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.

09 August 2009

A-Riftering: First Kill

My objective is to roam around in low-sec and find one-on-one engagements in which to lose my collection of purpose-built Rifters. In doing so, I hoped to learn more about PvP, to improve my chops, and through the rush, take the edge off of the panic that usually gets me killed.

I have no desire to be a pirate, so I don't care to wreak havoc on innocents. I am a member of the Minmatar militia, so I have valid war targets. I am also navigating in areas that have a very high density of pirates. I won't feel guilty engaging them. Both of these populations, however, are expecting a fight, and often looking for one themselves. This won't discourage me from engaging in these fights, but it does dramatically reduce my chances of winning.

Winning isn't really the point, which is why I have 12 frigates, not 12 recon cruisers.

I've decided that I will freely engage Amarr sympathizers or patriots. It may, at times, be hard to identify this population, but it does broaden my chances of finding an engagement.

This evening was my second evening on a solo roam. The first evening was without incident. This evening was going pretty much the same way. In most systems, I found no valid targets. In some systems, I would find a valid target, usually a pirate, but it was never a single target. Engaging one would likely get the other two on me quickly.

There were just a few times when I had a valid target in a system where I didn't expect hostile backup. I would dance around the system, intently studying the directional scanner. In these cases, the target would invariably be in something that would clearly out-class me. When I would finally see the target, I would make my way out of the system.

My second evening patrolling at the helm of Aggressor was nearing its end, and I was making my way back to my cache of Rifters when I entered a Sosan. There was only one other capsuleer in Local, Deaganu. I quickly hit the scanner and pulled up his info.

He didn't have any tell-tale signs of being a pirate, and he was not a member of the Amarr or Caldari militias. He was a member of Shadowheart Xtrem Industries [SHXI]. I pulled up their info, and immediately a smile bolted across my face.

SHXI openly defended the Sarum family. I quickly did a search to confirm, as I fired up the engines and warped to a planet. As my gate cloak dropped, I saw the confirmation that I needed:

The Sarum family has always been the most belligerent of the royal families, always willing to take up arms whenever required. The family has vested interest in the Amarr military and the armaments industry. They are the only royal family that wants to revive the Reclaiming efforts of old.

I knew I had a valid target, but I had no idea if he would be out and about in a system with stations, or if he would even be in a ship small enough for me to consider engaging.

I kept on top of the directional scanner. I moved from planet to planet until I found him. He hadn't renamed his ship!

He Was in a Rifter!

The directional scanner isn't immediately accurate, but I was getting better at it. If nothing else came out of these roams, my directional scanning abilities were getting better.

I moved quicker, from point to point until I narrowed him down to one belt. I felt like this was taking so long, though, that surely, he would move. Surely, he would get nervous and bolt. Unless, he was looking for a fight, too.

That prospect made me all the more eager. In the end, I figured he just didn't care. I don't appear to be to terribly a menacing person.

I had my destination, though. I warped into the belt, and there he was, in his Rifter. Sansha wrecks were littered around him. He was ratting in a Rifter!

He was 30 Km away. He was too far for me to hold onto. He could've run. I approached him, turning on the afterburner, debating overheating it just to get to him faster. I hoped he wouldn't run.

He was in the heart of the asteroids, and I had to manually navigate around one. It was beautiful when I did.

Aggressor roared around the asteroid in its lazy roll. I could feel the rocks move, as if they knew there was danger. If only they could warn him. As he came out of eclipse, he was about 10 Km away, and he didn't appear to be running. He didn't appear to be paying me any attention at all.

I swept the bow to port, watching it roll as the ship lined up on him. I initiated the lock, and as soon as he was within the range of my point, I opened with everything I had.

He quickly locked me back. I almost wonder if it was an autolock since he didn't seem to care about me until then. Half his shields were gone before he opened fire, and I was tight within my orbit.

I can't say as I learned much from this engagement itself. As he fell to half armor, my shields fell. I toggled my armor repper once before overheating my turrets. It didn't matter.

His ship exploded before I moved through the whole rack.

I was shaking. Not only had I initiated my first solo engagement, I won it.

The victory does seem a little hollow, though. The outcome was decided before I even engaged him. His ship was poorly fit and is 125mm Scouts were no match for my second-generation 200mm ACs. My ship could've won this without me.

Deaganu should've been more aware of his surroundings. Even though I don't have the security rating or employment history that would make one think I would start an unprovoked attack, I am a member of the Tribal Liberation Force. He should've sought me out. Any guilt that I might feel from such a hollow victory, though, passes when I think of this.

The engagement was very short, though. That is one of the reasons why I don't feel I've ever learned much from the years of gang-warfare I've been in. I've never been in a pitched battle. Either no one fired at me, and I just followed orders and fired on primaries and secondaries as they were called, or the other fleet has called me primary and my ship has been destroyed before I can respond, before I can panic.

01 August 2009

A-Riftering: The Beginning

I did it. I dropped a bit more money then I expected purchasing 12 Rifters and the modules. I have them near the frontier, and as I have time, I'll take them out and try to find some small PvP engagement in which to lose them.

I also have a Breacher that someone left adrift outside a station. I'm actually kind of surprised by the damage output, but it isn't notably fast or strong. I'm sure it will be fun.

I have a question on which type of ammo to carry. My loadouts just have Republic Nuclear S and Gremlin rockets by default, but I haven't actually purchased ammunition, yet. Any advice would be helpful. I'm wondering if it is worth taking different types and reloading the weapons before warping to the target.

My fleet Blackbirds only carry Widowmakers. I expect to see more Amarr ships than not, and I expect them to be armor tanked. ('Course, I could be completely remembering their poorest resist or the damage type that Widowmakers do). Besdies, I realize the Blackbird really isn't in theater to do damage.


I've developed two different loadouts for my Rifter project. This one is a very standard AC loadout for close-quarters engagements. I have six of these, and will start with these. I expect to do what every Rifter pilot does, orbit at 500m and hope I can eat through their tank before they eat through mine.

The challenges will be just finding targets and avoiding those that clearly outclass me. Once I'm engaged, there is really only two things for me to worry about, pulsing the repper and toggling the overheat.


This loadout is much more my style. It avoids close-quarters, opting to use speed and tackle modules to dictate a range that should be outside of that of most other frigates. This doesn't sacrifice any defenses over the Aggressor-class loadout, but it does deal less damage.

I'll start on these six after the other six have been lost. By that time, I may actually decide to drop the repper in favor of a MWD. Besides which, I don't actually have Rocket Specialization, so I'll train that.

The challenges here will include keeping my range. Simply electing to orbit the target could be bad.