04 November 2010

New Player Resources: Mining

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starting a Podcast

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

I am starting yet another Eve-related podcast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27 July 2010

Establishing Trust

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

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

This makes Capsuleers paranoid.

This makes Capsuleers who are CEOs even more paranoid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 July 2010

The Billion ISK Primae

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lessons Learned

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

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

10 June 2010

Lessons Learned Planetside

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the things I've learned:

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

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

Storage is important. Don't over do it.

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

Plan. Plan. Plan.

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

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

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

Links can be upgraded, and messed with.

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

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


This is the part when I want to introduce pictures.


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


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


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


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

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

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

30 May 2010

Widescreen Isn't Just Letterboxing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

23 May 2010

Helping Others... Or Not

Odinsdagrting is recruiting. As a result, I've been visiting the official forums. After harassing more than a few threads in the recruitment forum, I wandered over to the Science and Industry forum.

There are an expected number of threads where new and aspiring industrialists ask questions. There is an eagerness to answer them. I think that is true for most forums: the desire to be the person with the right answer.

There are an expected number of threads where people are crying foul over some actual or perceived problem. Some of these are real problems, some aren't. Some are likely just trolls.

The posts that really surprise me, or more to the point, upset me, are the ones were people are intentionally misleading others. The post look genuine. I read them, and my first thought is that they must have the math wrong.

Then I wonder if I am doing the math wrong.

I double check my math, and re-read the post. The tone makes me think that this person is intentionally saying it ever so slightly wrong in the hopes to lead others astray.

In the realm of PvP, everyone seems open to share their tactics, their fits, their little tricks and advice. Part of it is because some of these things are hard to hide. Part of it is likely because sharing tricks is just as much of a victory as actually employing them. It strokes the e-peen.

I'm sure part of it is also because knowing the tricks of another warrior is not always enough of an edge to beat them. Market PvP doesn't have anything more than tricks. Twitch, nerves, gangmates, blobs, camps; these things don't affect market PvP.

The misleading forum posts are probably a valid tactic in market PvP, but they feel very underhanded to me, deceitful. They are a tactic that doesn't distinguish between intended targets and innocent bystanders.

Then again, there may not be innocents in market PvP.

15 May 2010

Eager for Action

I've been busy keeping Odinsdagrting going. Money hasn't been bad, and the corp is now twice as big as it was when I formed it. But, I want some action.

I have a problem that I imagine most others don't have. I don't have an industrial alt. It is just me. I can build and sell an Oneiros, and I can fit and field a Scimitar. Regrettably, I only get to build the ships as of late.

I've made an offer to haul ships in my Mastodon out to low security space, just so I had something slightly dangerous to do. I'm looking forward to Planetary Exploration because I want to go into low security space and set up some planetary operations there.

I did finally break down and buy my Loki. I dubbed her Hellcat and flew her back home. I still haven't settled on a fitting, yet, but with the interdiction nullifier and the covert ops configuration, I feel pretty confident running around null sec. I just don't know if there is much of a reason for me to do that, yet.

I'm not going to do anything crazy right now and risk the Loki, but I don't mind risking Mastodons and Prowlers. Maybe I'll take a barge into low sec and see if anyone jumps me.

30 March 2010

Out of the Pod

I will be going on vacation next week. If anyone cares, this will delay the Odinsdagrting monthly report and dividends.

If anyone really cares, I'll be in Florida. I will be trying to watch Discovery launch for STS-131. I can't really say as I'm all that glamorous to meet, and I will have the family with me, but... if there is any sort of ad hoc Eve Meetup, let me know.

23 January 2010

A Day in the Life...

I've been so very busy lately. I have a project entering the final stretch at my planetside employer, so I am busy working on documentation and training material and trying to get the last few bugs worked out of the system.

My work week is measured Monday to Monday. Today on Saturday, I have logged 58 hours for this week. Being salaried, I don't get paid any over time. All of that, and I haven't even gotten around to do the work I wanted to get done this week. My mother-in-law has the children this weekend, so I am hoping to work on some more documentation.

All my time spent there, however, means I have less time to work on getting Odinsdagrting to the point where it runs... more without me. To get to the point where I can work less, I have to work more. I need more hands, I need more time to get some logistics sorted and running smoothly, and I need time to make that happen.

Prior to this week, I did try to record my time off world, either in station or in a capsule. In five days that I was able to keep track, I snuck in nearly 21 hours. Mind you, a lot of that time was while I was also working on stuff for my planetside job, so I was having to multitask.

All of that time was spent hauling raw materials to the factory, hauling produced goods to market, tending market orders, tending build jobs, tending invention jobs, monitoring the corp wallets (to see who has sold what so I can track profit from sales and commissions), and tending the massive Google Docs spreadsheet used to run it all.

My Eve life sounds terribly, terribly boring.

Yes, I do want to get into some real, organized operations that run the risk of armed combat. But I find that I do enjoy pushing bits around, squeezing out more profit, and growing the corp. As boring as it sounds, as boring as it looks, as boring as it probably is, I wouldn't give it up.

12 January 2010

Blog Banter #14

Welcome to the fourteenth 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 to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of 2010 comes to us from the EVE Blog Father, CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: As we begin another year in New Eden, ask yourselves "What Now?" What will I attempt next? What haven't I done so far in EVE? Was it out fear, funds, or knowledge? Have I always wanted to start my own corporation, but have never dared doing so? Is there a fledging mercenary waiting to come out of its shell? Or maybe an Industrialist? What steps and objectives will I set myself to accomplish in order to reach my ultimate goal for this year? EVE is what you make of it. So, what is it going to be for you?

My answer has to come in three parts: The Possible, The Hopeful, and The Wildest Dream.

The Possible

My primary focus is my corp, Odinsdagrting. I would like for it to remain open this entire year. I would like for it to grow not only value, but in membership. I'd love to have at least four main inventors and builders with people responsible for selling and procurement. I'm not against a mining division, worm hole activities, and high sec POSes. I also want to push into low sec and, along with United Trade Syndicate, build markets.

I've tried running my own little corps, and I've been in a senior position in other people's big corps. I'd like to try running my own big corp.

The Hopeful

I've often tried to find a ship that would define me. I don't have to be in it all the time, but it would be the ship I'd use most of the time. The ship that I'd specialize in. The ship that I could be known for.

Most of the time, I'm in my Mastodon, Holtby, or my Prowler, Bisycmaplinis.

I do really like the Jaguar. I would've liked it even more if the AF speed boost had been included in Dominion. I can't see the Jaguar being a ship that could be used in enough situations to be a signature ship, though.

My past performance would indicate an affinity for the Blackbird. I do like it. It would make sense to make the Falcon a more permanent choice, but it is slow.

And Caldari.

I love the Typhoon and the Bellicose (mini-Phoon), and should look into the navy variants.

However, I think fate sealed it during the Hellcats Party. I was there for less than five minutes, and then was wifed. My name was drawn for the Loki, and I wasn't there.

Not only is it Minmatar, and badass, and works great in a group or solo, but it is very versatile and could be a ship one uses most of the time. Thanks to some gifts after the party, I am on my way. Once my corp is more stable, I'll likely save up enough and get myself into a Loki. I've never flown anything more expensive than a Tempest.

The Wildest Dream

I have an idea for a meta-game website. Something like Eve-Metrics or Eve Online Hold'em. I think it would be wildly successful.

I also think the Bellicose is a fun ship, so clearly my opinion doesn't mean much.

My wildest dream for this year is to talk some others into my idea, finding crazy amounts of free time, and coding up a web site that would add one of those real-world industries to a game that clearly wasn't built for it. I have an idea like EBank, just built with better safeguards.

p.s. A list of participants. I have to admit to not having had time to read all of these. I feel linking to content that I haven't looked at, but it has taken me so long to have the time to post this list that I feel I should post the entire list:

  1. CrazyKinux's Musing - A beginning is a very delicate time...
  2. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility - Words, words, words…
  3. My God It's Full of Stars - What Now?
  4. The Elitist - Plans for 112yc
  5. Into the unknown with gun and camera - Show me the money
  6. Ecliptic Rift - Enabling the future
  7. Inanity and Doom - New Year's Resolutions, New Eden Style
  8. Break Vol - Blog Banter #14
  9. Guns Ablaze - What Now?
  10. Adventures in Mission Running - The Way Forward
  11. Diary of a Pod Pilot - Things I want to do
  12. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah - The Year That Will Be
  13. Roc's Ramblings - WordPress ate my blog
  14. Vive Virtual - Frontier Living
  15. A Mule in EVE - Next on the chopping block
  16. Prano's Journey - I Peer Into My Crystal Pod...
  17. Life in Low Sec - Expanding the Franchise
  18. The Light of Stars - Testing the claims of CCP
  19. A Memoir From Space - A New Direction
  20. The Chronofile - Blog Banter 2010
  21. FlashFresh - What now for Flash?
  22. EVE Opportunist - Fyreite in 112
  23. Mike Azariah - Jiorj
  24. Yarrbear Tales - Year in Review
  25. The Independant Analyst - The Year Ahead
  26. The Travels of Black Claw - Where ma I going?
  27. Warp Scrammed - What to do this year
  28. Sered's Lives - Searching for directions in 2010
  29. Finders & Keepers - New Tears, Same Great Taste
  30. The Captain's Log - To Dream of the Future
  31. The Lathspell of Mithrandir - Resolutions
  32. The Midnight Sun - EVE Blog Banter #14
  33. EVE What? - New Heights to be Reached
  34. The EVE Chronicles - New Year – New Blog – What a way to start the Year!

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