Do you wish to launch the repair tool

Home and work have smashed me a bit today, so I haven’t been able to explore Crucible.  I did download the 1.2GB patch and hit a snag.


That gave me a bit of a heart attack.  The repair tool had to do very little and the client was up and running quickly. However…

… it had deleted the 1.2GB patch download, and I had 3 more clients to update!  So I downloaded it again, but this time before the patching of the second client completed, I copied the download out of its directory so I can use it again.  (Noticed others complaining of the same issue on some of the EVE forums.)

I then logged my main in…


… and realised I should probably not have left myself sitting in a ship that was being hit by the nerf bat.

Thankfully I loaded fine, but found my faction fit Dramiel had 2 offline guns and that I needed to rethink the fit.  I had assumed that would be the case, but quietly hoped that maybe I wouldn’t need to given the amount of faction stuff on it.  Nevermind.

Last of all I redeemed my 3 CA-1 implants, one for each of my accounts.  As I grabbed the last one, I had a fleeting glance at the expiry date and saw the 2nd of December.  Was that 2011, or 2012?  If it is only available for 3 days, you will want to grab it quickly.  Initial prices on contracts when I looked were buy orders of over 45M, and sell orders of around 80M.  This is a sought after freebee.

Today is the day

The Crucible update is scheduled today between 08:00 and 14:00 UTC.  Given the player revolt against Incarna, it is important that this goes smoothly.  Good luck CCP.

The deployment announcement is here:

The ever important patch notes (which I haven’t gone through closely yet) are here:

And the dumbed down feature list here:

In amongst the information is a warning that your overview and window placement will all be reset.  Not uncommon – and mildly annoying, but at least we know in advance.


In the week that was:

A summary of the Blog Banter 30 has been posted by Seismic Stan.  He’s done well:


CCP’s latest video was released.  It didn’t really cover anything new – localization, moving bookmark folders to the server (hoorah), etc – but it was worth a watch just to try and work out the source of the accent to CCP Punkturis’ English.


CCP ran a live player event where a fleet of them came out in pimped ships and took on any players they came across.

An interesting idea, they dropped impressive loot, and it sounds like a great deal of fun was had until the null sec titan fleets cyno’d in.


A Dev Blog was released on the Corporation Bookmarks.  I am very pleased with this change – our Corp, like many, share bookmarks in the hangers, and they are forever being lost or not copied back.


A Dev Blog was released just finalizing the Custom Office changes.


There was a big Dev Blog on localization (allowing the easier handling of different languages – a good thing to be honest as it increases the potential audience to the game).


A Dev Blog on Engine Trails – including some geometric calculations which I assume were added to hint at how they are actually more complicated to do than you might think.


And finally (unless I missed some) a little more information on the free implant coming player’s way:

I don’t actually fully understand what the 50% set bonus means – I assume the power grid and capacitor bonus increases to 2.25% when paired with the other in its set.  I wonder if that includes the +3 Perception – having it go up to +4.5?  I assume not, but would be interesting to find out.


I expect there will be a hive of activity once the game servers come back up again.  I’m looking forward to it all.

So a Carrier sounds like a good idea?

As mentioned the other day, I purchased an Amarr Carrier (an Archon) for my main Character.  It is now fully fitted and parked safely in my low sec staging system.

I am mindful of how simple that statement appears – but it is the culmination of a long and sometimes complicated chain of decisions, effort and planning.  This is EVE after all.  So what are some of the basics that go into getting to the point of having a carrier in your hanger?


Which one?

In reality this is probably decided within the first couple months of playing.  I suspect a person’s first carrier will often be decided by the initial racial frigates they enjoy flying.  That in turn leads to flying the same cruisers (because you already have half the pre-requisites for the hull and fittings), and then the equivalent racial Battleships for the same reasons.

Alt 1’s decision was easy –up until recently he only flew Gallente hulls, so the choice was somewhat pre-ordained by a quirk of roleplaying.  It was helped that I liked the look of the Thanatos.  My main is able to fly all carriers – so I reviewed standard fittings, and settled on the Archon as it seemed to complement the Thanatos the best.


What purpose?

Carriers are rather versatile and can fill many roles.  They get used for transportation, ratting in anomalies, bases to live out of, logistic platforms (from small mobile roaming groups to huge super capital fleets), structure repairing, and to a lesser extent as a purely offensive platform.

When I first took the steps to get Alt 1 into a carrier, it was with the view of using it as a base to allow me to do Ninja ratting in the Great Wildlands (NPC 0.0 space with few stations).  While that never eventuated, it, and this Archon are primarily being used for transportation, and on rare occasion in medium sized fleet engagements.

Living in 0.0 is substantially easier when you fly a carrier.

What skills to train?

The carrier skill appears daunting at first – but the reality is it makes up only a fraction of the training required.

The base stats of the carrier are much higher than the Battleship you step up from – so having all the ship support skills to rank V makes a worthwhile difference.  One trick is to view your carrier fit in EFT, right click somewhere in the white space, and select “Change Affecting Skill”.  You want rank V in everything but the Carrier, Capital Ship and Electronic Warfare Drone Interfacing.

You will also want to be able to use Fighters, all available T2 combat drones, and field at least the T1 variants of all the other utility and support drones.

You will want Jump Drive Calibration and Jump Fuel Conservation to at least rank IV.

You will want to be able to use T2 Smartbombs and T2 Heavy Neutralisers.  Being able to use a cloak is also useful.

You will want to be able to fit a full T2 tank – preferably having the Shield or Armor Compensation skills to rank V when you get the chance.  If your carrier Shield tanks – you also want to be able to use a T2 Shield Boost Amplifier.

You must be able to fit the local Capital repair module (to rank IV), and you really should also have the Capital Remote Shield, Energy and Armor transfer skills to rank IV.  Being able to fit the Triage module also makes a considerable difference to your options.

I think that covers the basics – although you can also consider having the Capital Hull Repair skills down the track, if you end up doing lots of structure repairs.  Alt 1 has all of the above covered off.  My main Toon is mostly there, but just has a month or two to get the last few skills for the Archon from rank III to IV.


Where will it live?

You actually need to understand where it will be stored before you buy one.  In my case the Corporation has a couple low sec systems which they commonly operate out of, that are within 1 jump of the Null Sec Constellation the Alliance calls home.   There are a whole heap of things you are looking for – a station with a large docking radius, to allow you to safely Cyno in without bouncing off it, a station that doesn’t kick you outside of its docking radius when you undock, a quiet system which generally isn’t the home patch of active pirates or your main enemies, that is within one or two gate jumps from empire space, preferably with more than one entrance gate, not be on a travel pipe, somewhat close to a major trading hub, quiet and not heavily populated.  It also helps if your friends use the same systems  – for shared cyno’s, intel and support.  You should also keep an eye on the kill history for the systems – do Cyno Alts commonly get popped, do capital pilots regularly get hot dropped?  That isn’t even a full list.

Even if you manage to find all of the above (which the last couple systems I have stored my carriers have had) – you also need to be prepared to move.  PL might decide it is staging out of your system for 3 months, which might well change it from perfect to downright deadly overnight.


Do you need a second account if you have a carrier?

The short answer – yes.  Carriers cannot use gates or jump bridges.  To move to different systems they need to jump to a Cyno field, either on a Generator Array on a POS, or a Ship mounted Generator.  If you live in player owned 0.0 space, and your alliance has a good network of POS Cyno Arrays and you only use your carrier in fleet combat, you could get around without having access to a Cyno alt.  However – if you want to regularly jump into and out of null / low sec – and do not want to beg, borrow or steal cyno’s every time you undock – then you will want a second account.  (I actually use 3 accounts – so I can undock, jump to a cyno, load up quickly, undock, and jump back to a second cyno at the original location.)


Buying a carrier

Assuming you can afford it – this process is also not quite as simple as it first appears.

Carriers can be purchased off the market, via contract, ordered via the forums, or often through your corporation or alliance.  (If it is large enough and based outside of Empire.)  The final option can be the most convenient and sometimes the cheapest, but wasn’t an option with my Corp.  (Although it does offer somewhat cheaper blueprint copy sets, and you can contract out the mining if you are the type who likes to build everything for yourself.)

Price is not actually your most important factor here.  While there are a small number of capitals in empire space, you will only be able to purchase a carrier in low or null sec.  I limited my search to systems within one capital jump of where I would be storing the ship, and which looked as though they would be relatively easy to access and move the initial fittings too.  (I use Dotlan EVEMaps for that purpose.)

This will generally cut down and focus your options.  Do your research on prices though – many of the carriers on contract ended up being substantially more expensive than buying off the market.  Often a carrier with 10M worth of fuel on contract was selling for 50 to 100M more than on market.  A T2 fitted carrier with some fighters was often 100-300M overpriced.  While you shouldn’t underestimate the time and effort to source a full fit for yourself, be careful not to pay too much of a premium for that privilege.


Fitting the carrier

Aside being somewhat expensive, capital fittings, fighters, and fuel takes up a lot of space.  My Archon fit and supplies came in at over 90,000m3 in size.  It can take quite an effort to collect and move your fittings – with the most dangerous stage getting it through low sec.  As I mentioned above, the carrier is a versatile platform, so you will likely end up with several variations of your fit.  To get the most out of a carrier some people use Min/Max type configurations.  They work well if in coordinated and skilled fleets – but with my much more relaxed Corp, I just aim for cookie cutter setups for transport, and being able to adjust it to fit a somewhat useful fleet setup at short notice.

Note that no fit will save you from a super capital blob, and that all fits will be ridiculed if you die, no matter how well they suit their purpose.  Here are my two main fittings I am working with – keeping in mind I still have a couple skills to get from rank III to IV, which will improve the stats and might see a change in the final fittings used.

The goal of this fitting..

General fit for solo use moving gear between 0.0 and low sec.

[Archon, Transport]
Capital Armor Repairer I
Capital Armor Repairer I
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
True Sansha Capacitor Power Relay
True Sansha Capacitor Power Relay
Damage Control II

Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Triage Module I
Capital Remote Armor Repair System I
Large EMP Smartbomb II
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Improved Cloaking Device II

Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I

I am not completely convinced with the smartbomb. The idea of the neut is if you find yourself tackled, neut them and then jump before their friends can arrive. The idea of the smartbomb is if you are in combat, you can cut alot of DPS by removing drones. I should probably fit either a pair of smartbombs, or a pair of neuts – to ensure either option is more useful. I’ll think on that one.


The goal of this fitting..

Easy swap in from my travel fit – for use in medium sized, somewhat unskilled fleets


[Archon, Std v01 – Logistics]
Capital Armor Repairer I
Capital Armor Repairer I
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
True Sansha Capacitor Power Relay
True Sansha Capacitor Power Relay
True Sansha Capacitor Power Relay

Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Capital Remote Armor Repair System I
Capital Remote Armor Repair System I
Capital Remote Armor Repair System I
Triage Module I
Capital Energy Transfer Array I

Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I


My Archon

This long blog was started with the innocent enough line “It is now fully fitted and parked safely in my low sec staging system.”  What that actually meant was:

. I trained my character for many, many months to be able to fit the ship properly, with quite literally years of previous skill training which support the fitting

. I defined a number of regions I could buy the carrier in

. I watched the markets and contracts for over a month to find a reasonably priced hull in a reasonable location.

. I ended up purchasing the hull for 717M, in the Mya system in Everyshore.

. I flew one of my Orca’s to Jita, purchased a full fit with some spares and options (which came to around 700M in cost, and over 90,000m3 in volume), and moved it to Torvi – one jump from Mya.

. I jumped into +3 clones, bookmarked safes and watch points in Mya, and had my Alt move 80,000m3 of the gear to the carrier in an Occator (Transport Ship) while my main watched cloaked in a Falcon.  (Some 5 trips in the end.)

. I then waited for a quiet time to jump the carrier from Mya to my low sec staging system.

. The actual fitting of the carrier and moving took well over 100 gate jumps, 1.4 Bil ISK, and a good half a day in game.

This is EVE – saying it can be complex is an understatement.


I’ve enjoyed a series of EVE scam related blog posts over the last couple days from Pricess Bride.

Nothing new, but worth a read and a refresher of the more common scams you have to look out for.

While I am very much a carebear, I don’t mind the fact that there are pirates, war dec’s, suicide ganking and scams within EVE.  It adds an interesting dynamic to the game – although the trolling and spam in local can get annoying after a while.  It helps when you read blogs like that, where the perpetrator is matter of fact about what they are doing, and not masturbating over how smart they are every time they get a win.



November 29th is the day the winter expansion is released, although history has shown this can slip.


There is a reasonable list of updates in this forum thread:


Based on player feedback, there have been some smart changes to the PI updates:

All Low Sec, Null Sec and wormhole Customs offices will remain, but be owned by Interbus.  These can then be shot down without standings or security penalty, and will remain until removed by players.  I like this approach.  While I expect some scorched earth behaviour, it removes the immediate need for players to anchor their own.  Other nice changes are that the tax rates are more flexible, and ownership can be transferred.  I don’t plan on anchoring my own, and will just stick with my Empire installations for the moment.


CCP released another video:

Not quite as interesting as the previous ones – they discuss ramping up visibility of customer fronted employees, their efforts to minimise downtime (which has really improved since I started playing), and remarking on new hardware.


They have made changes to the value of Anomalies, and remarked on the previous changes having more of an impact on players than expected.  I haven’t run these for a long time.  An addition for the to do list.


They have changed the star gates so that they point towards their destination.  With the nebula, this is another little update to help give a sense of your location.  Kinda cool.


Next was a DEV blog about lots of cool little changes.  (I am going to have to go right over the release notes, and ensure I make use of all of these things).  I love the change to the Keep at Range and Orbit buttons, which will save their settings per ship type.  Brilliant.  The Loot All button is discussed.  I have a macro key setup to do that, so it will take a bit to get used to clicking on screen. Options to Open Cargo, scoop to various bays etc will now try to get to the correct range to do the action, there are drone re-connect options, and so on.


There is more information on the missed shot changes, including where and why they are not completely accurate.


And finally another Dev Blog on more small changes, including one in particular I cheered about (the world map control panel staying minimized if that is where it was last time), updates to the information shown on the skill info boxes, etc


I suspect the true benefit of this expansion won’t be felt for a few weeks – until everyone is used to the new short cuts and better way of doing things in game, and just find the whole overall experience “better”.


Time and time again, the very moment I start up the EVE client either my wife or kids come in demanding my attention elsewhere.  It drives me crazy.

PI has turned out a little more bemusing and profitable than I expected, so I am biting the bullet and spending a bit over 2 months of training time to give both my PI Alts Command Center Upgrades V and Interplanetary Consolidation V.

I’ve watch a few PI videos and read a few related blogs over the last couple weeks, and picked up a few more tips regards setting up installations.  One particular idea is to use Storage Facilities to buffer output from Extractors.  I had been just using a spaceport for storage – but as a consequence was having to upgrade the links from the Extractors back to the Factories, and having extra Factories running to clear the initial extraction spike you get over the first 24+ hours.

I readjusted about 70% of my PI installations (across both characters) over the weekend, with a preference towards using Storage units and just moving things in much closer to each other.  All told, the installations look neater.  I had no improvement, or a slight drop in performance on a couple planets, but most saw an increase in production of between 10 and 20% due to getting more extraction head units down.  One saw an increase of over 40%.

My Alt Corp has paid back the initial investment put in by my main.  It is currently sitting on..

650M in the bank
320M in trade, PI and mineral stocks
80M up for sale

Given it is based in a quiet region with a relatively poor market, and I am only looking at it a couple times a week, I am happy with its progression.  I can see how much more profitable it would be if you moved to a market hub, and logged in several times a day to maintain your orders and installations.  That doesn’t sound like much fun though, so I will continue happily meandering along at this slower pace.

Oh – I also purchased myself an Archon on the weekend for my main.  Now for the painful process of collecting all its fittings and getting them into low sec.  I’ll just do that slowly.

Blog Banter 30: “The Melting Pot”

“With the Winter expansion being named ‘Crucible’, it certainly is a melting pot of refinements and tweaks aimed at making the EVE experience smoother and more wholesome. If the developers suddenly found themselves some spare resources and approached you for an additional feature to include before release, what single concept would you pitch them and how would you implement it?

For bonus points, the one thing lacking from this “patchwork” of iterations is a cohesive storyline to package “The Crucible” together. How could this expansion be marketed to potential new customers?”

My pet area of interest revolves around ways of encouraging solo and small groups of players out into Low and Null Sec.  But instead of regurgitating one of these, I think I will throw up something unrelated.

I would like to see a new ORE (or Pirate Faction) Decloaker ship.

It should be around the size of an Industrial, with similar hits and base speed, but without the carrying capacity.  It’s one trick however is that it can generate an electromagnetic pulse that disrupts the cloak on nearby ships.

There would be two modes it operates in.  The first is a full grid pulse, where the ship has to be stationary; the module then has a short spool up time, and then a subsequent cool down.  The second would be a constant radius effect, with an optimal range, and a subsequent fall off which reduces the chance of it being effective.

The most obvious fault with this idea is that it would simply be used to make gate camps impossible to get through.  To offset that, the effect would only work on ships that were not accelerating to, or moving at speeds greater than 100m/s while cloaked.

In short – ships designed to move while cloaked, and being actively piloted, will still escape the effect of this de-cloaking ship.

Why?  This would make it dangerous to AFK cloak off any celestial object, and gives attackers and defenders the chance to find such pilots.  It also provides extra tactical awareness for the fleet commanders on grid.  While the cloaking ships can escape the effect of this ship, they have to be constantly moving.  That means they are either piloted, or will soon float off grid. It adds a further dynamic in how fleets can be operated.  A small, fast roaming gang will have to both wait for it to catch up, and provide protection so that it manages to stay on grid long enough to be useful.

To really throw the cat in amongst the pigeons, so to speak, allow it to be used in Empire without aggression.  That probably goes too far, but the possibilities amuse.

A subsequent T2 version might have a much greater range – I’m thinking 1AU or more for its pulse.

So – useful for both attackers and defenders, provides an extra dynamic to fleet composition, and adds a level of danger to AFK cloaking.

I’m afraid I won’t be getting an extra point – I think the crucible name is very apt, a melting pot of so many updates and mini features that it would take an age to explore and full utilise every single one of them.  The sandpit just got bigger.

A list of participants (that will be updated by the owner as time permits) can be found here:

Actually Playing…

I’ve spent a lot of time in EVE today.  I started off with some empire mining using my Main and Alt 1.  It was the first time that Alt had mined before – although he had the skills to do so for some time now.  I could almost sense his displeasure, given he is usually parked in a carrier.  Before undocking I updated my mining spreadsheet.  I was surprised to see that Pyroxeres was the most profitable ore in Empire at the moment.  I don’t recall ever seeing that before.  I wonder why Noxcium prices are so high.  Jaspet is suddenly worth mining.

I also spent a lot of time working on fittings (a task I am still not half way through).  Picking up Logistics V has meant I have had to rework my Incursion and 0.0 fits.  (Not that I have run an Incursion as yet – but the ship is there waiting for the moons to align).  I picked up some well-priced Sabre hulls in 0.0, so I am going to have to collect the fittings and jump them down.  Some of the ships I took down haven’t work as well as expected – at the moment I am just grabbing the fitting changes required to update my Arazu’s .  My original fit just didn’t align quickly enough.  I also want to revisit my Rapier fit.  The list goes on.  Once finished I should have a large collection of modules to move down.  I know I took down a heap of spare modules in an earlier jump, but it doesn’t seem to have included anything I actually needed…

Carebear loving, plus other updates…

CCP has the full winter expansion on Singularity for testing.  The new splash screen is up.  It is a bit too busy for my liking, but who pays that much attention after the first few logons anyway.  The other thing of immediate note was that the “Enter Captain’s Quarters” button has moved from the system information area over to the station services window, which is a better place for it.

Already on Tranquility is Incarna 1.1.3 client update 2, which was released the other day.

That had a nice little change related to criminal flagging while providing remote assistance to someone, which gives a warning and some protection against one of the more common forms of griefing in incursions and missions.


In a similar vein of providing a little protection from griefing, CCP also apparently changed the message of the day in the recruitment channel to indicate that no scamming was allowed.  It is ok outside of the channel – but not within.  (It is one of the more common channels new pilots use apparently.)  It caused a minor uproar – but I tend to lean towards providing a little bit of protection for new pilots.  A closed thread on it can be read here:


There was also a DEV blog released on the updated fitting window, which now includes a DPS figure:


And another one released about the session change timer being reduced from 30 to 20 seconds:


And another one released about changes to NPC content:


And another one released about the ability to view player avatars (and as it turns out, NPC’s too):

It takes a little while to load, but works ok.  The lighting is not perfect, and it doesn’t allow you to zoom as you can in the character creator.  In fact, you are basically limited by the size of your client window.

Another change noted on various forums and blogs is that when you warp through a planet or moon, it now sort of shows you going through a dark warp tunnel.  It is rather effective, and adds to the immersion:

It doesn’t work as yet for stations…

The new warp effect also doesn’t work well when approaching lighter coloured planets.  In the screen capture below I am approaching a station, near a moon, in front of a planet.  As you approach the planet it appears as a rather bizarre wobbling blob.

The engine trails are also in.

Can’t say I think a lot of them to be honest.  I’d prefer them to be much shorter and not as bright.  At least you can turn them off if you want.

And last of all is a little update that I was made aware of via Serpentine Logic’s blog:

The Jita memorial has been updated to reflect the damage done during the player Incarna riots.  I find that a small but meaningful gesture from CCP.

There was a link I was going to finish this blog off with – to another summary post that covers many of the winter changes in once place.  (A much needed summary to be honest.)  I’ve managed to misplace it however.  Hopefully I will find it for next time.

Ratting Cyclone

I ran my weekly PI and Trade through on the weekend.  The price of PI goods continues to rise, which is good for the bank balance, but trading has recently cooled a little.  I moved Alt3 from his lowly level 1 agent and started on a level 2.  I am only running one or two missions here and there, but the long term goal is to get him the standing requires for jump clones.  (It is just a struggle to motivate myself to run them.)

I also spent some time active in 0.0 and did a bit of ghost gate camping.  This is the camping you do when you set up a cloaked scout on one side of a gate along a thoroughfare, and wait on the other side in a cloaked Recon, looking for plausible targets.  Then RL constantly interrupts you, so you spend almost the entire time AFK.

I also did some more ratting, making further changes to the Cyclone fit.  I am rather pleased with it – relatively cheap, and seemingly quick and effective.  (A tight fit though on my skills.)

The goal of this fitting..

. Cheap fit for belt ratting

[Cyclone, Serpentis Belt Ratting – Gank]
F85 Peripheral Damage System I
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Medium C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I
Ballistic Deflection Field II
Heat Dissipation Field II
Invulnerability Field II

425mm AutoCannon II, Phased Plasma M
425mm AutoCannon II, Phased Plasma M
425mm AutoCannon II, Phased Plasma M
425mm AutoCannon II, Phased Plasma M
425mm AutoCannon II, Phased Plasma M
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Terror Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Terror Assault Missile
Salvager II

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

Hammerhead II x2
Hobgoblin II x3

Most of the T1 modules are there so that I can fit for the extra DPS.  I basically MWD to close range and then orbit in close.  I am only having to sporadically fire off a few cycles of the shield booster, and in practise don’t have issues with cap.

The flood continues

CCP has released a Dev Blog on the Tranquility client launcher.

While I don’t play a great many online games, the ones I do play all use launchers.  As I have previously mentioned, I do like the tool used on the test server, so I feel that this change is a good thing.  Having said that – how many launchers just turn out to be an annoying opportunity to serve up extra ads?  (The screen image doesn’t bode well.)  I would prefer if the status, update and log on process were all very clear, and took up most of the launcher’s screen.  I also hope it manages multiple client install directories ok.

The next video from CCP is also out.

This is from the Core Programming department.  They mention the EVE client launcher, the crash reporting, and indicate the impact of the shadow changes on the GPU has been measured and is minimal.  They also mention that instead of just viewing a player’s portrait, you will be able to view their full avatar, much like you can view most ships and turrets etc.  Kind of pointless, but half amusing anyway.  They have also updated the Star and System Maps, and are changing the animations so that when a shot misses, it actually misses on screen.  That last one isn’t guaranteed to get into the expansion though.

Here’s another nice blog post.  While not 100% complete or accurate, it does an admirable job of covering a large number of the changes due to be implemented in the Winter Expansion.  Well worth a read.

Not sure I like the fact you can view the insurance status of ships that are not your own, but it is a good change for viewing your own ships.   A commenter on that same blog ( referenced the following link –

That indicates that CCP won’t be able to get the Assault Frigate improvements into the Expansion, which is unfortunately.  The tone of recent updates seems to suggest they are getting to the point of having to rule in or out changes for the Expansion.

Starbase Fuel Block Updates

I was going to leave this post until tomorrow, but it answers a blog comment.

(As picked up via EVENEWS24)

CCP updated the feedback thread on the POS Fuel changes:

They are halving the build time for the fuel blocks (plus you can research the BPO to further cut down the time).  They are also increasing the granularity of the fuel by a factor of 10.  So when you might have originally built 1 block, it will now create 10 smaller ones.  A small POS now needs 10 of these smaller blocks to run for an hour, 20 for a medium POS, and 40 for a large POS.  This will allow them to modify the Faction Towers so that they can now use less fuel.

That works much better.

I have to admit the willingness of CCP to take on board the feedback and make changes is very heartening to see.  It isn’t like a full scramble to do whatever the players want – they are sticking to their designs, but they are making changes and adjustments which will see these updates be more effective, and work better right from the start.  This is a refreshing change from the last couple years which really seemed to be “you will get what we give you, we know best.”.


Scaling and 150.

CCP released another DEV Blog, discussing the scaling option coming to the client with the next expansion.

I just logged in to queue up the next skill on my Main.  Capital Repair Systems IV will be finished within a day, and Capital Shield Operation IV will then kick off.  It is going to be a slow and boring process to get through these.  He is up to 87 Mil SP now.

Alt 1 is finishing off Medium Projective Turret V shortly.  He’ll be busy for the next 10 odd days on getting the medium autocannon and artillery specialization skills up to rank IV.  He is up to 81M SP now.

It was very quiet (again) down in our small pocket of NPC 0.0 last night, so I went out and did another short ratting session.  I have absolutely no issue with the Cyclone setup; it makes short work of things and would probably come close to passively tanking the damage.  (I only use the shield booster sporadically.)  As such, I think will go from one to three Gyrostablizer’s.  I will be required to go to a T1 Shield booster and Damage Control to fit it though – changes which I may have to end up jumping modules down from empire to get working right.

On the plus side people obviously know how to chain belt rats here.  Quite literally, every belt I warped to last night had a pair of BS in it.  They seem however not to bother with salvaging, so the belts tend to be full of wrecks.

Just as an aside – this is my 150th post on the blog since I started back in January.  I’ve uploaded some 110 screen captures in that time.  The blog still has the same goal – to help me focus my attention and get more out of the game.  It has been surprisingly successful in doing that.  Thanks to the handful of people who drop in from time to time and leave comments, appreciated.

A blog to check out

Something I don’t normally do, but here is a link to a blog with lots of great screen captures of the new Nebulae.

As always, Rhavas does a good job of such things.

I should probably make more of an effort to link to some of the EVE blogs I regularly read.  I haven’t really gone down that path as it felt somewhat like a move towards self-promotion, which I have shied away from.

Winter SISI 01

I spent some more time on SISI last night, looking at the latest changes.

There is a new system overview in the top right hand corner.  It takes up less space, but seems a touch garish and over colored.

When you dock, an “Enter Captain’s Quarter” button is show just under the overview, which seems somewhat easy to mistakenly click on.

Further, the right click menu when docked has another “To Captains Quarters”.  Too much me thinks…

The option to condense the font is no longer available, which I was hoping for to reduce the size of the overview.

There is however an interesting option with UI scaling.  I’ve left the tool tip up.

The Crash reporting option is in now in the options menu.

The T2 Gang Assist Modules appear to be all the same – require an extra 10% CPU, 10 power grid, and Rank V in the Warfare Specialist skill.

The T2 Small Tractor Beam requires Science V (which a lot of people would have), 25 CPU instead of 20, but is 20% faster and has a 20% longer range.  A worthwhile upgrade.


The Expanded Probe Launcher differences:

Expanded Probe Launcher – 220 CPU
Expanded Probe Launcher II – 242 CPU, +5% Scan Strength
Sisters Expanded Problem Launcher – 210 CPU, +5% Scan Strength, 25% faster rate of fire


The Destroyer updates are there.  No apparent changes to T2 ships in line with these however.

I also had a quick play around with the Talos – which seemed to be much easier to fit a tank on than the Caldari Naga.  These things are going to be at serious risk from small hulled ships though – it was only sctaching a carrier in close (non propulsion boosted) orbit with rails, including with tracking upgrades fitted.  One of these things caught by a cruiser in close orbit will be in a whole lot of trouble.

There were some quirks with the build, I kept finding by opening up various information windows that windows at the bottom of the pile, like Marketing, ships, items etc, kept resizing themselves.  It was however more stable than the usual new stuff on SISI.

Just.. Wow..

The third of the CCP insider videos is out

Basically there will be around 60 small features in the winter expansion.  They have some 20 new T2 modules – both to fill the gaps and to give veterans something to train towards (so expect long prerequisites), they want to encourage Booster use, have cut timers on setting up star bases, have the Corporation Bookmarks and are hoping to be able to add Alliance ones, fuel pellets, and the list goes on.

So I updated my test client, and 1.5GB later, was logged on to SISI with another 750 people.  (That is around 10 times more than normal.)

The new font is back, and is easier on the eye this time around (no idea if it had been tweaked, just worked better on the larger screen, or I was just in a different mood today).  I glanced around the captain quarter before I switched to hanger mode, and the character seemed to look a little better again.

I jump clone down to 0.0, hop in my Curse, and set the destination to the nearest station with all the 100 ISK items in stock.  I undock, and quite seriously a wow escaped my lips.  The new nebulas look fantastic.  I can see a new reason for population movements in EVE – people gravitating towards regions with the best nebula.

Next I grab a Naga – which looks better in game than expected.  I look forward to seeing it all finished.  These might be interesting to fit properly.  A full rack of T2 Siege launchers, a pair of T2 Ballistic Control Units, and a Microwarp Drive, and I was only left with a very gimped tank.  I undocked my Alt in his carrier and set about testing it.  Frightening DPS is all I can say.  A fleet of these will be horrifying.  But – the carrier had it cap drained and almost dead so quickly that its remote repairers almost didn’t kick in in time.

It is a very, very interesting idea, and structures, capital ships and empire gank targets should be worried.  I can however imagine fleets of these things being torn apart by smaller hulls.


I tried to do some 0.0 ratting again yesterday yesterday – following my ISK through osmosis approach; I need to just regularly clear out a few belts, enough to turn over ISK, not enough to bore me.  Of course I warped into the first belt, released my drones and headed towards the first Battleship, only to have a Neutral enter the system.  Knowing I was in a rather precarious position in the top belt, I warped to a safe POS, having to leave my drones (which were out at the far distance of their range) to their fate.  The neutral hunted me for a while (I contemplated allowing him to catch me given he was only in a thrasher, but it is very uncommon to only have 1 hunter in the area, so I stayed put).  He departed and I started ratting again.  20 odd minutes work and I had 8 Mil in bounties, and 2 Mil expense to replace drones.

The Cyclone is working out quite well.  I just use a burst or two of the MWD to get in close to the nearest Battleship, and orbit under its guns.  The 425mm Autocannon make short work of anything within 10km, and the pair of HAMs and drones clean up everything between 10 and 20km.  It is still not cap stable with the booster – but I am not having any issues tanking what I would find in a belt.  (Some anomalies might be different.)

Flying Pretty

Another day, another DEV Blog:

While I like this idea, it has dawned on me that it might take a bit to get used to.  I’ve been playing the game for years now, and I am very familiar with what my home and commonly visited constellations look like.  That will suddenly all change.  Interesting that Low and Null Sec will appear darker.  I’ll have to wait and see how that works out.  (I am aware my screen shots posted to the blog will provide more specific intel.)

It has been a busy couple months of training for all three of my accounts.  The EVEMon alerts have been going crazy.  I think I mentioned before that my main can now fly all normal Carriers and Dreads in game.  After finishing off more prerequisites, he can now also fit them.  I am only missing Capital Remote Hull Repairs and the Industrial Core – but as I have no pressing need for either of them, they are towards the end of my plans.  Now I come to a bit of a hard slog.  Aside my navigation skills, almost all my Capital skills are only at rank III.  Now I have 6 months of training these skills to rank IV, each taking 4.5 to 9.5 days.  I might start to keep an eye out for some cheap capital hulls though.

My small PI and trading Alt Corp continues its work.  I have not updated any of my installations for a while now, and still run with the weekly extraction cycle.  I have also had some luck with buying cheap P2 goods to supplement my own stocks, which – assuming I do a mid-week run to some of my factories to drop off extra supplies and move P3 goods around, has seen a worthwhile increase in the production of P4 goods.  That, along with a noticeable price increase for Robotics, and some further tweaking of my Trade Goods Portfolio, has upped my profits to well over 50M a week.

I know that might sound trivial, but this is relatively passive.  Given I am off the beaten path in a fairly small market, and that I spend less than two hours a week working on it (half of that AFK moving between systems), it is turning out to be a useful experiment.  I quite like this slow and easy progression. It doesn’t feel like hard work.

So in review I started looking at this about 8 months ago.  At the time I had around 100M in passive income a month from datacores.  My initial goal was to double that to around 200M a month with PI and Trade efforts, which I actually achieved in June.  Now in November the total monthly “passive” income is up to around 300M.  Even better, I can still see lots of scope for improvement without working harder on it.

(I know there is a tendency for people to embellish figures in EVE.  The above are actually rather conservative.)

More teasers

There was another Dev Blog, this time on changes to shadows in EVE.

Mildly interesting I guess.  Every so often you catch a jagged or illogical shadow being cast across your ship, so reducing those might help a little with immersion.

The second of the insider videos is already out:

This is another useful teaser, which helps build the excitement around the coming winter expansion.  Amongst the new things we are expecting, the art department is also working on updating, improving, or even re-adding objects and effects to the game.  There really do seem to be a flood of changes coming.

They also referenced a V3 project, which is updating all ships and objects in the game to allow easier skinning – to change colours, add logos etc to assets.  I had kind of thought this was a bit of a pipe dream, but it seems they are making efforts towards allowing that.  I am not entirely sure about it to be honest.  EVE generally looks visually attractive – have it awash with pink and rainbow ship hulls undocking from Jita kind of detracts from the immersion.  I hope they limit what players can do.

The hulls of the 4 new Battlecruisers are based on these competition entries:

I do think the Caldari hull is very apt – although I don’t like it from all angles.  They all look like they would fit into the game, and I look forward to owning all.

(I must remember to be more careful logging in my 0.0 toons.  As a matter of habit, I tend to log off in space.  This means you are less likely to be trapped in station.  The side effect of that is when you log in, you need to either immediately cloak up or make to a safe POS etc.  I keep getting distracted just as I click on the avatar, walking away, and coming back to see my Toon floating (thankfully unmolested) in space.  One day I wont’ be so lucky.)


CCP released a blog giving an overview of the Hybrid balancing.

Basically most should be easier to fit, use less capacitor, and (for blasters) track better.  It also includes speed and inertia changes to an array of Hybrid boats – making them move a little faster, and (if I read it correctly) accelerate a touch better.  Tacked onto the bottom of the blog is reference to additional changes to certain T2 ammo.

I don’t have a view on how this will impact on the game.  I can however see myself spending a lot of time after the next update working on my hybrid fittings.

I’ve spent the last few days in Empire – completing a Datacore run on both my Main and Alt1, purchased some new ships, did some housekeeping and shopping, including grabbing a heap of implants.  I was contemplating trying out incursions, missions and mining, but we got War Dec’d yet again.  This time it is two alliances who state they are for hire.  I am not sure if it is simply for convenience (the Alliance is of the size and type which make it an obvious target for griefing Decs), or if they were hired to put pressure on us – plausibly from some of the new groups who have recently moved into our 0.0 area, and which are red to us.

There seemed to be some metaphorically slumped shoulders in the Corp channels.  The empire dwellers tire of the long string of wars, and more and more are changing over to the sister Corp.  My meanderings across empire having come to a close yet again, so I jumped cloned back to 0.0.