“Hi. Would you like a story about a 400+ billion ISK heist on an NC. corp?”
To say my jaw dropped open seeing that on my direct message board is an understatement. I was idling around, chatting with people in the tmc-public slack channel when this came in, and it got my full attention. Over the next few hours, I got the rare privilege of talking to a corporate hangar cleaner who ranks up there with Haargoth Agmar in terms of ISK liberated; four titan’s worth. Our bandit, called Fast Eddie for the sake of anonymity, provided a most interesting insight into these events.
Fast Eddie’s story starts when he joined the hirr corporation [HIRR] in 2014, just before its separation from RAZOR alliance. The corporation was planning to part ways with RAZOR, part of the then-CFC, on friendly terms, when – for whatever reason – they were suddenly removed from the alliance well before the planned departure date. What the reasons for that were, no one but RAZOR leadership knows.
The 300+ player corporation then put their future to a vote between joining Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition. Evidently the nomadic ways of PL weren’t appealing to their player base, since the vote went firmly to NC. They joined NC., and are still currently in that alliance. During the time that went by, Fast Eddie rose in the ranks, eventually becoming a director in [HIRR]. Trust was placed in him, and he was invited to put an alt in a special corp for directors called, let’s say, Corporation XY.
This corp was set up for the purpose of safely storing outmoded doctrine ships, blueprints, valuables, a buffer fund of ISK, and making logistics easier between hubs and staging systems. As a key player in [HIRR], he had director-level access to the assets of XY. While he was there, it was an excellent arrangement, but as it goes from time to time, real life happens. Fast Eddie had to take a hiatus from Eve, went inactive, and was removed from [HIRR]. When some of his friends brought him back to the game, which also happens from time to time, he found that the home he built had moved on, his friends were now in other places, and he was Eve’s version of a free agent.
Then he logged into his alt in XY corp. They were still there. And still a director. This was an opportunity too good to pass by.
Fast Eddie: Okay, I was once a director of hirr and due to real life, I went inactive and got kicked from there, as well as [their nullsec PvE corp] on my alt. But they also have an empire corp for moving assets and holding some ISK reserves. Well, they forgot to kick my alt from there or to strip its rights. I’m now 420 billion ISK richer: 214.6 billion in ISK, and the rest in assets. Sadly, their T2 and capital BPOs are not in the highsec corp, otherwise it would have been easy 1.5 trillion ISK or more.
TMC: Are the BPOs all researched?
FE: Most of them are 10/20 with the rest at least 10/0, or somewhere in between.
Note: those numbers are Material Efficiency and Time Efficiency. A fully researched 10/20 BPO takes a moderately skilled character about 90 days to create, and adds greatly to the value. That adds a lot to the price. Far more than the eve-central value.
We went on to talk at length about why he would pull off an operation like this against a formerly friendly corp, and he said, with obvious satisfaction, “I don’t have to carebear anymore. I can just play and have fun.”
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY
As is the case in any story, there is another side to hear. We at TMC make the effort to check our facts, and this time was no different. Our diplomatic editor Matterall was able to contact sources in NC. along with [HIRR]. We managed to get their side of what happened.
While [HIRR] is an NC. corp, they were in the dark about this massive theft, which apparently was kept quiet until our inquiries. We managed to contact Baumi, XO of [HIRR], who shed some light on the situation.
Their statement was that most of what was taken was old doctrine ships and fits. Due to the logistical structure of NC., there was no longer a need to produce all doctrine items in house, so it had sat it the hangars of XY corp since 2013-2014. Fast Eddie was a former industrial director and capital ship builder. He had elected to profit over the situation, but these were assets and blueprints which had been idle, and no one had bothered to sell yet. According to Baumi:
“He managed to steal only a small [fraction] of hirr assets. For the corp, nothing will change. Still, it is very sad to see people valuing in-game currency over human relationships or friendship.”
The fascinating part in all of this to me isn’t so much a theft of a massive scale. It’s how that theft fits into New Eden’s evolving story. We all talk about “the metagame,” but where does this fit in? How is the loss of this staggering sum of money affecting [HIRR] and the NC. alliance? I did my research on this question, and came to a surprising conclusion: it isn’t.
I hear you laughing, mumbling about spin, and thinking I just drank the kool-aid, but it’s true; here’s why. The hirr corporation is an old corp, with a history stretching back over 10 years. A colorful history, since they are still #6 in all-time PvP kills. While they may be going through a quiet spell today, they certainly weren’t for most of their history. Two years ago, hirr had a thriving internal economy for their bloody-minded members. A strong industrial wing built all the ships and most of the equipment for the doctrines they flew, and their line members could easily hit the store up and get an exact doctrine ship on demand.
This internal industry even extended to capital ship production, which Fast Eddie was not only involved with, he was head of. But in his time away, a lot changed. NC. went to a moon reward system of funding their corps, whereby corps are given money moons according to their participation, then taxed accordingly. Most null alliances reward based on participation, and how it is measured varies. Any Imperium member will recall the more formal, PAP links system, and also recall wondering what the purpose was. It earns your corp money via moon mining, which allows them to buy and fit all those doctrine ships. And if they are buying doctrine ships for cheap, why build in-house?
Hirr went away from that industrial model when Fast Eddie was on his hiatus, and when he came back found an empty shell of an industrial operation. He helped himself to everything left from before the moon money arrangements, which, while the value might have bothered them, didn’t damage them any. Old doctrine ships and fittings aren’t exactly critical to a corps survival, so when Baumi told me, essentially, “we don’t need those anyway,” I can honestly say I believe it.
It took some convincing though, but after the story I recounted above was laid out to me, it makes sense. So yes, Fast Eddie made off with the value of 3 well fitted titans. He stole more than any other single person I am aware of. He redefined what a rogue director could do. And he changed nothing in [HIRR]. Their PvP continues, their infrastructure is intact, and the corp will move on, much the same as it was before the theft.
For Fast Eddie, he is now far richer in ISK, though lighter in friendship from the NC. bloc. For [HIRR], their hangars and wallets are a bit lighter, but not dangerously so, and will be quickly refilled.
As for us, we have a story that spans years and meta shifts. A story that involves coalitions and characters. This is as much hirr’s story as Fast Eddie’s. As much yours as mine. They are all part of New Eden, just like you and I are. So this story is our story. Enjoy it, embrace it, and write your own sequel.
Fly well, my friends.
Author’s note: names have been changed to protect the identity of our space bandit.
Editors Note: This was originally written by Verdis for TheMittani.com