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: