Saturday 29 December 2012

Lost then Found

A long time ago, in a system far far away, I lost a Viator. 

No; Not blown up.  Not stolen, not even 'where did I put my keys' kinda lost; This is a 'the database gods are out to get you' kind of lost.

One moment I was alt-tabbed to another screen; a few jumps in on 30 jump route on autopilot, next moment the world froze and rebooted; and I woke up in my clone's station near my end point.  Some players would suggest this is a less than brilliant idea - I can accept that.

So, what are the first thing to do? 
  • Update your clone.  It was still updated i.e. plenty of skillpoints left in it.  
  • Buy new implants - still have a full set.  
  • What killed me?  No kill mail. 
  • Was I dreaming? - look at inventory for ship.  Not there.
  • I will get an insurance payment at least?  Nothing in my journal.
  • Whine on the forums; blog about it; raise a petition.
I am very confused.  It is Christmas so I don't expect a quick response.

I do get a Christmas day email:

Insurance Contract Expired
From: Secure Commerce Commission
Sent: 2012.12.25 22:29

Dear valued customer,

The insurance contract between yourself and SCC for the insurance of the ship XXXXXXX issued at Friday, September 7, 2012 00:39 has expired. Please purchase a new insurance as quickly as possible to protect your investment.

The Secure Commerce Commission,

So, my ship didn't blow up, mmm.  Still no response on my petition; this finally came on the 27th.

I am used to providing information for bug reports as part of my first life duties.  I provided clues about the time (between downtime and restart), my type of ship (Viator), that it was rigged and what I was carrying.

However,  I was asked to provide :
  • Location of last sighting or interaction (down to the moon if possible)
  • Name of the ship (I had forgotten this but the insurance mail reminded me)
  • Rough time of the event.  (Yes the GM could have worked it out; but he is busy and I am the one wanting ship + cargo back).
After providing the above to the best of my recollection (and a bit of re-reading of notes - such as they are); I was informed as to what system my ship was in.  After further (mailed) discussion; I am off to scan it down.

Now, I am a wormhole resident; you think that I can scan something down?  Mmm.  In a wormhole things don't move much.  In an active highsec system; they move a lot.

The trick to find a stationary ship amongst 20 moving ones:
  • Scan once, write down all ship signatures.
  • Wait a couple of minutes.
  • Leaving probes in exactly the same spot; scan again.
  • Any signatures that are the same are potentially static ships.
 Finally; after buying sister scanning equipment - that I didn't need as I found the sig earlier but didn't realise it.

It was an interesting easter egg hunt.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Module M: Optimizing Anshar- Production

This post is taken out of line from a larger series but I wanted to get it out early. It's an exploration of different principles when planning your production. Take it as a guideline to a specific approach, not a set in stone rule set. It's called Module M because it fits into a bigger picture.

Assume you want to build an Anshar Jump Freighter. This is no simple task to optimize, so let's just look at the "main" part: Actually building the thing. To make a good profit you need a set of researched blueprints as well as and Anshar BPC. Getting to this point will be covered elsewhere, let's just look at the BPs we need:

Anshar BPC
Obelisk BPO

Capital Propulsion Engine BPO
Capital Armor Plates BPO
Capital Cargo Bay BPO
Capital Construction Parts BPO
Capital Jump Drive BPO

Capital Crystalline Carbide Armor BPO
Capital Fusion Reactor BPO
Capital Ion Thruster BPO
Capital Magnetometric Sensor Cluster BPO
Capital Oscillator Capacitor Unit BPO
Capital Photon Microprocessor BPO
Capital Pulse Shield Emitter BPO

R.A.M. Starship Tech BPO

Disclaimer: Run your own numbers, they depend on your skills, the BPO research levels and other details.

That's a lot of BPOs and a lot of items to be manufactured. If I do them one by one, it'd take 100 days to build one. Luckily we can use more than one slot so those 100 days can be cut down by using these. Still that would not be efficient because we have downtimes of the BPOs and they'd sit idle. We could use multiple BPOs to offset this, but that will require more investment. It's an option, but maybe there is another way: Building manufacturing Packets, that consider when which items are required and which depend on each other. Look at this:

Packet 1: 23d, 8h, 7m
R.A.M. Starship Tech: 17h, 50m
Capital Pulse Shield Emitter: 3d, 1h, 30m
Capital Magnetometric Sensor Cluster: 3d, 0h, 32m
Capital Photon Microprocessor: 4d, 19h, 13m
Capital Oscillator Capacitor Unit: 4d, 19h, 13m
Capital Crystalline Carbide Armor: 6d, 21h, 39m

Packet 2: 12d, 10h, 52m
Capital Jump Drive: 2d, 20h, 58m
Capital Propulsion Engine: 1d, 19h, 6m
Capital Armor Plates: 1d, 16h, 14m
Capital Construction Parts: 6d, 2h, 34m

Packet 3: 10d, 2h, 30m
Capital Pulse Shield Emitter: 3d, 1h, 30m
Capital Fusion Reactor: 7d, 1h, 0m

Packet 4: 12d, 16h, 40m
Capital Ion Thruster: 2d, 21h, 0m
Capital Cargo Bay: 9d, 19h, 40m

Packet 5: 10d, 16h, 0m
Obelisk: 10d, 16h, 0m

Packet 6: 24d, 21h, 20m
Anshar BPC: 24d, 21h, 20m

Some notes: Packet 6 is the biggest and will be our production "frame", meaning all manufacturing will be synched to this timespan. Packet 5 can only be built after 2 and 4 complete. Packet 6 only after 1, 3 and 5 are complete. Looking at the build times you will see that 1 and 6 are roughly the same, as well as 2+3 and 4+5 combined. With this information we can set up a 2 Slot production line like this:

Slot 1: Build Packets 1 to 3
Slot 2: Build Packets 4 to 6

That wouldn't be really smart because we'd have idle time between the Packets waiting for others. But if we shift things a bit, this will change:

Slot 1: Build Pakets 1 to 3
Slot 2: Wait until Packet 1 finishes, then build 4 to 6.

Why wait until Packet 1 finishes you might ask: That's because we don't just want to build one Anshar, we want to build them continuously. If we repeat the manufacturing, the following will happen:

Slot 1: 1,2,3, 1,2,3 1,2,3, ...

Slot 2: X,4,5,6,4,5,6,4,5,6, ...

As you can see, Packets 1 and 6 will sync up being built at the same time, meaning while we build the Anshar itself we already are building the parts for the next one. It almost synchs up because 2+3 and 4+5 take roughly as long as Packet 1 and 6. Let's just put make sure it really syncs, introducing a bit of idle time, but lining it up a bit for convenience. This way, after wasting one slot for almost 25 days, we get an Anshar roughly every 49.5 days:

It's also what we would expect from using two slots, so where is the advantage? We will come to that soon. Right now our BPOs still have a lot of downtime, so let's fix this:

Simply by repeating this process we can now produce one Anshar every 25 days with one set of BPOs, reducing our BPO downtime to the idle time lost when synching up to the Packet lengths. Hint: You can reduce the initial wait time by splitting the first Packet 1 into two and using the slots initially to further cut down initial idle time.

Now, could we have done this another way? Sure. But this way has quite some advantages:

- You are aware of what Resources you require to start a Package at any point in time.
- You can easily identify your Packages and for which run it is in your  spreadsheets.
- The idle times give you a bit of room to queue up your Manufacturing slots because of your time zone requirements.
- It minimizes Investment costs in BPOs and their Research, since you need only one set.
- It scales both ways: Add another set of BPOs in the same manner and double your production on one character or shelf off parts of the Packets to other characters, the time frames then become "deadlines" for players.
- Minimized "at the keyboard" time because you can queue your production only needing minimal time to set up manufacturing.
- The time frame is synced to the production runs of an Anshar BPC, and also syncs with time frames from the Invention and Hauling Modules not published yet.

Depending on the complexity of your production chains it is worth the time to calculate a similar chain for capitals or other more complex production chains.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Self Sustaining Low Sec POS? Sure, why not!

WARNING: LowSec is a dangerous place to leave Assets hanging in space. This is not intended for a beginner in EVE Online, as you can and will lose your stuff in LowSec if you are not prepared. Take all necessary precautions when attempting to do the following!

Running a POS in LowSec takes some preparation and planning, but it can be done by a careful player and is very rewarding.

What do you get from a LowSec POS? Most people will point out the private research slots and the bonuses to research and production which are a huge advantage for the research of "big stuff" or copying blueprints. But there is more: LowSec POSes additionally give you the opportunity to get moon minerals and react them as well as booster production, which is similar. Here is a POS setup that allows a large variety of operations in space < 0.4:

Gallente Control Tower, Large:
1 x  Assembly Array - Component
1 x  Corporate Hangar Array
2 x  EW - Stasis Webification Battery
2 x  EW - Warp Disruption Battery
2 x  Mobile Laboratory
1 x  Moon Harvesting Array
1 x  Reactor Array - Simple
2 x  Shield Hardener - Explosion Dampening
2 x  Shield Hardener - Heat Dissipation
2 x  Shield Hardener - Photon Scattering
3 x  Silo
3 x  Turret - Hybrid - Railgun, Large
4 x  Turret - Hybrid - Railgun, Medium
1 x  Turret - Hybrid - Railgun, Small

These are only the modules that are Online, with additional offline modules you can switch out production types or lower/raise defenses as you think it's needed.

Your numbers will vary from here on, so please run your own math and note that I'm assuming 30 day cycles (a "month"). I'm also only using thumb figures, really: Run your own math and you'll see that I'm using rather conservative figures.

A setup like this costs around 900M including Ammo and Strontium for timing in case of an attack. It also requires 28,800 Fuel Blocks every 30 days for fueling which comes to around 450M/month.

It gives you access to 6 ME / 6 PE / 2 Copy Slots / 10 Invention Slots,  produces 72.000 Units of Moon Mineral and can use a simple reaction yielding 144.000 Units of reacted materials.

Assuming a low grade moon mineral at 5000 ISK per Unit generates 360M ISK and requires you hauling stuff only a couple of times a month. Let's also assume the reaction we can do is for Prometium, which requires Cadmium and Promethium. This will cost 504M for one month and yield Prometium worth 835M giving a plus of 331M. It requires action  4 times a month to haul input/outputs from station to POS. Effectively, this tower, simply by running the reaction and the moon harvesting, brings in 241M a month so it has paid for itself within 4 months. Add to that production profits and research makes it well worth having something like this.

But there is a problem: Logistics. It's no good to set up something like this without getting your stuff there and back to a trade hub. Cloaky haulers can work but require more effort, and not everyone has a Jump Freighter. Enter: The Hauling Services of New Eden. Assuming you contract stuff in and out only once a month from a nearby system you can get your stuff from HiSec to the LowSec station of your choice for around 120M per round trip. Even then you would be up 121M and still had access to all the other features of the POS.

Of course this all assumes you didn't disturb any locals that consider the system you live in "theirs". That's why I'd recommend getting to know the system and its residents. There are many LowSec system to set up a POS, just find a quiet system with a station and production facilities if your plan requires them and keep a low profile. People will blow up your assets because they consider you an invader to their home.

You can also run two simple reactions on a POS which is a bit more risky because you need to offline defenses, but with smart selection of the reactions you are running you can easily make a PLEX worth of profit from a POS like this.

Summary: A LowSec POS can be a valuable asset for any player, can be set up to be cost neutral, and brings a lot of variety of play styles onto the grid.

Thursday 20 December 2012

Research slots

If I have read it right; Gevlon has decided that we don't need our own research modules in a POS.  He admits that there is a shortage of Material efficiency slots; but so what; just train up another alt (it's quick) and wait around.

TL;DR: If your primary 'play' is research; then a POS is nearly mandatory.  If you merely tinker; then use a NPC station and suck up the wait time; or simply buy a researched BPO/BPC from a contract.

Gevlon claims that the amount of research is number_of_alt*10*/research_time.

I believe that the amount of research is more complicated : number_of_alt*10*lab_efficiency*player_efficiency*access%/research_time

Lab Efficiency: Doing research research as a POS research lab (either mobile or advanced) only takes 3/4's of the time.  That is :
  • 3 alts * 10 in an NPC station = 30 research 'points' or 
  • 4/3 * 3 alts * 10 in a POS = 40 research 'points'.
Player efficiency :  Players can get implants providing 1/3/5% bonus from a beancounter implant.

Access %: Getting access to a research slot won't take long?  Surely not in this region?  The shortest queue was 1 month; 4 days.

Your access % is research time / (research time + waiting time).  If you are trying to crank out research that takes 15 days and have to wait 30; you only have access 33% of the time.  Oh, and one of your toon's research slot is consumed by waiting.  For the purposes of this post; I did crank out another toon, gave him a few points in research; and loaded up the assembly line as far as I could.
This is with a few jobs waiting; but no jobs running.

Other things to consider:
  • BPO's tied up in a waiting queue are ISK sitting idle.
  • To get 10 research slots per toon; you are dedicating 2 lots of level 5 skills (1 easy; 1 less so)

I have a dirty confession to make;  I am not using all of the research slots I already have access to.  Research is not PI; and I seem to be mildly OCD about PI at the moment.

But even with that; I purchased a few new destroyer blueprints and sent them madly off to get my very crude guess as to what saleable blueprints might need.  I was not sure about what the value of the new ships will be, with this being the first release of BPO's I have seen in Eve; but I have played that other MMO enough to have a gut feel that new BPO's are likely to be better than old BPO's, and it seems that well researched ones should sell well; either that or every industrialist will jump on the same gravy train; and spread it a little thin.

Remembering the formula of number_of_alt  * 10 * lab_efficiency * player_efficiency * access% / research_time.  If your primary 'job' is research based; then you have two options:
  • 3 alts * 10 slots  * 100% * 100% * 33% station access = 10 research 'points'
  • 3 alts * 10 slots  * 4/3 * 1.05% * 100% = 42 research 'points'

If you have 3 alts per account all with maxed research skills; all cranking out 24/7 then a POS research slot makes sense.

If you do not have a POS with spare capacity already, and are only looking at playing with the odd BPO; then NPC station researching would be preferable.

For all else; it is a judgement call;

Some are very worried about the security of owning a POS.  I have personal experience in a WH; and observed behaviour in low and high; very little of null.

A defensive POS is a pain to knock over anywhere;

The thought of trying to kill a powered POS in a C1-C4 wormhole is daunting; especially if you only have battleships to do it.  I have a hard enough time with customs offices.

It is very unusual for High sec POS to be knocked over assuming they are correctly fuelled.  I am sure it happens.  However in Highsec; placing blueprints into NPC stations leaves you safe.  Off lining research structures and have defensive modules anchored and ready to online works.

I have seen 're-arrangement of furniture' - including POS in low.  But even there; the 'goodies' can be kept in very cheap NPC stations. For that matter; it is unusual for even POCO's to be knocked over in lowsec, and POCO's are much more fragile than a large POS.

If you are in a huge fleet in null, then maybe you can steam-roll one;   I don't know; haven't been in either a huge fleet or null enough.

PS.  I have just seen a theoretical 'lets bash highsec pos for fun and profit' post from The mittani website.  The comments already lodged against that post cover most of the issues;  that is; you had better bring a very large party to bash a Highsec POS without capital ship support.

PPS.  In his favour; Gevlon produces a daily post, where it takes me a lot longer to think about and mull over items.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Lost my first Viator

I collect kill logs; well to be precise; Killed logs.  They are learning opportunities.  Sometimes I learn not to be so stupid.  Other times I learn not to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

Well last night just after downtime (I live in eastern Australia);
  • I was flying my viator.  Meh; players fly ships all of the time.  
  • I had a load of liquid ozone; not the type of thing you normally haul long distance in a cloaky hauler; but my ship needed to be moved and I may as well haul something.
  • I was alt tabbed. Stupid players fly gankable ships alt tabbed.  A Viator can no longer be scanned, so might just be ganked opportunistically.
  • Eve was *incredibly* laggy; I was doing PI and it was taking 30 seconds for a response from the server.
  • I alt tabbed back and woke up in my clone's home station. Mmm.  I was sure I didn't hear combat sounds.
  • There is no kill log?  Huh; how did I die?  Where did I die?
  • I have an up to date clone; I didn't die?
  • I have a full set of implants.  How did I get here?
  • Eve then goes down because of database issues. Mmm.
 I literally lost my first Viator; it is not on my personal assets; I can't look in the system that I lost it in (about 25 jumps away).  Not even an insurance payment; but I do get a nice shiny Velator.

Mmm.  I don't even have the benefit of a kill log to teach me the errors of my way. 
I have lodged a petition; but otherwise will have to 'pretend' I was killed by another ship; but was fortunate in keeping implants.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Single Planet PI - Not a fan

I have some comments from players that like single planet P2 PI.  I instinctively don't like it.  Instinctively doesn't cut as a reason.  I have written a couple of posts; that while they may or may not be good; totally missed the point.

Single planet P2 production has it's advantages;
  • Anywhere there is even a moderate tax, 
  • any time you are away from home; 
then the logistics of single planet PI are easier.

There are two ways to do single planet P2 (or even P3) PI:
  • Two extraction control units; being very easy and hands off; but very wasteful of CPU and Powergrid; or
  • Single extraction control unit swapping between two resources.  Better on CPU and Powergrid; but requires so much more clicks to move extraction heads (and probably factories) between resource types and requires additional storage.

Single planet PI has it's costs; the biggest is flexibility of what to make.

Lets look at the top 5 P2 PI mats; based on average of buy prices across Jita; Dodixie, Amarr, Rens (easy to do from my PI spreadsheet sourced from eve central). I could chose another method; but this is a reasonable minimum price.

What Price Planets
Enriched Uranium 9820 Plasma
Microfiber Shielding 9278 Needs 2
Coolant 8950 Gas or Storm
Mechanical Parts 8458 Barren or Plasma
Miniature Electronics 7127 Lava

Enriched Uranium is the highest priced P2 item.  None of the systems that I have done PI in had a plasma planet; ruling out this.  However I can one planet pulling 10 extraction heads of Noble Metal and another planet pulling 10 extraction heads of Heavy Metal; and fill the plants up with basic and a couple of advanced factories.

Microfiber Shielding simply can't be done on one planet.

Coolant can be done on Gas; Mechanical parts can be done on Barren.  There are at least an abundance of those planet types.

But even with this, the input P1 mats are not made equal; with one of the input mats almost always having a different price to the other.  You could instead concentrate on extracting the high value input mat and importing the low value input on your 'pickup' runs to collect your P2 item.

Despite the above; one of my "known space" toons (currently grinding some standing for clones) is doing single planet PI; He simply does not have to be home as often.

I would not personally be keen to do multiple planet P2 PI across unscouted lowsec jump gates. 

I am very keen to do multiple planet P2 PI with alts left in their 'home' system.

Monday 3 December 2012

Keeping safe(r) doing lowsec PI

If you want 100% safe; stay docked in an NPC station in highsec.  The tips below are discovered by a trying to stop a very one sided kill log from getting longer. 

Like wormhole systems, low sec has people 'at home' doing PI, ratting, mining etc.  Also like WH systems, there are hunters wanting to become acquainted with the inside of your ship; though not everyone here will automatically try to find the insides of your pod (only about 3/4's of them)

Low sec systems however have regular hunters, and neighbours you can get to know and like.

Most of the tips from my WH PI safety page still apply.  I am not duplicating them here.  These are some of the differences I can think of for low sec.

If you have a Blockade runner (cloaky hauler), this means you are mostly safe; but check local.  Extra points for being paranoid and warping cloaked to 10k off the customs office and slowboating the rest of the way.

Use a scout. On a single account; with a fast frig, fly in, warp somewhere, warp back to gate; checking local.  Bonus points if you have access to a second account and can leave your scout in there while you bring in your hauler.

If you have not done so already; make a fast aligning bookmark.  Some recommend a huge number of bookmarks for lots of things.  I am sure they are useful; but I have a minimal set.  I use the following bookmarks for safety.
  • Aligned bookmarks inside jump gates.  Ideally a covert ops ship; or a cheap quick ship.  If choosing the cheap/quick option:
    • Afterburner; Microwarp drive or cloak useful
    • At a quiet time (preferably no one in local)
    • Jump through the warp gate; check no-one is in range to shoot you.
    • Consider a cloak;  While cloaked you are immune to to being seen via dscan or on the overview.  It will however take longer (much longer if you use a prototype cloak); and you are not immune to someone sitting cloaked on the line you are taking.
    • Activate MWD/afterburner or cloak.  
    • Fly straight.  Minimum of 150km.  The longer the better (some pirates sit 150km from gate). Keep checking that no-one is in range to shoot you.  
    • Bookmark it. (People & Places; Places; add location)
    • Whenever you jump into system using that jump gate; use your bookmark. 
    • Bonus points if you later use your first bookmark to then make a second (or third) aligned bookmark further away from the gate.
  • Unaligned safe spots.  From your instawarp bookmark:
    • Warp to (100K from) an outer planet;  Part way there drop a bookmark (you can do so mid warp).  Warp back to this point.
    • Warp to another outer planet (again to 100k);  Part way there drop another bookmark. Warp back to this point. If you sit here with a cloak on; you are near impossible to find.
    • Bonus points if you rotate between several safe spots.

Learn how to instawarp. There are two parts two this; cloak  + microwarp drive; (or covert ops cloak) and pre-aligned bookmarks as above.

Chat to the locals.  This is a risk; but most (not all) pilots prefer to shoot anonymous ships rather than people they know.  Keep it polite; and be an 'attentive listener' rather than an 'active talker'.

Look at pilot's security rating.  It is not foolproof; but I have never been shot at by someone with a 3+ security standing.  Players with a standing of -2 or better are unlikely to pod you in low.  Anyone sitting on a gate is either a pirate; allied to a pirate or stupid.

Keep your friends close; but your enemies closer;  Add anyone who kills you to your watch list. 

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.

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Deer in headlights

Industrial ships, running around in wormholes going from customs office to customs office, are prey.  There are hunters out there, who love the thrill of catching us.  The loot is of secondary concern.

I don't PVP well.   I have poor reflexes.  I do much better when I plan my panic responses ahead of time.  I large group healed in that other game for a long time based on 'when panicked press this'.

I have been ganked far far too many times to want to count.  Normally it is a gate camp in low sec, part of the reason to move into a wormhole.

For the first time in eve; I got ganked at a customs office, in a Iteron II, by 2 Proteus (T3 cloaky cruisers).  I have a policy of talking to anyone, anytime; especially gankers.  My response was entirely reminiscent of an animal in headlights: Oh; if I stay still maybe they ..... (Rest in pieces recently departed animal).

I received useful advice to add to my existing list of 'avoid the hunters' tips.  These are not designed to keep you 100% safe; merely safe 'enough'.  These are my tips for collecting PI goo.

  • DScan before you leave the POS.  Every time.  It's quick; and there is no reason not to do it apart from laziness or forgetfulness.
  • If you fly t1 industrials, keep enough space in your customs office to deliver before loading.  This minimises the chances of needing to shuffle goods.
  • Manipulate your planet (including launching goods to customs office) from behind POS shields; or at a safe spot while cloaked.
  • Open your cargo hold and 'Access' your customs office before warping to it.  This saves a few key clicks once you get there, and you know what you are going to do.
  • Warp to a 'safe spot' before warping to your final destination.  Hunters can see where you are aligned to and get a fairly good idea as to what you are warping to.  They can be cloaked so that you don't even know they are there.  Warping to a safe then to your final means that they need to find you before warping to you. (Thanks to the recent ganker for this advice).
  • Customs houses are for delivering and collecting of goods.  You should warp in; deliver; pick-up and warp out in quick succession; vulnerable for less than 5 seconds.  Remember; they don't know where you went because of your detour via a hard to find safe spot warp.
  • Mix up your planet order a little.  If you have exactly 6 customs offices; and just did planets I,II,III; that cloaked hunter's ship will be hiding on planet IV. 
  • If you fly cheapish ships then stay logged in.  I am sure this drives friendlies to distraction.  However, Hunters look for changes in names or ships.  If you are logged in but safe,  Hunters will find you; wait for you; then get bored and forget about you.  Their boredom is your friend.
  • 1 Point of warp stabilisation is worth it; especially in the better T1 industrials.
  • A cloak and scanner with probes is also worth it as a backup in case things go really sour.
These are not going to keep you alive all the time.  If you want to never die, then never leave a highsec NPC station.   I am also not going to give all of my PI alts the skills to fly T3 ships.  I am still young enough to be looking forward to my first Ocra.

I have learned a few tips; but there always more tips to learn.  As a hunter; how do you catch someone doing the above?  As the hunted spending 2/3 of your PI goo collecting time in low skill alts, what else do you do to avoid ganking in WH space?

PS. I have windows 8 installed from a purchased DVD; it worked a charm. I re-washed then rinsed my video card with de-ionised water, and it is still sitting in a cloth surrounded by 'clean' silicon based cat litter (and well away from the cats).

Saturday 27 October 2012

Windows 8 not impressed

With my PC's recent beer problem, I have been working around not being online.  I also have general "PC/Windows" agro issues.  (On top of this between the cat and a toothache I got 5 hours of sleep last night)

I pulled out an old half height  PC, took it's lid off and put in a medium sized video card (meaning that the PC's lid is still off).  That got me running (walking?) waiting to get my main PC fixed.

My main PC came with Vista 32bit that I "upgraded" back to XP 32 bit.  With the beer problem, not much of the original equipment is left.  6 months ago I upgraded the video card, power supply and disks.  The beer meant a replacement motherboard, CPU, memory.  The Case is the original that I bought too many years ago.

I kept my Windows XP install disks, but lost my Vista disks some time ago.

Fail #1 - XP

My original plans were to re-install Win XP.  That failed due to a blue screen of death suggesting I run a chkdsk /f.  I unplugged all of my hard drives; just in case.  I still got the blue screen of death.

Fail #2 - Wine

Ok, nice shiny new system.  My primary gaming needs are Eve, and I have full expectation that Linux gaming will get a boost (I liked what steam is planning in that regard, though I cancelled my steam account over their latest EULA).  So I install Ubunto 64 bit; Wine, and Eve.  Eve installed and upgraded the last 2 mini patches.  But then Nothing.  I can't get past the loading screen.

Fail #3 - Windows 8 download to burn to DVD

I then planned to get the Windows 8 64 bit OS online, and transfer it to my new PC.  My understanding (I am sure I read it somewhere in the download EULA) is that the licence is retail and transferable to a new PC.  I have plenty of older XP systems around to sacrifice.

I dutifully bought the upgrade online.  From the windows website Windows 8 Pro gives you everything in Windows 8 plus enhanced features that help you easily connect to company networks, access files on the go, encrypt your data, and more.

Though it does say you need a working system.

I find lots of online reference to downloading Windows 8 and then burning it to  DVD.  But for the life of me, I can not find out how to burn it from an ISO.  Lots of websites suggesting you can; but all short on detail (it's almost as if everyone is quoting everyone else sourced from a earlier press release, and no one has personal experience).

I defer the install hoping for a DVD burn option.  No luck.

I break down and hit the install button; hoping that I will get a DVD install at some point.

 I get instead an install on this PC, and I still can't work out how to burn it to DVD.

Fail #4 - Windows 8 32 bit

So at the end of the day at least I get a system I can upgrade the RAM for right?  Wrong. 
Despite an expected consolation prize of 64 bit windows (required for more than 4GB of RAM), I am left with the wrong system upgraded, to a version of windows I didn't want (32 bits), with an operating system I don't know how to drive.

Where to now

Well, I have re-installed eve, as I kept my most recent download files.  And eve still plays, though first impressions are that it is very sluggish (14 Frames/second).  I don't know how quick it was before but I didn't feel the need to go looking. (Edit: got back to 35 FPS by changing video settings to minimum)

I can however at least log in and trade/do PI/move ships. This is one win at least, however small.

I am also off to a local shop to get a DVD installer and see what luck I have with that.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Beer induced AFK

No; I didn't personally have (or intend to have) too much to drink.

My tip of the day : Don't store beer an open can of beer on your desktop.  It's stupid.

My power supply ... well it tried drinking and it didn't like the results.

I am not entirely sure what is damaged.  Power supply - almost certainly.  Anything else; not sure.  Seeing flashes of red coming out of your PC immediately before the RCD trips is not reassuring.  No actual fuses were tripped.

I do have multiple PC's around the place; with differering programs installed.  Of course only my main PC had Eve.

I would love to pretend that my posts were so regular that the average reader could tell.  Oh well. 

Hopefully irregular programming will resume "soon".

Friday 19 October 2012

PI an interim update

You would think that by now, I would know what I wanted my PI planets to look like.

I can find sites and tools for designing ships.  Eve Planetary Planner works well enough; and has a % allowance for links.  I would prefer something that gave a km tool defaulting to a good enough distance between factories.  On a good day, I can get as little as 34km between buildings (or 23 tf; 16MW for a basic link)

P1 to P3

I designed a wonderful P1-> P3 planet; that is a planet that took only P1 inputs and produced 2 P3 components every hour, ultimately to end up in my integrity response drone factor

To load this planet, import one set of components into each of the launchpads, expedite transfer them to the storage and then the the second set of inputs is imported into the launchpads.  The 3 sets of 4 factories making P2 components consume 2 components types; one from a launchpad, and one from storage.  The factories then put their product into storage.  The resulting P2 components are fed into the 2 P3 factories (next to the command center).  3 of these planets; each producing a different type of P3 component work in conjunction to feed a single P4 factory making integrity response drones.

The command center being part of the mix is entirely optional.  I built another planet leaving the command center unlinked to any other buildings.

Links are based on a chain from Launchpad - factory - factory - storage; with other bits and pieces linking back to this.  I took this image just before shutting it down; to fix the problem described below;  If I had easy access to both P1, and 5 * zero % tax customs offices in low; I would put lots of these up.

Extraction to P1

My original plan was to have Extraction -> P1 planets, 3 * P1 -> P3 planets (above), and a miscellaneous manufacturing plant that had a P4, a few p3, and a serries of then a P1 -> P4; all running a weekly cycle.  I currently have 6 characters on 2 accounts (and see the day when I get a third account).

Now Extraction -> P1 works really well for a character that has command center upgrade 3 in wormhole space.  1 extractor head, feeding into 1 storage unit.  5 Basic factories pulling resources from the storage unit and in turn feeding 2 launchpads.  For the majority of planets this works.

The problem

The problem is that with 'only' 6 toons, each with 5 planets (Interplanetary Consolidation 4) I simply did not have enough planets to do the extraction, the required P1-> P2 factories, and the single P2-> P4 factory.

The 'farming' is fine; but it's a long way to the shops to pick up the extra bits and pieces.  So, off to re-design what I have done.

I like my rough and ready spreadsheets.  Normally I then export what I have completed to a google docs version so it is easy to share; but I am not quite there yet and it still is in excell format.  This spreadsheet has room for 36 extraction planets and about 40 toon/planet/factory combinations.  It then tells me what I have in surplus, and what I am short of.  Well it would if I entered the right data into it.

The current plan is a mix of extraction only planets, extraction + P1 -> P2 planets, and a final 'mix' planet that has a 6*P2-> 1*P4 chain; a 2*P2-> P3 chain and possibly a couple of P1 -> P2.

Extraction to P1 + P1 to P2

Instead I ended up with a lot of planets looking like this.  A single extractor control unit with 10 heads dumping into a storage unit; with a roughly 7 day extraction cycle.  5 Basic factories feed on the mats in the storage unit producing P1.  I import a complementary P1 and make P2 items with 3 factories.  One of the P2 factories feed off 1 launchpad, a second of the other; and the third gives and takes roughly half from each launchpad.

This has compromises.  I want to fit as many P2 factories on the planet as I can.  For every P2 factory, I need 2 P1 (or basic factories).  I can only fit so many factories with my CCU (command center upgrade) skill at 4.  So, I am left with enough P1 to fill 2.5 P2 factories.  On those few planets I can justify 6 P1 factories, I am restricted down to 1 P2 factory. 

So, I mix and match. Some planets import a little more; some export a little more. Some have no P2 at all

Sure, if I broke down and learned CCU 5, it would help, but 2 more months of training per account for marginal benefit seems better spent elsewhere at this point in time, and make do with what I have.

Split extraction and P1 production

Some planets, even in a wormhole, have less resources.  Both of these are taken from the one planet, centered on two hotspots.  Because I have 2 extractor control units, I can't feed my standard P2 factories.  Oh well, I was heavy on P2 and light on extraction.  The 6 head storage unit gets full quickly, and there is no planet based link between the two sets of buildings.  However, I have made sure I have 0% tax, so can happily use the customs office to easily transfer items between building sets.


Oh and as a final word; make double sure you have factories routed to storage/launchpads, and that the destination has room.  Far too often I have manufactured goods sending them straight into the void; losing not only finished goods but also the inputs material.

Monday 8 October 2012

Wormhole PI setup, part 1

We now have our perfect planetary interaction planets all with 0% tax.  Nothing personal against the owner of the customs office of that last planet, but we wanted 0% tax, and you were never on when I went looking.

The short term aim is to have 6 characters all with Command Center Upgrades 4, Interplanetary Consolidation 4, Planetology 2.  However, Command Center Upgrades 3 is enough to have useful extraction; and many of my characters only have that.  My factory planet characters all have Command Center Upgrades 4.  Nearly there.

It's a long way to the shops from here.  You also never really know where the shops will be.  As such, I am 'farming my own materials'. 

Normally I like to buy the cheap stuff, and process the expensive stuff.  Without easy, reliable access to cheap stuff, I will simply make what I want in here.  The opportunity cost of "buy cheap" and transport exceeds "make locally".  This might change when our wormhole becomes a net (volume) exporter.

Exporting to the best markets will be relatively easy.  At worst, it is haul product at the nearest hisec station, and set up a hauling contract to wherever.  We have a 'static' D382, meaning that it is easy to get to another random C2 system.  Many of those have highsec connections. Hauler services exist for when it is not convenient for us to haul to market; e.g. Red Frog.

Hauling to buy stuff from market is harder.  Often we have been organised, and bought items ahead of time. We consider a 10 jump trip to be short journey even if it is across 2 lowsec systems; and 30 jumps only moderately long.  Some things we will still buy from certain system; but even those of us that are used to buying at the best price are finding the opportunity cost 'expensive'. With the alternatives being
  • Close, cheap enough, buying now; or
  • 45 jumps, cheapest, buy orders, haul right now.
Buying now often trumps hauling long distances now.

And for those keeping track; it is Other players + Interbus 3 vs Us 8.

Thursday 4 October 2012

My act of aggression

I am ... unused to shooting at player stuff.

Our wormhole had mostly Interbus customs offices.

5 have now been replaced, with Interbus successfully defending on 3 occasions; sometimes 'calling in player re-inforcements' or something like that.

However, there are 2 different player corp owned customs offices in here; for corps that appear to be inactive. 

One is around a Barren planet; we have plenty of Barren worlds so this is not a problem; we will ignore this customs office for a while.

Once is around an Oceanic world; and that is a problem.  They are currently charging 5% tax; and if they are still active and paying attention, will have seen income.

While 5% tax is not a lot; I intend to be here for the long term.  I would rather have an upfront charge rather than an ongoing tax.

I could offer to buy the corporation out;  however you need to be in system to hand over rights.  It's a wormhole; and showing even an alt in a shuttle still gives them the ability to bookmark an entrance or tell 'friends' alts where to go in to re-take it.

I could negotiate very low tax, set up planets, and have them at a whim raise the tax.  I suppose that I would not be too badly done by with that.

However, the plan is to take it down; during 'our' peak time, and then allow the weekend for extra during the day time to crash it after re-inforcement.

Then, we will have "perfect PI", with 0% tax.

Monday 1 October 2012

My highsec/lowsec fix


Overview of proposed changes

  • SOS button calling for help.
  • Ship based strontium short duration invulnerabilty module.
  • Split Empire space into 4 levels of safety : High, Medium High, Medium Low, and Low security spaces.  (From my view, ideally it would just be sliding scale but baby steps first.)
    • High is very safe, newbie friendly but otherwise resource limited.
    • Medium high is nearly carebear safe, more resources but not enough.
    • Medium low is a risky for both pirate and carebear, has sufficient resources.
    • Low is pirate haven, plenty of resources.
  • Automated resource adjustment based on desirable population percentages.


I am a relative newcomer to the Eve scene.  I am not (yet) a good player.  I have seen discussion on how to fix the high/low security 'problems', which is probably has long history that I have not fully read.

Here are my 2 ISK.  A good thing that I don't pay by the word.  This is a wall of text. You have been warned.

I fly paper thin ships, and so far, have been pure industrialist.  I am definitely at least part carebear, however with largish kill(ed) log.

Gevlon is probably right about the way to make ISK; station trade and haul between hubs. 
I also agree with some of the old timers that there is too much difference in safety between hisec and low/null/wh.

I however wanted a game where I made stuff.  I was writing down my criteria :
  • A market based manufacturing game.
  • If I stuffed up I would lose stuff but be able to recover.
  • Get my risks right, and I would get my rewards.
  • Open ended or at least re-playable.

Then I released that I already could play Eve that way.

I started highsec PI, moved into lowsec PI, and now am moving into Wormhole PI.

I have little chance of defending against a dreadnought or worse; or against a super fleet going on a crusade.  However C2 wormholes are great. Designed for small groups, with the defenders able to create huge ships but visitors having difficulty.  Later, when I gain more skillpoints, ISK and a larger corporation, we can decide to move into C3 or higher class wormholes : greater risk for the potential of greater reward.

As an industrialist with this play style, I like systems like Niarja, choke points that have some danger;   I should be safe in there, but I care enough to pay attention; stuff up and I am dead.  But there should be more 'interesting' systems.

  • AFK farmers want a place to farm in safety.
  • Haulers want to haul in safety and want to be AFK
  • Manufacturers want facilities to make stuff
  • Pirates want targets
  • Highsec is too safe.  Carebears gather with almost all they need; pirates mostly avoid.
  • Lowsec is too dangerous.  Carebears avoid like the plague; pirates populate.  This means that carebears poking their nose in get it cut off very early, and very hard.

As a goal; More players out of entirely safe space, and into less safe space.  Make the transition safe to not  a graduated slope rather than a binary toggle.  Allow newbies safety, but restrict entirely safe resources; making more resources available in more dangerous areas.

The future as I would design it:
  • better defenses for at keyboard players especially in t1 industrial/miners, 
  • lesser defenses for afk industrial/miners, 
  • and medium zones where the all powerful forces might show up.
  • ????
  • leading to fights for pvp'ers, 

Some of these options may already exist, and I may be unaware of them.  This is also a discussion piece; numbers are merely for discussion.

General items

SOS button

  • All ships get an 'SOS' button, providing a 'warp to me' bookmark to selected parties. 
  • Allow users to chose what channels the SOS message/bookmarks are sent to.  By default : (NPC view only) Concord, (NPC view only) Faction's police (according to standings), Corp, Alliance, Fleet, Local. (local is a two edged sword - probably ok in high, but questionable in lower security spaces)
  • Get a confirmation warning if you issue an 'SOS' but are not under attack. 
  • If you 'call the cops', and the cops don't like you, they are just as likely to shoot you as well. 
  • Yes, you could 'SOS' in local, even as a scammer.
  • 'SOS' calls would have an exponentially increasing delay between available calls: 15 seconds; 30 seconds; 60 seconds; 2 minutes; 4 minutes etc.  (If you get past 4 minutes then the chances are you don't need it anyway.  The only fights I have been in lasting more than 2 minutes are Customs Office bashes).
  • 'SOS' that is sent to concord or the faction's police has an ISK cost; starting as a on default insurance for your ship; doubling each time it is invoked.   As a side note; the better your ship's insurance class, the more likely your insurer (concord) is to turn up.
  • After a suitable delay (maybe the agression timer's delay?) the increased time/costs disapate.
  • Gate guns hit a little harder for each in range 'SOS'.

A ship based strontium module

  • an activated high slot module
  • An at keyboard ability providing 2 minutes of invulnerability, all lock are broken. 
  • While this module is up, you are entirely incapable. (shoot, align, jump etc). 
  • When you come out of your invulnerability; for 60 seconds you are still incapable; your capacitor and shields are both at zero. 
  • Maybe some or all your modules are put offline.  You really are vulnerable after coming out of this shielding.
  • This is a 'delay the inevitable' and pray the cavalry come (spamming your 'SOS' button as often as you can).  For some, it will also increase the "OMFG ****" moment
  • The invulnerability/recovery could be security status based.  3 minutes of invulnerability in 1.0; 5 seconds of invulnerability in -1.0.


Agents should know about supply and demand.  If they have thousands of players doing their missions, they should drop the prices they pay.  If they have gone weeks without someone doing their missions; they should be desperate and pay accordingly.  This would apply to ISK, research and Loyalty points.


In general NPC manufacturing and research spots should be subject to the same demand based costs as offices.  e.g. mostly empty factories are cheap, mostly full factories are very very expensive.  This should be somewhat offset by standing.

High security

First of all, only 1.0 and 0.9 spaces should be 'high security'.  They should include any area that a starter character is likely to be (I think they do, but it is worth checking).  Concord is still all powerful, near instantaneous and deadly.

  • High security space should have all types of basic facilites. 
  • Plentiful but small asteroids.
  • Clones upgrades, but only up to a certain point (maybe 6 months of training?)
  • Insurance on cheap ships only; T1, Meta 0 ships?  The kinds of ships given out in the tutorials.
  • Manufacture/Research slots?  Plentiful but only for short jobs.  Exponential delay as you submit more jobs in any given time frame.  That is, you should be able to do your tutorial missions, and get an easy feel for researching low end BPO's, and generally learn stuff, but serious industrialists doing large jobs should look elsewhere.

Medium high security

This would be 0.8 to 0.6 space.

When you are attacked, powerful NPC has a chance to show up. If you are afk, it will be when they get around to it.  The are far more likely to show up to investiage an SOS or a podkill.  Sometimes this will be all powerful concord.  Sometimes it will be mostly powerful faction.  A faction that is winning at faction war would have more powerful ships than a faction that is loosing.  (i.e. industrialists, you want your faction to have dominance).  Rather than simply time for powerful NPC to show up depend on security, it is also chance of powerful NPC to show up. 

For arguments sake, based on security status 70% in 0.7 space, to 50% in 0.5 space per 'SOS' issued.  1/2 of that for ships attacked but no SOS issued.  Concord/Factions are also more like to show up for high security/standing pilots.

  • Clones, insurance, per existing mechanics
  • Manufacture/research slots should be in demand; many slots, maybe only 1/2 of that required to fulfill player demand.

Medium low security

This would be 0.5 to 0.3 space.

Concord never goes here, but does pay attention (i.e. security standings)

There should be sufficient NPC Manufacture/Research slots to fulfill the player demand in here.  Maybe ME research is still limited, and you may have to go looking for slots as your station is

Well written faction AI's conduct roams of constellations.  These should respond within the same constellation for SOS calls.  They should be powerful but defeatable by a moderate sized gang.  The status of these roams should be determined by agents with the finder service.  Strength based on current faction war status.  They respond 1/2 as often as they do in medium high securty space (say 20% to 10% of the time).  If they are defeated, then new agent missions to bring in parts for them to be re-built are spawned.  Agent missions might also boost the strength of the NPC roams.

Low security

This would be the 0.1-0.2 space; at least all border worlds to null should have a 0.1 system.

NPC Faction roams dont normally go here.  They might be have a small chance to respond to an SOS, and they might perform a weekly sweep if it had high Faction War control.

Even more factories, ore, PI and possibly even surplus ME research slots.


I would also like populations to be self balancing; with a spread of population across the different high/low security statuses, with a bell curve centering slightly favouring medium high security.  I am an industralist after all; Pirates would prefer more population in medium low security space.

Every downtime; take a snapshot of that day's activity. 
  • Too many PVE hours played in high security system?  1% Less respawning of asteroids or asteroid size; 1% of NPC manufacturing/research slots taken offline for 'renovations/repairs', PI extraction etc.
  • Too few PVE hours played in another system?  1% More respawning of asteroids or asteroid size; 1% of NPC manufacturing/research slots put back online after 'renovations/repairs', more PI extraction etc.
  • Too many PVE players ganked in Medium High or Medium Low; 1% buff to faction NPC roams (probably in the respawn times or chances of an extra ship or ship class, or fit).
  • Too many PVP players 'counter-ganked' and not enough PVE players being ganked; 1% nerf to faction NPC roams.

As a possible later change: systems where factions can not control their space (i.e. lots of npc faction roam deaths) would drop in security status;  systems where factions easily control their space would rise in security status.

In Summary

The above changes would be very disruptive; with the automatic balancing, with would continue to be disruptive.  Effort, choices, risk/reward would regularly need to be evaluated.  I also would expect this to push many players further way from Jita.

Players will flock to the perceived best reward for effort, according to their (often unstated) risk profile.
There are Eve players that require :
  • "risk free" gameplay;  This model allows safe gameplay to continue, but encourages resource shortages in safe areas.
  • the best reward; they will have a slow but continuous pressure to move down the security statuses, but have some safety to do so.
  • ships to shoot at; with more rewards being in less safe areas; there should be more targets. 

Thursday 27 September 2012

Fuel blocks - my introduction to manufacture

Fuel blocks are relatively large, uninspiring, and needed by owners of towers everywhere.  You can't put up a player owned station in the highest of highsec, it needs to be in a system 0.7 or lower.

Many tower owners make their own; some haul from a trade center; and some are sufficiently busy that they want to buy local.  To keep the lights on (or the shield up), every small player owned structure (POS) you see need 10 blocks per hour; every medium 20, every large lower 40.  So every large tower is (in round numbers) 30,000 / month (assuming I have done my maths right).

They are a great introduction to manufacturing.  A low entry cost, I have found perfect material efficiency blueprints available via contract for 20M (or find someone to research one for you - it should be cheaper).  They are profitable to make.

I have been making ISK not just from selling expensive product, but also from buying cheap.

I use to work out where to both buy and sell items.

First of all you need:
  • A blueprint.  Ideally these will be researched to 40 Material Efficiency.  You can buy both researched Blueprint originals and blueprint copies.  Alternatively if you have access to a material efficiency research slot (most likely a Player owned station), NPC Thukker Mix stations sell the original blueprints.  I like my BPO's (blue print originals) in highsec for the larger run sizes, but copies into our wormhole.
  • Some production skills and production efficiency skills.  I don't like learning level 5 skills unless they unlock later skills, but have just finished production efficiency 5 just for these blueprints.
  • A place to build your product.  I chose an NPC station, close to low security systems, and a null security pipeline and out of the major trade hubs regions.
  • A big transport ship.  I get by on my Iteron Mark V with cargo extension rigs and extended cargo holds, full of giant secure containers (about 49k m3); but it is a compromise.  I see a freighter in my future, and sometimes hire them for haulage.  The cargo is bulky, but the Iteron Mark V's walls are thin (nothing to see here, move along, don't target me, arrgh quick run away, dock, rename ship and swap alts for an hour or 2).  I have not lost a single ship for this, but have often been targeted, generally on my way into Niarja.
 Rather than list all the components (which you can see on your blueprint), I have categorised them as:
  • A 'racial isotope' (eg hydrogen isotope), farmed from mining ice products in the correct regions of space then refining.  Roughly 40% of your costs.  Look at prices around the faction's region, including major trade hubs.
  • Other ice products farmed from ice anywhere then refined; (except wormholes.  No ice in wormholes.  Nerf ice mining in known space!). Roughly 15% of your costs.  No real pattern about where I buy these; but hardly ever in Jita.
  • Planetary Interaction components.  I buy these away from the major trade hubs. Roughly 45% in costs.  I buy these away from the major trade hub districts (though often Rens has good prices).
I mentioned it before; but I will again.  Use an out of game tool like Eve Central (there are others) to work out what where you are buying.  Limit your search to regions you are prepared to buy from (empire regions for me), and you can exclude order sizes below what you are prepared to look at.  If I need 200,000 units of a racial isotope, then I will not bother with a 100 unit sell order even if it is really cheap.

Each of the racial towers have their advantages, and to be honest, I am not really sure what they are.  That's OK, what I do know is that there is demand for out of region fuel blocks, and buyers are willing to pay a premium for that fuel.  In Jita for Caldari fuel blocks, margins might be paper thin, but margins of the other fuel blocks are often much more.  In Hek, margins for Ammar fuel blocks were about 25%.  Off the beaten tracks, my margins are about 40% (with admittedly slower sales).

An obvious alternative to manufacturing the fuel blocks is simply to transport input materials and/or finished fuel blocks.  As a number pulled out of the air, my current profit is 70% of the profit is transportation of either material or fuel blocks from high supply stations to low supply regions; with the remaining 30% coming from manufacture.

Stockpiling mats for a few runs would also be a good idea that I am currently failing at. I have another distraction that is costing me ISK; Interbus 3, Foo Holdings 3.  It appears that some some gangs are grinding Interbus standing (what else could it possibly be?)

As an introduction to manufacture, or even for a haulage business; fuel blocks are a great start.