Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The journey's end.

As some of you will know, I've cancelled my EVE subscription.

My reasons involve real life, rather than any dissatisfaction with New Eden. And for those who worry about that sort of thing, it's not even that anything bad, exactly, has happened in my real life. It's just that my family and I have made some decisions which, although good for us in the long term, mean that I won't be playing EVE in the medium term.

And of course, that means this blog won't be updating any more.

I'm not very good at "goodbyes" (is anyone?), so I'll simply say that it has been an absolute pleasure flying and blogging my way through New Eden, and EVE is easily the greatest MMO I've ever played. I hope, one day, to come back to it.

As people have occasionally found my blog helpful, I shall leave Flight of Dragons running for the time being, but my Starcraft blog will be taken down in due course - there are simply so many other ways to get Starcraft info that nobody is going to miss it.

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. ~Theodor Seuss Geisel

Monday, 13 February 2012

Oh, the frustration.

Sometimes, my killboard looks a little empty. No wins, no losses.

But that doesn't mean I'm not active. There's a ton of stuff that just doesn't show up on a killboard. The following encounters, for example, all took place over the course of a single evening.

Crow v Hurricane

I logged in for an hour after work and found a Hurricane sitting in a belt in Adirain. I didn't think I was likely to win, but there was a chance that he was artillery fit, so I jumped into the belt.

As it turns out, he had autocannons. I hit about 50% shields on the approach, but then actually managed to get under his guns - he was missing nine out of every ten shots. He also had a flight of light drones, though, and I was fairly certain that I could not clear the drones fast enough to avoid exploding (although I have rockets, it takes a few volleys to down a drone if it isn't webbed), so I bailed.

We both wished each other a "gf", and the pilot confirmed that he did indeed fly artillery fit Canes some times. Luck of the draw, and all that. He also complemented me on my approach, which was nice of him, as I'd been feeling like I really screwed it up. Apparently, just surviving an approach against an auto 'Cane gets you points.

Crow v Jaguar

After waiting out my GCC, I engaged a Jag in Jov. I approached, took control of the fight, and started beating on his shield tank. He tried very hard to close with me, but my speed advantage was enough that he stood no chance at all.

After he hit 50% shields, though, his two buddys show up in a Falcon and a Nemesis (wtf?). I laughed, and left when the first jamming wave hit me.

Malediction v Tengu

After dinner, I log back in and probe down a missioning Tengu in Jov. I come back in a cap boosted, active tanked Malediction (all the other Tuskers were too far from home to participate, so I needed a fit that could tank the Tengu's damage while I solo'd it), and jump into the mission.

The acceleration gate puts me 160 km off the Tengu. I'm fast, but not that fast. He warps out, while I sit in the mission, chatting with Dian. He doesn't come back.


I've posted about the less cinematic aspects of solo roaming before. Here, I had three potentially awesome fights, and yet I ended the day with nothing to show for my efforts but some heat damage and a repair bill. Such is a pirate's lot.

This sort of thing happens reasonably often. The Crow (and the Malediction before that) has given me the ability to escape fights that I would otherwise have lost (which is probably all of the above, if I'm honest).

It's a mixed blessing, however. On one hand, I'm able to engage in fights that really push me, without always having to pay the "stupid tax" that comes with trying to solo above class ships. On the other hand, "almost" rarely makes a good story. These fights are the pirate's equivalent of a fisherman's "one that got away".

Monday, 6 February 2012

Low activity warning.

Just letting everyone know that there probably isn't going to be much posting this week. I was working over the weekend, and what little spare time I had went into racking and bottling a large batch of home brew.

I did spend an hour in New Eden (being able to log in only after the Tusker's Titan kill), but the only target I found was -9.9 Ares that resolutely refused to engage me.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Profit Account for January 2012

Evekill statistics for January 2012:
  • Kills: 17
  • ISK destroyed: 0.48 billion
  • Losses: 2
  • ISK lost: 0.3 billion
  • Efficiency: 93.19%
  • Kill/Death ratio: 9/1

Battleclinic Rank: 20,201 (+1,902)

It's been a pretty good month for me. Although I've had higher kill counts, almost all of these kills were solo. My losses were part of my early drive to really push the Crow to the edges of its engagement envelope, and otherwise I've not lost a ship.

I've also been going on longer solo roams as I get back to my nomadic roots. I don't always find something, but it's great to get out and really shake the dust off. Now that Interceptors V has finally finished, I'm hoping to reach some even more distant areas of low sec before T2 Launchers finish and I try and get in on some BC shield gangs at the end of the month.

The December/November figures can be found here.

Schedule of Income

Solo Income

Dropped modules and other loot
ISK 24,867,025


Total Solo Income
ISK 24,867,025

Group Income

Dropped modules and other loot
ISK 19,400,000
Malediction et alia v Vargur (ISK 19,400,000); the final payment.


Total Group Income
ISK 19,400,000

Total Income
ISK 44,267,025

Schedule of Expenses

Solo Expenses

Reasonable losses (see note 1)
ISK 26,225,764
Crow (ISK 13,112,882) - Crow v Slicer.
Crow (ISK 13,112,882) - Crow v Bellicose.

Avoidable losses (see note 2)

Other expenses
ISK 352,081
Repairs (ISK 339,131)
Ransom CSPA (ISK 2,950)
Contract fees (ISK 10,000)

Total Solo Expenses
ISK 26,577,845

Group Expenses

Reasonable losses (see note 1)

Avoidable losses (see note 2)

Total Group Expenses

Total Expenses
ISK 26,577,845

Schedule of Profit (Loss)

Total Income
ISK 44,267,025

Total Expenses
ISK 26,577,845

Net Profit (Loss) (see note 3)
ISK 17,689,180

Appendix 1: Comments & Criticism

A modest profit, although if I'm honest, it would have been a small loss if I had not had some delayed payments from last month's Vagur kill come in.

Even so, I would not have been terribly unhappy with the results. If that's what a bad month looks like, I'll take it. In exchange for that small loss, I would have spent hours on roams all over low sec, and generally having a good time.

That's not to say that I'm taking my focus off profitability. Not at all. It's simply that we have to keep these things in perspective. An hour or two of ratting would have put me back into the black. As it is, it's been more than six months since I've had to do any kind of pve at all.

It's a good life.


Income was low, as I was primarily soloing T1 frigates, destroyers and cruisers. None of my T2 attacks resulted in a successful kill, but that's something I hope to keep working on.

I did have a few opportunities for ransoms, but all my potential ransoms got themselves podded for being too slow to pay. I loathe time wasters.


My losses are the result of my stress testing a new ship, and while I prefer not to lose ships, I'm fairly relaxed about this month's losses.

Improving Performance

I've (finally) trained Interceptors V, so I hope to take on more ambitious targets. My Drake's T2 weapons should come online mid month, so I may get some BC gang action happening too.

Appendix 2: Explanatory Notes

Accounting basis

This profit account has been prepared on the basis of income received and expenses incurred. That is, income is only recorded when the ISK has actually been deposited in my wallet and the expense of purchasing a ship is recorded only when the ship has been destroyed.

All accounts have to make decisions about when, and how, to record income, and each method has it's own advantages and disadvantages. I prefer the income received basis because it takes the guesswork out of preparation, but I recognize that this means that there will be cases where a profitable month may show a loss, simply because the bulk of the faction loot is still on contract in Jita. The reverse is also true. However, as long as the accounts are consistent, long term trends in profitability can be reliably monitored, especially if we remain alert to the possible biases.

All figures are rounded to the nearest ISK, and are derived from character and alt wallets unless otherwise stated.

Capital & Liquidity

These accounts also do not address issues of liquidity or capital. Although I may be profitable, for example, I may have no ISK in my wallet because I have converted those funds into ships and modules.

I have chosen not to address capital or liquidity for two reasons. First, this adds a great deal of additional work to the accounts, for very little additional gain. Capital and liquidity matter in the real world, where a corporation's ability to offer security for debt (capital) and meet the interest payments on that debt (liquidity) are critical issues. New Eden, mercifully, does not work like that.

Second, it would provide just a little too much information about me. If I ever have to pay a ransom, I'd really prefer that whomever is ransoming me cannot see, to the nearest ISK, how much money I have!


Note 1: "Reasonable losses" includes all losses where it was reasonable for me to engage the target and no fundamental play error occurred during the fight. Evekill costs, net of insurance, are used for simplicity, and dropped modules count as destroyed for the purpose calculating these costs, unless those modules were recovered after the fight. Manual adjustment sometimes occurs where modules have been overvalued compared to the actual price paid.

Note 2: "Avoidable losses" includes all losses where it was unreasonable for me to engage the enemy or a fundamental play error occurred during combat. Evekill costs, net of insurance, are used for simplicity, and dropped modules count as destroyed for the purpose calculating these costs, unless those modules were recovered after the fight. Manual adjustment sometimes occurs where modules have been overvalued compared to the actual price paid.

Note 3: In this line, a figure in brackets indicates a loss rather than a profit.