Saved by the bell

I’m running out of time to move my Capitals. I have spent a great deal of time trying to find an optimum place for them – one or two jumps from Hi-Sec, containing a Station with at least a 20km docking range and repair facilities, not overly busy, and allowing me to extract some level of usefulness from the hulls.

By usefulness I mean allowing me to supply a low sec home, or within reach of Syndicate, Great Wildlands or Providence. Locations I might access while still playing my Solo game.

It was a big wish list, maybe even a little cheeky, but there were a handful of systems which fitted the bill and I sent my scouts out to investigate while watching their Dotlan and Killboard statistics.

There was one area however that every one of them failed at. The Carrier and Rorqual maximum jump range of 5LY meant the access to Low Sec or Null was so shallow that it was frankly no use to me. You would need to make at least two jumps and require me to go back to having 3 accounts.

While I have finally decided on a system within reach of the fringes of Providence, the reality of this long process has been an acceptance that – playing solo, I won’t have use for my Capitals. I was placing serious thought towards selling them.

And then the Dev blog summarising the final Phoebe travel changes was released.

It contained this little quote:

“We’d like to allow capitals into highsec without restriction in the future, but it’s a major change that is for a later time. For now, this maintains the status quo in highsec.”

They had mentioned that before, but it seems a more serious thought here.  That would mean the hulls would have a little more flexibility in adapting to different locations and uses.  That makes it worthwhile keeping my Capitals for now.

Hull Tanking

My BPO research continues, with 593 now completed at ME10/TE20. I am up to large rigs at the moment. After that are POS related BPO, which from memory did not need ME research.

I have finished consolidating my non-capital assets back to my home station and have begun the process of culling things down to efficient and manageable levels. I’ve come across some oddities such as owning 5 Falcons.

I still haven’t found a suitable place to store my Capitals. I was hoping for a quiet Low-Sec system with suitable access to Hi-Sec, stations with large docking radius and repair facilities, all within a 5LY jump range of interesting space. I’ve lost count of the number of hours I’ve spent pouring over Dotlan statistics without luck.

I have started the process of fitting out my Rorqual. Well – I have applied the ORE Development Edition skin, assembled it, and fitted its tank:

[Rorqual, New Setup1]
Damage Control II
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Reinforced Bulkheads II

Capital Transverse Bulkhead I
Capital Transverse Bulkhead I
Capital Transverse Bulkhead I

It sits on 2.35M EHP which is nice, and that is without thinking about the implants for the clone I will use to fly it. I will have to complete the fit out and move it to my selected Capital home before Phoebe hits.

Speaking of Phoebe, there are quite a lot of changes coming in that next release. I am looking forward to the unlimited skill queue, the multiple item sell window, configurable sensor overlay and the separation of the probe and direction scanner windows. The last one will require me to rethink how my entire overview is set up again. I also note the new exploration content which will be interesting to look into, and of course the invention updates, and jump range and fatigue changes which are already impacting the face of Null-Sec.

It seems to be a very interesting time to be playing EVE, although that is not always apparent in the tone and mood of the various blogs I follow. The negativity and angst can wear you down, so it pays to keep yourself distracted from it.

Last – this made me laugh out loud

An adjustment against a transformation

I finished abandoning my Low Sec home, shipped out the last of my assets and clones via wormhole or gate, and closed down the corporate offices.

I had already gone through the same process weeks earlier and abandoned my Hi-Sec Island home.

I am currently collecting ships stored in my carriers that I had forgotten about, and also checking all my Alts for the hulls they have spread about.

Everything is getting piled up high in my home station.

I’m not packing up and leaving the game; I am not changing my plans and heading out on some amazing new adventure – I’ve just been balanced to death.

For a while now I’ve been in the habit of prefixing my ship names with “CHK – “ when they have been impacted by the different ongoing balance, role and module changes. It is a visual reminder for me to revisit their fit before I undock in them again.

I tackle them one at a time when the mood takes me, but it can take up an entire EVE session in EFT to fully review just one hull. Depending on where the ship was located, it could then take weeks for me to manage to move in any updated fittings or a replacement hull so I can use it again.

I have been falling further and further behind in trying to keep up with CCP Fozzie’s work, and I literally have more hulls waiting for review than set up correctly. This situation arises from my preference to have lots of contingencies when I log in.  I like to be able to swap to whatever aspect of the game I feel like playing on a given day – but I don’t have the free time to keep on top of them all. I’ve now realised it is time to consolidate and really restrict the fleet of ships I maintain.

Overall I have felt the balance work has been a real positive for the game, but there are a couple of areas of note.

First is when everything is too balanced and has its defined place, you lose options for the unexpected or creative. It harms the sandpit. This was covered by a blog post from Susan Black:

Second is to keep in mind each balance change tends only to require a relatively limited and focused adjustment. They do not cause the type of brave fundamental transformation of the game which is required to break through any stagnation. They are no Jump Range and Fatigue change.

No consequence

I found this blog post from Gevlon Goblin to be interesting –

If you look past the usual anti CFC / RMT rhetoric, it brings up the point that the entrenched Super Powers and those under their Ship Replacement Programs can play the game without consequence.

There was an article on EN24 about the interesting conflict between Providence and Brave over systems in Northern Catch.

As with previous articles, PL turns up on their whim to dick around with one side or another, have their fun and depart. They do so without consequence, aside seemingly extending the conflict for their own amusement. It tells the other participants that their game is basically meaningless – and they are just play things for someone else’s entertainment.

I view this as one of the issues with Null Sec. Supported by moons and rent and the income streams of years of accumulated wealth, the super powers are not playing the same game we are.

I am never going to be a member of an elite corporation or alliance. I’m a casual and fairly average player of this game. I don’t begrudge people for their success, and I certainly respect the likes of PI for what they have achieved. I accept I and people like me will get curb stomped by them if they paid any attention to doing so.

The Capital Jump Drive Nerf brings consequence to where and how you move your Capitals. That will impact everyone, including the Super Powers. However it only delays the Super Powers, it doesn’t change how they can play the game compared to the rest of us. It will be interesting to see if CCP wants to, or is able to impact this current status quo. Or alternatively are we just meant to accept that we have to join one of these Super Powers if we want to play that sort of game too?

The Low Down

I’m in the process of abandoning my Low Sec home. (A process that is taking an age due to a lack of suitable wormholes to exit via.)

When I first moved in Easily Excited was the main pirate group in the area. While they would actively hunt you and salt systems by always leaving someone AFK in them day after day, it was quiet enough at times to undock and do something.

Lately they have been replaced by Surely You’re Joking. Reading chatter and trolling in local it appears as if there is some current bad blood between them. (Apparently in part around a corporation moving from EE to SYJ.) SYJ tends to be more numerous in my time zone, and while they still hunt and post scouts, they also often run sites or mine ice. As a result I wasn’t finding many opportunities to do anything.

I haven’t given up on the Low Sec notion. I enjoy the stories and image portrayed by The Nosy Gamer too much for that. The reality is however as a solo player I have to adapt and fit around what other players are doing.

So I am back to the drawing board looking for a different place where I can fairly regularly get 10 minutes at a time to undock unmolested in Low Sec.

I think I’ll give Genesis a miss this time round, and Faction Warfare space is just too busy. I do like Molden Heath – from its quiet statistics in Dotlan, to how it has been when I have occasionally visited. It just really isn’t useful if I want to store my Capitals there as well.

At the moment I am thinking Kor-Azor. It links to multiple regions and has multiple entrance points. My initial scouting suggests it is under the sway of Easily Excited. They seem to camp the more obvious entrance systems heavily, but some of the systems off the main pipes seem extra quiet.  (Probably because of the camping.)

It might also work as a place to store my capitals. I can reach Syndicate after the capital nerf in 3 or 4 jumps in one direction and Providence in 3 or 4 jumps in another direction. I’m not sure why that is particularly important, but since I have lived in both it seems comforting to think I can return.

The problem with Kor-Azor, particularly with the camping, is that there doesn’t seem to be a cluster of quiet systems to work in and around, instead just a couple here and there.

More research is required.

Impractical ornament

As suggested, I did end up buying an unnecessary and expensive hull to note my 8th year in game. I now have a new hanger ornament – a Widow. (The Caldari Black Ops Battleship) ehimg428 It was frankly a complete pain in the backside to fit. I ended up Armour tanking it with an Afterburner, Tackle, 4 Dread Guristas Multispec jammers and Torpedo Launchers. The fitting options with Torps seemed very limited. It is also very impractical. I play solo and only have two accounts. That means while I can have one flying the ship, and another opening up the Covert Cyno, I have no one left to actually bridge via the Covert Jump Portal currently riding in its hold. I also fitted up the Garmur frigate I purchased with vague ideas of trying a burner mission. As an experiment I only checked the forums for suggested fits after I got home with it.  Looks like I over tanked and it won’t do enough DPS. Back to the drawing board before I use that one in anger. ehimg427

A hop, skip and a trip

A couple of the more positive responses to the incoming Jump Drive Nerf stood out for me. The first was that it made geography more important again in EVE. The second was where and how you used your capitals becomes a more meaningful tactical choice. It is that sort of thing which gives me enthusiasm for the change.

So – whether I am meant to have an opinion or not, how does this change impact me – the solo risk adverse player based in Hi-Sec? Directly it turns out.

I have three jump capable capitals – an Archon (Carrier), Thanatos (Carrier), and an as yet unused Rorqual (Industrial Ship). I used the carriers regularly when I lived in Null Sec, primarily as a means of moving ships and supplies in and out. They were a key factor in being self-sufficient, and gave me the option to redeploy or evacuate.

While I have not flown them since returning to Hi-Sec, they still factor into my plans. The most obvious is if I return to Null Sec – either through change that makes it viable or renting or joining a new Corp. I have also considered using them as a base to operate out of in an out of the way Null Sec area, and most recently for moving things in and out of deeper Low Sec. They are still of use to me and how I play the game.

My main response to this incoming Nerf is to consider where I leave these Capitals.

I know the new maximum range is meant to be 5 Light Years with Jump Drive Calibration V. If my Math is right (never my strong point) the range should work out as:

Jump Drive Calibration Rank – Range

I – 2.77 LY
II – 3.33 LY
III – 3.88 LY
IV – 4.4 LY
V – 5 LY

My two Capital characters have the skill at Rank IV. That should mean they are only able to jump 4.4 LY. (This is 1/3 the distance they currently can.)

So I need to take this opportunity to get them close to where I will most likely use them. In reality that means either within range of Genesis Low-Sec or Providence.

I am using a trick I noticed on the Failheap forum. I use a Blackops range report on Dotlan at Jump Drive Calibration rank II, manually changing the starting system in the URL:,2/G-B22J

This shows a rough maximum range of 5 LY, and I just stop when I get to 4.4 LY.

Excuse the French, but Fuck! Going through this process just reinforces how short that distance really is.

It looks to be an either or decision for me – either I leave them in Low Sec Genesis, or in Low Sec Domain that also happens to be in striking distance of Providence. I can’t see a semi direct route between the two, so it will probably end up being a very long roundabout trip if I change my mind later.

I know I will be able to move Capitals via gates – but that basically means suicide. I’m sure it will be an option for a large group of capitals, but it isn’t for solo players. I am reliant on cynos.

I only have two accounts. Given Capital movement will now generally require multi-jump routes, I will both likely lose more of these (I have no blues), and have to move Cyno Alts after each jump, which is both less than ideal, and flags my movements to anyone watching.

In my research I did notice there were key systems / possible choke points in the areas I was looking at.  I can see these as being highly populated or key gank targets.

I also presume, after a period of adjustment, that it will impact the markets in Hi-Sec. I am not sure it will be major, but there might be a new sort of normal.

Overall it certainly seems to drastically shrink my options for using Capitals, and the thought of living in deeper Null Sec will be far less appealing. (No – those are not tears, that is simple logic.)

I have no doubt it will be a major imposition on people who are reliant on using capitals for logistics. After doing this exercise I’ve come to understand it will be worse than I first thought.


A couple of my recent posts were caught up on the edges of the Null Sec change maelstrom and garnered more attention than usual.

The first pointed out that change was coming, and rather presumptuously reminded people to be discerning when reading the related discussions.

The second took a moment to consider the emotion shown by those being directly impacted, and indicated I thought change was necessary, and at a high level why and what impact I would like to see.

Light-weight stuff focused more on the mechanics of the discussion than the mechanics of the subject.

The second post generated a somewhat curious discussion on Twitter,

It was triggered by this comment from current CSM9 member @FunkyBacon



My Favourite answer – in the “I wish I had thought of that” way was from blogger @Kirithkodachi



This is of course one of my main pet topics on this blog – how EVE players do themselves no favours with their inability to properly debate topics. (Obviously that is more of a worldwide phenomenon, not just confined to EVE.)

While it pays to be succinct when debating, twitter probably takes that too far. I mostly just watched the discussion from the sidelines. I figured I should be thankful that for a brief moment in time a few people had stopped to consider the topic.

To take it a little further though, just who should be allowed to have an opinion on the Null Sec changes?

I have been playing EVE for 8 years; I have lived in High, Low, Sov and NPC Null Sec space. I currently day trip into Wormholes and Null Sec, own 3 jump capable capital ships, pay a reasonable level of attention to what is going on in the game, and would consider returning to Null again in the future.

Is that enough? Who do I ask to judge and give me a star or a stamp or label which says I am allowed to have an opinion?

The answer is obvious. Anyone with an interest in Null Sec is welcome to their opinion. Whether it is worth listening to or not should be judged on its merits. Trying to define who is allowed to voice an opinion is a transparent attempt to stifle or control the debate. It also means you fail to take the opportunity to educate or exchange ideas.

There are of course people who you just can’t be bothered listening to. For example, I know I’m right on top of my wife’s list.  I am also not suggesting I have anything of note to say.  (My wife would agree.)  Unlike some though, I am not stubbornly unreceptive to new ideas, so am happy to have my opinions refined and improved from the input of others.

I do wish CCP the best of luck in finding the most useful inputs into this discussion from amongst the avalanche of feedback.  I expect the concept is set in stone, but I am confident they will tweak to improve or and to reduce unexpected consequences where players can raise the suggestions coherently.

I do have some specific thoughts on how the new jump distance and fatigue changes might impact me, and they will, but I want to undock instead of write more.

Suddenly there is excitement

I was astonished by CCP’s latest DEV blog, outlining jump travel changes coming likely in the next release, and giving the sort of very rough path they are looking to take with Null Sec.

That has the capacity to be a real game changer, both obvious, and in ways I’d never likely consider.

After contemplating the huge weapons caches the current Null Sec Lords will likely spread around, my next thought was of an old pony express style situation where instead of changing horse at each station, a new pilot without cool down timers will step into a ship. Obviously that is only in the realm of those with great resources, but already I find the mind racing at all the possible ways players might unexpectedly adjust to this.

Now – frankly, you are not going to get insightful analysis on this from me. (As the pony express idea clearly shows.)

It does not change the ability of the current Null Sec lords to retain their power. They might not be able to respond as quickly, but an unassailable Capital armada moving via gate will still ruin the plans of any smaller group to hold space.

It makes the life of the Null Sec grunt more difficult. It almost forces then into wide spread Null Sec industry. It makes some space more valuable and other less desirable.

What I am really waiting for is to see how the current Null Sec lords respond. Do they take the opportunity over the next 6 weeks to punish CCP by scorching the earth, leaving no one else with any sort of foothold in Sov Null? Do they kick off one of the biggest wars in history against each other to try and get the upper hand over their rivals before it hits?

For the first time in a while I actually feel a sense of excitement about a change coming in EVE. Of course, all I have to do is consider where I want to park my 3 capital ships sometime over the next month or so. In the long run I think this sort of change will make for a more interesting and healthy EVE. In the short term I can see a lot of very unhappy people.

For them it is not broken

I was reminded yesterday that for a reasonable number of players, Null Sec is not broken.

They are living there, facing its perils, gathering resources, and fighting in fleet battles. They are having fun and enjoy the game.

You can understand why they can get passionate when told by outsiders that it has to change.

This is not just for the pilots within the handful of super powers ruling Null Sec. There was an interesting “leaked” statement from Corebloodbrothers posted on the EveNews24 site. He is the CSM member and head FC for Providence.

You would garner that there are a reasonable number of vocal Provi-block members who are scared about the as yet undetailed changes, and angry at their CSM representative for, well, I’m not entirely sure what.  Again from the outside, you would have thought this was one of the groups which would likely benefit from CCP’s changes.

I’m from the outside. I spend most of my time in Empire and I play the game solo. It has been more than 4 years since I have lived in Sov Null Sec, and almost 2 years since I lived in NPC Null Sec. I think it is important for the game to see changes in Null Sec – but when I put it like that, I can certainly understand why people happy in Null Sec are angry at me for even offering up an opinion.

I don’t generally do in depth analysis on this blog. I’ll see some small point or different angle on a topic I find interesting, such as this, and I just mull over my thoughts. I am not here to try and convert the masses to my way of thinking.  What I will do is just remark on why it seems obvious to me that Null-Sec needs change.

At the moment, I agree with the view that there are only a small number of people who control Null-Sec. They have agreements between each other to limit any conflicts of consequence that have held for a while now. There is no probable way for new groups to independently take space away from them, and even less chance they could subsequently hold it. This becomes even more unlikely as the ensconced powers build almost unassailable fleets, and treat smaller entities as play things.

I would like to see a situation where the sphere of influence of the current super powers is reduced enough so that there is plausible room for many new groups to make homes for themselves. I’d like this to be possible without having large fleets of Titans and Super Carriers.  I’d like there to be more dynamic conflicts of consequence.

I don’t know how that can be achieved, although the concept of limiting force projection makes some sense as a starting point. I don’t believe such changes will necessary change the day to day life in Null-Sec of people who are already enjoying the game there.

Saline water

I crossed paths with the noted blogger Wilhelm Arcturus today – of Ancient Gaming Noob fame ( He responded politely to the greeting in local, but I was distracted by my kids trying to kill each other again. I have probably stumbled across a dozen notable EVE players in local over time, generally in unexpected places. I wonder if they regularly come across starry eyed fans.

Oceanus has landed. The deployment was unusually (for recent times) extended, so I had to go to bed before the system was available again.

I visited the Issues and Feedback threads this morning in case there was something I needed to be weary of. There were anecdotal suggestions that the new cloaking effect might impact how long you are visible on grid. Otherwise the threads seemed to be filled with more vitriol about the changes, or lack of changes, than usual. My wife has a very bad head cold at the moment, and you can smell the sickness on her. That was what the forum visit was like. I left as soon as I could.

There wasn’t a great deal in the release of note for me.

I spent probably half a day in game recently doing preparations related to Oceanus and future releases. I purchased 219 different cheap Meta Modules in stacks of between 1 to 150 each. In total this 20,000m3 haul cost just 25M ISK. I expect if I pay attention I will make a profit on some of them when they are rebalanced. This was done as a distraction – not something to specifically make worthwhile ISK over.

I changed the name of my jump clones on my main. Useful – assuming it doesn’t carry over to your capsule name. That is not the sort of intel you would want to give away.



I turned on the optional notifications system. I can see it being useful.



I’m not entirely sure about the need for larger icons in the station sidebar, or defaulting to the agent list. The skeptical side of me assumes this is a performance related decision. It does give a slightly more polished look.



Last of all I of course tested out the cloaking effect.



(Note I am using a Falcon to demonstrate. I picked the hull as I know many people dislike it. That is my version of trolling.)

At some angles and ranges the new effect looks great – at others, not so much. Overall it is an improvement. I’ve noticed more than one person complaining about the development time put into it, but I am supportive of efforts to continually work at improving the game visually. It pays off in the long run. I happened to look at some 8 year old screen captures of the game recently, and boy has it come a long way.

That about sums up Oceanus for me – I’ll glance at the new wormholes when I next day trip there, but there is not much else on my To-Do list related to the release.