EVE Online And The Big Game Hunters

By Rich Stanton on May 14th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

In the months I’ve been following EVE Online, one story stuck in my head more than any other. It’s the tale of how a pilot flying a Ragnarok Titan, the biggest and most expensive ship class in the game, was inactive but tracked for years by a group of players. And when he eventually logged on, they bagged him. The outlines suggest so much – the obsession, the hunt, the skill, the devastating loss, and of course the mind-boggling timeframe. Fanfest 2014 was my chance to find out more.

“The group I fly with, we kind of fashion ourselves as ‘big game hunters,’” begins the capsuleer known as Quickload. “Pith helmet, blunderbuss, go out in the jungles. Our main interest is ships with a jump drive. You have one of those? You’ve got our attention.”

Quickload is a member of the Sniggerdly corporation, part of one of EVE’s most infamous alliances: Pandemic Legion. Among other things, PL is known for high-level PvP players, superb tactics, and big kills. “In EVE players seem to find their specialities, and niches within PvP fighting,” Quickload says. “Something like a non-capital ship my group generally don’t care about.”

“When we see signs of a hostile or neutral capital ship that is moving in our area we take interest in it, and in September 2012 one of my cohorts Cumadrin Kassin saw the signs of a cynosural field in a system next to our home. It was a system without stations and, if you don’t know anything about EVE, seeing signs of a cyno field in a system without stations indicates a big thing is moving through that system – something that doesn’t need to dock, because it can’t, which usually means a Super Capital or a Titan.”

“So Cumadrin did the right thing and went to check it out and as he entered system he saw in Local, the list of players in the solar system, a pilot who promptly logged out.” Cumadrin had the name of the pilot who had set up the cynosural field – the means by which Titans jump – but didn’t yet have the name of the Titan pilot.

“He managed to save the cyno pilot’s name, went to the cynosural field which you can warp to in space – which was in like a safe zone between planets, you can warp between planets and make a bookmark in-between. So our guy found and bookmarked that location, noted the name of the player, and then with others started doing some additional research. Through that he found alts or other characters of this pilot, coming up with a shortlist of other candidates that turned out to be quite close. And it pretty much ended there.”

The big game hunters had narrowed down the field of potential Titan pilots – and one name, FomkA, looked like a match. But there was a reason for bringing a Titan into Low-security space. “That guy was taking a break, as many players do,” explains Quickload. “But when you have a capital ship like a Supercarrier or a Titan you need to park it somewhere safe. Like in lowsec, because you don’t have to worry about bubbles or sovereignty changes while you’re offline. That would be a safe place to park your undockable ship. He chose a system called Kamal.”

And then FomkA disappeared – or, to be more accurate, that one character disappeared. PL’s hunters had identified several alts used by this player and kept one eye on them while going about their normal business. “It’s all to understand what’s going on in his mind,” says Quickload. “All we wanted him to do was log in. But what we wanted to know was what kind of signs will he exhibit in order to log in? So we watched his alts carefully.”

Looking for what? “Maybe one of them will go off to a nearby lowsec system and set up a pos [safe zone]. Maybe one will bring a hauler full of Titan-relevant modules to a nearby highsec system in hopes of refitting his Titan once he does log in. Something like that. Watching the alts for activity relevant to what we want him to do is part-and-parcel of hunting these things. You’re basically trying to predict what he’s going to do before he even necessarily knows it.”

But month after month, nothing happened with this particular pilot. Then out of nowhere, a sign. “The tip-off came when we had just finished killing another Titan,” says Quickload. “A Black Legion Titan which I’d found where the guy had logged off then logged in a couple of hours later, and we probed it down and killed it. And literally as we were cleaning up the field from that mess we made, my cohort Kumadran uttered on comms ‘Oh shit.’”

“He said that because on his watchlist he still had that cynosural field pilot he’s logged all that time ago in Kamal. He instantly recognised that alt as who it was, and he knew what it meant straightaway.”

To spell out exactly what’s going on: the Titan pilot has another character on the go which is specifically used to set up jumping points called cynosural fields – this is how the Titan moves through space. This ‘cyno alt’ had been inactive, and it has just been spotted.

“Let me put it this way: if you hunt these things, and someone logs their cyno in after all this time, it usually means they’re going to do something with that Super Capital or Titan that’s associated with it.”

“So we hurry up and get in position.”

If only it were so easy.

“This guy’s cyno alt logged in and started moving, he moved into highsec space. And then we saw some of his other alts log in and log off, even do some missioning… so we were there waiting for this guy to log in at any moment. But one day turned into two days. Two days turned into three days, and three days into four days.”

As the group began to wonder whether this was a false alarm, they found the final piece of the puzzle. “The big tipoff that made us think he might log in his Titan was a find on the forums. He used this cynosural field alt pilot, which he’d used in September 2012, to put a ‘For Sale’ notice up for a Ragnarok on the EVE forums,” says Quickload. “So we knew at that moment he was trying to sell his Ragnarok, which means he has to log it in. You can’t sell something that’s offline.”

“So we waited in anticipation.” Maximum camp mode? “Maximum camp mode, twenty-four seven or twenty three seven as we say in EVE parlance [the server has a short downtime every day] and so we waited and we waited, knowing he could move at any moment. Our crew covers all time zones, some are Australian, some are European, some in the US, so we could basically follow the sun. But we had deduced the guy was Russian so we figured it was most likely to happen in early evening European timezone hours.”

So the day comes. “There was still no major movements, though we were watching the guy on his other characters missioning in highsec. Pretty boring stuff, right? [laughs] Suddenly without any prior notice [clicks fingers] we saw the Titan pilot log-in. And everybody just instantly shouts on our teamspeak ‘he’s logged in, he’s logged in!’”

This moment calls to my mind one of those scenes from sci-fi movies where pilots are scrambling to get on-board their ships – except in this case the hunters were more than ready. “Oh yeah, we were waiting,” says Quickload. “Immediately the probers we have in that system throw out their combat probes and get a hit. Get a one-hundred percent hit. The probing guy lands on top of the Ragnarok as it’s coming out of warp. But the Ragnarok you have to understand is the most agile of the Titans. In other words it can go from full stop to warp speed faster than all the other Titans.”

So this guy still had a chance? “It turns out he even has an aid for that, a microwarpdrive which you can use to get from a full stop into a warp faster than you normally could – a perfectly valid trick, a great use of mechanics, I do it, and it’s a safe and known way to get your super into warp really fast.”

Did he use it? “He used it. Because by the time our pilot had opened our cyno on his Ragnarok, and we’d gotten our heavy interdictors in to tackle him – this is lowsec so no bubbles [a trapping tactic] – we had to get on-grid through a cyno, a Titan bridge of our own, target the Ragnarok and then ‘point’ it [scramble the ship's warp drive beyond escape]. By the time we had gotten to that stage, that guy was already in warp.”

“Luckily, we saw where he warped to,” says Quickload. “A celestial body, a planet way far off, about twenty-odd AU away. And twenty AU away is a long time to warp in a Titan, it’ll take a minute or two. It was the only possible thing in the direction he went – there was one moon, a poco – a customs office – and a stargate to another system. We had about twenty guys so we split between these three options on the hope one of us lands on this Ragnarok, and another guy repositions his probes around that planet as well – so that if he didn’t land in any of these places but near enough to it, we’d still get him.”

The hunting group landed and saw nothing. The Ragnarok wasn’t at any of these three positions. Turns out the pilot had been wise enough to previously bookmark a point to warp to – a safe spot – from where he could either jump again, given enough time, or call up an ‘emergency cyno’ from a friend or an alt to escape. And if the hunters knew one thing about this pilot, it was that he had alts.

“In that compressed span of two minutes or so everyone on my team was on edge, because we could legitimately lose this guy,” says Quickload. “This guy could’ve landed out of warp and if he had a cyno ready and in his fleet he could’ve landed and [clicks fingers] out he goes.”

“Luckily he didn’t. Well [laughs] luckily for us he didn’t. So he didn’t land on any of these three spots but he landed close, close enough that our probes snagged him a second time. So we get the probe hit when he lands, the prober warps there, everyone warps to the prober, we de-cloak the Ragnarok – and by that time the ship had come to a full stop. The interdictors land and point ‘em up, and so we were able to get the tackle on him.” The Titan was trapped.

“Once tackle was secure our second cyno goes up, and we bridge in all our heavy metal,” says Quickload. “Then it was like ‘OK, let’s squish him down.’ We bridged in so much DPS we actually had to hold back so that our friends could get on the killmail [laughs] Personally, my super, I just launched one fighter-bomber and stuck it on that – everyone got on the mail. Over comms it was ‘Everyone on the mail? Going once, going twice, OK kill him.’ And bam. Over the course of 45 seconds to a minute we just ate through all his HP and that was it.”

Including the unfortunate victim this engagement involved 58 pilots, though it should be noted that many of the hunters were ‘triple-boxing’ or in Quickload’s case ‘quad-boxing’ – that is, controlling four ships at once. Here is the killmail. Some kind soul has also preserved the local chat logs of this exact moment for posterity. The Titan pilot’s name is FomkA, everyone else is a member of Quickload’s hunting party, and this is as [sic] as it gets.

[01:11:28] FomkA > i have not be loggin for 3 years
[01:11:29] FomkA > how the ufck
[01:11:31] FomkA > lol
[01:11:35] waris good > lol
[01:11:39] waris good > we been watching you for that long
[01:11:40] FomkA > i m serious
[01:11:47] BlueMajere > :)
[01:11:50] Jassmin Joy > it’s been a long three years
[01:11:54] waris good > yea
[01:11:55] Fainaru Wada > welcome back m8
[01:11:59] waris good > slumber parta
[01:12:07] FomkA > gg
[01:12:12] BlueMajere > we stalked u
[01:12:14] BlueMajere > 3 yrs
[01:12:18] BlueMajere > thank u for logging in
[01:12:27] FomkA > cant believe tbh
[01:12:41] BlueMajere > its fact

That ‘welcome back m8′ slays me, for some reason. “He was logged off in his words for three years,” says Quickload. “But that’s maybe as long as he’s been ‘inactive’ because we knew it was less.”

There was one final act. “The encore was that he managed to get his pod out, because pods warp instantly, and he got it to highsec. And then I guess he was so mad or enraged at what happened that once he jumped into highsec he logged the pod off.”

What happens next comes down to EVE mechanics. Because of the fight FomkA had an aggression timer of fifteen minutes – so when he logged off, his pod would warp 100km in a random direction, and then stay there until the timer expired.

“So one of our probers went through, probed it out, and one of our enterprising pirate members who was highsec-capable jumped in there in an interceptor, because that’s all he had, warped to the pod and just suicide ganked it.”

FomkA’s character had around 3 billion ISK worth of implants. Welcome back m8. This is an example of the strategising some groups go to in order to get these big kills. “To us it’s a challenge,” says Quickload. “It’s a mindgame. It’s part of the greater game itself. It’s not the greatest EVE story, it’s just an example of what can happen. A Titan’s the biggest ship of all, it’s the ultimate ship.”

But it is not so much the scale of this hunt as the time that elapsed between the first sighting and the final blow – which I make at around 20 months total. “Saving a bookmark is cheap,” explains Quickload. “Some people get kind of antsy about their bookmark list, kinda OCD and clear them all out after a while but my cohort Kumadrin – he’s pretty good about it.”

The most terrifying thing, surely, is to be an EVE player reading this story. One of the goals many players have, even if it’s just to try it out, is to fly a Supercarrier or a Titan – nevermind own one. Well now you know. The second you have a ship like that, you get the attention of guys like these. The Ragnarok came in at just under 76 billion ISK. If you were to buy that much ISK purely through PLEX – which of course FomkA almost certainly did not – it would cost you at a very rough estimate around £1750 / $3000.

“Some super kills we do are pretty banal, they’re pretty boring as far as preparation and research go,” says Quickload. “Some of them, like this one, can be pretty exciting. We don’t try to take things for granted, rest on our laurels and think we’re just that good we can do anything at any given moment. We know we have to work for each and every kill in each and every hunt, and use all the resources we have available in order to effect the perfect trap.”

Supercarrier and Titan pilots of EVE Online – sleep well.

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117 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    Have to say I kinda bounced off this article a bit. I usually love the Eve stuff by Rich, as it’s written for people who have never played eve. This was a bit Eve term heavy for me to get properly engaged!

    I like the premise though, and I like how amazing Eve always sounds to read about.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Thanks: some of the details weren’t clear from the article.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Yeah it was a bit jargon heavy, but I think if you’ve played any space game it was sort of easy, really.

      Some guessing and filling in the blanks was required, though: I don’t know, for example, what 1 ISK (inter-steller ‘kurrency’?) buys in-game, etc. but then arbitrary game money buys arbitrary item is how i took it…

      • Premium User Badge

        mpk says:

        1 ISK gets you nothing!

        To put some prices into context, a standard tech level 1 cruiser will cost between 5-15m ISK, depending on what you’re going for and where you’re buying it. You can make that money through PvE fairly quickly, and fit them out for less than a million with T1 modules.

        A tech level 2 cruiser like the Heavy Interdictors mentioned above, will be between 250-300m, again depending on where you are buying. You’re going to want T2 modules, so figure anything up to 10m to fit. Other T2 variants, like Recons, Heavy Assaults or Logistics will cost between 90-300m

        A T1 Scorpion will cost around 150m ISK. It’s T2 variant, the Widow (on the above killmail) will cost about 750m.*

        Carriers (Chimera, Archon, Thanatos, Nidhoggur) range from 1-1.5b. Supercarriers, probably 40-60b (I’m reaching here, never flew one). Again, modules cost on top of that and the trend has always been to fit faction modules to Supercarriers and Titans, so fits will be exponentially more expensive due to rarity and the extra kerpow you’ll get. That said, there were no T2 or faction variants for Capital only modules when I last played, but that may have changed.

        *I remember the days when it cost so little to build Scorpions you could buy one, insure it and then self destruct it to make a profit. Inflation :(

      • Syphus says:

        Imagine your generic sci-fi credits, where 1 credit is basically nothing, simple items cost hundreds to thousands of credits, and then scale up.

    • forallsignups says:

      I am curious

      Didn’t the Titan cause any damage to the stalkers/hunters. I don’t know much about EVE but surely the (biggest) ship in the game would be able to cause massive amounts of damage and take some of them with it? No?

      • Premium User Badge

        mpk says:

        The Titan had four capital weapons fitted, plus its Doomsday Device weapon (Gjallahorn) which could, theoretically, kill an enemy capital ship in one hit (been out of EVE for a while, and never really involved in battles involving Titans, but I think they can one-shot a carrier. The downfall of Doomsday weaponry is that you cannot use your jump drive for ten minutes after firing one, so on the off chance that he could have escaped, he probably wouldn’t have used it – and then when he realised he wasn’t getting out, it would have been too late to try).

        His four standard weapons would not have been able to put out enough damage to kill any of the enemy capitals in the time he had because they would have been spider-tanking (setting up a web of remote armour repair beams to patch up any damage they received). Because of the size of his guns he would have been unable to hit anything below capital ship size.

        • forallsignups says:

          Right, I see,

          so a Titan in EVE is essentially a moving cannon. I don’t know if there are fighters in EVE but it seems a Titan would be a sitting duck for these too. Kind of defeats the point of having such an expensive ship

          thanks

        • Premium User Badge

          mpk says:

          Titans have changed drastically since they were introduced. Originally the Doomsday weapons would kill every non-capital ship on grid with the Titan (iirc everything within 250K range), but this was watered down over time. The initial idea was that these ships were so big and so expensive that no one corp would be able to have more than one or two at any given time. As usual, the playerbase proved this wrong, and now you have battles with 50 Titans on field.

    • xIvSlowDeath420 says:

      The one part i’m unclear on is tracking him before he signed in,did they use systems technically outside the game world to track him?

      • Damorrislaht says:

        It’s simple really. You just save the character name and put them on your watch list. You are then notified when the player logs in.

  2. Snidesworth says:

    Another great EVE story. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only person who loves reading these despite having no intention of actually playing the game.

    • rexx.sabotage says:

      Fun ten minute read.

      the twenty months it took to write it?

      not as fun.

    • Noburu says:

      I enjoy all these Eve stories and articles, despite never playing the game. I have always wanted to but i cant devote the time. Here to hoping one day i will finally take the leap.

      • frightlever says:

        I find the Eve stories interesting but they are rather dispiriting, like many of the Dayz stories.

        If you’re going to devote so much of your time and energy to getting one over on your fellow humans, you may as well do it for real and make actual money at it, or perhaps the high level sociopaths in Eve are also successful business people.

        • Jambe says:

          Some high-level players are quite well-off but in my experience most were average folk, and only a handful were anything like what I would call a sociopath. There are plenty of outsized egos in nullsec politics, but egotistical != sociopathic.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I’m at the opposite side of the same camp. I played EVE for 4 years but thoroughly played it to death, I have no intention of ever going back but I still love the game for stories like these.

      • popej says:

        Aye me too, played the game solidly for about 6 years with the odd break between 2005 and 2012. I’m thoroughly burnt out now but I still love the game.

        I don’t think I’ll ever go back, don’t like multiplayer in any form these days.

  3. SillyWizard says:

    So…is destroyed wealth in EVE simply lost, or is there an opportunity for the players to go scavenge these battlefields and make a quick buck?

    • tormos says:

      I don’t play EVE but have received this explanation before:
      Ships have a certain value for salvage, especially big ships. While independent players could theoretically get some value out of it, the winning side in a fight of this magnitude generally hovers around the area for a while so that their comrades can salvage the wreckage.

    • oldmanbob says:

      The money/materials that went into building the ship itself is entirely lost. Some of the modules fitted to the ship can survive and be looted from the wreck (in the case of a titan like this, usually some very expensive ones). Additionally, the wreck can be salvaged with specialist equipment for some components, but these are worth very little.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      You need to thing bigger than this. Yes, to the individual pilot, the ship is lost. He probably won’t see any of the surviving 50% of his modules either. He’ll get a tiny insurance payout that helps more to add insult to injury than it helps plug a hole in his wallet.

      However, destruction spurs industry, and destruction creates. Ships need to be replaced, built, components built, minerals acquired, moved, sold, bought…

      By the way, exploding ships add wealth to the economy due to the insurance payout. During production wealth is mostly redistributed, but does not leave the economy. Destruction produces wealth by proxy, and construction redistributes wealth.

    • grarr dexx says:

      The monetary wealth changes hands upon purchase, the ship explodes and drops a wreckage with some of his fittings and cargo in it. Most of the time for kills of this magnitude, they will both be taken by the aggressors as it could amount to several billions of ISK.

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      Judging from the screenshot of the killmail the ship and fittings was worth 120billion ISK (just shy of $2000 of in-game currency).

      Of that about 14 billion survived the destruction to be looted by the aggressors (about $200)

      A more conservative estimate was here lowering those values to almost half – depends on where/when in the market the values were taken from

  4. Premium User Badge

    Hammer says:

    Better Than Life.

  5. Arglebargle says:

    The triple boxing, etc, part of the account here makes me really wonder how many folks really are playing Eve. Everyone I know who does (small sample size of two), has at least two accounts. So whenever I see the Eve player numbers, I just wonder….

    • Premium User Badge

      Trinnet says:

      We know the answer to this – a couple of years ago CCP revealed that the average eve player has 1.4 accounts – I’ve never played a game where multiboxing was anywhere near as common as it is in EVE.

      • Danny252 says:

        I suspect part of it is because of how easy multiboxing is in EVE – you’re not constantly having to run around and hold down W, but can instead get by with a few clicks per minute. However, you do still get those insane few who like to multibox during fights, which does take slightly more attention and skill.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      You can have up to three characters on a single account, and once you reach a certain level (which I’m not at), it becomes useful to have one character who’s neutral and able to fly industrial ships to haul stuff around for your main character (often known as a ‘toon’ in Eve).
      If you’ve got a Titan or some other ship that uses a jump drive you also need a character who can light cyno beacons to provide a location for you to jump to, which pretty much necessitates having them both logged in at the same time.

      One wrinkle with having multiple characters (‘alts’) is that your skill training (which runs in real time in Eve, eg training Scout Drones to lvl V takes about 5 days) only runs on your currently active character, unless you pay CCP, so many people just open a second account.

      • Syphus says:

        We’re not really talking about multiple characters on the same account though. We are talking about three different accounts. That way you can both train and play them simultaneously if you so desire.

  6. chuckles73 says:

    So, he’s looking to sell his Ragnarok. Logs in for the first time in nearly 2 years to sell the pride of so many hours he used to spend playing EVE before the wife came along. He never thought he’d need to dip into his old gaming stuff… Sort of like selling the old comic book selection.

    Honestly though, hard times all around. Eventually, the bills started piling up, and the new baby needs to eat, right? So yeah, he sells whatever he can. Probably not the full $3,000, but hey, every little bit helps right?

    He sets up the transaction, jumps back on to move the ship to the spot it needs to be at to finalize the sale. Thank the gods he got such a good deal on it, it should help stave off the unseasonably cold weather for a while longer, maybe help the baby’s cough. As an added bonus, he hasn’t been able to play in a long time, so telling the wife he’ll make a quick thousand or two… That’s as good an excuse as any.

    Time to log on. This money will sure help the stomach pangs…
    (Edited to fix stupid point of view changes.)

    • lordcooper says:

      Nice story, but things can only be sold for ingame money.

      • chuckles73 says:

        Unless he sells the profits through one of the many sites that allow that. (Or if he was selling the ship directly though that? Or the account. I don’t know exactly how it works, I haven’t played EVE much.)

        I just found the hunting story to be very sad, and I was trying to figure out why I was feeling that.

        • Premium User Badge

          Stellar Duck says:

          Except for the part where he was playing on alts.

          But that’s besides the point. Even if your story was true, how does it change anything? the PL people can’t well know stuff like that. Surely you’re not suggesting that people should stop blowing up people in EVE in case they need the money?

          And aside from Jimblidge who lost a 45 bil Navy Raven that he had plexed and then got scammed out of a further 60 bil a few days later after making all sorts of threats, I would hope nobody plexes a titan or super cap.

          • Danny252 says:

            So he plexed something like 105 bil? Dear god, that’s ridiculous. That’d be worth couple of thousand dollarpounds, if I remember the conversion rates correctly…

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        Often supercaps are sold with the character that flies them (because training up for a Titan can take years, I saw a quote of 947 days for all lvl V). So you arrange a payment outside the game, and then hand over the login details. It’s against the ToS of course, but I’m sure it happens.

      • Premium User Badge

        mpk says:

        Nice story, but things can only be sold for ingame money.

        That’s not necessarily true.

        Also, since Titans and Supercarriers can’t dock, it’s impossible to sell them on the regular market. There are sales using a respected third party, who will hold the money and usually pilot the ship to ensure good behaviour, but there’s also an out-of-game black market.

    • frightlever says:

      I liked your story. All you ever hear is the asshole’s side of the story.

  7. DarkSaber2k says:

    What a bunch of douchebags.

    • Tikanderoga says:

      Tbh, reading this as a non-Eve player, it really just sounds to me like there are a bunch of players out there who got nothing else to do than to wreck the hard work of other players. It takes you months to build yourself a fine ship, just for this bunch to wreck it.

    • xsikal says:

      Yep. Good thing RPS gave them a whole article to trumpet their own group dickishness.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      Yeah this is why Eve never really gelled for me. I’m too much of what they would call a ‘carebear’ (basically fodder for the likes of the people in this artical).

      From the constant (and obvious) scams in trade chat to gate campers just waiting to ruin your day…As impressive as Eve is (and it is impressive) it’s just too ‘mean’ for my tastes.

    • Distec says:

      While I understand how this comes off to non-Eve players – and even I’m astounded by the timeline of this hunt – you guys need to realize that this is the game you sign up to play, with all of its rules and possibilities. Titans are risky investments, and they should all ideally die at some point. Just as with every ship in the game. It must suck for the victim pilot, but I’m sure he was aware that his ship could end up a twisted, metal wreck. Besides, Titans are usually afforded by an alliance or ridiculously wealthy players. If you lose a Titan and cannot recover from it, then you probably should not have had one.

      So… save it.

    • Premium User Badge

      mpk says:

      There are no nice people in EVE. There are SPACE BASTARDS, people you haven’t met, and people who you’ve met and who just haven’t got round to stabbing you in the back yet.

      Primarily SPACE BASTARDS though.

  8. Crazy Horse says:

    When you’re Russian to sell a Titan there’s no time for Stalin

  9. hotmaildidntwork says:

    Much like with actual big game hunters, I’m sort of left to wonder what was gained.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      And that friend, is the story of EVE. They turned griefing from a nuisance to the central point of the game for lots of players.

      You know why you don’t play Day Z? That’s why I finally stopped playing EVE. Ubiquitous PVP always turns to bullying, because after all, who has time to spend 2 years stalking someone who took the time and effort to acquire/buildout a capital ship like a Titan? 2 years.

      You have to be a special kind of person to pay $15 bucks a month for the privilege of open season griefing. It’s no wonder those photos from EVE Fest showed thousands of exclusively males, mostly white and almost entirely young-ish and probably from privileged backgrounds (having the time and money to spend). Ugly stuff.

      • Mimetic says:

        Nonconsensual PvP is basically rape.

        • gealach says:

          Not the best analogy, but some aspects of it can give young MMO-playing males some context for that discussion. Including the concept of victim-blaming:
          “The second you have a ship like that, you get the attention of guys like these.”
          (Purposeful misquote. Sorry, Rich)

        • The Random One says:

          How is it nonconsensual? You give consent once by playing the game, and you give consent again by leaving highsec.

          I hope no one says I’m implying people who get raped should stay indoors, unless you believe there is an equivalence between the right to move freely and the right to play a videogame centered around the loss of in-game items without the danger of losing in-game items.

      • Maxheadroom says:

        +1 this.
        I want to like Eve and in many ways it’s very impressive but being a dick-bag is so fundimental to the core experiance that I’m surprised there isnt a tutorial for it at the start of the game.

        And thats just not me

        • FabulousCasanova says:

          Then you dont want to play Eve. Eve is not a game about levelling your character and unlocking gear, it’s a game about what you do.
          On plenty of occasions, I was a “victim” of non-consensual PvP. Sometimes, it was because I made poor decisions. Sometimes, I was just not paying enough attention. Often, it was bad luck and would not have happened if I logged 5 minutes earlier/later. But always, it happened because I let it happens, because I placed myself in a situation where I could be targeted (which, turns out, is really, really hard not to) and for which I could have taken actions to minimize the risks to ridiculous levels.
          His titan was not in some sanctuary, supposed to be safe. It was in lowsec, which is, by design, a zone for almost unconsequential PvP. He was not a victim, he was a player (and, this time, a loser).
          And if you cant accept that a game may have losers, then Eve is definitely not for you. More often than not, it has more losers than winners.

          As for comparing PvP with rape, I’m just going to say you get to like it after the first few times.

  10. Sidewinder says:

    Given what little I know of EVE, I imagine a ship that big takes tons of time and effort to get. And then these other guys hunt him down and destroy it because of… what, exactly? Novelty? Bragging rights? Man, I will NEVER understand the PVP mentality.

  11. Iskariot says:

    Most of the time I like these EVE stories and in general they tempt me to try EVE.
    But this…
    Destroying a lone gamer’s Titan, just for the sake of destroying it.
    Stuff like this disgusts me in the real world and it does so in gaming.

    • dsi1 says:

      >Stuff like this disgusts me in the real world and it does so in gaming.

      Now this is why I love Eve. People get as mad as at someone doing something in a video game as they do about someone doing something in real life.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        It’s because the idea “this is a terrible thing to do” is more ancient and primal than the relatively modern and abstract “oh, but it’s not actually real”.

        Still feels like reading the fulsome praise for someone kicking over people’s sandcastles for fun, although I Eve’s not coy about being a massively multiplayer sandcastle-kicking simulator.

        • Kitsunin says:

          It just seems like whenever you create a game which allows for sandcastle-kicking it becomes ubiquitous with the title. Same seems to be largely the case with DayZ and Rust too.

          I want a game which allows for such behavior, but doesn’t make getting wrecked force you to waste time or turn your previous time into a waste. It should be fun even for the person getting screwed over somehow. Not entirely sure how that would work, maybe it would need to be sort of roleplaying based? At any rate I just hate the idea of games making you waste your time, and people being able to take that away from you…yet I want to be able to play a game like EVE without that fear of someone completely ruining my day.

      • Antsy says:

        There’s no such thing as virtual douchebaggery.

    • Tikanderoga says:

      Totally agree with you on that one – having been a bullying victim myself, stuff like this is just terrible.

      • Dux Ducis Hodiernus says:

        If it makes you feel any better, he has destroyed a net total of more ISK value ships than he has lost

        https://zkillboard.com/character/487016194/

        Basically, lost ships for total of 140b, and destroyed ships for a total of 290b. So if you consider this guy to have been bullied, he was quite the bully himself as well.

      • kyrieee says:

        It’s not bullying, it’s a free for all. You think he was going to pet kittens with that Titan? This isn’t any different than beating someone at Risk, it’s a game where you use some dirty tricks, but it’s still just a game and everyone knows that.

        • hotmaildidntwork says:

          As a general rule, saying that “everyone/thing/where does/has/is X” is pretty much guaranteed to be incorrect.

          Edit: I’m also perplexed at the implication that you can’t bully someone in a free for all.

        • Tikanderoga says:

          Yeah, but in Risk, you don’t gather stuff for months and months, just so a bunch of people can crush it in minutes.
          I know he’s not gonna pet kittens with that Titan, he’ll probably use it to blow something up – that’s what it’s built for. But blow it up when he uses it, not when he takes it for a spin, or even might want to sell it.
          Especially that 2 year stalking really gets me – all that effort, just to wreck someone’s pride and joy.
          Even in free for all, there are boundaries.

    • nitehawk says:

      The fact that a Titan can be owned an operated by a single person is what is not intended by the game. Titans were meant to be things that entire alliances had to work together to build and operate, and thus were a thing to be the pride and joy of a fleet. Now they are simply something you bring a hundred of to a battle to blob your enemy.

      As one of the small fish in eve, I have no sympathy for this guy losing his bling machine. It is really no different than any small ship or station. Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose. This is the reason why he kept the thing logged off for so many years. What is the point of having such a thing?

  12. racccoon says:

    douchebags is right, they new he was wanting to sell, but they didn’t seek out whether he was needing that cash to help him in his life, they on other hand spent 3 years doing all this research for 2 minute kill, seems daft. its all very well to stalk a pilot and chase them in real time, but going after prey in this long period of time kind of worries me about the mental psychology of some of these guys, they see this as a way to spend 3 years of life, they took his pride away as well there’s by this and any respect if any they had any, ten folded, by also podding him. In eve podding is the lowest act you can do alongside this kind of stalking.
    All very well to be done in real time apart from the podding! but 3 years!!

    • ketura says:

      1st: you can’t (legally) sell your in-game assets for real cash, so assuming the guy was down-on-his-luck selling virtual goods to feed his family is a bullshit argument. It was virtual good purchased with virtual cash, and about to be sold for virtual cash.

      2nd: it’s not like they spent all of their time for three whole years doing nothing but stalking the guy. The interviewed player even emphasised the bookmarks; this was something that was set up and then dropped for a looong time, and was only picked back up because they had a passive watch set up to alert them when their mark logged in.

      3rd: podding is by no means the lowest thing you can do in EVE. Hell, it barely makes the top ten. Iit messes with the virtual pixels but leaves the individual playing the game intact, which is more than you can say of some of the other stuff that can happen.

  13. figvam says:

    They talk about finding out his alts – how is it possible in EVE?

    • Premium User Badge

      Tom De Roeck says:

      Dont know about Eve, but in Perpetuum Online, you just note which bots follow which other bots, usually from the same corporation. alternatively, you can check the killboards and see who is killing whom, and which bots are involved.

      PS: if you want to have an EVElike, but with robots and less skullfuckery, try Perp online, only costs about 30€ for a lifetime sub and RPS has a huge corporation that welcomes all players of any dedication or skill. (go into the RPS channel in the game, and join the STC corp)

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      It can be as simple as finding characters with the same or similar names, or if he’s in a small corp you can probably assume that it’s private for just him and some alts… if he’s in a large corp then spies – especially if they have high ranking ones with access to the APIs (which log details of all three pilots associated to each account as well as some in-game transactions with other accounts)

      Also for capitals you could check killboards for battles that the titan was involved in for cyno alts that died, usually they’ll be in really crappy ships and be taken out before more ships can use the cyno…. so a few ways and it’d be a lot of paperwork to read :)

  14. Enkinan says:

    This reads like “how to catch a predator” except nobody gets laid. In three years.

    • Gesadt says:

      yet youre commenting on news article about internet spaceships on a videogame website. nerd.

  15. Afred says:

    The problem I have with those EVE stories is I feel like the guy being had/killed/etc must be extremely pissed off, unlike in say DayZ where even the most dark betrayal is always kind of enjoyable even on the loosing side.

    Eve does seem to be a game based on griefing, and I don’t state that as a judgement on it’s playerbase, but reporting on those stories always makes me quite uncomfortable, especially from sites like RPS. But then it might all be me misinterpreting EVE and everybody is actually having fun…

    • Gesadt says:

      seems like people not playing eve care more about loss than eve players themselves. griefers, douchebags, twats, assholes such is an average player apparently. truth of the matter is than any (pvp) eve player has long ago learned to get over it and realize its just a bunch of space pixels. silly isk conversion to dollar value isn’t doing anyone any good.

      • ix says:

        I think people not playing EVE care more because that’s partly the reason to not play it. I know I left because the PvP didn’t really ever become fun for me. Also the grinding.

        • Syphus says:

          I’ve never really been sure what “grinding” people are referring to, especially compared to other MMOs. Anyway, I think this does keep a way a certain kind of people, which is fine because they are likely not the kind of people who I’d want to play other games with either.

          I basically play Eve for the same reason I play roguelikes.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            The more apparent ways to make money in eve are what? Probably mission running and asteroid mining? There are other ways to make money but those two have probably the most reliable and substantial yield for time spent. I generally subsisted on those when I played, and it was when they had melded into a sort of indistinguishable mass of “warp to place, right click on thing, warp back, repeat” that I eventually gave up on the game ever becoming enjoyable. That even the combat would become tedious and dull was especially disheartening.

            To this day Eve retains the distinction of being the only game in which I have ever fallen asleep during a fight. The fact that I woke up to find that I had won does little to make the distinction less dubious.

  16. nzgunner says:

    EVE – a game that creates great stories, but sounds absolutely horrible to play

  17. Jaydan76 says:

    Sorry, I just have a hard time getting excited about a concerted dick move by a bunch of players with clearly nothing better to do. RPS, why are you trumpeting this? Maybe if you’d got in touch with the other party for some feedback it would be a better article, but as it is now it’s a celebration of some barbaric twats.

    • Sian says:

      Well, I don’t condone this sort of thing and it’s a big reason why I don’t play EVE, but I can see why it’s worth a story: This was a kill two years in the making. That takes some serious dedication. Whether it’s worth getting excited about or not is debatable, but it’s definitely noteworthy that people go to these lengths.

      Brings to mind an old story about a scam in EVE. Some guys where recruiting players with money and promised to build a titan with it, only to run off with the money. It took them weeks of convincing the others and a lot of work to earn their trust. They got the money and sent it to freshly created alts, which meant that now they had tons of money, but their alts didn’t have the skills to make use of it. Heh.

  18. Sian says:

    Knowledgeable souls, please help me understand this: A titan needs to be parked somewhere safe so it doesn’t get, what, destroyed or stolen? And low sec isn’t exactly secure, seeing as there was an emphasis on “as safe as it can get”. So why did these guys need the titan pilot to log in and move his ship?

    • Whelp says:

      He ‘parked’ the ship (logged it off) in lowsec because lowsec never changes. In nullsec sovereignty (who controls the system) can change.

      He logged it back on presumably because he was going to sell it. He’s clearly not the kind of guy that would actually USE a titan… he probably just bought the ship and character for shits and giggles in the first place, a quick glance at his corp history and activity doesn’t suggest he actually ever used it for bridging, let alone actual combat ever.

    • ketura says:

      When you log out of the game your ships disappear from space until you log in again, so there’s no danger of it being destroyed so long as you’re logged out (this is the reason that server crashing during huge fleet fights is such a big deal; if one side decides that they’re losing big time they can just not log back in once the server’s up, and thus keep their valuable ships completely out of reach). If this was not the case, people would never be able to hold on to Titans or anything else that’s not parked in a POS; since everyone’s on the same server, the other time zones would just hose you while you’re logged out.

    • Sian says:

      Okay, I get it now. Thanks, guys!

      • The Random One says:

        I was going to ask the same question, but I still don’t get it. Isn’t there a place called highsec where NPCs prevent attacks? Why not park the Titan there? Is highsec also sovereignity based?

        • hotmaildidntwork says:

          Many of the largest capital ships are unable to enter high security space, and Titans are among them. That’s why low sec was “as safe as it could get”.

  19. Whelp says:

    I’m amused by all the carebears here who think this is ‘bullying’.

    • wu wei says:

      Apparently, we should all build weapons of mass destruction that can hold hands and skip gaily through the flowers.

  20. Karaethon says:

    This seems entirely too wasteful!
    I never played EVE and the little I know about it comes from this sort of entertaining articles, but wouldn’t a scenario like this make more sense?
    The “hunters” get the “prey” ship in such a state that it can’t run away and it’s obvious that they can destroy it anytime if they wish.
    Couldn’t they then try to ransom it with the pilot?
    “look mate we can detroy your pretty ship in a few more second, would you like to sell it to us cheap instead of making scraps out of it?”
    So say they buy it for 25% of the value, the hunters get the pretty ship, the prey get’s some money for it so it’s not a total loss, seems the kind of idea that would appeal to the kind of players EVE get’s.
    ..Destroying so much work for a bit of salvage seems so wasteful.
    I doubt no one thought of it before, so maybe it’s not an option?

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Ransoming does happen, sometimes for ISK, sometimes for items, and sometimes the attackers will just demand a song.
      Of course, there’s nothing to prevent them from killing you after they get the ransom.
      Ah Eve, such sociopathy, much griefing.

    • kali.mist says:

      Yeah, I have been ransomed and subsequently podded after agreeing to the ransom. This was the first time I had been killed in the game and it was a shock. Mostly I got killed in eve by falling asleep while in space after playing into the early hours. In eve you are nudged towards joining a corporation but finding a corp that suits is problematic. In my experience any “friendly” (mostly non pvp) corporations I found were constantly having wars declared on them by more predatory and or PVP-based corps. After giving up and joining a few PVP oriented corps I found the players mostly unlikeable.There was usually one arsehole who liked pushing folks in the corp around and throwing his/her toys out of the pram when someone screwed up. And the rest found this behaviour acceptable. Hard to put up with after a long day at work. I ended up following incursions which were profitable and pvp averse (mostly) but even they turned into a bit of a grind. The thing that annoys me about eve is that it can take years to find out that… once you max out your skills and are able to fit what you want and be useful as a member of an incursion fleet etc… that you don’t really like the game after all.

    • Syphus says:

      The thing is they don’t need the ISK, or the ship though. So the main issue driving them is solely to destroy the ship.

  21. Wyrm says:

    And this is just why we don’t play eve!! ah well if they didn’t do this they’d probably be off torturing animals or something.

    • Syphus says:

      That’s really an incredibly dumb analogy. That just gives in to the people who say “If you play GTA you’re going to rape woman.” or “Anyone who plays a first person shooter is out there with a gun trying to kill people on the street.”

      What you do in a game that is 95% PvP does not somehow make you a sociopath.

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        While I don’t contest the majority of your objection, I find it unlikely that EvE can be genuinely considered “95% pvp”. I was last under the impression that the majority of players just stuck to high security space.

      • mickygor says:

        Not to mention that being a sociopath doesn’t mean you’re gonna torture animals.

  22. afarrell says:

    If there’s one thing I’m thankful for Eve for, it’s the people it keeps away from other games.

  23. Distec says:

    The :concern: from non-Eve players here is hysterical. You’re all so cute.

    I say this as a pilot who accrues more deaths than kills, and I spend most of my time doing exploration and dying gloriously in shit-fit fleets. There are certainly parts of the playerbase I detest and gameplay I don’t like/accept. This isn’t an example of those.

    If you are wringing your hands over the loss of a Titan, then you are lacking a fundamental understanding of the game. These ships SHOULD be blown up.

    • Syphus says:

      And here is one of the many issues with Titans. When we first killed Shrike, it was a big deal. And for a good while after that, Titan kills were still rare and unlikely. Now its just fairly mundane, another ship that was killed, sure its worth more, but its not really very noteworthy.

  24. vcarney says:

    If anything this article totally turned me off EVE Online. The actions of these punks is little more than organized GRIEFING. They get their kicks ganging up on people with the sole intention on ruining their target’s game experience. While the author likens it to “a big game hunt”, how many big game hunts involve more than a few hunters much less more than 50? This was a 50 on 1 jacking by a group of punks who get stiffies and lulz ruining other people’s gaming experience.

    • Distec says:

      And nothing was lost.

    • kali.mist says:

      Its probably the best PVP experience out there. If that’s what you are into. You can enjoy decent co-op in the form of incursions, but the entry level is high in my experience. You wont get invited to an incursion fleet unless you have specific skills and modules fitted etc. I don’t feel CCP explain the game to those considering playing it for the first time. When I started I just wanted to get a bigger better ship so I ground out solo missions until I could solo level 4′s. Actually when I think of it.. It was satisfying to get to a point where you can solo a level 4 mission… You need to be prepared to lose your current ship and potentially your implants.. once you know that… you can enjoy the game. My disappointments mostly came from joining corporations. Friendly helpful chilled out corporations focusing on missioning, mining and perhaps some incursions usually (in my experience) spend a lot of time docked because some experienced PVP corp have declared war on you. That gets old pretty quick. Actually.. I might start playing EVE again. I miss it.

      • vcarney says:

        @kali.mist: “You need to be prepared to lose your current ship and potentially your implants.. once you know that”

        That goes without saying WITH ANY GAME and that’s part of what makes gaming fun.

        What seems totally lost on you and Mr. Distec is that while griefers are a very real problem in any game, and can usually be blocked, muted or ignored, here we have a documented case of a pack of 50+ griefers ganging up and destroying a single target and this article tries to make their actions sound noble and brilliant.

        Where’s the nobility in a 57 to 1 fight? Where’s the challenge and the risk? Sure, they might have stood to lose one or two ships among the crew, but they all knew that in the end they were practically certain to win and share in the EXP and it seems they do this quite a bit, so losing a ship would just be seen as a cost of business. So the challenge and risk was practically non-existent while they intentionally seek to destroy the efforts of individual gamers.

        Frankly, these are cowardly turds, who like cowards in real life, band together in a gang like a pack of hyenas to take on a single lion. It’s punks like these whose primary intention is to ruin the gaming experience of other players who gave rise to the term “griefer” and who have been a scourge upon the online gaming community as a whole.

        But with all that said, it’s clear that these kids are out acting like pirates, creating one-sided fights against lone capital ships to get the EXP and share in the lulz. The obvious answer here is for another, bigger, more powerful gang of white hats to get together and stalk these guys and their alts and kill them over and over and over till they stop logging in completely.

        • Quickload says:

          Hi there, I’m the Quickload interviewed in this article. I’m sure RPS/Richard can verify my registered email address with the one he has on file if you’d like.

          I think you’re making a huge stretch by associating or equating what a person does in a game (and in the spirit of the game) with how they are as a person IRL. Cowards? Griefers? Animal torturers?

          If you’re the type who is willing to try to make this kind of 1:1 association between a in-game pretend persona and a real-life one, consider this: would you also think Jack Gleeson, who played King Joffrey in GoT, is a murderous, cruel and petty person because of the role he chose to play on TV? How about people like Jack Nicholson or Al Pachino? Do you think they (the real, every day Jack and Al) are as contemptuous as the characters they have often portrayed in a make believe world?

          And this:

          The obvious answer here is for another, bigger, more powerful gang of white hats to get together and stalk these guys and their alts and kill them over and over and over till they stop logging in completely.

          I would have to raise a brow at that – the wish to drive me and others who PVP out of a game completely (that is centered around PVP, mind you), somehow ignoring that you’re advocating the very same thing you’re railing against. It doesn’t matter how noble you might think you are in your purpose, you’re attempting to directly affect someone not just in-game, but IRL as well. I would say that you are the type who have a problem with in-game vs. real world association.

          • vcarney says:

            @Quickload: First off, thanks for the well thought out and personable response. A rarity for online forums and I think reflects well on both yourself and the author of the article.

            “I think you’re making a huge stretch by associating or equating what a person does in a game (and in the spirit of the game) with how they are as a person IRL. Cowards? Griefers? Animal torturers?”

            Animal torturers? I have to assume you somehow extrapolated that from my comparison to the tactics used by hyenas to attack a lion, and usually for it’s food mind you, not to actually kill the lion.

            And acting? Jack Gleeson? He was PAID to read those lines and give life to that role that was invented by another as a literary fiction.

            Who’s paying you to act like a roving band of interstellar brigands? Who told you to act that way? Who wrote your lines, your script? You invented your persona and that persona is a valid extension of your psyche.

            Regarding your psyche IRL, when you play this game, aren’t you are playing it in real-life? Doesn’t a lot of conscious thought go into this and other similar escapades? What with all those years of practice, skill honing, implant and ship acquisition and upgrades occurring in the meanwhile. Are those not all very conscious and mentally cognizant activities done IRL while working the controls of a computer with your flesh and blood fingers, the actions on screen being registered by a pair of gelatinous orbs and a couple miles of optical nerves?

            So considering the fact that games are in-fact played “In Real Life”, and you are in control of a digital puppet, I make the parallel from your online actions to how you must operate in real life. This is because I see your actions in the game as an no different to your logic and reasoning in real life. I should note that as an formerly avid chess player I have never heard of another chess player calling the games he has played “not real life” a curious juxtaposition to your view of the game you play and your actions being done in some alternate reality just because it happens via a digital proxy.

            I would direct you to watch the movie “Funny Games”, I’d recommend the original German version, there’s a American remake, we know how those usually go. Your views do seem to fit the film’s premise.

            “I would have to raise a brow at that – the wish to drive me and others who PVP out of a game completely (that is centered around PVP, mind you), somehow ignoring that you’re advocating the very same thing you’re railing against.”

            Why should that raise an eyebrow? I acknowledge that what you were doing was indeed a legit tactic, one seen in real life, and as such, other players should counter you with responses seen in real life. Examples: The British Navy sending in squads of Frigates to take out Pirates in the Caribbean and West Indies, or the US Navy sending in Frigates with cruise missiles to take out Somali Pirates or a Sheriff and Deputized Citizens or plain old Vigilantes taking out Outlaw Gangs in the Old West.

            The proverbial “taste of your own medicine” or just plain old karma.

            And once again, we are back to our difference in our perception of the meaning of IRL. You make this out to be some other reality, one separate from this one, but why should I not point out remedies from our own reality as a counter to your actions in what you see as another reality?

            note: I used cite, but they don’t appear to do more than italicize, hope the quotes I cited are legible enough.

          • Phendron says:

            Quickload, I think I can see some of vcarney’s concerns, though they seem pretty misguided for the most part. You guys are dedicated to destroying things that other human beings have very obviously poured an incredible amount of time and effort into, which can seem kind of arbitrary and cruel. I for one tend to take the white hat platform in any pvp game and prop up the little guys, just from a sense of equity and justice.

            However, it seems that what you guys are doing has no small amount of effort and risk as well, nothing about it seems too malicious. Hell things like this make the game sound diverse and fascinating, with echoes of reality. Being able to lose something makes you treasure it more, I’ve found. Also I have no idea where vcarney’s attacks on your character came from, seems like the gaming world’s closest thing to a ‘concerned mother’, where reason flies out the window in favor of smothering.

            Anyways, love what you guys are doing, keep making these awesome stories for us to read so I don’t have to actually play the game.

        • Distec says:

          It may be considered griefing in any other game, but it is part of the package that Eve players sign up for. And ships like the one in this kill usually have an intelligence game with them; to keep it safe, to move it around, to aid others. The timeframe for this is impressive, but the act itself is not at all uncommon. No offense, but you talk like somebody who doesn’t really know Eve at all. I can understand how this seems so unacceptable compared to other MMOs. But Eve’s core design just do not compare to those, and so neither does its ideas of permissible gameplay.

          My corporation’s staging area had its neighboring systems camped or patrolled by enemies for weeks, preventing many people from moving their assets in or out. While you would probably see that as griefing, we saw it as a rather expected event and tried to make fun out of it; forming fleets to get into nearby fights or contests where we raced cruisers through the murderpipe (everybody dies). Your expectations have to be different for a game like this.

          There are bullies in Eve and this is really not a good example of one. So you can chill a bit.

          • vcarney says:

            No offense, but you talk like somebody who doesn’t really know Eve at all

            No, I don’t know EVE at all.

            But I don’t think you don’t quite grasp the point I am trying to make either. What we have here is a common action seen both in the animal kingdom and in humanity where a roving band of thugs get together to assert dominance over others by seeking out one-sided fights in a many vs one style ambush.

            Not to give anyone ideas, but what’s to stop this Crew from simply extorting “Protection Credits” from targeted Titan owners in exchange for not attacking? Yes, they’d be crossing Legal lines IRL, but since players are international and most often these “digital assets” such as in-game property/credits are not tangible assets (unless they have copyright under the RIAA or MPAA) they are often not due the same protections under law.

            So now you see a very practical next step to these or other similar player’s actions, what’s to stop them and why support them? The only real course I see is for other game players to serve Vigilante Justice against those found out to be engaged in these gang-style attacks, having actual Law Enforcement getting involved… well, that could ruin everything.

            There seems to be a dissonance between how the real world works and what goes on in an online game that tries to be as real as possible.

            It’s almost is if players of EVE expect actions without consequences. I can only hope they face consequences — not through interference by CCP Admins or by Law Enforcement, but by players who choose to play the Vigilantes to the Outlaw Bandits.

          • Distec says:

            I hear what you are saying. I do not understand why you think it’s so terrible in a game that explicitly allows this as gameplay.

            I mean, here you are talking about “Legal Lines IRL” over a superweapon in an online space game. “Cowardly turds in-game and in real life” is some very colorful language. I ask, why? You seem to have this impression that the Titan pilot was some innocent, naive victim. Or that hunting in a large pack is somehow ignoble. Maybe, but who effing cares? Eve isn’t about being fair, it’s about your own risk/reward assessments. One of the above replies called Eve an ecosystem, and that’s exactly right. There are players of all different types, which is what games the game fun and interesting. You need to be prepared to deal with friends and enemies, solo PVPers and blobs, scammers and heist-pullers, etc. I personally love the idea of vigilante justice in Eve. And even though it’s not widespread, it’s certainly a possibility space in the game.

            Your posts come off as a little bent out of shape for somebody who admits to not know the game at all. This is a case where understanding some of the finer details of the game are really integral to forming clear picture or what Rich’s piece described. You need to understand that ALL ships, regardless of size or cost, can be destroyed in many different scenarios. That you NEED multiple people to take down a Titan, hence the 50-to-1 odds and why Titans are usually deployed with PROTECTION in serious engagements. That high-value targets naturally attract more attention in a landscape filled with predators.

            If this does not sound like the game for you, great! I know it’s not for everybody, and it can be pretty harsh compared to other games. However, you seem insistent on viewing this incident without any context of the game itself. I can’t recommend that somebody “does their research” on Eve, because that could take years. But trust me when I say there is nothing particularly tragic in what was described here.

            I have more sympathy for carebears that get ganked while mining in high security space than I do any titan pilot with a billion in implants. The former can be rather rude, but the latter has clearly escalated into an area of the game where losses like this should be planned on.

        • kali.mist says:

          vcarney says:
          @kali.mist: “You need to be prepared to lose your current ship and potentially your implants.. once you know that”
          That goes without saying WITH ANY GAME and that’s part of what makes gaming fun.

          Caps? Actually, I meant that to avoid getting frustrated with the game, never fly something you cannot afford to lose. That means having enough insurance, parts and implants available that you can just take the loss on the chin. That’s means you have to decide to hold back on using a more expensive better equipped build to allow redundancy. This is something I learned after rage quitting a few times because I lost a battleship (that I was not skilled enough to use properly anyway). I would not fly solo through nullsec in anything that I was not prepared to lose. If you go out on a visit to nullsec as a team then everyone sticks together until they get back to high sec. A lone Titan in nullsec is fairgame in Eve. That’s just the way it is. To be honest I was more annoyed when my corp swept asteroid belts to wipe out miners for fun. A lot of these miner folks were new to the game, probably spent quite a while getting a half decent mining barge together. I thought that was just shitty and unnecessary to be honest. That’s Eve. Its an ecosystem… needs predators.

  25. NATMav says:

    I was active in EVE for a few years and led (mostly) successful nullsec corporations and alliances but have since retired from the game. I had the advantage of having a good group of friends from other games that also played EVE to help pave the way to success and made it much more enjoyable. I doubt I would have lasted very long had I started the game alone.

    I did want to help clear up a few things.

    To vcarney’s post: there are, in fact, many cases of such protection rackets, extortion, and vigilante justice in EVE. If someone is bullying you, you can hire mercenaries to help fight them off. Then there’s the whole espionage aspect of the game, where you could, with enough effort and cunning, infiltrate the bully’s corporation or alliance and exact your revenge that way.

    To those who don’t like that they ganged up on 1 guy with 50+ ships – you basically have to have a large gang of ships in order to take a Titan down. They didn’t need 50+, but it also would have been very tough to do with less than 10. It’s a very large and very tough ship to destroy. You also overlook the possibility that this could have just as easily gone the other way had this lone pilot arranged for a fleet to protect his investment. Not to mention that an enemy of PL could have been tracking their movements and used this as an opportunity to launch an attack.

    The titan was logged off in a low security system out of necessity because it isn’t allowed into higher security space, where a fleet of NPC ships will spawn and destroy you if you attack another player. However, even in the high security space, there are still game mechanics in place that if planned well enough, an attack on a target can succeed before the NPCs are able to stop it. The only place a ship is truly safe is docked in a station or logged off.

    One of the great things about blowing stuff up is that no matter what the value of it is, every ship requires at least a minimal amount of effort to acquire and equip and fly it to where you want it, so there’s always at least a lingering fear of loss. And if you have something worth taking, there’s probably someone willing to take it. The simple reality is that in EVE, everything is PVP. From the market to mission running to lowsec and nullsec, everything you do has an effect on someone or something else in the game.

  26. Dokk says:

    I’m a rookie Eve pilot with less than 90 days in and here is my noob story from just a few days ago.

    After doing the tutorials and Blood Stained Stars epic arc I didn’t know what to do next. I had goals but I needed money. I did some exploration and mission running but the ISK didn’t really start to flow until I had the skill and could afford to fly a retriever mining barge with strip mining modules. I still need to sell the raw ore to make the most cash. If I stick with mining I’ll ultimately have the refining skill and standing to make more ISK refining the ore before selling but mining in this way remains my primary income source.

    I enjoy exploration and wanted to do some in low security space. So I made the slow skill grind of hacking, astrometrics, etc. And for low security space, I need to be in a CovertOps ship. That’s basically a tech2 exploration ship capable of advanced cloaking. So I maxed skills in both cloaking and covert ops too. I oufit the ship with some of the best slots and rigs I had skill and could afford and made my way to losec for the first time.

    I nervously crossed into a 0.4 system expecting a gate camp. Not only was there no camp, the entire system was empty except for me. I think I’m going to like low sec space. But I’m aware of the risks so I create a proper safe spot between a first saved location and a celestial body. From there I scan down the cosmic signature and it turns out to be a data site. Before I’m done 3 other ships are in the system. I’m not terribly worried; I’m in a safe spot and cloaked. So I approach the site still cloaked and wait a few minutes. There are 3 loot targets and I hack the first and the second. All the while, I’m checking my directional scanner and I’m detecting the probes of another ship. I’m still not terribly worried because the ship I’m pretty sure they’re from are another explore ship. Before I hack the last site, I notice a full 8 probes on my scan. In mid hack he uncloaked right on top of me, scrammed my micro warp drive, and wiped me out in a matter of seconds with a full 5 tech2 drones. In my noobisheness, I didn’t realize this ‘exploration’ ship could field that many drones.

    Eve Online is really cool and i certainly learned a few lessons on my first low security excursion. I’ve made a few successful and lucrative exploration runs in the days since. There’s probably more lessons I still don’t realize I should have learned, but I’ll be in New Eden figuring them out.

  27. Janichsan says:

    EVE Online – uncrowned king of the massively multiplayer online bastard simulators.