Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tyrannis is what!

The title sounds more bitter that it really is, but it is a valid question for many people in the Eve Universe. Yes, planets are now yet another carrot for people to follow, another way the gap between the average player and the committed player will continue to grow.

I see that CCP is trying to magically erase that gap, but it just won't happen. Imagine focused industrial corporations that currently sweep entire systems free of asteroids now consuming all the highsec planets they can get their hands on. Given that the planets resources can "run out" if drawn on too heavily it would be easy to see how a small, beginning player will be shut out of any meaningful use of planetary interaction.

If I was a pirate, I would be salivating over this change. The increased goods on lowsec worlds will force people to set up shop in lowsec. The fact that the planet only has ONE customs center to dock in and out of...therefore one GUARANTEED spot to camp at, I expect the e-peens of the pirate community to become swollen as they trumpet their ability to gank an Itty III full of oxygen.

Large industrialists/corps will be able to make the isk on control towers and modules and the nullsec folks will have even less reason to come to highsec...especially as the nullsec ores get a bonus to the more common minerals.

Planetary interaction seems like a giant step forward, and maybe with DUSK 514 it will, but for now it is just another menu screen and minigame that will allow those with isk to continue to make even more of it and making the mountain the newer folks have to climb even that much steeper.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Economic Impact of Tyrannis Update

Reading about Eve and attempting to chart your course in its world is almost as much fun as actually flying internet spaceships and killing things. Reviewing the Tyrannis patch notes and the supporting Developer blogs, I realized there my actually be an opening for beginning industrialists.

A change highlighted in the devblog "The circle of life" shows that the drop rate of Tech 0 items will be lowered and replacing them with non-recyclable materials. This will greatly reduce the number of Tech 0 ship modules for sale on the market. This change should allow newer industrialist the ability to enter the slim-margin market of these items for two reasons. First, newer players are still going to want them as they will be the cheap alternative for players to fit their ships. Second, invention for Tech 2 items will reduce the "named" alternatives further leaving "standard" Tech 0 items available to be fitted. Additionally, there will still be industrialist that sell their items for below the recycle value of the item they just produced

Another change is the addition of additional minerals to lowsec and some nullsec ores. In my opinion, CCP noticed that it was more profitable to stay in highsec system and mine Kernite and Scordite than it was to move into lowsec or nullsec and mine ores like Jaspet and Hedbridite. This is in direct conflict with their current paradigm of increasing reward due to increased risk of lowsec and nullsec. Depending on the level of minerals added the ores in lowsec may be work corp mining the very least miners will move to lowsec for the increased profit, and will probably be shot down by pirates. I believe that we'll actually see fewer minerals on the market than we do now, which will drive up prices across the board. Without a constant and large highsec mineral influx the entire economic system of Eve will not be able to handle the stress of EVERYTHING costing more. I liken this to the start of the economic downturn here in the United States. What people forget is the trigger that started the issue was the rapid increase in gas prices to over triple their starting cost that summer. That increased all the costs in the manufacturing supply chain from raw materials to transportation to the final product. When all those new shinnies the PvPers want are double and triple the price because of the shortage of minerals, it will truly be a time to break out the Hulk and mine for anything.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's the plan?

I'll start off with the important news. My corporation has been WarDec'd by "The Otters". Now the Otters is a corporation of one person, who was just a part of my corporation. This person, Ferahgo, who has been playing for years, basically got bored of the newbie corporation that he "for our own good" decided to WarDec us. Now, in my first Eve trip I was in a corp that was in a wardec and that eventually cost me my brand new Covetor. I was struggling in Eve at that time anyway so I quit not long after that.

Flash forward to now, and frankly I'm not so worried. A couple years of MMOs have hardened me I guess. I have the guy and his "neutral" alt on address book and at -10, and frankly its ONE FREAKIN' GUY. Even if he pays for the locator and brings out his command ship, he can only be at one place at one time and a logoffski will easily counter him...or I just spend the time jumping around, or I put Neuts on my Vexor and I attempt to take him. I'm at the point in my Eve existence that I KNOW I can always fall back to mining and make enough to have a cruiser in about a day...which makes me much more willing to lose ships than I was before.

Which is a good opening to talk about isk again. I have been trolling the market oriented websites, like and the site it leads to. I've tried and have even downloaded several "trade" programs that read your export files and will try and build profitable routes for you. All of which has led to my "money tree" theory that CCP has built.

1. Beginning isk is to be generated by missioning. Basically, this "isk generator" (means at which isk enters the universe instead of transferring between players) is the fundamental method a new player with few skills can make money to fund additional missioning skills. If you look at the payoffs, (including the new tutorials), Level 1 mission and then Level 2 missions are enough money to buy the needed Tech 1 frigates and cruisers and the secondary skills needed to fight them adequately. Right now I'm using a L1 Q18 agent and getting 100,000 to 400,000 isk a mission (not counting salvage). Even at my limited play schedule, that is enough to save for and buy a cruiser and the basic skills needed to fly it and use the modules efficiently.

2. Mining. This is not an "isk generator" as it is driven by market values, but it does offer a method to make more per hour than any Level 1 and Level 2 missions. Right now my second account character "Attia" who is flying a Covetor with Tech 1 Strip Miners and her own hauler can easily make 6 - 10 million isk an High-Sec, where there is virtually no threat to her or her ship. This represents a good ability to quickly meet Tech 1 Battlecruiser cost requirements that are needed in Level 3 missions.

3. Industrialist. I think this will be the long term isk making endeavor, especially for those who do not have significant playing time. You can make stuff, put it on for sell...and even go missioning for additional isk generation. The problem is two-fold at this point. First, you MUST increase your industrial skill level. You HAVE to have production efficiency at Level 5 before you even consider heading down this path, the loss of potential profit due to the increased amount your item costs (because with Production Efficiency (PE) at less that 5 it takes more materials to actually make the item) means you CANNOT effectively compete with those who do have that skill maxed. The second problem, Researched BPOs! Even with PE-5, your items will still cost more to make because your competitor has researched their BPO to a higher level of efficiency....which means their items cost less to build than yours. The only way to correct this is to wait at the long queues at an NPC station to research your BPOs. For example, I have a BPO that will take until mid-JULY to be finished....much longer than the 11 days the actual research takes.

I firmly believe that a beginning industrialist needs to focus on a much slimmer margin of profit per item to start out with. (unlike other folks, I'll actually talk about what I'm doing). I have a BPO for Heavy Neutron Blaster I, and right now and I can build it for 106,000 isk per item. Right now in Tash the average buying price varies between 114,000 and 110,000 isk with a pretty healthy volume. I assume that people are buying these for cheap T1 fits, or most likely, to use in T2 production. Now 4-8,000 isk is not much, but its a start. Once I get my BPO researched to Material Efficiency (ME) 20 the price per unit drops to 101,000 which just doubled my profit per item. You won't be losing money and you get your name out there, as well as, actually industrial experience. Just like PvP or missioning, the more you do...the better you become. Despite what you might read, this will take time, Eve time. You will have to research the market and look for an opportunity...that means opening the market and clicking a bunch of times....writing those prices down. Getting your two additional characters per account, created and into other regions to do the same market research. All of that takes time in front of the computer and can't be short-circuited.

The key to remember is will take time. I read other blogs about the causal loss of ship or spending of isk in the BILLIONS. First, those folks have been around a long time and have the highest levels of income streams that can be developed. Either through additional accounts (most likely), moon mining, or even purchasing PLEX and turning to isk. As a new/low time player you must set your sight more realistically. I can buy a new T1 cruiser and fit it well, at any time right now...and that is a sustainable goal right now.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Making isk?

I've discovered the real entry barrier to Eve, and this is the making of in game money (or isk). Just like the real world, everything revolves around having, spending, and most importantly, making isk. The focus on the in game currency is a major mental shift away from other MMOs. Sure you want gold in WoW to help you grind professions or by the new shiny, but when it comes down to it your game play does not absolutely DEPEND on your bank account. In traditional MMOs a player can always go "raiding" for the best items, in EVE you have to have and be able to sustain a currency balance capable of purchasing the ships, equipment or investment money needed.

Much like Real Life, making money is MUCH easier to do if you have it already. This is the dilemma that I, and other new players, will find themselves in. Unlike the way I've been trained by other MMOs, going out and killing NPCs is not the only way to make money. Let me list the ways I've seen, done or heard about making isk.

1. Mission Running: This is perhaps the method most familiar to all players of other MMOs. You find an agent, generally at Level 1 and start performing missions (i.e. quests) they ask you to do. Go to XXXX system and kill these pirates. Take this package from here to there. Eventually, you can reach a NPC corporation's highest level of mission agents (Level 4) and theoretically make 10-20 million isk in mission reward and NPC looting and salvaging. This may sound like a lot, but when you compare it to a 1.5 BILLION isk ship, the amount of money that merely mission running brings in will probably not be enough to fully fund your EVE experience...unless you spend A LOT of time playing. Which as this blog is named, I certainly do not. Of course, everyone will/should run missions for certain NPC corporations. They provide services at all Empire (or safer space) and the better the NPC corp likes you the cheaper their services are.

2. Mining: Also a method of making isk that is familiar to most. Like mission running, even a starting character has the ability to add a mining laser to their beginning frigate and mine ore from an asteroid. Ore and mineral prices vary across the EVE universe, but it can and does provide the beginning nest egg for beginning players to buy a better frigate or start a trading or industrial career. Halada's excellent guide at shows you a way to dedicate time and effort into becoming a dedicated (and profitable) miner.

3. Industrialist: Also a more familiar way for most players. Buy a blueprint and minerals...and then build the item...promptly sell to other players and rake in the isk. Unfortunately, for the beginning player there is a) a LOT of competition, b) a LOT of items you can make, c) you need money to buy the blueprints and materials, d) there are several skills needed to produce items cheaply...which a new player will not have right away. Industrialist can and do make is VERY hard for a player on their own and most industrialist need the help and support of a corporation (to help with running the POS needed to speed up blueprint and manufacturing processing if for no other reason).

4. Trader: NOTHING like this is any other MMO. Basically, you can never fire a shot in anger and build your isk through the buying and selling of goods across the universe. Frankly, I haven't figured this part out, other than the inane advice of "Buy low and sell high." No kidding!! The richest individuals in the EVE (that I know of) trade in some fashion to continue making isk to fund their other ventures. Given the approximate 50,000 items in the game you would think it would be easy...and maybe it is, but I haven't cracked that code yet.

5. Pirating: Taking other people's stuff, threatening their ship and life for a ransom, killing other pirates for the bounty on their head. Piracy is a very viable option. There was just a story that pirates made almost 2 BILLION isk by destroying a single industrial ship that had precious blueprints worth a reported 14 BILLION before the ship blew up. One drawback to a new player is that you need good ships to destroy other ships...which requires isk to purchase the ships in the first place.

As you can see, making isk is a fundamental and required PLAYER skill to advance and survive in Eve. I personally am settling for mission running and mining right now, due to my limited playtime and knowledge level. There are two caveats to this entire conversation. One, everything is easier when you join an active corporation that helps its members. For beginning players I would suggest Eve University (, although I haven't joined their corporation, they have had too many newer players join and stay in EVE for their success in helping people be a fluke. Second, all of these methods will earn more money in lawless null sec versus the regulated High sec (or Empire state). The completion is less, the highest level asteroids and NPCs payouts are in null sec. CCP wants a reason for people to enter the universe spanning alliance warfare in null sec and makes the monetary incentive very lucrative to do so.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Let's Start at the Begining

Let's start at the begining...a very good place to start.
*If you can place that reference you are probably older than 30*

I said earlier that I got started in 2007, when I heard of this game from the Falcon 4.0 website Frugalsworld. The site owner, Frugal, was into this game and started a corp FW, Inc. which I understand is still active. Like all newcomers to the game...I was completely and hopelessly lost and confused. Remember this was before a nice new tutorial and what race, and family you choose affected your initial attributes.

I like to build things, I enjoyed the original crafting mechanics in Star Wars: Galaxy when the same ore could have different statistics and that would affect the end product...Very complex, in many ways more complex than even Eve. With that in mind, I started an industrialist and miner, then got side tracked into some combat and missions, and then some other shiny new object would float in front of my screen and I'd start training for that. The constant thrash inevitably led me to start a second account. After reading Halada's excellent mining guide, I started a Caldari miner and eventually put that character into a Covetor. By then the corp had moved to low-sec...which I was COMPLETELY unprepared for...couple that with the fact that many in the FW were on at different times and my own random play times led to the typical Eve response. I quit.

Now three years later. Older, wiser...more importantly my kids are mostly self-sufficient and well on the way to becoming gamers themselves. I'm ready to give Eve another try with another small corporation, Hal Corporation (HALC). This time, however, I've realized that Eve will require more planning and forethought than I gave it in the past...or I ever did with WoW or Warhammer Online.

So that means a dedicated plan and hopefully the willpower to stay with it.

First, I have determined the roles of my two accounts. Jonzac, will become my combat/trader. Although he also has high science, engineering and industrial skills from the first try in Eve...which allows a certain freedom in preparing for eventual Invention on BPOs. Those Research Points are free and since I don't have to put any effort into that right now, I just sit back and collect Datacores. Right now at just over 5 million Skill Points, I can file Caldari/Gallente/Minmater frigates all at level 4 and all those cruisers at level 4. I am into Battlecruisers, but like all new characters I made the mistake of training for ships and no support skills, which is being rectified but takes time.

Second, my miner, Attia is focusing on industrials, transports and freighters. I have put off getting into a Hulk right now for several reasons. The 25 million Isk for the skill book and the 30 million plus cost of the ship makes that less appealing right now. I am a long way from being able to afford a freighter right now, but that and an Orca are both ships that I would like to have and fly when possible.

Now, all I need to figure out is how everyone makes so much &^%@ damn money!

Obligitory First Post

*walks into room filled with folding chairs*

Hi my name is Jonzac

Hi Jonzac

Well now that we have the introductions completed.

I'm an EVE capsuleer, which means YES I do play the MMO called EVE online. I played this game back in 2007 for about six months and then moved onto different fields as I didn't take the time needed to truely "peel back the onion" on this game.

Flash forward to 2010, after reading some posts in forums I inhabit the topic of EVE sprung up. Some folks where headed back into the game and having put away WOW and realizing that I don't have the time to finish and compete in the end game of Warhammer Online, I thought I'd give EVE another try.

Currently, I've joined a small, new corporation as I head back into the sprawling universe that is EVE. Of course, all of this gaming goodness must be balanced with the spousal unit and several rugrats...not to mention the hour and a half commute I deal with EACH WAY!!!

All of that leaves me with a limited time to play and few Skill points and even fewer isk. I plan to detail my journey here, because really...doesn't everyone need to benfit from my wisdom? I thought that you would agree with me.