25% off Omega Sale

As we wait for the reveals from the 2018 EVE Fanfest, CCP is running a short 25% off Omega sale.  That is more than usual.  If interested you have to be quick – it finishes in a couple of days.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/p70sge/fanfest-2018-25-off-omega-sale

I am still not doing anything of note in EVE, but I am pottering around.

Separately to my Skin purchases I remarked on a couple weeks ago, I’ve spent around 375M ISK on camouflage / military like skins for some of my Industrial hulls.  I mentioned the Angel Industrial Livery for my Porpoise a while back, but I also got the same for the Procurer, Retriever, Venture, Prospect and Endurance.  I’ve also got the Spirit skin for my Occator, Minmatar Industrial Livery for the Hulk and Mackinaw and the Gallente Industrial Livery for my Skiff, Covertor and Orca.  All to make them sit better amongst the Asteroid belts.  There is no way to logically justify it – aside having too much ISK, but I do like the look and it amuses me.

I finally sat down to look at the February Patch notes.  The Assault Frigates had updates which impacted the PVE Retribution fit I use.  The increased capacitor meant I was able to drop from two to one cap related module while still staying cap stable.  The weapon bonus went from tracking to damage – so I swapped in a tracking enhancer to make up for that loss.  I had to swap out the T2 damage control for the IFFA Compact Damage Control to fit everything together.

I looked at the new Assault Damage Control modules, but they only look to be of use in PVP.

The fit I ended up with:

[Retribution, PVE]

Centii A-Type Small Armor Repairer
IFFA Compact Damage Control
Heat Sink II
Dark Blood Adaptive Nano Plating
Tracking Enhancer II

Coreli A-Type 1MN Afterburner
Cap Recharger II

Small Focused Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
Small Focused Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
Small Focused Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
Small Focused Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
Salvager II

Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Energy Collision Accelerator II

Imperial Navy Multifrequency S x4

290 DPS
117 DPS Tank
8.8K EHP
1,202 m/s
Cap Stable

I’ll consider swapping the Small Armor Repairer for something a bit cheaper. It was much cheaper when I first put it on the hull. A problem I am finding – hidden inflation. Makes ships a bit more of a gank target than what I want them to be being so close to Jita.

More teasers on new stuff

A couple more YouTube clips from The Discourse if you want to build up some excitement for possible reveals at EVE Fanfest 2018.  The first is the suggestion of unknown space and structures noticed in their decrypted videos.

The second is that you can look at one of these new ships (damaged) in Yulai.  (I flew 19 jumps to see for myself.)

 

Skin Discounts

CCP is going through a process of clearing out old skins from the New Eden Store at discounts of usually 50%. This is to make the NES store less cumbersome to look through. We won’t see most of these skins sold through the store again. Moving forward I believe I read that CCP plan to only sell a skin for 3 months. I assume that would be to keep the store fresh – and to encourage people to buy skins they like sooner rather than later.

Generally, the old skins are selling for 27 PLEX which is about 81M ISK in game. While not cheap for a new player, it equates to 18 skins for a months’ worth of game time. That seems reasonable.

As the old skins are being cleared out I’ve been checking if there are any I am interested in. I find many of them were hit and miss. They would work well on some individual hulls but look average on others – particularly the Minmatar hulls. When I find a skin on a hull I like, I go through a process.

. Do I have skins for that hull already that I like more, so I am not likely to use the new skin anyway?

. What is the cheaper price – in Store or on the Market?

. Given the price, are there any other skins for that hull that I like more and that cost less?

The result of my efforts so far has been activating about 20 new skins. The cost however has been 27 PLEX and around 100M ISK. Generally, I have been finding better skins on the market for a fraction of the cost, particularly in the Exoplanets Hunter, Glacial Drift and Spirit range.

The new skins now coming into the store however tend to be priced rather high. They are selling a Worm Ace of Podhunters skin for 250 Plex, or 750M ISK! Two weeks game time seems a high price for a Frigate skin. I’ve said it before, but I still don’t think CCP get their store pricing right.

One last thing – I wish CCP would fix up how they show skins in the character sheet. It is a mess.

 

Still Watching

I am still here. I’ve even been logging in a bit more than usual.

As suggested, I revisited zkillboard’s stats for structure losses in February to get an overview of the impact of CCP’s Upwell 2.0 changes. I initially tried to put this together when Burn Jita was happening, but zKillboard kept crashing.

Citadel Group stats

https://zkillboard.com/group/1657/stats/

Monthly losses
. Average in 12 months to Jan 2018 – 269
. February – 895
. March (as at 27th) – 908

Engineering Complex Group Stats

https://zkillboard.com/group/1404/stats/

Monthly losses
. Average in 12 months to Jan 2018 – 227
. February – 633
. March (as at 27th) – 697

Refinery Group Stats

https://zkillboard.com/group/1406/stats/

Monthly losses
. Average in 3 months to Jan 2018 – 166
. February – 272
. March (as at 27th) – 276

 

These figures seem to speak for themselves.  The Upwell 2.0 changes have had a substantial impact.  Success I guess for Structure Builders and Structure Destroyers.

 

We had the March update, which has quite a long list of changes in the patch notes. For the first time in quite a while CCP messed things up and Tranquillity had all sorts of performance problems and multiple outages. It used to be like that after almost every patch, so I am inclined to cut CCP some slack and wait patiently when it happens occasionally now.  Lots of people however cried and cried, and cried some more.  Apparently we will be given some free SP to compensate for our mental anguish.

 

I was alerted to a skill train completing when I logged in today. Seems I clicked over 230M SP. In the last month or two I’ve picked up

Skirmish Command Specialist V
Ice Harvesting Drone Specialization V

I am now working on Target Painting V.

 

CCP has been actively working on building up the anticipation towards Fanfest this year. They linked to a Discourse video the other day, discussing the decryption of corrupt Drifter video, showing Drifters in combat with a new as yet unseen type of vessel/s. You can see the linked video here:

There are further videos here – under “Corrupted Trinary Data Vault headings.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLK40KD-CfvF-TuHgRhxHDA/videos

Maybe there will be new ships for players to fly, or new NPCs?

 

Speaking of Drifters – there has been a new Drifter Cruiser spotted in game called the Cassandra Tyrannos. Amongst other behaviours, it seems to protect the Autothysian Lancers, and has been observed shooting at Capsuleers on Gates without apparent provocation or standings issues. The Jove observation post models have also been updated, showing more destruction.

Some further information can be found here:

http://aurora-arcology.blogspot.com.au/2018/03/new-drifter-ships-appear-in-eystur.html

https://forums.eveonline.com/t/arc-vigilant-tyrannos-cruiser-identified-observatories-further-damaged/64679/2

I have had no real interaction with the Drifter NPCs. Their insta-kill death rays tend to require group play with purposefully fit disposable hulls, which doesn’t align with the Hermit play-style. I believe there is a somewhat small niche group in the game who target them. If there is to be an even newer sort of NPC, I hope they are a little more accessible.

 

Last of all, CCP has been spruiking a deal where if you buy 500 PLEX, you will get a unique “Sariel’s Flames” Dramiel skin. Reddit reports that buyers have also been sent a link to an EVE Chronicle, which talks about an attempted salvage mission on an ancient archaeological site hidden within the Mithra’s Gate comet. That also hints at new / old technologies. Hopefully more will be revealed at Fanfest.

I won’t provide a direct link to the document as that seems against the spirit of what CCP appears to be doing.  The detail is however on Reddit under New Chronicle Mithras Gate if you are interested.

I though the salivating was strong

This image was posted on Twitter by @CCPQuant on the 16th of Feb.  (Ignore the S/M/L – the sizing labelling is wrong.)

It shows a count of the Hull-Reinforced Structures in the game.  Can you guess when Upwell 2.0 was released?

There was a level of humour from @CCP_Fozzie  and amongst the various comments on Twitter and Reddit, so the destruction is pleasing some.

I assume most of these are Offline structures, which have suddenly become much easier to destroy now.  An interesting reflection of the huge impact CCP’s tweaks and balancing can have as they change the ground rules.  I wonder what it will mean in the long run for structures in game – particularly for casual players.

You can watch roughly how this is unfolding on zkillboard:

Citadel Group stats

https://zkillboard.com/group/1657/stats/

Citadel Group Losses

https://zkillboard.com/group/1657/losses/

(Last year average monthly losses – 269.  Lost so far this month 404.)

..

Engineering Complex Group Stats

https://zkillboard.com/group/1404/stats/

Engineering Complex Group Losses

https://zkillboard.com/group/1404/losses/

(Last year average monthly losses – 227.  Lost so far this month 305.)

..

Refinery Group Stats

https://zkillboard.com/group/1406/stats/

Refinery Group Losses

https://zkillboard.com/group/1406/losses/

(Last three months average monthly losses – 166.  Lost so far this month 132.)

..

I will try to remember to revisit these after the month has finished.

 

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Pyfa 1.35 has been released, with the latest Assault Frigate changes.

https://github.com/pyfa-org/Pyfa/releases/tag/v1.35.0

They have also made available the first Beta of version 2.0 of Pfya.

https://github.com/pyfa-org/Pyfa/releases/tag/v2.0.0b1

I had a momentary feeling of hope that maybe the GUI would be changed so we can finally see fittings side-by-side like in EFT, but alas no. (I have read before that such a feature was unlikely due to the underlying design of the program.) The changes look mostly back-end – such as supporting newer toolkits and versions of Python.

I am pretty sure I commented a while ago about purchasing and playing around with the Porpoise – the ORE Industrial Command Ship, or Orca lite. While a pretty cool ship, I didn’t think of it as especially useful for my solo play. This was primarily due to its reliance on mining drones – something I have never been a fan of.

While mining with my Skiff in recent months I have found that drone mining isn’t so bad if you just focus on asteroids close to the ship (obvious I know). As such I had in the back of my mind to give the Porpoise a second chance.  I’ve done that recently.

The stats for the Skiff I use:

85.8K EHP (Shield tanked with active resistance modules)
478m/s using 5MN MWD
20.1 m3/s Mining with Modulated Strip Miner II, range 15km
25.7 m3/s Mining with addition of Drones
15,000 m3 ORE Hold
Carry combat and salvaging drones to clear up rats

When playing around with the Porpoise I setup max yield and max tanked versions, which came up with stats of:

60.6K to 99.3 EHP (Hull and Shield tanked with Command Bursts)
458m/s using 10MN AB
12.8 – 18.6 m3/s Mining with Drones
62,500 m3 ORE Hold
5,000 Fleet Hanger

I ended up with this fit somewhere in-between:

[Porpoise, Mining Half Tank]

Reinforced Bulkheads II
Damage Control II

10MN Afterburner II
Large Shield Extender II
Drone Navigation Computer II
Survey Scanner II

Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager II
Shield Command Burst II, Shield Harmonizing Charge
Skirmish Command Burst II, Rapid Deployment Charge

Medium Transverse Bulkhead II
Medium Drone Mining Augmentor II
Medium Drone Mining Augmentor II

Mining Drone II x5

As configured – it has these statistics with my Character Elmis:

65.3K EHP (Hull and Shield tanked with passive resistance and active Command Burst)
528m/s using 10MN AB and active Command Burst
16.9 m3/s Mining with Drones
62,500 m3 ORE Hold
5,000 Fleet Hanger
Carry combat drones to clear up rats

It is surprisingly not that far behind the skiff, for just under half the price. While the mining yield is lower (16.9 m3/s compared to 20.1 – 25.7 m3/s) you are not having to switch crystals and you can stay mining for a bit over an hour without docking, unlike the Skiff’s 10 minutes.

So, the fit explained (something I don’t tend to do).

The ORE ships lend themselves to Hull tanking, so the Damage Control, Reinforced Bulkheads II and 1 Hull rig give the ship a reasonable 57K EHP.

I fit a 10MN Afterburner to increase the speed from 125 m/s to 458 m/s. You must move through the belt as you mine to be close to the Asteroids the drones are chewing on. The ship will fit a 50MN MWD, which gives a speed of 1,383 m/s. I think that might actually be too much, when you just want to move carefully through a belt without overshooting your destination.

The ship has bonuses for Tractor Beams (range out to 48k), so fitting one of them, a flight of combat drones, and a Salvager II allows me to take care of any Belt rats and clean up afterwards. The occasional lucky salvage drop can add to the profitability of your mining session.

I fit a Survey Scanner – although a little less necessary as the mining cycle is only 60 seconds. I also fit a Drone Navigation Computer II to make the drones move quicker to and from Asteroids (from 688 m/s to 894 m/s). I also used two Drone Mining Augmentor II rigs to increase the drone mining yield from 12.8 m3/s to 16.9 m3/s.

At this point I have a couple high slots empty and one medium slot. I figured I would double tank – comparing a resistance or shield buffer module, finding a Large Shield Extender II increased the EHP buffer the most, from 57K to 62K.  I am also more of a fan of passive tanks I don’t need to remember to turn on.

The Porpoise can fit two Command Bursts. I selected a Shield Command Burst II using Shield Harmonizing Charges, which increased the dual tank from 62K to 65K. I will turn this on only if I get targeted by another player. I also added a Skirmish Command Burst II with Rapid Deployment Charges. I will use this when moving around the belt – it increases my AB speed from 458 m/s to 528 m/s. If I went to a 50MN MWD, the speed goes up from 1,383 to 1,647 m/s.

I have found it surprisingly good and effective to fly.

I could remove the Survey Scanner and replace it with extra tank (close to an additional 10K EHP), or a Sensor booster (currently has very slow lock times with a Scan Resolution of only 113mm), or speed up the Drones with another Navigation Computer (up from 894 m/s to 1,127 m/s). I could swap the AB for MWD and change the Skirmish Command Burst for a second Shield Command Burst and fit the Extension Charges. Without the Survey Scanner the tank sits at around 75K EHP.

While it is still certainly a gank target, it has 3+ times more EHP than a retriever and more than twice the capacity, for almost the same yield.

I picked up the Angel Industrial Livery Skin – I like the look, and the notion of hiding in amongst the Asteroids.

On the move back from Jita.

At work