Can flippers are annoying as all hell. But even more annoying are the flippers who just get it wrong.

There I am, mining on a Saturday. I normally do not mine on Saturdays as there is much ass-hat-ery and shenanegans afoot. But, I needed some quick cash and one of my belts still had a few rocks in it. I zip over there and start. Kino runs a bit behind as he was stuck a few systems over, but arrives in plenty of time to start loading.

I am alert, with my ship clear of any rocks and pointed to a station. We were about an hour into mining (I had only planned to do two or when all Veld is removed from my reach) when we had a visitor to the belt. I had noticed him when he entered the system as he was a member of a particular group out of Dodixie.

 Kino was dropping rock off (1.6 AU away, so turn around is very short), so I was empty. Flying a Rifter, my visitor must have sized up the situation as 1) lone barge 2) can with stuff in it. He started toward me (about 20+km or so). It was waaaay to easy. He wasn’t using a MWD, and maybe not even an AB. I couldn’t tell as my overview wasn’t set up for velocities.

Kino did show up at about the time he was in range of my can. I performed my best bull fighter move and rip the lone iron charge out of the can just as he was within inches of 2500 km. I even hollered “ole’! ” on local. He didn’t respond, which is even more disappointing. At least say something. He came about, parked next to me, kicked out a can, and sat there.

Now, I’m a miner. I am used to setting hours on end staring at basically nothing. What was he going to do, wait me out? Or does he think that a minin barge with a few light drones would take out a very good PvP frigate? We held out for a few minutes, then drug up and moseyed over to our office and hung out for a bit. He eventually left the system, but my window for mining had closed, so I decided against heading back out.

Now, I sincerely hope for him, and the large Dodixie group he was a member of, that he was just being lazy and not really trying. Don’t embarrass your corp.

If you are going to try and can-flip, do it right. Just as the grief I got for having  FAIL-fit ships, you should get grief for failing at a relatively simple lulz exercise.

If you warp to 0, bookmark, warp out and warp back on top of me. Hell, even wait 10 minutes to see if my guard goes down. Use an AB or MWD (I know, that can get tricky trying to steal stuff at MWD speeds, but that is a skill that can be useful). Be stealthy. This particular fellow proudly had a ninja in his profile. Ninjas strike silently and suddenly, not slowly and obviously like a drunk celebrity boxer.

If the ship has a cargo ship or Orca, most likely you won’t get anything. If the targets have been in-game for a while, they most likely won’t engage you. If they are a member of a large corps, you are probably being suckered in as well. Oh, and if the lasers aren’t on, they aren’t mining, which means no can will be kicked out. I don’t understand why that bit of information eludes some folks.

If the lasers are on, note the kind of ship they are in. Remember a strip miner cycle takes 180 seconds. A regular laser cycle is 60 seconds. Plan accordingly. If the target plans to stay put, they’ll have to kick out if they want to keep that cycle of product, as full cargo bays force the lasers to destroy that cycle’s take. Hulks have big holds, Procurers have tiny ones. I can pull in well over 4,000 m^3 of ore every 3 minutes in a Covetor. Do the math. I can fill a 27,500 m^3 can in about 20 minutes. Watching a lone barge for ten minutes gives you good odds. 

Another idea is use a ship that isn’t an obvious flip machine. Why, you might even sucker someone into a fight if you have a Battle Bestower or something. Be creative. I have had 2 successful can flips. One was flying a well armed Itty V. I thought my Retriever’s drones could smack him about (this was when I was still in a NPE corp). I was wrong. It was a good learning experience, and I made friends with that pilot. I don’t whine. And I don’t pay unreasonable ransoms 😉

The other was an opportunity that didn’t work right. Kino was in station when a lone guy in an Incursus flipped. Kino rushed and jumped into a Catalyst and sped back. When he arrived I made a mistake by sic-ing my Retriever’s drones on the Incursus. I should have hauled ass and jumped into a fighting ship. Lots of lessons there (including just how FAIL fit we really were).

Both flips were done smartly. I can appreciate that. The Incursus pilot slyly had a friend in an Itty V show up just as the shooting started. Planning for total salvage was excellent.

If you do get some stuff and hope they take the stuff back from your can so you can shoot, I recommend not naming your can. A named can lasts 2 hours, so unless you have a big hold or a buddy or corp mate on standby,  they’ll wait until you disappear from local. I have done that once early on in my EVE career. He just left the rock there as his little bay was full, probably of cap charges and ammo.

I am not an expert at can flipping, and I am sure the good ones know many more slick or better ways of doing things. That’s fine and goes with experience. Again, you can’t argue with good tactics. However, they need to be effective.

Now, hopefully I didn’t make myself or my corp a target for every can-flipper out there, but if you are going to do it, just as in PvP, you need to do it right.

Fly better.