Category Archives: In Game

Memoirs: Death

For most capsuleers, Death is a constant companion. If we’re not dying, we’re killing. If we’re not killing, we’re trading in the implements of death. If we’re not trading, we’re manufacturing new and improved ways of killing people.

Funny occupations for someone who’s functionally immortal, don’t you think?

I guess there’s some truth to the common perception that capsuleers are sociopaths who don’t care about baseliners. I mean I’ve personally caused the deaths of tens of thousands, if not hundreds. I don’t think I’ve hit the millions, but that may be wishful thinking on my part. Of course, they all had it coming (Except possibly my crew. But they’re well compensated). You take the coin from a pirate, you trade in slaves, and you give up any rights you have to life.

These days, I tend to keep a few steps removed from it all. A Merchant of Death, rather than a deathdealer. Are my hands any cleaner? Probably not. Still doesn’t interrupt my sleep. Only thing which does, is thoughts of my own death. Like with the H4-RP4 Kyonoke outbreak. Sure I had a backup, but that’s not the same. At least not for this me.

I guess it comes down to keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer. Death’s the greatest fear of a capsuleer. True Death, that is. So we flirt with it. Hold it close, wear it like a cloak, spreading it where ever we go. There are times that I think on the religions of my childhood, and fear the day it all comes crashing down.

Memoirs: Kyonoke Inquest

The inquest at the H4-RP4 facility. Kyonoke. That wasn’t a good time. I couldn’t not go, not when I received the invitation. If I hadn’t received one, I’d have kicked up whatever trouble I could, until I got one; But I have to admit, I was still terrified. I mean, I live in a bubble. My immune system isn’t the best, even against normal baseliner disease. And yes, I probably could have jumped out if I were infected, as long as it hadn’t progressed too far. Or reverted to a backup.

Backups aren’t something I like to talk about. Feels too much like dying. No “explode, then open my eyes elsewhere.” Knowing that another you went on, lived life, then died, before you you woke up, without any memories of that time. Thankfully, up to that point, I’d never had to use one. So yeah, terrified. But not quite enough to stop me going. I may not be the best Son of Matar out there but when my people are suffering and I have a chance to use what influence I have to help them, or at least stop it spreading to others, I didn’t really have a choice.

So with my backup up to date, and a clone body prepared, I set out. Preparations were fairly minimal. Embedded recording system. Best immune system I could get into it in the time I had. Features structured to gain some respect. A beard; greying of course, to simulate a patriarchal feel. A paunch, for prosperity, and to be less threatening. Tall, but not too tall. That kind of thing.

Other than a Cheetah, a fairly barebones crew on it, and a hold-out, that was me. Oh, and the research staff back home. I can’t provide the same resources as a State, but I’m not without some resources.

Memoirs – Flying

(Fiction! Yay!)

I guess this is the key feature of being a capsuleer. Piloting a ship, flying with just your mind.

I’ve been told the experience is different for everyone, so I can only speak for myself. It’s a hard thing to put into words, but I’ll try.

Have you ever driven? Where you don’t think about steering, you just do it? Where you’re one with the vehicle? And if you start thinking about it, everything goes to hell? That’s what flying is like for me. Achieving that state of mind where you just act, rather than thinking. There’s probably a word for it, but not one I know. I don’t think about going faster, or think “I should set speed to a hundred meters per second”; instead I just travel at the right feeling speed. Sure, it isn’t as precise, but it works for me. You get used to it, knowing how far away things are, and travelling there. Or twisting away from danger.

Some ships make me feel sluggish, others fast and nimble. I know some people find it hard to work with camera drones, your viewpoint no longer connected to your body, but it feels natural to me. When I want to look at something, I just do. While also knowing where I am, and what’s around me.

If I’m flying a long time, it takes a while to get used to my body again. I’ve seen some people who’ve spent long times in micro gravity have trouble getting used to the idea that things don’t stay where they put them. It’s similar, but on a bigger scale. Walking is harder than most people realise. And having to move yourself, to get a better view of something. Bit of a mind fuck, really. And kind of limiting.

Actually flying? There’s nothing like it. That feeling of power. Sure, there’s pain, when your ship gets shot to pieces around you. From an itch, to a deep burning pain. But you learn to wall it off. Keep thinking clearly, while your body is falling to pieces around you. The feeling of weakness, as someone drains your energy. Being stuck in molasses when you’re webbed. Explaining it is hard. There aren’t words for it. I guess, eventually, there may be. But when you’re a capsuleer, you just know. Though it makes some conversations hard to have. Imagine having to explain taste, to someone who’s only ever eaten the one food? It’s an overwhelming experience. But one I wouldn’t give up for anything.

Memoirs – Humanity

(Fiction, yay 😀 )

Am I still human? That’s an interesting question. I guess the technically correct answer is no. I’m not. This body isn’t born, it’s made. My brain isn’t grown, it’s forced into a state when my last body died. While it’s probably now a match for my original genetic structure, it didn’t use to be.

Technically, I’m an infomorph. A being of mind, that inhabits various bodies. That’s hardly human.

But I still think of myself as human. Not post human, as some capsuleers believe. Not better than the baseliners who surround me. Just different. Sure, I have plastic bones, plugs in my back and more metal in my head, but I still feel. I still bleed red blood.


Maybe if I spent more time in my capsule, I’d think differently. Maybe I’m wrong. But surely it’s how you feel, that determines your humanity?

Memoirs – Becoming

Calling me a loyal son of Matar would be a stretch. If I was, I’d probably be in the Military, exercising my talents there, and furthering the goals of the Tribes.

Instead, I broke off, shortly after graduating; going my own way, forming my own corporation, and setting up business in Gallente space. I mean, I employ a bunch of ethnic Matar, sourced from all over New Eden, from former slaves, to those like myself, raised on a Gallente world.

There’s some guilt from that. They put a lot of time and effort into training me, and how do I repay them? I run off to do my own thing. That’s not exactly showing gratitude. But I just couldn’t hack the military life, far too many rules and regulations, people telling me what to do, and what to think.

I was raised by a family, proud of our Matari heritage, even if we didn’t live in our own Republic. No Clan, as such, just a Circle. I’m not going to go into exactly what we did. Skirting on the edge of legality at times. But they were good people. I don’t stay in contact as much as I should, but I helped them with repatriation. They didn’t want to go back, to be a drain on the Republic. I helped them get set up when they returned, transporting them myself, and arranging purchases on planet. They also help out with some of the slaves I’ve emancipated, getting them back into decent society, helping them with the side effects of their treatment.

What I wasn’t a fan of, at the time, was the fact they made me go to school. I mean, I learnt everything I needed for the family business from them, but they wanted a well-rounded education, and not to have “the Authorities” looking too closely at the clan, as to why I didn’t go. It’s not a stretch to say I did well. Top of my class, for the majority of the time. But I’m a capsuleer. I’m exceptional for a baseliner, but middle of the road, with my current peers.

I had some corporations come sniffing round, some pre-testing done, and some offers for scholarships made. I turned them down. Prideful, I wanted to help my people, so I travelled to the Republic, and tested there. Again, the offers came in, and I took one. That was a hard time. I almost quit on several occasions. University took work. Capsuleer training took willpower. Watching people ring out, walking away from everything they’d worked towards. But I hit that wall, and fought through it. Shame I couldn’t do the same, when it came to following orders, especially from a baseliner.

Egotistical? Yeah, sure. It’s hard not to be, when you’re part of that elite group that got through. Less than one percent of those who try, make it through to the end. And you need that ego, that feeling of self-importance, to carry you through the final test. Th unshakable knowledge that you will survive, even if the body you were born in doesn’t. I try not to let it out too much, but it’s always there.

You may have noticed I don’t have any tattoos. I used to. I shed them when I cut my ties with the Republic. My parents still argue with me about that. When I see them. I’m not the person I used to be. Those Tattoos weren’t mine any more. And how can I wear them, when I’ve abandoned my people? It just didn’t seem right.


Memoirs – Self Image

(It may not be good, but I don’t care. You don’t need to read it 😉 )

Self Image

I’ve been asked before, why capsuleers aren’t all perfect specimens. Why some of us are scarred. Why some bear the legacy of the human endurance program. Why, when we can shape ourselves in pretty much any way we please, most of us chose to stay close to how we were, when we were baseliners.

I can’t speak for the others. One thing I’m not is a mind reader. And I guess I’m more unusual than most. I mean, every time I die, I wake up in a body which has had an eye and its arms replaced. There’s discomfort. There’s some relearning of how everything fits together, that I never had with a more natural body. [A snort of laughter] If you can call anything about these so-called clones natural.

But I think it’s all down to seeing a familiar face in the mirror when we wake up. I mean, we spend hours, days, sometimes weeks without being able to see ourselves. Where our bodies are the ships we pilot. Where our eyes are the drones we can send to see anything which we wish to. It’s a heady sensation, which can leave you feeling very small when you unplug. Limited. Vulnerable.

So, for me, I want to see myself in the mirror. Something to anchor myself, when I come down. Scars give you something to focus on. Something to say, “Yes, this is me.” Something to fool the mind into forgetting that this isn’t the same body as you were born in. Or even the one you woke up in that day. That might be half way across the cluster. Little tricks to ground you. Stop you forgetting who you are.

It’s one of the reasons I unplug when I can. Sure, there are risks to it. This me may die, because I’m not in my capsule, ready to be whisked away at a moment’s notice. But you can’t let that rule you. Even if this me may die, another can go on, branching from when I last got backed up. That won’t be me, but it’s a legacy, of sorts.

So that’s why we’re not all perfect. Because no-one wants to see a stranger in the mirror.

Head Canon – Blueprints

ooo, fiction. Flee while you can! Head Canon – An explanation I’ve come up with, with no backing from the original material.

“Damn it.”

Steve unlocked the catches holding the blueprint cartridge into the console, before removing it, and using a can of compressed air to clean it and the slot. “I could have blown into it to dislodge any dust, but corrosion and electrical contacts are a bad mix. And this one isn’t cheap.”

Seating it back in place, then re-engaging the catches, he turned to his visitors. “And now we’d have to wait for the nanite control matrix to replicate in the blanks. Time consuming, but the access controls are weaker, which gives me a far better chance to splice in some upgrades. However, I have a few I prepared earlier. Always have a few ticking over, when I’m hooked up in the capsule.”

Steve grinned, the expression somewhat out of place. Like he was unused to controlling those muscles. “My staff normally takes care of shifting the blueprints around. Just plugging the right cartridge, in the right socket, so I can take it from there, at some range. Unfortunately I’ve heard that the CRC are going to be banning the channels needed for actual control, which is a pain, but that’s life. Guess they’re running into some intra-system bandwidth problems.”

Waving his guests on towards a different terminal he continued, “These cartridges contain a second generation control matrix. It’s stable enough, unlike the third gen. Stable enough to spawn copies from it, and not to degrade as it gets used. The third gens, well, they’re more limited. Can’t cause another matrix to organise, and each time you have them run a cycle, they get a little less stable. The longer you leave them hooked up to a second gen, the better they get. To a point.” He paused. “Nanite based construction isn’t as simple as a set of instructions, saying ‘put this here, and that there’. They’re closer to a neural pattern. Very complicated, and somewhat difficult to make. The original makers have the first generation copy, which can spawn the stable second gen copies. The ones generally known as Originals. It’s not a good name for them, but it’s good enough.”

He sighed. “If I had one of the first gen, I’d be set for life. Any length of life. But no. What I’m currently left with is what I do here.” He waves his hand round the lab. “Taking badly protected matrices, and trying to splice upgrade patterns into them. Those are stable, but they don’t always take well. Or connect to the wrong place. I’ve had a few blueprints for ships, which had a thruster where the Capsule should have gone. Had to junk those. You get a feel for it though. When to cut your losses, and move onto the next, or when you can fix it. They’re even less stable than the third generation, but the performance benefits are worth it, and I’m following guidelines laid down by better, well, more specialized minds than mine.”

“Oh, research? There’s some research you can do with the second gens. They’re stable enough to massage. Where you can find places to strip out wasted materials. Lighter support beams, for example. Or a power core that’s closer to the margin. Again, it’s more of an art than a science. And one that really needs a direct neural interface. Art, rather than science. And a great deal of simulation. Thankfully something I don’t need to do much these days. I have associates for that. It’s not a full-time job, with the required simulations, and stabilization time, but it takes more time that I want to put in. And I just don’t enjoy it.”

Steve turned back to his guests. “So.. This is where you’d be working, if you took me up on my offer. For your down time, I’d be providing plenty of entertainment. Holoreels a plenty,” He coughs, “Entertainers. good food. And all for the fairly short time you’d be working for me. And a wage you just can’t get planet side. What do you say?”

Fiction – Claustrophobia

I never used to be claustrophobic; If I had been, I’d never have entered the Capsuleer program. Spending all the time in such a tight enclosed space would have sent me running for the hills.

These days, getting into, and out of, my capsule gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies. That time after the capsule closes, to when the neural implants hook up and my perspective soars. Getting out is worse. I don’t know if it’s common amongst Capsuleers, or just me, but after I spent a week hooked up, barely docking, just soaring free, getting crammed back into my head was almost more than I could take.

It’s hard to explain, that feeling of being trapped to one view-point, when you used to be able to send your vision flying through space. When you could talk to someone light years away, just by thinking about it. Sure, you miss a few things -food mostly- but they’re easy to ignore, when you’re bathing in starlight.

I don’t know. I still force myself down to a frail mortal form. But it’s getting harder. Especially after that Naglfar.


End Entry. Save.

Navy Doctrine Fits

There have been a few criticisms coming out of the recent live event, which saw a bunch of people leaving high sec to attack a target in NPC Nullsec. Most of them were people whining. Some were more valid, mostly focusing around in game organisation.

This post flows from one of the latter.

One of the biggest differences you’ll find between a Fleet from a large, well organised alliance, and a scratch fleet drawn together from randoms, is that the alliances fleet will contain ships which are far closer to each other in fit. You’ll have your DPS ships having similar ranges, everyone in the same kind of tank and so on.

That’s difficult to manage with a scratch fleet, as there’s no central source saying ‘Fit your ships this way.’

A side issue is: Newbies and noobs have this tendency to fit their ships badly. Newbies can break themselves from this, generally with the help of their corporations, and sometimes sites such as Battleclinic, or Eve Uni’s fittings.

However, it’s a bit difficult to send players off to look at third party sites, from the tutorials.

What would be good, in my very humble opinion, is if the Navies of New Eden (read CCP) were to publish some Doctrine fits. Tying it into ISIS would be great, though possibly a trifle excessive.

Then, when there’s a live event being run by one of the Empires, there can be a link to the doctrine fits, which may help shape the randoms into something a little more cohesive.

The moment that CCP release the SSO, I’m planning on sticking together a Doctrine storage system, for those groups without dedicated IT resources, which could be used. But something basic from CCP would be good. We don’t need a fit for every ship, but it would be nice to have the basics covered, both the T1 version, and the Navy version. Possibly some core T2 ships too.

Then you can add doctrine fits for some other things. Such as exploration fits from SOE, or fits from ORE, which fit a decent tank on the miners.

Teaching players to fit ships isn’t a simple thing. Examples go a long way.

Manufacturing 101

The basics of manufacturing in EVE are pretty simple at their core: Get a blueprint, get some minerals/components, put in a manufacturing job, deliver it when it completes.

But as with most things in EVE, there are little twiddly bits to take into account, various bits of maths it’s helpful to know.

This post is for T1 manufacturing. Later posts will cover the T2 process.

What this post isn’t going to cover is identifying what to make. That’s a whole post all to itself. short version: Make what people will use. Sell it close to where they’ll use it. Make sure it’s profitable before you start.

Rule One

Run the numbers before you buy anything. Blueprints, materials, whatever. Make sure it’s actually profitable to make, before you go and buy the blueprint. Don’t assume that Drakes are worth making (they aren’t, and haven’t been for a fairly long time) just because a lot of people fly them. For running the numbers, a blueprint calculator is your friend. But double check the numbers, just to be safe.


T1 manufacturing is fairly light on required skills:

  • Production Efficiency

This skill is used to reduce the waste of materials when you make things. Without it, you’re going to be needing around about 20% more materials than someone with it at 5. So as you can see, it can have a fairly major effect on your profitability. I’d recommend getting it to at least 4 before starting, with getting it to 5 in the near future. You can make ISK without it at 5, but you’ll be losing profit. A serious manufacturer will have it at 5. The only reason not to, is because you’re busy skilling up more slots, and can make more profit getting another slot, than reducing your waste. Go for 5 before Mass production 5, certainly.

  • Industry

Time is money. Reducing the time taken to make something, as long as it’s already profitable, increases your profit over a given time frame. Industry cuts down on the time it takes to make things. You’ll need it at at least 3 to get Production Efficiency and Mass production. 5 is good to get, but it’s not immediately vital.

  • Mass Production

You won’t get rich making one thing at a time. Mass production adds extra lines for manufacturing, which increases your potential profits. 5 is good.

  • Advanced Mass Production

As above, adding more lines. You’ll need Mass production 5 to get this. Taking it to 4 is generally as far as most people take it, before training alts.

For basic T1 Manufacturing, that’s about it. You might want to consider Supply Chain Management, so you don’t need to visit the station you’re actually manufacturing at (as long as the minerals and blueprints are there), but it’s far from needed.

Rule Two

The minerals you mine are not free. If you can only make a profit manufacturing something, by using the minerals you mine, you’re subsidising someone else with your minerals. You could have just sold them, and made more money.


Acquiring materials is simple. You go to the market and you buy them, before shipping them (either yourself or by a freight company like Red Frog Freight.  When working out if something is worth making, always look at the sell cost of your materials. Use buy orders to get them, if you want to, but price everything as if you were buying from buy orders. (Assuming that the prices are reasonable. Some materials aren’t sold for reasonable prices. But for T1 manufacturing, this can be ignored)

If you can’t make a profit on something using this guideline, look at making something else. There are many items in EVE, so don’t get too tied up in the “I make X” mindset.


Blueprints come in 2 types. Blueprint Originals (BPO) and Blueprint Copies (BPC). They’re pretty much the same except for the following differences:

  • Only BPOs can be researched. This includes making BPC from them.
  • BPCs have a limited number of production runs on them.
  • BPOs are bought from NPCs on the Market, or from PCs via contract.
  • BPCs are only available from contracts, or being found on NPC wrecks.

BPOs have two attributes which can be changed. BPCs have the same attributes, but they can’t be changed.

  • Material Efficiency (ME)

This governs how much inherent waste the BPO/C has. For most, this starts at 10%, and is multiplied by 1/1+ME, So ME 1 halves the waste. ME 3 takes it to a quarter, and so on. Some blueprints have a ‘Perfect ME’ which is meaningful (no waste) and achievable in a reasonable time. Many don’t, with their ‘perfect’ value taking years to attain, and saving a single Tritanium. 5 is reasonable. Use a blueprint calculator to see where it is worth taking it. A blueprint that is used for thousands of runs is worth researching more (or buying pre-researched).

  • Production Level (PL. Also known as PE, just to confuse matters)

This governs the time waste a BPO/C. Again, the time waste is divided, leading to diminishing returns. 5 is good target.

You want a researched Blueprint, at least on ME. Unfortunately, most slots for that research are backed up for weeks in highsec. when you’re starting out, sometimes buying researched BPC isn’t a bad idea, as long as you take them into account with your calculations, as they’re used up. BPOs, on the other hand, are assets, which don’t detract from your net worth, so can be mostly ignored in the manufacturing calculations.

Finding somewhere to make things

On the industry window, in the installations tab, you’ll find lists of places with manufacturing slots. If you can’t find any which are available, try changing region. The Forge, for example, generally doesn’t have many empty slots, and the ones it does have tend to be more expensive. Move to a different region, and you’ll find it far easier to get started.

Actually making something

  1. Get all the materials you need together with a blueprint, in your hangar (not a container in your hangar, not your ship), in a station with a free slot available.
  2. right click the blueprint, and select ‘manufacture’
  3. click the ‘choose installation’ button.
  4. Choose a slot on an installation. Pick one that’s free, as it will not auto shuffle you to an available one. You can pick one that’s in use, but your job will be delayed in starting. Hit Ok.
  5. Fill in the number of runs you want to manufacture.
  6. Hit OK.
  7. You’ll be presented with a manufacturing quote. have a quick look over it to make sure everything looks right.
  8. Hit ok.
  9. Go do something fun for the duration of the job, then return to that station.
  10. Bring up the science and industry window (alt+s if you’re not remapped it. or from the neocom). hit ‘get jobs’. Select your job. hit the ‘deliver job’ button that’s shown up in the bottom right of the window.
  11. The results of your job will now be in your hangar.

Rule Three

Until it’s sold, there’s no profit. Pick an appropriate market for your goods.This may be Jita. It may be a mission runner’s hub. Jita generally has smaller margins, and needs more baby sitting of orders; but it has high market velocity. Other places can take a lot longer to sell things, but for higher prices. People are lazy. They’ll pay a bit more if they can get everything they want in one place.


Consider using the Bulk Trade mailing list. It’s not as good as selling things yourself, but better than dumping to buy orders. There’s also the RvB bulk trade list which is similar.

Production Efficiency only affects materials in a blueprint’s Basic materials, and extra materials which are also in the basic materials. ME waste only affects basic materials.