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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Well, that was Gneiss

Over the last two days, we've been mining a large Gneiss site that Carbon Freezer found. We're into our third day now. The hidden belt is in a low sec system. We've been 7 or 8 each day now. So far a rough estimate gives us 105k of Zydrine or 305mil isk worth of minerals total. We think there's about 20% of the belt left to mine. So far it's been relatively quiet. Although that wave of 20 drones that descended on the op in the last few minutes of the second day sure woke Strongpaw up. qofe lost a retriever in that incident but we all donated all the loot and salvage to him to replace the retriever so he should be able to pay for a new retriever out of that.

As is usual in our current phase of eve-development we're still learning. Very few of us have low sec experience. So we got lazy and some of us were miss-aligned for a warp out. Not that that would have saved qofe in this case. Having 20 frigate, destroyer, cruiser and battle cruiser sized drones hot drop on a retriever is jut not survivable. Not at the warp out speeds a retriever is capable of. But for example one of the problems was finding the safe point bookmark amongst all the bookmarks for an op. I pointed out that if you put all the mining bookmarks in an op folder but keep the safe spot bookmark out of any folder it's easy to find. So in an emergency there is no searching around for the right bookmark. Things like that are what we need to do.

The first day we had no one with a spare remote armor and hull repairers for the op. The second day we had the CAP ship with remote armor and spare remote armor and remote hull repair available to the haulers in the ore destination station (so it would be a simple matter to switch out the modules on one of the round trips).

On the first day we had 2 haulers for the entire group and I was top cover in my hound. A hound is better than a battleship for low sec top cover due to targeting times. On the second day Strongpaw was top cover in his drake. "DRONESSSSSS!!!!".

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Phoons and Lesser Strain Mothers

Once again things are progressing on the Typhoon front. Both #13 and #14 sold withing 24h (weird for the middle of the week, but I did price them aggressively. So the 120mil and 2 Tyhpoon BPCs were sent of to Teena of [ASMIC]. (Shhhhh, he doesn't know about the 2nd typhoon yet).

I then proceeded to go through all the usual maintenance. Get the finished jobs delivered, put up new research jobs, check the market, put up any items sold out and put up any new manufacturing jobs. All the usual having been taken care of it's then time to figure out what to do for the evening. Hey! I know!, I'll go check out that 5/10 drone plex I found in Auner the other day. It should still have a day to go if no one else bothered to find it. But what a sec, I'm pretty sure my BC won't be sufficient.

Now Carbon Freezer (long time member of my corp) has recently finished getting Caldari battleship skillz, along with attendant cruise missile skillz. He's been trying it out in high sec exploration sites that don't have much for a BS even when he can get it by the first gate. Here's a perfect opportunity to get him into a BS level job without getting into missions (which would mess up his Minmatar neutral standings).

So we start. Carbon finds out quickly (to the tune of 1.2mil in repairs to his armor) that you don't take a Raven and charge into close combat. While he's off getting repairs, I'm able to distance tank with my mission Cyclone without a problem. After he gets back and changes his tactics (more than 120km away is nice and comfy for a Raven), things go much more smoothly. We get into the 2nd room and there are 2 gates. Things proceed nicely for the next few rooms. We acquire, in order, the 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th Overseer's Personal Effects. I suspect the 12th is stuck behind the "surging" gate we didn't take. Reading online it turns out that I would have been the only one able to take it as my good buddy Carbon didn't have the plasma physics skill learned.

Then there was the comedy that was the last room. We're doing fine till I get a little too close to the lesser stain mother in my BC... 20% structure later and it's let the BS shoot at it. Good god he ran out of cruise missiles. So I head back to get a whole bunch of cruise missiles in my blockade runner. 2.4mil in repairs for me. On the way back most of the previous rooms the wrecks have gone, but I do manage to spot an important wreck we almost missed (that's where the 14th overseer's came from). I get him the missiles and he starts taking down the lesser stain mother again - this time with paradise cruises. This goes better, but it really calls for either tech 2 heavies or 2 Battleships shooting it at range in order to come down in any reasonable time.

Once again I get too close and have to warp out (the mother will shoot at anything it targets that gets within 50-55km or so, and boy does it hurt). Stay out of range and kill at a distance. I had to warp out (man thank god the blockade runner can warp on a dime, got out with about 15% shields left that time). Eventually he managed to kill the darn thing - after hours of cruise missiles. He went through probably 7000 cruises in this one complex. As he mentioned, if you had told him he would have shot over 4000 cruise missiles at the start of the evening he would have laughed in your face. He now understands why cruise missiles sell in 10k lots. At the end he picked up as much loot and the 15th overseer's.

So after 6 hours or so, the next morning I dispose of the loot for the split. Note that we could have had massive amounts more loot and we got no salvage so we could have done better. But this was our first experience with something of the order of a 5/10 complex. We each came out of the evening with 31.7mil isk and about 7.3mil isk in minerals from the few battle ships we looted. So if we did that with a third person to salvage and haul all the loot to high sec (or a pair of them with one in a blockade runner) as we went it would have been much better.

2:30am local and I finally angered into bed. Note to self: complexes are long. Really long.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Planning time

The BS Project is nearing it's end. Plans for the disposition of the assets of the project are in place. This has been a bad weekend for BS sales. But what can you do? Some times they just don't sell that fast. Also there haven't been any great big wars lately. So the market has calmed down.

In other news red has put in an order for bpc's which I'll try to fill in some semblance of order. Working from the small hulls on up. I'll be glad when the BS project comes to an end and I can re-dedicate my research skill to personal projects like red's bpc collection.

On to alliance stuff. I've determined that there are a few things we need to do to get the ball rolling again on the alliance side. We didn't do a mining op this weekend. So once again we have the situation where if I'm not around that doesn't get done.

We need to get some form of newbie training in place.

We need to get some PvP ops going.

We need to find some way to integrate the mission runners into our operations.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Like a straight flush

Some days things just roll your way. It was starting out as a regular day. Get back to Eram from Maspah so I can put stuff in the oven. Switch around some research. Slip in that 3h39min skill so that the main one finishes when I'll be online. That sort of thing. Setup the purchase of fuel for the alliance tower, get the minerals from the bank for Typhoon #13. Drool over my Prowler some more as I fly back to Uttindar.

I get to Uttindar and go: Ok, so what do I do now? I decide, it being the middle of the week and all, to do some exploring. Drop the first Multispec. 3min later: ping, humm a Unknown. Well I haven't done a combat plex in a while, might as well nail it. I then lay a pattern of quests and start scanning. Four cycles later (12min for those keeping track) I get a 0.237 au ping. Abandon the quests, warp over and drop a sift. Three more minutes and I've got it nailed. I find an Angel Lookout. Not bad.

So I head back for my mission BC which is in the same system. Check the fit. Yep Angel fit (Explosive ammo, mix of Valkyrie II and Vespa II drones, Explosive and Kinetic hardeners). Burn out to the lookout and warp to the first room. Ah pretty easy - just destroyers and frigates. So I clean up. Then take a quick check at the roids... WTF??? Hemorphite?????. Thought process comes screeching to a halt. Re-sort the list by name. 5 Jaspet and 3 Hemorphite roids. In high sec... "Calling all miners", "Calling all miners" "Hemorphite in high sec, get your asses down here. This is an exploration plex with Hemorphite and Jaspet". So they get there eventually and start mining (Valk, Gaird and Cathrianne that is). I then go on and finish the second room. While blowing up the structures.... Escallation!!!!. Man that's like filling an inside straight flush. This is the 3rd I've ever gotten. At this point I don't know whether if I leave the plex disappears or not so I wait out the mining of the jaspet and hemorphite. At the end we discover that indeed so long as someone remains in the plex it won't disappear.

What a night.

That's all and fly safe everyone.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Oh man. I'm in love with this ship. God does it boogy. I should have gotten one before now but hey, you can't think of everything. It's officially replaced my little probe as my get around ship due to it's incredible acceleration and warp speed. It's like a bleeding Ferrari compared to my other haulers.


/me goes over to the corner to burble like a fanboy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Mission running and PvP

The organization of the mining ops and alliance level mechanisms to support them are progressing. There will probably be some fine tuning needed to make the work smoothly but the broad outline of what needs to be done seems to be in place. It's time to turn my thoughts to the mission runners and to the PvP aspects of EvE and how they need to interact with our alliance. Currently there is no organization or inter-member support for mission running or for PvP squadron and practice work. I'm going to have to see about talking to the mission runners and those interested in forming PvP squadron(s) what they see as their role and how to forward their development towards the role in the alliance.

In other news

Guyverman has hit 5.32 unmodified standing with Minmatar Faction. So just like myself his upcoming grinding will eventually push him over 6.0. When that happens I'll need to make a decision about Doc Lithius. The problem is that when he originally joined LCSC, the agreement was that he would work his standing above 5.0. Soon after he joined however he went AWOL from EvE due to RL. He's still not back yet. Once Guy hits 6.0 the corp will have the option of placing towers in 0.6 systems in Minmatar space and probably 0.5 systems in Gallente space provided we let Doc go. Should we need to do so I'll be forced to let Doc go. Probably with an eve-mail explaining the situation but it might happen.

Last Thursday the alliance mining op didn't go off. We need to find out who apart from myself and Norjia has perfect refines, and for Norjia we need to find out the NPC corps that he has perfect refines with. This will allow us to explore some areas of operation. We also need to get more organized for these types of operations. Do a proper exploration of a system to find out the following information:
  1. How frequently the system is mined out.
  2. Which corps are the main miners of the area.
  3. How frequent ore thieves/griefers cause problems.
  4. How accessible it is to alliance members.
We'll see if we can get more organized for these operations.

And Relax....

Nice easy evening last night. Mainly just the usual industrial slot maintenance and a trip down to Maspah to pick up some of the remaining hulls down there. Did some rationalization of the hulls in Uttindar and packed up the ones I don't use often. I need to build 3 hulls to match up with the module load outs I have on reserve. Those would be a Bellicose and two Stabbers. I'll wait till the BPOs are reasearched to 10/10 before filling in the missing hulls.

Slowly getting caught up on production. Need to get more minerals but no panic. I think a change in strategy is called for soon. I'm finding that the manufacturing and selling of large ships is cutting in on my isk making time outside the corp. I need to rectify this. I plan to let the current BPC's in the corp CORP BP hangar to finish their runs. I'm going to get out of the cruiser production for my corp store. I'll concentrate on re-trenching to the BPO's the corp actually owns. This should allow my current mineral bunker size to last much much longer between refills and will allow me to concentrate on grinding standing at various NPC corporations.

A while back (don't remember if I blogged about it or not), I went and bought BPOs for my corporation independent of the BPO's I own as an individual. This allows me to have all of my personal BPOs in the system where the corp tower is. Since this is not my production system, I usually make max run bpo's of things I need to build and cart them over to the production facility in Eram. The corp BPOs get taken to Uttindar for research but then, once researched, are permanently installed in Eram. The corp store is re-stocked from production off of these bpo's. Up till now I've also been making BPCs of cruisers and battle cruisers using alliance copy slots. This keeps the otherwise unused alliance copy slots active and also allows me to keep the books straight for the cost of the copies. The principal is that if the corp (as a separate entity from myself) needs the copies, it should pay for them. Since the corp tower is a cooperative venture between myself and the other two active pilots in the corp, the slots on it our paid for out of our personal isk - the corp is not actively involved in that tower (which reminds me I need to switch some financing around if that's the case). On top of this, I really want to keep using my lab's copy slot for my own personal uses. So the corp pays for any of IT's research and copy needs over on the alliance tower. Luckily I have advanced laboratory operation 4 (10 research slots simultaneously) so have more research skills than I can use on my personal lab. I'm finding the mineral drain (and it's consequential re-stocking) to be rather onerous.

Therefore simply letting the cruiser and battlecruiser BPCs run their course will allow me to concentrate on more mission running and less hauling. I think to keep the work load down I'll use other modules. Make some max run BPC's of researched modules and try out the market. If they look like good fit have the corp buy the BPO and put it in the manufacturing rotation.

I'm slightly annoyed at CPP for their changes to the manufacturing waste formula. Originally you could get 'perfect' BPO within reason but upcoming changes mean that there will never again be such a thing as a 'perfect' BPO. Now a lot of the BPOs that the corp owns are of small enough modules that 'perfect' BPOs were possible. Now knowing this I've settled on ML:20/PL:20 as the standard for all modules/ammo/rigs and ML:10/PL:10 for ships as good research levels to get for the entire collection. I'm converting all my personal BPOs to this standard. And except for a few medium projectile ammo and rig ones that were above ML:20 already this won't be a problem. The annoyance is having to take the corp ones out of production for the length of time to bring them to this standard.

After the sell off of some tech 2 radar site loot and salvage over stock, my personal finances are looking rosy. I think I will take this opportunity to buy a 6month supply of NPC tower fuel for the corp tower. I think I will also transfer some alliance isk for the same purpose and stock up on the NPC fuels properly so that I don't have to keep running around hauling these.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Busy week

It's been a busy week. In no particular order:

  • ASMIC built Typhoons #7 and #8
  • I ran my mineral and sales reserves close to zero
  • I refilled my mineral reserves
  • I got the minerals for Typhoon #6
  • Typhoons #3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 sold amongst the mass buy up of Typhoons that seemed to be going on this weekend.
  • Helped out on the weekend mining op (got in for the last 2 hours after a lot of hauling).
  • I manufactured and sold mass quantities of modules and ships this weekend
    • Started weekend with 95mil in the operating fund
    • payed the rents
    • bought minerals to fill up bunkers
    • down to 45mil (so arround 50mil of minerals)
    • Manufactured like a madman
    • put stuff up on sale
    • mineral bunker bottomed out again but the sales brougth the bank to above 60mil
    • Someone cleaned out my small projectile turret modules on sale (entirely - contacted him and found out he was just getting his corp module bank filled up "and they were at a good price").
    • bought more minerals
    • operating fund down to 19mil (thank god Devorik had some mins for sale)
    • Stuff started selling like mad
    • Operating fund was up to 75mil and I was slowly catching up on the manufacturing.
  • Managed to get my disposable hauler killed in low sec dead-heading (I was pushing it, knew it would happen eventually, but a) it had already made it's cost in profits from low sec trading ventures and b) I had it's replacement in the wings ready to go, so was actually laughing that the pirates only got 3 tech 1 expanders and 2 tech 1 medium shield extenders - and they were firing at me with a battleship)
  • All in all it was a VERY active weekend for me.
I've come to some conclusions. Before we get right into REAL cap ship production we need to grow some more. At a minimum we need to at least double our active pilots. We'll see how the BS production picks up once the BPO is out of the research cycle and into the copy cycle. But for us to make a serious go at high sec freighter production we'll need to:
  • Raise about 8 times the isk we raised for the first venture.
  • Be able to comfortably maintain mining and manufacturing production without burning anyone out.
At this point in time we'll probably have a lot of problems meeting any sort of reasonable production schedule with the number of people we currently have. We also need to have livelier discussion on the points scheme for the mining ops. Get them more established etc etc etc...

Fly safe space cowboys.