Posted Mon, Aug 23, 2010 by Space Junkie
The first thing you should do if you take salvaging seriously is put together a dedicated salvaging ship. With such a ship, you can quickly hoover up wrecks from missions or battles and make much better use of your time. Players that run level four missions will often kill all the NPCs at them, then switch to a specialized salvaging ship to clean up the wrecks.
The best salvaging ships in EVE Online are those of the destroyer class of ships. This is because they have 8 high slots, each of which can potentially be equipped with the salvaging module. The more salvagers you have fit, the less time it will take to salvage a given wreck because you can have multiple salvagers active on the same wreck. You can also have the salvagers split up amongst different wrecks too, so as to quickly convert large numbers of wrecks into salvage in your hold.
The Cormorant is the best tech one salvager for most peoples' purposes.
Amongst the destroyers, the Cormorant reigns supreme where salvaging is concerned. It has the most CPU, and can fit either an afterburner or microwarpdrive in a mid-slot, to make travel times between wrecks shorter.
If you have a ready source of wrecks that belong to yourself or people in your corporation (and you are not in an NPC corporation), then you can use a 'Small Tractor Beam I' module or two to pull those wrecks in, and speed things up. The way the tractor beam works is that you lock a wreck that is within 20km of you, and the beam pulls that wreck toward you. This is far more efficient than flying between every wreck, especially if you get a couple of tractor beams going at once. With a destroyer that is equipped with six salvagers and two tractor beams, you can clear the wreckage out from most level four mission in five or ten minutes. That is an excellent ratio of time spent to ISK earned, even for many veteran players.
Another practical concern is if you want to salvage a mission while there are still NPC pirates in it. Let us say that your friend is running a mission and you do not want to wait for him to finish it. In such cases, a destroyer will not cut it because, especially in larger missions, pirates can switch targets without warning, and destroyers cannot take the kind of punishment that those missions dish out. In such cases, a cruiser or battlecruiser will better suffice. Anything that combines a bit of tank with a good number of high slots is fair game. The Caracal or the Harbinger are common solutions to this problem. Fly either of those and you can generally get out before things get too hinky, or even just ignore whatever minor fire power is coming your way, assuming your friend is still running the mission and absorbing most of the punishment.
There are a lot of corporations filled with kindly people willing to let you vacuum up their wrecks. This despite salvaging a level four mission sometimes being worth nearly as much as the payout for the mission, especially if one is also looting choice modules from the wreckage. Still, it takes more work, and many players are unwilling to put that work in. If you are having trouble finding players willing to let you salvage their missions, you can sweeten the pot by fitting a 'Tracking Link I' or other teamwork-themed module, or just tithe a portion of your salvage profits to that player.
Be wary of strangers offering to let you salvage their wrecks, without you asking. Though the majority may be well meaning, there are certainly a good number of players who make that offer hoping that you will be silly enough to also take a module out of their wreck, thus opening you up to attack without CONCORD intervention.
The Legality of Salvaging
Salvaging is legal in the eyes of CONCORD. It is not covered by the aggression mechanics that stealing from someone else's wreck is. This is a bit of a fine point. If there is a wreck that belongs to another player floating in space, and you take something out of it, that player will be able to shoot you without CONCORD intervention.
If, however, you salvage that wreck, any of the gear inside of it will be left in a container hovering in space, but you will get the salvage without any risk to yourself. The container full of that the wreck's contents still belongs to the player that owned said wreck, so you still can't take stuff out of it without risking attack.
With a little imagination, you can see how this can give griefers a field day. There is an entire subculture in EVE Online devoted to warping into other peoples' missions and salvaging all of their wrecks out from under them. On any given day, there are also probably three or four threads on the main EVE forums complaining about this practice, which should give you an idea of how unpopular such "ninja salvagers" are. Often, these people are also a smoke screen for people trying to trick mission runners into shooting at them. If a ninja salvager steals from you and allows you to fire a shot at him, it is likely because he is planning to escape, and return in a much more dangerous ship. Then again, there are plenty of people that just want to steal the lucrative wrecks.
left over from dead players or NPCs. On the other hand, it is a way to directly profit from PvP, especially if any tech two ships are destroyed. The neat thing about salvaging is that it is a very accessible profession for newer players, and extremely lucrative compared to other early-game options, like mining.