Can't stand all these poisonous creatures, all these snakes and insects and fish and things. Wretched things, biting everybody. And then people expect me to tell them what to do about it. I'll tell them what to do. Don't get bitten in the first place.
To anyone paying any attention to the political happenings in EVE online, the news of the Northern Coalition is unavoidable. Before you get ahead of me, this isn't going to be another rant about 0.0 mechanics or anything like that. What this is going to be is a discussion of how this has been directly affecting me as a Lowsec Pirate.
It's no secret that Sov 0.0 is largely considered much safer than Lowsec. Much of the disdain directed at the NC was due to their fostering of an environment in which Blues could safely go about their business earning ISK in relative safety. When a threat presented itself, they would mass in large numbers to defend themselves, overshadowing any deficiencies in individual pilot skills with their sheer numbers. For many that are fleeing their former homes in Nullsec, this protection is no longer available. In fact, many seem to be finding no new areas of Null immediately available either, and thus they come to Lowsec to plot and plan their next move.
What many of them seem not to have been prepared for are the inherent dangers and differences in their new Lowsec homes. As a resident of the Placid region, I had grown accustomed to the various organizations that shared the space with us. I knew who was easy prey, whose liked to hotdrop, who liked to bait and where mission runners from Highsec were likely to be sent by agents they had clearly angered. Much of that knowledge is being supplanted as new groups join the area as their previous homes become inaccessible.
One newcomer to the region was quick to gain the attention of the Cartel as they seemed to have no hesitation in their use of Faction fit Tech 2 ships and Carriers to run the lucrative level 5 missions available in the region. It seemed only inevitable that our paths would cross before long.
Cut to: Nighthawk with alt Logistics support running mission in Dastryns.
Enter stage left: Ragtag band of Pirates flying a Hurricane, Arbitrator, Jaguar and Rifter.
Cue foreboding music.
As our merry band of Pirates noticed the ships on scan surrounded by wrecks, it didn't take long for the probes to come out. Moments later, but what felt like an eternity at the time, we were in warp...and landing at an acceleration gate. Everyone activating the gate led us to...yet another acceleration gate. Only this time 30km away. The Rifter and Jaguar were of course quick to close the distance, but the Cane and my Arbitrator lagged behind. As our frigates came out of warp, the third time was indeed the charm.
It was at this moment that our new mission running friend was to discover the dangers of dual-boxing in EVE. Although he was clearly at the controls, he was only fast enough to get one ship out. He chose to make his getaway in the Scimitar, while leaving the Nighthawk behind.
A moment later, our Frigates were joined by our Cruiser and Battlecruiser and short work was made of the Command Ship's shields. As he passed peak recharge, cease-fires were called and thoughts of ransoms danced through our heads. Unfortunately there was some miscommunication with our fellow Pirates among the Serpentis and they did not stop firing. I really must remember to find out what comms channel they use...
Without his Logistics support, the Nighthawk was no longer up to the task of tanking the level 5 mission rats, and quickly melted before our very eyes. Probably due in part to the shock from seeing him go from low shields to a bright flash of light in an instant, his pod warped away. And then things got worse.
More miscommunications were had with the Serpentis in the mission as they clearly misinterpreted our gallant rescue attempt as an act of aggression. With the rats quickly turning their guns on us, our Frigates warped out while the Hurricane pilot scooped loot. Alerting me that he didn't have the cargo room for all of it, I went in to grab what was left. Finding my own cargo packed with Cap Boosters, I fired off a cycle for no other reason than to free up space and waited a moment for the cycle to complete so I could grab the final few modules, before warping out myself.
It was during this time that the Hurricane pilot relayed that he was being warp disrupted by the very same rats we had just saved. Being in a Kiting Cane, he began burning hard away from them to shake the disruptor affects. I didn't have the luxury of outrunning anything in my AB Cruiser and, without rats currently displayed on my overview, simply crossed my fingers and hoped that I would be free to leave once aligned. Comms fell silent...
And almost at once the Hurricane and I both warped away safely. I say safely, but the Shield tanked Hurricane that had taken armor damage and my own armor buffer reduced to 2/3 in a matter of seconds didn't feel like we were terribly safe. Thoughts of our own close call were quickly forgotten as we started going over the loot in our cargo. More than 100m ISK in Faction modules were now ours, although twice that value had gone down with the ship.
The (former) Nighthawk pilot asked in local if we had nothing better to be doing, but then quickly left system before anyone could respond. Allow me to just say there was absolutely no more pressing matter to attend to than relieving him of his half a billion isk ship. Well, except maybe killing one of his Carriers...but more on that later.