I’ve been playing Eve for only a few short months, but I have intentionally set myself on a path few Eve veterans recommend – trying a little bit of everything rather than concentrating my efforts. I’ve dipped my toe in many different fields. A short-lived taste of mining (too boring for me), the required standings-grind of PVE (fine but wish it was more engaging), and finally my still-primary method of making ISK, Planetary Interaction and hauling. I also joined a PVP corp to play what I consider the “real game” – but frankly right now I’m an utter newbie at it and haven’t a kill to my name yet. That’s how you learn, I guess. Not long ago I fitted out a salvage Thrasher and made a lot of money helping some higher-SP corpmates with their Level 4 PVE. I just finished Science V so I can start datacores, and have dreams of one day making major bank station trading, but I need to do a lot more hauling and salvage assistance to get that kind of initial investment money.
What I have never done is anything of questionable security impact or in-game morality.
As fun as piracy sounds, I know I’m still too inexperienced a PVPer and my main method of ISK-making (PI/hauling) would be much harder without access to high-sec trade hubs.
But this contest gave me an idea – I could flirt with the dark side of Eve by doing something my salvage Thrasher had already taught me was lucrative – ninja salvaging.
So I did some research and fitted out 4 Vigil frigates for speed and salvage, assuming I’d lose most if not all of them in this attempt at legalized theft. These are in my opinion some of the ugliest ships in the game, but they fit and fly beautifully. Especially for this purpose.
So off I went, and searched my way through Dotlan looking for likely systems. On the advice of a corpmate I first went looking for PVP wrecks, and didn’t have much luck. I spent a few fruitless hours running around asteroid belts to no avail. So I switched Dotlan to PVE wrecks.
Pator looked like a good candidate. Again, I found little bouncing from celestial to celestial. At the Minmatar torch monument, I picked up a few lone rat wrecks, but they produced nearly nothing for salvage. I was frustrated. The one thing I have skilled heavily toward, however, is being able to fly a CovOps frigate. So I pulled out my Cheetah and started scanning.
Even this didn’t get me very far. Nothing seemed to hold still, and everything that came up on scans was industrials or drones. At this point, I just about threw in the towel.
First, I questioned whether I knew what I was doing – after all, I haven’t been playing that long, and had only had the Cheetah for about 3 weeks, and could imagine the cries of “ur doing it wrong”. So – a test for myself. I scanned down four drones – and thought I had probably scanned down my own probes. But when I warped … four free Hammerheads.
It was the turning point of the night.
I scanned again for ships, and suddenly noticed something strange – a Maelstrom and an Drake that seemed to be sitting still, near no discernable celestial. Two classic PVE hulls. I smelled opportunity, and sure enough, when I warped in under the CovOps cloak, they were still fighting and there were wrecks everywhere. I hurried back to station, grabbed a Vigil, and warped back.
The adrenaline rush hit just like a PVP fight – I had no weaponry at all, just a speed tank to defend my little ship from two high-end battleships. The Vigil, fitted with three salvagers, scoured the place clean in no time … and with no comments in Local at all. No targeting of me, and no shots fired. CONCORD was my friend as long as I left the loot – so I left it. But the salvage haul was nice – so nice, in fact, that I had to jettison some scrap metal because my hold was too full from it. I all but laughed aloud as I warped out unscathed.
Heady with my first success, I scanned again. This time, not far away, a Maelstrom and an Abbadon. Again I warped in under cloak. This one had the potential to be a jackpot – it was the setup with both Angel and Sansha acceleration gates at a central start point. I sat, cloaked, and watched as the battleships tore through the Sansha pirates. Then they hit the acceleration gate and departed. A Stabber entered shortly after, and was making its way to the acceleration gate as I warped back to station for the Vigil. When I returned, the Stabber was still there.
Now or never. I fired up the salvagers and the Stabber locked on to me.
But it didn’t fire. The speedy Vigil again made short work of the site and I warped out.
I really do need to write CONCORD a thank-you note.
Figuring my new battleship and cruiser friends should now be well along on the next site, I warped back again, ready to hop the acceleration gate. I landed within less than 2,000m of an Abaddon (screenshot). This was finally too much insult to injury for them, and they had tired of my antics. One of their corporation’s directors said in Local – “Leave my site or we’re going to have problems.” I checked out the corp, and it was both large and seemed well-established, so in the end I decided that I would call it quits rather than risk aggravating them enough to have consequences on my own corp, and warped out. I can see why people use alts for this sort of work.
In the end, a hugely satisfying experiment.
And the 2 million ISK from the sale at Rens for my night’s work didn’t hurt either.