Frank Di Vincenzo (lordsnotrag) wrote,
Frank Di Vincenzo

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The EVE Renaissance Continues

For the past month my gaming life has focused on EVE Online. Thanks to a change of corps I have found that there are things to do there again. Fun things.

Mean things.

The corp I'm in has all sorts of plans for the future of the corp and the region we're in. I have found a calling in one of the early steps of this plan, where we disrupt mining operations in the region that we do not have a say in. Part of that disruption comes from a practice hated by many lazy miners known as, "can-flipping."

There are a number of players in EVE that do nothing but mine rocks for materials all day. [Some of them use automated programs to do it. Some actually *enjoy* it. Go figure. But I digress.] Now, you have to be able to haul this ore back to a station to process it and eventually sell or use it. Most mining ships, while having okay amounts of space in them to haul ore, do not have the carrying capacity to handle the day's work. And constantly going back and forth from the asteroids to the station cuts into their mining time, as well as risks having other miners come in and grab the rocks while the mining ship is moving ore around.

So, there are several ways around this. Many of them are relatively secure. However, the easiest and cheapest method is to jettison the mined ore into space. When this is done, the ore is placed in a temporary canister known by many as a "jet-can." The can will last a limited amount of time. [An hour, I think? I don't remember for certain.] It allows the miner to mine far more then they normally could within that window of time. And then, before the can timers run out, they leave the asteroid belt, get a hauler with a much larger carrying capacity and go round up all their jet-cans.

The problem with this plan is that these cans are not locked. Anyone can fly up to them, open them up and remove the contents. They could even create a jet-can of their own next to the ore and move the contents from one to the other almost instantly. This process is known as "can-flipping."

What makes it mean to the miners is how the legality of such things works in EVE. To simplify a complex legal mechanic: think of a punitive system that has two levels. In level one, if someone wrongs you in a small way, like taking ore from your can and putting it in theirs, you and your corporation get the ability to serve justice on them yourselves. [Within a 15 minute window to start said retribution.] You gain the ability to fire on them and destroy their ship. Of course, if you do this, they immediately gain the right to defend themselves. So, it's best to use this option when you know you have the means to exact justice without it biting you in the keister.

Level two is for more heinous acts, such as attacking someone when you have not been given the right to do so. If you commit this level of crime the game's police force [known as CONCORD] comes and blows you up. This is why the can flipper does not simply attack and blow up the miners and take their stuff. It's also why miners cannot be proactive with their defense and shoot the flipper as he approaches.

So the can-flipper presents several bad options for the miner. The miner can do nothing, in effect losing the ore. They can attack the flipper. But odds are good the flipper is expecting that and has planned accordingly. [In fact, most can-flippers do it to get the miners to attack them, allowing them to blow the miner up.] They can try to take the ore back from the flipper's can. But then, in an ironic twist of fate, they would be taking from the can-flipper, allowing him and his corporation to attack the miner.

Not to mention that none of their options stops the can flipper from continuing to harass the miner like this until they stop can mining or leave the area. So yeah, can-flipping is pretty mean.

I've found the art of finding marks to flip, assessing the risks and making the hit to be something I do relatively well. I've even begun planning and running small groups of can flippers to hit larger mining operations. It's managed to supplant what little desire to do things, like raiding in WoW, I had left in me.

Other then that, life is the usual. Broke but making things work. No new pet worries. Things are pleasantly uneventful.
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