Friday, 26 December 2008

Guide Consolidation

As were fast approaching the end of 2008, I thought i'd better try and consolidate some of the more important infromation on the blog, namely the guides, which I hope have been very useful for those out there in pod-land.

I've been taking some tips and some suggestions for other areas to improve the guides, and most of them are now in version 2 (many thanks to an Eve Uni forums resident, Sumerio Rayej for typing up his ideas and making them easy to fit in with my guides so its just a matter of including his mods, many of which I agreed with, some of those I had to a bit of editorial tweaking to satisfy my own thoughts)

Therefore to help considlidate all your information into one easy to access package, I've deleted a lot of the old version 1 files (subsequently, the earlier links wont work on the blog anymore, so apologies if anyone finds a dead link, I'm going to go and try and remove any old ones to link back to this page, so thats why youre seeing this if you werent expecting it) please find the newest versions of the guides for your viewing pleasure:

Part 1 - Weapons
Part 2 - Tanking (updated to v2)
Part 3 - Drones
Part 4 - Electronic Warfare
Part 5 - POS
Part 6 - Missions
Part 7 - Fleets and Boosting
Part 8 - R&D and Invention
Part 9 - Scanning
Part 10 - Capital Ship Construction (new)

Now... many people will say there are some quite important guides missing from that list, but I don't want to re-write old guides that have no need to be re-done as the resources out there are already considered to be excellent. 2 of the guides I will reference below are those I use myself from time to time, and should be considered one of the best examples I can find out there for the subjects:

Hadala's Mining Guide - Link to Eve Online Forums
Joerd's Exploration Guide - Link to Eve Online Forums

In addition to this, I am not able to provide a production guide as I am currently awaiting my guide being published in the next issue of EON along with a follow up in issue 15 (Issue 14 will deal with Tech 1, Issue 15 will deal with Tech 2 just in time for Tech 3 to be coming out in March) - and because of that, I have promised them that I won't list the guide here. However, if you really can't wait for the EON issues to be published, there are a few things I can do for you:

A verbal guide to Tech 1 manufacture that I gave to Eve Uni (57mb MP3 file)
A Tech 2 component guide (unfortunately I have no idea who produced this, but it is a little incorrect in places)

As well as the in depth guides, I have also compiled some quick reference lists that many may find to be very useful:

An Eve Ships Reference List
Eve Ships in Alphabetical Order (useful for fast threat-identification in the overview)
An Implants List (including pirate and other faction implants, which has been updated for Quantum Rise)

As always, if you want a specific guide produced for any activity, please let me know and I'll look into how practical it could be for me to make it. As well as that, if you have any comments on the guides or want to make any amendments, I'll be happy to listen to you if you want to contact me by email, the address is in my profile.

Have a good remainder of 2008, and good luck with whatever challenges 2009 may bring.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas

The clock has just ticked past midnight here in jolly old England, so let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

May your future endeavours be bountiful.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Confusing Market Activity

First off, let me say Merry Christmas for everyone out there (or if you dont support Christmas, then have a good time anyway) since I missed the blog banter entry, mainly because I was crazy busy with work stuff at this time of the year (working in the power industry means that it takes a bit longer to get everything prepared for the time off for christmas to make sure theres adequate backup/response in case things do go wrong, and even though I was supposedly on holiday, I had quite a few emails to respond to/phone calls to answer during the day)

Anyway, now thats over and done with, just a quick note to see if anyone else has noticed any really strange market activity lately ?

I'm not going to reveal the details (I'm hoping its going to be a nice way to make some money) but one of the key ingredients for a tech 2 blueprint I'm making is now priced on the open market at one trade hub at much lower costs than it takes to manufacture. Im used to this with mission drop modules of course, people constatly undercut each other to offload the module at the best price for them, even if it means selling it for less than it costs to make it, since they didnt have to actually make it - but this particular module doesnt drop anywhere, at least where I know anyway.

The module is now about 250k less than what it used to sell at, and about 20k less than it costs to make it.

Its good for me of course, I can just buy them for my tech 2 manufacturing and not have to worry about making any, which saves me time and headaches, and if im lucky, I can move them a few regions away and sell them back on with the 250k markup in a region where there hasnt been massive undercutting and then rake back in a bit of money.

The really confusing thing isnt that its just one or two modules, its numbers in the 500-1000 range, and buying them all up would basically commit my entire wallet to it, so im just testing the waters for now to see if they sell.

Could be a nice little christmas present to me if it goes well... if not... then my tech 2 manufacture has gotten a touch cheaper, though im sure it will be more than offset by the increase in price in ferrogel and the other high end reaction minerals once my existing stocks run out.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The 7 Facts Meme - continued

Seems that I have been tagged by Ombey so best get my bit in before work kicks in tomorrow.

Firstly, the small print:
  • Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts about myself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.
Some (probably less than interesting, but you never know) facts about me:

1) My birthday is the same day as my uncle, who isnt very famous as far as I can gather, but also Tina Turner, who is a bit more famous, or so I've been told.

2) I've never been out of the UK on a recreational visit, and the furthest I've been on business is to Italy, so im strictly European.

3) My work however, has me dealing a lot with customers in the Middle East - yet I've never been there to visit the sites I help build.

4) The town I live in has had quite a few celebrities live in it - classically, the ancestors of George Washington (the American President) and also Brian Ferry of Roxy Music fame. Also it seems that Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand was raised there when he was very young. Our most 'infamous' celebrity export seems to be Heather Mills though (Paul McCartney's ex wife)

5) As well as my work, I voluntarily run (Treasurer and Bar Licensee) a Community Centre, which keeps me usually more busy than I can imagine at times.

6) I put on a fair bit of weight at university (the before and after pictures are scary sometimes when I look at them) and I really cant shift it back off again since then... its strange though as my weight never really changes otherwise, it hardly goes up either since I left university.

7) The most uncharacteristic thing I've ever done is voluntarily pay £100 at very short notice to do a bungee jump for charity (a friend of mine was doing it, he managed to get sponsorship, which was the main intention of the day, but I had a bit of a daredevil moment and ponied up the cash on the day to take part) - It's uncharacteristic as i'm petrified of heights, and can't even climb a ladder unless it's secured and won't wobble.

Now comes the hard Part, finding 7 bloggers to link to... most of my regular reads have been linked to already, but for the sake of trying to find someone whos not been linked with (and I hope people havent linked them since I put this post up:)

(OK, the last one is a bit of a naughty one, since he's already been linked, but its only fair I include him, hes been commenting on a lot of my posts recently, and the other blogs I follow that don't comment on my posts as much had already been mentioned)

(Unfortunately the commenting on their blogs to inform them will have to wait until tomorrow morning, as it's getting a bit late now, so if you notice your name on here, please link back to it)

Monday, 15 December 2008

Email address for you to get in touch

I've decided to end another bit of anonymity and get myself a publically accessible email address for people to get in touch with me if they want to.

I can now be reached via if you ever wish to send a mail, and my email address is available now via my profile at the side.

Hopefully I wont get spammed too much.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Is the T2 market going to be rocky for a while ?

Seems that sometime over the past couple of days, there has been speculation that has rocked the very fabric of the T2 industry within Eve - and the problem is no one seems to know if its real or not, CCP won't confirm it, all they will say is that 'we have identified an exploit with POS mechanics'

It seems that since day 1 of the new POS mechanics (4 years ago now or thereabouts) there has been a problem with the reaction system on a POS - by doing certain actions it was possible to break the POS chain of input/reactor/output so that an output silo could be filled with only a minor load of moon minerals/simple reactions - basically the input materials weren't consumed, and the ouput kept on repeating every hour with 1 hour's worth of minerals in the input.

There has been suggestions that 3 major alliances stockpiled the high value R64 moon minerals (or more specifically, their simple and complex reaction counterparts that use those moon minerals) and have basically commanded the market value for those 4 years.

Suggestions were made that as much as 3,000 Billion Isk profit was made by 1 alliance from this 'making money from nothing' exploit which funded Titan projects, outposts and also gametime for those that were involved, basically meaning they got to play Eve for nothing, as they generated the isk to buy their gametime essentially from thin air (or more technically, vacuum)

Other calculations suggested that if this was fully exploited it would have the chance to generate around 406 Billion Isk over the 4 years per POS that was exploiting, but that was a very unrealistic estimate as no one would be expected to be able to sell that much material constantly - but it could explain why things like freighters were found full of moon reaction minerals in the middle of captured POSes during wars.

What will this mean for the man on the street - well, once this exploit hole has been cleared up, it's very likely that the amount of output minerals will drop (as theres apparently no way to get the same amount of input to maintain the same level of output using legitimate moon mining methods, due to the limited number of moons available) which will lead to price rises.

It already happened yesterday, there was mass market panic buying of the moon minerals involved, either for people to stockpile in case of massive price rises, or people who were buying and reselling at a mark up.

Whilst theres some indication of truth to the issue by CCP stating that they have identified and are in the process of fixing the exploit (and removing the POSes which exploited as well as the accounts) many of the more paranoid members who remember the T20 incident are simply stating that this is another 'internal corruption' issue where CCP were in on the deal, and their game-playing alts were involved in an attempt at massive market manipulation to raise the price of their stockpiled minerals to make a profit (for the record, the T20 incident, whilst I wasnt around at the time was to do with a CCP employee using his GM powers to create an unfair advantage for himself and possibly his corp)

The fallout from this should be interesting to watch over the next few days, but if you have your heart set on getting a nice new T2 toy (especially a ship, since they utilise every type of moon minerals somewhere in their components) it might be worth getting it sooner rather than later, at least if you believe the market hype.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Guide Part 9 - Scanning and Probing

This is the 'non exploration themed' guide to scanning and probing - i.e. using the ship scanner and recon probes to find PVP targets.

I hope it helps those who are interested in getting up close and personal with those you want to find out in the vastness of space.

Find the guide linked here

Friday, 5 December 2008

A Quick personal update on progress

Seems I've not done much in here this week, so best end the drought with a quick update on progress, whilst im working on the next guide.

I'm currently training Weapon Upgrades 5, which is due to finish early tomorrow, towards my goal of having command ships, now that I have finally begun to understand the leadership/gang boosting mechanics.

Ultimately I want to get a Nighthawk as a mission running ship, and as a consequence, I will also get the skills required to pilot Heavy Assault Ships whilst training, which I had planned but wasn't really working towards.

In addition to that, I am training leadership skills side by side to get at least level 4 in all of the base leadership skills, but ultimately, I want to get Mining Director, to pilot the Orca, and Siege Warfare Specialist so I can equip my Nighthawk with a Shield Harmoizing gang link to overcome the inevitable loss of a hardener I'll probably have when equipping a target painter in my mission ships.

Of course, for the gang link to have any benefit, it means that I will have to run my alt account at the same time to get the gang bonus effects active, so that character is training up the skills to use my Navy Raven effectively to provide the damage output for the big ships in missions, and the skills for salvaging and tractoring for if the mission is fairly easy, the alt can just sit there cloaked up and start salvaging when I'm flying Karox back to complete the mission.

Now I know this is a very specialised setup looking towards something that I don't get much enjoyment out of anyway (I'm sure many people will notice the underlying boredom involved with missions) but on the other hand, I don't particularly enjoy work either, it's just there to pay the bills, and Eve missions are treat in the same way - getting it over as quickly and painlessly as possible to get the cash to use to do whatever else I want to do.

My alt has Caldari transport ships trained up now, and is at the point where I now decide if I'm going to go train up for a Charon freighter, which would basically wipe out my entire cash reserves if I decided to buy the skills and the ship (Advanced Spaceship Command and Caldari Freighter) but its a very tempting prospect. I really want Karox's Orca as well though just to have the new toy to play with, even though thats a whole lot longer away.

Karox will have to train up mining barges to get the Orca in the process, so it's a natural process to move on to Exhumers soon after that, so I might finally get some use of the Hulk I made a few months back and didn't sell (sentimental value as my first self-made T2 ship) but of course, if I do fly an Orca, I wont have any use of the Exhumer skill either. Ultimately though, I think an Exhumer and my Alt's Transport Ships will be the primary 1-2 combination for solo mining if I decide to follow that path - again, not something i'm really interested in, but it could help to get the money rolling in.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Mission Guide (Part 6 Version 2)

After a bit of discussion on the Eve Uni boards, I have been given a few pointers for interesting things to include in the Missions guide, and had a few other ideas myself, so along with the help of Sumerio, I have re-written the mission guide.

Feel free to discard the earlier one, and use this one instead. It has some very handy links in the document that can be helpful for anyone making a career out of running missions, and also includes some of the more advanced tricks such as farming highly valuable missions for optimum cash.

The new file is linked here

I will offer the same deal to anyone out there I've offered to the Eve Uni boards, if you can find some corrections in the guides, please let me know and ideally take my text and modify the file to suit the corrections and I'll make sure you're credited with the amended work. Whilst I like to think I have a good grounding in all of the subjects I discuss on these guides, many people out there are specialists and know a lot more than me on specific subjects, so I'll always defer unless somoene tells me some blatantly false information.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Blog Banter 2 - November 2008 Edition

It's time once again for a few lines from everyone who is participating in the Eve blogging community to get their voices heard on a specific subject - i.e. its time once again for blog banter.

This months question asks: What drew us into EVE, what keeps us playing the game and what brought us back if we've ever left?

All 3 points seem to apply to me (having left and come back), so I'll answer them all in sequence.

1) What drew me in? I'd have to say it was a desire to have a good Scifi based game that reminded me of Elite / Frontier after finding one or two 'Elite Clones' just couldnt capture the vastness of space that I was used to with that. Along with the fact that a fair few of my WoW playing friends also played Eve gave me some people to ask for their opinions on the game, and also good starter pointers when I did get there. I can remember going to a friends house on our yearly get-togethers and seeing the game, listening to Eve Radio in the background and just generally liking the look of it. I really liked the 'train whilst offline' approach to skilling up, since I was still in WoW at the time as well, and didn't really want to get involved with 2 sets of boring repetative grinds.

2) What keeps me here... It's still a question I struggle to answer. After all, I've not logged in except to change skill training over for the best part of 3-4 days now, but the thing that keeps me interested is the potential. I love the idea of everything being player-ran where possible, the politics involved, the way that someone completely random can become a big figure in the community. I've not felt anything like that since the last 'open world' game I played - Ultima Online.

I like to keep in touch with friends too, but except for one guy who has recently returned, all my old WoW buddies have left Eve to never return shortly after I left last time (about a year and a half ago now) so I lost touch with friends there, and to compound the issue, I recently left the corp I had been in since I started in Eve because it was coming more and more deserted as time went on, and I found that I was finding less and less reason to log in. I joined Eve Uni about a month ago now to try and rekindle my love of the game, teach those newcomers who want to learn and generally make some new friends.

Unfortunately, I have to say I'm struggling with that at the moment, everyone in Eve Uni is civil for certain, but I'm struggling to find the cameraderie I had with my old corp, since Eve Uni is all about people who could leave at short notice, and only long term residents tend to get to know each other - especially those who do make friends all tend to leave together, so unless you can get into a 'clique' its hard to get well known. Add to the fact that no one ever openly reveals information in there due to the constant threat of spies, it's hard to get to sit down and just chat with people to get to know them. I'm hoping with time, I can find the same feeling with Eve Uni that I used to feel when I logged in during the good times with my old corp.

3) What brought me back... I mentioned this on the last blog banter - I was tempted by Ambulation. It was something I had always hoped would come about after it was mentioned before I left last time, and when I noticed that it was on the horizon (after seeing it mentioned on a few gaming forums I visit) the 'hunger pangs' came back. I thought after a year away, perhaps I would give it another go.

There we are - a bit short and to the point I'm afraid for this one, I've been a bit too busy with other things than to concentrate too hard on Eve at the moment, it's always the same near the end of the year, but I hope it's been a nice read for those who are interested.


Monday, 24 November 2008

Guide Part 8 - R&D and Invention

Here's the next installation of the continuing guide.

After seeing a lot of requests from people in Eve Uni who were interested in Invention, I've penned this guide as a nice reference point.

Of course, I hope everyone has some benefit from it as well.

Click the link to get the guide itself

Friday, 21 November 2008

Guide to Industry - now with stuffy voice

I made a voice recording of my first class with Eve uni - I've not re-listened to it, so there could be some really obvious bits that have been messed up, but on the other hand, those that listened in seemed to follow the chat fine, so I'm hoping its good.

Here's the recording of the file for any and all.

Hope it proves useful to some people, and enjoy. By the way, I'm full of cold so sounded really stuffy and had to take a break from the mic every now and again to avoid coughing like crazy over the voice comms.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Quantum Rise Implants List

I've updated the implants list from a few posts back with the new slot numbers for the speed mods, plus the updated stats on the Slave implants.

As well as that, I have also added in the other faction implants (ORE, Thrukker etc) since they hadn't had anywhere near as much info out on there as they should have had.

The updated file can be found by following this link


Guide Part 7 - Understanding Fleet Mechanics

This is one of the areas I had very little understanding in until recently, where I have been researching and begining to understand the complexity.

With this in mind, I'm sure that there's many others who are still as confused at this as I once was, so perhaps the new guide will help medium term players as well as the new starters.

Details are here

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Theres a bad moon on the Rise

OK aside from a bit of a classic song reference, it seems that the Eve Uni has recieved its first war dec since Quantum Rise.

Should be nice to give a good look-see into how the new frigate combat systems work since they have been 'improved' with the patch and personally, I'm looking forward to it since I've never seen the uni war machine in full swing yet.

It's a bit annoying for me, as I hadn't set up my base of operations up in Caldari space yet, so I frantically went around buying ships and modules this morning in preparation, I just hope I've got time to move everything to a suitable location before the war starts late tonight UK time.

I'm not going to go into details of the war target and suchlike (I'm still not quite sure on what I'm not supposed to say in such a beurocratic organisation compared to what I'm more used to, i.e. small groups of friends) but no doubt the official words will be coming sooner or later from the appropriate people.

Gotta get around to setting up my account on the uni voice comms system and the like tonight, see if I can find someone with a freighter that has room to move a lot of bought stuff, and buy a few more throwaway ships (I've mainly been buying some of the more exotic things this morning, the cheap and cheerful will be done tonight after work) and re-set my clone, since I dont want to end up back in the middle of Minmatar space if I get killed which is what would happen.

Fun fun fun.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


I logged in this morning to the nice new Quantum Rise splash screen filled with anticipation for the new system.

First thing I tried was to recover my certificates to see just what I had qualified for in CCP's eyes for 'piloting certificates' to determine how I fit in with the grand scheme of how the game creators view 'what you should fly to do this task'

I was a little disappointed, I only achieved generally level 1 certificates in most things, and maybe level 2 in some, but looking into the requirements to get the certificates, it asks for a lot of superfluous skills which are fairly hard to come by and are usually left for tweaking your character to get the most out of them.

To me, that should be the 'elite' level skills only - a very competent pilot who is specialised in one particular area (or has loads of skill points to spread around) - but somoene who has about a year and a quater or so of training behind them doesnt seem to have stepped off the first rung of the CCP training ladder just because I dont want to get level 5 in all my shield tanking skills and suchlike.

OK, I'll admit, I've hardly been focused in training, but for someone who can solo a level 4 missions, surely they must rank higher in CCP's view than someone who's only at stage 1 of their training plan ?

I know that ultimately the training certificates are just fluff that look nice and don't correspond directly with anything in game, but I was slightly disappointed when I only got the low level certs after thinking that I was more than competent at the things I can do well (level 4 missions, and industrial production, though I'm not quite sure how much notice is taken on the industry side of things other than the 'harvester' tree which includes mining and refining too, which I am not very skilled in by my own admission)

Friday, 7 November 2008

Guide Part 6 - Mission Running

Part 6 of the guide focuses on one of the most basic money making methods in the game, the mission runner.

This guide is meant as an overview of the system, not a specific guide to completing the missions, however look at the end for a link to an out of game system called Eve Survival if you are not aware of the website, which can only be described as the discerning mission runners closest ally.

This Guide has now been updated

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A few minor corrections & a new file

With thanks to an intrepid band of proof readers, I've had a few corrections and amendments to my guides pointed out.

I've re-jigged the POS guide (part 5) to amend the amount of fuel held in the fuel bays

Get It Here

I've corrected some spelling mistakes on the Ships guide, and added Capital ships

Get It Here

I've added an implants guide - note that this will change with the release of Quantum Rise as some of the implants will be changed so that they can't be speed-stacked

Get It Here

Note that page 6 of the implant list PDF includes the Pirate Implants for anyone who is interested in seeing what they can do.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Back to school again

I've joined up with Eve Uni as of last night to try my hand at teaching, it may as well go hand in hand with the massive project of guides production I've set my mind to.

I'm still finding my feet with the massive information overload that always comes with getting into brand new forums and finding my way around, but so far, it looks nicely organised even if it takes me 3 links to find something by going to the wrong place twice (you know, it was sort of like that for me in real uni too for the first week or so)

I've got to present a speech based class in order to cement my place which should be an interesting task, since I'm ususally fairly quiet in speech chat simply because of my accent (proud Mackem, or one of the various derivatives of North East England for anyone who doesnt understand the term) so most people who arent local really struggle to understand me when I'm speaking - its why I learned to type really fast.

Anyway, I'll have to try and think of a way to make the class a bit more unique for me rather than just doing 'same old same old' so that should be another interesting challenge in itself.

More updates as I get more accustomed to the new place.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Guide Part 5 - An overview of the POS

POS's are generally myserious beasts for those that do not understand them. I hope this basic guide can go some way to raising the general level of understanding on the subject.

This Guide has now been updated

I have very little practical experience with a POS beyond day to day use in lowsec, so there could be some errors with the 0.0 uses, so if there is anything really obvious I've missed, let me know.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Guide Part 4 - Electronic warfare

I have uploaded the fourth part of the guide, the subsection on electroinc warfare, discussing everything from ECM to target painters, as well as the classics - warp disrupters, energy vampires and webs.

You can find it here

Theres still no one come forward interested in helping me fiddle with the layout and making it look nice, so I can only presume that there's little interest, but what I'm more interested in now is finding out if these have been any use for people. Are they too wordy and don't give enough maths on how things work? Is there not enough emphasis placed on the skills that are more important than the effects ? I am doing this for no reason as it's just covering old ground ?

Answers on a postcard please (or just reply if you want to save the cost of a stamp)

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Blog Banter – Ambulation

Blog banter is a project that was proposed a little while ago where a lot of the blogs post about something specific, just to get everyone's feelings on that topic together at the same time to promote discussion and see where people's opinions lie. The first of these are to be published on the following subject: Ambulation. What are your hopes for your avatar and new functionality of stations?

If I'm honest, the prospect of Ambulation was what brought me back to Eve after all those months away after reading about it on a few gaming websites. I'm sill looking forward to it, but I'm struggling to see just how it would fit in with the world we have all been used to for so long.
I like exploring, seeing something new as much as possible, so the thought of finally getting to see the inside of those stations rather than just the docking bay had me salivating, especially as I had been playing Mass Effect recently before coming back to Eve, and the indoor scenes in that were very well done.

I do believe that it will just be a testing ground for CCP's 'real world' MMO (possibly something in conjunction with White Wolf in their World of Darkness theme which are what all the rumours seem to be pointing to) but on the other hand, if it adds something and lets them get the kinks out of the system by offering the Eve players something for free, then who am I to argue, after all you won't be forced to get out of your ship if you don't want to as far as I'm aware.

To answer the first part of the question – what are your hopes for your avatar. I want to see a nice and varied list of clothing, I definitely don't want to see everyone looking the same, and whilst I expect the avatars to appear different in line with their racial look that you can pick up from the current portrait avatars we have, I would have hoped that you could dress in a clothing style entirely to your own liking, for example to dress in Minmatar style clothing whilst being a Caldari avatar.

To answer the second part – functionality of stations, I would prefer it if there were no big yellow exclamation marks anywhere. I can't stress this enough. It seems to be the defacto way to announce that someone has something to say to you, but it's been overused. It would be nice if you have a terminal at the docking bay which acted as a mail client which also let people speak to you directly if you didn't want to meet them in person, or alternatively give you notice they wanted to see you – then you could go and speak to them directly. A portable system could be used to announce new messages (basically just increasing the functionality of the current eve-mail system in game)

I want to definitely see lots of eye candy – not the big boobed under-dressed variety (though I'm sure there will be options out there for this for anyone who's interested) but plenty of variety in the rooms you can visit. I'm not sure how possible that's going to be with system limitations, but I dont want to see every Minmatar station being generic for instance.

Casinos should make an appearance. There are systems in game at the moment to play casino games via third party applications, but it would be nice to get those programmed into the game properly, and CCP should work in conjunction with the better known casino operators to get the systems they use in game, perhaps linked across all systems to a central server which handles all the games going on at once.

As for communicating with others, that's my main hope for Ambulation. It would be nice for each room in a station to have a local voice chat channel where you could log into the Eve voice system and chat openly with others. NPC's in rooms should speak to you using voice acting, but due to limitations in bandwidth it would have to be saved to the hard drive during the install, so conversations will be limited of course. Open chat using text will exist of course, but I'm not sure how 'spammy' that will be in order to maintain the feeling of a real environment where there could be hundreds of people on a station, and maybe 10-20 of them are player controlled – of course in the thriving player populated systems where there are 300 or more players active, then transmitting all that data to that many clients will be very lag-inducing.

I can see there being a lot of system limitations in comparison to the ideal in my eyes, but if CCP can include all of these, in my eyes they will have created the perfect first person aspect of the client.

I know that some people will want combat in stations. I don't believe it will happen in the first iteration of the system, but it would be nice to include it in some way. Of course, you should be safe in the dock in your ship if you really want to avoid that opponent of yours, but as long as wars are sanctioned then it should be possible to attack opponents. If you carry out a criminal action without sufficient call to do so, you should also be attacked by the authorities. I'm not sure how to incorporate this, as I don't think an Eve FPS game is the way to go, but on the other hand, it does work quite well in Mass Effect so it can be something to think about in the future.

To see what the other participants have said about this subject (at the time of writing, some of the posts are in the planned stage so may not all be visible yet) check out the info below:

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Eon/Eve Store Update

I've been contacted by Ian from MMMPublishing once more, he's been more than helpful in trying to resolve the issue, but after being given assurance that the magazines have been despatched, I have a horrible feeling that the blame lies with the British postal service.

A few weekends ago, no one in the local street seemed to get any post on Saturday, and based around the despatch date it seems that the magazines could be tied up with that.

I'm not sure where to go about complaining to the Royal Mail now about it, since it seems to be their fault, and I'm waiting to see if MMMPublishing can give me any proof of postage so I can wave it in the faces of the post office staff and ask for compensation.

In the meantime, MMMPublishing has offered to send me second copies of the magazines which I am very greatful for, and just want to once again promote their responsiveness and good service that I've been given in the blog - you truly do get great service from the smaller outfits. With luck, I get my magazines I need, and then can also get some compensation from Royal Mail for the first mess up they gave me so I can see about sending more money their way.

Moon mineral rebalancing soon it seems

Seems that it will be easier to get the rarer moon minerals soon - it's going to be possible to combine lower category ones together to produce higher category ones (at a fairly poor exchange, sort of 20:1 or so)

If it's going to be worth it financially is another matter, as it could go one of two ways - increased demand on the lower minerals raises the price, or the lower demand of the higher minerals drops the price. Suppose its a wait and see game.

See the Devblog on the subject

Monday, 27 October 2008

Eve Store - A bit Off topic, but need to rant.

Is there anyone out there who has ordered anything from the new eve store ?

I placed an order for some back issues of Eon magazine and after going through the motions (and only being able to order 1 item at a time thanks to the lousy interface) chose a 4 issue subscription since it's said that you can order 4 issues at once through that if you choose for instance issue 1, you will get sent issues 1 to 4.

Upon attempting to process the order, I got a failed message, stating that the server couldn't be contacted, and to try again later. After waiting 10 minutes and trying again, I got the same message so gave up on it as a bad idea.

Fast forward a week later, and I recieved my credit card bill, with 2 transactions on it from the Eve store.

Email sent to them to try and gather what has happened, and without getting a response from CCP or whoever runs the store, I recieved a forwarded email from Ian in MMMPublishing (those who produce Eon) to say to me that they had recieved the payment details, but as the request came through without any other info, they couldn't access it to process.

After explaining that they were happy enough to send me 8 issues instead of the 4 I had ordered (as the 2 payments had come through) they couldn't cancel one or refund it as there was no order number attached to send back to CCP to get them to refund the card.

Ultimately, I had wanted to eventually buy the 12 back issues in 3 blocks of 4 that I had missed out on to date so I was happy enough to accept the 2 sets of 4, but what worries me is what would have happened if I had kept on trying to process the payment and had 5, or even 10 payment requests on there. It seems I would have struggled to get a refund on the unrequired payments, and personally think it's a rather shoddy practice. It's making me worry about placing the order for the other 4 issues I need. It seems that MMMPublishing, though they have been very helpful in progressing the matter are a bit limited in that they can only process orders received through the eve store, which I have reservations about using again.

I'm still waiting for the 8 issues to be sent out to me, 10 days after I was told they would be despatched now they know who the order is for, which is a bit of a long time considering the amount that is charged for delivery when normally you would expect only 3 to 5 days, but I know that MMMPublishing is busy trying to process the EON13 shipments at the moment so I'm not too worried that it's taking so long, but hopefully soon I will hear from them and be able to make a decision over getting the remaining 4 issues.

Anyone else had any experience with the Eve store (new or old) and had any other issue with them, or have I just had a (hopefully) rare bad experience ?

Drones - small and deadly

Part 3 of the continuing guide is on the benefits of using drones in their various forms.

From combat drones to specialist drones such as electronic warfare, mining and logistics, they all have a use to almost every pilot out there.

Part 3 of the guide is linked here

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Guide Part 2 and Bonus

I've had a few days with getting the next installment of the guide produced, unfortunately work has been fairly hectic over the last couple of days. I've now uploaded part 2, on the joys of not blowing up, or more commonly known as ways to tank damage.

As a bit of a bonus (because I've not worked out where im going to incorporate it yet) I've also enclosed a spreadsheet for a ready reckoner list of the subcapital combat ships which are available at the moment.

It doesn't go into detail on all of the ships available, as there aren't entries for all of the faction ships, or the Logistics cruisers (I'll get around to them soon I hope) but in a game that relies as extensively on threat level recognition based on the type of ship your opponent is flying, it can be quite a handy reference.

Links are below for those who are interested:

Part 2 - Tanking

Eve Ship Reference List

Friday, 17 October 2008

Post 50 - The big one...

As promised in my last post, I'm starting on a fairly lengthy process to keep me entertained, and it's to write a guide to almost everything to do with Eve.

These individual guides will be produced as quick as I can find time to get them done (weekends are unlikely, and weekdays will be based around workload) but I've finished the first part - weapon systems of Eve.

I've got plans for future guides on Drones, Tanking, Electronic Warfare, the Market, Scanning and Probing, running a POS, hauling and industrial ships, and also with luck I can include my industry guide I've submitted for EON (though for the benefit of the magazine, I may wait a few weeks until the next issue has been released so as to not ruin it for them) as well as many more.

I'm always looking for interesting things to write about, so if you want to suggest a topic, let me know so I can research it a bit and try it out just incase its something I've not got much practical experience in.

These guides are way too big to be put into a blog post, so I'm linking them on Eve Files as PDF files, so for those that have OCD collection disorder, feel free to grab em for posterity.

Now... these are fairly amateurish, I'm not too good with too many fancy graphics and layouts etc, I'm just wordy, so if anyone wants to help with that and go into joint collaboration, feel free to get in touch either by replying here or sending me an evemail in game, and we can work out a way to get it going ... unfortunately theres no money involved, im just doing this as a project to stave off the boredom, but you get a chance to get your name in joint-lights.

Without further ado - Please find Part 1 of Karox's Guide to Almost Everything in Eve - Weapon Systems

This link has now been updated with a new guide

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Coming soon, Post 50 Extraveganza

Just thought I'd drum up a bit of interest before I go ahead and begin to write it, but to celebrate my 50th post in the blog, I'm going to look into publishing a lengthy guide on pretty much everything I've learned about piloting a ship, which modules do what, and so on, published over several following posts.

You're now reading post number 49... so coming up next (presuming I can get it done before my mind wanders too much and I write something else) is the start of hopefully a long series of reference points, that are useful for all, even those grizzled old vets among us.

It's all part of the service of being a Jack of all trades, I've got a bit of experience in a whole lotta stuff, and may as well pass on the knowledge.

Hope you enjoy it...

Increase in new bloggers and change in here

There has been a massive influx of new bloggers recently, and the Eve Blogroll is now up to over 110 unique blogs I think, and more are usually added every week.

Make sure you either read the browser based link on CrazyKinux's blog (the specific post is linked to the side) or put the OMPL link from Ga'len's blog into your handy-dandy reader software to keep up to date with posts as they happen (again, see the link to the side).

Some of these have only been posting for less than a month, but their few posts are fairly frequent, and very generally very amusing or informative, and well worth a quick scan through in your lunch break or whatever you do when you are generally not playing Eve.

I've also decided to enable anonymous comments once more on my blog - I originally only allowed those with Google accounts to reply, but it's limiting those who dont want to register from having their say. Half the problem is keeping potential spam bots away and/or 'undesirables' (i.e. those that will reply with inflamatory comments for no particular reason) so i'll keep an eye on things and may move back if it's necessary.

Where do you live ?

OK I'm not asking for a grid reference or postcode, in a creepy stalker-like way, but rather where in the universe of New Eden do you live? Maybe no need to be really specific, in case of possible threats of violence for those that want to track you down (thats what locator agents are for to be honest) but I've got a theory that several of the bloggers are Gallente/Minmatar based, since a lot of the blogs seem to discuss systems that I spend a lot of time in or around (Gulfnoodi, Eifer, Ammamake, Oursalert or whatever its called and Dodixie)

I'm based in Minmatar space at the moment, having moved down at an early age from Caldari Space to travel to the Metropolis region, and into Heimatar based around Hek, Eystur and Altrinur when I joined the corp I've been in since day 2 or 3 since I started.

Since then, we have moved away from an industrial focus (Altrinur was our main focus area for mining due to it's abundance of asteroid belts) and moved more towards missioning and combat, so focusing more on the Republic Fleet, which meant moving our HQ to Gulfnoodi in Molden Heath with access to level 2 through to 4 agents specialising in combat missions, and subsequently running several missions out of Emolgranlan where 'Vir the popular' holds his office.

Since I'm creeping slowly into PVP specialised around Gallente space, I'm considering moving an operational base up to Dodixie and Jel (if thats correct, i'm not sure) to have access to the level 3 and 4 missions from there, so I can get some loyalty points, and develop a way to get access to cheap faction ammo from the LP store since buying in faction ammo at sellers rates is sure to bankrupt me sooner than any losses from ships and modules will ever do.

How about you all out there in reader-land?

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Time to earn my wings

... In something a bit more face to face than the NPC pirate bashing and industrial PVP I've been doing so far.

Yes folks, i'm going to throw myself (sometime over the next few days since I cant be sure when I'll have time available, probably Friday) into the hectic world of PVP.

I've already spent whatever meagre profits I'd made from my Tech 2 production ventures on a couple of Thoraxes and the fittings involved, and as well as my Crow Interceptor, my Blackbird ECM boat, and my Vexor cruiser I've had on and off and hardly flew, I'll be exploring lowsec around Molden Heath and Heimatar with hopefully a few corp mates, at least one of which is fairly PVP experienced and is going to be someone im going to be learning the ropes from to survive 'semi solo' with the view to eventually being able to go out alone and survive for longer than 10 minutes.

It's been sorely needed, as I cant remember the last time I logged into Eve with a plan for what to do for the evening, it's typically just been there as a glorified chatroom for me whilst I umm and aah about doing a mission or two, but never really wanting to do one because I've worn myself out of the patience for doing the same thing time and time again.

I don't hope to take much in the way of sec hits, so we might only be hunting pirates, but you never know how things turn out, and we may have to hunt... ahem... 'innocents' if they try it on first.

Monday, 13 October 2008

No more inactive account skill training?

New bit of news recently posted on the Eve online forums:

A long overdue and much needed change will be put in place with the Wednesday, 15 October 2008 patch. Ghost Training, the continuous skill gain on accounts in an inactive or expired state - will no longer function after Wednesday, 15 October 2008. This practice upsets the balance of the game, and capsuleers who actively put their time and energy into working on their characters will no longer be unfairly affected by those few who have not.

Luckily I've never really benefitted from this, as I only managed to gain a few days worth of skill training from doing battlecruisers 3 to 4 when I last quit Eve, I do constantly kick myself that I didn't keep up with the extra 15 million skill points I would have expected to earn during my year off if I kept on popping on and off every 2 months or so as I set the longer skills training.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Are we asking for the impossible?

The corp I'm in has quite a differing background of players, we have all sorts from 4 year old veterans to those who only started playing Eve in the summer.

Back in the day, we were once a member of Electus Matari, a fairly well known Minmatar RP Alliance, who had access to Providence space via links with Ushra'Khan when they had Unity station, which has since been taken over by CVA alliance.

We broke off from EM because as being part of a fairly industrial focused corp back then, we didn't get many benefits from the constant Amarr wars that took place, though I am also told that we didn't get treated as equals in allaince discussion matters even though we provided some of the more capable and experienced pilots whenever group activities were needed (this all happened whilst I was on my year long break from Eve so I cant really comment on this, so don't know for certain what the reason for us falling out with EM actually was)

Since then, we have been looking for an alliance to join who could let us expand our experience in the New Eden universe (i.e. give us access to 0.0 since that is the only area we are not really active in) whilst not creating too much inconvenience for those of us who do not feel ready for a life of combat.

Basically, we are looking for an alliance that would offer the following:

No forced participation for the lower experience players - several of us want to fight over space and have something to protect, but there are some that are very PVP averse and don't want to get involved in moving out to 0.0 and constantly watching their back, though they do want to join in on occasion.

Access to 0.0 space (as theres nothing an empire alliance can offer us except for slightly more expensive wardecs) preferably in the Angel regions (just because thats where we've been based all our existance, so moving all the way across the galaxy is annoying)

Fairly busy (sometimes its a bit boring only having half a dozen corpmates to chat to, its nice to have a room with 100 or more active to get the discussion going)

Anti Piracy ethics (none of us are of the 'kill the innocents' mindset)

Some things that would be nice:

Access to a good 0.0 infrastructure - A soverignty holding alliance would be nice, to have things like jump bridges setup and so on.

European timezone for Alliance - The majority of our members are from Europe, but we do have at least one American, and one New Zealander who are regularly online.

Ultimately, we had a potential chance to join Ushra'Khan directly, but it was vetoed as they generally include 4 permanent wars against Amarr corporations, so that limits where the empire staying people can remain, as they dont want to keep on constantly on the lookout for war targets, and it also makes restocking via empire systems a pain if you cant move anything around without risk of attack.

Does anyone know of any alliances out there that fit the bill ? From what I can see, its a very big wishlist, all the benefits for us with only minimal benefit for the Alliance that would host us. Most of the members do appreciate a good PVP fight if theres something worth fighting over, so for the majority it would mean they would spend a lot of their time in the 0.0 home, people just dont want all of their empire access restricted as well by wars, which limits certain Alliances as already mentioned.

I'm just feeling very trapped at the moment, I don't want to leave the corp I've basically grown up with, but on the other hand, I need something much more involved than 'go to this random deadspace pocket and kill this angel guy for me please' which is what my life revolves around at the moment, I dont have the experience or skills to be able to go randomly out into lowsec or 0.0 and expect to last for too long, so I'm looking for decent PVP minded people to tag along with just to get more experience at that side of the coin whilst im training up the next few dozen skills or so that I want to be happy that i'm giving myself the best chance at surviving.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Back to training and making money

At last my focus on Tech 2 manufacture seems to be getting off to a bit of a start, albeit a slow one.

After spending a lot of time training up and sourcing materials etc, I've managed to recoup my starting losses (except for the investment in the Tech 2 component BPO's as thats a lot of cash) and I'm now back in profit again. Of course, as a result of that, it means that my material stocks are running low again and I'm going to have to buy some more useful parts.

I had quite heavily invested in the complex reaction materials that go into producing the Tech 2 components, so much so in fact that after reviewing my BPC's I'd invented, most of the parts couldn't actually be used in parts that were useful for making a profit, which has left me with a back stock of 'non useful' complex reaction components. I'm considering manufacturing the Tech 2 components without any intention of using them for production, and instead to sell them on directly. The downside to this idea is that there is zero movement of the components within the local Molden Heath market, and moving across to Heimatar or Metropolis has been a struggle to sell things for me due to the 'undercutter' effect in Rens and Hek where people will constantly undercut your prices by 0.1 isk just to secure their sale - I don't have the time to spend all day camping my sales orders to make sure i'm competitive every 10 minutes.

After getting most of my production skills to a 'useable' level (i.e. what I call most skills around level 3, since they've broken the 50% bonus effect) and the ones that need to be increased higher up to where it's needed, I've decided to move back towards training up a little more combat focus. I still need to get Astrometrics 5 for probing (I trained level 4 a few days back) but thats quite a long slog, and I don't know if I really want to go that far with it when I've got a skill training list as long as my arm.

At the moment, I'm working on Hull Upgrades 5 so I can equip another type of Tech 2 module (T2 armour resistance modifiers, specifically EANM's for my PVP craft) and then I really need to get back towards my task of getting Gallente Frigates to 5 and Small Hybrid guns and the associated specialisation up for blasters so I can get the Tech 2 guns as well. After that, I want to get rocket and standard missiles specialisation (again, need rockets 5 and missiles 4 and 5) and maybe then work on medium blasters and the associated specialisation. I also want to get a few more levels in Heavy Assault Missiles to get the Tech 2 launchers, and maybe then I will have a decent ship selection for PVP - A Crow or Taranis in the frigate class, a Thorax and Vexor in the cruiser class, and a Drake and Brutix in the battlecruiser class.

I can't imagine going any higher than Battlecruisers for PVP as I have always found battleships to be too big and very unwieldy, but after that I really need to get training for all the specialist cruisers such as the Heavy Assault Ships and Heavy Interdictors, as I've been wanting to fly those since they were introduced. As well as that, since I have a good grounding in ECM and Cloaking, a Falcon would be on my training plan, but since It's regarded as the 'flavour of the month' ship by the time I get to be able to use it, no doubt it will have been reduced in effectiveness by the time I can get skills trained high enough to use it.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Hardware Report: Caldari Navy Raven

This wonderful piece of hardware has become my standard way of killing Angels on behalf of the Republic Fleet. Whilst it seems a little strange having a Caldari ship working on behalf of the Minmatar Republic, it does expose my former allegiance before I finally saw the light and moved away from my capitalistic friends and family to join the Minmatar way of life. Since then, I have trained up towards piloting all sorts of ships, both from my Caldari background, my new Minmatar brothers, and their allies the Gallente. I have yet to train any Amarr ships, and at the moment have no interest in them, however their combat prowess can't be ignored, and I may eventually move onto looking into some black market trading with enemies of the Republic to acquire some ships as time goes on.

However, the focus of this report is on the Raven Navy Issue, or more commonly known as the Caldari Navy Raven or CNR. Quite simply the Raven was once the ultimate in missile spewing death machines, and whilst the newly commissioned Golem Marauder can now take that crown, the Raven is the only ship in the reach of many pilots. The CNR is a version that had been souped up by the Caldari Navy specialist engineers to produce at much more deadly killing machine in the process. Improved numbers of weapon points, and improved shielding both compliment the ship to make it much better at the job it's intended to do - fire missiles with the best efficiency at the hulls of enemy ships.

The Navy Raven is usually only available to pilots who fly for the Caldari Navy, but some will quite simply sell their rewards to the highest bidder, and that is how I came to own one of these magnificent beasts. After a very slow 50 jump round trip from Jita and back, I took my newest addition to the arsenal, called Starbird's Triumph in memory of my faithful original Raven, Starbird which was sadly no longer required after the upgrade.

After reviewing options to fit the ship, 2 choices were available:

1) Using capacitor booster charges as I had done with the earlier Raven, and concentrate on doing damage to the enemies faster than they could deplete my shields, and hope that the booster charges would last.

2) Setting up a perment running shield which was designed to no longer need to worry about bulky or expensive capacitor charges, and gave a bit of a fallback in case of emergency.

Ultimately the decision came to one of practicality - using capacitor booster charges typically meant that on the longer missions, I would have to return to station to replace the lost charges, and because of the slow movement speed of the battleships, travelling via the deadspace gates typically took a long time to reach each gate. I much preferred a stable setup.

I had read an experiemental fit which used Capacitor Power Relays to boost capacitor recharge, and whilst this does negatively effect shield boosting by re-routing power from the boost circuits to the capacitor. What it effectively meant was that the shields boosted for less, but there was much more capacitor available to maintain the boost for longer.

In order to maintain the peak shield charge rate I would require to face off against the Angel Cartel pirate ships, I had to invest heavily in Caldari Navy technology once again.

I needed an improved shiled boost amplifier, as I was not able to equip the Tech 2 variety due to insufficient training, I had to find a Caldari Navy variety, which requires a lower level of training, and also provides a greater boost effect than Tech 2, which helps offset the loss from the Power Relays.

Additionally, I needed to boost the offensive ability of the ship, so found 7 Caldari Navy cruise missile launchers, whilst a very significant investment (around 150 times the cost of Tech 2) these provided a much greater increase in rate of fire, and also in load capacity, which meant faster killing, and less time spent recharging, all of which improves peak Damage Per Second.

The final Specification of my ship is as follows:

  • 7x Caldari Navy Cruise Missile Launchers -Able to hit up to a range of over 170km, though skills are limited to approx 85km targetting range without third party boosting support
  • 2x Cap Recharge II
  • XL Shield Booster II and Caldari Navy Shield Boost Amplifier
  • 2x Tech 2 Shield Hardeners - Setup to specialise against the opponent's primary damage type, or general purpose Invulnerability Field II's
  • 2x Ballistic Control System II
  • 2x Capacitor Power Relay
  • 1x Power Diagnostic System II- Providing an increase in shield total, shield recharge, capacitor total, and capacitor recharge, as well as boosting the ships powergrid, however this setup leaves approximately 4,000 MW available, so this is only a minor additional benefit.
  • The drone bay has 5 Medium and 5 Light drones equipped for removal of smaller craft that the pilot may encounter.

This setup does have some room for additional modifications, 1 remaining High power slot will allow some minor adjustment of loadout depending on the user. Capacitor with suitable skills is stable without any outside interference (neutraliser or energy vampire) with -81.6 capacitor draw, and +87.1 capacitor gain ensuring the capacitor remains stable at around 30-40% of max load.

I hope that anyone who has been interested in one of these craft finds this write up helpful, and if anyone has any comments or queries, feel free to drop me a message. Price wise, this ship cost me somewhere in the region of 860 million Isk, and whilst this does seem like a lot to spend on a ship, it has earned its value back already and is now making nothing but profit. I would advise to not use it during wartime as the ship has limited survivability against a sustained pilot attack, but it held up well against a competent corp mate who was testing out the shielding systems, managing to survive against a optimium range Megathron, eventually winning the battle of attrition against the blaster fit ship after several minutes - though against another corp mate with a similarly equipped CNR, the shield dropped in less than a minute, so do not rely on it, if you are out and get attacked, make sure you can bring backup.

The Eve Blog Reference List

Since the 'Official' blog pack has become a bit of a semi-closed shop recently (CK has limited it to 30 members only) it's important to get the names of the lesser known bloggers out there recognised as well, and I've been trying to find a way to get everyones blogs listed without having to go and manually list them all. Fortunately CK has a full list on his personal blog site, but I have just recently learned that Ga'len from 'The Wandering Druid of Tranquility' has done all the legwork and managed to get a reader feed to import all of the blog info into your handy-dandy reader software (PS, for the simple fact its so simple to use and so readily available, I'd reccomend Google Reader for those who still need a one)

It works as an OMPL file which can be loaded into the reader - In Google Reader you simply just go to 'settings' then 'import/export' and point to the file you download from Ga'len's blog.

The Specific post where the blog is mentioned, and will be kept updated I believe is:

Hope you find it as useful as I have done, at the time of writing theres 98 Eve online blogs, ranging from informative, comedic, carebare, pirate and everything in between, i'm sure that everyone will find something to tickle their literary tastebuds.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Observations of the new Autopilot

As part of the Empyrian Age 1.1.1 patch, an autopilot avoidance system was put in where you can manually choose to avoid specific systems. Pre-programmed into this is a system which avoids Jita so as to try and keep down casual 'passers through.'

This was all well and good, except no one mentioned to tell it to the department that maintains the contract system. For every item that is listed as being it Jita, the contracts sytem reported it as being over 2 billion jumps away (2,147,XXX,XXX in total if I remember the first few numbers correctly)

You'd have thought that it would have possibly listed it as unreachable or something, but maybe, just maybe they have moved Jita to the next galaxy over.

Whilst on the subject of Jita, why cant Rens or Hek start getting some of the Jita/Ammar superhub traffic. From my base in Molden Heath, it takes me 26 jumps to reach either of these superhubs, and from looking around at least 10 different regions markets over the past few days pricing up my tech 2 production bits and pieces, only 2 systems in the entire Eve galaxy seem to offer the selection and decent prices, and none of them are easy to get to within a reasonable time in a hauler.

Sometimes I wish I was a multi, multi billionnaire who could buy up half the stock in Jita and Ammar, move it down to Minmatar/Gallente space and tempt people to come there and make up another superhub to save all the time-wasted in travelling.

In other news, I've been approached by Zapatero of EON fame, who has asked me to pen an article for the next issue on my take on how to get into industry, as thats been a major theme of my blog posting recently. If all goes well, and I remember enough about writing to not really embarass myself (the last time I did any writing aside from blogs and forum posts was my University thesis about 10 years go, so I'm a bit rusty with my grammar) hopefully it will appear in issue 14, due out I believe early next year (Issue 13 is due to start shipping this week I think)

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Well, that was disappointing.

Got the message through today from CONCORD: The war with 'The Gentlemen of Low Moral Fiber' has been dissolved as they have not held up their side of the agreement - as a guess, they didn't pay the bill.

Aside from 2 seconds of them appearing in local on the first night the war was active, I had never seen anything of them during the entire war. Seems someone just wanted to burn a little bit of cash to waste wardeccing someone for a week.

Now though, back to business. The corp i'm in is a little in the doldrums at the moment, I'm racking my brains to think of some useful 'anyone can join in, newb or oldie alike' activities just to get the corp spirit back again, rather than sitting there grinding missions or building stuff all day and chatting.

Some things we have done in the past:

Corp Missioning nights (showing the lower guys what happens during level 4s, and earning them relatively megabucks in the meantime from their share in bounties)
Ice mining / regular mining nights.
Frigate wars - the general concensus from this was the newer players didnt want to join in because they worried they would be outclassed, but as one of our newer members ended up winning, at least we proved that wasnt always the case.

Is there anyone else out there who has any ideas a 'interesting and different' corp activities that even those without a specific skill set can get into? Ideally if it needs skills trained, they should be relatively quick to get (people can haul or mine decently for corp mining ops for example with 2-3 days training away from their preferred skill paths.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

All quiet...

... on the northern, southern, eastern and western fronts. In fact, we haven't heard a peep out of our war targets aside from a 2 people warping in and quickly out of the system on the first night it was active.

That may be partly because we have been spending a lot of time in lowsec recently chasing down a few pirate corporations (well... not me, i'm out there at the moment because its the best place to get research slots, but i'm watching the action with interest since im running around in my covops ship and running intel) and I don't honestly believe our would-be attackers would ever dare go out to where they couldn't dictate the fights.

In other news, I've finally sold one of the covetors. OK, i'm not a billionnaire overnight (in fact I noticed my wallet drop from 1.05 billion isk down to 104 million over the past few weeks whilst I've been investing in starting up my production operation) but I've now got a few Tech 2 BPCs to produce, which is where the decent money is hopefully going to lie. I just need a few more days training to get the skills up to where I need so I can manufacture things.

Now of course, the main issue is actually getting the components to finish off the tech 2 manufacture - now that Jita has been effectively closed to all but the first few hundred pilots on every day, it would be a struggle to get the components at their best possible price - I may have to investigate some alternate locations over the coming days as I approach 'tech 2 go time.'

After that, I've been telling myself I'm going to spend some time working on my scanning/probing skills since they have been sitting there half finished for weeks, and I really need to get back to improving my combat effectiveness, even minor skirmishes against corpmates for PVP practice usually end up with me running the other way - of course, those guys are all 4 year or more veterans so I do have a bit of a skillpoint disadvantage, but on the other hand, its always good to learn by being thrown in at the deep end, it's how I learned to swim after all, and I haven't drowned yet.

Monday, 22 September 2008

War Update

So... the 'Gentlemen' have made their demands... pay up for a 'mining licence' or else we will get can flipped and hounded out of existence.

I wonder exactly what they think they are... self appointed privateers of the space lanes who have never even sniffed lowsec never mind lawless space perhaps... too scared to risk entering into space where anyone can have a go at them.

I'm at an unfortunate situation where a lot of my cash was tied up in my manufacturing endeavours - which unfortunately to say, aren't going exactly how I would have originally planned, theres no use predicting a 10%-20% profit when nothing is selling, but I suspected as much at the start, and perhaps 'pricing at usual price around the system' isnt the best method of generating sales, but on the other hand, to make anywhere near as much profit as can be made running missions, i'd need to start getting sales at those sort of margin levels... anyway I digress.

Where was I... oh yes... I'm skint in short. I've got capital tied up in dozens of smaller things, and It's leaving me a little short funded for this war. Aside from the fact that I don't risk my CNR during wartimes, which limits my ability to run missions for my corporations of choice since I don't have any other ship capable of running the highest difficulty missions, and buying a new ship, outfitting it and insuring it would be just about wiping me out.

So we have to be sneaky for this war. Not like we aren't always sneaky and do hit and runs when we need to do damage, and disappear when we need to regroup, but speaking personally, I cant afford to lose any big ships anymore at the moment, so I'm in Tech 1 frigates/cruisers again for this war... which compliments our attackers, as unlike the CE guys this lot seem to also enjoy the T1 disposable hulls during their combat from what I can see.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

War... again

... but first a word from our sponsors:

Karox Enterprises is now in business, having reached the lofty levels of PE5, A fresh new batch of Covetor mining vessels has been placed on the market in the Heimatar region. Priced very competitively, with local 'within 6 jumps' prices, i'm sure theres ships will be very helpful for their prospective new owners. Please note warranty is limited - you break em, you keep em.

... and back to our featured presentation:

It seems that our combat abilities are back under the spotlight yet again. I'm quietly buzzing with excitement, because it gives me something to write about in here again rather than 'yeah I'm still training.'

We have been declared against by 'The Gentlemen of Low Moral Fibre' a 2 bit pirate organisation who seem to be relatively new to Heimatar/Molden Heath but have already made their mark by can flipping and ganking (in fact, their website takes pride in the fact that they will only accept those with a proven track record of can flipping, oh well, each to their own)

We should be at war around 6pm UK time, and whilst the war against Criminal Element was a fairly easy walk in the park wartarget wise (most of them appeared to be on American timezones play wise, so we only seen them for a few hours a day) these guys seem to be UK based - could mean we have more targets, could mean they camp us all day long and don't let us do anything... we shall see.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Invention success

Managed to take my first tentative steps into the world of Invention today - using a Hammerhead drone print.

It was a success !

So there we go, I'm going to stop inventing now when I'm on a 100% success rate just so I can buck the trend of failure after failure that seems to plague everyone else.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Tech 2 Components

...and the ever expanding list of skills required.

I decided to invest in a full set of researched T2 component BPOs to try and cut down the risk of carrying lots of pre-manufactured components around (plus the complex reactions seem much more universally available on the markets, albeit at a higher price, so that needs to be weighed up) only to discover that I would need at few more skills trained up to actually manufacture with them.

Ultimately these skills were on the plan anyway (eventually I wanted to get all the t2 manufacturing skills high enough to be able to build anything from a BPC - its just going to be a bit sooner than expected with most of the skills)

Thankfully they only need level 3, so thats less than 24 hours total training for each skill (around 45 mins + 3 hours + 18 hours) so it's not as bad as it could have been so my skill plan has been extended by around 6 days before i'll be T2 manufacture capable.

I'm now running down to around the 3 day mark on PE5 and another 5 days on Industry 5 but I can see the end of the tunnel now. Hopefully once PE5 has been completed, I can start making money with T1 manufacture, or at least help liquidate my mineral stocks at least, because I have a few hundred million worth of materials sitting in my hangar gathering dust. The main issue is actually having the manufactured parts sell, which is a whole different level of research I have to do to make sure im getting the most bang for my buck (so to say.)

In other news... hopefully soon we could be looking to return to 0.0, discussions are on the way with old contacts, of course, since I had the option of moving to the drone regions, I have been investing a lot in manufacture, so I need to maintain an empire base of operations, at least until theres the possibility of getting in on the 0.0 manufacturing market - but thats a little too high risk at the moment, as one bad gank could wipe out a lot of my capital if im transporting enough to cut down the number of trips to a mangeable amount, but theres the possibility of getting minerals out in 0.0 and manufacturing from a base out there as well as simultaneously making things in empire.

The possibilities are endless - I hope.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Friday morning update

Unfortunately not much to say today, but I'm bored at work so need something to bring me back from the doldrums.

Skill training is going fine at the moment, I'm now about 5 days 5 hours left to finish PE 5, so it's getting there rapidly.

I intend to carry out my first invention runs over the weekend (I spent the time I had yesterday visiting my research agents to give them their Tritanium gifts to boost their output for the day, whilst relieving them of any datacores they had researched for me to date) so it should be interesting to see just how many 'streaky failures' I get since that seems to be the general consensus on the forums, everyone seems to be failing invention attempts these days.

With luck by the end of the weekend I'll have a decent stock of Tech 2 blueprint copies ready for manufacture by the time I get the skills needed to produce them efficiently.

My mineral stocks are coming along great now, I could do with a lot more Megacyte since I only have a very limited stock at the moment, there is some available locally priced about right for my intended profit margins, but I need to decide if I will simply buy it now, risk the price dropping or raising before I can use it, and tie up yet more of my money in assets, or place speculative buy orders to see if I can get a decent deal since theres still around about a week before I'd be in any position to use it, and maybe about 2 weeks after that before my stock runs out and I need to resupply - and 3 weeks can mean a lot of price variations in Eve, especially on fairly low supply/high demand materials like Megacyte.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Another rule of hauling...

Note to self: 18 million units of Tritanium takes a long time to move, even when youre only going 4 jumps.

This post was brought to you by the wish that I had a freighter, or at least a rigged Bustard to use, but unfortunately training for Transport ships and all the glorius benefits they bring (i.e. not much, just a bit more cargo capacity) is now a few weeks off, once I've concentrated on a few more skills.

It's times like this make me wonder if im ever going to get any more combat skill improvements this side of Christmas... 2010.

Manufacturing - Progress update

I've not posted much recently, and to be perfectly honest, there's not been much happening - i'm at that awkward stage of any project where almost everything is in place, i'm just waiting for things (such as skills mainly) dropping into place to work.

Main progress updates as follows:

Materials - 300 Million isk in buy orders placed for common materials, as well as common loot drops at mission hubs for reprocessing. I've raised requests for corpmates to sell me their minerals at slightly higher than buy order rates (but lower than sell order rates) to help as well.

Skills - About 10 days from Production Efficiency 5. Need to get Refining 5 and then Refinery efficiency, as well as Industry 5. Metallurgy 5 is a lower requirement, but it is needed to carry out ME research on my Prototype Cloaking BPO which is needed to help reduce the costs of any Tech 2 items I may end up getting through invention (before I get Metallurgy 5 I plan to buy from the market if it is cheaper than producing with a 10% waste). All of the science skills that I need plus the encryption methods skills are at level 3 which is where I hope to be for starting invention, eventually these will be worked on as time permits.

Blueprints - Purchased BPO and researched for 4 items - Prototype Cloaks, Ballistic Control Systems, Hammerhead Drones and XL Shield boosters. All but the Cloaks have copies made, and the Cloaks are in copying, it will be 20 days to produce 2 Full-run copies. I intend to buy in BPCs of items that I can make a profit on in the market - first project is to manufacture Hulks - I purchased a 10 run Covetor BPC, with a view to selling 7, and using 3 runs to go into a hulk BPC. The seller of the Hulk BPC has been gradually raising the price of the BPC's though, so after this first batch, I may not bother looking into them again, as the profit margin is disappearing quickly - add to the fact that I lost all of the T2 components required for the first run of the Hulk after the suicide ganking incident, this means that after the first 'break even' run on 3 hulks (presuming I don't get ganked with the next set of 3 run BPC components) I won't have much of an option to make more.

Now presuming that there isnt a giant market crash (or alternatively, someone reads this blog and takes it upon themselves to undercut me now they know my plans) my foray into manufacturing should be coming to fruition sometime around the beginning of October and I'll see how long it takes to sell everything once they're listed on the Market.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Cardinal Sin of Hisec transporting

Dont go AFK, even if its 24 jumps from Jita to go back to Heimatar.

Been buying some T2 components at Jita for my current T2 manufacturing mini-project im undertaking, which is to get some Hulks.

I had bought a Covetor 10 run blueprint, and a small selection of the T2 components needed for the Hulk itself, as they were much cheaper in Jita.

On the way back, I decided to browse the forums and check the blog pack for new posts (PS the websites coming along nicely Mynxee) when I swapped back to the screen at Hek only to be met by a blinding flash of light and a killmail in my inbox.

Seems I had been suicide ganked.

So theres a lesson to you folks out there, dont go AFK travel through Hisec even at the moment, seems that some people still quite like to suicide gank even if the payout they get is much lower than the value they could have ever gotten for their ship (by the way, is the 'no insurance for ganking' rule come in yet?)

The real annoyance was that I had gotten 20 out of 24 jumps along the route, and it was that last little step entering into Heimatar that caused the problem.

The kill was more an annoyance than anything earth shattering (means I've got to go out and get more stuff, so any hope of making a profit on this batch is well and truly gone) but thankfully the most expensive item, i.e. the Hulk BPC itself, was bought a bit closer to home in Eystur, didnt want to risk carrying that too just incase.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Packing up my troubles... or not as the case may be

I've been doing a lot of soul searching as of late - the corp I've been with since I started in Eve, has changed, all the friends that dragged me kicking and screaming from WoW have all gone, or at least don't show their face anymore - all we are left with is a fairly hardcore group of about 8 pilots, and 3-4 newer players who thankfully log in almost every night.

With this in mind, I've been expressing my disappointment that we don't go looking for an alliance, if only to get more people to spend time with, but ultimately with a hope to get back out into 0.0. I had been viewing different alliances to make reccomendations as to where we could be looking, and waiting for the corp leadership to follow through the leads I provide.

It was during this time that I had gotten speaking to Intrepid Crossing alliance based in the drone regions, and upon speaking to their members, had an idea that if the corp were not going to commit to an alliance, I would prefer to rather leave than spend months more grinding missons for no benefit but an increasing wallet.

I wanted to get out into null space, stake a claim (or latch onto someone elses already placed claim via an alliance) and help defend and expand their space, which many believe is the main focus of Eve. I had struggled to find a corp/alliance that wasn't interested in anythng but my ability to PVP, and I'll have to admit that I'm hardly the most proficient at killing opponents, so a purely PVP focused group was out of the question.

One of the 'benefits' of the drone regions is that you get a lot of minerals from refining the drone alloys - the drones do not have any bounties, however so making cash is only as good as your refining skills permit - because of this, many 'pure combat' characters avoid these regions, but for me, a hybrid Fighter-Industrialst it seemed almost perfect - fairly competent at both aspects, it would let me kill enemies to hold onto space, and manufacture using my spoils of war in the downtimes using the more than ample supply of minerals that drone-killing would allow.

Actually converting that to Isk is a different argument (would have to get the equipment I manufactured back to empire to sell, as most internal manufacture in the region was handled by the corp industrial arm, which would usually provide things for free if the minerals were provided, so internal selling was out of the question) and one that among many other points eventually tipped the balance to make me reconsider the application.

I was wanting a corp that would allow me to make most use of my hybrid skillpoint spread, which includes exploration and invention, and whilst the corp within Intrepid Crossing did provide POS's for invention, further investigation into exploration within dronespace lead me to believe that this wasn't a very profitable enterprise (i.e. only drone parts and hybrid drone BPCs were available, but these didn't have much value) so that was beginning to sow the seeds of doubt in my mind.

After talking it through with the current corp, I found that whilst discussions with many alliances had stalled (typically people looking for pure pvpers or pure industrialsts) there are some discussions still ongoing about joining former friends a little closer to home in the Angels inhabited regions.

In the meantime, whilst nothing is finalised, I still desire to get back out and explore 0.0 again, so I may go on a pilgrimage into the lawless space once more, spend a few days here and there jumping around semi-friendly space, getting to know some of the locals again, and hopefully find a few occasions where battleships of the Angel Cartel can fall to my guns or missiles to help my wallet during these lean times of non missioninig.

... or I could fly 2 jumps from empire and get blown to smithereens by the first pilot I see, I suppose thats the beauty of it all.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Girls and Guys and Games

Theres been a little something ticking over in my head for a while, after the mention by Mynxee that she is starting up a female only pirate corporation, and thats of cross-genered characters.

I don't think theres a single man out there who hasnt made a female alt in some way or another in any game where you have the option of genders (not necessarily in Eve since all your are is a portrait, but maybe Ambulation will change that) with the argument that 'If im going to be staring at a character for hours at a time, I'd rather stare at something pleasing to the eye than a man's backside' - does the same apply to females?

I know in my more juvenile moments, I've made female characters in games like World of Warcraft and Star Wars Galaxies because some of the secondary requirements in those games are getting a character that looked good, and typically the female characters had better wardrobes than the men. I've picked female characters in fighting games because their 'ready stance' was frequently rather, ahem... bouncy and all the other reasons why someone picks a female avatar over a male one - but does the same apply for Females - do they go for the big buff male characters (or the gangly thin ones if thats their thing) because they like the look of em... or do they exclusively go for female characters ?

All of the women I knew who played World of Warcraft all went for female characters exclusively, and it seems that none of them wanted to play male characters at all. As with all games though, my sample size of people I was in regular contact with was only in the half dozen figure, so I can't say that its a decent sample to get a good idea, so im hoping the global pull of the Eve Blog pack can get me some more answers (even though it seems that theres even a lower female population playing Eve than WoW)