With the Retribution expansion, EVE Online saw a total rework of aggression mechanics and offered an easier way for capsuleers to regulate their own safety. While the vast majority of players have this option set to a comforting green dot snuggled next to their capacitor, there are, of course, other settings for the bolder men and women of New Eden.
Orange allows for players to return fire and even steal from wrecks, offering up a “Come at me, bro.” attitude while floating around highsec and lowsec. There is also the red safety setting for the more psychotic of us, which is, of course, anything but safe. You can do whatever you like. Steal, shoot first, suicide your ship on the innocent. The choice is yours.
While flying with safety off (red) has no guaranteed death sentence attached to it while in lowsec, performing an action in highsec that would be limited by higher safety settings will summon the most honorable NPCs ever programmed into the game: CONCORD. This is where our tale begins.
Cas Mania was roaming lowsec with a small fleet comprised of League of Non-Aligned Worlds and Nulli Secunda ships. The mission: find and destroy anything they could get their hands on with their pimped-out ships.
After searching for a while, they managed to come across some three Drakes and a Crow from EveCoPilot. There was the standard exchanging of ammo between both parties, and the Drakes fled several systems across lowsec in an attempt to escape the larger and more powerful Nulli fleet. All the while, the suspect timers slowly burned down. While having a suspect timer may not be important enough in lowsec, it is very important in highsec.
It is unknown if the EVECoPilot gang had this in mind when they entered the Airaken system in highsec. With most of the Nulli gang hot on their heels, it was here that they were finally tackled and locked down with a scrambler and dual webs off the gate. Everyone was there. Everyone except Cas Mania.
Cas was actually two systems away bringing up the rear in his decked out Rattlesnake battleship. This ship was a force to be reckoned with. It had drones from hell, and the dual ASB fit meant that it could take a major beating if needed. However, being nimble was not exactly part of its strength.
“Hold him till I can get there and get in on the kill.” he politely asked over comms to his fleet mates.
As Cas' Rattlesnake began to exit warp to the gate leading to Airaken, one of the Nulli guys proclaimed, “Bah, it is just Cas. Let's just troll him by killing the Drake so he doesn't get on the killmail.”
Not one to be laughed at, Cas was determined to get in there and put some damage on this Drake for all to see. When he jumped through the gate and loaded the grid, he saw the Drake still alive.
“Oh, the Drake is alive and my friends are just trolling me. Only one thing left to do.Fire ze missiles!” he thought to himself.
What Cas did not realize was that the Drake his buddies were talking about was indeed dead. The Drake he had just shot missiles at was in fact a different pilot in the same alliance. This particular Drake did not have the 'Suspect' flag on him like the other one, so shooting him was not a legal action according to the rules in highsec.
That's right ladies and gentlemen. Cas had just committed a criminal act in his pimped out Rattlesnake, and justice needed to be served with extreme prejudice. CONCORD appeared around Cas and proceeded to remind him why it is not a good idea to have the safety setting set to red in highsec space. The Rattlesnake was melted right in front of Cas' fleetmates' eyes as they laughed at his mistake.
Cas was in total shock and sat there trying to figure out what had just happened. Meanwhile, the Drake Cas had accidentally opened fire on was busying doing something else: locking his capsule. Seconds later he suffered another shock as he lost his full high-grade crystal set pod.
While the Rattlesnake loss was expensive for Cas, he has lost far more pricey gear. The most notable loss is in the form of a Vindicator that attempted to fight off a horde of assault frigates. The result was somewhat predictable. Another notable loss was his Vagabond with a Gistum A-Type Medium Shield Booster that he had found lying around in his hangar moments earlier.
Cas Mania told me he regards highsec as the most dangerous part of the game. Every time he goes there, something bad happens to him. So what was his next step on the road to recovery?
“I replaced the Rattlesnake with another, a bit more expensive, as well as the the high-grade crystal set clone.” he told me with a smile.
“Any plans of revenge against the Drake pilots?” I inquired.
“Sure, if we can find them in lowsec. I have no plans on returning to highsec space anytime soon.” Cas said laughing.
It seems Cas Mania, like others I have interviewed, is taking the loss of shinies very well. They share the same attitude about the game: They are just pixels and EVE is all about having a good time. My advice for him? Perhaps set the safety button to yellow for now.