Still looking…

I am still having no luck with finding the right corporation to join.  I have contacted several now, who have either not responded at all, or asked what questions I had, then never responded to them.  My queries don’t seem to be out of the ordinary or in large volume, my Corp history doesn’t have anything in it which would set off alarm bells, and forum posts I have made with my main are all innocuous.  It gives a rather poor first impression, and I haven’t been inclined to chase them up again.

I have not been logging into EVE daily – in part due to Hulkageddon, and not wanting to feed the event a Salvager or hauler, and in part as I am still extra busy in DDO.  (I am checking for mails daily via EVE gate however.)  The guild I am a member of – made up mostly of the same pilots I used to fly in EVE with, is very active.  It has been a reminder about how much better MMO’s are when you are operating as part of a team.

Now I just need to find one with that balance of relaxed play, RL > EVE approach, but with a level of professionalism about it.

It pays to pay attention

Hulkageddon IV kicked off on the weekend.  That is certainly something to keep in mind if you are an empire miner.  This year Industrials are also valid targets.  When I checked the events killboard some 640 mining barges and 150 Industrial’s had been killed in less than two days.  Those sorts of numbers are high enough to remind you that you can’t just blunder about in EVE entirely ignoring what is going on around you.  It pays to spend 15 minutes a day checking EVE forums or news sites to keep a rough track of what is happening in the game.

After some months of looking and faltered starts, I again began the process of communicating with a Corporation with the view of possibly joining.  It looks like it could be an ok match.  I look forward to seeing how it pans out.

My main can now use T2 Torpedo Launchers.  I was a bit unsure of what direction to take next, but I am currently working on Jump Drive Operation, to be followed by Jump Drive Calibration – to be able to fly Black Ops.  That training also helps move towards Capital Ships for that toon.

My alt is currently working on getting each of the Armor Compensation skills from rank IV to V.  I probably should have done that a long time ago.  I don’t have a great deal in mind for the toon at the moment.  His training plan is only 54 days long, and includes nice to haves like Surgical Strike V, Rapid Firing V, and a handful of Rigging skills to rank IV.  I am thinking of adding another 30 days to the plan to get him into Exhumers and be able to mine Ice, just because it won’t take long.  After that I might work on the covert ops alt on that account, or maybe just start on rank V in recons, HACs and interceptors.

Logistics in Empire just got a whole lot safer

I updated my EVE client for Incursion 1.2, and was going through the patch notes and checking some of the changes in game.  (If not for patch notes, you would be hard pressed to notice half the updates done in EVE.)

I was surprised to see that Rorquals are now no longer allowed to enter Sansha Incursion sites.  First – who was entering the sites in the first place in a Rorqual, and second, just what where they able to exploit?

The changes to logistics in empire went further than I expected – it is now no longer possible to lose a ship to CONCORD for only using logistic modules.  (If you are repairing someone who is flagged with a global criminal countdown, the modules just deactivate.)   That is an excellent change.

EVEMon Incursion Update

EVEMon released its latest update (1.3.4).  It requires .NET 4.0 to be installed if you don’t already have it.  (When it tries to run the first time it provides a link to download it if is not installed.)  Once it is up and running it then updates the incursion data files.

It now handles the removal of the learning skills, EVE’s new API and database ID changes, grabs the new Portraits, and covers a dozen odd bug fixes.

If you use your full API key, you can now display your research points.  (You might want to change the default refresh time from 15 minutes to something more suitable like 6 hourly or more.)  It is displayed in the same way as the Market and Industry tabs are.

Incursion 1.2

I haven’t been as active in EVE as much as I had planned the last couple weeks.  Our oldest started school, which means more running around during the day, which means work runs later into the evenings, which means less gaming time.  I also have to admit that I am spending a lot more time in DDO.  Turns out a Warforged Sorcerer is a lot more fun to play than the previous classes I have used.

CCP have announced the release of Incursion 1.2 this Tuesday.  The features can be found here and in more detail here.

The remote destruction of jump clones is useful.  I still have a couple spread across the universe that I occasionally think I must get around to either moving to a safe system or somewhere it might be of use.

Being able to drag and drop on to container icons is cool – although it would be even better if you could turn on auto stacking, or allow a level or two of undo!

Saving Character Portraits will be back – although in hindsight this should only benefit the EVE media, bloggers and creepy people.

There are more improvements to overview settings.  I am not sure they have fixed all the old bugs (for as long as I can remember my overview gets messed up when missioning with two characters together, not clearing dead NPCs, distance sorts getting messed up, objects not clearing between jumps etc).

They have removed another old exploit, so that you will no longer be able to remote repair criminals flagged in high sec, which will stop the accidental fleet concord loss by one of you shooting the wrong thing in a mission, or the on purpose griefing. This change will also encourage me to take a logistics to an incursion.

Some of the UI icons will also be updated, which might then end up with a period of adjustment to get used to.

CCP have also indicated that they will be changing tact – and releasing smaller updates more often, instead of their old big bang approach.  Seeing how this is done in other games, I think this is a change for the better.  I also suspect it might increase the amount of work CCP does on fixing older features, instead of just focusing on the next big thing.  On the negative side, I wonder if it reduces the size and frequencies of the big changes in future.

Last of all – what is up with incursions?  Do they only occur after down time, or in Euro prime time?  I haven’t seen an empire incursion advertised in the journal for more than a week.  I assume they are all cleared before I log in.

Hauling

When missioning out of an Orca, I generally wait until I’ve collected enough loot to fill an unrigged Iteron V, and then either move it for sale or take it back to my main home for storage. Each time I do this I move between 10 and 50+ million ISK. I did one of these runs the other day, and then did a 70 odd jump round trip to collect and then sell some 200 Million ISK worth of datacores.

That got me thinking about the art of Hauling in EVE.

I could not make a career out of hauling. I simply find it too boring. Because I have a liking for quiet, out of the way systems, I have however had to do lots of long distance hauling. You can just mindlessly autopilot and hope for the best – and chances are you’ll never have a problem. Or – like a mate of mine, you can get ganked with hundreds of millions worth of cargo in your hold.

You are always at risk of losing a hauler in EVE. There is no industrial fitting which makes you immune to losing a ship. There is no rule on what is a safe amount of ISK to move – an empty hauler or low value cargo can still be lost to a griefer, or a pirate who miscalculates its value.

Generally the biggest risk for haulers in empire is while using autopilot. I only do this when empty or I am moving cargo that is common and inexpensive.

The next level of danger is while undocking from a trade hub station. If I think my cargo might be too tempting of a target, I might move it in two or three parcels to a nearby “quiet” Station, combine it, and then start my journey.

Otherwise I generally find you are safe in Empire if you manually fly your haulers. Having said that, EVE is not a simple game, and there are a myriad of possible caveats –

  • You get hit by lag or suffer a disconnect at the wrong time and place
  • You get distracted and leave yourself sitting in space for too long
  • Flying a Freighter, due to its long align times, is always at risk
  • When someone has scanned that really expensive cargo you are carrying, and is determined to get it
  • When you are unlucky and get caught by someone fishing with a smart bombing battleship
  • You are on a scam courier contract, designed specifically to put you in danger
  • When you make a target of yourself, by being annoying in local, or follow consistent patterns etc

The old rule of never undocking unless you can afford to lose your ship includes the loss of its cargo as well.

There are other interesting aspects to hauling. Perception pays a part in your safety. Gankers generally need to make quick decision when picking targets, and if their cargo scan returns 200 different types of items, they might take a punt that at least some of it is worthwhile. As such, even if a cargo is cheap, if it is made up of lots of different stacks, I don’t autopilot them. I follow the same rule with faction modules. Don’t assume someone quickly scanning your cargo knows you can’t even give away those small faction shield transfer modules.

Even your behaviour can flag you as a target – someone scanning hundreds of people undocking from Jita 4-4 might give you a second look if you immediately activate hardeners on undock, or are bouncing off ships because you hit the microwarp drive to try and clear the area. It pays to be paranoid, but just don’t look like you are.

Speaking of paranoid, if you suddenly get a sense of danger, or notice yourself being targeted as you jump or warp away, feel free to change course or dock up and log off. It is funny how often someone who are ganked mention that they had noticed suspicious behaviour over the preceding couple jumps, but did nothing about it.

So I try to be half smart about what cargo I haul, to what value, and in what ships. I assume I could lose the lot, so fly it accordingly. If I want to move really expensive items, I will usually use an Orca and place it in the corporate hanger, so it can’t be scanned, and (I think) won’t be dropped if someone ganks you.

Hauling Ships

I made well over 100 gate jumps in EVE today – moving mission loot back to my home base, and doing an overdue datacore run.

My favoured datacore hauler is the Exequror cruiser.  Without expanders it can carry 900m3, can be fitted with a reasonable tank, and a mixed of Inertial Stabilizers / Nanofibers / Warp Core Stabilizer in the lows.  With expanders it can carry 1,865m3.  With expanders and T1 rigs, that increases to 2,837m3.  It also seems to get ignored.

For quick & small volume hauls, I like the Interceptors with high warp speeds (the Ares, Malediction, Stiletto or Raptor).  Rigged appropriately, they can cover 19.4au/s, which compares favorably with your standard fit Iteron V (at 4.5au/s) or Obelisk (0.8au).  Assuming you are manually flying, they are only at real risk whenever undocking from a major trade hub station.

For large hauls the Iteron Mark V reigns supreme, taking 25,270m3 unrigged, and 38,433m3 with T1 rigs.

For huge loads, the Freighters come in next.  They are however extremely slow to manually fly, and take an age on auto pilot.  If I can get away with it, I prefer using an Orca (which has the added bonus of having a corporate hanger, which can’t be scanned).