Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eve Online: Leave High Sec

LEAVE HIGH SEC, I don't care if you move to low sec or null sec, but leave high sec if you ever want to experience Eve in it's purest form. If you are enjoying Eve and have only lived in high sec, you're going to love it when you leave high sec. High sec certainly is a necessary aspect of Eve and it serves its purpose to allow people to learn the mechanics of the game in the comfort of their crib, but if all you ever know of low sec and null sec is "Pirates are waiting there to kill you" then you are missing so so much of the game. I do recommend you stay in high sec long enough to learn how to fly, trade, explore, at the basic levels but eventually you have to cut the umbilical cord if you want to REALLY enjoy Eve.

There are so many features that exist in the game that you will never experience in High sec because the game mechanics don't allow it. My first battle next to a carrier was awesome, and I can't wait to meet my first Titan. Aside from Orcas, Freighters and Jump Freighters, you will never witness any capital and super capital ships in high sec, meaning you will never see the awe inspiring carnage or purpose each was designed to perform.

I remember roaming null sec for the very first time because I had to find out what all the hype was about, only to be jumping from system to system and slamming into a warp bubble. I was thoroughly confused and scared that I was in warp and all of a sudden I was yanked out of warp and stuck in a warp bubble like a fly in spider web. Luckily my first bubble experience didn't have anyone camping the bubble like they were supposed to, so I lived through that experience, unlike my second and third encounter with them.

Stealth Bombers are ships that you fly in high sec, but you will never know the sheer destructive power of a stealth bomber fleet until you go to null sec. Bombs aren't allowed in high sec and low sec and can't be launched there, but the gloves are off in null sec. A small fleet of stealth bombers will decimate a battleship in seconds if properly trained, a large fleet can be terrifying because you never know when they'll uncloak, target paint you, and let the bombs fly.

Sovereignty and owning your own system comes with so many perks and potential to become filthy rich it's ridiculous, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility and risk. Being able to control how many and what kind of cosmic anomalies spawn in your system and having them instantly respawn when they are cleared out is awesome! Having a hostile takeover of your system and losing sovereignty while all your expensive shit is still docked at the station now owned by the enemy corp is terrifying.

Jump drives and Jump Bridges are another essential aspect of living in non high sec space if you want to transport large amounts of cargo, or move fleets from region to region with ease. I have yet to experience either a cyno jump or a jump bridge, but I'm looking forward to it.

Aggression and is also more wild and untamed in null sec and low sec. You can also destroy someone without CONCORD intervention for whatever reason you want.  If someone pisses you off, looks at you funny, enters your home system, happens to be flying a ship you don't like, decided it was just going to be fun, or just because you can are all valid reasons to shoot someone.  In high sec someone has to have their corporation declare war on your corporation to be able to legitimately shoot you in high sec, you have to commit a criminal act, or accept a duel.

Player Owned Structures, POS, unleash their true potential with moon mining, super capital ship construction, and even though they provide a lot of defense, they can just as easily be crushed by the right fleet. POS Bashing can be very profitable depending on the loot that gets dropped when it's destroyed, but it takes a lot of firepower to bring one down, don't attempt this unprepared.

There are people that prefer high sec, and that's fine. Eve needs people to live in all areas for the ecosystem to work and function properly. You may find out that you hate null sec, or hate low sec, or hate high sec, all that I ask is that you experience more than just one area of Eve or you are truly missing out.  Much more death and loss of ships occur in low sec and null sec, but it's well worth it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Eve Online: DED Complexes

I decided to spend my time yesterday scanning and looking for Radar Sites and Mag Sites. On my very first scan down I locate a Serpentis Phi Outpost. I figure it's probably just another one of those typical ratting sites, but just in case I decide to look it up online at eve survival to see what kind of site I'm in for. Turns out it's a site commonly referred to as a DED complex. DED complexes have a difficultly scale from 1/10 to 10/10, the higher the number the better and more difficult the site. and this one turned out to be a 4/10 site. DED complexes can pay out a LOT of ISK and according to eve survival there could be up to 6 faction mods dropped in this site.

I also notice that this site will only allow ships battlecruiser size and smaller so I return to my station, dock my helios and realize I don't have any battlecruisers fitted and ready to go. Since we're moving this Saturday to null sec, I have been packaging and staging everything I plan to move with me. I quickly assemble a Brutix and blaster fit it as fast as possible. This takes me about 3-5 minutes since I've got all the mods I need already in my hangar. I undock and make the jump to the adjoining system to run the site.

I arrive at the acceleration gate and jump through to see dozens of yellow wrecks everywhere. Damnit, someone else has already run this site. I don't see anyone else around, but there's another acceleration gate. I decide that I'll go ahead and slow boat over to the gate 30k away "just in case" whoever was running the site couldn't handle it or whatever. I jump into the next room and there is 1 Serpentis ship left alive! And it's the overseer that will drop the faction mods once he's killed. There is also a player in the room in a drake closing the distance to the overseer as well and clearing the room. I change to iron ammo to add a little distance and start booking it towards the rat and opening fire. I'm not a thief so I won't steal this guy's loot, BUT if I'm the one that gets the killing blow, then it would be my wreck and my loot.

Together we reduce the battleship to space dust in about a minute and I'm right on top of the wreck at this point and the drake is still about 20k away. Alas the ship wreck turns yellow when it dies so I'd have to steal his loot if I wanted to keep it. I decide to open the wreckage anyways just to see what is inside. Turns out it's about 3 faction mods worth about 21 million ISK. I decide it's not worth it to try and steal it, the drake character is from 2007 is within 15k at this point and I don't know if he's able to warp scram me or not or how that fight would pan out. My Brutix is worth much more than the 21 million.  I decide I'll leave the loot for him and call it a day.

Looking back on that moment I'm not sure if I did the right thing or not. I know I did the "right" thing in the moral sense but this is Eve. I'm not sure I made the right choice to leave the loot. I did help with killing the ship, but didn't get the final blow. I hate "Ninja Salvagers" and didn't want to be a hypocrite either. What do you think, should I have taken the 21 million in faction mods or did I do the "right" thing?

Also, I hate that acceleration gates restrict what types of ships can jump into an area and then when you jump in you see enemy ships bigger than are allowed through the gate. For example, only battlecruisers and smaller were allowed to use the gate, but there were Battleships everywhere in the room. How'd they get in there? If they are going to restrict the type of ships in an area, it should apply to both the NPCs and the players in my opinion.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Eve Online: Death to Ninjas

I've am sick of Ninja Salvagers!

We've already suicide ganked two of them that attempt to fly into our room when our fleet is running level 4 missions, and we plan to continue to destroy anyone that thinks it's a great idea to steal someone else's hard work. On one of them we managed to loot 50-60 million off his wreck because he was carrying a Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher and all the Sisters probes, plus a bunch of other loot he'd likely already stolen.

I see the same scumbag every day mining on the asteroid belts and occasionally he decides he's going to scan down people running missions and steal the salvage. Occasionally he gets brave and steals the loot and gets the suspect flag, which we have caught him once doing this too and warp scrammed him, destroyed his ship, and almost podded him. Oooh how I would love to pull his frozen corpse out of space and then parade it around him.

He gets so upset whenever we kill him, like he doesn't understand that what he is doing is wrong. He keeps saying "You guys are wasting your ships killing me, because Concord just kills you for doing it" to which we reply "As long as you keep dropping 20-50 million in loot when we kill you, you are financing our ganking ships just fine, we haven't lost a dime yet". I hope I can catch him in his Gnosis and suicide gank his pretty anniversary ship, just so I can harvest his tears.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a griefer in general. I play nice with most people in the sandbox and don't go around suicide ganking people for profit or tears. I only make it a point to get back at those that in my opinion deserve it.  I only have 5 legitimate kills in my combat history, and probably about 30-40 losses to various reasons.

That being said, I may covert stalk him tonight with a small fleet of stealth bombers. We'll only be using torpedoes since we're in high sec, but I'm at almost 300 dps with just my torpedoes now. I won't suicide gank him with it, but I can covert ops cloak and follow him around until he gets brave and gets his suspect flag, scram/web him, and see if we can pop his pod as well. Plus it will give our corp the practice at tracking down someone in our system. I'll just take off my bomb launcher and add the sisters probe launcher and get some hunting practice.  If he doesn't get brave and decides to just ninja salvage I'll stay with him while a few of us go grab some ganking ships (financed by him) and continue to remind him that we'll keep killing him if he keeps salvaging other people's stuff.

If we catch him tonight I'll make sure to post the killmail here tomorrow. Here's to hoping he is sitting in his Gnosis when we pop him!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eve Online: Clones

Ahh clones. The reason for our immortality in Eve. In the event we die (get podded) we are instantly transported back to a clone and we can then resume whatever business we had going on before our untimely demise.

There are however a few lessons that I'd like to share with you that I hope you are lucky enough to learn the easy way rather than the hard way.

Yesterday I was feeling froggy and decided I wanted to go look for a fight. I hopped in my Catalyst and headed towards low sec, only about 5 jumps from where I was stationed at the time. Typically there are gate  camps right at the border of high sec and low sec waiting for people to cross over for one of many reasons, however today there was nobody there. I flew around for about 15-20 minutes jumping system to system and it was empty everywhere I went. A few times as I was warping to the next gate, someone showed up on overview, but I was unable to cancel my warp in time. By the time I got back to the gate they were gone. Finally I approach a gate to see a Caracal sitting there.  I know right off the bat I'm probably going to lose this one, but I've been flying around looking for a fight and this is the first option that presented itself.

I lock on, scram/web and start firing... He locks on, scrams/webs and instantly 2 more Caracal's jump in from the next system and all three take about 5-10 seconds to reduce my catalyst to dust. I start to try to warp off but for whatever reason my pod doesn't move quick enough and they lock me again, scram/web and pod me. I wake up safely back in my station in my new clone, and all was well with the universe.

I wasn't done looking for a fight though so I immediately hopped into another catalyst and headed off to low sec looking for another fight. I got to low sec, flew around for 15-20 minutes and didn't find anything and had to turn around and head back to my high sec station so that I could log off and do some real life chores. About 2-3 hours later I was sitting on my couch watching TV when it hit me like a ton of bricks... I never updated my clone after I got podded. You see, clones need to be upgraded to be able to hold more skill points and if you are sitting in a basic clone that can only hold about 1 million skill points, yet you have 4 million skill points (like me), I think if you get podded, you lose the 3 million skill points. I don't know if that is what happens exactly, but it's something like that and I don't want to find out the hard way. Basically, all the training I've done for the last few months would have gone down the toilet and I would be back at square one. I probably would have abandoned my primary toon entirely and made my alt my new primary. So, I logged on immediately and updated my clone before I forgot. Luckily I didn't have to learn this lesson the hard way.

Another important lesson that I learned TODAY is in regards to jump clones. When I was out looking for a fight yesterday I transferred into a jump clone so that I wouldn't lose any of my expensive implants. Jump clones are alternate clones of yourself out there that you can place all over the universe depending on your skill level and instantly jump to another version of your clone no matter how far away it is. The downside is you have to wait 24 hours before you can jump again. I wish there was a skill you could train that would reduce this time by X amount of hours for each level you train. Waiting 24 hours to jump can be a real pain in the ass. However jump clones serve a multitude of uses and are still well worth it.

To jump to another one of your clones you need to be at a station with a medical center, get out of any ship you are in so that you are just sitting in your pod at the station, then click on your character sheet and the Jump Clones section. Select the clone you with you jump to, and then jump. HOWEVER, you also need to PAUSE your training queue when you do this because your new clone will likely have different implants and affect your training times. Once you get into your new clone, DON'T FORGET TO UNPAUSE your training queue. Right now I'm sitting at work and my toon is not learning anything, because I forgot to unpause the queue. There goes finishing Hull Upgrades V by tomorrow morning. It'll now finish tomorrow night.

I'm still not sure if I'll be bringing a basic clone, with no implants with me to null sec when we move on the 25th or if I'll put together a +3 implant clone to help a little bit, but not invest too much isk.

EDIT 06/13/13 - Ok, so I made the critical mistake. I got podded and forgot to upgrade my clone and when I undocked I got bubbled and podded again. I thought it was possible that I could go all the way down to however many skill points your basic clone has but luckily that isn't what happened. I lost my hull upgrades V and electronic upgrades V because of it. 3 1/2 days of training was knocked off of each skill, so it wasn't fully sent back down to the beginning of level four but it stinks I had to learn the hard way. So in total I lost 7 days of skill points. Not the end of the world, but it still sucks. A week of training is a small thing in Eve, but I could have done other more important things with that week instead of retraining my skills.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Eve Online: Null Sec Advice Wanted

On May 25th our corp and our sister corp will be moving to Null Sec. We've tried the wormhole thing before and it didn't work out for logistical reasons. Once our anomalies were run, they didn't respawn for about a week, plus we were in a C4 with a static C4 which meant that we could spend hours scanning and still not have found an exit to known space. Things are different in Null, anomalies can respawn faster plus you're never stuck in your system for hours trying to find your way out.

Most members of our corp are between 4-6 months old but we've got 2-3 members with a few years of experience. I've been reading online as much information I can get my hands on regarding living in Null Sec, moving to Null Sec, Sovereignty, politics, etc.

I know that there isn't any ship restrictions in Null Sec and it is possible to run into carriers, capitals, and super capitals, but I don't know how frequent this actually happens.  I can fly a freighter, and I'm currently training to be able to fly a jump freighter, but that's the closest I've ever come to a ship larger than a battleship or an Orca. I'm not planning on moving my freighter out to null sec, I figure I might as well just self destruct the ship and save myself the trouble if I wanted to do that. Instead it will live on the edge of high sec and null sec and move stuff around for us.

Together between our two corps we have about 40-50 members, but never more than 15-20 online at any given moment in time. 3-4 of our corp members only shoot rocks, and are currently training to be able to at least fly and fit a decent destroyer or cruiser, but for the most part they'd be cannon fodder in a real fight.

One of my biggest concerns is whether or not we will be able to defend our system decently. The alliance we are renting from will be responsible for large scale invasions and people trying to steal the sovereignty of our system, but we'll be mostly responsible for the small fleets that try to invade. If our alliance is nearby they'll come help, but we can't rely on them to do all our dirty work.  I'm not afraid of a good fight or even a slightly unfair fight, but I don't want to just start pissing ISK away.

Another one of my concerns is what type of ship(s) are most useful in Null. I'm used to flying battlecruisers and battleships in high sec when I'm running level 4 missions but whenever I've roamed around Null Sec and Low Sec all I ever really see is Frigates, Destroyers, and Cruisers. I'm not sure if this is because of their cost or because of their effectiveness in a fight, or a combination of both. Should I bring any battleships or battlecruisers with me when I move to null sec, should I build them once I'm out there, or should I stick to Cruisers and smaller for now, until I can fly something else? If so what types of ships are the most useful out in Null sec?

Aside from that, I'm very excited to give null sec a chance. I'm tired of the carebear lifestyle in High Sec. I've been fitting destroyers lately and heading out to low sec looking for fights (mostly losing them, but not always), just to help build up my PvP skills. I've been learning a lot and will likely need to start teaching the other carebears of our corp how to fight.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy mothers day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the eve moms out there! Now go pewpew some stuff!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Eve Online: Drones

Love em or hate em they are here to stay. I'm a Gallente pilot so I'm personally rather fond of drones, but I completely understand to anyone out there that can't stand them. If you are new, and a Gallente pilot I highly encourage you to make tech 2 drones one of your top 5 priorities. If you're not a Gallente pilot I don't know when you should obtain them, but they definitely have their usefulness.

Currently I am have trained my primary character to use Gallente and Minmatar tech 2 light and medium drones. I highly encourage you to learn how to use more than one race of drones so that you can deal more than one type of damage. For the first month or two I only had hobgoblins and hammerheads and occasionally when I was running missions my drones would do awesome, and then the very next mission they were barely scratch the enemy. For a while I just figured they were stronger NPC's until I finally figured out that every NPC has a strength and a weakness to a specific type(s) of damage. Carrying more than one type of drone on you will help ensure that you never end up against someone that is resistant to your damage. Now I carry Hobgoblin II's and Warrior II's if I'm carrying light drones and Hammerhead II's and Valkyrie II's for medium drones. I use the Gallente version because they hit the hardest and the Minmatar version because they are the fastest.

Light scout drones should be used against Frigate and Destroyer class ships as they are fast enough to avoid most incoming DPS.

Medium scout drones should be used against cruiser and battlecruiser class ships since they hit harder and can still be difficult to target against.

Heavy drones should be used against battleships and up, although since I can't use heavy drones yet I use my medium drones on them and they work just fine.

Don't use medium or heavy drones on frigates class ships unless you want them blown up quickly, and when you get to tech 2 drones the cost to replace your drones starts to add up fast.

Salvage Drones are useful for helping to clean up a field after you've laid waste to it. I typically don't carry these drones on me unless I'm flying a drone boat like a Vexor, Myrmidon, or Dominix that can hold tons of drones. I'd rather fill the drone bay with more useful drones that I can use in a fight. I do load up my Noctis full of Salvage drones though, as they quickly help me clear a field while I tractor everything in and do some salvage as well.

Sleeper Salvage can be very difficult to salvage sometimes depending on the sleeper and size of the sleeper ship. Salvage drones will eventually be able to salvage a sleeper battleship but it may take 5-10 minutes sometimes as the chance is highly reduced. Definitely bring a personal salvager for these ships to save time.

Mining Drones do exactly that, mine. I have mining drones trained to 1 right now just so I can use them, but I don't ever bring them with me anymore. My alt that flies a retriever will load up his drone bay with hobgoblins instead to help with the rats that show up. If you have a large enough drone bay and drone bandwidth on a mining ship I can definitely see the use in launching 5 mining drones that also provides mining bonuses to drones, otherwise I leave these at home.

Eletronic Warfare Drones are something that I've been eyeing lately, trying to decide if I'm going to check them out. I see people try to use them, but they never tend to work as expected. I'm sure there is a good combination out there that is useful but I haven't figured it out yet.

Sentry Drones are likely my next type of drone that I will train for, but from what everyone tells me tech 1 sentry drones aren't that good, but tech 2 sentry drones are extremely deadly. The difference between sentry drones and other combat drones are that sentry drones are stationary and don't and won't fly after your target, however they have much longer ranges and can hit much harder. Tech 2 Sentry Drones are often used for POS bashing as they can add quite a bunch of DPS.

Logistic Drones are pure awesomeness in my opinion. Logi drones offer the ability to remote armor repair or remote shield repair your intended target, excluding yourself. I never use the light logi drones because they don't really offer enough repair ability but the medium shield and medium armor drones are extremely useful especially if you're flying a logistics ship. Typically if I'm flying an armor logistics ship like my exqueror i'll load up shield drones just to help supplement my ability to heal multiple damage types. My Logi drones never seem to draw aggro from NPC enemies but the logi ship controlling them most definitely will, so be prepared.

There are also fighter drones and fighter bomber drones that can be used on capital ships and up, and aside from knowing they hit like a ton of bricks, that's about as much as I know about them.

In summary, there are lots of different types of drones that have the ability to be very useful to you if you take the time to train them up properly. Most tech 1 drones help a little bit, but the tech 2 drones are just awesome, just don't forget to train up your other drone skills like Drone Interfacing that adds an additional 20% to damage for each level you train.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Eve Online: Adventure time....fail

Ok, I've been writing blogs trying to give advice or at least insight into the world of Eve as I understand it. I thought I'd take a moment to just write about one of my adventures.

Two days ago I joined the chat room Bombers Bar. I've been training up and prepping my stealth bomber skills but hadn't had a chance to try them out yet. I've read all over the place how solo'ing in a stealth bomber can be done, but groups are way more effective. Nobody else in my corp is ready to do runs yet, but they will be in a few more days.

So, first off I traveled to the system where everyone was meeting up, Agil was the name. Agil is a high sec system, and four jumps from null sec, and you don't have to go through low sec to get to null sec. It's also the closet station to the null sec system so it's also a fairly popular hub.

I end up joining up with a mostly noob fleet of bomber pilots, about 8-10 of us, maybe one or two veterans. We head to the designated system and notice a hurricane flying around the gate, coming and going, warping to various safe spots around the gate. Even for this noob, this guy clearly looks like he's trying to be bait, or at least just looking for a fight. Two of us are in position quickly and able to make a run on him, we get him down to about 90% armor I think but didn't follow through with the kill. He starts yelling in local to come back and fight. We try to coordinate some more so the next time we can hit him harder. For whatever stupid reason we try again and he ends up destroying three of us with little effort, but I manage to get away.

I personally decide that I'm done attacking this hurricane and the group decides to try and search the belts for anyone ratting. We search around for about 30 minutes and can't find anyone suitable to bomb. We head back to the gate where the hurricane was and there's a faction issue stabber there now, but then warps off to another gate. We set up a bubble between the other gate and our gate hoping to catch him if he comes back. Sure enough, two minutes later he comes back and gets caught in the bubble. I align, uncloak and launch a bomb and then target to try and make sure I can finish him off with torpedoes if needed. All I remember is uncloaking and then sitting in my pod. I don't think I ever got the bomb off much less any torpedoes. The stabber alpha'd me so quick I didn't even know my name.

I left, refitted another ship and plan to go and try again this weekend, but my first attempt was a horrible failure. The one good thing I did learn from the whole experience is how to launch my bombs, and ensure they go where I want them to go (much easier said than done). Hopefully I'll have more luck this weekend.

Eve Online: Risk Vs. Payout

Lately I've been trying to figure the best way for me to make ISK. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when trying to earn ISK the largest factor being "how much are you willing to risk". Other factors include but are not limited to; enjoyment, investment, time, and skill. Below are various ways that I've noticed or been part of so far. Once again to anyone reading my blogs please remember that I'm a noob and generally don't have a veterans point of view. Feedback is definitely welcome. Please feel free to tell me that I'm stupid and don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

Mining: Mining can be decent for earning ISK if you have the right skills. Mining in high sec is low risk but not entirely risk free. Right now I can fly a mining barge so in high sec I can pull in about 4-5 million ISK in one retriever over the course of about an hour. Not horrible, but definitely not going to retire on that. I know miners in my corp with much higher skills that can pull in about 40 million in an hour, in high sec. The only real risks in high sec are people either stealing your cans or suicide ganking you. Now, low sec mining and null sec mining can be much more profitable, but much more dangerous. I don't have the numbers regarding how much per hour you can make, but the ore found in low and null are drastically more valuable. the real problem with mining (in my opinion), is that it's painfully boring. It's not a bad gig if you own two characters and your alt can be mining while you're doing something else, just keep a wary eye on your miner and don't go afk you'll come back to you sitting in your pod either in space or back at a station.

Trade: I don't know a lot about trade, but I've heard it can be fairly lucrative IF you have the money to invest to get started. Trade will require that you have the ability to haul large quantities of items to really make it worth your while. Again the more risk you are willing to take the more you can make. Lots of low sec stations don't have a lot of goods for sale, so if you can find out what's commonly purchased in an area, and help stock up those stations you can definitely earn a lot of ISK. Unless you're flying a blockade runner, you'll be taking a lot of risk to transport goods into areas where you are a prime target to get popped.

Missions: Missions aren't a bad way to earn ISK and depending on your skills can be anywhere from low risk to high risk. On level 4 missions in high sec you can earn 10-100 million ISK per mission (including bounties, salvage, and mission rewards).  You also earn LP (loyalty points) for the faction that you're running missions for which can then in turn be used to purchase faction goods, which can then be sold for tons of ISK.  Now level 4 missions can be definitely challenging for the player fairly new to the game, so noobs (like myself) will typically fleet up with a few other noobs and take on the missions. This will make the missions easier to tank, however you are now splitting your loot with as many people that helped with the mission. They also have level 5 missions out in low sec (which I have not yet tried) that are more difficult, more risky, and much more profitable.  Missions can definitely be a lot of fun, for a while, but they will eventually get boring.

Ratting: Ratting is the exercise of traveling to asteroid belts and anomalies and killing NPC pirates to earn the bounties and loot associated with them. First off, don't even bother with this exercise in high sec. High sec pirates are not worth taking the time to try and find and kill. Yeah, you can get lucky every now and then and find a decent bounty, but from what I've seen it's not worth your time. Low Sec and Null Sec is where ratting turns into a very profitable method of making ISK. Low sec and Null sec rats can also occasionally carry faction mods on them which can then be looted and sold for loads of ISK. Ratting in wormholes can be done as well, but wormhole rats don't have bounties on their heads. They do carry very nice loot sometimes so this can still be a very profitable way to earn ISK. There are loads of risks involved with ratting, depending where you are choosing to do it. In low sec you have to worry about pvp players jumping in and attacking you while you're in the middle of ratting. In null sec you have to worry about this as well, and lots of systems are "claimed" and people don't take very kindly to you earning ISK on their property. The same can be said for wormhole space, if the wormhole is occupied by a corporation you can definitely expect them to be hostile if they find you in their wormhole, killing their rats.

Faction Warfare: I dabbled with faction warfare for a few days and decided I wasn't really ready for it. I definitely saw tons of potential to make ISK, but you also have to be willing to lose a lot of ISK to earn it. Faction warfare in a nutshell is when you join one of the four races and decide that you want to help the militia forces go to war. Then you either help defend your space or go and attack another race's system and conquer it. There is a lot more to it than that, but overall you earn LP when you capture strongholds, and then if you earn enough LP you can turn it in for faction mods which can then be sold for lots of ISK. If you're dedicated to this you can most definitely earn yourself over a billion ISK a month, but the risk is high and at time can either be very exciting, or very very boring.

Scams: Do you have a high level of "moral flexibility"? Then scams may be for you. There are hundreds of scams out there ranging from "Hey give me money and I'll double it for you", to contracts to trick you, or huge corporation takeovers that can change the dynamics of Eve for everyone.  I know I'm still new and still consider myself to possess decent morals in the game, but for some people they don't care at ALL about other people in the game and would pod their own mother for a few ISK. Personally I'm not a fan of scammers at all and I really find the people that spam the chat channel with stupid scams to be the most annoying of all. To me I put them at same level as telemarketers and used car salesmen. I just end up blocking them and wondering who would possibly be stupid enough for fall for their jokes, but people do, so people keep scamming.

Ninja Salvage: Ninja salvage is the act of stealing someone else's salvage (not the loot) that you had no part in creating. Using salvage drones or a salvager on a wreck does not give you a criminal tag allowing people to shoot you. If you take the loot inside the salvage then you get the suspect tag, but not for just salvaging the wreck. Personally I can't stand ninja salvagers. The ONLY time I think it's ok to "Ninja Salvage" is if you enter a room with wrecks and nobody is there running the missions (make sure they aren't just in the next room through the acceleration gate). Last week we had a ninja salvager come into our room with a Sarum Magnate and start salvaging while we were still running the mission. We had one of our mission runners suicide gank him for doing it. He was carrying a sisters of eve probe launcher, plus a few other cheap faction mods, and we ended up looting about 50-60 million in loot off of him. He was pissed and didn't understand why we would choose to be blown up and lose a ship just to protect our salvage. Well, the point was it was OUR salvage and he was stealing it. We didn't know his ship would drop that much loot, but also explained to him that if he's going to be stupid and steal other people's stuff that next time he probably shouldn't carry such expensive stuff on him. He had some nasty words to say and left the conversation.

Gate Camping: Ahh gate camping. If you have been playing Eve for longer than a week you probably already know what gate camping is. This is a risky way to make ISK (More risk for the less skills you possess), but can earn you quite a bit in ISK if you're good at it. Just remember there is always someone better than you, somewhere.

Manufacturing: Almost everything bought and sold in eve in manufactured by someone. Items don't get magically show up for sale at the station you go visit. Someone had to take the time to buy a blueprint, research it, obtain the materials to build it, manufacture it, and then put it up for sale. Every round of ammo you fire came from someone that built it. Ships, ammo, and common mods for your ships are very nice ways to make extra ISK. To be good at manufacturing you need to have the proper skills or you'll end up wasting more materials making the items and losing potential ISK. To make some serious ISK you can try and acquire some Tech 2 blueprints.Tech 2 blueprints are not easy to come by and not cheap when you do find them. If you can get your hands on a tech 2 blueprint that is for a commonly purchased item, and you have the skills to produce that item efficiently, you can make ridiculous amounts of ISK. The only real risk is losing money on the market, and nobody buying your stuff. If that happens, you just cancel the sell order, change the price, and maybe move locations.

Planetary Interaction: Planetary Interaction, or PI, is the method of placing command centers on planets, harvesting materials from that planet and you can either sell those materials or use them for manufacturing various items such as fuel for Player Owned Stations or POS'. We have a guy in our corp that makes an extra 100 million ISK a month doing PI. It doesn't take a large commitment from him in the ways of time, and is also very low risk. Although for some reason when I try it, 50% of the time when I launch my materials into space to get, the cargo container either doesn't show up or burns up and I lose all the materials. I've given up on it for now, but I'll probably start it back up again soon for a good supplemental income. Low Sec, Null Sec, and Wormhole Space planets have TONS of materials to be harvested. High sec isn't a very lucrative place to do PI, but you can earn a little more ISK if you're willing to do it.

Owning a corporation: CEO's and members on the board of directors for a corp also have the potential to make ISK. CEO's are able to set a tax rate on members of their corp, meaning that when members of the corp earn money on various transactions, the corporation takes a cut. For example, if you are a CEO and you have 10 members in your corp, and those 10 members collectively earn 200 million ISK in a month running mission, and you have a 10% tax rate, then you just made 20 million ISK. Now all this comes with a catch. Sure you just made 20 million ISK, but you are typically expected to provide some kind of services or use corporation money to do various things that help the corp. A lot of corporations have a ship replacement program that someone in the corp typically manufacturers one type of ship really well, like a destroyer or frigate. They may have hundreds of these ships sitting in the hanger just collecting dust and when members of their corp lose a ship, they can take one of these with no questions asked. The materials to build those ships may come out of the corporation wallet. If you own a POS you need to be able to put fuel in it, so you need to make sure you earn a few hundred million ISK in taxes to afford to buy your fuel, or have someone manufacture it. There are corporations out there with thousands of members each contributing to the corporation wallet, and there have been instances of hundreds of billions of ISK being in a wallet, and someone takes it all out, keeps it, and quits the corp. Only trusted people should have access to the corporation wallet, and you shouldn't trust anyone, so to be safe only you should have access unless you're willing to take the risk that someone can just walk away with your corporation funds.

These are only some of the common methods of earning ISK, and only ways that I in my very limited knowledge are able to speak about. There are other ways such as moon goo, incursions, and others that I have limited to no experience to be able to talk about. Some day I'll write another one of these once I realize that everything I just wrote here is probably wrong and out of date :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Eve Online: Getting Bored

A few weeks ago our corp moved from wormhole space back to high sec. Lately we've been running level 4 missions and frankly I'm getting bored doing that over and over again. We have long term plans (next month or two) to move to Null sec, but I don't know what to do until that happens (if that happens). On June 4th the next expansion Odyssey comes out and with that expansion hundreds of new systems will be added to the universe. This will most definitely create LOTS of chaos and power vacuums across Eve. Supposedly we're waiting for this to happen, and once of the Alliances that holds a decent amount of territory will rent us a system when the dust settles.

Lately I've been thinking I don't want to just sit back and wait for the dust to settle. I want to make the dust and be part of the chaos. I'm not a very strong PvP player, but I'm not entirely useless either. I've got my Talos doing 500dps if I want, my stealth bomber can deliver a huge punch, plus I can run some decent logistics right now. If nothing else, I get blown up and have some fun doing so.

My thoughts are to do one of the following:

1) Wait for the dust to settle and hopefully find a new home in Null Sec when everything settles down. (LAME)

2) Leave my Corp and join one of the Alliances/Corps that I know will be getting their hands dirty.

3) Stay in my corp, and convince as our Alliance to get involved with taking a system that we want, and negotiate a smaller rent price for the system with the huge Alliance because we helped with it's taking.

#3 Sounds like the most fun to me. I'm on the board of directors for my corp and I'd hate to throw that away, but if things don't change soon, I'll be too bored to give a crap about anything else in Eve and probably just stop playing.  I may be in the market for a new corp here soon though. The guys I play with are the only ones I've known so far in Eve. I don't know if they are better or worse than other people in the game.

Another option I've come across today is to join up with some stealth bomber groups that like to do bombing fleets nightly (you don't have to join their corp), and see how that goes.

Either way, I'm done doing level 4 missions for a while and need to change things up.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Eve Online: Stealth Bomber

About a week or so ago I was finally able to sit in my first T2 ship, and it felt good. It's the first thing I am able to fly that not everyone in the game is able to. That's the beauty of Eve, there are so many paths and potential choices.  Being able to sit in a ship, no matter if it's a T1 or T2, frigate or battleship doesn't mean that you can fly it the way it was intended. Since day one playing Eve, the people that I interact with and the blogs I read all have the same general opinion that just because you CAN fly something, doesn't mean that you should. I can fly T1 destroyers, battle-cruisers, and battleships decently, but I can fly T1 frigates really well and a few T2 frigates really well.

My first big skill project was to get myself into a T2 Stealth Bomber. I saw the number of skills that I needed to train to get into it, saw the minimum skills to fit it and decided it was something that I wouldn't have to wait terribly long to enjoy. I was wrong though. I got into the ship and installed the basic fittings with only the bare minimum training needed and it was pathetic. A one week old noob with a T1 frigate with basic T1 guns would walk all over me in a fight.  That being said, I saw serious potential given just a little more training. I am currently training all related missile skills to level 4 and then I will likely push a few skills to level 5. Right now only I'm only planning on training Covert Ops and Torpedoes to level 5 since Covert Ops will give me an additional 15% per level to damage, and Torpedoes will give me an additional 5% per level to damage, plus Torpedo 5 opens up T2 launchers and ammo. I'll worry about if I want to train any additional skills to level 5 later, but for now I'm hoping this will be sufficient. If it's not, then I'll get blown up and learn my lesson and take more time training.

Stealth bombers are most effective when they are in a group of 5 or more. In Low Sec and High sec, your only weapon will be your torpedoes, which hit really hard the larger the ship you're attacking, if you torpedoes hit a frigate, they barely scratch them. However in null sec you can execute bombing runs and start to do some SERIOUS damage if done right. I can't wait to test this out. We've got about 5-6 guys that can SIT in a stealth bomber right now, but most of them can't even use torpedoes yet so it will still be a few weeks before we try out some bomber roams through null sec or low sec.

Part of me wants to just put my stealth bomber training on hold until the corp is ready to commit to it, because if I'm the only one that effectively fly and fit one then I'm not sure it's really worth it right now. I've still got to finish Hull Upgrades V and finish my Core Standard Certificate. I may end up pausing my stealth bomber training to finish those first, but I'm not sure.

When the time comes that we do try out our first bombing run, I'll make sure to update and let everyone know.

EDIT: Please my more recent thread for additional info.