"The Pirate's Playbook" is a series of articles in which I detail every scam, con, hustle, hoodwink, gambit, flimflam, strategem and bamboozle that you can use to separate your prey from their loot.
Please note: the author of the Pirate's Guide to the Galaxy does not guarantee the success rate or even the sanity of any of the schemes described below. Use at your own risk. For best results, read in your best Neil Patrick Harris impression.
THE PLANET CAN SCAM
To perform the "Planet Can Scam," here is what you'll need:
- A ship fit for PvP (covert-ops cloak ideal, but not required)
- A lowsec planet within sensor range of a gate or station (Aivonen II and Osvetur VIII are great examples)
- A bunch of small, cheap items you don't mind losing (planetary materials are ideal)
- Warp to the target planet.
- Jettison a cheap item (planetary materials work best).
- Warp to the nearby gate. Confirm that you can see the cargo canister on your overview.
- Wait stationary at the gate (if you don't have a cloak), or cloaked near the canister.
- To anyone passing through the gate, it now looks like you have launched planetary materials and are either AFK at the gate or have not arrived at the system...
- Watch the overview and wait for someone to warp to your canister to steal your "planetary materials."
- When a thief arrives at your can, tackle and destroy them.
- Loot their corpse. Reset the trap and wait for the next victim (you may need to wait for your criminal timer to expire if you don't have a cloak).
- The higher-traffic the gate you select, the more targets you will attract and the more profitable this tactic becomes. I have managed to catch six pilots in a single hour in a particularly high-traffic system (no, I will NOT tell you which one! It's mine!)
- Because this ploy exploits the greed of random passersby, you can get some surprisingly rich targets with this play. You will get the usual ventures and cheap PvE ships, but also will get the occasional high-isk mission ships and loaded industrials who simply couldn't resist the chance to earn a quick pay-day.
- This is a great ploy to run while waiting for a criminal timer to wear off if you have a cloaked ship, or simply one to use in between roams through the local anomalies, since in addition to camping your "planet can" it also lets you watch the warp traffic into the system and follow pilots who jump to anomalies or belts.
- In a riskier version of this ploy, you can sit right next to your can uncloaked. Here, you are making YOURSELF the bait, and attempting to lure pirates rather than mere thieves.
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