About two weeks ago I was called upon to support a safari. In the midst of doing some shuffling of assets, I was only able to bring a single Osprey. My fellow Belligerent was in a Catalyst and going up against an Orca and a Megathron Navy Issue. Things didn’t go well, and ultimately he lost his ship without getting any kills.
Being the opportunistic guy that I am, I waited a couple of days and applied to the same corp. After a short TeamSpeak interview in which I kept having to prompt them for the next step, I was in. The corp was scattered all over and I really wanted to get a shot at both the Mega and the Orca to rectify the previous safari, so I decided to wait until the scheduled corporate mining op on Saturday. I spent four days logging in and chatting and watching some people give terrible advice to each other. I did my best to correct some of the gross misinformation that was being passed around–for example, a player was told to remove hardeners and fit plates if he was using armor reps, because resists don’t matter when you’re active tanking–because one of my stated goals is to improve things. Unfortunately the corporate know-it-all insisted upon his rightness and was backed by the CEO and others.
So Saturday’s mining op got started and I put a scout in the system to see what was up. Two Hulks, two Covetors, and…the Orca pilot wasn’t in corp any more. He’d dropped into a two-man corp and was supporting the mining op as a neutral. I decided to go in anyway, landing my trusty Drake and succeeding in killing all four miners. As terrible as these guys were, it should be said that the drake was packing three points and was able to kill one of the Covetors before he was able to align once the shooting started.
While scouting the system, I’d noticed one corpmate sitting on the station in a Rupture. Shortly after I wiped out the mining fleet, the Rupture landed in belt and engaged me. I held him down for a bit, hoping more would come, when he committed that trademark blunder of safari targets: he turned off all his safeties and shot my logi alt. Concord was kind enough to assist me on the kill. Some time later, they finally started to get their act together and started pulling in some combat ships. One member decided to try to kite me in a frigate, apparently to get me in position so the previously mentioned neutral Orca pilot could attempt to gank me in a Hurricane. That predictably and hilariously failed, with Concord taking my side a second time in the afternoon.
Finally, they brought out something resembling a proper combat response. A Harbinger arrived, this time with his own remote reps to supplement his local active tank. We traded shots for a while, until I decided I’d had enough and activated my killrights on his logi support and warped in my main. That’s right, the neutral Orca/Hurricane pilot had given me killrights and then returned in a Scythe to provide reps. Simply being suspect and targeted by a Cynabal was enough to put the Scythe back into a station and permitted the Harbinger a quick and merciful death.
After all that, they’d had enough. Two people quit the corp, everyone docked up and most of them logged off. I refitted to cloak and went off to do other things. I was able to beat them back online after downtime the next morning. It was an unpleasant morning for the corp; no warning had been sent out, and I caught an early afk Retriever and pod, and then a short time later found two Hulks and an Orca mining a belt. Both Hulk pilots lost their pods as well.
They eventually mustered a proper fleet, and I sprang the painfully obvious trap they were setting up. I was engaged by a Naga, a Rokh, a Prophecy, a Kitsune, and…something I forget. I was able to demolish the Kitsune before my logi chain broke down due to my own mistake, and the Drake of Doom was finally lost in a spray of space glitter. I moved about some in a pod, ultimately hiding out in a friendly POS while I prepped a Tengu for future work and resolved the logi problem with a slight refit. Unfortunately, I was unable to put the new gang to work, as a socket reset overnight allowed them to kick me. So I’m back to cooling my heels and hunting wartargets until I get bored enough to do this again.
The total damage from this safari was 15 kills including 3 pods, racking up right at 2 billion isk in damage and over 200 million in loot and salvage. That Drake earned its keep.
But it’s not over! Remember that Orca pilot that gave me killrights? I used them to force him off the field, but very deliberately didn’t kill him. I wanted a shot at the Orca. I kept an eye on him with some scouts he’d never seen before and waited for him to do something interesting. One evening I found his old corp mining in a belt, supported by his sole corpmate in an Orca. A quick bit of scanning revealed him to be sitting inside the shield of a nearby POS in a Fenrir. After watching for half an hour, the Fenrir warped to the mining op, retrieved the ore from the Orca, and returned to the POS.
I immediately involved Monk and we made plans to gank the guy dumb enough to fly a freighter with active killrights. Because we knew he would be completely unarmed, we decided to make an amusing killmail and fly the worst ships we could think of: Monk arrived in a Phantasm, and I flew a Succubus. Sansha struck a mighty blow against the miners that night when we activated the killrights, pointed the Fenrir, and watched every other pilot in the belt flee in terror.
And by every other pilot, I mean the Fenrir pilot as well. He ejected before the Orca was off grid, leaving us holding down an empty Fenrir. After frantic and vain efforts to find a pilot for our new prize, we decided to destroy it before his suspect timer expired, as shooting the empty Fenrir failed to refresh our limited engagements. While stealing the freighter was our preferred result, the killmail made for a fun story. Then I discovered something: my killrights didn’t go away. Remember how that LE timer never got reset after he ejected? I can only guess that killright resolution is tied to the limited engagement somehow. Once the LE expired, we had a suspect Fenrir that could be shot without starting a new LE timer.
We’re now up to almost 3.5 billion in losses for these guys, AND I have killrights on two of them, one a confirmed Orca and freighter pilot operating an industrial POS. At that point I wrote everything you see above and decided to wait. I found my target mining ice in a Mackinaw a few times, but I waited. I had friends watch him on a brief excursion to nullsec. Finally, after a week of laying low, he decided to go back to work running ore retrieval in a shiny new Fenrir. This time around I decided to put my classic Malediction back into service and attempt to solo a freighter with an interceptor. Because when you’ve got a sure thing, you have fun with it.
I decided I wanted to spread the fun, so I announced in every channel I was in–including the NPC corp I’d recently dropped to–that I had a suspect Fenrir pointed. Almost no one was near, and in the end only one person showed up…in a Cheetah. So there we sat, shooting a helpless Fenrir in two frigates. It took 29 agonizing minutes for that Fenrir to die. During that time, a neutral Executioner arrived and made some vain efforts to bump me away from the Fenrir before finally suiciding on me–more killrights! When it was finally over, the pilot who assisted had the courtesy to ensure I got the killmail, which I now share for your amusement.
The grand total of all those kills comes to roughly 5 billion isk.
Oh, and you know that stupidity-dispensing corporate know-it-all I mentioned toward the beginning? He was the Orca/Hurricane/Scythe/Fenrir/Mackinaw pilot. I’ll just close this with a selection of quotes:
Krax’al > hmmm…not sure about the repper and the reactive hardener….Armor reppers don’t discriminate and rep everything just as fast
Krax’al > personally with the repper on there, I’d lose the hardener and put an armor plate instead
Krax’al > shes using a repper….TYPE OF TANK IS IRRELEVANT
Krax’al > dock…you can still be scanned down with an improved cloak
Krax’al > lol..well now I;m clear of kill rights, so I can go back to…oh wait, I nvr stopeed making isk