Friday, 30 November 2012

Modularizing Production and Industry Part I

This is an introductory post to a small series of posts for industrialists. It is aimed at more experienced players, so I will not explain what a BPO is or how to get them, and also not venture into the basics of production. It will try to show you how to modularize your processes into easily manageable parts, allowing you to upscale your operations vertically and horizontally. So, let's get to it!

Producing Items from others is one of the key factors driving the economy in EVE, be it by refining Ores, building Ammo, Weapons, Ships up to the production of Capitals and Supercapitals.

When you begin your work towards becoming an Industrialist, I strongly advise you modularize your processes. This has a couple of advantages:

1) You can outsource your defined modules.
2) It is easy to upgrade them separate from each other.
3) You are able to identify and parallelize bottle necks.
4) Within a growing group of friends, each individual can specialize in a distinct part of the production process.
5) It becomes easier to keep the books straight, especially when more than one person is involved.
6) You can add "rewards" for completing specific modules, making it possible to share your profits depending on who completed which module.

In future posts, I will explain these modules with 4 examples:
1) Tech 2 Items: This is essentially the same as Tech 1 Items, but also explains the Invention part.
2) Capital Ships: These explain the process of building normal Tech 1 ships as well, but adds to it the need for component blueprints.
3) Jump Freighters. Tech 2 Ships that combine a lot of things in the above two processes.
4) T3 Ships. A bit more complex than T2, and with a couple of twists.

Now, here is a list of generic modules that are required in production of items, be they T1, T2 or even T3. Some can be skipped for some production types, but overall you will have to think about them one way or the other. I'll only scratch the surface in explaining them, there will be more detailed posts about each module. My advice is to plan the entire production process from scratch, and then swap different modules in and out based on your efficiency.

1) Making a plan.
Having a plan is a smart thing, but production plans in EVE can get extremely complex for Items further down the line. Basic Ammo requires only little ISK, Skills and has only a few steps, whereas Tech2 and Tech3 production requires specialized equipment, tons of ISK and Skills. So plan ahead your supply lines, time frames and eventualities that may arise, and of course the skills required. The next post in this series will cover how to make a complete plan and factor in costs in a manufacturing process.

2) Running the numbers.
Now that you have a plan, check it again. There are a lot of costs involved in producing an item from start to end. This is where you decide which modules to swap out from doing them yourself to others. This mostly refers to buying BPCs instead of BPOs or purchasing intermediate items instead of constructing them yourself.

3) Acquire skills.
Time to start acquiring skills for your production needs.

4) Find a production site.
Depending on what you are building, this can be easy or very, very hard, especially when you are researching yourself or building ships that require NullSec space.

5) Get finances in order.
You should be aware that by this time you should start getting the ISK you need for your plan, if it is locked in some other fashion.

6) Set up your production site.
 Again, this can be easy or hard. This and the next step will swallow most of your base investment in your plan, so better have it right!

7) Acquire Blueprints (BPO or BPCs).
BPCs are easy, and can be bought from the market, BPOs cost a lot and need to be researched. If you opted into T2 or T3, Invention and Reverse Engineering will kick in and you'll have to spend a lot of time here.

8) Get base ingredients.
BPOs are researched and you can finally go out and buy the base ingredients.

9) Transport ingredients to production site.
This module can usually be outsorced easily. But if you want to be efficient, consider Mineral compression. If you have a logistics network, a lot of ISK can be saved, since transporting a lot of m3 is expensive, especially if you need to get to LowSec.

10) Build Items.
Time to start reacting, building and building. May be as simple as plugging a BPC into a station slot up to multiple stages of construction for Capitals or T2/T3 ships.

11) Move Items to destination for sale/use.
Something people often forget is that they have to get their finished product back to where they can sell it. Hope you thought about that in your plan, or else you might have that Capital Ship sitting somewhere in LowSec where you can't sell it for a good price.

This ends this part of this series of posts, I'll go into a lot more detail about the entire T1-3 process, and then follow up with detailed explanations of these 11 modules and how they can be managed or implemented.

Fly safe,


Thursday, 29 November 2012

"Perfect" Cyno Alts

When you plan on traveling LowSec or NullSec space, having a Cyno character is something very important when handling jump capable ships. You may have friends do this for you, but I strongly advise having a second account which you can use. Below is what I have learned over time and from other experienced players, especially Jump Freighter Pilots.

Now, what do I mean by "perfect"?

A "perfect" Cyno character in this context is built around the premise that he should be dedicated to do his job. He should be fast to skill up and cheap to get around. Put into EVE, this distills into:

- Less than 900.000 Skill points. (No costs for clones when podded)
- Able to fly "throw away" ships.
- Have a lot of utility skills to support his role.
- Be a "throw away character" in general, if needed.
- Be able to Pod Jump to medical facilities.
- Have other utility skills like MWD+Cloak, Webbing Freighters.

Let's start with a "fresh" character, having no skills trained:

Caldari, State War Academy

SkillSkill points
Electronics III8000
Engineering III8000
Gunnery II1415
Small Hybrid Turret III8000
Mining II1415
Mechanics II1415
Navigation III8000
Science III8000
Caldari Frigate II2829
Spaceship Command III8000

That leaves us with 844.926 Skill points left until we hit the cap with no medical clone.

For now, let's focus on some essential Cyno skills:

- Cyno Field Theory
- Cloaking
- Afterburner
- High Speed Maneuvering

The first one should be simple, and trained to Level IV, the second one to Level I. Cloaking makes your life a lot easier together with a Micro Warp Drive that you get from Afterburner and High Speed Maneuvering. Cloaking and Cyno Field Theory require Electronics, up to Level V, so we add this as well. Finally, we'll put in some Energy Management II. This adds 489.268 SP and we get our absolute base character:

SkillSkill points
Cloaking I1500
Cyno Field Theory IV226275
Afterburner III8000
High Speed Maneuvering I1250
Energy Management II4243
Electronics V256000
Engineering III8000
Gunnery II1415
Small Hybrid Turret III8000
Mining II1415
Mechanics II1415
Navigation III8000
Science III8000
Caldari Frigate II2829
Spaceship Command III8000

You might ask: Why Cyno Field Theory IV and Energy Management II? The answer is simple: With these skills, you can fit a Cyno including one load of Liquid Ozone into Rookie Ships. So you don't even have to buy a Frigate, and if you leave spare Cyno Generators and Liquid Ozone in stations you visit, you can easily build a network spanning all of New Eden.

This leaves us with 355.658 Skill Points for utility skills. From here it all depends on your playing style, but here are some options:

- Add Contracting so you can contract stuff from your Cyno Character to your Main and back.

- Propulsion Jamming I to turn him give him the Role of a Webbing Trick Character.
- Evasive Maneuvering and Warp Drive Operation for more Agility and longer warps in wide systems.
- Add all racial Frigates to III to be able to fly them.
- Put in some Trade skills.

Basically, it is up to you, but you should *not* get over the 900.000 Skill points.

This post only covers the basics, there are more tricks and tweaks to Cyno Characters, but this will be for another, more "advanced" post, where I will also post my complete Cyno Character setup, with full utility skills. And add a little trick I've learned to free up some useless Skill points in that list above, and also a trick to create "save spots" on stations when traveling into deep LowSec or NullSec space.

Fly safe,


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

o7 from LowSec: Introducing OutOfBound

Greetings, Pilots!

 OutOfBound is the name, and I'm proud to be hosted on Foo's Eve Musings. You might wonder "New guy?", and yes, I am. To this blog, but not to EVE, and not to MMOs in general. A short introduction seems in order, so here I go:

I started playing MMOs way back with Ultima Online when it came out (and with MUDs before that, also "Meta- MMOd" as a Fido Point), dabbled a year or two in World of Warcraft. Then, once upon a day not so far back I set foot into New Eden, seeking adventure, fame and profit.

During the following weeks spent some time doing the usual "stuff" in EVE: Mini Professions, Mining, small scale Industry, some Planetary Interaction and a lot of flying around, occasionally getting blown to pieces. I didn't have any special goal in mind at first and just enjoyed the intake of new information, scavenging through blogs and forums to answer the "What do I really want to do in EVE?"- Question. Connections made finally drove me to Low Sec, and that's where I set up my home. As a Newbie. And I survived there.

My answer to the "What now?" question came a couple of weeks after moving into LowSec. I love doing things in manageable steps, so I settled with this:

1) Manage to pay for my Accounts in ISK. (Yes, I started out with two accounts from the start, another "Beginner"- Post will tell you why).
2) Get into the Research/Invention/Production Business. We're talking Capitals, baby!
3) Find a way to get my stuff into and out of my Home system without those pirates bugging me. (Read: Learn to use a Jump Freighter, and also buy one).
4) Bring something unique to EVE. (Yeah, that's a hazy one).

Fast forward one year:
1) Achieved, mostly via Capital Production.
2) Achieved, and I can also fly some of the monsters I construct.
3) Achieved, owned and having over 250 Jumps into Low and Null Sec under my belt without getting blown to pieces.
4) Work in progress, maybe this Blog will help.

So, what can you expect from me here, you may ask? I'll try to be beginner friendly, but some posts will be for more experienced players. (Building Dreads or Jump Freighters isn't for the beginner). Expect some ramblings about how to be safe in LowSec, how to be a good Cyno and Freighter pilot (and actually make good money off of it), how to upgrade your industry from drones to Ships to Caps or even Supercaps, tricks of the trade with POS setups, how to handle your own Corp or even Alliance, and all other sorts of things that I've experienced during my ventures in EVE.

For now, Fly safe!

tl;dr: New guy, gonna post about this and that and how to make a ton of ISK without station trading all the time.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Local is for listening

I spend a significant portion of my time in my wormhole system.  I have taken the common wisdom of not yet chatting in local when 'home'.

I am not convinced that I will never speak in local; I really do have a policy of 'keep your friends close and your enemies closer'.

In a low sec system that I lurk in; I will be shot at by less players because I chat. Never smack talk; never tears.  I speak to players the way I would like to be spoken too. 

But there are very good reasons not to talk in local, especially in a wormhole.  From a simple dscan; even I can get a rough idea of what you are doing.  Are there wrecks?  Are there many active sites? Are you in your POS?

What I can't tell from a dscan is what corp you belong to;  Sure I can if I am up close and personal, but I am trying to avoid up close and personal; that's why I am scanning first.

There were two incidents recently.

First of all; we had a confirmed sighting of an unknown Loki in our system; on our A239 wh (entrance to lowsec).  There was another toon from the same alliance in the lowsec system.  This particular alliance is known as a WH PVP alliance.

I spend a lot of time afk; Weekends are busy times.  When I came back to keyboard I read in local:
  • A: "Ok; scanners in"
  • A: "Shit; sorry"
  • B: Aww dude.. you're fired.
Another exchange in a C2A local; different corps.
[05:43:55] EVE System > Subspace communication beacon unreachable. Channel list unavailable.
[05:51:56] C > This is a heist all the nanos in the fucking bag
[05:52:24] D > quiet bane
[05:52:42] C > No you didnt
[05:52:54] C > Want to fool around D?
[05:52:59] C > im near planet 3

And other private stuff that is not for putting up on a public blog. 

Now it is entirely possible that these posts were actually for my benefit.  However I now know who C and D are; their employment history; how old their toons are.  From their names; I can look up their
Before they chatted; I only knew their class of ship and that they were doing a sleeper site.

If so; well and good.  If not; carelessly leaking information into local is a potentially deadly mistake.

It is so easy to create a channel for friends; Chat -> Open Channel Window -> Create.

You can make it open, or allow any and all; restrict it to as few as you want. 

Local is for saying what you want to be heard.  Fleet/corp/private channels are for sensitive information.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Wh Sale Attempt #2

Ok; in first life I live Down under (otherwise known as Australia).

I am awake and at keyboard when you are asleep or at work; you are asleep or awake when I am a keyboard.

This makes selling a wormhole difficult; but not impossible.  My apologies to those that have mailed or whispered me.

So; you want to buy a wormhole but don't trust me without seeing it;  I want to sell a wormhole but don't trust you to pay once you know where the entrance is.  Mmmm.

I can put up a bookmark to the entrance on a contract.

If I was a buyer; what would I like to see?  There is a saying in MMO's: Screenshot or it didn't happen.

I can 'prove' (photoshop skills not withstanding) that I have been in the wormhole and have a fresh entrance; and provide a date/time.  (click for a larger picture)

I can show that I have scouted for control towers off the various planets.

Planet 8

Planets 1-7

I can claim that I am showing force fields but not moons on the above; but can't prove the order of screen shots.  I can fly to the control towers and show no force field. (again click to expand)
Tower on VIII

Tower on VI

(And also get better at using dscan in doing so)

I can offer some independent information about the wormhole ; showing there are only 8 planets.

I can put the bookmark in a contract in a nearby highsec system.  Not the same system; you might scan down the WH entrance directly from that; and that would be bad.  Not too far away; that would be annoying for the purchaser.

I can state that bookmark I am offering on contract is for this wormhole.

I can offer a public guarantee that if the bookmark goes stale; I can provide 1 more bookmark to an entrance.  This guarantee is limited to a refund of the sale price (I might get ganked).

I can spend way too much time doing this.

Edit: for serious buyers that can get a reliable (and online at downtime broker), please in game mail DoToo Foo.

Edit: sold

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

WH for sale (not mine)

There is a website;; for 'explorers' to list what they consider suitable wormholes for sales.  (site guidelines state no active forcefields)

Taggart Transdimensional (the corp behind the website), also offer a 10% brokerage service (generally 5% from each the buyer and seller).

I have also been spruiking the benefits of wormhole space for small corporations.

Entirely coincidentally (really; I was drafting yesterdays post before we found it), our corp has found one worth selling; J151311.

EDIT: Being someone on at downtime; I am happy to sell a bookmark to the system via contract and/or via Taggart Transdimensional (in game channel Wormhole Sales)

The Wormhole we are selling:
  • is class 2 (NPC's very roughly equivalent to L4 missions from what I have been told; I don't know - having done neither the anomalies or L4 security missions); 
  • has sots of anomalies (generally means abandoned for a while);
  • has a highsec and C1 static;
  • has 7 planets but not a 'perfect planet' setup; meaning if you want to make all things PI you will be importing some parts.
It is good for a small number of accounts; who does not require perfect PI; and who does not require a pirates lifestyle.  (Our home C2 with a C2 and lowsec static is superior for that)

My recommendations for planning to be a long term resident in wormhole space is:
  • Work out whether to set up a dickstar (defensive) or deathstar (offensive) for it. 
  • Being able to put up a medium or large tower; (anchoring; space haul the tower)
  • Have starter fuel : a few days of fuel blocks; 12 hours of strontium.  These can be pre-placed in anchored giant secure containers.
  • A cloak
After your POS is initially set up and running you will probably want:
  • Anchor and online up your defensive and offensive modules.  As a rule; Arrays go inside the forcefield.  Batteries outside.
  • More fuel and ammo.
  • Some equipment storage (corporate hanger array)
  • Some ship storage/refitting ability (ship hanger array)

A medium term resident might be satisfied with an Orca on a logged out toon instead.

There are hunters who love to find someone putting up a POS.  So you want to minimise the time between starting to anchor and getting a force field up.  Think about pre-scattering some giant secure containers around the system; locked with supplies.  Do not sit uncloaked on your anchoring POS.  As soon as the POS is up; fuel it with both fuels.  I have never had a problem setting up POS; but have seen others have significant issues.

If you are planning on PI; how will you take down customs offices (interbus or old player owned)? How are you going to beat a 500hps shield (peak) regeneration; 10M of shield?  AFK with disposable ships?  At keyboard risking boredom. A mix of both?

If you are planning on setting up multiple POS for reactions or research; any WH has plenty of moons; but no moon goo.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Eve is not just one game

For many who read this blog, you already know this; for those who followed me here from another game; you might like to know it too.

I was writing a comment on another blogger's post; where the blogger was noting that a significant other didn't enjoy the game that much.  I was posting a comment, when blogger crashed on me as part of logging in and I lost it; bother; oh well, it is included in this blog post.

I enjoy Eve's crafting game;  Eve players actually make 'gear' that matters.  My preference is that players made all of the gear that mattered; but we make most of it.

There is the standard solo PVE game; highsec; moderately safe; with meaningful progression. There is 'kill 10 rats'; but even ratting has it's own reward.

There is group PVE play (without the fixed group size of other games).  I have not done any yet; but from what I read; like any group activity; putting together the appropriate group is most of the challenge.

There are player owned empires; Nullsec.  In here the ability to attract, retain and control hordes of players appears to be what matters;  Great for huge battles.  Have not spent much time in null.

There is lowsec; Never really owned by anyone;  I have experience in there. From what I have read; lowsec is the most dangerous of spaces; Easy for attackers to come and remove the existing 'furniture' and make a mark; but a lot of effort to permanently control.

I like wormhole space.  The class defines what you need to fully exploit it.  Our C2 (with lowsec/c2 statics) is enough to keep 3 players busy.  For the PVP types; our C2 static gives access to twice the opportunities.  We have 'perfect PI'; can set our own taxes and no regular trouble; while still having irregular and unpredictable strife.  There is a limit to the number of ships that can cause strife.  Still enough to cause trouble but roaming visitors are limited to battleships; where residents can have caps if we want.

If you are solo; I would suggest a C1 wormhole (even less visitors; though less challenging/rewarding PVE).

If you were a larger corp without wanting the stress off huge ; maybe a c5 or c6.

You don't have to choose between highsec safety; and null with huge alliances; there are other options out there.  I am enjoying them.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Blogging community

It's the end of the world as we know it; and I feel fine.

I am a relative newbie to the Eve bloggosphere.  I have been reading about how the Eve blogging community is failing, consolidating, or may be just changing.  Been there done that. 

Before I joined Eve, I ran a blog for that other game for several years.  I did so because I wanted to share my views and opinions.  Some players found it useful (200,000+ page views since starting tracking - pity my eve blog is not even in the same order of magnitude).

I have been reading about blogs failing since before I started that other blog.  A few big names move on, a few new names change and new players come onto the scene in a big way.  Sometimes a blogger hits the scene hard and makes a large splash.  Other times bloggers fade away.

One thing to remember about blog tracking is that most of us are using google analytics (or similar) in one form or another; that is a javascript based tracking tool.  People reading via feed readers or simply blocking javascript (like me) tend not to be counted.

I am not a daily blogger.  I have mild aspirations to be one; but often I would rather play than blog, and have never managed to do both at the same time.

To the Eve community; you have changes.  There are strengths and weaknesses to Eve.  You will be down when long term members leave or cut back; and not always realise the strengths you have or gain.

Your blogs also have things that surpass that other game.  Your blog packs ease of use are superior.  You have a choice of consolidation sites, and are publicly discussing their relative strengths.  These are good things to have.

You have a game provider that encourages you, rather than discourages you.  Your games owners make posts like this one.  One of that other game's bloggers Matticus has previously expressed that the owners of the game he wrote about both knew and disliked him.

My wish for improvement?  My old game had a recent RSS consolidating website that hooked in information by area of interest.  I would love to see a Eve-news type website with something that hooked into the larger blog lists (say the list at  That would be easier for those without RSS readers to track.

Some want the good old days; when things were new, exciting and fresh.  Back when you were young and naive.

That is the place I am now; and I am quite enjoying it.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Lowsec perfect PI available

Have you been interested in exploring lowsec Planetary Interaction?   Would you prefer access to perfect PI planets?  Tired of seeing excessive tax rates?  Want to be close to a trade hub?

Readers of this blog know that I am interested in planetary interaction; and have less interest in initiating ship based PVP than most.

Our alliance has many customs offices in two adjacent low security systems.  Between these two systems, we offer perfect PI.  As an alliance we can now can offer perfect PI in two low security systems that are immediately next to each other; adjacent to high sec systems.

Tax rates are on a sliding scale; from "OK" (much better than highsec) for neutral players, good for blue; to very good for alliance members.

Over the next few days; I will also set up a mini trade hub with PI buy (and eventually sell) orders and command centers in the nearest highsec system.   Please note: availability of buy or sell orders does not mean best prices.  If you want best prices, then you may wish to organise your own hauling.  If you want to offer better buy/sell services in nearby systems; they are welcome too.

The pair of systems are within striking distance of trade hubs.  Being a lowsec system, there are also pirates.

Over the next few posts, I will provide information and links to useful pages for PI newbies to read; but am also happy to answer questions.

To find out more about these systems; please contact 'Dotoo Foo' preferably by game mail (I often go afk for extended times and may not always be available for direct comms); or leave a comment on this blog.

Friday, 2 November 2012

A market finding process

Someone I know (not me) sent me an in game mail, railing against excessive market prices.  I have suppressed who, what and where, but the sentiment applies regardless of those things.

So, we had a decent hisec connection through our not busy c2a, so I was thinking of bringing in a bunch of ...stuff

As I was browsing the necessary pieces, I became angry at the massive margins in ... both trade hubs on all the pieces I was about to buy, both over production cost and between buy/sell orders ( basically, buy orders at production cost, sell orders 40-50% above that).

My response was to start plotting how to free up enough capital to buy the necessary BPO's to produce all those pieces myself, and then to produce the same pieces to sell at those margins.

Then I realised that's my market-finding process, and had to laugh.