Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Ship Only a Dev’s Girlfriend Could Love

An interview with a developer at Eve Down Under reveals the true story of how the Nestor battleship was developed and released.  The developer requested that his name not be revealed.

Interviewer: So who came up with the stats for the Nestor?

Unnamed Developer: It is actually a kind of a funny story.  My girlfriend has only ever played WoW, but she wanted me to design a ship for her.  She said she wanted a pet class that could also wear armor, heal and pick locks. She called it a mix between a hunter, a paladin, and a rogue.  I told her that didn’t make much sense from an EVE point of view, but I would see what I could do.  So I put together a drone damage bonus, a remote repair bonus, an armor bonus, and a virus bonus.  She also wanted it to be able to shapeshift, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

Interviewer: That is pretty funny.  Was she pleased?

Unnamed Developer: Yep.  Until I made the mistake of telling her that it would never actually make it into the game.  I tried to explain that no one would fly a ship like this, but that just pissed her off more.  I won’t make that mistake again.

Interviewer: So what about the mass change?  How did it end up being half the size of the other battleships?

Unnamed Developer: (shifts uncomfortably) I am, um, not exactly sure how that got in there.

Interviewer: I see.  So how did this ship go from being a fun project with your girlfriend to being the new Sisters of Eve battleship?

Unnamed Developer: Another funny story.  This one involves too many rounds of Buffalo and a bar bet with CCP Seagull.  We were out at the bar celebrating how well we handled the SOMER Blink scandal and playing a few drinking games.  Andie [CCP Seagull] was bragging about how good she was at designing content.  I told her I had a ship that was so bad even she couldn’t design content for it.  She bet me a hundred thousand ISK [Icelandic Kronor, ~ 860.00USD] that she could.  So the next day at work, I showed her the ship.  She was pissed, but agreed to put it in the game.

Interviewer: So did you win the bet?

Unnamed Developer:  Well, technically she has until the summer patch before I win, but it is looking good so far!  Easiest ISK I ever made!

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Ghost Site Success

I found my second Ghost site today and was more successful than last time.  There were 4 cans and I managed to hack and  loot 3 of them before NPC’s showed up and blew up the fourth.  The site was in Angels lowsec, and the mini-game was about as easy as it gets for lowsec.  There were no virus suppressors or restoration nodes and most of the firewalls were 50/20.

I picked up 2 BPC’s.  One was an Ascendency Alpha and the other one was a Low-grade Ascendancy Gamma.  I also got about 35M isk of parts.

ghost site success

I really appreciate that the Ghost sites don’t have the loot spew that the other mini-game sites have.  Overall, I think they are a very positive addition to the game.  Of course, I wish I saw more of them, but I think they are at about the right rarity to be valuable and generate excitement at finding them.

Blood Raider Powergrid

Blood Raider Powergrid is an escalation that can be triggered by completing a Blood Annex.

It consists of three lowsec escalations and and a fourth final escalation that is usually in nullsec.  This one is a bit unusual in that there is no information on the official wiki page.  The first time I did it, it was all unknown – I felt like I was truly exploring!

Since I was doing this for the first time, I warped cloaked to each escalation site to see what was there before deciding how to fit my ship.  A couple of times this backfired because I landed in the midst of several ships and was decloaked immediately.  There is definitely some variation on how close you land.

Escalation 1

The first escalation is in open space with no acceleration gate.  There is Dark Blood Battleship as the Overseer/trigger.  It may drop Dark Blood loot and/or implants.

Frigates 8

Cruisers 1

Battleships 5 (1 faction)

Battlecruisers 3

I didn’t experience any scrambling, webbing, or neuting in this one.  I just killed the Overseer, bookmarked, and warped out.  I used a double LSE buffer fit with both active and passive resistance modules.

Escalation 2

The second escalation is also in open space with no acceleration gate.  There is Dark Blood Battleship as the Overseer/trigger.  It may drop Dark Blood loot and/or implants.

11 Frigates

5 Cruisers (Elder Corpum Revenant/Arch Templar neuted)

3 Battlecruisers

3 Battleships

1 Faction Battleship (Dark Blood Oracle)

I didn’t experience any scrambling or webbing, but the cruisers neuted me to zero fairly fast.  I killed the Overseer, bookmarked, and warped out. I used a double LSE buffer fit with both active and passive resistance modules.

Escalation 3

The third escalation is also in open space with no acceleration gate.  There is Dark Blood Battleship as the Overseer/trigger.  It may drop Dark Blood loot and/or implants.  I actually had a Bhaalgorn BPC drop from this escalation, but I think that is extremely rare.

4 Cruisers

3 Battleships

1 Faction Battleship (possible neut)

The Faction Battleship was a Dark Blood Harbringer and it neuted.  I don’t know if that happens every time.  It didn’t neut me to zero, but it was enough to prevent an active tank.  Overall dps wasn’t too high.  I killed the Overseer, bookmarked, and warped out. I used a double LSE buffer fit with both active and passive resistance modules.

Final Escalation

The final escalation is in deadspace with an acceleration gate.  It is almost always in nullsec.  It consists of 2 rooms.  The first room must be cleared completely to unlock the gate.

Room 1

9 Frigates

2 Destroyers

4 Cruisers (neut)

4 Battlecruisers

The cruisers (Elder corpum priest/sage) neut hard.  I was completely neuted out in about 30 seconds.  Fortunately, the overall dps is fairly low.

Room 2

15 Frigates

10 Cruisers

3 Battlecruisers

2 Battleships

1 Faction Battleship (Dark Blood Colonel)

I didn’t experience any e-war in this last room.  2 of the cruisers have been known to neut, but they may have been out of range at 60km.  The Overseer was also about 60km away.  I used Javelin missiles and killed him from range.  He did not have a particularly strong tank.  Overall dps in the room was higher than in previous areas.  For both Room 1 and Room 2, I used a combo fit of 1 LSE, 1 active and 1 passive EM resistance module and a Pith C-type large shield booster.  It worked fine.  I think a buffer fit with 2x LSE would have worked just as well.

The Overseer has  a chance to drop Dark Blood battleship modules, Corpus C-type loot, and a Bhaalgorn BPC.

Milestone: 40 Million Skillpoints. Now what?

Sometime yesterday I crossed over 40 million skillpoints. Once I finish my current skill I need to decide what direction to go next.

Here is my current skill breakout (rounded to nearest 100k) with some commentary.

Armor 400 000: Mechanics, Hull Upgrades and not much else.

Corporation Management 1 000: Anchoring 1, Corp Mgt 1. No further training planned.

Drones 1 500 000: Drones 5, Combat Drone Op 5, Scout Drone 5, No Sentry or Heavy Drone skills. Everything else to 3 or 4.

Electronic Systems 400 000: Cloaking and E-war skill basics.

Engineering 3 400 000: All fitting skills to 5 except Adv Weapons Upgrades which is 4.

Gunnery 500 000: Not much here. Small turrets only and nothing to 5.

Missiles 9 700 000: Nearly maxed out. Everything useful is 5 except Torpedoes and the individual Specialization skills.

Navigation 2 300 000: Currently training Acceleration Control to 5. Afterburner, Evasive Maneuvering, Fuel Conservation, Navigation all 5. High Speed Maneuvering, Warp Drive Operation at 4 , Micro Jump Drive Operation at 3.

Neural Enhancement 200 000: Cybernetics 4, Infomorph Psychology 4, Informorph Sync 3. No further training planned.

Planet Management 400 000: CC upgrades and Interplanetary Consolidation at 4. No further training planned.

Production 1 100 000: Industry & Prod Efficiency at 5, Mass Production at 4. No further training planned.

Resource Processing 800 000: Salvaging 5. No further training planned.

Rigging 400 000: The ones I use are at 4.

Scanning 2 900 000: Archeology, Astrometics, Hacking at 5. Pinpointing and Rangefinding at 4.

Science 1 100 000: Science 5. The rest are a mix of 3’s and 4’s to allow for Invention.

Shields 1 400 000: Shield Mgt and Operation to 5. Shield Comp, Upgrades, Tactical Manipulation to 4. The passive compensation skills are a mix of 2-4’s.

Social 200 000: Not much here. No further training planned.

Spaceship Command 11 800 000: All Battlecruiser and Destroyer skills to 5 thanks to the skill change this past year. Caldari Frigate and Caldari Cruiser to 5. Spaceship Command to 5.

Subsystems 1 300 000: All Caldari Subsystems to 5. I spend most of my time in a Tengu after all. A few of these have been trained to 5 a few times unfortunately.

Targeting 200 000: Mostly 4’s.

Trade 66 000: Not much here and nothing planned.

So…

What do I do next? My current play style is nearly maxed out skillpoint wise. I could train HAM Specialization to 5 picking up another 2% damage for a month of training. I could also train Shield Compensation to 5 picking up a 2% savings in capacitor required for shield boosting. Also I could spend another month or 3 maxing out my scanning skills for a small time improvement. I could also train Shield Upgrades and Advanced Weapons Upgrades to 5 for a currently unnecessary powergid savings of 5% and 2% respectively.

Alternatively, I could start training for a new ship.

The Stratios is an obvious choice and requires Gallente/Amarr Cruiser to 5, Armor Skills, Drone Skills, and some kind of Medium Turret. This would allow more exploration options and allow the option of not having to chase missile restocking all the time. However, I am not convinced this opens up any new gameplay options for me. On the plus side, it would be good blog fodder and it opens up the DED 4/10’s which Strategic Cruisers are locked out of, and it gives some nerf protection for when/if the Tengu gets nerfed. This is a mix of training with Command, Drones, and Armor skills all requiring different attributes. I would need to remap probably and commit to it for the long term. It is basically the total opposite of what I have currently trained.

A blockade runner would only require about 20 some days of training and would open up some options for me with my current and potentially planned activities. If I can’t make up my mind for a longer commitment, then I will probably plug this in to buy some more time.

I could train up more battleships skills for mission running. Or maybe train for a marauder. I don’t particularly enjoy missions though and I don’t think the isk/time is worth it. I always thought that it would be fun to fly a Machariel or a Nightmare, but I don’t know what I would actually do with them if I had them.

I could focus on frigates. They are fun to fly and maybe I could do some lowsec roaming or RvB or something. This would be Tech 2 small turret skills and Frigate command skills. Or I could just train Assault Frigates to 5 and Rocket Spec to 4 and fly the Hawk. Or I could round out my armor skills and play some more with the Astero – either exploring or pvping.

I could focus on another Strategic Cruiser. I love the Legion and have been trying very hard to come up with a good exploration use for it. It does ok verses Sanshas and a HAM Legion does great verses Angels. It probably doesn’t beat either the Stratios or the Tengu though. Cloaky Loki’s sound fun as does a gank Proteus. Not sure how much I would actually use it though.

Right now, I am leaning towards focusing on the Astero and maybe maxing my scanning skills. Then build on that for the Stratios.

Any suggestions?

Using Mobile Depots (tips and tricks)

A reader commented recently:

Also, I have not seen a single post / guide about proper use and tips & tricks for mobile depot usage. Maybe that would be something for you to write down your thoughts about if you find the time and think this is an interesting topic.

James

I do think this is an interesting topic, but I am still learning how to use them.  In any case I can share what I do.

First, some facts about mobile depots:

1.  They are pretty easy to scan down – similar to a battleship or industrial ship.  An average combat prober can get a 100% signal at a probe range of 2AU’s.

2.  They have a 60 second activation timer before you can use the fitting service.  There is no timer on deactivating.  You can scoop it up immediately at any time.

3.  They show up on D-scan.

4.  A 500dps combat ship can put them in “reinforced” mode in about 10 seconds.  Once reinforced, the fitting service can no longer be used.

5.  Once reinforced, they have a 2-day invulnerability timer.  After that (if it has not been scooped and re-deployed by the owner), it can be destroyed and looted.

6.  They can be cargo scanned.

7.  They count as a “Plank” container.  This means they cannot be placed in a cargo container while in storage – and when deployed, a cargo container cannot be placed in them.  It also means they cannot be jettisoned.

8.  Attacking a mobile depot generates a suspect flag.  No CONCORD action – even in highsec.  No notification is sent to the owner when the depot is attacked.

9.  The person who deployed the depot is the only one who can use it.  The pilot who deployed it is shown when someone is on grid with the depot and clicks “show info”.

Frankly, I think the invulnerability timer is overpowered.  It is virtually impossible to destroy and loot the mobile depot of an even semi-attentive owner.  All the owner has to do is warp to the depot, scoop it, scoop any dropped cargo and warp away.  This can be done in under 30 seconds.  I suppose in nullsec or j-space you could put a large warp disruption bubble around it, but you would still have to camp it for 48 hours straight.  So, if you want to use it to store stuff, it is pretty safe to do so.

The biggest vulnerability is when you are using it for fitting and are thus distracted from what is going on around you.  Also managing inventory and the fitting screen tends to be a bit more complicated than it is in a station.  Since I tend to move around a lot, someone camping (cloaked or otherwise) my depot for even an hour would seriously disrupt my gameplay.

So this is what I usually do:  I travel with a medium secure storage container as well as a mobile depot.  I was using the container anyway to help with keeping my inventory sorted.  I try to get a spot that is more than 14AU’s from any celestial object for my mobile depot.  If it is a system where I have seen lowsec incursions before, then I use this trick.  If I can’t, then I try to deploy it somewhat close to a POS with lots of structures.  When scanning for a mobile depot, it counts as a structure until you get to 25% signal strength.  When you see a structure out in the middle of nowhere, you know it is a depot (or another deployable).  When it is in the midst of a bunch of other structures it takes a bit more effort.  I also set a bookmark about 10AU’s away (if possible) from my mobile depot bookmark.  This is where I will put my secure storage container.

Once my bookmarks are set, I make sure no one has combat probes out.  If they do, I will wait (or move on).  Then I warp to my depot bookmark.  I launch the depot (activating the 60 second timer).  Then I warp to my storage bookmark.  I can still see my depot on d-scan so I will know if someone starts probing for it.  I launch my secure storage container.  I transfer from my storage container the modules/ammo that I want to refit with.  Everything else goes into the container.  After transferring the inventory, I anchor the container (optional) and warp to my depot bookmark.  I use the fitting service.  Since my inventory pretty much only has the modules I want, it goes quickly.  Once fitted, I scoop the depot and warp to a third location.  From there, I warp to whatever site I wanted to do.  To change fits back, I reverse the process.

Doing this, I am moving most of the time and am difficult to probe.  I also leave nothing behind that can be scanned and my loot is safe in a secure container that no one but me can find.  I also have my old fit and my depot with me.  If necessary, I can refit somewhere else.  I don’t have to use my previous depot spot.  In fact, if I am doing a combat site I can even refit in one of the rooms behind the acceleration gate.

A couple of additional items: You can’t use saved ship fittings with a mobile depot.  You get an error message saying saved fits can only be used in a station.  Also, loading ammo still takes the normal amount of time.  It is not instant like it is in a station.  Finally, transferring a mobile depot from one character to another in space is pretty complicated.  Since you can’t jettison or store a depot in a can, you pretty much have to have 2 characters that can fly the same ship.  Foo describes the process here.