Posts Tagged ‘Missioning’

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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.

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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.

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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
paW
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!  😉

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High-Sec Mining Payouts:

READ HALADAS’: THE COMPLETE MINER’S GUIDE, you won’t regret it.

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
paW
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

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Simple, yeah?

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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]

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W-space Loot & Safety

April 5, 2010

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and tinkering recently.  While it’s nice to have a W-space PoS exit through a good route to K-space high-sec, we in Nemesis Nation have been dealing with a rash of banditry and pirate activity via those high-sec exits.  From HAC gangs to general cloaky pirates, they are a major nuisance.  We have the luxury of living 2 connectors deep at the moment, but god forbid losing the entire shipment of Sleeper salvage hauled with an industrial. As we all know, industrials can be a godsend for hauling, but they also have paper-thin tanks.  Wait, what tank?!

For now, it seems that its sufficient to haul the high-value loot via small ships that can rapidly align.  We should work on fits that can also jet out of a warp bubble quickly.  Loot gets out via these tiny fast ships, less valuable stuff like ore can go through industrials.

Years of living in New Eden, I’ve never really considered this.  You can even say I’m a bit brash and shrug off bad luck.  After coming into some opposition recently though while doing our hauls (thank god the industrial was empty), I’m starting to change my line of thinking a bit.

Consider this: You can fit over 5 bISK in a shuttle, and that’s only filling up about 70% of its 10 m3 cargohold.  It would be a huge shame if that shuttle popped, yes?  Then you have the Jita pirates to contend with on your way to selling the loot/minerals.  Chan Omari pointed out a few posts by other W-space bloggers that has really freaked me out.  Granted, I’ve always flatlined my freighter for Jita IV-4 ASAP after coming out of the jump from Perimeter, but I’ve seen enough rashes of high-sec ganks on the JitaPerimeter gate recently to change my tone on this just a bit.

So where does this take us?  I’d say fly under 2 bISK per freighter, mostly the heavier minerals.  Move the lighter Sleeper salvage through smaller ships.  Personally I’m fond of a nano’d and inertia stab’d destroyer.  The Thrasher works well here.  You can still carry quite a bit, but are more inconspicuous due to being technically a “PvP” ship versus a slow heavy industrial or freighter.  Hell I’ve even started putting some civilian guns on it for good measure.  Light fitting, yet from the outside it still looks like a combat ship — hah!  Then round it out with the biggest AB or MWD + tank you can fit.

Some people have said to move things via Orcas and their corporate hangars (since you can’t cargo scan that), but an Orca is still a slow fat ship.  As someone who previously engaged in piracy in the past, I know that most pirates aren’t willing to haul off massive amounts of minerals.  They are looking for light, high-worth items such as mods and certain Sleeper loot that they can stuff their smaller ships with before making a get-away.

Hmm.. decisions, decisions.

I’d say though, the last two weeks have been good to us.  Over 8 bISK in W-space proceeds, and that’s not counting the items we’re saving for T3 production when we’re able in a few short months.

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Nemesis Nation Blog

April 5, 2010

Just as a note, I’m a regular contributor over at the Nemesis Nation Blog.  Go go go!

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New Horizons

March 22, 2010

After years of trading in EvE, ISK has never really been a major concern for me.  I sit in a station, collect ISK, set up couriers to bring my wares back to my trade hub, buy, sell, rinse, repeat.  I’ve amassed great riches this way. Perhaps as a consequence of being a previous director in a major null-sec alliance, I’ve always focused my energy in making sure my men make more ISK.  I was the standoff manager.  This works well when structure is already in place, such as in said major null-sec alliance.

With my current directorate being in Nemesis Nation, it requires a different sort of view.  Here in the corp, we have an amazing pool of pilots and potential.  I’ve seen all pilots under my jurisdiction come very far.  They are starting to bring forward fresh ideas to me instead of me prompting them with ideas.  Now, admittedly, I come from the old vanguard of PvP pilots born out of blood in the early days of EvE.  That’s not to say that I’ve never had my eye on industry and trade.  It’s my firm belief that industry is what runs the game, no matter what the PvP pilots will tell you 🙂  It’s the industrialists from carebear Empire to hardcore null-sec, and now w-space, that make everything happen in the game.  That being said, Summer 2009 saw my major transition to industry from my PvP past.  I’ve always run some sort of industry or trade alts, so I’m not totally lost here.

But as with all younger corporations, a more hands-on approach is required.  I’ve put in considerable time fratenizing, cajoling, pushing, screaming at pilots to do better.  Some cannot take the fact that EvE is an unfriendly game in an unforgiving universe.  Those who drop out to NPC corps mistake that for security – you *will* get blown up eventually in EvE.  Those that I’m left with, are worth many more men than the ones that drop.

It warms my heart that while at times there may be mistakes that gets the entire fleet dismantled, say, in w-space, certain pilots will always have the guts to spring back from the dead.  These are the ones I want, the ones I will keep secure and taken cared of.  Patience, learning, and the stomach for the occassional loss, and understanding how to have less losses in the future.

I wait, I see, I put in my two cents when it’s needed.  But I will not coddle.