Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Start Practicing!!!

Yarrr!  Matey!  Tomorrow (that be today to you lubbers in the down under) be Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Wednesday, September 19th)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jack Dancer - Rabid Killer

I had a few minutes before heading to bed, so I decided to check out the 2/10 DED site in Heild and see if I could find some trouble.  The site had recently been cleaned out, so I headed to my scanning spot and looked around.  There was a Slasher on scan.

The Slasher is a Minmatar frigate (like the Rifter) that has recently seen some improvements by CCP.  I've thought about flying one to see what they are like, but this seemed like a good chance to check it out from the other side.  I used d-scan and found the Slasher at the sun.  With everything turned up to 11, I headed there at top warp speed.

Rollstone was waiting for me.  We circled and started spewing hot projectiles at each other.  Things went well for my Rifter in this match and the Slasher blowed up!  \o/

     Jack Dancer > gf
     RollStone > gf
     RollStone > moar?
     Jack Dancer > Sure.

I patched up the rifter (it was a bit burned from overheating and the shields and armor needed repairs) and headed back to the sun.  Rollstone was waiting for me - this time in a Rifter.  We again circled and the result was the same.  His Rifter blowed up! \o/ \o/

GFs were again exchanged and we spent some time chatting about builds and implants until he had to head to lunch (it's always amazing how worldwide Eve can be - Rollstone lives in Japan).  I'm sure I'll see Rollstone around more since he said he's based in Heild now.  I look forward to it.

It was nice to be in the winning side of a fight for a change!  Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 15-31-1

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jack Dancer - Business Man

In some ways I’m very different from the typical Black Rebel.  I seem to be a better business man than rabid killer of innocent pilots… 

I often hear of people having trouble earning isk to pay for their PVP activities.  Let me help with some of my experiences earning isk - I currently have four “money makers”.  Listed from least profitable to most, they are:

  • Datacore Farming
  • Exploration
  • Planetary Interaction
  • Station Trading

Datacore Farming

This is an incredibly “hands off” method of isk generation.  I’ve set up one of my alts to be able to work with a level 3 research agent somewhere (I can’t remember where) and every few months when I think of them for some reason I go and collect the datacores that he’s produced.  Training the skills takes a bit of effort and time – but once it’s set up there’s zero daily maintenance.

This used to be more profitable than it is today (CCP made some changes that affected datacore prices).  So I probably won’t take the time to train my alt so that he can talk to level 4 agents.  But I might.  We’ll see.

I wouldn’t recommend this as a isk generator.


In a huge contrast to Datacore Farming – Exploration is a very time intensive “hands on” method of isk generation.  I have succumbed to the siren call of exploration on occasion and have spent days and weeks devoting most of my Eve time to it.  So beware!

I worked up the appropriate skills on one of my alts so that I can fly a cov-op frigate (helios) and a heavy assault ship (Ishtar).  With them I can ramble around high/low/null space looking for hidden DED sites.  These require the use of probes to discover and then a ship appropriate for fighting the rats that protect the sites.  There are other sites too (radar, magnetometric, etc.) that can be profitable – but not to the extent of the DED sites.

My best haul from a DED site (in high sec!) was about 500 million isk.  I’ve had a couple of those.  On the other hand I’ve gone through a dozen DED sites in a row and collected a total of maybe 20 million isk from all of them.  This activity is very much like gambling – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  You have to be prepared for extended dry spells.  And they can be brutal - you sometimes wonder if you'll ever find anything of value.

I find exploration to be a fun activity, and have always enjoyed the gambling aspect of life – so it’s a good match for me.  But beware – it can become so much fun that your PvP skills might get neglected…

Planetary Interaction

A new one for me is Planetary Interaction (PI).  I trained an alt so that he can fly a blockade runner (viator) and about a month ago set up 5 planets to produce whatever it is they produce.  I’ve focused on producing robotics which appears to be the highest priced, highest demand item.  My planets are all in low sec in a back corner of a quiet region.

PI is tricky.  I watched some youtube videos, read some webpages, and thought I could sort things out.  It wasn’t that easy.  I’ve made some big blunders.  You need to be sure that the customs office associated with the planet has a reasonable tax rate (not 100% like one of the planets I selected!).  You need to be sure that your set-up can reach the minerals that you need.  You need to be sure that you aren’t producing too much basic stuff so that your system gets clogged and stops.  You need to be sure you visit relatively often to keep your extractors extracting.  You need to…  (You get the idea…)

I don’t have a handle on how profitable this is.  But I do know that the viator’s cargo hold (3750 m3) full of robotics sells for about 30 million isk.  How often I can produce that and get it to market is still undetermined.  But I generally get the feeling that it’s going pretty well.  I’ve filled up a couple viators and have more robotics waiting to be gathered and hauled to market.

The time requirements are hard to categorize.  Every day I spend 10 minutes resetting my extractors to continue extracting materials (these extractors work on a timer, so I think it could be set to as long as 2 weeks if you don’t want to mess with them very often).  Plus every few days I mess with my production facilities to be sure they’re making what I want them to make and are getting the materials they need (often they aren’t).  Plus every week or so I gather the robotics that have been produced and haul them to market or to a central station for storage.

I’m still very much a beginner at this.  My facilities often go dry or I forget to set up a supply link for one of their needed materials, or I produce too much of one item and not enough of another.  It’s complicated.

But it also seems to be a “hands off” isk generator generally.  I can check every day for a few minutes or just let it run for a few days without checking.  Either way it’s churning out robotics components that can be sold for a profit.

Station Trading

I’ve spoken about my station trading multiple times.  I drifted away from it a few months ago, but now I’m back.  It’s paying for the two PLEX I need for my two accounts plus adding to my bottom line every month.  I’m up to about 3 billion in cash+buy orders+sell orders and have generated about 50 million isk per day over the last month according to my spreadsheet. It takes about 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening.

I’ve seen people say that they don’t have luck at station trading and can certainly understand that.  Finding profitable items can be tricky. 

Here’s what I would suggest: Start an alt and put them in Jita (you often hear that other markets are better for beginners, but the volume of Jita trades makes it a great place to get your feet wet – you’ll get fast action). Be sure you have enough trade slots available (I have about 40) – you want to diversify. 

I would recommend starting by trading implants.  Look through all of them (there's a lot!).  Find some that have a 30% difference between the buy and sell prices and also have a relatively large number of trades every day.  There are a lot of profitable implants (and a lot of unprofitable ones too).  Your goal is to find 25 or 30 profitable items to buy (the other 10 or 15 of your trade slots will be for your sell orders).  Put up buy orders to purchase at least 3 but probably fewer than 15 of each implant on your list - depending on their price, their profitability, their demand, and your bankroll.  I started buying and selling 200k items and now have a few buy orders for things costing 45 million isk.  You need to ramp up your activity depending on your bankroll.

I can do 10-key by touch, so there’s no hunting and pecking.  My usual routine is to go through my list in the morning updating the buy orders to be .01 isk higher than any other buy order and updating my sell orders to be .01 isk lower than any other sell orders.  I don’t worry about someone else coming along and beating my price by .01 isk because with the volume of activity in Jita my order will work its way back to the top pretty quickly (and even if it doesn't, I'll be updating it 12 hours later).  In the evening I do the same.  20 minutes each time.  I definitely recommend this isk maker if you can spare the time from your PvP addiction - though I also recognize that this sort of bean counting isn't for everyone...


That’s it for isk making ideas.  Of course, if you are totally devoted to PvP it might be worth buying PLEX instead of wasting your play time with any of these options.

For more information on all of them, I’d recommend the wiki of our wonderful good fight friends at Eve University - http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Main_Page

Monday, September 3, 2012

One Morning - Three Fights

It being a holiday here in Seattle (Labor Day), I took some rifters out for morning tours.  They didn't end well, but were fun just the same.

First off I poked my nose into a FW site and found a merlin that wanted a fight.  Things were going well until I didn't notice the heat building up and my guns, web, and scrambler all burned out.  After that my missiles made a valiant attempt at destroying the enemy, but it wasn't to be.  I blowed up.

Back to pick up another rifter and I started chasing around a merlin.

I managed not to catch him, but decided to sit on the FW gate and wait for him to come to me.  That worked out well, but then he just activated the gate and entered the site.  A couple seconds later a dramiel followed him through the gate.  This looked promising.

I waited 30 seconds so that they could soften each other up and then I jumped through to hopefully destroy the survivor.  The merlin pilot was in a pod heading home and the dramiel was all mine - sufficiently softened up I hoped.  Wrong.

I hit all the controls (careful not to over-overheat this time) and started pelting the dramiel with projectiles.  Surprisingly he apparently was undamaged by his fight with the merlin.  I eventually exploded.

In looking over his kill report from the "battle" with the merlin I noticed that the merlin didn't carry any guns!  It was one of those silly "orbit something or other to get FW rewards" ships...  So my clever "let them soften each other up" failed miserably.

Back for another rifter.

A few systems over I came across another merlin in a FW site.  I jumped in and started burning towards him (70k away).  But immediately behind me came a thorax cruiser.  He was only 7k away - so I turned and set my 500 meter orbit to circle in close - hopefully under his guns.

Things went well.  I remembered to turn off the heat on my modules when it wasn't needed and I was taking the thorax through shields and into armor.  I was barely in armor from taking hits on approach and then he wasn't hitting me with either his heavy neutron blasters or his hammerhead IIs.  I thought I had a good chance.

But then he DID start hitting me with his heavy neutron blasters.  I'm not sure why.  I was still orbiting close, but it's possible that in turning off the overheating on my modules I mistakenly turned off the afterburner and it allowed his guns to track me.  Or maybe I ran out of cap.  I don't know (a common theme in my loses...).  But pretty soon, with the blasters tracking me, I blowed up.

GFs were exchanged in local and also this:

   Euscrops Tevyushki > i think my turrets were missing for like 30 seconds
   Jack Dancer > I had hopes then - but eventually it didn't work out...
   Euscrops Tevyushki > i had fears, but those didn't work out either

Three fun fights.  Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 13-30-1
And another.  My rifter destroyed by a merlin in a FW site.  A tough day of losses...

Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 13-31-1

Sunday, September 2, 2012

DED Touring

When Glorious Leader Miura Bull recently posted a proposed 2/10 DED Roam - I loaded up a rifter with ammo and headed out!  It looked like my sort of activity - I like the gambling aspect of the DED sites and it should lead to some fights.

I was right on both accounts.

I emptied a couple of the sites in Hrober and Altbrard with no jackpot at the end.  So much for the gambling aspect.  But as they say on the forums, "random is random".

The next stop on the roam, at the aptly named Hedaleolfarber, had an empty DED site - someone else had gotten there before me.  Same with Erstet.  But there was a wolf in Erstet, and since I was also looking for some fights I headed to a safe spot and tried to find where he was.  Surprise!  He was at the DED site I had recently left.

I turned everything up to 11 and headed towards him - landing right on top.  To keep the gambling theme alive - I threw snake eyes.  I orbited and spewed hot projectiles while he did the same to me.  The wolf can spew a lot more projectiles than my little rifter and soon the tide of battle had turned.  I blowed up.  I warped my pod to safety.  GFs were exchanged in local along with some disparaging remarks by the other pilot, 1scoria, on the rifter and people that fly them...

A side aspect of this roaming through the DED sites that I hadn't considered was the possibility of blowing up far from any replacement rifters.  Very, very far from any replacement rifters.  I slipped into a station to pick up a rookie ship and eventually found a station with some of my rifter stock.  I headed back to continue the circuit.

From this new station, the closest DED site on the route was Ragnarg.  I headed over there and immediately spotted a condor flown by Syrias Bizniz (nice name!).  I don't think I had ever come across a condor before (though my memory isn't what it once was) so I chased him from asteroid belt to asteroid belt in hopes of noble mano a mano combat.  Since it seemed like he was avoiding me by jumping from place to place - I took that as a good sign.  Apparently I'm not as good with signs as I used to be either...

Eventually I found him at a belt and attacked!  Things did not go well.  That condor hardly noticed my hot projectiles.  I don't think I ever had his shields anywhere close to half destroyed.  I blowed up.

Looking over the killmail it might be that Bubba - Miura Bull's cousin or stepchild or brother-in-law (or whatever he claims to be) who manages my equipment in the warehouses - was again cutting corners.  The killmail lists the ammo as "Phased Plasma" - but I specifically ask for all of my ships to carry the more expensive "Republic Fleet Phased Plasma".  Damn that Bubba!  He sold the good stuff on the black market, loaded up crap in my rifter, and no doubt spent the proceeds on exotic dancers!  I'll have to deal with him somehow...

After our fight, as I was waiting out the GCC, Syrias Bizniz and I chatted about things.  We both agreed that the rifter is no longer the monster it once was (though in the comfort of my pod I knew nothing about this ammo switch!).

Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score:  13-27-1