Monday, August 17, 2009

the long sordid blueprint project

I have three accounts. i created the other two shortly after realizing, if i was going to start my own corporation, that i needed blueprints if i was ever going to fulfill my ideal corporate mission of logistical support.
I'm still not sure if it's a viable niche market to break into. lol
Never become a CEO. All your ingame profit gets sucked down this blackhole...this maw of cthulhu like proportions. madness.

To make a long story short, i came upon a low sec system about 10 jumps from my main center of operations which was also a great NPC commodity trade hub for electronic parts. That's another story. I'm pretty much out of that business, even though i've had a freighter for over a year or two.
Kourmonen system (near Mynxee's hangout in Amamake) had the good fortune to be a pirate haven. Good fortune because the MuffinFactory [TORY] corp kept all the lazy carebears away, which means great commodity prices and cheap laboratory slots. Of course, then along came Faction Warfare and the muffinmen left in a huff. Luckily, nothing has really changed for prices/lab slots.

Hourly costs for most of the stations there are 8-10isk (that's massively lower than what you'll find in high sec) and wait times i usually find for material efficiency research to be a week on a good day, with copy slots having less than a week wait.
Time is the killer, so 3 accounts = 9 characters = 90 lab slots going at once. It's enabled me to upgrade a portfolio of tech1 BPOs any industry carebear would drool at.
Sadly, i don't have any battlecruiser BPOs to my name yet. I'm torn between a harbinger and a prophecy. Harby for just plain building it for use, or the prophecy for invention purposes. I'm new to invention, but that's yet another story.

When i first started upgrading blueprints i first found myself lost as characters flew between stations to upgrade or 'deliver' blueprints and i started delivering other characters' bpos and forgetting who had to begin more upgrading.
My second attempt had characters focused on one station, which failed because i only had so many blueprints and got lost in the minutae of what blueprint to put where (sometimes the best way to upgrade was to start your ammo/drone bpos first and work your way up to ships.) Not to mention corporate security loopholes made multiple station keeping a nightmare if you wanted to shift blueprints around at times.
My third try at keeping myself sane was to move all the blueprints to one station and make it my HQ (thus securing my BPOs from potential corp thefts)...that worked out okay since i found i really didn't spend the time to check up on my lab jobs that often, so having increased wait times for upgrades really didn't matter that much (besides it was always dirt cheap)
This evolution took about 3 years..i ended up moving the HQ to the bottom station and creating a rather large petition as completed blueprints disappeared during the change-over.

My final (hopefully) iteration happened about 2 years ago when I shifted my HQ to it's current location in Amod and locked down my entire blueprint collection. The irony is that i know the exact date i did this on because CCP decided in it's wisdom to screw up a patch note that fooled me into thinking this was the perfect time to try 'lockdown', and ended up creating a huge petition mess.
Eventually, everything got sorted and it's fine now. All my original blueprints are locked down in 4 of the 5 stations in the system. I now simply fly my labrat characters between stations upgrading as i see fit. I know enough about pvp and pve now that i can make educated decisions on what and how much to upgrade/copy.

It's even at the point where i have my 'mains' researching my newly purchased BPOs at low sec POS labs i have at my deathstars in Fua. i found the temptation of just one basic mobile lab per tower to be low enough that i'm not painting a big bullseye on my towers (i avoid advanced mobile labs, maintenance bays and corporate hangars like the plague)...besides, my idea of POS defense has evolved enough that i should be good enough to deter most folk from even trying for my large towers.

Besides, it's fun to play with Scientific Networking skill finally (i'd avoided it in the past simply to keep me from delivering a 'job' in one kourmonen station, that i wasn't at currently, and then forgetting about it)

One day i hope to start buying BC and above blueprints...i think my short term goal is to get the prototype cloaking device bpo.
Oh, and i find ME 100 on ammo, ME 50 on ships...with PE of be just fine for my uses. to be honest, i've never even tried figuring out "perfect ME" for my blueprints. Nor have i really looked into what blueprint would be best to manufacture for sale...I would like to research which blueprints need what type of minerals. that would be fun.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Well, i've always tried to avoid having my corp join an alliance especially after a rather spectacular failsauce episode where the executor corp thought that it was okay to "copy cat" what i was doing without letting me know before hand. "Stuff" being go about plunking down tower(s) in a low sec system i'd worked my ass off to secure rights to exist in. I guess talking to me about it to see if it was 'okay' was probably the last thing on these happy-go-lucky-high-sec-missioning-anti-pirate mindsets. I suspect the first thing on their minds, if they happened to think at all, was "gee, if muffy can do it all on his own, it must be easy as pie *plunk*"
Yeah, was a bit sore about that. got really uhm...grrrr about it. Up until the time they decided to do the above, they'd hardly participated. And this was the era of exploration at it's finest (when gneiss was an isk-machine, and radar sites just dumped tonnes)...i hadn't been considering player owned stations in low sec until about 2 months after joining this alliance (cuz my friend in the corp had some mates he'd met who wanted to form an alliance) and it took about a month till the episode above happened, after i'd set up my first tower.

Life was pretty good back then, before the alliance thing with Mercury Rising (DASIC executor) i was primarily mining in high sec on the weekends and sneaking into low sec during the weekdays when the pirates of the time (Alcohol Fueled Brutality/Shadowed Souls/DarkTwilightSolutions) were in bed sleeping. Electronic Parts from aliastra stations in fua constellation could be hauled to Ishukone stations in sasen constellation (and polytextiles for the reverse run) would net me a tidy sum. At the time i was running only one client on a 1999 computer - bought a new computer before xmas of 2007 because [TORY] corp shot me down coming to a jumpgate in kourmonen system, with extreme lag getting both my shuttle and my pod killed. What a crazy reason to upgrade. only cost me about $500 USD.
Looking back now, i can't believe i played this game with lag each system the equivalent of jita on a bad day. lol. Not to mention doing lowsec runs without a scout and no warpcorestabs. sheesh. lol. no wonder i'm good at intel now.

Course, as soon as i could run 3 clients on a single computer i started thinking about bigger and better things...First thing i did was probe the moons in fua constellation and noticed a few decent moons that were unoccupied. Second thing i did was think, "wait a minute. there's probably another reason why someone just packed up and left this moon...maybe i should ask around" (which, sadly, is an intelligent but altogether rare mindset in eve-online) ...Just after xmas'07 I ended up meeting the person who is the local 'presence' in fua, and luckily for me was able to secure diplomatic standings for a very small fee.

really crappy vid quality. i learned a bit more about compression after that attempt. Sorry about the volume of the sound. ick.

By the time i was introduced to ACE-- corp, i'd pretty much gotten a real good handle on the political landscape in fua constellation. Lots of pirates on my buddylist, after being shot up alot while hauling and mining in low sec. Fua wasn't ruled by the flavour of the week transient gang, nor was it guarded by any semblance of 'antipirate' group (being as rare as bounty hunters)...i came to realize those who controlled low sec were long time residents and extremely experienced pvpers. Most of the time naguton station tended to turn most of the 'pirates' into fat and lazy campers, which suited me fine as a hauler/miner. Now that i was into POS management way out in deepest darkest low sec, things took on a different flavour as i noticed other pos owners blind to politics, hyperparanoid and unwilling to share even a modicum of intel. To me, Fua constellation is home (it's right smack where my trade route begins; it's got kernite roids in abundance; it's next to sarum family stations in Hoosa constellation; it's got numerous lvl3 locate agents in a big ring; there's lots of cadmium and chromium moons here; solid friends and enemies that keep the stability of the region around us)

I'd just gotten comfortable with actually being 'blue' to the local presence in low sec when my ex-alliance mates shoved into the picture, right out of the blue. The probability of offending the CEO of ACE-- corp was going to be 99.99%, so i did a judicious temper tantrum on alliance chat until the powers that be backed the hell off. Unfortunately, the attitude from my alliance was so non-contrite that i realized i'd made a mistake joining an alliance and decided to avoid such...i saw nullsec politics as far as alliance stuff to be fraught with the same bullshit and decided to continue avoiding that stuff - besides, if i was going into null sec on a full time basis i'd have talked up Evolution corp and joined my old friends. So there you go.

So what made me change my mind about alliances, null-sec, piracy and the rest of it? Well, ACE-- corp has the same outlook on fua constellation as i do and i've actually been wanting to join an alliance of theirs for quite a while. The opportunity came up and i'm willing to give the whole alliance/nullsec stuff a go.
I'm not being asked to rip up roots, because i trust the executor corp to consider fua as their home, as i do. Traveling all over the universe is fun when you have a place to call home.