EVE Online Ninja Salvaging Guide
EVE Online Ninja Salvaging Guide by Kahega Amielden
Do you like the smell of alloyed tritanium bars? Do you like cruising space, picking up salvage (and maybe loot), listening to the sweet sound of missionrunners’ whining in local like an old man trying to get you off his lawn? If so, ninjasalvaging very well may be for you.
Ninja salvaging, as you might already know, is the act of probing down hisec mission runners and salvaging the wrecks they leave behind. As you can imagine, this ****es off a lot of missionrunners and as such has lead to a lot of delicious tears on these very forums.
However, it is a very profitable venture, and fun as well.
Skills you need/want
-Astrometrics. Will determine the number of probes you can use. Astrometrics II will technically work, but the more probes available, the more ways you can use the scanning system to find those MRs. I don’t normally use more than 5, and you can use 3 + your astrometrics level in probes…so, basically, just train it up to 2 + however many probes above 5 you want (if any)
-Astrometric Pinpointing – Reduces scan deviation. Not going to bore you with details, but it helps. Train this unless you like hits disappearing.
Astrometric rangefinding- 10% increased scan strength per level. This will allow you to get better hits and scan down sites faster-highly recommended
-Astrometric Acquisition. Lowers your scan time by 1 second per level. Doesn’t seem like much, but it’s useful.
-Salvaging. Requires Survey III. Level I will work, but 3-4 makes for faster salvaging. V is even better, and allows t2 salvagers.
Remember, however, that you only totally -need- Astrometrics I (II is better) and Salvaging, incase you’re new and worried about where to drop your SP.
First, you want a scanship. The best scanship is a covert ops frigate, due to the 10% decreased scan time per level of covert ops. However, if you can’t use those, just use a tech 1 astrometrics frigate (Imicus, Probe, etc.). They have a scan time bonus of 5% per level of racial frigate.
Then, slap a couple Gravity Capacitor Rigs on it (dirt cheap, even newbies can afford easily). Again, not 100% necessary, but very useful as it decreases your scan time.
Then, you need a salvage ship. This is not a destroyer. You can’t use tractor beams, so don’t bother trying.
What you want it something fast, something that can zip around from wreck to wreck, salvage, and move on. You may need cargo capacity/survivability if you want to loot and/or bait the missionrunner, again will be discussed later. I recommend a vigil with ab (and a MWD too if possible) with agility mods.
Salvage tackle rigs can help, but are expensive so weigh the cost vs the benefit. Don’t do it until you can learn to pay attention and GTFO if you get aggro
If looting, you may want to consider using a salvage cruiser, or tractoring a jetcan around with you.
Finding A System
Since Apocrypha, the importance of having a place with a LOT of runners has been diminished. However, an area with a lot of regular runners can give you a choice of the most profitable missions to ninja. Find an area with a good population and some high-quality level IV missions. If you go to the system and see a good amount of large wrecks and player battleships on a max-range 360 degree d-scan from the inner planets, you’ve found a home.
Right now, Sansha and Bloods (mostly Amarr space) grant the best salvage, followed by Angels (Mostly Minmatar space), then Serpentis and, lastly, Guristas…For the pirate factions. Empire faction wrecks give circuts and nothing more, making them a bit worse than even the Guristas. However, empire factions have good tags if you feel like going for the loot.
Rogue drones give poor salvage, but, like Empire factions, great loot. Ninjalooting drone wrecks is like bounty ninjaing. “Mission generic” wrecks are iff
Read this first.
It will explain the new probing system, albeit that specific guide relates to finding exploration sites. For those of you who have issues with ninjaing, I put together a video guide showing me probing down someone in a mission system.
(Note: I used to have my own scanning video linked here. However, I’m crap at making them and so I figured I’d just link a better one instead. Credit goes to Paul Clavet, an Honorless Internet Jerk)
In the Mission
Get your salvage ship and…well, start salvaging. Go for the large/medium wrecks first, you -may- even decide to pass by the small wrecks completely as their salvage is “meh”. Make sure you avoid NPC aggro
Looting will allow the MR and his corp to shoot at you. Depending on whether you’re okay with this, you may or may not want to do this. Some intrepid individuals like to get the missionrunner to shoot them so they can come back in a gankship. With that in mind,
You can skip over this section if you’re not interested in pewpewing the missionrunner. However, if you are, read on.
The mechanics are simple enough. As said before, loot -> Get him to shoot you -> come back and PEWPEW him. But doing it properly is another matter.
As for the type of ship: most PVP battleships will do. A Curse is also good, as are many HACs or even some BCs. Missionships are poorly outfitted for PVP and thus aren’t too hard to deal with.
Make sure you fit an afterburner, and ideally, get thermodynamics. Being able to overheat your warp disruptor (for 28K scram range) and your afterburner (to get in range faster) is very useful. Make sure to stop overheating them, however, or they will crap out.
Consider fitting a couple heavy neuts if you can. Missionships depend on a cap-stable active tank. Nothing dumps on this better than some neuting.
Yes, it’s true. Ninjas are so ninja (yes it’s a noun AND an adjective) that they can take bounties as well. This is best done in a duo or a group, so you can get the salvage, the bounties, and maybe even the loot.
Fit a ship for high-alpha and good range. For example, a mael with 8x 1400mm artilleries and 4 gyrostabilizers can give you some very nice alpha.
For the rest of the slots, fit a good passive/buffer tank and light drones. If something goes wrong (You get epic aggro), you should be able to last long enough to warp out…the drones will let you kill any scramming frigs.
Basically, just target whatever the missionrunner targets. When the target ship gets low enough, fire and get the final blow in-the bounty is yours. Don’t shoot the rats otherwise, however! Then the missionrunner may get the final blow..and then you’re just helping him run the mission faster.
The directional scanner is an excellent tool for when just finding some random missionrunner in a hub isn’t enough.
I’m not going to go over the basics, it’s pretty simple and self-explanatory after you play with it for a bit. This guide explains it in the context of lowsec piracy, but it’s worth a read if you’re unsure how to use it at all. It’s an INCREDIBLE tool.
The d-scan is a bit less important since Apocrypha, but is still a nice tool. Most importantly, it lets you know what exactly you’re going for before you go for it.
If you just drop probes, you know that there is SOME SHIP out SOMEWHERE in the general vicinity of the hit you get, most likely in a mission. With the directional scanner, you can narrow down the general area just as well as with probes (And thus allow you to start off with smaller-ranged probes), AND it will tell you what type of ship they’re flying. You can even see what type of rats he’s fighting, which is great if you’re ninjaing for profit and want to scan down the absolute most profitable missions.
Open up the ingame notepad and enter in the AU/KM translations…that is, note that 1 AU = 150 mil KM, 4 AU = 600 mil, etc. It maxes out around 14.355 AUs so go up to 2,100,000,000 = 14 AU.
From there, use your knowledge of where the MR is in space to position your probes and eliminate erroneous hits.
This can allow you to be more precise in your ninjaing if you’re looking for a specific target. This can be very nice if you’ve “befriended” a specific missionrunner. Jot down his ship’s name, find on d-scan and get to work!
When Mission runners Fight Back
Once in awhile a missioner will think they’re clever and try to stop you. The following is a partial list of what they do and how I deal with it.
-They pop wrecks. Not too much you can do here, he’s hoping you’ll leave. Just stay around and force him to pop all the wrecks. You wont make much, but this will **** him off and sometimes he’ll just stop and realizing that having the loot is better than having nothing at all. Warping off when they do this just teaches missioners they can get rid of you easily, which is NOT something you want. Ideally, they’ll feel it’s futile to even try because you wont be leaving either way.
-Warp off. Not hard to deal with. Either go off and ninja another mission while you wait for him to come back, or just sit in a nearby bookmark and use the directional scanner to see when he comes back.
-Has an alt salvaging. Just beat the alt to the good wrecks. Either use your fast salvage ship to get to the good (The large) wrecks fast, or just circle around the guy and ninja the wrecks just before they come into his salvage/loot range. If you have good ship-piloting skills (And I mean player skills, not skillpoints), then you can easily grab anything before he can. This is even easier if you fit salvage tackles and/or Salvager IIs
-Cry in local or convo. Try to keep your composure. I know that missionrunner insults are absolutely heartbreaking, but tough ninjas are able to weather the verbal abuse and keep on going
Suddenly Ninjas hosts a public chat channel for ninjasalvagers to swap advice, stories, and just general discussion. Just click on the chat channel button in the top right of any chat window (looks like a speech bubble) and join “Ninja Dojo”