There's a lot of misinformation circulating around highsec regarding the motives of gankers. It's not only the New Order that's misunderstood; there are also independent groups of gankers like MiniLuv and those random Russian gankers (that's not their official name, I don't think). Today I received an essay from Agent Morrigan Laima, a Minister within the Imperium's Ministry of Love ganking organization. Morrigan decided to clear things up by drafting a detailed list of reasons why people gank. Now I'll turn it over to Morrigan. Enjoy!
Why We Gank
Gankers have a wide range of motivations - we’re not simply space pirates looking for the next loot pinata as many white knights and carebears would like to believe. These motivations range from the financial, to the strategic, to the altruistic, to pure entertainment derived from the destruction of ships and the ensuing reaction.
We gank targets because of who they are connected to. The obvious affiliations of corp and alliance tickers run only skin deep in high security space, as too many pilots foolish enough to display the same ticker will be subject to war declarations from “mercenary” and pirate groups seeking to prey on easy targets. The vast majority of pilots in highsec therefore are in small independent corps, or NPC corps, but those pilots are frequently under the control of players affiliated with larger entities, including the nullsec coalitions. A great deal of effort goes into uncovering these connections, as targeting the highsec operations of an entity you don’t like requires determining which pilots they use to operate in highsec.
We gank targets because of their value. A pilot foolish enough to carry valuable cargo without sensible precautions to protect themselves will be found, and they will be targeted if we are able to do so. The chances of getting caught are substantially higher in the pipes connecting trade hubs, but we notice patterns elsewhere too,, and if you make a habit of being a shiny target, your movements are being tracked by someone.
We gank targets because they try to hide their value. Double wraps are a sign you are hiding something. We want to know what, and we are very much inclined to blow you up just on the chance that it might be expensive. Trying to be clever to trick the cargo scanner won’t help you, we’ve seen all the tricks, and most of us copy and paste cargo scans into something that checks not only the cargo value, but also the “red flags” that indicate possible concealed value.
We gank targets for ideological reasons, like the New Halaima Code of Conduct. Many of us consider the supposed safety of high security space to be a grave threat to the nature of EVE Online as a sandbox game, and are firmly of the opinion that there should be nothing even resembling “safe” in a sandbox.
We gank targets for other economic reasons - to eliminate competition, to drive up the price of minerals and modules, and to drive down the productivity of highsec space to further widen the gap between it and the more profitable lowsec, nullsec, and wormhole regions If carebears are allowed to feel safe, they try to overcome the lower productivity of highsec with excessively blingy fittings to become competitive with the same activities in what should be more lucrative space. This is why miners and incursion runners are so frequently singled out. Many of us strongly believe that the risk/reward proposition of highsec is broken - too much reward and too little risk, and that if CCP is unwilling to fix it, we must act on our own within the mechanics of the game to do so.
We gank targets because they clearly do not respect the nature and risks of the sandbox. Profitable or not, a pilot who thinks shiny, expensive fittings are better simply because they are shiny and expensive is going to be in someone’s crosshairs sooner rather than later.
We gank targets because of the attitudes of the pilots.
We gank targets to show them that there’s more to this game than PvE. Occasionally, we’re able to cut through the tears and grief and open the minds of a miner or mission runner, and show them that this game has more to offer than just the terrible missions offered by agents and boring, repetitive gameplay of mining. Many timer a pilot’s first taste of blood in this game is by being bloodied themselves, and a few of those pilots actually develop into well-rounded individuals that are able to enjoy all the game has to offer, and to see the game’s PvE as a means to an end, rather than an end in and of itself. Conversely, if a pilot feels entitled to play this multiplayer, PVP game as a single-player campaign, we don’t want them here. We want to drive them to either grow as a player, or to go back to WoW. We see this sort of player as toxic to the community at large, because EVE is shaped so much by its playerbase, directly by their actions, and indirectly by their lobbying for changes to the game. Our greatest fear is that they will turn this game into a theme park and, in doing so, ruin everything that is unique and special about EVE Online.
We gank targets because we enjoy the destruction and because we can.
We gank targets because we enjoy the reaction. Every game needs its villains, and we’re happy to play the part. Just remember, in a world as complex as New Eden, nothing is black and white - every hero is someone else’s villain, and every villain it someone else’s hero.