Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Eden Vacation #2: The infinite patience of the suicide ganker

She waits in Balle tonight just as she waited last night and the night before. The Tornado she flies is one of the newest ships in New Eden. Its battle cruiser sized hull puts out as much damage over time as a full sized battleship but this pilot isn't interested in damage over time. All that matters is alpha. The overwhelming impact of that first broadside which will obliterate her chosen foe in the seconds before Concord appear out of thin air to vaporise her Tornado.

I waited myself and watched her a while in the hopes of seeing this feared predator in action but she is a choosy hunter. In the six weeks since she started her hunt career she has only made seven kills. Each one a humble T1 industrial. Their contents were not so humble though.

Total value of kills: 9.9 Billion isk. Total value of loot dropped: 4.1 Billion isk.
Against this you must offset the loss of a 60 million isk Tornado for every kill.
Net Earnings 4.1 Billion - 7x60 million =  3.6 Billion in six weeks.
Not bad for a 2 million skill point pilot.

She doesn't work alone of course. She needs an alt to scoop up the loot and probably another to scan  ships for juicy targets. 600 million a week in profits will cover the subs for three accounts with plenty of isk left over.

Curiously the ganker is not immune to ganking. She has lost two Tornados (and a pod) in high sec herself. One of the kills was to another gank tornado. Was this a revenge killing or perhaps a turf war between rivals, who knows? Looking at the ship kill gives us more insight into her tactics. A full rack of cheap 1400mm Gallium cannon firing Republic Fleet EMP-L for massive alpha damage. Three stacked sensor boosters reduce target locking time to a minimum. Two tracking computers reduce any advantage accruing to a target's motion. Three reactor control units are needed in the lows to allow such a low skill point pilot fit all of those big guns. This only leaves room for one damage increasing gyrostabiliser. Two damage increasing collision accelerator rigs compensate somewhat for the lack of gyros. This fit does one thing and one thing only. Lock and fire a single overwhelming volley as quickly as possible. The lack of any kind of scanner shows the need for a scanning alt and the requirement for  a loot scooper is obvious.

Seven kills in six weeks. How many hours did she have to sit at a gate to get those kills and how many hundreds of worthless targets did she have to scan in order to choose the right seven. A true hunter needs patience above all else.

I was not fortunate enough to witness her make a kill but I did experience a mad thought of making a dash for the loot if one happened. Would I make it before her loot scooper? Would one of her alts have the means to shoot me if I did? Would it have been poetic justice if I actually mananged to get away with her loot or would it just have been petty theft?

By the way viewing the details of the ships killed nearly brought me to tears. It beggars belief that people are still transporting billions of isk worth of cargo in paper thin industrials. The 4 billion isk Badger 2  definitely stands out though and not just for the sheer value of faction loot in the cargo hold. This badger had a completely useless active shield tank fitted with over 2 billion isk worth of faction modules.  A single volley from the tornado vaporised the lot before the 1.2 billion isk pithi shield booster could run a single repair cycle.  

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