22 March 2011

Open Letter to "Wu1f"

First off, I need to say that "Wu1f" is so far beyond lame. It actually pains me to think that someone raised such a person with so little creativity that "Wu1f" was the best they could come up with.

I can only hope that he purchased the character and it pains him every time he has to log in.

As I wind down Odinsdagrting, I am calling for votes to unlock the BPOs so I can sell them and pay the investors. I've gotten a couple of eve-mails from "Wu1f" asking me to stop spamming him. I can't respond, since he has blocked me. If anyone knows "Wu1f", then please pass this on to him:

Mr. Wolf,

Take this as a courtesy and a lesson on how to play Eve.

You, or the corporation that you control, owns one or more voting shares of stock in Odinsdagrting [ODNDT]. As a result, you will receive notification everytime there is a call for a share holder vote.

If you do not wish to vote, you do not have to. If you do not wish to own the stock, feel free to sell it. It is currently traded on the Block Ships and Ammunitions Corporate Stock Exchange (http://www.bsacse.amxg4.com/stocks/index.php).

Vol Jbolaz, CEO

From: Wu1f
Sent: 2011.03.15 17:41
To: Vol Jbolaz,

seriously man stop spamming me.
i have nothing to do with your corp or your alliance so stop sending me these messages i really dont give a shit about these things you want to unlock

04 November 2010

New Player Resources: Mining

I am not a miner. In all honesty, the only way I can stand to shoot at rocks is if someone might shoot back. While I do, rarely, join a mining op in high sec, I'm not even remotely interested in mining unless we are at least in low sec. Mining in null sec is finally getting to some fun.

In other words, a mining op is no fun if it doesn't require a security detail.

That being said, I've had a few, "I want to be a miner," applications from newly licensed capsuleers to my mostly non-mining corp. I don't mind. They can mine by themselves, or join me for mining ops in low sec.

Still, I feel the need to collect what knowledge I can here.

As a new capsuleer, don't waste your time. Seriously. You have the ability to mine, but you completely suck at it. Go find an agent and run missions.

I'm not saying don't go into mining, I'm saying you should lay some ground work. If you want to be an uberminer, you will eventually need to learn the skills that will make you an uberrefiner. That is something you can get started on from day one.

When cutting rocks, you get raw ore. That ore gets hauled to a station or outpost and refined into minerals that can be used in manufacturing. The minerals are the goal of mining. The refining process has quite a bit of loss in it.

When a new capsuleer refines a bit of ore, they only get back half of the minerals in that ore. There are skills that will boost the refine efficiency. Those same skills will make you better at mining.

To use a Tech 2 mining crystal, one has to have Refining V, Refinery Efficiency V, and the ore specific processing skill to IV. All of those skills will lower the amount of waste when refining ore.

That still doesn't explain why I recommend run missions.

In addition to ore lost to inefficiency, the station takes a cut. The higher your standings with the corporation that owns the station, the lower the cut. To get perfect refine, one needs more than perfect skills. They need a standing high enough to reduce the refining tax to zero.

My advice to new miners is be a mission runner first.

As to the actual practice of mining, there are a few good resources out there on how to cut rocks. A good place to start, aside from Google, is Evelopedia. The Evewiki has a pretty exhaustive article, too.

Starting a Podcast

I know, it is weird. It is probably a very bad idea, but I'm doing it.

I am starting yet another Eve-related podcast.

In all fairness, this podcast will have a very small focus. I will try to publish it every week, but I only expect it to be between five and eight minutes long. My goals are simple.

  • Publish a market report, not unlike PRI's Marketplace, or the Eve Morning Report.

  • Expand to not only cover minerals and ice products, but PI products and any active stock exchanges.

  • Report only weekly changes, since daily isn't of too much use to me. And report on trends over time, too.

  • Report only the numbers that have actually moved in the last week. No need to bore everyone with numbers that only changed .27%.

  • Get the show syndicated. While I don't mind producing and publishing it weekly on my own, I really feel it would fit nicely in someone else's show. They can edit it in.

  • Get another host. One of the reasons the Eve Morning Report died is because it was just one guy. While I don't see two people doing this at once, I do see me and one or more people taking turns, so we can make sure someone can do it every week. And the format is simple enough.

I'm doing this to support my main business, to fill a void, and because it may be kind of fun. We'll see how it goes. I won't be doing big shows with interviews and in-depth news and such. I am not an economist. I am not a business major or anything. I don't really know how the deep details of the economy work. This is all a wonderful fun hobby for me. Just like making a publicly-traded corporation work. This is a big escape from reality.

If I can get it to work, I'll hopefully have the first full episode ready for download this weekend. I've already passed a demo out to a few others. If you are interested, let me know.

27 July 2010

Establishing Trust

Being a Capsuleer means one is forced to live by different rules. Capsuleers are, first and foremost, immortal. Punishments for crimes are severely limited in their effectiveness. Capsuleers also have much more mobility than humans have ever had in the past. Not only do they have access to faster-than-light ships and access to instant point-to-point jump gates at much higher rates than non-capsuleers, but they have access to jump clones. Capsuleers can literally move from one end of known space to the other at the speed it takes him to step into the medical facility.

All of this gives Capsuleers a level of untouchableness. They can exist above laws. However, this is not the end of it. Every Capsuleer may be tied to any number of capsuleers at a level that can not be tracked anywhere in New Eden outside of the super secret internal workings of the medical facilities. This means that any Capsuleer could potentially be willing to sacrifice himself to biomass reclamation, because he knows his mind can live on in a new Capsuleer. The only thing lost is the skill training, agent standing, and the scarlet letter of the crime they are seeking to absolve themselves of.

This makes Capsuleers paranoid.

This makes Capsuleers who are CEOs even more paranoid.

I live by a, "Don't trust me, and I won't trust you" motto. It is really is manifested in more of a trust, but verify manner.

When I was with Sturmgrenadier I rose to the position of Director of Industrial Logistics. I was in charge of all of the internal corporate manufacturing, mining, and POSes. The latter two had very dedicated assistant directors. This let me focus on the former. SG offered, for free to all regular members, all T1 frigates, cruisers, ammunition, and modules. We had battlecruisers, barges, industrials, and, occasionally, battleships, to loan to members. We had three offices that had to be stocked, and POS hangars.

We had thefts. The mechanics available to capsuleer corporations and station hangars is simply inadequate. We could not prevent the thefts without making everything entirely too cumbersome to maintain. The best we could do was set up firewalls. If someone did steal, audit trails made it obvious who stole. The limited amounts available at any time limited what could be stolen. This put more work on my team, but it was a balance. If anyone were to steal, they would have to do it on the way out, and they couldn't get but so much.

After leaving SG, I started a couple independent ventures. Odinsdagrting [ODNDT] is my most recent one, but I'll speak more on that in a moment.

One of them was Prydwen Technology Group [PRYD]. Even after leaving SG the corp, I was still in the syndicate, and still had close ties with them and their alliance, Fountain Alliance [FA]. I offered a limited stock purchase to SG and FA members, and paid modest dividends. I also offered small, unsecured loans to SG and FA members. This was all a bit risky, thus I limited it to people that I thought I could trust. In the end, I had no loans default.

But in the end, I burned out. I had one outstanding loan, and before anyone could ask for another, I paid off that loan from my own wallet and closed up shop. I liquidated the company, selling off all of the BPOs the corp had (manufacturing was one of the revenue streams). I then paid out the entire corp wallet as dividends. Because the corp was now worth more than it was when it started, those that bought stock now received their initial money back, plus some, on top of the dividends they had been receiving.

There was nothing that made me do that, though. I did that because I thought it was the right thing to do. There is no mechanic to enforce that. I had to ask people to trust me, and I don't like doing that.

There is also the matter of, what if I couldn't liquidate and repay? What if, instead of a burn out, it was 'hit by a bus'? I thought I had a solution for that with my latest venture, Odinsdagrting. I had a friend that I got into a capsule. I see him every week, and I've known him for years. I know I can trust him as a partner in a corp. If I get hit by a bus, then he can try to continue alone, or he can pull the plug and pay everyone back.

He is leaving the capsule, though. It just isn't for him. That is fair. It isn't for most people.

I have instructions for him, though. If I'm hit by a bus, it is my hope that he'll get into the capsule long enough to melt the company down and divide the capital up among the owners, the stock holders.

10 July 2010

The Billion ISK Primae

This is a tale of how I am covered in epic fail.

I was puttering around The Forge, buying BPOs, scouting out offices. One the side, I was looking for Covetor BPCs. The Alliance was just coming out of its latest war, so I was looking at local.

Already, I'm doing several things I don't normally do.

Someone in local posted a link to a Primae auction. I was curious as to how much these worthless little things were going for. The auction had just started, and was starting at 1,000,000.00 ISK.

I didn't expect it to stay at 1 Million ISK. I expect it to get between 10 and 20 Million. I didn't have any interest in a Primae, and wasn't going to bid. But I figured, sure, I'll be the first bidder. I'll get the little auction rolling. And when I get outbid, I really won't care.

The next day, I'm not in New Eden. I'm at my office, most everyone is gone. I'm just trudging through some annoying work. I start to think about the Primae, just in general terms. Then I think... wait... did that auction say 1 Million or 1 Billion?

In a panic, I pull out my iPhone and fire up Capsuleer and refresh. My wallet drops by 1 Billion ISK.

Somehow I had missed it. Somehow I had missed that there was already a bid on that auction of 1 Billion. I was not bidding 1 Thousand over a 1 Million ISK bid, I was bidding 1 Million over a 1 Billion ISK bid. All of this for something that I didn't want, and didn't expect to win. Just because I was poking around in Contracts while warping from gate to gate in The Forge.

And to add insult to injury, I had built up that money as commissions and dividends since September. This month, Odinsdagrting was planning on having a public stock offering. That 1 Billion ISK, in fact, nearly all of the ISK I had, was going into that investment.

Now, not only did I lose 1 Billion of my ISK, the vast majority of my ISK, but Odinsdagrting loses out on that Billion ISK. And since the number of shares offered will be limited to the number of shares I can buy (since I want to maintain control), the corporation loses out on the potential for 2 Billion ISK (mind you, I doubt there are that many interested investors).

It is safe to say that my emorage meter spiked. But, whatever, I've demonstrated before that I'm a loser. There is, however, some adolescent griefer that just creamed his shorts.

I can now completely identify with his girlfriends: It's a regrettable hassle and not nearly as satisfying for me.

Lessons Learned

I should've taken all of that money and dumped it into the wallet of a character that I don't use. The corporation has several wallets, so I can spread its money around. The wallets act like firewalls, to keep stupid mistakes like this, or corp thefts, from doing but so much damage.

As an example: on the same day, I accidentally bought 23 copies of a 675,000.00 BPO when I only meant to buy 2. The three is next to the Enter. Fortunately, they were small, and they really are worth 675 Thousand, so I can recover.

10 June 2010

Lessons Learned Planetside

With the build-up to Planetary Interaction, I thought I was not going to like it. I went in upset that it couldn't be a corp thing. One can anchor for the corp. One can buy, sell, and contract for the corp. Why can't we run planets for the corp?

I was afraid that it would be hard for the corp to formalize Planetary Interaction. But, I think I've found a way.

I also thought I would hate Planetary Interaction because of how much babysitting it might require. I was pleased to find that colonies can be not only maintained but completely rebuilt from regions away. Storage is so plentiful that I don't need to fly out to low sec and pick up my wares every third day. I can wait a week, or even two.

Not only all that, but I'm liking the way one builds colonies. It is a little bit of a click-fest, but it is interesting. I kind of would like some sort of way to tune ships like this.

On the initial release day, I set up four colonies. I rebuilt two of them.

There are a few things that I learned that wasn't obvious to me before I got involved. I watched StevieSG's YouTube tutorial. I should've done more research before hand, but I didn't.

Some of the things I've learned:

Just because you can't see them, doesn't mean they aren't there.

I have seen as many as eight installations on one planet. 'Course, I may have counted one more than once. But they don't show up readily. I turn on a scan, then slide the heat map so the whole planet is white. When I find a little spot, I look around for the command center. When I click on it, the entire network and all the buildings show up. They weren't there before.

Storage is important. Don't over do it.

While I can build a storage facility, the spaceport alone holds as much as two storage facilities. Since I can edit my colony from regions away (that's right, regions away you can rebuild the entire thing), I wait to build extra storage. No need to build it if I don't need it.

Plan. Plan. Plan.

There are several levels on which I plan. One is just deciding what I want to create as an end products. Some of the P3/P4 items I use in my T2 production. Some of them I want to build some items that are built completely from planetary products.

I have to decide which items to source from which planets, which items I want to haul to another planet for a more reactions, and so on.

Another thing to plan is how the buildings are to be laid out. This is very important for each individual colony. Laying the paths out wrong can cost another extractor or two.

Links can be upgraded, and messed with.

I didn't know this to begin with. As I was routing products, I exceeded the capacity on a link. When I clicked on that link, I found that they can be upgraded. That helps a lot.

When routing a good, the route will always take the fewest number of links. Even if there are two links to the destination, the product wont' route if one link is over capacity. While it can be upgraded, sometimes it is worthwhile to build the longer links first. Route as many goods as that set of links will hold. Then build the shorter links. Then route the rest of the goods.


This is the part when I want to introduce pictures.


This is a crazy web of links. There is no real need for links set up like this. And links consume resources.


This one does have the web, but there are links that aren't needed. There is no need to link everything to the hub. Link buildings to the building closest to them. Goods can be routed through other buildings.


The extractors here don't need a link to every destination. Items can be routed through other buildings.


This is an example of one of the ones that I rebuilt. There are a few things that I'd like to change, but here you see how linking and routing can be done to save powergrid and CPU.

Here though, I could drop the storage facility. I could also have brought everything closer to the CC to use it as a route point.

Also, having the facilities outside of the storage means that the link between the facility and the storage gets used three times. It causes congestion.

30 May 2010

Widescreen Isn't Just Letterboxing!

When Tyrannis was released, I immediately noticed something was wrong with my HUD. I couldn't put my finger on it.

Then I was directed to the a forum thread: So why did "widescreen" go the way of "medium shader" again?

That was it. Parts of my HUD had, at one point, been in the letterboxes. Now, the widescreen feature has been removed.

CCP Eris Discordia offer the excuse that adapting changes to work with the feature was too much of a burden.

Several in the thread have pointed out that the unintended advantages the letterboxes gave to the visually impaired were being exploited by macroers.

Yes, I am upset to see the widescreen go. I am more upset, however, to see the number of idiots in the thread that didn't realize that the widescreen mode actually let you have a wider field of view. You could see more. It wasn't just letterboxes laid overtop of the display to crop it and create a widescreen effect. The field of view was actually increased. For that to fit on the screen, it had to be letterboxed.

So the non-widescreen option is actually a cropping of the widescreen option.

The same is true for movies. The letterboxes aren't just for dramatic effect. Movie theater screens aren't merely bigger. They have a different aspect ratio for a reason. Humans have a much better side-to-side peripheral vision than they do up-down.

I could rant on and on, but the internet is full of articles that have already covered this. I invite everyone to check with Google and read for themselves why widescreen actually shows more. Another great place to start is Wikipedia's article on apect ratio.