Archive for June, 2014

Dirty Guide to Eve: Training Deeper into Nullsec

Although I have many characters in many places in Eve, Nullsec has always been where my heart lies. Pretty much all of my other characters, are in some way or another designed to support my main in Null. As a Null player I think that it’s important to always encourage new players to venture out into Nullsec, to ensure we don’t get too bitter. To this end, this series of posts aims to aid new Nullsec pilots in their training, by specifying ships which are used in multiple doctrines; past, present and future, in Nullsec. Divided up into three posts (Quick Trains, Medium trains and the Long Term), pilots who follow this advice will find themselves quickly able to be useful within an Alliance. They will also be well poised to train more specialist ships to further flesh out their arsenal.

 

This section of the guide details some trains which will further develop your usefulness in Nullsec. This second part expects that you have already gone through the training in the “Quick Trains“, Guide  and assume that you have already completed all the training within that.

Let me address the Elephant in the room, while he is still buttering up to get through the doorway. This is going to be a long set of skill training. You’ve trained for 6 months now to get some ships which are brilliant at getting you into fleets. Hopefully you’ve found it beneficial, hopefully you have found a place within fleets to prosper and shine. Hopefully despite your low skill points your Alliance mates welcome you on fleets and consider you a valuable asset. Even if all this is true, the chances are you are still aching to get into a bog standard ship of the line. A good battleship, or cruiser perhaps. Something which lets you join in with the pack on their level. I would advise that you go ahead and scratch the itch. With the three ship types you trained already you should be all but assured access to fleets, and all regimented training and no impulse ships makes jack a dull boy. So go ahead, indulge. Perhaps you might even consider training the next section alongside some impulse training, 1:1 guide/impulse skills might make this go on forever, but something like a 2:1 might keep you going through what is going to be a long set of training skills.

Let’s touch on that some more. This second set of ships is going to be longer that what you have seen in the first guide. A lot longer. The true aim here is to bring you into the vaunted Logistics Cruisers. What before we do go into that however we will be bringing you into T1 Cruiser Hulls (similar to how the moved into T1 Frigate Hulls), so that you can learn the ropes in something cheaper. So it’s going to take a long time but the fact of the matter is that if you want to be truly versatile in your training, you are going to need to invest this kind of time into these ships. For some people the quick trains will be enough to be getting on with, certainly 90% of fleets will allow you in with the ships you trained for in the first 6 months. But if you finish this next set of training skills, 90% of Alliances will let you in just based on your skills (and eventually, experience).

So let’s get started…

 

T1 Cruisers

A simple short(er) one to start with. Training T1 cruisers is going to be important for a lot of these medium trains, and is also a stepping stone onto the Battleship Tier which you will require later. Training all Four races ships will take around 20 days, but you will need to train up Weapon and tanking systems as well. Specifically Consider training the following to level 3 (unless otherwise stated):

  • Energy Grid Management
  • Tactical Shield Manipulation
  • Missile Launcher Operation (IV)
  • Missile Bombardment
  • Missile Projection
  • Rapid Launch
  • Target Navigation Prediction
  • Warhead Upgrades
  • Heavy Missiles
  • Capacitor Emission Systems
  • Shield Rigging
  • Gunnery
  • Medium projectile Turret
  • Medium Energy Turret
  • Medium Hybrid Turret
  • Armor Layering
  • All Armor Compensation Skills
  • Shield Management
  • All Shield Compensation Skills
  • Weapons Upgrades
  • Armor Rigging

It’s a big load and will take you a further 30 days, but will serve to solidify your core competency. This will allow you to participate in any cruiser doctrines and will prep you for the next batch of Medium length trains.

 

T1 Logistics

This is a bit of a sidestep which will bring you within range of using the T1 Logistics Cruisers in fleets. Most PvP alliances will use the T2 Hulls for their logistics, but depending on how strict they are, they will likely allow a few of the T1 equivalents to join in as well. Chances are that there won’t be alliance fittings for these ships however, so ask a seasoned logistics pilot if they can help you out with fittings. We don’t need to train any new ships, as the Augoror, Osprey, Exequror and Scythe will already be available to you as T1 cruisers. However you will need to top up some Logistics support skills (to level 3 unless otherwise stated):

  • Repair Systems (II)
  • Remote Armor Repair Systems (IV)
  • Shield Emission Systems
  • Capacitor Management
  • Capacitor Systems Operation
  • Gravimetric Sensor Compensation
  • Ladar Sensor Compensation
  • Radar Sensor Compensation
  • Magnetometric Sensor Compensation

This will only take you around 4 days, and will let you dabble in the waters of Logistics. Consider reading my post dedicated to Logistics (although you can ignore the stuff on skills). You will also find the following guides more useful than my own:

Dabble in logistics now, while the ships are cheap and reap the rewards later when you’re flying a 200m ship in a fleet of T1 cruisers. This is the life of the logistics pilot.

 

Force Recon

For the first time I am going to advise you to not train all four races ships. From my experience the two races which are most likely to get you into fleets are the Minmattar and Gallente ships. With Webbing and Tackle modules these ships are always useful in a fleet, and are called for/accepted most of the time. As an added bonus, is a nice transition up from the Frigate size tackling ships you have been previously using. The tactics will be a little different, as you will now have longer range modules to do the tackling with, so you no longer need to charge into the enemy to forfill your role. Instead you will either be with the main fleet, or self-piloting on the edge of the enemies range, but within your logistics range. Again this all varies with how your FC likes to run things, so always ask about before you do something. Train Recon Ships to level IV before you start flying them.

Alongside the ship train, you should also be looking at improving your general skills, especially fitting I recommend the following skills (to level 4 unless otherwise marked) in addition to what you have trained for the Quick Trains support skills:

  • Cynosural Field Theory
  • Energy Grid Upgrades
  • Tactical Shield Manipulation
  • Hull Upgrades (V)

That’s it. All in this will take an additional 100 days to train, but will get you into a new more durable role.

This next one is the big one.

 

Logistics

Now we are moving into the big leagues. Logistics will not only get you into fleets, but it will also get you into Alliances. My acceptance into Pandemic Legion was highly influenced by my logistics specialisation, it certainly wasn’t the only factor which got me in, but it played a big role. But logistics isn’t a simple train, nor is it an easy upgrade from the ships you have been flying so far (with the exception of the T1 logistics ships you should be been learning in), it’s a whole new world of play.

To train into all 4 Races Logistics ships will take you an additional 90 days (you Require logistics V, this is only going to get longer). The following support skills should also be trained to level 4 unless otherwise stated:

  • Shield transfer Systems (V)
  • Capacitor Emission Systems (V)
  • Remote Armor Repair Systems (V)
  • Capacitor Management
  • Capacitor Systems Operations
  • Advanced Target Management (III)
  • All Sensor Compensation

In all honestly taking the additional 60 days to train all of these to V (with the exception of advanced target management for which no ship can use higher than the 8 Advanced lvl 3 gives you), is worth the extra time.

So there we go. 278 days’ worth of training in this “Medium” trains guide, on top of our original  set that a total of 462 days’ worth of training. I hope you have been enjoying Nullsec, because you’ve become pretty invested in it! Seriously however, I really believe that if you can make it this far, your time in Null is all but assured. In my next section I will be looking at the true long term ships including one which I believe it 100% required for every Nullsec Pilot (not even as a combat pilot, just as a matter of personal self-sufficiency). Until then however, get reping.

 

Fly flexible,

Hark

Precipice

It’s been another great month for my PvP record, with Providence providing some good fights. I saw a some complaints/propaganda/opinions that PL were “Dropping caps” everywhere during our last deployment, but speaking only for what I saw, things were pretty even. If anything in the fleets we were in, were constantly attempting to nurture the fight out of the Provi fleets, getting annoyed at other (then) blue fleets for over powering, and FC assassination.

 

Like I said, this is only my personal experience of the situation, so perhaps I was just on the “good” fleets. Either way, it was a good fun RDU, and the fights/fleet comps have been excellent. Certainly its lasted longer than I have expected, and provided more content. I’m a bit worried about what happens next however. With no sign of news for our next deployment and the usual lethargic waves of the Summer lap against the content generators. Add into this the devotion of our chief content providers to engage in the wind up to the Alliance Tournament, and I am beginning to think that we might be seeing a slower pace over the next few months. Still make hay while the sun shines eh? Perhaps I need to look into getting my PvP fix elsewhere?

 

Ganking has been on the down as well, although I still need to write up the full length of our adventure so far. It’s in the place where if you say to any of the team (myself included) “You still want to do some ganking at some point?” they say yes, but we never actually get around to that “Some point” being “now”. I suspect that Watch_dogs has had something to do with that my on part.

 

Industry has been on a bit of a low as well. I expect to see me increasing my industry schedule with the changes to the Manufacturing system coming in so soon, but instead its caused me to become more fatigued with the horrid interface. I think that where before I had not even thought about the terrible design (and the number of clicks needed to do anything) is, so I accepted it as “the only way”. However now I have seen a better system on the horizon I feel less forgiving of the clunky old way. That said I have increased my PI production by one planet, and I have also been ticking over the production albeit at a far reduced rate. Still not breaking that mythical 1bn profit mark, but its edging ever closer. I’ve no idea what the industry changes will do to my profits, so at the moment I’m ready to shut up shop at a moment’s notice, should it prove less profitable.

 

This month the traders ledger shows that I have made a paltry 300m profit this month. However part of that does include two investments in longer term schemes of 600m and 800m (1.4Bn total). I expect to be able to return at least the same as my initial investment, and hope to turn a profit higher than if I had left the money invested in the trader. So hopefully I will see a good month in exchange for this low one further down the line.

 

This month I spent around 70 hours gaming (inflated by a LAN party we held a few weekends back) of which 25 was spent playing eve. Eve kill attributes me with 122 kills during this month, including one Aeon (player event though), not bad, but not breaking that record set in Feb.

 

Fly Idling

Hark

Dandy Highwaymen: Part 1

So as I mentioned in the monthly update, last month I decided to try out suicide ganking as an effort in profit, and to sample the darker side of Eve’s lifestyles. This is an attempt to write up the experience, as I found it an interesting endeavor both in the learning curve and in the psychology.

So what started it all? I think I can best attribute it to the fact that I’ve always said that eve is a harsh game, and that I enjoy it because of that. So I have always wanted to see what it felt like to be the sharp edge of that curve, could I cope causing the damage which I claim holds my interest so well? To be honest I expected it to be a short endeavour, something done just to say I had. I’m still not sure where I stand on that. So when early last month I decided that it was time to give it another shot, I started my research.

We have tried to suicide gank once before, but to be honest it was a spur of the moment thing, with no planning or research, and so went as well as you might think. This time however I spent at least a week looking for locations to gank in, and looking at people who were doing it successfully, and what they were doing it in. I soon found a prime system, and a fit which I thought would do the job. I also had what I thought was the blueprint for a standard heist:

Three Operatives: The Lookout, The Highwayman and the Getaway Driver. The lookout sits innocently on a gate somewhere on a trade route (preferably a one way pipe) and quietly peaks through the windows of parsing Haulers. If he spots something worth stealing, he lets the Highwayman and the Driver know, who make best speed to the ambush point. For the Highway man this is on the other side of the next gate the mark is about to jump through. For the Driver it’s 200+km off the same gate. As soon as the Mark jumps through the gate, and begins the spool up process to warp to the next gate, the Highwayman pounces. Unleashing everything he has on the Mark and, hopefully, destroying his vehicle. As soon as its destroyed, the Driver warps to the freshly smoking wreck, grabs whatever survived the explosion, and warps out as quickly as possible to the safety of a station. A short while later the Highwayman does something illegal elsewhere in the system, to pull the lingering police force away from the ambush gate.

That’s pretty much it. The advanced version uses an Orca as a “Fence”. To do this The Driver steals the loot (which marks him a suspect, and thus a free target to world + dog), and Immediately offloads it into the Orca’s Corp Hanger. This means that even if someone does catch the Driver, killing him only loses the ship, not the newly acquired loot.

Sadly I only had the skills, and the characters for the basic version, so I tooled up a character with each of these roles, and started moving towards my Target system. At this point I mentioned my plans to the Dirties, and they being them, elected that this was a “good idea” and begun making their own plans to join me.

This is where tragedy one occurred. Traveling to a nearby trade hub, with three characters, while looking at possible fittings distracted me from the Highwayman’s screen and I left her pod on a gate for slightly longer than I should have. A few moments later, I was relived of my pod (and life) by an enthusiastic local. -1 pod, and a now in a clone further away than where I started from. Great.  Looking at who did the dead, I realised the fullness of my error, the clone was outfitted with low-grade Crystal Implants. Facepalm, I shouldn’t have been trying to gank in a Crystal set anyway. The irony, losing a 500m pod to a gank, while on the way to a gank. I’m pretty good at taking a loss like this, so I laughed a bit and set myself a goal to make the money back through ganking. At least it proves I can take as good as I intend to give.

After making it successfully to the target system, I returned to looking at fittings. Eventually I elected to go with a Rupture, with the Highwayman’s specialism in Projectile Weapons (and lack of skills in much else). The fit was something along the lines of, Guns, Gyrostabilisers, Disruptor and a Sensor boosters (more on that fit in a bit). Ex Elected to bring a scramble web vexor.

At this point Ex turned up with his own Highwayman, and we began our hunt for targets. We decided that as I was running both the Driver and the Lookout, Ex would be the primary Highwayman, with mine acting as backup. Before long we got our first test. A hauler carrying ~800m of equipment. We undocked the highwaymen, and the Driver, and they all warped to their positions. Ex was ganking in a short range “DPS” style ganker, and unfortunately was still trying to close range as the hauler warped out. Miss 1.

A little while later we spotted a second hauler carrying about 300m worth of kit. This time we had the Highwaymen and Hauler ready at the gate. But he still slipped through. Miss 2.

The next time we saw a 500m hauler, we were ready. Drones were out, guns were pre overheated, and this one was not getting away. Ex opened fire, and the hauler warped out before he could close to Scramble range. Concord however wasn’t, late and promptly removed the ship from around Ex. Miss 3. This is the point that we learned that losing your ship to concord doesn’t remove the suspect timer gained from ganking. Having missed the gank Ex, typed a standard “oops” kinda message in local, and we further learned that Suspect timers make a pod a valid target when an Eve-Uni Legion podded him. Second pod down, and it turned out that Ex was running a +5 set.. Another 500m isk we needed to make back.

Now in a pair of no implant clones, and having swapped the ill-advised scramble for a disruptor, we looked at other way to improve our odds. To double our chances of finding targets, Ex used some free SP on another account to create a secondary Lookout, allowing us to cover both side of the system we were in. We also realised that with kill rights available on us, we were free targets sat on a gate. Knowing that we could be needed at either side of the system,  and that we needed to be hidden away, we made a safe spot midway between the gates, and set up base there.

At this point Ex spotted a 500m hauler auto piloting away from our location (we think he came from a station), and Ex gave chase. With his Highwayman burning into the distance, and my Driver running to catch up, we thought we might have a free kill. Eventually catching him three jumps away, Ex engaged… and promptly died to gate guns before he could finish the job. Miss 4. It was at this point we elected to put a stop to the attempts for the night, quitting while your behind and all.

We restructured our fittings (more tank), and promised that we would continue the next day. After all we reasoned, we had a 50% success rate at Suicide ganking. We had the suicide down pat, now we just needed to get the ganking sorted.

Fly like a bad,

Hark