Greedy Goblin

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.


maxim said...

"Camping a normal ganking system is boring for anyone to do it for free."

IRL police departments are doing just that. Every city is a ganking system and they are preventing ganks by camping it.

And, while they are being paid, they are not being paid much more than average salary. In Eve-terms, they are doing it more or less for the cost of lost ship reimbursement.

Why are they doing it, then?

Well, you k'now, social reasons. Some fantasy of peace protector. Some appreciation of concept of justice and law. In some more morbid cases - a desire for power and dominance.

The end result of their job - ability for asocials like you to live in relative safety, pursue your asocial goals and pretend that you don't need socials for anything.

A pony said...

"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."

[Orca, Mighty Bait (low cost)]

F85 Peripheral Damage System I
Reinforced Bulkheads II

X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 400
Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I
Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I
X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 400

[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]

Large Transverse Bulkhead I
Large Transverse Bulkhead I
Large Transverse Bulkhead I

Hornet EC-300 x5
Vespa EC-600 x5

It needs a +4% CPU implants for T2 invuln&DC, and tank 1.5k dps with overheating. (4k+ with mid-grade crystal set, strong blue pill and shield links)

It should let you survive bad gankers, and bowhead dunking. Just putting it here, i though some people reading your blog might be interested...

Esteban said...

Systemic ganking is exactly the kind of problem capitalism isn't equipped to solve. It's a variant on the tragedy of the commons and requires directed, mandatory collective action.

There is a reason even the most utopian libertarian fantasies allow for tax-based national defence and law enforcement.

Gevlon said...

@Esteban: no, ganking is the way market says to solo miners and freighters that they are ineffective.

In a world where everyone follows his financial interest, no one would solo mine or freight. Dumb people do it for pennies. Since there are no living costs in EVE, they can continue forever. The gankers end this nonsense.

nightgerbil said...

Gevlon people do anti-gank:

Its not that "nobody cares", people do care and alot of people have spent alot of time and isk trying to stop suicide ganks. It always fails in the end though because you can't stop a well executed suicide gank. All your methods have been tried and they all fail (easily countered). The eve mechanics are heavily biased in favour of the gankers.

The simple truth is nobodies safe in eve/syria/wild west anarchies. Why live in syria if you could flee? if you had a time machine why go back to 1850 denver when you could go back to 1850 london or monaco? Why play eve when you can play elite?

Manserk said...


You can't compare IRL with EvE, IRL if you grief or do bad things you can do it so many times before you go to jail. At the very least, there is law against it.

In EvE you can just do it for ever and nothing will happen to you. You can fly in Empire in pod, even with -10 security status. You don't lose much because ganking ships worth nothing. You can get podded by people but you have no implants. And now, you don't have to buy a new clone either.

In my opinion, gankers are the very definition of carebears. They take no risk and only stay in high sec, where nothing can happen to them.

The only thing CCP have to do would be CONCORD podding based on security status.

Anonymous said...

The only thing CCP have to do would be CONCORD podding based on security status.

very much this hints on the difference between a proprietary game world and RL. The very definition of our agreement to live in a society with laws and rules that everyone has to obey. Everyone who doesn't follow will be put away into prison or society-rehab or other institutions like mental clinics.

In a game world it is easy to keep bad people out. look at wow pve servers. In EVE tho you can be bad and get away with it easily it is one of their advertisement schemes.

If EVE would be real. Freighters would be on radar. the coast guard informed on routes and possible pirate activity. which those areas will be heavily patrolled.
Also NO ship crew would board a -10 pilots ship. OK, maybe if the crew also is immortal via the cloning technology .. I'm not that deep into the lore to know that detail. Only one POD is in space after the ship blows up so the crew most likely completely dies.

Anonymous said...

"Gevlon people do anti-gank:"

Did. Past tense:

You didn't know that GV defected to CODE. over Christmas?

nightgerbil said...

@ anon 30 January, 2015 13:13, yes I knew this ofc. I follow his blog and others of similar vein, same way I follow minerbumping. The fact that Gorrila has switched sides is neither here nor there however: people DO try to antigank.

daniel said...

eve crew survival rate...

anyway, ganking is a much needed thing in a game economy that feeds from destruction - also, the rough idea is to force people to cooperate. while the gankers do, the freighter and miner pilots don't. not ccp's fault. if anything, ccp should ease hs pvp, because too much easymode is bad for trading- and production-margins

Gevlon said...

@nightgerbil: of course people try it. But they get bored soon, because this is a thankless job. An AFK freighter pilot won't celebrate the "heroes". If it can't be done profitably and not particularly fun, people won't do it.

maxim said...

You are saying that I can't compare Eve to IRL, because there is player police IRL, but there is no player police in Eve.

Not sure how that contradicts what i said.

Unless you are implying that there is no way for player police to actually inflict any harm of gankers. To which i can only say that players have a multitude of ways of getting creative, to the point of building their own out-of-Eve game systems to supplement CCP's own.

99smite said...

Excellent analysis, had come to the same conclusion. With the hyperdunking sanctioned by CCP, moving in a freighter will soonn become very unprofitable...
BUT! As you statet correctly, no need to haul huge volumes of ore around, compress it and be done with, as refining only comes at a loss. (in hs)

It is the transaction cost problem. Hauling prices are aweful, can't be raised, which makes hauling an unprofitable activity and escorting even less profitable. Escorters could as well go mining... :)

Manserk said...


I said you can't compare IRL and EvE because in EvE ganking is allowed but not in real life

But I didn't post to contradict you or anything, its just that comparisons are too easy sometimes

I do wish there was a Empire Police corp, but I can't see it happening anytime soon

Anonymous said...

If people start selling locally I would love it. I have a freighter and webbing alt, but the profits from using them are awful compared to just paying red frog to haul it for me. Regional trading would be in a much better spot.

maxim said...


IRL police is not a game mechanic or a law of physics. It is something that exists because actual people work towards making it happen.

It also took humanity a few millenia to figure out how to do policework to any satisfactory extent. We didn't have any actual police until we started building cities.

Not all easy comparisons are too easy.

Anonymous said...

"No one protects the miners because they can't afford an escort, even if the escort is their own alt."

No. No one protects the miners because:

A: They have no financial reason to. What does random player A care if random player B gets shot at?

B: It's pointless. You can't protect someone from an enemy that can just walk up to them and shoot them in the head.

As such, in High sec, your own protection is all on you. Either YOU tank your stuff and don't senselessly put YOURSELF at risk, or you will be served up with possibly catastrophic losses.

If you want protection, go to Low sec. In Low sec, you're protected by the "If it's red, it's dead." general policy that brutally punishes anyone that would attack you, and you have SRP that protects against PvP losses.