Archive for June, 2012

Giving Up on EveHQ

Posted in The More You Know on June 30, 2012 by khalia

I’ve long been a fan of the all-in-one EveHQ tool. EveHQ did everything that EFT and EveMon and more:

* Skill tracking and planning
* Ship fitting simulation
* Personal/corporate asset tracking
* Order monitoring
* POS simulation
* Industry simulation including T2 invention
* Wormhole effects database
* PI planner

All of these features and a reasonably laid out interface made it my tool of choice for a long time. That is no longer so.

I have stopped using EveHQ and have migrated to EFT and EveMON for my tools. EveHQ has become too frustrating to use due to interface lag, occasional crashes, and massive memory use. After a few hours EveHQ will use as much as 800 MB of memory, which is sometimes more than my EVE clients!

The main issue is interface lag; the program will often fail to maximize or minimize, or take an unusually long time doing so. Switching between tabs or selecting new UI elements can take seconds to respond, or lock the entire program while changing.

It’s a shame, because EveHQ has a feature set that nothing else currently offers. But if you can’t use it, it doesn’t matter how many features you have, does it?

Bad Ship Changes: The Vagabond loses the “frill”

Posted in CCP, Come On! on June 28, 2012 by khalia

As you may have read on EVOGANDA, the recently introduced Minmatar V3 ship models removed the distinguishing feature from the player-favorite Vagabond – the lizard-like frill just after the head of the vehicle.



I really can’t figure out why CCP would remove this nifty-looking part. This distinguishes the ship apart from Stabbers and Stabber Fleet Issue; now the only real difference is in color.

EVOGANDA has “announced” a “benefit concert” to fix this, which you can read about here. Click the link, the poster is hilarious.

CCP, fix this shit!

The Free ISK Party Has Closed

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2012 by khalia

The faction warfare LP party is over, at least for those in the Minmatar militia:

We have to wonder if it was the Goons keeping everything at Tier 3 or better. This is the only time I’ve seen the Minmatar militia at Tier 2.

At tier 2, you’re going to make about 30m ISK worth of LP per hour, assuming you can run six plex per hour. You’ll do better with level 4 missions.

On the other hand, that’s still decent ISK for completely new characters. If you want to get a new person into EVE, consider pointing them to faction warfare. They’ll learn combat, d-scan, and other useful skills while still making a decent income.

Trollin’ The War

Posted in Combat, Delicious Tears on June 24, 2012 by khalia

What’s more fun that making stupid easy ISK on faction warfare?

Finding other members of your own militia running those sites, and then entering them to snatch some of the LP. Or, shoot them.

I had some fun with this today, jumping in on Poetic Stanziel and then pretending to be a Russian. People hate Russians. This generated some delicious tears. I attempted to engage him once, but discovered my not-so-old alt lacked the speed to keep him pointed.

A wild faction bear appears in Stanziel’s plex!

[19:29:35] Poetic Stanziel > Jumping in on my plex … not cool. Splitting LP I don’t want to split.
[19:29:42] Allison Phoenix > Я не говорю по английски [I don’t speak english]
[19:30:15] Poetic Stanziel > Go find another plex, please.
[19:30:38] Allison Phoenix > но мы оба Minmatar? [but we’re both Minmatar?]
[19:32:14] Poetic Stanziel > Fuck off, Russian.
[19:33:05] Allison Phoenix > может блохи заводятся вашу промежность! [may fleas infest your crotch!]

We split the LP and he warps away.

I find him again later and jump in. He agresses me with his Hobgoblin II. I easily tank it.
His T2 AB skills beat my T1 AB skills, so I can’t keep a point on him. The site finishes, we split the LP again.

[22:23:38] Allison Phoenix > Спасибо за LP =) [thanks for the LP]
[22:25:11] Aristeia Cersei > Minmatar are worse carebears than Caldari..
[22:25:52] Poetic Stanziel > He’s a Russian fuck, is what he is.
[22:26:10] Allison Phoenix > No, but I trolled you well.

Stanziel leaves system.

The Faction Warfare “Stupid ISK For Little Work” HOWTO

Posted in CCP, Come On!, The More You Know on June 23, 2012 by khalia

Now that the cat is out of the bag about making a ton of loyalty points with faction warfare for little work – WITHOUT EXPLOITS – I’ll provide the real details on how to do this yourself.

Why am I doing this? Because as Paul said in his previous post, the current behavior is highly unbalanced and needs attention so that CCP will fix it. And we figure we already made all the money we can make. 😉


You make or reuse an alt that will join Minmatar factional warfare. You’ll fit him in a cheap frigate with a low-cost clone, fly to contested Caldari space, and capture factional warfare complexes. These will yield a lot of LP, which you can translate into items or ships, which you sell for cash.


First an explanation of how factional warfare “tier”s and LP works: As your faction controls more systems, and upgrades them (with LP), your “tier” value increases, every 20% gain. 0-19% is tier 1; 20-39% is tier 2; 40-59% is tier 3; 60-79% is tier 4; and 80-100% is tier 5.

The rewards you get from completing factional warfare sites (also called plexes) increase with each tier, by 5% per tier after tier 1. At tier 3 a small size complex gives 11k LP. Tier 4 is 11.5k LP, and tier 5 is 12k. More importantly the cost in both ISK and LP for items in the LP shop are decreased by 50% for EACH TIER.

Let’s say you want to invest in some Republic Fleet ammunition. At tier 3, one purchase of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M will cost you 1600 LP and 1.6m ISK. At tier 4, it will cost 800 LP and 800k ISK. At tier 5, it’s a shockingly low 400 LP and 400k ISK.

Here’s an example using the same Republic Fleet EMP M ammo:

Tier 3
Cost to buy 5000 units of EMP M: 380,000 ISK
LP Store ISK cost: 1,600,000 ISK
Sell value of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M: 3,420,000 ISK
Total profit: 1,440,000 ISK
LP cost: 1600
ISK per LP: 900

Tier 4
Cost to buy 5000 units of EMP M : 380,000 ISK
LP Store ISK cost: 800,000 ISK
Sell value of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M: 3,420,000 ISK
Total profit: 2,240,000 ISK
LP cost: 800
ISK per LP: 2800

Tier 5
Cost to buy 5000 units of EMP M: 380,000 ISK
LP Store ISK cost: 400,000 ISK
Sell value of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M: 3,420,000 ISK
Total profit: 2,640,000 ISK
LP cost: 400
ISK per LP: 6600

When running missions for LP, a conversion ratio of about 2000 ISK/LP is usually considered about standard. Heavily traded items will sell for less, and infrequent items for more. At tier 4 this is above average money, and at tier 5 it is *insane* money.

Pressing The Button

So here’s what you need:

1) An alt that can join Minmatar factional warfare. Only Minmatar is even close to tier 4 right now; Amarr is stuck in tier 1, the Caldari are just into tier 2, and the Gallente are also down in tier 1. At tier 1 and 2 prices, it’s not even worth trying; you should go mission or run Incursions instead.

In order to join the Minmatar milita, you need positive Minmatar faction standings. An easy way to do this is to run the 10-part tutorial mission series “Cashflow for Capsuleers” which you can get from an agent in Hadaugago. It takes about 40 minutes to run all 10 if you bash through it quickly.

2) Your alt needs to fly a tanky frigate. We’re looking for 100 dps or better with kinetic and thermal resists of 75%. Currently the best way to do this is with the new Incursus. With a 10% bonus to armor repair amount per Gallente Frigate level, it has a superior tank advantage over all the other frigates. I’ve seen people do this in Rifters, or Punishers; but the properly fit Incursus can even tank the Major faction sites that give close to 30k LP on completion.

Here’s your target Incursus fit:

[Incursus, FW]

1MN Afterburner II
2x Cap Recharger II

Small Armor Repairer II
2x Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II

Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
2x Small Capacitor Control Circuit I

You will need the following skills for this:
* Gallente Frigate IV
* Repair Systems IV
* Energy Systems Operation IV
* Energy Management IV
* Hull Upgrades V
* Afterburner IV
* Energy Grid Upgrades III
* Armor Rigging I

With these skills, you’ll be cap-stable, flying at least 900m/s, and should tank around 138 dps. This can tank the Minor and the Medium complexes. Since I know some of these skills take a while (Hull Upgrades V for example), swap to T1 resists while waiting, and a T1 afterburner before you get Afterburner IV.

With T1 resists and a T1 afterburner you should still be doing at least 850m/s and tanking about 120 dps against our target damage profile, which is Caldari’s kinetic and thermal. This will handle Minor complexes but may give you problems with Medium size complexes.

If you max out the Gallente Frigate and Repair Systems skills, you’ll tank almost 160 dps. You’ll be able to run Major sites which have the best LP per time. You can also drop a CCC for another Aux Nano Pump, but you’ll need both Energy Systems Operation V and Energy Management V to make this be cap-stable, or implants. The 2x Nano Pump Incursus has a stupid 178 dps tank.

Receive Bacon

You’ve got your guy and your ship. Now set sail for the Black Rise region, where the Caldari are battling the Gallente. Wait, aren’t you Minmatar, shouldn’t you be fighting the Amarr? Well see, the Minmatar and Gallente are allies; you can complete Caldari complexes for LP. The Amarr FW space is also much more busy, and you don’t want busy. You want as quiet as you can get. Black Rise is quiet.

When you get to Black Rise, fly around until you find a system owned by the Caldari – you want to see “Factional Warfare System: Caldari” on your screen. Running Gallente sites will make those guys angry at you and give you no LP. When you’ve found a system, fire off your system scanner (no probes needed). You’ll find sites like these:

Minor Caldari Outpost
Caldari Stronghold
Major Caldari Installation

“Medium” size sites have no label, they just appear as the faction and the type. The particular type does not really matter to you; except for Majors, you should have no trouble tanking each type. Pick a Minor, and warp to it. You’ll notice a beacon will appear on overview; *everyone* can now see that you are running this site.

You arrive on a gate. Minor gates only allow T1 (including faction) frigates and destroyers. Medium sites also allow T2 frigates, and T1 cruisers. Major sites allow T2 cruisers and T1 battlecruisers.

Enter the site. You will see an item on overview that looks like a bunch of circles, about 50-60km away. This is the capture point. You’ll also find a number of NPCs. You now need to fly in-range of the point and continue to stay in range until the timer on the counter finishes.

Range on sites: Minor is 10km, Medium is 20km, Major is 30km
Times on sites: Minor are 10 min, Medium are 15 min, Major are 20 min

Orbit the site, turn on your repper, and wait out the timer. When it finishes, you get the LP. Horray! Repeat a zillion times.

You Damn Dirty Pirate

So what can go wrong here? A number of things:

1) The Caldari militia and local pirates take notice when you start doing these sites. Sometimes. If you pick an empty system or one with harmless looking people you can pretty much AFK while doing this. If you have possible hostiles in local, set your directional scanner to 100,000 km and zap it every so often. If you see anyone, warp away. Since these guys have to hit a gate AND start off at 50km or more away, you have plenty of time to GTFO.

Though if this happens, you might just want to move on to another system.

2) Don’t forget to turn your armor repper on. Yes, I lost at least one ship that way. Derp.

3) Don’t bring a buddy. Your reward is split if both of you are in range of the site timer when it ends.

4) Sites take a little while to respawn; when you run out in system A, go to B and run a few, then return.

Counting My Eggs

Let us pretend that you are doing Minor sites, at tier 3, and getting 11k LP per site. You pick quiet systems and manage to get an average of 5 done per hour as these sites only take 10 minutes.

At tier 3: 5 sites x 11k LP = 55k LP x 900 ISK/LP => 55M ISK per hour – this isn’t bad, it’s at least as good as most missions.

At tier 4: 5 sites x 11.5k LP = 57.5k LP x 2800 ISK/LP => 161M ISK per hour – This is *great* money.

At tier 5: 5 sites x 12k LP = 60k LP x 6600 ISK/LP => 396M ISK per hour – You may actually have trouble liquidating all your LP at this level, but you can see the insane ISK it represents.

Final Words

So to wrap this up, you can right now make about 55M ISK/hour with a totally new alt and a few days training. If tier 4 returns, you can make as much as 161M ISK per hour. Risk exists, but if you get popped and poded, you lose a T1 frigate with some T2 fittings and a cheap clone. Worth it? Entirely.

Can you do this hour after hour after hour? Not really. Eventually someone will come gunning for you and you’ll need to safe up or move systems for a while. Still worth it? Yep.

Is this unbalanced? Jesus H Christ, yes. The main problems are the ability to tank a complex and win it without killing a SINGLE rat, and the huge imbalance each level of tier gives out. 50% is just so big of a bonus for each tier that it puts everything out of proportion. The poor other militias at tiers 1 and 2 are getting totally shafted, their LP is barely worth anything.

I would solve this issue by requiring that a certain number of NPCs had to be killed in order to capture a site. I would also change the tier levels to be closer to a 20% difference between levels, and making tier 2 be as good as regular missions are right now in terms of LP required for similar rewards. Members of factional warfare could still make some ISK, and upper tiers would still be worth fighting for, but not massive firehoses of ISK.

It Was Old Man Goon All Along!

Posted in Capers, CCP, Delicious Tears on June 21, 2012 by paul

Or, How Paul and Khalia Unintentionally Rode The Coattails of Goonswarm to Almost-Riches

So Khalia and I recently sort of came back to Eve. I wanted to try the ninja baiting thing again, but quickly once more fell into discomfort with the lack of lulz/hour it offered. Khalia came back as well and erected a little tower in NPC nullsec from which we repeatedly shot Angels in the face. That was mildly amusing.

Two weeks ago, Khalia got tipped off to an opportunity. It seemed that CCP had tweaked LP store payouts for Factional Warfare, making it much more profitable than before. Furthermore, one could effectively run small and medium FW complexes with week-old toons in frigates. These frigs didn’t even have to fit guns, since the sites were completed by proximity to the capture point. Go to lowsec, scan FW plexes, orbit with afterburner on, and ignore the NPCs. You had to keep an eye out for fast attack frigates from opposing faction pilots, but for the most part it was press button, receive bacon.

The LP store prices for FW are set depending on how successful your faction has been against the enemy.  At Tier 3, it’s meh money. At T4, it’s good money. At T5, it’s stupid amounts of money.

I don’t have any knowledge of the history of FW, nor do I want to have such knowledge. But when we got into it a couple weeks ago, Minmatar was absolutely dominating Amarr, riding at T4 rewards most of the time and sometimes peaking into T5 for a few hours.

Khalia did the math, moved a new alt out to Caldari FW space to test the waters, then told me that I’d be a moron not to get out there. Before long we were running five pilots between the two of us in the early morning hours during the week, when most of the opposition was in bed. We thought that it was just a horrifyingly unbalanced system, and that as word got out about how good the money was, prices on LP store items would either crash or CCP would take action to make the activity less profitable.

To give you some idea, we were making somewhere between 200M and 500M per hour orbiting frigates piloted by 2M SP toons. It couldn’t last, so we kept our mouths shut and made hay while the sun shone.

This morning, Khalia sent me this link:

The TLDR version is that Goonswarm discovered that the mechanic by which CCP awarded LP for killing enemy pilots was hilariously broken. They took advantage of this by filling the holds of haulers belonging to “enemy” alts and blowing them up. The output of the items blown up in this way was greater than the LP used to create them, thus creating for the Goons an endless stream of Minmatar LP. They used this to buy obscene numbers of faction blueprints, high-end implants, and datacores. Because they had such large amounts of LP to play with, they maximized their payout by using the LP to upgrade Minmatar iHubs, thus leaning against enemy FW pilots with unlimited weight. Any time the Amarr thought they were turning the tide, the Goons simply tossed a bit more of their LP at the problem.

By doing this they gained an immense number of tremendously valuable items in-game, and flooded the market for those items, murdering the worth of LP rewards for every mission-runner in the game.

CCP has now fixed the LP spigot, and is stating clearly that things were not working as intended. What will happen to the Goons involved? If taken at traditional market prices, the LP items they’ve gained are worth… I don’t know how much, and the “hundreds of trillions” numbers that people are throwing around may be pure speculation. I haven’t seen any sort of reliable confirmed numbers from the source, but an image of one of the T5 cash-outs posted in the thread suggests that at the very least, the number is in the tens of trillions.

The good news is that none of that money was printed by the game. It wasn’t that kind of exploit. The only thing created out of thin air was LP points, which were in turn used to create LP store items. This means that if CCP takes no action beyond preventing further abuse (which is certainly a possibility), the market for anything you could have bought at the Minmatar LP store is nuked for the foreseeable future, but the economy as a whole won’t be hit by yet more inflation. The biggest losers in this are holders and LP store creators of implants and datacores.

CCP may move to yoink large stockpiles of such items that have been created this way, but much of the damage has already been done.

What’s next for us? Well, I’m sitting on about 600,000 LP and Khalia has about 800,000. We’re keeping an eye on the Minmatar FW rewards status, which is currently at Tier 3. The question seems to be: How many others were doing what we were doing, and do any of them hold sufficiently large LP stockpiles to be interested in giving Minmatar FW that one last push to cash out at T4?

One thing’s for certain: Whether you were part of the abuse of the game mechanics for obscene amounts of money, or just a freerider taking advantage of what you thought was just an unbalanced FW patch for serious LP, the flow of free ice cream has ceased. But Khalia and I did have fun playing in lowsec for a while. 🙂

(Cue FW apologists saying that the Goons weren’t the reason for Minmatar domination in three, two…)

While You’re At It, CCP

Posted in CCP on June 19, 2012 by khalia

CCP’s gotten on the ball and updated a number of things to be less annoying:

* POS Tower Fuel blocks – Because individual fuel was a massive pain in the ass.
* Unified Inventory – Some people dislike this, but it’s got a lot going for it.
* Module Name changes – the Limited/Updated/Experimental changes go a long way to knowing what is better than what.
* EVE bar – Customize your interface all you like! Win.

Now I’ve got a few suggestions for CCP in the category of fixing headaches that don’t need to be headaches.

* POS force field password – Is there really a reason we need to reset it EVERY TIME we change a ship? No, there isn’t. Just let us set and forget.

* Pausing/restarting skill training when you change implants or jump clone – Why is this even needed? If you get podded and lose implants you don’t need to stop/restart training, it Just Works. Surely the same code can get used here.

* Accepting corporation members from different races requires training Ethnic Relations – This requirement, and skill, needs to die. Since race/background combinations for skill points no longer exist, the *only* reason for picking a particular race is starting skills and what your character looks like. You can easily be from Caldari background and go fight for Gallente factional warfare, for goodness sakes; racial background is essentially meaningless these days. Dump the Ethnic Relations skill, reinburse players the skill points, and let anyone join a corporation from any background.

Anyone else got “this just needs to die” changes to suggest?