Who better to write a guide on how to protect yourself from getting ganked, than a pirate? The truth is, there are a few things pirates would prefer you didn’t know. Things that would make it much more difficult for them to gank you. Your best defense, until CCP changes the mechanics to prevent ganking altogether, is to become informed.
1. Do not orbit.Pirates are like rabid dogs. Sudden movements, and movement in general attracts unnecessary attention and could put you at great risk for being ganked.
There is actually a hotkey that could help you greatly with this endeavor. CTR-Space. This will stop your ship completely, and will help you escape the notice of any passing pirate scouts.
2. Give yourself the most visibility you possibly can.Zoom out, and remove all windows from your screen, including your directional scanner window, local chat channels, and overview. Having the use of your entire screen means that it will be easier to see a pirate entering your asteroid belt. Having too many windows open could distract you, and/or block you from seeing them warp in.
Also, if you are planning to go AFK for a long period of time, having a clear and open view of the belt you are in will allow you to glance at your screen now and again and more easily assess any threats.
3. Properly fit your ship.People just don’t know how to fit ships these days. And pirates will never tell you the secret to the types of ship fittings they dread –and avoid as gankers.
It’s good to leave several mid slots completely empty. This will make your ship much lighter, and allow you to run away much faster should danger arise.
Furthermore, a full flight of stasis webifying drones could be critical to your protection. These drones will defend you, slowing down the gankers and making things much more difficult for them.
As a precaution, you should leave these drones deployed, and passively orbiting you –this may prevent a ganker from even bothering to try.
(Target Painting drones are also a good choice, as using these on gankers will speed up CONCORD’s ability to kill them. Gankers will usually avoid mining ships that have such drones nearby.)
4. Choose your mining system wisely.Pirates are kind of dumb when it comes to mining. They think all miners want to be safe, therefore they assume the juiciest targets will be in the highest security space!
Mining in a .5, or .6 system is often safer,--gankers will often pass by these systems. Even mining in a .4 system can help you escape gankers’ eyes. Though, even if you are spotted, they will most likely ignore you, thinking you are not ‘worth it’ as a target.
Furthermore, mining one jump from low-sec or null-sec can often be the safest. When going scouting for potential targets, pirates often look over these systems entirely.
5. Mine in clusters, if possible.Pirates who gank often do so to make up for personal incompetence. They do not want a ‘real’ fight and are extremely risk adverse.
Therefore, you need to make yourself look risky, as a target. Clustering with a bunch of other miners instead of mining far off from the group by yourself, can make you look like less of an easy target. You have friends. You are powerful, and can defend yourself.
6. Show Emotion, and Retaliate
In the off chance that you should get ganked (sadly, it happens) there are some basic things you can do to prevent further ganks, defend who may still be AFK mining in system, and/or even get your loss reimbursed.
Pirates HATE conflict…especially anything remotely emotional.
So, turn on the waterworks. Scare them away from ever coming back, and perhaps even make them give you ISK just to make you stop crying!
You can start in local channel, but if they leave, be sure to send a mail as well. (Perhaps even to their CEO.) Be sure to use very bad spelling, and little to no punctuation. This really frustrates them.
Furthermore, threats work wonderfully. I’m sure you have a pvp friend, or perhaps even a pvp alt. Make sure that they know this, and that they will pay for what they’ve done.
They will avoid you and your system like the plague after that.