Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Well - as you probably can't guess from reading the blogosphere - the changes to exploration content have been announced and its absolutely brilliant in my opinion. I'm not going to link to content as this is all accessible on the EVE homepage

Basically - CCP are adding >2000 new solar systems to EVE. Except you can't access them via jumpgates, only via wormholes. Wormholes will be accessed via Exploration and allow a set amount of mass through them (ie bigger ships = more mass = less time before collapse). Oh and wormhole space will be 0.0 - ie no restrictions on bubbles and the like. And no sovereignty - so no alliances holding the space... Downsides are other players are definitely a risk in exploration - but with the sheer amount of new systems to play in, I can't imagine it'll be a huge risk, just watch the scanners...

Downsides are a new exploration system to learn... If you have not got skills in exploration already, I suggest it may be beneficial to get some...

Downsides are: logistics. I can't see how I could partake in a meaningful exploration session without needing a monster exploration boat, and possibly a 3rd character. To explain, the problem will be storage of loot and ammo. In a meaningful exploration session right now I can get through 10k of ammo easily. Assuming I was going to be in wormhole space for a while, I would need a lot of ammo, some spare drones.. and the ability to haul loot back to high-sec as efficiently as possibly without hitting the mass limits. If the trips through the wormhole are limited, hauling could be a huge problem.

A possible tactic may be:
Fly in a small POS + corp hanger + ship maintenance array in a hauler. Dock the hauler. Fuel POS for 2 weeks.
Fly back in a pod to pick up Cov Ops ship.
Other character brings in a salvager - then flys back in pod for combat ship.
Now got a base that can be used without hitting the mass of the wormhole too much. Now other characters could find wormhole, and thats the risk - this is why I think exploration will *have* to be done in low-activity systems for this tactic to work (so you're looking at a low-sec entry point thats well off beaten path). Luckily through some work recently I've identified a few proper low sec systems that fit that requirement. The other nice thing here is you'd get POS shielding...

Another tactic I can immediately think of (though I've never done it) is leaving ships in space. Ie, leave a hauler, in space, at a safespot. No-one in it. Eject jetcan of loot near it, swap to it, pick up. Rinse/repeat.

A ORCA in this sense may also make sense on a 3rd character, storing all the loot, a cov ops (for scanning), a destroyer (for looting), an AF (for fighting) + possibly a cruiser or 2 for hacking. Downsides are the time taken to train for said ORCA - and the higher mass content than doing the above (if I'm right) - meaning that the POS may be the better option.

I can't wait until it's all released to see which option of the above is the "right" way to fly. And I also love the fact I might get proper PvP with no standings loss in a "safe" jump from highsec... rather than the risky 0.0!

What are your thoughts on this?

Friday, 23 January 2009

Big profit

Okay, Exploration IS brilliant. On just one combat site yesterday, I picked up a Snake implant which I could sell right now (instantly) for 100 million isk, but is worth > 200mln if I move and sell more centrally. Same guy also dropped a Serpentis small blaster POS Tower gun BPC (3 run). Yet to investigate what thats worth, but can't imagine it'll be cheap. Also picked up some named shadow serpentis modules - armor hardners which I'll also need to investigate sales price for (or keep).

Also found a radar site that had been bugging me for days (incredibly weak signal). When I finally scanned it down I was rewarded with 30mln's worth of decryptors...

I'm also amazed at just how quiet space is where I'm basing myself (I'm not saying where due to fact I like it quiet!). Last night in 3 systems I was the only active pilot - it was almost 0.0 in quietness. I note this is in high sec, when > 38000 pilots online. New record in one system, scanned, and found > 20 cosmic anomaly's in one system on a single scan!..

Basically overall, doing L3 missions, for 2-3 hours, I was lucky to earn 10 mln in an hour... doing this, I seem to easily average > 25.... though it can be more sporadic.

The big downside is the fact I have to really wait until I've got a cov-ops to do the run back to Ours (via low-sec) to actually liquidize all these assets and get my personal wallet healthy again - as exploration does not = big bounties. As it'll be a few weeks for this, scarily I may be flying with at least a billion isk's worth of modules in the ship... That does scare me immensely. Any idea on ship-fit-outs for a Cov-ops to avoid being caught in a gatecamp anyone?

Thursday, 22 January 2009


Last night, I intended to stay in my little low-ish-sec area, where low-sec is as safe as it can be (ie - its not heavily populated). Scanning for Radar/Magnemetric sites.... Hit a combat site...

Then I had a huge escalation chain yesterday that had both DeafPlasma and DeafTurret characters flying over half of Gallente space. End result, some t2 salvage, some named ammo/modules. Oh and another of those all-to-nice Snake implants. Quite profitable all in (although still to sell the Snake's - aim is to sell all of them in a full-set contract). The escalation was quite interesting, in I was chasing a "named" character all over space, and kept losing him and getting further "escalations". Certainly a change from missions, and I think a tad more profitable than level 3's with the loot found.

Skills wise, over past week I'm still concentrating on scan-time reductions, and quality of scan. Expect another 2 weeks of this for DP before I'm fully happy and ready to start moving towards cov-op's frigate. DT's drone skills are what I'm concentrating on right now - and Drone Interfacing 5 is my main aim (another 20% damage is worth the 24 days I think). Past the Drone skills, next aim will be general skilling up of some Shield skills. As I'm happy flying an Assault Frigate for now, doing general "core" skills seems a sensible option, and also will help me should I hit PvP in low-sec.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Low sec shenannigins

Last night was interesting. To save face, I'd hopped into Jump clones without any implants - so if popped could not worry about the pod.

1st incident occurred when flying my JC's down from Ours to the FOB we have setup (which is in one of those pockets of highsec with no route in except via low-sec). On the entrance gate.... I see a fleet of 20 guys all with -2 standings. A fleet who follow me through - then again chase me in Interceptors to next gate. Luckily however I am flying a frigate and a shuttle, so they never manage to lock me until I'm safely back in high-sec.. but did chase....

2nd occurred when Jax got an escalation off an anomoly. In a low-sec system. We setup a fleet and went en-route, sending a scout ahead. Scout spotted a pirate in a assault frigate sitting at gate (in destinantion system) who immediately opened fire upon the scout when he decloaked. Luckily I made it back to gate intact with 50% armor remaining (this thanks to fitting a MWD, and suffering one hit from the hostile).. But lesson learn't - When entering system with hostile at gate in a scout ship, warp out, then warp back to gate..

Apart from above - last night was pretty uneventful - 2 radar sites were tanalisingly out of reach - I just couldn't scan them out - despite having good coverage from probes... I'll need to see about differently deployment options & will hope better skills sort this (about 2 weeks off). Got one combat site which yielded some drone bits...

Friday, 16 January 2009

Feed settings changed

I hopefully have changed site to full syndicated status on the feed.

This so readers can use a reader to read the site in full. Downsides to this is I don't get the stats of people visiting/reading my page quite as well... so I'll keep an eye...

Let me know if you have any problems with the new format.

Personal wallet issues

All this exploration and recent ship and skill buying (of t2 ship/fittings) has had its costs...

My personal wallets (for the 2 characters) are well both below 50mln.. A concern - I usually have 200m of non-corp funds available for "fun"..... and ship replacements. I worked out with my current low loss-rate (and amonut of ships kept for various purposes) its cheaper to self-insure all ships. Also a concern when I have ~ 100mln of skillbooks I need to buy in next few weeks ideally... (well when in high-sec). That said, collected items that looking at market could well be worth 100mln, so the exploration does represent quicker isk-gain than level 3 missions. Downsides are I'm not taking the local regional price so need to fly said items up to Ours/Jita to sell..

I've noticed a distinct market opportunity I in the region I'm flying in, certain items sell well, and well over 100% of what they cost to make - in one day 2000 of said item sold!. Now flying a hauler full of completed items may seem risky, but I'm willing to do so for that kind of profit (considering having a hauler for the junk t1 loot will be required in a few weeks). As said items are things I'd be using here anyhow it makes sense to me (as I can worst case buy off myself if my personal stock runs low). So I sense > 2500 item build orders will be done over weekend for said items.

Plan for next week is to jump clone into "implantless/cheap implant" clones for a coupel of days, re-equip with a cloak on the scanner (keeping combat ship well hidden, only coming in if needed to clear a site)- and look to actually do exploration in very low-sec (0.1-0.3)/null sec to see if it improves the isk per hour rate. As I'm only flying frigates/AF's the total loss wouldn't be that big if blown up.

T2 frigate love has also continued yesterday, with the AF not even hitting armor on an "unknown" combat site... basic stategy with an AF seems to be orbit (to reduce traversal) with Afterburner on, taking out all frigates and small ships with drones/guns asap (as these are what can seriously damage the AF). Once small ships dealt with switch to large ships. With drones costing 400k each I did have to manage their aggro well so they didn't get popped by the enemy - but It was easy enough to recall a drone for 10-20s if it got below 50% armor. Nice thing is I got a snake implant from the site, which did make it well worth my time doing.

I'm not sure whether to share my ship fit-outs for operational security purposes - I know several of the piratey types who read my blog are based in the area of space I'm now in (Gallente/Mimmmitar low-sec primajavascript:void(0)
Publish Postrily)... so giving my low-sec exploration and combat fit-outs may place me at risk if they chose to chase me (not that I'm a big fish with only 100m isk total available to me right now (industry funds are usually tied up in stock/minerals). I know that you piratey types can use locator agents to find me in any case, but ship-fitouts may be harder to get...

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Tech 2 Frigates - IshKur

Well, last night was dedicated to the purchase and launch of the new Assault frigate named the "DSTI Carbonator".. (so called as it turns enemys to carbon dust). Most concerning thing was flying it back through low-sec for the 1st time, worried a little someone would jump me before I could fully combat test the ship.

Luckily I safely survived (didn't even see a soul in low-sec)... and took it for combat testing at a combat site I'd found earlier. It is OMG awesome and a complete relavtion in PvE (despite it being a mostly PvP fitout as being suitable for if one of you piratey types jumps me in low-sec). Oh I didn't mention that its 90% T2 fit in all the "important places"... and has T2 drones. I can't afford to lose many of these at 400k each so heres hoping for some more big finds.

Right now my skills are letting me down a little, but EFT reports with current skills its giving me 171 damage per second with standard antimatter ammo.. not bad for a frigate, at all :) I do need to buy some faction ammo however to increase dps further to store in case of pvp encounter....

In exploration testing on some combat sites found, effectively its way way over twice as effective as the "old" incursis T1 frigate (which the ishkur is based on). Doing a frigate sized combat site that me/jax has issues with together with 2x incursis - the ishkur just blasted through it solo. One big difference is being able to field 5x drones at once, vs the drone bay capacity of the incursis of a single drone.

I also found another radar site last night. Another 20 million in "findings" for 15 mins work.

Can't wait to get back tonight - to test it further, and also hoping to see Jax at some point (though he's not going to be around a few weeks due to RL issues) so the AF vs Myrmi and AF vs Vexor can be tested.

I have decided I'm going to have to fly a hauler down at some point full of probes... getting through them like they are out of fashion and the few trips I'll be flying (instead of just clone jumping) up to proper highsec means there won't be much chance to bring enough down.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Exploration 2nd steps

Apologies for a 2 post day, but this post was prepared prior to recent happenings, and I'm now about 3 days behind whats actually going on - so am posting in advance of what was the scheduled release of this post...

Following my 1st steps to Exploration post - I've been having some decent results when flying with Jax on the last 2 evenings:
1st day, nothing special in a combat site - we did get an escalation but it wasn't feasible to complete sadly.. Radar site immediately after however yielded ~ 25 mln isk's worth of invention tools.

2nd day - magnemetronic site, combat site + a 2nd magenematronic. No special items on the 2x magnemetronic, except for ~ 2 mil total in salvage (which is being kept for corp stock). Really need a 2nd char able to do the salvage/analysing, as I keep the scan shit setup for Radar sites only - meaning once found I need to swap ship to a salvage/analyser destroyer to collect the spoils - a pain when said ship can be miles away. Just thinking if I really splashed and had a 3rd char with an orca, it'd be a perfect salvage ship - sit it cloaked in a safe, and can just fly to/from it with chars to swap.. Useful if, like, I am now, you are working in a system with 0 stations. Another option would of course be a tower setup in-system... I don' thave money for a 3rd account though, so I'll have to stay dreaming.

The big result on the 2nd day was a combat site, I'd say between level 3 and 4 in difficulty - almost had to warp out in fact in the battlecruiser. That resulted in 4 mil of bounties, and some overseers effects worth 2 mil - and some nice items..

Scan time now a more reasonable 350secs (600 is unmodified scan time!). Should have that down soon - scanning is now my no 1 skill to get trained before the March expansion.... and I suspect it'll now be a 2 month diversion from invention - just in hope I'll be able to get some tech 3 goodies come March.

Plans for rest of week are to stay doing exploration today, clone-jumping back to main empire hub to pick up the new Assault frigate I had planned to buy but didn't last week, and starting jobs to restock the "sales" hub. The new AF will mean I shouldn't have to swap so much between battlecruiser and incursis (as I am now).. due to some exploration sites being limited by ship-size.

As theres some pesky low-sec between me and main empire now, I'll also have to be looking to get into being able to fly DST's/blockade runners - just so can get all the loot and valuable invention items back from here to empire space. The FOB (Forward Operating Base in the area I'm doing exploration in) also needs stocking with flights in the other direction with ammo - with all the work yesterday, ammo stocks in the FOB are almost nil - and some types of scan-probe also need stocking. I am tempted to fly a low-value hauler full of ammo and probes over (if it got blown up total loss would be around 900k so its a possiblility)... Its annoying just how big scan probes are!

Industry updates & Tech 3

Now corporation has a stack of BPO's to research, I suppose the next step will be a high-sec POS - its on the list now as a possibility, and I suspect we'll have a research pos in ~ 2 months from now - as after all its cheaper/no-queue.

In good news, with the current focus on the Exploration profession (according to latest EON - which I don't have yet) looking like it may be a winner with T3 items coming soon - so this current skill path looks to be good (although diverting from invention temporarily is bad - getting invention datacores is good).

Need to research the Gravity rig that reduces scannning time ref: exploration - as looks like corporation has the parts in stock needed to run off a few of these to speed up exploration a lot.

Mineral prices to me appear mostly unchanged from last few months. Trit still seems unreasonably expensive compared to how it was back last September/October. Can't believe its still the Orca effect. Maybe at some point I'll mine, but the coroporation still overall has a no-mining policy.. instead refining and buying off mining folks on market. Still need a mining partner corp to supply us ideally, but sales are not as quick as over the christmas period...

Over the weekend restrocked a few lines that had sold out 100%. Full sell-outs are very annoying as someone else can jump in on your parade and start selling items... I've got my customers and they seem to know I keep the stores well-stocked.

The good news is Peak concurrency for the EVE cluster is still going up. I'm sure I saw 46750 upon login on Sunday - when it hits 50K it'll be a real plus. I just hope the presumably new-players joining the game stay. In fact I may go and fly with a few in next few weeks on Sundays to try and get some new corp "blood". Well that said, I will be this Sunday - following one I'd love to, but will likely on be a mag-train back from London to the little known town of Ipswich in the Sol system all being well.

I also note the above "gains" are pre-the-shop boxed launch of EVE by Atari in March. I really hope this brings a lot more players to this excellent game!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

No fanfest for me

I'm annoyed.. well a little anyhow.

I'd planned to go to Fanfest this year - and given its usually start of November I'm a bit stuck for this year (despite date not even being announced yet). I'm going to Vegas instead for a wedding on the 5th November - with the pre-and post activities meaning I'll be there from 3rd-10th. Meaning of course I'll miss fanfest if it's at it usual time....

Seems strange to be sad about missing something in 10 months time - but fact is I'd planned for fanfest and had already booked the 2 weeks at start of Nov off - but you never can plan for wedding announcements. Being Vegas too, I doubt I'll even get much of a chance to keep-up on the blog-banter from the fanfest, as I likely won't be taking a laptop with me (instead taking my pap-style camera). As I really enjoyed just following Crazykinux's blog for the period this year - I'll end up having to have a mad recap when I return.

With the Iceland ecomony being a bad currently however, it would be good if CCP announce a fanfest for say Aug/Sept this year (when weather is warmer in Iceland I guess)... I suppose I can dream!

I'll also probably have to postpone any thoughts of being a CSM delegate for another year - without being able to speak to people in person at Fanfest - I don't think it'd be right to become a delegate. I don't want people to think I'm just there for the "free holiday hax" as some people put it!

Good news is I'm about to start booking the Vegas trip..

Monday, 12 January 2009

Exploration 1st steps

Over last few days I've been getting to point when exploration was possible - and I've finally got it working..

I learnt some things:

1/ DeafTurret is now so badly KOS in Amarr space, that navy officers spawn at any point in high-sec (even a safe) within 2-3 seconds. Doing Exploration sites and dealing with Navy too = no fun, so going to have to stick to Mimmitar/Gallente space for the moment. Its annoying as I fully probed a nice combat site (4/10) in Simlar I think the system was... Still was good practise as the site was really hard to find.

2/ Skills for reducing scan time are essential. I'm skilling DP to that end now. Plan was always to have a CovOps frigate - this doesn't change that... just makes it a more pressing need.

3/ You get through scan probes at a horrendous rate - going to need to get some serious amounts of scan probes built! Next time I'm back in Ours I'll be doing that.

4/ Loot is meh, so far. Of the one RADAR site I had time to scout our - Around 1 million in spoils. That said, as scouting a site takes 15 mins or so... its not awful - just not as good as missioning.

5/ I need to get a salvager out to this area of space - right now I only have the scouting frigate + a combat ship. Downsides are (I admit it), its a bit sketchy low-sec here. Still at least corp offices are cheap (I'll be buying one shortly). I've parked the ships in one of those high-sec loc's with low-sec all around :) Good news is - lots of sites to survey, and its real quiet - in a lot of systems I was only person in on a Sunday night, which being busiest night of the week is no bad thing (I saw 46500 people on at same time).

6/ I'm still reasonably near Ours if I need to do a run back - however, I'm more likely to use jump-clones I think and leave my character around here and only make runs back/forward when I need the loot hauling.

Overall, however - despite the annoying delays - exploration is fun, and I'll be giving Jax a run on how it all works when I see him online...

Friday, 9 January 2009


I'm finding missioning a bit boring recently - as although when I rejoined the game a while back CCP had added a lot of missions I'd not seen before - now I have seen them all.... Good news is according to the recent press release is that from March there will be all-new missioning opportunities. So I'm going to take this as a chance to have a short break from "normal" missioning. I'll still fly back up for corporation missions (as this takes 10 mins only), just will base myself in Ours bit more for production/manufacturing, rather than usually being in mission hub, flying back for manufacturing.

Tonight, the plan is to
1/ Finish 2 outstanding missions in Sinq Liason (one that is a faction gain).
2/ Fly back to home base (Ours) to take the combat fleet back (all frigates + destroyers + battlecruisers)... One cruiser will be left, but can be picked up in due course by a final run with 2 industrials. Its amazing how much stuff you accumulate over time. Can still fly back as needed for future combat missions, but this is all aimed so my personal kit/equipment stockpile is reduced to a single station in central-ish space. Ideally want to find some scan sites in Essence, but really anywhere in Sinq Liason or Genesis is really an option also. We already scouted a potential loc down in low-sec that was very "quiet" during UK evenings
3/ Break out a scanning/salvaging/hacking/archaeolgy frigate to go search for cosmic anomolys and radar sites for the 1st time - this may involve jumping to a jump clone and roaming low-sec for a bit in a cruiser/frigate combo (with a go & get a BC if needed mentality). As my characters can both cloak, a cloak will be fitted to both ships for "scan wait" periods. Good practise for low-sec roams.

Downsides are I have a lot of personal items to do tonight in addition to above so who knows when I'll get online - Doh!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Kill of sight & Big blueprint runs

Well, in news, I'm kill-on-sight in Caldari and Amarr space. Brilliant. All the missioning to get faction for research agents has had its disadvantages in making me a target at gates. Autopilot is now a no-no.

Gives a slight problem in terms of getting from/to Jita - suspect I'll need to get a Sales-alt setup to resolve that in a very "piratey" fashion. Can't imagine getting skills to fly a hauler and a fast frigate (for expensive items) will cause too much issue.

The above did cause a problem and an almost-very-embarressing moment when chatting to Jax on Monday night. I'd been blueprint shopping for around 100mln ISK's worth of BPO's in Amarr and Caldari space, and got distracted and thus missed the Caldari militia hitting my frigate and taking it well into armor! Luckily ship is designed to warp real quick and escaped. The "scaredy cat" can go 3000m/s if needed via MWD to get out of dodge (I go BPO shopping in a inertia stab/MWD fitted incursis). In good news I think we've now got every BPO we will conceivably need for the mid-short-term for the corp right now, apart from the T2 component BPO's... Jax also spent 70mln on BPO's from the other corp wallet... Now we have a poor corporation for the short-term while we research the new BPO's to get them "production" ready. As the mineral stockpile is good the "poorness" of the corp will not remain that way for too long.

Scarily we're hitting the point as a corp where Corporation research and manufacturing jobs are taking a page of my screen - and its actually hard to work out if I'm using all my slots - going to have to start looking to filter!

Yesterday my ISP has issues (AAISP) - meaning I didn't get to change skills in the morning or evening periods - as I thought it'd be out for 24 hours (it actually was usable from 8pm, but I didn't even check computer until midnight when it was too late to do anything useful.

Tonight should be online, ISP willing, and will try to get some missions done - need personal funds (which are lacking due to fact I personally donated around 100mln for BPO's in december) for some of the personal skills that shortly will be required - and its not quick to gain those when you're saving salvage for corporation activities (we'll be building some cargohold optimisations shortly to fit to the Itty V's we will be buying/building).

I hear we're due a thaw tommorow and the snowballs will melt. It doesn't look like the snowballs here in the Sol system will melt though - had snow in the back garden since Sunday and no sign of a melt yet.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Happy New Year

Apologies for the lateness of posting, but I've been doing Christmas things and hardly logging in... Not due to anything except my girlfriend discovering gaming (but not EVE) - and thus spending all of christmas playing games such as Farm Frenzy 1 & 2, Zomba and Bejewelled 2... Downsides to that are the PC being hogged by a Farm frenzy athon.

Of course, being EVE, skill training was taken to task over the Christmas period. Looks like a fully tech 2 fitted assault ship will be mine in under a week. I think it'll be time to get EFT out at that point to think of some optimum setups. Interestingly, due to a good rounded skillplan, at the same point I should also be able to fly interceptors. (Gallente Frigate 5 will be mine by end of tonight - I hope!). Such anticipation in getting my 1st tech-2 hull :)

Industry done reasonably well over the period, some lines completely selling out (total sales over 1 week xmas week period of 100mln, of which ~60mln is profit). A huge 200mln set of buy-order's for minerals still has 100mln outstanding (and still best price in station). The corp mineral stash will shortly be at its best level ever due to this, although we are using more high-end than the buy-order is filling daily, so will need to find a new location for this.

Last night was spent running corp-missions - we managed to complete 6 in a 1.5 hour run, which was pretty decent. Now got 2 haulers 100% full to fly back down tonight to unload minerals and refineables.

Looking forward to this week as should be able to get some serious play-time in, due to a general lack of normal TV programming to watch, and also a complete hunger to play from the complete loss of play-time during the last week and a half.