Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Revamping P4 Production...it can be painful

After two weeks of tweaking and playing around with the five planets I was working, I decided to rip out the command centers for three of the planets and refocus my efforts. Unfortunately, "ripping" out the command centers means realizing the loss of over 10million isk, plus the roughly 10million sunk into the initial building costs.

The reason for this was the realization that the next door system in our alliance was capable of producing all the basic P0 raw materials needed for every P4 item. This abundance of material, coupled with the deals I can get at Jita for Blueprint Copies should allow me to break even with the sale of even on POS module, as well as, build that Mobile Laboratory I've always wanted.

EvE being EvE, means that I broke out the Excel spreadsheet to develop the needed requirements for producing all the P4 items. This quickly proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that one character will not be able to produce all P4 items on their own. One account may not be enough to produce the P4 items at the fastest rate possible. After adding the Powergrid needed for all the extractors and basic processors was in the order of 18 elite command centers...and that doesn't count the link or the more advanced material processors.

What I was able to do on one character was set up a system on five planets that extract every type of raw material and change it into a P1 material. The material is sent to a launchpad and I will have to have a second character (or account) take the material to another set of planets to process it through P2 to P4. The key for me to do this was the verification that no link or processor must be tied to your command center. In fact, by placing two different launchpads on the planet surface I am able to extract materials from opposite sides of the planet and both extraction sites are no where near the actual command center.

Now the amount of P0 material I produce is far less than needed to try and build all P4 items at the same time. So, I will setup a P2 through P4 processing change and then build P4 items in cycles adding in the correct P1 materials from the five planets and getting a day's worth of material then switching my P4 production to something else.

My "production" planet will have nine P2 advanced factories, six P3 factories and one P4 factory and one launchpad for each P4 factory production chain, which allow for any P4 item to be made. Assuming my calculations are correct the P1 materials will occupy up to 6300m3 for one production chain, so I should be able to use only one launchpad to run both P4 production chains. The processors and launchpad have a total CPU and Powergrid requirement of 10,700tf and 9,500MW, without adding the link which should be fairly negligible as all the processors will be close together. The CPU and Powergrid requirements limit this kind of setup to a maximum of two P4 chains on a single planet as even an Elite Command Center only has a 19000MW capability. So, to run two production chains on a planet you need an elite CC, but you must have at least a standard CC to run one P4 production chain.

This setup will produce a maximum of 23 P4 items in one day, and more likely will be a 15-20 item daily average due to wasted time moving the P1 basic materials to the production chain and accepting a less than optimal login schedule.

So for each P4 item you will need 920 units of each P1 material, which will produce 100m3 (one unit) of the P4 item.

More to follow as my extractors finish the 24 hour work cycle.

Friday, June 25, 2010

First Loss

How many times have you read a blog or guide and the first thing they point out is; don't go AFK, you have to pay attention in nullsec or you'll get killed.

Well, they were right. I was dual screening and checking the PI setup of my industrial alt while I took care of the Angel Battleships guarding the TTP gate in LVL space right after the server was given new life by CCP. I can slowly handle BS with my Myrmidon, but with my lower skills it does take a while and I spend my day with zero shields and both armor reps working overtime.

So, I'm taking the last of the multi-BS spawn when, I look up and realize I'm further in red armor than I should be. I see a bunch of grey drones flying around and it takes me about 10 seconds to realize that I'm the one they neutral is hitting and not the rat...crap, I'm a victim of the alliance NRDS policy and my own inattention.

I quickly align and start to warp to a celestial and I think I'm going to get out with under 20% structure. I see the warp initiated and then my pod. I continue to hit the warp to 0 and save the pod. I call out the contact in intel and head to the station to reship and collect my gear and point the bastard if he's still there. I show up, Bab00che, isn't there and neither is my ship or Valkyrie II's. I half expected my wreck to be looted, but I couldn't even find my wreck. It wasn't on d-scan, nor even where I warped to. I have NO idea what happened to my stuff. Bab00che didn't have time to loot and salvage, unless the Angel BS took care of that for him? Very strange.

So, I did have insurance so I only took a 15million isk hit to the pocket book...which is still like 10% of my total value, but it was a learning experience. I cried and ran to high-sec.

Not really, I did get a bit pissed off that a neutral was unreported in intel and allowed to roam. Makes me wish I was in a NBSI alliance. I may just take the fight to neuts in the future, however, as I don't want this to happen again. I did jump to high-sec with a clone jump to do some shopping and little bit of mission running.

I need to get from 3.21 standing to 4.70 with my R&D NPC corp to start my T2 Drone invention. I think between that and building POS modules, I can at least bankroll some of my PvP intent.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Red is SUCH an angry color!

0.0 space, the final frontier...these are the voyages.

"These are the voyages of miners who sit in the bloody station all damn day, that's what it is", yelled Attia as she threw her drink against the wall.

The statement above describes my frustration right now. Right now Red Alliance and Goons have identified my alliance of HTA for either general harassment or outright attack. From what I've been able to gather the Goons are looking to return to the space they've held before and identified HTA as their first target. Unfortunately for the Goons, they attacked a POS and CSAA held by the GREEN alliance thinking it was HTA. That brought a rather sharp response from -A-, Atlas and all the member of the Southern Alliance.

It also pointed out the major flaw in both -A- and Atlas' setup of multiple Holder Alliances....Standings. When -A- reset all of Atlas Holders to -10 to promote their vision of "small gang, no sov" PvP, the unintended consequence of that was -A- flashing red to all the Atlas Holders that responded to Atlas' call-to-arms. The splitting of space into small packets held by holder alliances is a viable strategy, but it places the burden to respond to outside threats squarely with the major Southern Alliance players. For standard operations leaving all holder alliances at -10 is the way they desire their area...but when faced with an outside threat, they MUST reset the standings for fleet ops to allow the contribution of holder alliances and corps. Unless they fall prey to the same problem that CVA created, a feeling of entitlement and superiority that alienates the rest of the Southern space, a major reason cited as CVA's failure.

With all that said, my PvP characters are still infants and my playtime still fairly limited...I was stuck in highsec as a 30-40 Goon fleet in TTP-2B was killed and my jump clone still had 30 minutes until I could jump back into nullsec. *Damn you 24 hour timer*

Monday, June 21, 2010

50 Minutes of Boredom for 10 Minutes of Panic

Eve often seems like this, a lull in which you frantically train skills and attempt to earn isk to prepare for when things get crazy. After spending more time with EFT in an attempt to identify why I'm so slow at killing Angle Warlord Battleship spawns in my Mrymiddon, I discovered how my drone DPS was half of what it could and should be.

I guess when I look at the Tech 1 drones and drone interfacing at only 3, with Combat Drones at 0....it should be fairly obvious why I'm not killing anything very quickly. I read another blogger several months ago that described the difference between high-sec and null-sec...and it boiled down to the fact that a mediocre skill set was adequate in high-sec and total inadequate in null-sec.

So I've rapidly started down that drone path and quickly got the ability use Minmater Tech 2 drones and up'd my Combat Drone skill to IV. So hopefully I'll see a bit of difference in taking down the six cruiser spawn and the multiple battleship spawns I see.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 1 of Planetary Industry in the Books

After one full day of production on my five planets, I have discovered a more efficient way to produce recourses which will double my P2 item output each day. I had operated under the mistaken assumption that the more extractors I had the more materials I would end up making.
This is completely wrong. I discovered that the cycle times and outputs for all extractors and processors match completely, especially for the 23 hour extractor cycle.

What I discovered by having 7 extractors and only one basic processor, I had filled up my storage silo without increasing my actual usable output. The reason for this error was the input values, and more importantly, the cycle times of the extractors and processors.

Each extractor has a cycle time of 30 minutes, which corresponds to the 30 minute cycle time of the basic processor that processes the raw extractor material. To illustrate:

Basic Silicon processor requires 3000 units of Felsic raw material, and at the 1 day extractor time in a high yield zone is approximately 1500 units of material per cycle. These numbers quickly show that two extractors at 1500 units per cycle will produce the needed material to run one basic processor that produces 20 units of Silicon every 30 minutes.

This 30 minute cycle and output align with the advanced processor input for Miniature Electronic which requires 40 units of Silicon and 40 units of Chiral Structures (a P1 material) for a one hour cycle time to produce 5 units of Miniature Electronics. This synergy of output and cycle time shows that 2 extractors on each needed raw material with 1 basic processor to change that raw material to a P1 output will fill an Advance processor and produce 5 units of a P2 item per hour.

What this showed me was I could remove a total of 6 extractors on each of my planets, add two more basic processors and another advanced processor and double my production on each planet with reduced CPU and Powergrid requirements. I freed up almost 3000W on the power grid. Unfortunately you need 3900 empty room on a powergrid to support 4 extractors, 2 basic and 1 advanced processor...which would allow me to produce another P2 material on the same planet. The only way I way I see to fit this in is to have the Elite command center and the extra 2000 Powergrid room it allows.

That being said, by optimizing the cycle times and doubling my output of P2 materials, I can reduce my breakeven point we discussed in the last article from 27 days to 14 days, a significant improvement.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blog Banter #18: Haven't you grown up yet?

Looks like CrazyKinux has asked another question for the Eve Blog Banter:

On May 6th 2010, EVE Online celebrated its 7th Anniversary. Quite a milestone in MMO history, especially considering that it is one of the few virtual worlds out there to see its population continually grow year after year. For some of you who’ve been here since the very beginning, EVE has evolved quite a lot since its creation. With the expansion rolling out roughly twice a year, New Eden gets renewed and improved regularly. But, how about you the player? How has you gaming style evolved through the years or months since you’ve started playing? Have you always been a carebear, or roleplayer? Have you only focused on PvP or have you given other aspects of the game a chance – say manufacturing. Let’s hear your story!

Well, I started playing this game back in 2007 with several guys I knew (as in internet knew) from a Falcon 4.0 website called Frugalsworld. Now he started a corp, which is still going strong in Eve. FW, Inc. In true MMO fashion, I complete hosed my first character Jonzac...who even now at over six million skill points can barely fly battlecruiser and has none of the support skills needed to be proficient at PvP or industry. I have that character finally straightened out, or at least headed in the right direction. After reading Halada's insightful mining guide, I started a second account as a pure miner...trained up right according to the Halada guide. As FW moved into low sec I took my limited 30M isk purse and my new Covetor and tried to mine...solo...without any idea of what awaited me...needless to say I was killed and just couldn't muster up the will to start over again.

Flash forward to 2010, I rekindle my Eve desire and start my accounts. I'm still broke but I've come to the key to Eve, one that is now easier to see. Eve is not easy. In 2007, Eve was really my first MMO and quite frankly I was unable to grasp the needed mindset and mental fortitude needed to complete in Eve.

Looking back, the game itself was not geared nor setup to facilitate the easy entry of new people even after almost four years of existence. The character setup screen gave no indication of how your attributes tied into training, nor was there any manual that even attempted to alleviate this. The lack of information was exacerbated by the predominate method of downloading the client instead of buying it in a store where you expected a manual. Unfortunately, the lack of a searchable forum and the sheer size of the Eve universe conspired to hamper the flow of information from experienced players to new players.

Now, I'm older and there are a multitude of ways newer players are assisted into the game. The tutorials themselves are a giant leap forward. I completed them with a secondary character and the step-by-step method provides a good way for people to get their feet wet. To me the biggest difference has been the availability of the community now. The EVE Blog Pack is a great example of this, a quick and plentiful area where much of the information in EVE can be accessed. Others examples include the rather large number of tutorial videos on YouTube, I can't tell you how valuable the new scanning tutorial was in starting ANY exploration of wormhole space and exploration in general.

Overall, CCP and the community as a whole have made great strides in providing information for those souls who truly have the desire to learn and survive, all the while providing the same consequence based universe that has characterized EVE from the beginning.

For me personally, there really hasn't been much change due to my recent return and still lower skill level. The biggest change is my mental attitude and ability to resist the urge to emoquit when the unexpected happens. I'm in EVE for the long haul this time and I can't wait to see what is around the corner.

More Planetary Interaction

First, I wanted to thank CraxyKinux for adding me to the Eve Blog Roll. I hope that a) someone reads these ramblings and b) finds some use from them.

On to the planet! One item that was not mentioned in the several guides I read, was the cost of building your planetary infrastructure. Of course, everyone understood the cost of buying the actual command center, but there is an additional cost for every extractor, processor, launch pad and link you make on you planet. The payments you make go to CONCORD, even though I'm in nullsec and they don't do a damn thing for me out here.

I have a standard setup that lets me build one P2 item per planet that includes the following pieces.

1 command center...this is not linked to anything
1 Launch Pad
1 Advanced Processor...output is linked to the launch pad
2 Basic Processors...one for each raw material to P1 material...the output is linked back to the storage silo
1 Storage Silo...links the raw material out to the basic processors and accepts the P1 material back...then links to the Advanced processor to send the P1 material there for processing.
7-8 Extractors for each raw material (for a total of 14-16 extractors per planet)...these are daisy chained with 3 or 4 extractors linked to a "lead" extractor and only one link from the "lead" extractor to the Storage silo.

I keep my extraction at the 23 hour option and with 8 extractors I only have one main link that needs upgrading due to the extremely high yield I put my extractors on.

This setup on 5 planets cost me 11.3M isk to setup. So with the five 3.7M isk command centers my total investment to date is 29.8M isk. I do not have the yield for one day from four of my planetary production sites, but for the site on a plasma planet that is making Mechanical Parts, I have a total of 130 units for one day’s production. The current buy rate in the area of 0.0 I am in was 1,700 isk per unit. Assuming that this planet was 1/5th of the total installation cost of 11.3M isk, the total initial investment for this plasma planet was 5.96M isk. Assuming the price for Mechanical Parts stayed at 1,700 isk/unit, I would need to produce 3506 units of Mechanical Parts. Given that my production of those items is approx 130 unit/day, I will need 27 day to reach the break even point. Clear planetary interaction is not a quick money maker, but a longer term industrial investment. I will continue to verify these numbers and look at the viability of specializing with one or two P3 materials instead of the P2 items. I will be producing Robotics by the end of the day, and given their buy price of 5,000 isk and selling price of 10,000 isk where I am at, the profitability may be worth the effort to move farther up the production chain.

Clearly Planetary Interaction is not a quick money maker, nor one that could support a PvP account on its own. I have several guesses on what the market is going to do, but looking at the inability for one character to make POS modules on their own, corporations or alliances are GOING to have to make this a priority sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finally!!! Planetary Pillaging has commenced

My corp was finally able to deliver the planetary centers I'd ordered. The several day delay was due to the high red level in our system, thanks to the crazy diplomatic situation with -A-, Atlas and Atlas Holders. (Another story, and one I'm really not qualified to comment on...not like I'll let that stop me.)

I setup a Plasma planet Advanced Command Center (PCC) and started laying down the needed extractors and factories to make Mechanical Parts. Now I know that I only need the one Plasma planet to make Robotics, a P3 item that was my end goal, but I'm not sure I can pull it off with only one Plasma planet now. I've hit 80% usage on the powergrid of my PCC and I still need to make the P2 product Consumer Electronics...and I don't see how I can fit that into the existing setup I have now. This means I need to go buy another PCC and find another Plasma planet to develop the needed items. Well, so much for the initial plan.

The actual layout and building of the extraction sites and routes was fairly easy, especially if you've taken a little time to read the Eve University guide and watched the player made tutorial on YouTube.

I finished my layout and started my extractors in 20 minutes...not bad for my first time. I just didn't realize that the links would take so much powergrid. The other point I had missed was the needed factories that I would need. I naively assumed the same factory would be able to process different raw materials at the same time, which was a false assumption. I need to have a basic factory to process each individual raw material, which means I have to have a total of four different basic factories and three advanced factories to make robotics on the same planet. That CPU and Powergrid drain coupled with the extended link lengths will make single planet Robotics production out of reach...at least on the planet I'm currently on.

I'm going to carve the time out tonight to finish laying out the two Lava planets and the Barren planet that I've identified and get them started. I will be selling my products in 0.0 space and it will be interesting to see the price differential between 0.0 and Jita. I'm not really sure how T2 components and POS supplies will sell as I don't know how many Corps and Alliances will develop their own in-house production lines. I plan to sell to my own Corp first, which will hopefully make supporting it easier and allow me to convince the leadership to stick a mobile laboratory on the POS so I can research my BPOs a lot more cheaply.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wagons HO!!!

The great CCP sponsored land rush as begun...and I'm stuck at work. I'm ready to buy the needed command centers, I've scanned the right planets and I can't because I'm at work. Oh well, internet spaceships are important...but so is a paycheck.

Planetary industrialism looks like a nice supplementary income, but I am wondering just how much of this an alliance will be forced to accomplish to remain viable. The need to develop T2 component building streams alone would seem to make this a high priority, however, many alliances may have their T2 industry far away in highsec alt corps. I personally think there will be a profit for T2 components in nullsec, at least I'm betting my production lines on that because I certainly do not need the components as I can't perform invention yet.

I've started to settle into my new nullsec home, but the constant interruptions are a new experience for me. I've gotten to where I can handle the rats, mine for ore (albeit without the huge numbers as I train for nullsec T2 crystals) and remain safe from those threats. The constant need to stop as neutrals and reds are seen in the constellation are annoying. Although I'm glad I wasn't in the system the 100+ Goonswarm fleet moved into and put a tower into reinforced. The tower had a capital building array and it sounds like Goonswarm was trying to nip that capital ship in the bud. It will be interesting if Atlas and the other large alliances respond.

So far I've enjoyed the challenges and opportunities of nullsec, despite my more limited playing time. I do need to make some more isk soon, although the limited mining I've done has been lucrative. I've started working on the ME levels of my BPOs but the price at the alliance station is more than my wallet will allow for the ship BPOs I have. It looks like I will have to try and find a Mobile Laboratory BPC and build one at the corp POS...assuming I can get permission and there is spare CPU and Power on the tower.

Overall I'm glad I've moved to nullsec and now I need to start getting involved in the PvP side of things. Just tackling alone in a small group would be a great start, if I can carve a good solid hour of uninterrupted time.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moving is always so difficult

Well, I have officially made the move to 0.0 space and met my new corp members pod-to-pod.

Of course, I sit here in the bar without ships, guns or ammo.

Which drove home the point to me that is near and dear to my heart. Amateurs talk about tactics and professionals talk about LOGISTICS.

Alexander the Great said it best. "

My logisticians are a humorless lot ... they know if my campaign fails, they are the first ones I will slay."

Logistics for a corporation, or alliance, have the same impact in Eve as they do in real life. The ability to quickly bring materials and people from manufacturing centers in Highsec to Nullsec will make or break campaigns. For example, I sit here without a ship while my new corporation struggles mightily to get my 60,000mm worth of stuff to my new home. I am completely depended on that logistical train. Now in Eve you mention logistics and you immediately have people thinking of the ship type, where in reality that is a combat function not LOGISTICS.

In logistics you must be ahead of the combat curve. The pause into Iraq for OIF wasn't because the Iraqis were slowing us down, but the simple fact that the Allied forces couldn't get fuel and ammo to the combat forces fast enough given how quickly they had moved. It’s easier in Eve because of the static nature of system sovereignty change, although I bet that AAA and folks had a difficult time keeping ships and TCUs in the right place given how fast they swept through CVA space.

As you plan any corporation or alliance the first item you must have is the logistics train to take out ores/minerals/loot that will be turned into manufactured goods needed to carry on combat operations.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nothing stays the same....but change

I have decided to make a rather large change in my Eve playing. I've left my current corporation, HAL Industries, for a nullsec corporation, Black Prophesy. I really enjoyed my time with HAL and they are a great group folks, but between my playtime and the fact that HAL is a new corp our goals just aren't matching up as well as I'd like. I came to the realization as I was grinding through a poorly paid Level 2 mission that if I didn't change something up, Eve would quickly lose its appeal.

So, I'm off to 0.0 space with one battlecruiser, a covetor, an Itty V and 40mil isk to my name...what could possibly go wrong?