This is a somewhat hot topic. It is something that Retribution tried to address, but I think failed to get to the heart of the matter. It is something that a lot of pvp players will defend vigoriously, and miners and industrialists view as the bane of their existence.
I am of course talking about Suicide Ganking.
I have nothing against suicide ganking in theory. It’s an ingenious expliotation of the system, and like Ninja Salvaging, can flipping, war deccing and so on, is a great way to exploit the stupidity of others.
The problem is, that’s not how it works out.
If you ninja salvage, and get aggro’d the other person essentially offers combat. Same with can flipping. A good war dec can result a similar exploitiation of lack of pvp mechanics. As someone who has ninja salvaged and can flipped before, I can tell you it’s a bit like playing the fisherman and waiting until someone bites. And in comparison to real life fishing, I actually have fun with it. Same goes for War Decs- it’s an enlightening if somewhat unpleasant experience- but exhilarating.
But it is possible to be outplayed in these situations. A mission runner open seeing himself getting ninja’d can call in some corp mates to standby in pvp ships in space or offline (depending on paranoia levels), aggro the ninja, wait for the ninja to come back in his gank ship, then drop his corp mates on him and turn the tables. Same goes for can flipping. There’s nothing in a War Dec quite like watching the victim turn the tables on the war deccer. It’s rare, but it happens.
The same can’t be said for suicide ganking.
Unlike the afore mentioned highsec pvp, if you are in a Hulk, and there are a bunch of blokes that want to kill you in four Catalysts, then you are going to die. There is nothing you can do to avoid it. Doesn’t matter if you’re the best solo pvper in the world in your off time, you will not be able to win this. Even if you have a bunch of buddies in a defense fleet, you have a snow flake’s chance in hell of stopping the gank going off. Jester touched on this problem.
Beyond moving system and docking up whenever known gankers come by, there is nothing you can do. The moment those Catalysts land on the grid, your fate is sealed. Sure at the end of the day, there’s 4 dead catalysts, but then have a dead hulk which costs about 22-23 times all of them put together.
And there are literally NO tactical options of the Hulk pilot to avoid this. There are also no Strategic ones. No specific fit will save him, no brilliant manoeuvre, nothing. The only real option he has is of fitting a Mining Battleship like a Rokh, and then mining in that. Which is upon inspection in Pyfa, not actually as bad as you would think it would be.
Of course, then you have to can mine, which leads into other kinds of problems, but you can deal with those.
However, beyond moving backwards, there’s not a whole lot you can deal with this problem.
It’s even worse for the Freighter pilot.
If you want to ship a lot of physically large valuable assets through highsec for sale, there is very little alternative to a freighter. The only alternatives sacrifice EHP and Cargo capacity(such as the Orca) and suffer from the same problem. That is this- with the collosal align time of a Freighter, there is no way an on the ball suicide arty fleet will fail to gank you.
Of course you make it more difficult for them by not autopiloting, but that’s a deterrent, not a counter. You are in a ship with an align time of 40+ seconds with perfect skills in most case, up against a fleet whose entire purpose is to kill you under 10. They warp faster than you. They align faster than you.
And of course, you being in a Freighter, there is absolutely no clever fitting options yo u can employ to attempt to save your ship. There are no clever manoeuvres. Of course you can say “don’t land in that situation in the first place noob” but if the only choice is to not play, then something is wrong.
This is an issue that needs some kind of address. There must be a way for you to Counter suicide ganking as the defender. Simply increasing the EHP does not fix the issue, and neither does decreasing the alpha of certain ships. that merely changes the balance sheet, not the result or the dynamic.
I do think that T2 Freighters designed around survivability rather than cargo capacity should be a thing. If there is a demand for tankier Freighters that can weather the alpha storm, then they should be made. They would be expensive, they would be inefficient, but they would have their niche.
Also perhaps they should have a way to block out Ship Scanners. More than any EHP buff this would reduce the number of freighter kills that can be utilised for profit. That and “elite pvpers” are adverse to looking bad on the killmail- several dozen tornados for a freighter filled with faction POSs looks good, for an emptyFreighter, not so much. There is large valuable material in this game, so there must be a way to transport it in relative safely, or at least institute a level of risk to the ganker.
People talk about high security space being overpopulated, but the simple fact is that Highsec, by it’s very nature will always be the largest section of space population wise. People prefer to live in cities than out on the Frontier.
However, i do agree that more must be done to facilitate player’s move out to lower security space. Facilitate mind you. One of the greatest problems in the game at the moment is that the comparison between highsec and everywhere else is absolute.
A transitionary area is needed. But more on that Next post.