Okay. Someone proposes a nerf to suicide ganking (or getting rid of it entirely) about twice a month. Rather than keep saying the same things over and over again, I figured I’d just create a catch all thread.
Myth: Suicide ganking is unbalanced in favor of the gankers.
False. It is unbalanced, but actually in favor of prey. In fact, game mechanics stack the deck so heavily against suicide ganking, that sustainable ganking is entirely dependent on prey making at least one mistake, if not more. Yes, anything and anyone can be ganked. However, a player who knows what they are doing will (A) make it extremely difficult (if not outright impossible) to make a profit it off of him, and (B) make it so that he’s extremely difficult to gank in the first place.
For example, I started playing 24 Sep 2015. The last time I was suicide ganked was 1 Oct 2015. When that happened, I decided to learn everything I could about suicide ganking so that I could prevent it from happening again -which I did, which has helped me to go 5 years and 5 months without being ganked. And in case you’re wondering how much time I spend in HS, I spent my first year in and half doing HS industry, and have literally run around 10k incursion sites in HS. So, I assure you, I have spent a hell of a lot of time in space in HS, and that I have moved a ton of assets around.
So the problem is not that ganking needs to be nerfed. The problem is that you need to learn how to implement proper risk management strategies. And further nerfs to ganking are just going to result in a situation where players can do stupid stuff with impunity.
Myth: Suicide ganking is bad for the the game
- Suicide ganking creates content for gankers, anti-gankers, loot-thieves, potential prey (my first solo kill was against a would-be ganker), and the industrialists and traders that serve gankers and their victims.
- It counteracts the boring, repetitive nature of PvE by introducing an unpredictable danger.
- Many players like their games to be challenging.
- Many of Eve’s players were attracted by the promise of a dangerous and exciting universe, which suicide ganking helps to achieve. In fact, if it weren’t for suicide ganking, players could completely opt out of PvP in HS.
- Adversity makes achievements more meaningful.
Myth: Ganking hurts player retention
I’m sure that there are some people that quit after being ganked. However, there doesn’t seem to be any strong evidence that ganking is a significant problem for player retentiong.
In fact, it can actually improve player retention in some cases. I know that this is anecdotal evidence, and it is by no means evidence of a common occurrence, but it does demonstrate how ganking can actually improve the chances of a player staying…
I was attracted to Eve after I kept reading all these gaming news articles about Eve being a dangerous and brutal PvP game. Then when I finally did start playing, I found myself mining in a belt and asking myself, “is this it? Because this kind of sucks.” So when I was ganked for the first time, it was confirmation to me that I was in the right place. In fact, I would have most certainly quit had I not experienced something that confirmed for me that Eve was indeed the game I was looking for.
Oh, and if you quit Eve because you were ganked, then Eve probably isn’t the right game for you. If you don’t want to get tackled, don’t play American football. And if you don’t want to play a brutal, PvP-centric game, don’t play Eve. Go find something more your speed, and stop trying to turn Eve into another risk-free, PvE-centric, number-go-up game. Plenty of those already exist. We don’t need another one.
Myth: Suicide gankers are psychopaths.
Well, it does seem like some gankers do indeed enjoy trolling/greifing their victims. But, you can find such people in a variety of activities (and other games and online spaces), and they are by no means representative of all gankers. Indeed, I have found many gankers to be friendly and helpful. And I personally have no desire to inflict psychological pain on anyone. I do it for the challenge, fun, and because it allows me to fund PvP through PvP.
P.S. If you’d like to know more about sustainable PvP, check out John Drees’ YouTube series The Art of Poor.
How not to be ganker bait
- Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose.
- Just because you got away with it before, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
- Don’t go AFK.
- Don’t Autopilot.
- Don’t linger on beacons.
- Add known ganker groups with bad standings so that you can more easily see them when they come into local.
- Try to identify ganker scouts, so that you can get an early warning (does someone usually come into system before a gank, and leave shortly afterwards?)
- Make local tall and skinny, so that you can see everyone. Use ctrl-A to select everyone in local, this will make new players stand out.
- Use D-scan to look for combat probes, tethered gankers, and incoming gankers.
- Avoid busy systems were possible (gankers like having lots of potential targets).
- Use instant undocks and insta-dock bookmarks when appropriate.
- Fit buffer tanks against gankers (the amount of EHP repaired by an active tank during a gank is usually going to be far less than the extra EHP you’d get from fitting a straight buffer tank).
- One strategy is to fit enough tank that the ships required to gank you would cost more than the value of your expected loot drop.
- Another strategy is to be as slippery as possible (usually best for moving small, high-value cargo like BPO’s). This is achieved through things like 2 second align times, covert ops cloaking devices, and the MWD cloak trick.
- Another strategy is to yield tank (that is when the increased isk efficiency of your ship/fit outweighs the increased losses that you can expect from such a fit. For example, I used to fly max yield covetors. And as long as I didn’t lose more than 1 every Covetor every 12 hours (or whatever it was), I’d still come out ahead). Naturally, this strategy is better for more experienced players.
- Unless you can face tank a bunch of catalysts, you should always be moving (preferably not in a straight line for an extended period of time)
- 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 in your area or along your intended 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. Do note, however, that figuring that your tank is more than the gank fleet can take on is a risky gambit. 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.
- Players are constantly fitting too much bling, overloading their haulers, and/or compromising their tank because they get greedy, lazy, and/or impatient. This gets them killed. Always use proper risk management strategies…
- Don’t talk trash, it might incentivize gankers to keep targeting you.
- Do note that anything can still be ganked. A small gank fleet may have to watch your 700 EHP bowhead pass by today, but large gank fleets do regularly form. Moreover, if they see you flying a loot pinata, they may decide to actively hunt your ass. On top of that, covert ops capable ships stand a fair chance of getting decloaked on gates where gankers have been active (they will be surrounded with wrecks and faction police), and fast moving ships are vulnerable to smart bombs, lag, and DC’s. So don’t think it can’t happen to you.
- Read up on Eve University’s Pod Saver article