Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Exact vs Close enough wormhole entrances

When you scan down a wormhole entrance, your initial 'warp to' point is 'close enough'. Generally this is about 10K from the wormhole entrance itself.

Lets assume you have already scanned down your wormhole, per

Now, 10K is a long way to travel in an Iteron full of loot, or even an outclased PVP ship trying to get away.

Fortunately, there is an option.

Warp to 50/70/100 K from your initial warpin point.

Take a second bookmark from your overview.

Warp away (to a safespot, celestial, anything).

Warp back to zero on your new bookmark.  You now land at zero instead of 10K; and can immediately use the wormhole.

Monday, 26 August 2013

2 years of EVE, and the paths I treaded on.

By Outof Bound, an inspirational and "history" post.

A couple of days ago, my first ever EVE character would have turned 2 years old. He never existed longer than 3 weeks before being biomassed. (He had done... "unmoral" things). My second character turned 2 yesterday.

What a long, strange, and mostly fun journey it has been. Although I have had lots of offers from RL friends when I started, I had the urge to read up things for myself. After paying the price for a lot of misread information and stupidity, I slowly figured out how different parts of EVE worked, and more importantly, worked together.

I started out with some exploring, some production (Mining Crystals and Ammo), PI, and mission running, while also getting my feet wet with invention. Back then a friend convinced me to directly move to LowSec, where I set up a POS that is still running today, mostly doing research and reactions. I actually flew that POS into that system with an Iteron, and it took me ages to set up and fuel. Even though "older" friends told me they had already made the system better. Then came the Fuel Blocks.

Later, while skilling for more industry I learned that I needed more characters. So a Trade Alt and a Hauling Alt were created. Soon, I moved from PI [Foo's note: for shame] and sorts to doing Hauling work, eventually joining professionals: Red Frog. Only a couple of weeks later I had the skills and joined Black Frog, jumping my Anshar under heavy adrenaline rushes into Low and NPC NullSec. By that time I was making money with hauling and invested that into the BPOs I needed to build capitals. That was a couple of hundred Jumps ago, and that trusty Anshar still does it's job very well.

My first Moros came off the delivery line about year ago, and I continued to build capitals for a while, expanding on my BPO library. A while back prices started to fluctuate, so I stepped down and did some T2 invention, selling the BPCs for profit instead of manufacturing Dread, and built a couple of Jump Freighters.

For a while I dabbled in POSes doing reactions for me, and supporting Ice Miners in the belts and buying their Ice to support Jump Freighter logistics all around New Eden. With Odyssey the pilots stopped mining, and so I shut down that part of my endeavours.

During time I siphoned off some money from my projects and created an Alliance, "Free 2 Play", which is an ongoing project with friends. I never jumped into it 100%, and purposely kept things going casual. I got my feet wet with Sov by hijacking some NullSec systems for the Alliance, learning mechanics, even though we are still far from claiming a NullSec home, even today.

Also, I have always been trading/hauling/producing stuff, because I had goals I set for myself: Being capable of flying and building my own Titan, and then a Station. I never intended to "use" them, but the race for me was being able to do it, having the skills, logistics and capabilities. I haven't built the Titan, but I have all BPOs needed for it. I could build that station, but I don't have the Sov for it. And that's fine. For now.

Two years after stepping a foot into the game I'm capable of earning between a PLEX worth of ISK a day with minimal effort of about an hour of "work". Not because I have some magic method, or some super secret thing I know, but because I explored the game and learned from playing and the different interaction between "professions" in the game and running my own math. I know about PI and Manufacturing, Mining and Sov mechanis not only because I read about them, but tried them out myself. I made a lot of mistakes, and looking back it has been a long and expensive road to travel, but I treasure every day of it. First hand experience is important, but most important is this: In EVE, question everything. Not because it might be a scam (although it often is), but to try it out yourself if you don't risk your own stability with it! There are a lot of niches to find and settle down in.

So, where to go next? Maybe I should try the Leadership/Meta game. Maybe I should ask around for people I know in RL and use that ISK I make to help them step (back) into New Eden and pay for their accounts until they are self sufficient. Maybe I should put more effort into the Alliance. I wasn't "there", I was "there at a lot of places". And furthermore: "I will be at that other place, wherever it may be, soon". Even after 2 years, there are so many more things to discover and try, so many plans that can be pursued.

Finally, why do I write this? To "teach" you an often overlooked lesson: Whatever someone tells you about EVE Online, don't take it for granted of as correct. Try and explore the Sandbox for yourself, on your own terms and find your own ways.

Here's a (paraphrased) story of my other favorite game, Go:

A beginner of Go will only see white and black stones on a wooden board.
A student of Go will see Form, Influence, tactics and strategies.
A pupil of a Go master will see  Handicaps, and his own skill improving.
A Go master will only see white and black stones on a wooden board.

Fly safe.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Goons and the Caldari Ice Interdiction

You probably heard it... the Goons are running and Ice interdiction again.

Let's look at what happened:

a) "Random Internet Space Pixel Emperor" (The Mittani) announces Ice interdiction.
b) Prices spike.
c) People sell their stocks.
d) Profit.

That is all the relevant stuff. Not a single thing more was required to make the interdiction a success. There might be some aftershocks to prices once stocks deplete, but that would be speculation to go with. The sure made profit is and has been made.

Here's some stuff not at all relevant  for the success of the Interdiction.

a) The amount of miners actually killed.
b) Creating a shortage of specific Ice.
c) The amount of roaming Goons in HiSec. (Although a few stub fleets flying around will make "the next interdiction" more likely to succeed).

And here is some stuff that is likely to be a "bonus" on a couple of levels:

a) People flying in cheap fleets ganking for "fun" or tension release.
b) Creating "fear" in people, upping chances for success of next project.
c) Upholding the "myth" of the Goons power.

Basically, the entire Interdiction had three phases, of which two are already completed: Loading, Firing and Reloading.

Loading: Setting up the Interdiction by stockpiling Ice.

Firing: Announcing the Interdiction, causing fear, speculation, greed and a multitude of other factors to rise prices.

Reloading: Actually "doing" the interdiction. By no means like announced, but on a more subtle level: You don't need to actually dent Ice volumes at all, it's just an added bonus. The more you can dent it, the better the after effects of the Interdiction (making it possible to do it again), but it's by no means a requirement. The important thing is to kill a few miners here and there, keeping up a couple of roaming gank squads, and if you want to pepper it maybe fake some killboards with alt miners that get ganked to create the impression of something actually happening. With the Goons manpower, this doesn't really require a lot because it'll be a self runner.

The last phase, which is currently running, is a lot about perceived force and its projection. It is more than enough to create a wide spread impression of being active, no need to waste resources actually doing so.

All in all: Median Nitrogen prices have gone from around 580 to 960 and higher.

It'll be interesting to see what further media coverage will do and how the Goon Meta- Team will exploit the unfolding events for future use.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Berial's PI Bible

I do a lot of PI and have ideas and plans , but also believe that you should seek other ideas on how to set it up.

Language warning; I am just a little too refined to use some of the language in this document, but I found a link to a PDF on PI on

That I happen to disagree with some of the layouts and final products is a matter of preference, and possibly due to the planets we have available.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A manufacturing business on the side

Apart from my wormhole PI and research, I have a started a little manufacturing business on the side.

I am building up my collection of blueprints. I am limited:
  • in my personal research ( is *this* blueprint worth making?  No?  well what about that one?), 
  • In research slots.  I have a lot of available research; but even after I cut down the research I put into each blueprint, I still have as many incompletely researched BP's as I have researched ones.
  • in ISK. A set of racial destroyer blueprints worth 8M each is OK, cruiser blueprints cost 80M each, and battlecruiser blueprints are more than a plex each; yet I keep growing my collection.  Some blueprints down the line are horrendously expensive.
R.A.M. parts, construction components generally have good returns, and ok margins, but I am often sitting on these even when I am cheapest on the local market; or I buy out all the source material and it becomes unprofitable to make.

Small T1 ammunition has good % returns; but at 50 ISK/hour profit, is only something to be done if I have nothing else better to do.  It's advantage is very low entry and resource requirements.

T2 rigs are even worse.  I have some blueprints that looked OK to build while inventing them (apparent 40% profit, Millions of Isk/hour making them); until I bought up all the supplies, until they start to make small T1 ammo look good.

But there is one blueprint that I have that keeps itself very busy.  I know what it manufactures will be receiving a comparative nerf real soon now, so I keep promising myself; 'this batch will be my last'.

It has easy to supply mats, the demand outstrips my ability to supply, and the profits, while not stellar are still solid.  Evehq based on eve-central Sinq Laison pricing says Unit cost: 1.63M; Unit sales price : 2.35M.  Profit per hour : 310K; though I have been a little sharper in my pricing.  Most importantly, I am selling them faster than I can make them on my (so far single) blueprint.  Customers come to my system rather than having to haul product to market.

I have been making Iteron Mark V's.  Simple, yet effective.  Often destroyed (oh how I know that), yet still a solid work horse.  Received a significant 'implied buff' recently with the reduction in skills required to fly it.  14 days of research in a POS to get the blueprint to 6ME, 2PE (which is my current BP).

Caveat venditor. This ship is going to receive a significant 'implied nerf' very soon.  The ship itself will be untouched; but all the competing ships will be superior for specific cases.  Whether the other ships have more cargo, faster yet better tanked, or get special cargo holds, everything will be better at something. 

I will probably still fly some Iteron Mark V's.  They still will be a good general purpose t1 industrial, but Eve is not a game for general purpose.  While I am not one normally given for market patch speculation, I do not see great days ahead for this ship's prices.

But then, there are other ships in this category that will be buffed soon.  I think I mentioned that I am currently research limited?

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The fish that got away.

We sometimes look for highsec exits to shift stuff to or from our C2 wormhole. 

As normal, this means finding a neighbouring C2 and wishing it has a highsec exit; about 30% of them do.  It also involves wishing that they are empty of active traffic; about 80% of them are. (numbers are subject to confirmation bias; nothing scientific in them at all).

So scan down our neighbouring C2's entrance; hop in there, drop probes; warp somewhere; cloak up; Scan.  DScan.  I tend to use T1 scanning frigs.

Your initial scan pinpoint is pretty crappy, and may leave you 10K off the wormhole.  Warping to zero to this scan is like autopiloting in (quiet) lowsec.  You can do it.  I would not advise it.

So instead, I warp to a distance off the initial bookmark.  Depending on the day; this might be as little as 30k; as much as 70k.  I don't use 100k as I think in the past I tried it and didn't get a 'good' bookmark out of it.

So you warp to 30k; bookmark the exact location and warp somewhere else.  I tend to do this for both of the neighbouring C2 bookmarks.

You can then warp back to zero and actually land directly on the wormhole (disruption bubbles excepted)

Well tonight I did my standard warping, and when I finally landed on the B274 (C2 to Highsec) exit, there was a hunter.  Mmm.  Plenty of notice on the overview; Select the wormhole even before leaving warp and spam the Enter wormhole button on the 'selected item' window.  No warp bubble and land at zero, no problems. 

Elevated pulse rate, but that's ok.  So what to do now?  After my last effort, I am not bringing my Iteron fleet through this wormhole.  Mmm.  I know, I will orbit the wormhole and cloak up, just to see what they do.

Why do I have wormhole transition effects?  Oh dear.  I entered the blessed wormhole.  At least it is not Asakai.

I look at the overview; and now there are two blessed hunters, and I am polarised.  DON'T PANIC.  (ok you can panic a little).  No useful bookmarks worthy of the name, but there is a planet not too far off a direct line of site.  Ok.  Try to warp to a significant distance away from it's customs office.  Activate defensive mods.  Pray.

Ok something worked.  I am in warp, and not even any chirping.  As soon as I get out of warp, change direction, and activate my prototype cloak.  (Prototype cloaks are cheap, relatively easy to learn even on a scanning alt).

See on the overview that the vagabond chased me, but warped to planet.  Silly vagabond.  I like my cloaks.  Nice cloak.

Watch scan a bit more.  Oh; you like multiple warp disruptors and cargo containers, Vagabonds (heavy assault cruiser) and Broadswords (heavy interdiction cruiser).  I don't like HIC's; at least not in enemy hands.

Hmm.  I don't like losing ships even if it would probably be faster.  Lets make a deep(ish) safe spot by warping to a far off planet and dropping a bookmark part way there, then warping back to it.

I attempt to 'safe log off';  Dscanning for combat probes.  And succeed.

I am not out of the 'danger zone' yet, having left my ship in a wormhole that has some overlap in timezone with me.

I would much rather practice this in a throw away frigate rather than ... some other ships.

P.S. Between drafting this post and finally hitting publish, I got my frigate out, no problems.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Becoming a blogger

I have been asked about what it takes to become an established blogger.

All it takes to have a blog, is to be prepared to write for an audience of 1.  Write about stuff that will interest someone.  At first that will be the author.  If it bores you, then find something different to write about.

To be a well read blogger you need more.

Consistency in the way you write.  

There is an audience for most topics on the net.  It's a very big place, and there is an audience for most things.

But audiences are hard to gain.  If your bounces around too much; then you will lose your audience.  Imagine if the greedy goblin started talking about giving up earning ISK and started talking about how much fun it was to F1 button mash, bashing structures in null in cheap ships.  Or Tiger Ears started talking about how bad ganking in wormhole space.

We all have preferences in what we like to read.  Step too far outside our preferences, and we will stop reading you.  That said, if you write something that appeals to us, we will come back for more.

You don't need to be 'Correct'.  Correct is a subjective term; what is right for me is wrong for someone else.

While I would prefer that you had a consistent message, there are many successful writers as part of various media empires that change the examples, but have a consistent theme.

You don't need to have a consistent argument.  It would not take too much effort in most parts of the (western) world to find examples of writers with agenda's to push - The Dollar/Yen/Pound is going up : Disaster, so change the government.  Oh now it's going down : Disaster, so change the government.  The consistent theme of those writers is 'change the government' with only the excuse of the day changing.

Or in Eve terms; We gained a system so we are winning the null war;  Oh we lost a null system but have higher morale so we are winning the null war;   Or we destroyed one of our own titans so we are winning the null war.  You get the picture.

Consistent Posting schedule

Daily writing attracts more readers.  Consistently posting even once per week on the same day will attract readers.  Sadly, this is something I appear incapable of doing on an amateur (i.e. not paid for) blog.

What is in it for your readers?

A family photo album of that trip you took overseas is a bit boring to everyone but the family involved.  A blog about how to plan overseas trips and the best way to take photos of your family is far more interesting, even if it has exactly the same photos.

I try to write my posts keeping an 'eye' on how I think a reader will find it.  I fail as often as not, but I still make the effort.

Controversy helps.  

There are some controversial but very popular bloggers out there.  Scott Adams (Dilbert), Greedy Goblin, even Syncaine.  Going back further into my past there was even a 'Critical Goblin', who made a big splash in our circles by being controversial on that other game.


Very few people will just 'find' a brand new blog.
For other reading, Gevlon has written an article Blogging is for the long term. I agree with most of it, with the exception that I think he misses the importance of social networking in establishing your presence.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Reasonable things : vote now

CSM8 have come up with a short list of 'reasonable things' to take to CCP for suggested changes, with a 'shortish' available at

Log into, and leave a comment.

For those seeking my recommendation; your comment could be : <your pilot name>, 01, 09, 15, 67, 98, 18, 06, 22, 31, 37, 43, 51, 82, 92, 94

Obviously replacing <your pilot name> with whatever your in game pilot is. Apparently it must match the pilot's name you logged in with.

If you want assitance coming up with your own sorted list, might help.

This list is the player community going cap in hand to CCP, saying "please sir, can I have some more"; but without being immediately thrown out of the workhouse.  I think (see suggestion 49).

Below is a list of things I would like done, and a list of things I think do not belong in this list.  I have nothing against rebalancing PVE vs PVP or increasing supply of NPC items; I just do not think that such rebalancing belong in a 'Little Things' or 'Medium Things' list passing itself off as something that everyone wants.

There are other things I like, but these are at the top of my list.

Things I like:

I like many things on this list, but below is the shortlist.  I probably would not mind
01 : Alliance Bookmarks (like corp but available across alliance).

Notes: This would hopefully a) make life easier in coordinating an alliance and b) reduce the overall number of bookmarks.

As someone who runs with multiple corporations sharing bookmarks, this will be a godsend.  And yes, I have just about finished learning Empire Control, and would be prepared to spend the 1B + ongoing alliance fees as a (hopefully) one-off cost to minimise the time taken in duplicate scanning or sharing of bookmarks.

09 : Add personal SMAs to POSes.

I want to provide (mostly) secure storage to corp members.  The only current way to provide "secure" ship storage to multiple pilots at the moment is to store your vessels in an assembly array's (or maybe a CHA) division.  This approach is limited to 7 players.

15 : In addition to 'Log Off' and 'Quit Game', add a button to take you directly to the character selection screen.

I am a multiboxer. Please make this the character selection screen for *this account*All this needs is for the client to remember the login token that the character selection screen already uses.

As an alternative, allow me to have multiple launchers open concurrently.

67: Allow multiple identical BPCs to be combined into a bigger BPC that can take the combined number of runs.

This change will assist dedicated manufacturers. 

98. Allow "batches" of jobs to be done. Instead of inventing 1 BPC at a time you can put batches of 20 BPC to invent so you don't need to babysit invention every hour.

For many of my equipment T2 invention run, an invention job every hour?  Really?   Some of them take 6 hours.  Even for non-manufacturers; if you want cheaper T2 rigs put this one in your want list.

18. Allow drugs (boosters) to be contained in contracts.
Again, I can sell them on the open market, but not 'privately'?  Really?  If anything this is the wrong way around.

06 Changing t3 subs on POS SMA. (Note: Same as #31, votes for either will be combined)
Many (other) wormhole residents use T3's, T3's need wormhole components, but I cant reconfigure one in wormhole space?  Really?  I don't even use T3's and think this is a serious shortcoming.

22 Status indicator to show you when you're inside a warp bubble.
Having been ganked recently I would appreciate knowing when I can warp out without simply spamming and praying.  Of course with my ganking, it would have made zero difference but oh well.

37 Allow pos mods to be built at a pos.

Believe me; running a pos is expensive enough; why put additional restrictions on it?  I would however require the titan building array to be build in the titan building array;  I still don't want titans in my wormholes.

43 Give the user the option of "auto stacking" inventory in both cargo hold and hangar.

Some modules in POS refuse to be stacked because I don't have enough space for Stack 1 and Stack 2 AND Stack 1+2. It is painful.

51 Make it so the arrows to move probes are always 90 angle to the camera so the wider side is always clickable.
There is no surprise that the wormhole pilots of Chitsa and James want this.

82 Ability to create bookmarks that expire in 12hours 24 hours 48 hours.
Not as important as some of the others, but when you bookmark a wormhole, a site, or some loot, it doesn't need to be there later.

92 Every list in the game should have a filter box.
Have you ever tried to find someone in Jita's 'guest in stations'?

94. Allow directors to remove items from a Personal Hangar Array at a POS.
Sometimes I am going to replace towers (upsize, downsize, change type).  I love the idea of a personal hanger array.  However, I am going to end up destroying players property when I do one of these changes simply because I can't ensure that they are empty.

Things I don't like as part of 'reasonable things'

Please note; I would accept these changes as part of a rebalance, probably without comment.  But they should be considered a rebalance and not simply 'reasonable'.

Make implants recoverable from corpses, possibly by the reprocess facility in stations.
PVP'ers would love this.  Some players would become profitably gankable regardless of what ship they flew in. It is however a clear increase of supply to an easily destroyed NPC provided item.

When an SMA or CHA is destroyed, the contents should drop.
My objection is that this is simply a buff to PVP structure bashers and a nerf industry POS players. This should be done for balancing reasons, not because it is 'Reasonable'. If you wish to encourage industrialists into wormhole space, make it less profitable to attack their player bases. If there are too many industrialists in wormhole space, make it more profitable to attack them. I already provide enough ships to be attacked for those looking for ganks.