UPDATE: The Hel was returned to the original donor on March 24, 2023. As always, I treat all donations seriously and with the best of intentions. Always have, always will.
Since I started writing this blog years ago the generous spirit of my readers has helped fuel my adventures in Eve Online. This is something that I rarely discuss publicly and there are very few people who know just how much this generous spirit has truly helped over the years. Last year Johnny Oxford Virpio was kind enough to donate 20,000 fully fitted frigates to help with the FF4A event. In past years players have donated prizes, or special ships (like my Marshal one year) or helped out with a few hundred frigates or more here and there. Way back in the early days my fellow bloggers got together and got me my very first Cynabal back when I first learned to fly them. I had that Cynabal for years.
Those are just a few examples. To get a true sense of the scale you could easily times those by a factor of 20 or more. Donations are a huge part of how we can afford to put together these events, participate in the Alliance Tournament, and help keep independent piracy and good fights alive in the game. Donations are a critical part of my efforts inside of Eve Online. And they have been for the past fourteen years.
Needless to say I take this very seriously and I strive to treat all donations with the respect and integrity they deserve. And with sincere appreciation. I bring all of this up simply to put things into context and set the stage for the dilemma this post is all about.
Back in November someone (and no I won't be using any names here) contacted me about a donation. This donation was different because it involved a Super. Now, just to be clear, Rixx does not fly Supers. With just shy of 300m skillpoints I don't even have the skills trained to fly a Super. Even worse, I honestly have no place to even put a Super. Some local hooligans were nice enough to remove all of our structures last year and even if they hadn't, we never owned one that would house a Super of any kind. I made sure to explain all of this to the donor. The donor asked that I consider flying it in the FF4A. I said I would try to make that happen, but that I could not guarantee it would.
Now you need to know something else about this donation. It isn't just a empty hull. This Hel is fully officer fit and shows as worth 14b isk in the simulation fitting window. This is something that I didn't fully appreciate until after the contract was accepted. And this fact changed things a little. So I made the decision to just let the ship sit there and I would think about what to do in the months leading up to the FF4A in March. Which was still five months away at that point.
Please remember while reading this that we are talking about Eve here. Remember that someone just up and gave me a 14b+ Officer-fitted Super Carrier with essentially no strings attached. And add into this the fact that it appears this player "won" Eve the day after the contract was accepted. Their zKill stops on that date and all emails to the player have remained unanswered. And, even so, I just let that ship sit there. It is still sitting there.
I ultimately decided that this was all too weird. And that my best course of action would be to wait until the FF4A and see what happened. There wasn't much choice. While I did have Rixx train up to fly the ship, I had no possible location to store such a ship. Every single person I sought for advice on the subject ended up with the same advice - strip it and sell it for the isk.
Knowing that the neighborhood hooligans would show up at the event also meant that there was no way I would willingly feed such a ship as this into that meat-grinder. So that wasn't going to happen. It was bad enough undocking a Thanatos into that on Saturday. Why would I give those players the satisfaction.
And sure enough, as expected, the ship got thrown in my face by those self-same hooligans. Where was it? Why didn't it show up? Did Rixx cheat a donor? Did Rixx steal a donation to line his own pockets?! Suddenly there was concern. Driven by the expectation of a juicy kill mail of course. Not because any of them actually cared about anything else involved.
So the ship will remain where it is currently for an extended period of time yet to be determined. I have reached out to the player involved yet again and expressed my desire to return the ship if requested. I have also reached out to the player's CEO to find out if they know if the player has left the game for good. I am trying to do my due diligence here. As I always do.
So, dear reader, having read all of the above - what do you think I should do?