Friday, March 11, 2016

Why Do They Gank?

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.


  1. This is a beautiful manifesto on the many reasons for ganking. It should be required reading for any miner who is upset at the New Order for enforcing The Code, as a way to calm their nerve, speed their submission, and embrace the benefits of compliance.

  2. Nice piece, Morrigan.

    I don't think I've ever seen these matters set out so comprehensively. It's useful and thought-provoking of you to do so.

    On a personal note, I gank because of the twin lures of Stealth (the setup) and Ambush (the execution).

    I well recall the first Thief game in the late 90s. It was a game solely based on sneaking everywhere and I believe it started the whole 'stealth' thing for me. That concept is now a part of every shooter worth the name.

    But a stealthy approach without an ambush is worthless. Ask a leopard!

    In EVE Online I'm able to indulge both these fascinations - and to yoke them to the cause of the dissemination of the tenets of our beloved Code.

    Thanks again.

  3. Question of Ganking Protocol:

    Do you honor the mining permit issued by CODE and leave those pilots alone if they are following the CODE or is everyone a target?

    Thanks for a qualified answer

    1. As a former vet of Eve who hasn't played in two years, but is endlessly entertained by this site:

      EVE = Everyone Versus Everyone.

      There's a screencapped Evemail of loyalanon saying he won't honor permits if it means getting tears for this blog.

    2. Anon @ 11.33.

      If a miner owns a current New Order mining permit, displays it in his bio & follows the Code, then he/she will be allowed to mine in peace by the CODEdot alliance.

    3. They will just use out of alliance alts to kill you.

    4. It's all very simple.
      1.) By following the Code, you will be uncatchable.
      2.) By displaying a permit, you are stating that you are following the Code.

      Therefore, if you have a permit and you get ganked by Code., then the fault is entirely upon yourself.

    5. So far a grand total of 0 (zero) permit holders have been ganked by the New Order of Highsec.
      However, as soon as you break the Code, your Mining Permit is confiscated by an Agent (typically along with your ship).
      Much like having a driving license doesn't mean you are allowed to drive at any speed and ignore traffic lights, having a Mining Permit doesn't mean you get to fly blingy ships and autopilot.

      Some carebears, especially freighter pilots, often ask if it makes any sense to purchase a Mining Permit if it doesn't automatically provide 100% immunity to damage.
      The short answer is, of course, yes.
      For a longer answer, consider reading ttp://

      Nothing in Eve provides you with complete safety.
      A Permit is just one of those things that improve your chances, and it's pretty cost-efficient.

    6. What constitutes a "Blingy Ship"?

      1) All T2
      2) T2 with some Faction
      3) All Faction
      4) Faction with some Officers
      5) All Officers (well, I know this one is

    7. Anon 5:15,

      A blingy ship is identified as such by our Agents using their infallible Decadence Detector senses.

      Intimate familiarity with the letter and spirit of The Code confers these and other abilities in abundance.

      Mere words are a poor vehicle for conveying profound concepts, Grasshopper...

    8. So......

      I appears that if CODE wants to gank you, they'll do it no matter if you have a permit or not and THEN find a valid reason. I'm not sure James 315 approves of this, but since it appears on minerbumping, the observation must be true.

    9. Hi Anon 9:44,

      This simply doesn't happen. Agents and Knights of the New Order are charged with bringing The Code to Highsec. They operate in strict accordance with The Saviour's rules. Their conduct is always impeccable. Always.

      Did you know that there are ways to avoid being ganked, whether by a New Order Representative or any other agent? Yes, I thought you did!

  4. AG`s manifesto - we fail because we can.

  5. We gank because we can. More to the point- we play Eve Online because we can gank in it. Even if you don't actually gank anyone- the fact that you can in this, and pretty much only this, internet spaceship game is a primary reason we play it in the first place.
    There are lots and lots of MMO's out there with safe gameplay, where ignoring the entire population of players around you is the standard experience, where loss means nothing...but for those of us that want more from a game...we have pretty much only this one game.
    CODE people are clearly having a great time. Miners don't seem to be (they seem to be fairly loathesome judging by their behavior in local). So it's not being dismissive to suggest that Eve just might not be the right game for a good number of care bears.
    They don't actually like Eve, just one small sliver of it, and only then if it totally insulates them from contact from other players. The moment any other aspect of the game intrudes on their tiny world- they flip out with some of the worst language ever seen in a chat channel.
    CODE seems to like the game just fine as it is. I don't have to be a ganker to agree that what CODE is doing for Eve, is simply what CCP should be doing, but don't have the stones to do.

    1. So you're an expert on how miner's enjoy the game? And what happens when all those 'care bears' you say Eve isn't the right game for, take up your expert advice and leave? Well, I guess the CODE wouldn't be having such a great time anymore when they have to go up against experienced and equipped PvP'rs. And who are you to determine what 'sliver' of the game a player should engage in or not? Based on your admission that everyone ought to play every part of Eve and not just one 'sliver', then we can all assume you'll periodically be out in your miner or hauling in your freighter, right? Oh wait, let me guess, you too only play one 'sliver' of Eve and that is ganking. Right. Hypocrite.

  6. Narcissism at it's finest; it can be summed up more easily like this, "we demand you play our way, but we absolutely hate 'your way' of playing".

    A group of control freaks who wish nothing more than for everyone else to follow their rules and if they don't approve of how you play, then too bad for you. Sound familiar? Yah, that's how Nazi-Germany was run. And the really big irony from these 'mighty' PvP'rs that are showing their awesome skills against non-pvp equipped targets, is that they have never played the miner, or the freighter, or the PvE guy (not in a dedicated way at least)...yet they are extremely quick to judge you and tell you, you are playing the game all wrong. Gankers are the biggest hypocrites in the game, the ones who can't really make it against the hard-core PvP players.

  7. LOL, I hope you do not really believe in all this nonsense.

    A rapist says " I will rape you to teach you about pain ".Does this sound right ?

    You gank because you can and EVE allows it.
    You gank because you make isk of it.
    You gank because you cannot do anything else.

  8. Mmmh While I fully understand why ganking happens, I strongly disagree with the "High-sec ruins the sandbox experience" feels like a whine statement of them not being able to fully PVP, if you go to another sandbox game, where the part that is high-sec in EVE doesnt exists, those games are dead, low population, if high-sec stopped existing in EVE, the game will eventually die, as carebears and white knights are what keeps the game alive and ISK supplied. Trust me without the PVErs the game will slowly decline and be thrown into an ingame economic depression. Even in a post-apocaliptic movie you see small shreds of order (corrupt or not) or you can have a small break before returning to the mayhem that is the outlaw border. That being said, this is my personal opinion and nothing else, but make no mistake I think the statements there are a mere self satisfaction motto trying to throw some sort of pirate honor into it. Have a safe fly and thanks for reading o7

  9. So as I was downloading Eve through Steam, looking around for 'how to get started in eve' guides, I bumped into this... thing.

    Thanks for saving me from attempting to play Eve.

    If you're getting away with this in highsec I don't see why anyone would put themselves through that shitty experience to learn how to play this game.

  10. All I heard from that was bullies was that you bullies want to become politicians or mob leaders. If you are as tough and altruistic as you say, seek worthy adversaries you chickens. You fail to realise that those who mine, and play Eve to do so aren't aggressive morons who should test themselves against, as the old saying goes, someone their own size. I dread to imagine what you real lives are like as we tend to "play out" who we really want to be in games like these. I do feel sorry for you IF you really believe the tripe you wrote, work in the protection industry and you will find exactly those sentiments from men imprisoned for beating their wives and children. I feel truly sorry for you


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