Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

Kill of the Week: Buffer

Sometimes, what you need is a little bit of buffer.  Here's an interesting demonstration as to why:
http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=13914462

It's traditional -- and wrong -- in EVE to think of lower-security systems in high-sec as "less safe."  A 0.5 system is "less safe" than a 0.9 system, goes this fallacy, because a ganker has "less time" in a 0.9 to gank you before getting destroyed by CONCORD.  Increasingly, weapon volleys have become so powerful in New Eden that in point of fact a 1.0 system is no safer than anywhere else.  Hell, a low-sec system might be safer than much of high-sec.  At least the low-sec systems are less populated, and you enter them prepared to be attacked!

And no volley is more powerful than a Tornado volley when that Tornado is fit with 1400mm Artillery.  So here we have a single Tornado firing a single volley and killing a Tengu.  That could perhaps be written off as a fluke.

Only we can't, because it isn't.  This particular pilot specializes in it.  He's killed four Tengus in July (so far), two in June, four in May.  All of them were single-handedly volleyed with a Tornado, and most of them were killed in Osmon, a 0.7 system.  What's the trick?  Well, there isn't one that I can see, other than simple lack of buffer on the part of his victims.  All of these Tengus died because they were entirely reliant on active tanking systems that don't engage during the right kind of volley.  Warning: scary math follows.

A Tengu fit like this victim's has -- on paper -- about 18000 EHP.  But that's all it is, paper EHP.  In practice, he has about 4500 shield HP, 3000 armor HP, and 2000 structure HP.  The problem is that the shields have only a base 9% resistance to EM damage and the armor has only a base 10% resistance to explosive damage.  Without a damage control, the Tengu's structure has no resistances at all.  So, if I were going to kill such a Tengu, I'd do it with eight guns split 4-3-1.  Split and group the guns in this manner.  Load the first (four gun) group with one round each of Republic Fleet EMP.  Load the second (three gun) group with one round each of Republic Fleet Fusion.  Load the last gun with one round of either of those.  Lock your victim, and fire the gun groups in that order.

At the Tengu's resistance to EMP ammo, the first group will strip away its shields and do a small percentage of armor damage, about 300 points or so.  The second group will strip away the remaining armor and do a significant percentage of structure damage, about 650 or so.  The last gun will do just enough damage to finish the Tengu off.  It's a wonderful demonstration of applied algebra.  And CONCORD, gate guns, and station guns are entirely irrelevant.  This Tornado pilot only gets one volley off, but that's all he needs to kill his prey.

All in all, pretty clever work!  I assume that he's shooting Tengus either as they undock from a missioning station (placing himself stationary at the ideal volley range) or as they decloak after jumping into the system (placing himself at zero on the gate).  Either way, the Tengu pilots in question clearly aren't activating their hardeners or shield boosters since they don't expect to be attacked by other players.  0.7 systems are completely safe, right?  And all in all, this pilot is making himself a tidy profit.  Here's a kill that netted about 500 million, enough to fit out three Tornados.

Any amount of buffer would have prevented these losses.  Hell, that last Tengu had a Damage Control II in cargo, which probably would have prevented his loss.  Active tanks are all well and good but without at least a little buffer, you're vulnerable to being volleyed.  And it doesn't matter if you're in a 0.5 system, a 0.7, or a 1.0.  You'll die instantly wondering what you did wrong.

50 comments:

  1. How fast does the ganker lock targets?

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    1. Very fast, if they use sebos.

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    2. If I understand the mechanics correctly a neutral alt can use remote sebos without getting concorded.

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    3. i can confirm this works.

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  2. So what you're really saying is you need at least 10k real EHP on just about any ship to avoid a one-shot gank. Right? If so, that's a good figure for Industrialists to know.

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    1. actually, 11.6K, and that's when the attacker has no damage implants.

      but aim for anything above 10-11k and you should be safe from anyone but the most competent gankers (or multiple bad guys ofcourse)

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  3. Speaking of buffer it seems that on Sisi the T2 plates are finally getting some luv in the form of a HP boost ( another 300 HP for the 1600's )
    Fianally the T2 plates will become better then the rolled tungsten which I suspect will crash in the markets soon.

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    1. Just FYI, the market for Rolled Tungsten plates - and all other meta plates - crashed a long time ago. They currently buy/sell at, or below, mineral recycling prices.

      The supply of meta modules from NPC drops is simply too large to be absorbed by player demand.

      As a caveat, CCP has pretty much killed the T1 module market. There simply isn't much reason to build T1 modules when meta modules are so readily and cheaply available.

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    2. T1 modules are needed to build T2 modules

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    3. No one who builds T2 modules runs to Jita to buy T1 modules from the market. They build them. It is cheaper, faster and more convenient.

      I agree with Anon1026. CCP's "buff" to T1 manufacturing by eliminating NPC drops of T1 modules failed because they didn't nerf the meta module drops, as well.

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    4. bad math on your part, anyone manufacturing with more than 2 brain cells to rub together will make the thing that produces the most profit and buy ANYTHING else...

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  4. DarkSide. people to watch...people to watch their loss mails. people to learn what to fit.

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  5. http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=13422341

    Seems that 8 EMP will do it nicely

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  6. This is probably a horribly carebear thing to say but when flying around high sec I never turn on defensive modules like Damage Controls etc. If I were missioning in a 0.7 system (at least before reading this article), I'd undock, fly to the site, activate modules during warp.

    I'd guess a lot of carebears are the same. The perception is that you never need tank until you get to the site. So the time/motion effective thing is to get into warp, jump systems, warp to site, not activate several modules you don't need active yet.

    So even if people do have mods that could have prevented these ganks they probably haven't turned them on yet just after they undock.

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    1. It's not like people fly around in low or 0.0 with their hardeners on either. It just ends up wasting your capacitor.

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    2. @Zenver - most high-sec mission-running PVE ships are fit for cap stability, so "wasting your capacitor" isn't usually a problem.

      And, in any case, a DC II consumes very little cap.

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    3. It's obviously quite possible to fly like you do in hisec, Stabs, and never cross a ganker's path.

      Not sure I ever met a ganker, either, but early on I was taught two rules: 1) never autopilot anywhere, and 2) keep hardeners on. These won't keep me from exploding if I run across a determined gank fleet, but I'm probably not going to be one-volleyed by a lone twerp.

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  7. i usually link kill mails like that one to the horrible high sec gankers. i swear i love pvp and im allways against any form of "nerfing" to ganking... but seeing a moron kill a barge and think he accomplished something is just painfull.

    kills like that one are awesome and something to be proud of.

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    Replies
    1. Seeing a ganker kill anything not able to shoot back, and thinking he accomplished something, is ridiculous.

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  8. Is it really that hard to pay attention when one is flying a billion plus isk ship? I mean, it doesn't seem like much to me, notice a tornado on the undock or gate, activate hardeners just in case?

    Of course, none of that will save you if there's multiple high alpha ships, but a solo ganker? Come on...

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  9. "Any amount of buffer would have prevented these losses."

    Tsk, tsk, Jester. You should know that no amount of buffer can save you from a ganker who wants to take down your shiny.

    CCP's recent series of across-the-board buffs to damage - incl. guns, ammo, ships - make it completely cost-ineffective to attempt to fit a ship against gankers. No matter how you fit your ship, a solo ganker or small gang of gankers will always be able to spend much less ISK on the alpha needed to kill you.

    This is actually a common game balance problem (one which CCP has thus far refused to recognize, though) known as "power creep".

    Quite frankly, if you want to avoid being ganked, simply fly inexpensively fit T1 ships. The ganker will move on to tastier targets.

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    Replies
    1. You seem to be unaware of the definition of the word "these". ;-)

      Any amount of buffer would have prevented one Tornado from killing these Tengus. Other than that, I agree with you.

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    2. I disagree with anon1047's point. Yes, a large enough group of people will always be able to kill you (duh).

      But, I really don't think it's a problem of game design. When you're forking out 100x the isk for a 2x (or less) performance increase, it will be much easier to gank you 'cost effectively'. It's simply a matter of the market. However, using how much a module costs to balance the game seems like a poor way of to go about balancing.

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    3. Which is kind of obvious math, anon is right; if you need to kill them DEAD DEAD DEAD, use *two* Tornadoes =)

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    4. Yes it's true that someone can always bring enough firepower to break whatever your tanking. However, my sense is that most suicide gankers are looking for *easy* expensive kills. Yes, they could always bring 2 or 3 tornados, but unless you flying a really blingy fail fit, it seems to me that they are more likely to want to kill 2 or 3 ships with those 2 or 3 tornados. It's the old adage about how to survive a shark attack: you don't have to outswim the shark, just the other swimmers.

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    5. Well there are counter ways, counter counter ways act.

      True, the theoretical threat is always having entire Test Alliance Please Ignore coming for your little ship.
      but Most gankers will attack with a single tornado or a small gang of less capable ships (DPS destroyers?).

      Like others said here, whenever you have enough tank to make the other player not be so sure he's capable blowing you - is enough to keep you alive in most cases.
      most gankers want easy picks not waste their ships for advantures

      My exequror have handles a single tornado alone using passive hardeners and extenders tank only - so despite uf the unballancing, transport tank can be quite capable.
      2 Tornados can do quite a kill, but really, i'v never seen any such couple.

      Also, a good way to avoid is just put everything in a locked container.
      the decision to loose 2-3 Tornados for an unknown, locked by password cargo is a different story

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  10. There is a huge difference between one and two Tornados. Two needs a team. One needs a bored kid. Surviving one alpha is a basic minimum for anything that costs more than 100M.

    Also, this idiot did not deserve so elaborate post. "Another failplayer without Damage Control II" would be more than enough about him.

    Maybe a "passive resistors are in the game for a purpose: to save lazy people from being popped" if you are extremely helpful today.

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    1. You know, that's all well and great and all, but I don't necessarily care to pay for a game where I have to watch my back every second of every day, anywhere, that I'm logged in. It's tiresome. *Really* tiresome, and no other MMOG "suffers" from this quite like Eve does. Risk in risky areas is one thing; having to develop paranoid schizophrenia to even survive even in "capital cities" like Jita is another. I don't pay for that.

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    2. Well then Newt you are playing the wrong game. I am an incursioner (used to be) and fly a 2b Legion who isn't paranoid but knows the hatred aimed at 'isk-farmers' such as myself and so always watched my overview for high alpha ships and always activated my quarter of a bill hardners. Did I find it tiresome at 2 am to have to be so weary ? Sure to a degree but just like a man with 2b in a brief case walking through a city is aware of whats going on so was I and within reason. Plus I love it, no other game keeps me on edge as much as Eve and thus keeps me locked in. If you don't to pay for the Eve experience please leave, this game does not need to be watered down to the likes of WoW just to appease casual space cadets that want to prance around without fear.

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    3. Only a moron would walk around with 2B in a briefcase in any city.

      Incursion runners fly bling ships 'cause they are stupid. That is why they are such fun targets. No one - not even a miner - cries more tears than a ganked Incursion runner.

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    4. Suck it, Anonymous #1. Your "I like the game the way it is, everything is perfect" argument, isn't. If you don't like people discussing game balance, maybe you should GTFO the discussion board. ...The question is, "Should you have to be on edge *every* second, in every region?" ...and that's a relevant question. I say the game suffers because of it.

      It's really funny how "PvP people" never "get" that there's other people in the sandbox with other agendas. You really are all egocentric asshats.

      In other news, this is where I laugh at you, too; you fly 2 billion ISK ships, you're riddled with paranoia, and you think that's just great? Sucks to be you.

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    5. Also only a moron would not realize that 2billion ISK eve money is the equivalent of carrying $80... and that getting robbed by a 100mil ISK tornado is like being mugged by a man with a $2 F-16.

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    6. I don't think Anon2005 was talking about walking around with 2B ISK eve money in a briefcase.

      First off, it would not really make his point. If you are walking around with just $80 USD in your briefcase, you probably aren't going to be any more "aware" of your surroundings than you'd be if you were carrying an empty briefcase.

      Second, you can't actually walk around with 2B ISK eve money anywhere in RL.

      So, if you assume that Anon2005 was talking about walking around with 2B RL money, then he is a moron. If you assume that Anon2005 was talking about walking around with 2B eve money, then he is a moron. QED - no matter how you slice it, he is a moron.

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    7. HA ! Anon #1 here, thanks for the laughs you make it far too easy. I retract my initial statement, please don't leave the game! Carebears fo-eva! <3<3 :) :)

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  11. I guess I must be the one paranoid owner of a Blingu that turns on all hardeners all the time! I have a decent buffer & am cap stable-its really not that difficult lol

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  12. One funny thing I figured out though, that last mail you linked which was supposedly a kill that netted him 500M, well it doesn't look like quite so :D :
    http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_related&kll_id=13358958
    http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=13358711

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  13. "A 0.5 system is "less safe" than a 0.9 system, goes this fallacy, because a ganker has "less time" to gank you before getting destroyed by CONCORD."

    Uh, didn't you mean 'a ganker has "more time"' ?

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    1. No, that's actually accurate, but I inserted the implied connector to make it more clear.

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    2. Oh, I read it as "less time in 0.5"

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  14. Ayep. I got my hi-sec Tornado gank on me the other day in Hatakani. I was warping to 0 traveling from Dodixie to Jita in a "so-so" shield tanked Iteron. Sensor boosters for almost instant lock, damage mods, zero tank/all gank. He got me during align time. Bang! Lost a fair amount of industrial production stuff... Yes, I'm "an idiot," but lesson learned.

    I will be less of an idiot in the future. My next purchase is going to be an orca, which I will float around with abut 288K EHP on. Fuck these guys. ...Of course, It'll also take me 4 hours to get anywhere, which I'm not entirely thrilled about. Cloaks? Living in WH space? I dunno, but one major hisec gank by this almost unsurviveable setup is enough for me, thanks. The second one I'll ragequit.

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    1. Can I have your stuff when you do?

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    2. Just FYI - Orcas get popped, too, esp. along the route through Hatakani. A small gang of Tornadoes can easily pop an Orca or a freighter. And, yes, such gangs do exist along that particular pipe.

      Safest non-AFK method to travel in high-sec, in a T2 hauler, is the cloaky blockade runner, fit with nanos. You always warp-to-zero between systems, and you always fly cloaked from the time you undock from your origin to the time you dock at your destination. In high-sec, it is virtually impossible to catch you (a gate-camping disco gang can still pop you, but you won't see many of those around these days). BTW - as a bonus incentive, blockade runners are much faster than T1 haulers and cut down on travel time.

      Safest non-AFK method to travel in high-sec, in a T1 hauler, is to fit a couple of WCS, fill the rest of your lows with nanos (don't use istabs), and warp-to-zero to each gate. Good, but not quite as good as a blockade runner.

      Safest AFK method to travel in high-sec, in a T1 hauler, is to make it impractical to scan your cargohold for good loot.

      One method is to create a couple hundred T1 BPCs of T1 ammo and other useless junk, 1 run each. Contract the mess to yourself, via an alt or corp mate, in a courier contract, so that it all gets wrapped up in a nice plastic wrap container. Fail the contract, and keep the container in your hauler's cargohold. If you desire, make a few more of these courier containers, filled with other small volume, zero value junk.

      Then, fly back and forth AFK along the Dodixie/Jita route on auto-pilot, for a few hours, every couple of days or so. I usually do this while I'm watching TV, taking a shower, cleaning the house, watering the lawn, sleeping, etc. You'll get locked up the first dozen or so times, but, soon the gankers will get tired of trying to scroll through the hundreds of items of junk you've got in those courier containers. Eventually, if you are a frequent flyer through the pipe, you will be ignored completely. BTW - make sure your ship is completely T1 fit, with no rigs - ie. completely worthless to pop, even for tears. I fit T1 nanos in the lows for improved AFK travel time, but that's about it.

      I've been routinely sneaking my goods to/from Jita using this method for the past couple of years, and have never - yes, never - been ganked. It just isn't worth it to a ganker, when there are so many easier targets available. Ofc, they know that I must be running something valuable on occasion, but it is simply too annoying to sort it from all of the junk on a cargo scan - esp. since I'm known for often flying to/from with nothing but the junk. :)

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    3. When he does please transport it in an Iteron and let me know your route......so I can sweep it of pirates of course...

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    4. Actually, important step 1: use my 9.5 faction with Federal Intelligence Office agents to track him down, camp him with an alt, and kill him with an insured, tanked blasterthron. "Not so awesome a profit when you lose two no-tank tornados, hey pal?" Even if I fail at it, it is definitely the thought that counts.

      Been thinking about the cloaky hauler, since I can fly one and they're hella cheap, but I figured tank beat sneak. Good advice, thanks.

      As to having my stuff; Yeah, sure, it's all yours, when and if I make that mistake again; don't hold your breath, Deth.

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    5. You don't need a blasterthron to kill a gank-fit Tornado.

      A Tornado is a glass cannon. A solo AF or dessie can probably do the job, esp. since the Tornado's large ACs will have problems hitting the smaller ships. And, certainly, any of the gank-fit cruisers or BCs can easily do the job in a single salvo - so, pick the cheapest.

      Don't forget, though, that a ganker doesn't care if he loses his ship. Concord is going to kill it during the gank, anyways. And, even a single successful gank usually pays for a buttload of gank-fit Tornadoes. So, killing him a couple of times isn't probably going to generate many tears....

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  15. I recently made over 50 jumps round trip in a faction fit Bhaalgorn (tried to gank a W space corp's carriers but got spotted and blue balled). At one point on the way back to our system I had to go cook dinner. Instead of setting my auto pilot to make the resat of the high sec jumps I docked up, even though I was flying a PVP fit ship with a heavy passive buffer tank. Why, when it would have been difficult for someone to gank me and make a profit? Because ganking in Eve is quite often not about making ISK, it's just about the kill mail and the potential to harvest "tears" from the victim. Yes Jester, it is a fallacy to think that high sec is safe, but it's also wrong to think that every gank is for profit...

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  16. Realistically, if "enough" people got the idea of how easy it is to make *b*illions a day Tornado ganking in hisec pipelines...I know I am tempted, after seeing it myself...it's not inconceivable these traderoutes would become almost impassable to anything worth ganking for, especially high-volume cargo that necessitates industrials for transport.

    To be honest, I think you're seeing the front-edge of a problem now, as Jester has implied. These ships have way, way too much alpha for way, way too little investment. The Carebears would have an excrement hemorrhage, and CCP may or may not have to do something. Frankly I'd love to see how they'd handle it...

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  17. What with cheap-as-dirt war decs and massive-alpha gankers hi-sec is rapidly becoming the most dangerous place in New Eden. It's enough to make me go all care-bear and move to sov-nul where I could mine and rat in safety.

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  18. I'll tell you what; once I get enough ISK in the bank to never "work" again... a few billion ought to suffice... I'm also not going to fly anything whatsoever that isn't insurable. The number of dicks in Eve is just Too Damn High, and CCP caters to them like little babies...because they both know those are the ONLY players that will never leave.

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    ReplyDelete

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