Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The war for Finanar

Finanar is a 0.5 system in Metropolis with 3 ice anomalies. If you check out my corp killboard you see lot of kills there, about 8B destroyed. But this post isn't a "I went there and ganked lot of dumb miners". This is indeed a war, both on EVE and philosophical scale.

In other systems I ganked miners until they all switched to the ships and fits I suggested or ran away. I left when I ran out of targets. Maybe some "white knights" shown up, but there is a reason why the New Order called them "vultures": they were barely more than nuisance, whoring on Concord mails. They barely ever stopped the gank. The Finanar bunch was different: they averted several ganks, destroyed about a dozen ships and even podded me once, forcing me to downgrade on my pod, accepting it to be expendable. Check out this "ice mining fleet" (barges are not on this overview, there were 6):

Yes, you see it right, almost as many "white knights" as protected ones. Strike that, as half of them were already Skiffs and Procurers, they actually protected 2 Mackinaws and a Retriever. However I left Finanar just like the other systems: nothing mines but Procurers, Skiffs, DCII-Retrievers and those annoying tanked Macks that could be profitably ganked by 3 Catalysts but I don't have 3 Catas and won't triple-box.

How did I break them? By AFK-cloaking. The gankers were in the station, the scout was cloaked in a safe and the computer was left running for all night while I was sleeping and while I was at work. Of course I wasn't AFK all day, every now and then I ganked. When they were very strong, I hit ore belts, nearby systems or just went AFK.

Why did it work? Because white knighting is absolutely not profitable no matter what metric you use. If you consider Procurers 10% less yield than Retrievers (and Skiffs than Mackinaws), you need to 10-box miners to warrant a single white knight. Catalyst kill reports are cheap and you don't even get them if I'm AFK. However they weren't mass-multiboxers or killmail whores: they were simple players who played for fun. In their opinion I'm evil for ganking and they felt good by defending the weak from evil. This is the standard social plague: morons and slackers can't defend themselves (by definition), they are defended by productive altruists, the socials who believe it's the right thing and having fun doing it "doing good feels good". However the "fun" only comes when they stop evil. Without the "evil" present, they were just idling in an ice anomaly with combat ships while nothing happened but they couldn't even do it AFK! This is probably the most boring way to play EVE. But when they lowered their guard, the "evil" hit again, taunting them or even worse, killing them!

Also, they could receive no gratitude from the protected morons and slackers, since they probably didn't even know about the protection they recieved or were too AFK to care. I remember that they stopped a gank with the miner surviving in low hull. How happy they must have been for their "in the last moment" intervention. And how frustrated they must have been when 25 minutes!!! later I returned and finished the gank (my loss with the same knights on it) since the miner couldn't bother to dock up to repair because he was AFK or bot. Imagine how much fun they had in that 25 minutes, trying to convo the miner, knowing that sooner or later I'll check back.

Eventually, as no fun could have been gained, they started infighting and blaming each other for "being a spy". Watch this conversation with one of the knights who convoed my looter pilot, no longer knowing who to trust:

The army of the good social people therefore dissolved and I could finish my work. Please note that it couldn't end any other way: they had noting to win but elusive feelings and "fun" while I had hard results to help me carry on when things didn't go well. After all, I could still gank elsewhere or at least leave my computer when their protection of the ice was unbeatable. If the miners would cooperate, it would have been much easier, but morons and slackers don't cooperate, they just leech. I doubt if the good socials got a single "thank you" from the several miners they saved (or rather, whose fate they delayed by a few days).


The daily anti-tears where miners discuss tanking their barges (instead of crying and wanting CCP to do something) and being positive about my acts:

Finally, learning Small Blaster Specialization 5 totally worth it (and this is with the downgraded pod):

29 comments:

maxim said...

The funniest part for me personally here is that the White Knights would be able to help out the miners more if instead of using a military ship they got into a mining ship, mined with them and then simply gave away the ore :D

Another interesting point - there are ways to restore shields of a remote craft (and possibly ways to restore armor and hull that i'm not aware of). How effective are these as an anti-gank measure for player groups?

Michael LeBlanc said...

@Maxim yes, all 3 layers can be remotely repaired, however they require high slot modules or drones to do so, which these 'white knights' want to use for damage. A T1 logi cruiser can heal about 170 shields/second, a T2 about 230-310 depending on how much you want to devote to reps. With a ship fit well with resists this should be plenty to ward off a solo ganker if you're quick enough.

Anonymous said...

So a white knight who dual boxed a healer ship and an ecm ship to scram the gankers would cause havoc to our little green friend? Espec if he wasnt doing it for "fun" he was doing it for some other reason (like protecting corp mates or a personal grudge)

Gevlon said...

No, he could use 2 accounts which aren't mining to camp an ice field while I gank elsewhere.

Lucas Kell said...

The "white knights" shouldn't be trying to do damage.
Concord will already kill him. The "white nights" should have Instant locking (so a high scan res) a target breaker and ECM. All you realistically need to do is lock his cata and get a single cycle of ECM to hit, and he'll be concorded before he can relock.
They should also use a noob alt to pull concord into the belt. Any time they see concord get pulled out (Gevlon preppng the system), they should pull another one in. With concord on the belt, solo ganking is practically impossible, and all you need to do is get an empty character slot, then hit any ship on the grid with any offensive module on a noob ship (so just shoot them, it does like 2 damage).
You can then use your highs for a hull and and armor rep, since you'll have plenty of time to rep the miner while Gevlon has a sad.

Gevlon said...

@Lucas: to do any of those, you can't be AFK. Which is what miners want.

Lucas Kell said...

Some do, but these "white knights" don't want to be AFK. And any corporation running mining ops will want high yield, so they could use ECM tacklers as a deterrent.
It only really protects from solo miners though, organised gankers like miniluv won;t be put off by ECM and concord on grid, they just calculate it into the gank. But if they had an ECM tackler, chances are you wouldn't be able to gank.

maxim said...

Is it feasible to fit an ECM module on a mining ship?
How much mining efficiency needs to be sacrificed for that?

I understand that you not only need the ECM module itself, but also a whole bunch of amplifier addons, and even then it has a chance to outright fail.

Von Keigai said...

The other problem with summoning Concord to protect miners is that to do so you must take security hits. So either you spend a lot of time grinding security, or you drift down to -10 red. This is not a problem for summoning Concord. But it may be a problem for you if you ever want to do anything else in that account-slot, because you are not allowed to recycle characters with negative standing.

Alkarasu said...

@Lucas Kell
"Some do, but these "white knights" don't want to be AFK."

Why? Because sitting in a belt and looking at how AFK players shoot rocks is an interesting activity? Because 99.9% of the time it will be exactly like that - smart ganker will go to another belt, may go AFK, may do anything, while knights can't possibly look away - ganker may strike any moment. Also, they can't cover even one system, that will take too much manpower they don't have.

"It only really protects from solo miners"
You mean solo gankers? No, it also protects from the organised ones as well - because why should they attack a well organised and guarded op, when there are tons of untanked, disorganised AFK-ers next belt?

Anonymous said...

@gevlon. I'm a long time reader of your blog and I'm astounded at your hypocrisy. How is afk mining not ok, but your afk griefing of a legit strat to mitigate gankin (white knights) is ok?

Belnal said...

Love the educative effort, Gevlon -- though slightly worried you keep choosing some of my most traveled systems!

One tiny issue though: "How did I break them? By AFK-cloaking." IMO that's almost as bad as AFK-mining in principle since you are, effectively, playing "economic PvP" without being at your computer. So hopefully you'll stop, not only to keep your reputation whiter than white but also because you actively ganking makes reading Local much more fun :-)

Another byte on the Web said...

@Lucas: You are missing the point here. There are a lot of ways to avoid being ganked, but people are unwilling to do those. If you can make a bunch of max-wield miners ungankable (at least profitably), even if by some outside means, then you have already proven Gevlon right.

The thing is, some tanking on each miner is much more effective in most cases than a large-scale operation with various support ships.

Anonymous said...

You can be afk to do all those.

If you are AFK mining, you arent doing it in a procurer, and a retriever will take 40 mins to fill, concord hang about for 15 mins, so, tab back twice to repull concord, tab back to your other account, rinse and repeat.

Gevlon said...

@Lucas: the white knights will always fail against an AFK cloaker as you can't ECM who is not there. They get bored and give up.

@Von Keigai: they can use alts as concord puller. Practically the alt is suicide ganking the main with a noobship. Of course to do it, you need to be not AFK.

@Maxim: of course mining barges can ECM, with drones. But to activate them - again - you have to mine not AFK.

@Belnal, anonymous: the difference between AFK cloaking me and the AFK miner, is that the miner gets ore, while I get nothing while being AFK.

Lucas Kell said...

"You are missing the point here. There are a lot of ways to avoid being ganked, but people are unwilling to do those. If you can make a bunch of max-wield miners ungankable (at least profitably), even if by some outside means, then you have already proven Gevlon right."
Gevlon's entire aim (supposedly, I'm almost 100% sure it's really just to buff his KB) is to make miners fly tanked procurers and skiffs, so the next time and interdiction comes round, miniluv have to put more fighters on the table. The idea behind doing his ganking is to show that the goons are not powerful because they are a group, and that flying a procurer is safe.
What I'm pointing out is that if they did it right, these "white knights" he thinks are a bunch of useless fools could quite easily stop him ganking. However, a bunch of ECM ships in a belt don't stop a group gank.

Most industrial corps will have a combat wing. These characters can't fly miners, and are often on grid anyway to deal with rats (and are usually alts of the miners). Having them sit in an ECM ship doesn't affect income at all. Not to mention that max yield ships are massively more profitable than a tanked proc/skiff (by over 30% at least - can't be bothered to do the math).

Gevlon is saying that tanking is the way to make yourself gank resistant, he not once has suggested the idea of simply avoiding gankers. Any competent miner can and does easily avoid ganks. He holds up his tiny fraction of kills like some kind of trophy, but it really proves nothing beyond the fact that he found a few stupid people and killed them. That happens all day, every day. None of this will change anything however, no matter how much he want's to be the Catalyst for change (pun intended). He just gets 21 kills and 14 pods daily to boost his KB and his ego.

Lucas Kell said...

"the white knights will always fail against an AFK cloaker as you can't ECM who is not there. They get bored and give up."
Except all the time you are AFK, you aren't ganking, thus they are winning, since they are often the alt of a miner.

Lucas Kell said...

"You mean solo gankers? No, it also protects from the organised ones as well - because why should they attack a well organised and guarded op, when there are tons of untanked, disorganised AFK-ers next belt?"
Yes, yes I do.
And no, it makes very little difference to a group. For each concord spawn +1 a T1 catalyst. For each heavy ECM ship (blackbird and the like) +1-2 Catalysts. Since groups use T1s, you can have 5 T1s for each T2, so the equivalent of GEvlons Dual gank is 10 T1 gankers, easily enough to smash any non-skiff/proc with 2 concord spawns and 2 blackbirds on grid.
And honestly, we'd pick them because they are closer and we can't be bothered to travel.

Gevlon said...

@Lucas: I can't gank 23/3. My AFK cloaking covers the time when I can't gank anyway.

Von Keigai said...

Most industrial corps will have a combat wing.

Maybe in null, but not highsec. Or at least, you don't often see combat ships in a Caldari ice belt.


These characters can't fly miners, and are often on grid anyway to deal with rats (and are usually alts of the miners).

A barge doesn't need help to kill highsec rats. A handful of tech I drones are more than adequate.


max yield ships are massively more profitable than a tanked proc/skiff (by over 30% at least - can't be bothered to do the math).

Actually a max yield Covetor gets 18% more than a moderately tanked Procurer. If you put a damage control on the Procurer, then the difference is 29%. But at least for deterring Gevlon, you do not need a damage control. A Procurer can tank 65000 without one.

Alkarasu said...

@Lucas Kell
"I'm almost 100% sure it's really just to buff his KB"
Only you never really explain, why he might want to do it - KB can be buffed much, much easier - he only needs to do what he does best (trade) and put most of the income into the paid kills. Considering his usial market efficiency, with the time he puts into ganking (and not the easiest and most KB-effective kind of it, too) put into trading instead will easily make him top of any KB, and with not obviously weak (he actually hammers the point of their weakness in his bio, local, here, well, everywhere) miners kills, but the "serious" ones, caps, pimped T3's and such.

"Except all the time you are AFK, you aren't ganking, thus they are winning"
No, that's exactly the time they are losing the most. When they are in the belt during the time of a gank - they using their time for something useful. When they are in belt while no one intends to gank - they are actively wasting their time. Even if they are alts of the miners - as you can mine in one window and, say, run L4's in another, if you intend to actively play anyway.

"For each concord spawn +1 a T1 catalyst. For each heavy ECM ship (blackbird and the like) +1-2 Catalysts."
You not thinking in the terms of even basic efficiency. For each Catalyst, that is not involved in his own gank, you invariably lose one possible kill. You can sweep unprepeared belt clear of miners in one run - or you can kill one barge in the prepared one. Each T1 Catalyst you "spawn" is one more pilot, the one you must find, organise and keep interested in the whole affair long enough to do what you intend to accomplish. If you just want to prove the point, that even well-protected op can be ganked - well, that one don't need much proof, but to systematically destroy such operations for any noticeable period you need much more, then even Goons can "spawn".

Lucas Kell said...

"Maybe in null, but not highsec. Or at least, you don't often see combat ships in a Caldari ice belt."
Even in high sec, these guys have alts for doing their combat, and any half competent corp will have plenty of combat alts about for low sec ops or freighting.

"A barge doesn't need help to kill highsec rats. A handful of tech I drones are more than adequate."
But a single combat alt means each of your miners can have 5 mining drones, further increasing yield.

"Actually a max yield Covetor gets 18% more than a moderately tanked Procurer. If you put a damage control on the Procurer, then the difference is 29%. But at least for deterring Gevlon, you do not need a damage control. A Procurer can tank 65000 without one."
Without a damage control, you are not "tanked" you are max yield since you are fitting the most to mine the most a procurer can. Shield tank is always there regardless. Though you are right, a shield tank is enough to deter Gevlon, in fact just being in a procurer is enough to deter him, but then so is having a combat ship on grid. He moves or goes AFK if you just keep a couple of ECM ships on grid.
18% is quite a lot of yield to be missing out on, not to mention the other things you don't take into account for a procurer. A procurer only has 1 laser, so it's entire yield comes in 1 hit. If the asteroid doesn't have that full amount, you lose out on a portion. Actually achieving the max yield on a procurer takes a lot more effort and requires you to scan out the rocks. On a covetor the yield is split across 3 lasers, so you can split across 3 rocks, drastically reducing the efficiency loss of finishing a rock.

Lucas Kell said...

"You not thinking in the terms of even basic efficiency. For each Catalyst, that is not involved in his own gank, you invariably lose one possible kill. You can sweep unprepeared belt clear of miners in one run - or you can kill one barge in the prepared one. Each T1 Catalyst you "spawn" is one more pilot, the one you must find, organise and keep interested in the whole affair long enough to do what you intend to accomplish. If you just want to prove the point, that even well-protected op can be ganked - well, that one don't need much proof, but to systematically destroy such operations for any noticeable period you need much more, then even Goons can "spawn"."
Except the thing that groups like goons have most of is people. So they don't have to worry about running out of people. How much impact do you really think you have though when a miner realises that 1 blackbird and 1 concord spawn on grid makes your run away to a new belt? Showing up despite their attempts to push you away has a much bigger impact than just leaving. It's not like you'll ever run out of miners to gank. There's thousands of them.

Druur Monakh said...

The first couple of comments (before the trolling starts) to your syndicated article on eve-news (http://evenews24.com/2013/09/10/the-war-for-finanar/#disqus_thread) are painting quite a different picture.

Care to dispute?

Alkarasu said...

@Lucas Kell
"Except the thing that groups like goons have most of is people."
They don't have people if what they are intending to do is not capable to keep interest of their members. This is not Dwarf Fortress, this is EVE, losing in it is not fun. You can bring a lot of people to lose a couple of ships once, twice, but if you intend to flood their killboard with lost ships - you'll find, that despite your alliance size, you don't have enough people, and those you have are retarded enough to not care what exactly they are doing.

"How much impact do you really think you have though when a miner realises that 1 blackbird and 1 concord spawn on grid makes your run away to a new belt?"
As much, as I like. You tend to "forget", that miner don't want or need to prove any point. He didn't embark on a holy crusade to prove his right to mine in a Hulk. He only wants to mine some ore/ice, preferably with as little input from himself as possible. Thus, if he's not as stupid as his drones, he won't use 3 accounts with no hope to go AFK to just protest against Gevlon idea of "mine in a tanked inexpensive ship". He will simply use one tanked inexpensive ship and won't ever have to meet Gevlon ever again.

Lucas Kell said...

"They don't have people if what they are intending to do is not capable to keep interest of their members. This is not Dwarf Fortress, this is EVE, losing in it is not fun. You can bring a lot of people to lose a couple of ships once, twice, but if you intend to flood their killboard with lost ships - you'll find, that despite your alliance size, you don't have enough people, and those you have are retarded enough to not care what exactly they are doing."
If you believe this, you don't understand goons. As long as they have something to do, they will continue to show up. You think they turned up for Burn Jita because it was super profitable? They turn up cos it's hilarious to dunk everyone regardless of how much time or isk it costs, then on the side, it boosts the prosperity of the alliance.
Also consider that killing a mackinaw with 100 T1 catalysts is still a KB green event.
And losing is often just as fun as winning. That's the great thing about sandbox games. I can lose everything today, and just make more tomorrow. As long as I have fun doing both, who cares which way it goes?

"As much, as I like. You tend to "forget", that miner don't want or need to prove any point. He didn't embark on a holy crusade to prove his right to mine in a Hulk. He only wants to mine some ore/ice, preferably with as little input from himself as possible"
that's just 1 type of miner. An AFK miner. And to be honest, they don't really operate in high sec as much as you'd think. AFK mining really isn't like it use to be. 20 mins and you're full, if you didn't deplete the rock (which in high sec is very likely). Most of the miners Gevlon is ganking aren't AFK, just non responsive. I don't even have local on screen when I'm high sec mining, I'm usually in other chat rooms.
By running a single alt, which would otherwise be logged out, in the background I can be sure I won't get ganked by a solo ganker. Why would I want to lose 20-30% yield and have to make 2 and a half more trips to station, when I can simply log on an alt and guarantee my safety? Remember, it's not about proving rights to mine, it's about efficiency. Bottom line is important to profit miners, and reduced yield affects that, so switch ships vs logging an alt and/or movign systems is a no brainer.

Alkarasu said...

@Lucas Kell
"You think they turned up for Burn Jita because it was super profitable?"
No, because it was lossless. It's not like they actually paid for the ships. And even so, the event was very short, which is very important, as Goons in charge was aware, that they have their gankers only so long as they are not bored. They are good for a week, but try to keep it up for a month.

"As long as I have fun doing both, who cares which way it goes?"
Sure, but how long do you expect it to remain fun? Every day, going out, making long and careful preparations, syncing a lot of less-then-bright members in a fighting force, working around instant and unexpected "sry, g2g", failing every second undock due to management problems... how long until the inevitable burnout?

"that's just 1 type of miner. An AFK miner."
That's a "type 99%" miner.

"Most of the miners Gevlon is ganking aren't AFK, just non responsive."
You sure? Because that one I've checked personally - I don't have my ganker ready yet, but I do have covops pilot. 0.5 system, dozens of miners in belts and ice anomalies, covops uncloaking and openly scanning the barges - and not a single warpout.
So yeah, they are looking at the screen, they are aware of the surroundings... the belts was not cleared that day only because my alt is still too young. I didn't even needed to HIDE MY SCOUT.

Alkarasu said...

@Lucas Kell
Had to go yesterday, so will finish today.

"By running a single alt, which would otherwise be logged out, in the background I can be sure I won't get ganked by a solo ganker. Why would I want to lose 20-30% yield and have to make 2 and a half more trips to station, when I can simply log on an alt and guarantee my safety? "
If it's really not about proving rights, and only about efficiency, make a miner alt on that second account you have anyway, or train relevant skills on that would-be-guardian. Fit him the very same tanked barge. You get your yeld (and more, if you lose 30% by tanking, you will ger 40% by mining in two tanked ships, then you get from one max-yeld), you only need to look at them when the hold is full (about once in 10 minutes), and you don't give a damn about any solo ganker, or even a team of 2-3. Not as good, as with guarding the miner, but better. The only reason to guard the max-yeld fit barge in a hisec with your alt is to prove a point, that you can guard it there. And that point didn't even needed to be proved in the first place.

Ra_Jackson said...

"The funniest part for me personally here is that the White Knights would be able to help out the miners more if instead of using a military ship they got into a mining ship, mined with them and then simply gave away the ore :D"

That is a really good point. White Knights are not overly interested in helping miners. They see an opportunity to get easy kills. Ganking -10 sec Catalysts won't fight back after all. So it puts them on a level with what they so vocally oppose: Getting easy kills from defenseless vessels.

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