Monday, 11 December 2017

Resource Wars (cont.)



This is a scan survey of the asteroid composition for a Gallente Resource Level 1 site. The actual level of the site does not make a difference, because the asteroid sizes have the same volumes through to Level 5. This particular site is after completing the 10,000 haul - about a dozen plus asteroids could be added to the tally. But for this post, I am more focused on the individual volume each asteroid.

[Venture]
Capacitor Flux Coil II

1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Small Neutron Saturation Injector I
Small Compact Pb-Acid Cap Battery

Miner II
Miner II

Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

Rigs are an easy choice, fit to the racial damage of the space you are running in. Serpentis do Thermal and Kinetic damage.

This is a Alpha Clone capable fit for the Venture. With maybe just a bit too much emphasis given to Capacitor. The small neutron was what I had available, a "Small C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I" is the Meta 4 version. Each cycle start, those Miner II will draw a lot of capacitor. 60Gj vs 20Gj being the difference to a "EP-S Gaussian Scoped Mining Laser".

You will need an afterburner. The venture has a wonderful base speed, but the NPC foes will web you down - and there are some distances that you need to cover.

There is where you need to really pay attention. Each of the mining lasers for an Alpha Clone will mine 1779 units of site's ore and you require 10,000 units. But if the largest asteroid is only 1186 units, then there is portion of wasted cycle. 1186 / 1779 = ⅔ or 40 seconds of cycle maximum. Since there are no graduations around the Miner cycle HUD, you are gauging just shy of 3 o'clock to shut off laser and have the next targeted. Venture and skills, will allow target 5 locks. Because you have two mining lasers about 5 to 6 minutes for the mining portion of the mission. Well within the set 12 minutes for the level 1 site. Plus your travel time to the asteroids and then to the orca.

I doubt you could fit a survey scanner for micro-management. Plus there is no guarantee the largest sizes will be concentrated in one area.

As they say; membership has it benefits.

[Prospect]
Mining Laser Upgrade II
Mining Laser Upgrade II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Power Diagnostic System II

Shadow Serpentis 5MN Microwarpdrive
Small Shield Booster II
Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Miner II
Miner II

Small Semiconductor Memory Cell II
Small Capacitor Control Circuit II

This fit comes courtesy of JonnyPew; https://youtu.be/AgbqZOmhg7k

Although Serpentis MicroWarp Drive is my own flavor. It has a lower capacitor penalty and low cost to run compared to other modules. (If I die with this, I messed up or the opponent is a worthy foe that has earned their kill).

The real difference comes with the mining yield. 3654 units per cycle. Both the Venture and Prospect have the same cycle duration of 60 seconds. The difference comes from Alpha vs Omega.

Level 5 Mining Frigate. 5% (Alphas are limited to Level 4)
Two Mining Laser Upgrades 9% x 2
Astrogeology Level 5. 25% (Alphas cannot train this).
Level 5 Expedition Frigates 25% (Omega only).
Highwall MX-1005 5% (Alphas can use the 1003 version for a 3% yield increase)

(6 Target locks for the Prospect)

1179 / 3654 = 0.324; one third of a mining laser cycle or 20 seconds. Of course, the level 2 sites require 20,000 units. So the timings make it on par with the Level 1 site.

I will still counsel caution with the Resource Wars, because the rewards are sub-par when compared to just about any other content. But since Level 3 is a challenge solo, for me it's more about the journey than the destination.

Numbers are honest, but Math is fun.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

December Release PvE content

The forth coming December release sees more content to The Agency. With Rogue Drones the focus this time.



I just had to admire the swirling lights around the hull. Similar to the effects around stations, but on a condensed scale. It gives the Swarm Overmind Primus the look of attendant micro drones. Around the crown of the hull and along the bottom edge. This Drone Battleship comes from running Low Security site.



Currently on Sisi is the new Alpha Clone skill range. This is a gallente clone, using an Amarrian Faction Battleship with eight Large YF-12a Smartbombs. Not something I would recommend long term. Particularly for the High-Sec sites. It does get the job done, and as a point of interest a lot faster that the Blaster fitted Thorax I later tested as a possible option for High Security sites. This was especially true when a swarm of smaller class drone deployed from a nearby Drone structure, a smartbomb battleship quickly clears everything. Even though they are my wrecks per-se,  I still got a 60 second flag attacking another player. (but not Concorded).

The Swarm Overmind keep out of the range of the Smartbombs. Requiring that I switch over a megathron with hybrids. 425 Prototypes with antimatter. Battleships for Alphas, with large guns, what's not to like.



The Low Security had two speciality drones drop loot. They both dropped an amazing number of skins.



Interesting to see blueprints from Drone Battleship in the loot. And again a significant number of ship skins for a variety of factions and techs.

I also wanted to see if there are any changes within Industry for the December Alpha Clone update. Zero - slight exaggeration. You are still restricted to the Venture, no other Outer Ring hulls and the actual mining laser volume does not increase. Whilst this is a former Omega with the second tier of Mining skill, Astrogeology trained to Level 5. The skill not active or available for use. I suggested in a comment to a Crossing Zebra article that this might be to promote more consumption within the Eve economy. But also would remove the temptation to multi-box a fleet of alpha clones mining. If in the future there is a industry Beta Clone option; it would have to be extremely complex and restricted to prevent abuse. It maybe more effort than CCP is willing to invest. Plus the focus on conflict has always been been the way in which Eve attracts external attention. If you thinking of subscribing for an expanding skill range as a temporary boost; but intend to return to Alpha, you would strongly advised avoiding Industry skills. About the only growth available would be for non-Gallente citizens to access the Gallente specialised Industrials for hauling. Personally, I think that there should be the Kryos (minerals), Epithal (PI materials) and Miasmos (Ore bay) for an omni-racial faction. For casual access by Alphas, which would be better than "you must train Gallente". The only other minor point would be that access to more shield skills will give the Venture increased fitting options for Alpha pilots that are not Caldari or Minmatar.

Being able to practically blitz through a Rogue Drone site with Smartbombs, that made it fun.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Mining Missions

https://forums.eveonline.com/t/level-4-mining-mission-summary/13386

This is a very decent opener for this pilots looking to commence this PvE content.

I wanted to talk about this in further detail. There are three primary mission agent types; Courier, Mining and Security. In my opinion security will pay more, courier is easy to train into; and mining lies in between. However it is possible that even Alpha Clones can solo most of the Level 4 mining missions. As of this post, Alphas do not have access to Ice Mining which is offered in Level 3 and Level 4 missions. Plus for the mission "Drones to a Cloud", a gas mission; a Venture will not survive against drone spawns.

Reasons for doing this content;

  • Earning ISK
  • Earning Loyalty Points
  • Earning Standings
    • Reduced Taxes for Market selling ores and Refining
    • Reduced Office Rental for Player Corporations
    • Access to higher Mission Levels
    • Eventual access to Faction Mission Arcs
Advantages to doing this content;

  • Players cannot merely warp to your location, but need to locate you through combat probes¹
  • If the belts are mined out, you can still be mining here
  • Instant content with a defined goal. 
  • Does not require investment into refining skills. 

¹ Even though there is a safety margin, keeping a eye on Local Chat and D-Scan are your tools for advance warnings of danger.

Disadvantages;

  • The missions are fragile. They require the exact amount of ore to complete. If another player steals from your jettisoned can or directly mines the ore. You cannot complete the mission. There is a complex alternative I will discuss below. 
  • If the jetcan expires because you were AFK for too long. 
  • A few of the missions will have rats which are tougher than standard asteroid belt rats.
  • Some of the missions require a significant logistics for up to 45,000 m³ in ore
  • Someone helping you disconnects and does not return with their portion of ore.
  • If you fail to complete by server Down Time, you will need to start from scratch²
² You can intentionally do this to generate an "Insurance Policy". What you can do is; mine about 90% of required ore. Call it a day. The mission will reset over down time, and you need to start again. (yes, you will forfeit the bonus isk). But the game will let you keep the 90%. Later if someone steals from you or it is lost, you have some backup ore. The game does not care who mines the 100% ore, only that the player has the required amount at turn in, either in his cargohold, orehold or hanger. By the way, you cannot have some in a hold and some the hanger. All has to be in one place. I would really only suggest "insurance" for Level 4. Note that sometimes the ore can be obtained through contracts. It cannot be refined or sold on the market. 


Who you mission for, can be as important as where you mission. Each of the High Security factions have two primary Mining Non Player Corporations (NPC). Looking at the Gallente; this is Astral Mining and Material Acquisition. Completing missions for with a NPC agent earns standings which flows like this:

Agent -> Corporation -> Faction -> Aligned/Ally Faction

Whilst mining corps they are more common, they have the drawback of offering less opportunities.

Typically they only offer the 32% refining, stations for the state Navy will offer 50%. So if you branching into Industry and Harvesting you want to be aware of the services that NPC offers. The other drawback is that the Loyalty Point store is more restricted. I do use Mining NPC to obtain faction ammunition, learning implants and harvesting implants. I will from time to time, sell implants.

From my own story; I did missions for Quafe to earn Prospector Implant series, so that I could improve my exploration skills. And I did missions for CreoDron for access to the Research Agents. Which got me access to Datacores and supplements my Invention industry.

The Location matters because between 1.0 and 0.5 security, the lower the security the higher the reward. This is because Concord has a slower response time, with lower security. Suicide Ganking is a Damage Per Second race both your own defences and the arrival of Concord. The more seconds it takes Concord, the more damage can be done. If you not vigilant and not in a tanked procurer or a skiff - you are a mug. You are contributing the idea that miners are there to be taken advantage of. Security starts with you, but it can benefit every miner.

Properly Prepared Procurer Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Because you are not selling the ores or manufacturing, you are largely independent of the market. This gives more flexibility to chose a location away from the trade hubs.

Final point is that after completing 16 missions within a level and within a faction - you will be offered a Story-line Mission. Completed story-line missions increase your overall standing to; NPC that offers the mission and faction of that NPC. You can actually mix types within levels. Doing 8 Security and 8 mining of L4 will get you a L4 Story-line. Now, here's something special. I am not 100% sure about the mechanics how the game will chose which Story-line to offer. Usually it is the closest. Now, what you can do is "lock" a story-line agent. So you get through the 16 missions and the nearest agent contacts you with in a offer. But the NPC is not what you are interested in. Ignore the first story line offer - do not decline it. If you complete another 16 missions, the next story-line agent is then chosen. Keep in mind that the lock is only good for seven days. Then the mission offer from the first story-line expires. So roughly if mining L4 missions take up to one hour to complete with modest skills, will you get 32hrs of game play within seven days?

Purchased through the Loyalty Store a bunch of implants. Which I sold, and used the isk to buy some Moon Products, blueprints and some odds and ends. All through the power of mining, that made it fun.


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Secret They don't want you know..



I did use Photoshop to remove the location, but will say that it is somewhere in High Security space. These are the numbers as listed on the Mining Ledger. In Quality Assurance and Player Tested we trust.

Mined with a Barge not an Exhumer. Nor a rorqual?! Some people just need a bigger ship to make up for certain short comings. Look, I do not mine for the income - so I do not really pay attention to the wallet. Just the soothing hum of the lasers as the rocks melt.

You say that you have never heard of these ores? Not a surprise, you are not dedicated to the Path of the Miner.

Seriously. These ores are pseudo asteroids which occur in Level 4 Mining Missions. Typically the mission requires about 45,000 m³ of ore. They are simulations of the high end null/Wormhole ores. Indeed you can actually use the mining crystals on these mission ores. e.g. Arkonor mining crystals work with Polygypsum ore. Though generally I just use Tech1 mining strips.

A post for another time when I write up about pros and cons of this content.

For now, seeing worthless ores outscoring the endeavours of Capital Ships, that made it fun.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Completion

With a few days vacation up my sleeve, I aimed for the new PvE content.



I ended up with a Merlin skin for all my efforts. The nice thing about the mining goals, was it enabled me to review market orders and planetary interactions. I have both of these I have allowed lapse over time, spiralling towards "skill queue online".

Most of my market action is mining gear. This has prompted my interest in the new moon mining crystals. Of course it remains to be seen whether I will ever actually get to mine from moons - even if it promoted to High Security space. But, since I happened to be mapped for Industry skill learning, I have queued the 5 new crystal skills.

I have wondered occasionally if there is a sideline in "hiring out" my refining skills, many of which are maxed. It would have to work as some sort of collateral trade to build trust. And how would I fee this sort of service?

As for moons, I hope that CCP soon releases some statistics about uptake in new Refineries. I would like to be proven wrong, but I see the death of Low Security moon harvesting in this change. Let's say some Low Security mob approached me. About the only way I would agree would be through being paid in advance. Three times my mining ship value, as Insurance. It's nice to dream.



Here, I have achieved the required standing of 7 for Resource Wars. The reward isn't the objective. The reward came from completing objectives under time pressure. Managing all aspects of the ship in a hostile environment. Designing ship fittings which would handle all of the specifics of the desired result. I went a little overboard, using a deadspace fitted Prospect to semi-blitz the L2 solo. Most of my deadspace modules have come from 4/10 explorations. Just gathering dust in the hanger. (that actually happens by the way, my ships do not get cleaned).

As a point of interest check zkill for npc daredevil kills. And that is just the Gallente Resource Wars.

So, mining but without the usually automated "go make a coffee and sandwich" afk style. That made it fun.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Resource Wars

Coming on the 24th October will be the High Security content, Resource Wars.

These can be found as beacons in space, similar anomalies, which the pilot can can merely select and warp to.



Here I have just selected show info overview item. I will not yet be able to enter this site, lacking the standing requirements.



For the various sites, the information will include which ships are eligible to enter. My prospect does not qualify. Only the venerable venture can access the tier 1.



When you warp to a site, you are presented the objectives by a Mission Non Playing Character.



New gate art, that I have not seen before.



Just getting the minimal standings, I am trying my hand at a tier 3. In an armour tanked Prospect! Solo!!



The NPCs will attack the NPC orcas, as well as the players. To make note here, this viewer is not interactive. You will not able to use this part of the User Interface to target lock or click approach. (including that red target icon which does not do anything).



Fearing that the Orca was about to destroyed, I quickly put the requisite 10,000 units of ore so that it will warp out.



Tier 3 completed with 8 seconds to spare. I am using a Michi implant in Slot 7, a MX-1005 in 10.

[Prospect]
Capacitor Power Relay II
Small Armor Repairer II
Armor Thermal Hardener II
Armor Kinetic Hardener II

Cap Recharger II
1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Cap Recharger II

Miner II
Miner II

Small Anti-Kinetic Pump II
Small Anti-Thermal Pump II



Completing the site gives these sort of rewards, so what can you get for these?





The interesting point is that the LP store for these missions can be utilised at that particular faction NPC station. Unlike Concord which has its own stations that you need to dock at to cash in. Here I have docked at a Federal Navy station. The LP Store now has a second tab wherein the Resource War Loyalty Points can be spent. Perhaps this is just a preliminary for Singularity server. But these are in my opinion, limited in scope, so I do not envisage longevity from the activity.

Most of the missions that players perform, are done so for the payout. I can directly utilise the rewards or sell on the market. But what do I do with a fitted Brutix? Sell on a contract?! As a sometime barge pilot, my primary weapon preference is Drones. It is a leap of faith that miners will see this as a opportunity to go out to PvP. This is intended for new players however. (Although this is traded off against the necessary to use Exhumers/Expeditions required for the higher tiers). So maybe they will not have the bad habits that are so ingrained in me.

Completing the tier 3 solo? That made it fun.


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The End of An Era


Here I am cloaked and taking down my Player Owned Station (POS) which has been anchored here for many years. Not always fueled or having attendant modules. Most of the time I used it as a boost of income when refining. Accumulate about 1,000,000m³ uncompressed ore from various mining operations. Then process it all in one session. Hardwired with the Zainou 'Beancounter' Industry BX-804 and 52% refining minus the fuel cost (almost nil) was a nice incentive and made good gains.

Sometimes I would run research labs and/or manufacturing Capitol Ship components.

Those days are over. It takes 15 minutes to un-anchor a POS. So I waited patiently nearby as a clock ticked down. Then scoped to the hold, and just like that space is empty again.

One Standup M-Set HS Materials Reclamation II will set me back 4,100,000,000 isk. Not something a casual solo player can justify. Plus the absurd limitation of ore inputs. I regularly mine Hemorphite Hedbergite and Jaspet. (daredevil that I am). So back to the 50% NPC station refinery for me.

Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
And smile, smile, smile.

As it is now, I wish there were limits to the citadel mechanics. Such as number that can be anchored per system per AU or even random systems (in HS) where they cannot be placed at all. A limitation might generate conflict much in the same vein that Player Owned Custom Offices currently do.

Having my own piece of sky claimed with a POS, that made it fun.