Saturday 28 December 2013

Why invite pilots to your corporation?

Gevlon asked why he should invite other pilots to his corporation. I suspect there is also an element of asking why should he endorse others inviting pilots to other corporations.

In essence, there is a "large POS" fuel bill to be paid, of roughly 500m/month.  This bill is the same whether covered by 1 pilot or 7.  Why not allow others to pay your fuel bill for you? 

Pilots will pay for division rental and POS research slots (especially ME and copy slots).  Pilots that have a safe home will often take advantage of PI, and pay additional taxes.  Depending on the month, this ranges between 400M and 600M for a Foo corporation. 

I am sympathetic to Gevlon's question.  Inviting a pilot to your corporation is to trust them to a degree. In Eve, trust is not a desirable attribute.  At no times more undesirable than when you are under a wardec, and it is not merely (protective) paranoia making you think someone is out to get you.

No one needs to be in the same corp to run missions, mine, haul.  These are all roles done very easily out of corporation.  Today, I ran some wormhole anomalies, with 3 different corps involved.  It made zero difference what corp we were in, especially with mobile depots to refit.

What a corp does give, is the ability to use facilities in a POS.  These facilities are valuable to players, and those players are willing to spend ISK to use them.  We charge per division (manually), for research slots (game mechanic), and for PI tax (mix of manual and game mechanic); with the goal of ending up in front of costs, with a small margin.   We don't charge for simply being in corp and using bookmarks, SMA's to refit and PHA's; though these are also valuable services.

POS permissions are not easy to understand, but we have used them to good effect; and prevented a known theft/awox attempt from taking anything of value (and they ended up taking nothing because they didn't want a couple of industrial ships).  Better POS permissions would allow me to grow the Foo corps size rather than the number of Foo corporations, but we take what we are given, and do the best we can with it.

In a 1 player corp, the player has to bear the entire cost of running the POS by themselves.  For some that is trivial.  For others it is a huge 'tax' on their activities.  They might be trying to plex 1 or 2 accounts, and the cost of the fuel is 30% to 50% of their income.

There are other ways to subsidise this cost. I did try reactions using gas that other corp members farmed and I bought.  I ended up shutting this down due to lack of profit.  It however can go some way towards paying for some of your fuel bill. 

Many corps use a wormhole buying program, so that those with 'moving things' skills can do that, while others who prefer other activities can do so.  While this does not need to be done in a corp POS using divisions, it is more convenient and more secure to move large items directly into secure storage, especially as this can be done while one player is offline.  Such services can be charged for, and the Foo corps charge a small margin on this.

Due to wardecs, the Foo corps are not currently recruiting. F2P is another industry minded alliance that I have relations with that are recruiting (in game channel F2P).  However, if you are willing to set up your corp in a similar manner to ours (preferably without the wardec) and want some assistance or advice, please either evemail Dotoo Foo or drop into the "FooPub" channel.

Thursday 26 December 2013

How to transfer a Mobile Depot in deep space

Scenario #1; So called organised pilot brings in different guns and Mobile Depot for different pilot on a dead POS bash, and a mobile lab. So called organised pilot can not work out how to give different pilot the mobile depot.  Both give up and refit at POS.

Scenario #2; So called organised pilot brings in a cloaky transport and a frigate on 2 different pilots (one of them with lots of T2 skills), intending to swap into bigger ships held by a different corp.  I have a pilot with access to the SMA, one pilot with depots and can fly a cloaky ship, and one pilot that can fit the modules but not the cloaky ship.  The challenge is to get the modules out of the cloaky hauler and fit to the big combat boat.

Mobile depots are wonderful things for wormhole space day trippers.  The ability to refit without needing an orca, put up a POS & SMA, or head back to NPC space is wonderful.  To use one, the pilot in question must deploy and not corporation.

We know is where you can not launch them from the in game description : May not be deployed within 6km of another Mobile Depot, within 50km of Stargates or Stations, or within 40km of a Starbase.

They also take a minute to deploy.

What you might not know is that they are a Plank Container.  This means no jet canning.  This starts to make it difficult to deploy for additional pilot without some thinking.

They can not be scooped by another pilot even if launched but not anchored.

The methods that can be used to swap a depot.
  • A station, whether by trade or contract. 
  • A POS, where both pilots are in corp and have access to a common division
  • An Orca in space, deep space transport, carrier, or Nestor (edit 27 Apr 2016)
  • Ship swapping.  
If I have access to the first 3, the chances are that I don't need a mobile depot.

Ship swapping takes 2 forms.

The first method is :
  • Pilot 1 (with depot) and pilot 2 (wanting depot) eject into pods,
  • Pilot 2 boards ship with depot, deploys and anchors where they want, and ejects,
  • Both pilots board their respective ships.  
This works where both pilots can fly the ship that has the depot in it.  However, in my most recent case the depots were in a cloaky hauler, and only one pilot could fly it.

So the second method is
  • Pilot 1 (with depot) launches depot and ejects.
  • Pilot 2 (wanting depot) takes a ship that both pilots can fly to the lauched depot and ejects
  • Pilot 1 boards the commonly flown ship, recovers depot, and ejects
  • Both pilots board their own ships.
  • Pilot 2 deploys and anchors depot where they want. 
So, now I have a method of getting a depot from pilot and giving it to another

Monday 23 December 2013

The alternative newbie wormhole experience

Another blogger has a grand idea on how to set up in wormholes for new corporations.  What I like is the defence force.  What I don't like is that such a defence force is currently lacking the backing to make it happen.  It seems a very expensive plan.

For the last 2 weeks the Foo corps have not been recruiting, as we been under wardec.  Now a highsec wardec is not much of an issue for existing wormhole players.  We do our PI and sites with a certain level of paranoia, as it is wormhole space and there are cloaks everywhere.  What a highsec wardec does mean is that we potentially have pilots actively trying to access our 'special secrets', namely our wormhole entrances.  Then a stupid CEO logs out in the entrance highsec system and can be found with locator agents.  Such a stupid CEO might just share the same surname with this blog.

For those players looking to set up something similar to what we are running, the costs are roughly as follows:

  • 300M for a bookmark to an empty system  (
  • 1B for a large tower and fittings
  • 1B for customs office gantries and upgrades
  • 500M/month for fuel
For the large tower fittings you will want:
  • 1 Personal Hanger Array.  This provides a small amount of secure storage to pilots, for sleeper loot, ammo, fittings.
  • 1 Large Ship Assembly array (or X-large, probably does not matter either way: they hold the same volume). This provides bulk 'secure' storage to 7 players (i.e. one or more pilot/player)
  • 1 SMA that is online for holding ships and refitting.
  • Optionally a second off-line SMA, requiring elevated privileges containing defence ships, a large industrial with spare guns and fittings, and a hoarder with spare ammo.  Advantages are that it is secure storage.  Disadvantage that is makes your POS look 'expensively full of loot'.  According to my tests on duality, this SMA can be onlined even if the POS is re-inforced, and new guns (not missiles) can be onlined and restocked.
  • Optionally 1 Mobile Laboratory and/or Advanced Mobile Laboratory charging 10K/hour for ME and Copy slots.
  • Guns and hardeners to suit.  Look at and . Have at least sufficient guns so that even if the POS is re-inforced, you can use your entire powergrid on newly onlined guns.  Consider even more guns that this.
The divisions in the SMA can be hired out for those doing large amounts of PI and mining, plus those looking to store expensive ships securely.  Somewhere in the vicinity of 50-100M / month is reasonable.

You will probably want to own your own customs offices. On a structure bash; you can never have too much DPS.  They are boring.  At 700 DPS, a pos bash is an all night affair.  At 3000 DPS it is a couple of hours. At 5000 DPS, it is 'short work'.  Consider the merits of taking the time to roll wormholes vs the time lost by leaving a scout on the wormhole.  This is a challenge for a couple of newbie pilots.  3 afk cruisers (vexors or coercers) with drone and laser dps can do the job, albeit with a certain risk of ending up in highsec with a replacement

In 2 of our 3 wormholes, we blew up the existing customs offices, and replace them with our own.  In the third wormhole, we purchased the POCO's in place from a corp that we thought was 'zombie' but had a 'low profile' approach.  It was so low profile we thought that it was abandoned and moved in.  We paid a little over the replacement price for the Poco's, but did not need to spend the time to bash them down.

POCO tax can be set wherever you want it.  As a simple option, roughly 5% tax is considered OK by most pilots.  You can have a lot more tax flexibility if the corp that owns the poco's is not the corp with the pilots.

In terms of defence, having big friends is useful.  Gevlon found Noir to be good hired friends.  He also found that his dread was a trouble magnet.  I previously found Daktaklakpak. a wormhole PVP corp looking for something to kill to be valuable.  A large POS and a small wormhole are a daunting proposition.  Gevlon's fleet took 4 hours with a dread.  Not many pilots are willing to devote a 1B ship to evict another pilot on the off chance that they might have something worth looting.  If you ever do have a hostile dread attacking in a low end wormhole, advertise it.

Having ships set up to fight at a moment's notice is also needed.  Having ships to escape a blockade (covops frigates and haulers, interceptors) should be considered high on your todo list.

You must be able to 'eat' ship losses; they are a fact of life.  Sometimes you will be the cause of other pilots losing their ships.  Bashes of properly set up POS with fuel happen far less often.

The thing I most dislike about Gevlon's plan for wormholes, is that "replacement tanking" is cheaper.  We are in our wormholes for the long term.  I would replace my entire infrastructure several times over by not paying his rates.  We are however interested in mercenaries to defend us when there are significant fights to be had, and are willing to enter into 'mutual invite' best intention groups.

The single biggest risk for any wormhole corp is having a CEO that is prepared to worry about logistics and keeping the POS fuelled.  This a far bigger risk than setting up an undersized POS, or hostile fleets or awoxing.  I have seen corps suffer due to invasion. I have personally seen more corps die to lack of fuel.

The Foo style of wormhole corp does rely on a moderate level of trust, but certainly not excessive.  It certainly seems more reliable than trusting that highsec customs offices will have a reliably accessible customs office with a reasonable tax rate.

If you would like advice on how to set up the same style of corp that we have, please contact me; either on this blog as a comment or in game (DoToo Foo).

Monday 16 December 2013

PI one month into Rubicon

I knew that Rubicon would change pricing.  There was a strong possibility of more highsec manufacture concentrated on a few planets, and the masses might withdraw from extraction.

Before Rubicon, Bacteria, and Biofuels were on our 'always import' lists, at a cost of roughly 80 isk/unit.  Most items made from Bacteria were worth manufacturing.

Bacteria pricing month to 15 Dec 2013
Since Rubicon, that has changed.  Bacteria are now in the top 5 of the 15 PI mats, and very worth considering to extract.

I have a spreadsheet, with prices based on eve central. Please feel free to make your own copies of this and tweak it.  It has several pages of interest.
  • Prices
  • Manufacture. This assumes a pure import/export. POCO tax rate is set at B1 and is set to our corp's default tax rate.
  • MakeImport . This page assumes you are extracting 1 P1 item, and pairing it with imported materials.
It is influenced by and based in part on Wkye Mossari's PI spreadsheet.  I do not know if he has one updated with Rubicon prices (I went looking and could not find it).

As shown on the MakeImport page on the spreadsheet, even if I turn tax of entirely if you are extracting and initially manufacturing Bacteria, consider stopping at bacteria unless you are making Test Cultures.  Even then, the last time I remember making test cultures, it was very easy to saturate the market.

Tax Rate0%

Bacteria BasedLevelAve Sell%EarningsEarnings Per UnitImportUnit2ImportAmt2
Nanites P26,027.06-2%-123.22Reactive Metals 40
Viral Agent P26,663.81-14%-905.05Biomass 40
Fertilizer P26,924.02-4%-297.22Proteins 40
Test Cultures P28,080.6626%2,083.06Water40

I can only guess as to the future of customs offices; PVP corps seem more interested in muscling in on Industrialist's customs offices than actually owning any; with the possible (and somewhat bizzare) exception of the (previous?) Goon and RVB alliance.

What I do know is that some of us are overproducing some items and actively destroying value.  I include myself in 'us'; or at least I was until I produced this spreadsheet.

I don't like to tell players what to make.  Your circumstances are not mine.  Numbers come out different depending on what space you are in, your tax rate and whether you are doing daily resets or fortnightly resets or anything in between.

What I can recommend is having another look at your planets.  At the risk of mentioning PI 101, re-consider :
  • Your planet/customs office selection
  • How much you can extract of each raw resource.
  • Your tax rate and prices of P1
  • Manufacturing to improve the value at each step

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Shooting red crosses

Eve is a game where you shoot spaceships; or so they tell me.  So far, it has not been my Eve.

I have done my share of 'total damage done'; just on various customs offices that don't shoot back in and of themselves, but I can assure you they do get re-inforcements - even the NPC ones.

I still get alarmed whenever I hear the chirping of a ship locking;  Even when that ship is mine and I am targeting a customs office.

Ok alarmed is an understatement.  During our last bash; I had a rookie ship/empty clone sitting on a lowsec exit, and we had an activation.  I got the shakes so bad I was nearly unable to use the mouse.  Unwarranted; we had sufficient control of the situation, and with a little effort probably had control of the incoming ships.

It is time to fix this; we have a C4 with sites that are underutilized. Lets start there, and deal with the inevitable PVP that brings.  Step 1.  Take the ship training I have done so far for structure bashes and turn it into something capable of doing C4's.

Now the last time I remember shooting red crosses was back in February for those sisters and their epic arc.  According to my notes, the only thing I could not do in an algos was blow up one of the structures.

So.  I have a couple of pilots with reasonable Dominix skills; that is reasonable drone and Gallente Battleships.  One pilot might even be considered good, with several relevant skills at 5.

I know better than to just tackle a c4 combat site using my previous SOE epic arc easy mode missions as a basis.

Do some research on what might make a reasonable domi fit; and find

One of my pilots can fly this with the T2 fit; the paired pilot can not yet. mmm.  However another corp member wants to run these sites with me; so we are looking at running 4 of these ships, most with T1 (meta as appropriate) to start with.  With 4 domis, the things I am worried about is drone control range and will I know what I am doing?

We start off in highsec running L4 missions with 4 Domis to get a feel for both fleet work and to get me used to shooting red crosses; something that should be a small challenge, but still baby steps.

The first time we went out ..., it was a good thing we were overpowered for the mission.

Eve's default overview for running around customs offices is fine; remove the moons; order by range. Plenty of space for what an industrial needs.

When you turn up at a combat L4 site, with collidable structures, drones, where are the hostile ships? Remove collidable objects from overview; remove this, remove that.  Must lock friendlies to do RR, must lock hostiles to shoot.  Must drop drones, on all pilots.  Must ensure all pilots drones are shooting.  Oh, running out of cap ...Arrgh.  Ok .. We survived; but was messy.

Ok.  How do I set my overview up better?  I thought mine was good enough; it was not.  sarahs-overview-pack rel 030 to the rescue.  Make sure one tab has friendlies to enable targeting for remote reps.  Make sure you know how to see drones when you want to.

We go out a few more times; and run a few more sites; and I finally think I might have a clue.  I still have problems locking up friendlies for chains and then the mobs in a timely manner.  (I am told later that I need to target hostiles to shed invulnerability - that will save a few seconds of setup).

We finally get to having the missions be routine; warp in; drop light drones and take out frigates; recall and swap to sentries, and blap away.  I am incapable of dual boxing and hitting the same targets so ... drone assist and try a gun.  Large gun.  Blapping NPC's with a cycle; wait even longer for gun to cycle. Mmmm.

I am told that a civilian gun works well.  Really?  No.  I just can't do it.  A target painter on the other hand seems reasonable.

Ok, so I head out another night, this time by myself; and finish off a few more missions.  Good, that worked, now becoming routine.  Tweak my setup a little, not much.  One last mission.  The Assault.

Uggh.  So much damage.  I have my Domi's fit how I thought I would run the C4 sites; so a non-optimal hardener.  And webs.  Webs, more webs.  I finally clear off a set, warp away and repair; warp back.

More Webs.

More Battleships.

More Damage.

Shields Gone.

Armor gone; still webbed.

Hull Gone. Still webbed.  Sigh.  I think this is where I am meant to say I didnt want that Domi anyway.  Its not true.  I wanted it very much; if only to convince myself I am ready for c4 sites.

Warp alt away.  Reship and refit.  Go and do some industry.

I organise for a friendly logi to go finish the mission off later.  He actually has run enough L4's to be bored with them. We head back in.  He repairs me.  I need it.  We finally break the incoming damage with my lead ship on 30% armor.  It has also helped that the NPC's swapped some damage to my second ship; meaning I can use all the repairers I have.  I think I pulled every ship in the room.

The remaining rooms are a piece of cake.

Lessons learned; 
  • Highsec is dangerous space.  Apparently I don't need to worry about pulling additional mobs in our C4.
  • Read before the next L4 mission.  Don't pull every ship; at least not at once.
  • A few more % on capacitor regen on my second pilot will be very worth it.
  • I am also short on drone control range on my second pilot; I need to fix this.