Thursday, 26 September 2013

Confession Time

I've been playing EVE for just over three years now and believe, with the exception of Faction Warfare, I've sampled all the different professions available. And out of all of them I've found that, going against most other people that...
I enjoy to both Ice and Ore mining in New Eden.
There, I've said it. I must be one of the few who doesn't complain about pressing buttons or having to shift targets to mine Ore/Ice. But I do find the whole process rewarding and relaxing, sure a little more variation in what I had to do to mine wouldn't be a bad thing but the way things are now are just fine for me.
I mine for myself or when others ask me for specific minerals or ice components. I haven't done it for a while, I've been buying far too much of what I need on buy orders or from market hubs. But I do still enjoy a little mining when I can.
Being able to mine with an Orca or Rorqual boosting really helps and makes the time fly, that and a good TV show or movie running on another monitor.
PvP can be fun but I get just as much enjoyment, if not more, from mining... 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Income Streams

One thing I have learnt in my three years is to have more than one income stream. ISK is the life blood of EVE and whilst it's nearly impossible to have no money, having very little limits what you can do.
This is one of the most wonderful things about EVE, there are multiple ways to generate ISK and you are never locked into one method, you are free to adapt and change how you do things.
So it pays (ha!) to have more than one income stream. Some of the most common ones are: 
  1. Market Trading
  2. Ratting
  3. PvE
  4. PvP
  5. Industry / Manufacturing
  6. Mining (ore/ice and/or moon)
  7. Exploration
  8. Wormholes
I'm sure there are variations I've missed but those are the eight main ones that come to mind and certainly everyone should have their ISK making spread across at least two of these.
When I started out in EVE it was mining that was my main income, this evolved into some manufacturing (which is logical) but I never was happy with what I was making. So I started doing Market Trading, this added a nice increase in ISK but it can be time consuming to manage hundreds of buy/sell orders and keep track of the market (there are tools available to help but again it's not something for a casual evening or two a week).
A lot of my friends utilise their skills to hunt down relic/data sites and anomalies within null sec, these can be a cash cow but more often than not it provides a little income for a reasonable risk. Wormholes provide a bit more of a incentive with C1 and C2's but any higher and you really need friends and a lot of ISK to start.
Whatever method of ISK making you choose I really recommend getting a second or third to help provide income when things markets are lean or there are issues preventing your primary income.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Towers make tempting targets

I run nearly a dozen towers spread over a few locations, they produce materials I sell in Jita and for internal consumption in projects. Nothing major and the income is nice if sometimes isn't as much as my projections suggest.

A set of the towers lives in a null sec location that whilst reasonably busy in PvP is quiet for most things and thanks to a friend the region is a lot more secure and 'safe' than it used to be.

However there are new neighbours and they have been investigating the regions moons and decided they wanted one I was using. Unfortunately I had setup no defences on the tower as I did not anticipate any issues because of the security now in the region.

What an idiot I was...

A corp mate and another friend were able to inflict significant loses to the attackers, a couple of T1 ships lost for half a dozen or so Stealth Bombers. A nice trade, especially so as the attackers then shipped up and continued to lose ships and then finally gave up.

Amazing what rebalanced T1 ships can do :)

I logged in the next morning and on receiving an update paid an immediate visit to Jita where I loaded up on POS defence modules.

So far so good, no further repeat attacks although we are waiting.

The Alliance Marketplace

Reading Alliance chat tonight and seeing one of the more experienced members, once again, saying
" I said, CCP should finally implement an alliance marketplace"
I can't help but, again, nod my head in agreement, we really do need something alliance specific for the marketplace. Being able to sell items to your alliance without the need for contracts would really be useful and is the next logical step to setting up private regional markets based.
No longer would everyone be able to see and buy items at one price but it would allow players to set prices based on public purchase and another for the alliance. 
The Marketplace - all for one and one for all
Integration into the existing marketplace UI would be the best way to go, there should always be only one marketplace. Just change the appearance and how data is displayed to differentiate between different sales types as a result no new UI will be needed.
Order scope could be shown using a new variation of the "Show own orders" option that the market currently has to show Alliance only scoped items in a different colour. This would allow people to quickly and easily see Public and Alliance orders, decide which is better and buy that item.

Monday, 16 September 2013


The wicked idea I mentioned previously has had to be paused for a week because of a war declaration. The war dec should have been finished by the time we wanted to try it but due to poor discipline by some alliance members the number of kills doubled in a couple of days.
Unfortunately we could not continue without this particular character, the role they have is vital to the idea and without them we'd just be wasting a lot of ISK.
I could write a post about how stupid they were to not read alliance mails and such but it would just get my blood boiling again. Instead I'll leave you with no information whatsoever on the wicked idea and leave you wanting to know more.
Until next week o7

Friday, 13 September 2013

"I had a wicked idea..."

I received an EVE Mail on Thursday from a long-time friend and pirate Bex. I've know Bex for a few years and it's always fun receiving messages from him as they usually fall into one of the following categories:
  1. Ideas
  2. People to shoot
  3. Other people to shoot
And this time it was an actual idea (he rarely gets them but when he does they are usually very good) involving putting some of the loot we got from the Raven Navy Issue a while back to good use.
After reading his idea, trying to improve on it (and failing) I must say it is rather wickedly evil, just as I'd expect from him.
I cannot go into details yet but it should provide some nice tears and laughter. We spent an hour or so on SiSi (the test server) last night trying out his idea. It really did work better than we expected and so we'll be giving it a run this weekend, quite a few things have to be put in place logistics-wise but once done it should be good.
I'll post an update next week if all goes to plan and share any tears/video we get.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Long Term Achievement Almost Achieved

Overnight today I finally had Battleship Construction IV complete. Not an especially important skill to most people but it is the culmination of nearly 6 weeks training for me that finally means I can build Paladin's.
This ship was one of two (the other being the Archon) that I wanted to fly since the first time I used EVE Mon and was able to look at the various ships in game. Since mid-August I've been training skills on my industry character in order to be able to build this ship myself, I've had the components needed since that time so I've just been counting down the days until I could put 'it in the oven'.
I've had the BPC (an ME -1, PE -1) for two years, I was given it as reward for taking part in a wormhole eviction when I was living in a WH in 2011.
Well, in two days three hours it will complete and I finally complete a long-held goal.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Marauders - to PVP or not PVP

A recent blog to my list of reading is The Lazy Pilot. The author, Unforgiven Storm, writes well and obviously comes from somewhere where English is not the primary language. Not that doesn't stop him writing extremely well, I really do enjoy the blog.
However a post a couple of days ago about proposed changes to Marauders has gotten him into a lather. I read the original post and thought he was being a little too ferment in his opposition to the changes proposed, I think that there are other T2 ships that should be done first but other than that didn't really have much to contribute.
I've since read the EVE Online forums 'threadnaught' and the follow-up post from Unforgiven Storm and I agree more than I did before. Are CCP trying to take a PvE ship and bolt on PvP abilities whilst providing some buff to PvE abilities, it would appear so. All under the heading of 'balancing'.

A pilot who can fly a Marauder really deserves something special, so make the Marauder special for the almost billion ISK the hull costs and as a reward for people who do train it.


Marauders are complex ships. I've been playing for three years and only in the last two months have I got two characters skills enough to inject the Marauders skill book. These ships are just one step shy of capital ships, in fact look at the skills required and most are what a capital pilot should have (and pre-Odyssey 1.0 would have had to have). Only the Capital Ships and Advanced Spaceship Command skills are missing!
I've just checked and to fly just the ship (no modules) a new character would require at least:
  • 108d training for ship hull
  • 75d for Tech 2 Large guns
  • 60d for basic skills
That is not a short time nor something to be done on a whim, it's over a years solid training just there.

Ship Bonuses 

I can fly a Paladin I will use this as an example here but any changes should be applied to shield/armour regardless of the race.

I must say I'm underwhelmed by the Paladin's bonuses:
  • Amarr Battleship Skill Bonus:
    5% bonus to capacitor capacity and 10% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
  • Marauder Skill Bonus
    7.5% bonus to repair amount of armor repair systems and 5% bonus to large energy turret damage per level
  • Role Bonus:
    100% bonus to energy weapon damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams
These really do need to be changed, anyone who fly's a Marauder will undoubtedly have a salvaging alt in a Noctis so do we really need that Role Bonus to tractor beams, I don't think we do. How about replacing it with a speed bonus or, as marauders are people who plunder, a increase in the already expansive cargo hold size to allow more loot or ammo to be carried?
The, updated, proposed changes remove the armour repair bonus and replace it with proper T2 resists but why can't we have both. Buff the resists to T2 and add the armour repair bonus? That will mean the ship can be used for PvE and be solid but also looks enticing for PvP use because it can be tanked well without having to add additional resistance modules instead of dps ones.


One thing I think needs addressing is the woeful drone support on Marauders. We're led to believe these ships "represent the cutting edge in today's warship technology" yet only the Kronos has 125m3 of drone space, enough for a full bay of either heavy or sentry drones but all can only field 75m3 worth.
What a travesty. I mean, these are cutting edge warships and drones are so prevalent in New Eden yet these ships appear to have had them tacked on as a "oh lets give them a few drones".
Let's change that and give all Marauders a minimum of 150m3 drone bay space and all have bandwidth for 125m3 (enough for 5 heavy/sentries). That would add nice dps to any engagement, PvE or PvP.

Bastion Module

I really wanted to laugh and point out the silliness of this module but the more I think about it the more I think it is a good idea and I disagree with Unforgiven Storm, we don't need a new class of ship that can fit in C1/C2 WH's to do the job of dreadnaught. T3's and battleships do a good enough job now for that, why complicate things with another specialised ship class.
To have a module that gives a similar effect to Marauders that the Siege module does means a lot of L4's that take 45 minutes or more to complete will see a drop in time to complete, thus increasing ISK/hr. After all it's all about the ISK per hour.
And if I'm getting more ISK per hour I'll no doubt add more bling to my ship, after all it's my ship and I can do that. Gankers be damned!

In Conclusion

I like changes, especially to ships I fly but the changes to Marauders need further work. I like the Bastion module but other changes seem to be giving with right hand but taking something with the left.
Why do we have to have things taken, they're proven and they work. Leave them be but add something new to the mix.

Character Selection Screen

I logged into EVE last night to do my tower management tasks and found that I didn't have to. My corp mate had done the emptying of the output towers in one system and the other system had another 24 hours before I needed to do anything.

This left me with a conundrum... what to do.

I saw a few friends were hunting targets so I logged into TeamSpeak and listened in as they did their stuff, whilst this was going on I did a bit of null sec ratting in a Tornado and made a few million ISK for shooting those red crosses that invade the local asteroids.

Not exactly rocket science but whilst I was doing this I heard my friends bump and point a Revelation so I logged in my alt in the same system and undocked, joined fleet and warped into the fray.

I landed about 40km off the revelation that was already in 25% armour as I approved, at 20km I locked him and switched to Hail and then opened fire. What I wasn't expecting was the revelation to lock me and fire back, that was a little surprising seeing the mass of white laser energy leap out at me and seemingly connect with my ship.

He missed... at least I took no damage and after re-seating myself I made to orbit at 5000m where I started to add some nice dps to the mix.

A couple of minutes later and he explodes. Loot Fairy was not nice at all but still a kill is a kill.

I docked up when my timers ran out and logged out, then back in to the character screen where I spent the next hour and a half whilst my friends tried to find a new victim. I managed to buy and fit a Tempest whilst I was waiting, it should arrive in system in a couple of hours ready for use.

Unfortunately a little miscommunication let one chance go past and another was missed because the character lighting the cyno actually used a good spot over the station so all the capitals entered system within docking range rather than just outside. So no further kills last night.

So another evening spent watching the character screen, at least it beats watching reality TV... :)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

[Brainstorm] Freighters and Jump Freighters


Those who have played for more than a year will know what ships to use and what ships aren't. CCP are changing things to make all ships attractive not just specific ones.

The work being done by CCP to rebalance all ships at the moment, through statistics changing, bonuses are added/removed and changed to make them fit into various roles. The simplest description to cover all this work is to make them better.

These changes are ongoing and CCP does ask for feedback in the forums when they propose changes, and it certainly gets it.

Freighters and Jump Freighters

Look at a Freighter or Jump Freighter and it is, simply put, a large cargo bay with engines. That's it, you can't add rigs nor modules and really you should be able to. Your only way of improving agility or tank is via skills and not modules.

I feel this should change and they should allow certain module and rig types to be installed but also they could benefit from something like T3 sub-systems to allow configuration changes to both the capacity but what type cargo can be carried.

Modules and Rigs

In my opinion it's a huge oversight that you cannot add modules or rigs to a F/JF. Modules should be limited to certain ones and rigs should be Capital sized (F/JF are larger than Battleships which is what Large Rigs are for)

I don't think adding guns to a F/JF should be possible nor any modules/rigs for increasing cargo capacity but modules/rigs that can do the following should be.
  • avoid warp disruption
  • increase shield/amour/structure resistances/HP
  • increase agility
  • increase warp/maximum speed
One module that should definitely not be usable is a cloaking device, the mass of the ship or the fact its cargo bay violates the space/time compression field should prevent them working.


Sub-systems add a nice configuration option to T3's and whilst I wish there was more variation in the sub-systems, the whole 'idea' works very well. I think it could be ported to F/JF's to open up some excellent options that otherwise may require new ships (and we all know they take a lot of CCP resources to make).

Some of these would be very useful in everyday situations and others have been suggested by some people elsewhere as new ship types. I don't think we need new ships, as nice as they are.
Suggestions for sub-systems that could be added to F/JF's are:

Cargo Compressor - allows more cargo to be added without increasing cargo hold size
Pro: Reduces cargo size by 25% when in cargo hold (does not work on containers, plastic wrap or ships)
Con: Increases mass by 15% / reduces structure by 20%

Ship Transporter - converts part of the cargo hold into a ship maintenance bay
Pro: Converts 80% of the cargo hold into a ship maintenance hanger allowing assembled ships to be moved (excl. capitals)
Con: agility reduced by 20%

Micro Jump - allows use of MJD on F/JF
Pro: reduces cool down of use of MJD by 55%, increases MJD jump range by 100%
Con: Ship capacitor reduced by 15% and recharge penalty of 10%

Electronic Survival - allows use of ECM Burst module
Pro: Allows F/JF to fit a single ECM Burst module to avoid capture, 25% reduction to cool down of Burst ECM modules
Con: reduction in available PG by 50%, CPU by 25%

Active Defence - increases shield, armour and structure HP
Pro: 25% increase in shield/armour and structure HP
Con: agility reduced by 25%, mass increased by 15%

Expanded Fuel Bays - increases fuel bay size
Pro: increases fuel bay size by 200%
Con: reduction in cargo hold capacity by 30%

Warp Integrity - gives a F/JF a chance to escape capture by point/scram
Pro: Confers a +3 Warp Strength to the F/JF
Con: 20% reduction in cargo hold

Those are just some ideas to give extra options to the F/JF pilot. I'm sure there are more and people can suggest better Pros/Cons but these are an idea.

Improve what we have and use new ships, later, to add extra value.

The Raven (Navy Issue)

One of my alt's keeps a clone in Mai in Domain because I have friends nearby who sometimes get a nice capital kill and I do enjoy whoring on mails under the banner of "helping".
This kill has already been covered, reasonably accurately, by The Mittani Dot Com but I wanted it share a little more information on this as, to date, it is one of the top 10 things that's happened to me in EVE.


Mai is a two station system that is the domain of Cracker101 and Apex Bex. Cracker has a reputation of getting some excellent capital kills in system and his methods, which I won't detail, are extremely efficient.  Bex is an experienced pilot who himself has hunted pilots mercilessly in EVE since just after getting his first combat ship.

The Kill

On this day they were both in Mai idling when a Raven Navy Issue entered system and warped to a location near the only gate. Bex undocked in a prober and, from an off-grid location, probed the RNI down. It didn't take long, experience does count for something, and Cracker and Bex warped to the RNI location which turned out to be a L5 mission site.
Whilst this is happening I have logged in my combat alt and jump cloned to Mai. When I appeared in local I was told by Cracker and Bex to fleet up and warp to them. I hopped in the Proteus and undocked, joining the fleet as I did, warping to Bex I received basic information on target and the situation. I activated the gate and after landing I see Cracker has pointed the RNI about 30km off me.
I move in, lock the RNI and receive a return lock at which point I scram and point the RNI in case Cracker has to leave as he's starting to receive mission rat fire. He didn't in the end as the RNI melted very quickly under the fire of a Vigilant and Proteus backed up by whatever the mission rats had done.


It was not a hard kill nor was it particularly satisfying until the wreck was looted. We each scored a Pith A-Type Adaptive Invulnerability field (each worth in Jita 1.7billion) and the rest of the loot was taken to Jita for sale and the proceeds divided.


It was a very satisfying kill and did cause Bex to be very smug for the next week but then again, all of us were. That's a once in Decade kill, normally Cracker and Bex get poorly fit mission runners but today was different.
Credit for the kill should definitely go to Cracker and Bex, I was a supporting player and was very grateful to have shared the kill and loot.

Setting up a Market Trading Alt

It was an idea formed after reading the blog Merchant Monarchy. Previously all my sales had been handled by each character with only one having any decent trading skills.

All that changed when I started reading Merchant Monarchy and realised I should invest time and an alt slot in creating a market trading. The, fairly recent, introduction of Dual Character Training meant I now could train another character without having to stop training on a main character.


I worked out that my only costs would consist of:
  • skill books
  • increased clone limit of 7m SP
  • a couple of jump clones 
  • PLEX for each month I want to train
I figured no more than 3 months of PLEX would be needed (EVE Mon was used to plan the skill queue) and there were only a few skill books needed. I should be able to setup a character for no more than a 2 billion investment.


Well just under 2 billion ISK and three PLEX later the trading alt is now living in Jita with jump clones in two other locations where I sell items.

The Trading skills I've got are now at the following levels:
  • Accounting V
  • Broker Relations V
  • Contracting IV
  • Corporation Contracting IV
  • Daytrading V
  • Margin Trading IV
  • Marketing IV
  • Procurement IV
  • Retail V
  • Trade V
  • Tycoon V
  • Wholesale V
And these are enough for my alt, I don't do many buy orders so Margin Trading IV is enough and anything I do buy I tend to get direct from Jita market. 305 sell slots mean I can do a lot of selling, not just in Jita but at the other two locations I plan to.

Moving Assets

I've used Red Frog Freight as well as my own Transportation characters to move stuff to and from jita without issue. Contracts can be setup remotely far from the items and Courier contracts mean things can get transported quickly and efficiently.

Saving Money

The Accounting and Broker Relations skills alone have saved me several hundred million ISK in fees, so worthwhile and having one character control all my buying and selling is much better for my own sanity as I no longer have to remember which character has what to sell/buy.

It may have cost almost 2 billion ISK to setup but I've very nearly recouped that investment in less than 3 months of use. I really wish I'd setup a Market Trading alt earlier.

My (brief) review of Odyssey 1.1

The deployment of Odyssey 1.1 happened on Tuesday 3rd September, seemingly without a single problem. Congratulations to CCP on a successful and trouble free deployment.

I like the majority of the changes but some are disappointing, so I've rated some of the features, that I've had interactions with or have directly impacted me, in the Update along with a short reason why I've rated it as so:

Tech 1 Haulers - 5/10

This really doesn't affect me, I'm Amarrian and their haulers haven't been changed to a degree that impacts me. What has changed is good, the introduction of dedicated bays is useful if appearing to have small capacities. The names will take some getting used to, they are "odd" to see and look funny but I'm sure there is a reason behind each one.

Heavy Assault Cruisers (HACs) - 2/10

Adding a 50% reduction in MWD signature and a little tweaking to bonuses. This is very underwhelming to me and doesn't "sell" using T2 HACs instead of T1 ships to me.

I might as well stick to the T1 ships, much cheaper to buy and fit and in most of cases provide 80% of the firepower that HACs have. Sure the resists and defensive statistics are better on T2 HACs but there is no overwhelming encouragement for me to spend a couple of hundred million on the ship and fittings.

However, the one their own the HAC changes aren't great but combined with the medium long range weapon changes, we might have a different kettle of fish...

Medium long-range weapons - 6/10

I like these changes, I rarely have used beam weapons on cruisers because of ranged damage issues but now the changes mean I no longer have a bow and arrow but a rifle. I'm really looking forward to fitting a Absolution with Medium Beams for some mission running and maybe a Zealot or two for use in 'defence fleets'

Nosferatu changes - 6/10

The changes make Nosferatu's work how a normal person would expect them to but they didn't. Now they do and I finally will have a reason to add them to my ships that are very capacitor hungry as I don't have to worry about their cap vs. my cap issues.

I think I'm going to enjoy flying the Curse in small gangs again.

Command Ships - 8/10

It's good to see the Fleet Command Ship disappear, having Fleet and Field was just confusing. Sure, they were different but they didn't make sense.

Bonuses on the hulls have changed slightly, all for the better I think, increased drone bays. Buffs to lock range, sensor strength and more importantly EHP are all welcome. Coupled with the changes to Gang Links (excl. Mining Foreman) no longer able to activate in side a POS Shield means they really need good EHP as they're now priority targets on grid or in space.

Gang Links - 7/10

Off grid boosting has been too powerful for quite some time, I've seen some fleets too reliant on boosts to the determent of pilots learning how to tackle or have logi rep them at extreme range.

Reduction in power of Warfare Link Specialist skill from 100% per level to 20% per level is good, reduction in bonus for Mindlinks from 50% to 25% again, is a good change for all.

The introduction of Faction Mindlinks is good too, CCP have seen that they need something that provides a bonus to two areas at the same time and they have provided a implant for that. The Republic Fleet Mindlink is going to be rather common place.

Active Repair Module changes - 7/10

Any increase in repair/shield amount was going to be good and the 15% bonus will mean some well tanked ships are going to get better. Overall a good change, I know my L4 mission ship will certainly feel a little more powerful.

Jump Clone changes - 9/10

The two new skills, one of which I think deserves a big thank you to Ripard Teg who championed for it as part of his tenure on the CSM, are just plain awesome. A skill to lower, by one hour per level, the wait after Jump Cloning and another to increase the number of clones we can have.

As Comic Book Guy might put it: "Best. Expansion. Change."

Being able to knock 5 hours off my JC recharge time means I can move between systems a little more freely. Now if I'm needed I can JC but know that I can be back in my original system 19 hours later, before DT and not have to stay up later and anger "the ball n' chain".

Overall - 8/10

Overall my experience of the Expansion, thus far, has been positive and the majority of the changes benefit the player. Congratulations to CCP.

The stasis chamber opens...

Zero Gravity Geology has been in stasis for nearly two years. Changes to membership along with new opportunities (not to mention game mechanics) meant that ZGG entered stasis whereby it chugged along doing nothing whilst primary and secondary characters moved on to different corporations/alliances and entered EVE with their eyes open.
When ZGG entered stasis the characters I had had no more than 15m to 20m SP, now 70m is the average with each having moved to be focused on Leadership/Industry, Industry/Production or PvP.
Fun has been had and more importantly things have been learned. I'm indebted to several people for teaching me most, if not all, that I have learnt and experienced. A lot of which I will be posting about in the future.