Archive for September, 2010
Welcome to the twenty-first installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month topic comes to us from @ZoneGhost who a few month ago asked “Is Low Sec the forgotten part of EVE Online?” Is it? I’d like us to explore this even further. Is Low Sec being treated differently by CCP Games than Null Sec (Zero-Zero) or Empire space is? Can one successfully make a living in these unsecured systems where neither Alliance nor Concord roam to enforce their laws? What’s needed? Or is everything fine as it is?
OK, so this is my first attempt at a blog banter. I’m really pleased to be on the list as I’ve found the previous banter postings well worth reading. The Eve universe is a rich and varied place, and the different blogs reflect this in some small way at least.
So, life in low sec (sounds like a blog – check it out here). My experiences of low sec have been relatively few and far between. I started off in Empire, and made a few trips into a low sec system to use some material research slots for some small crystal BPO’s as it was the home of the shortest wait for research slots I could find. The fact it was 20 jumps away, and about 3 jumps into low sec scared me. I expected to jump through and be instantly locked and killed. Reality was different, there were very few in system and nothing happened. This was before I understood about instawarp bookmarks from stations and how vulnerable I probably was at the time.
My next encounter with low sec was the dreaded storyline mission, having to go 2 jumps into low sec to kill some NPC ships to grind standings. Again, I didn’t get ganked, and saw very few ships in system. This time, however, I was wiser and made safes as I went in, kept my eye on dscan and looked at the statistics for ships killed and pilot activity etc before going into the systems.
Then I spent more time in low sec. This time I was involved in moon mining, PI (much better in low, better still in null – wtb wormhole), and general POS things. I had an alt permanently based in low sec, with rare trips to Empire for materials and POS fuel. It was here that I gained a small glimpse of the main low sec activities, piracy and faction warfare.
I didn’t lose a single ship in low sec, peope tried to lock me a few times, but with safes and transport ships, it was never going to happen. However, I saw plenty of low sec roams pass through, lots and lots of “gf” in local, and plenty of smack-talk too. The system I was active was contested, so there were continual spawns of factional sites, and plenty of traffic for that too, although mostly very small gangs at best, solo pilots being the norm.
What I mostly noticed was that low sec seemed to be pretty empty. Ok there are hot spots (why oh why did I get a research agent in Rancer), but generally nothing was happening. This saddens me, as my only experience of low sec now is passing through from 0.0 to Empire. This is an entire part of Eve, but it does feel neglected in some way. Maybe in the future, if there is a post 0.0 (and I think that there will be), maybe I’ll have a go at factional warfare, but I’ve read so many bad comments about it. I don’t think I’ll ever be a pirate, it just isn’t “me”. So what else would I do in low sec? Well…. nothing really. Non-null sec POS obviously, but apart from that? Empire is (relatively) safe, and is very busy. Null has it’s quiet areas, but is generally busy with alliance and sov warfare. But low sec? I think this needs some love CCP.
Some other Eve Blog Banters:
OK, so late last weekend I was finishing off my PI stuff and was getting ready to log – one of my corp mates on TS3 was heading back to hi-sec to get some things. On the way he met some reds who took up chase, so he jumped out of system. They gave chase, and he’d jumped into more reds so he jumped again, and again.
Suddenly, he was deep in red territory and his escape routes were blocked, he was lost and being chased with no safes to get to, they had scanning ships and so he didn’t want to risk logging off and being scanned down (although with a reasonable safe I think he’d probably have been ok).
As he was now being chased by lots of people, he just kept moving, but every turn seemed to make things worse – when he tried to double back he found the escape bubbled and camped, so a definite no go.
Our CEO was online and looked up where he was, comms were cleared and a route to hi sec for safe docking up was planned. By this time, he’d probably done at least 20 jumps or more, the escape route was around another 40 or so. The chances of him making it were less than slim at this stage, as he had interceptors and all sorts on his tail.
Nevertheless, although we were all in fits of laughter, our CEO calmly (ok, in between laughing at him) guided him through the jumps. The pilot gave us a running commentry as he went – I’ve never even imagined that many bubbles let alone seen them. He had one red in a speedy rifter almost keeping up, and on more than one occassion he was taken into armor, but you gotta love those faction armor repair modules
Finally, just as he was taken into structure, he got out of null into hi sec and docked to repair. He was then convo’d by the rifter pilot and told how lucky he had been, and then asked what he was doing. His response? That he’d been shopping in Jita and wanted to take the scenic route back.
To make things funnier, our CEO then gets convo’d by one of the CEO’s of the space he’d passed through to ask what was going on, to which the same Jita based response was given – shopping, not scouting.
And the really funny bit? The next day we had an alliance POS bashing op – the POS belonged to that alliance, so it really does look like we were scouting.
Honest, we weren’t!
On another note (the x2 bit of the post’s title), I’ve been put in charge of organising a large, long-term PI based project for my Corp. It will need lots of Corp mates to assist and install command centers, so we’ll see how it goes, but it’s nice to be involved in an important role so soon in my time in the Corp.
I’ll keep you updated on progress (i.e. fail or slowly getting there), but I’d guess would match training Titan to 5 in terms of time scales – pity I don’t have the pre-reqs as it would be interesting to see which happened first!
After a fairly uneventful few days of Stealth Bomber manufacturing, invention and extracting planet goo, a call went out last night to help escort some freighters in. The fleet request asked for small stuff, including ewar frigates. I checked whether sentinel or keres would be preferred, and jumped into the keres as instructed by the FC.
On arrival in hi-sec, it quickly became apparent that one of the freighter pilots was in my corp, so I x’d up in fleet and swapped my point out for a web so I could help instawarp the freighter allowing others to avoid the low sec gate fire for agressing a freighter.
The move was looking like it was going to be very uneventful – we had around 20 in our gang including scouts in surrounding systems. The freighters were almost ready to undock and get started, when the shout went out that a couple of war targets were about to jump into hi sec. The support fleet all undocked and warped to gate where they both popped through. Not sure how, but one of them got back to the gate and jumped. The navy omen didn’t get quite so lucky
We then moved the freighters in without problems, with the exception of needing to refuel a couple of jump bridges on the way. Just as we got to destination, local intel advised us of a small gang of around 10 reds in the area, so we all rushed to intercept and engage.
Now, at this point, I hadn’t been able to refit, so I still had my web fitted and no point, which is a travesty on a keres considering its bonus for point range. So off we went and quickly picked up a couple of kills. Then it was gate games and safe hunting as the reds kept on the move.
We managed another couple of kills (up to 6 total), and I got onto all the kills which was very cool, however we missed a Tengu and a Drake – if I’d had my point fitted I think we might have got them.
One lol moment was at the first engagement with the war targets. I’ve been so used to flying and practicing with my helios (scanning) and sentinel (nos and tracking disrupting), that I forgot I had turrets fitted on the keres, so the first kill I was on, I forgot to actually shoot it, instead just getting on the mail due to sensor damping
Anyway – I’ve swapped my construction block producing planet to make oxygen instead for POS fuel, as the CEO mentioned that this would be really useful. The market has really slowed down – the only things selling at the moment are wrath fury cruise missiles – I have 6 Nemesis sitting there, lowest price for lots of jumps, just doing nothing.
I’m about to start making T2 medium crystals (need to train so I can use those – I like lazors!), and am making Taranis interceptors and Hobgoblin II’s – I’m hopeful these will sell a bit better. Stealth Bombers can be quite niche sometimes I guess.
OK, so I was scanning moons yesterday, and in the process I created a Google Documents spreadsheet to share the results with the Corp Executive – very cool by the way, if a little slow, but still useful.
I’d just got through the stack of probes in my cargo hold and was heading back to get more, when I jumped into system with about 30 neutrals, a couple of reds and a couple of blues. So I warped cloaked to my next gate and and there they were, as I jumped through I saw a blue on gate with them, oh well I thought, another kill mail for them. I aligned to my next gate but this time burned from it, so I could report in intel channels if they jumped or not.
They did jump through, and so did that blue. What? OK, problem. Blue flying with neuts and reds in a NBSI area. It’s at this point they start to align, and I can see they’re going the same direction as me, so I warp to my gate forgetting that there’s a drag bubble 50km behind the gate so I start reapproaching cloaked. I see them arrive about 200km out and then warp to the gate, so they know about the bubble, the blue is there with them. They jump before I get to the gate and when I get into system with them they’re already in warp somewhere. I try to gusss the gate but get it wrong, and then I’ve lost them.
Interesting though, seeing a blue so obviously flying with them. I reported it to my CEO – the Alliance can deal with that as they see fit, but I’m guessing he won’t be blue for much longer
Meanwhile, my POS fuel production continues to generate nice amounts of material, and my T2 invention and production is going well, although sales are still painfully slow
We’re about to set up some POS in our new home systems, so I expect that will keep me busy over the rest of the weekend. We did a jump freighter op yesterday to bring lots of stuff in, so things are moving along nicely now – I just wish the market was quicker.
My thoughts on production are that I will build T2 ships in an NPC station from now on. There’s one a few jumps away, and it will save the 10% material waste that the Advanced Assembly Arrays give. The reasoning behind this is that I can then waste fewer materials, and then sell a bit cheaper. Why not make more money? Well, I’ve got to sell them to make the money, so if I can increase the turnover then I’ll increase the flow of ISK. After all, unlike Empire this, at least for me, isn’t about making the most profit possible, but ensuring the Alliance can do as well as possible, so by making stuff cheaper, we’ll lose less from people trying to fly the stuff in from Jita and getting ganked on the way. Or at least that’s what I hope will happen.
I’ll let you know if I fail (again!)
While looking through the Alliance stuff last night I noticed a one line statement I hadn’t seen before – moons can be mined now.
Time to get the scanner and probes warmed up then
Finally, a bit of space to call our own. I’m hoping that this will resolve lots of the seemingly “huge” issues that we have – the distraction and feeling of ownership instead of almost squatting should change things a bit. Time will tell
One of the things that I was involved with when I was in my old Corp was moon mining, reactions and general POS upkeep. This was the reason my freighter alt has anchoring to 5 and starbase defense management to 4 so I could control defensive modules if needed.
When we shut down our old Corp and merged with our new one, we obviously took down our POS (7 towers I think it was). In an earlier post I talked about losing one of them during the take down.
Now, where we are our Alliance is taking Sov and we’ll shortly be moving to our new area. At this point we should be able to gain access to some station based manufacturing and R&D slots (I say should, as nothing in this Alliance convinces me that we’ll be allowed to), also, we will be able to commence moon mining.
However, what I’ve now had confirmed is that the top tier moons will be taken by our Alliance masters first so they can sell the stuff to pay Sov fees. No problems there. The problem, however, is that the second tier and lower moons will simply be “allocated” to different Corps as our Masters see fit. Now this to me doesn’t make sense. For example, our Corp is T2 manufacturing heavy, with good expertise in moon mining POS configuration. We produce mainly Caldari and Gallente T2 equipment, so in allocating moons, we would ideally want appropriate resources.
I guess it all comes down to how the Alliance “decides” to do things, and I can only hope that some form of common sense prevails here during the allocation process. But, on the back of this news, I logged onto Eve last night and fired up TS3 to find an animated discussion about all of this, and whether we should look to reanimate some of our old Corp’s moon mining sites.
I didn’t offer much of an opinion on this, other than to say that if the Alliance was working properly (and it might be, we just might not being told – meaningless grunts that we are ), then this discussion, and the resource and time commitment that would be involved, would be completely unnecessary.
I’m torn on this – I can see the point from a financial aspect. Logistically, using something like a jump freighter to move material around, it wouldn’t be too bad either. But from a time point of view, and how it would look politically, I’m really not convinced. If the Alliance, for example, offered us 2 or 3 tier 2 moons to mine, and an agreement that we could have several more “common” moons, how would it look if we only take up a little bit of that offer?
My feelings are that this is probably all due to an Alliance focussed on expansion in a quick and efficient manner, on the basis that the rest of the stuff can be dealt with when Sov is secured. In cases like these, strong leadership with clear messages would be better, for example Alliance leadership communicating to CEO’s that we will not be talking about moon mining and outposts etc. until we have achieved goals 1-5 of our plan. CEO’s can then say to us ungrateful and impatient rabble that it will be sorted, but not until phase 1 (or 2 or whatever phase this is) is complete, so get your ass into the ops and home defense fleet and things will happen more quickly.
Meantime, through all of this, the stealth bombers and T2 missiles keep moving through the production factory and my invention jobs keep bringing me more BP’s to play with. Only 2 days to go to T2 frigates – I have a Sentinel, Keres and Retribution ready to play with. OK, I could play with the Keres now, but I haven’t got the Electronic Frigs skill up yet so it’s sitting unassembled in a station until Saturday.
Depressingly, Helicity Boson stated that the Retribution was the most fail of all Assault Frigates (I have posted a comment asking why, and will then see if I can find a way to mitigate based on the answer!).
One of the most interesting things since moving to 0.0 has been the markets here. There are two stations within one or two jump bridges of our home system, and so therefore anything we make is being sold there.
The basic rule our Corp is working to is Jita +20%. On balance, this seems more than fair as it allows people to buy things without having to travel to hi sec and back, and this usually means a trade hub like Jita and not just the first hi sec system you get to. It also covers our risk, as for some things we do have to go to hi sec to get the materials. As previously explained, this is mostly due to the Alliance not allowing us to purchase materials, instead preferring to dump them on the market in Jita.
The curious thing, however, seems to be that most people still appear to go to Jita to buy things and ship them in, instead of buying them locally.
So what’s the answer? Sell at Jita prices? Maybe. Reduce the uplift from 20% to, say, 10%? Probably more likely. The 20% uplift is also used to help pay for the Corp’s Alliance fees and for POS fuel.
It’s all a bit of a catch 22, as if we could buy the moon materials and base minerals from Alliance we wouldn’t need to risk hi sec runs either at all, or at worst infrequently, maybe a jump freighter each week or so. So less risk (and less jump fuel costs) for us, combined with increased availability of materials would mean we could spend more time on production, and increase output dramatically. This would mean we could sell at lower mark-ups over Jita prices and hopefully increase market activity in 0.0, reducing losses by our Alliance members.
All good in theory. But one thing we didn’t count on. 10 rigs placed on market for 4 million. Somebody buys them all and puts them back on the market for 5 million. I guess this is always likely to happen, and on a much larger scale it wouldn’t work (i.e. we put another 40 rigs on at 4 mil, or even 100+ - does he buy all those too?), but again it puts people off shopping locally, which reduces our income and makes it more difficult to scale up operations quickly.
Whatever, it is certainly a massive change from the familiar fast turnover of a trade hub.
On another note, I keep looking at faction frigates in contracts, I get close to the “accept contract” button, and then quickly close the screen down. I’m not completely sure what I’d use it for – ratting? Fleet fights? Roams?
I’d be really interested in hearing what other people use them for, or are they just supposed to sit in a station and look pretty?
I have a freighter alt, but decided a while ago to set him down the path of a logistics pilot, and he’s finally got the pre-req’s for Logistics, so it’s now just under a month to get Logistics to 5 (he has both Caldari and Gallente Cruiser to 5 already), then a quick remap and we train up the shield and armour repping skills requried.
When he got the skill book for logistics, I also did some other shopping and spent about 100 mil on modules and some T2 frigates to take to null, I also got some construction blocks for my T2 ship building out there.
I’m sure I transferred them to the cloaky transport alt to get in, but can I find them in null anywhere? No. What’s the betting they’re in one of the GSC’s in the cargohold of my logistic’s industrial back in hi sec?
I’m thinking of setting the cloaky transport alt onto a longer term skill plan to get into a carrier. Good idea? Bad idea?
So I set all my component manufacturing going (the ones I have skills for), and put the skills in the queue so I can make the rest.
Then I get told that an advanced small ship assembly array is now onlining and that the materials will be put in there for me to get started, so can I start making the Stealth Bombers.
OK, so I cancel one manufacturing job losing 12 million of materials as it’s important that I get started. I jump from hi sec to null and get to the now online array, drop the T2 BPC in and click to manufacture.
It needs 10% extra materials, which is fine, but it does need all the materials, and one item is missing and won’t be available until Sunday. Big fail.
Nevermind, it’s only ISK
At this point I should apologise if my posts all seem a bit negative. I guess I’m a bit noob at all this still and maybe my expectations aren’t quite what they should be. Anyway, let’s keep moving forwards where we can.
The thing that I probably hate the most is when you try to do something, or look at something, and see a red x.
Somebody posts their ship fit, you know you can fly the ship so you click on it to see their fit and are confronted by a long list of red x’s. Depressing.
My latest experience was earlier today when I started some component manufacturing jobs off. As I went through my list, I suddenly saw two red x’s. So it turns out I miscalculated the amount of sylramic fibers I needed (how did I do that – I used Evemeep to work it out for me?), and I also forgot to check I had all the relevant science skills to level 3. Nevermind, it’ll be fine in 20 hours time, and meantime I just set something else going and need to pop to Jita for more sylramic.
I’m hoping that the executives in my Corp get more organised, as the logistics set-up is not exactly slick still – in fact it seems to be all down to one person who is horribly overworked, so I’ve given up asking for the things I’m supposed to have been given at the moment – he doens’t need extra mails from me clogging up his in box.
Another interesting development is that there are rumours that we’re about to go to war. And when I say war, I mean something serious, not one 50 man Corp picking on another, but entire Alliances and groups of Alliances getting involved. Hmmm… better get those T2 drones and Stealth Bombers made quickly then.