As I am on vacation at the moment, and therefore not running my usual fleets, now seems as good a time as any to write up a brief guide to running and managing an HMA Public Mining Fleet. First, we will cover how to configure your fleet to be consistent with the HMA “brand”.
Most of you found us this way but, for those who aren’t familiar, Fleet up! is a function within the The Agency that let’s you create and search for fleets. This is where we will start. To begin, simply click Register Fleet Command.
The fleet should be named HMA Public Mining Fleet. The description should refer pilots to the Hek Mining Association channel for more information. You will want to select the options for New Player Friendly and Use Advanced Options. Once that’s been filled out, click Advanced to set those options.
Select Publicly Accessible and Minimum required standings 0.0. This will make the fleet available to everyone except those that you have personally set to Bad or Terrible Standing. Please note that this does not appear to take corporate standings into account (or, maybe just doesn’t work). Click Save then Register Fleet.
Once you’ve got the fleet up, be sure to update the MotD (Message of the Day) with all the important details. The example above is my personal setup but feel free to make this your own. However, we do ask that you include at least a link to our website (specifically, The HMA page), a link to the Hek Mining Association channel, a link to the Buyback channel as well as the buyback status, a link to the Discord, and that you identify the person in charge of the fleet.
Congratulations, you are now the bosmang of your very own HMA Public Mining Fleet. Try not to let the power go to your head.
As the bosmang, you will be expected to think on your feet and deal with challenges as they appear. However, I would like to provide some guidance regarding some common challenges.
Ganking and Griefing
As a public mining fleet, you can expect to be ganked and griefed from time to time. To those unfamiliar, ganking (or, more accurately, suicide ganking) is the practice of utilizing cheap and efficient ships to kill more expensive targets while griefing is the practice of harassment that avoids criminal status such as attacking MTUs, can-flipping, or bumping. Sometimes these are done as part of an extortion racket but just as frequently it is meant to send a message or as simple for the fun of it. Dealing with gankers and griefers is the most challenging part of being bosmang and there is no one-size-fits-all answer for managing them. However, there are three things to keep in mind to help get you started down the right path.
First, a gank happens fast. In Hek, Concord will respond to criminal acts in between 19 and 24 seconds. That means that if you can survive those 19-24 seconds you should be safe. However, that also means you also only have (at most) 19-24 seconds to implement any defensive strategies. In practice, it is usually much less time which is why ECM is the only practical way to defend against gankers. All you need to do is prevent your opponent from applying damage long enough for the cavalry to arrive. Even a single Griffin can turn the tide. That being said, a fast-locking high-damage ship is fun and can (if you’re lucky) kill Catalysts before they can kill their target.
Second, most griefers want you to fight them. Generally speaking, what they are trying to do is bait you into engaging them at which point they will destroy you. And, don’t be fooled into thinking that the fight you see is the fight you are going to get. Always remember that when you engage another player you will have a limited engagement timer. Even if you destroy the ship you see, they have five minutes to reship into something more suitable.
Third, keep your composure. Gankers and griefers want to upset you. Not only is that satisfying in its own right, but if you lose your cool you will make poor decisions which will likely result in your destruction. Either way, do not give them the tears they so desperately crave. My personal preference is to respond with either disdain or acknowledgement of their skillful play depending on the ganker or griefer in question.
The official purpose of the HMA is to regulate all mining within Hek and the surrounding systems. In short, if you aren’t mining with the HMA you shouldn’t be mining. How strongly we adhere to that principal is dependent on the bosmang and the resources at their disposal. When deciding how to handle unauthorized mining it is important to remember that we are a friendly neighborhood cartel. As such all reasonable efforts should be made to get independent miners into fleet. My personal preference is to post regular messages in local advertising our group and invite outside miners both to fleet and our channel (usually a few times). After that, it is just a matter of how many Catalysts I can muster.
Multiple HMA Public Mining Fleets
There should only ever be one HMA Public Mining Fleet although it is fine to split the fleet members into multiple wings should people wish to mine in different systems (for example, an ore “fleet” in Hek and an ice “fleet” in Nakugard). In the case of multiple fleets only one is considered legitimate which can be determined according to the following priorities:
- HMA Membership. Although anyone is free to create and run an HMA Public Mining Fleet, fleets run by member corps of the HMA take precedent over non-member fleets.
- Number of members. The larger fleet takes precedent over the smaller fleet.
- Age of the Fleet. The older fleet takes precedent over the younger fleet.
Buyback and Boosts
It is not required for the bosmang to offer either boosts or buyback when running a public fleet, although both would be ideal. However, please keep in mind that there should be no cost to participate in an HMA Public Mining Fleet. As such, please check with Winston if you need free or discounted charges. If you offer buyback, please specify in your MotD which buyback method you are using. Personally, I recommend Honor System. Although it is always possible you will be the victim of fraud, as a general rule you will loose less to dishonesty than you would have lost in time trying to keep accurate track of your incoming ore.
Hopefully this guide will be sufficient to get you on path to running your own fleets. If you have any questions, throw them into the comments or reach out to me in-game.