Saturday, January 28, 2012

Salvage and I've had my feelings hurt today

It is interesting how much the human factor comes into our game play.

A social game is played for many reasons. Even if the individual does not wish the be social, there is a depth and texture to the game that is not there if the human environmental is pulled out. This covers everything from easy chatter over channels to the full scale wars between two groups.

Hatred happens. Emotions happen. It is a game, sure, but we invest a lot of time and energy into it.

I find that my feelings are not hurt by the game itself. I get frustrated, sure. I'm approaching the end of my second month. I feel that I have learned a lot. However, all my education has shown me what a massive gulf there still is for me to approach. I wonder if I have rushed into things and should I slow down or try another path? Does it even matter? After all, its my game play and as long as I am enjoying myself then I'm playing my game.

I make friends on the internet. I figure many people do. Sometimes you get to meet these people. I've been to gatherings for forums, for groups, and for games. My best friend I met on IRC when we were teenagers. Part of meeting people is you become friends with them and you hand them a handful of your emotions and trust. On Eve, it can be a bit dangerous to do. You give all sorts of things out, trust, loyalty, respect and friendship as well as caution, fear, dislike, distrust and distaste.

Therefore, when I was called a leech and told to stay in my Noctis if I don't want to go and learn to PvP, I got my feelings hurt. I was then told that it was okay to fly my Noctis and make my isk as a salvager. However, since I am not the one doing the missions I guess that makes me a leech.

I spent a bit debating this. I was upset for a bit, then angry, and then moved onto oh well. My game of Eve is developing and I've developed a talent for a niche skill. Salvage does not sound glorious. It brings up images of the junk yard, the junk man, and Sanford and Son.

I've posted pictures of my Noctis before. The Noctis is a large, industrial ship that is a specialized salvager. It has bonuses to its tractor beams. I can equip it with all sorts of cool shit to help me salvage more, faster. In fact, my one that I keep in high sec, I have done that. The +salvage mods I have added make it slow as shit. I mean, slow. Warping and moving it is almost painful. However, it salvages.

Part one of salvage is actual salvage. Things like melted capacters, broken microchips, armor plating, bars of tritaniam, etc come out of the physical wreck of the ship. This is what the salvager device does. It pulls these items out of the wreck and then I, the salvager turn around and sell them on the market. Builders, who are building rigs to help perm mod ships buy that salvage and use it to create the rigs that people then buy to put on their ships.

Remember, this is Eve and much of the market is player created.

The second part of salvage is the loot from the wrecks. This is the genuine, dropped items from killing NPCs. These can be anything from regular ship mods, to weapons, to ammo, to specialized tags that can be used in the faction stores in the stations.

A lot of players leave these items on the field. You have to be within a certain distance (2500 meters) to loot a wreck and within 5000 meters to salvage it. For the average person, that means that you have to move a lot. If you are in a battleship its not going to happen in anything that is considered a reasonable amount of time.

The Noctis has bonus to tractor beams and can support a handful. I sport 4 tractor beams and 4 salvagers most of the time. This means I am always pulling something in and/or salvaging something. Its fast and its efficient, however, its a lot of work. Its not work like tanking a battle and killing shit. However, there is a lot of time management. Speed matters. Normally the Noctis is called in after the fight is done and the salvager starts to salvage. The team may move on to the next map or hang around, it depends. The salvager tries to clear up the battlefield.

There are Ninja Salvagers who come into missions uninvited and salvage. The salvage of the wreck is not stealing. To take loot is stealing. However, there is a lot of value from those little pieces. Eve allows for this so don't think something strange is happening. Your mission is not your little personal safe room away from the rest of the game. It may spawn for you but strangers can come visit.

The people I play with have been playing for a long time. They burn through missions and they do it fast. They often can not be bothered to stop and salvage the field. So, they invite me along and I make my isk by taking what would be left behind. So yes, I guess I am a leech.

I am a leech that is making a lot of isk.

The Eve market is not a static thing. There are trade hubs in every sector of the universe. Some are large, some are small. Some are micro hubs and then there is Jita.

I don't live near Jita. I've been there once and well, its busy, laggy, and noisy. Not IRL noise but the local channel is full of an incredible amount of spam, most of it scams.

I live near Rens. It is about 4 jumps over. I load up my hauler with my salvage and head over there and unload it. Trade Hubs are good because there are a lot of buy orders and they are competitive. I have commented before that there is an entire game play in eve that involves playing the market. I supply these people their items to buy and sell and make their isk. So, I'm a piece in the bigger picture.

When I first started salvaging I just sold it where I was and reprocessed it. Since I have started salvaging more then I do anything else I have started to spend the time to use my calculator (there is one in game) to run numbers and make my isk.

I said before that I have two Noctis. I do. The second is sitting in a place not recommended by almost anyone. I have a Noctis in low sec and I break it out when my pirate is in the mood to have me salvage his level 5 missions. This Noctis does not have rigs that slow it down. In fact, I've been debating how to rig it to make it a bit faster and more durable. This Noctis is a big, shining beacon to the low sec residents. People want to kill it and kill it badly. Therefore, it sports a cloaking device. When I have to wait for a mission, leave a mission, or when someone is trying to find me I sit out in space under my cloak.

This particular ship has paid itself off about 5 times over already (I can say about 7 now as I write this post). I'm not displeased with that. If I loose it, I can get another. Flying a big, fat, slow, helpless, rather fragile industrial ship into the heart of pirate territory isn't the smartest thing in the world, but it works for me. I also have some salvage fit destroyers that I use for the same thing. However, they can not support the same amount of equipment as the Noctis can. So I take the risk. I then have to get the items out of low sec. I've developed a fleet of fast destroyers and their entire job is to slip in and out of low sec with my salvage to sell over at my trade hub.

It's profitable work for me. It's 'easy' because I don't have to kill the NPCs. In high sec its not as dangerous (at first I wrote not dangerous but then I realized that was a stupid thing to say) but I split the salvage with the group members since they killed everything for me. In low sec, my pirate lets me keep it all but I am risking my Noctis, my loads of salvage, and myself every time I run in and out with another load to sell.

I'm fortunate. My pirate likes my company. He teaches me things and I fly around and watch scan. I guess it makes me a parasite. Yet, he never salvages his field and lets me have it. Tonight, he actually wanted the tags for something he was buying and I was able to feel useful.

I also don't mind the isk. I want to be a rich player. Why? I don't know. I love having the isk. As I hang out in low sec and with pirates, I learn more about the game. My skills tick up some and I try to figure out where my in game future is. I have a fuzzy picture of it, but that picture is surrounded by isk.

I guess I feel like a disappointment that I can not yet run missions on my own. It seems that soloing missions is some type of measurement and I fail. I sold my battleship because I wasn't flying it and can not fly it well. I'm happy to move back to my battle cruiser and try to really fit into it properly. What is the point of a big ship if I can't do anything useful for it?

So, I'm playing my game of Eve. My pride is damaged. I guess we all want to be that bad ass and I have to admit that I am not and am far from it. Maybe eventually. I started my character as an industrial character so to turn her into an assault type is a big turn around and it has put me behind the curve I guess. I also don't want to rush but I feel that others are rushing me. I admit that I am new and uneducated to the game. I spend more time looking up acronyms and in game technical language then I wish to admit.

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