Sunday, 3 June 2012

Losec to tank or not.

What is a brave person?  Someone who lacks sufficient intelligence or knowledge to be afraid.

At the moment - I am a brave person.  I've been flying around in low security systems in an entirely untanked Industry ship - with a few cargo extenders for extra speed penalties.

I had the philosophy of "If I am caught I am dead.  I am my own scout flying out empty, flying back full."

I have picked up losec cargo from my region wide buy orders; making millions simply by being prepared to go where others are not prepared to.

From a rough straw poll; losec distribution missions pay twice as much as hisec ones.  The losec L4 distribution mission on I was doing when writing this post payed about 700,000k ISK (mission + agent reward); double that of many of my hisec missions.

A week ago; I had never been ganked; in the last 3 weeks it has happened 3 times; all in losec.

Once when I was asleep at the keyboard.  It was a little more expensive than I thought it would be - I had not priced in the cost of replacing my medical clone.  The ganking cost me just about 3 million ISK for the ship, 3 million for implants and clone, and the standing loss of 1 mission.

The second time I was at my keyboard, paying attention.  I was ganked on the way out of the system by someone waiting for me:
  • Have nothing of value as cargo: Just a mission item, my ship and it's fittings.
  • Enter losec system (from another losec system)
  • Select next stargate and select 'jump'
  • Warp to next stargate
  • Leave warp - just a few seconds till I jump.
  • Sheilds scream that they are failing.  Oh dear.
  • Armor failing.  JUMP please.  No?  I think this ship is going to break, hope anyway.  Select a warp destination - any destination.
  • No hope.  Hull Fails : warp to previous location via hotkey.
  • Lost ship, but kept my implants and clone intact.

Collect my bearings.  Where do I want to jump to?  The local station has destroyers - slightly expensive but cheaper than replacing implants.  Dock at the station.

The ganker initiates conversation with an emoticon o/ (or something similar); I didn't respond with expected tears but with questions.  (I read that some like tears; I can understand ganking for profit, or ganking for revenge; but I don't think I will ever understand ganking just to make a random stranger just to have someone who may as well be an NPC cry.)  Anyway my questions were:
  • "As I didn't lose my pod; was I quick enough or don't you pod?".  Apparently (A) I was fast enough and (B) his ship was too slow to target my pod.
  • "How did you catch me between coming out of warp and my jumping?  I thought a manual jump would have been too quick."  He was waiting for me.
  • "Did you see me jumping earlier or did you have a spotter?"  He said that would be telling.
  • "How much would it take for you to tell?".  He claimed to be loaded.  (Sitting in a two bit system off in the middle of losec nowhere solo ganking empty industrial ships - sure if I was loaded that's what I would be doing too.  Believe that and I have a contract for you.)
I kept him chatting for a while longer until he said "Uhh sorry - gotta go".  He apologies - not for ganking me but for terminating the conversation.  There are different forms of trolling. I suspect that being 'reasonable', asking newbie questions, and generally engaging was distracting the ganker from his hunt for tears. I genuinely wanted to know the answers but I was well aware that I was not giving the desired response.

The third time I put a tank on my ship;
  • rig : 3 x medium core defense field extender I; 
  • mid: 
    • 2 medium shield extender 1, 
    • 1 medium shield booster 1 (lasts about 5 seconds with my current capacitors), and 
    • 1 adaptive invulnerability field 1
  • Low : 
    • 1 Nanofiber internal structure II
    • 1 Expanded cargohold 2
    • 1 empty slot (I am swapping in and out cargohold expander modules depending on loads)
These defenses turn a 1.6M ISK ship with 3K EHP into a 10M ISK ship with 7.1K EHP (those rigs were the most expensive part of the ship).  I had a 8k m3 load of minerals - also worth about 10M ISK; taking them to losec.

Because it was a system I had not traveled to before well inside losec; I purchased a newbie frigate to scout with; and did an empty run and return unmolested; I saw some wrecks but no hostile ships (or maybe I am just not looking properly)

When I took my cargo; I was tackled by 2 ships just entering the system (first time for me): one with a warp destabiliser.  The plan was to survive the time required to dock, jump or enter warp.  I couldn't do any of the above - having jumped too far into the system to immediately jump back.  I was tackled before realising the danger I was in and didn't know I couldn't warp until it was too late to do anything about it.

I tried to warp away with my pod and could not do that either; However I could run back to the jump gate before being podkilled.  I have no idea how - the pod was down to 1/2 armour and I was missed several times by the attackers before I managed to make it back to the gate and jump.

I don't feel sorry for myself though: part of what I am doing is seeing what works and what doesn't.  In the last 7 days I have doubled my ISK from trading even after paying for ships, equipment and in one instance : implants.

I still expect to lose a ship during a gank attempt and will consider myself lucky for getting away; though I now have an expectation that I should keep my pod.  I am considering whether 8.5M Isk for tanking will keep me alive enough to justify it's cost (and loss), or whether I just go untanked.

My current fit is at ; worth putting up - got some bruising comments but I would rather that than a destroyed ship.


  1. 1. Warp core stabs.

    2. Ancillary shield booster

    3. Mwd plus T2 cloak trick.

    1. Also, go into lowsec for trade opportunities, not for distribution missions.

  2. I have picked up my cloak, and am training for micro warp devices. I may fit a damage control once I am sure that it support shields.

    I am still flying multiple losec trips to get minerals from some buy orders. Each losec trip has some risk; and I would like to be sure that risk of extra losec trips is worth the marginal damage improvement. Flying midweek around shutdown may be a cheaper and safer way to fly.

  3. Damage control does support shields and they do NOT have a stacking penalty with shield hardeners.

  4. After further reading; I am not planning to fit a MWD. An Iteron is a flying target. I'm OK with that.

    From looking at EFT, it increases my time to warp from 11.5 to 12 seconds; but even worse - increases my signature 4 fold. I understand that the speed (and range) of targeting me is influenced by signature. Even with an MWD I am not going to outrun anything; Time to warp matters. If I am warp disrupted then a MWD seems to be useless so can't even limp back to the jump gate with it.

  5. The ultimate in flip-flopping; many sources with more experience than me recommend MWD's. Mmm. I have tried fitting it. Less than impressed. Mind you - you can only fit a frigate MWD on a (cruiser sized) Iteron IV

  6. I think the MWD and cloak refers to this


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