Mission escalation nets 6.5 Billion “Payout”

Missions & PVE Escalations. For some of us in New Eden, it’s a way of life, the “Quest system” of space, grinding all that standing, holding off wave after wave of rats for NPC corporations who are unwilling to just go out and…well do it on their own. For Colby Chamberlin, a logi pilot with Pandemic Horde, it had become a bit of a challenge – a way to switch gears from running exploration sites until he got an escalation… in Hakonen.

Now, low-sec missions & escalations tend to be on the avoid list for mission runners for many reasons, even though they may have a higher payout than a safer run in high security space. But Hakonen over the last two weeks has been the main theatre of the largest war of this year in Eve – with the Imperium attempting to online two citadels last week meeting with two high pitched battles with PanFam that involved over two thousand players both times. It is the primary staging area of Goonswarm and company, where there are, on average some 500-800 Goonswarm pilots online at any given time, and Colby, as a member of their sworn enemy alliance would most likely be targeted out the second he dropped into system.

Chamberlin posted the escalation screen shot in this thread on r/eve. Almost instantly the bets were on, with player after player from both sides of the war offering to donate 100 million isk each should Colby post a video of himself running the escalation through the Goon Hive.

“I told my wife I would run the Hakonen site if $1B pledged. The fact that it got as big as it did–I still don’t believe it.”

The full tally at the end of the original reddit post totalled over 2.9 billion isk, 1 plex, as well as Jonn Duune’s donated Micro Jump Drive (slightly used). Most didn’t think he would actually run the site, but Colby went right to work:

    “I originally went into Hakonen in a Claw to burn pings the same day as the original reddit post. There weren’t any camps, but it did feel that the combat probes were out”

The next day, during what was typically the AU players time zone and thus for Goonswarm not their largest player base, Colby turned his camera on, and jumped into system to chase down some pirates. At that time, there were around 500 people in the low sec system. All of them hostile to one lone Ishtar pilot. And it seems as if the sheer number of other ships in system helped to hide his run:

 “There were combat probes out in my normal d-scan distance. So I had to limit it to 3AU to see if they were zeroing in on me. My strategy was to warp out without my drones if I saw any combat scanners. The idea was that with that many in local that the combat scanners would not include anything other than ships. And if they didn’t get a 100% lock on me, then they couldn’t find me.”

However, one Buzzard pilot almost had him, with 8 probes on Colby’s dscan. Chamberlin thought perhaps the Buzzard might happen upon the site and cloak up by the time he returned, but took the risk coming back to finish off the mission.

Upon turning in the mission to the respective authorities, Chamberlin received a the standard payout of 50 million isk, including the bounty on all pirates destroyed. The loot totalled around 150 million as well. But then reddit responded after seeing the video here, and the money kept coming in.

With all said after the video had been posted, Colby received over 6.5 billion isk, possibly the highest “payout” received for any pve event in the game:

      I started playing in 2007, but took some time off in college. I have been playing on and off since 2012 at this point, but have been pretty active the last year. In 2007, I remember running level 2’s and thinking I would never earn enough money for my goal ship: the Drake! (very differnt ship back then). Haha–I don’t know that I would have ever dreamed of getting as much money as I did in my whole career, let alone over one escalation!

When asked what he would do with the donations he received, Colby joked he may need to buy a Vindicator tricked out with faction mods to YOLO back into Hakonen, but is happy to have contributed to the “war effort” in his own way, with people on both sides of the great war cheering him on through the run and both sides donating to the pool in the end:

I’ve always loved the community, but I love it more that so many different people from various in-game groups came together in this. The stories and community are what makes Eve so amazing, this has confirmed it for me.

Monday marked yet another high pitched battle in Hakonen, with yet another citadel online attempt from Goonswarm. And despite all the rhetoric and propaganda from all sides, stories like Chamberlin’s show the heart of the matter, and the draw of Eve – that intangible thing that keeps all of us pilots heading out into the great interstellar spreadsheet time and again, that sense of true community.