It had to happen

If you repeat the same actions, over and over again creating a sustained pattern of activity, it won’t be long before someone takes advantage of that. I lost a half billion Isk T4 solo Abyssal Gila the other day because I created a pattern of activity.

Prior to my loss, I had teamed up with an acquaintance to try out two player Destroyer Abyssal runs. They say Eve is always best played with a group and I agree, I had a ball learning the intricacies of higher tier abyssal space while getting to fly a ship I hadn’t flown before.

My Abyssal Partner had done the research and knew his stuff. I didn’t so we ran some on the test server to get comm’s and tactics sorted. We started off at Tier 3 and progressed to Tier 4 bringing in a lot of loot and converting that to Isk. While there were a couple of rooms that were challenging the only thing we had to worry about was when I constantly shot my buddy instead of repping him. Our only failure was pretty much my fault. We were in a Dark and I hit a velocity cloud. Before I knew it I had been flung into the Abyssal Depths and didn’t have the experience to get out. I died and my buddy was left in the first room without the DPS to survive. Scratch two Jackdaws and two pods. Abyssal space is unforgiving. We ran them for several evenings and after I logged my buddy would continue solo in his Gila.

One evening he noticed Combat Probes in local and we realized just how lucky we had been. Scanning down a filament is insanely easy. Since we had covered the initial build costs and subsequent losses and made some decent Isk, I was happy to move on. His new direction wasn’t on my todo list and I suspect he was silently relieved as I tend to be more of a hindrance than help most of the time. As it was I wanted to get back to Burner missions, so I sold the Jackdaw and flew back to my home space.

When asking Level 4 Agents for missions you occasionally get level 4 blitz missions like the Right Hand of Zazzamatazz. This mission can be done very quickly for a decent reward if you have the right ship and it just happened that I had a T4 solo Abyssal Gila based on the very popular active shield Povertilla fit. Warp in kill the outpost, set the Caldari Navy Vespa’s on Zor and the mission is finished. The Gila fit is so good you don’t really need to turn on the second shield booster. Remember that for later…

Some pilots keep requesting and declining missions from an Agent until they get a Burner and run that. While that tactic has merit you really have to watch your standings otherwise you will be locked out of L4 missions with that agent and have to grind to get back in favour. I just ask for a mission and if it isn’t a Burner then I just move on and do something else. The new mission can be declined after 4 hours without loss of standing. Since my play time is limited this tactic works. The only drawback is that occasionally I get nothing at all across all the Agents and that is where the T4 solo Gila comes in. If there aren’t any Burner missions on offer I run a few filaments and then log off.

So what happened?
I got lazy, that’s what happened. I started getting on a few hours before DT and running multiple filaments in the same system. Not only was I running them in the same system, the trace was visible from the gate. A Blood Raiders FOB arrived in system and with it a bunch of incursion runners. The system was full of new people and occasionally I noticed combat probes in system. I figured they were hunting the incursion runners.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but so is not being stupid.

Just before DT on the 21st of July, with only one other person in local, I fired up another T4 filament in Aldagolf (0.6 sec space) and entered the Abyss. 15 minutes later when I exited and instantly knew something was wrong. D-Scan loaded a bunch of Coercers. My heart started racing while I tried, in vain, to get the shields and hardener overloaded and running. It was all over in seconds, I typed GF in local to no response and I got my pod out.

Concord arrived late and finished off the Coercers. Their Scanner was left to loot my wreck (and theirs). They all dispersed while the Scanner sat in station waiting for the suspect timer to cool down. I was left to lick my wounds and figure out what went wrong.

Plenty went wrong, but one thing that stood out was that there was a couple of perfectly good boosters in the cargo that I didn’t consume. I don’t know if they would have saved me? but a quick check on zKill indicates that most ganked Gila’s still have boosters in the cargo. Speaking of zKill, I wasn’t the only one that night. There were 4 Gila’s killed by this team in the Metropolis area. One of them in an 0.8 system and all dropped some good loot. Easy Isk really.

Am I annoyed, sure, but you can’t have my stuff and I didn’t rage quit. I just went off and did other things. I also started doing some research specifically on how to avoid a repeat incident. Eve is not safe, but there are ways to reduce the risk of getting killed. What surprised me was the speed at which my Gila failed. An entire room of Zor’s bodyguards can’t dent my Gila and 5 cheap Coercers can. There is an imbalance there and always has been.

The results of my anti-gank research?
There is a period of time after you leave the Abyss where you are invulnerable. I didn’t see the timer, but I could have used that time better, consumed the boosters and overloaded the middle rack ready to go. Would that have saved me? Probably not, but I would have felt better about it.

To be found your trace must be found. Making sure it isn’t visible on D-Scan from the gates is a good start. Firing the trace in an empty system is another step towards avoiding trouble.

End of the day, you are only truly safe if you don’t undock… but where is the fun in that?

Fly Safe,

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