Sunday, February 28, 2016

All the Clones!

Reading through the minutes of the recent CSM Summit my attention was drawn to the discussion regarding medical services of Citadels in Wormhole space. It's long been a bone of contention that W-Space occupants have no way of switching clones in W-Space, even if they have a Rorqual, so they might take full advantage of the various system effects or capitalise on a particular ship's bonuses in the instances of PvP. The ability to have a Talisman clone to switch into in the event of catching a Capital ship is something I've longed for and now it looks like it's on the cards.

The minutes are ambiguous, but as far as I can decipher you will be able to switch clones in the Citadel, but not jump to them from outside the system as you can in K-Space. Moreover, any clones you have installed in the Citadel will count towards the maximum number you have the skills to posses, regardless of where they're situated. Importantly, the twenty four hour timer between jumps would not apply to clones in the Citadel, thereby allowing you to switch from your Hacking clone, to your Slave clone, to your Talisman clone or your Mining clone at your will. It's not without risk, of course. Such clones can be a significant investment and if someone effectively sieges out your Citadel you're going to lose the lot so I would't go investing in a bunch of High Grade Implant sets just yet. As far as I can tell however, if you get podded in W-Space you won't wake up in a fresh clone in the Citadel; you'll still wake up in K-Space.

In other news, there is talk of an Industrial Command Destroyer coming so that those mining via Frigate/Destroyer sized Wormhole connections can have those 1337 boosts. I already wrote about this recently and considering the Orca is only marginally better at boosting than the current selection of Combat Command Destroyers, I wonder how they're going to introduce such a ship without making Orcas all but redundant save for their cargo carrying capacity. Add to that the recently leaked image of what appears to be a Capital Mining Drone and there are some exciting changes to W-Space afoot for the Industry focused players in Anoikis. The Rorqual itself is getting a unique invulnerability ability to protect both itself and its fleet for a brief period to allow a defence fleet to come to their rescue should they be tackled. Frankly, anything that will get Rorqual out of Forcefields is a positive move.

There was even a bit of talk about the Noctis and how Mobile Tractor Units have made them obsolete. CCP seem to be under the impression that the rising value of salvage materials for use in Citadel construction is going to be the Noctis' savior. Sorry to burst your bubble, CCP, but it's won't do a damn thing. People will still use an MTU and a 5 Million ISK Destroyer to clean up their wrecks ahead of a 100 Million ISK Noctis. I'd suggest giving it a +2 Warp Strength and increasing its agility to rival that of a Blockade Runner, then you'll likely see people using it again. Hell, even that's probably not enough of a buff.

From what I've read, it looks as though our CSM representatives have done a decent job of representing W-Space interests with the notable exception of the Watch List changes. They're coming, like it or not and not one of the CSMs raised an objection worth a damn.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Yacht Redundancy

So apparently CCP Fozzie has been talking to the Council of Stellar Management, or member(s) thereof, about nerfing what has become a blight of W-Space under certain circumstances. Hole rolling Luxury Yachts have become a pretty common sight and I freely admit I have a couple for my low skilled alts to use. I've talked about them at length previously but I suppose I never really appreciated just what a scourge they would become at the time. For me they have been a way to create content, not avoid it, but increasingly it's the latter that has seen them popularized by many W-Space occupiers.

Most recently I've seen them used during the siege of a C4 system when Wingspan repeatedly denied access to system by applying critical mass to every connection as it appeared. To be clear, what the Luxury Yacht can do can also be done by a Tech III Strategic Cruiser, the significant difference is the skills that are required. You can train an alt into one in less than a day, a Strategic Cruiser takes months. The result is a proliferation of Luxury Yachts that, barring an immense fuck up by the pilot, are impossible to stop from rolling a connection from right under your nose. Wingspan have the required proliferation of young pilots, so they took full advantage. It does make me curious if it was Chance Ravinne, CEO of Wingspan and CSM Member who raised the issue with CCP Fozzie. I'd be pleasantly surprised if it was the case.

A popular solution being suggested seems to make fitting Higgs rigs impossible to nullified ships. Whilst this would solve the issue, it would also make the use of Tech III cruisers in this role redundant. Since the use of Strategic Cruisers wasn't anything like the problem we see with the Yachts, I don't see this as a viable alternative. It's not a matter of skill point elitism, it just wasn't a major issue and when it is seen, it could be dealt with.

A far more effective solution would be to nerf the power grid of the Yacht itself. Without the ability to fit an oversized afterburner, the mass of the cruiser would be insufficient to make it an effective hole rolling ship. That said, I wouldn't particularly miss Tech III rolling cruisers, they do limit engagement opportunities by their very nature. Seal clubbing rolling Megathrons is still fun, after all. =]

Logistical Nightmare

I'm coming up on a skill remap shortly to Perception & Willpower so I thought it would be prudent to examine the benefits of training Logistics Frigates to Level 5. It's near enough to a month of training and since level 5 in logistics cruisers is, for the most part, absolutely necessary, I had assumed the same could be said for the frigates.

In the Logistics Cruiser branch the benefits of the Tech II variant over their Tech I counterpart are obvious. The most striking difference is the ability of the Tech II cruisers to fit what are, essentially, oversized repair modules. The fact that you can make that cruiser capacitor stable with a partner makes the Guardians and Basilisks the go-to choice for armour and shield fleets with the solo variants in the Scimitar and Oneiros filling a more nuanced role. The addition of aggression timers for logistics cruisers has made their use far less common, but they're still very capable in their own right.

Now, in the frigate line, capacitor transferring isn't bonused, so you have a choice to make. You can gimp your fit and hope you never get neuted to make a cap stable frigate, or you can go with cap injection. Considering their cargo bays are quite large, I've chosen the latter. For the sake of the experiment I'm going to compare the Bantam to the Kirin. Teamed up with a few shield tanked Svipuls and Jackdaws pouring through a frigate sized wormhole, I can envision them being a force to be reckoned with. Moreover, the abundance of mid slots on both ships allows for cap injection and a decent tank, the same can't be said for the Minmatar line of logistics frigates.

The base stats don't look appreciably different, do they? The main difference between these two ships comes from the Logistics Frigate skill. At level 5 you are essentially boosting 50% more at a 50% capacitor reduction. So whilst the Bantam has three shield transporters, the Kirin effectively has four and a half. The capacitor bonus has little effect in the comparison with both cap injected fits I created having ample capacitor to keep all of their modules running.


Damage Control II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II

1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender
Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender
Small Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 400

Small S95a Scoped Remote Shield Booster
Small S95a Scoped Remote Shield Booster
Small S95a Scoped Remote Shield Booster

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer II
Small Core Defense Field Extender II
Small Core Defense Field Extender II

Hobgoblin II x1
Navy Cap Booster 400 x20

This setup sees the Bantam at 100% cap stability and a decent buffer tank of 8,881 Effective Hit Points. No shame in that from a Tech I Frigate. Importantly, it's ridiculously cheap to build and has a relatively low skill requirement.


Damage Control II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II

1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Medium Shield Extender II
Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Small Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 400

Small S95a Scoped Remote Shield Booster
Small S95a Scoped Remote Shield Booster
Small S95a Scoped Remote Shield Booster

Small Core Defense Field Extender II
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer II

Hobgoblin II x1
Navy Cap Booster 400 x20

This setup sees the Kirin at 88% cap stability and a very impressive buffer tank of 18,827 Effective Hit Points. Moreover, a sensor strength of 19.2 versus the Tech I of 14.4 means that the ECM resistance is significantly improved.

When I first started toying with these fits I admit I wasn't all that impressed with the Kirin over the Bantam, but the more I consider it, the more I like what I see. Having effectively double the EHP of the Bantam and the improved sensor strength makes it enormously survivable as you can sustain a significant amount of damage until friendly shield reps land and anyone who has flown the Tech I logistics frigates in a fight will testify that they are just a bit too squishy, often getting primaried off the field before friendly reps could land. Moreover, for a Tech II frigate they're pretty damn cheap, selling for around 20 Million ISK in the hubs. Allow for another 15-20 Million in fitting and you're looking at roughly double the cost of a fit Bantam but getting a whole lot more survivability and combat effectiveness into the deal.

I'm interested to know what experiences you may have had but it certainly looks like Logistics Frigates V is on my horizon. Plus there's a sexy new skin on the way. =]

Monday, February 22, 2016

I think, therefore I am online

The number one complaint I see regarding Watch Lists is that it's game breaking and all too easily accessible intelligence. If you read my last post you'll know I disagree, but I was brief in my explanation as I was writing with an element of vitriolic anger at the time. I've had some time and space to gather my thoughts since then and form what I hope is a convincing argument of my position.

Let's start with the claim that it's even intelligence. In a non-online gaming environment, be it sport, war or just your competitive spirit, it's no secret that your adversary is always present. Real life doesn't lend itself to logging off temporarily, at this stage it's still a permanent one time only offer. So you know what you're up against. That adversary maybe their gun goal kicker, the army over the hill or the sales executive you just need to sell more than this month. You know they're there, what you don't know is if he's fully fit and in form, the composition of their armoured divisions or what leads he has the ability to close at short notice. That information would be intelligence. That information can be garnered in a variety of ways. You could spy on training sessions and review past matches, send aerial recon over the hill to get a visual on the enemy column or raid your competitors diary to see what appointments he has today. Such intelligence requires guile, cunning and will. Armed with that intelligence you can form a strategy. One thing is certain however, your adversary is ever present.

EVE Online doesn't provide the same guarantee, however. The ability to log off for whatever reason changes the scope of every engagement from possibly happening to not happening at all. For a game that's supposed to be all about the contest, the arm wrestle for resources, changing the ability to see if your opponent is even online, prepared or not, is content reducing by its very nature.

Now, I spend the lion's share of my time in W-Space, so I know my perspective is biased. That said, I understand the K-Space argument, too. Many Alliances will have well maintained watch lists of Titan and Super Carrier pilots expressly for the purpose of avoiding a fight that escalates beyond their control, or trapping a pilot in transit. Such lists can go on for many months, even years before bearing any fruit but when they pay off, they generally pay off in a big way. In that instance, I agree watch lists are misused. Trinkets offered a unique solution yesterday, one that would largely eliminate the K-Space abuse of watch lists but also appease occupants of W-Space.

Set a time limit. As such, when you add someone to your watch list, after a brief period of one to two weeks, mutual consent will be required. In the intervening period however, the watch list maintains the full functionality that it currently has. Under such a system, Null Sec entities would have to constantly update their databases to the extent of making it untenable, HiSec Corporations under a War Declaration could track their targets and aggressors for a brief period and W-Space occupants could still track potential targets or aggressors in their region. Everyone wins.

Can anyone tell me why this wouldn't be an effective compromise to the existing plan?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Minority Retort

The number one feature of W-space that draws me in is the lack of a local chat. The unknown. The fact that you just have to assume that there's a cloaked Proteus watching your every move. The upsides are obvious, you can take your time hunting your prey, present a hard counter to whatever it is you're likely to face or choose whether to engage at all. But when you're actively hunting in space with no local chat and systems so vast you can't possibly D-Scan all at once, you absolutely need to know if your quarry is even online still. Who knows how many hours are now going to be wasted stalking people who aren't even logged in, never mind actually active, all because of one little change.

I can remember almost a year ago when Chance Ravinne floated this idea on the EVE Online forums. Although he's not the first to suggest it, he was summarily shouted down by most of the posters on that Wormhole sub forum. Wingspan saw it as interfering with their play style as when they camp someone's system, those being camped can know if their enemy are active in system. The easy answer would be to move system and stop terrorizing harmless bears, but no, that wouldn't do. We must change the game to suit the Wingspan style of play, not adapt to the way it is.

Well, the times they are a changing. Now it is us, the Wormhole community, that must adapt to the play style of camping douche nozzles like Wingspan. Judging by the Reddit thread I appear to be in the minority opposing this change but I suspect that's more because the Reddit community doesn't have the obvious Wormhole bias that I do. I accept that and I'll adapt. It just blows my mind that we'd elect someone to CSM to represent the Wormhole community and then sit back and applaud as he lends influence to a content reducing change to the region. Essentially, this makes watch lists redundant. You want to keep tabs on a war target? Nope. Want to know when that guy selling his Wormhole is online? Nope. Want to know if the guy that was ratting earlier is still online? Nope. I mean really, what is the point of the watch list at all under these circumstances? So friends can keep tabs on friends? Asinine.

Cue the butthurt posts.

Friday, February 19, 2016

ISK in the Nether Regions

The move to a HiSec pocket started with a bang, but work commitments from pretty much all of our pilots have really hampered much in the way of PvP content over the last month. As such, with the limited time I've had, I've started poking about in the LowSec regions around us to see what sort of a living can be made running the various 3-6/10 rated DED sites.

First order of business was to fit out a ship capable of doing the job solo. I don't like dual boxing at the best of times and frequently getting called away from my screen means it must be a Covert ship so I can just warp out to a safe spot until time permits me to return. I looked at the various T3 options but in a Covert configuration they have positively anaemic damage output. The Stratios really is the only option.

As I'm going to be using it primarily in Blood Raider sites, a lean toward EM/Therm resistance and damage was necessary. I tinkered with the idea of a shield fit for the pure DPS a pair of Geckos could crank out with three or four drone damage amplifiers on, but it just wasn't tough enough to handle a 6/10 site solo. So, taking advantage of the ship's bonuses, I developed the loadout you see on the right.

Blood Raiders have a tendency to tracking disrupt the shit out of your guns, so I decided to make this an exclusive drone boat. Moreover, their tendency to use energy neutralizers meant there was a few less capacitor hungry modules to feed, freeing up high slots to fill with a Drone Link, Probe Launcher and some Dead Space Nosferatus to help nullify the effects of neuting. The extra range you get from the Dead Space variants is absolutely worth it. They're cheap to buy and with fall off you can gain cap from over 30 km 's away.

My primary drones will be Geckos, Curators and Ogres, so a Drone Navigation Computer and a Tracking Link will do wonders for drone flight time and damage application. An Afterburner to keep some transversal on my targets and some capacitor regeneration modules finish off the mid slots.

The low slots, predictably enough, will be where the tank and DPS upgrades reside. I went with a Dead Space repairer for the capacitor savings and a faction hardener. They're not woefully expensive and you should cover the cost of the fit in pretty short order.

As for the drones, it's always a good idea to carry a couple of large Logi bots around so you can repair on the fly. You won't always have access to station repair facilities and even undocking in LowSec carries its own dangers.

In a pinch you could carry around a depot and some different drones and hardeners should you stumble into the space of a different faction, if that's likely for you, it'd probably be worthwhile changing the rigs slightly.

With the theory crafting done, I got to scanning. Aridia isn't highly populated so the space doesn't get farmed all that much meaning I don't have to travel very far or for very long to find appropriate sites. But it's been profitable. With only a very casual effort and minimal man hours, I've collected about 1.5 Billion in loot so far. So I'm well in front with the ship cost and able to pretty low stress PLEX an account as needed. It's not as lucrative as W-Space, but it is at least different.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

No Eye for Business

In the process of trying to find a backwater C1 Wormhole for my alts to farm PI from I was unfortunate enough to bump into a chap called Doc Hofman today. He's asking a very reasonable 800m ISK for a C1 system with the right planet layout I need and the POCOs contained within. Seems like a good fit so I sent him a mail indicating my interest and he convo'd me a few hours later so we might finalize the sale. Or so I had hoped.

The good Doctor was insisting on using a third party to broker the ISK exchange. That's not particularly unusual, but I have an aversion to paying ISK to someone who's essentially done nothing to earn it. I've got more ISK than I know what to do with so I offered Doc 400m ISK as a down payment so I could get a scout in system and then a further 50m ISK as each of the eight POCOs was transferred. He gets his 800m ISK, the broker gets nothing and the worst case scenario for him is he's 400m ISK richer.

Seems simple enough, right? Well, apparently not. Doc continues to insist on using the broker. I ask why and he tells me it's not worth the risk. Seriously Doc, did you bump your head? What risks are you taking you monosynaptic mouth breather? Do you really think I'd pay you 400m ISK to seed an invasion fleet? That's some backward economics right there, especially for a C1 system. Not to mention the fact that I'd have to grind through eight POCOs and their subsequent timers. So instead of moving in, I was stone walled by a mindless fuck sock who hasn't the slightest fucking clue when he's onto a good thing.

After my rage settled, I tried a compromise. I told him if he insisted on using a broker the only one I would use would be Chribba as the one he proposed I had never heard of. Well guess what... no deal. Apparently this guy has no clue who Chribba is either. *sigh*

I really have to stop thinking intelligent people inhabit this universe. All evidence is to the contrary.

Friday, February 12, 2016

FAux Pass?

The most recent Dev Blog regarding the Force Auxiliary Capital ships is essential reading if you're a cap pilot. Due to player feedback, or most likely head explosions, CCP have decided to do away with the Force Auxiliary skill books that had been seeded on Tranquility and decided to just swap any carrier with a triage module for the racial equivalent Force Auxiliary when the March release lands. It seems like a common sense move considering how essential Capital Logistics are to Null Sec entities; sovereignty may have come down to who won the race to build the most FAux Caps the fastest. Now at least those who are dependent on these ships won't be too inconvenienced by the change.

But I'm not a dedicated Capital pilot and I don't really give a rats arse about NullSec, either. I've got Amarr, Caldari and Gallente Carrier and Dreads to level IV and the frequency at which I use them means I'll probably never train them to level V, but I am forced to assess what to do with my current Archon and Chimera as they slowly rust to dust in Aurohunen. The idea of a DPS Carrier has a certain amount of appeal even if it has limited usefulness to me but on the flip side, the ability to use those Capital reps can come in handy from time to time, too. So do I fit a Triage module or take a pass and see what sort of a monster drone boat I can turn my Chimera into?

This is probably going to seem profoundly vapid, but I think I'll be going with the Force Auxiliaries just because they're the shiney new thing and because of the terrible pun I made in the title of this blog entry. After all, the models do look pretty damn sexy. That said, I'm open to arguments for keeping the old carriers, too. The prospect of the double or triple Capital Ancillary Shield Booster fit Chimera with lows dedicated to Drone Damage Upgrades and the remaining mid slots for DPS application sounds like a metric shit load of fun. But who am I kidding? It's not like it'll have enough CPU to fit all of that anyway, it's still Caldari.

So what's your plan?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Death by a Thousand Cuts

It is with great interest I read of a proposed new module for Captains of Battleships and Capital Ships to help them deal with a variety of situations that would normally render them helpless to a mosquito fleet. The Heavy Stasis Grappler will, in its Tech II variant, have an 85% velocity reduction on the targeted ship, the only downside being its limited range of just one kilometre and a fall off, with reduced effectiveness, out to ten kilometres. Interestingly, overheating will increase the optimal to four kilometres, so make sure you have your Thermodynamics skills trained up.

This proposed new module will be unaffected by Stasis Webifier bonuses as you see on the Vindicator & Bhaalgorn but regardless, it opens up some interesting scenarios, especially in Wormhole space.

Consider the frigate wormhole and the now very effective doctrines many Wormhole groups use to take advantage of them. Combat HICs, Bomber wings, T3 Destroyer gangs and T2 Logistics frigates can, with only a handful of pilots, bring down a pair of Battleships without too much trouble. Even a Marauder can't deal with a small group of frigates and when you consider it's a 2 Billion ISK ship compared to about 200 Million ISK worth of ships, that's a little imbalanced. I do like CCPs thinking here; they can't give Battleship sized weapons uber tracking without turning EVE into Battleships Online and they certainly have to address the issue that basically any buffer fit Battleship can be subjected to death by a thousand cuts by a well fit Frigate. It must be tempting to give Battleships secondary weapons to deal with the tiny menace, indeed it's what I thought Battleships in EVE Online would be when I started out, but I understand that for the sake of balance that isn't an option. The Stasis Grappler changes everything without affecting balance in a negative way as far as I can tell.

Take for example a standard buffer fit, Mega Pulse Laser Abaddon pitched in a duel against a Condor with rockets. The Abaddon is going to cost you around 400 Million ISK fitted, the Condor, maybe 20 Million ISK. All the Condor has to do is a little drone control and the fight is effectively over. That Abaddon will die a slow, horrible death, blasting lasers into space with futility as the Condor slowly chips away at its armour whilst taking advantage of the poor tracking of the Abaddon's lasers. Now throw the Stasis Grappler into the equation. The Condor, needing to be close to its target for its rockets to land, is reduced to 85% of its velocity and is now in serious danger from the primary weapons of the Abaddon, not to mention much easier fodder for his drones. Throw on another conventional Stasis Webifier and you will bring the Condor almost to a stop and certainly to its death. At long last, the Battleship will again be capable of engaging all targets effectively.

This may well have dire consequences for the Astero, the light tackle/scouting ship of choice for most W-Space dwellers. I've lost my fair share of Asteros tackling everything from Marauders to Rattlesnakes, but I've always lasted long enough for the fleet to land and finish the job. That may not be so certain now; with primary weapons coming to bear on my heavily webbed down Astero there's every chance the target would escape before the fleet even lands. But I'm fine with that, reward without risk is dull.

In all of this I've failed to address how this might effect Capital ships, if at all. I really can't think of a situation where I'd like to have one on a carrier, it seems almost redundant. Dreadnaughts however, post some interesting options. I lost a Moros once upon a time and in that situation, this module would have been a Bob send. From close range, after having destroyed a Chimera and a few sub caps, I was pinned down by a gang of Command Ships, eventually neuting my tank off with an Armageddon and grinding me down with the dozen or so Battlecruisers. I was lucky enough to alpha one Command ship off the field who was careless enough to not be orbiting, but the rest I was unable to track, even with dual scripted tracking computers. Add the Stasis Grappler to the mix and suddenly there's an Armageddon down, capacitor restored and a gang of Command Ships trying to get the fuck out of dodge. Oh, that which might have been...

That is highly situational, however. You'd be best served just carrying one in your cargo hold and fitting off a depot or carrier should the need arise. Oh, wait... you can't do that any more. Nevermind :S

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Maths is Hard

Much is being made of the dollar cost of Skill Extractors in the New Eden Store on various blogs, Reddit and the EVE-O forums. Because of exchange rates and the fact I don't actually put any real life monies into EVE any more, it's all pretty foreign to me. So let's take the perspective of a space rich Capsuleer who buys their Aurum on the market, currently valued at about 570 Million ISK for a 1,000 Aurum token.

I'm that guy that never buys a six pack of beer, if I'm going to buy beer, I buy a box. I know I'm going to drink it eventually, who am I trying to kid? I shall adopt the same approach with the Skill Extractors. If I'm going to buy one, I'm buying ten.

Therefore, 8K in Aurum on the EVE Market is going to cost me 4.56 Billion ISK. That investment will net me ten extractors to fill with 5 Million Skill Points I have no use for and allow a new player to inject five million skill points, instantly. The instantly part is where the value comes from. The only way you can do that under normal circumstances is via a character trade. It'll cost you significantly less, yes, but you don't get to choose your name, your race or where those skill points are allocated for maximum efficiency. There's value in all of those things to the right person.

So now you have to question, what is the value of the skills being extracted? The most logical way to assess the value of training is with the cost of play/training time, or PLEX. With optimal implants and correct attribute mapping you can train about 1.6-1.8 Million Skill Points a month. For the sake of argument, let's call it three months of training. In PLEX value, three months of training is about 3.75 Billion ISK. So now let's add those numbers together.

10 Skill Extractors: 4.56 Billion ISK
5 Million Skill Points: 3.75 Billion ISK

Total: 8.31 Billion ISK. Divided by ten, that's 831 Million ISK each, and that's before you take into account the profit that a seller may think is reasonable. Let's call that 10%, although demand may cause that to go North or South of that figure.

The final cost? Somewhere around 900 Million ISK for one 500K SP Injector.

If that doesn't sound very attractive, and it shouldn't, consider then if you are a bitter vet with over 80 Million Skill Points. Your investment of 9 Billion ISK for ten injectors will allow you to inject a paltry 1.5 Million Skill Points, not even one month of training.

Clearly this is only of benefit to one player, the newb. He will spend a couple of hundred dollars on PLEX to jump into 5 Million skill points and, if enough of them do it, probably crash the PLEX market in the process. As someone who PLEX's two accounts each month, I can only say thanks. As someone who thought they might make use of Skill Injectors, I say thanks for nothing, CCP. In their efforts to avoid making this mechanic "pay to win" they've just made it stupidly pricey to fast track skills. I find it hard to comprehend that they could run these numbers and find this result reasonable. I won't be surprised if we see another Jita uprising, frankly.

CCP have released this graph to show the cost in PLEX to train up a character to various levels, taking into account implants and attributes. Notably however, it's the cost excluding the price of the injector, an item that will make up roughly half of the total cost. I don't know if that's an oversight, deliberately deceiving or just stupid, but if it isn't any of those things, well... that's even worse.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Endurance Boosting

Whilst I certainly don't consider myself a miner, I have been seen in HiSec ice belts before because I'm either such an enormous tight arse that I won't pay for my own POS fuel, or I'm just so industrious that I insist on making my own POS fuel. Yeah... industrious. I've got well skilled Exhumer and Orca pilots, a few days of ice mining every three months or so isn't a big deal. It's almost therapeutic, right up until the time you feel like putting a gun in your mouth.

Anyway, ever since Shattered Wormholes came around and CCP trolled the crap out of us by putting ice belts in systems only accessible to frigates and destroyers, I've longed for the opportunity to harvest that high grade ice for convenience's sake and the obvious time saving. The Endurance frigate has now made that a reality, but how do you get yourself those dank mining boosts without an Orca?

You use a Stork, of course. Conveniently, it was only a short cross train on my Orca pilot to have him able to fly a Stork Command Destroyer for the express purpose of boosting a fleet of Endurance frigates and, as it turns out, the difference in the effectiveness of the boosting is remarkably small.

Obviously, this is hostile space, so one thing more than anything that is vital for this boosting Destroyer is that it be impervious to Combat Probing. I've solved this issue with a truck load of Gravimetric ECCM and a Back Up array and even tried to combat probe it out with a very high skilled Buzzard pilot with scanning mods and a full Mid Grade set of Virtue Impants to get a result of around 80%. So yeah, no one's going to probe you out, only a dumb safe spot will likely get you killed. Moreover, the fit isn't so specialized that you'd even need to dedicate a Stork to the job, you could just re-purpose your PvP one when the situation calls for it.

Now, to the miner nerd stats. Boosting the Endurance fit you see in the top part of the image with a maximum skilled Orca pilot with a Mining Foreman Mindlink will give you a yield of 1,691. Don't ask me to put that into cycle time seconds, because I can't/won't. Unboosted, the yield is just 1,144, so it's an appreciable boost in efficiency. The surprising number is that boosts from the Command Destroyer fit pictured yield a return of 1,591, just 100 less than the max skilled Orca. Of course, it's not just ice harvesting this will work wonders for, Gas and Ore are equally affected should you choose to bust out a Venture or Prospect for similarly small wormhole connections.

So there you have it. Go mining in W-Space; it's totally safe and super efficient.