Sunday, November 30, 2014

Guide: The Importance of D-Scan for Highsec Miners

Months ago, I had shared with C&P community my ingame observations on suicide gankers, but with time, I also had occasions to make many observations on miners. (The gameplay of anti-ganking is among few activites that lets you see both sides so closely).
In this post I hope to pull their attention to the fact that D-Scan is extremely important for their survival, but also highsec in general.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
          -Arthur C. Clarke

D-Scan remains an extremely useful tool for PvPers in Lowsec for example. For many of them, entering a new system often means refreshing the scan results. In Highsec, however, especially in the miner community, I feel a lack of interest on this tool. I have seen Highsec miners who found it complex to manipulate, while some miners didn't even know the existence of this tool. But most of them seem to be lazy about using it, they don't really feel incited to use it, because they will have to click very frequently.

As a ganker (and former raging mining carebear) I find that 99% of ganks are avoidable even if you are in an untanked ship by just paying attention and being aware.
          -Meilandra Vanderganken

Although I don't always compare EVE to RL (it isn't the same after all), the ships that we fly in the depths of space in EVE often remind me of the real ships that navigate today across the oceans. Let me give you a brief list of some basic tools, devices & systems that are present in even the smallest of ships today:

route planning device,
chart digitizer,
course recorder,
speed log,
hull stress control panel,
light control panels,
fire alarm system,
cargo monitoring screens,
Autopilot (*sigh*, not this),
steering pump selection systems,
horn system,
compressed air & cooling systems,
engine overview,
power management systems...

In EVE, the only very similar tool is the Directional scanner. Of course, EVE remains a game and we shouldn't have that many details but, is Highsec so much safer that you don't even dare to use this single tool which can save your ship? If you can't manipulate it, how can you be safe in space?

How can you want to be safe in space?

Highsec does have risks, just like real waters which (still) have piracy and accidents. Today, a merchant ship's crew, and most importantly the ones on the bridge, must be constantly alert, aware and careful about their ship, but also their surroundings.

Some of the signs/messages written on the ships themselves: an example of the importance given to safety and alertness.

Binoculars are almost always right next to the crew. Situational awareness, knowing what to do in case of an internal/external risk and danger, alertness are all in the core of navigation safety. If they don't pay attention at sea, they might face serious consequences like collision, or even sinking (lost lives + pollution). Going away from bridge (aka going AFK in EVE) is not an option:


In the same way, a Retriever/Covetor/Hulk (or w/e) pilot must be alert (D-Scan), careful and adaptive. If not, he will face serious consequences too.

It could be said that, an alert miner is often a safe miner, but such alertness, if combined with good fitting, can bring even more safety. Since it's a slower ship, the fitting preferences become priority for Orca pilots. A Damage Control II, along with Reinforced Bulkheads II, will make the Orca a much tougher target for most gank fleets. Visit for more details. (and since there are already lots of untanked Orcas around, the gank scout will most probably ignore you and shipscan another Orca around.).

Most Orca pilots, unfortunately don't learn a lesson from their losses, and keep losing their valuable assets continuously and regularly: below is one of them, and it’s the same pilot, not two different pilots.

ISK tanking Hulks? No way, don't do this to yourself: below is a Hulk pilot who lost 2 Hulks and 2 Pods in less than 24 hours.

D-Scan alertness becomes priority for a Hulk pilot. Sure, try tanking it, but it's a fragile ship anyway.

I am not gonna repeat what D-Scan does, but what exactly do I mean by D-Scan alertness? I mean refreshing the scan results about every 5-10 seconds while mining. (That might sound horrible for many, but a frequent refresh means better safety). 

Upon seeing a Catalyst spike on it (or ships like Talos, Thorax, Brutix, Thrasher, Tornado, align to a celestial (full speed, don't stop the damn ship after clicking align, be ready to warp). You don't have to warp away immediately and you can keep mining in this period, just stay aligned. Once those bot-aspirant Catalysts appear on grid, warp off. Even though you were not meant to be targeted, you guarantee the safe GTFO of your mining ship. 

Setting a good range for D-Scan is also worth mentioning. If there are stations, stargates within 14 AU of your mining area, I recommend reducing your scan range to about 1 AU to remove all that clutter. This way, the scan results will show what is close to you, and most probably, what is in warp towards your area.

Set your overview so that it does not show any mining ships & exhumers (combine this with the D-scan result option). This will let you notice possible gank scouts right away. If, for example, a ship like the Anathema approaches you too much and stops, this is a very bad sign. That Anathema (or any other ship that hugs your ship) eventually becomes a warp-in for a gank fleet.

Of course, some gank scouts are clever & smart enough to use Procurers. Again, if it approaches you way too much, the same scenario can happen.

The Best Gank Scout Ever
A dangerous thing to do would be asking & creating a pressure via some kind of lobbying on CCP to fix your safety, instead of simply using the great tool that I mentioned above. I said 'dangerous' because CONCORD has been buffed several times in the past. Today, what we see is a God-like space police who, despite being always late, somehow divinely manages to insta-warp scramble criminals ships (and ironically, the notification still says: (PlayerName), criminals are not welcome here. Leave now or be destroyed.)

To continue with the CONCORD buffs example, I personally don't see any positive result for almost each side of players. Correct me if wrong:

→ For the Ganker: more and more firepower needed.

→ Anti-Ganker: gets progressively replaced by God-like, NPC 'space cops'.

→ Miner: A stronger CONCORD means less incitement for criminality in highsec, and therefore less ships to be destroyed, which might reduce the sell price of your precious minerals.
And with the lack of highsec ganking done to you, you will be lacking the action you need in order to enjoy EVE.

For a better Highsec, it is important to use the already-available in game tools before complaining to CCP. Do something for your own protection, instead of asking CCP to do it. They have given you the tools! And gankers are surprisingly easy (and fun) to avoid.

It's absurd to constantly insult and blame suicide gankers. You can't imagine highsec without them. Love them or hate them, there will always be people making sure Highsec remains alive.

Highsec Miners: It’s up to you to be cautious. Have a respect for the following: your own safety, your ships, your assets, and most importantly the way this games works.

Stay Alert & Safety Always.

((Image credits: EVSCO/,,, EVE Online/CCP Games))