Gankers and freighters, a request for discussion. Not a BJ RANT


(Tian Tian Tian) #1

I have some personal feelings about this, but I’d like to put those on the side in order to stay objective. If I fail at any point, feel free to call me out on it (i’m sure somebody will). The discussion I’d like to have is about freighter hauling and gank mechanics, what should be changed (if anything), and if there are any better options for “distribution of risk” that don’t screw with EVE’s PVP focus while reducing lopsidedness in player investment. A bit of backstory for context:

After 2 years of fac war, I recently got into hauling because it’s been the biggest EVE-dream of mine since before I first subbed. I did as much reading as I could on the topic, hours of perusing old threads, guides, wiki pages, youtube videos. I’m about 30 contracts in and I keep my cargo value low, I fit for tank, I use a web alt to scout the chokepoints and avoid them whenever possible, choosing instead to service local areas a few jumps outside of a major trade hub. I use Dotlan and Zkill to track gank fleets, never fly afk, and I’m in the hauler’s channel and anti-gank channels every second. Most importantly, I can afford to lose the freighter.

tl;dr I’m not an idiot.

This weekend I was offline because I knew Burn Jita was coming. Looking through the destruction that’s been going on, I’ve decided to sell my freighter off and downgrade to a DST instead. What changed my mind was a percieved imbalance in risk taken between freighter pilots and gank fleets (individual weighted roll of the dice versus distributed and calculatable sacrifice). Viewing this relationship, the power dynamics felt imbalanced. Is this perception flawed? What would the benefits be for the trade hubs and on player experience if a perfect solution were found? What would a perfect solution look like? Should freighter pilots who make zero mistakes be gank-proof? Should gankers have enhanced or additional options, such as an actual toll/permit mechanic for passive income? Threads I’ve investigated on the topic are often inflammatory, and suggestions for change are usually laughable (things like giving auto-warp to freighters).

I deeply appreciate any answers and input. Thanks!


(Remiel Pollard) #2

A well thought out post with lots of good openings for discussion, but I won’t go through it all. I’ll answer this question though.

Yes. Not mechanically, that would be silly, but as it happens, freighter pilots who don’t make mistakes make themselves gank-proof by choice. It’s the same for anyone, really. No mistakes = no losses. I have friends with alts who’ve hauled stuff all over for years with freighters and never lost one. The most notable of these is an alt named Canderous Chance who’s hauled trillions over the years in an Orca purchased back in 2011. That toon still has the same Orca. He’s lost other stuff, so you can see that mistakes have been made, but not with the Orca.

And as usual, there’s a caveat. Every now and again, something shiny, like a freighter, is worth using as bait. Bait is expendable, and can be lost even if no mistakes are made.


(Dom Arkaral) #3

No, because ship happens.
No one can control every aspect of a haul.

That being said, BJ is an exceptional event with exceptional gank numbers.

On any other day, if you fly smart it’s practically impossible to get ganked while in a freighter :slight_smile:


(Auto-da-fe) #4

The change that I suggested in another thread was to get all of EVE Online together … … THROW IT IN THE TRASH! and start all over again from scratch.:rofl:

Short of that, you’d just have to accept that the poor design and poor development of EVE Online has resulted in a game designed for Ganking. To change it now would be nigh on impossible! CCP would have to make a commitment to “balanced, competitive pvp” and actually stick to it! which, of course, they won’t because they (meaning CCP, collectively) clearly suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.


(Dom Arkaral) #5

This isn’t Call Of Duty lol


(Galaxy Pig) #6

Sweet sweet nectarous tears.


(Cassie Helio) #7

Ganking itself is not an issue to me but the exploitation of bumping mechanics on freighters in High Sec that allows a perma-“scram” with no legal response is the issue. It’s a loophole to get around the aggression mechanics of Eve that allow pilots to attack aggressors.

Having a gank fleet warp in, scram, and destroy the freighter all before CONCORD arrives is perfectly valid and I have no problem with that.

Ganking itself is not an exploit. Bumping itself is not aggression (because it does not necessarily mean a DPS fleet is coming). However, in context and in conjunction it becomes an exploited mechanic. I believe this is why people see ganking as a problem, in context with bumping it seems like a exploit.

I think an underlying issue is freighters lack of options. Bumping is quite boring gameplay for both parties.


(Do Little) #8

Destruction is an essential part of Eve - if ships didn’t die, there would be no contracts to haul.

That said, flying a freighter in highsec is not a high risk profession if you follow a few basic rules that have already been outlined in the original post. Unlike most losses the independent freighter pilot is on the hook for the value of the ship and the collateral which can be painful. That’s where organizations like Red Frog have value - you will usually have a good selection of contracts to choose from and White Frog Insurance will cover both ship and collateral as long as you fly within guidelines.

I do my own hauling using DST’s and Blockade Runners. If I lose one it’s not a big deal but it’s over 2 years since my last lost and that was in Nullsec.


(Lady Ayeipsia) #9

I must start out by saying there is a core design principal for EVE that people tend to forget…

If you undock, you are killable.

This may require a lot of ships and pilots, but No matter where you are, no matter what you are flying, it should always be killable. That is the very heart of EVE. And this means there really is no balance discussion. No matter what balance you want or get, a few more ships thrown at you will always tip the scale and kill you.

Now, this does not mean you will always die. It does not mean you can’t take steps to mitigate your risk, etc. It just means that if a group with enough people and ships decide you must die, it will happen. Even the great Veldnaught could be brought down by a large (very large) group.

This is also balanced by another part of the EVE game philosophy… Have patience. If now isn’t the time to do something, then there is always tomorrow.

So the question isn’t about how to achieve 100% safety. That is impossible unless you never undock. Instead, EVE is about mitigating your risks. So… Can a typical freighter pilot take enough action to sufficiently mitigate their risks to the point they are comfortable flying?

I believe this is already possible in game. So what steps can they take?

  1. Do not fly with so much cargo that you become economical to gank. This applies to all ships. If your ship could be killed for a profit to the killers, you have not mitigated your risks. If you do fly so you are not profitable, chances are 90% of the time you will not be killed.

  2. scouts… Look at the map, see if the place you are going or passing through has a ton of kills in the last hour. Go through with an alt or even in a pod first. See a lot of people, flashy or not, don’t fly through. Check forums and news sites about big events or wars that may impact you. Be patient. If you do this, 95% of the time you will be safe.

  3. Don’t male your self a target. See CODE in local, don’t taunt them. Don’t boast on the forums that you are unlikable. Keep your nose clean and don’t draw negative attention. This will get you to 99% safe.

  4. webbing, etc… Can get you to maybe 99.5 but we are splitting hairs at This point.

If you do that, the risk is mitigated and there is no need to worry.

And here’s the last kicker… CODE… They are basically just NPC rats. It’s no difference than running a level 4 mission. When mission running, you plan accordingly. You tank right, research spawn triggers, etc. CODE is just another form of NPC. Tank right, be smart, be patient and they won’t get you.

So really, there is no balance and all is working as it should be. Fly safe and smart and you’ll get there 99% of the time or more. And that small part you can’t account for, that’s just part of life.


(Charley Varrick) #10

Exactly this. The only thing I would add is it’s not only freighters. I dont care if it’s a freighter, hauler, barge or battleship. Scrams and disruptors are put in the game for a reason. bumping is a cheap way around it.


(Gadget Helmsdottir) #11

And there’s one more step that’s often overlooked:

5. Don’t be a known target.

There is a measure of safety in anonymity. For best results:

  • Use multiple faces. It might be a little outside normal to have multiple freighter pilots, but if you do, switch between them randomly.
  • Change up your scouts. Have one character slot that is designed to die. It doesn’t take much SP to make a HS scout so you can recycle the scout easily enough. At the very least, have multiple scout alts, and switch between them.
  • Be silent. EvE isn’t set in the '70’s and you ain’t the Bandit. No trash talk, and use an alt as your ‘business face’ in and out of game. (yeah, part of #3, but it bears repeating)

–Gadget cannot tell you who is and is not a Frog pilot


(Black Pedro) #12

Probably. Especially during Burn Jita you are talking about many dozens, or even more than a hundred players getting together for the common goal of exploding a usually undefended industrial ship. So I will suggest that while you are indeed correct to notice an imbalance in power between the sides, it is largely the 100-1 numerical advantage that you are sensing, not something inherently imbalanced about using a freighter in highsec. In fact, if you look at the power dynamic between a freighter in a more equal situation, or even one-on-one, things are reversed and the freighter is effectively invulnerable.

I get some might be uncomfortable with that, but Eve is an unbalanced, open-world and full-time PvP game. If enough other people want to, they can explode you anywhere and that is by design. That said, many, if not most people fly their freighters without any problem, and are easily able to mitigate the small chance that they do lose one. They really are quite safe both statistically and practically, but if you are unable to handle the small chance of loss either financially or mentally, they maybe a DST is a better choice although they too are not invulnerable.


(LouHodo) #13

Honestly not being a freighter pilot myself, but having hauled a bit of my own goods around. I can say that I feel that many freighter pilots make horrible mistakes that lead to the loss of their ships and cargo.

I saw one last night in FW space… why would you jump a freighter through FW space, and through not one but TWO obvious gate camps. So when the ship was popped I felt no remorse for him.

I do think that there should be a warp stabbed version for freighter pilots, a “T2” version of sorts.


(Galaxy Pig) #14

Carebears consider ganking a problem because they die to it. As long as they still die sometimes, they will consider themselves to be victims of horribly and obviously broken mechanics.

This is the nature of the carebear.


(Scipio Artelius) #15

The T2 version is even better than stabbed, it has a jump drive and can bypass nearly all choke points.


(Piugattuk) #16

There should be a mod like the assault damage control that can be fitted so a freighter can have a chance to survive a gank attempt, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll survive a well coordinated attempt with plenty of gankers but when you consider the value of some cargo vs the ships used, besides sometimes its done for lolz like burn jita, but the tank that can be fitted on a freighter, pathetic.

I too sold my freighter because it’s too easy when you can’t even fit a civilian damage control on a freighter, at least it gives some extra ehp which gankers would have to account for, but alas, it’s entertainment and “the destruction economy” at the expense of other players.


(Gadget Helmsdottir) #17

EvE doesn’t really need pally-bubbles… especially in HS. That’s what you would need from a module to protect the freighter.

Freighters already have some of the most HP you’ll find in HS.
They got a buff when all ships had their hull resists increased when DC’s became passive.
And yet, freighters are still juicy targets.

Due to their massive HP, you’re not going to get random solo kills on a freighter in HS, unless somehow the attacking pilot has the ‘legal’ authority to attack the freighter (the F. pilot is under wardec, accepted a duel, picked up a can, etc.).

When hunting whales, you bring the whole crew. Assume the max HP (unless you got a good scan) and math it to death. I can’t think of any module that would stop the math.

No, beyond just plain immunity, i can’t think of a module that could really help. The freighter’s best bet is still smart piloting, research, scouts, and friends.

–Gadget Bubble-Hearths


(Dom Arkaral) #18

All.that talk about damage control… but you seem to have forgotten that not too long ago, freighters had no hull resistances whatsoever… lol


(Piugattuk) #19

Agree, but as you pointed to it’s math, if it takes X amount of pilots to do the job then if you need more it becomes a much more involved enterprise, nothing will stop those out for lolz but those’s out for profits it makes them think is it worth it, if yes, shoot, if no, leave it, just like pve players when they come across juicy npc’s or opportunity but can’t because they just don’t have the dps to do it, nor the tank to survive.


(Piugattuk) #20

Which is why years ago I sold my freighter.