A Return to EVE Online

The Interim

As many people can attest to, I have regressed back into the forays of EVE Online after spending a few months addressing unrelated matters.

During the interim, I did take the time to rebuild my computer, which was an interesting experience for me in the usage of separate cooling loops for the CPU and graphics card. The build log can be found here:

Completed Rebuild

As far as my return to EVE goes, it coincided with the completion of this rebuild.
So after 2-3 months of not playing the game, the first task was re-acquiring some assets that would be important for long-term gameplay. This was primarily accomplished by utilizing the liquid ISK I generated prior to the break from the sale of a fitted Avatar, fitted Aeon, 7x fitted Rorquals, and a large stockpile of minerals, modules, and subcapitals. With the pre-war market in Delve in the beginning of June 2018 having a large surplus of both ships and materials, I was able to purchase a set of Rorquals with fits for less than what I had sold them for only three months prior. 

The Vendetta Project

In addition, with the subsequent availability of ISK that I had, I decided to pursue building a Vendetta, which was something that I have had an interest in due to the "shiny" factor of a faction supercarrier.

Vendetta with IGC Skin
Funny fact, it costs more to build a Vendetta than a titan not because of the rarity of the blueprint, but the sheer amount of materials required for the capital components.




Tritanium x 2,147,483,647
Pyerite   x 1,044,937,667
Mexallon  x    396,934,591
Isogen  x      61,985,371
Nocxium  x      17,498,113
Zydrine   x        6,290,720
Megacyte x        2,710,451
Serpentis Modified Capital Microprocessor x 3,800
Estimated Delve Price: 75.2B ISK
Approximate Volume: 37m M3

Naturally, this investment could have been put to better use via starting reactions, T2 production, or even simply injecting more more Rorqual characters; however, the notion of using a ship that costs more than many fitted Titans was too much to pass up. 
After a few weeks of sourcing the materials, moving them to be built into components, and ensuring an adequate supply of capital component blueprint copies, the hull was put into build.

While all of this was taking place, I was constantly grinding away with the Rorquals and doing a modest amount of courier contracts with the Jump Freighters to regain an income stream for purchasing game time for my 15+ accounts.

War

Not soon after I jump back into the game, the path towards The Imperium starting a long-term offensive campaign is initiated.

Saturday, June 16th, 2018
The Mittani declares during his regular Fireside chat that everyone needs to invest into acquiring both shield and armor supers and titans. 

I reallocate training of my four primary Titan/Super/Capital characters towards this goal.
  • Captain Derek is already trained for the Avatar and Leviathan. Further training set for the Erebus and Ragnarok
  • Robbbin Hood is already able to fly all flavors of Supers. Further training set for maxing out fighter skills.
  • Consuela Martinez and D'liverence are both set towards matching Captain Derek and Robbbin Hood, respectively.
Saturday, June 30th, 2018
The Imperium starts the NGSA (National Goon Surveillance Agency)

This project, headed by FC and Coordinator Dabigredboat, launches an organized campaign of cloaking camping in hostile regions, such as Deklein, Fade, and Pure Blind, on a scale never seen before in the game. 
**To put this into perspective, by the time all participants had setup camp in their respectively assigned systems, there were often more campers throughout the day than actual hostiles within affected systems.**
As I was actively training four new Rorqual characters on respective accounts, I decided to setup four of my own AFK covert-cyno Manticore pilots.

Not soon after, a series of large escalations in activity and fights take place. 
The Imperium armor supercapital force is deployed north. 

Friday, July 20th, 2018
Vendetta is finished building and is deployed north.

Monday, July 30th, 2018
The fight for the armor timer of the X47 Keepstar.


The order is given for supercarriers to fit points and enter the field next to the hostile supercapital force. This is seen as a strategic gamble to attempt to lock down hostile Titans before they can regain their invulnerability after re-tethering. 
As one of the few faction supercarriers who entered the field that day, I was immediately selected as a primary target after entering the field. Unfortunately, due to the extensive server-side issues from the scale of the number of players participating, I had no chance to load grid before finding myself in a pod.

RIP Vendetta
It's funny to reflect on this loss now, a little more than a month afterwards, and thinking about how this loss was so overshadowed by the enormity of The Imperium's successes both on that day and the continuing campaign.
The X47 Keepstar was eventually destroyed in another impressive battle that showcased an enormous numbers of titans and supers.


Post Vendetta

With the loss of the Vendetta, the next logical step was to recover via The Imperium's ship reimbursement program putting Robbbin Hood into an Aeon. After having marking off the Vendetta on my "EVE Bucket List", it would make very little sense to push for another Vendetta before obtaining a shield titan and super.

A goal of placing Consuela Martinez into a Ragnarok and D'liverence into a Wyvern or Hel was not too far off by the time the Vendetta was lost. I already had an Avatar in build and the insurance funds from the Vendetta hull were enough to throw another Aeon into build.
The goal, the proceeds from the sale of both would be sufficient to keep my supercapital production going while working on the hulls.

Margins for supercapitals in The Imperium are extremely tight. A producer who doesn't min-max every aspect of their production chain will not net a profit.
As an example, Avatars are selling at approximately 55B ISK, when the cost to produce them is roughly 53B ISK (not including the cost of the blueprint copy).
For someone mining the raw ore and producing the minerals for production via a modest number of Rorquals, this is a relatively productive way to generate an income from mining and production instead of simply taking compressed ore and selling it to Jita or local buy orders.

In addition to mining normal ores, moon ores have also a large income potential. While someone cannot necessarily mine enough moon ores to fully support a reaction chain, it is enough to supplement one. As facilities and character slots are available, I have taken steps towards doing reactions specifically for T2 production.

Two of my accounts are donations from a former friend, who had been using them as part of a large-scale mining barge fleet from the days prior to ISBoxer multi-broadcasting being banned. From these two accounts, I have been training characters for maximum T2 research, invention, and production.

In addition, The Imperium provides for a very minimal fee, facilities that provide maximum possible bonuses for both reprocessing, research, invention, and production. There is simply no way someone can maximize profits without investing billions of ISK into facilities with T2 rigs for maximum bonuses.

Unfortunately, there are no openly-available resources available that tell someone what is most profitable to produce. This is particularly the case when one considers the large number of variables that have an impact throughout the production chain.

T2 Production Chain:
+ T2 BPC Production

  • T1 BPC (typically from purchasing and copying from a researched T1 BPO)
  • Decryptor

+ T1 Module/Ship Production

  • T1 Researched BPC or BPO
  • Minerals

+ Advanced Component Production

  • Complex Moon Reaction Products

+ Planetary Material Production

  • Planetary Interaction Products
+ R.A.M. Production
  • Minerals
= T2 Item Production

  • T2 BPC
  • T1 Module/Ship
  • Advanced Components
  • Planetary Materials
  • R.A.M.'s
  • Minerals (Morphite)
For the time being, I have run batches for T2 Siege Modules, T2 Warriors, T2 Hammerheads, and Sabres. 

Current Goals
  • Continue mining both normal and moon ores to support accounts.
  • Continue and complete training of four additional Rorqual pilots.
  • Produce Ragnarok and Hel for Consuela and D'liverence.
  • Continue producing supercapitals from minerals created by Rorqual mining.
  • Continue refining T2 production process
    • Creation of spreadsheet to encompass overall production.
    • End goal - sale of produced items via sale of fit ships on alliance contracts.
      • Example: Production of fit Sabres for alliance contracts from base materials instead of simply purchasing items in Jita. 
      • Currently about to finish production of 100 Sabres. 
      • Currently have inventory of 48 T2 Siege Modules with 36 more in production.
        • Production of Revelations (33 BPC's) and Naglfars (24 BPC's)
Long Term Goals
  • Complete training of capital production characters into dreadnought pilots on the Rorqual character accounts.
  • Complete training of the Rorqual pilots into shield and armor force auxiliary pilots.
  • Complete acquisition and training for each type of supercapital.
    • i.e. two titan pilots with two shield and two armor titans available for use. ditto for supercarrier pilots.
  • Transition to fully passive income generation to support accounts. 
  • Application of continuing education in programming languages toward developing desktop or web application for industry management.

Break Time!

So yeah...

Thanks for visiting my blog.
I'm taking a long-needed break from EVE for a bit.

Cheers.

2018.01.05 - The Proliferation of Supercapitals


Since the introduction of capitals and supercapitals (including titans) back in 2005 (dev blog), there has been an ever-present forum of thoughts and ideas surrounding them. One of the greatest arguments to this day surrounds how CCP should manage the numbers of supercapitals and titans within the game. This is an especially complicated issue due to the direct correlation it has to CCP's bottom line. When major events take place in the game, such as the fight in B-R, there is a well-known influx of new players who often had never heard of EVE Online until they saw the media surrounding the event. As a veteran of the game, who has had the opportunity to fly most of the supers and titans in the game, it can be hard to appreciate the awe that these ships invoke among newer players; many who believe it they are destined to not pilot ships, such as the Nyx or Avatar, until after years of grinding. On the same spectrum, mechanics introduced to reduce the combat effectiveness of these ships often leaves those actively using them bitter and resentful. This can be best shown by the number of titan pilots who refused to renew their account subscriptions after CCP nerfed the ability for titans to track subcapitals. The introduction of HAW's (high-angle weapons) partially reversed this nerf; however, there are still plenty of older players who remember the old days of tracking titans and area of effect doomsdays.

Many of the veteran pilots will remember the historical fights that displayed of the pivotal role of supercapitals and their ability to project power. 

Here are some of the older videos that I have saved over the years from these fights: 

Northern Coalition vs Southern Coalition (Published September 3, 2010)

Pandemic Legion vs Against All Authorities (Fought on August 15, 2012)

Black Legion Welping Supers to Pandemic Legion (Published October 23, 2013)

B-R5RB (January 27, 2014)


As mentioned, supercapitals and titans have played a pivotal role for groups that wish to project power as the final escalating force for when winning a fight is all that matters. To acquire such a force, players must be either willing to pay a premium for an industrialist to produce these ships or be part of an entity that has enough power to secure the sovereignty required for supercapital production. In this day and age, the latter is more commonly achieved via renting the rights to a system; however, this is still often not the most secure option when considering the high upfront infrastructure costs. CCP's changes to Rorquals and the addition of refineries have also added to the relative ease in which supercapitals are now built. This is a sharp contrast to the changes that were made by CCP to directly stymie the proliferation of supercapitals. Fortunately, the time taken to produce supercapitals has seen a decrease over time, in conjunction with the time spent by players training characters to fly their respective ships.

The relatively recent addition of skill injectors to EVE Online has had a profound impact on the ability for players to pilot a variety of ships that once required lengthy skill trains. Should a player have access to the resources to acquire enough skill injectors, they can now create a new character and add the skill points required to fly a titan that normally took years to adequately fly. The age of a character cannot be reasonably used as a measure of a player's competence. As a veteran, this equally applies to when considering whether that cute newbie with no killboard history may or may not be a freshly created Sabre pilot with a cyno and a hostile dreadnought fleet behind it.

In today's current environment, supercarriers and titans are being produced at a rate once only reserved for regular capitals. Supercarriers are regularly being flown by pilots who never experienced the days of EVE before jump fatigue, much less a serious, hours-long battle. The combination of jump fatigue, Fozzie Sov, and the reduced importance of POS's has created a dynamic where large entities are now hesitant to shift their supercapital umbrellas for fear of their enemies catching them at a moment of weakness. The changes to fighters and fighter bombers with the nerfing of supercapital's once-awesome repping power has pushed forwards the importance of titans over almost every other capital or supercapital [obviously not accounting for the importance and demand for force auxiliaries]. There is currently an unprecedented level of stability, relatively speaking, since the introduction of the new sovereignty system. Organizations, such as The Imperium and PamFam have been able to secure incredibly stable environments, which have fostered a level of supercapital production previously unseen. The lower cost and surplus supply of materials for supercapital production has generated a dynamic where an Avatar may only cost as much as 54 billion ISK to build [example]. 

I strongly believe that the future of EVE Online rests not with the addition of further subcapital ships or increasing the ease of wealth accumulation, but with CCP's ability to recognize that the high-end tiers of skill training and ship classes needs to be pushed further out. The days of pirate capitals and supercapitals is already upon us; however, CCP needs to either introduce T2 and T3 variants of supercapitals or an entirely new class beyond supercapitals. This would serve as a means of balance to the supercapital proliferation that has already taken place and bring back the grandeur that ships, such as the Avatar or Nyx used to have for both new players and seasoned veterans alike. Based on the experience that CCP has acquired over the years of its curatorial role, it can and should introduce mechanisms that make these new mega-carriers and mega-titans limited to those pilots who have been a part of the game long enough to acquire them and limit the production of them. Whether this can be achieved through special skills that requires a character to have been in Omega status for 6 months and/or a combination of materials and time that severely limits production, even when heavily scaled by organizational wealth or characters, there needs to be an introduction of new ships beyond the pirate capitals and supercapitals. While CCP has implemented a system for pirate titans that is supposed to mitigate their proliferation, there is still a significant level of proliferation that is taking place for ships, such as the Molok, which are essentially being brute-forced into existence by organizational power and wealth. For many players who joined the EVE community after the battle of B-R5B, the acquiring of a titan is the end-game. What CCP does within the next year will decide the fate for EVE Online.

Battle of B-5RB

2018.01.03 - We Must Control All the Spice


For an industrialist, there are several criteria that are evaluated when deciding on possible projects to invest time, money, and energy.
  • Demand? 
  • Supply? 
  • Competition?
  • Opportunity Costs?
  • Scalability? 
  • Upfront Costs?
  • Logistics?
So, when CCP decided to revamp the system surrounding the production of moon materials, it became a natural moment of opportunity. The previous system was heavily based on 'passively' extracting the moon goo through the use of control towers. The major problem with this system was that the control towers were part of the game's legacy code that CCP has been working diligently to rewrite. Beyond that, CCP also felt the need to 'stir things up' with regards to the power blocs that heavily relied on their control of moon resources to preserve or strengthen the status quo.

Relevant Dev Blogs
2017-08-24: Reactions Redefined

As shown through the above dev blogs, the new system revolves around a player mining the ore, as if they were mining Veldspar or Spodumain. The moon ores, mixed in with uber-bonused normal ores, are able to be mined through the use of an exhumer or a rorqual. This ore is then reprocessed to derive the materials needed for T2 production.

For me, this is an ironic turn of events -- 
Between 2013 and 2014, I had been spending my time in Delve with Get Off My Lawn. During this time, between a ton of  $1 per miner starter packs and ISBoxer, I found myself managing about 30 accounts dedicated towards a mining ice and ore. By the time that CCP had effectively nerfed ISBoxer, I had generated enough income to eventually start my own reaction farm. By 2015, our alliance had moved to Vale of the Silent and I was managing a 'small' reaction farm of 30 towers. Once the events of the eviction of the CFC from the North got underway around April/May of 2016, I soon found myself doubling the scale of my previous operations. This all culminated by 2017, when I was asked to take over the role of managing Shadow Cartels' moon operations. By May 2017, I was effectively burned out and carried the mantra of fuck mining and fuck ever touching another POS again.

So, a few months after joining Goons and moving to Delve, I found myself mining with my own small group of Rorquals. The irony - the changes to the production of moon goo resulting in the fact that a player in a rorqual can make more isk per hour mining moon goo than any other grinding activity in the game. 

The demand for moon materials has not been reduced, as players and the market continue to utilize T2 modules and ships. With the inevitable increase in the pool of players and/or characters able to use T2 items, the corresponding increase in demand is almost guaranteed. This doesn't account for the possibility of demand increases from large wars or the introduction of new items to the game, i.e. T2 capitals or supers.

The supply of these materials and related products has also seen a tremendous downward swing. While unsuspecting players laugh at the results displayed in CCP's Monthly Economic Reports, many fail to realize the impact that major power blocs, such as the Imperium and GOTG, have on the availability of certain materials. The fact that the Imperium, with its highly-defensible position within Delve, is capable of maximizing the output of the region's moons, while other regions and their respective residents only maybe seeing a fraction of their effective output will place enormous competitive pressures on the latter parties. Whether or not this is beneficial for the game and if CCP will intervene will be interesting to see.

That said, the ability for a single entity to effectively scale out its moon goo operations is severely limited by both the resources needed to effectively mine the extracted moon chunks and the upfront costs for the supporting infrastructure. The current upfront costs for moon mining are far beyond what they once were. The fact that the ores must be also reprocessed to obtain the actual goo also introduces further costs within the product chain. This doesn't even account for the resources involved getting enough rorquals or miners in place to effectively mine the extracted moon chunks.

Many of the above items also tie in with the several aspects of logistics, from distance, fuel costs, and even the risks of being ganked in highsec. Between jump fatigue and CCP's recent changes to jump fuel, the sale of both raw materials and their derivative products within local markets has been strongly encouraged. For a strong portion of the game, the Jita market is used as a price index for determining base pricing. When a large supplier is located further from that market, the overall price index will increase from the increased shipping costs of both any imports and outputs. 

There is an inherit benefit from the changes presented by CCP for its players. It opens the door for anyone willing to invest themselves into entering a new and challenging arena. While organizational support may differ among participants, the broad impacts have yet to be completely felt. We will continue to witness the effects of CCP's changes to the game, as the player base continues to learn and adapt. 

For now, T2 ship production will be my own personal goal, as I predict CCP will introduce T2 capitals or T2 supers to add further to this aging game. Whether I am right or wrong, we will likely see in this new year!

2018.01.02 - A Brief Start to this Blog

As I lay awake at night, restless yet again, I take solace in my obsession with this game.
My autistic, inner-nerd always working against my desire to sleep by constantly laboring over my industrial enterprise. 

Let this be my adventure for the new year - a journal of the ridiculous amount of time that I put into playing a game about spaceships online.