Playing the Spy – A guide to Corporate Theft in EVE

WARNING: Long Post. This post is about 6 pages long at 2200 words in Word, so… Use your judgment whether or not ya wanna read it. It’s intended to be a link-to guide for anyone asking me about corp infil.

When I first started dabbling in the art of corporate infiltration, I looked around for a guide. There were hints, and posts about people’s success with it, but I never found an all-in-one resource that focused on that playstyle alone.

Since having my own success with it, I’ve been asked by many people how exactly I go about doing it. Questions like “how do I know what will be a good target?” or “what do I do once I get into the corp?”

Initially, I educated individual people, but eventually, it gets kinda redundant. So, I hope this guide will explain to the reader exactly what to do during every step of the way. So without further adieu, let’s begin.

Step 1: Target selection.

This step is perhaps the most important, and is where a lot of people will fail. Finding a decent target is hard to do, as there are many, many worthless corps out there. A great place to start looking is the recruitment channel. Yes, that channel you were pointed to as a noob.

In this channel, are a lot of spammers, advertising their corp, their alliance, or whatever. You want to read these spam messages. Yep, every one of them. Generally, when looking for a new target, I’ll leave the channel up in its own window while I play with my main, and look at it every few seconds.

What you’re looking for is essentially a corp or alliance that has a crapload of assets, and minimal security. Great targets for this are industrial corps, and/or wormhole corps. These types of corporations generally have the manpower to get a lot of things done, but on the whole are not smart enough to manage themselves.

Look for corps that advertize things like mining ops, ship replacement, access to a POS for things like research, and possibly a corp hanger. Anything that catches your eye, show info on. In terms of numbers, you want something bigger than around 10 people, and less than a hundred. The reason I say this is because out of that hundred people, maybe 2 or 3 will be smart enough to figure things out on their own. And you want dumb people.

Whether you choose a corp or alliance is up to you. Alliances can be more difficult, but can have greater rewards. When choosing an alliance, I look for words like POS, carrier support, freighters, industrial arms, Orca supported mining, and the mother of all possibilities – a Rorqual.

In terms of security, the less the better. A corp that insta-accepts is good. Here’s how I find this out. When you have a corp spam message that has your interest, find their public channel. Never, EVER talk to them in recruitment. Otherwise, they can call you out later if they see you talking to another target corp. So, join their pub channel, and just lurk for a while. See what happens when someone else joins the channel. Does the corp try to sell itself to this person? Does the corp seem to be desperate for members? How long is it from when that person came into the channel to when they were admitted to the corp? Did they ask for an API?

These are the things you need to check before piping up. API is a large one. This doesn’t matter if your infiltration character is on a separate account, but if it’s on your main’s account, better avoid giving them your api.

But what do corps want? In general, industry / wormhole corps are going to want industrialists, and people to do sites with them. For example, industry corps will practically beg for you if you can fly a Hulk, any mining barge, an orca, or other industrial ship. MANY carebear corps that are great targets will love you if you have a ship to do missions, preferably L4’s in, with them.

All in all, here is an example of a decent choice for a corporate infiltration:

Note what they offer to their members.

And here is one that is not so good:

Just not enough of a description.

Step 2: Entering their midst.

So you’ve picked your target, and are lurking their public channel, finding things out about them. But how do you approach getting accepted?

This step is relatively easy. What you need to do here first is announce your presence to them. Say hi in their channel, and start asking questions you already know the answers to from lurking their channel. Things like where they’re based, what they do, how their leadership is structured…

Here is also where you want to find out what they have that you can steal. Ask whoever talks to you about the corp/alliance goals, short and long term. Ask what they offer their members, and what their members must give for the corp. Ask when and where they mission or mine. Ask their timezone, what their members fly (do this casually, like “I’m in such and such a ship, is this normal or do you guys like such and such a class”). Also ask if there are any positions you can fill within the corp, things that can potentially give you roles with which to steal. Finally, ask what you need to do to apply. If they say API, there’s your security red flag. If they just tell you to submit an app, go ahead, if you’re happy with the target.

CHECKLIST: Check these things off before you submit an application.

  1. I have talked to a director, or the CEO.
  2. I know where the corp is based, and how many people it has.
  3. I know a rough guess of corporate assets.
  4. I know corp security, and what’s required of me.
  5. I have something they want.

Step Three : Building relations.

So you’ve gotten yourself into a corporation with lots of shiny ships and assets… But what do you do now?

First thing to do, is to get to their area with whatever ship that can help them. Generally, I try to mine for a few hours for them as soon as I join. Just do it around other members, so they can attest to your helping hand. If someone in the corp wants help with missions, now is the time to do it for them. Build trust early.

For recon, this is the stage where you need to find out everyone’s hours of operation. If you want, keep a table of when they log in, and when they log out, include things like what ships they fly, and their normal activities. Now is also the time to make a note detailing their POS setup, if they have one. Also make note on their base, things like how many of the members use it as home, also note whether or not you have access to corporate hangers. If you do, take a look at the contents – assess the value. Check market value on things, and just generally poke your head around everywhere.

Spend time doing missions with them, participating in mining ops, and things like that. Make it clear that you definitely want to help with the corporation. Ideally, what you want is to be given roles. POS management roles are one of the best things to strive for, as are hanger take roles. And, if you’re ambitious enough, ask what it takes to become a director.

This step can take a few days, and it can take months. It depends on your effort, and ability to manipulate people.

CHECKLIST: Check these off before looking at the next step.

  1. I’m good friends with management in the corporation.
  2. I’m looking to become someone in power, and know what it takes to get there.
  3. I have corporate trust, and most members know me positively.
  4. I assist corp members in things they need help with.
  5. I know what ships people fly, what assets there are that are worth stealing, and when they are available.

Step 4: When to act.

Knowing when to spring into action is highly situational, and involves many, many factors. Generally, I wait until I have access to everything of value, or until I’m close to being found out. This involves knowing the people in your corp / alliance. If I’m liked in the corp, I know where the assets are, and when they aren’t in anyone’s hands, and I have the roles necessary to take from every hanger, this is generally the time to act.

Here is also when you’ll need to figure out whether or not you want to gank. You have two options. You can kill corp members after you steal everything, and risk not being able to use that alt again for infiltration (every kill you make is recorded somewhere, and people who see you corp killing won’t like you much), or you can do it the clean way, and just steal.

Either way can be rewarding, and the only thing that matters is whether or not you care about that character, and, whether or not that character can gank decently.

I’ll devote a special bit to POS’s here. If you intend to steal one, one of the best things you can do to avoid the offline timer (as I understand it), is to figure out its cycle point. You want to check the fuel levels in the POS every hour of a day, and see on which hour they drop. This is its cycle hour, or the time which it draws from its fuel reserves. Next day, come back at that hour, and sit at the POS, and figure out the exact minute it cycles.

What you’ll attempt to do here is work your corp theft so that everything is stolen and done before the POS draws its fuel. Then, just before it does, you remove all fuel from its bays, so when it goes to siphon more off, there is none, and it offlines. Then, you need only unanchor it and cart it off, along with everything else.

CHECKLIST:

  1. I know when people in the corp are offline, and have worked out the best time to do this.
  2. I have corporate trust.
  3. I have as many roles as I can get that will allow me to take everything I want.
  4. If there are carriers or large items floating in a POS, I know when / if they’re unmanned.
  5. If I intend to yoink a POS, I know its fuel cycle point.

Step 5: The Job

Good, so you know you’re ready to roll. You know the ships people fly, the times when the corp is inactive, when the POS chugs more fuel, where all the assets are, you know exactly what your roles allow you to do, and nobody suspects a thing. Here’s the fun bit.

You need to bide your time, and not get all giddy and botch the job. You need to have your own plan in mind for how you want this to all work out. Generally, my plan would be to wait for the time the corp is the most inactive, on a day where I have nothing else to do but play.

When that time comes, wait for when you know the POS will chug fuel. This may or may not happen correctly, and the times might be way off, so you might need to wait for a POS, or, if you have the roles, what you can do is just start the offline process, and then start your thievery.

When everyone’s offline, and your POS is offlining and/or approaching its cycle point, start the show. Use your roles to empty every corp hangar, maintenance bay (needs to be done before pos starts offlining, I believe), and asset you can get your hands on. Put them all in your personal hanger. Don’t worry, no corp can take from your own hanger.

When that’s all done, and you have all their shinies sitting in your hanger, go back to the POS, and wait for it to finish offlining, or, at this point, you can choose to pull the fuel right before it cycles. After that, start the unanchoring process. After everything’s unanchored, cart it all off in a hauler, or at least the modules of any real value. Losing a POS can be one of the biggest middle fingers to a corp out there, and they’ll hate you for it. J

Lastly, go do a little dance. Your days to months of work have paid off, and you now own all their crap. Also, if this guide helped you at all, and you pulled something off, mail me! Either my ingame name or at charismatic@mylootyourtears.com I love hearing about my influence on someone to go do something that I would do, and hey, if it’s epic enough, I might even have to mention it on the blog.

Addendum:

This guide isn’t perfect. If you find something wrong with it, particularly in the POS procedures, as I’m rusty with those, don’t hesitate to mail me about it. Corrections and updates are good.

UPDATE: Scout1111 tests and confirms that you cannot unanchor non-empty POS mods. So no carting off the pinatas and opening them up later.

18 Responses to “Playing the Spy – A guide to Corporate Theft in EVE”

  1. A good read. Gives us a good idea for a base pattern to start with.

    One question, though. Have you seen any more success with CEO’s that are new to the game? I would guess that the returns would be smaller, but also you could spend less time setting up a heist as you would probably get rolls faster.

  2. Random Guy Says:

    Dude. The POS fuel cycle to bypass the offline timer…. that is amazing.

  3. Thomas van Amerongen Says:

    It prints on 4 pages from notepad (lets run for my train).

  4. SoPodMeAlready Says:

    Cool.

    Advice on how to avoid recruiting wankers and how to prevent asshats from stealing crap.

    Thank you very much, Captain Ego.

  5. Reichard VonTeese Says:

    Excellent guide Captain Charismatic. Will have to give this a go someday.

  6. Khalia Nestune Says:

    Very nicely done, Captain C. I’ll be bookmarking this entry.

  7. Exactly how I would do if it if I did that sort of thing. Thanks for confirming.

    If you need me I’ll be reorganizing my corp roles >.>

  8. Nice Guide, thx for that one.

  9. Excellent post – some nice ideas here and yes, a section for successful ‘jobs’ to inspire….

  10. Instant Classic. Not my style, but I appreciate the method. =)

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Funny thing is, I’m in the middle of working on one, and I’ve been doing almost exactly what this guide says.

    You’re a huge douchebag.

    And I love you for it. That POS tip will help greatly

  12. Me and a friends joined one of the corps you listed and have already had 5 hulks plus fittings from the corps pos and now aim at taking a members deapspace fitted tengu and the corp also has an orca and an obelisk they leave sitting in the pos. this corp makes it easy they keep leaving ships sitting in the pos

  13. This has truly sparked up an concept in my brain. That is a great weblog submit.

  14. It seems your post inspired our CEOs and got us raped till we bleed. Got everything including our ships, left us in 0.0 and left Alliance. Thank you mylootyourtears

  15. Mysterious Woman Says:

    Can you UNANCHOR a POS with an anchoring skill of 1?

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