Archive for the ‘Exploration’ Category


Carebear Rage

May 25, 2010

W-space is one of those cool places where anything goes.  You never know if the guy on d-scan is going to be friendly or is going to try to gank you.  Especially if he’s Russian.  Which in that case I adopt a NBRA attitude (Not Blue Run Away).

Had two great PvP encounters last night though.  When I logged on, we had a connector to an exit a few jumps from Hek and Rens, which made us giddy since most of us went shopping and hauled out our current stash of loot from Valhalla System.  We nearly finished our haul-out and then we picked up some activity so Stocks quickly switches to his Wolf to provide eyes on the hole to Valhalla System and the Minnie exit hole.  A Punisher, Vexor, and a Bellicose.  Mmm juicy targets.  Chan jumps into an Arazu and starts scanning them down.  It was pretty funny watching these guys try to combat probe us down, apparently in the Bellicose.  Imagine the offensive and tanking capability of a Bellicose after being hampered by an expanded probe launcher’s CPU requirements lol.  The Bellicose warps into Stocky a few times at 10-15 km and decides not to play, and books it for the Minnie high sec exit and bails.

We keep the situation enticing for them by continuing our haul-ins.  It’s sort of funny because we basically hauled out at least 400 mISK in loot, and I hauled in maybe 1.5 bISK in ships, faction/plex mods, and faction ammo for myself.  Finally they bite.  Immediately Holland and Stocky pwns the Punisher and pods the guy.  We get the Vexor into structure but somehow he gets away since he’s MWD fit (damn forgot to overheat mods :<).  Bouncing planets a few times we always land a bit out of long-point range, and eventually he makes it back to his PoS and hides.

Punisher + Pod

Look at how funny it is that the Vexor pilot points his friend for us by accident, not once, but twice.  Thanks for the pod kill, mate!  Mr Vexor convos us about how they thought they could get an easy hauler kill (that would be me lol).  They never expected that one haha.

Near DT, we close the hole connecting us to Minnie space and open up another one.  30+ combat sites!  We drool at the ISK potential and hop in our Pve ships.  Oculi gets on and we realize there is a PoS in that system owned by a small 10-man corp.  And ohh, a Legion!  Ipsi pops out combat probes and we start scanning the guy down, but then a Retribution and Coercer appears on d-scan as well.  We’re getting super excited so the bat-signal is sent out and we amass a small fleet of BCs, a FR, a cov-ops.  Ipsi has some trouble scanning the guy down so he switches to his stash of Sisters combats and pins the guy, though we’re getting worried that the Retribution and Coercer pilots may hop in heavier ships.  But wait!  I did some thinking and said that we only saw one ship moving at a time — was this guy running sites solo and swapping ships to salvage?!  It would appear so!

After 30-45 mintues of being annoyed that we kept pinning the Legion’s location down, only to have him swap ships and have to re-scan him, we finally catch him starting a new site.  Ipsi warps in at 100 km and gets into position, while Oculi also positions himself for extra long range Arazu pointy love.  On the Valhalla side, we have our fleet chilling.  Holland, Stocky, Mando, Rare, and me, in a Hurricane, Wolf, 2 Drakes, and a Brutix.  We agonize about how this guy could potentially be very well fit, because W-space dwellers are all rich right?!  If he is fitted correctly, he could probably rep nearly 1K hp per second and still do pretty massive damage for a cruiser hull.  The only way to get past his rep would be to neut the crap out of him, so we consider taking out the old neut Dominix, before saying “fuck it” and dealing with the medium neuts we have fitted on our PvP ships.  Stocky and Mando have to leave so we lose the Wolf and Drake *sad face*.

Ipsi and Oculi are in position and as the Legion pilot activates the 2nd wave (the hardest one), and we jump in and bum rush this dude.  Everyone drops warp in position, except for me in my Brutix.  I land about 15 km away, way too far to hit the dude with my scram, even heated.  Not to mention that I’m blaster gank fit so I have to hump the guy practically.  I hit the AB and heat it and close range.  The guy is obviously panicing because there are a shitton of ships on grid with him, with an Arazu keeping him from moving, not to mention the points that Holland and I threw on him lol.

The Sleepers start switching targets to Oculi’s Arazu and Holland’s Hurricane.  Then perhaps a bit too late, the guy switches from trying to kill us (lol) and pops the trigger for the 3rd wave, spawning more Sleepers which start biting into our buffer tanks.  But too late, the Legion goes into structure and explodes in spectacular fashion \o/.  I start targetting the pod and priming my blasters and scram, but he warps away just as I’m about to lock him :(.  We grab its loot and warp out, still giddy.  As we see the guy’s capsule go off d-scan in an apparent rage quit 😀

I’m still a bit disappointed that the Legion wasn’t faction fitted, but eh, a T3 kill is a T3 kill.


Then we start feeling just a tad bad because we’re talking on Ventrilo about how long this guy’s probably saved to buy that Legion becasue most W-space corps don’t pay as much as I do to my Project Valhalla members.  Ah well, it feels good to be evil 🙂

Since there’s nothing else to kill, we start running sites in their hole because shit, now we own it.

To add some salt to the wound, I anchored a SSC on VIII-22 that stated “Nemesis Nation – Now Recruiting.”  Hope they like it 🙂


Reminder: Don’t Play EvE Slightly Intoxicated

May 21, 2010

Here in Valhalla system, our crew is nearly always intoxicated.  Something about beer and hard liquor that makes running Sleeper sites so much easier.  However, many of us came from PvP backgrounds, with our few industrialists now thirsting for blood oozing from squished ship hulls as well.

I might add though — PvP’ing while slightly intoxicated doesn’t work very well.  Whenever we have that urge, we just have to go find someone to gank.  Yesterday was one of those days.  So our crew, coming off of an alcohol rush, saddled up into gank BCs and FRs to go for some gank action.  Trying to gank people doesn’t work this way.  You’ve got to be totally wasted.

Since we couldn’t find anyone in W-space to kill (they kept running away after trying to act all hard with an Onyx), we dropped out and went into the Minmatar FW zone to try to pick a fight.  A Megathron went down pretty easily after he took the bait from our Falcon, and then a Thrasher was pretty much insta-popped.  This is where it goes all to hell.

We ran out of alcohol!

Without our pimp juice, our PvP’ing became pretty flaccid.  We eventually lost a Harbinger and a Falcon (sad face) to some pies who came in a Typhoon, Hurricane, Falcon, and Scimitar, and floated off into space, disoriented, in search of more booze.

Lesson of the day: Always keep the alcohol stocked up and ready to lube up the guns.


Slow Brutix is Slow

May 17, 2010

Sometimes I’m in New Eden for hours.  Yesterday was one of those days.  By 1500, it was the 10h mark and I was pretty damn pooped out.

I was nearly asleep at my keyboard when a Oc, a new Project Valhalla member I brought in a few days ago woke me up over Ventrilo with: “Suun, I think we have a Covetor in this C4 a few connectors down.”  Damn, I’ve never reacted so fast for a while now.  I grabbed the BM’s and my gank Brutix.  Sweet thing about an all-gang Brutix is that I’ve jammed the lows full of damage mods, leaving the mids and rigs with shield mods for a passive tank.  Slotted some Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M into the blasters and off I went.

The Covetor was just chilling at a gravimetric site in a C4 2 connectors down, and I wanted to alpha his ass.  I’m getting reports over Vent from Oc: “OK, I’m in position, warp to me at 10km and you’ll land on top of him.”  I’m serious, the response time was like ~3 minutes from the time I got the possible target call, to me being at the WH to the C4.  I’m laughing to myself quietly because this is going to be such a sweet gank.  They had a Nighthawk, Drake, buncha indies, and a cap or two on scan, but we were going to get in, do the deed, and get out.

I activate the WH and get into the C4, and immediately initiate a warp to Oc.  The Covetor is still chilling, jetcanning.  I’m thinking that this guy is sooo AFK.  About 75,000 km left on my warp, Oc goes “Uhh Suun.. the guy is sublighting.”  Shit!  I pray I have time to catch him before he aligns all the way and warps off.

I land literally on top of him and couldn’t lock and scram him because his warp drive already kicked in.  Immediately the system starts buzzing with activity and we both kick into defensive mode.  Oc cloaks up his cov-ops and I start bouncing.  Damn with my shit skills I couldn’t fit a cloak onto my Brutix 😦  As I’m aligning to a random planet (III), I lock up and pop all the Covetor’s cans of tasty Arkonor.  I warp into III at 30 km and see the Covetor.  Apparently he had warped in at 70 km.  I don’t bother burning at him because there would’ve been no way to catch him anyway, and he warps off.

We thought they would try to catch us at the connection WH, but on my next d-scan, there were zero ships on scan.  Just a bunch of PoS and industrial arrays/modules.  The fools had logged because they were scared of a tiny Brutix.  And they had cap ships!  Haha…

Anyway, I guess Oc and I were satisfied with ruining their mining op by popping their Arkonor cans.  Condolence prize I guess :\

We head back to our home system and back to our blue bubble.

I’ll be much happier next week when I can fly a Navy Omen relatively well enough, with enough DPS and tank to fuck up most ships a class size up.  The gank Brutix outputs an insane amount of DPS for its class, but it’s just too damn slow.  Meh.


The Void

May 10, 2010

W-Space has this affect on the men and women that inhabit it.  Here they are forged from carebears into ruthless killers in pursuit of ISK.  I remember when we first took the initial team into Valhalla system.  We would routinely close holes at the smallest possibility of combat.  After all, most of these men and women had a PvE or industrial background.

4 months down the line, we’re in our comfort zone.  Sure we’ve had some heavy losses initially to the Russians and the certain role-playing drug runner alliance.  But even after a massive fleet loss in February, I’m amazed that my group even rebounded.  Yet a few days later, they were at it again, with shiny new ships.  The resilience is very comforting.

We’ve tried a few different ways of diplomacy here, and have made a few friends from it.  But eventually we fell back to our basic corp policy of NBSI.  It’s funny, some of the people we killed ended up being friends later.

I admit at times it’s lonely in here, with so few people to interact with.  But whenever we’re back in k-space there is a certain itch to be sucked back into the void.  Small habits we picked up, such as spamming 360 d-scan every 2 seconds, being paranoid, pixel panic.  It’s pretty disheartening to see so many people out in k-space, and not being sure about your surroundings because of the expanded threat levels.

In here, we’re in our comfort zone.  Grinding out anomalies, magnetometric, radar sites, maybe even massage some arkonor and mercoxit rocks once in a while.  On any given moment’s notice though, we saddle up our war horses at opportunities that arise to take out threats.  It’s funny watching ex-industrialists rocking battlecruisers, raking laser beams across enemy hulls, supporting our combat pilots.  But our evolved mantra is, if we don’t teach intruders a lesson, someone else will.  I tend to think we’re a bit nicer at it then others may be.  At least we’ll blow you up outright instead of warp scramming your pod for an hour haha.


Moving Onto Greater Things

April 15, 2010

One of the issues with running either a W-space corp or a division of a corp with W-space assets is “when do we move onto greater things?”

Granted, as your W-space inhabitants gain more confidence in running sites, they will naturally always want more.  You have that natural progression from C1 –> C6 that goes with time.  While my original decision to inhabit a C4-C2 may have been a contentious one, in effect it serves as a training ground for my men.  C2’s are easily soloable when not enough people are online.  Then we figured out we can effectively though slowly grind out C4 sites with an ECM battleship backed by a DPS battleship.  Well, that sort of messes up the 3-4 man RR gang it typically takes to efficiently rock a C4.  With that ECM battleship, we’re able to take out effectively 50% or more of the Sleeper DPS, making even those tough C4 sites easy peasy.

So where do we go from here?

There are a few things I have in mind that will allow us to continue to live in the current system, whilst recruiting more W-space members, beefing up security, and saving up ISK for a proper move to a C5/6 (meaning at least 2 faction towers).  One of the benefits of having Directorship in a multi-national corp is the global footing of the corp.  We always have people online.  Some TZ’s might not have as many people, but there are always people to banter about stupid shit with, distraction allowing.  Per our corp setup, trust is a major issue.  Taking lessons from the old null-sec alliances I used to serve out my early EvE career in from 2004-2009, divisions, partitions, and trust management is a huge thing.  Who do we trust with tower manager roles?  Who do we trust period with being able to access tower arrays?  Faulty logic and thinking in most carebear corps, and even large alliances have allowed discontented people to initiate large corp heists before leaving.  The divisions and partitional nature allows us to fine tune the trust management, but at the same time, it removes many potential members from more “secure” projects that involve a ton of ISK.  So the strength build-up is slow, but necessary.

Now, with ~25 members manning our Project Valhalla, there are some things I feel that needs focus on:

01.)  Increased PvP patrols; i.e. gank everything that is alive, sending them back into the clone vat, questions asked later
02.)  Accept the C2/3/4 grind to generate ISK for future W-space endeavors
03.)  Utilize the nature of W-space to raid null-sec for some more PvP fun
04.)  Increase our science abilities
05.)  Make sure more pilots are capital ship capable; this means dread, carrier, Orca, Rorqual pilots

All in all, my pilots have been more than gracious.  Granted as a leader, I provide and encourage a lot of leeway.  I believe in the school of thought that pushes for a firm hand, understanding, fun, but also sternness in reaching for our goals.

We continue to evaluate our risks.  Once you pass the 60% mark on surety, it’s probably a good bet to throw everything you have got at the situation.  This goes for PvP, PvE, market stuff, all that good shit.


W-Space / Empire Mining Payout Schemes

April 10, 2010

A point of contention has always been “how do you pay your team” for combined ops?

In my EvE career, I’ve gone through numerous ways of team compensation.  You can take the “scientific” route, and break down each member’s contribution via their skills, ships, equipment, and of course time put in.  This is the complicated way that carries with it its own headaches.  THe lazy way, of course, is to take the lump sum of the op proceeds and split it up evenly, though this will give the higher skilled members less.  In my experience, the op leaders should always pay “how they feel like,” no questions asked.

That being said, in the pursuit of fairness, let’s say we’ll look at two different scenarios:

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W-Space Payouts:

In W-Space, I expect all my project members to have fairly high skills.  This means that combat site runners and PvP pilots need to be able to field a well equipped battleship, and of course, everything down.  Miners/industrialists need to be able to fly a standard Hulk fit, level IV/V racial industrial, and perhaps have basic research/production skills as well.  It’s helpful that all members can fly at least racial industrial IV, preferably the Iteron Mark IV/Iteron Mark V, or Mammoth as those are the best train time/volume haulers.  For Combat/PvP type pilots, training a Bestower is fine if they don’t plan to put much time and SP into industrial/haulers.  Then of course, there isn’t any baby hand-holding done in W-space, so all pilots also need to have above average scanning ability, and need to *know how* to scan themselves out as this is a prime duty for all involved.  As such, you’ll find members of my W-space team having at least 10m SP typically, or more.

Here, I weight each member by their perceived contributions.  Main toon is 1 weight, alts are 0.5 weight each, if they are also used often in conjunction to the main.  A weight is sort of like a “share” in the proceeds.  Per my fancy schmancy spreadsheet, corp tax is automatically put into a pile, and the remainder is available for payout.  All the members’ weight values get added up, and the payout pot is divided by this combined weight, and this is the “share” of the loot.  Members get their weight * share = personal payout.  Deductions are made if a member is underperforming, which is placed into a “bonus” pot to be divided among the deserving pilots.

Assuming Combat/PvP pilots fly battleships and down, and industrial/mining pilots fly Hulks:

1 weight = Main Combat/PvP/industrial/miner toon
0.5 weight = Alt Combat/PvP/industrial/miner toon

We follow these simple calculations to pay your W-space combat site runners/PvP pilots/industrialists/miners:

tL = Available Funds of Total Loot/Ore
T = Corp Tax (% value set by corp)
tW = Total Weight
pmW1,2,3..x,y,z = Personal Weight of Main Toon
1,2,3..x,y,z = Personal Weight of Alt Toon
S = Share
pD = Personal Deduction (% value gauged on performance)
pbD1,2,3..x,y,z = Personal Deductions Going to Bonus Pot
B = Bonus Pot
pB = Personal Bonus (% value gauged on performance)
pP = Personal Payout

01.  To calculate the total weight –> (pmW1,2,3..x,y,z added up) + (paW1,2,3..x,y,z added up) = tW
02.  To calculate the Share values –> (tL – T) / tW = S
03.  To calculate personal deductions –>((pmW1 + paW1) * S ) * pD = pbD1 (and so on)
04.  Adding up personal deductions to get Bonus pot –> pbD1,2,3..x,y,z = B
05.  Total Pay to be paid to the payee –> ((pmW1 + paW1) * S) – pbD1 + (pB * B) = pP

Easy peasy, right?  This simple math won’t bite, I promise!  😉

***   ***   ***

High-Sec Mining Payouts:


With high-sec mining teams, especially since they’re often used not only as a corp’s main industry arm, but as a training ground to prove pilots for later, more dedicated projects, they pay scheme must be different due to the fact that many team members might not be trained up to a sufficient level for their mining skills.  Since we’re not dealing with loot here, and just straight ore, it makes it a bit simpler in terms of the op leader selling the proceeds.  Remember that in Empire, ore values are much less than let’s say, out in W-space and null-sec.  As such, it’s *really* important that the op leader identifies the types of ore that brings in the highest amount of ISK/m3.  I’ve nearly podded a few op leaders for mining ridiculous things like Omber and Pyroxeres, when they could be concentrating on ore types that are worth double or more.  Refer to the handy-dandy Enildor’s EVE Ore Calculator chart for up-to-date information on mineral prices by region before you run any ops.  For more advanced/numbers type people, refer to the excellent Dedaf’s Industrial Tool spreadsheet which sync’s with your character’s API.

The goal which all Empire mining op leaders should push for their team members is to proceed to a Hulk ASAP.  The usual progression path is Racial Mining Frigate (Tormentor, Bantam, Navitas, Burst), Racial Mining Cruiser (Maller, Osprey, Vexor, Scythe), then straightaway to Barges.  You will be wise to have your rapidly learning team member skip the Procurer altogether for the Retriever, then skip the Covetor for T2 and the Hulk unless ISK is an issue (and they are only flying a Covetor to make ISK for a Hulk).  Unless your team member already has a Hulk on an alt or something, they should be training for one.  If not, cut them 🙂  Once they get to a Retriever, they need to train for T2 Strip Miners, specifically the Modulated Strip Miner II.  Being able to use T1 ore crystals is better than using no crystals.  They should also be able to fit at Mining Laser Upgrade I/II (note that on a Retriever, you need a Co-Processor I/II to make it fit).  Drones V and Mining Drones should also be trained at least up to being able to use Mining Drone I and for carriage of light combat drones for self-defense against NPC rats.

Now, on to payment schemes.

Like I mentioned before, you can pay by taking into all their skills, ship, modules into consideration, though many times this will be more of a headache for the op leader than making things easier.  I’ve come up with an easier, simpler method that still pays roughly the same.  Running with the “weight” and “share” system, Frigates equal 0.6 weight.  Cruisers equal 1 weight provided they use 5x mining lasers, otherwise pay at 0.6 weight.  When your pilot has advanced to the Retriever, each Strip Miner laser is equal to 1 weight, e.g. Retriever is 2 weight, Hulk is 3 weight, provided they are fitted with at least 1x Mining Laser Upgrade.  Haulers, provided they are on racial industrial IV, are equal to 1 weight, anything less is 0.6 weight.  For efficiency’s sake, haulers should be either Gallente or Minmatar (Iteron IV/V, Mammoth).  Orcas pilots should be paid at 1.5 weight, and only used when there are at least 18 weights’ worth of *miners* present, e.g. 5x Hulks, 9x Retrievers, or any combination up/down.  If you exceed 20 weights worth of *miners* you might be interested in having a full-time hauler present.  When a pilot has an alt present, their alt should be paid 0.75x of a normal “full” main’s weight (the reasoning behind giving an alt in Empire 0.75 vs 0.5 in W-space is that both toons should be more active since there is less worry of a semi-AFK alt being ganked).

Note that the “weight” system doesn’t perfectly pay each pilot for their exact contribution, as it still gives lower SP pilots a little more and higher SP pilots a little less, but it’s more or less fair.

Weights broken down:

0.6 weight = Frigates
1 weight = Cruisers with 5x mining lasers
1 weight per Strip Miner, up to 3 = Mining Barges/Exhumers
0.6 weight = Hauler that *is not* an Iteron IV/V or Mammoth
1 weight = Hauler that *is* an Iteron IV/V or Mammoth
1.5 weight = Orca

Empire/High-Sec Mining Payout Scheme Breakdown:

tL = Available Funds of Total Loot/Ore
T = Corp Tax (% value set by corp)
tW = Total Weight
pmW1,2,3..x,y,z = Personal Weight of Main Toon
1,2,3..x,y,z = Personal Weight of Alt Toon
S = Share
pD = Personal Deduction (% value gauged on performance)
pbD1,2,3..x,y,z = Personal Deductions Going to Bonus Pot
B = Bonus Pot
pB = Personal Bonus (% value gauged on performance)
pP = Personal Payout

01.  To calculate the total weight –> (pmW1,2,3..x,y,z added up) + (paW1,2,3..x,y,z added up) = tW
02.  To calculate the Share values –> (tL – T) / tW = S
03.  To calculate personal deductions –>((pmW1 + paW1) * S ) * pD = pbD1 (and so on)
04.  Adding up personal deductions to get Bonus pot –> pbD1,2,3..x,y,z = B
05.  Total Pay to be paid to the payee –> ((pmW1 + paW1) * S) – pbD1 + (pB * B) = pP

***   ***   ***

Simple, yeah?


Magnetometric/Radar Exploration Sites

April 9, 2010

Finally got fed up that I was being teased as the Director who couldn’t do Exploration Sites – hey my points are in leadership!

With Astrogeology III and Hacking III, this setup is fairly fast even with T1 modules.  The best part is it’s throw-away in case you get popped inadvertently, though usually I’m able to Arch/Hack right in the middle of the spawn, and as long as there aren’t Sleeper frigates, I either take very little damage, or I’m able to align and warp out before they could really hit me.

I guess I could T2 fit everything, but I don’t really see the point for doubling/tripling the cost for a few percentage points faster module speed of what amounts to be a cheap-gets-the-job-done fit that if it blows up you won’t feel so bad.

Fit’s rounded out with a cloak and a probe launcher, in case they’re needed.

[Vigil, Throwaway Hacker]
Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Inertia Stabilizers I
Expanded Cargohold II

1MN MicroWarpdrive I
Codebreaker I
Analyzer I

[empty high slot]
Prototype Cloaking Device I
Core Probe Launcher I, Sisters Core Scanner Probe I

Small Memetic Algorithm Bank I
Small Emission Scope Sharpener I
[empty rig slot]