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How to survive gankers while mining

Published: 26.12.2013 - Updated: 16.04.2015

Here are some of the many things a miner can do to better survive gankers:

  1. Be a less interesting target, primarily by fitting a good tank or switching to a procurer/skiff altogether as gankers might not even bother scanning these. The best way to survive gankers is making them not want to even try. Always orbit, field ECM drones, use cheap ships, appear prepared and respectful (on grid, in local, etc). All these things stack multiplicatively; Imagine a procurer with 77k EHP orbiting at 200m/s with ECM drones out while respectfully warning others in local about ganker presence - He is almost guaranteed to not be targeted.
  2. Don't buy permits - They don't guarantee anything and you are in essence supporting the ganking of others, which will get you banned from several places.
  3. Don't be AFK, as you won't be able to react by warping out, overloading, engage with drones, etc.
  4. Watch local, Gank-Intel and GankerLookout.com for ganking activity.
  5. Add gankers as red contacts for an early warning. Go here for a great automated list of active gankers. Add scouts as orange for an even earlier warning, hopefully we will get a decent list of these in the future.
  6. Just warp out if you don't feel safe. Better safe than sorry, and when you get a better understanding of everything involved in ganking, you will know when you can stay to help protect others or even bait.
  7. Ask questions in the Anti-ganking channel, this is a great way to learn about the many nuanced details related to ganking.
  8. Stay respectful - If you treat others with respect and don't mine in a very selfish way, you are much less likely to make people want to have you ganked.
  9. Fleet up - Miners are much better prepared when working together, sharing intel and knowledge. Fleet boost can often give you 10-20% more total EHP. Fleet chat tends to increase the fun as well.
  10. Always orbit something - This makes it harder to get an accurate warpin on top of you, giving you valuable seconds to react. Cloaked scouts are more likely to get decloaked as well. It also makes tracking disruption much more effective (+300%) if you are being guarded by such anti-gankers (even orbiting jetcan at 500m makes a huge difference for TD). Moving also makes you harder to bump and gankers tend to prefer stationary targets as catalysts only have 2500m optimal.
  11. Field ECM drones and always engage gankers quickly, 4 light ECM drones have ~30% chance of jamming a catalyst without ECCM and you can also help protect others this way. It is completely safe to engage criminals, but learn the difference between criminal/outlaw/suspect and always have your safety on green. 5 combat drones will not stop a gank, but if you have 10+ (~50 to oneshot a catalyst) you might pop a ganker before concord shows up. Note that drones won't attack automatically (even on aggressive) and they also give you a 60 sec weapons timer, preventing you from docking/jumping/boarding/ejecting.
  12. Overload hardeners as soon as gankers land close to you. This makes the gank more likely to fail, especially if you have logistics on you. For the best reaction time, keep hardeners off and pre-overloaded, as active modules need to finish cycle before overheating starts. It takes a few minutes for modules to burn out, repair paste can repair partial damage, stations can repair anything.
  13. Reship/refit in space - With an orca/bowhead ship maintenance bay nearby, you can switch ship right after gankers have attacked you if you don't have a weapons timer. Cool way of baiting gankers in a yield fit, but be sure to orbit the ship bay in case of bumping and also practice. You could also refit from orca/bowhead/depot for more tank when catalysts show up on d-scan, but know your math first.
  14. Train tank skills - Below you will find a brief summary of what skills are important against gankers.

Skills

  • CPU Management - Increases CPU, get it to level 5 early.
  • Power Grid Management - Increases power grid, get it to level 5 early.
  • Shield Upgrades - Lowers shield extender power grid usage, level 5 is sometimes needed for tight fits.
  • Shield Management - Increases shield HP, get it to level 5 sooner or later.
  • Hull Upgrades - Increases armor HP, get it to level 5 eventually.
  • Mechanics - Increases structure HP, get it to level 5 eventually.
  • EM/Explosive/Kinetic/Thermic Shield Compensation - Get them to level 3-4 at least.
  • Navigation - Increases ship speed, moving makes you harder to gank, get it to level 5 eventually.
  • Evasive Maneuvering - Makes you turn faster for faster orbiting and aligning/warping.
  • Signal Dispersion - Increases ECM strength for fits using jammers, get it to level 5 eventually.

Choosing the ship

Venture Used until one can fly a barge or for gas mining. Can speedtank well with capstable AB.
Prospect Good for 'ninja mining' or gas mining, but any barge is better in highsec.
Procurer Skiff Great tank, good drone damage, good velocity, decent yield, decent ore hold. Very rarely ganked. Can easily get 69k+ EHP and the procurer's low price makes it the safest barge of all.
Retriever Mackinaw Great ore hold, decent yield, mediocre tank. Best for solo/AFK mining but is often ganked. Can reach an ore hold of 27.5k and 35k m3 respectively.
Covetor Hulk Great yield, great range, small ore hold, horrible tank. Only use these for max yield with a dedicated hauler and be prepared to attract gankers like flies to a lamp.

Barge role bonuses can be a bit confusing, but if you do the math along with how many highslots, you will find that when fitting no mining upgrades in lowslots, the procurer and retriever has the same base yield, while the covetor has slightly more. The same goes for the exhumer variants.

Fitting suggestions

All numbers are with maxed skills but without fleet boost or implants. Sorted by yield.

Yield = m3/minute for ore and ice/minute for ice.
Void EHP = effective hitpoints against void ammo as displayed by EFT (hardeners not overloaded).
Min. cats = lowest number of catalysts needed to gank, EHP divided by 19000 (25 sec x 760 dps) rounded up.
Risk = general risk of getting targeted by gankers.

Fitting link Yield Void EHP Min. cats Risk Notes
410 4.5k 1 Medium Needs Power Grid Management 3 and Shield Upgrades 3. Orbit with afterburner on to take less damage from rats and gankers.
1083 77.0k 5 Very low Only needs CPU Management 3.
1083 19.3k 2 High Needs CPU Management 5.
1203 37.6k 2 High Fit the ice rig instead if you mine ice as well. Needs CPU Management 5.
1203 138k 8 Low Fit the ice rig instead if you mine ice as well. Needs CPU Management 5.
1462 7.2k 1 Very high Skipped rigs to make it cheaper to replace.
1720 11.0k 1 Very high Hulks cannot fit decent tanks, but 2 jammers give you a chance of jamming 2 cats, you won't survive them otherwise. ECM rigs won't fit with the ice rig. Needs CPU Management 5.
1.01 33.5k 2 Low Since procurers are rarely ganked, why not use medslots to protect others as well? Good chance of jamming 1 cat, possibly up to 4. Swap amplifiers for mining upgrades as needed.
1.12 40.1k 3 Low Since skiffs are rarely ganked, why not use medslots to protect others as well? Good chance of jamming 1 cat, possibly up to 4. Swap amplifiers for mining upgrades as needed. Moving at 600+ m/s force cats to use prop mod to keep up. Needs Power Grid Management 5.
1.12 56.3k 4 Medium Max tank and AFKness. Needs CPU Management 5, Power Grid Management 4, Energy Grid Upgrades 4. Fit worth ~67 mill
1.22 16.8k 1 High Needs CPU Management 5.
1.22 69.0k 4 Very low Needs CPU Management 4.
1.23 39.6k 3 High Needs CPU Management 5.
1.35 120k 7 Low Needs CPU Management 5.
1.64 7.2k 1 Very high Fitting a cheap CPU rig to be able to fit survey scanner shows how little CPU covetors have. Skipped the last rig to lower replacement cost. Needs CPU Management 4.
1.93 12.4k 1 Very high Hulks cannot fit decent tanks, but 2 jammers give you a chance of jamming 2 cats, you won't survive them otherwise. Fitted a CPU rig to be able to use the last medslot. Needs CPU Management 5.

Notes

  • Please adjust fits to your playstyle, these suggestions are only meant as a good default.
  • Switch to T1 modules if you don't have skills for T2, they should fit easily.
  • Maxed fleet boost increases range by 73%, ore yield by 69%, ice yield by 49% and EHP by 18-25%.
  • The ice rig has a great bonus with no penalty, recommended for all barges that might mine ice. Note that you can never fit more than one since it uses 250 calibration points and no ship has more than 400.
  • Expensive modules can make you a more interesting target, keep it sensible relative to ship value.
  • Fitting implants could be used for better fits, but I skipped them because they tend to complicate things.
  • The ingame fitting window will display a worst-case-scenario EHP using every lowest resist.
  • I used gallente combat drones because catalysts are weakest against thermal damage, and any single combat drone should be enough to kill highsec belt rats, that's why I use 4 ECM drones.
  • The hulk can get the highest yield possible at 2.71 ice/min and 3282.5 m3/min with implants, faction mods and fleet boost. You don't really want to fly around in such a fragile ship worth 1-2 bill though.