Siphon Song

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were dangerous and beautiful creatures, portrayed as femme fatales who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.

-Wikipedia “Siren”

As regular readers are aware, I’ve had a mixed reaction to the new mobile units. I was originally excited about the Siphon, thinking I might fly out, drop one, grab some goo in the 1-3 hours I was online, scoop it all and head back to the wormhole.

Alas, this was not to be. Siphons anchored quickly but siphon extremely slowly. They are not scoopable. They are also very expensive compared to the value of the harvest they make in a 24 hour period. So at first I decided to ignore them.

But there was something that kept calling me back. As a wormholer, you must constantly d-scan, and remain vigilant. And within the first few weeks of Rubicon, I kept seeing them pop up. I got curious. I remembered that anyone, not just the owner, could scoop from them.

So one day in my CovOps I zipped out to one. It was half full of Hafnium. I took it. It was a good moment. I found others. They were also partly filled, but my cargo hold was too full. There were more on D-scan. The greed bug got me. I went back to the wormhole for a bigger ship.

Of course, I was cautious. Not knowing how many of these things I’d find, I grabbed my trusty Prowler. This ship was my good luck charm. It was the only Blockade Runner I had ever owned. I had used it to run PI in one of the most notorious systems in EVE, Syndicate’s PF-346, for over a year, and I used it for 6+ months in the hole as well. I never so much as got successfully targeted.

I delivered a load of Hafnium home, and went back out another wormhole into Delve. I vaguely noticed that night that there was some good traffic, and a few regular players. But usually in nullsec, everyone is a transient unless there are five or more people there, and that never happened. I jumped into one last system before I headed home, my cargohold pleasantly filling up, this time with Prometheum.

And then I jumped into a spectacularly well-laid gate camp. I had run many before, and was not concerned. But they dropped drones, instalocked, and popped my beloved BR. And podded me for the first time in months for good measure.

I rethought my approach. I retooled. I used smaller ships, took more trips. I used a cruiser for a while, but its hold was still too small, 400-500m3, where a full siphon was 900. Too many trips per find.

But we were wardec’d, and I wasn’t about to go ship shopping. I stored up Hafnium I had stolen, and backlogged PI goods. But one day, the wardec cleared.

My main was out in another system, busy with other things. So even though I knew I was taking a risk, I filled my hero Mammoth with PI, loot from hacking, and the stolen moon goo. Hero Mammoth, you ask? Yes. My Mammoth from the tutorial, nearly 4 years ago. Before the Prowler, I had used her to do my PI in Lowsec, from Erstet to Amoderia. For four years, nary a scratch on her sacred hull.

And I entrusted her to a low-skilled alt (long-time readers of the blog will already be familiar with this alt). A risk, yes. Maybe even a stupid risk. But late night, almost AU time. Surely I would make it to Jita, as I always had with any load of PI goods. Alas, not this time. The ganker likely lost money on this attack. But with the wide variety of loot and a short time to make a decision, he pulled the trigger anyway and made a guess.

And so, back again at square one, I built my “ideal Siphon robbing ship”. A Magnate, of all things. The first I had ever owned. Over 900m3 cargo bay. An expanded probe launcher to be able to accurately target Siphons with combat probes rather than the slow d-scanning method with the inevitable 150Km slowboat to the siphon once I got on grid. No, now I would have a fast, if paper-thin, giant empty crate of a ship. And in case I got bored while wandering, some hacking gear. The perfect thing. I took her home.

And promptly never saw a Siphon again.

I took her out 5 days in a row, through many nullsec systems and regions. Nothing.

After checking four nullsec chains last night, I finally said “welp” and went prowling in Providence, figuring maybe the fiefdoms there were dropping siphons on each other. Nothing again. I went up a little cutout into a dead end chain with a turnaround, and noticed something following me. I cloaked. More somethings, maybe 10 ships.

Surely they wouldn’t waste their time following a little empty exploration frigate? Even one with a name like “Yoink”? There were two ways out of system. I carefully made my way to the outgate, and jumped.

There were enough Sebos and interceptors and drones that I had no chance. They were actually impressed that I escaped the bubble and got my pod out (EVE University Pod Saver Tab FTW). But my genius new Siphon robber ship never once saw a Siphon.

Surely there must be some siphoned Dysprosium moons out there. Somewhere. Forgotten by a Goon gone off to war.

There must be. I’m only down 458 million ISK. I’m sure I can make it back.

I can hear it singing to me.

UPDATE 12/26: So I rebuilt my Magnate. One of my corpmates has a Red Frog alt and after reading this piece, suggested that I go after NPC null, since he had been delivering a significant number of Siphons out there of late. In fact, I should check out that hole in Curse, but watch out for all the Goons.

After a quick tour through five systems, none other than Goon Minister of Love Warr Akini himself executed a couple of nice dictor bubbles on me, popped the brand new ship, and then stared at my pod for a while before popping it too.

New total: down 640 million ISK on the project.

OK, Bob, I get the message. No more Siphons.

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