Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blog Banter #9: Training for all my men!

From CrazyKinux's newest Blog Banter:
Welcome to the ninth installment of the EVE Blog Banter and its first contest, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

"Last month Ga'len asked us which game mechanic we would most like to see added to EVE. This month Keith "WebMandrill" Nielson proposes to reverse the question and ask what may be a controversial question: Which game mechanic would you most like to see
removed completely from EVE and why? I can see this getting quite heated so lets keep it civil eh?"
They give you the ability to have up to three characters per account, but currently you can only train one at a time. Most serious EVE players seem to have multiple accounts so they can train an alt in a different skill set.

Training one character for combat is time consuming. And training another for manufacturing and invention is also very time consuming.

CCP obviously doesn't mind people having and training up alts, but they just about force you to have multiple accounts to do it efficiently.

Keep the number of characters per account at three or even lower it to two, but allow each character to train one skill at a time.

This would allow people to skill up an alt without the need to spend extra money every month to do it.

CCP would still get money from those people who wish to dual box and thus would be required to have multiple accounts. And I'd bet there are a lot of people who would still do this.

I don't believe that this would be unbalancing as there would still be the limitation of one skill at a time per character and players would be able to be a little more productive without having to spend as much money.

List of Participants:
  1. Diary of a Space Jockey, Blog Banter: BE GONE!
  2. EVE Newb, (EVE) Remove You
  3. Miner With Fangs, Blog Banter - It's the Scotch
  4. The Eden Explorer, Blog Banter: The Map! The Map!
  5. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, "Beacons, beacons, beacons, beacons, beacons, mushroom, MUSHROOM!!!"
  6. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Kill the Rats
  7. Mercspector @ EVE, Scotty
  8. EVE's Weekend Warrior, EVE Blog Banter #9
  9. A Merry Life and a Short One, Eve Blog Banter #9: Why Won't You Die?
  10. Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey
  11. The Flightless Geek, EVE Blog Banter #9: Remove a Game Mechanic
  12. Sweet Little Bad Girl, Blog Banter 9: Who is Nibbling at My House?
  13. One Man and His Spaceship, Blog Banter 9: What could you do without?
  14. Life in Low Sec, EVE Blog Banter #9: Stop Tarnishing My Halo
  15. Cle Demaari: Citizen, Blog Banter #9: Training for all my men!
  16. A Mule in EVE, He who giveth, also taketh away?
  17. Dense Veldspar, Blog Banter 9
  18. Morphisat’s Blog, Blog Banter #9 – Randomness Be Gone !
  19. Facepalm's Blog, EVE Blog Banter #9: What a new pilot could do without
  20. Memoires of New Eden, You're Fired
  21. Kyle Langdon's Journeys in EVE, EVE Blog Banter #9 Titans? What's a Titan?
  22. Achernar, The gates! The gates are down!
  23. Speed Fairy, EVE Blog Banter #9: Down with Downtime!
  24. I am Keith Neilson, EVE Blog Banter #9-F**K Da Police
  25. Ripe Lacunae, The UI… Where do I begin… (Eve Blog Banter #9)
  26. Clown Punchers, EvE Blogs: What game mechanic would you get rid of?
  27. Estel Arador Corp Services, You've got mail
  28. Epic Slant, Let Mom and Pop Play: EVE Blog Banter #9
  29. Deaf Plasma's EVE Musings, Blog Banter #9 - Removal of Anchoring Delay of POS modules
  30. Podded Once Again, Blog Banter #9 - Do we really need to go AFK?
  31. Postcards from EVE, 2009.
  32. Harbinger Zero, Blog Banter #9 – War Declarations & Sec Status
  33. Warp Scrammed, Blog Banter 9 – Never Too Fast
  34. Ecaf Ersa (EVE Mag), Can a Tractor Tractor a Can?
  35. Thoughts from an Accidental Minmatar Revolutionary, EVE Blog Banter #9 - Aggression timers, WTs and Stargates
  36. Mike Azariah, I don't put much stock in it...
  37. Rettic's Log, Blog Banter: Overview Overload
  38. A Sebiestor Scholar, [OOC] EVE Blog Banter #9: Slaves
  39. Diary of a pod pilot, [OOC] EVE blog banter #9: Because of Falcon
  40. Roc's Ramblings, Blog Banter #9 – Taking Things Slow
  41. The Gaming-Griefer, EVE Sucks, But I Love It: The Memoir of a Masochist
  42. Letrange's EVE Blog, Blog Banter #9: Bye Bye Learning Skills
  43. Lyietfinvar, Remove that monopoly
  44. Sceadugenga, Blog Banter #9
  45. Industrialist with Teeth, EVE Blog Banter #9

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mission Running Part 1: General Info

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a mission runner. I also do some trading and manufacturing. I've tried mining, and I think it would be ok properly outfitted. But you can't mine much volume just using an Osprey. And even offloading to an Industrial gets old as you have to offload so often.

In this post I'm going to go over a few things that I've found helpful in mission running. Solo mission running. If you mission with a gang I would think some things will change.

This isn't meant to be a guide, just some of my own experiences. So enjoy and feel free to comment, be they cheers or jeers.


First decide what kind of missions you prefer. Kill missions, courier, mining, etc. This will dictate what kind of Agent to choose.

Typically I've found that kill missions will give the most money, standings and loyalty points. So, unless you have a good reason for doing otherwise stick with Command, Internal Security, Intelligence, Security, and Surveillance Agents.

Decide who you want to run missions for. There are some corporations that offer unique loyalty point rewards. Such as Sisters of EVE having the Sisters of EVE probes.
  • Run missions for one corporation. Even if you're not trying to grind standings with them. This way, you will increase your standings quicker anyway and will have access to higher level agents sooner. Which will give you more money, loyalty points, and standing increases per mission.
  • Keeping this in mind, locate the next higher level agent for this corp and keep an eye on it so you know when you can run the next level missions.
When requesting a mission look at the time limit for the bonus reward. It's important that you complete the mission within this time as it will almost double the reward amount. Usually you'll be able to finish the mission well within this time even with looting and salvaging. I typically plan for the mission to take between a third and a half of this time. So if you can't play this long delay the mission and complete it some other time. Or if you're just looking for the standings or loyalty points ignore the time limit.

If you get a mission you don't like or don't want to do you can decline it. However if you decline a mission from the same agent more than once in four hours you will loose standing with that agent.

Upon occasion you will get a mission that has you killing ships from other Empire Factions. As a Caldari I get missions to kill Gallente. If your standing with other Factions becomes less than -5.0 you are treated as "Kill on Sight" or KoS if you venture into their space. So, if you intend on ever going into those areas, keep an eye on your standings with that faction and decline some of these kill missions.


As soon as you can afford it, train Connections to level III or IV. This gives a significant increase in your effective standings.

Also train Social (gives bonus to standings increase per skill level), and Negotiation (gives additional pay per skill level).

If your standings with a corp is very low and you want to run missions for them you need to train Diplomacy. Diplomacy increases your standings with hostile corporations.

There are also a number of skills (Military Connections, Political Connections, etc.) that will increase loyalty point gain with certain types of agents. These are usually fairly expensive skills, so you can hold off on these for a while.

Train up your refining skills to support your mission running, both Refining and Refinery Efficiency.

In addition to this you need to have skills to fight your ship decently, but missioning does not require outstanding skills at all.


Keep everything, don't sell it! Let me repeat. KEEP EVERYTHING. Now with that in mind, there will be a few things that you can sell. But these are the rare module drops or skill book drops.

In general the common module drops are worth more in mineral value after they've been reprocessed. This is not 100% true, but probably 90% true. So, get used to what the modules sell for. Both through an "instant sell" and through sell orders.

Once you reprocess the loot you have minerals to use for manufacturing or you can sell them through sell orders.


Salvage everything. When you can afford it by a destroyer and outfit it with tractor beams and salvagers. I do 4 of each. Some people do 3 tractor beams and 5 salvagers. Put as many cargo expanders and capacitor batteries on it and also an afterburner.

If the mission has multiple pockets I tend to salvage each pocket before going on to combat the next. This can help lessen the chance of ninja salvagers.

Only sell your salvage if you're absolutely sure you're not going to do any manufacturing. If you do sell it, check the prices. Many times salvage does "instant sell" for almost what you could get for it through a sell order. If you are going to do manufacturing I know that salvage is used in making rigs. I'm unsure if it's used elsewhere.

The next part of the article will talk about ships and running the missions.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Blockade

Okaseilen Fukashi doesn't stand up to greet me when I walked into his office, normal behavior for him. I figure he's dealt with enough capsuleers over the years that he probably thinks we're overpaid and almost more trouble than he wants to deal with.


Once I sit down he looks up and says "Cle, I've got a little trouble I need some help with." "Help? You mean you need someone killed." It makes him a uncomfortable when I point out what he's really asking. A little petty of me, but what can I say?

"The Guristas have captured stasis tower near a stargate" he says through clenched teeth. "Kill the leader and the rest of the pirates should disperse."

The Guristas do this every once in a while. I'm not sure why they keep it up. Maybe because the Caldari Navy never seems to confront them over it. It's always some pod pilot that gets sent out to clean up the mess.

I've even done it before. Pretty typically an easy mission if you're prepared. The Guristas seem to only come in waves. It seems as though the wing leader in each wave has an emergency beacon that goes off once his ship is destroyed.

Identify the leaders, take out the other pirates first and you can manage the battle pretty easily.

I must've sighed because he says, "Cle, take the mission. I won't forget it." Well, at least he didn't try to appeal to my patriotism. I had enough of that before I left the State War Academy.

"Ok, ok. I'll do this, but it's gonna cost you." I don't think he heard, he's already facing his holoterm, working on his seemingly endless beauracratic work. But I've got the mission green lit in my Neocom Journal, so that's taken care of.

Secretly I'm pleased, I was getting bored sitting in the bar. On my way to my ship I call my crew chief and tell him to get Heartbreaker ready to go. Heartbreaker is the pride of my (little) fleet. It's a used, but not used up Caldari Raven battleship that I was able to get at a discount from the Caldari Navy. I know that when the Guristas try and get a foothold in Empire Space they tend to defend it with quite a bit of force and I'll need some force of my own to get the job done.

It always amazes me how something as large and ungainly as a battleship becomes so graceful once it slides into space. "Set course to Tsuguwa gate", I tell the NavComp. A quick jump through the gate and then I warp to about seventy kilometers from the coordinates given to be by Agent Fukashi.

I set condition Zebra throughout the ship and prepare for action. I feel the defensive and weapons systems cycle through their self tests and report readiness.

Once the ship comes out of the warp tunnel I can see the stasis tower and the nine Guristas ships protecting it. I tell the ship's combat system to lock on to the tower and four of the ships. Because of the neural interfaces it feels as though I reach out and tap the holoimage of each one in turn in order to do this.

At the same time I feel a tickle at the back of my neck. It's the Guristas targeting me back. In seconds I'm locked on and I'm sending out missiles to destroy the stasis tower which is hindering my movement.

It only takes a couple of Wrath cruise missiles to destroy the tower and then I can turn to the ships. Already the Guristas' missiles are impacting my shields. Even though the Caldari Navy sold this ship it still has powerful systems that can withstand this level punishment almost indefinitely.

After destroying a couple of their ships I see reinforcements suddenly arrive. Seventeen additional ships and there's still 6 left from the initial wing. Why did they arrive so soon? Did I target the wing leader prematurely? Is this a more important incursion than I've been led to believe?

I'm given precious little time to try and figure out the answer as the other seventeen ships start firing at me. Watch the shields, ammo levels, targets, coordinate missiles, railguns and drones. There's a lot that happens in combat, the only thing that allows me to keep up with the information overload is the direct inputs into my nervous system from the ship.

My shields start dropping, feels like a mild sunburn that I know will get worse as the shield levels fall. I start targeting the larger ships as I need to decrease the damage coming in. After destroying a few of the Guristas' battlecruisers more ships warp in. More ships!

This is pretty unusual I've got around thirty ships pounding on me. For the first time I'm getting a little worried. My shields are dropping faster now. Target, fire, switch target, fire, over and over again all the while keeping an eye on my shields. And hoping, almost praying that more ships don't show up.

If there is a God as the Amarr believe or higher power or whatever he's a bastard. More ships arrive. Somewhere someone is laughing. And it's not me.

Now my shields are dropping too fast. They're about 20% now, I start to align to the nearest station. I need to get docked up and let my shields regenerate. My ship heels around, slowly, agonizingly slow as my shields are stripped away. Suddenly, the ship shudders and alarms start sounding as the Guristas' missiles are impacting my armor. Now I'm really concerned. Caldari ships are not known for having thick armor. It's a race between aligning and warping and my ship's survival.

Suddenly I feel the slipperiness of the warp tunnel envelope me and the Guristas' ships disappear from my scanners. Assessing my ship, my shields are gone and my armor is down to 50%. Fifty percent of my armor gone in just a few seconds! A few more moments and I would've lost my ship.

I sit in my pod and feel a cold chill run down my spine. This wasn't a normal Guristas incursion. Forty ships in Caldari space and I hadn't even spotted their leader yet.

I open comms to Agent Fukashi, "What the hell is going on, Okaseilen? There are more Guristas than I've ever seen in one place!" "Well, you accepted the mission", he replies and then signs off. I bet he didn't even look up from the holoterm.

I think I'm going to have to hit and run to get the Guristas taken care of. "Taken care of." Now I'm using euphemisms. To get the Guristas killed. Damn it, this is going to take longer than I wanted.

Back out into space and warp to the Guristas. Start locking targets, firing off missiles, watching my shields, keeping an eye on the drones.

After killing several more ships another wave shows up. Close to fifty ships, but this time I see the leader, a Pithatis Death Dealer. Finally, I have a way to end this. Kill him and the rest should disperse.

I change targeting and send Wrath cruise missiles rocketing towards him. At fifty kilometers away it takes a bit for the missiles to reach him. I watch the missiles track in, three, four, and five before he goes down.

I look over at my Neocom. The Journal tab is not blinking. I was just supposed to kill the leader, it was going to be over then, what the hell is going on?

Oh well. As long as I keep an eye on my shields, keep aligned to a station and warp off when necessary I can whittle them down. This isn't too bad.

"Target lock lost", the combat computer tells me. Oh shit, jammers, they have jammers. One more thing to worry about. I'll have to kill them first. Once they let up the jamming of course.

I settle into a routine of killing Guristas, almost numb to the destruction around me. Wrecks everywhere. Warping off to the station another couple of times. Finally after killing one of the last battlecruisers my Journal blinks, letting me know that Agent Fukashi thinks I've done enough. Done enough? Just briefly a murderous thought passes through my head that I've not yet done enough. But if I kill him, who will pay me?

Back through the Nourvukaiken gate and dock up in the station. I open comms with Fukashi and tell him I'm done. He gives me my money and I sign off before he can say anything. I punch the eject button and start the procedure to leave my pod. A procedure that is unpleasant at the best of times. Draining supra-oxegenated pod juice from your lungs is unpleasant.

After a quick shower I check my wallet and see that between the mission pay and bounties on the Guristas I've made about 7 million isk.

"Being a capsuleer isn't such a bad thing after all", I think as I slip into sleep.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion."

Kirith Kodachi has started a meme.

Here's where I've been in my short New Eden existence.

Pretty much every place I've been besides Lonetrek, The Citadel, and The Forge was due to the Epic Mission arc that I did.


<this turned out longer than I planned, please bear with me>

Demaari, Cle Demaari, you can call me Cle. *sigh* Not really sure how to start these things. I guess a cliche is as good a way as any. No? Well, you're stuck with it because I don't have a better idea. How about "It was a dark and stormy night"? There are storms in space! Solar storms...

I started EVE Online Feb 8, 2009, almost 4 months of this crack and no plans to stop.

Previously I've only played 2 other MMOs. WoW and LoTRO. I played WoW for 3 years, finally got burned out as there just wasn't anything to do other than raid or level another char. As for LoTRO, well, I played it for a few hours and decided it wasn't for me.

EVE started out frustrating. Surprised? LOL But over time got easier and the more I learned how to do things the more interesting it got and the more I learned how to do.

I've had a few hard lessons. Moa's are lumbering beasts and you'd better pay attention when you're being pounded by Guristas. Wait too late to warp out and you're toast. Oh, and it's expensive for a new player to replace when you've forgotten to insure it. That hurt, but I had enough (barely) and got back on the horse.

Shortly thereafter I had my first and so far only (yeah, I'm a carebear, but I hear the siren song of the pirate now and then) encounter at pvp. This got my replaement Moa blown up because I was inexperienced and didn't know what I was doing. It was insured this time, but it was a blow that made me almost consider quitting. Didn't though.

Initially I was just running missions. Pretty much like doing quest after quest in WoW. But I could see that there was many more options that were open.

So, I've been doing some trading. Have a couple of items that make me a fairly consistant million or so isk profit a day for 15 minutes of work. And I'm starting on industry and training an alt, or as Mynxee puts it, a business partner for invention skills.

Industry in high sec is also frustrating. Very few research slots open. At least in Lonetrek. Manufacturing slots aren't that hard to find.

A while ago I started my own corporation called White Mice. This was entirely for organizational purposes. So I could share items with my alt and also to be able to have tabs to organize equipment, minerals, blueprints, etc.

That's me so far.

Future plans are to get a bit more involved in industry, exploration, pvp, and who knows what else.