Maximised Rock Munching – nearly but not

EVEMon flashed up a notification just before – Mining Drone Operation V completed.

I don’t generally use mining drones, but I put aside the training time just to complete the final step in being able to say I have a max’d Miner.

No particular reason for ths – it is fairly rare that I actually mine.  It just seems appropriate if I am to call myself an Empire Carebear, then I should play the part.

So my Alt has Industrial Command Ships V, Capital Industrial Ships V, Warfare Link Specialist V, Mining Foreman V, Mining Director V and a Mining Foreman Mindlink – giving perfect mining boosts in either an Orca or Rorqual.

My main has Mining Frigate, Barge and Exhumer skills all to V, and now Mining Drone Operation V.  He has all the mining related skills to V -Astrogeology, Mining, Gas Cloud Harvesting, Ice Harvesting and… oh crap.  Deep Core Mining is only II.  I won’t find Mercoxit in Empire, do I really need that?  He also has the MX-1005 Mining implant to maximise yield.  Oh crap again – there is the Michi’s Excavation Augmentor which he doesn’t have.  Those are going for 1.57B in Jita at the moment.  I am not going to spend that much on just a tiny amount of bragging rights.

Ok – I have an almost Max’d miner – he just needs Deep Core Mining V and the Michi Implant.  Actually, it looks lame when you have to explain it that way – it also doesn’t have a nice ring to it.  I might just admit defeat and sideline this mini-goal.  If anyone asks, I’ll just say I can mine pretty good…

Nothing much to report

Real life has been a pain again, so EVE sessions have only been sporadic.

I did my first PI run in 3 months. Most planet resources were in the same place / under extraction heads as my last run. It doesn’t look like I have much competition in my little corner of Empire. I’m still only producing Robotics and Coolant. I have just about finished the PE research on all of my POS related BPO, so will consider producing some of those, more just for the interest.

One of the systems in my Trade zone must have a Dust Starter station. It is odd suddenly finding an extra 100+ glowing blue dust helmets displayed in local.

I’m not picking up any hulls with my buy orders for Tier 1 Battlecruisers (which will be more expensive to build after the next patch, and likely more useful). They are not something that has historically turned over well anyway, so I can’t say I am surprised.

I have picked up a dozen Ventures at 200K ISK buy orders, but only sold a handful of them at around 700K. Only minor profits there, but enough to keep me amused.

I have been flipping mining barge hulls lately. I tend to come and go from this area of the market as competition really ebbs and flows. At the moment I am making around 19M on each Covetor I flip, which turn around quickly. I was flipping Hulks for a while – but was making less profit on them. Procurers also have a nice profit margin – but they don’t sell particularly well.

I checked the rig market out for the common ones I always need. The margins on manufacturing seem to be around 10 to 20% – although there is a fair bit of competition. I probably won’t bother.

I’ve been playing around with EVE ISK per Hour recently:

My initial use has been pretty simplistic – but I need to start checking out tools like this so that I can speed up my research into what items are worth manufacturing or trading in.  My old spreadsheet is getting too big and complicated.

Wanting to Undock

I wanted to quickly note a comment I made on Ugleb’s blog – it ties in with my comments on the CSM minutes about War Decs.

I’ve raised the statistic that the majority of current War Dec’s result in no loss of ships – suggesting they may be failing in one aspect to generate PVP.  I wanted to repeat my suggestions here in the hope they provide the examples I needed to explain my train of thought.

The question – What can be done to increase the number of people defending themselves in War Decs?  This is something you can’t force – but what can be done to encourage it?  I thought of two quick examples:

. Allow the creator of a War Dec to optionally select that PODs are not covered by the declaration. This might increase (slightly) the number of people willing to undock and fight back.

. Allow the creator to optionally declare the War Dec will cease at the destruction of a certain number of hulls – 5, 10, 20 etc. This would exclude shuttles and rookie ships, and the total would be counted from the losses of both sides. So in effect a Corp is rewarded for fighting back.

The current standard war dec remains – I am not looking to change that.  I am just looking at optional variations of a war which might promote more PVP.  Any other suggestions that might work better?

** EDIT 23.01.2012

Noticed this idea on a comment on Jester Trek’s blog here

. Put a percentage of the War Dec Fee into Concord Escrow, and at the end of the war return 75% to the winner (most ISK destroyed), and 25% to the loser.  If no damage is done, all the money goes back to the aggressor.  Careful selection of fights with T1 frigates could see the defender lose more hulls, but win the ISK war, and maybe profit from the experience.  It would at least add another dynamic.

Who needs the Oscars?

Blog Banter 43 – Celebrating the Nation of EVE

“For Blog Banter 43 I would like to invite every participant to nominate their peers for whatever awards you think they deserve. Let’s start the year with some EVE-flavoured altruism and celebrate the best and the worst of us, the funniest or the most bizarre, the most heroic of the most tragic of the past year. They could be corpmates, adversaries, bloggers, podcasters, developers, journalists or inanimate objects. Go nuts.”

Inner Zone Shipping Catalysts

Inner Zone Shipping Catalysts

My favorite blogs are listed on the roll to the left.  They cover a wide range of EVE topics from lots of different perspectives.  They all enhance my gaming experience in one way or the other, and each of them deserves awards.

However, like more than one participant of this particular banter, I don’t feel comfortable tackling this logically and judging these various blogs on their positive merits.  Instead – these are my irreverent and tongue in cheek EVE Blogging Awards.

In no particular order:

“The Most Misleading”

This one was easy.  No matter how many times I have visited Wormhole space – it has not been the target rich or as interesting environment as prolifically portrayed by Penny in this blog.  Scanning is also nowhere near as quick or as easy – and if I find 30 Signatures to sift through in a system, I don’t just go straight to the wormholes by feel, I am far more likely to go back the way I came crying.


“But it’s not EVE!”

The Ancient Gaming Noob

I struggle to read all the EVE blog posts I want (I currently have 150+ unread in Google Reader) – so I have to stay focused and not get distracted.  Yet I find myself reading every one of Wilhelm Arcturus’s posts on Hillmar in Rift, or his decision making process in World of Tanks – both games I have no intention of playing.


“The Best Use of Eye Candy”

A draw between Tgl3’s excellent

Through Newb Eyes

And  Drackarn’s equally as good

Sand, Ciber and Spaceships

This is for the most appropriate use of pictures to explain and enhance their blog posts.  This could also have been called the “Ooh Pretty Colours” Award.


“The Ruination of To Do Lists”

Jester’s Trek

Out of all the blogs I read, it is Jester’s who has me adding the most ideas or things to try out to my ever growing EVE To Do List.


“The Most like Me”

Ardent Defender

For the blogger who is probably the most like me.  I can’t say this is a good thing – but it is rare I don’t nod my head in agreement to a comment, or think –  yep, done that or had the same experience in EVE too.  (What was surprising was the number of candidates for this particular award.)


“Proof I’m not doing it right” or “P3nis envy”


Ardent Defender was a close second here, but Blake’s blog posts remind me that I am playing in the toddler pool of industry and not making anywhere near the ISK I could be if I was doing it right.


“The most Self-Assured”

Greedy Goblin

Another award with a number of contenders, but in the end it was a clear win for Goblin for the most posts where he is adamantly convinced of his own logic.  I might not agree all that often, but I do appreciate the perspective and the level of success he has achieved with his self-belief.


“Almost makes politics interesting, almost”

Poetic Discourse

Yet another award with multiple contenders, but Poetic Stanziel  wins this year for his more political bent posts that show little fear in giving his perspective, while still managing to make it a worthwhile read.


“It would be ok to die under this Pirate’s Fire”


I usually make a point of focusing on avoiding PVP, but if I was caught out by a wiry Pirate, I would like it to be Rixx Jaxix. Not only would he likely be flying solo, without neurtal logistic support, he would likely kill my Exploration Legion while flying a Condor.

A Picture of a POS, just because

A Picture of a POS, just because


I better stop now – but there is one last thing I would like to note.  There are Bloggers who make a point of commenting and referencing other blogs, and by doing so provide encouragement and help foster the EVE blogging community.  Ardent Defender, Serpentine Logic, Turamarth, Helena Khan and Red Neckromonger are a few that stand out for this particular Blog.  I guess you can blame them in part for my continued enthusiasm and frequent posting.

Oh god, only up to page 70

I have a dozen half written blog posts and lots of half neglected projects in Game – but Real Life has been keeping me too busy lately.  I am pleased I took the time to read pages 54 to 70 of the CSM minutes tonight though.

First a couple small notes on Data cores.

Two step asked about the future of RP and datacores.  Soundwave indicated that he would like to remove research agents but there needed to be a way for Industrialists to get datacores through non-conflict gameplay, and they needed to figure out what to do with the skills.. he was unsure of how many accounts that would affect

I collected over 1,200 datacores on my main the other week, which were barely worth 100M on the market.  The thought of losing that last bit of passive income is now less aggrieving.  Having said that – the grind required was frankly the worst thing I have had to do in EVE – and having that effort thrown out irks me a bit.  I also wonder at just how well faction warfare will continue to meet the market – but so far, they are doing a great job of it.


SoniClover mentioned there are a vocal minority of players who ..  are angry they now get a “wanted” label on them and asked the CSM if this is an issue. .. Soundwave clarified that he doesn’t mind people being bothered by it, because no EVE player has the right to be shut off from the rest of the world.  Ripley chimed in that .. so far the number of people that have petitioned that the bounty system is harassment has been 40. The general feeling from CCP is that if bounties are not causing people to leave the game then they aren’t likely to put resources on to a problem that doesn’t exist

I remarked before that I think the common practice of putting a 100K bounty on anyone who happens to chat in local is lame.  I’d like bounties to be set at a minimum of 1M or the like.  You might also want to change the protrait overlay to read bounty instead of wanted.  Those two things might placate most people.


SoniClover .. said out that suicide gankers are already feeling pressure with the new <killright> changes .. went on to affirm that suicide ganking is needed to make sure highsec is not completely safe.  Solomon relayed that prior to Retribution, only 1% of kill rights were ever used, and that if Retribution got that number to 5-10% he’d consider that successful.

What an interesting statistic.  If only 1% of people who got a kill right were able to use them, that would suggest a very high percentage were weak targets that were incapable – or felt incapable, of seeking revenge.  It would seem gankers and griefers were very risk averse in their targetting, almost always going for those who couldn’t retaliate.


Kelduum raised the issue of being able to place bounties anonymously at additional cost.

Interestingly I would drop bounties on other players if I could do it anonymously – but I am risk averse like that.  I don’t agree with the suggestion however as I feel it basically removes the chance for the target to retaliate.

Solomon said CCP would have to keep an eye out for this in the future so that a situation doesn’t develop where the vast majority of the game has a small bounty on them and the feature loses its impact.


Overall there was a very common theme of wanting more control over who can claim bounties and kill rights, including by standings, or removing shuttles / rookie ships etc.


Masterplan then announced plans to decouple Security Status from CONCORD standing

That seems like a real gem of information, as it opens the possibility up for more interaction with Concord going forward.


Masterplan began to describe “Tags4Secs”, which would possibly be part of a May release. This feature would allow players to hunt rats in low-sec belts and exchange the looted tags for a security status gain.

This was generally well received – particularly as it encouraged people rat in low sec and opened up a new mini profession.  CCP warned they needed to balance it so that it didn’t just allow the removal of all consequences of illegal behaviour.  I think it is a good idea.


Two step inquired as to whether it would be possible to add wormhole polarity timers to the small circle timers that were added as part of the Crimewatch UI.

Another good suggestion.


Next was an interesting conversation on War Decs.  Solomon noted that in 70 to 80% of War Dec’s between Corporations that there were no losses recorded.  He asked if the mechanism was a failure were The strong prey on the weak, but the weak aren’t responding, and nobody’s getting particularly fun or nourishing gameplay out of this”

As you can imagine there are people jumping up and down over this – crying that the game will be ruined if you make safe zones for players.  First – that is not on the cards:

SoniClover: And it seems that some are clamoring a lot for the game system to protect them. And we’re trying to minimize that as much as possible. EVE is never going to give you complete game system security. And we’re never going to go that route

So I hope people can get over their rush of panicky short sightedness and really look at this question for what it is.  What sort of options might there be which increases the amount of PVP generated by War Decs?  Don’t just cry that risk adverse will never undock anyway.

Alek pointed out that the conversation should be about giving players more reasons to undock to begin with.

Hans did raise an interesting related comment

Hans: One of the values of high-sec warfare is that it’s one of the few places where you can engage in PvP and control the size of an engagement to a certain degree

You can’t with neutral alts, but I get what he is talking about.


Last of all a summary of some of Soundwave’s ideas:

* Turning High-sec Faction Navy responsibilities over to the players.

* Providing paths for players to progress from High-sec to Low-sec.

* Methods where faction success lead to High-sec effects.

* Connecting features together instead of making them standalone islands

. .. like to provide opportunities for action; he gave the example of ..  <give> FW members the ability to scan for contraband and trigger flags if they were discovered. He would like to see 4 or 5 such activities available to FW players. He later noted that this kind of player enforcement activity didn’t have to be FW-only.

So overall I found a lot of interest.


Only up to page 54..

I don’t think I will read another CSM Summit Minutes in this overly detailed format. I must admit that the nuances that come across between participants is informative and useful, but it is a long task full of stuff that will never hit tranquility. I could be spending my limited time on better EVE pursuits.

I got the impression while reading the Null Sec related conversations that CCP were only really listening out for certain answers. Aside the leading questions, they kept swinging back to topics the CSM did not appear that focused on. Such as..

Soundwave added that the alliance structure as it exists today needs to be reworked.


Soundwave asked the CSM about alliance management tools

For the most part it was more of the same, the CSM raised force projection, blobbing, unused space, difficulty for new parties to enter, destructible stations, industry, limited influence of small gangs, lack of wonder and so on.

Seleene .. null-sec is currently too predictable and well-known.

Trebor – Living in a place, he argued, should be based on the ability to use the space as opposed to blowing up structures and alarm clocking

Two Step – general theme of null-sec having a unique industrial resource or a vastly more efficient one

Kelduum went so far as to note that he believed the exercise was a waste of time (due to lack of any value out of previous such discussions with CCP), and Seleene mirrored that – although apparently less politely.

I found most of the discussions were aimed at the current state of play / current inhabitant (instead of getting more solo and small corps out there), however there was this quote:

Soundwave’s – null-sec should include a venue for many playstyles.

That was followed up by mentioning they had measurements on the different user demographics in 0.0, but unfortunately it wasn’t able to be quoted.  Maybe they will spread the love.

There was plenty about making 0.0 more valuable and trying to stop the process of importing everything from Jita. Super Veldspar, special mining options, scaling refining to be more effective in a fully upgraded 0.0 station than anywhere else.  Mostly however it came down to wanting to reward people who use their space, and reward small hostile gangs for attacking space – but with no real standout ideas on how to do it.

In the end I came away with nothing I was excited about, and nothing I thought would increase the general population in 0.0.

This is stealing my game time..

It can be a bit of a rollercoaster reading the December CSM / CCP Meeting notes, with bits that you cheer for, and bits that make you want to unsubscribe. Various thoughts from my reading so far (be warned I am selective quoting):


. A common theme in my blogging is that you don’t specifically need to be in a Player Corporation vying for SOV space to actually be a part of this game. It is my belief that solo players have their place. More commonly however it is a game style which is complained about. I noted this little exchange:

Two step cautioned that some of these lurkers never truly engage the community, playing exclusively solo.

Unifex replied: Yes, but does that player that is completely on their own, do they buy anything off of the market? Because that is a form of community participation as well. When we talk about a social game, it’s not always about having lots of conversations with people. We have to broaden what we consider social participation in a game like EVE.”

Seagull – make sure we’re addressing a cross section of player types (within themes)

That gives me some comfort.


. I noted a comment on a MMO article today which indicated it was difficult to get into meaningful Corporations in EVE as a new player. It would seem CCP is thinking of ways to help address that:

Unifex – the barrier can be high to accessing player organizations.. he wants to turn this around by creating more things that corporations would want players to help them with


. A question which doesn’t inspire confidence!

Unifex: Once we have a theme, we can begin to thread the issues you’ve identified as needing to be prioritized into that theme. … Am I crazy here guys? Am I out of my skull, or what?

Yes, you would be a little crazy to rigidly stick to a theme for the sake of the theme. I understand the cohesiveness, but an expansion doesn’t have to be 100% about the theme. It could be as little as 51% of it.


. A lot of discussions about what the CSM and CCP should be able to do to members who are not pulling their weight. There were some worrying undertones in the conversations.

Trebor: Let me be absolutely blunt. I have now served on 3 CSMs. In each of them, 95% of the work was done by 6 or less people. Okay?

Two step: I think if we look at the current CSM and who might get removed, I think most of us would agree on two people who have not participated at all, Meissa and Darius, and I’m perfectly happy to say that. It bothered me no end yesterday when Meissa dialed in and talked, because he hasn’t earned the right to talk”

Hans: Until there are some changes to the institution, I don’t think we have the power to exclude him.

UAxDEATH: It’s always politics, it was never fair and it never will be. People will vote for the same guy over and over again, doesn’t matter how it was achieved. If people voted for Darius, they voted for him, not for you or you or you.

Alek wanted to be able to vote to recommend CCP take action against a member who is not pulling their weight, and Two Step wanted criteria up front that indicates what a person must do, else they can get kicked off.

Now I understand the annoyance in business of people who are not pulling their weight or getting a free ride – but do you know, the CSM is not a business, it is a political mechanism. It is meant to be a representation of the people who vote for it – with all its nuances and weaknesses.  If someone doesn’t pull their weight, let the players decide on the consequence during the next vote.


. In a similar vein, there were lots of discussions about who should be able to go to Iceland and who shouldn’t.

Trebor: I will point out that a big factor here is that until now, the CSM has been the haves who get to Iceland, and the have-nots who don’t. It was not so bad when it was 9 and 5, but now its 7 and 7, so there’s a huge premium in getting on the top 7. But if we change it so that it’s mostly determined by how much work you do, then there’s [less incentive for election gaming].

Trebor: The compromise would be, “CCP picks 5, CSM picks 2”.

Alek: That’s a question for the voters to decide, not CCP.

I couldn’t’ believe this conversation was serious. You might well end up with a more focused, harder working and appropriately experienced group in Iceland – but it won’t have the buy in of the players. That is because the CSM will have gone from a player council, to a bunch of handpicked CCP lackeys.  (Even if it is out of a pool of player selections.)

While I can certainly understand the merit in various arguments and comments, I think what it comes down to is that I don’t really like the direction some of the CSM are trying to head in.  They want to turn a quirky and aspirational player mechanism into a semi professional lobbyist group which is not contrained as much by the democratic vote.  And when you put it like that, it isn’t something I support at all.

Building Homes..

I liked this blog post on Hardcore Casual:

It is about the concept of building homes in an MMO.

It is not unusual in discussions about EVE to see people dismissing or even attacking the different way people might play the game.  You could question why they would care – but I assume underneath it is basically the wish of “CCP – don’t waste your limited development resources on that; you should be working on the area I play instead”.

As I have remarked on before, I find it a short sighted view that fails to understand the synergy between play types.  Improve the mechanism for players to build homes, and you end up with more homes available to be torn down – which caters to a second play style.  It is these sorts of Win Win situations CCP probably wants to focus on.

A tale of two banks

As part of earning my IT Degree, I had two five months placements in industry. Both happened to be at Banks.

The first was within a very technical group that worked on mainframe storage. The policies and processes were surprisingly casual. In effect they relied on their very experienced team members to understand their job.

The second placement was with a programming team that worked on customer data. The procedures at this bank were overly complex and detailed. I remember a small change to a static text field in a report that took months to get into production. The change was quite literally a 2 minute job, but it required reams of documentation and the re-running of every test kit scenario associated with the report.

It was clear to me back then that both bank’s methodologies were wrong. The first was too risky, and the second was so slow and cumbersome that it introduced risks of its own. They should have had a balance between structured procedures, and the flexibility to allow knowledgeable workers to get their jobs done.

I’ve had 20 years IT industry experience since, and I still feel that lesson is just as accurate now as it was then.

These same thoughts came back to me while I was reading the start of the CSM December meeting notes.  (Available from here –

CCP Seagull obviously had passion in describing how CCP’s goals for EVE would be structured, at what levels they would be engaging with prospects, players and the characters, and so on.

I don’t want to downplay the difficulties in managing the development of a 10 year old computer game, but I came away feeling less than encouraged. Their apporach was overly complex, the fundamentals too prone to change as staff come and go, and instead of supporting productivity, it could inhibit it.

I’ll see how far I can get through the document before deciding ignorance might be more blissful.

A venture too far

If you remember I purchased four Inner Zone Shipping Catalysts for 80M a little while ago. I have since sold two of them and put two away in my private Collection. I am two hulls and 70M ISK up on that transaction. It was speculative but profitable, and I was happy with the price I sold at.

The Venture BPO has come out of Material Research at level 25. I had pegged 15 as a suitable / balanced level, but researched it further to – I must admit, match all my other Frigate BPOs. (I like my spreadsheets to look orderly..)

I did some rough calculations yesterday on the profitability of this BPO. I used a snapshot of materials and hull prices in Amarr. (Note this summary will be out of date by the time you read it, it is just for curiosity.)

Venture BPO


448,500 ISK – Sell price
392,000 ISK – ME 0 Build Price
356,500 ISK – ME 25 Build Price

The research saw the Profit per unit increase from 56,500 to 92,000 ISK
The percentage of the sale which is profit increased from 12.6% to 20.5%.

So it makes money in Amarr – but you would need to sell 11 ME25 Ventures for each 1M ISK in profit.

The buy orders were around 425,000 ISK – which is above build cost.

Price and Volume History

Just eyeballing the volume graphs, there looks to be a turnover of around 250 units each day, with 170 currently available at the lowest price. If you were to update your prices frequently I could imagine it would be possible to capture 25% of the turnover, so around 62 units. If you managed that, you would make around 5M ISK profit a day after expenses.

I certainly wouldn’t bother.

Truth be told my purchase and research of this BPO is more about adding to my collection than becoming the next mining Frigate mogul. I do however like the flexibility it provides in being able to build for myself, or fill a gap in the local market.

Speaking of the local market, turnover is around 10 units a day – but the sell price is 700,000K.

I put up a buy order at 200,000K, which has initially brought in some hulls. I’ll build 10 or 20 more for sale, price them at the lower end of the Regional average, and forget about them. Each sale will bring in 250,000 to 500,000 ISK, which over a long period will be worthwhile. Of course – those profits will drop if anyone prices their hulls more competitive, but I don’t envision losing money.

I have 20 odd different items like this up for sale which adds up to useful small change.

I might have missed that boat

Member Limit

This tiny image shows my current member limit for my Personal Corp. I would have to have 367 accounts to fill the Corp with my own alts. I suspect my wife wouldn’t approve.

I’m down to under a fortnight from when I can create my Alliance. I have a tentative name ready, although admit it is mediocre at best.

Special Edition Stores

I’ve pulled my Special Edition Asset buy orders, sold off a few full sets, sold off the more profitable items, and stored away the excess for re-sale further down the track. I realised most of the collectibles probably won’t have much of a market. I should have sold those much earlier. Never mind, overall I’ve covered all my costs and made a couple hundred Mil in profits. Some of the speculative items might turn a good profit in the future – the Frigates should do ok if I give it 6 months or more.

I picked up an extra month worth of fuel for my POS on a buy order the other week – at a 45% discount. Certainly worth keeping up buy orders.

Which you will I be meeting today?

Hillary Nicole wrote a column on MMORPGM a week ago which touched on how online behaviour reflects on a person’s real nature.  (You can read it here).  She does not fully agree with the sentiment that people can totally disassociate themselves from their Online verses Real Life behaviour.

While I agree with the basic premise, EVE does not make it easy to make a clear black and white distinction.

A few days ago Rixx Javix blogged about his in game morals – a worthwhile read here.  Rixx is a proclaimed Pirate, with a qualified goal of “destroying all things”.

I don’t presume that Rixx has a destructive bent in real life, or likes killing or upsetting people.  EVE is a player verses player game – be that combat, on the markets, gathering resources, intelligence or conquest.  There are many different ways that it can be played, but you are always in competition against other players.

Rixx’s goal seems to be to have fun and be good at solo or small gang PVP against targets of opportunity, with consideration to his limited ISK resources and the professionalism expected by his Corporation.  I’ve not noticed any animosity against his chosen targets (aside occasionally good natured), he shows respect; occasionally gives pointers to the less experienced, and accepts his losses with grace.

To my mind his behaviour in EVE reflects well on him in real life, even if he is the antithesis of my risk adverse, not terribly social and not inclined to initiate PVP self.  He plays the game for fun and without malice, with a focus on skill.  I can respect that.

To my mind, it is not the game you play, but how you play it.

I thought I’d come up with some scenarios to try and highlight what I was talking about.  There was no need for the hypothetical, I soon had a flood of examples noted that I had seen or experienced first hand in game.  In fact, I could have gone on writing for hours.  (You have to love this game.)  I noted my personal judgement against each – but I don’t claim it to be correct.

. You deliberately and clinically infiltrate an enemy Corporation, sow dissent, steal from them, and cause their collapse.

I wouldn’t do it, but it requires skill, is part of the game and ok with me.

. You join a Corporation with good intentions and over time become trusted.  One day you realise the Corp wallet and hangers are particularly healthy, you can’t resist the temptation and you clear them and run.

It’s only a game?  No – I think it reflects negatively on you in real life.

. You run scams in Jita local.

You are annoying – but it is ok with me.

. You run scams in Jita local – and after each success you jump up and down and crow in local about how brilliant you are, and how stupid your target is.

You are annoying – and I suspect are just as annoying in real life.

. You aggress yourself on a mission runner, then kill their PVE ship when they fire upon you.  You then goad and troll them into undocking, and you kill them again.

I don’t like the tactic, but it seems to be surprisingly effective.

. You coordinate mass propaganda and misinformation to demoralize and weaken your opponents in SOV wars.

I wouldn’t do it, but it requires skill, is part of the game and ok with me.

. You ruthlessly spend all your game time seeking PVP

I hope you have fun.

. You ruthlessly spend all your game time seeking PVP, but get angry when you never catch any targets

It is just a game.  Other people seem to regularly find targets, so it would appear you should work on playing it better.  You might also want to speak to someone in real life about how you handle unmet needs.

. You play the game for the reward of upsetting other players

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know you in real life.

. You grief new players in the hope of making them rage quit

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know you in real life.

. You constantly stalk and harass another player until they stop logging in

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know you in real life.

. You define your success in life by your success in the game.

I expect you have some issues that you need to address in real life.

. You run carefully orchestrated freighter Ganks for profit

Good luck on the drop rates

. You claim you love PVP, but you have both a Logistic and a Falcon Alt

Well played.

. You smirk and crow when you lure another player into 1 on 1 PVP, and use your logistic and Falcon Alts to win

While within the game, it is dishonorable, and doesn’t reflect well on you.

. You cheat in the game through exploits or running bots.

If you are willing to cheat in a game, I’d suspect you are willing to cheat in real life.

. You’re a CVA role-player.

Hope you are having fun, thanks for Providence, and I’ll cut you more slack on your behaviour

. You have to always impose your will on others in game, especially if they are playing the game wrong

I suspect you have issues compromising in real life

. You get very upset every time you lose a ship

Maybe this is not the game for you.

Some would view all actions as fair as it is just a game.  Others would view most scenarios as reflecting badly on the other player.  As I said, there is no real right or wrong.  However – I do think that despite what you think, others are judging you in real life based on your actions within the game – and if they are balanced and logical about it, they probaly won’t be too far off target.

I’m not a local

A remark from CCP Explorer on Twitter has seen a flurry of commentary on “fixing local”.  Rhavas has a reasonable starting point with links to further reading:

The arguments are slowly getting more sophisticated, and I have previously read ideas that I have liked, and which would be worthwhile additions to the game.


However, cut though the fluff and carry on, and what is the main problem many of these people have with Local?

Be honest about it.

They think local makes it too easy for people to avoid PVP.

So the goal of many of the suggestions is to make PVP – if not easier, at least more likely.


The two main perceived issues with local are also remarked on as the benefits:

. It is too easy to gather intelligence

. If you are alert, you can use it to stay relatively safe

To my mind there are two additional benefits – it is available to everyone, and it can prompt interaction between players.


When I read suggestions on how to improve local, these are some of the questions I am asking:

. Is the concept simple and easy to understand?

. Will the mechanism be quick and straightforward to use?

. Will there be any variation through skills to train, ship hull bonuses, or modules that relate to ship, POS, Station or Sovereignty?

. Will it be influenced by the finesse and ability of the end user, such as is possible now with D-SCAN or Probe use?

. Over time, is it likely to increase, leave unchanged, or decrease the average population of impacted systems?

This last point is important.  Make each system a nirvana for Pirates and you get, well, just Pirates.


Wormholes have no local.  You are required to use D-Scan, Probes and caution.  The danger of almost inevitable loss is offset by the possibility of greater riches, and the fact the pathways between systems are restricted and random.

Take local away from low sec, and it becomes less appealing to your standard hauling / trading / PVE / just taking a short cut / Miner target.  Replace it with a mechanism which is annoying and too untrustworthy to use, and people stop playing in those areas.


I am not against changing local – I just want it to enhance the game.  I figured I should throw out an example – this is just off the top of my head and I haven’t thought it through.

No local – but two new high slotted modules.

The first is Passive Radar.

It has a range of 15AU, plus 5AU per rank in a skill.

It updates a small overview map every 10 seconds, minus 1 second per rank in a skill.

It shows planets, moons, POS, stations and uncloaked ships.  You can’t warp to the POS or ships, it just show approximate location.

The ship details get more refined per rank in a skill – so rank 1 it just shows a blip for a single or group of ships, rank 2 might show the number of ships, rank 3  small, medium or large, rank 4 might be frigate, destroyer, cruiser etc, rank 5 might be the specific hull type – Corax, Coercer, Sabre etc

You can turn this into an active radar – it updates more frequently, but it uses cap and your signature is blown out.

The second is a Sonar.

Similar in function and skill impact to the Radar, but it provides much less range and detail, but includes cloaked ships.  It also blows out your signature.

Maybe make it possible for one ship to feed this inforation to others within its fleet – or possible a POS or Sovereignty module which might do the same.

There seem to be some interesting concepts in that – but rather obviously I doubt it would work from a lag point of view, particularly with large numbers of ships in system (maybe it summaries details once gangs get greater than 20 hulls).  Many pilots may simply not have the screen real estate to have an extra window open like that all the time.  I’m not championing this – I am just trying to think of something that might make losing local seem worthwhile.

But – and I harp on this over and over again, if you really want more targets to fall under your guns – then focus on measures to increase the number of them wanting to risk fly around in your space.  Do you really think removing local will do that?

Well actually…

Back in December – after reading a blog post from Rixx Javix, I remarked on the negative impact of the DED 1/10 and 2/10 static complex changes in Retribution. In short, apparently they had been a source of low sec PVP which was now lost.

Poetic Stanziel recently mentioned a follow up EO Forum post from CCP Fozzie, looking for player feedback on implementing some sort of solution:

He suggests (with no promises) the idea of complexes with size restrictions on gates, and no NPCs or loot, basically as a way to give the function of the old complexes without the farming potential.

I didn’t read every reply, but overall there did seem to be a level of honesty. It wasn’t really about having a hull restricted location for PVP. Some sort of worthwhile loot was needed – it was the bait which drew in extra targets to hunt.

CCP Fozzie is probably barking up the wrong tree.


Various notes from the last week or so…

I love the Retribution log in screen.  I don’t like how it stops/starts/splutters as you actually log in.

It’s just conjecture, but is there less chatter in local (outside of the trade hubs) since Retribution?  I wonder if the tendency for people to put bounties on anyone talking is having an impact.

I updated my printed EVE maps that I have sitting beside my PC.  For the first time I went for DOTLAN’s PDF maps instead of Ombey’s maps.  They are not quite as nicely laid out or as readable when printed – but I appreciate how up to date they are.

I’ve picked up towards 100 odd Christmas collectibles and Frigates on very cheap buy orders.  I hope in the long run I might turn a nice profit on these.

I refit my Wormhole Loki – swapping in a nullifier subsystem which meant I lost 1 gyro.  I dropped one Shield Extender for a Sensor Booster.  I also (a little unsure about this one) swapped out the scram / web for a long point / scram setup.  I also put a couple collectibles and trade goods in the hold for good measure.

I grabbed and setup two Domis for POS defense.  It wasn’t quite as cheap and throw away as I had thought – the hulls cost double what they did last time I purchased one.

I played around with the four new destroyers for PVE.  The DPS of the Algos is frightening, and the Corax looks great with rockets spewing out of it – but they don’t tank particularly well and I went back to my ever reliable Retribution.

I played around with all those new hulls I picked up for myself – the Hookbill, Firetail, Worm, Daredevil and Gila.  Took quite some time to work out and test fittings, but I ended up only keeping one in my hanger – a Gila set up for Exploration / L3 Missions.

After I finishing training to allow my Trade Alt to create an Alliance, I am going to have to consider training Tycoon V.  I currently have more than 200 out of a possible 269 market orders open.

I am now running my EVE clients (Windowed) at 2110×1200.  I further adjusted the window positions, made use of the great small fonts options in the overview, and can now see more scenery when flying around instead of just windows opened everywhere.

The current client setup

The current client setup

I have been back into wormhole space – but nothing to report as yet.

Backwater Trading

I use the term backwater trader a fair bit. In part it is a mildly self-conscious excuse for the level of income I earn; in part it is just to differentiate myself from those Trade Hub warriors who crow of their easy made billions and never having to undock.

So what does my Trading alt do? (Answering a question no one has asked..)

I’ve mentioned the region I operate in before. It has no trade hubs, and its only real claim to fame is an empire highway that runs through it. I live in one corner and limit my buy orders to 4 jumps. This area covers only 14 stationed systems and doesn’t cross into low sec. (Up until a week ago it was 3 jumps and 10 stationed systems, but I updated all of my buy orders as I have gotten into an efficient pattern and wasn’t finding the hauling as arduous as I once did.)

One of those systems has a School station, and that plus one other tend to be relatively busy. (30+ pilots logged in most times.)

I generally trade in about 30 different things – with maybe a core dozen that I constantly turn over, while the others ebb and flow depending on competition and volumes moving. At the moment my trade basket is around 80 items, but that is unusual and related to the Christmas Gifts. Mainly I deal in cheaper ship hulls, common T2 Modules, and what I call convenience items (things you can get much cheaper elsewhere, but which I put on the market to save people the long trip if they prefer.) I can also flip Minerals and PI goods if I feel inclined, or do some small specialty run of items like implants, BPO or skill books which I will grab from other regions.

I usually place buy orders for under build cost, or around 50% of selling average. I will also manufacture small volumes of items at times – but am pretty selective when I do so. (Outside of tT2, the margins are commonly just not there.) I will also occasionally take stock from trade hubs.

I update my prices as little as once a week, although can do several times a day if the item is particularly profitable and moving in volume.

I collect all buy orders from the area and sell them from the one station. I do this run around once a week, but will go more frequently for relatively expensive items.

In some regards I price gouge – my common margin on what I buy v what I sell is around 100%. My sell prices are however generally the lowest in the region, and normally within 50% of the trade hub prices. Where the regional price seems too excessive, I will compare them to the Trade hub price and adjust accordingly. I use the term convenience above – and it fits in well with how I view my approach.

You can get more for your item by selling it yourself, or travelling to a trade hub – or you can sell it to me and get some cash immediately. I’m the one who has to haul it, play the 0.01ISK game and carry the risk of it not selling. You can also buy my more expensive item, or spent 20 minutes going to a trade hub instead to get it cheaper. I am not so much providing a service as a convenience.

I don’t scam or stack the markets – and will on occasion go out of my way to mess up someone else’s attempt to do so.

It fluctuates, but I have between zero and half a dozen traders in competition for each item.

I have been active in the area for about two years now. I think there has only been one, maybe two long term competitors who have stayed the distance – buying out of the same station with the same pattern of products and when they update. Occasionally someone will come in, put up a couple hundred buy orders and aggressively update. They mostly give up after a week or three due to the low volumes and move on.

On occasion I run up against market bots – where they update their orders within 5 minutes of yours, constantly, at any time of day you care to test it. These are generally only for hot items like minerals, and they tend to only stick around for a couple of days before disappearing.

There is a level of communication with the competition – although not directly.

I have over time identified many of the individuals or corporations which are in competition – buying from or selling too them, researching them, adding them to watch lists and so on. They do the same in return. One in particular is well known for updating his buy orders immediately after I log off. So I watch when he logs off with another alt, and then log back in to update my orders again.

Some play the 0.01ISK game. Some deliberately adjust a further digit to try and trick you into doing the .01 update to find yourself still below them. Some try to blow you out of the water with big updates. Some give you space – with ranged orders that don’t overlap, or regional buy orders that sit under your prices, leaving you to your little pocket.

In many areas I have – over time, worn down the main competitors, and have the market pretty much to myself. Because I keep prices to a somewhat reasonable level, the old competition doesn’t often return.

In 2011 I made around 1B ISK in profit from my trading endeavors. In 2012 I made more of an effort, and made over 3B ISK in profit just from the 3 jump range I operated out of. (Plus more again for some short term stuff I did in other trading hubs.) I am not doing this for the riches – it is because it fits in well with my play style, it is easily interrupted or can be left for long periods of time without updates, and because the process keeps me amused. It is certainly PVP – in a non-weapon related sense, of a level I think most players don’t fully comprehend.

It is also amazing to see how much of a person’s personality can come through their market updates. It would be nice to think that my own competition view me as stubborn, resilient and persistent – with some odd sleeping hours.

This is just one of the many little roles you can find for yourself in the game called EVE Online.