Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Sudden Change of Scenery

Never know whats in store when you log onto Eve.

After a very stressful day where our wormhole was doing its best impression of Grand Central Station, with 3 outbound and 2 inbound wormholes active, I was excited to log on for a quiet night of some home space mining.  So much for the best intentions.

Warped to our open grav site and we had already hit the good stuff and okay stuff, so i decided to open the static D.  Well damn if it wasn't what we had been waiting for.  An empty system with 37 sigs.  So i jumped in and started scanning for a grav site.  Found one quick, got one hulk mining and proceded to scan down the rest of the system.  Figured I would bomb out and learn it was a class 5 and null static or something else that would prevent a move to a "vacation property".  Well got the 4 outbound holes scanned down and they were B274, Z647, N062, and D382.  Best guess was this was a BZ static combo.  Not good for permenant home, but damn fine for a vacation site.

All told there were 15 ladar, 8 grav, 3 mag, and 6 radar, and 5 unknown (including the K162 i created).

So figure I need to make sure of at least the B274 static so I close the hole and yes its a static.  Go for vacation home.

So figures its a night I am on solo, so I start the setup of the Medium POS, while at the same time closing the D382 and N062 holes.  Got the D382 closed, but left the N062 just critical (first attempt at a 3Bkg hole, well except for that one drunk night in college, and really she wasn't that big).

So finally at about 2 hours past my intended play time I had the Medium online with 1 Corp hanger up, the hole as secure as possible, and a few ships in system, along with about 4 rambling corp emails notifying people what to do.

We are excited at the chance to mine to our hearts content and even more so at the opportunity to refine in k-space at 100%.  Here's to hoping for a safe week of cruching ABC ores.

Fly Safe,

P.S. on the recruitment front we have added 2 peeps and are still looking for a few more.  In game channel "Life in the Hole"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Support the Armadillo Module

Come to Assembly Hall and supoort the creation of the "Armadillo" super damage control module for industrial ships.



Weighing In On Indy Ships

There have been several recent posts about the state of the Industrial ships and their complete lack of defenses.

I think it was best summed up here:

Now there are a few things I hate more then flying paper mache in a rain storm, but one of them is macro miners.  Another is the person who never takes risks. 

The first type is the laughable excuse people use to justify a career in suicide bombing, but really it is the second that should be the reason.  Should there be a place in tha game for people who just want to log on their three (or more) accounts, get their Orca into a belt with boosters on, have their Hulks be able to hit the whole belt and basically Alt-Tab mine all day while at work, watching TV, eating dinner, etc.  Cause while this is not "botting" it is about as close as you can get when really you need to be at the keyboard every 9 minutes for 30 seconds.

In regards to transporting, should it be essentially zero risk to transport stuff around in High Sec?  Would creating an environment where all risk was eliminated not just add to the number that set autopilot, walk away and return 40 minutes later hovering off a safe gate where they want to be?

So how do you balance out the desire to make the game "better" for us "active" carebears (are we still carebears if we mainly live in w-space?), versus the "passive" carebears?  Make the ships way more "ganker" proof and we drasticially add to the ranks of AFK miners.  Make "Trade Lanes" where gates have ECM and guns that alpha strike a battleship, and add to the ranks of the autopilot hordes.

Unfortunetly in EVE, as with real life, every action is a double edged sword with the ability to cut in a direction we don't intend.  While being an active carebear, I do appreciate the frustration of many at the shear paper mache build of the Industrial Ships.  I agree there is no counter at this point to the tactics being used to make life miserable for Indy ships.  And yes there is always going to be a segment of the gamers who, dare I say, enjoy the abiltity to cause misery in game (do they all kick puppies outside game too, or are they just our accountants and we dont know that side of them).

Now for my suggestions.  Again, all of these suggestions are based on the desire to "reward" people for ... well, actually "playing" the game.

1) Within range of a station or gate in High Sec, like 25km, there should be a module that allows a one time, 10 second, infinite strength ecm burst.  The equal of a ECM Bomb.  Should be instant activation and would allow indy ships targeted while aligning away from a gate (prime gank time) to have a window to get away.  Make the cost relativelky high so it would make it worthwhile when transporting high value stuff, but not while running the cigarettes you got while popping NPC haulers off stations.  Justify this as a device that "calls" the gate to send a massive ECM burst to that location.

2) Add NPC haulers to the game.  The ability to bring your goods to any station in High Sec, contract an NPC hauler to take it to Jita (or where ever), and pay based on skills, standings, and cargo worth.  Would make running those damned courier missions for an NPC corp have a little more value.  Would also take away from some of the "down time" of hauling crap around.  This option should cost a boat load.  And I am not talking 1%, much closer to 10% base with top notch skills and standings getting it down to like 5%.  And it should take a day, but be absolutely fool proof.

3) For the miners, there needs to be a "Super Damage Control" module, call it the "Armadillo" module, that makes you damn near invulerable for 30 seconds, but leaves you without the ability to move.  Has to be a low slot so you have to sacrifice mining yield to use it.  Wrecks you capacitor and leaves you with only enough available to cap to make a short warp jump (1AU) for a couple of minutes (5 minutes?).  Basicially all you are trying to do is give the Calvary time to show up, be it Concord, or Friendlies.  This would make it much more feasible also to have escorts, since they would then have time to fight back against the aggressors.(hell give it to haulers to and make it a low slot to sacrifice cargo room for safety.)  Also like everything else CCP does to limit it to certain ships, give only certain higher industrials (read Mammoths, Inty V's,  all tech 2 transports, the orca, mining barges, exhaumers) the 99.9% reduction in CPU to use them.

None of these ideas are going to help the AFK miner, or the auto pilot hauler, and that is good.  But they all will help the active player and balance the game play to where at least a player as the option of trying to defend himself, or make escorts a legitimate opiton.  In the end all these options would allow a player options to sacrifice profit, by paying a NPC company, sacrifice cargo or yield, or hiring escorts, in the name of safety.

In the end, balancing game play must be a very difficult thing to do as any added defenses only adds to the saftey of the passive players, to the detriment of all us active industrials.

As an aside, is this ability to suicide, going to carry over into the "walking in station" portion of the game?  Am I going to have to worry about getting mugged on the way to the market with my 50 melted nano ribbons?  Am I going have to worry about my 100M isk I have on the poker table if a suicide bomber comes into the station?

Fly Safe and tell CCP about my Armadillo module.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Great Guide and a Funny List

After spending a few hours mining gas, I had about an hour to kill before the refinery was done and I could put another load of our new ABC's into the thing (I hate 3 hour cycles).  So it was off to my other addiction. poker.  While palying, I also decided to do some searching around for more w-space stuff.  I came accross

and his list of how not to die

This is just too damned funny, while actually very, very helpful.  I think #17 is by far my favorite.

Also while there, check out his guide.

I did not read it in depth, but certainly look forward to going back and doing so.  I am eager to see if the humor and knowledge is consistant throughout his posts.

Fly Safe (or cloaked)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Our Typical Night

So it all started when the wife said she had something to watch on TV and "I could play my stupid game" :)

So that meant a larger block (5 hours) of play time.

That meant finding a grav belt somewhere. Anywhere not in our system (as we finally got a grav site, but are saving it for fall back nights.)

So warped to our D-static (same place it had been for 3 days), and popped through.  Quick D-Scan and "damn" occupied and 4 miners and an indy on scan.  Being the peaceful type (for now), I shouted a quick hello into local.  Hmm no running for cover.  Maybe a combat probe, lets see if they are awake at the controls.  Yep that worked.  I now have their attention.  Told them if the left me alone I was going to close the hole from my side.  They agreed, but obviously didnt trust me as i didnt see anything but a merlin on d-scan for the next 15 minutes it took me to close the hole (a big one at about 2.1).

On to next D-Static.  Pop in and it looked great.  No POS, No Ships, No activity on evemaps.  After about 15-20 minutes fo scanning, no grav site, and it was a High Sec Class 2 with B274 and Z647 statics.  But the good news was a third Unknown and it was a small signiture, usually reserved for higher class holes.  After a few minutes messing with it my corpmate pinned it down and happily reported a N062 - Class 5 WH.  Good news as a K162 most likely meant an occupied system.

In we went.  Good news again in an empty and inactive system.  Quick scan got us a Ordinary grav site.  So away we went having spent about 1 hour scanning. Since my Corpmate was hauling, I broke out the prober on Ian's toon and kept scanning.

So we attacked the ABC of the first belt with our three hulks, and started into a night of mining.   (We are now just using drones to clear the spawn).  So with the miners humming, I turned attention to scanning down the rest of the system.  (Corpmate was on D-scan duty).  Quickly found another grav site and 2 ladar with C-32 and c-28 them.  Quick scan of eve-central revealed the c-32 would yield a good rpofit for Ian (as he only flys Retreiver for mining ore).

So back again and fit the Abby for gas mining (yeah over kill), and set off for the clouds.  Well needless to say one ship attacking a 5,000 unit C-32 cloud is a joke (25,000k m3 at 40m3 every 30 seconds, yeah do the math), but at least he was making isk.

Well an uneventful 3 hours passed and we managed to clear 15k of Crokite, 5k of Ark, and almost 10k of Bistot, plus 1000 units of C-32.  Not a bad night. 

And to top it off, we did not have to open our own Grav site (we would like to wait till a second one spawns before opening the first).

Also, Shout out to the two folks who joined me in "Life in the hole" in game and provided some great conversation about life, Eve and W-space.

Fly Safe (or cloaked)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cracking the $240M nut, Is WH life worth it?

Heating a POS in the cold of space is a very expensive endeavour.  To the tune of $240M  per month.  So the question becomes how much do you have to do to justify not sitting in a nice .5 systems, mining scordite in an Orca fleet, and having to only fear gankers?

Well let us count the ways.

1) Mine.  Looking at the facts. Scordite returns are at  record levels, and zydrine and megacyte prices are as low as I have seen.  You lose 25% refining in the WH, and right now we don't have the fleet sizes to justify breaking out the orca, at the expense of losing a Hulk.  Even so, I figure I get about 150% the isk per hour in my two Hulk fleet, then I got High Sec using 2 Hulks and a Retriever in a almost maxed out Orca Boosted Fleet.  In fact, it looks like I get about $250k isk per minute more.  So first way to crack into that $240M nut is to mine 1000 minutes, or about 17 hours.  Again, this assumes I am taking on the entire $240M burden.

2) Run anomolies/Radar/Mag sites.  So variable here, since the majority of the isk running anomolies is from the Melted Nano's.  Again using a base number of $24M/hour as my High Sec Scrodite mining, and figuring I can clear and salvage about 1.5 anomolies per hour solo, it really is a wash here.   Some hours I have cleared 11-13 meleted nanos, while others I have only gotten 3.  I know there are tags and other salvage, radar site stuff and mag site stuff, but in the end it is really all about the Melted Nano's in a Class 2.

3) Ladar.  Just starting to get into this area.  Spent the night last night clearing some ladar sites and gathering gas.  Looks like I spent about 3 hours clearing 4 sites and from what I can see I will make about $40M once I can "react" it.  Not really a great return, but better then doing nothing.

4) Other reactions.  The real wildcard here.  Since reactors are limited to .4 security or less, and the Amarr tower has plenty of power and cpu, why not look to run simple reactions when the refinery or polymer reaction is not needed.  Looking at the numbers, it looks like there are reactions that can net $250k to $500k per hour, every hour.

And of course the best way to crack the nut, is to split it (among corpmates). 

So bottom line, after about a month in w-space, when comparing it to high sec.

1) Be prepared to spend more time doing non isk generating stuff.  Sure in high sec you still have to make market runs, but they are not usually 20 jumps.  Overall, I think I spend about twice the time doing non-isk producing stuff in w-space (a lot more recently with a POS setup/teardown/setup).

2) Be prepared to do whatever is available.  Our order right now is as follows:
        Mine a grav site in our system of ABC ores
        Mine a neighbor system of ABC ores
        Mine our system for Dark Ochre or Gneiss
        Combat sites (either in our or neighbor system)
        Ladar (either in ours or neighbors)
        Market runs

3) Think of ways to make money off POS when not needing the w-space equipment.

Overall, I do not envision struggling to justify the $240M it will take to keep a W-space Large POS running.  Alone, I am fairly certain I would at least get the 17-20 hour of mining in that is needed to justify the w-space existance.  As I also look to grow the corp (visit "Life In The Hole" channel ingame for our public recuitment channel), this nut will get even easier to handle.  So after about a month in w-space I am confident that there is plenty of Isk to be made, plenty of ways to lose a crap load of Isk, and a lot of fun to be had.

So as we work to establish our Class 2 presence, I continue to look towards getting the corp into a Class 4 hole within the next 45 days.

Fly Safe,

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eve POS Refining Yields

Well after spending way too much time trying to figure the POS refining yields and searching all over I have concluded one thing.

No one can agree on the yield.

I read one post where someone insists that the Intese Refining Array is a 50% base with a CAP at 75%.  If this is the case a total noob with no skills would easily get the 75% as with zero skills you get 87.5% at a 50% station.  Can easily check that off the list of possible ways this works.

Well I thought that it was your refining rate in a 50% station TIMES 75%, but early refining cycles come out to not match this formula either.

So I just about gave up the I came accross a reference to this formula in one of the EO forums posts.

Refining yields in a 75% POS refinery = 56.25%*Skills

where Skills = (1+(Refining Skill Lvl * .02))*(1+(Refining Eff Skill Lvl*.04))*(1+(Ore Proc Skill Lvl*.05))

That would yield the following chart for yield by skills.  Rememeber it is Capped at 75% so all values greater then 75% = 75%.

So far I have been able to test this only on my skills of Refining V and Refining Eff III, and it matches the yield I got, whereas the 50% station Yield * 75% did not.

Can anyone else mining in W-Space and using a POS refinery help to confirm this formula/table?


Fly Safe,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Finally Back in Business

Well it took way too long, but tonight I might actually get back to W-Space business as usual.

So to recap my adventure in breaking ties with old corp. Formed new corp with a sub-toon, anchored medium POS, took down large POS and stored at medium POS, waited 24 for removal of roles, reanchored Large POS in new corps name, took down the medium POS. All told about 14 hours of game time to accomplish. Not horrible, but certainly not something I want to do very often.

Shout out to Star Defender for the evemaps tool in his recent post. Love it.

So have a couple more defenses to setup and will be back to where I was prior to deciding to make the change.

Have to get a few things together and we will be ready to start to try to grow the corp by a few more dedicated members.

Fly Safe,

The Two Sides of Core Scanning

For W-Space life there really are two sides to scanning down a system.

The first is the one more familar to us all and the one that CCP has put out a decent video on. That is finding a single signature and scanning it down to 100% to bookmark it and fly to it. That scanning seems simple enough and I am confident enough in my skills now to be able to do this for a single signature in a few minutes.

The other side of scanning and the one I have seen no good methods described, is the one where you fly into a system and want to find the unknown connections as quickly as possible (or grave site for raiding, or what ever you are trying to find.)

To simply transfer the skils from the first way and start with 8AU probes and work your way down taking a single site at a time does not seem best. Maybe it is but in my mind that invloves a lot of individual probe moving that takes time. I have also read about using a single probe to try to gain a "relative stength" of the signal and then start with the strongest. This too seem to take more record keeping then I care to use in situations where I am simply trying to find what exits the system has quickly.

So I will try to describe my method. My eventual goal is to develop a short guide (with pics) eventually to help in this area. Also as a note, this is almost exclusively based on my experience in Class 3 and below systems. It may or may not be at all effective in higher w-space if signal strengths are significantly lower in higher w-space.

To start I will define just 2 terms I will use. First is "overhead view" this is the view on the map where the "camera" is all the way above and is a "top down" look at the system. I use this for the X and Y placement of probes. (for record I use the 5 probe system in teh video now with a center "target" probe). The other term is "Probe Height" which I use as a reference to how far above or below the "Inner Planet Orbital Plane" the probe formation is.

So you warp into a system, Bookmark your way out (you did BM the way out didn't you), and drop the first probe(s) to see the number of signatures in the system. Lo and behold there are like 10-15 and you need to find the exits. How do you do it? Well I will describe how I do and see if anyone else can tell me if it makes sense.

First, drop a .25 probe at your entry spot. Scan and the ignore that signatures as the one you just came in on. Next launch 5 probes and at 1AU make sure the edge of the outter 4 probes just touch in the center at the "target probe". Now change to 2AU and you should have a very nice clover pattern.

Move the target probe to either the Sun or Planet 1 depending on how compact the inner system is. Scan. Ignore all signatures over 25% that are not unknowns. Now move the probe formations "height" so that the bottom of the probes is just touching the orbital plane. Scan and ignore again. If you get an unknown "hit", write down the Signature ID. I can not tell you the number of times I have "lost" the 25% strength on the next scan and forgotten the ID. Now move the height to all the way below the orbital plane so that the top is just touching the orbital plane. Scan and ignore. With decent probing skills you should be getting rid of the inner Ladar and Grav sites and possiblly be hitting the larger Unknowns (like high sec exits).

In addition to these "base" scans, if at any time I get a signle red dot "hit" I will move the formation and change to 1AU, WITHOUT MOVING ANY INDIVIDUAL PROBES IN THE FORMATION. This will get the sig type a lot of times. If I don't get an ID at 1AU but still have single or dual red dot, I will center the formation and go to .5AU, WITHOUT MOVING ANY INDIVIDUAL PROBES IN THE FORMATION. If at .5AU I still dont have an Sig Type, I note the sig ID and move on (I do not ignore it). The reasoning here is that it is probably a Mag or Radar site and I do not want to move the individual probes in the early stages of a search.

If the inner system is very packed, I will repeat this On, Above, Below to the top left, top right, bottom right and bottom left of the sun. Again just making sure that the probe formation is consistant. With any luck you will have found an unknown.

If you still don't know the way out, then lauch a 6th probe, deactivate the main formation, and determine where the remaining signatures are. I place the 6th probe at 8AU on teh sun and call that "inner system", from there I search every planet at 8AU that the "inner system" does not cover completely.

From there, I will either use the 2AU formation for any areas with multiple sigs, or I will start to use a more traditional "single sig" scanning method.

This is quick and obviously might be hard to "envision". If people think there is value in this "method" I will strive to make a more detailed guide and add screen shots.

I think this method has several advantages, but the biggest is that it eliminates the need to move individual probes within the formation, while allowing you to scan effectively at 2AU and 1AU, which are levels that most signatures will show an ID. With the 2AU probes and the On, Above, Below method you get decent coverage over the 4AU sphere where 95% of signatues will be.

All comments desired. Please feel free to add to this discussion, as this skill is vital to W-space and yet I have found almost no material on how to do it well.

Thanks and Fly Safe,

Friday, January 15, 2010

Making the Changes

Man is it tough to do Corporate stuff in EVE.

To take down a Large POS, Form a Corporation, have everyone relinquish their roles, wait, get out of the hole to a station, to quit the corp, get to an office to apply and finally find a new hole for the POS.

Looks like a week long process.

So far I have the new corporation formed, Great White North Exploration (yes in reference to Bob and Doug), and tonight will have my first major toon into that corporation. Then I will be able to launch the Medium POS in our current base system and move all the Large POS stuff to its hanger.

So if all goes well tonight, I will be able to start the 24 hour clock on my other two characters to get them into the new corp, as well as the toons of my new partner in W-Space Adventures.

Once we have that done and the Large POS staged to settle a new system we will start looking at our static class 2 systems to find a suitable new home.

Overall I am liking the dual POS setup as it allows a lot of flexibility in terms of setting up and tearing down in systems. Looks like the plan long term will be to settle a system with lots of signatures with the Large POS. Once the system gets runned down, especially of Grav sigs, we will unanchor the refinery (by far the hardest at 2 hours) and trim down the POS of any modules we can and prepare to move. At that point if a good system presents itself we would be mobile enough to exploit it by anchoring the Medium POS in the new system and then moving the Large POS before the hole closed.

So onward and upward and hopefully back to killing Sleepers by next week.

Fly Safe,

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Well now that I am in full control of my future, I think it is time for some introductions.

First up is my main toon, Hundo Kay. Born in a shuttle stop in Jita, Melvin Kay was a runt growing up and always insisted to his tormentors that one day he would become a great capsuleer and kill "at least a hundred ships". They quickly started calling him "Hundo" for his ridiculous dreams. Well fortune smiled on Hundo and he did become a capsuleer. He has killed hundreds of ships in vital missions for Poksu Mineral Group, but has currently taken his fight to a Class 2 wormhole and the Sleepers there.

Second in my crew is Capitaine Evident. As a boy growing up in Gallente, Jacques Pasteur had a knack for stating the obvious. It soon began to drive his school mates crazy that Jacques would always point out the most obvious of facts. During his initial capsuleer traing, Jacques stated "gee my pulse lasers change colour to match the crystal I am using", to which his instructor stated, "non feces, Capitaine Evident". Needless to say the name stuck.

Last in my lineup of main toons is Ian Stormcloud. His parents spent a lot of time worrying about Ian Keller as a boy and spent a lot of Isk trying to figure out what was behind his dark moods. In his early days of his career, his peers took to calling him Stormcloud, for the mood he often brought to the room. His friends always knew a night at the Pleasure Hub with Ian was sure to lead to serious time in the Brig. It took Ian 8 years to get through the 3 year program, and he set school records for penalty minutes in every major sport he played.

At this point I am also maintaining several scanning toons, but the only one of imporatnce is Monna Sei. She is the Founder and CEO of Great White North Exploration, until such time as Hundo can get to a station and assume control of the company.

So please feel free to drop a line to any of my toons in game and I would love to chat about W-Space and share knowledge. And please, if you see anyone from Great White North Exploration roaming through W-Space please don't shoot.

Fly Safe,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Well, my W-Space adventure took an unexpected turn last night.

Logged on to find our corps other main scanner knee deep in our Class 2 neighbor. System had over 20 anom's and 15 sigs. He had already scanned down 5 grav sites.

While our corp's plan was to keep the Large POS in our main base for everyone, I still maintain my own Medium POS with refinery for my personal use and as a forward base before we set up the Large POS.

Well I decided that since the new hole obviously offered a better short term future then our hole with its 3 anoms and 3 mag/radar sites, that I was going to set up my Medium POS and "ride this new hole" for a few days to a week while our main wormhole recovered and spawned some new sites. This conversation led to a decision from one of the corp's directors in the main wormhole that w-space life is not for him. Granted he is a Miner/Industrialist and it was hard enough to get him to even try W-Space. Well long story short, we did not move into the new hole as we spent the night "evacuating" him back to empire. This also served as enough stimulus to decide that my goals and the corp's were not even remotely headed in same direction.

So it is with some sorrow, but way more excitment, that I have branched out on my own and formed a new corp solely dedicated to W-Space Exploration and Exploitation.

So now I am back controlling my own destiny and able to recruit a few more like minded soles to join my adventure.

So its on to tearing down the old corp's Large POS and getting it back to Empire, as I look for the opportunity to get the Medium POS established for the new corp and then get back to making ISK.

Fly Safe,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Like Thieves in the Night

As our hole has all but bottomed out (the result of "visiting" too many things in the beginning), we have been forced to turn to our static Class 2 for things to do. I realize now that this is the way it should be.

So last night our first neighbor of the night was a system with 2 POS's (but only 1 online), no sign of activity and a lot of signatures, but few anomolies. Is this a corp that just knows how to run the anomolies and not work the signatures? Well any way, we fired up the probers and quickly found 3 grav sites. Getting our resources mounted, we hit the ABC's of our neighboring system and cleaned out the cream of the crop roids from a few belts.

With 5 Hulks mining and a Commander in a Myrm giving cycle time bonuses, it did not take long. Also with only a lone rigged Mammoth hauling we also quickly fell behind and had a number of cans in space. We finished the night with a single Orca run to clean up the remaining 6-7 cans. Never saw a single probe, or hint of another capsuleer.

So I think our small corp has passed another W-Space growth point. We are ready and willing to raid our neighbors cupboard for goods. Yes, it feels safer to stay within our system and the safety of the POS, but I don't think a Wormhole can sustain a small corp for long. So as we now wait for our system to rebound I am confident we will work it smarter and also in a way that still emphasizes the importance of raiding our Class 2 Static.

Overall, I think this also shows the importance of the Static Wormholes when seleceting a W-Space home.

Fly Safe,

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lessons Learned (so far)

With a few weeks of serious W-Space under my belt here is what I have learned so far.

1) Orca's rule. By far the backbone of any w-space enterprise. They can haul a ton (though they don't have the best mass to cargo ratio), they can fit three armor links for assisting combat ops, they obviously give great mining bonuses, and they are large to be that last ship through to close a hole.

2) Closing holes is a vital skill. Priority should be to work the statics and keep stuff in your own hole from bottoming out. To do this you need to be able to quickly and reliably close the static holes until a suitable neighbor is found. Also when looking for a fuel run, the opposite is true in looking for that system that is worked but not active. And above all for getting rid of that pesky K162

3) Probing skills are a must. Would think this would be tops, but really decent skills will get you by. And this really is one area where technique can overcome lower skills. Its not about having the most powerful probes, but rather using the probes you have out in the most effective manner. You should be able to 1) pin a wormhole down quickly 2) find a WH in a packed system quickly, and 3) "know" what type of site it is by how it is scanning down. On the last one I can usually tell a site is Unk/Grav/Ladar or Mag/Radar fairly quickly by the signal strengths at 4au and 2au.

4) Salvaging skills are vital. The money of anomalies in is the salvage. Better skills, quicker results.

5) Directional is your friend. Even better, learn to sort by distance to get the "unknown distance" to the top. Always have overview unchecked, and the signatures without distance at the top. Makes seeing probes easier.

6) You must be versatile. Every day will be different. Sure if you are working a Grav site in your own hole you would assume you would be mining. But you could easily log in to find 2-3 K162 holes in your system. Going to mine then? Well not right away. The system and conditions will dictate your actions. We don't know day to day what the hole will bring, and we must be ready to pew pew, mine, close holes, make market runs, etc etc. This also applies to ships, should have setups ready to go. If that means dedicated setups for quick changes then get a few more ships into the wormhole and get them setup.

7) Beware the Covert Ship. They are powerful and in hands of the right person deadly.

8) Don't get podded, getting back in sucks.

9) Fly safe and make good isk. It is really really possible and beats running level 4's over and over.

Fly Safe,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Safer? Closing the Static or "Verging" It

Had this debate with another corpie last night in regards to what to do with the Static Wormholes in our system prior to starting organized mining ops or pack hunts.

I argue that bring both Statics to the verge of collapse, or "Verging" them, is not as safe for the operation, but better for the duration of the hole.

Even if the hole is on the verge, coverts and bombers can still get through and cause significant damage to a fleet mining op. On the other hand, closing the holes, scanning down the new holes, but not warping too it, means that short of an incoming K162 hole, there is no "Active" way into the hole. For the short term of the mining op this is safer as the chance of a K162 opening is smaller then someone coming accross a K162 in either low sec or the neighboring Class 2. It is also easier to detect a new hole in the system and deal with it in a timely manner.

Now for the time we are offline, I agree having the statics on the verge is better, as it discourages or prevents any large scale "movement" through our hole. Makes the POS safer (though really is someone going to come after a Large POS in a Class 2?) by making it almost impossible to get a fleet of anything bigger then a breadbox into the hole. But more important in my mind is not allowing a viable exit to low sec for others to use for fuel or empire runs and feel the need to "camp" the route and prevent our operations.

This debate will obviously extend to the neighboring system when we start to roam. The assumption should be that all holes in that system are open with the K162's spawned. So do you close the holes to gain "control" of the exit, or verge them?

So what are others doing, especially smaller corps, when they have a very consistant play time and really want to make the hole as "safe" as possible?

Fly Safe,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Feeling the Power of a Manticore

I have not seen the power of a Manticore first hand except for in the hands of an inexperienced pilot, and I was never impressed. Boy has that opinion chnaged.

As I was putting the finishing touches on the defenses of our Large POS, I was also mining with a coprmate. After about an hour of mining (8 cans out), I spammed the directional, saw Russian named combat probes in system and immediately warped the squad to the POS. Couple seconds later saw a buzzard appear on scanner. I also stopped the final setup and jumped my main into a the Magnate. Warped to safe spot, threw a probe and cloaked. No new sigs in system, still our two mass criticalled statics and the annoying K162 from a Class 1-3 system that was a little to active to risk the orca to close.

So I warped to the Grav site off 100km and cloaked to watch. After about 3 minutes was the buzzard appear for a second and recloak. Why would he need to uncloak? To set a BM? Pretty sure you can set a bookmark cloaked? Watching directional for the next few minutes saw him pop on directional a few more times. Very wierd for a covert to need to keep popping up like that.

Anyway, the Orca was already on way to get first cans so quickly loaded what I could and got out of there. I then made the decision to try and make a few mammoth runs to get the remaining cans. Mistake 1, was using a cargo rigged Mammoth. Mistake 2, not adding at least 2 warp stab's. Anyway made it in and out 4 times. Not so lucky on the 5th. My "logic" was that the mammoth would be able to align and be ready to warp by time a cloaked ship could uncloak and target. Wrong. Fifth trip in saw the "red" uncloak, was locked in like 3 seconds and in two shots was bye bye Mammoth. So final balance sheet was 100k m3 of crokite into my hanger, and minus a mammoth and 3 cargo rigs. Plus 25 million isk and minus a little bit more.

Needless to say I have a new found respect for the power of a properly fitted and piloted Manticore. And a lot less desire to risk ships over cans of ore. Also, I guess waiting till there is an Orca load or more might be a little too much between hauling runs.

Good news is another lesson learned in my continuing development as a W-Space player at a cost very much within my budget.

Fly Safer then me,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Our First Pack Hunt

You have to love group operations.

With the addition of two corp mates and another 4 accounts to the Wormhole Posse, I wanted to run the anomolies down to 2 and clean out the radar sites. So we decided at 9:30 local time to start a fleet and run the 2 anomolies and 2 radar sites. Well at a little after 10:05 we finally pushed off. Gotta love getting the initial setups tweaked from mission to WH setups.

Final fleet was 2 Abby, 2 Drakes, and 1 salvaging Drake. Plenty of firepower and plenty of defense for Class 2 combat. Had the Abby's paired to armor rep each other and the Drakes set up to shield transfer.

Well needless to say nobody got close to being threated in the anomolies, and fortunetly we got the Radar site with the remote repping cruiser sleepers and really never had anyone get even close to having to warp out.

All told cleared the 2 anomolies and 2 radar sites, salvaged, and hacked the cans in just over 2 hours. Not bad for a first outting with friends. Nothing like seeing 20 drones ripping through the Sleeper Frigs.

On the POS side, we had a record 4 active Wormholes in system (static 2 and 2 inbound K162's from Low Sec and Class 4), so the POS setup will wait for another night.

Fly Safe,

Monday, January 4, 2010

We Are In

Finally got a close High Sec entrance last night through our neighboring Class 2 system. It was 6 jumps from our High Sec base and my corpie with the Charon quickly got the POS and supplies to the system to link up with my Orca (fresh back to W-space thanks to Ghostsheart's help).

Both wormholes (D382 and B274) were fresh and appeared unused. I assumed we would have 3 Orca jumps and several Mammoth jumps. Got in the Large POS, Intense Refinery and support gear to set up our Large POS. I think we have a months fuel and several support ships also. Got it all to my personal Small POS to stage. Hope fully we will get the Large POS up and running tonight. And to top it off we left both holes "Mass Critical".

The night did not go without incident. We had a Zephyr and Caldari Navy Caracal show up in the neighboring Class 2, but fortunetly the guy was cool and may even be interested in joining the corp.

In the end we were short one Orca run from the 4 we had planned and had to leave a few ships for the next run (as well as another corpies stuff).

So finally, I am no longer a hermit and have a few friends to run sites and mine with. It was great to hear the first response from a corp mate when he saw the size of the Grav sites roids. "Welcome to W-space mining Aev".

Fly Safe,

When 2 is not 2

You would figure that once would be enough but I guess I am a slow learner. I got two toons stuck on the wrong side of a hole closing this weekend, and yet again my Orca was among them. To make matters worse I was in a hurry and didn't make sure that my prober was back in the ship maintennacne bay, so I was royally hosed. Disgusted I went to bed thinking of how I was going to come up with the 600M ISK to get another Orca, Abby and implants.

How I ended up in this situation (again) is by foolishly believeing the 2Bkg meant 2Bkg. The first time this happened I just assumed someone had used the wormhole before me and my mass calcs were off by a BS or two. This time I have learned the hard way that nothing in EVE is ever exact.

I closed the D382 static in an effort to find a Hi Sec entrance to bring in the Corp's Large POS. Found the new one, scanned down the WH's and found a null sec and Class 5 wormholes. No good, so started to close this hole. Thinking I had the routine down I was using Orca, Abby and Hulk to close the hole. Mass ticked over to the second mass message right on que at the 4th Orca passing. Cruising along just fine until through shear stupidity and overconfidence I ended up on "wrong side" with all three ships and a "mass critical" message. I rechecked all my calcs and was sure I was only at 1.78Bkg. I also checked my supplies and saw no prober. My thought was to jump the hulk back through (being the smallest, get my prober, jump it back through, jump the orca and find a way out with the prober and abby. Jump the Hulk through and the hole closed. Final tally put the total mass at 1.82Bkg. Well short of the 2Bkg I have always used. I guess I have proven at least a 10% variance. (In hindsight, I should have stored the Hulk in the Orca and jumped through in my pod, but in heat of the moment at 1am that thought did not enter my mind.)

So stuck and dreading a 600M ISK setback I went to bed. Got up next morning and figuring I had nothing to lose, started throwing Jet Cans and lableing the "Lost, Need Help" along with my toons contact. Well damned if it didn't work first try. I logged in again an hour later and had a message. Instantly got a PM from a guy in a probber looking for Hi Sec exit for his Class 5 corp. He had a route out and we quickly were able to come to an agreement on a fee to get me out. It was most reasonable and again I am convinced that most people in W-Space are extremely helpful.

So from now on I am assuming that 2B does not mean 2B, but most likely between 1.8 and 2.2Bkg. In addition, if the critical message is 5%, then it could mean as little as 90Mkg. Given these facts, the Hulk seems to be the safest ship to use past 1.7BKg, but how do you quickly close a hole and avoid repeated Hulk runs and the 4minute timeout, if you could have to repeat the Hulk run up to 4 or 5 times to mass critical the hole before jumping the Orca back through and closing it? I would love to hear how others are doing it as I am now gun shy about mass closing holes and I know it is something I need to be able to do.

Fly Safe,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho

With no anomolies and no Radar/Mag Sites left, I turned my sights to mining the Grav sites.

Right now I am the only one in our Wormhole as the rest of the corp is gathering supplies and waiting out the holiday season. So its just me, myself and I.

With the fear of rats non existant in the grav belts (once initial spawn is killed no further sleepers appear), I have my hulks set up with ecm in mid slots as a last ditch chance to save them if I don't see the attack coming.

With three toons, I have two in hulks and one in a retriever. My normal method is to attack a single ABC roid and "group" the cans off one ship. This allows for much easier transfer to the orca when I need to haul. If there is any ABC roids in any grav sig that is priority one. At present I have 3 grav sigs in system. 2 Common and 1 Unexceptional (which dispite its name is a very nice belt).

In the last three nights I have been left alone traffic wise and managed to get in some very good mining time. All told I have hauled in 50k Crokite, 25K Bistot, and 15k Arkonor.

The question now is what to do with it. I can hold it and wait for our Corp to set up the large POS and the refinery, or I can attemp to haul it out. The key is that while there is ABC in the wormhole to be mined, I find it hard to justify hauling to refine for 100%, when I can refine at 75% in the hole soon. From experience, hauling out the mins and saving 25% is almost equal isk wise to taking teh loss and continuing mining. The key would be saving the ABC mins till there are no grav sites in system and there is nothing else to do except haul. As of yet I have not had this problem.

Well Happy New Year to all, thanks Star Defender for the shout out and I look forward to continuing to share my experiences.

Fly Safe,