Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Endurance Ice Mining Frigate

Before I launch into my discovery with the Endurance, I wish to thank Mynxee who directed me to the in-game channel of Eve Scout and a special thanks to Carrie Frog who supplied me with direction to navigate the /moveme command - which is used on Sisi.

Starting with, the Endurance is invented from the Venture BPC - and now gives the option of the Prospect Tech2 Frigate or the Endurance for the outcome. It uses the same input components as the Prospect, just in a difference ratio. (Basically, if you can turn out Prospects, then you are ready capable for Endurances).

To read the Developer notes and ship features; please visit

5% reduction to Ice Harvesting duration skill level Expedition Frigates
5% reduction to Ice Harvesting duration per skill level Mining Frigate
50% reduction to Ice Harvesting duration for the Role Bonus
Just focusing on its primary role, it gets significant Ice Harvesting concession. The Venture will outperform the Endurance in both ore and gas mining hands down. In terms of Ice mining, it slightly performs under the Procurer - which has the lowest of yields in the barges. 

This ship is not intended as a replacement to mining barges or exhumers. If you are currently skilled for either, then you also have access the Medium Ice Harvester Accelerator I, there is no Small for the Frigates. (confirmed by CCP in the earlier linked thread).

Ice Mining Power!

Here, I have fitted one of the new Ice Mining Laser I's to a Prospect. Even though you can fit like this. (note is will not fit to the tech1 Venture). It does not receive any bonus for doing so, the single turret of the Endurance will be more yield than the twin Prospect.

The top question would most likely come from High Security Ice Miners. Can I benefit from an Endurance? I would have say no, as the barges offer more EHP defence and better yields. Although I did have some fun using a 10mn pushing 2,000 m/s - not something needed with direct warp-in available to the Ice Anoms. Basically you are already using the best the game has to offer for yield/defence - the Endurance is a backward step.

Of course the other factor to raise is that the Endurance has an impressive 15,000m3 ore hold, equal to the Skiff. 

So, what about outside of High-Sec? It is careful to note that the Endurance has some bonus to cloaking ability -  but is excluded from the Covert Ops cloak. Which would also exclude it from BLOPS bridging available to the Prospect and possible support such as Blockade Runners. (I certainly have never heard of any mining crew utilising BLOPS for penetration into the rare harvestables of low/null). 

One of primary reasons for the Endurance, is to access the Ice anon belts of the Shattered Class Wormholes. These allow frigate and destroyer access only. This is why I reached out to Signal Cartel for assistance. I wanted access to Shattered Wormholes on Sisi. Firstly, install the Beta Launcher to access Sisi. It simplifies the entire process of maintaining separate Eve installs. Choose Sisi from the server drop list, any updates and log into the client. It was that easy.

One append, the actual command is "/moveme". This brings up a list of destinations you can immediately jump into. The list contains the five primary trade systems, Thera, some null systems and several wormhole systems. The J0 (two of them) either will take you into a shattered wormhole. The J00 is a small ship wormhole, I spent time exploring to discover that it is has an exit into a C2, C4 and a Null exit. The recent irony was that I had never previous located one of this style WH on Tranquility until last weekend. On a day-tip into a Class2 and scanned one down. 

Ice reaching to the Heavens

Of course this is the primary raison d'être for the Ice Mining Frigate - as well as the excuse for a massive ore hold. It is possible to bring the Foreman and/or Shield boost support in terms of the tech2 command destroyers. But sadly no access to logistical support such as Deep Space or Blockade Transport. Plus I say that the three scout drones will not have any effect against the Sleepers which eventually show to defend the ice. Perhaps if you were apart of a significant mining fleet, and flotilla of drones might prevail - I needed to exit the stage several times whenever the Sleepers showed up. 

However all racial types of ice is available here. If you require the products from ice, this potentially is a one-stop-shop to refuel when other sources of ice are unavailable (standard WH) or exhausted local ice. 

The slot layout 3 High (only one turret), 4 Mid and 3 Low; suggest a shield fit. Two utility would allow for a probe launcher and Prototype Cloak. (there is no gain to use the Improved Cloak). Which is how pretty much I tested this ship in flight.  As a side note, one of my adventures had me exit into k-space to the system of Steve's Wreck - the very first titan killed in Eve. Of course I did a flyby. 

The larger drone bay capacity of 60m3 and 30ms (three light drones in space) provide some flexibility to the mining pilot, over the sister ship which has no drones or the tech1 base which only has 10/10 for drones. (think about utility drones like logistics or salvagers or ewar)

For a new pilot to Eve, you could possibly just develop the frigates as your harvesting tool-kit and turn towards other areas of game play. The ORE Frigates (Venture and Prospect) excel in gas harvesting - however in terms of ore or ice mining, the barge/exhumer will significantly perform better.  Additionally, a fitted Endurance will fit into the Fleet Hold of a Deep Space Transport (no room for much else), providing a mobile mini-base of operation. (hint The Level Four Mining Thukker agent).

One other thing I did in Sisi testing was to run missions of ORE at Outer Ring NPC null security. These missions are the same as the level four in high security. But expect up to Battleship class NPCs to spawn into the mission area. I have been into the ORE stations on Tranquility back in 2012. (maybe if I get a lucky WH connection, I might go again). Personally I am not a proponent of the ORE faction items. They really only offer the shortcut to learning a harvesting skill to level five. Training the skill is the superior option over bling/piñata. 

From the small batch I have manufactured so far, I kept one as a novelty. Flying around on Sisi seeing places I am normally rarely likely to encounter made it fun.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Pod and Planet Fiction Contest YC117

Title: Enigma Redressed
Category: Eight Thousand Suns in New Eden
Author: Easy Esky

Pilot Option Zed lounged at ease within his captain's quarters. Going over the most economic route to tomorrow's series of courier contracts. Maybe a computer could brute-force a flight path. But in the end it was initiation which remained the humans domain. No mere program could match it, thus Capsuleers led where Drones and AI could not follow.

The stars and gates were listed in the main screen, single line linked many places to visit.

From the door into the station, came a solid *clunk* followed by a several ratcheting clicks. But the door slide open quietly to reveal a female Capsuleer. Clad only in the undergarments of a newly activated clone.   She was still completely coated in the gel from the clone bay.

Between deep breaths she panted: "He said you would help me!"

Sitting stunned momentarily, Zed swung his legs from the coffee table, and stood.

Zed thought quickly: Able to override the door lock, and a commanding voice? That had to be the Station Master. Why is he involved? 

"You will need to wash the gel off immediately", Zed said, "please come this way". Zed approached the mirrored panel next to the sleep alcove. This door opened to reveal a stark white tiled bathroom. Colour bothered Zed when ever his clone awoke in the station, and white helped to calm after the experience. 

"Please use the shower, hot as you can stand it. Mind not to scold yourself. Get all of the gel off. When the water is off, there will be an air current to dry you. The black tile there", Zed pointed to it, "will open the wardrobe". "I don't have anything for an Amarrian lady, just a few pieces of Gallante fashion. Just pick something, touch the panel again and this door will open".

She nodded wordlessly, stepped into the room and the door closed behind her.

Zed paused to think for a moment: unlikely that the Station Master would answer his comms request. A couple of steps, and finger tap opened a cupboard above the sleep alcove. Inside were several tins of canned fruit. Another quirk of a new clone for Zed, everything tasted disgusting for about three days. Except for fruit some reason. So Zed kept a stock on hand.

Choosing a can at random, bowl, spoon, peel open can and pour contents. Zed set it down on the coffee table. After what seems an era of checking his various market orders, the woman emerged from bathroom. Wearing a navy blue leather dress, it closed up one side under the left armpit as to not break the seemingly random pattern of golden crescents. She stood before the mirror in rapt study of the dresses pattern. 

"I... there is something here.. but it feels just out of reach" she said.

"It is Leer's Enigma, umm there is a holo-reel. But something we need to action now, please sit next to me here". 

Seated on the lounge, Zed asked her to place her hand flat on the glass of the table.

"It tingles, oh... my." A look of wonder beamed over the oval face.

"That is the Neocom, through cybernetics we can rule world around us with just a thought. But right now I am concerned about your level of skills. You need to grant me access. So I can help you, it will be temporary. Good. Just queue up the final tier of Electronics and Engineering for now. Yep, that's it.", Zed lifted his hand and hers to break contact.

She is a new clone, Zed had seen that during the link.  Yet the nearest Amarran novice system was thirty gates away. The Amarr had once tried to take over Solitude, could she be some residual clone accidentally awoken? 

To forestall Holly Bluerose's questions, her name within the Neocon  Zed distracted with: "You were asking about the dress. A courier contractee refused to pay, so all goods were forfeit. And the pattern is based on inspiration to a polymath called Margaret Leer. Let me show you something".

Zed's finger rested on the table, the star map in the main screen was replaced with a lists of titles, some were duplicate names, yet had different colours. 

"Ah, and the bowl of fruit is for you".

As bold text appeared on the centre screen, the left and right sub-screens winked out.

The producers wish the thank the Gallante Federal Navy, without who's cooperation the making of this reel would not have been possible.

The enigma appeared, then with a fade-in of a still image of waves at a beach. With the crests of waves fitting into the enigma's crescents. The still image went into motion. A very young girl with bright red stands knee deep in the waves. She reaches into the surf and swirling waters to lift out a large conch shell. 

"Grandma, look what I found"
"Yes Phillipa, you may keep it, but now we must be going." The young girl reaches the matron, holding determinedly onto her prize. They walk off the beach together.

An external shot of the primary building of the University of Caille. The camera shifts an auditorium where a lecture is in progress. The lecturer presents before a large screen containing several rows of formula. 

"This will be your assignment during the seasonal break", the lecturer intoned.

Three noted chimes sound, the seated students commence packing their tablets.

In the front row, bespectacled, plainly dressed and long, blonde hair in disarray, one student remained fully immersed in the screen's formula as the remaining students filled out. The camera pans to show a tall female with short cropped hair enter the auditorium and take a seat at the back. Dressed in a long orange coat with the patterns of flames. 

"Will that be all Professor?", the blonde asked.

The lecturer turned back to face the class.

"I would have thought even you Margaret would have plenty to work through."

"It is more pieces of the puzzle.. but it is an orbital slingshot around Gallante Prime out to the asteroid belt mining colonies. Depends on the planetary position in the year. It equates the fuel consumption, the necessary speed of the craft, its distance to the planet, gross craft weight and provides the time to destination. Of course burning fuel means a weight reduction over time during the arc is a tricky affair".

The Professor placed his tablet on the lectern, and a series of numbers pooped into the array. 

Margaret paused, "That must be military grade craft, the hauling industrials are much heavier. But it is 58 days, and a way one trip since the craft is not big enough to carry fuel for a return journey."

"They can refuel at the asteroid mining colony", said the Professor.

"I can do better, and hello Phillipa", said Margaret.

Phllipa stood, and made a grand entrance down the auditorium steps. The flames on the helm of her coat flicker as though real with motion of her walk.

"You are going outshine them all my beloved bright mind", Phillipa said smiling.

As Phillipa draws adjacent to Margaret chair, Margaret leans her head back to receive Phillipa's kiss on the mouth. It is lingering.

The Professor coughs twice and get their attention back, "you said you could be better Margaret?"

"Now that my Muse has arrived, let's see", said Margaret.

Long spindly fingers move over the tablet. On the screen sections of formula move, are replaced and extra text is added. Margaret's intense gaze never leaves the screen.

"That should reduce the fuel consumption by at least seventy percent. In exchange for a twenty percent flight duration", said Margaret. "Assuming no other factor change".

"Let me check this please." said the Professor.

"Has to be worth at least an A plus!" Phillipa said.

"OK, I am going to really test you then Margaret, take this with you over the break and see what you can do with it." the Professor retrieved from his pocket a memory chip, and dropped it into Margaret's outstretched palm. "Now, it is class dismissed".

Margaret and Phillipa stand before a small cottage, it is late afternoon with long shadows. Phillips producing a brass key to unlock the door.

"The home has been in my family for generations", Phillipa said seriously, "You, dearest bright mind are my family. We can spend the entire break here, away from the world."

Cut Scene. The kitchen of the cottage. The nearby windows show it is night.

Philipa cooks at the stove with several pots, whilst Margaret pours over the screen of tablet.

"You have been at that for several weeks now", said Phillipa.

"It is a formula for Quantum Wave Mechanics and the secret to breaking past Light Speed. But its broken somehow. Humanity once did it, we can do it again!"  

"Well, we can do dinner now", Phillipa tapping the wooden spoon on the rim of pot, "then we can walk on the nearby beach. then you can save the world... but save me first."

Margaret looks up, then turns the tablet face down, "the world can wait".

[Zed skips past several erotic scenes - it is a holoreel after all]

Around the kitchen table, a package and a cake are evident. Phillipa prepares breakfast. 

Margaret enters room. 

"The birthday girl awakens", says Phillipa.

"It is our last day", Margaret murmurs.

"There will be other breaks, we can return. A caretaker from the local village will ensure the house is up-kept. Well, are you going to open it?"

Seated, Margaret draws the package close, and rips off the wrapping. Holding up a up a blue dress with crescents sown across the front and back. "You managed this from the antique mechanical".

"Gran's sewing machine, and hand work. I can say that it has sweat, tears and blood into the making"

"This pattern.. where .. did it come from?"

"Its just that photo you took from the beach, the foaming crests of the waves"

Tears well in Margaret's eyes. "It was there all along, my muse, you did it".

"Thanks, I think", said Phillipa.

"What do you get when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object? It is where the land meets the sea, you get surf! See the basis of sub-light is using energy to propel matter. But for greater than light travel, energy and matter should never meet - it is the collision which prevents passage. That damnable formula is broken because the premise is. The light barrier is not to be broken, it must be passed. Can I have my tablet now please Philipa?!"

Phillips retrieves the tablet from a kitchen cupboard.

"Because of you, my muse and your wonderful gift", the fingers skimmed over the tablet surface, But Margaret Leer looks at the ceiling in rapture.

"Out shine them all my beloved mind", Phllipa helps herself to a slice of the cake.

Title card: Three years later - the Gallante have constructed Starship Torus.

A control room filled with monitors and personal. On the primary screens show both the pilot in final flight checks and various external cameras of the Torus. At the rear of the room, stand Margaret Leer and Phillipa Sweet holding hands. Margaret is dressed in a business suit. A golden crescent pin on the lapel. Phillipa dressed in a deep purple great coat, with lightning bolts striking around bottom helm.

"Henri, this is control, all checks complete, you have a go."

"Roger control, opening up the throttle". Static external cameras show the Torus gradually accelerate away. There is a burst of light and ship vanishes".

The mission control clock times lapses twenty five minutes.

"Control, this is Chief Foreman at Asteroid Mining Site Two. We can see the Torus, repeat we can see the Torus".

There is an eruption of cheer from the room at this announcement.

Margaret and Phillipa kiss as the screen fades to black and credits roll.

Zed carefully turns off the sound. Rose has leaned into him, appearing to be asleep.

A quiet voice says "Save me now, you can save the world later, just talk for while."

Paused in thought, "Margaret Leer's inspiration in nature later become the founding basis for all Gallante space-faring design. It continues today to be guiding spirit as we navigate amongst the stars. Ships engineers carry a crescent as a talisman in her memory.", Zed's voice trailed off accepting that his guest was now asleep. Zed thought: tomorrow the world...

Sunday, 19 July 2015

I am in your space, mining your asteroids

During a recent exploration flight I discovered a wormhole into a class 3 wormhole. Bookmarked it, completed the arc sweep of systems, and with space time decided to venture into flying a covert op frigate. All of the other holes were K162 which means made by someone entered into the constellation. (the scope of space I commonly roam). The thought process is, if someone else made it, then they can be still around inside the WH.

My first immediate error was not making a bookmark at the entrance back into high-sec.

Always bookmark.

Whilst holding jump cloak, I am D-Scanning.

Align to the sun, launch probes, warp (to 70km) and cloak.

Not too many signatures to scan down. I theorise later that the occupying corp has cleared this system of most things, then called it a day. There are two relic sites, I careful crack open 3 cans in a Sansha site. One of the cans nets me intact armour plates which I can use for tech2 armour rigs. (I have some bpc for the tech2 Remote Repair Mediums which I have invented). But these cans are scattered over a large distance, I do not have a prop mod; so I abandon the site.

In the relic site I am setting a keep at 5000 range to approach each of the cans. Using tech2 analysers gives me a 6000m reach. Should anything suddenly appear in D-Scan and ensuring a clearance of 2000m, gives the chance of cloak and hope. I only need to close to under 2500 to claim the can contents.

The WH I entered is now BM, the second WH is an entrance to low-sec - which I do not bother with this. (there was a prior occasion whereby this combination yielded a low-sec next door high-sec - which I used for some logistics).

The final signature is another relic site, but this one is Sleeper.

Two ore sites are also available. I visit the Perimeter site - which has one each of the high end ores.

With still no activity on d-scan the entire time, I decide to bookmark the arkonor.

So, I race back into high-sec. Now do I want the Prospect for this job or the Venture? Both are available. Someone might be asking why don't I use a mining barge. Mostly its aversion - my previous loss when mining arkonor was in a procurer. The extra tank means it will just take longer to die when you are alone. The Prospect has the covert-ops option, and larger ore hold. It also has a secondary Ore yield bonus for the Expedition Frigate skill, which at 5 for me is another 25%.

Let me sidestep for a moment. I have alt that flies a Deimos. A deimos is a thorax Plus. Better tank, DPS and bonus for MWD. A deimos is a clear progression, building upon a solid ship. I can look at the barges into exhumers; and again the progressive philosophy is at work to show, tech1 ship and tech2 is ship+. I have mined everywhere in Eve. In chess terms, the Prospect is "ship?!" (a dubious move). Not that I can exactly say what it is, but I rarely fly my Prospect. It is not like miners do Covert Ops. I have seen a video where a Prospect is tanking several Sleepers while mining - using a armour tank. And certainly with four lows, why not. Still, I would really like something else out of the Expedition skill - it is difficult to justify something which only does one thing. Maybe a tech2 navitas which utilises Expedition?

So the venture. Because I occasionally do L4 mining missions - some of these are gas harvesting, for 425 units which nicely fits to the 5000m3. This time, being in the uncharted.

Ninja Venture
2 Modulated Mining Lasers with tech2 Arkonor crystals
A probe launcher loaded with 8 Sisters Core probes

A compact MWD, a thermal and kinetic amplifiers

one halcyon core stabiliser

(rigs are empty)

Return through the bookmarks and activate the lasers.

After three minutes, I obtain this. (plus I have a MX-1005 implant)

The handy thing is that it takes 100units to refine a result. So this is synchronous. But at each three minute cycle the capacitor is drained almost completely. There might be some of you who have wondered about the Harvester Capacitor Efficiency which reduces cap-cost. It is because the high-end mining crystals have a penalty for capacitor consumption. (my cap skills are maxed). I can just as easily recommend the Miner II for this sort of thing. (not that I actually endorse high risk mining)

Nine Minutes later and umpteen mash to D-Scan whilst on a tight orbit of arkonor.

It would be dis-ingenious of me to point out that 1.6mil is certainly more than the ship is worth. Also need the factor in the time pre-scanning in the covert-ops and BM setup.

With my skills, this refines into 682 units megacyte, 5.3k mex and 46.8k trit.

Mostly I did it, because it was fun.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


Definition; A tugboat (tug) is a boat that maneuvers vessels by pushing or towing them. 

The post is about using smaller ships to assist Freighters into warp. It is not immunity nor is it safe. If you are not doing this with an alt or someone you have long established trust - then seriously consider a courier contract. 

The core of the process is, when a freighter has jumped through a gate and is aligning to the next gate, applying two webs will cause the freighter to near instant warp. To best of my knowledge - which is my no  means all encompassing - it only works then. 

This is the ideal. You can use a Condor or Slasher similarly fitted. (they both have four mid slots). The bonuses to web ranges are what we are seeking. But with 30km ranged (non-faction) webs, you are quicker off the mark to web the freighter. There are other ships with the range bonus (such as the minmatar recons). But the Hyena is faster, more manoeuvrable and quicker to train into. 

Might be better if I just list out the process, then the fit might make more sense.

I can and have done this with a two ship fleet, squad command does not matter to either ship.

Fleet up and all pilots check that they have same route listed. Then check through the map stats for kills with the hour. If there is a large red along the route - then consider deferring the operation.

The tug will need an overview set only for fleet members. 

The tug undocks and uses the MWD to create a distance over 150km. For a busy trade hub like Jita or Amarr, consider unto 1000km or more. If you have a third person for a scout then use them. The freighter then undocks and warps to tug. Should happen quickly. When the freighter reaches the tug, you need to initiate a duel. Which makes it work regardless of being in the same corporation or having friendly fire allowed within corp. Using webs on another ship is a hostile act which will evoke a Concord response. 

You will see a green skull icon, indicating a Limited Engagement. A smaller version will appear in chat blink. Tug and freighter warps to the first gate in the route. (no webbing here - it does not work yet). Because the tug is so much faster in warp, you will out-race the freighter.

Tug jumps through, and burns back to orbit the gate. Activating the Sensor Booster with resolution script. When the freighter jumps through, it immediately commences warp to the next game. For the tug pilot, the moment that the freighter jump-cloak drops, you are locking and doubling webbing the freighter. It should instant warp the next gate of the route you have planned. The key point to note is that the freighter will appear at any random spot about 15km off the gate. Which is why I recommend a reach of 30km. (provided you have trained Electronic Attack Frigate to 5). If you using the tech1 hulls, you need to close the gap to within the web range. Which tech1/2 webs is only 10km. Which is danger time. Any bump most likely will lead to a lost freighter. (Federation Webs have a range of 14km, NEVER use these for this purpose).

Now, a bunch of things have happened to be wary of. The duel timer is reset, just keep an eye on it and renew if it happens to expire. The tug pilot earns a Weapons Timer. The red icon with a sixty second countdown. Whilst this timer is active, you can not jump or dock. And more seriously neither you or the freighter can casually log-off because of combat flag.

Usually with the weapons timer, i align the next gate under MWD. Let the timer run down to 30sec then warp to the next gate. More often than not you will out-race the freighter. Jump through the gate and repeat the process. Whether you are warping to a station, gate or bookmark FROM a gate, it will work.

A Command Ship  or Battlecruiser with Interdiction Manoeuvres link will increase the range of webs, but I feel this over-complicates the process. 

disclaimers: there is no Easy Esky in-game character or corporation. You use this advise your own risk. It is not perfect or a guarantee of success, just "better chance of". Should the tug get popped or connection drop, then the freighter docks. 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

When the circus comes to town.

The one thing to know about above all others regarding Incursions, is that this type of PvE requires a major time commitment. So, I get the opportunity once within six months to fly logistics.

Firstly, speaking as a manufacturer, I get good turn over of the munitions, drones and rigs I sell. I don't have to move items to the local trade hub. If you looking at attempting something similar - consider the location within context of the faction. If you are in Amarr space, can you import the BPOs for large hybrid and projectile ammunition? Of course, Incursions are random events - it is not a solid business model. But for the next few days you can have decent market for consumables. As a side line I have a couple of Onerios hulls for the next time the circus comes to town.

If you are looking just to maintain your regular PvE activities, then my best suggestion is to move Constellations out of the Incursion. Most of the asteroid belts will have tough frigate and cruiser rats - this will include intrusions into any mining anomalies. Or the bounty missions payouts will be halved. Your PI, manufacturing and research will continue per normal.

If however you are at the peak of Level 4 mission running and looking at a natural progression - then Incursions can possibly provide the next tier for you. Incursion fleets are sharply divided between shield and armour doctrines. Many of the stronger communities advertise the ships and their fits which they expect a pilot to fly. This will give those interested in flying against the Sansha foreknowledge of the skill and material expectation. You will find that different fleets will have a different prospective about how a ship is to be fitted. Which can be as simple as which ammo to use. Needless to say, whatever the direction of doctrine level 5 skills across the board is very highly recommended. You may need to invest into a Navy , Marauder or Pirate Faction battleship. Not to mention tech2 weaponry, modules and even rigs.

The toughest trick comes with then taking a significant investment of time and isk, then turning it over in trust to a bunch of strangers. They could be incompetent, intentional malignant or just unlucky with a disconnection. Do not fly what you cannot afford to lose.

Your initial foray into Incursions may see you wanting more than a hour to get a fleet invite. As a courtesy when you are in fleet, attempt to provide the Fleet Commander with advance notice when you are going to leave the fleet. And finally it can be expected that you have installed voice-comm such as Team Speak or Mumble or (insert your version). You will need to be able to hear and sometimes even speak with the fleet. Occasionally because of the hour of the night, I explain to the FC that my conversation is limited - and this has not been a problem yet. As along as I can hear orders.

The isk is nice (somewhere between Very and Obscene), but if it was only ever the isk - why would I bother with anything else? Its a game after all - I go there for as always because it was fun.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Sunday Morning and the Hum of Mining Lasers

My game is compromised a cycle of PvE and poor attempts at market PvP. Using the resources from each of activities I usually assemble drones, munitions and various rigs.

During some of the security missions it is possible to obtain and for a limited time maintain a personal asteroid belt.

For this shot I turned up all of the graphic options, which generates the asteroid debris. Here I am in Level 4, The Score. which contains a sizeable amount of Pyroxeres. This belt will self-replace per downtime. This opening pocket of The Score contains numerous frigates, cruisers and battlecruisers. Which needs to be cleared each reset. The benefit to Pyroxeres is nocxium. And being the only ore here, makes sense to use Tech2 and mining crystals. Currently I am participating in three ship fleets with myself operating as both hauler and base booster.

I am using a Skiff, since there is some space to cover between the arrival point and the asteroids. The skiff being the fastest of barge/exhumer class. A Deep Space Transport is the hauler, a deployable tractor at the warp-in will make the shuttle runs faster. An orca is an option, but the DST is easier to train for, has better flexibility in usage and attracts less unwarranted attention.

Other missions of choice are Break Their Will (with score and veld) and Recon 1/3 with a massive veld belt. Recon can only be done once, and a ship will always need to remain on grid to prevent the site de-spawning.

As a word of caution you can be scanned down. Keep an eye on local and the regular d-scan for combat probes. Change the name of jet cans to a time stamp. This provides a gauge to expiry, which can last up to 2 hours before popping. However I recommend not letting cans accumulate. A sudden disconnect or hostile intrusion can cost you hours of effort.

As for which ship - the others use a retriever when there is a need to cross manage PI, Industry, Contracts and Market orders. For maximum yield, a coveter with mining drones plus mining drone rigs. This ship needs micro-management because with skills and tech2 crystals you hit 4.2k ore per cycle to fill the 7k ore hold. In some missions procurers or skiffs are beneficial to cover the distances. Security depending, NPC hostiles will occasionally spawn - so be wary of the fragile mining drones if you use those. 

This site in particular enabled me to fire up my industry lines and resume production of various drones. Shoring up my shortage of the mineral pyrite. Fleet chat was lively over the fanfest offerings - and as always, it was fun.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Later That Day

.After the Superior Sleeper site I continued scanning and encountered a rare Wormhole from High Security into Null Security. The conditions were ideal, the WH had only opened minutes of my discovery. It originated from my end, and no one else was in local.

The destination was Red Alliance contested sov space. Even better, local was empty. I have bookmarked the entrance and the null-sec WH exit for a hasty retreat. Launch probes, warp to a random planet and double back to a mid-warp bookmark. Keep calm and keep scanning.

At this point it is like a cheesy horror film, redshirt #3 is alone when his flashlight begins to flicker. He hand reaches for the door knob. It's that sense of peril to be in this space.

I scan the other signatures. A wormhole into the unknown (K-162) and an Angel Site. I pop over to the site, and at least one failed attempt which reminds of the earlier Sleeper site. I am not here for data site. Lets warp closer to the Ore site. 

This is a virtual gold mine. Based in high-sec, I need to purchase megacyte from the market. My previous venture into a WH cost me one mining ship and one pod. Single malt scotch may have been a contributing factor on that occasion. But now I can see local, I have forewarning of peril's approach. 

As a side note I do have access to tech2 arkonor mining crystals. But it would mean actually clearing the site of NPC. The rats did not immediately appear because my overview was set for PvP. Just because my prospector is unarmed is unlikely to convince the rats to share the ore. A sudden jump in rat deaths would attach attention when the map lights up like the first star to shine at sun set. 

This has been a subject around the miner water-cooler, in the fleets and elsewhere. I do not have the answer today. But it bears consideration.

I turned the knob, entered the room and lived to tell the tale. That made it fun.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Exploring and other vices

Outside of my modest efforts in Industry, I do some Exploration. Many moons ago, I training into Probing to locate Grav Sites inside of High Security for mining profit. The ability to access ores normally reserved for low-sec. Some time past the ores sites were converted to warp-to anomalies, and I felt that the skills I had trained were redundant. Since the revamp to Data and Relic sites, as well as a taste for adventure I scan for the unknown.

Normally I can get 100% by 2AU. In this instance I persisted with three attempts - each time making slight adjustments to improve the success. My Astero Frigate was fit with an Sisters Expanded Launcher, some Pinpoints in the mids, co-processors in lows and an overlocker or two rigged. (long story for another time why the Expanded). So refit in a scan rig for more strength and belated learn after purchasing two, that the calibration is only 350 - and can only fit one 200. Swapped over to a Sisters Probe Launcher, two RangeFinding Mids, Tech2 Relic and Analyser, small Fuelled armour rapper (plus paste), meta overdrive and two T2 ENAMS. By this stage my probe scan strength is 127 and the scan was the result. Still not locked?! Clone Jump into Prospector implanted clone and third time is the charm. Pause...

Yet another lesson. I bookmarked the site and swapped over to a prophesy battlecruiser. The lows are stuffed with 1600 plate, resists and twin medium reppers - meta 4. A MWD (A must for this site) with the data/relic mids a cap batt, complete with a tractor in a high. slot I had previously lost an astero in one of these sites to the AOE damage which gets triggered by the unwary. And sure enough there is already a covert-ops wreck in the site. The shields quickly evaporate, but I can pulse the non-cap stable reps to explore this rare site. The cans are very difficult compared my experiences with regular data/relic sites in high-sec. Still, I pull some interesting sleeper loot. But I leave the site incomplete as the repetitive failure of hacking becomes frustrating.

All in all, rare content and nice to be surprised with an unusal exploration site. Definitely fun.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Planetary Interaction and Reaction

Some time ago I put efforts into an alternative slot for the purpose of having a nomadic character perform planetary interaction within a wormhole. The core of the concept was that the character would solely rely on a Prowler fitted with Covert Ops and Probe Launcher. Performing lucrative PI, probe out a static into High Security and sell P3 and P4 materials. The oft laid plans of mice and men. I abandoned the project mostly for Real Life circumstances. I allowed subscriptions to lapse retaining a single active; then only recently re-subbed this particular account.

For this particular slot I am attempting to manufacture Mobile Tractors completing using six planets and one character. 

This is where it starts. Using the in-game map, I can quickly locate the required planets. I am selecting to locate a Storm Planet, which Condensates (P3 Material) which is one of the few P3's obtainable from a single planet.

I use and recommend:

Before I go too far, this is not intended as a guide into PI. But rather a view into my thought process behind the choices I make for PI.

This is me trying to be clever. I have overlain the planet scan for Heavy Metals and Non-CS Crystals. These P0 materials eventually combine into the P2 Consumer Electronics. The white banded by red is the location of the Toxic whilst the yellow and green banding is the Crystals. That yellow dot in the centre represents the location of the Command Centre. Placement is a compromise, since I want ready access the both materials.

My standard setup is;

Command Centre
2 Extractors
2 Basic Factories
1 Advanced Factory
1 LaunchPad

The spaceport enables vast storage as well as access to import and export of products.

Capable of 10,000m3, and here corresponding the white scan, I will receive more Heavy Metals in a given cycle than Non-CS. The 3000 units Outgoing represent routing to the Basic Factories with 20 units of Toxic Metals being returned per cycle from factory. Every second or third period I will have both extractors focus on Non-CS to maintain a balance.

I elect to run period of 6 days and 12 hour extraction cycles. It means that per seven days I am not always on at the same hour; the planets will be ready to have the extract heads re-positioned and the cycle initialised again. Reducing the cycle will provide more returns in materials, but also exhaust the materials faster. This I have found 6d12h more manageable, attainable and realistic. 

For making P3, I will include a Storage Bay to handle the dual P2 volumes. This entails less extraction heads for P0 as a trade-off. 

The missing sequence is the High-Tech Factory (HTF). No P4 can be performed on a single planet. The HTF can only be placed on Barren or Temperate planets which are necessary for P4. I will need spreadsheet to map out the entire process P0 to P4 required. 

Historically I have made POS Fuels, repair Nanite Paste, Robotics and Guidance Systems for Drone Manufacture. This is a good progression in this field. Still having fun.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Twenty Days Later

One of the more interesting gifts from CCP for Christmas 2014, was access to 20 days free training for an alternative character slot within each player's active account. How many skills can be crammed into this period?

With the recent changes to the Industry interface and ease of access to NPC station slots I decided to explore deeper into the career of industry. What I do involves some invention for hulls, munitions, drones and modules. Originally many years ago I trained up for Datacore Research Agents because this was a modest passive income. One of guides I read mentioned that the length of time for level five to access the sixth R&D would be a waste of time. Because in about the same amount of time, an alt character can be trained upto four or five agents.

Cybernetics 1
Science 5
Power Grid Management 5
Research 5
Laboratory Operation 5
Graviton Physics 3
Research Project Management 3

This is the queue I developed for twenty days. Cybernetics 1 allows access to the Basic learning implants granting +3 for Intelligence and Memory. Because almost all of these skills are these attributes, I remapped as well. The clock stopped with Graviton Physics part way to level four.

All of these does come with some caveats, Laboratory Operation costs 20 million isk and Research Project Management will set you back 40 million. So from a purely profitability point of view, it is a bust. Additionally this character was a blank slate, having no standings means a restriction to Level One agents. 

If I wish I can log into the character perform the daily mission offered by the R&D agent. (only one, since there are some 20 to 30 jumps between agents which offered Level One graviton physics). The newbie frigate is perfectly suitable to mining veldspar or the courier mission for either of the two mission types offered. Currently the character receives 19.20 Research Points per 24 hours across four agents. (100 RP is exchanged per unit of Datacore).

I am not really going to gauge the success of this imperially by the income generated. I achieved the goal I set out to do, that was the measurable. It was fun.