A "gank" in Eve Online is generally accepted to be anytime someone in High Security space gets their ass handed to them and losses a ship unexpectedly. A transport or other ship cruising along, or mining, or doing some other type of CareBear stuff - suddenly gets attacked. Or bumped. Or otherwise "ganked". It is a weird mechanic that lots of players have turned into an art over the last 16 years.
I don't generally participate in it myself. I'm a Low Sec Pirate, but over the years I have derped a few ships into HS for a belt kill here and there. Back in my early days I engaged in lots of HS activities with my positive sec status. But generally speaking I am neither pro or con when it comes to whatever happens in HS space. I rarely go there. I'm not exactly welcome.
I have however, on my alt accounts, been on the losing end of a few ganks. I was once killed on gate by a smart-bombing Battleship. And I lost a fully loaded Freighter once on gate. Considering just how much hauling and moving I've done over the years the number of incidents is extremely low. Live and learn is my usual response.
But Hilmar recently asked for opinions on how to deal with HS ganking in general. So that has caused some opinions to be raised across the community. As you can imagine those opinions range from HS should be totally safe all the way across to don't change nothing! Everywhere in New Eden should be dangerous and evil. Which is typically where my sentiments usually weigh. In recent years changes to the War Dec mechanic have made that system a bit more logical, so can something like that be done to help those that move stuff in and thru HS?
I have one idea that would fundamentally change the way HS works and alleviate some of the issues. It is a simple, clean, and easily implemented solution that makes some sense. High Security space is owned and operated by the four Empires with the assistance of those bastards in CONCORD. It is, in all senses, the most civilized areas in New Eden. If that is so, then why do the NPC Stations and Gates not work properly? My idea is to fix that.
Every Empire controlled NPC Station and Gate in New Eden HS systems enforce a 150k non-aggression space around them. Unless there are War Targets involved, you can't lock or engage any targets within that space. Out in a belt? Sure. In orbit around a celestial? Of course. Just not around Stations or Gates. This "space" can be tied to system sec status, so perhaps it scales depending on the amount of sec status in each system. So .6 HS is only a 10k range? All the way up to 1 systems being 150k. This ensures that zero to zero transportation is relatively "safe" from ganking, unless under a War Dec.
Everything else stays the same. And Concord continues to punish people like me that are low sec status from entering HS systems.
Personally I don't like it. However, if HS ganking is truly the cause of so many young players leaving the game - then something needs to be done. I'm not 100% convinced that ganking is the leading cause of new players leaving Eve Online. I remain convinced it is just the easiest thing to complain about. And has always been the easiest target.
I firmly believe that the log-in, creation, tutorial, first three day experience of a new player in Eve Online sucks horribly. I just went thru this with three young boys who are dedicated gamers, and it was painful to watch. Only one of them continues to have an Eve account, and that one only plays sporadically.
But the Stations and Gates in HS could easily work better. It makes sense.
I just don't believe it'll fix anything.