Sunday, February 26, 2012

Not our Noctis

Retrieving the Tengu turned out to be easier than expected. A direct connection to low sec has spawned, the system a solitary low sec in the middle of a dead region. A corp mate scouts me in through the gate, the whole affair quite uneventful.

There is a gas mining operation getting under way, not having the skills (I'll be honest, or interest) in joining in I decide to sit off one of the holes cloaked, at least I can be a watchful set of eyes while we all have a bit of a chat on comms. Once again uneventful, its over sooner than I would have expected, the site completely cleaned out by the Orca boosted (from inside the POS) crew.

"Works out just under 100mil per person" says the man in charge of payouts. Perhaps I should re-evaluate my stance on mining, although there is something about just sitting there with a massive target painted on me, unable to even shoot back, that doesn't sit well with me.

I take a brief break and when I return there is talk of shooting at sleepers in our static c4. While everyone is getting organised I decide to take a quick jump in there with my cloaky Loki to make a few safe spots.

"Have you guys done any sites in here yet?"

"No, we're just about to"

"I see a Noctis and wrecks on scan"

I do a few quick warps around the system checking for other ships, the Noctis may be a great salvager but I'm sure it didn't create those wrecks by itself. I can't see anyone else in the system, and the Noctis is either in a despawned anomaly or a signature site. A corp mate is less than subtle, poking his non-cloaky ship through the wormhole and is painfully obvious on dscan, a few more corpies say they're on their way.

With the element of surprise already gone the instant the Noctis hits dscan, I quickly dump some combat probes and throw them roughly at the planet I think he is near. The wrecks are disappearing rapidly and my time is running out, the first hit barely registers the ship, a quick correction and its stronger but still not there, third times the charm and I'm warping to zero.

I drop cloak just before entering the site, priming my tackle and guns. Watching the ship speed indicator I hit lock as soon as I drop out of warp.

"Point, warp to Mdih"

I micro warp drive my ship straight into the Noctis, you never know when these slippery buggers will have warp stabilizers fit. People are all talking at once on comms, the snagged Noctis asking for a ransom in local and they're encouraging me to take it. I ask for an offer, and he comes back with a paltry 50mil, I counter with 100. Not being used to talking on comms, shooting and negotiating at once I only just manage to deactivate my guns in time, a sliver of structure remaining.

Now I don't know if Fromil had his guns primed already, or if he just doesn't believe in taking prisoners. He came screaming into the site and obliterated what was left of the Noctis with one shot.

The pilot warps out before I can snag the pod and disappears from dscan, now to find where he came from...


  1. Ha ha, what a glorious bit of scanning to recover the situation, and an entertaining end to the Noctis!

    It occurs to me that ransoming a salvager is a curious process. It's not just the cost of the ship, or the inconvenience of getting a replacement, but if the pilot's just finished salvaging several high-value sites he could well have collected enough ISK in loot to pay for the ransom and still make a profit.

    It's not the same as ransoming a faction-fit ship either. Faction modules are sunk ISK and the pilot is probably not going to sell them to get some quick cash. The loot piling up in the hold of a Noctis is pure profit and worth the salvager negotiating over. Hell, bringing back 50 million in loot and your Noctis is worth paying a 100 million ransom.

    1. If I hadn't been on comms I wouldn't have even noticed the ransom offer and quite happily exploded him. We had a good laugh when we accidentally killed him, at first I thought I'd somehow knocked my guns.

      50mil is around the cost of the hull I believe? Then you have to factor in modules and the fact that I saw him salvage at least 1 full site (minus a wreck or two when I got to him) although I suppose everyone starts low and has some room for negotiating.

      My biggest problem with ransoming in WH space is that it could just be a ploy until their friends, who you can't see until they're on dscan land on top of you. For all I knew a fleet that cleared the anomalies could have been reshipping into pvp ships.

      Since we had a couple more people on the way I WAS going to give him a little bit longer to transfer 100mil otherwise explode him. Eve-kill reports his loss at 243 mil. I only got 25mil of loot but if that 95mil of nanoribbons dropped too I'd have come out ahead.