This is a guest story written by Amaethon of TEST Alliance.
The story starts in Vale of the Silent in April. The TEST BlackOps group was deployed to the region. Raiden was the current owner of the region and was renting out a lot of systems using their renter alliance Rolling Thunder. If you looked at Dotlan at the time, Vale had some of the most NPC kills out of any Null-sec region; this made it a prime candidate for killing ratters. I started off investigating the BUG6-X constellation (Which has 7 solar systems) and was seeing ~12-16hrs of ratting occurring by the same group of Tengus. I decided to roll out 4 neutral cloaky alts to camp the systems.
The original cloaky campers used Rifters with a cloak. They took about 2 days to train to be useful, however after a few engagements, I ended up going with Punishers because of their great multi-damage tank. I would log the alts on after downtime every day in all the systems of BUG6-X and keep them logged on.
The ratters in the BUG6-X constellation quickly decided the 2-3 day old neutral alts were no threat and started ratting with them in system. Using this opportunity, I employed the help of Boghes and Funkyfr3sh to kill any Tengus I could point with my alts. This lead to many successful kill mails, like this one.
Eventually, the ratters stopped ratting when my alts were logged in, and at the end of the month, stopped logging in entirely.
At this point in time, I was pretty thrilled with the killmails and I was making millions of ISK in loot. I decided to expand my cloaky army fleet to around 10 alts and moved them into the YUT3-U constellation. Each system had 24hrs of ratting activity with 2-4 Tengus at a time. The ratters in this constellation also decided it would be a good idea to rat with my alts in system, which again lead to many a killmail.
About midway through the slaughter, the constellation's residents hired a couple of mercenaries, who started fitting bait Tengus to try and kill me. Even though they killed one of my hurricanes, they couldn’t stop me. After the fifth Tengu kill, the CEO of the corp Invited me to a conversation. He asked me how much ISK it would take for me to leave. At this point, I hadn’t really contemplated extortion, but after reading a bit about some of the other TEST members adventures with extortion, I figured I’d give it a try. I told him it would cost them 25bil for the entire constellation. They negotiate a bit and I eventually convinced them to pay 1bil every day for 20 days for me to leave indefinitely. He agreed. This was my first extortion and it boggled my mind how easy it was and how much ISK I could make. I quickly ran out ten more alts (making a total of twenty) and started parking them all over Vale. I charged, on average, 3bil per system but varied the price depending on the amount of ratting activity. Most systems were pushovers and after a couple more kills, the residents were usually happy to pay me.
I did encounter one group of very resistant ratters. These guys replaced the original BUG6-X constellation occupants and their friends in the DMXN constellation. They would not pay and, while most of the other renters seemed to be botters who wouldn’t shoot back when tackled, these guys were confusingly active. They would have ~20 characters log on at the same time every day and would rat for 8-10hrs. Anything approaching 10 hours of ratting every single day seems beyond normal human capability to me, so I assumed it was some sort of Chinese ISK farming operation. They were very stubborn, and it actually tested my logistics and PVP ability to kill them. They started firing multiple types of ammo at me when I got tackle on them, making it much harder to tank in my little Punisher. They would also warp other ratters in the system to help pilots I had tackled, which made them very hard targets to kill. Another issue was that they started warping to safe spots whenever I entered the entrance system. To top it off, they added all my alts/PVP characters to their watch list, so they were constantly aware of when I was online. However, I wasn’t going to give up so easily. First, I bought a 2nd PVP character (Pilot 90). I then installed two POSes, one in the 3HX system and one in the X97D system (two systems they did not have ratters in but that gave me access to many of their ratting systems). I had Amaethon and Pilot 90 in carriers with various ships in their ship maintenance arrays. I started jumping to the POSes, ejecting ships, and jumping to them from the carriers. I would then get the tackle with my cloaky alts and jump the PVP characters in for the kill. This strategy proved to be effective and led to these kills.
After about a month of me camping/killing them, they started using Vindicators to rat. This presented a new challenge, but I eventually managed to snag some of them.
These Vindicator losses seemed to be the last straw and they dropped their renting contract, stopped logging in with some characters, and moved to Solar Citizens. I didn’t get any ISK from them, but at this point I had extorted tens of billions of ISK from various Vale renters and had received billions of ISK in loot.
This brings us to BlackOps deploying to –A- space. I had a pretty solid system in place at this point for my AFK cloakies. I had twenty characters running most of the time and they had their own unaffiliated corp (Rudeltaktik) so it was easy to grab replacement ships from the corp hangar of stations I was basing out of. I sent my 20 alts all over New Eden, from Tenerifis and Immensea, too Impass and beyond. While these regions only provided a few kills, I was able to extort a LOT of ISK out of the –A- renters. My extortion and AFK camping led to this email from AAA leadership:
As you know, Test is trying to black mail [sic] many of you like school yard [sic] bullies. Just like these bullies they are full of threatening words and not a lot of muscle. If you pay them, you just encourage them to get more aggressive and brazen and ask for more. They will stay longer because you just showed them that it pays to harass you. If you get extorted, come to us (Mr Ozzy/ Theng Hofses) and we will do what we can to address the situation.
In all likelihood, their pressure will increase and they will become more forceful. Let us know when that happens and we will do what we can do to help you. As you know we deal on a fair and equitable basis with you. As you all know Test and Goons have a reputation treachery and dishonesty [sic]. If it is any consolation, we are having several alliances wreak havoc on Fountain and Period Basis and extort a by far greater blood tool on their renters than they on you [sic].
If you have paid to TEST and their henchmen http://evewho.com/corp/Rudeltaktik , come forward, and we are working [sic] with you to solve the issue. Do not collaborate with the enemy.
I also ran into another branch of the same outfit that was operating in the BUG-X constellation. I think it was some sort of empire because there was a “CEO” I had to talk to and none of the other employees were allowed to negotiate with me. The single point of contact made it easy for me to extort them. I ended up receiving over 60bil from this single corporation alone.
I eventually had made the rounds of pretty much every –A- and NC. renter. I thought about going to Solar space and starting my extortion there, But due to the size of the drone regions, I decided against it.
So after 3 months of tireless scamming and extortion, I docked up my Punishers and Cynabals, dropped my subscriptions on the other accounts, collected all my ISK, and bought an Avatar.
(Note: The names of the people extorted have been removed due to ongoing contact with them)
And that is how –A- and NC. paid for TEST's newest Titan.