Easy Rider

Cruising Along

Well it appears I’m the worst blogger ever, lack of posts is not good!

The vacation went well, though too short. Since I’ve been back it’s been pretty quiet. Living in Wormspace can do that some times.

I’ve run many Combat sites, and several Radar sites, thus padding my stockpile of Sleeper salvage and loot. I finally finished up Gas Harvesting V last night and thus sucked clean a Ladar site for some much needed Polymer Reactions.

I also finished up Heavy Assault Missiles V, but unfortunately my current ship setups are not conducive to increased DPS since you have to be within ~12km of your target. I mainly fly my Drake, which lumbers along and cannot keep up with most Sleepers, especially when webbed. Thus I’ve had to revert back to my standard Heavy Missiles setup. I am however looking to pick up a Cerberus Heavy Assault Ship perhaps that will help?

I managed to complete some Invention runs for some T2 Heavy Assault Missile ammo. 9/20 runs isn’t great, but it’s not horrible either. Now I simply need to produce some new Planetary Interaction materials to complete the materials list before I can manufacture the ammo.

Speaking of PI, it’s been going along smoothly. I’ve mainly focused on manufacturing POS fuel and I’ve been able to make just enough to keep the tower running with a months supply of fuel, and a month stockpile. There is just enough surplus for me to focus on 2 products which I can sell, thus I’ve picked Oxygen (quick, easy turn-around) and Enriched Uranium, which seems to have the biggest margin right now.

I’m hoping to make some POS modules with my PI, but that might be a lot farther in the future as I’ve kinda hit my happy medium in terms of how much it takes to manage my setup and what I get out of it.

The only interesting story to relate happened a few days ago in our WH. I was the only one logged in at the moment when I noticed several scanning probes out. Eventually I found a Drake hanging at our WH exit to hi-sec. Eventually another ship, a Force Recon Pilgrim (Cruiser-class Co-Opts) jumped in as well. The only site we had currently in the WH was a Radar site, which they had found and warped to.

I surmised both ships were controlled by the same person as I sat and watched them cloaked up in my Buzzard. I tried to snag a Hacking can while they dealt with the Sleepers, but it proved to risky, so I simply sat back and watched.

The Drake was being used as the “damage sponge” while the Pilgrim helped with Drones and DPS. I’m not sure how much experience this Pilot had with Wormholes, Sleepers and the Sites involved. Typically there are waves of Sleepers which each wave being triggered to spawn as soon as you kill a specific type of ship from the previous wave. Most of these “trigger” ships have been recorded in Wikis and Guides for some time and anyone who’s spent any amount of time in W-space will know right away where to find this information. This particular Pilot, however, learned the hard way, as most of us did back when we first entered W-space.

The Drake began killing all the trigger Sleepers and was soon overwhelmed with 3 full waves of Sleepers. For some reason they did not warp out, thus the Sleepers happily targeted the Pilgrim and chewed it up almost instantly. The Drake barely got out in time, but did manage to warp back to the WH exit and into hi-sec.

I quickly jumped into my own Drake and warped to the Pilgrim wreck. I grabbed everything that had survived (a few T2 modules & drones) and then began to systematically take out the Sleepers that I could, warping out and back when needing to. I finished the site in around 45 minutes (as I said, the Drake is sloooow) and just as I was finishing up the Pilot returned with another wingman.

He saw that I had finished up the site, cleaned out his wreck and salvaged everything. This Pilot had been around since 2006, so he knew the game, and thus said simply and professionally “Congrats :)”. He then warped out and was gone.

I felt bad and was thinking of sending him his drones and mods back, but at the same time it was probably a good lesson for him to learn, one that I’ve learned more times than I care to imagine.

So all things considered it’s been a quiet week, but plenty to do!

Houston, We Have Liftoff!

Warp 9, Engage!

So the replacement for my melted-down video card arrived Saturday. However, I had friends in town and thus the install happened late Sunday night.

Oh what a joy the new Sapphire card is!! Granted I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the latest and greatest, but it was a big step up for me regardless and I’m loving running through New Eden with all the graphics settings cranked to 11!

Once everything settled down the rest of the evening was pretty eventful. Though we had had some invaders earlier in the day they seemed to have gone their separate ways which left lots of time for exploring.

We had a connected Class 1 WH which was inhabited but still deserted. I took the liberty to run a Radar (Hacking) site as well as 4-5 Combat sites. I lack punch in the the DPS department so it took quite awhile to get through everything, but it was well worth it in the end as my salvaging netted nearly 150M.

We had a new recruit in the Alliance who is fairly new and he wanted to come tag along and helped out greatly. I remember when I was in his shoes! Funny thing is, I still feel like a newbie with no clue what I’m doing…it’s all relative I guess.

I spent the remainder of the night cleaning up a Grav (Mining) site that was in our home system. I didn’t get much, but still a cool 20M or so. Living in Wormspace is turning to be quite profitable.

My next goal is to acquire everything necessary to construct a Tier 3 Cruiser – The Tengu. I’m already over half way there, but I still have a few Battleship level components and some Gas to harvest. The sad thing is our most recently connected Class 1 WH had over 12 Ladar (Gas) sites, but I didn’t have a Gas Harvesting ship. I solved the last problem last night, but unfortunately the Gas heavy C1 had already collapsed.

So that is the story so far. Last night was fairly quiet as we had no sites in our Home system and no sites in our connected C1. Hopefully tonight will bring more action!

Chicks are Complex!

And by “Chicks” I mean our newly beloved Planetary Interaction Colonies.

Please fasten your seat-belts, We're about to get complex!

So last night I logged on and began checking the first full run of my 5 Planetary Interaction Colonies. Even though I did my best to layout the Colonies in the most efficient way as possible, I clearly missed the mark.

I had several storage silos completely full and idle processors on a few of the planets. I needed to pay closer attention to the cycle times and wrap my head around the best way to route my resources around the Colony. My Alliance Leader agreed that my current setup, which was very heavy in resource extractors, was only viable in a Hi-Sec deployment. Wormwholes are an entirely different story as you must be much more efficient since you can’t simply truck all your resources around easily to markets or stations.

My ratio of Extractors to Processors was somewhere in the ballpark of 7:2 which was greatly skewed. What I was instructed to do was keep in more in the lines of 2:1 or 3:2, so that’s just what I did. I also routed most of my processed materials from Extractors to Storage Silos to Basic Processors to my Starport. I would then route my P1 materials to an Advanced Processor and then back to my Starport for Export.

Thus I spent all of last night rearranging my planets for the 3rd time, ugh. I’ve blown through about 20M in setup costs, but ultimately I’ve managed to produce amble amounts of POS fuel to keep my little operation running indefinitely (minus the isotopes of course, still have to get those from the market).

So in the end I’ve spent a great deal of time getting accustomed to the new PI feature, and so far I really like it, though the complexity has caused me trouble finding the best way to be efficient. I wish there was a newly updated resource map of production items that you can make with the new PI materials as I’d like to get into more production of POS structures and modules, I simply don’t know the road map to get there yet.

Hopefully my Alliance Leader won’t blow an artery now when he see’s my Colonies as he did last night.

The Kingdome Cometh!

So it’s been a busy week, as usual it seems. I was out of town this weekend and all of last week work was crazy. Thus all the items I had listed on my “TODO list” were put off until Thursday & Sunday night, and boy were they hectic!

So finally on Thursday I bit the bullet and began to deploy my first POS: The Kingdome!

The Kingdome

What I had envision being a simple, straight-forward process (despite being told otherwise on countless occasions by numerous people) turned in to be just the opposite. The fact that I was in Wormspace with only an Orca didn’t help things.

My first folly was anchoring the tower, and then when it finished set it to unanchor, which cannot be cancelled. So that was my first 45 minutes. Once everything was set I transferred all the fuel, but forgot half of it in my Orca’s Corporate Hangar Array. Finally I had everything stocked and online.

Next was positioning all the modules. I chose a medium tower at first, so I was limited in scope, however this part was truly a pain in the arse! When you deploy and anchor a module you are presented with a little green box with arrows to move around space. However these arrows do not scale with your camera’s view. You typically need to see your entire setup before you can properly position the module, thus when you zoom way out the module arrow handles are impossible to selected with your mouse pointer. Therefore you must move, zoom out, zoom in, move, rinse, repeat, ugh.

Then I had to travel to each module to online and, if necessary, load with any required ammo. Being that all I had on hand was my Orca, this was a painfully slow process. I even ejected to my pod and warped off to a planet and back to the module because that was faster than simply maneuvering to each item one after the other.

Finally, after around 4 hours of back and forth learning experiences I was done and The Kingdome was ready to go! The inhabitants of our little system were as excited as patrons of the original Kingdome when they got a visit from  “The Beer Guy”!

Beer Me!

That was a looong night and many thanks to my Corp and Alliance mates for the help and answering of my endless questions.

In all the rush of setting up my first POS I kind of missed the boat on the initial launch of PI Command Centers (CC). This was rectified last night as I finally made the trip out of our WH and back to Jita to pick up supplies and the much anticipated CCs.

My skills allow me to have 5 CCs operational at one time, so I picked 5 of varying type and heading back to the Dome. When I finally pulled into the safety of the force fields I set to work at setting up my own little colonies. Being that it was late Sunday night pretty much everyone in the Alliance had logged for the evening, thus I was on my own.

It took me quite a bit of trial and error to figure out everything related to PI, but it wasn’t overly difficult. I had only ever read the occasional guide on PI since it’s inception, thus I had never been on Sisi to play around with things before Tyrannis launched. Needless to say I created a few extractor and routes that I needed to destroy and eventually figured out what all the varying types of processors were for, but in the end it was a good experience.

When I finally logged for the night I had setup nearly full colonies on 5 planets in our system. I set everything in motion manufacturing fuel for my newly christened POS.

I examined several of our planets to see how my Alliance mates have things structured, and what I noticed is that they had many, many extractors for one resource per planet. Whereas I went the route of setting up 1, sometimes 2, extractors for a single resource per planet. I then routed these to individual processes to make a single item. Perhaps my Alliance mates were more interested in harvesting vast amounts of initial resources before embarking on manufacturing, either way I really do need to ask more questions to make sure I’m not completely missing the points and doing something totally wrong.

In the end I’m really starting to like PI and it’s definitely something that can be micro managed or done at a distance at your leisure.

Our newly inhabited Wormhole is truly starting to take shape and we’re making the most of it. As with any exhibition making yourself comfortable in the face of great peril is always a priority! And things are looking good in Chaos Central!

Do you have any Grey Poupon?

There and Back Again: 1st EVE Anniversary

So with little fanfare my 1st Anniversary in EVE came and went. Who would have thought that on June 2nd Freddy Facepalm would be 1 year old?

I’ve sat back and tried to reflect on where I’ve been and how far I’ve come…but it turns out I’ve been rather busy of late. Nonetheless I did at least want to post a few update for posterity.

As per one of my very first posts, here is my updated display of the places I’ve visited throughout the course of a year.

A Year of Travels

Next up, I’ve managed to accrue 16,660,000 skillpoints in a year. I’ve currently got a set of +4 implants and am training my final Planetary Interaction skill (Command Center Upgrades 4). Here is my distribution.

1 Year's Skills

And finally my assets total to just over 1 Billion ISK, that is a number far greater than anything I could have imagined, mainly in thanks to the past week.

I decided to move back to my old stomping grounds around Caldari Space. Being away from my high standings and familiar territory were simply too great to remain in Minmitar space. After spending roughly 2 weeks in the South I had little to show for my efforts. So I packed up ship and moved home. I hadn’t been back for more than a day when I found 3 level 4 Deadspace Complexes, the first of which yielded a Medium Faction Shield Booster which netted me nearly 400M ISK! I about fell out of my chair! That alone paid for my dear Orca which I had been scrounging for months to purchase. I then found several nice Faction Hardeners worth another 100+M ISK.

Since I finally had some room in the bank I decided it was time to embark upon my final great Adventure which I had hoped for when I first began my days in New Eden. It’s almost ironic that almost exactly a year after setting foot in EVE I’ve decided to setup my own POS in a Wormwhole as that was the main draw for me when I first began…and yet I never thought I would make it this far.

As it turns out our Alliance has made a new push into Wormspace in search of more planets for the upcoming PI and a new system was recently discovered. They welcomed the addition of more members to their newly christened domain and I thankfully accepted.

I spent a couple days pondering over proper POS setups and configurations. Though I had a good sum of money in the bank, I was only able to purchase a Medium Tower, but I believe this will be a good start for me. The final tally for the tower, all modules and enough fuel for a month was just shy of half a billion ISK. I still have a small amount savings left, but it did sting to watch my wallet deplete so quickly.

As fate would have it, our newly settled system was only 2 jumps from my staging location. Thankfully our Alliance Leader and another Senior member happened to be on and willing to help stage my entrance. I  was able to move the lot of my supplies in 2 Orca filled jumps. They were also kind enough to let me for some of my supplies at their main operative POS while I go through the long process of anchoring my tower. I’ve decided to hold off the final stage of anchoring until tomorrow as it was getting late when all was finally said and done.

A New Adventure Awaits

So here I am, a year later and still so many new adventures to await! Whatever will year 2 bring? There’s only one way to find out…Number 1, Engage!

I love a good Scan Job

So last night, in the midst of all the Planetary Interaction excitement, word went out through our Alliance that we should all keep our eyes open for a few good new Wormholes which we could potentially colonize. Since I had little else going on I fired up the ol’ Buzzard and went a scanning!

I started in our home system and branched out from there. It didn’t take me long to find a good candidate. About 2 jumps away I found an Unstable Wormhole that was nearing the end of it’s life-cycle, nonetheless I fearlessly jumped on through.

I landed in a simple Class 1 Wormhole that was unoccupied. Now C1’s are not very desirable as Star Defender and p@tsh@t have pointed out, but I figured I was a little rusty so I should scan the system down for practice. After looking at dotlan maps I could tell that this system had been dormant for quite some time. A cursory scan revealed roughly 20 combat sites and another 30 signatures! I spent the next 2 hours scanning down each one to shake the rust off and see what else we had.

I was initially interested in this particular system from a PI perspective since it had quite a good mix of desirable planets that were not as common in Hi-Sec…at least in our neck of the woods. When all was said and done I found roughly 10 Gravametric (mining), 10 Ladar (gas), 2 Magnometric (salvaging), 5 Radar (Hacking/Archaeology) and 3 Unstable Wormholes. It was quite painful at times, but I was able to lock down most sites pretty quickly.

In the end the system just didn’t quite offer what we were looking for in terms of a new system, but it was a great evening for me to get back in the swing of things. I’ve been scanning constantly in Hi-Sec, but it’s not quite the same as landing in a new system with 30+ sites. If the entrance WH had a little more life left in it, and if my wife would have let me, I would have jump back in and started running some of the Grav & Radar sites. There was lots of ISK to me made last night, but alas it was not to be. We’ll just have to see what tonight holds.

Rambling Review and the Fail Cascade

I apologize for the lack of posting lately. December turned out to be a whirlwind in real life and some things just didn’t make the time cut. I need to be better about writing posts ahead of time and/or breaking up my long posts into smaller, more manageable chunks. There have been many good guides for fledgling bloggers such as myself, I just need to follow them better. Since it’s been over a month since my last post, I figured I’d do a quick round-up review of December and then touch on where I’m headed.

Much has happened since I eventually found my way out of W-space. Upon my not-so-graceful exit I found myself practically broke and thus resolved myself to the monotony of running missions. But as I was still wallowing in self pity, I received a very generous gift of ISK from a member of the group who “helped” me out of W-space earlier. Again I apologize that is has taken me so long to thank you for your help!! As I’ve said in the past, one of the things I find so amazing in EVE is that so many people are willing to help you, even after they hunt you down and kill you. It’s a very strange dynamic, but I think it speaks volumes about the people that play EVE as I’ve never found this in any other MMO.

I used the generous ISK gift to replace my modest implants and to purchase and refit a new Drake. I was feeling pretty good at this point and jumped back to my home Wormhole to take on some Sleepers and mingle with the Alliance. Little did I know that I was in for an even nastier surprise than I had in my previous stint lost in space.

I spent a few days running easy combat sites solo and doing some mining, I was amazed at the bounties of W-space. You can quickly generate income if you have the right sites and a good amount of time. I was beginning to understand how Wormspace can be so profitable.

On the start of the third day I did my usual routine of scanning down any new anomalies in the system. I found that our daily Class 4 connection had decayed so I quickly searched for the new wormhole. I scanned it down and jumped through, making sure to take all the necessary precautions that I learned in my extended stay in W-space. Upon arriving on the other side, I found the new system to be completely devoid of player occupation. It had an abundance of combat, mining & gas sites and only one other connecting wormhole. I decided, since our system was completely empty of such sites, that I would return in my Drake and battle some sleepers. The next 3 hours would turn into one of the largest fail cascades I’ve ever had. (Fail Cascade = mistake after mistake after mistake, etc.)

One of the cardinal rules for flying through W-space is to always have a Probe Launcher fitted to your ship, NO exceptions. You would think, that after just spending over a week lost in W-space that I would take my hard earned lessons to heart…oh how easily one forgets. It only takes an instant, one simpl mistake, and it’s all over. Wormspace is completely unforgiving.

The mistake that started my fail cascade began when I returned to grab my newly minted Drake. Upon arrival I realized that my Drake had a small tractor beam fitted instead of a probe launcher. Now, instead of simply following the basic rules of W-space survival and fitting a probe launcher, I had a thought. It’s funny how you can take such a bad idea and very quickly convince yourself that ‘Hey, this might actually work!’. It’s at this moment that I wish I had someone around to slap me, but alas there was no one to save me from myself.

I decided against fitting a probe launcher and to instead keep my tractor beam. The train-of-thought I used to convince myself this wasn’t such a bad idea was simple: 1) The wormhole system was unoccupied. 2) The system opening had just spawned. And finally 3) The tractor beam will help speed things up. So off I went.

My second mistake were the assumptions I made above. Just because the WH you’re in isn’t occupied doesn’t mean any connecting WH’s are not as well. If you are going to be conducting operations in an empty system, be sure and check any and all connecting systems to see if you might eventually have company.

My third mistake came from not being completely thorough in my scanning. As it turned out, I had made all the appropriate bookmarks, except for the one that truly mattered…the way back home.

As you can see, a series of simple, mental errors can lead up to a climactic fail of epic proportions.

Upon arriving in the unoccupied C4 system I quickly warped to the nearest and easiest combat site and began engaging the resident Sleepers. Roughly half way through the site I realized my fatal error of not bookmarking my way home. I figured it would be no big deal, someone is surely in our home system that can come save me. Again, another faulty assumption as our system was currently empty and the majority of my Alliance mates were not online. As the reality of what might happen began to sink in (i.e. – I’d be stuck in a wormhole again, except this time without a probe launcher to find my way out, leaving only self-destruction) I picked up a Tier II Covert-Ops ship on scan. One of the only things I had been doing right this whole time was checking my Directional scanner constantly (the other was making numerous safe-spot bookmarks throughout the system). The ship was only on scan for a couple seconds before he cloaked up. Turns out the only other connecting wormhole was indeed occupied. At this point I wasn’t sure if the player was hostile or not, but regardless I quickly warped to one of my safe spots.

About this time an Alliance mate had logged and was gracious enough to help me out…the only problem being that he was in empire over 25 jumps away from our WH entrance. He quickly began his journey to rescue me all the while instructing me to keep moving in the wormhole, never stand still. Roughly an hour had passed and my savior was just about to enter our wormhole when I picked up the Covert-Ops ship again on my D-scanner. I still had nothing to worry about, or so I thought, because last time he had only come and gone. This time, however, he quickly launched Combat Probes and began the process of scanning me down. My anxiety began to rise quite quickly. My Alliance mate still had to scan down the entrance to the system I was in before he could help me escape. That last part took nearly 45 minutes, all the while I was playing Cat & Mouse with my stalker.

When the entrance to my current system was finally found there was yet another mistake. As soon as my Alliance mate jumped through to the system, he instructed me to engage my warp drive and warp to him. In a situation like this, impulse reactions typically do not end well. The proper thing for us to do would have been to survey the entrance/exit WH and make sure no one was waiting on either side. In this case we were both so focused on escaped we missed this crucial step. As soon as my warp drive activated, he shouted out “Abort! Abort! Abort!” but it was too late. It turned out that while I had been attempting to avoid my stalker, he had been amassing a support fleet. When I finally landed on the WH exit, their trap was sprung. Waiting for me were a number of Battleships, Assault Ships and a Heavy Interdictor.

As I jumped through the WH to our home system I found myself in the HIC’s warp bubble. I began taking damage and thought I might be able to escape if I jumped back through to the neighboring system and warped to a safe spot. This almost worked, however my poor Drake is like driving a Lincoln Continental…big, fat & slow. As I jumped through I quickly attempted to engaged my warp drive, but the Covert-Ops pilot from earlier had followed me through and almost instantly had me locked and jammed. At this point the timer for my to return to my home system was over 3 minutes, so I knew I was done for. The attacking fleet jumped in system and finished me off, however the HIC pilot had stayed on the other side of the WH. I was able to get my pod out to a safe spot, but it really didn’t matter at this point considering I had no ship and no way of getting home. I figured I’d give it one last shot after waiting for about 15 minutes. I was hoping our attackers had left, but this wasn’t the case. As I warped back to the exit and jumped through again I was jammed in the warp interdiction sphere and was eventually popped. The only silver lining was that since our attackers were so focused on me and my Drake, that my Alliance mate was able to get safely out of trouble and back home…though just barely.

So here I was again in an Empire Clone Vat Bay, not 2 days since my last visit. My only saving grace was that I had spent those 2 days amassing some WH minerals and salvage that luckily covered my loss. However I was quite disheartened over the whole experience because it seems the only thing I’m good at in EVE is dying. At this point I almost felt like giving up and going back to playing Solitaire, but that wouldn’t make for an exciting Blog now would it. Ultimately experiences like this only tend to build character and make you that much more aware of your decisions and the consequences that may result.

One of the other points I tried to take away from this fiasco was simply a reiteration of something I’ve said before, that so much success in EVE comes from playing and interacting in a group. It’s no secret that EVE is a very difficult game to fly solo in and remain engaged with. Ultimately, as with anything, it’s up to you to make the choice and put forth the effort to engage with yours peers and find those group interactions. Up until that point I had taken the solo approach to EVE, as I typically do with any MMO, and found how difficult accomplishments come. Thus I’ve tried to make a much for conscientious and concerted effort to find and engage in group play. Damn, I’m starting to go off the deep end now, rambling on about the meaning of social interaction, please somebody stop me! In short, I died, it sucked, I don’t want it to happen again, the end.

This was all in the first two weeks of December. Since then I’ve been mission running en force in Empire. I ran my first Level 4 mission just before Christmas and was amazed at the rewards you can reap! I was also part of a successful Alliance POS bash against a small group of encroaching players in our wormhole system, getting in on my very first killmail! The whole experience completely reiterated the point I was attempting to make earlier. Finally, I finished training to fly an Orca and Caldari Battleships, the problem now is that I simply can’t afford either…so it’s back to running missions. (Tip: running Lvl4 missions in a Drake will literally take hours and hours to complete, persistence is a virtue)

As for where I’m headed, I’ve queued up some longer missile skills to compliment me flying a Battleship, after which I want to get into Gunnery and Amarr ships. So it’s quite the extended plan considering I have nearly 10 million skillpoints and they’re all effectively wrapped up in Science & Industry.

Again I apologize for the extended absence and appreciate the patience with my wall-of-text rambles. That’s just par for the course I guess. Fly safe and we’ll see you out there!