It’s a beautiful thing, wintertime. We have feasts, holidays, and festival launchers to look forward to. If you’re like me, you also have real world obligations which take you out of New Eden for a large chunk of December. So now that the holidays and hangovers are done, it’s time to log back in. After that beautiful new loading screen you arrive wherever you left your pilot, and lo and behold you have a notification. You wonder what it tells you as you click on it, and your heart sinks a bit as you read:
“So-and-so has declared war on you.”
HOW TO FLY IN A WORLD AT WAR
However it happened, it’s here, you’re at war. There are people in the galaxy who are paying for the privilege of shooting you at any time and any place. Highsec is no longer any source of safety to you, since there are people wearing red and white stars, who are weapons free at all times. How do you counter this state? Understand your aggressors, use sense, and keep reading!
The largest key to understanding a wardec is that it’s done as a profitable venture. A dec costs 50 million ISK plus 500k for every member of the target corp/alliance over 50 per week. This is relatively cheap, but it’s still a cost, and is the key to defeating a war corp. The principle is pretty simple: people won’t pay for something they get nothing out of. After that first week of a wardec, the aggressor generally won’t renew it if they have gotten zero kills for their cash. So as cowardly as it may feel, your best counter is to blueball your aggressor. Give them no kills, give them no fun. I, and the CEOs who advised me on this article, can’t emphasise this enough: give your enemy no kills.
THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEXITIES
It sounds easy, and it truly is in principle. In practice though, you have the problem of earning ISK while the dec is going on. Without ISK, your corp members may have some problems finding incentive to log in, especially if they depend on trade for their earnings. There are ways to get around this though.
- Stay out of trade hubs. Most wardec kills come from Jita, Amarr, and Dodixie. If you keep out of these systems for the duration of the war, you will most likely be fine. Aggressors watch these closely, and will use the trade bottlenecks to catch and kill your industrials.
- Use an out of corp alt. If you have an alt in an NPC corp, use it to do your hauling. I know it’s a hassle, but it is pretty safe if you keep a low profile.
- Set up instant dock and instant warp bookmarks in trade hubs before the war starts. More on that later.
- Watch bottleneck systems. During a wardec, systems such as Uedama can easily be watched, camped, and blockaded by fast locking ships.
- Learn to use the MWD+Cloak trick for safe warping. It makes hauling with an industrial far safer. I wrote an article about dangerous hauling with a guide to it.
WAR AND PvE
One thing about wardecs is that most corps which cause them, do so for profit. Camping hubs is far easier than hunting across New Eden for victims. So in general, if you stay away from hubs and don’t fly anything particularly expensive, you won’t see a war target in local. While most wardeccers won’t go out of their way to hunt you, if they get intel that you fly expensive ships, they will. So feel free to mine and mission as much as you like, but I recommend flying cheap to avoid attention from spies and neutral alts. Park the Hulk in favor of a Procurer, and leave your Golem in the hangar while you use a Drake instead. If you see a red star in local, immediately dock up. Don’t wait for that last rat to pop, or the miner to cycle, just bail and starve them for kills. It doesn’t matter how cheap it is, any kill will feed their desire for more. Some tricks for that include:
- Ship naming. If you have your default name set it will display the ship name and type on directional scan, and make it faster for someone to locate you. When you are warping a barge off, even a few seconds help, and renaming your Procurer to “Veldspartan,” or “Plagiocrazed” will keep someone from narrowing you down as fast. If Mr. X is the target in system, it’s a good guess that “Mr. X’s Mackinaw” is the ship you want.
- If you are doing missions, don’t use Mobile Tractor Units. They’re very easy to scan down, and give a good warp in. Loot and salvage is not worth your ship.
- Set up a corporation intel channel. If you see a war target, report it with name ship type, and location. For example: Evil McBadguy, Tornado, Jita undock. It may save an unaware corpmate an embarrassing loss.
- Watchlist everyone in their corp if possible. To do that, select the character, add as contact, set standing to red, and tick the box for adding them to your watchlist. And don’t select the box that sends them a notification. If you’re a CEO, make sure your corp knows to do the same. It will show you when they log on and off, and give you a good idea of what hours they keep.
- Check your aggressor’s killboard. This will show you what they fly regularly, and can give you solid intel if you want to plan any traps for your enemy.
One last tactic you can employ is to move your operations to an island of highsec in a sea of lowsec. It makes logistics more of a hassle, but it will kill a wardec in a hurry. When war targets are out for blood, go to the islands, kick back, and let the lowsec residents work for you. They will chew up and spit out most wardec corps in a hurry, and you can get back to normal. The reason for that is that a lot of war corps are not used to flying against prepared targets who can fight back effectively. I have personally executed ganks in lowsec which ended with 3-4 advanced cruisers inbound before I could loot the wreck I just created. To a corp which is used to ganking miners and industrials, this is an uncomfortable surprise.
WAR: AN OVERVIEW
Your final, and arguably most important step is un%+&#ing your overview. What CCP has set by default is, frankly, pretty dreadful. It will get you killed faster than clicking approach to a Tornado in a frigate with its’ MWD on. So do yourself a huge favor and set it up right. Set’s Chaos wrote an excellent article for doing just that, even including a few premade settings packages for your convenience. The main setting you need to focus on though, is making sure war targets are set to be ALWAYS displayed on all overviews.
War can seem awful, but treat it as a challenge, not a game ender. It’s a great time to build closer bonds and trust with the people in your corporation. Nothing brings you closer than a shared threat, and nothing makes you trust people more than surviving with them. Enjoy it, and you will find a better, stronger group at the end of it all.
Thanks go to a certain CEO for asking for a guide on how to fly under a dec. He asked for anonymity, but deserves credit for asking the right questions to make his corp a success!
Thanks also go to Sixth Empire’s own Feiryred and Cha’ka Khan for helping with specifics, mechanics, and tactics for wartime flying.
If you want to have a question featured for the next article, please send it to me, I’ll do my best to answer it and help you to improve your game!
You can always reach me on Facebook at Nick Dirkers, Twitter @verdis_demosays, and in game on my gallant Gallente: Verdis deMosays.
Until next time, See you Among the Stars!
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Verdis.