Sunday, 17 July 2011

A shift in focus

Settling in

I love Hevrice.

For reasons that  I don't really understand (although I suspect it has something to do with the Tuskers), Hevrice is very different from most of the pirate bases that I've encountered.

To begin with, there are no gate camps in Hevrice, or in either of the adjacent systems. I saw another corp try to start a camp, once, but Tuskers get all giddy at the thought of people deliberately grouping up and sitting at a celestial to wait for a Tusker response. The camp lasted exactly long enough for the local Tuskers to reship into something appropriate for camp busting.

There is also no competing pirate corp in Hevrice. Despite being a gateway to highsec (albeit a bit of a back door route), and the presence of a second station, you don't find any pirates staying in the system long unless they are flying the Tusker colours.

Similarly, there are very few POS in the system, which makes using the Dscan very easy; there is no clutter for targets to hide in.

But most importantly, and perhaps because of some of these other factors, there is a steady stream of traffic from high sec. So much so that if I don't have time for a proper roam, just sitting at a hunting safe in Hevrice stands a good chance of bringing me something interesting.

Spoiled for choice

Because of this steady traffic, I have been kept very busy recently. I'm averaging about 20 kills a week, although many of those will be pods. At one post per week day, I can't possibly cover all of the fights, so I'm going to have to be more selective about what I post.

As I look through my kills, and prepare my posts, I note that many of the more interesting kills involve other Tuskers, and it occurred to me that it might appear that I have given up, or at least throttled back, on solo roaming. This is not the case.

It is simply that a group of players, even in frigates, can take on far more interesting targets than a single player in a frigate can. So it's not terribly surprising that when fights are selected for their interest, a disproportionate number will involve a small gang.

While I never thought I would be able to say this, some kinds of kill have become routine. A pve Thorax here, a Rifter there; these fights no longer push me as a pilot and there is really not much for me to say about them; these are simply fights that pay the bills.

Turning a profit

This leads me on to my next point. Flying with the Tuskers has also made me realize that self-sufficient piracy is an attainable goal, providing you approach piracy like a business. Every piece of loot and every ransom helps guard against the inevitable fights that I lose. I want, very much, to make my piracy pay for itself, so I'm not about to pass up these "routine" fights, despite the lack of challenge.

I also need to recognize that the big hauls are usually the result of teamwork - the 100 million ransom from the Pilgrim pilot, for example, involved several Tuskers beating a couple of frigates and a recon ship into submission - not something  I could have handled on my own, even with perfect skills.

So the business side of piracy requires me to engage even those who are unlikely to challenge me, and also keep up a certain level of gang work.

Although I won't be doing anything nearly as detailed as Kishin, I will be including a very rough and ready report at the end of each month relating to profitability. It will look, in fairly rough terms, at what I brought in from loot and ransoms, and compare that to ship losses and other costs for the month. I'll also try and look at where my profitability is coming from, and what I can do to maintain that profit.

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