Should we really hate gankers? My thoughts.

First of all, let me point out that I do not condone ganking in any way.

With that being said, let's get into it. A Tl;dr can be found at the bottom for those who aren't interested in a full essay.

I've been spending a lot of time playing ED again of late, engineering ships, shooting players and NPCs, et cetera. CMDR Nightshady invited me to the 13th Legion a few months back, so I've been learning a fair bit from the folks there. And what I've learned has put much of what formerly seemed unfair into perspective.

The first, most common misconception that should be addressed is the definition of a gank. Ganking is the slaughter of another player with zero justification. Remember that; we'll come back to that.

Ganking is very often confused with roleplay. For example, in the 13th's glory days they would establish blockades of Federation CGs and destroy players attempting to assist in the CG, after first warning them that the system was under blockade. This is a completely valid reason, and it goes farther – for example, if a federation faction had a zero-tolerance policy for Imperial-pledged pilots within their space, you could justifiably be destroyed for simply encroaching on their territory while being pledged to Aisling Duval.

One notable occurrence was when the 13th legion invaded the Mobius playergroup – a private group with 20,000 members with strict PvE-only rules. 13th members found massive amounts of CMDRs with zero idea of how to fight another player, who were completing objectives in a Federation CG with almost complete safety. However, when the Smiling Dog Crew did the same, the 13th condemned their actions – why? Because the 13th acted to interfere with a CG. SDC acted out of spite.

That's part of the problem with this game – the segregation of players. Because we all affect the same universe. But what if I don't like the way you're changing it? I should be able to put a stop to it – but I can't due to the existence of private groups like Mobius. In all seriousness, playing in private groups or playing solo when working on BGS isn't "wise". It's cowardly and selfish. You're quite possibly interfering with the goals of other players or groups, and they have literally no way to stop you.

My second point. Gankers will gank. There's not much anyone can do to stop gankers, because if they see a weak ship they will take the opportunity. Ganking has also not been condemned by FDev, and so bans will not be forthcoming.

So you can hate on them all you want. True, ganking is not legitimate roleplay. Y' think it'll stop them?

No, it won't. They'll keep going. And what this ultimately comes down to is combat awareness.

I started playing in December of this past year. I've been ganked once, but interdicted by FDLs and Cheiftans countless times in cheap, unengineered ships. For new players – here's what to do.

  1. Have heatsink and chaff both mapped to your keyboard. If you have them in a fire group something's wrong.

  2. When you are targeted by an interdictor, submit. If the pilot knows what they're doing and is flying a maneuverable ship, you will not succeed in fighting.

  3. As soon as you drop into normal space, pop a chaff and heatsink, then boost and 180 in order to get behind the attacker and force them to turn around.

  4. This will have bought you a short amount of time. Now's your chance to scroll up and wrap around to the bottom of your nav panel – lock the farthest planet you can make a jump to.

  5. Begin charging your FSD, flying in an erratic pattern. Gaining distance is not important, as the ganker's ship will probably be faster than yours. Make sure to keep using heatsinks and chaff generously in order to prevent them from getting a lock on your ship.

  6. Once your drive is charged, prepare to jump and align with your destination. If you do not have shields at this point, enable silent running in order to stay under the radar.

And you're out. It sounds simple, but you will need to keep your head cool in-game to pull it off.

My third and final point. If you're hundreds of hours in the game it's time to buckle up and engineer something. It's not even hard to make a gank-resistant exploration ship – here's a gank-resistant AspX with minimal engineering and a 55LY jump range.

If engineering is not for you, so be it. Nothing I can say will change that; I won't disagree with the fact that it's a grind only masochists can enjoy.

But let me pose this question. If everybody knew how to dodge a gank, if everybody flew at least gank-resistant ships, what would happen to the gankers?

I have no idea. But we'd definitely see a decrease in ships lost to ganks.

Too long; didn't read section

Point 1. Ganking is destruction without justification. Anything powerplay or BGS-related is a legitimate roleplay reason; if you're supporting a CG other players are within their rights to stop you and prevent your support from occuring. Moving to Mobius or solo in order to take this power away from other players is just cowardly.

Point 2. You can't stop the gankers. Learn from your mistakes, and learn to survive being ganked. If you're new, there's a brief tutorial on how to escape a ganker.

Point 3. If you're a casual who then complains about being destroyed by a hardcore player, that's just how MMOs are. Ultimately, if you won't buckle up for the grind nobody can make you. But it's not even that hard to become virtually gank-proof.

Final point: If everybody knew how to avoid being ganked the galaxy would be a much better place.

Ahhh… Finally. It's done. Now to sit back, relax, and grab some popcorn for the ensuing comments.


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