Category Archives: PvE


Thanks to some considerable success at work I’ll soon be coming into a good chunk of money, part of which I plan on using to buy plex.  BTW thanks PL for dropping the value of PLEX.  I hope you will consider my need to make isk before you whelp your next fleet of Titans.

Seriously though, I should have about as much isk as I have ever had, finally giving in and briefly being a wallet warrior.  There’s quite a few things I plan on buying, and I’d like to throw out the list to see what suggestions I can get from the peanut gallery.  So here we go

  1. Naglfar – Always been my favorite dread just for the aesthetics.  The fact that it’s total FOTM adds considerably to my desire to pull the trigger
  2. Black Ops BS – Leaning towards the Panther, but entertaining the thought of a Sin.  Anyone care to advise me on which hangar queen is most desirable?
  3. Fittings for 1 and 2.  Honestly I’ve been looking at a lot of Nag fits and it almost seems like you want 2 or 3 full sets of fittings depending on what you are doing, is that correct or am I just seeing the most fail killmails.
  4. A solid warchest of money to engage in arbitrage.  I have never really figured out a good income stream for EvE, but this seems like something I can do before work, and that I can do more or less on my own.  I’ve tried missions, incursions, and while I can do them, it just doesn’t seem that good.  I know there’s not a lot of great routes still out there but it seems like eve-central can make even humble old me do a decent job on trading.
  5. ALL THE T1 CRUISERS.  Seriously I’m about ready to fit up 10 from each race, load them into a carrier and jump them into lowsec.  Even if I lose them in job lots I can just start over if I’m making a decent amount of money on #4.
  6. The alliance shopping list.  Every alliance has one, I figure as long as I’m hitting the candy aisle I can pick up the veggies.

I’m mainly looking for opinions on 1-4.  I could in theory drop into any dread but the Phoenix because… fuck the Phoenix.  I *like* the nag, it’s powerful, versatile, and most importantly: Vertical.  I could be sold on the Rev (I figure being the toughest guy in a small gang has its advantages) and ditto on the Moros (still versatile, and who doesn’t like stupidly large damage numbers) but I’m leaning nag.

For BLOPS, there seem to be a lot of choices.  The Panther has the Minmatar advantages of speed, and a total lack of Cap dependency, The Sin gives you a swiss army knife if you go gunless in the highs, or a solid beatstick if you shield tank it, and throw down with guns and damage mods, The redeemer has the tank and I always love firin’ mah lazors.  Ripard’s Widow fit looks like the FOTM and a good one at that.

Obviously fittings are important.  Both of the above ships will be the first I’ve had in their respective categories.  I’m trying to avoid my tradition of losing the first ship in any given category within a week, which has held true for everything except carriers and command ships.  Seriously.  I need to not be losing these.

Finally money making.  I am terribad at this.  It’s embarrassing.  The most success I ever had was manufacturing T3s.  This required a lot of moving parts, and while I was quite good at it, and made boatloads of money, a lot of my profit came because I was freeloading on someone else’s POS for R&D and manufacturing.  Not really an option at the moment.  I also had a couple embarrassments when it came to transportation.  Most of these were “You left the epoxy in Jitamart asshat” but one of them was of the “Hey the gankers figured out your schedule asshat” variety.  I actually own a researched Archon BPO, and I could probably be doing copies of that just on the side, but without the component BPCs I’m not hardly making a lot of money on that end, even with them I’m not sure about the profitability of the beast these days.

So I throw it to you long-suffering readers.  I should have a good load of isk.  What to do with it?

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

I wanna be space-rich

So I’ve decided my goal for the rest of the year is to be space-rich.  I want to end up with a truly stupid amount of isk.  I have a pretty decent amount of wealth at the moment, but I’m nowhere near space-rich.  To me, space-rich is being able to fill out your stable with any ship you want, being able to fund fleets at need, and not lose a digit from your wallet.  That’s my goal.

I have some ideas for how I’m going to do it, but I’ve already found that I suck at market games.  I lack the native talent to find profit in the market.  I don’t know why this is.  I’ve considered PI, which has a steady income but there’s a *little* bit of work involved in getting the raw mats to where you need them, not to mention the risk getting the mats where you need them.  Construction is another possibility, but it would be a bit on the slow side as I’m lacking in toons, and again building expensive things require me setting up the supply chain, which I can do far better than market games, but at least it’s more practical than some choices.

High end PvE is another option.  It doesn’t look too promising though.  WH seem to be good money, but… it’s a wormhole.  Level 4 missions are not that lucrative.  They are nice but getting space rich would require me playing a LOT of missions.  I’d rather shoot players.  Level 5 missions on the other hand are a bit more lucrative, but it seems that the prices on faction loot still aren’t high enough for them to be as profitable as I need.  Incursions are another option, and a good one, except I hate chasing down the actual incursion.  Every time one ends (which may be only 1 night after I finally make it to one) you have to trudge your battleship or whatever ALL OVER SPACE.  Which gets old if it’s not your primary playstyle.

Anyone else got some good fun stuff that makes a pile of isk?  Other than sitting on a gate hoping some asshat jumps through with 200 plexes in his hold?

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

The One Where Corelin Defends Mining

So I decided to take the Ice Miners off the Mack for a little while.  Try a little belt mining.  Of course it’s a little difficult when you have a 9-5 in the US.  The belts in many systems look a bit… picked over.  Kind of like a Thanksgiving Turkey looks the next morning.  I’m not the worlds biggest fan of mining.  It’s hardly the most efficient way of gathering isk, but it does have an appeal as a semi-passive income source.  Assuming it’s actually semi-passive.  The problem is, it simply isn’t.

The system I mine ice in was completely empty.  0 rocks.  Next door were a few so skinny and so widely spread that I’d be better off running L1s.  The next had enough rocks in most belts to fill the cargohold once or twice, but again I had to constantly swap rocks.  Frankly this isn’t engaging as much as it is annoying.  The main reward for getting one of the best mining ships in the game was having to constantly hop from rock to rock to keep the hold filling.

It wasn’t very rewarding, it wasn’t very engaging, it wasn’t very fun.  I’ve never been a wild fan of belt layout, and I felt positively victimized by it this time around.  I feel that the reward for getting the very best in mining ships should be actually getting to mine for a while in them without having to swap targets faster than a Rapid Light Missile Launcher Drake running L2s.

Some things should change.  First off, belts gotta go.  Grav Sites, Ring mining, whatever.  Constantly shifting, constantly respawning.  Don’t make it so that every system always has the same 5 or whatever belts it had yesterday.  Today it has 7 Grav Sites, tomorrow:  none.  Today the rings are full of delicious rocks, tomorrow you can mine scrap metal.  Make it so that if you plan, scout and do your homework and bring a well equipped ship, you get to reap the rewards and do so in luxurious idleness.

There has to be a challenge.  There has to be a threat.  A new class of rats?  Maybe not even that rough damage wise, but they all tackle.  Maybe the longer you occupy a belt the stronger the rats become.  The bottom line is there has to be a threat, maybe the rocks move over time, possibly scattering, possibly closing in and hemming you in completely.

The spawning has to be equal among time zones.  By the time the US TZ folks get home there’s simply nothing left.  This is a pretty straight forward issue, but it has plagued the game for a long time.  Time to fix it.

Mining is an ancient part of EvE.  It shouldn’t match high-end high-profit PvE, but it should be viable for those that really want to practice it, and right now in highsec it’s a disaster, in lowsec it’s practically never done, and in Wormhole and Null it is fun for the miner, but more so for the hunter.  Let’s give the miner SOME place to shine.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Returning to Incursions

So I hopped into an Incursion with LV 6 tonight.  I went all in and sold a bunch of hangar crap to get a decent Nightmare setup.  I actually managed to have some Cap issues running vanguards, but managed to get most of it sorted out fairly quickly.  Incursions are one of those incredibly good sources of income, if you can fit a T2 tank on a battleship, and have decent support skills and someone willing to bring an off-grid booster you can run some sites.

The hinges that swing the door open on incursions are:  Leadership, Logistics, Boosters, and Damage.

Leadership has to understand what the fuck they are doing.  It might not be rocket surgery, and it’s pretty straight forward, but you have to know your stuff, you have to understand the possible waves, the right kill order, and you have to get it right all the time.  You have to be alert enough to keep your fleet moving, and it helps if you can do it for 10 hours straight.

Logistics keeps you in business.  Good logistics saves ships, bad logistics costs a LOT of isk.  Really good logistics makes your fleet faster and more effective.  Getting good, highly skilled logis, in both SP and actual talent, can make your day a helluva lot easier.

Boosters make everyone’s life easier.  Skirmish boosters enhance the range and effectiveness of webs.  This is great for helping BS wallop frigates.  Armor and Shield boosters greatly increase your survivability by making logistics less intensive, and by boosting resists to even higher levels.

Damage = isk.  All of this adds up to allowing you to put more damage on the table, to run more sites faster, and to win contested sites.  All of which totals more isk.  Seeing wallet ticks every 6-8 minutes, rather than 10+ is nice.  It might not be the old 3 minute OTA trains that made me drool over Incursions, but it certainly is sexy enough.

The main requirements for a “low level” fleet are 3 logistics ships, fully kitted out, and 7 or 8 DPS ships.  Ideally Faction BS, but even relatively simple fits like These found on the EvE-Uni wiki can get a relatively new (but well supplied) player into the game.  I’m lucky enough, and well-established enough, to spend a billion to get back in, and to recoup a good chunk of my investment in one night.  Over a weekend I could recoup have or more.  I’ll keep up on it.  I’ll make some more money.  I’ll pimp my dread.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Lowsec Ratting

So ratting in Lowsec has proven to be a decent bit of isk with an indecent amount of risk.  The new tags are highly lucrative.  I’m dropping off about 100 mill for a couple hours of work as I type this.  It is definitely not for the faint of heart.  You HAVE to go into lowsec, the rats you fight against are quite tough, and the toughest of them not only take a while to kill but tackle you and do quite respectable damage on their own.  While you are in lowsec.  That’s a fun thought.

It offers plenty of opportunities.  If you know what you are doing and build the right ship you can make a great amount of isk pretty fast.  It also offers new life to what I like to call Proxy mining.  You can tool around for long hours, hunting these rats, killing them, or you can find something suitably cloaky, find an area where OTHER people hunt rats, wait till they are well and truly engaged (ideally with something that tackles them itself) and wallop them.  Thus you can avoid the hazard of killing rats, and go straight to collecting the tags from some poor sap who probably isn’t quite up to handling the rat AND you.

This method of money making doesn’t have a ton of appeal, but it is fun.  It leads to a fair amount of cash, as well as some chances at a fight.  It’s actually amazingly good at repairing your sec status as the rats themselves offer a HUGE boost to sec.  It also encourages people to seek out new space.  The best places to do this kind of ratting are nearly deserted, as you will be trolling asteroid belts anyone can head to.  Many of the rats can be killed by a straight forward Cruiser or BC, The toughest ones will require something a little beefier to kill.  Personally I like my pilgrim for where I rat.  Being cloaky helps a lot, being tough helps a lot.  Being something people generally don’t want to catch too bad helps too.

Fly dangerous, score kills.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Ok, Mining Isn’t All Bad

So last I had a moderately popular post on Reddit the other day.  This is NOT the norm.  Usually my posts hit Reddit and things go badly.  Something about that post struck the redditors as “not terrible” and I shattered my peak readers in a day.  I also got a lot of thoughtful, smart, and useful replies.  One stood out from the rest and has been lodged in my head like a slug of antimatter:

[–]tepay 4 points 1 day ago

Also the contributing resources to a real economy. For most (all?) new players that is the first time they’ll have been able to do something like that.

And you can read and explore the eve universe whilst mining, which you can’t really do with missions.

Mining feels ‘real’ and connected to the playerbase while missions feel very single player.

I don’t have a lot to ADD to this, but I do have a lot I want to expand on.  First off:  One of my long-standing complaints about mining is that it isn’t that profitable.  It still isn’t great, but it’s not terrible.  It’s also far more social than it used to be.  Part of this is complaining about bumping, part of it is just good-natured folks (IN EVE??? WHO KNEW!?!?!?!?) sure you don’t have to interact, but it’s more than it used to be.  Every minute there seems to be a new EvE mining corp.  The new wardec system offers far better protection for them.

What’s more it gets them into the food chain of EvE in a unique way.  It’s harder to gank them, it’s harder to dec them, which results in safer mining.  They also contribute.  A large industrial corp can let a guy say “I mined the veldspar, that turned into the trit, that turned into the components that turned into the Moros that helped kill a titan” because he can trace the stockpile from start to finish. This is unique in EvE.  The folks out there that have been playing for years have a connection to the guys that started last week and are mining in highsec.  Maybe a tenuous one, but find me a level capped Mage who needs ANYTHING from a noob for his raiding gear.

Finally it gives a new player game-time to use constructively for two purposes.  He is making money and he can be reading through other information accessible to a player.   He can read guides, the eve-uni wiki, the dozens of quality blogs about EvE.  This blog.  He can watch videos about any particular playstyle.

Mining allows new players to contribute to their own success, to the game, and to see how the interactions work.  So ignore what I said before.  Mine on.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

A Mind for the Game

So EvE requires a different sort of mindset than many other MMOs.  The fact that you can and will lose something at some point in this game is thoroughly unavoidable.  I’m helping some friends from LotRO in their efforts to establish a foothold in EvE and received a bit of pushback, one quote in particular stands out:

If our newest members get into Eve then They should try not to die for the fact of losing points, gear ships, etc. I know Corelin is supplying the ships, but just be careful. My son has played Eve quite a few years and knows the cost of losing ships , property and other assorted items.

This is, frankly, completely at odds with my own playstyle and mindset.  To me, a PVP ship is dead the minute it’s fit.  Everything it does after is a bonus.  Even undocking.  That doesn’t mean that I want to lose it frivolously, but if it dies in a fire it’s part of the game.  Ships in harbor and all that.  I undock it because I plan on getting in a fight, and with T1 cruisers and frigs being what they are and where they are now, there’s no reason not to go look for a fight, and fight until the bitter, bitter end.

There’s several kinds of ships in EvE, I’m going to focus on three.  PvE ships, PvP ships, and Asset ships.

PvE ships shouldn’t get blown up a whole lot.  To me, every PvE ship that dies; dies because the owner did something really, really dumb.  These ships can be protected very easily, with planning and a modicum of situational awareness.  As long as you aren’t stupid you won’t meet the raging fist of Darwin.

PvP ships are everything from practically disposable rifters up to battleships, T1 and even most T2 ships.  These ships are not meant to be thrown away, but tend to get blown up anyway as the cost of doing business.  In a theme-park they are your repair bills and your consumables every bit as much as ammo, scripts, and cap charges.

Asset ships are ships that are meant for PvP but are only committed when there’s a lot going on, and a lot on the line.  Faction battleships, T3s, Capital and Super-Capital ships.  These ships go out expecting to come back.  Losing one is often a blow to even the most jaded pilots as these ships often have meaning to them beyond their cost.

The overarching mindset for all of these is the same, that’s why it’s overarching.  Ships are lost in EvE.  There’s circumstances where any and all of these ships can be lost.  Pick a ship you can lose, and go.  Don’t count on the ship coming back, or your pod.  Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose because you will lose it and find out just how well you can afford it.  At the same time, do yourself a favor.  FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE.  If your CEO/Officers/Good buddy is handing out ships to go shoot things in, you can afford to lose it!  That’s why he’s giving it out, to help you with costs and broaden your gameplay.

If you want to try something, try it.  Find a way to try it smart, find people to help you try it smart, but don’t let your worries keep you from trying.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Fixing Mining Without…. Fixing… Mining

Ok, first off, I’m a fan of about 95% of what I’ve seen come out of Iceland.  I am.  The only real nasty bit for me was the mining “improvements.”  If you had to make a list of adjectives used to describe mining in EvE, I’m fairly certain terms related to “Boring” and “Repetitive” would show up in the top 10.  In fact I’m sure derivatives of them would make up the top 10.  Now CCP seems to be set on fixing this by adding “Lucrative” to the list, which I’m fine with, but damnit, why isn’t there a change to the mechanics of mining?

I’m actually ok with boring.  I work in a bank.  I study accounting.  I write a blog about EvE Online.  I watch baseball.  Boring is not a huge problem, but there’s a LEVEL of boring that is.  Log in to EvE.  Check the market prices.  Update your spreadsheets.  Find a good bookmark for mining the ore you want.  Warp in, click *snooze*.  Seriously.  Warp in, target, wait for the hold to fill, warp away, lather rinse repeat.  It’s actually less interesting than work.  At a bank.

I’m ok with mundane, even routine, but mining isn’t interactive.  Even missions you have to manage your tank, move around some (maybe) and keep swapping targets to shoot what you need to shoot.  Mining… you can do mining more than semi afk, find the right system with the right rocks, and you can go completely AFK till the hold fills.  Warp to your station, warp back.  Start filling the hold again.

Pardon me but this is a bit dull.  Sure CCP could make the rocks smaller, but that’s hardly going to do much other than drive people mad, a skilled player can tune his ship, his skills, and use his knowledge of mechanics to mission faster.  Rat faster, and market games are highly dependent on skills I don’t actually seem to have in game.  There’s no real “player skill” involved in actually mining.  It bugs me.  A lot.  There has to be an elegant solution.  There has to be someone out there that has it.  That has something INTERESTING, interactive, and useful to add to the conversation.


I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Oh Look, the Miners are Pissed

Color me a stunning shade of not-surprised-at-all.  It’s kind of a very noncommittal grey.

Let’s review the last little while for miners.

  • Their products weren’t worth diddly squat because there were a dozen other sources for them.    CCP nerfed the other sources, removing all T1 drops from missions.  Prices haven’t skyrocketed but they have gone up gradually since then.
  • They were getting ganked constantly by dirt-cheap destroyers, cleaving through their naturally low hit point buffers like a chainsaw through lard.  Rather than say HTFU and “Tank Your Ship” CCP buffs the hell out of mining barges.  Which the miners hilariously still fail to tank all too often.

So now they are getting bumped, and ganked again.  BIG surprise.  CCP has even said bumping is not a petition able action.  So far anyway.  The mountain has come to Mohammed before and I suspect it will again.  The big difference between the two groups continues to be not one of playstyle, but one of outlook.  One side sees challenges, finds ways to have fun within the system, and when their sacred cows are smashed they find a new one.  The other side treats their sacred cow as an irreplaceable object and regards interference with it as heresy.  When the gankers/bumpers/jerks are made to change things, they find a way to adjust their playstyle to continue having their fun.  The other side lets their public face be completely dominated by rubes who simply do not want to be playing a multiplayer game (except for the part where someone else pays them for their efforts) while displaying a very unwholesome disregard for their own responsibilities with regards to things like safety.

Now I’m not saying all carebears are like this.  Fancy Hats slid by many a target during Hulkageddon that was well tanked, that was well prepared, and we whiffed on a few that managed to surprise us as well.  In addition there’s people like Mabrick show a very different face for the bearish folk of EvE.  The problem is the forum warriors are, well, caricature-ish and the drek they spew in local when folks like James 315 start bashing on them makes me cringe.  The issue with these folks isn’t that they aren’t being pandered to, because they have been, the issue is they want to have their cake, eat it, be able to sell it to someone else, and STILL have and eat it.  Eventually they will run into EvE and they will A) Grow or B) Leave and EvE will be better for it.

I don’t mind people leaving EvE because they aren’t compatible with the game.  It reminds me of the old Winston Churchill Quote

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
Winston Churchill

if you aren’t offending anyone, you probably aren’t driving anyone wild with delight.  I’ll take the days I squeal with joy in return for the days I bash my head against the keyboard, throw my headset across the room or crush the power button and start drinking heavily immediately, without bothering to try to get my pod out.  Yes I’ve done all those things.  I learned.  I grew.  I do them less now.  They are the price of admission for the awesomeness I get to experience some days.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can


The Holy Trinity of Highsec

I have spent a lot of time in highsec.  I’ve lived there before, I’ll live there again, and I can comfortably consider myself at least a highly informed person when it comes to the highsec population.  I’ve noticed that highsec people tend to be 1 of 3 types.

  1. Alts.  Lots of people have “highsec alts” whether it’s for market games, missioning, spamming Jitamart, whatever.  Highsec alts make up probably 40% of highsec.  They tend to be completely isolated from anyone in highsec as they are talking to others in null… who may also be alting it up in highsec but let’s not get into recursion here.  
  2. Carebears these are people who have chosen to avoid null, avoid low, and avoid wormholes.  These are not nullbears, or WH bears, these are the true Carebears.  They form small, insular groups, which function as “echo chambers” where their own “knowledge” is shared between them gaining more and more weight as they all “hear from someone” that whatever they want to think is true is, in fact, true.  Funny story, we had an infiltrator in a mining corp convinced they could build carriers in highsec to kill the “ebbil piwates” who had savagely smartbombed their mining fleet a few days before.  They very rarely seek any form of outside information and often end up with wild misunderstanding of the rules and even basic mechanics of EvE.

    I’m not just throwing that out there, look at how long it took to get even most of the Incursion community away from missiles.  There’s a few that picked it up fast, but nearly everyone looking to get into Incursions seemed to be trying to bring a Raven or a Drake even with several established websites telling you what to bring that you could Google.

    They make up another 40% of the normal highsec population. They tend to be the least interactive and I tend to be pretty hard on them, but they don’t usually read blogs so meh.

  3. Griefers Hi there.  Seriously though, these tend to be communicative and interactive, and by definition they are reaching outside their circle.  They run the gamut from being brutally sociopathic, seeking only to drive people to the game, to being people who play a game for fun, in a way that occasionally victimizes other people, but also willing to offer a hand back up to those they “dust down” a bit.  They make up 5-10% of the population, but they generate almost all of the multiplayer content accessible to outsiders in highsec.  They may not WANT to be part of the content, but that’s rather the idea of EvE.

I said in the comments of my last post that I was imprecise, and that is possibly the worst thing to be in a blog.  I am perfectly OK with people playing in highsec.  What I really want them doing is creating content for ME.  A highsec player who does nothing but accumulate isk running missions, mining, doing whatever, doesn’t really add value to MY experience.  A griefer potentially does.  Alts have mains, who potentially do.  A carebear?  Meh.  His replacement is a dime a dozen.  The ore he mines will rapidly be acquired by someone else and my prices will stabilize   The isk injected by that mission runner who got horribly ganked will be replaced by another mission runner and the prices will stabilize.  Again I don’t care what you do much, or where you do it.  I care that you bring something to the table, that you contribute to this game, to this community, to me.  If you can do it by moving, great, if you can do it by blogging, great.  If you can do it by doing what you are doing, fantastic, but if you aren’t doing anything for me, why should I give a rats ass about you?

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can




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