Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Making Our Mark

I thought our relocation into Fliet was going to lead to a suffocating siege, since Old Man Star had fallen into Caldari hands the very morning after we moved. After a few days, though, this has not been the case. We have run some aggressive fleets, actively stomping on all and sundry. We have 878 kills for the month and with two days to go we should top 900 easily. I flew logi for the past couple of fleets and generally did well, better than usual, with almost no mistakes of repping the wrong person etc. I did manage to get blapped in a spectacularly stupid way last night, when instead of warping to another plex (which I'd d-scanned myself and alerted the FC about targets there) I instead activated the gate we were sitting at and flew into a 20-strong fleet that made short work of me. D'oh!

It's been impressive to see how quickly we reship and take fights in a well-organized way. We had very few deaths last night as we tore through enemy fleets. Kirith Kodachi is holding an open fleet on Friday night, no PvP experience necessary, so if you'd like to try it, come and visit!

In trade news, things have slowed down for my Jita trading alt. She's still sitting on a fortune - 740M in cash, 2.4B in buy orders, but last night I got a bit greedy and lost a valuable purchase. I've been trying for days to get a prosthetic arm for 700M on a buy order and since I have Margin Trading III and had put down less than half that amount, I made sure I had enough cash in my wallet to pay the balance if someone tried to sell me one. Literally ten minutes after over-extending myself, spending that cash reserve to add extra buy orders, and intending to replace the money from my main's wallet, I get an alert that my buy order had failed due to a low balance. Damn! Five days of waiting and RIGHT THEN someone decided to try and sell me the damned thing. Oh well.  I cleaned up some stale orders, buffed up my wallet and placed the order again, and this time I'll make sure there's enough to pay for it. [Later that week: I got one! I've been trying to sell it for days now, unsuccessfully. There are several other people selling them too and on average only one is bought per day. So far, I've not been lucky enough to be the cheapest seller when a willing buyer comes along.]

Monday, January 27, 2014

In the Line of Fire - moved to Fliet

We had a GREAT fight last week. While plexing we were attacked by a fleet from RAZR and Green Berets, and although we were in frigates and destroyers, we cut their cruisers to ribbons. (For some reason Youtube wouldn't let me embed the video here, so watch at the link. Ashterothi is FC, followed by Arcturus (I think?). We killed a Cynabal, Wolf, Blackbird, Deimos, Auguror Navy, Harpy, Cynabal again, Harpy, Corax...a 30 second break...and more arrived, so we fought on...Coercer, two Thorax, two Vexors, Thrasher. And a Vagabond escaped us. What a fight! See kills here  between 03:53 and 04:00 AM on 01-25-2014. I was flying logi and my Navitas was the first to go down -- I was jammed and scrammed, but I did assign a combat drone to the FC and got on four kills :)

Aideron Robotics has moved into Fliet, a system right next to Heydieles. The move was done last night and went smoothly. Unfortunately for us, Old Man Star fell to the Caldari this morning (see the top part of this map) and the next logical target is...Fliet!  The coming days may be interesting.

My station trading activities continue to grow: I have 2.2B in buy orders now and have switched focus to just big ticket items: at least 50M profit per item. I have moved my cheaper buy orders into a "Cheap" subfolder in my Quickbar, and I'll attend to them when I can, but I do the expensive stuff first.

I finally undocked my Brutix and ran some level 3 missions; they were interesting, though I can see how the novelty would wear off pretty quickly. is a very useful site (it tells you what kind of damage you should prepare for on any given mission), and again I say that information should be in the game!  The only people who don't use it are new players, the very people you DON'T want to frustrate and annoy.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Trading Up

Inner Space Merchant

I've been a busy space cadet! Our corp is cranking up the level of activity after a winter break and we had our annual all-hands meeting. The future direction of the corporation (Aideron Robotics, for those playing along at home) was discussed, and a bright and glorious future it is. We have over 100 pilots now and big plans in several areas. It's nice to be part of active and supportive corporation.


My trading character has done really well and currently has 430M in sell orders, 1 BILLION in buy orders (thanks to Margin Trading III) and a big wad of cash burning a hole in her pocket.  My station trading pattern is pretty simple: I'm going for thinly traded items with huge markups! Look at the Apparel group and for Faction/Deadspace items of all kinds. I look for items where the buy order is half the price of the sell order, and at least 5M ISK difference between them. My biggest sale was also very quick; I bought a large capacitor battery for 80M and sold it a couple of hours later for 135M, though my efforts to acquire a second one have not worked yet.

I then check the price history - you're looking for the following characteristics: at least 1 order each day (the odd zero is ok, but not too many), sales at the buy order AND the sell order price at my station (Jita). There's no point putting in a buy order if nobody ever sells to those buy orders. This happens more frequently than you might think, so watch for it.

The other alternative is to try and participate in quickly traded items, with hundreds of sales a day, but small profit margins. I haven't tried this yet, though the frustration of trying to buy/sell these big items can be annoying and could drive me to that option.

Either way, the more often you update your orders, the more sales you'll make. Over the weekend I updated my orders at least every couple of hours; it only takes a few minutes. The quickest way is to put all the items that you're trading into a folder in the quickbar. Then you can simply click on each item and make sure your orders are at the top. And don't forget that you can use the mouse scroll wheel to shift your order price by 0.01 ISK while the cursor is over the "Modify Price" popup form.

Ippy Dippy My Spaceshippy

I have graduated to the next TWO classes of spaceship and am now able to fly battlecruisers and battleships. I've acquired my first Brutix, which I'll be using for PvE, running level 3 missions. I fit it thusly: 

[Brutix, Lvl 3 YouTuber]
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Medium Armor Repairer II

Optical Tracking Computer I, Tracking Speed Script
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
10MN Afterburner II

250mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Antimatter Charge M
250mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Antimatter Charge M
250mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Antimatter Charge M
250mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Antimatter Charge M
250mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Antimatter Charge M
250mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Antimatter Charge M
Small Remote Armor Repair System I

Medium Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Hammerhead II x5

The basic setup came from this video.

Obviously the two Armor Hardeners can be switched for whatever the mission rats call for. I have a mobile tractor unit and mobile depot in the hold, as well as Iron M and Thorium M charges.

I find this aspect of the game a bit weird: CCP must know that nobody goes on a dangerous mission without looking it up OUTSIDE the game (on, for example) to determine what damage to protect against. And if you don't do so, you could lose your ship, so everyone makes sure to do it. So why doesn't Eve itself tell you what to do? The agent's text could include a line about damage types: "Be sure you take X and Y damage protection, capsuleer!" The only people who are hurt by NOT doing this are noobs that don't yet know about damage types and won't understand why the rats are tearing them up so easily. They'll get mad at the game for being too hard, and be more likely to quit.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Thank You Warp Core Stabilizer!

I just had a VERY close escape that I had to share. After a good night running a data site (20M) and 2 relic sites (5M total. I hate relic sites; I keep swearing off them, but occasionally give them a chance. Why?!) I had 29M in loot to haul back home. I thought about waiting till another night but trusted my luck, and the speed of my trusty Imicus to escape any danger.

It was a quick and uneventful series of jumps....until the Abune gate in Heydieles. Gate camp! A swarm of neutral pirates were there, along with several wrecks, drones swarming around and a few of them had suspect colors.  I held cloak for a while, hoping they were just in the process of leaving, but MORE arrived!  I gulped, started the video recording software and decided to go for it. Yvangier gate selected...Warp!

"Warp Drive Active" says the voice and the Imicus slowly cranks up...I've got no rigs to help this process go faster...and....scrambled...I'MGONNADIE!....whoosh; we're warping!  But how?  Oh yes, I remember that I fit a warp core stabilizer to this ship!  When I get a chance I'll post the video here too, it's a nice moment of "oh shit....YEAH!".

I also want to share my station trading secrets, which I've been using my alt for. It's been very profitable, so stay tuned for more in the next couple of days.

I have been working on a video showing my mistakes as a logi pilot. Work is very busy this week, so it'll be a few days yet, but the short version is "make sure you've selected the right ship BEFORE turning on the armor repairers."

Thursday, January 9, 2014

First Serpentis Phi Outpost

There was a Big Boy fleet in action last night, doing hub bashes, cynos and other large-scale things that I wasn't needed for, so I did a little exploration in our home system. I found a Serpentis Phi Outpost, a 2-room complex with NPCs in it that is rated difficult 4 out of 10. I was quite sure I couldn't do it myself, but I've seen several videos in which delonewolf runs them either solo or with his brother. I invited corp members to come and do the site with me and Yoyo and Phyridean came along for a new experience.

It went very well with nobody in any danger. I was in a drone Algos and the guys used a Nighthawk and an Ishtar; we cleared the place in about fifteen minutes. I bookmarked one wreck in each of the two rooms, dropped a Mobile Tractor Unit in the 2nd room and went back to station to get in a salvaging Imicus with salvage drone. Picking up all the loot and salvage from both rooms the total value came to about 22M ISK.

As to my own skills I'm just finishing Advanced Weapon Ugrades IV, which will let me fly our corporate Vexor fit, minus the tech 2 heavy drones. I'm then going to give my station trading alt some attention, giving her more orders to work with and lower her fees and taxes.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Another Fun Night: Hub Bash

Me disguised as Steve Kilbey.

Hub Bash in Oulleta

I joined Zak's fleet, and got on a Goonswarm Jaguar and Firetail kill using my long-point Atron, which is a lot of fun to fly. Some of the pilots in fleet were *extremely* happy to have got a few Goons. Then we ran into Old Man Gang in Nennamalia and got killed. I almost got out, but got scrammed before warp drive kicked in.

At that point we hooked back up with the main Aideron fleet, which was heading out to Oulleta to bash the ihub and flip the system.  It took a while and we were interrupted once by a Soultakers hotdrop of some rather big ships. We were already aligned out so we escaped cleanly (while killing the Vexor that had lit the cyno), waited a few minutes and returned to finish the hub bashing job. The flip took longer than we'd planned for, so the fleet was stood down and we headed home. I'm pleased to see that the Gallente are at Tier 2 status again, so we'll get more loyalty points for all our faction warfare activities.

On the way back to Yvangier we started to play with a pirate gate camp. We were going to disengage, but our scouts reported that they were engaging with Ninja Unicorns on a gate. We charged in too, attacking whoever was in suspect status (to avoid taking gate fire), and got on 2 Oneiros, a Hurricane, Zealot, Omen and an Exequror kill. See the Jan 5th 2014 killboard in Melmaniel from 4:24 to 4:26. I'm writing this the next day and am pleasantly surprised to see so many kills after that fight, including a 1.8B ISK Archon (congratus Xuahn!)

Station Trading

I have been doing a lot of station trading on my Jita alt and its been very profitable! My starting capital came mostly from selling datacores that I bought with my faction warfare loyalty points. I'm going for thinly traded items with large margins, like clothing and faction guns, where you can buy for 10M and sell for 30M, but also doing well on a couple of cheap guns and decryptors that I buy for a few thousand and sell for 5-10X that amount. The guns traded steadily all day so it will be interesting to see which one makes more money over time, the hare or the tortoise. I'm considering creating another trader alt at another hub and doing inter-station trading, using for shipping, but I don't want station trading to take up all my time. It's already cutting into the time I spend on my main. I have 41 orders already and it takes about 10 minutes to go over them all and make sure I'm the top buyer/seller, though I inevitably find other stuff to look at too. I'm trying to decide if I should add more order slots or actually use LESS of them and just pick a couple of dozen expensive items and only trade in them so I don't get totally absorbed in centing. Centing? That's my term for 0.01'ing, the repetitive practice of changing your order prices to be the highest/lowest for that item.

I'm also realizing that the best place to park my money, even my main's money, is in good buy orders. My main has a pretty healthy wallet balance, but the easiest way to grow that money is to buy new items on buy orders and immediately sell them on sell orders. I'm currently trying to buy a couple of expensive implants that way, but it takes a while for them to fill.