Thursday, 28 November 2013

The One where I behave like a gibbering star struck idiot

I had a, good, shock the other night when I was in need of some locators run on people I needed to find.
So I entered the Locates R Us channel and requested someone to help me. It took a few minutes and I received a convo request and I was about to click to accept when I finally registered the name.

Zedrik Cayne
OMG... it was him.
The writer of the first EVE blog I started reading, the person who helped get me into EVE via his blog when I was but a newbie. Here was the character who I'd named one of my characters in honour of.
He was convo'ing me to help me.
I had spoken to him once before, I happened to be flying through the system of Amdonen when he popped up in local and I said hello.
I composed myself and asked for the locates I needed and thanked him for his help. I even remembered, a little slowly, that I also needed to pay him for his help and transferred the required ISK. He provided details of the location of the people I was trying to find and I did manage to compose myself and I hope not come across as either a dribbling idiot or star stuck imbecile.
Meeting and getting a chance to speak to Zedrik Cayne, albeit for a locator run, once more made my day.

Channelling my inner Del Boy

I was idling in chat with some friends the other day when a contract was posted that listed two Nightmare's for sale, one faction fitted the other T2 fitted, for 2.05 billion ISK. The contract was listed by someone in a nearby system who was part of an Alliance that, whilst blue, doesn't have a lot of respect from our alliance.
I had a look at the contract and did some checking on the values of the modules/ships and worked out that the contract was about 200 million too expensive and that the contracts might be better value selling the modules and repackaging the ships (they had only T1 Capacitor rigs).

With the Left Hand

One friend indicated that had he the ISK he would have bought the ships and after I'd finished my checking I decided to see if I could get them for a lesser price.
So I convo'd the contract owner and offered 1.85billion, explaining that the T2/faction modules plus the ships did not equal the value he wanted and I'd pay, right now, 1.85billion for his ships.
It took him a couple of minutes but he accepted my proposal and deleted the contract then recreated it with the new price. Two clicks later and I have accepted the contract, and five minutes later have a character in the station.

With the Right Hand

As I'm negotiating the purchase of these Nightmare's I checked my contacts and saw that there was another pilot online whom I recently spoke to who said they were looking for a Nightmare with fittings for sale in the area.
I convo'd the pilot and explained that I had two fit Nightmare's for sale in the area and would he be interested in purchasing one of them. To my surprise he said he'd like both, but only if the price was right.
So I linked him the fits and informed him that both could be had, with fittings, for 2.5billion. Over the next ten minutes we haggled and eventually settled on a price of 2.35billion. I'm not ashamed to say I let him believe he had me over a barrel in order to get a better price.
Five clicks later, contract is up and accepted by the pilot.

There's More

Total elapsed time since I started talking to the original seller and closing the sale to the new owner, 16 minutes (give or take a few seconds, I wasn't exactly timing it). '
16 minutes to turn a 500 million profit, not bad at all.
But it doesn't end there, what made this funnier is the pilot whom I bought the ships from and the pilot I then sold them two were not just in the same alliance... no they were in the same corporation.


The post title is in reference to the character Del Boy from the BBC show Only Fools and Horses. Sorry I you don't know this, but if you don't I suggest you watch one of the best comedies ever from the BBC and then you'll get the reference.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

EVE Down Under 2013

This weekend is the second EVE Down Under gathering in Sydney, Australia and I was all set to go until this past Monday. Unfortunately I'm now not in a position to go and despite protests to my wife and a fair amount of begging I have had to accept the fact I will be unable to go.

I was planning on surprising a Corp mate who is going and I'd already booked all my accommodation and transport. Not happy, Jan.

The First

Last year's event was small and very good and has a good write up of the upcoming event here along with a small interview with the organiser nGR RDNx. I attended last years event and whilst I could only attend on the Saturday it was a full on day of meeting new people and trying not to be self conscious about having my character name and alliance written on my badge.

I met a lot of people (40/50 were expected but over 120 people attended) and really got a lot out of the experience, it certainly was a surprise to see Garmon and watch him on screen in a one-on-one battle. The Skype call with CCP was good too, it was great to see support from CCP (who also sent some prizes) who did a hour's chat and provided some laughs and future game information.

Bigger, Better

This year was going to be bigger, you just knew it from watching the chat in the EVE Down Under in-game channel and what was announced on the event website.

Biggest news (at least I thought) was CCP Fozzie would be attending and rumour has it that the infamous Chribba would also be there. Giveaway prizes are also quite stunning, an Utu was donated by with SOMER Blink also donating large amounts of prizes.

The event is going to be... wait for it, Legendary!

More details can be found here at the official site.

Good luck to all attending this weekend, and to RDNx and the team, it should be a fantastic event.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Mobile Tractor Unit and NPC's

This thread over at Reddit is from a user who lost their Tengu in a mission and found their own wreck was looted by their MTU which in turn was killed by a fixed emplacement. They include a KM of the MTU loss that only shows NPC damage
I haven't had any situations where I've seen my Mobile Tractor Unit (MTU)being shot by NPC's but then again I have a set target elimination pattern and at the top of that list, after frigate sized ships are sentries and batteries, but it does seem that there is a chance that your MTU could be destroyed by an NPC fixed emplacement.

According to CCP in this devblog, the description of the MTU is as follows:
The Tractor Unit only takes 10 seconds to deploy, and takes up 100m3 of space when stored in cargo. Like the Depot, it can be deployed anywhere away from Gates, Stations and Starbases, which means that it can be deployed inside missions (where NPC pirates are not interested in shooting it), asteroid belts, or on the field of your big fleet battle at the Infrastructure Hub.
I have highlighted the relevant text and it does state that NPC pirates should not be shooting at MTU's. I would include [faction] sentries and [faction] batteries in this, after all they may not be ships but their names clearly indicate they are offensive/defensive emplacements of the faction.
So it seems we need to be a little wary with MTU's and NPC aggression, at least until CCP confirm that this is either a defect or correct behaviour (the former being the frontrunner) and then provide a fix if it is indeed is a defect then all mission runners need to make sure that they do not leave any active fixed emplacements when a MTU is active.

Monday, 25 November 2013

L4 Paladin Mission Runner - Revisited

After losing a Paladin to the Damsel I refit to add more survivability to my fit as well as increasing the DPS as much as I could without training further skills.
Now that Rubicon has been deployed I have had to modify my fit a little more as stasis webifiers no longer get a bonus. I have spoken to Bex a fair bit about my Paladin fit and he has shared his which I've modified to get what I now use.
I've used the following fit for nearly a week now and L4 missions are faster to complete than before Rubicon. DPS and tank are definitely increased when in Bastion mode and the reduction in MJD charge time really helps movement around the battlefield, if it's needed.


My fit is as follows:

[Paladin, Knight]
Tachyon Beam Laser II
Tachyon Beam Laser II
Tachyon Beam Laser II
Tachyon Beam Laser II
Bastion Module I
Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager II
Salvager II

Large Micro Jump Drive
Tracking Computer II, Tracking Speed Script
Tracking Computer II, Tracking Speed Script
Tracking Computer II, Tracking Speed Script

Corpum C-Type Energized Adaptive Membrane
Reactive Armour Hardener
Core A-Type Large Armour Repair
1600mm Steel Plate II
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Imperial Navy Heat Sink

Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Pyfa reports this being 1.21 billion for the hull and another 987 million for the fittings (for a total of 2.2 billion ISK). It hasn't cost me that much, I bought the armour repair and ENAM for a lot less than the prices Pyfa is showing (335m and 197m respectively) and two of the heat sinks I actually had from my previous Paladin and were dropped when that blew up.
I can hear what you're thinking, THREE tracking computers in the mid-slots. Well yes, I originally was going to have a Sensor Booster with a range script but the range of the Paladin was tweaked so I now can lock to 113.5km which means I don't need further range. All my targets either spawn much closer or up to around 110km.
The three TC's actually double my tracking and help me to alpha cruisers at 90km with Imperial Navy Multifrequency and a few times I've changed one to a Optimal Range Script and that has helped me increase DPS at 70km to 90km on Battleships.
I don't use drones either, I lost so many before Rubicon that I gave up using them for all but the frigates I could web and even then would still go through 15 at least a week. Now I've changed how and what I target first and small tackle no longer poses a problem.


I'm almost certain the Bastion Module has made the most difference, whereas before Rubicon I was MJD'ing around to keep out of frigate range and also to having to wait for ships to come into optimum range now I don't have to.
Faction Multifrequency crystals have an optimum of around 65km with a falloff to 96km. I can alpha cruisers at 90km with INMF and still hit battleships for around 800/900 per salvo at that range. When they come within 70km I switch to a Optimal Range script in a Tracking Computer and the DPS rises to around 1100. No more than 7 shots per Battleship to kill it.
Frigates (especially fast webbers like the Spider Drone) are primaries and even as they accelerate the tracking I have allows me to kill them. Destroyers and Cruisers are next and if they do get within 20km I now have the option of MJD'ing away and maintaining the locks I have.
So far the Bastion Module has meant that I do more DPS but more importantly my tank has increased from 1555 hp/12s to 3110 hp/12s when it's active. More than enough even for the Damsel mission when you have aggro from the whole room. As a result I've never gotten lower than 80% armour and I typically pulse the Core A-Type repair only when I get into the low 80's.


I'm certainly doing missions faster, before I was following the Blitz guides and hating every second. Now I warp in, drop a new Tractor Module then start shooting. As I move around I'm still killing things and the Tractor Module is moving all my wrecks to one spot so I can salvage and loot when I finish.
It works well and I'm making more on bounties and loot that pre-Rubicon and I'm enjoying L4 missions more than I was. Previous posts show how much of chore I felt it was, now it's not so much a chore but a challenge to complete as quickly as possible whilst killing and looting everything.
I'm only using one character for this and he's a high skilled Gunnery and Amarr Battleship character. I worked out since the Wednesday after Rubicon was deployed he's made just under 1.2 billion in ISK either as bounties, rewards or loot from missions (excl. LP). This isn't solid missioning, this is at most four to five hours a day ad hoc (I estimate two missions an hour at most he's doing).

When Ego's Explode

Into the fire...

I mentioned previously about some friends disagreeing but it was nothing that time and common sense wouldn't solve.

Unfortunately I was wrong and over the last few days I've seen relations collapse totally and friends declaring they are no longer friends. It's all disappointing from my point of view, I can't say who is right and who is wrong because it's not that simple. I'm stuck in the worst place, in the middle having to watch my words and actions in case someone takes something the wrong way.

... into a Profitable circumstance

Still out of this mess has come a profitable situation. I was asked by one party to help them move assets back to high sec space from Curse via my JF services. Not a problem, I'm always happy to help.

The contacts came over and I accepted them, I'm inquisitive and I looked at what was in the contracts as there was one of about 3000m3, another of 82,000m3 and the final one was a whopping 300,000m3. Turns out it was a large mix of modules, loot and repackaged ships and so I immediately realised that what was here was exactly what I usually imported for my market activities.

So I made an offer to my friend, "sell me all your contract stuff, name a price". Which he replied with "you work out and tell me" [sic]. So I broke the contracts and started working prices out. Now I'm a sucker (and I know it) when my friends are involved and made an offer very close to Jita price.

In fact I think I was only 4% off the total price he could have gotten in Jita and I transferred the ISK to him and started sorting and listing items in Curse for sale. Now being away from a trading hub I do have to be a little careful with my prices, a lot of other people sell stuff within three or four jumps of me, but I was able to make at least 10% on items I listed with ships and other speciality modules going for between 50% and 70% over Jita.

I am so glad I trained a Trading alt and had him JC to Curse. 315 slots and I used 296 listing all the stuff I just got, combined with my booster shop in another region he has utilised all his slots for nearly 4 billion in sell orders.

Greed. Is. Good.

I do feel a little guilt in profiting from my friends situation but he has, a few times, told me that greed is good. I just hope he continues playing EVE, I'll miss him if he does leave, when the time comes I will be there first to ask "Can I Haz Your Stuffs?"

Jump Clone Mistakes

I was stupid on Saturday, I jump cloned my only tower capable pilot to a clone in Curse without checking that he didn't need to empty silos. I jumped and last night realised that I still had 8 hours to go on the JC timer and tower silos that would be full in less than an hour.
He did need to JC to help setup a new cyno toon in Curse but I should have emptied the towers first. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, I lost about 7 hours of production of sylramic fibres. A corp mate wasn't able to help so whilst I slept my income was static.
Fortunately the Fullerides continued being produced and I was able to login this morning with the overflow silo full and the primary silo 96% full.
It's not a major loss but it's one that was totally avoidable and all because I didn't follow my usual routine of emptying towers before jump cloning.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Heavy Hitting

I've had a Revelation for a while, it's been fitted and ready for use but as of yet I've had no chance to use it.
That changed late last week when I logged in and was convo'd by a corp mate immediately.
"Do you have a dread in [system]?"
Luckily I did have my dreadnaught in that system and it was already in space having been there from an aborted op the previous day. Turns out a corp had left the alliance but had left an unfuelled faction tower up on a moon and a Director of our corp/alliance had given the go ahead to kill it.
I login in the character and join fleet, it's me and two other corp mates. One in a revelation and the other in his carrier and his alts in missile fitted battleships. I checked that we could use Siege mode, we could, and I warped to the tower at about 30km.
I dropped out of warp and immediately sieged, it was quite nice to see the animation of this. I'd never seen it before and then I locked up the tower... 30 second lock time :\
That went by and I started firing at about 13% shields gone and the damage I was dealing was between 35,000 and 60,000 per salvo. Wow, this was not going to last long.
I chatted with my corp mates on Teamspeak and watched intel for any reds nearby, we had a couple, one a known hot dropper, two systems over but he didn't move into our area whilst we were active.
Six siege cycles later and the tower exploded, it was a nice explosion and even nicer to get the kill mail. I did about 33% less damage than the other dreadnaught (7.25m vs 5.5m) but I managed to get the last hit in.
We finished off the remaining six guns and docked up. It was a fun 25 minutes or so and I finally got to fly a dreadnaught in combat.
I can ticket that off my "things to do in EVE list".


Rubicon is deployed and I've ensured my characters had at least 2 days of skills queued "in case of problems". I didn't anticipate any, and the CCP deployment team(s) made sure that EVE was back up and running on schedule.
I'm optimistic about Rubicon, I've not written a post before on it because I've mainly been reading what others have said and playing on SiSi with what has been released. There are bits I like and bits I don't, overall I think the patch is going to be good and brings new things to the table.


I still think the name is bad, I can't put my finger on it but I really don't like the name and it doesn't fit in with past expansion names.

I'm looking forward to

Marauders rebalance / Bastion module : I'm really looking forward to these changes, they should mean an increase in ISK/hr through being able to complete missions faster. I will miss the loss of the webifiers but the bastion module means I should be able to kill those pesky ships at close range before they get close.
Warp speed changes : this is going to be good, the variable rate of acceleration will bring new tactical options to roaming fleets as well as people who previously wouldn't be able to catch ships that were just a second or two faster to align/warp.
Deployable equipment : the new deployable are going to be interesting. The siphon is good and bad from my perspective, I'll certainly be checking towers several times a day for interlopers and I'm now increasing my defences on all towers.
Implants : the new Ascendancy implants, the first players can make themselves will be expensive and, initially, result in some bling pod kill mails. The extra speed increase will not be for all, my tests in a freighter show Nomads are still the better option.
Sisters of EVE ships : two new ships, a frigate and a cruiser. Bonuses for drones and exploration, I don't do much of the latter and have poor former. Looks like an alt will be training new skills :)

I'm not looking forward to

Warp speed changes : running through space in a blockade runner now is a little more risky, looks like I'll need to invest in Prowler's as the extra high slot could be a good for a probe launcher for systems where I'm boxed in.
Deployable equipment (specifically the siphon) : steal my income, I don't like this but I understand POS structures need something to remove the "free isk" they seemingly generate. Going to be interesting to see how this works in day-to-day gameplay but POS owners need to watch out more for sure.
High Sec POCOs : just not interested. Two tax rates, poor resources (mostly). Sure we'll see battles at them but not that interesting for me.

Monday, 18 November 2013


I didn't mean to but the week leading up to Rubicon's release has been taken as a little holiday from EVE for myself.
I haven't had any pressing deadlines or jobs to complete so I've only been using EVEMon and my Tower Management program to monitor my accounts. When I've needed to add a skill to a queue or interact with my towers I've done so but aside from that I've kept clear of EVE things and had a nice break.
Of course playing some PAYDAY 2 hasn't counted as a break to my wife but I only got that on Sunday so she's had about 5 days of more attention, I think she didn't notice as she certainly never stopped playing Candy Crush..
The break has been nice but there are tasks to perform, objectives to achieve and they won't be achieved without me doing stuff.

Monday, 11 November 2013

To market I go

It's been an expensive couple of months, excluding the Paladin loss, I've spent the majority of my income on paying back outstanding loans and buying large quantities of input materials and fuel for my towers.
My day-to-day balance went from just over 10 billion to 800 million in a few days, it wasn't a great morale boost seeing that but I did know that I had a couple of billion in materials to sell on hand with about another 5/6 billion available before materials ran out.
Well I was wrong about that, turns out I dropped nearly 9 billion of items for sale in Jita yesterday and I have only few outgoings for the next 4 weeks so I should nicely hit 15 billion before I have to buy inputs/fuel again.
It was once more fun to pass through known ganking systems in Domain and either see no gankers or dozens of CONCORD ships showing that they were there earlier in the day. My time zone is pretty quiet but you never know so I always make sure I never take more than a few hundred million ISK through these systems. I've used Red Frog many times but it's faster with my hauler these days thanks to the Nomad's he has.
I may not be making 'billions a day' as some blogs I read do but I make enough to cover my bills and build a nice excess that I funnel into long term storage or loan to 'a few' trusted people as an investment.
I don't spend a lot of ISK on PvP so that's a nice saving but when I do it's a few hundred million here or there so it really doesn't impact my bottom line. My only serious expense, which will be covered in a future blog post, is the supercarrier that I purchased and have been fitting out for the past four months.
So it's been a good, albeit quiet, weekend. How was your weekend?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Tower Notifications

Over the past two weeks my Inbox has been filled with notifications of towers running low on fuel. It has been frustrating not just for me but others who run towers to that some people do not seem to run a 'tight ship' and make sure that they are prepared for these situations.
It has gotten so much that there is now a 1 million ISK fine per message penalty should you not manage your towers, this isn't enough to cause pain but enough that its an inconvenience fee for those who have to put up with the messages.
It hasn't helped that there is no in-game way of tracking the towers and who owns them, at least if we knew who's they were we could point fingers or help out (if we knew they were away unexpectedly). Only we don't.
I've been working on a tracking program for my own use but of course this is one piece of information you cannot get from the game. All the towers are deployed for the corporation not per player so as to get the 25% fuel reduction bonus for having sovereignty. So I'm having to ask players about what towers they have and are running so I can add this metadata to my tower management interface.

Friday, 1 November 2013


The last week and a bit has been a little frustrating. Several people I know have been disagreeing about things and generally been doing so in a vocal manner. Fortunately nothing hugely major but it's disappointing to see friends arguing and people offering opinion on matters when they don't have all the facts and instead of contributing seem to fan the flames more.
It came to be that one friend made a run for CEO of the Corporation they're both in without explaining things to the other friend and it snowballed from there. Roles are removed, assets in shared hangers 'removed',  many words said and other people, outside of the corporation wade in and try to add their opinions to the mix.
For a few days things were strained to say the least, I spoke to both parties and acted in a very minor diplomatic capacity to try and get them to talk. Turns out I did do a little good because the next day they'd sorted their differences and were at least amicable about things and were no longer in vocal disagreement.
However another friend then waded in with size 50 boots and stomped all over the goodwill at the time and started telling people to (paraphrasing here) pull their heads in and they were wrong and would also be.
Did that really happen, we had peace it was all good...
The result was shared chat channels being left and people no longer talking or if they are it's in a strained way. Friendships made broken and looking unrepairable.
Egos, don't let anyone tell you they don't exist in gaming. They are everywhere and EVE has some of the largest Egos on display.

As if millions of voices suddenly cried out

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.  - Obi-Wan Kenobi; Star Wars - A New Hope
Each ship in EVE is supposed to have a crew, not just you the capsule pilot, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of additional people on board each ship overseeing the systems and helping to fly it.
Freebooted has covered this topic on his blog in detail and finds evidence that crews exist and don't exist based on both in-game Lore and CCP comments/posts. Have a read, it is actually quite interesting to know about.

Yes, get to the point

Anyway, it's been in my mind for a while that if ships do have crew what happens to them when a ship is destroyed. When a capsule is killed a corpse is released but you never see corpses when a ship is destroyed,
Does the crew all die, does a percentage of them die immediately with the rest dying in the vacuum of space or are there 'invisible saviour's' who save these people and take them back to a world to recover (it could be Sansha's Nation and this is how they get a large part of their ship crews!)
Regardless, there are obviously deaths and for each death you need a person to replace it, the question I have is this:
Does New Eden have enough of a population to support the continued destruction of ships and their replacement?
Remember, hundreds of ships are killed each week from small to large to capital class, potentially this means that millions of New Eden citizens die each day and have to be replaced from somewhere.

Crew Replenishment

Obviously it makes sense that replacements need to be of a certain age before they can serve on a ship (say 18 years of age) and be educated (to at least the New Eden level of High/Secondary School). But then do they do an apprenticeship type learn-on-the-job or do they need to be educated further to be able to serve on a ship?

Either way, you can't just pluck a average-joe-off-the-planet and have him crew your ship. If this is so then surely there must be a limit of the number of ships that there are crews for, capsule pilots are special due to the capsule but the rest of the crew is not, they are 'New Eden Humans' and as such still need to born and educated before they can serve on a ship.
Based on the game universe size, and the habitable planets that New Eden would not, if crews were a requirement before you undocked, have enough population to support destruction as we have it now.

The numbers, they don't seem to add up

I believe we have ships aplenty, after all they are produced in quantity everyday, but do we have enough people to become crew to continue the destruction we see on the kill boards everyday?

Logically planets have a population, they have new births everyday and not everyone wants to be a capsule pilot nor, one would expect, nor would everyone want to be on a ship. So we have a birth rate and then a percentage of that would grow up to be crew on a starship, but you have to wait at least 18 years before a person can join a ship.

Is the number of populated planets in New Eden enough to provide all the crews we need based on these variables?