Saturday, September 12, 2015

Philosophy, Fun & Falcon Tips

PvP in Highsec is something unique in EVE. It's not like in Lowsec, Nullsec or WH space. In order to reach PvP, Highsec residents have to go through certain mechanics: Wardecs, duels, suicide ganking, attacking criminals/outlaws, killright activations and all sorts of other player-generated possibilities.

In my opinion, an important element that keep Highsec entertaining is the following triangle: miners, gankers and anti-gankers. Each of these three elements need the other two for a maximum level of fun, because each of them creates content for the other two. It's a triangle of content. Any significant nerf to one of them will make Highsec less entertaining. And no, suicide ganking is not bullying. It's just part of the sandbox, just another way of having fun in Highsec and/or reaching certain objectives. As an anti-ganker, I recently ganked a few gank-scouts/spotters to annoy and disrupt their operations, and I had fun doing it.

"Anti-gankers are good for the game."
          -John E Normus 

Most gankers actually enjoy seeing any sort of counter-ganking opposition that cause trouble to their operations. Some fail regularly, others adapt by fitting ECCM, purchasing Ganking Permits, aborting their ganks or just ganking elsewhere. After all, the more content we have in Highsec, the better. 

Instead of complaining to CCP, seeking in-game solutions to in-game problems is what more people should consider achieving.

"In the end, NOTHING can be wrong with players undocking to solve a "problem" themselves and find a way to do it, starting from nothing. It's always, as I'm sure the more honest amongst us will agree, better than going to CCP and begging for mechanics changes and nerfs."
        -Herzog Wolfhammer

During my Anti-ganking career in Highsec, I've made observations on how gankers reacted upon being disrupted by me and other Anti-gankers. My conclusion from these observations is: "Hell yes, Anti-ganking is good for the game." 

Of course, ganker tears will always flow here and there, that's part of the game and it's a good thing too. But in many cases, I observed fun, refreshment and entertainment that comes from the sudden, emergent fight between gankers and anti-gankers. 

Kill Report

Ganker Zopiclone's operation was ruined when the art of GankerJamming emerged in Aidart. While the targeted miner Soulist Peck raced with CONCORD's overall DPS, Armand Patrouette successfully jammed the Catalyst long before CONCORD's arrival and saved the miner after waiting very patiently for the Catalyst. Like in most cases, CONCORD wasn't even needed to save the miner.

[…] 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 […]" 
-Malcolm Shinhwa

Because neither the miner, nor Armand was AFK. They knew what they were doing.

[01:14:07] Armand Patrouette > You need a ganking permit Zopiclone . Tsk!

Upon ruining Zopiclone's gank, Armand delivered the brief summary: Zopiclone definitely needed a Ganking Permit!

[01:14:29] Zopiclone > :) Nah I am doing just fine.
[01:14:30] Zopiclone > :D
[01:14:37] Zopiclone > But good thing you two arent afk
[01:14:44] Zopiclone > Thats what its all about
[01:15:59] Zopiclone > I dont mind smart miners.
[01:16:02] Zopiclone > Good on you
[01:16:40] Armand Patrouette > o7
[01:16:46] Soulist Peck > :-)
[01:16:56] Armand Patrouette > Yeah . . . the ones that go off and watch TV and AFK mine irk me, too.

Just like most of the genuine Anti-gankers, Armand also dislikes the stupid full-time-AFK miners. Why would anyone like an always-AFK player anyway?

[01:17:30] Zopiclone > Good stuff! :D I love to see progress
[01:28:56] Zopiclone > THAT JAM though was nice
[01:29:39] Zopiclone > That was so refreshing I think Ill finish up for the day! Wow I am so happy right now

The ganker was full of joy after being jammed. His monotonous ganking routine was suddenly enlightened by the emergent, dazzling and refreshing intervention of Armand's Falcon. As the strong waves of ionized particles penetrated the unsuspecting Catalyst, the art of GankerJamming successfully stopped the gank while also making the game more interesting for all sides. Content was generated, fun was had.

[01:30:25] Learza Thiesant > Ermmm ok? Wow you guys made an agent happy?! WTF is the world coming to.

Chat logs source: Armand Patrouette

Gankers have fascinating names. Take Gaylord Fappington for example. At first sight, no one would expect that his ruthless Catalyst can be permajammed by a mining ship. 

Kill Report

But it happens, especially when the Skiff is in good hands. The gank was stopped successfully.

[ 2013.11.07 12:15:07 ] Azov Rassau > Gaylord Fappington: you have foolishly engaged in gankological activity within sight of our Skiff and must suffer the electronic consequences. :)
[ 2013.11.07 12:15:38 ] Gaylord Fappington > Azov Rassau Well played
[ 2013.11.07 12:15:42 ] Gaylord Fappington > I tip my hat
[ 2013.11.07 12:16:09 ] Gaylord Fappington > I like the cut of your jib

Our humble ECM Skiff is one of the most loved and respected ships in Highsec since 2013. Considering the many fun moments I've had with it, it's quite normal I guess. My Skiff was now Gaylord's nightmare. As a result, I had to do something different to defeat his gank again. I like to make traps and surprises for gankers: 2 days after the above engagement, I was once again at the same ice belt…

…with the Falcon this time, watching over the ice miners. While waiting for another possible attack from Mr. Fappington's ruthless Catalyst, I was wondering if Mr. Fappington was going to improve his tactics after my Skiff's victory against his Catalyst. After all, I was in Local again, that should have been an important sign to him. Maybe he was going to bring a triple-ECCM Thorax/Brutix to show that he stands up against me? 

Kill Report

No.  Mr. Fappington failed again. It was the same boring Catalyst, not a real challenge for our Falcon.

[ 2013.11.09 12:51:01 ] Gaylord Fappington > A Falcon, I am impressed Piekura

Once again, Mr. Fappington was impressed by this unexpected Highsec PvP situation. What he experienced is known as "GankerJamming". Action, Reaction. Emergent.

Now that Falcon Jammington has defeated Gaylord Fappington, allow me to share some important tips for anyone interested in protecting their mining ops or simply engaging with Anti-ganking thanks to the Falcon. Most of the advices that I've already shared for Griffin and the ECM Skiff actually apply to the Falcon as well, so I'll keep it relatively short. The most important ones are as follows:

1) Place your jammers so that you can activate them with F1, F2 etc. This is especially useful when there are multiple gankers. You don't want to waste time with clicking one by one. The utmost goal is to reduce their DPS as quickly as possible within a frame of about 15-20 seconds so that their target survives.

2) The amount of jammers in med slots depends on your decision. I personally fit as many jammers as possible with a single sensor booster. This also allows me stop Orca ganks.

3) Overload everything. Pay attention to your optimal ranges. Check D-Scan all the time. Get ready do decloak earlier when Catalyst(s) appear on D-Scan.

4) If you have time, always check the kill boards and look for ganking signs in your mining op's system. Tracking with and adding known ganking groups like CODE. etc. with terrible standings is also useful. This lets you notice them easily whenever they enter Local. Click on the Local chat window and separate it from other channels. You want to see Local at all times. I don't want to hear pathetic things like "When I lost my Hulk I was chatting in another channel so I couldn't see Local!!1!!"

5) Make you sure you have a dedicated overview tab that does NOT show Mining Barges, Exhumers, Veers, Industrial Command ships and Freighters. This is especially important when you protect a crowded ice field.

In the above examples with Zopiclone and Gaylord Fappington, there was only one ganker, but the Falcon also works effectively when multiple gankers are present. Take our Uemisaisen gank prevention as an example:

"The falcon has a very good jam strength, easily up to 15, which is enough to have over 100% jam chance on every destroyer without ECCM fitted. Combined with room for 5 jammers and some quick locking, you can potensially silence up to 5 gankers. Managing this many jammers quickly can be a challenge, but if you pull it off, you can disrupt quite large ganks.
When activating jammers, a general rule is to always spread them on as many gankers as possible. However, sometimes you want to activate one jammer, see if it jammed successfully or not, and from that decide if you should activate another jammer on the same target or switch target. You should also always prioritize activating gallente jammers (magnetometric) on gallente ships (catalyst/thorax/brutix,etc) and minmatar jammers (ladar) on minmatar ships (thrasher/tornado/etc)."

Another cool example happened during a Falcon patrol of mine, again in Piekura. I had managed to shut down the DPS of 3 Catalysts immediately after they started shooting their target, thus preventing the gank. While the "gf"s echoed through Piekura local, everybody enjoyed the moment: Their target, myself and the gankers.

[ 2013.10.28 21:21:05 ] Fieldgrey Fox > haha
[ 2013.10.28 21:21:06 ] Fieldgrey Fox > gf
[ 2013.10.28 21:21:13 ] Fieldgrey Fox > *applauds
[ 2013.10.28 21:21:27 ] Azov Rassau > gf
[ 2013.10.28 21:21:33 ] Stimfisk Lennelluc > gf
[ 2013.10.28 21:21:37 ] Liho Beny > dahell :D
[ 2013.10.28 21:21:38 ] Zelnor Smith > lol gf
[ 2013.10.28 21:21:48 ] Durimar Khema > bdsm style
[ 2013.10.28 21:22:56 ] Liho Beny > 3 killrights
[ 2013.10.28 21:23:09 ] Stimfisk Lennelluc > like a bawse
[ 2013.10.28 21:23:35 ] Liho Beny > btw
[ 2013.10.28 21:23:37 ] Liho Beny > i´m sad
[ 2013.10.28 21:23:41 ] Shiro Kusoni > at least 3 catalyst didnt killed u
[ 2013.10.28 21:23:52 ] Liho Beny > that´s the point!
[ 2013.10.28 21:24:10 ] Liho Beny > i was waiting for that... for 6 hours...
[ 2013.10.28 21:24:47 ] Stimfisk Lennelluc > nice job azov, ruinin his fun
[ 2013.10.28 21:24:50 ] Stimfisk Lennelluc > :P
[ 2013.10.28 21:25:12 ] Duy Sotken > whuat?
[ 2013.10.28 21:25:49 ] Stimfisk Lennelluc > whuts
[ 2013.10.28 21:25:55 ] Liho Beny > you know that you HAVE TO come back again?
[ 2013.10.28 21:26:09 ] Stimfisk Lennelluc > well not if theres a falcon
[ 2013.10.28 21:26:29 ] Stimfisk Lennelluc > :<
[ 2013.10.28 21:26:35 ] Liho Beny > i didn´t even see the falcon, was too focused at you guys
[ 2013.10.28 21:26:55 ] Stimfisk Lennelluc > lol

For a two letter abbreviation, that simple statement conveys a lot of information. We fought, one of us won, and I am not butthurt. Good fight. It’s a salute to an opponent, a respectful nod to their skill and attitude, and in some cases an ironic reference to the one-sided nature of an engagement; such as popping cyno noobships or dunking on TEST. I kid, I kid.

SKIFF Bonus:

Highsec PVE Content generator Daopa's Skiff was recently targeted by a bunch of clueless gankers. Just like BigGreyMouse, the Catalyst pilots thought that they can easily gank Daopa's properly tanked Skiff-class exhumer. I am pretty sure you can guess how it ended up for them!

Comrade Daopa describes the scene as follows: "3 Catalyst showed up attempting to gank my skiff which ended up really bad for the gankers. They didn't even do much damage on shield at all. Culprits are TJ Tamil, Lex Iconis Delorean, Rodrigo Kane from Unsettled Alliance. Thanks for the 8 million in loot drops and 2 kill mails!"

One does not simply gank a Skiff. Well done Daopa. This is what I call "Mining like a boss".

Triple Advanced Machariel Maintenance Bonus!

As some of you know, bumper ganking is a good way of punishing those robot-like freighter bumpers. Some bumpers get ganked only once, because they learn how the defend themselves and stop going AFK. However…

Kill Report

Kill Report

Kill Report

Kill Report

Kill Report

…bumper Dibbes is a slightly more problematic case.

"Justice was swift and painless. 
 Rest assured, Dibbes didn't feel, or witness, a thing.  We are told that his new clone did wake up with a terrible headache and nagging sense of self-doubt and loathing."
          -Thomas Chasteaux 

Purchasing an appropriate Bumping Permit can maybe solve this hopeless case. My compliments go to the people who have accomplished these ganks: big bud skunkafella, Alexander Kaan, Pepe Mota, Jennifer en Marland, Ma'qeth, zaqq, ScummyB, JackknifedII, Molech, Samuel Vokan, Tynakuh and Jagtor as well as the Highsec Militia for their willingness to incite more people into bumper ganking.

Starting this blog was probably the best decision I've made in EVE. What makes it better is that I have received "Keep it up!" messages from Gankers, Anti-gankers and Miners. Not every blogger receives that from all these three different groups. This not only made me smile, but also made me understand that people enjoy this type of Highsec content. I will update this website whenever I have time to do so.  o7

"Sandbox, players adapting, emergent gameplay - it's all there, in highsec. No more 'having to go to null after 2 years of skilling and grinding' for PVP."
          -Herzog Wolfhammer


  1. Have to ask, if you're such a hero why don't you go hang out in uedama where all the action is? A well written blog no doubt but I'm betting everyone reading it is wondering...

    1. You ask a good question that basically underlines the difference between Miner protection and freighter protection.

      It's true that places like Uedama offer more "action", but since the day I started doing Anti-ganking in 2013, I've been focusing on different ways of stopping miner ganks, which is what this blog is mainly about as you can see. As a former vigilant miner myself, I enjoy protecting miners more than spending my time trying to convo AFK, foolish freighter pilots like X-FEANOR etc.

      Watching over ice miners for minutes or hours, and then noticing a gank-scout decloaking near a Hulk, the Catalyst spike on D-Scan, my ECM bombardment on the Catas which is usually followed by an enjoyable conversation in Local between what I call the Triangle of Content (Miners, Anti-Gankers, Gankers).
      These moments give me the most fun in Highsec counter-ganking gameplay, and as you will agree, If I have fun doing one thing, I'll stick to that thing most of the time.

      Since you kindly ask about Uedama though: when it comes to messing up freighter ganks, the techniques are slightly different compared to miner protection: tracking disruption, logi, bumper ganking, outlaw catching and even neuting… I don't have much experience with many of these techniques yet, but I've tackled outlaws at gates whenever I'm in the area (I spend some of my gameplay time out of Highsec). For example, a few weeks ago in Ikao (near Sivala), I used my insta-lock Skiff to successfully tackle an outlaw (-10) Talos belonging to the member of gank fleet heading to a freighter. It was hilarious, and I learned some cool things that day. For example, if several more Taloses were tackled at that gate, their DPS would be reduced considerably, possibly ruining their gank ;)

      I definitely want to test this "outlaw tackling" gameplay more, I am even planning a blog post about it, but right now RL priorities prevent me from even logging in.. :-/

      Sorry for the long reply, but damn, I enjoy writing about Highsec!