Monday 29 December 2014

PI Spreadsheet working again

I use a google doc's spreadsheet for tracking PI prices, and what I should or should not be making.

My biggest personal need is to set prices for our in-wormhole PI buying program.

Google Docs spreadsheets have been upgraded lately, and importxml, which is the basis of how I have been pulling prices from eve-central is broken.  So my old PI spreadsheet, as well as the one Wyke Mossari are now both also broken.

However Steve Ronuken came to the rescue with some google docs scripts.  I have tweaked them to my desires and now have my new version.

Not only can I import data from Eve Central again, it is much faster, and I can now combine my buy and sell spreadsheets.

The spreadsheet is at

You are welcome to make your own copy and tweak.

Main Tab

Main Tab

The first 'Main' tab lists the PI products, what level they are, and max buy/min sell prices from Eve Central for several systems. It also includes a few other items for POS fuel and WH gas clouds.

Columns P and Q have the average prices from Jita, Amarr, Dodixie and Hek.

If you make your own copy, you can change the system names in row 2 and everything else will work.

Make Import Tab

Make Import Tab

This tab assumes you have one PI item being manufactured, on planet and you are looking for something to pair it with.  The Earnings% column is a quick guide, colour coded.  Red is a loss; white, yellow, green in that order show what is worth making.  If you are color blind you are welcome to just use % values (or make a copy and colour it to your liking)

All values try to take into account the effects of import and export taxes, assuming you are making the value of 'Manufacture 1' on planet.

The tax rate by default is 4%, which is the standard in Foo corps.

Manufacture Tab

This tab assumes you have a pure factory planet, importing everything.  This also uses the tax rate from the Make Import Tab.

SelectedTypes Tab

This contains the Eve TypeId's, item names and a grouping code.  The TypeId's can be determined from various sources.

If you make a copy of the spreadsheet and change a TypeId then it will be reflected on the main tab.  At the moment the Items are hard coded.

If you have a specific item you want to find the type id, look for it's price on eve-central.  Eg search for Tritanium on there, and you will get as the URL.  This URL tells you that the typeid for Tritanium is 34

Various websites contain the static data from eve, including

Buying Tab

This tab is what I use to run my wormhole buying program.  It will occasionally (often?) be filtered to the products that I have most recently purchased from someone.

Credits and License tab

This tab is where I have various credits to where I have used other people's work.

Caveat Emptor

I have taken some care, but take no responsibility for any ISK you may earn or lose as a result of using this spreadsheet

PS. Steve has also set up his own version of the PI manufacture calculator at

PPS.  To see the scripts used by my spreadsheet above, make a copy of the google doc spreadsheet, and  use Tools -> Script Editor.

Monday 22 December 2014

Creating a null trade hub

I have been quieter than normal the last little while, and actually trying to find time to play the game rather than write up what is working (or not).  I also have been playing with eve static data.

My current project is out in null space.  Yes, on some of my pilots, I have joined a null renter corp.

I still don't 'rat' much.  I thing I have spent 10 hours ratting in the last month.  I have taken part in a structure grind where the local renters (and not the so called landlords) were wanting to reclaim a station to provide an easier trade route back from Razor.  (Long story for another day maybe).

I had great plans of being a null manufacturer, with the bounties of excessive moon goo and ore.  These were the dreams of the uninformed idealist.

One of the things I have noticed out in my area of Cobalt Edge, is that we do not have a functional market.  Sure there are the occasional jump freighter runs for the organised, but these are done far too much on a trust everyone basis. is from the same alliance. 

You can trust some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but I don't trust all of the people all of the time.

I know wormholes.  I have some logistics ability.  I have some coding ability.  Time to make a trade hub.

My plan is to stock my null station with stuff so that pilots can equip a ship with something.  Tech 2, best named Meta, occasionally faction stuff.  At the moment largely ammunition and modules but the occasional ship.

So for me, most of my logistics has been via wormholes and DST's.  The furthest that I have travelled to find a usable null based wormhole is 7 jumps, and usually it is only 2-3.  At the moment, usable means no more than 2 intermediate wormholes, no more than 2 lowsec systems.  This limitation is based on the number of 'eyes' I am willing to commit to wormholes and gates.

I am still skittish with my DST, and wait probably too long after seeing someone on a gate.  The DST is probably strong enough to shake off most pursuit.  Maybe.  Either that or I will just keep being skittish.  Jump drive calibration 5 is currently being trained on a couple of pilots, with the eventual plan to make 2 jumps, swap ship between pilots, jump 2 more and swap back again.  The non-jumping pilot would use a mix of jump clones, interceptors and T3 cloaky interdiction nullified ships.

I have my list of what I would like to sell; just over 1800 item types.  I currently have 400 slots in null and sigh a little. I also want to have room for buy orders too.  So I am also training more pilots for more trading, planning to get around 1000 slots.  This still wont be enough for my 'want to trade list'.

The things I know :
  • Hauling is possible but it takes time, ammunition is pretty easy.  
  • T1 hulls can be made in null, T2 hulls are a lot harder as there is very little local moon goo for sale, and even then it is only select moons.
  • Most trading and hauling currently happens via a social networks.
  • I am going to have to trim hard on what I am selling at least in the short term
  • Our renters are cashed up but have poor access to markets.

Based on this, I have been hauling stuff that is not currently being traded and I think will sell, and then listing it at a significant margin.

My pricing model is based on a convenience store out the middle of nowhere rather than next door to a major city supermarket.  I am trying to provide stuff to the buyers that want it now, rather than buyers that want to be organised.  Later when I get more trade orders and better logistics,

My market solution is still way too manual.  I looked at Eve Mentat and can't drive it they way I want.

At the moment my market selection method consist of 3 windows: One eve window in my null system with the trade filter set to 'show only available' for 'station'; one eve window in a trade hub, and one browser window on either eve central or this spreadsheet .The spreadsheet is meant to show my 1800 items list, and the prices in Jita, Amarr and my region of space.  It is slow and often refuses to load all data (hence the eve central fallback).

I don't mind being undercut.  At the moment that means most likely ignoring the item, but 'soon' it will mean pulling the item and listing another one instead.  I have no idea on when 'soon' will be.

Saturday 13 December 2014

Why ask CSM candidates for short answers?

Some of the CSM have troubles providing short answers in my CSM 10 candidate questions.  Some have written posts about how TLDR is a hard (edit) thing.  Others shoved multiple answers in with various pretence about how it was only one answer.  (Do this too badly and Foo will edit your answers to fit)

I personally am a long form reader, I like reading the intricacies and banter that goes back and forward.

Last year I listed to many many hours of podcasts, read many blog and CSM forum posts.  The problem is that I am going to be approaching burnout from all the reading by the time the CSM elections are done, and I will read much more than most.

Most eve players (your potential voters) will not.

Some candidates have rusted on voters.  These voters follow suggestions of their leadership group, whether it be CEO, alliance leadership or their favourite bloggers.

Some voters will vote for someone regardless of what is written, and make up their own mind.  These people will read your long form answers, listen to podcasts and come up with their reasoned responses.

Most potential voters find the whole voting process a little irrelevant and/or too much bother.  I am trying to create something for those who are deciding whether to vote, and to try to move some of them into either of the above 2 voting groups, preferably the group that makes up it's own mind.

The CSM 9 voter turnout was shocking. I feel that this represents a fall in engagement in Eve as a game for the longer term.  I feel we got a pro-active CSM that did lots of good work.  No they didn't get everything they wanted, nor do I think they should.   I still think we have a better Eve experience because of the CSM. 

I want more players engaged in Eve, not just the ad-hoc pew pew, but to feel they can shape the game into the future.  I feel that the CSM is amongst our best ways to shape this from a design perspective.  The CSM are not game designers, but they are our representatives as involved key stakeholders.

Those that just seek a simple answer from their leadership group will already be well covered.

Those that seek long form answers will similarly be well covered: Eve forums, a wealth of in depth interviews, blogs, podcasts will all let the well informed be even better informed.

I tried to make questions that appeal to the TLDR audience, and give them a way to get more information should they want it about a candidate.  As it is, 2000 words of CSM answers and counting, becoming probably 5000 words before the season ends, will be too much for many of these players to read.

I know that this blog, by itself, won't reach out to many.  But hopefully a short form set of answers, when linked to by a few that do care, may appeal to those that would not otherwise vote.

Monday 8 December 2014

CSM 10 season : open questions to CSM candidates

My readers fall into a few groups: Those living in wormholes;  PI farmers;  Market players.  (and the rest of you).

To all CSM candidates:
  1. Why should my readers vote for you (TLDR version)?
  2. What one thing do you realistically want to fix in Eve?  
    1. For existing CSM members, what one thing was the best fix you achieved?
  3. What is your solution to this one thing?
  4. What URL has more information about you?
Leave a comment here, or evemail DoToo Foo.

Responses will be posted to

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Small POS in a C4 and other activities

With the wormhole changes a couple of months ago, we largely moved out of our C4 wormhole, and I have been occasionally making half hearted attempts to sell it. 

I did however pull down our large tower and put up a small tower instead.  An SMA, CHA and defences to have a holding pilot look after it.

I was mildly curious to know how long it would take until someone paid attention.  The answer is 8 weeks.

I was scanning an exit (as I had an interested buyer), and as is my standard practice, landed 100k of the entrance.  Good thing too, as there was a command ship on the wormhole.  Rechecking Dscan finds 3 interdiction ships (2 destroyers, 1 cruiser).  Mmmm.  Maybe not today.  Head to a safe spot and cloak up.

Off to do some other chores, and come back a little later.  This time, 4 marauders on the POS and I am getting notifications about damaged ECM mods.  I am somewhat confused.  Marauders can be ECM immune, but whatever rocks their boat.

With this particular POS however, I am remarkably unstressed.  I look at my division in the CHA.  A few prototype cloaks, T1 scanning equipment and a few cargohold extenders.  Easy, load them up into my ship and offline the CHA to unanchor it. Umm.  No.... there is something still in there.

Van had more scanning probes and some unassembled shuttles.  Ok.  Online, loot (bother - shuttles are too large - change to an Itty 5 instead of my Epithal). Finally offline and unanchor the CHA.  Scoop it up, why not.

Now I want to unanchor the SMA. Mmm.  A lot of ships in there.  About 20 velators, and 30 shuttles.  Ok.  Eject, eject, eject ..... A couple more Itty 5's epithals and heaven forbid, a catalyst.  Yup. 

I break a cardinal wormhole rule.  I talk in local, leaking way too much information about my intentions but ...screenshot my empty SMA and post to local.

Worthy loot for the mighty incoming storm
Now take the SMA down and put it into my cargo.

I am a POS gunner so target a Golem and try some pew pew ... Umm. Try is the right term.  I managed to get one of the Golems to 1/2 shield.  Still, at least now they will keep 1/2 an eye on their ships.

One thing to watch.  There is a current bug on the management window.  The Control Tower Manager window does not show the current shield %.  I discovered this when trying to adjust shield hardeners to match the damage profile.  Oh well, I should have done this well before.  Next time.

The hostiles were giving updates on a semi-regular basis, letting me know the actual shield %.  On this manager, it never shifted below 65%.  A reinforced tower @ 65% shields is not a screenshot I expected to get.  I have lodged a ticket.

Tongue in cheek, I asked for a remote rep module to repair the ECM modules so I can take the tower down later.  They brought one in and left it in a container.  I picked it up and have it in my cargo, and paid them for the equipment.

I have been quiet on the blog, but still very much caught up in game.  I am still doing WH PI (with real towers).  There are several 3/4 finished posts that I need to polish off. 

The other place I am looking at is Cobalt Edge.  This is null renter space 50 jumps from highsec.  It has acceptable PI (but not great), but an abysmal market.  I am trying to rectify some of that.  A scouted wormhole route for a DST is a wonderful thing.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Hal 9000

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the computer controlling the ship, HAL 9000, does everything in it's power to keep a secret it has been told to keep.

The humans would find that task impossible, so it did the only logical thing.

Given some settings on my POS, it did the only logical thing.

A tip for new players and old: Ensure your that the alt pilot's corporations are friendly for your POS's shoot on site settings.  Pilot settings are not good enough.

I am not the first pilot to do this.  I won't be the last.

At least I know that my tower shoots pilots from neutral corporations.

Monday 20 October 2014

4K monitor and multiple sessions

I have recently purchased a 4K monitor (the Samsung U28D590).  The monitor itself is very nice, but has contributed directly (and not in a good way) to my recent lack of posts.

Firstly the good:
  • A crystal clear picture, very high resolution monitor.  It is better than my eyesight.
  • Ability to have 6 Eve sessions on the same screen all at the same time.  I am successfully running 4 sessions at the same time on the same monitor without any overlap.

These are very good things.

I normally don't do high resolution graphics on the web, but this is what I look at, on a 28" monitor.

Edit(again): Raw image at

The not so good:
  • I needed a motherboard bios upgrade to even boot while the monitor was plugged in.  My motherboard is from October 2012
  • I needed a new graphics card to display anything when the monitor was plugged in. (swapped out a GTX 9800 for a GTX750)
  • The GTX750 is 4k rated and displays the screen at 3180x2160 @ 30Hz, or I can split the screens into 2 and have each half running at 1960x2160 @ 60Hz, I have a colour difference at the boundary of the two virtual monitors.  If I had purchased a display port graphics card I could have the entire monitor as a single screen @ 60Hz.
  • Most programs are optimized for less pixels on screen, and don't allow you to upsize selectively.   I find myself faceplanting my monitor to read some things. Reading things like the graphics display settings window that is shown top right is an example. (Tweaking the UI scaling does help for Eve).
  • Getting advice on these monitors was hard.  There was only one 4k monitor stocked at our local shops, and while I looked as well as I could online, I missed that it would not run my preferred frame-rate. I live in a minor Capital City in Australia.
I would recommend 4k monitors for those buying new gaming or work PC's, where you have someone to help resolve any technical issues.

Things to consider when moving to a 4K monitor:
  • These monitors are bleeding edge.  How will you cope when you metaphorically cut yourself?
  • None of  the local shops knew much about 4k monitors.  Do your own research online.
  • Not all 4K graphics cards are created equal, even when you purchase one specifically. Ensure your card runs the resolution at the required frame rate.
  • When you finally get it running, enjoy your multi-boxing.

Thursday 18 September 2014

C4 WH with customs offices for sale

The Foo corporations are rationalising our wormholes, and our C4 wormhole : J231341
is now surplus to our requirements.

This is a C4 wormhole with a C1 and C5 static.  It has 'perfect PI' (with 2 lava planets), that is you can extract then make all PI products.

Our price is 1.5B and it includes transfer of all 10 customs offices.

There are no dead towers in the system, and only our current holding tower.  Our tower is also available for transfer at cost.

If you are interested in purchasing it, please contact DoToo Foo in game.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Nerf by kindness - invention changes

There are a series of changes coming (soonish) for invention including :
  • A rebalance of datacore and science skills required for invention. 
  • Merging Invention and Reverse engineering
  • Removal (and reimbursement) of data interfaces
  • Teams replacing Meta items as modifiers
  • Multiple success/failure outcomes ranging from improved ME/TE values to partial datacore refund.
  • Base chance tweaks on ship invention (most easier, freighters harder)
  • Tech III subsystem selection becomes selectable rather than chance based, but chance to succeed nerfed
  • Multiple invention runs
With the exception of multiple invention runs, these are fairly straight forward.  There will be some market adjustment as Inventors get used to the new mechanics and adjust their skills and formula.  There might be some short term datacore imbalances as pilots move to different invention skills and standings for different research agent.

Multiple invention runs will be a mixed blessing.

For most ME or TE research or copy jobs, you set the job; go away for roughly a month, and come back to a completed job.

For Invention of T2 ammunition and modules there is a real barrier of having to reset jobs every hour.  This means at keyboard, logged in, and setting an alarm.  Then of course no invention while asleep.

Until now, how well you do with invention is based on how well you resolve this pain.

Coming soon(*):  The next logical course of action is to allow players to start invention with multiple runs (...) so they don’t have to launch them manually every hour, which is what we’re going to do with this set of changes.

This will make a huge impact on your ability to submit invention jobs.  It will also make a huge impact on your competitors ability too.

When something is made easy, more pilots will start doing that activity.  Total ISK earned across all of invention might go up, but ISK/invention pilot hour drops.  It happened with exploration when the scanning changes dropped, and I am getting reports of a drop in manufacturer ISK/pilot hour from the recent manufacturing changes.  I expect this to happen with the invention changes.

(*) Soon is not real soon (Oceanus on 30 September) but more a pretend soon, at a later and currently unspecified date.

Finally, some sound advice from CCP : Please remember all of this is subject to change until deployed and that Market speculation is done at your own risk.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

CSM Matias Otero resigns, CSM Asayami Dei appointed

For those avoiding EN24, reddit, and the forums, Matias Otero, the Brave Newbies representative has been inactive for sometime, and has recently made his resignation official.

Matias has  issued his apology on reddit including
...  I've decided to resign from the CSM rather than let my seat go to waste. It was a difficult decision, as I felt that I could at least have spent some of my energy on the all-important issue of new player attraction and retention, but in the end I had to admit to myself that it wasn't going to happen. ...

CCP then had the decision on whether to replace Matias or leave a seat vacant.  If they were going to replace him, how?

So lets look at the options is a starting place.

Option: chose from losing candidates at previous election via recount

The voting software that CSM uses easily lends itself to excluding the failed candidate.  This has the advantage of allowing voters, especially those who voted for the resigned representative, to still have their say via their voting preferences.

If CCP chose this method, then Asayami Dei is elected, defeating Awoxing Pizza-Spymaster McBlueshooter by (my count) of 181.

The (my count) qualification is that I used droop with the warren rules, which is probably not quite right.  However Sephira Galamore on the forums posted that with CSM's own voting software, that this is also the same result.

Most systems that perform this type of recount keep all incumbents in their seat and use the recount solely for electing the vacancy. (Addressing Sephira's concern on the forums)

Option: Leave the seat vacant

Do nothing is always an option, but not really one that benefits anyone.  While the actual goals of what the CSM is for are perceived differently by some, very few of these goals are met by fewer CSM members.

Option: replace with a similar candidate by fiat

Many electoral systems will appoint a member from the same political party where available.  Whether this appointment is done by a Governor, an elected body themselves, an effort is generally made in many systems to retain the existing balance by replacing 'like with like'.

Eve does not (yet) have formal political parties.  We are close but not there yet. I do not see how this would work until we have formal tickets formally acknowledging who is in the same group.

Option: replace with the last excluded candidate

This is the option that was taken by CCP in the interests of speed.  Umm.  No disrespect to Asayami Dei but please CCP, never do this again.

This has the exact opposite effect of 'replace with a similar candidate' and generally will disenfranchise those that voted for the recently vacated representative.

For an example in the extreme.  Take a common voting scenario
  • Right wing candidate gets 49% of vote
  • Left wing candidate gets 35% of vote
  • Center Right candidate gets 14% of vote
  • Others get 2%
So on the initial vote (regardless of method) the right wing candidate is elected, and 1/2 way through their term resigns.

Under this method the left wing candidate would be elected, causing the right wing electors (with 63% of vote) to be disenfranchised.

The reason that Asayami is appointed under both this rule and recount method is that in the original count Asayami was only just excluded (80 votes).

Speed was not an issue.  I found and installed and worked out how to drive similar software to perform a reasonable count within a couple of hours.  Seripha found the software that CCP uses and re-ran the vote in the same amount of time.


To minimise accusations of favouritism and whim, I recommend that CSM ask CCP for a formal method of replacing candidates, and to formalise when a representative should be replaced.

My personal preference is a recount method.

I think it is fortunate that Asayami managed to be elected on both the whim based 'last candidate excluded' as well as a more rigorous recount method.


drool warren based on original vote
Original vote modified to work with drool

drool warren with matias excluded
Original vote modified to work with drool and then Matias excluded

Original vote as provded by ccp

Thursday 28 August 2014

Corp permissions for POS managment

This is the second post in a series on POS. The first post was a POS Introduction.

This post is talking about corporation role permissions required for a POS as of mid 2014.  With any luck whatsoever, it will be made obsolete in the next few releases but ... those of us that manage POS have been praying for a POS/corp role revamp for a long time.  POS permissions themselves will be another post; this one will be long enough.

Some of these images will be too small to read everything.  Click on them for more better images.

There are many ways of setting up Corporation permissions. This is how I do it, others may vary. 
Some of the steps below are not strictly necessary. I have probably missed something.  For those with experience, feel free to provide commentary (especially where I have done dumb things).  For those with questions; ask.

My goals are to have 6-7 players in a corp (unlimited alts) all using corporation fixed assets.  Additional 'casual' pilots are also welcome with limited functionality.

My attitude towards security is if in doubt, don't grant permissions.  I grant permissions where I deem it beneficial to the operation of the corp.  This sometimes means that I have denied too many permissions and need to search what else needs to be granted.  It also means (hopefully) that I won't have a POS stolen out from under us.

Some screen shots have too much information and/or are too small.  Click on any of them when required to see more detail.


Allocate all your shares to your CEO.

Corporation Wallet -> Shares -> Owned By Corp.
Right click and Give Shares to the appropriate pilot.

Division Names

We rename our divisions; both the names and the wallet divisions.  Generally, if I grant access to a storage division, I will also grant access to the equivalent wallet.

Corporation -> Home -> Details -> Division

Depending on how quickly you do all the permissions and whether you log out and back in again, some of the screens you look at might use the old division names rather than your new ones.

Rename titles

Titles are not required; but are one of the few corporation management ease of life tools.  Make a template of permissions and give either one player or a group of players a title.  By the time you have set up permissions, you will never want to do so again.

Firstly, from Corporation -> Members -> Title Management, click on some of the Untitled 1 - Untitled 15 and change their names to something. Call them whatever you want, but ... you will get confused if you use the generic names.

Create 7 titles for assigning to the 7 divisions.  (How to assign a title to a division is shown below). You can create other titles for other common roles in your corporation.

As examples of what I have set up in this corporation:

  • The Foo title is an alternative to director that I can remove permissions from.  I find it a good habit to not even give myself full permissions all the time.
  • The Member title is an easy way to grant common permissions where it makes sense.
  • Established members may get the Veteran title, who may be given additional roles as needed.

Don't worry too much about what roles I have checked here; we will come back to this screen shot later.  Again, if the screen is too small, click on it to see more details.

Edit Member

From Corporation; Members, choose a pilot and Edit Member.

Grant a title

Any title you grant can be seen on the pilots public character sheet.  While I don't like leaking information, I also want to set alts of the same player (or type of player) up with the same permission.  This is one place I will sacrifice security for convenience.


Communications officer : Grants permission to look after corporation chat, and can delete Corporation bookmarks.  (Tidying up stale corp bookmarks is required in wormholes).

Config Starbase Equipment: Caution. This role is nearly as dangerous as director; that is, only grant to those you trust explicitly.  You can generally dismantle POS with this permission.

Starbase Defense Operator: Caution. Allows the recipient to shoot POS guns.  This too, is not a role to grant to unsupervised strangers.  Some corporations recommend using POS guns to blow up your own arrays to deny enemies kill mails and loot.  This risk is offset by a POS gunner being a very easy skill for alts and newbies to learn yet be very valuable in even the most difficult of sieges.

Station Service

With the most recent round of industrial changes in Crius, there is very little reason to deny corp members access to your research and industry modules.

We allow Factory Manger, Rent Factory Facility and Rent Research Facility to everyone.


One of the most boring clickfests in Eve is setting up the following tabs.   We match 7 titles to the seven divisions to allow pilots with that title to withdraw ISK from the relevant divisional wallet.

Hanger Access (Headquarters, Based at, Other)

Similarly, the titles we created for divisions are ticked for both Query and Take.  We do not distinguish between Headquarters (where your Corporation Officially calls Home), Based At (we have never used this), and Other.  Some station based corporations might be able make better use of these distinctions, not so much for POS based corporations.

We set up Headquarters, Based at and Other identically.

Container Access (Headquarters, Based at, Other)

Container Access is very similar to to Hanger Access, but this time with only take permission being required.  Again we set the 3 of these up identically.  Tired of your clickfest yet?

Check your settings

This is all the screens I use for setting up corp roles.  Unless you are far more methodical than I am, you will have made a mistake.  Fortunately there is a summary screen you can check with.  Edit your pilot again, and check the Role Summary.  Have you granted the permissions you think you should have?

Further reading

Here are fairly mundane links with reasonable descriptions
Information about corporation shares
Here are a couple of links that should serve as a wake up call to those that want to give too many permissions.


#include <std.disclaimer>  I have taken care and tried to get this correct.  Maybe I have misunderstood some setting, or my directions are not clear.  Get an alt or a trusted pilot and try to do 'bad things' with these settings; possibly on the test server.

If you have set up industry corporations before, and spot any shortcomings/mistakes, please leave a comment.

If you are setting up industry corporations and have questions, please leave a comment or lurk in our FooPub chat channel.

Monday 18 August 2014

PI Timer for EVE (android) - a shoutout

I recommend to PI extraction based pilots with an android device the PI Timer for Eve application.

I have manual methods to catch mistakes; but I still make them.

So, I on the lookout for any PI helper program that would identify any of my Pebkac issues; and have found this one.

I have been using this app now for 4 days.

On the first set of pilots I added, I had missed a timer that the app found.  This is a clear win for the app, and it now is part of my Eve experience.

A brief howto:

It could be easier to enter your API key.  One method is as follows

Log into
Probably on your PC, but certainly whatever you are reading this post on.

Go to
This sets sets your API key appropriately; enabling CharacterInfo, AssetList.  Add a key name of anything; I have used PITimer but that is personal preference.

On your android device, with a web browser, log into (if you are not already logged in)

Write down the key id field
Copy the key_id field with your android device; the chances of successfully retyping is comparable with 0%

Go to the PI Timer on your Android device:
  • '"add chars"tab
  • 'clear' (you need to see 'Input KeyID here' and 'Input VCode' here at the top of the screen
  • type in your Key Id and paste your Verification code (I need to delete a couple of trailing spaces)
  • wait a little
  • "Monitor Times"
  • Be suitably horrified at the planets you have missed

I still want to see:

PI timer for Eve is a good start, and I am now using it.

Allow me to change the notification noise.  I have changed the notification noise on my phone to silent simply to suppress this.  I don't mind notification noises while at keyboard playing Eve, I can cope with them at work, but don't want them while sleeping.

Other checks I would like, if possible:
  • Routes (both incoming and outgoing) are missing.
  • Some basic counter of 'out of goods' for manufacturing planets; eg you have enough mats in the colony for 12 hours, plus a trickle from either extraction or manufacturing but you have run out.
  • A warning that your storage units are likely overfull.  This one might be even more tricky especially with extraction/initial refining.  I still would like it even with basic assumptions.
I would like an easier way to enter the API key;  Eve-Droid offers several methods, and it would be good if other android apps emulated them.  Methods include a link that opens a web browser on the EVE Api key and offers an 'install' button, to reading from named text files on your android app with the information.

Finally I cant work out how to customise the type of warning.  Ideally I would prefer a notification only, without any whistles or buzzing.  I can work around it.  I made default notifications silent.

I would love the writer of the app to do more; but he has produced a meaningful and valuable tool.   At the same time I am extracting more and spending less time working out what I need to reset.

So to the author (in game : Stjerna Kuuk), you have a donation expressing my thanks, and I look forward to future enhancements.

If you use or have written another program for PI (especially those that make good use of the API key) that you would like me to look at, please leave a comment.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Signature ID's to persist over downtime

CCP Masterplan

For those that didn't understand my cryptic tweet earlier, there is one more related change on Singularity as of a few hours ago:

When scanning down sites, the scan ID (ABC-123) should now be consistent across server downtimes. Ships should continue to have consistent scan IDs as before.
Aussie wormholers can have a beer to celebrate not having to rescan everything over downtimes :)

An an Aussie that often tries to scan just before downtime, thank you CCP Masterplan

Tuesday 12 August 2014

2 quick notes : c4 dual statics singularity and eve connection issues

C4 second statics available

 Thanks to a reddit comment, the second statics for C4's are available on singularity.  I don't mind the idea of dual statics in concept, but then remembered the rumour that C4's might have one static going to shallow wormhole space (c1-3), and one going to deep wormhole space (c4-6).

Think of what pilot wants a C1 static.  What ships can fit in there, and the type of PVP trouble/fun they are likely to have.  Now think of what pilot might want a c5 or c6 static, what ships, and the type of PVP trouble/fun they are likely to have.

Now imagine you currently have a c1 static, and are now getting a c5 or c6 static.

I like the idea of wormhole space becoming more populated.  Just at this moment, I am not sure how this is going to work.  Oh well, there are new wormholes, and new skills to learn.

Eve is down.

Just in case you didn't notice.  Or if you didn't notice, then Eve is probably back up again.

Tranquility will be rebooted and placed in VIP mode at 12:20 while troubleshooting occurs. This is a third party networking issue, and we're working with our partners to resolve it. Please ensure your characters are out of harms way as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

There is a large network outage affecting many players.  CCP decided this was unfair to those that could not connect, so have taken the server down into VIP mode.  Understandable, if somewhat inconvenient.
14:48: CCP Falcon explains VIP mode:

Would you consider it fair if you logged in after massive connection issues that lasted for hours for thousands of people only to find that your enemy could connect the whole time, and had reinforced or destroyed a huge chunk of your infrastructure?
Thought not, hence VIP.

Monday 4 August 2014

POS introduction

The first thing you need to know about setting up an industry POS, is that one day you will be attacked.  The second thing you will note is the number of offline POS that are scattered around our universe.

The games skills you should to have for a POS are:
  • Corporation Management 1+
  • Anchoring 4 (reduced in Cruis)
  • Starbase Defense Management 4 with 5 being ideal.
You also need someone reliable to log in every month to make sure your POS has fuel.  I have seen far too many players set up a POS, put expensive loot into various arrays, then let the fuel run out.  No fuel means no forcefield.  No forcefield means your loot is at the hand's of the loot fairy very quickly.

Different POS are good for different tasks.

Caldari :
  • Best CPU, good for industry
  • ECM bonus, good for 'Dickstar'
  • Worst powergrid, not so good for guns
  • Bonused weapons are missiles requiring CPU.  CPU is unavailable if you are re-inforced, i.e. exactly the times you need weapons.  
  • Fuel generally 5% more expensive than the others
 Amarr :
  • Best powergrid, so best if you want a weapon heavy installation
  • Worst CPU, not so good for industry

Gallente and Minmatar are middle of the road towers, with generally cheaper POS fuel.

A small tower of any type is cheap to run, and offers defence against a couple of bored frigates.  If you happen to be in highsec, Concord will protect your POS until you are wardecced, but that is about it.

A large tower, properly configured in any of the defensive strategies, is a harder nut to crack without dreadnoughts, so in Highsec or C1-C4 have a little more survivability.  Capital class ships are designed to break towers, and while a good configuration can delay and even assist in defence, your POS will want assistance.  I don't play in null, but if I know that Capitals to bad things to POS, I strongly suspect that Super Capitals are not kind either.

If you want to be attacked, have a small POS full of industry modules without any defences of any kind.  This applies in all areas of EVE.

The best defences that even a faction large tower can give you will not guarantee protection, but with the number of undersized and 'bravely' configured POS, it is fairly easy to become harder than the next POS over to attack.  Don't be the clearly rich, easiest target on the block.

With larger POS, comes increased fuel costs.  POS fuel is expensive.  In highsec, you will need 'charters' from the faction's space you are in.  These charters cost peanuts in comparison to POS fuel.

Assuming a highsec pure industry POS of whatever size and race, should have anchored the following items:
  • Racial guns (unless Caldari) sufficient so that when you offline all industry, you can fill your powergrid with modules that don't use CPU.  That is, no room for missiles here.
    • A Caldari tower should have a full set of another races weapons
    • Small fast batteries are of 'situational' use (Small Pulse Laser Battery, Small Blaster Battery, Small Autocannon Battery).  Even smaller ships may be able to find places to attack your POS that these short range guns can't reach.
    • Fill your offline guns with ammunition, covering as many damage types as your guns allow.  You may need to online guns, fill with ammo, then offline again.  This can be done from the safety of your POS forcefield
    • There is no such thing as too many guns.  Guns (not missiles) can be onlined even when you are re-inforced.
  • Shield hardening arrays.  Like most items in Eve, you have 2 resist holes; fill these first.
  • Energy Neutralisers are 'expensive' (cpu/powergrid), but a few of these can mess up a logistics or Capital ship's day. 
  • ECM, especially on a Caldari tower (bonused), covering all races
You want easy access to spares of all of the above. Strontium Clathrates gives you up to 41.7 hours time to realise you have a problem, depending on how much stront you fill your bay with.

If you are anywhere but highsec, you want a sizable portion of your above defences online.  Even in highsec, any spare powergrid should be filled with online guns.

As an 'order of magnitude' budget for an industry POS, as of mid 2014, for a T1 POS I would allow :
  • Large POS : 1B setup plus 500M/month for fuel
  • Medium POS : 500M setup plus 250M/month for fuel
  • Small POS :250M setup plust 125M/month for fuel

Faction towers are more expensive initially, but have lower fuel requirements, and more shield/armor.  Faction modules are also available. Faction towers and modules are remarkable, as in I find myself asking corp members about these faction towers, and what they are hiding, so I can only wonder what they do to those that hunt POS.

As a disclaimer, I am not the foremost expert on attacking or defending POS.  I have been sieged and survived, and have blown up many offline POS.  I have read what has worked for others, and what has not worked.  I invite those that know better to share their wisdom, whether that be as comments or as links to other articles.

Other reading material:

I intend to write a series on POS.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Monday 28 July 2014

POS based taxation

As many of you know, I run an industry corporation where strangers are invited.  I do so for profit: both yours and mine, or at least that is the intention. I have set up both Customs Offices and POS, renting access in various ways.

One of the previous ways I paid for fuel was via a game enforced tax on research facilities, very similar to the NPC charges in stations. This disappeared when Cruis was released.

I, and a few others, 'expressed our concerns' on the forums and to CSM representatives, both during beta testing on Singularity, and since going live.  When seeking a changed position : Polite, Firm, Reasonable are all desirable attributes, especially if you are one of a few wanting a change.  (Loud, organised and hysterical also work, but you need to have 'public opinion' on your side  as Jita riots and the Real Id issue from that other game showed).

However after a few hints, both from the forums and from Sugar Kyle (who I have been shamelessly pestering lately), I had another look. Reading official Crius issues forum would not hurt either.

On the Research and Manufacturing UI, choose facilities, Corp owned Facilities.  Right click and Configure Facility, and set the Tax accordingly.

In line with NPC station taxes the corp charges are simply a percentage on top of the existing charges. That is in my example below, the charge with 0% is 27,075; with 5% is 28,429.  The 5% additional charge is paid into the corp master wallet.

0% Corp Tax

5% Corp Tax

The installation charge is current taken from the default corporate wallet for the pilot. 
Currently we are set up with :
  • One division for CEO/corporation
  • 5 divisions allocated to pilots and their alts, allocated to those that wish to pay the rent.
  • 1 division for 'communal' use. 
For research and manufacture, this communal use is still reasonably secure.  Put your blueprints and materials into the relevant facility.  Find out the cost, deposit that into the corp wallet and start job.  The job can only be delivered or cancelled by either the initiating pilot or a director/CEO.

CCP have good intentions that will pilot's to pay for industry out of their own wallet (*soon*), but pilots will still need access to a communal division for storage.

You can not see from the journal what pilot lodged a job.  The road to hell (and forum rages) is paved with good intentions.  For research and manufacture, this communal use is still reasonably secure.  If you have the patience (or possible the development skills and an API ), you can use the job history to tie the ISK payments to pilots.

Please note: all attached screenshots of any POS or blueprints listed are taken from Singularity, the test server. 

Monday 21 July 2014

Crius : how to access your PI colonies

I had an 'eek' moment when I tried to access my PI on Sisi (the test server), and my previous shortcuts could not bring up my planets.  With Crius arriving 22 July 2014, some of you at least will likewise panic.

Fortunately, the new method is not far away.

Neocon-> Business -> Planetary Colonies

This brings up a new window (and yes this is a screen with dummy data from singularity - I don't mind you working out what system I am in, but I am not letting you know what planets I visit)


For those that like keyboard shortcuts, hit escape -> Shortcuts-> Window.  Choose Planetary Colonies and edit shortcut

Please remember to set a long skill queue for Tuesday's downtime.

Friday 18 July 2014

In favour of industry focused releases

A couple of years ago, I left my previous MMO of choice because of a single statement "We want crafters to be out in the world adventuring instead of camping out in front of an auctioneer."

I liked being the crafter standing in front of the auctioneer. Of course in Eve we sit around in either our spaceships or cabins by ourselves instead of shoulder to shoulder with other pilots in an auction room, but the essence is still the same.

In Eve, the market trader, the manufacturer are important parts of the puzzle.  Both games have the farmer, and it was some surprise to me that I joined the farming ranks (PI not mining). There is also the hauler, through spaces of various degrees of danger, both big and small.

Many of us enjoy industry.  Even better, not only have I been shot at and lost my haul, but what I make is important to the end game.  As players, we make ships and modules that are used in the 'end game' battles, we build the POS, Outposts and customs offices used throughout New Eden.  We build the capital ships, some even build supercaps.

Yes, being shot at is important to my enjoyment.  This game engages manufacturers/crafters in a way that I have not seen in any other MMO.  We build 'real stuff', not just a couple of shiny distractions.

I also know that between the current user interface, and mostly safe highsec manufacture is not as engaging as it could be.  For players that enjoy a pretty UI (and many others do even if I am functionally based), the new changes will be wonderful.

Kirith Kodachi stated "The Industry update coming on July 22nd is not going to reverse any numbers".  Maybe.  If everyone talks them down, then certainly.

Crius (and the POS/corp changes to follow) is an opportunity for those of us that enjoy manufacture PVP to spread the word, and to be excited.

Are we going to get everything we want? Certainly not.  Will there be a loud outcry by the losers of the changes? Yes.  Those most comfortable with making things in safely won't be so happy.  Those that can adjust will do fine.

I know and accept that the majority of players are in Eve to directly inflict explosions on others.  There still is a compatible audience of players that like to know the things they build enable others to cause explosions.  Occasionally that ammunition will be returned to us 'slightly used', and that takes some getting used to.

Eve is a sandbox, and a new set of tools is being made available.  Even the most hardened highsec grief corporation should be looking at POS full of blueprints as 'prickly loot pinata'.

I may be idealistically naive, but I see some 'good complexity' with the new release.  It boils down to: Do I place that way too expensive BPO into a POS for a quick job, or keep it in an expensive but safe station? The only possible answer in a public blog is expensive but safe, but for many this will be misleading propaganda.

I know that some of you are only interested in explosions, and then only the ones you see.  The next 2 releases are a way for Eve to capture new players, in a market that it is already a contender.

We already have 'Be the villain' ads.  It is time for us to sell the message "Be the builder in a villainous world"

Friday 11 July 2014

I want that ship

I like big ships.  The bigger and slower, the more I like them.  This is not always what is rational, nor what is particularly the flavour of the month. 

As was suggested in a previous post, I have recently trained up for a new ship class, with the skills to fly it.  A Kronos.  We have a baby squad booster as squad leader, and we 'wing' warp with my Kronos as wing leader.

T2 fit, over tanked (3 low resists, 1 T2 repairer, 1 ancillery repairer, repair boost rigs). Woo hoo. Nothing can hurt me now.  Nearly cap stable.  Still I am paranoid.  Lost ships hurt.

Van is back from leave, and our C2 issues seem to be resolved. We take on an easier site in our C4.  I am so rusty.  Dual boxing doesn't make me any sharper, but when I can't even find my drone window I just shake my head.

Even with my bumbling we clear the first two phases, everything is doing well.  My only job for my Kronos is to take on the NPC battleships, the T3's will clear smaller stuff. 

And ... I am out of capacitor.  What?  Why? How?  I am not sure.  I was obviously paying insufficient attention, made worse by dual boxing.

I am in bastion mode, another 40 seconds to go.  Mmm.  We make the decision to warp out my Kronos when I can so it can recharge.  Hull damage is not pleasant, but I get of some ancillary repair cycles.  They repair lots.  But I still need to get out of bastion and into warp.  I am not MJD capable, that would have taken slots already used.

I finally get out of bastion, and initiate warp.  Somewhere, anywhere. ...

... I am finally up to speed.

I think.

I am in a pod.

I am still wing leader and not in squad.  Which means no boosts.

Which means I lost an expensive, very large ship, entirely due to stuff-ups:
  • Not being boosted, when booster available
  • Not watching capacitor
  • Not bringing our reserve healing 'agro attractor' (remote cap/rep dominix).

I wanted that ship.  Nice, new, (t2) sparkly, probably teribad fit.

For some, PVE is boring.  I don't do much of it, mostly doing PI to earn my ISK.  But I still have things to learn, new ships to fly.  When PVE gets boring I will stop it.  It's not boring yet.

Oh and for the record.  Our Domi fleet clears that site easy.  The 2 T3's had no problems at all with those battleships.  Afterburner fit meant that they only got glancing blows at best, even when I wasn't paying proper attention.

Thursday 10 July 2014

Unauthorised tower part 2

We have a new tower in our wormhole, and it isn't ours.  First life isn't helping, with both work commitments and getting our kitchen repaired taking priority. 

One more piece of information I check for; PI taxes. If there is evidence of PI tax paid, I will have to talk to them before doing any shooting.  We have good tax rates, and three times had pilots simply move in and pay tax.  Sometimes they asked first, other times they asked later.  If you do find yourself in a Foo wormhole and want to do PI, just let me know.  We don't mind.

I finally get online, to some incredibly pleasant news.  They are taking their tower down.

Whether they scouted and finally found our tower (really - they are not that hard to find), or seeing our defences come online, I do not know.  This tends to rule out invasion as their plans. 

They have started to unanchor their tower.  We have seen an Orca, one that is currently cloaked, as well as flashes of T1 scanning frigates.

We still don't really know what we are up against, but then you never do.  The C2 has pilots, but not our preferred pilots.  Most of my so called skilled pilots are still on their way into the C2, but we have an hour.  The real issue is that the C2's lowsec entrance is about 50 jumps away, and the route via the C2A is via an end of life wormhole.

We decide the lesser of risks is to bring our ships into system rather than wait for the tower to be un-anchored.  To be seen is better than not being here.

So, we are cloaked or deep safed well outside of dscan.  Those cloaked are sitting on grid, but outside minimum warp distance.

The timer expires, and their tower is free for the taking.  I have bloodthirsty pilots who are geared up for a fight, where I would be happy with transient unwelcome guests rather than permanent ones.  "An Orca kill plus a free tower is better than just a free tower" is the comment.  Having friendly wolves is nice.  While I am here for the tower, I accept that wolves need to be fed fresh meat. 

So we wait. Nothing.  While you can uncloak a ship by proximity, you have to be uncloaked yourself to do so.  We wait longer.

After 20 minutes past the timer, even the bloodthirsty can't sniff blood any more.  It looks like we were spotted coming into the wormhole.  A chance we felt we had to take.

We try to fly around where we guess the Orca might have been 20 minutes ago, but cant find it.  The cloaky pilot wasn't even sure where the Orca was.  When I fly cloaked but am suspicious of possibly being spottted, I don't stay still either.   When trying to decloak someone by flying within 2k of them, space is big.  Even with a swarm of pilots and drones.

The bloodthirsty are disappointed, but I am happy.  A 'free' large tower instead of needing to do a POS bash?  I will take that any day.

Wednesday 9 July 2014

New unauthorised tower in our wormhole

In first life, I am just about to head to work in the morning, and was checking skills and mails via Evemon.  Quick, easy, just to check on things.

My Eve skill queues are up to date, but I get an evemail.  A new 'neutral' large tower is in one of our wormholes.

If my first life self is to work on time, there is no way I can deal with this right now.  Work can not be skipped today.  ... ... Ok.  I have to go to work but can be a little late.

Our pilot that found the tower has made on grid bookmarks.  That helps. What does not help is that my personal combat pilots (and yes even I have them) are in the wrong spot.

Their tower is prickly without any storage arrays of any kind, but has an Orca in it.  Mmm.  The Orca gives them ship maintenance and storage, without requiring powergrid/cpu.  Properly set up that could be a pain.

Empty then off-line industry POS modules; start on-lining (more) defensive/offensive modules. Move some loot into Enormous freight containers in case the POS becomes reinforced.  I am really short of time and our directors are not online. 

Check notifications.  Nothing.  Check zkillboard for recent activity by either 'them' or our system.  Nothing. 

Send Skype, evemail messages, and update our intel channel's MOTD with what little we know, which isn't much apart from a corp name and that of a couple of pilots. 

Ok, in first life I am officially late for work, but ... I will park close. There are some advantages to living in a town rather than a 'city'.  Probably offensive to the natives to call their Capital a town though.

One of our directors contacts me on Skype. He has re-configured our infrastructure for siege rather than industry.   Good.  Other pilots have brought up their corporation's membership, and kill history, and added them to watch lists.

Pilots that have quietly been doing PI in our holes that I have not heard from in weeks pipe up and offer to 'play' with our visitors.

While I could wish that I was better set up, things have been worse.  Now all I need to do is get home from work, and do something about this.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Sisi and scanning

Over the last couple of days, I gave the test server (otherwise known as Sisi or Singularity) a bit of a try.

Primarily, I was looking to test out a new boat setup.  I normally fly T1 battleships, and this was more expensive than that, so I wanted to see what I could do in PVE with this new setup.

The new setup had no issues with L3 highsec missions (as it should have).  It also walked over a L4 lowsec mission though I think the one I got was particularly easy.  One of the last times I tried a L4 security mission, it didn't go so well, but that was a few skillpoints ago.

So, off to find a wormhole.  I really want to try this new setup in a C4, so I go scanning.  And scanning, and even more scanning.  Without wormhole pilots constantly creating highsec K162's, it seems that it is actually difficult to find an outgoing wormhole from known space to J space.

Fortunately, there are precious few signatures in the majority of empire systems I pass by, each having only one or two quickly resolved gas / data sites.  After about 20 systems, I finally find an outgoing wormhole, an R943, to a C2.  C2 wormholes always have at least 2 outbound, and we have occasionally seen 3 outgoing wormholes, so are wonderful for my purpose of getting deeper into wormhole space.   This one happens to be a Null/C5 system.  Good enough.

I run a combat site, don't remember which one, with my new setup, and it is straight forward.  As expected.  Good, so log off for the night.

The following night I log back in, and scan.  After scanning 20+ systems last night with each system having 1 or 2 signatures,  facing an entire system full of signatures is a task.  I can well imagine that this system could be empty on tranquility; not enough PVP for a heavy PVP corp, not enough market access for a PVE corp.  Oh well, suck it up princess.

Gas sites, data, relic, the works.  Finally I scan down the C5 exit, but ... where is the nullsec exit?  If I am going to run a C5 site solo, it will be ambitious, and the better part of valour says more tank, less gank.  I like my ships big and slow.  I need to find a market.

I am down to 2 signatures, and finally partially scan down a one of them, but it disappears before I resolve it.  No new signature has taken it's place.  Ok.  Maybe it was the incoming highsec.  Maybe I scanned the nullsec entrance last night?  I think I did, but am not sure, it was late and I was not properly paying attention.

Ok lets resolve this last signature.  I have been scanning for 18 months now; I know how to scan.  I am in a well skilled scanner, nothing at 5 but mostly 4's.  I am in a T2 covops frigate (also at level 4 skill), with sister core launcher and sister core probes.  This last signature should not be this hard.

There is a small red bubble on the scanning screen (no screenshots unfortunately), and it just does not resolve.  I try matching the bubble exactly with probes.  I try one size larger.  I try 8AU.  Nothing registers.  Hmm.  I really did not expect a c5 wormhole to be this hard.  I check again.  Yes, I definitely am in a C2, it definitely has 2 outbound wormholes.  I definitely can not resolve this last signature.   Mmm.

Thinking about options, Von Keigai thinks that new signatures don't pop up until you toggle show anomalies on the probe scanner window.  I try this, but no change to my signatures.

I have read that CCP are looking to change the way new signatures are found.  This is a big system.  I launch a 32AU flat scan to maximise coverage across the whole system.  I have not done this in a very long time, as normally this is only needed for hunting ships.  I don't do that enough.

I also remember some talk about scanning midslot items becoming active rather than passive.  I try to turn them on but get told off by Aura for trying to activate passive modules.  Good, that has not changed at least.

A new signature pops up.  This is very strange.  While a change to the way new signatures appear has been talked about on the forums due to CCP asking questions, I did not expect this.

So some questions for those who know a thing or 2 about scanning, especially if you have or are willing to install the test client.
  • Has the way new signatures are reported changed in game?  Will we be launching blanket probes once more?
  • Are there sometimes wormhole signatures that you are sure you should be able to scan, but that stubbornly refuse to be scanned?
Neither of these two are a problem for me.  If my suspicion is true, some hunters will be very happy (won't you Penny), but I really don't have a problem offering the occasional sacrifice to Bob in the form of a ship, (or even the occasional squad).  I might not take out my new shiny boat as much, and when I do, I will probe scan a little more.

Oh and that C5 site I optimistically decided to run?  I whelped on the first of 3 phases.  There is a reason I ran this site on test before trying it on live first.  Neuts are bad enough when split between 4 ships.  Any solo ship with only enough cap struggles with so many neuts.   Oh well.

Monday 23 June 2014

Running multiple Eve Launchers - my solution

This post is way to technical, not quite fit for player consumption.  It is however fit for developer consumption, and I am publish this in the hopes that someone with a Windows scripting background runs with it.  If you do not have a scripting background, your eyes are liable to glaze over.

Once upon a very very long time ago, on a computer before the ones we are using now; when we wanted to run multiple concurrent eve clients, we made junctions of our Eve folders.  Each time we wanted to change a pilot, we had to enter a user name and password.

Once upon a time, but more recently than that, when we wanted to run multiple concurrent clients we called the Eve exe once per concurrent client.  Each time we wanted to change a pilot, we still had to enter the username and password.

Today, here and now, when you want to change pilots inside an account, we have this 'wonderful' Eve launcher that allows us to remember our accounts user name and password and access the Eve store, but ...  you must re-enter the username/password when you want to change pilots between accounts.

I find this frustrating; especially when resetting my PI.  Planetary Interaction is limited by the number of planets you have.  More alts with PI means more planets.  But using alts means more logging in.

My old method of resetting PI is :
  • Log onto every account, selecting the pilot that has been offline the longest.
  • Do PI.  At any time there is a break move onto the next account's pilot; Especially during the warp from POCO back to POS
  • When finished with a pilot log onto the next longest offline pilot on that account.
  • Whine about having to re-enter username/password when swapping accounts.  Sometimes get up and for some cheese.
When you do this on ... too many accounts it becomes tiresome.  There are some PI pilots I know with way more accounts than I run.  The same issues may apply for heavy research, manufacturing and market accounts.

An Eve folder contains the following files and folders
  • A launcher folder
  • Other folders include bin, bulkdata, lib, res and script
  • A whole series of files, including 
    • *.stuff files, containing textures, sounds and other in game resources
    • *.patch files, apparently can be deleted once applied
    • *.exe files, being the actual executables
    • *.ini files, containing various some configuration information
    • cacert.pem and ca-bundle.crt which I believe to do with encryption
    • debug.log, obvious file is obvious
    • code.ccp, manifest.dat, __access_check__; file names are indicative, but *shrug*

So I googled; and found lots of entries from before the 'new' launcher. 

I tried to copy the launcher folder itself and running the launcher.exe that is in it; no luck, it would not start a new launcher window.

What roughly worked was copying the entire eve folder.  This allowed me to have 2 Eve launchers concurrently, but copying 18GB of data takes a long time as well as a fair amount of disk space.  It also means that your system can't cache the same files; meaning lower overall system performance.  I wanted better.

What I am now using.

4 Launcher windows all open at the same time. 
Apart from cropping and obscuring the account name, these accounts are all active at the same time.

Each additional Eve instance takes 174MB
Again, cropping and obscuring personal information.

I have a script '' that takes an Eve folder, and replicates it
  • Copying the launcher folder as is, where is;  This obviously is copying stuff not needed (including old log and browser cache files), but is quick and small enough
  • For all other folders, junctions into the replicated folder back to the originals in the primary Eve folder.  These must be junctions, symbolic links did not work.
  • All files are hard linked into the replicated folder back to the original files in the primary Eve folder
All of this takes about 15 seconds per replicated folder,  at 1% of a full Eve installation.  This could be made smaller by working out what is needed out of the Eve installation; I suspect that a launcher/cache folder structure without files would save space, but so far have not been bothered adding that complexity to my script.  It also is very flexible in coping with future CCP changes. 
  • Update the 'master' normally with  the launcher.
  • re-run the script to blow away the existing replicated folders, and make new versions of them.

On my version of windows, the personal settings are in %localappdata%\CCP\EVE, with a new fresh set of files for every replicated folder.  I am contemplating changing my script to copy my primary installation's settings over to the replicated folders, but have not yet decided.  I like the idea of updating my overview once, and then automatically cloning it, but have not gotten that far yet.

My command prompt environment and scripting language, is a bash shell from cygwin ( ).  The script itself is available as a pastebin or google drive document.

As always, too many words, not enough pretty pictures. I also suspect that for the majority of readers, this takes the prize for 'Driest Foo post ever'.   On top of that, I have based my scripts on my skillset; which is a Unix/Linux based scripting language in a Windows environment; so it is not yet even useful to the majority of you, at least not yet.  It is also likely useless for Mac users.

What I do know is that there are others with more Windows based scripting knowledge than I have, that could easily translate this into a Dos batch file, or failing that a Powershell script, so it is available to the wider Eve community. 

Assuming you have actually read this far, if you have something like this script that anyone can use, either based on this work or independently created, please leave a comment.  Similarly, if you are lacking in scripting skills and want something like this without the cygwin dependancy, also leave a comment.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Small industrial corporations : CCP induced Tears and a (idealistically) hopeful wishlist

The Foo corporations bring respectable industry to Wormhole Space.  Occasionally, Wormhole Space will have firm words to say to me about this travesty. 

Despite being small industry based corporations, we have very limited API checks; primarily to test that a pilot has the minimal skills required to do industry in our wormholes.  Our required skill list is 15 days training on an unmapped, no implant newbie.

We have POS, Pocos, knowledge and mutual self defence. 

Our POS are not only where we refit and store our well/ill gotten gains, but also where we do industry.  Sometimes this is research and manufacture based around cheap blueprints.  Raiders: Move along, no loot to see here. 

As someone who is paying a lot of attention the development of the next few releases; Industry now, and later Corporation roles, I have hopes.

But then : "Tax rate at a POS makes no sense, since you can only install corporation jobs that get paid from the corporation wallet, you would only be taxing yourself." CCP Nullarbor on [Crius] Starbase feedback

This post is my tears in response.


Today, I currently charge far too cheap taxes according to the following rules:
  • 10K/hour research slots.  This is where pilots put ISK into their own division, and then ISK is transferred to the master wallet by installing jobs.
  • 50m/month for exclusive division access.  One player per division (plus alts and first life friends). This is where player stuff is secured, at least until our POS are re-inforced.  This is organised by prior agreement, 'voluntary' player donations, JEveAssets to find those donations and an ugly spreadsheet.
  • PI tax according to one of the following:
    • 4% default POCO tax OR
    • 20M/month/pilot and 0% POCO tax based on standings with the POCO holding corporation. Again this is organised by ugly spreadsheets.
POS have risk; we might get blown up.  POS have costs, not only does a good POS cost 1B to put up, but they also cost 500M/month in fuel.  We are happy with these risks and costs; but someone has to pay the bill. 

When a corporation is 100% full, with busy PI pilots, I make about 20% profit over the cost of the POS fuel.  When a corp is 50% full, I make a loss.  I should be charging different taxes; but these are details.  For the time being I am happy that I can do this, even if I would prefer different tools.

The future

What CCP have to decide with the apparently Pro Industry/Pro Corporation changes is : Do you want to make it easier for small to medium industry corporations to grow?  Do you want to make it harder?

While I am what some would call a carebear, I still don't want everything to go in one direction.  I firmly believe that there should be 'interesting choices'.    Here is my wishlist for tools to allow me to grow my wormhole industry corporations.  

Revamp POS and corporation roles.  A POS revamp will cause CCP developer tears.  Have a tissue and a few months or maybe a few years or whenever we build our next type of station.  Let me build a (destroyable) station in wormhole space if necessary.

This is how I want CCP to revamp POS and corporation roles.

There should be two types of storage:
  • Larger communal storage.  This is where we put large bulky but cheap things.  Ore.  Unprocessed PI goo.  Way too many epithals.  T1 components.
  • Smaller secure storage that can contain expensive items.  This is where I put expensive things Blueprints, Battleships, T3 ships, Fully processed PI goo, Spare fuel.
When I add a storage array of either kind, it should simply add to the total available space for that kind.  Separate ship hangers from other hangers if you must.  Storage in individual arrays really should disappear.    I want to start jobs based on BP's and mats that I can access in the POS. 

While storage remains limited, (and I am happy that it does), I want to allocate a quota of storage to pilots or titles or some group. I want to tax pilots for access to this limited storage.

I would like to issue automated monthly bills to pilots in our corporation; and allow pilots to auto pay these bills if they desire to do so.  I want to be able to see outstanding bills that are owing to our corp.  This will allow me time in game running activities rather than time with my spreadsheets out of game.
Allow me to continue to tax on use of various modules.  I know module slot limits are going to disappear, but it is currently corp income; why remove this?  My question for corbexx (csm wormhole member) was : Find out how many corps currently charge for use of research/manufacture modules.  If corps are currently charging tax to members for slots; allow us to continue to do so.

I want to hide titles from the public.  Currently all you need to work out alts of many WH corporations is to look at their titles.  We use this against our enemies, they use it against us.  Pointless to use it against me.  Find a Foo in one of our corps and you have found me.  My spy alts are out of corp.

Give the CEO/directors access to personal hanger arrays.  When I pull a tower down due to an emergency, or even just because I want to change tower size or type, I want to at least know what I am about to destroy in absent pilots hangers; and preferably would like to be able to move stuff.

I want more than 7 discreet divisions per POS.  At least one division per title, but preferably unlimited 'divisions'. (a CEO can dream?).  Give me this and I will invite more pilots into wormhole space, because I can mix more untrusted newbies with paranoid veterans.  However, I can't even convince corbexx  why this is needed.  If you feel this is wanted, please leave a comment.  Similarly, if you feel this is a "Pants on head" idea, say so to.

Give us alliance bookmarks.  If this occurs, I will create alliances.  I have a pilot with Empire Control 5 waiting for an excuse to buy the Sovereignty skillbook.

In conclusion

I am adaptable; I will cope with whatever tools CCP gives us.  New 'tools' take time (and first life currency) to build.

If that means new POS and the corps to go with it; I will build new POS and corps.  There are however limits to the number of POS and corps that I am willing to build.