Wednesday, June 26, 2024

I got ganked

In addition to the usual main and alt accounts, I also resubbed my trading characters. Trading has been my on-and-off income generator. It pays well, but I will be damned if it's not a soul-crushing activity. It still beats Ishtar ratting in null by a mile. I only had to do a few Guristas Haven sites to understand that Ishtar ratting is something I never want to do again. Ever. Yes, you can do it semi-afk, but you still need to pay attention to local or occasional drone aggro. It doesn't pay that well, takes a long time, and is boring as fuck. Not to mention, if you get ganked, you can write off several hours of ratting for nothing. Slow and steady ISK generation is not for me. Fast activities with quick bursts of ISK work best. If I ever decide to do null anomalies, it will be in a pimped battleship or a Marauder. That's why I really enjoyed high-class wormhole PVE. You clean out a few systems in a couple of hours and have ISK to play with.

Anyway, the main topic I wanted to talk about is ganking. I have been doing some cleanup and consolidation of my assets, where I picked up my wormhole DST and transported the stuff to Jita at roughly 50 jumps. The fit is non-tank, as it was mostly used in wormholes, but I did use MWD+Cloak if I saw anyone on a gate. During the first run, I managed to transport the stuff, roughly 4 billion of it, successfully without hiccups. Didn't really think much of it. I had to do another errand and ship my BLOPS to a staging area, another 30 jumps or so. I have tried contracting, but after several hours, no one picked up the contract, even with a generous reward. Probably had something to do with the end destination being a player-owned station, although with public access. Owned by a well-known shipping corp.

Anyhow, I jump to the 0.6 Sivala system and use MWD+Cloak, but suddenly, I am decloaked and then scrammed. Oh shit. I align and spam the warp but to no avail. My Occator goes down. Ganked by a few bombers and t1 cruisers. Thankfully, the pod warps away.


Reflection

I have played this game long enough to know what to expect. Honestly, nothing gets me more nervous than transporting something valuable in high-sec. The high population of HS makes it difficult to identify immediate threats. In any other space, you see neutral, see the ship, and know exactly what to expect. In HS, people travel all the time, and suicide gankers avoid security status downgrades by buying security tags. Therefore, the gankers can often be mistaken for any other neutral. When I jumped, I did not notice anything suspicious. My focus was primarily on the MWD cycle, but the overview wasn't busy, and no usual threatening ships like Tornados were present. Not that it would have changed anything in my behavior.

I "own" the fitting mistake of lacking tank. I thought MWD+Cloak would negate that, but obviously, that's not the case. Align still takes over 10 seconds, and that is plenty for a competent pilot to decloak and tackle. The EM hole that the attackers exposed did not do me any favors. However, the fit wasn't "naked" either. It had large shield extenders for the buffer, damage control, and one membrane. I thought it would require a bit more "punch" to kill DST, but I was wrong.

While the ISK lost was nothing crazy, the time spent shopping, buying fit, and transporting was probably the most annoying part. It also clearly showed me that MWD+Cloak should not be relied on too much. I needed to adapt, so I went back to Pyfa's drawing board to see what I could come up with to avoid this again. While congratulations to the gankers, and I hope they enjoy their dropped Sin, I do feel the investment required was below the threshold I would expect for a DST gank. People always say you should not ship anything expensive, but unless you are shipping high-volume, low-cost items, it's very easy to have a couple of billion worth of cargo at least. Honestly, I do not know who these brave souls are who do space trucking and transport high-volume, high-value cargo. Looking at a killboard, freighters with bulkheads fitted carrying less than 1 billion cargo killed are not an uncommon sight. Clearly, profit does not always play a role in the equation, and people gank just for the sake of ganking. I would say it is fair when a gank requires 50 people to coordinate, but the freighter kill I linked, "Moonpire" is in half of the pilots' names that are on the killmail, which leads me to believe it's a few dudes multiboxing the whole fleet. I'm sure they have a "legal" set up where they cycle through accounts with hotkeys and can achieve such ganks without any broadcasting, but I dislike it. I think it crosses a line regarding what multiboxing should be able to achieve. While I tried apps like Eve-O Preview, I will continue with old-fashioned alt-tabbing.

Back to my DST gank. After I got back to Jita and got another DST, I spent more time in Pyfa tinkering with fits than I spent on logistics. There was an option to just contract my new Sin to PushX, but it was a matter of principle. I will transport the damn ship myself if it's the last thing I do. I came up with the below fit. 


Close to 150k EHP overheated was as much as I could squeeze in. It feels like a brick and aligns like a brick, but it remains to be seen if it tanks like a brick. The biggest issue I have is that I can no longer MWD+Cloak, which is a huge downside if I keep the plate in. I can still overheat the MWD to enter warp instantly, but that is not something I would like to do every system jump. Nevertheless, this felt like the tank I needed, and that's what I used. I am happy to inform you that my second attempt was successful, and Sin arrived at its destination. This might work well in high-sec, but I am not too excited to take it anywhere else. It's too slow. I am not sure if there is a good middle ground somewhere.

Cherry on top

And by cherry, I mean a big dump on an already shitty day. While I was fully focused on getting my pod out during the gank and reevaluating the situation, eventually, I alt-tabbed back to my scanner alt in null-sec. I completely forgot that I was traveling when the whole gank ordeal happened. I come back to the strategic cruiser wreck and a pod just idling on top, while Guristas Executor happily orbits the gate.



God damn it. So, eventually, I got ganked twice. I was surprised I did not get shield, armor, and hull warnings to get my attention. I guess I need to re-assess my inactive client muting settings. Anyway, it's one of those days. Funnily enough, the pod had an expensive virtue set and just sat there for a long time in a pipeline. Wreck unlooted, too. One more argument for blue null-sec safety over high-sec.

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