Tool: How many catalyst are needed to gank a freighter

Hey guys,

if you are flying a freighter in Eve Online you are always at risk of being ganked. As an occasional freighter pilot (and occasional freighter ganker) I was one day wondering how that actually works. How many catalyst do you need to successfully gank a freighter in High Sec? And when do you start to make a profit? After a bit of researching, theorycrafting and testing I have created a method and a tool to answer these questions.

Method

Please find below a brief description of the method for calculating the number of needed gank ships and profit threshold for a successful gank.

Number of needed gank ships

To calculate the number of required gank ships you need to consider five factors:

  • DPS of gank ship: The DPS of your gank ship is of course defined by the type and fitting. Popular gank ships are Catalyst and Talos. For this discussion I will focus on the cheap and often used “Gank Catalyst T1” which does 442 DPS overheated and costs only 1.8M each. (see appendix below for fitting)
  • Tank of target ship: The tank of your target ship is defined by the ship type and fitting. Since there is no way to safely determine this fitting from the outside you will have to take a guess. Lets use the popular Charon with 3 Expanded Cargohold IIs. It has total EHP of 162K against antimatter (50% kinetic, 50% thermic), which is the ammunition for our catalyst.
  • CONCORD response time: When you start attacking your target in high sec CONCORD will show up after a couple of seconds and kill our catalyst, so we only have of a fixed amount of time to apply our DPS to the target. The CONCORD response time depends on two factors:[1]
    • Security status of engagement system: The lower the security status, the longer it will take CONCORD to respond and disable the attacker. The range is from 7 seconds to 26 seconds. Lets assume the gank takes place in a 0.5 security system.
    • CONCORD spawn state in the engagement system: Another important factor is if CONCORD has already spawn elsewhere in the system. In that case it will take a bit longer for them to respond. (e.g. 26 instead of 20 sec in a 0.5 system).

Lets assume for our example that we are engaging our target in a 0.5 security system and that CONCORD has not yet spawned elsewhere in system. So the effective CONCORD response time will be 20 seconds.

  • Fleet effectiveness: You also need to account for piloting errors during the attack (e.g. starting the attack before being at optimal range) or pilots with lower skill points. These effects will lower your applied damage to the target and thus require you to bring more ships to compensate. I suggest to go with 80%, but this value should be adjusted based on the experience level and pilot composition of the fleet.
  • Contingency: Last but not least it is always good to have a little safety buffer to hedge against unforeseeable mishaps (e.g. a pilot warping to the wrong destination or forgetting to overhead his weapons, not shooting, etc.) This value should be set based on personal preference and experience. For our example calculation I will use 5% (which translates to e.g. 1 out of 20 ships not shooting due to some mishap)

The result of our example calculation is that we only need 25 cheap gank Catalysts to safely kill this Charon.

Gank profit threshold

The gank profit threshold is calculated by multiplying these three factor:

  • Number of gank ships: The total number of ships needed for the gank. In our example we need 25 Gank Catalysts.
  • Costs of one gank ship: This is the total costs of one attacking ship including fittings. Our “Gank Catalyst T1” costs currently 1.8M ISK in Jita.
  • Change of loot drop: As defined by Eve mechanics the chance of an item in the cargo hold (or fitted module) to drop as loot is 50%.

So the resulting threshold for profit is around 550M ISK with T2 Catalysts. If the value of the Charon’s cargo is higher, you have a high chance to make a profit in this gank (but note that this is highly chance based and might not work out every time, especially if they are only a few items in the cargo hold).

Tool

To simplify the process of calculation the size of your gank fleet and the profit threshold I have created a simply Google sheet that will do all the work for you. Please feel free to copy this sheet and use it to plan your own gank fleets.

If you have any comments let me know.

Happy freighter ganking!

Best regards,
Erik


 

Appendix

Fittings

Catalyst: Ganker Cheap v2

EFT_GankCatalystT1

[Catalyst, Ganker Cheap v2]
Insulated Stabilizer Array I
Insulated Stabilizer Array I
Insulated Stabilizer Array I

Fleeting Progressive Warp Scrambler I
1MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner

Limited Light Ion Blaster I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Limited Light Ion Blaster I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Limited Light Ion Blaster I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Limited Light Ion Blaster I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Limited Light Ion Blaster I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Limited Light Ion Blaster I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Limited Light Ion Blaster I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Limited Light Ion Blaster I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

[empty rig slot]
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I

References

[1] “Concord Response Time” by Medalyn Isis on Eve Forum, https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=321759

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