Day 1093: Preparing for the storm

In 2 days, AeonOfTime will celebrate his third year in EVE. To be honest, I just realized that and it came as quite a shock. I was not shocked so much by the timespan itself, but by the fact that I found a game that is still fun after playing it regularly for three straight years. The only other game that still tops that is the Civlization series. I also discovered that I am having a lot more fun since both Aeon and Loreena have broken the 40 million skillpoints barrier (she even managed to overtake his 1 month training advance!). I can do more things than ever, and mostly also much better than before.

Aeon is 13 days away from being able to fit every tech II module in the game today (apart from guns and capital modules), which I believe is a major milestone. What really blew me away though is that he is a mere 35 days away from flying every race ship from frigates to battleships. For some obscure reason I had always thought training up the skill tree for a second race would take too much time, and I was giggling manically at the thought of finally being able to hop into ships like the Hyperion or even a Nightmare.

Once the idea had struck, I knew what I wanted. Now after three days of training, Aeon finally has the Gallente Battleship skill trained and I went in search for a Hyperion. Ever since that time I had seen one when undocking in Rens I had wanted to have one. My Harbinger had been dwarfed next to it, and as very few pilots fly them I had been stunned at the sight. To my surprise, the cheapest offer was a local one in the Kador region with 124 million ISK. I was thrilled at the prospect of flying a new ship, so I had Aeon drop what he was doing, namely helping Loreena in a level 4. Needless to say, he will have to make amends for that… He went the 10 jumps in his pod to pick it up, and there it was, in all its glory (hit the screenshot above for a close-up of the beast). He named it “Angus’ Fist”, which seems pretty fitting. It is a reference to Angus Thermopyle, from Stephen Donaldson’s Gap Series novels. Highly recommendable for EVE players!

Aeon has trained some crappy hybrid skills, which should be enough to get an idea of what the ship is capable. I have yet to use the ship in a mission or else, but some of the fittings on battleclinic do have potential. I will have to use the meta 4 guns for starters, but I do not really mind. I have made a small selection of those I found most interesting:

Regretfully gentle’s L4 mission loadout
Mike721’s L4 mission loadout
Vanthropy’s Cheap Fleet PvP loadout

Yes, I have a PvP loadout in here! I am not planning on using the ship for PvP, but I found it to be an interesting fit nonetheless. It has the big advantage of being very cheap for a ship that size. I will post a fitting later matching my skills when I have been able to testdrive it in a few missions. For now it just feels so good flying around in the ship, it is one of the more original ones out there. It is a matter of taste of course, some do not like the midsection, some do not like the paintjob…

“Anthea”, the research POS

Yes, I have dusted off my POS (Player Owned Station) plans of yore. The response from the corp has been very positive on the project, so that is going to be one big step in Aeon’s EVE life. I have held off from one so far because of the running costs, which can be trouble with my ISK flow (it is still far from optimal). However, downgrading my plans helped a lot. A small POS with just one lab and some basic defenses would only cost about 40 mil per month, which should not be too much trouble to organize.

I think it is a nice way to learn the inner workings of a POS, even if almost everyone told me to go for a medium or big tower directly. I am not trying to start a giant research operation, and a small tower costs a lot less to maintain. Even if the initial investment is not that much different at least it gives me a good way to test without going broke within two months. If the venture should turn out to be profitable, a small POS is easy to dismantle and be replaced by something bigger.

Loreena will probably resign as CEO of Sytek and create her own corporation to run the POS. Aeon will take her place as head of the corp, a skillplan for the required corporation management skills is ready. While training skills like Ethnic Relations feels a bit awkward (Aeon’s good looks should be enough!), the requirements are not too steep for a small corporation like ours. The good thing is even Alliance members will be able to use the ME/PE lab slots, which is a good thing.

For now, Aeon needs to rebuild his wallet though…

Maybe some have already wondered about Aeon’s wallet. In his status below I always include his current wallet balance, and it rarely ever went above 60 mil. “Such an old player, hahaha, he’s pulling our collective legs.” Not so! I do round up the sums, but Aeon’s personal wallet is really that “small”. It is Loreena and the corporation that handle all the big ISK.

…I wish it was that big. The all-time high was just a bit above 1 billion before I bought the Paladin, since then it stabilized around 100-300 mil-ish. Nearly everyone ingame will tell you they have billions, but I suspect the truth is that most of them are just paupers like my humble self, or make a way bigger dent in their RL time and/or wallet 🙂

Earning ISK: a matter of time and concentration?

There are no secrets: unless you are rich enough in real life to fund your ingame lifestyle, you have to invest time to make ISK. Whether you are just trading or running missions, these things all take time. Now a lot of players seem to have heaps of time and do not understand how I can be poor in the game. Well, I am often online but as I mentioned before it is mostly to follow up on what’s going on in the corp or the game in general: it is the famous “semi-afk”. Sadly enough, that does not pay very well 🙂

Running level 4 missions is profitable, but even if not all level 4 missions are as time-consuming as Angel Extravaganza, they all require concentration. And that is a realization that came lately: with two small kids, it is virtually impossible to concentrate any lengths of time. That reduces my “active” playtime to not much at all, especially since my gaming philosophy is that EVE is just that, and as such should not overshadow anything real life-related.

In practice, I can run about two big level 4 missions per week nowadays. More than that is pretty rare, because even on weekends I rarely get the occasion to play with the concentration I need. The good thing about traditional games is that you can hit ESC anytime and come back to the game later if something comes up. EVE is a lot more restrictive in that regard, so if I start a level 4 I want to be sure I will be able to run it without interruption. I do not want to have to tell my son or my wife that I cannot help them because I am in the middle of a mission.

All my ship losses come from not having been concentrated enough, and losing a ship like a fully fitted Abaddon or even Oneiros is quite hard to replace with this kind of ISK flow. Even if it is “only” T2 fitted, it can make quite a dent in the wallet. I am very pragmatic in life, so naturally I restricted myself to running dangerous missions only when I can do so in good conditions 🙂

Note that I am not complaining – I am merely sharing some insights into how I play EVE and how that affects me ingame. I still enjoy the game the same way, and at least my wallet ingame reflects my real life wallet 😀

On a sidenote: Of course there is always the option of finding out how the richest player in EVE did it, and become an EVE billionaire yourself! Invest in this real life money sink (aka “Scam”) and within two days, you can buy two dozens of motherships and at least three titans. Hahahaha, that totally made my day there 😀

On a sidenote’s sidenote: go read drmgrl808‘s blog, she has a nice natural way of writing down her experiences.

Aeon's Status:
Skillpoints: 47.000.000
Level V skills: 61
Level IV skills: 56
Known skills: 167
ISK Balance: 25.000.000
Training: Gallente Battleship IV

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