Friday, April 24, 2015

So I had a chat with a newbie.

Three nights ago I was high sec diving. Those not familiar with this practice, let me explain. You get into a scanning ship and head a direction through high sec looking for only wormholes. Each one you see, you jump in and look around for people running sites. Then kill them.

I jumped into a C1 and saw on scan a tower, FF and a lone venture. The venture was named the characters name’s named venture. It was never changed, this is rarely intentionally done and is the default name of the person who assembled the ship. Classic very new person mistake.

Without being on grid with him, I could pull up his kill board, corp history and with that figure out his associations with other corps. Is he bait or not? Has he lost any large ships to overwhelming forces, where did he lose them? How were the ships fit? T2? Faction Items? Does he fly with implants?

All of these things can be assumed with fairly good accuracy by just leaving your name on your ship.

I figured out really quick this guy was VERY new, also when I found the tower, he was a visitor not the owner of the tower. This meant if he was going to run, he wouldn’t be running to the tower.

He kept moving around the system which I felt was weird, usually ventures sit in one place, mine/huff..

When I finally narrowed him down with Dscan I saw he was at an Ore Anom(one of 4).   Since I was feeling slightly lonely and less bloodthirsty, I decided to start a conversation vs just killing him.

It went a little like this. 

I asked him about his user name and what its meaning was. He explained it was his Xbox username from long ago. The thing that struck me as interesting, here I was out of the blue talking to him in a wormhole where he was solo mining ABC ore. In every other situation the simple act of starting a convo while you are secretly mining rocks in the dangers of local less wspace is enough to spook the average pilot.  This guy wasn’t even phased, just mining away talking to a fellow traveler like it was nothing. No idea or care how I got his name or knew what he was doing.

He asked me straight up, “Do you pvp?” I responded, “Do you know how to check?” I then walked him through how to check my kill board. 

Shortly after, he responded. “O damn”. I said “I kind of hunt and kill people in Wspace, and I’m watching you right now”. I then uncloaked my proteus 10k from him.  

See, I love that naiveté’, that pure innocence of a new person, just moments away from understanding each and every person in this heartless game is out to explode you, exploit you and murder your pod for no other reason than; they simply can.

I didn’t agress, he didn’t bother running either. He asked why I havn't killed him, I said, “because you were nice and spoke to me like an adult”

Since he was forth coming with huge amounts of intel on his operation, I figured I would ask him how he cleared the rats. I was going down the line of thought that he might have a sponsor, a wealthy friend that is flying a cloaked ship somewhere or even a cruiser/battle cruiser that cleaned up the rats before calling in his newbie buddy to mine the defenseless rocks.

His response slightly shocked me. He said “I warp off when the NPC’s show up”. 

I said “wait, you don’t kill the sleepers?” he said “Nope, I just go to the next Ore belt” 

That’s crazy, “What happens when you don’t have any ore belts without sleepers?” he said, very matter of fact “I just find another wormhole, and mine there”.

This blew me away! This guy’s life right now is scanning out wormhole connections near his high sec base of operations, jumping into a wormhole, occupied or no and getting whatever he could get before someone came to destroy him or he ran out of belts. He wasn’t resigned about it, he wasn’t sad or complaining, he just did it because that’s what he wanted to do and simply didn’t know any better.

I asked, “Well have you tried to get the gas in this hole?” he said “O god no.. that skill book is very expensive, 23million, but I’m working toward it”.

Well my heart just dropped. This poor son of a bitch expects nothing from anyone, saves for everything and is making the best he can from Bob’s great bounty, in a shitty little venture. 

I explained that he might want to get into a Vexor or something to clear the Ore rats, so he doesn’t need to warp around or fine new holes. I told him that he is going to lose his Vexor eventually to someone exactly like me, who will shoot first and say thank you later. Don’t let the loses dissuade him, they are part of doing business.

I gave him enough money to lose more than a couple Vexors. He has one instruction when he loses his Vexors to hunters, “Say thank you and then ask the hunter where he screwed up”. Most hunters will be very nice and forth coming with information after a gank, they will tell you exactly where you screwed up and how to avoid it in the future. Sometimes you can’t but other times, there were mistakes a hunter made that were over looked. I went to great lengths to tell him that this type of player respect only really happens in Wspace. I told him, don’t think of this as an isk donation, think of it as a learning tool to further your wspace life.

We parted ways and told him to look me up if he had any more questions about Wspace, please don't hesitate. 

This whole exchange may seem minor for most, but these types of player interactions keep me going as an EVE player. The inspiration this guy imparted on me was well worth the isk that I gave him. The perspective balance that new players bring  may be the only thing that can melt the heart of the bitter vet. Bob bless that little mining venture.


  1. Brings back memories... I'm still relatively new as well. When I started out, I was trying to become an explorer by running hacking sites in hi sec and ninja salvaging off PvE ships in hi sec. I asked some questions on the forums and I guess a guy liked my tone. He sent me an Eve mail inviting me to come visit his home staging system in the middle of Arridia in low sec and try the hacking out there for better profits. He said he'd provide me with some spare exploration frigates, a ratting Caracal, and a ratting destroyer (since I couldn't fly a cruiser just yet). I decided to go for it and had a great little adventure (for a newb) of flying out 30 jumps into deep lowsec and getting smarbombed in Udianoor. But I docked up and got me a replacement Ibis and pushed onward and finally made it, where he delivered the goods as promised and gave me advice as well in the life of a roaming lowsec nomad.

    A couple weeks later, TEST Alliance fail-cascaded and decided to move in next door to us, so I decided to leave. He scouted out a wormhole chain to hisec for me and told me how to do it myself next time. And then, to top it off, he put me in contact with a C2 wormhole alliance to sign up with.

    Now wormhole space is quite a friendly and comfortable place for me, even if I'm trying other things like Incursions and Level 4s for the first time in my career (I like to try different things). I'm sure I'll be back in wormhole space again at some point.

    I've found living in wormhole space, while it didn't give me a taste for PvP, it did give me a real taste for making ISK while getting away with risky stuff. I don't care for PvP all that much, but I do like working in dangerous space and playing the difficult target.

    And yeah - I'd ninja gas mine in wormholes. I didn't shoot the Sleepers either. I'd just move on to the next gas site.

  2. What a truly inspiring story. It makes me so happy is when I see stories like this coming out of EVE. It reminds me of my own beginnings, in a funny way.

    I started a few years ago, as a mining character. Wasn't too interested in the PvP side of EVE. I made all the classic mistakes such as: jetcan mining, relying on randoms to haul ore for me and getting ganked in my first mining barge.And I can't remember how exactly it occurred, but I got recruited into (IMO) the best industrial alliance I have ever heard of.

    I never asked for help too much, but I asked questions on how to better myself. Despite this, the other corpies would give you just about anything if you needed it: ISK if you were short, time if you needed a job done, a spare ship if you were stupid.

    And the CEO, a fucking legend among EVE players IMHO. Even to this day, he runs his small corp and alliance tirelessly, even when he was terribly ill. Dedicating everything to helping other people out.

    When I first joined his corp, he was running a full on mining operation in conjunction with several other highsec corps. Then the operation moved to deep nullsec, and he helped everyone get out there. We spent a few months out there, having tons of fun. Doing everything from DEDs to building ships, to my first encounter with a wormhole (which I promptly lost my first battlecruiser to). Of course, as a 3 month old character at the time, nullsec was a crazy place and oh so scary at the time. I personally thank him though, because he showed me that EVE isn't a bad place, even if EVE will crush your soul, hopes and dreams if you make a stupid mistake.

    But even just a little thing, like giving advice to a new player and a small amount of isk, is such a big deal. But IMO, these new players are the most promising. They are the ones who are willing to get stuff done, and have a plan. And if they can get over the first hurtle, they will probably keep playing for a long time. And I love to see it when that happens.

  3. Reminds me of a twisted version of the lion and the mouse... you supprise me from time to time Spear.

  4. You're much kinder than me spear! i usually kill those kinds of people and send them a mail about it later :P

  5. This guy sounds great! Just cracking on with what he needs to do, I'm sure he will have a long future in w-space with an attitude like that. And nice work on your behalf, it was people doing things like that to me when I first started that helped me out and encouraged me to play the game in w-space

  6. An absolutely brilliant story! Just discovered your blog. Goes straight to bookmarks.