Loss and Legality

You’re sitting in your trusty Golem. Multiple scrams and webs from the pirate gang that has just landed are preventing you from making an escape. Backup is on the way but the shield boosts aren’t going to hold. Even faction fit, your tank is breaking. I know what you’re thinking; “why, oh why, didn’t I take the blue pill?” 

Combat Boosters – don’t get caught in space without them

I haven’t been particularly busy in EVE. Despite limited playtime, I’ve had a string of poor decisions and mistakes lead to significant (for me) losses in the past few days. I’ll chalk it up to being punch drunk from all the information hitting the players from Fanfest coverage. I’ll also say I was being stupid and EVE punishes stupidity. Harshly. And effectively.

The first loss was an easily preventable death to a lowsec chokepoint smartbomb camp. I was deep in lowsec with a trader and indy character and hopped into an unfit Venture to make my way back to highsec. The route was clear most of the way but as soon as I hit a chokepoint system I should have exercised more caution. It was Friday after all. Instead I ignored sanity and bumbled my way to the next gate. As soon as I saw the Rokhs on grid I knew that was it. About 5 seconds later my character was waking up in a fresh clone, minus a full HG Ascendancy set and handful of high end indy implants. About 3.5 billion ISK gone up in smoke, in one of the dumbest ways possible.

I took the loss in stride, linked the killmail in corp to chuckling and a few winces and moved on to my next bout of stupidity. This second loss is quite tame in comparison, only 1.4 million ISK. It occurred on a highsec gate in a 0.5 system. The last gate before I was safely in lowsec (weird thought I know) and I wouldn’t have to worry about being caught with my cargo of Strong Blue Pill Boosters. Relaxing too soon, I misclicked, looked away from the screen and gave the local customs official long enough to get a scan off. As the warning screen came up, prompting me to take the fine, I worried if this was going to completely ruin my courier contract. Thankfully the mechanics for fines pull from regional market data. There was no Strong Blue Pill on the market so the decision was easy; take a 1.4 million ISK fine and fly the last two jumps to finish the deal.

Obviously, being caught dead to rights like that, I should have had a much tougher decision on my hands. Either taking a massive fine or lose the Boosters the boosters and start the whole deal over, essentially giving away stock for free. The customs and contraband system in EVE is unfinished and clunky. Quite frankly it barely functions at all and it’s embarrassing to admit I got caught.

Since reading Sugar Kyle’s non-FW Lowsec Roundtable transcript (say that 5 times fast) and in light of this recent run in with the mechanic, I have been thinking about some of the statements made. The biggest thing that stood out to me was the proposal for removing the legality system and contraband status until something new is thought up. I’ve actually spoken to Sugar briefly on this subject in the past as it’s something she is wanting to take on as part of her platform for lowsec.

Unfortunately, I completely disagree with removing contraband status “just because” and leaving Boosters to be just like 100,000 other in-game items, hauled with freighters around highsec with no consequences. While it’s not a particularly interesting set of mechanics and feels unfinished, what the current system does right is promoting a niche black market, adding some variation to the game. It would be a shame to see that niche whitewashed and Boosters become yet another commodity seeded from Jita with jump freighters, alongside cruise missiles, drones and, occasionally, an exotic dancer or two.


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