Encounter Surveillance System Theft – EVE

For the past months I have been living in CFC occupied nullsec territory earning my ISK scavenging from eve encounter surveillance systems.  The purpose of my deployment is to research and document the activities of nullbears who live deep inside the blue doughnut, as well as to develop nullsec logistic strategies for the maintenance of supply lines deep into enemy territory.  This is the fourth part of the Bearsec Prophecies series, the first can be found here. Today I’ll talk to you about how to many money off the effort of the nullbears that live in the blue doughnut and teach you how to steal from an encounter surveillance system.

Encounter Surveillance System

What is an Encounter Surveillance System (ESS)?

Encounter Surveillance Systems are new deployable structures that were introduced in the Rubicon expansion to EVE Online.  That expansion reduced the bounties of NPC nullsec rats by 5% so that ratting in nullsec after Rubicon would generate 95% of the profit that was possible before.   Deploying an Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) would further lower the bounties paid by another 15%, which means that the bounties that go to the players’ wallets became 80% of what was possible before Rubicon.  However, by deploying an Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) a 20% bounty bonus was collected inside of the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) so that total profits after Rubicon with an Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) became the same as they were before Rubicon.  The Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) further benefited ratters by giving an additional 5% bonus bounty once the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) had been deployed in the system for some time.  This made it so profits with an Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) after Rubicon became 105% of what was possible before Rubicon.  On top of that, the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) gives players loyalty points (LP) which further incentivizes them to deploy them in systems across nullsec.

How it works

The trick with Encounter Surveillance Systems (ESSes), however, is that the 25% bonus payout remains inside the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) until a player clicks a “share” or take “take all” button.  The share button takes 30 seconds to complete, and it gives everyone who contributed to the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) their fair cut of the profits.  The “Take all” button takes 3 minutes to complete, but it allows a single person to take all the loot from the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS).

Due to the fact that the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) holds ISK (in tokens) it comes with some defenses.  It has a warp bubble that goes out to 15km and it has an infinite point.  The warp bubble affects all non-bubble immune ships that come within 15km of the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) and the infinite point affects anyone attempting to access the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS).  There is also a message that goes out system wide that broadcasts whenever a pilot is within range of the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS).  For a more complete list of Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) information see here.

Stealing from ESSes, Tactics

The best way to steal from Encounter Surveillance Systems (ESSes) is to do it shortly after downtime.   When the server resets only the people who are actually active will be logged in when you are in system, so you can get a good idea of how many potential defenders the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) will have.  Also, sometimes server reset causes anoms to de-spawn or spawn in different places, some have theorized that it is because anoms have timers that are synchronized with the daily downtime.  This is important because doing a run after downtime will minimize the impact of the protective technique described here.  Being able to tell whether the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) is in the middle of an anomaly can mean the difference between making off with a good profit and losing your ship.  Thankfully this is easy to do because if you try to warp to an Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) that is in the middle of an active anom that anom’s warning message will come up with enough time for you to cancel warp.

Best Ship for the Job

For stealing from Encounter Surveillance Systems (ESSes) I recommend a fast, cloaky ship.  If you can fly recons they make for a good choice.  Most people think that recons are carrying a covert cyno and will be too paranoid to engage you.  Also most recons can make quick work of interceptors and other small ships which will allow you to stay on the field longer during close calls.  Interceptors make a good choice as well because they allow you to travel through multiple systems looking for Encounter Surveillance System (ESSes) in a short period of time due to their faster warp acceleration and warp top speed.


Once you find an Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) and you are ready to make your move, the process is pretty simple.  All you do is approach, click “Take All” and wait out the 3 minute timer.  A good thing about the way ESSes work now is that it tells you how much ISK is currently in it, and which pilots contributed to it.  That way you know whether it is worth taking at all, and who in the system will get an in-game notification that you are attempting to take from the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS).   As you can see in this video, taking from ESSes can be quite lucrative:

~170M ISK for about three minutes of work is not too bad at all, especially considering that it is someone else’s ISK.

That’s it for now, until next time, fly safe o7

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