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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry X-mass

Well it's Christmas eve and merry Christmas to all of you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Artillery

In my last post I took a look at ammunition and a little bit of the normalization of the autocannons. This time it's time to look at the big boom: artillery turrets.

The big difference is that the high tier guns of any particular size now have some massive increase in Alpha. Especially the large artillery.

250mm Light Artillery Cannon I
Rate of Fire: 8.500s
Damage Modifier: 4.62
Optimal: 8.05km

280mm Howitzer Artillery I
Rate of Fire: 10.710s
Damage Modifier: 6.403
Optimal: 10km

The way to compare these is to get the DPS modifier (Damage Modifier divided by rate of fire)
  • 250mm: 0.544
  • 280mm: 0.598
So the raw dps is a little tweeked for the larger gun. Not to mention a 38.6% greater alpha. Note that these guns saw the smallest relative changes.

Onto the medium guns:

650mm Artillery Cannon I
Rate of Fire: 12.65s
Damage Modifier: 4.62
Optimal: 16.10km

720mm Howitzer Artillery I
Rate of Fire: 20.003s
Damage Modifier: 7.973
Optimal: 20km

Once again calculating the DPS modifiers:
  • 650mm: 0.365
  • 720mm: 0.399
So once again there will be a DPS advantage to the larger gun. The alpha of the bigger gun is 72.6% more though.

Now for the big boys:

1200mm Artillery Cannon I
Rate of Fire: 21.038s
Damage Modifier: 5.082
Optimal: 32.20km

1400mm Howitzer Artillery I
Rate of Fire: 40.163s
Damage Modifier: 10.672
Optimal: 40km

And again with the factors and the relative alpha:
  • 1200mm: 0.242
  • 1400mm: 0.266
The alpha difference however is a massive 110% more alpha for the larger gun.

Now let's take a look at some gunboats and their bonuses. I'll concentrate on cruisers and battleships for now. I'll only list bonuses that affect guns as well.

Scythe
No gun bonus



Bellicose
Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret Rate of Fire



Stabber
Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret firing speed



Rupture
Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret firing speed per level.
Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage per level.

What can we conclude? The signature turret bonus is rate of fire bonuses for Minmatar ships. This is a better raw DPS bonus than a raw damage bonus but does not help alpha. The conclusion is that if you want to build an alpha ship out of the minmatar cruisers the only real option is the Rupture. The rest are realistically special use ships. Namely skirmishing in falloff with the Stabber Painting with the Bellicose and and aiding tracking with the Scythe.

Now the battleships:

Typhoon
Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret Rate of Fire per level



Tempest
Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret Rate of Fire per level
Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret damage per level


Maelstrom
Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret Rate of Fire per level



The analysis here shows that the tempest is the ship that initially looks like the clear winner in the alpha race. It's problem is that at level 5 it's a 25% bonus but the Maelstrom has 33% more guns. On the flip side the Tempest does get to keep 2 utility highs for remote reps and large newts (anti tackle). In the end, due to the default targeting range and the fact that it can use more turrets, (not to mention it has the power grid to fit a full rack of 1400mm with pg to spare) the Maelstrom is the clear winner in the alpha sniper sweepstakes. The larger quanties of lows and higher maneuverability of the Tempest make it a better skirmisher however. The typhoon although a good ship is just not suited for high alpha long range skirmish work.

These changes will not have great impact on the PVE side of the equation. However on the PvP side these changes can have potentially enormous impact. These changes really herald the re-birth of the matari skirmish squadron. The only problem such a squadron has is that all the pilots have to be coordinated and know how a skirmish squadron is supposed to fly. There is also the issue of integration into a larger fleet. Most FCs will not know how to assign duties to an attached skirmish squadron. The thing is that a properly fit and coordinated skirmish squadron has rather specialized uses. Ideally it should consist of enough high alpha units to one-shot a plated BS. Tactically it should be used in conjunction with interceptors and scouts to warp into battle - kill a key target then warp out.

One of the key things to observe is that thanks to the fact that it's now critical to get a first full damage hit, the Bellicose and the Scythe now have more of a role than they previously did. The Bellicose makes sure the targets are nice and large, the Scythe makes sure that any battleships it's assigned to support have extra tracking so that enemy movement has less of a detrimental impact on the damage coming from the guns (less misses). The rest of the armament on these two types of ships should be anti-tackle. A squadron of 6 Tempests backed by a Bellicose, a Scythe and two scouts can potentially wreck havoc on enemy sniper squadrons and support vessels. Not to mention occupy the attention of enemy FC's and distracting them (ideally at a critical moment).

I suspect that the FCs who show some originality in using squadrons like this will be albe to gain some tactical advantage from them. They are great for taking on remote rep fleets since they don't care if you have reps or not (the whole point of massive alpha is to kill the ship in one shot preferably. No chance to rep in those cases. This is actually a great opportunity to develop new FCs since the semi-independent nature that using a skirmishing fleet like this entails means that it needs a Squadron Commander to lead it independent of the the main fleet FC.

The real challenge sill be making sure that the squadron is trained up in the correct tactics and that the support/anti tackle ships are trained in their roles.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Projectile Ammo

As part of Dominion there was a major re-balancing of projectile ammunition as part of a re-balancing of projectile weapons in general. As such it behooves us to go over the changes with a fine tooth comb in order to make sure we pack the correct ammo for the situation.

The first thing to realize about the changes is that there are now only 3 ranges of Projectile ammo. -50% range, 0% range and +60% range ammo. The 0% gets a +20% tracking bonus and the +60% gets a +5% tracking bonus. The gun tiers also got some changes. For AC the larger tier guns get longer falloffs compared to the lower tiers:

125mm Gatling AutoCannon I
Falloff: 4km



150mm Light AutoCannon I
Falloff: 4.4km



200mm AutoCannon I
Falloff: 4.8km



You combine this will falloff bonused hulls and the changes to tracking enhancers and you can get some totally insane falloffs:

Machariel
Gallente Battleship Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Large Projectile Turret falloff per level



Tracking Enhancer I
Falloff Bonus: 20%



Note that Tracking Computers only get a 10% falloff bonus, but they get to switch between all optimal and all tracking at will thanks to scripts.

The other change to the ammo was a "purification" of the damage types done. This means that except for Depleted Uranium, there is a clear preference for a specific damage type in any of the rounds. So lets take a look at the groupings:

Short range (-50% optimal, 0% tracking bonus):

EMP S
9HP EM
2HP Explosive
1HP Kinetic

Fusion S
10HP Explosive
2HP Kinetic


Phased Plasma S
10HP Thermal
2HP Kinetic


As we can see since the range and tracking changes are identical between these ammo types, the only choice is which type of damage you want to emphasize. My prediction here is that Phased Plasma will rapidly overtake EMP as the short range ammo of choice, with fusion if one is expecting to go up against a lot of T1 Amarr ships.

Next we have the mid range ammos (+0% Optimal, +20% Tracking)

Depleted Uranium S
3HP Explosive
3HP Thermal
2HP Kinetic

Titanium Sabot S
6HP Kinetic
2HP Exposive


Here we can see that Deplete Uranium is the "Jack of all trades" ammo with Titanium sabot having a preference for Kinetic damage. I think that people will shy away from these ammos for PVE purposes but they will shine in PvP against smaller target ships with high tracking guns (i.e. the ammo of choice for your Dual 180mm AutoCannons). They will also present a nice backup ammo for artillery that has messed up and has a close up target where extra tracking becomes critical. They however only do 67% of the damage of the close range ammo. So you're taking a big DPS hit to get that extra tracking. They may also become the loadout of choice for ships that have tracking issues due to the way they are flown.

Finally we have the long range ammo choices (+60% optimal, +5% tracking):

Carbonized Lead S
4HP Kinetic
1HP Explosive


Nuclear S
4HP Explosive
1HP Kinetic


Proton S
3HP EM
2HP Kinetic


As you can see, the damage types are at long range preclude doing any thermal damage at all. On the flip side there will no longer be a gradual tradeoff between a bit more damage for a bit less range. Now the choice will be "where do i think the damage hole will be"? Obviously for T1 targets it is carbonized lead or nuclear. For shield tankers it's proton. However at 5 damage total compared to 12 for the short range ammo, there are definite issues of "lack of DPS" at long range. These will just about never be used on AC boats so these become Artillery only ammunition, on the flip side we now can control the damage type we favor at extreme ranges.

And that is my handy dandy run down on the new Projectile ammo choices.

Last EVE meet of the year

And we had the last EVE meet of the year here in Montreal. I'd like to thank Cozmik R5, BlueMiner (and BlueMiner's S.O. - I think), Havegun Willtravel, Uozag, mokmo3, cartboard box and IvanAsen for showing up. As per usual this marks the end of the meet season for 2009 as most of our next meets involve friends and family and RL type of commitments. Fot those unfamiliar with the Montreal EVE meet scene, it's fairly informal, a bunch of us get together every 2 weeks on Saturday at a local bar (one bar if it's rainy, a different one if it's sunny). One's an Irish pub, the other is one of the local microbreweries.

As far as the wormhole exploration goes I'm still hunting for a good class 5 to settle in, I've managed to get both myself and my scanning/hauling alt in class 4 systems with statics to class 5's. I'm debating getting a third account and making nothing but scanning alts on it. It's not very long to get the skills for a scanning alt in place and having multiple of them that I can drop off in wormhole systems would be very useful.

Well, time to go read the EVE-o forums for Dominion discussion chew bones. I'm sure that I'll find a few.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Open reply to Sage and Manasi

What we have here boys is a failure of analysis and un-realistic expectations. For those that don't read the comments, these were comments left in response to my un-expected consequences post:

OOSageOO:
A _wee_ problem? If the nullsec you're holding does not have direct highsec/lowsec access, it's a HUGE problem. Those freighter fleets that got hotdropped were owned by large alliances and had capital fleets escorting them. If even they cannot survive, how will smaller alliances with, say, less than 50 capitals total get a freighter in through hostile space? I think your "HTFU" mentality here is directly countering one of the main points for even making sov changes - to make it possible for smaller, newer groups to enter nullsec.
And Manasi:
Freighters in low sec or 0.0 is a joke, and a sick one at that, no way in hell a smaller ( read poorer) alliance can even get started without a freighter)

I want new people to come to 0.0, so anything that outright discourages then from doing so is well...counterproductive IMO.

I know of 6 0.0 Corporations that have no heavy lifting or logistics wings and exist purely to PvP, I also know several corporations that ditched their industry/mining/logistics guys months BEFORE dominion.

freighters still cost too much IMO, and making pilots fly through vast reaches is idiotic.

As far as someone claiming to own a system, without dropping a TCU( be under someone's influence) I think that people will not be able to project power too far from their homes for quite a bit of time. The sheer amount of manpower needed to MAINTAIN their particular sov/ military/industrial level cannot me underestimated.

As for moon mining? look at dysprosium/prometheum prices they are in the toilet, so that revenue stream is dead.

I normally agree with you on a lot of points but today I disagree, meh win some lose some I guess.
Bear in mind that I've been looking at the Dominion changes from the point of view of a) an alliance leader (however unprepared my alliance is for life in k-space 0.0 I have looked at it and what would realistically be needed to live there and I do frequently get asked the question "have you looked at moving to 0.0").

First of all, sage:

- Welcome to the biggest problem with eve from the care bear's point of view. It has always been pretty impossible to directly defend carebear assets in EVE. The fact that 0.0 alliances now need to worry about what the rest of us have had to worry about all along is actually refreshing. I have zero pity for anyone bitching about this. Having flow industrial ships in dangerous circumstances before it's all about scouting, op-sec and avoidance. It's like this in empire, it's like this in low sec, why should it be any different in 0.0. This is the way CCP set it up and they are not about to change that aspect any time soon. The problem is not that it's impossible to get the freighters through it's that large alliances are trying to get it all done simultaneously and immediately. Dominion just hit. All the large alliances are doing exactly the same thing. This provides ample opportunity to target the currently abnormal shipping patterns.

-Why the hell smaller entities are trying to slip thru right now? All the major and minor entry points are probably camped to a because of this. We all know there are pure PvP corp/alliances that like to gate camp the entry points. That's not going to change. Did you honestly think that ANY changes to the sov system would affect that fact? Most of these guys maintain a policy of reduced blues in order to ensure there's ample PvP.

-Third, the changes to the sov system were never meant to allow smaller entities access to 0.0. That was simply a miss-interpretation of what CCP said. The sov changes had two objectives. One stop the absurd tower spam warfare with something more logical. Two allow more of an alliance's population to LIVE down in 0.0. It was hoped that this would EVENTUALLY allow space to free itself up in 0.0 for other entities to settle there. But for that to happen existing empires would need to reduce their foot prints. This hasn't happened yet.

-This however totally ignores the political realities of 0.0 life. Namely that from the point of view of large alliances they need: targets for their PvP'ers. So you have newbie corp/alliances who don't bother to hammer out their political relations BEFORE they move down there? All their doing is setting themselves up as squishy targets for when the local big boys have some free time they need their PvPers occupied and out of trouble. No changes to the mechanics of sovereignty is going to change this reality. The truth is that to even register on the diplomatic scale of most 0.0 entities you need to be of a certain size in the first place. Otherwise why even bother talking to you? You're just a target to keep the PvP'ers occupied and out of the alliance leadership's hair for a day or two. It's never a question of IF you'll get hammered, just when.

Manasi:

- Corps or alliances don't do anything serious in EVE without some form of heavy lift capacity. You don't get serious in wormhole space without the Orca and you don't get serious in 0.0 without freighters and jump freigthers. Any corp/alliance that can't arange that has no place as a space holding entity in 0.0. Heck even in empire space you aren't a serious player without freighters.

- The failure 0.0 to attract new people never had anything to do with the mechanics of sovereignty but with the local politics. Changing the mechanics without changing the politics will have very little effect long term. Unless there is a reason for large alliances to WANT smaller friendly neibours (as opposed to pets - those who pay off the larger alliance to leave them alone or punching bags who are let in solely to provide targets for the pvp'ers). None of the current changes engender that at all. Nor do they discourage anyone more than was already the case.

- As for the guys who don't have or ditched their logistics guys. Pardon me while I play the worlds smallest violin for their problems. Guys like that are the REASON there is less people in 0.0 than there could be. Besides on of the reasons to be IN an alliance is to have friends with capabilities that your corp does not have due to it's focus.

- Freighters are cheap, they cost less than most battleship BPOs. Now it might be the fact that I'm into T3 manufacture and production but I fail to see the issue with the cost of freighters. Not to mention the fact that before there were jump freighters, how do you think most of the real logistics work was done? Haulers just don't have the heavy lift capacity.

- Power projection is the state of things currently. None of the changes to sov structure have done anything to reduce the mobility of the larger gangs. If anything the lack of potential doomsdays has INCREASED the ability of alliances to project power (since battleship fleets no longer need to fear the one button splat).

- Lets' be very clear on something. There is a rather large difference between ALLIANCE income and PILOT income. The system upgrade and so on are really aimed at PILOT income, not at ALLIANCE income. Teritorrial alliance income will come from where it always did: Moon mining. That won't change under the new system. The only change was which moons would be the source of the isk, not the income levels. If anything passive alliance income has INCREASED in the short term due to the speculation in the T2 materials markets. This has been evident for quite a while for those who've been following the T2 materials discussions in the MD forum. Since alliance income will largely remain unchanged in source (if shifted from moon type a to moon type b), the system development stuff is aimed at the pilots income.

- Dispro is hardly dead - it's just not the sole source of isk from moon mining any more. Tech and other moon minerals are headed WAY up. Now if an alliance set itself up that all R64 moons were alliance level property and the rest were corp property then it may need to restructure itself a bit. But Moon mining as a whole's income will actually be up over the short term. Just do some costing on manufacturing costs based on current jita prices and trends and you'll see that alliance income from moon minerals should actually be UP not down.

The changes do nothing to lessen the power of large alliances. If anything they increase them by allowing their pilots to be in 0.0 making isk instead of having to log into a mission alt up in high sec. It seems very clear to me that the changes were not aimed at attracting new pilots to 0.0 but at getting the 0.0 pilots who make their personal isk in empire (running level 4 missions) to make similar isk in 0.0. The rest of the changes were to get rid of "tower spam" warfare which everyone agreed was idiotic.

Reading into the tea leaves I suspect that they considered this to be one of the key things they needed to get in place before they bite the bullet and move all level 4 missions to low sec and make the changes necessary for mission availability in 0.0 outposts and stations. Now the removal of level 4 missions in high sec would be the key thing to REALY moving people out of empire space. I suspect they are heading that way, but they wanted to make sure that mechanisms would be in place to allow for similar income levels at decent population densities in 0.0 BEFORE they pulled the plug on the empire cash cow.

I suspect that Dominion is just Phase 1 of a sequence of changes that CCP wants to do to get things moved to 0.0 and that this particular phase was not the phase that was supposed to encourage the migration of population from empire to 0.0 itself. Dominion is just the ground work. They wanted to make sure that a) the new sov-system works as intended as far as the territorial wars themselves go and b) that there were income streams for the mass population of pilots that would find themselves in 0.0 down the road following future modifications. The fact that most people miss-interpreted these changes as being the ones that would facilitate the displacement itself is the problem of those making that miss-interpretation.

Boom

My plan is progressing. Last night my alt managed to get into a class 4 that has a static to class 5's. This should allow me to get some good exposure to class 5 wormholes in order to scout them effectively for the type of wormhole system I'm looking for. Now I just need to get my main in there.

Speaking of my main, I'd had a stealth bomber (Hound) sitting in a station container in my main base. Basically I've been holding off fitting it out since I couldn't fit a bomb launcher yet. I suddenly realized that with Dominion, the pre-requisites for the bomb launcher have changed. A quick check revealed that yes indeed I could now learn the Bomb Deployment skill. A quick trip using the Prowler over to matari space allowed me to acquire and slap the skill in.

Some quick EveHQ work later and I had a workable fit. Due to change in weapons a while ago, stealth bombers no longer use Cruise Missiles, but Torpedoes. I do have T1 Siege skills to 4 (not getting to T2 until I'm ready to get BS weaponry to T2), but I had not fit the ship since I did not have the bomb launcher skill yet. Now that it was going to be there in short order, it was time to get this ship ready for use. Some quick running around and I had all the missing pieces and a new stealth bomber that can get to warp in 3.25 seconds. I also made myself a run of bombs and stuffed 4 of them in the bomber (2 up the snout and 2 in the hold).

Tonight's plan:
Main: centralize the last 6 ships using a single Orca trip. Then prepare for the first orca trip into the new home and prepare load outs for the rest of the POS.
Alt: Meanwhile the alt will continue scanning for a new home. Possibly a quick trip to k space to get an entrance for my main so he can get to the class 4 I'm currently in as it's static is rather useful for my current objectives of scouting out as many class 5's as I can to get a good system.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

0.0 thoughts

Well the "fun" has started. Operations to pick off freighter convoys. Titans in low sec. The law of intended consequences. Noobs whining about the costs of getting into 0.0.

I am dissapointed how people are trying to twist the current Dominion dominoes into "you promissed us and you didn't deliver". There is also the fact that this is "iteration 1" on the new sov mechanics that people are loosing sight of. Lets look at some generic cases shall we?

1) Freighters in 0.0. One of the consequences of the new sov design is that although a small hauler can establish sovereingty in a system, to actually USE that system will take a freighter to get the stuff out there to establish the hub and put up the good upgrades that will permit the population density to increase.

Wouldn't you know it, large alliances have already lost a considerable number of freighters to enemy operations. The amusing thing is that before jump freighters, they and their logistical wings used to be good at this kind of operation. But since the advent of the jump freighters, these old skills have been slipping. Someone will need to give a refresher course on how to do this stuff.

On the other end of the scale we've got noobs in the forums going "but this will stop small corporations from going to 0.0"... um... sorry but last time I checked, no one is stopping you from getting a freighter and moving stuff down. Well ok, those gate camps are a wee bit of a problem, but everyone has that problem so you're just going to have to suck it up like everyone else. Besides if you're under the impression that there's a section of 0.0 that won't be under SOMEONE's influence, you're deluding yourself. What CCP has done was increase the possibility of population density in 0.0 from an income point of view. They did not remove the moon mining from alliance hands, they just switched where the isk was coming from around a bit. In fact with the speculation going on, they've effectively given alliances moon income about a 40% boost in the short term. This should help with the switch over to the new sov system.

Besides a corp/alliance that is un-able to atract and establish a proper heavy lift wing has no business being in 0.0. If you can't even get an upgrade hub out there, how do you expect to be able to survive out there in the first place? It's a gut check. Pass it or don't bother with 0.0.

2) Titans in low sec. Station hugging carriers have just discovered that the new titan weapon is able to insta-pop them. Booo hooo. It's a directed fire weapon. Wakey wakey.

Unintended consequence, I'm sure but I really don't think this is an issue. The two reasons I'm going to give are a) does away with station games, and b) the Titan can be tackled quite easily afterward. Station hugging is the lamest form of warfare in EVE, anything that punishes it is good. Personally I can't wait for some anti-station game matari BS squadrons to form and start having fun. The Alpha Pest and Alpha Maelstrom are back in a big way. Small squadrons of these should be able to insta-pop most BS which will do wonders for the anti-station game side of things.

What other (un)intended consequences will show up over the next week I wonder...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Alts, T2, Exploration, and the small things

So much for Dominion being a "so-so" patch since it was mainly focused on sovereignty mechanics. So I started last night on my research alts. The immediate dive was into the spreadsheet to check out the changed BPs. I took the opportunity to update my T2 manufacturing spreadsheets. Going to have to split the Invention from the Manufacture at some point and make it more akin to the way I have my T3 stuff setup. But not last night - too much to do.

The only real change in T2 components: all 4 armor plate components now take 1/3 less Syl. The rest stayed essentially unchanged. I also completed my set of T2 component BPOs recently and am grinding up thru the ME and PE on them until they all reach 10/20. Should be done in about a week.

Stuff I noticed: In your personal assets you can "show contents" on cans in remote locations... However they did not extend this to corp assets.... :[

Then it was onto the main to check out the tech 2 BPCs and adjust their manufacturing info in my spreadsheet. Woah, ok, those are some radical changes allround. I will admit to getting instantly distracted by the in game browser (bookmark Google, my blog, the wiki and the forum. Booooo can't upload pictures to the blog but can post). Mess around with the jutebox (quickly throw together a playlist in Winamp, then go set it up. The cut-thru on yourself or other people talking can knock out the jutebox so it's evident that it's not quite ready for prime time, but it works relatively well. People need to adjust their volume properly for it though.

And I drag myself back to the T2 BPCs... Start plugging in the numbers and man oh man if the T2 materials prices had stayed at their previous levels of about 2 months ago things would be cheap as hell. I then log onto my Jita alt. Plug in the current speculated numbers (they are going to go like a yo yo for the next month or two). Wow did manufacturing costs shoot up. I suspect that anyone who did not pick up a ship in Jita yesterday is going to be kicking themselves. Re-listers have already snagged the now dead cheap (compared to manufacturing costs) popular T2 ships and re-listed them at more inflated prices. The interesting thing is that this has no impact on T3 costs at all. This could end up being a short term boost to T3 manufacturing as the T2 ships go up 30-40% in the short term. They may eventually come down but until things stabilize they will probably remain high due to speculation.

Control-tab no longer works to get rid of the interface, use alt-F9.

I also slipped in some short term ship handling and medium weapons skills in order to be able to fit and fly all faction T1 cruisers. All I'm missing is Caldari cruisers at the moment. Just need Caldari frigates to 4 and that'll be done as well. Still working on getting the gas harvesting to 5 so that those core gas sites in my future will be doable in a relatively reasonable time.

Then it was on the scanning alt for most of the rest of the evening. Starting off in the un-inhabited class 4 system I logged off in, I was able to confirm that it had a single static heading to class 6 systems. Then I went into the fresh class 6. It was uninhabited and not too bad (12 sigs). So I ground down that one and got 11 of 12 sigs id'ed before the probes ran out (sent em back to the frigate with 1 min 30 seconds of flight time left. Checking out the two wormholes that showed up I simply jumped into the fresh class 5 and after determining it was empty, I simply logged in the system. It was getting late, I'll continue the scanning tomorrow.

Still I'm liking this patch as it's the small things that are so nice: Going to Jita and not seeing a single isk spammer the entire time I was there. I'm assuming that new "report Isk spammer" was seeing liberal use. Lord knows there should have been ample opportunity to use it justifiably on any normal day. And as GM Spiral said in THIS thread:

As a side note, this does make our job quite a lot easier.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Woah - Planets

Obligatory Post from EVE

And of course, now that it's possible, the obligatory post from withing the EVE client. You should be seeing quite a few of these as the new in game browser is basically google's Chrome. Verry snazzy.

More posting after I check out the T2 manufacturing changes and make some dinner...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Patch Night

Well everyone, good luck and remember: LONG SKILL!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

40mil SP

Well this weekend I finally hit 40mil SP.

Letrange's Skills

As you can see, the largest chunk is in Science. This is not surprising as I can invent, reverse engineer and manufacture T2 and T3 items. I'm heading into a mostly ship skill period for the next bit to work on things like getting Logistics ships and getting T2 BS weapons etc... So most of the next 10mil SP should be combat related.

On the assets side of the equation I now have 780 BPOs (safely in high sec). I can prety much build what I can fly and fly what I can build for the most part. I still need to get a Tempest BPO and a Maelstrom BPO one day to complete that side of things. I also need to get the skills to at least fly the up to T1 cruisers of the other factions (which will call for small and medium laser and hybrid weapons which I currently don't have very far).

I spent the end of last week consolidating my POS stuff in high sec and getting prepared to move deep into wormhole space. Buying POS fuel etc... Saturday, to take a break from it all I did the entire newbie arc in a Loki. That was hilarious. Target and 1 volley per frigate. 6x 425mm just rip thru the newbie NPC frigates. It does send you around high sec though. I can see how it would be good for a newbie to do.

Sunday was spent mostly on my alt scanning. Scanning... And scanning some more. Once I get in a good system to stay more than a single day, I'll probably have my main join in the scanning. The hunt is on for an un-inhabited dual static (both to w-space) class 5 system to settle in. We'll see what we find over the next week.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holy MOM Batman

The inspiration for this came from Kirith's Capital Ship Gap post. Now with the caveat that I do not lead a mom owning alliance (although I was surprised at the number of capitals that came out of the wood work when we operated in low sec against that pirate tower), Here are some observations from afar:

The proposition: The biggest problem with MOMs is that their signature feature - clone vat bays - do not apparently get used very much. The main reason for this is that they are pre-engagement items and they take logistical planning to use. The second problem is that they have limited capacity in the age of blob warfare that is the EVE capital battle field of today. Since they can only have 4-5 battleships in their ship maintenance arrays this poses severe limits on their usefulness in supporting any serious operations and I assume renders them only useful for HAS squadron support. I would like to propose two changes to make this signature feature from the realm of "novelty feature" to the realm of "raison d'ĂȘtre":

1) increase their ship maintenance array to the point where they can at least support a heavy squadron (i.e. able to stuff at least 10 battleships in their ship maintenance array). 20 would be better but at least 10. Anything less is simply not sufficient to a modern EVE fleet support role. Their current configuration from what I can see is only useful to a black ops task group or a HAS gang and those are mobile enough by themselves as it is not to necessitate the use of a Mother ship for rapid re-deployment.

2) Introduce a new form of clone bay module - Emergency Medical Clone Bay I (or something like that). When part of a fleet, allow ships in the squadron/wing/fleet (depending on the position of the mothership in the fleet structure) to register with the mothership. Then if pilots who are registered get podded (or self destruct) instead of appearing at their medical station (way back where their base is) they would apear in the mothership. This would allow the mothership to act as a true forward logistics unit for a fleet enabling it's pilots to get back to the fight as quickly as possible. It would also be synergistic with the previous suggestion.

These two changes put together should allow motherships to make their signature feature useful enough to become usable on or near the modern EVE battlefield.

With regards to the fighter bombers and supercarrier concept. I would advise CCP to take the time and design a new ship class for this concept and simply not convert any motherships to supercarriers.

Problems common to Motherships and Titans:

These ships are supposed to be the back bone of capital fleet operations. At least that is what it looks like from afar. However for all their massive scale they do not scale up to their roles very well. They however have two big problems. Their facilities do not scale well to the size of modern EVE fleets. The Titan has less problems in this regards than the Mothership. Since it can portal quite a significant number of ships (the jump portal being one of the 3 signature elements of a Titan) And the doomday weapon whether in it's old or new configuration is significant enough to make it a presence on the battlefield regardless of any other feature.

Due to it's portal generator and ship doomsday weapon, personally I'd make it's ship maintenance capacity LOWER than a moms (more to the point - make the MOM's higher than a titan's) and would not allow it to fit any new fancy clone module just the old pre-planning one.

The other problem with titans and motherships is that they necessitate the pilot to remain in them quasi permanently which basically kills any non-titan/mom applicable ship skills they may have acquired prior to becoming a Titan/Mom pilot. There needs to be some way of parking a MOM/Titan in something a little more substantial than a large control tower. They are just way too vulnerable on the modern capital infested battlefield.

Someone else will need to come up with a reasonable solution for that allows a titan mom pilot to jump in a rifter from time to time without out having to worry that their titan will no be there once they get back to it without having to dock the titan/mom in some invulnerable station. Maybe having an internal capital ship maintenance array as being one of the tier 3 upgrades to an outpost or something like that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The upcoming expansion

Well, I've been fairly quiet the last two weeks. I have however been following the developments on Sisi. For all the hue and cry about certain changes, Sisi is serving it's purpose allowing the more proactive members of the community to poke holes in CCP's design.

The most proactive of course have been driving the massive market speculation in T2 materials we've been seeing the last few weeks. For the more involved in the T2 marketplace, I highly advise at least reading Akita T's number crunching post that tries to estimate the eventual migration of the T2 materials prices. Of course you need to take any pronouncement on the MD forums with a bag of rock salt (after all the MD forum is rife with scams). But still the speculation that is running rampant is fun to observe from a distance.

There should be little change on the T3 front this update since it's mostly focused on 0.0 and it's mechanics. These changes are huge and will significantly impact life in 0.0 for certain player groups. The first is logisticians. The true backbone of any land holding alliance were the guys who kept the towers fueled. This is not to say that towers won't still be necessary. They will, but they will go back to their original intent. Industrial or Military hard points. There should be an increase in moon mining towers. Especially since there will be a decrease of incidental "might as well plunk a moon mining module at this sov tower to offset some of the fuel costs".

There is speculation that this caused vast amounts of low end moon mud to hit the market causing vast over supplies of the low end moon products. Since there should be an increase in consumption of low end moon minerals with the upcoming T2 manufacturing changes, we'll have to see how that plays out in the market. I suspect that in the end low end moon minerals will settle at close to their production costs with everything else being more profitable and the new bottleneck items being more valuable than the old R64 moon goo.

We'll have to see what style of tower gains currency for defending important items like sov markers, cyno beacons, bridges and cyno jammers. I'm not sure which would be better, a dickstar (concentrated on ECM batteries) or a deathstar (offensive weapons).

On the fleet fight side of things, I suspect we'll be going back to fleet operations of a style not seen since the introduction of Titans. I've been told that things got interesting at one point when there was a patch that broke the doomday AOE weapon for a bit. I predict that full sized fleet battles will become much more drawn out affairs. I also predict that with the new sov system we're going to see a rise in the roaming gang which will necessitate a rise in the counter roaming gang.

There continues to be changes to the way Projectile weapons will work with the expansion. As someone pointed out: Minmatar ammo and gun choices look like they will become complex. We'll see how it all works out.

All in all it looks like this update (now less than 2 weeks away) will be the biggest impact expansion that eve has seen in a while. Definitely for the 0.0 boys. Apocrypha for all its success at providing alternate game play from the existing high/low/0.0 will not have affected as many people as this upcoming expansion will. Most of the changes we're going to see will have far reaching consequences for everyone in game. I'm pretty sure we'll get a better game out of it in the end, but as usual there will be a period of adjustment.

All in all I'm glad that CCP has chosen to take the bull by the horns on this one. As much as I want to see tech 3 frigates and modules (alluded to in the fanfest presentations as on the block for a post Dominion update) and as much as I want to see expansion on the wormhole content, these changes were a long time in coming. I'm also glad to see that we're seeing the emergence of parallel development projects within the framework of the EVE development team. This should allow minor improvements and continued addressing of changes outside the main focus of a specific expansion. For example even though this expansion is going to focus on 0.0, we're seeing the long awaited Projectile balancing also coming in this expansion. There was a point in time that when there was a major development, bug fixing and balancing would slip by the way side as the development resources were concentrated on new content.

I'm looking forward to the December 1st patch day. The changes in 0.0 should be profound.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yea, it's been a bit

Work has kept me busier than usual lately. I was unable to get on much last week. I did get on last night.

More progress was made in the tear-down of the existing POS. Just need to get the ships out of the ship maintenance array at this point and then it's the final tear-down sometime later this week.

POS tear-downs are unfortunately not very exciting. And so long as there's no bubble at the wormhole to high sec, rather safe as well. So sorry but there probably won't be much excitement in the blog for this week. Logistics work is necessary but hardly exciting.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Go

Go Vote.

That is all.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Last week was a write off

EVE wise that is. Plenty of stuff going on IRL, which was the issue. I did manage to get on Sunday. I took the opportunity to start a partial teardown in prep for going deeper. Going deeper has been delayed a bit because of that lost week. Ah well.

Interesting end to the weekend though. While exploring nearby wormhole space for sites, we (myself and an alliance pilot) ran into an inhabited system with a Covetor mining away. As per our NBSI policy, it was time to find out if this miner was paying attention. All miners out there pay attention. What follows is a classic wormhole miner gank scenario. Learn from it. I've had it happen to me as well (though not in a while).

Parties involved:

Target: in a Covetor
My alliance mate: in a Hound
Me: in a Cheetah

The tactical situation was as follows:

I jumped into the system and did the usual d-scan, bookmark the jump point and analyze the situation. This was the first opportunity for the miner to spot me. Admittedly not a great chance but it was there (not fail at this point - it's a small window of opportunity). At this point I report in wormhole chat that I've got an inhabited system with a Covetor and a POS on scan. Chat lights up a bit but I tell them to chill while I scout the situation more closely.

Judicious use of the d-scan and the system map allows me to determine that:

a) the POS is at a moon of planet 5.
b) the Covetor is not at planet 5 - therefor not at the POS
c) planet 8 is out of scan range of both the POS (not that there seems to be anyone else around) and the Covetor both
d) the Covetor is near planet 7 up and clockwise from the planet.

At this point I get on audio and my corp mate in a stealth bomber comes on and jumps in system. I snag him on my scan and confirm that it's him. He disappears quickly and once again our miner had a chance to twig that he was in danger but didn't. (still not fail on the miner's part as again it's a small window of opportunity).

I retire to planet 8 to switch to combat probes while the hound warps to planet 7 and tries to get some range data - about 1 AU from the planet he reports. After I launch the combat probes I have him warp to planet 8 and align to planet 7 while I get my tetrahedron in shape - with a 4 AU spread. (still not fail on the miner's part although the fact that there was a planet off scan did make his situation more dangerous).

This is where the action starts. This is also where the miner fails. Note I've prepositioned my tetrahedron over the most likely spot the Covetor is located. The probes are still at planet 8 until I hit the scan button.

- I hit the scan button. 10 seconds later I have a hit at 52%, single return
- I shrink the tetrahedron and hit scan again. (takes about 20 seconds all told). 100% hit
- gang warp to 0, check warp on self.
- warp to 100.
- accidentally hit scan again (it confirms he's still there)
- recall probes.
- land to watch the Hound kill the Covetor while scanning for reaction forces.

This is where the miner failed. From the moment I hit that scan button, he should have had all 4 combat probes on d-scan. All told it took about 1min for us to get on top of him (scan and warp time). Even in an extended Covetor that's plenty of time to warp to his POS. Incidentally this is the reason that I fit my covetors with an I-stab and a mining laser upgrade instead of two extended cargo bays. I shortens my "get to warp" time. Consider low friction nozzle joints as well. There's no rigs for mining except the mining drone rigs - and you're in wormspace - nimbleness is everything.

Your ship has a d-scan - use it. Situational awareness and nimbleness is worth more than two warp core stabilizers (if you're being fired upon before you react you're dead before you can get to warp even if you're not warp scrammed). Early detection and getting to warp quickly is how you survive. Warp-stabs do nothing for a ship that takes too long to get to warp in the first place. They also are pretty useless in an environment that has bubbles (not that we had one in this case, but there are quite a few HIC pilots in AMC, let alone in wormhole space in general).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

*Klaxon* *Klaxon* Threadnaught Ahoy!!!

The details of the maintenance costs for alliances in 0.0 are up.

/me pictures CCP Chronotis with a bazooka aiming it at a bee's nest

Whoa, 65 pages since friday ... and counting as of this blog post.

Check it out:

The dev blog: upgrading and upkeep of sovereign solar systems in dominion

The comment thread: New Blog: Upgrading and Upkeep of Sovereign Solar Systems in Dominion

Friday, October 30, 2009

And I finaly get Metallurgy V

Last night I logged on and found my char not training anything - I had lost track of the fact I needed to put something after that 12 day skill. Ah well these thing happen when you get to the long ones. Watched pot and all that.

The skill that had just finished up was Metallurgy V. Now you may wonder why it took me over 2 and a half years to get that one. Jack of all trades. This one unlocks quite a bit on the indy front, first and foremost that scrapmetal processing skill (which I immediately jammed in the queue) which will allow me to setup module buy orders with great confidence that I'll be able to melt the resulting modules into more valuable minerals (why else do it?).

The other thing it unlocks is a whole bunch of material research on such BPOs as oh say T2 components and what not. That eeeeebil protoype cloaking device that has been staring me in the face and laughing at my puny research skills. I will be able to get it to 20/20 now.

Not to mention get the specific T2 component BPOs to perfect for the components that the cloak uses.

Now it's time once again to get back to combat skills. I really need to finish getting some T2 drone skills up to IV, and get the missile section of the skill tree up to snuff. I'd like my stealth bombers to actually be able to launch bombs and all that.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reverse Engineering

Well I'm finally at the end of my reverse engineering stint. Now I just need to get two more Melted Nanoribbons and my Loki will ride again. This time I think I'll have separate fits for when I go for solo plexing vs team plexing. Hopefully this will free up some time to nail some sleeper sites over the weekend. So far for my loki production I have "coverage" for 3 of the 5 subsystem types. I even got lucky and got a 2nd BPC of the Loki shield subsystem (usefull). The next week should see me concentrate on running sites/mining and recruiting.

I've put a stop date for existing research at the POS so once the last thing finishes up it'll be time to pack up the POS and get hunting for a new wormhole.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cogitation

(yes it's a word, go look it up...)

I got thinking. Very dangerous I know. We're currently going through a slow period for both blogging and EVE content in the media. A bit annoying if you like reading about EVE but the truth is we're in the pre-patch doldrums pretty hardcore at the moment. Even if, as a pilot/corp/alliance planing on continuing with wormhole space regardless of what happens in 0.0 space come December first, there is not much directly that will affect me and mine one can't help but be affected by the hopes and expectations of the rest of EVE.

Lets see what we know, bit ticket items first:
  • Sov changes
  • Super cap changes
Then there's some minor but interesting things:
  • Planets look revamp
  • Stars
  • Faction and Pirate ship re-balance
  • Fleet finder
  • New mail client
  • Moondoggie (in game browser based on chromium)
  • Projectiles adjustments
Lets go over the two major itmes, using our crystal ball and see where we're headed. I'll save the rest for future blogs.

Sov changes

This is the big one everyone is holding their breath over. What we know for sure so far is that they are doing away with POS being the space holding mechanism. What we know about the new mechanism is that there are going to be 3 major features to system sovereignty. There are claim markers - these can be anchored anywhere. I figure right in front of an offensive death star will be the common spot. Why offensive you ask? Simple because you want to shoot the people coming to kill your claim marker. Even if you're offline your POS won't be (it will work better with POS gunners obviously). This in itself will just about guarantee that dreads and carriers will be involved in any serious attempt to take system sovereignty away from someone else. Sure you can disrupt their claim and slam their system down to it's base values but actively removing them will involve cap fleets. Plan accordingly.

The second major feature will be the system hub. Still no clue where this will be located and defenses it will have etc... But the idea is by working on this item you can improve what spawns in your system and therefore what you can extract from it. This will also include things that will enable you to anchor modules like cyno jammers at POSs in the system. So the system hub will be something of high importance for any system which is intended to be exploited. Of course we still don't know the level of concentration that will be possible and the costs yet. We'll have to see how this develops.

The third major feature will be claim disruptor modules. Apparently these need to be anchored at all gates in a system in order to make a flag vulnerable to being attacked. We'll have to see how these work in conjunction with the flags to control sovereignty in a system. The initial thought is that it will make defense of hub systems easier than dead-end ones. We'll have to see how it all works out.

Supercap Changes

The Titans are loosing their existing "kill all the small fry" weapons and getting a "Exterminate that one ship NOW" button. Motherships are becoming Supercarriers and gaining fighterbombers - an anti-capital ship type of fighter drone. Look, we've already established that claim markers will probably be established at deathstar POSes (I'm pretty sure they would be less well defended at other locations). A bunch of POS gunners at such a POS would probably make mincemeat of any sub-capital fleet that attacked, so any serious attempt to dislodge a sov-holder will involve dreads. Which means that counter dread defensive fleets will be called for. This is where we'll see supercaps involved. I suspect that we'll see supercaps involved whenever a cap vs cap fight develops.

The impact of it all

This is the big question. Have a conversation with any high sec resident with 0.0 aspirations and they are pinning their hopes on this expansion providing them with the opportunity to head to 0.0. The fact is that most current large alliances may have industrial stumps but the truth is that they are 90% PvP due to the need to blob in 0.0 warfare.

The theory here is that sovereignty will equate to income for the alliances. The current reality is that moon mining equates to income for alliances.

I fail to see how this will translate unless they make moon mining part of that sovereingty. The truth is even with the changes to the relative value of moon minerals, moon mining will still account for 90% of a 0.0 alliances income. Throughout all these changes I have failed to spot any part where there are any changes to moon mining and it's mechanics per see. The truth is that moon goo in the aggregate will be just as valuable as before. The value will be better distributed amongst the moon minerals but the value itself does not look like it will change significantly. This means that an alliance will still control as much territory as it can in order to provide lines of communication between it's critical moons. Basic sovereignty does not look like it will be too expensive. So I think we'll see plenty of large alliances do the land grab thing again. The smaller entities will simply get squashed by roaming steamrollers keeping the space lanes clean between the moon systems of major entities. They won't care about developing those areas but they will care about what they will see as encroachment on their moon mineral webs.

The supercap and POS invulnerability changes should make things interesting however. All supercap yards will be permanently vulnerable. Roaming battleship gangs no longer face instant decimation at the hands of a Titan. I think we're going to see more roaming gangs. I also suspect that due to this we're going to see a resurgence of Minmatar ships on the PvP front as 0.0 becomes a game of raid and counter raid.

This is where the people wanting in on 0.0 action are going to be running into brick walls. They are going to go in thinking "I'll just go grab this quiet system over there and no one will notice". The big alliances are then going to go: "sure but pay us this much per month or we come visiting". At which point - probably a month or two down the road, we will see a new exodus back to high sec. It should however provide for a chaotic action-filled month or two mind you.

Who knows, I may be wrong but I suspect that we won't see much population difference at the end of a couple of months. We'll have to see. In the meanwhile I'll be in wormhole space.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New rig

Well, not much to report except the following advice:

When you decide to upgrade your rig to a 64bit OS (oh like say ... Windows 7 now that it's out), do yourself a favor and remember to export the overview and ship browser info BEFORE you remove the hard drives from the old computer....

That is all.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nothing exciting

Sloooooow week. Most of the stuff I've been doing has been research/manufacturing related. Got to kill a few sleepers last night. But we're in the pre-update doldrums. The pew pew guys only really show up on the weekends. I had some RL stuff happening which cut my gaming down a bit. Nothing earth shattering this week on the test server. So not a lot to report.

On the flip side starting this weekend I'll be starting the recruiting drive for a few more mid-range/senior pilots for heading down to deep wormhole space. Next week should see plenty of action as I once again try to increase my iskies bunkers. Probably mostly thru mining. That seems to be the most consistent form of income for me.

I'm finding that disassociating myself from the high sec markets is having an interesting effect. I used to have a semi-passive income from manufacturing T1 modules for the high sec market. Semi passive in that the manufacturing and selling part are hands off while stuff builds/is on sale. The not so passive part was the manufacturing of modules/ammo/hulls as things sold out.

I've shutdown the store (just have the remaining stocks up on sale until they sell out). So there's much less call for my presence in high sec. I've been spending much of my time in wormhole space. I've been finding it... Relaxing...

The plan at this point is to poke my nose out in high sec and acquire some reverse engineering supplies to make sure I have BPC coverage for all the types of Loki subsystems. I'm getting close. I currently have 3/4 defensive, 2/4 electronic, 4/4 engineering, 3/4 offensive and 3/4 propulsion. Yes I've been making full use of my Experimental Laboratory (insert mad scientist laugh here).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Loki up, Loki down

Ok, I'm starting to feel like Shrike (he of "lost 4 Avatars" fame). Finding the correct limits for the Loki is proving to be a "hit and miss" proposition. Good thing I can build these suckers for much cheaper than the market sells them.

I have once again lost a Loki. Once again to sleepers. Once again to pilot error. Note to self: When in a black hole system, your ability to allign quickly is seriously impacted. Once they are thru your shields 4 sleeper BS tend to rip through your armor in split seconds. Also learning to coordinate with a new set of pilots is always a bit tricky. Still I waited too long to start the warp out so my fault.

Basically I've started running class 4 sites with my new corp mates. Since none of us have worked together before there's always squadron fit issues and ship issues to iron out and work on until we get a good squadron together and things go without error.

The good thing is we went back and finished off the site without further incident (well ok my BW will need a bit of armor repair - but compared to the Loki that's peanuts). The good thing in all this is that the 3rd Loki was already built. I also have 3 of the subsytems for it. I still need to reverse engineer the defensive and electronic subsystem of the correct type to be able to build them myself. But having finally updated my spreadsheet of DOOM(tm), I finally have the costing on this stuff transferred over to a proper isk basis. It even includes pro-rated fuel costs for POS operations. Some interesting facts:

- At current Jita prices (at least over the weekend) all polymer reactions were actually profitable. Some barely, some were seriously profitable. YMMV, depending on the day of the week of course. Subject to change over time etc etc etc...

- The balance between the Wrecked and the Malfunctioning subsystem relics is actually quite good. Basing on a 33% chance for Wrecked and 66% for Malfunctioning, the prorated run cost of subsystems are surprisingly balanced (sometimes the wrecked is cheaper, sometimes the malfunctioning is cheaper).

- The above does not apply to hulls however. The per-run cost of using Malfunctioning Hull Sections is SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper based on this weekend's materials prices.

Anyways I really need to kill a lot of sleepers now. Fly it like it's already dead.

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Indy night

When we last left off, I had finally gotten enough materials to react some Carbon86. Overnight that indeed got done. I found myself, when I got on with enough materials to go forward with my plans to manufacture a Loki and some subsystems.

Now in preparation for wormhole living I've got kits of BPCs of the T3 components needed for each type of subsystem or a hull. When fresh a 20 x T3 Offensive kit will have enough runs to manufacture the components for 20 T3 Offensive Subsystems for example.

I decided to manufacture one of each of the few subsystems I had bpcs for and 2 hulls. The longest part of preparing for the hull manufacture were the 15 or so R.A.M.-Starship Tech tools i would need for each hull. The end result of all of this is that all 5 subsystems I manufactured are ready, the first hull will be ready Saturday afternoon. I had forgotten that hulls were 1day 11h manufacturing time. But I now have two hulls cooking away and should be back up to snuff and ready to go for sleepers and PvP in my Lokies. Much killing of Sleepers will be necessary though as the melted nanoribbons are now a wee bit scarcer in my inventory.

There was also a bit of pew pew operations. One of my CEOs got a wee bit over confident in his hauling skills and managed to get snagged by some pirates in low sec. Some lack of tackle skill on my part resulted in the Harbinger and the Broadsword getting away once the reaction posse got to the scene. Ah well practice practice practice.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

mmmm, cooking up a Loki

Due to various reasons, mostly the inability to string a long enough session together, I haven't been able to hit a Core Reservoir for a bit now. That all changed yesterday afternoon. One of my alliance pilots needed to vent his frustration at having a class 5 wormhole system pop next door to the Grotto. So he contacted me with a message on Skype while I was at work. Great now the two of us were frustrated. After checking wormhole durations and estimated spawn time (I asked him, didn't log on), I told him to schedule an op for when I would be getting back from work, since a good chunk of our gas miners would be on by then.

Further exploration revealed 3 core Reservoirs... Chomping at the bit I kept plugging away at work. Some coordination with the scorpion pilot to make sure he'd be online for the op and we were set.

After grabbing some food on the way home, I jumped in game and imediatelly grabbed my battleship after confirming that a corp pilot was at the wormhole to high sec (I was in a different wormhole system). Some scanning in the grotto itself revealed that I had 19 jumps to go to join them so I got a burn on. Some quick conversing while I was in transit allowed me to confirm that a matari gas mining vessel appropriate to my skill level would be ready by the time I got there. The POS owner just needed to re-purpose one of the salvage destroyers they had on hand.

By the time I got there the final strike force was gathered and in the final stages of preparation. Off we went to the gas sites next door. The strike force consisted of a Dominix, a Scorpion, two Drakes and my Maelstrom, with remote shield repping on the 3 BS. So we then tackle the 3 sites like a well oiled machine. Without the scorpion we would probably have been a little short of remote repping power for the two close range sleeper battleships. As it was we were fine and the two advanced sleeper battleships at the first and second sites went down by the numbers.

It turns out the 3rd site was bugged not having any gas or sleepers. Ah well.

Once this was all salvaged up it was time for the gas mining to begin. Plenty of battlecruisers with one of the 5 of us hauling with an alt and me in my loaned Thrasher worked out fine. My share of the 12000 units of Fullerite-c320 and 1000 units of Fullerite-c540 made the trip well worth it. Even the extra hour for hauling the stuff back to my current wormhole. Basically, at current Jita prices we made about 900mil in 4h between the 5 of us. Of course most of this is going straight into our respective T3 projects instead of on the market but that still represents 175mil for 4h of the op... each... or 46mil an hour. Note that except for myself who was further away, this includes most of the opportunity costs of an op like this (I.e. mostly gathering the forces). Well worth doing.

By the time I logged off I had the reactor going full blast getting me my carbon86. By tomorrow night I should have a Loki again. I may need to buy a subsystem or two off the market to get the exact fit I want on that first Loki, but I should be able to build a second one right away from stockpiles.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Learn a new thing every day

Or in this case figure something out. So yesterday I was left with the issue of getting all my ore to high sec, refined and put on the market. As luck would have it I have figured out how to use a trick of the map to see if I've got stations with perfect refines nearby.

The trick is to use the auto linker. Or your standings tab. Both work. Simply find a corp you have perfect refines at. Show the corp info sheet. Select the "Settled Space" tab and there's a button on the bottom. Punch it.

The starmap now highlights all systems with stations belonging to that corp. Combine this with the job of finding out where your wormhole has wandered to over night and it makes it easy to find out how far the closest perfect refines is. Which I did last night. One jump. Sweeeeeet. Some hauling later (with the alt's help) and... There we go all refined.

And that's how I shoved up 250mil-ish worth of minerals up on the high sec market. Since this did not take all evening I spent the rest of the evening mining a gas site for some c70 and some c72. Not the most remunerative but my gas bunker was a little low on c70.

Incidentally if you wanted to do an hour of reaction of each of the reactions you would need:

500 x c50
300 x c60
300 x c70
200 x c28
200 x c32
200 x c72
200 x c84
100 x c320
100 x c540

Note these are not the ratios they are used in. Just the ratios if you wanted to react 1 hour of each reaction. Useful for figuring out how much of each gas to stockpile.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I get my Mining on

It's been a while since I had a nice quiet class 4, plenty of time in front of me and undisturbed access to oodles of ore all at the same time. But let's back up a bit.

Last night I managed to do some ninja salvaging/codebreaking. Some corpies (yes I can say that now that the corp is slowly fleshing out) had run part of a frontier radar site before getting interrupted by some PvP. By the time I was around that had all died down and they were going to abandon the site to the BS spawns and log off. I decided to check it out... So after some scanning down of mining sites I got a copy of the book mark to the site from a departing member.

Cov-opsing to check out the situation I find there's a wrecked cruiser there... Well we can't abandon that. So I get thinking... humm ninja time. I decide that fast orbiting ab-ing t2 frigate is my best bet against sleeper battelships. So I refit my wolf a bit to be able to salvage the wrecked Talocan Cruiser. My intention was to salvage it to crack the "can" and grab the hull piece and run before the BS could a) splatter me and b) scram me. Since they were starting over 100km from the objective I figured I'd have enough time to get out of dodge.

As luck would have it... It turns out that none of these battleships agro frigates outside 100km...

blink blink...

So I get cracking on the 10 cans while I"m at it and do the entire radar site >:)

Of course as soon as I drag all of that back to the pos, a quick trip to high sec to get some missing datacores and I get some RE going on the malfunctioning and the wrecked hull piece. an hour later I have a shiny new 10 run of Loki. Mmmmmm Lokies....

The evening ends off with me mining about 11k of Arkonor.

The next day the class 4 has moved on and we're in a new one. The end result of this is finding a nice core deposit. This is where I get a good solid 6h of undisturbed mining in and get another 15k of Arkonor, 15k of Bistot, an incidental 25k of Kernite and 120k of Veldspar (for use in the wormhole itself).

Now this isn't much for some of the miners in my alliance who have been known to do crazy 14h mining ops but was still plenty sufficient for my immediate needs. Now I just need to get it to market...

Friday, October 9, 2009

I think I lost you guys on that last one

...

Did I loose you guys on that last one?

3 Spawns or 4?

Occasionally I run across a new site that I've never personally run before. So I check the alliance wiki and find out that although the site is partially documented it's not complete. The trigger and spawn patterns are not documented properly.

So I start running this one, updating the wiki as I go. Let's just say that everything is fine until the 3rd wave. Now most Perimeter sites are 3 wave sites. The 4 wave sites tend to be the more difficult Frontier and Core sites.

So I'm in a BC. and I've got the following third spawn to deal with: 1 x Sleepless Patroller, 4 x Emergent Patrollers and 4 x Emergent Escorts. Doable right? But the escorts are proving problematic and slowing me down such that I'm having issues getting under the Sleeplesses guns. So I start offing Escorts. Now I'm on the 3rd spawn and there are not indications that there would be a 4th spawn right? and even if so, the odds are only 33% that the escorts are the trigger for the next spawn.

Wrong! Last one goes down and overview fills with red... 8 more cruisers and 4 more frigates... Worse, I didn't spot the frigates initially and thought I'd taken out all the webbing frigates. For the clueless, one of the major methods of dealing with spawns is speed. Keep your speed up reduces the damage you take from missiles (including those incoming Phantasmata missiles). It also tends to reduce damage from bigger guns due to tracking if you're "under the guns". I'm still left with dealing with the following total ship count:

3 x Awakened Escorts
5 x Awakened Patrollers
4 x Emergent Escorts
4 x Emergent Patrollers
1 x Sleepless Patroller

A bit of armor repair at the POS later and some help from some alliance pilots later and that's all under the rug but still... Ouch.

Now for bonus points, which site was I running?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Slow progression

Well things are progessing in my plans to go deep in wormhole space. Just 9 more days and I'll have reverse engineering on all 6 types of BPCs (5 subsystems and hulls) at a usable level. this means Reverse engineering 4 and all appropriate skills to 4.

My hauler/pos-gunner/pos-refiner alt is finally approaching his designated "hold up" point. What this means is that although there are other skills I could get for him, he's at the point where I don't really need to work on him for my current uses of his skills. It will soon be time to switch over to my hauler/researcher alt on that same account and get his skills up so he can research/copy the more advanced blue prints.

The entire weekend was spent with my main in high sec. I was doing the usual run around for datacores. This particular session was more amusing than most since at the first stop I got a storyline mission. This necessitated the imediate purchase of a Mammoth, three T2 Expanded Cargoholds and a T2 Inertia Stabilizer. 3 round trips later and the 40k m3 of cargo was transferred and the Mammoth and modules were back up on sale and I was just under 5mil richer. By the end of the day all the modules and the hull sold so it was well worth it. On the third stop, it was a courier mission two jumps into low sec.

Ok, look, I fly a Prowler. Low sec courier missions just don't scare me any more. So off I go. I drop off the stuff, finish the mission and head on back. Just as I jump thru the mid point stargate I come out on the other side with a -9.9 pirate 14km from me. One of Ka Jolo's boys. And of course he greets me:

pirate> Hiya!

Select desitination high sec gate. Hit warp to, cloak in sequence.

Letrange> Byea!
pirate> :P

Man I love blockade runners. Especially ones with Low Friction Nozzle Joints and Inertia Stabilizers. I find people tend to fit BR wrong a lot of times. Look There are two aspects to survivability in a BR. The first is the cloak. The problem with the cloak is that people can un-cloak you. This is why I fit my Prowler and rig it for maneuverability. The move and hit cloak trick tends to stop people from locking you up. But if they are quick and in an interceptor they could be close enough to move to your area and de-cloak you before you warp off if you're not nimble. Fit like I am I can usually warp off from a standing start around 4 seconds. Unless I'm horribly un-lucky I can usually get to warp in the time it takes an interceptor to get to me and un-cloak me.

If you fit your BR for cargo, you're missing the point of a BR. If you need to move volume thru dangerous space - use a DST, not a BR. A blockade runner is for small volume, high value stuff thru the most dangerous space going. The only exception to this would be back ops support where you need the volume for jump bridge fuel. THAT is when you fit for volume on a BR. It's the only case.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Minmatar are looking at some changes

As we all know, the Minmatar faction has been languishing as far as their armament goes. If one religiously follows the development channels one can find out various interesting (but not yet final things). It looks like the even the normal Typhoon and Tempest will be getting some love in the next expansion.

Oh, and artillery, and projectile ammo.

Links:

Proposed Tyhpoon/Tempest changes (should be on Sisi to try out soon)
Proposed projectile changes (Log in to see the graph, thank you CCP Nozh)

All in all I'm very interested in these being a Minmatar specialist. I think the proposed 5/5 split for the Typhoon is going to actually make it slightly newbie friendlier (not by much but every bit counts).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lost in space (but not for long)

At one point late last night I decided to pop a neibouring wormhole in our wormhole system. 3 orca cycles, 1 BS cycle and a bunch of cruiser cycles and I get unlucky and end up on the wrong side of the wormhole. It was bound to happen one day but as per policy all my ships that transit wormholes except barges/exhumers are always equipped with a scan probe launcher.

CCP: we realy need barges/exhumers with a utility high at some point...

But I digress. Now I found myself in an un-explored (cuz we hadn't bothered) but populated class 4 wormhole system (lucky it seemed to be the local inhabitants downtime). Since I knew this was a possibility I was flying one of my "T1M0" throw away cruisers when this happened. At this point the decision is pretty straight forward: suicide and get back to BBW (name of the system I had not gotten back to) post haste or probe my way out.

If there was a pressing reason to do so I would have suicided and gone that route. But I was not needed immediately anywhere. Sure I had planned to do some mining, but you can do mining anytime you're not PvP'ing or running sleeper sites so it's not like that was any more pressing than usual. On top of that I'd never managed to get myself "lost" in wormhole space before. Hark! adventure calls!

So I pop out the probes and get scanning. I find an easy access K162 and end up in a class 5 system that is heavily populated. Yikes, back to the class 4. Some more scanning managed to find another wormhole to a class 3. Ooo, nice, it's uninhabited. Some quick scanning in this class 3 and I get lucky and I get a wormhole to a 2nd class 3. It's also uninhabited. More scanning and I get a class 1, now class 1's probably have a higher chance to get to known space.

This is where things get a little tedious. 15! ladar sites later (I'm not scanning them down to 100% just recording the sig when it hits 25%+ and moving on), I finally find a wormhole to 0.0 space. So I pop out and where do I find myself?

Paragon Soul. Deep Paragon Soul. Pardon the expression but that's like saying "the deep beyond of butt**** nowhere". 84jumps to home base... Oh wait a sec.

/me fiddles with his autopilot settings

Ah, only 72 jumps to home base (only 16 of which are in high sec). That's better (not by much). So the decision: It's late, about an hour and a half before i go to bed. Go back in and try to keep scanning for a better known space connection? or go with the journey that looks like it'll carve a swath through Period Basis, Delve and Querious?

/me fiddles with his map settings for pilots online

Humm, looking mighty dead in goon space, they must all be up in high sec suicide ganking hulks. Might as well. So off I go. I mean look It's an adventure, I'm in a T1 cruiser (Stabber) with T1 Metalevel 0 modules and an updated clone with no implants in my head right? Might as well go for it. Worse that could happen was that I get caught in a gate camp and get the all expenses paid express trip home to the home base. So I rename my ship to Forlorn Hope and off I go.

Even though I'm neutral to prety much all of 0.0. Which means exactly squat since just about everyone out here is NBSI. Except for providence where I'm apparently KOS, again not that this changes much since the incident that resulted in that happened in Catch - dont' get me stated on CVA's hypocritical stance of simply declaring all neutrals that are in gangs of more than 1 hostile and apparently catch is now theirs as well.

Most excitement I had on the whole trip? Finding out that KIA still had a system in Period Basis (thought they were up in Geminate). Running into a kestrel in low sec (where the alliance policy is NRDS so I didn't even bother trying to target him, while I was ratting 3 gate rats. Yep it was that dead, I decided to linger in low sec ratting at a gate. That 1 neutral frigate in low sec was the entire sum total of what I ran into during those 56 jumps through 0.0 and low sec.

Tired but amused, I dock at the high sec base and call it a night.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Looking forward to Moondoggie

In the blog "The second coming of Moondoggie" CCP Pleognost (how does one pronounce that?) explains that the old in game browser is getting a bit of an upgrade. If by upgrade you mean being ripped out and replaced. It's an older devblog but I'm bringing it up now since the first tests of it are now up on Sisi. My friend Cozmik R5 was able to start a blog entry from within the game. Others were able to post on the EVE-O forums from within the eve client.

Since this is based on google's Chrome browser development kit, it should allow our in-game browsing experience to significantly improve. This will allow us all to browse the internet in it's entirety from withing the EVE client. The thought I suddenly had was: humm, with Google Docs this means that a spreadsheet could be run from within EVE. I'm wondering if with web services and what not that the item data from CCP is usable from within a spreadsheet? Or if with Cosmos, this data will become accessible in this fashion. Should it become so, I can forsee some rather interesting spreadsheets developing, and being totally usable from withing EVE. Now all we need is some form of "skin" for an online spreadsheet browser and all of a sudden we'll have a truly immersible experience on the industrial front.

I know the combat bunnies will be going "so what" but all the production dudes are going "oooo yeah!". Ah EVE you are such a multiple personality beast. So the only MMO with an in-game calculator will finally have an in-game spreadsheet capability. Now all we need is some light weight accounting software to make our alliance management tasks easier and we'll be all set.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Caffeine please

Sunday morning got me up a little early. Seems to be the same for various of my pilots. Much caffeine was called for. Amusing anecdotes about pilots reporting that they shocked their significant others "I can never get you up this early on a Sunday but you do it for a game???". This says more about the level of hate carebears have for griefers than it does about Sunday morning sleeping habits I think.

At any rate scouting revealed that the enemy had discovered our little present. After an aborted attempt to repair things (which mirrored their aborted attempt to put the alt corp POS into reinforced), they proceeded to evacuate what they could. Since my pilots were still waking up, we held off from trying to interrupt this. No reason to screw up an already fairly successful operation and we stuck to our plan. A much smaller fleet (only 17 at high water mark) went into action on schedule and we rolled in on their POS for the second time.

Took out the small gun they managed to online (we had ignored an offline gun the night before). And settled in to bash away and wait to see if they would try and oppose us in any way. Turns out not. The only organized oposition we encountered was some obviously beyond bored BNC (yes that ex-BoB corp that was involved in the downfall of BoB) pilots that came by in their stealth bombers. Guys, really, what were you thinking? You almost lost that SB and you barely dented that cruisers shields... Would someone mention to these guys that SB's changed a few patches ago? They are no longer the cruise missile spamming frigate and cruiser killers of yore.

The traffic situation is interesting in Tabbetzur. It's one of the low sec pipes used by russian alliances and there were plenty of occasional Russian pilots flying by. We didn't bother them, they didn't bother us. But we could tell by the people popping in and out of local that there was curiosity as to our doings.

Sure enough after a while down went the tower. We swooped in and offlined all 7 modules we could. Turns out that the 20minute ones are longer than the global criminal flag we had. How convenient. There was also a 1h offline time for a medium intensive refining array. Basically I made the decision that when the last module except the refining array was picked up we would make our way to high sec and call the op. If one of the pilots wanted to snag that last module they could (the corp hangar array, ship maintenance array, mobile lab, and various assembly arrays and that stasis webifier battery were sufficient for us I figured, no reason to get greedy). The op ended up with one tower kill, and about 300mil of modules picked up for the loss of two cyno boats. Once again the lack of fight in these enemies puts them fairly and squarely in the griefer class and I slept better than ever Sunday night.

The most hillarious part of this op was witnessed after I had logged off to get on with my day. One of the scout pilots had slapped together an Itty II with a cloak in hopes of waiting out the remaining 40min on the refinery array. I figured he would not be able to get it - low sec being low sec but hey might be worth the chance. Turns out I was right. Soon after we left apparently word went out all over local low sec that we were gone. Soon enough my scout ended up being entertained by various pirate corps fighting over the 42.5mil refinery array. Final losses were one blockade runner and a Phobos(I'd love to see the kill mails on those). I'm not even sure if anyone ended up with the refinery array. I am reminded of two packs of hyenas squabbling over the remains of a lion kill after the lions have moved away. My scout lost his itty 2 to a gate camp on the way back to high sec, but figures the entertainment value of watching the pirates kill each other over the array and the incapacitated batteries was more than well worth it (the dude was killing himself laughing apparently).

I finished my weekend mining over 10k of Arkonor in wormhole space. All in all a pretty satisfying weekend. No cap losses, the cap pilots got to shot things, everyone had fun and we don't have to call any Monday evening ops.