Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Crystal Ball Gazing

By now most people will have heard about the fight in B-R5RB, the outcome is the loss of at least couple of trillion ISK and bloodied noses for most of the major alliances in the game.
The death of a Titan is something few and far between and usually only one at a time, this was something else. To see over seventy die in one engagement is quite something but looking at the killmails more so.

Replacement Ships

Titans aren't easy to come by nor are they to produce. BPC's easily command a couple of billion ISK not to mention tens of billions of ISK needed for the raw materials to make one. Add in the build time, at least 2 months in a secure null sec location.
I don't believe the alliances have spare ships in the quantities lost, they may have a couple but not dozens needed to replace the losses seen. It is going to take many months perhaps even a couple of years before these losses will be replaced.

Fancy Modules

Looking at the killmails it shows a lot of expensive deadspace and officer modules being destroyed, these modules exist in small numbers and as a result they commanded a high price. These modules no longer exist in-game and as a result we may see more officer or drops within DED sites to replace these.
This should be good, I can count on one hand the number of good drops I've had in 9 or 10/10 DED sites and the one Officer spawn I've had was pretty terrible when compared to drops others have had. Not that I wasn't happy for the ISK I got as my cut.


Short-term: I think there is going to be very little change, perhaps some players who can secure replacements will buy new modules and will invest as such, but there will be little else.
Medium-term: Minerals in high sec will be bought in large amounts as alliances start to accumulate the materials needed to replace these ships or to replace those materials already used in production. High end officer/deadspace modules will see an increase in numbers for sale with most being bought within a week or two of being put for sale.
Long-term: We may see a dip in the amount of minerals available for sale but aside from this I think the long term effect of this battle will be not industry related but force projection. We'll see, at least for a year or so, little use of titans or supercaptials in battle and more use of expendables such as dreadnaughts and sub-capital ships.
Alliances will not be tempted to use their titans/super capitals for sometime after today, losses will be harder to replace and as such the authority to use these ships will not be given lightly.

Wrapping Up

I could be wrong, I probably am but I stand by what I think we may see over the next three, six and twelve months.
All sides will spin this as a victory or loss or even a "oh I never wanted that ship" but what happened will have ramifications for everyone in New Eden. I'm hoping CCP release a devblog on the server node/nodes that held the battle as after the issues previously this node held up much better.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Quiet January

January has been a quiet month in EVE for me, lots of things have happened around me but personally I've been working on a couple of small projects and doing general tower maintenance.

The Meh Factor

I don't know if it was due to the Christmas break or something else (Bex got me playing Battlefield 4) that has meant I've not been at 100% when playing EVE. I've kept the skill queues full and market orders going but aside from that I've not really done anything worthwhile.
I have a couple of very large purchases coming up, one through another blogger and I need at least one more Jump Freighter in order to keep up with my schedules and logistics needs.

Deep Space Logistics

Speaking of logistics, I've finally got a good setup for moving resources in/out of the locations for my towers. Cyno alts are in place and they all have enough modules and fuel for several months of use. I'm still training and extra two jump freighter pilots (it's always good to have redundancy across accounts).

Null Sec Markets

I've been seeding two null sec markets, one in Providence and one in Curse but this will change shortly. The Providence market is not seeing the returns nor throughput that it used to, I put this down to increased competitors and I know a lot of people are putting ships for Alliance use on contracts all ready to fly.
I've stopped short of doing this and made sure I stick to boosters and modules because there are better returns on these items than fully assembled ships. I could head to a CVA Staging system and sell there but that means additional logistics and a new market to research (at least 2 months research and setup) which I do not want to do now.
So I'll be selling off what I can and what I cannot I'll move to my market in Curse, recent months has seen a steady stream of sales along with requests from people for items to be put on sale. Whilst I don't have a full spectrum of goods those that I sell are making at least 10% profit but most around the 20% - 30% mark.

Future Planning

I'm already looking at February and trying to work out what I'll be doing, I won't be doing much manufacturing as I'm still building up my blueprints and building stockpiles of minerals/materials that I used up late last year.
I'm toying with moving a character into faction warfare in order to get some more experience with PvP but also to tick off that box as something "I've done". The character is well skilled in Minmatar ships and core skills but aside from that does very little.

The Nyx that got away

I wasn't involved in this, I would have been had I logged in twenty minutes earlier but I've heard from friends who were there that they nearly caught a Darkness. Nyx in Mai last week.
The system of Mai is a single gate system, formerly a pirate haven it has been cleared out and now has several of my friends as residents or ready to jump clone in. One of the things they target are capital ships that arrive on bad cyno's or can be bumped off station when they undock.
It's not regular killmails but it's lucrative and they've done very well over the last few months.
Last week a Nyx appeared on a cyno at a location in space and whilst it warped off they were able to get a scan of the log off spot where a couple of HICs were positioned. The pilot logged back in and was then tackled and about ten dreadnaughts bought in to kill it.
Unfortunately there was no logistics ships in the attacking fleet and the HICs were killed off, very slowly, the shield HICs dying much faster due to their increased signature radius. Had one logistics ship been available my friends are adamant the Nyx would have died but the loss of the HICs meant it could jump out, which it did.
When it jumped out it was deep in structure (between 20% and 40%), so nearly a Nyx killmail in Mai.
No cigar, but lessons learnt.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

CCP discovers Industry focused players, asks for input

In a shock development it appears that CCP has put out a questionnaire regarding Industry and has been asking players to complete it.
The questionnaire isn't very long nor is it very detailed but it is a start. You have the usual demographic questions then it leads into questions about what type of industrial actions do you do, how many characters do you have and how many of these do industrial work.
I've completed the survey, once for each of my industrial accounts, and I'm positive towards the fact that CCP are doing this. The recent CSM Minutes saw an acknowledgement that manufacturing produces the most value within the game and this brief survey is a start towards overhauling the system.
Industrialists I've spoken to know that any changes will not be fast and will be over several game expansion, we may get the dedicated "industry expansion" but this will also see a lot of smaller additions over time too.
Certainly the user interface for industry needs work but so do the underlying aspects that tie together different industrial actions (i.e. Moon Goo, Mining, Manufacturing etc..).
I certainly would like to see more ability to make semi-automated production lines that continuously produce when inputs are available without me having to be in the same system/constellation/region or have all the required inputs ready for a run.
An Alliance Marketplace is something too I'd really like to see to allow me control over whom I sell too in null sec regions as well as who I buy from.
But... this is a start, CCP are gathering feedback to help determine requirements. This can only be a good thing.

Monday, 13 January 2014

The 1st Sev3rance Alliance Tournament

On Sunday 12th January 2014 the first Sev3rance Alliance Tournament took place in the Y9-MDG system of Northern Providence. With some good prizes, the aim was a bit of fun for all members of the alliance to participate in.
Open to all members (out of alliance alts not permitted) of the Sev3rance alliance who could fit up a T1 sub-capital ship.


Prizes were provided for the top four with some random/door prizes given out during the tournament.
  1. Choice of dreadnaught
  2. Nightmare + Dramiel
  3. Nighthawk, Rohk, pirate faction frigate and a True Sansha Webifier
  4. Lachesis, pirate faction frigate and 100m ISK


KVA CEO Royaldo (a.k.a The Drunken Swede) took out the winners spot with a powerful display (causing his opponent to overheat too long and burn out his guns) to beat fellow corp member DAM1987. Taristie and Melodic Garemoko finished in 3rd and 4th respectively.
A little disappointing was the participation, with 14 alliance members in this first tournament but there was nearly double this number listening and watching from the sidelines so the future bodes well and we hope another will be run in the near future.

It was a great tournament, there was a lot of fun had by all who participated or watched and no doubt there will be a larger player pool next time as well as increased competitors.


A big thank you to Grand Visor of KVA who organised and ran the tournament, he provided a number of prizes too.
Soulblythe took the refereeing duties and rebuffed all attempts at bribery.
And all those in Sev3rance who did participate.

Why I Did Not Participate

Aside from being out of Providence at the time my character in Sev3rance has no gunnery or missile skills so I would be nigh useless in a fight. I could tank people to a stalemate but that isn't enjoyable and against the ethos of a fair fight in my opinion.
Perhaps next tournament I will be able to do something as I do have some gunnery training in the near future. Who knows...

Streamlining Reactions and Saving Money

I run reactions in towers, this is no secret, I spend nearly 10 billion ISK a month to run them through purchasing inputs/fuel. I make good money and enjoy the work.
One thing I make, Photonic Metamaterials, requires Promethium Mercurite to produce. The production of which requires Mercury and Promethium, of which the latter is currently around 50k per unit in Jita. I have the mercury thanks to a moon I'm using but I need to import the Promethium and nearly one third of my monthly costs goes on this one raw material.
I've been looking at either dumping the production of Photonic Metamaterials or finding a way to lower my costs. Finding a supplier of raw Promethium is nigh impossible and I don't think any I did find would sell to me under market price, after all it's a cash cow.

Checking Prices

I can't remember exactly when I noticed the price difference between Promethium and Promethium Mercurite but I really should have noticed sooner. Turns out that the reacted Promethium Mercurite is about one third cheaper than the raw material Promethium and, logistically, is the same volume at 1m3.
If you can imagine comic blinking and a blank expression on a face, that's how I was when I realised this. I'm only reacting the Promethium and Mercury to make Promethium Mercurite which I then use in Metamaterial production. What if I just bought the processed Promethium Mercurite instead of the raw material, would this work.

Show Me The Money

A billion ISK a month is not to be sneezed at, I know people who can make this in an hour trading but that's not for me. Being able to save that billion ISK a month means I'll have more money to invest and it may result in a new venture or expansion of an existing one.
So I consulted a couple of knowledgeable people and they confirmed my thinking, if I moved form producing Promethium Mercurite to importing it I'd save at least 30% a month in material costs and this would be increased by selling the mercury I'm mining on the market at around 7,500 ISK per unit (~125m per week)
I've just had to do a run to Jita to replenish my materials for these towers and instead of buying a months Promethium I've bought the same amount of Promethium Mercurite. I still have about 20,000 units of Promethium to use up but once I do it'll be switched over to Promethium Mercurite and we'll see if my hypothesis was correct.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Plateau or not?

When I login to EVE, usually doing the evening of my time zone, there are between 20,000 and 25,000 accounts active according to the Logged In Users counter. I've logged in from work, occasionally, and on days off and see between 35,000 and 40,000 accounts active.
This is good, the higher the number the more people playing. Or so it appears.
It has always niggled me that we (outside of CCP) don't know how many people this actually is. Ripard Teg has been covering Alts on his blog recently and he said:

I personally know EVE players that have 30+ accounts

I know a couple of people with six or seven accounts and I personally have four. So how many real people are in these numbers of logging in users and how does this bode for the future.

Blog Banter

This graph is being used in the current Blog Banter (#52) as the instigator for a conversation about how viable is EVE now and for the future:

It's a great question and some of the posts on this I've read have been really good, please go read some like Roc's Ramblings, Rixx Javix and Ninveah (others are available, a log can be found here at EVE Bloggers)

My Experience

I've played for just over three years and have four alts, I've been in a couple of corporations but I wouldn't say I'm au fait with the meta-game nor with serious politics within New Eden. I know enough about where I am and things that may impact me. I also learn from my friends, peers and those I meet or read the blog of.
I think the one major impact on EVE will be the age of it's players and how long they have been playing. For me the plateau of "excitement" started to level out around two years and whilst I don't force myself to play I don't spend every waking hour in game anymore. I just don't have that time, I have a family, commitments and other things to do.
However EVE Online has spaceships, massive battles and is just a fantastic place so I will remain and my friends I've spoken to share these sentiments. I'm still waiting for one friend to finally quit, he's adamant he won't at this time but he just doesn't' get the enjoyment out of the game and seems bored when he does login (and I've already asked if I can have his stuff, he said No).

What Do I Think

I think the game is moving in the right direction, changes are happening and things are being done to improve the "new player experience" that will hopefully retain more than is lost. The steady logged in player count shows that CCP is doing something right, if they weren't I'd expect a drop over time but it isn't.
The number of players increases when new expansions are released and this shows older players resubbing or new players joining.
The new players of today are different from my generation and that of the first EVE players. They want quick rewards for little input, they want it all and they want it now. They want instant gratification.
CCP are staying true to the story, lore and the current core concepts of EVE Online (spaceships in space!) and the plans for the future continue this. If they stay this way EVE Online is in good hands and the ship is flying aligned to the best celestial.

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Trading Alt

marketsforISK is a blog that I do enjoy reading, I'm jealous of their ability and patience for dealing with the market. If only I had 1% of that I'd be space richer...

A post that caught my eye was this one, where croda provides some ideas for people wanting to get into trading along with some real world examples. Props to croda for doing this but his suggestion for making a trading alt is something I cannot +1 enough.

About six months ago I decided I needed a trading alt in order handle my buying and selling. This way I could minimise taxation along with having a single character who had my ISK and goods for sale.


Six months, three PLEX (for dual character training) and three hundred million ISK for skill books later ZGG Business Associate is active and trading.

  • 5.5m SP, with 95% of that in Trade and 0.025% in Neural Enhancement (for jump clones).
  • 3 jump clones, one in Jita, one in Providence and one in Curse.
  • Wealth, including that in the Corporation wallet he controls, of over 70 billion ISK and slowly rising

He is responsible for all my buying and selling in the systems he is in and uses Red Frog Freight to do all moving. I don't think he's left any station since June last year when I created all his jump clones via a Rorqual.

Is it worth it

Yes, definitely. The ability to login to a dedicated character for all my market activities has been so worth the investment. The amount I've saved in taxes over this time has meant he's paid for all his skills and the three PLEX used for training already and it's just gravy now.

CSM Minutes finally released

Shock, Horror

Well it finally happened, the CSM Minutes have been released, with an excellent summary provided by here.
I found some quiet time the day after to sit down and read them and was a little confused as to why it took so long for them to be released. There is very little actual meat as far as I can see, some funny comments mixed with interesting statements but on the whole there is not a lot there.
I'm actually disappointed and am I the only one who's getting sick of the lack of factual information coming from both the CSM and CCP?


Things are hinted or alluded to but nothing is actually said. I find this more annoying than anything else going on and the number of times "NDA" is almost at my "argh! enough with this" level.
Don't get me wrong, I think this CSM is doing an good job of communication and community interaction but the information coming out is sanitised and, at least to me, practically worthless.
Come on guys, tell us something and stop beating around the bloody bush.

Character Planning


I can remember when I started playing EVE Online that training was important and as a result I found and started using EVEMon so as to plan what to train. However it was at least 6 months BEFORE I found EVEMon where I was training whatever I wanted and really was not doing anything efficiently.
I'm not embarrassed to say the first time, it was Christmas 2010, that I tried EVEMon and I could not work out how to get it to inject my plans into EVE for my characters to follow. How I laugh at myself now but I can remember how annoyed I was as I did not have access to EVE for about two weeks.


After I learnt what EVEMon was, it's feature set and how to use it did I have a "oh now I get it" moment and from that point on I really understand how skills worked and how my attributes modified how fast I learnt.
The removal of the Learning skills confirmed this and made the learning thing much simpler and now all I had to remember was what my attributes were mapped to and then apply that as my view in EVEMon and I could plan what I wanted to do.
No longer did I train what I wanted instead I would train skills that were mapped to my attributes and then when I'd reached a certain point would I remap and start training something else.


EVEMon's skill planning has been critical to this and each of my characters has two skill plans:
a working skill plan that allows me to add/try different things to see how they do/fit with other plans/ships/modules I need to train.
Primary Objective
the characters primary objective for all training with their current attributes at maximum
I'm sure other people either have more or less plans but for me the two on each character is enough. I review them regularly but I try to avoid making changes to skill plans unless I really have to. My plans include remap points as well as the addition/removal of ad hoc training with remap points indicating completed objectives.
For me the planning aspect and having goals works to my mindset. The Working plan allows me to mess about and see how changes or different training will integrate with what I have. It also allows me to do a quick check to see if perhaps my Primary Objective can be changed to something new.
A recent exception to my Primary Objective plan for one character has been the addition of JF training. The character, who is on a intelligence/memory remap, has had to train jump related Navigation skills which are intelligence/perception. I wasn't going to remap specially for intelligence/perception, as there aren't that many skills to warrant this, whereas intelligence/memory is a very large group of skills and I want to continue on using this remap after this detour.
I may have wasted a few extra days training but in the long run not using one of my precious remaps was worth it.

The Future

All my characters have training set for 2014 with a Primary Objective for all of them:
  • My main is finishing Amarr Carrier V and Amarr Dreadnaught V then all gunnery skills to V before getting the long overlooked Memory/Perception so he can get all Drone skills to V.
  • My PvP alt is still on Intelligence/Memory and doing all support skills (recently completed all sub-capital armour skills to V), will continue on this for another 9 months at least.
  • My Logistics Alt is on Intelligence/Memory and doing all support skills same as PvP alt.
  • My Scanning Alt is on Intelligence/Memory and doing all support skills same as PvP alt but with aim to switch to Willpower/Perception to get all sub-capital ships in a years time.
I'm also going to be receiving a Minmatar character from a friend who will be leaving EVE Online due to not having time to play. This character, which I keep the training queue active on currently, is extremely well skilled in support skills, all sub-capital Minmatar ships, all T3 Strategic Cruisers and Projectile weapons.
I don't know what I'll do with him or whether he'll be a trained character for 2014, but it's a new character that will give me options.

Cargo Moved

I need POS fuel, 150,000 blocks of the stuff in less than 14 days. So I buy what I need in Jita and look to move it to my high sec staging system.
I could not fit all the materials into my one available (the other one was on a 48 jump round trip elsewhere in New Eden) so I decided to split what I had into 1 billion ISK packages for Red Frog Freight to take.
As I've said before I split up any runs into 1 billion ISK (according to the inventory window) packages and then create contracts for Red Frog Freight. In this case I needed three contracts and after these were setup I went to bed.
I checked this morning, using EVEMon, and all three had been completed with all the materials now in my high sec staging system ready for a freighter run into my destination system to turn into fuel.
Thanks Red Frog!
My cost, 9.5m per contract or 28m total to have over 1 million m3 of materials moved in less than 24 hours. My freighter alt, who would have taken the cargo in two runs, made that in bounties assisting my L4 mission runner as a salvage 'bee' during the day.
Actually he made a little more than that and the salvage I got from the missions actually exceeds that amount so I actually made a good profit.

Site News

Happy New Year to all those reading this (and yes it's actually more than the one person I thought!)
I have and haven't been lazy over the Christmas period.
I have because I haven't published any new posts but I have been writing. Having time off has been excellent because I've been able to read a lot more blogs and the EVE Online forums so I've managed to draft a lot of posts that will be published during January as well as fleshing out a few more Proposed Changes posts that I've wanted to do for a while now.

Christmas Gifts

The Yule Lads advent calendar from CCP was fun and I enjoyed checking each day for new gifts. That Aeon Supercarrier I so wanted was never given to me so I'm still a little sad over that oversight.
One of my alts is still recovering from the use of the Leopard shuttle, it's a blisteringly fast ship that was used to make a ten jump run during the middle of a war declaration. Fortunately no war targets were nearby but still, got to use the Leopard.


I did have a very nice break and hope you all did, Lorna at A Scientists Life in EVE sent me a huge chunk of traffic on New Years Day so I must thank her for that and I even got my first person leaving a comment (*faints*).


Aside from what I wrote over Christmas/New Year I have some ideas for posts over the next 3 months. Drafts are very useful and I shall be making sure there are plenty of posts each week. I'm no Ripard Teg but I do like to write and sometimes what I write does make sense.