the hulk wants to play. Captain Kronos is trying to warp scramble YOU! Drones have been summoned and instructed to devour YOU.

Ok, start shooting and claw for distance, I want to outrun this guy in case the damage curve is against me and I need to warp out.

Hmm, 21 m/s top speed? Friends, we are webbed, this just got SERIOUS! How many points of scramble does he have? Now we may have to win — how’s the damage / tanking going?

Damage, not so good, his shield is barely scratched. My tank is dropping fast, he launched some nasty drones. Time to turn on the shield booster.

I’ve improved my shield gear considerably since the last time I met a hulk, but I know my setup is not cap stable. Looks like I’m holding my own while the cap holds, though. I’d better pop some drones if I want to win this thing.

Heavy missiles versus drones, tricky. I’m doing surprisingly well, about to pop the first drone after several shots, shields holding, cap getting shaky, when I realize that I forgot to swap in the precision missiles when I switched targets. I wonder if I dare pause to reload? I guess I’ll swap ammo after the first drone dies.

Hey, I wonder how his cap is holding? Am I actually warp scrambled? I haven’t actually tried to warp away yet, maybe I should? No, if I can pop a drone, I might could still win this thing, or at least get a chance to pound on his tank long enough to figure out if I can break it. One more shot and the drone should be …



I really figured I was dead, if he actually had me scrambled. But I logged back in quickly and found myself a million clicks away and warping back. Whew! Got back, he was gone, now we’ll never know.


My friend says “Don’t you still have a can full of ore back there?”

So I looked around my hangar and found a big bristly missile-y ship. And zoomed back to the scene, 100 klicks out.

There’s Captain Kronos, forty clicks away and flashing red. In a Vagabond.

“Computer, what’s a Vagabond?”

By now I know enough to know that when I find myself asking that question, the answer is never good. So I’m clawing for missile distance and hitting the afterburner.

Heavy assault cruiser, you say? I guess that explains why my default heavy missile loadout is hitting him for .7 hitpoints per shot.

Hey, now my missiles are hitting for 70+ a shot, but he’s RIGHT HERE! And what’s all this racket that sounds like autocannon? How he get here so fast? WARP! WARP! I don’t know who’ll win, but I want this flapping rattling nightmare OUT OF MY FACE!

If he had warp scramblers, he didn’t use them, because I was very gone, very soon. While warping, I reflected that maybe my missiles started hitting better when he hit the microwarp drive. Then my computer chirped and I got the report on Vagabonds. Let’s see here, “…the fastest cruiser invented to date… lightning strikes … fastest vessels to ply the spacelanes….” Ah. No surprise he got to my lumbering missile tub in no time flat.

Captain Kronos, you may keep the ore you jettisoned.

At least for today.

I’ve seen the whining on the forums ever since Trinity about the general increase in loot sizes, but (what with the wars and all) I haven’t had a chance to do much mission salvage. So, I’d noticed that my cargo holds were filling up faster, but it wasn’t a huge deal for me.

Today I was surveying a system in my survey vessel when my probes showed me a Cormorant above the ecliptic and far from any asteroid belt. That usually means a mission salvager, so I warped in to see what the pickings looked like.

And my crappy internet connection picked that moment to die.

By the time I got back online and finished my warp, I found myself looking at about thirty widely-spread loot cans in open space — pretty clearly the remains of a turned-in mission by somebody who salvaged the wrecks, but left (or cherry-picked) the loot. Some of the loot cans were named to indicate poor quality loot, so I assumed a cherry-picking — but when I sampled the first can, it had named gear for laser-battleships in it, more than would fit in my frigate.

Time to inventory my regional vessels.

No hauler within several hops. No Badger II available in system. But there’s a creaky old Badger in the junkyard around Moon 10, she’s cheaper than the first item of loot I just looked at. She’ll do.

Buy the Badger, any afterburners in system? No, but there’s a frigate microwarpdrive, she can run that thing all day and it will double her speed. Duct tape that bad boy to the stern and let’s go salvaging!

And that’s when the true horror (well, horror for mission runners, it’s really a dream for a hauler-pilot like me) of the size of Level IV mission loot began to sink in. Large lasers, large armor repairers, torp launchers, large armor plates, heavy cap gear, the usual assortment — my gut tells me it would have been two or three trips worth in my well-fitted salvage destroyer pre-Trinity. But I tell you what, I was beginning to fear it wouldn’t all fit in my Badger before I finished cleaning up that canstellation — in fact, I wound up with nearly 4,500 cubic meters worth of loot, out of a single stage of one mission.

Clearly my days of speed-looting in a nimble kestrel are over. And the salvage destroyer concept is getting long in the tooth. Unless CCP finally coughs up a specialized salvage vessel, the humble hauler clearly has a bright future.

So I found myself at loose ends today, and decided it was time to go clean up some of the dangerous jet cans that litter the spaceways. And so it was that I found myself in my Crane, with a cargo hold full of Dense Veldspar, looking at an angry Osprey flashing red at me and attempting to gnaw me to death with three light drones and an occasional light missile.

Pish, tush. “Captain to Gunnery, would you be so kind as to crank up the heavy missile launcher we carry around at great expense for just such an eventuality? Oh, and you might as well warp scramble this boyo, he’ll probably try to leave long before we crack open his carapace and start scraping out the greasy goodness inside.”

And so we began tossing heavy missiles at the guy.

They were having remarkably little effect.

A genuine mining cruiser (which this guy was, I’d counted at least two lasers burning) is usually not very heavily tanked or gunned. This guy? Tanked better than most.

Of course he tried to flee, but my Crane had the speed to control the range, and the cap to maintain the scramble forever.

His shield eeee-ventual-eeeeeey was gone, and so I paused to switch ammo to a more armor-eating flavor. Dang if he didn’t regen enough shield while I did that to make it unbreakable with the new ammo! I had to switch back to EMP, and stay there.

By this point I’m noticing that he’s got a corp tag and an alliance tag. This salvage operation is taking entirely too long, and I’m starting to worry about a passing battle fleet landing on my head. Nothing for it but to stay alert and keep pounding him. Shield regen is enough to make the project slow, but I continue gaining.

Finally he explodes. The killmail makes the problem clear — he’s fitted a Tech II Medium Shield Extender and a small (but best named) shield booster:

2008.01.15 20:22:00

Victim: eracklionne
Alliance: Zenith Affinity
Corp: Pleasure and Pain
Destroyed: Osprey
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 10224

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 10180

Name: Guristas Arrogator / Guristas
Damage Done: 44

Destroyed items:

XeCl Drilling Beam I
Bloodclaw Light Missile
75mm Gatling Rail I
EP-S Gaussian I Excavation Pulse
Small C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I
‘Dactyl’ Type-E Asteroid Analyzer

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold I, Qty: 3
Dense Veldspar, Qty: 4941 (Cargo)
Medium Shield Extender II
Standard Missile Launcher I
1MN Afterburner I

All in all, an unusual mining cruiser fit, especially mounting only two mining lasers and that monster extender.

I’m still a little bit amazed he didn’t get some help in the time it took — do you know how long it takes to deal 10k damage with a single heavy missile launcher? (According to my logs, it was almost eight full minutes the way I did it, which included time for some errors on my part.)

The next part was almost more fun. While I was crawling back to pick up some more ore, he came back in a Raven!

Who mines in a cruiser when they have a Raven to play with?

Well, I saw his Raven and called with my Manticore. It “felt” like he didn’t really have the Raven skills and fittings he needed yet, because in just a few volleys his shields were below half and he chose to leave.

All in all, a fun outing on the salvage grounds.

First combat sweep of the day. AC-ME seems to be having trouble making up its mind which new system it’s relocating into, or perhaps they are moving around a lot in an effort to avoid more trouble. So, I was on my way back to Isaziwa from a system where a lot of AC-ME folk were (AFK) last night, when I stumbled upon poor Aktala (again) mining alone in a Retriever mining barge in Oiniken.

At least it was quick:

2008.01.10 20:16:00

Victim: Aktala
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: AIHTD Mining and Trade group
Destroyed: Retriever
System: Oiniken
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 1725

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 1725

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II

Dropped items:

Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Expanded Cargohold II

But then I made a regrettable mistake. I was targeting enemy drones, and the wreck, to blow them up, and I must have flailed the overview selection process, because as I was sending away one missile to each targeted item, I realized I’d just launched on Aktala’s pod.

That, I never meant to do. Aktala is a victim of her alliance leadership’s failure to clean up the mess made by one of the alliance members. I didn’t go looking for her, but when I found her while I was hunting AC-ME, I undertook to blow up her ship. I’ve never podded anybody before, and never planned to start with someone who had given me no offense. But, war is hell.

So I watched in modest horror for the many seconds of cruise missile flight time (I was out well past a hundred kilometers) waiting for the pod to warp away. It didn’t:

2008.01.10 20:17:00

Victim: Aktala
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: AIHTD Mining and Trade group
Destroyed: Capsule
System: Oiniken
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 339

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 339

For what it’s worth (not very much, I fear) I sent her a note of apology, after.

I was able to retrieve the Tech II cargo expander from the wreck, but the strip miners wouldn’t fit in the space remaining in my cargo hold, so I had to blow them with the the wreck when I scuttled it.

Two incidents tonight, one inconclusive and one that was a net win for Ironfleet.

When I logged in in Rairomon, the system was clear of hostiles. TorpedoTed told me he was a few systems away playing tag with Chebri, who was attempting to probe him out using a Covert Ops frigate. He had also seen an INDY command ship in local, and assumed collaboration with Chebri.

Since I was in an unsuitable ship to engage, I set off for Isaz in a shuttle, waving to TorpedoTed as I passed through the system where he and Chebri were playing. Upon jumping out, I found the command ship in question, lurking by the gate, ready to jump in. I warned TorpedoTed, and he told me not to come back in a combat ship. Instead, we agreed, a combat sweep of Isaziwa, where AC-ME appeared to be, would be more fruitful.

So, stopping at one of my hangars for one of my many spare stealth bombers, I jumped into Isaziwa and warped directly to AC-ME’s favorite belt. Nothing … except fresh cargo cans belonging to a known INDY miner (not AC-ME). I decided to be patient.

My patience was swiftly rewarded when Aktala of AIHTD Mining And Trade Group warped into the belt in a Retriever mining barge and set her strip miners to burning the roids. Now, I’ve seen this person flying a Hulk, so I suppose the Retriever was a concession to the war risk. No matter — a war target is a war target.

Uncloak, launch, boom. One volley is sufficient:

2008.01.08 05:12:00

Victim: Aktala
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: AIHTD Mining and Trade group
Destroyed: Retriever
System: Isaziwa
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 1825

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.0
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 1825

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II
‘Dactyl’ Type-E Asteroid Analyzer

Dropped items:

Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Expanded Cargohold II

Interestingly, Aktala’s capsule does not warp away. In rapid succession, I targeted and blew up the five cargo cans and three drones left behind. Aktala’s pod is still here. I don’t like the intelligence platform it represents, but I’ve got no particular urge to pod an INDY person who has never offended Ironfleet in any way whatsoever. I’m thinking, “Pod, please go away.”

Sigh, target pod, perhaps that will send a sufficient message. Locking, locking, locking. Lock!

Ah, good, pod is leaving.

After cloaking, I sat looking at the juicy wreck, too far away and in the center of the belt. TorpedoTed, where are you?

The wish being father to the deed, there he comes out of warp in his now-famous +6 Kestrel of awesome destruction. He’s right by the wreck, and he promptly loots two strip miners and a tech two cargo expander. Off he goes to deposit them safely in a hangar. He has the instincts of a salvager, this one.

Hmm, when is the AC-ME response going to arrive?

Torpedo Ted returns. Near simultaneously, Murdock Jones arrives in the same place, in a Brutix. Uh, oh. I see a warp scramble message as I am uncloaking.

Sadly, by the time I drove Murdock Jones away with cruise missiles, he’d reduced TorpedoTed’s Kestrel to scrap. It’s not a big job, and he brought a big enough ship to do it. I saw TorpedoTed’s pod warp away safely, then Murdock went, then in rapid succession Vryder04 and Cordus showed up in Megathron and Drake, respectively.

I, of course, cloaked up and started running silent. They stayed a long time — almost twenty minutes in the case of the Megathron — but the action was over. They didn’t bring out any bait targets for me to shoot at, so I stayed cloaked.

Tally for Ironfleet: One retriever mining barge, three valuable components salvaged.
Tally for AC-ME: One kestrel.

All in all, not a bad night!