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.
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'être":
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).