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Thursday, January 29, 2009

And back I go down the pipe

Stuff I learned last night:

1) How to flag war-decs on a NPC corp alt. I'd never done this and with 29 jumps to even get to the low sec pipe I didn't want to loose the BS before it even got to 0.0. Turns out you can flag standings on a corp but not on an alliance. So for the corp that wardec'ed us, that was easy. For the alliance I needed to go thru the corps and flag them individualy. I then proceeded with my alt in his trusty Atron to scout my way to the jump off point. A nicely incident free trip.

2) I would probably be better to mark safespots using my Cheetah instead of my Prowler. Nothing untoward happened but I didn't like the fact that although speedy for a hauler it's still half as fast under cloak as the Cheetah. Note to self: make bookmarks BEFORE you need to use them.

3) Myself and the corp want to test out bubble avoidance safespots at some point. One of the ways someone can setup a bubble is in line with the bubble 50-70 (ish) km off a gate but in line with a usual warp in direction (i.e. you line it up with another gate) . Doing this you end up sucking into the bubble anyone who warps in from the direction of the gate you've lined up with. Leaving them unable to warp out and 50-70k from the gate. Rather nice bubbleing trick. So the question becomes: can you setup a warp in point off of the gate - say 200km or so but perpendicular to the line of travel yet still on grid and not get sucked in. The idea being if you can you can warp to the point, check to see if the gate is clear then warp to the gate if so or warp away if not. I can apparently place small T1 bubbles so we'll be able to test this out.

4) Nothing untoward happened but ALWAYS ask POS owner's permission if you can use their POS as a warp-to safespot in case a roaming gang comes through the system you're ratting in. Stories of having to save some carrier pilot from his own alliance's death star are amusing so long as it's not you who are that pilot. I'm not a carrier pilot but the idea applies. POS's are dumb and if not setup correctly will shoot your own side.

There was also a discussion of future plans, which I won't get into, but overall it was a good night. I even managed to get in some light ratting before logging off. I'm liking the current arty ratting Typhoon setup better than the autocannon setup I had before.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shake and bake Typhoon

Well I didn't like the layout of my first ratting Typhoon so I decided to change it up a bit. After a bit of EFT (no you don't get to see the horrible abortion of a fit) I came up with something that should suffice. After mining the mins for the new one it and all the T1 fittings in it are currently baking away in my manufacturing slots.

Tomorrow is time enough to plan getting it to 0.0.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The alliance tourney

I did not get much done on Sunday. I blame the Alliance tourney. The next day you can see videos of the action posted by CCP on youtube. I would like to congratulate all first round winners. Well done all of you.

I must especially tip my hat to The Bastards for showing "how it should be done" in a quick and decisive slaughter of innocent KIA pilots. I think it was a very clear case of "dedicated small gang PvP pilots" proving that small tight gangs under good leadership with a well thought out plan have an advantage in the Alliance Tournament format. I always suspected that true low sec pirates as opposed to high sec griefers would have a command if not an isk advantage in the tournament format due to their higher familiarity with small gang combat. "What? you mean they can't drop 40 pilots on us for this fight? Score!!!". So hat's off to Mynxee's boys.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Well that didn't last long

And poof goes my ratting BS. Got hung up on an asteroid trying to get back to a populated system when a tight roaming gang came by and poof goes my ratting BS. Sad part is I would have made it if I hadn't gotten hung up. Ah well. Insured and mostly T1, it's back to high sec for a bit of mining to replace it. The 3mil for getting podded (new medical clone) was chump change really.

Note to self. Hunt down a POS in that system and make sure I can get in the shields next time. In the end that ship was lost to my own stupidity more than to a rather well run T2 roaming gang. Although the professionalism of the roaming gang is to be commended. They nailed me to rights. Ah well it's a learning experience.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Well, I wanted action...

By now anyone who wanted to know has found out that I'm with the United Freemen Alliance. As you know they are in the Geminate region. Vacated by Goons, moved into by TCF, UFA and KIA, various sources indicated that it would be a relatively active part of 0.0. Lord knows I'm looking for PvP action.

I end up getting my ships down there by way of a scouting corp mate. Took me 2 sessions. Once I get all my ships down there I get in on the defense fleets as quickly as I can. And yep there's action. By the end of the 2nd full session where I'm down in 0.0, I'm already on 4 kill one of which is a Paladin. That was fully faction fit...

After a sedate introduction to alliance ops, the first major action was against a roaming BC gang. That one was not so promising as the roaming gang was extremely good at not getting caught. They ended up not doing a lot of damage but causing a bit of a Benny Hill style runabout. Lack of tacklers and what not on our part was a good part of the problem. No kills but then again, no losses so not too bad.

The second major action involved my PvP BS. This one eventualy involved a short gatecamp on a pipe up to high sec. One of our pilots decided to go switch ships with one he had waiting up in high sec. On his way thru low sec he was agressed by a small gang including an Abaddon, an Armageddon and a Paladin! Alliance policy is NBSI in 0.0 and NRDS in low, but how stupid do you have to be to shoot agress a pilot when there's an entire gate camp one jump away... Lack of situational awareness on the Paladin's small gang FTL. In we jumped. We were sure we'd loose the two other BS before we managed to land on them, but no, the fight was on. Down goes the Paladin. The Abaddon manages to de-aggress and jump up to high sec and safety. The Armageddon goes down in a blaze of fire. My BS is now bloodded.

The third major action involved returning to an alliance outpost and landing on top of a falcon heavy roaming gang that had just bubbled the station. This time I was prety conclusively jammed just about the entire time. Only managed to get on two kill mails this time. But at least the alliance as a whole managed to get some kills and drive them off. I had two Falcons jaming me just about the entire time.

At the end of the action I'm happy with my performance but dis-satisfied with my fit. I realy should have had an RRBS fit for my phoon for this action. Also I'm finding the short range of the AC/Torp Typhoon a bit of a problem with no mobility module. I think I'm going to switch up the fit a bit. Problematic to this is the fact we have no available manufacturing slots for T1 stuff down in 0.0 at the moment. The reasons for this are various but the end result is my BPC collection is collecting dust instead of proving usefull to the alliance atm. We'll see if the ratting is lucrative enought to fund a small manufacturing POS at some point because althought I'm mainly PvP for this stint, there is no reason ratting can't get enought minerals to keep at least some of my manufacturing skills busy while I'm PvP'ing.

So, I'm up in Empire overnight to build myself some Energy Neutralizer and Large Remote Armor repair modules to take down. Not to mention a utility Jeep.

And a wave out to the random pilot who recognized me down there and follows the blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ships like ammo

As I was reading a newbie's view of loosing a ship over on Saylah's blog, I reflected on the change in attitude I underwent prior to and through my own Faction Warfare (FW) experience. In order to understand what I mean I'm going to link My Minmatar Militia KB history. This KB history prety faithfully records my ship losses and kills during my 3 month stay in FW.

Thinking back on some parts of my conversation about Faction Warfare with Saylah back when I was giving her some pointers online. I think I shocked her a bit when I mentioned "Yea for faction warfare you may want to prepare your favorite frigate in batches of 10". The thing is I wasn't being at all fecitious. Adjusting to life in EVE does require a change in outlook regarding your posessions. Ships are consumables.

Now some salient points:
  1. I went into FW as a low sec PvP newbie, but my small ship skills were actualy in very good shape and I had gone on corp and alliance PvP operations back in the day.
  2. I went into FW with a warchest and my industrialist skills and my backing BPO collection. This means I was VERY self supporting. In fact with a bit of exploration at the end and some luck I actualy came out ahead in isk.
  3. I intentionaly kept to T1 ships and modules 90% of the time because I KNEW I'd be burning thru ships. Only venturing out in T2 ships and with T2 modules towards the end of my stay once I got better at PvP.
  4. I lost 51 ships in a 3 month stint. slightly over a ship every two days.
  5. I did not do very much carebearing for my entire stay. Just a bit of exploration and ninja mining towards the end of my stay. With a titch of high sec mining to build more hulls on the cheap.
  6. I was PvP'ing just about every day of that stay. It certainly felt that way.
  7. At the end of the 3 months I donated over 60 hulls and their full load outs to the corporation that I had been a member of for a good part of my stay as a going away present (talked to them a month later and they still had some of the rifters left over).
Now I don't expect a newbie to be doing point 7. I am by now an experienced industrialist and that was just my way of saying "thanks for the experience" to my host corp down in low sec. But point 4 is not un-realistic if your're serious about PvP.

Now before this scares away the newbies, I'll also point out that as I said above with minimal - very minimal carebearing I was able to get positive cash flow by the end of my stay. The big reason for this was my restraint in sticking to T1. I'll point to the part where it says I "lost" about 147mil in ships and modules. To a certain extent this is true but with serious mitigation. First of all with only 3 or 4 exceptions all those 51 ships were fully platinum insured. I did some calculations and with my standard fit, my Rifter losses only represented a net 150k isk per loss (for me - your milage may vary). Each pod kill counted as a 10mil isk loss but my SP was such that it was only about 2mil for the new medical clone after each podding. Even with the two that had +1's in their heads they were very cheap since I bought the +1's from the LP store. Even the Rupture losses were only about net loss of 500k-ish per ship.

So even with a moderate war chest you can keep going for quite a while if you show restraint in your tech choices. Look if you're a newbie you're going to loose ships in PvP. Stick to the T1 till you are VERY comfortable and have a decent cashflow. But if you're active you can expect to burn thru ships. Get used to the idea.

Well I'm in 0.0 now

I've got some of the ships in 0.0. Still have some to go. We'll have to see what happens now that I'm here. Still working on that newbie mining guide so not a lot to blog about. My alt is going thru a bunch of learning skills. In other words my main dropped 22.5mil on the guy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh, right, the paperwork...

Still not in 0.0. Need to coordinate the send off of the ships. As is usual in any corp/alliance change there's quite a bit of "paperwork" involved. Joining new forums, getting new chat windows open, signing up for new mailing lists, getting new vent coordinates, etc etc etc... Not to mention coordinating with the carrier/jump freighter pilot that will be doing the hauling.

And if the guys approving your application take a bit to get here, it can take a bit of "hurry up and wait - regardless of the action happening down in 0.0.

So I spent quite a bit of time on my hauler alt tonight. Just for the heck of it I decided to put together a T1 mining frigate (all he could handle mining wise) and a T1 hauler and see what I could do as a newbie miner again. Not horribly efficient compared to my hulk capable main but a good reminder of the limitations that newbies work under. Mind you I've also gotten all my basic certificates applicable and some are even at standard. So this is not totally reflective of a newbie miner. I can survive in a 0.6 system in a Navitas for example without too much of a problem. Gallente Frigate 5 and Gallente Industrial 5 provide certain advantages compared to the raw newbie.

Industrial ships can't be trained on a newbie account, but provide massive boost in early mining capacity by allowing the newbie to stay out mining longer. I do advise however that the newbie use a GSC with a password in a 0.7-0.5 system instead of a jet can. You'll be able to get more ore with a jet can for sure but the increased exposure to griefers makes the whole thing more chancy. So I highly advise GSC mining instead of jetcan mining untill you hit barge level. Humm maybe I'll write a "Newbie Mining guide - or how to avoid heart ache".

Sunday, January 18, 2009

All packed up and ready to go

As I finally get the last BS I'm going to make in prep for the move down to 0.0 out of the oven. And all the modules and etc... I button up my operation in Eram by putting all except some 10 x 1MN Afterburner II's up on sale. All ships are moved to the jump off point. All remaining stuff organized neatly in containers. Ready to rock. I will proceed to apply to the corp and get the ball rolling for getting my stuff (4 ships - 2 CR, 2 BS) delivered to 0.0 and then head down myself in a cov-ops.

There are apparently some outstanding high sec wars with the alliance I'm joining going on, so it'll be war footing from the moment I join. Should be interesting one way or the other. I've already moved to my jump 0.0 jump clone. My low sec and high sec jump clones will stay where they are and permit me to occasionaly jump back up as things progress.

Hopefully by Monday I'll be down in 0.0. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

T2 stuff time again

As the 1MN MicroWarpdrive I max run BPCs come out of the oven, I realized that I had neglected to go and fetch the datacores necessary from the agent ahead of time. Queue the Benny Hill music as I head on over to my research agent and pick some up.

This time I look at the price of the Metalevel 1 and 2 items corresponding to this item, they are expensive enough that it does not look like the increased success chance offsets the increased cost of invention so these go into the invention slots without meta items.

Once they come out of the invention slots I get 3 out of 5 successes so a good run. I proceed to run the numbers and find out the manufacturing requirements for a 10 MWD run and then proceed to go out and buy the missing moon materials and Morphite.

As I go ahead and manufacture the components and later start the actual final manufacturing run (I had remembered this time to manufacture the necessary T1 versions ahead of time). I get into a conversation with a fellow T2 manufacturer who goes on to say that he buys his components as it would barely be advantageous to manufacture those himself. Surprised at this statement I proceed to check my manufacturing calculations against the market prices.

Turns out that for some modules, it's currently better to make your own components (even with an un-researched BPO) but for others, they are currently on sale for under manufacturing costs. Digging further into this phenomenon I spot the reasons. A quick price history check confirms it. Things like Plasma Thrusters or Ion Thrusters are cheaper to make yourself than to buy pre-fabricated (provided you have the requisite science skills). Plasma Thrusters in particular cost 49k -ish in the Metropolis region but only cost 33k -ish to make if you own the BPO. However Antimatter Reactor Units are actualy selling about 10k under manufacturing costs. Brilliantly I find this out AFTER buying all the moon materials and manufacturing my own.

Turns out that Fermionic Condensates are a component of the reactors, but not of the other two. Infact the price of Ferrogel stabilized downward but the price of Fermionic Condensates went up a second time. The component market is obviously lagging the advanced materials market. Remember both of these materials would have been affected by the POS moon material scandal. Which is why their prices have launched upward from their old points.

As usual the lesson is don't be lasy when checking things out. Don't assume that what you knew last week applies this week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More Mins

Got back on the mining yesterday. One more session and I should have enough for the next BS and it's fittings. I think I'll outfit a Bellicose and a Rupture as well. That and two Typhoons should be enough to start off. Then of course comes the fun part - getting it all down to 0.0.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh yea, the overview.

So last night was spent productively - for Saylah. Last time she tried EVE, she didn't last too long. But having gone and overdosed on fantasy over the summer was willing to give things an other try. So I caught up with her in game last night. [Letrange puts on a brand new set of welding shades] Where I learned that her last go-around with EVE was spent in a corp full of newbies. [Letrange fails to be blinded by all the light bulbs going off over the heads of experienced pilots].

Gotta love a good set of shades.

So I proceeded to spend a good chunk of the evening straightening out a few things. First thing of course was the obligatory "last patch introduced weapons linking". As with any other EVE pilot that one went over easy.

After answering a few questions about skills and modules. Saylah complains about the dificulty of navigating and figuring out how people know what stargates are in a system. At this point a good half of the experienced pilots needed no more than 3 micro seconds to guess the problem. "Don't tell me her entire last stay, no one told her about the overview". "Corp of newbies". Ah, right. Remember when a new character is created the default overview settings DON'T show stargates. This makes newbie navigation rather dificult. Not to mention fustrating.

I won't bore most of my readers with the details but as you can guess a good chunk of the evening was spend with the obligatory "this is how you setup your overview and your tabs" session. Part of this was teaching that asteroid belts had NPC rats, that it wasn't just missions where you found them. There IS as skill for targeting. It allows you to have multiple targets tracked and ready to fire at. Oh right chaning the map to show the security status of systems so you can more easily avoid low sec. And so on.

As you all know "Find a good corporation" is sometimes a crap shoot in EVE. For newbies we should probably add "Make sure there's at least one experienced pilot willing to pass on knowledge to the newbies". EVE is not the easiest game to learn. And althought it comes with certain things setup certain ways, they are not always the best ways to have your interface depending on the situation. Experienced players know that setting up the overview for various situations can be an art more than a science. The tutorials are better than they used to be, but in some places it feels like a lecture series where the coach can explain not only what went wrong but why it went wrong.

It'll be interesting to see the difference even one session like last night makes in her EVE experience. Because being able to navigate star systems is kind of important in EVE.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Had a friend over.

Not a lot got accomplished last night as I had a guest over for the first part of the evening. Ah well good thing both my main and my alt are on 3-4 day skills at this point. The next 10 1MN Afterburner II's got taken out of the oven.

Played around with a target painting setup on a Bellicose for supporting missile heavy fleets (With good skills twin T2 target painters can come close to doubling the signature radius of any ship they are painting). My current setup is rather classic. T1 650's and Assault missile launchers in the highs, Rack of 8 x Warrior II's in the drone bay. 10mn AB II/Sensor Booster II/2x TP II in the mids, Gyro II, and the Ewar low and Sensor low booster modules (forget what they are of the top of my head). Ends up with 51 optimal and 78 falloff with a targeting range of 117km (targeting range script).

I'm actualy seriously contemplating switching the 650's for T2 280's with tremor (tech 2 650's have PG issues and are not as effective as smalls against frigates in general. Maybe switching the AB for an MWD at that point. Other posibility is switching out the Gyro for a sensor range booster or a trackign booster. This would solidly put this ship in the "Heavier ship support" role with a secondary "anti frigate" role. I am loath to loose the sensor booster or the AB/MWD from the mids. Although 3 TP would be nice the ability to move arround tacticaly and reach out to 117km is rather important to a ship with this one's role (targeting interceptors at the 100mk range will probably cause them to back off or commit to the attack). The combination TP, light missiles and 5x Warrior II's should realy give interceptors a rought time. With the resurgence of frigates in roaming groups this may be a nice support ship for BS or cruiser fleets. Especialy those that are missile heavy.

Any thoughts out there?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Advice for newbies

As I think back on various talks about newbies and how EVE is kind of a tough row to plow, and as Saylah from Mystic Worlds thinks about re-joining EVE, that I should put some thoughts down on the interweeb. So without further adieu, here is some unsolicited advice for anyone contemplating joining EVE:

1) EVE is different.

So you have played other MMOs. You think you've got the genre figured out have you? The first thing I want you to do is bundle up all that knowledge and pack it in some corner somewhere and forget about it. It will hurt you more than help you in EVE.

EVE is not level driven, it is skill driven.
You see those shiny ships? Looks like the equivalent of your sword or armor in WOW right? Wrong. We'll get to that.
You can't take a level 1 character all the way to the Outlands in WoW. But there's nothing but common sense stoping you from doing the equivalent in EVE. I suggest making use of common sense.
You see all the friendly and helpfull players? well some are. Most just want to frag your ass and loot any expensive stuff that may survive your wreck. And the friendly ones? Ulterior motives. Trust me. Except possibly Chribba. But Chribba is a special case.
Notice I made a reference to the reputation of a single player? If you screw up by the numbers your reputation will stay with you. There is no other server you can move your character to. Remember that. Try not to do anything too permanent till you know what you're doing.
EVE is a lot like a shark tank. You're starting off as a baby shark. Remember the bigger sharks are hungry.

2) Making isk (or how to pay for all those ships I'm going to blow up doing something stupid?).

There are various ways in eve to make isk. First you can kill things. All NPC pirates have bounties on their heads. Killing thier ships will get you their bounties (after up to 15min delay to reduce network trafic and lag). Then their ships usualy have "loot". Some of wich is crap and some of which is valuable. You can melt the crap and get minerals which you can keep or sell. You can sell or keep the good stuff. Once you get ahold of some blue prints you can make stuff out of the minerals and sell that. You can mine ore, sell that, convert the ore to minerals, sell that, convert the minerals to items, sell those. You can buy low and sell high. You can salvage wrecks (npc or player) and get salvage which you can then sell. You can run NPC missions, make isk off the mission, plus the bounties, plus selling/melting the loot, plus any salvage from the wrecks. You can do something out of the game that people will pay you isk for like some Alliance/Website Logo artists do. You could design some neat tool that people will donate isk towards the further development. You could extort isk out of other players. You could social engineer people into giving you isk. You could clean out a corporation. You can pay someone else's game time and they will give you isk (this is why some consider eve's time cards to be RMT).

With all of this, what do I advise a newbie to do? Start with ratting and salvaging. You may need to acquire the skills to be able to salvage but they pay themselves back VERY quickly. Especialy if you're in Amarr or Minmatar space. Loot and eventual salvage your wrecks. Learn about the rules of agression and loot ownership and the lack of wreck ownership. Don't take from other's wrecks till you know the possible consequences. Use the oportunity to stockpile useful modules while learnign how the market works and disposing of the ones you can't use. Learn about when to melt vs when to sell. Sure you won't be as effective as someone with the Scrapmetal skill but if you can sell the minerals for more than you can sell the module, melt and sell the minerals. Learn how to recognize valuable modules. Use the info system to find out what metalevel a module is. If it's Metalevel 3 or 4 they are usualy worth selling instead of melting.

3) Security Status

In EVE each system is given a security status. This indicates how proactive the NPC police is in responding to illegal acts. Basicaly it works like this:

In High security space (0.5 to 1.0) if you're not at war with someone and they shoot at you without you shooting first (or doing something that clears them to shoot at you), the police will drop their donuts and rain holy hell on the offending person. Note that there is not an ounce of prevention here. These guys can't be arsed to move till someone does something wrong.

In Low security space - well the cops never come. But if someone does something wrong nearby guns will fire on them (the cops are in the donut shops and they only take care of people trying to stick up the donut shop). This means that only near stations and gates is it "safer". Unfortunately for you a lot of bigger ships can actualy handle fire from gates and stations. So they can actualy pwn your ass, loot your wreck, do various things with your corpse and fly away under fire.

In Zero security space. There are no cops. He with the most buddies or the best buddies can impose his will. While they are online. If you're not their friend, you're a target. Remember that.

Given this it's a good idea that once you discover how to get out of your starting solar system, you learn how to have the map show you the prety colors of security status. EVE not only gives you enough rope to to hang yourself with, they also give you a pre-built scafold with prety instructions on how to make sure everything works smoothly.

4) The learning skills (the category as opposed to action).

As you may be aware, in EVE you need to work on your in game skills to unlock new toys. Some of these skills, speed up the process of learning new skills. Yes you need to work on them. No it does not have to be immediately. Your early skills in eve are going to be rather quick to learn anyways. Although in absolute terms it may be better to do all the learning skills first, the two to 3 months it would take mean you'd be stuck in a noob ship or a frigate for the entire time. Now on some 2nd account this may be fine. But not on your first. When you have learned enough to play the game for a while with some good ships and you need to learn how to use them properly before moving on to different ships, THEN is the time to put some time in your learning skills. So don't feel forced to put time in on the first go round. Get some shiny capabilities THEN while you're making use of them and learning the game it'll be the time to put in some speedup time.

5) Size is not everything.

Unless you have a very specific reason DO NOT make a bee line for the battleships. Two reasons. One is that about half the skills you need to fly these right are also good for ALL ships. So you might as well spend the time getting these in shape in smaller less expensive ships. Two is that they are actualy more vulnerable than they apear.

A BS flying alone screams only two things to EVE pilots: "Bait" and if not that then "Target". In EVE you are usualy safer flying in the smallest T1 frigate in a gang than you are flying alone in a BS. Especialy if you don't have the skills to fly the BS to it's maximum potential.

In fact the most common roaming gangs involve Assault Ships as the core ship or a mix of Cruisers and Heavy Assault Ships would indicate that Battleships are not the be all end all a newbie is supposed to go for.

6) While learning don't use the expensive versions.

Look there are better versions of the same module for most things. The best versions (also known as Faction modules) can be unbelievably expensive. But even though you could buy them and put them on your ship, don't. They only make your ship marginaly better. What they do however is make your ship a NICE JUICY TARGET. And you're an easy kill. Look you're going to loose ships. A few to mistakes in PvE, a lot to PvP. More while you're starting out than later on. A PvE ship in high sec might have a nice long lifespan once you get a hang of things. But all PvP ships eventualy die. It's a fact of EVE. Once you get tackled and get called primary 99% of the time your ship is going to go down and there's not a lot you can do about it personally. Live with it. Don't fly ships you can't conviniently afford to replace.

PvE ships you can afford to put in some good stuff once you stop making noob mistakes, but don't start putting good stuff in your PvP ships till you can afford to keep up with your loss rate. This is where the "always go for the most epic equipment" mentality of other MMOs will hang you up to dry and drive you to tears. "Rage quitting" EVE happens because of this. Don't become a statistic. You need to think of ships in EVE as consumables, not equipment. That's why I say that ships in EVE are not the equivalent of swords and armor of other MMOs. Your skills are, not your ships and modules.

Typhoon #1 rolls out.

Well the first Typhoon rolls off the lot. Took me a while to fully outfit it. And may I state that torpedoes sure as heck take up a lot of place... Probably a horrible fail fit. It did allow me to spot a few holes in my skill sets. Needed to get the skill that allows large Neutralizers and large Nosferatu. I definitively need the skill that allows Large T2 plates, T2 EANM and T2 ECCM. *sigh* [Letrange goes and adds skills to his skill plan]. Depending on where this all falls out it will probably delay any Interceptor skill acquisition.

To speed things up I also melted my stockroom. Since I plan on being in 0.0 by next weekend I won't be around to handle the store. The stockroom is part of the store mechanism so that liberates the minerals involved for other uses (basically there was more than a BS worth of minerals tied up in there). When the stuff up on sale sells out it sells out.

The next Typhoon will be a PvE fit one and will be intended as the ship that will allow me to bootstrap operations down in 0.0. One of the things I'm shipping down there is one of my BPC collections. These are still incomplete compaired to my full BPO collection (specificaly they are weak in shield mods), but so long as I have manufacturing slots and minerals available they will allow me to keep myself in sub-BS ships without having to move them down separately. As for why Typhoons? Well, There is the fact that that I've been quoted a price of 67mil down in 0.0 when I can make em for under 56mil for myself at current high sec mineral prices. This means I'll want to make my own to bring down. Since I'm brand spanking new at BS level combat I expect to burn thru quite a few... Unfortunatelly a reality of PvP in EVE.

I forsee mining ops for the rest of the week.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lady luck smiles

Well, yep, The results are in. 2 out of 6 runs worked without the meta item, 3 out of 4 runs with. Admittedly that's a statistically insignificant sample. But I like the results. For those unclear on the percentage chance of success, I give you the following link:

EVE Invention Chance

The formula may or may not be a best guess. But it's reliable enough for the purposes of average costing from what the really crazy inventors say.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Typhoon!!! (BPO)

Well, I finally did it. A bit of exploration last night (3 Operational Handbooks sold for 9mil each) and I hit 830mil isk. Moments later I'm the proud owner of a ME:12 Typhoon BPO and my alliance coffers are 700mil isk richer. This frees me up to prepare for heading out to 0.0.

Started off the night addressing the usual manufacturing stuff. In this case the 1MN Afterburner I BPCs came out. So I was able to head on over and pop in 5 Invention runs that would be done later that evening. After I started them all. I realized that with the cost of the Datacores that I probably could have popped in some meta level 1 or 2 named modules as part of the invention process as they are usualy around the same price as the T1 module and that would not significantly inflate the invention costs (not being ammo we can do this). Checking after the fact I note that although the Cold-Gas I Arjet Thrusters are Metalevel 3 and going for 34500 isk or so the Monopropellant I Hydrazine Boosters are Metalevel 2 and only going for 5000 isk or so. Metalevel 2 gives me a 52.69% chance the Metalevel 3 gives me 58.24% chance of success. Plugging these numbers in to my invention spreadsheet gives me:

No meta item: 48.26% success chance - pro-rated Invention cost per run: 148166.70 isk
Metalevel 2: 52.69% success chance - pro-rated Invention cost per run: 136658.84 isk
Metalevel 3: 58.24% success chance - pro-rated Invention cost per run: 128700.64 isk

So at current market prices it's better for me to use the Cold-Gas I Arjet Thrusters in my invention runs. Scuse me a sec while I go buy those. Should have run the numbers before poping them in. Oh well - live and learn.

That radar site was a nice find I will admit. High sec and not containing very much a multi-role fit Jaguar was all that was needed to take care of it. This means that once I nailed the sight down with my cov-ops I simply switched ships and jumped in my Jaguar and removed the rocket launcher and web, and put in a Salvager I and a Codebreaker I. The 4th slot on a Jag being more of a utility slot. Most of the firepower comes from the guns anyways. then it was simply a matter of getting to the system with the plex. Warping to it. Killing the rats in short order and cracking the cans. 3 Operational Handbooks and some Mechanical Parts (used in Minmatar Data Interface manufacture), and I was salvaging the wrecks. Got an Alloyed Tritanium Bar as a cherry on the cake.

So after some nice convos and some dinner, I pop the invention runs out. Not very successful this time but I do get a BPC. This allows me to run the numbers and get things costed out. Well damn. Invention and manufacturing costs per run run about 1mil and change and they sell for 2 mil and change. Scuse me while I go pop the rest of the BPCs in for some more invention runs...

Incidentaly - Ferrogel and Fermionic Condensates - ouch.

Anyways after talking to the alliance I'll be joining for my stay in 0.0 looks like I'll be mining this weekend to get some BS ready for transhipment down to 0.0. Looks like I'll need 1 Ratter, 1 Salvager (if the ratter doesn't have that) and my BPC collection to keep myself in small ships and ammo. The rest will be PvP oriented ships.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Getting close

Well, since my mins were low, I got of my ass and went mining. Two thirds of a belt later I have another BC in the oven an I'm at 770mil. Between the BC on sale and The BC in the oven all it would take is a few other ships to sell and I'll have reached my goal of 820mil at which point 700mil disappear into the alliance coffers.

Going to have to decide what to prepare for 0.0 now. To a certain extent, what to bring is dictated by who I'm joining and what role I'm joining in, and what deal they have with their pilots and what isk flow their pilots can expect to fund the inevitable ship losses. I figure with the exception of a care package of BPCs sufficient to keep me in T1 cruisers for a good chunk of forever off of rat loot, I should probably not bring much other than my cov-op. Assuming they have got a supply pipeline/production area setup.

Well we'll see how it goes.

Well that burned thru some mins

At one point last week I had 11mil tritanium. Now I can't even make 500 runs of Scourge Heavy Missiles. I guess making 4 battlecruisers and various cruisers (many Scythes) in short order will do that.

I did a bit of exploration but did not have any luck. No good sites popped up for me. I think tonight it'll be back to some mining. Ah well the alt will get a good workout at least. Up to 743mil isk again.

Not much else to report. This whole go back to work on Jan 5th kinda sucks doesn't it. On the flip side in 2 days my 1MN Afterburner I BPCs will be out of the oven tomorrow evening. I've got the datacores ready for the inventing. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

And my Isk total fluctuates wildly

Been a bit of a do this do that kind of day.

First thing I determined is that those research jobs do eventually run out and cost you agent standing - and it looks like FACTION standing. Ouch. It also looks like it takes about a month before they run out. So no panic. Looks like if you do research jobs (i.e. those jobs offered by research agents) about once every 3 weeks or every 2 weeks you should be safe from any standings hits. I figured this out after looking at some standing changes over the last 4 months and tracking down frequency and what caused them.

Next as I mentioned back a few weeks ago, I was feeling short of order slots. So Today I finally got Retail 5, Wholesale 1 and Wholesale 2. This brings my total number of order slots up to 93. Much better. Just before midnight and heading to bed, I also got Day Trading 3 which allowed me to claim a certificate (after almost 2 year a 3h side track isn't much any more). The skill is also useful as I could be 10 jumps away from a place I have orders and modify the sales price remotely.

The day however was an up and down day for my isk account. Sell some stuff, buy 40mil of mins. Sell a BC, buy Wholesale, Sell another BC, etc, etc....

So at the end of the day I'm at 736mil even though I started the day at 770mil. But it's all good. The mins were high ends which I can't really mine here in high sec and the Wholesale needed to be done to get 93 order slots (one more level and I break 100 sales slots but that'll wait).

I also brought enough datacores back from the research agent (an ungodly amount of jumps away) so that I have what I need on hand for the 5 Afterburner invention jobs I intend to run when the copies pop out.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Managing Highsec Research slots

The first thing to realize is that high sec ME slots suck, and the Copy slots are a close second. This is because these station slots are VERY popular. Obviously ME is needed to reduce BPO waste and since the margins on most items in high sec are razor thin, having at least 10 to 20 ME on a BPO is all that stands between a profitable manufacture and a loss (when compared to just selling the minerals). Copies are also highly popular. They are needed for T2 invention and are a prefered thing to bring to 0.0. With a max run copy you get a limited number of runs. BUT you're still left with original BPO, that way if your copy gets ganked along the way to your 0.0 destination, you're only out the cost of the copy, not the cost of the MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE original and all the research you've invested in it.

PE - not so important - although it is known that the devs would like to change that so that it is MUCH more of a factor in the production costs. Invention slots are also not as over-used. Since they are available in the same quantity as copy slots but copies are not exclusively used for invention it's obvious that they will be free-er. Not to mention the actual invention runs take less time than the max run copy runs. So again not too much of an issue.

The problem is simple. If you put in a job that's going to last a week but that takes 3 weeks to start you loose the use of that skill slot for a whole month. This sucks, but if you don't have access to a research tower, is life. I will also point out that if you can keep the ME slots alone in a high sec reserach tower fully occupied the ME research is cheaper in fuel costs than it is in NPC slot costs and you can consider any other research "free" or allocate a minimal cost to them. Remember this point: High sec research towers are CHEAPER than any NPC research slot IF you can keep them busy. But you may not have access to a tower. I currently don't.

There is also the fact that keeping some skills loose for changes in the situation is actualy a good idea.

So I have Advanced Laboratory Operations 4. This means that I can run 10 research jobs simultaneously. With ME slots being as gummed up as they are, and myself trying to do invention and research my BPOs at the same time, what does this mean? Different people will have different objectives but for myself here's what I've done:

4 slots are dedicated to ME and PE research (currently working on some frigate BPOs and an R.A.M. BPO). 1 slot is dedicated to Copying. The last 5 slots are either doing 1 job of copying or 5 invention runs. Basicaly if the copies aren't ready I can do a copy job in one of the slots I reserve for invention runs. The copy jobs are lasting about a week to ten days at the moment. This allows plenty of time to acquire any missing datacores and what not. It also leaves me with 4 free slots so that if one day I do get a tower I can use some of my research skills at the tower without delay. The best would be to plan and know ahead of time when I'd have access to a high sec tower and make sure that all outsanding jobs in NPC slots are finished by then. Good thing I've got research alts to take up the slack when that happens.

Another thing to note is that although research alts can fill in a big hole in the research capacity one needs for a full blown BPO collection there are certain things they will NOT be able to research or copy. For those the usualy more capable main character is usualy necessary (unless for some reason that research alt is the main of an account).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

All hail Hail S

And the Hail S BPCs come out of the cooker. One more skill and I'll have all 4 Projectile T2 munitions covered. But that will have to wait till a future date. After getting 3 out of 5 successes I'm rather pleased with the Hail. I just put in a small batch to manufacture so that I have a bit of a reserve personally.

I also just got Minmatar Battleship 4. So I'm back on Retail 5. When I get that it'll be to finish off Spaceship Command 5. After that it'll be combat skills for a while. Namely getting all battleship weapon skills to 4: Large Projectiles, Cruise Missiles, Heavy Combat Drones, Sentry Drones, Torpedoes. Once I have that, with my T2 level tanking skills, I'll consider myself at a minimum usable skill level to get into BS PvP (expecting to loose ships) and Level 4 mission running. Once THAT is done it'll be a case of deciding what to go for. More T2 goodness at the cruiser/frigate level or more invention goodness or more BS goodness.

(side note to self - don't forget to get to T2 mining drones at some point in all of that - it would be good if I could invent the things at around the same time I can start using em too.).

Ah the joys of being a Jack of all trades. Always something to skill up. Not looking forward to the 2+ months it will take to get my corp skills to the level where I could get Sovereignty 1 but going to need to do it at some point.

Got a bit of luck and found a quick Radar site using some exploration in high sec. Nothing spectacular but 15mil of decryptors up for sale for a quick run. (took me 1 multiplex, 3 quest scans and straight to 1 sift to find). About 20min of travel, kill and expoit later (Jaguars are so usefull) and that was a nice bit of isk making.

Next time I'll discuss research slot use when in high sec without a tower.

And once again thanks is owed to Chribba

I get the copies of of my Depleted Uranium S BPO out of the copy slot. And while grabbing the datacores to run off 5 invention runs, I discover that I'm just about out of Molecular Engineering Datacores. Gah! lack of planning rears it's ugly head. As I've mentioned, I've been surviving on the slow acquisition of datacores from exploration and the single research agent I'm able to run for quite a while now. I'm now going to have to plan my Invention jobs with the datacore sourceing planned out ahead of time.

With this in mind, I check my reserves of Rocket Science Datacores. Ok plenty of those for the planned AB and MWD invention. But the Molecular Engineering ones are horribly short. Time to change research at the agent.

One AFK trip in my Jaguar later and I harvest the current Mech Engineering datacores and see if the agent had Molecular Engineering. Nope he doesn't. Problem. I don't want to spend half the morning looking at research agent after research agent trying to find a level 4 research agent that does Molecular Engineering. Enter Eve Agents. If you are a missioner or a researcher or an intel person you NEED to know this site. It's prety much not an option. It saves SO much time it's rediculous. All hail the mighty Chribba - King of Veldspar!

So plugging in Core Complexion and Level 4 and Molecular Engineering, I get exactly one agent. Yikes. In The Forge.... Good thing I'm no longer in FW. So off I go to Itamo. Getting that underway I discover that with my current standings and skills this agent will generate 62.08 RP per day (with 62.08 RP per successful research mission). This works out to 1.24 RP/Day. Which is fine since it'll take 7 more days to get the 10 max run Afterburner I runs I have going out of the oven. And as with previous research I just want to get 5 invention runs done and stockpile the rest of the BPCs for now. This means that I'll have enough datacores to go with my plan by then. Woot!