Fanfest from afar

(First a quick update – I mentioned the pilot Charlot theHarlot a week ago using kill rights and insurance to profit from the destruction of their ship. I ran an example of the profit they would make with a 500M ISK kill right, but had not actually taken note of how much it was.  I passed them again today on my way to Jita as they sat in their flashing Orca.  The Kill right was 500M ISK minus an ISK or two.)

I’ve watched parts of the Fanfest Twitch feed and followed CCP’s official channels. I perused any Fanfest related posts on my blogroll (although found surprisingly few) and kept an eye on the EVE News sites. I’ve even skimmed the EVE forums and the EVE Subreddit.

Initially, and mindful of my limited exposure from afar, there has been little announced that I am feeling enthused about or that positively changes my game. (Actually, there was little announced about EVE that I wasn’t already aware of.)

There was a place for solo / casual players to use POS, but I personally find the defence and un-anchoring mechanism of a Citadel means they are not suited. The rehash of details at Fanfest did not change my mind. Maybe it will be different for the Industrial Arrays, given CCP has apparently said they will be significantly cheaper than Citadels.

The increases in Broker Fees and Transaction taxes will go ahead, but are only being incrementally increased now as the Citadels won’t be fully operational. (Initially 3 instead of 5% and 2 instead of 2.5% respectively). I still won’t use them for markets, and this hasn’t changed my current focus on selling off assets before they are implemented. (Although I am obviously running out of time with that, I have cleared more than 50B ISK of assets so far.)

I’ve been quite aggravated by this tax change. Not for the ISK cost – but in the way CCP is trying to force us to use a particular feature, and because each time I hear about it I am reminded how they still don’t seem to understand their Hi-Sec player base. (And if they end up removing all Player Null Sec stations to be replaced by Citadels, it will show how little they understand any of their Non-PVP focused players.)

One of the things I put up on the market today was my Rorqual. I have enough information now on their new role and use that I know it won’t be suitable for my solo game style. Anchoring myself in place with an invulnerability timer isn’t much use if no one is available to come save me. I liked that they will become the highest mining yield ship in game through use of special excavation drones. You just need plenty of friends around before you would want to use them.

I am not really enamored with the capital changes. I have historically used a Suitcase Carrier to haul my ships around Low and Null Sec. I fit them for trying to quickly clear tackle and bug out if caught. If I am not successful in the first couple minutes, I am guaranteed to be dead. I’m not sure how that will work with no drones and the new squadron capabilities. I am leaning towards selling off my last Carrier and just sticking with far fewer ships so I can move them one by one.

There was an interesting comment from CCP about the introduction of a cap on the time taken to go into warp. If you are not tackled, it will never take more than three minutes. I expect that is aimed at helping people (primarily in Hi-Sec) who might be griefed by bumpers for extended periods of time. It may or may not help with freighter ganking. It would depend on if that 3 minutes reset or not each time a pilot was tackled.

I remarked a couple posts ago that it felt (illogically) like I was hoarding ISK and getting ready for some big upheaval in the game. There was nothing I’ve come across so far in Fanfest that will particularly impact me in that way – my game style will remain boringly unchanged.  Citadels could have a big impact on the game.  Initially they should give some quality of life improvements for those in more dangerous space.  Moving forward it will depend on how many are planted, the percentage that get destroyed, how players react to that, and how CCP react to the players decisions.


It is 1:16am here and I need to get to bed.

I’ve just finished watching the EVE Fanfest Keynote on Twitch (thanks to CCP announcing when their coverage first went live in game, and for providing a steady stream of updates on their Facebook Page).

There were some interesting Stats on where the assets are stored in game, such as there being 3,070T ISK on all active player accounts, 467T of it in the Jita 4-4.  The impact of Skill point trading on daily trading values was and remains surprisingly huge.

I was.. horrified is probably the word to use – at the low voter turnout for the CSM elections, and the mix of representatives (or lack of mix) that it resulted in. Wilhelm Arcturus was quick to post the results here:

On May 6th EVE will turn 13.  It will be called Capsuleer day and the gift will be Pod Skins and the usual festival launchers and fireworks.

There will be a new book released with technical diagrams of the Frigates of EVE.  It will be a while away.

There will be an official EVE iOS and Android app.  It will have customisable notifications from the game, EVE Mail, EVE Calendar, support multiple characters from multiple accounts, and enable you to see and spin the ship you currently have active.  It will also allow you to directly buy PLEX and game time.  This last bit was met with a slightly awkward silence.  That will also be a little while away.

They had a nice indication of their focus on trying to retain new players – by giving them a story / narrative that they can get involved in from the start.  Sounds like a good idea.

There were lots of in game changes mentioned – but I had heard most of them already.  Nothing on initial view stood out as a wow.  You can check out for details of everything they announced.

When the stream finished I noticed there were some 8,332 people watching.  I’m not sure if that is good or bad, but seemed like a reasonable number.



Into but not playing

Good Game is a local (Aussie) TV show about video gaming that has a good following.  They do a regular YouTube short Pocket edition.  Today’s upload included a segment on video games they like to read about or watch, but don’t actually play.  EVE got a look in.

Linked here just for interest:

A link to the bit on EVE:


A couple weeks ago CCP shortened the new red kill feedback animation. I find it now all works much better.

The new camera is still not as good as the old, but I’ve found in heavy use over the last fortnight that it is workable, and only occasionally niggling.

Both of these fixes have come as a bit of a relief. I found the game less enjoyable with their initial versions. I’m not sure why the developers didn’t see their shortcomings before the players complained.

I’ve been undocked a lot – focused again on selling off assets. How often do I seem to say that? The problem is it is such a chore moving and selling stuff that I never get all the way through the process. Then my hangers slowly fill again with different ship hulls to test, more loot and the leftovers from finished (or unfinished) projects. For example, I’m selling off the last of my 3 complete POS set ups, the left over fittings from the two carriers I sold, the hangers of the two characters I terminated, plus billions in manufacturing materials that I won’t be using any time soon. There is a long list.

It has been the changes to the broker fees that have given me a real impetus this time to clear all this stuff out. It might only be a few percentage points on each transaction, but when you have many billions to sell it really adds up.

At the moment I am sitting on the most liquid ISK I’ve ever had, with more inbound as I shuffle between Jita and Amarr continuing the selloff process. It makes no logical sense, but it feels like I am preparing for some big upheaval in the game, getting myself into a more nimble and flexible position to adapt.

I’ve already said however I don’t think Citadels will have much of an impact on Hi-Sec, and I am not aware of anything else coming that should cause this feeling in me. I think it might be the vibe I am getting off my traditional circle of bloggers I follow. Lots have gone quiet or their tone has changed. Whatever it is, it seems pertinent to have some ISK stashed away under the mattress.

If you haven’t already, it might be worth a trip over to the Amarr trading hub to check out the circle of Titians.




Solo Hi-Sec Carebears might not get too many opportunities to get up and close to such things.

Is there anything else I am missing

It is not that uncommon to find people with available kill rights sitting in haulers on trade hub undocks or on the gates of well travelled trade routes. Charlot theHarlot was the most recent example I passed.

Now I assume the scam is as follows:

Charlot theHarlot fires one shot at an Alt, generating a kill right.

The Alt makes the kill right available to the public at a suitably high price, lets say 500M ISK.

Charlot theHarlot buys an Orca with a basic tank fit for 740M ISK and fully insures it (Platinum) at a cost of around 220M ISK (30%)

Charlot theHarlot sits in a well travelled path until someone / a group of people activate their kill right.

They die.


. Some Security Status for shooting the Alt
. 740M ISK for Orca and Basic Fit
. 220M ISK for Platinum insurance
960M ISK


. 500M ISK to Alt for activation of Kill right
. 740M ISK Insurance payout
1240M ISK

Profit from this example
280M ISK

In this case the pilot has lost 198 Orca’s so far, one, two or three every day or two. The profit from my made up figures above would be over 55B ISK.

The player could increase profits further by sourcing the Orca’s as cheaply as possible (buy orders instead of sell orders), so ensuring the insurance payout is even greater than their cost.

The worst thing that can go wrong is that the kill right is priced too high and no one activates it. Charlot theHarlot seems to have got it right as they are activated regularly. They also sometimes fly around with plenty of extremely cheap items in the cargo hold so as to make themselves look more like a legitimate target.

The second worst thing is that you are killed – giving you a profit.

Ideally however Charlot theHarlot escapes. They get the 500M ISK payment for the kill right activation regardless if they die or not. Their Orca fit is just a damage control, bulkhead, and a rack of shield extenders. Do they attempt to jump through the gate and flee once attacked? I’d have thought they would have fit a prop mod for quicker warp off and a cloak once they get to a safe. Do they use ECM drones or do they instead have a suicide Alt in an ECM T1 Frigate, who jams a smaller group of attackers and lets the Orca warp out as the frigate is killed? Or as it appears from looking at examples of their losses, do they just accept their current profits as worthwhile? That way they can AFK auto pilot between trade hubs until they are killed.

If you look at the kills and losses for Charlot you can find what other account they work with and see evidence of earlier versions of scams. I didn’t notice related kills however, so I am not sure they are making much effort to try and escape in their Orca.

Is there anything else I am missing here? If you activate a kill right do you just get a limited engagement flag, or is there a suspect flag? Is there some other aspect to the scam? Still – 200-300M ISK profit an hour is nothing to sneeze at. If I see the pilot again I will have to think to check the price of their kill right.

Taking bat and ball

I’m in my 40’s now and am well versed in how dishonest and untrustworthy people can be. This is of particular note when it involves money, power, idealism or the news media. Convert this seemingly common sense but possibly conspiracist view into EVE, and you often find all these elements combined.

Although I am not in a position to know how factual or fanciful much of it is, reading about what is (or is not) going on in EVE at the moment around the war against the Imperium is fascinating.  From the staid maps and timer lists, to the commercial quality propaganda, and the personal blogs in between.

Even though it is huge news, I haven’t remarked on it a great deal here as I was expecting it to have fizzled out by now. I assumed the Imperium would have either paid or fought their way out of the mess. They are up against a somewhat loose coalition with some key members not known for sticking at long term grind gameplay. I figured all the Imperium had to do was consolidate, then bring big numbers to battles day after day for a few weeks. They have done that in the past. They didn’t even have to win – just ensure each battle took many hours, and do enough damage to the attackers to make it hurt. In the meanwhile, they would keep a sharp eye out for mistakes or openings, and cheaply roll back hard fought advances whenever the opportunity arose. I thought they would easily outlast their opponents in such a war.

Instead the Imperium’s allies were systematically steamrolled and the Imperium forces moved out of home promising the mightiest vengeance for a lost war that they don’t seem to have properly fought, or technically lost yet.

Gelvon suggests it is because they are actually weak.

Maybe, but I’m not convinced.

The Mittani – figurehead of the Goonswarm Alliance and Imperium Coalition released a War Update a couple of days back.

I know it is propaganda, but it reads like a well-spoken toddler’s space tantrum.

In one way a sizeable Imperium on a long coordinated and sustained hunt for retribution would generate a lot of game content for some time to come.  Much more game content than if they had remained ensconced in their space.

Part of me is even hoping we are being trolled – as I presumed with the twitter suggestion yesterday that Goon’s were told not to attend EVE Fanfest or be kicked from the Alliance. Maybe there will be some big battles coming after all. Or maybe not.

Did the Imperium just view the situation as unwinnable given the array of forces against them? This approach allows them to retain much of their combative infrastructure for when their enemies disperse?

I get some impression that they might be rushing (a little too quickly) into a self-proclaimed defeated underdog status, just so they can again arise from the ashes in all the Goon obnoxiousness possible.

Then you have plenty of references to their many pilots who have not gone through such trials before. Maybe they did not have faith that they could. Maybe they hope this will cleanse and galvanize those who remain.

It will also be interesting to see who and how many try filling the space apparently left by the Imperium, and just how long they remain. If the Imperium with their numbers and coordination don’t feel like they can defend Sov, won’t the new owners be in exactly the same position?

I don’t know what I am talking about – but it doesn’t’ really matter. It is this sort of drama and conjecture that keeps me playing EVE. It is this sort of story that Solo players need to pay attention to and enjoy. Appreciate when – like I mentioned the other day, the big wars impact on your quiet little backwaters. Appreciate if you want, the opportunity to go look at things for yourself like Jakob Anedalle has.

Camping Expectations

This post is in effect a reply to a recent comment.

I used to operate my holiday camps out of Low Sec. I could find quiet corners where if I was patient I would be able to undock and get Carebear type stuff done.

Over time with game changes to resources, faction warfare and population movements (some out of Sov Null) I found it more and more difficult to find these sorts of Low Sec backwaters. When I did it would not be long before an active pirate group moved in, and I’d have to move out.

There are two aspects to the decision to have to run away.

The first is that I play a solo game. When a group regularly has 2 or 3 half competent and active players online in the area I am trying to operate from, most of what I do can be countered. It doesn’t matter how many Skill Points I have or how expensive the ships are that I am flying.

The second is the somewhat fluid tipping point on the danger level in the area. I will operate in space that through careful play I can mitigate most of the danger. You might lose ships occasionally through mistakes, inattention, skilled opponents or bad luck – but that’s ok. I don’t want to operate in space where I will inevitably lose ships regardless what I do.

This isn’t just a simple case of being risk averse. It is at the core of how I play the game.

As I have commented, I now find my camps are located in NPC Null Sec. It is in many ways poorer from a resource point of view, but there are quiet backwaters where a Carebear can still find moments of peace.

I do see risks to this sort of game play.

The first have been the changes to capital jump ranges. I used to be able to pack my camp into a carrier, and move it across a region or two at fairly short notice. Now it can require 3 or more jumps just to get across a region, with even longer travel inevitably putting you through carefully watched and hunted chokepoint systems. Now I have to rely on suitable wormholes to move in and out, which in NPC Null Sec are not reliable.

The second is the outcome of World War Bee. When Major Sov holders lose their space they regularly end up in places like Low Sec or NPC Null to regroup, reorganise and rebuild. Even if they don’t pick the poor and quiet systems I operate out of, they can displace other groups who then might. In the long run they will move on again – assuming the Sov mechanics encourage them to. The jury seems to be out on that.

The third are Citadels. As I have harped on, I don’t see them having the huge economic impact some fear, but I do certainly see them being used in dangerous backwaters to make them more habitable for small Corporations and Alliances. This will particularly be in those areas with few stations – the areas I historically get to operate in.

The more vibrant and busy all space is, the worse off it is for my particular style of play. I’ll have to cope that on the chin for the greater good.

Shifts in Space

While I don’t tend to remark on it, I do listen to what goes on in the greater world of EVE Null Sec politics. It is of course full of propaganda that you have to take with a grain of salt, but within that are the more personal dramas and stories that remind you why this game is great.

I’ve been noticing that certain tone of voice in some of those people who are losing their space homes. It comes with the hint of disorientation, melancholy and powerlessness. I don’t delight in that – but I am familiar with it. I’ve gone through that process a number of times myself.

Of course it is just a game and it doesn’t matter – but it does. If it didn’t, we probably wouldn’t have played the game for so many years.

Aside all the stories big and small, I also follow what goes on in EVE Null Sec as it can directly impact on my solo game.

As reported on various EVE sites and blogs, Space Monkey Alliance is leaving the Imperium and moving to Outer Ring to rebuild.

I was going to say that you do not go to Outer Ring to rebuild – it only has 7 NPC stations across 3 systems. You are too easily camped and harassed. With the arrival of Citadels however in a bit over a fortnight, the region could be made far more habitable. It might be interesting to see how it pans out.

As I have mentioned, I have a home (I should probably call it more of a camp) in NPC Null. It is not in Outer Ring, but it is in a bordering constellation in Syndicate and I occasionally visit parts of the region. I wouldn’t expect all 2,000+ Space Moneys to move there, but between those who do and those who would come to hunt them, the freedom I have to get stuff done in space will likely be impacted.

I expect I am going to have to be even more patient for a while.


We are thankfully coming up to the end of the school holidays here. Our seven-year-old daughter has again not coped well with the change of routine and has been very difficult. She has managed to rack up 3 completely out of control tantrums and half a dozen near misses, and lost access to her iPad and Laptop for a new record of 16 days straight due to her behaviour.

While I don’t pander to or give my daughter continuous attention, I have to be constantly alert to her movements and what she is up to, and be able to drop whatever I am doing to intercept or distract her. Playing EVE has been out of the question, so I’ve had to just read about it instead.

Something of a regular comment here is that when I do log in, I like to do some small little task that requires undocking. For a while it was Planetary Interaction, or shifting trade goods, or scanning down the sites in the local system, or now even just running one anomaly. I find that process of undocking greatly increases the chance I will have a productive EVE session, instead of just ship spinning for a while then logging off.

CCP has now announced that just after the Citadel release that a new daily rewards feature will hit tranquility. (It should be on Singularity to test next week.) You will get 10,000 SP in your unallocated pool the first time you kill an NPC ship each 22 hours.

Initially it will be per Character, and even work if they are not actively training skills. They will look to expand it afterwards to include things like mining or Data / Relic hacking. I guess that might depend on how successful this first iteration is.

Unsurprisingly there are some strong opinions to this – plenty of them negative.

It is nothing unique – almost every game I play has a daily reward aspect to it, either a dice roll or a spinning wheel for rewards, or a log in cash and gem reward, or tax or extractor collections are designed to max out within a day. They are focused on getting you to log in daily.

I go back to my earlier comment – that I find undocking greatly increases the chance of a longer more productive session, so overall I support this idea of CCPs. I think I might even get into the habit of doing it for 10K SP across my toons.

I’ve only been able to skim read through the reply thread on the EVE forum. I just get overly embarrassed at the petulance.  There are lots of posts calling CCP various forms of useless with no other feedback, which are ironically useless. A few complaints that people can’t be bothered logging in and undocking each of their characters, so it isn’t fair others who will undock might get an advantage over them. Some people rightly point out it won’t attract new players or bring back old ones. As I said above, I view it more as an encouragement to undock instead.

I hope it does end up increasing the in game activity a bit.

For life

My daughter’s name is Grace. It is old fashioned, but so is her Brother’s name, and so is mine.

I am not sure I have ever mentioned it before, but her middle name relates in part to me playing EVE.

To pick a second name we created a spreadsheet with some of the first names we did not select, names from a brainstorm, a run through of a couple “top 100 names” lists on the web, and a look through our family trees.

There were surprisingly few middle names that flowed particularly well and that we were happy with. While not perfect, Evelyn was one of the names that seemed to work. It wasn’t a cool or trendy name, but it was repeated through multiple generations in my family tree, and as my wife pointed out, it had EVE in it.

So Grace Evelyn it was.

As it turned out, ironically Grace is about the last word you would use to describe our daughter.

The ISK Runneth over

The March Economic Report for EVE is out.

While I find these sorts of things interesting, when I sit down and really try to understand what I am looking at, sometimes all I end up with is a sore head and unanswered questions.

I did find this graph stood out.


The definition of the Velocity of money is the number of times 1 dollar is spent to buy goods and services per unit of time. More simply in this case I assume it means on average how often 1 ISK changes hand per month.

While it doesn’t particularly mean anything, a velocity of 0.5 a month is several times higher than the US economy average.

While is seems to have been on a downward trend over the last couple years, the huge spike in February of this year obviously relates to the release of skill injectors. It will be interesting to see if that Velocity returns to more traditional levels, and if it does, how long it takes.

It also reported that active ISK in the game reached around 970T ISK, with just under 200T in Corporation wallets and 770T in player wallets. That gives an indication of just what sort of ISK sink the Faction Citadel CCP mentioned might have if anyone tried to build it.  (I thought they said it would cost around 100T, but other players suggest around 200T).

The following graph is also going to be very interesting over time once Citadels are released:


I’m looking at you, Brokers Fee.  Obviously Citadel broker fees won’t be considered an ISK sink since it just gets transferred from players to other players.  Broker fees are however an indication of market value going through normal stations.  Once we have a new broker fee decided and the impact shown in this graph, moving forward changes might show if trade is moving out of normal stations or not.

Rush of the landless

The latest o7 show is available here:

They had an interesting time-lapse of the CCP cafeteria at lunch. I found myself watching for the Hermit diners who ate by themselves.

There was an announcement of the winners for the Crest / API Developer Challenge. I look forward to the DEV Blog so I can check some of the apps out. I do feel uneasy at the idea some of the cooler things EVE related rely on 3rd parties who can come and go, and also requires you to install lots of little applications.

There was an exchange between representatives of both sides of the anti-Imperium war, which I cringed at. Of most interest was the comment that only three of the 50 odd alliances attacking the Imperium held space. All those PVP focused alliances who do not view contestable space as worth having. That’s a problem.

They flagged some interesting new permanent PVE content – although again mostly not with solo pilots in mind. There will be pirate capitals in some NPC Null sites and belts, and even the chance of finding pirate Titans. They are also changing capital escalations in wormhole space, with much of the ISK value now to be tied up in one Drifter Boss that can be worth around 350M ISK and is the toughest NPC in the game yet. These Drifters will also warp out if you don’t point them, will hang around in the system for a period of time, and will help each other if you let others go using the new Drifter AI.  Rather cool, but nothing I am ever likely to see for myself.

Last of note will be the introduction of a Faction Super Citadel worth in excess of 100T ISK to build, with only one allowed to be anchored in space at any one time.  A sort of big boys focused toy.  I can see ways in which that idea / approach could backfire on CCP.

My ship fitting review continues slowly after the latest round of module teiricide changes. I have noticed I am replacing Damage Controls more often with DPS modules than Tanking modules. I also find the move from Modules to Sensor Booster Scripts for ECCM is quite well done. It is a big nerf for ECM given how much more prevalent Sensor Booster fits are, but even though I have perfect ECM skills on my two main characters, I don’t mind it.