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.