Monday, February 24, 2014

First Ghost Site and Lots of Other Stuff

My first successful ghost site

I had a busy Eve weekend, with a couple of fleet engagements, setting up some T1 industrial activities, lots of station trading, an encounter with a Jita scammer, building ships for other people, recruiting a friend to join Aideron AND I ran three ghost sites!

Ghost Sites

I'll start with the ghost sites, which I'm pleased to say I ran in a gifted Vexor hull. I've watched videos about these sites, but never seen one and figured they were just too rare. I think CCP might have made a recent change to make them easier to run and, my speculation, more common? Waaay back at the start of this blog I talked about a kind capsuleer who read a post I made on reddit. The Vexor she gave me was still packaged and sitting in my hangar. I owned another Vexor, combat fit, but what I needed here was a simple fit like the ones I'd seen in the videos. I unpacked the Vexor and threw on 1600MM armor, 2 ENAM IIs, a damage control II, data site analyzer, 10MN MWD and cargo scanner. Done; no weapons, no drones, no rigs.

The first site was too challenging (I only have hacking III) and the tower blew up in my face, taking me down to about half armor. I thought about trying another can, but didn't want to lose the ship so I docked up and repaired it, then hit the second site. Success!  The first tower contained a blueprint, which I knew are the best thing you can find here; I hacked it, grabbed the goods and left, not wanting to risk losing it. The third ghost site I ran was in Fliet a day later (3 in two days after never seeing one?! It really looks like CCP have made these more common) but the two cans I hacked didn't yield anything great.

Fleet Activities

I had mixed results from two fleets this weekend; Aideron took out armored cruiser fleets several times and I was able to join two of them. The first resulted in getting sent packing back to Fliet; I think it was a communication and intel issue. We hadn't confirmed that our allies were going to enter the medium plex with us, and our scouts were unsure how to use or another tool like it. Luckily my Exequror survived; I'll post video later (see post above, on 2/28/2014). The Sunday night fleet went much better; we hit a Sniggwaffe Celestis/Exequror/Thorax fleet and took out 17 of them, losing only two Atrons and a Stabber Fleet Issue on our side. I am tasked with distributing the loot from that fight, which the FC generously awarded to those flying logi.

Station Trading and Scam Attempt

My station trader alt got a lot of attention this weekend, since its an activity that I can perform in very short bursts; if I have a couple of minutes to spare I can update several orders. She bought and sold several cybernetic arms and tattoos, but the trend seems to be more buys than sales. There are some items of which I have two or three because buyers aren't coming along fast enough; I was as low as 300M cash, while I had about 4B in buy orders. Luckily some sales come along and pushed me back up to 1.5B.

I had listed a couple of valuable items on contract and your character name is publically attached to that contract. This attracts scammers, who try and trick you into giving them the item. This guy convo'd me and, of course, I think "Scammer!" because Jita. He offers me a slightly lower price than I was asking and I say "Sure", wondering how this would work. It turned out to be pretty transparent: he made a contract and asked me to click it, but it would have resulted in me giving him 430M instead of the other way round. I tell him, innocently, "Oops, you seem to have made a mistake." "One sec, I'll fix it, he says". "You have one chance to get this right." I reply. The new contract he makes would pay me 430,000 ISK for the item. I reject the contract and close the window. A rite of passage, I feel :)

She finished the weekend with 4.1B in sell orders, 4.7B in buy orders, 1.5B cash and, I think, 2B in escrow. I think you could make more money sitting down and running level 4 missions, or doing wormhole activities and other time-intensive stuff, but if you just have a few minutes at a time to update orders, with priority interrupts from Real Life taking precedence then station trading at Jita is very effective. Here's my guide to doing it.

One last point about this character, I'm trying to find out if there's a non-grinding way to raise her standings with the Caldari Navy. This would reduce the broker fees that she pays, which is currently about 0.78%. I gave her some training queue time and built her a simple combat Kestrel. I'm raising her Social and Connections to IV before I go out and run missions, but I've also read about Data Centers where you can get one-time standings boosts just by delivering tags, which, of course, I'd buy at Jita first. This will also let me easily run high-sec missions for fun, should I feel like doing it. The use of the "Percentage" on that site is a bit that a percentage of my current standings, or an absolute figure that gets added to my standings?

[Update: Later that day...] Yes, the increase you get from data centers IS a percentage of your current standings with that corp and faction, so to do that with my almost-zero standings is a waste. Good news: I don't need to increase standings with the Caldari faction, just with the "Caldari Navy" corp which owns Jita. This can be done by running missions for them (lvl 1 and 2 agents are just 1 jump away, in "Perimeter"), and there are even people who offer this as a service. If you're in their fleet and they share the rewards with you when they turn in the mission, you'll get a standings increase without actually having to go and fight! Google "Caldari Navy standings service" and you'll find them.

T1 Industry and Ship Building

I've felt the siren call of building ship modules, so I made (what else) a spreadsheet and figured out that there are some items, mostly rigs, that I can easily make and sell in low-sec for a big profit. I rounded up all the BPOs I needed and the necessary ingredients and found a nearby factory in a non-faction warfare system. That should keep a steady, if small, income coming to me. It's ironic that Caldari militia pilots are among my was frequent customers :)

Lastly, I put together three simple scanning ships for Aideron pilots to use prior to our exploration fleets going out. We have a weekly event that, so far, has gotten lucky and found good combat sites to run. But with these ships I think we'll be able to more easily search nearby systems for the richest sites to hit.