Ganking is game slang for an individual ship being attacked by a group of ships. Its essentially short for "Gang Kill" because there is very little chance for a single ship to take on several other ships.
Ganking is done by all nations and all classes, and is a very common part of the game. Its frustrating when it happens to you, but if you sail in the red is always a risk.
Don't get discouraged when it happens to you. It will happen if you sail the red, its part of the game and adds to the tension/excitement. Remember the number one rule in the red....there are no rules.
- Sailing in the red can be done in ways to minimize the risk; you can sail next to a NPC of a different nation than your potential attacker, and if they come for you attack the NPC. Once you get out of that combat instance you are invisible and invulnerable for a brief time. Take advantage of that to sail into port or find another NPC heading your way and do it again. When you leave a port you are invisible and invulnerable for a brief time (about 20 second)take advantage and sail to a close port or into an NPC combat.
- Call for help in nation chat, stating the exact location of your fight and the number of enemies and their ship types. There might be other players of your nation near by that could come to assist you. If you open you Local map, you will see your location and that will help you give your allies a better idea of where you are.
- Have a faster ship. While outfits for OS speed will greatly reduce the time it takes you to haul your goods or to sail your ship to a destination, they give no additional speed in battle. Choose your outfits (and skill build) to raise your maximum battle speed. Acceleration is also an important problem, mainly on sluggish haulers like the 'Leviathan' Bark or the 'San Mateo' Galleon.
- Have the wind. There's nothing worse than being ganked in a 'Leviathan' Bark caught up wind. You might aswell keep your sails down and prepare to be boarded since any enemy will easily sail up to you before your nose is out of the wind and you begin to accelerate. To avoid this, turn on the open sea so that you have optimum wind.
- Have "clickies" and consumables ready. There's a number of "clickies", that give you an intermittend speed buff for your escape, most notably Sonia's Dissertation. Consumables will help keep your sails up if you are being shot at. Admiral's Overhaul and Mast Braces are your friends. Very usefull is the consumable Smuggler's Overhaul, since it buffs your speed and acceleration, but damages your guns.
- Fight. So you're still not fast enough? Never give up! Some popular ships for ganking have low armor and structure and a few point-blank broadsides just might take one of them with you. If you abandon ship it leaves a derelict that they can capture, don't make life so easy for them. If they sink you, they don't get your ship, just as much of your cargo as they can hold, and that's generally not all of it.
- Board. If it looks like they want to board you, Control Click your boarding icon on your tool bar, and try to board them first. If they board you and win, they get the derelict also. If you win, you're back on your ship, that's one enemy out of the fight, and you might be able to pop a couple repairs and escape in the confusion. If you shoot their crew down to a minimum, it can keep them from boarding you.