Posts Tagged ‘Missions’

Plodding Along

One of the most limiting aspects of EVE is the real-time acquisition of skill points.

One could argue that this is a good thing as it gives people a chance to learn the game and develop the “player skills” needed to make use of the “character skills” you learn. I actually rather like that you can’t jump in to a Titan with a 3 month old character and that if you want to fly a Gallente ship, you require Gallente skills. On the other hand, this method of progression has the effect that it can reduce your enjoyment of the game and I think I’m currently hitting that point.

Jezebelle is currently flying a Megathron Navy Issue the best fit I can field: Shadow Serpentis tank modules, Meta 4 guns and Tech 2 everywhere else. Without further training, if I want to increase my damage output options are fairly limited.

Matching hardeners to missions I can tank fairly reasonable damage. For example, last night I ran The Assault and at one point during the first room found myself tanking 8 battleships at once. Now you could say I was running the mission wrong if I pulled that much agro, but that’s not the point. (In reality, I shot the “passive” group 4 and the whole pocket agro’d on me including warp scramming frigates so I didn’t have a lot of choice.) The best option to increase my mission speed (and therefore my enjoyment) would seem to be increasing my damage. I have a couple of options I can consider to achieve this:

  • I could drop 2 hardeners for Tracking Enhancers. This would literally half the damage I can tank which is not acceptable and so isn’t an option.
  • I could upgrade my guns for a theoretical gain of  between 25 & 100dps. I’m 65 days away from having Tech 2 rails/blasters and while this is in the plan, it won’t help me now. Faction guns would help me now and give me around the same damage increase as Tech 2, but at a cost of ~1bil ISK for the set. I could afford this, but it would wipe out about half my funds. Officer guns, which give the biggest increase are even more expensive at upwards of 1bil ISK each.

Bottom line is that I’m pretty much at the limit of damage potential with the ship/skills I have. So the next obvious consideration is my choice of ship. I could switch, with no training, to a Dominix which, from what I’ve read, will probably just give me more tank and no real increase in gank. (Smaller guns, bigger drones).

Looking wider, the Machariel is widely considered to be one of the the best level 4 mission ships but they’re running about 1.2bil ISK at the moment. Achievable, especially if I trade in my Megathron but it requires around 2 weeks training to be viable (I have no skill points in projectile weapons and, to date, I’ve mostly been focused on training armour tanking skills whereas the Machariel is usually shield-tanked so I’d need to do some cross-training there.) All this considered, I would see around a 50% dps gain with an increased tank as to boot so maybe I’ll give this a try.

Another alternative is to consider training up Jhiqui’s combat skills some. I have a plan in EVEMon to train her to fly a Drake, which can be done in around the same time it will take Jez to train for a Machariel. So this is another avenue I could look in to.

 

I guess the biggest problem right now is that WoW is calling to me. A lot of my former guild-mates are drifting back to WoW and I do miss the social aspect of playing with them. I could join a corporation in EVE rather than sticking to my private one, but the biggest problem would be finding one that suits me; I don’t PVP and I don’t mine. I don’t relish the constantly having to look over your shoulder aspect of null sec. In high-sec I can minimise local and just focus on what I’m doing, if I did the same in null I have a feeling I’d be floating in my pod (or worse) within a day or two.

Curse you Blizzard for making one of the most addictive games in history!!

Rewarding Loyalty

In EVE I mostly run missions which reward you in (as best as I can tell) seven ways:

  1. ISK reward: You receive a fixed payment for successfully completing the mission and, if you complete the mission within the time limit, you’ll be given an additional bonus ISK reward. For level 4 missions the ISK rewards vary but are generally between one and three million combined (this can be increased with the Negotiation skill.
  2. Bounties: Most NPC ships you destroy (including Rogue Drones since Inferno) reward you with a bounty for killing them. This is in addition to any ISK payout for completing the mission it’s self and can range from a few thousand for frigate-class vessels up to several million for certain named mission rats. (eg; Anire Scarlet in “Dread Pirate Scarlet” rewards a 5m ISK bounty.)
  3. Modules: Killing NPC rats leaves wrecks which can contain valuable modules. A lot of what you get is worthless junk (ammo for example, though don’t underestimate the value Large Frequency Crystals) but occasionally you’ll get a really valuable item. For example, last week I picked up a Meta 4 missile launcher that sold for almost 10m ISK. (Pocket change to some I realise, but pocket change adds up to big bucks over time.)
  4. Salvage: Once you’ve looted the modules from wrecks you can salvage the wreck it’s self. If you’re running in high-sec, you’ll pretty much exclusively get Tech 1 salvage which is fairly low value. The best you can hope for is Armor Plates & Alloyed Tritanium Bars which sell for 150-250k each (Jita prices).
  5. Standings: Regular missions increase your standing with the Corporation offering them. Story Line missions reward standing with that Corporation’s faction. Killing the rats rewards security standings. All of these add up and give you access to better agents and rewards.
  6. Items: Certain missions, notably Story Line missions, reward items. This is usually something like an implant that can sell for up to 20m ISK.
  7. Loyalty Points: Lastly, and perhaps most importantly for this post, you receive loyalty points.
Factoring in 1-4 from the above a good mission, such as Mordus Headhunters, you can earn roughly:
  • 3m ISK rewards
  • ~15m ISK in bounties
  • Anything from 10-30m ISK in modules
  • ~4m ISK in salvage
  • Total: Anywhere from 30m to 50m ISK depending on how lucky you get with module drops.

Through my missioning I’ve built up a small but growing stock of Loyalty Points which I’ve been trying to decide how best to spend. I’ve spent a couple of thousand here and there buying “navy issue” ammo (I generally use navy ammo vs battleships in missions to make things go faster) but that’s about it.  Initially I was planning to save my points and purchase Megathron Navy Issue hulls which sell for around the 450m ISK mark. However yesterday I decided to try and investigate some of the alternatives.

Implants sell well, big volume and reasonable return, but given that the Goons just dumped tens of thousands of these in to the market, the price is pretty low right now.

My next choice was to look at Federation Navy Magnetic Stabilisers. These sell for decent ISK (~90m each) and the LP cost is fairly low too. They looked pretty good, the catch however is that they also require you to provide a selection of dog tags which, when you have to buy them, reduce the potential return significantly.

What I’ve settled on is Federation Navy Comets. Since I crush most ammo and drones I loot I have a reasonable supply of minerals building up. I purchased two single run blueprints for LP and set up the industry jobs. If both sell, which they should, I’ll next ~75m ISK after sales tax. Not amazing, but pretty decent.

Goals, Plans & Alts

One aspect of EVE that I’m not really that enthused by is the way alts are handled. You can create up to three characters per account, however you can only have one of the three training at any given time.

Say you want to have an alt sat in a trade hub (eg Jita) to do your buying and selling. You’ll want to train this character to have, as a minimum, Trade & Retail. You’ll probably also want them to have some of the supporting skills; Accounting, Marketing, Daytrading, Margin Trading, Visibility and Procurement to name a few. To get all these to a reasonable level (~level 4) will take a good three weeks, during which time your main isn’t able to be training anything. On top of this, you’ll want to increase your standings with whichever corporation runs your chosen trading station (Caldari Navy for Jita 4-4) to reduce the sales tax you pay, so you’ll need to run some missions for them again eating in to time away from your main.

As a result of this, you really only have two choices:

  1. Train those skills on your main and diversify your skill portfolio at the expense of reaching your other goals that bit slower.
  2. Activate a second account enabling you to have two characters training at once and then gang up for missions.

The most obvious downside to option two is that you have to pay for a second account. However, if you can earn enough ISK, you can cover this by purchasing PLEX from the in-game market. This is what I’m planning. (Actually, my goal is to pay for both accounts with PLEX.)

My alt is going to be a “support” character. Here’s what I’m planning in a nut shell:

  • Jezbelle – Primarily combat orientated. My current goal is to be able to fly the following; Megathron, Megathron Navy Issue, Vindicator and eventually a Kronos. Included in my plan are all the required supporting skills (eg; the prerequisites for Tech 2 Blasters/Railguns etc). Based on the plan I’ve assembled in EVEMon I will be able to step in to a properly (Tech 2) fitted Kronos inside of six months, which I actually think is reasonable. I’ve then got another three months of sundry skills planned to further enhance the performance gains from the hull. (Mostly this consists of maxing out a lot of skills to level five that only require three/four to pass the minimum requirements.)
  • Jhiqui – Initially, I’ve planned to train in to pilot a Noctis, so I can salvage the wrecks Jez creates, and then a Providence, so I can haul that crap to market in bulk, this will take about two months. Once this is done, I’ll turn my attention to the main goal for Jhiqui; providing Logistics support to Jez. Given that Jez is going to mostly be flying buffer-tanked Gallente hulls I’ve chosen to make Jhiqui Amarr with the goal to be able to pilot a Guardian. Later on I intend cross-train Caldari Cruisers to be able to fly a Basilisk as well, since from what I’ve read, a lot of fleets seem to fly with shield tanks.

Despite having started Jhiqui later than Jezebelle, both plans complete around the same time so everything should work out rather well. Where I go from there is really anyone’s guess. If I ever get in to low/null sec stuff I guess I’d ultimately aim to fly a Nyx though that’s clearly some significant way off (probably a year to be able to pilot & fit the hull properly, not to mention the cost!)

While I’m not raking in ISK at the speed Gevlon is, I should have little to no trouble make money if/when I need to. I’ve made some minor ventures in to hauling Tech 2 modules between Jita & Rens which has proven very positive (they’ve paid for fully fitted a Thorax & Myrmidon so far with a very comfortable pile of ISK left over). I’ll continue this as time goes on, though I will wait until I can pilot something with a better tank than an Iteron Mk III before hauling anything too valuable!

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