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  1. Avoiding Becoming a Loot Pinata

    I am not the first and foremost expert on ganking, but I have a moderate amount of experience as a line member in ganking fleets, a small amount of experience ganking solo and in 2 man teams, and have plenty of experience in not getting ganked. But, like, whatever man. General Tips Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose Don’t autopilot Don’t go AFK – 3rd room of TPPH is fine because you’re deep in a site, and have a significant amount of logi support. Buffer tanks are better than active tanks – Ganks are very quick, which gives active tanks very little time to repair EHP. Thus amount EHP repaired during a gank is usually less than the extra EHP you’d get from fitting a straight buffer tank. Use Eve Gatecamp check, scouts, the in-game map, or any other intel tools that you have at your disposal to see if gankers are currently active along your route. Sometimes systems with ganker activity can be avoided with a negligible amount of extra jumps. Sometimes you’re better off waiting until later to haul. Sometimes you can count on being an unprofitable gank target. Don’t fly on wardecked characters Turn off dual requests if you haven’t done so already. I have received random fleet invites from gankers on a few occasions (presumably to warp me away from gate guns, or to give a good warp in, idk). Regardless, be very careful about what you click on. Don’t shoot gankers – neutral logi can’t rep you if you pick up a limited engagement timer. Don’t loot yellow wrecks – logi can’t rep you can’t rep you if you go suspect. Keep abreast of current events – Read dev blogs, watch podcasts, read reddit, and/or don’t socially isolate yourself. Don’t get caught with your pants down because you didn’t realize that a 90% loot drop event was going on (i.e. Trick or Treat). Burst Jammers will get you concorded. Don’t use them in HS. Hauling Strats One hauling strategy is to fit enough tank that the ships required to gank you would cost more than the value of your expected loot drop. Examples: use a buffer tank travel fit on your vindi and flying a properly tanked bowhead. One hauling strategy is to be as slippery as possible (usually best for moving small, high-value cargo like BPO’s and blingy mods). This is achieved through things like 2 second align times, covert ops cloaking devices, and the MWD cloak trick. Some people keep multiple sets of incursion ships strategically placed around HS, and use interceptors to get between areas. This means that they usually don’t have to move their incursion ships very far. It also means that they are far less likely to need to move their ships through popular ganking systems. This practice is probably even a better idea since the fall of Niarja. Note that killing gankers is not a viable strat. Yes, your double web vindi is technically capable of deleting catalysts from the field. But (1) it will also take you a relatively long time to lock them, (2) some gankers will actually fit remote sensor damps to their ganking ships, (3) they will likely use enough ships to kill you regardless, and (4) you will no longer be able to get reps if you are in fleet. Warp Core Stabs aren’t the best strategy for bigger ships. Bigger ships are preyed upon by fleets, which can throw multiple pilots at you and use ships like suicide point gnosis’s, which have multiple warp disruptors fitted. Gankers regularly fit scripted sebos. Thus, anything slower than a 2 second align is not a defense in and of itself. Example Hauling Strats The Standard Vindicator has a relatively modest loot drop (Faction Web, Pith-C EM resist mod, and the rest is T2), and three tanking rigs help him to squeeze out even more tank. Thus, a good strat is using a travel fit. This will approximately double your tank, which, in turn, will double the amount of ships required to gank you, or require that the gankers use much more expensive ships. Using a travel fit, however, is not the best strat for moving an optimal fit vindi. Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than not doing anything at all, but your tank size will still be within the engagement profile of a lot of ganking fleets, and the bling will most certainly make you an attractive target. Thus, you might consider throwing most of your bling in a covops capable T3, and hauling it separately from your vindi. Once again, covops ships are susceptible to DC’s, lag, and getting decloaked by “gate trash” (i.e. a large gank fleet causing a bunch of wrecks and faction police to litter a gate). But these risks can be minimized by using intel tools. Moreover, it is most certainly safer than flying it around in a fat bottomed vindi. This example fit uses the same subsystems as the WTM fit. You can, however, get better travel times by using different subsystems. Moreover, I would feel more comfortable with a faster align. The main strategy used by the fit is to not get caught in the first place, but the tank can move you out of the engagement profile of smaller/less prepared fleets. Do note that T3’s can swap rigs without destroying them. And just in case it wasn’t clear, I don’t advocate for buying bling to put on travel fits. For example, the two Pith-A’s increase would increase the number of T2 cats required to gank you in a .5 system with a concord pull by 4. However, they also increase your potential loot drop by 775mil, which would pay for approximately 250 T1 Catalysts, 64 T2 catalysts, 15 Purifiers, 4 Tornados, or 3 polarized Taloses. Thus, the bling used here is only here because it’s part of what is being hauled (i.e. the bling from the optimal vindi). Here’s a bowhead fit. Do not think that you’re too big to fail. Overload it with stuff at your own peril. Anyway, the MWD will reduce your align time to 10 seconds as long as you’re starting from a complete stop (i.e. just jumped through a gate). Initiate warp, toggle the MWD (turn autorepeat off), and as soon as the MWD cycles off, you will enter warp (your max speed will suddenly drop, which also reduces the speed you need to be going in order to enter warp. However, you will already be moving faster than that). And yes, you can squeeze out more tank by dropping the MWD, but it’s such a small amount that I don’t consider it to be worth it. Better to just not overload the ship with too much value. The bulkheads do not affect the cargo capacity of the fleet hangar, only of the main hanger. However, that will still leave you with approximately 2k m3 (iirc). So, they’re definitely worth it. Unfortunately, Damage Control Mutaplasmids saw a huge increase in price after invasions ended. But they’re still probably worth it (especially T2 + Decayed). Plus, you’ll have a fair amount of wiggle room on the CPU. And do note that if you have to choose, prioritize thermal and kinetic resists. How to Bling Well, optimal fit requirements will limit your options. But this is good information to have anyway. Anyway, I made a video a while back. I wish it were better, but this post is long enough. So, check out the video. Ignore the formulas for determining if you're a profitable gank target or not. They are old. I also need to talk about using mutaplasmids to make cheaper faction variants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDulgSXOHaI Abyssals You can, of course, use mutaplasmids to make god mods, but you can also use them to make cheaper faction variants. Here’s how. Use Jita buy order to buy mutaplasmids. Sell god rolls, and use mods with “dump stats.” For example, incursion battleships tend to have plenty of spare CPU. Thus, you don’t need the all around god rolls for your damage mods –the CPU savings do nothing for you. So, sell those mods, and use the ones with crappy CPU, but really good damage modifiers. This strat will greatly reduce costs (and depending on prices and luck, perhaps even turn you a profit). T2 Mods + Decayed Mutaplasmids are the cheapest option. They can get as good as faction with a perfect damage and ROF roll, but this is super rare. T2 + Gravid can get better stats than faction relatively easily, and can even cost you less money. Note that the increase to broker's fees that happened a while back has severely discouraged frequent price changes (no more .01 isk war). So, now it's easier for casual traders to get their orders filled without babysitting them. Of course, it used to be easier to pop over to Jita to setup/update orders before Niarja flipped. Finally, some people like to "gamble" with mutaplasmids. They roll a handful of expensive modules in the hopes of getting a Zeus roll, and then suffer from something called "roller's remorse" when things don't go their way. I advise against gambling with mutaplasmids. Personally, I treat it like a probability problem. Depending on what I'm rolling, and how many I need, I'll roll between 20 and 100 mods at a time. I then expect a percentage of them to be sell candidates, a portion to satisfy my requirements, a portion to be worth saving for other fits, and a portion of them to be straight up garbage. Complacency Just because you got away with it before, doesn’t mean it’s safe. No one is too big to get ganked. Fleet numbers can rise and fall, and depending on when they scan you and how fast you move, they may even have time to reship into something that can take you on. Moreover, if you provide a juicy enough of a target, they may decide to actively hunt your ass. Covert ops capable ships are not uncatchable. They stand a fair chance of getting decloaked on gates where gankers have been active (they will be surrounded with wrecks and faction police), and are still vulnerable to smart bombs, lag, and DC’s. Ships with 2 second aligns are not uncatchable. They are vulnerable to lag, DC’s, smart bombs, and insta lockers. I am of the firm opinion that most people who die to ganks do so because they are lazy, impatient, and/or unknowledgeable. If you’ve read this far, you’ve taken care of the last point. Now it is up to you not to get complacent. Always use best practices. If that means waiting, then wait. If it means making two trips, then make two trips. Never underestimate the threat, or fly what you can’t afford to lose. Bonus Safe Travel/Hauling Tips Use instant undock and insta-dock bookmarks when appropriate. If you web your freighter, always send duel requests to the webber, and never to the freighter. Everyone sees dual requests, and if they see dual requests going to the freighter pilot, they’re going to try to send him one in hopes of getting a limited engagement timer with him. Some guys will try to kill your webbing alt. But better to lose that than the freighter. Be wary of corps that have friendly fire turned on, especially if they’re lose with their recruitment policy. If you can’t haul it safely, pay someone to haul it for you.