Skullduggery 101

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This is a syllabus for a class, intended primarily for the teaching staff.

Teachers should review all information for accuracy before preparing or presenting a class.
This syllabus should only be used as a guide -- ensure there is added value for students rather than simply reading this document.

Contents

Class Information

This class is essentially the victims side of the very informative "Dark Side of EVE" lecture, and will cover how to defend against those who engage in the shadier activities in the EVE Universe.

General information

  • Class Title: Skullduggery 101
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Location: Docked up in station of choice

Class contents:

  • Introduction to the darker side of EVE
  • Defending against the Dark Side
    • Pirates
    • Griefers
    • Scammers
    • Ninjas
    • Spies
    • Theft
    • Suicide Gankers
  • Q&A

Student requirements:

  • Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up.
  • Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel

Additional information: This class is primarily lecture, delivered in the Class.E-UNI channel in Mumble, followed by Q&A.

Notes for the teacher

Required materials:

  • Class.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post relevant links

Recommended materials:

Class Content

Introduction

Welcome to Paranoia and You! This class is designed to help you defend yourself against the darker elements of EVE. While these methods are regarded by some as morally ambiguous, one can not argue that they are not used. As such one cannot defend ones self by just burying your head in the sand. However before we start let me make one thing perfectly clear:


DO NOT ENGAGE IN ANY OF THESE ACTIVITIES WHILE IN EVE UNIVERSITY!

DO NOT ENGAGE IN ANY OF THESE ACTIVITIES WHILE IN EVE UNIVERSITY!

ENGAGE NOT IN EVE UNIVERSITY THESE ACTIVITIES!


There is no exception to this. Doing so will result in directors coming to visit you, and most likely ban you from the university. Now that legal disclaimers are out of the way, let's get started.

The dark side of EVE has many faces, as activities that fall under this category are as varied as the imaginations of those who try. For this class we will divide the dark side into six different categories: Pirates, Griefers, Scammers, Spies, Thieves, and Suicide Gankers. This class will cover what they are, why they do it, how they do it, and how to defend against it.


Pirates

What are Pirates?

Pirates are people who live in low security space (0.1-0.4) and prey on anyone who comes into lowsec. Due to the way lowsec operates, if you do attack someone unprovoked you still take a security status hit even if CONCORD doesn't descend out of Valhalla and pwn you. However pirates laugh at security status, as they stay out of highsec and CONCORD's reach. In fact a -10 sec status is seen as a badge of honor (or honour) amongst pirates.

Why ARRRRRRR?

Pirates like to live on the fringes. Since pirating doesn't pay as well as other activites, pirates usually pick the ARRRR because they enjoy it, rather than use it to pay for something else. And because of the decline in benefits for pirating, any pirate you encounter probably enjoys what they're doing.

How ARRRRRRR?

A pirate will prey on anyone who enters their hunting grounds. However their traditional prey is tech 1 industrials and freighters who stray into lowsec. As such, since these ships have almost no defensive systems to speak of, it's entirely possible to pirate in a pvp-fit frigate. First the pirate will catch his prey using a warp scrambler. He will pick someone who just jumped into a system or (joy of joys!) someone autopiloting through lowsec. After catching his prey the pirate will either make demands right there or do some damage to your ship then make demands. Note that if in a bad mood the pirate may just blow up your ship out of spite. The pirate will try to make his ransom as reasonable as possible; based off of ship type, known cargo, and pilot age. Some pirates don't even demand isk, instead asking for a nice haiku or song. However do be aware that even if you do pay the pirate may decide to blow your ship up anyway. Remember, these are pirates.

Defending Against the ARRRRRR

First off don't bring your tech 1 industrial or freighter into lowsec alone. This is really moronic. However if you do absolutely have to, follow these tips.

-Use a scout.

-Have an escort. Most pirates will cut and run if they see support inbound.

-Use dotlan. http://evemaps.dotlan.net/ Dotlan will tell you if the system your about to jump into is hot.

Also, if you are going to do any missioning in lowsec, use your d-scanner. Upon seeing combat probes, warp out. If you are ratting or mining in lowsec, do so aligned. The second you see someone appear on-grid with you, warp out.

Activity

(NOTE FOR TEACHER: This was more fun than my previous idea, having someone be attacked.)

For this activity you will engage in a bit of roleplay. Imagine a pirate has caught you, and is demanding a silly haiku. You now have 5 minutes to compose a haiku your captor (aka teacher) finds funny. Make sure that you link this page so that your students know what a haiku is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku

Griefers

What are Griefers?

Griefers are anyone who harasses other players for no gain. While just harassment would be annoying, they don't stop there. A Griefer will try to get you to do something that will let him kill you without CONCORD intervention, relying on the game's rules of engagement.

Why Grief?

Griefers, as stated above, don't care about material gain. True, they may get some tasty modules from your wreck, but that isn't why they did it in the first place. They just want the (to them) joy of watching you get blown up when you didn't understand what was going on.

How do they Grief?

Griefing is a varied field, encompassing anyone who uses the intricacies of the flagging system to kill someone without CONCORD intervention. I'll cover a few popular examples here.

First is a simple trick that has been around forever. The griefer will lock you, and expect that in your panic you will attack him. This will give him the rights to attack you, and most likey destroy you. Someone just locking you is not enough to let you kill them. Sometimes the auto-lock feature that locks anyone who locks you will goad you into attacking accidentally. It's best to turn this off at your earliest convenience.

The most popular however, is can flippers. These people rely on can ownership mechanics to grief. Usually these go one of two ways. First is straight up can-flipping. These people will drop a can next to a miner's can, hoping that the miner will accidentally use the other can. This will let the griefer attack the miner without repercussion. Another way is to just take something from a miner's can. The miner will see the griefer go flashy, and thinking that CONCORD is on the way, attack to try and get on the killmail. However CONCORD does not respond to can theft, and attacking will only let the griefer attack the miner and destroy him.

Defending from Grief

There is one simple way to defend against a griefer, and that is to know the flagging system. Read it from start to end, and know when and where you can attack someone. However there are other things you can do. If you are the victim of can theft, and you are a UNI student, you can call on Unistas to assist you. Since he becomes flagged to you and your corp, bored Unistas will love the opportunity to kill a thief.

Scammers

What are Scammers?

Scammers are the EVE Online version of con men (or women!). They rely on the ignorance of new player or just plain deception in order to separate players from their isk.

Why Scam?

You can make major ISK scamming other people. Simple as that. However do note that you CANNOT SCAM WHILE IN THE UNIVERSITY!

How do Scams Happen?

Scams focus on people either not knowing what is going on or not paying attention. Note that scams are as varied as people's imaginations, and new ones appear each day. Let's cover a few types here.

First is a simple contract buy/sell scam. What will happen is someone will make a sell contract for a cheap item that looks impressive. A favorite for this is an Elite Drone AI. Then the scammer will advertise it as a buy contract, hoping someone will accept the contract without noticing it's a sell contract. The victim will buy a cheap item for a severe markup, and the scammer will make a tidy profit.

Next we have a deception contract. The scammer will pick a cheap item, and try to sell it as a more expensive type. Ravens are very popular for this type of scam. The scammer will advertise it as a Caldari Navy Raven, selling a regular Raven for 3 times it's normal price.

After that we have the Nigerian Prince scam. This is similar to the Nigerian Prince scam mail in real life. A scammer will say in chat that he is leaving EVE and will double any amount of isk sent to him. Crafty scammers will even do this a few times till the victim sends a large amount, at which time the scammer will take it all.

Another popular scam is the "Margin Trading" scam. First a scammer will create a sell order for an item that is in limited quantities in a region at a very large markup. He will then set up a buy order somewhere a few jumps away (or even at another trade hub) at a completely massive mark-up, but using the "Margin Trading" skill, so he does not actually have the isk to complete the transaction. Sometime later a trader will notice the sell and buy orders, and thinking he can make a huge profit, buys the items in the sell order. When the victim attempts to sell to the scammers buy order, the transaction will fail. (and the order canceled, but the isk has already been made) Sometimes the scammer will spam a link to the item in trade hub local, so that people will find it more quickly. Sometimes this scam also uses a "minimum item threshold" on the buy order to artificially inflate the price on the buy order.

Defending Your ISK

Defending against scams boils down to one thing, paranoia. Assume all contracts are scams until you confirm otherwise. Consider all deals the same way. Eventually you shall learn how to spot them automatically, but always be careful.

Activity

For this activity, have your students find a scam contract from Jita. To do this, have your students open their contracts window, and look in The Forge region. Make sure to explain why, or why not, the contracts your students find are scams.


Ninjas

What are Ninjas?

Ninjas are people who scan down missioners and warp in, stealing wrecks from the mission runners. Think evil recyclers.

Why Ninja?

Salvaging is the major isk maker for mission runners. By taking the salvage and not having to worry about dealing with the enemies, ninjas make money with little effort.

How do people Ninja?

Being a ninja is very simple. All he needs is probes to find the mission site. After locating the site, the ninja takes a fast ship with salvagers and warps in. While the mission runner is busy with rats, he will salvage the wrecks. If he pulls aggro he can just warp out.

This title killed by a Ninja

Defending against a ninja is difficult. The problem is that salvaging is not a flaggable offense, unlike taking from cans. Unless the ninja messes up, the missioner cannot shoot him. Mission rats can shoot anyone, however, so if ninjas show up to salvage during mission combat, you can warp off and see if the ninjas notice you're gone before the mission rats kill them. (It's also fun to watch light salvage ships warp into a mission with a level 4 gas cloud.) There are some other ways of dealing with ninjas, but the most sure fire way is to dock up. Eventually he will leave you alone and go find someone else. However you may not have the time to do this, as iskies are calling. One thing you can try is shooting your wrecks. Without wrecks, he will have nothing to salvage. Note that this sometimes backfires, as the ninja will just follow you, making you destroy your wrecks while he laughs. You can also try to salvage as you go, but the only ships that can pull this off are the Dominix and the Rattlesnake. Trying this with any other type of ship will result in you not being able to put out enough dps to finish the mission.

Spies

What Are Spies?

Spies are spies, the shadow masters of EVE. To illustrate why they are feared, there have been many powerful alliances who have been defeated by spies. All without firing a shot. A spy will try to at least gain information about an enemy corp, at most try to destroy the alliance.

Why Spy?

Spies are in it for the information. He will try to gain as much information for his parent corporation for use against the enemy corp. A spy, given the chance, will also attempt to sabotage the victim corporation.

How Spy?

Spies rely almost purely on metagaming to engage in their activities. Social engineering, charisma, and just generally being a people person all are useful to the spy. Using persuasion, will try to enter a target corp. A popular tactic is to try and appear as a new player. The spy will use a new character, even a new account, and must be cautious to appear noobish. A new player who knows how to set up a covert ops hot drop is a fail spy. Upon gaining entry, the spy can start relaying tactical information about fleets he knows about or is currently on. He will do this sparingly however, as he will usually either wait until he is needed, or start working his way up the ranks. Developing trust, he will try to get as high up the ladder as possible. Once he reaches a directorship, he can disband the corp, steal it's assets, unanchor it's PoS's, and by and large destroy it.

Counter-intelligence

Counter-intelligence is the hardest defense of them all, and the hardest profession in the game. This is because their is no in-game tools to use, and it completely relies on metagaming. There are a few techniques, which I will outline here.

1). Recruitment Officers. ROs are any corps first line of defense against spies. It is their job to investigate new applicants. They check to see if he knows too much for his time played, doesn't seem to fit with the corp's methods, even if he has too much ISK. Basically try and find out if a new applicant doesn't feel "right" 2). Social Engineering. Every corp has a culture, some more than others. The corporation Goonswarm (or goonwaffe, or goon federation, etc.) is an excellent example of this. Every member of the Goons are either a member of the Something Awful forms or a friend of a forum member. This means they have a shared culture amongst members, complete with stories, inside jokes, and other things. If someone doesn't know these things, or is trying too hard, he will stand out and usually be investigated. 3). Computer Forensics. This is the one that involves the most grey-area, but is the most effective. As I don't know the specifics, I cannot go into great detail. However I can tell you it involves tracking where they access, log on times, and the like.

Corp Theft

Corporation Theft is very similar to espionage, as they both use the same skills. However where they differ is in the goal. A spy will infiltrate for information and sabotage. A corp thief is only in it for the money. The thief will usually choose a corp with expensive assets i.e. a PoS, capital ships, BPOs, etc. He will also try to find a corp that hasn't secured it's assets. After choosing a mark he will worm his way in. At this point it depends on how the corp has it stuff set up. If unsecured he'll steal everything and run. If secured he'll work his way up then steal everything, usually including the corporation. Defending against corp thieves is similar to defending against spies, but with one added step. Keep you assets secure. Don't leave corp share lying around unassigned, as he can take these to vote himself CEO. Also have a restricted corp hangar, usually with tiered access like what the University uses.

Suicide Gankers

What are Gankers?

Suicide gankers are people who attack and kill ships in high security space, knowing full well they will be killed by CONCORD afterwards.

Why Gank?

Gankers can make quite a bit of ISK, attacking freighters with expensive cargo or mission runners with many expensive faction, officer, or deadspace modules.

How do people Gank?

Ganking itself is both simple and complex. First off the ganker must have enough firepower to destroy his target before CONCORD arrives and kills him. This usually means about 10 gank-fit battleships for a mission runner and about 20 for a freighter. There is some math involved in deciding about what a ganker attacks as well. He will want the value of the target he is ganking to be at least twice the cost of all the ships he will loose. This is so that he can show a profit, and also takes into consideration that about half of the stuff from a ship drops. After finding a target, and gathering the neccesary ships, he will then track the target to a pipe, somewhere where the mark only has one way in or out. The ganker will wait until after the target lands after jumping through a gate. He will then attack, killing the target in less than 10 seconds. Another character that wasn't involved will scoop the loot, and fly off to sell it. The gankers will be CONCORDed and ISK will be made.

Defending against the Gank

Defending against a suicide gank is more pre-emptive than anything. Your best defense is to not carry anything worth ganking. To see if you are you first off compute how much isk it would take to gank you. Assuming 50 million isk a battle ship, that's 500 mil for a mission runner and 1 bil for a freighter. Then multiply it by 2, giving you 1 bil/2 bil. If your mission running ship is worth more than 1 billion in modules, or your freighter is hauling more than 2 billion in freight, be very careful. Also consider that for a mission runner to be a viable target you must be carrying more than 2 high-price modules, as only 1 has only a 50% chance of dropping. If you are carrying that much, and have to, there are a few ways to protect yourself. First off you can use a courier contract. This puts your cargo in an unscanable container, and the gankers might not risk it. You can also fly with a scout, as he can look ahead and see if a bunch of battleships are waiting for you. Finally, if you ever feel in danger i.e. you've been scanned or locked on a gate, dock up. There are always other things to do than to lose a billion isk.

Activity

THIS IS A PURELY OPTIONAL ACTIVITY, AND COMPLETELY UP TO THE TEACHER IF HE WANTS TO DO. ALSO REMIND YOUR CLASS NOT TO SHOOT YOUR OOC ALT, AS THIS IS CONSIDERED KILL PADDING AND IS FROWNED UPON BY THE UNIVERSITY. This activity is to show the class what a CONCORDokken looks like. It should be attempted with an out of corp alt. Try to have the alt able to use a heavily tanked ship i.e. over 50k ehp. A super-tanked Maller or Kelduum Revan's Ultimate Tanked Drake work great. Have the class gather at any place. A belt or planet works great. And a benefit of a belt is that you'll scare the heck out of some random miner. Ask your class for a volunteer to be shot at. Shoot one ROUND ONLY. ONE round at the volunteer. You should narrate what's happening to you, which will be explained here. 1). 6-8 seconds will pass before CONCORD arrives 2). 2 CONCORD cruisers will spawn (per person who goes GCC). They will do about 200 dps each, as well jam, neut, and every other nasty thing. 3). This will continue for about 10 seconds, which at that time a CONCORD battleship will spawn. It does infinite dps, and will one shot a cap ship, which has been proven. 4). CONCORD will not attack your pod, so any implants you have are safe. Ask the class if they have any questions.

Conclusion

What you do with what you've just learned is completely up to you. Hopefully you can use your newfound knowledge to protect yourself against these tactics. But whatever you do, let me make one more thing incredibly clear.

DO NOT DO ANY OF THE UNI ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES WHILE IN THE UNIVERSITY.

-Answer any more questions -Shameless recruit more teachers.

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