Sotiyo Heist: An Escalating Series of Bluffs

Before I begin, some of you might have noticed this character is brand new. For strategic reasons(mostly involving the infiltration alt used) all of the names in this story have been changed. I will say however, that I represent alumni of a certain group known for appearing quite Suddenly. We’re known for our thefts and griefing, which are assured to be of the highest quality. For the purposes of this story, I will be going by the name of Garrett, after the protagonist of the Thief series. Anyways, onward to the sotiyo theft.

Part 1: Contact

Back in September 2017, I returned from a long break of a few years. I had a long checkered history of theft and griefing, but I had never pulled off a successful infiltration. Upon return, I made that my primary goal. I took some time to get re-acquainted and do some relatively mundane tasks while I brought myself up to speed. A lot had changed. After a period of adjustment spent trading and doing lowsec pvp, I found my target.

Viridian Dynamics had a corporate advert up, and it met every criteria I put forward. They were sitting just over about 50 players, not doing API checks, and had that atmosphere of “please join us”. A little research allowed me to find one of their citadels, and to my surprise I found its public description stated they were moving. Further, it wasn’t a basic one, but an engineering complex worth about 5 billion at the time. Their new home was only a few jumps out, but they were hiking to a fairly unpopulated .5 system near Jita. Satisfied that they would be an easy target, I put in my application on my alt, Trilby. A few days into October, I had my man in place.

I established my cover story. I was someone who had tried eve long ago, but gotten bored and stopped. After reading about it in the news, I decided to give it another try. They accepted this without question, and I was off to the races. I quickly surveyed their citadels and member activity. It was at this point I realized they had a sotiyo. I’d thought they were loaded, but I hadn’t expected them to be THAT loaded. With ships in place, I started mining in a venture next to a corp mate. All the while I was asking lots of newbro-sounding questions. You know, the sort of stuff that implies a lack of knowledge, but in the process leads to my targets divulging strategic information. It wasn’t long before it turned to the wars at hand.

They were not doing well, strategically. They had no less than 3 active wars at the time when I joined, all declared within the span of 2 days. Many of their newer players had been preyed upon repeatedly, without the knowledge to avoid or engage hostiles. Most of their hostiles were sitting around hubs, but it put a bit of a damper on morale. Sensing an opportunity, I tried to organize impromptu mining fleets with a few of the more friendly corpmates. Mind you, I had no boosting skills to speak of, but getting the gang together and creating a positive attitude would maximize my chances of being trusted with hangar access.

Befriending the more active players was easy, but in the process I learned something unfortunate. The CEO, Lord Bafford, kept his assets locked down remarkably well. He wasn’t in the business of extorting his newer players, but he made a point to keep all high valued assets out of reach of anyone but himself. This was a problem. They would occassionally lend things to each other, but there were almost no centralized assets in a position to be grabbed except the sotiyo itself. They had several orcas on standby, and I considered “borrowing” one, but I decided against it. It was go big or go home. Still, the fact that several people had orcas and freighters meant I would be struggling to stand out from the pack.

I started establishing psych profiles and activity logs of all the active members, especially Lord Bafford. I found Lord Bafford to be friendly and generous. But he was also inexperienced with combat and(perhaps justifiably) paranoid. You see, Lord Bafford, like the rest of his corporation, did not understand PvP. They knew the mechanics of the game. They ran missions. But all of them were industrialists; carebears to the core. The only directors were his alts. His diplomat, Toyota Mitsubishi, didn’t have any access either. As inexperienced as they were, they had the sense to keep their assets relatively decentralized. They had an ore buyout program at just below Jita prices, but it was handled by a single isolated member. And it was like that with everything. They had a lot to offer a newbro, but each project was largely self-contained by the individual who ran it. With an eclectic mix of newbros and paranoid inexperienced industry vets, I needed to get creative.


Part 2: Escalation

If they wouldn’t let me get near their assets, then I’d have to get them to bring the assets to me. Morale was down, casualties were up, and they had 3 active wardecs from various groups. I wasn’t even sure yet entirely what I was planning. But I knew that their stability needed to be fractured. I started moving assets into a staging system 2 jumps from their home. I took an alt I used for scanning and hauling, and fit him up in a covops for scouting. I had a Curse for ganking them in missions, a Rupture for general purpose, and a couple other ships of various sizes and applications. Roughly one week after I put Trilby in place, I moved Garrett to an alt corporation, and declared war on them. Shortly thereafter, one of the previous wardecs was invalidated. Viridian Dynamics Corp Chat was interesting.

Amanda Mines > …
Andrew Garfield > oh for f sake
Amanda Mines > fk this
Bear Rabies > lol
Bear Rabies > 1 man corp
Amanda Mines > lol
Bear Rabies > don’t take the bait
Amanda Mines > he may have friends
Bear Rabies > exactly
Green Puppy > holy crap another declaration of war
Bear Rabies > yeah, from a 1 man corp
Green Puppy > oh lol

Partly for my amusement, and partly to see how they reacted, I sent a memepost evemail to a small number of corp members selected at random. I have a flair for the theatrical. After a brief discussion, they were convinced it was just someone who was just bored and felt like shitposting(not entirely wrong). Morale seemed to be going up slightly.

Flutter Shy > ok… so now we just lok out for just one vet player who migh play his alt :slight_smile:
Lord Bafford > yup…better then tons of enemys

They were convinced the worst had passed, and this new wardec was just someone having fun with them. I needed to change their minds. The following day, about 10 minutes before the wardec went active, I saw this gem in corp chat. A bit of background first; Green Puppy had an account around 5 years old, but had let it lapse immediately before returning much later. He was a newbro in every sense, with a real playtime of just over a month…

Green Puppy > i am sitting here in my chair flying milo my retreiver, while milo the reallife retreiver naps on the bed next to me

I was filled with a slightly giddy sensation. Do I kick the puppy? HELL YES I DO. 10 minutes later I dropped out of warp in my Rupture, and put milo down. Then I killed Green Puppy’s pod for good measure. But the fun didn’t stop there. Thinking he could take my gank-rupture in his mission Ferox, he came BACK and engaged me on a gate shortly thereafter. In the span of 10 minutes, he lost his mining barge named after his dog, his mission ship, AND his pod…twice.

Green Puppy > godammit got attacked by that asshole twice
Green Puppy > that asshole is in [redacted]
Amanda Mines > who
Green Puppy > tjhe asshole who declared war
Trilby(me) > How’d he kill you twice?
Green Puppy > with a ■■■■■■■ ship
Green Puppy > i went back to get him and he got me again
Amanda Mines > garrett
Green Puppy > 'he is at the [redacted] gate in [redacted]
Trilby(me) > what do we do?
Amanda Mines > we go to sleep
Amanda Mines > and give him zero more kills

Yes, I’m sure that will deter me. Over the next few days I ran locators on every active corp member, and proceeded to make absolutely certain that their operations were disrupted. I logged on and off at sporadic times so they couldn’t get a bead on my timezone, and sometimes AFK’d cloaked in their home system. For good measure I jettisoned all the corpses from their members I podded outside of the sotiyo undock, along with a bunch of others I had lying around. Morale was dropping fast.

The more active members thought they could escape by traveling halfway across highsec and running missions. They were wrong. With Curse in tow and a scout alt with scanning skills, I scanned down mission runners until I found a target, and then secured a warp-in for Garrett. Most of them weren’t watching local that closely, so they didn’t notice I was in local until I showed up their mission. After all as soon as I entered system I was warping immediately. Green Puppy was one of them. After losing his mission Ferox(again), he decided to contact me.

Part 3: The Plan

Morale was plummeting. They’d been the target of 4 wardecs in 2 weeks. They just wanted it to end. People in corp were starting to wonder(seeded in part by my spy) if they were being targeted. At the same time, I was in negotiations with 2 moderately sized merc corporations. We’d negotiated a price, and I had wardec terms set up. But I decided to hold off for a bit, until…

Garrett > o/ friendo
Green Puppy > whats your problem?
Garrett > ?
Green Puppy > running a mission
Garrett > I’m hunting.
Green Puppy > hunt someone else. i just quit the corp
Garrett > There was a contract. I’m just the merc. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Green Puppy > what contract?
Garrett > Dunno. Some guy’s paying me to ■■■■ with your corp.
Garrett > Used an alt. idgaf I’m just getting isk for it
Green Puppy > awesome. in 23 hours you can ■■■■ with them to your heatrs content. i wont be in the picture
Garrett > If you don’t mind my asking, why are you in this corp anyways?
Green Puppy > somebody asked me so i said ok
Garrett > They have a lot of assets, and I think the ceo pissed someone off.
Green Puppy > dont know them that well
Green Puppy > havent seen the ceo yet
Garrett > aight well
Garrett > GL with your next corp. Maybe they won’t have to deal with me. rofl
Green Puppy > well at lest i still have my implants
Garrett > Indeed.
Garrett > No hard feelings man. Once you drop corp or my contract ends its business as usual, naturally.

The conversation continued on for some time, and I gave him geniune advice. Part of it was trying to become the “good cop” in their eyes, but I also wanted to help a newbro out. I was worried I’d played my hand too hard. I’m sure most of you reading this are facepalming, but hey cut me some slack. It was my first infiltration! Anyways, I was holding off to start the associated wardecs. I wanted to seed the idea of a hidden antagonist, but not 24 hours later I received this:

Personal Inquiry
From: Toyota Mitsubishi
To: Garrett,

Hi Garrett

I have this uncertain feeling you were hired to go after us. I know, you know, everyone knows, getting wardecced from time to time is business as usual, even for highsec corps. But the frequency of wardecs have raised my suspicion. So I’m investigating this matter for myself, anything within this conversation would not go outside.
I can’t work against the people who keep us griefdecced so frequently, so I won’t ask for your contractors, but I can perhaps work against the reasons.

with regards,
Toyota Mitsubishi

What followed was a small exchange during which I more or less said “I’ll ask him for you”. I frantically contacted the merc diplos to pull the trigger on those wardecs. I expected these guys would get suspicious after the second week. I never expected them to freak out that fast. They now had received 6 wardecs in 2 weeks. Serendipitously, the first 3 wardecs(which I had no control over) had dropped right around the time these conversations were occurring. At this point, every active wardec on them was either from me directly, or some merc corps I’d paid. The ones I paid were asked if contacted to say that it was a contract war, but they were not allowed to disclose the client. I honestly have no idea if they contacted them, but for completeness sake I included this detail.

24 hours after that, I contacted them on an alt, Chad Vader.

Part 4: Negotiations

Well, I have “good cop” in place. Time to play “bad cop”.

The actual chat logs were extensive, with a lot of details unnecessary to this story, so I’ll summarize. We met in a private channel. They were confused to say the least. Citing some of the rumors and discussions at fanfest, I basically said I wanted a .5 system near Jita to myself, with borders on some relatively quiet lowsec moons and highsec moons available for mining. To reinforce the lie, I cited the changes coming down the pipe of allowing .5 highsec systems to allow moon mining. I wanted to secure territory early. After a brief exchange I sent them the following proposal…

From: Chad Vader
To: Lord Bafford, Toyota Mitsubishi,

In the interest of peaceful resolution, I am prepared to cease all aggression, and withdraw all mercenary contracts, so long as my terms are met. My initial proposal is included below. However, after some discussion and consideration, I have also included an alternative proposal which would be in line with my goals, while also requiring much less in the way of logistics on your part.

Either option is acceptable, pending revision and negotiation of course.

Proposal A:

  1. Effective immediately, you are to begin unanchoring your sotiyo class citadel in the [redacted] system. This is to be relocated to another location of your choosing, so long as it is not located within [redacted].

  2. You are to cease all “official” operations within the [redacted] system. This refers to any planetary interactions(including individuals), fleet operations, and organized market efforts. This does not cover small scale market interactions, mining of individual players, or any other small scale interactions in the [redacted] system. You are not “banned” from the system. Rather, you are strongly discouraged from large scale operations.

  3. Within 24 hours of the brokering of this arrangement, you are to transfer a sum of 5.8 billion isk to myself, as reparations for the war costs incurred so far. 24 hours is permitted to allow time to set aside resources, and as a “good faith” measure so that you can see the dropping of war declarations and the sincere attempt at a peaceful resolution.

End Proposal

Proposal B:

  1. Within 72* hours, you are to transfer to me a sum of 20.8 billion isk, as an “operations fee” to permit full access to the [redacted] system, with no restrictions or limitations.

  2. If any corporation, alliance, or entity requests information regarding this agreement, or the wars leading up to it, you are to fully disclose the nature of those wars, and the willingness on my part to fund and instigate said wars. You are not required to disclose the transfer of assets or the nature of our agreement otherwise. You are only required to state the intentions and capabilities of myself in the interest of securing control of the [redacted] system.

  3. While you are to vouch for the military funding that is capable of being leveraged within the [redacted] system, you are not obligated to participate in, or offer any “loyalty” to myself and my operations within the [redacted] region. Only a statement of capabilities is required.

*Time frame is negotiable due to short notice. Payment plans may be acceptable.

End Proposal

A bit of context will perhaps illuminate things further. With the coming changes to citadels, refining, and industry as a whole, .5 systems are going to be of great value, as I’m sure you are aware. The [redacted] system is by my estimation one of the best systems that is still within relative close proximity to Jita. I fully acknowledge that even in the context of this, the nature of this war could be described as excessive. There is a reason for this. I intended to use you as an example, so to speak. This was not motivated by malice or any personal conflict. Rather, this was intended to stand as a future threat to those who intended to take residence in [redacted]. By showing precedent in my ability to fund the dismantling of a corporation, and removal of a sotiyo class citadel, any future conflict would be deemed unnecessary. The possibility of large scale mercenary contracts would be enough to force an eviction, without having to resort to a siege.

However, the point was raised that the war history alone, if combined with your testimony, would achieve the same results without needing to escalate this conflict further. I think that, given the options listed, the second proposal may be better for you in the long run. By conventional standards, these ransoms may seem incredibly high, but I think we both know that given the assets on the table, these are fair proposals. Your citadels alone, with rigs, could easily push past 40 billion. Adding in the opportunity cost of relocation, lost time, and the ever-growing losses on your killboard, I do not think this settlement to be unreasonable. I hope you see things in a similar light.

I am willing, of course, to consider revisions and changes on a case by case basis. But allow me to make one thing perfectly clear going forward. If you use my good nature as an excuse to stall for time, or attempt to in any way mislead me or abuse these terms, I will not hesitate to burn every citadel you have to the ground. My contacts can, and will, track down your stations even in wspace. I had already originally planned to escalate this conflict further, and if you attempt to play me in any way I will not hesitate to do so.

I hope you find the options listed to be equitable and fair.

Chad Vader

I sat there sweating like a pig. I knew this was outlandish and theatrical. But it had to be. Who else would fund 6 wars WITHOUT directly attacking? What’s the quote? People will believe a big lie more readily than a small one? There was an awkward silence. I went full poker face and didn’t say a word. The bait hung in the air untouched.

And they took the bait. They started asking if they could defer payment over the new few days while they took out loans. I ignored the urge to start asking into their finances, and simply offered a timetable which would end BEFORE they unanchored, naturally. After some hashing out, the deal was struck. At this point between kicking the dog and encouraging them to take out loans to pay my false ransom, I’m pretty sure I was registering several microhitlers on the evil scale. But I was too deep in to back out now. I breathed a sigh of relief.

	Part 5: The Steal

As I was letting my jitters subside, I received the following evemail…

From: Toyota Mitsubishi
To: Garrett,

Thanks for helping me out with this.

You helped out immensely by forwarding my request. I’m still a newbro with a primary focus on industry, so there isn’t much I offer besides probably getting a ship, or so. Or activating a contact.

I’m also sending this, because I also know a bit about your “out of client” persona. It’s also because you went easy on Green Puppy.

My main name was also used for some other games, and reddit. Turns out we’d crossed paths amicably in the past on the eve subreddit. If I was on the microhitler scale before, I was approaching actual hitlers now. Man, infiltration is rough on the conscience. As much as these guys were screaming to get robbed blind, they were actually fun in corp. On the bright side, I’m pretty sure I can buy a new conscience for a fraction of the price of a sotiyo. Onward!

I staked out the sotiyo on a scout alt and it wasn’t long before I saw the words “Unanchoring” pop up. I noted the time and started to grab my Orca. It was that point I realized wait a second. This thing doesn’t fit in an Orca. Oh ■■■■. I frantically started contacting some of my allies. Luckily, I had several people volunteer almost immediately. A fellow scavenger by the name of Brynjolf stepped up and offered to attend the op with his alt in a freighter. I had to buy the ship, but hey, 5 billion isk is enough to buy several freighters so I’ll take it. The funny thing was, my Orca alt could fly a freighter a couple days AFTER the steal.

I sent the required evemails and all their wardecs disappeared. The isk started flowing in over the next few days. We coordinated timing, and a plan was set in motion. I got a bookmark as far as I could inside of the citadel so we’d have a good landing point. Bookmarks were transferred. We flew the freighter to a station in system with incident. Everything was going smoothly. The waiting was the hard part.

The night of the heist, we had everything timed. I had a scout in place, and I had Garrett outside of system ready to come in and bump if needed. Brynjolf dropped out of warp, and…they canceled unanchoring. I’d called for the warp too soon. I kicked myself and realized I’d screwed the pooch on this one. I was SURE this op was a fail at this point. But Lord Bafford contacted Chad Vader. It turns out he thought one of the mercs had double crossed Chad. I thanked Bob almighty. I had a second chance. I would not fail this time.

There was a flurry of evemails while we figured out what to do. At this point I was in damage control. I didn’t want to obviously steer in one way or the other, so acted concerned somewhat. We floated the idea of calling in a more reputable merc outfit to act as watchdogs, but it was decided against. I offered them an extension of 10 days to get something in place, and Lord Bafford agreed. My cover story was still in place. My spy was not detected. But Brynjolf’s freighter alt was outed now. And if I showed up as Garrett in system they’d cancel immediately.

Luckily, my orca alt was about to become a freighter alt.

	Part 6: The Steal Redux

Lord Bafford was on edge. He knew they had hostiles watching. It was time for another stupid idea. On my spy alt, I’d been listening in and hearing bits and pieces. He said that thieves had attempted to steal it, and he was trying to think of a solution to stop the theft. I suggested he start the unanchoring, then stop and restart it when it was very late at night, so that the hostiles would be incorrectly informed as to when it would be vulnerable. After a bit, he agreed that was a good idea.

Meanwhile, I had a second character lying around who I used as an afk alt in wormholes so I don’t get locked out. He had nothing but some basic scanning skills and the ability to fit a tier 1 cloak. It was enough. I put him on a perch above the sotiyo, and I bought quite a large amount of caffeinated beverages IRL. I thanked the heavens it was a weekend. I put eve on my second monitor, launched some video capture software, and both watched it in person and had a backup video(this will be important later). The following day, way early in the morning, the sotiyo stopped and restarted unanchoring. I actually stayed up the night after as well to be sure, but he didn’t do it again.

I went over the video I captured, and measured it to the exact second that the unanchoring would occur. When everyone else was offline, I set up a new perch off grid but very close to the sotiyo, so I could safely warp to the location without being seen. I measured the warp time of my freighter to the exact second, along with align times. I reran my numbers, until I knew exactly when I needed to start the warp. I double checked to make sure my bookmarks were as close as I could get to the center. This time I wasn’t going to give them a chance to respond.

The night of the false unanchoring occurred, and nobody showed up. Lord Bafford relaxed noticeably, convinced this would all be over soon. Technically, he wasn’t wrong. I intentionally kept my spy offline more and more citing IRL issues. I’d already played this one pretty close to the chest with that suggestion. If I failed again and lost my spy I was completely screwed.

When the final night came, I noticed they were mustering a bit. Turns out he had told one or two highly trusted members to bring drakes? Okay. I had comm silence because I didn’t want to log my spy on, so I wasn’t sure what they were doing. With 3 minutes to go, I undocked my freighter, and aligned. The minute counted up, and I turned on a stopwatch. I entered warp at the determined moment. Once again, I was sweating. I dropped out of warp the exact second the unanchoring finished.

And I was 16km off the structure. Internally I was thinking “■■■■ ■■■■ ■■■■. Wait, what? He’s like 50km away from me?” Turns out he was at the “approach to zero” location of the anchored sotiyo. Or, more precisely, so far out of scoop range he’d never catch up. I set the sotiyo on approach. Their freighter started to align to warp out. The drakes were coming to bump me. I logged in Garrett from a logoff trap in a bump mach. The first bump hit…and pushed me TOWARDS the sotiyo. WHAT. They weren’t bumping. They had me on approach, and it just so happened because of my position that it gave me a hefty boost towards the sotiyo. I cut power to Garrett’s mach and counted the meters as they passed by. It was an absolute snails crawl. But after what seemed like forever, I scooped it.

Sotiyo secured.

Total Costs: A cut of the haul to Brynjolf, a couple hundred million isk for war costs, my sleeping patterns

Total Profits: A sotiyo, 5.8 billion isk.

Total Resources Committed: 1 guy with 3 accounts. One favor called in from a total bro. A couple hundred million in wardecs

When all was said and done, I was probably as eager for this to be over as they were. The entire operation was under a month, but it consumed all of my eve playtime. Keeping track of all the lies, the intel, the psych profiles, and the target schedules was just exhausting. But it was an absolute blast. By far the most fun heist I’ve ever pulled. I’ve since returned to petty theft, at least for the time being. As I mentioned, I’ve changed all the names. I’m not super worried about if someone tracks me down. I just don’t want it to be easy to find out which alts were involved. I plan on reusing some of those resources.

And remember, this is Eve. Always kick the puppy.


i read it all i liked it

LOL! Great read…and congrats on the heist!

Paul? Khalia? Netsune? Zed? Velocity?

Am I close?


No, but I was mentored by some of them a LONG time ago. I consider it a compliment that you compare me to them, but they’re way better than me. They’re fantastic.

I was there at the beginning, I flew with them all, just never actually joined TEARS.

Some of your wording made me hope you were Paul or Zed.

Great posting, congrats on the win.

Great post. A wealthy source of inspiration. Nice job.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you around on certain channels. Either way, I think we all miss the greats who either left, or moved on to different things.

1 Like

Someone encouraged me to post the mememail I sent them. It’s a bit crass, but it’s from a well known shitpost. This evemail was the first thing they received, immediately following the beginning of the wardec.

“My name is Garrett, and I hate every single one of you. All of you are large signature radius, slow align time, carebears who spend every second of their day looking at scordite asteroids. You are everything bad in New Eden. Honestly, have any of you ever gotten any killmails? I mean, I guess it’s fun mining ore because of your own industries, but you all take to a whole new level. This is even worse than afk hauling through Uedama.
Don’t be a hauler. Just hit me with your best shot. I’m pretty much perfect. I was FC of the dreadnought fleet, and interceptor in my lowsec fleet. What fleets do you fly in, other than “shoot rocks while watching anime”? I also have a 50:1 KD ratio, and have a black ops exploration ship (She just escalated me; Shit was SO isk). You are all carebears who should just dock up. Thanks for listening.
Pic Related: It’s me and my Sin”

1 Like

I have 17 million, can I help?

Outstanding work and storytelling! You have no idea how happy I am to see others that are truely creative and are able to create content out of thin air. Your ability to tell the story was done really well, and reminded me of how I’ve wrote about some of my exploits in Eve (you are totally a better write than me though).

More importantly I’m happy to see wars used in a way that originally grabbed my attention when I first started playing. I highly encourage you to do us all a favor and keep us in the loop of your future exploits!

God, so many good things here that I love: War decs, focused hunting, spies, theft, scams, BUMP MACHARIELS, and best of all outstanding story telling to wrap it with a bow.

A++ Would read again. 10/10

Unfortunately I have to take another break from Eve due to IRL concerns. So I’m going to just go ahead and reveal myself and assign credit to Quality Assurance and the Suddenly Ninjas alumni for their support and for teaching me their ways back when I joined in 2009. Bladewise was my partner in crime and provided freighter support. Oh well. Whenever I return again I’ll try to do something else big. But for now I must fade back into the shadows.

Just posting to confirm I am in fact Garresh with Quality Assurance. And yeah I owe a lot of my knowledge and training to Khalia Nesune directly, and Paul fairly indirectly by means of his blog. Those guys were great, and I stand by my statement that I can’t hold a candle to them. Though there are still many amazing ninjas around nowadays who I look up to that keep the torch burning. Bladewise and Solomar have been at it for years, as well as pretty much all of Quality Assurance.

I approve of this product and/or service. Please continue.