My EVE time continues to be sporadic and much interrupted. We got two cats at the start of the year, and since then our three year old daughter’s behaviour has been absolutely dreadful. She is unduly fascinated, and basically torments them though excessive attention. The battle to keep her separated from them (and the resulting frequent tantrums) requires constant attention and very hard work.

I am thankful that I am both in Empire, and not in a player Corp at the moment. When I have been able to log in, at least I can do my PI or trade updates without guilt.

My Main and Main Alt have mostly been docked up and quietly training. They have both been concentrating on Drone Skills – making sure they have Combat Drone Operation V, Drone Navigation V and Drone Sharpshooting V (for the various T2 Drone Ship Modules), and also Repair Drone and Mining Drone Operation V. My Main also picked up an Ashimmu, Cruor, Phantasm and Succubus to play around with, but hasn’t got far with working out fits for each of them.

My Industry Alt finished off her Destroyer and Battlecruiser training, and handed the process off to my Covert Ops Alt.

I haven’t had the opportunity to look closer at the Corp and Alliance options – so no change there.

The POS is basically sitting idle – so no change there either.

Robotics have been turning over quickly and at good prices recently, so I am making between 80 to 100M on them each week. That is enough encouragement to keep the PI runs turning over for the moment.

Trade – despite more competition than normal, continues to do reasonably well.

Almost my entire stock of Station Containers has cleared from Empire – while in Low Sec around 30% have sold. I haven’t manufactured more – and probably won’t, but with patience the whole thing turned out to be relatively profitable.

Destroyer hulls continue to flip fairly well. It is small change – but has always added up over time.

While not a big area, I continue to make ISK on Faction Tags. I basically buy a small number of them, and once every couple of months I move everything to a trade hub for sale to NPC or player orders. I usually get margins of 40-50%, but it requires a lot of patience.

I also flip a selection of T2 Modules. I’ve had a lot more competition in this area of late, but since I am in the opposite time zone of most of them, I manage to pick up enough stock while they are sleeping to make it worthwhile.

The most profitable area continues to be mining hulls – particularly Retrievers, Ventures, and even Procurers are flipping well at the moment.

My effort to buy Battlecruisers before Retribution 1.1 was a failure – they just don’t turn over in my area. I did pick up one – at 10% of my buy order price. Someone missed a zero when putting their hull up on the market. I checked to make sure they were not a newish player – I’d have reimbursed the difference just to be nice, but they were old enough to know better. Profit for me.

I have put up buy orders for T1 Industry hulls – in preparation for their rebalancing. Every man and their dog had the same thought, so I don’t expect much volume there. I will manufacture them I think.

I have more recently started putting in buy orders for various T2 hulls, and even for Orca’s. These sell on only very low volume (as little as once a month) – but the margins tend to be between 30 and 70%, assuming I move them to a trade hub to flip them. It locks up a fair bit of collateral in escrow, but my trading has got to the point where I can cover this more comfortably. I picked up two hulls over the last week – which will make me a bit over 100M in profit when I move them to Amarr.

Another small area of reasonable profit is in implants. This is the flavour of the year, but I only do this in small and selective areas. There is a lot of competition is all the commonly used head gear, often with prices barely higher than in Trade Hubs. I target less common, low volume gear that turns a good profit, but walk away each time I get any real competition.

The last trade grouping gets lumped under Miscellaneous. These are things I generally manufacture when I see a gap in the market. As I have previously mentioned, I only tend to get a few weeks of profit before others move in on them. I’ve had nothing new added to this group recently, and the last item I added (survey probes) are no longer turning over.

An area I haven’t looked at recently, but I should – is flipping minerals and fuels and such. You can make good profits on these, but it can take a lot of 0.01ISK order updates, which I am not always in a position to do.

Anyway – that is the thing about trade, even when you are flat out and busy in real life, you can still touch on lots of different areas of the market, and more easily step in and out of it as required.

So this is the world – interesting

I missed a couple nights of online gaming while reading the rest of the Empyrean Age Novel.

It would be interesting to know what people think of it who don’t play EVE, or possibly more importantly, hadn’t read the Chronicles.

It was better than I had expected – although I suspect a chunk of that relates to the fact I was already aware of a lot of the lore it pieced together fairly well.

There were some things I liked a lot – the concept of the Broker and his motivation, the understanding Jamyl Sarum came to right at the end of the book, the whole concept of Falek and Marius, and boy did Marcus’s ship sound like something I would like to fly. I even felt like I finally understood why Capsuleers are treated so differently.

Other things I didn’t like so much. I understood the reasons for the internal conflict felt by the Keitan Yun character, but not how it was played out. I felt the same about Korvin Lears and Lea. The transformation of Tibus Heth seemed to have a few misses in it. The religious thoughts of some of the Amarr seemed so overpowering that you questioned how they functioned well enough to hold the positions they did. Basically the characterisation was not always as polished as it should have been.

Anyway, when I undock my various toons now, I will be roleplaying just a little more within my own mind.. At least for a few days anyway.


Logging in just to update market orders and reset PI runs tends to break the immersive nature of EVE. At best it tends to be a distraction, and worse a chore.

A month or two back – while looking for Harry Potter books for my Son, I unexpectedly happened across the two EVE Novels on the shelf of a local book store. On a whim I purchased them. I don’t have much spare time to read, but I have made a start on The Empyrean Age.

It doesn’t fall into the “can’t put down” category, but it has certainly been worth a read so far. What it has done a good job of is reminding me about the size, scope and NPC politics within the environment I am playing.

A quote from its earlier pages on Capsuleers:

“He’s not human” Vince shouted. “These freaks don’t give a goddam how many people they kill because they don’t fear death! There are no consequences to anything they do!”

Reading the book has given me back a little bit of that coolness factor about the game.

I know EVE role-players are the target of more than a few jokes, but I suspect some of them probably get a whole lot more out of the game than the average Carebear does. I’m a touch envious.

I’m already well on track to make another Billion ISK this month. I don’t think I am doing anything particularly different – and there is in fact more competition at the moment. It just comes down to there seeming to be a lot more people logged on and buying things so far this year.

More to it

As has already been covered on multiple blogs, the most likely final version of the destroyer and battlecruiser skill revamp has been detailed in a Dev Blog

I’m not that fussed with the explanations as to why this is being done. I don’t think too many players were complaining about the old structure, and aside initial confusion, I don’t think too many players will be complaining about the new structure either once some time passes.

The Dev blog actually details a much wider range of changes to prerequisite skills of basically all T1 hulls, including Capitals and ORE. Instead of the Rank V requirements in Battleships for Racial Carrier, or Mining Barge V for the Rorqual, you will need only rank III. The general timings to hop into these sorts of hulls will be around the same, but just bulked out by prerequisites of other more obvious support skills.

In some (most?) cases however this is a buff – as to fly the ships properly you needed those support skills anyway, so you end up saving training time in the long run.

They are also renaming some of the ships classes – Assault ships become Assault Frigates, Heavy Assault Ships become Heavy Assault Cruisers, and Heavy Interdictors become Heavy Interdiction Cruisers. (What we called them anyway).

So in summary cross-racial training will be slowed down for sub-capitals, but you should be able to reach each large hull size quicker within each Racial Chain. Generally Capital cross training will be faster, generally T2 specialisation will be faster, and you will have two paths for ORE ship progression, mining and industrial support.

All seems logical enough, and just quietly, might keep the newer player a little more enthused with achieving extra hulls quicker.

One of the most interesting bits for me was that the Industrials are (in hindsight obviously) going to be overhauled from the Tier approach to a Role approach – and the mighty Iteron Mark V will only require rank I to fly instead of V. I must admit I am rather excited at the thought of having a use for all the Industrial Hulls. I would presume we would get hulls with..

. More tank, less speed, less cargo
. More speed, less cargo, less tank
. More cargo, less speed, less tank

The speed version might include native warp core stab strength like the venture, or mask cargo like the Covert Transports. I wonder if it will include special holds on some of the ships – like we have for PI goods, or the Ore holds in the ORE ships.  Regardless, I like having choice.

Both my Main and Main Alt already have all related skills to rank V, so the only preparation they require is just to double check my clone level before I get a mini flood of extra SP.

I have three more trained Alts which I had not initially intended to do any preparation on. However the Cyno / Covert Ops / PVE Alt would benefit from being able to fly all the racial Destroyer and Battlecruiser hulls, so I added about 8 days of training to his training plan. It would be useful for my Main Industry Alt to be able to fly the same hulls – more for transporting of trade purchases, so 12 days was added to her training plan. Finally my PI alt could also benefit from the same – more just in giving me options for hauling ships – so she got 16 days added to her training plan.

I grabbed the missing skill books this morning – the process should keep that account busy for a bit over a month.

So I have an Alliance

So I have an Alliance.

I’ve come up with a few excuses for doing this – but honestly they don’t come anywhere near justifying the skill training and cost. It basically just comes down to the fact it amuses me.

With that confessed, I do envision a few benefits.

. I am in the process of having my Cyno Alt’s Corp join. I lose the out of Alliance Pilot, but that allows me to maintain a single set of standings instead of the two

. I can look at the options for allowing POS access to Alliance Members

. If I get a War Dec, I have an extra PVP ready Toon I can use

. I will be ready for whenever CCP get around to revamping POS and Alliance management, both flagged as being somewhat on the agenda

. I can forge out into Null and claim Sovereignty

Actually – while I am joking on that last point, I might well look at claiming an abandoned system just for shits and giggles. I will be able to say “My personal Alliance has owned a Null System.. for a few hours”. Nothing concrete planned for that however.

The process of creating the Alliance was actually far more time consuming and – frankly – annoying than expected. You cannot create an alliance with the same name as one that exists (obviously), or that has previously existed (fairly obvious, but I didn’t notice it mentioned on the Alliance WIKI page.)

The problem was that I could not find a way to accurately check if an alliance name was available or not. I could search in the client, and I used dotlan alliances lists (including dead), but I quickly found neither covered every Alliance that had ever existed.

As such, the only way you knew for certain that a name was available, was trying to create an Alliance with it. Given you want an Alliance name you are somewhat happy with, you have to spend time researching it until you were invested with it and had made that definite (and not always easy) decision to go with it. Then you get the answer – “the computer says no”

The Computer Says No
I ended up with my 8th or 9th choice. I can’t say I’m especially enthused, but I appreciate that it is oxymoronic, and was derived from a number of the competition entries.

Now to hand out some prizes I have waiting in my hanger.

I gave each unique poster to the competition thread a number based on their posting order, and then pulled out one of my sets of old roleplaying dice and rolled.

The Random Winner of the Inaugural EVEHermit Blog Competition

Is Jakob Anedalle

Please EVEMail EveHermit in game with your choice of one of the following, plus where in Empire you would like it delivered, and the email address used against your blog comment (just so I can confirm it is you).

Prize choices:

. A Faction Fit Hi Sec Exploration Buzzard (Covert Ops) (Value ~120M)
. Or a Faction Fit PVE Retribution (Assault Frigate) (Value ~102M)
. Or a T2 Fitted PVE Osprey Navy Issue (Cruiser) (Value ~73M)

Second Random Winner is

Peter Hegedus

As with Jakob, please EVEMail EveHermit in game with your first and second choice of the above ships, where in Empire you would like it delivered, and the email address against your blog comment. You will get your first choice of the two remaining hulls


Plus there are two consolation prize winners (selected by me)

The first is Pitstop, whose entry was the closest to my final decision. Sorry if it sounds like a poor consolation prize, but you will get the final ship hull. Same request as above, just EveMail EveHermit with your chosen empire station and the email address used for your comment.

And the final prize goes out to Helena Khan – for the suggestion of Hermitage which I actually tried to use, in various forms, but were unfortunately all unavailable. Another EveMail from you too please. You are getting 4 Faction Frigate Hulls (valued at approximately 49M).

May they add, just a little, to your EVE experiences.  If you don’t want them, please give them away as you feel fit.  Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

(** Note I grabbed the EveHermit toon a couple months ago when I realised it wasn’t taken.  It is an unused Toon.  I will check for EVEMails for this competition, but afterwards it won’t generally be logged in.  It is currently in the State War Academy.  Please let me know sooner rather than later on your preferences.  In hindsight if the first or second prize winners take a while to respond, the lower winners might be stuck waiting for their prizes.  I probably should have thought that through better!)

Hidden names

Thank you all for your input so far on my Alliance name.

I loved The Hermitage –but in all my research on the true meanings and various synonyms, there was just a bit too much of a religious undertone. The name Eremites was discounted for the same reason.

I had a chuckle at “Our Lady the Garden Enclosed” and the left handed Hermit Crab option.

I had followed the path of many of the suggestions already, spending much time focusing on the word recluse and variations of it, but in the end it was just too commonly used already. I went down the path of Solitude and Seclusion and all related words I could find in the Thesaurus.

I had also tried various Latin translations – but hit two stumbling blocks. The first was that it was very common for big name translators to spit out totally different Latin for the same words.  Second – I also usually ended up with something that I couldn’t pronounce. I’ve been in an Alliance with an unpronounceable name – and it ends up being annoying.

As I remarked however, I had already picked out a name I was going to use. The competition was for the interest sake and to try something new on the blog. I had done in game searches for the name I was interested in, carefully reviewed Dotlan’s Alliance Database, and found no reference to it having been used. While a little surprised, I just figured I was in luck.

But I wasn’t.

An overview of what an Alliance is can be read here.

To create an Alliance you have to be CEO of its founding Corporation – check, and have the Empire Control Skill at level 5 – check. The process costs 1 Billion ISK – covered easily enough by the ISK in the Corp’s master wallet – check.

You need to be very careful when creating as mistakes require the direct intervention of CCP to fix, which they are not so keen on doing. I filled in the Alliance name and short name, double and triple checked my work, and clicked OK to create.

The computer says No.  (I didn’t have enough ISK.)

The 1B needed to be in the CEO’s wallet, not the Corporations. I guess in hindsight the wiki page does allude to that. I transfer the money, and am good to go.

I filled in the Alliance name and short name, double and triple checked my work, and clicked OK to create.

The Computer Says No


I will not use a full stop. Ok, I will try putting “The” in front of it.

I filled in the adjusted Alliance name and short name, double and triple checked my work, and clicked OK to create.

The Computer Says No

Crap. Maybe it is the Ticker which is taken – that wouldn’t surprise me. I change it.

I filled in the adjusted Alliance name and adjusted short name, double and triple checked my work, and clicked OK to create.

The Computer Says No


I’m guessing these were created and closed before Dotlan started storing information in its Alliance Database, and CCP doesn’t show the older closed Alliances in its People and Places Searches.

I must ponder this.  Feel free to keep your suggestions coming.. – I won’t say no to further inspiration.  (Note there will be more than just the one prize randomly handed out.)

And not before time.. Page 113

Long term readers might have noticed that I don’t always finish off what I start – but I did manage to complete the CSM meetings notes.

There were lots of stats provided in the later part of the document – just the sort of thing I find really interesting. Some of these were on the UI:

CCP Arrow produced a quick graph report showing the obscure “Snap Distance” UI setting … stating that over 96% of players have not changed the setting.

Station Services buttons – fewer than 13% of players have these set to “small”

Session timer – less than 20% of users have it enabled

Whereas these are almost literally the very first settings I change on any re-install / UI reset. (Please don’t remove these options CCP!)

Interestingly – 18% of people have audio disabled

And almost 22% of players use the Captains Quarters

That is far more people than I would have expected to be using the Captain’s quarters. I wonder how many are active Toons?  Even still, that is probably an indication that the Incarna approach was of interest to players – the failure was in the forced change to an environment that lacked value or content.

Further on the UI:

prototyping a new radial menu system to replace the existing in-space version using mouse gestures, and eventually the right-click menus … in an attempt to move the interaction in EVE to a ‘left-click’ like most other games/programs/web-pages” and other half interesting things about splitting navigation from the overview and the like.

What is a radial menu system? I presume it is something that is a little more modern looking. I’m not sure what the problem is with right clicks – it seems common enough for bringing up option lists everywhere else. I wouldn’t mind having some control over the menus though. Anyone wanting to quickly warp off to a celestial after losing a ship will know it seems to take an inordinate amount of time to navigate the current right click menu.

Every so often you read something odd in the notes:

Two step inquired when wormholes were going to get a nebula update.
BasementBen: They are super-expensive, it’s a matter of money.

Huh? The Nebula are super expensive? How does that work?

And on to the economy:

Taxes and fees .. insurance .. and NPC loot have.. remained stable in 2012.

In 2012, the Total Value of Final Production (“the stuff that people use”), per subscriber, was higher than in any previous year except in June, averaging about 160m ISK / subscriber / month.

It is odd to see this displayed as per subscriber instead of character – but that seems like a crap load of manufacturing. I can’t see too many new characters being able to pull the ISK together to build that much in their initial months. Actually – I would rarely build that much in a month.

Dr.EyjoG gave the CSM a short demo of some of the real-time queries they can now perform, providing statistics on some of the new ships and what modules were most likely to be fit on them

So CCP can corner our markets more easily than us..

In the past 2 years, the average active player’s wallet has increased from 290M ISK to 620M ISK, and the total in these wallets exceeds 460T ISK.

So my bank balances look ok in comparison to the average active wallet.

Total ISK in the game totals about 600T, of which a little over 400T is held by active characters.

460T is a little over 400 T? I wonder how much of the remaining 140 – 200T is with Alliances, Corps, and Inactive players?

High-sec mining volume is almost 8x that of Null-sec, which is itself more than 10x that of W-Space.

Interesting.  I guess it is on volume, and not value.

CCP is working on the “master account” concept and may tie some discounts in with that.

Yes please!

And related Loyalty program ideas

The program will have two pillars: fixed milestone awards and flexible token awards. The fixed awards will be provided to all accounts based on account age, whereas the tokens will be awarded (including retroactively) at regular intervals, and then can be used to purchase unique items in a manner similar to the current in game Loyalty Point system.

Milestones are intended to be immaterial “bragging rights”, and would be visible pretty much wherever account/character information is displayed. .. An Opt-in option will be provided, so that old players will be able to pose as newbies.

Some more examples of milestones were provided. In-game: Portrait enhancement, fixed evolving medal system, billboard notifications, and a monument with character names. Out-of-game: Forum badges and website ticker. External: API and Newsletter. Real-Life perks: FanFest VIP access, EVE store items.

Moving to Token Rewards, these would be paid on a regular basis, perhaps monthly, to each account, be tradable in game, used for Loyalty items, and designed to benefit both veterans and new players.

I must admit that I wasn’t entirely enthused by the fixed milestone rewards initially suggested. Anytime you do a Show Info on another character, one of the first things you look for is their relative age. Having information indicating the age of the account easily displayed may result in most people opt’ing out of showing it. I rarely post on the EO forums and the like – so there is a chance there may not be anything beneficial in that side of the program. (Which would seem to kind of defeat the purpose of it.) Token Rewards, just based on the number of months you have had an account, might be able to be converted into cool enough stuff I guess – particularly at the suggestion to make them retrospective. But it might also take a while to populate a related Loyalty shop with items nice enough to spend your tokens on.  (Have you spent your Free Aurum yet…?)  I don’t want a program that results in us having a stack of loyalty tokens with nothing worthwhile to spend them on, and milestone rewards everyone opts out of.

So that was it.  I am glad I read the whole thing – but I can’t say it was worthwhile as far as my game experience is concerned.

What was interesting (and bemusing) for me was to see the differences in the things I highlighted in comparison  to some of the other bloggers.  You can pick the Empire Carebear..

The Inaugural EVEHermit Competition

In recognition of my 2 years of EVE blogging, and the imminent creation of my own Alliance, I am going to run a small competition.

On offer – your choice of one of

. My favorite fit PVE Retribution
. My preferred fit Exploration Buzzard
. A T2 passive tanked PVE Osprey Navy Issue

The value of each works out very roughly at a bit over 50M. It will be delivered anywhere in Empire (no islands please), contracted by my main, from my Alt Corp in its new Alliance. Knowledge you can choose to ignore or grief, or whatever takes your fancy.

(Note the fits of the Buzzard and Retribution will probably require fairly well trained pilots. You might need to downgrade some items to T1, or go for the Osprey if your SP levels are low. I give no guarantee that you won’t be laughed at if killed flying these fits.)

The competition part? Come up with a suggestion for my new Alliance name. Truth be told I already have something suitably lame worked out, but I am certainly open to suggestions. I will select the most suited for a Risk Adverse Carebear EVE Hermit, or which make me laugh, and randomly pick one of them. The competition winner will be announced and prize delivered some time next weekend (February 9/10th).

(I am mindful this could end up resulting in the embarrassing sound of crickets – so I am relying on some of the regular posters to at least throw me a life line. 🙂 )

Mining PVP

SynCaine had an interesting post on one of my pet topics – the complexity of the player interactions in EVE. It is worth a read.

I’ve remarked before about how Trade and Manufacturing are in my definition very much player v player, just without so many explosions. I’ve also said how Exploration also has a real Player v Player aspect – hunting and competing for limited resources, sometimes with rushes to get to cans or faction drops first.

Back before Asteroid belts respawned daily, there was competition between players in mining. It was not uncommon to have a rush after downtime to attack just refreshed belts, or after a couple of days find you had to travel a couple of systems to find a full belt to work on.  I wonder what could be done to re-introduce some of that type of mining PvP. (Sometimes it seems that too much attention is focused on explosions in EVE – and while they are a critical part of the game, putting them on a pedestal as the be all and end all can take focus away from the rest of the game.)

The sort of thing I am thinking about:

. End the fully automatic daily re-spawn of belts

. Halve the size of most Belts

. Belts are no longer in a static position – once a belt is cleared, it despawns and a new beacon appears in a different location. (Concord opening up a new public belt)

. Belts have to be cleared fully to respawn – although anything 85/90% cleared will be automatically respawned at downtime

It would need polish – but belt ratting can continue as it was before, and miners have to move around more and make decisions on when and if they trigger belt respawns, or just take the choicest rocks and hope someone else clears up the scrap to get a new belt.

Why not make it even more interesting? Add a module to the game that can hide / mask an Asteroid Belt Beacon? Maybe you have to pay CONCORD a tax to use it in High Sec? The belt can still be scanned down (via probes), but it gives a miner another method of trying to keep a resource to themselves for a little longer.

Throw ICE belts into the same sort of mix – although you would have to limit them to only a few asteroids so that they would actually respawn. Or maybe CONCORD brought in Titians and doomsday all the huge ice rocks, so now there are small fragments all over the place.

Note the above does makes mining a little safer in some aspects – or at least makes the gankers work harder at it. That is not actually my goal. It is – with as simple a mechanism as possible, to make the asteroid resources have a little more player v player aspect to them. It also doesn’t make the mechanism of mining all that much more interesting, although might make it a little harder for bots.

No Coincidence

I’m rather casual with my trade and manufacturing. Every so often I will eyeball history in some subsection of the market, and use a spread sheet and price check alts in the trade hubs to identify possibly profitable areas.

One of the more recent areas I identified was that there were no Survey Probes on the market in my region – and hadn’t been for some time. I put up some test batches with high profit margins, and was surprised that these turned over reasonably well. I had the market all to myself for a couple of weeks, but then was hit by 3 or 4 people joining in competition.

This has happened to me so many times over the years that I don’t believe it is always a coincidence. Now that I am dabbling in some of the EVE related 3rd party industry tools, I am finding some provide reports on the most profitable items to manufacture based on all sorts of definable restrictions, such as by region. It wouldn’t surprise me if people just hit a refresh button once a week on a report, and survey probes popped up in my region as returning margins of 100%+.

Is this kind of cheating – or just being smarter than I have been?

My foray into T1 Logistic Frigates was not really worth the effort. So many people did this that the market is still priced well below the new build costs, and the competition rather high on very low volumes.  I am being more aggresive on my pricing to try and clear some of the stock.  The T2 Logistic Cruisers have fared a little better – aside the never loved Augoror, which mostly languish unsold.  I also updated my pricing on these.  I won’t make a loss, but it could hardly be considered worth the effort.

I have been reasonably happy with how the stock of containers is running down. Interestingly given the relatively high margins on most of them, people have not moved in with lower priced stock. If anything they are pricing them even higher.

Overall January was a good month in my little backwater. I made 1B ISK in profit – which is the equivalent of 1/3 of my 2012 profits, and all of my 2011 profits. On top of that I picked up two months of POS fuel at 1/2 price, and a year of heavily discounted Star Base Charters.  All while Real Life was being painful.