Greedy Goblin

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Business Thursday: Ratting miners

Highsec suicide ganking is considered "griefing", an activity where the ganker spends time and ISK to receive nothing but "tears". While ganking, I was always doing so with a goblinish eye and realized that it's not true. You can gank pretty profitably.

What does a ship kill provides ISK wise: module drops, cargo drops and salvage. If these are larger than the cost of your own hull loss and module loss (your module drops are reused), you are making profit. Most highsec mining is done in Retrievers. A ret has two high slots, each equipped with a mining laser. It's 2x1.5M if T1 is used, 2x5 if T2. They also have 3 mining laser upgrades, T1 doesn't worth much but T2 worth a million. Their ore hold has mined ore, about 5M worth. So a T1 fitted Ret drops 4-5M a T2 drops around 10M. Then comes drones. The drones of the destroyed ship are abandoned and you can scoop them to your cargohold. A flight of Hobgoblin II costs 3M. Add salvage of your own ship and the miner plus an occasional random stuff (unassembled mining crystals) in the cargohold of the ret and you are looking at 5-20M loot from a gank. By choosing targets according to fit and drones, you can be on the high end, gaining around 15M for a gank. A good ganker can do 3.5 ganks/hour, netting over 50M/hour income. Yes, ganking highsec miners beats battlecruiser ratting in nullsec.

The costs? In 0.6 security a meta 3 neutron fitted Catalyst can kill a Retreiver. In 0.5 it can even pod it. The ship costs around 5M and 2M can be regained as loot. So even if you are not in the New Order where gank catas are reimbursed, you are still over 40M/hour.

To effectively rat AFK miners you need 3 characters on two accounts. One is - obviously - the ganker. After two weeks the pilot will have enough skillpoints to rat in 0.5, after a month in 0.6. James 315 has a great guide how to skill a ganker.

The second character is the scout. I advise a Procurer as scout since it's very well tanked and does not rise suspicion in a belt. As a bonus it has its own mining ability and get you minerals on the side. Its ore hold will also be in use. The advised fitting is:
[Procurer, scout]
Damage Control II
Reactor Control Unit II

Passive Targeter II
Ship Scanner II
Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Strip Miner I

Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

If you can't fit Reactor Control II (needs energy grid upgrades 5), you can fit faction or replace one of the shield rigs to Ancillary current router. Have an overview tab with nothing but mining barges, exhumers and belts. Using this tab, a quick dscan tells which belts have Covetors, Hulks and rets. Warp there, passive target the miner, approach with AB, scan his ship and if it's untanked, continue to approach. Find a nearby asteroid and start mining. It's best to doubleclick in space next to the target so you don't bump it if you stop too late. When you are near the target, switch to another overview tab with ships except exhumers and barges to see if there are any vultures around. Ship scan any suspicious ship on grid, seboed high DPS ones, Ewar ships and neuters are big no. Most vultures can be ignored, they can't (and often don't even want to) stop you, just want to leech on the Concord mail (hence the name).

If the belt is clear, warp your ganker to the scout and gank the target. After the Catalyst is destroyed by Concord, warp your pod to a celestial and your scout shall loot the Catalyst wreck and scoop the drones. Warp the pod to the station and dock. Have instadock and insta-undock bookmark of course to prevent station campers from interfering.

After your ganker is safe, relog to the looter. He can fly a venture or a frig with 2 warpstabs. Have some tank, align fast, have salvagers, afterburner and off you warp to the scout. Salvage the wrecks and while doing so, jettison some random crap. Open the jetcan and the miner wreck and move the loot to the can. The loot will not fit into the frig of course, that's why you use a jetcan. Doing so is stealing, placing a suspect timer on you. Warp to station or to a safe in a stationless system. You can use the safe logout feature under criminal timer.

The loot is now in the can and the scout as a fleetmate can safely take from it. Loot the modules, put the ore to your ore hold and dock with the loot. Don't forget to repair the modules before repackaging. Sometimes you need to take multiple turns, especially if the target was jetcan mining. This case the looter pilot should move all the ore from the cans to your cans first. Never go suspect on a Procurer. After you deposited the fruits of your honest day's work, undock and find another "rat".

Let me add an advanced tip to people with good multiboxing ability: during the gank, your scout should engage the ganker with a drone to get on his kill report. This way you can get your own bounty that the nice miners placed on you.

Finally: you don't have to be a ganker to do this, you can be a looter/salvager for gankers, just offer % to known gankers and follow them around for mutual profit.


Anonymous said...

Good luck salvaging, looting, transporting all that stuff and earning your 50mil/hour from ganking. If you are dualboxing, then you have to include this into ratting equation as well.

But you can't put a price on tears. Those are priceless and not on sale in the market.

Anti said...

some modules sell on the market for 10k but the game inventory system values them for 300k for example.

i think it might be possible to fit a newbie ship with some of these over valued modules then collect your alts bounties for profit.

i dont have two subbed accounts at the moment to test but i dont see why it wouldnt work.

Unknown said...

@anon: Gevlon clearly counts this into his calculation. His 50m/hr suggests about 2.5-3 ganks per hour, which suggests that it takes him around 20-30 minutes to find a target, pop it, and do all the salvage work. That's not really an unreasonable amount of time. It takes 10 minutes maximum to do all that salvage work if you have a decent computer. The rest of the time is obviously hunting for targets.

Anonymous said...

Fitting suggestion: forget the Reactor Control Unit II, and get a Micro Aux Power Core I. Lower fitting requirements, (Energy Management II vs Energy Grid Upgrades V), and a bigger return. RCU II on a Procurer gives 8.1 more power, while an MAPC I gives 10 more power. About half the cost too. It's a win-win-win for easier fitting.