Tuesday, September 29, 2009

EVE Online is not a PvP MMORPG

Heheheh. OK, a having a little fun with this post title and post in general, but felt compelled to comment on some recent rants on the EVE Blog Pack about "carebears" and "EVE is a PvP game".

I think this particular topic has been flamed (errr I mean covered) in more forums that I can count, but there still continues to be players all too consumed with their own perspective on Eve to actually consider a real discussion on the matter.

For newer players, I felt obligated to make this simple "perspective" post...so take it as you may.

Is EVE a PvP game?

Is EVE an Industrial game?

Is EVE a game where players can take on virtually any role from industrialist to pirate and face consensual and non-consensual PvP?

It cracks me up to no end to see moronic posts like this one, where one could argue there are more pirate tears going on here than carebear tears.

As an EVE player, you should expect to eventually lose your ships from combat (or griefing, which is not combat FYI), and although I would respect a player's feelings on losing a ship that cost them much time and effort in-game, I do agree that excessive ranting or crocodile tears are indicative of a little too much sensitivity over what amounts to a hobby.

However, to consistently insist that EVE is purely a PvP game to the extent that you overlook the obvious fact that there are more non-PvP careers to be pursued in EVE than direct PvP career paths, is just...well...simple minded.

EVE is what you make it, and the best part is that you are never locked into a specific role. You could grind missions, trade, mine, construct, transport, defend, expand, conquer, manage, educate, research, invent, role-play, explore and yes, even grief to your heart's content, and then decide to do something else the next day.

Can new (and veteran) players that are partial to aggressive PvP styles of play enjoy space combat?
Yes! There is no equal to EVE.

Can new (and veteran) players that are partial to passive, industrial styles of play enjoy the immersive nature of this incredible open market system without having to focus on PvP?
Yes! Again, there is no equal to EVE.

But don't shed tears, neither carebear/industrial nor combat nor pirate tears, when someone does something in EVE that disagrees with your particular passion.

I like this counter-post and specifically, Manasi's quote in the comments:

...To me a person with no honor is the one to eliminate. Pirates I know have honor, although there are some who sling that title around and have none. The attitude I have trouble with is "our play style is right, while your play style is wrong", most players I respect do not think this way, as I certainly do not."

Fly Safe!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

W-Space POS Sanity Pause

I am finding it more than a little refreshing after 2 months of constant W-Space POS life, waiting out some skill training is providing a mental recharge of sorts.

Maintaining a POS and having it in the back of your mind that the precious POS Fuel continues to burn away 24x7 is a great motivator, at least for getting online nearly every night to pay for that fuel. Call it a proverbial forcing function. You feel compelled to logon at least once per day to check up on things and to get a little sleeper carnage and looting to make sure you are yielding sufficient ISK to cover the investment risk of having your POS out there...

Every day that passes, I find myself ever more eager to get back online and get back into W-space, sort of like an odd feeling of anticipation. But, I am going to stick to my Iteron V plan. I think this will net out with a renewed passion for W-space and more efficient hauling. A win-win.

I am stopping just a hair short of recommending that W-space pilots implement their own equivalent of an R&R vacation periodically. ;-)

Fly Safe!

(edit for Capsuleer: this post has raised an enormous amount of comments - see here.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Iteron V

I have decided to let my Main and Alt complete their respective skill queues for piloting the Iteron V's.

From a prior post comment that pointed out that I was neglecting implants for reducing training time, I went ahead and bought the relevant Implants and the training time is now a fraction of what it was w/out the implants.

Roughly two weeks and both pilots will be Iteron-V capable, meaning I will dramatically increase my combined industrial ship transport cargo capacity from 26,000 m3 to just shy of 100,000 m3 with full compliments of Cargo Expander II's, Optimized Cargohold Rigs, and GSC's. That buys me the ability to deploy my new POS configuration faster and with substantially less risk.

While the skills are training, I have been doing various cleanup activities, such as retrieving deposits of sleeper loot that I had dropped at random WH exits and had not yet taken to market, and migrating some old stashes to Jita.

Might even run some exploration sites this weekend - been forever since I have done that, since before my W-space adventures...

Safe Flying

Monday, September 14, 2009

POS Package Transport - Industrials

Again with the Spreadsheets in space...

I was looking tonight at the total Industrial trips it would take with my Badger Mark II and my Iteron IV. I only have Cargohold Expander II's and no Cargohold Optimization I Rigs. Including all Fittings, Fuel, and POS modules, it would take over 24 round trips to haul everything in my new Large POS configuration to W-space.
  • Fittings and Ammo: 5,396 m3
  • Fuel and Strontium: 118,600 m3
  • POS and Modules: 126,000
  • Polymer Reaction Gear: 24,004
  • Total m3 to haul: 274,060 m3!
  • Plus Ships!
Granted, it is really more like 12 round trips as my main and alt would be pairing up, but still, that is 12 opportunities to either make a bad mistake or invite a ganker on the other W-space side of the WH.

I started researching Industrial ship options and fittings and the somewhat obvious choice here seems to be Iteron V's with max cargo expanders and rigs. If I train both the main and alt up to fly Itty V's, then the paired-up round trips drops to 4, a much more manageable figure. The fully fitted with skills Iteron V will carry an impressive 35,358 m3...

The only problem? Skill Level 5 is a month away for the Caldari Star Defender main and 20 days for the LightTraveler alt. Looks like I am going to run exploration sites here in Amarr territory for a while...

(edit) Quiv pointed out that I neglected to mention the Giant Secure Container (GSC) cargo trick - for those of you that did not already know this, the GSC takes up 3,000 m3 cargo space in your cargo hold, but can store 3,900 m3 - put as many GSC's into your cargo bay as you can and fill them up for an additional 30% boost in storage!

Fly Safe!

Updated POS (Hybrid Polymer Reactions) Fitting

OK, I have refined my POS fitting just a bit. As you may have seen from the previous post on expanding into Hybrid Polymer Reactions, I am replacing my standard medium POS fit with this Large, Hardened POS fitting.

Critical to note here is that the artillery (active) defenses will be anchored and stocked with ammo, but will remain offlined until needed, as will the refinery and reaction modules until I am actively reacting and/or refining.

As such, the POS setup in a day-to-day configuration for onlined-only modules looks like this.

With the massive DPS required to even challenge this POS shield, and with all of the guns, the objective here is to get the "raised eyebrow" reaction from the w-space visitor upon hitting the local scan or probe results.

Oh, and why the Minmatar Large POS you might ask? Simply convenience factor (I am in Amarr territory at the moment) and I still have ton of hydrogen isotopes from the now-old Medium POS. As Quiv pointed out in a prior comment, a hardened + ECM POS setup favors the Caldari Large Tower, which has ECM Jammer bonuses and larger shield (+5M HP).

I have had some recent questions about how to save and/or post your POS fitting - on the POS Planner site, once you have completed your fitting, click the URL that is titled "Build URL" - this will convert the URL in your browser address bar to be something you can copy and paste into a text document for safe keeping, or blog/comment.

Close call last night - nearly made a jump to a Class 4, but decided I was too tired to kick off the 3-hour move... Sleep deprivation makes for bad mistakes!

Safe Flying!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Procurement Runs

Ran around for a few hours this morning gathering up all of my POS fittings, fuel, and hybrid polymer reaction systems and reactions.

Now, time to start looking for that next home. Target is a good Class 3 or (ideally) a Hub Class 4 with static to Class 3. Since I am in HighSec at the moment, the plan is to chain through local WH entrances (which are likely to be Class 1 or 2) to see if they connect to Class 3/4's. If I get lucky and find a good Class 3 "direct" entrance, then great!

My last experience told me that finding a suitable home is best performed from LowSec, but I am right in the middle of HighSec, so will be giving it a shot locally first.

Fly Safe!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Abandoned in J161138!

Well, it served me well, and over the course of it's life it yielded me over 8 Billion ISK, with over 2 Billion ISK alone from it's current resting place: J161138

After 4 days of searching adjoining systems for a decent location to move the POS, I was growing weary of continually burning fuel and basically burning hours. With static exits to a Class 6 and NullSec only, and with my target being a Class 3 or 4, I decided it was time to jump out at the next convenient exit. I had been "chaining" exit WH's via the Class 6 but could not find the right fit - always led to more NullSec, C5, or C6 systems.

A HighSec exit (only the 3rd one ever here) opened and I jumped all over it, moving all of my ships, fittings, ammo, Refinery, 10 artillery, and all of my fuel stock to the exit system station.

With only 750M Mass allowance, it did not take long to go critically unstable, so I did not get most of the POS defenses unanchored before I had to make the final decision to abandon what remained. I could have stayed in there with my CovOps and continued waiting out the next High/LowSec exit to move the rest, but then I considered the total value of everything remaining (about 90M ISK in defenses + the Medium POS resale value at 180M ISK) and thought... "Well, you have cleared many Billions of ISK and you are moving up to a Large POS, so do you really need to put another 8 hours of offlining, unanchoring and transporting the Medium POS?" The answer, in short, was NO!

Remember, you have to offline and unanchor every unit before you can pack up that pricey POS, and with all of the stuff I had anchored out there, I shivered at the prospect of the mind-numbing effort of unanchoring everything in sequence. Here is what I left behind:

Shocked? Heheheh - tough decision, but once I took that last exit and bid my farewell to Apeiron, I felt like a weight lifted...

On to new horizons and new experiences with the Class 3/4 Large POS plan!

Fly Safe!

P.S. If someone comes across my old humble abode, please drop me a line - it served me well!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nearly bottomed out...

With the spawn rate dropping here in my nearly bottomed-out system, and with the adjoining systems not offering up any lucrative "move the POS" opportunities, I have resorted to clearing the Ladar sites for their various gases. After clearing all of the Ladar sites, I have an inordinately high amount of C-70 and C-72, so again all indicators point to MethanoFullerene Hybrid Polymer reactions, so I started hitting the Grav sites for 'roids rich in Isogen, that means Hedbergite! So, I mined 2 max capacity refinery cycles worth of Hedbergite so far.

Now all I need is a good exit to low/high-sec to go get the silos and reactor plus the large POS. I continue to scan "through" the adjoining static Class 6 to look for new exits via the latest C6 and it's respective adjoining systems, but so far nothing looking good - in fact, the static Class 6 exit seems to only connect to C6 hubs, which seems very odd.

The search continues! In the mean time, only a handful of Grav sites left... What happened to all of my rich adjoining systems! ;-)

Safe Flying

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

EVE Blog Pack

I wanted to pass along a warm and respectful thanks to all of the readers and supporters of this blog, all of whom played a part in getting this W-space focused blog added to the EVE Blog Pack!

The announcement on CrazyKinux's site was called: "New to the EVE Blog Pack - Did you really want in?" - the answer is a definitive yes, and thank you very much ;-)

In addition to simply being an honor to be on the same list of some of these notoriously cool and helpful blogs, I think exposure to additional W-space and K-space writings and musings are beneficial to all of us.

Here are some of my personal favorites:
  • Flashfresh - A Pirate, by Flashfresh (good to have a pirate's perspective, plus Flash is a great writer)
  • Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, by Kirith Kodachi (posts even more frequently than I do, and have followed him through his carrier and new 0.0 corp move and back - good coverage and a must-read!)
  • Letrange's EVE Blog, by Letrange (An established W-space corp - see what the big corps are doing in W-space. A recent T3 production chain change of plans as well)
  • Sweet Little Bad Girl, by Shae Tiann (From the Hellcats, a portion of which are currently establishing a pirating base out of W-space - also a great in-character writer, one of my favorite blogs to read on Capsuleer!)
There are a lot more, and I read pretty much all of them available on Capsuleer, so looking forward to experiencing some of the new blog roll entries as well - here are some that I have just begun reading:
Lots more there to go skim and try out, so I encourage you to see what additional blogs fit your style of play.

Again, thanks readers and thanks CrazyKinux for putting in the effort to maintain the blog pack!

Fly Safe!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hybrid Polymer Reactions

OK, trying to convince myself to do something about the Ladar sites that I continue to ignore.

I have always been interested in furthering my skills in EVE to include some form of manufacturing, and with T3 continuing to excel in W-Space and in the Alliance Tournament, I began looking at the first step in T3 production, Hybrid Polymer Reactions.

Here is a Quick-Guide and Video on an example Hybrid Polymer Reaction.

I have collected quite a bit of various Fullerite Gases, most at grade C-72 or Lower. If I continue to run Class 2 and 3 systems, the available gases will stay that way (i.e. I will not be seeing much C-28 or C-32 and no C-540 or C-320 at all). Based on that, I will be limited to the following reaction types:
  • Lanthanum Metallofullerene
  • PPD Fullerene Fibers
  • Fullerene InterCalculated Graphite
  • Fulleroferrocene
  • MethanoFullerene
There are always abundant Grav sites to product the necessary minerals.

After considering the inputs and outputs and current market prices, the only 3 that really make sense to produce are (in descending order of yield):
  • MethanoFullerene
  • Fulleroferrocene
  • PPD Fullerene Fibers
Because of the abundance of C-72 and C-70, and lots of Roids that yield Isogen, the logical choice for me seems to be MethanoFullerene. A quick study of the markets shows that there are lots of Buy Orders out there and the market is relatively stable.

So, my next move will see me upgrading to a Large POS with all of the required reaction arrays:
  • 2x Biochemical Silos
  • 1x Silo
  • 1x Hybrid Polymer Silo
  • 1x Polymer Reactor Array
With it, I will be deploying a hardened POS solution, with this configuration.

I will bring along all of my Artillery Batteries and anchor them, offlined in the event someone actually wants to burn the time and ammo in a C3 System to take on my hardened Large POS.

In case you are really paying attention and can see that this fit exceeds the max CPU, the answer is the refinery and all of the reaction arrays/silos will not be onlined all of the time, as I am trying to keep fuel burn to minimal as is feasible.

You may also be asking why the Medium Intensive Array instead of the larger size? Mostly because I already have the Medium Intensive Array (one less thing to buy and transport), also because the volume of ore I will be refining is relatively small compared to REAL/LEGIT refining POS's, and lastly because there is no difference in Refining Yield.

Obviously, the Hangar and Maintenance Array come with me from my current Medium POS.

Total investment into new equipment:
  • 2x Biochemical Silos (36,000,000)
  • 1x Silo (13,500,000)
  • 1x Hybrid Polymer Silo (6,750,000)
  • 1x Polymer Reactor Array (11,250,000)
  • 1x Large Minmatar Control Tower (367,000,000)
  • MethanoFullerene Reaction (13,500,000)
  • 2x Explosion Dampening Array (18,000,000)
  • 2x Ballistic Deflection Array (18,000,000)
  • 2x Heat Dissipation Array (18,000,000)
  • 2x Photon Scattering Array (18,000,000)
Total ISK Investment: 520,000,000

Ladar sites that I have seen containing these gases usually come in clouds of 3,000 units, so break-even would be just under 20 sites worth of reaction cycles of "Meth" (bad reference, but easier to type than MethanoFullerene), if prices remain stable.

And yes, EVE continues to definitely be a game of spreadsheets (assumes availability of 3,000 units each of C-72/C-50/C-84/C-70/C-60):

I am still 26 days from completing my Orca training, which will likely be a prerequisite to moving forward with the new endeavor, as there is no way I am going to haul all of this to the next system in my 2x max-cargo-expanded haulers at 13,000 m3 each per trip. ;-)

Until then, I will be continuing to work new spawns and adjoining systems. Time to try something new, as sleeper sites are getting a bit monotonous (but still profitable).

Comments welcome, as always!

(edit 12-15: Adding the Ladar site info):
  • Barren has 3,000 C50 and 1,500 C60
  • Token has 3,000 C60 and 1,500 C70
  • Minor has 3,000 C70 and 1,500 C72
  • Ordinary has 3,000 C72 and 1,500 C84
  • Sizeable has 3,000 C84 and 1,500 C50
  • Bountiful has 5,000 C28 and 1,000 C32
  • Vast has 1,000 C28 and 5,000 C32
  • Vital has 500 C320 and 6,000 C540
  • Instrumental has 500 C540 and 6,000 C320

Fly Safe!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Abandoned Valuables

By the time I logged in late today, 3 sites spawned and I quickly cleared them and then scanned down the latest exits. Back to the standard 2 static exits, one to a Class 6 and another to NullSec. No other random exits today.

I am in the habit of checking out ALL Class 5 and 6 systems these days, as I and other pilots have found them to occasionally contain abandoned ships, drones, loot, and all sorts of goods. It took a while to scan all 20 of the signatures. What a miner's dream! Some of the best Ladar sites to be found in EVE W-Space, with over 10 sites with C-540 or C-320... That is some serious gas ISK.

Other than the 11 Core sites, 10 Ladar, 6 Grav and 4 Radar, there were only exits to a C5 and a C3 (in addition to mine). I dropped into the C3 to have a look, since I am looking for a new C3 system to occupy. The system was clean, but the prior tenants had left 6 small POS turrets, so I returned with my hauler to pick them up.

Otherwise an uneventful trips and did not see a single soul today. I suppose everyday in EVE will not be a huge discovery or a 1B ISK trip to market...

I need to make a decision on whether to stay in this bottomed-out system with roughly 4 site spawns per day or to move to an adjoining system. The problem is there are never C3 entrances spawning from my system - just Class 6, NullSec, and the occasional HighSec. Time will tell - in the mean time I will keep scanning adjoining systems for a new home (or more abandoned loot!)

Fly Safe!

System Cleared and some local action

Another rare HighSec exit opened in my system today - probed it and a Retriever mining a Grav site in my system as soon as I logged in. I quickly scanned down the Retriever and plopped in 100km off so that he/she did not have a heart attack.

NOTE to occasional WH visitors dropping into occupied W-space - USE YOUR BLOODY SCANNER!

I took my time scanning down his Retriever and could have easily ganked it, but instead, being the nice, friendly, anti-pirate/griefer I am, I offered to clear the nasty sleeper spawn and allow him to mine, but he got spooked and left the system - he also refused convo (why?).

Turns out the HighSec exit was to Josameto, a paltry 2 jumps from Jita - my luck continues...

Actually turned out to be a good thing to scare him off, as a few minutes later, upon returning from a quick market run in my CovOps (Cha-Ching 450M ISK!), I saw two pirates camping the Josameto WH entrance.

I had Warped (cloaked) to a bookmark 8km from the WH entrance and I knew they were waiting for an easy catch, so I teased them by maneuvering and uncloaking 5km from their ships, shouted "BOO!" in Local, then jumped through.

Obviously they followed, and already had a interdictor warp bubble up on the other side. Bubble - pffft! I am in my CovOps, so align & cloak nearly simultaneously, then change direction in case they had a line on me as I was visible before cloak engaged. Sure enough, they roared to my prior location and ran off towards my initial direction hoping to de-cloak me. I smacked in local: "Sorry folks, cannot touch my CovOps - you are heading in the wrong direction."

I stopped about 100km out just to watch and see what would happen. They missed tackling unwary visitors TWICE over the next 30 minutes and I periodically checked back on them. After an hour with nothing to show for it, they bugged out. Poor execution on a WH Bubble IMHO.

With an exit so close to Jita, I decided to stock up on fuel and other misc. supplies. Once completed, I used my Raven and Domi to close the HighSec WH. The current system has been officially cleaned (whew! that was one packed system), except for the 7x Ladar and 4x Grav sites, which I continue to avoid. That means this system yielded just a bit shy of 3 Billion ISK in the last week!

Class 2 Gas is just not worth harvesting based on my market calculations, as I make 10x more clearing sites. I did clear the handful of C-72 clouds, but anything lower quality is just not worth the time. Like I have said before, I do not have the time nor patience for mining it seems...

I did bring back a second POS, in preparation for another move if the adjoining static W-space look inviting. Looking for a class 3 or 4 now.

Shout out: Had a nice convo with Kathistos, who recently resumed EVE after a hiatus. Came back for Apocrypha and WH exploration - Good luck with your endeavors, pilot!

In other news, my blog was added to the EVE Blog Pack - Looking forward to even more commentary and discussion! Thanks to those of you that posted to Kinux to get me added - and thanks to all of the readers in the comments - I know that everyone has been getting value from your insights...

ALSO - Shout out to the crew over at Planet Risk, who also made it onto the prestigious EVE Blog Pack - congrats guys, and good to see your coverage on the Alliance Tournament.

Safe Flying!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

All quiet...but not everywhere

My W-System continues to be quiet, typically I get the "system not loaded" message at login, meaning literally nobody has been to the system since downtime and EVE servers need to go cache the system data. I had one lonely visitor that I had to run off, but being the anti-pirate, anti-griefer that I am, I actually helped the pilot finish the sleeper site he/she was working and let them keep the loot rather than taking the easy kill. One Perimeter Checkpoint out of 63 was not a loss worth podding a fellow explorer... I closed the extremely rare HighSec WH that the pilot had entered through and continued with my efforts to cleanse this system.

I am down to 3 sleeper sites and some new Radar/Mag sites that have been spawning plus all of the Ladar and Grav sites untouched. I will clear the former and take another run to market.

I continue to struggle with the decision on how to run my Medium POS - whether to continue to let the Fuel burn at a high rate (specifically the Isotopes and Liquid Ozone) or to bring all of the defenses in-house until there is some action and then deploy. I have probably burned through 50M ISK in Isotopes and Liquid Ozone since I moved my POS and not so much as a whisper near the POS. A tiny investment considering the 1.7B ISK I have cashed in this system alone, but still... As such, I have been giving some recommended POS setups some thought and I think that I may switch to a new strategy around a "tanked" POS (I am not going to use the common reference: "d*ck star") meaning simply the POS is only supplemented with Hardeners to make the shield even more ridiculously difficult to put into reinforced mode. In fact, since the hardeners reside inside the shield bubble, the idea is to offline them until there is an attack, then online them only when needed. Less fuel burn and higher HP on-demand.

I also received a convo with Quiv over at Planet Risk - his POS has seen some recent action, and there is an excellent recap there about the experience - I consider this a "must-read" for W-space dwellers.

It also served to both support and augment my perspective on a good POS buildout - I will keep all of the turrets and active defenses stowed until needed, meanwhile maintaining offline hardeners in the event of an attack. Again, if a large force decided to make it their mission to take the POS down, they could, but the idea is to make it as big of hassle as possible - few pilots really like to stay online for 12+ hours and do nothing but re-lock the shield and shoot...

EDIT: Be sure to read comments as there is a great exchange on POS setups and perspectives.

Also - CONGRATS to Quiv on hist first-ever Bomber kill! OK, it was a poor little defenseless Iteron, but hey - it was the ENEMY and contained the resupply ammo stocks - what better way to defend than to eliminate the supply lines! It counts in my book...

Safe Flying.