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.