Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years on Eve is Very Strange

I worked last new years Eve so I missed what it is like on Eve.  I worked this morning but I'm home an hour before the clock strikes 00:00 in Iceland.

I've already been "Happy New Yeared" at by half a dozen people due to time zones.

Time zones are something that we understand but sometimes I feel  that Eve emphasizes that drastic distance separation of the globe while emphasizing the easy of community and personal relationships regardless.

I gave hugs to my boys in Europe even as they celebrate hours ahead of when the click would wind down in America.  In game, the new year is dictated by Eve's time.  People have logged in to celebrate in game instead of watching it on Television and toasts are had in chat channels all over.

Some might say, "Go out!" but really, we are gamers and many of us are internet junkies because we are happy where we are.  For me, I don't go out on New Years Eve and nothing can make me take those risks. I don't party so being someplace and staying there has little appeal.

Instead, I'll pass out the hugs to my peeps in game and muse over the under appreciated wonder of a global community such as this.

A Pure Gank

It was one of those moments when energy was high. We had finished fighting another fleet.  A fight that went well but not as well as hoped due to us not killing all of their ships.  But it left a lot of blood pumping and twenty people running around the system.

It was not a good time to be a month old player in a drake, sitting at zero on the sun while the heron alt/friend dropped probes in a highly active low sec system and seemingly oblivious to what is going around.

Large numbers in system tend to mean that it is a home system or something is going on.  I will give his age as the reason that he did not use dscan to see the fleet in space.  And we landed on him and tore him apart.  Nineteen people.  Just because he was there and we were out and we kill people.  We held damage and waited for the entire fleet to land before we killed him.

And I looked at the killmail and saw that he was a month old and felt a bit bad.  He tried to fight back once he was locked down.  For some reason I am channeling that deep "oh no" feeling when a mistake has been made and nothing is going to fix it.  I tried a conversation.  I am debating an eve-mail.

What it brings me back around to is advice.  I wish that someone could have advised him not to take that drake into low sec to be killed.  If I work solely on his age I can easily imagine that he does not know the area to know that Bosena is not the system one explorers in while sitting at zero on the sun.  If he is used to high sec the twenty plus people in local would not appear to be abnormal to him.

While I do not want people to tell people that low sec is instant death.  Sometimes low sec is death and low sec is often deadly without skills.  It comes down to advice and advising people and at what point are you giving advice and at what point are you telling them what to do.

I argued not so many days ago with someone that helped a month old player fit a battle cruiser and go on a roam that he should have suggested something else.  I was told that he didn't want to tell the person what to do and let him pick his ship and attempted to help him fit it as best as he could.  My way would have been too pushy.  Yet, I feel that a month old player in a battlecruiser in low sec, on a PvP roam is a bad idea.  Even if it is pushy to lay that out I'd have suggested cruisers which he can fit into much better than a battlecruiser at much less cost.  Because they didn't die and did in fact kill an assault frig their roam was successful.  I wonder did that set up the newer player with unreasonable expectations as to day to day operations roaming for PvP in low sec?

There are the popups and they need to be read when one jumps.  Entering is a choice made.  It is not that I feel as if he should not have been killed.  He was in low sec.  He was there.  We caught him.  It is more along the lines of his ship is expensive enough and fit in such a way that he was not prepared for low sec and it is that moment when someone needs to have someone to help them.  He has been in an NPC corp since he started.  That doesn't help a thing.  He has lost three battlecruisers so far in low sec so perhaps he does not learn or the profits are enough for him to continue to fly them regardless.

I've redone the new player tutorials recently and dscan is something that somehow needs to be introduced.

After going back and forth about it I decided to write him an eve mail and see what came of it.

 I'm Sugar and was a member of the fleet that killed your drake in Bosena earlier today.  After we had killed you I saw that you are not even a month old player. I do not know if you are new to Eve or not but I figured I could at least say something if you are.  If you are not, ignore me by all means.
I do not know if the Heron was your alt or your friend.  It does not matter.
Bosena is a very active Low Sec system with several PvP focused corps using it as their base.  It also has a fair amount of traffic because it has a high sec gate to it.  When our fleet found you, you were at zero on the sun.  This is one of the most commonly selected warp spots in the game and a dangerous one to sit at.  A safe spot would have offered you a bit more safety, but please understand we would have probed down your ship and still attacked you.
When local is at over 20 people in low sec a fleet is in the area or people live in the system.  People will look for you.  If you are not familiar with dscan please look into it.  You would have seen our fleet in space.  That is never a good time to sit on the sun and drop probes to do exploration.
While many may advise a drake for missions and exploration in high sec, in low sec you would do better in a cruiser or to take the time to train into an assault frigate.  The agility will give you more time to escape possible traps.  The finical loss is also much less.  Plus, it is easier to skill fully into those ships earlier in the game then it is into a battlecruiser.
People are willing to give advice on fits and help with teaching you situational awareness for places like low sec.  You do not have a corp.  You may be an alt, you may wish to fly solo, you may not have decided what you want to do. I can only advise you to find a corp with experienced players at this point.  Eve is better with people.
Exploration in low sec can be very profitable.  Just be aware of those around you.  Local and dscan are important tools to keeping your Drake in space.  The denizens of low sec are often there for fights.  Your singleton drake is an appealing target to anyone wandering by.
Good job on warping out your pod.  We would have podded you if we could have caught your pod.
I see that you have lost other battlecruisers in low sec as well.  I don't control your life or your game.  I can only hope that your loses do not discourage you from this great game.

Stepping into Tomorrow

Eve gives me a particular desire to participate in things that I would otherwise ignore.  This is one of them.  Blog Banter 42 convinced me to scribble down a brief summary of major events in the year.  Now that the year is ending and people are doing the New Years thing and writing summaries and resolutions and such things.

Because I participate in the community I wind up reading things that I might otherwise not.  Then I start thinking on the subjects and depending on that I may or may not write about them.  My first draft of this particular blog post was very grumpy and moody due to the fact that I am not a Holiday person and look forward to life settling back down to normal.

But the future.  The future in Eve is always constant  It is not a 'This is a new year' type of thing because the game requires from many a significant amount of planning.  Skill plans, financial plans, character pathways, social interactions, various events, all of these things trail into the future and drag along the players with them.

I'm at a new year way point junction simply because it falls in line with everything else.  My first year in Eve has just passed, I've been writing the blog for a year, and a year in general is a good point to say "I have done this let me access where I am and where I am going."  It just happens to fall in with the entire "New Year" thing.  Which is only a date celebrated as the New Year just 'cause some stuff.

I am invested in the game and I am invested in my future in the game. I receive a lot of pleasure from playing Eve.  Having slipped into the game to the point that I am at, I stand at a brilliant pathway of choices and decisions.  That is a very pretty way to say that I need to shit or get off of the pot.

One of the biggest things is that I need to spend some time going out and doing things by myself.  Many people start doing things by themselves and eventually get help.  I started out with help and support and have not spent time doing things alone.  Oh, I live in Low Sec by myself and I take care of myself but that's not what I am talking about.

I'm talking about PvP.

Instead of a huge, laundry list of things to do over the next year I've selected down one primary goal that I'd like to accomplish to move myself forward.  That goal is to get out by myself and try my hand at some of the things rolling around inside of my head.  And I think that I need to do it without my boys.  I'm leaning on them to much in some ways.

But, not always alone. Lain has been sweet enough to volunteer to come with me and allow me to derp him into things.  He even seems rather excited about it.  It also means I tackle the other, secondary issue that I have been avoiding which is some form of Fleet Command.  Lain has told me that he shall blindly follow my orders into glory or explosions or both and shall enjoy himself.

Its not that I expect to run out and own space.  I've purchased a stack of frigates and destroyers and fits for them.  It's not about winning its about developing a comfort level with doing some of these things.  It's my goal to push myself beyond my comfort zone a bit.  So I am going to die.  A lot.  I am going to try things out I normally might shy from.  I'm going to try to follow through with the decisions I believe I should be making and see what comes from it.  I've learned a lot over the last year.

I'm going to stretch out my wings a bit and learn to stand by myself.

It is not that I have a huge desire to be a solo pilot.  If so, I'd not so gladly accept Lain's company.  It's that I need to spend some time forcing myself to make my own decisions.  Instead of going, "I wonder if this, because of that" I plan to act upon that musing and do some follow through.  I said before that I learn best by learning before I do.

Now I need to go and do.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cheap is Fun

 With the changes to cruisers they are ridiculously fun.  The cheapness encourages massive rampages across space.  The gategun changes have opened the field back up to frigates and assault frigates are amazing tackle with the new mechanics.  This was a fun night with explosions on all sides.

Earlier today, I said that I'm going to be good and start grinding my sec status back up.  Do some ratting every day and let it trickle up.  So, now I'm down to -7.9 from -7.1.  After the second pod I went, "Damn it I said no more pods!"

Oh well.  I never can remember at that exact instant.

I doubt I'm the only one that sat in their hanger flipping through their ships to decide what to take out and play.  Sometimes it's this, sometimes it's that.  As I idle I often do little maintenance things like check ammunition and drones.  I have several ships fit but I tend to fly the same ones over and over again until they explode, then I move to the next one.

The notice that the roam would go out soon came up.  People had things to do and I decided to run and get one of my cynabals for something new.  I'd been doing my radar sites in it earlier in the day and working on range.  In my hurricane, I spend most of my time in peoples face.  The cynabal is a different beast.  It's about speed and range and keeping that sweet spot when it comes to distance.

But then I realized it was a T1 cruiser roam.  Now, the cynabal is a tech 1 cruiser.  But it's a tech 1 cruiser and fully fit my price tag is over 300 million.  The other ships, fully fit are around 15 million.  This makes the cynabal shiny.  Shiny things attract primaries.  So, my cynabal was tucked back into its hanger and after twiddling my thumbs a bit I decided to fly a Jaguar and spend some time tackling.  I'm not bad at tackling but I've spent most of the last six months inside of a hurricane.  I am not in love with the rupture. I have tried for the past year to gain affection for it and I just have not.  It's not a bad ship but it doesn't give me tingles.

The call for the fleet went out.  It was hitting towards prime time and TEXN has trickled on.  Fried had to run off and tend to IRL things.  It happens.  Once we finally got moving we started out as Vexor, Caracal, Moa, Rifter, Rupture x2, Thorax, Jaguar.  I invited Lain from Pirates vs Carebears to come out with us as another tackle ship since he was running around like a hyperactive pinball in high sec.

We had someone to pick up from high sec on our way around the Molden Heath loop.  He is a new member to TEXN.  As we swung through one of the busier low sec to null sec connections we came across two fleets that we thought were one fleet.  They seemed to be somewhat chasing each other but not chasing each other.  Both groups hag logistic cruisers with them.  Both groups were battlecruiser heavy.  No one wanted to engage us without us taking gateguns.  Our fleet was 80% flashy red outlaw and everyone else but Lain yellow.

We bounced around a bit and decided to just leave the system.  The two groups had the same idea and we realized that they had also separated us.  Ahead of us were 3 Hurricanes, Vagabond, Scythe, Ferox, Blackbird, and a stabber.  They jumped every time we landed on a gate with them.  We wound up chasing them all the way to one of the high sec connections where they turned to fight.   But they were not willing to touch us without us taking gateguns.

We landed on the gate with them but they were not willing to shoot at us first.  Then someone activated killrights on Kittens even with his outlaw status.  He just burned away and we moved the fleet to a planet and invited them to come and play there.  They declined and said that yes, they wanted us to take gateguns.  Their blackbird came and checked us out and warped away.  We managed to get someone else to get them to chase him off the gate a bit but in general they were glued to the gate.

The fleet commander took a poll on who wanted to go and kill them.  "We're going to kill their canes and probably lose a lot of stuff."  Everyone x'd up yes.  We turned and went to take them on the gate.

I held Lain back and told him that our task was to take down the blackbird and the Scythe.  We would kill them or chase them off the field but we had the speed to go after them and they'd probably both be away from the fleet.  We landed out at 30k from the rest of the fleet and sure enough, the blackbird was 50 off of us.  Immediately, we descended upon him and as soon as he was locked he bailed.  Then their hurricanes started to jump into high sec.  Lain and I went for the Scythe and he immediately ran away as well.  The fleet had killed one Hurricane and started in on the Ferox that had motored away from the gate some.  I went to tackle their stabber but he jumped out as well.  We finished off the Ferox and warped out to pounces and returned to take the field without losing anyone.  Because they bailed when we started to actually engage them. They jumped into high sec and they ran.  They should have killed most of our fleet.


With the fleet mobilized we ran off to see what we could find.  We had a play with a  Vagabond but he was moving with a quickness and we lost point with the frigates having to break off because of gateguns.  We killed and podded a Rifter.  I looked at the pilot and he was listed as being two or three days old but part of a null sec corporation.  Ahh, my sec status on that one.  I'm not sure if I should feel bad or not.  It was an empty clone.

We meandered through a low sec system that Pandemic Legion seems to have taken up camp in for the moment.  A system or two over we saw a Magathron land.  It smelt like bite so we kinda chewed at it to see what would happen.  Sure enough, after a minute or so local spikes and two guardians and an Oneiros show up on dscan.  Most of the fleet deaggressed but that's when the Mega aggressed and pointed Diz in his Vexor.  We knew one ship was going to go down.  T1 cruisers with no logi.  Then another mega and an Abaddon landed as well.  Lain also got neuted to death and blapped and the rest of us bailed.

Once we had everyone situated  Wolf had to leave so sold his Ruppy to Diz who now didn't have to reship while we hunted for a frigate for Lain.  We ran back through the little PL group since they had a bunch of battleships and pointing our shield fleet wasn't going to happen.  Through them we darted and ran off a few systems further to trade ships and sent Lain to reship in Hek.

I guess PL did downship considering they came in battleships instead of super carriers.  :P
In general, I hate Evati with a passion.  It has a system named Arnher and one named Anher.  One is high sec and the other is low sec.  I jumped intot he high sec system once while panicking and taking gateguns with GCC while being chased by something.  Concorded.  It's just a special type of evil.

Resettled, Lain now in a Slasher instead of a Rifter and Diz in a Rupture instead of a Vexor and down by one pilot we headed back out.  That's when we found the Tornado.  We tried to grab him on a regional gate but regional gates are enormous and he bailed.  We caught up a system later and he slowed down and waited.  As he jumped through and the FC called for us to jump and tackle him, A Tristan a Drake and a Myrm landed behind us.  We'll take that fight.

The Tornado decloaked and was swarmed.  By the time the Drake and Myrm made it through he had exploded.  The Drake was called Next and the Myrm was pointed and bumped and the Tristan wandered off and sat about 20k away from them.  The Drake was going down.  I took pot shots at it and the Myrm but I went to deal with the Tristan which the FC said we'd volley.  I decided that if I couldn't kill a Tristan in my Jaguar it was a sad, sad day. I went and tackled him and started ripping him apart as the fleet worked on the Myrm.  LR tossed a volley my way and the Tristan was no more.

Once we were a few jumps out of Amamake, Ender decided to join us in a Cynabal.  Havalok also caught up in another Jaguar.  And another Caracal joined.  Our Caracal got into a fight in the top belt but a bit of name confusion sent the tackle to the wrong person and we didn't get on grid fast enough to hold down the Rupture and Thorax that killed our Caracal.  Damn.

Then, another tasty bit of bait on a gate turned into zealots and guardians as far as the eye could see.  They bit the Loki that was bait and then the fleet became Legion, Zealot x4, x2 Oneiros, Eos.   Our little T1 gang burned at that point losing, Rupture, Caracal, Moa and Slasher.  The rest of us broke free. Bloody and tattered we decided to head home and reship a bit.   Lain died again but he is full of good spirits and got himself in a nice handful of kills tonight.  One of his bounty payments paid for the hull of his little slasher, much to his amusement.

We gathered what we had, people ran back through high sec in rookie ships to reset in the high sec station one jump out while the rest of us motored back through low sec with the intent to crash a gatecamp that had been sitting there the entire time we were out.  Some reshipping in high sec and low sec netted us a coherent fleet again.

We had a distraction of a Raven running around but he made it to high sec.  We refocused on clearing out the gatecamp.  They had a Rupture a Rook and something else.  They also are Molden Heath residents and know us well.  With a bit of planning we got their attention and sprung our trap.  Their Rupture went down while we tackled their Rook and they got their last ship out.   "I knew it!" they said in Local and we could but chuckle and give the good fights.

I'll wander aside for a moment to point this scene out.  People often think that gatecamps are the norm.  Gatecampers have to worry about other members of low sec coming and killing them since they are on a nice, easily warped to position with their fleet comp in the open.  This type of situation is not uncommon for campers to deal with.  People don't ignore them and go, "Oh you are doing the lords work camping a high sec gate."

Anyway, it was super late and I was getting tired.  We decided to swing back through and see if there was anything else before people headed to bed.

That is when we ran into a group that we think just wanted to make it to high sec.  Domi x2, Drake and something else small I don't remember. 

This was my first introduction to the micro jump drives.  It lost us one Domi who jumped away.  However, the other burned.  We thought he was going to make it to the gate and then he just exploded suddenly.  WTF?  And then I pointed his pod and well.  No more pod.  I think that is my most expensive pod kill to date.  Some 600million.  The drake was too far away to make it to safety. He decided to target my Jaguar with his Heavy Missiles.  They tickled.  He died.

And then I ran home and went to bed because tired.  Good night.  Lots of fighting.

-7.9.  Damn.  I didn't do the entire "grind my sec status back up thing" well tonight.

To Insure or Not to Insure

Eve has some of the stupidest and most incompetent insurance companies ever convinced.  These people recklessly hand out insurance policies to Eve pilots and corporations who then run off and have the ships blown up hours after they receive coverage. Then the same people come back and do it again, only to receive another freshly minted policy that they immediately lose.

Insurance is an ISK injector into Eve.  That makes it a hot topic.  What happens is you pick your insurance rate for your ship and pay a fee.  The insurance payout on the destruction of your ship is higher then the fee you paid. Considering that you have already transferred money for the cost of the ship the ISK from the insurance minus the cost of the policy is magical ISK injected into the system.

What amuses me endlessly, is that there is also a basic insurance pay out for any ship lost.  If you do not insure your ship you still receive a payout.  It may be terrible but you will receive it anyway.  Here is a base payout of losing an uninsured Hurricane.

Here is what I could have received if I had insured that ship.

The hull cost of the hurricane is about 43mil ISK at the moment on the market.  However, insurance is calculated off of the mineral price of the hull.  That is what catches people.  We all start off flying and insuring T1 (tech 1) ships that are made 100% out of minerals refined from ore found in asteroid belts.  The tutorial teaches us how to insure our ship.  It then teaches us how to participate in insurance fraud by insuring our ship that we are sending on a suicide mission.   Later, as we get into specialties and shiny things we advance into T2 (Tech 2) ships.  However, T2 ships cost more then T1 ships but that is because of their specialiness and that specialness is not covered by insurance.  My Sleipnir's have all cost around 300mil.

When I went to build my Sleipnir I discovered that only part of its cost was the hull of the cyclone that would be modified into the Sleipnir.  The rest of the stuff was various components and things built in factories on planets and ... somewhere... in space... that are expensive.  T2 insurance might look okay in paper but it does not fill the bleeding hole in the wallet that losing a T2 ship causes.

T3 (tech 3) ships get even more interesting.  T3 ships are made out of special wormhole magic.  This magic is not calculated at the same value as basic minerals are by the insurance companies.  Therefore, insuring a T3 ship gets you almost nothing.  There is no wormhole magic insurance.  It may also be because they are so often horrifically ugly. I'm not sure.  I can only blame my Legion's looks for this pathetic insurance payout possibility.

I'd not want to insure that if I was them.  Gah, it still makes me shudder just seeing it.

Insurance is an interesting subject.  Some people always insure and some never insure.  Some don't take the time to read the policy information and assume that they will be compensated for the cost of the stuff that they lost.  This brings around amusing rants such as this one from a lost Tengu:
"My "not watching the screen" cost me a cool 1bn isk.  If insurance was actually worth it i would have. Tengu platinum insurance costs 3.2mil and the payout is 10mi. The hull alone costs 200mil. Then the subsystems, another 400mil. Then the modules. 10mil payout are you shitting me?  
Insurance needs an overhaul.  Snd should be based on risk, players who spend a lot of time in null sec or low sec have to pay more than high sec players who insure against falling asleep. Rant over."
I don't worry about it.  Insurance is a a bit of a game.  Will it lapse before you lose the ship or will it not?   The lifetimes of my ships has become a bit short of late.  T1 ships are worth insuring.  I really need to get into the habit of doing it more often or at least before I head out on a roam.

Another thing is that someone can insure a ship and then give that ship to someone else.  So, a corporation can insure a T1 ship and then hand that ship out and the corporation gets the pay out while the pilot got a free ship.  Or, if you are like me, and tend to give people ships to get them to come out on something they are not prepared to do, when they lose said ship you collect the insurance payout from it.

In general I'm pretty neutral to insurance across the board.  I think that it is a good thing that the payouts become self limiting at some point.  When one steps up into more shiny and more expensive things some negatives come with them.  Not liking negatives doesn't mean that they are bad.  In fact, it often means that they are working as intended.

The thing about insurance is that, unless it lapses, you always get back more then what you put into it.  Even for a paltry payout you'd still be that much ahead.  Yet many people (including myself) don't insure anything.  I was trying to remember why I don't insure my ships and after musing over it for a while I remembered someone saying that insuring ships was stupid and that they never insured them.  This happened to someone I used to respect when I was very young.  The opinion hung around with me and I stopped insuring my ships because of it.  I didn't want to be told I was stupid for insuring them even though I was pretty sure that it wasn't stupid.  However, I assumed I was missing something.

Nope.  I'm not.  The bad part is that I got out of the habit.  Sometimes I remember, often I don't.  For my T1 ships I really need to get back into the habit.  I am on a current crusade to excise unneeded opinions that are holding me back so this is one I forgot about along the tree that I am trimming into shape.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Obvious Bait is Obvious

In Local: [16:30:00] Razor Z > obvious bait is obvious

The obvious bait was an Armageddon Navy Issue hanging out on one of the gates to our home system.

At the time there was Razor, Ren and I on.  Razor and Ren had just lost their ships to another fleet that was still hanging around two systems over.  Now, this sudden faction battleship is just hanging around asking for a fight.

There are a lot of unspoken signals given.  Hanging around an occupied system, out in space is an invitation to the locals to undock and come play.  However, body language, or perhaps, space language is like normal body language   It gives away more then it means to if you know how to read it.

Solo battleships in low sec are not normal.  I had to explain on the forums to one newer player that gate camps are not composed of Machariel's and carriers and that the ships one bumps into are most often battlecruiser hulls and down.  There are plenty of people who pull off solo battleships.  You tend to know who they are.  A Navy Geddon hanging out alone like it's looking for something?  That smells of bait.

Baiting is an art form.  It is a way to lure people out into a fight or keep people on the field.  Bait does not always have to result in a gank of overwhelming forces. Sometimes, bait is used to start a fight with those that would prefer a gank over a fight.  Sometimes a new member can be sent in as bait but more often the bait pilot needs to be experienced.  They need to know their ships capabilities so that they can time the information with the fleet once they are engaged in a fight.

Baiting in itself is not a bad thing.  It is simply one of the many things that happens during the course of non-consensual spaceship violence.  For some people, the single minded focus on a ship makes them not take a few steps to look and pay attention.   One can look and see that the surrounding systems are clear.  But then are the next systems clear?  Do they care?  Is the thought of a shiny kill mail causing their common sense to wither away?

Surveying the bait starts here.  The difference between bait drake and battleship drake is often EHP.  A properly fit bait battleship will probably have so many hit points to grind through that the fleet can leap two systems before he goes down, warp in, drop reps on him, flood space with falcons and wipe up the aggressing fleet.  Especially if said aggressing fleet is taking gateguns.

Bait is not bad to take if you want to take it.  Many a fight can be flipped with proper bait and counter bait tactics.  Its a good way to get a fight out of a gank.  If people are sure you took the bait then their comfort of their trap may put them in a situation where the reversal is shocking.

This time, it was a bad way.  While the boys debated the Geddon I ran the pilot through Eve Kill to come to a lovely little bit of information.  He flies with the fleet they had just tangled with that was hovering two systems over.  Although his corporation information was not shared his killboard information was shared.

Meta game, out of game, intel, whatever you want to call it.  The tools were there and I used it.  If we had engaged it would have been something like Battleship/Battleship/Battlecruiser and that would have given them plenty of time to run in and spring the trap with their Battleship x4 + two cloaky things one probably falcon.

The bait was not taken.  Razor's comment was a note to them to stop wasting their time hoping we would be tempted.  It was amusing that he even docked in our station. Our station is a good station to live in but not one that people are going to randomly come and visit out of all the other selections that have things to do at them.  Docking in a station and undocking is another little bit of 'come get this' body language.

There are fights, there are outnumbered fights, there are wild possibilities, and there are stupid welps.  I like avoiding the stupid choice.  I may not be aggressive enough.  My first thought isn't 'oh good kill' its 'why is that ship alone?'.  Sometimes it really is just someone making a terrible decision but too often the story is a bit more complex.

Friday, December 28, 2012

I Am My Own Worst Enemy

[And now for early morning, frustrated ramblings.]

It is not the bad days or the explosions that irritate me.  It's the terrible, terrible decisions that make me sigh.  

I have a problem of not thinking when someone tells me to do something.  I just do it.  Now, this problem does not extend to everyone. I promise, if you randomly just start giving my orders I won't follow them.  But, when anyone that I fleet with that has more experience than I do issues an order, I tend to blindly follow it up to and including my doom.  Their opinion is greater than my common sense.  Thusly, I have often struggled with content that I wasn't ready to deal with because people sometimes forget what it is like to be in the position of a lower skill point player.  Instead of questioning I just assume that I am terrible at things.

The worst part is I often know better.  I'll sit there and go back and forth internally about following instructions when I really, really feel that I shouldn't.  My default is still set to 'Sugar is clueless' so I tend to follow the direction against my (possible)better judgment.  This is not to be confused with me thinking that I know everything about everything.  But, when I have been given split tasks or an order that does not fit the situation I am not thinking for myself enough.

I'm not completely sure how to overcome it.  I PvP in fleets and I try to situationally fit the fleet.  If I am in an ordered fleet with a doctrine and some greater goal I try to be the best little fleet member I can be.  I don't want to be that person that everyone sighs over and debates if they even will tell them a fleet is going on because they derp constantly.  I picked up this habit when I first started.  Nervous and not having a clue about what was going on I tried so hard to listen and do everything perfectly so that no one would leave the newbie at home.

This may have caused me to develop bad habits.  While a lot of the PvP that we do is in small groups and requires independent thought, an order will instantly cause me to drop what I am doing and attempt to follow it.  Or, it will curtail me from doing something that I am really sure that I should do given the situation.  Sometimes I just really think that I should do X or Y and I find that I am struggling between knowing when I should do something and automatically assuming that I don't know what I am doing and not being creative or thinking outside of my box.  Then everything gets looked over and I sigh because I should have done something I was thinking of doing but I defaulted into doing as I was told.

There has to be a balance between independent decisions and being a lose cannon.

A lot of the question is where do I push.  Where do I push my envelope of self growth to expand it without becoming an over bearing idiot, a fleet liability, or just a massive pile of stupid fail decisions?  In my moments of non frustration I suspect its a normal aspect of growing or learning about things.  Most of the time I am just frustrated with myself and my second guessing myself into poor decisions.  Its why I don't solo.  Until I can break past my over thinking and have actions become a bit normal I'm doming myself to flailing about uselessly and tripping over my own feet.

My problem isn't making mistakes my problem is making stupid decisions that I know are stupid.  Things won't always go as one hopes they will go.  I'm fine with that.  I simply want to enter into the situation having made an informed decision.  I want to break what I feel is a command because it is the right thing to do.  At the moment, I have thoughts and ideas but they are still murky and unsure and I wind up doubting my view of things.  This is why I refuse to Fleet Command in any capacity.

There are moments when I envy people that can just dive into a situation and be that what it may.  The now works for them and they don't spend time worrying about what may be, what is, various possibilities and how to counter plan against all of that.  I'm a planner by personality.  It doesn't just go away when I'm in a game since its rather part of how I think in general.

Where I shine is when I don't think about it at all and just do.  I just don't experience that enough yet to make me happy.  Also, again, if someone that I feel has more knowledge then I do counters my decision making process I'll stop and assume that they are right because they know the game and I don't.  I am my own worst enemy in these respects.

But its holding me back.  Or maybe it's one of those moments when the fog has cleared enough that you can see where you are going and you realize that you still are not going to be there for a while.

Writing it out helps.  So I do.  Then I post it because I am... an idiot? Masochist? Honest? Stupid? All of the former?

Well, the first step is identifying the problem, no?

I at first named this post, "I am a lemming" but lemmings are so misunderstood.

Capital Flirtation

I was teaching Hono about lighting cynos the other day and I realized that I forget that there are many players that do not interacted with capital ships on a normal basis.  I forget because my awkward path led me into a place where capital ships were a matter of course.  A day to day event where the proper care and management of them became another of many lessons consumed.  And it didn't really occur to me but recently that some players may not like capital ships being involved in a fight.

Its a ship like any other.  It is big and it is expensive.  Properly training into one takes some time.  I also consider battleships to be big and expensive.  I consider pimped out pirate frigates to be small and expensive.  Expense can enter a small hull through modules or preexist in a large one through sheer volume.  There are many subcapital ships that cost more then capital ships that die every day.  Rarity matters.  Look at the price of an Alliance Tournament frigate one day.  Tiny and expensive.

I'm used to capital ships.  I've been around them since my start.  When Lue let me follow around salvaging I hovered about his Chimera in a Catalyst.  The Chimera was enormous and I took many pictures of it.  He mostly used it to buzz through level 5 missions and rep his Machariel.  So while a big and expensive ship it was still a ship.

My first little PvP fleet the boys went to take down a POS in their system that they didn't want around anymore.  I think they had been very AFK for the previous months and some unwanted structures had been installed. So they took the dreadnoughts and the carriers and cleaned house.  And I took pictures, because I loved to take pictures but the entire event of the capital ships being used started early and I never questioned it as more then normal.  Almost everyone that I met at that point had a carrier or a dreadnought or both or at least the skills to fly them 

Capital ships were something that you got into like anything else.  They have their pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses.  I learned about Titans and how to bridge and how not to bump the poor, delicate enormous thing.   I've hot dropped more then I have been dropped upon.  My first drops I was in a Rifter or a Rupture and that was cool and fine.  I've shot people who didn't make sure they had a support fleet and an out and I've helped to defend my own corporations capitals or provided an out cyno that could be trusted.

The first time I was allowed to light a cyno for one of our capitals I was privileged.  Because lighting it meant trust.  I felt that I had come a long way and proven that I was a member of the group.  Capitals are a normal thing to me.  They are not used every day, but in my world, nor are battleships.  I have no opinions on their roles and uses and balance anymore then I do battleships because I do not fly either thing to even began to have a clue about them.  As far as I understand, they are big, need to be protected, have cool blapping and repping abilities, and look awesome most of the time.

While wandering the Features and Idea fourm threads banging my cup against the bars of my cage waiting for CCP to notice the plight of low sec losing its static DED complexes I came across a terrible idea to fix low sec.  The author even admitted that it was a terrible idea. I'm sure his title was meant to handle the initial shock and reaction of people while hopefully enticing them in to read about his ground shattering plans.

However, his idea was terrible.  Bad enough that I responses just to tell him it was bad. I had nothing constructive to add because it was such a painfully bad idea.  My first thought was to ask, "Is your corp to poor to have caps?"  but such snarky commentary might be fun but it is unproductive in the end.

But I couldn't wrap my head around the why.  The why of his idea which was to restrict low sec so that no capitals were allowed.  The idea went further and he also wanted battleships to be Concorded or at least attacked by the faction police and turn low sec into a battlecruiser down area.  Battleships would be allowed to mission but not fight unless first attacked.  It is a stepping stone idea.  The idea to nerf low sec into softer, more pliable content so that people from high sec might get their toes wet before they run off and take Sov space because that is the end of Eve after all right?

I hate stepping stone ideas where people want to change low sec to fit their personal visions of what is 'right' and their personal 'goal' in Eve.  They are not about low sec as its own entity and are often about low sec becoming an in between place where people dip their fingers or use as a fall back.  None of these ideas would support its harsh, pirate invested nature.  So, while I thought the idea was so terrible that I waited for the thread to be good and dead before I commented on it, it made me wonder why the distaste for capital ships.

They are not IWIN buttons.  It seems that some of it is just a side effect of them being big.  Is it just lack of familiarity?  Never having heard the stress in a cap pilots voice when things start looking iffy, maybe it is a matter where familiarity breeds understanding.  I've seen so many people aiming for a Titan from the first day and I wonder if not spending time with capital ships leaves an over arcing awe of them.

Not that they are not amazing.  But they are also vulnerable.  I understand not having Titans and Super Carriers.  They are floating coffins for an account.  But something that is dockable seems reasonable to have if someone is in a position to use it.  Such a life in low sec or null sec.  Some might chose not to have capitals for the same reasons I chose not to have battleships.  But, it didn't occur to me that people would find capital ships in a fight disappointing or even feel that they did not belong in the area at all.

Of course, you drop one super carrier on the wrong group and they decide its going to be like that every day.  Sometimes capitals just upset people.  Even when it is a situation where they can legitimately be brought into the conflict some people just don't want them on the field.  Undocking one can be enough to scare off a fleet.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  An upgrade to capital warfare can also be a lot of fun.  When someone is playing station games with their carrier and suddenly their carrier is not there anymore because its been exploded by a well planned dred drop, well that's a win in my book.

I'm a budding capital pilot.  It will be a long time until I have my triage fully trained and my Thanatos is more then a suitcase to move items across space for me.  Yet, I decided to get off of my ISK and spend a bit of the money I made the other day to purchase the last pieces of my Capital Ship investment.

And that brought me around to doing something that I've needed to do.

I'd been making excuses about buying them for a while.  Excuse after excuse after excuse.  But, my billion ISK in exploration goodness the other day was the catalyst to unhinge me from my iron like dead zombie death grip on my wallet and invest in Chella as she deserves to be invested in.

Buying the skill books reinforces what an investment the capital ship pilot is.  Its not just the time in training there is a significant ISK sink into the character themselves.  I'm surprised at how pleased I am with this path. Don't expect me in any fights for another year or so, but I cannot say that I am unhappy with this choice.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Note to Self

Lesson learned.

Trust myself more.  Even when I make a bad decisions I should run with it instead of mindlessly following instructions and sitting and letting myself be killed like an idiot when the instructions are not going to be a possibility.  Magic is not going to save me and I could have at least killed someone instead of just letting myself die in a fire.

So.  Onward to next time.

Idle Market Scams

While flipping through my salvage I noticed this particular little bit of market scamming in Rens and decided to write about it for those who have not actually seen these at work.  Rens is one of the five major high sec trade hubs.  Jita, most often heard and referenced is the main trade hub in the game.  However, each empire has its own hub and Minmatar space manages to have two.  Rens is a more solid hub then Hek.  Hek, due to its proximity to low sec manages to focus more in ships, fits and ammo while Rens tends to be an everything type of hub (or so I have found).

So, Eve.  Eve is a terrible place full of terrible people that do terrible things to each other during their free time so that they can vent their psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies online instead of in real life where they would be evicted from their mother's basement and cast into a world where there is no chance that they will ever feel the touch of a woman much less be able to interact with another human being due to their complete lack of social skills and the fact that they would be beaten to a pulp by a 'real' person since they are obviously helpless nerds on a power trip.

However, Eve players are creative and allowed to be.  In many games, the creative manipulations that players figure out are quickly staunched and loopholes closed so that no one might possibly lose their internet pixel money.  Eve uses these events as advertisement instead.

But the Market is a time bomb for the unwary.  The awareness of it takes time to develop.  It is a PvP environment as real as the worst part of space.  The payment is in ISK and the traps are creative and subtle   Some are not so subtle and simply prey upon the inexperienced   They are almost like market gatecamps.    

I'm not a market pro but I can understand a few of the basics.

The market order I have highlighted in yellow is a trap.  It is too good to be true.  This random person will pay 1.5mil for this module!  That is amazingness higher than everyone else that I have outlined in red.  This must be a goldmine that no one else has caught onto.  They have idiot sell orders sitting there in the green square not enjoying the bounty just waiting to be had.

Please note the green arrow.  This is a field of the market that most people cannot see unless they have expanded their market window.  It is very, very important.  The min volume field means Minimum Volume.  This is how many the seller wants to fill the order that that price.  Note that the other ones are all 1 yet this one seller with the magical 1.5mil ISK for the module wants 1,700 of these modules.  That would be 1,700 of them all at once to fill this order.

But you can just buy them and turn a profit on each one!

Take a moment to look at the price chart. It will help clue you in on what the module has been selling for recently.  It can really help with a sketchy price.  I picked the 10 day graph but there are several options and if you are into such things you can find out all sorts of interesting information.  Notice that they are not selling for 1.5 million at any type of average.

No.  Not really.  First of all, there are not 1,700 of them on the market easily accessible   Running all over kingdom come might net 1,700 of them.  The chances are high that the seller has plenty of them listed on the market for people to snap up to fill this order.  The thing is, a market order automatically will fill if a buy order is placed at or above the price of a sell order on the market.  If you see a discrepancy like this it isn't a holy mother lode moment.  It is a trap.

I cannot beat people with the clue bat enough.  You must always, always be alert in Eve.  Even with the market. It's not just about the spaceship explosions.  People can and will ruin you any way they can.

Not only is this seller probably selling their own items at an over bloated cost they may also have a margin scam going on.  This means that if you do manage to find 1,700 of this one type of module and attempt to fill the buy order, the buy order will fail because the person who placed it does not have enough ISK to cover the order.

Margin trading is very viable and useful for traders moving a lot of product and with many orders up and down.  It is also very useful for people creating scams like this for the unwary.  This trap is exactly that, a trap.  It is meant to catch those who do not understand the market.  People who do not know that even if every condition is met the trade can still fail.   I think this one is a trap for newer players because of the item used.

This item is a somewhat common meta 1 item.  It's not amazing. It isn't a meta 4 or even 3. That means it is going to drop as loot often enough to mission runners in high sec.  Enough that people will fall over this scam.  Not enough that everyone will have hangers full of them.

I'm not an expert in these things.  I just function off of the "Looks to good to be true" mentality.  Its a trap as much as any bait shaking its tail in lowsec.  I'm sure the market people can just pour out information forever on these things.  These are the types of tiny pit falls that are everywhere in Eve every day.  It's not just the evil pirate pewpew that one must watch for.

I was told to add some extras by a more market savvy type.

 First, Heck is a sellers hub.

 Second, If I had scrolled down and paid more attention I would have found a few buy orders selling that module in bulk form for above market price. This is an alt of the seller (or the buyer is an alt) hoping to make the ISK by selling their over priced items at below the buy orders cost. It looks like a fast flip for profit to the unwary.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Legion Adventures

My Legion is so ugly.  I can only cry over it and then shove my alts screaming kicking body into it and hook her in.  Poor thing. I feel bad for her but low sec was dead and its not like Sugar can derp around high sec anytime she feels like it.  But wow, I can't blame her for her tears.  I feel the same way.

I worry sometimes it will eat me in my sleep.

I really want to love it.

But its so hideous. I could only wander around space.  Yet every time.. it was still there...

So I did the only sensible thing and bumped something just as ugly until I felt better.

So many tears that I cry...  But then I found a 4/10 DED Complex.  And I called for help cuz my DPS is soo bad in my cloaky nulified scanning Legion.  But a terrible, terrible Tengu entered the system and scanned down my complex!  It was a race!  Without guns!

Except Sleipnir.  Poor Tengu.  He killed so many things in the first room and then we took the gate and blitzed the Faction spawn and asked him to steal it.  He wouldn't.  Sigh.  High sec is so not low sec.  So we took the loot and left.

My alt needs some better gunnery skills.  I wish the tengu had stolen the loot.  :(  I don't think I like high sec.

Exploration PvP isn't so bad thou.

Label Accepted

I think it was the cyno frigates that did it.  They were a last step.  That moment when I went from standing, with my eyes above the surface of the water to sinking fully into the depths.  It was the point where I stopped looking at the surface, and back towards the land and instead looked into the rich depths around me and became a part of that world.

Now I have a label.  Its not quite a tattoo but it has a lot of permanence to it.  I am pretty sure that I like it and won't have any regrets about it.

My descent from miner to pirate has been a long, slow process.  My sec status dropped at a slow and steady rate.  I kept pushing it back up for the longest time.  I ratted regularly.  I let myself be swayed by others reasons.  I clung to it because it was security.  And at some point I let that go.  I let my fingers relax and slowly started to slide deeper into the fluid waters of PvP.   And then I stopped again and started to tread water.  A slow, measured tread but I hovered at a space place for a while.

And then I let go.  I sunk into the depths.  I may not be an amazing pirate or a cool pirate or a particularly scary or vicious pirate but it is a way I think that I am comfortable defining myself.  When we moved into our Vacation home and even when 7-2 moved into theirs, the comments were about how they were being invaded by pirates.

Why do we become labeled pirates?  Not all PvPrs are pirates.  Not everyone that lives in low sec is a pirate. Some play the role and some do not but they still achieve the same place if in different circles.  I don’t have a neat factual answer.  I think a lot of it is personal decision as well as where someone lives and what they do.  It was reading through some other blogs and skimming the comments about waiting to see if someone locks another ship up and starts shooting that made me start to go, “I wonder if this is it.”

I wonder if it is killing all the things.  That is where the cyno frigates come into play.  There is nothing challenging about killing a cyno frigate.  It is not hard.  If a rookie ship is used the killboards do not even show the kill.  Most cynos expect to be destroyed and they only fit the bare minimum needed to open the portal in the cheapest ship possible.  This is honestly about destroying it because it is there and because you can and also find it fun.  And in fleet, I become such a pack animal.  I grow a little colder and a little harder and a lot more bloodthirsty to the boys endless amusement.

I can’t say I look at them and go, “Oh they are only X age, I’ll leave them be.”  I almost feel bad as I've read comments about how people will “Let them lock me up and shoot first.”  When it comes to killing things, I wait when my fleet commander tells me to wait, not because I was worried they were new.  Everything should die.  Frigs, rookie ships, shuttles, pods, battleships, dreds, haulers, I don’t care.  Well, I don’t like shooting POSs because I get bored not because I have a problem with shooting them.  All the things.  Erryday.  We are out for spaceship violence.

I do like stuff.  Looting the wrecks is important.  Haulers are mystery boxes of possible delight.  When someone ejects from a ship its like a special birthday present.  I like stuff.  I love getting the stuff.  But I have never been interested in the ransoming part of it.  Pillaging seems to be more down my line of interest.  I can't say that I'd hold off on a new player if I knew they were new.  Perhaps, I shouldn't be that honest but its my ramble so I might as well be.

“Your meaningless PvP.”  Those words from a null sec recruiter.  Those words that hardened my heart some and caused me to furrow my brows a bit in a frown.  Words that carried the acidic bite of disrespect for my boys.  Words that may have driven me away from any other path more than anything else in the game has.  "All you do is giref and kill noobs."  How I used to fight against that.  I guess that is where the ‘evil’ part comes in.  Its that "they are brand new" and my puzzled response of, "They were there."

The PvP is meaningless in the sense that the equation is not: I shoot  A to accomplish B goal for C reason.  Because the equation stops at “I shoot A.”  In and upon itself it is complete.  I’m satisfied there.  It becomes easy for me to forget that not everyone thrives upon that equation.

I try not put down someone having a reason to do what they do.  Sometimes I fail but the effort is a good exercise   I have not needed one for why I do what I do beyond the fact that I want to.  Role and reason assignment are not always necessary although they help others understand someone.  I can’t even attest to it being a drug free zone considering I make the boosters.  In many ways, the structure of the game has allowed us to take on the role of pirate and prosper in it.  Drugs? Loot? Red free-for-all-to-shoot status? A whole lot of Yarr and Aye in our chats?  Check, check, check check and check.

Its funny.  Even as Ender insists, “We are not really pirates,” and Diz and ren heckle him and call him a carebear, the coldly said, “Antipirate” when any of those said groups are encountered or brought up speaks volumes.  “Anti-pirate” is “Anti-us”.  “Anti-carebear” and “anti-anything else” never brings with it that coldness.

When I started this rambling stream of conscious my habitual embarrassment tickled me some.  I decided to ignore it for once.  Fried and Ren were on and I asked them each if they considered themselves pirates.  My boys with their outlaw sec status mulled the topic for a few seconds and said "Yes."

So.... pirate.  It doesn't mean that everyone has to define them the same way.  Its Eve.  I have but to take a breath and I can find someone who will disagree with me and voice another, contradicting viewpoint.  Its not about sec status otherwise Mane would glisten with a halo and angels wings.  I think it is both something given and something taken and one can be one without meaning to or not be one even with the intent.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My Year in Review

Rudolph the Red Nosed Cynabal says "Hello".

Blog Banter 42 is about the year in Review:

I'm not overly good at reviewing things by the year.  But this year, its a bit easier since my game has seen such a huge arc in what I do and what I understand.  I can't review Eve as a whole because I do not understand Eve as a whole.  Instead, I dip my hands into the pools that I have splashed around in and view what reflections sit upon their surfaces.

While I might not have a review of Eve, I have a handful of thoughts focused on Low Sec and the changes over the last year in both Eve and my personal game.  In fact, I’d embroiled myself into public opinions of Low Sec and developed a little personal campaign to prove that we are a part of the game, not just boogeymen on the other side of the gate (no matter HOW much most of them enjoy that fact it can’t be our complete definition).

I realized that I hadn't written about the changes that Retribution brought that validated many of my opinions of Low Sec as a place for pirates and PvP in its own rights.

I have a character with over twenty million skillpoints. I am boggled by that.

A year ago I was not a pirate.  Now I am.  More on that in another blog.

A year ago, Ender was suggesting that I try out Eve Uni if I needed a place to learn about Eve.  I was hanging around low sec but I wasn't yet dedicated to it.  A year later, he commented on obtaining me as a good thing, a few weeks ago during another discussion.  I’m still glowing from that bit of attention and validation.

A year ago I was in a badly fit Myrm, in tears of frustration as I struggled through Level 3 missions.  A frustration so intense that it has created a loathing for mission running that I cannot shake.  If I was ever close to giving up on Eve it was during those few weeks when I was corpless trying to survive on the edges of two worlds and failing at both.  Now, I find myself in threads, feed braced and fingers warmed up to defend the place that I defined, unequivocally as my home.  My subs are paid forward a year and I find myself stepping outside of my personal safety zones a little more and a little more.

Pirate Rights: Earlier this year, my logistics character took GCC (now a Criminal Flag) when she repped a flashy red corpmate. It was a side effect of a broken mechanic but I saw it as a bit deeper than that.  I saw it as CCP not accepting Pirates and the outlaw characters as a valid social group.  My argument then was that if I could kill and pod a corpmate in high sec without Concord caring how could I not repair a corpmate in low sec without Concord stepping in and slapping me around?  With the entrance of Retribution that went away because CCP said that yes, Pirates and Outlaws were real people as well and due the same rights and privileges within their legally allowed areas as any other player in the game.  Our own interactions with each other were no longer penalized as crimes greater than the kill/pod corporation scams that filled high security space.

PvP: And then CCP said “Yes, we do accept you, our bastard step children, even if we don’t often say it and rarely pay attention to you,” and changed gategun mechanics to allow us greater flexibility and access in fights.  No longer did low sec PvP penalize us for 15 minutes of down time.  No longer were our brave and loyal drones attacked and blapped as they sought to assist their masters. Crime watch came in and changed PvP in general.  I still find more good then bad in the changes.   It wasn't the nerf that we were expecting.

War Decs:  After weeks of war dec spam from Dec Shield due to broken mechanics, I’m just glad its done.  There have been a lot of war decs this year.  From TEXN returning to Molden Heath and RANSM decing us because we fleeted with them to the Eve Uni War that caused the population of Molden Heath to transform into UltraPirate and go into a focused and committed war.  War decs as a mechanic have come a long way and war decs in my personal world have also mutated and changed.

ISK:  Making ISK in Eve has been all over the place.  Mining buffs, the OTEC control of the moongoo market, faction warfares complete breakdown, the goon market manipulation  the new ships in retribution and on and on and on.  Personally, I didn't make my goal of 10 billion liquid.  I decided to invest in other, longer term projects.  I am very disappointed that I didn't reach that goal.

I've made friends of the people that I was once frightened of and become part of a community that I once, longly, admired from afar.

While it was asked to review the year with numbers, I can't assign such things to reflections.  For me, it was a good year full of good things.  Highlights and low lights and small things and large.  All of them have been worth the time and effort and I've enjoyed it all tremendously.  I'll leave it to others to attach grades and numbers to things, to dig through to events of the greater history and shake them out and dust them off.

I focus on a micro perspective quite often but that is the one that fuels my desire to play.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Billion ISK Day

I remember why I loved salvaging so much.  Sitting in Rens, flipping through the market and pricing out my items vs selling them directly to buy orders and watching my wallet flip over to the tune of hundreds of millions tickles me like few other things do.

I had one of those really good mornings in game.  The type where you drop your probes and have nothing in the first system you check.  One jump over you get a half dozen hits.  One of them is a Radar site and that is always good.  The next is a 5/10 DED complex and it takes all your self control not to pull in the probes then and there and start the complex.

The next and final signature is a 4/10 DED complex.  Someone likes you today.  Now its time to make ISK.  Considering that I have been spending and not making, I get excited.

While many of my comrades are not into grinding for ISK, I do enjoy flying in Eve. I enjoy my time popping my red crosses (NPCs) and feeling my Sleipnir burn through things while Chella peacefully tosses down the reps.  Considering what a long journey it was for me, this type of moment is one of my favorites in game. It feel relaxed and successful.

Missions were such a struggle for me.  Then moving to low sec early and pulling my living from space left me feeling pretty terrible when it came to my ability to destroy things.  The difference in strength between NPCs in high sec and low sec are incredible   I had someone asking me about doing low sec exploration for Radar and Mag sites and I had to remind them that they will need to have a combat capable ship because the NPCs are not the paper thin frigates they normally meet up with in high sec.  I suggest an assault frigate.  It is easy to skill into properly when you are very new and they are amazing ships that will have use in all sorts of tasks and endeavors in the future.

Its been a while since someone tried to chase me out of my plex.  I don't know if its just the people hanging around or the fact that my Sleipnir/Scimitar combo doesn't look all that friendly.  Plus my scout alt is sitting in the system as well although she is not in the same corporation.

I have two monitors and use them to run 3-4 accounts on average   When I am in a complex, I place my scout all the way to my far right.  I over lap her window with Chella's leaving the Overview visible   I then cloak her 60-100k off the gate and let her be my eyes.  When someone warps to a complex they will hit the gate.  This will always decloak them and you have a  good chunk of time to see that someone is coming in to visit with you.  And never sit on the warpin.  That must be the worst habit that people have in sites and in missions.  Movement can give you a lot of head start to decide where to go if invaded.

But today was peaceful.  A few people moved through the systems but no one came sniffing around.  5/10's are harder then level 4 missions.  The NPC changes have made my previous lazy habit of setting Chella to orbit Sugar while she repairs her something I can no longer do.  Some would consider me a cheater since I use my alts.  The use of alts to assist one is complete choice. I tribox a successful combo of characters and I'm quite happy with it.

These days it takes a bit more effort and a little more energy.  I have to balance the aggression and spend a bit more time kiting then I did before.  Its not terrible.  Its just not mindless.  It doesn't improve my game play or engage me in new and exciting ways.  I figure if I am surviving in low sec with the NPC changes then level 4 mission runners should be okay as well.  Maybe people should look at other options besides battleships.

Sleipnirs are nice....

Once I gnawed my way through everything I ran over to the box and destroyed it before I finished clearing out NPCs.  I enjoy the bounties in these rooms.  Waves of battleships with million ISK bounties are not something I'll say no to.  However, its the magical structure that is hiding goodies that I really care about.  So I destroy it first and what did I find?

Hello there Gistum B-Type Invul.  This is what I call a shiny.  After I wiped the flecks of foam off of my lip I also plucked out the Cynabal Blue Print Copy (250mil or so atm on contracts).  I guess today, the DED sites liked me.

I was about as happy as I was going to get off of those two.  But, I still had the 4/10 to complete.  These two items I tucked into a station and then off I went to clear out the 4/10.

Taking Chella with me is just over kill but shes in space so I might as well use her.  Stomping my way through the 4/10 took a few minutes.  The domination spawn decided it would chase down Chella.  Okay.  Sure.  Just ignore the Selipnir in the face.  But, as I looted the wreck I could only smile.

And upon linking my loot Vov said, "well aren't you just raking in the dedspace loot today?"

Yes.  Yes, I am.

Not every day, but most certainly, today.

I Sell Drugs

In my hanger there is a container named, "Drugs".

I have seeded my first market with drugs and it is not my fault.  I was only following suggestions.  To my great joy they are selling and I’m rather excited about this.  It hadn't occurred to me to seed the market in Molden Heath, so I have not.  Now I’m in the middle of restructuring my POS to work on this venture.

In general, I am terrible at the Market.  I’ve tried to get into Market trading so that I could roll in ISK. I've read multiple guides.  I've met people.  I have people willing to hold my hand and walk me through it.  I am still, simply, terrible at it.  The adjustments the looking the spending to make things and having ISK as assets and then selling again and the lack of comfort about values and gains and losses and margins and the fact that my head just exploded…

I’m not terrible at making ISK.  I’m not the greatest but I make a few billion a month which covers my needs and tends to leave a bit left over.  I’m more comfortable with bringing things to the market and selling them.  I started with ore and moved onto salvage worked up to exploration goodies and now occasionally I make stuff as well.

When I first started using the market in Eve I didn't think much about it.  I sold whatever I had.  Eventually, I started to understand that things would sell for more in other places.  I didn't notice that it was a player run through for a while.  I’m sure I lost a lot of ISK on buy orders needing to be moved and not understanding when I was selling things for those prices.  I did catch on and started moving my ore the few jumps to the higher prices.  I know I lost ISK selling cheap items for less than their fees.  I’m glad that the red numbers eventually made me wonder why and I realized that I was doing a very, very stupid thing.

My market progression was small.  I started out selling everything I could get my hands on and not use.  I’d look at the mineral reprocessing rates and compare them to the cost of the items and reprocess and sell.  It would take a while and I’d sit in station for hours slowly shifting through my stacks of items.  It got easier when I discovered trade hubs but because I lived in Derelik for a good part of my first month I didn’t discover these magical things called trade hubs for quite a while.

Later, when I was dealing with higher meta items more often than not from the level five mission salvage I would just sell everything over 20,000 ISK and only mineral sort the smaller stuff.  At that point I was still selling directly to buy orders.  I would also sell skillbooks and implants from my excessive pools of loyalty points.  At this point, I was still selling to buy orders and it wasn't until I made my first few billion that I calmed down enough in my desire to have ISK NOW that I started to use sell orders.

Sell orders brought in more ISK but they slowed down my immediate ISK gain.  However, my entire game had started to slow down.  I don’t mean int eh realms of boredom.  My skills were taking longer to train.  I was staying with my ships longer.  My ISK needs were not so immediate and frantic to keep my head above water. I relaxed and began to sell my little modules.  I had no idea how some people had so many of the damn things when I’d only have one or maybe three but I figured they did more missions then I did.  After all, salvaging is how I got my items to sell.

Ahh, how nice it is to have a clue now.  It is small, confused clue but it is mine and I am quite fond of it.

Well versed in sell orders, I was prepared not to dump my shiny items for buy orders once I started to acquire them.  I learned to use my Jita alt to do price checks on items and occasionally I would haul things up to Jita.  I then learned not to do that without a dedicated character to handle the buy and sell orders because the half hour trip was a terrible inconvenience to manipulate my orders constantly.

I decided to try my hand at the market once I had some ISK. I decided to make a dedicated market character with all the right skills and then it would be history. I instantly discovered I had no taste or interest for the market and other, more engaging projects dragged me away constantly.  My money habits also don’t work well with it.  I just can’t bring myself to comfortably buy things with the intent to make profit off of them immediately.  It just goes against the more frugal aspects of my nature.

After my last, failed attempt the other day I've decided to stick with doing what I can do and what I can do productively.  That means I sell what I personally bring to market.  These are my shiny items from DED complexes and the things that I make.

Boosters can be sold on the open market.  Its amusing since they are 'illegal' and you get warnings about carting them around but "Oh, we will fine you at the gates but once you get in station go for it!  We will list them for you, just pay brokers fees!  Inconsistency is our motto after all."  Once the suggestion was planted in my mind by Titus, the next step was to get the boosters across four high sec systems and into their new home.  That was accomplished nicely and then I had to figure out what to do with pricing.  This is my weakest area.  Trying to find a balance, that to me is ‘right’ is very hard.  On one side it is the desire for profit and on the other is the desire to not screw over the people I am selling to since the system is populated by people I care about.

And I know I am not supposed to care, but I do.  My social relationships, even if they are only noticed by me, are more important to me then ISK.  For me, not just giving everything away to the people that I like it an new accomplishment.  Even if Lain was accusing me of having a meth lab  I can say that I sell people their narcotics with an caring attitude.  I settled somewhere between Jita prices and what everyone else in the area was selling for.  After undercutting everyone, I headed home and crossed my fingers that it worked.

And it has.  Some of them have sold.  I started with somewhat low volume.  If things continue to sell at a steady rate I will add more to the market.  Right now I'm just excited that it worked at all.  Its like magic even thou its not.  'Detta says he is going to teach me capitalism properly and break me of my bad pricing habits.