Apr 14 2007

Day 182: Missioning again

Ah, it’s good to be back missioning again – especially since I got to run a fair share of missions I had never gotten before, like “The Damsel in Distress” or “Gone Berserk“. A welcome change, and a perfect test for the Aeonizer (Harbinger). Speaking of which, I am still not entirely convinced by its defensive capabilities. A good benchmark ist the “Human Cattle” mission, which was always quite long but never dangerous with Crimson Skies (Hurricane) once I got to know it. With the Aeonizer, enemies are dispatched faster but I really have to make sure I do not get too close because those shields are gone very fast.

I actually had to do some armor repairs lately, which I never had to do on Crimson Skies. I feel a lot safer in the Hurricane, so I am continuing to level up key shield skills to balance out the difference. I cannot stop thinking about the fact that these new skills actually make the Hurricane a lot better too, so the Harbinger will never be as good. Ideally, I would want a Hurricane with laser specialization 🙂

Nah, I think in the future I will train some projectile turret skills to make the most of the Harbinger and the Hurricane, and switch between them depending on the missions.

Apr 6 2007

Day 174: Garbage courier

Next time someone asks me to ferry around some dolls I will not complain again. This time my agent wanted me to run a shipment of garbage to another station for reprocessing. Of course I had declined another offer a mission earlier, so I more or less had to do it. Aeon had to use the mission pay to clean out the cargo bays afterwards – if at least they had had a reason for not using the regular waste transport ships…!

So watch out, even if your standing with your agent is maxed out, you can still get shitty jobs – literally.

I am still testing the Aeonizer, and so far I am quite happy with it. The only drawback being that it seems quite a bit less resilient than Crimson Skies, as I had to warp out two times already from missions I had no problem with in the Hurricane. Nothing a bit of shield skills training won’t fix though – and the laser bonuses really do wonders along with the better targeting range (55 Kms) 🙂

Mar 31 2007

Day 168: Training, training and a Harbinger

Shiny new Harbinger in OremmulfAeon trained a lot of smaller skills lately inbetween my plan to bring all learning skills to level 5, to make missioning a little more pleasurable. This is working out pretty well, essentially bringing up my primary capacitor, shield and gunnery skills to at least level 3 and where possible level 4. Missions like The Blockade are much easier now, as my hitrate has gone up quite a notch. The shield is holding much better now, and all guns + afterburner now imperceptibly deplete the capacitor. Even with my shield booster active I can hold out quite a long time.

This made me look again in the direction of the Amarr battlecruiser, the Harbinger, which has smaller shields than the Hurricane (3516 HP vs. 4297 HP) but has the big advantage of giving laser-related bonuses: 10% reduction in laser capacitor need and 5% laser damage bonus. With my Amarr battlecruiser skill at level 3, that gives me a 15% damage boost and frees a lot of capacitor for other power-hungry modules. Much better for fitting lasers than the Hurricane :/

So I bought one, trained the required skills and proudly named the new ship “Aeonizer”. I outfitted it already, but have to wait now for a testdrive as it is downtime here… I will post again with a review.

Commodity: Dolls
On a sidenote (I just realized I often do sidenotes), can you believe that my level 2 agent actually gave me a courier mission to bring her daughter a present for her birthday? This is what I had in my hold: dolls!. It is not worthy of a mighty spaceship pilot such as myself! The pay was ok for an in-system mission though so I just pretended I had to buy some very important goods on the target station 🙂

Aeon was on a skilling spree, he completed some more level 4 skills: Eidetic Memory, Gunnery, Focus, Energy Systems Operation, Rapid Firing, Negotiation and Amarr Frigate. New skills are Presence, Amarr Cruiser, Amarr Frigate and Fuel Conservation.

Jan 29 2007

Day 107: Standings, schmandings!

Iteron UndockingAeon has relocated as I mentioned earlier, and has been running missions like a madman to get his standings up. The situation has improved a little, as I have now access to two good quality level 1 agents, and I can run two missions simultaneously on every run for double the standings and ISK. It is still slow-going though, and I am getting really tired of 4+ jumps courier missions with 30k pay.

I would prefer an agent in Security, Legal or something where there is less courier – but the corporation I want standings with does not have any 🙁

On the bright side, I have found a few very interesting trade deals and was able to secure quite a payload of cheap ship modules that I can resell for a reasonable price and still make a good profit. Loreena’s sell orders are going through again too, they were on hold for a while because of someone outselling me a little cheaper. I knew it was just a question of time though – I see no reason in helping bring down the prices by outselling him again, it would only be bad for the overall value of the items (and I would have to re-pay the broker fee).

On a sidenote, I cannot believe how some will try to mess things up. I have a buy order for Frozen Plant Seeds, which usually sell for about 15-17 ISK a piece, and I have been buying them for a while. Until some smartass came along, selling 8000+ of them at 5000 ISK a piece. Of course nobody wanted to sell them for 17 ISK anymore… And the jerk has not sold one of his Frozen Plant Seeds in about 2 weeks. My sell orders are precious to me, and I want them to go through – that his won’t work is a no-brainer, I just do not understand it.

…unless he counts on someone like me getting annoyed enough to just buy the lot and be rid of it 🙂

Oh, and 15 Days left for Mining Barge V… I guess I really got sidetracked, Loreena has only 5 days left for Minmatar Industrial V, and they had roughly the same time to go when they started… It is a little depressing really, knowing that from now on skilling up will be much more time intensive as the overall skill levels increase. Bah, I’m here to stay anyway!

Jan 23 2007

Day 101: Winds of Change

After a long search for new agent contacts, preferably level 2, I was forced to conclude that my standings are not high enough yet. The only ones I could find are quite far off in lowsec, and I would prefer to have them not so far from my current base of operations. My current two agents located in Emolgranlan are at a standing of 8 and 9, but they both belong to the Republic Justice Department. Very useful that – especially since I have no other dealings whatsoever with that corporation…

If you are looking for a nice level 1 agent, check out Dorautori Umbram on Emolgranlan V – Moon 12, she is quality 0, Legal (50% kill, 50% courier).

I have gotten attached to Emolgranlan as I spent a lot of time there, and strangely enough, it feels a bit like home. It is practical too: 0.5 security only one jump away from Ammold, and with a stargate to the lowsec (0.4) Eifer system that is still relatively safe. Putting all this together the decision was harder than I thought, but I am leaving Emolgranlan and my two agents there to their own occupations. Loreena will have to pick up the rest of the corporation’s stash there and unrent our office, then no trace but my standings will be left.

In my new system of choice I have found a good quality level 1 agent that belongs to the corporation that owns the station I refine ore and do all my manufacturing in. This is a much smarter choice already, as I will finally reap the fruits of my standing in several ways at once. I cannot help it though, I do not like this system. It is practical too, but being highsec it does not have the same feel to it. I think I will keep my eyes open for other agents, and who knows – maybe a complete region move?

Anyway, Aeon was getting fed up of running the same missions over and over, from “The Hidden Stash”, “Dirt”, “Illegal Military Presence”, “Mordus Headhunters” to cite but a few to the infamous “The Disgruntled Employee”. When I ran my first few missions last night for the new agent, I was mortified to discover that the missions are all the same… I was blessed right away with the “Dirt” mission to run Soil to a nearby system for 18.000 ISK, followed by “The Hidden Stash” for a mere 35.000 ISK.

Now this is going to be a load of fun.

Jan 15 2007

Day 93: It’s Hurricane time

Damn and re-damn. I managed to make Syrkos Technologies lose 9.8Mil of its 11Mil capital in one stupid click. Aeon was on Ammold V, and to make the sharing of resources easier with Loreena, I thought it would be nice to have an office there. Being used to the 10.000 ISK an office usually costs, I misread the 9.8Mil an office costs there (!!!!) as 9.800 ISK, thinking my standings brought down the price a little. Before I realized my error, I had already confirmed the rental. Bloody hell! Talk about frustration… now why the heck is an office that expensive there?

Hidden ISK and a Hurricane

The Hurricane in all its gloryBeing nearly broke, I sadly decided that Loreena should start selling off her stash of refined materials that she uses for manufacturing. When she got to her Vullat homestation and checked the prices, I could barely believe it – the entire stash of Pyerite was worth 45Mil. Having never checked the value of her materials before, it came as a total surprise. As there were some very good in-system offers, she quickly sold everything: the Pyerite, Tritanium and Mexallon. After that, Syrkos Technologies was up to 60Mil ISK and I was grinning all the way to the moon. Aeon will have to go mining a bit to restash for manufacturing, but this definitely feels good.

The majestic HurricaneEven the 9.8Mil I lost earlier did not look that bad anymore. However, to keep my mood roller coaster up and running, I contemplated the 440Mil more I need to afford a Hulk – that instantly got me depressed again. I decided it was time to do something to clear those depressing thoughts, and remembered that Aeon had already learned Battlecruisers. I had a look at the available ships in the Heimatar region, and taking good care not to think about the drawbacks of such an operation, promptly bought a Hurricane for 40Mil. Screw those 440Mil, I will get them eventually. After 4 hours for training Battlecruisers II, I jumped into a shuttle and went to get my new ship: a rather impressive Hurricane.

Hurricane model detailsI assembled the ship in the Tongofur system, on the Kaalakiota Corporation Factory station. I called it Crimson Skies, a fitting name seeing the behemoth of a ship it is. Very classy, it is one of the most beautiful Minmatar ships IMHO. I brought it back to Ammold, where Azure Skies (Rupture) was waiting to be stripped bare for Crimson Skies’ benefit. In the additional slots, I added two more Heavy Anode Particle Stream I lasers (for a total of 6), a Barton Reactor Capacitor Recharger I and a Nanofiber Internal Structure I module. I took the ship for a test mission, and jumped right into the 20 Angel cartel ships. With those guns and modules, I was wrecking through them flying at 580m/s… a feast for the eyes. All guns, missile launchers and afterburner running at the same time, and the capacitors were depleting but slowly enough to finish the whole mission and more.

I have my main agent up to 18 quality, so the mission pay gets more interesting but I need to find a level II agent – flying these level I missions in a Hurricane is a bit like whacking flies with a sledgehammer. Not to say it is not satisfying, but a minimum challenge is required…

Dec 22 2006

Day 69: Experiences

Giant SiloToday I ran a mission involving finding hidden documents in a warehouse, and took the time for some sightseeing after dispatching the few Angel Cartel ships protecting their assets there. The warehouse I destroyed was docked to an assembly of several modules including a housing module, power generator, cargo platform as well as a giant pressurized silo. The latter seemed interesting in terms of probable loot, so I began pounding it – and checked out the info a few shots later, seeing that it was more resilient than I thought… And indeed this monster was a hard nut to crack – just as the info stated it was heavily armor plated and its structure hitpoints were through the roof.

Nevertheless, the container gave up after a while of combined laser and missile fire, leaving behind a wreck with loot like capital ship torpedoes that fetched a nice price on the market – definitely worth the time. Hell, I had to make two runs to get it all!

Housing modules

Habitation Module: The PitWhile I was busy abusing the container I played a bit with the camera to have a closer look at the nearby structures and noticed that the housing module had a name: “The PIT”… it seems that its inhabitants have quite a warped sense of humour 🙂 I left them the cargo platform and power generator, they should be able to survive. I think those Angel Cartel thugs used them as workforce, so they should be better off without them – especially with all those nice asteroids floating around. If the Angel guys come back, my agent will probably tell me to help them find their way to hell again and I will be glad to help.

Ripped Superstructure, part II

Ripped SuperstructureA while back, I encountered one of those giant ripped superstructures that look abolutely fetching against the starry skies – and when I uploaded the screenshot, I noticed that I did not even think of flying down the big shaft that leads to the bottom of the structure. Well this time I did – there is not much in there, but it was fun checking it out anyway. It took some fine navigation skills to get Azure Skies (Rupture) down there (at 20m/s), but I managed to wriggle to the bottom and bring back a fow shots. I think the most fun part was hitting the afterburner at the bottom and flying out of there at 570m/s, the walls of the shaft rushing past and finally popping out into the open again. You should try it sometime 🙂

Dec 21 2006

Day 68: Missiles testdrive

Convoy explosionRunning a few more missions, I realized that the two Small Knave I Energy Drain modules I had on Azure Skies (Rupture) had become useless, as I can take out just about anything from a distance and have enough powergrid not to need them anymore. I remembered that the Rupture has a launcher hardpoint and decided to give missiles a try. The skills for missiles are broken down into categories, so to be able to mount a launcher and shoot even a basic missile from it, I had to learn Missile Launcher Operation II and Standard Missiles I – of course I jumped into a mission first and learned on-site that being able to mount a launcher on your ship does not mean you can load a missile in it :/

Missile away!When I finally had the required skills, I jumped into another mission and was able to test my missiles on an Angel Cartel convoy, in the form of two Iteron-class ships. I even have this screenshot of my first ever missile en route to target 🙂 I can see that they are powerful weapons, as these missiles already do quite some damage with Aeon’s low-level skillset. I think I will train those up a bit to be able to use them more effectively, especially for those times one of my targets comes too close for my lasers to hit it – then I can switch to missiles for that and keep the lasers on the more distant ones.

Dec 20 2006

Day 67: Skilling up for battle

Gistii RaiderEven a passionate miner like myself needs some change now and then, which is why I have Azure Skies (Rupture) sitting in my hangar, waiting to be unleashed. I have a few agents I have been working for that I have got quite a good standing with already, and running a few missions can be fun too – when they do not include the assassination of disgruntled employees hiding in hollow asteroids.

While my Rupture is a nice enough ship, the lasers I fit on it make no sense. I have a level III Minmatar Cruiser skill, but do not get any weapon bonuses from that – only Amarr ships have laser bonuses. I am not going to change now, not when running missions is only a passtime. Flying an Amarr ship in Minmatar space would be suicide anyway, so for the time being I am stuck with that. In fact I do not really care, the current medium laser turrets I fitted have an optimal range of 40km and get the job done pretty well: I have upgraded my four lasers to Heavy Anode Particle Stream I turrets, still affordable (400k each) but quite powerful, and it makes quite a difference already. Most missions I can jump into, and take out any contacts before they get too near. And just in case, I have a 10MN Afterburner I that propels me at 580m/s to gain some distance. All in all it is getting quite comfortable flying missions, and since they fixed the wrecks display to show those that have loot in them, it’s pleasurable to hunt for equipment again. A few missions more and I will be able to sell off quite an extensive collection again…

It would be nice if could install jump clones in the two stations I use the most though, it is tiresome to have to fly 10 jumps each time I want to switch between mining and combat – my faction standings are not high enough on both bases. Bummer.

Dec 19 2006

Day 66: Mission sightseeing

Tonight I was in a mood for taking screen shots, so I made a selection that I added to the gallery. The missions themselves were pretty standard – my agents still have to surprise me. At least there were no Ex-employee missions this time, and just one rogue drones mission. While this is definitely fun, and certainly earns me some money, mining is way more effective. I will have to go back to it if I want to find 500 million ISK for a Hulk :/

Osaumuni StargateFactory station towerMinmatar StationEmolgranlan Stargate