Monday 19 May 2014

Cargo Scan Immunity

Over in the Bockade Runner Rebalance thread on the official forums there is a very small but extremely vocal minority trying to get blockade runners nerfed by removing the cargo scan immunity. For the most part it's one guy arguing incessantly for the nerf, repeating the same arguments ad nauseum and a few others supporting him.

There's a lot of crap being spouted about "bad pilots", "good pilots" and scan immunity somehow making flying empty BRs on autopilot less safe for what he considers "good pilots".

The nerf callers keep insisting that removing the scan immunity would make flying empty BRs on autopilot safer from gankers. They seem to think being unable to see what a BR is carrying means high sec gankers kill all BRs on sight and nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is the vast majority of the time gankers are in it for profit, not being able to see what a BR is carrying means they don't know if killing your BR is profitable or not so they just ignore it.

I'm speaking from extensive personal experience with 25 blockade runner pilots regularly flying all over high sec on autopilot. That includes flying on autopilot to/from all 5 main hubs, the largest hubs in 16 other empire regions, and through virtually all of the worst, most notorious 0.5 gank camp systems like Uedama, Litiura and the Deltole/Aufay/Balle chain.

In the roughly 1 year since I got my first blockade runner I haven't lost a single one in high sec yet. I did lose one to a low sec station undock camp while flying manually but that's another story entirely.

The truth is scan immunity does not make flying empty blockade runners less safe, or at least not by any significant amount.

What scan immunity actually does do is make flying all blockade runners (whether full, empty, on autopilot or not) much safer in high sec. In low and null it really makes no appreciable difference.

The cries to remove scan immunity aren't about safety for empty blockade runners like the nerf criers insist. It's all about gankers wanting BRs nerfed so they'll know if ganking a BR is going to be profitable or not rather than taking a chance and risking losing a little ISK. They want to take the risk of not making a profit out of ganking BRs.

IMO ganking hauling ships is already way too easy, nerfing the only class of hauling ship that isn't easy to gank would be a huge mistake, especially since BRs have the smallest cargo holds of all haulers.

In fact AFAIC cargo scan immunity isn't what's overpowered, it's the ability to cargo scan in the first place that's overpowered and should be removed! Make griefers and gankers put a little effort into finding profitable targets instead of making everything easy for them.

I sincerely hope CCP doesn't listen to the nerf criers and kill one of the few uniquely useful ship classes in the game.


  1. I lost a Viator in Jita, piloting MANUALLY. That day every pushing of jump button landed the Viator a bit too far from gates, resulting in few seconds of approach time. In Jita 4-4, it was long enough to be decloaked and shot by a Tornado. In Eve, you are never safe.

    1. Bad luck.

      It happens and no doubt it'll happen to me eventually too. I consider the risk negligible and when it finally does happen I'll write it off as a cost of doing business.

      During the last Burn Jita I autopiloted several loads worth billions in and out of Jita safely. I considered flying the first/last jump manually but did it on auto anyhow just to prove a point. =)

  2. I know without looking who is making that argument. in the counter argument in my chat you were used as an example.

    1. Link please... Assuming you meant blog/forum post rather than a chat channel.

  3. I saw your post yesterday and decided to give a try with my Viator.

    I flew from Jita to Dodixie manually, then on autopilot to Hek and Rens and then back to Jita (empty).

    In 4 jumps from Jita I was attacked by two pirates (-9.9 sec status) while approaching the gate. With empty shield and not touched armor autopilot jumped to the next system. Got 2 kill rights and good lesson.

    1. Really?

      I'm surprised you got attacked so quickly. But then again, you still made it through without dying.

      Also, the Hek/Rens to Jita leg passes through 4 of the worst 0.5 gank camps. I'd guess there wasn't much happening for them at the time, they were bored, passed intel along and set a trap for you... But it still failed so maybe you're safer in that BR than you think.

      I have gotten timers twice that I know of while afk but never lost a ship or even had any damage when I came back. But that's just twice in a year with a lot of alts flying BRS and didn't lose anything either time. At least one and I think both of those attacks were in Litiura.

      I fit my prowlers for speed and alignment time (nanos and polycarbons or hyperspatials) and up to 15k active tank (2 invulns and a DC-II). I never fit cargo expanders or rigs, I really don't need them.

      I often do fly the most camped 0.5 systems (uedama, litiura, deltole/aufay/balle) manually when I have a very valuable cargo on board but I almost always fly them completely afk on auto when I'm empty or don't have much cargo onboard yet. I definitely fly my blockade runners on auto more than manually, as a rough guess I'd say I'm on auto about 75% of the time. And of course any hops into low/null are always done manually.

      I also tend to run 2 or 3 clients at the same time and tab back and forth between them occasionally. If a character is on gate/station approach when I tab in I'll hit the cloak, then pulse the MWD and tank mods before tabbing back out just to be safe.

      I feel far, far safer autopiloting blockade runners than any other ship. In fact I feel quite a bit safer autopiloting BRs than I do manually piloting a lot of ships.


    Well now, look at the #1 poster with his corp/alliance.