Manu Fortius Wants You!

Looking for a corporation to join that accentuates your play-style? At Manu Fortius, we have assembled a group of the best capsuleers to fly with. We take pride in fostering an atmosphere of like-minded people with common goals and a place where you can help the corp for the greater good and also allowing the freedom to choose your own path. Check us out!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Getting to Know You

On the right side of this blog, you will see a page called The EVE Industrialist Survey.  Please take a moment to fill it out.  I appreciate your input and it helps me to make my blog better by being more relevant and entertaining.

Regards,
V

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Where Do I Start: Part 3

 I am continuing the "Where Do I Start?" series with part 3.  If you haven't read the previous posts read them here: Where Do I Start: Part 1 and Where Do I Start: Part 2.  I would like to now discuss what most of you have been waiting for.  Manufacturing.  Manufacturing is the art of taking minerals and blueprints and putting them together in a manufacturing facility to make modules, ammo, ships, components, etc.  Refer back to Part 2 about blueprints to get an idea of what you can do with them and what it takes to get researched bp's for construction.  Here are the various types of manufacturing and what you can expect.
  1. T1 manufacturing. : This encompasses modules, ammo, faction ships & deployables.  You can make weapons, weapon upgrades, tanking modules, etc.  Selling these items can be tricky and there are plenty of pitfalls.  If you find a particular niche market, they can be a good source of income, but generally the margins are low.  There are many items that will actually sell for less the minerals they require to build.  Always use some sort of method to find out if they are profitable or not before taking the leap.  The only time you should ever even consider building at a loss is if you need them for more advanced manufacturing and they aren't available on the market.  Ammo can sell pretty well, but you need to move volume to make any headway.  That means constant price adjusting to keep being the lowest sell.  Very rarely are you able to sell to buy orders at a profit.  If you are, do it and run.  I find that certain items sell better.  T1 variants with no named or very expensive named meta items sell pretty good. If you are selling T1 items on the market, tracking and understanding market trend s is a must.  Lowering your operating costs buy training material efficiency 5 and training market skills (see Skills to Build On) also help you pull as much profit as possible.
  2. T2 component manufacturing: In order to build T2 items you will need to build or buy components.  Examples of these are: Sustained Shield Emitters and LADAR Sensor Clusters.  Generally they require moon goo.  An expensive industry due to supply and demand, logistics and risk.    Moon go can only be gathered from less secure space like null sec.  I have found that a vast majority of components sell for a profit, but they tend to be slow movers in markets like Rens and Dodixie.  Jita might have a high moving volume, but it also depends on what people are building.  You will also come to rely on planetary interaction (PI) items. You can expect decent margins on modules (30-60% is not uncommon).  I have also had luck selling to buy orders for 50% margins in certain rare instances.  Paying attention to market trends helps, but the margins can be more forgiving. 
  3. capital construction: Capital manufacturing is the pinnacle of the EVE industrialist.  It takes a lot of patience and time to manufacture capital  class items and ships.  Recently, I built a Fenrir (freighter) which is not a bona fide capital, but it took around 20 days including the components.  The cost was just under 1 billion ISK.  That is a lot of capital to tie up.  I was fortunate to build one and put it on the market where no one else was selling one and I got rid of it in a few days.  Freighters, Orcas and Jump Freighters can be built in high sec.  Carriers and dreadnoughts are a little more difficult to market.  Their manufacturing cost and time are extensive.  They cannot be built in high sec and your market is slim.  I believe most capitals are built by and for null sec alliances.  Super Capitals require sovereignty and are the height of the manufacturing profession.  They take massive amounts of time and material to build and they are out of reach for most industrialists unless they are a part of a null sec bloc.      
  4. T3 construction: I have limited experience with these, but they can also be very lucrative.  It is time-intensive and it requires specialized skills, sleeper tech from WH's, moon goo, datacores, decryptors and minerals to produce.  It is probably enough for it's own post.  If you are interested in doing T3 production, check out sites like EVE Uni.
  5. station parts: Player-Owned Stations (POS) and Player-Owned Customs Offices (POCO) are manufactured the same way T1 items are.  They just require extra materials like PI.  The control towers use high-end advanced PI items like supercomputers and broadcast nodes.  They can be quite costly, but they are solid items.  Control towers take a while to sell and you can expect to tie up around 200-300 million for large control tower construction.  People always need them.  Also labs and other arrays are highly needed.  
Hopefully that helps you chose your path by giving you more information in one spot.  Manufacturing can be fun and challenging and you can do it while doing other things like missioning and exploring.  Like RONCO says, "Set it and Forget it!"  And as I always say, fly safe-ish.

Where Do I Start: Part 2

In part 2 of my "Where Do I Start?" Series, I will discuss various things you can do with blueprints.  If you haven't read part I, you can check it out here: Where Do I Start: Part I

  1. Blueprints / Research / Invention
    1. blueprint research for sale: some people make a lot of money researching material efficiency / production efficiency (ME/PE) on new blueprint originals and they sell them on contract.  You can also do this with blueprint copies and you keep the originals.  This is pretty simple.  By a blueprint, research it and then sell it (or make copies to sell).  Other than the initial cost of the blueprint, the researching just takes time (and a small fee if using public facilities).  If you don't have a POS you could find yourself waiting forever for a lab slot.  I've seen high sec lab slots with nearly a year of wait time.  Find a low sec or null NPC station with labs.  Be prepared to lose a ship or two.  Don't bother with expensive BPOs or if you don't have a cloaky transport. 
    2. blueprint research for manufacturing:  If you plan on becoming a manufacturer, you will need researched blueprints.  This is the most costly path.  Blueprints can become very expensive and they take a while to research.  That means that your capital is tied up for at least a week (on simpler blueprints) before you can even start making a return on them.  If you are planning on becoming a capital manufacturer, expect to wait a year or more to heavily research blueprints.  If you go the capital route, you will also need to buy and research capital component blueprints adding to the costs and time.  There is an alternative: You can buy researched blueprint originals on contract or even researched blueprint copies (ones with a limited amount of runs).  Blueprint originals have an unlimited amount of available runs and you are only limited to what can be made in 30days.  On blueprint copies, some items might only have 1500 runs (like drones).  Once you reach 1500, the bpc disappears. 
    3. blueprint copying for invention: In order to create T2 items (unless you are lucky enough to have T2 blueprint originals), you will need to invent them.  You start buy making copies of a blueprint original and then take the copies to a lab, add in some datacores and other optional items, and get a chance to get a T2 bpc.  It is not guaranteed.  The average is about 50% with perfect skills.  You can increase the chances (and the output quantiles) by using decryptos and T1 meta items.  For example, if you run invention for a T2 damage control, you need to start with a MAX run (300 units) blueprint copy and then add in datacores, put in the oven and set to bake.  Your output run on a successful T2 bpc is 10.. Yes, you can make only 10 units.  If you start with a T1 bpc with less than max runs, it will effect your output runs negatively.  Datacores can be expensive as well.  If you can run research with a research agent, you can farm datacores to cut costs.    

This covers the blueprint portion of the "Where Do I Start" series.  There may be variants to this or you can supplement your income buy mixing in all 3 of these to make you a hybrid blueprint junkie. I actually inherited a bunch of blueprints, so I have sold some of them.  I also buy blueprint copies on contract, build and sell them.  I do this with faction ships, implants and station parts. The more diversified you can be, the more consistent your income will be.  Hopefully this helps and as always, fly safe-ish.

Where Do I Start: Part 1

Recently I was approached by one of our members who asked where he should start as an industrialist.  While I have been juggling around the idea for a blog about this very subject, I really haven't had time to put it down on paper, so-to-speak.  Being an industrialist is easy in theory but it does require a lot of skill training, some capital and a lot of patience.  This will be a multi-part blog as there are a lot of disciplines you can specialize in.  

There was a tutorial mission or two regarding manufacturing.  If they are still available (I believe under the help section in the NeoComm), I would start there.  You can familiarize yourself with the interface.  After that, I guess you could follow a few career paths to be an industrialist
  1. Mining
    1. be a miner and sell the minerals:  This would be the entry level industrialist.  It's easy, relatively quick and can be lucrative.  If you are able to expand into low and null sec, you have the potential to make a ton of ISK at a substantial ISK.  There are a bunch of secondary skills to get better at refining ore and also to use advanced mining crystals. There is also a long train time to be able to get to exhumers (Hulk, Mackinaw, Skiff), but they are well worth it if you are serious about mining. 
    2. be a gas miner: low/null sec career.  Gas is used in boosters and can be pretty valuable.  I wouldn't bother trying to track down high sec gas clouds unless you just want the exploration experience. 
    3. be an ice miner:  This can also be pretty lucrative.  Ice is refined into products that people need for POS fuel blocks as well as jump drives in capital ships and jump freighters as well as black ops battleship bridges.  It is relatively quick to get to level of decent efficiency.    
If you are using your minerals for manufacturing, just remember that your time has a value.  If you use your minerals to build, you need to, at the very least, value your minerals at the market "buy order" price.  This is the price that people set up orders to be filled, generally it is at a much lower price than the "sell orders".  In the case of tritanium and pyerite, it might not be a big spread but can be substantial in high volume.  

Let's use Tritanium as an example.  Dodixie's lowest sell order is 5.75, it's highest buy order is 5.65.  Factor in the minerals that you are using in manufacturing and make sure that you show a COST of at least 5.65.  If you don't, your final cost is skewed and not indicative of what the item really costs.  You might think you can sell your items for much less than they are worth and you will tank the market for a while.  It's bad business and it hurts manufacturers that factor all this in.  I was in Vegas once playing BlackJack.  Someone kept hitting when they should and staying when they should hit.  It caused a huge problem and people became highly agitated and left.  The person not doing the right thing took money from their pocket.  Don't be that guy!

The reason I say you need to do this is that if you were to sell your minerals instead of building with them, you would make at least for 5.65.  I buy A LOT of minerals on buy order and they fill pretty quick. 

Mining is pretty simple, somewhat safe and has consistent returns on time invested.  You can mine while you have items in production and use the minerals towards your production without having to play the market and transport the minerals to your production hub. 

That pretty much covers the 1st part of my little series.  I hope you enjoyed and learned something new.  As always, fly safe-ish. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

EVE (EVil Entities)

I was over at Jester's Trek and he had a very disturbing blog post "The Bonus Round".  It was about a particular EVE player named Erotica 1.  He went on to detail his deplorable torture of an EVE Online player.  There is also over 2-hours of audio chronicling the depravity and abuse.  I feel for the guy and his wife (who was dragged into the foray).  This type of abuse (while probably one of the most heinous things I have ever heard) is somewhat rampant in EVE.  CCP's willingness to look the other way often encourages this type of behavior.  I wasn't always so pious.  I have suicide-ganked a miner or two and I have been hero tackle of a few unfortunate incursions pilots who didn't pay attention to the system security status, but I would never do something so dastardly or damaging to even my worst enemy.  Things like this effect the lives of people and I am sure have even lead to victims hurting themselves.  

I really think CCP needs to take a hard-line on instances like this.  As Jester quite eloquently put it, 

"EVE is real. And I assure you, what is being done to this man is also real. If you -- for even a single moment! -- would think to defend what is happening here or if you think it is "funny", I invite you to share this recording with your mother or your aunt or your grandmother or your sister. Tell them that this is something that happens in the video game that you play. Tell them the "funny" tale of a few friends in EVE Online having a few laughs. Play her the recording. Let her judge this recording from outside the bubble that you're living in.  I assure you this female relative will look at you in a whole new light thereafter." 

I read something not too long ago (and I apologize; I don't recall the source) about a similar instance where people tortured someone and the finally threatened to hurt themselves.  CCP allegedly called the local authorities and the victim was greeted by the police.  If this is true, that means CCP is aware of the impact (no plausible deniability here) these events have on a person (how the hell could they not be?).  They must be willing to do something more.  If they have to rewrite their TOS, so be it.  I don't know the answer without traipsing on the freedom the game allows, but there are plenty of smart people who have a soul that can work out something.  I have faith in humanity.  I knew EVE could be a bad place, but this incident really shakes my faith.  I have been playing EVE for years.  I have seen a lot of good things: The Battle for Caldari Prime, the Halloween War and Bloodbath of B-R5RB.  It is a shame that these industry-changing events can be overshadowed by someone's sick and perverted idea of fun.  

EDIT: I deleted some things that I regret saying.  I just want to enjoy the game and pass on my experiences so that I may entertain and teach.  I stand by my point that some people are just evil.  Be careful out there and don't fall for the scheme and certainly don't continue for a few hours with the lure of riches.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is...

I hope you never have to undergo something so undeniably evil, whether it be in real life or a computer game.  So as always, fly safe-ish.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Small to Large Scale High Sec Mining Op Format

Most people just starting out in EVE, mine.  It's a simple fact.  You can't really do shit-else until you skill up a little bit.  Running level 1 missions are doable in a frigate, but due to having minimal tanking skills coupled with low energy/capacitor skills, your frigate will probably melt.  Mining while you are in a NPC corp usually means solo mining.  If you mine in the same area every time you are logged, you might get to know some people.  My advice is to get into a player-owned corp as soon as you can.  Make sure you are diligent in your research because it is easy to join the wrong corp.  I have done it.  It's not fun.  

I am writing this blog because I think there is a need for a clear outline on small to large scale high sec mining ops.  Most noobs have a hard time working with a group of people who mine all the live-long day.  It's a very strange feeling when you hand over your hard earned ore to someone in the corp to take back to the station and refine.  You lose that sense of control and with all the nasty things you hear about EVE players, you are justifiably resistant to these mining ops.  Fear not though, most industrial corps are made up of a bunch of good an honorable folks.  As I have said, do your due diligence and find the right corp.  If it doesn't feel right, try another one, but just be ready to answer the question: "Why have you been in so many corps?"  You see, the CEO of a corp has the job of protecting it's members.  A bouncing-ball player gets the 3rd degree. 

Here is how I used to run our mining ops (prior to freighters being able to off/unload in space).  
  • I have a spreadsheet with all the ore we are mining (including +5% and +10% variants) which does the perfect refining arithmetic.  I log each players deposits and then make payouts using that info
  • people mine and as their cargohold gets full, they jettison their ore into a space container.  They name their can and also put what time they created the can in the name.  These cans only last for about 2 hours before they pop and you lose everything inside them.  Putting the time on the can helps the foreman and tells him that a can is getting close to popping,  This is known as "Jet Can Mining"
  • miners can keep the jet cans open in their inventory tab and move ore from their cargohold to the jet can easily.  Once the can is full, miners can rename their can as [their name] + "FULL"  They can also tell the foreman by text or voice comms that their jet can is full.  The foreman (generally in an Orca) will use his tractor beam to bring the can in.  He will put it in the cargohold of the Orca.  If their are two Orca's one will boost and one will run.  If only one Orca, it is best to keep it on the field, so haulers might come out in max-cargo fit industrials.  They will dump the ore back at an NPC station (sometimes they may have to leave system if the mining system is a transit-only system without stations)
  • Security is generally not needed, but it can be good to have some cruisers flying CAP (combat air patrol) during the mining session.  
Some foreman might run it slightly different and some corps tax or process ore differently but essentially, this is pretty much the high sec template for small to large scale mining ops.  Now that freighters are able to load all items in space, they replace the industrial or secondary Orca's as haulers.    They can be run in system belts or if you are lucky enough to find a mission with ore, you can farm that mission.  There are some juicy security missions that have large amounts of asteroids you can mine.  Try for the missions without jump gates though,  Industrial ships are painfully slow. 

Thats about it.  I hope you learned something about mining and as always, fly safe-ish.

EVE ISK Per Hour: Part 2

The other day I posted a basic overview of IPH's "blueprint" and "update prices" tabs.  You can find [Part 1 Here].  The manufacturing list tab is one I haven't used very often, however It can be extrememly beneficial to utilize it.  Here are some of the things I have gleened from information I found.  This is the info that I use.  There are many other things that you do in this tab, but here are the basics.
  • you can select just the blueprints you own (or your corp owns).  They cannot be in a container.  You need them either in your hanger or in the corporation hanger.  
  • you use multiple methods of filtering the list and arranging it by certain criteria.
  • there are other options that you can check off that will show you different profit margins, etc.  Experiment and see what you get.

In reference to the list (see picture) I have sorted some of the blueprints I had in the corporate hanger (all the other bp's are in containers and thus don't show up).  I have sorted the list by the sales volume ratio (SVR). typically, the higher the ratio, the easier it is to sell the item (high volume of sales).  The SVR is the ratio of sales volume vs the max amount you can make in 1 day.  The higher the SVR the more likely you are to sell the items. They are basically "heavy movers" on the marketplace.  You will also want to work left and find the IPH and base profit.  On my list, let's look at the 200mm AC II (in blue).   There are 3 lines with 200AC II.  
  1. Raw Material - the profits determined by making all the items from scratch (including components from moon goo reactions)
  2. Build/Buy - I think think this is just a duplicate of Raw
  3. Components - if you buy the components/T1 items, you will use this line.
When building from all raw materials, the IPH will most likely be lower than if you bought them  This is due to the time it takes to make components.  You will notice that the profit on the component line is lower than on the raw material line.  You just have to weigh out whether ISK per hour or total profit is higher.  My advice, if you are just starting out and have the component BP's, stick with profit over IPH.  Unless you spend ALL of your time in EVE manufacturing, IPH isn't the best route.  This also allows you to do other things like missions and mining.  

This is one of the greatest 3rd party programs out there.  It is in the same class as EVEMon and EVE Fitting Tool.  Everyone should have it.  Thank Zifrian for this program and continued support!

Here is the EVE Forum IPH post (which I should have linked in Part I).  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Book Review: "The Martian" by Andy Weir

Mark Watney is a sarcastic, happy-go-lucky astronaut who happens also to be exceedingly clever. This is good because he's been STRANDED ON MARS. Mark and five other astronauts are part of the Ares 3 project, whose mission is to land on Mars, collect rocks and perform scientific experiments. The mission was supposed to last 30 days. But on day 6 a terrible storm forces the team to abandon the mission and take emergency measures to blast into orbit and re-unite with the Hermes, the spacecraft which brought the astronauts. During the rush to get from the habitation to the rocket, Mark is blown away from the group and, believed dead, is left behind. Now he must wage an epic battle for survival using only his wits and the few tools available to him. Will he survive?

This is an entertaining book, which, despite its rather heavy subject matter, is very light and exciting reading. It's something of a 21st Robinson Crusoe; a tale of survival that tests one man to his limit. I highly recommend it to adults, although I'm afraid I cannot recommend it to adolescents because of its rather unfortunate and constant use of swear words. Perhaps their use is justified; after all, Mark is fighting for his life on the surface of a barren planet. However, I feel that they add little to the story and that a wider audience could have been reached with their omission.

Read if: you enjoy silly technical jargon, Macguyver-like engineering, adventure stories, or loved watching Apollo 13.

8.5/10

SotSK Part 2

From the diaries of Tago Uriken…

As a child, standing atop the cull and gazing into the distance, my vision of the city was dominated by flourishing skyscrapers encased in crystal glass. I thought it was a beacon, a lighthouse guiding me away from the darkness of my daily life and towards… what? Surely something grand. Something greater than this. A step up from the grinding poverty of the country-side. “Towards what?” was a question I could never answer, and one I didn’t care to ponder in any great detail. I convinced myself that anywhere was better than here, and since there was not here, it must be better. The truth is that anywhere we go is here, and dreams themselves are a drug to cope with the shit-house of one’s life.

When I finally got to the city, my impoverishment only increased further, and my life was reduced to a set of choices. I guess you wouldn’t really call them choices. It was survive or die, and the price of survival often came at the cost of another person’s life. One person ate, another starved. I didn’t care.

Drug use was rampant. This was, after all, a Serpentis-controlled planet.

On the streets we saw the effects of booster manufacture everyday. Not in the way you think, though. For those people, the only drugs available were the defective batches that the Serpentis drug plants discarded wholesale. Son, you did not want to touch those drugs. Imagine taking a booster that has all of the ingredients, but not in the right proportions. Maybe it’s all chemicals and no active ingredient, or maybe it’s the opposite.

My sister took them. Pop, squeeze, rip, there go the drugs into her system. She’s dazed for a moment as the chemicals work into her bloodstream. She starts shaking. Then she starts laughing uncontrollably. Now she’s crying. Now her eyes are bleeding and she passes out. Hours later she wakes up, and all she wants is more.

That’s not a life. I needed to get out of it. And I did. I was clean of drugs and I was ambitious. For the Serpentis, that is all the resume you need. Perhaps you will think that I was wrong to join the very organization that ruined my planet and way of life.

Ruined? This was the opportunity I had been waiting for.

I had joined Serpentis. I had become the snake, but what kind: a constrictor, or a viper?

***

Bucky Bilgewater was almost finished with work. Mopping here, mopping there, always mopping. The food court up here on Platform A was particularly messy today. Little kids running here and there, engaging in all forms of anarchy in order to get their parents’ attention. Meanwhile, the parents sat calmly at their respective tables, reading their news tablets and worrying about how to afford that next luxury item. They spoke quietly with furrowed brows and worried haste.

Bucky listened in:

“Johnny, we promised the kids we’d be taking them to both New Eden’s Magical Land and Dolan’s New Eden Safari. Don’t tell me we can’t pay for it now.”

“Honey, listen, if we want to afford it we may have to rethink our budget on synth blue pills.”

Our budget? You mean my budget. John, don’t you dare touch my blue pills. I told you I need them just to function. The doctor told me so.”

“That doctor is a crank doctor, honey.”

“What did you just say?!”

Bucky turned away and continued working. Magical lands and a safari? Hell, he was just glad to have something warm on my plate in the evenings. But the synths… well, who could blame “honey” for wanting some synths?

After his shift ended and his mop was hung and Bucky had changed into his regular clothes, he started to walk the long road to Platform F. F deck was the lowest level of the station, and the place where the station police rarely traveled.

Bucky was going shopping. There plenty of shops up here on A deck, but there were some, well, specialty shops down on F deck. Shops that had what Bucky wanted, and what Bucky wanted was drugs. Hardcore drugs.

And the best place to score was at Baboon’s down on F deck.

***

Bright orange letters above a lightless entrance said “Baboon’s”. Anyone on the station will tell you the same thing: you will never find a more righteous hive of raves and freebasing. Situated on F deck near the end of one of the station’s long wings, it was the center of all drug trade on the station. Mindflood, soothsayer, crystal eggs, you name it. Baboon’s had anything and everything.

Baboon’s was hopping tonight. Young revelers tripped on blue pill and hit the dance floor. Old men tripped on mindflood and watched the dancers. That crazy movement was trippy. Old women tripped on soothsayer and leched on young men coming up to the bar for drinks. “Let me tell you your fortune, honey.”

In the back was the line. The line.The line to the dealer’s room. Like ants from a colony looking for food, people migrated from the dance floor to the back all night long.

One of these was a shaking man. He scratched his arms and was looking to score his next hit. He waited patiently, and soon enough he was in the front of the line. The door opened and he was ushered in.

The room was mostly dark and empty except for a desk overhung with a small light. In front of the desk was the chair.

“Hey man, what’s your pleasure?”

Across the old rotten desk was a dark man in a torn leather chair. The light in the room was kept low, as if to not attract unwanted attention.

“We’ve got anything you need. Mindflood, crash, crystal eggs. Or maybe you’re looking for a nice woman. I’ve got them too.”

The shaking man reached into his pocket and pulled out some ISK. “Y-y-yeah man, I need that mindflood. The best I c-c-can get!” He looked confidently at his wallet. “I’ve got the cash, man. I’ve got it this time.”

The dealer glanced at the wallet and smiled. “Who’d you scam to get this amount of money?”

“Listen, I just need it. Work’s been tough, man. All these young people thinking they gonna push me out of my job. I gotta get the edge. The Edge! With a capital ‘E’. Gotta stay competitive. So just give it to me.” His knuckles were white while they gripped the sides of the chair, and he said the last words with a sudden anger that startled the dealer.

The dealer took a moment to check himself.

The shaking man’s leg started to bounce up and down and he scratched his arms again. “C’mon man, don’t give me a hard time. I just want my stuff.”

Well, what did it matter where he got the ISK, the dealer thought. He reached into one his drawers and pulled out a vial of mindflood. It was a new shipment he’d received, and the manufacturer had said that it was the shit. We’re talkin’ about more than just seein’ stars and new colors, man. We’re talkin’ nebulas, pulsars. Shiny shit, man. You take a hit, you’re going through other dimension, man, from one multiverse to another, man! I’m an American!

He had thought about keeping it for himself, but for the price he could get from rubes like the one in front of him, better to just sell it. There was always more where it came from.

Holding the vial in his hand, almost letting it drop on the floor to tease the addict, he said, “This stuff will take you to the next level, man.”

The shaking man was excited.

The dealer took the credits and tossed the vial of mindflood across the table. The addict grasped it from the table and clutched it tightly. The look of twisted delight on his face was revolting, even for a long time dealer, and the first thing the shaking man did was unscrew the top and take a deep whiff of the contents.

Ahh, the rush. Let me take you places...

***

Bucky was just entering Baboon’s when he brushed past the shaking man. They exchanged glances for just a moment, and Bucky did a double-take.

No, it couldn’t be… could it?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reprocessing Changes Incoming

If you live out in unsecured space and especially wormhole (WH) space, you probably have heard about mineral compression.  In EVE Online, all items take up volume (measured in meters cubed or m3)
The further away from high sec you live, the more likely you will, at some point, need to move items from unsecured space to a market hub in high sec.  People rarely ever use T1 haulers or T1 freighters.  They are too slow, too weak and too expensive (freighters) to throw away on a fool's errand.  Jump freighters have a good niche market here, but they are upwards of 6bil ISK and take a long time to skill up.  They are not something the everyday EVE pilot can jump in and play Russian Roulette with pirates with.  Many players opt for the Covert Ops transport like the Prowler or Viator.  They can warp cloaked, have a quick align time and are a little more sturdy than T1 industrials.  To counter their abilities, they have a much smaller cargo hold capacity.  More than half as small as their T1 industrial counterpart.  They don't have any specialized cargohold either like some of the T1 industrials were given a few expansions ago.  If you need to move a lot of minerals, you will be making multiple trips.  There are two options that you have right now available to make it a little more efficient.  

Mineral Compression: The Rorqual is able to compress minerals so that they take up less m3 than they would uncompressed.  It turns minerals like tritanium into dense cubes that take up far less volume than the uncompressed version.  When you move the cube back to high sec, you take it to a friendly NPC station and refine the cube to get minerals again.  

Module Compression:  EVE players are very creative.  They have plenty of time to work out all the intricacies and loopholes.  From the creators if such activities like webbing friendly freighters for faster warp times and MWD/Cloak trick for T1 industrials, they bring us module compression.  Basically, what it means is this: when you build modules, they require minerals.  The finished product is often smaller in volume than the minerals themselves.  I believe nanofiber upgrades were a item for this activity.  You then follow the same process as above.  Reprocess for 100% and you have beat the system.  The max reprocessing rate for non ore or ice (basically any module, ship and charge) will be 55%.  This will put a stop to module compression. 

CCP is taking a look at the mechanics behind refining and reprocessing.  Here is an overview on what is in the works.  You can also find the Reprocess all the things! dev post here.

Right now, you can get 100% refining pretty much anywhere without maxing out skills.  It also makes the Rorqual's ability to compress ore less of a benefit.  That was supposed to be an important part of the Rorqual, and it could be utilized better.  CCP is going to reduce the refining efficiency but they are going to buff the output mineral total to sort of offset the efficiency loss. 
If this change goes live, a player with max skills but without the reprocessing implant (+4%) will ~3% less reprocessed minerals from ore/ice.  I can hear the care-bear cries and the flood is incoming.  All of this could change, and overall, it wont be the end of the world.   CCP will counteract this buy raising the Rorqual compression ratio outputs by ~38%.  They are also making modifications to outpost upgrades and leveling the playing field across races.  Right now, Minmatar outposts get a 50% buff to reprocessing while the 3 other races get a 30% buff.  All outposts in the future will have a 50% buff. 

All of this is subject to change, but it looks like it could be implemented in the summer expansion.  Stay tuned to the CCP Dev Blogs and I will continue to watch how things are progressing.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

PAX East & Boston Meetup, April 12th, 2014

If you live in the Northeast of the United States, there will be an unofficial EVE Online gathering at JJ Foley's Cafe in Boston, MA about a mile and a half from the Exhibition Center

Saturday April 12th at 7PM to Midnight
Google Map Location

Check out the EVE Forum post here.  

I am going to try to make it.  I hope to see you there!

Low Sec PI and the Safety Margin

I was reading a blog post from the Nosy Gamer.  In it, he shares his point of view and experiences on low sec planetary interaction (LSPI).  It got me thinking about my experiences in null and low sec.  

When I was living out in null doing the PVP thing, I had a carrier fly in my Viator (Cov Ops Transport) in so that I could move around modules I looted from rats while waiting for the next target.  Sometimes you could get good drops and the largest ship I had in null at the time was a Hound.  My plan was to make the run from null to high (it was about 25-30 jumps) with the blockage runner and make some ISK.  I turned out I wasn't in null long enough to procure a cargo full of loot.  When we left null shortly after, I used my transport to get back to high sec with as much shit as I could carry.  There were two camps on the way back where I nearly lost her.  The first one was the most serious.  There were about 30 ships from fast tackle to insta-locking Lokis and Hurricanes.  Luckily for me, a Drake jumped in just before me and decloaked while I was figuring out what to do.  I was danger-close to their fast tackle but the few seconds of confusion by the Drake pilot saved my life.  I was able to align, cloak and get to warp before their fast tackle had a chance to reach me.  From what I recall, they were less thank 5km from me by the time I warped.  It was close.  

Hey Chris, this post is about PI.  Yes, the reason I tell the story of Null (way before I ever thought about training for PI) was that I had experience with industrial logistics in unsecured space.  I only starting doing PI while living in a wormhole (WH) during the disastrous WH campaign of 2011.  The output of raw materials on planets in WH space, Null Sec and Low Sec are magnitudes better than High Sec.  If you're careful, you can increase your margin of safety and decrease your chance of losing your shirt in unsecured space by following a few guidelines. 
  1. know your area - generally look for inactive systems.  Low Sec pipelines that are surrounded by High Sec are not too bad and tend to be a little quieter.  Low to Null pipelines can get really busy (Like PF-346 or Oulley from Orvolle in Placid).  Go to your Map on the Neocomm and bring up the statistics tab and click through a few of the options, like "number of pilots currently active".  If the system is busy, it is best to avoid it.  If the system is empty or has less than 5-10 people, its probably relatively safe.  Most of those pilots could be docked, afk or doing other things.  Dead systems don't attract too many PVPers.  They want a target-rich environment.
  2. fly the correct ship - the best ship is a covert ops transport like the Prowler or Viator.  They can warp while cloaked, have a quick align time and are pretty speedy.  At the least, you will want a T1 hauler with a MWD and a prototype cloak.  There is a tactic that you can use to limit your time visible.  While you can't warp cloaked, you can cycle the MWD, then cloak, then align and once you are aligned, decloak and warp.  You should nearly insta-warp.  
  3. When you reach a POCO - you might want to warp to 10km of the POCO and then check local with your directional scanner.  If there is no one on grid with you, head towards the POCO, check your directional scanner a few more times.  If someone drops on grid or you see combat probes out remain cloaked and stop yourself so you don't get within 2km of the POCO (it will decloak you).  ALWAYS keep pinging your directional scanner.  Alternatively, you can warp to the sun, move all your items to the POCO and then run around and gather them.  I would suggest pre-staging so you limit your time in system and at each POCO.
Raw material extraction amounts increase significantly the lower the sec status.  I would estimate (and these are my best educated guess) that a 0.4 system has about 5-10% more minerals per cycle than a 0.5 system.  It get's better as you get into more lawless space.  It is certainly well worth the effort to set up (at least) raw material extracting planets that turn them into tier 1 commodities.  I like to extract heavy metals and turn them into toxic metals in low and then transport them to a factory planet in High Sec.

So, fear not.  You can mitigate your Low/Null Sec PI risks if you follow the guidelines above and use some common sense.  If all else fails, just fly safe-ish.

I'm New to the Corp. What Do You Need Me to Do?

It is an inescapable fact.  When you join a new corporation (whether you are a bitter-vet or fresh from the clone vat) you will come to the paradox:  "What do I do now?"  I see it all the time and I have done it myself.  When you join a corp for the first time, you are not really sure what to do or what people expect of you.  Hopefully this little blog helps the new player, bitter-vet and CEO to make the most of the corp, it's members and the leadership.  

The best advice I can give to someone new to the corp is to get to know the leadership.  Know which director is working with which division.  In smaller corps, there may be only a few members of the leadership.  The CEO and directors wear multiple hats and their area of control will probably overlap but each director has their strengths and weaknesses.  As you get to know them, you may find that one of them is more involved in what you like to do or are trying to do.  In larger corps and alliances, there is usually a segregation of divisions and each one has at least one director overseeing it.  You will most often see this in large null sec alliances.  In an alliance, they will probably break up divisions by corporations.  For example, one division might involve 2 or more corporations doing industry and a few corps doing missioning, etc.

The more organized a corporation is, the easier it is to find and fulfill a role in it.  It is the job of the CEO and/or directors to provide people with a niche to work in, but it is also the job of the member to seek opportunities and make themselves know to the leadership.  In larger corps, sometimes the leadership misses the trees for the forest.  They have a job to do or a mental picture of what needs to be done, but they often overlook the individual member and what they can do to help the division reach the goal the have set.  

Sometimes I feel like I am pestering people.  I say that from both sides of the coin.  As a CEO/Director, I often feel like I am being overbearing telling people what I need.  On the other side of the coin, as a member I felt that I was ingratiating myself upon the leadership.  There is common ground though.  If the leadership puts out an information packet (whether by corp bulletin, email, blog, or forum post) with what is needed and what roles are most important.  It might be PI, ice, minerals or tax income from missions.  If the information is clear and readily available, then it is more likely to be utilized.  This will make the corp stronger and give members a sense of belonging.  
Here are some ideas (not in any particular order)
  • production line: building items (for corp use, market sales, contract sales, higher end production)
  • researching BPO's
  • setting up PI for specific items (like fuel block construction, POS equipment, T2 and capital parts)
  • mining asteroids or ice belts
  • running missions for tax income
  • scouting out asteroid and ice belts, complexes & gas sites
  • research agents for datacores
  • invention from BPC's 
Since I am an industrialist, I will detail a few of the aforementioned ideas.

1.  Production Line - If a corp has an inter-alliance deal or deals with other corps or alliances to provide them with ships, consumables & modules, the individual member can help with production to make sure orders can be filled on time.  If you wish to help out with production, you will need to train Material Efficiency V
2.  Planetary Interaction (PI) - If your corporation has a Player Owned Station  (POS) your leadership will appreciate your PI.  They may ask you to make the following for use in fuel block construction.  There is ALWAYS a need for them if your corporation has at least one POS.
  • enriched uranium
  • mechanical parts
  • robotics
  • oxygen
  • coolant
3. Research agents - If you or your corporation is into T2 manufacturing then datacores are essential.  They are used to for invention on T1 BPC's.  Mechenical Engineering is probably the most commonly used.  That is a place to start.  If your corporation is making more weapons than tank modules, you will want to get datacores specific to the production, e.g. Nuclear Physics for projectile weapons.

This is just a basic overview and there are many more possibilities for member involvement.  The payout might not be staggeringly large, but you will help make your corp strong and it will keep you busy!  The moral of the story is to check with your leadership and see what they want or need.  Once you get the scope of what they are doing, you can more easily adapt and become involved in the corp's success story.  Maybe you will even run an industrial division eventually, but until then, fly safe-ish.

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Corp. New Industrial Program

I joined an new corp the other day.  I am going to continue my industrial program there.  This time, I put 250mil in the pot and will work off of that.  Should be pretty easy to go from there.  In my blog post, "Seed Money and the Indy Start Up", I started with 25mil and worked my way up to over 200mil cleared.  I had to start with T1 items that had a small profit margin.  After about a week of manufacturing and selling T1 items, I was able to buy datacores and do some invention.  I made a bunch of T2 modules and just kept reinvesting the ISK.  Of course, I could just start with more ISK and then take on larger projects, but it was just as much a test for myself as it was a demonstration to new players and those with eyes set on being industrialists.  The experiment went well and I learned a few things.  I wasn't able to impart my knowledge on too many people, but my plan is to become even more versed in the ways of the industrialist.  I see bright things ahead.  Stay tuned for more and as always, fly safe-ish.

EVE ISK per Hour: Part 1

One of my, corpmates (Zel), mentioned that I should do a blog on EVE ISK/Hour (IPH), a third-party tool designed for the industrialist.  I had been toying around with the idea, so Zel's suggestion was well-received.  I will end up breaking this up into multiple posts.  IPH is a very powerful and handy tool for anyone who plays Eve, but it is invaluable for the industrialist and more-so, the manufacturing industrialist.  With IPH you can see how much it is going to cost to make items and how much they are selling for in your selected area.  

When you first open up IPH, you will see a bunch of tabs and some menu options.  If this is your first time in IPH, you will be prompted to add API information.  Do so and follow all the instructions.  Once you have inputted your API key and moved through the menus, you can now begin to utilize IPH.  The first tab brings you to "blueprints".  This is where you can input the blue print you want to review.  If you own your blueprints and they are in your hanger, you can filter the list with the radio buttons.  I generally choose all and search the list for what I want.  It will filter and auto-complete your entry so it's pretty quick to bring up the item you are looking for,  There are some more boxes that you can use to filter even further.  They are kind of superfluous for me, but they are handy if you choose to use them.  What you first want to do is go to the "update prices" tab.  Once there, go to the bottom right hand corner and select one of the trade hubs (nearest you).  I generally do "split prices" and do raw materials at "max buy" and items at "min sell".  The reason for this is so that you can get the most accurate cost and sell.  If you will NEVER put up buy orders for raw materials and instead just buy at the lowest sell price, then this option IS NOT for you.  You will incur a much higher production cost than you think.  Always try to buy items from buy orders and sell items to sell orders.  Once you finish selecting your options, hit the "save settings" button and then the "import pricing" button.  If you are doing major production runs, always update pricing before doing anything.  If you run something in the AM and then want to do more production in the PM, import pricing again.  Things change quickly in EVE on the marketplace.

I have selected a Rifter.  Move over to the boxed area around the blueprint graphic.  This is where you can define your inquiry a little more.  You can input the number of BP's you are using, the number of production lines and the ME & PE of the BP.  The "calculate build/buy" box is for multi-part production (like T2 items) where you can have IPH give you the buy for the components or how much it costs to build them.  If you have the component blueprints you will choose this 98% of the time.  It takes you longer, but it is more profitable.  This area will also tell you how long it will take to make an item.  You can also choose to display PPU (price per unit) or the total from the "runs" field.  Once last field is the "add' costs" field.  If you are buying the BP or have some other cost associated with your production, put it here.  I buy Raven Navy Issue BPC's (let's say for 350mil) and put that amount in the box, it will carry over to the profit box.  If there is no profit, you are spending too much on the BPC or the minerals.  It's very important to manufacture at a profit. 

In the next boxed area to the right, this is all the ISK stats.  This is where you want to pay special attention to.  Starting at the top,  If you didn't select PPU then this box will show the profit and sell for all items combined.  Starting at the top, you can see the market value of the item in whatever market you chose.  You can choose to select fees, production line costs and taxes (which I suggest).  Below that there are 6 boxes.  
  • Total Component Cost (what it costs in T2 components, RAM's and datacores & T1 components.  You can ignore those items if you want, but it will effect your ISK per hour.  
  • Component Profit (profit less the cost of the components)
  • Total Raw Mat'; Cost (same as TCC but instead of completed T1 and components, it will give you cost if you build them yourself)
  • Raw Profit (profit less the cost of raw materials)
  • BP ISK per hour (per hour profit if buying the components and required materials)
  • Raw ISK per hour (per hour profit if building everything)  This is often less profit per hour, but larger profit per run.  Go with this.  

You can also add the BP materials to to a shopping list so you know what exactly to buy.  The time and material efficiency is pulled from your character API, so it is accurate.  There is another box for invention.  That will be discussed later.  It's a blog post by itself.  

These are the basics of IPH.  I hope it clears some things up and as always, fly safe-ish.

Everyone is Irish Today!

With Saint Partrick's day upon us, it is a time where everyone is Irish and all that entails.  I just wanted to take a moment and mention that and wish everyone a Happy St Patty's Day.  Imbibe, but be careful.  Enjoy, but remember.  And as always, fly safe-ish but this is one time where drinking and flying internet spaceships wont get you arrested.. Podded, sure.