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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

T2 Battleship weapons up to spec

Well the day finally got here.  My T2 weapons are now level 4 for all 6 that a matari pilot typically uses.  What to do now?   I also got that skill for the Noctis up to level 4 as well.  I think various ship skills that I have that are not at 4 or 5 should get some love next.  Then I think Destroyer V so I can get in interdictors as well.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Down to my main

Well my main keeps skilling up.  Next: Cruise Missiles V finishes in 14 days.  However my last alt account ran out of pre-paid time.  So all my research alts and a scout all and my hauling alt are all dormant now.  Only my main account left awake.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And the POS dies while I'm at work....

Title says it all.  Got to wonder what they were thinking... Anchoring a POS and not defending it effectively...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

POS Bash

Just as I needed to log in to skill flip, I get a CTA last night.  As I told the boys when I left the alliance and we set each other to mutual blues, "If you need an extra BS for a POS bash, send up the Let Signal".  So as soon as I get in, I get in fleet and query the usual questions: Where and With what?

So I was given my destination and told to bring the heavy iron.  So I jump into my POS bash setup Maelstrom and head on out.  19jumps to the k-space connection.  Once I get there I add my firepower to the poss bash and we get the tower into re-enforced quite handily (small POS, I log on at 9:00pm local and we get it re-enforced by 11:00pm and although I missed the incapacitation of plenty of modules, I was there for the entire tower shoot.  And yep the T2 guns pretty much doubled my damage output compared to the last POS bash I was on.

I was originally planning to log out at a friendly POS.  When I discovered that the local POS'es need to be "adjusted" a bit so that they follow alliance settings and don't shoot blues...  Thanks Devlon, look into that would you?...  I got out fine, Scrams don't have a lot of range (you may want to fix that...) and since the friendly POS was not on full blown war footing, I was able to tank the "Friendly" POS fire until I could warp away (yay for AB's)...

I'm thinking I need to adjust my fit a bit and simply remove the AB on the POS basher.  The situation is mainly static when engaging at a POS anyways.  So I went back to the high sec base and we'll see what I decide to do before the next POS bash...

Check back in two days for PART II

Sunday, October 31, 2010

o.O 3200+

For the edification of those unaware: o.O is an emoticon representing surprise (raised eyebrow).  3200+ in system and the node survived... wow...  As much as others will bitch about the lag, the truth is that this is like having most other game's entire server populations in the same zone at the same time.  It would melt most servers.  The impressive thing is that the node survived.  There were points in time (not too long ago really) where this would have resulted in horrible, horrible node death.  So the fight on lag and stuff like that at least has resulted in servers that don't up and die under extreme loads.

Shooting CCP Atlas who was trying to get some lag data? not so nice.  CCP Atlas putting his "expensive" instrumentation in an "BH Mega Cargo Ship"?  Duuuuuude...  Put it in a Polaris next time would you?  You'll probably still get primaried but at least you'll have a minimal chance that your ship will survive long enough to get some good data next time.

In other news, my primary alt account finally ran out of payed up time and went to sleep.  Just one more alt account to go and I'll be down to my main.

I've got 8 days left on Heavy Drone Operation V.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ok, NOW EVE gate makes sense

As promised, I am keeping up on changes as well as skill flipping.  This one was important enough to immediately comment on.

First some light reading:  EVE Gate - Incursion and Beyond.  Go read it.  I'll wait...

Back?  Good.

OMG! Integrated voice with EVE Gate!!!!  Independent from the EVE Client!!!!  1024 contacts, organizing contacts... As an ex-alliance leader, I can not tell you how great this makes me feel.  About the only thing missing that would be nice would be integrated killboards and private corporation forums of some sort.  We'll see what the integrated forums they are talking about turn out to be.

The promise of EVE Gate may finally be bearing fruit.  Color me hopeful.

The separate client and integrated voice coms in the eve gate is the one that may seriously put the nail in the coffin for external voice clients in a lot of cases though.  Especially for smaller corporations and alliances.  There will be no need to go and get a ventrillo server who's main feature is that you can keep in contact when the client goes down when you can get an integrated audio channel with a separate client.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Torpedo Specialization IV

Just a quick pop in to note that I managed to get Torpedo Specialization IV polished off.  Once I get Tech II heavy drones finished (which should be in... 22 days), I should have all the skills necessary for a properly deadly Typhoon setup.  Oh don't get me wrong there will still be plenty of skills to get to 5 but all the major ones to IV will be done and it will be time to build myself a proper torp phoon.

Apart from that I observe with interest that we have some progress on the news front both for this update (which seems to nicely be some patches and lag fixes as well as the new character generator.  And news of when the first real iteration on Incarna will happen.

Just to keep my hands in EVE, I've decided to build myself a pair of Claws to mess around low sec in from time to time.  Don't want my ship handling skills to get too rusty.

Until the next update - fly safe - or not.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pro Indy Tip Time

Reading the forums I suddenly realized that some people may not be aware of one of those useful tidbits of the typical industrialist in EVE.

You know that problem you have when you want to start a job at your favorite station and you have to scroll through all of them to find the ones that are free or with the lowest time until start?  Did you know you can reverse sort the list of slots by delivery date?  The slot interface will even remember the sort setting between calls.  That way when you hit the button to select which slot to start the job in, any free slots are listed first and if there are no free slots, the one that will be available soonest will be at the top.

Just saying.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Goodbye to Capsuleer

So I was saddened to read that Roc and co. are closing down Capsuleer.  On one hand it's sad.  On the other hand I can see why CCP doesn't want to treat them differently than any other 3'rd party developer.  It was fun while it lasted.

Fly safe.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where you can find me

Although the alliance knew my plans, I'm not sure the rest of you did.  Sure you knew I'd be taking a break from EVE, but I'm not sure I mentioned where you'd be able to find me while I'm on break.  Now that the game went live it can be revealed:

You'll be able to find me on the Selbina server of Final Fantasy XIV.  For once I've started a blog on the first day of my new adventure:

Letrange's FFXIV Blog


Not horribly original but it works and it's fairly consistent with my EVE blog.  Any EVE related posts as I skill up and or see the need for commentary will of course still be posted here.  But the bulk of my posting activity will be over there for the time being.

Fly safe (or fly dangerously depending on your preference).

Monday, September 20, 2010

The quiet conspiracy

As I'm reading through various and assorted articles from non-CCP sources, one of the most frequent whine I see on comments about an EVE article is how all the articles glorify the negative. To a certain extent this is understandable. Positive articles don't generate as much reader interest as negative ones. And there are some ostentatiously negative articles about shenanigans in EVE.

I think I need to point out a few things here the casual reader might have missed. This is not just the media focusing on the "bad" stories. The truth is there is a lack of investigative reporting going on. The reason for that is that most gaming media relies on someone telling them what is going on. When someone gets his ass handed to him in spectacular fashion, either he or someone associated with the event usually screams the details of the event either on the EVE-O forums or some place like scrapheap challenge.

Then there is the secret to moderate success in EVE. RUN UNDER THE FRICKEN RADAR YOU NOOB! I'm not what could be considered massively successful by any means in EVE. But most of my endeavors have ended on positive notes with progress being made. You will note that I'm also one of the FEW blogging industrialists in EVE. I'm not much into the traditional routes to riches that the truly rich players follow. One of the major things I have noticed is that a lot of success can be had by keeping quiet and not attracting attention. There's a reason for the preponderance of pirate blogs vs any other type of blog. In this game, flying under the radar means you remove yourself from the "low hanging fruit" syndrome. Visible people get targeted by those aforementioned pirates. Opening your mouth and whining in public does nothing but paint a big "tears can be had here" sign in front of all your ships.

Letting gankers know just how successful you are means they will start to track your location within EVE and get intelligence on your operational procedures for a proper attack on your operations. So all the smart people learn early on to "fly under the wire". They also learn such things as "avoid the Saturday/Sunday gank fleets". "How to move things relatively safely". "How not to get lazy". There is satisfaction in operating successfully in a dangerous environment. But it's a quiet satisfaction. And since it depends on operational security, if you're not able to keep quiet about your successes, you won't be successful for long.

The corollary to all those insane blow up situations the news reports are thousands of successful operations that no one except one person or a few, tight lipped mature players know about. Because they are mature players, they don't feel the need to boast about it. So the successes keep coming. There's a reason EVE keeps growing. There's a reason the average age of EVE players is higher than a game like WoW. It's the quiet conspiracy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

One last roam

So, Sunday at noon we had organized one last roam before I effectively reduce my presence in EVE. I put out the call to "bring the good stuff". We did not get lucky (the pirates were being cagey Sunday), but this kill mail should show what I meant by "The good stuff". Altogether a successful roam. Not as target rich as one could wish but 2 kills for no losses during the OP puts it squarely in the "success" category.

I was on grid for the Thorax kill, but was a little slow getting to the target.

And I got my PvP Loki blooded.

*evil grin*

It also gave me a bit of a feel for the fit.

About the only things that were a little lacking with it for this type of a roam was targeting speed and agility. Definitely more of a the "pocket battlecruiser" feel than the "overpowered cruiser" feel.

My gut feeling is that the fit might better suit a 0.0 roaming HAS gang more than a low sec roaming HAS gang. Although to be honest this was more of a roaming Recon gang (We had 5 Recons in the gang as you could see and 2 Vagabonds and an interceptor. The Tengu was a gang boosting Tengu and My Loki was fit like a Huginn. As requested if you couldn't fly a T2 Cruiser or an interceptor, bring a well fit cruiser. We only had one of those. All in all a fun 2.5h roam through low sec.

Now to address the next year+ of taking a break from EVE. I've stopped the subscriptions on my two alt accounts. I'll be keeping my main account alive though in order to skill flip through some rather tedious skills. I still have 4 BS weapons to get to T2 level 4s. Then there's Logistics and all the command ship skills as well as Interdictor/HIC. After that there's some more Industrial skills (Frigate Construction V, Battleship Construction, Various T2 Science skills).

I'll probably keep an eye on developments and patches and what not but from here on in, don't expect any posting regularity. I'll probably only post when skills ding V and/or when some interesting piece of information hits the news wire.

So either fly safe if you're a carebear and fly dangerous if you're a PvP pilot.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


So, I wake up this morning and find a GM answer and that the switchover finally happened. Cathrianne is now the alliance leader of AMC and I was finally able to get my corporation out of the alliance.

I'm free :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Still no resolution

Yep it's been close to 24h and still no answer to the petition. Yay fun! Not even an acknowledgment.

Evidently the CEO/Alliance interface terrifies GMs so much they delay answering the petitions as long as possible...

We'll see how long this petition takes to resolve.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Interface hell

Once again we dive into the interface hell that is the CEO/Alliance leader interface. The objective is simple: Get our alliance to switch executor corps. So, we get, theoretically of course, enough CEO/directors online to make the attempt. But even with 3 days and everyone assuring me that they have switched their executor support, my corp is still the executor....


It's supposed to do a check every 24h.

Did something break with the sov changes?

Working as intended?

Who knows.

If it's not resolved by this evening I'm going to try a petition. If that doesn't work, I'll be reduced to kicking the corps down to two and maybe THAT will work.

And once again CCP Interface design FAILS! At the very least they should have a way to indicate the level of support each corporation is receiving (keep the vote secret but have the results public). That way we'd know if it was a bug or simply CEOs that are having trouble navigating the tortuous corp/alliance interface... As it is we're left wondering and giving the game bad publicity because of it.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I've done it! I've achieved what few pilots in New Eden are even capable of! I have managed to get my main to fit all his inventory in a single station!

Finally got a set of +4's in my skull as well. Also managed to get to Jita with about 500mil worth of materials and disposed of same. DST ftw. While I was there I bought up some T2 advanced moon goo in the quantities necessary to build 1 Hyena and 2 Hounds. As well as the missing Ship Data Interfaces (much cheaper now than in the day).

So I'm back at the high sec base with everything. Started some builds and all is good.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Disposing of ships

Welp, Cozmik got a great big present last night. So I get to the PvP HQ and I find a multitude of ships. Most of them "Disposable" PvP fit ships for practice roams (although they are rigged - frigate rigs are cheap enough that they got rigged). Looking at the hauling involved I then inquire of Cozmik whether he could use any of these fits.

16 ships contracted over later I only have 2 trips to centralize my inventory down to two stations. Sweet.

Hauling, hauling.....

I'm half way back to the centralized location on the 2nd trip when I quit for the night.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And I'm out of w-space

Unlike last night, tonight was un-eventful. I managed the final tear-down of the large tower in Chaos Central, quite easily. Everything fit in a single orca load and myself and my alt were able to get to high sec with every thing without incident. 8 jumps from home base. Sweet.

So yep This last stint in w-space was quite worth it since I get out of it with 3 Loki's in inventory and a pile of isk. The next few days will consist of da eeeeeeevil logistics moves as I centralize various scattered ship (mainly emptying the "PvP warehouse" and folding back a single station). I also have some final manufacturing to do (Build a Hound or two) to replace losses, and otherwise get my inventory of ships stabilized.

Then there will be the big sell off of materials. I have decided to dump the materials on the market (some shipped to Jita to be dumped, some disposed of locally). Acquiring new materials for any industrial plans I may formulate when I get back in game should be fairly trivial. A quick trip to Jita and some locally purchased minerals with my BPO collection and I should be good to go when I get back.

All in all a successful stay in w-space.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Well that was.... Interesting...

Note: DO NOT jump into a ship that's in an Orca IF that Orca was just pulled out of a Ship Maintenance Array. I had managed to store the Orca in the SMA even though it had ships in it and that had not pinged. The story of what happened subsequently is a mess of confused strange events that could only happen in EVE.

Side note: GM's don't get enough recognition for their work. And I'll appologize for one comment last night to GM Homonia. Sorry but part of a stuck character petition is indicating which character has a problem so if I say I can't interact with my main inside EVE it kind of indicates that the character indicated in the petition IS my main. Petitions CAN be sent via the web when in-EVE interface is un-available. So if I was a little short at that point blame it on the 1.5h without a response after the initial GM indicated the situation was being "investigated".

Are you ready for a confused muddle of a story? The facts may or may not be what I'm about to recount, but well that's what happens when things are confused. Not to mention there are probably 5 separate groups involved in this story.

Dramatis Personnae:

The DAFT boys: Dev and Dem and Zam. Much scouting was provided by these guys. Thanks. Our combined scouting kept this muddled situation from resulting in any losses.

Random Russian scout: Magnate with Russian probes. Name unknown. Probably still in system. Or not. Good scouts are like that. Could also belong to the that gank dude a while ago.

The German stealth bomber dude: Noob or not?

The Cheetah and his budies: Cheetah/Hound pilot with probably a Hurricane alt (going by name), a Tempest, a Megathron and a Huginn. (and possibly one other ship but he didn't stick around).

The GM team: GM Syndemic, GM Momonia and GM Zerat

My alt and I: Your narrator.

So I start the evening off with the usual "scan everything down" and get a bookmark on the high sec wormhole. I neglect to actually check out the wormhole's other end in high sec but I did bookmark it. I then decide I've had enough of PI and I'll want to ship the product to high sec and close down the operations on the planets in order not to have to worry about things when I do close things down.

So the first thing I do is decide to switch to my PI hauling ship. I preference a low "to warp" time ship for this. But I had put this Wreathe in my the ship maintenance bay of my Orca. So I jump in the Orca Empty out the Corporate hangar at my POS and start un-anchoring it since we'll no longer need it. Then I jump in the Wreathe that's in the SMB. Things go wrong.

When you get a "Fatal" error message and shutting down the client and re-logging in does not resolve the issue, things are wrong. With an empty Orca floating around my POS the situation is also "sub-optimal".

At this point I start the petition and log my alt in. I get the Orca situation under control, i.e. get a pilot in it to guarantee that it's under control. Eventually I get a reply from GM Syndemic that the situation is being investigated and he can't help me. The wording of the comment seems to indicate that it's a more general situation. A bit of forum querying however seems to indicate no one else is having the same problem I am. Ah good.

And 1.5h without a response or the ability to log in ensues.

At that point my patience wears thin and I send a query on the same petition to see if they are having problems. At this point a new GM (GM Homonia) comes on and managed to get my character in game by moving me and the wreathe I'm in to a station in High sec. Some repackaging and new rigs ensues (thank you for that) and the Wreathe is now usable and she moves me to the high sec system I was in 2-3 days ago... Oh great. And the pilot with the bookmark to high sec that I had not had time to check out? Oh right - that's me.

About this time the DAFT boys start reporting Russian probes in the wormhole system. Interesting. But I get my alt scanning that high sec wormhole so I know how far I have to travel. Lucky I remember what it's xxx-999 code is, so nailing it is fairly fast and easy. Note my alt is in an Iteron V fit for a volume/speed compromise (i.e. it gets to warp MUCH faster than a normal extended Iteron V). I send the Iteron to the HS wormhole and just as I land a neutral stealth bomber jumps in. Coincidence? Initially we assume that he's related to the the Magnate we caught a glimpse of but by the end of the evening, we'll not be so sure. So my alt jumps to high sec and starts to orbit the wormhole at 5km under cloak.

30 Jumps! ouch. At this point I indicate to GM Homonia that I am beginning to suspect that it was the Orca/SMB/SMA interaction and that there are 2 more ships that may be affected. I ask if I should repackage those as well. I indicate that reducing the chance of a repeat incident would be worth losing the rigs. I start motoring towards the wormhole.

During this time we get MORE activity at the wormhole. A cheetah also comes in and out. Oh and the SB seems to want to play with the DAFT boys. He indicates that he's a noob and forgot to bookmark the exit. You can believe as much of that as you want but either way one of the DAFT boys provides a bookmark at a random planet for the idiot. He picks up the BM and eventually makes his way back to the wormhole. At one point he launches some bombs around the wormhole (one of the daft boys is cloaked up with eyes on the wormhole from the inside at this point). We play with his mind a bit by making him think his bomb may have damaged one of the cloaked ships (Side note I really need to test this one day to see the exact effects of a bomb on a cloaked ship - up to and including log reports so that if I want to mess with someone's mind I know what's truly possible or not).

Then there was the Cheetah scouting in and out. This one we can say probably had nothing to do with the stealth bomber, and since it was the scout, nothing to do with the Magnate (who was probably going "WTF?!?" if he had stuck around by the end of the evening.

It's about this point in time that I get a convo with the 3rd GM and with 15 jumps to go get Letrange and his Wreathe moved back into the wormhole system. Some random spot in space but at least I don't land on the stealth bomber who had just jumped out. Its eventually established that I should probably log out with the ships that may have a problem in he Orca and that downtime should fix them if there's anything wrong with them. Should something still be wrong with them after downtime, I'm re-open the Petition.

At this point I switch up to my cloaky Loki and try and bait the SB back into the hole using my alt's Iteron. No luck. Humm this Nemesis sure looks like it's AFK. So I amuse myself for a bit getting him moved 20km off the wormhole. There with the cloaked hauler/scout I should have plenty of warning if he tries to jump back into action. Eventually I head back and get the PI materials pickup done and then use the Orca to move it and extra stuff back to high sec (again no reaction to either the Wreathe zipping around, nor the Orca going in and out. The Cheetah is observed again though.

As one last part of the operation I move the Covetor up to high sec and park it in a station. Oh that's interesting a yellow Megathron and Tempest wandering around outside the station. Oh and what's this? that scouting character has changed up to a Hound. Interesting. You don't think? Na, couldn't happen right?

Sure enough the hound ends up at the wormhole (remember I've still got my alt in his iteron cloaked up orbiting the wormhole in HS). So I haul ass with the pod and jump it into w-space and off to my POS as my alt keeps an eye on things. Back in the Loki, it's time to keep an eye on things.

So sure enough between my alt, my main on both sides of the WH and the DAFT boys keeping an eye on things, Guess what shows up? Yep that's right, the Megathron, the Tempest and one other BS/BC which I forget. Then after some hole jumping the third BS/BC and the tempest are replace by a Hurricane and eventually a Huginn. After some wormhole baiting by this little squadron, during which I indicate that indeed we are aware of them so it's not like they'll surprise us, we get them to waste quite a bit of time for absolutely no results. At one point they uncloaked my hauling alt (man that took a while) and they finally figured out that we weren't going to be panicked into stupid moves, since we had full situational awareness, they moved off.

Rule of thumb: Unless you're sure of a one shot kill, fights within jumping distance of a WH are for suckers and gankers. Eventually I logged my alt in the Orca and my main in the Loki.

Crazy night. Things were "busy".

Monday, August 30, 2010

Not much to report

Busy weekend IRL. Good though. EVE meet as usual. Barely had time to log on and skillflip/PI. Man will I be glad when CCP overhauls the PI stuff. Things are on schedule, although I'm not looking forward to the ship movement I need to do to centralize things once I get out of wormhole space.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Once again I log on relatively late in the evening. Quickly do the rounds of the extractors then cloak up in my Loki to sit outside the HS wormhole which is due to pop any moment. This is a technique used by pro wormhole residents to establish an exact time of spawn for a wormhole. This enables us to estimate with great accuracy when a wormhole will de-spawn. Useful information if you want to know if you have enough time to haul that stuff to point X and get back in time.

As I'm chilling with some soup, chatting with Cozmik who has moved all his ships out of the wormhole, in pops a neutral Probe. Blink Blink. And he sits there. Oh lookie sisters scan probes on d-scan... Right! upcoming lesson. I warp off to a safe spot and warp back to 20 on the wormhole, uncloaking in warp. Start targeting as I land and activate point and artillery.

Insta-wreck. Start targeting pod and re-activate artillery. Insta-corpse. I'm really rocking this projectile alpha. So I look at the fitting in the kill mail... An armor repairer. Salvager in the 2nd high slot. Ok lesson time.

Let's look at what happened and try to analyze where the pilot made his mistake, shall we. What to look at first? The fit or the tactics? Well since I'm a fairly strong proponent of fitting for the tactics let's look at that first.

His tactics: Jump thru a wormhole, launch probes, start probing for astrometric anomalies and signatures.


There are just a few problems with these tactics.

1) Your survival depends entirely on your ability to jump back to high sec to get out of trouble.
2) If you're moving scan probes around you're not paying attention to either the d-scan (it's on another tab) nor is your attention necessarily going to notice a ship appearing on grid in the overview.
3) There are ships out there that can one shot a Probe (oh, like, say, my Loki...)

Now don't get me wrong I'm a big proponent of using the Probe as a cheap exploration vessel. But let's take a look at how I usually do it with my alts (my main uses a Cheetah or my cloaky Loki - which is expanded probe launcher fit)

1) Jump into system and hold cloak while hitting the d-scan and checking out the near 14 au for signs of activity.
1a) if there's something on grid - wait 30 seconds and jump out.
2) Bookmark the wormhole
3) Warp to a random planet at a random distance.
3a) At this point I either cloak up and see if things stay calm or
3b) head off in a random direction at max AB popping 4 probes out then cloaking up after a bit of separation from the probes.
4) Once safely cloaked up move the probes off to some random deep space point without fiddling with them. Once they are no longer a sign post pointing to the general location of my cloaked Probe I can fiddle with them
5) Keep moving under cloak away from the warp in spot (preferably in some off-plane direction)
6) Calmly probe out the signatures I'm interested in.

There's also some general tactical information about small ship maneuvering it helps to keep in mind when designing a fit for a frigate:

1) Your tank on a frigate is laughable. Your survival depends on not getting hit and/or reducing the effectiveness of things trying to hit you.
2) My tour in Faction Warfare taught me that properly fit, most frigates can warp off before opposing larger ships can lock them up.
3) By proper fit we mean Inertia Stabilizers (preferred in this case) or Nanofiber Structures and nothing that isn't absolutely necessary making the signature bigger.

So with this in mind, here are the parameters for a Probe fit that matches the tactics I want to employ:

Primary function:
1) Expanded probe launcher - well this is the reason for the fit so we need this
2) Two gravity rigs (again this is for the primary purpose of the ship)

Now we address survivability:
3) Cloak - a simple prototype cloak is all that's necessary
4) An afterburner in one of the mids. A mwd would be better but I know from experience that I'd be sacrificing a low slot or a rig spot to enable it to fit. This is sub-optimal. As an added bonus the AB does not cause sig bloom (which allows other ships to lock you faster as a side note).
5) Two inertia stabs in the lows. (some people prefer nanos - I prefer getting to warp faster)

Optional elements:
6) Something in that 2nd mid (I usually go for a rock scanner)
7) A pair of Warrior I drones. (or nothing - they will probably never get used)

The ammo load-out usually consists of 8 core probes and 8 combat probes.

Used intelligently this should be the last ship you ever buy a scanning alt. And even if you screw up by the numbers and get it popped it's not like it's horribly horribly expensive.

Remember this is EVE. In wormhole space, they ARE out to get you. It's nothing personal (although flying stupidly DOES offend us). The question is not are you paranoid, it's are you paranoid enough?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Keeping wormhole space clean

I logged on quickly last night early in the evening and I managed to totally redo my Barren planet's PI layout. It only has to last until we pull out but I wanted a higher production of Oxygen and Bacteria. That done and all the extractors re-started, I went on to to do some other things.

Later on I logged back in and went to check the class 1 next door. Uninhabited but there were two cans cluttering up d-scan... Damn litter bugs. So I decide to see if I can find the darn things. Sure enough some intelligent use of the d-scan allowed me to localize the GSCs at a moon. Since there were no towers this made it relatively safe to warp to. Unlike yesterday's Brutix.

Sure enough, Two cans. Sitting in space. Clogging up the system and creating lag. Can't have that now can we. So, keeping an eye on things I un-cloak and begin laying in with the artillery. Damn do GSCs have a lot of structure. About 2 h and 2000-ish rounds of EMP M later I had the entire system scanned and there was no more space trash laying around.

What have you done lately to keep you system clean and reduce lag?

That was prety much it for the rest of the evening so I logged off. Some times it's not about making isk, just about shooting stuff. It helps that the only stuff I had around that could conceivably be hauled was the salvage and loot from yesterday's Brutix.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lemmings I tell you

Did another logistics run. Get back to the POS. Wrecked Brutix found at POS. "Yea I was warping away from some sleepers"... Right into a defended POS...

/me double facepalms

Gets out the salver and cleans up the space near the POS...




Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Gah! steam of consciousness stuff coming (PvP players may want to skip this one).

A post on Kirith's blog got me thinking about the missing parts of EVE. For PvP players we have killmails as "achievement" objectives. Admittedly these are chuck full of intel for those who know how to look, but the point is that they are used as a metric of success or participation. The thing is implementing something like this could easily be done in EVE. Especially associated with with something like the contract system. The problem is that the contract system is not flexible nor powerful enough to do what is needed.

With that here are some random ideas to improve the situation:

1) Corporate contracts. This needs to be leveraged and used much more. The reality is that this feature is horribly underused. having a list of corporate contracts available and completed on the corporate interface would help a lot. Having a copy paste feature like a kill mail and an API to this information would also do wonders. (restrict access to corporation members or individuals when exporting would be kind of intelligent).

2) Get this information into a tab on he character sheet like the kills and losses.

3) Allow courrier contracts to have a POS tower/module as a destination and as a source.

4) Allow assembled ships to be in courier contracts and so long as the assembled ship meets insertion into ship maintenance bays allow them to be placed in the Ship Maintenance bays of Orcas. This way we can have contracts for hauling assembled rigged ships around, that don't need freighters.

5) Allow either corporate internal buy/sell orders or contracts with partial completion.

end of stream of consciousness.

WTF is with newbies these days?!?

Ok, you're a newbie, you've joined a "decent" corp in high sec. Do you not listen to the veteran pilot explain about how w-space works. It's 0.0. People shoot first and ask questions later. Which has occasionally lead to some amusing blue on blue incidents that did not result in dead ships - "Why were you shooting at blues" - "Because you were"...). The d-scan is your friend. How to tell the difference between a Russian tower and a North American tower... All things that lead to good situational awareness. I can distinctly remember receiving lectures on the above back when I was a newbie.

So. I log on last night. Note that there's a bit of time left before the 40 P4's I'm currently cooking are ready. So I remember that Dark Ochre rock I had not finished off the previous evening. Quick scout of the system. Looks empty. So switch to my Covetor and head out to the rock. Note that in wormhole space we tend to bookmark individual rocks, not belts.... There's a reason for that.

Slap the two warp core stabilizers in my alt's hauler, now that he has the skill. Half a jet can, tanky and 2 warp core stabs - no guarantee but has a chance to get away if there's no bubble.

So I start mining away. Get a few hauler runs in when I spot a core probe on scan. Quickly start the Covetor warping towards the POS, then while the run up starts, I check the rest of the d-scan (you will note - react first - then ask questions). Vexor.... Vexor on scan...

Ooooookaaaaaay. So my alt makes a last pickup and warp while I'm traveling to the POS. I did mention that my alt's fit has 2 Inertia Stabilizers right? Once I'm at the POS I get in my cloaky Loki and take a wild guess and warp to the HS wormhole at 100.

Yep dead on the isk. One neutral Vexor on the wormhole... scanning away in one of our settled systems... I watch him for a sec and he does not seem to be with anyone. I then warp to a safespot and back to 20 on the hole. I uncloak in transit so as not to have the un-cloaking delay - trusting on his not noticing me on d-scan since he's probing. Start locking - then establish a nice stable orbit at 18 (comfortably inside optimal of my 5 x 720mm's and inside the warp disruptor range) and when lock arrives - point and let loose. 1st volley - shields gone and armor at 95%. 2nd volley (10 seconds later) armor at 10%. And he jumps out.

So I cloak back up and start orbiting the wormhole at 18. And in a few minutes he pops back in... And he pops drones... You're kidding me right? So I wait a bit then uncloak, target, and point and open fire. Sure enough I have the same effect on him... He sticks around a little longer and I find out he was smart enough to put in a DC at least since his structure seems more resistant than his armor was. His 5 Warrior 1's are tickling my shields (oooo the danger). Admittedly I was paying more attention to any wormhole wobble than the rest of the fight. And he jumps out again.

So I pick up his drones, cloak up. So I figure melting him twice in a row should have taught him a lesson (mind you as newbies go, at least he was smart enough to jump out. Not all would have been). So I jump out and sure enough not in local. A quick convo later and he explains that he tought I was an NPC...

/me facepalms

So I explain the facts of wormhole life to the newbie and drop off his drones at the high sec side of the wormhole (what can I say, It was feeling like stealing candy from a baby) and set the can to blue.

Then figure it's time to do a high sec run to the main base to drop of another ship (less to deal with come shutdown day). You will note I've decided to let the system cool down before getting back to mining. I'm crazy not stupid. So I fill my DST with some ore and various goodies that I need to move to high sec anyways (Dread Guristas ammo - I forgot to mention that I also ran two high sec combat sites yesterday as well). Autopilot. An hour later I melt the ore, shove the rest of the stuff into appropriate bins in the hangar and pop out in my pod. Autopilot back to the wormhole.

An other hour later I'm back in the WH. Get into my cloaky Loki and decide to sit on the high sec wormhole (cloaked at a classified distance away from it) while I chow down on some soup. I'm just finishing up when...

WTF is a neutral Covetor doing inside my wormhole???. Has someone removed all the inteligent pod pilots and replaced them with lemmings? You're kidding right?

Nope warps off in the direction of empty space. But since I have eyeball mk 1 on him I note the direction. Warp to the older grav sig. Nope, wrong direction. Check warp and warp to the newer one. Yep. Land 5km from the Covetor. Who is obvioulsy going to try and Ninja my soon to be Ore. Can't have this now can we?

Uncloak, start orbit (which boosts me away from him). Target. Lock. Say hello to mr. Alpha strike. One wreck later, and the pod escapes to the wormhole. So I head to the POS, grab a salver and clean up my grav site. Then after posting the kill mail, I note that the guy was from the same corporation as the previous guy from 2h ago... A conversation ensues where the first words out of my mouth are "Don't you guys talk to each other???".

Apparently not. Oh and a cargo expanded Covetor?... Brain hurt.

The rest of the evening is much calmer - unfortunately for Cozmik who missed all the fun. I did finally manage to nail that Dark Ochre rock (and a Veldspar rock next to it). And did some PI and went to bed. This morning saw the completion of he last of the P4 I was building.

Ah well at least this means my cloaky Loki is formally blooded.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Been busy since last post. Humm let's see. In no particular order:

As you know I'll be taking a break from EVE come September. That being the case there are a bunch of administrative and not so administrative things to do. Administrative: Open up the books and see where each corporation in the alliance stands dues wise and pass information on to next alliance leader. (not done yet).

Not so administrative: Meeting with corp to discuss corp future with me no longer in the picture. End result of the meeting: Active pilots going to an active corp while I put the corp to sleep. W-space tower going to have to come down. Date for all this established.

Which leads to administrative: Kicking out all the members I haven't seen in a few weeks because they haven't logged in (not done yet but soon). This will probably happen the same day I tear down the tower (got to do something during those long un-anchoring parts).

Which leads to more logistics: Do a preliminary teardown of all industrial facilities and backup defenses. Get all of same shoved up in high sec. Two full Orca loads later THAT got done.

More logistics: Put in the last fuel the tower will need. Enough to last past the planned tear-down date. Gather rest of fuel and some PI materials and ship it all to high sec. Dump PI stuff on Jita, fly fuel to main high sec base.

Again Logistics: Fly around gathering stuff at disparate bases (including the tower modules and left over fuel from the high sec research facility. Centralize to main high sec base (again).

Then there is administrative logistics: Start emptying out corporate hangars in preparation for un-renting corporate offices. Acompanied by corporation wide eve mail: "Please empty out anything you want from the communal part of the hangars so I don't have to deal with it".

Moving ships around (shipping the small stuff in the Orca, flying the battleships). This is mostly done at the same time as the above mentioned logistical moves. Back to the wormhole each time a part of the operation was finished.

Can you tell most of the last week was spent AFK hauling various distances in high sec? (getting pro at the low slot switch out with my Orca).

So now that things have been pared down to their minimum, the plan is to make use of the remaining time in w-space to make as much isk as possible out of the various sites and connected system. In light of this, on Sunday I got my mining on. 15k of Arkonor and 17k of Dark Ochre (alliance member request for serious quantities of Nocxium) got mined when....

One of the alliance carriers was getting into trouble. And since it's in a wormhole an unknown (at the time) distance from my current wormhole, there wasn't much I could do except shut down the mining Op, scan for the exit (got it on the first scan down) and see how far the trip was to get to it. Unfortunately it was too far (I just hit high sec when the pilot said "carrier down").

Side comment: Yes I know it's a horrible fit. No I'm not responsible. Yes he should never have engaged without more backup than he had. I know.

The thing about dispersed wormhole life: In order for wormholes to be profitable and livable for even a small alliance you need multiple wormholes which means your forces are dispersed as far as rapid reaction goes. So standing rules are each wormhole is responsible for it's own local defense. Only when a POS is in danger are alliance forces called upon to concentrate. This is not a great big secret. Most alliance in wormhole space operate along the same principals. The dictates of the logistics involved necessitate it. The problem is of course that against serious raids (as opposed to assaults) you're outnumbered and end up loosing ships. Actual assaults are fairly rare mind you.

Throughout all this of course I need to keep my PI plans rolling along. This involves making one last set of P4's (10 of each item) and then going to P1 production only for dumping in Jita. I should be finished the last of the P4's withing 24h so from that point until tear-down it's Extractor work only.

Oh forgot to add: Bought my first Makinaw only to find out I need to slip in some Ice mining V to fit the T2 ice harvesters. Oh well.

So all in all a rather busy period for me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Loki (again)

So... I've discovered I'm definitely different from most EVE players. My PVE Loki? Tech 2 only. My Scout Loki? Tech 2 only. My PvP Loki? NOW I faction fit it....

Just dumped about 330mil on modules for my latest Loki. It is an armor tanked mix between a Hugin and a Hurricane. I could sink about another 270mil into it and get a full rack of T2 Trimarks to replace the T1 Trimarks I currently have. That, however, will have to wait. 30km Disruptor, 35km dual webs, 6x425mm AC (load out includes Barrage M and Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M) 50m³ of Drones (5 x Warrior II and 5 x Hornet EC-300 with 5 x Warrior TP-300 in cargo in case I'm operating with missile chuckers).

Should be fairly nasty until I loose it.

This makes the 5th Loki I've owned and my 3rd current Loki. I like Lokies.

Wormhole space is good for T3 stuff (making and flying).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Who Nuked the bubble gum factory?

Because, Mynxee, she is all out of bubble gum...

Mynxee: And the Beat Goes On
Mynxee: CCP Deliverables Status Report
CCP Warlock: The Long Lag
CCP Tanis: Fixing Lag: fostering meaningful human interaction, through testing and communication
CCP Zulu: Need for Moar Speed

Would that our non-CSM politicians were as hard working.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Well, the people who needed to know, now know. Time to come public about some changes. I need a break from EVE. Nothing to do with lag (I'm in wormhole space - we're not affected by that by and large). This being the case I'm winding down my operations and transferring leadership of the alliance to one of the other corporations. In about 2-3 weeks or so.

All the plans are in place for the transfer. It should go smoothly. Cathrianne will be the new leader of the AMC alliance.

The plan is to liquidate much inventory of materials so that when I get back I'll be in position to explore any options I want with a clear conscience and a pile of isk that will keep my options open. My plan is to let the two alt accounts run down (skilling up while they are still active) and then just go on skill flip life support on my main with a centralized asset depot in one system.

So over the next 3 weeks I'll be consolidating and liquidating stuff I don't want to keep for when I decide to come back active. The plan is to go explore other MMOs (FFXIV in particular) for at least the next year (letting my EVE batteries recharge). Unlike other inconsiderate idiots I will not simply stop logging on without anyone knowing that I'm going inactive. I will not also clutter up any corporation or alliance rolls with my inactive body.

The good thing about all of this is that it should allow me to complete some insanely long skills while I'm inactive (Finish the Large T2 weaponry plan, Minmatar BS V, Leadership skills for Loki and Claymore, AWU 5 etc etc etc)... so that I'll be nice and prepared for when I come back. We'll see how it all goes from there.

I will mention that this has slowly been in the works for the last two months. This is not a sudden change or anything like a reaction to various and other FUD stuff flying around about EVE's development state. Nor is it a spur of the moment thing. I'm taking a break. I need it. EVE can be intense (adrenaline shakes anyone?) but it does wear you out after a while. There's only so long you can operate at full alertness before you need to take a break. I've reached that point.

So in about 2-3 weeks my posting will slow down to a skill up trickle (and ze blogfather will need to remove me from the list - again - hehe)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Slooooooow week

Yep, it's a slow news week. CCP is getting back from vacation so hasn't yet gotten traction in dealing with the issues it might want to address soon-ish (like before pitchfork wielding FC's descend en mass on corporate HQ). Chribba grabs sov in 0.0 (check out N3-JBX in Scalding Pass). I need to grab 2 more melted nano-ribbons. QEN Q2 2010 is out.

0.0 looks like it is slowly devolving into roaming gang warfare where people simply give up on the military conquest as being too hard and attritional and go to a raiding mentality where you simply roam and interfere with your opponents life in hopes the other side will break and move out. So no great big campaigns at the moment (at least none that are grabbing the headlines). Looks like the carebears are winning EVE. I blame the Pax Aestas Desidiosus we are currently going through (it's latin, look it up).

Oooo and there's a new CCP Zulu devblog with CCP Oveur in the comments... Those are always fun.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

50 Million

SP that is. Guess I'm officially a "veteran" pilot now. And tomorrow I get Large Autocannon Specialization IV. Nice.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Not much realy

For all the people outraging at the "74 Plex" goes poof thing. I'd like to point out a few things.

1) Compared to a Titan - it's not much. People cheer when those go poof.

2) It's about what a Mothership runs as I recall.

3) If someone had used the plexes to buy one of the above two ships, no one would be making a comment on the internet.

4) There is no reason to move Plex around except for arbitrage - which is an in game gamble with in game items. There are more expensive things to arbitrage with. Buying Battleship BPOs, researching them then dragging them to 0.0 to put up on sale comes to mind.

5) There are more intelligent ships to use to move stuff around and avoid suicide gankers. Plex are rather small items. Using something a little more resilient than a T1 frigate to move around would only be sensible.

6) In the famous words of Oveur: "It was never meant to be cost effective - it's just a giant dick". CCP has time and again designed things in this game which are the equivalent of giving you enough rope to hang yourself. This guy sounds like the type of guy who if I said "go jump off a bridge" would.

7) There is no reason to move Plex around. They can be used remotely from any station in the universe. These guys were gambling on an arbitrage move. buying cheap plex somewhere other than Jita and moving them to Jita to dump on buy orders.

If this was an alliance OP, they trusted the wrong pilot to do the moving. Simple as that. Also - if they were personally redeeming the plex - there's no reason to have them spawn on the main who's in say 0.0 and then move it to Jita. Just make sure one of your alts is in Jita and have that alt redeem the plex. Safer - easier - and suicide gank proof.

Once an item is in game - and it leaves a station it's destructible. Heck Titans and Motherships are always vulnerable - they can never dock in a station. EVE does not have wear and tear. It's the destruction that keeps the economy humming. How you husband your resources is your responsibility. The problem with our society is that people do not take responsibility for their actions. In EVE suicide ganking is considered part of the game play (however much people revile it - it is). The deal is YOU are responsible for taking a plex out of a station if you put it in your cargo hold and hit the un-dock button. Also once you give something to someone else it's gone from your control. End of story. You may get something back or you may get an equivalent remuneration back but there are no guarantees and EVE is setup that way.

The only thing that is special about PLEX is that they can be redeemed for game time, an the only way to create them is to use real world cash. There are ways of using them that do not involve moving them, so anyone moving them is taking a totally unnecessary risk. Why they would choose to do that is their problem.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Still happening

Well, I checked this morning. The instant completion bug is still going on.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


That is all.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Nerd rage

Not mine. But the EGA stuff that's been hitting the news wires. There are all sorts of reactions going around. Both from inside and outside the EVE community. From the shock of people who don't play EVE at the virulence of the reaction to the (few) who are quitting EVE over it (can I haz your stuffz???).

I realize that a bunch of you are up in arms over the development plan and what's been going on. From a certain point of view it's justified. And it must be said that CCP to a certain degree has made their own bed over this one. However comparisons to SWG's NGE debacle are probably premature. There are a bunch of reasons for this.

1) This is not about ripping things away from players.

SWG's mistake was removing working content and mechanics without substituting equivalent content/mechanics. CCP has avoided this sweeping type of mistake. Their big problem is they have this vision of where the game should be and they have a whole bunch of content that are approaching completion and they are over focussed on that atm. If CCP suddenly removed a whole ship class or 5 - like say HACs - then that might cause something like the SWG's NGE.

2) There (still) is nothing else like EVE out there.

One of the other reasons that this has a good chance of blowing over is that EVE has no competition in it's domain. There are no other PvP/Sandbox/Economic/MMOs out there that even try to do anything remotely like EVE. On the fantasy side you've got Darkfall (not really familiar with it, but from what I've heard) and that's it... Heck it's production and economics game play is complex enough that spreadsheets are not optional to game play for those of us who get into it (how many pages is your main production spreadsheet up to? Mine is at 21 sheets). Welcome to the hardcore. There are no fluffy pink kitties here.

3) We are the hardcore, we hold CCP to a higher standard.

The reality is that we DO hold CCP to a higher standard than other developers. Sometimes they can be hard of hearing, and need to be reminded of it. The reason is that for all it's flaws we can see just how great EVE could be. When it's working well and "a plan comes together", there's absolutely nothing else out there like it. Nothing. This provides CCP with both an advantage and a dis-advantage. On one hand they won't be loosing too many players over this. I mean where would we go? Most other MMOs are bland and tasteless compared to EVE. It is like a technicolor show in the days of black and white. On the other hand you'll get incidents like the threadnaught on that voting page when we feel that CCP is making serious mistakes.

4) Part of the problem is historical.

Right up to Apocrypha there was constant improvement in the lag situation, while good working new content was brought to the table. Everyone agrees that Apocrypha was probably the greatest EVE expansion to date. The wheels came off the cart after that. Lag started to get worse. Even more problematic it got asymmetrical (i.e. attackers got worse lag than the defenders on any grid). It's been getting progressively worse in the two main expansions after Apocrypha. All of this just after CCP was boasting about "Excellence". That right there is the reason for most of the nerd rage. Don't go boasting about excellence when the situation is getting worse. Welcome to getting hoisted on your own petard.

5) The real rock and a hard place

The problem is that the features that CCP is working on and have promised to deliver are things they've been working on for the last 3/4 years. It's been going on so long that it's starting to resemble vaporware (I'm Canadian, as you can see by my unfailing politeness there). So regardless of the nerd rage going on, they ARE going to have to deliver some form of full body avatar soon. Their plan showed that. The problem is they still over allocated resources to the detriment of exiting code. There comes a point where you seriously need to work on your basic infrastructure. Because if it's shaky it does not matter how many new features you put out there, people are going to notice the cracks in the pavement.

Having a vocal player base is a disadvantage in that you occasionally get the rose glasses ripped off your face. The advantage is that you get those rose glasses ripped of your face. At least CCP now knows it needs to re-focus a bit. And although they can be a bit hard of hearing, at least they are not deaf (like the SWG developers were during the NGE thing).

Now I'm not CCP. However I would advise them to seriously consider forming a permanent "balancing" team (or two) who's job is to make sure that fixes and adjustments go out every update (not just every expansion). The backlog of stuff to address is big enough to justify permanent teams (side note: the teams are permanent - the personnel in them do not have to be). Also just because you plan to revise an entire area of the game does not mean that interim fixes on that area should not be done. With your development cycle on revising stuff running multi-year backlogs, it's worthwhile to get smaller fixes out there until the big ones can be done properly.

Another problem is with the Agile method they've been using. It's very good for making sure things are getting delivered. The problem is the "unfinished" feel it leaves behind if there is no follow up after the initial delivery. This is not necessarily a call to abandon Agile. It is a call to make sure there is follow up.

It's per planet.

Well the completion bug is per planet. Since I only have one production planet, it took proving that extractor submits caused the bug not to show up. Once I did that, I set up one planet at 3:55 eve time to have the bug by doing all processing submits last. Then I did my other 4 planets extractor submits and the results came in this morning.

Instant completion on all production during downtime.

At this point there's not much left to prove about this mechanic, except to test it outside of the narrow time band I'm currently testing it with. Which I'll do over the weekend. At least I've moved off starting my tests at ridiculous hours in the morning.

Aside to CCP: Originally PI derived blue prints were a) research-able and b) the items they built were reprocess-able. You originally screwed this up by a knee-jerk reaction to the reprocess debacle you engineered by your screwed up deployment plan (CCP Chronotis I'm looking at you and/or whoever you were listening to). Are you ever going to move those BPO items off the type of material definitions they currently have back to the type that have waste and are reprocess-able?

p.s. a knee-jerk reaction is best described by removing the word knee...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Next experiment

Ok, now to see if doing the extractors as the last submit before downtime has any effect on the instant completion.

setup 3 separate schematics in the 6 advanced processors
get all the materials in place.

Stagger the starts.
And lastly I get the extractors scanned and cycling at:

Now we wait for after downtime to see what the results are...

and at 12:42 eve time, I can confirm that none of the production plans got instant completed. So the bug/exploit is only kicked off by the most recent submit. Tomorrow we test if this is per planet or per character.

Incidentally I would have expected to see some material losses by now. It may be that CCP has fixed that (possibly causing the instant completion bug). Would have been nice if they had let us know if this is the case. Otherwise I've just been lucky with my start times....

This time

I almost got to use one of my Vagabonds last night... We had a Cyclone in Chaos Central. Unfortunately by the time I had fleeted up, he had exited the system. Ah well, can't win them all.

For the next test I am going to try to re-prove that only the latest submit on a planet gets the bug. So I setup a 20h job and a 40h job. 4 processors setup All materials there. This time I start both jobs one after the other. First the 20 h job. Hit submit. Then the 40h job. Started at 3:53 and 3:55 respectively. No further submits happen on character. We'll see what happens. I also intend to only log in after 12:00 eve time and hopefully I will cause the system to be loaded at that time. Here's what I'm hoping the results will be:

20h job on track but with 1 cycle gone poof (the destroyed materials bug)
40h job finished completely.

Lets see what we get...

12:05... extended downtime ... again ... time for a shower...

(incidentally all times I state are EVE times - in case that was not made clear).

Ok I did get the 40h finishing off at downtime - as expected and the 20h not finishing. Someone else caused the system to load so I was not able to get a positive result for that part of the test (the theory that the loss is related to the system loading...)

This at least confirms that the actual hour before downtime is irrelevant (I'm still setting it up withing the 15min before the hour though) and the bug shows up based on the most recent submit (no idea if it's for that planet or for the character though). Tomorrow's test will be to see if the submit for the extractors also causes the bug not to show up.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back to testing

Man these 24h testing cycles are crazy.

Anyways, still trying to test whether this bug/exploit handles multi-day instant completion. I'll get to trying to nail down specific parameters that make it not occur once this is done. So without further adieu, here is today's experiment:

3200 x Proteins
3200 x Biofuels
1600 x Industrial Fibers
1600 x Silicon

2 x Advanced Industry Facility with Livestock Schematic installed
2 x Advanced Industry Facility with Microfiber Shielding Schematic installed

All materials in place and routes setup and ready to hit submit by 10:42.
Submit hit at 10:50

Now just need to wait for downtime...

11:58 hits and bingo - got:

200 x Microfiber Shielding
400 x Livestock

in the storage shed.

This confirms that if you set up multiple day runs they WILL get finished off in 40 minutes. Sweet.

Monday, July 26, 2010

In other news

In preparations for changed in the month of September, I have taken down the tower of my high sec research corporation.

I can see everyone going "wait a sec... what high sec research tower?".

It works like this: I've blogged on the workings of towers and high sec research towers in specific before. So subject covered. This time around I decided that operational security demanded that I not reveal anything about it's existence out side the obvious. So for over a year I've had some alts up in high sec quietly researching and copying my entire blue print collection (currently at 822 BPOs). True if you knew what to look for you'd have found it quite easily. Any spies who spotted it (we're pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of EVE so its unlikely large alliances we have sent too many spies our way) congratulations. Pat yourselves on the back. If not, *shrug*, it's not like it matters now, does it?

Now for the major reason for taking it down: It used to be that researching at a tower, IF you could keep the slots fully occupied, was not only faster than research at high sec/low sec slots, it was actually cheaper. Now it is just faster (both in the literal per job sense and in the wait sense). Fuel prices have increased to the past the tipping point. I also reached end of the projected research needs for the foreseeable future. All my current ship BPOs have reached ME:20 (30 in the case of the Typhoon). All rig BPOs have been researched to perfect ME/20 PE. Just about all modules, ammo, and deploy-ables have been researched to 20 ME/20 PE. I've made massive "copy sets" for deployment to POS'es to enable them to be "self supporting" in T1 gear (damn handy if you don't want to risk your BPOs in wormhole space).

The point here is that the amount of PI necessary to support the tower, while not excessive was a bit too much considering I was reaching the end of what I want to research. Sure there's more PE research I could do, but CPP Chronotis never pushed through his desire to make PE more relevant. So time to close down the shop pending a pile up of serious research.

Of my 3 research alts, two of them are able to run 10 slots each of plain Jane research jobs, with the 3rd also at 10 slots but with a few necessary science skills thrown in to handle research on items needing science skills (Prototype Cloaks anyone?). Not up to T2 levels but that would be the next plan. These 3 guys are spread over two accounts, but hey can't have everything.

Moar results

Woke up Sunday at the correct time (barely) to get the experiment setup. Still had a bauble due to some materials being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The bauble revealed some interesting things however.

Here is the setup prior to waking up and logging in. Including the mistake. There are 4 relevant processors attached to my storage and in the storage I have the following:

1600 x Proteins
1600 x Biofuels (the mistake - lucky I had over 1600 Bacterias in a nearby spaceport)
3200 x Reactive Metals
3200 x Precious Metals

2 processors setup for Fertilizer
2 processors setup for Mechanical parts.

So I log in with 5 min to go (told you it was a little close to downtime). Rush to route the inputs. Have a problem with the biofuels not being accepted. Look at the configured schematic. Realize the Biofuels are wrong. Need Bacterias. Lucky enough bacterias are nearby. Hit submit for the existing routes which starts of the 40h of mechanical parts processing on two processors. Then I expedite the Biofuels out of the storage and the Bacterias into the storage. Route those and it submit a 2nd time. Lucky with 2 minutes to spare before downtime. So 40h reaction started at 10:56 and 20h of reactions started at 10:58...

Then I log back in at 11:35 to check what happened. Interesting the 40h reaction is proceeding as planed - currently with no losses. The 20h reaction however got insta-completed. From this I deduce that the instant completion on downtime bug is related to the most recent submit button. Whether it's relative to downtime or simply the most recent submit button is undetermined (more shit to test out - Yay!). However this is the 4th downtime where this effect has been observed when I setup the routing just before downtime. I'm beginning to suspect that it's related to the most recent submit button before downtime. Is this per planet or absolute per character? No clue (again more testing).

Again I still do not have enough of a handle to submit a bug report. Too many questions remain unanswered... Although the repeatability of the effect leads me to believe I'm getting closer to correctly understanding the mechanism.

Friday, July 23, 2010

More results

So this morning - 6 advanced processors - 20h of production each. Routed and hit submit at 10:50.

As usual - there was an extended downtime due to db issues.

Then when I actually log in at around 13:10 I find that I'm not the one to spawn the system. No, no, there are Russian core probes in the system. I find it amusing that we can at least figure out the client of the ship that launched probes language wise since the name of the probes seems to be client assigned.

However this makes the 3rd time I'm able to confirm full production completion if the production starts at 10:50... That at least looks mighty reproducible.


And the results from the staggered start:

The first two were no problem no losses (maybe that's fixed?) but they were on the correct schedule. Of course I could not test my "delayed startup of system" theory since I have no idea when the system got loaded. So I still need to test that part of the theory. The last set - the ones started at 10:50 however had accelerated production in the sense that the entire run got done. by the time I checked. Weather it was finished immediately or part way through the day - no clue.

The next test is to have all 6 processors start at 10:50. We'll see the results if there's no extended downtime in 40 minutes or so.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


So, I finally get up in time. Setup 3 separate start times for 3 separate schematics spread over 6 advanced processors. 10:25, 10:35, 10:50... Come to log back on at 11:40 to get the system in place and what happens? DB problems and extended downtime... Sometimes you just can't win...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


And for my 500th post, I didn't wake up in time to do a good test this morning... ah well there's always tomorrow...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back to testing

1) Finally I get my first Tech 2 BS weaponry skill: Large Artillery Specialization. And I immediately refit my POS bash BS... 49.3 mil SP only 700k untill I hit 50mil.

2) I've manufactured a Minmatar Control Tower Small out of resources I produced myself. Time to go sell it.

3) With that out of the way it's time to try and get the resource loss problem sorted so a series of experiments are going to be underway this week to try and determine what's causing the problem.

4) So after much cogitation and much trying to figure out what was causing the losses, I came up with a Theory. My theory is that the element that may be causing the problem was the fact that the loss may be related to the fact that wormhole systems are not loaded until the first person in that wormhole logs in or jumps in. This may be (in conjunction with downtime unloading the system) what is causing the losses and that would make it very hard to reproduce on Sisi but rather easy to reproduce on TQ.

5) So step one for testing out my theory is to setup a baseline. Make sure that a production cycle is started before downtime. Make sure the system is loaded before the cycle hits after downtime. Confirm there are no losses...

6) So I setup my P2/3/4 production planet with only 2 advanced processors locked and loaded with schematics and outbound routes (Biocells). Move 1600 of each of the materials (Biofuels and Precious Metals) into the storage shed (this is enough P1 material for 20h of processing for 2 advanced processors). setup the input routes and wait until 10:50 eve time to hit the submit. 10:50 rolls around and I hit submit. Confirm that the cycle has started - take screenshot etc...

7) Log back in at 11:35 eve time (downtimes are nice and short now). Confirm that I am the cause of the system being loaded (wormholers will know what I mean). Head over to the storage shed and see if we're still on track for the 11:50 cycle...

8) WTF???

9) Note that there are now 200 P2's (Biocells) in my storage locker... 20h of processing finished in 45 minutes...

Um... Exploit maybe? Going to see tomorrow if this is repeatable. Wish me luck. Incidentally thank you CCP for blowing up my baseline in such a creative way.

Is it just me or, between the SNAFU that we saw with the reprocessing of the stations into P4's and other shenanigans due to the screwed up deployment plans and the number of what seems to be different and unrelated bugs we've seen in PI, is PI the buggiest feature that CCP has released to date?

Friday, July 16, 2010

PI Cogitation

Well, I finally got around to updating my spreadsheet to include PI. Some interesting things are popping out: Raw materials are worth more than I thought. P1 and P4 are where the isk is. P2 and P3 are spotty. There has been a fundamental paradigm shift in infrastructure to fuel ratios. Now that fuel prices are actually tied to structure prices (since all the fuels area also components in a lot of structures), the ratio of fuel cost per month to structure cost are loosely linked. They used to be fixed. And the ratio has changed.

It's now cheaper than ever before to buy towers and POS modules (for the most part). However it is now much more expensive to run a tower. It's a good thing ice products are so cheap or this really would have hit the fan. It should be noted that this should not affect the small time tower operator in any way. Usually if you're a small time operator you'll be able to setup your main or your alt to do fuels and you'll be able to to keep going much as before. However once the pre-PI stockpiles run out, the major industriallists will need to take into account the new fuel costs for their moon harvesting and moon goo reaction towers.

There is good news: It is now cheaper than ever to replace infrastructure. The bad news: it's now more expensive to run the towers. This will have a long term impact on the price of moon goo, as well as POS research. Tower operators will now have to take the increased fuel costs into account when calculating the cost of their end products. We should see a reduction in proliferation of towers in the long run as the increased cost forces people to normalize their POS situation and make sure each POS they have out there is serving it's purpose in a cost effective manner. It also means that POSes are going to be easier to replace than they were in the past. This should lead to a reduction of the "fear" of pos loss being a limiting factor on POS placement decisions. But should lead to a more "cost centric" restriction on POS deployment as a whole.

One thing I think CCP has messed up in it's concept with PI is that it's mostly safe time wasting for a carebear. This is a nice change of pace compared to most other activities. Mining? constant exposure for the entire operation. Moon and refining? risk your infrastructure. Need to move goods from A to B? run the blockade. With this endeavor (PI) you only need to be exposed to danger during the hauling phase of the operation. And there are ways to minimize your exposure to danger during that phase as well. This makes it one of the safest ways to make isk in the game - but seriously time consuming. CCP might have done better to reduce the amount of time it takes to run repeated operations (as opposed to setting things up) thus allowing more time for the carebears to be at risk (like their other designs seem to want).

Oh well. No one ever said CCP's design team was consistent in sticking to principles.

CSM's Rock and Hardplace thing

Mynxee, in this post, complained that being on the CSM is like being between a rock and a hard place. This is true. But one cannot loose sight of the parameters under which they need to operate. The truth of the mater is that the parameters they are operating under back in April still apply.

CCP has overcommitment issues. Regardless of the fact that they have more personnel than they've ever had before, they also have more irons in the fire than they've ever had before. Even with the commitment to assign resources to address existing issues, there is still the truth that until DUST 514, Incarna and World of Darkness (possibly the worst kept secret in the universe based on CCP's corporate hiring page) have been deployed, there really is a limited amount of resources they can throw at the problems (admittedly, since WOD is not yet announced, they shouldn't have expectation issues on that front yet...).

As an asside to CCP - a little more staggered planning might be worthwhile if you want to avoid these programmer resource starvation issues you keep running into....

As for the Eva thing. Look there's an NDA they CSM members sign. CCP internal affairs is reputed to be rather anal retentive since the T20 incident that caused it's formation. The Larconis incident shows that CCP takes it's NDA seriously with regards to the CSM, and this includes making use of the privileged information granted the CSM members. Due to the amount of FUD and rumor mongering being thrown up around this issue, I can only conclude that something similar happened again. Draw your own conclusions. Personally I think it's a tempest in a teapot (no refference to Teadaze).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


And I'm back. Did some fuel runs and I must say that ice fuels are highly reasonable at the moment. I will admit that I need to add to my "costing spreadsheet of DOOM™". There is some stuff to fill out, I need to add PI stuff.

Ah PI how you love to frustrate me. As you can see I'm writing this during downtime. I did find out some nice effects due to a fuck up. Did you know that if part of your input hoppers are full but you need to change the schematic. If the next schematic uses some of the same material(s) that are in the input hopper - you don't loose what's in the input hoppers? Nice.

I will potentially find out in about 20min if the downtime material destruction bug kills material in the input hoppers. There is material in the input hoppers but no output cycle expected since not all the hoppers are full. We'll see if all materials survive the downtime. Probably, my personal suspicion is that it's the output cycle that gets killed during downtime.

My next post will concern the latest CSM shenanigans.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Way to f-ing early...

Hi all, my prediction that my presence online during my vacation would prove "sporadic" has come true. I have however managed to keep going with PI. I have even confirmed a way to AVOID losses. This is however not making me very happy with EVE online. Since it forces me to be up and online between the times of 7:30 and 8:30 am right before I go to work...

Fuck I thought we'd gotten rid of the forced timer stuff with skill queues... But nooooo, CCP has to go and resurect that thing with PI...

Not happy. No losses of materials so long as I make sure all P1->P2, P2->P3, P3/1->P4 production avoids downtime entirely. What a surprise.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Just warning you guys that my posts (not to mention my presence in game) will be iffy for the next 2-3 weeks - vacation - friends over from out of town - etc... etc... etc...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekends in wormholes

The guys from Thursday stayed around for friday. After confirming that the one guy we had a bead on was still in system, we eventually setup a bait hauler. Sure enough he bit (addressing the question in local: yes I was insulting your intelligence, but you bit anyways, amazing that...). So coz switched ships and warped in a hurricane onto the Arazu. Sure enough, Falcon and Pilgrim uncloak and strangely enough I managed to warp the bait hauler out (that did surprise me). They did however get Coz good and solid. Unfortunately we did not have the forces (pilots and ships setup for anti-Falcon work) at that moment to go after 3 cloaky recons. So the plan was to work on that the next day. They had left by Saturday evening though.

Got a newbie over the weekend. Since we live in wormhole space his learning curve just hit vertical. On the flip side we're providing pitons and ropes so it's not quite so insurmountable. "These are sleepers - they hit hard". Extra eyes and tackle frigates are always appreciated.

Progress (with ongoing material losses nach) is being made on the P4 front. I finally managed to pop two POS hardeners in some high sec manufacturing slots and this morning managed to get them and ship them to my POS. So my first end product made out of PI materials have been manufactured. I didn't get a lot of sites done last night but that's cool, I need to get some more PI worked out on my alts. That will be the objective this week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ganked - yawn.

I got ganked in w-space last night in one of my Covetors. Interesting, you get over 6mil for an un-insured Covetor now. I approve. Amusingly this is actually the first Covetor I've ever lost. Admittedly I wasn't paying enough attention. And I'm pretty suspicious that the guy had pre-scanned the grav belt. Dual pointed Arazu that waited for the hauler to be warping in before ganking both the Covetor and the hauler. Ex-goon so no real surprise he destroyed the wrecks and the jet cans. Patient so and so.

The fun may continue since I confirmed he was still in in system. We'll see.

Meanwhile. Although I still haven't actually built any item with P4, I've now got around 70% of my initial 4 P4 items built - 3 of which will be used for the first pos modules I am planning to build (some hardeners). The losses due to the downtime material blasting bug continue un-abated. Some people are reporting massive losses of PI materials due to the extended downtime. Good thing I planned around it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And someone dropped the web server

TQ is moving today. The original schedule had the web site coming back up at 15:00 UTC. It's 15:01 at the moment and the site shows 16:00 as the time for the website to come back up... After a full blown outage of a few minutes...

So, who do you think was the butterfingers who dropped the web server on the way over?

(Incidentally for the humor challenged - that was sarcasm - not a serious guess as to the delay)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ok, so one of the problems IS downtime related

So, using an alt I setup a high sec test bed and decided to do some robotics production from materials I got out of wormhole space. Here is the starting position:

At start

For these purposes we can ignore the extractors feeding the storage that feeds the basic processor that feeds the starport. The important part is that there is raw material in the NE storage (YT-UXT). These are routed to 4 advanced industrial facilities. Two are making Mechanical Parts. The other two are making Consumer Electronics. All the outputs are routed back to the storage. These are in turn routed to the fifth Advanced Industrial Facility to make Robotics. These are then directly routed to the starport. There are enough materials for 20 full cycles of the entire system. All 20 cycles worth of material start off IN the storage.

After Starting it up

This is after everything is kicked off. Note that there are enough materials for 18 cycles in the storage. The 4 advanced industrial facilities producing the P2 materials have a cycle in production and a cycle in the input hoppers. So far all cycles are at least accounted for.

Before Downtime

This is the situation just before downtime. 11 cycles of material in the storage. 1 in the 4 P2 processor's production, 1 in the 4 P2's input hoppers, 1 in the P3 production cycle and 6 cycles worth of final P3 output in the starport. Again at this point all materials are accounted for.

A half hour after downtime

Now this is a different situation. It's a half hour after downtime. This is about 3 h and definitely 3 cycles later. Note that we have 8 cycles of materials in the starport as expected. The Production cycles and input hoppers account once again for a total of 3 cycles of material. However there are only 7 cycles at the startport! There should have been 9!... This means that two entire cycles worth of materials have been blown away entirely.

After all cycles have finished

Sure enough there we go at the end of the production run we are missing two entire cycles of output! Thanks CCP!

My guess is that if an output cycle happens exactly when TQ is down the ouput is "lost", but the input is consumed correctly. TQ these days seems to be down for only about 1/2h And you need to be exact about when the cycle hits. This may be why when I started a cycle 5min before downtime it was fine and with no loss. When the next cycle it that time TQ was up. This time I seem to have nailed it.


More stuff. Well I was once again unable to reproduce the "destroy the materials" in the production chain on purpose. BUT I was able to get a screen shot of materials disappearing when shipping up to orbit.

What do you mean I don't have enough?!?

Immediately after this shot I moved the 1060 back to the spaceport column and it changed to 1040 and the volume changed. Then I shipped the other two up. Waited 10 and shipped the 1040 up without a problem. But the 20 got plain old blasted to smithereens. WTF CCP? I can understand the existence of the message. In case there was an outgoing route that cycled just after this was pulled up. Slight problem, there is no other outgoing route... So something else is reporting false quantities or some correction algorithm is deleting good quantities when it should not. Either way, this is bad.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More clues to the PI bug.

Once again I had some missing materials. Due to something I was checking prior to the losses registering, I think I have a clue as to what is happening. I also had an extraction cycle re-set it self in mid cycle. I.e. I had the planet doing a 23h extraction cycle on all extractors on the planet. I then did something last night and this morning when I went to do the extractors, they showed exactly 11h left to go when they should have been dead. The thing is that what I had done was setup a route for one of 3 materials to a high tech processor. Then before submitting it I hit cancel. Which should mean there would have been no effect. However, this morning, that specific material had 1 cycle of materials missing... After I had exported something else out of storage it was residing in...

This is building up to be a sequence of events to check to see if I can reproduce this event reliably. The good news is that at least after every loss I'm getting closer to being able to reproduce the bug. This is good. The fact it's tricky to reproduce explains how it got missed in development. So careful with that cancel button.


I'd like to congratulate Pandemic Legion [-10.0] on their victory in the 8th alliance tournament. I'd also like to congratulate Hydra Reloaded on their 2nd place, and all participants for a great show. Circle of two for having more balls than brains (admittedly humongous balls). If you could get a Freki off the market for 30bil and you wanted to buy one with plexes and you estimated 300mil per plex and 34.99 US$ for each two plexes this works out to around 1750 US$ per Freki. They lost 3. Balls... This tournament made my Matari heart proud. Many good Matari centric squadrons were fielded and they once again proved to be highly effective.

As a side note, One of the reasons we see a lot of matari setups in the alliance tournament and not as many on TQ is a testament to the fact that matari ships are trickier to fly. They tend to need more skills. If you noticed there were both armor and shield setups well represented on the winning side of battles. There's also the fact that there tends to be plenty of mixed weapons systems with rather flexible ships and you get a situation where you need high SP and highly skilled pilots both. The tournament has plenty of highly skilled high SP pilots, so we end up seeing plenty of matari setups. We suffer in PvE and we suffer when we're low SP compared to the other factions but it pays off eventually.

There was also plenty of T3 representation. This is good for my T3 production since the tournament definitely showcased the flexibility of the T3 hulls. There were plenty of original uses and off-standard fits of both the Lokis and the Proteus. The Tengu suffered from it's usual "super Drake" syndrome. A little more originality would be needed there. And the Legion showed it's not as weak as people make it out to be if used properly. Mind you that was Pandemic Legion using it and they've proven they can bring just about any setup to a fight and win.

So once again, congratulations to the winners.

Friday, June 18, 2010

18th Blog Banter

Once again it is time for a blog banter. As is my wont, sometimes I participate, sometimes not. Depends on the question.

Welcome to the eighteenth installment of the
EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by none other than me, CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

On May 6th 2010, EVE Online celebrated its 7th Anniversary. Quite a milestone in MMO history, especially considering that it is one of the few virtual worlds out there to see its population continually grow year after year. For some of you who've been here since the very beginning, EVE has evolved quite a lot since its creation. With the expansion rolling out roughly twice a year, New Eden gets renewed and improved regularly. But, how about you the player? How has you gaming style evolved through the years or months since you've started playing? Have you always been a carebear, or roleplayer? Have you only focused on PvP or have you given other aspects of the game a chance - say manufacturing. Let's hear your story!

Well yes my play style has considerably evolved. From those tentative premature steps into low sec before I was ready (in a hauler - don't ask), to the current wormhole existence (Lokies included), my play style has considerably evolved. All players are guaranteed this. The reason is simple. Your options are rather limited in the beginning when you are restricted to frigates. Things grow from there. The thing to remember, is that once you max out your skills on a particular vessel, it makes you no more nor no less capable in other vessels. But over the years, as skills pile up skill plan by skill plan you unlock more and more capabilities. These never go away. So you always keep your old capabilities as you add layers on layers.

There is also the attitude shift as you progress through the game. From the indignation of getting your ore stolen for the first time to "what is that miner doing not paying attention to the space around him? *squish*". First you must make "peace" with the concept of "write off the ship before you un-dock". Then you must get your mind around the "small corp/alliances can't get involved in big things" and there's nothing wrong with joining a large organization. Also a corp of just newbies is fine in something like a theme park MMO, but not necessarily optimal for EVE. Then there is "Politics count".

Finally there is more combat oriented aspects of the game where you must learn about tracking, tackling, shield vs armor tank, etc, etc, etc. In places EVE is a deep and subtle game. Knowing when to switch from Barrage M to Nuclear M is an acquired skill (which incidentally takes planning to use since you have to be smart enough to make sure your ship has supplies of both to pull it off). Your acquisition of skills, your growing knowledge of the game mechanics, your connections within and without the game. They all feed on each other to change your experience as you go along. How you handle the first big burnout, how you play after that etc etc etc...

One thing that helps enormously is that EVE continues to evolve. I can distinctly remember making the comment a few years ago that "until they let us build towers and stuff like that, they aren't serous about this player run market thing". I'm currently making the items required to manufacture towers. Incarna (whenever gets here) is poised to change things again. The balance between the ships is better than it's been in years. Still some adjustments to make but things are coming along. I look forward to the Rocket fix. I look forward to the assault frigates getting their 4th bonus. Formations, T3 frigates and modules, lag fixes. As each of these additions to the game happens they will continue to change the way we play, newbies and veterans alike.

At some point this fall, I will have reached the milestone where I've played the game for exactly half the amount of time it's been live. Not to mention 50mil skill points at some point soon (I'm at 47.8 atm). In all that time, the game has changed and how I've played it has changed. It keeps it from being stale. It will be interesting how DUST 514 integrates.