Monthly Archives: April 2014

Living the Lowsec Dream

Warning: Rambling Incoherent post ahead.

Where I spend my time: Lowsec 80%, Highsec 10%, Null sec 5%, Wormholes 5%

When I first started playing Eve, lowsec was pretty intimidating. It didn’t help that I got ganked in my first 2 trips to lowsec.

“Pirates live there!”

“There are gatecamps lurking around every corner!”

“People will scan you down in seconds, find you, and blow you up!”

While that is all potentially true, it is infrequent. In fact, most of the people I encounter in lowsec are avoiding combat! It is actually kind of hard to engage someone in combat if they don’t want to be engaged. If you are flying a cloaked ship, you are safe about 95% of the time. If you are flying a combat ship, only a few people will engage you one on one. That is why the whole are of “baiting” was invented – to trick people into fighting.

Now, this isn’t to say that lowsec is safe! I have a 4.0 security rating and I blow up your ship if I get the opportunity (I usually don’t pod, but most do).  There are lots of players that are opportunistic like that. Living in lowsec forces you to be on guard all the time. Everyone one you meet is either prey or a hunter. As a solo player (and a one account solo player at that), I don’t have the option of calling for back-up. Fortunately, most people I encounter don’t know that!

There are also roaming gangs. If they happen to catch you on gate or in-transition they will kill you pretty quickly. But as long as you are not hanging out by gates, you are pretty safe from them.

There are occasional gate camps. The smart-bombing battleship ones are pretty effective at killing covops and frigates (and pods), but not much else. Otherwise, random gate camps are pretty rare. They usually only exist at choke points right by highsec. The transition point from highsec to lowsec is probably the most dangerous part of lowsec. Choose your entrances carefully!

I have been scanned down in the sites that I am running a few times, but since there is an acceleration gate at most of the sites, you get a fair bit of warning before someone shows up (way more than you get in wormhole space!).

Hauling around lowsec can be pretty intimidating.  Pretty much any cruiser hanging on a gate can catch and kill you.  Long hauling routes in anything but a blockade runner are a bad idea.  So lowsec logistics is all about using worhmoles, blockade runners, jump freighters, and the occasional warp stabbed Epithal PI hauler.  You tend to pay close attention to m3 requirements and (in my case) do some of your own manufacturing.

On the positive side, lowsec is awesome for exploration.  The PI is good (though not as good as wormholes).  There are lots of stations and competition for sites/resources is less intense (though more deadly) than in highsec.  Each area of lowsec has its own personality influenced by its proximity to highsec and nullsec as well as the major groups that call it home.  Some are more suited to some activities than others, but all have their perks.

When you first get ready to dip your feet into lowsec, I would recommend flying about a bit in a cloaked ship like a covops or an Astero.  Find a nice quiet entrance, preferable where one highsec system borders multiple lowsec systems.  Check that their hasn’t been a lot of kills in the last hour and that there is no one hanging out on the highsec side of the gate (these are indications of a gate camp).  Warp through several systems in a circuit (either a loop or an up and back) and make bookmarks along the way.  Take note of systems that have a high population and see if they are all in the same corporation (indications of a pirate corp home system).  Initially, it is probably better to avoid dead-end systems.  Several of them have been “claimed” and can be pretty heavily occupied.  If you are looking for a base, it is usually safer to choose a system that has multiple stations.  If you want to do PI, pay attention to good planets like plasma (depending on what you want to do).  If you want to mine, keep an eye on systems with lots of belts.  Just take a few hours over the course of a couple of days (and at least 1 weekend) to get the lay of the land during the hours that you plan on playing.  Make sure it is to your liking.  Several constellations have high-sec islands that may be useful to you.  Often they are very sparsely populated.

If you are getting into lowsec for exploration then pay attention to how many signatures you see.  When you are ready to run sites (either profession or combat) you can go back to your highsec entrance and change out ships if necessary as long as the coast is clear.  I based 2 jumps into highsec for several months just because it was easier for logistics.  But eventually, you will get comfortable enough that returning to highsec each time seems like a waste…

… and then you will be living the lowsec dream.

 

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Tengu Fit: Exploration Travel

I have received a couple of emails and comments recently asking about my fit for scanning and travelling through lowsec before switching to some of my posted fits for lowsec exploration complexes.

I don’t have one “travel fit” that I use exclusively, it kind of depends on the space I am in, and what I plan on doing.  Occasionally, I travel in a PVP fit for snagging unobservant frigates in data or relic sites.  But most of the time, I use a fit that is focused on exploration efficiency.

Since I am currently in Blood Raider space again I will show my entry level BR fit.  Items in RED are just for travel.  The other items get re-used in combat complexes.

[Tengu, ham tengu ls travel (BR) ]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Expanded Cargohold II
Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Relic Analyzer II
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Explosive Deflection Field II
EM Ward Field II
Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
Large Shield Extender II
Cargo Scanner II

Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile

Medium Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I
Medium Rocket Fuel Cache Partition I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II

Tengu Defensive – Amplification Node
Tengu Electronics – Emergent Locus Analyzer
Tengu Offensive – Covert Reconfiguration
Tengu Engineering – Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Tengu Propulsion – Gravitational Capacitor

 

In this fit, it is really all about the mid-slots.  I pretty much always dual-prop my travel fits.  I used to dual-prop with a 100MN afterburner, and that is still a pretty good idea for Null-sec, but I have gotten lazy about this.  I haven’t seen a gate camp for several weeks and I haven’t seen a GOOD one for several months so even if the 100MN afterburner would help me escape, I would probably screw it up for lack of experience.

After a dual prop, every thing else in the mids is for being able to clear a Ghost Site without refitting.  Ghost Sites deal explosive damage when the cans pop so an explosive hardener and LSE are very important.  The rats at Ghost Sites deal damage according to the space they are in so having an EM hardener is required.  Even if they didn’t, you have a gaping EM hole and keeping it plugged is a good idea.  Finally, having a cargo scanner and relic (or data) analyzer is required for scanning and getting the Ghost Site loot.

I use a relic analyzer because in lowsec I am (slightly) more likely to run relic sites than I am data sites.  I will sometimes scan data sites, but I won’t run them unless I see a good BPC that is worth refitting for.

In the high slots, I have my probe and cloak.  The missile launchers give you some dps, but it is really more about storage than anything.

The low slots are open to individual preference.  I like a DC, and having an expanded cargohold helps me carry enough missiles to run several sites without restocking.  The NIS’s bring your align time down and help with navigating the debris of relic sites.  I used to use WCS’s, but I hated what they did to my targeting range.  I eventually dropped them entirely.

This is what the fit looks like in EFT along with storing the modules needed for running combat sites.  If I have no other modules or loot, I have enough space for about 300m3 of missiles (I usually carry a medium secure container so that adds a spare 90m3 of space).

Tengu - BR travel

And just for reference purposes, here is the BR combat site fit that I am carrying:

[Tengu, ham tengu ls combat (BR)]
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System

Cap Recharger II
‘Copasetic’ Particle Field Acceleration
Pith C-Type Large Shield Booster
EM Ward Field II
Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
EM Ward Field II
Cap Recharger II

Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile

Medium Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I
Medium Rocket Fuel Cache Partition I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II

Tengu Defensive – Amplification Node
Tengu Electronics – Emergent Locus Analyzer
Tengu Offensive – Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Engineering – Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Tengu Propulsion – Gravitational Capacitor

Here is that fit in EFT.  Tengu - BR combat sides (medium skill)

Skillwise, this pilot has 5’s in Engineering fitting skills, 4’s in rigging skills, 5’s in Tengu subsystems, 4’s in Navigation, 4’s in shields and 4’s in missiles (except where 5’s are required for T2 missiles)

 

 

The Charge of the Frig Brigade

CHARGE

 

The Charge of the Frig Brigade

One more jump, One more jump,
One more jump onward,
All in the Nebula of Death,
warped the six hunderd.
‘Forward the Frig Brigade!
Charge for the gate’ he said
Into the Nebula of Death
warped the six hunderd

‘Forward, the Frig Brigade!’.
Was there a clone dismay’d?
No tho’ the pilots knew
Someone had blunder’d :
Theirs not to Teamspeak ‘why’,
Theirs not to Mumble ‘bye’,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the Nebula of Death
Warped the six hundred.

Drones to right of them,
Drones to left of them,
Drones in front of them,
Primarized and alpha’d,
Fired at with beam and shell
Boldly they flew and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Flew the six hundred.

Setting their mods hot,
using every slot
Gunning for the sweetspot
Charging a fleet while
All the universe wonder’d:
Plunged in the interdictor choke
Right thro’ the blob they broke;
The enemy fleet
Reel’d from the massive stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they flew back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Drones to right of them,
Drones to left of them,
Drones in front of them,
Primarized and alpha’d;
Fired at with beam and shell
While ship and pod fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All of Eve wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Frig Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

– an adaptation of Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” by EVE player Don Aubaris.  This won an honorable mention in the PLEX for Parody poety contest.

 

 

Pondering a second account

I am pretty sure I am in the minority as a player who has been playing for more than 2 years and has only 1 account.

Periodically, I think about starting a second one.  However, to actually do it, the second account must accomplish 2 things.  1) It has to earn at least enough ISK every month to be revenue neutral and 2) it has to do so in a way that is more fun than what I am doing now.

So far, the idea hasn’t passed both of these tests.

Before Rubicon and before mobile depots, I was pretty seriously planning out an Orca character so that I could base out of wormholes or null-sec and have some storage and re-fitting ability.   But even then, the thought of managing multiple characters (and their training) just seemed like a pain.  Now that I have a mobile depot, I would only need an Orca to swap out ships – something I am unlikely to do.  Also, I will keep trying, but I just don’t like nullsec that much.  Lowsec is just so much more interesting.  I do have one the characters on my current account trained for blockade runners so that he can follow me around carrying ammo and such, but I never use him.  Perhaps if I decide to spend a bit longer in null-sec or w-space, I would have him follow me.

I really like my transient lifestyle, but having to follow my main around all the time just doesn’t sound fun.  If I made a booster character, that is what I would have to do.  The only time I could think of doing that is to use a ship like the Stratios on the second account and drone assist to my main.  That would allow my main to do some of the harder null-sec complexes more quickly.  If I do end up doing a second account, that is probably the route I would take.  But at this point, it is still pretty unlikely.

Laundry Day

Sunday, I clone jumped back to Jita and spent the day selling stuff.  I had around 3-4 billion ISK worth of stuff shipped there over the last month or so and needed to sell it off.

Back when I really needed the ISK, I couldn’t wait to cash in.  Now it feels almost like a chore (this may be a hint that I will never be a market guy).

I enjoy selling the big items, but I had a whole bunch of low-end faction/deadspace modules in the 10M isk or less category.  I think they may end up as bonus items in a newbie treasure hunt.  Salvage has bottomed out so much it doesn’t even seem to be worth selling.  I have about a thousand tripped power circuits as well as other lesser items.  I would love to have a “clear junk” button.

Anyway, I think I converted about 2-3 billion to liquid isk with another 1 billion still in sell orders.  I didn’t really need to buy anything since I am still sitting on an extra PLEX and didn’t need any new equipment.  I bought an Astero BPC and a Stratios hull just for kicks.  Not sure when I will use them yet.

Training wise, I have been a bit indecisive since my last skillpoint update.  I maxed out my scanning skills (astrometrics rangefinding and pinpointing) picked up some E-war skills, maxed out a couple of Navigation skills, and am currently training armor skills.  Intelligence is my highest stat at the moment so I thought I would pick up some of these before remapping.  I think I am going to remapped to Perception/Willpower and train some ship skills next.

Several months ago (before I started blogging) there was a blog banter about the subject of “space rich”.  Most bloggers came down on the side of “it is a matter of perception”.  With that in mind, I am definitely feeling “space rich”.  My Tengu’s are nicely upgraded with high-end deadspace/faction mods and rigs without going over the top.  I am easily PLEXing my account and have enough left over for giving away in contests without touching my liquid ISK reserve.  I have no aspirations of a carrier or funding multiple accounts as of yet – I am content exactly where I am.  We will see if it lasts.