Wednesday 25 April 2012

Optimised distribution missions

I am currently doing trading missions - for the 'Standing' rather than for the ISK.  Standing affects the taxation of (at least) refining ore.  I currently see a lot of refining ore in my future (buying raw ore and selling minerals), so I want my standing to be 6.67 (I think) in those stations I refine in.  So I have a bit of grinding to go. ISK is always useful, but at the moment a secondary goal.

At the moment I have exactly one usable L3 Agent (there is a second - about 2 regions away), and a large number of L2 Agents.

Conventional wisdom states that multiple chained missions is better than single missions.  I assume that mixing the single L3 mission with multiple L2 missions is desirable.  This makes sense to me, as a large part of the time is waiting for a warp or jump to complete, and you want to minimise the number of jumps/mission. This type of routing - is in effect a traveling salesman problem and is technically hard (really - go look at that last link).

So I have a goal.  Centered around my single usable L3 distribution agent, I want to pick up as many L2 & L3 distribution missions and complete them with as few jumps as possible.  Doing the routing for this is easy if you only have 2 or 3 stops - but gets tricky when you get past that.  I also have a solution; using and a second window.  I am also disregarding mission bonuses - they will be nice when I get them, but I would rather complete another mission for standing and ISK than get the ISK bonus alone.

  • In my home system, My particular L3 agent is in a system with 2 other L2 agents.  I pick up the 2 L2 missions and the L3 mission.  If they are in the same system, I complete them and get a new mission again.
  • I enter my start system, and the (generally 3) destination systems into the route planner at and "Optimize" the route.  This shows me:
    • A map of where I am going
    • The number of recent reported kills & number of reported jumps.
    • A proposed minimum number of jumps.
  • I keep open my Agent finder (I made a shortcut to it so I can bring it up easily), setting Agent Type to Distribution (the type of mission I want to run, and security status to high (I dont have a ship or the skills for lowsec) and my faction set (to keep my refresh time down), and finally my Agent Level (currently 2; home to improve this soon) so I can see the desirable agents.
  • If there are any desirable agents in my current system, I stop there and get the missions, adding their destinations to my route and "Optimize" again.  I will currently decline a mission if it takes me through lowsec, or if it takes me beyond my arbitrary maximum distance from my 'home' system.
  • If I am passing by my 'home' system and I don't have my L3 mission, I will pick up it up (not sure if I should, but seems a good idea)
  • Then I generally go to the next system dotlan suggested; delivering and collecting from stop to stop.
Others have suggested starting at the end of a chain of systems, to assist with routing; and I think to maximise mission bonuses.  I suggest that if you have multiple monitors and are looking to chain missions, the above allows you to use an appropriate tool to the 'hard' routing - re-optimising after each piece of new information; leaving you to do the simple tasks of jump; dock; complete mission; accept mission and put cargo into your ship.  (You could never make a mistake with something as simple as putting cargo in your hold. Honest)

Add systems and Optimize or Go

Where am I going and how dangerous is it?
And a generated map with highlights.  Click to expand.

Saturday 21 April 2012

A modest trader

To some, trading for profit comes easy.  10 Billion ISK in 2 months is impressive. For me, less so.  In just over a month, I now have a (not so) grand total of 20M ISK in sell orders; 24M ISK  in escrow for buy orders.  And very little cash on hand.

I have spent a couple of evenings AFK mining (flying to an asteroid belt - start mining and go to bed) - and I did do most of the initial tutorial missions (before they timed out on me), but the rest is pure trading.

As an excuse, I also have very disjointed game time at the moment.  Friday nights I spend WoW raiding.  Real life is distracting.  But these are excuses; I have not achieved what I set out to.

What has worked :
  • Buy orders on the starter rewards, with buy orders covering where the mission rewards are given.  There is a list of starter rewards and where starter capsuleer mission locations at and other websites.
    • Sell the skill books
    • Resell items used in tutorials
    • Reprocessing (recycling) the rest
  • Buy orders for Veldspar; setting the buy order as wide as I can.
  • Market sell orders for Veldspar; at first I scattered my selling; and found some systems that worked really well. Now, I just look for systems with high buy orders, and systems that need Veldspar for starer ore. 

What hasn't worked:
  • Expecting to be able to sell all things in every system.  This isn't WoW with a single linked auction house per faction; but a series of Markets - visible to each other within the same region; but not even visible outside of that region.  Some out of the way market that has no skill-books in it probably also has no buyers for over market skill-books either.
  • Being dis-organised.   In WoW, I can be slack; I know my markets and how they move.  Not so in Eve.
  • Tying up all your resources with non-productive auctions.  This includes both ISK and a very limited number of auctions.
I still don't know everything that reprocesses at a profit; but Eve-MEEP has a nice reprocessing tool, as well as keeping track of your current auctions; and EveMON highlights what orders completed.

Sunday 8 April 2012

AFK mining

I don't intend to bot; and I don't intend to actively mine.

However, AFK mining is both within the game rules, and a good use of time that I am not otherwise doing things inside Eve.  There is nothing 'new' in AFK mining for experienced players, but newbies may be interested for the relatively easy source of ISK.

I don't intend to activly mine, but my PC is available when I am not.  Gallente at least get an Industrial ship as part of their starter missions - the Iteron.  I have (so far) trained this to level 3, on my way to level 5. 

In order to take advantate of larger space for cargo, I bought the (as far as I know) best Industrial ship I can - the Iteron III; equiping it with High : Miner I, Core Probe Launcher I; Mid : Survey Scanner I, Small Hull Repairer I, Small Sheild Booster I; and Low : 3x Expanded Cargohold I.

I don't intend to keep this ship long; so have not fitted any rigs (everything else I can strip and re-use/sell/crush later).  However, I feel (in wow terms) "ungemmed and unechanted" by doing so.  The Miner, Scanner (to help decide which asteroid to mine), and Cargo hold extenders are useful, the rest are there in case I need them.  I will most likely resell this ship later.

Systems with security of 0.9 or 1.0 dont get NPC pirates (but could get player pirates), so it is comparitively safe (insurance may be recommended).

Some of the Ore I have either bought or mined,  I have reprocessed.  Others I have sold as is.  Largely the determination is on whether I can get a better sale price of the procssed mats or the unprocessed ore; using the the calculator at

For the effort of jumping to a suitable system, starting mining and going AFK (when I would have gone AFK anyway), it brings acceptible returns for a newbie.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Those starter missions

This is for the newbies out there.

You first get a set of Aura starter missions.  They are easy - and the advice you are given is almost always accurate (one exception that still peeves me - I was asked to fit something I simply don't have the skill - or the skillbook for).  Take your time - no rush.

After you finish the Aura missions, do the trivially harder starter missions.  Good ISK for a newbie.  However, put aside a block of time and do all the missions for a trainer.

On my first two toons - and you get three; I let one expire.  On the second toon - I let two expire.  You can finish them in quick time; but I am playing eve very sporadially - Do a mission - walk away.  Come back & buy stuff then walk away; Sell stuff - and post WoW auctions.

You can probably do several sets of the starter missions in an hour.  However, don't leave one hanging part way through while you work on a second.  Dont even talk to a second specialist starter if you don't think you have an hour to spend clearing them - save them for later.

That way you get the goodies at the end of the trainer missions.