EVEn MMOre: Issue 5

05

I find it fascinating to look back over the course of several weeks and see my growth in the game.  Most of my long term goals, some of which is to pay for training with isk, is still out of reach.  I am getting closer to achieving this lofty goal, but need a bit more skill.  A number of short term goals have been reached and this is truly exciting.

My long term goal is still to generate 2 billion isk a month, with a more short term and realistic path to reach 1 billion isk; probable in the next 30 days. My hope is that with increased revenue I could take that and buy PLEX so as to allow my secondary and tertiary characters more training.  I am comfortable with the fact I will be paying a subscription for the foreseeable future. Most of my wealth at the present is coming from High Sec mining and Wormhole Planetary Interaction.

Generic_05_2500In mining, its really all about the acquisition of valdespar.  For someone new in the game, make that your goal.  Veldaspar is the easiest money.  Certainly other refined ores are rare and costly but everything either comes with risk or complication.  Get the biggest ship you can and hit High Security zones for the largest valdespar asteroids.  Rinse and repeat.   It is better to sit comfortably in High security mining valdespar than risking ship and life trying to mine higher prized ores.  Setup even on Ore Anomalies are often not worth it.  I can mine valdespar quicker, cycling thru the mineral, than roaming around trying to find Omber, Jaspet, or Krynite.

Planetary Interaction is pretty much awash in High and Low sec. The planets are just not that rich of materials to make it worth of the setup stations.  Secondly, the export tax on most of these worlds are at least 10%, which cuts deep into any profits.  I have seen some worlds 15% or more.  It would be different, or explainable, in Low sec space if they guaranteed a safe system but the owners of the orbital stations do nothing other than take your isk.  PI in wormhole space is a completely different matter — dangerous surely but your corporation owns the orbitals (and at least in my case) and charges very little to import or export materials.  This makes high end processed material very valuable.

Dust514My short term goal was to learn probing.  I had tried it the first time I played Eve two years ago and just could not get the hang of it.  Things have been simplified a bit over the years and with help from my corporation allies, I have learned how to do it now. This opens up another whole revenue stream for me.  The finds in these wormholes could catapult me further along in isk than anything I could mine or PI.  Time will tell on this, as I have yet to run more than a few of these sites.

I have brought more guys into the hole since the last time I posted.  For the most part I enjoy living in a wormhole and keep very busy doing my thing. Because of some issues, I still have two guys that live in High security space.  I cannot see them moving into the hole anytime soon, but we’ll see.

In the last week I also bought a number of cybernetic augmentations.  If you haven’t done this, I suggest you get the skill (Cybernetics) and then buy the +3, or at least the +2, bonus to all attributes.  Doing so for me took my learning from 19 days down to 14 days (roughly) or giving me a bonus of five entire days.  The only downside, aside from their cost, is if you die you’ll lose the augments too.

I am still trying to learn skills to perform Tech II industry.  I think that is at least 60 days away since I have so many other skills I want to get before the needed level 5s to make Tech II items.

Two of my characters did learn Cloaking level 5 so they can start to think about Covert Operation ships — I still need more skills in flying those ships however.

Very excited about learning how to probe. This is really huge!

Ebooks need to cost more than 99 cents

AmishJohnson1

Originally this post was meant simply as a rant on Facebook, but it grew into several paragraphs.  I am not an overly wordy person so this is an exceptionally long analysis of my thoughts on raising the price of an ebook from a measly 99 cents to something respectable, perhaps $4.99 or even $9.99.  I often see coworkers come into the office with a coffee cup from one of the many baristas.  Asking them how much the cup was I am astounded that many will say $4 or more.  Why is it that its so easy for a consumer to pay that much money for a single cup of coffee, but it is so hard for them to pay more than 99 cents for an ebook?

I got a check in the mail today for V&V modules I wrote in the 80s. I make more money through 30 year old game books than I do with my ebooks on Amazon. I truly can’t see a future for small authors on Amazon or other digital services if they can’t sell their books for more.

Amazon (and others) take 70% of the price of the book. So if I am forced to sell my book for 99 cents (which seems to be the current demand from consumers) I make 29 cents for each book.

A book is not just the creation of one person, but a collaboration of many. Although I am the author,I am often required to pay for a book cover and most importantly an editor. Again, most of these people want their money up front and usually costs hundreds of dollars.

So just putting a book up on Amazon costs the indie author perhaps $1000. I would have to sell 4000 books before I would see even a penny. Most indie authors sell half that much on a great book.

EVEn MMOre: Issue 4

2307958-430571_20130926_004

Another issue of Even More is upon us. This last week has been instrumental and galactic shattering for both my characters but also for the game Eve Online. The big news for me is that I have parked my retriever and now sit in a shiny mackinaw ore ship.  This week I finally finished up my last skill I needed to pilot this massive ore harvester and have been wreaking havoc on the mining fields. To use this mighty vessel requires learning Mining IV, Science IV, Astrogeology V, Industry V, Spaceship Command IV, and finally the key skill of Exhumers I. I had learned all of these skills, saving the longest and least useable for me until the last: Industry V.

Shalimar and Dag, using the Foreman skill, work well together. Each gains about 4% extra yield partnering together. Dag is still in his retriever as he is a bit behind Shalimar in learning. I also discovered that I can often make as much money mining ore and processing it, to just selling the raw ore itself. It’s a wash often, but I like selling raw ore because it’s a bit cleaner – processing ore leaves scraps behind that I have to collect and reprocess later.

Dust514

The other big milestone for me is reaching the 1 billion isk mark. This is on top of each of my characters having at least 80,000,000 isk in their banks and after purchasing the mackinaw and many expensive skills. It’s unsure how long it took me because upon returning to the game, I already had 350,000,000 isk in the bank. Just doing basic mining, the two can make 35,000,000 isk a night (although that is a bit tedious and boring). I am now weighing what I want to do with the 1,000,000,000 isk. Should I buy a PLEX with it (around 840 million) or save it for some really big purchase?

Last month I bought two PLEX which I used to get additional training for my four other alts. I juggled the additional 2 characters on each account with the learning queue and each gained respectable and needed skills. They each now desperately need a 20 day learning skill – that is a rough 3 weeks of waiting and would definitely require more PLEX.

Last week the girls brought to Amarr over 120,000,000 isk in Planetary Interaction cargo. This was a 100% increase from the week before and I can easily imagine this going up another 100% with a few more skills and further refinement of the mining and processing of the resources.

650843774_512

Another big bit of news is with the help of my corporation mate, the two pilots that live in the hole can now win battles against the rats that stalk the mining fields. Up until this week, my hole miners had to run like school children from any battle. Now they can jump into their caracals and give those nasty rats a good thrashing – on their first battle with them they found two nano-threads which sold for 3,000,000 isk each.

The hole is continuing to gain prominence in my gaming in Eve and I hope this week to move 80% of my operation into the nebulous realm. I still need a few planets in high and low sec because of the limitations of the wormhole space, but these can be managed by Salbador and Pharkus, the two guys outside of the large corporations. They could desperately use another 20 days of learning each, at least. The achievement of a 6th planet or that top tier in command centers could push me into 200,000,000 isk mark.

My short term goal for my game is to reach 80 million isk a day, through a combination of mining, PI, rat loot, and of course at some point other players’ ships. My secondary short term goal is to move my main guys, Dag and Shalimar, into the hole permanently.

eveoffer-title

Long term goal would be to make enough isk to pay for both accounts – I would have to make 2 billion isk a month for that.   I still like spending money and I don’t like to worry about isk either, so I need so much that I don’t fret over it.

As for the Eve Online news, they released their next installment.  CCP likes to call these expansions, but they are really just beefy patches.  In this release, called Tiamat, they have balanced guns, introduced a new ship design, and finally offered some shiny new graphics.

As for the last patch, I have already turned off the asteroid field graphics.  Although interesting, I found it far too busy for my miners to care.  It really added nothing to the game except it made it even more hectic and chaotic while in the asteroid fields.

B-Gv00eCIAAmSXm

EVEn MMOre: Issue 3

21

Once again I am at the controls of my trusty retriever christened the Nostromo.  Can you guess the reference? if so you are a science-fiction nerd.  My main character in Eve Online is Shalimar Yanumano, and he is primarily a miner by trade.  He has many other friends that specialize in other aspects of the game.  His buddy, Dag Sabor, is another miner but not as handy at the mining laser and the drone controls.  Both guys spend their days cutting up asteroids in search of the elusive ore that will bring them millions of isk (money in the game).  Each foray out into the rocky fields can yield the duo close to 8,000,000 isk and takes about 25 minutes — it is just one way to make money in the game, but for the two it is the most relaxing.

He also has some distant friends who own their own little corporation.  These guys have done nothing more than study the reference books on how to setup colonies, often referred to as Planetary Interaction (or PI for short).  The biggest problem for Pharkus and Salbador is they are stuck in a high sector system and the planets there are simply atrocious for producing high-end equipment used in the production of super computers.  Instead, these guys simply do the best they can harvesting needed minerals and biologicals such as Industrial Fibers, Silicon, and Electrolytes.  From there they ship it off to some girls they know who patrol the most unknown sectors of space.  It is often fraught with dangers but they then combine their resources with the guys and produce tier 5 equipment that can sell for a 1,000,000 isk each.  Just yesterday they got a shipment together and headed for Jita.  Their cargo and sales were:

Wetware computers: 5,600,000

Organic Mortar Applicators: 9,500,000

Recursive Computing Modules: 13,000,000

Self-Harmonizing Modules: 21,000,000

Nano-Factories: 17,500,000

At the end of the sale they made a cool 66,000,000 isk.  That is not pure profit as Pharkus and Salbador have to pay exorbitant fees to launch their products into space.  And of course these guys fly in low security space so they must factor in expenses lost due to ships and graft.

Shalimar knows these two wily young gals that live in the darkest and deepest parts of space too.  They call the wormhole their home.  Inside of these nebulous and mysterious spaces exist rich worlds to plunder, incredible asteroid fields filled with the most precious ores, and mysterious ancient sites littered with ancient technology.  This space is by no means safe….Sleepers are constantly warping into it searching for careless pilots.  And there are also other human pilots often finding new wormholes into the area.  That is why I do not name names or suggest locations of this — even though the holes constantly open and close it is best not to mention too many details.

The young girls have a wide range of skills, as they must mine and also perform PI.  They are building their skills up in combat skills too so that one day they can fly with the rest of the corporation as they hunt down poor fools who wander too close.

It happened just the other day, in fact.  I was in communication with the corporation when they spotted a large ship moving close to one of our controlled wormholes.  It was specced out with a ton of gear to probe ancient sites.  Like sharks, my buddies waited and trawled the area as the ship probed with scanners, found an ancient site, and retrieved metric tons of ancient mega-computers and unknown gadgets.  Then my friends pounced, letting loose rockets, energy beams, and warp bubbles to trap the soloing space archeologist.  It was a tough fight, for the explorer was equipped with the best combat drones known in the universe.  But in the end his ship was destroyed, and for good measure so too was his clone.  It looked like the poor fool lost close to 750,000,000 isk.  That was not a good day for him and surely he felt miserable for a long while.  I was momentarily sad for him, but that is the world we live in.  He could have just played it safe in the high security areas but he chose to come far out into the badlands — he knew the dangers!  The reward wouldn’t be so spectacular if it wasn’t balanced with the dire and dangerous roads that need to be traveled.  Perhaps next time he will fit another weapon in his hold or more armor.  Then again, he may just not venture back into the voids for lucrative treasure.

Each week I play Eve Online I learn so much more about the game.  This week was filled with suspense, intrigue, harrowing escapes, and even a bit of combat.

Then & Now

I don’t normally post comic strips here but this one particularly struck home to me.  Its a shame that companies today must offer games for free then charge for every tiny aspect in the a game.  In the MMO Star Wars of the Old Republic that actually make you pay so that your character can run.  If you don’t pay, your character shuffles around the giant world — ridiculous!

Instead of offering rewards for time or effort in the game, today it is nothing more than how much you are willing to spend — Remember this is supposed to be a FREE game?!?

I can see a basic argument that many people don’t have time to play endlessly in a game, but the doesn’t mean that everything should be for sale either.  Time and effort still must trump a credit card.  The argument for this falls apart when those players who have both the time, effort, and credit card rule the game.  One cannot sell achievements in a game, they must be earned to have value.  Offer a game that is FREE and that time in the game equates into better skills, equipment, and benefits.  Sell cosmetic gear or aspects of the game that make it easier without making it a Pay to Win.

B9FQVoMIIAAHPO8

Comic Book Awards for January

1

The new year is here and its first month has gone as quickly as it came, bringing with it the fresh artistic offerings from comic book publishers everywhere. A new year beckons the thrill of new beginnings which was taken advantage of in view of the fact that three brand new ongoing series’ made it into my monthly comic book purchases (as if I didn’t already have enough comics, mind you). Marvel finally had the motivation to give their tiniest – may I add greatly underrated – hero a chance with Ant-Man #1 in light of Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man film hitting theaters this July, written by well-received writer Nick Spencer. As sad as it is to say that Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, is not the man under the costume, Scott Lang dons the insect-themed alias to very amiable results. That galaxy far, far away that we all know and love reunites with its first love at Marvel as well. Star Wars #1 by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday will make any Star Wars fan ecstatic, and you might even be hearing John Williams’ fantastical score in the back of your heads as you open up the respectful first issue. Picking up my first ever ongoing book from Image Comics, Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim’s The Dying & the Dead debuted this month with a staggering 60 pages for only $4.50. Regulars like Aquaman, Hulk, Avengers, and many others released whilst Fantastic Four took the bold move of going back to its true numbering with #642.

But out of these and other nominees, which were the best of the opening month of the year? This proved to be one of the most competitive months in recent memory.

Cover of the Month Award: Star Wars #1 

Cover Artists: John Cassaday & Laura Martin 

2For context’s sake, the first ever Star Wars comic was published by Marvel Comics back around the time Episode IV: A New Hope released in 1977. As time went on, Dark Horse eventually became the proud home of the greatest sci-fi fantasy universe, launching with Star Wars: Dark Empire in the ‘90s, and held the reigns for over twenty-five years, producing incredible titles exploring never before seen timelines and characters. When Disney, then already having bought Marvel a few years earlier, acquired the Star Wars property, the stars aligned and the teeming inevitability of new Star Wars comics back under the Marvel banner would be an historic event in the comic book world. Here we are, almost forty years later, and Marvel’s Star Wars #1 comes to us presenting a blasting cover from John Cassaday and color partner Laura Martin.

One look shouts out classic Star Wars. X-Wings and Tie Fighters zoom overhead the hearts and souls of the Rebel Alliance as Darth Vader’s helmet silhouette of hyperspace stands in the backdrop in capturing, modeled symmetry. The detailed touches on the ships and almost pitch-perfect faithfulness to the looks of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3P0, and R2-D2 from the beloved films is what you need to do to invoke the absorbing splendor of the Star Wars license. The cover for Star Wars #1 nails it.

Art of the Month Award: Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #3

Artists: Marco Rudy (PGS 1-12, 17-20), Michael Walsh (PGS 13-16)

3

4a

 

Two issues of Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier came out in January (making up for no issue in December 2014), both exhibiting the talent of artist extraordinaire Marco Rudy. #4 mainly featured pencils and inks from Langdon Foss with just four pages given to Rudy, regrettably. However, #3’s seventeen magnificent pages from Marco Rudy more than make up for any disappointments, and still outweigh the artwork of the 10+ other comics on my reading list. That’s how remarkable this guy’s stuff is. Sublime is page after page of Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #3. Serene colors caress the full, wondrous space and alien bound issue and a few one pagers will pause you for a second or more. Unique, extravagant panel layouts return with pages one, two, eighteen and nineteen standing out in considerable efficacy. There’s even a glimmer of romance in #3 that is shown quite tastefully. Regardless of Michael Walsh’s simplistic but firm four pages, one panel of Marco Rudy’s paints carries with it a deep, memorable signature.

Story of the Month Award: Avengers #40 (“We Three Kings”) 

Writer: Jonathan Hickman 

4With Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Wars now only four months away and his run on both Avengers and New Avengers coming to an end this April, the time for closure is at hand after two-and-a-half years of spectacular buildup. The climactic events of New Avengers #28 left us at an unexpected standstill between Steve Rogers’ army of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and heroes and the clever Illuminati. The opposing forces lightly agree to a legitimate truce for the moment as the entire multiverse hangs in the balance due to the curious incursions plaguing the Marvel universe. Our heroes plan to get rid of The Cabal – consisting of the mad titan Thanos, Black Swan, Terrax, Maximus, Corvus Glaive and his wife Proxima Midnight – while a grueling confrontation Black Panther has with Namor is something we’ve been waiting to see since the very early issues of New Avengers. There is no holding back now.

Issue of the Month Award: Avengers #40 (“We Three Kings”) 

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Stefano Caselli

Color Artist: Frank Martin

Cover Art: Dale Keown & Jason Keith

5Avengers #40 is a comic book you don’t want to pass over. This story chapter of Hickman’s continuing dark drama epic is fluid and shocking. The endgame of his Avengers is rising to its boiling point in too many brilliant ways. Stefano Caselli is the featured artist of this extra-sized issue; his smooth but crisp style a caliber of excellence. Colorist Frank Martin, the underdog trooper of the book, is in great form, too. You’ll find a host of familiar faces in Avengers #40 and also witness once more heroes make decisions that will take a toll on relationships in addition to status of moral ground.

Thanks for checking out my awards and check back sometime next month for February’’s Comic Book Awards! Until then, hopefully you and I will continue to be reading comics in the dawn of this new year!

EVEn MMOre: Issue 2

eveoffer-title

Welcome to the second blog devoted to my gaming habit in Eve Online. Another week has trickled by and I am learning so much about the game. Each day I am taking on new skills, ships, and activities in the game.

I have graduated to two accounts, each with three characters. I have my main who has close to 5 months’ worth of skills, a second guy close to three months’ worth of skills. Along with these guys, I have a set of alt characters each with about 6 weeks of skill training. All of them are in a small corporation of friends. I then have two relatively new characters, one on each account that has less than 4 weeks of skills. It truly does not take much skill training to make characters proficient in scouting, planetary interaction, mining, and perhaps even combat. The two latter, and newest to my entourage, are outside of my main corporation in their own two-man outfit. It’s often good to have some characters outside of your normal corporation, so in times of War Dec (open conflict between two companies) you can still move around – picking up new skills, selling ore, buying and trading PI materials. All of my characters mine and perform planetary interaction to some degree, but it’s my primary guys that have the most skills in mining. My last two guys have reached and soon will surpass my other characters in PI ability – presently they are at five planets and one

My main characters are miners, first and foremost. Many players have problems with mining, essentially because it is perceived as being repetitive and boring. I find that dual boxing with mining barges and drones can be soothing. I can also easily busy myself with PI, setting up new mining and trimming my builds with ease. Rats, and the subsequent use of scavengers, also can add a bit of business to the effort, and once again gives a great source of additional income. All of my characters have some skill in mining, but it is imperative to focus and hone skill learning to get the greatest yield and value. My two mains are at 63.5% processing yield which I do not know if it’s good or not, but much better than my lesser alts.

1412804221_1024

650843774_512

images1

I have my third set of characters that are outside of my primary corporation. They have their own corp and are specialized in PI. I may spend two additional PLEX next month to earn the 5th level skills in Interplanetary Consolidation and Command Center Upgrades. They also suffer in a bit of lack of knowledge in Planetology but this will also be rectified soon. Each character has five planets of resource gathering and helps in production of the primary and secondary characters on their factory worlds. I am unsure how others do PI, but for me I have four worlds producing resources and a fifth world that pulls all the refined resources together. It is a bit more costly in the importing and exporting of resources and raw materials through the Customs Office. I always use a Launchpad to put the resources in the orbital Customs Office rather than simply blasting it into orbit with a bookmark to its location. In the long run it’s cheaper to use a Launchpad.

I am currently running my PI on a mixture of Wormhole planets, HighSec, and Lowsec. I have yet to make up my mind if it is truly worth putting worlds in Lowsec since losing even one ship due to rumbustious players will make the yields far less than the very safe Highsec planets. The yields of planets in Wormholes are incredible. Did I say how incredible the yields are in wormholes! My goal is to make T5 or end PI solutions such as Nano-Factories, Organic Mortar Applicators, Recursive Computing Modules, and Self-Harmonizing Power Cores. I can achieve a modicum results with 6 characters and can without effort make 50 million isk a week (although this is not profit). I am still refining the process and hope to increase the yield and also cut the costs by 25% in the coming week.

Organization is the key in PI. The problem that I have is that I don’t want to waste time with spreadsheets because that becomes too much work…which leans to becoming work. I still want to have fun in the game versus worrying over all the minutia of making isk with PI. My aspiration is to make enough and have fun doing the PI process. At this point, I am achieving this goal. I certainly enjoy spending isk and with PI you can do so in glee. Throwing around 2,000,000 isk is easy in this aspect of the game. In the end I am unsure if I am making a lot of money but it is still very fun.

My secondary characters are a pair of females. I see a lot of women characters in the game but think 99% of them are just guys like me. It would be interesting to know the psychology behind why we make female pilots. I tell people because it may give me that extra 1 second I need to warp out if someone is ready to blast me into hell. Do other pilots consider gender before attacking? I am not sold on this idea but it certainly sounds good. In any event, both my girls are learning skills to pilot battlecruisers. It’s my goal to get them trained as powerful starship warriors. They are also learning some minor skills in PI and mining, one becoming very proficient in Gas Cloud Mining.

I am using +1 learning queue between my second and tertiary characters, turning on and off skill training for 30 days to get the most out of new skill acquisitions. In a single month of training you can get a great number of basic skills but the second month allows you to hone those early abilities. The third month is when you start hitting the 4 or 5 day learning cycle, which quickly leads to the 20 to 40 day learning tree. On my main guy I am waiting on a 20 day skill—boy that is excruciating!! Most of the 5th level skills are at least 20 days long or longer.

Use implants that grant you +1 to +4 in attribute bonus to decrease skill times. In the most basic form, each skill requires X amount of learning points to achieve. A bonus to a particular attribute conveys that bonus into the learning points. So if your character has a 20 Memory and a 21 Perception and the skill requires these two attributes you are gaining 41 per cycle. Adding a +4 bonus to each, increase the learning by 8 points per cycle. This is greatly simplified but you get the idea of how implants work. Implants are a must – however I met a guy who has played for 6 years that never used them. Also note that if you are podded (your pod is destroyed after your ship) you lose all your implants. And lastly, implants can cost easily 30,000,000 isk. It’s a bonus at a big cost.

Next week I will get more into PI, Gas Mining, and my exploits into Wormhole space. Please add my blog to your favorites, add a comment, or send me an email that you like my blog as it always makes me feel good.

~Troy

EVEn MMOre: Issue 1

Generic_05_2500

Welcome to my first weekly blog to Eve Online.  I must say up front that I am still such a newbie when it comes to this game, although I have more than 20 years of MMO experience.  I recently came to this game looking for something new.  I had tried the game 2 years ago and could not find my place in it.  Recently because of some gaming friends leaving old MMOs and my desire for more player controlled, sandbox experience I thought I would try Eve Online again.

I have been an altoholic from the very beginnings of playing Everquest 1.  I thought I had found a game that I could just play 1 character but during Christmas they gave all players a free 20 day second training bonus.  Normally you can only train one character at a time in the game.  With the holiday bonus, it was possible to have two characters training simultaneously.  Perhaps it was nothing more than a lure for players like myself who have never tried it — but now I am hooked and have already invested 2 PLEX into continuing two more character training slots.

I created a second account and have another set of guys already.  Unlike other MMOs, Eve Online requires two separate computers to run the games together.  Other MMOs simply needs to create another instances of the game and then ALT-TAB between them.  This is not possible in Eve.  To play another account you need a second computer — perhaps you could have a virtual second computer on the first but not sure how sound and graphics would work on that*.  Luckily there are many 3rd party programs that allow you to have 1 keyboard and mouse to control multiple computers.  I also need to point out that any MACRO software is forbidden to be used by the EULA of the game. I use Synergy to control multiple computers: http://synergy-project.org/ — It works great.  There is a trick to getting both applications to run full screen without minimizing but it is just a setting.

[Edit:  *I have been since told that it is very possible to run two Eve accounts on one computer.  The instructions can be found across the web or you can go here: https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Multiple_clients — Thanks Nick for pointing this out.]

I original thought of doing a PODCAST for Eve Online and I have a few friends who would like that.  The main reason I have not done that is time and money.  I can write up EVEn MMOre blogs at work and during lunch time while a blog requires several hours in front of the mic.  Secondly, the cost of maintaining a server and the feed is quite expensive.  At some point if I find I am gaining a large audience, I may be talked into doing one (I had great fun back in 2007/2008 over at virginworlds.com with my podcasts of EQual Perspectives and Voyages of Vanguard).  If you would like to hear a podcast, please leave a message on this blog post.

star1

This week I had a hard lesson in Eve Online when I lost my Retriever to a skulking PvPer.  I am not the most ambitious PVP player, probably considered a carebear by others.  I tend to spend my time mining, industry, and planetary interaction.  The other day I found an Ore Anomaly in Low Sec space that looked interesting.  Greed took over.  Intelligence faded.  Unbeknownst to me there is not any ore you can mine in Low Sec that gives any different refined minerals that you can find in High Sec.

Here is my first tip to any new pilot out there: Do Not Mine In Low Sec.  You will die.

Because I got greedy I thought I could mine in Low Sec space and not be bothered.  Mind you, I could have maybe escaped if I put in a Warp Core Stabilizer on my retriever. The only thing that killed me, at least from what I could see, is that I couldn’t warp out.  I am curious if I put +1 or +2 WCSs on my ship if I could have escaped.

But looking back now, it was utterly foolish to mine in Low Sec.  Those that profess such endeavors are simply baiting young pilots into that belief.  They are luring you in for an easy kill.

There is nothing in Low Sec minerals that you can’t find in High Sec — and CONCORD there to protect you.

I may even venture into saying that it is not worth you effort or time to seek out Ore Anomalies in High Sec. Again nothing there is not found in Asteroid Belts.  Some minerals offer better yields but they are much smaller, harder to mine, and require higher skills to effectively gather.  It is far more profitable to mine Veldaspar in High Sec Asteroid Belts — a bit more boring but much greater in profits.

The time to setup and cull the rocks in the anomalies is not worth it.  Stick to the Asteroid Belts in see much greater profit.

Finally,  I was shocked at how much I like using the combination of a Retriever and Covetor.  Both mining barges can gather ore, but each has its purpose and they are DIFFERENT.  The Retriever has only 2 mining lasers while the Covetor has 3 — but this is offset by bonuses to each to make them yield essentially the same. Adding crystals and modules could increase the Covetors return beyond the Retriever, but essentially they are equal.  The Retrievers though have a huge ore bay compared to the Covetors — the latter is best used in “jet canning” mined resources and then returning with bigger cargo ships to pick up the contents of the floating cans.

ice_mining_ui_940

If you want to know more about the game or discuss tactics, please leave a message.  I am very interested in hearing from other Eve players and would like to gauge my reach.

Talk more next week when I discuss long term Planetary Interactions.

New Eve Online Player

star1

Back in 2012 I tried a free month of Eve Online.  I played for a couple months but I never could get into the game.  I let my characters drift off into space and I forgot about them.  Recently I was looking for a new MMO to play, having tired of Everquest and Everquest II.  I wanted something different and challenging, so my mind wandered back to the game I tried several years ago.

This time my attitude and opinion of the game has changed drastically.  I am really enjoying the game with the current build and changes that CCP has made over the years.  I am still a huge newbie player, having logged less than two months this time around.

I have collected my thoughts on some ideas that I hope will help other newbie pilots in the game and present them as follows:

Do not use Autopilot. It is a bad habit, first of all. You really don’t need it since you can set up your jumps in advance on the map, then simply follow the jumps as they appear. Autopilot does get you from star A to star R but at a horrible cost of time. Under manual control you can make the jumps much faster and at your own timing. Allowing Autopilot to take control means you will always warp out at least 15000 meters from the warp point. Using Autopilot in low sec or zero space is a death wish. Autopilot in high sec is relatively safe but just slow. I do use it now and then if I am running off for supper or AFK for 30 minutes and I want to move my ship a long distance.

1420375736_eve-online

Chat channels, Local tab, is unlike most other MMOs. There is very little chatting going on in the game here. Some of the reason is because information is guarded but mostly because there are other channels better suited for help or frivolous banter. Players will quickly learn to keep quiet here, and those who don’t will be hunted down and bullied, attacked, or tricked into destroying their ship. Help is available as well as corporate channels for those needing assistance, but don’t expect discussions about real world politics, religion, or news. It’s just not something that is done.

Game forums are always troublesome and circumspect, but more so in Eve. A haven for the trolls that often live in Chat Channels in other MMOs I have yet to find a single piece of advice in the forums. Most players will quickly learn that any appeal for assistance or question will be quickly belittled and disparaged. It is just not really worth asking or even reading the commentary on the Eve Forums. It is far better to find a good corporation and ask questions within those channels than wasting your time, and ultimately becoming enraged by the mockery that awaits you in the forums. Eve Administrators do a good job of managing and curtailing most of the posts, quickly locking or closing those that they deem unfit but it still does very little to curtail the horrid community that wait there.

The game is really all about the in game money. Nothing else is lost other than ‘isk’ in the game. In the past, if you died, you could lose time in the game from an older clone. The level of your clone was how many points of skills you have but they changed this so you NEVER lose skills. Essentially if you die, you lose your ship, the installed modules, its contents, and your implants. This can still be extremely costly – You can easily lose 100,000,000 isk with a Frigate depending on many factors. In the end though it’s just funny money anyway, easily replaced.

So don’t fret about dying. Stay cool and just know now and then you will take a hit with your money. If you always have a 100,000,000 isk in the bank the lost isn’t going to hurt as bad

Ship_Chart_4096_With_Big_Names

The game is a pure sandbox game, meaning there are unlimited ways to get things done in the game. Although there are “quests” you can do in the game to get ships, money, and valuable items its only one of many ways to have fun in the game.

I have done very few Missions (the quest system in the game). They seem extremely boring to me, but others may find them enjoyable. From what I have determined, you get items and isk (money) from missions AND Standing and Loyalty Points. Standing allows greater access to missions and services at starbases. Loyalty Points can be used to buy precious items such as datacores and valuable starship modules. Missions can be Encounters, Mining, Courier, and Trade. They are five levels of mission difficulty, with higher level missions being more dangerous and also more lucrative.

Keep everything you find and either sell it or reprocess it. Selling it on the market is straight forward. Reprocessing takes almost every item in the game and turns it into basic materials that other players use to Industry items. It’s possible to make a fair amount of isk in the game just reprocessing the loot you get from NPC space pirates (rats). To reprocess something, just go to a base and right click on the item. Reprocess and see what happens. Take the material, right click on that and SELL. Do that for a couple of days and see how much wealth you can obtain – learn from your mistakes and refine your refining process. Skills help, like all things in the game.

Organize bases you visit often with Containers. Buy various size containers and rename them to codify, organize, and detail all the stuff that will eventually obtain in the game. Organization is the key and Containers go a long way towards keeping things straight – Also realize if you keep Blueprints in a container by default that is where items will be put. So if you run into a situation where you can’t find an item made or a warning prevents you from making an item, check you containers.

Eve Online, Mackinaw-class advanced mining barge

The game is rich and deep, so the learning curve is almost vertical on the first couple of weeks. Never think you are doing something the right way, or only way, because surely there are ten other ways of doing it and some may even be better. Fighting, Industrial, PI, Mining, and other ventures that I even haven’t thought of yet are available to you. Keep learning and keep an open mind. Always look for a way to do something faster, cheaper, and easier. There are very few rules in the game, so be aware that everyone is out to make that fast buck – don’t be tricked into a scam (which is completely legal in the EULA of the game). Also realize that you too can try your hand at

You don’t need to make Tier 4 items to make money in Planetary Interaction. Beyond exploring, fighting, and PVP there is a part of the game called PI – Planetary Interaction. Here you create mining and industrial complexes on up to 6 planets making valuable items. There are essentially four tiers of products, and many players are led to believe it is only the top end products that can make any money. From Resources harvested, you gather such things as Noble Gas, Base Metals, or Plasmoids. From there you refine these resources into many other items that can be directly sold such as Oxygen, Water, Precious Metals, or Electrolytes.   These items can be further refined, and also sold for a nice profit, such as Nanites, Oxides, or Viral Agents. At this point these and base items can be refined into Tier 3 commodities. Like lesser stuff, you can sell this on the market too, often for outlandish amounts of isk. Items like Supercomputers, Robotics, and Camera Drones are the last ingredients before the final product. The last PI item often sells for 1,000,000 isk or more – Broadcast Nodes, Nano-Factories, Recursive Computing Modules are just a few of them items that garner such huge isk rewards if you can pull all the items and resources together.

eveonline-02

Start small and go slow, making money at first by selling off Tier 1 and 2 items. Graduate upwards to selling Tier 3 items. Expect to spend 50,000,000 isk easily to get into the business of making Tier 4 stuff. Alt characters help greatly on this. Get all your characters level 4 or 5 skills in Planetary Interaction skills.