Friday, August 19, 2016

Video: Besieged Covert Research Facility in a Dominix

This friggin' site.....It took me a surprisingly long time to come up with a fit (see end of post) that could run this "two waves of battleships" site. I see them fairly frequently in our home system and wanted to, if the system was quiet, be able to run them and grab the loot. It turns out the loot isn't substantial, about 10-30M on average, but there's a change of getting a nice implant drop.

After trying to work with sentry drones I ended up with this fit based on something Kyle Yanowski succeeded with, though he used blasters. It's based around 250MM railguns, heavy drones doing kinetic damage, omni-tanking, two large armor reps and several modules to keep the capacitor going.

To run the site warp in at 70km...actually 50km would probably work too. You will quickly meet three Mordu's Legion ships, a mixture of cruisers and battleships. The numbers are random - I've met 3 cruisers and also 3 battleships. Keep your range about 50km from the target but keep moving with your afterburner ON - that will mitigate the incoming missile damage. That distance is within your drone control range and railgun range. Hit the cruisers first since they move faster and you don't want them getting on top you.

Be aware that the rats will warp disrupt you if you get to around 30-35km from them. You can see it happen in the video as I fight the last ship while moving towards the loot can. You can use the Micro Jump Drive to escape that though, something I wish I'd remembered when I actually died once doing this site!

As soon as the last ship is dead, the second wave will arrive. It consists of five ships and this is the most dangerous time - the incoming damage from five battleships is not to be messed with! Run both your armor repairers, using the cap booster as needed to keep them healthy. After you've killed a couple the incoming damage will decrease and you can deactivate one of the repairers.

When there's one or two left begin moving towards the cargo canister - that's where the loot is. You can also kill the Thukker Research Lab building and get a little more loot.

You have about 20 minutes to run the site; if you're not done by then it will simply vanish. I'm not sure if it will do so after the rats are dead, though.

It's a fun site to do with friends too - have them bring more DPS, or reps, or whatever helps you.

Be aware that the site has NO gate! That means anyone that wants to attack you can land without warning. Watch d-scan, watch local and be ready to leave if needed. The cheap loot isn't worth losing a 250M ISK ship for :)

[Dominix, Besieged]
Damage Control II
1600mm Steel Plates II
Large Armor Repairer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Large Armor Repairer II
Reactive Armor Hardener
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Heavy Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I
100MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
Large Compact Pb-Acid Cap Battery
Cap Recharger II
Large Micro Jump Drive

250mm Railgun II
250mm Railgun II
250mm Railgun II
250mm Railgun II
250mm Railgun II
250mm Railgun II

Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Large Nanobot Accelerator I

Wasp II x5

Javelin M x2000
Spike M x2872
Navy Cap Booster 800 x10
Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M x600

Video: Dead Men Tell No Tales solo in Stealth Bomber

I've been recording my attempts at Gallente Faction Warfare missions of various levels and wanted to share this one specifically. If you're Gallente FW pilot and the lure of those 50,000 loyalty points rewards (in tier 3, which we usually are) has been countered by the crushing need to train up to a Proteus, Tengu or blingy Hecate, look no further.

You can run Dead Men Tell No Tales solo in a stealth bomber costing (see fit below) about 30M ISK. Simply orbit the Caldari Tactical Command Post at 50-55km, activate your afterburner and open fire. Make sure you see Large Collideable Objects in your overview, if you don't see it when you land.

When you've done a significant amount of damage to the target, reinforcements will arrive. You may want to overheat your torpedoes and afterburner at this point, to lessen the incoming damage. Ideally you would like to kill the target in the first attempt!  If you have to leave, repair and come back, another player may be waiting for you at the site, since the beacon identifying the mission is visible to everyone when you warp to it.

Dead Men is one of ten missions on offer from you friendly Level 4 FW mission agents, so you may need to ask several agents (twice, don't forget you can ask twice!) before it gets assigned.

You can also do Cutting the Net in a Tristan, but you need to carry an object back to the agent for that one to complete successfully. Dead Men can be turned in at any station after you have blown up the tower.

Now go forth and get rich! At the time of writing our LP are worth about 1100 ISK each if you buy certain datacores, Comets, Navy Maulus, or 1200 isk each for Fed Navy drones; Hammerhead, Ogre and Hobgoblin. Prices fluctuate, so check before buying!

[Nemesis, Dead Men]
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

Sensor Booster II
1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Phased Scoped Target Painter
Missile Guidance Computer I

Prototype 'Arbalest' Torpedo Launcher
[Empty High slot]
Prototype 'Arbalest' Torpedo Launcher
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Prototype 'Arbalest' Torpedo Launcher

Small Bay Loading Accelerator I
Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I

Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo x406
Nanite Repair Paste x30

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

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)
Noble Gas
Supertensile Plastics (Oxy + Biomass)
Guidance Systems (Water CPU + Transmitter)
Planktic Col
Test Cultures (Bact + Water)
Synthetic Synapses (Supertensile + Test)
Microorg (2)
Water CPU (Reactive + Water)
Transcranial Microcontrollers (Biocells + Nanites)
Aqueous (2)
Transmitter (Plasmoids + Chiral)

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

Nanites (Bact + Reactive)

Chiral Structures

Carbon Comp

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 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 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.


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.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It Begins!

Trade - PI

Well, I'm excited!

I logged in a few nights ago and some had bought ALL the Broadcast Nodes on the market. They usually sell for ~2.5M each, but this deep-pocketed individual bought the lot and  listed them all at 9.75M. I quickly put a few hundred up for 8.7M and started checking the other P4 products. I assumed other sellers would quickly list theirs too, the question was how far down would the price go? (Note to the deep-pocketed guy; it's hard to corner the market - you can't do it with an item that people create by the thousands every day)

As you can see from the sales below several other P4 items had decent price spikes too and I managed to sell a few.  They have all settled down somewhat today, but my aim/hope of getting 3M each for the "big" P4s and 2M for the "little" P4s seems achievable.

A day or two after writing this part of the blog, the prices spiked again. I sold more Wetwares for 4.9M, Sterile Conduits for 1.9M, Broadcast Nodes for 4.9M and 3.8M. Prices continued to fall; at time of writing they're above their pre-spike prices. Power Cores and Integrity Response Drones haven't spiked at all yet, which is interesting. I've sold about 1000 P4s at most and still have about 13,000 to go -- I'm definitely betting that prices will increase after the Citadel launch.  If I'm wrong about that, well, I'm pretty certain prices won't be lower than they were before so I should be able to at least break even.

The market for P4s is an interesting place. You're betting on interacting human psychology, between sellers who make them and buyers who want to build Citadels and other stuff. Will buyers who want to build Citadels jump in now and buy what they need because they think the price will go up later? Or will they think that sellers will flood the market and push the price down, and be content to wait a while? And will sellers put their goods up for sale now to make a quick sale, or wait for eager hordes of Citadel constructors to beat a path to Jita after April 27th?  And, of course, they're thinking about what other people like themselves are doing too: buyers thinking about other buyers, and sellers thinking about other sellers, and trying to get the best deal by outsmarting everyone else involved.

I have listed a few hundred for sale at quite high prices in each of the products I have. If there's another surprise buying spree, I'll make the sale and be happy with those profits.

Turning to Jump Freighters, Nomad and Rheas have had a good price spread recently and I flipped a couple for 400-600M profit each time. However the gaps have all closed and they're not worth trading at the moment. 

My investment in plex isn't working out at the moment; I have about 35 of them, purchased at regular intervals during the long slide down from 1.2B to just under a billion now. I'll just consider it a long-term bet; when they next spike up I'll sell a few, but I'm going to keep buying.

My total value, cash, escrow and goods is sitting around 180B right now.

Trade - Rat Loot

One consequence of the recent module tiericide is that two of my best trades are dead: I used to buy Faint Epsilons and Phased Muons, which are dropped by our local rats, for about 1.3M-1.5M each. I'd use public contracts to move them into decent sized piles, with other stuff, and ship them to Jita where I'd sell them for 3M or higher, during spikes. Imperial Navy Major Insignia I tags were also really good, buying for about 1M in my home region and selling for over 2M at Jita. I'd throw in low-ball buy orders on meta 4 jammers (BZ-5, Enfeebling etc) and between them I'd get some very good profits.

Tiericide made the modules worth very little, and the price of that tag has dropped a lot. I'll keep looking for something else to trade, but there doesn't seem to be much profit in buying pirate loot in region-wide buy orders and shipping it to Jita any more. I tried doing this for the various Disruption Field Generators that our rats now drop, but the price spread is not great and they're 50 expensive-to-ship cubic meters each, versus of the tiny tags. I'll keep checking, though, especially for opportunities in tags.


We got into a doozy of a fight last week, teaming up with a GalMil/CalMil fleet to take out two Archons, two Vindicators and a Bhaalgorn. My killboard got 7B of green on it! 

I got an escalation to a 5 of 10 difficult Serpentis site, the Hydroponics Corp. It was too far away for me, so I gave the site to a corpmate of mine. Thus began his six (?) hour saga. It cost him a Stratios and a shitload of travel time, leaving and entering the site, which was 140AU from the gate, as he tried different tactics to handle the final room. Eventually he upgraded to a Dominix and succeeded in clearing the final room. The loot fairy was kind and he made enough to cover the cost of his Stratios, but I think he's swearing off PvE for a while!


I'm building some T1 rigs again; I might as well name them here and see if that affects the market :) Small Particle Dispersion Projectors cost 19K to make and sell for 120K. My old favorite, Small Transverse Bulkheads cost about 150k and sell for 220k, which isn't a huge profit, but they sell fast.

I did quite a bit of Project Discovery - enough to get the SoE combat suit for my two main characters. I'm really glad they added this to the game and I hope the results we give them are considered good. The interface is a bit annoying and the tutorial has some problems, but I believe they're working on revising both those things.

I had loaned 5B isk to a corpmate who wanted to set up a PI operation. He'd borrowed money from other friends before and paid it back, so myself and a few others pitched up to help him out again. He made monthly payments, then paid back the principal after just a couple of months. If you can find someone to help out, and you trust them, do it! And if you want to build up trust from people you intend to scam later, smart small and work up to the big con! :)

Lastly, I was very pleased to get an in-game email from someone telling me that they really like this blog and that the ideas I share here are valuable to them. It's always nice to get confirmation that you're helping people get into Eve.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

You Pays Your Money, You Takes Your Chances

warehouse boxes on a shelf

It's decision time. Having spent almost all my liquid isk I have to raise a bit of cash to keep the PI materials flowing to feed my PI installations. I have a pretty good supply of them stashed in Fliet, but the pipeline that tops up those supplies is not getting fed like it used to. I've decided to start selling my approximately 10,000 P4 items now; I'm going to sell about a quarter of them. A friend of mine who plays Eve expressed scorn that I was chickening out by not waiting till AFTER the Citadel release to start selling :)

There's another good reason to do this; I've come this far on the assumption that PI prices will spike even higher after the Citadel release, as everyone rushes to build. But there are surely plenty of new industrialists starting to build P4 items now in anticipation of that demand. It's possible that prices will stay stable, or even fall, after the release. I don't think that is likely, but it doesn't hurt to hedge my bets, take some profit and raise some spending money.

And the profits are good! Most P4 items are yielding about 500k - 1M profit per item, if you built from P3s acquired with buy orders.

I used the asset search window to check what items I had stashed away that might be worth selling and was sad to find a few hundred Phased Muon Sensor Dampers and sixty Faint Epsilons. It's a weird feeling to think these once prized meta 4 items are now just a cheap variation of a module, nothing special.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Planetary Interaction Ramps Up

I've spent most of my time since January creating and running a new Planetary Interaction setup. I had sold off my jump freighter collection as prices rose, resulting in an 80B ISK wallet balance, with a similar amount in material between my two characters. Time to invest! I bought a plex or two each week, to average out my cost, more jump freighters (as prices became favorable) and datacores.

I'm going to start with the introspective passage I was going to write at the end of this post, because its probably more interesting than the details of "blah blah I'm getting rich", which follow. Why am I doing this? Why does making money in Eve feel, to me, like winning? 

I read something in a reddit discussion that rang true: having money makes you more like you were. Couple this with an observation I heard delonewolf make: you will probably play Eve in a way that matches your real life personality.  Add a dab of Jakob's observation of the five stages of Eve  (I'm a textbook stage three) and I think it summarizes how I see myself fitting in New Eden.

In real life I'm careful with finances. I look for opportunities to optimize spending and make the most of what I have. I'm good at deferring gratification and can make the most of what I have access to already.  I like helping others do the same thing!

In Eve this translates to looking for bargains, trying to turn money into more money and making the most of the ships I already have and can already fly instead of trying to get into more and more hulls. In all that, I try to maximize my return for a minimal amount of risk.

I also enjoy writing guides like this blog and wiki entries for our corp so that other players can, if they choose, do what I did with a helping hand to get past the difficult parts. I know this will help keep players in the game, and not quit because of space-poverty.

And as I achieve the goals I set for myself, my net worth feels like the scoreboard and I enjoy looking for ways to repeat that hit.

I think I've reached the limit on what I can do with the time I have to play. I don't want more characters or accounts, and keeping two PI setups running and attending a couple of fleets a week is a pretty good play style for now. I do intend, one day, to learn how to PvP though :) I'm training Advanced Weapon Upgrades V on my main!

How I Invested

With the announcement of the Citadel expansion prices and availability of top-tier PI items started to shift around. This was because Citadels require a lot of tier 4 PI items to build. I have built tier 4 items straight from tier 3 items for a while, but it was getting more and more difficult to acquire those materials, and my factories were spending a lot of time idle.

I came with a new plan (google doc here describing it), aimed at making the tier 3 Gel-Matrix Biopaste and Cryoprotecant Solution. Those two feed into two different tier 4 items, plus other items I manufacture.  I would extract and build what I could in Fliet, and build my tier 4s from those materials, plus other tier 1,2 and 3 bought in Jita. It took a while to get the balance right but the flow of materials is enough to keep the factories humming, with a fairly healthy buffer of supplies sitting in station. With the April 27th release date now announced I have about 10k tier 4 items ready to sell and plenty of items to run through the factories to keep producing more. There have been some very encouraging price spikes already!

I couldn't have done it without the excellent Jump Freighter service provided by Aideron! And our friendly neighbors helped defend or recapture POCOs when we lost them to our less friendly neighbors. I'm usually attentive when transporting goods to the POCOs, but I did get too engrossed one night and lose an Epithal on a PI alt that I created. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I finally used my third character slot on my account! I gave him 2-3 weeks of training and set him up on five planets, extracting on four worlds and assembling two tier 3 items on a fifth.

I've stopped producing Tech 1 rigs; the sell prices are all close to manufacturing cost and those juicy profits of six months ago are gone. It was a good run, though, and I still have my researched BPOs to fall back on; I'll check prices occasionally, but there's not enough meat on the bone right now.

Interface Complaint

If CCP want more people to do PI, to feed Citadel construction, the PI interface needs to be less clicky. Volumes have been written on this topic, I hope CCP will find some dev time for it. Remove the spinning building graphic, have an auto-routing button, have a simple "error report" that identifies duplicate outgoing routes and missing routes from factories that aren't sending their outputs anywhere. Otherwise it feels like you're being punished for overlooking a step, something CCP should try and avoid where its easily detectable. Templates for setting up common layouts would be nice. Being able to drag and drop an existing layout to a new location would be great. Charge me a fee equal to tearing it down and setting it up, just don't make me do all that clicking again, please!

If they don't do that, it's possible Citadel construction will suffer due to a lack of materials.

Other Stuff

A guy in Jita offered to contract me some items that I thought were about to be merged with much cheaper, more plentiful modules in the March patch. I rejected his offer and got two long emails back saying it wasn't a scam and that I'd misidentified the items he was offering. It was exhausting to think about and I haven't read them carefully yet.

Speaking of which, my very enjoyable and profitable trade in Faint Epsilon and Phased Muon meta 4 items has come to halt with the last round of tiericide. I sold most of my stock before that happened, but still had a substantial amount in storage. Oh well. I'm no longer buying loot in my home region at the moment.

I got my Jita alt's Sisters of Eve standings up to the point where she can do level 4 missions, but needs more training to fly a battleship well. It was a good experience, nice change of scene, going to the level 3 agents and running missions for a couple of days. I made a new friend too, in the process, finding a guy who was willing to share SoE LP when I was at the bottom of level 3 agents.

I had a few nice one on one fights with a neutral in system. She said I was the first person to honor a 1v1 fight request, which surprises me! She won 2 fights (her rocket kestrel vs my blaster atron) and I won one, when my Tristan's drones caught her Condor as she changed direction.

I'm enjoying doing Project Discovery, though I wish there were some lower level rewards. I mapped Shift+Alt+D to launch the window so I can bring it up quickly in a quiet moment during a fleet. The two videos from Spaceships Involved really helped get my head around this!

For fun I'm taking an Atron to the Abandoned Mining Colony in our home and killing a rat battle cruiser every 15 minutes for a sec status boost and the occasional good loot drop.

Here's the fit I use for that; it's quite a tight fit so you may need to downsize things for it to work for you. I get about 190 dps cold and over 4k EHP. I didn't EFT this, it just grew in stages. It can kill Serpentis clone soldiers!

Here's a tip for the start of a fight; you should know how far a pulse of your MWD will take you. For me this goes about 30-35 km. If I need to cross 20km quickly and want to slip into orbit cleanly at the end, I pulse the MWD and set my speed to about one-half. As the cycle finishes I max out my speed again (with MWD off, of course!) and start shooting.

[Atron, Ratting Atron]
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 x1000

Friday, January 15, 2016

Cutting the Net - a level 4 Faction Warfare mission - in a Tristan

Mistakes were made...but it still worked easily!
(Update 1/22/16 to show four successful runs)

I like doing level 4 faction warfare missions when I get the chance, but being in the Gallente militia means you have to run them in a pretty expensive ship. Tengu/Proteus (at least 700M ISK) are recommended, though I know a guy who uses a 100M ISK Hecate.

I follow a couple of guides written by experienced mission runners, both of whom said Cutting the Net (CTN) should be declined. Why? To complete the mission you need to retrieve an object and get it back to the agent. This is annoying and time-consuming, not to mention you run the risk of losing your ship and failing the mission.

There was, however, a tantalizing throwaway line in one of the guides about CTN. "It can be completed in a frigate."  Which frigate? How frigatey is this frigate? Assault frig? Blinged-out pirate frigate? A Tristan?!

Why This Mission

It pays about 30K to 55K LP, depending on agent location and which tier your FW side is in. Converted to ISK at the average 1500 isk/lp, that's up to 70M isk for a low-risk, few minutes work in a ship costing a few million isk at most. And I'm pretty sure this will work without any Tech II modules too. I think it would be a good mission for risk averse players who don't mind the slightly aggravating process of getting the CTN mission.

I found a video of CTN being run and tried to estimate incoming damage, and also asked mission runners that had done the mission. "About 200 dps" was the consensus, though they had done it in an Ishkur and other similar ships.

Being a good Gallente I figured I'd try getting a Tristan through the mission, despite having no shield-tank bonuses. I've also had almost no experience with Medium Ancillary Shield Boosters (can't you tell from the video?) and failed the mission a few times before getting the fit right.

[Tristan, Cutting the Net]
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Medium Shield Extender II
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 50
Limited 5MN Microwarpdrive I

[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]

Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer I

Small Core Defense Field Extender

You will also need a mobile depot and three warp core stabs to stay safe en-route to/from the mission. The rigs I picked were for Serpentis rats - adjust to your preference.

I think it's possible to do this with a wide range of frigates. An obvious suggestion is a dual MASB Breacher, which gets a bonus to shield reps.

Note: this was done in an old version of EFT, so the names might not work in-game. You get the idea though.

How to Run the Mission

The mission consists of two rooms about 80 kms across. At the end of the second room is a container with the 80 m3 item. Overheat your MWD and zip across the first room really fast. Try to arrive just ABOVE or BELOW the gate so you don't bounce off it like I did in the video.

Don't activate the MASB too early or let it auto-repeat, as I did in the video. I didn't realize how well the speed tanking would work at cutting down on rat DPS.

In the second room do the same - overheat and burn to the target and hit ctrl+space when you're about 15km from the target. You should come to a halt in looting range of the container (which is a Spawn Container, not a regular kind - you'll notice it wasn't on my overview in the video!) Grab the loot and warp out.

This fit ends up being 10 m3 short of cargo space for taking the mobile depot back home. You could try just two WCS and a cargo expander instead, or just abandon the depot. They cost 1-2M to replace, and you're better off making sure you complete the mission.

How to Get To/From the Mission

Put three warp core stabs on the ship and carry a mobile depot. When you reach your target system, make a safe, safe up and refit your ships.

Risks and Consequences

What if you fail the mission? What if you get blown up? Failing a faction warfare mission has no consequences. You'll get an email from the agent after twelve hours saying they're disappointed in you, but that's it. If you quit the mission (with the "Quit" button in the mission window), you'll take a standings hit, so never do fact, why is that button even there? I can't think of any reason you'd want to click it.

If you get blown up, you're out a few million isk. Rebuild the ship and try again.

How to Get Offered the Mission

This is where we have a drawback. There are ten possible FW missions and you have, I believe, an even chance of being offered any one of them. If you specifically are looking for CTN, you need to fly around as many FW Level 4 agents as you can, and request the mission until you get it. Remember you can decline ONE mission, then request another and click "Delay" if you don't get CTN. You have a week to accept a delayed mission.

So with two attempts at each agent you'll get CTN once per five agents. It might take a while longer, or it might come up right away.

Another scenario might be that you're an experienced mission runner who usually turns down CTN. This post might give you an incentive to accept CTN along with your other regular missions, and run it in a dirt-cheap ship that you won't mind losing.

I have started doing a "farming" loop where, if I want to while away 40 minutes, go visit 12 agents and "delay" any CTN offers I get, with the intention of coming back later to run them.

Notes From the Future

I have run this a few times more and the fit is definitely sound. I didn't realize, however, that to accept a mission you need to be in the same station as the agent. So if you want to accept a delayed CTN offer you'll need to fly back to the agent. In one hour I was able to run two missions, with all the travel made necessary by it. But in a triple-stabbed Tristan I was very safe and got 94K LP for the two missions.


I'm very happy I came up with this! It's very satisfying to find a way to use a 5M isk ship to generate a 70M isk return with very little risk. If it works just one time, you have enough funds to pay for dozens more attempts - give it a try!