Friday, 30 November 2012

Day 160 : Milestones & Millstones

I got an in game mail the other day from a pilot named E’dyn. Apparently the blog had inspired him to “get of his lazy ass and start doing things myself”. It’s great to hear that someone actually reads (and enjoys) the stuff I pour out but in this case it was doubly welcome because I realised that I too had once again been sat on my lazy ass.

Again I'd fallen into the "future trap" where either the skill queue or long term plans caused me to pause any other activities I wanted to pursue. Looking for the cause my suspicion fell instantly on my old foe the skill queue, particularly when I’m involved in managing the grind to escape the Noob Tax (see day 157). When I thought about it further I realised that it wasn’t just the skill queue, but actual plans that were underway and another trap I’ve invented for myself, the Milestone.

I’ve done this before in games where I think “If I can just do X then I can mark that off as doable in future if I need to”. The main milestone I had in mind was reaching that figure of a billion ISK. This is a hilariously bad milestone partly since my easiest source of income stems from mining so I end up doing a lot of that, and msly because all the ISK building up could be in the market working for me and I’m not doing that. I don’t mind mining, I tend to get a lot done both in game and reading outside the game while doing it. Multiple monitors is a must since T2 strip miners are going to need a target swap on most runs and I find ALT-TABing around multiple screens to be annoying. I end up planning a lot while mining, so it becomes a kind of milestone feedback loop, generally adding new plans or further milestones to an already stupid one. For example: the cost/benefit analysis, after the Retribution launch, of running with a couple of salvage drones vs a couple of mining drones and leaving defence to just three scout drones. It depends on the spawn rate of rats and how many mining drones you lose (since the favourite meal of a rat is apparently a mining drone).

Another milestone was invention. I want to produce a T2 blueprint by myself. This would probably end up being uneconomic for actual production with my current skills but I wanted to produce it nonetheless. This became entwined with yet another milestone: setting up a research POS. The POS wouldn’t be necessary for a one of invention job, its easy enough to find hi sec slots for both this and blueprint copying. Being an obsessive however means that I like to do things myself and in this case add some sweet, sweet Material Efficiency into the mix. If you've ever tried to do ME research on a blueprint, you'll have seen the queues for the NPC station slots. Need I say more? Ok. I wanted my own space station. It doesn't have to do anything, it just has to be there.
All this led to a standings grind to 6.0 so I could anchor a POS in 0.6 space. 

At one point during this grind I decided an easy gain would be to repeat the Sisters of EVE Epic Arc, which you can do once every three months. This would be a) less boring that hammering level III distribution missions, b) safer than level 4 security missions and c) fast d) full of easy rewards and e) cheaper than buying the more expensive Serpentis tags. In the end I sped through the entire arc without really following the story. Most of the opponents were alpha’d from a full rack meta 4 rail fit Catalyst. Until the last mission, I hardly had to move once in deadspace. It was a waste since I treated the entire thing as a grind which when playing a game for enjoyment is equivalent to doing nothing at all.

Yet another milestone involved with standings grinds involves getting to 8.0 with someone so they’ll allow me to store a jump clone. A jump clone would take my mind off losing any implants if I went on another RvB ganked roam or spent a weekend roaming around low sec. I’ve been delaying PVP until I get it. Massive error. Since I only have +3 implants, and only two of those due to the Perception/Willpower focus following Noob Tax, the loss wouldn’t be that much at all. Certainly not enough to stop me doing things as I have. Idiot.

So can I escape these milestones turned to millstones around my neck? Not really. It’s in my nature to plan ahead like this and EVE as a game encourages you to do so. I enjoy reaching the milestones so why should I stop, however uneconomical or pointless? The real answer is to enjoy the journey, look around, do stuff on the way there, spend a little more time getting there in order to make the trip more interesting. Basically I need to go out and shoot stuff more, in ever crazier fit ships.

Plans for the future then :

  • Convert rocks into oodles of ISK
  • Invent a T2 blueprint
  • Anchor a POS
  • Get a jump clone
  • Ignore all the above and lurk in low sec in northern Essence looking for easy kills. Come say hi.  Preferably in a really badly fit and fragile ship.

To this I’m adding :

  • Visit the EVE Gate
  • More exploration (both the seeing stuff type, and the “probe then hack that can and run” type)
  • Start Planetary Interaction trial runs on the alt instead of just thinking about it.
  • Try Ice Mining (also uneconomical for me at the moment and even duller than rock mining but it has to be tried at least once.)
  • I may also try some ninja salvaging. I want to try this with salvaging drones after the 4th but that would just mean I’ve found another reason to put off something I can do now.

Along with my long running “scheme”:

Making stuff. Half of this is just the achievement of building things myself, collecting  BPO’s (my addiction), and marshalling the materials through the market (mining currently just being treated as raw ISK input). I like doing this but the way I feel about it has been covered recently, and more entertainingly, here I’m a long way from making my own Orca but I’ll get there. I build my own frigates and destroyers. I am looking forward to building the new destroyers in Retribution and maybe even speculating on some useful modules to do with a couple of those destroyers and one of those frigates.

Finally, as you can tell from the above, I have a bag load of little plans and schemes to do with Retribution because when you’ve learned your lesson about sitting around waiting for the fruition of future plans what you really want to be doing is making more plans for an expansion that you can sit down and have a good wait for.

I’d be interested to hear of other plan style traps anyone else has fallen into. If it turns out that it is just me that does this then I can crawl back under my rock and never talk about planning ahead again.

EVE Track of the Day

The Importance of Being Idle - Oasis

NOTE : This is day 160 written from 169. It’s been a busy old time and I need to catch up on the blogging.

PS. For future reference when I say “planning ahead” with reference to myself it probably means “Don’t do today what you could put off until tomorrow or indeed so far away it won’t fit on a calendar”.

PPS.  Cheers to E’dyn for returning the favour of provoking the getting off of lazy asses.


  1. For he Jumpclones you might want to use Estel Arador ( worked like a charm for me.

  2. An alternative way to go about getting a jump clone would be finding a Rorqual pilot in lowsec willing to let you use their clone vats to make one. There might be some services for this on the forums.

  3. Another vote here for EACS, free and easy. I trained Infomorph Psychology to IV, joined EACS, set up four clones around Perimeter/Amarr then rejoined my corp. Is one of the first things I do when setting up a new alt.

  4. /bows you're welcome!

    I've actually gotten myself a Cheetah and been exploring with it. And bought myself a few dozen frigates and fits for them, put them in a station near low and now I just have to start roaming (losing them).

  5. I was so excited to try ice mining when I did. This one person in Rookie Chat kept babbling about how she was making something crazy like 70 odd mil every few hours.

    I thought that mining ice would be like plucking fully minted gold bars from space and putting it directly in the wallet.

    Then I tried it.

    I think my grand total is around 40 cubes of Ice mined over my entire career. Then I got sick in the corner and gave it up.

  6. Hey, Uriel here who mailed you a long time ago about setting up that public channel :)
    By now I am safely ice mining away in the Branch region (Going to need a freighter to move ice blocks to a station with a refinery though.) Going to set up PI for pos fuel and materials to make stuff like rocket fuel for T2 missiles.
    Running a small research pos with 3 labs and doing ME/PE/copying/invention. Althouguh I have to haul in a lot more bpo's to produce all the parts needed for T2 and I haven't looked at how to get the needed moon materials.

    You really need a jump freighter or carrier in nullsec. One station has a refinery, the system with ice belt has a factory, and a third system has medical facilities and my pos.
    If you only fit & fly T1 stuff you can be selfsufficient in null. Else you will probably need assistance.