Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wealth in Eve

When I played WoW, I eventually gold-capped a character. I was bored, and did my 30-45m/day AH thing, and after 18months, I capped out on gold. The problem is, there isn’t much you can actually _do_ with all that gold. I filled the guild bank, payed for all guild raid repairs, supplied all guild raiding potions, supplied all guild enchanting materials (was in a hardcore raiding guild), but still, that was maybe 10k gold / week.

In EvE, I passed 2bn liquid isk. I immediately re-invested it to make more (of course), but let’s look at what 2bn isk can actually do:

=Allow 1 account to play for ‘free’ for 6 months
=Purchase 80 fully fitted Manticores.
=Purchase a very well fit T3 cruiser
=Purchase 250 Omen lvl2 mission ships (L4 / T2 mods)
=Purchase one freighter BPO
=Purchase two BS BPO
=Purchase 135 T2 fit Assault Frigates
=Purchase 889 million trit
=Purchase 3 freighters
=Purchase 1 Large POS (reaction or lab), fit it, arm it, and fuel it for 2 months
=Buy materials to construct 35-40 T2 Transports
=Purchase ~10 fitted HACs

There are many other examples, but my point is… 2bn is a lot of isk; but in EvE-terms…it’s nothing. 30bn to construct a titan. An ‘isk-capped’ character in WoW equivalent terms would be 7.5 Trillion isk… and even then it is VERY feasible in EvE to actually USE all that isk. In WoW… gold just sits there as a testament of just how boring the game can become.

Jita 0.01isk wars

To keep my PI engine going, I make a trip to Jita every two or three days. I now need to take my freighter, due to the ever increasing cargo size. The frustrating part is, I am _just_ over my Orca’s ability to carry the goods. An Orca can make the trip in half the time, but I now need to take the slow-boat and not use the full m3 capability of the ship. At least it IS only one trip, and not several.

I have an alt in Jita with some basic trade skills. I set up the buy orders and sell orders, so my hauler just needs to dock, do a quick trade, and head back out. My hauler, who has Tycoon 3, is usually scanning the 4 regions I pass through, doing opportunistic buy/sells from afar as I pass through the Jita route. Occasionally I will stop by and drop off a manufactured item to sell, or pick up something priced way to low. But, for the most part, I buy /sell from my freighter while slowly aligning and warping through.

My Jita alt does all the 0.01 isk fights. It makes it handy to have one character that does all the Jita purchases I want. Set up the buy orders, and update continuously. If I have a few minutes, I can load one toon, update orders, and logout. She’s still sitting in her Ibis, and hasn’t left Jita since docking there after character creation and picking up her trading skill books. She also does buy/sell orders for the corporation, being perma-docked in Jita.

I have tried the tedium of flipping items in Jita. It does make isk, but becomes quite tedious. I can only keep it up for a week or so, until I need to take a few weeks off. I tend to like items that flip fairly quickly, and it seems as the isk level rises, the potential to flip decreases… although I could be just looking at the wrong items to trade. I also tried my hand at regional trading. That… did NOT go well. I lost 5-6m from the venture, but I’m certain it’s because I traded in the wrong item at a hub that gets frequent Jita updates. I went for a large differential item, and it became apparent that many other traders saw the same thing…

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eve Missioning

I have been messing around with my missioner alt for the past few nights. He’s lvl1, has almost all the needed skills to satisfy the basic certificates that matter (Core Proficiency – shield skills, armor tanking, frigate laser turrets), and I now have Amarr Frigate 4 in queue to start the cruiser training regimen; which is basically medium turrets and a few more ‘core’ skills like EWAR and electronics / engineering / mechanic / navigation to levels 4 or 5; and maybe mwd training is in order. (‘Running’ / non-warp flying is the most frustrating waste of time for me.)

A few comments on my missioning ‘break’:

=The pew pew of lvl1 missions is pretty boring. A few intense points, but the travel time is painful. 80km away? At least I’m in a frigate that can Afterburner I at 600m/s. BC travel times are going to hurt… mwd training time, I think.

=The number of foes requires you to pretty much skill in tanking, which decreases your pew pew training potential. I like things going boom, but taking on 12 frigs at once (happened a couple times) seems a bit much. I didn’t have a problem completing it, and the worst ‘damage’ I took was 60% armor gone. I now have the passive armor resist skills; and the worst damage I have taken since has been 10% structure. Lvl2 missions may be in order, but I want a proper cruiser first.

=I have been sending my indy/orca character along in a catalyst to salvage / loot the missions. This probably saves at least 20m / mission, as I can tractor in up to 5 wrecks at a time. I did need to spend 1 day of supplemental training for my indy/orca pilot, but it’ll be worth it. The main drawback: I now need to travel this toon to the missioning area… more time traveling. In the Viator this only takes 5-10m, but still. Another drawback of trying not to make any faction mad: I don’t have jump clones for most of my characters. Even then, a 24hr cooldown is quite a bit. I should start sending my providence (different account) up to Jita for trading instead of my indy/orca pilot.

=The salvage has been great, and I have noticed how much salvage prices have increased since my last major rig construction project. I was sitting on 200-300m of salvage 3 months ago. That’s up probably 20-30% now. May be time to start making more rigs in between my various T2 items.

=Higher level courier missions always seemed ‘worth’ it. Lvl1 couriers to move a 10m3 item 7 jumps for 0.01 standing is just… bleh. The reward+bonus was ~75k, which is ok, I guess. Takes 7-10m to do (down, dock/hand-in and back), and I’ve done it 4x..

A typical lvl1 combat mission, with 100% looting/salvaging in tandem with my catalyst pulls around 500-550k, and takes 20-30m. This is at a ‘casual’ pace where I’m not trying to ‘push’ for time or efficiency. About 60-70% of the take from lvl1 missions is from salvage, and 20% from reward +bonus. If you’re new to eve and want to make isk; see if you can get in a destroyer and run a tractor beam + salvager setup with an agree-able Lvl4 missioner. You should be able to pay for your lvl2-3 mission ship + mods within a week, easily.

I am now to the point of deciding whether to train for T2 lasers, or go for a cruiser. In plugging into EFT, the Omen would be a much bigger dps increase than going for T2 lasers, and I could jump in the ship in a shorter period of time. I also looked at the Maller, but I feel my resistance skills should be sufficient for Lvl2 missions; without needing to sacrifice that much potential dps for tank. With my main (who does lvl4 missions in a passive T2 mod Drake), I greatly overpowered missions when I actually did them, having BC skills by the time I did my first mission. This character I am playing more while I ‘build him up’; at least… for now. While I’ll need T2 lasers eventually, I’m thinking of hopping into a cruiser now. T2 missions aren’t that rough, and for 5m, I should be able to fully fit an Omen for mission running, which would triple my dps.

Monday, August 23, 2010

mmmm, PI

I have been enjoying PI. I used to mine heavily; like 3hrs / night while chatting with my lvl600+ Mophia Wars spouse and watching movies. (My mining is controlling 3 hulks and an orca). This would pull in around 100m / night of rock slaying. Eventually, I needed a change, so I packed up my small POS and stopped pulling ore. Income plummeted, but not being tied down to a solid 3hr block was fairly liberating. With PI, I use 3 30-40m chunks of time per day and I’m pulling around 150m / day NET income. That’s 2x the iskies in half the RL time. Keep emo-raging over the painful clicks, eve-citizens & leave in droves! PI is _way_ more profitable than my 3 hulk + orca crew and I didn’t need to spend 8-9 months of skill training for it either.

My four accounts + 1 alt gives:

*26 planets, 20 in low sec, 21 with elite CC

*Enough POS fuel to meet almost all of the POS fuel needs for the 4 POS I supply. (I need 1 EU / hr off of market, otherwise I’m good)

*1.5 P4 units / hr unless I subsidize the materials for the ‘free’ 0.5/hr production (which I usually do)

*enough manufacturing capability to arbitrage off of Jita price discontinuities about every 2days.

I could boost up another alt, but I’m at my time commitment peak.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Eve Aspirations

I have assembled a list of things I’d like to do in Eve: (no particular order)

*Start a freighter ‘company’- Obtain BPOs, research them, and create freighters as a primary income source. I have created a business plan which shows that I could pull in about 600m / month from making and selling several freighters. I have even pre-written a potential MD proposal for a 5% loan over 7 months to enact said plan. Unfortunately, I do not have the collateral MD seems to require, as this is my first, big venture.

*Do the “Jita 0.01isk Trade” thing – I do this on a limited basis, but I’ve always been tempted to go ‘big time’ with several billion isk. I have flipped 50m -> 320m over a one month period; but then got burned out.

*Find a Titan – Yes, I know I’ll likely get podded immediately afterwards. I just want to see one, up close from a frigate. I have been scouting with a Heron. I may eventually need an interceptor to actually get ‘up close’.

*Obtain a Jump freighter – This is becoming more of a practical purchase with my 3 low sec POS. It would cut transport fuel hauling considerably. Jump to POS, Jump to non-camped exit gate with 2 total cynos. I can already fly the Anshar. Just lack the isk.
*Join a null sec alliance for indy logistics / POS reactions / pvp – after I make a bundle, I am interested in a null sec, and slowly making preparations for that. I am slowly training one toon for a Chimera, and another for a revelation. My ‘main’ vehicles (and preferred play style) would probably want be a Manticore and/or Falcon pilot to start with; only pulling out the dread and/or carrier when absolutely needed. (For a Caldari, I do have very good drone skills to go along with shield tanking.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Diablo 3

I know this blog is primarily Eve-centric, but I am a big Diablo fan. (Hardcore only player, at one point I had 3 accounts of guardians, where hell difficulty Bhaal was defeated. I ‘quit’ before v1.10 that introduced skill synergies was released.)

I am excited about the possibility of D3 being released late next year. I haven’t delved too far into the details thrown around the ‘net, as I already know I’m going to buy and play the game when it’s released.

My D2 characters I enjoyed the most include:

=Mega Tank Barbarian- he had 85% resists and maximum physical resist in hell, plus a TON of hp. (shael’d perfect Lightsaber for Beserk) Earned by lvl96 HC PVP amazon ear. He was the highest lvl toon I got, lvl 96. (I never had 99 as a goal, I usually stopped around 85 or so.) He could tank almost all the cows, including the king for the dps crew to work them down.

=’Daisy bomb’ nova sorceress

=Speed Werewolf – fastest possible scythe with shael. This toon would run so fast that you’d get game lag where the game would have to load while you were running. He never got hit, due to his insane attack speed.

=Minion-mancer- having tons of minions may get boring, but never gets old.

=Combat Assassin- she was fun to play, but I can’t say I ever played/built her really well.

=Meteor sorceress- My first guardian. She was one of the first fifty guardians on uswest b.net but skill changes ‘killed’ her playability. (Static, blizzard nerf)

=mf barb- I was able to pick up a set sazabi (sp?) blade off of a hell Bhaal run, and built this toon around that blade. Leap attack, berserk, resistance, Battle Orders, mf. Hell Mesphisto would die in 2-3 hits, literally. I kept track of how many ‘runs’ I could have him do in an hour… record was 18. That include loading the map, checking the loot, and avoiding ‘bad’ critters. I never used map-hack.

Things that have me interested in D3:

=Caravan/crafters that follow you. If implemented well, (Blizzard, duh), this could be an incredible addition to the genre.

=scrapping / modifying gear. Having ‘unique’ gear being ‘better’ than rares killed the game for me… everyone eventually looked the same. Customization was boring too, just ‘plan’ your unique items for the toon you want to build.

=Health/Mana orbs: this could really improve gameplay.

=Destructible object: Hello tactical improvements

Things that I want to see:

=Hardcore mode: The ‘edge’ you get playing HC is unlike anything else. Each fight has meaning. Either have HC or a severe death penalty. (Eve)

=skill respect: This will reduce some of the amount of times I replay a class, but will increase my enjoyment of the game. Make the cost increase exponentially if wanted.. just have an option.

=character improvement customization: WoW got boring near the end of TBC, due to all the clones running around raiding. Same gear, same spec, same bosses. Bleh.

=No PvP. This may seem weird, but the reason I want no PvP is to have developer talent focused on PvE balancing, gear, content. Either go all PvP or all PvE. I know it’ll realistically have both, because people will want to ‘fight’. If you’re going to do that, have some random creatures thrown in the fray too… (Guildwars guild fights).

=Keep me coming back: alternative characters, map experiences, REALLY HARD BOSSES ([u]really[/u] tough; like ‘omg’ tough, where you need to play multiple times to obtain the proper gear to defeat on highest difficulty. ps: this doesn’t have to be Diablo himself..)

=easy inventory management: don’t make me play inventory Tetris again. Learn from Dungeon Siege and Titan Quest.
Things that make me nervous:

=dupes. Please no. I’ll pay a monthly fee. Just keep on top of this blight.

=cookie cutter playing. If you roll a witch doctor you need to A, because the other options really stink. Ugh. I hope not.

=High levels PKing low levels. Hope not.

=Boosting. I hate it. Despise it. It removes SO much of any game, because people just want to play the ‘best’ areas, and refuse to play elsewhere. Very annoying, don’t let it happen. I used to hostile low level toons in hell difficulty; just because it annoyed me that they bullshitted through the game so obviously. Minimum/Maximum level requirements to enter an area would go a long way to solving this.

=Shared stash. It removes so much logistics burden. It made Titan Quest immensely fun.

=stash: Make it big. I don’t think you want me to have an account of mules, do you? HC toons take 3-5x the gear due to death potential. Shared stash would help, salvaging gear would help too, if crafting is done well.

=Ladder: If you’re going to have it, reset it frequently… like every quarter or so. Otherwise nobody really cares.

=crafting: could be awesome, could ruin the game. I have faith with blizzard… to a degree.

Finally, my fifth class prediction: A bow/crossbow based character that has some sort of nature/spirit style magic. Will definitely be a twist on a Ranger style class, but not like the Amazon or Rogue exactly.
Future guesses of expansion characters: A fallen, dark paladin, and a demonic magic based character (shape-shifter / mage).

New missioner alt

Missioning is not generally my thing. I started eve as a miner, and have moved to industry / PI (with some mining when I feel like it). There are times, however, when I want to pew pew. The problem with my other operations is that I can’t really afford to reach a negative standing with anyone. I NEED to travel across Eve to make iskies on occasion. I don’t want to be tied to any one empire. So, when one of my alt miners finished up his hulk + support skills regimen (drones, capacitor, shield tanking, freighter, transport); I started an Amarr missioner alt where I don’t care if he’s -10 with Minnie or Gallente. I *just* finished his learning skills and cha skills (cha skills using first remap). So, my non-learning skills are currently:

Non-scanning PI skills @ 4 (ie: 5 planets with Adv CC) – not using now, but I was already specc’d Charisma.

Social 5

Negotiation 5

Connections 4

I didn’t want to buy other Connections skill books, because I have no clue where I’m going to end up missioning.

So now my toon is ready to start the ‘fun’ skills. First things up in queue (while I’m at work) are:

Amarr Frigate 3
Survey 3 (for salvaging)
Gunnery 3
Hull Upgrades 1+2
Energy Grid Upgrades 1+2
Rapid Firing 1+2
Sharpshooter 1+2
Motion Prediction 1+2
Controlled Burst 1+2
Energy System Management 1+2
Energy System Operation 1+2
Shield Management 1
Salvaging 1

Whew… now bad for 1 day of non-learing skills training. I should be able to finish the last 4-5 missions of the advanced military tutorial later tonight after this. Flying around with Meta4 guns and civilian mods got me through the tutorial missions for manufacturing, trading, and initial military; but I was quickly becoming outclassed on the advanced military missions. After several days of training, I can finally start getting pew pew skills. My initial plans is to get a Harbinger trained up for some ‘easy’ lvl 4 missions, starting with the punisher, moving to Omen / Maller then Harbinger. Eventually I will learn skills for the Abaddon, but that will take awhile. I won’t be able to stomach a pew pew every night thing, but when I get the urge to blow stuff up, at least I can do it with this toon without the need to worry about negative standings. Who knows, eventually I may get standings high enough to anchor POS in high sec… ya, right. I don’t mission nearly enough for that to be a reality. Although COSMOS missions/rewards may eventually be possible. Would definitely want the Abaddon for those… probably with a Domi rep / salvage partner (one of my alts has most of those skills already, but for Destoryers).

For now, I am planning on flushing out my Punisher and starting in on an Omen or Maller.  I should be cap stable on the Punisher here within a few days.

One of the really nice things about Eve, is that if you get bored with one thing (mining / scanning) you can easily do something else (T2 manufacturing / PI / Missions).
Although… I just noticed I can top 100m / night again mining… That’s 500m / week, easy. I do get bored after 2 Orca fills (~1hr). That would mean only 41m, but still.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Industry T2 efforts

I have an alt that is now ready to start assisting with BPO copying and ME/PE research. I am hopeful that plugging this new toon into my T2 schema will assist quite a bit. Needing to build up my BPO stockpile (I have, like 5 BPOs), I am trying to decide where to start first. I have had success with Viator construction, but I am looking at branching out. Having frequent desires to eventually try stealth bombing, I may get into the invention of everything that a Manticore might need, then move up from there. I also have added Prorator construction to the mix. Unfortunately, all my science skills are currently at level 3, and I need to spend 2d / skill to get them to level 4. So many skills desired, so little time.

At least I can fly an Anshar now… just need the 4.5bn to purchase one. (ok, I’ll actually buy a BPC and make it myself, saving several million isk; or better yet, eventually invent my own.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Joy of Excel

I don’t know how you could be a hardcore industrialist in Eve and not use a spreadsheet. My spreadsheet poison of choice is Excel, mainly due to the acquired skills I’ve obtained from work. With Excel, I can write macros, make api calls (this is still new to me, and is frustrating at best), use multiple advanced functions, conditional format, and do all sorts of other ‘fancy’ things. Most importantly, I’m FAST at doing these things. I set up a PI production schema in 2-3 hours that calculated the profit margins for P0-P4 and all combinations in between (P3-P4, P2-P4, P1-P4, P2-P3, etc) I can now view what could make the most money, the variance and investment associated with each potential income opportunity, and flexibility on pricing. This gives me advantage above several of the public tools, as they tend to be more limited in scope. (manufacturing up only 1 level, or figuring everything from P0 or P1, or not calculating an ROI (Higher ROI will tend to give more stable income in the face of market swings))

I wish my api was better. I can call api with macro and cycle through the desired codes, but I wish you could easily dump all Jita data from an api call into a sheet. I am not great at xml, but I feel this is the current weakness of my spreadsheet. I am doing a LOT more in Jita with PI, and I need to reconfigure my market information in Excel, which I haven’t done since Dominion release.

I searched google for Excel 2003 Eve api calls with no success. Sigh.

I may need to just focus on newer excel versions that will allow xml importing function to work properly. I also greatly prefer eve-metrics for data as opposed to eve-central; which a lot of older tools utilize. When I finally figure out a good way to do this, I’ll post; but no guarantee as to when this epiphany will finally occur.

Current method: Import External Data -> insert api call -> dump block of data -> edit out non-useful columns… repeat -> create macro to auto-update.

This seem cumbersome, and I end up with multiple blocks of data that isn’t very elegant. In everything I’ve searched, this unfortunately seems like the only way, currently with Excel 2003.


Faction: Caldari

Profession: Industry / Mining / Light missioning

Time playing Eve Online: 14 months

Prior MMOs: WoW, Guildwars

I have been playing Eve for just over a year now, and decided to start chronicling my activities. I do many things in eve: POS management, invention, research, mining, T1/T2 industry, exploration, a little missioning, PI, and trading (regional, station, and x-regional). I do not pirate, or PvP. (Not scared of PvP, just don’t have the time for it….)

My first MMO was GuildWars. I played a monk (healer/protector), and our group did really well… until internal drama. The group I was with was mainly older guys with kids (I have 4 children.) So, having a quick message of “my kid just woke up, gtg.” Wasn’t a big deal. Once that group split, all the other choices of teenage ‘kids’ just wasn’t appealing.

A RL friend talked me into trying WoW. I went overboard. Power leveled and raided TBC, defeating Illidan and going 3/6 SW pre-nerf as a healer. I really like the Illidan story form Warcraft III, and my heart wasn’t in WotLK. After a couple friends left the game, I did as well. I had my personal goal met of 500k gold, being able to competently play a tank, healer, and dps as a raider on a PvP server. Without the people playing, the drama was just too much. The time commitment was a bear and I couldn’t hold that down for very much longer anyway. 4hrs / night IMMEDIATELY after kids went to bed was hurting what I wanted to do. Can’t say I missed raiding. I missed the new challenges and figuring them out; but not the inefficient time spent.

Eve drew me in due to the economics. I played PvP GW and WoW, so the death penalty or the ability to die didn’t dissuade me at all. It actually made me want to play it more. Especially since I could do anything I wanted. After the tutorial missions or industry and trading, I was off… and didn’t do another mission for about 5 months. I decided I needed to start a bankroll to get my objectives done and went down the mining path. After upgrading to a mining barge, I created a new account… for hauling. Once my hauler was a month or so from an Orca, I fired up 2 more accounts for mining/industry. I then started branching out: perfect refines, industry, T2 invention/indy, capital construction, building fighting skills, mission for perfect refines, etc. In a month’s time, I will receive income from: Jita trading, x-regional trading, regional buy orders, mining, POS moon harvesting, T1/T2 manufacturing, PI, and a little missioning.

In this blog, I am planning on commenting on my current exploits, and observations. Hopefully, I can stick with it for awhile