Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hauling for ISK

You can make some really good money trading and hauling. Check out this guide to get some ideas. Hauling is best done in a deep space transport or a blockade runner, depending on the situation. You will need the Transports skill and your racial Industrial skill at 5 to fly these ships. You will also need Cloaking 4 to fit the covert ops cloaking device on your blockade runner.

If you use the above guide and use the program with EVE-Central, just pay close attention to what you're doing. EVE-Central's information isn't 100% accurate. Sometimes the orders it tells you are there aren't. Just make sure to check the buy and sell orders in your region. I use EVE-Central to get an idea of which commodity to trade, and then I find my own trades because the information is so unreliable. If you're in a system with a lot of stations, just compare the buy and sell orders on the various commodities and look for something that's only a few jumps away.

If you go that route, you can also make decent money doing level 4 courier missions. Check out this guide. Between that and the trading, I'll bet you could do pretty well.

If you want to find good courier agents, I recommend this site. It's a lot better than EVE-Agents. Look for agents in the following divisions: Archives, Accounting, Production, Manufacturing, Distribution, Storage, and Financial. These divisions all give a relatively high percentage of courier missions. You can find some additional divisions here.

Good luck in beginning your economic empire. If you're successful and this guide was of some help to you, in-game donations are always welcome.

Fly smart.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

CSM Proposal: Sleeper AI in High Sec

I was discussing this idea with some people in-game yesterday, and the idea was well-received. I've had this thought pretty much every time I've heard someone brag about AFK-missioning. The main reason I never did an actual proposal before is because I really believe this is a change CCP is planning to implement at some point in the future anyway.

Edit: Please go to this link. Someone had already posted a similar proposal, so let's support that one.

If you have feelings either way, feel free to post in the thread. In a nutshell, I am proposing that CCP implement Sleeper AI in all NPC's "rats" in the game.

From the first moment you logged into this game and started trying to figure out what the hell to do, it should have been obvious to you that CCP never intended this game to be easy. EVE is challenging, and we like it that way, thank you very much. Why do people always try to make it easier? (rhetorical question) Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying EVE shouldn't be user-friendly. I'm saying it shouldn't be easy. (Upgrades to the UI are something I heartily support) I LOVE the fact that there are no add-ons in EVE (thank you CCP). But I digress.

As I stated above, I think this is going to happen sooner or later anyway. Yes, I'm sure that CCP intended Sleepers to be a bit tougher than you common, everyday highsec rat. But I think the Sleeper AI is more a product of improvements they've come up with for their (unfortunately sad) NPC AI. The Sleepers were a great way to roll out their new AI and see how the players react to it.

I foresee two problems with this proposal of mine.

1) What about the Sleepers? Sleepers should be more challenging, so if CCP gives all rats Sleeper AI, how are they going to buff up the Sleepers? I'm sure CCP can (and will) come up with some creative solutions for this. I have an idea. Sleeper AI was developed with an eye toward the tactics actual players were using. The new Sleeper AI could include tactics players have come up with to combat the original Sleeper AI.

2) The missioners will hate it. Okay, not all of them, but some of them will. Especially the ones that launch drones in a mission and then go surf the internet until it's time to pick up the loot. Some of this will be no more than people's usual resistance to change. The missioners who hate it will probably (predictably) be the vocal majority (minority?). That said, I do think there will be a lot of missioners that would be for this idea after giving it some thought. I've done missions myself, and so I know that after a while, they become BORING AS HELL! If missions actually became more of a challenge, with an AI that made more sense, I might actually do some again (and not just when I'm "stuck in high sec").

Oh, and for the record, I don't really believe this is an "original" idea. For all I know, it's been proposed on the assembly hall before. If so, I'm sure people will tell me. But I do think it's a good idea, and would make EVE a lot more fun in high sec.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quickie: What Kind of Ship is That?

There are literally dozens upon dozens of ships you can fly in EVE. There are frigates, cruisers, battlecruisers, etc. Plus, each of the four races has their versions of each class of ships. Added into the mix are the various ORE ships, faction ships, not to mention all the tech 2 and tech 3 ships. All of this can be a little overwhelming, especially for the new player.

When you see a ship on your overview or directional scan, you will see the name of the ship (or player) and the type of ship (ie Omen, Drake, Tengu, etc.). As a new player, this isn't very helpful because it doesn't tell you what CLASS the ship is (frigate, destroyer, cruiser, stealth bomber, etc.).

I have found a very easy way to discover the class of the ship if you're unfamiliar with the name. Select the ship on your overview or scan read-out and either click the "I" (information) button, or right-click on it and select "Show Info" from the pop-up contextual menu. Once you have the ship's information screen up (not the player's information), click on the tab that says "Prerequisites".

You will now see all the skills required to fly that particular ship. This will very quickly tell you what class the ship is (frigate, cruiser, etc.), what race the ship belongs to, and whether it is tech 1, tech 2, or tech 3. Tech 2 ships will have a requirement for a ship type at 5. Tech 3 ships will require subsystem skills. If you can't tell from the skill requirements what the ship is, you can always get information on the skill.

Another useful informational tool in-game is the market window interface. Here you can get information on any ship or item that is sold in the game. Just make sure you're not filtering by your own skills if it's something you can't use (in the settings tab), and make sure you don't have "show available" selected if you're in wormhole space.

Be sure to read the comments to get another great tip from one of our readers, FNG.

Fly smart.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Video of the Week: Where It All Began

I LOVE this trailer! I love classic rock, and this one makes me feel like I'm watching Supernatural. This trailer was released February 11, 2003.

Fly smart.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Holiday Message from EON

I'm happy to announce EVE A to Z's new sponsor: EON Magazine. I will be occasionally reviewing EON and giving you a glimpse into the content you're missing if you don't read this excellent magazine. EON's new issue is coming out in the beginning of January. EON would like to share the following holiday message with the EVE community.

"You may over-indulge at Christmas and think that's it for presents this year but we have another one for you in the not-too-distant future.

"As you may or may not know, Issue #022 publishes on the 7th January - a sneak peak for you and your readers can be found here. For all you subscribers, there is also an extra treat of the much-anticipated and long-awaited Minmatar Cruisers poster, so now you can complete your collection!

"From all of us at EON, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year's EVE."

I'm looking forward to this issue!

Fly smart.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Changes to EVE A to Z

I've made some changes to the EVE A to Z layout. I've also added a couple features to make the blog more user-friendly.

First, I now have a list of all of EVE A to Z's guides in the sidebar. This will hopefully make it easier for readers to find the guide they want.

I also still have the list of topics or keywords further down the sidebar. I try very hard to list relevant topics for each post. So, for example, if you want to read all the posts on missions, you can click on the "missions" key word and get them all.

I also have a list of blogs that I follow. I use this list myself as it orders the blogs by when the most recent post was. Keep an eye on this list as I add blogs on a fairly regular basis. I also remove blogs occasionally as I'm committed to only promoting blogs that stay current.

All of the old features are still here. You can still search the blog, view the archives, follow the blog, and share it via Facebook or Twitter.

Finally, I've added a list of the most popular posts at the bottom of the sidebar. This list is updated automatically, showing the 10 most popular posts of all time.

Please let me know what you think of the layout and if you have any suggestions.

As always, our beautiful header and footer banners are provided by Andrea Dolas. I probably don't pimp her enough on this site. She's a very talented professional web designer. She does web pages, banners, images, anything you can think of really that involves putting something really cool and original on your site. She also does original artwork. Check her site out, and if you need a web page or banner, get in touch with her. You'll be glad you did. Also, keep an eye on EVE A to Z, as we'll be getting a new banner very soon.

Don't forget to check out the Video of the Week below this post.

Fly smart.

Video of the Week: Caldari Outlaw

The next part in our series of EVE trailers. This one hails from January 8, 2003.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

EVE Blog Banter #23 - Incarna

Welcome to the twenty-third installment of the EVE Blog Banter
, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux
. The EVE Blog Banter
involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter
should be directed to Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

With Incursion giving us glimpses of what Incarna will have to offer (the the Character Creator), this month's topic, by @Minerpewpew
, comes just at the right time. He asks "What are your thoughts on how Incarna will effect the current EVE Online social dynamic?" I'd like to see this questioning go a bit further. How will this affect EVE's player base? Who will Incarna attract? New players to the genre? Seduce old players back into the game? Will we see new players come in that will never leave their station? Please explore to the best of your abilities!

What are your thoughts on how Incarna will affect the current EVE Online social dynamic?

That is a very broad question, and it's one that's impossible to answer without more information on what exactly Incarna will entail. There are hundreds of thousands of EVE players, and I challenge anyone to predict reliably what they'll do about ANYthing, much rather something as unknown as Incarna.

That said, I'll take a few shots in the dark just to have something to talk about on this topic.

I am guessing that the social dynamic of EVE will broaden and expand if Incarna is realized to as complex a level as the rest of EVE. What will Incarna bring us? New ways to chat with other players? Vegas-like casinos with gambling and games of chance like poker, roulette, blackjack and craps? Personal apartments that players can decorate and accessorize? There are so many unanswered questions. Since we don't know the answers, I'll talk about what I would like to see.

1) Games of chance. CCP has mentioned wanting to have some games of chance that players can play against one another and even gamble. I really hope this happens and is fully realized. I imagine a futuristic casino, with all the familiar games we'd have in a casino today with an EVE spin. Think about it. There are a lot of old games that people play--chess, Nine Men's Morris, etc. It's likely that popular casino games would still be around in EVE in some form or another. Going that route would also have the benefit of lessening the learning curve for these "mini games". I'd love to be able to gamble isk and chat with other players across the card table.

2) In-station missions. This is something CCP has alluded to without giving any real details. I'd love to see missions involving subterfuge and espionage. Spying on people, framing people, gathering evidence against people. Perhaps you could do some "personal favors" for your agents (above or below the table) that would enhance your standings. This could become a whole other game within EVE, and I'd love to see it.

3) Apartments and other personalizable effects. It would be cool if you could rent an apartment at your favorite station. You could even decorate it (for a fee I'm sure). Buy your character some changes in clothes. Maybe you could even buy things for your character that would give you some minor in-game benefits--personal items and clothing that would function like weak implants, enhancing a specific skill or activity. At the risk of seeing EVE turn into "Sims in Space", this would really be cool. I don't think EVE will turn into "Sims in Space"--CCP is way too smart for that. However, people love to customize things, and they'd be fools not to work with that.

4) New skills. I would love to see an array of new skills that are only useful for in-station missions and activities. Social skills like double-talk, subterfuge, deal-making, empathy, charisma, etc, etc, etc. Skills that would help you complete missions, improve your relations with your agents, and maybe even give you a leg up at the gambling table. These would be great if they had no application to flying ships in space. That way, if people wanted to have "in-station characters" they could focus on these new skills, while a player who had no interest in stations would have no need to get them.

5) Wide variety in station interiors with lots of room for exploration. I really hope all Amarr stations don't look the same inside, with the same layout. Sort of like how every inn in WoW is the same. Lame. I also hope there are more than a handful of different layouts for each race. I hope CCP really goes all out here, so you will have to actually learn your way around the different stations. I would love to see "encounters" in the station that just happen occassionaly if you're in the right time and place, and have nothing to do with a mission.

6) Combat. I would love to see combat--hand to hand, melee weapons, blasters. I know I'm asking for too much, buy if you're gonna dream, might as well dream big.

7) The ability to attack stations. I don't expect this in Incarna, but it would be cool.

8) Boarding parties. An outshoot of number 7, the ability to board other players' ships and fight and kill their crew, and the capsuleer himself. That would be really cool.

How will this affect EVE's player base?

The assumption here is that it will affect the EVE player base. That depends. If Incarna just adds a few "extras" to the game in stations, I don't think it will affect the player base at all. You'll see the same types of people playing EVE. The only way I see Incarna bringing in types of players we've never seen in EVE before is if it's extremely expansive, to the point that Incarna is an entire game. If you can play EVE and have fun without ever undocking or playing a ship, then MAYBE we'll see some new player types, but I highly doubt it. There are so many good games out there. If someone is going to play EVE, it's because they love sci-fi and wanna fly spaceships. Incarna will just be a bonus. Now, if CCP really blows the roof off with Incarna, they may prove me wrong. Maybe in a few more expansions.

Who will Incarna attract? New players to the genre? Seduce old players back into the game?

I think EVE Incarna will attract the same players EVE has always attracted. It's still going to be EVE. I see two possible exceptions, though.

1) Incarna may attract some people who originally tried EVE but just couldn't get into it. They may give a trial a try just to see what it's like. Whether or not they'll keep playing will have to be seen.

2) IF the in-station activities have an easier learning curve we MAY seem some players come in who have been intimidated by the learning cliff. It will give them something else to do while they try to wrap their heads around space flight, and if Incarna's good enough, maybe they won't even have to go out into space at all.

Will we see new players come in who will never leave their station?

This will completely depend on the nature of the expansion itself. Honestly, I really hope so. Because if that happens it means Incarna is awesome in its own right. In that case it will bring more players to EVE (good thing) and diversify the player base a bit (great thing), not to mention hopefully killing the mentality that people who play EVE are "elite" in some way (excellent thing).

In summary, I'm really excited about Incarna. I'm happy with EVE the way it is, and I have no real need or desire to "walk around in stations," but I am constantly amazed by CCP. I can't wait to see what they come up with. I think Incarna itself will be the tip of the iceberg, and we'll see much more done with it in future expansions. I'm really excited and looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

What do you think? How would you answer these questions? Your comments and thoughts are always welcome!

Fly smart.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How will you spend your bonus skill points?

We all have another day to decide what to spend those learning skill points on. What are you planning to spend yours on? As for me, I'm going to put them into gunnery skills. I'll be able to get small and medium pulse and beam specializations. I'm a relatively new player with around 1.6 million skill points in learning skills. I've got more points in the learning category than in any other category right now. So this is going to be quite a nice Yule present for me. Thank you CCP.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jump Clones for Freedom & Efficiency

One of the biggest advantages you can give yourself in your early EVE career is to set up some jump clones. You already know about your medical clone, which you're keeping updated (right?). Jump clones are additional clones you can acquire and place in various stations. Once every 24 hours you can switch to a different clone, effectively moving from one place to another in the galaxy almost instantaneously.

In order to buy and use jump clones you will need to train a skill called Infomorph Psychology. For each rank in the skill, you can have one jump clone.

Also, keep in mind that implants are specific for a given clone. If you want implants in all your jump clones, you will have to buy a set of implants for each jump clone. Also, when you switch clones, you can't take anything with you. So if you're using jump clones to mission in different areas, you'll need a mission ship in each area.

Jump clones have quite a few uses and give you some advantages in the game. These include:
  • Mobility. You can set up jump clones in different areas of space, enabling you to travel between those locations without making dozens of jumps. You could have clones in different empires if you're working on missioning for faction with multiple empires. If you live in nullsec or lowsec, you could have jump clones in high sec. You can have jump clones in or near trade hubs to facilitate trading. If you're doing an epic arc (like the Sisters of EVE arc), you may want to have a clone in the system where you get those missions (ie Arnon), especially if where you normally mission is far away.

  • Jump clones are great for PvP. If you plan to PvP a lot or just get your feet wet in the PvP arena, you can have a jump clone with no implants in it. When you're going to PvP (or do something dangerous that may involve PvP), jump into your implant-free clone. That way, if you get podded, at least you don't lose your expensive implants.

  • If you're making a move to nullsec, you can use a jump clone to get there quickly and easily without having to make the long flight. Describing how to do this would be a guide in itself, so ask your corp how if this is something you want to do.
Now that you've decided jump clones are great things to have, you'll want to know how to get one. The first step is to train the skill Infomorph Psychology. Next, you will need a standing of 8.0 or higher with the NPC corp that runs the station(s) you want to put your jump clone(s) into. For a new player, this is a daunting requirement. Before you resign yourself to grinding standing for weeks just to get your clone, know that you have a couple other options.
  1. Check with your corp. A lot of player run corporations maintain a high standing with at least one NPC corp in order to provide jump clone capability for their members. Ask your corp if they have this, because if they do, this is the simplest, easiest way. All you need to do is find out which NPC corp they have the standing with, and you will be able to place your clones at that corp's stations.

  2. You can use the Estel Arador Corp Services. This is a player-run corp whose sole purpose is to provide jump clone capability to players. Their service is free and very easy to use. You will need to drop your current corp (if it's a player corp, remember you must drop roles 24 hours before you can drop corp). Then you apply to the EACS corp. EACS has high standing with multiple NPC corps, giving you a huge selection of where you can put your clones. Once you're accepted into EACS, you place your clones, then drop corp with EACS and apply back to your original corp. If you're going to do this, it's always a good idea to let your CEO (or director in a large corp) know ahead of time. It's no big deal, this is a very common practice in EVE. Just tell you're CEO you're dropping corp for a few days to set up your jump clones, and s/he'll know exactly what you're talking about.
EACS has recently had a change of ownership. But from everything I can see, it's still business as usual. I used this service myself when it was run by the original owner, and it went without a hitch. Here are some resources for you to find out more about EACS and their recent change in ownership:

Good luck in setting up your jump clones. Once you have them, you'll wonder how you ever got by without them. As always, feel free to ask me any questions you might have. This guide is merely scratching the surface on the topic of jump clones. I'm available to help you, and if I don't know the answer, I'll find it.

Fly smart.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

EVE A to Z has Joined CrazyKinux's EVE Blog Pack!

EVE A to Z is now a proud member of CrazyKinux's Blog Pack. The Blog Pack is a collection of high-quality EVE Online blogs. Many of the blogs I follow I've found through the Blog Pack. CrazyKinux is well known in the EVE community for his blog. The Blog Pack contains the blogs that were downloaded by the now-defunct Capsuleer application for iPhone and iPod Touch. Thanks CrazyKinux for adding EVE A to Z to the pack!

If you're looking for more quality EVE Online blogs, check out the pack today.

Fly smart.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Video of the Week: True Premise

This is the second trailer for EVE. Release August 1st, 2000. Enjoy.

Fly smart!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Resources for Missioning

This is another one of EVE A to Z's most popular guides. I've expanded and improved it and added even more missioning resources.

I've previously done posts on skills useful to missioning and how to find better agents. So, now that you're skilled up and you've found a great high-quality agent, you'll need some more resources to be a truly successful missioner.

A great source of information for missions is the Industrial Sized Knowledge Base. The chapter on missions starts on page 177. Almost everything you'll need is in this book, but I'll include online resources as well. These are nice because you can access them via the in-game browser while you're playing. Here is a site that has some good general information about missions. I also highly recommend this guide on missioning on EVElopedia.

Before you even accept a mission from your agent, you want to see what you're up against. Is this a combat mission, courier mission, or trading mission (hint: you can easily tell which type by the graphic below the mission text)?

Different divisions within each NPC corp give different kinds of missions. You can find this information on page 179 of the ISK book, or on this site.

If it's a trading mission, check prices to make sure it's worth taking the mission.

Remember, unless the mission is a storyline mission, you can safely decline one mission per agent every 4 hours. If you've already declined a mission, you can delay making a decision (for up to 7 days) and take a mission from another agent. Then, after the four hours is up, you can decline the original mission. As far as standing hits go, you're better off declining the mission (even if it involves a standing hit) then you are taking the mission and then either quitting it or not completing it.

If it's a courier mission, take not of the amount of cargo you have to haul and where you have to take it to. Do you have enough cargo capacity on your ship to take it in one trip? If not, how many trips will it take? How many jumps away is the destination? Is the destination in low sec, or does your route take you through low sec? What does the mission pay? Generally speaking, courier missions don't pay very well. However, they're easy, with minimal risk (other than other players). You must weigh all these factors when deciding whether or not to take the mission.

If it's a combat mission, then you want to see what you're up against before making a decision. First, you'll want to check the Mission Reports Guide. This is an excellent tool. You might as well bookmark it in your EVE browser, because you'll be referring to it a lot. The guide lists all the combat missions, sorted by title in alphabetical order. Find your mission on the list and click on it. Now you will see the page for that mission. This will give you some very important information, including:
  • What types of damage do the NPC's do? You will want to tank for this damage.
  • What types of damage are the NPC's most vulnerable to? If possible, you want to do this type of damage.
  • Is the mission in dead space or normal space? If it's in dead space, you can't use a microwarpdrive and you will not be able to warp to the encounter at a range.
  • What types of ships will you face, and how many? It will tell you how many rooms and spawns there will be.
  • What is the objective? A lot of players get burned in early missions because they think they have to destroy every enemy ship in every mission. Oftentimes, this isn't the case. There is often a mission objective (ie, blowing up a certain ship and taking its cargo), which when completed, completes the missions. In these missions, you can destroy the one ship and get out of there. Also, some players try to do missions as quickly as possible (blitzing). If you want to blitz a mission, then you make a beeline to the objective and don't do anything you don't have to. If you're planning to loot and salvage the mission, though, I recommend you blow up all the ships.
  • Miscellaneous information, such as which structures give loot when destroyed (if any), whether or not there are any asteroids for mining, etc.
Be sure to expand and read the player comments, as these are often more helpful than the guide itself.

The ISK book also has some of this information. Pages 183 & 184 give the NPC damage types. Here is an online chart with the same information.

Now you are equipped to kick that mission's ass! Keep it up, and soon you will be a valuable asset to your empire.

Here is a summary list of the resources:

EVElopedia Missions Guide. General missioning information.

Grismar's EVE Wiki. General Mission information.

EVE-Survival Mission Reports. Detailed information on each combat mission.

EVE Geek Mission Types. List of the types of missions different divisions give.

EVElopedia Damage Types. Damage types for NPC factions.

Fly smart.

Finding Better Missions and Agents

This guide has been improved! This is one of the most popular guides on EVE A to Z. I've improved the guide and added even more resources to help the missioner.

A very common question I see new players asking is, "When do I get level 2 missions, and how do I know where to go?" This guide will answer that question.

I recommend you read the chapter in the Industrial Sized Knowledgebase on Missions. It will go much more in depth than I will here. However this guide will cover the main points to get you started.

If you are serious about missioning, there are some basic skills that will help you. I recommend training these all to 3. It won't take you long, and it will be worth it. These skills are all in the Social category. The skills are:
  • Connections. This increases your effective standing with friendly NPC Corporations and Factions. This will result in higher rewards and getting access to higher level missions sooner.
  • Diplomacy. This increases your effective standing with hostile agents (agents you have low standing with).
  • Negotiation. This improves your agent effective quality, resulting in higher pay for missions.
  • Social. This gives you a bonus to NPC Agent, Faction, and Corporation standing increases. It is also a prerequisite for the previous skills.
These are just the basic skills. There are others you may want if you're going to be a professional missioner. Refer to the ISK book for more details.

If you've been doing level 1 missions for a while (and especially if you've been doing a lot of them for the same NPC Corporation), chances are you have access to level 2 agents. Level 2 missions are more challenging than level 1 missions, and they pay better. To find out if you can do higher level missions, and to find the agents, follow these steps:
  • Open your character sheet
  • Click the "Standings" button on the left side
  • You will see your standings, listed from highest to lowest, beginning with Faction Standings.
  • Scroll past the empire standings until you get to the second section, which is corporation standings. You will see your corporations listed, in order of highest to lowest standing.
  • Pick the highest rated corporation. Click the blue Information button for that corporation. The corporation information window will come up.
  • Select the "Agents" tab. You will now have a list of agents for that corporation, grouped by division (ie administrative, security, etc.). When you expand a division you will have a section of available agents, followed by a section of unavailable agents.
  • Peruse the available agents, looking for the ones you want. If you've been doing level 1 missions up to this point, find all your available level 2 agents.
  • Find the available level 2 agent that has the highest quality and do missions for that agent. Even if the quality is negative, you are better off doing that than a higher quality level 1 agent.
As you do missions with the agent, your standing with that agent's corporation will increase. As your standing increases, you will gain access to higher quality agents within that corporation.

In order to gain access to higher level and higher quality missions more quickly, do all your missions with one corporation.

Pay attention to the faction you are going up against in combat missions. Realize you will lose standing with that faction. Remember, you can reject a mission every 4 hours with each particular agent without losing standing. You may want to do this with missions that have you fighting against a faction you don't want to lose standing with.

It is better to reject a mission than to let it expire.

If you reject more than one mission from a particular agent within 4 hours you will lose standing. Some missions (story missions) will result in a loss of standing regardless if you reject them. If this is the case, there will be a pop-up warning you of this when you try to reject the mission.

If you have the Industrial Sized Knowledgebase .pdf book, look at the section detailing missions. Beginning on page 179 there are some helpful charts. Including:
  • What divisions give what kinds of missions (combat, courier, etc.)
  • Helpful information about the NPC groups you will fight including, the damage types they do and the damage types they're most vulnerable to.
  • And much more.
Generally speaking, as you do higher level missions, you will need more powerful ships. Here is a guide to the class of ship to use for each level of mission:
  • Level 1 Missions: Frigate or Destroyer
  • Level 2 Missions: Destroyer or Cruiser
  • Level 3 Missions: Cruiser or Battlecruiser
  • Level 4 Missions: Battlecruiser or Battleship
Please note, with the exception of level 1 missions, it is only recommended you try missions in the smaller class of the two ships if you have high enough skills to fit better modules (Tech 2).

Here are some other missioning resources for you:

EVE-Survival: Mission Reports. This site lists most the missions in alphabetical order. You can select your mission to find useful tips including what kind of ships you will fight, what kind of damage they will do, and what kind of damage will be most effective against them. Be sure to expand the Comments section at the bottom when researching a mission.

EVE Commander Agents. Finally! A tool that is better than the in-game method! EVE Commander Agents is a great tool that allows you to do searches for agents. You can search by quite a few categories including agent level, solar system, empire, corporation and division. The interface is easy to use and works every time. People always seem to recommend EVE Agents (which I've listed below for completeness), but personally, I can't stand EVE Agents. It's got a horrible interface and is buggy as hell. Try EVE Commander, it's much better!

EVE-Agents. This site has a tool to search for agents. I don't like it much myself. It's not very user-friendly and seems a little buggy. I find the method I outlined above much quicker and easier, especially since it uses the in-game UI. However, some people prefer using this site, so I'm including it for completeness.

Fly Smart.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Video of the Week: The Big Chill

Released June 1st, 2000

This is the first trailer for EVE. Not only has the game come a long way, but the trailers have too! Enjoy.

Fly smart!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How to Make the Most ISK From Your Loot

After completing your mission and salvaging and looting all your wrecks, you may find yourself wondering what to do next. In EVE, selling your loot isn't as simple as clicking "sell". You have a few options. You can:
  1. Sell your loot with a basic order
  2. Sell your loot with an advanced sell order
  3. Reprocess your loot
There are not easy hard and fast rules for this. It is extremely situational. The best decision with any given item will depend on the item, the current market conditions, your skills, and your location. Giving detailed, case-by-case directions is beyond the scope of this guide, but I will do my best to give you the basic tools you'll need to make an educated decision.

There are some basic skills that will help you make the most from your mission loot. These are:
  • Trade. This is your basic trading skill. Each level in this skill increases the number of active buy or sell orders you can have at one time by 4.
  • Retail. This requires Trade II to get. This skill increases your number of active buy or sell orders by 4 per level.
  • Broker Relations. This also requires Trade II to get. This skill reduces the cost of setting up an advanced buy or sell order.
  • Accounting. Requires Trade IV. This skill reduces the tax on all your transactions.
  • Refining. This skill allows you to reprocess items into their base materials. This is great to use with items that don't sell much (or at all). You can reprocess ships and modules and a few other things as well. You also use this to refine the materials you mine from asteroids into their base elements. I suggest you get refining to at least IV. The higher your refining skill, the less of the materials are lost in the refining process. With a refining of IV or V, you can often get more ISK by selling the base materials than you would for selling the module itself.
As I said, there are no hard and fast rules for selling in EVE, but I can give you a few basic guidelines. I suggest you do price checks on all items in the beginning. Then see what the item will refine into and what those materials are worth. It's a bit of work with the calculator at first, but as you get more experience, you'll get a good feel for which items to sell and which to refine. Always pay attention though, because market conditions can and will change. If a module is a named module or a tech 2 module, there's a good chance you're better off selling it (especially tech 2). However, again, always check, because not all named modules are worth selling. A lot also depends on where you are in New Eden.

To sell an item in your hangar, right click on the item and select "Sell This Item" from the contextual menu. You will see the following window:

This is the basic selling window. You want to pay attention to how the price compares to the regional average (in parentheses after the price). If this number is red, the default sell price is lower than the average, if it's green, it's above the average price. If it's green, you're golden. Just sell the item and avoid higher broker fees. However, if the number is red, you may want to consider an advanced sell order. Whether or not this is worthwhile depends upon the price of the item, the percentage the simple sell price is below the average, and your own personal preferences and willingness to micromanage. In my early days, if the total sale price was less than 4,000 ISK or if the default sell price was less than 10% below the average, I just took the simple sell. You'll come up with your own criteria with experience.

If you decide to go with an advanced sell order, click the "Advanced" button at the bottom right corner of the window. You will then see the following window:

At this point you can set your own sell price, as well as the duration of the order. You can also sell multiple items at once. To start with, you can set your sell price for the regional average until you get a hang of things. Always compare your total with the total on the previous simple order screen. With an advanced order you pay a broker fee, and sometimes you'll get less money back (even though you're selling the item for more) than you would with the simple order.

If you want to make an even more informed decision on price, you can check out the price history. You can get to the price history from the market window. You can also easily view the market data of any item by right-clicking on the item and selecting "View Market Data" from the contextual pop-up menu.

The market screen looks like this:

You can get to the price history from here by clicking the "Price History" tab above the "Sellers" section of the market window. The Price History screen looks like this:

This chart has a lot of good information including, 5 day moving average, 20 day moving average, median day price, Donchian channel, and volume. The moving averages are lines showing the average price over a 5 day and 20 day period. The median day price shows the avearage price that day. The Donchian channel shows you the high and low prices for each day. The volume (bars at the bottom) indicates how many orders were filled each day. Armed with this information, you can figure out a good price to sell your items at.

Sometimes reprocessing an item is the better way to go. You can reprocess an item by right-clicking on it and selecting "Reprocess" from the contextual menu. You can reprocess multiple items simultaneously by selecting them all, right clicking on one, and selecting "Reprocess". Reprocessing is based on your Refining skill. The higher your skill level, the less materials are lost (waste) when you reprocess. There is also a fee for using a station's reprocessing facilities. In general, I don't recommend reprocessing until you get your Refining skill to at least 4 as the waste incurred from your ham-fisted reprocessing will really eat into your profits.

You'll have to do some calculations in order to decide if you're better off selling or reprocessing a particular item. Remember to figure in the fees for reprocessing. Eventually, you'll get familiar with the items you see dropping a lot, and you'll remember which to reprocess and which to sell. As with a lot of things in EVE, some research and time in the beginning will pay dividends in the long run.

This is just a basic guide to get you started. Feel free to experiment and find your own style. The money you get paid by your agents is a small fraction of the ISK you can make from missioning. Combine salvaging, refining, and smart selling and trading with your missioning to get the most bang for you buck.

Good luck, and I hope you all become EVE tycoons!

Fly smart!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Video of the Week: How It All Began

I am starting a new feature on EVE A to Z. There are a lot of great trailers that CCP has made for EVE, and if you're a new player like me, you may not have seen them all. Each week I will post one of these trailers.

The following video is one of the earlier EVE Online trailers. Check it out if you haven't seen it. It gives a great overview of some of the background of the story in the game.

Fly smart.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Say Goodbye to Your Learning Skills!

CCP has announced they are doing away with learning skills. This is planned to go into effect December 14. Here is a summary of the main points from the DevBlog, which you can read in its entirety here.

  • As of downtime today, all NPC sell orders for the eleven skills in the Learning group (hereafter referred to as "learning skills") have been CANCELLED. They're really not much use in the long run, we don't want to complicate later steps with unusual inflows of skillbooks, and it might go some way towards limiting the amount of scams that we know you're going to be running. Please, think of the children newbies.

FURTHERMORE, as of a patch which should arrive on (or about) the 14th of December:

    • We're not kidding. In your head, in your hangar or in your anything else, they're gone. Vamoosh. Deleted. Sent to the big recycle bin in the sky. Etc etc.
  • All skillpoints invested in learning skills will be reimbursed, including all the fiddly corner cases. If you have 2,012,692 SP in learning, you will find yourself down those skills, but with 2,012,692 skillpoints to redistribute.
  • All skillbooks not currently injected into people's heads will be reimbursed at the old NPC sell price. The money will go to whichever character or corporation owns the container that the skillbooks are in. For example, things in cans you've anchored for yourself will be reimbursed to you, things in corporate hangar arrays or the "deliveries" bin will be reimbursed to the owning corporation.
  • This will also involve cancelling any and all market orders containing these skills. Contracts containing learning skills will have those skillbooks substituted for copies of the Pax Amarria.
  • All new and existing characters will have an extra 12 base points (ie, non-remappable) in each attribute.
  • The 100% training speed bonus up to 1.6m SP will no longer be available. People partway through this bonus will lose the remaining bonus amount. They will of course gain a huge attribute bonus to make up for it.
  • Miscellaneous other cleanup tasks will be performed that are not very interesting, details available on request.
As a relatively new player in EVE, I really don't understand all the fuss with the learning skills. I don't have a problem with them. Sure, I spent a good portion of my first month training them instead of training more "fun" skills, but I also didn't allow myself to become a slave to the process. When I needed or wanted another skill, I trained it. I found an organic balance between training learning skills as needed while also training other skills I wanted. I've only been playing since the end of August, and I have all the learning skills (including the charisma skills) at 4 and 5.

I like the learning skills. I think it's cool that, like in life, you can choose the "quick and easy" path for immediate gain (by training fitting and ship skills right away), or you can choose a more long-term strategy (by training the learning skills), or you can find your own balance between the two as I did.

Now, I'm looking at this from the perspective of a person playing their first character in EVE. Let's face it, you don't need much beyond the skills you start with to do the tutorials, start missioning, and learn the game. I trained my learning skills while I was doing those things. No big deal.

I can, however, see how the learning skills would become more and more annoying as one becomes more experienced in the game and starts training up alt characters. Each character basically has one to two months (or more) of "downtime" in the beginning while they're training learning skills.

I can also see how it is frustrating for some new players that don't have the patience to train the learning skills, but feel like they're at a disadvantage if they don't (but isn't that part of the game? oh well). Ultimately, I see bringing new players into EVE a good thing. If we can make that entrance more enjoyable for them (without dumbing it down or making it to easy), then I'm all for it.

In the end, I support this decision by CCP. It doesn't really affect me, except that now I'll have a few million skill points that I'll be able to spend in other places, which will actually be pretty nice. I'm sure it will also be a nice change for new players coming into the game and for veteran players making alts. I honestly have a hard time imagining how someone could be unhappy with this.

It's kind of a bummer that you won't have the 100% training bonus for the first 1.6 million skill points, but you'll also have 12 extra points in each attribute starting out, so that's a fine trade by me.

What are your thoughts? Please, feel free to post in the comments and tell us all what you opinions on this are. Also let us know if you're a new or veteran player, or somewhere in between. I'm very curious to see how the community responds to this. My guess is that it will be a positive response over all.

Fly smart, and enjoy your bonus skill and attribute points in December!