The Hulk Exhumer

So many distractions.

I am parked in Hi Sec, having moved my 0.0 loot out of low sec safely. I am getting ready to ship it in an Orca over to my Trading Alt.

Oh yeah, look at all those mining vessels. I speculatively picked up a small fleet of them when their rebalancing was first announced. Glancing at the Jita prices, I should make a decent profit there. I’ll move those to my Trading Alt as well.

Before I move them though – I better rejig my mining fits to see if I want to keep any of them for myself.

I start on my Hulk fits. I need four of them – one each for Ore and Ice max tank, and Ore and Ice max yield. I am also inherently lazy and don’t always like swapping crystals, so I have to duplicate the Ore fits for both T1 and T2 strip miners. Six fits now.

Given Hulks are usually over 200M, I usually faction fit their tank. Before you get your nickers in a knot, I use selective and cheap modules that allow me to squeeze in the fits I want. I’ve got Dominion Shield Amplifiers on most of my mining barges. I check their current price in Jita. Crap – about 3 times more than when I last checked. Probably don’t want to fit those then. More research and I settle on Dread Guristas Amplifiers.

So I go through the process of updating my old fits, playing with using the Processor Overclocking rig for more CPU, and varying the passive, active and buffer mods and rigs trying to get the maximum buffer. I am also trying to make the fits as interchangeable as possible – so the max yield and max tank should use the same rigs for example, and be useable on all of my alts.

Into my second night of working on this, I have visited Jita and Amarr for several hundred mil ISK worth of modules to cover the barges on all my toons. My Corp has rules about how much you are meant to haul. Let’s just say my Cargo Exequror was exceeding this by several magnitudes. I didn’t just undock from Jita with the full hold however, I ran it out in several small lots to another station, grouped it up, and then headed off. Not sure people outside of the game would understand how hauling stuff can actually get the pulse up.

It’s been a harder slog than first thought. Here’s my current EFT thoughts. Some of the fits are close on fitting, which can mean at times they won’t work in game. Will need to test that out… The faction modules are 5 to 15M each, so basically the fits are relatively cheap.

Max Yield Ore Hulk


[Hulk, Max Yield Ore]
Mining Laser Upgrade II
Mining Laser Upgrade II

‘Dactyl’ Type-E Asteroid Analyzer
Caldari Navy Small Shield Extender
Dread Guristas EM Ward Amplifier
Dread Guristas Thermic Dissipation Amplifier

Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II
Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II
Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I


Max Tank Ore Hulk


[Hulk, Max Tank Ore]
Damage Control II
Mining Laser Upgrade II

Survey Scanner II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Dread Guristas Thermic Dissipation Amplifier
Dread Guristas EM Ward Amplifier

Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II
Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II
Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I


The T1 versions are fit the same, aside the miners.  The basic Ore summary:

Hulk T1 Strip – Tanked – 1185 m3/min, 23.8K EHP
Hulk T1 Strip – Yield – 1291 m3/min, 15.7K EHP
Hulk T2 Strip – Tanked – 1382 m3/min, 23.8K EHP
Hulk T2 Strip – Yield – 1506 m3/min, 15.7K EHP

* Based on current skills, no drones, no boosts.


On to the Ice variations.

Max Yield Ice Hulk


[Hulk, Max Yield Ice]
Ice Harvester Upgrade II
Ice Harvester Upgrade II

‘Dactyl’ Type-E Asteroid Analyzer
Upgraded EM Ward Amplifier I
Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I
Small Shield Extender II

Ice Harvester II
Ice Harvester II
Ice Harvester II

Medium Ice Harvester Accelerator I
Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I


Max Tank Ice Hulk


[Hulk, Max Tank Ice]
Damage Control II
Ice Harvester Upgrade II

‘Dactyl’ Type-E Asteroid Analyzer
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Caldari Navy Small Shield Extender

Ice Harvester II
Ice Harvester II
Ice Harvester II

Medium Ice Harvester Accelerator I
Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I


The basic Ice summary

Hulk – Tanked – 714 m3/min, 22.6K EHP
Hulk – Yield – 784 m3/min, 14.6K EHP

* Based on current skills, no drones, no boosts.


Reasonably happy with the fits so far, although I guess that might change if I get any feedback.  Will post the other fits in the coming days.  Be interesting to see what sweet spots are shown between the various hulls and benefits.  My loot self offs will have to wait…

A typical weekend

I had a rather standard weekend in EVE.

It started on Saturday morning with a PI cycle.  These are meant to be done every second day (but probably average weekly at the moment), take around 35 minutes across two characters, and currently earns me around 12M after taxes each cycle.

I am extracting excess P1 materials and have several free planet slots, so this income could be increased.  I am however only doing the cycles and updating things when I feel inclined, which is not terribly frequently at the moment.

Next I Jump cloned my Main and Alt down to NPC 0.0.  It is generally very quiet during my mornings, so after sorting a bit of gear I actually went out and did some belt ratting.  I ended up doing 3 short sessions after interruptions from the family, spending in total a bit over an hour, and made a bit over 50M ISK.  That was however including one Faction spawn, which dropped around 15M ISK.

I was chaining the belts, but found the behaviour rather particular.  At one point for example I would kill one of the rat spawn, and immediately a reinforcement (usually of a different type) would warp in.  This happened 3 times, one after another.

I went and did some investigation and found this thread back from March:

And this reply from CCP

I hadn’t realised they had changed the spawning of belt (and mission) rats in such a way.  I don’t recall seeing it mentioned in all the blogs I read, and obviously I hadn’t ratted for a long time to have only realised things were different now!  I guess that means you don’t bother chaining any more.

I also re-shipped into a PVP ship a couple of times during my stay when Intel reported Solo hostiles entering the pocket – but these seemed to either turn back or get killed before they got to my neck of the woods.

At the end of the weekend I did a carrier jump back to Empire with loot from the last 6 months, and then jumped back to 0.0 a few minutes later with some extra fitted ships.  The short session change means Cyno placement near the station is a little less important.  Even if you hit and bounce off the station, you can generally hit dock before you move outside of range.

I then Jump Cloned back to empire to grab some skillbooks, and a bit later this week I will look to move some additional loot to market.

My Main finished Astrometrics V today.  That allows him to start training Jump Portal Generation, use the T2 Probe Launchers, and the Deep Space Scanner and Gaze Suvery Probes.  I’ll have to have a look at how I can use the Deep Space Probe to get an overview of systems.  Seems useful for wormholes.

One of my Alt’s finished training Wholesale V, and just a short while ago I started training Tycoon I.  (I will get it up to rank IV.)  This is the Toon that I use to sell off Loot.  I am making use of that training by collating the loot I have amassed from Exploration, Missioning and dabbling in NPC 0.0 over the last 6 months and preparing to sell most of it.

This was EVE as it is meant to be for me.  It took up 4 odd hours over the weekend, provided a distraction and some downtime from real life, I chatted to Corp mates a bit, and enough variety and interest that I found it entertaining.

Topic Clean Out

As I have remarked before, I maintain a simple word document where I formulate my blog posts, and keeps notes on various in game happenings, thoughts and ideas.  I noticed today that the document had reached 58 pages.  It is time to borrow from the example of many other bloggers, and do an eclectic dump of some of this mishmash of topics I am unlikely to get around to fleshing out in a timely manner.

. Every time I read a quote from CCP Soundwave, I feel a little bit of my love of EVE dying.  His relentless focus on Player vs Player tells me that I – a Casual Carebear, am just not wanted in the game.

. I did three hours of Hi Sec exploration in EVE, including making my way into Low Sec twice following escalation chains.  The loot gods were not kind, and I made – in total, around 15M ISK for my efforts…

. I was initially concerned with CCP’s approach of changing from Tier to role based ship classifications.  I now think it is genius.  It used to be that you would generally just concentrate on the highest tier vessels, discarding the lower ones.  Now almost all ships in game which have been adjusted to this notion can be useful in their own right.  It gives players more choice and flexibility, which is a great thing.

. I think the Ancillary Shield Boosters have been a great addition to the game.  They have thrown up a whole new set of fitting options, and can give a bit of longevity to solo and small gang PVP encounters.

. CCP’s communication of late seems to be either feast or famine.  They either flood the player base with information, trying to get feedback, or go out of their way to say nothing just in case they annoy someone.

. CCP has stated that while they are happy to have Suicide ganking in the game, they want to ensure it comes at a suitable cost to the Ganker.  Some people view this as ruining the game by making it too easy for Carebears in Empire.  Apparently they want to be able to Gank people easily, cheaply, and with little consequence.  So they want the game to be hard – but just for other people.  The irony must have escaped them.

. I was bemused to note in the last CSM meetings that an attempt to have someone external transcribe the minutes failed because they made too many mistakes through not understanding the nuances and references in the various topics.  You forget how different the world of EVE is to someone outside of the game.

. My main finished training rank IV in each racial Freighter skill, allowing him to fly the corresponding Jump Freighters.  He can now fly every ship in game except for the 4 Titans.  This was a major and long held goal of mine – but passed with barely a thought.

. In the old days, player portraits did not automatically load until you did a Show Info on them.  If watching the coming and goings though a system, that meant you knew which pilots you had checked and which you had not by if their portrait was showing.  It would be nice to be able to flag pilots in local quickly (and outside of standings), as “checked”, or “reviewed”, or something along those lines just on a session or day basis.  (Yeah, it is pretty specific.)

. EVE just doesn’t seem to be as friendly a place anymore.  In particularly there seems to be a lot more bigoted hostility being shown against others if they happen to play the game differently.  I wonder if the lack of tolerance and rudeness stems from the increased real life financial pressures many people are facing around the world at the moment, or if it is a consequence of the age of the game and the length of time people have been playing it.

BB38 – CCP and its laurels

Blog Banter 38: Dogma

In his recent “That’s just the way it is” post on Jester’s Trek, blogger Ripard Teg posits that the established EVE player-base has come to accept many of EVE’s design idiosyncrasies, rarely questioning their purpose or benefit. Conversely, he also suggests that new players might not be so forgiving of these “quirks”. In an interview with Gamasutra, Senior Producer CCP Unifex describes EVE Online’s developers as “relatively hands-off janitors of the virtual world”, underlining that he has only four content developers but “a lot” of programmers and engineers.

Has a culture developed where CCP has started to take player effort for granted – expecting the “social engine” to fulfil tasks that might otherwise be CCP’s responsibility? Or should this culture be embraced as part of “emergent gameplay” with these quirks accepted as the catalyst for interaction?


I have to admit that I didn’t fully understand what this BB Topic was asking.  My best guess is “are CCP taking for granted the ingenuity of its player base to cover for in game foibles and a lack of CCP directed content?  If they are, is there an actual problem with that?”

Before Incarna I would have said yes.  Since the Incarna debacle however I don’t think CCP takes anything about its players for granted.

For the last 12 months almost all of CCP’s focus within EVE has been on rehashing old content, usually working (with varying degrees of success) to address some of the more problematic areas or to enhance what is already there.  They are also listening to their players (sometimes too much), and I see more reactive changes in attempt to placate people than I’ve previously been used to in the game.

The consequence of this type of focus however has been a lack of new features or content.

Instead of just assuming the players will make up for this, they have specifically worked on areas to drive player conflict and so content – with the War Declaration and Faction Warfare changes for a start.

Part of the reason I wasn’t sure I got this topic right was the number of other posts which seemed to focus on issues within the game which hadn’t been addressed.  Many could certainly negatively impact on the new player experience.  To my mind this is less about taking players for granted, and more a natural response to familiarisation.

I am reminded of what happens when you change jobs.  At the beginning you tend to notice processes and procedures that could be improved.  You refrain from regaling your new colleagues with these pearls of wisdom until you become more accustomed with the environment.  A month or two later you catch yourself thinking that you never got around to telling anyone about those ideas – but by then you can’t remember what they were.  You are now familiar with the environment, accept or understand the quirks and nuances, and are productive within it.

That doesn’t excuse leaving these things unaddressed, but to my mind explains why it might be the case.

So overall my answer is a somewhat emphatic (and boring) no, CCP are not just sitting on their laurels and coasting on the resourcefulness of their players.  They seem to be really working on polishing the game.  I don’t however have a view on the final impact of this on the sandpit.  It might be better, worse, or just different.

Less aggravating after all

I don’t know why I mined Gas in Empire.  It isn’t profitable,  but I just hadn’t done it before…

I’ve had 4 good long EVE gaming sessions in the last four days.  I can’t remember the last time that happened.  One was just spent doing my Trade and PI runs, which had been neglected for quite some time.  The other three sessions were spent doing Hi Sec Exploration.

Thankfully there is a lot less competition in the new region.  There were more people around than I remembered, but few were using Scan Probes.

I ended up running lots of Anomalies, 6 Combat Sites with 1 full escalation, 2 Salvage, 2 Gas, 2 Radar, plus the usual Wormholes and Gravimetric sites.  In all I only had one person warp into a site I was already in – and they then turned around and warped out again.

That might not sound like much in retrospect, but it included a couple Gas and Asteroid Mining sessions that I used more to tweak fittings than to turn a noteworthy profit on, and a side trip to buy and setup a Pilgrim for Low Sec Exploration.

Clearing a handful of Jaspet left in a Grav site to speed up its respawning

There were a couple things that stood out.  First was that there were a lot more Miners out and about than I would have normally expected to see.  Second, there were an unbelievable number of POS in Hi Sec.  I’ve had POS anchored in some of the systems I am currently travelling through, and you would generally only have a handful of others.  I was finding system after system with 10+ POS in them.  I spent a little time in Low Sec following an Escalation – and counted 15+ POS in some systems.  How do people justify the fuel costs!?

I’ve changed a few tactics – if I find a good site I will recall probes and run it immediately, to lessen the chance of competition.  I tend to be a salvager – not for the ISK, but to placate my sick need to clean up.  I’m cutting right back on that.  I’m also doing whatever is required to quickly trigger the faction spawns, so that if someone else warps in I’ve already got the good stuff.

In total I made around 180M ISK – although to be frank most of that was only from three good drops.  I then spent about that much on buying and fitting out a Pilgrim to run the last of an Exploration Chain that was several jumps into Low Sec.  (Amusingly I literally made about 500K ISK in total from that one.)

Hour for hour, it is not as profitable as just running missions would be, but I find it more enjoyable.

No Title

I’m running on empty at the moment after a couple very tiring months in RL.  When on rare occasion I have found time to indulge in EVE, I’ve tended to be playing instead of blogging about it.  I am hoping I’ve finally turned a corner, and will shortly be getting back into a more normal routine.  (Although I know I said that some weeks ago…)

Of the time I have spent in game, I have mostly been roaming Hi Sec doing exploration.  This has been following the vague notion of running all available exploration sites at least once while making my way across all Hi Sec Regions.

I must admit I am not finding this particularly relaxing or enjoyable so far.

I’m aware exploration sites are a shared and open resource, and that they can be contested.  In a way, they are just another form of Player vs Player interaction.

It has been some years since I last did any serious Hi Sec exploration, but back then you generally found a level of courtesy.  If you found someone already running a site, you would leave them and move on.  If someone was already mining a hidden belt, you would leave them be, or ask if they minded if you joined them.  It wasn’t hard being civil like this, as people tended to do the same in return.

Jump joyously at my Carebear tears if you will, but now it seems rudeness is the norm.

I was mining Hemorphite in an empire hidden belt a while back, watched probes on scan take an eternity to find the same site, then had a team of 6 hulks and an orca warp in and proceed to try and strip mine the site as quickly as possible, including it would seem deliberately try to deplete whatever I was targeting.  The more profitable combat sites regularly have people try to zerg through or past you.  In fact the only sites you are relatively safe in are Drone ones.

There’s no comment, or trolling, or acknowledgement of your existence.  It just seems like that is the norm nowadays.

If I was calculatingly zerging these sites it wouldn’t matter.  I would be in and out before anyone else could spoil the party – but that isn’t really what I am aiming to do here.  I wanted to stop and smell the roses – so to speak, take the time to enjoy the sites, take screen captures, and work out the various spawn triggers and structures that drop loot for myself.

I might have just been unlucky in the area I was in – although I doubt it.  Anyway, I packed up and moved 30 odd jumps back to an old quiet stomping ground I haven’t visited in years, to see if things are different there.

I am not overly fussed – it just isn’t the relaxed meandering I was hoping for.