The War on Rorquals

A Rorqual in EVE Online

Since the Ascension patch that brought about the changes to Rorquals, the ships have become overwhelmingly popular. It is a great way to pull in large sums of ISK in the form of ore, even more so with the moon mining changes. Therefore it is no surprise that hunting these whales of a ship has become a popular pass time. In a time when there are no major coalition wars, people are waging a war on Rorquals.

In the North

It is no secret that the Imperium has been plaguing the north with almost constant hot-drops. Their hunters are out at all times of the day and many systems have campers cloaked up. This has lead to a number of skirmishes, some saves, some losses, and some trading of capitals. Recently there was a two for one deal as SLYCE lost two Rorquals in a belt (One & Two), but were able to take down a dread in response. The full battle report can be seen here as a number of other ships were exchanged as well.

In the Imperium’s Backyard

The success of the Imperium’s northern deployment does not mean they are immune to these losses themselves. Pandemic Legion has been in the area taking down some whales of their own such as these losses (One & Two). Of course, not to be outdone, LowSechnaya Sholupen bagged themselves a Rorqual by dropping supers and a titan.

To the Dronelands

Up in Cobalt Edge, Hard Knocks Citizens has left their wormholes to liberally use their supers to catch kills of their own. They have managed to ruthlessly hunt down Rorquals such as this one who found itself with almost no backup despite having a PANIC module. However even valiant defenses have melted such as this buy two get one free where they took down two Rorquals and a Thanatos.

Down to the South

Lately the south has been a hotbed of action in the wake of Phoenix Federation’s implosion. This isn’t to say that they haven’t been able to mine and thus lose Rorquals of their own. The Bastard Cartel, an ex-PFed member, managed to lose one to a fleet of Nagas. Wormhole corp No Vacancies brought death from the unknown to a TEST Rorqual with a gang of Sleipnirs. And Legacy Coalition member Evictus had a two for one special that a Red Menace fleet snatched up.

Low Sec Space

While Rorquals have reigned supreme in null sec from the beginning, since the Lifeblood patch, low sec will likely have a bit more attention. Moon mining is extremely profitable right now. Rorquals such as this one will try to take advantage of that, but they make juicy targets, too. Apparently some people like to use suitcase Rorquals. This one was completely unfit except for rigs and died carrying a list of blueprints. It seems as though that alliance didn’t learn their lesson and a little while later someone lost a Rorqual with seemingly everything they owned. This pilot must have just purchased their ship as it was just the hull. And then there’s this one which is notable simply because of the amount of bling on it.

The Excavator Massacre

As you can see, these whales are being hunted all over New Eden and die in a myriad of ways. While these ships are in no way cheap, their prices have been dropping due to the abundance of ore they are able to mine. The most expensive part of getting into Rorqual mining are the drones you need. Excavator drones  cost around one billion a piece and can be expensive to replace. As fun as it is to take down the whale, these drones are usually the real target for hunters. These drones are lost in droves as the list goes on for both the ore mining and ice harvesting drones are slaughtered.

No Country for Old Rorquals

No matter what happens in the coming expansions, it is unlikely that CCP will make changes that bring the Rorqual down from its dominant position as a mining ship. Nor are they likely to take steps to reduce the cost of Excavator drones. As a result, hot-droppers and gankers will continue to target these ships and their drones. What remains to be seen is what, if any, adaptations and practices the miners of New Eden can take to mitigate the risk. Maybe it’s already been done, and this is as safe as they can get.

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  • Caleb Ayrania

    The Rorq needs not just a nerf, it needs to be removed as a solo mining ship. Its the most disruptive failed design choice in CCP history. I personally suspect they are going to “kill it” eventually, but are too scared of the current rage it would cause..

    December 10, 2017 at 9:22 PM
    • I doubt they will “kill it” for quite a while if at all. More likely they will slowly nerf it and keep the build cost and vulnerability of the drones high. What they really need to do is tie in some kind of isk sink other than the blueprints for the ships and drones.

      December 10, 2017 at 10:27 PM
      • Michael Ward Lekly

        The Rorqual should never have been given mining ability mabie normal mining drones but not excavators.
        It should boost like a boss (little better than now) and compress and have wicked tank and it’s already wicked drone dps making it an amazing fleet support ship but that’s about it.

        December 10, 2017 at 10:57 PM
      • They already have nerfed the shit out of it. Rorqual mining barely makes any money these days (ore prices are incredibly depressed for obvious reasons). People aren’t mining in Rorqs because it’s a good way to make money: they’re mining in Rorqs because its literally the only way to make money by working the fields of nullsec that’s scalable. Even AFK drone ratting can’t scale the way mining does due to the inadequate numbers of appropriate anoms in systems (which forces ratters to spread out, which makes multiboxing difficult because you have to watch a multitude of local channels, which makes you more likely to die). Unless CCP find a way to make mining micro-intensive (the way ratting, exploration, etc are), people will continue to roll Rorq alt after Rorq alt (we’re already at the stage where people need half a dozen Rorqs out at once to make any kind of decent income) until the price of ore is less than the cost of the heavy water required to mine it.

        December 12, 2017 at 2:27 AM
    • Rammel Kas Caleb Ayrania

      I think you’re isolating only one part of what may have been a combined carrot and stick approach to shaking up the EVE economy. The article does seem to suggest they have at least met their one goal from the start… to give the cheap thrills seekers something to aim at even if they thoroughly misunderstand the role it actually plays.

      As Aryth pointed out before in I think a TIS: The Delve Miracle is a complex integrated system. You’re not going to change it by hitting Rorquals. The machine only stops when Imperium goes to war.

      December 11, 2017 at 5:44 AM
      • I think you’re close to the mark. Rorquals in other regions don’t fare nearly as well as Rorquals in Delve. I’ve heard numerous newer Imperium members who’ve come from other blocs talking at length about how the security in Delve is amazing and utterly incomparable to anything they’ve experienced in other organizations. Players in other regions just can’t plop their Rorqs in a belt and leave them there all day the way Imperium players can.

        It’s not so much the Rorq that’s broken as that Delve is “broken.” Even with CCP giving people extraordinary ganking tools (bombers/blackops bridges are incredibly powerful right now with their DPS delivery, range, trivial cost, and lack of AIDS), people can’t kill them when there are a hundred nerds in FAX and supers within jump range just itching for a shot of “content.” This is what CCP’s lack of foresight in designing their sov/resource systems, citadels, and space AIDS have wrought.

        The notion that CCP should change the game to allow people to cluster together into densely-packed pockets of space (the whole premise of Fozziesov, upgradeable indices, and AIDS) was just a bad idea. The thing that surprises me isn’t that goons have figured out how to min/max nullsec life in order to become hyperproductive: it’s the degree to which everyone else in the game seems to have failed to do so. It’s literally the easiest goddamn thing– all you need is a group of players who actually care about each other enough to sit in standing fleets, bullshit on comms, and occasionally drop a FAX to help someone. I don’t know what cultural shortcomings prevent this from happening in other alliances (you can’t even use the old, “they came from an external forum community” explanation anymore now that Imperium has more pubbies in it than goons), but other people’s disorganization is costing them dearly in terms of productivity.

        December 12, 2017 at 2:19 AM
        • Rammel Kas Ganthrithor

          ::snip:: “it’s the degree to which everyone else in the game seems to have failed to do so. It’s literally the easiest goddamn thing– all you need is a group of players who actually care about each other”

          This, exactly. But I would not say necessarily just “care about” much as a cultural choice. And this was a debate much alluded to in the words of many personalities we’ve heard on VOD from the North. Some of them DO have something similar to a standing fleet. They log into communal voice comm channels when they enter EVE. Or shared Discord chat rooms. So the rudiments of organization are there. But it seems that you have to sell everything as “PVP” to get any spark of life.

          The gross bulk of their pilots have bought so deeply into the instant gratification culture that they don’t see it as being in their citizen responsibility to lend a hand. Least not until the intruding fleets hit a certain size such that the FC teams take an interest. They will literally just sit in space dock until somebody pokes them with red letters.

          And this has rubbed on the hangars-on to much worse effect. To the point where in the case of feeder corps they simply flat out ignore their members’ chatter until one of only a handful of people feels they have a strong enough “sell” and overwhelming hard-counter assets on hand to send out response fleet invites.

          December 12, 2017 at 7:47 AM
    • Pew Pew Caleb Ayrania

      Back in my day we used to do jetcan mining. Requiring people to work together was great. I’m not sure why CCP decided to kill it.

      December 11, 2017 at 5:27 PM
      • Rammel Kas Pew Pew

        People seem to overlook it but this is actually what’s going on in Delve. Slightly different. But the same idea. And there are still Jetcans.

        December 11, 2017 at 9:30 PM
      • You’re fucking high if you think the kind of MER-busting numbers we’re making in Delve don’t require people to work together. They’re not mining into the same jetcan, but the only reason our Rorqs don’t die by the thousands is that we consistently fleet up, share intel, and defend one another viciously. If having a REGION-WIDE intelligence and defense network comprised of usually over 150 concurrent users isn’t “working together,” I don’t know what is…

        EVE is littered with the wrecks of “solo” Rorq miners. It is not a solo ship any more than anything else is a solo PvE ship. Should ratters be forced to fleet up with several gang-mates to take on an anomaly? Should being able to complete a 10/10 with a T3 be impossible? Should JFs be removed so that logistics requires teamwork in the form of freighter escort ops? If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” then there’s nothing wrong with the fact that the Rorqual can mine a lot of ore.

        December 12, 2017 at 3:16 AM
        • Lekly Ganthrithor

          In my research, this was very apparent. The Imperium lost relatively few Rorqs compared to most other regions, especially considering how numerous they are. However, the Imperium bleeds drones like crazy. This just goes to show that while the vast intel allows Rorqs to be saved, the drones are just as, if not more, vulnerable.

          December 12, 2017 at 4:44 AM
          • MUCH more vulnerable. But it’s also largely a case of Goons being pretty relaxed or laid back about their PvE enterprises. We don’t worship killboard stats, so people who’ve got money often don’t mind occasionally losing expensive things if it means they can do EVE while watching Netflix.

            I’ve been trying to remind people that it’s trivially easy to avoid Excavator losses by simply pulling them in when hostiles enter local, but people insist on leaving them out and either going AFK or only issuing a recall command when hostiles appear on grid, so we lose quite a few to Lokis (or occasionally booshing gangs). Also sometimes to rats. Yeah. People are that lazy 😛

            December 13, 2017 at 8:25 AM
        • Pew Pew Ganthrithor

          I see what you mean.

          I think I would answer yes to all those questions. I think JF’s are one of the biggest problems in the game. With convoys actually in space the possibilities for piracy would be huge and it would encourage much more strategic play imo.

          December 13, 2017 at 9:02 AM
          • I feel the same WRT jump drives, ratting caps, JFs, etc, but it seems unfair to maintain a double-standard for the Rorqual, which is what most of the voices calling for even more Rorq nerfs are effectively doing.

            December 13, 2017 at 6:20 PM