Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Climb

I've had rather a mixed week in real life and of course this has effect to influence my EVE Online game play but I have done some logging in as well as giving some serious consideration to where I am and what I'm doing.

Preparing for Travel

A rare business trip took me  to the city of Melbourne this week. It was a nice break and really helped sort out a number of work related issues but the biggest benefit I got was physically being unable to login to EVE for four and a half days.

This meant I needed to either organise help with my towers or leave them knowing that they'd be filled before I returned and I'd have a period where I'd have no reactions being made. Unfortunately I left it far too late for option 1 and had to go with option 2.

In the end it wasn't that much of an issue, a little production time lost but all has remained functioning.

The night I got back I sorted my towers and we're back to normality.

A Skill Queue Finishes

In 25 days my carrier pilot will finish Advanced Drone Interfacing V at which point (aside from a post on that) it will mark the end of Drone skills for him and I will need something new to train. To this end I've spent my week pondering what I could and what I should train.

I've decided to return to a Int/Mem attribute setup so that I can finish a multitude of support skills that are either at Level III or Level IV. The fact I never did them to Level V irks me and its time to clean house, so to speak.

EVEMon has been so useful for this planning as I can set filters to only show Int/Mem skills and then I just work through them adding them to Level V. Then I use the Priority attribute to make all the Level V skills appear at the end of the Plan and then its just a matter of changing the order I need skills to be done in.

Level V is Steep

The plan comes out at 12 hours shy of 700 days and that includes a remap to Int/Mem. I could remove the Navigation skills (~ 75 days) but its high time I finished them off and its only a drop of 120 SP/hour from the Int/Mem remap.

On closer examination I noticed that its the completion of the Level V skills that takes up the most time. I have a mix of Rank 3 through 10 skills that will be done and these range from 9 days up to 32 days each to get from Level IV to V.

If I removed all the Level V skills my queue would be a much nicer length of 118 days but its the Level V's I need to get. On the bright side at least I know what my carrier pilot will be training for the next two years...

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Dark Side Called

I answered.

The ice won't mine itself and whilst I don't actually need it the dark side called and I dusted off a skiff.

Mining is relaxing (to me) and its amazing how many less people there are in ice belts since ISBoxer was nerfed. I only did about 30/40 minutes in this belt but we cleared what was left and I think I mined around around 70 or 80 blocks.

War Footing

My tower came out of reinforcement around 1am AU last night. I logged in just after down time and tried to online some extra modules and empty other POS modules so the loss wouldn't be too much.

I'd spoken to a couple of people during the day from other alliances/corporations in the region and said that there might be capital ships in my system around the time that the tower came out of reinforcement. I said I wasn't asking for help, I'd resigned myself to losing the tower, but capital kills are capital kills.

I don't know if anyone did send a scout through but I provided the information in good faith because it was very probable that capital ships would turn up to finish the tower off.

The Morning After

I went to bed in the belief the tower was lost and we'd have new occupants in our system. I'd decided I would be as annoying as possible by attacking any towers periodically and, if I could, reinforce any tower when I could.

So I woke up, checked EVE mon and was a little confused to see no notifications or mail overnight about the situation. I fired up my industry tool and checked my towers.

There it was, no longer indicating it was reinforced and the stront had been replenishe (probably by my CEO).

What Next

I've started production again, losing near 2 days has sent a few of my other towers off whack and its a little annoying but I think I'll stop production for two days in those to allow this one to catch up. I have plenty of materials on hand for sale and it really doesn't impact my industry.

I'm still not sure WHY my tower was reinforced but I'll be bringing in new POS defences and ammunition next JF run. If I can anchor dozens of guns in preparation for a repeat I may be able to piss them off enough that they'll reconsider any attack. A small chance but it worked for a recent POS assault I was going to be involved in.

I'm sure there are more things I can do and I'll be speaking to other experts, people with experience in POS Sieging and Defence, and my Alliance CEO to see what we can do to protect ourselves in future (as I pay taxes to the alliance for running the towers).

Free Gifts from CCP

I ignored the post at first but a short post, on the free gift all active accounts will be getting to celebrate the CSM X election, by the EVE Hermit warranted further comment I thought.


In celebration of CSM X we shall be receiving a new shuttle but wait, its not just ANY shuttle its a Council Diplomatic Shuttle which is a decommissioned, disarmed Pacifier class CONCORD frigate!

This is quite cool and instead of receiving the hull every active account, on the 25th February, will be able to redeem a 10 run BPC of the ship. 

The statistics of the ship aren't very special, seems to be very similar to a normal shuttle with a 5 AU warp speed, 500m/s base speed. Interestingly though it is able to lock up-to two targets (for what use considering it can't fit modules).


CCP Leeloo also added this:
Every account that votes in CSM X election will also receive 10 collectible trinkets one for each council which will contain a list of all council members who served during that term. Just a little keepsake for your fond memories of every single CSM member who has served on the council over the years.
More free stuff! I like collectibles so this will be a nice addition to what I've got saved from previous give aways.

Alliance Tournament Prize

It seems to that this year the winners of the two alliance tournaments (for Tranquillity and Serenity (the Chinese server) will fight it out for another new ship (Victorieux Luxury Yacht) that will only be released on the winners server. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015


Well one of my towers in NPC Null has been reinforced and looks like I'll be losing not just that but the pair of towers that was part of.

They used capitals to RF the tower AND previously killed a tower elsewhere with dreads and carriers. 

It's a pain and very unlikely I can do anything about it, I can't repel fire of that magnitude!

That said, I have a couple of ideas to disrupt any fleet that comes to kill the tower after the RF period is over and I know that my Alliance will be trying to do something to harass and stop the tower being killed. 

RF Timing isn't great for me (I think its ~3am in the morning my time) but I've already come up with a few ideas on how to piss off the attackers when they return.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Tiamat Release Day

It's been a good run, CCP have released some excellent content through expansions since Kronos. Most have had one or two features that could be considered "marquee" with fixes and balancing changes around them. 

Hyperion is the only expansion I didn't get excited about but I'm going to have to add Tiamat to that now. The projectile turret rebalancing would be a distant second place but nothing else really stands ou, first would have to be the new Drifters (more below).


The only feature I find interesting for me is the introduction of the Drifters, either a new NPC or an offshoot of the Jovian's. Further information can be found here.

The pictures we've had are very (Star Trek) Borg-like but their battleship and weapons are just plain sexy. The battleships seem rather lightly tanked but with an insanely powerful 'super weapon'.

How this fits in with the Lore will be very interesting and I'm looking forward to reading more about the Drifters, Jovians and supposition on how they are all linked in the coming weeks. 

Padding Things Out

To say I'm apathetic about this is an understatement but "free" content is "free" and at some point I'm sure to see, fly or kill the Svipul (new T3 Minmatar destroyer).

I'm sorry this is a sub-par post but I wanted to have something to record the release of Tiamat. 

Monday, 16 February 2015

The Freighter Escapes

I previously wrote how my freighter pilot got caught by a ganker in Niarja and I logged off in order to evade any attempt at ransom or ship loss.

I'm happy to report that extraction of my freighter was successful a couple of days ago and in a reasonably humourous manner.

It was suggested in the comments (by Catalin C) that I could use the Duel mechanics to allow a neutral party to web my freighter for quick escape. 

A Cunning Plan

In preparation for the extraction I watch listed various gankers and people whom I'd determined might be related to Machariel pilot. They all appeared to be active primarily outside of my time zone and would randomly login/logout in neighbouring systems.

So I devised a plan to login a few alts ready to extract at a time just after downtime. I also needed a catchy codename for the operation. The best I could come up with, after spending far longer than I did coming up with the plan, was Operation Runaway.

Avengers They Are Not

Assembled in neighbouring systems and moved in prior to the operation:
  • Boosting Alt in a Damnation with Republic Fleet Mindlink
  • Combat (PvP) Alt in Rapier with Faction Webs
  • Second Combat (PvP) Alt in Falcon with Rainbow ECM setup
  • Industry Alt in a Covert Ops ship, cloaked and at a deep safe in system

Multi-boxing WAS a bitch to setup but I managed to do it thanks to ALT-TAB, a heavily caffeinated drinks and a couple of bacon rolls.

Go Go Go

EVE is starting up...
EVE is STILL starting up...

Characters ready to go at the launcher screen.

EVE is CONTINUING TO start up...

Triple check that the launchers are in the right order


I ALT-TAB through each launcher clicking the Login button, carefully avoiding the Freighter pilots launcher
Select the character as each Selection screen appears
There is a delay of about 2 minutes as each client fully loads and I see my ship in space.
Fleet is created, invites sent, accepted


Everyone is out of warp and ready, make sure I cloak the covert ops and move him in a random direction
Login the Freighter pilot, invite to fleet


Takes me a few seconds to realise they are all my characters.


It takes a long time to warp the 1,000,000km.
Out of warp, boosts are active and the EHP of the Providence is a nice ~382,000
Start warping to my covert ops pilots. 


Wait until ~30% warp speed before initiating a duel and activating my webs
Freighter warps off into the sun (quite literally)

Success and an Oversight

Operation Runaway was a total success. I (internally) let off a cheer and finish off my energy drink and a bacon roll. 

Take that fake internet game pixels and person in their parents basement*
It is only as I write this that I realised my big mistake, I forgot to bring a neutral logi to rep my freighter should it have gone badly. Fortunately it didn't...

My wife asks me what I'm so happy about, I tell her what I expertly did, and she rolls her eyes and calls me an idiot.

* - it may be true, I can't prove it is nor can I disprove it.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Point Defence Module

If ever there was a Top Gear EVE I'd be the Clarkson character, who sometimes has good and possibly interesting ideas but they end up just not working and fail the simplest of tests. Not to mention they also have a tendency to explode too easily.

If I'm bad at theory-crafting something I appear to be much better at is coming up with new and different modules that could be fitted to ships.

Whilst I've been not writing recently I did spend some time watching various documentaries and shows. I like these and after watching one of naval warships I got to thinking that whilst EVE ships have shields, armour and hull they don't seem to have any point defence systems that would deflect or neutralise incoming missiles or bombs.

Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS)

A sea-whiz is defined by Wikipedia as:
A close-in weapon system (CIWS), often pronounced sea-whiz, is a point-defense weapon for detecting and destroying short-range incoming missiles and enemy aircraft which have penetrated the outer defences, typically mounted shipboard in a naval capacity.
There is an movement that Defender Missiles (which don't work at all at the moment it seems) be allowed to target incoming bombs and I agree this would be an excellent idea but what about a module that can be fit to ships either in a mid or high slot?

A New Module

Battleship and larger sized vessels ships in EVE could benefit with something like a CIWS module, able to help stop some (not all) incoming damage from missiles/bombs it would certainly add to the defence of ships caught by BLOPS or wolf packs of bombers (if that is even still a thing).

A high-slot module that is uses a large amount of CPU and a reasonable amount of PG that, when loaded with a frequency crystal, the module will "shoot down" incoming projectiles until the crystal is depleted. At which point it needs to load another. If no crystals are used, or available to reload, then the module will be a of one-time limited use, until you dock or load a crystal).

The number of incoming missiles/bombs that destroyed is dependant on the size of the crystal fitted, with faction crystals allowing an increased number (+20%) of incoming projectiles to be intercepted.

Crystal Size Interdicted Projectiles Faction Use
Extra Large

The module will not stop incoming laser, projectile or hybrid projectiles. Only missiles and bombs.

The module will not stop ALL incoming projectiles but it will stop, at least whilst there is ammo a large number of them. Increasing survivability and possibly allowing the ship to escape or for salvation to arrive.

Once a crystal has been used the module must reload, either from the ships cargo bay or a corporate hanger, and takes 30 seconds. During this time the module will not be functional and any incoming projectiles will not be interdicted.

If no crystal is loaded then the module cannot be used again until either the ship docks or a crystal is loaded and replenishes the modules ammunition.

Further Development Ideas

  • Only one of module type can be fitted/active to any ship
  • Meta/T2 versions that have better fitting requirements/base interdicted projectile statistics
  • Overheating will not be required as the module works on ammo and not the module itself
  • Expanding the ammunition used to include Projectile and Hybrid ammo.

Usage Example

Module is fitted to a Battleship and a Medium Multifrequency crystal loaded. This will result in a range of 10km and 250 missiles/bombs being destroyed. Swapping to Faction Multifrequency will result in the range remaining the same but now 350 missiles/bombs can be destroyed.

The module has to be activated but when active it will automatically destroy incoming projectiles without further user input. If the module is active but not interdicting incoming fire then it will not consume the installed crystal.

If no crystal is loaded then the module will have a fixed 50 projectile limit that cannot be replenished unless a crystal is loaded or the ship docks in a station.

Good Idea/Bad Idea

I think its a good idea, its a new module that would certainly benefit capital ships and fills a void I noticed. Ships in real-life have something like CIWS for protection, EVE ships have their shields/armour and hull, that's it no module that outside of tanking. This is a variation of the tanking module and one that gives a good use for frequency crystals too.

That said I also feel something is missing or wrong but I cannot put my finger on what that is.

But it's an idea for something we don't have and might have a use or be useful. What do you think?

Odds Finally Caught Up with Me

I was flying a freighter last night along the Amarr to Jita pipe and I had to travel through Niarja. This is a 0.5 system and frequently, much like Uedema, seeing a lot of ganking happen. 

I've never had issues before flying through here, well I do tend to be fly safe:

  • never autopilot through system of Niarja
  • use a scout to watch the in/out gates in Niarja
  • never more than 1.5b / 2b in cargo (use multiple trips if I have more than this)
  • check large kills for Niarja before arriving at system

I normally pass through quickly and without hassle but last night the odds finally went against me and I found myself in a tricky situation.

Don't Panic

You know what he'd be saying, the voice is in your head now...
I hadn't used autopilot at all on the trip so far, but I jumped into Niarja and started my warp to the next gate. It was then I noticed I was being yellow boxed by a Machariel who then proceeded to bump me downwards from my position. Instead of 12km of the gate I was now 25km.

I opened d-scan and checked what was within max range, a few catalysts were seen so I feared the worst. The Machariel hit me again and I bounced further off gate, nearly 70km from where I started.

A conversation request comes up from the Machariel pilot and I'm about to give him a peice of my (small) mind when I see three cataylsts land on gate...

The End?

But they jump through to the next system instead of engaging me!

At this point I've checked the pilot details out, he's a known "CODE lover" and proudly displays ships he's ganked and hyperdunked in his bio. I decide that speaking to him is not going to do anything and I'll certain to receive a ransom demand.

I do not negotiate with terrorists or gankers and I'm certainly not going to provide any 'tears'.


I look again at d-scan and check Local. 

Local is down to 14 people, six of whom are on my overview. One is the Machariel pilot and 5 are in haulers or other non-ganking ships that are going about their business. I could be about to have 8 people in ganking ships land on me and blow me up.

My scouting alt is in no position to do anything, even if he had a web I would not be able to make it to warp speed before the Machariel bumped me again and because he's not in the same corp as the freighter pilot it would just be a wasted loss of a ship.

Solution, Kind Of.

I've been yellow boxed but I have not been attacked and there are no timers active on my screen. There are no ganking ships I can see inbound so I decide to take the option to logout. I close my client.

I keep a watch on my freighter via the scouting alt but nothing happens. The Machariel does not engage and, more importantly, there are no further ships arriving on grid to finish me off. One minute later my freighter performs an emergency warp and disappears.

I've now logged out and my ship is safe but watching the Machariel pilot I see he leaves system and then logs out himself. 


I sense a trap, the moment I login again the Machariel pilot will return to my position and this will start all over again, perhaps this time with ganking ships killing me. So I remain logged out and will do for the foreseeable future.

The good news is the cargo I was carrying is not critical to my activities. I was merely moving old stock and a small amount of reaction output to Jita for sale. The character flying the freighter has a full skill queue and, most importantly, nothing else to do for at least 24 days (when blueprints will be finished) but can easily be left longer without impacting my game.

A small shock but I was lucky and I've already decided that the day he does login I'll have an armour booster in system to provide some extra EHP as well as a webbing ship to get him "the hell out of dodge ASAP".

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Hate leads to...

I hate the bully type of person. Always have.

Pirates and Mercenaries in EVE Online are that type of person to me so I have an instant dislike of anyone who preys on others. It was difficult when Bex and some other friends took to piracy and griefing back in 2011/2012 but they've since renounced that so don't have any issues.

So I found it very, very hard to read the blog of the Cloaky Bastard but the more I read it the more I find his writing style enjoyable and find myself giggling at the misfortune of others.

He's also very good at taunting his readers, take for example his latest post where he shows a hanger with a value of 65 billion ISK and then he complains he has to sell it.

The Ninja Salvaging series is far too entertaining and should be required reading for new players who do search for EVE related blogs. It contains not just details on HOW you will be killed but how to PREVENT it happening.

So, my three readers, go read the Cloaky Bastard. He is a Bastard but he's a damn good writer and worth adding to your blog roll.

Monday, 9 February 2015

20 days

It wasn't my intention to not post for nearly three weeks but unfortunately two medical issues, a trip to the hospital and a whole lot of stress and worry forced me to neglect that which I enjoy far too much.

I'm still not fully well, I'm back at work and seeing far too many doctors but I am better and one good thing about the break (although I still logged into EVE to do basic tasks) was that I got to spend time thinking and I came up with a couple of great ideas for posts as well as new directions for a couple of drafts that I've been working on.

So a big sorry to my (two) readers and I promise to release some content to make up for it over the next few days.