Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - an EVE year in reflection

The blogger in me has been lazy this month. So lazy that this will be my 4th post in December which is a far cry from the 8-12 I normally produce. It's been a busy time and a sick time for me. I've had strep and bronchitis in the real world. Work has been uncharacteristically busy and family life has been the usual whirlwind that Christmas time whips up. My EVE time has been just as busy with my return to the carebear life from a small stay in 0.0. I've added members to my corporation, I've joined a new Alliance, and I've stepped up in the role as CEO and stake holder of both. I've got goals again that require action and planning. I am flying with some truly awesome people and having a lot of fun doing indy stuff.

Yet what really has 2010 meant for me in the EVE sense? In asking myself this question my brain kind of goes fuzzy at first. There is no solid answer as to what it's done for me and what I have done with my time. The easy answer is what 2010 in EVE has cost me financially which amounts to US$359.76 for the year. Compare this to buying my lunch each day I work at US$2080 for the year it's not that expensive. My cell phone costs me US$1200 ish a year as well. So financially EVE is a good thing for me.

However what good has it done for me in the grand scheme of it all? Back in January 15th of this year 2010 I started to blog about my EVE life. Back then I was a pimply noob with 2 accounts and a whole bunch of nothing else. I was handing out advice to noobs while barley having made it past the trials myself. I thought that traveling between Lonetrek and Sinq Laison was a long trip. I make this trip weekly now as if it were going for milk.

In February I started to think about PvP in EVE. I posted some comical Tristan and Incursus fits that make me chuckle today. I realized that while tanking skills were awesome they need weapons skills to be of any use. I also lost my first drake when I got it stuck in a structure and did not know about CTRL-Q and E-Warp. I was so pissed at loosing 50M and now I make that every other day organically.

March-July I bitched about real Life getting in the way of my EVE time. I lost direction in EVE and ended up joining a new corp. to focus on PvP with ZombiNutz. This lead to Null and sometime in the lawless space. I learned a lot about gate camps and how to safe up. I spent a lot of time station spinning and shooting POS and SBU. I lost ISK faster than I could make it and soon decided that I was not pulling my weight in Null and the right thing to do was pull out.

The rest of the year I spent bitching further about my real life getting in the way of EVE. I talked about PvP and some ideas I had for some fun things to do with T1 frigates. I roamed solo in Lowsec and could not get a Fair fight for the life of me. I realized that one man alone could not pull of my ideas and this is when the first sparks of my current EVE life began.

For the last few months of 2010 and even now as I finish this post. I've been seeking out people to share my EVE time with. I've added some select nice folks to Healthcare for Space Hermits and will continue to do so. In turn I have joined the PIES alliance which is comprised of some very talented and fun to fly with corporations. I log into hellos now and what are you doing today? I have fun flying with these people even on mind numbing ICE ops. We joke and help each other out.

So really what I have done in 2010 is realize that EVE is a very lame solo game. It is by finding the right people to play with that this game really starts to shine and take flight. I am driven again and can find so much to do and enjoy in EVE now. It even fits in with my Real life schedule allowing a little less time bitching about it.

So to all a happy and safe New Years Eve. See you in 2011 for some more blogging and internet space ships. Fly safe in New Eden and rip it up and have a safe AWESOME time in the real world.



Monday, December 20, 2010

OLD TOM - The Orca comes to play on the carebear ranch.

In my childhood as a blond haired lad growing up on coastal rural Australia. The ocean was always there as a place of play and financial success for many. I spent a good amount of my life in or around a small coastal fishing town Called Eden. It's situated on the southern east coast of Australia in the state of New South Whales and the town itself is smack bang in the middle of Two Fold bay. Said to be the southern hemispheres 3rd deepest natural harbor. I've spent hours of my life sailing, swimming, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling in this bay and the surrounding coat. Eden is known historically as a whaling town in the late 1800's and has a good amount of documentation around cooperation of whalers and orca during this time. Hunting whales when that sort of thing was considered cool. AS a result there is a local ledged and set of bones associated to an Orca called "Old Tom" who was the last orca to work with whalers before the decline of whaling. You can read about him here

So when I finally got around to adding an ORCA Industrial Command ship to my hanger recently it was a no brainer to name it after the legendary whale from my towns history.

Undocking in "OLD TOM" is like flying a small base around. It's got all the creature comforts a mining fleet or a worm hole crew might need. Sure it may not have a clone bay but that's what it's big brother the roquel is for. Given its size it aligns and warps fast enough that I don't feel the need to make coffee. It's got enough mids for a fair shield tank. The highs are there for gang links and the lows are perfect for utility mods. 3 large rigs and it's a pretty fun boat if you are mining rocks or supporting a small fleet. I'd not recommend you take it for a stroll into lowsec or Null sec alone but if you had a small force with you I can see how this boat would also be handy.

I've fitted Mine with a typical Highsec mining fit as such:


Mining Foreman Link - Laser Optimization
Mining Foreman Link - Mining Laser Field Enhancement
Small Tractor Beam I


Invulnerability Field II
2 x Large Shield Extender II
TDB (Survey Scanner or second INV II)


2 x Expanded Cargohold II


3 X Large Cargohold Optimization I

It's nice to sit in a belt now and rip stuff apart not having to hall rocks away constantly. More time getting the rocks done means less time mining. This makes me happy.



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where in the universe is EVE SOB –December 2010 – late Edition

It is time for this month’s “Where in the Universe is EVE SOB” post where every month I summarize where I am at in EVE. I also throw in some real world stuff and the top CNN headline of the day for a historical WTF was the world doing back then element.

The new normal?

Here I am on the 9th getting to my monthly "first" of the month every month post out. While EVE time remains busy and productive. The same is also true with RL (cry me a river SOB) and such it seems that my blogging is the first thing to get skipped.

Added to that the dry and repetitive nature of carebearing there are only so many ways I can say "Made another 375M ISK this month from PI!" or "Training to build ship type X or mod type y this today!" This leaves me with an odd sense of not wanting to bore the crap out of the folks who do read this blog. So I post when I have something "exciting" like a new hull to shoot rats with or when I find a new way to make ISK.

So what am I doing:

Actually this past month has been busy! HCSH has joined a new alliance of super nice carebear types and we are doing collaborative carebear things together. The carebear ranch is now sharing ops with all the farms around it and the social aspect of the game has brought rewards. Perhaps I just joined a dropkick NULL sec alliance, but if I had this level of peer interaction out there. I'd would probably have found more time for gate camps and CTAs. Ah well water under the bridge. Right now I am thrilled with my new Sister corps and there pilots. Having a blast ripping up rats.

I have a dirty dark secret to share. See a while back I swore off mining and claimed it would be a long cold day in hell before I flew a mining ship in and asteroid belt. Well not only did I recently buy another Hulk. I also bought a Mackinaw as well. and have been doing weekly mining ops for both rocks and Ice. So all you wicked evil sinners out there better pack warm when you pass over. I still cannot say I enjoy mining but I do like making stuff which requires mined stuff.

Things I am training:

SonOfBraben: A whole lot of Science skills mostly. I did take a detour to sure up my RR drones and some of the base skills for a Gallente BS hulls. Kind of makes sense with a good chunk of my skills all ready invested in Drones and hybrids. Even if this guy is supposed to be pure Indy, I believe we all need to be able to shoot back to some level.

ZombiNutz: With the Raven fit done and the time I am in a fleet increasing a lot. I've actually taken a break from training hulls and guns in favor of leadership skills. So I am training leadership type stuff for both bearing and Pew Pew. Loving the extra boosts for very little time invested.

The Sisters: No change here. The Nuns are going about the daily duties at the P.I. convent with diligent devotion to the faith of making me ISK.

Real Life Stuffs:

The squirrels have abated and the bird feeders have the last few brave winter birds pecking away at the seeds in 13 F weather. We have had some snow all ready but nothing you can take a sled out on. My boys were sledding on frost this week full of eager extreme sledding mojo. My 5yo actually got a 2 foot jump off frost and you gotta love that little man. One second he is a quiet soft spoken lad who still sucks his thumb and snuggles with his mommy. The next he is in Thor mode yelling and smiting down foes while sliding down a rail.

Christmas is getting near and Santa is going broke accommodating the lists but knows the joys of the day will wash away the worry of the expense. My boys 5 and 7 both wanted iPADS and well Daddy does not have an iPAD so Santa is going to be a jerk this year and bring legos and Wii games and bikes and TOYS that are for 5 and 7 year old boys. Sheesh! lag gods all mighty why is it that kids want to be 21 the day they are born and drive an ariel atom to school? It takes all the combined efforts of Mrs. SOB and I to slow these boys DOWN and make them be KIDS! Yes I love them all the same and would not really want to change the drive them both have. These two will go far.

CNN Headline for Today:



Thursday, December 2, 2010


This week my duties as a professional geek have me hotel bound and working through the early hours. I am cutting over Fiber Channel fabrics replacing 5 year old director switches while not letting the customer facing services fall over. It’s tedious attention hungry work at 2am. As you might imagine this leaves me no time for EVE.

It’s funny though right before I hit the road for this current real life work adventure. Some pretty cool things happened in EVE. My corp. became a member of a brand new Alliance. The alliance founder and my sister corps are super nice people and the few times I was able to join them on ops. It was a riot.

I also had just hired a few new folks and owe them some of my time to get them moving down a path of interest to them.

I was putting some wear on my new raven as well and getting ready for some Alliance Level 5’s in the near future. I added some skills to make the drake perform a little better too. So the carebear PvE life was busy and actually fun. We are also getting ready to see what the Sansha folks have to offer when they are unleashed. Knowing my life and its timing they have all ready over run highsec and all the fights are done. :)

Anyhow, this week is almost done and I’ll be on my way home soon. In another week work pretty much grinds to a halt. SO a little more time for EVE is coming and I’ll be back soon. When I get settled a fresh"where in the universe is EVE SOB?" and some more info on the alliance. Perhaps some ravings about my next big plans.

Until then my beloved EVE and all those I share it with. I miss you.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

EVE Thanksgiving!

It's that time of year where most Americans be they resident or citizen of all religions (for the most part) prepare for the annual Thanksgiving day feast. I was not born here and hence not educated via the US schools. So at first this holiday appeared to me as a practice run for Christmas dinner with some elements of "Boxing day" thrown in. I still joke with my family back in Australia about it being a dressed rehearsal for Christmas dinner.

I've lived in the US now for over a decade and even sadly speak Bostralian now over pure Australian. Over the years my views on thanksgiving have altered slightly. I've come to understand the holiday more as a time to lay aside our differences and give thanks for all the things in our life that defines it. Thanking the good people for loving us and sharing their life with us in happiness. Thanking the Jerks in our life for defining what we dislike in others (someone has to do it). Thanking the dog for being a brainless stomach and chewing up our socks. Thanking our co-workers for various things both good and bad they do throughout the year. It's a time of settling our differences and being grateful for being above ground. The rest of the year we can stomp around miserably and curse it all, but this day everyone should get over them self and give thanks. Kind of a cool idea I think even if we should aspire to do this more than once a year. Oh and we get to eat Silly amounts of roast turkey , veggies, and 2-3 different kinds of pie!

So thanksgiving week on this blog I'd like to thank a few folks in the EVE community:

1: I'd like to thank HellGodofWar for reminding me that Hulks explode when you do stupid things with them. Like flying the through lowsec entry systems without a scout. Thanks Buddy. However trade the drake in for some DPS, that was painfully long. Cudos on the pro-bump when I tried to reproach. Kill mail here

2: I'd like to thank the 5 new pilots who have joined HCSH. Wish I saw you all on more and did not have to think you were ALL waiting to steal my stuff. If you need anything let me know (except all my stuff).

3: I'd like to thank all pirates, ninjas, suicide gankers, and colorful local smack talkers for the entertainment value they bring to EVE every single damn day.

4: I'd like to thank Logan, Kirth, Rixx, and all the other bloggers who have always given me good advice. Hope your RL lets you get your PvP one more. Special thanks to Astral Domnix for being a himself and recommending I join his corp. moments before he left it. I've had some fun and made some great friends as a result.

5: I'd like to thank "The Sarj" for being himself. He may never read this but thanks all the same you Twat!

6: I'd like to sincerely thank Paul a real life friend who convinced me to play EVE. He emo rage quit the game 3 months later over Ninjas in his missions, but with out his suggestion. I'd be out there some palce else finding reasons to quit WoW. That is truly something to be thankful for.

7: I'd like to thank Mom and the other souls who choose to read this blog. I truly don't understand why you read about my EVE life. It's not THAT awesome compared to the high rollers who shoot people in the face. Thanks all the same as it gives me something other than myself to write for. Love you Mom!

What are you thankful for in the EVE sense?



Monday, November 22, 2010

Nevermore #1

Well after flying both passive and active shield tanked ravens solo in Caldari navy Level 4's. The verdict is pretty easy to deliver. See there are a lot of Active Shield tanked ravens for a reason. Why!? because they kick the snot out of passive shield tanked ravens when it comes to incoming RAT DPS. They also deliver more outbound DPS as well because all the low slots are not jammed with shield mods to get the thing enough buffer to have a sustainable passive regen.

In the end I fit my PvE Raven thus:

Name: Nevermore #1


6 x 'Arbalest' Cruise Launcher I, Paradise Cruise Missile w\ Mission specific Cruise missiles
1 x Drone Link Augmenter I
Empty Slot (my skills don't leave enough CPU for a NOS)


1 x XL-Shield Booster II
1 x Shield boost amplifier II
1 x Heavy Electrochemical capacitor Booster I
2 x Invulnerability Field IIs
1 x Cap recharger II (or a mission specific hardener if I am not being lazy)


3 x Ballistic Control System II
2 x Power Diagnostic System II


3 x Large Capacitor Control Circuit I


5 x hobgoblin II
5 x Hammerhead II

So far it's not too much of an adjustment over the Drake. Does more damage and tanks well enough that I can slow boat my way around most level 4's solo. So all in all my very first Battleship hull is doing what I wanted it to do. Of course now I am looking for a cheap Navy issue Scorpion ;P



Friday, November 19, 2010

The Raven: the next evolution of the Caldari carebear ships

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door
Only this, and nothing more."
-Edger Allen Poe: The raven

I was going to substitute some EVE like meaning to the first paragraph of this classic poem, but as I did so it just felt wrong. So I decided to go with the original text. AS really this post is about my new Battleship hull for ZombiNutz and the fit I’ll be putting to the test in Caldari navy level 4 and 5 missions here shortly.

Yes before all you die hard PvP people start into me about training my fits Battle ship hull on my PvP pilot as the classic Carebear battleship stepping block. There is an ulterior motive here in longer terms a sniper Rokh is all ready sitting in my hanger. While sniper BS fleets are all but a thing of the past, I still think it’s good to be able to field one someday. However for now we are here to talk Raven and more specifically PvE mission boat Raven.

Question one: Passive or Active shield tank?

OK so I’ve flown a drake for most of my mission running career with the Caldari navy. That Drake has ALWAYS been a passive shield tank. As such and due to the somewhat limited variety and script like nature of missions. I have a very good understanding of when the Drake will hold and when I need to pop the scramming rats and bail. Yet I see and read a lot of thought about the Raven being better as an Active shield tank. Active shield tanks typically have more challenges in cap stability and hence become reliant on cap boosters. Honestly the less I need to remember to have in my cargo hold when I undock them better. So I’ll be heading out in a passive shield tank raven for now. I might die a flaming death sitting in my pod with a huge “WTF!?!” surrounded by mocking scram frigate rats and battleships. Yet this is my choice of preference and I need to go with it. (Yes more like a PvP extender fit :) )

Question Two: Torps or Cruise pointy bits?

Easy enough to answer for me, Cruise all the way. More range is NEVER a bad thing in PvE. I’ve all ready bought and researched the 4 Cruise BPOs. Making one’s own ammo is a good thing, but it’s very cost effective with Cruise missiles. I also have decent drone skills, so range is good and the drones pick off the stuff that gets too close.

Question three: target painters, salvages, drone link augmenters?

All right, you might be guessing I’ll be flying a hacked up twisted buffer PvP ish fit for my PvE raven. Right or wrong that’s what I plan to do for at least the first one. Screw salvagers as any chump worth his ISK has a dedicated salvage boat/alt to do that kind of work. Target painters = bigger sig radius = the whole fleet hits more (simple, not factoring in every last chunk of math). Drone link augmenters = drones can fly out where the missiles are hitting. I said it before; Range is NEVER a bad thing in PvE.

OK So the fit:

Honestly at this point I have ideas, and well I don’t like to post “dream” fits until I’ve actually fit them and flown them and can comment on how they do. Sure I could pull an EFT fit out with my skills and post it here, but there are enough EFT gurus out there that do this. I’ll stick to posting what I fly after I bolt it all together over the weekend and get some dents on the paint. Chances are come next week I’ll be fitting an active tank, with Cruise missiles, and salvages. ;)

What do you think?

So this is my take on fitting a raven based on flying a drake in Level 4’s and flying smaller stuff about. I like the ease of use of Passive tanks, I like more range when fighting rats, and I prefer fits for the job at hand and hence bring a second boat along for the cleanup.

However I am speaking as a pure pedant at the moment and well tend to try my ideas either way. Yet only a fool does not listen to the man who has lived the adventure and survived because of a fit. So chances are what I end up flying will will change a few times. Must like when I clued in that an Inv II was a good thing to have on a passive drake over a single resistance mod.



P.S. If you have a PvE OR PvP fit you like for the Raven. Feel free to drop it in the comments.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Milestones and an idea.

I was sitting here just now reflecting on where my blog is at. It seems some folks read it other than Mum and I which is a good thing. It also seems that 50 posts and 100 posts have come and gone quietly. I have 19 followers registered with the site and a few folks comment now and then. My indy pilot ticked past 15M SP sometime last week and I did not raise a fuss as I did when it was 10M. My combat pilot will hit the same mark this week.

My point here is milestones and the amount of fuss one might give them tends to change. I dedicated a whole post to each of my pilots who hit 10M SP milestones. I would have though my centennial post would have sparked some sort of event or something. Honestly it was another post in the life of me in EVE. Nothing extraordinary about it or special, it was just another entry not a celebration of achievement. Why? I am not sure to be honest. I enjoy reading others when they do special things for milestone posts. I guess in the regard of mile stone posts I am not that inwardly focused. I certainly am focused on me and can be a downright prissy jerk at times. Yet my 100th and 50th posts did not register. Such is life I guess.

In other news I had this idea of doing a frigate cage match. Where I’d have all the folks show up into a system in T1 frigates and fight it out for the cash prizes. It had limits to fits and all that and this required me to spend a lot of the time I don’t have to make it work. It’s not dead but in part of the “being a man” about it mentality. It’s not going to happen this year. What will happen is an organized frigate event called “T1 Frigate 11s”. I’ll be posting about it but the slant of it is something like this:

-20 Pilots buy in at 5M ISK each and choose a T1 frigate type.
-HCSH provides them with 5 of that frigate type to fit as they like.
-HCSH then sends the list of all 20 pilots to each other and sets a 2 week END date.
-First pilot to post kill mails for 11 valid 1v1 victories against unique pilots from the list of 20 with the ships involved being just the frigate types purchased on both sides (and not a blob) gets 100M ISK

The fits are up to the pilots with no restrictions. I don’t care if you want to fly high grade implants and boosters. I don’t care if you pod each other. All I care about is 11 unique 1v1 kills in the frigate type you purchased against other pilots from the list of competitors in the frigate they chose. Simple, easy, and it promotes solo PvP and well because you get 5 frigates for the 5M ISK. Even a new player can dive in, fit it with T1 stuff and have 5 good fights to learn from.

That’s the idea. I might add a best video contest to it. I might add a bonus prize for the pilot who dies the most and another for the one who dies the least. Either way it’s something I can run and perhaps fly in for grins. I’ll officially pitch it in its own post shortly.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Where in the universe is EVE SOB –November 2010 – late Edition

It is time for this month’s “Where in the Universe is EVE SOB” post where every month I summarize where I am at in EVE. I also throw in some real world stuff and the top CNN headline of the day for a historical WTF was the world doing back then element.

Standards change:

So it seems like I am a little late in my first of the month, every month segment on what I am up too. Honestly EVE right now is in a kind of auto pilot. Once I pulled back from Null and folded all my pilots back into healthcare for Space hermits. It all slowed down and making ISK became organic not active. Even in recruiting new pilots for my actions are passive and semi automated. This all leaves me in a state of normality and regularity that does not change all that much. So as a result the blog has slowed as well I don’t have much riveting news. I’ve never been one to write for the sake of making a post.

Likewise the format of this segment has evolved into less of a split personality between Indy and PvP. Merging more into a carebear like blog even if it was never really the battle report hardcore PvP type log. This does not mean that I have no interest in PvP and that I will not continue training ZombiNutz down that path. It just means I am not going to focus some much on the division between one area and another. It should keep it more together and well my readers (I think there might be my Mum and five more by now) should hopefully find it flows a little better we shall see.

So what am I doing:

These days I have settled into a routine where I spend 30-45 mins a day (depending on hauling) keeping 20 P.I. planets chugging away which in turn drop about 350-375M ISK into my wallet a month. Sometimes I do this while I am chatting with old former corp. mates to set up some social mission running for fun. Other times this is while sitting in an Ice belt in a Mackinaw. It might be while I am fixing a real life work issue while a script is running or a log is parsing. I could be doing it while spamming a recruitment channel or yabbering on about nothing with folks in HCSH-Tavern. The bottom line is restarting my planets takes about 30-45 mins of time mixed in with other things I am doing making it a very care free source of ISK. It’s paid for itself, my R&D, Blockade runner, T2 production, PvE, and PvE skill book costs. Likewise it’s paid for a Mackinaw, Viator, Raven, Imicus, and soon an ORCA. So there is some merit in this new feature that arrived with the last expansion at least for me.

Things I am training:

Honestly if you were to look at Octobers section you might get a feel for where this is about to go.

SonOfBraben: Well the viator is trained and the Crane is inside of 18 days but I am taking a few detours back to T2 construction skills. Specifically the skills needed to invent T2 BPCs build Viator and Crane class blockade runners. This also includes the sub components as well and the Data cores required inventing. Long term goals are to continue funding the data cores via R&D agents over ISK for said data cores. All of this takes time and ISK. In turn it means I can build what I can fly and more so sell them for profits

ZombiNutz: So back up here in Highsec there is no immediate need for a ‘dictor as well you cannot warp bubble in these parts. So I did take a breather from that road of dedicated tackle skills to train my first Battleship hulls. So a PvE fit Raven with cruise missiles is where I am training for. In about 10 days with the completion of Caldari BS IV and Cruise Missiles IV I’ll be done with that. After that I am not sure if I’ll go back to ‘dictors or work on T2 launchers for the raven. I have been looking at a hurricane too and a few HACs with stars in my eyes. I really should sure up my drake fit fits, as I am still shooting Named HM launchers.

The Sisters: With the main toons on both accounts pretty busy skill wise and these two filling the spots they were created to do. They both remain paused and dormant. As corp. Standings with R&D agents expand the next area I see them being trained is in research project management to run multiple R&D agent tasks for the ever growing variety of data cores needed for SOBs work.

Real Life Stuffs:

It is the start of winter in my parts. I’ve all ready woken to show on the ground and had our trusty pellet stove running. Temperatures are below freezing at night and critters are super busy stocking up on food for the winter. This leads to squirrels raiding the bird feeders, raccoons in the trash, foxes digging at the bunny hutch, and field mice trying to invade my basement (and a happy cat). My dog has shot nerves from all the action and has barked himself horse. I grew up on a farm in Australia before we lost most of our guns. So for me there is a clear solution to all these problems. The down side is my wife grew up in burbs of Boston and while hates the critters does not have the stomach for dirty work. Also small town Massachusetts is not fond of gun shots in town and I cannot legally own a gun all the same. Furthermore it appears that it’s not legal to trap and relocate certain animals as it’s stressful for the little darlings. Either way this annual loot rioting from Mother Nature will be over soon. So my famer’s way urges to cull the need will soon subdue. I still am not sure why I have not moved the family to the more rural and open minded state of New Hampshire or down to the warmer Carolinas or Texas.

CNN Headline for Today:



Friday, November 5, 2010

Trust and Recruiting.

So after coming back to highsec my focus shifted hard towards growing my indy corp. I cannot say I am out there blitzing the recruitment channels but I've pulled in a few new members who are easy going and fit the bill. I've also turned a few folks away and hired some folks who left in very short order.

One such individual who I will not name because that is just cheap. Joined the corp. and then bailed 5 minutes later. I thought to myself he was fishing for member information for a war dec so I sent him the following in game mail:

"Safe travels then
From: SonOfBraben
Sent: 2010.11.03 20:45
To: Corp. Spy type

Guess we are not for you.



Simple and to the point way to fish a little. Some time passed and this came back:

"Re: Safe travels then
From: Corp. spy type
Sent: 2010.11.03 20:49
To: SonOfBraben,

Sorry, I lied.
I'm a pure indy alt and was curious how hard it would be to scam a corp. I don't have the heart nor the effort prorbably required. Thanks for letting me in and sory that I deceived you.

Fly safe -"

Nice that the dude was man enough to realize espionage was not for him and fess up. I took a moment to send the following reply:

"Re: Re: Safe travels then
From: SonOfBraben
Sent: 2010.11.03 20:54
To: Corp. Spy Type,

No worries! It's part of the game. I am an easy target as I don't require API keys. The other side is I don't grant access to any corp. members and keep most of the assets buried elsewhere. SO worst you can do is get a member list for a war dec or gank a pilot before you get booted.
We all have to try the dark side now and then...

Fly safe.



It's not hard for my current efforts to fall victim to corp. infiltrators as I don't ask for API keys AND I am actively looking for brand new pilots. Heck half the guys I have recruited might be trying to infiltrate my corp. and take all my stuff. That's fine with me as I have NO intentions of giving any of them access to my hangers or wallets. I'll give them free stuff like a ship in the hanger now and then. I'll fly with them until they shoot at me and I tell them all I'll shoot back if they do.

The bottom line is if you want to grow a corp. you need to give folks the benefit of the doubt. EVE tends to make you paranoid and untrusting and with all the current media and power of two marketing being around exploring your dark side. It's not hard to want to shut the doors and chain a starved Fenris by the locks.

I have chosen to grow my corp. and well if every last one of the new recruits are there with a long term goal of robbing me blind. I wish them luck and will fly with 'em and offer answers to their questions until they try to drive the shank in my spine. Then I'll wish them well, boot them from the corp. and replace them with the next new recruit.

I do however hope that the benefit of the doubt pays off and I end up with a solid core of people who all have fun flying together.

A Toast: Here is hoping it all pans out for the best.



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cloaky Hauling goodness Part 1: The Viator

A little while back I asked the smart people who read my blog to post up their opinions between the transport ships. I asked what was better the blockade runner or the deep space transport and got a solid answer back that blockade runners were the way to go. So I trained me up a Viator with SonOfBraben to get my good to market through LowSec and supply stuff to pilots in less favorable places.


So first of all let's talk about skill plans for these handy and sneaky little haulers. Since we are talking about the Viator this means Gallente Industrial V, industry V, and Transport ships I(at least). To fit it worth a damn I'd add at least Cloaking IV. Tactical shield manipulation IV, High Speed Maneuvering IV, and Astronautics rigging IV. You might want to throw some EWAR on there are well but that's up to you. It's a hefty plan for a new pilot and not that trivial for a 12 month old pilot but for hauling stuff in harm's way it's time well spent.


There are a few ways to fit the Viator. Skill bonus are:
Gallente Industrial Skill Bonus:
+5% cargo capacity per level
+5% velocity per level
Transport Ships Skill Bonus:
-5% armor repairer duration per level.
-98.5% to -99.25% bonus to cpu need of covert ops cloaks

The odd thing about it though is not many folks seem fit this one for bonus. Rather most fit it for agility and speed for the most past with a splattering of "OH shit" EWAR and shield resistance to get them free if they get bumped from cloak. I'll be honest I cannot see a Viator armor tanking it's way through a gate camp. So it's along the speed and agility lines that I have fit the Viator for the LowSec hauling work I use it for. Here is how mine is bolted together.

FIT: Viator - Nothing to See (Cost ~80M ISK)

-Covert Ops Cloaking device II
-ECM Burst II
-Invulnerability Field II
-Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I MWD
-Nanofiber Internal Structure II
-Local Hull Conversion Inertial Stabilizers I
-Expanded Cargohold II
-Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
-Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I

It aligns and warps at near frigate speed and is similar to fly through LowSec camps to my Helios without the top speed and probes. It's got tons of cap for the MWD, INV II, and MWD but is a 50 second wonder if you turn on the ECM (set to not auto cycle) but we only use that if we are locked to try and break point and GTFO. If you fly it right in LowSec you should not get a lock on you. I've flown it through a number of camps all ready without so much as a yellow box (knocks on wood). I'd imagine bubbles might be a bit of fun in this guy if they have supporting fast tackle or insta-lock ships. In Null I'd recommend dropping the expanded cargohold II for another stabilizer and ponying for the T2 rigs for a little more speed and agility. THE best tank for a blockade runner is not being seen and being somewhere else fast if you are.

Either way I enjoy this ship a ton and it's allowed me many hassle free trips to market through Lowsec that have all ready paid for it many times over. It really is like flying a Helios with a ~4500m3 cargo hold!

I am training for the Crane at the moment and have some BPO's in for ME research before I start to build both the Viator and the Crane. I plan to do a comparison to the Viator to the Crane in terms of fit, flying, and cost. Then I'll most likely compare how they are to build as well.



Friday, October 29, 2010

I got called out…

So I get an email today that someone left a comment on one of my posts as I do when anyone takes a much appreciated moment of their time to comment. It was on my last post Odds and ends Friday and read:

“Rixx Javix said...
Man almost a whole week, I'm getting serious withdrawl symptoms here.”

It reminded me of a post I did back in may titled Disgruntled EVE blog reader! Post GOD DAMNIT! Where I had the shakes bad because all my favorite blogs had not posted in a few days, so I appreciate the poke from Rixx on my own moment of sloth. It’s humbling to see such interest from a great blogger and artist such as Rixx. More so a director of an awesome corp. like DION. So I better get postin’ ;)

OK so blah blah my real life is busy. Good that’s done and I can move on.

Honestly not too much has happened since last Friday in EVE. I am spending ISK as fast as I make it investing back into my pilots and the corporation. I’ve just added a nice spiffy Viator to SonOfBraben hanger which dramatically helps me getting my goods to market now that my P.I. farm lives a few hops into lowsec. ZombiNutz is nearing completion of a PvE raven to flag ship bearing missions with new recruits of which there are now 3 new accounts this week. It’s a steady uptick of new members as I draw nearer my recruitment goals.

I’ve been asked to join a mining op with a potential alliance and invited to a coalition of highsec corps who shares a common intelligence channel in the interest of helping each other when wardecs come in. So it seems there are some good doing in my current run as a new carebear/lowsec small gang PvP Corporation CEO. It moves slowly and it’s not exciting news for most PvP battle report junkie types. Not that my blog was ever for battle report junkie types...

I’ve also been catching up with “The Sarj” on old corp. mate from TGV and a real life friend of one Astral “MY laptop caught fire” Dominx. The Sarj and I are on first name basis and he might just be the first EVE player (aside from the bugger who got me addicted then quit) that I will meet outside the game. The down side is the Sarj lives in the UK and I live in north eastern US. However he plans to visit NYC sometime soon and I made a promise if he took a detour to Boston for a night I’d find the time to buy him a steak. So that might prove to be a good story for the future, we shall see.

So there my dedicated and hungering reader(s) is an update on the life of one EVE SOB. I do plan to do a little post on my views of the viator some time in the coming week. Which I’ll follow up with a comparison of the Viator Vs Crane when I can fly one here in about 20 days.



Friday, October 22, 2010

Odds and Ends Friday.

The week has been a steady week of laid back bearish activities for me. I’ve been chatting with potential new recruits. Some of them true new players and some of them just a little too savvy for a real noob. Either way the chats are fun and social interaction is a key part of the MMO. I’ve only hired one new pilot to date, but I am in no rush to build numbers.

With Capsuleer officially gone now I find my iPhone addiction has reduced greatly. I’ve loaded and removed iClone 5 times now in the last year or so. I just cannot learn to love it, and well when it tells me my characters are not training even when I manually re-enter the API code and sit through a 5 min update. Especially when I am looking at my pilot in game training, and EVEMON tells me they are training. IClone is not a bad app, we just don’t gel. At least this extra iPhone time has let me improve on my Angry Birds scores and unlock a few more cars in need for speed. Sorry blog pack, you are going to miss a ton of readers. :(

I’ve come to a new mindset around ISK in EVE these days. I basically don’t set it as the focus of an activity and rather focus on the activity itself to be the reason I am online playing. The really awesome side of that is I tend to enjoy the tasks more and my wallet is the healthiest it’s been for a while. So if you’re sitting about wondering how to make ISK. I suggest do fun stuff and welcome some organic growth in wealth as a result.

Dev blog flowage is up and well it seems that CSM have at the very least (and by no means the end of the good) inspired a lot more dev blogs. Almost daily we have a new blog post on the many things the dev teams are doing to make our new Eden a better place. I find them all a good read for the most part. However if you don’t have time to read them all, I’ve become addicted to Mandrill’s dev blog break downs via RSS feed on my phone while out and about.

New toys in the hanger this month include a nasty little Ishkur for SonOfBraben and a Viator as well following on nicely from the Helios. This was a good distraction to the endless science skills required for T2 invention and production. ZombiNutz has ‘ceptors and Assault Ships for Minmatar, Caldari and Gallente. I’ve got a wolf and a Jag fitted out and ready to play thanks to HCSH production runs.



Monday, October 18, 2010

ME ME: Newbie Mistakes.

So Dense Veldspar linked a great TenTon Hammer post on Top Ten Mistakes that Newbies make which in turn inspired Eveoganda posted some thoughts.

As my current focus in EVE is to hire Newbie pilots and help they make lass mistakes. I figured it was a good time to list some of my own views on the matter.

Ø Battlecruisers are not invincible.

Flash back 8 months and my single goal in EVE was to be able to fly a drake to run missions with. It was that ship a corp. mate had that we just could not kill with a mess of frigates. The Brutix was death by drone and blasters as well. I put myself in the poor house so many times replacing battle cruisers as a result of the silly losses that taking fire will teach you. I’ve since gone back and ran level 2’s in rifters and run level 3’s and some level 4’s in an Assault frigate now. I took one of the new corp. members out with me on some level 2’s in rifters. Showed him that he can speed tank and take down the frigates faster in a 2M ISK rifter better than a 40M ISK drake. I also dropped 5 fit rifters in his bay and said I’d rather see him loose all 5 of them trying stuff than any other ship for now.

Ø Really don’t fly anything that will ruin you if lost.

I recently lost 2 T2 fit hulks in one day through stupid actions on my behalf. While it was a solid slap in the face I had the ISK to absorb those losses. I could replace the ship many times over with my current passive ISK income. Six months ago, I would have been majorly emo rage log if I lost a retriever. Loss happens, learn it with something you can buy 10 of at a time.

Ø Join a corporation that is dedicated to new players, not run by them.

The concept of learning something together is great for cub scouts and kindergarten. In EVE it is like a mob of sheep learning survival skills in a den of really big bad hungry wolves. While I’ve done my share of trail blazing with my trusty Google search engine. I’ve also done a fair share of blundering around under the guide of noob CEOs. Even more so I’ve been in corps where the CEO is too busy to help, and the rest of the corporation is figuring it out together. If the CEO is 3 months old, chances are he is also figuring stuff out. Ask lots of questions during the interview as well. HCSH is recruiting and I hear the CEO is very involved and has a clue about what he is trying to do. ;)

Ø Really try something before you move on.

While it’s true that you can do anything in EVE it’s far too easy to spread yourself thin and not fully understand the whole picture of a given profession. I hated scanning when I first tried it because I went in with really bad skills and equipment and tried to find high end sites. Now with the right skills and ship I can hit pretty much anything site wise quickly and enjoy the rewards of finding something tasty. When I first tried ICE mining I had the wrong ship, crappy fitting on it, and poor skills. Now with the right ship, great skills and a correctly implanted Jump Clone. I can mine enough ICE semi AFK while I tinker about with P.I., trading, and Industry jobs.

Ø Do what is FUN.

Big huge rule mistake. If you don’t like to mine don’t join a corporation looking for miners. If you hate getting your ship popped and being ransomed don’t do PvP. If spreadsheets, price margins, and profit analysis put you in an insta-coma chances are trading is not for you. Yes this contradicts the really try something ideal, honestly you kind of know early on if you hate mining or if you don’t like to die.

Ø ISK is like Money, it comes in time.

In life most of us are not born with a billion ISK to spend. In fact most of us spend 7-10 years of our life not really understanding what money is. The same is true in EVE. If you spend every moment online making ISK, when are you going to spend it and have some fun? ISK is important but well having a trillion ISK in the bank is not going to fly your ships for you. The day I stopped worrying about making ISK, and started enjoying the ISK I had was the day my wallet started to organically grow on its own. I’ve invested over a billion ISK back into my characters and Corporation and reached a point where I don’t so much worry about ISK. I am not wealthy by EVE standards, but I am not broke either. Invest in yourself and enjoy what you are doing and ISK will come.

There are many more mistakes we all make and so many different areas of knowledge in EVE that no one list can truly cover them all. There was a debate over at eveoganda about solo PvP and flying alone. Honestly I’ve not killed a think flying solo, but I’ve learned a heck of a lot about how to survive while moving through LowSec. I fly through LowSec daily now and unless I am flying a mining fit hulk without scouting most days I never even see a yellow box. So sure get your clone updated and jump into a T1 frigate and go fly alone in lowsec spaces. You will die for sure, but man you will learn a ton about not getting killed while you do. That reminds me, time to teach one of the new guys about books marks and warping about in LowSec.



New Pilots break free from the Empires chains!

So after moving back to empire I have a crazy notion going on. I am recruiting for Healthcare for Space Hermits specifically seeking those fresh from the academy (or still in it). The idea here is to give back to the new people some of the knowledge that has been granted to me over the last year or so.

I want people with less than 2M skill points looking to take the next step out of the NPC starter corps to try a few of the many careers EVE has to offer. Specifically HCSH offers direction in Industry based Highsec professions (mining, building, R&D, P.I.) and PvE stuff (Blowing up rats for cash and standings). We also offer a foot into the PvP door with Lowsec roams, standard frigs fit suggestions and limited free fitted T1 frigates for new PvP pilots looking to swap more than smack talk in local.

So if you’re new to EVE and still flying around with your eyes wide open and a million questions buzzing around in your head. More so still paying 10% to a NPC corp. that will never be invested back into you. Then break free from the Empires chains and come visit me in game channel “HCSH-tavern” or send an eve mail to ZombiNutz or SonOfBraben.

We are small and relaxed and have no plans to be anything else for a while. We will join a highsec Industry Alliance before the year is out. All races welcome. We are based in Lonetrek and can offer relocation assistance.



Friday, October 15, 2010

Well crap! I am not that angry anymore I guess…

Its funny how disconnected you can become over a span of time. It tends to leave you out in the blissful dark alone and unaware of what might be going on back there at home. Having recently pulled myself from 0.0 it was kind of funny to read a note from my former CEO that the corp. was moving back out also and would become the highsec Indy corp. again. I had no clue about the move, but then again I had been afk for a month solid. Either way I made the right choice in moving on.

Anyhow it seems that my vacation in EVE has cured some of my anger around managing people. I now find myself slowly looking to grow my own Indy corp. seeking to help new players find their place in the harsh cold savage parts of New Eden. I’ve turned a few folks away who came to my door wanting to know how many hulk pilots I have for their ORCA to support. I turned another away who was asking too many questions about the corporation’s assets. Yet I did hire one new pilot with a lot of questions that even I can answer correctly. I hope to hire many more over the next few weeks.

See that’s exactly the type of player I am looking for to join the corp. Those brand new pilots who are full of questions and looking for some soft direction without any demands. My goal is to help them with whatever career they choose with the interest of making some new friends along the way. Perhaps sharing some of the limited knowledge I’ve stumbled over in my time about the gates.

Yes I’ve gone mad and decided to become a CEO of a carebear corp. Slight change in direction from 0.0 and PvP I know. Then again I never really got a good solid bite into that life either.



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Be a MAN about it!

All right let's get this straight, I am a man and hence I can say "Be a man about it!" If you find this offensive, then tough shit. Go read a bloody politically correct blog. This post is actually about 0.0 life and knowing when it's time to be honest and do the right thing. I reached this point today.

See when I made the choice to leave carebear life behind and move into PvP with ZombiNutz I had time. When Top Gear Ventures moved out to 0.0 I was eager and able. I had time to spend on the gates and in the fleets. Learning and doing what I should be doing to be a valuable pilot, the cog in the machine so to speak. I helped move assets with my alts. I trucked out ships, mods , and ammo to 0.0. I trained to fly better tackle and bought interceptors with every intention to use them in 0.0. However real life happened and I found myself with less hours for dedicated focused play. At that point right there I should have pulled my hat from the ring. I did not and chose to stick it out for a month to see if time opened up again. It did not and over time I went from a cog in the machine to become rust. I was there in the ranks but not there when it was my turn to pass the load.

Long story short I was not pulling my weight and living in the premise that someday I would. Well 0.0 does not need part time pilots who fit it in when they can. They need people who can and will fight when needed. My life just does not fit that model these days. So today I manned up and admitted it by turning in my roles to my corporation in 0.0. I moved all my crap back out of 0.0 and said my farewells to 0.0 for now. I all ready feel better than I am not letting people down by not attending CTAs or defending the space.

So if you're out in 0.0 and not really doing much of anything. Do what's right and move out. The people out there need people who want to fight and be part of the machine. If you're not doing either you are just rust and need to be removed.



Friday, October 8, 2010

Making Free ISK VOL 3: Trading in very simple forms.

We all like ISK because well it empowers us to expand our EVE worlds. While ISK is not the only thing standing between us and that titan (thankfully). It's a pretty darn important item for most of what we do in EVE. There are many ways to make ISK but today we will talk about one method to make ISK with little to no time invested. Making Free ISK is a new series of articles focusing on passive incomes. None of it is new information. I am just filtering out the smack talk and trolling for all to read.

Trading in very simple forms.

Let’s just start this one with saying I am NOT a seasoned trader! I do have an account with some basic training skills but I am not in the league of the trillionair of EVE. I do however typically find a 30% return on the few things I trade in. I typically have to truck it about any where up to 20 jumps to sell it. Sometimes I even need to stick my nose into LowSec as well.

With this in mind and following the Making Free ISK motto of less work for our ISK here is how I make an average ~30% return on investment with trade in EVE. The “buy low sell high” concept is a good “NO SH!T Sherlock” rule. However buying the right stuff low knowing you need to truck it about is the true value of small time low work trading for the beginner. By this I mean pick things that folks can make that have a pretty small cargo foot print. Like EMP S for example.

OK so you have a list of items that are player made and have a small cargo foot print per unit. Next go to a major trade hub and look up the market details of those items. What you are looking for is a small margin between the buy orders and the sell orders. To me this tells me the supply and demand of that item right now is pretty good and the items being actively traded. I might be wrong but it works for me. Identify all the items on your list that have this trait and then go 5 hops out and look at the local buy orders. Chances are they will be between 30-50% lower than those in the trade hub for at least one of those items. If not go a few more hops out or even better hit the nearest LowSec jump in system with a station and see what the buy orders are there. OK so you have your items and you have found a local market where the buyers are right jerks and have buy orders 50% or more below the trade hub value of the item. Ring the bell; you have a chance to make free ISK.

OK now we get to the downer of trading in EVE. You need ISK to make ISK and there is no way around it. Fortunately this is VOL 3 in the series so you should have made some ISK off R&D agents and P.I. by now. So what you are going to do is set an amount of ISK you can live without for up to 3 months. Take that ISK and create a buy order for your items that is 30% less than the difference between the trade hub buy and sell orders. Hopefully it will also be 20% higher than the local buy orders as well. This makes it tasty to local sellers and a PITA to match for local buyer. Extend the range of the buy order as far as you can with on your skills. Now go wait for people to sell you items.

This tactic is really good if you don’t create really large buy orders. The idea is you create an order that a local seller can make some quick cash off or a local buyer might just cash out to get rid of the competition. The best is LowSec folks who might not have an awesome security rating to move stuff to the trade hubs, or have not clued in on a highsec mule alt to move it for them. They build stuff on the side down in LowSec then after a bad day at the office need liquid cash. To them being able to sell something in there backyard for 30% below that long PITA trade hub price is a win. Instant cash and easy access is the mother of all discount.

OK so your buy orders get taken up, you get a nice red negative transaction in your wallet, and now you have all these little pockets of small items about the place. Time to cash in the piggy bank and make that 30% profit. Now you might be jumping into a trusty hauler about now thinking you have all this stuff to haul and hence you need a hauler. WRONG! See I suggested small cargo items for a reason. See haulers move slowly, they align slowly, and they warp SLOW. Sure they carry a crap ton of stuff, but we chose items with small cargo foot print. I personally go as far as selecting a few items with a 0.0x or 0.00x M3 per unit foot print. Hence I can cram a lot of them in a frigate or in my case a covert ops frigate. What this allows me to do is rip through the warps faster, align and warp faster (hence less chance of getting ganked – except smart bomb camps suck), and slip into those lowsec systems to get the goods without a huge amount of risk. See lumbering around in a hauler in certain trade hubs and especially a LowSec gate system is like painting “I HAZ STUFF FOR YOUZ!” on the side of a big fat gift bag of a ship. Slippery frigate is in and out before most know it. Also you stand the chance of losing less should you get ganked as well.

OK the last part is trucking all the stuff to a trade hub to sell it. If fast cash is your need and the profits are worth wile sell the items at the best buy order. Wallet flash 30% cash increase thank you very much Mr. 0.01 ISK trader. If you want to make a little more put up a sell order that is respectable and tasty for a big fish trader. Not so instant but slightly bigger wallet flash thank you very much again Mr. EVE billionaire trader. If you really really have spare ISK stockpile a certain item and watch the market. Wait for the big boys to start a bidding war and drive up the price of an item. At this point timing comes in and you throw in a quick and dirty sell order for the “HOT” item and make a small killing off the wars between the big fish. In all cases the little guy with a frigate and some extra ISK to invest wins. Sure you might have to truck some stuff about, but hey when don’t you have to truck some stuff about in EVE. Might as well make some ISK at it.

Now if this little bit gets you going there are plenty of resources out there on trading. Like all Free ISK bits, this one is intended for the little guy. I started out making small gains of small projectile ammo investing just 2M ISK at a time. Now it’s not uncommon for me to have 100-200M ISK about the place in select buy orders. Making ~30% back on those small chunks adds up over time thus allowing for a bigger chunk to invest. Happy trading.



When you are right it’s not always awesome.

So at the end of this post I surmised that with new eye candy comes new client side requirements. I went a little far suggesting we need an APEX card but the latest dev blog tells us we need a card that can handle shader 3.0.

What this means folks with 5 year old PCs need to shell out for a new card/PC. Folks who play on laptops need to start considering buying a REAL gaming PC and quit playing EVE while they watch TV. For me this means my laptop will no longer be able to scrape by on business trips or quick lunch break logins after the summer expansion. Kind of makes sense to me that for EVE to move into modern graphics engines and support 3rd person bipeds (incarna) it needs to up the requirements.

I just hope the eye candy is worth it for an all ready discontent gaming base. Let’s hope the new shader and backend improvements are not JUST to deliver incarna but to improve the game as a whole including large fleet lag and not just more pretty stuff you cannot see while the node is loading.



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Carebear Ranch goes Planet Side v2.0

A while back I posted about my 5 original planetary colonies here. At that time I was trying to get a little of each of the 15 basic P1 products from those 5 planets. The goal was to putz around to see what I could build and learn a few things about this new feature. Flash forward ~ 4 months and my goals for P.I. have changed a might bit. Today I make ~ 320M ISK a month of P.I. maintaining 15 HighSec planets across 2 accounts and 3 characters. I shoot for 30 minutes a day where I ritualistically click my extractors back into life and collect all my P1 goods. I drop the P1 stuff onto a manufacturing plant to make P2-3 items. The colonies have changed MANY times but the following is how they look today.

The Manufacturing Planet:

Let's start at the top. with the manufacturing planet. It has 18 Advanced processors, 3 Storage nodes, and 2 Launch Pads. It produces 7 P2/3 products of which on the Jita market on buy orders alone make me 8.2M ISK a day or ~246.5M ISK a month. The biggest drag is getting all the P1 products from 3 different pilots to the appropriate launch pad to start the production run. Here is what it looks like:

The Extractor Planets:

So for my 7 P2/3 products I need 14 of the 15 base items. In some cases I need just 1 extractors worth, or 920 units of P1 X. In others I need 3 extractors or 2760 units of P1 Y. It's all tracked in a handy dandy spreadsheet that tells me what I need to extract and where I need to dump it to make ISK! The extra ~70M ISK comes from surplus P1 products that I truck over to market one day a month. P1 products like Water and Toxic metals are very easy to maintain 4 extractors for a 23H cycle with HighSec Planets. Here are some of my extractor planets. I'd post them all but there are a few like the lava and gas planets that are identical:


It's possible to almost pay for a 30 day PLEX with HighSec P.I. if you run 3 pilots with 5 colonies each manufacturing P2/3 products. It takes me about 30 Minutes a day to log in and keep it all running, and another 30 minutes a week to get it all to market for payday. The training required for each pilot is ~10 days and includes remote sensing III, Interplanetary Consolidation IV, and Command Center Upgrades IV. Oh and what you choose to do with the rest of your time is up to you, but you CAN make ISK at P.I. even in Highsec.

My next steps are to compare all this to LowSec planets. I'll be sure to post about with the risks and what I do to get around them. With the Winter Expansion claiming "a more dynamic and simplified system for Planetary Interaction." perhaps it will be 5 minutes a day for 600M ISK a Month. We shall see.



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Well that news was a douche chill.

Let’s set the scene a little. It’s late and I cannot sleep so I am up wandering the house at midnight on the eastern seaboard of continental America. I had perched myself in a large over stuffed comfy chair by the fire with my iPhone in hand. Unlocking the device I scanned email as I typically do then went to the #1 application I have on my phone, capsuleer. I hit refresh on the news and was surprised to see a new article under “capsuleer” news. Could this be the eagerly awaited announcement the 2.1 release? I was giddy for a second, until I read the title “The End of Capsuleer”! It took a while for the blood to come back to my face before I read the article. It was sad news, unexpected news, downright horrible news not just for me but for the EVE community.

Its morning now and I am still in disbelief that come October 17th 2010 the #1 App on my iPhone will be gone. I re-read the article just to be sure it was not some sick dream. I tend to agree with Evoganda and the take that something else is a foot here. My corporate spidey senses tell me that there are other issues under the covers and we are reading the public announcement not the truth. Either way the EVE community is about to lose a leg. A leg on which the effectiveness of the blog pack rests. A leg on which so many iPhone EVE junkies have stood. A leg that could easily be mended if CCP would grant the authors license to monetize the app. A sad blow to what some might consider an all ready strained community.

Nashh is leading a petition to save Capsuleer. I don’t care if you have to sell your body on a corner to buy some computer time to sign this. iPhone user or not! EVE player or not! Sign it mKaay!



Friday, October 1, 2010

Where in the universe is EVE SOB –October 2010

It is time for this month’s “Where in the Universe is EVE SOB” post where every month I summarize where I am at in EVE. I also throw in some real world stuff and the top CNN headline of the day for a historical WTF was the world doing back then element.

Where am I?

Holly Heck it's October ALL READY?!?!? It just seems like I was posting Septembers monthly bit. Honestly not much has changed for me in EVE over the last month. Perhaps LESS time than ever trying to PvP and a little more time working over P.I. for profits.

I did throw out an Idea for a frigate Cage fight that got a ton of interest. I'll be gearing up to run this even before the year is out of RL gives me a chance. I'll also be announcing some changes in the way I do business in EVE this month as well.

How’s building stuff doing?

The ranch has moved its P.I operations to a 3 system pocket of 0.5 and 0.6 planets on the other side of 2 0.4 LowSec systems. I have all the planet types in this pocket and the yields from my 14 extractor planets are proving to be a little better than my previous farm that was spread from 0.6-0.8 planets.

We are have some other things in the pipeline that are being kept close to the chest for now. The details are still super fuzzy and the locations need to be kept secret.

How’s shooting stuff doing?

Honestly again it's NOT doing. I just cannot get the time to focus on the world of PvP without other things wanting my time. See carebearing is a sport that can be done whist distracted. PvP on the other hand requires full attention. It's not right to give a half assed effort to PvP. It's not fair on your fleet, and frankly lame for your opponents as well. So PvP and I are not meant to happen.

What Skills am I training?

SonOfBraben: The need for claoky haulers has appeared. So I am training towards one as this guy can fly one the fastest.

Zombinutz: While PvP itself might be dormant. I am still training this guy for the sport. A crap ton of gunnery skills and then onto 'dictors is the path. I might take a detour and get a battleship fit trained for this guy.

Sister Janice (Nun Alt): dormant right now as she shares a queue with SonOfBraben. Not sure what is next here.

Sister Juliette (Nun Alt): Dormant as well sharing a queue with ZombiNutz. Again the future is unplanned right now.

In the pesky real world:

A whole lot of busy fall activities and a active work schedule is the main focus here. The boys are in school and doing good. Mrs. SOB is at home wondering what to do with her time. I have a few house projects to finish before the snow hits. I also want to log some more hammock time before the sad day when I take it down for the winter. Also this month the misses and I celebrate 11 years of blissful marriage.

CNN headline for Today:




Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Status Report Type Post!

Some days I feel like the two office monkeys in the picture too busy checking progress to make any actual progress. All the training plans and ISK making plans and plans for how to fly through dangerous space and plans on what to buy/sell for trading. I swear some days the status of each plan and making sure that the project is on track is why EVE has corporations as groups of players. It’s seriously more work than my real life job tracking each and every project. Spreadsheets in Space might be a mocking term used to describe EVE but well with all the moving parts to track. A lot of the time I feel the need to create spreadsheets to track aspects of my EVE time. As such I have many spreadsheets on one of my gaming rigs at home.

To make matters worse this week my RL job has me in Atlanta Georgia whipping a remote data center into shape. I am away from my comfortable gaming sanctuary with all its raw power and vast screen resolutions playing on a laptop. While I have at night more free time to play EVE this laptop can just render the pilot portraits. That’s on the highest performance settings, plugged into an over sized power brick, with a gun held to its CPU. So let’s just say PvP is not happening, in fact the letters P v P lag out when I type them in MS Word on this pocket calculator. Anyhow I have all this time on my hands and about the only things I can do with it are trade, mine, or finish moving my P.I. colonies.

OK so I am not at home where I have all my spreadsheets that I use to calculate this, that, or the other. So as I redesign my P.I. colonies and hunt about for things to trade I find that I am missing the little table I have at home that I update from market feeds from Jita etc. I am missing the exact daily inputs for my production colony. THEN zombienutz announces that he has room in his training queue via capsuleer on my iPhone. I don’t have EVEMON installed and begin to hyperventilate trying to remember what skill is next in the plan. Traveling and playing EVE without your army of external EVE resources is a right royal pain in the balls.

What if EVE had some capacity to build training plans and store them much like EVEMON? What if also P.I. had some sense of flow charts (there is a nice picture on the schematic) that could be used to track colony input and output ratios then tie them to profits. Why must I maintain a spreadsheet of all the markets I choose to trade in (yeah I know there are community web sites) in an environment where conscience can be captured and dumped into another body. To me EVE and the concept of corporations scream better corporate like tracking tools. Not going to talk about the horrid corporation management tools because really there are NONE to talk about.

Anyhow! I have all the time in the world for the next few nights to play EVE. Sadly PvP is out on this 1990’s cell phone of a laptop. So it’s ISK making activities for me. I just wish there was more integrated tools to manage it all.



Friday, September 24, 2010

SOB, you are NOT supposed to mine anymore!

So yesterday I lost not just one but two hulks. Even at today's reduced markets that's 280M ISK that is now at best some tangled wires and perhaps a armor plate. So what exactly was I doing to loose 2 hulks?!

See I am moving my P.I. farm to a nice little pocket of 0.5 space that is tucked away behind a few 0.4 systems. So far I've moved 50% of my P.I. farm and I and making 25% more stuff. Happy times. The only downer is I need to fly all my badger MK1's through there. Sounds like a pain in the ass. I know why not just move my un-loved hulk and some BPO's over there and mine me up some rocks to make a small fleet of badgers. The first light bulb should have went off right here. Lets risk a 150M ISK ship that takes 20 second to align and warp so I can use it to build a fleet of ships worth 2-3M ISK. Back story done. /facepalm

OK so I grabbed a retriever fitted for ice mining. I scouted in a shuttle with my alt and made it through the 2 LowSec systems with no other pilots in local. Time was short so I shuttled back with my main and started on my way through with my hulk. First gate into LowSec I JUST get pointed by a drake. When I say JUST, he must have been sitting there for about 15 seconds before he decided to lock me. Literally as I aligned and built speed and was at 1/2 speed he started to lock and just got the scram on literally as the speed bar was hitting 3/4. Nuff said. All right so I have a tank on the hulk and some T2 drones. Might as well try and get back to the gate and see how my drones do (yeah I was done, but hey might as well make them work for it). So I reproach the gate, activate the tank and launch my 5 Hobgoblin IIs. So lets just say this I lasted 12 volleys from said Drake before I was liberated to my fast pod. He did good bumping me off the gate and my drones did get him down to half Shields. I typed a ":)" in local as I warped out and my wallet flashed for a HUGE 32M ISK insurance. Yeap SOB, you are dumb! Moving on.

So I warped back over to my new pocket and for grins looked to see if there were any hulks for sale. Yeap, 1 hop in highsec from where I was trying to get there was a hulk for sale for 138M ISK. After banging my head on the desk for about 5 mins it was time to start work. I bought the hulk and logged off.

OK flash forward a work day. It's 5:30PM and the last few hours of work have been slow. So I close down the work stuff and log in to EVE for a bit. I grab my Covert Ops (Yeah I know, Scout first you ass) and fly out to my main corp. Office and then Jita to get the replacement fit for the new Hulk. Out there and back no incident. Click warp too, MWD, Cloak. Happy times. I get to my new pocket office. Jump in the pod, get the hulk. OK back at the new office ready to fit. I fit from saved and add a nice new flight of hobgoblin II's. Spiffy and clean. I un-dock to go survey the local rock belts for stuff to mine. Mid warp the cell goes off. It's work and on answering there is a server fire that needs me. At this point I was lost in the situation and forgot about my 150M ISK hulks landing in belt whatever planet who the f**k cares. Anyhow, flash forward 45 mins and I wiggle the mouse on my gaming rig to see my pod floating next to a wreck with the name of my new hulk. It took a while to register what had happened, but 0.5 belt rats with thorn rockets had killed my hulk, which landed with it's active tank off. I was not mad at this point in time. It was just a stellar reminder why EVE is not an AFK sport and requires some focus. It also set a firm message that I should NOT be mining. I had not turned on a mining laser in the last 3 months why should I start now to build 2 badgers.

Anyhow after 260M ISK lost in exhumers in a day. I bought 5 badger MK1's and 2 Iteron I's and flew them through the short LowSec pipe with out a single sight of another ship. I even flew one filled with Advanced Command centers while I scouted with my Covert Ops with out incident.

It will be a long cold day in hell before I see another asteroid belt in a mining ship.



P.S. I welcome all the flames and dumbass comments.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Winter Expansion: Incursion - Early thoughts.

So if you have not read it yet check out the announcement for Incursion the 2010 EVE winter expansion here

Some highlights:
· Sansha attacks are back for some more PvE fun – Hints of motherships and LP rewards
· CSM suggested improvements – Well \o/ rock on CSM!
· Hardware upgrades – JITA nodes for all please (aka the ‘double wide’ IBM blade)
· Software upgrades – Does this mean client min specs upgrades?
· Game and fleet performance – AMEN!
· CCP’s Carbon Character technology – we all just got a lot sexier (incarna is coming)
· Noctis – salvage ship saving the prime hull
· Amazing New visuals – more sparkle on our sparklies!
· Dynamic and simplified system for P.I. – NO MORE BILLION CLICKS A DAY!!!

Not much else in there at this point in time. Sounds like another PvE focused expansion with some tweaks to the big boy PvP stuff. The carebear in me is happy, and well my PvP side is sleepy and unloved. So I guess it’s a win. Be interesting to see how much carbon we get. How much less lag there is. If we suddenly need a PC with an APEX card to get decent eye candy at performance.

You excited yet kiddies?



Monday, September 20, 2010

Blood Sugar Tea.

Streams of hot water flowed across her body washing away the sins of the night before. The heat and steam of the shower acting as her absolution as she allowed it to erode away her thoughts. She smiled as the fluids swirled at her feet before gurgling down the drain taking with them the last evidence of her crimes. The thought of him still on her mind and his smell was still clear even now as his blood was completely washed away. Perhaps it was time to shed this clone and all its subtle memories for something fresh. Perhaps this time she would have blond hair not the dirty red she had become bored with. The soft chime of temple bells interrupted, someone was paging her. She strode from the shower, wrapped herself in a towel and heading for her office. The shower shut off and began the first of several sanitizing cycles thus ending any links from her back to “him”.

“Good Morning my child!” greeted the old Gallente man as his image came into focus before her.
“Good Morning Sir!” she returned bowing slightly allowing her towel to slip a little knowing it always caused him some discomfort. Yet today his misshapen eyes took on sharp gaze sending an uneasy feeling to her core. She repositioned her towel and crossed her arms across her chest. There was an uneasy pause in time before he spoke.
“Juliette I need you to check on Janice before 21:00 hours. I feel her duties are weighing heavily upon her.” He said softening his gaze and smiling softly before adding. “The company of your guiltless soul is needed to help her release her fears.”
A curt smile formed as Juliette replied “So my “sister” needs to lighten up. Did you ask her to haul your Exotic Dancers again?”
He chuckled softly for a moment if only to be polite. “No, I’ve asked her to fuel Station-1. So please be kind to your sister.” The image snapped shut and he was gone.
“Shit!” cursed Juliette as she turned to her wardrobe. Today she would wear that damn uniform she hated and go prepare Janice to die.


Station-1 quietly reported having 20 days of fuel left to its owners. It then ran a self auto check. Ammunition levels in all turrets were at 98%. All warp scram and web arrays were online and undamaged. Moon extraction cycles were operational and silo capacity was at 50%. The manticore was fueled and loaded in its hanger array. The last dock was 8 days, 12 hours, 7 minutes, and 47 seconds ago. Last hostile contact had been 8 days, 12 hours, 8 minutes, and 15 seconds ago. The aggressing ship, a rifter, was eliminated by array #3. A date was added to the report and Station-1 returned to passive mode as it monitored the 300KM bubble of space it called home. An incoming transmission flickered across the empty control deck indicating the ETA of 22:00 for a refueling craft. With a hiss the stations life support systems prepared for living inhabitants. An old antique bubbled and gurgled as it brewed coffee the way it was made 300 years ago. Then Station-1 returned to passive state and resumed scanning its bubble.

Nine astral units away another machine scanned its surroundings. Yet this machine was not compiled of circuits and power grids like stations-1. It was sinew and blood suspended in an amber fluid deep within the bowels of a Hurricane Battle cruiser. It was posed 15KM from the jump gate flashing and shimmering radiantly as the sensor boosters probed for the next kill. The machine watched and waited for the flash of a gate to fire. It’s persona far colder than any POS.


With her usual long powerful strides Janice arrived outside the entrance to the Prime Cadet. It was an officer’s bar in the upper levels of the station that was frequented with capsuleers with strong moral standards and clean records. Janice came here often during her down time, but today she was not looking forward to her visit. The last time she met Juliette for lunch it involved a seedy nameless tavern in the stations underbelly with lunch ending to the sounds of blaster fire. The fact that Juliette had chosen the ‘Cadet was like a Brutor asking for a napkin. With a sigh she pushed on the door.

“Welcome back Janice!” bubbled the perky hostess “Juliette is waiting for you in room #7 and asked we direct you to her on arrival!”
“Great, thanks!” replied Janice as she brushed past and headed to room #7. “Time to get this over with.” She muttered under her breath.
“Enjoy your lunch captain!” the hostess called after her in a chirpy voice.

As Janice entered room #7 Juliette stood and greeted her with a Caldari officers salute. She was dressed in a Caldari Captains uniform that was neat but only adequately prepared. Janice was uneasy now as she knew Juliette hated to wear uniform and the whole situation smelt all wrong.
“OK! I am really freaked out Juliette. First this bar and now you in uniform saluting me!”Janice barked
“Well Hello to you too Janice.” Juliette replied with a coy smile.”What did you expect dirty coveralls or a skin tight cat suit?”
“Sister if I was wearing a blaster right now, I’d have shot you for an imposter!” Janice looked Juliette right in the eye as said it. Her cold eyes showing no sign she was joking.
“Look! The boss chased me out of the shower this morning and told me to check in on you. Then he told me he is sending you up to refuel station-1” shot back Juliette “Oh and if you want to talk about freaked out, he did not look away when I slipped with my towel today.” Juliette shivered a little as the words left her lips.
“He look at you with that creepy stare?” Janice softened a little with the question.
“Oh yeah! Still feel like I have a hole in me. Christ I need a drink.” Juliette rolled her eyes and made a vomiting motion as she replied. Janice chuckled and gave Juliette a big hug.
“The boss is one creepy old bastard but he pays us well!” Janice smiled as she said it but as she held onto Juliette her gaze turned cold. She tightened her hug on Juliette as a tears fell down her cheeks.
“Sis, your cracking my ribs!” gasped Juliette as she struggled free, and then saw the tears. “Oh shit, stop that sis. We all have to say goodbye to a clone now and then. We are immortal remember.” As she said it she brushed the tears from one of Janice’s cheeks.
“You know this is not a clone Juliette, this is my real body. What about the crew!? They don’t have clones.” Janice looked through Juliette as she said it.
“I lost my real body 5 days after I left POD school. The clone was just like my “real” body but it did not have any of the old scares. No twisted right leg from where I broke it when I was 5. No knife scars from my teen adventures. I have to say I don’t miss that body at all now.” Juliette said softly. “As for the crew they chose to sign up and I am sure each one of them has paid their insurance. Folks don’t come to space to live forever.”
“I think I need that Drink now!” Janice said as she tapped on the menu. She ordered a round of Caldari ale, a strong brewed beverage with a kick like a mule. The sisters spent the next hour or so washing away any fears Janice had. As they parted ways Janice had her uniform unbuttoned and Juliette was missing her jacket and her shirt was unbuttoned to her navel. They sang rowdy Caldari cadet drinking songs down the corridors without a care in the world. The time was 19:00 hours.

The soft whistling of the kettle pulled him away from the screen he was watching. He shuffled across the worn wooden floors to the black stove and lifted the kettle from the flame. He let his gaze shift out the window across the wheat fields as they swayed in the soft breeze. Pouring the hot water over the strong bitter tea leaves nestled in the fine porcelain pot he returned his focus to his screen. Two young Caldari women stumbled from a bar singing rowdy songs.
“Good work my child!” the old man muttered as he poured tea into 3 ornate iron cups. He put a knife to his finger tip making a small cut. He allowed his blood to drip into a small bowel of sugar before wrapping the wound with a clean patch of cotton. He stirred the blood into the sugar until it stained it all a deep crimson. Then he place equal amounts of the blood sugar into each cup of tea ritualistically stirring it in. He placed two of the cups in special shipping containers and placed them in a small orbital launch system. As he sent them on their way, he sipped from the third cup.

The unique taste of the bitter tea combined with the salty sweetness of the blood and sugar sent him back to his childhood. Before him his mother was preparing the blood tea a ritual. I was customary in his culture when family members left for war thus sending them away with a piece of you. His father sat at the table in full battle gear his face painted grey and black. His mother wept silently as she served the tea and took the first sip. He and his father drank next draining the cup. His father rose silently, as was custom, turned and walked out the door. He next saw his father dead and lifeless as his body was burned in a ceremony for the honored dead.

He drifted back to the present with soft tears falling down his face as he finished the cup. At least with this goodbye his family would only loose a body and not the soul as well.
Well this is part 2 of my little fiction writing experiment. If you like it post a comment, if you hate it post a comment. Heck if you read it and don't care either way let me know.