Warm Wishes

I don’t tend to remark on the major holidays here on this blog.  I don’t know why.

I found Christmas a magical time when I was growing up.  My parents did not have a lot of spare money, so the only time you got new things was on your birthday and at Christmas.  Mum would always give us a stocking, half filled with the stationary for the next years schooling, we would get a couple presents, and we would have a big roast meal with pudding and extra sweets on the table.

I’ve tried to re-create some of that special feeling for my kids – but I don’t think I’ve managed to.  They have and are given so much stuff that really, presents don’t have anywhere near as much meaning, and they are constantly going out for tea or to parties, so a Christmas meal is just one more.  Still – we have adjusted and adapted over the years into our own routine to try and get it right.

My daughter is 9 and rather shrewd, and had remarked this year on the school playground chatter about what really goes on at Christmas.  You can only shrug and remark that Santa only comes to those who believe.  She decided to ignore the other kids this year and let herself get excited, but it may have been the last opportunity for me to have succeeded in creating a similar magical time for her.

This is our Tree on Christmas EVE as my wife watched the Carols with the kids.  It is more than 20 years old and still looks a treat.  It is a reminder that sometimes spending a bit more money for quality can save you in the long run.

My wife volunteered herself and our Son (13) and Daughter to help out at their church for their Christmas Lunch.  She hoped to remind them Christmas wasn’t just all about presents.  They helped usher and feed 180 odd people who were suffering hard times or finding themselves alone.  I don’t involve myself with church, so I had some quiet time and got to play EVE and blog about it on Christmas Day.

Afterwards the four of us sat down together to eat an early Christmas Tea.  Instead of the roast, we have cold meats and salads, followed by pudding.  It is more in line with the temperatures and what the kids prefer.

Temperature plays a big part in Christmas here.  Today it got to 39.8 degrees Celsius.  We were meant to be visiting my parents – but for days they have had and will continue to have similar temperatures, and they don’t have air-conditioning in the rooms we are meant to sleep in.  We will have to wait for the weather to turn.  My wife and I combat the heat as best we can – such as tonight we had milkshakes.  (We’ll ignore the fact the house is air-conditioned and quite comfortable.)

In whatever way and conditions you go through this festive time of year, I hope you manage to find your own magic.

Warmest wishes,


Much Easier to tie down Alts

I am still reading through my old blog posts. I’ve covered around two thirds. As I remarked, I’ve really been taken aback by how often the same themes and topics repeat. I’ve been complaining about the same things for an embarrassing number of years.

I’ve liked being reminded of some of the many activities I’ve done in EVE, although it is awkward realising how many goals I’ve wandered away from unfinished or stopped due to changes CCP implemented.

One of the things that has stood out is the clear importance Alts have had towards me enjoying the game. I’ve really liked having a second account these last few weeks. I’ve been asking myself what went wrong with my last Alts? I think I ended up with 3 player characters – one with over 185M SP. They required the same effort to maintain as my main with a raft of assets that needed to be kept up to date. I am going to try and make these fresh alts much more focused and one dimensional.

My Industry Alt continues her solo attempt at building a Raitaru.

She has mined about 90% of the minerals required. I am not sure where she is going to get the Megacyte from. She will either mine extra ores and buy it from the proceeds, or maybe run into Low Sec or a Wormhole for it. I’ll have to think about it.

She is 51.9% (I have a detailed spreadsheet) through gathering the required P1/2 materials, after which I can work through to the required P4 ingredients on a factory planet. I’m not entirely sure I can manage to get all the ingredients in my area of Hi-Sec using only 6 planets. I also haven’t found a source of Complex Organisms yet on a planet with reasonable tax rates. I’ll continue working through what I can cover, and then will contemplate my options for whatever remains.

I’m building this just for the interest of the process. I wonder however if there would be much profit for doing it in High Sec. The PI Setup costs and export Taxes have been notable.

PI is an area I have found I must use an Alt for. The Raitaru material gathering process has been quite complicated with lots of quick changes to what you are extracting and combining. I don’t like tying my Main character down to a small area to do that sort of thing.

Drinking in more SP

I was able to consume my second Absolute Injection Augmentor and ingest 3 more Skill Injectors for 500,000 SP each.

It would appear I am not the only one to have made use of the Boosters. Below is a graph of the last 100 days of sales (volume and price) of the Large Skill Injectors:

The volume of sales more than doubled yesterday, with a small spike in price.

I had expected a larger price increase to be honest – and had pre-purchased 6 Injectors as soon as I heard about the Christmas Booster gift a fortnight ago. Looking at that graph I might have just missed that boat. There was a 20M Price increase soon after the gift was announced, the price then dropped 10M over the next week, then increased 20M ISK again a couple days ago. I saved about 10M ISK on each Injector but might have saved 30M ISK on each if in a different time zone / got on to them slightly earlier.

As an aside – I wonder what triggered the steady price increase 50 odd days ago?

One of the (many) complaints I read about the 2018 EVE Christmas Gifts was that the Absolute Injection Augmentor would allow Veteran players to move even further ahead of newer players. Is it rational to raise that?

I made use of the two boosters my two paid accounts received along with six large skill injectors I purchased off the market. Without the booster my gain would have been 900,000 SP. With the boosters my gain was 3,000,000 SP. My Main character has just under 250M SP. The two boosters allowed me to increase my SP by an extra 2,100,000 SP – which is 0.8% of the total.

What does 2.1M SP mean to my character? It is about 35 days of training.

What does that mean? I currently have 444 trained skills. 441 are rank IV or V. My shortest skill train would be 3 days and 14 hours to get Trade from IV to V. I also have Veldspar, Pyroxeres, Plagioclase and Scordite Processing that would take 4 days and 5 hours to get from IV to V. While I could cover these all with my bonus SP, I don’t need the skills and they are not in my training queue.

I am missing around 20 odd skills. These are mostly for the Titans / Super Capital Weapons / T2 Capital Weapons. Most have prerequisites of 30+ days of training – which I could use my bonus SP to cover one of. Again however, I don’t need any of the skills and they are not in my training queue.

Most of the skills in my training queue – that are of interest or I have an actual use for – have training times between 32 and 49 days. My bonus Christmas gift allows me to train one of them. It is nice – and I am not complaining (I could get Black Ops or Amarr Freighter from Rank IV to V for example), but it does not make a significant difference. It does not move me appreciably forward from a new player.

It does move my total SP forward a couple Million.

I’ve been playing EVE for a bit over 12 years – using up to 4 paid accounts at the same time. In total I have generated more than 500M SP across those accounts. While attribute maps and implant selections impact the rate you gain those SP, the main contribution has been subscription money.

I mostly buy 12-month subscriptions. If a new player wanted to get the same amount of SP – they could pay for 25 accounts for 12 months each. Done – roughly 500M SP and all caught up after 1 year.

I’ve even made it easier – over the last year or so I’ve extracted and biomassed more than 200M SP and discarded many of my alts. The new player above would equal my SP total after 30 odd weeks and have 20 weeks remaining to move excess SP between accounts or generate ISK by selling it.

Yes, it is a bit of a silly example – but so seems the grievance that the gift had an appreciable impact on the gap between new and veteran players.

On my way to Jita to ingest some Christmas SP

A pot of SP

I just collected the last of the 13 days of Christmas Gifts offered by CCP this year – across two Omega and one Alpha account.  The Absolute Injection Augmentor was the most interesting (and the final gift) for Omega accounts.  It is a booster that is active for 32 hours, and allows you to use up to 3 Skill Injectors without the diminishing returns.

In the case of my Main character, that meant 1,500,000 SP gained for three large Skill Injectors instead of 450,000.

I have nothing pressing to train on my main, but having unallocated skill points is useful.  I’ll see if I can use my second booster in 32 hours to add 1,500,000 more SP.  I’ll leave them for a rainy day / those “I’d really like to do this immediately in game” moments.

Actually – 3,500.000 SP (and lots of ISK) would get me the remaining skills required to fly all the Titans.  It is very unlikely that I would ever require those skills, but the thought does amuse me.  We shall see.

Most of the skins and cosmetics provided during the Christmas giveaway have an usual “limited time” tag on them – but no apparent detail of just how limited that time is.

I am not exactly sure how the skin augmentations work to be honest.  They don’t seem to have an ingestion option like skins.  I did notice if they are in your hanger, they will come up as an option to use in normal Character Customisation.  If you use them, are they then consumed and available from then on, like skins are?   Or is it something you apply to your character, but after it expires you won’t be able to re-add them?  Or will the augmentation disappear after the expiration date?

Meanwhile I am still working away on my Industry Alt, logging it in daily.  They are in the process of Solo harvesting the required materials to build a Raitaru.  I am having more success than when I tried to build an Astrahus with my main.  I think I am a bit over half way with the (mostly) PI materials.  It is a slow process though, but I have managed to stay focused on it.

Time Capsule

I am part way through the process of re-reading my entire blog. There are more than 1,000 posts – many of them quite long. It is taking a while to get through them. I am checking how it holds up as an archive / time capsule for my experiences in EVE. The blog would win no literary awards, but I am happy how it has aged and read so far.

I am taking the opportunity to self-censor a small number of my more personal posts – primarily a few where I have complained about others in my life. With the passage of time their relevance to the narrative diminishes.

I am however seeing the same common threads repeated over and over.

. The game has an allure I cannot definitively describe or justify

. I think it requires consistent, uninterrupted and flexible time to play fully

. My real life does not allow me the privilege of having such time

. I feel CCP does not understand its Solo Carebear players

. I have been waiting an extraordinary amount of time for CCP to add meaty new content that I felt was relevant or exciting to me

. In recent years I have been irritated by much of the new content CCP has added to the game that is viable for solo play. It has often been directed at encouraging conflict, and getting people used to dying, PVP style fits and PVP style tactics. CCP hopes this will cause players to abandon their wrong style of game play for the lust for combat against other pilots.

. I have made many suggestions about what I would like to see in the game – most of which I still find valid today.

. I don’t think I’ve noticed CCP coming up with any similar ideas and implementing them. Tragic opportunities to improve the game lost, or crappy ill-informed dreams that would never have gained traction?

. CCP has made a lot of mistakes that they really should not have

. The player base has acted unreasonably and alike spoilt little children when CCP make mistakes

. There are some positively foul excuses for humans who play EVE

. The silent majority of players are nicer

IX or X Clones

To start with I would just like to say that the global search is fantastic.

Now – with peace returning my first order of business was ensuring I moved a T1 Logistics Cruiser into the vicinity of my POCO.

With that done I started the process of shifting all my scattered clones around into more optimal locations. My Main has 9 jump clones plus the active one, so it has been a multi-week process to move them one clone jump at a time. It is something I haven’t managed to complete in years.

I have 3 clones with +5 Implant Sets, worth around 700M ISK each. One sits in my current home in Citadel, one in my old home in Devoid, and the last in Jita.

I have 2 clones with +4 Implant Sets, worth around 150M ISK each. One was used when I roamed around High Sec living out of an Orca, the other for missioning in busier systems. Both are now in my current home (which has plenty of stations.)

I have 2 clones with +3 Implant Sets, worth around 70M ISK each. I used these when I lived in Low Sec or NPC Null Sec. Again, both are in my current home until I have use for them again.

I have 2 clones with +2 Implant Sets, worth around 30M ISK each. These are my PVP clones. One is in my current home, another with my POCO.

The last clone is my Capital one, worth around 500M ISK. That was left sitting in a Low Sec system.

A couple clones have mining implants, a couple have missile / shield implants, and most have the Exploration AP-602 / AQ-702 / AR-802 implants (or better versions) if they have nothing else.  Aside for training, I’ve never really made the most of implants. My Main has always been a Jack of all Trades type of Toon with no real consistent set of needs.

I also adjusted the Skill Training Queue on my Main


And I added a couple more ships to play with.

I am still in the process of testing the Vedmak for PVE. Thoughts to come.

Censored Pulse

CCP have released a couple videos now under the banner of EVE Pulse.  It seems to be like a much shorter and sharper version of the EVE Online Show merged with In Development.  Hopefully they will find it easier to produce.

The War Dec changes – that targets will need to have a structure in space to allow the declaration – is coming in December.  I hope they add a togged for Corporation / Alliance CEO’s to turn off this protection if they want to.  (Actually – does this cover Alliances?  I don’t recall hearing either way.)  A Dev Blog should be released within the next week providing more details.

CCP provided some statistics around the use of the new Navigation Structures.  While I have no doubt their use will become widespread, the numbers mentioned suggest the Null Sec Groups only managed to replace a small percentage of their infrastructure before the POS modules stopped working.  I had read warnings that the resources would simply not be available to complete the full replacement in such a short time frame.

The show also discussed how the Audio and Graphics team uses the Agile development methodology with 2 week segments.  At the end of each two weeks they gather for a presentation where they showcase their work.  During this clip they show the presentation subjects covered with a censored block.  At one point they deliberately move the censored block partially to one side so you get a glimpse of what was being presented.

I would guess at some new Abyssal Space or Mission Structure – or less likely some new anchoring structure.

The last tweaking of my Industry Alt continues.  An added bonus of living in a backwater – there is an acceptable level of risk to use a Retriever at certain times of day.


The old is new again

I have started the preliminary work on reviving and recreating Alts.

EVE’s Black Friday sale did not include subscription discounts, so I paid full price to upgrade one of my secondary Accounts to Omega Status again.

I had forgotten the feeling of running multiple accounts at the same time. I’m not sure how to explain – it is sort of empowering. As I remarked before – it opens more of the game to you, and gives you more options day to day.

The first to be worked on was my old Industry Alt. I had stripped her of SP – down to approximately 8M.  She had all the skillbooks I required already in her head – just mostly at low ranks.

Her role will be to live around my old home and make use of my POCO.

I spent 4.7B ISK on Skill Injectors for 2.4M SP.  I had to remind myself over and over this wasn’t an investment in making or recovering ISK, but in increasing the fun factor within the game.  The SP helped flesh a lot of skills back up to rank III and IV, but did not get many skills up to rank V. In hindsight I was far too optimistic about that. I covered:

. PI skills to a reasonable level
. Refining and mining Crystal Skills back to cover Hi-Sec Asteroids
. Restored Trade skills to lower taxes
. Rounded out some Shield, Armor and Spaceship Command skills

I also added 62 days to her Training Queue. I have some Multiple Pilot Training Certificates sitting around from some earlier deal, so I might make use of them when I get to adding additional Alts on that Account.

I purchased and fitted a Badger and Exequror and moved them into the system for hauling, and a Procurer for mining.

So aside PI, she can dabble in some trading and do some mining when the mood takes her.

(This is the first time I have flown a Badger for quite a while. I really like the updated hull graphics.)

I created a new Corporation for her. The corporation name was easy to find – the tricky bit was getting a Corporation Ticker that had not been taken.

Last of all I moved some clones around – and once I grab some extra supplies, my new/old Industry Alt will be done.