Posts Tagged ‘alt’

Move Op Refinement

I have now participated in two move operations in the post phoebe world, and I have to say that I think the refined model is far preferable to the first attempt. The last move op was a 6 hour chuckle-fuck which seemed to be a serious case of two steps forwards one step back. 6 hours is simply a ridiculous amount of time, and I was lucky it took place on a Saturday when my sleep didn’t matter so much. I don’t think it helped that the new mechanics encourage us to move our stuff in an “Apex Force” of Archons and Super Capitals, which could only be harassed and sniped by hostiles. That’s not to say that harassing and sniping didn’t work, the six hours it took to move attests to the success of that action. I’m not sure it was good content however. Indeed from what I heard in fleet the enemy took to ddos’ing individual pilots (via  pretty interesting method of finding IP addresses). When an individual pilot disconnected. Not only was the fleet stuck waiting for them to log back in, but should we miss their ships emergency warp, they would end up stuck in space just waiting to be probed down and killed. Not fun really.

This more recent move op has been much less of an occasion. With only 90 minutes to move a good long distance. This time the route was optimised to minimise jump cool down so that we arrive at the destination with only a days’ worth of cool down, whereas last time we attempted to arrive with none.

There is still one last hangover from the changes which I personally need to adjust to however: carrier space. Pre Phoebe we moved in Autobahns where strings of cynos lit along a single route meant that it was possible to move back and forth between old and new billets. This meant that the number of Carrier loads you took with you was limited only by your patience and fuel supply. Now with an hour and a half each way, and very few return fleets it’s almost impossible to bring more than a single carriers worth of goods with you. I managed to slim my armada down to a single load + one battleship, which I have so far begged off on friendly super capital pilots to move for me. However I don’t believe that this is sustainable, so with a quick bit of account shuffling I have moved my dreadnaught pilot out of my main account and onto an alt account, and then out of a dreadnaught and into a second carrier. By next weekend I should be once again self-sufficient for move ops.

Fly for six hours strait with your head in your hands,

Hark

100m SP: Skills

Next! Right, well, it would be remise of me not to look at my characters skill points themselves. I mentioned briefly in the last post that my main character was a little bit under skilled for her age, and this is bared out when we look across all my accounts as well. In total I have 197,795,334 SP across my three accounts and 9 characters, with an average of 1,962 SP per hour (per account). Considering that with attribute mapping and +3’s my main is currently earning 2520 SP/Hour, that’s a little bit low.

 

Breaking that down by character the main is pretty much the backbone of that average with 2,146 SP/hour earned (considering this is my first year truly paying attention to attribute mapping, that’s no surprise).

 

Where are those skills placed then? Hark’s top five categories are:

  • 37m in Spaceship command
  • 16m in Gunnery
  • 9m in Missiles
  • 7m in Navigation
  • 6m in Drones

And here lowest are

  • 1415 in production
  • 2830 in trade
  • 15,072 in social

 

Alt Prime similarly has the most in

  • 20m in Spaceship Command
  • 9m in Gunnery
  • 8m in Navigation
  • 5m in Drones
  • 4m in Engineering

And

  • 4,500 in Trade
  • 169,000 in resource processing
  • 169,000 in neutral enhancement

 

The nine characters I have are split down as follows:

  • 1 x Main (combat, sub and cap)
  • 1x Alt (good all-rounder, combat leanings, also suitcase Carrier Pilot, losing direction a little at the moment)
  • 2x Haulers (1 T1 and 1 T2)
  • 1x trader (also Planet manager)
  • 3x Cyno Alts (inc one parked in jita for price monitoring)
  • 1x Industrialist (also planet manager)

 

So far both of these posts have been pretty factual, but now I add in a little bit of opinion to the mix. Specifically, my opinion on skills. Starting with my personal biggest landmark: Cross training. The fact that any character from any race, can fly any ship if they train the right skills is a massive bonus to this game, and even from the beginning I would have listed it as a plus. Yet for some reason, when I first started out in Nullsec I was very  resistant to the idea of training for races outside my Caldari heritage (I know, I know). However when I was finally lured into another races ships by the dazzle of lasers, it was a massive landmark for me. Being able to fly any races ship, means that you can fit in with any Alliance/Corporations Doctrines, and flexibility is key to being useful. If you fly anything other than Industrials for your vocation in eve, it’s well worth training all the races (once you have mastered one at least).

 

The second biggest landmark was becoming carrier capable. For me as a Nullsec pilot who has moved home and region on a frequent basis, having a suitcase carrier was a massive game changer. It was like getting your first car; your no longer dependent on Mommy and Daddies logistics chain, further more shipping things in and out of Nullsec can be a nice little money spinner if you know how. The first few jumps are pretty scary, as is the first loss mail.. But its been worth every moment of training, even ignoring the massive usage I’ve gotten out the current Slowcat meta. I still wish that we had a dedicated “Moveng Van” jump capable ship, but that’s a mere pipe dream, and until then, the carrier is likely my most useful ship in the hanger.

 

I am afraid that my last big skill landmark is a bit boring and obvious Core Competency. The skills which effect every ship you fly. Navigation, Capacitor, Locking Power Grid and CPU. Once I had cross trained everything and had my suitcase carrier, this was my next objective. Perfecting the skills which benefit the most ships. Having to never worry about if you can squeeze in a doctrine fitting, or be the last into warp. These skills are undervalued but vital additions to any pilots resumé. Training them was a bore, but I am glad I persevered.

 

Lastly before I sign off again, I want to recommend a training both overheating and drug skills for any pilot moving into the advanced stage of combat. It’s something I don’t regret training (despite the horrific price of Neuro Toxin Control). But it’s not really something I can list in my landmark list of skills, because I don’t use it anywhere near as much as I do. I just don’t understand enough about what is best used when, to carry drugs all the time. Sure I use them when I am instructed to in the doctrine fittings, but other than that, nada. Something I should change this year.

 

Fly high,

 

Hark

100m SP: Time and tide

On the 29th of July in 2008 I decided for the first time to try eve. I won’t go into details about my history in eve since then, but 5 years and 6720 logins later, at 20:50 18/12/2013 I finally amassed 100m Skill points on my Main Character. I’ll fess up and admit that I could have gotten here faster. Indeed by my calculations (ignoring learning skill changes and starting skills), a character of my age should have somewhere between 127,370,880 SP (+5’s) and 104,626,080 SP (No implants), meaning that I have spent somewhere between 4-21% of my characters life, not training, or using subpar implants. Of course having +5’s permanently in your head is an impossibility, especially for a combat character, and trying to do so would have cost me a new set of implants each of the 16 times I have been podded which is a serious amount of money.

 

To mark this occasion (and because it’s fast approaching the new year and its always a good time to wrap things up), I will be writing a series of posts on the how the 5 years of playing eve have affected both me and my characters. For this first post I will look mostly at time, closely followed with further posts on money, and the main event itself, skills. For all of these statistics I am looking at only my three currently active accounts. I do have around 3 other historical accounts, which have been disposable or temporary, but their skills and statistics are so minor compared with the main two, I doubt they will make much difference. So without further ado, let’s get on with further facts and figures!

 

As I mentioned at the beginning, I have logged into eve a total of 6720 times, with an average playtime of 33 minutes per login that’s a total solid play time of 273,429 minutes playtime (or around 190 days if that’s easier to digest). My oldest character is 2106 days old (meaning that I log into one of my accounts around an average of 3.2 times per day), giving me an average playtime per day of just under an hour. With 1437 recorded kills just on my main account (which to be fair has killed the vast majority) I have managed to average a kill every other day of my characters life. To be honest that is a lot lower that I would ideally like, but hey ho.

 

If we start to look at the characters themselves the main account has taken the vast majority of my playtime up (unsurprisingly for a main) with 116 days of logged in playtime. She has also been logged in (again on average) twice every three days of her life, with an average play time of 55mins per log in, or 80 mins per day. I find it interesting that she doesn’t log in very often, but when she does it’s for the long haul (read lagged out fleet fights).

 

My alt prime account interestingly has the main account beat hands down on the number of logins at 3521 times (~500 more than the main). This is unsurprising, as this account holds my trader and PI specialist, who I log in pretty much every single day. This means that since this accounts creation in mid-2009, I have logged into it on average just over twice per day. However the regular, but quick nature of the traders logins does show with the average playtime per log in at only 30 mins each, or 1 hour played per day of its life.

 

Looking at just under a half years solid playtime some people might ask if a video game is really worth so much of my life? Or if the money spent on the game is worth paying? Obviously, as I have spent this time, and my subscription fee on the game, I disagree. By my best calculations I have spent ~£1500 on eve online (inc PLEX, sub and the collector’s edition). Which means that I’ve paid around half a penny (GBP) per minuet spent in game, which actually is around what I spend on most non subscription games. Outside of gaming, the cinema costs around £7 (optimistically) per film, which average around 2 hours. That works out at around .06 of a penny per minuets entertainment, slightly more.

 

There are plenty of other forms of entertainment which are both more and less expensive than eve has been for me, but that point which I am trying to get across is that although £1.5k sounds like a lot of money, when you look at it in terms of cost/minute and compare it to other forms of entertainment, I don’t think it’s that bad. Furthermore this doesn’t take into account the hours of time I have spent out of the game planning, scheming, reading, learning and generally engaging with what is, at the end of the day a wonderful community.

 

I would much rather spend that money on an intellectual and challenging video game, than rotting my brain watching The Fast and the Furious MXC.

 

Fly for an age,

 

Hark

The new Icelandic Bank

 Note: this is a bit late comming out as I am currently having a very busy time IRL (I know priorities right). Pretty sure it all still applies though. I’ll be trying to get a couple of posts out before fanfest hits (*squee*).
Its been simultaneously busy and quiet this month. On the playing eve front things have been very quiet, few fleets and fewer kills. I wrote recently on the first release of information about the odyssey expansion, and mentioned specifically that I didn’t think it looked like a nullsec expansion.  Boy do I hope I am wrong: For whatever reason, nullsec has become deathly quiet at the moment and I have never felt so strongly that it requires a gigantic shakeup. A snow globe with all the snow settled is just a small bulb of water; put it on an earthquake simulator and we’ll talk.
On the alt I have been indulging in some faction warfare and really enjoying it. Now that I have proved you can make serious money even in the worst circumstances, I have settled into an even balance of making money and making wrecks (my own and others). I have even gone so far as to be invited to join a solo pvp channel: which has resulted in some excellent fights and helped me learn the game even better.
Arian has gone even deeper into FW, as far as I can tell he has invested some serious hours into some of the fleet warfare going on… I don’t care for the politics of it, but when a Nullsec pilots have to go to Lowsec for fleets…well, I’ve made that point already.
Some of my more passive characters have also become more active this month, after a concerted effort to
re commence my trading account. Its gone well with an average 0.21%  increase in wealth per day and growing. My increased activity has lead me to discover however that I have not got enough ISK to cover everything I want, and so have opened up an investment plan to the Dirties, no idea if anyone will take it up yet, I just hope we can keep things clearly defined. As a saying goes “There are two sure ways to loose a friend; one is to borrow, the other is to lend”.
Anyway, onto the busier side of things. The blog has changed quite a bit since my last monthly post. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Blogger default themes, way to clutterd and way to little excitement. So using some of my web developer skillset, the jQuery library and a good dash of the web equivalent of a rubber mallet: I have managed to create a theme I am pretty happy with. There are still a few lacking areas, but I hope to address them over the next few days leading up to fanfest. I am expecting to do a lot of writing over the fanfest period (*squeee*), so I am hoping this clean and striking layout might help us in the campaign to spread the good word of Dirty.
Skills wise, this month I have been mostly covering areas I should have covered a LONG time ago. The main has finally trained T2 drones of races other than Caldari (I know, I know), and I have started to catch up with the newer skills added to the game last year. Going forwards I have hoping to add to the CV appeal of the Hark with the addition of Starbase defence management (watch as CCP remove that from the game in Odyssey), and generally continue brushing up on stuff. The alt on the other had has been skilling for pure fun, with Rocket launchers hitting Specialist IV she is so close to read for The Hookbill (just in time for its nerf). It also means I can add the Breacher to my hanger stock. She will stick with the fun theme for a good while now, with tracking disruption opening up even more options for frigate fittings, and a further investment into overheating (which is also on Harks list as a thing she should have done by now).
Ah well, fly like a special snowflake in a static pool of water ,
Hark

Ctrl-Alt: The Splinter Cell

Money is a massive restriction on every Character in eve. Without money, we cannot do anything in this game, even skills (which you would think were the greatest limiter to what you can and cannot fly) require you to have ISK before you can purchase them. As a result most players, myself included, have at least one alt; The money maker.

Its always important in eve to have multiple sources of ISK generation funding whatever activity’s you want to enjoy. This is because in the eve sandbox, your income source, like your ships, are never safe. Miners never know when the next Hulkageddon/Ice Interdiction will be, traders don’t know when the market will crash, Mission runners cant tell what will happen next patch. In my recent history I have invested and profited from 6 other income streams, all of which have since been abandoned (and replaced) due to external pressures reducing my profits, a few more have stayed constant, but they are a minority. I have explored a further 3 possible sources, and either rejected them, or placed them as a backup plan should a current method begin to fail. My money maker has only very occasionally engaged in PvP because its just not profitable; Well, until now that is.

My alt, and its corporation (with my friends alts as members), have joined Factional Warfare; we missed the “Gold Rush” I know, since CCP have nerfed the ability to make money for nothing out of FW, but we were interested to see if FW could become at least a minor income source to fund our mains while simultaneously supplying frequent PvP. We didn’t exactly make it easy on ourselves either, joining the Caldari fight on pretty much the same day they lost their last system.

So the Golden Question: “can you make money doing PvP in FW?”. Short answer: Yes. Our corporation has been in FW for 18 days (at time of writing), and our least active member has made 480m ISK, our highest money maker (me) has made 1.2bn ISK. Lets look at some details. Firstly I should confess: I have not so far treated FW as a PvP activity. Lets take a look at my fitting:

 


Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
3x 200mm AutoCannon II (Hail S)
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster (Cap Booster 50)
Small Shield Extender II
2x Nanofiber Internal Structure II
2x Small Polycarbon Engine Housing ISmall Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

I made the early decision to begin my FW experience with the intent of seeing how much money I could make as quickly as possible and then, once I had built up a nest egg (and paid back the startup costs) I would start to be more aggressive in my plexing. I soon decided that the best way to do this, would be to run complexes and avoid combat. Step 1 was to take the fastest ship I could create (a 3900m/s variant of the above fitting) and make safes all around FW low sec; off gates, sun safes tactical points. With these spread around our hunting ground, I begun to farm everything and anything I could find. The process goes something like this: Find a small or novice plex in a system you feel safe entering (ideally empty!), trigger the plex, and kill the NPC inside. Fly to the edge of the activation sphere (furthest away from the entry point) and jettison a can to orbit. Watch local for 10-15 minuets. Doing this even at Teir 1 of FW control earns you 5,000-8,750 loyalty points (double this at Tier 2); and for reference 1000 loyalty point earns you roughly 1.2m ISK if you are smart about how you spend it. Now like I said, this isn’t really PvP money making, I have several layers of safety between me and non-consensual PvP.

 

Look I’m sorry FW players, but I wanted to make cash, is that really so bad? I expect people like me piss you off, but half the time the ship I am warping away from is a Navy Comet/Hookbill. Even if I was PvP fit, your just looking for a cheap kill, and I am just looking not to die, so that’s life. Now I’ve made a billion, I do intend to switch to a more PvP centric ship.

Before you get too angry with us as a collective, you should know that I am the anomaly in our little group. Arian, Lore and Minijack have all been PvPing. They have informed me that FW is a bit like a solo low sec roam, except that if you don’t find anyone to fight, you get paid, rather than going home empty handed, I believe that Arian at least intends to write about his PvP experience soon. They do (and I intend to start) FW in a different way. Flying to a plex, and using the same steps I use above to judge any potential opponent, and engage if they feel it’s a fair fight. If they win they get some LP, if they loose they fly home and start again. By my calculations at Teir 2, you need only do 1-2 novice sites (10 mins each) or 1 Small site (15 mins) to earn the value of a T1 frigate fully fitted and insured.

Strangely enough the fair fights happen more than you might expect as well! This is because Faction War has a tiny element which makes a world of difference. The plex sizes. By placing restrictions on what can enter certain plexes one major factor which makes for “bad fights” has been removed: Up-shipping. If I am in a novice the worst thing I have to fear, is a faction frigate (and I’ve heard talk of even restricting these), even better if I am in a faction frigate, there is nothing in a novice plex which I can at least attempt to engage. Of course unfortunately “blobbing” (can you really call 2-3 ships a blob?) can still happen, but as FW tends to be the realm of small 2-5 man gangs, so even that is a relatively minor issue.

Its not all sunshine and ponies though, FW, in my opinion does still need some tweaks. Mostly its around the concept for teamwork. Teamwork is required in FW, else you would never take and hold the space. However in the actual plex’s, very little is required at all. It has always amazed me that as a Massively multiplayer Game, eve have very little PvE content which requires you to group up. I was kind of hoping FW might be the exception to this. Sadly I don’t really think thats the case. As a solo player you are perfectly capable of doing FW sites, however, you will spend more time in-between plexs looking for a system where its safe to do one, you will also frequently be chased out of a PLEX (this happens more to me than some one in a PvP fit ship, because I am a yellow bellied bastard). The answer of course it to bring friends. Unfortunately plex rewards are split between every one within the sphere of influence at the time of completion. This means that if you do bring a friend to help dominate the plex and hopefully kill/scare and solo war targets, your only going to be getting half the profit.

This means that as a solo coward farmer you need to spend 50% of your time not in a plex, to be less profitable than having a friend join you, and that assumes your gang of two never gets chased away, and goes directly from plex to plex. This is unlikely but lets assume you might increase your efficacy occasionally by splitting up in a system to do two plexs at once. As a result its much more profitable to go it alone, and that disappoints me. In my ideal world, FW would be something that you could do solo, but at a far lesser profit rate as if you were to bring some friends along, but perhaps that is a pipe dream.

My only other complaint is that FW is only slightly more interesting than missioning running. It is true that killing lots of  red crosses is less interesting, than killing one and then doing nothing (with the fear of being killed). But any game activity which can require you to do literally nothing for 10-25 minutes, is going to bore you fast.

We are loving Faction Warfare, and its proving to be a very profitable source of income for my main account. Further more getting paid to PvP is a refreshing change in eve (even if I haven’t really being PvPing), and something I wish could be applied to nullsec. My final thought is that FW is a great way to introduce new players to PvP, in my opinions new characters should get the option to start in the FW corporations of their choses faction as their starter corp… It would need some extra tutorials, but my goodness could we bread a new line of combat hardened pilots fast.

Fly like a coward

Hark

 

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