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Monday, May 7

Ganking Hulks for *profit*

Over at Poetic Stanziel's blog he compared ganking Hulks to terrorism, as is to be expected when you start comparing things to 9/11 in your posts there was some heated debate in the comments (which is exactly what he wants by the way much like another recently prolific blogger -Gevlon- they understand provocation gets you page views).
A commonly heard argument of those that are against the 'open season' on Hulks is that people do it just 'for the tears', while that is no doubt true of many that gank Hulks, it isn't true of all of us.
My gank ships aren't free and it's against my nature to do stuff at a loss. So before this Hulkageddon I did some prep work to make sure that I'd be at least breaking even and preferably be running a profit while exploding miners. Furthermore I wanted to do this without relying on Goon payouts, because you know Goons will quite possibly be Goons. For the record though the Goons have at the time of writing actually donated half a billion ISK to my wallet which is much appreciated.

Anyway, so how do you make a profit ganking Hulks? 

Well first there is of course cost, I use a Catalyst to gank because they're pretty cost effective you get a lot of DPS for about 12-14 million ISK.  Now I am an avid multi-boxer and I use two more accounts besides the ganker account, namely a covops pilot in a Cheetah and an Orca/Badger pilot for hauling my stuff around and stealing ore from my victims. Before I move on to my methods I'll share my fits.

This is my catalyst fit (needs a WU-1003 and an EG-603 if you don't have AWU5);

[Catalyst, Gankalyst]

Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S

Initiated Harmonic Warp Scrambler I
Alumel-Wired Sensor Augmentation, Scan Resolution Script

Beta Reactor Control: Diagnostic System I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
[Empty Rig slot]
 

Hobgoblin II x1

It does a diabolical 666 dps after heat with the drone out with a 2.53km optimal, sufficient to gank a lightly tanked Hulk in 0.5 or 0.6 space reliably. The magic number is around 600dps in 0.5 so you have some margin for sub-par skills too. Higher DPS fits exist but Kaeda doesn't have perfect skills either so this is what I decided to roll with. Never carry more then 120 rounds of void (15 per gun).

My Cheetah;

[Cheetah, iSpy]

Salvager II
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Combat Scanner Probe

Ship Scanner II
Experimental 1MN Afterburner I
Passive Targeter II
'Hypnos' Ion Field ECM I

Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I


Self explanatory I suspect for the most part oddities are the cargo expander and the ECM. The expanders are so I have enough space for looting my catalyst wreck and the Hulk wreck. The ECM is to jam out any Hulks/Orcas that take offence to violating their buddies corpse or flipping their cans. I have to date not needed it at all though. Most Hulks/Orcas I find run away from the belt after one of them gets ganked.

My Hauler;

[Mammoth, iSteal]

[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]

Medium Shield Extender II
Medium Shield Extender II
EM Ward Amplifier II
Thermic Dissipation Amplifier II
Kinetic Deflection Amplifier II

Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I

Medium Cargohold Optimization I
Medium Cargohold Optimization I
Medium Cargohold Optimization I 


Fairly straightforward a hauler with some resist-holes plugged and some better safe then sorry stabs. 

So on to the good bit, methods of the hut and making a profit out of it. 

Finding a target;

Basically I fly the CovOps alt through clusters of 0.5 & 0.6 systems dscanning for Hulks, when I find some I warp to the nearest planet and drop combat probes and deploy them so I'll get a hit on the Hulk(s) and leave them there. Then I warp to the Hulk at 100km and manoeuvre so I am within camera drone range (<100km) and look at the Hulk. What we're interested in is if it's running a tank and what kind. A shimmering around the hull means it's  running active shield hardeners a repeating white flash means it's running a shield booster, both means well it's running both! Preferably we want a hulk that's not running either failing that booster Hulks are easier to gank then active hardener Hulks. 
If there's an Orca also look at that and see if it has vague 'rays' emanating from it, this can be indicative of shield links which make the Hulk(s) considerably harder to gank. If you for some reason suspect it's bots or they are afk you can risk moving in closer and simply ship scan the Hulk(s) ofc.

Once I have found a target/killing the target;

When I have identified a potential victim I start moving my Catalyst to the target system. I pretty much just warp gate to gate through hisec, while this is potentially risky (I'm -10.0) it's only gotten me caught once and that actually happened when I tried to take a short-cut through lowsec.
When I am nearly in my destination system I warp my CovOps alt to the in-gate my catalyst will be coming through at range (usually 70km) and run a fresh probe sweep on the Hulk(s).
As my Catalyst loads grid in the destination system I have my CovOps alt initiate a squad warp to the target from my scan results, I then cancel the warp on the CovOps alt. While in warp to the target I set all the things to overload have them hot cycling and switch to an overview tab that only shows Exhumers and pods (so I don't accidentally lock up an Orca ore some such). Land kill Hulk, kill pod time permitting (a pilot not in system cause he got podded can't board a combat ship and mess with my CovOps alt after, just saying before people claim this is an act of pure 'malice' on my part, this is only partly true :P ) 
Once you're shooting the Hulk and you've  deployed the drone also start warping the CovOps alt to the last known scan location of the Hulk so that you land on grid once CONCORD has spawned and so you get to the salvage/loot/cans before anybody else does, remember we're trying to make money here! Warp the ganker pod out and if possible dock it in a station in system and leave it there for now (this is important). 

Making money;

So now we're in a belt with an Exhumer wreck and a Catalyst wreck and possibly cans and the miner's buddies oh and CONCORD too, luckily for us they're totally cool with theft right under their noses <(^_^)>
First of all loot the Catalyst wreck, it'll be blue and won't cause any aggression and it helps keep down cost to recover as much as possible. Also lock up the Exhumer wreck and start salvaging, we're hoping for intact armour plates (they can give up to 3) at 20 million each but any blue salvage is nice. While you do this orbit the wreck (so you have some transversal) and look around for jetcans nearby and pay attention to see if anybody is locking you up, remember  at this point CONCORD is on grid and you haven't stolen anything yet, if they want to counter gank they get only one shot before concord vaporizes them if you have some transversal you're probably good.

Now comes the tricky part, because this is largely a 'judgement call' but also where a lot of the profit can be, do we steal the mods from the Hulk and flip the cans?  Because once we do this our 100 million CovOps takes aggression and stuff can then potentially shoot at it without CONCORD protecting us :'( When you loot a can not only the owner but everybody in his corp can shoot you as well. First we add his corp to our contacts at -5 and look for 'orange' in our local, noboby? Go ahead loot the Hulk and flip any cans present. There are 'oranges' local? Ok, see if it's his miner buddies in belt with you, and then decide for yourself how likely it is any of them can 'touch you' I really can't make a guide for this it's pretty situational. There's 'oranges' but they're not in belt with me, check dscan and consider how likely it is, it is something on dscan or something cloaky is on its way/near to you, again this is mostly a judgement call that I can't make for you. Loot anything you want to loot, flip any cans you want to flip and fly the CovOps back to base. 
At this point if I choose to flip any cans and the resulting cans are thus 'mine' I warp in the hauler to empty them, needs no explanation I reckon. I refine any stolen ore and use the resulting minerals to bake more catalysts (cost reduction) and sell off any I can't use in a hub later.

When looting we're looking for any T2 modules specifically strip-miners (+/- 6-7 million) and named mining upgrades (Elara's specifically is a 'jackpot' at 35-40 or so million). Once we're all done cleaning up and we've moved our CovOps and hauler out of harms way we hop our ganker who should still be under GCC into the free noobship we obtained upon docking an undock him and patiently wait for CONCORD to arrive and blow him up before travelling home. This does two things it leaves CONCORD in the belt while we clean up offering our clean up operation some protection and it moves CONCORD out of the belt to the station afterwards leaving us with a clean belt we can gank in again later.

Everything above also works fine for Mackinaws of-course but I find they tend to give inferior salvage. Using the method described above I made just over 130 million in profit after ganking about 50 miners, mind you this is after the expenses of buying/fitting the Catalysts and the occasional botched  gank (sometimes they do fail! vOv). Add to that the half a billion ISK the goons paid me so far and it's not to shabby for a community event that creates explosions to boot!

I mentioned some botched ganks and I'll do another blog on how to stop solo gankers *efficiently* as well later to help all you irked miners out, but for now I think my wall of text is big enough.

Peace,

Kaeda out. 

8 comments:

  1. I find it interesting you are successful with lightly tanked hulks in 0.5/0.6, AND you are doing this with profit (not including goon ISK). I was using a full T1 (scrap loot fit) Catalyst to gank Macks in 0.7 and had too much time on my hands (could have shot the pod, didn't have the ammo).

    Thanks for this!

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  2. Carry 1 extra round of ammo in your catalyst. Jettison it when you warp in. Flip from the wreck to your can. Now you only have corp aggro to yourself!

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    Replies
    1. Oh that's clever, I shall have to try this. Always something new to learn in EVE :)

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    2. That is very clever, good sir.

      Delete
  3. This is a great article. Thanks. I'm adding it to my bookmark list.

    I've found that the drones are not necessary, certainly not on the majority of Hulks. I do run a very similar ship setup to yours, tho.

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  4. So many neat tricks, so many still to try! \\//_

    Kaeda Maxwell, love your blog.

    Poetic Stanziel, hate your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. > I mentioned some botched ganks and I'll do another blog on
    > how to stop solo gankers *efficiently* as well later to help
    > all you irked miners out, but for now I think my wall of text
    > is big enough.

    Is it just me who is waiting for this blag to come out?
    Cause I have a gazillion ideas about it and I want to compare
    mine to yours, in a silent, personal, non-sexual kind of way.

    The most obvious being my 64k EHP Anti-Catalyst Hulk experiment.

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  6. I'd really like to try some of the tricks you laid out. I've been wanting to solo gank a hulk (and I'm a miner by trade).

    ReplyDelete