12 November 2009

New Player Resources: Corp Roles

Odinsdagrting has been running over a month now. It is just me and my three newbie friends. So far, I've been doing most of the work. It isn't a complaint. My work so far has been an investment. This post, however, is born from an email to my corpmates. I figured this was worth sharing.


This can be a corp role onto itself. There are, however, many other roles that can use these same skills.

In this case, though, there are two focuses for one's skills. One I call a container ship, and one is the tramp freighter.

When hauling large amounts of cheap materials, such as minerals and ore, one wants an n-tier industrial, such as the Mammoth or Badger Mk II in the role of a container ship. When fitting these ships, they should be fitted to maximize cargo room. Every low slot should be a cargo expander. Every rig slot should be a cargo expander. The idea is, the ship should carry as many giant containers as possible.

The tramp freighter is for when one is hauling small, more expensive goods, such as salvage, advanced components, or manufactured goods. The tramp freighter needs to be fitted with the intention of reducing time-to-warp. It doesn't need to carry more than one giant container. It needs to slip into warp as quickly as possible. For this reason, it should have initial stabilizers and nano-fibers fit. It may also want to fit warp core stabilizers.

In either of these cases, the ship should have as large and strong a buffer shield tank as possible. High sec, suicide piracy is a very real possibility. These pirates will easily be able to over come any active boosting. A large buffer won't save your ship, but it may keep it intact long enough to get into warp, into the station, through the gate, or until CONCORD arrives.

To see the skills needed for this, just play with ship fittings in EFT or look at ships and modules in EveMon.

Corporate Sales

This is a role that often requires the tramp freighter to quickly carry manufactured goods to the market hubs.

This role also requires the Trade skill. Depending on the volume, this role may also require the Retail and Wholesale skills. It is worth noting that Retail only requires Trade II.

Helpful for this role is also Accounting and Broker Relations. Both of these will reduce costs and save money.

Another skill that would be handy is Daytrading. This skill allows for the remote modification of orders. The Marketing skill will allow one to post remote sell orders, but in most cases, one is delivering the goods to the station and can place the initial order then. Being able to remotely participate in the penny wars is very helpful.


Depending on what materials are being procured, this job may require either the container ship or the tramp freighter.

It doesn't require any skills to buy off of existing sell orders. The buyer doesn't pay a tax or broker's fee.

However, it is sometimes cheaper and easier to just place buy orders. In these cases, one will again need to get into the Trade-Retail-Wholesale tree. The Procurement skill replaces the Marketing skill, and is much more handy.

Research Assistant

One of the bottlenecks in Tech 2 production is the limited number of research slots one has available. Some jobs can take days, further slowing the entire process down. It is helpful to have more hands helping with this.

One of the simplest research jobs is copying blueprints. To install a copy job, one simply needs Laboratory Operation which requires Science III.

There are skills, such as Science, that will speed up these jobs. Metallurgy will speed up Material Level research jobs (very useful) and Research will speed up Time Efficiency research jobs (not as useful). However, these types of research jobs only ever need to be done once. Copy jobs have to be done nearly constantly.

Another useful skill is Scientific Networking. This will allow the remote installation of research jobs.


To build Tech 2 products (without one of the old Tech 2 blueprint originals) one must invent. The skills required to run an invention job on any given blueprint are listed on the blueprint itself. In this case, it is just a matter of looking into which blueprints you'll want to or be expected to handle.

It is worth noting that the skills to run an invention job are the same skills needed to have a research project with an R&D agent once on has Research Project Management and access to an appropriate R&D agent. The datacores purchased from R&D agents are the same ones needed in the invention process.


To actually install a standard production job merely requires Industry. There are, however, items that require more skills than this to be built. Those skills, just as the ones for invention, are listed on the blueprint.

05 November 2009

For My Fans

It seems I have put more than blogger in a tail spin. It seems the kind of moment that makes one want to coin a new phrase: Yarrbear Whines.

Mind you, I don't like the name calling. I am not a carebear, and it is illogical to suggest that I am simply because I am not a pirate. I am just a PvPer who really enjoys the industry side and doesn't currently have a chance for PvP.

There are those that toss around carebear in a purely derogatory fashion. There are those that think that carebears are substandard players, that have no business playing Eve, and should be removed from the game. These are likely what I would want to call Yarrbears; players that like to call themselves pirates, but who are actually griefers. They give real pirates a bad name. These same Yarry types are likely the ones that cry foul when someone uses warp core stabilizers or when their win button of choice gets nerfed.

Whatever, HTFU, and all that good jazz.

Contrary to public misinterpretation, I have no desire for PvP-free zones. I have no desire to change the engine to make PvP impossible. And yes, I am distancing myself from some comments I've made, but that is because they didn't come across as I intended. I am sorry for that.

I do, however, want to make piracy harder across the board, so that only real pirates will do it. And trust me, I can find some real pirates. They have some fantastic operations going on. It is quite tempting, actually, to become a pirate. But at the end of the day, I like to have something a little bigger to show for it. Besides, low sec warfare is nothing compared to null sec warfare. One day, I'll get back to 0.0.

Why do I want to tweak PvP? I propose an experiment for anyone with the free time to do it (read: not me, since I have no free time).

Build a high sec suicide ship of your choice. If I were doing it, I'd build a battlecruiser. Insure it with the best insurance you can. The reason I say build it yourself is, the Gold and Platinum insurance cover more than the cost to build a battlecruiser. If you have a really good BPO and get your materials cheap enough, even the silver will cover the cost. The battlecruiser now costs the difference between the insurance premium and the return on the insurance. Put on the cheapest high-damage, suicide fit that you can and find your hub of choice, or your 0.5-system-with-good-traffic of choice. I hypothesize that one could nearly strike at random and at least break even. I hypothesize that if one were to sack a good sample rate of suicide ships in this manner, one would find that they aren't losing nearly as much money as one would fear, if in deed they were to lose money at all.

To me, that is what is broken. One should have to think about it. One should have to lay in wait and strike targets carefully, with some thought, and with some great risk. Otherwise, the only ones taking a risk are the haulers. Again, it isn't my goal to make the game easier for non-PvPers, for carebears if you like, but to make the game equally hard for PvPers and non-PvPers alike.

In all of the discussion, someone suggested a rugby match analogy. Analogies are prone for failure, but I'll expand it bit more just for fun. The flaw in the original analogy, to my thinking, is that the pitch is not high sec. The pitch is low sec. Waiting in line at the concession stand is 1.0. One should be able to wait in line at the concession stand without fear of mugging.

Mind you, if one waits in that line with money hanging out of his pockets and more bling than Cadillac pitch at a hip-hop concert, then he should constantly live in fear of mugging. I won't feel bad if he is exploded in line.

But again, see my experiment above. I think one could probably not go broke just popping random people that roll into or out of Jita.

I will admit, I don't know why I really harp on this. I have never been the victim of random violence. So I can't say for sure that it is a rampant problem. It is entirely possible that my hypothesis is wrong. It is also possible that my hypothesis is right, but that it is actually much too boring for anyone to do.

At last, I'd like to close the ninja salvage discussion.

Unlike everyone who responded to me, I have actually found a legitimate reason why salvage is "easy" (doesn't provoke PvP) and looting isn't. By allowing anyone to salvage, there is the possibility that more salvage makes it to market and controls the price of salvage and thus the products built from salvage. I imagine there is a bit more price control in that the ninja salvagers don't have the same bills to pay that the mission runners do, and thus they may be willing to sell for less.

That does make sense. But I think it is the wrong approach to fixing the problem. First off, I don't see why salvage and looting are different. They are the same action. They are both made possible by the same series of actions. Yes, I could understand the idea that both looting and salvaging should be "easy" actions. After all, why should a wreck by owned by anyone?

But, being a gamer, and not merely someone that plays games, I am interested in the mechanics and dynamics and balance behind it. I think provoking PvP gives more opportunities for player interaction. I think it simply makes more sense from a game point of view that one would want to make the harsh game of Eve harsh, not just a free ride for the ninja salvagers.

To make sure that wrecks don't go unsalvaged (after all, there are mission runners, I'm sure, that can't be bothered, are too full, or don't think it is worth their time) I think ownership of a wreck should have a timer. After 30 or 60 minutes, the wreck goes from being yellow to white, and anyone can loot and salvage without provoking PvP.

I think that would be a good compromise to insure that salvage makes it to market and that the game is hard for all parties involved.

Again, I think all spawns should be sleeper-smart, and I think spawns should be balanced such that PvE fittings are much closer to PvP fittings.

Mind you, I don't run kill missions, so I don't have a personal problem with ninja salvagers. I'm not sure why I care to fix it.

Then again, perhaps an objective third party is what is always needed.

Next week, I promise, I'll talk about market PvP (unless we get into low-sec and something interesting happens).

29 October 2009

Cold, Harsh Mistress

I made the mistake of getting into a conversation in the Eve Bloggers channel. Lesson learned. That wasn't too much better than the forums. It seems I cried many a carebear tear because I disagreed with everyone. It seems that simply the desire to have a balance between pew and non-pew means you are a crybaby. Clearly, I don't get it. And now I have lost respect for some.

To highlight the discussion:

Criminally tagged capsuleers can enter a high security system in only their capsule, and the local authorities will ignore them. They can board a ship in space, like one pulled from the ship maintenance bay of an Orca. The discussion started on what part of that needed to be nerfed.

Someone related that there was calls in the forums to have the Orca nerfed. I don't think it makes sense to nerf the Orca just because it can be used for piracy. You don't hurt the pirates, you just hurt the miners. I don't mind if pirates smuggle ships of war into high sec. But common sense to me says that if they approach a gate or a station, then the standard faction spawn should appear.

I don't know how that works, but apparently I'm too much of a carebear, using common sense and all. Clearly, the authorities are blind, and they can only attack you if somehow you enter through a gate or undock. Pointing this out, apparently, is an act of carebear crying.

Another part of the conversation spawned from ninja salvagers. Personally, I don't think it makes sense. You now have a zero-risk occupation. The ninja salvager should risk something. I don't see why the loot in the wreck should be protected, but not the wreck itself. The easiest answer is, salvage or loot, you go flashy.

Again, this is me crying great carebear tears, using common sense and all. What I truly don't understand, are some of the defenses used to protect these behaviors.

"CCP has been very clear about this topic."

CCP has also made mistakes in the past. A lot of them. Big ones. CCP is not infallible. To use the defense that it is structured that way, intended that way, legal that way, is very scary, in New Eden and out. Something is just, balanced, and fair based on its own merits, not because the game designer says so.

I like that Eve is dangerous and you are never completely safe.

Yet, the same people who say this, also think that ninja salvagers should keep their risk-free lifestyle. I'm sorry, but I have to think that the people using this defense really mean, "I like that Eve is dangerous for the mission runners." To my way of thinking, it should be dangerous for everyone equally. There shouldn't be a no-risk occupation that is built around harvesting the spoils of others.

Again, I don't think that ninja salvaging is wrong. I don't think it should be stopped. I just think it shouldn't be risk-free, particularly since it does directly involve another capsuleer who has extremely limited means of recourse. And is anyone complaining about ninja looting? They should be the same.

New Eden should be dangerous, but it shouldn't be the responsibility of griefers to bring the danger. There are very common sense solutions that would make piracy dangerous such that only smart pirates will actually do it.

  1. Transferable kill rights. How often does anyone actually have the ability to claim a kill right? It isn't a deterrent by any measure. Again, I don't want to end piracy, just make sure there are pressures acting against it so there is balance and people have to work to succeed.

  2. Looters are flashy. Today, the suicide pirate falls onto your kill rights board, but the hauler next too him does not. Why?

  3. When CONCORD is involved, there is no insurance payout. Immediately I'm sure there are those that will think I'm trying to break the back of high sec piracy and end it. I am not. One can make more than enough money in suicide piracy to pay for well fitted suicide ships. What I seek to end are the silly upside down attacks. Suicide attacks involving a battleship? Against a barge? Barges can't hold much. They don't have many slots and aren't likely to drop but so much. The only way this is profitable is because the battleship is nearly free. I am not a pirate, and even I can find targets that will not only pay for the ship involved, but will pay for ten more so one can continue suicide attacks even when droppings are slim. Again, it all goes back to life should be hard for everyone.

In the course of full disclosure, I am not a mission runner by trade. I run some missions for standings, and as a result, I run courier missions because they are quicker. I rarely run kill missions. I've never had anyone bother me in a mission. I've never had anyone flip a can while mining (even when I'm bored and leave bait cans). I also would not consider myself a carebear. I currently have limited access to PvP, but there are reasons for that, and eventually I'll have the chance to either return to the militia or return to 0.0. And yes, I've been in 0.0 wars, before there were cynos, before there were dreads and titans and doomsdays. And yes, that is tougher (and more fun) than anything in low sec.

p.s. It seems that this has been dragged out into the Tweeterverse and into other blogs. That is fair, and to be expected, I guess. But I have to admit that I'm really bothered that others have made this so personal and can't seem to make a comment without following it up with how I am a carebear crybaby or that I am simply and completely wrong.

I also am disturbed by the mindset of some that those that do not engage in PvP are inferior. That really bothers me. I love this game. I love to play it my way. I don't get missioning. That doesn't mean missioners are less of a player, aren't as good as me. I enjoy 0.0 wars, and I think they are much harder than FW or any low sec combat. That doesn't mean I think FW or low sec pirates are inferior to 0.0 warriors. I completely don't understand how anyone could enjoy scamming others (seriously, dude, where is the fun in that? "Your shoe's untied. Made you look." was only funny once.). That doesn't mean I should consider them inferior.

Okay, in all honesty, I would never knowingly hire a scammer into my corp.

I am not upset or worked up by this, but I do feel there has been more personal attacks against me than appropriate. And as a result, I feel I've lost some respect for capsuleers that I was really eager to work more closely with.

There is also some confusion, I feel, over just how anti-PvP I may seem. I am not anti-PvP. I do not think the game mechanics should be changed to the point where there is no PvP, or PvP-free zones. But I do think that New Eden needs to be harder for those that instigate unprovoked attacks. I do not think they are wrong, I just think they have it too easy.

p.p.s I meant to mention this earlier: all spawns should be like Sleeper spawns. I don't like kill missions cause they are just one big rinse/repeat. The only way the mission can defeat you is through sheer numbers. It should work smarter, not harder. Making the spawns smarter will not only give the missioners a challenge, but make things more interesting for the ninjas.

28 October 2009

Blog Banter 13

Welcome to the thirteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed CrazyKinux. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of this 2nd year of EVE Blog Banters comes to us from Zargy, A Sebiestor Scholar, who asked the following: On the EVE Fanfest 2009 page are pictures of prizes for the Silent Auction that was held during the event. One of these photos was entitled "Design your own EVE mission". My question now would be what kind of mission would you write if you got that prize? What would the mission be about? Would it be one using the new system of epic mission arks? What would be the story told by it? Feel free to expand upon his questions and put together your very own mission!

I've read a couple other banter posts, and so far, I feel everyone has the same general response to this. We aren't simply proposing new stories, but whole new ways to do missions. I have two, and I'm sure my two are echoed by one or more other banters.

Player Created Missions

I think this is really a no brainer. Players can create contracts, but they are rife with problems. One of the contracts that I'd like see made into a mission is the courier contract. I'm sure mining missions would be easy to do, too.

I would want this to be structured and anonymous, to a degree. The mission runner doesn't know the name of any capsuleer that put out the mission, and the mission requester doesn't know who is running the mission, or that it is even being run, until it is complete. I would not want capsuleers to be able to randomly create missions, though. I would want it to be a grantable role in a corporation. The corporation would have to hire mission agents (like renting an office) and missions would be posted on behalf of the corporation through the agents.

When one completes a mission, there is a standings increase toward a capsuleer corporation. Corporations at war, or in alliances that are at odds, can negatively impact standings.

Basically, I want to recreate the existing mission system, but have the whole thing fueled by the capsuleers.

Opposing Missions

Ms. Minme Tar accepts a mission. The mission is to defend a mining operation that is under attack. There are a few waves of hostiles that descend on the mining operation. Once the miners are done though, the mission is over, and Ms. Tar can return to her agent.

Meanwhile, Mr. A. Mar accepts a mission. His mission is to clear hostiles away from a gate and allow friendly warships to move through to complete their own mission. Eventually, one of those waves will return and report that the mission was a success or a loss. It depends on how quickly he can get reinforcements through the gate.

The careful observer will notice that these two capsuleers are increasing the difficulty of each other's mission. The faster Mr. Mar gets the gate clear, the faster waves descend on Ms. Tar.

I see too much abuse if capsuleers were to directly encounter each other in a mission, so I suggest a system where the mission they are in affects another mission in progress. Mind you, there may be times when the missions have to be time shifted. So, the activities of one mission are recorded and played back for an opposing mission some hours later.

This could be made as complex as one likes. Perhaps there was a mining mission first. The miner's performance dictates how long Ms. Tar must defend the operation.


25 October 2009

Yes. Yes, I am that loser.

For those of you who didn't keep up, today was The Party. I mentioned it to my wife, and twice yesterday, but didn't receive positive traction. She gives me such grief for the Wednesdays I spend with "the guys", so I didn't press it too much. In all honesty, she is better than the wives of many of my other friends in that regard.

I did attend the party briefly. The three year-old was still napping, the six-year old was playing quietly, I was doing some corp bookwork and the party started. I signed up for the door prizes, and turned on Voice and started to tune into SI Radio.

I was in the party for three minutes, when the three-year old woke up. I scurried to get to her to tell her to be quiet so she didn't wake her mother.

I logged out of the party. At this point, I could rant how I did nothing. I let my wife sleep longer, I cleaned the kitchen and did laundry and let the kids play by themselves. I could rant how I could've just as easily been at the party.

And I was looking forward to the party. I was looking forward to the social aspect, but I was also looking forward to going out to Evati and losing some Rifters. I've been doing too much carebearing recently, and would enjoy just some fun, no-stress pew pew.

Then came the tweet.

Pastor_Phelps @vol_jbolaz You won the Loki in Hellcats party. Type x in Hellcats Pub in the next 5 min to claim it.

The tweet was already forty minutes old, so even if it weren't a joke, I was too late for it to matter.

I had a laugh, thinking that Pastor was picking on me. Sage seconded Pastor's comment. Again, I can only think this is a joke.

The party ends as the kids go up for baths and bedtime. I go through that routine, getting more indications that it really isn't a joke. When I finally log in, I learn that I indeed was chosen for the Loki.

Sage pastes the announcement from Mynxee into the Eve-Bloggers channel. She had called my name for the Loki. It was me! I had won!

Yes... yes, I am that loser.

And I had to log out. I had to decompress for a moment.

I got lots of sympathies, and I do appreciate it. It makes me feel nice. It really does, and I do thank everyone for that.

Luminus Aardokay has offered to make a signature gratis. I do appreciate that. I think given the circumstances, it should have a Loki in it. I've been wanting to get everything running smoothly with the corp so I can get to a point to start advertising. So, I'll probably ask to get something with Odinsdagrting instead of my name.

I'll seriously consider getting a t-shirt that reads, "Yes. Yes, I am that loser."

The evening wasn't a complete waste. In addition to the sig offer from Luminus, I finally made my way to Evati in Adventurer. I got a couple of the left over party Rifters and lost them, one even to Mynxee herself. I finally undocked Adventurer and decided to have a second round with Mynxee.

The first 1 on 1, I only got Mynxee into half armor before her like fitted Rifter destroyed mine. My second 1 on 1, with me0de, went a little better. I managed my range better, and overheated sooner. I got him into structure, but again, capped out and lost my second party Rifter.

The third 1 on 1, with Adventurer went very well. I did like the results, but Mynxee and I both agreed that it was a much better fit than the party Rifters. For starters, it used an afterburner instead of a microwarpdrive.

Not that it mattered in the end. I don't recall how badly damaged Mynxee was, but she destroyed Adventurer.

As a final note. I have posted the fittings and killmails to Battleclinic. But I don't like their killboard. I haven't found them again to get the links. I'll do that in the next day or so for anyone interested and update this post.

Adventurer was one of my Rifters from the militia. She had seen combat and had been on four killmails. Feel bad losing it, but I do like that it was lost to someone like Mynxee.

17 October 2009


First off, I need to help promote The Epic Celebrity Death Match. It will be a two-on-two featuring Nashh Kadavr and Mynxee against Luminus Aardokay and Quivering Palm of Planet Risk.

Teadaze has put up a teaser. The match has already taken place, but it will be one of the main events at the upcoming Hellcats Party.

I know no one will miss me, but I would like to be there. I would even fly into Evati just for the party. But alas, I won't be there.

Now, announcing all of that isn't really the reason behind this blog. I've just been working on this blog for a little while now, and I figure all of this is a nice lead into my thoughts on dueling.

I've been following Nashh's Celebrity Death Matches, and I've been poking at the idea of joining Eve Arena (since I don't have a chance for PvP at the moment), but I do have a slight complaint about both of these. This complaint extends really to all arranged 1-on-1 matches, and is the biggest reason I've never bothered going to Evati and challenging anyone in the Hellcats Pub channel to a duel.

It always seems that the duels have to have some rules laid out before hand. The two most common are no warping away and no ECM. I do understand why people ask for such restrictions, but to me, they are artificial ways of nerfing aspect that don't seem to need a nerf through out the rest of New Eden. They also remove abilities or cripple ships that usually shine, and they remove, to me, the biggest part of any engagement, the part that requires the most skill.

Take for example the Rifter and the Punisher. I've seen enough evidence that on paper, I would argue that a Punisher is tougher, stronger, and more deadly than a Rifter. Recently, there was even a duel between Sage and Spectre to stress this point.

However, I would always opt to pilot the Rifter. The reason being is simple, the Rifter has more speed. The Rifter has the option to disengage. The Punisher doesn't. Once these two ships commit to a fight with each other, the Punisher has to stick it out to the end.

The Punisher pilot has to hope that all the work he did before the engagement can carry him through the engagement. After all, as long as the two pilots do their jobs nearly equally, the deciding factors are the ship fittings and the influencing skills (and implants/boosters) of the pilots. It doesn't matter how good a pilot one is, if they don't have the skills to mount a better fit, or have a ship that isn't adequately fit for the circumstances, chances of surviving are dramatically lowered.

I'm not saying the Punisher is a bad ship, but the Rifter is chosen by low sec capsuleers much more often for a very good reason: The Rifter can evade that which it can not destroy outright.

The no warping away rule puts a Rifter in an artificial position. Now, knowing that, I would opt for a Punisher in a frigate duel. The idea there is bring the right tool for the job. But I think the duel would promote a tool that wouldn't have quite the same real world application.

I think Nashh's range-tanking Kestrel is a good idea of this, too. If the Kestrel wants to stay at range, then he runs the risk of his adversary warping away, only to return at a more advantageous range.

The no ECM rule is similar, but in the opposite direction. It might imply that certain ships are less successful in the real world.

The other thing these rules do is avoid the biggest part of the engagement. Selecting a target, electing where to engage, and sometimes chasing or letting them chase are all part of the tactics that happen before an engagement. These will often play a bigger role in fleet versus fleet engagements, where sometimes your goal is too pick off stragglers and use herding techniques to cut the other fleet into manageable portions, but it has its place in one-on-one engagements.

I've not had much time soloing. That was the point behind my A-Riftering project, but what I have learned, or what I think I've learned is, two things: The outcome is decided before the ships open fire, and don't panic.

I still panic, so I'm no good at these things, yet, but everything that goes into training skills, fitting ships, and choosing when and where to attack affect the outcome of the attack more so than what one does during the engagement.

The question is, how does one fix the dueling problem (assuming they recognize a dueling problem)? I don't have a good answer. I have some ideas, but I think they are are lacking.

Simply requiring combatants to bring tackle gear isn't enough. Even with the appropriate webifiers and warp disruptors, the Rifter could still outpace and eventually evade the Punisher.

One idea is simply don't duel. Instead, people who agree to a duel should simply agree that they will make an effort to hunt each other. Who ever gets the first kill, or gets the most kills in a certain time period, wins the duel. This isn't as dramatic. It is long and drawn out. This type of duel would also require some war declarations or be limited to low/null sec. Also, good capsuleers are not alone. They have friends. This style of duel would require some weird workings with friends. This duel wouldn't need any restrictions, though.

An idea that I like better is to simply broaden the borders of the duel. Instead of limiting the duel to one scanner grid, limit it to one planetary system or one solar system. Combatants may warp between the moons and asteroid belts of a given planet, or within a given system. This would require that the combatants don't use safe spots or cloaks.

A last idea is to set a third target where the combatants play a game of assault. One capsuleer would have to defend a hauler or can or structure while the other would be tasked to destroy it. Either one could warp away, but they would be forced to return if they wanted to be successful. This would require multiple rounds since the defender should have a slight advantage. This would require some set up since the target would have to be made ready. This idea could be adapted to be one camps a gate/system that the other must pass through.

07 October 2009


I had a problem posting a response to my own blog in follow-up to responses that others posted. Instead of fixing that problem, I'm just going to respond here. If you, too, had problems posting a response, just send me a mail.

Wait... I had three responses, and only two people read this, so... nevermind.

The first response was from Helicity:

Making money from piracy is much harder than you think, this is mainly due to the low droprate on player modules.

No, making money from piracy is as hard as I think. The problem is, there is no pain for those that don't make money. They just get their money from somewhere else and wreak havoc yarring. A pirate doesn't have to make money as a pirate to be effective at taking money from others.

I'd also like to see upkeep on ships. It costs nothing for a blob of battleships to undock and camp a gate. If no one shows up, nothing is lost save some time. Some form of upkeep would help cut down on blobbing gate camps through out New Eden, not just in low sec.

I'd like to make piracy just hard enough that only those that are smart enough to figure out how to make money actually do it.

Mind you, I would like all aspects of the game to be that way, its just I don't think we have too many industrialists that continue manufacturing when losing money, or too many mission runners that can't keep themselves in ships, and so on. I think piracy and faction warfare are money-sink occupations, and I wish they were both fixed.

Mynxee followed with a few points. The first:

...don't be misled--piracy is an extremely difficult profession. Its biggest reward is the fun it offers

That fun is probably what drags in the griefers. I don't mind piracy, I just think that there are more griefers hiding behind the defense of "piracy is legitimate, you whiny carebear" then there are actual pirates. Again, I think the Hellcats and The Bastards Alliance have done a lot, at least in Republic space, to demonstrate that piracy can be profitable if you work at it.

Again, the fun is the only draw for FW. That may change with Dominion, but I still see FW as a money sink for most of the participants. I do think that should be addressed.

Mynxee's second point was,

"No alts" would be a losing proposition for CCP.

Yes, which is why it would never be considered. Still, I think it would dramatically improve the game.

She went on to say,

But were such a thing implemented, it wouldn't only affect pirates--it would affect solo players, 0.0 alliances, high sec mission runners, etc. Alts are as necessary as having multiple ships in your hanger for a good many players with widely varying play styles once they reach a certain level of experience in the game.

She was seconded by Selina:

As a 0.0 dweller, and not a pirate, I have to agree with Mynxee. I heavily rely upon my alts for moving goods in haulers through empire to the logistics point for our jump freighters. Soon I'll need them to move built goods through Empire so that I can keep my main industrialist at his work station. Think of it, as many call it in blogs, "associates" that work for you.

I have to disagree, ladies.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit to actually using one of my "associates", Ven Tamnej. I also have to admit to having a Power of Two account at one point, Vris Jungos.

Vris was a covert ops pilot who would run escort for me in Aridia and Fountain. It was a wonderful boon and made life much easier. Vris was sold after the six months.

Ven maintains a position as an occasional CEO alt and market tender. He can also run five copy jobs.

Still, I have to disagree. Yes, alts are nice, and they help, but they undermine one of the core tenets that CCP is trying to promote: players working with players. Why should I be allowed to run an operation from beginning to end completely by myself? Why not share that? Why not spread the wealth and build the teamwork and build the communities?

I've recently formed Odinsdagrting with a few close friends. They are still fresh out of the academy, so it is just me as the engine for this corporation. As a single personality, I'm still shocked at how much I can produce. My bottlenecks right now are the free time to stay on top of my jobs, and the money to buy the materials to actually build stuff. I can turn over battleships worth of materials in just a couple days, and I'm not really dealing in high-end stuff. So, with alts, wow!

Yes, alts are great, but they can make formidable operations out of a single player. Just as CCP wants to bust up the power blocs that are 0.0 alliances, I would like to see the high-sec production individuals forced to rely on others more. I'd like to the see the profession opened up more.

Really, I don't ever want any part of Eve to feel full or hard to get into. I want everything to always feel like the wild west. Lots of opportunities for those brave enough to dive in, regardless of the profession they chose.

I do realize, though, that a lot has to happen before this can happen.

A last point from Mynxee was,

I'd like to see the bounty system overhauled and made more interesting and into a true profession. There have been some good threads in the Assembly Hall forum with interesting proposals on this topic.

I have to admit to not being active in the forums. There are entirely too many trolls and short-fused flamers. I should at least give the CSM forums a look though. I don't think I could ever consider running for a seat, but I would like to be more involved in things. Perhaps if there were political parties I could help be an organizer.

A few last notes, so you can stop reading now if you are bored:

I don't comment on other blogs nearly as often as I should. I do appreciate comments. They let me know that at least someone is reading. And I have no delusions that I am always correct, so feel free to disagree.

In that vein, a gold star to Mynxee for being the biggest supporter of this blog. Thank you, I do appreciate it. Just goes to show that some pirates are nice people.

Or some nice people are pirates.

02 October 2009

Helicity's Quiz

I want to make clear that I do not think piracy should be driven from New Eden completely. I want to make clear that I do not hate all pirates. I also want to clear up the confusion that I am not a pirate. Yes, I do frequent the Hellcats Pub channel, but I am not a pirate.

My response to Helicity's quiz can be summed up as, "When piracy is hard, only pirates will do it."

My complaint with piracy is that it is too easy. And by that I mean, pirates don't have to rely on piracy as their income. I would wager that most pirates don't make money at it. Most pirates likely have a side business, possibly through an alt, or a steady supply of PLEX.

That isn't to say that all pirates fail to make money. I think The Bastards Alliance demonstrates that one can make quite a healthy living off of loot and ransoms. My run in with Teff nogero has taught me that one can make a healthy living off of suicide piracy.

I will admit that I don't have the ability to survey piracy in New Eden. I doubt anyone does. I can't say for certainty how widespread these situations are. That aside, I am still going to give these examples as the basis for my complaints because no one can get better data.

As to solutions, my first answer, and I'm sure the biggest game changer, is to remove all alts. Not just second accounts, but remove the two alts on any single account. I know this would never happen, but it would do a lot to cut out those pirates that are really just griefers. It would cut out those pirates that can't make money at it.

Consider for example the high-sec suicide pirate. He has an alt in a hauler, waiting to loot the wrecks, the victim's and the suicide ship. That venture becomes less profitable when there are really two mouths to feed and not just the two alts of the one mouth.

Consider for example the low-sec pirate. These pirates tend to be proud of their -10 security rating. This security rating is a badge of honor, not the hindrance that CONCORD intended. Without high-sec alts to make beer runs, these pirates would have to pay a premium to get their goods, either through low-sec traders, or though high-sec supply contracts.

On a side note, I would be more than happy to help fill the new market needs that emerge from this stripping of alts.

That isn't to say these ventures wouldn't still be profitable. And that isn't to say that I think these ideas are wretchedly horrible and should be banned. It just shouldn't be so easy and so prevalent. Pirates should have to work for their ISKies just like the rest of us.

Another solution that I want to propose is selling kill rights. There is a bounty system in place today, but several pirates just have themselves offed by a corp mate with the bounty gets high enough to cover the clone. They pocket the rest. The bounty system doesn't create the encouragement to have bounty hunters.

In high-sec, suicide pirates should be more susceptible to kill rights. Currently, members of the victims corp may respond for a period, but this means that the corp has to have PvPers. This may be the same corp that hires mercenaries during a war. Can they hire mercenaries for kill rights? Again, there is no market for bounty hunters.

I don't see this being as big a deal in low-sec. The only time the kill rights will really matter is on the gates and stations where there are guns to respond to illegal aggression. Still, it may give an incentive for more people to move to low-sec if they can be hired as bounty hunters.

A third solution that I would like to offer is to change the way security standings are calculated. Low-sec pirates are proud of their -10, and I do applaud them for that. If they were willing to be brave enough to do that in a world with no alts, I would have much respect for them.

High-sec pirates will yarr for a bit, then trundle off to grind back their security status so they can yarr again. The security status doesn't become an accurate indicator of the intentions of a pirate. CONCORD suddenly considers him not so bad because he busted up some lowly Angel's?

I would like to see positive security status either awarded painfully slowly, or awarded only for dispatching someone with a equally low or lower security status. In other words, pirate with a -6 has to defeat the pirate with -6 or lower to raise his own. I would hope this would promote some pirate-on-pirate violence.

I might only give them a reason to have rookie frigate evenings where they all reach around and raise their security status together.

My last solution is simply to open up a capsuleer's interaction with the environment. Why is System X only a .5? Why can't a corporation invest in or work with CONCORD to raise it (and why can't pirates work to lower it)? This idea starts down a rabbit hole of possibilities that tie into New Eden as a platform spanning beyond what capsuleers do in Eve. And I'll leave that and SimStation and other ideas for a future post.

30 September 2009

EVE Blog Banter #12

Welcome to the twelfth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's banter comes to us from CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: First there was the MMO on the PC, and now with the recent announcement of DUST 514, EVE will soon be moving onto consoles. But what about mobile? Allow your imagination to run wild for a second and describe how you would see EVE being ported to mobile devices, whether the iPhone/iPod touch, Blackberrys or Android-based devices. Dream the impossible for us!

I am really excited by the New-Eden-as-a-platform idea. I like the idea of this being a single common milieu with different outlets and layers. This could be a genre unto itself, much like Star Wars. Unlike Star Wars, this would not be the vision of one man with tellings and retellings in different genres, this would be a community driven blossoming of the vision from CPP. The instances in each genre wouldn't be tellings and retellings, but artifacts in their own right. They can stand alone, but they are still part of a larger whole. Instead of the top-down approach of a story moving into different media, this could see the different media interacting, affecting one another, and creating a world beyond simply "virtual."

I see chances for everything from passive media such as novels and movies and cartoon shows, to interactive media such as Eve, Dust 514, and games yet to be built. I even see New Eden themed open ended MMOs similar to Second Life.

I own an iPhone. I have Capsuleer, and I do appreciate it. I think it is logical to expect that as Cosmos comes out, and as Eve is expanded, applications like Capsuleer will gain more and more functionality. I eventually see it possible to not only monitor wallet and skill queue, but to execute market orders and edit the skill queue.

This is minor. This is merely progression.

What I see as the revolutionary apocalypse is in introducing completely stand-alone, multi-player games based in New Eden. Even if the games themselves are particularly new ideas, the idea of weaving them into this community will be wonderful.

Take Mafia Wars as an example, or as we called it way back before the intertubes, Assassin. I could see building a New Eden game around the old idea of assassin on GPS-capable mobile devices. I could see players joining one of the four factions, and their experiences tying into the greater New Eden world, perhaps not too dissimilar from how Dust 514 will affect Eve Online and vice versa.

Something that I've always wanted is for missions to be PC generated. This would not have to be a game limited to mobile devices, but since it would be small enough, it could work. What if users could play an agent. To them, they generate tasks that need to be done. They don't realize that actual players in a completely different game are executing those tasks. It would feel a little Ender's Game to me to a degree.

As always, Kinux has a full list of all Banters that report in. Banters that I've read include:

29 September 2009

New Player Resources: Missioneers

I am really not a mission runner. I have run missions in the past. After all, I needed access to some very selective agents for research projects. Now that I am representing Odinsdagrting, I need to run some more missions. As do my corpmates.

The best place to start with missions is with the Evelopedia. That may feel like a lot, but it is merely information to help make your job easier. Very little of it is actually required for anyone that wants to accept a mission and begin.

To begin, one just needs to find an agent. The easiest way is to find an appealing corporation and look at that corporation's information (the little blue "i"). For corporations with agents, there is an agents tab. It will list the agents under the divisions for which they work. The division affects the frequency of the mission types offered. This interface will also group agents that are available and ones that are not.

Looking at the information of each individual agent (right-click and Show Info) will show the required standings.

Another easy way to find agents is with the Eve-Online Agent Finder.

There are some mission survival guides to help when determining if a mission will be too much to handle. Once in a mission, there is the HelpMyMission channel run by BorisHotch. The HMM channel has its own website, but there are also resources at HelpMyMission.com and Song Li's Missions Collide. I am not a missioner, but I have enjoyed the Missions Collide podcast.

Some tips that can not be stressed enough:

Keep checking on current standings and the required standings. Don't keep running missions for that same ol' agent, when there is a better quality or higher level agent eager with work. Don't turn down those storyline missions.

The destroyer and battlecruiser were made for kill missions. They have enough high slots to mount weapons and salvagers. And few things are sexier than the Cyclone and Cyclonette. Though, I will admit, I do enough the Hurricane and Drake.

Kill missions may be fun, and may pay well, and do have lot and salvage, but courier missions can be completed faster. If you are only interested in standing, then don't be ashamed of getting a tramp freighter knocking out those carebear-ish courier missions.

There are several Social skills which affect standings and one's ability to negotiate better payment. There are also a series of agent type-specific Connections skills that may be hard to come by. Unlike most skills available from universities, these are largely only available from loyalty point stores.

Loyalty points can, eventually, be redeemed for faction gear, including faction ships. Try to stay with one corporation for as long as possible.

For those who are serious mission runners, they may want to consider COSMOS agents or Epic Mission Arcs.

28 September 2009


It is official, I have gone nearly completely carebear.

Well, completely carebear.

Well, I still make runs into low-sec to get BPCs, but I do it in a Cheetah, so... yeah, carebear.

I had mentioned before that I've been trying to get some friends into capsules. I managed to get three (though only one actually used the 21-day key). To make their transition into capsuleering pleasant, I've formed a company around my T2 production. They are going to invest time and capital so we can expand this and share the profits.

I present, Odinsdagrting [ODNDT]. It doesn't have a web site, yet.

We are still establishing our offices, and we may even move our headquarters as things get settled. Our immediate goals are to improve our Republic standings and our standings with a few choice corporations. This will require me getting more into mission running than I have in the past.

We hope to have two stock issuances. One will be to ourselves as a mechanism to pay our profits. Once we get things very well established and we are ready for more capital, we will have a public stock offering. We will sell no more than 49% of the company. To make that as smooth as possible, I am looking at ways to make our operations more transparent. I'm even looking at sites such as Buxfer or Budget Pulse. If anyone has any other recommendations for ways to keep our books open, I welcome them.

Just before the public IPO, I'm likely to open recruitment to Minmatar auditors if anyone would like a chance to inspect the books and corporate hangars more closely.

I'd also like to look into building markets. It is an idea that Casiella Truza has mentioned. I'm interested to see how well she does. I'm even interested in helping.

Long-term, we hope to either move into wormhole exploration or join a larger alliance. I personally will miss combat and wouldn't mind if this moves us to 0.0.

20 September 2009

New Player Resources: Navigation

New Eden is a big place. Many potential capsuleers are discouraged by the stories of traveling through several systems, gate to gate to gate, taking hours to reach a destination. The stories sometimes include having to return, or being attacked before nearly reaching the destination and finding themselves back in a clone vat.

While travel is an issue that figures heavily into the lives of capsuleers, it doesn't need to be one that dominants our lives.

All capsuleers should know their surrounds, understand the CONCORD security ratings and the dangers that can face them when they leave the station.

The Evelopedia and Grismar's Eve Wiki both have good articles on security status.

It is important to point out that even with the protection of CONCORD, there are those that would be willing to lose their own ship for the chance to destroy someone elses. These suicide pirates usually have a friend waiting nearby in a hauler to loot the spoils.

Maps of New Eden can be invaluable. I personally have either a hardcopy of the Ombey maps or the DotLan maps open.

Something else that helps is technique of making safespots. Safespots are bookmarks away from any celestial object. They are harder for pursuers to find, often buying enough time to buy an escape. Warping back and forth between a series of good safespots can sometimes keep you completely safe from harm. Grismar's Eve Wiki has a good article on Advanced Bookmarking.

17 September 2009

The Business of My Blog

I'm not sure how I've gotten into this, but I have a queue of "New Player Resources" that I am planning on writing. I feel as though I am neglecting my blog, for anyone who may actually be reading it.

I want to break for a moment and give some highlights of things I'm planning and where I am.

First, I'd like to give a mention for Amon Tor, Tuxtoo, and Marten Scholen.

Amon is a former SGer who has made his way down to Metropolis. Tuxtoo and Marten are the newbies that I've been able to talk into getting into pods. We'll see if they like it.

As to my plans: I have several more New Player Resources kicking in my head that I'm looking forward to putting down. I'm not sure how I wound up in this role of tour guide to education, but I've gotten good feedback. I'm also having to explain some things to Tuxtoo and Marten, so I feel it is relevant.

Mynxee started a conversation in Hellcats Pub about having a new commute that was giving her less time to read blogs, and more time to listen to podcasts. The problem is, there are so many blogs and so few podcasts. There was a "blogs-on-tape" idea.

Song Li, of Missions Collide may run with this. I think she is going to take it in a slightly different direction, but I am looking forward to it.

And, it gives me an idea to reprise my New Player Resources in an audio format. I'd be more than happy to simply record them and let someone else edit them down and produce them in their own show. If only I weren't born in The South. I may have a face for radio, but I clearly don't have the pipes.

I do wish to continue my Riftering project. I haven't had time for PvP lately, and what time I have had, I've spent in FW fleets manning the Blackbirds.

I also want to revisit my run in with the nogero cartel, and through that expand on some conversations that I've had recently, mostly in Hellcats Pub.

Meanwhile, I'm continuing to try and pad my wallet in Metropolis with some Gallente T2 production. I've gotten my first T2 rig BPCs. I'm not sure how well these will sell since the components are still hard to come by. I suspect the prices will fall as the increased drop rates trickle through the market.

All the same, I have the ability to build, among other things, Medium Drone Mining Augmentor IIs. They are much more expensive to produce then I imagined they would be. I think they are very handy, and I'm sure there is a market, but we'll have to see how that balances out.

12 September 2009

New Player Resources: Tools

I'm sure most everyone has seen the learning curve graph that illustrates just how hard being a capsuleer is. Thankfully, there are a few tools to help make our lives easier.


EveMon is a tool that helps with skill planning. It lets users build multiple training queues for multiple characters. It lets users build skill queues not only from a directory of skills, but from certificates and a directory of ships and modules. Users can easily add all skills required for that shiny ship.

EveMon also offers suggestions on training skills to shorten training time, and will recalculate attributes. It also lets users play around with the effects of implants.

Eve Fitting Tool

Eve Fitting Tool (EFT) is a ship fitting tool. It will let users play around with ship fittings. It easily imports and exports to and from the game, BattleClinic, and the clipboard. It will also import character skills via the API and indicate which fittings are possible and display the stats of the fitting with the current skills. Users can even change skills to see the effects of a little more training.


Capsuleer is an iPhone application that shows the current status of the servers and characters. It is very useful of keeping track of when the skill queue will end or keeping tabs on the wallet.

It even has a built in blog reader, though I have to admit to just using Google Reader through Safari. Capsuleer will let users opt out of blogs included in the pack, but it won't let users add non-pack blogs.

If anyone wants to suggest more general-use Eve tools, please do so in the comments.

There are some use-specific tools that I'll list later, such as mining and POS calculators and invention aides.

05 September 2009

New Player Resources: Picking A Race

As I've mentioned, I have a co-worker currently testing out the capsule lifestyle. I have an old college roommate that I'm trying to talk into a capsule. I started gathering new player resources, but I want to take a step back and explain the races of New Eden and how they differ from the experiences that most players may have from other games.

Before I do that, I want to mention Eve University. It is a player-run corporation that works to train new capsuleers. I don't really have any experience with Eve U, and I understand they are under war declarations a lot, but I like the idea. I think they are worth looking into.

In order to explain the differences in the races, I feel that I need to explain two mechanics: standings, and tanking.

Standings with an NPC corporation affect which of those corporation's agents will be available for missions. Standings with an NPC faction are entry requirements into Faction Warfare, or in setting up a player owned station (POS) in faction space.

Doing missions for an agent increases standings with that agent, and through that agent, the corporation for which that agent works, and through that corporation the faction with which that corporation is aligned. There are some missions which will lower standings with an opposed corporation or faction. Standings damaged in this way can be mended.

All ships have shields, armor, and structure. They must be defeated, in that order, in order to destroy a ship. Some pilots will opt to shield tank, meaning they are putting resources into their shields and not their armor. Some will armor tank. I've only ever seen proof-of-concept fits to structure tank. I don't know of any case where it has actually been done.

Once a shield tank is broken, the neglected armor usually falls quickly. For armor tankers, the shield is usually just a soft shell easily peeled away. Measures to extend shields make a ship's signature larger, making it easier to hit. Measures to increase armor make a ship heavier and slower to turn and accelerate.

There are options to speed tank or rely on range or electronic warfare, where a pilot ignores shields and armor. They are valid, but more complicated.

Having explained all of that, I now want to explain the four races of Eve.

Picking a race does not commit anyone to anything. It does give a slight head start with standings and frigate skills for a particular race. Standings, though, can be easily changed, and changed back, just by running agent missions. As to frigate skills, many capsuleers can fly more than one race's ships. I personally can fly nearly as many Caldari ships as Minmatar, and I can fly Amarr frigates and Gallente cruisers.

During character creation, and in the Evelopedia, there is some backstory on each of the four races, and even the blood lines and such. Again, this doesn't bind you to anything if you don't want it to.

The Caldari are probably the most popular race. If not, their ships certainly are, and with good reason. They are very simple and straight-forward, and in some cases, define the role in which they fill.

Caldari ships are shield tankers as a rule (which can be broken). There are Caldari ships that are gun boats, purposed to carry the devastating, if short-ranged, hybrid rails. There are Caldari ships that are missile boats, and these ships are the best missile boats in New Eden. Included among these is the single most common battleship, the Raven. It is nearly twice as common as any other battleship. Even I have to admit that the Raven is excellent for running missions and fighting NPCs.

Caldari ships also include the best mining cruiser and the best sensor jamming ships. The Blackbird is the butt of many jokes for being such a fleet spoiler. I tend to fly a Blackbird, and have many more killmail appearances in one than any other ship. Most pilots, myself included, don't like it. It is slow, ugly, and not particularly lethal on its own. It is very much so not glamorous.

Clearly, I've never been one to be confused with glamorous.

But the Blackbird must be doing something right. It will often be called as a primary target in a fleet battle.

The Gallente share the use of the hybrid rails with the Caldari. The Gallente, however, tend to be armor tankers. There are a number of Gallente ships that could shield tank just as easily, even if that was not truly their original intention.

Gallente are famed for employing drones. More Gallente ships are capable of carrying more drones and have better bonuses to their drones.

Gallente also lay claim to having the best industrial and transport ships, though they just do barely outclass the Minmatar ships.

The Amarr have nothing in common with the Caldari or Gallente. They are armor tankers as a rule, and rarely, if ever, use missiles or drones. Amarr ships rely on lasers. Lasers have a lot of flexibility and very commanding ranges. Lasers, however, are very hungry weapons, making an Amarr ship very vulnerable to power draining attacks.

While the numbers from the quarterly reports don't always bear this out, I swear that the Amarr battleships are New Edener's second most favorite. They do look very imposing on a battlefield.

It is probably worth noting that one of the scariest frigates outside of Jovian space, is an Amarr Punisher fitted with Minmatar autocannons.

That's right, there are no rules saying one can't mix races. There are restrictions though. If a ship doesn't have a turret hardpoint, then it can't be fitted with a turret. If it doesn't have a drone bay, then it can't carry drones.

The last race is probably the most complicated, and my favorite, the Minmatar. Minmatar ships are constantly derided as being flying scrapheaps, held together with duct tape and good intentions. They clearly do lack the grace and elegance of the Gallente or Amarr, but at least they tend to be more symmetrical than the Caldari.

Minmatar ships are difficult because they are sometimes a split platform. They have turret and missile hardpoints in near equal numbers with a small drone bay. To effectively fly some of them, one has to have twice or three times as many skills as one would need for a comparable ship from another race.

Minmatar ships also don't follow a rule as far as tanking. Some are shield tankers, some are armor tankers. It would be hard to make through life as a Minmatar pilot without learning skills for both.

Why does anyone fly Minmatar? They are often faster than other ships. And the Minmatar projectile turrets tend to have better range and don't rely on energy to drive them at all. The Minmatar Tempest battleship had the nickname SniPest for being the best sniping battleship for the longest time, and New Eden's frigate of choice is the Minmatar Rifter. Aside from looking very bad-ass, it is very lethal and faster than anything it can't kill outright, giving it the option to disengage (usually).

Again, the selection of a race doesn't tie anyone to anything. It is just as easy to start learning the ships of a second race after gaining some familiarity with New Eden. For new capsuleers that are having a hard time deciding, I would usually recommend the Caldari.

The Caldari have adequate mission running frigates and cruisers, and ships that can be used in a fleet with few skill points. The main reason I would recommend Caldari is the Osprey. It is the best mining cruiser, and tends to be the reason a lot of pilots ever learn Caldari, particularly pilots around before the introduction of ORE's mining barges.

For those that don't ever want to shoot a rock with lasers, the Caldari have a whole line of ships that make great mission runners (Kestrel, Caracal, Drake) that should hold one over until settling on a career or finding a niche.

A Tale of Pew Pew in Three Parts

Part I: Agincourt

The market has been treating me well. Sales of the new rigs have been swift, and profit margins have been very comfortable. My wallet is growing nicely.

I had some business with my research agents in Sinq Liason and beyond. Last night, I took my Wreathe industrial, Agincourt. Once I was done, I decided to check the local market for salvage material. I've been building Gallente equipment, so it shouldn't surprise me that the salvage that I need is cheaper in Sinq Liason. I picked up about 110 million ISK in salvage and started heading back to Metropolis.

I was autopiloting while working on a blog post (that hasn't been finished, yet). I was peeking at local, keeping an eye out for any Amarr militia. I was pulled from my typing by the distinct sound of blasters. I looked up to see half my shields were gone. It wasn't firing around me, it was someone firing at me!

I was over nine kilometers from the gate and a Brutix in Aufay, a 0.5 system, had just removed half my shields in one volley. I had no options, I had to hope CONCORD would show up, or I'd make it to the gate.

Again and again the blasters fired. Quickly, Agincourt was destroyed. Instinctively, I warped my pod away. As I was warping away, I saw a Hoarder turn flashy. I can only assume he was looting what was left of my wreck.

I warped back to find my wreck. I didn't see another wreck. It is possible I missed it. It is possible that Teff nogero warped away. Perhaps CONCORD got him elsewhere, but I have to imagine that he was planning to get away since he was using a Brutix fitted with large weapons.

I lost my entire cargo. Fortunately, my cargo was destroyed and little was left to loot.

Part II: Assailer

I had the day off, and spent it on the frontier. I arrived in one of my Aggressor-class Rifters, Assailer. We were in a fleet of about fifteen, playing cat-and-mouse with an Amarr fleet. I found myself in a scout role.

I was poking around Dal. There were just a few war targets. I warped back to the Auga gate, ready to leave. As I approached the gate, it activated. There was another war target in local. I waited, zero-bubble on the gate, for the hostile to drop cloak.

It was an Incursus. It was very likely the same Incursus we had seen poking around as a scout for the other fleet. I was very tempted to engage him. I notified the fleet. The Incursus took a hostile posture. He turned toward me and locked me.

I probably shouldn't've, but I decided to obliged. I triggered my targeting computer and selected approach.

Afterburners on. Proceed to tight orbit.

As soon as my lock was established, i quickly toggled everything. His drones were out, his rails were responding. I was determined that this Incursus would be destroyed.

I panicked a little. As soon as my shields started depleting, I triggered my armor repairer. I'm so used to being in a shield-tanked ship.

I toggled my repper back off, and was pleased at how quickly his shields and now armor were melting. At this rate, my Rifter was sure to outlast this lone Incursus.

Now, however, we wasn't alone.

An Amarr militia Malediction answered his call and joined in the fight. I soon found myself taking fire from both. I was now chanting, "Hold together. Just hold together."

My armor repairer was losing against the rising tide of hostile fire, but I had now removed the last of the armor from the Incursus. I was still panicking. Instead of toggling the overheat on my autocannons, I just toggled the whole high rack.

The Incursus was flaming, barely holding together, but they were now eating into my hull. I picked a distant object, ready to make an escape in my pod.

My capacitor ran dry, my afterburner, my damage control, my armor repairer, they all fell silent. And I lost my lock on the Incursus.

Clearly, my Rifter had been destroyed. I spammed the warp button. My capacitor was empty. The Malediction still had me pointed. I wasn't escaping. I was spamming the align and warp buttons.

It was in this moment of panic that I realized, my Rifter was still holding itself together. I had lost my lock on the Incursus because it was destroyed. It was just the Malediction and me.

I knew I couldn't take him. I had no capacitor, my hull was dropping from his ranged attacks, and one of my autocannons had taken so much damage that I'm surprised it hadn't exploded.

I got some capacitor back. I don't remember which module I triggered. The afterburner to get away, the armor repper to hold things together. I don't remember, but when I was finally far enough away to warp, my Rifter was near 60% hull.

I had my second solo kill. I had survived what turned out to be a one-versus-two.

I was shaking. I was racing. I didn't have the capacitor to reach the celestial that I had picked. I bookmarked my location and waited a moment. I picked another and object and warped, letting the armor repairer slowly plate the burning ship.

I had to go out through Auga to meet the fleet. I knew the Malediction would be waiting.

I finally warped to the Auga gate to find the Malediction, a Wolf, and I forget what else. They chased me.

They chased me into a Heretic camp.

I jumped through, and they stopped chasing. I found a station and eagerly authorized the 31,000 ISK to the station master without looking at the bill for the repairs. I wanted Assailer back together and ready to undock.

Part III: Zunvi'as

Our fleet restructured itself a few times, and I eventually found myself in a Blackbird, Zunvi'as. We were still sparring with the Amarr fleet, but a band of Heretics had decided to spoil things a bit.

One of our pilots was caught at a safe spot by the Heretics. Our fleet doubled-back to assist him, but I found myself closer than the rest of the fleet. I thought I would warp in just long enough to break the lock on the pirate that had my militia mate pointed, and we could both flee.

Regrettably, as I was in warp, his ship was destroyed. As my bubble collapsed, I found myself 30 kilometers from the Heretic band as they attempted to lock his pod.

Immediately a Heretic Malediction broke off and heading for me. I locked him as I aligned to warp away. I took the preemptive measure of jamming him to keep him from getting a point on me.

In doing so, I got my first Global Criminal Countdown.

Regrettably, I had chosen a stargate as my destination. The gate guns tore into my Blackbird before I could warp away.

The fleet arrived and disbanded the Heretics, dispatching a three of their ships and a pod. We regrouped and waited for our timers to countdown.

I had no armor and barely two-thirds of my hull. My ship was on fire, as we waited together.

Another engagement called, and those without timers warped away and jumped out of system. It was then that the Heretics returned and found me in a safespot.

They easily destroyed Zunvi'as.

My first GCC cost me one Blackbird.

04 September 2009

Blanter #11

Welcome to the eleventh instalment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s banter comes to us from Joe Brusati a long time reader of CrazyKinux’s Musing, who asks the following: CCP states that T3 Strategic Cruisers are just the start for the T3 line-up. In future Eve expansions what would you like to see as the next T3 ship type. Please be specific on details about what role this ship would play, cost of manufacturing, and the different modules that would be available for it, and of course you must give your T3 ship a name!

I have to say that I still feel like there is a big neon sign that I just don't see. I don't ever know what the topic is until I see it show up in someone's blanter. Invariably, others are posting before Kinux, so they aren't getting it from him. How do they know what the topic is and who submitted it?

Regardless, I enjoy participating, even if I always feel late.

As to T3 ships, I say start at the beginning: Frigates. Though, I have to say, I am very interested in the T3 possibilities for industrials.

I do have some concerns for a T3 frigate, so I can understand why the T3 cruisers were introduced first. One concern would be where would the T3 frigate fit into the line-up and how much would it cost. A T3 cruiser costs notably more than a navy battleship. I haven't had any time in or against a T3 cruiser, but looking at the stats, I imagine a T3 cruiser could handle a 1-on-1 against a battleship, possibly even a faction one. The T3 cruiser costs less than the Marauders, so I have to imagine they would have their hands full in trying to take one down.

Given this, I'd expect the T3 frigates to cost 50-100M ISK, and for them to be able to easily take out a T1 cruiser. I can't say as I'm excited about that idea.

I wouldn't want T3 frigates to be cruiser killers. I wouldn't want them to be very expensive small ships that disrupt the balance of things.

What I'd want is for them to introduce customizations. I like that you can change the hull of the T3 cruisers, and then fit rigs and modules. The variations are immense. I think T3 frigates would keep us from seeing the same Rifters, Punishers, Jaguars, Enyos, Tristans, Claws, and Crows (and a few others).

As to naming the ships, I'm sorry, I don't have any names to offer. I see where each race has a naming genre, but they have no rhyme or reason within that genre. For example, the Slasher gave way to the Stiletto, which made sense. The Claw doesn't make as much. The Rifter gave way to the Jaguar and Wolf, which doesn't make a lot of sense. It makes even less sense when you see that the Caldari have a Caracal and Scorpion.

As to the modules, I think the frigates should have less options than the cruisers. Currently, the T3 cruisers have five module clusters with four options each. I think the frigates should possibly have only four with three or four options each.

I really do want the ships to be able to fill a great many roles though. Each frigate should have an option for configuring defenses, an option for configuring high slot configuration, an option for configuring power grid/CPU/capacitor, and an option for configuring support activities such as electronic warfare. It really is kind of generic.

Other Blanter's that I've read:

And Kinux's aggregate of the participants.

02 September 2009

New Player Resources

I have an old college roommate that I'm trying to get into a capsule. I have a coworker who is trying on a capsule for the two-week trial. I am finding myself having to explain a lot. I don't mind this at all, but I figured I'd post it here for future reference, and thus I have a new series.

There are lots of references and guides and toots for new capsuleers. I really shouldn't have to explain everything, as long as I can find those resources and present them here.

The most logical place to start is with CCP. They have offered Evelopedia. It has a new player section with some write-ups on basics that should be excellent for all new capusleers.

A place with a lot of ambition, but not a lot of content, yet, is Tweveit. I do hope they succeed, so my recommendation here is really as a matter of future hopes.

One more resource that I want to recommend tonight is Eve-Agents.com's Agent Finder. This recommendation leads into the first topic that I want to expand on.

I personally don't want to be a mission runner. I bore easily with PvE. I don't mind a nice 10/10 plex run as a way to make some bank, but as a rule, I have no desire to run kill missions for level 4 agents. But I have run missions to get my standings up for various reasons, and I have to admit that for new players, missions offer a comfortable way to turn a coin without having to resort to what may be boring rock cutting.

Each agent has a level and a quality rating. The higher the level, the harder the missions the agent will assign, but the more the payment. The higher the quality, the more the agent will pay. Agents range in level from 1 to 5, and in quality from -20 to +20. A combination of level and quality also affect the required standing one must have with the corporation for which the agent works before the agent will offer jobs.

Each mission completed, not only has some reward, but will also increase one's standings with that agent and with that agent's corporation. The more missions, the more one will grind out a rather high standing. To see one's standing with a particular corporation, look at Standings on the Character Sheet. There is a Liked By and Disliked By tab.

One can also see the required standings to work with any particular agent. To see the standings requirements on any particular agent, look at the info on the agent. Under the Agent Info tab, there should be a Compatibility attribute if that agent is not already available.

There are two more things that I'd like to point out to new mission runners.

I was only running missions to grind out standing. I wasn't interested in the reward. I found that courier missions were faster to complete, so I could get more of them done. The Evelopedia has a resource on the different types of missions offered by different agent types.

Every so often, one will get an offer from a storyline agent. They are great boosts to standing, so try hard to complete those missions.

The last thing to point out is that completing a mission may raise standings with the corporation offering the mission, and the faction with which the corporation is associated. It may also lower standing with factions opposed to that faction. Running missions for a Minmatar corporation in which one kills Angel pirates will lower one's standing with the Angel Cartel. Running missions for Serpentis will lower one's standing with the Gallente Navy.

Standings can be mended over time, but I think it is worth noting if one was counting on their previously acquired good standings.

28 August 2009

PLEX Exchange

I've promised myself that I wouldn't ever trade in PLEX. It just isn't me. It feels like a silly shortcut. In doing the laundry, and keeping the extra bills from road trips over the summer (I don't carry cash on a regular basis), I've put away enough cash for four PLEX.

It is very tempting to just spend that money, which doesn't have any other plans, and was all but written off anyway, and buy those four PLEX. And I don't actually have to spend the ISK from those PLEX on anything. I can just live off of the profit from that money.

If there were a way to convert ISK back, then I would very likely do it. After all, what would I lose. The initial capital for the four PLEX would be returned eventually, and in the meantime, could finance my capsule activities.

I also have a friend that I'm trying to talk into getting in a pod. He is very tempted, if he could pay for his pod time purely with ISK he generates. With some initial capital, I think he could.

But since there is no way to get that capital back, he likely won't.

One reason why I don't like PLEX though, is that it cheapens ISK. It flushes lots of capsuleers with entirely too much ISK, and they pay silly prices for things. If there were a channel to remove ISK from the market, I think it might help to keep prices reasonable.

19 August 2009

Applying to Corporations

I've finally done it.

I mentioned a while back that I needed to join a corp. Now that I've gotten my T2 production infrastructure in place, and I'm happily churning along with Project A-Riftering, I decided I'd start approaching some corporations.

I started with an application to Dark-Rising, even though I would have to say that is not the coolest of corp names.

I have a concern though, that in trying to help a high- or low-sec corp, I'm going to cut my own source of funding. Not sure how they would address that. When living in 0.0, I didn't mind dedicating all of my research and manufacturing slots to the corp since there were plenty of ways to make money. 0.0 is just crazy rich like that. We'll see how things shake out here.

Aside from 0.0 and piracy, if anyone has any industrial, PvP (Minmatar militia, perhaps) corps they want to recommend, I'd enjoy entertaining them.

17 August 2009

Goods for Sale

I'm not sure why I hadn't done this before. I admit, this is a little tacky, but it pays the bills.

Introducing Vol's Price List!!!

Yeah, I'm not very good at marketing.

I am working on lowering the cost of the Oneiros and bringing the Arazu and Lachesis to market. I also have Gallente Tech 2 frigates in the pipe.

I also have BPCs sitting around for more Tech 1 cruisers (Rupture, Caracal, Thorax, Osprey). If, for some reason, anyone is actually interested, I'll look them over and add quotes to the price list.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • All prices are subject to change as market influences dictate.

  • I am a solo operation. I have no POS and no employees. I can not insure stock or timeliness of an order, but I will try.

  • All orders are available for pick up in Elgoi, Rens, or Hek. They can be delivered anywhere within contiguous, CONCORD patrolled space for a small fee.

  • Small orders are pay on delivery. Larger orders may require a deposit.

If you do want to pay in advance, that may speed up your order. Gratuities welcome.

12 August 2009

Gate Guns Hurt

I went on a solo roam again in Aggressor. It was pretty quiet, until I happened into a system with a lone neutral. She wasn't just any neutral, she belonged to the Caldari Praetorian [C.P.G]. That was a neutral corporation that I didn't mind engaging.

I warped around the system. I scanned. I docked at each of the two stations. I found nothing.

Either she was constantly moving just in the right rhythm to avoid me, she was in a safe spot so far from anything that my directional scanner wouldn't find her, or she was in a cloaked ship.

It didn't matter, she left system just in time for seven Amarr militia to enter. Clearly, she alerted them.

I say that because I left quickly, and there she was. They came quickly. They followed me for two jumps.

I also say that because of our second encounter. I was roaming again quietly, and there was a report of another single target in a system that was on my way. It was just a jump from the fleet that chased me before, but perhaps they wouldn't be around.

Bad intelligence kills.

I was on the gate to enter the system with the report, and the Praetorian enters the system from that gate. I assume at this point that she is alone, since the militia intelligence wasn't that old. She is in a Buzzard, which explains why I never found her.

I was so excited to have found her and found her in a ship that I was willing to engage that I did.

The first volley from the gate guns removed my shields and half my armor. The gate began flashing, too. That fleet from earlier, a fleet of Amarr militia who could engage me on the gate, was entering the system.

Once Aggressor was destroyed, I warped away in my pod.

That was, simply put, incredibly stupid on my part.

Eleven more to go.