Member of the EVE Tweet Fleet

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Well I finally got in a fight big enough to have lag. It didn't help that for the first part of it my overview was messed up and showed way to much info. Got that sorted out by the time I was in my 3rd frigate. The Minmatar Fleet got it's ass handed to it unfortunately. We were infiltrated and out numbered. Good FC'ing allowed us to at least concentrate before the engagement started but they had more reinforcements than we did. I ended up going through 4 frigates by the end of the fight.

From the after action conversation it looks like the enemy split up it's fleet into major engagement elements and a cruiser and below squad. They ended up wiping the field of any ships supporting our BS's and then slowly but surely nailed the BSs and the Carriers I did manage to get on 3 kill mails for the 4 losses though. So even though it sucked to loose 4 ships I still contributed to more kills. This time my ships were mostly insured (I think I undocked Wooot too quickely). So I'm getting better on that side of things

Ah! now that's more like it

Today went much better. In the morning it was a bit of a loss. No gangs running and didn't find a plex worth doing. Using both a Rifter and a Probe. This time the probe was outfitted with some salvaging scan launcher rig. But I just didn't get lucky and there was a heck of a lot of Amarr activity and not enough Minmatar gangs going. Figured it was a bit of a loss so docked back up and went and did other stuff for a while.

Later on in the evening, I jumped in the o.O, a Rifter, and got lucky there were gangs going. After bopping around a bit we managed to get some tackles and some kills, An Armaggedon, an Abbadon and a Coercer. I'm especialy proud that I was highest T1 frigate on both BS kills. Later on when trying to get another kill I managed to tackle a Purifier, but it managed to kill me before help could arive. Got him into armor and with other fleet members jumping thru probably gave him a real good scare. So the o.O is no more, but it managed to get in on some serious kills so it was worth it. Although once again I manage to forget to insure it... I realy need to remember to do that...

After that since it looked like we would be mixing plexes with baiting some Amarr to get a fleet toghether, I got out my Probe and re-fit it with a cloak and just the scan probe launcher. The only ammo I brought was the multispecs and some anti ship probes. Since the ship is tech 1 and not rigged the scan times are long (just under 5 min) but on the flip side I can confirm or deny the presence of a plex with absolute certainty. This time I remembered to insure the Probe even if I didn't loose it.

Out of this I got some orders for some hulls, I'll be filling that out over the next few days. There are pilots with the militia that have rather low sec standing and have a bit of trouble getting supplies from time to time.

All in all a good day.

Slow day

Well the Amarr showed up but since no fleets were running, I ended up unsuccessfully trying to find some plexes. Not much to say for Saturday. Pretty boring actually. And we run into the 0.0 plainte I have heard so often. "There was no gang going so I just logged to my alt". Those of us who have done PvP (and yes I actualy did a little bit of it before becoming CEO of an alliance) realize that serious PvP without a gang is like russian roulette. With 5 bullets in the revolver instead of 1. The problem is that there is often a lack of people online that one would trust as an FC and if one doesn't have the skills of one "just form a gang" is a good way to get a lot of peps killed. This leads to the dreaded "waiting arround a lot" syndrome. We'll see if there are any gangs worth joining tomorow.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I try a mission

I start the morning off deciding to go see what I could find. After not finding much except large blobs of Amarr ships, I decide to try my hand at finding another plex. No luck this time. So I wander over to a system with a Tribal forces station and see about hooking up with a mission. I choose a level 1 mission which sends me to the Amarr side of low sec. No problem, it's only tech 1 frigates and I'm in a rifter, I should be fine.

I get there without incident. Warp in the mission and make my first mistake. I fail to notice that one of the ships is a commander verions and this being a combat rifter, I get too deep before I notice that they are chewing me to shreds. As I hear the ominous sounds of one of the NPCs putting a point on my vessel, I call out to my crew to hit the escape pods. I do hope they got out. And the Light and Fluffy lives up to it's name. It's armor was quite light and fluffy.

Needless to say this pissed me off enormously. So I head back to my manufacturing site, grab a Thrasher and proceed to outfit it for serious mission running. 6 T2 guns and tractor beam/salvager combo. Tremor ammo and a target painter mean that the regular frigates won't even bother me and I'll be able to keep out of the range of that commander frigate.

By the time I get back, some entreprising Amarr pilot seems to have looted the Light and Fluffy but not salvaged it. No matter, I take care of the Amarr NPCs quite quickly, kill the objective, salvage and loot everything. The end result is that the Light and Fluffy is avenged. I think I'll keep this ship for more mission running, although it's loot does need to pay for it's tech 2 weapons eventualy. I go log off for shopping and lunch and we'll see what happens this evening when I plan to x up.

A bit more prep work

For a day off I did not get a lot of EvE time yesterday. One of the great things about EvE's single shard architecture is that any one you meet IRL who plays eve is someone you can meet in game and vis-versa. About every 2 weeks a bunch of us in Montreal get together at a pub downtown for some guiness and get to jaw over EvE and life in general.

A good time was had by the 4 of us who made it. As usual if any other montreal EvE player wants to show up to these, it's usualy every 2 weeks or so, at O'Regans on Bishop street in downtown Montreal.

So All I realy had time to do was get the scan packages together and ship them to the two bases. The scan packages allow me to switch out various components in the probes to change their tasking when I head down to FW. Now to go do some FW. Fly dangerous all.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's the bug fix patch

Good lord that's a read...

I may have missed something but it certainly looks like it's mostly bug fixes. The first phase of the anti-gank changes did make it in. Namely the faster concord and higher security penalties.

One item did catch my eye:

  • Jump cloning to a clone in the same station as you are in will now work as intended.

Does this mean you'll no longer loose implants when doing this? Any daredevil pilot out there willing to test this?


The next patch and the patch list have been announced. The Patch. Time to go read it and see what's in the wind for next Tuesday...

Glitch Fixed

I start the evening off in my 2nd base. This time determined to resolve my overview glitch once and for all. In order to do so I will need to loiter in a system full of Amarr militia. This calls for cloaky-ness. So I get one of my recon launcher equipped probes and head towards the front line (Dal/Amamake in this case - safe to say it since about everyone on both sides knew there was action there last night). So I setup an undisclosed distance from the Amamake gate in Dal after checking that there were indeed war targets in system.

After trying in vain for about 15min I finally try the "reset" button on the filters. Lowe and behold .... Holly crap half the system is war targets. After reporting on general system war target counts and specific ships and locations when they were at the gate for a while, I decide to call it an early evening. I pass thru several contested systems on the way back and fail to find any sites. I suspect that we may need to pop some of the other sites nearby in the hopes that they will re-spawn in the contested system so the contested system can be rendered uncontested.

I then head back to my high sec base #2 and take a break.

When I get back I decide to do a wee tad of the old industry thing. I go out and buy the BPOs to the missing R.A.M.s from my collection. Since I got the skill high enoug to actualy manufacture one of the components that go into the T1 cloaks, I go out and get the advanced materials from the market in order to do so and get the job cooking. I get enough for the other component (this will give me a reserve of components sufficient to build 4 T1 cloaks. One of these days I'm going to have to get a price list going for the advanced materials so I can calculate how much the stuff I build is worth like I do for the rest of the T1 stuff.

I decide that since I'm going to be doing PvP for a while, there's no reason not to use the high sec slots even with their month long lag times. Sure, it's not as efficient as a tower but since I'm not using most of the un-researched BPOs any time soon - I might as well. I pop in 5 jobs. 3 of the frigates and 2 of the R.A.M. BPOs. This is where I learn that high sec slots are HELLA expensive and damn have I been undercharging on the towers... Did CCP do something to slot pricing a while back when I wasn't looking? Even at 10k an hour a tower slot is cheaper than an empire ME slot. Wow.

And that's it for the night. I have the day off today, so we'll see how much I get on EvE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Local glitch

The evening started out with the trip to the manufacturing hub. For this my Prowler is the vehicle of choice. With it's higher warp speed and excellent align to warp time, it is good both on warp to zero and on autopilot.

Once I get there, the Vigils are ready. It is then a decision as to what to what to make next. Evidently converting some of the probes to use scan probe launchers for plex rundowns would be a good idea. So I proceeded to put in some runs of scan probe launchers and various probes for same. Once again it's going to take more than 24h to get the run finished. Someone REALY gummed up the works there. Having done that, I once again use the hauler alt to run the Vigils to the destinations and head out in my Prowler to the 2nd forward base in order to assemble the ships that are sitting there and run out of that site tonight.

The reason for the hauler alt to do the hauling is that there are 4 vigils and modules to bring to 2 destinations. Although it's fast the Prowler is just not what one would call spacious (one frigate and modules is about it's limit). So while my alt does the deliveries on auto pilot (a T1 hauler with no rigs hauling 700k baseprice - worth a lot less - goods is prety safe from suicide ganks - if they do, I laugh my ass off), I'm free to assemble frigates and start patroling.

After assembling a reasonable force of disposable frigates. I then proceeded to go into harms way with the first Vigil of the bunch and try and resolve my local issue. I've even tried to clean my cache and what not. I finally tried leaving the militia and re-joining. I will admit that that was easy enough but I still don't know if it has resolved my problem. In the meanwhile I head out to plexes in order to run some defensive ones, and get these systems back to un-contested states.

I manage to get my 2nd promotion, So I'm now a Spear Lieutenant. I then spent the rest of the time trying to remove the contested flag from various systems. Basically any system I managed to find a site in, I managed to get back to uncontested. The plexing went well, but when I went to help a fellow pilot, I managed to get aced pretty quick. So Cosmic Dust is dust. First loss and it isn't even to any Amarr pilots - just to some pirate in a HIC. Note to self: turn off MWD when on final approach to an AC armed ship. If you don't you tend to swing wide and get nailed on the swing out. In all honesty from my point of view this was a hopless attempt since both pirate HIC were attacking a militia HIC. I would have been better off waiting for stronger re-inforcements to attack the pirates before engageing. Also it realy shows I'm not used to PvP - I forgot to insure the ship (not that a pure T1 Vigil is a great loss). However this one ship stabilized 4 systems that were contested and managed to get me my 2nd promotion. I hope it's few crew made it to their escape pods in the pause before the ships final destruction.

But at least I'm finaly starting to burn thru that mountain of ships I've got built up. The other thing I've got to start doing though is ganging up when I go out. With the Amarr being occupied or station hugging soloing defensive plexes is fine but for any other action I need to gang up. Besides it's the only way I'll figure out who's who.

Also for the heck of it I'm going to start putting in the Icons of the ships I fly on patrol in the blog (after the fact). Since I'll be burning thru the ships and changing their names, the intel given won't be much and will give a better sense of what's going on.

Schedule of upcoming updates

Well we finally get some word as to the firming up of the update schedule and it's contents. The Empyrean Age 1.1 will be the "bug fix and interface issues" update. So it should not be anything earth shattering. The real question is will it contain the speed changes. It looks from the statement that they wanted more testing that it could be in the 1.2 update, but they originally said a month and with 1.1 being delayed/scheduled into September (the last update was in June so this one was actually "due" end of august), it could actually be in the 1.1 update. It's very hard to tell. The suicide gank changes will probably make it into this one. The forum changes may or may not - CCP seems to have been understandably shell shocked by the untimely death of the person working on these changes. We may see these changes delayed for a few weeks while the next person gets a handle on where these changes are at. Fly with the stars CCP Taera.

1.2 is touted to be a "content" update for FW, this may be where we see the rewards being plugged into FW, the speed change will definitely make it in by then so they will be in place for the fan fest alliance tourney (which will probably be under-represented since the PvP pilots that usualy participate won't like the industrial themed event and the industrialist/miners are offended that use of real pilot skills is not enforced - supercharacters are boring).

The "Midas" expansion is touted to contain a whole whack of industrial goodies. It will probably contain walking in stations - with it's inherent new production possibilites. If the long rumored Orca was to make an apearance it would obviously be here. What the rest of it will consist of? who knows. I pray that one of the dev's pet projects - sized rigs - gets in this one. I'd like to be able to fit rigs on T1 frigates and dessies.

Moar plexes

Using my hauler alt to deliver some Slashers (the Vigils won't be ready till tomorrow), I prepared for another evening on the front lines. This time I took one of the newly un-crated slashers. I'm not sure because I haven't bothered to check my numbers, but it's entirely possible that the microwarp drive is worth more than the hull. Either way it's cheap and has many uses. A few more were apparent by the end of the evening. The nice thing about having my support skills in place is that I can perma-run the MWD.

So still getting my feet wet, so to speak, I decide to go do a defensive plex to start with. This turns out to be no problem, no one comes and disturbs me and once again a contested system becomes uncontested. I also get my first promotion. Then I spend a bit of time on a choke point seeing if I'll get lucky and tackle someone. Yep, solo tackleing in a slasher... Probably a good thing the Amarr aren't so active.

Deciding that this was fairly pointless, as a Zelot got away, I decide to x up and join a gang. We end up with a Thrasher, a Hugin, somethign else and myself in a Slasher. The FC would probably have prefered me in a Rifter (he did mention it) but as I stated, till I know who's who, it's cheap ships for me. The biggest problem I've got is my over view settings seem to be messed up. I don't see war targes in local... no red stars... This will prety much scratch me as a scout till I can figure out how to get those to show. Very annoying since one of the primary purposes of small frigates (apart from tackle) is scouting.

Again the Amarr are proving elusive. So we decide to go plexing in amarr space. Off we go and start doing plexes. Whereupon the question was asked: "Who can perma-run their MWDs"... "I can"... "You know how to speed tank?"... "Get agro and run away, right?". So you can guess what I spent my next hour and a half doing. At one point I managed to have about 7 battleships, assorted cruisers and some frigates shooting at me. This was the patern for the next few plexes. I would mostly speed tank with occational "sitting on the button". By the time I had to leave I'd been involved in the capture of 4 sites in amarr space.

By the end of the night the fleet had grown to about 10-12 or so pilots and we were concentrating on nailing as many plexes as possible. In amarr space just about totaly unmolested. Some observations:

1) I HAVE to get my overview/local problem sorted. Being unable to instantly tell when a WT is in local (while we still have local) is not only annoying - it's dangerous. I have no problems with on grid, but local is still there, I'd like to be able to use it.
2) A Slasher that can perma run it's MWD makes a nice tank for plexes - 2 frigates can take down any plex if they are unopposed. The lesson here is that a small gang should be all that's needed to chase off a plex running Amarr gang most of the time.
3) Might as well keep running plexes and occupying ground while the Amarr station hug.
4) Defensive plex running is worth more standing increase than offensive.
5) One of the minmatar pilots sounds like Duke Nukem.....

I think that my next 2 production runs (after the Vigils pop out) should consist of some scan launcher Probes (to help on the plex scan down) and some Thrashers. That should prety much be it for the inital ship reserve. Then it's goign to be a matter of expending some of these in PvP. If the Amarr will ever come out and play that is....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Capturing Plexes

So I start the night out back in my high sec manufacturing spot and I pop out the run of probes and modules/ammo for same. Then I start a run of modules for 4 of the Slasher hulls I have in my hull reserve. The Probes then get shoved into my hauler and hauled to my two forward bases along with 7 other copies of my standard T1 tackle Rifter build.

Once delivered, I head out in the Light and Fluffy. Since I'm still new at this I figure I'll try that whole "capture a plex thing" So I head to a random system, scan down a plex and head into it. This time I zero in on the control point and start the capture procedure right away. Head to it and start orbiting.

Minmatar Control Point

As usual, it's a bit of a nervous time while waiting to see if any WT (war targets) jump into the system and try and hunt me down. This time before leaving the system I look at the log after the capture. I find out that doing defensive captures in uncontested system does not give any rewards. Ah ha! So check the map and head to a nearby contested system that's still in Minmatar control. Again I get the capture timer going and once again the Amarr militia is off playing footsy with the more experienced militia members. So I manage to capture the site. Not only that but the system becomes uncontested. Obviously the Amarr had done a small raid in force behind the main front lines in order to try and distract the main militia forces.

Orbiting a control point

I hit a 3rd system, contested again. This time I found a large site - potential BS could come in. But again no real WT interference so myself and another pilot who joined me about half way through were able to capture the site unopposed and again render the system uncontested. The next system we try we get un-lucky and there are no sites to find (or we just didnt' find any). And the last system that was nearby showed contested turned out to be un-contested. Someone else probably solidified our control while we were working on the previous systems. Looking at the time, I decide to head back to the barn. Two nights so far and not a scratch on my frigate, so far the crew is liking the lucky boat. Especialy since I've been flying alone for now.

Light and Fluffy

Once back in high sec I switch to my Mastodon and head to my manufacturing hub to pop out the Slasher modules I hat set cooking and shove in some Vigil modules. Holy crap! While I was gone someone filled up all the slots for at least the next 27h! Ah well, it's not like I dont' have enough hulls already - although I may switch arround some of the probes to have multi specs and scan launchers instead of recon launchers. I'd like confirmation that there are no sites in a system, and not that I simply haven't found one. Multipsecs are great for that.

While this was all going on - I had sent my alt over to caldari space to pick up the last two missing cruiser BPOs from my BPO collection: The Moa and the Blackbird. So I'm now much isk poorer than I was but I now have all the cruisers in the game. 11 of them are un-researched but hey at least I can manufacture them in emergency situations at resonable cost. In preparation for eventual invention work, I also picked up my first ship data interface. So with the existing data interface collection, once I get my science skills up to snuff, I'll be able to invent any Minmatar T2 ships and any T2 module/ammo/rig. Again going for flexibility over concentration of effort.

A T1 probing solution

I have this tendency to special fit ships for specific uses. So when we kept running into "bring a probing ship" issues while trying to track down militias this got me thinking. "Let, buddy, the answer here is a cov-ops but you're not taking that to low sec till you know who's who in the militia". So I proceeded to go see if I could turn the lowly probe into a cheap faux-cheetah.

Begin EFT---------------------------------
[Probe, Scout Probe]
Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I

Cap Recharger I
1MN Afterburner I

Prototype Cloaking Device I
Recon Probe Launcher I, Snoop Scanner Probe I

[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]

Warrior I x1
Warrior I x1
End EFT-----------------------------------

Let's go over the decisions that went into this fit. 1) even if you can't warp cloaked, being able to cloak in a scout ship is kind of important. This ship wont' be able to pull some of the survival moves that a cov-ops can, but it can observe a point of interest un-detected if it positions itself ahead of time. 2) Recon launcher is the reason for this fit. I'll hopefully be working with other target frustrated pilots so my lack of guns won't be an issue. 3) The lows are based on my experience with the Prowler. Allign to warp is king to survival in a small ship. 4) The mids I will admit are a bit more problematical. At this point it was "what will fit and be moderately useful?" By this point in time the CPU was prety chuck full (only 25 points left) That kinda works out to no ECM or other snazy stuff. So I went with AB and cap regen. The two warriors are because I can't use ECM drones yet.

Now to address some of the critisizms of the fit: Yes it'll scan much slower than a cov-ops - I have a cov-ops - I know. It's purpose in life is to have probe down capability in a CHEAP trow away frigate, along with some incidental scouting capacity. The added bonus is that I can build the entire thing out of hand. (This includes the cloak).

I still need to get Astrometrics V. Till then I"m limited to using the 3 shorter ranged probes, but since most anti ship probing action happens up close, that shouldn't be as much of an issue.

While in the rifter, I was making very good use of the onboard scanner. Learning to use that in conjuntion with this type of a ship should make things interesting. At the very least it should be decent for flushing people out of safe spots. It can't warp cloaked, so people will see it coming but on the other hand I probably won't be operating it alone, and if I loose it? *shrug* cheap.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I make it into the millitia

After the cool down period finaly ends, I make it into the Minmatar militia. Having worked on getting some T1 frigates ready ahead of time, I take one of the T1 rifters and head towards the sound of the guns (war target sighting reports). I'm not entirely sure since I haven't been at this very long, barely a few hours, but I think Ammatar space is now a free-fire zone between the minmatar and amarr. Guess I'll find out what it's usefullness is down the road.

Brilliantly I manage to mess up and forget to get in a jump clone that is implant-less. So back I go to fix up the jump clone situation. I basicaly go and grab my maspah clone and fly him back to where I'm staging ships for now.

Re-mounted in my trusty rifter I head out to low sec between heimatar and the bleak lands. I manage to find a totaly empty system (no one there). Check the map (thank you militial corp chat) and find out that it's one of the systems involved in the low sec part of the struggle. So whiping out my exploration skills (the exploration tab shows plantes and stargates) I start using my on board scanner to look for anomalies - and find one - that's related to FW. So I head into the dungeon and after dicking arround finaly figure out that you need to have the control points showing in order to figure out where you're supposed to go. Head to the control point and start orbiting it.

Thanks to chatter and local I figure out that my overview settings need MORE tweeking - there's a war target present and I didn't even realize it... Well using the scanner, I figure out he's in a malediction - an amarr interceptor. But he doesn't come in to play in the site. Probably because by this time other fellow militia pilots are in system with me and join up to finish off the capture of the site. Defensive capture. Not sure it realy did anything but heck it was my first and we took it without oposition.

After trying to track down the malediction (yea yea, a T1 rifter going after a maledicition), I decide that I'd wasted enough time on someone that looked like he was content to hide in a mobile safe. I'll have to see about making sure I lay in a supply of cheap recon launching probes. To truely make use of them I'll need astrometrics V. So I put that somewhere on my development plan.

Bassed on the chatter, it looks like the amarr pilots like to safespot a lot. I may get some good use out of those Probes I'm going to build. So for now I head back to my manufacturing station and lay some plans in. Looks like I'll want to establish 2 forward bases so I dont' need to go far when I need to change ships or when I need to get a new one. I pick the two spots and decide what ships I want to base at each. Till I get a handle on who can be trusted and who not (EvE is such a spy infested game), I'll be sticking to T1 frigates. So I set manufacturing orders for 6 sets of modules and ammo for 6 more rifters. I"ll place them tomorow. I need to remember to build before I go on patrol and build after I get back. Patrols last long enough that even the ammo is ready when I get back.

Sticking to the frigates for now is probably quite sound, since my skills are actualy quite good in frigates as a whole. I may need to work a bit on my rocketry skills but my gunnery skills are quite spiff. It's nice when you check a fit in EFT and you see nothing but level IV and V skills supporting something.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just have to turn off the lights

And it's official, AMC is now in suspended animation - I still have to sell a BPO one way or the other and the finance corp can be closed down, but yep tis a done deal. Time to head off to Faction Warfare... in 24h...

Darn cool down time.

Hurt to do but this gives me a chance to learn PvP and come back with the pilots necessary to form the corp of a combat wing. This would allow me to bring the alliance forward from that point onward. This will probably be far down the road though, I need to get PvP and I need to get some corporate skills necessary for sovereignty. Once the cool down period is over I'll finish moving stuff to my new base then it's off to FW as an individual pilot. Sticking to T1 frigates and modules till I know who the good FCs are and who to avoid like the plague.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Getting things ready

It's an interesting exercise getting things ready to shut things down. For example, I'm probably going to have to wait till after I get out of the war to sell the un-researched BPO. And I can't do it on the market. This is because although we had to pull it early, it can't be re-packaged so can't be re-sold.

I've managed to dispose of some of the duplicate BPOs that were owned by the corp and are no longer needed since I'll be PvPing. I'll eventually have to move my BPO collection to a station with manufacturing slots, but it can sit safely where it is for now. My current copies are sufficient for me to have plenty of modules and ammo for anything I might want to PvP in. In fact since I didn't melt the hulls down I have a resonably unlimited supply of PvP ships to fly in for the FW phase of my plans: 15 Slashers, 17 Vigils, 17 Rifters, 6 Thrashers, 2 Scythes, 2 Bellicoses, 2 Sabbers and 1 Rupture. If I'm somehow able to loose all that before I get into HAS and BS, I"ll be doign something wrong... And I can always make more...

Well as I commented to someone asking about the ships I'll be going thru in PvP: "I'm an industrialist, if I sneeze out pops a fully fitted cruiser". And untill I get into T2 production, I'll be able to keep myself in T1 ships forever. Thanks to insurance, my Hulk and my manufacturing skills/researched BPOs it is almost impossible for me to run out of ships. Heck with what I've got in BPCs so long as I ended up in a station with said BPCs and manufacturing slots, I could bootstrap myself into just about any T1 ship I've got the BPC for (yes I have the bpos for mining lasers and what not).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The stasis chamber is preped

And the first of a few board meetings was held. For me personally however it has become clear I must go down the PvP road for a at least 3-6 months minimum. The objective of this little trip is to a) learn PvP and if possible, eventualy learn to FC, b) Get my PvP skills up, get into HAS with full T2 capability on all modules used and get into BS with all combat modules at least up to T1 level 4. I intend to go thru FW first till I can do b) then head out to 0.0 and get in an alliance as a combat pilot.

Due to the situation with the towers the 3rd alliance project will be closing no matter what happens to the alliance. We'll have a slight profit so no one will loose isk but it's a wee bit of a hassle. The major BPOs that were owned by individuals or corporations have been re-patriated to said individuals. The Megathron BPO will probably be sold back on the market unless someone wants to grab it in it's un-researched state (the two war-decs in a row basicaly put paid to that - if they had held off another week we'd have had a ML10 BPO to sell but meh, such is EvE). I have some BPCs the project purchased that will need to be disposed of.

As far as my corporation goes, I'm either going to use it as the place holder with an alt in charge or close it down if it looks like I'm going to transfer the leadership of the alliance. That being the case it was time to shut down all operations of the corp itself. So the manufacturing operation in Eram has been closed down and the researched BPOs used for that have been crated up. All market reserves have either been melted or transfered to myself (well THAT was nice amount of minerals). The labs owned by myself and my corp are going up on sale. They'll sell when they sell. My main BPO collection has been crated up. I've still got the liquidation of the alliance owned tower assets remaining that I need to sell and convert back to isk for the alliance coffers. The good news is that this all happend when I was way low on fuel. This weekend was scheduled to be the "go out and buy 6 months of NPC goods" run. Bad timing for the research, good timing for the fuel run. So there's not much to liquidate there. I'll probably just buy up the two weeks of alliance tower fuel for a few mil and mothball it.

Damn I just realized I'll need my alt to be the one to sell the alliance assets. Ah well, I'll fix that tonight.

Now some discussion about why I'm personally in favor of mothballing the alliance. The war dec has been engineered by an admited scammer. Therefore I must asume we've been infiltrated. That being the case I have to make the assumption that he's doing this to drive the industrialists out of the alliance in order to be some sort of "last man standing" so he can social engineer a takeover of the alliance. Now given that I've identified the lack of PvP pilots in the alliance (well more problematic is the lack of FC and PvP trainers but I digress). And with our current lack of a pool of PvP pilots to draw from, I must conclude that getting a PvP wing going under the current circumstances - and given my lack of personal PvP experience - is unrealistic.

Giving in to extortionists was never an option - I prefer to operate in a scorched earth manner. They can steal and destroy our stuff but no one is giving them a sigle 0.01 isk voluntarely. I'd prefer to destroy the alliance rather than have that happen. Better to put it to sleep for a few (read many) months till I can get a proper PvP wing to gether to withstand this type of harrasment. Sad, but once the decision has been made, best not to drag it on.

In case you guys haven't clued in: I'd prefer to destroy a 10 billion hard earned isk (not that we have that) rather than pay 0.01 isk in ransom. I have zero respect for anyone who pays a ransom. I know most of my CEOs feel the same way. That's just the way I play.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I think I've had it

Well, I think it's time to put the alliance to sleep for a while.

It's simple. I have lost confidence that we can get a combat wing going under the current circumstances. I have too many pilots who don't seem to understand this whole concept of working together. And my senior pilots either can't or don't want to step up to the plate. And with FW draining the pool of combat pilots at the level I need to recruit, the odds of being successful under the current conditions are "sub-optimal" to put it mildly. Too many inexperienced troops and not enough sergeants. Basically what I need to do is go to FC boot camp and then at some point recruit some good FCs and then get some combat pilots and then get the industrial stuff put in place. We'll see how it goes.

I'll call a meeting tonight but it looks likely that it will happen. It'll be sad for the alliance that it will go to sleep for a while but good for me personally. I'll be able to build up a nice lump of cash while I work on getting workable skills for HAS and BS over the next few months then go learn PvP in 0.0.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Perfectly shitty weekend

Well THAT was a lesson (expensive) in how not to do thing.

Lessons learned:

1) Make sure you have people on standby for protecting a POS takedown.
2) It is REALY easy to have a pos stolen during a takedown if you don't have people bumping any thieves off the POS when it finishes it's unanchor.
3) Having my RL heat up JUST as all this is happening makes it just suck more.

I need to keep reminding myself that the labs I saved are worth more that the towers I lost. None of the BPOs were lost. And if they kill the last tower, so be it. So I did manage to salvage some stuff from the debackle. My fault but that's where my lack of experience in combat is hurting me. I may need to take a break from running the alliance after this war and just go get some PvP experience. Ah well EvE is a harsh mistress, but we all knew that going in. I must admit to being very annoyed that ALL the advantages are on the griefer side. Thank god the insurance and security changes are coming.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Malum Crusis.

Looks to be a merc corp so hard to say what caused this one.

Details as we get them, managed to nail down at least 7 of their current pilots identities.

More later

Friday, August 15, 2008

Organizational Issues

Ah the joys of reconciling different objectives and rationalizing ships. I must put some serious thought into re-organizing some aspects of my EvE life. Also, some aspects of my alliance structure. The problem with being an alliance leader is sometimes one will dictate how you end up doing another.

First some personal ship rationalization. I've managed to pare down the places I have ships to 3 stations. This is good. Unfortunately I have quite a a few ships that contain rigs. From memory:

2 x Jaguar - One PvE and one PvP.
2 x Cheetah - Scan rigs so I could always sell one.
2 x Mammoth - One max cargo and one with low friction nozzle joints
1 x Mastodon - Max cargo
2 x Cyclone - Sheild boost cap reduction rigs x3 on the first, 1 x Salvage rig on the 2nd (need a 2nd rig there)
1 x Prowler - 2 x low friction nozzle joints

Pretty much that's the list for those. I'd have probably sold of the max cargo mammoth a long time ago except for one little fact: it's faster than the mastodon.... The PvE jag I really haven't used a lot lately - it's setup for 2x Medium Shield Extender and an AB so it's just not viable till the speed mods in October for any PvP work at all. It's kindof a fun ship for PvE though. I could get rid of one of the cheetahs prety easilly since they are functionaly the same (just loaded with different launchers). I intend to do some low sec scouting so the PvP Jag is probably a good bet to keep. The Prowler you'll only get when you pry it from my cold dead meatcicle. The mastodon has a nice tank I'm kindoff attached to. Useful for hauling higher value stuff than I feel comfortable in the mammoth with. The first cyclone is my primary mission boat, the 2nd my primary salvager (need a 2nd rig for that one).

Only two that I can see getting rid of: The PvE jag and the 2nd Cheetah...

Looking at the other hulls:
1 x Firetail - screw that I'm keeping that till I can faction fit it properly
1 x Stabber Fleet Issue - You're kidding me right? with the upcoming speed changes this thing will be worth it's weight in Megacyte, also need to faction fit it when I have the isk...

1 x Cyclone - currently kitted out as a Radar/Mag site exploit vessel.
1 x Covetor - usefull for any low sec operations
1 x Hulk - not yet rigged.
1 x Rifter - a T1 fit disposable combat frigate
1 x Vigil - a T1 fit ore scout (used to find a belt with ore in it - an issue in high sec)
1 x Wolf - Have'n't figgured out a fit I like for that one yet...
1 x Hound - not mine, I need to give it back...
1 x Typhoon - setup for energy supply to ospreys

Ok, the Cyclone can be let go of if I keep the necessary modules for swaping out on my salvaging Cyclone. But since I tend to so either missioning or exploration but not both at the same time that's workable.

The Hulk obviously I'm keeping. I'll eventualy rig this for a maximum rate hulk by adding drone rigs to help out the tech 2 mining drones I can't yet use (I need to get there).

The Covetor I kinda need to keep for those occasions where we find a low sec hidden belt or whatever.

Need the rifter, it's a combat reserve.

The Vigil is just convinient to scout for the hulk before it slowboats it's way over to a belt. Plus it can be packed in the hulk when changing mining bases.

The Wolf is just annoying cuz I've had the hull for a while but I've never been able to find an EFT fit I like. The way I see it is that it's just not a tackle cappable AF. We'll see if it's role changes with the upcoming speed changes but till I find a use for it I might as well sell it.

I need to buy a replacement Hound and give back Doc his hound.

The typhoon.... screw it I'll get rid of it and rebuild my isk store.

So I can get rid of the Cyclone and the Wolf and contract out one of the Cheetahs and the PvE jag which I barely use any more... Still a lot of ships but at least they're pretty isolated in function. That should help things. The problem with being able to do a bit of everything is that you need a whole bunch of ships to do it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Low Sec thoughts from an industrialist

CCP wonders why low sec is so under populated. Logically from the point of view of their sand box it should be a transition from the safety of empire to the lawlessness of null sec. That's the theory anyways. But when CCP looked at the population curves, they found out that Empire has the most pilots with the rest spread about evenly between low sec and null sec.

I suspect that the if CCP had a way of splitting the pilot population between "carebears" and "pvp pilots" and analyzing the results, they would find that the population locations are totaly natural because of the design decisions they took.

I'm going to look first at the mission runners. I suspect that 90-95% of the mission runners are in empire space. This is prefectly logical since why go to low sec or 0.0 when the rewards are the same and you loose your ship much less often. The only ones who mission in other places is because they can't actualy access high sec. It doesn't matter if most of these are alts, macro missioners, people missioning for LP or npc/faction standing. They won't be going to low sec for the most part.

Trade mains or alts. Jita or some other hub/region. Needs transaction volume to be truly viable. Again, most of them will be in empire.

Then there are the industrialists/miners now these are the people that CCP is having the most trouble understanding. So I'm going to bullet point some things that CCP in thier lack of wisdom may have overlooked:

1) Getting killed in a defence less ship is NOT FUN!!! and I've got news for you, in 99.9% of the situations even with PvP pilots in the area - if you get caught you loose your ship with no way to mitigate the situation. It's automatic (one of the reason that blockade runners are so popular amongst industrialists is because they actualy have defenses in the sence that when well flown they can get away - they are not just sitting targets).

2) There are no realistic tools short of bubbling a an entire region of space for a PvP pilot to defend a hauling or mining op.

Now due to point 2 that there is nothing a PvP pilot can contribute to a industrial operation in low sec since he can't realisticaly help the industrialists/miners. There is also the difference between the way that PvP and mining/industry reward the players that engage in the activities. In the case of PvP you spend a lot of time looking for a target then a short sharp battle at the end of it and you're all happy. The reason pirates organize into corps? They get more eyes out looking for targets. And the act of looking for targets or avoiding hostiles is part of their game play. It's fun scouting arround and leading a band of cutthroats. And if you get lucky you find some industrialists/miners who can't even shoot back.

Now let's look at the miner/industrialist: Spends lots of his time gathering and turning resources into "things". This means he's stuck in a specific location waiting to get his ship blown up and if by some miracle the pirates are asleep that day, he may get lucky and bring his ore into station. If not, he's not only out another ship, but it didn't even pay for itself since all the ore that could be turned into isk went bye bye when the ship did. Note that he only gets his fun IF he survives to get his cargo to station. Every single time he gets nailed he learns that "well that didn't work and on top of that, it wasn't fun since a) nothing I could do and b) nothing any pvp pilot trying to help me could do"

At this point (and the nature of low sec is that since the miner has to be stationary and pirates are roaving they WILL always end up finding you) the miner learns that it's prety pointless to go into low sec for ANY reason. In fact I suspect taht a lot of low sec moons are not exploited by pirates or industrialists, but by 0.0 residents looking for that extra good moon to round out their production. As evidence for this I only have to point out the first day of the existance of black rise. Who did the FW pilots run into? Red Alliance putting up some moon POSs.

Because of this, you get the situation we have currently. Newbie industrialists and newbie miners may dip their toes into low sec. Mid life indy/miners avoid it like the plague with good reason or join a 0.0 alliance. There is no serious (read industrial scale) exploitation possible in low sec. In 0.0 the bubble mechanics and the ability to defend an area of space mean that the industrialist is actualy getting value out of any PvP pilots associated with them whether part of a more general alliance with it's own space or even as industrial "pets" that pay a rent to a sov holding alliance. In low sec there is no value in being associated with PvP pilots, since they can't effectively defend indy/miners.

And there you have the reason we se no development in low sec. The tools for the PvP pilots to enable them to defend indy/miners don't exist therefore there's no point in it. So we get the situation we have today. And until CCP implements some type of a mechanism allowing for this we won't see any change in the point of view of industrialists: Stay in empire till you're ready for 0.0, low sec is just a training groud for PvP'ers, that's all it's good for.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No Tax... Again

With my work kinda stalled due to a lightning strike, I decided to finish off doing missions for The Leisure Group. Now for those who are unaware of how this works, when ever you refine ore, there are 2 things that can cause you not to get the maximum possible minerals out of the refine. The first is your skill at refining. I've got that covered up to Gneiss in 50% stations without a problem. The next is mineral taxes. In this case, you actually need standing with a particular NPC corp to be at or above 6.7. Once you reach that they no longer tax your minerals when they refine.

The problem of course is that you may for various reasons move your mining ops around. Certainly over time I've bopped around quite a bit in empire. So having multiple places I can dock up and refine just allows me to be more flexible in my mining location choices.

Six No tax NPC corporations

As you can guess the Minmatar republic kinda likes me, even if I'll never be able to help out with the factional warfare due to alliance leadership issues (i.e. I am an alliance leader - ergo no FW for me).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Moving a lab

It occurs to me that few pilots in EvE have a rather intimate knowledge of how to put up and take down a POS (Player Owned Structures), or even parts of one. So I decided tonight's post would be a bit of a short photo essay on things most pilots don't end up seeing till they've been around a while.

Scale of a POS module package

Just about all POS modules start out life as some sort of package that needs to be anchored. The act of anchoring it will turn it into whatever it happens to be. The above picture shows the scale of the package beside my Prowler. Below there is a close up of the package itself.

Mobile Laboratory Package Unanchoring

And of course there's the Mobile laboratory when it's fully deployed and online.

Mobile Laboratory

This evening was brought to you but "not very exciting but had to be done in order that people can get on with researching their BPOs".

Monday, August 11, 2008

New account

Well I finally broke down and got a 2nd account. It'll be a few days before it's really ready for prime time, but it'll get there. Basically the alt is going to start out as a hauling alt. Mainly because that's what I can make use of the fastest. During the trial account period, I worked up some basic skills that I'll be needing. Now I just need to get to Gallente Industrial 5, Hull Upgrades 2, Jury Rigging 3 and Astronautics Rigging 1.

He's already got the skills for a tractor beam and a salvager. This means that with 1 rig I'll be able to have an iteron V capable of hauling a jet can. Should only take about a month to do. I'll be able to start hauling with him in a day though. All I really need to start working is Gallente Industrial 3 and Hull upgrades 2.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Alt same as the old Alt

I decided to make a new alt. Now at the moment I've only got one account. Which means only two alts. With the increase of the alliance lab count, I decided to re-task one my my personal labs back to my own research. However even with my main and his Advance Laboratory Operation 4, that's more labs than I can handle with just Letrange. So it's Achura time.

Now I already had 2 alts, but one is in use as the CEO of the corporation running the alliance project. And the other was another CEO build that is not really suited to research. So bye bye Tukar. Hello Tukar. Got rid of the old alt and made a new one with the Laboratory Operation 5 and just needing to learn Scientific Networking 1. So I take the hour it takes to get that skill and I have a usable research alt.

Note that you simply turn of your main's learning, send isk from your main to the alt before even getting into it (enougth to buy the skillbook). Then you log into the alt, kill the tutorial (you don't want any missions, not even the tutorial one if you want to remain faction standing neutral). Pick up the skill book (it'll be in the station you're in since it's a tutorial system). Start learning it and autopilot to your research system.

Depending on how far it is, by the time you get there you've got the skill and can apply to the corp with the research POS. Quick skip over to the main to get it's learning skill back on and to accept the alt, set it to director.

Back to the alt, assign the corp wallet to the main operations wallet (not that he'll use it cuz my personal labs dont' have charges since I pay for their proportion of the fuel). And start researching.

After that it was off to do more missions. Still trying to get Leasure up to 6.7. Interesting thing I've got in my hauler set. Now my favorite hauler is the Prowler. If you're read previous posts you know that. But occasionaly it's small cargo hold just isn't sufficient. Back in the day before I could fly one of these, I nanoed and rigged out one of my mammoths. It's got 2 low friction nozzel joints, inertial stabilizers, nanofiber internal structures and a single tech 2 expander to get 8.9k m3 cargo space (over double the prowler). Makes it sort of a poor man's prowler. Damn thing more responsive than most non-nanoed cruisers. Makes for a nice compromize between my max volume haulers that are slow as hell and my prowler with it's tiny cargohold. Damn usefull when the item to be hauled is just over the prowlers capacity.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Today got filled with the gyrations of acquiring and getting supplies for, then putting up a brand new Domination Control Tower Medium. We've decided that we've outgrown our alliance's small tower. So it's buy a medium tower, 3 mobile laboratories, enough fuel to last over a week and get it up and running. The 3 other labs will come from the existing tower as their jobs run down and we move the labs over the next 2 weeks or so. Once the last lab is moved the old POS will come down and get sold on the market.

However we did get nailed with the 50% shields on online-ing bug. This means we needed to get some ospreys from various pilots out tho help out.

Initially got some help from demonfurbie who had a tricked out osprey with 3 large and a medium shield transporter. Needed cap support though, so I tricked out a Cyclone to be cap stable using 2 large energy transfer arrays. Eventually we decided to trick one of the other ospreys out the same way. So I went and bought a Typhoon and tricked it out to be cap stable using 4 large energy transfer arrays.

The FromSuck ToBlow

Yep that's right, the first BS I ever own that was not going straight to the market is used to feed cap to T1 shield repairing ships. I hope the irony is not lost on the PvP'ers reading this...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Running missions

And tonight I've decided to runs some level 3 missions. Since my best ship is still my Cyclone, I really can't do level 4 missions solo yet. Mind you the Cyclone has kept improving over time, as I keep slowly replacing all modules with their tech 2 counterparts.

The above is a picture of Brutus III returning home after killing some Mordus Headhunters. It is considered by it's crew to be a plumb assignment, even with it's older guns as the defenses are up to date and much more modern. I've rigged it with a perma-tank and it makes an excellent mission runner. The crew is looking forward to the day I install modern tech 2 guns in the old beast. As am I.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The slow wait

Not much happening except the same old, same old. So I've decided to comment about the upcoming changes and things of interest to the industrial side of EvE.

Between the CSM meeting in Iceland and the various dev blogs that have come out recently we're starting to get a picture of what may be part of the next two minor updates. It should come as no surprise, since CCP stated this outright, There are 6 EvE updates a year. Two big ones and 4 smaller ones. The big ones can be fairly flashy (last december we got the Trinity engine and some new ship classes, This summer we got the first iteration of Factional Warfare - sans the rewards). But the smaller ones can be just as important, since they tend to concentrate more on smaller modifications to existing gameplay instead of brand new gameplay.

Of interest to all pilots are the upcoming changes to speed mechanics in game. I am fairly convinced that greifers are the biggest babies in EvE. If they can't abuse the mechanics to abuse other players they go crying to mommy on the forums. And when mommy says "Grow up", they throw a tantrum. At least when carebears complain they try to suggest workable solutions.

I think that as much as the changes are going to affect some ships a lot and some a bit, everyone will adapt and bring out new fits. I think armor and logistics are going to start playing more of a part of gangs now since the "I don't need reps because I don't get hit or I get obliterated" logic is going by the way side. This will greatly please and dis-please logistics pilots since they will now become primary once again right f-en now.

The other news kinda flitted beneath the radar. At some point in the future we'll be gettign some major industry love. The one I'm most looking forward too is the one where T1 loot disapears from the loot tables, something replaces it and industry will then be able to use that to turn T1 items into meta items (probably sorta like T2 but simpler). We're still waiting on the details of this one. Oh CPP Chronotis, where is thy dev blog?

Speaking of missing dev-blogs and or quarterly reports, me thinks the good Dr. E has chewn off a bigger chunk than he thought possible. "It's just a game, how much data can their possibly be?" I bet he asked himself. Ummmm dear doctor, the game is played on a friggen super computer... The amount of data a quarter of a million accounts can generate can be just short of stupendous... Here's hoping you get at least a dev blog out before Walking in stations comes out. Oh and yep do be carefull with those announcement, as you discovered with the shuttle incident researching things BEFORE getting your ass handed to you on the forums is a good thing. I'm not sure, haveing never finished university, but Theisis defenses may be easier then surviving the onsalught of the EvE-O forums. Good luck there.

Getting back to the point, one of the issues raised in response to the posibility of the upcoming changes (that make all miners glow), is that it just give more juice to the macro miners. I think that we'll also need the long awaited changes to mining at exactly the same time as the switch in loot tables. I'm hoping that CPP is just keeping the rollout of this stuff close to it's chest so as to not precipitate market uphevals, but honestly, advanced warning or not there will be market uphevals. Just say F-it and go for the changes and let the isk fall where it may. Other wise we industrialist may be waiting for a full year before the game improves for us.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Suicide no more

The latest Dev Blog from CCP with more for the worst whiners to fear. In the latest dev blog, CCP Fear addresses the issue of suicide ganking. The act of taking a fully insured purpose built ship to high sec in order to kill someone just before CONCORD retaliates. There are changes to the sec status mechanics and there are changes to the insurance system.


It's not that I object to the concept of suicide ganking - it's that I object to it being so cheap and relatively without consequences. Way to go CCP.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Training stalls

It's annoying when you realize that the alt you just used to create the finance corp can't have the backup person join because you don't have Ethnic Relations 1....

Slight stall in my main's training plan while my alt gets ethnics.....

CEO, Mining and Griefers

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I'm not only a CEO of a high sec research corporation, I'm also the alliance leader of AMC. This has it's pluses (I get to occasionally steer this ungainly boat). And it's minuses (Lots o'typing and jawing).

One of the things I like to be able to do is mine while handling various things at the alliance level is mine. The only problem is that I'm a solo miner for the most part for various reasons. The biggest is that most of my alliance is over in Gallente space while I'm over in Matari space. I realize most 0.0 and low sec alliances will be horrified by the lack of concentration of forces, but the truth is the major reason for it is spreading out the market so that the alliance corporations don't step on each other's markets. As an added advantage we only usualy suck a single system dry of roids on various corp level ops instead of sucking more than one system with a full blown alliance level op as we're capable of doing. This being the case however I'm usualy on my own. And unfortunately I'm operating near Hek/Eram means there are lots of griefers. Also there are a lot of pilots being chased out of 0.0 these days. Bored 0.0 PvP pilots are realy realy annoying. They're like little children (technicaly this means thier behaviour is close to what lore says it should be so...). This means that any mining I do needs to be in an anti griefer mode. This means no jet can mining. Very annoying. Solo this means slaping expanders in your hulk and realy slowing down your potential mining rate.

Good thing I will soon be getting a hauling alt. Long story short, didn't get a lot done yesterday, interviewed a small corp with a senior pilot and his alts who is looking to relax from all the 0.0 grind and get in to some relaxing mining. On the flip side my last supporting skill for gunnery to level 4 - Surgical Strike is underway and I'll be finished those skills soon. A lot of skills re-inforce each other in EvE. This means that to realy use a specific module, some times up to 6-7 skills can come into play. Plus any implants. Now getting any skill up to 5 is usualy quite a chore. But getting skills up to 4 is not so bad. Once a pilot gets by his initial "oooo got to be able to fit THAT module" phase, he/she realizes that getting his skills up might just possibly be a good idea. However by the time you realize that this is a good idea you've got a LOT of skills to get up to level 4...

This of course will significantly delay my ability to fly a BS. On the flip side, when I actualy do get the skills up to fly one I'll be relatively effective from the get go. Tanking skills - if you get them while still in a frigate/cruiser - are identical for a BS as for a frigate. For PvE, tanking skills are actualy at a premium. Gank for PvP, Tank for PvE is the usual order of priority. And I'm looking at 23 days of shield skills... Ugh...

Monday, August 4, 2008

The long and winding way

I must be feeling philosophical today. Brace yourselves.

Other recent blogger posts about their skill paths got me thinking about skill progression in EvE and the paths various pilots take. Now personally I'm more of a jack of all trades (yea I know, master of none). I'm more inclined to like the industrial side of EvE, since one of the things I like about MMOs (it's also a feature of a lot of RPGs and 4X games that I also like to play) is the ability to make your own gear. I realy had no problems adapting to eve's module system, but that's because I've played the game Stars! back in the day. So I'm heading mainly down the industrialist path in EvE.

This is not to say that I don't take the occasional side trip into combat land. For example I'm currently backfilling my gunnery support skills. And I suspect that I'll be on a combat skill kick for the next few months. This got me thinking about EvE, skill plans, wants vs needs, the effectivness of newbies in combat and all things related. Oh yea, running an alliance also realy messes with your plans.

One of the biggest problems EvE faces in recruiting pilots is the "we can never catch up with the older pilots in eve". This is at once true and false. As I pointed out, the current leader in the skill point race - Dr Caymus, is barely capable of flying a ship. If he fit an amarr battleship (which he can fly) he'd only be able to put frigate weaponry on it. This is because he's a research alt. So in that sense any 2 week old newbie can be a better combat pilot than the highest SP player in EvE. But the truth is that if a newbie tries to do the same role in combat as your average older player he will get owned so badly it will make concord look lazy. Therein lies the key to understanding EvE's skill progression system. Role. Unlike your traditional MMORPG, EvE does not lock you into a specific role at any one time. Your capabilities may be limited by your skill points but technicaly your role is not (in the macro sense).

You are able to do just about all things in eve a little bit within 2 weeks. Ok invention may be a bit of a stretch and you can forget about flying cap ships. But if you've got the isk and you get anchoring 1 gal industrial 1 and whatever skill allows you to make corporations, you could theoreticaly grab a small tower, ninja your way out to 0.0 and setup a small tower somewhere. If you manage to do it in an un-occupied system, you might even gain sovereingty 1 and become an EvE landholder. Now before you go out and do that, do try to remember that the odds of pulling even that off are limited but at least they are there. And once your pos establishes soveriegnty the odds of it lasting very long go way way way down.

But the truth is to be effective in a lot of eve roles you need to plan out your skills to get past certain levels and/or aquire certain skills. It is true that any pilot can contribute to an operation even a 1h old newbie. But the roles that the 1h old newbie can be effective at are realy restricted. Basicaly from the contribution point of view it's Scout and Tackle. There's no way you'll be DPS or Sniper or part of a special ops squadron. Being an industrialist realy starts once you get Production Efficiency 5. Being considered a real miner these days starts at the Retriever. This is not to say you don't learn about both professions before you hit those levels, but the truth is, you're still an apprentice industrialist or an apprentice miner before those points.

So in the macro point of view you start of as a scout/tackler/trader, then depending on your skill choices you can gravitate towards other roles slowly but surely. At certain points you can start saying that you are indeed a pilot that can accomplish that role. The thing is that in EvE you never loose your old roles, you can always pick up that old role and do it again (usualy much better than you could do it back in the day). As you aquire each role it simply becomes another tool in your swiss army knife of roles in EvE.

This is very un-like MMOs that try to hardcode the roles in place from level 1 and don't let you vary your role along the way much. Someone who starts in one of the healing classes for example can heal from day 1 and by the time they are 70/75/80 they are still a healing class. In most games you need to start a new character in order to play a different role. In EvE you simply switch skill trees a bit and go down another path, never loosing the capabilities of the previous path. For example although I am a Miner (Hulk) and an Industrialist, when I need a break, I simply break out my Cheetah and go hunting for hidden locations. I've got the scan times down to something acceptable and also I can exploit any site I run across. The thing is that having the explorer "role" unlocked for me also unlocks the "combat cov-ops" pilot role for me. As part of a gang I'd be ale to track down people trying to hide in safe spots. If of course I was flying a cov-ops ship armed with a recon launcher and with the right type of probes in my cargo hold.

This is one of the reasons EvE's mind set is very hard to get into for people coming from other MMOs. They say "we can never be as good as older players". The reality is that eve starts you out as one class and you can only unlock the other classes along the way. You get to choose your way but it'll still take time. This is not to say you can't contribute, but you need to be aware that your contribution will be limited to certain roles until you get some SP under your belt.

My advice to newbies? Choose the first role you want to unlock with care, you'll be with it for a bit before you unlock the next role within EvE on your personal development plan. But stick to your plan until you're effective enough in that role before switching roles.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

And the war finishes

And the war finishes with a whimper and not a bang. Kinda what I was expecting. He got some kills off our newbies but then played a lot of "um I'll log off now..." type of guerrilla tactics when he had senior pilots that knew what they were doing after him. Good defensive logging - we didn't manage to kill him once and he flew a Tristan.

Apart from that I managed to get the first sale of our new project - a Typhoon (yes built and sold in the middle of the war). So things are progressing on that front.

In the meanwhile I need to get some missions done so I can get some good mine-able asteroids.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Final Numbers on the 2nd Project

The AMC Dominix project was a project to buy a Dominix BPO, research and make some isk off of it and then sell it to a member of a corporation inside the alliance. Here are the final numbers on the project:

By April 19th we raised 765mil isk
By July 31st we had sold off all assets of the project.
On the 2nd of August we did the final dividend distribution
A total of 1 069 531 498 isk was distributed as dividends to the the shareholders.

The net profit was therefore 304 531 498 isk (304.5mil)

This represented a return on investment of 39.81% Total
The project ran from start of operations to sale of final asset 103 days
This works out to an average rate of return of 11.59% per month.

I would specificaly like to thank Teena Wyldfyre and Cathrianne for their tireless work during this project.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hummm... Frigates hunh...

What I wouldn't give for one good sergeant...

Anyways, Tackling frigates is tricky and I'm not sure any of my newbie pilots have figured it out. Neither have the mission runners...

Well, I've had just about as much of the running around with our heads cut off that the WT and his logoffski tactics have engendered. I think it's time for a "Tackling 101" class. I think even the veterans need a bit of a refresher course in how to tackle frigates.