Posts Tagged ‘isk’

Exploring Exploration

The following post was written a few days ago, and is sadly a bit out of date now. Later today I will put out a post detailing the changes which have been made to exploration, and the state of play as of today.

In the last few days I have been talking a lot about the new exploration mechanics (and the changes being made to them). All the posts can be found below:

  1. personal exploration
  2. explorin gentitlement
  3. exploring exploration

With only a few days to go now before  Odyssey hits the live servers the Dirtys group set out on SiSi to take a look at the newly refurbished profession: Exploration. We have decided to take a short break from Faction Warfare post expansion in order to go and have a look at what we can make with the new sites. Of course as the man with the spreadsheets in our group, that meant some number crunching.

The key objective to our plan is to make money out of doing the hacking and Relic sites on New Eden. There are two main factors in this plan which needed to be worked out.

  1. What ship?
  2. Where?

VexorSo far our favourite answer to question 1 is the Vexor. A nice little drone cruiser which gives us 4 highslots for utility, 4 mid slots (dual prop and 2 exploration modules) and a tidy 4 slots tank with a final low slot for damage amplifiers. Of course that is by no means final. The Odyssey expansion page notes that there will be new exploration modules coming with the Expansion, and that might mean that we need something with a different slot layout to accommodate the new mods. But certainly for now, the Vexor is looking like a firm favourite. The bonus is that its comparatively cheap as well which ties in with the answer to question 2:

Probably W-space or Nullsec. Jury’s still out on which of these (or both), that’s why were on SiSi, experimenting. Certainly so far these two have come out with the best profit returns, and the support to group roam format we’ve been looking to do.

So enough of our plans, let’s talk opinions. Exploration specifically. The mini game is fun, if a little bit variable in difficulty. One hack I will be met by a blocking node on the first click, others the core is only 5-6 clicks away from the start, unblocked at all. It seems that you quite often get either ridiculously easy, or incredibly hard. It’s not all luck however, there certainly are some tactics to be found within the game.

The best bit of tactical game play so far surrounds the encrypted nodes. These, when uncovered require a second click to decrypt and reveal their contents. Sometimes this will be an item to help you, other times it will be a blocking node which will lock out all its surrounding nodes from you. The issue is this. If you always decrypt the encrypted nodes as soon as you find them, every so often you will block your onward path by revealing a blocking node. “Ah, easy” you say “just move a few nodes onwards and then decrypt it, so the block does nothing!”. But the issue with this is that again, every so often using this tactic, you will immediately reveal another blocking node right next to encrypted node on your next click. This locks out the encrypted node, restricting you from getting the potential goodies inside it.

Other tactical choices you will need to make includes the path that you will take to ensure you reveal as much as you can of the board before having to engage the blocking nodes. This means that you have the highest chance of revealing equipment to help you in combat, or simply uncovering the Core without having to fight.

It is really good fun, and it encourages group play, not only in that you will require a friend to help scoop loot, but also because there is no way to be effective at hacking, and keep an eye on local. You’re going to need a friend for that or it will take forever.

The mechanics are fun, and the group play aspect is great (eve needs more multiplayer PvE content), there is very little to complain about all in all. However there was one minor gripe that I had with the concept, and that was Geometry.

No you MWD into one!

Some of the Hacking/Archaeology (more hacking I think) have their main nodes ensconced within large geometry items. They look grate, but as anyone who has tried to fly through and asteroid belt knows, eve has some “invisible geometry” issues. I get that the more people you have with you, the less chance of a “loot ejaculation” going in an awkward direction there is. That works fine on the Archaeology sites, where being on the wrong site means nothing more than a few seconds and a few missed cans. However in the afore-mentioned Hacking sites, there can be entire stations which get between you and the loot squirt. There is nothing more frustrating that trying to navigate around a structure to grab loot that is rapidly pissing off into the distance, only to find your rubbing you ship along some invisible barrier which seems to extend in every direction except the direction of away from the fucking loot. I get, and applaud that group play means more loot, but missing out on loot because of frustrating mechanics you can’t even see is very frustrating.

I’ve run about 15-20 sites at this stage, and I’m a big fan of them. Looking forwards to seeing how the evolve during the launch. Speaking of which, it’s about time we got a plethora of dev blogs revealing details of the expansion isn’t it?

Fly like a mime artist,


Short Break

September 5th, 2012
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You may have noticed I have gone a bit in active these past few weeks. This is due to the culmination of a large Project, some RealLife™ and my impending trip to Iceland (for any English readers… NOT the shop!).

I’ll be staying in Reykjavik centre, so if anyone has any advice about food drink or activities, I’d welcome the advice. I will back, however in the meantime, enjoy this:

While I’m on the subject a few people have reached this site before searching Google for “eve online RMT guides” and “eve where to buy ISK” (paraphrased), if any future readers have reached this page as the result of a search of guides on how to remain undetected when violating the EULA and purchasing ISK from companies other than CCP. I will give you one piece of advice; the only places to buy ISK and not get a negative wallet in eve, is here. Its a little bit covert, but they run a line in ISK at a very good rate, just select Icelandic Krona from the list and you will receive your ISK. No EULA violation guaranteed.
Fly laughing,

Blood Money (Short): RMT & Alliances

As you should know from all my posts labelled “Blood Money” I believe that too much money is currently in the hands of too few people. Yesterday CCP announced that they have begun reversing RMT transactions and that a truly massive amount of ISK has effectivly been removed from the market:
  • Around 105 accounts with direct ties to RMT (Real Money Trade) operations banned permanently
  • Between 1-3 trillion ISK in assets siezed permanently
  • Around 500 billion ISK in RMT transactions reversed
Now according to the dev blog, most of these accounts were banned with no warning because they were in some way directly involved in a RMT racket. However what’s interesting is that CCP has committed to not only countering the RMT rackets themselves but also using that data to trace and reverse transactions with these RMT characters. This is where it ties in with my Blood Money posts, it goes both ways. That is, both people who bought ISK and people who sold ISK to the rackets for re-sale. The question is, what will happen to the people who sold the ISK to the RMTer’s in the first place? are they counted as part of the racket and banned without warning? Because I believe that a lot of these will be directly linked to Alliances. I’m not so naive as to think that they would be so stupid as to use their main characters, nor that alliances are the main source of money flowing into RMT, but I think its going to be interesting watching dynamic of 0.0 over the next few weeks, and indeed the prices of Moon Goo. Will we see some alliances crumble as the interest in their space wanes? Could we even see a headless alliance as core members of leadership are linked to RMT rackets and banned without forewarning? Even if nothing happens in the immediate future, will we see an increase of money flowing out of NullSec as it becomes too risk to just sell it off. Or am I just a paranoid blogger with an over-active imagination?
Time will tell…

An Appeal: Bitter Veteran Syndrome

Bitter Veteran Syndrome (BVS) is an epidemic on New Eden; and it’s time to raise awareness. The chances are that you mix with people who right now are entering into the first stages of this disease, and neither you nor they understand enough to realize the problem.

Any character with over 10m skill points can contract BVS, but the truly vulnerable are characters with skill points above 60m. It’s currently unknown how this correlation forms, but the facts are there*. If you know someone in this skill range, you need to watch out for the Symptoms:

 – Constantly complaining about the ease of the game for new players
 – Shouting “HTFU” as a counter point to every argument
 – A belief that Super Capitals are just fine the way they are (or were)
 – Rarely actually logging into the game
 – An ability to understand game mechanics better than anyone else

 If you are afraid that a friend has contracted BVS there is a simple test you can do to be sure:

Show them a reasonable ship fitting and ask for advice.
If they immediately point out more than three errors they likely early onset BVS (assuming the fitting isn’t really shit). Severity can be judged on the amount of issues spotted, and the level of explanation given for the mistakes.

i.e. 6 issues spotted and no explanation given at all for the mistakes is a very severe contraction (if they shout HTFU as an explanation contract a support group immediately). Whereas 3 items spotted, but a calm and logical explanation of why and how to fix them is a low risk case.

Sadly there is no cure for, but it is our belief here at the Hark Science Studies Centre (HSSC) BVS department, that there is a lot we can do to help these sadly afflicted individuals, and so we ask for your generosity to help fund the research of BVS and the treatment of sufferers. Institutes such as the Pandemic Legion Bitter Veteran Home allow extreme sufferers of BVS to be with people who suffer and understand they plight. They also provide support to all members in their time of need.

But for some such a community of support is just not available, and many thousands of BVS sufferers don’t even have the money for the basic Super Capitals which they so desperately need.

So please, if you have seen the damage BVS can cause to a pilot, consider donating to the HSSC:BVS study and support group. Just a few billion ISK could keep a BVS suffer comfortable for years to come.

Thank you,


P.s. Yes I just passed 60M skillpoints… any one want to fund me a titan?

*      10m sp ~= 02.32% contraction rate (cr)
     30m sp ~= 07.66% cr
     60m sp ~= 56.79% cr
    100m sp ~= 89.72% cr
    Results from the “what does hark think study” funded by unicorns and fairies.

Blood Money: Rogue Drone Special Edition

This series of posts is intended as a discussion and my thoughts in how ISK affects PvP and how PvP Affects ISK; further entrys can be found here.

A few days ago I posted a quick and dirty commentary on the Micro Jump Drive module possibly being added in either crucible 1.5 or Inferno. Within the same “leaked” document, a large chunk of information was also given on the soon to be changes to drone bounties, which I very briefly touched on. I want to now go a little deeper in to what the drone changes mean for us as players. First a short explanation for those not acquainted with our artificial brethren.

Rogue Drones, which can be found in the Eastern Low/null regions of New Eden, are in essence Drones which have developed an AI and gone all “Virus” on us.  Unlike the human pirate factions, the drones don’t have a bounty on them, but instead drop Alloys and Compounds (sometimes called drone poo), which can be refined into minerals. Now CCP has begun to acknowledge that this needs to be changed so that Drones begin to give bounties like the other factions.

Drone poo has been a thorn in the side of industrialists for quiet some while now, with miners unable to compete with the speed and efficiency of killing drones for minerals instead of mining ‘roids. Some have even gone so far as to state that the primary source of minerals in New Eden is not the humble hulk; but instead these devious drones. I’m not sure I would go so far, but it does show the level of the problem. Now this is no new issue, and people have been complaining about Drones for some while*, so why has it suddenly changed?

It seems to me entirely possible that CCP has been planning this for a long time and just never gotten around to it. After all changing an entire faction’s (races?)’ bounty is probably no easy thing. But it seems quite likely that the catalyst for the change has been the Russian Civil war. For quite some while the Eastern provinces of New Eden have been quite in terms of war. Sure the citizens have shipped out and attacked other seventy, and some fringe space has changed hands, but until the Russian Civil War, Conflict hadn’t really been seen in the Drone Lands since the dawn of EvE. Then, a few months ago several big Russian Alliances drew a line in the sand and started picking fights. Along with this came an internal change, Minerals which were bound for high-sec were re-routed to fuel the War Machine in preparation for the long drawn out fight to come. With the majority of Null-Sec minerals now not leaving 0.0, the control of the markets returned to the industrialists overnight, and we all saw the price of minerals skyrocket as a result. I suspect this realisation of just how much the Drone Poo was changing the balance of the markets is what finally tipped the balance for CCP, who at the time were looking for balancing changes to fit in with their new attitude. But this is just the start, the real market changes will happen when the Drone Poo dries up entirely.

Anyone familiar with the laws of supply and demand (or indeed anyone who can open the market window) knows what happens when this hits. With demand for minerals staying the same (or indeed likely increasing) but let’s say 40% of Supply disappearing, it’s now a sellers’ market for minerals. Mineral buyers will be forced to increase their buying prices to ensure they get a chunk of the (mineral) pie, meaning more profits to the miners. In the short term prices of anything made from minerals will increase as the increased costs of mineral is passed on by industrialists to customers, along with the increase in profit margins (most margins are calculated by a percentage of the base price). However before miners break open the Cava and start forming conga lines, the spike will likely be short lived, as more miners join their bejewelled playing fraternity in the form of both industrialists looking to cut costs, and money seekers jumping on the band wagon. That said; when the prices do finally settle they will likely be higher than the previous average.

In short, things are going to get very very very expensive and then drop down to just very expensive as supply begins to meet demand.

But what does this mean for the variety of the game? I do agree that low-end minerals should be controlled by High-Sec & its miners. But I disagree that bounties for drones were the right way to go. I believe that eve’s un-uniformity is its lifeblood, and this smoothing of the rough is detrimental to the game. Indeed I would argue that other faction bounties should be changed instead. I would advocate that every Ratting faction should supply a different way of rewarding the player. We will keep one faction with the “press button get reward” system we know and love (let’s say the sansha so we don’t mess up Incursions). Each other faction gets a new method below are just a couple of rough and ready suggestions (aren’t they always with me):

– Loyalty: A new Corporation is founded opposed to the faction in question. Every Faction rat gives loyalty points with the faction, which can be saved or spent on items.

– Standings: A new sub corporation of concord is founded. Each rat you kill increases your standings with the corp. Every week a payout calculated on your standings is given, and your standing is reset with the corporation.

– Fertiliser Pellets: Really throwing the boat out here, let’s make drones drop a fertiliser which increases an asteroids yield (each is set to a type and rarity.. i.e “Minor Veldspar enrichment” and “Glacial Golden Omber deployment”. 0.0 players can sell this roid’ manure to High Sec miners so they can increase their asteroid pools. Hell while I’m on this trip, let’s say we remove the refilling of belts during downtime, and make it reliant on the fertiliser to keep minerals.

Again, I’ll emphasise here that I don’t want ALL rats to follow a single, different system; but for EACH rat to have a different system of profit. A usual this is pulled from my arse as I write, and only intended to give a gist of what I mean (although I do quite like the fertiliser one).


    – Drones will be giving bounties
    – Minerals are going to spike in price
    – Items will also spike
    – I think the change is bad for eve, because it doesn’t go far enough

Thanks for reading,


*including the people who farm them. The Russian Alliances who have traditionally held drone space have always complained that drones are less profitable and more risky than bounties due to the need for logistics to ship them to High-Sec. Although I always hear it in the same tone my father says “Oh no this is awful, urg no horrid, you wouldn’t like this at all!” while tucking into a cake. Except of course the Russians are Building titans, not eating cake.

Road to Umokka

I suppose the first step on the path to my redemption, was the very same step which took down to ruination, despair and disownment by my own nation. Although I didn’t know it at the time, that step was leaving the service of the Caldari Navy. A corporal in my outfit got it into his head that there was big money in contracting for the Navy. He recounted high tales of the dare, cunning and valour of these contractual organisations which won over many of our outfit. As a mid ranking officer I was forced to ignore such flagrant rallying within our ranks. However seeds of change were sown in my mind as well as that of my superior officer. The mundane work patrolling systems held secure by the Caldari State, mixed with the stress and paperwork of midlevel command took its toll and before we knew it, our own doubts, and the corporals propaganda had bought out minds. A month after the first idea we exchanged our commission for high ranking places in his private army.

The Caldari State welcomes loyal privateer corporation. An attitude formed in the forge of war when the Caldari attempted to become freedom from the Gallente. However the work was hard, and the monthly fees were harder still. We soon discovered that the second reason the Caldari State was happy to allow trained Navy Capsulers to form there own private armies, was economics, a subject also at the heart of the capitalistic Caldari. Although we were doing more interesting, and dangerous work for the Navy, we were now required to fund our own ships, losses, clones, and armaments. The cost was huge, and even with the navies exorbitant rewards, were barely stayed afloat on a sea of operational costs. Pressure to perform harder and better was so high many Pilot Capsulers, including my self turned to the frowned upon practice of Boosters. Boosters enabled us to perform in our ships in excess of normal humans in reaction times, calculations and general piloting skills. But the side effects were atrocious, and the cravings worse. At the time it felt like we needed the extra push just to keep our selves afloat.

Eventually the Corporation began to divide. Several factions broke away, convinced that they could do better, but floundering in parallel to us. Eventually the Corporal who started it all disappeared one day, some called foul of the loan companies, others talked of mutiny. Most of us hated the scummy bastard who got us in this mess. All in all that was the final spark on the fuse. Most of those who had turned to boosters had become truly addicted now and as a whole we were desperate, with no leadership piece by piece the corporation dispended. As one of the worst addicted to the Boosters I never even made it away from the station in which we once called our head quarters. While others traded their final isks on ships to seek a fortune, I found my self trading all but my last ship on Pills. Unable to run my ship on the funds available I trapped my self in the station living out of the Rokh. It became my last hope, a symbol of my hope to become free of the life I was rapidly falling into.

I spend almost a standard year telling my self I was saving to escape my prison. But I know now I was lying to my self. Every isk I had was spent on Boosters and, when I could not afford them, drink. It seemed like the rock bottom I had reached was insurmountable. This was the final step on my ruination.