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The Hellcamp of WGU.N

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hellcamp.md
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hellcamp /hɛlkæmp/
verb
1. To stalk, harass, or grief a target or targets at all times, or as close to it as possible.
noun
1. The act of hellcamping.

Prelude

Rorsins seemed like a nice and quiet solar system in low security space for settling down. There was just one problem.

I notice a member of Ganksters United (or WGU.N) idling in a space station. I decide to get a feel for the system in case they become active and meanwhile I read their corporation description:

Well if u got killed by one of our lovely members, too bad, so sad for you.

Uh huh.

So just remember that Ganksters United is always there to ruin your day!

OK. So they are a small corporation, but talk a big game. Someone else enters the solar system and then a WGU.N cruiser shows up and docks. Now it is two members. If they come out and fight then I know they are serious about living up to their description. Then they start chatting in local. Amiably. This is weird in EVE Online:

Dzoanna Tsutola > hi
decitatius marcatcus > WobblySpacePirate just chillin?
WobblySpacePirate > wondering what is going on with this WTs Anonymous meetup, tbh
decitatius marcatcus > umm well
decitatius marcatcus > we have been here for about a week just doing corp stuff so yea
decitatius marcatcus > getting on main

I'm genuinely curious about what is going on. Maybe they are just hauling freight. Maybe they are training. But they are targets in the Minmatar-Amarr war so I'm going to at least find out. But I notice a significant mismatch between their corp description and their local chat attitude. Decitatius turns into Corinthian, their CEO. When he undocks in a ship, I try to aggress to see if it is all an act or whether they are serious. He is in a shuttle so its hard to pin him down and he gets away.

Corinthian corrisidus > so thats what ur doing lol
Corinthian corrisidus > trying to kill us
WobblySpacePirate > well
WobblySpacePirate > thats not why I came here
WobblySpacePirate > but you are here, and I am here
Corinthian corrisidus > oh really?
WobblySpacePirate > it is in my dharma
WobblySpacePirate > You think I really went hunting for WTs here?
Corinthian corrisidus > uh no....but your not going to get either of us
Corinthian corrisidus > so ur wasting ur time
Dzoanna Tsutola > We are hide too pro
Dzoanna Tsutola > cant find us
WobblySpacePirate > the interesting thing about EVE is that not being successful is not always a waste of time. That is even before you take into account what people actually think a waste of their time is.

Now I see the truth, they are a bunch of stuffed shirts. Hiding from most engagements while claiming to be elite warriors who prey on the very kind of people they are. But they are right about one thing: I cannot catch them if they hide in a space station. I get ready to go to bed, but just to mess with them I leave myself logged in. I see this before I finally get to sleep:

Dzoanna Tsutola > god
Dzoanna Tsutola > men wtf
Dzoanna Tsutola > go somewhere else lol
Corinthian corrisidus > WobblySpacePirate what are u still doing here?
Dzoanna Tsutola > WobblySpacePirate I have to upset you
Dzoanna Tsutola > im going to sleep in 5-10 mins
Dzoanna Tsutola > so gl

In EVE Online this is called harvesting tears. I needs them to power my spaceship.

Hellcamp Day 1 (Sunday)

I decide to see what WGU.N said overnight, and then I will either program or play more EVE Online. It turns out their CEO sent me a private conversation:

Corinthian corrisidus > what do u really want?
Corinthian corrisidus > ur not going to get me
Corinthian corrisidus > and she wont undock
Corinthian corrisidus > and that rupture u saw was my alt
Corinthian corrisidus > so ur not getting him either
Corinthian corrisidus > how about i give u 10m to leave

Two thoughts come to mind: They are confident that they can hide forever, or they are scared that they can't hide forever and will pay me to go away. These sound like victims in the making, so I login and begin the hellcamp.

decitatius marcatcus > WobblySpacePirate wtf are u doing????
decitatius marcatcus > u have been like AFK for like 5 hrs

When I undock I see Mikk Gaterau. I manage to find him and warp on top of him.

There are three types of movement in EVE Online. The first is interstellar, you can't get from one solar system to another without using a stargate. As a result, a lot of fights end up on the stargate seeing as it is a logical chokepoint. You can also warp, but only to specific places. You can automatically warp to celestial objects like planets, space stations, and asteroid belts. You can also make special 'safe spot' bookmarks that you can warp to later. Finally you can fly around on your thrusters. This is slower than all of the above options but at ranges of around 200 kilometers its pretty much the only option. In particular, if you can disrupt the enemies warp core, then he is never getting away from you if there is no stargate or space station nearby.

I come out of warp a little too far away. So I accelerate to him as best as I can. Mikk is flying a Venture, which has extra warp core strength, but I am using a warp scrambler. Scrams are stronger than disruptors but have significantly less range. If I can get into range I'm sure my strong warp disruption will give me a shiny miner kill.

Success! I get within 10km of the mining ship and activate my warp scrambler. I smugly prepare my guns for firing -- what? HE IS WARPING AWAY HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!

After a bit of raging I check the description for the Venture. It has one extra point of warp core strength than I thought. Mikk, it turns out, is the most slippery of WGU.N. A friend named Morris decides to move to Rorsins and I have him bring a ship especially for Mikk's Venture.

Hellcamp Day 2 (Monday)

I'm goofing off when Corinthian finally logs in.

Corinthian corrisidus > WobblySpacePirate what have u been doing for the last 2 days?

From my cloaked ship I watch the space station and see him undock in a cruiser and warp away. I rush back into the station to get a frigate and start rushing around asteroid belts. I can't find him. But I can see him on my scanner.

There are three ways to find uncloaked ships in EVE Online. The first is to brute force all the possible locations by simply flying there. This is slow, unreliable, easily defeated, and it leaves you exposed to the second method. The other is to use your directional scanner. This device lets you scan 'cones' of space from your current position. Using your scanner, you narrow down a targets location, but if the target is not anywhere near an object you can warp to - a celestial or fleet member - then this isn't helpful. At this point most hunters give up, but there is a third way. The expanded probe launcher can launch specialized combat probes that are able to find ships. Most hunters don't fly with one because they have very intensive requirements that make it difficult to mount anything other than a launcher, but I just happen to have a ship with one in the system thanks to a grocery run by Morris.

Got him. I switch to my frigate and land right on top of him as he fights computer pirates in a cosmic anomaly in a cruiser.

A cruiser is a bigger ship than a frigate. That means his guns are bigger and deal more damage, but it also means that they are slower. I immediately see notifications that he is shooting me, but his guns can't hit me. His drones are another matter. I know I can handle them but this is my first time in a live fire exercise against them. They start eating into my shields and I fumble while switching targets by toggling my guns on and off several times. Eventually I get control of myself and the drones start popping. Once they are gone it is a matter of eating through the cruisers defenses. At this point he knows he is dead and he decides to make an offer.

Corinthian corrisidus > 10m?
WobblySpacePirate > haha
WobblySpacePirate > 200M
WobblySpacePirate > and get out of this system
Corinthian corrisidus > my ship aint worth that much
WobblySpacePirate > then I blow it up
WobblySpacePirate > the km is worth it
Corinthian corrisidus > ive been here way longer

I focus again on the battle. You never know when someone is on bait so I watch my scanner just in case. Finally, his shields dissipate and his armour vapourizes. I watch those precious ticks of structure disappear until he explodes. It isn't an expensive kill, but it is an important symbolic one. The death of their CEO is a blow both to Corinthian and WGU.N in general. I need to rub it in as much as possible if I am going to extract their surrender.

WobblySpacePirate > I have the km
WobblySpacePirate > so you don't have to pay me 200M
WobblySpacePirate > but
WobblySpacePirate > if you give me 10M and leave
WobblySpacePirate > I won't chase
Corinthian corrisidus > bro im not leaving this system

I'm not really surprised. In any event it gives me an excuse to start really rubbing it in. Time to paraphrase their corporation description, the document that motivated me to harass them in the first place.

WobblySpacePirate > And, in answer to your question: This what I have been doing for the last two days. Waiting for you to screw up.
WobblySpacePirate > "So just remember that WobblySpacePirate is always there to ruin your day!"--fixed your corp description for you btw
WobblySpacePirate > Really, it was your fault for ratting in a low sec zone.
Corinthian corrisidus > hey i aint mad...if i was i would be a hypocrite
Corinthian corrisidus > but
Corinthian corrisidus > i have been here longer....and my corp is here.....so yea
WobblySpacePirate > corps can move, we have done it several times.
Corinthian corrisidus > yea i know...but im staying for the time being
WobblySpacePirate > Well, here is the thing. I find lots of things enjoyable, but right now I enjoy being in this system. Logged in. As often as possible.

He is still being stubborn, but maybe a compromise can be reached. I'm not sure how long I want to harass these guys for.

WobblySpacePirate > However there are other things you can convince me to enjoy.
WobblySpacePirate > I could be convinced to logout or not PVP in this system for 50M/week.
Corinthian corrisidus > hahahaha no
WobblySpacePirate > And that is a significantly lowered starting offer because I know you are all barely a month old
WobblySpacePirate > Seeing as you offered 10M for a single evening before I thought 70M/week was already fair.
Corinthian corrisidus > nah.....i can just find a way to get u out
WobblySpacePirate > Well. Good luck with that. o7

I leave myself logged in overnight again.

Hellcamp Day 3 (Tuesday)

Nothing much happens. I mostly do missions for the local space station owners and fail to catch a random guy who shows up.

Hellcamp Day 4 (Wednesday)

Wednesday is streaming night, but the flag in the hellcamp must be flown. Before I can socialize at Interface eSports Bar, first I must login.

I see Mikk in his Venture again so I call Morris who I have asked to specifically mount extra disrupters that can reach out to very long range. My current ship has purposely given up speed in order to counter the Venture's warp core strength. I narrow Mikk's position to one of two asteroid belts and order us to split up to maximize our chances of finding him. This proves to be a critical mistake: I enter the asteroid belt too far from Mikk. On top of this Morris has to come from the other belt and there is an unexpected battlecruiser in the belt as well. In the confusion Mikk books it, but as good as killing the battlecruiser was it wasn't as sweet as the miner kill would have been. All in all, Mikk was lucky. Time to let him know:

WobblySpacePirate > Mikk: This is what happens to people who come into my system
WobblySpacePirate > Kill: Korab Black (Omen)
WobblySpacePirate > Kill: Nydir (Manticore)
WobblySpacePirate > Kill: Nydir (Capsule)
WobblySpacePirate > and the best one
WobblySpacePirate > Kill: Corinthian corrisidus (Rupture)
WobblySpacePirate > Go back to high sec.

I post 340M worth of killmails, ending on the WGU.N CEO kill. I didn't expect another of those for awhile so I was going to milk it for as long as possible.

Mikk Gaterau > up yours wobbly

Aha! A response! Mikk, like myself, never responds when we toy on belts. Me warping in, him warping off to a station, blue balls all around (his for minerals, mine for killmails).

Mikk Gaterau > im still alive
WobblySpacePirate > That is what your CEO said
WobblySpacePirate > your time will come
WobblySpacePirate > Ventures are not invincible.
Mikk Gaterau > they are cheap
WobblySpacePirate > When I catch you, I will be sending your clone home. You are not safe here.
Mikk Gaterau > i think i can cope

The bartender has been watching this exchange and has been laughing really hard, calling me a mafia thug in the making. I think that is a good endorsement, so I leave things alone and prepare for the stream.

The rest of Wednesday is spent streaming other things. I see them login at some point and I think they might have gotten an evening of mining in. I am sad about this.

Hellcamp Day 5 (Thursday)

I login but am away for an hour having dinner with my girlfriend. When I get back I see the local chat history:

ThoraxKillaz > WobblySpacePirate still here?

ThoraxKillaz is no longer online when I get back, but I am nonetheless ecstatic.

When hunting or being hunted, the first thing the smart warrior (or hider) does is add as many of the opposing force to their watch list as possible. This is how I know when WGU.N is online, even when I am not in Rorsins. However, a corporations member list is not public so sometimes this is incomplete information. If someone logs in and you haven't seen them before, you won't get the notification.

By the end of Day 1 of the hellcamp I had identified three of the eight members of WGU.N and added them to my watchlist. Dissatisfied with this coverage I had decided to do some research.

Corporation member lists might be private, but killboards (kill billboards) generally aren't. Whenever you kill someone in EVE Online, it leaves a killmail record. These can be exported to private or public websites, but it seems like inevitably your kill or death will eventually make it to one of four major killboards. By searching killboards for a specific corporation you can identify even more members of the corporation. By the end of Day 1 I have six of the eight members on my watch list though several of them never log in.

And then ThoraxKillaz unwittingly announces himself to me.

I happily add him to my watch list and proceed to spend the evening moving manufacturing goods into Rorsins so I can start building stuff there.

Hellcamp Day 6 (Friday)

It is Friday. I went out.

Hellcamp Day 7

I have been bad. Friday was spent at Interface doing commentary for a League of Legends tournament. Corinthian is out in a battlecruiser boldly taunting me from in front of a space station. I engage and the space station guns immediately open fire. I barely get away:

WobblySpacePirate > oh hey
WobblySpacePirate > you guys left the war
WobblySpacePirate > interesting
Corinthian corrisidus > yea i almost killed you

When WGU.N was in the Faction War, I could shoot at them. Now that they were neutrals in that conflict they had been offered what little protection was available in low-security space.

Corinthian corrisidus > go ahead...shoot again
Corinthian corrisidus > please do it
Corinthian corrisidus > get in something w/ missles

Space station guns are intimidating, but in a big enough ship they're not that bad. Still, whenever a weaker foe escapes a stronger foe, the weaker one gloats. So I call in some backup and we brazenly attack him right beside the space station, the guns aggress my backup leaving me to burn through Corinthian. I also nudge his spacecraft further and further from the space station so he cannot re-dock.

Corinthian corrisidus > FUCK MY DRONES......

Corinthian could have escaped simply by docking as soon as we attacked. But he exposes his drones as part of a show of force. These drones are set to 'aggressive' programming. Once I attack him, his drones attack back, and one of the few rules of low security space is you cannot dock if you recently attacked anyone. EVE Online is full of lessons, and they are often very expensive ones.

Corinthian leaves the system but doesn't return. Some friends narrow him down to somewhere in Caldari space and I suspect he is leaving Rorsins. However, I had said he must pay me to not chase him. I am a man of my word so I try to blitz to his last known location despite the fact that the Caldari Navy will likely attack me when I arrive. This turns out to be the least of my worries as I run straight into a very effective pirate gatecamp. My vessel and clone are cheap so their ransom is too expensive for me. In the end Corinthian logs off in the trade hub and I must let it be until later.

Mikk also makes a reappearance. By now I know he has learned to use a cloaking device. This makes him very frustrating to hunt, so I am thrilled when I realize he has also learned to use probes and that he might be exploring special anomalies that I have had my eye on. Before he can pinpoint any anomaly I already have its location identified. Again, I coordinate with Morris and again Mikk slips away, literally entering warp as I finish locking.

As far as WGU.N goes, the rest of the night was quiet. Though the constant increase in activity causes others to come and play. This, however, is a story for another time.

Hellcamp Day 8 (Final)

Today was supposed to be an industry day. I wanted to setup manufacturing lines, do some research, and build some ships and modules. Instead the system is constantly shuffling with people, some catchable, some not. Some bait, some not. I lose a battlecruiser in a reckless fight against three cruisers. I'm not that mad since I learned a lot from it. I help bait one corporations battlecruisers into another corporations battlecruisers and become friends with the latter after helping them out. Finally, Morris wants to move a new battlecruiser to Rorsins so I scout him from stargate to stargate.

When we get into Rorsins I see Corinthian. He is back from the trade hub, and he brought a new battlecruiser. I yell at Morris to get anything that can deal damage and run pellmell at Corinthian. In an eery repeat of the cruiser-frigate battle we had earlier in the week, once again his guns cannot hurt my frigate and he is totally reliant on his drones. But Corinthian has something up his sleeve this time: energy neutralization.

Spaceships in EVE Online depend on a ship capacitor to store enough energy to warp around, use modules (like warp disruptors), and shoot lasers (think of it as mana for spaceships). The energy neutralizer is a module that neutralizes some of the energy in my capacitor and in some circles it is referred to as the 'frigate killer.' Against large vessels frigates must maintain a high speed to survive, but this often involves an energy consuming afterburner. No energy, no afterburner.

The entire battle I am very tense. At first I'm worried I won't be able to maintain my afterburner and then his drones or a lucky gun shot will be the end of me. As the drones drop one-by-one my confidence returns but I realize that soon I am going to have to make a choice I didn't expect: afterburner or warp disruptor? If I turn off the afterburner he might kill me, but if I turn off the warp disruptor he will definitely be able to escape. I never consider running away, but it turned out he had me warp disrupted as well so it would have been a moot point. After his final drone dies I shut off my afterburner and pray that it will be enough to let me maintain my disruptor. I count myself lucky that I am flying my Slasher and not my Punisher who needs energy to fire his guns as well.

Tick, tick, tick goes the energy neutralizer. Twice I run out of energy and desperately mash my disruptor button while it complains there is not enough energy. I breathe a sigh of relief, grateful that Corinthian isn't desperately mashing his warp button in response. After he twice fails to take advantage of this, I start to get overconfident. Morris demands to form a fleet so he can warp in and help and it distracts me from one particularly bad tick from the energy neutralizer. My disruptor goes down, and I take too long to reactivate it; Corinthian siezes the moment and escapes.

Corinthian corrisidus > not today
Corinthian corrisidus > im ganna go make a frig for us to 1v1
WobblySpacePirate > well I'll get pizza. Good luck with that.

I am crestfallen. Without the thrill of the kill to sustain me I wonder if I can sustain the hellcamp for another week. Surely Corinthian is feeling unduly jubilant, thinking that maybe this week will be better than last. I could just break the terms of a 1v1, after all I never really agreed to it. Defeating him in direct frigate combat would certainly help swing morale back in my favour but frigate on frigate battles are very very dicey affairs. I feel like I have the advantage, but his escape has even me on the backfoot. One last try: the easiest way to swing morale in your favour has always been propaganda - actual conflict is risky.

WobblySpacePirate > Remember, all of this can end for a very low price.
WobblySpacePirate > Certainly for less than the cost of that replacement hurricane you were flying.
Corinthian corrisidus > ok
Corinthian corrisidus > i just bought a plex
Corinthian corrisidus > how much a week?
WobblySpacePirate > 50M. Less if you buy in bulk.
Corinthian corrisidus > 120 for 3 weeks
WobblySpacePirate > Sounds reasonable.
Corinthian corrisidus > so 120 and u leave us for 3 weeks
WobblySpacePirate > I will leave you alone for three weeks, yes.
Corinthian corrisidus > ok go
WobblySpacePirate > I have an industrial operation already starting here so I won't be leaving.
Corinthian corrisidus > just dont kill my corp

Now I am jubilant. Morris is pissed: he offers 120M right away for me to go back on the cease fire. I'm busy enjoying my victory so I tell him we'll talk after I eat.

When I get back, Morris tells me that Corinthian undocked his battlecruiser and then some other pirate came and killed it.

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