Monday, December 4, 2017

Salute to a Pioneer

Although I am currenly inactive as a capsuleer in New Eden, there are some names that I cannot forget. These names come from many sides, mainly from Anti-Gankers, Gankers and a few Lowsec assassins.
My favorite EvE players are those that not only draw outside the lines, but manipulate game mechanics in such a way that results in one or more of the following occurring in their victims interactees: Surprise, Shock, Anger, Tears, Financial Loss, Knowledge Gain.
          -Feyd Rautha Harkonnen 

As we are approaching his 5th birthday, this post will be about an architect of emergent gameplay. A memorable Anti-Ganking figure who perfectly fits Feyd's description above.

An inspiring Biography indeed, but when I want to learn more about an EVE player, one of the first things I want to know is what his enemies have to say about this player. So let's start by reading what 
gankers have said about him:

"my personal nemesis is The Saint Tsaro. That dude gets inside my head and counters my counter moves."
        -Bing Bangboom

"I never see him any more, but a guy called The Saint Tsero used to cause us some trouble in his Falcon. He was amazingly good at figuring out which miner we were going to gank even when using cloaky warpins. There were a couple of others, but since he was always around when they were, I assume they were his alts, but could be wrong. But if The Saint was around, ganking miners was going to be a lot tougher. 

I think his secret was that he was just as dedicated as we are. He wasn't thinking about the isk/hr he was losing by sitting in his Falcon for hours. He didn't start watching youtube videos just because there wasn't any action for 10min. And above all, I think he did it because it was fun, not because he was really interested in helping miners."
       -Malcolm Shinhwa

"Praise for The Saint Tsero" 
         -Jebediah Phoenix

"I remember some months ago, having to haul ass and get an Orca gank off real quick because The Saint was 10 jumps out and closing. That guy was awesome."
       -Winchester Steele

"I have had to also deal with capable White Knights like Jennifer En Marland, Soonja Giriea and, the most difficult for me, the Saint Tsero"

Bing Bangboom

On December 17th 2012,
The Saint Tsero was born as part of the Caldari state. He quickly realized that some player-driven opposition could be organized against the gankers. He has taken the game tools and created a philosophy for his actions: The Three M's - Miners Must Mine. 

He would
use the ECM tool to prevent the ganks. The idea was to jam the ganker before CONCORD arrives. Then a difficulty of miner-protection gameplay appeared: he had to find possible gank targets and be there before gankers arrive.

As a player who has done it for years, I can assure you that it is not easy.
Imagine: you enter the system with the intention of saving miners. There are known cloaky gank-scouts in Local and D-Scan shows multiple Retrievers and Hulks in different corners of the system. Gankers will be in system within minutes and you have to figure out which miner will be targeted by them. I am not saying that protecting miners is rocket science, but in many cases, it requires situational awareness, concentration, reactivity, patience, good timing and of course some luck. As Malcolm said, The Saint was amazingly good at it.

For many gankers, Faction police is actually a bigger nuisance than CONCORD. The NPCs of Faction Police follows them around all the time which results in a constant anxiety of minor level. But The Saint’s activity took it to a much higher level that cannot be achieved by the NPC Police of the game:

    "the ability to stay cloaked can make it an unseen threat, that affects gankers at a psychological level."

-The Saint Tsero, April 10th 2013

His Griffin fit often included a cloak that brought an element of constant uncertainty and a moment of surprise to any ganker in his area. A gank scout would spot a lonely Hulk sitting at some random secluded belt, but the Catalysts would see multiple Griffins decloaking as they landed. This is emergent Highsec content at its finest. Needless to say, this resulted in fun interactions so many times, like in these distant memories from Piekura.

Another reason for the use of cloak was probably to make sure that he creates that moment of interaction with the gankers. An intelligent ganker will not try to gank a barge if he sees two Griffins orbiting it. By making his Griffin invisible, the sudden, adrenaline-filled moment of encounter between the Triangle of Content was almost guaranteed to happen. (Some veteran gankers used to leave the system completely upon seeing him in Local, which is why I said "almost")

Having chosen an agile and humble ship like the Griffin, the Saint quickly became one of the most active Anti-Ganking figures during the 2013 Caldari Ice Interdiction. His efforts, combined with other Anti-Gankers, were forcing the ganker squads to adapt, change or fully cancel their operations. One great example was Goon gank fleets who started bringing suicide Griffins to counter the ECM of The Saint and his friends to prevent them from jamming the Catalysts. In other cases, the gankers were seen bringing double, even triple-ECCM Brutixes.

"they ganked his 2m griffin with a 15m Catalyst"
          -The Saint Tsero, April 4th 2013 

The Saint and his team used to cause so much trouble to some gankers that a few criminals switched their target from miners to the cheap but effective Griffins. 
"We have had a number of successes with Griffin/kitsune most notably saving this Orca in Outuni from a gank of 12." 
          -The Saint Tsero, April 4th 2013 

In addition to mining barge gank attempts, the larger scale Orca ganks were being stopped as well. It is also believed that a dedicated Anti-ganking channel was created by himself prior to the Interdiction, which made the communication easier.

The Saint suddenly stopped playing on October 2013. Who knows, maybe he was an alt of some Lowsec dweller or he was just a casual player who just happened to discover and master this particular game style. There were certainly other players interested and engaged in the counter-ganking gameplay in the early days of 2012 and 2013, but it is safe to say that The Saint was probably the first player to effectively and actively use ECM to stop ganks daily. (He wasn't the stupid kind of player who posted Catalyst killmails where he whored on without saving the miner) Personally, The Saint's and his friends' gameplay made me say  "Stopping ganks is indeed possible, fun and it contributes to emergent gameplay, therefore to Highsec."
"What does it take to be a champion? Desire, dedication, determination, concentration and the will to win."

-Patty Berg
o7 to you.


Two recent videos are now added to the Media page:

AG saves another freighter / Grand Design

Saving Haulers / High Sec Militia Thomas en Chasteaux

Two perfect examples of successful actions showing how tricky it can get to stop a gank: patience and situational awareness followed by effective actions and very precise timing.

At the top of the Media page, what I call the Highsec Rocket was added as well. It's something that I suddenly wanted to create just for fun. It represents every single thing that has affected & contributed to my Anti-Ganking gameplay for years: the names that made Highsec better and funnier, the stories that made us laugh, the concepts that made me learn and enjoy the game. Of course, it will be updated if I remember other relevant things!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Annoying Gankers Everyday

The criminal mind is something of a mystery.
"Whatever neurosis that drives the ganker to commit his crime is compounded, magnified by flight, by the sounds of that faction police spawn at his heels. This results in constant uneasiness, which becomes paranoia, and paranoia ultimately becomes psychosis."

The good thing about the counter-ganking gameplay is that there are different ways of doing it. A well-planned and executed Player-driven intervention can be a lot more effective (and fun!) than the NPC police. Some players prefer jamming 'em all daily, others tackle them at gates. However, when it comes to the gankers who do it for profit, another way emerges:

Kill Report

Shooting their loot ships. En masse. 

People with a variety of backgrounds have actually been enforcing this type of gameplay for years. (Anti-Ganking transcends corporations and alliances.) We've seen it before with Johnny Mal'Ganis for example, an Anti-Ganker who literally strikes fear into the hearts of any ganker who do it for profit around Jita, Perimeter and Urlen. In that post alone, Johnny had inflicted a damage of over 12 billion ISK to gankers.

"Damn, why doesn't this game have animated 3D portraits? It would be great to see the gankers' face expression when I catch them."

        -Johnny mal'ganis 

Kill Report

Genuine Anti-Gankers care more about Fun than ISK. The main goal is to ruin the ganker's day and having fun doing it. You actually play EVE when Fun becomes priority, not ISK. 

"the risk of having your day ruined by other people is the cornerstone with which EVE was built"
-CCP Solomon

Kill Report

Ganker Gogela killed a Tayra which had dropped pretty much everything. However, a minute later, his looter Miyammato Musashi was punished by Bersagliere, whysoserios Andrard and Alexander Kaan. Gogela is one of the rare cases of a healthy ganker who understands EVE. Upon losing his looter, he was surprisingly calm and he embraced the mindset of "you lose some, you win some".

"One of them convo'ed me, we had a talk. He said ''I will gank in Niyabainen. I know that you hunt gankers. Please don't touch me, the target is very important this time''.
          -Johnny mal'ganis

Kill Report

Oh, Damien, what have you done again? Some of you may remember Damien from the previous post. It looks like his target was saved by Sir Arthur Pennyworth's Griffin who jammed Damien's Vexor and his alt's Catalyst in Bei. In an impulse, Damien warped his pod to the Sun. p0und3r's Crow responded.

Meanwhile, a variety of miner gankers were being defeated of course, let's have quick look at some of them. 

In Raneilles, gankers Fate and Destiny (beautiful name!) and Never Gonna SeeGrandKids spotted a Scimitar which was part of a larger Counter-Ganking fleet in the area.

They wanted to gank that Scimitar, but they underestimated the vigilance of the Blackbirds and my cloaky Griffin nearby. 

As the Catalysts were foolishly in warp towards us, I quickly renamed my Griffin to Fopiclone's Zalcon.

Another beautiful scene.


Our Griffin's electronics officers Jamminie Audanie and Magnetearza Thiesant activated magnetometric jammers immediately.

Jamminie was appalled by the name of "Never Gonna SeeGrandKids".

The heretics of the N-Code lost their target lock a few seconds after their landing, long before the stupid, ineffective NPC police intervention. The moment was celebrated with fireworks. Their monotonous ganking routine was enlightened by our intervention and the gank failed, Scimitar survived.

Once again, Highsec became more interesting thanks to gankers and anti-gankers.

I can't understand the people who want to remove these things from Highsec. Certainly, these fun memories will be worth sharing with our grandkids. Hopefully we will make it that far.

Kill Report

Kill Report

A few hours later, I received a bounty from a capsuleer with the most alien name I’ve ever seen. I wonder how third party EVE sites handle such exotic names. He was either a Jovian gymnast or a servant of The Mule from Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. What on Earth is that name supposed to be?

dat face though

Ah, Fate’s corp mate. It’s now clear. Let's move on.

Kill Report

Ganker Sottie StuartClan is quite a known figure in Piekura. However, when there is effective resistance, his operations fail. He wanted to gank a miner again but it failed hard thanks to the intervention from miners Basil Miromme, THECHRONICLESOF CHINMAN and Swaghetti II Yolognaise. 

Can you see the beauty of this kill mail? There is no CONCORD involved. The DPS of real players was enough to kill the Catalyst before CONCORD was even around. That was probably the main reason behind the gank's failure, with the additional chance of that Procurer having ECM modules.

21 minutes later, gank-bot Sottie showed up again:

Kill Report

His gank failed yet again. No miner loss mail was generated. Miners Basil Miromme, CONCORD Police Captain, THECHRONICLESOF CHINMAN, Kae Den and Swaghetti II Yolognaise delivered the second punishment. Once again, the vigilant miners said "Go back to donuts CONCORD, nobody needs you."

Kill Report

The ganker's pod was then taken care of by miners Basil Miromme and Goliath Ituin. 

Kill Report

Charlie Nelson Reilly is a new ganker yet she's surprisingly less brain-dead than the rest of her friends: she knew how to counter ECM. However, she still didn't have a ganking permit. Tsk! Anti-Ganker Montuss didn't like it and said No. Charlie Nelson's gank failed to generate a miner loss mail.

Kill Report

Kill Report

Gankers Adelaide Brooke and Ariadne Andenare didn't understand it: no ganking permit = no gank. They brought massive DPS with two Taloses to gank a Porpoise in Piekura. Nevertheless, they got jammed out by Cold Soto's Griffin. The gank was stopped successfully.

This is an interesting example that can be shown to angry carebears out there who keep complaining that gankers use cheap ships to kill 200 million ISK ships. Cold Soto used a 1 million ISK Griffin to stop two Taloses of 244 million ISK in total. 

Stop whining, fight them.

Adelaide actually wanders around Highsec all the time. It often looks like this:

And then sometimes, things go wrong during her travels. Horribly wrong:

Kill Report

Countering gankers and ruining their operations is in the game mechanics itself. Adelaide was heading to a target again but her outlaw Catalyst (free to shoot at for everyone) got tackled at gate by a small fleet composed of Caterina Corinthia, spike Isu, Vi Alvary, Loyalty Ellecon, Ion Nizer, Revarak, Marx Rudian, SilverFoX Katelo, Ksekoliaris, Feodoros, Piano Saken, Daemon Koabd and Theresa Chaser. When I say "Anti-ganking transcends corporations and alliances", I mean this.

Obviously, Adelaide experienced the "wrong place wrong time" situation. 

The aptly-named gankers EveIs ABadGame PleaseQuit, HipHop Music SMDH and Boom Town Grifter were hoping to kill a miner in Kamio when a problem (for them) decloaked: 

Veteran Anti-Ganker Armand Patrouette in a Falcon. That is a problem.

Kill Reports

A strong triple ECM projection was delivered from the Falcon to the gank-bots. Another gank was prevented, no miner died.

Kill Report

Kill Report

Meanwhile at the station, ganker Gay Pride Dong was busy failing in his own way, that is, failing to undock. Anti-Ganker Rad Cer laughed while shooting at him. We have found a video of the ganker undocking from station:

It's not like these guys can defeat a competent Anti-Ganker anyway:

Kill Reports

Shelley Tortuga engaged the 3 Catalysts (the same gang as above) with his Falcon and minimized their DPS. No miner loss mail was generated. Another gank was prevented. Meanwhile, one of the ganker's corp Shooting Blues Everyday was temporarily renamed to Getting Jammed Everyday.

Skeptics, heretics, denialists and brain-washed gankers will always say things like "Anti-Ganking is a myth" or "AG fails". 

The interventions illustrated above are just a small, partial list of the many recent successful actions from a variety of Anti-Gankers all around Highsec. 

I don't see a myth, dear. I see a surging reality.