Tuesday, 27 January 2015

CCP rules on "Hyperdunking"

Recently in EVE a discussion has come up around the idea of "hyperdunking".  For those unfamiliar this is a method of executing a solo gank on almost any ship whcih has in theory been possible for a long time, but has been thrust into the spolight with the addition of the Bowhead freighter which makes it easier to pull off as it store so many more ships.  It works approximately as follows:

  1. Park a bumper and an Orca/Bowhead full of catalyst at a gank location.
  2. Bump a freighter.
  3. Send in a gank catalyst to attack the freighter.
  4. Get blown up by concord.
  5. Dock pod.
  6. Undock in rookie ship
  7. Get blown up by concord.
  8. Warp to Orca/Bowhead, get in catalyst.
  9. Go to 3, repeat until Freighter is dead.

When this was recently done to a bowhead freighter it was reported and the ganker in question was reportedly banned while CCP investigated.  Following that investigation, CCP have released this statement:
Since the introduction of the Bowhead freighter, we’ve become aware of a tactic that has been introduced which has become known as “Hyperdunking”. This involves leaving a grid where a criminal action occurs to draw away CONCORD and reshipping to continue shooting at a target. There’s been much discussion among members of the community regarding this tactic, and whether or not it is considered legitimate gameplay.
After meeting with members of the game design and customer support teams and discussing this in depth, we have come to the consensus that due to the fact no rules are being broken and any ship that is involved in a criminal act is being destroyed by CONCORD as intended, that this tactic is simply an unintended but legitimate use of new game mechanics, and is not in breach of the rules. Tactics similar to this have been used with previous hulls before the Bowhead was introduced, and have been considered perfectly legitimate in the past.
With this in mind, at this time we do not consider this tactic to be in breach of the game rules, and as such our customer support team will not be offering reimbursements for hulls lost in this manner.
Players are also reminded that if someone is criminally flagged, they are fair game to be attacked in self-defense. Feel free to use this to your advantage.

Now I have three main issues with this

  1. It feels very much like getting around mechanics that are there to stop exactly that.  Perhaps it's not, and it certainly seems that CCP is claiming it's not, but it always seemed like the criminal timer was there to put a time between ganks, so a player could only "be bad" once every 15 minutes.  Now that's officially not the case, and the criminal timer seems pointless.  Once concord has destroyed the first ship it becomes effectively a suspect timer, but red.  A ganker could in theory work with multiple bumpers, ganking one ship with a hit landing every minute or two, then seamlessly move onto the next target with the Orca moving between targets while the ganker moves concord.
  2. It makes tank irrelevant.  If a player can simply reship in the Orca as many times as they want, then no amount of tank will save a ship.  The entire claim that tanking your ship is a necessity is now obsolete.
  3. It further reduces the difficulty of ganking.  Ganking is already incredibly easy.  An empty freighter is killboard green.  Using T1 catalysts, it would cost around 60 million (30 ships) to gank even the most tanked Obelisk, or 210 million (21 ships) if using T2 catalysts.  The argument the gankers have always put forward for this is "but we need so many players, getting that many players is difficult".  That argument was sound, but is now irrelevant, since any freighter can now be ganked with 3 characters no matter how many catalysts it takes.
As you can imagine, within minutes of the post appearing, with people weighing in on both sides the usual crowd came in with their usual posts of "popcorn", "the tears", and other such constructive posts.  Supposedly people are not allowed to hold opinions if they oppose making ganking even easier and cheaper than it already is.  The EVE forums have seemed particularly toxic of late and this post has got CODE players frothing at the mouth with excitement.

I'd like to say I'd be very surprised if CCP held this ruling in place without changing the mechanics before too long, but honestly this seems like one of those rulings CCP will stand by no matter how unbalanced it may be.  If you live in highsec and you're not a trader or a scammer pretty much the easiest playstyle is now ganking.


  1. My guess would be that since the tactic of 'hyperdunking' is valid this will lead to more petitions against harassment for bumping even thogh CODe established that bumping is fine.

    Bumping a person is legal, bumping a person for 20 hours until downtime might fall into the harassment category. So how long can I bump someone before I am taking too long to kill my target?

    1. Potentially.
      I don't think there's a set limit to how long someone can be bumped without ganking, but the way I always see it is this: If you feel like you've been legitimately harassed and that it's gone on too long, then raise a support ticket detailing your case. CCP will make the final decision about if anything needs to be done. At the end of the day they want their players to enjoy their game, and if you're legitimately being harassed and the actions taken against you are unreasonable in their opinion, then CCP will sort it out.

      What people should never do is fear submitting a support request because the CODE players are telling them it's acceptable.

  2. Well, ive never piloted a freighter so im not an expert on anti bumping tactics, but from now on it might be reasonable to bring and alt/friend in a osprey/augoror, let them loose some cats, and then repair while at half armour? wouldnt it piss off the gankers? wouldnt it slow the process down, or make them look for a different target?

    Eve was sorta always a game with need to adapt to new rules. Maybe its a new ground to make some new services freighter reping on demand? Cause as we can see when CCP sets a new rule, however good or bad it is, they gonna stick to it for a long time

    1. Generally it's the best idea to hit the gankers with ECM as well as repairing the freighter where needed. For conventional ganking this is very viable, as a gank fleet will consist of enough DPS to take down the target plus a safety buffer. If you and your team can nullify enough damage the gank will fail.

      The problem with this new tactic being allowed is that now they don't need to bring just a set amount of damage, the Orca can be loaded up with catalysts so the damage they can deliver is effectively infinite if they keep getting the Orca back to stock up (or possibly use 2 Orcas alternating loads). This means it's no longer enough to reduce ganker DPS, you actually have to out-rep their DPS which would take considerably more logi ships and considerable more expensive logi ships to do.

      It's not so much an issue if it is just one player triple boxing as he's got his work cut out for him managing the ganker, the Orca and the bumper, but they could very well have for example 1 bumper, 1 Orca and 3 gankers and quite effectively run a gank that would normally take fleet of 30+ gankers working in sync. Now that it's deemed possible people will try it out in various configurations and find the most effective ways to do it.