Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Bye Black Rebels!

I’m leaving the Black Rebel Rifter Club – but don’t panic, it’s only for a day or two. 

After reading about Starwalker’s recent podding and loss of a head full of implants (and seeing some of the big losses by other pilots now that loss mails show implant losses when a pilot is podded) I decided I should get some jump clones set up.

I’ll be leaving R1FTA and joining Estel Arador Corporation.  Estel Arador provides a free jump clone service.  I trained “Infomorph Psychology” to level 4 (so that I can have 4 jump clones) and now I’ll drop out of the Black Rebels and apply to join Estel Arador.  When I’m accepted (probably in less than a day) I’ll set up my jump clones, and then I leave Estel Arador.  I then re-apply to the Black Rifters and hope they’ll take me back… 

The actual process (once I’m a member of Estel Arador) takes just a few minutes and I’ll have 4 new jump clones.  I’ll then make a generous donation to Estel Arador in appreciation of their service (though this is voluntary!).

Why have jump clones?  Two main reasons come to mind.  First, if I’m planning to visit especially scary neighborhoods (null sec or wormholes where bubbles can cause problems for pods escaping) I can use an empty headed clone with no implants.  If I get podded then it’s relatively cheap – price of a rifter.  No worries.  Secondly, I can also set up clones in far flung locations so that instead of flying 30 jumps to get somewhere I can just jump there instantaneously.  

I’ll probably fill three of the jump clones with my standard set of implants and have the 4th one empty headed.

Good bye Black Rebels!  I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Death to Flying Things Campaign Score 2-13-1

I ran across Iridescent Klr harassing innocent Serpentis villagers in an asteroid belt in the Auner system.  He was flying an Ishkur (one tough little ship!), but with my policy of shooting anything that moves I attacked with all guns blazing.  It didn't take long before BOOM! I was in my pod and heading back for a new rifter.

I love the smell of new rifters...


I took the long route again last night delivering a fully equiped rifter to the new base at Heild.  24 jumps through low sec.  Again I found no targets along the way to rain death and destruction on.

The highlight of the trip was coming across a small band of four drakes at a gate going one way while I was headed the other.  In local one of them said, "OMG!  Rifter on scan!"  I've seen this sort of comment before and always laugh when I see it...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Scary Low Sec

That 24 jump trip through low sec the other day made me remember my first attempt at visiting this scary place called Low Sec...

I was new and my two week old carebear character visited an agent in Jel who sent him to Egghelende to deliver four crates of synthetic oil.  The agent must have been having a good laugh at my expense as he saw me leave in my Iteron I (looking back at the lossmail I had no modules at all - just 2 expanded cargo holds for some reason that no doubt made sense at the time) for my fateful trip through the famous Jel/Egghelende semi-perma-camped gate.

As you might guess, it did not go well.

I was met by a 5-ship gate camp that included a Rapier, Machariel, Huginn, Lachesis, and a Sliepnir.  I, of course, panicked since I didn't have a clue about the gate cloak keeping me hidden from them on arrival and started hitting keys and stabbing at buttons almost randomly.  20 seconds after arriving in low sec I was waking up in my clone vat.  Looking back at it, I now realize that it was a pretty upscale bunch of gankers...

I wasn't keen on returning to low sec after that.  And that Jel/Egghelende jump still gives me a bad feeling in my stomach...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

So You Want to be a Space Pirate?

If you'd like to be a dangerous space pirate (unlike Jack Dancer who is self-taught!) then an excellent place to begin would be the Black Rebel Rifter Club's Glorious Supreme Leader Miura Bull's R1FTA School of Hard Knocks (A Guide for New Pilots).

A .pdf version is here.

Check it out!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Last night I was wandering around the Auner station and thought I'd stop by the Black Rebel Rifter Club offices in a not-so-fashionable section of R-level (the lowest "habitable" level above the engineering section) down in the bowels of the place.  I don't get down there very often (frankly the smell puts me off) but it being the holiday season I thought a visit would be mandatory.

I came off the lift and around the corner expecting to find the usual jumble of rubble with some unsavory characters hanging around apparently with nothing to do.  But instead I found a boarded up office space with "TO LEESE - CHEPE" written across the boards in red spray paint.

The Black Rebel Rifter Club has officially abandoned the Auner location.

Well, I have a hangar full of rifters and enough modules to fit another couple hundred in my Auner warehouse.  Time to start moving some of the inventory...

This morning I plotted a course to the new Black Rebel Home in Heild.  It's just nine jumps away mostly through high sec space.  But I was looking for some adventure, so I set the autopilot to give me a route that avoided high sec. That's a bit longer.  And more dangerous.  In the end, it's a 24 jump trip.  I checked in advance and there didn't appear to be any hot spots that might indicate gate camps - so it looked possible.

I loaded up a rifter with plenty of ammunition (on the off chance that I'd get lucky and destroy someone along the way) and headed off on the roadtrip, err... spacetrip.

For those of you that have never been to low sec space and view it as a scary place - this trip would have been a real eye opener.  A couple times I managed to meet other ships under the protection of the gate guns - them jumping  one way and me the other.  I passed through 11 systems that had either 0 or 1 other inhabitant.  Usually there were 3 or 4 locals and no ships on d-scan.

Overall, it was a very uneventful trip.  The biggest excitement was trying to find a couple Iteron Vs that appeared to be sitting in a safe-spot between two jump gates.  But I eventually gave up after zipping back and forth dropping bookmarks a few times and never seeming to get close...  Let me repeat - that was the biggest excitement of the entire trip...

I landed in Heild, dropped off the rifter, and flew my pod back to Hek (via the high sec short route!) to pick up another rifter hull to take to Auner for fitting.

I might make the same trip again tomorrow.  We'll see...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Greetings Xi'xar!

[ 2011.12.12 00:12:49 ] Xi 'xar > Jack Dancer - nice blog you have there.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Death to Flying Things Campaign Score 2(!)-12-1

So Jack Dancer woke up in Hek and checked to see if his R&D agent needed anything.  Nope.  But he did have another datacore ready.  So I put that on the market for about 200k isk.

Then I looked at local and saw that there was one of the Enemies of the Black Rebel Rifter Club in the system - Dilenium Tremens of a bunch of obvious bad guys by the name of EvilMoon Akademiya.  I checked to see if he was docked in station and he wasn't, so I left the station to see if I could find this lowlife and give him a taste of Black Rebel vengence.

No luck.  He wasn't sitting outside.

I  turned on all my defensive equipment and the overheating buttons of all the modules just to be sure, and warped off to a spot nearby to sit and wait.  But just as I entered warp, I saw that Mr. Tremens had arrived at the station.  Argh!  SCOTTY!  ALL ENGINES STOP!  Too late.  Off I went.

I immediately turned around when I came out of warp and screamed back to the station.  I was in luck!  The rascal was still there.  I targeted him, set my orbit for 500 meters, hit the guns, warp scrambler, web, and  nos  buttons.  He was flying a wolf (which is like an upscale rifter).  But with him scrambled and webbed he wasn't getting away!

My guns were tearing through his shields pretty nicely.  I was ahead!  Then we got to the armor and things started going a bit slower.  I turned on my armor repper II (and turned the dial up to 11 - "Overheat") and it did a yeoman's job of repairing the incoming damage (when I looked over the remains of his wrecked wolf I noted that he did not have an armor repper - maybe a mistake on his part...).

Eventually, there was an explosion - but this time it wasn't me!  \o/

I scooped up the loot from his wreck (actually, since this isn't part of my usual post-fight procedure, I forgot about this and had to return from a safe spot where I was repairing the massive damage to all my systems).  Then I headed off again.

And just in time - corp mates of his had shown up and I don't think they were in a good mood.  A hurricane, thrasher, maller, drake, and another hurricane were at the station.  YOW!  Even more than my Rifter of Fury could take on.  I casually headed to low sec where I would feel a bit safer...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Death to Flying Things Campaign Score 1-12-1

I was minding my own business, flying a brand new fully fitted rifter back to Auner from Hek when I received a radio message from Lost Touch asking for a rifter 1v1.  Now, my record in 1v1s isn't very good (to be honest, it's horrible) - and it's especially horrible in rifter 1v1s where I feel like my inexperience puts me at a real disadvantage.  But I'm not one to turn down a challenge, so I said, "Sure!"

A few minutes later I was in my pod...

gf gf

But the good news is that I feel like I'm getting better.  No major blunders - my guns and rockets were all slamming into Lost Touch and doing damage.  My overheated defenses were all turned on and working as advertised.  But his two years of experience in rifters was too much to overcome.  The fight was good experience for me though.  And fun.

Friendly chat ensued in local and I look forward to a rematch one of these days.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rooks and Kings: Clarion Call 3

This is definitely worth watching...

A Typical Day in the Life of a Pirate...

Got up this morning and left my base in Auner in my trusty rifter looking for trouble.  A few people in local, but no one on d-scan from my scanning spots.  So I headed to Resbroko.

In Resbroko there were a few people in local, but again no one on d-scan from my scanning spots (several scanning spots, because Resborko is a very big system!).  So I headed to Hadozeko.

In Hadozeko there were a few people in local, but only a battlecruiser on d-scan.  It was too soon to lose the rifter in a hopeless fight.  So I headed to Ardar.

In Ardar there were a few people in local, but no one on d-scan from my scanning spots.  So I headed to Floseswin.

In Floseswin there were a few people in local, but just a heavy assault cruiser on d-scan.  So I headed to Aset.

In Aset there were a few people in local, but no one on d-scan from my scanning spots.  So I headed to Uisper.

In Uisper there was nobody in local, so I headed to Turnur.

In Turnur there was nobody in local, so I headed to Isbrabata.

In Isbrabata there was nobody in local, so I headed back to Aset.

In Aset there were a few people in local, and 3 battlecruisers from the same corp on d-scan.  So I docked up and called it a morning...

Not a single opportunity to intervene against a defenseless miner illegally mining ore.  No chance to create and inspect the smoking wreckage of a defenseless cargo ship possibly carrying contraband cargo.  Or even any frigate or destroyer or cruiser that I could throw myself against in a reasonably even fight.

On the whole, a pretty typical day.  Don't let anybody fool you - being a pirate isn't all glamour and excitement.  It can be, but usually it's not.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to School!

A couple months ago after Jack Dancer reached 4s (along with a bunch of 5s in critical skills) in ALL the skills on the Infamous Rifter Plan I put his training aside and started working on the skills of my explorer/mission runner character.  I’m new to Eve and right now these two characters each have about 6 million skill points.  Not really that many.

My third character is the station trader in Jita that supplies the ISK for these other two to have fun.  He’s trained to 3 in three skills (Broker Relations, Retail, and Trade).  A total of just 124 thousand skill points that take about a day of study.  But very profitable skill points…

Recently I saw the “Power of Two” promotion from CCP.  This got me thinking about the possibility of moving Jack Dancer and my explorer into separate accounts so that they can both continue their training simultaneously.

For $50 the “Power of Two” promotion allows you to add another account and have 6 months of play time.  More importantly for me, you can add the additional account for 3 PLEX instead of $50.  So basically, a new account with three new characters for 6 months for just 3 PLEX.

I did a quick accounting and my Jita station trader had almost enough liquid funds to buy the three PLEX.  I definitely had enough for two, so I put up the order and my explorer character bought two PLEX for 426 million ISK each on the Dodixie market (PLEX at Dodixie’s “Buy” price is about 10 million ISK less than at Jita’s “Buy” price).  A day later I sold enough merchandise on the Jita market to have the funds for a third PLEX (this one cost about 430 million ISK in Dodixie).  4 million ISK difference in just a day - the cost of PLEX is going up rapidly right now

So I had the three PLEX.

The process to open a “Power of Two” account is pretty straight forward and I soon had my new account in return for the three PLEX (the PLEX don’t all have to be at the same place, so don’t go flying your expensive PLEX around space!).  [Note: Since you don’t need to have all the PLEX together in your possession, it would be a Very Good Idea™ to make your “Buy” order “region wide” instead of just for the station.  I did this with my order for the third PLEX and the PLEX I bought was several jumps away from Dodixie.  I might otherwise not have bought it so quickly.]

Once the new account was opened, I immediately put up a contract to sell the Cerebral Accelerator that is part of the deal. A few hours later I pocketed 97 million ISK for it that I will split three ways between my new trader alts (see next sentence) to give them seed money for trading.  In the meantime I created a couple new station trader characters and started training them in Broker Relations, Retail and Trade just like my Jita trader.  One I put in Dodixie and the other in Amarr.  I plan to eventually put the third new character in Rens for station trading.

Then I started the process to move the explorer to the new account.  I could have paid 2 PLEX for this, but I don’t have the ISK for that right now since I have too much invested in various inventory (trade items waiting to be sold, 200+ rifters and their T2 modules for Jack Dancer to find innovative ways to lose, various exploration ships and gear, etc.).  So I paid the $20 fee to move the explorer to the new account. 

Moving a character from one account to another isn’t especially easy or fast.  He has to relinquish any current corp responsibilities (my characters were in a 2 member zero tax corporation that I set up for them).  Then there’s a 24 hour waiting period before he can actually leave the corp and join an NPC corporation to be eligible for moving to a new account.  After that’s completed there’s a 10 hour transition period between leaving the old account and arriving at the new account.

Eventually my explorer arrived in the new account. 

In the meantime my two new station traders are trained to 3/3/3 in Broker Relations, Retail, and Trade.  And now my Explorer is back working on his skill plan.  And Jack Dancer is back at school working on Afterburner V.  I still need to start the other station trader to go in the slot vacated by the explorer when he moved to the new account.  And I’m paid-up for the next 6 months on this new account with the Power of Two deal. 


I still have about 8 month’s worth of skills on the list for Jack Dancer (remember – that was the original reason for all this…).  They are all level 5 skills, so we’re talking several days and sometimes weeks for each of them.  I’ll also need a couple remappings of Jack Dancer’s attributes over the next 6 months to make things go faster. 

I also hope to eventually fund both of these accounts with PLEX from my 4 station traders (though where I’ll find time to keep all of their buy/sell orders (40 total for each of the characters) updated, I don’t know…). 

And I should look at the station trading model and decide if having the traders at 4 stations (Jita, Dodixie, Rens, and Amarr) is the best idea.  I might move them all to Jita and have each of them specialize in a different area (one buying/selling weapons, another implants, another armor and shields, and the fourth miscellaneous modules for instance).  Anyone out there have experience, expertise, knowledge, and/or an opinion on what’s best?

But in the end, it’s good to have Jack Dancer back at school hitting the books.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Death to Flying Things Campaign Score 1-11-1

This'll be short...

I was sitting around Heild minding my own business when I received a message from Santo Trafficante (possibly a mobster, definitely a hoodlum) wondering if I was interested in a 1v1 rifter duel.

Why not?

We headed out to a mutually acceptable location and had our battle.  Or rather he had a battle.  I had some technical difficulty with my guns.  One of them was offline for some reason (the mechanics had better have a good reason when I catch up to them!) and the rifter kept telling me, "You cannot activate this group because one or more of its modules are offline. Please use the fitting window to turn all individual modules online first."  And then, "You cannot bring 150mm Light AutoCannon II online. Without the support of in-station fitting services your ship requires a 95% capacitor level, you currently have a capacitor level of 68%."


I probably could have ungrouped the guns and used them individually, but as smoke was filling the cabin, I didn't think of that.  And even so, I would have been firing just 2 guns against Santo's 3.

So I exploded.

There's another lesson to be learned here too.  Check out the killmail for what dropped from my ship.  Always, always, always, always move anything you haul to a new station to the hangar before undocking for a 1v1 against a known killer...

As Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, "It just goes to show you, it's always something - if it ain't one thing it's another."

Death to Flying Campaign Score 1-10-1

The Black Rebel Rifter Club is moving their base of operations, so I was spending a quiet Saturday morning moving some fully equipped rifters from Auner to Heild.  It's a 9 jump trip with just three low sec systems (counting Auner and Heild - that leaves just Bosena as the third).  Things were quiet (though not as quiet as they often are on a Friday night on Eve) and all was going well.

The Black Rebels also have a couple war declarations active - mostly against illegal minors and poachers of small defenseless animals.  We are on the side of justice.

So when I jumped into Teonusude on my way to Heild I wasn't too surprised to see a bright red flashing war target lingering on the gate (probably up to no good).  It was a Cormorant - one of those destroyers that are often nicknamed "Frigate Killers".  I probably wasn't favored to win, but that didn't stop me and I immediately attacked with all the force of my rifter's three 150mm autocannons.

It was a surprisingly even fight.  I expected to be destroyed by a couple broadsides (a cormorant can carry 7 guns and a missile launcher!).  But I lingered.  Though it didn't look good at any point.

His attack destroyed my shields and worked it's way through my armor even though my armor repair unit did a valiant effort at repairing the damage.  When I hit structure I decided maybe this wasn't going to be a victory, so I pointed at a planet and hit warp.  Nothing!  The destroyer had my warp engines scrambled!  The cur!

So I broke off the 500m orbiting and started heading for the planet as fast as I could go with an overheated afterburner.  The damage got worse.  But I seemed to be making headway and as I spammed the warp button I was gratified to hear the pleasant "Warp drive active" announcement in a very calm voice (as opposed to the screaming coming out of my lungs...).  I made it out with about half of my hull surviving.  Fire and smoke everywhere, but the rifter was alive to fight again (which it would in just a couple hours - though not as successfully...).

I'll call this one a draw so the score is 1-10-1.

In hindsight, looking at the battle report I see that I was doing more damage to him than he was doing to me.  In fact, my last four shots hit him for 269, 300, 271, and 311 points of damage!  His biggest hit on me in the entire fight was just 150!  YOW!  So, it's possible that I had reached his hull too at the end and that resulted in those large hits - had I stayed around and not fled it is possible that I could have won.  From now on the rifter leaves victorious or I leave in my pod!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Death to Flying Things Score - 1-10

OK, this time I wasn't just minding my own business.  I was looking for something to do and when I saw a Caracal (that's a Caldari missile cruiser) hanging around outside the Black Rebel station in Auner I gave him a steely eyed look.  He took the hint and flew off in his ship named "Pretty Kitty".  Just to be sure that he got the message I followed him to an asteroid belt and unleashed the full fury of my rifter.

Well, sorta unleashed.

He was shooting rats and apparently there were a bunch of asteroids between him and where I landed.  Looking back at the combat log I see that my first dozen shots or so were misses - probably outside the 150mm autocannon range.  I think that while I gave explicit commands to orbit the villain at 500 meters the ship was bouncing around off of asteroids trying to get into position.  Thus, when I thought I should be well in range, I was still playing asteroid pinball...

Eventually I found my range and started filling the Caracal with hot phased plasma (the best that the Republic Fleet has to offer - expensive stuff!).  Some of the shots were doing upwards of 150 points of damage, so he was definitely feeling it.

Eventually he took notice (after I had hit him with half a dozen broadsides) and Pretty Kitty started firing back.  And how!  His "Bloodclaw Fury Light Missiles" were hitting me for at least 300 points of damage each!  Some over 400!  And there were a bunch of them all at once!  It was worse than drones and I hate drones...

Needless to say, I didn't last long and soon exploded.

GF GF in local and I don't think we'll see that "Pretty Kitty" loitering around our station anytime soon.  But if we do, I've been practicing my steely eyed glare...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Greetings Damikin!

[ 2011.10.21 02:47:36 ] Damikin > omg, i read your blog jack dancer, o7

Bengal Bob

So, after shooting some rats on a level 2 Thukker mission this morning to pass some time, I left the station this afternoon without a thought in my head and into the waiting arms of Bengal Bob (a war target in the Royal Order of Security Specialists corporation with more than 3k kills to his credit...).  Needless to say, since I was loaded with normal EMP S (no sense shooting rats with the high priced stuff) and wasn't ready for any excitement it did not go well.

So I went back to the station and put together another rifter designed with a massive 400mm armor plate.  That did not go well either.

And then I thought I'd try a different design including extra explosive protection and a cap booster (first time I'd tried one of those gizmos).  Same result.

GFs were exchanged after each combat and while Bengal Bob had friends available, they graciously stood by as he destroyed my ships single handedly.  I thought that showed some class.

The various fits were based on our fearless leader Miura Bull's designs.  All blame for their failure is based on my skills and technique...

"[ 2011.10.23 23:06:17 ] Wise R1FTA Member Name Withheld > Jack you realize he is fleeted and boosted probably"   Hmmm...  Actually, being the noob that I am, that never crossed my mind.  But it might explain why Bengal Bob's friends were on grid but not active participants.  I'm always discovering surprises in this game...  Love it.

Cup of Tea?

I dropped off some Titanium that my R&D agent in Hek needed to continue his research and then I headed back to Auner on a quiet Sunday morning.

Auner was anything but quiet.

23 pilots in local, a few of them war targets, and none of them with R1FTA after their names...  Most were in instant death ships (battlecruisers, battleships, etc.), but there was one rifter around so I went hunting for that.  I should have realized that it probably could also be classified "instant death" when I'm hunting...

I caught up with him ("Chay Teabranch" was his name - that sounded pretty innocuous) in an asteroid belt near the Black Rebel home station and immediately charged straight at him from 70km.  He was in the same mood so he came after me too.  I had barrage loaded (and the cargo hold just held a friend named Gina and some booze) so I was set for a 5km orbit with no other ammo options.

Things didn't go especially well.  Technically, I was fine with my performance.  I targeted the rival rifter and hit all the appropriate buttons.  He did the same.  We orbited at around 5k and spit fire at each other.  But my shields and armor disappeared much quicker than his shields did (nevermind armor) and soon there were sirens and flashing lights.  I exploded.

gf gf in local.

Looking at Chay Teabranch's killboard I see that I'm not the first BRRC member to have fallen to his rifter (Kooba Kaundur and Santo Trafficante are recent victims).  And from his losses on I see that he usually flies an armor rifter - which makes my inability to get through his shields even more perplexing...  Maybe barrage wasn't the right choice...

Oh well, no big deal.  At least I'm back to blowing up my ships - it's been a while since I've heard those sirens...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Isk! Isk! Isk!

I have previously written about how I've amassed a bankroll with my station trading alt in Jita.  That's still going well and I have a comfortable amount of isk if I need it and a lifetime supply of rifters and appropriate T2 modules (along with rigs and implants).  But I've also been trying some other profit-making ideas...

I would advise anyone interested in the business side of Eve to listen to the podcasts by Tehg Rhind (available on iTunes here and titled, appropriately, ISK).  He presents some ideas for generating isk and explains some topics that I had heard about but never quite understood.  He's given me some ideas that have worked out and some that haven't.

Let's look at what I've tried and what I think of the isk-generating ideas...
  1. In episode 2 of the ISK podcast Tehg talks about "2 simple ways to make ISK in Eve ... that every player should take advantage of."  One of them is R&D agents.

    This involves training skills to allow the agent to do research for me.  The skills are Science V and the relevant science skill in the area that you choose to research.  In Jack Dancer's case, I found an agent in Hadozeko that will do Mechanical Engineering research for me - so I needed level 1 in the science skill Mechanical Engineering (which has a prerequisite of Mechanic V).  Since I already have Science V and Mechanic V as part of Jack's previous training, it just meant buying the 10 million isk skillbook for mechanical engineering and training it for a few minutes.

    I then set the level one R&D agent in Hadozeko to work researching mechanical engineering for me and I can convert his research into mechanical engineering datacores.  These datacores sell for about $250k and he takes about 5 days to research enough for me to convert the research into a single datacore.  It's not much isk, but it requires zero participation once it gets started.  I'm going to set up all three of my alts to do this.  With higher skills and better faction standing the agents (there are level 1 thorough 4 agents just like regular mission agents) produce the research faster and it results in more isk (my mission/hauler/explorer alt is working with a level two R&D agent and research is twice as fast).

    This ISK producing idea seems like a winner.
  2. The second "simple way to make ISK" that Tehg suggests in the podcast is to copy blueprints.  I'm not as convinced about this one.

    The basic premise is that you buy a BPO (Blue Print Original) on the market and then set up a copy job and create a maximum number of maximum run BPCs ("Blue Print Copies).  These BPCs can then be sold to people doing T2 research because they need them as part of the invention process.  You want to choose something that is going to be a popular T2 item eventually (like 150mm autocannons from a rifter pilot's point of view).

    I tried it.  I bought a BPO for 280k for a Large Shield Extender I and found a relatively nearby system that could run the copy job after a 4 day wait in the queue.

    In the meantime I checked the contracts for large shield extenders and didn't find a very robust market for basic BPCs (BPCs can only be sold by contract - not on the open market).  And when I listened to an Eve University class on T2 production the instructor didn't seem to think there's much of a market for these T1 BPCs because they are so easy to make that T2 producers wouldn't buy them off the market - they'd just make their own.

    After a few days the 20 basic Large Shield Extender I BPCs were ready and I put the 20 of them up as a contract in Jita for 1 million isk (almost quadrupling my original investment).  They sold in a day.  Not sure if my price was too cheap and next time I'll set the price a bit higher (like 4 million isk...) just to see what happens.

    In another test case I purchased a Large Armor Repairer I BPO for 720,000 isk.  I made 20 BPCs with it (again requiring a trip to an out of the way system where the wait was only a few days to start the job) and after about a week in process I put the 20 BPCs up on contract for 5,000,000 isk.  I sold them in just a couple days.  So that was relatively good – but again, I don’t know if that’s a price that I can rely on or if it might have been a one time thing (especially since I have 4 other contracts available for 5 of these exact same BPCs available for just 750,000 each – a total of 3 million isk for the same 20 BPCs  – and no one has picked up those blueprint contracts).  5 million isk is about the cost of a cheaply equipped rifter, so if 5 million is a price that gets accepted quickly I could pay for a rifter a week with that one BPO.

    I also have some contracts out for Hobgoblin I BPCs that haven’t been picked up yet.

    So in a sense it was profitable, but it was also a bit of an involved process.  I need to buy a BPO (from a NPC producer - look for an "expires in" date on the market of 364 days).  Finding a station that can do the copies in a reasonable amount of time is difficult.  Then hauling the BPO over several jumps to that station.  Then a wait of several days for the job to start and then for a few more days for it to finally finish.  And then the trip back to the station to pick up the 20 BPCs.  And starting the whole process over by finding a station with a short queue to start up another copy job (probably not the station used for the first job depending on availability of copy slots).  If I had a POS then this could be much simpler.  But that'll have to wait...

    This is not a real hands-off isk generator and I'm not sold on the idea.  Plus I’m not convinced that the market is a steady one where I can be confident of finding a buyer for my BPCs.
  3. BPO research.  So I decided to try another idea - BPO research.  With this you make a BPO more efficient with either materials or time of producing the final product.  Then you print up a bunch of BPCs and sell them to people that intend to produce the end product (not to T2 inventors like the previous idea).  Or you mark up the price of the BPO and sell it.  Or both.

    Sounds good.

    I found a location that would do the BPO research, but it has a 10 day queue (this type of activity is very popular) and then set up the job to run for a month (which is the longest limit) so that I would research the BPO as much as possible.  A month plus 10 days.  This isn't a fast process and I'm not sure about the profits when it's done.  We'll see, but with the 40 days to wait for results I'm not optimistic about it...
  4. Region wide purchasing.  When station trading you are buying and selling at a single station (Jita, Hek, Dodixie, etc.).  When putting in a purchase request there's also an option to buy the items in a larger area - up to region-wide.  I tried this.

    Rifters were selling for 250k in a trade hub where I had one of my alts and people had placed purchase orders to buy rifters for 180k.  So I placed a 60k region-wide purchase order for 30 rifters just to see what would happen.  What this means is that anywhere in the region (high sec or low sec), if someone wants to sell a rifter, I will pay them 60k for it.  They don't have to haul it anywhere special in the region - I'll buy it at whatever station they are in.  Very convenient for them.  Very cheap for me (but certainly not convenient).

    In the first week I've picked up 15 rifters at this rockbottom price of 60k each.  Of course, they are all in different stations (except for 2 in one station and 4 in another). 

    Now what to do?  My alt could offer them up for sale in their various locations for something like 200k but that will take a dozen of my 40 order slots and I might not find a buyer for a while - probably not a profitable use of these valuable trade slots.  Or I can contract them to Jack Dancer and let him deal with the problem - that'll add 10k in contracting fees to the price of each rifter - still a good price at 70k.  But then Jack will somehow have to pick them all up from 10 different stations far from his base in Auner.  Or my hauler alt could start picking them up and hauling them over to Jack's neighborhood.  Again, a time consuming option since they are scattered around 10 stations and my hauler can only carry 7 at a time in his Iteron.

    So in the end, what seemed like a good way to pick up cheap rifters turns out to be not a practical way to convert them into isk or into burning wrecks.
So, of all these new ISK makers, the only one I would really recommend is the R&D agent - and then only if you already have Science at V and some of the other necessary skills trained up so that it's not too onerous to get started.  For me, it's back to station trading for my ISK.

Good luck!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Elvis Has Left The Building

There were quite a few ships around Auner tonight and a couple Rebels (haerod and yours truly) decided to see what trouble we could get into.  One of the ships was a rupture and with my poor track record against ruptures I was sure that I would lose another rifter if we went up against it.  But I'd been flying this rifter (named "Elvis") for several days and it was overdue to burn in a fireball, so destruction was fine with me...

Eventually haerod sorted out the belt where the rupture was loitering and I warped to zero.  Haerod arrived a few seconds later.  The rupture, instead of sending a flock of drones my way and unleashing his 425mm autocannons at me before I could get too close, cruised leisurely in the opposite direction.  I overheated the afterburner and tore after him like a rifter out of Hell!  Elvis was looking for a fight!

Eventually, I caught up to the rupture, hit all the right buttons on my control panel, and started filling him with hot Republic Fleet Fusion while orbiting at 500m.  His shields went down painfully slowly and I discovered after a short time (an announcement from that unearthly voice) that my capacitor was empty.  Hmmm...  Usually that only happens when my armor repper is turned on and I was nowhere close to needing that.  Wonder what that's all about?  But I paid it no heed and continued my attack.

Then the drones arrived.

I webbed and targeted one of them and started laying into it with a vengence.

Then the battleship arrived.

Oh oh.  Battleship??!??!?

Then the battleship's drones arrived.

I continued my brave attack but soon the stars were blacked out by the whizzing drones and all my dials went red and sirens were blaring everywhere.

Elvis has left the building.

What did I learn?  Several things...

  1. The rupture was obviously bait because he was sitting alone in the belt, didn't attack when I arrived, and seemed to be wasting time.  He was waiting for his backup (a battleship!).  In the future, if I'm ever worried about losing my ship (instead of flying a rifter to have some fun and get some experience) I should warp away if I see this odd behavior.
  2. When the capacitor mysteriously goes belly up it's probably because it's on the wrong end of an energy neutralizer death ray.
  3. These guys from Applied Creations declared war against the noble Black Rebel Rifter Club and are showing themselves to be a bunch of cowardly curs.  They need a cruiser and a battleship against a couple rifters?  With one of the two rifters being piloted by the feared pirate Jack Dancer (whose solo record stands at 1 win and an infinity of losses)?  And looking over their past kills - more of the same.  Always lopsided fights.  They are not interesting in honorable and sporting duels.  I've had it with them - they'll not have any more of my rifters for their killboards.
In the end GFs were exchanged in local and they apologized for the overkill saying they thought there would be four of us...   No doubt they feel a cruiser and a battleship would be necessary if there were to be four ferocious rifters on the field of battle.  And maybe they should keep something additional in reserve (like another battleship?) if the fight against the scary rifters starts to go bad for them...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kill Mails!

Well, it's been busy in RL lately, what with our daughter and 6 month old grandson visiting from Switzerland at the same time as my wife's hitherto unknown niece from Chile coming to Seattle with her husband to study at the University of Washington (and staying with us until they found an apartment), and the start of chanterelle mushroom season up in the mountains (yummm!).

But I have managed to get online every day to do a little of this and that.  Most notably, compared to past experience, "that" instead of "this".  My last two kill/loss mails have actually been kill mails!  Yowza!

One was Newports Indeed who was taking on Rebels one evening in Auner.  He was flying a rifter (the best!).  I warped to a belt to watch him and Darkstar Pownyouall exchanging pleasantries honoring the 1v1 that they were engaged in.  Eventually Darkstar decided to do something else and wandered off (maybe he was in structure, I don't know...), so I decided to have a crack at Newports (of course I also assumed that Darkstar had put some serious hurt on him, so my target was softened up).  It was an odd fight but a short one with Newports not really doing much and I came out victorious.  Afterwards in local Newports noted how he had been disconnected during the fight and all parties agreed to a rematch at a future date.

A few days later I joined Zodiac Black as we hunted Lascivious Lilith in her Taranis.  We bounced from belt to belt after her and eventually Zodiac landed close and I warped in.  Our two rifters made short work of the Taranis.   Another victory!

So things are going well.  Now that we have the houseguests out of the way, I'll hopefully get more time for kill mails instead of loss mails...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Litter Patrol

The Black Rebel station in Auner was looking a bit more disreputable than usual - there was a maelstrom battleship floating outside apparently abandoned.  Litter.  One of the sharp eyed Black Rebels noticed it and suggested that we should all join in to remove it from our neighborhood.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I was a couple systems away (dropping off a blueprint to make some copies at a station with facilities - I'll tell about that in a future post if it's profitable...) when I heard about the litter problem.  I immediately headed to Auner to do what I could to help.

Our first idea, since none of the Rebels had a ship available that could tank the station guns, was to gently push the battleship out of range of the station guns.  I flipped on the afterburner and drove directly into the huge battleship at top speed (more than 1000m per second!).  And bounced right back off of it.  But the monster did wobble in space a bit - so I continued.  And continued.  And continued.  Several of the other Rebels did the same, but eventually we determined that it was about a 3 year process and none of us had the time to stick with it that long.  Real life does come first - even for the Black Rebel Rifter Club.

So our next plan was for Lhorenzho to use his drake baqttlecruiser and fire first (including launching a set of drones - friendly drones for a change!) and hopefully get the brunt of the station guns.  The rest of us could add our damage and hope for the best.  We all agreed that it was a Very Bad Idea(tm) - but that was only mentioned in passing.  It did not stop us from action.

Eventually, we had 4 of us in the litter patrol (me, Lhorenzho, Joe Struck, and Lorenzo de Medichi I think...) and the litter removal was begun with a salvo from Lhorenzho's battlecruiser.

It did not go well.

Not only did we have a bit of a problem with the station guns pummeling us, but it turned out that the pilot of the maelstrom, Amun Khonsu, was the head of a band of desperadoes known as the "Royal Order of Security Specialists" and several of the aforementioned "Security Specialists" immediately pounced on us to add to our miseries.  I exploded.  As did the rest of the litter detail.

gf gf in local along with some friendly banter.

But let's not lose sight of the most important point - when I returned in my pod to the station a few minutes later the annoying piece of litter - the maelstrom battleship - had disappeared.  Job well done Rebels!  Mission accomplished!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rumble in Auner

There was talk of a vexor in Auner and Duke Thunderhorse was on his trail.  When Duke finally caught up with him I jumped in to help (along with several other Black Rebels - Joe Struck, James Ignis, and Zack Evans).  It was a fun fight with drones everywhere.  I pounded the vexor with my overheated (turned up to 11!) 150mm autocannons and we did some damage hoping that our joint efforts would take him out before his drones did us all in.

This time they were mostly medium drones that had a tough time hitting my zippy little rifter orbiting the vexor at 500 meters.  But occasionally they did - and with a real wallop!

Soon a friend of the vexor arrived in a rupture and there were even more drones in the air and on the overview!

As you might guess, eventually the drones got to us before we got to the vexor or the rupture.  Explosions everywhere!  Mine was here.  The vexor and rupture ruled supreme with Black Rebel wrecks littering the battlefield.


Everyone seemed to have a great time and local was filled with chat afterwards as we compared notes from both sides of the fight.  A fun one!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


A couple months ago I mentioned how my station trader alt (I only pay for one account with three characters – Jack “Arrr” Dancer, a station trader, and an explorer/missioner) was having success station trading in Jita.  Well, this week he passed the 1 billion isk mark (cash on hand + active buy orders + active sell orders).  The station trader actually passed the billion mark a while ago since he’s bought a raft of rifters, a plethora of pirating paraphernalia, and other sparkly shiny toys for my characters over the past couple months.

As I said in my previous post, this requires about 20 minutes in the morning before work and another 20 minutes at night.  All that’s involved is updating my 25 (or so) buy orders to be .01 isk more than any other buy order and updating my 15 (or so) sell orders to be .01 isk less than any other sell order.  Over the past 20 days (since I started keeping a rudimentary wealth spreadsheet) I’ve averaged about 14 million isk profit per day.

A few things that I’ve discovered along the way to becoming a billionaire:

  • The first few hundred thousand are easy – then competition gets tougher.  I hit a profit plateau.
  • It seems like buying something for 100 million so that I can fill a buy order for 115 million and make a cool 15 million would be a good idea.  Not necessarily.  Even though 20 or 30 of the items might be bought and sold during a day, it’s no guarantee of success.  Sometimes it takes several days to get lucky and have my buy order at the top of the list when someone comes along and sells one (too often a buy order is almost immediately topped by someone else’s).  In the meantime I probably could have invested that 100 million more profitably on smaller items with larger profit margins and less competition.
  • It’s nice to have something to do on Eve when I only have a few minutes between RL responsibilities.  I can sit down for 10 minutes and update my biggest orders – sending Jack Dancer roaming around in a fruitless search for victims takes much much longer.
  • Some traders just don't have a clue.  They'll change the price by 100,000 isk on an item that buys/sells for 13 million.  Do they think that a 100,000 isk jump (on a 13 million isk item) will run everyone else out of the market?  They are just throwing profit away.  A Ferengi's nightmare!  If you trade, stick to raising/lowering the price by .01 isk (or some other very small amount) - it's more profitable for you and everyone else.
  • There are several items that can be bought and sold every day that yield 100%-200% profit and 200k isk in profit per unit.  And often I can buy and sell 8 or 10 of these in a day. No, I’m not going to list them…
  • Sometimes an order will surprisingly sit at the top of the list for several hours and I'll be actively buying or selling the item.  Other times the same buy or sell bid gets bettered in just a few seconds.
  • And equally surprisingly, sometimes someone will come through and dump 100 of an item on the market that had only been trading 15 a day on average for weeks.  If you have a big buy order for these items it can mean a profit windfall when you turn around and sell them for triple the purchase price.
Of course, station trading isn’t for everyone.  The fiddly nature of .01 isking your competition might be too tedious for many people.  But if you can handle the tedium for 20 minutes and if you need isk and if you have an extra alt not doing much, I would highly recommend station trading to bankroll your less profitable *cough* piracy *cough* endeavors.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Death to Flying Things Campaign Score 1-9

So I took a spin around some new systems, laying down bookmarks in my wake and hoping to give somebody a bad time.  Ardar, Floseswin, Aset, Isbrabata, Turner, and Uisper all were empty and I found no one to challenge.  I set my destination for Auner and started the trip home hoping to find some trouble along the way.

When I was in Hadozeko, Dreksl pointed out on the private Black Rebel channel that Sol Malorion was in Resbroko in an Ishkur and he's "normally up for a fight."  I didn't want any part of that.  An Ishkur is a bit out of my class - a T2 assault ship (just the description sounds nasty!) - sure death (actually, in my case, there are very few opposing ships that aren't in the "sure death" category...).   Resbroko is the system between Hadozeko and my home in Auner, so I would be passing though.

In Resbroko I stopped at a couple safe spots to check out belts to see if there was any activity.  Nope.  No miners plying their honest trade.  No novice ratters bravely making the belts safe for honest miners.  I was ready to head to the Auner gate when in the local channel I see, "ah, the infamous jack dancer"...  "Infamous"?  Me?  It was Sol Malorion and he challenged me to a fight in local.  What was I to do?  My honor was at stake.  And the honor of the Black Rebels.  And the honor of every hardworking Eve blogger.  Plus I have plenty of rifters - so I can afford to lose another in exchange for some experience.

I immediately accepted and we headed to the top belt.

I landed and so did Sol Malorion's Ishkur about 14k away.  I spiraled in on him by centering his Ishkur and clicking halfway to the screen  margin (Hey experts!  Does it matter how magnified my ship is for this?  Should my rifter be a dot on the screen?  A centimeter wide?  Two centimeters? Filling half the screen?).

My modules were all turned up to 11 and overheating!  I shot first and he was immediately hurting.  He hit armor before I did and I was feeling pretty good about things.  I still knew I was doomed against a competently flown Ishkur, but at least I was doing some damage.

Then I noticed the drones...

Hobgoblin IIs.  Lots and lots of them.  Well, actually five.  My armor was rapidly being destroyed despite the best efforts of my overheated armor repairer.  I thought about switching target to the drones, but by then my hull was crumbling.  Red lights everywhere.  Then the big explosion!

Death by Ishkur, but my honor (and the honor of all Black Rebels and bloggers) was intact.


I pointed out in local how I had been ahead for a few seconds, and Sol Malorion noted, "I was kinda panicky".  That got a laugh out of me!

Afterwards Sol Malorion opened a communications channel and we chatted about the fight, the neighborhood and the Black Rebels.  Generously he offered to return my surviving modules (sadly the exotic dancers perished) but I let him have them as spoils of war.  There are plenty of rifters where that one came from.

Lessons learned?  Try to find an opponent that isn't spewing hobgoblin IIs...

Death to Flying Things Campaign Score 1-8

Rupture - Part II

Both of my loyal readers probably remember my losing to a Rupture when I didn't have the drones on my overview.  I was orbiting close enough to the Rupture that its 425mm autocannons weren't able to hit me, but the drones did me in.

This time it was different - but not in a good way.

I tracked down Kmelx's Rupture ratting in Auner.  I turned on the damage control, overheated everything, and warped to zero.  There was the Rupture just 6k away!  YES!

I targeted, scrambed (didn't want him running away!), webbed and turned on my nos.  Then I hit "orbit at 500m" and headed his way with my 150mm autocannons blazing!  And there were drones on the overview- so those would be primary targets once I was safely orbiting the Rupture at a close distance.

20 seconds later sirens, red warning lights, explosions, and I was in my pod.  This time, against this Rupture, I didn't manage to get under his guns.  He destroyed me on the way in.  Those 425mm autocannons are deadly!

In hindsight, I probably should have turned on the overheated afterburner instead of just strolling in under normal power - that might have given me enough speed to survive the salvos as I approached.  Next time maybe I'll remember to try that...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Another Lesson Learned...

... but at least this one didn't cost me anything...

I was in Auner looking for some action.  And there was a rupture on d-scan.  My encounter with the rupture yesterday was a real learning opportunity and I wanted (now that I have drones showing on my overview!) to see if I could do better.  I didn't expect to survive but Rifters are cheap and the experience is valuable - it's a good trade.

So I narrowed down the rupture's asteroid belt, I warped to zero and in warp set everything to overload, checked to be sure the damage control unit was operating, and loaded EMP projectiles to destroy the expected drones.

I landed 5k away from the rupture!  Excellent!  I held down the control key and clicked on the rupture in the overview to target him, hit "orbit at 500m" and noticed a pop up screen.  Something about not being able to target the rupture.  Hmmm...  Probably I had hit the button before I had finished warp.  So I hit the target button again.

Battle stations everyone!  It's going to be a rocky ride!

I managed to target the rupture this time and then hit the orbit button again for good measure (I wanted to be close).  I was in no hurry to hit the scramble and web and nos - I expected him to be reaching for those same buttons.  But I had him targeted for only an instant before the rupture, a cruiser and much bigger than my little rifter, warped away!  He fled the scene!

Wow.  That's the third time I've had someone flee rather than destroy me.  Maybe my reputation is getting around.  Nah.  More likely the Black Rebel Rifter Club's reputation is getting around - my corp mates are all more dangerous than I am...  And now that my security status is a negative (ok, ok, it's only -0.3 the last I checked...) it could be that the rupture's overview showed me as some sort of scary bright flashy color (depending on how he had it set up).

But run away he did and I had another lesson to learn.  Land, target, and scramble!  Don't dawdle!  You never know who might be timid.  Or probably better, turn on the scramble enroute so that it automatically scrambles the enemy ship the instant it gets targeted (I think it works that way).

But in the end, my rifter lived to fight another day after attacking that rupture.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

PS - the rupture pilot was less than a month old player and I probably scared him enough by landing on top of him that he had to have the command chair re-upholstered.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Death to Flying Things Campaign Score 1-7

Now that was a learning experience!

Auner was quiet on a Friday night.  For a while it was just me.  But then Yogsoloth (record of 448 wins and 60 loses) appeared on local and also a Rupture (cruiser class vessel) appeared on d-scan.  Not a coincidence.  I looked around and found the belt where he was lingering and attacked with everything overheated and operational (a change from recent practice!).

I set a tight orbit (500m) and opened fire with my (T2!) autocannons.  A crash told me that Yogsoloth had hit me successfully and the combat log afterwards confirmed it, "Yogsoloth (425mm AutoCannon II) hits you for 278 damage".  Ouch.  I'm shooting 150mm and he has 425mm!

I turned on the armor repper since I was mostly out of shields and close to armor already.

That, in turn, started using up my cap and very soon my capacitor gave out.  That wasn't a problem for my autocannons - they continued to fire.  But my armor repair unit stopped functioning - which was a real problem.  Not too much later it was sirens and flashing red lights.  I exploded.

GFs were exchanged in local.

It wasn't until after the fight that I saw that I was under Yogsoloth's guns and after that first hit his 425mm AutoCannon II never touched me again!  I guess the 500m orbit does work against big guns!

What I hadn't realized until I looked at the log was that Yogsoloth had other devices.  Here's a sample of the log - see if you can spot what I spotted after the fight:

[ 2011.09.03 03:10:29 ] Group of 150mm Light AutoCannon II strikes (Rupture)Yogsoloth for 177 damage
[ 2011.09.03 03:10:30 ] Yogsoloth (425mm AutoCannon II) misses you
[ 2011.09.03 03:10:32 ] Group of 150mm Light AutoCannon II strikes (Rupture)Yogsoloth for 201 damage
[ 2011.09.03 03:10:32 ] Yogsoloth (425mm AutoCannon II) misses you
[ 2011.09.03 03:10:33 ] Yogsoloth (Warrior II) hits you for <b>35</b> damage
[ 2011.09.03 03:10:33 ] Yogsoloth (Warrior II) hits you for <b>26</b> damage
[ 2011.09.03 03:10:33 ] Yogsoloth (Warrior II) hits you for <b>47</b> damage
[ 2011.09.03 03:10:33 ] Yogsoloth (Warrior II) hits you for <b>18</b> damage
[ 2011.09.03 03:10:33 ] Yogsoloth (Warrior II) hits you for <b>27</b> damage

Look very closely.  Did you spot it?  Drones!  Warrior II drones!  Five of them!  Did I notice them at all during the fight?  Nope.  I was totally unaware.  I was focused on hitting the armor repair button repeatedly trying to get the rascal to work.

So, from the looks of the combat log, I was doing fine damage (378) and receiving no damage from Yogsoloth's guns.  But his drones were hitting me for 153 damage.  He was tanking my damage fine (I only made it about half way through his shields) and I had a tapped out capacitor and couldn't repair my armor from the damage the drones were doing.

If only I had started picking off his drones from the start instead of pouring Republic Fleet EMP S into his shields...  If only...

Several learning points here...

  1. Pay attention to the overview to watch for drones.
  2. Don't run the armor repper continuously - pulse it when I need it.
  3. Pay attention to the capacitor.
  4. Maybe I need a checklist or procedure to track what needs to be looked at during a fight (check distance, check overview for drones or other ships, check cap, check overheating, check distance, check overview for drones, check cap, check overheating, check distance, etc.) 
In the end, this was one of the most instructional fights I've had.  It lasted a fair amount of time (75 seconds) and gave me a insights on what I need to work on and improve.  

Jack Dancer Comprehensive Current Inventory

After a spirited conversation with Hangar Manager Bilko related to what has become known as the "T1 Autocannons Shooting at a Drake Battlecruiser Fiasco" Jack Dancer rubbed his split knuckles and wiped the blood from his cut lip.  Looking around the mess that Bilko called an office Jack spoted the Jack Dancer Comprehensive Current Inventory printout on Bilko's cluttered desk.   

That should be worth looking at...  YOW!  According to the Comprehensive Current Inventory Jack owns 138 rifter hulls scattered around half a dozen hangars in high and low sec space!  Plus 6 more rifter hulls purchased and awaiting delivery.  Not to mention 36 outstanding purchase orders for rifters at various trade hubs waiting to be filled (Jack's scowl disappeared for a moment as he nodded approvingly at the low price on the outstanding orders - at least they're cheap...). 

138 rifters!  Jack now knew why he hadn't seen this inventory report in several weeks - soon to be Former Hangar Manager Bilko had been afraid to show it to him.  This might be an excellent time for a followup discussion with Bilko...

Thankfully a T1 frigate tournament is being organized by the Black Rebels that might result in many of these rifters facing a fiery (but noble) demise over the next month and a half.  But regardless, that's a lot of hulls to work through...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Death of a Drake Battlecruiser

This was different.  I had a couple minutes to stop by Eve and updated some of my trader alt's orders in Jita.  Then I checked on Jack Dancer's training and while doing that there was some chatter about targets in Auner.  Might as well undock my rifter of death and look around.  So I did.

At first I could see nothing (mostly because my entire computer screen was covered with Jack's training schedule, plus the hangar info, the buy/sell screen, and the market screen from my previous trading session).  I had forgotten to minimize them.  DOH!  I couldn't even find the "people and places" screen to run to a safe spot when I left the station!  I quickly closed all the market screens (what does Jack "The Black Rebel Rifter Pirate" Dancer care about market screens?) and headed to a safespot I have near the sun to scan the nearby asteroid belts.

Finally, some peace and quiet!  I hit d-scan a couple times and there were half a dozen targets around the system.  But talk on the Black Rebel fleet screen (we were fleeted up) let me know that a couple of them were friendly.  About then I started to mess with the d-scanner to get it to 15 degrees so that I could find some of these targets a bit easier.  Now, where to look first?


Suddenly, right on top of me, appeared a huge ship with a red unfriendly cross on it - an enemy of the Black Rebels!  A Drake Battlecruiser!  He was so close that I could hear his engines!


Apparently this safe spot near the sun wasn't nearly as safe as I thought it was!

I did what any cold blooded pirate noob would do!  I got out of there as quickly as possible!  I immediately warped to the safety of the station!  It was when I was back in the Rebel station that I realized my damage control (again!) hadn't been turned on and my systems (again) hadn't been set to overheat.  Why should they?  I was in a "safe" spot!

OK.  Now that the surprise had worn off (and I had cleaned up the command area of the rifter as best I could), it was time to go back and give that Drake the full force of my rifter's fury.  I warped back to my "safe" spot (turning on the damage control unit and overheating all the modules as I flew).

I landed right next to him and did everything by the book.  Orbit, target, guns roaring, warp scramble, web, and nos.  Right down the line.  It certainly got his attention.  And the attention of several other Black Rebels.  I managed to hold on for 40 seconds and tried to hold the Drake until the rest of the gang arrived.  I was doing damage (but not that much) but his missiles were certainly tearing though my ship (the aptly named "BoBo").  In the end I exploded and warped away in my pod to the station to sit out the 15 minute GCC.

I was trying to keep track of what was going on via the fleet communications.  And a couple minutes later I was surprised to hear that the Drake had also exploded!  Hurray for us!

So in the end I sorta felt like I had a loss added to my record, but then maybe also part of a win should be added.  So, for the personal Death to Flying Things score, I think I'll just make it a no-contest.

It was great fun though and I look forward to more of this sort of thing.  Thanks to Eraebus, Duke, James and Spike for being on my side in a good fight.  And to Cuchulain Spartan for being our target.

And as a final oddity (there always seems to be something not quite right when I undock a rifter...), I noticed in the lossmail that I was shooting T1 autocannons.  Where did those come from?  I thought I only had T2s - I'll be talking to Bilko, my hangar supervisor about not having this happen again.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I installed implants last week.  Implants are gizmos that are implanted(!) in Jack Dancer's brain to make him better at what he doesn't do so well already.  It's an interesting selection of devices and the cost to benefit ratio (not to mention the cost to loss in case of being podded ratio) makes for some interesting decisions.

Here's what I ended up installing:

Slot 1 - Ocular Filter Basic (+3 Perception)
Slot 4 - Cybernetic Subprocessor Basic (+3 Intelligence)
Slot 6 - SX-1
Slot 7 - AY-1
Slot 8 - ZET300
Slot 9 - KYA1000
Slot 10 - KZA1000

I'll go over what each of them does and explain my selection process a bit...

Slots 1-5 improve your basic skills.  I only installed implants into two of those slots - slot 1 and 4 are to increase the two skills that are most important for my current skill training.  By installing them (along with a re-map that I did a while ago) it cuts down on my training time significantly.  These should probably have been installed weeks ago when I started on the pvp training path for Jack Dancer.  Right now I have about 5 weeks of training left until I'm going to wrap up Jack's training (he'll be at least 4 (and in many cases 5) in all the skills listed in Kirith Darkblade's infamous Rifter Plan except for the missile skills that I don't use right now).  Once I get these 5 weeks worth of skills completed I'm going to go train one of my other characters to be a better explorer (while Jack Dancer continues his pirating practicum)...

The slot 1 implant, "Ocular Filter - Basic" (+3 to Perception) costs 9.3 million isk in Hek.  The +2 implant ("Ocular Filter - Beta") costs 3.4 million and the +4 implant ("Ocular Filter - Improved") costs more than 100 million isk.  The cost of the +3 version was acceptable - the +4 was too much.  So I picked up the +3.  It boosts my Intelligence to 24.

The slot 4 implant, "Cybernetic Subprocessor - Basic" is a similar choice to the slot 1 version with one important difference.  With a +3 implant my Intelligence is boosted to 30 which is the max (oops!  see comments below from a more knowledgeable source - 32 is actually the max).  Buying a +4 (without remapping my character to lower Jack's intelligence) would still put Jack's intelligence at 30 - no improvement.  The +3 implant (that I selected) costs 8.4 million isk in Hek.  The +2 implant is 2.9 million isk. Again, the price to max out Jack's intelligence was acceptable at 8.4 million, so I chose the +3.

Those were both pretty straight forward.  Now the fun stuff...

Slots 6 through 10 are available to improve various skills - navigation, gunnery, trading, exploring/scanning, etc.  They are very handy and can be very expensive.  Since there's a good chance that Jack is going to do something non-intelligent (regardless of that +3 implant giving him a 30 intelligence...), I don't want to spend too much for these slots.  So I might not have selected the ideal implants, but I tried to find things that would be helpful in combat and that wouldn't make me fearful of losing them if (when!) I get podded.  Here's what I ended up with:

Slot 6 - "Gunslinger" SX-1.  A no-brainer choice (especially with the 30 intelligence!).  The SX-1 is "designed to enhance skill with small projectile turrets.  Grants a 3% bonus to small projectile turret damage."  Nice!  There are currently none for sale in Hek, but in the region they can be found for about 500k isk.  Well worth the price.  The SX-1.5 (+4) and SX-2 (+5) versions aren't available in the Metropolis region, but if they were they would cost multiple tens of millions more.  (Other slot 6 implants to consider are ZET100, CY-1, EY-1, MY-1)

Slot 7 - 'Rogue' AY-1.  This one seems like a good one too.  The AY-1 is "designed to enhance pilot maneuvering skill.  Grants a 3% bonus to ship agility."  Never can have enough ship agility.  Cost of this rascal is 4.2 million in the Metropolis region (non available in Hek except for an absurd 11 million sell offer).  The +4 version (AY-1.5) isn't available in the region and the +5 version (AY-2) is on the Hek market for 187 million isk.  I'm going to get podded eventually and losing 4 million isk will be much easier to deal with than losing almost 200 million just for this one implant.  (Other slot 7 implants to consider are AX-1, ZGC100, KVA1000, AX-1)

Slot 8 - 'Noble' ZET300.  Slot 8 isn't a very exciting slot.  Nothing jumps out as especially useful.  The ZET300 might be the best of the mediocre selection.  It "boosts the pilot's skill at maintaining the mechanical components and structural integrity of a spaceship.  +3% bonus to hull hp."  Hull hitpoints.  +3%.  Not too glamorous - but for 200k in Hek, the price is right and it might be the difference between barely surviving and losing a ship.  The +5% version costs about 200 million isk in Hek.  (Another slot 8 implant to consider is the DY-1 that reduces your afterburner capacitor needs by 3%)

Slot 9 - 'Gnome' KYA1000.  This implant "boosts the recharge rate of the shields of the pilot's ship."  In this case by 3%.  It costs 4.2 million isk in Hek.  I also considered the CX-1 which increases projectile turret damage, but at 16 million isk it was out of my price range right now.  Having shields recharge faster can't hurt.  (Other slot 9 implants to consider are CX-1, ZET400, GY-1)

Slot 10 - 'Gnome' KZA1000.  Another in the Gnome series, this implant "lowers turret CPU needs".  Not surprisingly, by 3% (like all the others I considered - the 3% versions are often acceptably priced).  It's available in Hek for 600k isk.  The +5 version of this implant (KZA2000) costs 40 million isk in Hek.  I'm not sure that I need this one, but I am sure that it makes fitting T2 turrets much easier.  So it's probably worth it - especially since the only other one I looked at was the very handy ZET500 implant that boosts armor hitpoints by 3% at a cost of 8 million isk.  I went cheap for now, but someday I'll be installing the ZET500.

There you have it (well, actually, there I have it since I mostly wrote this so I can remember what to replace when I get podded in the near future...).  Thanks to Wensley's Rifter Guide for an excellent rundown on the various options - it helped me narrow down the plethora of implants.

A couple notes:

  1. Once you install your implant the only way to remove it is to destroy it.  They are like rigs on ships - they don't come out intact.  So be sure of what you are doing.
  2. The prices I quoted above are the Hek "Sellers" prices.  You can often get these implants for a considerable discount if you want to put up a buy order and wait for someone to fill it.
Let me know if I missed an excellent implant or if you think there's a better use for a particular slot.  I'm no expert at this!  And no doubt I'll be podded one of these days and can install a new set...

Postscript: Wow!  I just noticed that Starwalker Shikkoken has a new implant entry on his excellent blog too. Great minds think alike! Except when it comes to the selection of the implants - check out Starwalker's choices here

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Death to Flying Things Campaign Score 1-6

There's this guy named Szilardis that hangs around Hek and Auner looking for 1v1 fights.  We chatted a few days ago in local and he was happy to see a frigate in Auner.  I took a rain check on the offered 1v1.  He seemed like a nice enough guy.

So today I was wandering around Hadozeko, Resbroko (that is one biiiiiiggg system) and Auner looking for mischief.  In Auner I noticed a Cormorant on the D-Scan and looked up what a "Cormorant" might be.  A destroyer.  Destroyers are often referred to as frigate killers.  They have 7 guns compared to my 3.  Sure death.

But, part of my personal Death to Flying Things Campaign is to take on all comers from shuttles to battleships.  So when I managed to narrow down the Cormorant's location with D-Scan I overheated everything and flew in with guns blazing!

It was Szilardis.  Excellent!  Finally I can give him the fight that he wanted!  I attacked with renewed gusto.  Look out Szilardis!!!

30 seconds later BOOM!  I was in my pod.

The Cormorant pretty much went right through my overheated modules like a laser through styrofoam.  Thinking back on it, I'm not exactly sure that I ever pushed the big red "Armor Repper" button on the console.  That might have been part of it, but certainly not a determining factor.

Watch out Szilardis!  I will get my revenge!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Jack Dancer Interview

Miura Bull, the combined Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee of the Black Rebels, has an interview with me, Jack Dancer, over on his blog Brutor Bullfighter.  Click here to check out the interview!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Death to Flying Things Score - 1-5

Finally a kill!

Maybe not the most glorious of kills, but a kill none the less...

I had a half hour, so I thought I'd fly my pod over to Hek and bring a fully fitted rifter (with a full cargo bay) back to Auner.  No problem.  The neighborhood was quiet.  As I flew back to the Black Rebel base in Auner I noticed that there was a thrasher on d-scan - cleverly named, "Orimihazuharaxi's Thrasher".  Hmmm...  I dropped off my full cargohold of afterburners into the corp hangar on Auner (have fun with them Rebels!) and then considered my options.

Thrashers are destroyers with LOTS of guns and nicknamed "frigate killers", so I was in no hurry to go looking for it.  But on the other hand, someone that didn't have the sense to rename his ship might be worth checking out.  I looked at the info on Orimihazuharaxi and sure enough, he was just a week-old player.  I wondered what he was up to here in low sec space?

I flew around a bit and used d-scan to look at the various asteroid belts using 15 degree scan and finally found where he was located.  Damage Control Unit on.  Check.  Everything overheated.  Check.  Warp to zero!

Sure enough, there was Orimihazuharaxi's thrasher shooting some rats with wrecks all around him.  Just 20k away.  I targeted him, turned on the afterburner, and headed towards him in a violent and reckless manner.  Attack!

Well, my attack didn't seem to make any difference.  He just kept shooting the rats.  He was apparently a very cool customer.

He kept shooting the rats.  I kept shooting him.  He was extremely cool.


Eventually he killed the second (and last) remaining rat and finally noticed me with his shields gone and his armor disappearing quickly too (looking at the combat log afterwards it turns out I hit him 20 (twenty!  XX!) times before he finally shot at me!).  I then was on the receiving end of a couple incoming missles and some titanium sabot from his 200mm T1 autocannons but he was doomed.  With me at half shields he exploded!

Finally.  A victory.  The first of Jack Dancer's career.

We exchanged pleasantries in local:

[ 2011.08.17 03:16:48 ] Jack Dancer > GF
[ 2011.08.17 03:17:16 ] Orimihazuharaxi > why the fuckunk bitch is this nacisery?
[ 2011.08.17 03:18:00 ] Jack Dancer > Stick to hi sec, it'll be much safer for you.
[ 2011.08.17 03:18:12 ] Orimihazuharaxi > leave me alon already dont want any of you
[ 2011.08.17 03:18:20 ] Orimihazuharaxi > get lost

And I waited out my GCC in a safe spot before returning to the station.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Death to Flying Things Score - 0-5

So there I was, once again minding my own business...

Out of curiosity, I had warped to a "Minmatar Minor Stronghold" in Hadezeko just to see what it was.  I passed through the acceleration gate and came across a few rat frigates and some abandoned wrecks.  Hmmm...  Maybe I'll have my friend google help me figure out what this is all about.

Interestingly enough, there are zero hits on "minmatar minor stronghold".  Now that's something that can make a guy curious.  No google hits?  Don't see that very often.  Maybe a bit more research can come up with something.  Hmmm...  Maybe look at the words separately and not the complete phrase...  Is minmatar spelled like that?  Hmm... Wait!  What's this?  Hello?  Did I hear something in the computer speakers?!?!!

I quickly return to the Eve Online screen to find myself under attack by Fuzzyface in a Navy Slicer!  YOW!  All hands on deck!

I immediately turned on my damage control unit (probably should have had that rascal running before), overheated everything (ditto on probably should have had that running before...) and also hit all the usual buttons (orbit, target, fire autocannons, warp scramble, web, nos, and armor repper).  For a while I held on, but then for some reason (in the heat of the battle I didn't quite see what - distance?  my cap ran out so repper turned off? something else?) the Slicer started slicing through my defenses.  I never got through half of his shields.

My rifter exploded.

Time for a new ship and another adventure!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Death to Flying Things Score - 0-4

I was in Auner minding my own business - setting up exit safes from the various stations - when I was accosted by Walmart in a rifter.  I looked at the info on Walmart and he was much more experienced than I am - he's been playing since early in 2002.  But I'm out to find fights, so there was no turning back.

Have I mentioned that I hate fighting rifters?  I do, so I had some second thoughts, but Walmart seemed keen on the idea as he chased me down with an obviously WMD equipped ship as I was cruising along with by AB running.  I hoped that the WMD might sap his capacitor and not leave him with much repping ability, so that gave me hope.

Once I had put down a couple more safe exit points I turned my Rifter of Fury and attacked with everything overheated and barrage blazing out of my newly installed T2 150mm autocannons.

We went through armor together.

It was close!

We went through shields together.

It was very close!

We both hit structure at about the same time - me just a second or two before he did.

It was extremely close!

We continued to pummel each other and I was the first to explode.

Afterwards in local Walmart noted that he was at 4% hull and on fire when the battle ended.  Can't get much closer than that!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

DeepHole Trild at Hek - Combat Scammer

I'm back from the trip to Oregon (great fun - found both fossils and nebulae) and I spent some time moving fully equipped Rifters from Hek to Hadozeko (and making the return flight in my pod) in anticipation of the September campaign.

As I was leaving Hek in a new Rifter ("SS Bobo") I received a convo request from DeepHole Trild and accepted (I'm a friendly guy and always up for a chat)...

[ 2011.08.07 15:20:34 ] DeepHole Trild > hi there
[ 2011.08.07 15:20:39 ] Jack Dancer > Greetings
[ 2011.08.07 15:20:41 ] DeepHole Trild > want to test frigs?
[ 2011.08.07 15:20:48 ] Jack Dancer > What are you flying?
[ 2011.08.07 15:20:53 ] DeepHole Trild > or train frigs
[ 2011.08.07 15:21:05 ] DeepHole Trild > rifter
[ 2011.08.07 15:21:13 ] Jack Dancer > Same here.
[ 2011.08.07 15:21:29 ] DeepHole Trild > top planet?
[ 2011.08.07 15:22:14 ] DeepHole Trild > agreed to stop at 1/3 of armor?
[ 2011.08.07 15:22:31 ] Jack Dancer > Sounds fine.

So off I go to top planet.  DeepHole is there and we orbit each other - nothing happens and since we're in hi sec I'm not shooting first...  He drops a can and I steal the 1 ammo from it.  Still nothing happens.  I'm now red to him but he's still not red to me.  So I tell him that he gets to shoot first.  He comes back with some silliness about how I'm a month older than he is, so I should shoot first.  Fine I say, I'll drop a can for you.  I drop a can with one of my favorite dancing girls in it - Gina.  I tell him to steal from the can.  He shoots it (RIP Gina) and says, "I don't see a can".  Ahhhh...  So that's the game is it?  I say "This is pointless, bye" and head to Hadozeko to deliver my Rifter.

It was the old, "Get the noob to shoot first so he gets Concorded" trick...  I should have known when he said, "want to test frigs" - a classic scammer line...

If you're passing through Hek and run across DeepHole Trild don't expect a fair fight.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jack Dancer - Stargazer

I’ll be camping up in the mountains of southeast Oregon until late next week – hot and dry desert country. 

A buddy of mine built a 18 inch (45.7cm) Dobsonian reflector telescope and we’re heading to the clear air and dark skies of Steens Mountain.  We'll also be stopping for some fossil hunting along the way (it's a 12 hour drive from Seattle so we're making it a two day trip each way). 

When viewing galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters I’ll (of course) also watch for rifters being flown with reckless abandon …

I'll be back on Friday August 5th if I manage to avoid the rattlesnakes and coyotes.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's Jack Dancer! Run Away! Run Away!

Well, this is a first.  Someone that didn't want to face the wrath of Jack Dancer's Rifter!

I was cruising around Ravarin looking for trouble.  With five strange (and I do mean strange!) faces staring back at me in the local channel I had hopes of some excitement.  I flew to my safe spot about 300k from the Stegette gate to see what might be lurking around that exit and there was a Crusader flown by Stridsflypla_ (I've not included the last letter of his name to protect his identify in this account of his shameful conduct).  I sat and waited and the Crusader headed my way.  Excellent!

I overheated everything and cleared the decks for combat!

It turns out a Crusader can go fast.  Really fast.  He was moving along at about 4.5k as he approached and when he got within about 50k of me I headed towards him at my max velocity of about 1k.  Death to Crusaders!

But I couldn't get within 20k of him.  Try as I might - he kept the range and I chased after him.  For about 2 minutes.  He ran and I chased.

Eventually, I warped back to the gate and went on my way confident that this Crusader pilot was suffering from a bad case of Rifter Fear.

***Postscript - a couple days later I saw this same pilot in a gatecamp with some of the other familiar locals - so it's possible that he was stalling for time with me until the rest of his gang could arrive...