Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Surviving Low Security Space: Bookmarks Part 1

Low security space tends to have a reputation of being a very dangerous place in New Eden. This lawless space is frequented by capsuleers interested in one thing, destroying other capsuleer ships. Low security space is any system in New Eden rated as 0.1 to 0.4, the lower the more dangerous it is. The reason low security space, or low sec which it is commonly called, can be such a dangerous place is the fact CONCORD do not police these systems. The only form of enforcement of laws by the empires are by sentry guns which are commonly found anchored near stargates.

So any capsuleer interested in surviving low sec must learn several important techniques used to enhance their chance of survival. This post will cover one such technique using a feature available to all capsuleers called a bookmark. Bookmarks are a way a capsuleer can save the location of a place and be able to use the bookmark to know how to return to the location. Bookmarks can be created and found in the People & Places menu which can be opened by your side bar. The People & Places menu has three tabs which are Contacts, Agents, and Places. We are interested in the Places tab which would show all our current booksmarks, if you have any, as well as any bookmarks created by your corporation.

The menu is very helpful to record places like the location of major trade hubs, super secret starbases, and many other places. Now how do bookmarks help us in surviving low sec? One important feature of the bookmark is the ability to save the location of any place in space where you can fly your ship to, this includes anomalies and exploration sites, positions in a battlefield, or in the middle of nowhere. These places in space can help a capsuleer quickly move around to avoid (or engage) danger.  So to create a bookmark in space, open up your People & Places menu while in space and click the Add Location button. Another menu should appear asking you to name the place and which folder to save the bookmark in. Write a helpful name and save the bookmark. You should now have a bookmark of a place in space which you can warp to. Just be sure to be 150 km or greater away from the place to be able to warp to it.

Instant undock bookmarks

Time to use bookmarks to increase our chance of survival! One of the first activities any capsuleer should do when calling a new station their home (or even temporary home) is to create instant undock bookmarks. These are bookmarks created 150 km or more away (most of the time extremely far away) from the undock of a station. The reason they are called instant undock is because as soon as your ship undocks, your ship is going at enough speed to allow it to warp away. So with a carefully placed bookmark, your ship will be able to instantly warp off from the station as you undock, avoiding those nasty station campers! So how to create an instant undock bookmark? First undock your ship and go full speed ahead until you get to the distance away from the station where you want to save the bookmark. Sometimes your ship will drift a bit in the direction it is heading which can cause bookmarks from long distances to be not aligned with the undock, to fix this it is common to immediately stop your ship as you undock and then go back to full speed and make your bookmark.

So what is the best distance away from the station? It is generally recommended the farther the better, but keep in mind if your initial alignment was wrong, it would take your ship a slightly bit longer to align to warp off. So ideally any bookmark "off grid" is a good choice. The grid includes the space up to 250 km away from your ship, objects located in this grid will appear in your overview, while objects off grid do not appear in the overview. The grid can be manipulated to increase its range allowing people to be sighted from greater distances. So generally 300-350 km or more is recommended to create an off grid bookmark. The problem with an instant undock bookmark within the grid of the station is they are easier to be found by other capsuleers, which means a smart enemy will create their own bookmark at around the same location and lay a trap for you. I recommend creating multiple bookmarks, allowing you to alternate locations and always have different choices of escape in case your bookmarked location has been discovered.

Now to use your newly created bookmark! First have your bookmark be easily accessible, you want to warp to the bookmark location as soon as possible when undocking. You may do this by having the People & Places window open, opening a bookmark folder (right click the bookmark folder and click open group window), or be quick with your right clicking in space. When your ship undocks, your ship is temporarily invulnerable until your ship moves or 30 seconds have passed. This should give you enough time to decide whether the situation is clear or to use your instant undock bookmark. Now within those 30 seconds, warp to your bookmark. You may choose different warp to distances away from the bookmark to help keep any possible enemies guessing your location. Now that you have warped off the station, you are free to go on with your business, ignoring those pesky station campers!

The next part of the guide will cover creating bookmarks in safe spots and instant dock bookmarks.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Manufacturing for Pioneers

After joining back up with the Pioneers in the new region, I was fortunate to already have plenty of assets leftover from my original solo pioneering near by. So my first challenge was to move those minerals, modules, and ships to the new manufacturing base station. The solution to moving all these items? Industry ships, specifically Gallente's Kryos class and Nereus class ships. The Kryos class ship has a special mineral bay, allowing me to haul all my minerals. The Nereus class ship has a smaller cargo hold but is quite agile allowing me to quickly transport my goods around. The mission was easy and I faced no danger.

With all my materials and Blueprints moved to our new home, I decided to start working on building ships. My main focus was on mining equipment which means Venture class ships will be the first ones to be made. I produced 5 Ventures which quickly sold, so I produced 10 more to be sold on the market. Plenty minerals were left over, I decided to expand to producing more frigates. These frigates will be put on contracts just for the members of New Eden Pioneers. Other members are offering services as well, one member is wanting to purchase ore mined and to sell ships back to members. I wonder how successful such a service will be for a Pioneer, most members already have the ability to manufacturer ships using the ore they mined so why would they need to sell their ore? I am hoping to provide some competition and might begin offering to buy minerals, ore, and loot dropped by pirates.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Long overdue update on the situation

So this will be an update on the Pioneers of New Eden,  a lot has happened since the last post. Within the corporation, there was a discussion of creating separate corporations based on the various activities capsuleers of our empire would do. This was something I envisioned would happen eventually, miners will open mining corporations, combat pilots will create a navy, and ship manufacturers will open shipyards. The capsuleer I have assigned as a director for the corporation decided to open the mining corporation. Everyone acted too quickly and it was later determined to be a bad idea of separating the young corporation this early.

So the director who created the mining corporation quickly closed it and joined back with the main Pioneers. I was not available during the time to give back his director powers and he issued a CEO vote to make him CEO of the corporation. Three hours after the vote was initiated, I logged in and now had no CEO powers. This resulted in the corporation having no power to do anything for 2 days. He lost the vote for CEO and I was suppose to get my powers back, but this was not the case. I waited a day to see if the powers will return, they did not. So I then resigned as CEO to give it to the director so we can quickly sort things out. Turned out he was then going on vacation... So I then had to do another CEO vote to get my powers back.

During this time, the corporation was useless, no one was able to get new titles to get access to hangars. Also happening at the same time was the decision to try and make a more democratic corporation. We were holding an election for officer positions, including positions like CEO. Without my knowledge during this time of no power, several members decided to form a new corporation to allow them to continue working together. I noticed the mails about joining a new corporation and I decided to just focus on real life events for a bit, I wanted observe how the members will organize this new corporation.

After finally finishing up on real life responsibilities, I checked up on the new corporation. The new corporation, New Eden Pioneers, decided to move to an entirely different region, a region which I quite enjoy.  New Eden Pioneers have also decided to join up with an alliance, something I am not too happy about, but it does provide more protection and activities which the Pioneers can engage in. So I joined back up with the Pioneers as a regular member, I hope to see how the corporation succeeds with a new leadership as I have failed to properly lead.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Manufacturing and the hunger for megacyte

Several of the members of Pioneers of New Eden have decided to band together to start a manufacturing division mostly aimed at getting the corporation members into combat vessels. It is exciting to see members beginning to group up and organize activities together. The next divisions which will need to be created soon is a mining division to help supply minerals to these manufacturers. I plan to assist miners by continuously pumping out Venture-class frigates and offering them on contracts for the corporation with an exchange of minerals or possibly other items.

Something I anticipated of the members of the corporation is for the hunger of the megacyte mineral. Megacyte is a valuable mineral used in the construction of many items in New Eden, especially large ships and modules. Unfortunately, ore which contain megacyte can only be found in null security space or in space hidden in wormholes. The only other option in low security space to attain megacyte is by reprocessing modules found in the wreckage of pirate ships. This is something which I was able to accomplish alone when I settled in the Aridia region. For a growing empire, the amount of megacyte obtained by reprocessing modules would probably not satisfy the empire's hunger. This hunger for megacyte will likely push our corporation's boundaries to null security space, allowing our empire to grow.

Friday, April 4, 2014

First week of the settlement

It has been about a week since the original plan to construct a new empire was announced. In that week, a very brave team of capsuleers have been recruited to lay down the foundations for this new empire. A lot has happened and many ships have been lost in the darkness of space, but we pioneers will keep pushing towards accomplishing our goals. The current status with the local pirates is pretty mixed, there are times when they actively hunt us and others where we can freely mine in safety. They just might help this young corporation harden up and learn to survive against the many dangerous and ruthless enemies we might face in our future.

One common question asked to us pioneers is what should we bring to join your settlement? To give a good example of what to bring, I will go over what I and several of our members have brought with them. I started the same way I did when I settled alone in the Aridia region, it worked really well for me there. I brought a single Venture-class frigate fitted with a couple of tech 2 modules and drones to be able to quickly gather my first mineral supplies. In the cargo hold of the Venture-class, I carried with me many blueprints for ships which I believe would benefit in the area of space where we would settle. The ship blueprints I brought over for our settlement in Solitude, included a Venture-class frigate and all Gallente frigates. I also brought blueprints that then compliment these ships which include mining lasers, blasters, armor, drones, ammunition, and various other blueprints for exploration and other jobs.

Now for what some of our other members brought which include some different methods. On the very challenging side, some members brought nothing but a starter ship. I wish those very brave members good luck! Some other members decided to target the side of PvE, bringing their preferred frigate sized combat vessel to combat the local Serpentis pirates. They trade their ability to mine early for the very valuable profession of gathering items dropped by pirates. Those items possess stronger stats then the current items we would be able to build as well as sometimes containing the very valuable mineral megacyte. The most common ship brought over by members is the Venture-class frigate, which I personally believe is the best ship to bring. The Venture-class ship has the innate ability of escaping danger as well as mining a lot of ore required to build more ships. These abilities help the early pioneer to quickly mine enough ore to build their next ship as well as a chance to escape threat in low security space. On the blueprints brought over, many members have chosen to bring their favorite ship blueprint as well as some ammo and modules for the ship. Gallente related blueprints like ships and blasters are not required to be brought over because near by stations seed them. So for those interested in joining us but unsure of what we do, check out my earlier entries for when I settled in Aridia. You may also read from other fellow pioneers on their blog listed on the side to learn what they might of brought and what they have done so far.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to organize an empire?

The organization and management of a corporation is an important part of making a successful corporation. So one of my first duties was to appoint several capsuleers to position of power to assist me in managing the corporation. After appointing several capsuleers, the discussion turned to how to organize the corporation, especially considering possible growth in the future. Several members and I devised splitting the main activities a capsuleer participates in as divisions in the corporation. The main activities include mining, manufacturing, combat against capsuleers (PvP), and combat against pirate factions (PvE), and trade. So a miner would be a capsuleer who is interested in using their mining vessel to harvest ore from asteroids. The manufacturer is the capsuleer in charge of producing the ships, modules, and ammunition used by everyone. Combat against other capsuleers are the duties of the militia member who protect the other groups from the dangers of the empire. The bounty hunter hunts down the local pirate factions collecting bounties posted by CONCORD as well as picking up materials in wreaks to sell to others. The trader buys and sells various good between the various settlements of the empire. Finally the citizen is a member of the empire but is not interested in specializing in any area. These roles seem interesting on paper, but would they work in practice? We might very well test them in the future.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Life in Paradise

Second day with the corporation in our new home. Apparently the negotiation didn't hold well over night. It didn't take long for a neutral Crow-class Caldari Interceptor (An ex-member of the pirate corporation) to start tracking me down while mining. He failed to hold my Venture-class frigate and I was able to escape. It took them two covert op frigates to find me and hold my Venture-class frigate to blow it up. So diplomacy with locals might not always be possible. The corporation will need to evaluate the situation and make a decision on what to do.
Peaceful mining in low sec
The system later became pretty quiet, pirates do eventually get bored. So our members went out and started to mine and destroy some local Serpentis pirate ships. I managed to get a lot of ore which I will put towards making more ships to replace a lot of our current and future losses.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The beginning of an Empire

After about a month of successfully living in low security space, it was decided to expand this project to include other fellow capsuleers with similar interests. The idea was advertised using this post on the Eve subreddit. We banded together and created a new corporation called the Pioneers of New Eden. The plan was simple, find a reasonable system to settle in and move members with supplies to begin working. The majority of the initial members made it safely to the system where some proceeded to mine safely in low security space. Unfortunately the safety did not last very long, several of the local pirates have taken notice of our movement and activity and began to harass our members. Our first mining operation was interrupted by several Catalyst-class vessels, a very powerful Gallente destroyer, destroying two Ventures and even a bystander. The pirates then began to camp our headquarters preventing our members from leaving the station. I was able to freely move around thanks to several bookmarks I recorded in my logs, even able to easily mine some ore in the asteroid belts. The corporation needs some training in how to survive and escape threats in low security space, something which should be first taught to all new recruits. I proceeded to move around in a Velator-class ship, a Gallente frigate issued to all new capsuleers, and a Venture-class ship to scout and mine ore.
Extreme mining in low sec with hostiles in system
Negotiations took place with the pirate corporation to see if a deal can be reached. We managed to strike a deal and aggression should stop for now. The situation needs to be constantly observed to see if relations break down, but I believe things should work for now. It was a pretty rough start, lets see if we can turn things around tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Capsuleer's Log Day 10-11

Not much has happened during these days. My Dragoon-class destroyer, the Partisan, has been successfully destroying Blood Raider pirates roaming the asteroid belts. The Partisan is excelling at destroying pirate battlecruisers allowing me to collect plenty of modules from the wrecks. Battlecruisers and battleships carry medium and large size weaponry, so when I destroy a pirate flying those ships, I am able to salvage those modules. The best part is these modules and ammo contain a high amount of megacyte, the precious mineral I need to keep growing. At the rate I am collecting megacyte, I should be able to comfortably build larger ships soon.
Head on engagement with a Blood Raider battleship

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Capsuleer's Log Day 8-9

After a week of using only frigate sized ships, I finally upgraded to a destroyer. I was able to purchase a destroyer blueprint only several jumps away. So once I have acquired the blueprint, I set out to work on constructing a destroyer. I have chosen to produce a Dragoon-class destroyer, an Amarr destroyer which specializes in the use of drones and energy disruption weapons. The Dragoon-class requires no megacyte to construct which is a huge bonus for me. The Dragoon-class destroyer was named Partisan. With the Partisan, I am able to attack larger targets much more easily including lone battleships. Unfortunately, the Partisan is still no match against the more dangerous pirates and their large fleets. I took the destroyer out and was able to destroy many pirate ships, collecting a lot of vital modules from their wreaks.
My new ship, the Partisan

After destroying several pirates, I retrieved my Sickle to perform salvage duty to acquire materials to construct rigs. I made my first mistake. While busy reading information, a capsuleer entered the system. The capsuleer was flying an interceptor frigate, a very fast frigates used to scout and capture enemy ships. I was quickly captured by the interceptor and could not warp away because the capsuleer had targeted me with a warp disruptor. I attempted an escape when I noticed I was warp disrupted by using the Sickle's micro warp drive to move out of range, the escape failed as the interceptor was able to easily match my speed. So my vessel was quickly destroyed by the interceptor and I managed to warp off in my pod safely to the station. This was my first encounter with a dangerous capsuleer and I made a mistake of not paying attention to my ship sensors. I shall try not to make the same mistake again. 
The Partisan attacking a Blood Raider battleship

Friday, March 7, 2014

Capsuleer's Log Day 4-7

The Boomerang dodging incoming fire
Not much has happened during these days. I continued to roam asteroid belts destroying Blood Raider pirate ships and salvaging the wrecks. It has become really apparent that I need larger ships to be able to expand my activities. A frigate is no match for a majority of the combat sites I have discovered. I did manage to find a Rogue Drone Infestation Sprout, a complex rated by DED to be a 2/10. The DED, Directive Enforcement Department, are a division of CONCORD which often operate outside empire space tracking down the major pirate factions. A low complex rating indicates a criminal facilities with a low difficulty while a higher rating indicates a higher difficulty. Rogue drones are a form of advance artificial intelligent drones created by Gallente researchers which mutated out of control and are able to even self replicate. The complex I discovered was a new hive being constructed for a rogue drone mother. My Tormentor-class frigate, Boomerang, was able to easily destroy all the rogue drones constructing the hive. I need to be able to discover more sites with similar difficulty or move on to a more powerful ship.

An under construction Rogue Drone hive

Monday, March 3, 2014

Capsuleer's Log Day 3

A new vessel was constructed overnight, a Magnate-class frigate. The role of a Magnate-class frigate is to be used for exploration, the ship has traits allowing it to excel in scanning and hacking. I christen my new frigate the Sickle. Magnate-class frigates also have a bonus towards using salvager modules, which should prove useful later. I then set out to do some exploration in my home system. I managed to scan down both a relic and a data site, grabbing several salvage material and a blueprint copy for a ship module.
Launch of the Sickle
 I also flew the Boomerang several times to attack Blood Raider ships hiding out amongst the asteroid fields. After destroying them, I would bring in the Sickle to salvage the wreaks in hopes of gathering enough materials to construct rigs to modify and improve my vessels. Enough material was salvaged to build a rig which I then started to produce on one of the manufacturing lines. Something else I observed were the anomalies which hide vicious pirates and rogue drones. The overall difficulty of all the anomalies are above of what I expected. A lone frigate would be no match for these combat sites, I may have to relocate to a system with weaker pirates.
The Sickle salvaging a wreak

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Capsuleer's Log Day 2

The day started with the completion of several manufacturing jobs. I built a Tormentor-class frigate which I named the Boomerang. I decided to build a Tormentor-class frigate for its excellent handling of capacitor usage of laser turrets. This trait of the Tormentor-class allows it to use long range beam lasers efficiently without worrying about running out of capacitor. So I equipped the Boomerang with weaponry and defensive modules to go hunt some Blood Raiders. My first task of today was to collect modules from pirate wreaks to reprocess into minerals, specifically for megacyte which is required for me to build additional vessels and modules.
The maiden flight of the Boomerang
After destroying several Blood Raider pirate ships, I encountered a new problem. The Boomerang has taken quite a beating from the local pirates, getting some damage on the armor. Damage to the armor or hull of a ship does not regenerate like the shields, so it must be repaired. My base unfortunately does not offer a repair service. The nearest station with a repair service is several jumps away, a dangerous mission for an already damage ship. Luckily I collected enough megacyte to build an armor repairer which will allow me to repair my damaged armor. My Venture-class frigate, Sandshrew, also got an upgrade of a salvager module to salvage wreaks for material to build rigs to further upgrade my ships. Since I have collected enough megacyte, I was also able to start production on an additional vessel with a new goal for tomorrow. So the day finishes pretty quietly, with production lines working on new items, tomorrow should allow me to do more exploration.
My Sandshrew mining some asteroids and salvaging some wreaks

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Capsuleer's Log Day 1

My journey to low security space has begun. I started from my home system of Olide in the Everyshore region of the Gallente Federation. I had set a route for the Aridia region controlled by the Amarr Empire, making it 21 jumps. The Aridia region was chosen for its numerous low security sectors with very few high security ones. The vessel I took with me is the Sandshrew, a Venture-class frigate of ORE design. A Venture-class ship should be a good choice for the journey with its agility, built in warp core stabilizers, and optimization for mining. My cargo hold is then filled with many blueprints for various ships and modules I believe will prove useful for my survival. Amarr technology is the most prevalent in these blueprints, chosen because of the relative closeness of the Aridia region to the Amarr Empire.

On my route to Aridia, I passed through the Yulai system. Yulai is the headquarters of the CONCORD Assembly, an independent organization to foster relations between the various races as well as provide a policing force throughout New Eden. Yulai apparently held a major importance to early traders of New Eden, being the primary trade hub where capsuleers from the four major empires bought and sold their goods. Yulai's importance was later diminished when the empires decided to change their stargate routes to promote more trade within their boundaries, thus creating the four major trade hubs found in each empire.
Damaged CONCORD headquarters from a battle that took place several years ago
 I made it safely to the Aridia region and found a quiet system to call my new home. My first task was to create bookmarks in space, to be used as places to escape from any hostile capsuleers. Once covered, I then decided to look at the local asteroid belt. Just as I thought, the belts are invested with pirates. One of the first challenges I will need to tackle is the local pirates, in this case being the Blood Raiders. With the Sandshrew, I barely stand any chance against anything larger then a cruiser by using only drones. I will need to selectively pick asteroid fields and avoid gangs of pirate roams. Something else I noticed were several pirates who are involved with clone soldiers. CONCORD has a strong stance against any pirate involved in using clone soldiers for pirating and has put very high bounties and rewards for destroying and returning clone solider tags. These individuals are pretty deadly, I don't believe I will be able to defeat them in combat, so I better avoid them.
Deadly Blood Raider Clone Soldier Negotiator

A decent asteroid belt was found and so I started picking apart asteroids. I need to refine these asteroids into minerals that I can use to build new ships and modules. Mining was quiet peaceful, I was not attacked by any capsuleers. The Sandshrew did have to engage several Blood Raiders, but they were quickly dispatched by my deadly drones. After several ship fulls of ore, I refined them into minerals. Another problem I will face is trying to produce goods which require a certain mineral. The mineral is called megacyte, a very rare mineral which is often found in ore in the depths of null security space. How will I gather the mineral? The easiest way to acquire megacyte is by reprocessing items which were constructed with megacyte. Those pirates I destroyed earlier? They dropped several modules, a couple of them could be reprocessed to produce megacyte. I finished the day by queuing up several production lines with some manufacturing jobs. I will produce a combat vessel which I will fly tomorrow to gather more resources from pirates.
Mining with pirates can be pretty deadly

Friday, February 28, 2014

Purpose of this capsuleer's log

The purpose of this log is to record my findings while exploring and living in sectors deemed low security by the controlling empires of New Eden. The lawless space are systems with a rating between 0.4 and 0.1 security. These low security sectors are often empty or filled with aggressive outlaws who attack without a notice. The outlaws are allowed to roam free in these sectors as CONCORD will not provide protection to capsuleers who venture in.

So the main aspect of the log is to observe the possible habitability of low security space. Currently in New Eden, capsuleers tremendously rely on goods created in high security empire space. Even the mighty alliances which control and wage war in null security space, outside of empire control, still rely on vast networks of logistics to move goods to and from high security space. The question is then, can a capsuleer live in low security or possibly null security zones without having to rely on trade with high security space? The test I will conduct is how I will survive by bringing only a single ship with several blueprints. Thus, I will rely on gathering material only from low security space and will not, under any circumstance, return to high security space. The strategy I will attempt to use is to focus on using ships and modules used by the controlling empire and pirate groups in the region. I suspect a capsuleer can salvage modules from the wreaks of pirate ships to be used on their own vessel.

I hope these logs prove useful (or a warning) for future capsuleers interested in living in these harsh areas.