Once again I am amazed at the learning experiences in Eve Online. Last week I had my first PvP kill and it was exhilarating, but this week I also found out the hard way about gankers and the risk vs. reward that some players have figured out. I discovered the misfortunes of having a wormhole close and finding yourself in space far, far away.
The week started out marvelous with all my pilots pooling their spoils for the week. A grand total of 325 million isk! I loaded this fortune into my trusty Bestower cargo ship and plotted my course to Jita. All the systems were in high security space and that made me feel safe, secure, and comfortable — three of the worst feelings in Eve you could ever have. Eve makes you PARANOID. Trust nothing, no one. Always be on guard because the moment you take it easy, you will be in serious trouble.
My trouble came halfway to Jita. A twenty warp run, I entered the Sivala system around my 11th jump. I was doing great. I was comfortable. I was at ease. What could go wrong in a .6 security system? That is where things fell apart and I learned my first lesson of the week. A crew of gankers interdicted my hauler and within thirty seconds I was blown to a million pieces. The attacker was immediately killed by Concord, but his friends were then free to loot hundreds of millions of isk. His ship probably cost 20 million. So you can see how this could be very profitable. Rinse and repeat this little strategy and see how quickly the pirate can turn into a billionaire. Woefully, I lost a weeks of loot and PI. I was stunned how quickly this happened and how fast they came in a picked my ship clean. All lost.
My first reaction was anger and pity (for myself). Then I was determined to build the toughest tank hauler I could. If you can build a ship with enough armor, shields, and hull to survive for 30 seconds you will survive and the attacker will be destroyed by the Concord starships. Those thirty seconds are tough, mostly if there is more than 1 attacker. It all comes down to the risk vs. reward — is the destruction of my ship and the booty of my cargo worth losing 1, 2, maybe even 3 ships?
One thing I learned: Keep cargo to less than 100,000,000 isk It becomes slim odds that the pirates will profit from such attacks and they will often let you pass. Second, make sure you tank the hell out of your industrial ship. Find its strength in either shields, armor, or hull and just pile everything into that. Third, when plotting your course to a hub, use the highest security system run as possible. Even if it doubles the number of jumps required, it will pay for itself. There is a huge difference in response time between a .6 system and a .9 system.
I discovered that you can also use a transport system that has organically been created in the game. Using Contracts you can hire a player run cargo service to pick up your freight and deliver it to another system. Roughly a million isk per jump (a bit less) you can drop off your cargo in one system, create a contract for its stowage, and then wait for it to arrive in another system. My 20 jump ordeal could have been negated if I had known about this — I would have paid 20,000,000 isk but my 325,000,000 cargo (plus the value of my starship) would have been safe.
Try Red Frog Transport: http://red-frog.org/jumps.php
Thus several lessons were learned this week concerning cargo. Hopefully I will not get ganked over my shipments for a while. Losing 325,000,000 isk really hurts! A hard lesson, but a good one.
I also learned to know the timing of wormholes. If you get caught on the other side of a closed wormhole, you can be in a lot of trouble. Last night I was out just knocking down .5 security anomalies when, without warning (although I knew it was going to end), the wormhole collapsed. To my dismay I discovered that to get back to the new high security hole, required me to do a 45 jump journey — seven of the systems were -.4 or less.
I was sure I was going to die! I simply dumped everything I had and sold it without care of cost (thinking if I am going to die, I might as well sell all my equipped modules). I was just certain I was going to die!
To my surprise I moved through the worst of the star systems, meeting only extreme hostiles at over 100 kilometers — too far away (i guess) for them to fire on me. It was getting late so I cut the last 25 jumps and made my way to Amarr. I was lucky, extremely lucky some would say. Its not something I would want to do again.
Lesson learned, know the duration of wormholes. Two big lessons I learned this week.
Not all was bad, however, and I did learn some good things this week too. I finally found a Relic site and moved into hacking the six floating debris stations. On my first try I lost every single one. I never got anything out of it. A day later, I found another unguarded relic site and scored one victory. The reward was about 60,000 isk of junk and one blueprint (I do not remember what it was but it didn’t look overly valuable). I watched several videos on hacking and I believe I will be getting much better at it. Key is to have the best gear and skills, along with patience. All the time I was hacking the site, I was hitting my D-Scan. The last thing you want is to be ganked while trying to hack into a relic.
Learning to use the Red Frog transport system is going to save me a lot of pain. Its essentially paying insurance on your shipments — I’ll gladly give these guys 20 million isk to guarantee my 350 million isk cargo gets safely to port.
This week also found me learning to how divvy up skills across my two accounts and six pilots. Alternating back and forth to gain as much as I can from a single learning queue.
So many challenges still await.