Sunday, December 1, 2013

Robbed by a Tractor

It's Sunday, and things being as they are, I have been on and off all day.  I opened and scanned down C3a some hours ago.  Then I went out to lowsec.  Just as I was jumping from C3a into lowsec, I dscanned and saw sleeper wrecks and two ships.  (I should have scanned the inner system earlier.)  If people are running sites, they may have a scout watching the wormhole, who'd be happy to grab up a nice polarized Tengu.  So instead of coming back in immediately, I searched down the lowsec system I was in.  I found several nice sites (two relic, one drug manufacturer), but the system had five other people there.  Danger.  Time pressed, so I came back in.  Saw some wrecks, but unable to get at them.  The PVEers seem to have gone idle, probably spooked by my earlier blundering by.  Nothing I can do, and have to go anyway.  So I went back home.

Hours later, I am done sucking gas in a C4 that connected up to our system.  My thought is to head back out to lowsec and check out those nice sites.  It's now 10:00 in the USA, so hopefully all those Euros are in bed.  I get into Nosey, my exploration Tengu, and cross into C3.

A routine dscan, and my plans change.  Sleeper wrecks.  Hmm.  I quickly recon the system, and find two guys running a sleeper site in the inner system.  Now I bookmark all anoms, and warp into the site.  It's a Proteus and a Gila.  There are still a few sleepers left, which they are killing.  I have a bit of time.  So I think it's time to ditch Nosey, which is expensive, and get my Manticore.  I warp out, cross, warp to my POS, and refit.  Then warp back, and cross again.  And back to the site.

I am greeted with a new tableau: the Proteus and Gila are still there, along with a Dragoon which shows on dscan as "Salvager".   Is a Dragoon a destroyer?  I look it up: yes.  He is salvaging with salvager drones.  Novel.  He already has cleaned the site pretty well, but there are several more wrecks to go.  Of course, I am not attacking with his friends there.  I head back to make a perch.  Let's see if they make a mistake.

watching from my perch
And sure enough, not a minute later, the Gila warps.  And shortly, so does the Proteus.  I watch on dscan: they disappear.  This is what I expect, as this is the last anom in the inner system.  There are several in the outer system, which is probably what they are doing.

I watch a bit longer.  There are only three wrecks left.  I am surprised at how efficiently the destroyer is tractoring things.   And then I see him tractor something that has to be 50km away!  WTF??  Well, it is the second to last wreck.  Since you cannot warp to things-being-tractored, I take my chance and warp to 20 from the last wreck.  I figure he will have to get within 20 (24 max) to be in tractor range.  He will come to me.

I zoom up.  Now that I am close, I see what is happening.  He has deployed a mobile tractor, and I have not seen it in the scrum of wrecks and him.  And of course the tractor is a new module with Rubicon, and I have not realized until now that I do not have it showing on my overview.  (I fix that now.)  Well, that explains his seemingly huge tractor range.  But, it also puts him 50km from me.  I cannot slowboat that in time.

I think fast, then bookmark the tractor and bounce off the nearest celestial.  I warp back in at 10.  It looks perfect: the last wreck is rapidly approaching.  His drones are out on it.  At I am at 11 km.  I close to 9, then set my orbit around him at 1000m.  Then I decloak and get my systems active.  My torps crash into him.  Shields down in two cycles.  Then armor in two more, and finally two more into structure.  The whole time I am watching dscan like a hawk.  But the Gila and Proteus do not appear.

my loot, sadly diminished
He dies.  I look for the pod, but he warps immediately.  I am 1000m off the wreck, so, hands ashake I open the wreck to get my loot.  For a second, I see nice loot.  And then... no loot.  What happened?  I check again: the wreck is really empty.  It cannot be.  It was not empty a second ago.  It is empty.  And then I get it: the *!$% mobile tractor!  I made a wreck.  The tractor "saw" it, sucked it in (all of 500m), and looted it.  Hey!  THAT'S MY LOOT!

Oh well.  Fearing reprisal, I cloak and move off 20km and watch.  Dscan is clear.  After about a minute, I decide to go look for them in the outer system.  I warp out there.  There are some sleeper wrecks, but no ships.  Maybe they fled?  I warp back to the ambush site.  Well, that tractor has MY LOOT in it, and I wants it, oh yes!  Time to kill the tractor.  I set an orbit at 20km, then uncloak and start shooting.  Dscan remains clear.  The tractor goes down pretty quickly: boom.  OK: what's it got?

Well, I get a bit of loot.  But really not what I had hoped for.  You can see in the killmails almost all the value got blown up.  The Dragoon had 107m worth of stuff; it dropped 33m.  Then the tractor had 80m, and dropped 12m.  (I was seriously screwed by the loot fairy.)

every POS needs one
via zephyr express
I head home.  But there is still that large sleeper wreck... and the destroyer and tractor unit... so I get in a light salvager and return to grind them.  No nanoribbons, sadly.  Back home again.  But there are still those wrecks in the outer system... I rummage around, and pull out our handy Zephyr.  Then I head back over and get another few million in blue loot.

sleepers that are not shooting at me

Lesson learned: when trying to kill a salvaging ship who has a deployed tractor nearby, try to do it when the tractor is just grabbing a distant wreck.  Otherwise, you risk having your loot stolen by it.

I never did make it back out to lowsec.   


  1. I think I read somewhere about a guy that died in a mission and the tractor beam looted his wreck for him. This is even funnier. Sorry the loot fairy wasn't kinder.

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