The third player-run Hulkageddon event is great fun for players that stand to profit off of it, or want to take a shot at winning any of the prizes. But for miners in high-sec space it is a time of nerve-wracking terror. Wars are declared on mining corporations, suicide ganks become de rigueur, and mining-related equipment doubles in price. This guide explores some of the consequences of this event, and outlines ways to earn ISK, get kills, or avoid being killed during this tumultuous time.
This is an excellent example for explaining how players can turn larger events within the EVE Online universe to their advantage. To the savvy player, any major event in EVE Online is an opportunity for profit. This guide contains an outline of the situation and several ideas for profiting on (or coping) with Hulkageddon.
What Is Hulkageddon?
style="font-style: italic;">The hulk is the most popular mining vessel in EVE Online. Which is why it must die.
Hulkageddon is a popular, player-run contest to see who can kill the most hulks (and other mining-related ships) during a set period of time. This time around, it runs from July 9th until July 18th. Players donate prizes for the pilots and corporations that score the most kills, or that perform some impressive anti-mining feat (such as suicide ganking an Orca).
The prizes can be very lucrative, though the competition is correspondingly fierce. The hulks killed need not be located in high-security space, though that is certainly where most hulks are to be found. Finding hulks in wormhole space is like looking for so many needles in a haystack, while hulks in null-sec are likely to be few and ready to hide in a POS given a moment's notice.
This is probably the most popular player-run event in EVE Online. Since null-sec space politics tend to get a little stale during the summer, and are even more stale than usual because of various factors that favor detente between the power blocs in null-sec, hulkageddon is the most interesting thing going on on EVE Online, right now.
The most obvious effect of most EVE Online players anticipating that over a thousand hulks will get blown up, is that hulk prices have shot up in price from around 130mil ISK to about 150mil ISK. The volume of hulks traded in Jita (EVE Online's main market hub) has maintained about the same amount traded, despite a large price increase, which means that either demand for hulks is inflexible, or players are buying them as speculation and keeping the amount traded at its usual level. Note that the price crash about a month ago was caused by the Tyrannis patch, in which people were selling a lot of goods for sub-par prices because of fears about a price crash.
The process of making hulks is complex, requires several days per hull, and a goodly amount of skills to be trained beforehand, meaning that for many people it is easier to buy them than to make them. If players already have the right skills trained and characters in place, they can probably throw together a batch of hulks by the middle of Hulkageddon, in time to turn a profit. If you don't have skills like 'Gallentean Starship Engineering' trained to III or IV, already, then you've probably missed out on the manufacturing angle of this particular Hulkageddon.
If you haven't bought your hulks by now, you probably should not try speculating on them, unless you buy them from an out of the way region whose prices have not yet risen to match Jita and the other market hubs. Investing now is likely a poor idea because hulks are being sold for far more than their ingredients are worth, and will very probably go back down in value after all this is over.
Mineral Halo Effect
One might reasonably theorize that the destruction of various mining ships would cause the price of basic minerals to rise. This is understandable but incorrect. In the wake of the Tyrannis changes to insurance and mineral flow, the downward pressure on mineral price is overwhelming. The market crash still hasn't bottomed out, a month later. The cost of low-end minerals like Tritanium and Pyerite are still going down, but so are the prices of megacyte and zydrine --mostly because of the near complete safety of mining in wormhole space, and the availability of arkanor ore within those systems.
I would be surprised if hulkageddon raised the cost of tritanium or pyerite more than a fraction of an ISK, and even that would likely be temporary. There are also likely market mavens that have hoarded minerals on the off chance that a price jump would occur. These reserves will more than likely make up for any difference in pricing. Though if a fellow felt like risking 20 billion ISK or so, it might be possibly to artificially generate a tritanium scare, this would still only be temporary. There are just too many people willing to value their time at nearly nothing, mining (or macroing) away in the belts of scordite ore in high-sec.
style="font-style: italic;">Clusters of hulks huddling together for protection are common sights in ice belts throughout high-sec space. Just by sticking to .9 and 1.0 security status systems, they improve their chances of survival.
It is quite likely that a lot of high-sec miners will simply not undock their hulks or other mining ships for the duration of Hulkageddon. That is the safe thing to do. Alternative options: one could try operating in wormhole space (expensive since a POS is needed and the fuel cost of those has nearly doubled since Tyrannis) or moving to a null-sec system if a corporation there will accept you. A word of advice about null-sec mining: do not do it in a system has had its industry level upgraded to 5. A level-5 industry system is a beacon to gankers all across EVE Online. "Come here and shoot carebears," it proclaims.
If you must mine during the week switch to mining with many-turreted battlecruisers or a battleship, with an explosive damage tank, or consider running mining missions. Be wary of people joining your corporation for the sole purpose of ganking your Orca, as members of the same corporation do not draw CONCORD's attentions when they attack each other, unless you are in an NPC corporation.
When mining, try to avoid doing so in systems with less than .9 security status, as that is where suicide gankers will tend to look for targets. It will also cause any suicide gankers to have less of a chance of succeeding, and suffer a more severe personal security status penalty from attacking or destroying your mining ship. Also, it is handy to do your mining in the same belt as other hulks, but not if you are close enough to them that a smartbomb-using battleship could take you out.
The procedure for ganking hulks is relatively similar to the process described in Ten Ton Hammer's guide to ganking Primae ships. The main differences are that hulks have much better resistances, and that people tend to go overboard on fitting them. As a result, much more damage is required to reliably kill hulks. A battleship is probably the best idea.
A tempest with '800mm Repeating Artillery I' and tons of damage mods should do the trick. Always have a second pilot on hand to loot your target, and never engage if CONCORD has already spawned at a particular location. Ice belts are good spots to check for targets, as are gravimetric exploration complexes.
There you are. That's Hulkageddon in a nutshell. Hopefully you found some useful advice, even if it is just how to get ready for next Hulkageddon. Below are various Ten Ton Hammer guides and some other sites that may be of use to you.
Ten Ton Hammer Guides
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