Patch day came and went and so far nothing looks too broken for me. Aside from one CTD when I alt-tabbed and having to arrange my UI again; it's been smooth sailing. I'm loving the little touches like the auto-hide and finally removing the useless default tab in my overview. Oh, and being able to set the market not to refresh after every transaction just plain rocks. There are reports on various forums and from corpmates that people are having some serious issues with the patch. That they are having such varied experiences lead me to believe that the problems are system-specific and probably stem from a lack of testing or maybe CCP's resources towards testing the patch under a variety of system configurations. Hopefully, all the problems will be reported and worked on and a patch for the patch will be forthcoming.
A funny thing happened while I was rescuing the Damsel in Distress again for the jillionth time. For some reason, I decided it was a good idea to get as close to the reinforcement spawn point as I could while I battered down the Pleasure Gardens to summon them. After dispatching a few ships, I decided to beat feet and warp out to the nearest station to recharge my battered shields. So after the appropriate waiting time imposed by the station manager, I undock and warp back to face my foes at a more respectable distance.
Immediately, I notice a weird yellow wreck on my overview named Xpom's Merlin Wreck. Wow, the poor guy must've wandered into my mission after scanning it down and got overwhelmed by the NPC's after I warped out. The next thing I notice is the handful of cargo canisters where the NPC wrecks should be. He must've been ninja-salvaging behind my back while I was fighting! So immediately all empathy for his ship's destruction goes out the window; especially when I notice that he had returned to the mission deadspace in a Kestrel. I call up his character info and notice several things. First, he was a 3-year old character that had been in the starter NPC corp the whole time. Second, there was a whole host of similarly named Xpom clones in the database. And last, his silence during this whole affair as he went about his business of ninja-salvaging my mission led me to believe that what we had here was a farmer of the Chinese persuasion.
Since he was having some fun at my expense, I decided I would have some at his as well. So it took me a couple of tries, but I was able to get the NPC's to toast his Kestrel as well. Undaunted, he came back in another Kestrel. I figured I'd leave him to his work and he was still at it even after I finished the mission and came back in my own salvager to pick up the cargo canisters and salvage any of the ones he didn't get to yet. I figured any salvage he was able to get was ample payment for his ship losses and the entertainment he provided for me that night.
Of course the very next mission I got was another Damsel in Distress. So after finishing that one and coming back to survey the field in my salvager, the Lamont Sanford, all I could think of was: