Wherein I detail the second week of my return to EVE Online; where I abandon the questionable glory of blowing the shit out of NPC pirates for the gold rush dreams of big mining!
Day 08 – 09
Well with birthdays and weddings, and most peculiar for me, travel I didn’t get anything done on these days as I wasnt near a computer. Luckily even when you’re not playing EVE you are in a way still playing as the real-time nature of skill training means that you’re always improving. I knew I’d be away so I try on a high level skill with a nice long training time (8 days to be precise) and went off to drink the tits of myself in the wilds of Athlone.
I was actually still feeling pretty rough as I’d chased my hangover with staying up ridiculously late the day after and was still feeling pretty delicate. I had also got back into Diablo 3 and I wanted to finish levelling my main up to 60 while the bonus XP event was on. But I still wanted to get a bit of space saucyness on the go so I logged in and did a bit of mining. Mining is great for just vegging out, especially in high sec (various areas of space have security ratings, the higher the rating the safer the area, though nowhere is completely safe). So I did a bit of mining and thought about my current plans to focus on missioning.
As I mentioned in my last post L2 missions were only about one third as profitable in an ISK/hour sense as even basic hull mining (i.e. just mining until my hold was full and returning to station to unload). While I enjoy missioning more that’s an almost unacceptably low amount. There are other things I can do to earn ISK and as soon as I can manage to sit through reading an article on exploration or planetary equilibrium I might give them a go. But for the moment I started leaning towards focusing on mining. That had been my plan back when I played a year ago and as such I was already well on the way in terms of skills and such.
I wasnt thinking straight so I decided to hold off on doing anything till I’d gotten an actual nights sleep. Evidence of my befuddled state is clear in my decision to make an alt for no readily apparent reason. Well that’s not entirely true, the plan was to create a hauler alt to supplement my mains new goal of mining across the universe. You can in a way get a 51 day alt account (you want an actual alt account as only one character per account can be training so having him on the same account is sort of useless). Basically you use your Buddy Program link to create a free 21 day trial account. When a buddy upgrades they get 30 days and your main account also gets 30 days. So basically you get a month subs free. If you were going to pay for that month anyway then you are getting a 51 day alt account for free. But I wasnt sure yet if I would play for another month so wasnt ready to pull the trigger yet.
This meant I just had a 21 day free trial account, I started it up and made a male Gallente character. I did the starting tutorials and a few of the career missions to get some cash and basic ships. I was then ready to start training for being a hauler. I used a contract to send him 1 Million ISK from my main account. Trial accounts can’t accept contracts, balls. Ok then I’d just buy the skill books and ignore implants for the moment, trial accounts cant learn the skills to fly industrial haulers, balls. Oh well I’d just turn him into an alt miner then, did that for a bit and realised there was little point as my main was already fairly specialised in mining, balls. Ok then I’d use him as an industry alt to refine stuff for my main, you need a very high rating with the owners of a station to get a 100% refine in the station you are doing it in. My main was Amarr i.e. a different faction for this guy so this guys rating would start of at 0 or in negatives. Balls. At that point I realised I wasnt really sharp enough to be planning out stuff two months ahead and shut EVE down for the day.
Today I made the plunge. I had saved up just over 20 million ISK and after selling off ore I had stockpiled it was closer to 25 million. That should have been going towards my Harbinger, but instead I flew off to a factory near Amarr and blew it all buying and outfitting a Procurer mining barge. Mining barge’s are the next step up from the basic mining ship, the Venture, that I had been flying. I went with the Procurer because it’s the toughest of the three mining barges and I live in paranoid fear of having my ship blowing up. For any of the later ships insurance isn’t really worth a fuck because it comes nowhere near to covering the cost of replacement.
The Procurer’s ore hold is about half the size of a Retriever’s (the mining barge with the biggest ore hold) and can fit about 20 minutes’ worth of mined ore (mining barge’s can fit Strip Miners which are big fuck off mining lasers and I can fit the Tech 2 versions of those). The Procurer’s base mining yield is the same as the Retriever’s and about 10-20% lower than a Covetor’s (the mining barge with the highest yield). It’s a solid compromise between the other two and its superior toughness makes it a good ship for mining in the lower-security (0.6 or 0.5) areas of high security space.
Speaking of where I mine I was sick of sharing the six asteroid belts in the system I was in so I used EVE MAP SITE to search for a system that a) had more belts, b) didn’t have a lot of traffic and (most importantly) c) had no (or a very low amount of) ship kills. I found a system and moved to it to test out my new mining barge.
The first thing I “discovered” was how unbelievably fucking slow it was. I thought my transport vessel was unbearably slow but it’s literally three times as fast as this piece of shit. It takes forever to warp to a belt and then chug slowly towards an asteroid to get in range of my Strip Miner. However you can warp straight to a bookmark you set yourself. So the plan now is to outfit a fast frigate with a survey array and zoom around the asteroid belts dropping bookmarks near the stuff I want to mine (massive scordite at this point). unfortunately I blew all my funds on this ship so that will have to wait till I raise some capital.
So far my experiences with the ship have been mixed, it mines faster and holds more than my venture which means I can mine for longer stretches which makes it more efficient. It’s also tougher and I can carry five light scout drones which will (and have) smoke any high sec NPC pirates I come across. On the other hand its, as I said, super fucking slow and the longer mining stretches make it feel like I’m doing less (because I am) which is sort of boring perhaps?
Also despite my re-location I keep on running into other people, unsurprisingly, mining the same asteroid belts. How selfish of them eh? I know its irrational, it is an MMO after all and if I have the idea/follow some advice on a forum then it makes perfect sense that others would do the same. Still it pisses me off to see other mining lasers glittering in the dark. Pisses me off and makes me wary, due to harsh experience and the horror stories you see across the internet, I’m always afraid that some other miner will randomly take offense and escalate to violence. Or much more likely, use an alt/mercenary/suicide ganker to do me in.
The cardinal rule of EVE Online is don’t fly a ship you’re not willing to lose. But I’m not willing to lose any ship. Each one is precious to me and the thought of some drooling fucking forum goon or chantard suiciding into me for shits and giggles, a much more visceral trolling, incenses me or terrifies me. Earlier on I was mining in my new ship and popped downstairs to grab a drink I got distracted and decided to make a sandwich. I was part way through when I realised I’d warped into space and just left my ship sitting there. I ran through the house and upstairs to find my ship sitting there under attack from three pirates. I quickly warped to a space station and heaved a sigh of relief. A moments inattention can be deadly. So I sneak around abandoned spaceways and mine alone in silence.
Corporations, player owned and run, are one of the unique features of EVE and the source of a lot of its notoriety and drama. So far I havent spoken to a single other player in the week and a half I’ve been playing the game. How I approach the social aspect of MMO’s has totally changed and I’m not sure I know how to go back to the way it was before.
While wallowing in anti-social-angst I continued mining on and off until I ran into a little problem. I had a big fuck ton of ore. Too much for my current transport to handle easily. Luckily I had a plan and, typically, my plan went rather awry. Back when I started last year I used a starter pack that gave me some free stuff, among them an Iteron IV. The Iteron IV was a Gallente industrial hauler which I never got around to redeeming as I couldn’t fly it and was concentrating on Amarr ships. In the time I wasnt playing the three lower level Iteron’s were changed into specialised haulers. The one I had became the Miamosa, specialised in hauling ore. Great I can redeem it and get my hauling on. Wrong. I redeemed it and discovered that it’s a limited edition version which doesn’t have an ore hold. Which means I’m going to have to go buy the ordinary version. So I filled up the hold of my current transporter and set it off on autopilot through high sec as I went and fried some reduced fat bacon.
I arrived at the main market hub I’d been using, it offers the best sale prices for the raw ore I’ve been dealing in. So I sold my ore and bought my new Miamosa. While I was there I figured that I’d buy a speedy frigate for nipping around the place. I recalled reading somewhere that the Crucifier was the fastest Amarr frigate. It cost me nearly 400K, which was basically the remains of the money I’d made from selling ore. I assembled the ship and undocked. I was pleased to see that the ship looks absolutely badass, one of the coolest looking frigates I’ve seen. I set it off on autopilot and while it was flying I checked out some info on other Amarr ships I was thinking off getting. It was then I discovered that the Crucifier was not the fastest Amarr frigate. That honour was reserved for the Executioner, a ship I owned two off already. Bollocks. So I cancelled autopilot and set off on a detour to grab one of them.
But at this point all the minor irritations had piled up a little too high and after reaching the station where my Executioner was docked I called it a day and logged out. Later that evening I finally got around to reading up on exploration. There does seem to be a bit of risk involved and I want to be in a more secure financial position before trying it out.
Today’s initial play session was spent dealing with all the little fuck-ups I’d made yesterday. I had ships scattered all over the place and I needed to consolidate my holdings. Well that’s not true. I only really needed to move the Miamosa to the same system as my mining barge. But when I open the assets summary and see stuff scattered all over it makes my brain itchy. So I spent a while flying here and there gathering up all my scattered assets. Which was a little easier as for most of them I could just rock up in my Amarr industrial transport and throw everything in the hold. Now flying back and forth to satisfy a weird desire to have everything in one place (for nearly two fucking hours!) is not particularly fun so once I was done I actually ended up taking a break.
Yesterday’s OCD extravaganza was definitely a mistake, while I’m ultimately glad I did it ended up just pissing me off, driving me into the waiting and revived arms of Diablo 3. My plans for mining glory just didn’t seem as attractive as the siren call of better loot. I only logged into my main once today, just to set up my skill queue. Which is definitely one of my favourite things about EVE. I also decided to sort out my wonky alt account and created an Amarr pilot so it would end up actually useful to me if I decided to go with it.
I was really back into Diablo 3 in a big way and didn’t log in at all today. As I touched upon in the last paragrapgh EVE’s skill training is great. Even when you’re not playing your character is improving (the downside being that as its real-time there’s no way to make extra effort = faster improvement). I like it because normally when playing a subscription based game there is an odd guilt in the back of your head when you play something else. As if you were “cheating” on the subscription game, or at a more mercenary level, not getting your moneys worth. I find that EVE’s real-time continuous skill training system helps to alleviate that guilt.