Curse you, Captain Market!

Well… we as the WH and nullsec miners of Eve have kinda screwed ourselves over with this. Most nerds players who read this blog probably already know why mega prices are currently in the hypothetical shitter of a race of toilet-people, but for those who enjoy shooting things in their spare time, let me give a general summary. I’m not a marketeer, but I like to think of myself as knowing at least a little.

6 Month Megacyte Prices

Insurance on everything T1 is essentially a cap on how low mineral prices can fall, because once the mineral and manufacturing costs of say, a Drake goes below that threshold, industrialists blow their products up for ISKies. The clever way the eve economy has found around this little cap is an overflow of mega and zyd, via WH space and nullsec.

There are two three types of miners, the risky miner, the safe miner, and the macro miner. The safe miner is content to sit in highsec and mine veldspar all day, safe(mostly) and making reliable ISK. The risky miner goes to WH space or nullsec and mines the best ore. The macro miner sits and mines veld automatically in a way so nerfarious that it’s undetectable by CCP.

In any case, this system used to work because there was not very much ABC avaliable. Miners had two choices, to mine in highsec or join a nullsec alliance that operated deep in nullsec for ABC. Then came Apocrypha, with its WHs. Initially, the combatants of Eve went in and carved a oily swath through the sleeper population, idly noting the presence of ABC roids amist the floating sleeper arms and limbs that they grafted together to make T3 cruisers.

After Mr. Wizz-bang-shooty-fun had essentially reduced the sleeper population into little flying bags of ISK with Hadoken beams, Mr. Industrialist perked up his ears at the mentions of ABC. And so the miners who were given a choice between working for peanuts and working for nullsec alliances chose….rapture I mean WH mining.

After the first few tentative steps in which the miners learned how not to die, stopped using T2 rigs and faction boosters on their mining vessels, they started mining. Quite a bit. This mining operation reached full swing about the same time Dominion came out, and with it nullsec roids. Not ordinary nullsec roids, however. These roids… were infinite. In all fairness, WH roids are infinite too, if you know how to work it.

So essentially, everyone who was bored with highsec mining(90% of the highsec mining population, excluding macro miners) went to the new nullsec belts or W-space, and about…half of them got shot to hell so quickly and efficiently that they went straight back to highsec. Those who remained, with large piles of the best roids in Eve, quickly turned those into large piles of ISK, so quickly that they were having to import Tritanium from highsec to build stuff, which was viable because they could spend an hour mining Bistot and buy three hours worth of Tritanium.

Unfortunatley, the WH miners, being unable to focus on making ships because of lack of stations, safety, ectera, couldn’t make ships, so they carted their mega and zydrine to Jita and sold it, possibly more than the market could handle, at about the same time that tritanium was being bought in droves by the nullsecers. All of this has shifted the balance of nullsec/highsec ores towards tritanium, increasing it’s worth until enough people say “f- it” to null and WH mining to increase the rarity of mega and zydrine so the price goes back up so people go back into WHs and nullsec so the price goes back down so….

ect, ect, ect.

So, who here that mines in null or WH is gonna wuss out first? ABC prices have dropped to about 60% of what they were last summer, and the price is gonna keep goin down. Or it won’t. Or maybe it will. Who knows?

6 Month Zydrine Prices

All I know is, I’m not moving from W-space. They’re no rats here, no can flippers, and the roids don’t explode after two or three cycles. You control who can come in and out of your WH, to a degree, and wardecs mean nothing. My corp’s in a wardec atm, and we’re still mining away juuust fine, w/ rorqual support even. It’s everything nullsec, but without a cap fleet breathing down your neck.


January Screenshot Collection

January was the month of new ships for my characters. My main got into a Thanatos (Gallente Carrier) while my alt got into an Obelisk (Gallente Freighter). Here are some screenshots of their maiden voyage, mining in WH space (as always), and some attempted ganks by WH pirates.

  1. New Obelisk heading out of The Forge link
  2. Sleipnir stealing Arkonor from our jetcans after a failed gank link
  3. Mining a 150,000 unit Bistot roid link
  4. Tengu, Megathron, and Drake taking on sleepers in a C3 link
  5. Three Mobile Medium Warp Disruptor I‘s around a WH link
  6. A Helios approaching a Lava Planet link
  7. Route back to Jita from deep in 0.0 link
  8. Oneiros remote repping 3x ships during a WH camp link
  9. Gank during the onlining of a Large POS link
  10. ECM fun with a corpmate link
  11. Pretty POS shot in front of a planet link
  12. 5 Hulks and 1 Orca on a Arkonor roid link

Let me know if a monthly screenshot collection is something you guys want to see as a continuing feature.


Directional: How not to die

For those of you who don’t know, in WH space local chat is delayed. This basically means that if someone is in system with you, you don’t know unless you tell a joke so good that they type “lol” in local out of habit, or they uncloak in a stealth bomber and launch a bomb at your unsuspecting self. Considering that, again, anyone and everyone can and will try to kill you, you need to have an alternate method to detecting other players before they sneak up on you and give you a prostate exam with an interdictor, hence your directional scanner.

Most miners, highsec and nullsec, don’t give two units of tritanium about the directional scanner. If there’s someone in local, and they’re red, run, if not, keep mining, or get in a battleship.

I can only assume that the other denizens of other places besides WH don’t care about the directional either.

Anyway, the directional scanner works like a local chat, if you bought said local chat secondhand at a flea market from a dude with a shotgun and basset hound. It can’t see cloaked ships, only has an effective range of 14 AU, and, most damning of all, has to manually be pinged for new information.

If you ping your directional with active overview turned on, you’ll see whatever ships, etcetera are within 14 km of you. If you turn off “active overview settings”, then you get EVERYTHING within 14 AU of you, including moons, planets, and every single PoS module your tower has.

You may be asking why you’d ever want to turn off active overview settings, which seems reasonable at first, but shrivels away into idiocy with two key points:
Point one: By the time you see a ship on the scanner, you’re already dead.
Point two: Unless you turn your active overview setting off, you can’t see scan probes.

Scan probes are a very, very important thing to see on the directional.
The only way for someone to find and kill you is by using scan probes, the directional can see scan probes, there’s no problem, right?

Nope.

Because of mining drone’s giant sig radius, and a hulks moderate sig radius, it’s fairly easy to find a hulk. This means that you, as a miner/sleeper killing dude, need to be very, very on the ball when it comes to scanning the directional. Or you die. Maybe not immediately, maybe not in a few days, but It’s almost guaranteed when you find yourself in a bubble you weren’t watching the scanner.

Of course, a jerk could, hypothetically, scan out a grav site, then come back in a combat ship a few hours later and gank whoever mining with no warning whatsoever, or have such good scan skills that he pins you w/ probes @ 16 AU or some way to counter the directional scanner.

The downside to having active overview settings turned off, which I’ve stated before, is that it picks up all the planets, moons, ectera nearby, making it hard to pick out probes. This is somewhat countered by a strategy I developed of watching the little scrolly bar on the right side of the directional box. If the thing changed, I scrolled through the box to see if scan probes had appeared. If the size didn’t change, I assumed I got to live another five seconds.


Crazy Genius!

is what I’d like to refer to myself to as, but with my current self-esteem issues the closest I can get is “Lucky Idiot” in that most of my incredibly stupid ideas work out in an awesome way. I think this is the result of my analytical mind complimented with Attention Deficit Disorder, so I think of crazy ideas, then make them plausable, then convey them in a humorous enough way that everyone is attracted enough to actually think about it and maybe do it, see my afterburner/orca and ECM hulk ideas.

Alright, the ECM hulk didn’t work out very well, but my idea to fit low-friction nozzles to help us run away faster instead of cargo optimizers was a great idea and now everyone in our WH has them >.>

My point is, most of these ideas are gems while a goodly percent turn out to be ridiculous. With that in mind, here is my latest silly idea:

Because all the gankers in hulkageddon need minerals to buy ships to kill us, let’s hold off on selling minerals for a week or two. This may actually help megacyte’s current price.

No, that isn’t actually my idea nor the idea I had in mind. THAT idea is, *drumroll*, Static WH mining.

People will say that WH space is completely random and silly, and use the analogy that K-space is an empty glass and WH space is a pile of BBs you just poured into the glass. And you enjoy shaking the glass every 24 hours and listening to the people living in the BBs curse.
Anyway, that’s not necessarily true. WH space is really like a three dimensional series of orbiting spheres interlocking, rotating at different speeds, which, if someone ever actually mapped that thing, would look insanely beautiful and would probably help a lot of WH miners and such.
Oh look, there goes my brain, feeling euphoric at the possibility of learning how to program something like that.
Anyway, what that analogy was talking about is that some/all WHs have static links, I.E. whenever you scan, you are guaranteed to find a WH leading to that type of exit. If the WH leading to that type closes through whatever means, a new link will be established to another WH of that type.

Another bit you need to understand is site despawning. Once you completely shoot/mine/explore the crap out of any specific site, it vanishes next downtime. As you do whatever to more and more sites in one specific WH, the sites spawn slower and slower until you’re stuck sitting there watching Stargate SG-1 reruns until a new grav spawns in a week or so.

Anyway, here’s my idea: Since we’re currently in a C5 with a static C6, why not mine the gravs in the static? That way, we’ll never run outta sites and have nigh infinite ore available. Here’s how I think this will play out:
We find a C6.
We move an orca and a few BSs into the WH, the Orca sets up a PoS with some guns while the BSs open a grav site.
The BS pilots go back to the pos in the C5 and get hulks(or Covetors) and mine in the C6, while the orca pickups and drops the ore in the small pos corp hangar, and once the op is done, the miners use T1 industrials to haul the ore out through the WH to preserve the integrity.
The orca has scan ships and/or a probe launcher fitted in case of the second worst case scenario or less:
Worst case scenario: we lose 6 Covetors and a fully insured Orca. Losses: not very much.
Second worst case scenario: we lose the mining ships and the orca gets locked down in the small pos, attackers wait it out and close the link to the C6 from the C5.
Counter: the orca warps to a safespot and cloaks/and or logoffskis. Logon/decloak later and scan an exit.
Note that this has to be done AS the hulks are being destroyed >.>

Stupid idea? Really stupid idea? Stopped reading halfway through because of the stupidity? Genius idea? Already thinking of ways to counter it? Tell me!

P.S. Orca with a scan ship fitted to it… hehe… that gave me an image of an Orca with a buzzard welded to the side…

Edit: corp mate gave me the idea of using a BC for boosting in hostile WHs, eliminating the need for a PoS and reducing losses, if an itty V, myrm and 6 covetors are use for mining, to…lessie…
6 covetors: 10 mil to fully insure
1 myrmadon: 30 mil.
1 rigged itty V: 30 mil
so 120 mil if we get completely screwed, compared to
6 hulks: 1.2 bil
rigged orca: 400 mil
so 120 mil minimum risk for obscene profits.


Hulkawhat?

Warning: contains small amounts of miner whine. Drink responsibly.

So, apparently Hulkageddon II or whatever started today, or yesterday, depending on what time zone you live in, what time zone it was based off, I really wasn’t paying much attention.

Sometimes, I really like mining in WH space. Sure, someone could kill you at any moment, but the chance of it happening is much, much less than two dudes drunk in catalysts alpha striking your ass back down to covetor, financially, while giving them enough ISK from insurance and your modulated strips to do it all again to the point of organizing a contest based around screwing dudes over.

So, some dude said one day “Hey, let’s make other people’s lives miserable and hide it behind a facade of killing macrominers, requesting that the insurance system be fixed, and the words ‘arr’ and ‘allah ackbar'”. And apparently, all the people who joined him on this had so much fun that they said they should have a second one. Which they did. And then they kicked a puppy to get the puppy to whimper at them while they kicked his puppy friends too.

I know that mining barges, are, by design if not name, mining ships. I know that since they far outstrip(Pun intended) all other ships in terms of sheer minage ability. But does that really mandate a complete lack of defensive abilities and less offensive capacity than a tech one frigate?

A hulk has, base, approximately 7k EHP. You can tank that to the point that it can hold against most nullsec rats without much expense or spend a hellovalot and get it to tank all nullsec rats, but you won’t because the only reason you’d do that is if you either didn’t have a combat ship in the null system or you wanted to AFK in nullsec, two choices that would immediately drop-kick you back to a starting systems.

I know that I’m not the first person to whine about this, but when I get warp scrambled in a hulk, I take my hands off the keyboard. There is absolutely nothing I can do, offensive or defensive, that will prolong the combat enough for anyone friendly to step in and save me. Attempts at fitting an ECM hulk have gone horribly, since the ONE situation where I was in a situation where a hulk was being tackled, I locked the offending Loki, engaged the ECM and watched as absolutely nothing happened.

The concept of a Hulk is, bluntly, a ship that’s slow as hell, tankless as hell, unoffensive as hell, slow to align as hell, with basically every possible stat set to the lowest and boosting mining ability to the very highest.

Am I crazy, or does anyone else think that a Hulk, currently a 190 mil ship, shouldnt be able to be killed for under a mil, reward the killer with 7 mil, on average, worth of modules and payout 4-10 mil, depending on insurance, to the killed?

I mean, hell, letting strip miners do some damage would mollify me. It wouldn’t have to be much damage, just enough for me to think “HA, I can hurt you a little before I explode” instead of “Oh, I’m scrammed. Time to make a sandwich”.

I realize that I’ve kinda shot myself in the foot for almost ignoring the hulk’s dronebay, but when was the last time you felt threatened by five hobgoblins?

Alright, that would be a bit threatening…. Checking EFT, five hobgoblin IIs is…85 dps for me. So, in the fifteen seconds it takes to kill me, I can seriously threaten anyone with 1240 EHP or less. Boo.

Also, I’m sure this question has been asked and answered, but why kill miners? Be forewarned, any answer that sounds like “FOR MINER TEARS LIKE THIS ONE YUM YUM SLURP SLURP” or similar will be met with extended metaphors talking about kicking a puppy to listen to the whines. Dude, why would you kick a puppy? Unless it was a pomeranian one. That, I could sympathize with. For the non-dog-fanatics, Pomeranians are the small yappy dogs that are balls of fur with a face, bred for long, silky hair and a tendency to bark at anything percieved as a threat. Which is everything. Which gets EXTREMLY annoying when you’re the neighbor of someone with not one, but two Palmeranians that won’t shut up at one in the morning.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, we just got the first snow of the season so I shall be trying to carve a snow-hulk.

Edit: first attempt went horribly, as did later attempts to make a snow-capsule.