Freighter PvP & the Ante

“Your freighter jumps into a .6 system. Grid loads, there’s a Code agent in a Maller hugging the gate. You hold gate cloak, and your breath. Damn, he’s not moving.

You saw the scanner a couple of systems back. You’re running 2 expanders for the bulky load of bubblewrapped ships. 2.5 Billion freighter and another 2.5 Bil in the hold. High profile target for the pirates. But this contract is not going to Jita so you don’t have to go through the .5 chokepoint up ahead.

What the hell is this Maller doing here?

Bring the webber scout back. Get set up. Is the Maller moving towards the scout?

This is it; cycle the tackle, the freighter will drop cloak soon. There it is, control left click.”

2 different players performed that last action, each with one part of a tackle. That Maller has a point. The scout has double webs. The server flips a coin to determine which lands first. If the webs land the freighter gets away. If the point lands the freighter is stuck and will most likely die.

The freighter pilot brings about 5 Billion ISK to the table. The Maller pilot, 2% of that. Why do the pirates get to belly up to a high stakes table with such a pitiful ante?

Typically in PvP if a player brings a more expensive ship they have a better chance of winning. But they risk more, and they might lose. Not so with freighter ganking. It’s 50/50 when it comes down to it. Regardless of the huge disparity in risk.

If the freighter wins it gets away. If it loses it loses everything. Not so for the pirates, they risk little and have the potential to win a great amount.

People should get interested in PvP, its a great part of the game. But to be interesting there has to be the potential for victory. Not just getting away, but actual victory. If the gankers lose there should pirate blood all over the table to be lapped up and enjoyed at the freighter captains leisure.

Why is their ante so weak?


Well you ■■■■■■ up when you placed 5 bil bet on a coin flip


The engagement started when the freighter pilot decided to fit cargo expanders and load 2.5 bil in cargo.

That’s too late, the freighter should never jump until the scout is ahead and shows it to be clear.

If your webbing scout doesn’t have ~700 scan res it’s a bad webbing scout.

Untrue, don’t even.

Its funny, within the first 60 minutes of a post like that it’s always the people who haven’t a clue that are first to reply.

Why don’t you argue the points?

Because they are going for the low dangling fruit, dont be a low dangling fruit.

That freighter loss is a kilometer long string of errors, fix those errors before you ask for a mechanic adjustment

bumped this into Warfare & Tactics - EVE Online Forums

The question posed by the thread is not about mechanics or procedure. It is only about risk versus reward. Why does the freighter pilot have to ante up with real ISK while the pirate buy-in is essentially kiddy tokens?

How is that warfare and tactics?

How many allies does that Maller need to bring your Freighter down? At least a dozen. If you bring an escort of not even half of their numbers, you will pass 100% safe. The key word is cooperation. You wanted to do that solo just with one alt who was even out of position? Good luck then when meeting a team of professionals who does not mess up. Why should you win this confrontation?

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Because you made a handful of mistakes long before that freighter exploded and you probably need teaching in warfare and tactics if you don’t even realize that.

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I respectfully request that you move this back to general discussion.

Then I ask you - in a spirit of amiable enquiry - to answer the following question, Corey.

How many ships - other than the little Maller - did it take to bring down the Freighter? That is, how many individual Omega Accounts (can’t be done now with Alphas)?

All those DPS and tackle ships will be lost, with their fittings. Each Omega account has cost the ganker a not inconsiderable amount of RL money. And the drop may not be as juicy as anticipated.

Look at it this way; everybody loses something. That’s balance!

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The Cats don’t drop anything if the freighter gets away. In a PvP engagement there is a winner and a loser. The winners reward should be weighted by the amount of their bet going into the engagement. That’s how games of chance work, its what makes people keep playing.

In the case of Freighter ganking I’m wondering if the reward for the freighter pilot is too small while the buy-in for the pirates is not significant enough.

In terms of risk vs reward, isn’t this also something the freighter pilot needs to consider before undocking:

Is the reward from completing the journey sufficient to outweigh be ganked?

Is the reward from squeezing in extra cargo instead of fitting tank worth the extra reward?

In your original post you clearly made the decision that it was, if the risk/reward balance isn’t acceptable, why do it?

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That’s not how lock time works, as a game mechanic.

Big mystery! I’m guessing you got scanned.

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I understand the question you’re posing, Corey, and I guess it’ll never be entirely satisfactorily answered because it relies upon notions of ‘value’.

For me, ganking is not a for-profit activity, primarily. it’s a fun way to play EVE. I absorb the costs because I have derived entertainment from their disposal. No matter how much it cost, I would still gank - unless I could not afford to continue. Then, of course, I’d have to leave the game.

I have heard of haulers and miners who also undertake their activities without necessarily wishing to turn them into some kind of business. They do it to ‘relax’ while watching Netflix, or to ‘wind down’ after a stressful day at work.

For those that do regard such considerations as important, it devolves to them to make whatever adjustments that seem appropriate, in the circumstances. This applies equally to haulers and gankers.

Aiko-the-Ganker is a trillionairess. She works hard for her money and directs the lives of her comrades with flair and dedication. She is also very astute with the financing of her operation. Should she be punished for that?

Fortunately, there is a way for you to get a neutral view of the problem. Take a loaded Freighter through Uedama, using all the tools currently available for avoiding a gank.

Then, on a separate occasion, mount a ganking operation on a Freighter, including identifying its cargo, fit and the likelihood of its being gankable. Gank the Freighter.

Tot up the respective costs. If you think there is imbalance, make concrete proposals to the CSM. At least your investigation will have the benefit of being first-hand experience. I wish you luck!


The assumption is that both the webber and the ganker are set up to instalock the freighter. To my understanding the effect that lands first, web or point, comes down to RNG in that case.

The scenario is entirely theoretical, although I attempted to make it realistic. In the scenario the freighter did get scanned and they noticed that it had a webber escort. The gankers moved their camp up a couple of systems to catch the freighter off guard.

But the specifics of the engagement are only for illustration of the question, why is the pirate ante so low when the freighter ante is so high?

Well said, your point really is at the core of the question. I think most people undock to crab with the idea of not getting caught and making some ISK. The other side of that is that when people undock to PvP they are looking to get stuck-in and not generally thinking about turning a profit.

Freighter piloting, and many other activities in Eve, fall somewhere between those two points. Not entirely PvE and not exactly PvP.

I think the risk reward for the PvE side of freightering is about right. But when a pilot does get stuck in on that route the potential rewards should be greater. And that potential should come from the ante of the opposing side.

That’s what makes a gamble into a good game.

Then why bring it up? If the specifics don’t matter, then the whole story is just a rhetorical method of persuasion at best and a useless digression at worst. And if it is intended by you to be persuasive rhetoric it just brings into question the degree of sincerity you’re approaching the question, undermining yourself. It’s poor, unclear communication getting in the way.

The freighter allows one to pack one’s ante to the brim full of ISK to be a loot pinata. It could be full of mutated deadspace and officer modules. Likewise, when PVPing in lowsec you can bling your frigate to death with mutated deadspace and officer modules and also make it a loot pinata. The choice of the ante is always firmly in the pilot’s hands.

You keep using the language of probabilities. “Risk vs reward” and taking a gamble. These mean you will lose at some point. That’s just probability. The risk is never zero. There is a sliding scale of bets one can make, and at a certain point one will lose it.

The question is: why after so many successful runs do people dock up their freighter safely and go to the forums discussing “risk vs reward” balance? Ah, they don’t. Where are all the people complaining about “risk vs reward” being too dangerous after a safe successful haul?

The answer: known fallacies of the human cognitive bias when dealing with probabilities. If I had to venture a guess, this whole thread only exists because you specifically made a losing bet and only because of this are now questioning the larger “risk vs reward”.

Get more data, and try again.


I suspect part of the issue with prices being kept down is that the people doing it for relaxation rather than income are willing to accept the jobs at lower rates which effectively stops “career” haulers from charging what they might consider a fair reward for the risk, but thats not really hugely different to freight transport in the real world where there’s always someone willing to do it cheaper, and usually while providing worse service.

Its not a lot different to the old issue of industrialists considering the ore they mine to be free and selling it at a loss/lower rate, but without people actually taking into account the risk and time cost, but its been a thing since eve first began.,

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