Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Griefer activities: A carebears perspective...

TL;DR: Carebears need to be smarter and HTFU. With some "no shit Sherlock" advice on how to avoid greifers from a career 'bear.

So with a recent Blog Banter being about non-concentual PvP and the common perception that all carebears hate to fight and want to hide and cry. I decided not to write a late blog banter post, but rather compile some thoughts on the matter of Highsec Carebear life and some common types of grief attacks that prey upon us. I'd also like to impart some common sense to the issue and some VERY simple things carebears do that make them easy targets and how to reduce the risks. The truth of it all griefing is a part of EvE and supported by a large percentage of the community and the games maker CCP. EvE is a PvP based game, and like it or not most carebears actually spend most of their game time supporting this. By this I mean every rock mined, every item looted, and every ship built in some way or another feeds into the larger world of conflict that is the guts of EvE. That naga locking up your mackinaw was probably built by one of your corp. mates, or perhaps even you funshine bear. It's nothing personal and simply the circle of creation and destruction at play.

OK lets real it back and validate my carebear credentials. Here is my resume towards the profession of carebear in the form of the 2 main pilots I own(I have 4 accounts, all pilot slots filled):

SonOfBraben was born and named as homage to David Braben, the father of my first Space game love Elite, on October 18th 2009. He sits today at 32M SP with 2 alts sharing his account who add another 8M SP in the forms of PI and indy functions. SonOfBrabens skill pie chart is below, you get one guess to what his life in eve is about, bonus points for what PvP ship he flies:

Next up in my resume for the profession of carebear is my second accounts main Pilot Zombinutz. Born of all the ideals as a Caldari PvP (yes yes, chuckle away) pilot with a side task of hauling for SoBs mining on November 11th 2009. He sits at 36M Skill points with 2 alts adding 2M more SP to the account once again in PI and Indy support. The downside to all this is the significant time he spends in an Orca not a PEW PEW boat. Here be his skills as documentation of the shameful failure of his original creation:
I also have 2 other accounts with a fully trained hulk/mack pilots each. One has a Jump freighter alt the other cyno alts, oh and yes more PI and Indy support alts. I spend a LOT of time boxing all 4 accounts destroying asteroid belts and whoring ice. Honestly I am as much of a carebear as freaking bedtime Bear, the original carebear.
OK, so now that I have validated my claim to being able to speak to carebear perspectives and label myself a 100% certified career carebear. Let's get back to this business of greifer activity and how it effects the 'bear life. To do this lets identify a few definitions of major griefer actions against 'bears shall we:

Suicide Ganker: The practice of seeking to blow up a non-hostile target via means of surprise and pure firepower under the understanding that you too will not survive the encounter. High ISK killed vs. low isk spent, lots of tears and easy way to lose sec status if you want to be flashy red. SoBs WTF?! rating 10/10

Can Flipper: Seeking out jet can miners with the intention to bait them into shooting back so you can then blow them up. Not about stealing ore, but easy kills and tear harvesting with no sec status loss. SoBs WTF?! rating 6/10

Ninja Salvager/looter: the salvager looks to steal from and piss off mission runners by salvaging all there wrecks making ISK and harvesting tears. The looter is much like a can flipper looking to insight rageful retaliation garnering agro and the ability to return and gank. Kills and tears being the gain, but no sec status loss. SoBs WTF?! rating 5/10

Greifer war Decs: Declaring war on soft carebear targets with the goal of getting easy kills and stopping their productivity. Kills, tears, and perhaps the least risk of any greifer pursuit. SObs WTF?! rating 1/10

These are some of the more common activities greifers take part in. Some notable EvE events around the above include hulkageddon and the recent blue Ice blitz by the goons. In these cases they are more about market manipulation than tears to be honest. Also IMHO those caught by them are not doing everything they really should be in terms of avoiding them as well.

In all cases these are legal activities within the game and part of the creation and destruction cycle that is the core of EvE economics. People need stuff to blow up, folks pay ISK for things to blow up, 'bears make ISK building or providing the materials to build stuff to blow up. Here a nice lifecycle picture for ya:

Now that we have defined some common actions by greifers. Lets suggest some common sense around not being the victim, and rather being the proud and prosperous 'bear. Ya know the kind the greifers come to when they want 50 Nagas built for a good price, over the one they gank.

Avoiding the Suicide Ganker:

1. DON'T AFK MINE! Seriously if you have to be away from your keyboard, don't leave a mining fleet in space. UM...I might just gank you for the sheer lesson of it.

2. DON'T MINE at 0! The lazy bored greifer loves people who sit at zero. It requires zero work for them to warp to you at optimal.

3. DON'T MINE IN THE SAME SPOT ALL THE TIME! Sure same system and belt, but adjust where you are often through a series of book marks. Mine on the outside of the belts semi-circle one day, the bottom another, the top the next. Chew one end off the belt then warp to the other side. All this makes the suicide ganker have to work harder to land at optimal.

4. ALIGN TO STATION (or GTFO BM)! Yeap, takes 20 seconds, and saves you 20 seconds of "OH shit! OH SHIT!" time.

5. DO NOT BOT MINE! Cheating douche bags deserve to get ganked. If you bot mine in a system I mine in, and I am sure of it, there is a good chance an ALT of mine will land on you in a gank Naga!

6. TANK YA BARGES! A hulk in highsec with orca support should not be fit for max cargo, even then shield tank it. I once tanked a drake in lowsec on a gate for almost 3 mins, concord would have saved my ass in highsec and at least I was a PITA while being dumb.

Avoiding the Can Flipper:

1. DON'T JET CAN MINE! Seriously, if there is nothing to flip there is no can flipper.

2. ABANDON ALL CANS AND WRECKS! Blue is a can flippers least favorite color. It also lets noobs clear the wrecks that honestly most of us litter the belts with.

3. DON'T SHOOT BACK IF FLIPPED! Other than changing to a nice shade of red, they cannot legally shoot you until you flip back. If you do shoot back and you did not follow #2. Log off for the day and go play angry birds. Shooting wrecks extends timers...

4. IF YOU MUST SHOOT BACK! Either be ready for a nice bloody fight or suicide gank them with an alt in a NPC corp, so you can go right on mining afterwards.

Avoiding the Ninja Salvager/looter:

1. BE NICE! Honestly in the endless drudgery of level 4's I've ran. 90% of the times where I've had a ninja and opened a private chat to ask the Ninja how there day was going. The Ninja was pleasant and professional, we had a nice chat, and they went on to other grumpier bears.

2. ABANDON YA WRECKS! LOOT BLUE = no agro. Yet you can still loot and salvage them. Boring for most, but an open buffet for the dude who actually wants to just steal ya stuff. Know thy ninja, before doing this.

3. HAVE FUN WITH IT! Honestly the most fun I've ever had doing a level 4 mission was when I played a "get the damsel first" game with a ninja. Yeap, that mission as a level 4. Pretty cut and try blast them and loot the damsel. In the fun game version. I warped in and out. I waited logged out for 5 mins as the magnate could not DPS down the structure the damsel was in that time. In the end I simply warped in my second account in a sentry domi, and my main in a wolf. Warped out and back in, popped the structure, and raced the ninja to the can. Won by 3KM. Seriously the most fun I've had in the 100's of times I've ran that sodding mission.

4. DON'T BE A GRUMPY BEAR! That shit is what they want.

Avoiding the Greifer war Decs:

OK no bullet points for this one as it's not quite as cut and dry. It's sometimes not a result of what you have or have not done. There are many dynamics to highsec war decs. Ranging from random selection to revenge and just about everything in between. I've been dec'ed to practice PvP. I've been dec'ed my corp. was an "easy target". I've been dec'ed out of spite (Honestly). Even had an alliance dec'ed when out head got mouthy in local after being ganked. DUMBASS!

In all cases wars are a good time to dip your toe into PvP. All be it mostly station games, hide and seek, or the other side not logging in. It's a great chance for us 'bears to work on our fleet skills, have some major laughs on voice coms., and have some good clean fun. I actually keep a stockpile of T1 battle cruisers and meta 4 mission loot in the corp. hangers just for wars. Mostly the fights are one too many and the greater number typically wins the round. I get folks into a "dead heads" (implant less jump clones) and give them a hull to fit and blow up. It's kind of a QA test of the shit we build in the real world application, for you role-playing 'bears. For me it's an excuse to blow shit up, being a closet PvP wanna be 'bear. I firmly believe ALL EvE players should be able to fit and fly at least a BC for PvP.

Now it does not mean you cannot mine, or run missions, or make large amounts of ISK during wars. Having a simple "non mining in open belts" policy during wars still lets you mine mission rocks and scanned grav sites all day and night. If you are smart and follow some of the suggestions above with some added common sense around local. You can mine open belts too. I did for at least 2 of the dec's on my corps. mostly because I spend a lot of time getting to know the regulars and my HQ is in an island of systems separated from the rest of high by a short lowsec pipe. With one way to fly in just put a scout on it. I have extensive bookmarks all ready in place and a limited number of folks in local, most of which I know. If you be smart, a little paranoid, and don't afk mine chances are you will mine just as much as you normally do.

One thing I will add about war decs. It's VERY annoying when your war dec'ed and the other side station spins or sits in space cloaked. I think there should be a clause in all decs where the war is void if:

1. The aggressive party has more than 50% of its members docked 50% of time when actively logged in.

2. The aggressive party has more than 50% of its members cloaked in space for more than 50% of active time logged in.

That would sort a lot of this out.

As will all things I blog here, they are just my take on stuff. I am sure there are other forms of greifing in EVE. I am sure there are prob better ways to counter them. However in over 2 years I've lost 2 mining barges. One to a drake on a lowsec gate where I was being and idiot. The other was me warping a new Hulk to a belt and answering the phone before turning on its active shield talk. Also being an idiot.