Thursday, July 31, 2014

One More Second

From flickr user Sean T Evans

I still have video/text to post about the last half of my Eve immersion week, but real-life is keeping me too busy for that just now, sorry. But I did have a really cool couple of hours in Eve last night, which seemed to have a different flavor than what I usually get up to.

It was a proper small gang rolling stream of fights; nothing unusual for most people in low-sec, but it was different from what I usually see. I usually log in around 9pm as our regular fleets get set up, and we form a fleet big enough to scare off smaller groups of one or two enemies. This time, though, I logged in at 6pm and there were only 2, 3 or 4 of us at a time, in cheap Tristan/Incursus fits to start off with and no logi. Later someone added a Maulus and Dramiel to the mix as this pesky Garmur pilot kept putting pressure on us to step up our game.

We ran several plexes in Deven, taking four or five fights across a couple of hours. I got some valuable PvP lessons (mostly by losing, of course) and watching the videos back (I record with Overwolf) and seeing where I could improve. In two of the three fights I lost I could see where I made a mistake that cost me my ship.

In one encounter with the pirate Garmur pilot, I was able to to warp out with a smidgeon of structure and armor, just as a war target Cruor joined us in the plex. In my haste to Just Get Out, I warped to a stargate which, of course, did not let me jump through. Unfortunately for me the Cruor had followed and he caught me as I tried to warp away again. I feebly engaged him and got in a few shots before going down. Luckily for me, the Garmur had also followed us, and he killed the Cruor, so I got on the kill mail :)
The other memorable fight was with the same Garmur, who came into our novice plex with 1 minute to go on timer. He fought the 2 or 3 of us, down to just me. With ONE SECOND left on the timer the rat respawns, halting the timer. I quickly decide that if I can just kill the rat I'll get the LP for the plex which more than makes up for the probable loss of my ship, so I send drones and guns after the rat but, under pressure, choose to chase the Garmur instead of closing on the rat. I don’t even notice there’s a few seconds where the Garmur loses his point on me, so I could warp out, so I neither escape nor kill the rat and claim the Tier 4 novice plex LP.

Having video of these events is very useful and I'd urge everyone to install Fraps or Overwolf or whatever works for you and review your fights.
Overall got good fights, 56000 LP (and with Gallente Starship datacores fetching almost 150K a piece, these are worth about 150M ISK!), got on 76M of kills (Cruor), lost 20M ISK of ships and at one point correctly executed a maneuver to web/scram the Garmur as he entered the plex. Had another of my fleetmates been in range too, we’d have double webbed and finished him, but he was able to get out of my web range...since I forgot to overheat my MWD. There's always something, isn't there?

On top of all that I got to have a nice chat with some corpmates I hadn't spoken to yet and do the usual discussion about Eve (making ISK, comparing fits etc) that is always enjoyable and educational.


Trade/manufacturing is going steadily well. The arrival of Crius doesn't seem to have affected PI prices much...if anything they've gone up slightly, so I'm putting out small buy orders for m'lovely P3 inputs to make m'lovely P4 outputs again. I'm also buying faction ammo (for small charges buy around 300 ISK, sell in the high 500s) and have sold off most of my datacore stores. It's interesting that Gallente datacore prices are so high, considering we're in Tier 4 and the market should be flooded with these things by now. Selling doctrine fits to corpmates through contracts is a good steady business and I'm keeping my T1 rig production lines going flat out. My total assets across two characters is around 18B ISK now, which is starting to get comfortable :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Week of Eve: Day One and Two

My family are out of town so I have more time than usual to play Eve. Here's some notes on the first couple of days. Today is Day Three, and so far it's not a good one: my air conditioner is broken (90 degrees outside), I locked myself out of the house after leaving the other car at the dealer to be serviced, and my video editing templates are gone or screwed up.

Day One: Before work I popped over to our local asteroid belts for a spot of ratting. I took my trusty kiting Algos, rigged to apply about 250dps with drones alone, while I sit at 70km away sipping tea.  I found what I was looking for, a Clone Soldier and deployed the drones. To my surprise, I started taking damage! I tried to move further away, and he managed to chase and get closer to me, hitting me all the way! What happened?! I recalled drones and got out with a scrap of armor remaining. I repaired and tried again with the same result!  A little googling revealed that Clone Soldiers got buffed in the last patch: they move faster and hit further out. Small kiting ships can't do the job any more, sadly.

That evening I joined in on small gang roams around Fliet. We found a cruiser gang, and came back later that night and had a big ol' fight in Iwisoda. We lost 3 Exequrors right off the bat, and 1 Vexor but our DPS wore them down and we eventually killed 13 Caracals and Ospreys (here's one kill). The chase to hunt them down took a while and the best part was Marcel's palpable glee when our scouts reported them going into Iwisoda, a dead-end system.

Here's a moment where our three remaining Exeqs saved a Vexor from the edge of destruction; I burned out two reppers because I didn't un-overheat them. I know I suck at logi :) Luckily the fight was swinging our way at that point.

Day Two:  I've read recently that the nullsec powers are bored and have started to come and play in lowsec.  Today I found out it's true.

Overload Everything fleet taking out our POCO

I started the evening with some plexing in Heyd: it's nice to get some LP again since the Gallente militia are in Tier 3.  We then did POCO defense in Fliet and after a few minutes some visitors cyno'd in:12 Abaddons, 2 Loki, Proteus, 2 Archons and an Armageddon Navy Issue from alliance Overload Everything! We warped away and our shield repping Scythes tried to come back and get some last-ditch reps on our poco to slow them down, but we were alpha'd off the field quickly.

Overload Everything quickly destroyed our POCO and set up their own. When their Archons and Abaddons separated we tried to tackle the Archons while we hit the Abaddons with Vexors, but the battleships warped off as soon as we tackled the Archons. We should have, in retrospect, hit the battleships first, or as close to simultaneously with the Archon tackles as we could. We sent out scouts to try and find them, knowing their Abaddons would be slow to move around using gates, but we couldn't find them. Then we noticed there was an Erebus in system!  This meant that not only had they used a Titan to bridge in, they'd used another to bridge out. That's some serious firepower!

After they'd left the system we stayed in our Vexors and started hitting their new POCO. They came back in Ishtars, with Zealot, Scimitar, Lachesis and Huginn for support and took us on. We sent them packing, including this 245M Ishtar and 179M Scimitar piloted by one of the Overload Everything guys.  I think our inclusion of jams on our Vexors always surprises people that haven't fought us before!

Here's video of that fight...we need to have more pilots in small ships to apply tackle and keep their bling on the field so we can kill it. If you're a new player and wonder what's your place in battles like this, watch the video and notice the end, when we're unable to keep the enemy on field: you could have been there to help us! :)

The slightly mood was considerably lightened by this hilarious Firetail which arrived at the end of the fight. 217M ISK of random stuff, including Snowball and Fireworks launchers...we'll take it :)


We continued our recent run of structure bashing/defense ops in Heyd, attacking a POS and putting into reinforce. On the way back we ran into a Gila fleet on a gate, but most of our fleet had warped off. We lost a Vexor Navy Issue and a Talos, but killed a 511M ISK Gila.


My security status is dropping and I might just let it slide for a while. I don't have much reason to go to high-sec, except to the island next door for occasional manufacturing, and at only -2.2, I'm not in danger of being blocked from there anytime soon. My PI operations are at a halt, as planned, and I've got plenty of stock for selling Tristans and Algoses to corpmates through contracts: I've sold five so far.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Time to over-indulge!

My wife and son are away visiting family for a week, so I have the whole house to myself.  Shall I catch up on editing family photos and video? Play guitar? Learn to cook Thai food? No! I'm going to play Eve till my eyes bleed!

It's been a while since I could even think about devoting a day to just playing a game, so I'm really going to enjoy this! Fliet is getting some attention from our Caldari militia enemies so there will hopefully be plenty of fighting to go around.  I've started getting into supplying fitted ships to the corp; it's easy (thanks to our jump freighter service) and the ships sell quickly.

Recent Activities

My main activity lately has been station trading, since I haven't had much time to undock and fleet up. With the Crius release coming on July 22nd, I've taken the advice of a corp mate and begun liquidating my PI supplies.  The reasoning is that changes in Player Owned Station (POS) rules will result (we think) in less demand for POS modules. With most PI products eventually being used to make said POS modules, I didn't want to be left holding a lot of stuff that was plummeting in value, so I'm selling it all off and will wait for the smoke to clear after Crius and see what the PI landscape looks like.

I'm through most of the sales and got up to a staggering (for me) 8B ISK in the wallet, with billions more in goods to be sold. I bought some plex at 757M each, just to have some of the cash stashed somewhere safely. The same day I bought them, the price of plex began a steady climb and is now north of 800M, so that was nice!  The money also came in from my stock of Gallente datacores which I accumulated when they cost around 100K or less a few months ago. The Electronic Engineering and Gallente Starship reached the 150K level again, so I began selling and got most of them out of the door.

I've continued trading in Cybernetic Arms and various tattoos. The Wreckage and Prototype tattoos seem to have found a stable price and there's a good 50M-100M profit margin between buy and sell orders.

I've watched a few videos about trading between regions, but honestly, simply doing buy/sell orders at Jita is easy and fun. I even manufacture T1 items in system and sell them during price spikes, which come along more often than you'd think. After Crius, though, this probably won't work, but I've found that if I transport less than 100M ISK at a time, nobody attacks me. I'll probably keep making the same stuff, but a few jumps away, perhaps using public contracts to move my supplies around.