I’ve had a handful of times over the years where someone has offered to buy my Player Owned Custom Offices, including the Corporation who declared war the other day.

Logically I should have sold them. I haven’t used them for some time and am not likely too in the near future, I earn minimal ISK from them and I can’t defend them. I should have taken the money and ran.

What has stopped me is that a small collection of individuals and corporations have been given access to use my POCO for 0% tax. I didn’t know if they still use them as I see no journal entries, or even if they still play, but I presume there are people out there who have PI set ups and routines that include the assumption of access to my cheap POCO.

I know it probably seems stupid, but it doesn’t sit right with my personal integrity to sell out on them. I expect few would have that expectation or care, but it is just how I feel.

When the latest approach came about the POCO I immediately checked my Custom Office journal entries and sent an Alt over to the system to eyeball the locals for a while. As luck would have it I noticed pilots with blue standings still living in the area.

I felt a little sorry for the Corporation that declared war. They seemed to have young and keen pilots, and where playing a sort of optimistic, plant your flag type of game. It is a game that would make you a target.  In my initial investigations, I could see they had anchored at least the smaller Raitaru and mid-spec Azbel engineering complexes, along with an Astrahus Citadel. I could also see their Killboard was mostly a sea of red and that they had been mauled previously by some of the usual Hi-Sec wolves. Taking my POCO would add to their collection of structures and provide them with a needed morale boost from an easy win.

What they were not to know is that I had on occasion thought about what a solo player like me could do against a medium sized Hi-Sec industrial corporation like them. I’ve read plenty of blogs and stories about the escapades of others, and gone as far as finding likely candidates. I had no idea if I’d be able to do anything effective, and I wasn’t sure I’d get much enjoyment out of it, but it was an area of game play worth looking at. The problem was that I have never been able to bring myself to War Dec the sort of Corporation I might be able to have an impact against. Now I would have the opportunity without the initial moral discomfort.

Because I was out of the house and on the road soon after the War Declaration came through, I wasn’t able to do the preparations I had wanted too. I did manage to spend several billion ISK Plexing my main Alt account, grabbing a Freighter, and moving in a stockpile of PVP hulls into the area. I even finished off some investigations on boosters and brought in a supply of suitable ones. I had planned to continue the War Dec well beyond the loss of my POCO, and look into the disruption I could cause, hunting their local miners and mission runners, camping trade routes and hubs for their haulers, theory crafting the ship set ups to oppose what they commonly flew, identifying their traps and all the sorts of intelligence gathering I might try to effect. What about hiring help, how much would it cost, what might I target?

I expect I would make a complete hash of it or simply not enjoyed myself, but you never know if you never try.

Not long after the War went live I watched cloaked on and off from various vantage points as the Corporation put two of four POCO into reinforced mode. It took them around an hour and 14 minutes for each. On the third the fleet dispersed and there was only one Rokh left on the POCO. They might have got tired or been trying to bait me. I unfortunately was running around the house sorting food for a New Year’s EVE party, wrangling children, and packing to visit my family for a couple of days. Just as I was about to log off I made a run on the lone Rokh – locking and shooting it with some of the new fireworks. Unfortunately and oddly I didn’t see any pretty lights from this endeavor, and I logged off with the idea of starting my campaign in a few days’ time.

A couple of sleeps later I was sitting in my parent’s kitchen, chatting to my Mum as she prepared food. I logged into my laptop to check email and quickly look at what was happening in EVE. Oddly there were no messages about destroyed POCO but instead an offer to retract the war. The attackers had another round of war declarations in bound that they were ill-equipped to handle and were reevaluating the location of their home system. What oddly fortuitous timing.

I accepted and advised I wouldn’t undertake any hostile action in the remaining 24 hours. As I said in my last post, there was no malice in the process.

While this means I won’t be following through with my plans, I will leave some combat ships and jump clones in the area so that if someone else chases the POCO, it won’t be such a scramble to be able to provide some sort of response.

The story doesn’t quite end here though. When I logged in the following day I had a message from one of those groups who had free access to my POCO. It was one of those groups I had friendly interactions with in the past but not spoken to in some time. It was one of those groups I declined to sell my POCO to others because it might have been troublesome for them. It turned out I wasn’t the only one who looked out for old allies.

Even as a Hermit, you can still experience the coolness that connections can provide within EVE.

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