Thursday, December 20, 2007

Serendipity, baby!

I just made several million more ISK yesterday in the course of my lowsec adventures--and it wasn't through piracy, ratting, bounties, mining, or running missions. I'm talking about looting wrecks left by others.

Yesterday I jumped into a normally placid system, and immediately sat up straighter when I noticed the large number of ship transponders showing up on the local frequencies. As I maneuvered around the system scanning belts and moons and planets and running background checks on the ships I could detect, it became clear that in addition to some pretty nasty characters there were one or two pilots of the caliber I could handle--if they were flying alone. No two of the pilots in local were from the same corporation, but I suspected a mixed gang.

Then I jumped into an empty belt to scan the other belts nearby, and saw the carnage of a recent engagement. The wrecks of a mining barge, a frigate, and a cruiser were drifting through space, still flashing as electrical components shorted and arced. I detected a Tristan and a Myrmidon in scan range, but decided to take a chance. I engaged my microwarpdrive and set a tight orbit around the mining barge wreck. Paydirt! I quickly looted a low-tech strip mining module (worth more than 5 million ISK) and some mining drones. Then I checked the cruiser; again I was in luck, scooping up a T2 shield booster. After a quick rifle through the frigate's hold, my cargo hold was full and I set course for a neighboring system where I could unload my booty in a space station locker.

I had just skimmed the cream on my first inspection of the wrecks, taking only items I recognized as having high value. Now I wanted to go back for more. I approached the asteroid belt cautiously, half expecting some of the pilots in local to be there reaping the rewards of their perfidy. But no, the belt was still empty. Expecting a trap, and ready to warp away in an instant, I again began filling my hold. Suddenly, the Tristan warped into near space. I got out fast; he could have been there to tackle me for his friends. I again went to the space station to offload my loot. Amazingly, when I went back for a third serving, the belt was empty again and I was able to empty all three wrecks of their surviving modules and cargoes, and even had room to scoop up some drones orphaned by the battle. I probably garnered 10M ISK in modules from this chance discovery.

Once, I came across the wreck of a stealth bomber at a stargate. At first, I ignored it; I've been burned too many times looting apparently unlooted wrecks at gates. It is common for ships to be cloaked, lying in wait for opportunists who leave the relative safety of the gate's activation range and take the bait of a large outlying wreck. But I passed through the gate several times, and once there was no other pilot showing on any of the local frequencies; I took a chance and sped out to the wreck. Ka-ching! I looted a covert ops cloaking device, some very expensive cruise missile launchers, and some other premium-grade modules, which I was able to sell for tens of millions.

So, to the list of things that are not beneath me, you can add scavenging.

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