Dec 12 2019

Howto: Safe(ish) orca hauling in highsec

There are a few things than can help you transport your hard earned things in a relatively safe way. Relatively, as there are no absolutes in EVE.

Docked Orca

Note that is by no means meant as the ultimate solution: it is simply what I learned, and use myself.

The Orca is a great hauler, but while it is faster than a freighter, it is still very slow. For this to work as intended, you will need the following fitted to your Orca:

  • 1 x Large Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
  • 1 x 100MN Afterburner (Faction recommended)
  • 1 x Inertial Stabilizers II
  • 1 x Improved Cloaking Device II

The rest of the fit is up to you. Personally, I fill the rest with buffer tank to increase the survivability (and as a deterrent for anyone scanning the ship). This is my full fit, which I use for hauling & travel, but occasionally also use to fleet mine:

[Orca, Highsec travel]
 Inertial Stabilizers II
 Damage Control II
 Large Shield Extender II
 Large Shield Extender II
 Large Shield Extender II
 Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
 Domination 100MN Afterburner
 Shield Command Burst II
 Mining Foreman Burst II
 Mining Foreman Burst II
 Improved Cloaking Device II
 Small Tractor Beam II
 Drone Link Augmentor II
 Large Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
 Large Core Defense Field Extender II
 Large Core Defense Field Extender II

When you enter a system, look at the overview: if the gate is crowded, or there are known gankers in system (I trust you have the usual suspects’ corporations added to your address book with bad standing), you do the following:

  1. Align to the target destination (to break the gate cloaking)
  2. Immediately engage the cloak
  3. Wait for the ship to align and gain some speed
  4. Turn off the cloak
  5. Immediately click on jump / dock
  6. Immediately engage the Afterburner, and turn it off again so it cycles only once

From the perspective of a ganker, your ship will appear briefly at the gate and on the overview, then disappear again. An alert spotter who watches space around the gate as well as the overview can try to fly towards your ship to decloak it, but the time window is pretty short. If you time it right, it definitely does not leave enough time to target you and scan your cargo.

Afterwards, when you decloak again for the warp, you will only appear for a few seconds (for the duration of the cycle of the Afterburner). Once the cycle completes, you will be in warp directly, because the ship will already have gained enough momentum to warp. This wait is when gankers may have enough time to scan your cargo. However, ideally, they should not have the time to act on it: when scanning a ship, they have to decide if it is worth ganking. Only highly organized teams have spotters and gankers at several gates, and they have to prioritize their targets.

Hint: Cloaking and decloaking has an animation, but that is just eye candy. Your ship is cloaked or decloaked the moment the module is turned on or off. There are no delays for anyone else watching.

This technique with the cloak helps a lot to avoid ganks, but the most powerful tool is simply patience: When transporting things, do it in several trips instead of one. Ganking a ship is costly, and gankers will only attack targets that have a potential payout that pays more than replacing their ships, leaving enough to divide among all the participants. They also have to recover their standings periodically, which is a bit of work.

To illustrate: I recently made a trip to Jita to buy industry materials worth 900 million. I used my freighter, but made three trips although it would have fit in the ship’s hold. Strangely enough, nobody bothered me with only 300 million worth of cargo 🙂 I was targeted on several gates to scan my cargo, but no one even bothered to try to ransom-bump my ship.

In the Orca, I would put the upper limit of total cargo worth at 400 million, although personally I usually keep it lower than that. EVE is all about patience anyway, and an Orca is not exactly cheap. Better keep it, and use that ISK for something fun.


Oct 28 2019

JVC recruitment poster

What started out as a challenge to an artist friend of mine (red.meduza) turned into something pretty sweet indeed:

Joint Venture Conglomerate recruitment poster

This was made for JVC, aka “Joint Venture Conglomerate”, AeonOfTime’s lone wolves alliance. I really liked the idea of having a poster in case we wanted to start actively recruiting people again.

I love the spacey feel, and while it does look best on a dark background, it is pretty close to how I wanted it to look. Kudos to the artist, red.meduza!


Oct 15 2016

EVE ShipInfo v2.0

Ships database and EFT fitting integration

A new release of the EVE ShipInfo WordPress plugin is available with the following changes:

  • Modified the bundled data files to be smaller
  • Fixed the memory issues by switching to custom database tables
  • Added an update checker and updater for the data files
  • Added support for ammo in EFT fittings
  • Fixed a number of bugs
  • Fixed options being set twice in the db
  • Added a ship detail view in the database reference screen

After this big update, I’m planning to resume a more regular update schedule. This update was long in the making mainly because of the big underlying changes for the data file conversion.

Dowload it via the offical plugin website, or upgrade via WordPress.

The screenshots gallery was also updated, with the following screenshots either modified or added:


Nov 30 2015

EVE ShipInfo v1.9

Ships database and EFT fitting integration

A new release of the EVE ShipInfo WordPress plugin is available with the following changes:

  • A new stylish theme for the ship info popup windows (preview here: , )
  • Found a solution for the screenshots package being deleted with every upgrade \o/
  • A number of bugfixes

Dowload it via the offical plugin website, or upgrade via WordPress.


Nov 25 2015

EVE ShipInfo v1.8

EVE ShipInfo WordPress plugin

A new release of the EVE ShipInfo WordPress plugin is available with the following changes:

  • Data files for the Parallax expansion

Dowload it via the offical plugin website, or upgrade via WordPress.

Note: Upgrading via WordPress unfortunately deletes the screenshots package, so you will have to reinstall it afterwards. I am looking for ways to prevent this.


Oct 12 2015

EVE ShipInfo v1.7

EVE ShipInfo WordPress plugin

A new release of the EVEShipInfo WordPress plugin is available. I started implementing the theme support, with a additional dark theme in this release. I plan to make some more attractive themes down the line, but you can already use this for your dark themed blog instead of the default light one.

New in this version:

  • Vanguard data files
  • New theme selection for simple light and dark layouts

Dowload it via the offical plugin website, or upgrade via WordPress.

Note: Upgrading via WordPress unfortunately deletes the screenshots package, so you will have to reinstall it afterwards. I am looking for ways to prevent this.


Sep 2 2015

EVE ShipInfo v1.6

EVE ShipInfo WordPress plugin

A new release of the EVE ShipInfo WordPress plugin is available. I spent quite some time polishing big chunks of the backend, as well as integrate a simple modules database. When I started improving the EFT fittings manager, I quickly realized that it needed to know at least into which slot which module goes – throwing my simplistic approach of just using EFT fit strings out the window. I do not regret making the effort though: having a small modules database opens up a lot of other possibilities down the line, and makes the whole tool more reliable.

Frontend-wise there is not much new in this release yet, but the next release I am already working on will focus on that, namely several frontend styles to choose from and more.

New in this version:

  • Galatea data files
  • Improved EFT fittings manager
  • Screenshots for the new ships

Dowload it via the offical plugin website, or upgrade via WordPress.

Note: Upgrading via WordPress unfortunately deletes the screenshots package, so you will have to reinstall it afterwards. I am looking for ways to prevent this.

P.S.: Check out this crazy fit: Load it up in EFT, and see what it does.


Jun 12 2015

Advanced Bookmarking

I was surprised lately to see that many people either do not know about insta-undock bookmarks, or do not bother to make them. I must admit that it seemed quite mystic to me at first when these bookmarks were mentioned in chat, so I decided to write up a small guide.

Version: 1.2, 13.06.2015

Table of contents:

What is an insta-undock bookmark?

In short, it is a bookmark that lets you warp away from a station almost instantly upon undocking. The main advantage is that it is a lot harder to catch your ship on undocking (almost impossible with fast ships), or to avoid getting tangled up in those writhing masses of ships you will find when undocking from crowded stations like Jita 4-4. This is especially handy in wartime.

It is worth mentioning here that insta-undock bookmarks are a nice tool to complement the existing invulnerability you have when undocking. To clarify, when you undock:

  • The session and invulnerability timers start
  • After 15 seconds: The session timer expires, you can re-dock or jump to a cyno.
  • After 30 seconds: The invulnerability timer expires

The invulnerability timer means you cannot be targeted during those 30 seconds, which gives you a good window in which to assess the situation. However, the moment you start doing something active like aligning to warp, activating a module or turning the ship the invulnerability timer will stop.

Hint: Pressing CTRL+Space to stop your ship does not break the invulnerability timer.

In the case of an insta-undock bookmark, the delay between the EVE server receiving the warp command and potential attackers being able to act means that it is virtually impossible to catch you – unless you have a bad bookmark that takes too long to align to.

How to create an undock bookmark?

When undocking, your ship is always ejected from the station from the same location, and your ship is already at escape velocity. You simply need a point in space straight ahead from this location to enable you to warp off instantly. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Take a fast small ship, preferably with a Microwarpdrive (a shuttle will do with some patience)
  2. Undock with the ship, and fly as straight ahead from the station as you can
  3. Tip: use the tactical overlay to align your ship
  4. Go as far as a minimum of 300 km, I recommend going further out if you have the patience (600+ km)
  5. When you are ready, press CTRL+B to bookmark your current position.

Hint: alternatively, you can open the People & Places window and click the “Add location” button to add the bookmark.

Hint: in market hubs, try making an off-grid undock bookmark for when you haul precious cargo: 1000+ km from the station.

To illustrate:

 

undock-diagram-490

 

Next you can dock back at the station, and test your bookmark. How well it works depends on how straight in line of the undock location you managed to make it. If your ship has to turn a bit before warping, you may want to fine-tune the bookmark a bit. Especially larger ships will take longer to turn even that slight bit, which can be critical.

Fine-tuning undock bookmarks

If your ship still has to align slightly to warp off, you can tweak the bookmark to make it better. In essence, you do it like this:

  1. Note the angle that your ship turns when aligning to the bookmark (a big, slow ship is best for this)
  2. Warp out to your bookmark
  3. Move your ship in the opposite direction of the angle you had to turn to warp
  4. Example: your ship aligns towards the top right on undock: you have to move to the bottom left to compensate
  5. Move ahead in that direction, creating several bookmarks along the way
  6. Dock back up, find out which of the bookmarks you created works best
  7. Repeat the process if necessary

It really sounds more difficult than it is, I think the only real issue here is patience. Personally I have come to enjoy my good undock bookmarks immensely, often cackling manically when I leave everyone slowboating away from the station.

Circumventing anti-undock bookmark techniques

Undocking from Jita 4-4 lately, I noticed an interesting mechanic gankers used to counter undock bookmarks: they set up a cordon of mobile depots in line with the undock location, straight ahead for 600+ kms. The logistics of this feat aside, the effect is that with a good undock bookmark, you end up right next to one of these mobile depots. If you have a ship with a cloak, it will not engage because of the proximity, and anyone can warp next to you using the mobile depot closest to you. A recipe for disaster or success, depending on which side you are.

The counter-countermeasure in this case is simply to create an undock bookmark that goes out further than they are prepared to build and maintain their mobile depots cordon, or to use a bookmark with a deliberate angle so you do not end up close to them, sacrificing a slight undock delay for safety out there. Obviously this is a market hub specialty – only in a hub will this gargantuan effort make sense.

Personally this brought home the fact that when in a hub, you should be even more observant than usual. Simply trusting your undock bookmark is not enough.

How to create docking bookmarks?

Now that we have covered undock bookmarks, how about making docking safer? For a while now, some people have specialized in catching ships in the short time it takes the docking procedure to be accepted when arriving at a station. This is further complicated by the fact that the warp-in landing position for some stations is too far away from the stations themselves. In the worst cases, you have to approach the station after leaving warp to be able to dock, which is less than ideal in, say, a freighter.

To create a docking bookmark, this is the simplest way:

  1. Warp to 0 to the target station
  2. Approach the station as closely as you can (use a small ship preferably)
  3. Press CTRL+B to bookmark your position

With this bookmark, you ensure that by warping to it, you will exit warp right on top of the station. Next, let’s see how to use it:

  1. Set the station as destination
  2. Warp to the bookmark
  3. During the warp, engage the autopilot

To explain: your bookmark will let you drop right on the station, but coming out of warp so close there is a good chance you will be bumped back away from it. By setting the autopilot, the command to dock will be processed on the EVE server before that, so that you will be effectively instadocked. Using this technique, even freighters can instadock and be virtually unassailable.

Tips for naming your bookmarks

This is open to much debate, and everyone will have his own system to name bookmarks, but with a lot of bookmarks having a system to categorize or tag them can help a lot.

Personally I like being verbose, and mostly just having one home station per system it will look like this for example:

Jita Hub
Jita Undock
Jita Dock

If you want a real naming system, I suggest having a look here:

http://www.evealtruist.com/2011/04/bookmarks-and-you.html

For the right-click menu in space, since the bookmarks are ordered alphabetically, it can make sense to name your docking bookmarks so they appear on top, by prepending characters that appear first (numbers and special characters).

A good alternative is just using folders: put all your undock bookmarks in a “Undock” folder, and all docking bookmarks in a “Docking” folder. That way, in the right-click menu you can use the appropriate folder. The only downside being that it may not be good to fiddle around with submenus when in a hurry.

Copying bookmarks

To share bookmarks with fleet buddies or to trade them in station:

  • Open People & Places, find your bookmark
  • Press and hold SHIFT
  • Drag the bookmark to your cargo hold or hangar

A copy of your bookmark will be created as a voucher item that you can trade or move around like a regular cargo item. To add it as a bookmark again, you simply drag this into the People & Places window. If you do not press the SHIFT key, the bookmark will be moved, not copied. Be careful with this, as it happened to many people before to lose bookmarks this way!

Hint: copying works between folders in People & Places as well.

 


Changelog:

1.2 – 13.06.2015
– Added keyboard shortcut for creating a bookmark
– Rewrote docking bookmarks section based on community feedback
– Added bookmark naming hints
– Added bookmark copying

1.1 – 12.06.2015
– Added undock invulnerability info

1.0 – 12.06.2015
– Initial version


Jun 6 2015

EVE ShipInfo v1.5

EVE ShipInfo WordPress plugin

A new release of the EVE ShipInfo WordPress plugin is available.

New in this version:

  • Carnyx data files
  • EFT fittings manager
  • Screenshots for the new ships

Dowload it via the offical plugin website, or upgrade via WordPress.

Note: Upgrading via WordPress unfortunately deleted the screenshots package, so you will have to reinstall it afterwards. I am looking for ways to prevent this.


Dec 7 2014

The Ships of EVE 2014

Back in 2010, I built a first Ships of EVE poster. With the new version of my EVE ships database tool, I was able to make an updated version of the poster.

It’s quite interesting to compare the two posters: in 4 years, the number of ships increased from 240 to 482. This is mostly due to the new ship skins, but there are quite a few new additions in there as well. Visually, the big update is the fact that every ship has a background matching its race, which makes for a much more colorful layout. I ordered the ships by race so it does not look like a giant patchwork.

the_ships_of_eve_online_poster_2014_preview

Alternatively, I made separate posters for each race:

the_ships_of_eve_2014_banner_amarr

the_ships_of_eve_2014_banner_caldari

the_ships_of_eve_2014_banner_gallente

the_ships_of_eve_2014_banner_minmatar

Sadly there are no tools (that I know of) which could automate taking the ship screenshots, so it’s a manual screenshot-extravaganza to get it all together, taking them and cropping them all manually. It was worth it though, both for the WordPress plugin and the poster.