Throwing down the Gauntlet

I’ve had a couple multi-regional sessions searching for Blood Raider Gauntlet sites, both with 40+ Hi-Sec jumps, and both only resulting in a few sites found. I’ve had more luck just finding them in my home system when I happen to undock.

Almost every site I’ve run has ended up being contested, which is not really the way I like to do PVE. The Zealot I set up a week ago however has worked out well. It has no problem tanking, no problem quickly taking down the rats, and so far, no problem beating the drone boats (mainly Gila and Ishtar) to the Blood Battlecruiser kill for the loot. Lasers for the win.

While it has been running the normal sites haven’t been hammered as much, so I’ve been able to run more of those than usual.

I expect CCP’s statistics should show this PVE event has been a success.

I’ll get back to the Caldari Epic Arc once the event wraps up.

Meanwhile I plonked an Alt down into another low sec area, to make bookmarks and flag the local pirates as negative contacts. On and off I’ve tried finding some quiet low-sec backwater where I can do a little mining or run sites for something different. I’ve only spent a few hours there but I suspect it will be too busy. In fact – Low-Sec as a whole has been much busier over the last year or so. I only need a semi reliable 10 minutes here and there of peace to get something done, but that doesn’t look promising.

I’ve even done some half AFK mining this week.


I continue to keep myself amused.

I am not crying

Generally, this blog has an unashamed emphasis on Solo Carebear play. With CCP’s recent and ongoing focus on EVE Null Sec, I am going to be regularly remarking about the lack of impact various Dev blogs will have on how I play the game.

Do not mistake this for melancholy or bitterness. They are just observations. I am not crying; I don’t have an inflated sense of self-importance or entitlement when it comes to EVE.

I will also be remarking on how I am not entirely enamoured with some of their directions and changes. I am ok with that. My overriding feeling is that I am pleased CCP has the fortitude to continually try and improve their game. Making a mistake with the best of intention is better for the game than stagnating impotence.

Building your new homes

There is quite a detailed blog about the manufacturing of the new Citadel structures, including their ingredients and BPO costs.

To get an Extra Large Citadel BPO will cost an eye watering 700B ISK. Yes, seven, zero, zero. Even the 6B ISK for a Medium Citadel BPO is a noteworthy investment for smaller groups, and that does not include costs for the structure components, new rigs, fuel bocks, service and structure modules.

I assume some of the costs will be allayed if the POS and Outpost related BPO’s are refunded for ISK.

I had kind of forgotten about the huge impact this change would have on all the industrialists, and just how much content it will add to their games.

The costs however suggest that we won’t be seeing an initial glut of X-Large Citadels being planted around New Eden. Or maybe I will be wrong – I could be underestimating the wealth of Alliances outside of the top tiers.

Capital Rework Goals and Concepts

Goodness – three posts today.  Lots of things to think about with EVE at the moment.

The first Dev Blog giving a high level overview of the Capital Ship rework has been released. It will be the first of many.

I am not going to summarise the Blog – it is best if you have any interest in EVE Capitals that you go read it yourself, or check out one of the many summaries already available elsewhere (such as those at ). I am just going to contemplate how it impacts my solo play.

I have two Carriers and a Rorqual. They exist to allow me to move assets around Low Sec or maybe NPC Null. I haven’t considered using them however since the Jump Range nerf. It was dangerous enough moving capitals solo before that change.

I was hoping that there would be new interesting and unexpected game play options with the capital rebalance. I wanted an excuse to undock in them again – even as a solo player. While the changes are wide ranging, they are mostly around combat, tactics, fleet compositions and such.

My carriers will certainly be less useful. I’ll have to wait for the stats to be released. Now that all the capital hulls will get Fleet and Ship Hangers, I’ll have to check if there is a better one to use as my go to moving van.

I can understand the change to limiting capital remote repairs to only work properly while the Force Auxiliary Capitals are in Triage. It is an interesting tactic to put a limit on the effectiveness of capital remote repairs to how well those new ships can self tank. It should in theory result in more ships dying in big fleet combat. I’m not sure how that will play out. In some cases, those on the losing side of a battle might come away happier if having at least bloodied the opponents nose. If you are almost always guaranteed to loose ships however, some might be less enamored with the idea of large scale fights.

I can understand the idea behind not allowing refits when you have a weapons timer. It does seem to punish smaller groups more than the larger ones, who can simply bring more ships to cover more scenarios. But then I realised with all the weapon changes CCP is bringing, the very best of those small groups will soon find the next killer Meta, which the big groups will then copy, and then CCP will nerf it. So the cycle should continue.

Having Supercarriers and Titans have an innate warp strength of around 2o to 50 is a very interesting idea, although with the ability to hit sub capitals harder, the end result might be less supers destroyed. Then again being able to be jammed on occasion might offset that. Again it will be interesting to see how that pans out.

Overall if you use capitals regularly now, there should be a wide range of new fitting choices, tactics, and unique combat related special abilities to keep you interested. If you don’t currently have a use for them, you probably still won’t.

EVE Vegas 2015 Keynote

I linked to this below, but it warrants repeating.  The official video of the Keynote at 2015 EVE Vegas is available here:

It is just under an hour long and is worth watching.  CCP did a pretty good job of giving an overall summary and context to the next EVE expansion.

34 minutes in, Torfi Frans Olafsson (the EVE Universe Creative Director) remarked on how awesome he thought the direction was that EVE took with these changes.  They follow the core design philosophy of player driven emergent gameplay, with totally unknown outcomes for both the players and the developers.

I’m not so sure the outcome is unknown. There are still only a very small number of groups in the game that can reliably defend their citadels from the likes of PL.

I foresee a version of the Wildebeest migrations in Africa, feeding Lions and Crocodiles. I suspect the only protection most Carebears can hope for is that there are so many of these anchored that the carnivores simply can’t gorge themselves on an appreciably high enough percentage of them.

I hope I’m wrong.

It was also somewhat expensive to watch – I ended up putting in an order in for a hardcopy of Andrew Groen’s Empire’s of EVE book.

BB68 – The Hermit Cave

BB 68 – How do you play your important internet spaceships game? On a laptop, 12 monitor setup, 50” TV, amongst the family or locked away?


I live in Melbourne, Australia.  Unsurprisingly I play EVE in a Hermit Cave. My study door is kept closed to dull the noise from the family and keep the cats out. When I play I hunker down behind a couple large screens and attempt to hide from my reality and responsibilities.


My desk is positioned to allow me to watch TV while playing EVE, and to split my attention between the screen and my wife when she pops her head through the door. Well – that was the intention. It sometimes works if she is just asking if I would like a cup of tea. More often however she appears to order me to do something out of my study, or she comes and stands next to my desk, forcing me to turn the chair to face her. In both scenarios I can’t watch my EVE session. If it is not her, it is the kids. As such I generally prefer to play EVE when I am the only one home, or everyone else has gone to bed.


I run EVE on a custom built i7-3770, with 32GB Ram, SSD, Dual GTX 680, Dual Samsung 28” 4K Monitors and Windows 10. I generally use Logitech game keyboards – currently the mechanical G710+, and Steelseries Mouse.

When travelling or as a backup, I run EVE on a MSI GS60 3K Ghost Pro laptop, which has an i7-4710HQ, 16GB Ram, SSD, GTX870M, 15.6” 3K Screen and Windows 10. I can use my desktop keyboard and mouse to control the laptop via Stardock’s Multiplicity, so can use that as a third screen.

Neither are cutting edge anymore, but can run both my accounts (on the desktop in a 3000×1800 window) without issue.


I find EVE a frustrating game to play if I get interruptions. It is much more immersive when I can cocoon myself away, open my clients, open my EVE tools such as Excel, EFT and DOTLAN, and just lose myself in it. I suspect if I had more social interactions through the game that this sort of setup might be less important, but as it is, it seems to help me enjoy my solo style of play.

My study is my equivalent of a man cave. While I don’t spend as much on technology as I did before kids, the room is set up relatively nicely.  My wife generally takes the view that as I work from home and can spend 12+ hours a day in the room, it is appropriate to spend money setting it up properly.  I don’t go crazy with my purchases, but over the space of 15 odd years it has slowly been upgraded and improved to the point where it is a nice place to spend time.

Other Blog Banter posts  on this topic can be found here.

Blood Zealot

Given the competition in Blood Raider Gauntlet sites I wanted to swap to something not drone based. Just to fly something different, I put together a Zealot to use in the sites.



[Zealot, Blood Raider Gauntlet]
Damage Control II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Corpum C-Type Medium Armor Repairer

10MN Afterburner II
Stasis Webifier II
Tracking Computer II, Tracking Speed Script

Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II

I tested it against some standard anomalies, including Drones which can be troublesome for Medium turrets to hit. It handled everything without issue, aside the lock times being a little long.

I then set out to find some Blood Raider Gauntlet sites to run. I aimed for quieter systems off trade routes, and spent more than 90 minutes travelling across Domain and Tash-Murkon, in the end finding only 3!

One was uncontested, and the Zealot cleared the site and collected the loot in exactly 5 minutes. The second site was contested, with a Dominix Battleship sitting at 15km from the gate but with the Frigates cleared. I could have easily flown past him and into the final room, but I left the pilot to it. I returned a few minutes later after checking out a couple dead end systems and noticed the site was still on overview and the Dominix wasn’t on scan. Not sure what happened there, but I looted the site anyway. The last site I started by myself, but had an Ishtar join me. I managed to win the race for the Blood Battlecruiser and collected the loot from that site. Lasers trumped drones.

So it is certainly a workable hull. I might keep it until the blood event finishes.

Betting on Change

Further details on Citadels, Capital changes, different visuals and what not are emerging from EVE Vegas. I’m waiting for the release of the related DEV Blogs before making any sort of judgement, but you can see some of the videos they showed at the EVE Online YouTube channel:


The official video has been posted here:

A time lined summary of the Keynote at EVE Vegas from a linked non-official video (which missed the start):

Check out TMC for what seems a fairly comprehensive summary of the information released so far:


Where did you come from

I found my first, second and third Blood Raider Gauntlet sites this evening.

The first was while I was in that unarmed Interceptor – so had to ignore it.

The second was after I Jumped-Cloned back to my home base and went looking for them in my Gila. I searched through 15 odd systems before finding it. There was a Confessor already running the site when I warped in. I was content just to sit back and watch what it was all about – but the pilot warped out. I started clearing the remaining rats when another Confessor warped in, then out again, followed by yet another Confessor. When the last rat was cleared that Confessor used the sites acceleration gate. I followed to witness it destroy two rats before warping off. I cleared the remaining rats and structures but didn’t notice any loot.

I found the third site after flying back to my home system to park the Gila – but with only 30 seconds left before downtime.

I ran that third site when tranquility came back online.

For the two Hi-Sec sites I looked at, you warp to the beacon to find a handful of structures and an acceleration gate around 15km away from you. There are 5 Blood Raider Gauntlet Frigates (worth 30K each) in the site which web you. As you clear the spawn another 5 turn up, then another 5 when those are cleared. (A total of 15.) I cleared all the NPCs and Structures I could damage, but nothing was dropped.

The acceleration gate seems to be locked until all the NPCs are destroyed.  Behind the acceleration gate is a pocket with 5 Blood Raider Gauntlet Cruisers and a Battlecruiser. Once destroyed a further 5 Cruisers turned up. I cleared all the NPCs and Structures I could damage, but again nothing was dropped.

I figured it must have been the luck of the draw but I then noticed I had one of those Abaddon Blood Raiders Skins in my cargo hold. I am guessing it probably “appeared” after the battlecruiser kill, or after I destroyed one of the structures. I’m not sure as I wasn’t expecting to gain loot like that.

The Gila had no issues with tanking or quickly removing the rats.  The Confessors were certainly destroying the rats even quicker – so they don’t appear to have high resists or a lot of EHP.  Their damage however might possibly worry a Confessor or Assault Frigate.  I was probably taking around 300 Hits inbetween my Medium Drone Strikes.

Initial reports suggest the sites tend to be heavily contested.  That seems accurate at the moment.

Parking in Blood

CCP have released more detail of the Crimson Harvest event, which has just started and will run through to November 2nd:

It is very much a theme-park type “special”, with cash shop goodies and bonuses, time limited loot in time limited PVE sites, and apparently some live action events. Just like other theme-park MMOs. I’m not entirely enthused with that approach, but people have been asking for more theme-park content, and I guess it is something they can reuse again. I don’t have much free time at the moment, but I will try to check some of this out in game.

(Wouldn’t it be interesting if using the blood raider cerebral accelerator had an impact on your clone in game after the event finished? Not a buff or bonus – but maybe occasional communications from the blood raiders.)

I’m still in the early stages of the Caldari Epic Arc. Glancing through the wiki it seems to have a lot more branches than the Amarr Arc did. The first choice I was given was doing a delivery into Null Sec, or a delivery into Low Sec, or what seemed to be setting yourself up for a possible double cross of the agent you are working for, then going back to doing one of the two deliveries. I might not have got that right; it wasn’t entirely clear to me.

My character has never really been a double crosser, so for something different I decided to do the Null Sec delivery. I grabbed the Warp Core Stabbed gun-less interceptor I set up to visit every system in Domain, swapped to a +2/go fast clone, and made my way to KFR-ZE in Syndicate.


This would give a kill report that I’d be embarrassed by

I waited until a week day to do the run, and happened to complete it just after downtime. I did not run into any other players in space, although had the discomfort of hitting gates multiple times and getting traffic control warnings and having to wait a few seconds for the next system to be loaded. Sitting a few seconds on a gate out of Hi-Sec can be uncomfortable. The only real concern I had was that the wiki suggested I could complete the mission remotely, but while it was flagged as complete in my overview and at the top of the mission description, the agent continued to report that I had not completed it.


It was not until I docked in the agent’s station that the Complete button appeared under the objectives (while the agent still reported I had not completed it.)  After 66 odd jumps I was pleased to see I could finish it.

Nice when a somewhat bizarrely fitted and individually focused ship turns out to have a practical use.

Buzzy Hulls

I managed to undock over the weekend. It seemed to have been a while.




I started the Caldari EPIC Arc, but am not that far into it. The Gollum isn’t as quick to fly around space as the Nestor, but it didn’t feel that much of a chore to move.

I got to use a Microjump drive for the first time, which was interesting enough. I haven’t used Bastion mode yet however. The tank in the earlier missions has held up fine, and I was very surprised that with a single target painter the cruise missiles made short work of elite frigate NPCs.

I did have another note – “what’s up with the Epic Arc Stations not having repair facilities. Bastards”. This mainly related to having to visit different stations to repair drones.

The Skill Point transfer suggestion from CCP seems to have kicked up a big fuss. I’ve noted some well written blog posts covering the for and against arguments. It is not something that I’d use on my Main (176M SP) or Main Alt (165M SP), but I might use the mechanism if the price is ok to quickly upskill one of my Alts (44M, 22M, 15M and 5M SP) – particularly if it encourages me to try something different in game. All told I come down on the “no overly bothered, go ahead” side.

CCP Fozzie (who seems to have been quiet of late) is in a CCP video announcement:

We are getting more new hulls than expected. There is the already mentioned Discovery Ice Mining Frigate (looks more workable than the Prospect, but not sure I will find a practical use for it), the 4 T2 Destroyers with area effect Microjump drives (something else I am not likely to use), plus 8 hulls not mentioned before – 4 T2 Logistic Frigates and 4 new Navy Electronic Warfare Frigates. The last hulls have an unusual mix of damage and (restricted range) EW buffs.   (Again, I’m not likely to use those last 8 hulls either.)


I’m not sure what to think about this one:

It is in the early days, but CCP is considering allowing people to extract and sell their Skill Points.

The skill points – possibly in blocks of 500K, are collected by a Transneural Skill Extractor and placed into a Transneural Skill Packet.

Both these Transneural items can be traded on the market.

The Extractor will be purchased with AUR.

If a player consumes a Transneural Skill Packet they will get unallocated skill points.  This will be scaled to reduce the benefits for older players.  The initial suggestion was:

. 0 – 5 million skillpoints = 500,000 unallocated skillpoints added
. 5 – 50 million skillpoints = 400,000 unallocated skillpoints added
. 50 – 80 million skillpoints = 200,000 unallocated skillpoints added
. > 80 million skillpoints = 50,000 unallocated skillpoints added

In some / many ways it cheapens the time you spend developing your characters, and seems to be a further step towards pay to win.  Having said that, we already have ISK for PLEX and the Character Bazaar trading, so this just formalises it a little more and makes it more flexible.  It also acts as a SP and ISK sink for higher SP toons.

Interesting CCP…

Bits and bobs and vaguely gaming related

. As I mentioned, I did not receive any standing change after finishing the Amarr Epic Arc. My support ticket was answered after a day or two and a 12.5% increase applied by a GM. This impacted only Amarr Empire. It went from 5.49 to 6.05.

. I use RSSOwl to read the various EVE blogs I follow.  (I prefer downloading them to my desktop instead of relying on web based services.) Recently I wiped Java from my PC and did a fresh install of the latest Runtime. RSSOwl then failed to run, providing no error message I could find. In the end I worked out the problem was that it required the 32 bit Java Runtime, and I had installed 64 bit. Interestingly both versions can coexist fine.

. There was an article on The Mittani a little while ago which exemplified how I think many PVP focused players completely fail to understand Carebears. It was about Micro Conflict Drivers.  I am paraphrasing, but the author wanted some way for the bigger powers to go mess with the little Null Sec guy that did not require hitting strategic assets. The conflict driver had to in effect force Carebears to undock and fight; else they should be punished harshly. The example was making all the ratting revenue for the last hour or so being available in space. If it was not defended, the attackers could take it. I can imagine the author smiling with glee at the thought of it – except for the fact it would fail miserably. Bigger Powers would simply beat any Carebear defence and take the revenue anyway, so what incentive is there for a Carebear to undock?

. We have an old Panasonic DVD/PVR (DMR-XW450) that we use as a backup to record shows when our main PVR is too busy. It is configured to stop you from copying recordings off it except to DVD, which if you want to watch a show in another location is time consuming and now unreliable. I spent some time researching how I could capture the HDMI output, and ended up getting the AverMedia Game Capture HD II and using this specific HDMI splitter – vhd-1x2mn3d – to strip the HDCP copy protection from the signal. It has worked well, and should also be a solution for the PS3 HDMI output. The files are a little on the large size however – around 8GB an hour compared to our PVR’s 3GB.

. I still find myself employed in the same job. If I was under financial pressure it would have been pertinent to have started looking for work elsewhere some time ago. Things are good however in that regard, so I’ve stayed as it was convenient. Last week the state staff levels dropped from 7 to 5. Two resigned to go form their own company and work for their current clients. This would generally be a huge no-no in Consulting, but apparently they are doing it with the blessing of management. It might be because the clients were going anyway, or because these two were close to management, but it also raised a warning flag I hadn’t been considering. Up until this point the question was would I leave with about 3 months pay for owed leave entitlements, or around 6 months with a retrenchment package. Now I have to consider the possibility of the company closing its doors and me leaving with nothing.  I will still get my months off regardless, but I might not be so willing to open the wallet for some projects around the house I want to get stuck into.  I’m not sure if I mentioned it or not, but my colleague who has been looking for work has been told numerous times now to dumb down his resume and make it look like he has 10 years instead of 20 years experience.  Apparently some companies think if someone has too much experience they won’t be dynamic and edgy enough.  It is apparently more important to be able to talk the talk than actually do the job.


Centimetre imperfect

I’ve been rather unwell this week and haven’t undocked.  I am not likely to be able to rectify that this weekend as I’ll be busy watching all the TV coverage for the Bathurst 1000 race.  I’ve been fascinated by this particular race and watched it religiously since I was around 10.  It is the only weekend of the year that I can ignore (almost) all my responsibilities.

There was an accident today during qualifying where last years winner turned in a fraction of a second too early and ended up with a broken car, leg and wrist.  You can see video of it here:

Sorry – has been removed

More video and details here:

The track and race is phenomenal – it requires such fearlessness from the drivers and centimetre perfect precision for some 161 laps and 1,000km.  When they don’t get it perfect the track can sometimes, as it did today, make them pay dearly.

EVE drama doesn’t come close.

The EVE theme park

Sugar Kyle raised an oft repeated, heated and hijacked topic – what sort of development would people like to see in Hi-Sec.

I’ve seen discussions on this deteriorate into two very loud, hostile extremes – one side wanting their version of utopia, the other side wanting to burn it all to the ground. I expect the majority of Hi-Sec players would be frustrated by that. I saw in Sugar’s blog post a challenge for them to come out with some serious ideas.

While it is not possible to neatly pigeonhole everyone, I am going to start off with my assumptions. Plenty of people do not want to play EVE out of Hi-Sec. Attempts to force them to do so will result in many leaving the game instead. My ideas relate to what I think are two large Hi-Sec groups who can play a more theme park version of EVE – Miners and PVE Content Runners.

I think they are commonly motivated by aspirations to level up. Miners start off in Frigates, then Barges, then Exhumers, they work on efficient hauling, boosts from Orcas, implants, refining rates – with the long term goal of achieving the highest possible yield. PVE Content Runners work up from simple Belt ratting through to a selection of Exploration, Level 1 to 4, COSMOS, Epic Arc, Incursion and Drifter sites and missions. All the while they are upgrading their skills, equipment and hulls.

There is plausibly a couple years of content available for people with such motivations, slowed by having to complete against other players, and stretched further if they have good social interactions.

These groups have value to the game – both financially through their subscriptions, and because when they undock they are still part of our MMO and available to interact with.

Interestingly within the context Sugar provided, was a warning not just looking at creating more theme park content. I am basically however going to suggest just that – but hopefully in ways that won’t require so much development time.

So my first suggestion is give these people something to further aspire to. We have capital ship rebalancing coming next year. Adjust the Rorqual and let it move through Hi-Sec via Gates. Allow Hi-Sec Miners to use it to compress ore at the Belt and provide a very small boost to yield over the Orca. By doing this you give such players an extra year of goals in skill training and acquiring and fitting one. Add Level 5 missions to Hi-Sec – but with only a minimal increase in LP rewards over Level 4 missions. Give the Mission runners a further challenge. I emphasis both should only provide a small incremental increase in ISK generation, but will expand the levelling options in Hi-Sec using existing game assets.

My next suggestion is to quickly add content – there needs to be more variety. As I discussed in my recent Blog Banter – .. start spreading NPC factions around. Have a small percentage of cosmic anomaly sites in a region be for different Factions. You can come across a Guristas or Serpentis or Blood Raider site in Sansha space for example. Give the players a reason to swap modules on their ships and adjust their tactics. The same could be done in the pools of missions available for an agent. Have the occasional one thrown in against an unexpected pirate faction. This might fit in with when Faction Warfare becomes a four way battle – have the pirates also spreading their wings. Again it uses existing game assets.

I think CCP should review all their theme park content and see what they might plausibly add to Hi-Sec from other areas of the game. Gimp or tax it to ensure it doesn’t became a particularly rewarding process, but give the Hi-Sec players a chance to experience it.

I am already hopeful that some of the existing work CCP is doing will have a positive impact on Hi-Sec. The NPC AI changes might shake things up a little. Having NPCs target drones for example made a notable difference in how many players had to approach their PVE content. Could you imagine if Faction Rats try to warp off once they drop below 50% EHP?  Pilots would need to change their fit to include a warp disruptor if they wanted to hunt those spawns.  Further changes could be good for keeping players interested. Some of CCP’s balance changes have also impacted Hi-Sec a lot – such as the Hauler and Mining Hull tiericide updates. Giving players a choice between yield, tank, speed and capacity changed the face of the Hi-Sec belts and space lanes.

If CCP has a little Development time to spare, I would like them to add lots of simple and small exploration sites. I already outlined my ideas in my blog banter –upsized rats (a couple battle cruisers or one battleship), out of place rats (wrong faction for the region), entirely out of place rats (a handful of sleepers or incursion rats) or out of place resources (1-3 rare small asteroids). It would also be nice if there were solo low reward options in Incursions, such as clearing incursion rats off gates or belts, just so everyone can play a small part.

As I said in my previous post – this is not to homogenise space or making Hi-Sec so interesting that you won’t want to move. The rewards from these sites should be low, and the frequency they can be found balanced. They should also be scaled up and placed out of Hi-Sec. The idea is to increase the variety in the theme park with hopefully somewhat limited development effort.

There are two further areas I would suggest be looked at, but which will probably involve a lot more development work.

First – if new missions are to be created, think about making them a little more dynamic, and possibly look at some of what is done well in COSMOS missions. Your agent sends you to speak to someone in space who gives you four tasks, of which you need to complete two in any order. One might require you to scan down a site to run, another to fly through the neighbouring systems to find your mission beacon, or another to visit an open / shared DED complex for something, much like some COSMOS missions.

Second – try to have most of the traditional out of Hi-Sec mechanism available in Hi-Sec. Have exploration sites containing a Pirate NPC Moon mining operation. Let players use Syphon units on them for minimal ISK across a few days or a week, or give the players the option to try and destroy them instead for drops and bounty. Find hidden Pirate Citadels, and get a Concord bounty and some loot for going through the process of capturing / destroying them. Similarly find Pirate Structures that require Entosis links to be used on them. I would prefer if different players can complete in various ways over these, and for the NPCs to defend them. For some players it will be enough to train up the required skills and purchase different hulls so as to do something different, for other players it will be a stepping stone to moving out of Hi-Sec and using their new learnt skills against other players.

So, in case I’ve rambled on too much, a summary. I think there are a noteworthy number of EVE players who at the core play a levelling up theme park version of EVE.  They still add value to the game.  I think with smart use of existing game assets, CCP can relatively simply and quickly expand their game play options and experiences. This might add a year or two more content to the “average” life of such a Hi-Sec player.  Also work to expose them to as many mechanisms of the game as possible, to make it easier to transition to different Space if they happen to change their minds.

Day 4

The CSM Summit meeting minutes have been released for day 4.

I always make a point of reading this sort of information from CCP, and take notes of anything that might impact my game or that I find interesting. Here were a few things that stood out.

In the Ship Balancing session Jayne Fillion raised the issue of FC’s being headshotted – with CCP indicating they were interested in tackling that. I was horrified by that concept. It is up to the players to deal with protecting their FC’s, not some arbitrary game mechanic. I hope that never sees the light of day.

Sion suggested remote reps should be toned down to allow both sides to get kills more easily. CCP asked if that would encourage or discourage fights – with Sion suggesting the increased kill mails would motivate people to fight more. I suspect Sion should ask the average F1 Fleet Monkey with an average ISK Bank balance what they think.

(I don’t mind the idea of fall off ranges on remote assistance modules – just not for the reason of nerfing them to uselessness.)

In the Factional Warfare and PvE session they raised the idea of a Tribute system – where ISK rewards would be given out for, in effect, logging in and doing stuff daily. I’m in two minds over this. On one hand it is a crass was to try and encourage people to log in daily. On the other hand it might work – I’ve said many times before how just undocking to run an exploration site can lead to a much more involved and longer EVE session.

CCP are also looking at turning Faction Warfare into a 4 way war. They also raised the idea of NPC Patrols and Convoys that the players can interact with, and that will fight each other if they cross paths. CCP Affinity indicated that she would like to decouple standings from FW completely. Assuming there was some mechanism to delay the speed of swapping between factions, I think that would be an excellent way of encouraging more players into FW.  I know the standings impact is one of the reasons I’ve never looked at it.  Oh, and the fact I don’t seem to like PVP might also play a part.  I might however give it a try at times if it didn’t ruin standings.


There is an unpleasant aspect to flying the Golem that I wanted to remark on from a solo player point of view. Flying it makes me feel a lot more conspicuous than I like to be. It seems to say – “hey, possible loot pinata”, or “scan down my mission, I’m bound to fire upon someone stealing from wrecks.”

Maybe it isn’t a solo thing – maybe it is just me who doesn’t like it or the reputation it seems to come with.

I only have three Deadspace modules on it, the shield booster and the pair of shield boost amplifiers. They cost 400M ISK in total, which shouldn’t make me a gank target. I was contemplating the Gistum B-Type Adaptive Invulnerability Field, which would cost a further 300M ISK. I’ll see how the current fit works first. I wonder at what point people think it is worth ganking a Golem for?  Or is it a target simply as it is a 1B+ ISK cost to the owner?

I know even with the relatively cheap modules I used, when I undocked from Jita for the first time I had 3 Reinforced Bulkheads II fitted along with a couple extra Adaptive Invulnerability Field II modules.

As an aside, I know I said cheap, but that is obviously a relative term.  I would not have been able to afford this ship in the first couple years I played the game, and then I wouldn’t have wanted to risk that much ISK in one hull for a couple more years after that.  I don’t mean to be discourteous about flying what I expect is an aspirational ship for many solo Empire based Mission runners.  At the moment however I have the spare ISK, and I know ISK has more value when it is spent on getting you active in the game.


Sugar Kyle kindly commented on the blog a few weeks ago that solo pilots matter to CCP. I believe that is accurate, and you would hope so given there are a rather large number of us.

As I’ve read through the CSM summit minutes and the flurry of recent Dev Blogs about the short and medium term updates coming to EVE, I’ve again noticed however that very little of CCP’s work seems to focus on Solo Pilots who are not into PVP.

CCP probably understand those who like solo PVP. They have Developers who come from that background, and you see evidence of that in their small ship balancing and in such things as how faction warfare is designed.

But what about all the solo pilots who are out and about in space, but generally mind their own business and keep to themselves. You can compete against them on the markets or in exploration sites, chase them around low sec or wormholes, scam them or gank them – but if you ignore them, they will ignore you. You know – the apparent majority of solo players.

I found little in the recent CCP communications that was exciting for players like me – nothing aspirational and nothing to set goals for.

I wasn’t going to remark on it, but I noticed the indomitable Greedy Goblin had also picked up on aspects of my disquiet:

This isn’t a “CCP doesn’t care about us” post, or a cry to have my hard earnt subscription dollars spent on the specific way I play the game. I have however been pondering – does CCP simply not understand a numerous – but by their nature silent, proportion of their player base?

It is an interesting thought.


I had a great day of EVE yesterday – very long and productive. After finishing the Amarr Epic Arc I moved the Nestor and loot back to my home base and sorted everything. I then moved onto investigating Marauders. On paper I liked the Paladin the most, but I settled instead on the Golem. I mostly just want to play around for the first time with the Micro Jump Drive and Bastion Module.



Here’s my first somewhat inexpensive fit.

[Golem, Draft]
Damage Control II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

Large Micro Jump Drive
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Gist X-Type Large Shield Booster
Pith X-Type Shield Boost Amplifier
Pith X-Type Shield Boost Amplifier
Conjunctive Gravimetric ECCM Scanning Array I
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron

Bastion Module I
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Mjolnir Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Mjolnir Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Mjolnir Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Mjolnir Cruise Missile
Small Tractor Beam II
Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager II

Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II

‘Augmented’ Hornet x5

One Quarter Epic

It has been difficult to find time for EVE over the last few weekends. We had two big family birthday party’s including one interstate, family staying with us, and the interruptions to the normal schedule due to school holidays.

It has only been today that I have managed to finish up the Amarr “Right to Rule” Epic Arc chain of missions.

There was not much about the process which was Epic. The back story flip flopped a bit, the characters were not fleshed out enough, and they didn’t jump well from one suspect to another. The missions themselves were somewhat uninspiring. I think the Cosmos sites, stories and missions I’ve done are better. In fact, the Arc could have done with being a hybrid COSMOS type chain.

There were a couple of missions that really made me stop and consider my fitting. Some had notable neuting, so managing ranges (difficult when using sentries) and fitting the Cap Booster made a difference. I also had to carefully consider how to handle the final stage of the final mission – and ended up using a Microwarp drive to control distance and draw the main NPC Battleship away from the spawn point.

Overall it wasn’t a negative experience – I found it interesting enough and will probably re-run it in the future when the timer is up. I also liked how it didn’t involve quite as much travel as the Servant Sisters of EVE Epic Arc did.

All told I think I made around 300M ISK – more than half of which was from the final reward of an Imperial Navy Imperial Navy Modified ‘Noble’ Implant.

Somewhat annoyingly I did not get any standing updates for completing the chain. Doing some reading it appears to be a common issue, so I submitted a support ticket. I’m not expecting a response until after the weekend.

Of greater interest to me was how the Nestor went. I got through the whole chain with it– aside one courier mission that required a hauler, and another mission into Low Sec that only required the use of a shuttle. While I never got below 65% armor, you could lose the Nestor easily enough in a couple of the missions. There were some Veteran Battleships in the “Ascending the Nobles” which did more than 1,000dps combined, which the 750dps tank was not keeping up with. As long as you prioritised those ships there was plenty of armor buffer to cover you until a couple were taken out. There were also a couple missions with very nasty wave trigger sequences – that would easily have seen the ship lost if you messed them up. Having said that, most ships would probably be overwhelmed in the same circumstances.

The Nestor was a somewhat busy hull to fly. I needed to watch the Capacitor levels, particularly in the missions with neuting or where you had to repair drones or use a Microwarp drive. Having said that, I think I only used around 8 Cap Boost Charges across the whole Arc. There was a lot of tracking disruption so I had to regularly swap crystals, and you were forever pulling drones in and out or catching those taking damage so you could repair them. I also tractor beamed and looted wrecks that happened to be within 24km of me, which would not have helped with the feeling of being busy.

It was however a delightful ship to fly around. The main Battleship Hull I’ve flown in recent times has been the Rattlesnake. Mine has an align time of 11.9 seconds and a Warp speed of 2au. The Nestor looks much better on paper – with a 6.6 second align and 2.5au warp speed. In practice it felt even better than the stats suggest – feeling really nimble.

The remote repair range bonus often allowed me to leave drones out when they came under fire, letting them tank the damage and leave the DPS out on the field for longer.

The Dual Heavy Beam Lasers were more effective than expected. While on paper they only did 195dps to 39km and 113dps to 142km, that seemed to make a noticeable difference. They seemed to hit everything out past 30km, and were particularly effective with clearing the battlecruisers and sentries. Being able to fit Aurora or Radio Crystals really went a long way to still be able to hit something even when under heavy turret disruption.

I generally stuck with the T2 variations of the Curator Sentries, Acolytes lights or Infiltrators medium drones. They seemed to be able to clear everything in reasonable time frames. The default Drone control range of 57,000m was ok for almost all the missions – although I would sometimes have to agro using the Beams and wait for some spawn groups to get into range. I used a T2 Drone Link Augmentor in a couple of the missions towards the end.

I think however the biggest testimony to the ship is that I plan on keeping it in my hanger from now on.

I said I would use it across all the Epic Arc missions, but I think I might try a Marauder on the next one. I’ve never flown one of those yet.






The last two fits I used:

[Nestor, Epic Arc Mission – AB]
Damage Control II
Corelum C-Type Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Corelum C-Type Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Centus X-Type Large Armor Repairer
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Gist X-Type 100MN Afterburner
Heavy Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 800
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Drone Link Augmentor II
Large Remote Armor Repairer II

Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Large Auxiliary Nano Pump II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I

Curator II x5
Acolyte II x5
Infiltrator II x5

[Nestor, Epic Arc Mission – MWD]
Damage Control II
Corelum C-Type Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Corelum C-Type Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Centus X-Type Large Armor Repairer
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

500MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Heavy Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 800
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Dual Heavy Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Drone Link Augmentor II
Small Tractor Beam II

Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Large Auxiliary Nano Pump II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I

Curator II x5
Acolyte II x5
Infiltrator II x5

They had a 746dps tank and did 729dps.  With AB it made 474m/s, and 1,271m/s with MWD.