Friday, 9 November 2018

Completing the Crimson Harvest

I actually completed the bulk of the event via mining. For someone who thought that I had known it all about mining; it was refreshing to add another fact.

Skiff Amounts
Covetor Amounts

So the interesting point is that the total volume of the strips between between a Covetor and a Skiff are the same amount; 1434m³. Even switching over to ORE faction strips, the hulls are even at 1487m³. I had this moment of: why would I ever fly the Covetor again - the amount of ore mined is the same. Well, what does change is the total time of the strip cycle. Eureka!

Covetor: 1434 per 121.5 seconds for 11m³/s
Skiff: 1434 per 145.8 seconds for 9.8m/s

So the skiff gets less ore over time. It should be a basic answer, just fly the Covetor, it mines faster and the objective will be completed sooner. Pause.

What is the actual objective? To mine 500 units of ore at 6m³ per unit or 3000m³ volume of ore to complete task goal and earn 10 points. What I was actually looking for with the fit studies was the ability to achieve 1500m³ per strip. Turns out I cannot - realistically anyway.

Because of manual claiming goal mechanism just letting the strips run, will result in waste and underachieved goals. The ore does have some value in the manufacture of  BPC boosters.

Most of the time, I used a Procurer or a Skiff, then would order mining drones to complete a single one minute cycle to micro-manage the amount of ore. I also staggered to strips by half cycles, targeting different asteroids - so that any accidental excess would be limited.

Caution had to be taken in these sites. From the warp-in arrival point getting in close proximity to the structure at the opposite end of the site, will the trigger a fleet Non Player Character warp-in. Sharing one site, I observed an non-tanked miner quickly dispatched by the NPCs - because they got too close to the structure. (validating my choice of a tanked hull).

The completion mechanic for the site, required shooting harvester anchored units (almost like mobile units). Destruction of each (two per site) would bring in a wave of NPC. Then the fore mention structure approach would initiate the third and fourth waves. You could kill all of these. Then if you have assistance, a player that remained in the site would prevent it de-spawning allowing it to be mined out. (I should have taken an Orca into the site with a survey scanner to get a total count).

Since I do not fly Machariel or Avator - so sometime in the future I will sell both Skins for a decent return.

Mission Accomplished

In between all this excitement, I fiddled with Planetary Interaction, Market Orders, Industry queue jobs and visited Sisi for the new structures. With a potential view to see if I would manufacture them - hmm maybe not after all. Some unusual components are required.

Setting a goal and achieving the goal has been my primary retention factor to this game.
That made it fun.

PS Dear CCP if anchored deploy-able harvester units are thing for the Blood Raiders, can I place a Christmas order for a Player version?

PSS. Don't know about you, but I find that this part of the year passes quickly. Before you forget, add CCP to your Christmas Card mailing list. Maybe duck out now after you read this post and buy an actual piece of cardboard and envelope! Send it to here:

CCP hf.
Grandagar├░ur 8
101 Reykjavik

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Killing them softly, with Ogres

For the recent Rogue Drone event I managed to clock this over with four large sessions. Pretty much from within the same System, out of the way. The location is on the way to a dead-end, has a un-wanted NPC station/agent and limited asteroid belts. Amazing how many pilots skip straight to the end System; without the realization that a dozen other also have the same idea. This means that my cycling through the Rogue cites is uncontested.

I started off with my preferred go-to ship the Myrmidon - which I have written about previously. This is my favorite ship in the entire game. This time however I elected to try out for the first time, the Sisters of Eve (SoE) Stratios Cruiser. I have flown both Nestor Battleship and Astero Frigate previously.

I obtained the Loyal Points to purchase the Cruiser through grinding the Level 4 Distribution Agent of the SoE. Flying these missions with a Deep Space Transport. Slower than the Blockade Runner, but even with a purely passive shield tank it is 120k Eligible Hit Points of defense. For the occasional auto-piloting I can relax.

The requirement hacking in the Rogue Drone site, makes the Stratios an ideal ship to handle these sites.

Salvager II
Small Dead Space Remote Armor Repair
Small Tractor II

Omnidirectional Tracking Link II with Tracking Script
Omnidirectional Tracking Link II with Tracking Script
Drone Navigation Computer II
Drone Navigation Computer II
Data Analyzer II

Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Medium Armor Repair II

Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I

I would prefer perhaps a deadspace armor repair, and I could add more Salvagers to increase the speed. I do not need Covert Ops within High Security space. Nosferatu do not work against the drones to any benefit - which is the other thing I considered for the high slots.

Of course, flying a drone boat, the secret sauce is the Drones. I am using four Ogre II for everything within the site. I did not feel like mixing around to have five drones in space. I suppose I could use Praetor II, but the Ogres are what I had lying around in the hanger. Every since the AI update some years ago which saw the NPCs rapidly switch to and destroy drones, I have largely abandoned using Heavies. Sentries are the same bandwidth and with the Micro Jump Drone enabling range tanking. A small irony was that I trained for Heavy Drone V before Sentries V. But any character I have trained since, has foregone Heavy Drones altogether.

But, for these sites - if I was to employ my standard tactic of using MJD and Wardens to snipe. I leave myself open to thieves that could possibly take the prize before I can jump back to collect. So this is my effort at a brawling fit. The moment the prize ship dies to the heavies, tractor in the wreck to loot and salvage. Since successful salvage is also part of the reward system. The salvage itself is necessary to manufacture the faction drones, from the Blue Print Copies dropped by prize ship.

Arrive at the site, orbit the disabled drone ship at 1000m, launch the heavies and focus on the hacking. The drones will respond to the NPC aggression automatically as they get into range. Most of the time, the Ogre II will kill their current target and automatically next target the prize ship when it spawns. I do occasionally fail the first hack and a couple of times needed a third attempt. The real interesting point is that Rogue Drones have with just a single exception; have ignored the Heavy Drones. I do have the small RR as backup, but it has not been required. Whether it is the fit or an "undocumented feature" - Rogue Drones just do not switch.

I have completed the final objective and will be looking to manufacture the special medium drones. The rumor mill is saying that are almost as good as Geckos.

Completing this event was good, but completing it in style - that made it fun.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Frequent Flyer Points

Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
AE-K Compact Drone Damage Amplifier
Co-Processor II
Sentient Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer
Damage Control II

Sentient Omnidirectional Tracking Link
Omnidirectional Tracking Link II
Large F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender
Upgraded Thermal Dissipation Amplifier I
Medium Micro Jump Drive

Drone Link Augmentor II
Drone Link Augmentor II
Drone Link Augmentor I

Medium Command Processor I
Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I

Hobgoblin II x5
Warden II x4
Hammerhead II x5

And this;

Mining Laser Upgrade II
Mining Laser Upgrade II
Mining Laser Upgrade II

Drone Navigation Computer II
Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender

ORE Strip Miner
ORE Strip Miner

Medium Drone Mining Augmentor II
Medium Drone Mining Augmentor II

Hobgoblin II x4
Salvage Drone I x1
'Augmented' Mining Drone x5

Readers might be curious about these fits. These were used to gain the final reward of the Haulers.

In High Security, completing the higher tiers of the daily objective might be seen as impossible.

Normally Gneiss would not be found, but the pseudo ore of Level 4 Mining Mission substitutes for the Hauler requirements. The issue with the Level 4 missions is that it requires 45,000 m³ of ore per mission. And given the huge size of the ores; 5 m³, 8 m³ and 16 m³ - the count can range from 2800 units up to 9000. I am sure that rorqual points would achieve these tallies in short order.

I was even able to complete Tier 5 requirements using the L4 missions.

This is why the absurd hulk fitting you see here. It is geared for total ore and almost zero defence. Not something I would never recommend someone else fly either. As a rule I do not fly hulks, they attract unwanted attention. Using ORE strips was desperation. Years ago I picked up a set that for some reason someone sold very cheaply. I had the idea of re-selling for instant mark-up. But have yet to get around to doing that. So I broke them out for this occasion. Ideally I should be using the relevant mining crystals for each of the ores, it would be a lot less risk and higher yield. But these strips do have a distinct advantage over the standards. Their base range is 18 kilometres. The Hulk's hull bonus stretches this to 23. Which does make some of the mining missions a little faster.

Augmented Mining Drone round out the insanity. For either of my readers not aware, Drone Navigation Computers do increase the speed of mining drones. (and Salvage Drones too).

I was not alone being crazy. (always take someone with you).

That myrmidon is courtesy of an ally. Who does not fly orcas and does not log-in for less than a billion. But it does get the job does of raising my yield even more. At the same time their drone flight makes it easier for me not to recall my miners each time an NPC warps in.

The other half of the Haulers - was completed doing Level 4 Security Missions. I just aimed for the tier3, 10,000,000 bounties.

A bunch of risk and the rewarding goal.

Most of all, it was fun.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

In Memoriam

When it was offered I purchased the Blaze set of ship skins. Even though none of the ships offered in the skin-set are actually in my hanger. I wanted do something in support. It was gratifying to see from CCP that this was a rousing success from the Eve player-base.

Of course I do have all of the Battlecruisers at V. Which I had trained when it was a singular skill. This mean I can fly the Oracle. So off I went. In the local constellation there was a reasonably priced hull, but oddly a limited selection of meta Large Lasers. So I ended up with eight Meta 3 Large Lasers equipped with Standard crystals.

In case someone figures it out, being a drone pilot and no Ishtar? The ship gets a bad a rap as the movie. But personally, I just do not like the hull. (I don't fly Vexors either).

Fun, though more bitter sweet to undock the Oracle.

o7 CCP Blaze.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The Decision

Very soon I will clock another anniversary with Internet Spaceships. Being an annual subscriber, it therefore raises the question of whether I continue as an Omega account.

Since at least half my game play is related to Industry.

  • A downgrade to an Alpha would restrict me to; ore or gas mining a Venture. 
  • No ability to invent or produce Tech2 goods. 
  • Limited to tech1 haulers
  • Extremely limited production queue.
  • No access to Planetary Interaction.
I could still try my hand at level 4 Mining Missions, but to complete 45,000 m³ in a Venture without boost is at least an hour and half.

As a mission runner, my damage dealer is sentry drones. Whilst I would retain battleship access, it is virtually worthless for me to change over to an alternative weapon platform.

No cloaking, so there goes Wormhole explanation.

Is this what being a Bitter Vet means? Too many Damsels and too many asteroids? 

It's not about the actual cost of subscribing. 

I have kept myself going through goal setting. But I have clocked off the ones within my reach and desire. Perhaps within the time, CCP might enlighten the faithful with a vision of things to come. 

I have also previously done "skill queue online" as well, that's always Door #2.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Resource Wars (cont.)

This is a scan survey of the asteroid composition for a Gallente Resource Level 1 site. The actual level of the site does not make a difference, because the asteroid sizes have the same volumes through to Level 5. This particular site is after completing the 10,000 haul - about a dozen plus asteroids could be added to the tally. But for this post, I am more focused on the individual volume each asteroid.

Capacitor Flux Coil II

1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Small Neutron Saturation Injector I
Small Compact Pb-Acid Cap Battery

Miner II
Miner II

Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

Rigs are an easy choice, fit to the racial damage of the space you are running in. Serpentis do Thermal and Kinetic damage.

This is a Alpha Clone capable fit for the Venture. With maybe just a bit too much emphasis given to Capacitor. The small neutron was what I had available, a "Small C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I" is the Meta 4 version. Each cycle start, those Miner II will draw a lot of capacitor. 60Gj vs 20Gj being the difference to a "EP-S Gaussian Scoped Mining Laser".

You will need an afterburner. The venture has a wonderful base speed, but the NPC foes will web you down - and there are some distances that you need to cover.

There is where you need to really pay attention. Each of the mining lasers for an Alpha Clone will mine 1779 units of site's ore and you require 10,000 units. But if the largest asteroid is only 1186 units, then there is portion of wasted cycle. 1186 / 1779 = ⅔ or 40 seconds of cycle maximum. Since there are no graduations around the Miner cycle HUD, you are gauging just shy of 3 o'clock to shut off laser and have the next targeted. Venture and skills, will allow target 5 locks. Because you have two mining lasers about 5 to 6 minutes for the mining portion of the mission. Well within the set 12 minutes for the level 1 site. Plus your travel time to the asteroids and then to the orca.

I doubt you could fit a survey scanner for micro-management. Plus there is no guarantee the largest sizes will be concentrated in one area.

As they say; membership has it benefits.

Mining Laser Upgrade II
Mining Laser Upgrade II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Power Diagnostic System II

Shadow Serpentis 5MN Microwarpdrive
Small Shield Booster II
Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Miner II
Miner II

Small Semiconductor Memory Cell II
Small Capacitor Control Circuit II

This fit comes courtesy of JonnyPew;

Although Serpentis MicroWarp Drive is my own flavor. It has a lower capacitor penalty and low cost to run compared to other modules. (If I die with this, I messed up or the opponent is a worthy foe that has earned their kill).

The real difference comes with the mining yield. 3654 units per cycle. Both the Venture and Prospect have the same cycle duration of 60 seconds. The difference comes from Alpha vs Omega.

Level 5 Mining Frigate. 5% (Alphas are limited to Level 4)
Two Mining Laser Upgrades 9% x 2
Astrogeology Level 5. 25% (Alphas cannot train this).
Level 5 Expedition Frigates 25% (Omega only).
Highwall MX-1005 5% (Alphas can use the 1003 version for a 3% yield increase)

(6 Target locks for the Prospect)

1179 / 3654 = 0.324; one third of a mining laser cycle or 20 seconds. Of course, the level 2 sites require 20,000 units. So the timings make it on par with the Level 1 site.

I will still counsel caution with the Resource Wars, because the rewards are sub-par when compared to just about any other content. But since Level 3 is a challenge solo, for me it's more about the journey than the destination.

Numbers are honest, but Math is fun.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

December Release PvE content

The forth coming December release sees more content to The Agency. With Rogue Drones the focus this time.

I just had to admire the swirling lights around the hull. Similar to the effects around stations, but on a condensed scale. It gives the Swarm Overmind Primus the look of attendant micro drones. Around the crown of the hull and along the bottom edge. This Drone Battleship comes from running Low Security site.

Currently on Sisi is the new Alpha Clone skill range. This is a gallente clone, using an Amarrian Faction Battleship with eight Large YF-12a Smartbombs. Not something I would recommend long term. Particularly for the High-Sec sites. It does get the job done, and as a point of interest a lot faster that the Blaster fitted Thorax I later tested as a possible option for High Security sites. This was especially true when a swarm of smaller class drone deployed from a nearby Drone structure, a smartbomb battleship quickly clears everything. Even though they are my wrecks per-se,  I still got a 60 second flag attacking another player. (but not Concorded).

The Swarm Overmind keep out of the range of the Smartbombs. Requiring that I switch over a megathron with hybrids. 425 Prototypes with antimatter. Battleships for Alphas, with large guns, what's not to like.

The Low Security had two speciality drones drop loot. They both dropped an amazing number of skins.

Interesting to see blueprints from Drone Battleship in the loot. And again a significant number of ship skins for a variety of factions and techs.

I also wanted to see if there are any changes within Industry for the December Alpha Clone update. Zero - slight exaggeration. You are still restricted to the Venture, no other Outer Ring hulls and the actual mining laser volume does not increase. Whilst this is a former Omega with the second tier of Mining skill, Astrogeology trained to Level 5. The skill not active or available for use. I suggested in a comment to a Crossing Zebra article that this might be to promote more consumption within the Eve economy. But also would remove the temptation to multi-box a fleet of alpha clones mining. If in the future there is a industry Beta Clone option; it would have to be extremely complex and restricted to prevent abuse. It maybe more effort than CCP is willing to invest. Plus the focus on conflict has always been been the way in which Eve attracts external attention. If you thinking of subscribing for an expanding skill range as a temporary boost; but intend to return to Alpha, you would strongly advised avoiding Industry skills. About the only growth available would be for non-Gallente citizens to access the Gallente specialised Industrials for hauling. Personally, I think that there should be the Kryos (minerals), Epithal (PI materials) and Miasmos (Ore bay) for an omni-racial faction. For casual access by Alphas, which would be better than "you must train Gallente". The only other minor point would be that access to more shield skills will give the Venture increased fitting options for Alpha pilots that are not Caldari or Minmatar.

Being able to practically blitz through a Rogue Drone site with Smartbombs, that made it fun.