This isn’t a new topic by any means but due to some recent high value kills I decided I would discuss transporting expensive goods. Every day there are transport pilots who get ganked and don’t seem to learn from their experience. A player cannot avoid being ganked, they can however reduce their risk. If someone really has it out for them then they will get killed, by reducing their risk players don’t become an target of opportunity.
Any pilot should be careful not to carry high value cargo in any ship. What is high value? Well that is harder to determine. Upon destruction half of the loot for that ship drops the other half gets destroyed so gankers weigh the cost of suicide ships to the potential value in loot. For an example a basic transport carrying 50million isk can be easily ganked with a 2million isk frigate. Assuming half the loot drops then the ganker or rather his alt can loot the wreck and make 22million profit. Now gankers lose more than their ship they lose some sec status. This doesn’t really amount to much per kill but it means that there is a minimum limit of isk that each pilot wants to gain to make it worth their while. How much each ganker wants for their trouble really depends how far along they are in the game. Generally younger pilots are more willing to attack smaller targets for less profit because they are impatient. Older pilots however will wait and try to get the most isk per kill that they can, not only for profit but for their killboards.
Pilots should look out for warning signs that something is wrong. It is not easy to see trouble before it happens but by keeping an eye on the eve forums players can see if any blockades are occurring or if a ganking event is going to be starting. Both of these happen often as players get bored they make events for restricting trade flow and ganking hauling ships. Additionally when you are hauling goods look for ships that lock onto you. These are often scout ships that are trying to figure out how much your cargo is worth. Most scouts will have passive targeters so that a player is unaware they are being scanned but some overlook this and it can save a freighters life. I know that I have avoided ganks by docking after I was scanned and before I left the system. Most scouts will sit a few systems ahead or scan you as you begin to warp to the next system to tell their buddies where you are going. It is rather easy to tell where players are headed because trade hubs are the most traveled between routes for haulers and freighters.
What can a transport do to reduce their risk?
- Avoid choke points when warping from system to system. Between Dodixie and Jita lies the system of Uedama which has a high rate of ganking vessels due to the high rate of traffic in the area. Avoiding this system causes the trip to go from 15 jumps to 43 jumps which takes a ton more time to complete especially in a freighter. No one said reducing risk was easy.
- Avoid carrying expensive cargo. The numbers vary for the ship but a good thumb of reference for standard haulers keep it under 100million, for freighters keep it under 2billion. Freighters can be ganked with less than 200million isk in ship losses so many players don’t fly more than 1 billion isk however 2billion is still safe because these ganks take a lot of time and people they tend to go for high isk targets. Players want to make the most for their time and paying 20 players to a cut of 1billion isk (half the drop of 2billion) is less than 50million each and doesn’t include their ship replacement. I have seen ganks occur at these low values but it isn’t for profit rather they are disbanding and don’t want to leave empty handed and I would argue that any ship would be a target at this time because money isn’t their prime goal.
- Avoid Auto-piloting. It seems like a no-brainier but players do this all the time. The less time you are in space the less time you have to get attacked. Sometimes gankers ignore active players because they want easy targets and extra time to complete the kill.
- Use an alt or a really good friend to scout ahead and check for gangs of gank ships such as catalysts, thrashers, etc. They don’t usually sit on the gate but a player should be able to identify them on their direction scan. These gank ships need to be nearby in order to make the assault fast so they will be in d-scan range.
- If you have a thought that there might be gankers ahead then dock up and continue the journey on a later date.
Each one of these items will reduce a pilots risk when flying around but remember that if someone wants to gank for fun value is not a concern and it will be hard to prevent ganks if someone really wants you dead. So go ahead and accept the fact that every pilot hauler or not should accept is that they will get ganked at some point because that is part of the game and it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
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