Space Jaunting: Part 1, Day 2 – It’s Mine, all Mine
Wow, what a day! I’m afraid Maxi Foyle can’t join us right now because he’s recovering from a near death experience in which his newest and most expensive spaceship (plus the 100,000s of ISK worth of weapon, shield and armour fittings he’d recently purchased with some hard earned mining profits) was blown into atoms by an ancient alien race, awakened by Maxi’s incessant probing (he just can’t help himself!), far beyond the edges of known space.
Well all good days start somewhere and this one started much like any other: in training. Maxi Foyle, Space Minor, spent a serene morning mining the asteroids of the Clellinon system for mountains of Veldspar (the most abundant, and cheapest, ore in the galaxy). He also learnt how to refine the ore into Tritanium, and turn Tritanium into goods with a little manufacturing know how, a bit of money, and a blueprint for whatever it is he was trying to make (a couple of afterburners and a space shuttle, I believe).
There’s something about this mining life, you know? It’s largely peaceful, except for the odd angry AI character you have to blow up because they’re annoyed you’re stealing from their asteroid field. You just warp out to an asteroid belt of your choosing, point at an asteroid containing the ore you want and click ‘mine’. Then all you have to do is wait ….. and wait …… and wait ….. and you get the picture!
This has left Maxi Foyle, Space Thumb-Twiddler, with a lot of time on his hands which he’s been filling by taking lots of photos of himself mining, researching the skills and technology he needs to conquer the universe and chatting to strangers on the local chat channels. The local residents of the Clellinon system have been very friendly and very helpful, I’ve been training and mining here long enough that a number of the names are becoming very familiar and I’ve watched some fascinating interchanges in which a couple of corporations seem to meet up to fight, try to blow each others ships and crew to smithereens, and then catch up on the chat channel afterwards to laugh and gloat at each other. It’s entertainingly childish to an outsider like Maxi.
One thing that a number of people on the channels told me was to get involved with the EVE University Corporation. Apparently they’re amazing and give you free ships and show you how to use everything, etc but I’m not so sure… You can only join one Corporation at a time and I want to get involved with a proper CORPORATION, not more bloody training modules. Needs must, though, and I’m beginning to see the importance of good training in this game.
For instance, my mining takes ages. I’m currently mining now in another window but whilst my cargo hold is slowly filling up I’m writing this blog and have written the last 3 paragraphs before the ship was full and I needed to head back to base to unload.
To put this in context one full cargohold of Veldspar in my puny ship is worth 27,000 ISK. That’s peanuts! I’ve earned more in 2 minutes running combat missions for that training agent. What you need to make proper money from mining is a set up like this guy:
This guy is in a mining barge, which can hold 500x more ore than the Inquisitive Badger, my largest cargohold’d ship. It’s then fitted with 3 strip mine lasers which were each stripping separate asteroids so quickly he filled up, returned home, came back and filled up again in the time it took me to fill one tiny cargohold. Which means he got 400,000 m3 of Veldspar in the time I got less than 400 m3. That works out at over 3,000,000 ISK every 10 minutes, and that’s assuming he’s mining Veldspar, the cheapest ore you can mine, and that he isn’t refining it and manufacturing it into more profitable materials. This is where the money lies, Maxi thinks, THIS is where we make our millions.
So without wanting to make too many goals for our wearied anti-hero we have another:
4. Own and run a mining barge
Only 2 requirements for that to become possible:
5. Get together about 50 million ISK: 20 million ISK for the ship + 5 million for each strip mining laser and some left over for insurance, because I’m not even leaving the hangar without insurance on this thing
6. Learn the 26 skills necessary to pilot the thing! (This will involve millions of ISK too)
So, err, yeah…we’ll be doing that soon then!
A note on skills for the uninitiated: Skills in EVE are learnt from books over time, which might sound obvious but it’s quite different form most games of this nature for 2 reasons:
1. the books containing skills have to be bought (or occasionally gifted to you), for instance, the Mining Barge skill costs 500,000 ISK. However once bought you can then train that skill to its maximum potential given enough time (all skills go from level 1 to level 5, with level 1 taking 20 minutes to learn, increasing to level 5 taking about 4 days). Importantly the time needed is real-time, not in-game time, but actual real time. For instance last night I queued up about 6 skills I wanted to learn before I logged off totalling 24 hours worth of time needed to learn, and when I logged on this evening they’ve almost all been learnt and I can queue up some more (There’s a cap of 24 hours queuing you can do so it forces you to keep logging on every 24 hours if you want to maximise your skill potential).
2. Time is the only thing that affects your skill level. Utilising your skill makes no difference, so no matter how many times Maxi uses his hybrid turret to shoot a baddie his ‘hybrid turret’ skill won’t get any better unless I tell Maxi to learn some more ‘hybrid turret’ skillz from his magic space book.
And the importance of skills is not on how good you are at something, it’s a lot simpler than that, skills decide what you can or cannot use. So if I have no Mining Barge skill I can’t fly a mining barge. And unless I train it up to level 5 I can’t fly the Covetor I want to get 😦
Anyway, Maxi Foyle’s just got dressed after recuperating in the space bath, so I’ll let him explain how he came to lose hundreds of thousands of ISK worth of space hardware himself:
“Hi, yeah, ok, well we’d had a long day mining and earned a nice chunk of ISK, so I figured I’d head down the space market and by some new guns, you know BIG guns, not these peashooters the trainers gave me. So i souped up my new rig, the Flying Mandible, and gave it a monster shield booster as well and after doing all that, I was like, it’s such a shame to just leave it all there sitting in the hanger collecting space dust. So I kitted her out, and went out for a jaunt. Here’s some pics:”
“After a few jumps we reached the Aidart system, which is 0.6, pretty much low sec space, and I thought…hmmm, I’m sure the exploration trainer said there’s better stuff to be found in lower sec systems, so I had a bit of a probe and found another wormhole!
Well, the last one wasn’t so bad was it? And now I’m in the baddest frigate you’ve ever seen I can’t imagine anything going wrong, so in we dove, shot through subspace, or wherever the hell wormholes worm themselves, and came out in another empty -1.0 sec system with, again, no hostiles. Or so I thought anyway!
This time, after bookmarking the location of the wormhole home, I ventured reeeealy far in, warping to an asteroid belt on the other side of the star system and started probing again and I found some amazing stuff! Things I’ve never even heard of. Ancient alien sites built millions of years before humans inhabited this part of space. In the shock of what followed I’ve forgotten the name of what I first explored but I think it was the Forgotten Perimeter Power Array mentioned here. Anyway I warped to this site and was so stunned by what I saw I turned my HUD off to capture this photo:
It was only after I’d taken the photo I noticed those little blue dots…and then one opened fire and….I….I don’t remember the rest…”
What happened was Maxi’s ship, the Flying Mandible, was blown up in one shot from these awakened alien bastards. That’s shield, armour and hull reduced to nothing in one shot!
Maxi made the long cold journey home in this life saving escape pod capsule:
2 more lessons learnt:
1. Don’t start a fight with ancient aliens.
2. Remember to insure your ship if you’re going to go somewhere stupid.
See you next time….