My plea to CSM - change high-sec ganking for freighters/JFs

Dear members of CSM and my fellow capsuleers,

I come to you with the oft-disputed topic of high-sec ganking. For ease of reading, I will acronymize it as HSG for the remainder of this post. I am sure many of you has their own unique opinions on the issue. We all come from different backgrounds, we all interpret our experiences differently, and we all have distinct desires and motivations that drive our opinions and assumptions. As I attempt to peel the lid off this pungent debate, I ask that we take the effort to understand one another.

I had recently returned to the game. A couple days ago I was moving all of my assets through high-security space in my freighter. I had hopes of selling my goods in Jita and restarting my industrial corporation, maybe investing in an engineering complex. Most of my old friends don’t play anymore so I was looking to start fresh. I made sure that Burn Amarr/Burn Jita weren’t currently happening. I fitted out my freighter with reinforced bulk-heads, I thought it would give CONCORD enough time to respond if an attempt was made to gank me. I was gravely mistaken, here is my loss. This is also not my first experience with HSG. I have to give credit to Goonswarm, they are very competent at HSG. I don’t think I will continue to play unless changes are made in the future, the bitterness of these losses is too much.

We all want to improve EVE Online, the real question is who do we want to improve it for? I sincerely believe that unless changes are made to improve the quality of life for high-sec focused and industry players, we will continue to see stagnation and decline in the player-base. This affects everyone who plays. There are hundreds of topics we could get into that speak to this. I want to focus on the HSG of freighters and jump freighters.

I’ll preface my main argument with a couple caveats: I believe EVE needs vibrant PVP activity to drive the game and I believe nothing in EVE should be risk free. I am not against the possibility of HSG, I do believe it needs to be drastically changed.

Low-risk, High-reward of HSG

HSG is far too easy in its current form. The typical GM response to a reimbursement request from a victim of HSG usually goes as such:

“Characters who frequently engage in suicide ganks will eventually be unable to operate effectively in high-security space due to poor security status as local police forces will engage them if they remain undocked for too long.”

This is a total cop-out. We all know that HSG is mostly performed through low investment throw-away alt-characters/accounts and multi-boxers. Even in the cases where this isn’t true, it is incredibly easy to raise your security status enough to get back into 0.5 space with cheap clone soldier tags. The relative time, ISK, and skill-point investment for the average HSG character is astronomically low compared to the greatest victims of HSG. The way that ganks are carried out dances on the edge of exploit.

Little Option for the Average Freighter Pilot

Even if freighter pilots bring a large escort, which is unrealistic for the average player, there is no way to protect a freighter from suicide-ganking. Imagine trying to organize target calling in a defensive fleet against HSG. It would be near-impossible to individually target and kill the HSG ships before they are able to gank the target freighter. Using AOE mods such as ECM bursts and smartbombs against HSG fleets is easy enough to counter, simply mix in a non-aggressor to the HSG fleet causing the defensive fleet to perform a criminal act. Again, HSG is too easy.

CONCORD response to these events is laughable. In my recent loss only four of the thirty-eight ganking catalysts were destroyed before I lost my freighter. I would like to think that in the EVE universe the defacto police agency, which fends off the Triglavian Collective, would be able to handle a group of thugs in tech-1 destroyers.

That leaves most freighter pilots with little option:

  • Scour the killboards to see if there is recent HSG activity? There is very little assurance in depending on killboard intel, who’s to say you won’t be the first victim of the day.
  • Scout around the area of travel with alts and/or others? Nobody should have to multi-box to play, period. The average player shouldn’t have to depend on other players to travel through high-security space.
  • Never leave a region? Stick to 0.8-1.0? This is a terrible option for most industrial players. Take a look at the recent ecomonic report and see how the vast majority of trade is done in Jita. Also, HSG still happens in 0.8-1.0 security space.
  • Stay docked up in your freighter, i.e. don’t play

Ideas for Possible Solutions

I have tried to think of a few ways that the freighter pilots plight could be helped against HSG. I don’t think all of these ideas need to be implemented simultaneously either. Again, I don’t want to entirely eliminate HSG, I want to balance it.

  1. Drastically increase the tank of freighters and jump freighters, force HSG players to use higher-investment characters and more expensive ships to be able to HSG (large battleship fleets?). The relative risk-reward needs to be balanced.

  2. Give freighters and jump freighters modules to help defend themselves. I was thinking along the lines of the PANIC module that Rorquals have. Give them a fighting chance to allow CONCORD to help or for them to get help from other players in high-sec, a kind of a call-to-arms. It would be cool to receive a regional message that a freighter pilot in so-and-so system had initiated their PANIC module. There are many interesting possibilities for new modules and ship bonus combinations that could be given to freighter pilots as options.

  3. Make freighters and jump freighters immune to warp jamming, force HSG to use Heavy Inderdiction, this allows for better options for defenders and/or counters as well.

  4. Impove CONCORD’s response to HSG, it needs to be faster and more effective.

  5. Create an item similar to a mobile depot. Something like a “Freight Mobile Vault”, allow a freighter pilot that is about to go down to make a last ditch effort to save their cargo. They could deploy the 'vault" and move their items into it. It would then have a reinforcement period if the HSGs tried to destroy it. Giving the freighter pilot an opportunity to recover some of their loss.

  6. Improve insurance pay-outs for freighters and jump-freighters.

All of these ideas are an attempt to reduce the “victimization” of HSG, and turn it into more of a cat-and-mouse game rather than a totally one-sided encounter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really want EVE Online to thrive. I love the design, the lore, the complexity, and how unique this game is. Unfortunately, I believe it is becoming stale partially because of the mentality that PVE and high-sec players are second-class. While EVE should maintain its gritty nature, it shouldn’t be repulsive for those of us who enjoy a more relaxing experience.

4 Likes

You are wrong.

Your gankers have a “throw-away” history of going back all the way to 2015.

1 Like

Cringe.

2 Likes

Did you read the rest of the paragraph before responding?

Honestly no, because whiny crybabies like you have said all the same stuff before and no one cares because it’s on you to play it safer. Don’t be a greedy littleshit and try to haul 7b and feel like you’re entitled to safety from ganks.

1 Like

The solution to suicide ganking is to not paint a giant juicy target on yourself. Loading up a 6 billion ISK cargo and traveling through Uedema with something like 500k EHP is akin to walking into a gang-infested slum wearing diamonds and pearls - you will get jumped and robbed at gun point.

CONCORD is not in the game to protect you, they exist to get revenge for you by blowing up the folks who illegally attacked you.

Moving goods in freighters - which are basically giant shells full of yummy loot - is not for the shipping novice or faint of heart; freighting is a high-risk career that requires being aware of your operating area and how to minimize risk while navigating expected hazards, as well as knowing what to do when the excrement hits the fan.

4 Likes

I would agree with your assessment if I was in low-sec. I think a 0.5 system would be more akin to small town that still has a decently supplied police force. “Gang-infested slum” is diametrically opposed to “high-security”. In that case the game needs to re-define what high security space is and isn’t. I had just come back to the game and was totally unaware of the risk. This superiority-complex mentality based on inside information is another thing that pushes people away from the game.

@Maschine with all due respect, CSM will not give this the time of day; it should go into Player Features & Ideas so it can be eviscerated and voted down via peer review.

Suicide ganking is a legitimate and desirable form gameplay in EVE. There are plenty of ways to defend against it and mitigate your losses. Of the “options” you’ve listed, two of them are pointless and two of them are unreliable. There is room for education here.

Calibration of numbers is always worth considering, sure, particularly after the surgical strike update where CCP increased the damage output of short rage T2 ammo. Having said that, this will only mildly counterbalance the inevitable outcome. And to be clear: any increase that would be made need not be “drastic”

I should also point out that the Charon is the least tankiest of the four freighters. It’s best used for hauling high volumes of low-value goods (you did the opposite). If you want something tankier, opt for the Providence. You can also use higher-grade bulkheads which simultaneously improve tank and agility (and cargo).

You could also enlist fleetmates to employ logi on you. You could have fleetmates very, very, very heavily web you in order to allow you to warp out more quickly (use the duel mechanic to make this legal). You could hire someone else to courier you so that if they fail you are paid out a generous collateral that exceeds the value of what you hired them to haul for you (if you asked them to haul 7b worth of stuff you could set a collateral of 9b for example in order to profit from their loss). You could use implants to increase the buffer tank of your freighters to better survive a gank attempt. These are just a few ideas off the top of my head.

Hard no. This destroys so many legitimate gameplay options not just in HS but even in LS/NS. Also: A well coordinated gank attempt will occur in 10 seconds or less, which is faster than it would take you to warp out even if you weren’t warp jammed.

Hard no. Suicide ganking is a legitimate and desirable form of gameplay. The solution is not to decimate it, but to learn via education to mitigate it. Even if this only applied to freighters… there is no reason why freighters should get special treatment.

Ganks take place in 10 seconds or less, so how exactly would this work? Hard no.

Insurance payout on freighters is fine, and payout on T2 ships is supposed to be crap so hard no on improving payouts on jump freighters. If you want to improve the loss-to-hull-value ratio, then don’t carry such valuable freight in one trip; make multiple lower-value trips so you don’t lose so much in a single gank attempt. Many gankers cargo scan potential victims to determine if they’re worth ganking rather than ganking at random. If you aren’t gank-worthy per cargo scan, you won’t be ganked.

The only “victimization” here is that these pilots are ignorant and have not educated themselves on how to mitigate ganks. Maybe they don’t know where to get the information, but I know for a act that several refuse to do so and would rather CCP change the game for them then have them change their practices.

4 Likes

I have never participated in a freighter gank, and am honestly curious about this position you have taken, i.e. that HSGing is too easy in its current form…since in the most recent example you cited it took 38 characters to destroy your ship and in the other example it took over 100 characters.

Can you expand on why you think organizing that number of characters to destroy one character’s ship is easy?

I’m not asking for anything other than your thoughts on the organizing aspect of that number of characters.

Thank you.

1 Like

Uedama has an excellent police force - every character who took a shot at you died.

There are people who haul freight through Uedama every day in relative safety, I used to be one of them. You simply fly within guidelines - your cargo should not be worth more than it costs to kill you. You could have stopped a couple of jumps out and offloaded all but 1 billion worth of cargo and probably have sailed through safely.

With close to 7 billion in cargo your chances of making it to Jita safely were close to zero. You would have been scanned several jumps out (did you hear a tinkle?) and the gank fleet would have been positioned and waiting when you arrived.

2 Likes

Gentlemen, we have this week’s dedicated anti ganking thread. Please re-post the same talking points we go through every week.

2 Likes

Uedema is, in fact, a gang-infested slum due to player action, as was Niarja before it was flipped to effective nullsec with regard to CONCORD response. Checking for gate camps and using a web alt is not at all unusual for high-value shipments through these systems, because their 0.5 sec rating means CONCORD response is slower and fewer ganking ships are required to successfully take out a target before CONCORD arrives.

High sec only means there are consequences for actions, and the numeric value dictates how quickly the enforcers of those consequences arrive; it does not mean the area is safe.

OP, if you think organizing a gank of almost 40 people, across multiple time zones, work schedules, life circumstances, into a single voice channel to coordinate a gank against a target is too easy… why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and prove it first?

You can claim that it’s “too easy” or that it doesn’t have any risk. But you don’t actually show that’s the case. You just make assumptions and fail to support your claims.

Let’s see you support your claims with actual evidence before people take you seriously.

1 Like

@Archer_en_Tilavine I appreciate the thorough reply. Although, I don’t agree with your opinions on the desirability of HSG. Good point on the immunity to warp jammers, it wouldn’t apply well to LS/NS. I would have happily have educated myself if I knew, I felt totally unaware of the real risk. I had just come back from a long break.

I suppose I’m at odds with most people who still play, or at least those who have a voice on these forums. It sucks to see that people are so dismissive and belittling. I shouldn’t expect much from online anonymity, I did expect more from this “community”.

-Discord ping, goes to mobile push
-Already hundreds of players in goonswarm, many of them with gank alts in the main traffic areas around Jita
-Of the hundreds there are easily enough online to respond to a ping
-Players login, fleet up, go a couple jumps to wait for the freighter
-FC calls for all-fire, freighter dies in ten seconds…

I’ve been a part of large fleet operations on a different account in the past. I imagine their alts are already parked in pre-fit gank setups beforehand. It is not hard at all to organize 40 people in a short amount of time when you can draw from hundreds of players in the matter of a few minutes.

Sure thing,

With discord mobile and push notifications it’s relatively easy to get the word out to hundreds of players. Gank-fit alts already in the relative area, only 1-2 jumps away from the target system. I imagine organization of these fleets follows a usual protocol and fleet doctrine, very quick and easy to pull off with low-cost ships.

In the past when I played in a NS/LS alliance on my PVP character it was easy to get word out that an operation was underway, we did multiple BLOPS kills on battleship and carrier. This was even before discord and the prevalence of mobile apps. It’s not hard to log-in, fleet up, undock, and go a few jumps to pop a freighter.

This has all been said ten thousand times before. I’'m not going to point to statistics of how safe freighters are, or the long history of a decade of nerfs to suicide ganking. I’m just going to point out that you made a mistake and lost. You thought you knew what your were doing, but you miscalculated, overloaded your freighter, and were called on it.

This is all working as intended. A thousand other players made different choices that day and were not exploded. You took some risks, and were exploded. That’s the game. You lost this round. It’s ok.

Like seriously, how much ISK should a freighter be able to carry without escort and not be a profitable target to pirates? 10B? 100B? Tell us the number people should be able to “relax” and move their stuff around highsec while not being a profitable target to pirates?

There are a hundred things you could have done. You could have simply just made 3 trips. You could have had a friend scout for you. You could… this isn’t the point. The point is there is already a huge amount of gameplay around hauling in this game. Just because you lost something, doesn’t mean there needs to be more, or the game needs to be tilted more in your favour.

Ciao friend. Threads like this might have sparked some sympathy years ago, but we are all out of patience for game change proposals by people who just lost something in this competitive game. Besides, the winds at CCP are blowing towards more danger and explosions, not more safety and “relaxation”. You need to dust yourself and get back on this train, or go find one heading in a different direction towards a game more suitable for what you personally are looking for.

1 Like

And all of that is only going to be done if there is a target worth the effort.

30-60 minutes of your time in making several extra jumps to ferry less attractive (ie smaller isk value) loads through high-risk zones/route around to lower risk paths seems like a valid counter-expenditure of time vs 10 minutes each of 30+ people’s time.

1 Like

That still won’t reach you in time if you go down the wrong alley.

Great tools have come out, like gatecampcheck which can tell you if there is bad activity on your route.

You seriously want us to believe that a character that has been around since at least 2010, has no idea of the risks of flying a loot pinata freighter is? Code IIRC has been around since at least 2012 so it isn’t like HSG is a new thing.

Two easy solutions.

  1. Use a webbing alt. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but it is WAY harder to snag a freighter being webbed along. It also has the benefit of cutting travel time way down.

  2. Sell freighter and use one of the various hauling corps. They are cost effective, quick, and if they get ganked you get your security deposit.

1 Like

This this this this this this, so much this, this a thousand times.

@Maschine
All I can say here is that this is what lost your freighter to a gank. This, and simply going it solo. I can say with complete certainty that at half of the pilots involved in ganking you was one player. He’s been around forever and is well know and very skilled in multi-boxing suicide ganks.

Complacency, assumption, ignorance, and laziness is what gets freighters (and others) ganked.

Ignorance: if you don’t know, you don’t know. Learn to ask questions in the proper channels. Seek information. It’s clear enough you knew there was a risk since you fitted to try and buy yourself the response time from CONCORD in order to survive.

What pilots can do are things like checking the killboards (ZKill will tell you if the kill is a gank), understand the routes you’re taking (are they high traffic and high risk for ganking?), ask for help from amongst friends and corp-mates for scouts and webbing “escorts” (and another option is using an Omega alt to do these things), and if you don’t really know what’s going on consider delaying or reducing your shipping into less risky “packets” or use haulers that can much more survivable. The price of “going solo” can be one of taking much more time than what the group can provide.

Freighters have been buffed and ganking has been nerfed. It’s actually a lot more difficult to gank a freighter than in the past. And the assumption that most gankers are using “throw away” alts is wrong; it’s a myth. The vast majority of gankers are Omega clones and often operate in high sec sitting at -10 sec status (so EASY to spot in Local). And the ganker pilot may be an alt, but they certainly aren’t throw-away.

I have taken the time (a lot of time, and a lot of observation) to build up a “dossier” of known ganking organizations, pilots, and their alts and I use the Contacts system (along with the Label feature within) to keep track and it’s very easy for me to spot and assess risk.

I myself have been a victim to suicide ganking. I have lost ships initially due to inattention, then to complacency. I lost one technically “on purpose”, but that is another story. By the way, I have also done HSG myself, using an active Omega “alt”. It’s fun, you should try it.