Sunday, November 29, 2009

Settling In...

I logged in this morning and deployed the Large POS.

I had a few questions on why staging in a small POS: I have tried deploying the Large POS directly, but too many close calls and frayed nerves brought me to the understanding that sitting around with your arse hanging in the proverbial breeze is not a fun way to deploy a POS. So instead, I bring up the small POS and drop all of the Large POS stuff in a corp hangar. The next day (only one POS can be deployed per system per day) I go anchor the Large POS wait out the anchor and online times from the confines of my small POS shield. Once the Large POS shield is online I begin ferrying the Large POS fittings, Corp Hangar, Ship Maintenance and bring up the defenses.

With everything setup, I updated my scans and found several new exits and was able to confirm that the C2 was static - that is going to be nice! However, the new exits were to LowSec and to HighSec (1 Jump from Jita lol), and I began to see traffic. I was about to close the HighSec WH after having a nice chat with a visitor (Morshon from New Dominion corp) when EVE crashed for a while. When it came back up I figured I would take advantage of the HighSec exit and jump out for a fuel run...

But, me being me, I did a rare thing - I forgot to bookmark the HighSec-side. Although my Alt was still in W-space and could rescan all the sigs, I thought I would try Morshon - he was still relatively close and I offered him 20M ISK to fleet me and give me a jump location to the HighSec entrance to my W-space. He agreed and saved me an hour's worth of scanning - thanks Morshon!

I doubled up on fuel and supplies and am good for more than a month now. Have to leverage those convenient hub exits when you get them...

Afterward, I closed the HighSec exit and another LowSec that spawned. Looks like this system has static C2 and LowSec and is still spawning Grav and Ladar sites - I will have plenty to do here after I clear the remaining (still over 14 left) sleeper sites.

Fly Safe!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Return to W-Space

Logged on tonight after returning from California for the Thanksgiving holiday, scanned a few LowSec systems in my normal "branch" pattern, and discovered a Class-2 entrance only one jump away from my staging base. Funny how you can scan countless systems to no avail and then just happen upon a local entrance like that...

So, this C2 has 22 sleeper sites, 1 Magnometric, 4 Ladar, 4 Grav and an exit to LowSec, Class 2, and a Class 3. Not sure yet which one is static. Hope it is the C3!

I set up my small staging POS, then transported the large POS package in a series of trips. I used my CovOps to maintain scouting positions and had to wait out some pirate traffic before completing some hauler trips, but otherwise it was a pretty quiet deployent.

Once the downtime occurs and the "next day" limiter expires (cannot deploy more than one POS per day), I will deploy the large POS and the full defenses. Until then, I brought a handful of hardeners online - I just need to avoid trouble for 18 hours or so...

In the mean time, I cleared 5 sites and plan to do more tomorrow after the Large POS goes online.

Fly Safe!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

EVE Dominion and Wormholes

Just thought I would capture my thoughts on the recent update to the information CCP is publishing on Dominion and Null-Sec colonization, from a wormholer's perspective.
NOTE: All of what follows is a personal perspective and should in no way be considered fact or any kind of instruction as what YOU, the casual reader, should do. In stating such, I hope to quell the influx of rants that would otherwise cascade into my blog comments admin ;-P
With the capabilities provided regarding spawn rates of high-quality mining and profession sites, Dominion brings me back to a major reason why I initially got very interested in Apocrypha and W-space, which is to say that I wanted to (begin to) gain experience in a NullSec environment. I had done my proverbial time on HighSec missioning, grew my skills, and became adept at plexing in LowSec for those high-ISK yield C-Type modules. The latter gave me experience in the use of Local, DScan, Probing, Safespots, etc. After that, I really began thinking about NullSec and my desire to get out there.

There was only one key issue there - most NullSec corps/alliances are not looking to bring on Non-PvP Plexers and Mission Runners! They want straight-up PvP and to some extent straight-up Industrialists. They are not really interested in "Please charge me 5% Tax rate to allow me to Rat/Mine/Plex in your territory" pilots.

Why? I was never really sure why this model was not interesting to NullSec corps, that is until I understood that they have all the riches they need from a select group of Moons, and as such do not have ANY need for little minions generating fractional ISK to support their capital ship costs.

However, with the purported changes coming in Dominion regarding Moon-Goo yields (huge drops in ISK Yield), and with the model identified by Dominion regarding "use it or lose it" system upgrades, the opportunity for small corps to "Rent Out" NullSec systems now becomes feasible and potentially highly lucrative for the major NullSec stakeholders. As long as these major NullSec Corps and Alliances continue to provide territorial defense, a new sources of good income can be tapped in the form of "NullSec Colonists".

For example, given the options of:
  • A - Commit major ISK to a colonization of a (growingly rare) Class 3 W-space system with consistent neighboring spawns
  • B - Commit major ISK to a colonization of a systematically developed and upgraded NullSec system
I would be excited to give Option B a try. The risks are different of course, but for those of us actively looking to slowly join the ranks of large fleet battles or even regional skirmishes to defend our (and our neighbor's) colonies, I think Dominion carries a huge opportunity. I don't want or need CONCORD protection - I actually enjoyed Low-Sec. The problem with Low-Sec is that it is not really colonize-able, short of a Providence-like uber-corporation controlling the area.

As a matter of fact, Dominion itself feels more like a Providence model, albeit with systematically controllable elements to upgrade your local grounds, rather than constantly roaming ala Mongolian style.

I am actually seeing Dominion as a possible next step towards NullSec, Defensive skirmish PvP, and eventually Fleet PvP.

(edit) I also wanted to point out Letrange's post, which I read after publishing my post and thought was well crafted.

Fly Safe!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday and Skill Planning

I leave in just three days for holiday, where I will not have sufficient online access to support an onlined POS. As such, I will stick to some local Low-Sec plexing until I leave this Saturday. After the holiday, I will resume my Low-Sec search for a suitable C3.

In the mean time, and throughout the holiday, I am finishing up skill training on Caldari T3 (Tengu!) - only 14 days to Skill Level 5 on the remaining Caldari T3 skills. Although I can already get into a T3, I typically wait for at least level IV ship skills before actively piloting. In the case of an expensive T3 Tengu, I figured I wanted that last bit of edge.

Separate note - Had some good convos with Quiv - we had been independently thinking about the future of W-space and share a belief in parent-corp/alliance efforts. I posted some comments on my thoughts about the future of w-space colonization here - look for some fun and interesting points in the near future from Quiv.

Fly Safe!

Monday, November 16, 2009

This space occupied (redux)

I posted back in August about the growing difficulty in finding a suitable W-space home. Since then, the trend has continued to the extent that even finding a good W-space system from LowSec is extremely difficult.

There is a good post on this topic here.

I agree that the likely future for W-space is some classic consolidation. If you are a solo or solo+alt corp trying to maintain a presence in W-space, the time may quickly come for you to join forces and pay homage to a "parent corp", otherwise you will likely face challenges defending your territory.

The most likely arena for this will likely be in Class 3 or higher w-space systems, where the w-space systems can generate an ISK yield to support larger corps.

It has grown crowded out here in w-space! Favorite analogy, posted by Xonus:

"...In this game, we have a limited number of systems and spaces for people. I wouldn't mind if someone set up a cabin in the forest somewhere and occasionally hunted. But, if everyone set up a cabin in the forest somewhere, it would cease to be a forest."

Safe Flying!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

POS Unanchored

OK, well it took nearly 5 hours, but the ECM structure was finally repaired and I was able to avoid hostiles long enough to get the POS and that structure out to my LowSec base. Best part was running the repper AFK for the last hour before downtime, knowing that this morning I could login and finish it up. I suppose I was lucky that no pilots came into the system and probed my POSprey, but I valued my sleep more than the remaining goods. ;-)

What a pain, but happy that I am not abandoning the POS (and of course the 100M replacement savings).

Off to my RL TODO list, but online tonight to see if I can scan a good LowSec WH entrance...

Fly Safe!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

POS Incapacitated Structures

I have seen a lot of posts regarding the issues relating to incapacitated structures and the related inability to unanchor the POS until all surrounding structures are unanchored.

I logged in the other night to find one of my White Noise Generation Batteries in an "Incapacitated" state, meaning someone had slugged it out and pounded that structure until it was nothing but structure left. I can see why the pilot stopped at structure - the structure benefits from a 99% Hull Resist with the Tower present. You would need a fleet of BS's to take down the Hull.

So, here I am, ready to pack up and leave this crappy C1, but now I either have to repair 1,500,000 worth of armor or try to destroy 100,000 HP worth of structure with 99% resists... Hmmm.... Forget the latter - only option is the repping route.

The issue here is that while the tower is anchored, it applies the 99% resist to hull for the structures. However, you cannot unanchor the tower unless all structures are destroyed or repaired. Impasse.

This is why there are so many abandoned POS's in W-Space. Basically, I am left with either spending 6-8 hours of my limited play time repping or I take everything except the POS. After making the 500M, I am not going to sweat leaving this 100M ISK Small POS in lieu of repping it - just not worth it. However, I am loathe to leave another POS just floating in space. So, I jump out and bring back a POSprey (Osprey fitted for Armor Repair). I can run the armor reppers while AFK, so rather than spending a some time hunting for a new home, I spend tonight repping the structure. I am 3-hours into it, with a check-in about every 15-30 minutes or so.

During this period, my static LowSec exit respawned to a much less pirate-infested system, and I was able to transport everything except the POS and the ECM structure to a local station. Going to set the Repper for AFK and go to bed. If someone happens to jump in, that POSprey will be easy pickings, but we will see...

It makes no sense to me that you cannot unanchor a tower with an incapacitated structure anchored. If this is about space clutter, then allow the POS to unanchor and then allow incapacitated structures, when the Tower is no longer present, expire like cans do after several hours?

Safe Flying

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Like most of us, I have family members that have participated (and in some cases are currently active) in almost every major conflict in which the United States has been involved, going back to WWII.

I feel that these men and women deserve recognition of the fact that they have risked, and lost their lives for the freedom of the rest of this dear planet. Their sacrifices, whether it be time away from beloved family or even their lives, should be remembered.

Veterans: We appreciate what you have done for us. There are no words to express the impact you have had on all of us.

Dedicating this post to:
  • My Grandfather on my Dad's side, who served in the Army WWII, witnessed D-Day, was a tank and armored personnel carrier driver and lost many close friends.
  • My Grandfather on my Mom's side, who served in the Air Force as a B-52 pilot and also saw an enormous number of friends lost.
  • My Brother-in-Law, who currently serves in the Air Force and has seen hostile, active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • My Step-Brother, who served as a paratrooper for 4 years and was involved in a major conflict.
Thank You.

Final Tally for this C1

Final Tally for all 34 sites was 503,310,384 ISK. The issue was basically that so few of the wrecks dropped the Melted Nanoribbons.

The sites were:
  • 13x Perimeter Ambush Point
  • 12x Perimeter Camp
  • 7x Phase Catalyst Node
  • 1x The Line
  • 1x Forgotten Perimeter Coronation Platform
With that, all that is left are 2x Grav and 5x Ladar sites. Not really planning on sticking around to clear them, so next online time will be jumping out of the static lowsec and scanning for other WH's.

Fly Safe!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Low Class-1 W-space yields

Cleared 21 of the 34 sites and ran a short 9 jumps in the current LowSec exit to Jita to sell off the loot. Total yield: 198M ISK. More proof that the same effort would have yielded 3x in a Class2.

No other pilot traffic here as yet, and although I am getting some light respawns of the sleeper sites, I am wasting time here. Going to wait out a few more days to see if any interesting exits spawn, otherwise getting out of here by Friday.

Safe Flying!

Class 1 Wormholes

First, a little back-story on why I find myself in Class 1 wormhole, as you may be wondering...

After pounding the proverbial systems looking for a suitable Class 3, I found myself mostly "chaining" (in some cases 3 or 4 w-space systems) deep into W-space, hoping for a good C3.

I actually found a packed C1 system with two Class 3 exits, a Class 2 exit and a LowSec exit. I figured (wrongly as it turns out) that at least one of the C3's or the C2 would be static, and with the extremely close proximity to my staging base (get this: one K-space jump + 3 W-space jumps!), I figured this was as good as any to move my "Large POS package" out to W-space.

With the 2 new Iteron V's packed and ready to go, I made quick work out of deploying a Small POS and Hanger to the C1, where my plan was to stage everything there until I found a good C3 exit spawn. Essentially, the small POS and Hangar are the "beachhead" to store the large POS package of tower and all associated modules. The 2 "currently adjoining" C3's were heavily populated, so I was willing to park myself and the entire C3 Large POS package until a good C3 spawned.

Well, turns out that this Class 1 only has a SINGLE static exit, that to LowSec. This is the first time I recall ever seeing W-space with only a single static exit, so I was pretty miffed. This could be common with C1's? But, since the system was packed with over 34 sites and I was a bit rusty after being offline the last month, I decided to go take down some sleeper sites. Because this is a C1, I could not bring in my BS's, so this was all about the trusty Drake. I knew from the earliest of early Apocrypha days that my Drake would not even break a sweat in a C1 even if I fully spawned the whole site. I cleared 10 sites in just under 2 hours.

It has been so long since I was in a Class 1 that several things occurred to me after my first day there:
  • The first observation mentioned above - that the C1 had only a single recurring exit. This one was to LowSec. Literally every w-space system where I have take up residence had two recurring/static exits. The fact that the only recurring exit is to LowSec means that I will have less likelihood of a quality adjoining system spawn and may mean I need to move my deployment package back to K-Space once I clean out this system. If a quality exit spawns before I empty this C1, then fine - C1's are low yield ISK.
  • C1 Sleeper sites are dominated by Emergent (Frigate) spawns, which have a skewed effect on drone consumption. My only prior experiences with C1 systems were "day-trips" while I was still getting up to speed on sleeper sites and ship fittings. At that time, I had not used drone DPS to any great extend and missed this observation. As compared to C2 or C3 sites, which are dominated by Cruiser and BattleCruiser sleepers, C1 sites are spawns of mostly frigates, which love to go after the drones. The BC's have poor tracking and it is really rare to lose a light drone to a Sleeper BC or BS. For example, in the last four Class 2/3 systems in total, I have lost no more than 9 drones. We are talking 100+ sleeper sites and tons of sleepers. But, in the first 5 sleeper sites alone for this system, I lost 6. As such, I need to slightly correct my prior statements regarding drone usage from "Ideal for C3 and below" to be "Ideal for C2 and C3" sites. Sentry drones would actually be ideal for C1, as they can be immediately recalled and the Emergent sleepers always come to you, whereas you need to strategically warp-in for C2/3 sites for efficient sleeper BS pwnage.
  • Proportionally smaller ISK yield. I would have expected C1 systems to yield less valuable loot, but linearly, not exponentially. Whereas there is a reasonable lift in yield when going from a C2 to a C3 system, the drop in yield from a C2 to C1 is substantial. Class 1 systems are a good starting point for testing your skills, but I am now going to regularly advise Class 2 and the minimum class for your first POS deployments.
That's all for now - back to (RL) work. Hopefully a good C2 or C3 will spawn from this C1 and I can get back to more challenging environments...

Fly Safe!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I now officially own the title of IDIOT

Oh yeah, riiiight...faction standings.

OK, from time to time we all do something extremely stupid. Been a while for me, but today takes first prize in my EVE career.

The irony was that this entire adventure started with a return to a previously abandoned POS (read post). After coming to realize the very reason I abandoned said POS was the fact that no good C2-C4 systems EVER seem to spawn for me there, I had just finished unanchoring everything and transporting everything to a nearby LowSec exit station. I recovered more than 90M ISK worth of arrays and guns from the old haunt and stowed it in the station and then set course for Amarrian space, home of my staging base.

Old POS Note: Regrettably, two of the guns were incapacitated and I did not have the repping fittings to get them back to be able to unanchor, so the old POS still resides out there in J161138 where I long ago wrote-off the tower.

I figured my first run back to my staging system would be the Fuel, Strontium and Hangar I had just brought out to power up the old POS. Here is where I should have paused to recall that my Caldari character piloting the quite-expensively fit Itty V has a Gallente security rating of -7.5 (aka GTFO-IWILLPWNUHEREDONTTHINKOFSHOWINGYOURPODGOOCRUSTEDASS).

But noooooo... I am playing the part of an idiot today!

So here I am, all packed up in my Iteron Mark V, max-fitted with Cargo rigs, Expanders, etc. and filled with POS Fuel, Stront, Small (staging) POS, Corp Hanger and lots of other expensive goods.

Cool! I mutter, only 18 jumps! I avoid gankers in the 4 jumps through LowSec, but as soon as I jump into the next system, poof! I am CONCORDOKKENPWNED. I was toast the moment I hit Jump.

After all of this time in W-Space, I had forgotten that my Gallente status was criminal (from back in the early days when I used to mission run in Caldari).

An expensive lesson in not paying attention to your faction standings and flight path. Using my Gallente Alt I was able to recover the Hangar Array, half the Strontium (all in GSC's), and some fuel, but that little mistake cost me over 450M ISK.

I can take the hit, with billions of ISK in reserve and a full Large POS configuration procured and sitting in my staging hangar, but that really sucked.

Safe (and SMART) flying.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What is old is new again...

Talk about karma!

After a system-failure-induced 4-week hiatus from EVE, before I can even begin my second round of probing, I get a convo request from one Zendane of Phoibe Enterprises (Member of SOLAR WING). Now, I was AFK at the time of the request, and had no idea how long it had been, but I responded and he laid a proverbial bombshell on me.

Turns out his corp stumbled into my old, abandoned POS. Yes, the Class 2 POS home that yielded me Billions of ISK, which I later abandoned because I was too spoiled to bother spending 4+ hours offlining and unanchoring everything.

After a fun chat, Zendane offered to meet me in a lowsec entrance and fleet me back to the POS.

Next karma fact - only 13 jumps from my Amarr staging base! It less than 10 minutes to run over in my Covops to meet Zendane and his corp, fleet up, and bingo - we arrived.

Funny thing is: The entire POS setup was virtually untouched. What a thrill/rush to see the old domicile in such great shape! The POS Tower itself, all 8 ECM Batteries, the Webification and Warp Disruption Batteries, and all 12 of the the Guns! Only a couple had been shot at and needed minor repairs. The only two structures destroyed were the Corporate Hangar and Ship Maintenence arrays. When I abandoned this POS, the Ship Maint array was empty and the Hangar had some C-70 gases.

After a quick scan of the system showed a fairly well stocked system, I made the decision to send my alt in with fuel and power the sucker up!

It was a little nerve-racking to bring the Iteron Mark V through LowSec at peak online time, but now I was motivated. My Covops serving as scout, I made it through unscathed. Was nice to have a fully prepped transport ready to go with fuel for a month. In less than 60 minutes from initial convo, I had onlined the POS and deployed a new hangar. Then I had to logoff for a trip to family dinner.

I am dubbing the newly reinvigorated POS "Apeiron Redux". (NOTE: Apeiron is Greek for Unlimited, Boundless)

(I will keep the dedication name up for a few days)

So here comes the karma angle. I have been offline without a gaming system for 4 weeks. The Class 2 exit Zendane's corp probed that led to the POS system was a 24-hour cycle. I just happened to be home, with my newly replaced system online, just as they found the POS. Not only that, but a friendly corp that just happened to have a member that reads this very blog...

Pretty cool IMHO.

With gushing thanks, I parted with Zendane and Phoibe Enterprises. Later tonight I got a chance to get back online and scan all of the exits - I need to find a route to bring in the ships, fuel and the other goods required to stay here for the next few weeks. Hopefully I will find a new Class 3 at about the same time I finish cleaning out this system.

Shout out to Zendane and Phoibe Enterprises! Thanks pilots! Best of luck.

Fly Safe...

Searching for W-space home #7

Tonight I covered 16 K-space WH's and more than 80 sigs within W-space, looking for the "deep" jump to an unoccupied Class 3. But, all attached systems and their respective w-space exits were populated and/or were dead-ends tonight. Not a single vacant W-space system in over 30 w-space systems I toured tonight - quite different from May-July, when you had your proverbial pick...

Shout out to Galen - I buzzed his POS tonight and had a good chat with him. He was my last site of the night (21 POS hits total).

I regularly scan down ALL of the resident POS and ships, as twice I have found abandoned POS sites with good salvaging and have found abandoned ships on many occasions.

Checking out the resident POS, if/when said residents are "in", can cause the familiar "alert and bust-ass back to the POS" frenzy that all of us W-space dwellers have been through - I might get in the habit of posting "passing through" to local if I see pilots in scan... Not that it really puts the resident(s) at ease, but was sorry to interrupt Galen and their ops.

Fly Safe!