Sometimes I Haz a Dumb.

Dumb kittyIt came to my attention in a comment that I may be coming across as far more knowledgable and professional than I really am. So I reworked that post I’ve kept delaying into part of this one. I’ve also added in a couple other events making this a catalog of all those times where my brain has just plain cut out on me. Leaving me in a state of jaw dropping awe at how stupid I have just been.

 

… I think I may have to turn this into a series. Seriously how can one man have so much dumb.

 

Wait, you said cruiser?

I had just found my self a juicy little ore anomaly in an incursion zone which no other miner seemed to want to touch. I nipped back to base and grabbed a Catalyst, a Venture and some basic fittings and drones, threw the whole lot in the back of my Iteron and gleefully headed off to make some easy ISK.

I unloaded everything into a nearby starbase, fitted up the Venture and started mining away happy as Larry. After a couple of minutes along came my first rat. I switch on my afterburner and start orbiting. After clicking on the rat in overview I realise that I don’t recognise it at all. Fortunately for me it comes with a description, an unusually informative one, telling me it’s an ECM frigate. That’s pretty cool. Whats not cool is the next ~10 minutes during which I can’t lock anything and have to wait for my erratic Hobgoblin 1’s to take it out.

Frustrated but victorious I return to my mining. I have my ore hold about half full by the time the next 2 rats come along. I pause long enough to collect my drones and take a peak at the descriptions to make sure there’s not another one of those annoying ECM frigates there. Nope, good. I’ll nip back and get my Catalyst to take care of these guys. I’m in hi-sec so I don’t need to go all out on the Catalyst fit. I just throw on 7 of the biggest blasters I can use, an afterburner and a small shield booster. I rush back to the anomaly ready to riddle some rats. Arriving I lock onto the rats, engage my afterburner and move in for the kill. The next thing I know I’m taking fire and half my shield is gone in one hit.

Now while my brain has the unfortunate habit of taking unannounced holidays, it can work rather quickly when its actually online. In the time it takes me to click my shield booster I realise 3 things. The first thing I realise is that my small shield booster just isn’t going to cut the mustard. The next two things I realise in tandem. One, that’s a rather large red plus I’m attacking and two, it had told me in that lovely detailed description exactly what I was attacking.

Oh, wait you said cruiser.

As in one size larger than destroyer, right?

My bad … I go now, yes? … pls …….. pls?!?

My abbreviated internet pleading was all for naught, and I could do nothing but watch as my poor Catalyst disintegrated around me before I could warp off. Leaving me open-mouthed staring at the ruins of my ship, completely unable to come to terms with exactly how big an idiot I was.

 

Oh right, this isn’t Hi-sec is it?

For this little misadventure I have some excuse in that it happened in the first couple of days of me playing Eve. Then again I guess I don’t have any excuse as it came hot on the heels of losing my first ship to a lowsec jaunt. That’s right I’d decided to go to low sec … Again … After already losing one ship … Why?

Well you see I’d just discovered that they actually paid you for shooting those annoying red plus’ in asteroid belts. The only problem was they paid you a pittance for the hi-sec rats. So I thought to myself why not try the rats in that nearby 0.4 system and see how much they pay for those. It might be getter than mining all day … anything is better than mining all day.

So I jumped into a Catalyst (every time I get in a catalyst it seems like my brain just shuts down) I owned which had some guns and random modules I’d picked up from hi-sec rats, and headed of on my profiteering adventure.

After jumping through the gate I instantly warp off to a random asteroid belt. On my arrival I see another player. “Oh, he must be ratting like me.” I thought to myself and then promptly ignored him while trying to pick which asteroid belt I wanted to try next. If it had been real life I would have probably waved out the window at him or given him a friendly nod.

While I was bumbling over the overview I suddenly see a yellow box outline my fellow ratters ship. Then it hits me.

Oh yeah!

Not Hi-sec!

Pirates!

… fsk!

Needless to say I panic. I can’t decide if I want to engage him, run away or change my underwear. This decision was soon out of my hands as my catalyst was blown to itty-bitty pieces. I manage to warp my pod out while repeatedly banging my head on the desk punctuation each thump with. Why … You … Be … So … STUPID!

 

Well I hope you enjoyed the dumber side of life. Theres plenty more, but I’ve already written over 900 words so they will have to wait for the second installment.

 

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

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This Isn’t The Eve I Read About.

*** The post I mentioned yesterday will be delayed yet again due to people being awesome. I hope you will forgive the further delay but people being awesome if beyond my control ***

You know, for a game that is supposed to be a cesspit of humanity there is a god damn lot of really nice people out there. Now I’m far from above a little petty larceny when the opportunity presents itself (in game at least), but when running contracts I follow The Code. The Code was something I decided upon after my first, and so far, only failed contract.

The Code.

  1. Deliver. (You accepted the contract, so get it done. End of.)
  2. Never take a contract you stand little chance of completing. (If you’re not up to the task don’t accept it. Leave it for someone who does stand a chance.)
  3. Take no unnecessary risks in the completion of a contract. (If you know there’s trouble to be had, go around it, or wait until it moves on. Take risks at your own expense, not others.)
  4. Never break contract unless there is 0% chance of completion. (Until you’re blown up and your package is taken from you, you have no excuse for failing that contract.)
  5. It doesn’t matter what you carry. (Like it says. What you carry doesn’t matter, only the delivery counts.)

Yesterday in all the excitement, what with the gatecamp running, rats firing on me, and being yellow boxed several times in hi-sec (I forgot to mention that one too). Not to mention later on while having a couple of beers I got to see a mining fleet in action for the first time, man those guys clean up. Anyway I forgot to tell you about how The Code had been severely tested.

It was during my series of quiet lowsec runs that I came across a contract with the collateral severely mis-priced. By breaking this contract I stood to make over 70 million ISK. To make matters worse, looking over the loot (for loot it was), you could tell it was the result of someone camping data and relic sites. The contract was stacked full of scanner probes, probe launchers, cloaking devices, data analysers, relic analysers, other affiliated modules as well as data and relic site loot. I’d be stealing from a pirate. Thats practically being a champion of justice right?

It was only 7 jumps to the destination point but warring with my conscience made it feel like one of those 40+ long haul trips. In the end The Code won out and I Evemailed wowthe contractor explaining the situation and asking them to be more careful in the future as my integrity had been sorely tested. You will have to excuse the spelling in the mail as I’m quite dyslexic and lean heavily on spell check (and google when the spell check still has no Idea what I’m trying to write.) when writing these posts.

Anyway I log in this morning to see my mail icon flashing. It’s the reply from my contractor.

I see, he (I think) was in a hurry and made a mistake with some third-party tool I’ve never heard of. Wait?!? Reward?!? What?!? I open up my wallet and I’m simply blow away by what I see.

what really100 million ISK. Wow … just wow.  What happened to all those money-grubbing, conniving, piratical Eve players I’ve read so much about. All I’ve found so far are decent human beings playing a computer game.

Well apart from the Jita trade scammers anyway, but if your taken in by those you could consider it a life lesson and move on. In my younger, more naive, years I’ve been hit by some real life scams which provided a much pricier life lesson.

In conclusion The Code has won out and been reinforced by awesome people. Your contracts are safer than ever with me … I’m still gonna loot those unattended cans when I think I can get away with it though.

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

My Heart Needs To Get Out Of My Throat.

I was actually in the middle of writing a completely different post when this happened. As I’ve mentioned I’ve been doing a lot of lowsec hauling runs lately and I was picking up my first lowsec run of the day while writing a post (It’ll be out tomorrow). I’d done my usual homework on the route I’d be taking and all the jumps had been quiet for the last hour at least.

I went on over to the pick up station to grab the contract while blogging on my second monitor. I accepted the contract and took a peek at what I was delivering. I always do this just incase it’s something that sets my alarm bells ringing, but it just looked like someone was willing to pay over the odds to get their Gas Command Centers delivered into lowsec.

The delivery station was 5 jumps into lowsec and as I came up on the first of these jumps I put aside my blogging to give my full attention to the remainder of the trip. And it was a good thing that I did. This 4 man gate camp was waiting for me just on the other side. Apparently they had managed to set up and kill 3 ships in the short time it took me to grab the contract.

small gate camp When I started playing Eve I never thought that such a slow-paced game could provide me much of an adrenalin rush. Well running my first gatecamp in an industrial sure proved me wrong. Like I’ve written about in previous posts I’ve run gatecamp in a frigate fitted exactly for the purpose but this was a whole other ball game.

My heart leapt into my throat and started beating about as fast as it ever has. And let me tell you, I’ve been in some pretty hairy real life situations in my 31 years. Yet right now the threat of losing my pixel spaceship had my heart beating just as fast as in any of those.

It’s at this point in a movie where you hear the sound of your drill sergeant saying something like “This is what we trained for boys!”. But I’ve never had a drill sergeant. I wasn’t even a boy scout let alone in the army. It is now my firm belief that every new pilot in Eve should be provided with a drill sergeant just for times like these. Get on it CCP.

Heart beating at a million miles an hour, I prepared to execute the MWD/cloak trick. Now this technique is not a difficult one to pull off, but even simple things like remembering your own name can become herculean tasks when your system has just been flooded with vast amounts of adrenalin. Against all expectations I somehow managed not to F$%# it up, and I’m home free.

The rest of the trip is mostly uneventful. I meet the odd solo pilot as they travel to and from gates, but these I either stay cloaked while they move on, or have warped off before they decide I’m a nice juicy target. I make my delivery and Evemail my customer letting him know that the route is dangerous. He (I’m making assumptions here based on in game name) mailed me back complimenting me on the speed of completion and expressing concern for my safety getting back. I had already decided to take the long way back rather than tempting fate on the gatecamp and told him so. Still it was nice of him to be worried.

After making my way home by the long route I did a few more lowsec deliveries with little more incident than a gate rat having a pot shot at me. Those nice easy lowsec runs dried up pretty quickly and all I was really left with was a set of 5 with the same start and finish destinations. I’d been avoiding these because I knew there was trouble to be had. The pick up station was in shallow lowsec but could only be reached by going through this one hot lowsec pipe system. Unless you wanted to travel through around 10 nullsec systems that is.

It would be a bad idea to go for these contracts then wouldn’t it?

I didn’t think so. I was still riding on the high from my earlier encounter. I was freekin’ bullet proof, at least in my own mind anyway.

I made the 20 odd jumps over to the hot system and jumped straight on in. That Taking Firenothing was waiting for me on the other side only increased my confidence, so I warped straight over to the other gate. Next thing I know 2 Rokh’s have instalocked onto me and unleashed, Thank goodness I’d at least had enough self-preservation left to activate my adaptive invulnerability field before landing on the gate. As it stood they still did around 2000 damage to my shield before I managed to jump through the gate.

Well that sobered me up, not to mention getting my heart rate through the roof … again. That was it. I was not going to take these contracts and if I made if back through those 2 alive I was going to unwrap my shiny new Covetor I’d just learned to fly, crack open a couple of beers and do some nice peaceful mining.

I docked at the nearest station to get my heart rate back under control. Then jumped back through, somehow managing not to mess up the MWD/cloak, flew back to Jita and, as promised to myself, went mining with beer. So here I am a couple of hours later, slightly tipsy telling you about the whole ordeal. I hope the quality doesn’t suffer too much for the beer. I’m a bit of a light weight.

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

You Can’t Tank Through Stupid.

I played World of Warcraft for a bit over 6 years and raided with really nice PvE guild for most of that time. Our healers had a favourite saying they like to throw at me when I’d done something truly dumb to get myself killed … again.

“I can’t heal through stupid.” is what they used to tell me.

After a couple of painful lessons (such as taking on NPC’s way above my weight class, or looking for a fight in lowsec with no idea what I’m doing while flying a poorly abismally fit Catalyst) I’ve learned to apply our healers wisdom here in Eve as well.

It’s very easy to be stupid as a  new player in Eve. The dangers are far from clear the first time you log in and the only thing I took away from my early lowsec adventures was “Lowsec … Pirates … Scary”. So I headed back into hi-sec, planning to stay there for the forseeable future.

But hi-sec is safe (to a given value of safe) and therefore boring. So I set about learning how to make lowsec less dangerous for myself. I learned what the risks were and how to minimise them. I learned to use my star map properly (It’s probably just me but I found dotlan too confusing and clunky for my purposes) and access all the wonderful information it empowers you with. The various statistics it gives you make it becomes simplicity itself to see how hot, or just plain active a system is.

Now ~1/10 of my contracts involve at least one jump through lowsec and these jumps are often the least dangerous part of my route. I’ve been able to travel unmolested through known pirate systems, simply because I chose to travel through them when the pirates weren’t there.

I even once ran my hi-sec hauler with no cloak, no stabs and no agility bonuses through 4 lowsec systems (then back out through the same 4) to grab some incredibly low-priced cruisers I’d managed to purchase without seeing a soul on Dscan. I’d never have taken the risk with a contract, but with such a low collateral risk and only myself to disappoint, I felt justified in the chance I was taking.

All in all, lowsec is turning out to be much less scary than my initial impressions had led me to believe. I’ve also learnt that, while you can’t tank stupid, if you’re not stupid you often don’t have to tank at all.

I know that one of these days my thrill seeking ways are going to end in a glorious explosion and pirate glee, but until then I’ll be thumbing my nose at the pirates by … well, by not having my nose anywhere near them.

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

Space Truckin’

Eve life has been quiet the past day or so, hence I’ve had nothing interesting to write about. I’ve been coming up with a few post topics to blog about during these down times so that I don’t get out of the habit of regular posting. Today I’m going to blather on about one of these topics. Namely hauling as a newbie, why I enjoy it, what I do to make it more enjoyable and the methods I employ to make it more efficient.

*** Warning : This post is completely unlike anything I’ve written here so far. If you’re expecting another of my noobish adventures, well then I’m sorry to disappoint. I just haven’t had any lately 😦 ***

Why I enjoy it.

In real life I’ve always avoided all forms of gambling. Knowing that it would soon become a problem for me due to my addictive personality I just didn’t do it. In Eve hauling is a gamble and one without real life consequences.

Everything in Eve seems to be based on a risk vs reward principle. Hauling more so than many in the industrial sector. Every time I take a contract I’m laying out a large part, if not the complete amount, of my total ISK. I gamble this on my ability to complete the contract, usually for a comparatively small return. You hear stories of people packing everything they own into an industrial and shipping it around only to have themselves blown up and lose everything. I do this on a regular basis (only without the getting blown up part). I stand to lose everything on these ventures, not just a percentage of my outlay. If I get caught I lose the whole damn thing. This does not mean that I simply accept any contract just for the thrill of it. I have a long risk/reward check list which I run through before accepting any contract, which helps stack the odds in my favour. If the contract doesn’t fall within my accepted rick/reward parameters I wont take it. Just because I know I’d have a gambling problem doesn’t mean that I would make a bad gambler. The main thing that has stopped me in real life is the knowledge that the house always wins.

The other main contribution to my enjoyment of the hauling gig is the satisfaction in having completed a service for someone. This is the main reason I could never be a mission runner. If I found that fun I’d probably go play World of Warcraft again and do dailies.

Alleviating the boredom.

Most people would think that the act of moving stuff from point a to point b would be as much fun as watching paint dry. In many respects they wouldn’t be wrong. Hi-sec hauling especially can be truly tedious to execute, especially the long haul trips where you spend a lot of time moving through mostly empty systems or running with an empty cargo hold. These are the worst times in the gig and to get through them I like to put on a few different songs to ease my boredom. Here’s my favorite for those boring spots.

Another way I keep the downtime from rotting my brain is writing posts like this one. It makes sitting at my PC while nothing is happening mentally engaging and is slow-paced enough that if £$%# hits the fan I can just drop it for a while and deal with the situation. Posting also doesn’t suffer from the need to check whats happening on my entrance to every system or from longer breaks as I hit a more dangerous part of a haul.

Last but not least is reading and browsing the internet. Whether it’s eve related or just part of my normal daily browsing having dual monitors lets me do this and play Eve at the same time without a problem. All my entertainment is online, I havent watched TV in years, ever since I decide that I hated the adds more than I liked the shows.

Making hauling more efficient.

If your reading this then your reading about a game where even the pirates use spreadsheets to gauge their efficiency. So you will have to excuse me if I throw a little napkin math your way during this section. Also these are just the factors and methods I take into account when doing public contracts. You may have other factors which affect your decision to accept or decline a contract.

Price Point.

The first thing your should do is figure out how much you need to get paid to make hauling worthwhile, the best way is in an ISK/Hour format. To gauge this first you have to calculate how much you would be able to earn doing other activities and set your price point at just above this. If the available contracts are not going to bring in your ISK/Hour requirements then go do something else, they are just not worth your time.

Calculating a contracts actual payout.

The first thing you need to do is calculate the jumps per hour your hauler can manage. For me each jump take ~70 seconds giving me 51 jumps per hour plus change (remember I said napkin math not real math). I knock off 1 jump and the change for time spent docking, undocking, collecting the contract, delivering it and passing through extra-large systems. This leaves me with 50 jumps per hour.

Now browse the contracts for likely offers. Pick one then take the number of jumps in the contract, add the number of jumps away from the pick up point you are, divide the payout of the contract by this number, then multiply it by your jumps per hour. The end result is the ISK/hour payout of that contract.

e.g. I spot a juicy looking contract which pays 2 mil ISK for a 5 jump trip. That’s 400k per jump, so I start drooling. Then I realise it’s 25 jumps away from my current location. This means that it is now only worth 66,666.67 ISK per jump (2,000,000/(5+25) = 66,666.67), or 3,333,333.33 ISK/Hour (66,666.67 * 50 = 3,333,333.33). This no longer looks so attractive so I try to find myself a better deal.

Other Factors.

There are a few other factors that affect whether or not I will accept a contract. These include things like the distance from other contracts. If a contract is pretty far away but is close to 1 or more decent ISK/jump contracts then accepting it increases the value for the whole set as I can then split the travel distance between all the contracts in that area.

Another if these factors is the risk involved. Does the route pass through low-sec/nul-sec? If it’s hi-sec how many 0.5 systems am I going to pass through and are any of them on a high traffic route? How much of my collateral am I being asked to use to guarantee this contract versus the payout? All of these questions affect my decision to accept the contract or not.

The last but arguably the most important set of factors affecting my contract acceptance are the intangibles. The most prominent among these is fun. How much fun is taking this contract going to be? What could I be doing that’s more fun? Contracts take time and that time could be spent doing something else, whether it be another activity in Eve, or playing another game, or even working on a spectacular hangover to enjoy in the morning. By accepting the contract you have to ask yourself if there is something else I’d rather be doing that I can do in this time frame.

 

Well I hope you enjoyed this little departure from the norm, these posts are not going to be an overly regular thing so if you don’t like them, no real harm done.

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

A Place to Aviod.

After picking up my new ship I scanned the available contracts to see what was worth hauling. The answer was nothing. I was in a downtime where there was nothing but mickey mouse contracts available to me, so I set course for Dodixie to switch ship and do some mining (I hate mining but it’s better than running worthless contracts).

Now I’ve started being careful even when running empty in my haulers. So when I jumped through the gate into Balle I saw that kill right on a vexor before I did anything. I only have 2 outstanding kill rights and those belong to the muppets that ganked the ill-fated TFP mk1. It’s one of the two and he’s got a buddy with him.

I started running through my options. Do I have more tank than last time so I can outlast them? Nope. Theres no way my poor Iteron can stand up to double Vexor ganking. Is there anything I can fast align to? Nope. Nothing. Diddly squat. Now I know why they camp this gate. It’s an 0.5 system on the autopilot route from Jita to Dodixe and I’m going to assume a few others, so it’s busy and theres nothing to quick align to.

So not enough tank and no chance of getting out before they lock me. I was just about to write the TFP mk2 off as scrap when both the Vexors started blinking red. They had just started ganking some other poor sap and while I felt sorry for the guy (or gal) I wasn’t about to let this opportunity go by. I warped to freedom tossing a salute to my unwitting savior as I went.

After making good my escape I switched ships and started mining. I decided that now was a good time to learn to use some of the out of game tools available to me. Namely Eve Who and zKillboard. It was time to do some reasearch on these villans.

I know that all three of the gank perps were from the same corp, the “Tittie Monkey Corporation”. Well that name says a lot for their maturity level. Anyway using Eve Who I looked them up. It appears to be a small 9 man corp based in Balle. I check the corp on zKillboard. It appears that they almost never leave system, they just sit on that gate all day ganking T1 haulers. They appear to work in pairs and always in the same Vexor fit. 3 x warp disruptors, 4 x 250mm prototype gauss guns, some extra damage and some tank. They have no targeting increase so an MWD/cloak T1 hauler could get through them just fine, but with 6 warp disruptors per gank a stabbed up hauler wouldn’t stand a chance. My best option for the moment is to just plain avoid Balle.

While I think what they do is pretty boring, I do salute them for keeping hi-sec dangerous, spicing up my day and to giving me “The Plan™”, more on that another time.

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

I’m a Wanted Man.

Yesterday I logged in to see a notification that someone had placed a bounty on my head. It was a low ass bounty of 111,111 ISK, so I almost wrote it off as someone randomly placing bounties on people. Then I thought about it for a little while. I hadn’t done anything to tick someone off had I? I haven’t been playing long enough to get up to any real shenanigans.

Well, there was those unattended containers of ore I pilfered a few days ago, but I’m fairly sure I got away without anyone seeing me that time.

Now I think about it, I also did do a bit of ninja salvaging in low DED sites while getting a few mil together to start hauling, but that wasn’t really worth that much was it?

There was also that gate camp I ran repeatedly in my Imicus, that could have ticked ’em off enough to place such a small bounty on me.

Ok, ok. So it seems like in my 9 days of playing Eve I’ve done quite a few things that could have people place a bounty on my head, let’s try and find out which one it was.

I add the guy to my watch list and start trucking. I had no plans. Having finished my exams a few days ago and done my job hunting for the day I had nothing left to do but game and read. I spent most of my time in eve hauling goods back and forth learning more about the hauling gig as I did. I went from a bankroll of 50 mil to over 100 mil. That’s right I’ve finally broken my first ISK landmark.

Anyway I was bouncing all over hi-sec and taking several jobs into low-sec when it seemed like the systems I’d be hauling through were quiet enough and my MWD/cloaker could fit the cargo. Next thing I know it’s 11 pm (here in Ireland anyway) and I’m pretty tired, time to log off.

I check one last time to see if the guy has come online. He has, I must have missed the notification. I shoot him an Evemail asking about the bounty. He replies that I failed one of his contracts. Ah! The suicide gank incident is haunting me again. We chat a bit over Evemail about it and he teaches me how to properly link my combat log. It turns out that I was wrong and he had nothing to do with the gank and the cargo was probably worth the 12 mil to him, not sure how but it probably was. He asks me if I was Auto piloting and I shoot him the abridged version of the story, but at this stage I’m falling asleep at the keyboard since I’d gotten up at 6 am to start my job hunting (an hour to shower and have breakfast, then a couple of hours perusing the early online job offers followed by a couple of hours wondering town looking for help wanted posters) so I log off.

This morning I log on to see my eve mail Icon flashing. It’s from the same guy, and when I saw the contents of the mail I got a warm fuzzy feeling inside. The guy had bought me a new ship! I’d been completely prepared to swallow my losses as just a part of playing the game and this was completely unlooked-for, making me incredibly grateful to the guy.

New ShipWhat really made my heart warm was that when I nipped over to Jita to pick it up I saw that he had even named it. I’d Like you to meet the “fly safe!”.

fly safe!If you ever run across a guy called CloudyHi Crush give him props for being so nice to a new player. He certainly didn’t have to be.

My takeaway from all this is that I now feel like I owe it to my customers to inform them of the reasons behind any failed contract. Not out of any hope of reimbursement but in the knowledge that they were relying on me to deliver and I had failed them. It’s this level of real social interaction that I’ve been missing from so many of the MMO’s I’ve played.

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

Well That Was … Disapointing.

With my days activities finished early I rushed home knowing that when I got there my Cloaking level 3 skill training would be finished and I could finally deliver that package through low-sec.

I logged on bought a new Iteron mk V and all the fittings to do my low-sec running. This ended up costing me most of the 20 mil I hade made yesterday buying hauling and reselling some stupidly low priced Ventures (I made an 80% profit on each one). I’m not entirely happy with the fit as it has absolutely no tank and a tiny cargo capacity due to my massive power grid shortage caused by have SFA skill points. I even had to run without warp core stabs just to fit the cargo in 😦 .

Meet the TFP mk3.

TFP mk3

The mk1 was the subject of the gank I spoke of the other day and the mk2 is my High capacity hi-sec hauler.

Anyway despite all of the risks posed by this venture (I was basically flying my entire bankroll into low-sec wrapped in a cardboard ship) I put on my big-boy-pants and my manliest expression and jumped through. … and nothing. There was nothing there, no gate camp and only two people in local, talk about a let down.

Nothing FoundI swallowed my disapointment and warped over to my next low-sec hop fully expecting there to be trouble on the other side. Again nothing, lots of people in local this time but not a one of them interested in killing and looting my cardboard ship. I move on to my destination feeling quite disapointed I’d been looking forward to running my first gate camp.

After delivering the contract I scan the regions market to see if theres any of the regular consumables open for me to ship in. The drone and ammo market looed pretty sown up so I scanned the contracts whithin my budget range to see where I could make my next ISK.

Low and behold there were 2 close by and quite well paying contracts. I check out the route a bit. Hang on, that systems a bit hot isn’t it? 5 ships killed in the last hour and 240 ships in the last 24, and I’d have to pass through that system 4 times to make the contracts worthwhile. Well I’d only have to pass through it 3 times if I can carry and afford the cargo. I check and the price is just within range and the cargo size is miniscule.

A plan forms. I have to run close to Dodixie where I’m based anyway, so why don’t I pick up my Imicus fit it out as a fast camp runner and grab the contracts. So I head back a fit the Imicus up with a cloak, microwarp drive, 2 sheild extender II’s, and 3 warp core stabs, my power grid only just manages (remember my SFA skill points).

Thus fitted I put my big-boy-pants back on and head out. When I get to the hot system I’m starting to feel pretty nervous and have to remind myself to put the manly expression back on my face. The other side of the gate is clear but theres a lot of people in local and the other gate is too far away for me to dscan. I consider bouncing to a celestial near enough the gate to give it a scan but as I’m in a cheap as chips ship with a low signature radius and I decide to rely on speed and suprise to get me through. If I can dscan them they could dscan me.

I blast into the gate and suddenly my manly expression is nowhere to be found and my big boy pants may need changing. Theres 8 or 9 Thrashers and some others sitting on that gate just waiting for someone to come through. I can’t tell if I was too fast of if they just didn’t care but I got through with nobody even trying to point me.I get into the station on the other side and accept the contract.

Now comes the real test, can I make it back through the camp. I jump through and align to the gate, (pretty much everyone in local has to be right where I am so I’m confident the other gates not camped aswell) mwd, cloak and I’m off. So long suckers!!

Into the next station, accept the contract, put it in my cargo hold and then it hits me. I’d left the other contract sitting back in the station past the gate camp. /facepalm, /headdesk.

Screw it, it worked once, it’ll work a second time. I hop back into the hot system and blast back through the camp, into the station, grab the contract and head out again. As I arrive at the gate to the hot system I see that the entire camp has moved to the other side of the gate, these guys probably thought I was just messing with them instead of screwing up. As a result of them all moving sides I’m able to jump through and just straight up warp off without anyone ever having pointed me.

I’m so glad I decided to fit the little runner, I’d never have been able to do that in the cardboard ship 🙂 .

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

Between A Rock And A Hard Place.

Well it happened again, my greed and noobishness combo has made my Eve life difficult.

Allow me to preface a little bit if you will. I’ve been on a good roll with the hauling gig, good for a new player at least (8 days old incase you’re wondering how new) and my profits have been steadily increasing. surprisingly I’ve really been enjoying it, I didn’t think I would.

Anyway my bankroll and cargo capacity have been slowly but steadily increasing allowing for more and better contracts to become available. I’ve been sticking to hi-sec hauling only like any good newbie should. Low-sec hauling with my SP would be suicide. late yesterday I hit a collateral + cargo break point that opened up a bunch of new contracts for me and right at the top of the profit list was a set of 3 contracts all by the same person. 3 x 3 mil payout for a 16 jump trip in hi-sec oooh yeah! I’ll knock these out in no time at all and get to my next bankroll breaking point … is what I was thinking. So I immediately grabbed the first of the 3 contracts.

What I didn’t know was that when you search for hi-sec contract it only checks to see if both  the start and end locations are high security it doesn’t bother making sure that your end location is reachable through only hi-sec jumps. That’s right I was now stuck with a contract that took up most of my collateral and went through not one but two low-sec hops and no other route that didn’t involve even more low-sec hops. This is no longer about making money, it’s now about not losing it.

The first low-sec hop is a bit of a bottle neck into low security space so I was fairly sure it would be gate camped by at least a couple of people. << — Short break to go cAtrononfirm this –>> Yep just hopped through in an unfitted Atron I use for scouting risky spots and fast hauling small contracts and what do you know. A gate camp of 4 reds waiting on the other side. Fortunately the Atron is fast enough that I was able to jump to a reasonably aligned station before being locked and killed.

The contents of the contract is 5 Kestrel frigates with fittings and ammo for all, to the worth of around 30 mil. This means I’m left with two options.

Option 1 : Give up. Break the contract and resell the goods losing around 10 mil in the process.

Option 2 : MTFU and run that gate camp. My skill training for Cloaking level 3 is still 17 hours from completion but that’s still within the contract time limit. So what I can do is fit it with a MWD and Advanced Cloaking device, practice the MWD cloak trick a few times, grow a pair and run the camp.

Personally I’m inclined to try option 2. I do stand to lose considerably more and for the next 17 hours there is no point in me doing any hauling with such limited collateral. However it is a lot more fun and exciting that mining or running continuous hi-sec contracts. Also win or lose It’s gonna be a good story for the blog 🙂

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

Burn Jita 3 = Educational Weekend.

As you must know this weekend was host to the Burn Jita 3 event organised by the Goonswarm. Now I had no idea about this until friday evening and was wondering what all the fuss was about as I was hauling contracts into Jita. When I found out I instantly felt safe in the knowledge that, new as I am, I couldn’t possibly have enough cargo to be worthwhile suicide ganking when all those multi-billion isk freighters were rolling in. So I just continued on with my hauling pausing once in a while to enjoy the fireworks display being put on by the good people of Jita.

I think now is a good time to say that while I’m fairly sure that I would intensely dislike 90% of the people in the Goonswarm alliance. But this kind of player organised event is exactly the kind of thing I’m loving about Eve online. Also I love the fact that even in hi-sec your not completely safe.

Anyway all through friday evening and most of saturday I continued to pick up small time contracts that nobody else either seemed to want of felt brave enough to run into Jita. Small as those contracts were they still provided a higher ISK/h than I could manage with mining in my venture. Then disaster struck.

Well I say disaster but what I really mean is that my noobishness got me into trouble … again. Like I said I’d been running goods in and out of Jita most of the weekend with no trouble so I was feeling fairly confident and relaxed. I was on my way over to Dodixie to pick up some of my own goods to run into Jita and was checking to see if there was any contracts that I could run that wouldn’t take me too far out of my path and there was. It was perfect, or so I thought. Jita to Dodixie, decent price per jump and low collateral. In reality these three things should have started alarm bells ringing, instead they just rang my greed bells.

trapAnyone familiar with hauling should have realised by this point that it was a trap. I did too after I looked at the cargo. It was double wrapped and valued at arround 100,000 ISK. Realising I’d been suckered I planned a new route to Dodixie which skipped the original first 5 waypoints. It vastly increased my travel distance but I felt safer that way, and after the 8th waypoint in the original path I felt like I’d won.

Boy was I wrong. Three jumps from Dodixie they hit me. At this stage I was only half paying attention to my main screen while reading on my second monitor. Much like right now, where I’m mining on my main screen and blogging on another, eve online is about the only game I’ve played that lets me do this. Anyway I absent-mindedly smack the jump button, turn back to my reading and all hell breaks loose. I got locked, scrammed and blown the F$&# up by not 1 but 2 ships. I jumped my pod out of there and on to Dodixie fuming in rage all the way.

Rather than rage log I went and had a smoke and a coffee to calm down then got down to analysing all that I had done wrong to get myself caught. Let me break down for you what I’ve learnt from this little escapade.

My Mistakes: (Pre contract acceptance – Things I didn’t notice)

  1. The contract had too high a rate of pay for the collateral outlay. the contract paid 2.5 mil with a collateral of 12 mil. That’s almost a 21% risk/reward payout, normally I feel lucky if it’s a 5-10% ratio.
  2. The contract had only 1 day to complete it. These are usually scam contracts since they don’t want their contract accepted on a day when they can’t be online.
  3. It was a haul from the biggest trade hub to a smaller trade hub. It would be a very rare occurrence to make a profit doing this after paying for haulage.
  4. ISK/Jump was over the odds. Not by an unusually high margin but still high enough to make it attractive.

My Mistakes: (Post contract acceptance – Things I didn’t do)

  1. I found the contract suspicious and did not add the person who issued it to my watch list to monitor online status, or even check their profile.
  2. I did not go and do something else for a while. Your best defence against a contract like that is not to be doing it, so go do something else until it’s safe to try. If nothing else you can have your attacker(s) gate camping nothing for a few hours.
  3. After the first few jump I was not actively looking for ship types commonly used for suicide ganks sitting on gates. Not that it would help me much at the moment as a T1 hauler has little to no chance of getting away if a suicide ganker want your loot, but still I should have been doing it so that I could activate my shield tank bonus before the first salvo. An increase in survival chance however small is to be tank at every opportunity.

Would you like to know the funniest thing I learnt from this whole thing? No? Tough, I’m going to tell you anyway. My gankers actually lost more than I did. You see I was waiting and waiting for them to post their kill mail on the killboard so I could check the exact total loss but they never did. At first I thought it was because they pulled this scam a lot and didnt want to advertise the fact by posting the kills. Then I checked my combat log. I knew these guys had to be small time bandits since they ganked me for such a small cargo, my whole fit and cargo, including the contract goods and collateral weighed in at just over 16 mil ISK. Usually a T1 suicide gank fit will cast you ~2 mil making that gank a very small profit since they used 2 ships.What I hadnt realised was that these guys were complete idiots. For whatever reason these guys decided that they needed 2 Vexors to take down a T1 hauler.

Lets do some basic math. My losses were 16 mil, 2 Vexor hulls (we wont even count any of the fittings) cost 21 mil on todays maket. 16 – 21 = -5. These muppets lost a minimum of 5 million ISK ganking me. If they had fit properly they could have lost upwards of 30 mil. No wonder that they never posted the kill mail. Who would have wanted to admit to that.

So iparanoian conclusion the main lesson I got from all of this is that whatever you do in Eve online do it with a heathy dose of paranoia, you just never know when people will feel like losing a few million ISK ganking you :). I feel lucky that it was a very inexpensive lesson to learn. It could have ended up costing me my entire bankroll. I hope it cost my gankers theirs 😛

 

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