Nerf Ganking Megathread

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

Yeah, no. Your proposal would effectively kill sustainable ganking, and is only one or two steps away from setting everyone’s safety to green.

You were ganked because you fit a crap tank, fit unnecessary bling, and, considering they got your pod, were probably AFK.


In my experience, being lazy is the #1 reason someone gets ganked, being greedy is the #2 reason, and being anti-social is the #3 reason.


You can add being unaware to that.

So many people don’t realize how many people sit at gates scanning ship fittings and cargo as people are flying around and as soon as your found out you become a mark.


Great post, one of the best I’ve seen here for a long time on the topic. Worth pinning or being transferred into a help article.


Ganking is fine and always will be fine.

I hope they nerf barge EHP and give the Orca an AOE panic. Wanna mine alone and AFK? Fine but you’re content.


Gankbaby griefers are too afraid to go to null-sec to do real PvP.


Shouldn’T that be a myth point as well? People don’t gank barges, for instance, for profit. They gank them to gank. Or do you want to tell me that this Retriever (and many other ships like it) gave the Catalyst (which cost 16M ISK at least) gave the ganker any profit, or this Charon (which was not even overloaded as it had just over 1B in cargo value and tank fitted)? Gankers gank for KB stats. If you do a ganking glorification topic, at least make it comprehensive.

As for this CCP Rise statement that ganking improves retention. That is a joke. Rise said it on stream and as far as I remember never supplied any data proof that this is actually the case. Funny even that you link this forum post picture where CCP Rise is supposed to talk about how griefing does not hurt retention but all he talks about is how socializing improves retention. Thank you for proving that joke. You should link a clip to his statement from the Fanfest to prove your point. :slight_smile:

No comment on that. If you think that “not all gankers are bad people”, you should ostracize those that are. CODE, for instance, monopolized the ganking business for a long time and made people loath gankers thanks to CODE’s attitude towards the targets. Stop associating with these “few bad apples” and things will be fine again.

That is not a thing to prevent ganks. You can go AFK and never get ganked and you can be at your keyboard, have buddies with you and still get ganked. Actually, the more you try not to get ganked, the more likely you are to get ganked because resistance fuels the impotent rage in gankers. You have a webber for your freighter? You are automatically a gank target and have your webber countered with instalock, suicide tackle. You bring webber and remote repairs, they bring more cheap ships. I could tell a few stories about Siegfried Cohenberg that illustrate nicely what I point out.

There are many good points but there are some things that are just not true in this reality. Improve those and you have an actually good and informative mega thread opening post. :slight_smile:


I’m proof that ganking actually does improve retention.

I found EVE boring, and then I discovered ganking.



Join or be extirpated.

That’s right!

Okay, I cannot speak for everyone, but here’s some explanation for why some people will gank “unprofitable” targets.

First, barges provide a nice soft target where you can practice:

  1. Setting up the gank
  2. Executing the gank
  3. Securing the loot
  4. getting pods and the hauler off

This is because:

  • Barges aren’t on gates (no gate gun damage)
  • It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll have to deal with anti-gankers (they tend to like to wait on gates, and they can’t be everywhere at once).
  • And barges will sit still for long periods of time

Yes, you can actually make a profit off of barges.
So, you can actually gank covetors and retrievers with one or two T1 fit catalysts in lower security status systems. Such ships cost in the neighborhood of 3 mil isk a piece, and your cost can be reduced even further by recovering your own loot drop. Thus, it’s not actually that hard to make a small profit over the long run. Sure, I’ve have ganks where I only pulled 500k or so out of a wreck. But it’s also not uncommon to pull 5, 10, or even 15mil out of a T2 fit wreck. And this doesn’t even consider what you can extort out of people, donations, and contracts. I haven’t been offered any contracts yet, and I’ve heard other people say that they usually aren’t worth the effort, but I have actually received donations.

Boredom, Anti-gankers, and Concord Pull as a solo ganker
Third, gankers can get bored. Barges aren’t my number one priority when I go hunting, but if that’s all I can find, and I haven’t ganked anything in a while… why not? And I’m even more inclined to do so if there’s an anti-ganker camping an out-gate. Why lose a ship to an anti-ganker and faction police, when you can kill a barge instead (and as an added bonus, you can make sure concord is pulled in the system as well)?

Fighting Fleet Boredom as an FC
So, I’ve only been a line member in large ganking fleets, but I have heard Ganking FC’s express concern over going too long with out a kill. They don’t want their gankers getting bored and logging off, because it reduces their DPS and engagement profile. So, sometimes they will select less profitable targets simply because it’s better for morale than having an entire fleet sit around with their thumbs up their ass for too long. Moreover, ganker FC’s tend to want to end fleets with a kill, even if that kill isn’t a loot pinata.

Law of Averages
So, scanning targets can require an alt and/or spook potential prey. So why bother when it’s so cheap to gank some dudes? Is this retriever T1 or T2 fit? Meh. Who cares? I might lose isk on this one, but I know I’ll come out slightly ahead over the long run. In fact, the biggest cost involved with ganking low EHP targets isn’t the ganking ship, but the opportunity cost. This is because a criminal timer will prevent you from being able to gank anyone else for at least 15 minutes.


There’s another reason, which is pertinent.

We gank barges for the EXACT same reason nullblobs gank enemy miners, or wormholers evict one another. This is our territory. No trespassing!


It’s not about the money. Sometimes, it really is about enforcing the LAW. We might lose money on the gank, and we’ll take the loss, because the miner is losing more.

Pay rent, surrender, join us, or GET OUT.


Never, also none of the above.
You forgot fight back, I’m not a miner but if I were you could expect resistance.
I’ve actually tried to get you people to come after me in mining ships that were incapable of mining but got board waiting for you and eventually went off somewhere to do something else.
My guess is that there were just too many other targets.


In my experience, anybody who has enough skill and fortitude to “fight back” is someone who quickly realizes that Highsec mining is not worth the hassle. So get out!


For every kill a ganker gains, they also have a loss. For every criminal act, whether a kill was gained or not, they have a loss.

Killboard stats aren’t the reason.

They gank for fun; and that’s a perfectly reasonable motivation in any game.

I’m not getting out and you can’t make me.
On the other hand mining sucks and is not something I can do. I tried it, hated it instantly and never did it again. I don’t care where it’s done, it’s boring as hell, not worth my time, and made me understand one thing: mining is why there are bots. If it were interesting and fun no one would bother automating it.
To me, mining is mind rot.

KB stats are a reason for sure. A big enough reason in fact that some gankers (Kusion et al in particular) go to great lengths to not have all his Taloses and Catas and Bombers they lose against Concord show up on Zkill.

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Calm down, miner.

TL;DR: Without conflict, including ganking, New Eden dies.

Having just logged into my accounts for the first time since Dec '18. it warms my heart to see that this sort of spontaneous content is still a ‘thing’.

I like to think I understand most points of view on this neverending beaten dead horse from firsthand experience. I’ve been a miner, in both highsec and nullsec (still trying to digest the ore changes). I’ve hauled for Red Frog and independently, as well (I really had a WTF moment when I put in Amarr as a waypoint from Jita). I’ve participated CODE (I have to assume James315 is still around) and Miniluv operations (had a delivery of Gankalysts awaiting acceptance on a corp contract from 2018 waiting for me after logging in). I’ve done mission running in highsec and ratting in null. I’ve even done a little industry (requires a little more time and patience than I’m willing to spend).

All of that said, we need all of these cogs in the machine. Miners have to mine, haulers have to haul, industry has to build - but all of that is meaningless if there is no reason to buy new stuff. The thing I love about EVE is that it is a living entity where 99.9% of stuff is produced by the players, and is a fully functioning virtual economy; without ships exploding, it all collapses.