Double Clones

I ended up purchasing 5 hulls off contract, all in the same location 3 jumps from my Null Home. A couple Recon’s I collected the other day, a couple Cruisers, and a Mining Barge. I collected the two Cruisers a day or two later without mishap. The Barge will have to wait for me to be in the mood for such a move.

I then went about the task of getting the important second clone down into Null for my Main Toon. I clone jumped out to Hi-Sec. I had initially planned to use a Covert Ops, but instead decided to use a Viator. I worked out the fitting changes I would use for the 5 contract hulls, and threw in some extra ammo and such, and set about flying it all back to Null.

As I made my way through Hi-Sec I used Dotlan to check the statistics for the Low and Null Sec areas I would be passing through. Snuffed Out had a recent Black Ops drop in the pipe, and Rote Kapelle was noticeably active, although not specifically in the systems I would be using.

Feeling a little uneasy, I forged ahead anyway. While I have only completely bookmarked around a third of the route, most of the other systems had rough safes setup between the gates. Using these I was able to pause where required and D-Scan out-gates before warping on top of them, including for one system which was unexpectedly housing the Rote Kapelle gang I had noticed on the Killboard via Dotlan. It took longer than my previous trips, but in the end I managed to dock up safely.

I still need to grab that Barge. I also need a couple Covert Ops, an extra scouting interceptor, plus a handful of small PVP hulls, a PVE ship (probably two) capable of handling the local combat sites, some more supplies, and I also need to consider if it is worth getting a Carrier down here to help move stuff around. Should keep me busy for a while.


I forgot how much work trying to do anything in Null-Sec is when you only have yourself to rely on.

I picked up a number of hulls off contract, including a couple recons. (After a conversation request from the seller, it turned out he was redeploying and not wanting to move all his assets.) They were not perfectly fit, but gave me options in how I might respond to hostility. They were located only 3 jumps away.

In High-Sec I would just undock in my Pod and fly over and collect them, or I might take an Orca to move them all in one go. I would then refit them from my spares or run over to the nearest trade hub and pick up what supplies I needed. The whole process would be quickly over and done with.

Flying around Null Sec in a Pod is not ideal so I figured I would use shuttles to reach the other station. There were no shuttles however for sale nearby. I managed to remotely buy some blueprints and a stock of Tritanium, and kick off manufacturing some in a neighbouring system.

While those jobs were running I went off in a cloaky ship to bookmark the route between my system and the purchased hull’s location. This involved at minimum a perch bookmark 200+km away from each inbound and outbound gate, and a safe or two carefully placed to cover as many of the gates in D-Scan as possible. This process took a while but allowed me to get a feel for what pilots were moving around the pipe, what they were flying, what their Killboard looked like, and so on. I don’t have an Intel channel to monitor and I can’t rely on pre-existing standings to tell friend from foe, so this sort of reconnaissance is important.

Finally, when all that was done and I was comfortable with how quiet the area was, I collected a shuttle then went and picked up one of the hulls. I rinsed and repeated the process to collect the second hull, but still have a few more to grab when I have time. (I actually needed to wait for more shuttles to come off the assembly line.)

Now I need to carefully consider their fittings, see if I can scrounge anything on the local markets, and then make a shopping list for what I need to bring down from Hi-Sec. Bringing those spares down will likely be an even bigger job.

Of course I could have just flown my pod over to pick up the ships, and I could just settle with how they are fitted. But that will mean I will be playing EVE relying on luck instead of skill, which frankly doesn’t sound appealing.

Something else I have noticed – aside the need to concentrate more, is that I now generally have both my accounts logged in at the same time again, and my Alts are getting a work out. I guess I don’t just have myself to rely on – I have some imaginary friends too.


I finished bookmarking the Null Sec constellation I am basing out of, and started to make use of some of its resources, primarily (given the ships I have available) running Data and Relic sites


The Null Sec mini game requires a bit more concentration

The vibe of the place remains good. There are three main groups I’ve observed, none with strong PVP stats. I haven’t noticed any hunting for me yet, although from their Killboard histories they would take an easy kill if I offered one up to them. I don’t plan to “shit in my own backyard”, so to speak – so at this point any aggression from me will only be retaliatory.

I’ve seen a handful of traditional pirates checking the area over, but not many. I’ve also seen various enemies of the CFC / Imperium active in one of the pipes, and a few different pilots moving capitals through. Overall however it looks promising as being the quiet little corner of unsafe EVE I’ve been looking for.

I have been surprised at the number of Interceptors flying around. It means I am more likely going to get caught on a gate at some point or another, but it also means I’ll more likely be able to fend one of those off.

It may sound dumb – but I did find an issue with how I had set up the various windows on my EVE client. The Overview was on the far right side of the window, and the local chat channel on the far left. Running at 3000×1800, I found watch the overview closely meant I wasn’t seeing changes to local out of the corner of my eye.  That is dangerous in Null.  I’ve experimented with moving all the windows to the same side of my client. I’ll see how that works in practice.



Yet another change to my client layout

A short mad rush

The game client selects a route of 25 jumps from my Home system to the new Null Station I am basing out of. 17 jumps through Hi-Sec, and 8 jumps through Null.

Instead I’ve been taking a 34 jump route, with 21 jumps through Hi-sec, 6 through Low, and 7 through Null.

The longer route is – in theory, the somewhat safer option. It trades a couple dangerous bottle necks for statistically somewhat less dangerous bottlenecks, and has more systems with multiple entrance gates, making them somewhat less likely to be camped.

For as much as I might carefully consider these options, in the end the success of my travels comes down to a not insignificant proportion of luck. What other players are in the pipe, what are they flying, what are they doing, and where and how exactly our paths cross.

After getting my Alt into the new system in a scouting Interceptor, I poked around for a day or three getting a feel for the location. It appears that during certain time frames I will often have the place to myself. Even on weekends, with more care, I should be able to get out and about and do stuff. Deciding it looked good, I jump cloned back to Hi-Sec.

Next I grabbed a Probe Launcher fitted Stealth Bomber and flew it through the pipe to the new Station. This gave me the all-important second clone in the location.


Heading towards the pipe

I scanned down the signatures in the local system across a couple of days. On my third session I happened across a wormhole to a low sec system, only 10 jumps from my Home system, 2 Low-Sec and 8 Hi-Sec. This was a golden opportunity to move a few ships in.

First came my Main with an Asteo, then my Alt grabbed a Falcon (sorry ECM detesters, but when you only have yourself to rely on, ECM gives me bang for my Alt buck), and finally my Main returned with his Wormhole Loki. By this time, it was already well past my normally late bedtime, so I called it quits.

I don’t have proper PVE or Mining ships yet, and I need a cloaky hauler, but the variety of scouting and scanning ships I now have is a good start.

As with my travels up and down the pipe, my time in this location will very much be at the whim of other players. If a large corporation or alliance decided to move into the area there is nothing I can do about it. I was forced out of the home I tried to make for myself in Low Sec Genesis when a large pirate group active in my time zone relocated to the same systems. This new area is at the arse end of Null value, so with patience I think most groups of note will move onto better areas. I will just have to wait them out.

The solo beat

Sugar Kyle has been reflecting on some of the differences between her recent solo and previous group play in EVE. I’ve found it particularly interesting.

To selectively quote one bit from a recent post:

“I did not expect my loneliness. I have spent so much time in the game doing things on my own. But on my own was not the same as alone. I always had the warm presence of a corporation at my back. I enjoy the co-op work tremendously.”

As I’ve moved cloaked around the new Null Sec pocket making bookmarks, I’ve felt a pang of envy at the various pilots I observe who are mostly flying under the banner of populated corporations and alliances. They probably have access to logistic services, stocked hangers, intel channels, standing fleets and advice. They have a (admittedly varied) level of safety which I do not.

I enjoyed the type of game that EVE can become when you are working with a group of players. It can generate stories and memories that you don’t tend to have access to when playing solo.

But then I remember how tiring I found it.

It is at this point I generally remark on the cost of having to meet the expectations of your corporation, ensuring you pull your weight, and possibly not being able to play the game like you want to.

As usual however Sugar’s post made me stop and reflect a little more deeply. If I was to be entirely honest, what tires me the most is the interaction with other players.

There are not many social situations I am entirely comfortable in. While I can be adept at interacting with a wide variety of people, I don’t look forward it, I generally look to finish it sooner rather than later, and I don’t tend to feel good about it afterwards. It is exhausting.

Having worked from home for more than 7 years now I know my capacity to cope with social situations has diminished. I expect whatever new job I find for myself next year won’t be so conducive to a hermit lifestyle. It will be interesting if being forced to socialise more in real life results in me socialising more in game.

Further afield

I pulled my Alt out of the Low Sec area I was watching. I don’t think I am going to find that elusive quiet pocket of space to play around in.

After returning to my Dotlan research I decided I would instead use Null Sec. I played around in EFT until I had an Interceptor that fit a probe launcher, cloak, tackle, a little DPS and tank. Yes, it does none of those roles well, but it allows me to scout around and gives me options if I happen across an industrial or explorer.

This will be my base of operations for a while.


It will be more problematic getting in and out of. I’ll probably need to wait for suitable wormholes to open up.

250 pages of notes

My company had another round of retrenchments last week. It happens more often than not at this time of year. Management are charming like that. There were two of us left with similar skill sets – down from I think five. My colleague concentrated more on installations, and I focused on monitoring and supporting productive systems. My colleague was one of those let go.

If I heard right, and it would follow previous form, the local management was ordered by the international management to remove certain people so that the utilisation reports would look better for the shareholders.

It didn’t matter that my colleague was required for the company to put together demo systems for prospective clients, or setup the landscape for any new projects we might win. We must make the international CEO look – temporarily, better.

There was an article doing the newspaper rounds recently about the Japanese Billionaire Kazuo Inamori, who was quoted as saying focusing on shareholders was wrong. Management should ensure their staff were happy, and that would in turn lead to shareholder profits. If you want eggs, take care of the hen,” Inamori says. “If you bully or kill the hen, it’s not going to work.”

I’ve known for most of this year that there was no future at the company, and that staying was damaging my career. It was however convenient – and well, change is scary. I’ve decided however enough is enough, and I should be resigning tomorrow. I plan to take 3 months off, then decide what to do next. I might start my own business doing the same sort of role, or buy a business, or try to get one of the rare jobs advertised in my area of expertise, or even re-skill to do something completely different. I may be out of work for a while. If I had a different personality I would be excited by the possibilities.

Because I am feeling out of my comfort zone, I’ve been cleaning, sorting and ordering things, as it helps me mentally. One of those mini tasks was to clean up some of my Blogging notes, which hit 250 pages! I started at the bottom and managed to remove 30 pages of notes and half-finished posts, which were from early 2011.

It was interesting how many topics are still being bantered about – such as the relationship between CCP and the players, why nerfing Hi-Sec would not fix Null-Sec, why Hi-Sec should have development time spent on it. The list goes on. There was what appeared to be a completed post which I am not sure I ever uploaded. It outlined what ships my characters had and where they were located. I thought I would copy in what I had to say about my Main Character back in early 2011:

“My Main is in a player Corp. He is just about to hit 90M SP. He has assets in 9 systems. One is in low sec, and contains a Helios, Cyno Ship, and spare fuel for his carrier. One jump across into Empire is where he stores equipment to move into low sec when it is safe. He keeps a Falcon there. He has two PVE bases, although they have not seen much use for a while. He has a Tengu, Rattlesnake, Noctis and Iteron V at one, and a Nighthawk, Noctis and Badger Mk II at the second. Almost forgotten he has a collection of Cosmos items in a faraway corner of space. In his Corp’s Empire base, he has an Exequror, Occator, and an Orca for hauling. He has a Basilisk, Scimitar and Megathron set up for Incursions, and a Covetor, Mackinaw and Hulk for joining mining ops. There is also an Anathema, Noctis, Drake, Dramiel, Nighthawk and Retribution there in either PVE or PVP fit. At his Corp’s NPC 0.0 base is a mass of ships. A couple Cyno ships, a Viator for Hauling, and a Cyclone and Ishtar for PVE. For PVP there are 2 Battlecruisers, a Combat Recon, 2 Covert Ops, 5 cruisers, 2 destroyers, 7 Force Recon, 3 Interceptors, 4 Interdictors, 2 Logistics and 3 Stealth Bombers. He also keeps his Archon there. His final base is where he keeps a large collection of spares and odds and ends collected over years of playing. There is a Buzzard, Raptor and Badger Mk II there at the moment.”