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.

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:




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:

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.



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

Aug 20 2014

Circumventing Customs Offices

Customs OfficeOne of the drawbacks of player owned customs offices is that they often change hands, or that the current owners try to milk everyone for everything they are worth. I had a case like that lately, where the tax was at 20% despite having the Customs Code Expertise skill at V.

I am fine with reasonable taxes, after all maintaining (defending) a customs office is worth something. In this case however, I began looking for alternatives. Dialogue with the customs office owner lead nowhere, as they were a highsec griefer corp who had simply found another way to, well, grief anyone willing to fall into their trap.

I was not going to pay those prices, but I needed an alternative until their spot could be vacated and replaced with someone more reasonable. I did not want to move planets because of them either. I knew that you can use the command center to make launches, so I had a look at that again.

To use the command center you have to link it to your storage, and make an expedited transfer of the things you want to launch. The good news is that you only pay the NPC launch tax then. The bad news is that the command center has only 500 m3 cargo capacity, so launching your products will take a few launches.

Let’s take my planet making Enriched Uranium as example: it produces around 1600 units per week, and the command center can hold 333 units. That’s 5 launches, which isn’t too bad! However, the expedited transfer to the command center had a really high cooldown, with over 20 minutes. That’s almost 2 hours to launch everything, so not really a good solution.

A few searches later, I learned that you have to upgrade the link to the command center to reduce the cooldown (explanation). I was able to reduce the cooldown to 5 minutes, which makes this a viable solution. If you do your launches while restarting the extraction on your colony, it will not be that much of a bother.

While it is far from ideal and does not work for all use cases, it is a great way to circumvent high taxes. For high-end products it may even be a better solution than the launchpad, where the volumes are much smaller to begin with.

Aug 8 2014

Working with PI on Gas planets

The most troublesome planetary colonies that Aeon has had to manage so far have always been on gas planets. And for good reason: these planets are a lot bigger than their solid matter based counterparts. This means that distances when placing structures are not what they seem: that extractor one centimetre away from your main base in the planetary user interface is actually thousands of kilometres away, much farther than that same centimetre represents on, say, a barren planet. This is due to the fact that the user interface does not convey the dimensions of the planets at all.

Technical blurb aside, fact is that links to extractors far away from your main base are just way too expensive on gas planets. The solution is simply to make do without linking your extractors. To illustrate how this works, I have created an explanation sheet:

PI on Gas Planets

So to sum this up:

  1. Build your main consisting of only the spaceport and the advanced industry facilities.
  2. For each material you wish to extract, create independent secondary bases.
  3. Each secondary base has an extractor, a storage unit and basic factories to process the materials.
  4. When the extractors finish their cycle, decommission the secondary bases except for the storage.
  5. Create links from the spaceport to the storage units (made possible by the power and CPU freed up).
  6. Transfer the processed materials to the spaceport, so the advanced industry can start.
  7. Decommission the leftover storage units.
  8. Rinse and repeat: rebuild the secondary bases in new material hotspots.

Obviously this works best if you use longer extraction cycles, so you do not have to do a wild clickfest every few hours to rebuild the secondary bases.

Feb 22 2013

Invention BPC runs

Pretty, ain't it? Yes, but still a pain to get to!I stated previously that the amount of runs on a blueprint copy you use for invention has no effect, but I learned that’s not true.

As explained in the EVELopedia, the amount of runs of the T1 blueprint copy has a small effect on the resulting runs of the T2 blueprint copy. What I wanted to know was if the additional time investment to create maximum run blueprint copies was actually worth the time. To do this, I calculated the amount of blueprint copies I would need to get 100 runs of a Heat Sink II module – taking a 48% chance of invention into account. Then I compared the time required to create all the required copies as well as the actual invention time.

My gut feeling was that single run copies would be more efficient, but that’s not the case. 100 T2 runs for a Heat Sink II would require either:

Using Max-run T1 copies (=10 runs per T2 BPC)

  • A total of 20 max-run copies (statistically we would lose over 9 in invention)
  • A total of 65 hours copying time
  • A total of 24 hours invention time

Using 1-run T1 copies (=1 run per T2 BPC)

  • A total of 194 1-run copies
  • A total of 3 hours copying time
  • A total of 239 hours invention time

As you can see, while copying the required blueprints is a lot faster with 1-run copies, the invention time is what gets you – big time.

EDIT: as the saying goes, sometimes you lose sight of the forest because of all the trees. There is not only the issue of time, but also of the datacores you use up… Inventing from a 10-run T2 module BPC costs as many datacores as from a 1-run BPC. That was a facepalm, “you noob!” moment there. One of the beauties of EVE – even when you think you know it all, it comes back to bite you in your pride.

Also worth noting is that if you are using a decryptor that modifies the amount of runs, it is definitely recommended to use a max run T1 blueprint copy.

The EVELopedia links to the EVE Online Market Guide Invention calculator, and I had a look at it – I cannot say how accurate it is in practice, but it is well made and at the very least can tell you exactly what you need for a specific BPC.

Jan 30 2013

Day 2298: Research POS

Invention and production POSAs part of my personal campaign to try out all the features that EVE offers, I have started my second attempt at maintaining a POS and actually doing something with it. I put up my first POS about two years ago, and it did help me research some vanilla BPOs I had bought, but I never did anything with them. I ended up selling them, and the POS was destroyed when it went offline after I forgot to refuel it. I did not mourn that loss very much, because it had managed to sedentarize Aeon – which is entirely out of character for him. This time, Loreena embraced the project. It’s just as well I think, because she is a lot better with numbers – and there are zounds of numbers to crunch if you ever try to venture into invention.

As is customary in all my projects, I asked around what I needed for a highsec POS and did exactly the opposite. The recommendation was to go for one med or large tower (preferably large), and to put a very complex combination of hardeners, guns and electronic warfare turrets on it to protect the labs and assembly arrays I would need. I went for a small POS instead with absolutely no guns or ewar turrets of any kind. Why? Let me sum that up:

  • If someone wardecs the corp, I just take it down before the fighting starts.
  • It limits the amount of assets that can get lost in a worst case scenario.
  • It’s a lot less hassle to set up.
  • It’s inconspicuous if someone warps by in search of juicy targets.

After deciding that Loreena would set up the POS, I had to start at the very beginning: standings. I wanted to anchor the tower in Amarr highsec, so Loreena’s corp needed faction standings of at least 5 to be able to anchor it in a 0.5 system (6 for 0.6, 7 for 0.7, etc.). As chance would have it, she had been helping Aeon out missioning for the Ammatar Mandate. Incidentally this had already put her Amarr standings right where I needed them. From there, I chose an Amarr Control Tower small, more for its looks than anything else. There is no restriction on which type of tower you can anchor, so you can put up a minmatar tower in Amarr space if you like. Usually you choose the tower according to what you want to anchor. POS structures are like ship modules in that they need CPU and power, and the towers are like ships in that they provide more or less of each. Here’s an overview of the small control towers:

  • Amarr: PG 1.250.000 MW, CPU: 1.375
  • Caldari: PG 687.000 MW, CPU: 1875
  • Gallente: PG 937.500 MW, CPU: 1688
  • Minmatar: PG 1.093.750 MW, CPU: 1500

If you want to anchor more research labs, favor the Caldari or Gallente variants. The Amarr and Minmatar variants are more all-rounders and allow you to anchor a mix of large power-hungry structures with few CPU hungry ones mixed in. In my case, I wanted to be able to research my BPOs, invent from them and build the resulting T2 BPCs. To do that, Loreena had to set up a tower with the following things:

  • An Advanced Mobile Laboratory: Copying / ME / Invention slots
  • A Mobile Laboratory: Copying / ME / PE / Invention
  • An Equipment Assembly Array: to manufacture modules
  • 7000 Amarr Fuel Blocks (or matching your tower’s race) for ~28 days autonomy
  • 4166 Strontium Clathrates
  • As many Amarr Empire Starbase Charters as you like (or matching your system’s sovereign empire). Tip: use your loyalty points!

Hint: one character can at most handle 10 concurrent research and 10 concurrent manufacturing jobs. If only one character will be using the POS, anchoring more than two labs would be overkill.

As you can see, there is no need to put up a medium or large tower for that setup, it fits snugly even into the small Amarr tower’s CPU. After a little shopping tour, Loreena had all the required items in the Orca, from the tower to all structures. Packaged they only weighed 24250 m3 all together, so even a rigged T1 hauler can carry it all in one trip. Still, the Orca was a good choice because she also had to carry the Fuel Blocks, Strontium Clathrates and Starbase Charters, which weigh a little over 35.000 m3 together.

Anchoring the tower is a little convoluted, but easier than you’d expect:

  • Find an unoccupied moon (just fly to them to check).
  • Right-click the tower in your ship’s cargo hold (it won’t work out of a fleet hangar) and select “Launch for corporation”.
  • The tower will then appear in space with the mention “Unanchored”. Right-click it again, and select “Anchor structure”. The tower will be firmly anchored in the moon’s orbit, which takes 15 minutes.
  • When it’s finished anchoring, open the tower’s fuel bay, and put the fuel blocks and starbase charters in it.
  • Right-click the tower and select “Put online”. This takes 15 minutes again.
  • While you wait, you can also fill the Strontium Clathrates bay.
  • Once the tower is online, right-click it again and select “Manage”.
  • Enter a password for the forcefield and click “Apply”. The shield will now pop up, and your POS is ready to roll.

Anchoring the structures you want to use is easy and tricky at the same time. Use the same steps than for the tower to start anchoring a lab, for example. When you right-click to anchor the structure in space, you will see a green box with arrows that you can use to select the exact position where you want the structure. Structures snap to an invisible grid, and placing them is the difficult part: You want to be able to access everything from one location without moving around in your ship. You have to make sure to have a spot you can move your ship and from where everything is under 2500 Metres away, including the tower itself.

A few pointers for this: structures have to be spaced by one grid unit in order not to hinder each other. Some structures need more space than others, like the Equipment Assembly Array, which is quite gigantic. I suggest to just fiddle around with this until you’re happy with the result. You can unanchor things and move them around again at will, and luckily for you this does not take tens of minutes each time like it used to a while back, but seconds. Once you’re ok with the layout, online everything and you can start working 🙂

Starting the invention

Since Aeon had sold his entire blueprint collection, Loreena had to buy a few new ones. Nothing fancy to start with, just a bunch of module blueprints that looked like they could be sold without making a total loss, and which would be easy and fast to work with. For example, she bought a Heat Sink I module blueprint, so she started with doing some ME and PE research on it. The best way to find out how far you want to research a BPO is by using the BPOCalc website. Just type the name of your blueprint, and it tells you how much ME/PE you need. In the case of the Heat Sink I BPO, I went for 40 ME which seemed like a good compromise. Besides, you can always go back to it later and optimize further.

Note: You don’t have to do ME/PE research on a BPO to invent from it, but usually you will use the BPO to build the T1 item required to build the T2 variant from it, so it’s good practice to research it so you don’t waste materials needlessly.

Now that Loreena had everything she needed, the mayhem truly began. To invent a T2 blueprint copy from a T1 blueprint, you have to make copies of the T1 BPO first. You can only use blueprint copies for invention, and make sure you use max-run copies (more on that later). For testing purposes I invented some 1-run copies, which is very fast – after 10 minutes Loreena had 10 copies to work with. Beyond the thankfully light skill requirements for invention, all she needed was some datacores and a matching data interface. This is the same for any invention job: a set of datacores, and one data interface. The data interface is expensive, but it is not used up, so it can be used endlessly. Datacores have to be bought from market, but having one or more research agents can help with that supply.

Once you have all you need to run an invention job, the last hurdle is clicking through the invention window. If you have read this far I trust you will be able to select the installation in which to run your invention job. You will have a window that looks like this:

Invention window

Important to note for beginners is that for meta 1 items you do not need the base item, and decryptors are only worth investing in for bigger, more expensive items. It will not change the odds of inventing a T2 BPC if you use a base item, so don’t bother. Prepare for disappointment though, because you will often invent less than half of the invention jobs you put up. Training the science skills on which a blueprint is based up to at least 4 helps a lot, but as you will soon discover that is a time intensive undertaking.

Mixing in some decryption

If you start working with bigger items like ships (cruiser-sized and above), adding some decryptors into the mix can be beneficial. Decryptors modify the chance of invention as well as the quality and amount of runs of the T2 BPC. Of course higher quality decryptors can be quite expensive, so it is always a gamble to use one. They are unique for each race, but regardless of race there are always 5 types with the following modifiers:

  • Tier 1 (Like Circular Logic):
    Probability: 60%
    Max run: +9
    ME: -2
    PE: +1

  • Tier 2 (Like Sacred Manifesto):
    Probability: 100%
    Max run: +2
    ME: +1
    PE: +4

  • Tier 3 (Like Formation Layout):
    Probability: 110%
    Max run: –
    ME: +3
    PE: +5

  • Tier 4 (Like Classic Doctrine):
    Probability: 120%
    Max run: +1
    ME: +2
    PE: +5

  • Tier 5 (Like War Strategon):
    Probability: 180%
    Max run: +4
    ME: -1
    PE: +2

As you can see, a tier 5 decryptor increases chances of success significantly, but expect those to come at a hefty price (last time I checked around 30-50 mil a piece), since they are quite rare. My recommendation: buy them in Jita, the prices are usually more competitive there. Personally I have used some I had collected a while ago when I was running cosmos complexes with some pretty good results – but for simple modules it is really not worth wasting them.

Beyond invention: building T2 items

I realize I have no spoken much of numbers so far – if you just want to testdrive invention, there’s no need to concern yourself too much with numbers. If on the other hand you want to do more, then an industry tool or a self-cooked spreadsheet are the next step, especially if you want to take on the full chain of production as well. When I finally had some T2 BPCs and had a look at the manufacturing requirements, I sobered up just a little.

Turns out that T2 items require not only basic materials like tritanium, but also Components, like Nanoelectrical Microprocessors. My first instinct was to buy these off the market, until I found out that there are blueprints for all 30 components… Why buy them if you can eliminate one more middle man? I knew it was quite a bit crazy, but I sent Loreena to buy a BPO for all 30 components and after a few days I had finished the ME and PE on them.

And this is where you may start to see why a spreadsheet or tool is important: say you have a small collection of BPOs that can be invented to T2. Say also, that you want to know exactly what materials you will need from the invention to building the final product, for 10 of that module, 20 of that and 4 ships. Madness! Still, I built myself a spreadsheet that does just that. Nearly drove me crazy, but now Loreena can set how many of a module she wants to invent/build, and it tells me exactly what I need – from the datacores and minerals to the moon materials needed to build the required T2 components. I used to wonder at people who develop Excel macros, now I see the attraction 🙂

At least it gave me a whole new perspective on the complexity of the EVE market – just look at the whole chain from a T1 BPO to the final product. Knowing that one character can at most have 10 science and 10 industry jobs running at the same time (with level 5 skills everyhere), that T2 modules supply on the market is the result of a LOT of very busy people. I think we should all pat ourselves on the back for a job well done and hope that those PvPers never run out targets to keep the prices high (no, I am not a valid target :))!

On the traditional sidenote, I now have a headache and my keyboard is sending smoke SOS signals. I need cookies!

Dec 9 2011

Printable NPC Damage Types Cheat Sheet v1.6

Last updated: Sept, 26 2014

Yes, it’s the infamous NPC damage types list that about 80% of all EVE pilots have in place of their biographies. This time in a pretty & practical printable format:

Printable NPC Damage Types Cheat Sheet v1.6

What it shows:

  • NPC Damage Types
  • NPC Weaknesses (primary & secondary)
  • Drones to use (primary & secondary)
  • Countermeasures for electronic warfare
  • Alternate compact versions
  • Easy printing with PDF format

Download now »


  • v1.0: Initial revision
  • v1.1: Added countermeasures
  • v1.2: Corrected wording of ECM
  • v1.3: Fixed Serpentis weakness, fixed colors
  • v1.4: Fixed warriors vs Angels, revamped layout a bit, adjusted some percentages with current values, added tracking disruption
  • v1.5: Fixed Countermeasures, added recommended drones vs. secondary drones, added compact version
  • v1.6: Added Mordus NPCs, Added secondary weaknesses, Adjusted drones for latest drone changes, Optimized for A4 print format, Revamped countermeasures layout

Jan 19 2011

Producing POS fuels with PI

As I have to rebuild all of my 18 planets with the new changes to PI, I took the time to sit down and make some calculations for once before I start fiddling around aimlessly again. The aim is to make POS fuel commodities, so I inspected in detail what I need for them.

The idea was that I needed not only to find out which raw materials were needed, but to determine precisely how much of each I would consume, taking into account that some are used in more than just one commodity. For example, Noble Metals are used for Enriched Uranium, Mechanical Parts, and indirectly in Robotics.

Warning: I take no responsibility for any neuronal damage that may result from reading the rest of this post.

It took me a while to figure out the best way to do this, but I managed to put it together in the end. So, to build exactly one run of each commodity:

5 Coolant
5 Enriched Uranium
5 Mechanical Parts
20 Oxygen
3 Robotics

you need exactly this amount of each raw resource (with the number of cycles a basic industry facility has to run to process the raw materials):

6000 Aqueus Liquids (=2 cycles)
6000 Ionic Solutions (=2 cycles)
24000 Noble Metals (=8 cycles)
18000 Heavy Metals (=6 cycles)
18000 Base Metals (=6 cycles)
12000 Non-CS Crystals (=4 cycles)
3000 Noble Gas (=1 cycle)

This takes into account that you need to make enough Mechanical Parts to keep some as commodity and use the rest to make Robotics. So you effectively produce this:

5 Coolant
5 Enriched Unranium
15 Mechanical Parts
10 Consumer Electronics
20 Oxygen
3 Robotics (Using 10 Mechanical Parts and 10 Consumer Electronics)

Processing Infrastructure

Now to the tricky part: the amount of cycles I listed above represent how often a basic industry facility has to complete a full cycle to process the materials required by the rest of the production chain. If you want to have seamless production of all commodities, those cycles would ideally be concurrent.

What this means is that you should have one industry facility for each cycle so they can run at the same time. To produce one run of the commodities I listed above, you would need the following amount of Basic Industry Facilities with the according Schematics to process the materials:

2 x Water Schematic (Aqueus Liquids)
2 x Electrolytes Schematic (Ionic Solutions)
8 x Precious Metals Schematic (Noble Metals)
6 x Toxic Metals Schematic (Heavy Metals)
6 x Reactive Metals Schematic (Base Metals)
4 x Chiral Structures Schematic (Non-CS Crystals)
1 x Oxygen Schematic (Noble Gas)

Of course this would be distributed accross your network of planets, and it assumes that your extractors can keep up with the demand from the industry facilities. However, if you can manage to whip this together you will be able to almost seamlessly produce POS fuels. Almost, because I glossed over the whole logistics issue transporting stuff around 🙂

Base raw material requirements

For all intents and purposes here is the base list of raw materials needed for one production run of each commodity.

5 Coolant
> 6000 Aqueus Liquids
> 6000 Ionic Solutions

5 Enriched Unranium
> 6000 Noble Metals
> 6000 Heavy Metals

5 Mechanical Parts
> 6000 Noble Metals
> 6000 Base Metals

5 Consumer Electronics
> 6000 Heavy Metals
> 6000 Non-CS Crystals

20 Oxygen
> 3000 Noble Gas

3 Robotics
> 12000 Heavy Metals
> 12000 Non-CS Crystals
> 12000 Noble Metals
> 12000 Base Metals

Choosing the right planets

As for which types of planets you will need for all this, it depends on what you have available and where you do it – nullsec is definitely the place to be for PI (be it in regular nullsec or wormhole nullsec), as the extractor yields are extremely better than highsec. But highsec can work as well, you will just end up with a lot more colonies to do the same thing.

The planets distribution for the materials we need is this:

POS fuel PI Materials Planet Chart

If you look at this chart, you will see that it is possible to have all you need even if you do not have access to Oceanic, Ice, Storm and Plasma planets (but you need Lava planets, which are fortunately more widespread). Beyond this chart, even if some materials can be found on several planet types does not mean they area all equal in terms of yield. For example, Aqueus Liquids are logically not as abundant on a Barren planet than on an Oceanic one. You will have to find the right balance for your selection of planets.

Now looking back at the list of raw materials we need, the topmost materials are Noble Metals, Heavy Metals, Base Metals and Non-CS Crystals. For these, you will have to build colonies primarily on Lava / Plasma / Barren planets. In highsec, this list will be reduced to Lava and Barren planets.

When choosing your planets, scan every one of them for the material you need (like Base Metals), and compare the yield bars between planets to find the one with the better deposits. If you want to be really precise about it, you can take screenshots of each planet and compare them by measuring the width of the bars in a graphics editor or overlaying them. To illustrate:

PI Planet Yield Comparison

Planet B clearly has a better supply of Base Metals. However, this does NOT mean that a detailed scan will not reveal that planet A has spots with higher concentrations than Planet B: the bars just mean there is more or less of a material planetwide. Single deposits can vary a lot. So what’s the optimal way of finding the best planet for a material? My favorite technique is running a detailed scan of each planet without changing the resource limit slider.

Here’s how you do it: find the planet that has the biggest deposits of the material you seek. I’ll stick to the Base Metals in my case. When you have found the best planet, run a detailed scan for Base Metals and adjust the slider so that the biggest deposit you can find on the planet surface is shown with a white area, like this:

Biggest Deposit On A Planet

The single white area there is the biggest deposit on that planet. Logically if we run a detailed scan of the other planets, we should not get a single white area anywhere. However in practice, that is not always so. To illustrate, run a detailed scan of all the other planets. Chances are that one of them even has a bigger deposit somewhere on its surface. That’s where you should set up – even if the planet on the whole has less of that material, your extractors will have more to work with. In my case, I found this:

Even Better

Now that’s a lot better than my initial scan.

Conclusion: do not judge a planet by its deposit bars! The best is to always use the detailed scans to compare them.

Jun 25 2010

Reference: Edenexplorer’s Scanning Guide v1.6

NOTE: As of the EVE Online Odyssey expansion, this guide is outdated. I will leave it online for historical reasons.

A while ago, I chanced upon a really good scanning guide on, but a short while afterwards the website was taken offline. I contacted the owner, tramov, and asked him if he would give me the sources to the guide so that I could continue hosting it on my website for the community.

He was kind enough to agree and I saved the whole guide and finally managed to put it back up.

As I will be maintaining the guide now, feel free to add your comments here and I will update it.

Printfriendly PDF version: Edenexplorer’s Scanning Guide v1.6.pdf

Table of Contents

A Beginner’s Guide To Probing/Scanning in EVE Online

“These probes were a nightmare – they kept flying in the wrong directions, too high or too low. Sitting in her Magnate this pilot was not having a good day. Still, she nearly had that worm hole narrowed down. One more attempt. Suddenly all shields were gone in a flash of red, a pirate! She should have been paying attention, not just reading the map while sitting in low-sec. Turning for warp took too long and seconds later everything ended. Gulp! Time to find out if being cloned is as good as advertised. Her last thought before fading away being that mother would certainly make comments next All-Saints, with her showing up in a clone instead of her first flesh.”

Hidden pirate outposts, wormholes, complexes and of course battleship captains in their Navy Issue Ravens are just some of the things that you can find in any ordinary EVE system. If you know where to look.

Intrigued by stories of people venturing into wormholes and discovering untold riches my hauling alt decided that watching tons of Veldspar was not exactly what she had signed up for. So on her day off she browsed the markets for a cheap Astrometric ship and found it in a second hand Amarrian Magnate.

Training up for a covert ops frigate would take forever and she wanted to have fun right now.

With the introduction of
EVE Online Apocrypha the whole scan probing system was overhauled. This means that any pre-Apocrypha articles you find on the Internet will just confuse you hopelessly. The probe launchers, probes and systems used then don’t apply/exist anymore.

Skills to train up

To scan for a spaceship you need: several overlapping probes in space and being able to pin down your target as fast as possible. If it takes you 10 minutes to locate that Raven it has moved on already.

  1. Astrometrics
    This is the most important skill. Level 1 allows you to launch 3 probes, each level adds 1 more. Typically you would need at least 4-5 probes to find things in space efficiently. So Level II is really the lowest entry point into scan/probing.
  2. Astrometric RangeFinding
    Each level adds 10% to your scan probe strength. Ideally at Level V of course, if you have nearly two months of training time. This is an (8) skill. I trained it to Level III for now.
  3. Astrometric Acquisition
    10% reduction in scan time per level. (Requires Astrometrics III)
  4. Astrometric Pinpointing
    Reduces maximum scan deviation by 10% to level. It allows you to more accurately pin down your targets.

Racial Astrometric Frigates

The following ships give a bonus of 5% to scan strength per racial frigate level. The more scan strength you can gather the easier your job of locating things in space becomes.

  1. Amarr – Magnate
  2. Caldari – Heron
  3. Gallente – Imicus
  4. Minmatar – Probe

While the above frigates work well to discover scanning, you might want to step up your game in the future. That’s where the specialized covert ops frigates come in: they give a whopping 10% bonus to scan strength per level with the added benefit of being able to fit both a probe launcher and cloaking device for stealth scanning.

  1. Amarr – Anathema
  2. Caldari – Buzzard
  3. Gallente – Helios
  4. Minmatar – Cheetah

Since the introduction of different sized rigs, fitting rigs on a frigate has become affordable, so you might want to add one or two Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I rigs to your frigate. Each will add 10% to your scan probe strength. Currently these rigs go for about 150.000 ISK each.

Probe Launchers

To launch scanning probes you need a probe launcher. There are two probe launchers in EVE Online.

  1. Core Probe Launcher
    The core probe launcher is an easy fit on any ship. It takes up one high slot, and just 15tf of CPU and 1MW of power. But it is limited to launching system scanning probes. So you can find everything besides spaceships.
  1. Expanded Probe Launcher
    This launcher can launch both Scanner Probes and Combat Probes. Similar to the Core Probe launcher it takes up one high slot, but its CPU requirements are much higher. At 220tf it will take up most CPU available on a Tech I frigate, making fitting it much harder.

Two variations exist: Sisters Core Probe Launcher and the Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher. Both will give a 5% bonus to scan strength.

The probes

Probes are re-usable. Once you have launched them they will survive for about an hour on their own in space. But if you recall them before that time expires you can reuse them endlessly.

  1. Core Scanner Probe I
    This probe can scan down everything besides ships, drones and structures. It is useful for finding exploration sites, worm holes etc.
  2. Combat Scanner Probe I
    Described as an all-in-one for hunt & kill this probe will scan down all that the Core Scanner Probe does, but it will also include ships, drones and structures. So if you want to scan down that Raven, this is the probe to go for.

Again two variations are available: the Sisters Core Scanner Probe I and Sisters Combat Scanner Probe I. They are exactly the same as the above, except that they also give a small bonus to scan strength.

Still here? Lets get started with probing

Deep Space Scanner Time to find a nice and quiet spot in a friendly system. Expect some frustration until you get the hang of things. I found a nice YouTube video (see below) that show how things are done in practice, but first a little bit of theory that explains the how and why.

Scanning works through a system of triangulation. A single probe will be able to tell you something is there, but it can only give an estimate how far it is, not where. You need 4 overlapping probes to obtain a 100% lock on a target. Generally you will have to narrow down the probes to 2 AU, 1 AU or even 0.5 AU before being able to lock on. This depends on your skills, your equipment and the size of the ship / object you are trying to find. A battleship is huge, so it is easier to find.

Note: you can get a 100% hit on a target with just three probes, but to get a hit you can warp to, 4 probes are required.

Launch the probes using the probe launcher, then select the “System Scanner” from the in-space selection panel or press [CTRL-F11]. Click on the “Show Map” button.

Below are three common search patterns in which you can layout your probes. The more probes overlap the stronger your scan will be. The five probe star (Fig. 3) is a relatively rare case, the most commonly used is probably the four probe star (Fig. 1).


Note: There is no difference between the four probe star or square: they will find signatures the same way, with the same effectiveness. It is just a matter of how you wrap your mind around the subject.

Typically you will first set the probes at 16 or even 32 AU to cover as much of the current solar system as possible. Hit the “Analyze” button and wait for the results to come in. As you click the items found you have to decide to either move the probes around and cover another part of the system or to narrow down onto one of the signals discovered.

Life saving tip Nr 1: hold down the SHIFT key + click and drag to move all probes in space at the same time.

Life saving tip Nr 2: hold down the ALT key + click and drag to make all probes expand or contract relatively to their current positions.

If you have decided on a signal move the probe formation so that its center covers your intended target. In the center all your probes overlap and this where they will give you the most accurate results.

  1. To rotate the map left clickand hold then move the mouse
  2. To movethe map right click and hold then move the mouse
  3. To zoom in out use the middle mouse roller

Zooming in…

There are five signal strength stages to narrowing down a target. As you click on the list of signals discovered the overview will show:

  1. A red globe: one probe has picked up on the signal, the size of the globe shows roughly how far from the probe the signal is.
  2. A red circle: two probes have picked up the signal. The circle indicates the overlapping part of both probes.
  3. A red dot: three probes have picked up on the signal, and you know the exact location but the signal is still too weak to lock the warp drive on to.
  4. A yellow dot: you are getting closer. This dot will also not move around too much anymore, unlike red dots.
  5. A green dot: 100% signal strength, the warp drive will lock on and you can jump to the target.

Keep moving the probes so that the signal is covered by the center of the layout.

Hold the SHIFT key and hold the mouse over the outer edge of one of the probes until it lights up. Then click and move the mouse to shrink (or expand) the scan radius.

After you have shrunk the radius you need to move all probes closer together so that they overlap again in the search pattern. Then hold SHIFT and move them so that the center covers the signal.

Use the arrows on side of the probes for moving them. By using the arrows the probe will only move in a single X or Y direction, and stay in the same Z. If instead you click on the square center of the probe indicator it will move the probe in all 3 axes, likely ending it up somewhere completely unwanted.

Hit analyze, and repeat the above steps until you have a lock. If you started at 16 AU, then go down to 8 AU, 4 AU, 2 AU, 1 AU and 0.5 AU. Depending on your equipment and skills you can start locking down targets from about 2 AU.

It is a 3D world…

Easy to forget, but every now and then rotate the map to see if your probes have not by accident moved too far above or below the solar system. Most solar system objects are on the same Z axis and typically you just need to worry about the X & Y axes.

Saving time

You will encounter systems with a lot of signatures to scan down, in that case you might want to use more than the four/five probes you use to scan down the individual signatures. Why? beause once you have scanned down that single signature, you need to move your probes out again to run a system-wide scan to get back the full list of signatures in the system and move on to the next signature.

The easiest way is to launch a few additional probes (depending on the amount of probes you need to cover the whole system) and to activate/deactivate these when needed to rescan the system. That way you don’t have to shuffle your probes around that much.

you might think it would be enough after pinpointing that signature to set your four probes to 32 AU and scan that way. That would not work very well though; chances are you had to move them to about 1 to 0.5 AU apart to get a 100% hit on a signature, and packed so tightly together there would not be enough triangulation at 32 AU range for them to get good hits. You would get a lot of red globes and circles.

What you can find

Besides ships, drones and structures that you can scan down with combat scanner probes, there are several types of cosmic signatures that you can discover in a system. Usually you need to get above 25% for the type to be shown, about 60% for the rarer signatures.

Note: Cosmic signatures appear within 10 AU of planets.

  • Gravimetric:
    Hidden asteroid belts
  • Ladar:
    Gas Cloud sites for gas mining
  • Magnetometric:
    Archaeology/Salvage profession sites, need an Analyzer and/or Salvager module
  • Radar:
    Hacking profession sites, need a Codebreaker module
  • Unknown:
    Everything else, i. e.: Wormholes, Exploration complexes and DED complexes

For the professional prober

Probing is a real profession in EVE, and many operations need pilots that are good at scanning. If you want to commit to this or just want to have a perfect scanning clone, you might want to have a look at the specialized implants:

The Explorer’s Checklist

In no particular order.

  • If you start by moving your probes onto the same plane than the signature you are scanning down, you can move them closer without botching up their positions through a wrong perspective.
  • Don’t multitask your fittings too much. Use a dedicated scanning ship, and a combat ship to run the complexes you find.
  • Don’t try to explore profession complexes (hacking, archaeology) in your probing ship, rat spawns have many hidden triggers! This is especially true in wormholes.
  • Don’t forget to fit a core probe launcher to your wormhole exploration ship.
  • Complexes are initialized when you warp to them. If you want them to persist over downtime, scan them down and bookmark them but don’t warp to them!
  • Wormholes do have size limitations. Battleships don’t fit all, make sure you don’t go 10 jumps for nothing.
  • Take more than 4 probes. They are reusable, but they do have an expiration time that’s easy to overlook.
  • Again, take a healthy amount of probes. There are many ways to lose them, like a server dsync or system crash.
  • Lack of skills can in part be compensated by using a scanning frigate, sister probes and launcher as well as implants.
  • Make sure you have Deadspace Overseer Structures enabled in your overview when running complexes
  • Useless cosmic signatures for combat-oriented pilots: Ladar and Gravimetric sites.

Enough theory

The following video I found on YouTube gives a great introduction to the scanning system, and hopefully combined with the above introduction will get you on your merry scanning way !

Further Reading


Credits: Guide originally created by tramov from, used with permission.

  • [EDIT 29/03/13] v1.6 Added the ALT+Drag keyboard shortcut
  • [EDIT 22/07/10] v1.5 Added the missing implants in slot 6
  • [EDIT 25/06/10] v1.4 Restored the guide from backups
  • [EDIT 09/12/09] v1.3 Extended the explorer’s checklist
  • [EDIT 18/11/09] v1.2 Added links to the relevant subsections, added some additional info, updated the probe layout diagram, added the explorer’s checklist
  • [EDIT 03/11/09] v1.1 Updated rigs information and notes on getting 100% hits with three probes, added list of signature types, added some more links.

Oct 23 2009

Howto: Mine efficiently

Personally I don’t care much about mining micromanagement. Even if an asteroid only has 700 units left, I just let my mining turrets complete their cycle. My Hulk does not even have a survey scanner on it. Blasphemy, right? Well I do know better, even if I do not do it that way. If you want to micromanage your mining operation, you need a survey scanner so you can see how much ore is left in the asteroids around you. If necessary, that allows you to adjust the cycles of your mining turrets to avoid losing precious cycle times on those that only have a few units left.

To be able to do that precisely, you have to know how much a single cycle will yield of the ore you are mining. Let’s say you are mining Veldspar: with my current setup, I get about 17.000 units per cycle. So if you divide the dial of your mining laser into sections, you can determine how much that turret has mined so far. That way you will know when to manually stop the turret so it only mines the 7500 units that asteroid has left in it. Of course that’s the hardcore micromanagement for those who want to pick a belt completely clean. The lazy micromanagers (not sure that makes sense) use the survey scanner to pick the big asteroids and move on to the next when they do not have a full cycle of ore left.

We are the hardcore micromanagers though! However, because calculating on the fly gets tedious real quick and as paper is not an option (think green :)), here is a little tool I built that will do it for you.

Just enter the total yield per cycle of your turret in the field under the dials and it will display the according values. You can also change the name of the ore in the dials, I included some of the most common ones.

Here is a direct link to the flash file, that way you can use it fullsize. Here in the blog I had to downsize it a little. Suggestions and requests welcome!

P.S. Yes, that is a logistics ship tailing the Hulk in the screenshot. Better safe than sorry in some parts of the EVE universe…