Friday, January 30, 2015

Why there are no anti-gankers?

Suicide ganking is the most "griefing" activity in EVE. There is CONCORD that tries to protect the targets and the gankers lose security status. So the game world says "gankers are bad". They also destroy stupid amount of ISK, CODE is scoring up to 1T/month despite being a 300-men alliance. Yet practically no one tries to fight back. Various groups adapt and fight back their enemies in New Eden. But for some weird reason gankers get no such attention.

Is it too hard? No. Fighting gankers is probably the easiest PvP activity in EVE. Let me introduce the most obvious anti-ganking strategies:
  • ECM: A fit blackbird costs about 20M. Equipped with anti-gallente ECM modules it has the optimal of 70km! Next to 5 ECM modules you can fit an afterburner, accelerating it to 500m/s, so you can have a large orbit around the freighter and no one can get a good warpin on you. With steel plates, DC2 and ENAM you have 25K EHP to make arty trasher or tornado ganking quite killboard red. When the gankers land, you just lock 5 and jam them when they go GCC. With two ECM strength rigs, you have about 40% to jam each, practically taking down 2, getting on 5 kill reports.
  • Logi: gankers often fail their first run, especially if they are jammed. Then you can rep the freighter up. A single logi can undo the damage of pingpong-gankers (the ones that warp off, pull concord, warp back, mount an ejected ship). Repping the hull damage of a freighter is harder, it needs a battleship with hull reppers and a logi filling it with capacitor. Battleships have good insurance coverage and EHP, logies have speed and high resists.
  • Anti-bumper: a high speed cruiser can sit on the freighter and go head-on with the bumping battleship, bumping it out of course, allowing the freighter to warp off.
  • Ship thief: if the gankers use pingpong tactics, you can just warp to their ship cache in a pod and board the ships.
If it's that easy, why there are no proficient anti-gankers then?

Because no one cares about freighters! Red Frog charges 1M/jump. This is next to nothing, even if we consider missioning income. From this income you just can't pay for escort. You earn more money doing missions than escorting a freighter. No, having an alt doing it doesn't change the economics. The freighter pilot is better off stopping freighting and go missioning. Also, freighting isn't an engaging gameplay, so no one will do it "for fun".

Who does freighting: autopiloters who have their time for free (unless ganked) and dumb people who can't calculate opportunity cost. Neither one is a good customer for escort services.

But what if gankers cull the freighters enough to drive prices up? Then people will stop using freighters, because the transportation itself isn't that profitable. If Joe has to pay 100M ISK to get his ore to Jita, then he won't get his ore to Jita, he'll sell it locally with 30M discount. Jita is a convenience, not a necessity. Also, LP-implants, WH loot and deadspace drops can be transported in a Tengu. Ship hulls can be transported by flying them. PI materials can be processed up to P4 locally and then hauled in a T2 transport. Ore can be compressed. So freighters aren't a must either.

This means that freighter services can't raise prices to levels where escort is profitable and no one will do it for fun. So freighting is an unprofitable venture in the presence of gankers and will come to an end.

This is similar to miner ganking. No one protects the miners because they can't afford an escort, even if the escort is their own alt. Anyone trying to do it will realize that his time is better spent if he stops mining (and then he'll need no escort). However mining can continue with replacement tank: a retriever can earn its price in an hour or two, so a miner can choose to accept ganking as cost of operation. A freighter pilot doesn't have this luxury.

Burn Jita is an exception. Since Jita is a 0.9 system, making ganking harder and there is huge ganker population, you can anti-gank for fun. I'll sure be flying during Burn Jita, just because it was great last year and I'm curious how well I'll fare against 100x outnumbering Goons. But camping a normal ganking system is boring for anyone to do it for free.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Business post: sell your freighter!

CCP ruled that attacking more than once during one GCC cycle is not an exploit. This means that ganking no longer has time costs, therefore no longer need a large fleet to share the man-hours. The ganker loses his first Catalyst, warps away, mounts a shuttle in a safe (can be just 200km away), warps back, mounts the next Catalyst. This means that a single ganker (with a bumper) can destroy a max-tanked Obelisk (1B if empty), using 30 T1 fit Catalysts (30M).

While this tactics isn't without counter (an anti-ganker could simply steal the ejected ships), this doesn't help the freighter pilot. So what can you do to prevent being ganked by a single player using 30M worth of ships? Simple: sell your freighter. Freighters and jump freighters have no place in highsec after this announcement, just like Hulks don't have. Hulks are expensive, can't be tanked and just barely better than Retrievers. Only dumb ones use Hulks and only dumb ones fly freighters in highsec.

This gank method - along with the previous Cata-fleet gank method - depends on bump-tackle. The freighter can't warp away because a bumping ship keeps it from aligning. Ships that can't be bumped are safe from these ganks and can only be ganked the old way: by expensive Tornadoes. After the mineral compression and the T2 transport ship changes there is nothing in highsec that you can't move in transport ships. Transports have 100K+ EHP tank and Afterburner + micro-jump drive to get away from any bumper. If the cargo is expensive, you can hide it with double-wrapping. I barely seen suicide gank losses for Occators, which are the best highsec transports:

[Occator, +1% CPU implant needed]
Damage Control II
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Reinforced Bulkheads II

10MN Afterburner II
Medium Micro Jump Drive
Upgraded EM Ward Amplifier I

[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]

Medium Transverse Bulkhead II
Medium Transverse Bulkhead II

Just get rid of your freighter. If you fly it, you are asking for being ganked. The gankers no longer need fleet, so scouting and flying off-times won't help you. What to do if you have large volume of items? Contract it and let others lose their freighters. Don't be stupid and fly a 1B ship that can be solo killed using 30M ships!


PS: What's the best pod for an unfit frig? A full crystal!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No Burn Jita mercenary plan

Burn Jita will happen in the following months and I obviously want to trash it. I wouldn't mind paying 100B to anyone ruining it for the Evil. Burn Jita has no strategic purpose, it exists to bring suffering to the "highsec pubbies" who are considered subhuman by the Evil Goons. Ruining this would hit them in their core belief.

However I failed to set up a ruleset that would prevent someone scam the 100B out of me. For example the Evil One announces Burn Jita at March first weekend, the mercenaries show up in force, no Goons show up, nothing dies, they claim prize and then the Evil One laughs and announces another Burn Jita at the second weekend.

The document of shame proved that there is no serious force in nullsec that wouldn't deal with the Evil One in order to get some RMT money for themselves. So I don't see any group that would not make a deal with Goons to claim the prize without actually hurting Burn Jita. Unfortunately my usual mercenaries and donation recipients don't have the numbers to defeat Burn Jita on their own.

In my current mercenary and donation schemes trust isn't an issue. I pay a few billions every week and if they don't perform, no payment next week. If any of them would betray me or simply go full retard, I lose the weekly few billions. I lost more on mistypes. But Burn Jita is a one-time event, so I have to offer a large sum up-front, making a scam pretty expensive, even to my standards.

To make the offer scam-free, I have to bind it to numerical results. But the Goons use worthless Catalysts, so no one will be tempted to jam Catas for 2-3M each. If I pay more than the value of the Cata, people just jam their own alt. The only thing I could come up with is offering SRP to bait freighters.

So here I am with 100B to spend, but no way to spend it, because there aren't reliable large-scale mercenaries in EVE. Obviously I'll cook up something, but at the moment I don't expect to defeat Burn Jita.

By the way the above reminds us about the strange lack of anti-ganker forces. I mean, gankers are destroying 1T+/month, so the gank victims would be better off paying 2-400B/month to a professional anti-ganker. Unfortunately the gank victims are idiots who do nothing but providing tears to the gankers and petitions to CCP, but wouldn't give a dime to anyone protecting them or do anything to protect themselves. The countless "anti-ganker movements" all died of inactivity. Everyone demanded someone else to do something for free. If they weren't so dumb, there would already be a reliable anti-gank force that I could hire against Burn Jita.

Highsec wardeccers existed before my GRR project. I only needed to hire them to fight my enemies. Pirate organizations fighting in CFC space existed before me, I only needed to support them to increase their performance. But there aren't any anti-gankers, so money can buy me nothing here.

However Burn Jita isn't the only thing the minions of Evil do this year. Enough damage can be done to them without Burn Jita, by hunting their ratters in nullsec and haulers in highsec.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bad Karma

When I was in TEST, I saw the problems that everyone else: TEST had lot of line members but lacked FCs, leaders and specialists. I also saw that many "elite" alliances have lot of FCs, leaders and specialists and few line members. For me, the solution was obvious: merge the willing ones into a big "TEST-corp" and offer this corp to a friendly alliance.

My idea wasn't well received. "We are independent", "we have our own culture", "we won't be Nulli/PL/NC. pets" and so on, and so on. The result is well-known: the remaining little talent was poached by PL, the headless line members were unable to defend Fountain, despite having the numbers.

History repeated itself with BRAVE. Their members are high even compared to old TEST, their newbieness is even more dominant part of their identity, and their competence is even worse. Since they left NPC null, they serve as nothing but "content" for PL and NC. Their ratting numbers (economy) are horrible and they failed to establish any kind of goal or direction that would keep anyone with brains in the organization. BRAVE is a good place for newbies and "let's have fun" kids, but such creatures don't fare well in nullsec.

They didn't realize that while BRAVE would be an awesome corp for an alliance, bringing numbers, it cannot function as an alliance. Goons realized it and started collecting BRAVE-members into their slave-corp Karmafleet. I'm sad that no one in N3 realized the value of BRAVE and instead of gaining these newbies into their armada, they let Goons grab them as slaves.

Of course, newbies joining Karmafleet are making a fatal mistake. Rayonar is a living evidence how much Goons despise their "allies". If an FC, director and titan pilot can be treated as crap, what can a barely useful newbie expect?! But newbies being newbies, we can't be surprised that they don't know that.

This is the 24th hour. Either N3 realizes that they are wasting thousands of people and offer something similar as Karmafleet for the Braves or BRAVE will slowly wither and die, losing talent to N3/PL and line members to Goons. I'm afraid, only when they face the slave army of Karmafleet will they realize how dumb they were when they used BRAVE for target practice.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The dumbest stat

CCP told on day 3 of the Winter Summit that "Kill per logon minute is increasing". I couldn't help saying "idiots" loud to the monitor. Why are they completely wrong?

Meet Yura Movsisyan. On 6:42, Jan 23 he decided to leave Dodixie. The local Deadly Fingertips camp disagreed, killing his worthless noobship and his empty pod. But Yura isn't a quitter. Until 7:36 he lost 15 noobships and pods, contributing 0.0003B to my latest GRR war. I doubt if the killers are particularly proud of their accomplishment, or that Yura will provide tears over the loss. This is nothing but cutter on the killboard and I wonder why there is no filter on zkillboard to hide irrelevant kills and losses.

Yet this "battle" had very high "kill per logon minute" and will affect CCP decisions. Probably Yura is placed to the "target audience" group. His activities are checked for correlations to figure out how he made the improvement from boring carebear into the PvP juggernaut he is.

Kill count is a completely useless stat. PvP must be measured by its consequence: ISK loss. All developer decisions that are made with the goal to promote PvP must be checked for its effect on ISK loss, not ship kills. Why? Because PvP means "player versus player". Two players fighting each other with the intention to win. Not a bored camper popping autopiloting noobships while waiting. Not drunken idiots killing time in frigs. Not careless noobs getting lost and popped in starter crap. If CCP forgets that and tries to optimize features for ship kills, they'll get angry birds in space. After all, that game has pretty high "kill per logon minute".

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend minipost: but, but, but Mittens pinged it's over

When Tora Bushido, leader of Marmite collective lost his mind, The Mittani himself pinged to the CFC that the wars that caused them 2T damage are over.

So Sysca, the happy Goon took the opportunity to fly to Jita with her JF. I guess Mittens forgot to mention that wars end at the end of the week. So despite unwillingly, Marmite delivered on my contract.

Weekend minipost: Goons will be Goons

Mordus was doing what Mordus is doing: slaying CFC. They met a carrier.
Ratting: check.
Horrible fit: check.
Dead: check.
Goons will be Goons... until they'll be nothing.

Another example, this time using a perfect fit for the core activity of Goons.

Also in the news: what's the best ship to kill 10-30M frigs? A 930M ship that has no chance against anything not a frig.

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