Archive for the ‘Eve Online’ Category

Training Times

Recently the time came once again for me to start looking at the next set of training for Hark to undertake. The last time I wrote about this back in 2013 I talked about how setting a skill queue to maximise the skills within a primary and secondary attribute (back then Int-Mem) allowed me to gain an additional three months training over an un optimised queue over a period of a year and a half. Two years and millions of skill points later, my point still stands and so I once again find myself looking to commit to years of skill training in a particular attribute mapping. It’s a big choice, and my options look something like this:

Memory, Perception (drones) 135d
Perception, Willpower (Weapons) 624d
Willpower, Perception (T2 ships) 163d
Charisma Willpower (Command ships & Clones) 130d
Now in reality anything which takes less than 365 days to train isn’t worth re mapping for which given my choices, only really left Perception Willpower as an option. Alternatively I could have rolled together Char-Will, Will-Per and some of Mem-Per to create a 360 day plan. However because of the mishmash of primary attributes, this would mean committing into a Will-Per mapping even while not training relevant skills.

In the end as I predicted all the way back in 2013, I elected to tackle the largest of the skill pools, re-mapping into a Per Will map, and starting to perfect my weapons. Leaving the smaller pools to tackle in a few years’ time.

Secretly I hope that CCP will remove Skill Attributes before the next time I come to making this decision. At the end of the day the Attributes system seems like an unnecessary complexity for the game, adding little value and likely confusing a lot of new players in a way that is really unnecessary. Very few interesting game decisions have resulted from Attributes.

In the mean time I will just have to enjoy having a good 500+ days in skill training lined up for the future.

Fly like a SP hoarder,


Monthly Update: Whoops

It’s been while since I last posted anything (6 months!). Honestly I don’t know why I’ve not posted anything in this time. Things have been pretty busy, but no more than usual. I have been active in fleets (although my trader alt has been pretty dormant). I even love the recent changes to eve which have breathed life into the game anew. The best reason that I can give is that my work has been developing into a new space, and part of that space has been the responsibility of writing Development Blogs for our company. I’ve always said that I write this blog purely as a method to improve my written English skills, and perhaps with something else filling that space my eve writings have been dwindling?

Whatever the reason, I am here writing now (when the next post will be I cannot promise). I am starting to feel that perhaps it’s time for me to move on from written blogs, certainly looking through my last few sets of cliff notes, I have a lot of interest in looking at both Audio and video work. I have experimented with some Streaming of World of Warships and even done some minor work at throwing together a podcast style version of the blog. I still have a massive passion for this game, and I love to talk, write, mime, modern dance or method act how I feel about the game and my passion for it. However; audio feels a bit boring and the eve I play doesn’t translate well to the video medium. My search will continue, and I hope to still remain active (or at least more active than I have been) while I work out where I take this next. I’m not shuttering the blog by any means, and where ever I end up going will be hosted in the same space, and with the same time. But it’s just notice that I am looking at new methods of showing my passion for eve on here.

So what has changed in game? Everything. There is so much stuff that has changed since the last blog post that it feels like a daunting task to even think of them all. The game has changed immensely in the last six months, in ways which affects me a lot. Furthermore the universe is now toppling into an all-out war in which I find myself a frontline member. I also failed to put out my end of year post in which I look at the game and my goals to plan where I head in the next 12 months (of which 3 have already slipped past). Indeed, the only area which doesn’t really need updating is that of my finances, which have remained inactive as this blog (although my buffer is sufficient for this to not matter too much).

So where next? Well I think that the next post will be regarding a recent change in my Skill plans (as my two year remap plan has come to an end). After that I will try and post something regarding my goals for 2015, and perhaps set some slightly late goals for 2016. After than I hopefully will have come to some sort of conclusion on where I want to take Extra-Vehicular next, so who knows what the future will hold after that.

Fly as much as you can,


Raising Hell

Consequence is a cornerstone of Eve Online, so, when you elect to perform an act which is deemed “illegal” by the games NPC Empires, it is obvious that there should be a consequence. This is supplied by the Security status mechanic in eve, which lowers you Sec Status from as high as +5 down to -10 every time you commit a crime in a policed system (High or Low Sec). Should your sec status drop below -2 you will be persecuted on sight in High Sec by the police (Starting with a ban from 1.0 systems at -2 and lowering as you drop). Currently CCP supplies two options for paying for you crime, cash or time. You can trade in ISK & tags with Concord to raise yours Sec status, or you can kill NPC’s for a standings gain (highest value every 5 mins) think of it like a fine, or community services. You can also blend these two by hunting down certain NPCs who drop tags, while at the same time farming NPC kills to lower your sec status.

So when PL announced that in order to make fights more accessible members would need to raise their sec status to allow for High sec travel I paid the gold price to lower my sec status down to -1.8 via Tags for Sec (costing ~300m). This is because I needed to ensure that I could immediately participate in any fights which cropped up and at the time I thought that this would likely be the end of the issue. However twice since then PL has taken fights in Low Sec and both times I have had to immediately pay to top up my sec status ready for the next fight (generally around 90m per fight). Now although I have plenty of cash, to sustain this, I am against dishing out cash where I don’t need to. So I began investigating the most time and cash effective method of maintaining a high sec status. Clearly buying Tags to Trade in for sec was very time efficient, but not very cash efficient.

I decided that I would look at the other extreme: bet ratting. Belt ratting (the act of killing NPCs in 0.0 belts for cash) fell out of fashion a very long time ago, and has a reputation as the least efficient way to make money in Null Sec. However I was interested in it for standings gained rather than the cash. On average this was netting a 0.003% increase in standings per ~1m rat killed. At 0.003% every 5 minutes (assuming I can always find a 1m+ BS rat to kill exactly on the 5m mark) would mean 1h55m spent ratting per low sec fight (let’s call it 2h30m to account for the likely searching time + travel to a belt ratting site). Exceedingly cash efficient, but not very time efficient at all. It also had the added negative that because the time spend ratting my sec status down would be a down time during which I could not participate in further fights.

Two thoughts sprung to my mind a more middle ground “front loaded” sec status removal scheme. First I could try raising my sec status so that a single fight would not make me a wanted man. This would be even less time efficient than ratting sec status after a fight (due to diminishing returns on sec status gain at higher levels), but might work better in terms of missing fights. The other option is to look at collecting the Clone Soldier tags myself, meaning that I will only have to pay the concord “Administration fee” for exchanging the tags. I suspect that the Tag collecting method might be the optimal solution as it provides a balance between time and cost. I already have some thoughts on how best to do it, so this is where I will look next!

Fly like a vigilante,


Monthly Update: Security Status

It’s actually been quite an active  month this month! Who could have guessed it? Xa joined in with Imperial Legion, but sadly it would appear that the night which my Clan plays World of Tanks Strongholds matches on is the only night IMPL hold PvP fleets. Give it a few months, a few more players, and I expect I’ll be able to participate in a few good roams. But the action this month mostly came from Hark who are participated in several EU TZ fleets. On the plus side I did discover Xa was sitting on a stash of ship implants and modules hoarded from my time in Faction Warfare (about 1bn of assets).


Where to start? Well to begin with the suggestion given to all PL members of the need to raise their sec status to above -1.8 (which means you can safely travel through all of Highsec). This meant a trip to the nearest concord station in the interceptor to buy back my security status (300m). Then PL announced a rapid deployment to Providence to join in the fun with Goons vs CVA. This resulted in several extremely good fun fights, in crows, tornados and, my personal favourite the Cerberus. It ended far too quickly and I ended up leaving all my ships behind as a cache just encase we decided to go back at any point. I did leave a Jump Clone there just in case I want to sell them or return any time soon. With that over we also had a few good fights in our current deployment zone with an excellent event involving the destruction of several Dreads. All in all an unusually active month for Hark, I hope it remains the norm.


Trade wise this has not been a particularly active month as I have only logged in 4 times in total. That said activity doesn’t really seem to indicate profit as despite this low activity level I did manage to pull in 3.2bn. Admittedly this was thanks mostly to 2.8bn returned to the trader from other characters. I’m hoping that next month I can raise this up to cover the rather expensive cost of keeping a high sec status when all your fights seem to be in Low sec.


Fly like a criminal,



Monthly Update: Summer Slump

Another month drifts by without much happening in game. Really this month has been all about updates and changes outside of the game.


Firstly Virtual Warriors, the Corporation\Alliance in which I first cut my 0.0 teeth has suddenly  sprung back to life after an absence of around 2-3 years. It looks like the Corp\Alliance Leader DRDNOUGHT has come back to the game with the idea of checking out the new Sov mechanics. Drd was a great leader, and never lacked for ambition, so I have no doubt that we will see something interesting coming along from his new group. Depending on how well it is received within PL I may even try and throw an Alt in there to say hello with. Along with Drd, Mini, a dirty member of old is also back in the game and has jumped into VW looking for some fun and games alongside Drd. It’s great to have a Dirty back in eve, for quite a long time I’ve been the only one of us still actively playing. At the moment Lore and Ex are still rather enthused in ARK, but they did peek their ears at the idea of VW coming back.


That’s not to say that I have any plans to jump out of PL to join the crowd. I’ve got a lot of loyalty to Drd, and will do everything I can to help him so long as it doesn’t cause a conflict of interest with my position within PL (i.e. the lowest of the low). I might put an alt in the corp for the odd fleet (or ask for blue status with my alt corp), but right now I am still enjoying the progression of rolling with PL. We’ll just have to see how it develops.


This month also seen some changes in ship line-ups. Sadly one of these new compositions relies literally on the only combat vessel class I cannot fly. So I’m relegated to logistics whenever that one is called. The other fleet comp change also required me to swap out a battleship, which has really stressed the way things work now Fozzie sov has arrived, really it’s made it a bit more difficult/expensive to get rid of unwanted ships, but I guess that’s life in 0.0 now.


Finance wise things are still chugging along OK although last month I didn’t update my orders anywhere near as much as I should, with only 3 logins during the month it frankly amazes me that I managed to rake in an excellent 2.1bn profit, despite the purchase of a fully pimped Battleship for Hark. I really cannot complain at that, although a large part of it was the luck of some poor soul selling me a Charon for 150m.


All in all its been an interesting month with some movements which I hope bode well for the future. I might even manage to get a non-update post in this month. Don’t hold your breath though.


Fly hopeful,




p.s. if you like World of Warships, you should give this video a bit of a watch to find out what I sound like.

Fishing for fun and profit

Fozzie sov had better shake things up when it arrives (Yeah I meant to post this earlier). Because I am not sure when I have ever seen my little corner of eve quieter. Really I don’t have much in the way of an update certainly not for my combat character.


Trading continues to run above my expectations with this month closing the second quarter of 2015. The month itself has been pretty profitable with an estimated profit of 1.4bn, and average of 46m per day of trading. It’s a good result, and one which I hope to continue, but not as good as I would like (of course). The Quarter on the other hand I could not have asked for better from. With a total of 5.6bn earned, a new personal record beating out my previous of 4.4bn in Q2 2014 (what is it about Q2 I wonder). This gave me an average profit/day of 61m happily keeping me on target for profit this year. I do feel that this massive push in profitability is thanks to me casting a wider net in terms of % of my isk invested in buy orders. Now that my total assets is increasing again, I feel like it might be time to once again push that even further. After all a bigger net catches more fish right?


Fly like a fish,



Formatting Error

Since my last update, not a huge amount seems to have happened in eve. With all the alliances going into hibernation mode ready for the big sov mechanics update, everything seems to have gone on hold. The said there have been a couple of good fights. One of which resulted in over 100 kills for Hark! I think the total for this month ended up at around 150 kills. Overall, for a quiet month that’s not too bad at all!

Aside from Hark, once again my Trade character has been the only real other character, which has seen any sort of action and that action has continued the trend of being profitable. May brought in 1.15bn profit, which although it doesn’t match the amazing 3bn month I had in April, is still a healthy profit. Especially considering that, a large investment of 1.5bn into Harks equipment this month. Currently I am sitting pretty on 39bn total trade assets, a few million isk short of hitting the 40bn mark. When I think back to this time last year when I was really struggling to break the 25m mark it seems amazing how well it is all going this year. Of course hubris could well take its toll, and I don’t want to believe that this will last forever, but for now it make sense to me to enjoy the income while it lasts.

Despite my promises last month I still haven’t managed to re-open any of my old revenue streams, so I am entirely dependent on the trading character. There might be something coming up this month which helps a bit with that, however I think that any profit made will only be a side effect of the endeavour, but more on that in a bit.

It is annoying me that both of the posts I have made this month have been a bit negative towards eve. Both my post on SKiNS and on PvE  have really been looking at some of the worse side of eve’s progress of late. That really doesn’t reflect my feelings on the game at all, I think that it’s just that it’s far easier to write something about a negative than it is to go out and find a positive. However I intend to change that this month (relying on nothing majorly negative happening of course).

Which brings me neatly into the next endeavour that I will be working on for this blog. A little while ago, my work asked me to help create some training videos for some of our products in order to move some of our users away from using 1on1 training sessions for some of the more mundane aspects of our work. Because of this, we purchased a professional grade microphone and some video editing software for me to use on my home computer. I’m sure you can see where this is heading. Over the next few months, I am going to start experimenting with a new format of content for the blog, in which I will attempt to produce some audio/video content in addition to the current written content. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t worried about the amount of additional work this might take (and indeed if I can support such a load). However, at the same time I am not a man to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I am game to give it a go.

Expect to see some new formatted content coming out over the next month, let me know what you think.

Fly through a pop filter,


Little Red Crosses

It should not shock anyone to know that eve is not the only game that I frequently play. Anyone who has read a monthly update (when I do them), will also know that I make my money in eve through trading. Furthermore, if some poor fool has frequently read my Monthly updates, they would also know that in the past I have had several other tributary revenue streams in addition to my trading.


Should you possess all of this information, you would know that PvE has never been an income source for me for any serious length of time in the last 3 years. This is not for a lack of trying. Indeed, I began my eve carrier as a mission runner, working with the Dirties to slowly climb the mission levels, and along with it my ships. Later after moving to Null Sec, I did a fair amount of ratting for my living, and this almost became what I would now classify as a main income stream, but never lasted. At several points, I have tried to re-invest in mission running as an income, and have even dabbled once or twice into running incursions to earn the big money. The issue is however, that so far I have found none of eve’s moneymaking PvE content entertaining to the point of preferring to play it over another game.


Why would I suffer through worlds collide, when I could instead play a round of World of Tanks? Why would I traipse between incursion sites rather than have some fun in Elite Dangerous? The simple fact is that the money earned in PvE and the enjoyment to had do not outweigh higher level of enjoyment I get from doing other things. I say all this because I am on the verge of having another go at trying to make incursions a secondary income stream. But every time I think about doing it, I find myself saying “when are you going to pick PvE over something else?”, at what time am I going to prefer playing an incursion rather than just firing up a better game? Have I missed something? Is there a fun way to play PvE? Is it just me that hates the monotony of shooting red crosses in any guise?


Fly like the damsel,





The price isn’t right

Once again, it would appear that CCP has proven that they do not quite understand the “Micro” bit of Micro transitions. Skins are ridiculously expensive in eve.  Aur currently works out at 252Au/gbp when purchased in £16 packages. This means that when you are looking at the store prices of ship skins, you are looking at prices ranging from £2.93 up to £22.77 distributed as you can see below in the chart:


Alternatively, a Mean of £10.08, a Median of £9.48 or a mode of £6.11. None of these numbers is particularly “micro” in my book. A frigate skin is going to cost you around £6 on average or as much as £17 if you want something more extravagant such as a Merlin Nugoeihuvi. However, that is only for frigates, if you are looking for something like a Cruiser or Battlecruiser, you are looking at £4 per skin at cheapest. If you want any kind of choice in skins, really, you are looking at around £10-20 at best. Let us be honest, it is not exactly like there is a huge amount of choice. When Mosaic hit, I looked at grabbing a couple of skins for my more frequently flown ships. However, the only two ships in my deployment fleet that I could skin were the Caracal and the Archon and the prices were not exactly enticing:


To put that into perspective bear in mind that £10 will buy you a month’s game time!

Now I will admit that at no point has CCP branded the skins as “micro” transactions, but looking at other games in a similar market, nobody is going to believe that these should be anything other than a micro transaction. When the choice is between a ship skin, a month’s game time or 800m isk where do you think the best investment lies? I certainly know where mine does.

All this leads into my second big issue with skins. Eve is still a monthly subscription game, (something I have no issue with and hope remains the case), yet here they are offering additional (cosmetic) content for extra (extravagant) price. I guess that I don’t mind CCP trying to make some extra cash via cosmetics but charging the monthly fee and exorbitant cosmetic prices at the same time feels like having your cake and eating it.

Of course therein lies the issue. CCP probably can have their cake and eat it. Some people will pay these prices for skins, without complaint or hesitation. Perhaps we are not entitled to free content from CCP (at least not cosmetics like this), but I cannot help but feel a little put out (yet again) by the price model, especially as it seems from the bug early in release that the skins do not take all that much effort to create (or at least wont going forward).

I would have pushed for a tiered system of pricing for each class: Standard (base price), Elite (+10%) and Legendary (+20%) adding this to the base price of each ship. Something like this:


Which would convert to a spread closer to this:


With a £5 median a £4.93 Mean and a £1.30 mode. Something that to me hits that “hmm that costs less than a pint” impulse price point which I think would result with far more sales. Perhaps it could even be a bit more expensive than this as long as there were still a lot of options, which sit under around £3 for impulse purchases.

Fly like your wearing very expensive jeans,


Monthly Update: Long time coming

Well it’s been a while since I last posted, a couple of months to be precise, and I am not sure I can tell you why. It’s not been an especially busy few months and in fact I’ve been playing eve more than I was last year. Success hasn’t been an issue in eve either of late, the PvP with Hark has been going well, the trade character has been breaking all kinds of personal records. Yet for some reason I have been drawing a blank on what to write on here. I just never seem to really have much to say. But don’t mistake this for a closing down post. You will have to pray harder for that to happen any time soon. Even during this post drought, the blog still serves its purpose for me well, it still brings thoughts and plans to my mind which make me ask questions about eve, and indeed about my gaming in general. So I will be making an concerted effort to put those thoughts to electronic paper, starting with a return to the monthly update and continuing onwards. I doubt that I will manage to break this year’s blogging goals, but damn it if I won’t keep the cobwebs off the server, and indeed my mind. With all that said, let’s do a bit of an update on how things have changed for me in eve since the last update posted.


Hark, has been through several move ops now, and these have varied from horrific (the first six hour debacle) all the way through to easy (moving two real-space jumps). I still stand by the fact that I both love and hate the new changes, I have only had 2 Capital fights so far since the JD nerf, and both of those were relatively minor, nothing like the wrecking ball fleets of old. Sub-Capital fleets have been far more prevalent than ever before (in my game time), and this is something I love. On the other hand when it comes to relocating assets (something PL does pretty regularly), it is a complete pain in the arse and I hate the changes. But I guess that’s the price we have to pay.


The upshot of all this is that my old Dreadnaught character has now been retrained into a Carrier to help Hark during relocations. PL requires a lot of ships and as we no longer tend to deploy via Aamamake, there  are less opportunities to drop off old lesser used ships to make space for newer ones. This means that moving a single carrier load of ships around quite simply doesn’t work (at least for me so far). Hence the change of carrier (excuse the pun). Multi boxing the move ops has been stressful, but at the same time ok, and I might even consider thinking about moving her up to combat status, should the need ever arise and her skills improve enough.


The only other front which I have really been pushing is my trading character and it’s been pretty successful so far this year. This first quarter the Trader has made 6.5bn, which took me four months to earn early last year (making me a clear month ahead).  I have also managed to earn over a billion per month so far this year in the longest positive earning streak of my ledgers. Should I manage to continue this trend (I don’t count on it) I currently project that I will end this year having earned 20bn (bringing me to a 51bn total). Remembering back to how hard I found it to break the 25bn mark, this sudden growth has shocked me somewhat. Part of this success is my recent push to invest more of my liquid assets in buy orders, reducing my movement capital by 5bn down to ~15, a figure I still don’t expect to ever use half of through purchases and might consider further reducing it at a later date should I find this current balance stable enough to push it further.


It’s not all good on the money front. At the moment I have (due to shear laziness) closed all of my alternate revenue streams. No PI, no manufacturing, no Faction Warfare, no exploration. I really want to continue these endeavours, but the effort to return on them just seems astronomically high compared to their returns. Perhaps I need to make an effort to at least try to restart one of these over the next few months.


I think that’s probably all the update that I have for you right now, but I will be attempting to get the momentum going once again.


Fly all out of excuses,