Many years ago, I was involved in establishing a security door and window grille company. As one of the partners, and the only one with a metal trade background, I had to design the systems we used, along with the machinery to assemble it all. In doing research as to the most effective system, I was told something I’ll never forget. It was told to me by a retired policeman; “You don’t have to make a house impossible to break into, just harder than the house next door.”
Ratters in null-sec need to take that on board, seriously. I mean, there’s always going to be that guy, the one who gives the alliance channel trolls grist for the mill. You know, the one who goes carrier ratting while reading the paper, getting a coffee, or a million other household duties. Then intel is full of, “Help, help! I’m being PVP’ed!”.
If it’s not him, it’s the guy with the collection of pre-fitted Ishtars who is busy doing the dishes when a neut gang rolls through. Pop goes the Ishtar, and he’s spotted 5 minutes later out in an anomaly with another Ishtar. So, you know the guy I mean. Well, when the neuts come a-calling, it’s his house, the one next door, that we want them to steal the television from.
Now it’s all well and good to watch intel, have local up, plus all the other doo-dads that the modern null-bear has that we’re not going to mention here. But, there’s the Stratios guys to deal with. These people are a special case. There’s any number of them floating around, and if we’re going to safe up for those blokes, we might as well play warships. The thing is, you don’t have to.
So, how do we safely ignore these clowns, and maybe even give them a pants filling moment or two?
Fit a large capacitor battery, medium neutralizer, and a medium Nosferatu. Throw in 2 Geckos, two medium and 1 light drone of their likely resist hole, and all of a sudden, the house next door is far easier to obtain some dodgy goods from. Now, I’m not silly enough to share the entire fit, and you’ll be lucky to find one on a kill-mail, because they tend to not die. Shield can be done, though most seem to prefer armor, what with the 5th medium slot gone.
Some are being downright nasty, and foregoing the cap battery in preference of a warp scrambler. Fit a full armor tank and fill the highs with Nosferatu and those Stratios die by the dozen. There’s a bit of a competitive scene going now, with intel reports of a Stratios seeing Ishtars running all over the place, trying to be the one that gets that lovely 500 million ISK kill-mail.
See, the thing about the Stratios is, it has no bonuses for what these chaps are doing with them. Well, they have drone bonuses, but a ratting Ishtar can melt one of them in a jiffy. Hell, most of the kills our guys get, they just use their ratting drones to kill them. What generally happens now is, they pop into a system, have a poke at an Ishtar, and if they get the notification that says “This ship has defenses against energy neutralizing” (or something along those lines), they bugger off right quick.
We like to give them a wave in local, or thank them for the drones if they have to leave quickly, and carry on ratting. Naturally, one has to check their history if they’re an unknown, don’t want any cyno action. Most of them are well-known now, though. On the flip-side, they still get plenty of kills, so the odd half a billion ISK loss probably doesn’t worry them too much, I’d say.
All in all, it’s an equitable situation. They get to kill the guy next door, sometimes over and over again, and we get to tootle along doing our thing. Dear old Gevlon has something to write about, I have something to write about, PVP’ers are happy, we’re happy.
I think I’ll end it there, that’s close enough to a happy ending.