Monday, 29 September 2014

The Waaaagh fizzled out

This will be a depressingly short post.

The wormhole operation is complete, It was a one sided battle where the attackers overwhelmed the defenders with some loot recovered.

Reinforcement Time


Scouts had been watching the tower over the weekend and multiple T1 and T2 large bubbles were anchored ensuring the there could be no escape from the tower if anyone did login and think of making a run. 

A ransom, of 3 billion ISK, was formally demanded to stop the assault and for us to leave but no reply or parley was received from the defenders. 

But at some point during the wait for the reinforcement timer to expire someone did login and made the decision to self-destruct the following ships so as to prevent them being looted by our forces:
  • Archon
  • Moros
  • Revelation
  • Orca
  • Sin
  • Armageddon
  • 2 x Legion
  • Dominix
  • 2 x Hulk
  • Primae
  • Numerous additional mining barges, industrials and T1 frigates.

Approximately 12 billion ISK in ships were destroyed with an unknown amount of modules/salvage/materials being put into a Rorqual that was then logged off within the POS.

Scouts will remain, watching for the Rorqual to log on...

The Final Assault


The operation started at 07:30 EVE time on Sunday and was complete by 08:15 EVE time, 12 million Armour and 8 million Structure HP was melted very quickly by a fleet comprised of:

  • Ishtars
  • Vexor Navy Issues
  • Oracles

and it certainly helped that the fleet was four times the size of the one we used on Friday night to reinforce the tower.

The operation was over so quickly that I failed to take screenshots and the two pilots whom were logged in, one in a Manticore, did not attempt to interfere with the remainder of the operation.

*UPDATE* Trinket's Friend has posted a more detailed overview of the POS bash and its worth a read. I didn't think it was my place to release all this information so that's why I haven't gone into as much detail. That said, TF does a much better narrative about this than I would have so have a read.

Loot


All incapacitated POS modules bar the Domination Webifiers were killed and any that could be recovered were and about 2.3 billion ISK of loot dropped from the Corporate Hanger Arrays and a couple of ships (including a Nighthawk) were left to be collected.

It wasn't as profitable as recent bashes that have appeared on news sites but for a C1 it was pretty good and all parties were happy with the way things have ended. No word on how the loot will be divided but with only one loss for the whole operation there isn't much need for SRP.

The Final Word


Bex had the final word, typing in local (not the safe POS password as we expected) but a small barb for the defenders who didn't turn up:
12B isk self destructed in hulls
2.3B isk in hard earned stuffs dropping to the loot fairy
Calling your aggressors space rich in local.... priceless.
It was a good bash, lead well and I met some new pilots whom I liked. If there was a report card it would be full of A's with the final comment of "good fun, will work with again".

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Waaaagh continues

Assembly


We were slow to assemble, the Avengers we are not.

There was some nice banter going on in teamspeak and it was very enjoyable hearing a mixture of Aussies and Brits as we were getting ready for the POS bash. There was quite a lot going on but the most amusing thing to happen pre-bash was listening to Trinket's Friend lose his Golem in a wormhole. 

Props to him he took the loss like a true Bitter Vet and "it's only pixels" was said a few times but he received a lot of laughter and friendly abuse for it. He was rechristened "Captain Lossmail" so as not to forget what had happened.

The Target


As I'd said before the Intel was excellent so we had bookmarks on each of the main defence arrangements and once we were assembled our rag tag fleet of Vexor Navy Issues, Oracles and Prophecy's supported by two Guardians were warped to a point outside of range of the guns of the tower.

True Sansha Control Tower, mixture of guns, webs/scrams and ECM
Bex called time on our preparations and we warped in at 75km from the nearest defence group and started firing on the warp disruptor battery. DPS wasn't too bad although the Warden II's I was using couldn't hit so I had to move in a bit closer and use Valkyrie II's.

We took, on average, five minutes to incapacitate a module so we focused on what was an immediate threat or in the case of ECM what was annoying the hell out of our logi. The Domination Webifiers had an effective 97.5% reduction in speed to any targeted vessel but as we were stationary most of the time it was not an issue.

Pilots Appear


Just after we had finished the second or third module we saw a pilot login and warp into the middle of the POS in an Anathema. Intel had found previously that this pilot could use POS guns so we weren't surprised when the sporadic fire we were receiving started getting more focused and ECM batteries were attacking our logi more frequently.

No C-Beams glittering in the dark here
Fortunately even with a POS gunner the small and medium guns on the POS were no match for our buffers and logi so no ship was ever in any danger but after a while we noticed that the guns were targeting our sentry drones and this was successful in disrupting our operation to the extent that we switched from using sentries to drones and killing whatever guns were closest so we could use sentries again.

One of the targets used a Nighthawk to try to kill drones for about 45 minutes and he'd exit the force field and fire a few missile volleys before retreating, rather fast, into the safety of the forcefield. Impact was negligible and after a while we ignored him enough that he stopped doing it.

Poking out of the force field to fire a volley or two

After Downtime


Downtime approached and we safed up after incapacitating over half of the defences that were present and the decision was made to attack the tower after DT from the hole we had created in the defences.

A number of pilots also took the opportunity to refit their ships for closer ranged damage and this would have the effect of nearly doubling the fleet DPS. All the better for taking down the tower, which has a mind numbing 48 million HP in shields. Armour is a little better at 12 million HP but at least that should take only a quarter of the time it took us (8 hours) to take the shields down.

We finished the reinforcement phase a little before 3pm EVE Time after having started at around 8am EVE Time. I left rather quickly due to really needing to sleep but I understand that the tower was covered in T1/T2 bubbles and noone has been seen since logging in.

Keeping Sane


POS bashes are mind numbing, they are about as much fun as having a colonoscapy is what I once heard someone say. Fortunately teamspeak with the fleet was both lively and enjoyable, several people were of a similar sense of humour to me and I had a great time listening and laughing at others expense.

Some of the things that made us laugh and passed the time:
  • Architeuthis Rex using google translate to try to communicate with the targets (who were either Serbian, Russian or from Eastern Europe) resulting in quite a lot of banter and confusion, theirs and ours.
  • I tried to ransom the tower for 2.5 billion ISK, promising that "I'd leave if I was paid". I was not paid.
  • I also translated the Rolf Harris song "Tie Me Kangeroo Down Sport" into Serbian (Google Translate again) and spend 5 minutes copy/pasting this in local. The targets were not impressed, so I just linked them the youtube video at which point we didn't hear from them again.
  • Weird Wally putting various comments and (bad) jokes into local and fleet in order to entertain, there were several space tumbleweeds seen
  • Althanear finally having to face reality that his girlfriend could get work as a Chris Lillie lookalike

It was a fun night, I met a lot of great people and I'm considering putting an alt into this group so I can join in the fun on a more regular basis.

Special mention to our high sec eyes, a strange Aussie (with breasts) from Canberra, Johnno Ormand who did a fantastic job keeping our fleet safe from high sec visitors and keeping us awake with good questions.

357th Typing Pool Star of Derp


By far the funniest moment came from Bex, not content with forever being ribbed about bringing the "wrong sized crystals for his guns" when T3 battlecruisers were released he has been awarded a medal by his corp for:
Glorious service in typography disemination and cryptography.
The medal was awarded for typing our fleet safe POS forcefield password in Local when someone asked our targets what their POS password was.

Local is not for Passwords dear Bex
There was consideral mirth and laughter after that happened and Bex will never live that down.

Next Phase


The next phase is due Sunday night Australian time, there was a full stront bay so we have to now wait the 1 day 17 hours for the tower to exit reinforcement so we can continue the assault and kill it.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Unleash the Navy Vexor Issue of Waaaagh!

Bex asked and I said Yes. It is party time in wormhole space this weekend. There is an eviction operation and general "if not purple shoot it" event happening.

I'm not really a PvP person but in this case its been a while since I've taken part in a POS bash in wormhole space that I'm actually quite looking forward to it. 

Operation


I know more about the target than I do some family members because planning has been excellent. As usual Bex has done his research and we have lists of targets, activity information and details of what has been happening in the target wormhole.

Tower vulnerabilities have been identified and weaponry tailed to inflict maximum damage and spots around all towers have been bookmarked ready for use.

Cast


Two of my usual compatriots, Bex and Althanear, are once more involved but this time I get to fly with a few people I've not had the pleasure before. 

I am a regular reader of a blog called Localectomy by an Western Australian based EVE player called Trinket's Friend. He writes well and his content is excellent, I've spoken once before to him but this is the first time I'll be working in the same fleet as him and I'm looking forward to it.

New challenges mean more new people to meet in EVE. Gotta love that.

Shipping into Waaaagh Mode


I've decided not to use my "main" characters for this operation and instead I'll be using a former friends character who has 72m skillpoints and has excellent Projectile, Drone and Minmatar/Gallente ship skills. He's not done much for a few months but he's got the skills needed for this operation so out of stasis he comes.

Awake after a long sleep
My first choice for a POS Bashing ship would be an Oracle but he can't fly this so looking down the list of ships I see the Navy Vexor Issue using Sentry Drones. He can fly this and by luck this is the ship he used for PvE'ing in high sec when he was more active.

The fit needed some work but an outlay of 50m ISK has upgraded the ship and fit to match that for the operation. We're ready to roll.

Althanear found out the nearest high sec entry to the wormhole and we all met there on Thursday night. We moved in and located safe spots to idle in until called upon.

Waiting


We've been waiting, watching and readying ourselves for the attack. Just waiting for the order to assemble and attack.

Pictures and details to come after the operation has completed, of course based on previous experience we are hoping for a lack of stront in the towers...

*Bing* - Proposed Invention and Reverse Engineering changes

Another week, another devblog to review. This time details on changes to Invention and Reverse Engineering that did not make it into Crius.

Summary


First the really bad news, this will not be released in Oceanus or any time soon. These changes are being worked on now and have no release date.

Proposed changes are good, simplification of Invention and Reverse Engineering process and skills required mean it will be easier to get into and, I hate to use this analogy but it fits, level the playing field for all players new or veteran.

A change to the base success change also could, long term, see more T2 ships being available on the market or as blueprint copies. But the best change of all is that inventing will be changed so that only a single run is needed of a blueprint, meaning maximum run copies will yield multiple copies instead of one.

Skill Changes


Skill/item requirements for Invention will be changing. In their investigation CCP found that Electronic Engineering and Mechanical Engineering skills and data cores were being overused whilst some Racial Encryption Skills were not as intuitively used as they could. 

As a result a number of ships, modules and ammunitions are having their required skills and/or racial skills changed:

Changes to skills for invention
Skills required for Tech 2 manufacturing are also receiving a major change with the "construction" skills needed being changed to 1 instead of 4 or 5 they are now and as compensation for those who have trained this each extra level will yield a construction Time Efficiency reduction.

Invention and Reverse Engineering Merge


Comparing the two is confusing but they have almost the exact same look and feel. CCP decided that based on feedback and usage these two separate entities should be merged and just called Invention. In short Invention will be the future activity to describe the industrial activity that will yield advanced blueprints regardless of Tech level.

Using a Tech I blueprint will result in a Tech II blueprint copy or using an Ancient Relic will result in a Tech III blueprint copy.

Data cores and Decrypters will still play a part in the process, with Decrypters being expanded to affect Tech III blueprints, but Data Interfaces are going to be removed the game (yes!) and Meta items will no longer influence the quality of a blueprint.

Teams, much like in manufacturing, are being expanded to include invention and will function much the same but their bonuses will apply only to Invention.

Invention Outcomes


By far the most interesting changes (to me) is the introduction of the outcome gradient for Invention and the tweaking to the base success chance for all blueprints.

Rather than the binary style Success/Failure only indicator these changes will now see each Invention job have one of eight possible outcomes (four each of Success/Failure). Each has a benefit either in the end result:
  • Success has a change of improving the base ME/TE) 
  • Failure has a chance of a % of the data cores used being being returned
The new outcomes are as follows:

  • Success (exceptional): yields a ME 2 and TE 3 bonus to the outcome
  • Success (great): yields a ME 1 and TE 2 bonus to the outcome
  • Success (good): yields a TE 1 bonus to the outcome
  • Success (standard): basic unmodified outcome
  • Failure (standard): 50% of datacores returned
  • Failure (poor): 25% of datacores returned
  • Failure (terrible): 10% of datacores returned
  • Failure (critical): no datacores returned

The probability that one of the new Success/Failures occurs is as follows:


The new outcome gradient of eight is an excellent change, no more do we have "success or failure" only but now we see a tangible benefit to success (increased ME/TE) but also a form of compensation in data cores being returned if we fail.

Base Success Chance


CCP are changing the base success chance for item types, not so much to compensate or restrict what is available but it should see a base chance increase of 5% for all invention.

The change also, finally, formally documents what chance when inventing rigs, capital ships (for the future perhaps) and sets all Mining Barges in the same chance tier:

Old Base Chance
40% - Modules and Ammo
30% - Frigates, destroyers, Freighters and Skiff
25% - Cruisers, Industrials and Mackinaw
20% - Battlecruisers, Battleships and Hulk

New Base Chance
40% - All modules, rigs and ammo
35% - Frigates and Destroyers
30% - Cruisers, battlecruisers, Mining Barges, Industrials and Ore Industrial
25% - All battleships, Industrial Command Ship
20% - Capital and Capital industrial ships

Roughly a 5% base chance increase for ships may not seem a lot but spread out over 200 attempts its a good increase of about 10 over the old base.

Multiple Invention Runs


Invention is seeing a major change in how blueprints are consumed with the process now using only a single run of a blueprint copy instead of the whole blueprint copy. This, wonderfully, opens up a future change to allow Invention to be semi-automated and no longer require manual input after each Invention attempt.

Imagine being able to kick off an invention run on a 100 run copy of a module and return a week or two later to see 40 Tech 2 variants and a heap of returned data cores from the run rather than having to check after each individual run.

This is a great change that should do a lot to make invention less cumbersome and more useful, all the changes since Crius to industry have been good in the UI/behaviour columns and its excellent to see this continuing.

In Summary


Read the devblog, it has lots more pictures and explains in more depth what the proposed changes are. The changes ARE going to be good, it may well see an influx of people who will now give invention a proper try instead of seeing the skill requirements as a barrier and not bothering.

Looking forward to seeing this evolve with user feedback and see how it changes but the announced content is enough to make me quite excited at Invention for the future.

Grinding for Jita

Not that kind of grinding, this is a continuation of trying to get standings for my Jita alt to the highest possible in order to benefit from a lowering of my brokering fees.

Lower Broker Fees


At the moment my Jita alt has standings of 4.05 with Caldari Navy which allows him to have a 0.10% reduction in Broker fees (0.65% vs. 0.75%). I do a large proportion of my buying/selling in Jita so the lower I can make this the better. At least I think it is.

I haven't done much with about this since I got the standings to 4.05 via a combat alt running missions for Caldari Navy. I won't bore you with the details (which I recorded) but it took about three days of missioning in a Vexor Navy Issue and a lot of patience with Level 3 missions.

My friend Althanear pointed me TSCA and their "standing correction service" and I was considering using it but reading Merchant Monarchy on Tuesday I was pleasantly surprised to see MoxNix do a fantastic post on how he was thinking of doing the same and he even went as far as mention Caldari Data Agents.

Data Centers

"This is a standard Data Center, built-in with a long range scanner to search for interesting phenomenon in the solar-system. They are usually packed with tourists and holiday-goers but have also been known to attract agents looking to hire freelancers for various tasks. These Data Centers were first produced by the Gallente corporation The Scope, but have since been mimicked by corporations in other nations due to their popularity."
There are Data Centres for each of the major empires that give a significant boost to faction standings for turning in a quantity of specific tags. No mission to run, you just turn up with tags convo the agent and accept the mission to provide the tags.

Standings get an immediate boost for a modest ISK investment, because you'll need to buy enough from the market, and whilst you can only do it once the boost you get is worth the cost of any tags. If you use buy orders you can save money but I just bought straight off the market (all tags I would need cost me just over 250m ISK) and it was easily worth it based on the long term savings.

One thing to note, if you want to get standings for use in Jita use only the Caldari Navy agents and not the Home Guard ones. Positive standings are good but you'll only benefit in Jita 4-4 from the standings to Caldari Navy.

*UPDATE* A comment from MoxNix shows I was wrong in what I was sayingwhen I believed that it was Station Owner standings that were more important than faction for altering the broker fee. Turns out the Faction has more weight than the station owner.

So I'm off back to Data Centers with more tags for more standings :)

Should I Do It


If you're going ot be using a trading alt in a major trade hub I'd say its worth getting their standings up to at least 6 with the owner of the station. The better the standings the the better the bottom line will be.

If you can spare a little ISK and some time (less than an hour) to do Data Centers then I don't see any reason why not to do it. If you have a PvE character who can run missions for the owner of the station you can do that and share any bounties and standings increases with your trading alt as well.

In time you'll save a lot more ISK than you spend.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The peril of ignoring my Internal Auditor

I'm rather pissed off at the moment two things happened on Friday, both are my because of something I did. I wasn't drunk, too tired or in any way incapacitated that I could use to explain this, I was just plain stupid for ignoring my internal auditor.

Mistake One


A mistake on one character meant I accepted a contract I should not have whilst I was doing a large courier contract move all because I wasn't paying attention when I saw the contract, I just accepted it. Sorted it out late last night but haven't had a chance to speak to my CEO and make sure he understands it was an accident and make sure we're good.

Mistake Two


But the biggest mistake I made on Friday involved Large and Capital Rigs and cost me, all up, nearly twenty billion ISK in wealth.

The story is long, involves buy/sell orders over four characters at various trade hubs in New Eden, and is not something I wish to share just now in detail. I have taken notes/screenshots and I may write up exactly how stupid I was in-depth for a later post.

But suffice to say, I should have listened to that voice in my head, whom I call my Internal Auditor, who crops up now and again when I'm playing EVE and about to do something obviously stupid but I am still going to...


Shortish Version


I enjoy making rigs, Large and Capital sized because they sell well and I've got good supplies, via Buy Orders, in a few locations of Salvage materials. Blueprint copies can be found easily for Tech 2 rigs and are usually priced well, often I get them for under their actual value. Profits are good on T1 and T2 variants and I've been very happy.

As a result of being undercut each time I added rigs for sale or changed active sell order prices I was undercut, usually by only a tenth of an ISK but as time wore on it was twenty thousand, hundred thousand or in the case of T2 rigs it was millions at a time.

Unfortunately I did not listen to my most vocal stakeholder when they saw what was happening and stop I kept going and I sold a lot of my T1/T2 rigs at less than my alarm level of 4% profit instead of my usual 15%/20%. I'm pretty sure I sold the majority at less than the actual cost price to produce but because I'd made them weeks/months using materials at the time I don't have records any more on the material prices.

To compound the errors I was making in rigs I also was trying to buy more rig blueprint copies, salvage materials and a few other things. I wasn't paying attention and bought more than I needed and in a couple of cases paid far too much for materials.

Lessons


When the rigs started changing prices I should have quit, it was well after DT and I should have gone to bed but I didn't listen to my Internal Auditor and quit when I should have. The end result being I've lost nearly 20 billion in wealth in less than one day.

I've seen where I've gone wrong and I've learnt the lesson, fortunately this wasn't the RL stock market where it would have a seriously implication. 

That isn't to say this doesn't have an impact on EVE for me. I'm going to have to make this money back and a couple of manufacturing projects I was looking into I'm going to have to postpone until I do because I no longer have the liquid ISK available.

I need to make sure I don't make the same mistakes again and I've learnt a hard lesson because I didn't listen to my Internal Auditor.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Oceanus Announced

Over the weekend CCP announced, via devblog, the feature list for the next expansion due on the 30th September 2014.

I've read it a few times now and I've absorbed the comments on Reddit and the comprehensive preview by TMDC (really 646 words is comprehensive is it?) and I'm still left considerably underwhelmed by what is to come.

Opening Comment


To me there is very little for the average player, sure Interceptors and Interdictors are getting another rebalance (which I do think is needed) but aside from the start of the named module rebalancing (although this only starts with a renaming) there are no significant features or changes of benefit for the average player.

Name


I'm not a fan of the name, every time I see it I think of Oceanic I think of water and things NOT associated with EVE Online. I did the customary google search on the name and found this

In short, Oceanus was believed, by ancient Greeks and Romans, to be the an enormous river encircling the world, which was divine personification of the World Ocean, 

What this has to do with EVE Online I can't begin to imagine, what does a river have to do with spaceships in space? Given the feature set its fitting, a bunch of hooey for a release of hooey.

Features


The translation of EVE Online into French is long overdue, I always thought it was strange that there was a Japanese, German and Russian translations but one of the largest groups (French language) did not have a localised translation.

Mac users get an update but as I don't use a Mac and I don't know anyone who does to play EVE I can't really comment further.

Burner missions get an update, the "logistics friend" seems like a good variant but I've yet to try one of these missions and I have been put off attempting one after reading about how difficult people have found them. I know people are finding fits that work but I'm just not interested in frigate sized missions at the moment.

Named module naming changes. Not much can be said, the names will be changed and statistics will be updated later, in a later expansion. There is a devblog due on this that will explain how this will be done and I'm actually very interested in this as it will be a good indicator on how meta modules are going to be rebalanced.

There are a few graphical updates, the most visible one being a rework of the cloaking animation, more ship skins with changes opening up the possibility of customizable ship skins in a later expansion without impacting existing ship skins.

The largest graphical update will be to the visual appearance of wormholes with (hopefully) pilots now being able to identify the type of wormhole and whether or not their ship will be able to use it just by looking at it. CCP released an image of the changes but no labelling on the image we don't know what each wormhole means.

I'm most happy with the announcement that it will be a lot easier to import fittings from external tools such as EFT/pyfa and BattleClinic from the clipboard instead of having to mess around with xml files and the in-game EVE fitting tool. 

Notifications get an overhaul with the introduction of the new in-game opt-in all-in-one-location notification system and options to configure how and what notifications you'll see in various levels of detail. More details are to come in a yet to be released devblog.

There are a lot of small changes too, more tool tips for market groups/categories, new music (wait... EVE Online has sound/music!?), previews for the New Eden store and lots of "under the hood" changes to the game.

What About Null Sec


At the end of the devblog CCP mentioned the following:
The design team of EVE Online are working actively on changes to the game mechanics impacting null security space. The Council of Stellar Management are coming to Reykjavik for the CSM Summit next week, and directly after the summit we will bring the full discussion about the plans to the EVE community. Read more in this forum thread.
I don't know if we'll see anything in Oceanus, I doubt it, but gathering community feedback and assembling members of the CSM together in Iceland with CCP is the start. CCP obviously have ideas but tempering these with feedback from the CSM/player base will take time and I don't think we'll see any changes for at least another expansion or two.

Conclusion


Oceanus isn't a great or inspiring name for an expansion based on the features we've been told are coming, Perhaps they should just drop the Ocea from the name and go with Anus as the expansion name, it would then succinctly describes the release for most players I'd wager.

I don't see any changes coming from the Null/Sov Warfare summit considering there are only 15 days (from when this is written) until release and the list of features really is small and will not have a huge impact on the game.

That said, we can't have great expansions every time maybe Oceanus is the "take out the trash" release for 2014 but some changes here are groundwork that later, better features, will be built upon.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Expanding the Capital Fleet

I have a number of Capital ships on my characters, the investment in these ships is not inconsiderable and usually I've had to purchase bits over time rather than in one large swoop.

Recently I've found myself in need of a Moros as it provides the best offensive fire power and survivability. It helps too that a lot of my friends have these at their disposal so I've been able to get good example fits to help plan my expenditure.

Fit


I've decided on the following fit, it has maximum punch but also should survive all but a counter drop and, of course, I won't be using it solo it will be used in a fleet where I'll have sub-capital and logistics support (hopefully):

[Moros]
Limited Mega Ion Siege Blaster I, Guristas Antimatter Charge XL
Limited Mega Ion Siege Blaster I, Guristas Antimatter Charge XL
Limited Mega Ion Siege Blaster I, Guristas Antimatter Charge XL
Siege Module II

Heavy Capacitor Booster II. Navy Cap Booster 800
Heavy Capacitor Booster II. Navy Cap Booster 800
Sensor Booster II
Tracking Computer II, Tracking Speed Script
Tracking Computer II, Tracking Speed Script

Damage Control II
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Capital Armor Repairer I
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer

Capital Hybrid Collision Accelerator II
Capital Trimark Armor Pump I
Capital Trimark Armor Pump I

The Mids and Low can be interchangeable and I will make sure to keep a Reactive Armor Hardner and extra Tracking Computers/Tracking Enhancers/Magnetic Field Stabilizer's (using faction modules over 3 is a waste I believe, the benefit is outweighed by the stacking penalty) over handy for quick refits as with carrier support I shouldn't need the Capital Armor Repair

Out of Siege this should put out (with Level V skills) 1598 DPS or 7013 per volley but in Siege it increase to (a quite ridiculous) 15018/65925 using Guristas Antimatter Charge XL.


Hull


I wasn't interested in manufacturing my own hull this time, had it been six months ago that would be different and I could use blueprints either I own or my corporation has to make the ship hull myself., but at the moment I wasn't interested in the logistics of getting minerals and manufacturing the parts in my Null sec home.

Distant, mechanical, relative of Slimer from Ghostbusters?
A friend linked that he was selling his T2 fit Moros, that was worth about 3.1b according to Evepraisal, located in Low Sec near to Jita and was asking for offers, after analysing the fit and consulting other contracts on sale I decided to offer 2.5b with an upper limit of 2.75b. I made my offer but unfortunately he didn't come back to me for a few days and in that time I managed to find and purchase a Moros with meta guns from another friend.

Had he come back earlier I would have taken the ship but alas it was another good friend, Grand Visor, who manufactured the ship, meta guns and two of the rigs for me at a price under market value. He was even kinda enough to move it to a system closer to me so I could easily get access to fit it out.

If you're interested in capital ships and are looking for excellent service and competitive prices contact Grand Visor.

Modules


I'd already worked out the fit via pyfa and fortunately a lot of the modules I needed I already owned and had stored in my home system but I would need to get a small shopping list of items unfortunately these were reasonably expensive items.

Once I determined what I had and needed my shopping list looked like this:
  • Capital Hybrid Collision Accelerator II x 1
  • Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane x 2
  • Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer x 3
  • Capital Armor Repairer I
  • Guristas Antimatter Charge XL x 10,000 
  • Shadow Antimatter Charge XL x 10,000
  • Antimatter Charge XL x 20,000
  • Navy Cap Booster 800 x 200

All up my shopping list meant I would not be getting much change out of 750m ISK, still a ship deserves the best fit you can afford and so I've bought what I needed and moved it to the ship for fitting.

The ammunition for the guns was the hardest decision I had to make, a lot of people had differing opinions on what to carry and use in various circumstances but the one type always listed was Antimatter. Faction ammo is hard to find and can be expensive but the extra few % damage it provides is worth it.

Cargohold


Aside from extra cap boosters, scripts, stront and extra ammo the one thing I was reminded to keep in the cargohold was a Mobile Cynosural Jammer. You may not need to use it but having one available when in a situation that calls for one is very useful.

Of course in larger fleets this can be delegated to other support ships but it doesn't hurt to be carrying one for those "oh shit" moments when you really need one.

Name


The ship was called "1" when it arrived and I decided this needed to change, I couldn't think of anything I really liked when I was fitting the modules but later I had an epiphany and decided I'd name it after a ship I once saw Grand Visor flying that I loved the name of.

As such, and I couldn't get anyone famous to smash a bottle of Quafe on I so I had to do it myself, I named the ship "Fuzzy Bear Limited".

The name makes me laugh every time I see it and has actual connotations in real life to a nickname I once had in school. I'm probably going to regret mentioning that when my friends see this but what the hell...

Skills To Complete


The pilot of this Moros has, what I'd classify as, basic skills for the ship and its weapons but he is training those now and should, in about 100 days have Gallente Dreadnought V, Capital Hybrid Turret V and all the gunnery support skills to Level V.

He's finishing off the Siege Module skill now so that he can use the Tech 2 version and once he's done that he'll be ready for use and then in about 100 days he'll be maximum skilled in flying this ship and applying the maximum fire power that he can from it.

To Finish 


The skills need some work but the ship is assembled and now in a staging system ready to be called upon when needed.

I'm almost tempted to put up a small tower myself just to have an excuse to get Fuzzy Bear Limited. out and pulverize it.

Most useless Blueprints?

I nominate the entire Blueprints->Ammunition & Charges->Scripts category.



I can understand the need to have blueprints for these items but I imagine who would actually own one, let alone admit to owning one.

For 99.999999999% of EVE pilots there is no need for these blueprints and any profit from them must be negligible (not that I've checked).

You can't invent from them, there aren't Optimal Range Script II's or Tracking Speed Script II's for you to build, so I can't see the real benefit of owning one. There exist THOUSANDS of them in market hubs, I don't see the need to make your own.

Sure if you're stuck in a WH without a high sec connection or the back end of null being able to manufacture your own would be useful and of course someone has to populate the trade hubs with them.

The requirements to build one make no sense either, minerals are needed to make a script. In what universe do you need minerals and not data scripts or computer output to make something that modifies the working of a module?



It just seems so.... 


Breaking News:

I just realised that I can reprocess scripts to get minerals, not huge amounts but minerals none-the-less. I have hundreds of the bloody things all over New Eden, instead of selling them (or giving them away) I should put them in one place and reprocess them.

Maybe I'll get enough to build something useful, perhaps a drone or Station Door Key...

Update


Not 10 minutes after posting a friend presented me with this screenshot:



Althanear you bastard, I should have known you would at least have one set.

Revenge. Served cold 25 Days Later

A kill right is defined as:
Kill Rights are your chance of retribution and are provided to you in those cases where you have been wronged by another player in the eyes of CONCORD.
It's simple to remember, if you attack someone and/or kill someone in high sec that is no flagged as suspect you receive the pointy end of the stick from CONCORD but also the pilot(s) you attack will get a kill right that they can either use or sell.

Remember, they last 30 days from the date and time that aggression occurred. Once a kill right expires thats it you cannot legally attack them in high sec without CONCORD intervention. 


Bex has today used this to good effect and got a nice kill on someone who attacked him in a DED site 25 days ago.

Wavy Lines, Time Travel


16th August 2014, the pilot VVS Solt was flying using his Vexor Navy Issue in a DED site in the Sivala system. Bex also probed then entered the site and proceeded to kill the faction rat that had spawned, ignoring the rest of the rats.

VVS Solt didn't like this and locked Bex up and attacked him. Only problem was Bex wasn't suspect nor had he attacked VVS Solt and as a result CONCORD appeared and killed the Vexor Navy Issue without so much as a "hello".

Bex, of course, landed a few good hits on his attacker and as a result received the kill and a kill right on the attacking pilot. He then finished the site and received some faction loot for his effort. VVS Solt received nothing.

More Wavy Lines, Return to Present


Bex always intended on using the kill right he had been gifted by VVS Solt but moving into a new wormhole he had been too busy to track him down. Until yesterday when he saw that he had 5 days left on his kill right and so ran a locate on VVS Solt and found he was undocked in a high sec system 32 jumps away...
Fuck it, what else am I doing?
                               - Apex Bex
The answer was nothing interesting; so Bex made the 32 jump trip to find a single station but no target in Local. A second locate found VVS Solt in a Low Sec system a couple of jumps away, Bex was wary of engaging in low sec as his target may have friends there or any engagement would be interfered with by other parties. So he decided to wait for him to return to high sec.


Even More Wavy... wait No, it was just 20 minutes later and Bex sees VVS Solt jump back into High sec and dock in station where he remains for 90 minutes before undocking in a Vexor Navy Issue and warping to an anomaly where he proceeds to shoot the NPC rats.

Oh No He Didn't


Yes, he did warp to an anomaly oblivious to the threat in local.

Apex Bex followed him to the anomaly, activating his kill right, and VVS Solt's Vexor Navy Issue soon become nothing more than a wreck. This wreck however was filled with a few nice deadspace modules that Bex can sell to replenish the ammunition he expended.

Lessons Learnt


There are many lessons that could be learnt from this, some of the most important I'd say are:
  • Kill mails aren't for life, they're for 30 days and they can be redeemed ANYTIME in this period
  • Apex Bex is an evil man whom you shoot at your own risk but whom will probably come back and haunt you when you least expect it
  • Deadspace modules are dropping in price and some are depressingly low value now
  • Patience can earn an excellent reward

Bex is an evil man but he seems to get more than his fair share of fun stuff happening to him, I hate him a little bit more when this stuff happens to him.

Epiphany

On my desktop is an icon for jEVEAssets and once a day I run it and do an Update. When it's complete I see my total value and the Tracker allows me to track my my Wallet ISK, Sell/Buy Orders and Overall Worth.

For nearly twelve months that is all I have used it for.

Yesterday I received a comment from a MoxNix who said:
Use the "Market Orders" tool and sort on "Expires" to find which orders will be expiring soonest. Or sort on "Fullfilled" to find the ones that have been bought out (sell orders) or completed filled (buy orders).
Comments are good and I wish (sometimes) I had more as its one of the best ways of knowing if I'm writing well and things people are intersted in. But just as important is Comments are a great way of finding out new things and this comment was one of the latter.

When I got home last night I loaded jEVEAssets and did an Update but instead of just closing it when done I spent some time investigating the interface and trying what MoxNix suggested. 

Eureka!


Johnny Carson agrees I'm an idiot
How the hell did I not know this, why the hell did I not actually play around in jEVEAssets and properly find out what it could and couldn't do. I mean seriously for eleven years my day job was Testing Applications to find out their functionality and limits and here is an application I haven't even scratched 1% of yet.

I spent two hours playing around with jEVEAssets. I found assets I didn't know I had, I found assets I still had in Providence on characters I haven't logged into for over six months. On one character I found a stack of deadspace items that I really could have done with a month ago when I was fitting a dreadnought.

I'm going to play around some more tonight because there is more to the application than what so far seen. 

Huge Thanks


Best of all, and this is where MoxNix gets a HUGE thank you, I found a new way of tracking my Sell Orders and based on what I now can see I think I'm going to be a lot better at managing my Expired, Completed and Outstanding market orders.

I knew Merchant Monarchy was a great blog, I just never knew MoxNix was the name behind it and, mate, this is for you:

Prospecting

Back in June I finally got a couple of the new Prospect Expedition Frigate but I couldn't comment on how the ship flies as I hadn't trained into it on any of my characters.

It took a week or so of training and I was finally able to fly the ship and its just like a Venture in how it handles but with the ability to warp whilst cloaked thanks to the Covert Ops Cloaking Device it can fit.


I haven't used it for any ninja site mining but I do have a couple of them squirrelled away in a couple of systems where I run mining missions and these ships really come into their own when doing this.

Suitably fit, to make them extremely difficult to probe down, they allow a pilot to mine ore or gas in relative safety. The only issue I have with the ship is the lack of a drone bay which means the ship is defenceless and as a result I only use it in missions I know there will be no rats.

There aren't many of these missions but when I get a chance to use the Prospect I do and I can finish an ore/gas site in about 30 minutes solo or around 12 minutes if I use two.

Fitting


The following fit is what I use and I've found it to be very good for the purpose and you can fly it without maximum skills but the closer your signature radius is to your sensor strength the more chance you have of being scanned down.

With maximum skills it tops out with a top speed of 475m/s, a Magnetometric sensor strength of 79.2 and a signature of 30m. This makes the ship extremely difficult to probe down, I tried and failed with all but a Mid-Grade Virtue Clone in a Covert Ops ship specially fit for the job.

[Grizzled Veteran, Prospect]
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Gas Cloud Harvester II / Miner II
Gas Cloud Harvester II / Miner II

Conjunctive Magnetometric ECCM Scanning Array I
Conjunctive Magnetometric ECCM Scanning Array I
Conjunctive Magnetometric ECCM Scanning Array I

Reserve Magnetometric Scanners
Reserve Magnetometric Scanners
Reserve Magnetometric Scanners
Reserve Magnetometric Scanners

Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I

The fittings, at current Jita price, are around 9.5m to 10m ISK with the hull just 20.5m ISK. 

The meta modules fit are about 20% of the price of Tech 2 and there is plenty of CPU/PG for Tech 2 modules in the Rig/Mids/Low slots and low slots but as this ship doesn't have the +2 warp core strength the Venture has I don't want it to be pimped out too much that it causes a rather big dent in my wallet if lost.

And remember Rule #3, you should also be prepared to lose a ship; its not IF but WHEN it will happen.

Handling


The ship is rather agile and enters warp rather quickly when it needs to, I was not too happy that the +2 warp core strength bonus the Venture has is no longer present in the Prospect but instead of this being the "last resort" in case I'm caught the fact I'm much harder to probe down my best defence.

I was a little hesitant when I fit the ship that it didn't have a propulsion module as a lot of sites have objectives 20km/30km from the warp in point. Having a top speed of 475m/s has shown this isn't a problem and in all honesty being harder to probe makes up nicely for the lack of propulsion module.

Some missions are frustrating to mine, especially Ore missions, but the Prospect chews through them nicely and I most are finished in about 30 minutes. Some take longer when there are people trying to catch me but the Prospect has so far eluded them.

Venture or Prospect


The Venture is still the king, it requires considerably less skill training and is a fraction of the price even when T2 fitted compared to the Prospect.

I still use the Venture in 95% of the missions I get but in missions where I know there is no NPC's I will swap to the Prospect, especially if there are a few reds in local that I know may try to scan me down.

That said, the Prospect is certainly the more attractive looking of the two. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Running a Marketplace

In Curse I try to run a "marketplace" in one of the systems I frequent, I typically manufacture items in station but also import materials and some items that I cannot make or would be too expensive to manufacture.

Competition


It's not as bad as Jita but there is a thriving market and looking at what is available its a good market. T1 ships and modules are plentiful, local rats provide a lot of these modules and so prices are low but there is also a good supply of common T2 ships and items priced higher than Jita but not uncompetitive.

I know of at least three people in a nearby system who populate the market along with probably another 10 or so who post small numbers of items or things they have. In my system there are four people I regularly see, two of whom are in my Alliance and we try to keep prices similar and I certainly try to avoid stocking the same items they do.

As a result we have a well stocked market with good (for null sec) pricing. I've spoken to a couple of people who have travelled eight or nine jumps just to buy at our prices rather than someone closer. 

Deciding What To Sell


This is other major issue. the other being pricing, that any seller has. Deciding what to sell can take a lot of time and research to answer but it may not be the right answer next week or the week after.

I've received a lot of advice from friends but I've also found a lot of other blogs useful reading to understand the market and the HOW/WHAT to sell. MarketsForISKMerchantMonarchy and the TCS series from Sugar Kyle.

I find I have to review what I have for sale and what price it is compared to the price in Jita as well as other sellers locally at least every 48 hours. It is a lot of work and I do wish I had a better tools to help me manage this I still do most of research of the work manually.

I have setup three Google Docs spreadsheets that uses EVE-Central to get pricing data for items and using these spreadsheets I can review and update orders in less than an hour. A CSV Export of Active Orders from EVE Mon twice a day (unfortunately I haven't automated this) allows me to track the current status of what I'm selling.

Having access at work and on tablet devices I can actually do quite a bit of the work when I'm not logged into EVE and then when I do login I can get straight to it.

The market is profitable but nothing like running operations in a major trade hub. I'm lucky to make 2 billion ISK a month from sales but what money I do make goes back in to stocking and running the market.

I guess that makes me technically a non-profit corporation.



Custom Orders


As well as the market I also run contracts to/from Jita for friends who also live in/around my Curse home. I have a simple rule, any contracts up to 350,000m3 and a small charge for fuel (this is either per m3 or a fixed rate). It works well and I rarely leave or return with my cargohold empty.

This adds extra income, not a huge amount but its a steady amount and helps offset fuel costs rather than contribute to the market directly.

New Items, New Opportunities


I started selling Combat Boosters on market when I saw there wasn't any of the ones I usually use, I invested a few hundred million into getting Blue Pill, Exile and Drop in Improved and Strong variants. 

So far sales have been slow for Exile and Drop but I've sold out of all but a couple of Strong Blue Pill. Prices are competitive but sales are just slow, hopefully with the return of people from the northern hemisphere summer I'll see an increase in sales.

One area I want to increase my profits in is the sale of ships especially pre-fit ships that are available for either Public or Alliance only contracts. I know a lot of T1 frigates and cruisers are used locally so I'll spend some time on zKillboard reviewing the kills around me and seeing what the most common T1 ship losses are and then I'll try to add contracts for those fit ships.

New Category View Wish


Tracking what I have is quite easy, the market Window shows my current active Sell Orders easily but I do miss things and I'm fortunate that EVE Mon tells me when market orders have expired. But I don't always check EVE Mon and sometimes I do miss things that I need to restock.

Sell Orders List - a list of completed would be really useful
What I'd like to see is something like the Buy/Sell Orders but for all expired orders over the past 7 days. I could check this tab and see the Sell Orders that completed in the past 7 days and from this I would easily be able to see what I needed to restock and re-list for sale.

Profit and Loss

So far I've not suffered a loss populating the store, I've had weeks where I've only made enough to cover costs but most weeks I'm running at least a profit. A 20% profit margin was my aim when I started and I'm doing well to get that most weeks but the market is a living entity and it doesn't always work to my advantage but rolling all my profits back into my market means that I'm always able to stock it.

Friday, 5 September 2014

[Brainstorm] The Communication Jammer

Ideas that people had come in many weird and wonderful places, who can forget Archimedes who jumped out of the bath yelling "eureka!". I've tonight had an idea for a mobile deployable module that even I can't believe I came up with whilst having an "disagreement" with my two year old son and voila, the idea was formed.

Premise


The presence of the Local chat window has been a discussion point since before I joined EVE, it’s a very useful feature that allows, at a glance, the pilot to see who is in their local system. As a chat feature it’s good but as an intelligence feature its invaluable.

With the exception of wormhole space where it is delayed and people in the same system do not appear unless they speak, Local is an invaluable tool for identifying whether or not there are Blue, Reds or Neutrals in system.


Whether you’re in the For, Against or just don’t care group you will see and use Local every day but what if its behaviour and how it works could be changed by a deployable module?


A New Deployable Module


Envisage a module that can be only be deployed within 50km of a jump gate in either low or null sec and, after activation, generates a field with a radius from the centre of the jump gate and has one of the following abilities (selected by the pilot when deploying) and these apply when the vessel enters the effect radius (regardless of whether it is cloaked/just jumped in):
  • the field causes any vessel within a 500/750/1000km radius of the gate to have no list of pilots and to act as though in delayed mode.
  • the field causes any vessel within a 2000km radius of the jump gate to not have any Local chat window functionality for a period of two and a half minutes.

The module would have the following properties:
  • Be single use only with a fixed life of 2 hours
  • Small enough (~50m3) for any a ship of frigate size or larger to carry and deploy
  • Deployment/anchoring time of 60 seconds
  • Only one module could be deployed within gate range at one time
  • Reinforcement timer of 30 or 45 minutes once shield reaches 25%
  • HP: 250,000 Shield, 100,000 Armour and 40,000 Structure with 50/50/50/50 resists

Behaviour 


Local would function normally for anyone out of the radius of the module and people entering/leaving would appear/disappear as they currently do however if within the radius of effect the Local window would have the following behaviour:

The first effect would be useful for people just on or off grid who are lying in wait in a cloaked ship whilst the second effect could be very useful for hiding a fleet either in warp to the gate (who'll be landing in a minute or two) or hiding just off-grid but aligned and ready to warp.

Due to the nature of the module it would affect all vessels within any field radius and d-scan would only show results outside of the effect radius. e.g. Any objects within radius do not appear on d-scan results, but outside of this they would appear as normal.

Wish List


I've submitted this to the thread that was asking for ideas for other mobile structures and hopefully it will be seen by someone at CCP. First post on the forums too for my character, if this carries on I may have two posts in a year :)

Monday, 1 September 2014

Booster Alts on Killmails

I was reading the Shave & A Haircut post on Rixx Javix's blog and it bought back all those memories of boosting from within the safety of a POS.

As Rixx says:
Put them on kill-mails, bring them on-grid, or give me the tools I need to catch them with reasonable proficiency.
I agree with this, wholeheartedly and without reservation.

Booster


The Booster Alt really is a force multiplier that can allow the solo player or a small fleet to punch above their weight/class.

Boosts provide benefits in four main categories, Armour, Shield (Siege), Skirmish and Information. It is the first three that are mainly used although the latter one does have benefits in certain situations. Most boosting ships can fit only 3 links by default but with Command Processors and a suitable fit you can get, and run, more links but at the expense of defensive/offensive abilities.

Having the ability to point a target at nearly 35km instead of the base 24km means kiting further away resulting in lowering any damage you might receive not to mention you can catch that target on the other side of a gate without having to waste precious seconds moving into range.

The Life of a Booster Alt


The first time I was introduced to boosts was when I started mining and suddenly found I could reach 13km and not the 10km my Miner module was supposed to do. I found out quickly what mining boosts were and then learned about the other types of boosts and what I would need to train to be able to provide them.

Just after I moved to Providence I skill remapped one character and started them on the path to complete all boosting skills to V and then to be able to provide boosts in T3’s and Command Ships. The boosting skills took about 6 months to complete and I spent another 3 and a half months getting the Spaceship Command skills to the maximum I needed.

At the time I trained T3 ships received a better bonus to boosts (5% vs 3%) than Command Ships so it was very normal to see boosts provided by a T3 not a Command ship.

After I was trained my alt would spend countless hours as Fleet Commander and sitting in a POS orbiting the tower with all links running. Having advertised the fleet people would join/leave as they needed and benefit from the boosts whilst they were in the same system.

Boosts just worked, fleet members would benefit from a warp disruptor range increase from 24km to 30km, warp scramblers from 9,500m to 12km/13km and webifiers from 10km to 13km and that’s just for T2 modules BEFORE overheating.  Other boosts increase speed from propulsion modules, decrease signature radius and increased shield/armour resistances (the less used ones improve ECM and ECM modules)

With faction modules and specialized ships (i.e. Recons) pilots could see ridiculous increases in abilities. I can remember a faction fit Arazu being able to warp scramble at over 50km and point out to nearly 90km. Webifiers were much same and I can remember at least one Rapier fit I saw that had a web range of in excess of 100km!

What you should understand, even after the rebalancing of them in 2012/2013, is that boosts are good and could mean the difference between your ship or the target exploding.

Refinement of Killmails


Killmails are fun and it’s always nice to be on them or get the "final blow" and have it in your character sheet. However being a booster pilot you get used to not appearing (same as for logistics pilots).

Example Killmail
This never sat well with me as some killmails I've seen have shown a pilots tearing through other ships and getting five or six kills in a short space of time without losing their ship. Not to mention 1v1 engagements where the ships where very evenly matched and one pilot was able to win thanks to the use of boosts that the other did not.

As a result I really believe that Killmails should have a spot on them to include any boosting ship/pilot. We’ve seen a lot of killboard padding since Crius and Hyperion were released (nothing new there) and points awarded should also be effected by the use of a booster that appears on any killmails.

It would certainly be interesting to finally see how many pilots are reliant on boosters in their fights, running a booster isn’t easy (multiboxing never is) but they provide so much for so little.

I’m pretty sure no-one from CCP reads my blog (:sadface:) but there are people who do and if you see a thread on the EVE Online forums or elsewhere for these functionality please support it, we really do need boosters (and logistics) appearing on killmails.