Wednesday, July 6, 2016

More low level Faction Warfare missions

Following on from my last post about doing lower level faction warfare missions I decided to see what it was like to get a lot of them at once - pretty good, as it turns out! My plan was to fly my usual route of agents and ask all the agents for missions. I'd accept any level 1, 2 or 3 mission in those in systems close to home: Nagamanen, Hasmijaala, Oto, Onatoh, Sujarento etc. I also moved an Algos and Vexor to a station in the area for quicker deployment and running of these missions.

You might like to open this google docs spreadsheet for reference (there are two tabs - one for level 4, one for all others): I'll be filling it out as I go through all this testing. And remember, you can ask each agent TWICE for a mission. You can decline the first offer, request again, and Delay the second if you don't like it. Look in the lower left of the agent conversation window to see if you can safely decline the mission: I wish CCP would make this more prominent! If you see "4 hours" mentioned, you can decline. If it says something else (like 2 hours 46 minutes) that means you decline his offer 1 hour and 14 minutes ago and you'll have to wait to decline another one. But you can ALWAYS Delay safely until the timer has run out.

For the level 4 agents in station I would accept missions further afield, but only a couple of missions would be acceptable. After just 4 or 5 agents I had accepted about ten missions! The low level missions were in general very easy: arrive in Algos (even a Tristan for level 1 missions), drop drones, target "the commander", kill him and warp out. But I'll be avoiding Supply Interdiction - the target industrial ships take a while to kill and the rats put up a lot of resistance.

I had another go at The Reprisal with a stealth bomber, without success. Orbiting at 45km my Nemesis was applying about 420 dps to the Sector Commander, which he was able to tank. I tanked the incoming damage at around 50% shield...stalemate. With a second stealth bomber I know we could knock him off. The most successful part of this test was only getting jammed once in ten minutes of orbiting/shooting. Oh, and getting through a forty-man gate camp on the way there!

To summarize: do a tour of all the FW agents in your area and get missions from all four agents. If you can handle level 4 missions, take Dead Men (stealth bomber) and Cutting the Net (Tristan - easy!). For level 1-3, take them all except Supply Interdiction and Precursor To Rescue, which involves taking an item back to the agent (like Cutting the Net does).

Level 1 missions pay about 1,000 LP, Level 2 about 3,500 and Level 3 around 14,000. If you're new to faction warfare or space-poor, these missions are a quick and easy way to get some LP and at about 1200 ISK per LP, it will get your wallet balance to decent levels.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mixing It Up Some More: FW Missions


I finally installed the new launcher for Eve yesterday, since they're going to turn off the old one. I immediately panicked as I launched the game and was greeted by the introductory video and Aura saying "Welcome to Eve." It turned out that despite successfully importing my old client settings then launcher didn't think I'd want to use them. *sigh* I figured out the weird popup setting button (the button should stay "down" while the popup is active) and selected the imported data as, yes, the profile I wanted to use, and all was well.

I've written recently about my efforts to have ships ready for use for a wider range of activities and that has been working. It ranges from a PvE Dominix built to take on Besieged Covert sites (still not fully tested) to three copies of my salvaging Imicus stationed in nearby systems for cleaning up after running PvE sites if the mood strikes me. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that I don't have to have just ONE instance of a useful ship!

Faction Warfare Missions

The Gallente are in Tier 3 at the moment and I don't have much LP so I've been looking for ways to run more missions without using a Proteus and a corp-mate mentioned he was solo running level 4 Faction Warfare missions in a stealth bomber. I remembered that CCP had rebalanced this missions for all races a while ago (Reddit discussion here) and wondered how it was going for him? He said the bomber could handle two missions: Dead Men Tell No Tales and The Reprisal. I correctly guessed this was because both missions requires killing just one target, but despite the reduced jamming from the rebalance, it still happened frequently.

We have four FW agents in our home station and I have taken to asking them every day for missions, in case they offer me something close by that I can do. The missions can be as little as 3 jumps from our home and you can ask each agent twice without penalty: you can decline the first offer and delay the second till their 4 hour timer expires, then request again.  I had actually never done level 1, 2 or 3 missions so when they came up in a nearby system I went ahead and ran a few. The first paid about 1k LP (about 1M ISK), the second about 3.5k LP and the third about 14k LP. I was able to run them in a Tristan, Algos and Vexor respectively with no special fittings needed.

The serious payout is at level 4: 50k LP per mission.  There are ten possible missions and I want to know which I can run without a Proteus. You may remember my earlier post about Cutting The Net being easily completed with a cheap frigate. So when the level 4 agent offered me Dead Men Tell No Tales in a nearby system I took my Nemesis out to see how I went.

[Nemesis, Nemesis]
Damage Control II
Ballistic Control System II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II
Phased Scoped Target Painter
Phased Scoped Target Painter

Prototype 'Arbalest' Torpedo Launcher, Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Prototype 'Arbalest' Torpedo Launcher, Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo
Prototype 'Arbalest' Torpedo Launcher, Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo
[empty high slot]

Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I

I took the second target painter off and put in...damn...I can't remember; it's going to need some more ECCM anyway because I got jammed several times. I had almost killed the target structure when I reached about 10% armor and decided to warp out and repair. After doing so I returned and two more shots completed the mission. I had messed up my entry and not taken advantage of a trick described here wherein you arrived at the site cloaked and get into orbit around the target before starting to shoot. You'll get in a couple of volleys before the rats even start firing at you. I also spent too much time trying to identify the right target because the mission text used a different description of the target than the site did!

I may even set up a clone with low-grade Spur implants to defend against jamming even more. Now that we can switch clones in Citadels with no cool-down timer, why not?!

I now have ways of running three out of the ten possible level 4 missions cheaply: if I take a tour of the dozen or so FW agent station near us I'm likely to get a good haul of well-located missions of all levels. And the home-station agents can be pestered regularly to get a quick-to-run mission every couple of days at least.

Planetary Interaction Update

The new schema (see two posts down) is working well, not only financially but I find myself more relaxed about letting the factories stop occasionally. I'm able to supply all my own raw materials though do occasionally set up a buy order for stuff that I need which is selling cheap. If you watch the P0 market you can find some bargains. For example I bought several million Complex Organisms very cheaply and now don't need to extract so much; I'll just refine it for a while.

Three Workhorse Ships: Ratting Atron, Probing Imicus, PI Epithal

This is a quick post to write about three ships that I use a lot: a belt-ratting Atron, a probing Imicus and m'lovely Epithal which carries the juicy PI products around

[Atron, Fly, You Fools!]
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Medium Shield Extender II
5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier

Light Ion Blaster II
Light Ion Blaster II
Light Ion Blaster II

Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I



Void S x1163
Null S x1263

This shield tanked Atron is a tight fit but a joy to blap rats with. It has about 4k EHP and delivers about 200 dps. It will kill anything up to and including Serpentis clone soldiers (not Guristas, which fire missiles that have no problem finding you) and Serpentis Baron/Commodore vessels. Just orbit your target at 500 meters and open fire. A pulse from the MWD will cover about 35km, letting you get close quickly. You may need to downgrade some of these modules to make it fit for you.


--

[Imicus, Looky]
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Scan Rangefinding Array I
Scan Pinpointing Array I
Scan Acquisition Array I

Core Probe Launcher I
Prototype Cloaking Device I

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I

A simple scanning and probing Imicus for finding cosmic signatures - there's nothing special about this fit, it's just a good workhorse to have around for digging up content. The warp core stabilizers is just me being paranoid. I have probing ships with Sisters probes but this simpler fit is a good place to start.


--

[Epithal, Blue Night]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Deluge Enduring Burst Jammer
50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Improved Cloaking Device II

Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I

A good Epithal is a must for those doing Planetary Interaction. It has a specialized cargo bay that carries at least 50k m3 of PI material. The modules I'm using are for running away - I usually pre-overheat the burst jammer and activate one of the  invulns. It can do the Cloak+MWD trick that will get you safely away from gates as quickly as possible. Here's a longer video specifically about transports.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Space Farming: Self sustained Planetary Interaction

I've almost completed my new PI setup, which is driven entirely from extraction. I got tired of the price swings I encountered in buying input materials from Jita and decided to see if I could make it work solo.  Eveplanets tells me that my home system of Fliet can build Recursive Computing Modules from scratch and since we have 0% taxes on our POCOs and I'd like to avoid going through stargates that's what I decided to make.

I'm using all three of my characters in this effort (five planets each), which I hope will only require me to pay attention for a few minutes a day. One lives in highsec, where planetary yields are lower than they are in low-sec, but by getting her to dig up the most common materials like Bacteria and Biofuels, my two lowsec characters can focus on the rarer stuff. My main has CCU V and the others CCU IV.


How Much Can I Make?

P4 items are worth an average of 2M a piece. I started with a minimalist setup that produced 1 every two hours; that's 12 a day which is worth 24M a day or 720M ISK a month...that's almost a plex right there! RCMs are selling for 2.2-2.5M right now.

This table shows the quantity you'll need to supply if you want to produce half a p4 per hour (see the QTY CALC 1 column).

StageAmt Per Hour In of each inputAmt Per Hour OutRatioQTY CALC 1QTY CALC 12QTY CALC 24
p06,000.0012000288000576000
p0-p1600040.001508019203840
p1-p2405.00810240480
p2-p3103.001.67372144
p3-p461.0030.51224

It's very common to see raw extraction rates of 8-10k per hour of a p0 so we're in the ballpark of the 12k per hour for each p0 material that we'll need. The 12 and 24 columns tell you how much material you need per day for for 1 RCM every two hours and 1 every hour, respectively. 

I'm going to expand my factories to be capable of spitting out 1 per hour, but I don't think I'll be able to maintain the materials to supply that steadily. My estimate is that I can produce somewhere between the two, right around 1B ISK per month.


What Materials Do I Need to Extract?

Look at the schematic for the final item on eveplanets - here's the RCM one. Note all the items at the bottom row of the tree - that's what you need to dig up.  Here's what RCM requires:


Raw Material (P0)
P1
P2
P3
Noble Gas
Oxygen
Supertensile Plastics (Oxy + Biomass)
Guidance Systems (Water CPU + Transmitter)
Planktic Col
Biomass
Test Cultures (Bact + Water)
Synthetic Synapses (Supertensile + Test)
Microorg (2)
Bacteria
Water CPU (Reactive + Water)
Transcranial Microcontrollers (Biocells + Nanites)
Aqueous (2)
Water
Transmitter (Plasmoids + Chiral)

Base Metals (2)
Reactive Metals
Biocells (Biofuels + Precious)

Plasma
Plasmoids
Nanites (Bact + Reactive)

Non-CS
Chiral Structures


Carbon Comp
Biofuels


Noble Metals
Precious Metals


I then compared that list to what was available at the planets I could use and assigned the work among my three characters.

I ended up with 15 planets of which 13 are doing extraction. Those planets also refine to p1 right there on the planet, a very common practice. 

Here's my final list of which alt did what work. I divided the p1-p2 step between the two Fliet characters. Each one picks up the p1 materials from their extraction worlds and sends the appropriate material to the other for refining. Vic's all use Bacteria, Reactive and Water, so that's quite tidy :) .

HS AltVic in FlietLS Alt in Fliet
Bacteria 2p1 to p2: Nanites, Water CPU, Test Cult. Fliet IIIp1 to p2: Biocells, Transmitter,Supertensile Plastics Fliet III
Reactive Metals 2p2 to p4 Fliet I (mixed in with Biofuels/Precious extraction)Fliet I: Biofuels and Bacteria
Biofuels 2Fliet II Plasmoids and ChiralFliet II Plasmoids and Chiral
Precious Metals 2Fliet V: biomass and waterFliet V: biomass and biomass
OtherFliet IV: oxygen and reactive metalsFliet IV: oxygen and reactive metals

My HS Alt is doing some extraction on one planet that isn't related to this schematic. She's doing two extractions of Bacteria, Reactive Metals, Biofuels and Precious Metals for this operation. The yield isn't great, but it's good enough. I pay 6% taxes, but it's cheap stuff so taxes aren't high. I do Project Discovery slides during the journey which more than makes the money back :)

The most surprising thing to me was the final half of the process, turning all the p2s into the RCMs themselves. I'd imagined setting aside a planet for it but as I came to the point of actually building it it occurred to me that it only required 4 factories which used a total of about 2500 MW of power....so I just turned off 5 extraction heads on one of my less-critical worlds and built the p2-p4 factories right there among the extractors!


How Is It Performing?

Pretty well! I'm not refining Planktic Colonies or Non-CS Crystals fast enough so I'm going to add more basic factories to pump out more. You often end up switching between 1, 2 or 3 basic factories for a raw material to match the volumes you're pulling out of the planet.

I ran it at the "1 per 2 hour" rate for a few days and just last night added another bank of p2-p3 factories so I can get up to 1 per hour. I'm seeing my p2 supplies pile up sufficiently to feed that, except for Supertensile Plastics, which is my bottleneck. I've switched one of my Ice planets to have BOTH extractors pull out planktic/biomass to try and address that imbalance. Vic is getting his sixth planet next week so I'll be able to add more extraction/processing if necessary.

So there it is, my new PI setup. For something that was supposed to be less work than the old one, it sure took a while to plan and set up! The clicking, oh gods, the clicking....

Monday, June 6, 2016

200B ISK reached, now I can start playing the game!


My account at evetrademaster.com says my net worth has reached 200B ISK and, notwithstanding errors in valuation, that's good enough for me. I'm pushing myself to undock and start learning PvP properly (here's a nice collection of videos about the Atron). Yes, I'm starting small, as should anyone, with cheap frigates. I may even fit some up using the piles of rat loot I have stored away, just to practice the mechanics of being in fights, which I expect to lose, without using up T2 equipment in the process.

My industry plan is to change my PI factories over to pure extraction so I can get away from the constant need to monitor buy orders at Jita, which is how I kept my costs down far enough to make consistent profit. I'm happy I did it, but having shown that I can do that I want to push myself into another area.

My three characters all have decent PI skills so I've come up with a plan to combine their efforts into one large extraction and, obviously, refining operation. It will produce less goods and profit than my current operation, but it will be entirely set'n'forget -- extract dirt, move the material around, refine to p4 and sell it. If days go by between having enough material to run a batch through, that's fine with me. I estimate it'll generate about 20M isk a day which really isn't much, but as a background task I'm interested to see if it works. I will probably train my main character to get a sixth planet too, to help this effort.

In the meantime I have agreed to become the PI organizer for our corp. We already have a number of pilots like myself happily doing our own PI operation and occasionally helping each other out. We're looking into how we can best organize ourselves and draw in our corpmates who aren't yet doing PI. I asked the /r/eve hivemind for their collective thoughts on how best to run such an operation.

--

I had another go at a Besieged Covert Research site using a Dominix fit my friend had used successfully. I screwed up, though, by not bringing the right cap booster charges and my ship struggled to keep its two large armor reppers running. I barely made it through the first wave of 3 Mordu's Legion battleship and, KNOWING that the second wave of five battleships were going to arrive, did I do the right thing and run away in the precious few seconds between waves? No, I did not. I stayed, got pointed and killed like the idiot I am.

I friggin' had a plan too. I had that ship ready for at least a week and the plan was to only try it with my friends on standby to help me. But I was at home sick and there was a Besieged site and nobody in local but me...."Yeah let's try it, what could go wrong?" says my addled mind.

I've rebuilt the ship and added a reactive armor hardener to improve the tank a bit. I'm not taking it out with a friend ready to bail me out though :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Less Planetary Interaction, More PvE and PvP

I was flying one of these hull-tanked Megathron battleships.

Our Sunday night roam led into a great battle where we teamed up with RDraw and temporarily with CalMil in order to whale on some guys that had just left the Snuff alliance. Kirith wrote about it here - our fleet lost 5B of ships and killed 16.4B. Our job was to land after the main forces had engaged and take out their five repair ships. Props to the brave pilot who got us a warp-in so we could land right where we needed to be.  I got out with a nice chunk of loot too, some of which I'm using for PvE. I could've got more but my cargo was full and I forgot that I could transfer some of the cheaper loot INTO the wreck with the juicy loot in order to make room for said juicy loot. I'd already done one jettison operation and couldn't do another in time. I left with my fleet before the CalMil guys decided that the temporary truce was over.

PI Sales

I have been watching PI prices at Jita and slowly selling the stockpile of 13,000 P4 items I have accumulated over the last couple of months. The prices are mostly drifting slowly downwards, except Sterile Conduits which has climbed. Broadcast Nodes had been holding at 4.4M each but just this morning dropped to 3.6M. I haven't seen any notable spikes in price so I'm going to push the remaining stock out faster and take my profits. I'm also still considering what to do with my PI setup: I'd like to set up a much less labor intensive scheme. I'm still doing well on High-Grade Ascendancy implants so I need to at least keep making Gel-Matrix, Cryoprotectant and Synthetic Synapses.

Besieged

I solo'd my first Besieged Covert Research Facility! After watching this video I modified his fit a bit and tried the first Besieged site I found in Fliet. I wasn't watching my sentry drones and lost one. I went back to station for another, and to strengthen my tank, which had been failing. This took a while and by the time I got back and repositioned myself the site timed out and vanished.  But I tweaked the fit a little more and the next night I ran another Besieged site. Success! Shitty loot (9M isk) but I cleared the site.

UPDATE: THIS DOESN'T WORK!  I'll leave it here in case you want to try tweaking it. Mordu's Legion actually do omni-damage, (the advice in that link is good!) hitting you wherever you are weakest. It worked once for me, maybe because the first wave had only two battleships, but the two subsequent tries both failed. I tried increasing my tank with a second ENAM and a Reactive Armor Hardener, but my reduction in DPS meant I couldn't finish the site in time.

Here's the old incorrect advice and fit - 

Here's my fit - I'm going to try dropping the ENAM and putting a Thermal Hardener (or maybe a second Kinetic), since Mordu's Legion do 70% Kinetic, 30% Thermal. It'd be nice to fit two guns too. I may put a deadspace armor repper in place of the tech II version I'm using.  This fit is cap-stable at around 40%.

[Ishtar, Ishtar - Besieged Covert Research Facility]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Damage Control II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Centus C-Type Armor Kinetic Hardener

50MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Phased Scoped Target Painter
Cap Recharger II
Omnidirectional Tracking Link II

Small Remote Armor Repairer II
250mm Railgun II
Drone Link Augmentor II
[empty high slot]

Medium Sentry Damage Augmentor I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump II


Warden II x5
Salvage Drone I x5
Garde II x5
Ogre II x2
Hammerhead II x2
Hobgoblin II x1
Hornet EC-300 x5


I'm continuing to assemble ships to be ready for various PvE sites like that one. I've sorted out my best probing ship so I can scan cosmic sigs down faster, I want to have ships ready to roll for 3/10, 4/10, 5/10, various wormholes and of course our corp doctrine ships, of which I have plenty already.

Lastly I want to try some solo PvP - I found a couple (Jalep) of good (Solomon - I love this one!) Atron videos that I intend to start with. The Atron's falloff bonus is a really useful tool that doesn't get used effectively by a lot of pilots.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Citadel Age Begins

Monty Python's "Money" song - video


I thought it was worth doing a quick update to let you know how sales are going, since I've been banging on about this damn PI stockpile for a while now. The short version is...pretty good! I was hoping for all six products to see soaring prices in a buying frenzy reminiscent of feeding time in the shark pool, but that didn't happen. Still, the prices are mostly at, or slightly above, the price points I wanted.

I'm selling Nano-Factories and Sterile Conduits for about 2M isk and Broadcast Nodes for 4.5 - 5M. I haven't really touched my Wetware stock or Integrity Response Drones yet. I've sold, in total, about 1/3rd of the stock I produced for the Citadel launch.  I think prices will hold steady, as the buy orders are pretty healthy for these items, so these levels may be the "new normal". I'll make a nice profit even at these levels, but I'm counting on spikes, the way Broadcast Nodes hit almost 5M yesterday, to sell into.

I also fat-fingered one order and sold 250 Nano Factories for 199K isk, losing 450M isk. Ah well - coulda been worse; I'd considered selling 500 in that order!

The new tax regime CCP has imposed on all NPC stations really hits you when you look at Jump Freighter trading. What was 200M in fees/taxes has become 400M in fees. The buy/sell spread on all four freighters has now moved at least that far apart. I'm actively trying to buy them again, because the spreads are up to 800M now. I'm still buying plex too; I got one for 900M yesterday and will keep picking up one a week, as my dollar/isk-cost-averaging plan suggests.

It will be interesting to see if much trade moves to citadels near Jita. They take at least five days to come online, so the first ones are no doubt cooking right now. Personally I'm not planning to move. Citadels can be attacked and the recovery of your stuff depends on someone putting up another Citadel in the same system, or waiting twenty days for it to go to another NPC station, at which point you have to pay 15% of the value of the goods to get them back. I've got ninety-thousand pounds in my pajamas, I 've got forty thousand French francs in my fridge and I've got 65B ISK of stuff in my Trade container. I'm not keen to pay 9B to get it back.  I don't mind knocking 3% off my profits to keep it guaranteed safe, or even 5% when CCP get around to pushing it up to that level.


After I've sold this pile off I'm going to revamp my PI operation to be less...intense. A friend has a PI wormhole and I'll move my PI alt there to make whatever he can from scratch. All locally sourced, no more 0.01'ing buy orders at Jita for me, at least not for PI materials. I'll do the same on my main too, since his PI skills are high enough that it's worth continuing, albeit at a slower pace.

I'm preparing a few fit ships that are ready to go into various PvE activities, the kind of sites we get in our local area. Besieged Covert facilities, 3, 4 and 5/10 Serpentis DED sites and maybe C1/C2 wormholes.