Flying An Autopilot Mammoth In EVE Online
Autopiloting is a fact of life in high-security space. Manually piloting between stargates is an unpleasant task usually reserved for people with wars or too much time on their hands. This is true when flying industrial ships that are slow to align and warp, and doubly so for the unspeakably sluggish freighter class of ships.
Another fact of life in high-sec is altogether less pleasant: suicide ganking. If one has goods worth even 50mil ISK, an unscrupulous player with a thrasher can ruin your day. There are, however, ways to make yourself resistant to suicide ganking even in a tech one industrial.
This here is a guide to fitting out the mammoth to be surprisingly resistant to suicide ganking.
The Physiology Of The Ganker
The basic model of suicide ganking is to deal enough damage to destroy your target that they die before CONCORD appears and exacts retribution. There is a delicate economy of weighing the value of the ganker's ship (that will be destroyed by CONCORD) against the value of the cargo carried by the target. A friend or character on a second account is usually waiting in an industrial to pick up any goods that drop.
There are any number of minutiae that matter to the ganker:
- -Is the security status of that solar system low enough that multiple volleys with weapons are possible before CONCORD appears?
- -Has the target been scanned with a cargo scanner?
- -Are there too many other people around, who might potentially steal any cargo dropped before it can be grabbed
Because of the maths involved, the best tradeoff between ship cost and damage inflicted is usually a destroyer. The destroyer for this job is unquestionably the thrasher: projectile turrets deal a large amount of damage up-front then have a significant delay before firing again, rather than having an even distribution of damage over time. Thrashers deal plenty of damage and can certainly destroy most industrials before CONCORD responds.
Viva La Resistance
The idea here is to fly a mammoth that is resistant enough to suicide ganking that any reasonable attempt should fail, leaving you still alive and the ganker killed by CONCORD. The suicide ganker will open fire, then gaze in horror as your ship withstands the assault and CONCORD destroys his ship.
Since anybody flagged as hostile to CONCORD will be unable to get a new ship for the next fifteen minutes, your auto-piloting mammoth will continue on its merry way, regenerating shields and wending toward your destination. The attacker is unlikely to bother with following you, and will likely return to his usual spot after the fifteen minutes have elapsed.
The downside to this trick is that since it is CONCORD that is doing the killing, you will not receive any kill mails. Indeed, if the target does not do enough damage to hurt your armor and you are not watching, it is not implausible that your shields could have completely regenerated, thus leaving no evidence on your end of an attack ever taking place. This is of course preferable to returning to your computer and finding yourself in a pod, your cargo long gone.
High Slots: Whatever
- x2 Nothing
Industrial vessels do not usually need their high slots, and this fitting is not different in that regard.
Middle Slots: Over-Sized Tank
- x1 Large Shield Extender I
- x2 Heat Dissipation Amplifier I
- x1 Kinetic Deflection Amplifier I
- 1x Magnetic Scattering Amplifier I
The core idea of this fitting is to fit a large shield extender on your industrial despite it being a battleship-sized module, then to boost your resistances with "passive" modules that are always active, rather than requiring human interaction for activation.
The configuration above assumes that most suicide gankers will favor thermal damage, but also boosts you against the kinetic damage that will likely be used by thrashers and gives your prodigious shields some resistance against EM damage.
The above modules can all easily be upgraded to tech two for a significant increase in protection. Because the passive hardeners are not very popular, their tech two versions are generally very cheap.
If you want a more broad resistance profile, you can swap out one of your heat dissipation amplifiers for an explosion dampening amplifier.
Low Slots: Extra Power Grid
- 2x Reactor Control Unit I
- 2x Expanded Cargohold I or x2 Nanofiber Internal Structure I
In order to fit the large shield extender in your mid-slots, you will need to devote two low-slots to reactor control units for sufficient power grid. If your skills are a bit sub-par, you may need to upgrade to tech two reactor control units.
The other two low-slots can be devoted to getting additional cargo space or to increasing your speed.
A Final Word
If your ship is carrying disproportionately valuable cargo, the ganker may be willing to hunt you down and try again. This is especially true if your ship reaches its destination and then remains there for a long period of time. Thus, it is still recommended that you keep your total cargo value below 100mil ISK. This fitting will also not avail you against suicide-ganking battlecruisers or teams of suicide gankers working in tandem, though these are likely looking for better targets than you.