Howto: Safe(ish) orca hauling in highsec

There are a few things than can help you transport your hard earned things in a relatively safe way. Relatively, as there are no absolutes in EVE.

Docked Orca

Note that is by no means meant as the ultimate solution: it is simply what I learned, and use myself.

The Orca is a great hauler, but while it is faster than a freighter, it is still very slow. For this to work as intended, you will need the following fitted to your Orca:

  • 1 x Large Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
  • 1 x 100MN Afterburner (Faction recommended)
  • 1 x Inertial Stabilizers II
  • 1 x Improved Cloaking Device II

The rest of the fit is up to you. Personally, I fill the rest with buffer tank to increase the survivability (and as a deterrent for anyone scanning the ship). This is my full fit, which I use for hauling & travel, but occasionally also use to fleet mine:

[Orca, Highsec travel]
 Inertial Stabilizers II
 Damage Control II
 Large Shield Extender II
 Large Shield Extender II
 Large Shield Extender II
 Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
 Domination 100MN Afterburner
 Shield Command Burst II
 Mining Foreman Burst II
 Mining Foreman Burst II
 Improved Cloaking Device II
 Small Tractor Beam II
 Drone Link Augmentor II
 Large Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
 Large Core Defense Field Extender II
 Large Core Defense Field Extender II

When you enter a system, look at the overview: if the gate is crowded, or there are known gankers in system (I trust you have the usual suspects’ corporations added to your address book with bad standing), you do the following:

  1. Align to the target destination (to break the gate cloaking)
  2. Immediately engage the cloak
  3. Wait for the ship to align and gain some speed
  4. Turn off the cloak
  5. Immediately click on jump / dock
  6. Immediately engage the Afterburner, and turn it off again so it cycles only once

From the perspective of a ganker, your ship will appear briefly at the gate and on the overview, then disappear again. An alert spotter who watches space around the gate as well as the overview can try to fly towards your ship to decloak it, but the time window is pretty short. If you time it right, it definitely does not leave enough time to target you and scan your cargo.

Afterwards, when you decloak again for the warp, you will only appear for a few seconds (for the duration of the cycle of the Afterburner). Once the cycle completes, you will be in warp directly, because the ship will already have gained enough momentum to warp. This wait is when gankers may have enough time to scan your cargo. However, ideally, they should not have the time to act on it: when scanning a ship, they have to decide if it is worth ganking. Only highly organized teams have spotters and gankers at several gates, and they have to prioritize their targets.

Hint: Cloaking and decloaking has an animation, but that is just eye candy. Your ship is cloaked or decloaked the moment the module is turned on or off. There are no delays for anyone else watching.

This technique with the cloak helps a lot to avoid ganks, but the most powerful tool is simply patience: When transporting things, do it in several trips instead of one. Ganking a ship is costly, and gankers will only attack targets that have a potential payout that pays more than replacing their ships, leaving enough to divide among all the participants. They also have to recover their standings periodically, which is a bit of work.

To illustrate: I recently made a trip to Jita to buy industry materials worth 900 million. I used my freighter, but made three trips although it would have fit in the ship’s hold. Strangely enough, nobody bothered me with only 300 million worth of cargo 🙂 I was targeted on several gates to scan my cargo, but no one even bothered to try to ransom-bump my ship.

In the Orca, I would put the upper limit of total cargo worth at 400 million, although personally I usually keep it lower than that. EVE is all about patience anyway, and an Orca is not exactly cheap. Better keep it, and use that ISK for something fun.

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