Finanar is a 0.5 system in Metropolis with 3 ice anomalies. If you check out my corp killboard you see lot of kills there, about 8B destroyed. But this post isn’t a “I went there and ganked lot of dumb miners”. This is indeed a war, both on EVE and philosophical scale.
In other systems I ganked miners until they all switched to the ships and fits I suggested or ran away. I left when I ran out of targets. Maybe some “white knights” shown up, but there is a reason why the New Order called them “vultures”: they were barely more than nuisance, whoring on Concord mails. They barely ever stopped the gank. The Finanar bunch was different: they averted several ganks, destroyed about a dozen ships and even podded me once, forcing me to downgrade on my pod, accepting it to be expendable. Check out this “ice mining fleet” (barges are not on this overview, there were 6):
Yes, you see it right, almost as many “white knights” as protected ones. Strike that, as half of them were already Skiffs and Procurers, they actually protected 2 Mackinaws and a Retriever. However I left Finanar just like the other systems: nothing mines but Procurers, Skiffs, DCII-Retrievers and those annoying tanked Macks that could be profitably ganked by 3 Catalysts but I don’t have 3 Catas and won’t triple-box.
How did I break them? By AFK-cloaking. The gankers were in the station, the scout was cloaked in a safe and the computer was left running for all night while I was sleeping and while I was at work. Of course I wasn’t AFK all day, every now and then I ganked. When they were very strong, I hit ore belts, nearby systems or just went AFK.
Why did it work? Because white knighting is absolutely not profitable no matter what metric you use. If you consider Procurers 10% less yield than Retrievers (and Skiffs than Mackinaws), you need to 10-box miners to warrant a single white knight. Catalyst kill reports are cheap and you don’t even get them if I’m AFK. However they weren’t mass-multiboxers or killmail whores: they were simple players who played for fun. In their opinion I’m evil for ganking and they felt good by defending the weak from evil. This is the standard social plague: morons and slackers can’t defend themselves (by definition), they are defended by productive altruists, the socials who believe it’s the right thing and having fun doing it “doing good feels good”. However the “fun” only comes when they stop evil. Without the “evil” present, they were just idling in an ice anomaly with combat ships while nothing happened but they couldn’t even do it AFK! This is probably the most boring way to play EVE. But when they lowered their guard, the “evil” hit again, taunting them or even worse, killing them!
Also, they could receive no gratitude from the protected morons and slackers, since they probably didn’t even know about the protection they recieved or were too AFK to care. I remember that they stopped a gank with the miner surviving in low hull. How happy they must have been for their “in the last moment” intervention. And how frustrated they must have been when 25 minutes!!! later I returned and finished the gank (my loss with the same knights on it) since the miner couldn’t bother to dock up to repair because he was AFK or bot. Imagine how much fun they had in that 25 minutes, trying to convo the miner, knowing that sooner or later I’ll check back.
Eventually, as no fun could have been gained, they started infighting and blaming each other for “being a spy”. Watch this conversation with one of the knights who convoed my looter pilot, no longer knowing who to trust:
The army of the good social people therefore dissolved and I could finish my work. Please note that it couldn’t end any other way: they had noting to win but elusive feelings and “fun” while I had hard results to help me carry on when things didn’t go well. After all, I could still gank elsewhere or at least leave my computer when their protection of the ice was unbeatable. If the miners would cooperate, it would have been much easier, but morons and slackers don’t cooperate, they just leech. I doubt if the good socials got a single “thank you” from the several miners they saved (or rather, whose fate they delayed by a few days).
The daily anti-tears where miners discuss tanking their barges (instead of crying and wanting CCP to do something) and being positive about my acts:
Finally, learning Small Blaster Specialization 5 totally worth it (and this is with the downgraded pod):
- Gevlon Goblin
His EVE journey show a very interesting “outside the box” approach to the game, PVE and the trade hubs, reason for which we invite you to pay a visit to his blog.