HighSec Looting Mechanics

Loot everything you want from others and never worry about turning suspect ever again!

Steps to reprocduce:

  1. Get on a target that does not belong to you and will make you turn suspect when you loot it
  2. Bring 2 Chars 1 Hauler (Deep Space transporter with fleet hangar) and 1 looter
  3. Wait on the juicy target (in this case structures) to be killed by other people that had to pay wardecks an bring the effort to get to this structure killed.
  4. When it gets killed you bring your ultra fast reflexes and just snag everything in your 2mil loot ship (for example Iteron Mark 5 with cargoholds) and then just deposit it to the fleet hangar of your alt (Deep Space Transport). I dont know some people must be superhumans consistently looting faster than 15 other people with ease. But thats another story.
  5. Congratulations. Your Iteron turned suspect but the loot isn actually in it anymore. Its safely stored inside the Deep Space Transport that cannot be legally engaged.
  6. Oh the others got smart and started ganking you? Dont worry. Just fly cheap max tank stuff. It will soon turn into a profit loss depending on structures for them. You can also bring even more alts so they dont know what ships to gank.
  7. Your ship got ganked? Dont worry you can just loot from your pod and move it over into the fleet hangar.
  8. Salvaging the structure for extra iskies. Perfectly find to do aswell. Doesnt even flag you as suspect.

Oh and bumping those people away doesnt work. They sit on a safe inside the structure.

A suspect player should not be able to drop of items into another ones fleet hangar without it becoming suspect aswell. Its just a terrible mechanic.

Possible solution:
Ships with fleet Hangars need to be Safety yellow to recieve items from suspect/criminal players into their fleet hagar. When doing so they also get tagged as suspect/criminal and become engageable.


That’s why you have someone kill the suspect looter. They can loot once, but won’t be able to repeat that trick when they’re dead.

And the fleet hangar isn’t immune from suicide ganks.

Yep, agreed, this is an annoying problem. I remember back when werposts and roaming trig fleets were still all over hisec a week or so before Pochven was created, I spent a lot of time in Litiura on the Elonaya gate ninja looting poor carebears who got trig blapped.

There was always a handful of people there but sometimes there was 1 guy who used a shuttle to move bulky stuff that nobody else could take in time, into his main’s Orca, which didn’t go suspect as a result of these mechanics. This pretty much gave him a monopoly on anything that couldn’t fit in typical ninja looters like Sunesises, Hecates, ceptors, etc. As long as it would fit in an Orca’s fat bays, it was his, as long as nobody else was willing or able to field another Orca (or DST, that works too) and an alt. Nobody ever suicide ganked him because it would rarely be worth it with how tanky Orcas are, gankers have better ways to spend their time.

While this has counters (bringing your own setup to do the same, suicide ganking, bumping the Orca around, smartbombing the shuttle or otherwise ganking the alt, etc), it’s still a dumb system and in my opinion should be changed just for common sense reasons.

You shouldn’t be able to bypass suspect status from looting like this, because it breaks the Risk vs Reward balance of selecting a ship for looting. Smaller ships are faster and safer, but hold less cargo. Larger ships can be tankier or stronger but are ultimately far more vulnerable, and get way bigger cargo capacities. Doing this, your hauler can’t be legally attacked so there’s no risk from being suspect, and you get huge cargo capacity.

In summary, while this isn’t that big of a problem because it atleast has somewhat reasonable counters, it’s still a dumb mechanic that shouldn’t exist, because it messes with balance and how ninja looting is supposed to work.


This is pretty much how it works, you get away with billions , while just risking a t1 cheap hauler. Sure that the DST can be suicide ganked , but this only if your move is anticipated and prepared for in advance , which happens very rarely .
Alternatively you can just jettison the loot , abandon the container and instantly pick it up with a ship that does not have fleet hangar , if you don’t have a DST.
A silly mechanic that needs to be addressed .

Okay, so I did a bunch of structure bashing right after forsaken fortress came out, and had to deal with a bunch of ninja looters. Now, dealing with them sucked from a profit perspective, but was actually rather fun from an emergent game play perspective. I mean, bashing unmanned structures sucks balls compared to the easy kills and tears I got from the ninja looters. It’s funny, you’re getting frustrated with the ninja looters because the ninja looters were actually getting frustrated with me. That being said, the gold rush caused a lot of new guys to get in on ninja looting, so things were probably at lot easier for me then, than it is for you now.

Regardless, here are some things I learned:

  • I used meta fit catalysts to keep them cheap and disposable. I fit for lock time, align time, warp time, and dps. I fit no tank.
  • As soon as the cans were pooped out into space, all the looters and anti-ninja looters would fly around checking cans, and then tag the cans according to value. That way we knew what cans to prioritize.
  • If a ninja looter was already suspect, I would scram him, but not kill him until the hauler was coming back. That way, he’d wouldn’t be ready when the hauler was.
  • If he wasn’t already suspect, I would pre-lock him, and then kill him as soon as he went suspect. Naturally, this would allow him to be able to flip some loot. So…
  • If the loot in question is of particular value, and the flipper doesn’t have a suspect flag, try ganking them right before you anticipate them to do the flip (i.e. right before the hauler comes out of warp). The criminal timer will park your ass for 15 minutes though, so save this option for particularly juicy cans. I also thought about staging alpha alts in system in order to get around the criminal timer, but the gold rush didn’t last that long.
  • If there are a bunch of ninja looters sitting on cans, follow the haulers.
  • If there are multiple ninja looters on a can, pre-lock all of them.
  • If there are no haulers on grid, all the ninja looters with suspect timers will be trying to bounce around grid. Note that some of them will do things like warp to cans at max coward range, or keep bouncing to the same bookmarks. Pay attention to who is doing what, and try to anticipate them.
  • Work on your execution. Learn your hotkeys. Make sure you have a hud layout and overview settings that helps you to kill ninja looters as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t worry about pods unless you’re in a system with no clone bay. Guys new to ninja looting won’t set up clones in the system (and sometimes have implants in), which means that podding them can send them several jumps away (and cost them some isk). However, most guys quickly learn. Thus, podding them will just teleport them back to station where they can reship. If you can get the pod, and you don’t have any other ninja-looters to deal with, your best bet is to scram them and hold them on grid.
  • And do note that ganking pods give particular large standing hits. So, I’d advise against ganking pods most of the time.
  • Oh, I almost forgot. Locking empty ships will prevent people from boarding them. And, if you have additional loot teams, the ninja looters won’t sit around doing nothing while your other loot teams grab everything else, and will instead tend to move on. So, have dudes try to lock any valuable ships that have already been flipped into space. You might also consider having one of your flippers pre-flip ships so that someone can pre-lock them all while none of the ninja looter pilots are ready.
  • And sometimes, you might want to gank the pilot instead of the flipper. For example, on one structure bash, we only had an orca left to loot (so I didn’t mind picking up a criminal timer). We were still waiting on our orca pilot when theirs landed on grid. As soon as I saw their flipper landing on grid, I ganked the orca pilot, which gave ours just enough time to get back.
  • I was an anti-ninja looter, and didn’t do any looting myself. So, I can’t give any advice on looting (besides scouting and tagging cans). However, I’m sure there are plenty of ways to help you extract as much value as quickly as possible. So, maybe someone else can chime in on that front.

Now, should ninja looting be nerfed? I’m not so sure. It creates a lot of emergent game play for a lot of people, and there are plenty of counter play options available. However, I will admit that my perception of balance was influenced heavily by my experiences during a time when the average ninja looter was likely of a much lower caliber. So, I may need some more convincing, but I’m at least open to persuasion.

Okay, I think that’s it. Whew. And yeah, having more numbers than the ninja looters will definitely make life easier.

Alright, that’s enough.

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Nice explanation Shipwreck, I was around during the forsaken fortress gold rush as well and had a lot of fun chasing ninja looters (and also doing some ninja looting myself when I wasn’t shooting them or shooting structures).

Ninja looting creates a lot of opportunities for interactions and while it feels a bit unbalanced to have a ninja looter looting directly into a hauler that isn’t going suspect, there are ways to deal with it.

I would say it’s fine.

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Thanks for your reply! The issue we are currently dealing with is people bringing max tank gnosis to loot structure cores into DSTs that park on the structures. In some cases they are even tethered (so you cant even gank them!). Ganking the Gnosis makes no sense. Its cheap and super tanky. You waste a lot of resources on it for him basically coming back right away. So its probably best to go for the DST. That only works when hes not tethered in structure. Bumbpin him out is no option. As i said they are on a bookmark inside the strucutre so it is not possible to land any bumps.

Overall your tactics is what we use. I agree this Insta Align Hecate stuff flying around Ninja looting is nothing that needs to be changed. The problem is that looting into fleet hangars does not give the recieving ship a criminal timer. Unless you can gank it its immortal to your fleet and can just peace out with all the loot while having 0 risk.

How do you deal with someone that is sitting inside the structure so you cant bump him. Being tethered (so not gankable until structure dies) and has superhuman abilities that somehow grant him to loot faster than 20 people everytime^^

Shoot him? Ships don’t have to be suspect to be shot.

The system has its origin in the rule that loot ejected by suspects is free for all to pick. Changing that would break other things. It‘s a super fine line of having a balance or tilting the mechanics completely towards anti-gank. I know, I killed many DSTs with my Phobos before gankers switched to middleman as the standard loot mode.

Stopping DST was also made easier with the latest patch as you don’t need a HIC anymore for a reliable solo operation. I can now use a Vindicator with a single heavy scram.

One thing I could imagine may work without destroying ganking for profit is to force the middleman to actually move the cargo twice, from the wreck into its own cargo and from there to DST hangar. This enforces a non-instant operation which can be interrupted and that the middleman has enough cargo to hold the piece to move.

Still it would be a strong nerf to ganking, which is a questionable thing to do.

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This should be the case, because it doesn’t make sense for a shuttle with its 10m3 of space to move 60K m3 in 1 action from 1 wreck to another ship

How so? Very rarely is the DST ever going to be ganked after receiving the cargo. It’s very unpractical to have a ganking fleet everywhere waiting for random incidents of this to occur. On the other hand, changing this so that the DST has to be suspect to have the loot, would dramatically increase the amount of non-ganking suspect killing, which is better imo because then you don’t need 10 catalysts to steal it for yourself after someone else takes it.

Well, only because it doesn’t go suspect nowadays. A suspect DST or freighter would be a guaranteed loss, as most ganking (for profit) still happens in pipes and choke points, which are easy to control. This is not theorycrafting, I was doing this a few years back, when middleman usage wasn’t that wide-spread yet.

If you force cargo, there are options (passive shield rep Nereus for example, containers). But what if the size requires a DST or Freighter? You may get the loot, but lose a DST or Freighter which changes the gank profitability calculation dramatically. Especially because everybody would put cargo in containers then.

I still dont understand why you talk about ganking nerfs? You make a criminal action → You become cimrinal. Same goes for stealing someone elses Loot. If you are not willing to take the risk to loot the “big” stuff with a freighter or other stuff. Dont do it. This honestly blows my mind.

Looting structures takes 0 effort. You park your loot ship (mostly also using scritps to insta loot. For me there is no other way to explain people consistently looting faster than 20 people on field everytime) and put a DST next to it. Now the “attacckers” need to not only kill the structure/Fight a fleet fight but also need to bring 10+ Catalysts for every DST on grid that wants to safe loot the core WIHOUT ANY CONSEQUENCE. Thats the problem. The DST face 0 conesquence. They never go suspect. The never have to even do anything except be there and get loot thrown in them from scripted looting alts.

If you have problems to gank freighters and pick up the loot afterwards because you cant just meme the high Sec mechanics and avoiding what should actually happen → YOU BECOMING SUSPECT then maybe you have to adapt. The current mechanic is a complete shitshow.

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Maybe defenders should bring that fleet before the structure explodes; and stop the loot even being created.

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Exactly, this is the only option to avoid a guaranteed fail, hence much less ganking = ganking nerf. This is a binary thing, not something you can “risk”. If you go suspect, you lose.

I think it is wrong to talk about ganking. You should not be forced to gank someone.
If someone steals loot he is suspect. If someone gets the stolen loot, he should be suspect too.
It is a criminal action.

Then nobody gets any loot, at least never the “owner”.

The attacker gets the loot. Or someone that is willing to risk his ship, go suspect and loot.
*and owner CAN loot his own “wreck” without going suspect.

Can, but will not succeed. And the loot will be lost in the loot fairy RNG.

Uff you are just lobbying that you can 420 memelord loot without going suspect. If you want to loot something that does not belong to you (Its not your structure/ship that died or its not your loot drop from an NPC kill) → Criminal action → Suspect.
A suspect action needs to make you go suspect. End of story. If you want to lobby otherwise lets bring back the neutral logi or neutral fleet boosts for high sec fights? Seems like a goo idea, right?