An old folk proverb tells about something called a “post turtle.” If you were walking down a country road, the proverb goes, and you saw a turtle sitting on top of a fence post, you’d have to assume there was a pretty good story behind how it came to be up there.
It’s not unusual for a dreadnought to die in EVE Online. Indeed, on the day this story took place (July 5), there were eight dreads killed across New Eden. It’s rather more unusual for a dreadnought to die solo, in the system directly next door to a major alliance’s staging ground and market hub, so when Delve’s intelligence channel lit up with notifications about a dread tackled on the gate from 8WA-Z6 to Goonswarm’s headquarters in 1DQ1-A, capsuleers all over the region stopped to take note. That, as one would say, is a post turtle. How did it get there? What was the pilot doing? INN caught up with the dreadnought’s pilot, Zeddicus Mallows, to get his version of events.
In His Own Words
Zeddicus Mallows: “It has to be stated 100% that I talk for myself only, not my corp or alliance.”
INN: “I’ll mention that first thing.”
ZM: “This alt of mine lives in Delve. He does some bomber bar and such as well, but his home is Delve. Living there has its challenges when you’re not friendly to the Imperium. I learned that I can utilize a bomber fairly well and get a lot of kills. Then I noticed that many freighters take the gates with little to no escort. I have a personal dread cache here in Delve I purchase from Imperium members selling cheap. With my bomber, I can continue my normal operations and just have a cyno fit so if I am ready with the dread, I can drop and have fun like I did.”
What does Zeddicus mean by “have fun like I did”? Seven minutes before his dreadnought was destroyed, Zeddicus (on his alt) had spotted an unescorted Charon attempting to take the gate from 1DQ to 8WA. Zeddicus’ alt lit a cyno, dying almost instantly – but not before the Naglfar had landed on grid, melting the Charon to the tune of a 1.8b ISK killmail. However, one does not simply hot-drop a dread into the middle of goon space and expect to live. The killing was the easy part; getting out would be much harder.
The Fight to Survive
ZM: “I actually almost escaped. If it wasn’t for jump fatigue I would have. I was busy setting up an exit cyno; I was in siege but noticed I was 2km off the gate. Everyone was aggressed on me, so I capped up and turned the siege red. As soon as siege went off, I jumped and lit the exit cyno. Then I got the message ‘Traffic Control’ and realized my jump fatigue still had 1 minute and some seconds left.”
INN: “Ouch! That’s really intense.”
ZM: “I cloaked, but then a Sabre bubbled me and tons jumped in and decloaked me. The person that decloaked me convoed me and we had a good conversation. They didn’t realize I killed a freighter, they just thought I jumped in for insurance. I wasn’t even camping for freighters, I typically hit easier stuff like haulers/Noctis/miners, and such that I can kill and get out. But the opportunity arose and I took it.”
INN: “How long have you been doing PvP in EVE?”
ZM: I am in the military so on and off since a few days after release. But my actual true PvP started right about when alliances became a real thing ingame.”
Zeddicus wasn’t joking about being around a long time, either. His main character has been around since 2003 and has over 1.6 trillion ISK on the killboard. The Zeddicus character itself has over 3 trillion, and his alt Corruptified has over a trillion.
INN: “Anything else you’d like to add for the readers?”
ZM: “Have fun with the game, don’t let it become a job or chore you dislike doing. It’s a Game! I try to play with that in mind at all times, I don’t care about the ISK or losing ships, I just want to have some fun :)”
From that point of view, Zeddicus would surely describe the events of this afternoon as a massive success for all involved. He got himself a nice freighter kill, and an intense fight for survival that very nearly saw him escape with his dreadnought intact. All the folks on the dreadnought’s killmail got the thrill of downing a dread – and in their own home system, no less. The whole rest of Delve got to see the tense drama unfolding in the intel channel, beginning with that first Sabre who scored the bubble, through the urgent requests for more firepower, up through the triumphant posting of the zkillboard link.
As for the rest of us, fly safe, and keep an eye out for Zeddicus Mallow and his alt Corruptified. Think about what he said: “I noticed that many freighters take the gates with little to no escort.” Delve is NBSI, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe, and when you’re dealing with someone who has a three-trillion-ISK killboard and has been PvPing since some of you were in diapers, there’s no such thing as being too careful.