Saturday, October 22, 2011

Zakree Part 3 - The Salvager

Bit stuck on what to blog atm. As I'm ratting up from -10 my current "adventures" in New Eden are as interesting as a train spotters day out to the train museum! Suppose I can try some uber-geeky fan fiction. This is the final piece to this and it's follow up here. Basically it is a three part piece of why a capsuleer crew member wants out, his gamble paying off and getting out and finally setting himself up as a non-capsuleer salvager.

First up, a very quick salvaging guide for Eve Online.
Salvage is basically useful leftover parts from the wreck of a destroyed spaceship. It should not be confused with loot. Loot is ammo, modules and items that were in the cargo hold etc that survived the explosion and can be removed from the wreck by clicking and dragging. Salvage cannot be seen until sucessfully salvaged. It is hidden within the structure of the wreck and requires a specialist module to find and extract. That high-slot module is ingeniously called a "salvager"! It is basically a scanner, precision laser cutter and mini tractor beam all in one. When a wreck is in range it can search through and extract anything useful. This can range from a "Melted Capacitor Console" to "Intact Armour Plates" depending on the ship type that you're salvaging, it's faction (for example Amarr and their pirates factions tend to give more capacitor related salvage etc) and it's tech level. You never know what you'll actually get until you recieve the message that the salvage was sucessful and you look in your cargo hold. Also note that skills are important, you won't be able to salvage a shiny T2 wreck with minimal skills.
Salvage can then be used to make rigs that are sold on the market and fitted to ships. Rigs are created by players game from salvaged components. To create rigs you need a blueprint (copy or original) and the right materials. For rigs the materials are salvage. As an example, to build a capacitor control circuit rig you'll need a number of "Tripped Power Circuits", "Burned Logic Circuits" and some "Melted Capacitor Consoles". The number of each required will depend on the size of the rig (Small/Medium/Large for frigate/cruiser/battleship respectively). If you are not into building rigs then you can sell the salvage on the market to be bought by people who do. Some items like armour plates and alloy bars sell fairly well!

Some people fit a salvager to a spare utility high-slot of their ship so they can salvage on the fly. Others have dedicated salvaging ships. The Noctis, an ORE industrial ship, is ideally suited for salvaging with its bonus' to tractor beams (so you can bring the wrecks to you) and to salvage modules (they cycle faster on a Noctis so you salvage quicker). It also has a large cargo bay for all that lovely salvage and loot. 4 tractor beams and 4 salvagers soon clear even the most untidy battlefield! A destroyer can also make a cheap, easy to fly salvage boat. However the limited cargo bay makes looting modules more difficult.
If you are dual boxing missions a Noctis can make a useful 2nd ship and not just for salvaging. Drop one of the salvagers or tractor beams and fit a large shield/armour repper on instead. If your primary ship has a good buffer tank then you can have that dealing death whilst the Noctis keeps it's shields/armour topped up and salvages and loots as you go. Just remember to get agro on the main ship BEFORE you warp the Noctis in though!
CCP has made it clear that salvage does not belong to anyone. That wreck you just "created", the loot inside is all yours. If anyone takes it, you can shoot them in the face (however this is not always a good idea). However the salvage in that wreck is not yours even if you believe in your heart it's yours and that little bastard in a salvaging-frigate is "stealing" it from you.

Of course if you hang about in any popular missioning system you'll see in local people screaming at "ninja salvagers". There will be tears, there will be threats. I'm sure in many cases people have been CONCORD'd for firing on the "thieving" salvagers. However, it really doesn't belong to you and its first come, first served!
So following his close call in the Hurricane here and his desperate attempt to get out of capsuleer crewing here, Zak is now his own boss. The captain of a salvage frigate......
Zakree held his frigate back away from the asteroid field. To his port side was a Cormorant class destroyer, a recently made friend whom with which he had formed an alliance of opportunity. Salvaging in asteroid belts always carried an inherent risk. Pirates frequented the belts, which is what attracted the capsuleers to create the wrecks in the first place. A frigate and a destroyer together may make the pirates think twice, as opposed to if they were on their own.
Zakree eyed the larger destroyer with a bit of envy, but he knew he couldn't afford a destroyer. He only had this frigate because he won it in a card game. He thought back to that night. On the table were his life savings and the other player had demanded a night with Zakree's girlfriend as well. Zak had refused initially but his girlfriend, Samara, made him agreed. She was so desperate for him to get out of capsuleer crewing that she'd offered herself for the night as part of the bet. "What a night" Zakree thought as he remembered the winning hand, the other player losing it and going for him with a broken bottle. This led to the other player spending a night in the cells as he spent a night with the woman he loved, plus unexpectedly, the other players girlfriend! Samara had not been best pleased that Zakrees opponent, his ex-XO, had included her in the bet. So after Zak won and the XO was cooling off in the cells she had persuaded the XO's girlfriend to join them and share the celebrations. Those celebrations went on until late and continued between the three of them back in their quarters! The next day when Zak had been clearing his bunk on the battlecruiser and the XO had seen him and made some derogatory comments. He was clearly a bad loser. Zak had already assumed this and was prepared. Rather than retorting he simply handed the XO a gift-wrapped box, smiled and walked away from that death-trap ship forever. He chuckled to himself remembering the crash he heard a few seconds later. Obviously the XO hadn't appreciated the special holo-picture Zak had framed of himself, Samara and the XO's girlfriend, in bed, but not getting any sleep!
"Won't be long now" Dantan, the captain of the destroyer voiced over comms interrupting Zak's thoughts. Zak swung his legs off the captains console and sat upright in the seat. The two crew members manning the small bridge of the frigate took their seats as well. Zak signaled down to engineering that they'd be starting salvaging operations shortly. The small crew of five were ready to go to work.
Zak looked out the front port. The Tengu class strategic cruiser was still spitting missiles at a pirate cruiser. He could also just make out one additional pirate frigate left. 
There were already two frigate wrecks and a cruiser wreck waiting to be salvaged. Of course the capsuleer might do that himself but it was unlikely. He was probably only here for the bounty on those pirates and perhaps to curry some favour with CONCORD.
The two remaining pirate ships exploded in flames. The Tengu aligned out and warped off. A system wide message appeared on screen. "Help yourself boys".

"YES!" Dantan yelled over comms "We get the loot!"
"Not worth the risk" replied Zak as he manoeuvred his Merlin towards the smoldering wrecks.
"He said we could take and I'm taking"
Zak shook his head. He activated the tractor beam and brought two wrecks into range. The salvager went to work. Scanning through the wreckage and using precision lasers to cut out and retrieve anything worthwhile that had survived the explosion. He looked over to the destroyer. The destroyer was also salvaging but Zak noted he was also removing cargo and modules that had not been destroyed in the explosions. Whilst this was not illegal technically, and CONCORD would not intervene, it would flag him as a thief to the capsuleer. The fact the same capsuleer had invited them to take in the first place meant nothing. As far as the law was concerned if you took cargo or modules from a wreck that didn't belong to you, the owner could retaliate however he wanted.
"You're a fool Zak! I'm going to make 10x more than you"
Suddenly the overview blipped. The Tengu was back. He must have just warped to the nearby planet and then back again.
"I'm afriad we'll soon find out who's the fool here" Zak said solemly.
"HE'S LOCKING ME! HELP ME!" screamed Dantan
Zak knew there was nothing he could do. His light armaments might fend off a small pirate frigate. But against a Tengu class strategic cruiser he might as well throw pebbles.
Zak did nothing, he could do nothing. He could see from his console that the Tengu had caught the destroyer. A warp disruption beam had put the doomed vessels warp drive offline. Suddenly Zak didn't feel so envious. The slow Destroyer couldn't outrun the Tengu in time using standard engines. And the size of the vessel meant the heavy missiles launched from the Tengu  would do maximum damage. His small frigate at least may had had a chance of outrunning the Tengu and avoiding most of the damage from the large missiles designed for Cruisers and larger targets.
The destroyer exploded on the second volley. It was a very one-sided fight. The Tengu aligned out and slipped into warp. The capsuleer no doubt happy that he had another legal confirmed kill on his combat record.

"Good decision frigate" flashed up on the system wide local broadcast.
Zak simply went back to work. He now had another vessel to salvage, and this one, he could loot.

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