Quirky, bordering on cool


A tweet from CCP Rise alerted me to the fact I should check the redeeming system.


Available was a Hull Tanking Certificate.  I had actually thought recently that the Hull Tanking Certificate did not seem to exist any more – so its return in this fashion was mildly amusing.

I redeemed it on my first two accounts, but it wasn’t available on my third.  Then I twigged – it was only available for toons with the appropriate skills – which my two Capital pilots had.  Ok – that upped things from mildly amusing to bordering on cool.  It’s that kind of quirkiness that keeps me being a fan of CCP.

New Toys

I ignored my PI reconfiguration for most of the weekend, and instead got myself an overpriced Astero and Stratios to play around with.

First the frigate



Exploration sites were being hit hard in my local area, but I managed to find a wormhole into a backwater system in Aridia which had a dozen odd sites to visit. One of these was another Wormhole into Khanid, the even more out of the way system had 30+ sites available. They kept me busy for a while.

The Astero is a workable little ship. I went with this initial basic fit:

[Astero, Explore 02]
Damage Control II
200mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
Centii A-Type Small Armor Repairer
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Coreli A-Type 1MN Afterburner
Data Analyzer II
Relic Analyzer II
Cargo Scanner II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Core Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump II
Small Trimark Armor Pump II

Hobgoblin II x5

I took a mobile depot with me with some fitting changes, and I expect I’ll keep the cloak off and use a remote armor repairer for the drones instead. I found the cargo capacity to be too limited for the notion of an extended exploration session far from home. It might work if you just ran Relic and Data sites I guess. It would be nice for it to have a special bay for the mobile depots.



The Stratios was a different kettle of fish. Again the fit is just a basic first try. It will get some finessing.

[Stratios, Explore 02]
Damage Control II
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
Corpum C-Type Medium Armor Repairer
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Federation Navy 10MN Afterburner
Data Analyzer II
Relic Analyzer II
Cargo Scanner II
Medium Capacitor Battery II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Core Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe
Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager II
Quad Light Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump II
Medium Anti-Explosive Pump I

Hammerhead II x5


It was far easier to carry the depot and fitting options, and completely change the focus of your ship on the fly. This was more flexible and better to fly than my Exploration Tengu, and had access to more combat sites. If you paid attention to the loot you collected, this could indeed be used for long deployments. In fact its main drawback was the cargo hold soon got very messy. It would be nice to be able to tag equipment or divide your cargo hold up into supplies and loot to manage things easier.

I did notice the scanning times were longer. My exploration Tengu has a probe strength of around 125, while the Astero and Stratios were around 100. This slowed things down a little.

I am not complaining – I think there are enough negatives about the ships that they are not always just the go to options. I think I will set the Astero up for either Low Sec, or just running Data / Relic sites, or maybe Ghost if I can work out the DPS I have to tank for. I think the Stratios will replace the Tengu as my main High Sec exploration hull. I’ll just have to see what options I have for using a Mobile Depot with the Tengu.

It will be fun playing around with both hulls.



The Mobile Depot is a game changer in many respects. I still have to do some playing around, and it is a balancing act on how much cargo capacity you use up, but it should really allow you to spend long periods of time away from stations. Very interesting, and very “sandbox” like.

I did have issues when I tried to scan down my own Depot – I could see other structures, including a salvaging module being used, but my own Depot never came up in the scan results.  I assume I was missing something obvious, but I did go through all the options many times over.  I’ll try it on another day.

Existing through the ignorance of others

There’s a count of the various planet types in Hi-Sec, Low-Sec, Null-Sec and W-Space in this wiki entry:


I expect it is out of date, but it would give a reasonable idea of the spread.

Dotlan also provides details on planet counts (although I don’t think summarised like the first link), and you can drill down to see where they all are:


The rarest planets are Plasma. I use one in my PI cycle, and I had the opportunity to plant my own POCO on it because no one else staked a claim for 24+ hours. I didn’t though, and I never planned to.

My ability to defend my POCO is limited. I could likely see off other Solo players, or a handful of lesser experienced pilots – but any partially organised and persistent corporation can take them from me. I could hire mercenaries I guess, but the cost wouldn’t be justified.

There was no use in me owning a valuable planet because someone else would just come along and take it. If they War-Dec me to take that one, they might also grab some of my other POCO’s while they were there.

I had even wondered if the Lava Planet I have was a little cheeky – but with low tax rates and it being a little out of the way, I’m hopeful no one will pay it much attention. Actually – I think my main risk is if a Corporation decides to settle in my home system, and take all of the planets for themselves.

Whether I lose one or all of my POCO, all this planning and restructuring of my PI cycle will come to naught. I have tried to be a little smart in where and what I have placed, and the tax rates that have been set. But the reality is – my POCO exist only through the grace or ignorance of others.

Now personally I don’t mind this. I’ve liked having the opportunity to get involved in this sort of aspect of the game. The fact I can lose it all fits my idea of the environment I play in. But I am an old player with plenty of skill points and a reasonable ISK balance. I am not reliant on PI income. What fun it this Empire POCO mechanism for most Causal Solo or new players? They are entirely helpless and at the whim of other players – or stuck quietly operating around the fringes where the profit isn’t worth the while of anyone else? It is not a great mechanism in that regard.

When I look at the changes being made by CCP I usually set the benchmark against what impact it will have on those solo players who like to be able to do absolutely everything for themselves. Those who gather the resource for and manufacture everything they have in game. I think the Siphon unit was brilliant for this style of play. I think the PI changes have a negative impact on that style of play.

Thinking on it – I think there needs to be an expansion of the Command Centre launch mechanism to balance things a little better. Either through skill or upgrade; increase the CC payload from 500m3 to something a little more flexible. A factory processing P0 to P1 generates 365m3 each 24 hours (if my old notes are still accurate). Maybe allow the export of two factories worth of processing – so 750m3 a launch? There should still be the 15/20% tax (or fuel costs), but you just have a little more flexibility to salvage your set ups if a Corp decides to set their planet tax at 100%. There should also be some sort of new ship module to allow you to import PI goods via an unmanned drone or shuttle. It should have around the same sort of capacity as the Command Centre, influenced by skills, although it could be a little less. Or maybe allow the fitting of a couple of these modules?

It is just to give the little guy the ability to still operate on the small scale.

Oh but this is meant to be an MMO, and you are a whiny little bitch who is not playing it right – join a corporation and stfu.

The only problem with that advice is that the vast, vast majority of players, corporations and alliances only operate within the sphere they do with the grace or ignorance of others. They are in exactly the same situation as solo players, but they just don’t realise it.

You have a POS? Most of you can’t defend it if one of the Elite groups decides to take it. You have just built up a POCO Empire since Rubicon? Most of you can’t defend it if one of the top tier Alliances decides to take over. You have a constellation and multiple stations in Providence? Most of you can’t defend it if someone stronger decided to take it away from you yet again.

But you are a member of one of the largest Coalitions? Yes, until your CEO says something stupid or argues with the Alliance leader, and you find yourself summarily booted.

There are few in this game who are truly not beholden to someone else. As such I think most mechanisms should be designed to allow scaled access for all styles of player.  IMHO the new Empire POCO could do with a little finessing in that regard.

Paying attention until my brain hurts

I’m still focused on PI – and will be until I adjust my infrastructure for the Rubicon changes. It might take me a while.

My previous PI setup had two Alts managing 6 planets each, running on a two day cycle. I balanced the extraction so that I gathered 12,000 units each of Reactive Metals, Precious Metals, Toxic Metals and Chiral Structures, and processed the same number of units into 450 Robotics.


I did extra bits and bobs with excess capacity, but that was the core of my PI.

The cost of doing business in Empire space was straight forward.

. You paid a 10% Tax to export goods via a Custom Office
. You paid a 5% Tax to import goods via a Custom Office
. You paid a 15% Tax to export goods via the Command Centre

The tax was based on a static value for the various tiers of PI goods. The old values were:

Tier – Type – Old ISK Value
P0 – Basic – 500
P1 – Refined – 9,000
P2 – Special – 70,000
P3 – Advanced – 1,350,000

For simplicity sake assume each cycle I exported 48,000 P0 from extraction planets, imported 48,000 P0 to factory planets, and exported 450 produced P2 units. The cost was:

48,000 x 500 x 10%
+ 48,000 x 500 x 5%
+ 450 x 70,000 x 10%

= 2.4M + 1.2M + 3.15M, or 7.75M ISK in taxes

It fluctuates, but on average over the years I’ve sold my Robotics at around 60K each – so for around 27M ISK. Take away the tax and selling costs, and I made around 19M profit each cycle. If I was diligent this would earn me 3.4B ISK a year profit. I wasn’t diligent.

With Rubicon things have changed. For starters the base value set against the PI goods – for calculating taxes, has dropped:

Tier – Type – Old – New Value
P0 – Basic – 500 – 400
P1 – Refined – 9,000 – 7,200
P2 – Special – 70,000 – 60,000
P3 – Advanced – 1,350,000 – 1,200,000

In addition you can train up a new skilled called Customs Code Expertise. This drops the taxes you pay through Custom’s offices by 10% each rank. I am going to presume the casual PI player will get this to Rank IV. That means the new NPC taxes you pay will be

. 6% Tax to export goods via a Custom Office
. 3% Tax to import goods via a Custom Office
. 15% Tax to export goods via the Command Centre

Now – if I owned the POCO on every planet I used, and set the tax to 0%, my costs will be down.

48,000 x 400 x 6%
+ 48,000 x 400 x 3%
+ 450 x 60,000 x 6%

= 1.152M + 0.576M + 1.620M, or 3.348M in taxes

I’m 4.4M better off, or I would make around 800M extra profit over a diligent year. Score!

But I don’t the POCO on every one of my planets. I am now reliant on using either some Interbus Customs Offices, which seems to charge a flat 17% tax regardless my rank in Customs Code Expertise, the very limited (time and size) 15% taxed export via the Command Centre, or a Player Owned CO with total tax rates (NPC and their own) that so far seem to average between around 11 and 16%.

I am also at the whim of other players. An Interbus Customs office can be replaced at any point in time, and players can change their own tax rates from 0 to 100% as frequently as they want.

I’m now struggling a bit with what to do.  Do I hope / trust the other players will keep their taxes at around the same levels, or do I change my method to only export P1 goods from planets I don’t own the CO on via the expensive – but consistently priced Command Centre export? Even the process of changing from P0 to P1 export really hits the volumes I will produce in the end.

And 1 makes 4

7 of 9 Interbus Customs Offices in my home system had been replaced when I logged in this morning. I looked through the list and realised there where two Gas planets left. Hold on – I thought there were only two, and that they had been taken? I need my eyes tested.

Owning a Gas POCO gave me more options with my PI output, so I checked the price of the Customs Gantry and upgrade supplies locally, in Amarr, and in Jita. I undocked the two Domi’s and started on one of the remaining CO’s while I flew my Alt to Jita to buy everything needed to plant my fourth POCO.

The whole process took 100 minutes, and now 8 of the 9 planets are player controlled.

I’d like to see CCP release some stats on how many POCO have gone up in Empire. Zkillboard has recorded very roughly around 2,000 odd Interbus Customs Offices being destroyed (in all security zones) since Rubicon was released, with a total of almost 23,000 killed.


I think that will be my last one. I guess the next step is to fully review all my PI infrastructure and move / adjust everything to use my own planets, or to launch output into space. That will be quite a job.

Meanwhile I’ve grabbed two of the new BPO (want one more), and started training Customs Code Expertise on four of my toons.

Worthwhile ISK Sink

I don’t mind the PLEX for Good drives that CCP organises.  The latest is mentioned here:


An overview of the whole process is on the Wiki:


I’ve worked with several Philippine natives over recent years, so I donated in acknowledgement of them and their families, and because I think it is cool when EVE shows it’s nice side.

Down at the first hurdle

The Rubicon update crashed for me at the first hurdle – the launcher patch failed with “ImportError: No module named emails.utils”. The launcher would not run after that.

The EVE forums and Facebook page did not make reference to the problem, but it was early days. I commented on Twitter and left the social media pages up while I looked at what I could do.

I found you could re-start the launcher update by deleting the latest launcher patch folder. EVE would just revert to the old launcher and trying updating again. CCP had by then commented on Twitter that a new launcher was being deployed, so it was just a case of trying every 5 minutes until a newly patched launcher downloaded. From there the expansion update worked as expected.

CCP and its Expansion updates have come such a long way – but they still seem to manage tripping up and giving themselves a bloody nose.

If you followed the Twitter chatter you were made aware the problem wasn’t just with you, that a fix was being prepared, and then knew when it was ready. If you didn’t follow the EVE social media this (relatively minor) issue would have been extremely frustrating.

But I am not here to yell at CCP, I am actually here to praise them. Launcher update aside, the Rubicon deployment seemed otherwise to have gone very well. I didn’t pay close attention, but the game world seemed to be back up and running in around the hour mark. Once my client was patched the game was stable and there were no emergency reboots or obvious bugs. (I did read other people complaining about things, but it seemed more isolated to specific combinations of factors, not general problems.) In the first 24 hours I ran 3 simultaneously logged in clients for long periods shooting structures, and I had no memory leaks, no stability issues, in fact – no problems at all.

I can remember the old 24+ hour outages of the past. While I don’t play many other games, I am familiar with DDO and how long its patching is, and the litany of subsequent bug fixes that invariably follow. CCP seem so very close to the point of excellence in this regard.

They seem – from the outside, to be managing the development of the game much better. It looks like they have the formality and structure balanced well with passion and flexibility. While not perfect, they are doing a much better job of listening and responding to their players. They are not over promising, and generally delivering what they say they will. They are still doing plenty of iteration on current features, improving them, while building the framework for future advances. They also seem to be staying faithful to the game.

It is not to say there isn’t a disaster or ten lurking just around the corner – this is CCP after all, but given the turmoil in the world over the last half dozen years, CCP seem to be doing a rather good technical job with their game of EVE.

And if this is all just an illusion – I’m placated, so keep up the good work CCP.

Tax time

The base NPC Tax on a POCO in Empire is 10%, which you can bring down to 5% with rank V in “Customs Code Expertise”.  I figure most casual PI players will get rank IV, leaving them with a 6% tax.

I configured my POCO with 0% Corporation Tax, allowing an Alliance Tax of 0%, and all the remaining Access to be based on standings.  Neutral, Bad and Terrible standings were given a 3.5% tax rate, and Good and Excellent Standing was given 1.5% tax rate.

The show info on my own POCO displays (10 – Customs Code Expertise)%, which is what I was expecting.

The show info on my POCO from my Alt in another Corp but within the same alliance is showing (1.5 + 10 – Customs Code Expertise)%, which is not what I was expecting.

I figured on average the people using the POCO would pay around 9.5% tax in total, with me getting a small slice.  I didn’t do this as a money spinner, and hopefully no one would be too offended with that approach.

The Interbus CO’s are set now with a 17% tax.  Even though I have ranks in Customs Code Expertise, that doesn’t change the tax rate in the Show Info screen.  Unless it is a bug, I assume that means if I want to use one of them, I will need to look at launching off the planet instead of going via CO.

Just looking around locally the tax rate other POCO’s are being set at is 10%.  (The default.)  Add the average NPC tax most people will be paying of 6%, and the price of using those will  be 16%, near enough the same as Interbus.

It will be interesting to see how it all settles down.  I’ve made around 5M in taxes on the 3 POCO I own so far, which I was surprised by to be honest.  They might pay themselves back over time.  Going forward I can see I am going to have to change my entire PI chain.  In particular I am going to need to ensure on planets I don’t own the CO/POCO on, that I export T2/T3 products via launching, and not moving the T1 via CO to a central factory system as I generally do now.

I’m not expecting my POCO to get much attention, given their tax rates, location, and the planet types they are on.  I do suspect overall PI will be less lucrative in Empire, possibly by a fair margin.  I will about halve my volumes, and require a bit more effort to manage even that.  At least the option is still there for me to dabble in it though.


As I had remarked before, I purchased 3 Custom Office Gantries and the applicable upgrade supplies back when Rubicon was announced. I was quite excited by the idea – until CCP announced the NPC tax would still apply.

After some thought I decided I would aim to own enough POCO to allow me to both continue manufacturing Robotics (on a reduced scale), and have room to set up some Factory Planets. I used the following website to make my choices:


I found if I grabbed one Lava and two Barron planets in my home system I’d have my needs covered. I also considered grabbing a Gas planet as I also make Coolant.

I had prepared two Dominix Battleships with T2 Sentries, 3 Drone Damage Amplifiers, 6 Mega Pulse Lasers and 3 Heat Sinks. In EFT they averaged around 1240 DPS each, and would not require reloading. On paper the Interbus CO’s would take 97 minutes to take down. To speed this up a little I used a low SP Alt on my Third account in his Hurricane to help.


Move along, nothing to see here

As I remarked in my previous post, I anchored my first POCO in the hours after Rubicon was released.

In practice my little fleet did 9.5M points of damage per hour, and brought the POCO down in just under 90 minutes. That’s the cost of playing solo. The kill mails indicated the Hurricane did around 15% of the damage, so was a worthwhile addition.

Last night I read the EVE Collector’s Edition Book during the take down. Today I layered the client windows over each other on one of my monitors, and worked on the other monitor. It did not require a lot of attention – just reactivating the weapons on the Hurricane when it told me it had run out of ammunition, glancing at D-Scan occasionally, and making sure I swapped the Hurricane out once I hit 50% structure, so I had the Customs Gantry ready to anchor as soon as the Interbus CO died.


I wonder what intel I missed cutting out of that image

I didn’t plan to move quite as quickly, but when I had logged on this morning I found another Corporation with 40+ members was taking down one of the other CO’s in system. They had two Battleships, a Marauder, and a couple Battlecruisers working away on it. I didn’t know how long they had been at it – but I undocked my fleet, took down a different PO and anchored my replacement, and then docked up. When I went back to check shortly after they had still not brought theirs down. Go the mighty Domi.


The big Caboom

I didn’t have a big enough block of time to start on the third POCO so it had to wait 6 odd hours, by which time the other Corporation had taken the second and last of the Gas planets in the system. So my thought of getting a fourth in my system was dashed. I did however anchor my 3rd POCO giving me my initial goal of 1 Lava and 2 Barron.


I thought they were going to give us more options with this Gantry thing in future releases?

While this process was mildly interesting, I will say at 90 odd minutes each, it is not something I am planning on doing much more of!  It is not really aimed at Solo players!

Who’s been sleeping in my bed?



I’ve been watching some of the Interbus Custom Office kills


There are certainly examples of big name Null Sec Corporations working on them around logical systems such as Jita. I’ve also noticed them focusing on empire systems around their Null-Sec entry points. It is early, but it does not look like the free for all some Capsuleers were fearful of.

More often the Interbus CO’s are being shot down by a rather mundane mix of Carebears, Pirates, and the indistinguishable riff raff you pass by every day in game. It is the average sort of Capsuleer getting involved, which is great to see.

Bad idea

Two Dominix and another Alt in a Hurricane, POCO at 55% shields, 12:22am local time.  Probably should have thought this through more…

** Update – my first POCO was up and running just before 1:30am.  Possible slight bug – you are meant to anchor the POCO within 1,000km of the Warp in point.  However, when you have destroyed the Interbus Customs Office, the warp in point no longer appears in the right click menu… Time for bed. **

Where Rubicon is going

There was an interview posted yesterday with David Reid, the Chief Marketing Officer at CCP.


It outlines the direction Rubicon is going, which is player created Star Gates leading into a new area of unexplored space.  The tools required for this will be found in Ghost sites, and the process will need a large amount of team work and time to create.

It is not unexpected, and is certainly an interesting idea.

Now we don’t have details, and CCP plans on having it so that the players need to work some things out for themselves.  On the surface it would seem to be something that gives Veteran players and Alliances something to work towards.

I wonder what sort of involvement a solo player can have – aside selling off resources that you might gather through ghost sites.  The beauty of wormholes was that the solo player could go explore on day one.  I suspect with this the solo player won’t have access until enough player gates are created, and wealth plundered, that the entrances are no longer strongly guarded and we can sneak in.  That of course remains to be seen.



Fortuitously for EVE, I’ve been sick this weekend. Instead of doing chores and errands, I’ve mostly just sat around feeling sad and sorry for myself; at my computer; with EVE running.

I finished off bookmarking the closest low sec pocket. I’ve covered 5 systems so far with 79 bookmarks.


The local POCO landlords seem to be active across all time zones, but tend to be at their most quiet when I am active. I see them roving around the pocket looking for targets. They are usually in Cruisers and Battlecruisers, with a Fraction Frigate or two sniffing about. They also often have a cloaking Hull (Stealth Bombers and T3) close by.

They have recruited a number of pilots recently. I’ve seen these newer players mining, running PI or ratting. I’ve had opportunities to hunt them if I wished, which I didn’t. It will be an avenue to explore if that Corp ends up griefing me too heavily.

Aside the POCO landlords, the population is fairly sparse. One of the systems appears to be used for staging capitals, or more likely given its location, as a Cyno chain midpoint. It does not look to be overly busy. Otherwise there are a few Explorers, an Industrialist or two, and a handful of Pirates (who often have to sidestep and dice with the landlords).

The last system I bookmarked had a string of reinforced POCO. The timings were fairly close together, suggesting a large group attacking them, or the use of Capitals. I’ll have to check back in a few days to see what Corporation replaced them. I am presuming the local landlords.

It looks like I should be able to get some stuff done in that pocket, although I am going to be interrupted lots.

I then mined for a little while, before scanning down the three signatures in the home system.

I ran a Data site for 2.6M ISK worth of loot.

I ran a Relic site for 6.7M ISK worth of loot.

I found a Wormhole to another Hi-Sec system just 5 jumps from Jita.

I grabbed the Orca and set out to fill in some of the gaps in my hanger. I grabbed some modules and supplies that I had listed down as needing. I setup two Ventures for use in Low-Sec. I set up a Hi-Sec scanning Buzzard, and an alternative PVE Assault Frigate (Ishkur). I also grabbed two hulls for ratting in Low Sec, an Arbitrator and a Pilgrim. (I noticed several of the special tag rats during my bookmarking. It might be worth shooting those when I get the chance.)

I then returned via the Wormhole – saving myself more than 30 jumps on that round trip.

I ran an Anomaly that had subsequently turned up on my overview in the Ishkur. A fun little ship that I might use for the basic stuff, and leave the better tanked Hawk for the minor DED sites. That earnt me a couple more Mil. My loot container is currently worth around 17M ISK.  Small change, but it should add up over time.

Finally I returned to Jita via the Wormhole to fit up my second Stealth Bomber. The first is an anti-exploration fit, the second is more for support with Damps.

While moving gear I noticed half a dozen pilots from another one of the Alliances common to the area coming into my home system. They had a couple Corp freighters out and a Falcon. I wonder what they were up to? I’ll probably never know. At least the pilots in the area seem to generally be active.


Bring a Nemesis home from Jita. A great looking ship.

Redefining Backwater

I’ve made a list of 33 little things to do in regard the Rubicon expansion. That should keep me busy for a while.

I’m still nowhere near fully setup for my Low Sec excursion, but am slowly progressing. I thought Derelik was painful to live in, but Genesis seems an even more distant backwater (at least from the side I am living in).

I have got my Empire Exploration PVE Frigate and Cruiser set up, as well as several Mining Vessels. I earnt my first ISK in the region – just small change, but ran through some belts, found my first Dark Blood (which dropped nothing), ran a Combat site, and even mined in a Venture.

I’ve also stepped into Low Sec, and started the mammoth task of making bookmarks over every gate, station and belt, plus safes and undocks. This is a very laborious task, particularly as I am often cloaked. It will pay off down the track – plus is giving me useful intel on the locals and their movements.

The Corporation I flagged when I first arrived is very active, owning many of the Low Sec POCO and constantly flying around, including sitting cloaked off gates and converging together for targets. I am not going to get any solo PVP out of them.

I’ve covered 3 systems with 45 odd bookmarks so far.

Twitched on

I watched the recent recording of the latest CCP Twitch TV show covering the Rubicon expansion. There wasn’t much discussed that isn’t already out in Dev blogs, but it was done with CCP’s usual amateurish charm and I found it worthwhile.

They reiterated on the fact they would be building feature sets over multiple expansions, while also ensuring they take care of the game we already have. They mentioned wanting to work on features in a way that it was available and used by multiple play styles. They also reminded that while on the surface some of the changes might seem limited, they will make it easier to add more richness to future releases. The code that is underlying the mobile deployable structures for example has been written so that new and varied options can now be more readily created and added to the game.

They noted that the Rapid Light launchers that I tend to use on my PVE cruisers are being changed, something I had not picked up. In effect they will do a massive amount of DPS for 40 odd seconds, and then take 40 seconds to reload. Interesting in PVP, but not so much in how I use them. I will likely need to make some fitting changes.

They also showed the Rubicon Trailer for the first time (I didn’t mind it), and they made an effort to push player meets, which I thought was great.

You can see the whole thing here:


It seems to me that this expansion has an odd vibe about it. There isn’t really a big “Wow” feature to get excited over, and depending on how you play the game, there might be next to no impact on you at all. Having said that, they are throwing new toys out into the sandpit, and the consequences and game play changes could be huge for other players.

Overall I am looking forward to it. There seem to be multiple areas of interest that can enhance my play style.

Thrown Spanners

The last few weeks have been extra busy with travel, social events, and the previously mentioned tantrum throwing four year old. On top of that both my wife and I have had some turbulence on the job front. I got some extra job security and more work when the other person in my team with a similar skillset was retrenched. My wife got 72 hours of work a week allocated to her for the next 9 months. She point out to her manager that she does 32 hours a week, and that he would need to move some of her tasks. He did, but he was furious that she did not just do the work. It has left us reviewing the longevity of our careers, and thinking about what lifestyle would actually make us happiest. In the meanwhile we both have even less free time.

I expect my Trade and PI endeavours will be undergoing a hiatus. I will update things sporadically, but there will be no real focus on them. I will put my mini mission running resurgence on hold. I don’t plan on having any goals in that area. I will continue my Wormhole exploration, but finding a few hours of uninterrupted spare time won’t be easy. For the most part I just plan to focus on exploration and my Low Sec adventures – the process will just be slower.

I want to thank the comments on my last post about Blood Raiders, and in particular the EVE-Mail I received from a player with valuable insight to the Genesis Low Sec areas. Very much appreciated. It seems that NPC neuting is handled by keeping range and having a buffer fit tank with a single repper. It doesn’t matter much what you use in Hi-Sec.

Funny enough I already had prepared a rather expensively fit passively tanked Hawk for use in the Empire Blood Raiders PVE. It seems somewhat pointless now, but I’ll give it a spin anyway.

It took 4 days of sporadic sessions, but I made it back to my current Genesis base of operations with my first load of fittings, including some mining ships. I’m now sitting in Jita setting up some extra hulls.


Bookmarking station undocks


I need to decide on several ship hulls to run Blood Raider combat sites, both in Hi and Low-Sec. I need both Frigate and Cruiser sized. It isn’t a faction I have dealt with much. I know their bag of tricks includes energy drain and some tracking disruption. It is the energy drain I am not too certain about.

I’ve used a Gila on some of the High Sec DED sites I have run, and plan to use that again. I’m not sure about the tactics people use in sites that only allow frigates. A buffer shield tanked Ishkur? Do you even take into consideration the Neuts, and instead just keep range and kite? Any one have a view on what’s considered the best option, particularly for Low Sec?

I was back in my home system picking up fittings.  Spent a day on and off in EFT, and didn’t come up with anything I was particularly enthused about.

Starting my Low Sec Exploration in High Sec

My EVE time has been less than optimal these last few weeks. After six months of respite our 4 year old Daughter has returned to the worst of her tantrum throwing ways. She has been an obnoxious, self-destructive horror, and there has been very little downtime left after constantly dealing with her.

Today I had a few quiet hours to myself, so decided to use it in EVE to further my goal of making a Low-Sec Base for myself. I am starting that process in Hi-Sec.

The system I have chosen to stage my Orca and main supplies from has immediate access to two small Low-Sec pockets. Nearby are two further and much larger Low-Sec areas that have links into more space in different regions. That should give me enough scope.

I moved a Jump Clone for my Main Alt here the other day, along with a Bling fit Falcon. Today I moved in a Jump Clone for my Main. I have been trying (and failing) to come up with some fitted ships for this endeavor, so the Orca I docked in was mostly empty. Not ideal, but I wasn’t sure when I would next have the opportunity to move it, and after Rubicon the process would take much longer.


Ready to undock

While here I started out by bookmarking scout positions over each gate, asteroid belt and station. I also watched the locals, which so far have been a handful of Carebear types coming and going, and one active looking PVP Corporation with plenty of kills in the nearby Low Sec systems. I flagged them as -5, as it is apparent they hunt any targets of opportunity.

And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire

CCP ran a live event in the lead up to the Rubicon release. Pilots were called to either attack or defend two Null Sec Pirate locations.

I like the idea of live events, but I could already envision what would happen on this one. A large number of Empire dwellers would group up in unmanaged kitchen sink fleets and trip over themselves getting into Null, where they would meet the disciplined, experienced and prepared pirate supporters, where they would be absolutely slaughtered.

All might not be lost however – if the Empire dwellers had a few good FC’s and a couple core organised groups, they at least might have some fun.

But they didn’t.

This is the main feedback thread:


There are also additional shorter threads in the EVE Communication Center section of the forums:


Jester summarises the event here:


What can you say?  Wow. Just wow.