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

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