Category Archives: In Game

Possible new contract types

This isn’t a CSM post. Though if I do get in, I’d certainly be suggesting them.

There’s been a suggestion in past CSM minutes that they’re going to be looking at the contract system, adding new contract types into it. I’ve had a few thoughts on this, in part spurred on by a discussion with someone over a mineral compression service.

So, exercising my hopefully well-known ego, a few thoughts:

Manufacturing Contract:

A fairly simple one this. The person putting up the contract puts a bunch of materials into the contract, with a requirement for the delivery of specific set of items at the end of it. Modules, rigs, ships, etc.

The person accepting the contract has to put up a collateral. If they fail to deliver at the end, it’s forfeit. This way, both the buyer, and the manufacturer have some sort of guarantee that the other will follow through.

Of course, there’s nothing to say that the person putting it up has to put in enough materials.

Supply Contract:

Almost identical to the one above. In fact, it’s the same, except no materials are added. It’s a WTB Contract, that the supplier can know won’t go away before they deliver (as long as they stay within the time limit).

Reverse Auctions:

These are common in the real world for supply contracts. People will bid against each other, reducing the price they will accept, to get the business. This is more a modifier for the other contracts. It would need a short duration for the contract itself. Works well for courier contracts too. Want to avoid dead heading? How low are you willing to go to get that work?

Mercenary Contracts:

Destroy a specific thing. Do a specific quantity of damage to the opposing corporation. Ideally with some kind of sliding payscale.

 

Loan Contracts:

Put up collateral, get ISK (from another player). Don’t repay the ISK, lose the collateral.

Making Sov more fun

I’ll prefix this all with: I’m not particularly experienced when it comes to Null, and Sov grinding. I’m not a Noob to eve, that’s just not an area I’ve gone into. Most of this stems from the arguments about it that I’ve seen on the forums.

From the sounds of it, the main complaints are:
Grinding Sov is dull, as you have to take out many multi-million EHP structures, to do pretty much anything to someone. Or camp their systems to stop them maintaining their upgrade levels.

This isn’t fun. Not fun at all.

The second is: There’s no space that’s not taken. Even if it’s not being used, it’s not available.

What I’d suggest is the following, with large parts stolen wholesale from Faction warfare.

If a system has neighbors which are not owned by the same alliance, and don’t have upgrades, they are ‘Frontier’ systems. Frontier systems do not improve in Strategic index, unless the system has levels in either Military or Industrial.

In all systems strategic index will decay, if there are no other upgrades.

Upgrades are not anchored at POS any more. They are stand alone structures which generate a deadspace field (with free acceleration gate) The owner can set the size of ship that can enter these. This cannot be changed after installation, without tearing it down. (This includes moon mining facilities)

Upgrades and levels of the indices spawn complexes, which can be attacked by people to reduce the index levels in a system (or knock out an upgrade). When the Indexes hit zero, a final complex will spawn (at a time set by the owner, or X hours away. Just to deal with off hours invasions) which will remove Sov from the system, if defeated.

The higher the levels of indexes, the larger the ships that can enter the some of the complexes. These complexes will have multiple entrances, to make camping the way in more difficult.

Effects:

  • If you can get behind enemy lines, you can blow stuff up and mess with their upgrades. And while doing so, you can be sure you won’t be hot dropped, by staying in the smaller complexes. you’ll do less damage in them, but they’ll allow you to chip away.
  • Fights should be somewhat more fun that the blobs. As you can always blap stuff in a frigate or cruiser
  • Sov isn’t an all or nothing affair. You can hurt an enemy, even if you can’t knock them out. A BLOPs fleet can cause pain.
  • You don’t need to take down a POS to get at the goo. I’m thinking a multipart facility. taking it entirely offline is hard, but damaging it so you can steal, easier.

Corp Roles and POS Management – A Vision

My fist disclaimer: I don’t run a big corporation. It’s entirely possible, perhaps even probable, that I’m missing things, or possibly making things harder. I hope not, but that’s what comments are for.

I’ve heard many problems for how corp role assignment is painful, and how that can make management of POS painful too. It mostly comes down to things not being fine grained enough. Either you can cancel every corp industry job, or you can cancel none, for example.

So what I was thinking was the following. If it’s familiar, you may have worked with POSIX user management before. It’s pretty much lifted from there.

The first step is to allow for the creation of ad hoc user groups within the corporation. I’d recommend that you can nest them at least once as well, allowing for groups within groups. Multilevel nesting would be nice, but complicates matters a little.

Ideally these are parsed at logon, and then stored, to reduce the workload. Recursion makes databases cry. Stored in the ‘brain’ for the character. This would be easier once the ‘brain in a box’ work that’s been mentioned in the past is repeated. To allow for updates without needing a log off, I’d suggest a button on the corp pages or character pages, allowing someone to get a group update. This always annoyed me in Windows ๐Ÿ˜‰

In an ideal world, you could also create groups of locations/hangers. So you could have a ‘The Forge’ group, which would contain all the hangers in the Forge, and a ‘Jita’ group which is just the hanger in jita 4-4 CNAP. A seperate group for a singular POS, or multiple POS would also be handy.

At that point, you could assign management roles for a location group, to a user group. Or for a user group, to a user group.

 

Some roles would need to be split apart, so you could have an anchor role that can be assigned globally, but split the un-anchor function away from it. So the user who anchors something can un-anchor it, but not everyone else. Just the people that user (or someone with a global management role) specifies.ย  Ditto with arrays and labs (or jobs run from a corp hanger) A role to start them, and a role to manage them.

 

Ideally such groups would be global, capable of holding people who aren’t actually in your corporation (automatic removal when you kick someone or they leave) so you could share the ability to run jobs in your POS with people outside your corp (granted at corp, pos or array level)

It’s probably over complicated, but if you set things up right in the beginning (grant roles to groups, not people, then add people to groups) then it’s actually pretty simple to work with.

Scanning stuff. A text only tutorial

Exploration can be a pretty lucrative thing to do in EVE. It’s chance based, so you’ll spend a good deal of time scanning and finding only unstable wormholes, but if you have an appropriate ship to do what you find, you can make millions. It’s also somewhat more interesting than shooting red crosses ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Anyway, you’ll want the following:

  • The scanning skills. This is a minimum of Astrometrics 1. Get more. It helps. Astrometric Rangefinding is good as it’s stronger probes.
  • Core scanning probes. The only time to use Combat probes is if you’re looking for people. They’re half the strength of the core probes. Sisters Core probes are preferable. an extra 10% bonus to scan strength never hurts.
  • A probe launcher. The sisters launcher is a nice, but pricy bonus.
  • A scanning ship. Ideally a frigate (the one with the scan bonus), a covops frigate (If you have covops 3+) or a T3 with the right subsystem.
  • The scan strength rigs. Gravity Capacitor Upgrades.

The idea is to stack as many bonuses together as you possibly can. Because the stronger the strength, the easier it will be to scan down a signature. Keep another ship around to run them after, if you’re in ‘safe’ space.

 

Once you’ve got all that, go find a suitable system to scan. as signatures respawn elsewhere as soon as they despawn (or so it seems) don’t assume that heavy traffic systems will be clear.

How to scan:

  • Hit your scanner button. Make sure your scan filter is clear. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can change this.
  • Launch 4 probes.
  • Blow them up to 32AU range (select all of them in the scanner window, right click, and pick 32AU)
  • Hit the starmap button
  • Click and drag on the background, to shift the map around so you’re looking down from above, from a distance you can see the entire system from (assuming it’s not one of the /huge/ ones)
  • Using the arrows on each probe, move them into a diamond formation, with them overlapping in the middle. You want all 4 overlapping the other 3, as it’s only in that overlap you’ll get a fully locked signal. You might need to shift the map again to make sure it’s actually covering the system. Some places you’ll be in a system won’t be on the same plane as the others, so you’ll have to shift the probes down.

When moving the probes around, there are two useful keys.

  • Hold shift when resizing probes to resize them all. (click and drag on the shell of a probe to resize)
  • Hold shift when moving probes to move them all, in the pattern they’re in.
  • Hold alt when moving a probe, to move them all towards or away from the central point of their pattern.

The last two help when scaling down, as you resize them all (click and drag on the shell with shift held), then adjust them closer together (hold alt and drag one towards the others)

 

If you’ve followed the steps above, you’ll either be told no signatures detected (Bad luck, find another system or move your big pattern around in a huge system), or you’ll get one (or more) of the following:

A red sphere

This is an indication that only one of your probes has picked up this signature. It exists somewhere on the sphere. As signatures tend to be within 4 au of a celestial, this should help you localize it. and as you only have one probe detecting it, it’s not within the overlapping areas. Move your pattern of probes to more fully enclose the possible space and repeat.

A red circle

Two probes have picked it up, and it’s somewhere on that circle. As signatures tend to be within 4 au of a celestial, this should help you localize it. and as you only have two probe detecting it, it’s not within the overlapping areas with your other probes. Move your pattern of probes to more fully enclose the possible space and repeat.

Two red dots

You’ll know this one when you look at the list of signatures and see the same one twice. At this point, you have three probes detecting it. It’s often easy to eliminate one, as it’s far away from any celestial (more than 4au). move the probe that isn’t picking them up to cover both in it’s overlap and rescan. Or take a chance and assume it’s the one closer to the celestial. this isn’t a bad thing to do, if the other is a long way away. It’s a bad idea with 2au range probes.

One dot (red or yellow)

Now you’re cooking with gas. Recenter the pattern on the dot (On all axis. make sure to shift to a side on view too), rescale it down a level, and rescan. If you lose it, go up in scale and try again. It’s possible someone finished it, or you’re just that inaccurate (skills can reduce the inaccuracy). Once they’re yellow, you’ll get an indication of what they are

One green marker

If it’s not 100%, continue as above. If it is, bookmark it. the go run it, or continue scanning. If you can’t get it to 100%, sometimes you just have to leave it.

If you have more probes, feel free to use them. just overlap the other spheres from the top and bottom. I tend to start with 4 and add more if I can’t get a high enough signal strength.

Ship Fitting for Beginners – Part 1 – Tanking

There have been many words written on how to fit ships in EVE Online, but not so many written by me. So here are mine.

I’m not going to tell you ‘This is how you fit a ship.’ No-one can tell you that. There are no rules to follow which will give you a good ship. EVE is like that, which is one of the major selling points for me; no ‘right way’. But there are guidelines which can lead you to fit your ships in a ‘not bad’ way. There are many more bad ways to fit a ship, than there are good ways. And so, here are my guidelines; you’ll find some of them in the Rules of EVE page.

Tanking

Tanking refers to how you deal with damage coming at your ship. Almost all ships need a form of tank. The only one I can bring to mind that doesn’t, is a ship fitted for a suicide gank in highsec. Don’t think about combining them. There are very few places where this makes sense. Mixing your tank cripples your ship.

Here’s where it gets complex. You have a number of choices to make. First, pick one of the following.

  • Shield Tank: For ships with: A bonus to shield tanking, like shield resists or boosting. And for ships with more mid slots than low slots. Generally the fastest of the lot
  • Armour Tank: For ships with: A bonus to armour tanking, like armour resists or boosting. And for ships with more low slots than mid slots. More hit points, but slower than shield tanked ships
  • Hull Tank: Real men Hull tank. Or people who don’t have a choice. This probably isn’t you. Combat ships do not hull tank unless piloted by morons.

Next, pick from one of the following:

  • Active tanking : For people in PvE, and possibly frigate PvP. Other classes generally won’t last long enough for the repairs to make a difference.
  • Buffer Tanking : This can be used with all tank types. The idea is to increase the raw hit points you have usingย  shield extenders and armour plating, and to increase your resists to make those hit points worth more, using modules such as Adaptive Invulnerability Fields, and Energized Adaptive Nano Membranes. This is standard for PvP. In PvE, you’ll end up paying a lot for repairs, or refitting after missions with a repper.
  • Passive Tanking : This only applies to Shield Tanks. It is similar to a Buffer tank, but also covers increasing your shield regeneration rate. Great in PvE. Not so worth it in PvP

There are also other minor forms of tanking, which take more skill to use. I’m not covering them here.

  • Speed tanking: Travelling fast enough, close enough, at the right angles to make you hard to hit.
  • Signature tanking: Being so small that you’re hard to hit.

Now, most ships are easy to pick which to use. Take the Punisher, for example. It has more low slots than mid slots. And it has a bonus to armour resists. Other ships are a trifle harder. Some can be tanked either way. Spend time with a Fitting tool, such as EFT, Eve HQ or pyfa They will save you time and isk. Battleclinic isn’t a bad idea. Just bear in mind that bad fits end up there.

POS changes for EVE

This is all inspired by A post by Two step about where he’d like to see POSes going.

I pretty much agree with what he’s saying, but it inspired a few more detailed thoughts than I was happy putting into a comment on someone elses blog. So, I’m writing this one.

 

The method for placing POS modules appears to be a reasonable one. I’m happy enough with it as that is, except I’d like it to require modules to be connected, before they can be powered up. This would need a connector module, or another ‘useful’ module, like a lab, hanger, assembly aray, you name it. That way, you’ll have a ramshackle arrangement, but it’ll be a thing. Rather than a few disparate modules all hanging there, with some sort of power beaming tech, and wireless communications ๐Ÿ˜‰

That pretty much matches with what was mentioned in fanfest. This is good.

 

I don’t like the central tower idea. It makes upgrading to another size more difficult, and it means someone can go ‘large tower, this much in the way of resources.’ What I do like, is the following:

  • Every module still requires a certain amount of power, and CPU.
  • Power is provided by dedicated power station modules, which have no CPU requirement, and each have their own fuel bay.
  • CPU is provided by dedicated control modules. These have a power requirement. If you have a charter requirement, they would go here. Possibly add charter requirements for SOV space (Sov holder’s choice) with a ‘Pirate’ Control module that avoids it, while providing significantly less.
  • The first module to be anchored is a power module. And this can be /anywhere/ in a system. No moon requirement.ย  Then a CPU module.
  • POS shields are provided by another module. Ideally with a variable power requirement, depending on the range you want. Multiple modules are possible, allowing for intercecting bubbles of POS shields. If you want to store a Titan in one, it’ll cost you a lot more power, requiring a more powerful Power station. If a shield is taken down, it exposes the things within it. Multiple shields reduce what is exposed. I wouldn’t want for the shields to be stackable though.
  • Power Stations come in a number of sizes, each providing a different quantity of power, and each using a different number of fuel blocks. A more powerful module may cost more than multiple smaller modules providing the same amount of power, but it requires less work to keep fueled, as it’s just one bay, rather than multiple. It’ll also take up less space, making shield requirements smaller.
  • Docking up is possible, but will require a dedicated module.
  • All station services are possible, but require dedicated modules for each. This includes market services, but they’re only advertised to people who have the standing to use it.
  • A cheap module to allow people to see your POS on the overview.
  • Defense modules as normal.
  • A ‘cloaking’ module, to make it harder to scan down. Including ships docked up in it. Hard, but not impossible to scan. The higher the power rating, the easier it is to scan. this can be mitigated by more cloaking modules. But these should be expensive to run, at least CPU wise.

 

As for anchoring, I’d open it up to allow individuals to do it for themselves, as well as on behalf of a Corp or Alliance, as well as allowing the transfer of the POS as a whole between any of the three. If the owner doesn’t have the standing for the POS increase the charter cost. Delegation of POS access should be from the Owner’s standings to th User/Corp/Alliance, with each level being overridden by the earlier. Ideally, like with the research services, you can allow access on a slot by slot basis, without people being able to change other people’s jobs.

Something I’m not sure about yet, is a War Dec immunity on a POS. If this was allowed, on the other hand, all services on the station would have to be made public (and on the overview), with a suitable cost cap. Possibly with an on-going cost, too. Pretty much to make it a break-even endevour. This would mostly to be to move things into player hands, and out of NPC hands, without the ability of wardecs to cripple high-sec. It doesn’t quite feel right though.

 

I’ll probably have another post, as I think about it more.

Understanding the Market

I’ve seen a few people who’ve had a fundamental misunderstanding of how EVE’s market works. While it’s been explained to them, I’m going to explain it here, so I can direct people more efficiently.
There’s even a picture, which I’ll be referencing in the explanation.

The most important thing in the market, is to understand that you’re not buying and selling directly from other players. You deal with the Market. So do they. Unless it’s the trade window (avoid avoid avoid, it’ll likely be a scam), or a contract, you’ll be dealing with the market. Not another player.

The main misunderstanding I’ve seen is, someone sees a market like the above. They click on a specific order (lets say the 125,999.87 isk sell order), and select buy. They then have the buy window pop up, with that as the price. They hit ok, and have now acquired a shiny new Executioner. Their wallet is 125,999.87 isk lighter as well. However, the order they clicked on still has 100 units on it.

What’s happened is they’ve actually bought from the cheapest order on the market. And the player selling it is 125,999.87(-tax) richer.

When a player places a sell order, with a duration, what they’re saying is: ‘Sell this for at least this much’. People who put in a higher price will just give you extra isk
When a player places a buy order, with a duration, what they’re saying is: ‘Buy for no more than this much’. People who put in a lower will just sell it to you cheaper.

The highest buy order always wins.
The lowest Sell order always wins.
In the events of ties, it’s the order modified the longest time ago.

If you put in an order, with a duration, which overlaps the price of the other kind of order, you get the worst deal.

If a buy order:
You will buy at the price you say, from all the sell orders with lower prices, then the remainder will be a regular buy order, where people can sell to you for cheaper

If a sell order:
You will sell at the price of the your sell order to any buy orders with higher prices, then then the remainder will be a regular sell order, where people can buy from you for more.

Just keep all this in mind. Double check the prices you’re doing stuff at.

Baby steps in PvP

I’ve been meaning to get my feet properly wet in PvP for a while now, and shortly before the end of Fanfest, I took the plunge, setting up a new account and slapping some skills on to train. This may have been a little alcohol fuelled, but that’s Fanfest for you. Also fuelled by the stories people were telling.

Other than throwing a few skills on the queue, my new character’s been pretty inactive, until a few days ago.ย  In part, that was me waiting for my T2 tank skills to complete. In part, if was just being hideously busy since getting back. However, that then changed. I’ve joined faction warfare, to give me more of a reason to fight, and a simple way to generate regions where I’m a trifle less likely to run into something massively out of my league. Gated missions, limiting entry to T1 Frigs and Destroyers is handy, when you’re a complete noob.

So, what’s my K:D ratio like? 0:3 =D

Turns out, bouncing into a FW site, when you’re the only purple in system, with a whole bunch of oranges, is a good way to have you face shredded. Who’d have thunk it. Then I lost a Pulse Punisher to a Arty Thrasher on a gate. Going to have to work on my traversal management for that. Then finally, another Pulse Punisher to a CN Hookbill, while in one of those aforementioned gated missions. I could have run, as there was plenty of time to align and warp, but I wanted to see how badly I’d die. I think I got a couple of hits in. Nothing worth writing home about.

On the other hand, I ran into a whole bunch of nice folks (Who just wanted to blow me up. Nothing wrong with that), who didn’t complain when I bounced past them. The ones who did blow me up? Perfectly nice folk too. No constructive criticism from them, but about the most constructive thing I could come up with was ‘I suck, need more practice”, so I can’t exactly blame them.

Anyway,ย  the roaming identified a couple of areas where I think I need to backfill on skills, so that’s all happening. And in the meantime, I’ll be going off and dying like an idiot heroicly, for the glory of the Amarr Empire. At some point, I’ll also be looking for a corp to join with that character, so watch your corp applications notifications, for a noob looking for new and interesting ways to die.

Hulkageddon

Once again, Hulkageddon is rapidly approaching. This will be my first, and I have to admit, I’m going to be interested to see the result of it.

While I’m mostly a High-Sec carebear (my forays into PvP are a different story), you’re not going to hear a word of complaint out of me for this. Well except, perhaps, for the complaints about the chafing from rubbing my hands in glee over the ISK I’ll make selling Destroyers and Tornadoes.

I guess I can understand the complaints from people that only mine, those people that mine and pay for their many accounts with Plex. I don’t agree with them, but I do understand them. Just like I can understand the complaints from people who carry hundreds of millions worth in a T1 Industrial which gets ganked. Neither is particularly valid. I’ll refer you to Rule 2.

But it’s not as if they didn’t know it was coming. This is the fifth Hulkageddon and plenty of notice has been given on when it starts. Avoiding it is easy. And if you are Plexing, just hold off on renewing till it’s done. Hours for plex will cover this nicely. You should have some ISK set aside for a rainy day, after all.Especially with the way that mineral prices are shooting up.

The funniest thing is, guess where all the ISK will end up. With the miners and manufacturers. Almost everything in EVE comes from you. Certainly all the ships do.

So, I welcome Hulkageddon. It’s not going to be banned. It’s not going anywhere. Don’t mine while it’s on and you’ll be fine. Or find somewhere out of the way, and watch local. Even better, spin up a PvP alt, and go hunting. You might find you enjoy it.