The Ministry of Love, formed early this year, is Goonswarm’s highsec arm. Originally designed to assassinate individuals, fight wardecs and sow general havoc throughout Empire, the group has become one of EVE’s premiere freighter ganking outfits. As of this writing, Miniluv has reached 200 freighters destroyed since August and just caught an ex-IRC Charon that EVE-Kill values at nearly 44 billion.
Suffice it to say, they're busy. Powers, second-in-command of Miniluv, held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit just this last week. Here are some of the more interesting questions and answers that resulted:
Q: What is the usual size and fleet composition of your freighter-ganking force?
A: DPS really depends on how many people respond to pings, and how many people are multiboxing. People come out of the woodwork for huge stuff. I'd say DPS is usually at least 12-16 people on an average gank. It can be done with 6 extremely well-skilled gunnery characters and the correct freighter hull target.
Q: What ships do you primarily fly/find most cost effective?
A: The Talos is amazing for damage. You can theoretically do 6-7 ship ganks, which are about 150 mil per ship fit and used to be the same cost as the freighter hull you were ganking. Unfortunately, we made those prices go up by murdering them repeatedly. A T2 Neutron Brutix isn’t bad either, but it’s no Talos. You could also do it with T2 Neutron Dominixes (w/ Garde II’s).
Q: How long does it take for you to get sec status back up? And how many ganks does that afford you?
A: Sec hits are a percentage relative to what your sec status currently is. It really depends. We've streamlined the sec status bumps via coordinated sec safaris. Usually .25 every 3-5 minutes depending on the safari fleet. That actual amount is relative to -2.5-0. It is a sliding scale. We are excited about the concept CCP floated at Fanfest with regards to tags for sec. Then we can use our freighter money to streamline our sec status and never leave empire.
Q: How many ganks do you usually get after one of your safaris before you usually go back and do another safari?
A: Well, generally speaking, we're good until about -4. Then it becomes really inconvenient. The lower your sec gets, the faster ship you should fly, because of the faction cops reaction times. We are set up so we don't have to rely on the same guys day in, day out. I've never really thought to count how many ganks, since technically you can do it as a -10 if you time it all correctly. Its pretty difficult though. All of this depends on the sec rating of the system and where you started from as far as sec status goes.
Q: How do you grind up your sec status?
A: 4-5 tornados and a bunch of slashers with target painters. We warp into anomalies, alpha a battleship rat after it has been painted, and warp to the next system.
Q: Do you recommend Catalysts for people without t2 large guns yet?
A: Catalysts are fantastic. That is how we get our guys trained to T2 Talos. T2 Cat -> T2 Brutix -> T2 Talos. The train is worth it if you plan on ganking or just doing loads of dps.
Q: How can you stand doing this for weeks? But i guess you're used to the nullsec boredom so meh.
A: It seems boring from a DPS/scanner/bumper perspective, but I deal with all of the other administrative stuff and supply logistics as well. I also cook up other fun projects / campaigns for this stuff. There is a huge thrill from freighter ganks. It's like a scratch-off lottery ticket. You know what you could win, you just don't know what you will win. Our guys do this because they make money every gank and they get free ships to gank with. They don't have to rat, mission, or otherwise carebear for income.
We're constantly trying to one up our last kill. Our first month goal? Surpass Burn Jita destruction. We beat it by 115 billion isk, in 30 days. We're on track to beat Burn Jita by 90%. We have destroyed 1.6 trillion total in 2 months. That's ridiculously insane. That's 19+ officer fit Erebus' worth of isk destroyed. Let that sink in a little.
Q: Have you ever been surprised by something that happened on a gank?
A: There's this double logoff exploit that some people are using to end up at their destination gate after they've been aggressed and bumped after jumping in. They magically avoid one of the emergency warps and end up skipping to the second ewarp destination. So when they login, they are back at the destination gate. I talked with some of the Freight Club guys about it and they've petitioned it. We haven't bothered because if the guy is at his keyboard trying to live, then he's entitled to a fair shake.
I was surprised that we were able to gank a freighter through 4 sets of neutral large armor logi trying to keep him alive.
Q: Have you ever had a high-value freighter escape? (whether not enough DPS on the field, or it having an alt to web it into warp before you can lock, etc)
A: Yes, we lose out on JFs from time to time due to webbers. They align faster and require a lot more DPS. One time a Black Legion Rhea cynoed out of Uedama before we got all our DPS on field.
We had some guy with a couple billion ISK in the hold escape in 7% structure after doing a double-log-offski that managed to skip one of the two emergency warps for him and he wound up at his destination gate. He also had three or four logi on him. I think there were one or two others that we flubbed, as well.
But that's been about it. Anything super valuable has always died.
Q: How does a double logoffski work?
A: It's hard to explain, really. The basic concept is: you initiate warp, you logoff, wait 30-60 seconds for ewarp, log back in, log out again. Wait a minute or two, log back in, and you should be in ewarp to the destination gate, in jump range, at 0. It shouldn't work, but it does. For all intents and purposes, it is an escape exploit, but we don't really get too bitter about it - after all, we're pirates. Kudos if you understand game mechanics well enough to pull it off/make it work. Due to it being an exploit/broken logoff mechanic, it doesn't always work. Half of the time, the system does things correctly and doesn't let you skip over to the destination gate.
Q: Why does that stop you from being able to gank them? Don't they still need to align out?
That's the lovely thing about a double log-off-ski. It doesn't matter if we have 6 guys bumping or 0, they end up somehow emergency warping through bumps, despite all the mechanics saying they shouldn’t be able to enter warp. This is why I call it an exploit/abuse of mechanics. There is a difference between using mechanics to your advantage, exploiting glitches or known broken mechanics, and abusing those little things that are broken.
Q: How do you handle the loot logistics? A freighter load of stuff is not easy to move around so how do you do the Wreck>station transport? A bunch of Orcas?
A: We have our ways. I can tell you one thing though, we don't use GSF freighters or Orcas, that's for damn sure. I usually Blue Frog it up. I give them detailed instructions on not carrying multiple loads because they are max collateral. The value of the things that drop accumulates quite a bit. We aren't in a huge hurry to sell things. Blue Frog ferries it out at their convenience and everything is canned and double wrapped.
We also have a Blue Frog delivery schedule for our supply chain.
Q: I was actually considering applying to Red Frog Freight. Besides not autopiloting (never do anyway) and not carrying over 1 bil in goods (not allowed by RFF contracts), are there any other tips you would have to avoid freighter ganks?
A: Limiting yourself to 1bil in goods is probably the dumbest suggestion I keep seeing everywhere. I routinely carry 10-20bil in my freighter. I just know how to avoid presenting a target. If you are smart, going through Uedama is no big deal. I do it at least 2-3 times a week when Blue Frog has a giant backlog. You should learn a bit more about freight cans and courier contracts.
Always, always avoid autopiloting.
Q: Do you guys use a 3rd party tool/website to estimate freighter values?
A: Yes we do. It is an upgraded copy of something some guy had at Burn Jita. The old legacy tool (prices are way out of date) is here: http://sudorandom.com/cargoscanner
It works for haulers if you are Tornado ganking as well. We started off by only hitting things that showed up as over 7bil with that tool.
Q: Is the gank group open to CFC blues or just GSF?
A: It is open to members of the CFC. Just pm powers on jabber, or look up Miniluv on the GSF wiki.
Q [Hans Jagerblitzen]: Is Crimewatch 2 going to put you out of business? Do you think CCP is dumbing the game down for carebears?
A: I do not think CCP is dumbing down the game for carebears. I look at it as them presenting us with more of a challenge. It will be slightly riskier, but we've already planned how to skip away like ninjas after ganks. We may need a safe POS in Uedama for our pods, though. I have to look at the GCC rules again to make sure we can't dock for a minute. I have to say, making the looter FFA is pretty inconvenient. Someone could make the argument that it is making highsec safer, but I don’t concern myself with that.
That being said, the new bounty system will more than make up for this, and allow me to go back to Miniluv's original bounty hunting glory.
Q: Is the payout method something along the lines of take market value subtract ship/fitting costs and divide remainder by number of pilots in the gank?
A: We used to value the payout based on what dropped, but it didn't reward the people who were on bad luck drops. So we just switched it to a flat payout all around. Space communism. Everyone gets paid the same, every gank is the same in our eyes.
Q: Have your profits increased since the change to faction warfare? Also, are you more active in the hours and days following a T5 as opposed to a normal day?
A: Yes, we are. We know all of the head people in the FW groups. We have Fweddit and Late Night Alliance directors in Miniluv. They let us know when a cashout is about to happen, and it becomes an ‘all hands on dick’ affair. We check in and rotate scanners on the money routes and when something big comes by, we kill it. We have to work extra hard to fit enough ships for these events. This past Saturday, we killed 14 freighters and 1 JF. That's an all-time best for us.
Q: Any other advice for a fledgling suicide ganker?
A: Be patient, stay out of Uedama, (pick another high traffic .5), don't harass us in our pipe. We won't be disruptive to your ganks unless you escalate with us. Train T2 Blasters and good gunnery support. Hardwirings are your friend. Use offgrid safes. Be patient, eventually you will be rich. There are two "exploitable"/"gankable" demographics in this game:
1.) The ignorant. These people don't check evekill. They don't understand how courier contracts work. They don't know the best way to ship things.
2.) The lazy/dumb. These people just don't give a shit, or are too impatient to do things the correct way. They autopilot. They just dump everything in their freighter. With FW cashouts, these guys are looking to beat the rush to dump things on the market.
Look for more coverage of the freighter ganking epidemic, and Miniluv in particular, soon!