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...

1 comment:

  1. whoa! was not expecting you to be able to do it. gratz