“Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.” – Elwin Charles Roe, major league pitcher
Paul and I have never made any illusion that we are invincible, amazing players. His best line on this was, “We don’t claim to be good PvPers. We just kill mission runners in hilarious ways.” Like everyone else, we sometimes have a Really Bad Day. Yesterday was one of those days.
I moved to Ammold system, as Taru was getting used to my presence. I soon found a pair of mission runners running a Gone Berserk mission; an Abaddon and a Vargur. They brought in a third player in a Noctis, so I stole everything the Noctis tractored to himself, and dumped it into a jetcan. Near the end of the mission the Abaddon targets me and aligns to the station. I warp in my Orca to pick up the jet can and so I can swap into a gank ship if he fires.
With all the wrecks gone, he fires, and I jump into my Sacrilege. I had expected him to warp off, but I put a point on him and start firing. After a solid three minutes, I’m realizing that my single energy neut is not enough to break his tank. My alt looks at him with a ship scanner, and he has three Capacitor Control Circuit rigs and his midslots are full of cap rechargers.
It takes another ten minutes, but I manage to get my Orca back in range, and start adding more energy neutralizers to my ship, while also using my alt’s ship scanner to monitor his capacitor level. I add a second neut, then a third, and finally a fourth. This severely gimps my DPS, and he still has enough capacitor recharge to pulse his armor repper to hold out against my DPS. I start trying to figure out how to get my Bhaalgorn out to me so I can swap into it.
While I’m planning, the Vargur pilot has returned and starts dropping ECM drones for the Abaddon. This is a fairly clever move, and I approve. I have to shoot the drones before he recalls them, and hope that the doesn’t get a successful ECM cycle, breaking my lock.
Then, as I’m shooting the ECM drones once again:
Khalia Nestune, criminals are not welcome here!
What the hell? CONCORD arrives in scene and melts my Sacrilege. What just happened? My first assumption is that an aggression timer bug has happened, because of the passing of drones back and forth between the Vargur and the Abaddon. I even file a petition for this. Later I realize what actually happened: I shot one of the drones that the Vargur had dropped and not yet abandoned for the Abaddon. I had no aggression against the Vargur.
“But Khalia”, you say, “didn’t you get a pop-up warning about attacking a neutral?”. I did not. Several days prior I had been attempting to suicide gank T3 ships as they undocked from station. I had disabled the warning, as the short delay could mean the difference between a hit and a miss due to warp.
I’m pretty ticked off at this point, so I dock all my characters. A few minutes later I realize that I could try to extend the aggression timer against the Abaddon by shooting the few wrecks that were left in the mission. So I board my Bhaalgorn (only ship I have in station), and undock.
The few people reading who have kept careful track are now screaming “Nooooooo!” at their computers. Because I had invoked CONCORD, I didn’t have a regular aggression timer, I had a GCC. As soon as I undocked CONCORD spawned again and destroyed my billion ISK faction battleship. Fortunately I was able to get an alt to scoop the drops.
“But Khalia”, you’re asking, “didn’t you see the bright red GCC timer in the upper left?”. I didn’t. I run three or more clients on two monitors, and client space is often at a premium. I had moved the chat window bar to the far left, over the aggression timer, system name, etc. I needed the extra space to work with the target indicators for all of the drones that I was targeting.
At this point I did the smart thing: I closed the client and went to read a book.
Losing the Sacrilege was annoying, but I was more upset because I thought CONCORD had spawned due to a bug. Losing the Bhaalgorn is painful. I have enough ISK to replace it several times over, but it’s still a big expensive loss, and by my own carelessness.
What are the lessons to be learned here? First, don’t turn off your CONCORD warning. Secondly, when you lose a ship, take a deep breath, stand up and walk around for a minute to clear your head. Mistakes are easier to make when you’re upset. I also had some personal drama going on in real life, adding to my loss of perspective.
I’m not going to replace my Bhaalgorn immediately. To remind myself of this, I’m going to use a T1 battleship as my backup gank ship for a while. I have dozens of mission runner kills in my past with battlecruisers and T1 battleships, and I think it will be good to remember that an expensive tool is not always the best for the job.