Wednesday, 28 May 2014

High Sec L4's vs Null Sec L4's

I've been doing Mining L4's in null sec for about two weeks now and it certainly has a higher reward per mission than high sec ones. Security missions in high sec got me about 6000 LP per mission at nearly an hour a mission, in Null sec I can cherry pick two missions for over 15,000 LP and finish both in less than 30 minutes combined.

Gevlon Goblin has recently posted about Mining missions and how they can be farmed so the cats out of the bag in respect to that. Fortunately I haven't seen an increase in my null sec location of miners but I thank my Alliance and Appetite 4 Destruction for keeping the area well policed of pesky reds and hostile neutrals.

Risk vs. Reward

Of course it's a lot more risky in null sec but that's where the reward is and in all honesty I feel safer when I'm in null sec missioning because I'm actively focused on the Local window and have d-scan running, even when I know the people in local I'm still watching and ready to bug out.

I'm not watching a movie or browsing websites when I'm missioning, I have to pay attention to what I'm doing and what is going on around me.

Cost vs. Profit

For Security missions in high sec I have a 1.7billion ISK Maurder and T2/faction fittings. I worry about using it with lots of people in local and am cautious with it when I do mission. 

For Mining missions in null sec I use a 500k + 2m in T2 fittings Venture. I don't worry about losing it as people tend to ignore a Venture as it's not worth that much and is quite hard to catch with the +2 warp core strength bonus.

Average mission in High sec brings in 6000 LP and two to four million ISK whereas a null sec one gives five to six million ISK and 8000 LP. Storyline missions are about the same in rewards (standard implants + big faction standing bonus).

Overall the risk I have to put up with is high sec based, sure I have local and d-scan to watch in null sec but the rules there are, don't know them safe up, whereas high sec is different and the first you know they're bad is when they are shooting you with 20 of their friends in gank catalysts.


One thing I do like about the Mining missions are they are not boring like Security missions, yes they are as repetitive but they are much shorter and don't require you to keep pressing the F keys and locking up targets, in the right order.

This takes the boredom out of missioning, I've done entire days of Security missions and had to take a few days off because I was just over it but with Mining missions I haven't had that. In fact I've actually logged in from work to see what the next mission I'm offered is then decline or delay that depending on if I want to do it.


The null sec missioning is definitely more profitable, I actually cashed in LP for a couple of Low-Grade set of Snake implants and have moved them out of the area ready for selling. Actually one has been offered to another blog writer at a discount because I misread what implants he recently lost (DOH!) but the offer is stil there and I've already started work on getting the implants he does want.

Null Sec missioning is more enjoyable and much more rewarding and I will be getting another two characters up to speed with standings to maximize my income when I do mission. Having the potential to bring in nearly 30,000 LP per character per hour of missioning is certainly worth my investment in skill training and asset acquisition.

Freighter/Jump Freighter Changes in Kronos and beyond

I had a long post I've been working on about the upcoming changes to Freighters/Jump Freighters and then an update was posted that made what I was saying moot. So I scrapped it and now this is what I have.

What Was And Will Be

Initially rigs were going to be allowed to be fitted to F/JF and changes to ship statistics and cargohold capacities but a threadnaught developed and after considerable feedback this was reviewed and has been changed to F/JF having three low slots, and not rig slots.

As a result, when released, freighters and jump freighters will be able to fit the following:
  • Expanded Cargohold (adds to cargo hold at the expense of structural hitpoints)
  • Reinforced Bulkhead (adds structural hitpoints at the expense of non-warp velocity)
  • Hyperspatial Accelerators (new module, adds to warp speed)
  • Inertia Stabilizers (faster align time, but larger signature)
  • Overdrive Injector Systems (faster non-warp velocity at the expense of cargohold capacity)
  • Adaptive Nano Plating (grants armor resistance to all forms of damage)
Six fitting options, including a new warp speed affecting module, that will give players who use F/JF a lot more options in fitting and more importantly the flexibility that rigs would not provide.

Adding three Reinforced Bulkheads to a freighter is going to increase the EHP by nearly 80%, even just one and a couple of cargohold expanders will 5% increase in EHP. Maybe not enough to stop a concentrated gank effort but perhaps enough that any ganker will think twice before striking.

Base Stat Changes

One major change coming is the changes in base stats for F/JF, the major of these being the lowering of the base cargohold for each ship which by approximately 40% for Freighters and 50% for Jump Freighters.

This is quite a shock, fortunately the ability to add three cargohold expanders and you'll bring the cargo capacity back up to just over the old cargo capacity for JF's (no more than 1%/2% difference) or a significant increase for Freighters (finally you can have a cargohold of over the 1,000,000m3 size).

The table below is based on a fully skilled pilot with V's for all relevant skills for piloting.

ShipOld EHPNew EHPEHP ChangeOld Cargo (m3)New Cargo (m3)% Cargo Change

Jump Freighter Nerf

The nerf to cargohold capacity is a major change for JF's that can be possibly be attributed to force/logistic projection and the ability of JF's to carry such a large amount 'relatively safely'. This combined with the 50% increase in fuel usage that we'll also be seeing means that any JF run is going to cost significantly more come Kronos and the next expansion.


As a Jump Freighter pilot, these changes are frustrating but do open up more flexibility for pilots through the introduction of three low slots rather than two/three rig slots. In fact it means you can carry several different modules and refit as required in local stations or via a mobile depot.

The Jump Freighter changes are going to hit the 'bottom line' much more than the freighter changes. Yes, fuel size is getting reduced by one third (from 0.15m3 to 0.10m3) so we'll be able to carry more but the fuel is going to be used faster and, more than likely, cost more. Already we're seeing prices near 1,000 ISK per unit and this will only increase as supply decreases and demand increases.

Certainly I'm giving serious thought to changing my racial JF to one who's fuel I can mine locally.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Blockade Running and Deep Space Transports get a much needed upgrade

I'll only be covering my reaction to the changes as I use both the Prorator and Impel of these classes, your mileage my vary if you use different ships.

Blockade Runners

I have used Blockade Runners, mainly the Prorator, many times when I'm either carrying high value cargo (rare these days) or moving through hostile space (usually distribution missions and/or moving low/medium value assets in null sec).

The changes mean the Prorator will now have the following stats:

Amarr Industrial Bonus per level:
+5% Cargo Capacity
+5% Velocity

Transport Ships Bonus per level:
+5% Warp Speed (was the useless tanking bonus)
-20% CPU requirements for Cloaking Devices
Note: Can fit covert ops cloaking devices and covert cynos. Cloak reactivation delay reduced to 5 seconds. 
Immune to cargo scanning.

Slot layout: 2(+1)H, 2M, 4L; 1 turret
Fittings: 150 PWG, 200(+5) CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 800(-255) / 2000(-109) / 2100(-150)
Base shield resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 0 / 20 / 70(+15) / 87.5(+12.5)
Base armor resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 50 / 35 / 62.5(+18.75) / 80(+20)
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 1375(+437.5) / 393(+112)s / 3.5
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 170(+10) / 0.52(-0.03) / 10,750,000 / 7.75s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 35km / 240 / 2
Sensor strength: 14
Signature radius: 110(-5)
Cargo Hold: 2900(+400)m3

The covert ops cloak was the main reason I used one and combined with the mwd trick on gates meant I was 99% safe in moving what I had to. The only issue I had was the small cargo space meant I didn't use it as much as the Deep Space Transport (Impel) that I had when going only a couple of jumps.

However the upgrade sees a lot of changes and the totally useless bonus to tanking has been removed in favour of a bonus to warp speed. Combined with an extra base 400m3 of cargo space means with T1 rigs and cargo expanders in the lows should see my Prorator easily exceed 10,000m3 of cargo space.

In real game terms it means I'll get around 8,000m3 of space with two cargohold expanders and T1 rigs with nanofibres and/or inertia stabs in the other low slot. The upgrade to T2 resists is nice, not exactly useful as this thing has as much tank as a piece of paper but it evens up all T2 ships.

Full details on the changes can be found here.

Deep Space Transports

DST's are a class of vessel that, once T1 haulers were rebalanced, really lost their use. T2 rig fitted you'd be close to 40,000m3 of space but T1 haulers that had specialized bays made these look a little dated so it's nice to see them get a really big change with the introduction of the Fleet Hanger.

The bonus to Fleet Hanger capacity means people will finally have a reason to train Transport Ships beyond Level 2, even up to Level 5 (if you have the patience). I'm certainly going to be doing that on my characters that maintain my towers, it means I no longer have to risk the Freighter, using instead a Impel, to haul all my materials to/from towers as they'll fit nicely in a DST.

These changes for the Impel are as follows:

Amarr Industrial Bonus per level:
+7.5% Armor Repairer Effectiveness
+5% Velocity

Transport Ships Bonus per level:
+5% Fleet Hangar capacity
+4% Armor Resistances

Role Bonuses:
+2 Warp Core Strength
+100% bonus to the benefits of overheating Afterburners, Microwarpdrives, Local Repair Modules, and 

Resistance Modules
Note: Can fit Medium Micro Jump Drives
Slot layout: 2(+1)H, 2(+1)M, 7L; 2(+2) launchers
Fittings: 330(+80) PWG, 240(+65) CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 2000(-109) / 4300(+81) / 4500
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 3500(+2250) / 875(+563)s / 4
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 90(+10) / 1 / 19,500,000(+500,000) / 27.03s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 45km / 205 / 3(+1)
Sensor strength: 16
Signature radius: 160
Cargo Hold: 1000(-3000)m3
Fleet Hangar: 50000m3


I believe these changes are balanced and add new life to two classes that have been very much underused. I'm certainly going to invest in another couple of each ship as they now, with increased cargo holds/fleet hangers, can fill a gap in my logistics chain that I previously fixed with a freighter. The only other thing that would make DST's more interesting would be interdiction nullification (like Interceptors) that's been suggested before.

One thing that did make me laugh with the changes to DST's was a Impel fit that I saw that, utilising the Role bonus to overheating, used Deadspace/Officer modules and overheating to get all four resists above 99% and maintain them for at least two minutes with a cap booster!

There are those that are still complaining that Blockade Runners should have their cargo scanning immunity removed but it's a nice feature to have and means gankers don't have it all their own way finding targets. It's possible they won't get a thing from BR's.

Open Fire! All Weapons!

If you've ever had experience with POS guns you'll know how powerful and effective they can be under player control. We have a skill available, Starbase Defense Management, that allows players to control one gun per level trained.

It's a great skill and one I made sure I had at least two characters who live in POS'es have trained to Level 3. However it is a skill intensive skill, in order to control the maximum of five guns requires at least 52 days of training and 17 days of this is to get Anchoring to Level V, which is the pre-requisite for the skill.

With the coming of Kronos we've received the wonderful news that the pre-requisite skill is changing from Anchoring Level 5 to Anchoring Level 4! 

Defending via AI controlled POS weapons no more

We'll still need Anchoring 5 for Mobile Large Warp Distruptor II's (WH/Null Only) and Outpost Construction (Null Only) but Anchoring 4 will be the new requirement to get Starbase Defense Management. 

POS Defenders certainly have reason to be joyful now, this is a great change and a small one that goes a long way.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Wallet Restoration

Cashing Out

It was time to cash out, I had less than 42m ISK in the wallet division that my trader has access to and I had a whole raft of things I needed to buy or sell (sales/broker fees still have to paid when selling). I still have around 19billion in sell orders pending but they're not items that will sell quickly.

My missioning in both High Sec and Null Sec has been profitable with ISK and rewarded LP, so much so that I went to market with ten Slave Omegas and nine Snake Omegas. All were put on the market immediately and when I woke up this morning every single one had been sold at an average profit of 700m each (this takes into account the ISK to purchase and the cost of the implant needed to cash out).

Instead of looking at a 42m ISK wallet division I now have over 7 billion available and this doesn't include another months output from my reaction towers that will be going on the market this weekend and I expect will run me over the 12 billion mark.. 

Don't tell my CEO though as he'll want some ISK for the Alliance coffers...

Monday, 12 May 2014

All Quiet On The South-South-East Front

It's quiet.

Possibly too quiet.

But then again I'm happy that it's like this, it's allowed me to concentrate on grinding standings with one of the NPC corporations in a fairly fast time frame. Zero to 8.34 personal standings with the corporation in a little over a week has meant that I now have access to all the Level 4 agents in the area. 

Mining PvE 

I've found the mining missions not as boring or repetitive as Security ones and much faster to finish. Mining missions seem to comprise one of three types, mining ore, gas or ice. I was told only to do the gas mining missions for best reward vs. risk but I've found that the ice ones (mine 20 blocks of ice) are quick to do with a Skiff or Procurer and are worth doing with Gas. I do decline all the ore missions as they take far too long and usually require two or three trips back to station to drop off what I've mined.

I invested some of my liquid ISK in buying six Ventures and fittings so I could get three characters running missions in the future, the LP rewards (between 7,500 and 12,500 LP per mission with Mining Connections IV) are excellent and I have some good items (Vindicator/Daredevil/Snake Implants) to choose from when I do cash out. 

One really good thing about the mining missions are that they take place in the system with the agent or at most 1 jump away so I don't have to worry much about being caught on a gate. 

Last night I was fortunate enough to get three gas mining missions in a row and not just the "rat free" 7,500 LP reward ones. I got the 12,500 LP mining missions with "drone rats" (which are very easy to tank in a shield boosting Venture) and an hour later I'm 36,000 LP better off and a few million ISK richer.


My towers are good, we haven't had any siphons since Brave Newbies Inc. moved out and whilst we get a lot of traffic this doesn't interfere with my towers or reactions I have running. 

I did make a mistake last weekend, I bought in new raw materials from Jita about three weeks earlier than I should have so. This caused my liquid ISK reserves to be depleted (read: I spent all my wallet ISK) and now I don't have to buy anything for six/seven weeks apart from fuel.

ISK Today, Gone Tomorrow

The lack of ISK isn't a problem, aside from Ventures I'm not in need of buying anything at the moment outside of tower materials or trading opportunities. I have nearly 20 billion in buy and sell orders active so I'm not really in any trouble it's just depressing to see my wallet balance so low.

The reason I'm so low is I finally bought, and injected into his skills, the Amarr Titan book for one of my characters, not that he has the titan nor do I have the need or ISK for one yet. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

I was almost right

I was very happy to hear during FanFest that CCP will be allowing Freighters and Jump Freighters to fit Capital sized rigs, not modules as I thought the description showed.

I was almost right, first time for everything as a few friends are no doubt thinking.

It will be interesting to see if I can put cargohold increasing rigs on my Freighters, I was always under the belief that the cargo size would not exceed 1,000,000 m3 because CCP didn't want capital ships to be moved in high sec. If I'm able to add one, two or even three cargohold rigs then I'm pretty sure this will allow this limit to be exceeded.

Isotope prices are increasing, slowly

I would like to add cargohold rigs to my JF's, the ability to carry a extra cargo would be a boon to my shipping contracts and the extra space means I can claw back some of the monies I'll be spending on increased fuel needs.

It's the small things

Kronos is coming and with it lots of changes, major and minor and overnight there has been a very welcome notice of a change to the pre-requisite requirements for the Starbase Defense Management skill.

This skill allows a pilot to control up-to five POS defense modules whilst within the POS shield. Previously in order to unlock this skill you needed to train Anchoring V but with the release of Kronos Anchoring IV will be the new requirement.

I already have two characters with this skill and this change means I no longer have to wait two weeks to finish Anchoring V in order to get a couple of extra guns under my control. Now I'll have all my characters trained to IV and at least SDM III.

This is a very welcome change and one that I see a lot more people will be training as covered by Foo.