EVE Links

There are a myriad of good EVE related websites out there.  (You can easily spend more time surfing them than actually playing the game.)  For a central location for CCP’s official updates, I use their Facebook page –

For getting a general gist of what is going on in the universe, I like the Kugutsumen (Start in EVE Online Uncensored) and Scrapheap Challenge (Start in War & Politics) Forums.  The Official EVE Forums are rather a poor source of information on what is happening in game, but the Recruitment section can be useful.

For a graphical overview of territories held, I like the Influence Map.

For maps to print out

For online maps, and a myriad of in game statistics

For finding mission agents and getting an understanding of what missions involve, I like

And for general overviews of what you can do in game, I like (free to download, with version 3 coming out soon)

And this little one which CCP linked to the other day, which is kind of cool –

I don’t have any industry links at the moment.  Even though there are many great sites, I haven’t been using them for a while, so can’t say what is out of date, etc.

Flying Ships…

I am pretty sure my counting is out, but in theory my main can fly about 200 ships in game, with 35+ to go.  I say in theory as there are 30 odd ships I will never likely fly due to rarity and / or cost.

For the majority of ships I can fly, I can also appropriately fit them.  (No guarantee I do, but I should have the skills to fit all the standard T2 modules used on them.)

The “fit appropriately” bit is important in EVE.  My Alt’s carrier training plan was over 200 days, and even from the time he owned and was able to fly a Carrier, he still didn’t undock for more than 3 months to ensure he had his fitting right for purpose, and then it took 3 more months to pick up the extras like Triage.

Out of all the ships I can and have flown, these were the ones which left a particularly positive mark:

. Osprey – I remember it both as it accelerated my earnings in the early days, and because it introduced me to the concept of squeesing the most out of your training and fittings.

. Hulk – It was a substantial increase in earning capacity at the time, and made it plausible to strip mine entire belts.  Whereas a lot of improvements in EVE are generally only in small increments, the step up from Covetor to Hulk was huge.

. Damnation – One of the first ship images I had in EVE was of the Damnation, and right from that early stage I decided I wanted to be able to fly one.  I was quite chuffed when I achieved that goal – although I have never actually flown one in anger as I’ve not found a fit that wasn’t bettered by an alternative ship.

. Recons – I love flying these, although they are expensive, the first thing targeted, and require more skill to fly well than the “standard” PVP ship.  (Skill I lack.)  I grin every time I undock in one.

. Orca – this one might seem a little strange, but while it is a nice addition to any mining operation, the main reason the Orca stood out is because it introduces you to Ship Maintenance Bays and Ship based Corporation Hangers – what used to be just the domain of 0.0 Capital pilots.

. Noctis – the last ship which gave me a bit of a “wow” moment was the recently released Salvaging vessel the Noctis.  The (current) 68km tractor beam range with 1700m/s speed, plenty of cargo space, cap stability, etc, basically means that with a little planning you warp into the middle of your mission wreckage field, and in a fraction of the time taken previously, clean up everything without having to move.


Mission Proteus v01

This ship is used by my alt while living out of an Orca / moving around to work on standings.  It supports my main in the Mission Tengu covered here.  (In fact it spends the mission orbiting my main.)

The goals of this fitting….

. Used by Alt to add DPS
. Hit to at least 50km
. Cap stable / no need to micro manage
. Not have to change fittings between missions
. Not cost so much as to encourage suicide ganking

[Proteus, MS 03f – LR]
Corelum C-Type Medium Armor Repairer
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Federation Navy 10MN Afterburner
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range
Cap Recharger II

250mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
250mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
250mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
250mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M
250mm Railgun II, Antimatter Charge M

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Proteus Defensive – Nanobot Injector
Proteus Electronics – Dissolution Sequencer
Proteus Engineering – Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Proteus Offensive – Hybrid Propulsion Armature
Proteus Propulsion – Localized Injectors

Hammerhead II x5
Hobgoblin II x5
I’ve been quite pleased with how this works so far.  No issues tanking L4’s so far, and flexible with range.

Long Range Low DPS > Short Range High DPS in Missions?

I spent a bit of time and ISK experimenting with various Strategic cruisers for my mission running, looking at the Tengu (Heavy and HAM), Legion (Beam and Pulse), and Proteus (Rail, Blaster, Drone).  (I never got a base Loki fit I was happy with, so that never got a look in.)

On paper the Blaster Proteus or Pulse Legion came out on top for DPS by a margin of over 30%.  When used in practise however the extra travel time to get into range outweighed the quicker kills, plus it was more difficult to manage agro, forcing you to have a better tank.  It was a similar story with a Drone based Proteus, which while somewhat more flexible, still took too long to bring DPS to bare.

So next I tried out the Rail Proteus and Beam Legion.  The Legion was workable, but struggled against Frigate sized ships up close, and the fitting options did not really allow for tracking enhancements.  The Rail Proteus however shone.  Running two Tracking computers I can swap between tracking or range enhancements, can hit at an optimal of 84km with Spike (+33km fall off), or 23km with Antimatter (+33km fall off).  I also have a flight of small and medium drones to add to the flexibility.

Against all these options however the Tengu really shone.  While it generally had around 15% less DPS than the long range Rail and Beam fits, the tank was almost twice that of the rest, it could dictate range and pull agro better, and its missiles worked well on Frigates even in close orbit.  Again I found the increased DPS with Hams was outweighed by increased travel times, so the Heavy Missiles won.

So now I use my main in a Heavy Missile Tengu, grabbing agro, and usually orbiting a wreck or other such object in the mission, with my alt in a Rail Proteus orbiting the Tengu with Afterburner on.  On paper they can put out some 650dps between them against anything within the 10 to 50km range.  While in practise the DPS is probably closer to half that, it is enough to work thought rats in an acceptably fast manner.

Incursions – the first days…

So far it would seem the real winners from Incursions are the griefers and pirates.  It is easier to suicide gank haulers and expensively fit PVE ships in the Sansha influenced constellations, rumors of smartbombing public fleets, clustered together while coordinating themselves, infiltrating fleets with pilots under War Declaration, and killing logistics and RR pilots who repair them and so flag themselves, warping fleets into sites after others have done the hard work, and of course ninja salvaging all the expensively fit PVE ships, lost directly to the Sansha.

Statistics from some of the first constellations invaded in empire space showed 1,000+ dead capsuleers in the first 24 hours, and Sansha incursion influences remaining at 100%.

Lots of aggravated forum posts about expensively lost ships, moronically organised public fleets, the lack of logistics, poor fits, and foolish tactics – for the most part trying to solo content designed for 20+ players, and attacking the hardest sites while the Sansha influence was at 100%, instead of first working on the easier sites and getting the Sansha influence down.

It is not all doom and gloom, there were also plenty of people having fun.  I could see it encouraging more people into corporations and fleets, which I assume CCP is hoping for.  I am not sure the mechanics will work though, and I suspect this will just turn out like Wormholes and Faction Warfare – with relatively small numbers (proportionally) of people in Corps dedicated to farming the resource, and most other players ignoring them.

Time will tell.

Incursions have started…

The incursions started after downtime today.  Checking under Journal > Incursions I noticed one was 15 odd jumps away from where I was, so I wandered over in an Interceptor to have a look.

When you jump into an effected constellation you get a new panel on your overview showing the Incursion Profile.  You are also automatically put into a constellation wide incursion chat channel where fleets are organised, people complain about losing ships too quickly, and others troll each other.  (When you leave the constellation you are warned that you will be kicked from that channel after a 2 minute delay.)  The closer you get to the main incursion site, the more noticeable the background colour changes.  In the area I was in it was more meh that wow.

The bigger incursion sites appear on your overview.   I assume the smaller ones need to be scanned down, but I did not have any luck with the onboard system scanner the couple times I tried.

I did not notice any Sansha ships on the gates or around the stations.  I also didn’t notice any in the belts I checked out, until I almost lost my Interceptor.  Warped out and found CCP had done their usual trick of adding new overview settings, and leaving them off by default.  Rectified that.

You can see a list of the sites, the rewards, and the number of people you should use for optimum payment in the Journal area.  From the complaining I saw in local, the rats drop no salvage or bounties, so your only reward is whatever is listed in the journal.  I am not sure if you get this when clearing the site, or if the incursion needs to be defeated first.

There seemed to be a distinct lack of logistics joining up in the constellation I was visiting, which did not bode well for their success.   Lots of people joined up in mission Drakes and Ravens – rushing in to experience their first Incursion.  Then quickly they were leaving in pods complaining about how it was too hard, and have no chance.  I wonder at how many of those will preserve, and how many will give the feature a miss in future.  I suspect the answer to that will depend on the prowess of the people organising the fleets they join up to.

I moved just out of the area and docked.  I’ll go have a closer look tomorrow.

Skill review done for my main

Finished my skill review yesterday for my main – the attainable is a little more distance under the harsh light of reality.  Adding Battleships, Haulers and Capitals to my goals increases the training plan to a bit over 900 days (and that assumes I am permanently wearing +5 implants).  Currently finishing off Multitasking IV, with Hacking IV queued up.  I will have to review my Alt’s plans next.

Mission Tengu v01

This post is a bit of an experiment, to see if I can structure these in a worthwhile fashion.  It would be nice to have some discussion going on them in the long run, but I will not holding my breath.

Historically I have been using Command Ships for my mission running.  Now that I am living out of an Orca, I’ve had to start experimenting with the smaller Strategic Cruisers.  Currently my main is using a Tengu, with the support of the Alt in a Proteus.

The goals of this fitting…

. Be the primary tank
. Not have to change fittings between missions
. Not cost so much as to encourage suicide ganking

[Tengu, MS 04f]
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Capacitor Flux Coil II
Capacitor Flux Coil II

Pith B-Type Large Shield Booster
Federation Navy 10MN Afterburner
Invulnerability Field II
Photon Scattering Field II
Photon Scattering Field II
Pith A-Type Explosion Dampening Field

Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Missile

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Tengu Defensive – Amplification Node
Tengu Electronics – CPU Efficiency Gate
Tengu Engineering – Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Tengu Offensive – Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Propulsion – Fuel Catalyst

This is actually over tanked – but my experiments to modify it so far seem to have had only minor increases in DPS at a big loss in tank.  If I put on two Caldari Navy BCS I can swap the CPU Efficiency Gate for the Dissolution Sequencer, which gives me an extra 30km targeting range, 30 odd scan resolution, and 12 extra DPS.  It might just push the fitting costs a little higher than I want.

I looked at T2 HAMs, but the extra DPS was offset by the extra time taken in missions to approach the more distant rats.  I am relatively pleased with the cost of the fitting for where it is at.  I just need to be careful in missions where your Cap can get drained.  So far, and in conjunction with my Alt’s DPS, this tanks and clears L4 missions with relative comfort.

5 from 5

New character portraits completed.  Annoyingly I forgot to get full length screen captures for half of them.  Relatively happy with how they turned out.

Picked up the following skill books last night for my main –

Jump Drive Operation
Jump Drive Calibration
Jump Portal Generation
Black Ops

Not sure I will rush into the Black Ops (my Alt can already fly the Sin), but it will be nice to have the skill tucked away for a rainy day.

I need to go through and redo my Skill plans in EVEMon for my main.  One of my original goals was to be a support ship specialist.  To that end he can now fly all Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser and Battlecruiser hulls in game.  Unless I am mistaken, the only things he cannot fit to these hulls are the following:

Armored Warfare Links
Information Warfare Links
Siege Warfare Links
Skirmish Warfare Link
T2 Siege Launchers
Covert Cyno
Medium Smartbombs II
Codebreaker II
Analyzer II

That adds up to 40 days for the fleet skills, and 66+ days for the rest.  My Alt can already fit all the Warfare links, so that chunk of skills is a long way down on my priorities.

Next I need to redo my other skill groups – Battleship Hulls (and the fittings I am missing), Haulers, Refining/Industry and Capitals.  Being able to fly and fit all ships in game (bar Supers, I don’t think I’d ever play hard enough to earn that sort of ISK) suddenly seems attainable.

(Just noticed there were over 60K players online at the moment.)

4 from 5

I had one of those sad, geek moments as I worked on my carrier alt’s portrait last night.  I caught myself smiling at the mental image of him standing on the bridge of his Thanatos.  I wonder if I will ever get to see that in game.

I am glad I made a small effort to have the old and new portraits look a little similar.  It means you don’t have a completely foreign face looking back at you as you log into the game.  After looking at the same faces for the last 4years, there is a strange disassociation with these new ones.  I imagine I’ll get used to them quicker once EVEMon picks them up.

The character tool, despite some limitations in options (which seem to differ from race to race), is quite impressive.

You’re doing it wrong

Take more than a passing interest in EVE related online content, blogs, media, forums, etc, and you will soon realise it garners strong opinions about what the game is.

While my MMO experience is not vast, I find EVE is one of those rare offerings that allow you to truly define your own game.  Success might be mining and refining ore at the maximum possible efficiency, or amassing a certain bank balance, or running a corporation with more than 100 members, or maintaining a certain kill/loss ratio, or building a station, or successfully trolling other players, etc.  Simplistically, the game allows you to set yourself a huge range of goals, including those the developers never considered as they first created the environment.

As you progress, you commonly change your focus.  Even if you stay a miner, the scope is huge.  You achieve your perfect empire miner, but then work on the skills for hauling, sales, and support from an Orca.  Then you move to null sec, where you need new skills and tactics to survive the harsher environments, and maybe you move from your two character team into managing mining fleets, payouts from timesheets, and support from a Rorqual.  At any time you can branch out in a myriad of different directions.

It is odd then that within this oft termed sandbox, many of its players can’t see beyond their own definition of what the game is.  If you are not playing the game like they are, you’re doing it wrong.

I remember in the first week of the game, after furious mining in a Frigate, I managed to buy my first Cormorant.  I thought it would be mining heaven, and the ISK would just start flowing in.  I scraped together a partial and very poor fit, undocked for the very first time, and warped to a belt.  Around me were lots of other new players in their mining ibis, and this huge Osprey that I thought might be my next goal.  Within a minute, and before the first cycle of my mining lasers had finished, a Caracal started flashing on my overview, then explosions lit the hull of my new ship, and while I had the peace of mind to try to warp back to the station, my ship was dead before it aligned.

WTF?  What sort of game is this!  I think I was genuinely shocked.

Since then one of my in game goals has been not to make myself an easy target for griefers and pirates.  Since then I’ve never been Can flipped, or been successfully suicided, or lost a hauler.  I have amused myself many times over in low and null sec by quietly wasting the time of pirates.  For me, avoiding PVP (unless it was what I wanted), and keeping myself safe, is part of what I enjoy and associate with success in the game.

I have had a huge number of different goals in EVE.  I remember the satisfaction of climbing into my first Hulk, of looting my first faction wreck, making my first billion, anchoring my first POS, being involved in my first fleet fights, undocking in my first command ship, of making my first carrier jump.  As I reach each goal there has always been more to do and try.

To me, EVE is a game.  No matter how you are playing the game, if you are having fun, you are doing it right.

You need ISK to experience much of what EVE has to offer

At the start of my career I began with mining, and focused on skills that would maximise profits, with spreadsheets I would update daily with refining yields and returns from the various asteroids.  That kept me amused for quite a while – but back then the prices were much better.  (Even now I still have a soft spot for Ospreys.)

Then I moved into running missions – following the natural progression of Drake, to Raven, to CNR, to Command Ships, dabbled with Marauders, and most recently started using Strategic Cruisers .  They earned more than mining, but I can’t say they were particularly enjoyable.  I know I could look at zerging missions – where everything is designed to be as quick and efficient as possible, to maximise returns.  You can’t immerse yourself in the game doing that however, which is part of what I look for when playing an MMO.

Datacores were next – for the relatively passive income available from Research Agents.  The horrible grind required to get standings sapped almost all my enthusiasm for missions, and since then I tend to only handle one or two missions at a time, with long gaps between them.  At the start I was earning 300M a month from my datacores, but the last time I bothered looking at them the returns were down to 75M, and still falling.

Low sec exploration was next – which kept me amused for a while, and included the odd foray into Wormholes.  After a while however the content became repetitive, I ran less sites, and the cost of maintaining a low sec POS became harder to justify.

In amongst that I have made efforts around trade, PI and manufacturing (I have over 700 researched BPO’s for example), but to make good money requires a level of effort that stops being fun. It is also a bizarre area to be within, having to compete against obvious bots (which change their prices every five minutes on the dot under cutting you by .01 ISK, and a whole lot of really stupid players that are willing to make huge losses just to make sales.)

I’ve also done variations of the above plus ratting in 0.0, but again, to make serious money it has to become a job.  I already have one of those.

At various times my wife has been less than impressed when I say I can’t watch the kids right now, I just need to clear this stage, or that I will be 5 minutes late for lunch because I am hauling valuable cargo, or that I am jumping between safe spots with an agro timer after just escaping that pirate – so can’t log out.  Her solution was to buy me a PLEX or two at birthdays or Christmas, so I could sell them for ISK and not need to grind so much time in game.  Economically that makes the most sense – since my in game ISK earning capacity per hour is a tiny fraction of what I earn in real life.  However, part of why I play EVE is because it gives me a distraction and some downtime from life.  Grinding ISK is part of that.

At the moment I dabble in making ISK, I will log on and run a mission or two, or I will notice a trade opportunity and run with it for a short while, or I will go to buy some common rig and find none on the market, so will make them for myself and run off some extra to sell.  Every couple of months I will remember the datacores, and do a run to collect them / sell them off.  I find this relaxed, dibs and dabs type approach just slowly keeps the ISK turning over without it becoming a chore, and the bank balance continues to creep higher.

I am finding the solo content in EVE to be somewhat limited after all this time.  You run the same missions and exploration sites over and over again.  I noticed they released 40 new storyline quests with the last update – but given you only run these every 12, 14, 16 (I can’t remember) normal missions, surely it would have been more logical to put some of that effort into the normal missions.  Maybe make some of them dynamic, so that they change each time you warp in.  Smarter AI in some missions or classes of missions would be good too.

I am – obviously, a more casual carebear type player.


2 of 5

My price check alt was done yesterday, now it was time for my Covert Ops / Cyno pilot.  Again, just no way to really capture the old character.

The character creation tool seems to require a chunk of memory.  I have an old i7 920 CPU, 3GB of Ram and a GeForce GTX 460.  I usually run two EVE clients together without issue, but having one of those two sessions in the character creation tool slowed the system down noticeably.  There were comments on the forums that people with lower spec computers were having to drop graphics settings to get through the process.

How many toons is enough…

I currently have two EVE Online accounts.  If you want to do anything half serious by yourself, or want to fly a capital ship, it is probably a requirement.  I use 12 month subscriptions, and all up it costs me a bit under $1 a day.  That is cheap entertainment.

I did have 3 accounts for a while to make logistics in 0.0 easier for myself, but have since consolidated.

My main character has a bit over 70M Skill points.  It is a do everything type toon, with half decent industry skills, and the ability to fly and appropriately fit all ships in game of Battlecruiser size and down.

My main alt has around 65M SP.  It can fly and appropriately fit all Gallente ships bar supers.

Backing them up are an 8M SP trade/haul/manufacturing/PI alt, and a 6M SP covert ops alt, both cyno capable.  Last of all there is the must have Jita price check alt.

Between them I can try out most things available in game.

Those with counting skills will note that means I have 5 portraits to make in the new character generation tool CCP just released.  I did my first last night, which took two attempts and over an hour.  I tried to base the character on its original image, but there was simply no way to get them looking similar enough.

I also found that getting the character looking good in full and close up modes did not mean it would come up ok in Portrait mode.  I had to go back and do things like reduce eye makeup (never thought I would say that in a sentence…), and even change hair styles to get the portrait looking even half as good as the full character.

Incursion is here, well, kind of…

I make a point of reading the EVE patch notes from top to bottom. As I go through I highlight anything that I want to check, explore or experiment with. There seems to be less highlighted in the notes for Incursion 1.1.0 than normal.

I’m intrigued by the impact of the Sansha Incursions – suddenly having empire systems out of bounds for days adds an interesting dynamic. I am not sure what impact it will have though – are NPCs camping gates and station exits, or will you just have God Rays to marvel at while you auto pilot your freighter through the consolation? I expect in the end you will have a core of coordinated corporations making ISK from them, and the average empire player finding them too hard, or the open fleets too annoying, and just side stepping those systems.

I’ll look at the character creator later, but I was surprised at how many of the portraits in local have already been updated. They look somewhat more “dynamic”.

I wonder if I am the only one who cringes every time the contract system is changed – wondering at what new wave of scams it will trigger. I do like the ability to contract damaged items, alerts if the item is in a lower security area than you are now, if it is in a player owned station, guns automatically being unloaded, and having the ignored issuers list increased from 80 to 1000.

I wonder if the fact you can now anchor a POS in 0.4 systems without standings will see more players doing so? Or, if like me, they find the fuel costs since PI came in to be too exorbitant for having a POS just for casual use.

Lots of things to keep me busy in game over the coming weeks.


When I first joined EVE the player count at login was usually around 10,000.  Now it is generally above 50,000.

If I look at where I have lived in EVE, Derelik would come up as “home”.  It is generally quiet, been ignored by many of those extra players, and has lots of out of the way systems where you can do your own thing.  Its main draw backs are a lack of stations, average agents, and its great distance from JitaRens however is not too far away, which suffices for most of your standard equipment needs.

I have also spent plenty of time in Providence, and lesser amounts of time in Kador and Catch. Currently I have my main cache of stores and supplies in Devoid, but am living out of an Orca as I move around and slowly grind standings for the Corporation that owns my home. (Why pay taxes for refining and manufacturing if you don’t need to. It gave me a goal to focus on anyway.)

Does CCP employ public relations consultants?

Just prior to rolling out the update CCP has identified that it will be incompatible with the CPUs used by an estimated 0.3% of the player base.  The news piece deserves acknowledgement. I think it was explained well from a technical standpoint, and should impact less than 1000 players.  I wonder if it could have been a touch more polished however –specifically indicating if they will be supported in future, and if not, would they refund subscription fees for those unable to upgrade their computer hardware?  As it was I was left thinking it just feeds the anti-CCP trolls.

Update Downtime

The Incursion 1.1.0 update is scheduled for tomorrow night (my time). As often seems to be the case, I have a very long training skill (Amarr BS V) scheduled to finish a little after the update. Do you trust things will go smoothly and leave the skill running, or do you delay the long awaited finish and put something else in place with a bigger time buffer?

You change the skill of course…

So it begins

I’ve been playing EVE for a bit over four years now.  The real life friends that introduced me to the game have moved on over the last year, and I find myself a little aimless, but not ready to mothball my ships.

To help focus my attention, I plan to blog about goals, thoughts and observations around the game. While I have maintained another blog since 2004, with this one I don’t aim to be entertaining, informed, or even interesting.  Set your expectation low.