Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Siphon unit: failure

Many people bugged me about funding their Siphon unit warfare against Goons. So I first made a killboard analysis on existing Siphons. You can find all Siphon losses on Zkillboard and I got them downloaded for January and February of 2015.

Below you can see their distribution and can conclude that this idea of CCP was a total failure. In two months, only 2426 units were destroyed, with an average value of 17M. This is next to nothing:

The question rises why? I mean moons are a great income source, stealing from them must be great too. Well, it's not:
As you can see, the dead Siphons barely had loot in them, which means that the owners respond fast. You can't leave a Siphon and expect to find it full tomorrow. You must constantly patrol your siphons and empty them if you want loot, which is not a profitable way of spending your time.

Let's look at 50M+ Siphon kills: 78M, 80M, 80M, 80M, 79M, 57M, 79M, 54M, 64M, 64M, 60M, 63M, 77M, 51M, 185M, 69M, 55M, 63M, 56M, 54M, 66M, 73M, 61M, 59M, 54M, 50M.

Besides a WH siphon stealing reaction materials, every kill in the list had Dysprosium, the most valuable material in it. This isn't a surprise, besides Dys, the better moon materials have the value of 10-25K per unit. The others: 4-5K. A moon mines 100 units per hour, a Siphon steals 54 units. So if you are stealing a 15K/unit material, you make 0.8M/hour. Yes, this is much-much worse than AFK mining Veldspar. If you hit a 75K/unit Dys moon, you're making 4.3M/hour, which is still crap, and that comes with the assumption that your 13M Siphon doesn't get destroyed. Let's add that 1 unit is 1m3 so a frigate or destroyer can carry about 500 units (7M ISK worth ordinary material or 37M Dys), so you should do it in an industrial. You know that tower guns pop industrials, right? (they ignore only the Siphon, not the ship).

So let's just say that the Siphon mechanic isn't the best design of CCP and it's not a good way for anyone to hit their enemies.

Now we can ask why and then get back to the moon income itself. Everyone knows that mining moons is big money, but don't understand how. If you have a Dys moon, you get 5.5B a month for visiting it a few times. But it's great only because it's passive. If you had to camp your moon, you'd make crappy 7.5M/hour, something that even the lowliest of miners would laugh at. And this is exactly what Siphons try to do: steal from moons by camping them. Bad idea isn't it?

PS: this on the other hand is a good idea to hit the minions of evil. So is this.
And the masterpiece:
Sytharza02 > HELP
Sytharza02 > HELP
Sytharza02 > HELP OFF STAtionm
Sytharza02 > HELP OFF STAtionm
The story: he cynoed to the station with a badly placed cyno, bounced off flied away and died.
In the staging system, with 300 Goons in local.


Anonymous said...

You are missing an important part of how siphons work. Anyone can take the contents of a siphon. Unless the owner of the moon is lazy, the siphon should always be empty when it is killed.

So your theory that low value killmails mean the siphons are being killed right away, is wrong.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is asking you to fund their siphon warfare then that is silly in the extreme, siphons should be self supporting.

I have heard over and over that siphons are useless from goons, reddit, and now here.

That said why was I able to play with siphons for about half a year and walk away with a sizable fortune while only having done about 10 minutes of siphon work a day.

It really makes me think that most people are approaching them the wrong way.

Unknown said...

Yes, CCP dropped the balls on the siphons for the entire profit or those that are pulling the strings behind and benefiting from having the API help them root out siphons. This was one of my item on my CSM X platform. Thanks for putting this in numbers!

Arrendis said...


Next time, he should try something like 'BLUE JF CAUGHT IN YA0 OUT OF DOCK RANGE ON STATION' in the intel channels instead of not giving any actual information.

Stabs said...

I would say give it time. Sov is about to become much more complicated difficult and full of new alliances who aren't well organised.

I siphoned a NC. dyspro moon last month. Siphons cost about 17m, I got 35m, then about 9m. It was killed by the tower which meant someone with tower roles.

Tower roles are incredibly sensitive in an alliance like NC. which is righly paranoid about Goon spies so when they're busy, ie the start of a major war, it's hard for high level people to rush around putting out such fires.

Also if I were more serious about it I'd watchlist the player shooting the siphon and learn his schedule so I could drop my siphons at his bed time.

Now it scales badly. One siphon might run several hours but it's hard to imagine 10 running for hours or days without a call to check all moons.

But it's not useless and I hope it continues to be part of the game. If sov splits into lots of tiny countries I'm definitely going to be testing their attention to their dyspro.

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world every siphon killmail would show 0 moon materials.
If I own the tower and I see a siphon: Loot it, shoot it would be way smarter then shoot it, loot 50%.
If I don't own the tower and I see a siphon: Loot it, leave it.

Just because every single Retriever killmail in highsec has less ore in it then the price of a Retriever doesn't tell you if this Retriever was worth it's money.

As siphon units can't be scooped to cargo bay once they are launched every single one will end as a killmail - but those killmails won't show you the value they collected over time.

To be honest: I didn't expect to see >1000 siphons being used per month.

Wouldn't call it a failure but an "insider"

Anonymous said...

RE: Siphons depends also on your play style- I can be online in Eve for 18 hours a day as have it open at work- but cant do anything much.. however emptying siphons every couple hours can be done by people like me, (AFKers) in the past few weeks I have deployed 4 siphons on a Dyspro moon for a total outlay of 36 million isk for a few clicks every couple hours ( in between writing some godforsaken report that no-one will read) my total income from those siphons alone is well in excess of 1 billion isk. It also deprives our foe of that income. !! so its not entirely worthless, just useful to those of us with a different play style

Unknown said...

Yeah, goons do like misinformation where siphons are concerned. I can think of a few goon towers where the siphons were routinely placed and lasted for days. I should know... since I stole from them as well as whoever dropped them originally.