Back To My Roots.

I bought my self a shiny shiny Occator yesterday. I spotted one for around 100 mil over their price before the DST changes were announced and pounced on it. unfortunately I had forgotten to take into account the pitiful state of my wallet. This meant that I was left with a tiny 20 mil ISK.

This reminds me a lot of when I first changed my account from trial to active, I’d managed to scrounge together 15 mil ISK and a poorly fitted Iteron mk5. In under a month through mostly hauling alone I managed to turn that 15 million into 1.2 billion. I didn’t even have the small amount of help I have now from my PI, which to be fair with ~24 hours of training only nets me 6 mil per day, but still better than nothing.  I did it by running chump-change contracts like the one I’m doing right now and working my way up to the much more profitable ones. It had gotten to the point where I wouldn’t even consider a contract unless I was going to make over 8 mil on it.


A 200 Million ISK Phone Call

First off I just want to let you guys know that I’ve joined the nice people from Star Explorers and am now living the wormhole lifestyle, more about that next time though.

I’ve been busy getting myself sorted for my new home and have been spending ISK like it’s going out of fashion. Between plexing my account and buying the ships mods and miscellaneous paraphernalia that I needed my wallet has started to look decidedly unhealthy. It was time to make some ISK the only way I know how (well not the only way just the one I’m best at). I went hauling.

The contracts were not great but they were plentiful so I started knocking them out one after another. Then I arrived at this well-paying one jumper. This is not that unusual since it was moving goods from low to hi-sec and people tend to pay a premium for that if they want it done quickly. After accepting the contract I undocked to find a bunch of pirates sitting on the undock. This is usually more of an irritation than anything else since I can always leave the hauler and contract in the station and come back to complete it later. This time I decided to try and wait them out to see if they would get board and leave. Every 5-10 minutes I would undock to see if they were still there then redock before my invulnerability wore off.

Then disaster struck. I’d been waiting on a phone call all day and it arrived just as I clicked undock. Now normally I keep my phone in front of me for just this reason but this time I’d left it in my jacket. By the time I’d run to my jacket searched through all the pockets (why is it that you always manage to search every pocket other than the one you need when you’re in a hurry?) answered my phone and gotten back to my PC I was sitting in my pod. It took every ounce of self control I had not to swear out loud since I was on the phone to my landlord and I don’t think he would have appreciated it. So I have now failed my second ever contract all thanks to a phone call, 200 million ISK down the drain T_T .

I’ve learned my lesson. I’m always going to make sure that my phone is in front of me before playing, and I have realised that sitting outside a station waiting to shoot people is much more entertaining than sitting in one trying not to be shot. Next time I’m just going to leave the contract for later.

So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

I Need My Freedom.

Part of the reason I’ve been so silent over the past few days is due to recovering from my surgery. The main reason however is that I just havent been having any fun and no fun means no posts. The reasons for this deficit of fun is many fold, but what it boils down to is that your classic null-sec bloc is just not for me.

I want to clarify a few things before I continue. Provi bloc consists of a great group of people that have never failed to make me feel welcome and never made me feel useless just because I’m a new player. The few PvP fleets I’ve joined in on have been run in a calm, friendly and professional manner that does great credit to the FC’s. If anyone is ever looking for a mature null-sec group to run with I would have no reservations with recommending provi as a possible new home. I will always have fond memories of my brief time there.


Well This Is Embarrassing.

Today I logged in to move some stuff around and get myself more organised. Instead I had to write up two debriefing’s on ship losses.

Since my operation every time I moved at night I would pull on my stitches waking me up. Last night was the first time I’d managed a full nights sleep since going under the knife. This coupled with the pain medication and a throbbing headache meant that yesterday I had fellen victim to Fuzzy Logic. Now I’m not talking about the form of multi-valued logic associated with artificial intelligence. Oh no, I’m talking about the type of thinking you get at 4 am after a night out with far too much to drink that make you believe that a pasta and brown sauce sandwich would taste like ambrosia.

Anyway I was completely out of it and had decided that what I really wanted to do was take my Badger out and fly randomly around null-sec, on a saturday, during US peak time. Me so smart. I’d managed to run a few minor gangs and lose a claw that just would not stop following me but then my luck ran out. The first proper gate camp I ran across I knew was there but somehow managed to warp right into it while trying to head for a different gate. Of course I got locked popped and podded before I’d even realised that I’d flown to the wrong gate.

I then decided that I the best idea in the world was to do it all again. So I went and grabbed my Nereus and headed out to a different area of null-sec. I managed a good few jumps before I landed myself in a large camp yet again. Now this one I may have been able to escape, if slowly, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I somehow managed to decloak myself. The camp didn’t even have to try for it, I did it all for them. They popped my ship then locked my pod and held it there, until I threw them a “o7” in local. As soon as my salute went out they decided to put me out of my misery and send me home the fast way.

The lesson I learned from all of this is to never log on when you may be under the effects of fuzzy logic. Or if you do stick to something safe.

So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

Sorry for the silence.

Between real life and the goings on in providence at the moment I havn’t had time to really write a post and just now wordpress had a fit and completely emptied the post I had just written. Since I have to head to the hospital for a minor surgery in 10 minutes I don’t have time to rewrite it and I’m not sure how I’m going to be feeling afterwards so this silence may continue for another few days. Sorry, but, well … shit happens. o7

Well It Happened.

After many days and many gate camps run, I finally lost another ship. The great thing about joining a null-sec corp is that I’ve become much more relaxed flying outside of hi-sec. The bad part is that I’ve become much more relaxed flying outside of hi-sec.

These days I do almost exclusively low-sec courier contracts, as these are the ones that usually pay the most. I dodge pirates and run camps on a daily basis. After having to play hide and seek with the goon swarm when they’re … well swarming over Providence (They turned out to be pretty aptly named), the humble low-sec gate camp starts to lose its thrill. I’d run 4 gate camps already today and this was going to be my 5th.


I’m Being Spoiled.

This post is late because I’ve been a busy boy in eve and haven’t really had the time I usually do while playing to write posts. This is because the other day I finally joined a corp. I’d been feeling the need to join one for about a week or so now and had been doing some looking on the forums and with the in-game tool. I gave some serious consideration to joining eve university but in the end I decided to go to the recruitment forums and put myself out there to see who would respond.

What I was expecting was a bunch of cut ‘n paste recruitment mails/posts. As has so often been the case, I was once again pleasantly surprised by the quality of the EvE community. As expected I got some of the cut ‘n paste recruitment spam, but I also got a few responses from people who had taken a genuine interest in my post. Most surprisingly of all there was a wormhole corp and a null-sec corp, both of whom were expressing genuine interest in recruiting a 1 million SP newbie.


I Need To Think Things Through More.

It was late on Tuesday and I was bored. Out of my mind, stir-crazy, bored. It had been a quiet day in eve for me as there had been few worthwhile contracts that I could take and all of them were *shudders* hi-sec to hi-sec snooze fests. I craved adventure, and I was going to have it come hell or high water. I could have gone cruising for some combat in low-sec, but with my current skills being mostly the non combat variety, that would just have been me throwing a ship and some implants down the toilet. momentarily amusing? Yes. Adventure? No.

So I did what I always do, looked at the available contracts. This time I checked the ones that I’d earlier written off as too risky or not worth it. I settled on one that had me travelling out to an area of null-sec in which had been very active over the last few days. By looking at zKillboard I saw that the Brave Newbies had been fighting with … well, just about everyone as far as I could see. These brave newbies are quite the ferocious bunch it seems.


My First Customer.

Yesterday was a day of landmarks for me in Eve. I broke 1 million skill points. My wallet had a balance of 500 million ISK for the first time. I delivered my first null-sec courier contract. I delivered my 100th contract giving me a completion ratio of 99%. Last but not least I was awarded my first non-public contracts to deliver.

Before I get into the meat of the post I’m going to bitch for a minute. I have had to scrap three posts. Three! I spent hours on them, I wrote, rewrote and swore at them trying to get them to work and then had to throw them in the bin. Why? Because events and moments in the game that had a profound impact on me just would not translate into anything close to resembling good reading. They were either disjointed, unordered, overly introspective or in one case looked like I’d fed a monkey too much coffee and let it at the keyboard.

Rather than let the monkey back to the keyboard for round two, I’m going to give you a brief overview of several of the things I tried to write about.

I tried to take my first null-sec contract. I traveled 10 jumps through null having to dodge several warp disruptor bubbles and small gangs along the way, only to find on my arrival at the pick up station that I wasn’t allowed to dock because they didn’t like me. Felt a bloody fool. Fortunately I hadn’t accepted the contract before trying to dock at the station. Talked to Mr. Forelli about it in a chat channel where he lets me ask stupid questions. He kindly pointed out that the contracts actually let you know when you might be unable to dock at the station. Felt like an even bigger fool. Also discovered that you need a degree of spatial awareness when travelling null that I had not developed to an acceptable level yet.

Had an epic journey of over 50 low-sec jumps to deliver a contract. Was chased over 4 systems by a cruiser before managing to shake him off by bouncing off a customs office aligned closely to a gate I didn’t want to go through, then doubling back to the gate I did want to go through. Entered an almost zen like state as I traveled through the less populated areas of low-sec while listening to some chilled out music. Decided that low-sec wasn’t such a bad place after all.

After talking to Mr. Forelli I took him up on the idea he suggested and took a break from hauling to go exploring. I scanned down a wormhole into deep null and went looking for treasure. Spent three hours travelling null and managed to scan down over 20 combat sites (I stopped counting after 20) … I found nothing else. When informed of this Mr. Forelli replied with “It happens ..” . Thanks guy… thanks a lot. 😛

Risked everything on my first null-sec courier delivery which was a semi scam. It looked legit, and technically was. I had to deliver 1500 m3 of cargo to NPC null-sec. Collateral of 475 million ISK payout of 19 million ISK. Seems pretty legit at first glance huh? Then you find out your delivering 30 shuttles. Then you find out that this guy is posting several contracts of shuttles to null-sec, all in areas that have seen heavy fighting.  I managed to beat the autopilot over the head until it gave me a route that wasn’t patently suicidal. Managed to deliver the contract and sent an evemail to the guy saying “Those were some pretty expensive shuttles. Hope you enjoy them and thanks for the business.” . Realised that I’m actually not that bothered by travelling in low or null-sec, it’s only when I’m carrying cargo that I get really nervous. Knowing that if things go pear-shaped you’ll lose most of your last 20 days work really gets your heart pumping.


Now that I’ve got that out of the way I can move on to the main topic. My first non public contracts. I was going to say my first customer but that would have been rude to several of the very nice people I’ve hauled for. Like the guy who rewarded me for not breaking contract when he mispriced the collateral, or the guy who tipped me for speedy completion of a couple of contracts, or the guy who replaced my ship after I got suicide ganked, or the guy who was worried about me getting out safely after a particularly rough trip into low-sec, or the guy …. ok theres been a lot of really cool people I’ve come into contact with through hauling public contracts and it would have been rude to disregard them as customers.

I’d almost decided to stop playing for the day when I started looking into other industrial. I’d become a little disenchanted with the idea of the deep space transport as it really doesnt give you enough extra benefits for it’s increased price. You can buy around 15 Nereus fitted for low-sec hauling for the price of the DST hull. I still can’t wait to fly the blockade runner though.

fatsoAnyway back on track. I’d started looking at other t1 industrials and my eye had settled on the Badger. Once my brain got interested there was nothing for it but to buy one and see if it panned out as well in reality as it did in my head. I call it the “Fatso”.

It ended up being about as good as I though it would be. It carries more, can fit a bigger shield tank, has more cap, but is less agile, and comes with a worse power grid. This means I need to put in a few days of training to get the most out of it, but once I do I’ll be using the Badger instead of the Nereus for most of my low sec runs.

After fitting up the Fatso I took it out for a test drive to see how it handled. I also wanted to see what it was like at running gate camps so I went looking for trouble. I purposely took contracts that would take me (at least on the way in) through known pirate systems. I went through Old Man Star, Egghelende, and Rancer. I actually went through Rancer 3 times and nothing! Not so much as a single bullet was fired my way, not a single camp ready and waiting to divest me of my pixel products. Theres never a pirate about when you need them.

I gave up looking for trouble and went to deliver one last quite lucrative contract that would take me back to Jita, where I’m now mostly based due to the majority of contracts going there. Finishing it I spun my ship for a while, trying to decide if I wanted to do anything more today or just log off. All of a sudden I git a conversation invite from a name I recognised. It was the issuer of the last contract I’d delivered. He wanted to know if I was able to courier another package for him. I looked it over and as much as I would have liked to take it I couldn’t fit that much cargo into either the Target (my Nereus, named to remind me of what I am in low-sec) or the Fatso. No matter how excited you are about something, always read the contract. Especially in real life, you need to at least have read the small print stating that they now own your soul before signing. I told him I was sorry but could not carry that much on a low-sec run. To my surprise he offered to split the contact in two. I immediately accepted, and within a minute my very first private contract was clamouring for my attention.

After a quick battle with my terminally stupid autopilot I had a choice of two different routes. Option 1 had the pick up destination as the only low-sec jump making it the safer of the two but was 50% longer. Option 2 was shorter but took me through 6 extra low-sec jumps. I decided that I would at least take the shorter route on the way to pick up the contracts as that would let me gauge how dangerous it was with little risk. There were very few kills on the star map but you just never know when your going to be the first one to run into that gate camp. The way was clear, fairly active as far as local was concerned yet strangely safe despite that fact. In the end I too both contracts by the short route as my customer wanted speed and the systems stayed safe enough to keep the risk in acceptable levels. With a satisfied customer and personal satisfaction in a job well done I called an end to the day’s business and logged of.

So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

You Want Me To Go Where?!?

Yesterday I logged on during a lull in public contracts, ones I could fulfill anyway. After completing only 2 I just couldn’t work up the enthusiasm to travel 40+ jumps for pocket change. Well what should I do instead? I didn’t really feel like scanning down data and relic sites, nor like shooting some red plus signs in my shiny new Vexor, and I most certainly didn’t feel like going mining.

Well if I’m going to be bored no matter what I do I might as well put my boredom to good use. I’ve been meaning to up my standing with various faction so that I could finally install some jump clones. I decided to start with my noobcorp standing since I already had some rep with them. They only have courier missions available though. Oh well, at least I’m used to procedure for those. I decided to take my shiny new Vexor out for the missions on the basis that it was shiny and new and I wanted to fly it.

I’d done a couple of the level 1 mission (which involved tiny cargo’s and short hops through hi-sec) by the time I realised that there were level 2 missions available for me. So I went and did a few of those (which involved slightly larger cargo’s and slightly longer hi-sec jumps) until the level 3 missions became available to me.

Now at this stage I was in a total state of brain-dead boredom caused by travelling hi-sec in a Vexor. It would have been the hight of insanity to suicide gank me, and with the marginal risk usually associated with my travels in hi-sec removed I was basically asleep at the wheel. Imagine my shock when I looked to the mission and saw that they wanted me to travel 3 jumps into null-sec.

My initial responce was “Are you crazy?!?” I’d planned to go nowhere near null-sec until I could fly my blockade runner. Then I thought about it and took a look at the route that the autopilot had planned. My second  responce was “Are you crazy?!?”. It wanted to send me through a null-sec pipe sytem that had racked up 7 ship kills in the last hour. That spoke to me. It told me stories. Stories about pirates and gate camp, stories about mobile warp disruptors and possible dirty gates.

I thought about it a bit more and asked myself a few questions.

What did I have to lose? Well a ship, but not my shiny new Vexor. That wouldn’t fit the cargo they wanted me to take.

What else? My set of crappy implants, no big loss there.

Most importantly do I really want to go back to running level 2 missions? HELL NO!

Now that we’ve settled that lets take another look at the star map. I moved my mouse to the big scary blip of destroyed ships and clicked “aviod”. It’s times like this that I hate the autopilot route planner. Not only had it wanted to send me through that scary system, the entire trip was ~15 jumps. Suddenly I only needed 5 jumps with only one extra null-sec hop. The systems were not exactly quiet, but none had more than a single ship destroyed in the past hour.

My route now decided I took a trip over to Dodixie (thanks to my dyslexia I still read this as Dioxide, not relevant but thought I would share it anyway) to buy and fit a ship for this little adventure. I settled on a Nereus as this hull has become my favourite for running lowsec in. It comes with a decent tank, good align speed and, more impotrantly, has the power grid to support an MWD and a cloak without tweaking it. Over all it actually holds more cargo than an iteron if you want the MWD/Cloak. Best of all its increadibly cheap. It’s only real problem is that it runs out of cap fast. You can get about 2 consecutive MWD/Cloak tricks out of it before you need to wait and recharge. At least with my SP thats all I get.

Allow me to introduce you to the “Are you crazy?!?” fitted to low capacity danger runs.

Are you crazy

Those are cargo expander 1’s in there because I didnt need the space. I could switch out one of the lows for a damage control 1 for extra tank, but I figured that if I got caught no amount of tank was going to save me. I’d fitted enough tank to survive a quick hit or two, but in the main I would simply endeavor not to get caught. 🙂

Thus armed I set off to my agent so I could start my adventure. I accepted the mission and took a couple of deep breath’ then set off. Rather than allowing me to calm down, the time it took to reach my first null-sec gate only allowed my anxiety to increase. So by the time I finally entered null for my very first time I was far from anything resembling the proper state of mind for such a venture.

You can imagine my reaction when the first thing I see on the overview is a mobile warp disruptor. I completely freak out. So much so that it takes me a good 15-20 seconds to realise that, 1 I’m not inside its bubble, and 2 those other things on the overview are rats, big rats I’ll grant you, but not, and this is the important bit, other players.

I managed to calm down enough to align and warp off to a random planet (that wouldn’t take me through that bubble) at a non-standard distance. I dscanned to make sure I was alone and waited the last few seconds I needed to recloak. I’d had to use it earlier so that the gate rats didn’t poke great big holes in me.

Recloaked and in a somewhat safe spot, I took a little time to collect myself. It turned out that by pure chance I had warped to a planet in scanning range of the gate I wanted to use. I made double, then triple sure that there was nothing on it then clicked the Jump button, and I was out. I’d made it through my first null-sec system without seeing hide nor hair of the 2 other people who had been in local at the time.

The next system was completely empty so I just warped on through with not  a care in the world. Ok, ok, I tell a lie. I was still nervous as all hell but at least I wasn’t in imminent danger of destruction if something went wrong. Not so on the other side of the gate.

Upon entering my 3rd null-sec hop I’m greeted by the sight of 2 battle cruisers. As I had been in a constant state of panic since leaving hi-sec,  panic was now my ground state. This allowed me to let the reactions I had rehearsed for such an event take over rather than flipping out and falling off my chair. The first thing I do is check the overview to see how far everything is from me, nothings close enough to me to threaten an uncloak. This means I’ve got time to assess the situation properly. Lets run over the info I have, two players on gate, nothing else on scan, no warp disruptor bubbles, and what appears to be NPC wreckage. Ok looks like they were just killing some gate rats, that doesn’t mean they wont kill me, it just means they wont have set out to do it. Just think of it as a poorly executed gate camp and you’ll be fine.

I MWD/Cloaked to a planet closely aligned with the gate I wanted to go through, hoping that if they followed me they would think I was rushing the gate. fortunately they seemed entirely uninterested in a random Nereus and I saw no more of them.

My last jump see’s me with nobody and nothing on scan but a ton of people in local so I decide just to run for the station and hope my luck would hold out. It did, and I successfully completed my mission. Only then did I stop to think that I had just risked ~20 million ISK in ship and implants on a mission that payed me a grand total of 149,000 ISK and some loyalty points that I didn’t really want.

The way back went a lot easier on my nerves since I knew what to expect, with only one scary moment right at the end. After bouncing off a celestial to avoid the mobile warp disruptor I’d seen on my way in, I landed on gate with a player already there. He’d been killing the rats I saw earlier, and fortunately for me either didn’t care about me or wasn’t quick enough to target me. Either way I made it out alive.

Another gatecampI went back to my agent to see what else the crazy bastard wanted me to do. It turned out to be a succession of low-sec missions which I decided to take him up on since I’d already gone and spent a load of ISK on the “Are you crazy?!?”. One of them even took me through a system that was camped. So Barely touched mestressful had my first trip to null been for me that running into this gatecamp failed to cause even a blip in my heart rate.

In fact I was feeling so blasé was I feeling about the camp, that I decided to run back through them just to see what kind of damage they would do to my current tank if they had been on the other gate.

As you can see they barely scratched me.

After a few more lowsec missions I decided to call it a day as the surrounding systems were becoming more active. having finally recovered from my adventures I realised that it might be best not to push my luck any further.

So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.