Yesterday found me starting my Eve day with a little PVE. Since I'm running for CSM9 as a lowsec representative, not just FW, I figured I should sample one of our more recent and vaunted special PVE activities, Tags4Sec. I've linked the dev blog there, so if you're not familiar with how this works, I encourage you to read it.
What the dev blog doesn't really mention is how the tags are spread out. The tags to get you from -10 to -8 are only dropped from Clone rats in 0.4 systems, with -8 to -5 in 0.3 systems. As one might guess, these tags are not worth very much to sell. Most people like myself who have gone down past -5 don't really care about being able to go into high sec unfettered, or we'd not have gone that low in the 1st place. You might expect to sell these tags for 2-3 million ISK if you're lucky. The NPCs will also grant a modest amount of sec status gain for killing them akin to what you might get for killing an NPC battleship, however these guys are a bit more dangerous.
-5 to -2 and -2 to 0.0 Clone rats can be found in 0.2 and 0.1 systems respectively. The tags they drop are in a bit more demand, and one can expect to sell them between 20 and 30 million each in today's market. The sec status gain for killing them can also grant you up to 3x the sec status gain you would get from killing an NPC battleship.
|My preferred Clone Rat Hunter|
JonnyPew put out a great video some time ago about engaging them. My method is quite similar, except that I use a nemesis. Like Jonny, I use double target painters (absolutely necessary for engaging cruiser sized targets) and missile range rigs. I find I'm able to get a bit more DPS out of the nemesis thanks to the differences in grid, and not needing to waste a low slot on a power grid mod.
The NPC rats that use missiles have a 65-70k range, and you DO NOT want to be in range without a very solid tank. You also need to be in a ship that can slip through the various cockbag camps and frigate gangs common in low sec that will guarantee anything cruiser sized and up simply will not make it far without being ganked to hell.
I spent about 2 hours trolling around 0.2 and 0.1 systems in the western part of our warzone, and managed to find 3 spawns. I was also stopping to whack any NPC battleship spawns I found along the way. All told, I got about 20 million in bounties, and 75 million in tags. Doing the math, as far as ISK per hour goes, L4 missions in high sec pay better. The benefits to sec status were fairly decent though as I went from -8.3 to -7.7. During my entire 2 hour run, I did not encounter a single other pilot in any belt I visited. That might be good news for some, and bad for others.
Thankfully, this story has an exciting ending. With my hold full of loot and tags, I was making my way back to Nennamaila and passed through a cockbag (insta lock alpha thrasher) camp with a tornado supporting about 70k off. I'd have been screwed in anything non-cloaky, but my stealth bomber blew through easily enough.
As I was traversing through system, I was pinged by fellow Gal Mil pilot Dopified who had just lost a derptron to these guys and was back in a nemesis of his own. It was time for a little payback, was I in? I looked at all the pretty tags in my hold I would very much like to sell, and said "fuck yeah, let's do it!" Worst that could happen is I'd lose just over 100m between ship and loot, why not? Not enough people PVP in lowsec with bombers anyway.
So we snuck up on the far side of the Nado, Dopified decloaked and pointed him, I decloaked and slapped my target painters on the guy, and he didn't even last 2 volleys.
I'm not really sure if the guy was paying attention or what, but we also snagged his pod while his thrasher friends were warping off as fast as they could align.
|That might have hurt the wallet a tad.|
The 2 kills (as they were Caldari Militia) added almost 28,000 LP to my rake for my stealth bomber adventure, and will translate into another 75 million ISK when I cash it out later on. It kind of makes me wonder why someone would spend 2 hours hunting clone rats for the same money.
My adventure for the day did not end here, but this entry has gotten a bit long, so we'll stop for now. Stay tuned next time for the Little Tristan that Could (kill a dramiel) among other lowsec PVP stories.