Suicide ganking

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Suicide ganking

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Crimewatch - Devblog

Suicide Ganking is the act of attacking another ship in High Security space without a legal reason, such as via a war declaration, suspect timer, duel, or friendly fire. Shooting someone without any of those flags or statuses is an illegal action, and will grant you a Criminal Timer which lasts for 15 minutes, during which being in space in any ship other than a Capsule will result in its destruction in seconds.

As CONCORD will always react to destroy any ship which earns a Criminal Timer, the aggressor is guaranteed to lose their ship - hence the term "suicide ganking". However, CONCORD does not react instantly, giving the attacker time to try and destroy their target. The aim of suicide ganking, therefore, is to destroy a higher value target than the value of the ship or ships being used to gank. Frequently, this manifests in a maximum DPS destroyer destroying a Mining Barge, a cruiser destroying a Hauler, or a swarm of destroyers destroying a Freighter.

Types

Suicide gankers tend to have a target or type of target in mind when ganking, and as such, the most common types of suicide ganking can be broken into several categories. Roughly from the most basic to the more complex:

Shuttle and Podkilling 
The act of killing Shuttles (including the expensive Leopard) and Capsules for large killmails. Looting is optional if your goal is to simply pop the capsule, and since you can't scan you can do this with a single account! Simply grab a thrasher, lock a pod, make sure you're in optimal range, and press F1.
Miner Ganking 
The ganking of Ventures, Mining Barges, or Exhumers that are mining in belts. Requires 1 or more accounts to engage in, although having a scout is required if you have too low of a security status to slowly approach a target, and even more useful in order to scan the fitting of the miner so you know if you can destroy it or not. The scout can also double as a looting ship, as the cargo of a Mining Barge or Exhumer is generally low volume and can easily recoup the loss of T1 Catalyst.
Hauler Ganking 
The ganking of Haulers, Blockade Runners, or Deep Space Transports as they travel from location to location. Generally requires a minimum of 3 accounts, as you'd need a scout (scanner), a ganker generally in a cruiser in order to tank the gate guns and get effective DPS onto the hauler, and an hauling alt of your own in order to loot the wreck. If you're selective enough with your targets a relatively large profit margin can be made, although there might be large gaps of time without a viable target.
Abyssal Ganking 
The ganking of ships capable of running Abyssal sites in highsec, which can range from Assault Frigates, to Faction and Pirate Cruisers, and T2 Cruisers. These generally are much more difficult to gank, as Heavy Assault Cruisers and Assault Frigates have an Assault Damage Control which can nullify a large percentage of incoming damage. Usually requires 5+ accounts, but is more cost effective with more accounts. Finding viable targets can also be difficult, as it can be hard to get a scan on the Abyssal Runner and it requires a bit of ingenuity to figure out how to do this.
Mission Runner Ganking 
Very similar to Abyssal Ganking, but centered around following and hunting ships attempting to do level 4 missions. These are usually killed when jumping gate to gate, as opposed to them being inside a mission complex. This can also apply to hunting Incursion runners as well.
Freighter Ganking 
The classic large fleet versus Freighter fleets. This setup also lets you hit other high tank ships such as Battleships (Including Marauders, Blackops, and Faction/Pirate Battleships), Deep Space Transports, Orcas, and other ships. Usually requires 20+ accounts in order to start hitting the weakest of freighters, and can have up to 100+ before it can kill the most tanked freighters with T1 Catalysts even in Uedama.
Jump Freighter Hunting 
The hunting of Jump Freighters. 99% of this involves trying to catch the nigh uncatchable Jump Freighters using tricks, social engineering, or praying that the Jump Freighter pilot got lazy and complacent.

Ships used

Ships used for suicide ganking tend to prioritize damage over tank and try to do as much damage to their target for a given ship cost. Ships that are typically used include:

  • GallenteCatalyst, AmarrCoercer, and MinmatarThrasher are the basic cost effective ships that do high damage for low cost.
  • GallenteTalos, AmarrPurifier, MinmatarHound and MinmatarTornado for more advanced, higher DPS but higher cost ships. The Tornado is utilized for its high alpha strike to quickly kill a target.
  • GallenteVexor, CaldariCaracal, or AmarrMaller to suicide gank Haulers, as ships with some tank are required to tank the Sentry Guns that are present on gates and stations.
  • CaldariHeron, CaldariBlackbird, Society of Conscious ThoughtGnosis, and GallenteNereus for use as support ships, to scout, scan, scoop loot, or suicide point targets so they can't warp off
  • Hauler, Deep Space Transport, and Freighter to be used to loot the wreck after a successful gank

System Security rankings

Main article: CONCORD

All systems are assigned a security ranking, from -1.0 to 1.0, visible in the top left of your screen, next to the system name for the system you are in. High Security systems range from 0.5 to 1.0. The higher the security rating of a system, the faster CONCORD will respond to criminal acts, and therefore the less time a ganker has to destroy his target before CONCORD appears and takes him out.

CCP has never confirmed "official" response timers however by observation, most of the community has accepted the below as "average" values. Response time can vary by 1-2 seconds.

Security Rating Base Response Time
0.5 19 seconds
0.6 14 seconds
0.7 10 seconds
0.8 7 seconds
0.9 & 1.0 6 seconds

A few caveats:

  • If ganking in a system that has already been ganked in with the same number of players, the CONCORD response time is roughly 5-6 seconds slower.
  • This is the effective time for CONCORD to effectively disable a ship. The time above is when CONCORD disables all drones, drains your capacitor to 0, and infinitely jams you. While most gank ships cannot tank CONCORD damage (or the capacitor neuts) for more than a few seconds, CONCORD will automatically destroy your ship after 6 seconds after you are disabled no matter how much tank you have.

DPS calculations

The table below gives very rough calculations of the total damage applied by typical gank ships (as per the fits above, with max skills) in various sectors, assuming CONCORD is already on grid elsewhere in the system – i.e the maximum possible time is available for ganking.

Ship DPS Approximate cost
Catalyst (Meta Fit) 385 2m ISK + Tag Cost (~10m)
Catalyst (T2 Fit) 683 14m ISK + Tag Cost (~10m)
Approximate Response Timings Security level
0.5 1.0
Base Response 19 6
Time if System is Pulled 24 11


Multiplying the DPS of a ship by the seconds you have before the CONCORD response is a good way to approximate the damage you can do before you're destroyed. Just keep in mind that the overall raw DPS will be slightly higher than the estimate, but range and tracking issues may reduce the overall DPS.

Haulers vary vastly in EHP, they can have anywhere between 4,000 and 25,000 EHP. Blockade Runners are slightly tankier, capping out at around 39,000 EHP. Deep Space Transports can have hundreds of thousands potentially, capping out at approximately 500,000 EHP.

The Retriever and Covetor tend to have under 15,000 EHP, and the Procurer caps out at around 50,000. The Hulk and Mackinaw tend to have under 25,000, and the Skiff tends to cap out at around 70,000.

Freighters on the low end have approximately 240,000 EHP at the weakest and can have up to 750,000 max tanked and with implants (freighter pilots often have implants). Jump Freighters can vary anywhere from 400,000 to 1,100,000 EHP with implants.

Always know the fitting of the ship you're shooting before you engage as the way any ship is fit could drastically change its EHP.

Tactics and Mechanics

CONCORD spawning mechanics

The moment an individual is in a non Capsule ship with a Criminal Timer (whether you've undocked in a rookie ship while having the criminal timer, jumped into highsec with a criminal timer, or gained a criminal timer via shooting an illegal target in highsec) the game will send an available CONCORD spawn to the offending ship. If there is already an available CONCORD spawn in system and within 150 km, the CONCORD spawn will nearly instantaneously lock up and disable the offending ship. If there is an available CONCORD spawn in the system, but outside of 150 km of the offending ship, that CONCORD spawn will despawn, and then respawn next to the offending ship, resulting in an approximately 6 second longer response time than if there was no CONCORD already in system. If there are no available CONCORD spawns in system, CONCORD will simply spawn and give you the standard time listed in the charts above before they disable and destroy your ship. The key bit of information to note, is that a single CONCORD spawn can only respond to a single ganker at a time, meaning that if you had ganked an Hauler with 3 people, you'd have 3 CONCORD spawns in system, but if later you ganked an Hauler with 6 gankers, the first 3 that fired would get the 6 additional seconds from having a CONCORD already in system, but the latter 3 wouldn't get the additional time as there wasn't an available CONCORD in system for them to move. Basically, if you want the additional 6 seconds, for every ganker you have you need a separate CONCORD spawn for.

Pulling

The act of after ganking a target, docking up and undocking from a station with a rookie ship in order to move and manipulate the CONCORD from one area to where the station is. This EULA-legal act allows gankers to gank in the same area as attempting to gank without pulling in the same place twice causes CONCORD to nearly instantly respond. It is also common that if you're planning to gank in a system beforehand, to simply have all the gankers you have get into a rookie ship and shoot a POCO or an alt in a freighter to pre-spawn CONCORD, giving you the additional 6 seconds of time before CONCORD responds.

Bumping

The act of flying a ship into another ship in order to move it, and temporarily stop it from warping without actually engaging the ship. This usually involves ramming a larger, or much faster ship into another ship. This used to be a large part of ganking, however bumping was heavily nerfed by CCP in 2019 and every ship enters warp automatically in 3 minutes after initiating warp. Bumping is incredibly niche but useful in a handful of circumstances.

Scanning alts

When hunting for high value targets, it is common to use a neutral alt either at nearby trade hubs, or further along the pipe where the gank is planned in order to use a cargo scanner on potential targets so that the gank fleet can select and prioritize ships for targeting. This is particularly useful in busy routes such as in systems like Uedama. Passive targeters allow you to lock and cargo scan and ship scan a target without them knowing you've locked them.

Market manipulation and Locator Agents

Some abyssal runner gankers corner the market on certain high value items that abyssal runners utilize frequently in order to get the names from the market transaction, and use that to find targets. Coupled with Locator Agents, gankers can quickly find the system and find out whether a target is online and move to kill them without them ever being physically scanned at times.

Mobile Scan Inhibitor

If you want to remain hidden off of D-scan, use a Mobile Scan Inhibitor and it will make you invisible in a radius of 30km. This has limited usefulness but can help out in niche circumstances.

Citadels

  • The introduction of Citadels offers a few key benefits to gankers.
    • Logistics: Citadels can be deployed almost anywhere in Hi-Sec (besides trade hubs and rookie systems), allowing staging bases for re-shipping and free jump clones to be established nearby to a ganking area.
    • Tethering: CCP, as of 2022 has removed the ability for Criminals to tether or to dock at all in a ship in highsec, heavily nerfing ganking. If you tag up to a less negative security status you can tether again.

Key locations

When looking for a gank location, you are essentially looking for high traffic or high value traffic, and also for low security status which allows you the most time to execute the gank before CONCORD responds.

Areas of Interest

Gankers have several considerations when choosing an area to seek targets. The two most important factors is the consideration of sufficient population (whether it be passthrough or activity within the system(s)), and the security status of the system (which determines response time and the number of resources required to gank there. Trade Pipes, which are the few systems which most, if not all traffic must pass through to get to points of interest (Trade Hubs, entrances to null/lowsec) generally have lower security statuses and high traffic/population which make them desirable locations for gankers.

Common Hi-Sec Ganking locations include:

  • Uedama: Uedama is THE most infamous system for ganking, and by far has the most destruction and number of ships destroyed in ganks.
  • Balle: Key system on the Amarr – Hek route, and second choke point of the Jita – Hek route. A system second only to Uedama.
  • Systems surrounding any key points of interest. Many of these 0.5 pipe systems have other 0.5 or 0.6 systems on either side, for example, Sivala (0.6) next to Uedama (0.5), which are often also used for ganking where targets may be less prepared and aware. A lot of time people will stop a jump out of Uedama knowing there are gankers in there and wait for them to log off, only for the gankers to preemptively meet them one jump ahead and catching them.
  • Jita, and Perimeter: Gankers frequent these high security status areas despite the safety there because of the significantly increased traffic.