Friday, January 29, 2010

What I am NOT doing

Well, even with just my first 12 hours in 3 months outside of W-space, I can attest to what a difference POS maintenance in W-Space represents in term of EVE commitments.

As such, here is a list of things that I will not be doing daily:
  • Logging in from work 3-4 times per day to check on T3 jobs, starting new reactions, component jobs and subsystem jobs, and making sure there are no recent POS attacks.
  • Logging in nightly for 3+ hours to scan any new exits, clear any new spawns, and evaluate adjoining exits for safety/closure.
  • Constantly monitoring fuel reserves for rare HighSec refueling opportunities
  • Not stressing over whether or not I cleared all possible sleeper sites before another pilot does
All of this ties into my recent post on the demands of W-Space colonization - a "must-read" IMHO.

Fly Safe!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Exiting W-Space

A rare and convenient HighSec exit opened yesterday and I had logged on just in time to get about 75% of the transport effort completed before downtime for the Dominion patch.

I had a handful of subsystem assembly jobs remaining anyways, so today I logged in from work and spent the 90 seconds needed to kick those off. Once I get a chance to login tonight I will be taking down the remaining POS structures and evaluate the best LowSec exit to take everything out. Hopefully another nice HighSec exit opens, but it had been close to a month prior to this recent HighSec exit...

So, although I found some great neighbors in a really nice C2 with the right static exits, I need to take a short break from W-space. I will continue my T3 production in the near future, and will likely just spend some intermittent time on getting my Caldari toon's Gallente standings back up to avoid future mishaps. I will likely leave the scanning alt in-system just in case I have a hard time finding a good home in the future.

Not a true hiatus from Eve, just turning down the volume to catch my proverbial breath.

Fly Safe!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blockade Runner Transports == WIN

So after my previous thrashing while attempting to transport some goods out of Jita, I took the friendly advice given by some readers here and picked up a blockade runner Viator, fitted for CovOps cloaking.

With these transports, you can choose a type that provide bonuses towards hitpoints (HP) and Warp Strength (ex: Occator) or to fitting a Covops (Viator). Since I am max skilled already for CovOps ability, I went for the Viator.

Although the Occator-style blockade runner transport is meant to increase armor and warp strength for staying power in HighSec (i.e. to outlast the ganker), after seeing the ships being used in the latest gankfests (Uedama, Perimeter, etc.), I am not really all that sure that the improved armor tank would last long enough.

With the Covert Ops Cloaking Device, which allows you to warp while cloaked, you are essentially getting Helios-like gatecamp busting in a Transport.

My trip to market today saw huge gank-camps in the usual keyhole system of Uedama and the main entrypoints to Jita (Urlen, Perimeter). But I was able to skirt past the gankers. I did have to shake a follower by pausing briefly in Haatomo 100km off a station, otherwise the trip was nicely uneventful.

Back to completing some T3 subsystem manufacturing and then likely pulling out of WSpace for a short stint.

Fly Safe!

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Neighbors

In a case of intriguing coincidence - last night I happened to be chatting with Mick online and we were discussing the 7 untouched Grav Sites in my system. We agreed that I should warp-to-cancel on all of them to trigger a faster respawn cycle.

Just as I was wrapping up with Mick and prepping to do so, I get a convo request from a Mining corp in an adjoining C2. They were salivating over all the tonnage of untouched Frontier Grav sites and were asking if a peaceful mining corp could join me in the system. After a little deliberation, I agreed (much to the chagrin of some nameless others who thought otherwise ;-P).

Risky, but as always I look at how to expand horizons in this game. Although there was a perfect gank opportunity, I actually looked forward to getting a neighbor and watched dscan and combat probed for any traffic while they moved in. A pretty efficient move I must say, and they had their POS, Orca, Hulks, Covetors, and all the rest of their ships all stowed away in just under 3 hours.

I volunteer when available to clear the token sleeper presence when they take on the next grav site, just so they do not have to swap out ships. I actually got a kick out of fleeting up tonight just to warp out to their operation to see what a large mining fleet looks like - have never seen one "live".

Talk about 'Roid PWNAGE! Below are some pics (corp and names anonymous by request) - and one funny comment from the crew once I told them to smile and look nice for the camera: "Dohh! You should have let us bring out the Hulks!" - they were even nice enough to pose the Orca on the field for a quick screenshot as well.

Bottom Line - actually good to see the yield being generated out of the Gravs - if you read this blog you are familiar with my typical banter on how much ISK is being left on the proverbial table...

As always, Fly Safe!

Monday, January 18, 2010

EVE Grids and WH Exit management

A couple of pilots and I have been comparing notes on static exits that have not been "loaded" or "have not loaded their grid". Essentially what this means is, knowing I have 2 static exits, I scan the location of the exits, bookmark them, but do not warp-to the exit (not even warp and stop).

What we have collectively seen is that these exits do not abide by their otherwise-mandated lifespan (i.e. Max Stable Time). For example, my static LowSec Exit, an A239, should have a max lifetime of 24 hours. However, the A239 static exit has persisted in the same scanning location for nearly 3 days now, having not warped-to the location and by doing so loading the grid.

It appears that the exit timer does not really start until/unless you load the grid for that particular exit. It will eventually respawn elsewhere in your w-space, seemingly according to standard respawn conventions of 4-6 days.

This in itself does not really mean that much, but when you combine this fact with the circumstantial evidence that, by not loading the exit WH grid, the corresponding K162 it would otherwise be opening to another system is not actually occurring, then it becomes relevant. If there are no K162's and you have not loaded grid for the statics, then essentially it seems your W-space is marooned. Nothing keeping incoming K162's from forming, but if true, you need not worry about constantly closing that nasty nullsec static exit as long as you never load it's grid.

For example, using the dotlan maps to monitor my system traffic, I have identified that if no incoming K162's form AND if I never load the grids for the 2 static exits, I never get outside pilot traffic. I have only been accessing my static C2 lately and I close the exit once I am done working the adjoining system. In many days I can account for all of the dotlan jumps in my w-space based on my own jumps.

Continuing to gather data, but if true, it could simplify WH exit management.

Fly Safe!

BREAKING NEWS: All Jita Scams attributed to Spectre3353!

Breaking news from EVE Online - the recent departure of Spectre3353 has been tied to the recent absence of literally all Jita scams! CCP sources who have recently posted about the complete drop in Jita scam activity have tied the recent trend to the recent decision by Spectre3353 to cease engaging in Jita scams (and EVE in general, for now...).

"What are all of the petition researchers going to do now?", questioned a CCP source that desired anonymity. He continues - "With the current volume drop of petitions stemming from this extreme drop-off in Jita scamming, we may have to literally sack some employees."

Although Spectre could not be reached for comment, he was rumored to be rolling in vast piles of ISK he recently acquired in Jita scams.

What the long-term impact of Jita local and CCP petition workers will be is currently unknown. All this pilot can say is "Hey, could you throw some of that ill-gotten ISK my way"...

NOTE: The entirety of this post is PURE FICTION and intended only to reference Spectre's recent departure contest and to wish him all the best in his GL and RL endeavors. I for one expect to see him back in action in under 3 months... ;-P

Fly Safe!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

No emoragequit...

I think I need to clarify something from the prior post - nowhere in the post was an emoragequit, and I laughed it off in local. I had already mentioned I was taking a break, which was prior to the gank. With the ISK in my wallet, 300M is not a real hit, just bitching about the lost effort.

Quick update - Already cleared Radar/Mag 9 sleeper sites in the adjoining system today - I may park a scanner alt there, as it appears to have C3, C5 and HighSec statics, which is extremely rare - either that or one of those exits is one of those equally rare Non-K162, Non-recurring exits. Regardless, there was an abandoned Small POS there with arrays anchored - if it is still unoccupied I will likely check it out soon. There are still over 30 regular sleeper sites remaining, so this system has not really seen recent action.

Other than running the 9 sites, today was really just spent checking into Eve every few hours to cycle through the next Refine batch. I wanted to refine all my ores before I transport out of here.

Fly Safe!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

HighSec Ganked

Yep, I saw all the signs - ship trailing for 8 jumps, lots of concord presence on the way to Jita, etc., a lock at the Jita station exit (likely a cargo scan?), but I still just stubbornly continued jumping systems enroute back to my W-space. Even with more than 20 Concord ships present at the Uedema gate from Ikao, all it took for my comparatively paper thin Iteron was a single gank ship (he popped within 5 seconds of me by Concord of course) and then watch as three others afterburner to my wreck - ganked and looted in less than 30 seconds. Efficient.

A first for me, after 2 years of Eve - and I actually had a VERY expensive cargo for T3 production, with over 300M ISK worth of production materials ganked plus the replacement cost of a max rigged Itty 5 (another 20M, plus the hassle...).

One post to local from me: "Lol, nice gank"

I try to convince myself it is just a game...and it is, but that is some serious effort down the drain. No crocodile tears, just a , , and even more reason to take a break.

Fly Safe!

Evaluating W-Space System Traffic

I have begin using the DOTLAN maps site for some time now, but only recently became aware that these maps and system data had been extended to cover W-space systems as well. The syntax is simply:{systemid}


I have found them to be invaluable in terms of assessing traffic to my own system when I have not been online and for evaluating adjoining systems to determine the resident's (if any) activity and timezone(s).

For example, if you look at a typical system (this happens to be my most recent adjoining system), you can see that although there is some recent jump activity (2 of the jumps were me), there has been very little sleeper site action.

This site happened to have a ton of sleeper sites and a VERY well defended and established POS with dual active hybrid reactions systems running. So obviously an incumbent, but one that does not necessarily seem interested in the sleeper sites, or at least not in the last few days.

With this information, I can determine with some level of confidence when the residents will be online/in-system and provide me a safer time-line for me to clear some sites while they are offline. It also provides a good indication of how "trafficked" the system is and may influence your decision on whether or not to close the WH to the system.

This system, for example, had a high jump count, so I assumed that it may have a HighSec exit - which it did.

Good to use all tools available!

Fly Safe!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The demands of W-Space Colonization

I have seemingly reached a point in my W-Space experience where I can honestly say I need a break. After clearing this latest system and stockpiling an amazing amount of T3 materials, I am ready to leave W-space for a while.

The key issue here is that W-space life requires a nearly constant vigil on the POS and the W-space system. I suppose that goes for anyone maintaining an active POS, but in W-space, it is combined with a "use it or lose it" race to capitalize on all of the available resources before someone else does.

As a result, I found my EVE online time skyrocket recently from a relatively (in my terms) stable and reasonable 4-6 hours per week to an incredible 20-30 hours per week, mostly in the late night hours, but has also intruded into RL impact. This is simply not sustainable. Back when I was running LowSec exploration sites (ad before that, missioning), I could go for days without logging in and simply log time when convenient. Recently, I have felt chained to my W-space operation - not optimal.

So, I will be tearing down my W-space operation as soon as I can get a good exit and focus for a while on T3 production and continue to complete my max skills for mining (an area where I continue to leave a ton of ISK behind in the form of W-space Grav sites).

I will not be selling off the POS and fittings - I will return to W-space soon enough - just a needed break from the constant W-space POS vigil...

Fly Safe!

System Cleared

Last night I finished the last of the sleeper sites and I must say, it was a chore. With nearly 60 sites originally, only a half-dozen were cleared by visitors when I was offline - this meant a LOT of grinding and a lot of valuable loot.

Enough so that I now stashed more than 250 Melted Nano's (and enough hybrid polymers to seemingly last years) stashed away in concord space for future T3 production. More on that in another post.

So for now, other than the 7 Grav sites that are literally untouched other than the roids I harvest to support hybrid reactions, my system is clear and further efforts will again focus on hitting the adjoining systems.

Funny story - as I was going back and running salvage (I typically clear 3-5 sites and then return with my Cormorant salvager for REALLY fast salvaging), I arrive at one site and see a Zephyr sitting there. My first thought - BAIT! So, I align to my base and target the Zephyr to see what happens - absolutely nothing... Obviously, said Zephyr pilot is AFK. A quick check of the pilot info shows that he is a member of a big Russian alliance, so I decide to cap me a Zephyr - I BM his location and return with a Drake that, unlike my Cormorant, actually has firepower.

For some reason, though, my Warp landed me 25km off target (yes, tackle FAIL), so I lock anyways and race with AB active to get into tackle range, firing missiles as I went. Apparently the first missile or two awoke the groggy pilot and he escaped with 50% structure. He had come in through a HighSec K162, which was quickly put into Verge of Collapse.

Also, a great string of Reverse Engineering successes to report on the actual BPCs I wanted! Always a bonus when you actually get desired T3 BPCs...

Fly Safe!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reverse Engineering Success Probability

I have had a lot of pilots ask about T3 production and variable costs involved. One of the first things about T3 production that people often overlook is the fact that only some subsystems are profitable for production (e.g. the materials cost is greater than the market value), and that the subsystems you can manufacture are dictated by the (randomized) outcome of your Reverse Engineering (RE) attempts.

Each applicable Relic has three types: Wrecked, Malfunctioning, and Intact. These three types are used to establish a "base probability" in the calculation on success rate (i.e. the percentage of attempts resulting in a subsystem BPC) and a predetermined production run count:
  • Wrecked relics have a base probability of 20% and a run count of 3.
  • Malfunctioning relics have a base probability of 30% and a run count of 10.
  • Intact relics have a base probability of 40% and a run count of 20.
The RE success probability is a factor of the base rate and your applicable skill levels in RE and associated datacores. Relics each have their own respective skill requirements, specific to the datacores required for RE. The higher the skill levels in the base Reverse Engineering and required data core skills, the higher the success probability.

The formula for RE success probability is:

success rate = base rate x [1 + reverse engineering skill level x 0.01] x [1 + (datacore 1 skill level + datacore 2 skill level) x 0.1]

As you can see, the skill level for Reverse Engineering is dramatically less important than the datacore skills. As such, I advise minimal required training on RE and max skilll levels on your datacore skills.

Here is a GoogleDoc link you can use to save locally to calculate your success probability.

As an example, if you skilled RE to 3 and both datacore skills to 3, then your success probabilities would be:

Wrecked: 32.96%
Malfunctioning: 49.44%
Intact: 65.92%

Taking the extra time to get just those datacore skills to 5 (leaving RE at 3) would be:

Wrecked: 41.2%
Malfunctioning: 61.8%
Intact: 82.4%

The actual RE job itself, if successful, will randomly produce any one of the four subsystems for that particular relic, which means you first cross your proverbial fingers that the RE job is successful, then again cross them that the desired BPC has resulted. I cannot count how many times I have cursed a successful RE job that provided me with a useless BPC!

FYI - Here is a great reference page for EVE Formulas

Safe Flying!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quiet Night...

In contrast to the last few sessions online, I was able to login tonight and simply confirm that there were no K162's, the system was vacant of hostiles, and I could just grind out the sleeper sites while running some T3 component manufacturing.

Cleared 22 sites tonight for a total of 96 Melted Nano's - pretty good yield on the market, but these are going towards T3...

Just about time to start bringing the subsytems to market - pretty excited about that, although I am keeping some select subsystems for my own...

Fly Safe!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Marooned in NullSec

Well, in attempting to close a new K162 from NullSec, I managed to overestimate the remaining mass and got my Star Defender toon marooned all the way into deep, deep nullsec. F76-8Q to be exact.

Yes, in between my location and home was the largest battleground in Eve.

So, I chart a course around all of the heavy action and 43 jumps later, 39 of those in NullSec, I managed to squeak by 3 gatecamps that I can only say I survived because I was "going in the wrong direction" - all the gatecamps were on the destination side of my warps, not the entrypoints.

So, although I was in a Caldari Navy Raven (yes, I was going for BS mass on closing the exit and yes I was dumb enough to risk a 4ooM fit CNR for WH busting, I can hear it already...), I managed a few quick aligns to various stellar bodies and maintain a step ahead of some pursuers, and got lucky enough to make it back to HighSec. Whew!

Seeing that I had brought my trusty old CNR missioning ship out of the dust bin on a whim, I decided this was a great opportunity to park it back in friendly territory, then flew the rest of my way back to my current LowSec exit (another 42 jumps) in a shuttle.

Basically a wasted night of fying all over New Eden, but managed to get a very expensive ship back to safety and learned another lesson on W-space exit management.

Fly Safe!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The grass is greener...

Today's C2 exit brought a surprise in the form of a packed system - so much here in fact (~60 sites) that I decided to move my entire base of operations into this adjoining system:

The move was long and complicated - long gone is the "Mongolian lifestyle" of hopping systems with my trusty little Small POS, Corp Hangar and Ship Maintenance Array. No, this was a 6-hour ordeal, even with twin, max-rigged Iteron 5's. With a month of fuel, all the defenses, the silos and other components for hybrid reactions, and subsystem construction, we are talking serious transport and logistics.

Turns out that this new system also contains static C2 and LowSec, so I lucked out and ended up in a new system and the same recurring exits. This system does not enjoy the shield regen bonuses my previous system had, however, which was noticeable when it came to clearing radar sites - I had to remote rep my Drake briefly for the first time in ages.

Ironically, just about the time I had finished up the move and was anchoring defenses, some visitors started coming through a new exit in my "old' system. I quickly acted to close the WH, but I could only get it to "Verge of collapse" as I did not know the remaining mass and did not want to risk leaving a ship on the other side.

Later, I found that a pilot had jumped through that critical WH (assuming it closed behind him/her) in a Helios and for some reason ran out of (or gasp! did not have) probes! I discovered the abandoned T2 Helios sitting right at the closed WH location - it also had heavy armor and structure damage, so not exactly sure what happened, but I now have a spare, fully fitted Helios... BTW - I love having the Ship Maintenance Array and the Corp Hangar. I simply swapped fittings on my alt for remote armor and remote hull repair and in less than 2 minutes I had a good-as-new second Helios.

All quiet now and I have cleared the 2 Radar and 8 of the sleeper sites. Will continue to clear while conditions are optimal (e.g. no visitors). Lots of sites to clear!

Fly Safe!

Monday, January 4, 2010


We break from our regularly scheduled W-Space post to bring you an update on LightTraveler, who was last seen traveling to his old-old base of operations in Hykanima to clear out some old BPO Copy Jobs that were restricting his Reverse Engineering capacity here in W-Space.

En-route to said system, he reported passing through the oft-camped Onnamon-Kinakka gateway to LowSec. These were, after all, his LowSec stomping grounds for close to a year immediately prior to the Great W-Space Migration. Never a problem with his trusty CovOps, he had no problem jumping through and Warp-Cloaking to avoid the substantial gatecamp presence.

After logging that he successfully cleared the BPO Jobs in Hykanima , he decided to clean up some year-old fittings, selling some locally and then dropping the rest into cargo, including some old skill books that had long since been trained - he planned on dropping by Jita to put them on market on the return route to the new LowSec exit that opened in Lonetrek. He was last seen in Kinakka evaluating the longer route around the camped gate or to cloak through. Seeing that he had done so dozens of time previously, he was cleared to proceed and attempted the jump.

However, a cascading failure of internal warp and cloaking system malfunctions led to the demise of LightTraveler's long-lived Helios and his pod. His last report was from his Clone base in Isinokka, where he was showering before taking a shuttle to his new Helios. His return to the new LowSec exit is imminent.

(OOC) Classic EVE - before I even exited warp I was podded. How I could have been locked, shot, ship destroyed, pod-locked, and then podded before I even exited warp is beyond me, but I tally it up to game mechanics and lag at the heavily camped gate. I convo'd one of the campers and wished him best of luck with the loot drop - probably 20-30M in fittings and skill books. Not so much as a ripple in the wallet to replace and refit the Helios - I even took the opportunity to go get a Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher this time, which was on the Xmas List! Side note: I considered briefly attempting to move some of my 1o0+ BPO's and countless BPCs collected at that station, but without a construction or T2 production plan, decided they were fine where they were... Good thing, although I would have never attempted a gatecamp party-crash with BPOs..

Fly Safe(r)!

Hey there, Nice W-Space Setup

I toured the newly adjoining C2 this evening (just prior to my outing into K-Space that got me podded), and came upon a Russian corp POS. They were taking down a Ladar Site and not exactly being watchful (I toured the POS and Ship Scanned their Ladar ship at work and warped to 100km to convo).

I used the babelfish site within the In-Game Browser (IGB) to converse in broken Russian about how nicely laid out their POS setup looked, but too much of a language barrier. I closed the WH (well, on verge actually) and got on with my eventual podding.

Here is a good look at their layout (2x Hybrid Reaction sets, Subsystem Assembly, Large Assembly Array, multiple Corp Hangars and a Ship Maintenance Array, plus good defensive setup-not shown for their benefit, all METICULOUSLY anchored):

Upon returning LightTraveler to W-Space, now that the slots are opened up (I have max 4 jobs limit and 2 were consumed by a long-since completed BPO copy in K-Space) I resumed Reverse Engineering (RE) jobs.

Fly Safe! *(And curse lag)*

Friday, January 1, 2010

System traffic and reverse engineering

After nearly 4 weeks of mostly just my two static exits, this evening the new year welcomed a total of 6 Exits!

In addition to the static LowSec and C2, I had 4 K162's: a nearly expired (timer) C2, a new C2 (abandoned small POS, decent amount of sites and sigs), a new N766 C5 (Unoccupied but recently farmed), and a nearly expired (timer) HighSec exit. By the next morning all but my static exits remained.

Also, my favorite wormhole info lookup site, eWormhole, is Gone! Looks like not enough donations to keep it afloat. I have updated the link to a different wormhole info source.

Based on other comments, I cleared all but 2 of my sleeper sites. Many pilots have suggested that retaining one or more anomalies may affect the respawn rate. I think the idea is bunk, but willing to give it a shot. The system certainly respawned much faster while I was on vacation. At least double the respawn rate as compared to when I am clearing the system daily...

Even with all of the K162's, I have yet to have any aggression against the POS. Let's hope that streak continues!

Finally had a chance to complete my Reverse Engineering spreadhseets and supply them with actual yield ratios. The findings were thus: The way to go is Intact Relics, although this approach is going to require a significant up-front investment, since intact relics are the domain of higher class W-space.

So, I have a stack of BPCs for the subsystems I want to build and all of the required elements, just waiting for a few skills to finish up.

Happy New year everyone, and Fly Safe!