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AFK Cloakiness

October 19, 2012

Hi all,

There was quite a good discussion over here about AFK cloaking and a lack of a counter to it. I’ve already gone on record as saying that I think there should be. In part because it’s essentially risk free and a major PITA to the inhabitants of the system you’re in.

I got to thinking how I used to operate in and around BRT-OP back in the day. I would travel up the pipe for scouting/intel/target identification purposes and got to be quite good at it imho. I’m not going to say I was at the keyboard ALL of the time, but I was usually doing one or more of the following:

Identifying active/inactive POSes at moons

Noting size and defensive composition of said POS

Launching survey probes if it appeared there was mining going on

Identifying who was online and when they were generally on

Identifying what ships people tended to fly, who did the POS refuelling, jump freighters etc

Identifying alts (cyno or otherwise)

Identifying cap pilots (if you were lucky enough to do so)

Some fairly serious scouting, and all extremely useful intel to the alliance leadership. It is fundamentally different from the logging on, activating cloak and going down the pub for a beer or seventeen behaviour that typifies the AFK cloaker. And therein lies the problem. You don’t know which of the two types of people you’re dealing with. An AFKer or someone with skills, a cyno and a willingness to use it…

One of my favorite memories was finding a POS offline that had been up the day before and a hauler just arriving at it. The POS was protected by a bubble or three, but I’d found a way around. Hailed the intel channel and before you know it a good sized fleet was suddenly underway.

When the fleet hit system, it was bounce off planet X and warp to me at 10…. when the fleet arrived underneath the bubbles the transport pilot must have nearly crapped himself 🙂

The POS went down pretty quickly without shields, but the end result was probably more like poking a bear with a stick. In more ways that one. I think that escalated the way they looked at us (minor annoyance with the occasional GF) to, OK now you’ve pissed us off. A (short) story for another time perhaps.

I still think a specialized probe to track down active cloaks is a darned good idea and would help prevent the AFKers. Both offense and defense should have active roles. Defense currently doesn’t and relies purely on bait tactics at the moment. Both parties should need to put at least some effort into it – even if it means having eyes at a gate for hours on end.

Better than that, assuming you really want to simulate a warzone, get rid of local in low sec and null and make outposts destructible. Space is big. Really big. You shouldn’t blip unless someone is actively looking for you. Similarly, someone scouting shouldn’t know the numbers of defenders in a system without doing some work or at least by getting into d-scan range. Let those people who are actively supplying intel make a significant difference to the battleground.

Even the biggest alliance in EvE is not going to be able to defend all of that territory and would most likely contract their SOV space, even if it doesn’t diminish their sphere of influence. A smaller footprint by the big fish should hopefully allow others to squeak in around the edges.

Burn, let it all burn…



P.S Logi V finished yesterday. Thought it was about time I finished that one. Timely too given Jester’s post….

From → Eve Online

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