Its another day in New Eden: you wake up in your Captain’s Quarters and find the evemail button flashing. “#@?$&! Corporation has declared war on you”. Damn. Panic is rising and you gulp. Your corporation members start asking… what do we do? Indeed. What do you do?
Step 1: Don’t Panic
You have 24 hours from the Declaration of War before the action starts. Use this time wisely. If you need to fuel your POS (player-owned starbase) or get ships and modules moved into your systems, use this time to do all those wonderful things.
If you are a high-sec corporation, also consider temporarily staging out of low-security systems. A great deal of the wardeccing corporations will not enter low-sec space, as they often fly very expensive ships and don’t want to be caught by a passing pirate.
Inform your members! Information is key: some members won’t check if they are at war, or even know what a war declaration might mean, especially if they are new to the game.
However, a war does not necessarily mean you need to stop doing what you are doing. Intel can give you some very valuable indications to help you decide the course of action you could take…
Step 2: Intel Gathering
So, you know the name of the corporation or alliance that has declared war on you; now the intel gathering can start. Start by looking at in-game descriptions and details for the enemy. You can search for the corporation or alliance in People & Places to gather the basic information. Also, go through and have a look at the CEO character’s biography and corporation history. This should tell you a bit about what kind of group you are dealing with.
Once that is done, go to EveWho.com to get a bit more detail. Search the name of the corporation or alliance and you should be able to see their history, their members list, and perhaps a bit more information from the comments that might be there. The comments can tell you a few things about what their general attitudes etc might be. Another good website to use is Eve-Search.com to search through the forums for more information. It can be extremely valuable to ask for help from groups that may have dealt with your opponent in the past, to learn whether they have information you can use.
The next step can be a little painful, but useful. Add all of the known members of the enemy corporation into your corporation contacts or individual contacts as you prefer, and make sure you can see when they are online. This can give you a good idea of their time zones, and alert your members when the enemy are active.
If you have public channels etc, take the step of banning the enemy corporation/alliance from the channel, to ensure that they cannot collect intel that way. Wardeccers do tend to put spies into their target corporations a week or so prior to the war itself, so be aware of the possibility that you have already been infiltrated.
It can be hard work, but it’s very important to parse all the information available on killboards (zKillboard or whichever you prefer). You can get a great deal of information from the enemy’s kills, including what ships they generally fly. If you find some of their lossmails, these will show you what kind of fits they are likely to use to use; you may be able to come up with a counter, but this is not always going to be feasible. It may be difficult to engage in a fight with them, but this should at least give you an idea of what to expect.
Step 3: The War
If the war is paid for the week, you will have to work through the week, but there is also a real danger that the war will be extended. The best way to prevent a continuation or extension of the war, is to simply offer very little in the way of kills or “content”. A war can be as a result of a mercenary contract to declare war on you, or it may be that the enemy themselves want to take a POS or POCO. So it depends on the objective of the group that is declaring war on you, as to what they may do.
During this period, you can either avoid High Sec altogether and expand your corporation’s activities elsewhere, or continue with business as usual whilst taking extra precautions such as putting scouts on gates, making sure that your corporation members pass on intel, knowing how to use perches and knowing when to deny fights. This would depend on the intel you gathered. Where do your opponents normally operate? Are they staying put near Amarr or Gallente space? Or are they starting to flock to your neighbourhood? In the latter case you might need to consider changing up your normal day to day. War-deccers often have out-of-corp alts that are used for logi, or as neutral eyes in the systems where they are hunting their targets. Identify them through patterns if you can.
Step 4: The Lessons
So, Nova Haven has gone through five wars in the five short weeks since we opened our doors. Each war has claimed losses. There is no way to ensure that there are no losses at all, short of shutting the doors of the corporation. Given that Nova Haven, for example, cannot afford to do so, we have continued with business as usual. As a result, we have suffered some losses. The warning was always given for our members to fly cheap ships.
So is Nova Haven doing exactly the right thing to deal with wars? Not necessarily. Every corporation and alliance is going to have its own needs. Your reaction to the war is always going to depend on who the aggressor is, and more importantly, on what your corporation’s capabilities and goals are.
Do what’s best for your corporation, for your members – but NEVAH give up!