Monday, August 12, 2019

How to be a Scumbag Pirate - A Guide to Evil Shenanigans

Hello readers, I'm back in the game again, lured in to check out the nullsec blackout. Today we're going to revisit an article that I wrote many years ago - The Dark Arts: A Newbie's Guide to Evil Shenanigans. This old article was well received in its day, but now it is terribly outdated. I have long intended to write a follow up to reflect the current state of EVE piracy, and I guess today is the day. 

Gold skull thing
The usual disclaimers - I am terrible at EVE, don't even know what half these new-fangled ships I see flying around are, everything that I say is probably wrong, and you're probably a frickin' idiot if you follow even a single word of my advice. Now then, let's get to it, shall we?

What is EVE piracy?
This is the great debate, isn't it? Some people call themselves "pirate" just because they do lowsec PvP and have negative security status. To me, these are not pirates. In EVE developer lingo, they are "outlaws". Other people think of piracy as flying around in lowsec RPing as "yarr matey" buccaneers, attempting to tackle non-combatants in order to demand ransoms - which must be honored as a matter of principle, of course. This, I would agree is a sort of piracy. A lame sort. A relic of an era of EVE history in which this was a more viable practice, combined with some e-bushido and weird cultural baggage.

But this article isn't just about how to be a pirate, it is about how to be a scumbag pirate, the Hedo Bot way. No e-bushido allowed. Take what you can, give nothing back. My definition of piracy is anything that involves using spaceship violence, theft, or deception to extract isk and salt from people who would rather you didn't. 

There are as many ways to be a scumbag pirate as your imagination can conceive of, and we will discuss some of those specific tactics later. More important is to lay down some general guidelines for a pirate to live by. A pirate's code, if you will, to help you harvest both plunder and tears, and be the biggest scumbag you can be.

The Pirate's Code
A pirate does not grind PVE, or industry, or markets for his isk. He does not buy PLEX or skill extractors, or any other gimmicky things to get by. He funds his EVE career entirely from what he can steal, or ransom, or loot. Sometimes that may mean he is poor, but so be it. If a pirate has only a Merlin to his name, he should undock in that Merlin and head out into space looking to see what kind of trouble he can get into.

Ever the opportunist, a pirate is constantly assessing the players that he encounters for signs of weakness that he can exploit. A pirate must have creativity. The game changes all the time. If a pirate gets really really good at the specific tactic he is using, CCP will inevitably step in and make his playstyle impractical or impossible - so he must be ready to adapt. To find creative new ways to ply his trade. The internet is littered with obsolete guides on one strategy or another for separating carebears from their isk. A good pirate is flexible enough to carry on no matter what roadblocks CCP throws up in his path.

A pirate is a skilled manipulator. He understands the mentality of the carebear. He anticipates how carebears will react in different situations. This understanding allows him to employ his greatest weapon - akin to Jedi mind tricks, he is able to bend the carebears' actions to his will with a few timely comments in chat, a clever name for his ship, a gimmicky fit, a strategic use of Crimewatch flags, or any other of a thousand subtle manipulation techniques. A scumbag pirate is also an outrageous liar when it suits his purposes.

A pirate appreciates the value of intelligence. He knows that a carefully placed spy alt or two are often the difference between success and profit, or wandering aimlessly around space and finding nothing more than a goodfight or two if he's lucky. He does not "roam", he identifies targets, makes a plan to exploit them, and then adapts that plan to the realities on the ground.

A pirate likes killing stuff. Although profit is often his objective, fighting and killing are also worthwhile for their own sake. A pirate never needs a reason to kill someone.

A scumbag pirate cultivates an inner voice which constantly whispers, "Sure, what you are doing is pretty evil, but you know what would be even worse…" He trusts this inner voice and follows its guidance in all things. He is constantly challenging himself to stoop to new lows. He is evil for evil's sake. He is an agent of chaos. A driver of conflict. He strives to be the villain that every good story needs.

A pirate is a part of a greater community of scumbags. Whether he joins some scumbag friendly corporation or SiG, or participates in an informal community, he networks with like minded pirates - sharing ideas, supporting comrades in their plots. We will speak more about pirate communities later.

A scumbag pirate is bold. He does not wring his hands about "burning bridges". He torches bridges without hesitation or remorse, secure in the knowledge that for every carebear who may be offput by the reputation he acquires, there will be a dozen fellow scumbags or admirers cheering him on. For every door that closes to him, another one opens up somewhere.


Hurricane approaching Orca in Metropolis
Tactics
Being a scumbag pirate is not about any particular tactic or playstyle. It is about an attitude and approach to the game. Trying to describe exactly what tactics you should be using is trying to hit a moving target. Any time a community of pirates arrives at a formula which consistently works incredibly well, the result is that CCP steps in to put a stop to it. We can lament the nerfs to wardecs, or ganking, or safariing, or ninja salvaging, or canflipping, or whatever, or we can move forward and ask, "ok what are we doing next?" A true pirate is so strong in his devotion to chaos that he cannot be deterred by mere game mechanics.

That said, I will try and offer some ideas on tactics which work right now, and to explain my own methods as best I can. I would love to hear any input from readers who can expand on any of these ideas or suggest other tactics, and I will probably update this section accordingly.

Suicide Ganking
This staple in the cupboard of scumbag pirates has carried on from the earliest days of EVE, in spite of numerous attempts by CCP to discourage it. For that we can thank various committed enthusiasts of the art who, by their ingenuity, have found ways to work around every nerf and keep this playstyle relevant.

The concept, for any very new players who may be reading, is very simple and understood by nearly everyone. Suicide ganks are performed in high security space. The ganker sets his safety to red and attacks a target, relying on a high dps fit to destroy the target very quickly, before CONCORD or sentry guns destroy his ship too. Then a friend or alt loots the wrecks.

Over the years, CCP have attempted to eliminate most suicide ganking by increasing the tanking potential of a majority of noncombattant ships, to the point where one would need to spend more to gank someone than the loot would likely be worth, unless they were carrying some exceptional cargo. This challenge was single-handedly overcome by one of the most influential pilots in EVE history, James 315, who created a system whereby suicide ganking is crowd-funded by the entire EVE community in the form of New Order shares. 

Any suicide ganker can have their losses reimbursed by James 315, ensuring that not only individuals who choose to haul ostentatious bling in flimsy industrials are in danger of being ganked, but rather every single pilot in highsec who fails to take action to protect themselves faces the danger posed by scumbag pirates and intrepid CODE agents alike.

If you want to learn how to gank, mosey on over to www.minerbumping.com and learn from the experts themselves.


Spy alt tethered to the Beanstar

The Bump & Duel Trick
This is another tactic for high security space. It requires two pilots, one in a bumping ship and one in a dps ship. For a bumping ship, the Machariel is currently preferred by serious bumpers, fitted for pure speed and agility, but any other ship with enough mass and speed can work, with practice. The dps ship can be near anything with weapons and a warp scrambler. Destroyers or cruisers work beautifully.

The ideal target for this tactic is freighters. The bumper chooses his target and bumps into it repeatedly at a high rate of speed, thereby pushing it away from any gate or station where it might find an escape, and also preventing it from warping away.

Then the dps pilot comes along and, seeing the freighter pilot in distress, offers his assistance. "I can web you into warp," he says, "You just need to accept a duel request so I don't get CONCORDed." If he can talk the freighter guy into accepting a duel then the battle is already won. Freighters are defenseless in combat. He can then warp scramble the target and begin shooting. 

At this point, it is also customary to initiate a conversation about ransom. Depending on the freighter pilot and the cargo they may be carrying, a billion isk or so in ransom is typical. Then once the ransom is secured, a true scumbag pirate will listen to that evil little voice he has cultivated, which will tell him to blow the guy up anyway. Ransom is nice. Loot is nice. Ransom and loot is very nice indeed.

The trick here is to get them to accept the duel. Some pirates are naturally more convincing than others. If you are having a hard time getting random freighter or Orca pilots to accept duels, try using the bump and gank trick on pilots who are in the same corporation as your dps pilot - they tend to be more receptive.

Suspect Baiting
Back in the day we had can-flipping and ninja salvaging. Some forms of ninja salvaging still exist. CCP tried to get rid of both of these practices a few years back. They introduced ore holds on mining ships and then rolled out the Crimewatch flagging system, in a blatant effort to eliminate these classic scumbag tactics.

Clever scumbag pirates found that Crimewatch opened up some possibilities of its own though. Suspect baiting is the practice of giving yourself a suspect flag, usually by looting a wreck or can that doesn't belong to you, so that everyone can see that it is legal to shoot at you, and then contriving to control the engagement once they do. Then you can get loots and ransoms, if a target of value attacks you.

There are many suspect baiting techniques. A classic is to scan down level 4 mission runners in a highsec mission hub and begin stealing their loot, or shooting at their Mobile Tractor Unit. If you keep at this, maybe 1 in 10 will try to kill you. Mission invasion isn't the only way to suspect bait though. Some people use a PvP fit Skiff or Orca, flag themselves and hang out where they will be seen, mining or pretending to be afk. Many people will be tempted to shoot a suspect Orca, which turns out to be a surprisingly formidable PvP ship. I've also gotten battleships kills in a T1 frigate, just sitting off a mission hub station with a suspect flag, just far enough away that anyone who wants to shoot at me will have to chase me out of docking range.

Mostly you will be killing PVE fitted ships, so with a purpose-built PvP fit, it is quite easy to punch above your weight and go for larger ship classes than your own. Suspect baiting is not without its risks, because CCP has removed most of the dirty tricks we used to use to control engagements - like neutral remote repairs, offgrid boosts, swapping ships mid-combat with an Orca alt, things like that. You are best served to fly something small and cheap, and go whaling for more expensive targets than you yourself are putting on the field.

Some scumbags, after getting a ransom in these situations, will try another dirty trick. They tell the target, "ok, we'll let you go. But first we need a bonus killmail to pad our killboards. Eject and go get a corvette from the nearest station, then come back. We'll kill your corvette and let you go." Once they are gone, a pirate can board their ship, which flags it as being owned by the pirate. Then he ejects again and the crew target locks the ship. This makes it impossible for the target to re-board their ship when they return. Usually by the time the target returns in a corvette, the limited engagement will have expired. The pirates will then helpfully advise that the target should set their safety to red and fire on them. 

Once they do so, the gang of scumbags can move on, enjoying their ransom, their stolen mission-running battleship, and a killright which will enable them to kill the same guy again tomorrow, when he typically resumes missioning at the same hub. This sounds complicated and unlikely to work when I explain it - but I have seen this scenario play out dozens of times. It works.

Another twist on suspect baiting is to bait targets to suspect flag themselves. Self destruct a ship in a high traffic location, put some fancy looking, but inexpensive loot in the wreck, and watch over it with cloaky PvP ships. You will get a lot of kills that way.

You can even suspect bait in lowsec on gates and stations, and get kills. Unfortunately, most of them will be unsatisfying "goodfights" instead of the kind of profitable loot piƱatas that you easily find in highsec.

Corporate Infiltration
In the old days, some friends of mine got very, very good at joining highsec corporations in order to simply go on killing sprees, legally murdering as many corpmates as they could. We called this "going on safari." We are the reason why today's corporations have the option not to allow friendly fire. When this nerf was rolled out, much of the safariing community considered their playstyle dead and dispersed to the four winds.

I, however, continued to infiltrate corporations on a regular basis. I have found that there is still a lot of damage I can do, I just have to be a little more creative about it than the old days.

For one thing, the carebear population has shifted in recent years. In the old days if you wanted to murder bears you needed to focus your efforts primarily on highsec. Nowadays at least half of all the most outrageous carebears in the game are living in nullsec. In nullsec, the friendly fire switch is always on. Wormholes too contain numerous carebear corporations, ripe for safaris. It is true that a scumbag pirate cannot fully control all variables of a PvP engagement in lawless space quite the same as in highsec. That just means that he needs to be bold and take greater risks, but he can also take heart from knowing that carebears are still carebears, no matter where they live. And if there is one thing we know about carebears, it is that they will almost never lift a finger to defend their comrades.

The vulnerability in going on safari is that you can be kicked out of the corporation, but there are a couple of workarounds to that. First, the only situation in which your PvP character even wants to be a member of the corp is when he is safariing a highsec corporation that has their friendly fire switch turned on. In that situation, he cannot be kicked unless he docks up or logs off. One cannot be booted from a corporation while flying in space. This means that staying logged in and cloaked at a safe spot will keep you in corp. Of course, they may switch friendly fire off, but there's a 24 hour timer for that to take effect, and most safaris will run their course in that time period anyway. Oh, and neutral remote repairs still provide no crimewatch flag when used in highsec during a safari against a corporation which has friendly fire on, and is not at war. That means they need to suicide gank your neutral logi to take it off the field - easier said than done! You will want to take full advantage of this when you identify such corporations as targets.

If you are safariing a corporation in lowsec, nullsec, or jspace, or a highsec corporation with friendly fire off, you are better off to keep your PvP main out of corp. Join with a spy alt. Use that alt to identify your targets and provide warp-ins to your PvP character. This is incredibly easy. You can tilt the odds even more in your favor by asking your target to share their fit in corp chat, so you know exactly what to prepare for. Another advantage to this method is that you can be simultaneously safariing a corporation and trying to get director roles or hangar access for your spy alt, opening up the possibility of heisting assets or doing a hostile takeover. It is also hilarious to sit and read corporate chat on your alt while you are terrorizing them with your main.

If it is a wardec eligible highsec corporation with friendly fire off, plant your spy alt and wardec them with your PvP main. If they have both wardecs and friendly fire turned off, it is still possible to safari them, you just need to use deception to lure their shiny ships into a nearby lowsec system or a wormhole. This is not hard at all. Just lie. "Hey, buddy, I'm in this wormhole off our HQ system and these sleepers are kicking my butt, gee golly I'm such a helpless noob, could you help me out for a minute, just jump through that wormhole I bookmarked and warp to me, don't worry nobody is in here." Works like a charm. If you are clever about it they won't even suspect the setup until the second or third time you do it.

Beyond safaris, there is a world of potential for corporate heists. Almost every corporation at least has a public hangar or two. When a corporate infiltration scheme has run its course, always steal everything that you can, even if it is only 50 mil in T1 modules sitting in a public hangar. For a scumbag pirate, there is no amount which is too small to be worth stealing. If you choose criminality as your full-time playstyle then you should not balk at petty theft, if that appears to be your best option. Although Ideally, you should be working towards getting greater access, or hopefully even director roles, while you are there. 

Large, old, well established corporations may never give a new member any kind of high level access. With smaller, less established corporations it can be surprisingly easy. Again, just lie. Offer to FC some fleets or to donate some citadels to the corporation. "I just need a few roles to get things set up…" works half the time. If you can get access to the corporate wallet, check for shares. Often you will find 1000 shares sitting there neglected. Transfer them to your personal wallet. As a shareholder, it takes a shareholder vote to kick you out of corp. As 100% shareholder, you can't be kicked. You can then hold a shareholder vote to make yourself CEO. Should you get director roles, shares or no, at the very least you can transfer ownership of any structures in space to your holding corp, and loot the corp wallet and all hangars.


Loki departing Hek on newbean-murdering expedition.

Reverse Safariing
A twist on the concept of corporate infiltration is reverse safariing or reverse AWOXing. In this stratagem, the scumbag pirate recruits carebears into his corporation, where the friendly fire switch is turned on, and then holds their ships for ransom and kills them. 

I have gotten some of my finest kills in this way. Sometimes you can convince a new recruit to put all of their assets into a freighter or something and travel to your location, then simply sit on a gate and wait for them to arrive, and murder them when they jump into your system. Sometimes you can convince them to put all of their assets in a courier contract with zero collateral, supposedly for you to haul for them using your own freighter. Then you murder them, fail the contract, and keep all their stuff. Reverse AWOXing can be an extremely lucrative isk-making tactic for a scumbag pirate.

The drawback is that recruiting people is very hard work, and extremely boring most of the time. Spamming ads in the recruitment channel is soul-crushing labor. There are a few ways you can ease the pain. First, it is easier to recruit people into a corporation with a bunch of members than a 1 person corporation. If you happen to be in a scumbag-friendly corporation with other pirates, then you can do it nas a team effort. Or if you have stolen a corporation in a hostile takeover, and still have a number of inactive members still on the rolls, that's another fine setup to use for reverse safariing. If you want to do this solo in a 1 man corp, your best bet is to create a lot of alpha accounts and make free alts to artificially inflate your member count.

Even with a lot of members in your corp, real or fake, recruitment can still be painful. For a long time I have been maintaining a 1 man corp for my PvP main in order to do wardecs, and I also keep friendly fire on and just occasionally drop a recruitment ad here and there while I'm going about my business, rather than reverse safariing in a focused manner.

Most of the recruits I end up getting tend to be new players in Retrievers. I'll hold them for 10 mil ransom and kill them too. I'm not some kind of elitist pirate, too snobby to murder newbies. I treat them just like any other player. Kill them all, reimburse nothing. Noobs deserve the opportunity to participate in scumbag pirate content as much as everyone else - far be it from me to deny them that experience. Then once in every four or five recruits you will usually end up getting someone who is really worth killing.

Another twist on reverse safariing, which I personally have never had the patience to try, is the slave labor scam. The gist of it is that you run your fake corporation almost exactly like a real one, recruit a stable of carebears and put them to work accumulating wealth for the corporate wallet. You continue this for weeks or months, until you can't stand it anymore, then you cash out and murder everyone. For myself, any kind of "long con" type corporate shenanigans that require you to pose as a carebear for an extended period of time quickly become intolerable, so I never do them, but I have heard some hilarious stories of admirable scumbags pulling off the slave labor scam in various clever ways.

War Declarations
War declarations have been my bread and butter for many years, but at the same time I'm not completely sure how to speak to this one. For most of EVE history, the ability of any corporation to declare war on any other corporation has been a core feature of this game. Many thousands of EVE players have enjoyed this content over time. For me, getting wardecced regularly as a new player in EVE University was what got me hooked on this game. We organized ourselves, fought back, and won many battles in the pipe between Aldrat and Hek. It was glorious.

Unfortunately, CCP recently decided to carry out their anti-fun agenda on wardec mechanics. They have tied wardecs to structures. One must have a structure in space in order to be eligible for wardecs. Obviously, this allows any carebear corporation to simply keep their structures in a 1 person holding corp and opt out of wardec content altogether. Meanwhile the aggressor also needs a structure, which is utterly pointless and serves only to throw up a fairly small but not insignificant financial barrier in the way of any solo operator or small group looking to get into the business.

CCPs intent here is clear - they no longer want wars in highsec as we know them. They are preserving what is left of the mechanic exclusively to serve the purpose of permitting players to bash structures - not to hunt players, not to create great stories, not to encourage heroism and villainy. CCPs agenda is clear - the question is how we content creators can overcome it and continue to enjoy wardecs. I have not yet resumed wardeccing since the nerfs, so it is hard for me to say. Perhaps I will edit this guide at a later time when I better understand the new realities of wardecs.

Still, I don't doubt that scumbag pirates can still make use of wardecs to have some fun. There were always ways for carebears to opt out of wardecs if they chose, and there were always carebears who failed to take advantage of them. I expect there may still be many promising targets out there still keeping their structures in the same corporation as their members. I'm also sure that a small group of scumbags, willing to bash a few structures, could drum up some content by doing so. Perhaps they could get ransoms or protection fees. Having a structure of their own is no real obstacle - an unfitted Raitaru is fairly cheap and could be easily replaced in the unlikely event that some superior adversary was to destroy it.

Scumbag Pirate Communities
The community of players who are interested in the niche playstyle of scumbag piracy has been in decline for years. Many of our best and brightest have been permanently banned. Others have gotten social lives in the real world and never been seen again. Yet there are still a few remaining spaces where our sort may find support and fellowship. Let's talk about a few of these.

It is likely that I'm ignorant of other scumbag friendly communities and corporations, so drop a comment if you know of any that I don't mention here.

CODE propaganda
The New Order of Highsec
Obviously, nobody can accuse James 315 or the Agents of the New Order of being scumbag pirates. They are paragons of virtue, bravely protecting highsec from any and all who threaten order and the rule of law.

However, James 315, in his wisdom and charity, has always made scumbag pirates feel welcome in highsec. Many of us have tried to pay it forward by enforcing the Code in our free time. Some CODE. Agents are so skilled at multitasking that they manage to act as virtuous defenders of highsec and as scumbag pirates simultaneously. 

The fact is, this is the last true active, inclusive community where a player can openly act as a scumbag pirate, receiving nothing but support and encouragement. "The last bastion of hope" it has been called by players wiser than I. James 315 has truly, all RP aside, created something really special, long may it last. EVE might not even still be here today if not for the emergent content which the New Order has generated. As other, older scumbag communities have atrophied and become inactive, the New Order has welcomed the refugees, making it the last true, active community which appreciates our playstyle in New Eden today.

Read more about the James 315 and the New Order at www.minerbumping.com, or join the minerbumping channel to chat in-game. The 3 digit channel password is top secret, of course, but I have a feeling that if you are worthy you will figure it out. If not, ask James 315, he will weigh your soul and decide if you have what it takes to be an Agent. Just make sure to buy a mining permit for 10 million isk right off the bat, if you don't want the hard liners to haze you about it.

The Belligerent Undesirables
Psychotic Monk
A few years back, roughly in the same time frame that the New Order was founded, Skunkworks veterans Psychotic Monk and FloppieTheBanjoClown had an idea - basically to invite all the most evil, most prolific content creators into an informal community, transcending corporate or alliance loyalties. Scumbag pirates, wardeccers, AWOXers, gankers, ninjas, can-flippers, isk-doublers. They brought all of us together in a sort of griefer illuminati and challenged us to be as bad as we could be. "A highsec Legion of Doom" was how James 315 described us.

The resulting chaos of that first couple years or so of the Belligerent Undesirables will echo down through history until the day they shut the servers down. Nobody in highsec was safe. We reaped fame and fortune everywhere we went. All EVE media was plastered with our names and accomplishments. The game was nerfed at least a dozen times as CCP scrambled to put a stop to us.

FloppieTheBanjoClown
Most of the guys in BU back then were focused on safaris, although it certainly wasn't our only tactic. Nevertheless, when CCP introduced the option for corporations to turn off friendly fire, it hit us pretty hard. Psychotic Monk, our Dear Leader, also got himself a wife or something and permanently vanished from New Eden at about the same time. A lot of the community dispersed, or washed ashore in the New Order.

Today the Belligerent Undesirables channel still exists, and a few of us still lurk there. If you want to get into this playstyle, I highly recommend that you join. EVE will always have a need Belligerent Undesirables, it will always need spaces for scumbags to collaborate with one another. One day we may even see a revival, the potential for our kind of gameplay is as great as ever. All we lack is a new Monk to unite us, and spur us on. I'm not that guy, but maybe one of you will be one day.

"But what about newbies who want to be scumbags, Hedo Bot?"
My regular readers may notice that I haven't said much about newbies in this guide. These days, in the era of skill injectors, newbie status is mostly irrelevant anyway. Most of these tactics don't require much SP, when it comes down to it. However, being a pirate often depends on understanding game mechanics better than the carebears that you are terrorizing. This is usually a low bar, but nevertheless a true newbie can benefit from at least a few months of well rounded EVE education before committing fully to the scumbag lifestyle.

My recommendation for true newbies who aspire to be scumbag pirates is this - join the minerbumping and Belligerent Undesirables chat channels. Then join Karmafleet. It is true that 99% of Goons are carebears of the worst sort, but nevertheless there is a certain appreciation for the scumbag pirate playstyle in certain dark corners of Goonswarm Federation, so long as you aren't messing around with their carebears. Karmafleet is generally a great place to learn almost all aspects of the game from folks who know what they are doing. While there, join Miniluv - you will find some kindred spirits there, and learn the art of the gank. 

Meanwhile, strive to live by the Pirate's Code. If you can do that, the rest will sort itself out.

Parting Thoughts
Thanks to those of you who read this far. I barely play EVE now, but my best years in this game were in the heyday of the Belligerent Undesirables when scumbag pirates were many, and evil, and had a level of mutual solidarity never seen before or since. To me, that's what EVE is all about - it's a grand contest to see who can be the biggest asshole. And it is glorious.

Players, the best sort anyway, come to this game because they are looking for the experience of being part of a good story. All good stories need conflict. All good stories need a villain or two. Yet we have so few players who really want to be that villain. There are lots who want to be the hero, and legions ready to be the F1 clicking sidekicks to the hero, but bad guys like us are few and far between. Less every year, it seems to me.

So I encourage all of you, listen to that little voice, that devil on your shoulder that sometimes whispers, "do it!". Be the bad guy, be the villain. Or as Psychotic Monk would say, "be the chaos you want to see in the universe."

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Dark Arts: A Guide to Stealing Upwell Structures - Part 3

In my last article, I identified a corporation that was vulnerable to citadel theft, wormed my way into the CEO’s trust, and convinced him to assign me the Director role - only to have victory snatched away from me at the last moment.

I became quite disillusioned at this point. I like to do corp infiltrations in the old Belligerent Undesirables way - quick and dirty. Get in, cause as much chaos as you can in a few days, then get out. I had already been in SSRL for a week at this point. The longer I stuck around, the risk of my story falling apart increased.

There is always a balance to these things. Sooner or later the mark will google your name, or start asking awkward questions about the AWOX kills on your killboard, or wonder why you haven’t started doing any of the things you have promised to do in order to convince him to give you roles. Unless it is your first time, from the moment you enter a corporation, the clock is ticking. You need to make sure you cash out before alarm bells start ringing in your mark’s head.

At this point, I thought hard about cashing out. Alex was getting paranoid, and I had already played the best card in my hand by offering to FC fleets. I had no idea what I could say at this point to get a director role. I thought, maybe if I hang out a bit, exercise patience, and actually FC a fleet or two, I could build rapport and possibly complete the heist, but that was a daunting investment of time and effort. I had promised to provide free ships for the fleet, I had declared a plan to depart from our highsec island in Derelik, so I would need to haul ships out there. It just wasn’t looking good.

There was a couple hundred million isk in the corp wallet that I had the roles to steal, and I gave serious thought to just taking it and moving on to another corporation. In the end, I just couldn’t bring myself to give up on the possibility of a 20+ billion isk heist for a 200 million isk consolation prize, so I stuck it out.

Developing Backstory
I was at a loss as to what my next pitch for director roles would be, and I knew I would need to wait a couple days for Alex’s paranoia to subside before I asked again, so I continued being a helpful and friendly guy.

I saved some corp fittings, I spread recruitment ads around, I had long conversations with Alex about the future of the corporation - in which I made sure to build his confidence and agree with all his core ideas, while making helpful suggestions along the way.

Between Alex and I we recruited half a dozen people. Among them, to my surprise, was my old friend Deathtrooper2 - my longtime readers will remember him featured in this blog way back in 2012, when he was a key member of my old nullsec PvP corporation, Revolutionary Front. I’m afraid DT2 is probably a little mad at me right now, but it was genuinely good to see him again. We spent an evening trying to get a first few kills on the SSRL killboard - him hunting ratters in Providence and Curse, me roaming faction war space in Devoid, linking killmails and chatting. It was just like old times.

A few more days went by, and my deadline got closer - I had agreed to FC a Merlin roam at a certain day and time. I would either need to do a bunch of painful logistics to prepare for it, or find a way to get the Director role first.

The Final Con
It occured to me that maybe it would take a financial investment on my part to gain the necessary level of trust. Or at least, the appearance of a financial investment. On the eve of fleet day, I concocted an elaborate scheme to put citadel freeports in Sendaya and Curse and laid it all out for Alex. I would pay for the citadels myself, of course, but I would need director roles, I insisted, to put this exciting plan into action.




It worked.

The Hostile Takeover
The next morning I logged in, and sure enough, I was officially a Director of SSRL. This was the part where I had to move fast. I first took all the shares from the corporate wallet. As 100% shareholder, I now could not be kicked from the corporation without a shareholder vote.

Then I hopped in a Merlin and flew to the Fortizar. I first emptied the corp hangars into my own, then right clicked on the citadel, selected “transfer ownership” and transferred it to my solo wardec corporation - Dirtbag Space Warriors Coming for yor Loots [DSWCF].

Then I repeated the process at the Astrahus, and the Raitaru, and made the grand tour of Athanors. The final Athanor was at a remote location, so I clone jumped out and liberated that one too. A quick check of the “assets” tab in the “corporation” window verified that I had taken everything except a Caldari Control Tower that I didn't know the specific location of, and a giant secure container, tantalizingly named “SSRL Secure Storage” - also at an unknown location in space. I checked corp bookmarks but there were none.

Next I emptied the corp wallet. Then I went to the “politics” tab of the corp window, selected “Run for CEO”, chose a 1 day timer for the vote, and voted for myself. As I learned from this process, this initiates a 24 hour window in which shareholders can vote between me or Alex, as the incumbent CEO. As 100% shareholder, of course, there was only one possible outcome. After the next downtime, following the conclusion of the vote, I would become CEO of SSRL.

Many of these actions resulted in notifications. In theory, if Alex had been monitoring his notifications with some 3rd party app like Evanova, he might have been able to quickly log in, strip my roles, and mitigate some of the damage by transferring any remaining structures to a holding corporation.

Of course, I had prepared for this possibility by standing ready to drop a wardec on SSRL using Dirtbag Space Warriors. Under a pending or active wardec, a corporation can not transfer structures. In that eventuality, I still would have gotten all the structures in the end, because there was nothing Alex could have done to prevent the CEO vote, but he might have been able to save some assets from the hangars and wallet.

All that done, I then switched on friendly fire and cloaked up in space. It was time to write an EVE mail.




The Aftermath
All in all, Alex was a pretty good sport about things.

[ 2018.12.03 18:37:43 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > listen
[ 2018.12.03 18:37:46 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > its all within the game
[ 2018.12.03 18:37:49 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > so i'm going to eat it
[ 2018.12.03 18:38:20 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > i'd accept any reasonable offer
[ 2018.12.03 18:38:45 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > but i can't just give your stuff back for nothing
[ 2018.12.03 18:39:14 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > its the pirates code - take what you can, give nothing back
[ 2018.12.03 18:39:52 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > i've already bragged about this to my comrades and need something to show for it
[ 2018.12.03 18:39:58 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > ;D
[ 2018.12.03 18:40:15 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > how do I know
[ 2018.12.03 18:40:19 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > if I give you anything
[ 2018.12.03 18:40:24 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > that you'll give it back to me
[ 2018.12.03 18:40:32 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > i trusted you
[ 2018.12.03 18:40:38 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > and the game
[ 2018.12.03 18:40:43 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > that is all gone
[ 2018.12.03 18:40:49 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > we can go through a trusted third party
[ 2018.12.03 18:41:04 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > theres no more trusted, and how will that ev
[ 2018.12.03 18:41:07 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > even work
[ 2018.12.03 18:41:27 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > i give him the stuff, you give him the isk, and he does the exchange
[ 2018.12.03 18:41:46 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > lol, I liked you
[ 2018.12.03 18:41:48 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > in fact
[ 2018.12.03 18:41:52 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > i still do in some way
[ 2018.12.03 18:42:00 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > you're not an idiot
[ 2018.12.03 18:42:23 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > I want to help people in the game
[ 2018.12.03 18:42:27 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > ah but where's the sport in that?
[ 2018.12.03 18:42:36 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > theres still sport
[ 2018.12.03 18:42:52 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > sport is relative
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:07 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > what you find to be "fun" i find to be "detrimental"
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:11 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > you like competition
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:14 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > i like cooperation
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:17 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > thats all it is
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:21 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > difference in point of views
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:26 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > no one is right or wrong
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:40 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > unfortunately, competition is the name of the game in eve
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:48 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > To you
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:52 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > not to everyone
[ 2018.12.03 18:43:58 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > most Eve players i guess
[ 2018.12.03 18:44:00 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > i get though
[ 2018.12.03 18:44:05 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > EvE literally means everyone vs everyone
[ 2018.12.03 18:44:05 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > i understand
[ 2018.12.03 18:44:16 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > I get your point
[ 2018.12.03 18:44:20 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > not saying its wrong
[ 2018.12.03 18:44:36 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > i'd prefer to help people so that we can build up the player base
[ 2018.12.03 18:45:19 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > this won't be here forever, want to help it making it last. you made your point
[ 2018.12.03 18:47:29 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > anyway, i'll be afk a bit. if you reconsider on making a deal let me know
[ 2018.12.03 19:04:06 ] Alexander Ceasar Caesar > thanks


I didn’t convince him to buy his corporation back from me, but we parted on reasonable terms. I even gave him a decoration that I named the “Good Sportsmanship Award” and urged him to look me up if he ever wants to learn the Dark Arts. I hope one day he does.

Now that I have all this loot, I am no longer completely impoverished, and I’m fully ready for the wardec nerfs. Bring it on, CCP! Do your worst.

Stay tuned for the next episode, in which our hero will heroically slaughter some noobs, or steal some stuff...or something...

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Dark Arts: A Guide to Stealing Upwell Structures - Part 2

In my last installment, you will recall that I laid out a simple plan to steal myself an upwell structure or two, so that I would be able to continue wardeccing pubbies following the upcoming nerf that CCP Falcon continues to threaten us all with.

The plan was - join a corporation with structures, get director roles, steal shit. Easy peasey, right, my readers? I just needed to find a CEO naive enough to give director roles to me, Haedonism Bot, known Belligerent Undesirable and notorious griefer from wayback-when.

Stealth System Research and Logistics
I spent several days, cloaked up in my Stratios in a C2 wormhole belonging to my last war-targets, researching the problem, with occasional breaks to terrorize the locals. Finally I settled on a 1 man corporation called Stealth System Research and Logistics (SSRL) as my target.

The CEO of SSRL was a relatively new player, who had clearly PLEXed and skill injected to the point where he had wealth and ships out of all proportion to his age. I found him on the official EVE Online forums, lamenting his disillusionment with the game. He had set up all these upwell structures, he said, and had nobody to share them with. Unwilling to join any existing corporation, his only hope, he felt, was for people to help him build a corporation of his own.




I smirked at my computer screen. Here was a CEO in need of directors. I fired off an EVE mail to offer my services. After all, I have been a CEO several times over, and have a great deal of knowledge and experience to share.




The mark, Alexander Ceasar Caesar (Alex), was all too eager to accept my offer.

Once in, I took quick stock of my new corporation’s assets in space - a Fortizar, an Astrahus, a Raitaru, and half a dozen Athanors. More than enough to meet my needs, and to keep me in Merlins for the foreseeable future.


The Con
I quickly began efforts to convince Alex to give me director roles. My go-to tactic from my POS-stealing days was to offer to FC PVP fleets. Every CEO feels a deep, desperate need for content creators. Offer to create content, and they usually turn to putty in your hands. Then you tell them that you just need a few roles to get things done.

After my first effort, Alex quickly agreed to make me a director. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the same understanding if what that might mean. He gave me the title “Director of Military Operations”, and a few roles, but not the Director role itself. However - I did have enough access to see that the shares were still in the corporate wallet. At this point, I wasn’t sure if a mere director could transfer ownership of upwell structures, or if it would need to be a CEO, so I was encouraged by this development.

For a few more days, I waited patiently. It is important not to appear desperate for roles. I focused on being helpful, creating recruitment ads and giving Alex advice on how to grow and manage a corporation. Then I asked again for the Director role.




This time Alex agreed. When he logged in that evening he made me director. Then he logged off. I immediately flew to the fortizar, confirmed that I had an option to “transfer ownership” and made a thorough accounting of all the corp assets.

I was absolutely giddy with excitement at this point. I was going to heist my first citadels. I was on top of the world. But unfortunately, it was getting late. I have a newborn baby at home, and if I don’t get to bed early, he will make me regret it. I also wasn't sure if Alex would log back in that night, and I wanted to do the heist at a time when he wasn’t likely to be active. So I figured that I’d wait until morning. After all, I had the role, I could steal everything at my leisure. I had already won. Nothing could go wrong.

That’s where I fucked up. Alex got cold feet, and in the morning, my Director role was gone.

In our next installment, I’ll finish the story. Will our hero heroically liberate the fortizar from the perfidious carebear? Or will he disgrace himself with failure? Tune in next time to find out!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Dark Arts: A Guide to Stealing Upwell Structures - Part 1

In the latest devblog, CCP revealed their intention to make some nerfs to wardec mechanics. There had been threats of this coming for several months. Indeed, it is what brought me back to EVE - I wanted to squeeze in a few last wardecs under the old mechanics before the nerfs, for nostalgia's sake. There had been some uncertainty about exactly what changes they would make, but they cleared that up a few days ago - the gist of it being that a corporation, for some reason, must have anchored structures in space, in order to declare war or to have war declared against them.

This is obviously another short-sighted concession to the carebear lobby, likely only to contribute to the slow decline of the game, as all such previous nerfs to highsec PvP have done. But will I let it deter me from slaughtering noobs? No, of course not. I will be a good sport about it and carry on without whinging. 

Trouble was, I needed to get myself a structure, and do it right quick, before the expansion. As an on-again, off-again bittervet, I often find I can’t keep up with changes to the game. I still find all these upwell structures bewildering. I don’t get how they work, and I don’t understand the mechanics around them, and now they tell me I need to have one or find myself a new playstyle. 

That got me thinking. My long time readers will recall that, back in the day, I made a business of stealing POSes. As upwell structures supposedly are meant to replace POSes, I started to ask myself whether or not they too could be stolen. After all - why buy what you can steal? 

I was still poor too - my meager heists since returning to the game had been enough to fill a small hangar with warships, but I only had a paltry 1.2 billion left in the wallet. Buying an upwell structure from the market, like a chump, would have put a serious dent in that. 

So I began to do a bit of research. The EVE community being what it is, I half expected to find some step-by-step guides to citadel theft out there, but none presented themselves, so I started reading up on mechanics and making a plan. 



Citadel Theft - Method 1 
As I understand it, there are two ways to steal a citadel. 

Method 1 would be to locate a citadel which is in the process of unanchoring, surveil it until that 7 day process is complete, and then scoop it before the owner can. To me, as primarily a solo operator these days, this seemed like a lot of legwork for an uncertain result. 

I got to thinking that an organized group of players could theoretically develop a systematic way of doing this, everybody re-checking a system or two daily and entering the status of all structures in some sort of 3rd party app or spreadsheet. You could probably narrow down when a structure was going to unanchor, to a window of time that would not be an unreasonable effort to surveil. 

When the time was up, you might be able to use a bumping Machariel to keep the rightful owner out of scooping range until you could nab it yourselves. This is all just theory of course, I have no idea if it would work well in practice, and it just didn’t seem feasible for a solo thief, so I opted instead for method 2. 

Method 2 - The Plan 
You will recall from my guide to POS theft, that the method was very simple. Join a corporation which owns POSes, convince them to give you the Starbase Config Equipment role, wait until the directors are logged off, then quickly unanchor the POS with all its silos and haul them away. POS theft was easy - anyone could do it in a day or less. 

Stealing an anchored citadel is also quite simple in theory, but a bit more difficult in practice. Unanchoring it completely under your CEO’s nose is not an option due to the fact that these structures take 7 days to unanchor. Therefore, citadel thefts require a somewhat different approach. 

The basic formula is this - join a corporation which has one or more citadels, and persuade the CEO to give you director roles. Then when the CEO and all other directors are logged off, right click on the structures you want, select “transfer ownership”, and transfer them to the corporation of your choice. Then, while you’re at it, steal every other corporate asset. 

And if your CEO is foolish enough to leave all the shares in the wallet, then you can do a hostile takeover and steal the corporation itself. 

Join me for part 2 - in which I selected a target corporation and put this plan into action...

Saturday, December 8, 2018

War Report: ROOKIE miners and industry

In our last report, I spent a week or so in Tash Murkon, causing chaos and despair amongst the inhabitants, before making off with a pile of loot from an allied Kronos wreck.

I nearly doubled my net worth from that haul, and invested most of it in new warships for my hangar - a stealth bomber, a bumping Machariel, a Falcon. Then I went looking for another target.

ROOKIE miners
This fast growing mining corporation located 2 jumps from Jita seemed like a likely target. I had Spy Alt put in an application and she was accepted, once again, no questions asked.

Once in, I made a quick assessment, and found that there wasn’t really anything laying around that I could steal. The alliance did have a wormhole system, so I put a covops alt in there, then dropped a wardec on them. At about the same time, they were also wardecced, coincidentally, by my friends in CODE.

Under wardec, all of the older, more experienced members of the corporation, including the CEO, absconded to their wormhole system, leaving the newbies to fend for themselves in the heart of CODE. territory, without so much as a word of advice.

So, keeping an eye on their wormhole with my covops alt, I began my harvest of noobs.

Highsec Kills
The first to die was Ben Dankz in his Venture. Pilot YIN DRAGON, hearing in corp chat that I was in system, eagerly began traveling back, from wherever he was, to face me. So I waited around for him. Sadly, for him, his Navy Crucifier was no match for my Daredevil. The fight was short, the outcome predictable. Then I killed a Prospect and left system.

An hour later, the same guy with the Prospect announced that he had found a wormhole and was mining in it. Spy Alt used corp bookmarks to show the location of the hole to Syeed, who jumped in and killed the guy in his Mackinaw - my first kill in a stealth bomber.



The next day I killed a Rifter, and a Venture, then noticed the Venture guy talking smack in corp chat about how he was going to kill me with his Naga.

[ 2018.11.10 22:32:38 ] Falcon JS > i need to find someone called ameer somthing the fucker shot down my venture lastnight
[ 2018.11.10 22:32:40 ] safira jomita > they declare war on us and that gives them the right to shoot us in highsec
[ 2018.11.10 22:32:41 ] Falcon JS > followed me
[ 2018.11.10 22:32:46 ] Falcon JS > i got a NAGA for him
[ 2018.11.10 22:38:24 ] safira jomita > Falcon JS the war lasts 1 week standart, but the attacker can extend it
[ 2018.11.10 22:38:28 ] safira jomita > dont think they will
[ 2018.11.10 22:44:34 ] safira jomita > ALERT WE GOT AN ENEMY IN SYSTEM
[ 2018.11.10 22:44:41 ] safira jomita > eyes open
[ 2018.11.10 22:45:24 ] safira jomita > Syeed Ameer Ali

So I hunted him down and found him in another Venture. Rather than immediately kill him, I pretended to chase him around, hoping he'd go get his Naga.

[ 2018.11.10 23:44:30 ] Falcon JS > i like pussy
[ 2018.11.10 23:44:40 ] Falcon JS > and its saturday night
[ 2018.11.10 23:44:43 ] Falcon JS > and im playing EVE
[ 2018.11.10 23:44:44 ] Falcon JS > WTF
[ 2018.11.10 23:44:47 ] Falcon JS > :P
[ 2018.11.10 23:44:48 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > Falcon JS that's vulgar
[ 2018.11.10 23:44:58 ] Falcon JS > YO
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:00 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > you should respect women
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:01 ] Falcon JS > your dead
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:04 ] Falcon JS > mother F
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:14 ] Falcon JS > syeed ameer ali
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:16 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > am i now?
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:18 ] Falcon JS > your dead
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:31 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > who me?
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:34 ] Falcon JS > im coming for u
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:42 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > bring it
[ 2018.11.10 23:45:45 ] Falcon JS > killed me yesterday mining in your daredevil
[ 2018.11.10 23:46:01 ] EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Vasala
[ 2018.11.10 23:46:09 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > i'll do it again too
[ 2018.11.10 23:46:22 ] Falcon JS > wont do shit
[ 2018.11.10 23:46:58 ] EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Kiainti
[ 2018.11.10 23:47:04 ] Falcon JS > follow me
[ 2018.11.10 23:47:07 ] Falcon JS > plllzzzz
[ 2018.11.10 23:47:32 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > it would be easier if you just tell me where youre going

I ended up followed him to Jita, where he reshipped to a Moa. I engaged him on the Perimeter/Jita gate with my Daredevil and killed him again. A Drake joined the fight and I killed that too.

[ 2018.11.10 23:48:01 ] Falcon JS > i found him :P
[ 2018.11.10 23:48:05 ] Falcon JS > hes following to jit
[ 2018.11.10 23:48:12 ] Falcon JS > jita
[ 2018.11.10 23:48:16 ] Falcon JS > ameer
[ 2018.11.10 23:48:19 ] Falcon JS > hahahaha
[ 2018.11.10 23:56:32 ] Falcon JS > enemy in jit
[ 2018.11.10 23:56:35 ] Falcon JS > ENEMY IN JITA
[ 2018.11.11 00:02:06 ] Falcon JS > he killed me#
[ 2018.11.11 00:03:51 ] Falcon JS > hes at perimeter
[ 2018.11.11 00:04:32 ] ultrox sins > falcon
[ 2018.11.11 00:04:37 ] ultrox sins > did you kill him?
[ 2018.11.11 00:04:41 ] XaviX Mansoth > KILL REPORT PLS
[ 2018.11.11 00:06:28 ] Falcon JS > no me and klay dead
[ 2018.11.11 00:06:34 ] Falcon JS > hes in pereimeter
[ 2018.11.11 00:06:45 ] Falcon JS > Kill: Falcon JS (Capsule)
[ 2018.11.11 00:06:50 ] Falcon JS > Kill: Falcon JS (Moa)
[ 2018.11.11 00:08:02 ] ultrox sins > he used a fast ship to take you down
[ 2018.11.11 00:08:45 ] Falcon JS > we dont know we knew
[ 2018.11.11 00:08:49 ] Falcon JS > i loved that moa
[ 2018.11.11 00:08:57 ] Falcon JS > new
[ 2018.11.11 00:17:23 ] XaviX Mansoth > gtg see u tomorrow
[ 2018.11.11 00:23:39 ] ultrox sins > son of a bitch
[ 2018.11.11 00:41:10 ] Falcon JS > what
[ 2018.11.11 00:41:28 ] Falcon JS > we all need to hunt that guy
[ 2018.11.11 00:43:12 ] Untanas Volmyr > who

Wormhole kills
At this point, I felt like I had put enough of a hurting on the newbies, so I hopped in a Stratios and quietly moved into their wormhole. Meanwhile CODE. continued to ravage their highsec players and structures.

The action slowed down a great deal in the hole. All the ROOKIE guys spent most of their time docked up in their citadels. Occasionally they would warp back and forth between citadels - god knows what they were doing - but that was about all.

I did kill a random Gnosis and a random Venture, that had wandered into the hole, but that was about it. At some point they apparently put two and two together and booted Spy Alt.

Then finally, after days of waiting, ROOKIE CEO safira jomita finally undocked in a Tayra and warped to a POCO. I found her there and made the kill. I was content. I let the war end.



Planning for the future
At this point, December was fast approaching. And in December, it was being said, CCP planned to roll out another nerf to wardecs. One which would require that I have an anchored structure in space in order to declare war on someone.

Wardecs were a powerful tool in my arsenal and I did not intend to give that up. However, the old wallet was still pretty empty, and buying an upwell structure would have taken most of my remaining isk.

So I got to thinking. What if I just steal one? Would that be possible?

Tune in next time as our hero plans, then carries out, the greatest heist of his career...

Terrorizing Tash-Murkon

In my last article, the reader will recall that I, Syeed Ameer Ali, aka Haedonism Bot, OG Belligerent Undesirable and all-around excellent guy, had returned to EVE after several years, and made a failed effort to kick things off with a wardec.

Public Enemies CO - Scam Corporation
I scouted around a bit for a new victim. A mining corporation called Public Enemies CO looked promising. I put in an application, was accepted, as usual, without question, and moved to their home base in Gyerzen, an isolated lowsec system in Tash Murkon.

It became immediately apparent that Public Enemies CO was a scam corporation. They were running the old Slave Plantation Scam.

Now, far be it from me to judge anyone for being a scammer in EVE. My longtime readers know that there is almost no low to which I will not stoop in this game. But there are a handful of scams that even I balk at, and this is one of them. You have to be a cold, ruthless bastard to run the Slave Plantation Scam, although it has always been a very common one in EVE.

The way it works is this. The scammers who run this one are generally miner/industrialists, who have advanced in their career path to the point where they are producing big, expensive things. Like all serious miner/industrialists, they have spent long hours poring over spreadsheets, trying to figure out how to squeeze a little bigger profit margin from their production runs.

They have struggled with the reality that they cannot possibly mine enough ore themselves to make a real dent in what they need, and that buying materials reduces their margins to near nothing, and involves a lot of painful logistics to boot.

Then one day they had an epiphany - what if they created a mining corporation, recruited 50 miners, and required them to mine 4 hours/week “for the corporation” and drop the ore off at the exact location where it is needed. They crunched the numbers in their spreadsheets, and cash register noises started going off in their heads.

Public Enemies CO is such a scam corporation. They recruit gullible newbies, lure them back to their little industrial enclave, and trick them into thinking that it is right and normal that a corporation requires them to spent a significant portion of their play time mining “for the corporation”, receiving nothing in return.

Public Enemies CO is still aggressively recruiting - so newbies be warned.

Anyway, since they lived in lowsec I held off on dropping a wardec, for fear of tipping them off, and began farming them for kills, along with their blues in the Lost and Clowned alliance. It was a simple matter of using my spy alt to locate targets, then providing warp-ins for Syeed to quickly reach their location and kill them.

Finally getting kills
I ended my 2 year dry spell on Mischief Night, October 30, when I killed a Lost and Clowned Coveter, then a Public Enemies CO Tayra, with my Daredevil.



The next day, another Coveter slipped away from me, but I hung around, and the pilot came back in a Stabber to try to get his revenge, so I killed that too.



The bloodlust came over me. Public Enemies & Lost and Clowned were not providing enough kills to satisfy me, so I dropped a couple wardecs on corporations I had seen in the area. One of them immediately sent me a 450 million isk surrender offer, which I graciously accepted.

[ 2018.10.31 14:49:24 ] Santa Komandoo > Syeed Ameer Ali in local
[ 2018.10.31 14:49:49 ] Santa Komandoo > i thought u were getting ganked
[ 2018.10.31 14:50:11 ] Meklend Sharp > in what i fly he can try
[ 2018.10.31 14:54:32 ] HEXFORD > just warp out
[ 2018.10.31 14:54:54 ] Meklend Sharp > na i got some one to help me out i gave all my loot up to them
[ 2018.10.31 14:56:03 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > o/
[ 2018.10.31 14:56:15 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > am i famous or something?
[ 2018.10.31 14:56:28 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > do you guys...do you want an autograph?
[ 2018.10.31 14:56:37 ] HEXFORD > who the fuck is  Syeed Ameer Ali
[ 2018.10.31 14:57:25 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > HEXFORD that's what i want to know!
[ 2018.10.31 14:58:32 ] Meklend Sharp > idc he never did nothing to me i do my thing he duz his we r cool no trubble hear
[ 2018.10.31 15:00:59 ] HEXFORD > Meklend Sharp maybe he's the same as that idiot  OCCANGER
[ 2018.10.31 15:01:05 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > Meklend Sharp THE FUCK? THOSE ARE FIGHTING WORDS
[ 2018.10.31 15:01:39 ] Meklend Sharp > and how so
[ 2018.10.31 15:01:56 ] Meklend Sharp > did u really just fucking war deck me
[ 2018.10.31 15:02:08 ] Meklend Sharp > over me being chill with u
[ 2018.10.31 15:02:23 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > :D
[ 2018.10.31 15:02:39 ] Meklend Sharp > Syeed Ameer Ali u got it get ready for a fight
[ 2018.10.31 15:02:53 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > will do
[ 2018.10.31 15:03:30 ] Meklend Sharp > i try and be nice to some one and they bring war on me only in eve
[ 2018.10.31 15:03:59 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > haha yeah
[ 2018.10.31 15:04:12 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > the way she goes
[ 2018.10.31 15:04:20 ] Meklend Sharp > i hope u know what u r doing
[ 2018.10.31 15:04:36 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > tell you what, you can pay me and i'll drop the wardec
[ 2018.10.31 15:04:48 ] HEXFORD > Syeed Ameer Ali surrender now IMHO
[ 2018.10.31 15:05:01 ] Meklend Sharp > see thsi every one i tryed to be nice and got war decked what a shame
[ 2018.10.31 15:05:14 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > HEXFORD you want in on this?
[ 2018.10.31 15:05:17 ] HEXFORD > Meklend Sharp he is nuts
[ 2018.10.31 15:05:29 ] Meklend Sharp > i dont know if we can fight back o well time to dock up now
[ 2018.10.31 15:05:57 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > Meklend Sharp i'm just one person, you can fight me if you want
[ 2018.10.31 15:06:07 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > i'm not even that good
[ 2018.10.31 15:06:45 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > you have 24 hours to think about it anyway
[ 2018.10.31 15:07:24 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > i mostly just fly a merlin
[ 2018.10.31 15:07:59 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > no reason to panic
[ 2018.10.31 15:08:24 ] Meklend Sharp > i know how this works
[ 2018.10.31 15:09:45 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > at least one of us does then!
[ 2018.10.31 15:09:56 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > tell me how it works
[ 2018.10.31 15:10:26 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > i've been on a break from eve for a few years, i can barely remember how to play
[ 2018.10.31 15:11:24 ] Meklend Sharp > then y r u war decking me
[ 2018.10.31 15:11:40 ] Meklend Sharp > all u got to is talk to me
[ 2018.10.31 15:11:49 ] Meklend Sharp > wars r dumb
[ 2018.10.31 15:12:00 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > seems like a good way to get back in the game with a good old fashioned war
[ 2018.10.31 15:12:27 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > plus i think i can get you to pay me to stop
[ 2018.10.31 15:12:39 ] HEXFORD > roflmfoa
[ 2018.10.31 15:12:52 ] Meklend Sharp > i got a few friends that u could just go stay with in null for all this so u dont wast isk
[ 2018.10.31 15:12:56 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > my merlin may be small, but she is mighty
[ 2018.10.31 15:13:18 ] Meklend Sharp > stop this please
[ 2018.10.31 15:13:36 ] Meklend Sharp > ill give u back the isk u payed for the war
[ 2018.10.31 15:14:38 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > nice, plus a 200 mil profit
[ 2018.10.31 15:14:49 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > pleasure doing business with you sir
[ 2018.10.31 15:15:15 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > now lets see what other corporations are in local...
[ 2018.10.31 15:15:37 ] Meklend Sharp > ill do what it talks for my people
[ 2018.10.31 15:15:47 ] Meklend Sharp > tAKES NOT TALK
[ 2018.10.31 15:16:03 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > and another 200 mil! i love you Meklend Sharp
[ 2018.10.31 15:16:24 ] Meklend Sharp > u got me all nerve wrecked
[ 2018.10.31 15:16:47 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > ;D all in good fun my friend
[ 2018.10.31 15:16:57 ] Meklend Sharp > not for my people
[ 2018.10.31 15:17:05 ] Meklend Sharp > but yes all in good fun
[ 2018.10.31 15:24:25 ] Syeed Ameer Ali > Meklend Sharp you financed my next wardec, much appreciated
[ 2018.10.31 15:26:00 ] Meklend Sharp > that was not what i ment to do :""{

The old failed anti-ganker alliance, Defenders of Eve, yielded a couple Ventures and a Procurer, although they then immediately dropped to alt corps, in a most cowardly fashion, to avoid facing me. An ally of theirs, who had joined the war, tried to “bait” me to an ice anomaly with a Drake, then de-cloaked a Falcon on me. I killed the Drake, but the Falcon got away.



While I was at it, I reverse AWOXed a Gila, and did a bit of lowsec roaming too.



For a few days, I became the terror of Tash Murkon. All the carebear intel channels I monitor would light up with warning in a most satisfying fashion, everywhere I went. This was the good old EVE I remembered.

Cashing out
Every day I spent in the despicable scam corporation, Public Enemies CO, made my skin crawl more and more. They had yielded a few kills, and would certainly yield more, given time, but I knew I couldn’t stick around long.

Sooner or later they were going to ask why I hadn’t filled my ore quotas. There was no way I was mining 4 hours for those greasy bastards. Not going to happen. They even ripped me off. Me, Syeed Ameer Ali, who wrote the book on EVE scams. When I tipped them off to a valuable Mordus rat in a belt, they gave me only a 5 million isk “finders fee” - splitting the 800 million value of the loot between the CEO and his cronies.

I was trying to think of how I might hit them hardest without wasting any more time. I was thinking I might do the old “I need help with this PVE site, please bring an expensive battleship and warp to me” trick. The way this works is I would wait at a safe in a Drake or something, get them to warp to me, get tackle, then jump Syeed into Gyerzen in some PVE-battleship killing fit, warp in and finish the job.

However, before that could happen, I saw my out and took it. A war target of Public Enemies CO had appeared in neighboring Dabrid, and they all headed over there to fight him. My spy alt followed after, in a tackle Slasher. By the time he got there, the action was all over and one of the Lost and Clowned guys had managed to get himself CONCORDed in his Kronos, dropping 2 billion isk worth of loot. I helpfully volunteered to loot the wreck for him, and never looked back.

https://zkillboard.com/kill/73381976/

[ 2018.11.04 21:52:57 ] Katie Noban > Emiya Kado he is in dabrid, you will concorded if you aggress
[ 2018.11.04 21:53:04 ] Emiya Kado > understood
[ 2018.11.04 21:53:05 ] DaMago Mayaki > no he is wt
[ 2018.11.04 21:53:06 ] DaMago Mayaki > come
[ 2018.11.04 21:53:22 ] DaMago Mayaki > ive got him
[ 2018.11.04 21:53:39 ] Emiya Kado > ive locked him
[ 2018.11.04 21:54:17 ] Emiya Kado > fucking fuck me
[ 2018.11.04 21:54:22 ] Katie Noban > wut
[ 2018.11.04 21:54:32 ] Emiya Kado > i had him locked and was waiting
[ 2018.11.04 21:54:34 ] Katie Noban > how did that happen?
[ 2018.11.04 21:54:42 ] Emiya Kado > and my fucking cat jumped up on my keybaord
[ 2018.11.04 21:54:48 ] DaMago Mayaki > srs¨
[ 2018.11.04 21:54:50 ] Emiya Kado > so now ive lost my maurauder
[ 2018.11.04 21:54:53 ] Emiya Kado > wonderufl
[ 2018.11.04 21:54:59 ] Katie Noban > dammn
[ 2018.11.04 21:55:06 ] Emiya Kado > goes 3b
[ 2018.11.04 21:55:16 ] Spy Alt > i'll get your loot for you
[ 2018.11.04 21:55:23 ] FuzzyBunny Knutz > time to get rid of the cat..
[ 2018.11.04 21:55:58 ] Emiya Kado > im... upset to say tyhe least
[ 2018.11.04 21:56:07 ] Emiya Kado > i was just jumping in to scare him
[ 2018.11.04 21:56:12 ] Katie Noban > so you got the km of him?
[ 2018.11.04 21:56:32 ] Emiya Kado > 100km
[ 2018.11.04 21:57:04 ] Emiya Kado > if anynone is kind enough to grab whats left of my ship and give it back i would be grateful
[ 2018.11.04 21:57:52 ] FuzzyBunny Knutz > no Killmail
[ 2018.11.04 21:58:18 ] Katie Noban > https://zkillboard.com/kill/73300364/
[ 2018.11.04 21:58:21 ] Spy Alt > i got what i could fit but there's a couple things left in the wreck
[ 2018.11.04 21:58:22 ] Katie Noban > thats the enyo KM
[ 2018.11.04 21:58:33 ] Spy Alt > i got the most expensive stuff
[ 2018.11.04 21:58:48 ] Katie Noban > Spy Alt contract it back to him wherever he wants.
[ 2018.11.04 21:58:55 ] Spy Alt > ok
[ 2018.11.04 21:59:09 ] Katie Noban > ty
[ 2018.11.04 21:59:15 ] Emiya Kado > im in  Dabrid V - Moon 1 - Caldari Business Tribunal Accounting
[ 2018.11.04 21:59:26 ] Emiya Kado > if you can get all of it i would be grateful
[ 2018.11.04 21:59:39 ] Spy Alt > i'll get the rest standby
[ 2018.11.04 21:59:56 ] Katie Noban > at least it didnt give them the km at all..only concord...
[ 2018.11.04 22:00:02 ] Katie Noban > but 3.1bil....jesus
[ 2018.11.04 22:00:10 ] Emiya Kado > it as my mission runner
[ 2018.11.04 22:00:12 ] Emiya Kado > was
[ 2018.11.04 22:00:18 ] Emiya Kado > it was how i made all my isk out here
[ 2018.11.04 22:00:55 ] Emiya Kado > im done until i replace it
[ 2018.11.04 22:02:01 ] Katie Noban > damn....that sucks
[ 2018.11.04 22:02:17 ] Emiya Kado > consequences of having a cat i guess...
[ 2018.11.04 22:02:28 ] Emiya Kado > they occasionally blow up 3b isk ships
[ 2018.11.04 22:03:08 ] Katie Noban > didnt you feed him enough today or what? :P
[ 2018.11.04 22:03:35 ] DaMago Mayaki > that's one way to get your attention I guess
[ 2018.11.04 22:03:44 ] DaMago Mayaki > carefull running JFs with that guy around
[ 2018.11.04 22:06:04 ] Emiya Kado > how will i know when my stuff gets contracted back to me?
[ 2018.11.04 22:07:52 ] Emiya Kado > and why didn't my insurance payout some in...
[ 2018.11.04 22:08:30 ] Naja Nigricincta > Emiya Kado had to get a bigger ship to get your stuff, the slasher wasn't cutting it
[ 2018.11.04 22:09:08 ] Emiya Kado > does the insurance not come in when killed by concord
[ 2018.11.04 22:09:31 ] Katie Noban > not sure buddy
[ 2018.11.04 22:15:22 ] Emiya Kado > Spy Alt thank you
[ 2018.11.04 22:15:28 ] Spy Alt > inp
[ 2018.11.04 22:15:30 ] Spy Alt > np
[ 2018.11.04 22:16:00 ] Emiya Kado > i might have to downgrade to a megathron for a while
[ 2018.11.04 22:19:12 ] Emiya Kado > let me know when your ready
[ 2018.11.04 22:22:22 ] Zelt Sasen > Testie logged in  Gyerzen IX - Moon 15 - Amarr Navy Testing Facilities
[ 2018.11.04 22:22:27 ] Zelt Sasen > or jc
[ 2018.11.04 22:25:12 ] Katie Noban > Alexander LoboGris  Gyerzen
[ 2018.11.04 22:25:29 ] Phillip Aurgnet > Condor
[ 2018.11.04 22:27:55 ] DaMago Mayaki > where is he?
[ 2018.11.04 22:29:41 ] Emiya Kado > Spy Alt you still coming? your not just taking it are you?
[ 2018.11.04 22:29:47 ] Spy Alt > Emiya Kado o/
[ 2018.11.04 22:29:56 ] Spy Alt > on further inspection...
[ 2018.11.04 22:30:14 ] Tross KalSol > lol, don't stress him out, omg
[ 2018.11.04 22:30:24 ] Spy Alt > it appears you did not have a permit to fly that ship in highsec ;D
[ 2018.11.04 22:30:48 ] Spy Alt > i'm afraid i have to confiscate your stuff
[ 2018.11.04 22:31:04 ] Emiya Kado > but you'll cut me a check for 2.1b right?
[ 2018.11.04 22:31:11 ] Spy Alt > mining permits are available for 10 million isk per year
[ 2018.11.04 22:31:16 ] Emiya Kado > otherwise ill legit move out of dabrid
[ 2018.11.04 22:31:24 ] Spy Alt > www.minerbumping.com
[ 2018.11.04 22:31:37 ] Tross KalSol > I thought it was 10m a month
[ 2018.11.04 22:31:37 ] Spy Alt > ;D
[ 2018.11.04 22:31:55 ] Spy Alt > just send me 10 mil and I'll set you up
[ 2018.11.04 22:32:24 ] Katie Noban > Spy Alt contract his stuff back
[ 2018.11.04 22:32:31 ] FuzzyBunny Knutz > Don't forget the setup fee
[ 2018.11.04 22:32:35 ] Katie Noban > and i am not joking around atm
[ 2018.11.04 22:33:10 ] Tross KalSol > we will get you earning some isk Emiya, earn that back pronto
[ 2018.11.04 22:33:18 ] Spy Alt > illegal PVE in CODE territory is a serious offense, i'm not joking either
[ 2018.11.04 22:34:12 ] Emiya Kado > if your legitimately holding my stuff random for a bullshit code, then im out of this corp. is that what your telling me?
[ 2018.11.04 22:34:18 ] Spy Alt > www.minerbumping.com
[ 2018.11.04 22:35:07 ] Emiya Kado > fine. then im out. Expect me to kill you the next time i see you
[ 2018.11.04 22:35:15 ] Spy Alt > feel free to send any questions or concerns to James 315
[ 2018.11.04 22:35:17 ] Tross KalSol > Emiya, hes kidding
[ 2018.11.04 22:35:21 ] Tross KalSol > he's not in Code
[ 2018.11.04 22:35:25 ] Tross KalSol > and he's not in our corp
[ 2018.11.04 22:35:41 ] Tross KalSol > they are blue to us and we are allied, so leaving our corp doesn't help anyway
[ 2018.11.04 22:36:49 ] Emiya Kado > I had a perfectly fine setup two jumps from Jita before i came out here to help this organization. If our allies are going to be shitbags and tax me to exist, then. im. done.
[ 2018.11.04 22:36:57 ] Emiya Kado > is that clear enough?
[ 2018.11.04 22:37:31 ] Visitant > If that happens they will no longer be blue.
[ 2018.11.04 22:37:40 ] Spy Alt > Emiya Kado have a lovely evening!

In our next episode, our hero heroically returns to Caldari space and smites more war targets with righteous fury...