Well, after a bit of a break, I decided to try some basic API work. I’ve decided to use the Joomla! content management system as the backbone of my website, as it provides most of the core things I’d need, i.e. pretty much everything vaguely non-Eve related you could think of including forums, security, looking pretty, actually working… etc.
My first experiment with the Eve API has been to write a PHP script that looks through the registered users, finds somebody with the access level “CEO” and then compares all other users (with the exception of site admins of course!) against the CEO, or CEO’s if you had an associated Dust Corp for example. It then automatically approves them or blocks them depending on whether they’re in the same corp or not. Better still, it then goes to the Eve image server and grabs their latest mug shot and sets it as their avatar for the site.
By running this on a cron job, maybe every couple of hours or so, it would allow for automatic registration and blocking of website users depending on their corp status. New user joins your corp? They can register and be approved with basic access to your corp website without you having to do anything. Member leaves (or is kicked) from the corp? Their access to your forums and other information will automatically be removed without you having to do anything else at all.
I’ve even set the website up to provide new users with a link to the Eve API account management page with the correct access mask so that it provides everything needed, which is actually just the public information – nothing secret such as wallet information or mails etc. Of course the beauty will come when, a bit later on, I add some different features which will need the user to allow the website access to more of the API details than the basic public information.
So, I’ve just finished watching the CCP Twitch TV stream about the Winter 2013 Expansion, named Rubicon.
They hinted at a number of very interesting developments for the future, with graphics showing some Caldari Industrial ships towing a jump gate somewhere. They made lots of announcements, including a new Sisters of Eve frigate and cruiser, the first non Tech II or Tech III ships to be able to use a Covert Ops Cloaking Device.
What was sadly missing really was content for the non-PvP player.
Warp acceleration speeds are finally being fixed, so if you have an interceptor, you’ll literally be able to watch where a battleship warped to, warp there yourself and arrive before they do. That is very nice and certainly how it should be.
However, when looking through some of the changes, I am concerned that, once again, CCP are really moving Eve away from supporting it’s industrialist backbone. I’ll run through a few things and wait for the “Carebear tears” comments to arrive:
- Interceptors will get warp bubble immunity. On the face of it this will make for some interesting gameplay, but it will also mean that an inexpensive T2 frigate will be able to jump into a mining system, warp through the bubbles and probably arrive in the site (that it now doesn’t even have to bother to scan down anymore) before the mining ships are even half way through their acceleration cycle to enter warp. I sort of like the idea on one side, but think that CCP should reverse the grav site changes back to requiring you to scan to make things more even
- The blockade runners will benefit from the warp acceleration speed increases – seriously, this was probably the only “real” mention of a benefit to the industry side of eve, with the exception of…
- Customs offices in hi-sec can now be player controlled. This will open up a market for making the things in quantity, as they will be blown up all over the place. I’m a bit 50/50 on this one, as I can see some industry corps and alliances putting up their own POCO’s to benefit their members, and having taken part in blowing up quite a few myself, I know what a pain they can be to destroy, so maybe war-dec alliances won’t be too interested in grinding through 10 POCO’s per system for example (welcome to 0.0 lite!), so this one might work
- Siphon module. Really? I can imagine some cheeky people doing this around some R32 and R64 moons, and maybe even in silo wormhole systems, but for the smaller industrial corps in lo and null sec, they’ll simply take their stuff back and blow the module up
- Mobile cyno-jammer. OK, so the mining / PvE fleet can deploy one or more of these things in various places to stop somebody Titan Bridging in a fleet to gank you…. except they can still probably cyno in 150km from you and warp in as the interceptor grabs you, or perhaps the light interdictor drops it’s bubble. Probably useful in certain PvP situations, but as it doesn’t block covert cyno’s, it’s probably going to be of limited use for mining fleets, although will still probably be an essential thing to drop off in sites once it comes to the market
Erm…. was that it? Is there a part 2 or something? I know that there was the recent rebalancing of the industrial ships so people would finally have a reason to fly the ships that were previously known as the Iteron I to IV, but surely there could have been something… well, something even remotely significant? I got the feeling that the POCO’s was the something significant - and really this was something that many of the player base had pretty much expected would happen some time ago.
Don’t get me wrong, the vision of space exploration and so on is exciting, but some of the more recent changes have pushed the balance strongly towards the PvP side of things and away from the industrial (i.e. harvesting and crafting if you play certain types of games) play style. I was really hoping for something really interesting for my gameplay. At the moment all I can see is that some ships I make might sell quicker and then result in a quicker loss rate of ships I tend to use.
How about something along the lines of:
- Ring mining
- Detection/hunting system for cloaked ships
- Opening up of market to make Dust 514 items
- Addressing T2 BPO’s
- Reworking of science and industry interface to allow batching of jobs
- iHub networking interface for Corp / Alliance – something that can relay one or two jumps away in local chat, for example, when (depending on settings) a neutral or red enters a neighbouring system – not name or ship type or even numbers or even when they’ve left, just a notification that a neutral or red entered the system. Up to you to go and see if they’re still there, how many there are etc.
- Scanner disruption bubble – anchorable device that emits a field that disrupts a ship’s (and probe’s) onboard scanner when within the bubble. Same size as T1 / T2 small, medium and large warp disruption bubbles, but means that ships have to fly out of the bubble before their scanner picks up sites in a system. Interceptors will not be immune to the effects of these
- other things….
Perhaps there will be something in the Spring Expansion?
Well, this last few days has been very very busy indeed.
Due to a change in real life circumstances, a good friend and corp mate has had to step back from Eve for a short period (about a month or two), and suddenly I’ve found myself in possession of a Rhea jump freighter, a can full of fuel and a hanger full of stuff to move. Queue cynos and lots and lots of “docking request accepted” sounds.
I’ve lost count of how many jumps I’ve done, but that pales into insignificance to the number of jumps that the courier I use must be doing to shift all of this stuff.
Throughout all of this I’ve also been busy building T2 ships and T3 subsystems to keep myself plexed (and even dual character training in some situations). Using multiple market hubs is definitely working out well as I can source and sell materials very effectively. OK, I’m sure lots of you will be asking is it really worth me moving a freighter full of stuff just for a few ISK more per unit when selling or the opposite when buying. Well, I have the time to move a freighter in the background while I do all my other things, so why not? Yeah yeah – probably several hundred reasons, but I’m still doing it
I suppose this is a sort of natural progression – I was handling the logistics on the hi-sec side, I’m just completing the loop by handling it the other end too. Importantly it connects me a bit more with the null sec operations, which may or may not be a good thing for the other members of the corp as I’ll probably accidentally stand on a few feet as I look around the hangers to see what’s there and what’s going on.
I’ve already achieved this well by sending a POS module out to Jita for sale, only to be asked where it was as it should be anchored at a POS. After much digital red face type comments, I took the sell order down and shipped it back out to null. Hmmm… hopefully this won’t be a sign of things to come, but I can’t really be sure that it won’t.
My shields crackle with spasms of electricity from an EMP grenade I couldn’t get far enough away from. It’s thrower barely hesitates before running through a nearby doorway and unleashing a barrage of rounds from his mass driver. Not a pleasant time to be trying out the newest model of laser rifle. In this close I didn’t stand much of a chance, and this guy wasn’t looking to leave anything breathing. A slight pause as he darts back in, I grip my little Toxin sidearm and gamble he’s reloading, those things can’t hold many rounds to begin with, and dart into his little hallway. Behind the reloading scout, I see a heavy machine gunner finishing off a squadmate, no time for anything fancy. I squeeze the trigger and unleash every round I can as the heavy weapon comes to bear on me.
Damnit! I’m back in the MCC and I didn’t get my mark. Freaky bunny hopping twit, combat is no place for calisthenics.. Might as well keep testing this laser out, if I’m going to be a statistic, might as well make it a big one. A few days ago major manufacturers released a new design of laser rifle, trying to bring it more into line with previous models. All I cared is they finally caught and shot the genetically abhorrent bastard that thought it was funny to put iron sights on a laser. Time to gripe later, timer is done. Back on the ground close to the hot zone, I dart rearward to put a bit of space between the combatants and I. These lethal beams needed range to become effective, and I had a plan. Standing 30 meters off from my most recent demise, I shouldered the weapon and sighted down the modified scope and caught “Hoppy” still camping his hallway. I move the sight just a bit to the left and focus on a wall that he couldn’t see and squeeze the trigger letting my weapon get warm. I watch as the heat dissipation fins begin to take color and shift the sights back on target. The gamble pays off as in nearly an instant the scout suit is burned out.
Next up on my list is his heavy friend. Further down the hallway but I can still see him. No point in pre-warming this time, burning out a heavy suit is about perseverance. I can feel the ground around me erupt around me from bullets slamming inaccurately into anything in their path as I begin the burn. His shields drop fast and that’s where the fun begins. My suit is taking a stray round or two, and fortunately is also using armor enhancements, I dig in and do what I can to keep the beam on him as best I can. A searing flash! I’ve gone on too long, and my weapon has over heated. The feedback tipping the scales in the heavies favor as it melts down about half of my plating. While my weapon cycles through a forced cool down, I look back toward my target who is capitalizing on this mistake. The wall of death is running towards me as quickly as he can muster while I sit helpless with my weapon, It’s back! Have to reload and begin to backpedal as the distance between us is now certainly not in my favor. My nanites have repaired a little of the slag damage, but it’s slow going and it’s time for the dance to begin. Training the column of fire as close to his helmet as I can, I strafe as randomly as possible but he’s come too close. To hell with it, I’m going down and my Locus grenade will insure he will to. Unless he’s willing to break off and let me live, we’ll both be i…
Roadkill?! I was crushed, as my grenade went off killing the heavy. Robbing him of his victory is barely worth the effort as my chest feels like I’m still underneath the LAV. Screw the test, I grab my Duvolle’s rifle and grin as I jump back into the fray. No more easy statistic, it’s time to go hunting an LAV.
So a few months on from the release of Odyssey, and the markets seem to have mostly settled down, with some quite interesting results.
Firstly, that Arazu I talked about in a previous post. Pre-patch it was 130 million ISK, it peaked at around 170 million ISK, and seems to be steadily falling, with the current Jita price around 147 million ISK, which is still well over a 10% increase in cost. But what actually happened?
If you look at sales graphs of various things, you notice some trends around patch time. All of the metamaterials started off at high prices, mostly well above 25k ISK a unit, but all of them then rapidly dropped and have settled down to around the 9k to 10k ISK level, with the exception of Nonlinear Metamaterials (Caldari), which have held their price at around the 13k ISK a unit mark. However, daily traded units for the metamaterials are around about the 2 million mark in Jita, with the notable exception being Photonic Metamaterials (Gallente), which appear to be averaging nearer 3 million units a day in Jita.
What about my favourite thing before the patch, nanotransistors? Well, their price just plummeted from 5.5k ISK a unit down to where they are now which is bouncing around between 2.2k and 2.9k ISK a unit in Jita. Daily traded volumes have also pretty much halved from 20 million to 10 million units a day.
Let’s dig a bit deeper and look at the pre-patch stranglehold on T2 manufacturing, and the source of the big null-sec Alliance’s virtually limitless funds… Technetium. Well, it has not exactly done very well. Price per unit has dropped from around 75k ISK to a fairly stead 12k ISK a unit. Daily traded volume has probably dropped by only 40% from about 800k to 500k units a day.
What does that mean for POS revenue per hour from the final stage moon reactions? Well, nanotransistors are now down from around 7.5 million ISK per hour revenue to just over 4 million ISK per hour, and metamaterials have come in at about 3 to 3.5 million ISK revenue per hour. If Jita was moving 20 million units of nanotransistors per day which were (probably) mostly produced by the larger alliances from their own tech moons, if you convert half of the POS from nanotransistors to metamaterials and work that in together with the price and volume drops, you get:
- Reduction in daily revenue from around 110 billion to 57 billion ISK a day, i.e. approximately half
- A change from 5 million m3 of product per day to ship to between 4.5 and 5.5 million m3 per day, i.e. potentially higher shipping costs
- An average reduction in revenue per POS from 7.5 million ISK per hour to around 3.75 million ISK per hour, i.e. approximately half
In one patch, CCP basically halved the Tech income from the big alliances and forced them to look at different routes. That’s why Pandemic Legion not rent space, and even Goons are allegedly starting to offer genuine rental opportunities, and not the “non-refundable” deposit followed by freighter gank routine. As a side note, I just want to mention that Pandemic Legion are utterly excellent landlords – the best I’ve experienced in Eve. I’m not getting paid for saying that, and won’t get a rental reduction or finders fee, it’s just the truth. Different landlords will offer different things to different renters, so pick the landlord for your game style, and make sure you pick the area properly. Dronelands are probably not the best for PvP and PvE, whereas some of the other regions can offer incredible PvE opportunities, and others have direct routes to PvP hotspots.
Where does that leave us with the market though? Well most things seem to have settled back down to being profitable, with the exception of a few things such as the Occator, which would still be produced at a loss if you made it from an ME -4 BPC (hint – this is not the way to make them profitably… decryptors anybody?).
I am surprised that metamaterials have dropped so low, and that people are willing to sell their time for so little, however it seems that the larger alliances have perhaps dropped many things post-Technetium and this has been picked up by a number of independents, who are not so choosy with their margins; are not in a price fixing cartel together; and who depend on more rapid turnover of ISK with lower reserves to operate and so are willing to compete fiercely against each other, keeping prices low.
So ring mining is probably next… what will that do to the economy?
Hot on the heals of the first installment, my Corp mate has penned another battle report. This one was the first Planetary Conquest battle we got in to together with our new Corp. It was against Seraphim Initiative and… well I’ll leave him to explain what happened next:
“We just need to hold for a few minutes and wear down their clone reserves by 20 to hold this installation.”
The orders seemed simple enough, and the job paid well. As an added bonus Sicling and I would be fighting alongside a group of mercenaries we were trying to join. Looking at my dwindling clone reserves I hoped that this would be one of those battles where everything came together in our favor.
Before I could do a final check of my gear, our comms crew finally came through with information on our opposition. One glance at Sicling and I knew we were both coming to the same conclusion. She spoke first: “Ah, guys. This isn’t going to be as simple as you think.”
“Nonsense, just hit them hard, fast and camp them in their base” the commander shot back.
“No. ” I replied “You’re not getting it. This is our old merc. group, and these are their best mercs. You need to revise that strategy.
Sicling and I gave up at that point. Not the first time some arrogant shrapnel magnet wouldn’t listen. At least the contract was for a sniper team. Glancing over my inventory I selected a prized rifle I had found on the battlefield. It’s former owner’s initials emblazoned on the stock read “Thales.” I’d never had the chance to meet him, but he certainly did know how to modify a sniper rifle. Sicling was doing the same, having found a few of her own recently. It really was a shame that nothing else came even close to its potential.
Our MCC was nearly in position now and all of our brethren had gathered. This was a much more impressive sight than I was accustomed to seeing. Bright yellow, striking red and black, and opalescent green hues of their suits gave the seasoned eye a look deep into the prototype models of various corporations. Instead of a silent pre-battle reflection, they laughed and put wagers on who could get the final kill. I took notice of my 5 remaining clones in storage, this needed to go well or I might just have to go back to freelance work.
Instead of the usual canned speech, it was replaced by our squad leader barking out our deployment location and a final strategy enforcement. As my helmet brought up the battlefield, I again knew that Sicling was thinking the same thing. With this large of a battlefield there would be no camping their base. They could spread out, divide our forces among several hot zones and our over-eager commanders would be all too willing to give them exactly what they wanted. But it would work to my advantage at least. Sniper fire could cover just about everything.
We all jump as the bay doors open, perhaps an impressive sight should someone be watching from the ground as 15 merchants of war fell from the sky with inertial dampeners active. Nearby the impact zone was a perfect hill for Sicling and I to setup shop and we both start running to get into position. From out of nowhere a friendly LAV speeds past and flattens my partner. I wince, I know that she’s alright and back in the MCC waiting for her AI to complete the transfer, but still. The offending knuckle dragger only offering a pathetic “She ran out in front of me” as an excuse.” I stand for a moment caressing an AV grenade at my hip pondering just how far my bio enhanced arms could throw it, when I felt a hand grab my wrist. “No.” Sicling said. “Just no. I’m still picking chunks of the last guy out of my armor and in case you forgot, it’s sort of why we’re unemployed.” I smile to myself. “Fine, but if I see him in quarters later I get to be very unfriendly.”
We creep to the top of the hill and survey the field below us. As we anticipated things weren’t going even slightly as well as our commander had hoped. I take aim on a heavily armored soldier heading to intercept our ill fated LAV driver, slowly exhale and caress the trigger. Even through the well designed stock of the weapon and the nanite infused armor plates on my shoulders I can feel my shoulder separate from the massive kick of the weapon. “Great.” I think. “I’m never going to hear the end of this one.” Burying the pain I focus down my scope, only to see my target still running, if maybe a little lower on shield strength.
“Hey Sicling,” I call as I squeeze another round. “Do they seem reluctant to die to you?”
“Yea,” she replies. “I feel like I’ve been hit by a train and they don’t seem to care one bit. How inconsiderate.”
I focus on a new target trying to dart behind cover and let loose another round. To my great satisfaction I see the suit go limp and the rather macerated remains of a helmet roll away.
“Got one!” comes the call from Sicling.
Too many times in battle we had found ourselves tracking the same targets and it seemed that once again we had both selected the same trophy. “Alright, tandem it is.” I call back. “Call the target and I’ll call the shot.”
“There, in the rear near the missile battery. I see someone kneeling and from the looks of it he’s looking for support from orbit.”
“Got him,” I call back. “Mark!”
Our training takes over and the shots ring out in unison. The dust around us soars up like the wings of an angel and we both watch our target tumble backward a few meters from the impact. That should buy us a few seconds, but we need to haul ass. Even the desolate landscape seems to be against us for even as we turn to run to a new position, snipers from the attacking forces begin to take pot shots at us.
“Two more kills and we can leave this place people. Get it done!” We hear from our commander.
Sicling and I quickly run to a nearby resupply point and send our precious rifles back to the MCC. We grab more readily affordable sniper rifles and turn back to the battle. Sicling arrives back on her point first and arrives to a hail of gunfire from a grunt with an assault rifle. I try to cover her, but I’m too late. Another clone lost, and this time I really did screw it up. As I round a higher point to exact a bit of payback, a friendly trooper lobs a well timed grenade and removes the problem for me.
“That’s it, they’re done here for now. They’ll have to regroup tomorrow and try again.” The commander calls out.
Not a moment too soon, as a rather unpleasant tank was heading our way. At least we knew that no matter whom we fought for or against, once profitability became too slim, they would always retreat.
I spend a moment surveying the communications facility we had just defended. Apparently things had taken more than just the predicted “few minutes” we had been led to believe. The logistics mercs had done their job well. Modern day necromancers with nanite injectors could revive and heal up even the most grave of injuries in seconds. I feel a stab between my shoulder blades, “Hey stranger, ” Sicling chuckles. “No wonder you shot like hell, your shoulder is a mess.” The pain quickly dissipates everywhere in my body as the injection of nanites I just received begin to work their magic. “Don’t think this makes up for you crushing me with your dropship, ” I chuckle back.
As you will have seen from previous blog posts, I play Dust 514 as well as Eve Online. One of the people in my Eve Corp introduced me to Dust, and now we’re in the same Corp fighting alongside each other and trying to prove our worth in a feeder Corp so we can get accepted into the main Corp.
Usually I am a Sniper. I’ve got Sniper 5, Sniper Proficiency 5 and Sniper Ammo Capacity 4. When in a serious game, I run around with either a charge sniper rifle or a Kaalakiota sniper rifle in my Prototype Gallente Logistics suit. Recently, I’ve also started experimenting with being a truly logistics character, which includes prototype nanohives and prototype repair tools. I have much to learn for sure. Oh… I also fly Logistics and Assault Dropships
Yesterday, after finishing a few battles with my corp mate, I logged off and he continued playing. This morning when checking my email I found that he’d indulged in some creative writing, documenting a battle he’d just lost, and ironically it was against the main corp.
Below is his recounting of the battle… I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did:
Another planet, another meat grinder. Intel reports listed a squad of Mercenaries on the opposing side that were all using high quality communication gear and extensive tactical training to insure their advantage. I sighed, the helmet readout listed my clone reserves in the thirties. Hopefully more than enough to leave my mark before the battle commanders decided to run away.
I looked at the others around me that had been found to fight alongside me. Lowest common denominator types. Shabby armor and weapons, most likely from whatever local militia had given them their 2 weeks of training before shipping them out. A glint here and there belying a financial backer helping them acquire weapons beyond their meager soldiers pay. I chuckled a bit, bringing high quality armaments here would simply render someone a more slender wallet. I glance at the battle alignment timer, one minute. How it takes them so long to get this hunk of space junk in position over the battlefield would forever baffle me. I check over my gear one last time, everything seems in order. Mentally I’ve got to tell myself, they’re good, and I’m going to remind them why arrogance has no place on a field of battle. Perhaps I should have taken on a more peaceful role, but for a woman with a blood lust in this “civilized” age, I really couldn’t think of a better occupation. I have to quell the feeling of regret, my partner Sicling had to sit this one out. Without her to watch my back, things were going to get messy.
The speakers erupt with the same canned speech I’ve heard too many times to count. The tub is finally in place, and it’s time for me to earn my keep. I select my favorite suit, prototype gear designed for me by Duvolle industries and jump from the MCC. I fantasize about the history of jumping from aircraft and wonder if jumping without inertial dampeners or an army of ready clones at my back would it actually have been more exhilarating?
On the ground now, and the enemy is on the move. As I run around the industrial complex we’d been hired to guard I spot my first target. A yellow tinted LAV and it’s driver are stopped facing away from me a mere 20 meters away. Not skipping a beat I glide around low, trying to remain in the drivers’ blind spot and bring my rifle to my shoulder. I’ve finally made it far enough now to see the drivers head and I begin to take aim. That’s when the first encounter of the battle began to slide out of control. The driver had spotted me and waited to spring a trap of his own.
Jumping out of the vehicle, I had a moment to see the crimson coloring glinting off his heavily armored suit. Someone also had a prototype backer it seemed. Knowing that it was going to be a matter of breaths before he brought his heavy machine gun to bear on my precious suit, I aimed for his helmet and began to pound plasma infused rounds his way. My deadly gambit payed off, as I managed to overwhelm his suits nanite-infused armor plating before he could bring his deadly stream to full bear and for the moment, I was the victor.
I quickly ran up to the now ownerless vehicle and set my suits AI to decrypting the locking mechanism. While it did it’s job I gleefully realized I’d just stumbled across over a million isk worth of custom designed murder-taxi. The second my AI completed its task I jumped in and got an even greater surprise, this baby was outfitted with gear I’d only heard rumor about. It’s a good thing my helmet covers my face or everyone would be able to see my maniacal grin, there was only one thing to do with something this grand. I turned the wheel hard and drove off into the nearby foothills, my AI buzzing that I was nearing the edge of the containment area. Not to worry little electronic conscience, I’ll be back to combat just as soon as I finish. I hop out of the LAV, a little sad that I cannot bring it back with me, but all that passes as I see it erupt into a ball of flame that can be seen across the battlefield. Gotta love self destruct, I hope the previous owner saw it.
Back to the task at hand, 30 meters off and closing my suit picks up my next target. I gleefully rush to the corner of a nearby building to setup my own little surprise. My timing is perfect as the unsuspecting combatant round the corner into my already firing weapon. But things take a rather sickening turn as I hear the hammer clicking in the chamber. Damnit! Sicling, where’s my nanohive I start to shout, before I remember that backup isn’t there. Fortunately I had my own for cases like this, and the enemy had retreated around the corner, waiting for me to rush around and finish him off. I quickly whip down the nanite package and watch the ammo counter on weapon, 36, it’ll have to do and I slam a recharging magazine home. By this time the soldier I had all but finished off had realized that I was vulnerable and was advancing to me. My luck holds though, as those precious heartbeats he waited were just enough for me to get what I needed to send him back to his MCC in search of a fresh clone.
I look around my familiar MCC and realize a sniper has gotten the better of me. Serves me right I guess. I check my new clone while my new suits AI finishes the neurological transfer. Everything feels alright. I should really see if they can do something to make my ass look more amazing in these clunky suits I think wryly as set off to exact my retribution.
Landing back onto the battlefield I feel the sickening blast of reality. My comrades in arms were indeed useless. as 60% of the battlefield now lay in enemy control. Time to see what can be done about that. I round a corner and face to face with a tank. Darting backward I snatch one of my AV grenades and hope I wasn’t seen. Round the corner and thr..
Back in the MCC… I guess that driver wasn’t going to risk a face to face encounter. I check my new clone while my new suits AI finishes the neurological transfer. Everything feels alright. I should really see if they can do something to make my ass look more amazing in these clunky suits I think. A sudden wave of deja-vu swells over me. After all these years as a clone soldier I still can’t quite shake the feeling off that I’ve done it all before. No matter, I’ll head over to Sicling’s quarters after this and enjoy the fact that these cloned bodies have no alcohol tolerance.
(Note: images have been used from Dust 514 Fanfest 2012 screenshots and Google images, and each links to the original location. I take no responsibility for the any external links)
I’m working on lots of projects right now, hence the serious slow down in blogging, but hopefully that will resume very shortly with some interesting (and potentially useful for both of my readers) things.
RL issues have taken a big toll on things also, with ongoing hospital visits and now problems with returning to work, but that has nothing to do with internet spaceships, so will be securely parked in my personal hanger for now.
Projects I’m working on right now are mainly around both the Eve API and Eve market feeds. From both of these I’m trying to build a database and web tools to make a Corporate / Alliance website structure which will initially be used for my Corp and tested with a friendly blogger who I chatted at length with about things this morning. I’m hoping that the blogger will restart his blog after his lengthy break from blogging, as he has some really interesting ideas with how to change / improve things with Freighters, Jump Freighters and Rorquals.
Anyway, the main thrust of this post is to try and think through the implications of moon mining changing from purely passive to completely active via ring mining, as seems inevitable at this stage.
Recently, CCP introduced changes to mining the higher end ores such as the ABC’s, so that you get more base minerals from them, such as Tritanium for example. This has certainly changed things from my perspective. Previously I was compressing and sending 425mm Railgun I’s off for my corp mates to build things in null sec, since the patch this has changed rather dramatically so that I am now mainly sending 1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates I’s to make up for shortfalls in Mexallon and a little bit of Isogen. Importantly, when looking at something to use for mineral compression, always remember to see if it has “extra materials”, as those will be 100% lost when you reprocess the item.
Currently, moon mining is really pretty easy. You set up a POS, throw on a moon harvester and one or more silos connected to it, and off you go. Just remember to empty the silos every so often and that’s it. Simple really, a never ending supply of materials, with your moon harvesters safely behind the POS shield.
Wait… what? The moon harvesters are able to fire a very clever beam of particles / energy / lemmings / whatever at the moon from an incredible distance, and then that same beam, through the wonders on modern science, is able to bring back precise quantities of pure moon goo through your POS shield and safely deposit it into the waiting silo.
What’s wrong with this picture? Anyway, back to that quandry in a little bit.
Currently, mining brings in the minerals for production, and people either buy or directly use those minerals to make things, and then others happily either use it to blow other stuff up (including each other), or to empire build, or simply to harvest more resources. All of this has a fixed time cost. The finite period of time taken to mine the materials, and the finite period of time taken and amount of space used to transport the resources.
If I mine Veldspar for 4 hours, three times a week, and that’s my mining time, I contribute 12 hours a week to Chribba’s stockpiles of Tritanium. Introduce ring mining to replace moon mining, and I now might only spend 8 hours a week wining Veldspar, and the other 4 hours scooping up Platinum from a rich vein of resources in a scanned ring around a random moon in one of the systems I work in. Suddenly Chribba is less pleased, I’m only giving him 8 hours worth of Tritanium, he’s lost 33% of my time so I can get some platinum instead.
That’s obviously a very generic and extremely simplistic view of how things might work, but if the output of miners isn’t adjusted to compensate for the time that will be diverted to harvesting what was previously passively harvested moon goo, then… well just think it through.
So… back to the bit earlier about the moon harvester that can operate through the POS shields. The perception is, currently, that the larger alliances have high end moons, and would usually have a POS engineer in something like a Jump Freighter who would go from system to system maybe every week or two and collect the harvested moon goo to take for further processing or to dump to market. It’s a time investment for sure, but nothing too serious for a well organised Alliance.
What about the smaller Alliances and rental corps? They probably have a few mid range and lower end moons, and will probably be reacting most of it to final product to sell at Jita. They’ll probably (but not definitely) make a higher percentage profit overall from what they do, as they will be using more moons, including lower end ones, to react everything together.
How would I suggest altering moon mining?
First thing, I would still add ring mining, as it should hopefully add another element to the exploration subset of Eve activities. If it’s made so you need two or three separate roles to do it (scan the site, identify the rich vein of goo, harvest it), and you have to adjust your trajectory during the harvesting process based on a link from the scanning ship to keep on the strongest path of goo, then it could be lots of fun to do and further encourage co-operative play. If the rings were limited to 0.4 and below, it could even encourage even more people into lo-sec space, and if some systems in faction warfare space had a higher chance of spawing a high end cluster, then it could add another reason to join and fight in the faction warfare game.
Secondly, I’d move moon harvesters outside of the POS shield. I’d up their shields, armour and hull stats quite a bit, and then introduce an interface similar to Planetary Interaction. Finally I’d put a fuel bay on them.
Before I get shot from every direction, I’m not advocating installations and other stuff on the moon, and I’m not suggesting a huge ISK cost to this, simply that you need to actually go to the harvester and manage it.
To operate it, you fly to within 2.5 k and fill the fuel bay with 20 racial fuel blocks. Next you manage it – you get a scan window and you select the complexity of the operation. Complex operation gives, say, 100 units per hour and will consume 5 fuel blocks per day to run. Intermediate operation gives 75 units per hour and consumes 3 fuel blocks per day to run. Finally, Simple operation yields 50 units per hour, but will only consume 1 fuel block per day. If it runs out of fuel, it stops and needs to be refueled, reset and restarted.
If you’re a small Alliance or a renter, keeping 20 fuel blocks per moon miner around to keep it topped up and running every 4 days isn’t much of an effort, as you’d probably be emptying silos at least as frequently as that anyway. For the larger Alliances with swathes of barren space occupied only by lonely POS installations and visited occasionally by a POS engineer in a Jump Freighter – will they really want to run around every 4 days? Unlikely. Every 6 days… maybe. Every 20 days… well definitely they’d visit more often than that, but to only get 50% yield won’t be worth it. Also, as the POS module is now outside the POS, it’s vulnerable to a large roaming gang and annoying to fix for larger Alliances who might have to go many jumps to rep things up.
I think this sort of system would favour smaller Alliances on the basis that you need to be there more to harvest things. Force projection with Super Capitals means that currently you could (in theory, but pretty unlikely in practice) own an entire region and harvest all the R64 and R32 moons without needing anybody in the region itself. Change that to needing somebody to visit each POS at least every 4 days, and you’ve suddenly got a pretty thankless task, or a way the smaller Alliances can earn their ISK faster than a larger Alliance might due to their increased activity in the systems.
It’s just an idea, I’m sure there will be many holes, and I’d be interested to hear what you think they are
As part of any traders’ activities, I would imagine that all utilise the excellent website, Eve-Central. To be honest, I would imagine that the vast majority of pod pilots use this website at one time or another. Want a quick price check on something and can’t be bothered to load your Jita alt… check the price on Eve-Central.com. Need some materials and want to see whether the Mexallon 5 jumps from you is massively overpriced… check the price on Eve-Central.com.
In fact, Eve-Central is one of the most essential websites for anybody with leanings towards being, as the leet PvP heros would say, a Care Bear. Whether you use the site via its own website or, as I and many others do, use the excellent API interface to process the information another way, whether via a database or PHP etc.
However, I wonder how many people were aware that all of us can contribute to the accuracy and usefulness of Eve-Central with virtually no effort on our part? By simply downloading and installing Contribtastic, (or in the case of Mac users, download and compile the source code) and then opening it before you start loading your Eve clients, every time you look at anything in the market, it will periodically scan your Eve cache directory and upload the data to Eve-Central to use.
How amazing is that? How many online games have a community capable of bringing together something on this scale?
My plea to anybody who reads this is to spread the word and use Contribtastic. I would say that, if possible, whatever region you are in, while you are flying around or mining, doing PI, manufacturing, even hunting Care Bears, open up the market and click on a few things. Try to be a bit different, for example I click on minerals, but I also try and do something else, like a few ships, modules or rigs each day. As a British supermarket says… every little helps!
If more people do this in more regions, this will help traders spot more market gaps, and if more market gaps are filled, then perhaps Jita won’t be the one and only source of everything. Of course I’m being completely over optimistic here, but even though I tend to sell most of my and my Corp’s product in Jita, I have decided to make a conscious effort to spread the sales around a bit more where possible, and even try to fill some gaps in Amarr and Dodixie to see what happens. Nothing is probably going to be the answer, but me sitting back and expecting somebody else to do it won’t answer anything, and also will possibly let them take a profit that I could get instead!
I now have two additional trading alts with sufficient skills ready, so I have deployed one to Dodixie and one to Amarr. Sorry you Minmatar fans, Rens and Hek would require further trading alts, needing either another account or the dispensing or repurposing of an existing alt, neither of which I’m particularly inclined to do at the moment. I will probably send one of the trader alts across that way in a little while to scope out the markets, however for the moment I’m spending time looking at trading patterns in Dodixie and Amarr.
Given that I “grew up” around the Dodixie area, what surprised me the most was the massive decline in the marketplace there. Previously, although there was obviously a big difference between Dodixie and Jita, you could still procure all you needed for manufacturing at a reasonable price, certainly one that usually made the return trip to Jita, with its associated suicide ganking risks, not worth the effort in all but a few cases.
I tend to live off buy orders. For virtually everything I use, buy orders are able to meet my needs. Although the prices for buy orders vary wildly between Jita, Dodixie and Amarr, when you dig just a sliver deeper and look at volumes traded, in most cases the supply to my buy orders would simply not meet even my meagre demands anywhere except in Jita. This, to me, is a real shame. Sure, I can get the basic minerals in all hubs, sometimes cheaper in the smaller ones than in Jita, but for the high end minerals, the null sec residents and wormhole dwellers all seem to be selling to Jita on a virtually exclusive basis.
The problem has most likely been caused by the huge range of ships and modules that are available in Jita - dwarfing the range of availability of the other markets. If you are going to have a trader alt to sell your wares and then to stock up on things you need to survive, why would you sell to one market and buy from another, when you can do both, virtually instantly with some sales products, all in one place. The result is that the sellers go to where the buyers are, and as more sellers leave, the buyers move also, and so the cycle repeats.
This is a real shame, and if hi-sec, with its wars and suicide ganking on the crunch points between regions, is relying far too heavily on Jita, then how can CCP expect null sec in its continuous state of flux to consider self-producing when Jita is just a few well planned cynos away?
I am very seriously considering starting to sell some of our Corp’s products away from Jita, but the question is will people even bother to look at their local marketplace for things or have the neural pathways now been laid so that Jita is the only way? I will compare this to the times we’ve tried to have a marketplace in null sec. In all cases, even when well publicised across the alliance, individuals had their own supply routes, and many still preferred to get their things themselves from Jita, sometimes losing expensive ratting ships while trying to sneak them into null sec through lo-sec near to downtime. Seriously – carrier ship bay anybody?
Granted null sec conglomerates such as Goons might not have to worry as their needs might be supplied by ship replacement programmes or by a specialist marketplace, but the reality (from my experiences so far) seems to be that the majority of people visit Jita to buy and sell.
There could be one final reason of course. It could be that everybody visits Jita for the many “one and only real” ISK doubling services found there, or perhaps they too have heard of the 1 million ISK Republic Fleet Firetails and want one for themselves.