On December 4, in Amamake, koral123 lost his Silver Magnate to Fred Silf. According to his Reddit AMA, koral123 entered a novice complex and hesitated, allowing Fred Silf to scram and attck, because “[e]ven though most of the guys kill [F]red all the time because he is a local I consider him a friend and when I landed on grid I hesitated and it got the best of me. [sic]” As frigate fights are knife fights of the highest order, the hesitation was more than enough for a Republic Fleet Firetail to gain the upper hand.
When asked for comment, Fred Silf was quite pithy: “was a good fight. No other comments. Thanks!”
History of the Precious Metal Magnates
Of all the ships in EVE Online, the Gold Magnates and Silver Magnates hold a special place. They were given out as prizes following the first Amarr Trials after the death of Emperor Heideran VII in 2003. The Gold Magnate was given to Ecliptical following his victory in the first ever PVP tournament in EVE Online. The other contestants received Silver Magnates. It should be noted that these prize ships were not the significantly improved variations that have come to define prize ships.
The Gold Magnate made its way to Tyrrax Thorrk, who later lost it. Over a decade later, Tyrrax Thorrk would later vie to represent King Khanid II in the YC118 (2016, however all but the finals match was fought in 2015) Amarr Trials, but did not make it to the second round.
19 Silver Magnates were given to the other contestants of the first Succession Trials. By the time of Empress Jamyl I’s martyrdom at the hands of the vile Drifters, estimates put the value of the remaining 13 Silver Magnates around 700 billion ISK.
When the YC118 Trials came about, CCP announced that they would once again be handing out Gold Magnates and Silver Magnates as prizes. The entire winning team would get a Gold Magnate, and all the other House Champion teams would get Silver Magnates. To some, CCP reusing these old unique ships was a betrayal. To pilots like myself, who competed in the YC 118 Trials, it was an amazing connection to the lore and EVE’s history.
Not only did CCP rerelease the Gold Magnate and Silver Magnate ships, but they also significantly increased their stats. Silver Magnates, at max skill level, have a 100 percent damage bonus to their energy weapons among other statline improvements, compared to the not-really-better-than-Tech II statlines of the original incarnation. However, to be fair, when CCP released the original Gold Magnates and Silver Magnates, Tech II ships were not yet in the game.
Purchase and Loss
koral123’s Silver Magnate was purchased from Hoodie Mafia, who flew for House Kor-Azor under Lysus. Lysus’ team came in second place in the Amarr Trials, but did win a paid trip to Fanfest to compete. koral123 puts the current market value of the Silver Magnate class at around 115 billion ISK. He claims this significant drop is not only from the fact 20 more were added to the original 19 handed out, but that CCP created more once and might do so again. Alliance Tournament ships, however, have never been duplicated. The more cynical EVE players might add a ‘yet’ to that statement.
The loss of koral123’s Silver Magnate brings the total number of them to 32. Six were lost before the advent of modern killboards. Of the four Golden Magnates handed out, Maxine Antilles destroyed his when he quit the game using an alt called IQUIT FLYSAFEo7.
Just a Ship?
In response to the loss, koral123’s response was blasé. “If feels like losing space pixels. Everyone on reddit cares more about it then I do,” he said. To some, this is a very reasonable attitude. It’s a ship. It’s just a ship. To be fair, titans are flown on a daily basis and cost as much, if not more when properly fitted, and are lost with alarming frequency, so much frequency that a single titan loss doesn’t make INN anymore. It’s clear that koral123 agreed with adage that “a ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
To other owners of these rare ships, like myself, the ship is not a mere ISK valued commodity, or a collection of Powergrid and CPU Output that can be fitted and flown, but a memento, or trophy. The time that I spent with my Trials team was some of the best that I’ve ever had in EVE. Selling the ship is an idea that I cannot fathom. I only fly my Silver Magnate on very special occasions, out of fear of losing it. It’s not just a ship to me, or to many of the other pilots the flew in the trials—in an odd twist of fate, most of the Trials Teams that made it to the second round and received rewards were not the veteran PVPers that dominate Alliance Tournaments.
Hoodie Mafia, who sold his Silver Magnate to koral123, on the other hand got a physical memento in the form of a medal given to him by CCP, so it’s hard to blame him for selling the pixels. And since koral123 purchased it for ISK, he had no emotional connection to the ship; it was a number of level 5 missions flown, or capitals built.
There’s no right or wrong way to look at a ship, but as long as there are unique ships in EVE, people will fly them. As long as people fly unique ships, they will lose them. As long as people lose them, the rest of us will still be amazed at their panache.