Thursday, January 30, 2014

Market blunder

Unexpected profits and losses

I don't normally trade much. It might not sound like it, but I dislike it enough not to login daily. Normally I just update my orders once a week and even then not as enough. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself right now. I will talk about "my view" on trading in more detail in the continuation post of trading to the riches. Today I want to talk about market blunders.

If you are trading, there's a good chance you messed up with your pricing. Be it mistyped number, or mixing buy with sell when setting up the order. These mistakes can be costly. Especially if you trade in multi million or even billion stuff. Messing up the price with small difference might not pop up the warning message, while loss may be quite significant. Merchant Monarchy time to time writes about various his or others' market blunders. Like him, I think that EvE's trading system is stupid, to call it gently. Problem lies, that when you adjust too big or too small price, your item gets sold or bought for that price, regardless at what range are the market orders set. If you feel like selling 500mil item for 5 isk, you are free to do so! There are so many wrongs about this system that I'm surprised it still exists.

Anyway, I don't normally notice such blunders, unless they significantly impact my daily profit. I remember a time when I sold some items for 800mil loss without noticing when looking at Jita price of a similar, but different item. I noticed it, when my profit line in the tracking tool went down like an anchor. This time, it was just the opposite. I was being lazy, and last time I touched my trading for more than 10mins was more than a week ago, however I notice this:

Something is not right. I do not believe in miracles. That is about 2.5bil in profit. To get this profit at my normally traded margins, I would need to sell around 30+ bil of worth of items. Which can be quite normal after doing massive update after some inactivity, but not this time though. So I investigate it a bit further and find this:

Quite nice. I guess lucky me and bad luck for the guy that bought it. I am positive he was placing a buy order just above mine and put one number too many. I just can't help but wonder if he bought more than one piece of that. So if there was one lesson we could take from this, what would it be? Well, probably don't drink and trade. Screw it! I like to trade and fly my ships while drunk.  It's fun, you should give it a go.

Multiboxing to the death. Didn't want that proteus anyway...

Ordinary day

Today was going to be a rather slow day. A blackhole static is never a good sign. Also not a good sign when blackhole's static is also a blackhole. Nobody likes blackholes. Ain't that right, Kim?

While my buddies were busy scanning, I decided to look around another c2>highsec connection and scan for some low class WH activity. Maybe gank a drake? I found a C1 with a Raven Navy Issue. I do not know how it ended up in the wormhole which has 20m max mass, but that sparkled my interest. There was a lot of activity in general, transport ships and frigates jumping in and out from C1 to Highsec. After waiting a little bit I got bored and decided just to semi afk camp in case they try to finish off that one anomaly that was still present. I parked it at the exit and started doing some trading meanwhile.

Turns out, corpmates are also not big fans of black wormholes and decision was to roll the static. So while some was busy rolling and scouting, I was busy in market pvp allwhile idling in teamspeak. Suddenly I hear voices going up as there are some activity, apparently, with orca and navy scorpion on scan. Something is definitely up. I still keep my scout at c1 and prepare my main for some pews, while still playing with the market.

Small gang pvp

Suddenly scorp is caught at the wormhole and reports are in reporting more ships incoming.  Since we have only a few people on, a call for help is sent out and me with a couple of other guys start going to the hotspot. Soon we land and true small gang pvp began. Nothing fancy, something like 5v5, with pilots being on both sides of  the wormhole for control. We had few more t3, they had few more ewar. 

Ammo was traded on both sides and things were quite exciting. This is how wormhole fights should be. No major blob, just a "friendly" shootout. Even though T3 can take some punishment, buffer tank means that usually you run out of buffer sooner or later. Without any ewar of our own and no good counter to theirs, we found out to be slowly dying and split up. Since our t3s were with sneaky cloaky bastard fits we could have tried to bail, but didn't want to. We wanted the fight to go on. We couldn't call for extra help either, because we didn't have anyone else on. So what does one do? Bring more alts of course.  I quickly closed my trading alts and logged in a couple of dominixes with remote reps to escalate the fight a bit. I also decided to recall my C1 afk scout.

Brain fart

Things started to get a bit tense. After warp changes, battleships warp as slow as ever. Micromanaging multi windows started to get it's toll. Friendlies reporting low armor and enemies bailing out with the structure decision making became based on the reflexes rather than thinking. 

Sometimes it's quite good to be able to act very fast. It can be quite the advantage when you are so familiar with the surroundings that you don't need to think to make a decision. Sometimes, however, not... Suddenly harbinger jumps back with the structure and I hear my mates reporting jam cycles now and then. But wait! I brought my tackle from C1. I quickly swap to my tackle account and sure enough, I see a harbinger on overview. Without wasting a second I get my weapons hot and tackle him. Oh dear god! Then it suddenly hits me. The green number in the left corner and stations in the overview is far from the wormhole environment. It's a bloody High-Sec! Right away I realize how this is going to end. While I wait for space police to put me out of my misery,  I try to jump out, eject, with hope that standings were not the only thing that got messed up in the latest patch. Concord finally arrives and I get ready to warp my pod clear, even make a screenshot while at it. 

What a sad ending to my proteus. It served me well. May you rest in peace my dear friend. His retirement was long overdue and well deserved. It was a fun ride while it lasted. Meanwhile pvp fight has also ended with hostiles bailing out and us tagging a loki and a harbinger kills.

All sentimentality out of the way, I started thinking, what are the odds that I will see a bloody Harbinger on our C2 exit at the same time while engaging one a couple of jumps away in w-space.  What a coincidence! I also realized that there's no reason for me to keep safety off and so I set it to yellow. As I am no longer a pirate, killing pods in low sec, it's time to use carebear protection and avoid my self concorded in the future.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Best patch ever and I am serious

A word about changes

So today CCP patched Rubicon 1.1.  There's so much I want to tell that I don't know where to start. There are handful of new features added. feel free to check the log. Most notable are new deployable structures and SOE Battleship, which started with 5 bil sales price - LOL, and I am laughing not because it is stupid, but because it's actually genius. Well, genius might be a strong word, but EvE, like real world, probably has...echem...people with special needs... that must be first to get it.  I wonder if there was anyone who bought it THAT overpriced, but in evening price seems to have stabilized around 1.6bil. Looks like there were 10 transactions already. I guess first sales were a bit overpriced at almost 1.9bil average. It will be interesting to see where demand and final price will go.

Two new deployables I want to highlight are:

  • Mobile Scan Inhibitor – Provides a way to hide ships from probe and directional scanning.
  • Mobile Micro Jump Unit – Launches a ship 100km in its current direction, similar to the Large Micro Jump Drive module.
This is going to be ridiculous. It's either hate it or love it. Based from feedback on the forums, people don't like new deployables that much (not to mention ESS, which generated river of null tears). I guess, in the end, everyone misses a real content and not just questionable items that most likely will be annoyance rather than added value. The Micro Jump Unit sounds like get out of jail free card. Long points in fleet fights will not be as useful anymore. I don't really see added value to this deployable, but more like less risk in pvp, which will also make it even harder to jump on someone in small fleet.  Best part is that it only has 5km activation radius.

The Scan inhibitor is going to be a tough one. Just put them everywhere and dscan is basically rendered to uselessness. If you come across farming fleet you have no idea if someone is still doing sites or are long gone. Granted, it has only one hour lifetime, but sometimes, that is all you need. This one also gets thumbs down from me, because it nerfs small gang pvp big time. Prepare baiting fleet and hide the rest at safe spots with MSI around the system. People will not engage anymore until they have some sort of reliable intel, which Dscan used to provide. Instead of 5min getting dscan results and making decision if to fight or not, now you will have scouts for half an hour gathering intel by scanning and warping to MSI for a check. Let's hope it won't be as bad as I imagine.

PVP on patch day. What could possibly go wrong?

It was a quiet day. My video drivers crashed as soon as I logged in to EvE. I thought it was a one time thing, so just relaunched the client and continued playing.

I started by rolling our static's static c3, because I was feeling like ganking or finding small gang, a rare thing to have in c5.  New spawn had 5 wh connections in it. A lot of c2s and low secs, which is very nice. I scanned them all, scanned couple of c2s in addition, but no activity. Probably makes sense, its 1.1gb patch and not everyone may be up to speed yet. Anyway, I decide to take a look at one of lowsecs, which seemed to have some sort of activity and ship kills few jumps away. I started gathering people, to get ready their pvp ships in case I find any targets. "You want to pvp on patch day?", - jokingly said our CEO. "Of course", - I replied. What could possibly go wrong? Well apparently this:
As soon as I was a jump away, my eve client crashed, with some pirates in the area. Oh boy. Don't get the adrenaline rush from your fights? This is your chance. It's like an EvE-Russian roulette. Kill stuff, before client kills you. Nope, thank you. I would like to actually give a fight instead of becoming a punching bag when logged out. I decide to keep my ship and turn back home. When I returned home, something seemed off. I could swear I warped to 0, but somehow ended up 400km of the tower. What the hell? I tried to cloak up or warp back and I can't. Seems I'm too near my hanger. Ok...

I think I will cut it short today. In fact, it's funny. It all is fun and games, no reason to rage. That is until you get your shiny ship killed and not reimbursed. If it wont affect your wallet, it may affect your mood at the very least. So what is so good about this patch that all I did today was complain? I present you:

The very best change in EvE

Yes, standings in local do not work, apart from fleet. There always have been 2 camps. One asking to remove local and the other saying to leave it as is. Why not have a compromise? We leave the local, but remove standings. Sure, if it's 5 guys in the system it won't be hard to see who is who, but try that in more populated areas. Wouldn't it be great? You would actually have a chance to be unnoticed by your nemesis in your hunt outside w-space. That's easily THE best change so far in my book. Fly dangerous o/

Trading into the riches , Part 1

Money printing

Let's talk a little about trading. Below are my thoughts about the subject. It will take a while so lets relax and take easy. I already mentioned, and also a ton of other trading blogs, that trading is where the money is at. There are some crazy rich guys out there who earn billions in a day. To be honest I admire them. I like ISK. I think, like the real world, having money sets you free. You can allow yourself much more and can realize yourself in many ways. When I started I was earning isk from exploration. Which was an ok income, but not too great. It's more like a hobby. Then I've decided to give trading a go. Now if I do something I never do it half assed. I went balls to the wall and subbed 3 chars just for the sole purpose of trading in major hubs. Subbing characters and getting necessary skills is the easy part.

Above formula shows how to decrease your broker fees in trading. It might not look much, but in the end it adds up. I won't be getting into details about cost savings, but you can read them here. In the end I estimate of saving around 100-200 mil average a day just on taxes. What did I have to do to get this "advantage"? Cross a god damn EvE hell is what I had to do. And by hell I mean grinding one month standings with missions and COSMOS. Every time I think about it I just want to puke. They were/are so poorly designed and bad, that I was questioning my purpose in this game. I can't believe there are actually people who enjoy doing missions. To me, missions are punishment that you must to do for your losses. It's like when you lose a ship and you have to redeem your sins by doing godawful pve content. I think it is necessary that EvE pve has to be bad. Otherwise everyone would happily grind isk and inflation would go up crazy amounts.  Man... now I realize this game is for masochists. 

But enough about missions. After a month of grinding I had reached a balance between being competitive in trading and committing suicide. Now it was time to jump into action.

This basically sums up my first experience in trading. Despite reading a lot of material and doing all kinds of research I sucked so much. Buy low and sell high was more like buy high and sell low. Items I traded were going up and down, like a roller coaster. I thought my profit tracking sites were broken as they did not show any green color. It was terrible. Let's not forget that I injected 20 bil investment from my main, which was almost all my isk. 20 bil might seem alot, but when you divide on 3 accounts, have some stuck in escrow in buy orders and some as stock or for sale, you realize that 20bil is more like 20mil. What can you possible do with this pocket change?

I decided to stick with it. After a couple of weeks  I started seeing first green signs in my profit tracking tools. Did a lot of trial and error with what items to buy and sell. Eventually I found the balance. I threw away all the spreadsheets and other "analysis" tools. I was not doing any analysis anymore, because all that was just a waste of time. A time I could spend in updating my orders or adjusting my items list. Eventually you grow a feeling for your items and reach some sort of equilibrium. That is what I did

Once I got comfortable with what I was doing I started setting up myself some goals. In the end, if you want to be successful, everyone says you need goals right? So I set 100bil as my first goal.  A goal that was somewhat unrealistic at a time. It was an interesting road to reach it. Do you remember that first billion you reached it? Or that first 100 million you had in your wallet? I sure do. You never forget your first experiences into something. It is always "special". So it was with my "100 billion isk" goal. It's something i anticipated so much, especially when reached 96, 97 and still feeling few billion short to say with confidence that goal has been met.  So what happened after my goal was reached? Well, everything has changed. My perception about trading has changed a lot, but let's talk about it another day.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wormhole hunting. 2 Golems are better than 1, Part 2

Bob's will works in mysterious ways

Sometimes particular events happen that change everything. All you need, is to be at the right place at the right time. In one of my previous posts I wrote about the hunt, which ended with a 2.2 bil Golem kill. A prize worthy of a hunt. As a hunter, I don't usually stick around. I take my trophy and move on. It was a nice Monday evening. I log in and get ready to scan for an exit to pack my things and leave. Checking D-scan is second thing I do when logged in, cloaking up being first. To my surprise I see an imicus, somewhere in space. Watch list shows me few of my russians being active. I wonder what are they doing? Flying around I can't see any other ships. After imicus disappears I quickly resolve the wormhole and put my eyes on it. I hold with logging my fleet as that would not be a very discrete decision in somewhat active system.

Not to mention it's first time I see my guys being active so late. After waiting for awhile I get impatient and start burning to the wormhole to check what's inside. Suddenly I hear a very familiar sound which represents someone jumping through the wormhole. I see imicus again. Well, good for him. Good for me too as I did not blow up my position by jumping in. A few seconds later and he would have seen me as plain as day. A few moments later I hear another sound and this was the moment when everything changed. A Golem reappears! Like a phoenix from the ashes. I guess this guy was not wasting any time. You could still see the paint still fresh, probably made in Jita written somewhere. Now I have a split second to decide what to do. Do I drop cloak and try to tackle? What should I do?

In the end I decide to stay still. First, because I would not have time to tackle him so late and he is too far from any solid bump. Not to mention that it might be full rack of warp core stabilizers. Second, he might decide to play with his toy and do some plexing! So I wait. I watch both pilots warp back to tower and sit still. After a couple of minutes they log off. Well, that was not so unexpected. I never seen them so late anyway. I took the Bob's message loud and clear. My mission in this system is not over yet. Bob wants me to stay and who am I to defy his will? Let the hunt begin.

The commitment

I would like to think that people who live in W-space are of special kind. Mature and patient, that don't require immediate action for satisfaction. As mentioned, I started my hunt for a second Golem kill. I did not know what to expect. Weekdays are usually quite tough. I work fulltime and mismatch in time zones was going to make the hunt difficult. But they say that the process is as important as result. Every morning I diligently wake up and check in on my russian friends before going to work, with hope to catch them with their pants down. Unfortunately it was going to be a bigger problem than I anticipated. Picture bellow pretty much sums up my mornings.

Every day my morning is either too early or too late. Tuesday shows plexing has already finished while Wednesday my friend says my russian friend is online after few minutes I get to work. Bloody hell. If that was not enough, I finally hit Thursday, when I see wrecks on scan. Oh gosh, I sighted from the excitement. Now where's that damn golem? I keep my computer on as much as I can, until I dress up and get ready to leave. This does not make any sense. Wrecks on scan, but guys are offline. Anyway, I leave, just to find out from my friend that they are logged in as soon I boot up my computer at work. Talk about bad timing. Maybe these guys are outsmarting me? Anyway I come back just to find, once again, an empty and clean system. I poke around and find many potential wormholes that could be my next targets. It's really tough. I feel like someone is teasing me. Especially after a fail gank carrier.

Finally comes Friday. As usual I don't expect anything to happen for the rest of the day. But once again I am proven wrong and shown that forces of life do not abide logic. While no activity on scan, warping to the static shows an interesting sight.

Seems someone has been busy and protecting themselves. All of a sudden I see Golem on scan! Friday is indeed magical day. I warp to tower and have a visual confirmation.

Well Christmas might come early this time. And by early I mean Friday rather than Saturday or Sunday. Indeed Golem aligns and warps to anomaly. What does he have to be afraid of? 2 Bubbles on his static is a very reliable, foolproof protection. Well, too bad for him I won't be coming from that way. I feel excitement rushing in. All week was building up to this moment. I log in my domi fleet and get in a position. Everything's ready, I'm good to go! Everything else is pretty much Deja Vu from my first encounter. Everything lands on top, cap/rep chain ready and I start grinding Golem's shields. Since it's been only a week from our last engagement I skip my visit card procedure by not linking forum post where I state that I honor ransoms and don't even scan his ship as I got a good idea what to expect. I go straight to business.

Well that seems to go smooth. This time I ask 2bil at least. Reason I ask so much is because I indeed honor ransoms. Plus I fully expect him to have X-type shield booster, which alone is almost 900mil in potential drop. I get a bit confused as my russian friend wants to negotiate price to 1bil. Do I look like a guy who desperately needs isk? Furthermore you don't negotiate with someone who is holding a gun to your head now, do you? I wait a little bit and still don't see my wallet flash. Is he playing games with me hoping he will get out of this intact?  After stalking for 1 week there are only 2 ways this will play out. I get my 2bil isk or 2bil+ kill mail.

I decide that time for negotiations is up and proceed in grinding armor leftovers and then structure. Shortly Golem explodes and provides yet another beautiful 2.4 bil killmail. This time again, both BOB and the Loot Fairy were pleased. 

I don't know why there were no rigs included. Perhaps real men don't need rigs, but who cares, they don't drop anyway. If anything, it makes my job of collecting hard earned modules somewhat easier. I collect the loot and shoot the wreck. What a nice start of a weekend. I pack my bags, give my regards to BOB and move out. May we meet again someday, my dear russian friend. Hope our paths will cross soon and this time I believe you will come to reason and have my ransom money ready at a moment's notice.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Calculator. Best wormholer's sidekick

Going back home

It's time for me to reunite with my corpmates. I start my day scanning around to find a good exit to the empire. Preferably somewhere near Jita as I need to sell all my stuff that I brought from old days in lowsec. I immediately scan c4 static and check it out to see where it takes me. Fast forward some minutes and here I am sitting on a c3. I like c3's. Usually they have low sec static and as it turns out, this one does too. Worth mentioning, I always do check out the wormholes I visit. This time was no exception. I quickly mapped the tower and three ships, which unfortunately were empty. You never know... The trip home can be fun or boring. Even when living in low sec I was practically visiting more wormholes than some remote K-space areas. When I enter the system I always scan around. It's in the blood. I probably could do it blindfolded. The negative side is that it takes a lot of time. Good side? You create/find content by putting that little extra work to check out what's around. No local in wormholes actually means you can get a kill without announcing your presence too much.
Look at me. I'm in local.

I consider local a maphack. I dislike it so much probably because I don't do much pve and unconsciously click a dscan even when noone is around. Anyway, I exit lowsec and see it's 3 jumps from nearest highsec. Not bad. I go ahead with my proteus and scout/scan next systems. I check a couple of wormholes until I see a guy enter local. A quick look shows me a logo of a corp I could swear I saw in one of the wormholes. The guy is flying a transport ship and soon disappears from scan. Excited, I go back to my mapped wormholes and try to find that system with a corp I saw the guy from. After 5min it turns out to be one of C3 wormholes I came from. Sure enough I see a transport ship on scan. After stalking for a bit and seeing no activity I decide to go back. Who cares about t1 transport ships anyway?

Just I jump to lowsec, one jump away from that wormhole I was stalking in, I see another guy in local. A quick check shows again that it's the same corp. This time Dscan shows a hurricane! Well that is interesting. I quickly burn back to gate and jump as soon as he lands. Now I think what would be my best course of action. I could catch him on the gate, but as my domies are a jump away, I decide to warp directly to his wormhole and wait for him there as I probably could not hold him long enough. As I initiate warp, hurricane jumps in and and sees me cloak up. I was expecting him to be at least a bit hesitant to jump in, given the fact that proteus just went in few seconds ago. Well, I am really not the one to complain. I order my domies to jump to the system and warp to the wormhole that I expect to meet hurricane at.

A short range scan shows the cane coming in. I love when the plan comes together. The cane lands and jumps in and I follow. I quickly decloak, get my weapons hot and wait. The hurricane pilot hesitates a bit, but just in a few seconds decloaks. I lock him, scrammed and pointed! I don't expect him to stay around much. I burn to him and get ready to jump back. I wonder why he is not jumping back? I see his speed is going up and... he warps away. Dear lord. Are you kidding me? I bet my ISK that it was a full rack of warp core stabilizers. That explains why he was flying it like he was in highsec. After all, wcs makes you immune from pvp doesn't it? With nothing else to do, I go back to finish checking out few wormholes before heading back to empire.

A man needs his calculator

So I check a random c2. A dscan immediately shows some activity going on. I see this one has c4 and a HS static. What an interesting combination! I see a lot of bubbles and some ships camping space. I don't pretend to be stealthy so I move cloak and launch probes. Only 3 sigs to scan make it easy. I quickly resolve c4 and HS exits, where I find a proteus, a sabe and a slasher sitting on HS wormhole camping, all bubbled up.

Well that's interesting. Shortly proteus and slasher warps away. I do a quick check who are the guys and it turns out to be one of pvp wormhole corps - sky fighters. With over 200 people and ganks that include 10-20+ people. What would any sane person that is flying solo would do? Move along of course. Fortunately I am far from a sane person. And as my solo means actually 4 guys I see if I can get something out of this situation. I start mapping all the guys. My rule of thumb is 80-20 rule, which means 20% are active pvpers in a corp. I collect 40 people to watch list to evaluate situation and my chances, which might not be too bad as most of them are offline.

After all the intel I realize that wormholes, both c4 and HS, are all on verge of collapse. I do not know if they rolled them or they were just used up. My guess is that they rolled it and have a feeling they might roll LS exit next. I quickly jump out to LS to make some safe spots and get my domies ready. I guess they have scout on a WH so I assume I have been seen. And I don't assume anymore as just when I jump, a proteus lands on the wormhole. I eagerly wait for him to jump after me, but nothing happens. I guess the guy was waiting for me to jump back. I also think, they might think I'm just a random tourist and will just ignore me. And I think I am right on what they think as falcon quickly jumps in and out and there are no more presence in the system (<3 local).

I get my domies ready on a wormhole 4.5km away and cloaked up. I jump in again to see whats up. I see a dominix, anathema and ishtar on scan now. I trust in my psychic abilities and think of a domi as a "dedicated rolling ship". Now here comes the interesting part. Wormhole is R943 which is only 750m mass in total. Now I have to decide on my course of action. Obviously if Dominix jumps in and out heavy I can't bring all my "fleet" in. Also I do not know how many ships already jumped through this exit, apart from me and falcon. So I decide to do some evaluations.

Above I select 2 different scenarios. If wormhole does not go half, I jump in 2 dominixes after and bring some chaos. If it goes half,  I jump one dominix only to fool around. In this case I assume the worst and take 200mil mass left as a bare minimum, while it could be between 200-350. I take 350 and not 375 to consider small deviation that wormholes have.

All is set. I launch probes and orbit wormhole for a couple of minutes. Scan around, pretend being stupid and don't cloak. I am positive someone can see me. System is small and only one wormhole that is not critical is low sec exit. Nothing happens. Not to be too obvious bait I cloak up and continue with the probes. No activity whatsoever. No activity in overview that is, while dscan shows constant ships changing and some guys logging in once in awhile. I have mass control here so I feel quite confident even if outnumbered. I trust in BoB's will. Whatever way this plays out, I'm good. Fast forward 30 minutes and nothing happens. Not even one ship jumps to LS for a look or anything. I get quite demotivated. Also I see more and more guys logging in and dscan is starting to look dangerous.

Put in there a logi or a falcon and I won't be able to do shit. I have done small gang pvp solo vs numerous ships and let me tell you, it is very stressful. A lot of things can go wrong. I decide to cut it  and be done with it. I jump out and warp away. What an anti-climax. I was really hoping something would turn out of this. I guess ship spinning in space has it's own merits.

Killing procurer, because why not...

On my way back I found another c2 with another HS static. I also found a procurer mining. It didn't take long to find where he is at. I also noticed that there are probes on dscan. Perhaps some solo hunter will try to gank him and I can gank the hunter. I get in position and wait while fleet is sitting on the wormhole on the other side. Probes are gone and nothing happens. Procurer also seems not to give a shit about probes in system. I figured if someone was to gank him would have done it already, without any probes. I had enough of waiting today. I warp to procurer tackle it and start killing it in short order.

Procurer explodes and I go to empire and set autopilot to Jita. I don't really feel excited killing t1 barges, hence why I did not hide my probes while scanned highsec before ganking him, but I just couldn't let this ignorance pass by.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Wormhole hunting. 2 Golems are better than 1, Part 1


About a week ago I left on a pilgrimage. It's my soul searching in eve that I do once in awhile. As mentioned in earlier post, I roll myself out of home WH and succumb to the unknown...and BOB's will. I roam the localless and otherwise empty space, poke my nose around into different systems.

Usually it's just me and the echos of an empty space. To find some action in wormholes is like winning in a lottery. The prize depends on how shiny are the ships you found. Taking the prize is another thing. I often like to compare EvE with the nature. Both have life cycle and a food chain. Eat or be eaten. It's a one big ecosystem where nobody wants to be eaten. That active tengu screaming for its life when tackled and trying to burn with overheated afterburner is like a poor deer trying to outrun the lion. Sometimes it works, but mostly not.

The hunt

So here I am, scanning my way around, until i stumble on a nice system that is a c4 class. What's so nice about it? Well, mostly because of this:

Someone's been busy. I like that. If that's not a sign of an active system, then I don't know what is. One signature and no anomalies confirms that. Ladies and gentlemen, we just found our new home. I warp around, check the tower, do the background research, map the pilots. All seems to be empty and quiet. Perfect, because I can settle in without being disturbed. I fly around, make some safe spots and log for a day as it's getting late.

Next day, which is Saturday (mind you, this happened 1 week ago 18th) I eagerly log in to eve with hope to find some plexing. Unfortunately seems I just missed it. Further investigation reveals that plexing usually goes quite early in the morning. For a big sleeper like me, that woke up at 12 afternoon that's a problem. Well, nothing can be done at this point, so I scan around, check neighboring wormholes. Without finding anything I go afk and play some other games, such as dota2, surfing the web or doing some chores and once in awhile check that D-scan for any changes. Time goes by and suddenly it's late evening. Talk about game of patience. Well thank god I can multitask and forget about eve. It's also a good strategy not to get tired of spaceships. Sometimes I leave the client just to chat with my corpmates. I promise my self to wake up "early" on Sunday and set my alarm for 9.30 in the morning.

Sunday finally arrives. I wake up, roll myself out of bed and navigate with my eyes closed to turn on the computer. I have everything loaded while taking a shower. Ok, let's check in on my russian friends. Quick peek shows all pilots logged off. That can't be good I thought. Checking the D-scan confirms, that there's indeed no activity going on besides the forcefield and empty ships at the tower. I take a look at wormnav and, for the love of god, I see plexing has happened a few hours ago, probably even earlier due to the delay. Of course there are no anomalies left either. What a way to start a day, all annoyed and grumpy. The fact that next day is a workday doesn't help the mood. I decide to do something useful  for a change and go make myself a breakfast. Not long after the downtime hits the server. The day just started, I thought. Let's see what plans BOB has for me today.

It comes when you least expect it

I log in right after downtime, like a model citizen of EvE. Launch my probes in deep safe and get ready to scan...when suddenly my friend logs in! Holy cow. What is this. The guy decided to stay up late tonight? But what will he do with only one sig in the system, and that being a wormhole? Hold on a second! I check the anomaly filter and it shows me fresh, new anomaly. I can't believe my eyes. Is BOB playing with me? I eagerly watch the guy sitting in his pod at the pos, waiting to see what he will do. Suddenly, a Golem appears! This is too good to be true. I was expecting a usual tengu or something, but a Golem? I thank CCP for a bastion module and a marauder revamp. The change where everyone wins. Gankers and the plexers.

Suddenly Golem disappears and pod reappears. As I though, BOB is teasing me! However after a couple of seconds pod warps out, and looks like it went directly to the anomaly. I duly follow just to find him making spot. Perhaps I shouldn't have rushed not to land on him and decloak, but it's hard to stay cold with all this excitement.  Pod comes back and without waiting much longer swaps for a Golem again and sure as hell warps to Anomaly. I warp after it to finish my 200 bm. My hands are shaking. I pray to gods that my internet doesn't crash as it likes to do sometimes. Get my Domi trio ready, align and decloak. Modules hot. Warp in with my tackle proteus and land directly on top of Golem and Domies soon follow.

I could only imagine what the guy was thinking when a proteus appeared near him. As far as he was concerned, new static spawn has not been opened yet (probably) so there should not have been any threat present. In a minute my personal dominix fleet lands and I get to work. Multiboxing 4 accounts is not an easy task when you got cap chains and reps involved with drones on top of it. Not to mention I couldn't tackle Golem due to bastion module and was afraid not to miss timing if he decides to warp out after time is up.

I quickly setup cap/repair chain. Keep checking for bastion timer and start grinding his shields. Now my soul searching trip is not only for ganks. I also like to be a good guy and give a chance for the unfortunate pilot to buy his way out of a gank. I do a ship scan, check the price of a fit and open a convo. Ship scanner shows me 200 mil, thus I start asking for a ransom. At this moment I am presenting myself as a professional ransomer. I link his fit and also forum where I state I honor ransoms. Be it my visit card if you will.

Krotttt > привет
Zosius > ransom
Zosius > 1.2bil
Zosius >
Zosius >
Zosius > I honor ransoms 100%
Zosius > see forum

Unfortunately turns out the guy does not speak english and a language barrier was in a way to do a honest business transaction

Zosius > yes no?
Zosius > think fast
Zosius > ???
Zosius > I honor ransoms
Zosius > hello?
Krotttt > не стрке
Zosius > my business are ransoms
Zosius > 1.2 bil I let you go
Zosius > da net?
Krotttt > дам денег
Zosius > too long
Krotttt > not enough time for translation
Zosius > sorry
Zosius > could not wait
Zosius > gf

When ransoming someone, one does not have a luxury to wait long. Many things can go wrong. I learned this the hard way when 3 bil tengu burned out of range while I was giving my demands. I decide to cut it short and finish him off, which resulted in this beautiful kill mail. A 2.2 Billion mail, as it turns out, ship scanner did not capture X-type large shield booster. What a pleasant surprise. Both BOB and the loot fairy were pleased.

I scoop and shoot the wreck and warp out clear of the site. Still shaking of the excitement and looking at my hard earned module like a kid looking at a candy. I quickly scan around, find an exit to the empire and frog freight booster to Jita. I return and decide to log for the day as I did not find other wormholes to move into and decided that there's no reason to play my luck and be a winner today. New day always brings new adventures. What kind of future does BOB have ready for me? Will he demand a sacrifice or will he let me go on my way? As it turns out, the game is not over yet...

stay tuned for part 2.

Choosing a career path in eve

Early days as a ninja salvager

When I started playing EVE I went with the route like the most new players. That is, I started with the tutorials and did missions afterwards. When I was approaching needed standings to start lvl3 missions, I understood that it's not for me. Missions and me don't mix like oil and water. That is when I started looking around to see what else could be done in this game. Randomly I stumbled on a few very interesting Ninja Salvaging blogs. One being Velocity Prime and the other - Mylootyourtears by Paul Clavet. It was a fantastic read. I knew right away what I was going to do the next foreseeable future. Worth mentioning that in early days I barely got skills to fly a battlecruiser. That did not stop me though from stealing loot and salvage. The payout was much better than missions with armor plates costing 250k isk and some meta 4 modules netting a couple of mil.  Very quickly I got accustomed and addicted to the taste of tears and once I got to fly my trusty Myrm, I had an opportunity to start hunting. Hunting carebears back in the day, with old aggro mechanics could easily have a full topic on its own.

As all good things, everything comes to an end. I think the golden Ninja Salvaging days were 2009-2010, while 2011 was ok, but already declining. Mostly due to the fact of many ninja blogs going up and all missioners having learned their lessons and not shooting you. You could always find someone somewhere, but following with some aggro changes later on made most of ninjas find another activity. Though with the recent introduction of mobile tractor units I think HighSec might bring a new era of ninjas v2.


Being Ninja meant having at least a scouting/scanner alt, which surprisingly was very compatible with exploration. Shortly, me and my corpmates moved to lowsec where I continued doing exploration as my main income. I like exploration for various reasons. Mostly because it is not as tedious as missions. It can become like it, but it all depends on you how you spice up your game. While most explorers were sighting when finding a wormhole, I was excited. Low sec normally has c3-c2 connections as those are the wormholes with most statics to it. such class wormholes mean there can be easy targets to gank. After finding targets it was just a matter to give a shout to my friends and we are right on top on them, just like a pack of wolves. So in the end you get to find sites to earn some isk and occasional pvp opportunities. If you get burnt out and tired of scanning, there's nothing a low sec gatecamp couldn't fix. The life was good.

Exploration can provide an ok income. However it can be extremely time consuming/dangerous to clear sites in hostile areas and the ones closer to home usually has much bigger competition as you would not be the only guy with a probe launcher. Comparing to my mates, that were rolling missions and earning 200mil+ in an hour, I felt like a poor bastard (story of my life). Then I decided to change my game


I moved to trading which became my main source of income until the present. It's no secret that trading is where the money is at. Often you hear tips on forums for guys asking how to earn isk, telling them to do some form of trading or industry. It was not often you could find a blog dedicated just for this style of gameplay. People knew it's lucrative, but did not have good idea on how get into it and most would just ignore it and continue shooting red crosses for their isk. Trading as a profession is also not for everyone. It is very easy to burn out and lose money if one does a break. My burnout happened before and during odyssey patch, when exploration changes made decryptor prices crash down tenfold and I lost 25bil+ plus just because I had a lot of stock and a though of logging in my trade alt made me sick. Anyhow there are many forms of trading and you can earn isk just as being active as also being passive. The way you do business and strategy you choose will define your income. I will write a couple of more posts dedicated just for this part later on so I won't expand as much right now.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A carrier that got away

The wormhole life is not for everyone. It requires immense  amount of patience. As will probably to read this post. Days can go by without a single shred of activity, especially if you live in higher class wormholes. The daily routine is scan scan scan, roll the wormhole, scan scan scan, rinse and repeat. In C5/C6 class wormholes, sometimes you do find activity, which turns out to be too much for your small gang. Or sometimes just few pilots are active, which, you know, won't be doing much apart from scanning.

Different story when you talk about C4 and below class wormholes. They are fully soloable and if you find a guy at a pos you can indeed expect something more to happen rather than just ship spinning. I sometimes like to go on my so called pilgrimage. It's the trip I make where I just roll myself and my alts out from home and venture into unknown. Preferably find active wormhole with residents and wait for an opportunity to strike. I will dedicate few posts just for this topic in the near future, writing about my adventures. It is really fun.

Today as usual I logged to my system that I'm stalking in to see if there's any activity going on. Unfortunately it was as dead as it could be, without any anomalies and only one sig. That is really depressing, because main activity happens when I'm at work. But patience is a virtue and I don't give up so easily. I take out my probes and do some scanning. Connecting system has a lot sigs, but only few wormholes. It's one thing when you scan half of gas sites with 8AU probes and another thing when you need 1-2AU range to map a lot of sigs. It is time consuming and annoying as hell.

After checking C5, which did not have anything going on (surprise), I warped to C3. Upon entering system I did not see anything on Dscan. Getting tired of empty systems, I don't even play stealthy and just launch my probes and warp around. Lucky me I send probes to empty moons, while the opposite side, as it turns out, has ships on scan. I quickly finish scanning system, while i check the tower.

Upon landing, to my surprise, I see all ships piloted. 3 oracles, a hugning and a chimera. Something must be up. After watching the tower for 10 minutes I decide to fuck it and check out the connecting wormholes. I take a look at the lowsec, which turns out to be only 7 jumps from my home C5 wormhole. Neat, I was looking for a convenient exit.

I go back and take a last look at the pos just in time to see all ships warp to an anomaly. The moment I saw Chimera leave pos my blood pressure went up and I was getting excited to say the least. Seeing a capital doing sites in a C3 is a very rare thing. Immediately I give a shout out in the corp, send out a ping and get the fleet going.  It's a race against time. Chimera and 3 oralcles are melting sleepers like sun is melting icecubes on a hot day. 7 jumps suddenly feels like 30.

As soon as fleet is 3 jumps out I see only 4 sleepers left. Decision has to be made if I go balls to the wall and tackle, hoping to last long enough, or see what else will happen as I could swear it was the last anomaly. I decided not to go as there was no scenario where I could hold it long enough and not get killed or jammed until fleet arrived. To my big relief I managed to miss one anomaly from big excitement. The game is on! Fleet is jumping to the system and I am finishing 200km bookmark. I see 4 cruisers and a battleship in anomaly. A quick google look shows that BS means a last spawn.

I also notice that Chimera has his speed up. Without no anomalies left that can mean only one thing. No more time to think. I initiate warp, drop cloak, activate my sensor booster and spam lock on chimera. Session cloak timer seems like eternity. Finally time is up, target locked and....lock disappears. What happened? Chimera is still in same place. Did I get jammed? No, it's just slow acceleration. I can't do anything, but helplessly watch it warp away.

Oh well. I tackle 2 leftover oracles. We hold the fleet and send 1 proteus to do the dirty work. Unfortunately slowly killing oracles and looting sleepers did not get any reaction, apart from suicide interceptor, which, I assume, intended to tackle and kite, but ended up in a scram/web range of a proteus. Fleet goes home and I go back to my pilgrimage.

Moving my life to Jita... God bless the black/red frog freight

A few days ago I got a nice K-space exit, 1 jump from my previous home in low sec. It was a nice visit. Something similar to when you move out to another city/country and when you come back to your old place you suddenly start feeling a lot of nostalgia.

Fageras is a nice and quiet little space. Nothing much happens in the area, or never did as I do not live there anymore and don't know if anything has changed. If you are looking for good fights and pvp there, you will be disappointed. There's little of interest and apart from a few roaming gangs and local pirate organizations, not much was going on. Only people passing by to Delve and some random tourists. Nevertheless it was my home. The lack of targets and constant baits polished my skills of hunting and intel gathering. Worth mentioning it was also TEST temporary HQ after they got kicked out of null. Exciting times were those. But enough about the past.

After getting connection I decided to do a little clean up. As I moved to the area shortly after starting EvE it was my only home. Needless to say all my assets were there as well. After I moved out to W-Space I left most of them behind, thinking I might be back someday, so ships and modules were just sitting there, gathering dust and rust. Now, after trying new things, I think it's very unlikely I will be back, thus I decided to liquidate my assets.

So... many... assets....  I'm a guy that hates shopping. Both in eve and in RL. Once I buy stuff, I make sure I have it for awhile. I had every ship you could ever need for and every module you would hope for. Mind you, I never did missioning so all that stuff was bought and brought just because. The advantage of having multiple ships with 5 different fits each is very nice. Whatever situation was, I got it under control. Need sniper Talos? No problem. Covert cyno tackle proteus? Sure thing! A guardian? Can do! I even had 2 proteus fits dedicated for specific expeditions in nullsec that escalated from doing plexes. It was time to ship it all and get some isk.

It took me a good couple of hours to organize stuff. Sold some shinies to my friends, repaired damaged stuff, repackaged what I could, reprocessed what I did not care about. With so many items and such large cargo space it probably would have taken weeks working full time to get all the stuff to Jita, even with personal JF/Freighter fleet. But thanks to Black Frog freight I don't need to do that. These guys are doing god's work. I setup 20+ contracts for them and then moved on my way.

Imagine my surprise when almost all my contracts were fulfilled within a day. Unbelievable. This game is truly remarkable. Of course I've probably spent 2+ bil in fees, but was totally worth it. The time saved is worth way more. I love you Frog Freight guys!

P.S. Doing cleanup I also checked my high sec stuff. I had very good moments viewing that ninja salvaging vigil or that PVP fit myrm that I used to gank carebears with. Not to mention my first thorax I used when trying to gank ishtar in a plex and failed miserably. Even got a tear in my eye.  Give it a moment and check your asset window. I'm sure you will find some personal treasures too!

Hello you random stranger


Hello and welcome to my blog.  As an avid lurker of other blogs, I've decided it's finally time to start keeping journal for myself.  In this blog I will write mostly about subjects related to Eve Online, specifically about wormhole life, trading, pvp and other various aspects of  the game. However, occasionally you can expect to see other games in the headline. As it's my first blog and that I am anything but a writer, as also english is not my first language, I ask your forgiveness and patience for poorly constructed sentences and grammar mistakes.

About me

My in game name is Zosius. I started eve back in 2010 and kept playing ever since. I started out as a ninja salvager back in the day until I got dragged to lowsec by my friends where I spent majority of my time as a little pirate, happily smartbombing pods and inconveniencing people every way I could. Now for a change I moved to W-space where I sit cloaked up and stalk unsuspecting targets while shoot a ship or two in K-space.

Let our journey begin!