Saturday, May 28, 2016
Sunday, May 22, 2016
I started a corp buyback program. It is magnificent. And, fittingly, it is called ‘Zappity's Magnificent Buyback Program’. Now that I write it out, I must admit that the title isn't quite as imaginative as I imagined when I thought it up. Still, it gets the point across.
Why am I telling you about this? Well, I have been travelling a LOT lately for work. I can sadly report that the Pacific Ocean is of precisely the same immensity as it has previously been and I wish they would introduce a new and even faster Concorde with an Australia-US leg and also teleportation. Actually, just teleportation would be adequate.
Before I was distracted I was about to say that I have not been much in the mood for PvP. This isn't all bad because I do not like to pretend that PvP is the only thing that I find interesting in EVE. So here is an adventure about breaking into a new market activity.
It was not at all planned. I was messing about in Jita when a ping went out about a change to corporation policy. Apparently, the powers that be had decided to change the corp buyback rate from 90% of Jita buy via evepraisal.com to 70%. This was purportedly to make room for independent marketeers to move into the space and take over but I think it is just because Gobbins is tight.
I looked at my trading corp wallet and saw lots of ISK and thought, “Hey, I could do that”. So I posted in the thread, “Gobbins is tight and is only paying out 70%. I'll do 90%.” And the contracts started rolling in. I didn't want anything too bulky so I initially excluded ore and minerals and PI (which scares me because I don't understand it) but after about a week I had paid out 10B.
Which was far too long in my opinion.
I took a careful look at the forums. There were buyback programs everywhere! This was just unacceptable. If I was going to bother with this thing then I was obviously going to have to crush them all.
I pondered my options. I pondered that I had a reasonably-sized 12-digit war chest, having liquidated a fair chunk of my trading items prior to the release of citadels and the price crash as a consequence of the inevitable liquidity squeeze. I pondered that I could probably manage for a while paying even 100% of the Jita buy price, admittedly with a sadly diminished profit margin. And I pondered that it was easier to retain customers than it was to get new ones.
So I posted that I was now accepting 100% of Jita buyback in Fade. Even more contracts started rolling in! Ha! After a week or so, I dropped the price back to 92%, confident that the general magnificence of the program, the higher payout, and the relatively rapid turnaround that I was managing would encourage people to hang around. I decided to ignore the Querious stations because they were just too far away. And because I was lazy.
Next, however, news went out that Pandemic Horde was moving into Fade properly and, subsequently, abandoning Querious. The corp program was paying 80% on everything. Hmm.
I added Querious to my program at 92% and bought another jump freighter in Amarr. I was still excluding really bulky cheap stuff (PI, ice etc) and was soon unfortunately forced to add non-faction T1 ships to the list. I thought a lot about ‘ISK density’, the curse of jump freighter pilots everywhere. But even excluding these items, I had soon paid out over 150B in Querious and needed to move some of it to Amarr.
I don't like jump fatigue for jump freighters. CCP supposedly likes to support ‘gameplay enablers’. I don't feel particularly supported to be honest. Jump fatigue is awful and frustrating. I understand the point of it - I even understand the need for it - but I don't like the way it feels, especially for a non-combat ship.
Things eventually calmed down in Querious and I was able to turn my attention back to Fade. My main competitor was now offering 93%! Disgraceful! Just the sort of shabby trick you'd expect them to play while I was busy. You just can't trust some people.
In addition to having a troublesome competitor, I had decided expand into ore and minerals. (I have a lot of blueprints, some admittedly more nefariously acquired that others, so I might as well do something useful with them.)
I faced a decision. Should I accept the presence of my feeble, so called competitors? Or should I CRUSH THEM!
Sunday, May 15, 2016
I had been quietly preparing for a move into capital ships for some time. I had already trained up Jump Drive Calibration (the one that increases the range at which you can jump to a cyno) to V along with a pack of support skills and was ready to choose which ship to fly. Of course, I couldn't decide (or, more accurately, I sequentially decided upon most of them) and ended up injecting a whole bunch of skill books. I'm sure they'll come in useful some time.
I was initially most interested in dreadnoughts, imagining that I could fit a Moros (the Gallente one) like a gigantic Incursus and go roaming, swatting my feeble enemies out of the sky like mere flies. To be honest, a solo dreadnought roam is practically inevitable and you will no doubt have a good chuckle at my quite literal expense before long.
But before these dreams of magnificence could be realised, a ping went out to the Pandemic Horde capitals channel (yes, there is such a thing) for carrier practice on Singularity. I logged in.
A fit of dubious quality was linked and I soon found myself undocking a shiny new Nidhoggur. To be honest I didn't really care about the fit - I just wanted to see what the new fighter mechanics were like. But I did notice an interesting new high slot module called the “Networked Sensor Array” which, when activated, greatly increased the carrier’s lock speed.
However, the ability to quickly lock something is not tremendously useful if you do not know how to kill it. I looked intently at my Fighter Bay window, a new variant of the old Drone Bay which looks very fancy. Having successfully remembered to buy some fighters before I undocked, I figured that the first thing I needed to do was drag a bunch of them into the launch tubes. This was pretty straightforward and I was soon dragging stacks of fighters into the appropriate part of the window. They loaded. Success!
Fighters, however, are of limited value while stuck in the launch tube. I figured that the next step was to send them forth to do my evil bidding. There were some nice, big arrows on the launch tubes and, sure enough, my fighters were soon circling my ship. Now, go kill something!
“Stupid fighters”, I thought. “Obviously bugged.” For there is was, hitting ‘F’ as hard as any seasoned drone warrior could hit it, all to no avail. My fighters were stubbornly orbiting my ship instead of going forth to conquer. I examined the interface more closely, just on the slim chance that I was doing something wrong. Ah, the fighter squadrons each had their own little module buttons!
I selected my target, then clicked the fairly obvious ‘go kill it’ button on the first squadron. It went! The squadron also had a ‘go fast’ button which activated a MWD and a particularly interesting ‘kill it faster’ button which unleashed one of a limited salvo of rockets, greatly increasing the damage.
As it transpired, there were three main fighter categories. First, the standard ‘light’ damage fighters have an MWD, a normal damage module, and a limited number of ‘alpha strike’ charges. These worked tremendously well against sub-capitals and, in quantity, against other capitals. Next, there was an anti-fighter class which was designed almost solely to kill other fighters, having an enormous damage buff for this purpose. These ones also had a tackle button to slow down enemy squadrons. Finally, there was a utility class which, depending upon race, would web, jam, point or neut enemy ships.
After playing around for an hour I was marginally less terrible at operating my fighters and decided that the only logical thing to do was to take a carrier on a solo roam of Providence! Unfortunately, the patch had only just dropped and the marketeers were asking the most exorbitant prices imaginable. Disgraceful. And there weren't even any Networked Sensor Arrays available. I was disappointed. But my time will come!