Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Damn Damsel

It was the first time I was given the mission with this agent, considering I must have done over two hundred missions and this was the first time I was a little surprised. I've saved the Damsel before and knew what needed to be done.
I undock and warp to the site, as I land I load Gleam L and target the structure containing the Damsel. It takes significant damage and more NPC appear, yellow then red boxing me. I align to a celestial and continue to pour fire on my target, I overheat my guns and the damage increases by a few hundred a salvo.
Incoming DPS has whittled by shields to 0 and I'm taking armour damage, hardener is active and the repair module is running. Twelve seconds is a long time per cycle and the damage is creeping up my armour status.
I prepare to warp out but the target is in deep structure and I continue to fire, I overheat the repair module and hardener. 60% armour now, nearly ready to warp.
What's that, my wife is calling there is a problem and I need to help her. I can't just leave so I click the MJD button to activate it, only it does not. I'm out of cap, how did that happen. 10% armour, dammit I need to warp so I click Warp and my ship turns around 180 degrees and starts to gain speed.
Wait, what... I was aligned to my out celestial why have I turned around 180 degrees. Never mind, need to warp so I look for an object where I'm pointing, there is nothing. The structure I was shooting at explodes!
90% structure, it's melting fast without that Damage Control II... too fast. 60%, 30%, 10%... I'm in my pod.
That should not have happened, I should have saved her.
So I toddle off and sort out the reason I was being called by the wife and return and try to work out what to do. I'm a little lost, this hurts the loss is about 1.5bn and I hate to lose ships especially when I should not have lost it.
A few items have dropped in the loot and I'm sitting in the site in my pod ignored by all the NPC's around me. I have an alt else where who can fly a Paladin and I have enough ISK to buy a new one and fittings, off he is sent to Jita.
What a waste, I liked that ship... I was attached and proud of her. Damn Damsel, damn sentiment.
A new Paladin is purchased, given the same name as the lost vessel, and fittings are procured. I've upgraded a couple of components as well as buying some tracking computers for use when the webifiers bonuses are removed in a couple of weeks. 24 jumps from Jita to my missioning system, it's a long trip but I make it.
I refit my ship and reboard it, warp back into the site and grab not just my wreck and the Damsel, I manage to salvage my wreck (12 intact armour plates and a few small other T2 salvage items) and warp out in low armour. I get back to my mission base and hand in the Damsel and get my reward.
If the Damsel needs help again, I can't help... I'll be washing my hair.

Missioning - 99% complete

I'm nearly ready to stop mission running, nearly but not quite.

The Plan

I set myself a goal when I started about four weeks ago, an amount of LP I needed based on what I wanted from the LP Store. I mentioned my aim to a couple of friends and one asked me to get him a set of implants so I added that to my LP requirements and then it was time to start.
Security Connections V was trained and a suitable fit for my ship, a Paladin, purchased and found in storage containers.

A little help

When I started I used an alt in a Guardian to provide remote repair in a Guardian and for a couple of days I had another alt in a boosting Damnation providing help. In the end I've done 80% of my LP without boosts or assistance. Instead I've managed the sites and limited the incoming DPS combined with a faction repair module means I've only had to warp out two or three times in the several hundred missions I've done.

Starting out

I started the missioning with Mega Pulse Lasers and after two weeks of frustration at having to continually move and new waves always appearing "just" out of range of my guns I took the advice of someone and refit my ship to use Mega Beam Lasers instead and removed my damage control II in favour of an extra faction heat sink.
The other suggestion I received was to drop the micro warp drive and instead use a Micro Jump Drive, I did this and it was a revelation. Now damage incoming could be avoided by jumping 100km away and then sniping until they came close again at which point the MJD is recharged and I move again.


The refit immediately made a difference, I had to now remember different ranges for my crystals but this was quite simple but now I was hitting out to 108km with Aurora L an doing good damage but using Gleam L for targets under 30km I was doing ridiculous damage.
I rarely have had to use drones now, occasionally a frigate or spider drone gets under my guns and no matter what crystal I use they're moving too fast. Using the dual webs I have to slow the frigate down and setting drones on them solves that but if I get too many webbing or scram drones I just MJD away before taking the frigates out at range.
I thought I'd have to use the boosting alt with this fit but Level 4 missions haven't needed it, at times I've been down to 20% armour but a little overheating and changing primary targets to remove dps ships means I never have really been under threat. Small ships are a pain but as I mentioned above the webs and drones deal with them and even if I'm swamped the MJD is my saviour.

The Fit

This is the fit I'm using, a little expensive I know but this is a Marauder based mission running ship that deserves a little bit of expense to maximise your return.
[High Slots]
Mega Beam Laser II, Gleam L
Mega Beam Laser II, Gleam L
Mega Beam Laser II, Gleam L
Mega Beam Laser II, Gleam L
Large Remote Armor Repair System II
Small Tractor Beam II
Small Tractor Beam II
[Med Slots]
Large Micro Jump Drive
Cap Recharger II
Stasis Webifier II
Stasis Webifier II
[Low Slots]
True Sansha Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Reactive Armor Hardener
True Sansha Large Armor Repair
1600 Reinforced Steel Plates II
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
I keep a full set of T1 Crystals in the ship, I've found X-Ray L to be the crystal I use most at the 30km - 50km range. T2 crystals are used to take on long range targets (Aurora) or short range (Gleam) and I made sure I have at least 20 of each.
Drones I use 5 hammerheads or 5 hobgoblins but rarely have to use them except as mentioned above.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Skill Plan Approved

Capital Energy Turret V did complete and I've now added Controlled Bursts to the skill queue as I've made a decision where skills need to go, at least for the next 60 days.

Skill Training Times
Fortunately I'm spending most of my time in a clone with +5 implants in the Perception/Willpower slots so I'll be earning the maximum 2700 SP/hour for my training. As a result I've decided, as I'm pretty decently skilled in spaceship command already I'll concentrate on getting my gunnery skills to V and any specialisations to IV.
Starting with the support skills (Controlled Bursts, Sharpshooter, Surgical Strike and Trajectory Analysis) to V will take just over 42 days. Then I'll switch to getting all Small Guns then Medium and finally Large. I think in this incarnation of the skill plan I'll avoid further Capital Turret training but I will try to get Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration V so I can use the Tech 2 Siege Module.
So I have a plan, 42 days on this and then I may change things but with a Per/Will attribute setup it's either gunnery, missiles or spaceship

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Training Gone Awry

I've just updated EVEMon and have looked at my characters and made sure they're training the skills for their long term goals.

Of the five characters I have four are training the right skills and I've finally realised that my "main" is training skills with no real goal in mind. I can't believe I haven't noticed this until today, I really should have noticed it before today.

Perception/Willpower attributes to maximum and instead of training Spaceship Command skills I'm doing Gunnery. This is silly, this character doesn't do PvP he does industry yet I am 5 hours 10 minutes from completing Capital Energy Turret V... I don't even have the basic support skills to V and that skill has been going on for 26 days!

How. Did. I. Miss. That.

Time to spend some time in EVEMon working out what he should be doing rather than just adding skills (in what appears to be) a random manner.

Edit: I have also discovered I've managed to train Tactical Weapon Configuration to IV. I have no recollection of doing that, have I been sleep-skill-queuing?

My Reading List

I have read EVE Online blogs since I started in the game and I did it as an extra way of learning how to play and I've since moved on and get a lot of extra backstory or find out interesting things by reading blogs.
The following blogs, in no particular order, are not the only EVE Online blogs that I read but these are the ones I check daily and I recommend that you do too:
One of the top EVE Online blogs, Ripard Teg covers a lot of topics in and out of the game. His guides and fitting posts are must-reads for anyone wanting to know how to fit a ship or details of anything from implants to how to incursions.
He might be a robot, he certainly seems to post as if he was one.
A great market and industry blog. Topics cover both the market and industry and MM shares both strategy and details of how they earn ISK. There is also very good analysis on market actions and reactions, I've learnt more about the market in 3 months reading this blog than I did playing for two and a half years.
My trading alt was setup after reading details of MM and the alts he uses in the various trading hubs.
MM linked this blog and I follow it because it's another well written market focused blog. Much like MM the author details experiences in-game as well as strategy and results.
Titled "An EVE Online Tool Development Blog" the author really does cover out of game development of tools and utilities to help make decisions in-game related to industry and markets. I find the posts to be that perfect combination of detail and narrative, his recent posts on writing an application to perform statistical analysis from zKillboard is both informative and fascinating.
Another industry related blog although in this case it's not overly hardcore compared to others I read but the author covers topics that others rarely do such as PI or low sec based resource acquisition (i.e. mining in low sec). He appears to be based (at least partly) in WH space so you get a good mix of WH posts with low and high sec ones.
He's recently started gas cloud mining in null/low sec for materials that can be used in drug manufacture. It has been quite eye opening reading about this and I wish he'd provide a lot more information as this is something I'd love to do.
A new addition to my reading and this is a blog that covers not just EVE Online but DUST 514 and other non-CCP games. Posts related to EVE Online are usually concise and really get the ol' brain working because they can make you think.
I should really thank Serpentine for some of per out of game (OOG) EVE tool links that have helped me with my moon mining and industry management.
I've mentioned Jac in my previous post but ignoring his recent *accident* his blog is well written and has moved from a null sec view to a low sec one.
I really hope Capital Storm can last longer than their new Alliance CEO's prediction of 4 weeks.
Unforgiving Storm has another industry focused blog with lots of statistics and other "nerd-p0rn" for EVE. Not surprising as they say this in their bio: "I'm a nerd that loves Industry and spreadsheets.". I particularly like the Industry Backlog they have, it nicely catalogues all the little annoyances in game that industry people would like to see fixed.
The very first industry blog I started reading, unfortunately due to real life events it isn't updated as often as it was but regardless posts from Lorna are well written and, like Serpentine's EVE, they can make you think.
I've had a few conversations in-game with Lorna about various industry topics and ideas and have been frequently amazed by the amount that they know about EVE industry and in-game mechanics.
A new blog on my reading list but one that combines interesting with good writing. In game examples and stories of adventures as an industrialist are worth reading.
One of the best industry related EVE blogs, would be #1 but I think Prosper is giving Blake a run for his money now. That said K162space is a wealth of market information and general knowledge about the EVE market that makes it essential reading.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The One where the author PvP's

It happens, occasionally, that I will PvP.

I'll be Arazu'ing you

I did PvP over the weekend with mixed results, I took my Arazu out for a spin and helped kill a Dominix fleet and then lost it to a pair of Deimos' that were hanging about. My fleet did get both Deimos' but alas a dual rep fit Deimos and no logi meant I died just before they did.
Free Hugs for all!
Usually I'd get in a huff and log off but I did not, I took the loss at what it was and moved on. I was actually quite happy whom I lost the ship too, Gerden BloodELF is a player I've known informally from my time in Providence and this was the second encounter I'd had in PvP with him.
The first time was my Zealot vs. his Rupture and I won that, in fact from memory that was my first solo PvP kill. This time he was back in something a little more advanced and my Arazu did not survive, fortunately the loot fairy did not favour him and my faction scram did not drop.
The Dominix kills were amusing, four or five had coming into system to help clear the way for some friends who were stuck. They managed to get them out but unfortunately the Dominix pilots had kill rights on them and when they jumped back into high sec I used this to be able to get point on one of the pilots.
I don't actually remember being shot at but I was neuted heavily, I never lost point but as I had no dps I had to rely on my fleet coming through and using kill rights too. Which they did and it was very gratifying to watch the Dominix's die on a high sec gate with CONCORD no where to be seen.. actually that isn't true.
CONCORD did appear a minute or two after the battle started, it seems some over enthusiastic members of a second defence fleet jumped into high sec and opened fire, albeit without kill rights. Oh how we laughed in my fleet, it was even funnier because of who it was that died, yet again proving that that particular alliance has only a single brain cell and it was not being used at that time!

The other Logistics

Losing the Arazu was annoying, I should have done a better job so I switched to Logistics for the next battle the next day. I'd logged in to see people requesting ships for a fleet and they were asking for Logistics.
Cue Sharpe, my Scimitar, I undock and login to TeamSpeak so I can hear what's going on. Turns out there is a gang SBU'ing a system and we were going to try and engage them.
A shield fleets best friend
That WAS the plan at least but it was clear from comms and various chats that the red fleet had a spy in our fleet who was relying everything in TeamSpeak to them. We did a few jumps around the area utilising jump bridges and it was difficult to get a warp in on the reds and after about 10 minutes the reds left via low sec to reship to take on our 'kitchen sink' fleet.
When they did return they bought significant reinforcements, we numbered about 30 and they came back with nearly double our number. It seems NC. reinforced them and as someone said "it once more proves that EMP (The Initiative) cannot do things on their own".
Nothing happened, some posturing was going on but no engagement happened instead it was decided to merge an Apocalypse Now fleet with our fleet as that would give us about even numbers. A good idea but unfortunately it meant using Mumble and not TeamSpeak and that's where I gave up, I cannot use that program and in order for us to use it we need to authenticate again a particular groups server and I will not do that as I have 'issues' with the group in question.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Logistics work seems to never finish

I'm still maintaining towers and moving inputs/outputs around null sec and high sec.
I usually do this every other night but aside from emptying specific silos I have left most things running for nearly two weeks with minimal maintenance. That all ended Tuesday night when I spent 5 billion in Jita on inputs for (roughly) five weeks and some additional fuel now that my local provider in null sec has shut up operations.
Not that type of Logistics
I used Red Frog Freight to move all the purchased items to the correct stations and then used a Providence to shift them into the right system for use. I could have used a Impel but with 600,000m3 to move it would have taken between 17 and 20 six jump trips.
Yeah, that wasn't going to happen so I selected a quiet time and thanks to a Corp mate we did the work. I even managed to help him by bringing in extra fuel for his towers as a thank you and on the return trip I managed to move nearly 3billion ISK worth of output materials to high sec for sale.
I still have one more system to update and that means using the Jump Freighter to move inputs in and remove the outputs I have. This is a little tricky as I have multiple cyno jumps to make but it should easily be completed in half an hour.
Then I can retire to the sun room out back (it's spring here and the sun is quite lovely in the early evenings) and read some more Peter F. Hamilton.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Oops, I accidently the whole database

I read a fair few EVE Online blogs, some good, some great, some not good or great.
One of the blogs I read is The Abysmal Aussie, it was a well written blog and the fact the author was Australian time-zone like myself was a key reason I started reading it. That said over time I enjoyed the blog because it covered a nice range of topics and Jac's writing was both clear and interesting.
I'd point you to the blog and say have a read except, oops Jac accidently deleted all his content during a hosting change.
I did have a laugh reading that and whilst what was written has been lost I'm sure there is more content coming in the future that will be worth your visiting his site.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Alliance Marketplace continued

NOTE: I've previously covered the idea, albeit briefly, for an Alliance Marketplace here.
I was idling in game last night on a secondary industry toon who happens to live in a null sec alliance. Alliance chat is sometimes interesting, mostly just people saying "hi" or asking, for me, uninteresting questions, occasionally they'll be something funny. Blink Off is the default for this channel, but last night I witnessed a conversation that once more got me thinking about an Alliance Marketplace.
However, like the real universe, there must be black/grey/special markets operating outside of the established marketplace. Yet at this time we cannot see them and there are markets like this that operate via mailing lists and contracts what I think we really need is an Alliance Only market that any alliance can operate and buy/sell to only their members.
Current Market
As it stands we have the market, it is public and as a result open to all. You can, subject to skills trained, buy/sell anywhere up to the distance of your current region. Anything you see on the market can be bought and you can sell anything that the market supports. You cannot prevent anyone buying or selling and taxes taken go into a sink.
Access to the marketplace is based on the region you are in and you can use a selector to limit what you see by region, system or station. You cannot see outside of the region you are in and there are additional filters that allow you to hide orders in the different classified space (high sec/low sec/null sec).
This makes sense in High Sec space, after all there must be an agency that maintains the beacons that transfer the data and makes sure they are all up to date. But head into Low Sec or Null Sec space and the further you go the more unbelievable it is. Of course localised markets make sense but the way they are now, just uniform and public isn't right and doesn't encourage null sec growth to what it could be.
Alliance Market
I see an Alliance Market operating exactly the same in terms of functionality and UI as the current market. Items in the normal market would appear in an alliance market, the buying/selling actions are the same the only things that would differ would be the following:
  • Visibility
The Alliance Market would be visible and usable only by members of an Alliance. Like the current market it has limitations on visibility/buying/selling of items based on skills the only difference would be that people outside of the alliance would not know it exists. Item's listed only for alliance sale would never appear to an outsider.
The functionality within the UI for this would be 99% of current market, the only new functionality would be the filtering of results based on whether they are alliance only or not and any UI highlighting (exactly like the 'highlight own orders' that exists)
  • Taxation
This is the only really new functionality and would allow the alliance to tax transactions much like the current market does only this would be 'in-addition' to any taxes normally paid. It should be up to the alliance how much is paid but a good starting amount would be 0.5% with an maximum limit of 5% per transaction.
The introduction of an Alliance Marketplace could have a significant impact on null sec alliances and their ability to maintain income but more importantly establish themselves not just in low sec but also null sec. New private trade hubs could be create and maintained without the concern of providing materiel to enemies who can buy and sell anywhere within their skill range.
I believe the Alliance Marketplace could be a significant step towards revitalising an area of EVE that is both clunky and oversaturated with players.

It was a "wicked idea"

So Bex said:
"Let's max tank an transport ship loaded with "officer mods", with a high passive armour tank and a set of low-grade Slaves with an off-grid booster Damnation."

At the time I wasn't sure but after thinking about it and tinkering with fits I had to admit it was a interesting, verging on wicked, idea.
I'd provide the boosts whilst Bex would provide the transport, officer mods from a previous kill and the suitably equipped low-grade Slave clone.
We retired during down-time one night to test and see if we could find any holes in the idea and getting to shoot Bex is something I'll never turn down :)
Cue the music...
Bex had already thought of a ship, the Impel, and fit that would work, he suggested that gankers will be scanning cargo not ships so we should be able to get away with a maximum passive tank. I couldn't see an issue with this logic and was really just wanting him to undock so I could start shooting him...
The Impel undocked and once boosts went active we were looking at a tank of 240,000 EHP. Yes, TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY THOUSAND for a transport, and all for a couple of hundred million ISK.
We warped to a safe spot and then using gank-fit Tornado's I warped to optimal and opened fire.
The results were interesting... we found that gank tornados firing again a static ship really did do massive damage, the shields were stripped in four salvos and the armour was going down at the rate of 9% per salvo. However moving the target Impel really made a difference to the salvos and damaged lowered quite significantly.
Instead of two salvos to remove shields it was seven and each salvo did 6% armour damage, obviously this meant that for maximum survivability we needed to keep the Impel moving as it was ganked. This actually played nicely into the plan, which called for Bex to autopilot to each gate rather than warp to zero.
Bex calculated that it would take at least twenty gank-fit Tornado's to kill the Impel firing a single salvo each. This wasn't a situation we saw happening as most Deep Space Transports were killed by one or two ships who saw an easy untanked target, something this Impel was not going to be.
We retired for the night happy with the fit and setting the date for the coming Sunday.
Postponed, Due To War
Unfortunately the booster pilot was in an alliance that received a war dec the previous week, I was hopeful it would be over by the Saturday but I did not figure in the stupidity of some of my alliance, who lost rather expensive ships in high sec in the last days of the dec, and the war was extended by another week.
Undock, Autopilot, Profit!
Shoot Me, I'm a PiƱata!

Sunday morning we undocked and started moving up and down the Amarr->Jita pipe with the boosting Damnation staying out of sight and off grid, but boosting, to the Impel.
Scanning was frequent at gates but nothing happened, at least at first but a couple more runs up/down and a few breaks we eventually got someone who took the bait.
It was only a lone Tornado and their attack only took a third of the Impel shields, we couldn't even lock the tornado in time to get on the KM however Bex did get a kill right which he was quite happy with (must be the pirate in him).
We did get one other Tornado just outside Amarr who tried but again failed to get through the shields but that was it.
Next Time, Maybe
Perhaps it was bad timing, it was a weekend and early morning in our time zone so night everywhere else or it may have been that pilot who scanned us a couple of times and started calling our idea out in local as we moved through.
It was a wicked idea and all we go was two Tornado's and kill rights but was fun and we can always do it again in the future :)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Groundhog Day

I'm currently doing L4 missions for a faction to improve not just my Minmatar standings but also earn LP for some implants. I'm 85% of the way towards getting the implants but I've found my zest for missions to be somewhat less than I wish it was.
I know why, missions are so Boring. It is repetition over and over, combined with the guides at EVE Survival Guide you never really are challenged. Sure you can shoot the wrong ship or fit your ship with the wrong modules you can make it more difficult but it doesn't matter, you still get the same missions over and over in a never ending loop.
It wouldn't be so bad with some variation thrown in, but I've had to reject that mission to kill the damaged Amarrian battle cruiser sixteen times, I've captured over eight hundred militants and I don't know how many times I've destroyed the "massive angel taskforce" that was about to attack my employers.
I've maximised my Security Connections skill so I can get nearly 8,000 to 10,000 LP a mission  and these missions average 35 minutes to complete. That's not a huge profit but over time that's a nice income towards the implants. Adding a second character running the same missions and it's a lucrative income however you may well shoot yourself in the head because of the tedium.
After I'm done here I'm going to move up for Sisters of EVE missions, save up some LP before Rubicon is released. But I'm not sure if I want to do that, grinding the same missions, the same actions hour over hour for LP is not my idea of fun...


EVE can be glamorous, you can be semi-famous for your exploits in game but then there are the chores. Those things that you do on a daily or semi-daily basis in order to continue your ISK making activities.

These chores can be a multitude of things but for me it means buying and then moving several billion ISK's worth of materials from Jita to a staging system and then repacking them into convenient Jump Freighter sized packages.
Since I started doing tower reactions it has been my aim to make sure I never have less than 14 days fuel and always have 5 weeks worth of input materials on hand in the systems. This has worked well for me, it means I'm buying materials every four weeks (roughly) and I always have a slack or buffer should I run into any issues moving reactions out/inputs in.
The chore with this is not the reactions themselves but the moving of materials from Jita to my tower systems and then remembering which days to refresh the input materials and empty the silos of output. Not to mention remembering to keep each tower fuelled, this means buying more materials to make the fuel blocks and making sure they are ready before the notifications occur that piss off your corp mates :)
I'm also doing missions at the moment, I find those to be more of a chore than the reaction tower maintenance. I really hate missions, they are so linear and boring, sorry that should be Boring with a capital B but discussion on the current state of missions if for another post, that'll be a LONG post too.
So raise a glass to chores, they may not be glamourous but they pay the bills and allow us to keep doing what we enjoy.