I don’t normally do mid week posts but this is worth celebrating.

To carry on from the end of the post last week, I finally managed to fit a Daredevil with enough bling to have a crack at Burner missions, but before I got carried away I tried a t2 variant I found on YouTube. Reason for this was the difficulty in finding Faction fittings for the ship in the Singularity environment so I felt it warranted a few practice runs.

With a Gurista Burner Mission on the clock, I spent the last 4 days trying to crack it without coming close. I wasn’t very good at regulating heat damage and turning the overload off, while trying to manage everything else, but even so I wasn’t getting the range right and just couldn’t get enough damage on target. Each attempt left me frustrated and dejected to the extent that I had almost given up.

The mission was due to expire today at 22:00 UTC so I figured I had nothing to lose. I  decided to use my blinged out Daredevil. The fit was from the Blitz doc by Anize Oramara and has an in-game fitting price of 180 mill which I think is pretty conservative.

So in I went, I knew what to expect as I had been there 5 times already. The Burner Worm would be at 45k’s and would insta lock me and then at 30k’s I would be scrammed, effectively shutting down the MWD. I needed to get within 10k’s to activate my scram and to say I wasn’t confident was an understatement.

In I went with overheat on the hardeners, MWD and scram. Align – activate MWD, approach 20, 15 10… activate scram – got him, deactivate the heat on the hardeners, repper, MWD and scram. Overheat guns and watch the distance. Manage the cap booster and repper. Watch the range and heat damage and make sure I really turned them off and they have cycled.

My shields were gone after the first volley. The repper managed to keep my armour up although it must have got low as there was some bleed into hull but the guns were doing there job and the Worm was suffering.

3 minutes in, he popped and I missed it.

I was too busy making sure everything was working, my head was in the modules…. It took me a while to realise he was gone.

The cargo held 2,700 isk worth of pathetic T1 modules but that didn’t matter. It was done. Back to the station and half a mill to repair the damage on my modules, due to heat damage, but nothing had burnt out.

I felt a sense of achievement that I haven’t felt for a long time in Eve.

Fly Safe as Always,


[Daredevil, Gurista Worm Burner solo]
Corpii A-Type Small Armor Repairer
Centus B-Type Armor Kinetic Hardener
Shadow Serpentis Armor Kinetic Hardener
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Coreli A-Type 5MN Microwarpdrive
Faint Epsilon Scoped Warp Scrambler
Small Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I

[Empty High slot]
Light Neutron Blaster II
Light Neutron Blaster II

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Auxiliary Thrusters I
Small Auxiliary Thrusters II

Void S x7984
Navy Cap Booster 400 x6



So much news

Last week was a big news week for CCP and Eve in general. I won’t go over the lot in detail as Neville Smit has done far better job that I could. The stream by Manic Velocity had me laughing.

One of the issues I have with recent changes, and not so recent, is the way those changes put new content outside my grasp whereas in the past it was firmly in my grasp. Play style changes such as the new mining booster arrangements and Engineering Complexes bring with them another level of uncertainty.

I say uncertainty, because I am unsure how it will effect the way I play the game. Please don’t misunderstand this to be a whinge about change. I understand change is necessary and support it to an extent, what I am concerned about is playing the game I want and having the same effectiveness in my game time. The options, I relied on in the past, are slowly being removed. This isn’t a bad thing generally and makes me refocus on how I play the game, but it does make me question if I want to continue playing.

A common thread amongst bloggers is that recent changes, not just those listed, don’t favour the solo player. To that end I find myself looking for signs that the end is not neigh.

One sign that popped up the other day was in a Dev response by CCP Lebowski regarding Control Towers. He stated that “Towers aren’t going anywhere for now, as they still have functionality that new structures don’t yet offer. Rest assured that you’ll be informed when we’re closer to reaching feature parity! “. Good news indeed as I still use my towers occasionally to compress ore and carry out a few building projects. Once that option is removed however I will be less functional in game and unable to carry out simple tasks. The new Engineering Complexes appear to be well outside my ability to launch and maintain.

On the mining front the new Industrial ship, the ‘Porpoise’, could provide me with a boost for my alternate account, but I doubt my Orca will see the outside of the hanger again as my fleet composition was usually an Orca and a couple of Hulks. I am guessing that three Macks warping to a POS would be just as effective. Last week I did get back down to Null to do some very overdue maintenance, grab some PI and had a few hours spare before the clone timer expired so I decided to re-fit my Mack and grab some Crokite. The fit change wasn’t difficult, I just added a Strip II and undocked. I don’t have the maxed out figures pre change so I can’t provide an analysis but it didn’t seem that different. Seven minutes to fill the hold while running solo was about what it used to be.

With all the recent news I almost missed the CSM 11 minutes. I have downloaded a copy and will read them sometime today, but the thing that struck me in the first few pages was that CCP had a roadmap for the rest of the year but after that it was pretty much open. I am surprised that CCP don’t have a 3,5 and 10 year Road map but the more I think about it the more it seemed to indicate that CSM members would have little or no say in the intended features for roll out this year. Either way we are in for a roller coaster ride and wether I agree with the effects on my solo play style or not, I believe change in the game is a good thing.

Slightly off topic:
I jumped onto Singularity the other day to fit out for Burner missions and see if I could get a better understanding of how they worked without losing a heap of ships and isk. This isn’t the first time I have looked at Burner missions, I had a go when they first came out and lost a Wolf to an Angel Dramiel.
Sigurd Fafnisbane came along for the ride and it didn’t help much.

I had read what was required and died, so this time I figured education was the key. Burner fits can be found everywhere. They don’t vary much and that is a good thing. The ‘how too’ doesn’t vary much either. Plenty of you tube videos around as well. What isn’t a good thing is getting all the necessary bits together to fit out the ship. The test server doesn’t hold all the market seeded faction kit when it maps or someone is buying it out. Either way I only managed to half fit a Daredevil so won’t be exploring that option just yet.

What I did get to look at was the new Character Sheet. I like it but it isn’t as intuitive as the old version.

Fly Safe as Always,


Jump confusion

I have brushed over recent patches with very little interest. Sometimes I get a laugh and wonder who actually notices this stuff. Like the recent change that anchored Star Gates that seem to be wandering off during downtime. Can only guess that someone’s bubbles were no longer aligned.

Most of the changes have a direct effect on the way I play the game, but not how I am playing it right now. For example I have a few mining vessels dotted around strategic systems. Due to the changes introduced in September, they are redundant and need to be refit before use. Since I am not engaged in mining at the moment, they can sit and wait until I make that my focus.

With the most recent Dev Blog – Mining Foreman Revolution out there for comment I find myself thinking about what Eve used to be and where it is headed. Is the single player still catered for or is the focus on forcing players into groups?

Reading through the 7000 word Dev blog, I think the little guy is safe. My Main and Alt accounts probably wont use the Orca / Hulk combo in some obscure system to strip belts, but there will be a sweet spot that I can use that suits my game play. It might be the new Porpoise and a Mackinaw or some other combo, but either way I don’t think the single guy has been nerfed just yet.

Back to the title.

I got a call from a friend, yes I actually have one, who wanted some stuff moved out of Null. I have a Nomad in the system and he did provide plenty of fuel last time, so I can’t really complain. Time to organise the logistics of the move.

My primary Freighter pilot was engaged running missions in High Sec and had jumped up from Null very recently. He wasn’t going to be able to jump back for 16 hours or so. I made the decision to jump down and sort it out myself, after all I was only providing back up and hadn’t really been needed. My alt could hold his own for a while.

Leave ship, pause training, Select Clone , pay 900,000 isk.
Reactivate training, open hanger select Nomad, Make Active.

What do you mean I need Jump Freighters level 1… seriously WTF!

And it dawned on me that even with 190 million+ skill points there are some things I can’t do. Flying Jump Freighters is one of them apparently. To salvage this embarrassing mess I decided to grab the skill book and train level one. The closest book was 12 jumps away up a Null Sec pipe. So off I went in my trusty Slasher and fetched the book (100 mill). Flew back down and chilled for 1 hour and 20 something minutes while the level trained. Then with half an hour to spare before downtime jumped out of Null and made the safe transition to High Sec. Parked the freighter and logged.

It was a good reminder that I need to plan the refit of my little mining boats before I jump back and try to use them. I really need to work out what I need and get all the pieces together, and in the Freighter, before I jump back down or I will be left in the same position.

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

Fly Safe as always,




Talwar – Ghost Fitting Option

To reduce trading taxes, I needed to get my second accounts standings up. Easiest way to do that with the faction that owns the station is to run missions for them. Lots of missions. I needed to go in at entry level so the dual Vargur’s were not going to work. I had to come up with something closer to frigate size. I could have opted for a Rifter but chose the Talwar destroyer instead.

Talwar tethered to a Fortizar


Well it was introduced years ago. I had one in my hanger so I thought why not give it a go.

A check of the web indicated that speed and damage were the strong points. Sig radius and low HP were the weak points. There were a few fits offered so I decided to log onto Singularity (test server) and try out the new Ghost Fitting option. I was interested to see if it stacked up to the current third party mods. Happy to say I thought that the in-game Ghost Fitting option was really good, considering there are a lot of features that are not implemented yet.

I built a fit for my main account that it would suit my second account as well. Copied the new fit to notepad and logged into Tranquility to rat see if I had everything I needed in the corp hangers hangers. Took a while to get all the stuff sorted but managed to undock in my new destroyer and hit the belts.

I wasn’t disappointed.
Seven light launchers spamming missiles out to 73kms made me finally understand why everyone started as Caldari. I don’t really do missiles. I have all the skills, but the only missile boat I have is a Typhoon that gathers dust in the hanger. Being able to jump into an area and burn out of range while inflicting heavy damage is kind of fun and the Talwar didn’t disappoint.

I flew my second account down to the main trade hub and used the buy and fit ship option from the saved corporate fitting. Once again, a feature I hadn’t used. The new ship was fitted and ready to undock in a matter of minutes. I like this feature.

We hit the agents and started the grind. Nothing seemed too hard and in the end I sent the main account off to do other stuff, happy in the knowledge that my second account could handle anything an L2 agent had to throw at him. I tested the tank a couple of times (read not paying attention) and even though the destroyer has the HP of a frigate it is still a solid little ship. Plenty of mission grinding to go before I can get back to other stuff, but it isn’t a chore in this ship.

Fly Safe as Always

Market Trading

Having decided to spice up my Eve life and break feeling that logging in is a chore, one of my accounts went wandering through space exploring and boldly going but I was at a bit of a loss when it came to the other one. He was tending a small industrial project deep in Null Sec space that, due to the economy, had become redundant.

I made a decision to move him back into High Sec to have a go at station trading. He had all the required skills at lvl5 and a 200 mill pot to begin with. I headed off to Jita and quickly learned that I really didn’t know nearly enough about trading.

A quick search of the internets indicated that I should have been an Eve Billionaire by now. I wasn’t holding my tongue right when I set my sell orders. Station trading is simple if you buy an expensive pdf file because it unlocks the secrets. Ok.. maybe not. Further research uncovered a wealth of information that explained a lot of what I took for granted but also provided insights into how the market worked. The biggest ‘ah ha’ moment was decoding how to identify whether people were selling to buy orders or just buying. It was at that point that it all began to make sense.

Armed with this knowledge, and a better understanding of trade in general, I headed back to my home region. I knew that the markets wouldn’t be quite as active, but I had good standings and the taxes would be less. I decided on cross regional trade for t2 items that were familiar to me. I seeded the buy orders playing the 1 isk game and waited.

While I was waiting for the buy orders to fill I thought it would be a good idea to run some missions for the faction I was going to use as my point of sale. Yad came out of his wanderings and picked up his missioning Vargur to assist. So two accounts and two beer fit ships headed off to a nearby agent. The Marauder is almost a set and forget ship when it comes to L4 missions so I didn’t have to pay much attention but I always have a look at Eve Survival and see what I am up against.

At the end of each mission I checked the orders and hopped in a fast small ship to pick up the buy’s. Ferry them to the sell hub and pop them on the market. I had identified a few items that didn’t seem to have active sellers and for 4 out of 5 of them I was right. Placed on the market they stayed at the top of the list for several hours and as luck would have it sold well above my break even price.

By the end of the week I had sold everything that I had bought and expanded my wallet. While the total amount made didn’t come close to the mission rewards it was still a win by my standards. I had entered into a facet of the game that I had no real experience in and made a few isk.

More importantly I had enjoyed myself.

Special mention to Bad Trader who provided some interesting links and information.

Fly Safe as Always,

Empty Space

I had a few days last week where I was able to fly around Low Sec during peak player time. The thing that struck me was the lack of pilots. I flew 100 jumps through Derelik and Devoid and only saw the occasional player. Last time I was in Devoid I was setting up a cyno toon to move a Dreadnought and there was a fair amount of Faction Warfare activity. Not so this time.

I checked the map for players currently active and docked and players active in space in the last 30 minutes. Both views showed a huge black expanse of lifeless systems. The exceptions being Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Hek and Rens. Of the twenty eight thousand players online these trade hubs accounted for less than three thousand players. So where are the other twenty five thousand players?

There are five thousand two hundred and one systems in K-Space that are accessible. Each one of them was visited by Katia Sae in an epic voyage of exploration. EveNT has a good article  on her exploits. There are approximately 2500 W-Space systems. I say approximately because the small amount of research I did was inconclusive and often the number quoted did not include the 75 systems added with Thera.

A very simple view would be that if we placed the 25,000 missing players in the available 7,700 systems then the saturation would be about 3 per system. The in-game star map supports this to some extent. As mentioned earlier, huge tracts of empty space with little if any activity. I see this as a problem.

One of the draw cards to any game is a community that is visible. When you start that first character, and take those initial tentative steps, visible interaction within the game is important. I remember undocking my little Reaper and seeing a Freighter. This enormous ship was right in front of me and I was about to crash into it. The mechanics didn’t allow that to happen but the memory remained. There were dozens of other ships just outside the station,  rookie channels full of chat. It was exciting to be part of it.

Same doesn’t seem to apply these days. I have read old players accounts of starting a new character and most make comment that the rookie channel isn’t as vibrant as it was. To check that I would have to re-roll a toon, something I won’t do until November when I bring my third account out of hibernation. So taking the accounts at face value, it appears the new player experience, while polished and positive, seems to lack interaction and a sense of belonging.

As part of my recent travels I visited a few of the new player staging areas and found them surprisingly quiet. A few rookie ships braving space for the first time, but not much else. Nothing in local chat. While new players have exclusive access to school based rookie channels there was always a question or two in local. Travelling from these staging areas to the main trade hubs was uneventful. I remember my first flights marvelling at the ships I saw and the amount of people. From Ryddinjorn to Rens the pipe was packed with little Reapers flying all over the place, lost at gates and drifting off into space. These days it is quiet.

Did everyone go to W-Space?

Possibly, after all the amount of Isk you can make is staggering. I was introduced to W-Space during my involvement with SCALE. The concerted efforts of all members paid for the first two Titans owned by that alliance and ultimately lead to the reformation into Conflagration. I think the Titans were the joining fee. Back then W-Space wasn’t owned. That didn’t start occurring till players got an idea of how the static systems worked and started building towers. CCP didn’t intend for players to permanently occupy W-Space but accepted it as a player driven outcome. An unintended feature that gained massive support.

My recent  involvement in W-Space has been limited. I spent a few months ninja mining in the new Venture with my main scouting the sites. It was exciting and somewhat profitable but the thing that struck me was the amount of corp participation in W-Space. Almost every class three system I visited had a multiple towers. Most of the planets were being actively harvested and the POCO’s belonged to the tower builders. One of the drawbacks, or some would say more positive features, of W-Space is that there is no local chat. Without local chat you have no idea how many players are in that system unless you see them on scan, or worse, run into them.

Has Eve become too big?

I think the introduction of the Drone regions, combined with the expansion of W-Space has reduced the amount of players in each of the systems. With the decline in new borne players, space has become a big empty place where the likelihood of interaction is rare. I don’t believe it has always been like this.

If the lack of visible interaction is really an issue, and not just something I perceive, then adding more players might make a difference especially if they are limited to High Sec. I am beginning to wonder if this is what CCP intend with the introduction of Alpha Clones. Free toons with limited abilities suited mainly to High Sec. If this is taken up with real numbers it could bolster the declining visibility of players and reinvigorate the missing new player interaction.

While I wait for November, I will continue to explore the vast expanses of unoccupied space, run few missions and do a bit of trade.

Fly Safe as Always,










Barge Changes

So while most of us, myself included, were blindsided by the announcement of Alpha Clones there was something else going on. No that’s not quite right, there was a ton of stuff going on. Alpha Clones focused the discussion but behind that CCP had placed a sizeable queue of enhancements in the November Patch. Kind of like parents hiding vegetables in kids meals, they had me fooled.

What else happened?

The EXEFILE is being discontinued and I didn’t read much past that until this morning. I like the new launcher, it does what I need it to do, I like the functionality of being to log multiple characters in with a built in delay. I read the comments and none of the issues raised effect me.

Celebratory rewards for being actively subscribed characters. Another bunch of stuff to dump in a container called ‘stuff’. This container currently holds about 15 billion isk worth of handouts from CCP which underestimates its worth given most of the items do not have a current value on the market and the cost can only be realised on contracts. I am not complaining mind you… I love free stuff.

Patch notes for YC118.8 include:

  1. A new song.
  2. Some graphical changes.
  3. Asklepian implants being available in Serpentis LP stores – price dump expected.
  4. Low Grade Snakes also – price dump expected.
  5. Blue Prints for Serpentis Capitals. Now everyone can own one.
  6. Mining Barge changes – Strip miner price to explode.

It was the mining barge changes that caught my eye, firstly because I made my original fortune producing them and secondly because I wondered if they were going to make mining less tedious.

CCP Fozzie starts the forum thread with an interesting diversion. ‘At that time Tallest added role bonuses to the Procurer, Skiff, Retriever, and Mackinaw to bring their effective strip miner count into the same general range. He also asked the art team to make a note that next time the Barges and Exhumers were up for a regularly scheduled visual refresh they should be unified at the same number of strip miner hardpoints. That day has now come!’

My understanding of regularly scheduled is very different to CCP’s but that aside, the post from Fozzie doesn’t do a very good job at linking the art work and the patches proposed changes. It is almost like he is trying to make an argument that the changes are important because otherwise the skins wont make sense. Why make sense now? all ships have more visual hard-points than they actually have.

In essence they are going to remove a strip miner from the Covetor and Hulk and add one to the Procurer and Skiff. Grid and CPU will be changed accordingly. There are some changes to modules with a slight buff to the Faction strips.

Most of the replies to the thread think the changes are stable and should work, end of the day the whole idea was to make the skins match the fit and not to change the current attributes. Some are concerned that the changes make the fits too tight or sometimes impossible but people good at crunching numbers have already worked out what will work and what won’t.

On the 24th Aug someone picked up 5,828 Modulated Strip Miner II’s in Jita for about 3.7 mill each. The current buy price is 3.5 but the sell is 3.9 and rising. I wonder who has the MSM BPO. I can’t remember if strip miners were around when the lottery finished but have a feeling that this change could make someone very rich, including the person who bought all those miners.

Just another example of the game within the game.

Fly Safe as Always