Making ammo from asteroids.

So, it’s been a few days and I have been putting my drone swarm to work against low level pirates pretty consistently. The payout for most of these runs isn’t great but if you do enough of them it all adds up. Not to mention netting the bounties some of these rats have in their heads. And during all this time I have been steadily training my piloting skills in larger ships like destroyers and cruisers. I have my eye on a coercer that I keep seeing people flying around in. The thing just has a really aggressive look to it and I have been looking into flying something other than a drone boat for a while now. Don’t get me wrong, the drones are a great weapon to fight with, but as they say, variety is the spice of life. There was also the algos, which was a step up from my little Tristan. Still a drone boat but with more hard points for turret mounting. I could take on a larger mob of rats by putting the drones on more distant targets and letting the algos take advantage of it’s inate abilities to command small railguns with more precision and power. I had to mull it over in my head what path seemed to be the smartest for the time being and came to the realization that I would need ammo for a railguns to operate properly and I would either have to buy or make said ammo. That would be a whole new task to look into but most likely worthwhile to know. There’s a whole market for ammo, ships, weaponry, and rigs that I could tap into for extra income while at the same time furnishing my own firepower. My mind was settled, time to hit the books and figure out the ways of industry. After a few hours, I had the basic handle on the situation. General industry work is pretty simple so long as you have the base materials and the blueprints needed for whatever you may be trying to make. I made my way yet again through the endless stream of people to the marketplace docks and found blueprints for some iridium rounds for my railguns and figured I’d look around at what kind of ammo was a solid seller. While hunting for pirates is a fair source of income, having stuff sitting on the market just waiting to be purchased seemed like a logical way to make some extra coin while I’m not actively blasting rats. Missiles seemed to be a hot seller at the moment so I picked up blueprints for a few types of missiles and just because I may need some extras, I grabbed some blueprints for drones as well. Armed with my new prints and a plan of action, I set off to my personal ship hangar and settled back into my venture and got prepared to go blast on some rocks instead of some rats. Last time I took it out I had noticed that a fellow miner was filling up and leaving the asteroid fields after than me so I dug into how to increase my speed and yield. Turned out that I needed some upgraded mining lasers and a couple miner circulation rigs to pick up my pace a bit and make a full load of ore even faster. I got them and fitted them up only to get caught up in some rat hunting and forget I upgraded. And now the time has come to see if the money was well spent or not. I set off away from the station and plotted my course for a nearby asteroid cluster and headed off. To my surprise, there was nobody else in the area. Being in a higher sec system, there wasn’t much for variety in the way of asteroids. There was veldspar and scordite all around and a couple plagioclase asteroids dotted in but for the most part it was basic materials. Not that I needed more than that but I’ve been told that in the low and null sec systems there much more valuable ores and lots more of them. All that comes with the added stress of the risk of death at any time due to private alliances and corporations laying claim to sections of null and protecting their claim. For now, I’ll stick to high sec and make due with crafting the stuff I have prints for. It seems like it’ll net me enough profit to eventually get into a cruiser. I locked into a few asteroids and started the lasers on their way and kicked back to let them go. I don’t know why I waited to upgrade my mining gear, I’ve only been out here a few minutes at this point and I’m already sitting on 40% of my ore hold being full. So I let it roll till my ore hold was full and set a course back to base. All this ore is great but it’s not enough. Gonna have to make a few more runs to the asteroids to get enough to really make some quantity of anything. I made another three runs to the belts over the next hour and change and hauled in a pretty solid amount of ore. Now it’s time to see how well I’ve learned to reprocess this stuff into something more usable. In the end, I had enough tritanium and mexallon to knock out a few thousand Mjolnir rockets and a few thousand iridium rounds for my guns. In all honesty, I made way more rounds for the railguns than I thought so I took about half of them and all my missiles to the market and talked to a market agent about putting this stuff up for sale. He told me that there would be a brokerage fee for having him handle everything and get my listing made and visible, but it wasn’t a severe fee. I paid the man and was on my way, happy in knowing that when my stuff sold I would be notified and have an automatic deposit to my account. On the way back to my hangar, I crossed paths with a crew of ship builders and stopped to discuss that side of the industry with them for a moment. Ship construction is a massive industry in New Eden and if I’m going to be involved in the industrial world I guess that’s worthwhile to know. They told me that the smaller class ships are actually quite easy to build up and don’t take as much material to build as I might think. That being said, I felt obligated to make a trip back to the market in search of some ship blueprints. Perhaps, making an algos or a coercer might be a better choice than buying one. I managed to find prints for both ships I was in the market for and a couple other smaller frigates called an Atron and an executioner. I was assured that the two smaller frigates were both considerably faster than some other small ships and meals and bounds faster than almost anything bigger. Of course, that all comes with the proper afterburner installed and some knowledge of how to use it, but I knew my way around afterburner propulsion pretty well at this point and was also becoming comfortable with micro warp drive use as well. I now had multiple ship blueprints to utilize for more money making opportunities, so it seemed like it was time to really buckle down and start mining in a more full time effort. This may not be the easiest thing to take on running solo like I am though, that’s a lot of mining to do to make one of each ship I have prints for. It may be time to cast aside the lone wolf attitude and start seeking out allies…

Making my way

So, I’ve been mining and selling along with making deliveries for about a week now. Profits are reasonable and I’ve accumulated about 5 million isk by this point so it looks like it might be time to look into a combat ship of some sort. Being Minmitar born, I have a natural affinity to using Minmitar ships but the ability to use drones seemed like a better choice for combat. There’s a lot of pirates out there in the lower factions that utilize cannons and missiles so I figured being able to hold distance and let my drones plug away might be a good idea. So I started training in the ways of gallente ships starting off with a Tristan. I have the option of picking a Tristan or an Atron but the Atron required using smaller railguns which would also mean close contact with enemies. That scares me a little bit since I’m not battle hardened or anything so the Tristan is the way to go. The ship itself didn’t have any kind of special weapon requirements on it so I was told I could fit whatever ranged weapons I felt I might be up to using. Missiles seemed like a perfect compliment to a swarm of drones out hammering away on a pirate frigate or destroyer so I got a brief overview of how to use them and what kind of missiles might serve best in my local region. I say that because the pirate factions in every region tend to steal alot of ship from whatever empire they happen to share space with and as a result have some known weaknesses. I bought all the missiles I thought I might need for an encounter and made my way to my ship. Once on board I sorted my ammo into the cargo bay and loaded my launchers and the feeders that keep them firing. A quick check over all systems showed that all I needed to do was purchase some drones and go talk to a combat agent to see what all needed to be done in the region. Combat agents are kind of like a union representative, they handle the doling out of tasks to those pilots that are interested in thinning out the ranks if the pirate factions or running small but potentially dangerous missions for the local branch of the empire military. As I made my way through the endless halls of the space station I was currently in, I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous about the thought of actively seeking out any kind of combat. I’m sure the butterflies will eventually settle there way out of my system but for the moment I need to at least look confident in front of the agent. I approached a rather uptight looking gentleman behind a counter that was denoted as a mission agent for combat related activities. He looked me up and down before handing me a small device that was to be plugged into the comms console onboard my ship. The device would connect my ships systems to the station comms and let him provide me mission details in the future right from my ship. He said that any further needs I may have from any other mission agents can be seen to by way of my ships comms now as well. I shuffled along through the crowd of people to get back to my ship and get something started, feeling fairly confident that my drones would keep enough range between me and the baddies. Once aboard again, I plugged my comm link in and found the agent in the directory. His stern looking face popped into my screen on the left side along with some text on the right side describing a need for a combat pilot of my level of experience to get their toes wet by patrolling a particular relic site that the empire had plans for. There was a moderate chance that some low ranking pirates may show up at some point and I should be braces for the possibility of contact with enemy forces and would need to defend myself and the site. While I am there I’ll have to also scope out a habitat module that had a distress beacon sent out due to an oxygen leak and pick up whatever researchers may be left there. It all seemed simple enough. Warp to a relic site, make a few laps around to see what’s what, pick up some scientists, and possibly fight some pirates(rats as I would later learn they are referred to as). With a final look over my displays and my cargo, I set off from the station. Once clear, I plugged in the coordinates for the relic site and like Chewie did so long ago, I punched it and went into hyperdrive. Once I was in a 20 kilometer range of the site, I came to a stop and got a quick survey of the area. All looked fairly clear, minus the obvious venting of gas of some sort coming from a habitation module some distance away. I started towards the scientists that were undoubtedly waiting for rescue when I noticed on my radar screen that two rats had warped in on me. It must have been an ambush the whole time, just waiting for someone to come check in on the people trapped out here. I steeled up and launched my drones and locked on to the rats ships and sent the command to the drones to advance while I started to get a little distance. I sat white knuckled for a brief moment waiting to see if my drone skills would prove to be if use, and to my satisfaction the drones swarmed the rat and started blasting away. They made such fast work of it, I sat stunned for just a second before I realized they were automatically jumping to the next target I had locked and in no time had it rendered to dust. Just as the last shot was fired, two more warped in in some slightly larger ships. Probably the backup they were ready to send in if the first two failed. I locked on and once again hit the afterburner to put some space between me and my pursuers and sent the drones to do their thing. The bigger ships proved to take a minute longer to get solid damage on but the drones know no difference and kept plugging away. The first enemy destroyer went poof and the drones went to work on the second while I made my way to the stricken scientists to make an attempt at a rescue. The drones were just finishing the last destroyer off as I scooped up the scientists and made my way to the wreckage of the first enemy fighters. There can be some solid loot in some of the wreckage and if nothing else, you can get scrap metal to melt down into more minerals to make more stuff. Once my loot was collected and my cargo hold was jammed with materials and unhappy researchers, I made my way back to the station, victorious in my first empire security mission and ready to collect my pay. I think there may be something to this security work. Gonna have to do some more work and maybe look into a destroyer of my own…

Eve-commerce 101

With a small stockpile of materials in my item hangar, I’ve now got to figure out what to do with this stuff. After doing some looking around, I discover that in order to make anything useful out of the minerals I’ve acquired I will need some blueprints. No big deal there. In the busier high sec areas of the 4 empires, there happens to be a trade hub where you can go to buy and sell all sorts of things. You can technically sell stuff from wherever you happen to be but you will have more luck finding a buyer in a trade center. From a buying perspective, you’re probably going to be taking a flight to pick up your goods since you will likely not be where you need to be to pick up. That being said, I took a Corvette class ship and went to the nearest ITC, which just happened to be in Jita. The hustle and bustle of the place is a little more chaotic than the smaller system that I’ve been messing around in and it takes me a minute to get docked. But once I find a spot to hop out and start looking over the market terminals, I quickly discover that the load of minerals I have is actually not enough to make a ship without getting quite a lot more. On the other hand though, they are somewhat valuable on their own. So I am now debating should I sell what I have or should I go mine more to make a new ship? As I am thinking this over, a guy asked me where I was headed. I told him I was going to the Amo system, he said he had a container to be delivered one system away from there. I said that I wasn’t necessarily a delivery guy and that I wasn’t very experienced in the ways of this new universe but he was insistent that I would be just fine. It was just a small cargo container that I could barely squeeze into my Corvette and he said he would pay me 25 thousand isk (interstellar kredits) to make the journey. I reluctantly agreed to his terms, unsure of what exactly I needed to do. He told me all I had to do was load the container into my hold and fly to a station one system away from my home system and that upon entering the station, my ship would be scanned for cargo and I would get a prompt on my onboard computer. From there all I would have to do is follow the directions given and let the dock robots unload the container. Upon safe receipt of arrival, my pay should be deposited into my bank account. It all sounded pretty straightforward so I agreed and got his container loaded into my little ship and set my destination. The whole trip is through high sec space so I feel like I fare a solid chance of making my way through unscathed, yet with someone else’s stuff aboard I felt uneasy. I’ve never been much for taking on responsibility beyond what I have to, but in this place you do what you have to do to survive and prosper. So with feelings of only mild confidence, I undocked and set course for the first stargate. It was honestly a pretty quiet ride. A few people popped up in local scans here and there but nobody labeled as a pirate or a hostile. Man, 25k just for running a crate someplace. Maybe I should look further into this commercial hauling work, seems fairly lucrative and pretty simple really. I could have sworn I saw a guy selling an imicus high mobility hauler while I was in jita. Might have to look into getting one seeing how I saw them for about 50 thousand isk. As I was contemplating all of this I made the last few jumps to my target system and found my station I needed to drop off at. I halted for docking permission, got waved through into a docking gate and as I was told, a scanner flashed passed my ship and a prompt flashed onto my screen confirming that I had a cargo container for the gentleman that was to be dropped off. I found my way to a dock that was loaded down with ships of all types. There was a few smaller frigates docked but what really caught my eye was the sheer size of the battleship class ships. Made my Corvette look like a fly on an elephant. I waited around for the robots to finish unloading and made my way to a bank kiosk and checked my balance. Sure enough, 25k had been added bringing my grand total to just under 35k. I decided to hop onto a trade terminal just to look at what ships might be available to purchase in the area, in the off chance I might find a hauler somewhere near. When you get away from the larger trade hubs you tend to see less options for trades but there was a small number of ships available to purchase still. None of which suited my purpose or my budget. I had given up hope of finding what I sought after when I was approached by a younger guy that saw me browsing the ships. He asked what exactly I was after, I said I needed a hauler but wasn’t having any luck with finding an imicus out this way. He chuckled a little and said to follow him, that he may have something I’d like to have. We walked back out onto the docks again, passing cruisers that were enormous. Then past a couple battle cruisers that were even bigger. At the end of the line were two battleships that dwarfed everything we had passed as of yet, and tucked away in a corner dock was a tiny little frigate with massive thrusters and a beak for the lack of better words on the front of it. He said it looked tiny but it has rigs on it that expand the size of the cargo hold and since it is smaller and more aerodynamic than an imicus that it would align to my warp point and get going faster. In my books, speed and power solve most problems so I said I was interested but almost certainly not able to afford it. The young guy chuckled again and said it’s mine. He has been paying to store it for ages and doesn’t need it and I just happened to look like a fellow in need. Skeptical of anything that seems to good to be true, I ask what the catch is. The guy smiled and asked how much I happen to know about low sec space…

A nobody is born…

New Eden is a dangerous place. You never know when some random pirate may get the drop on you and ruin your day. Prosper and peril may lay in wait just beyond every warp gate. While the 4 big empires control the majority of high security and low security space, the farther reaches of space known as null sec are up for grabs. Groups of individuals form corporations and those corporations then form into alliances with others. Some choose to go the lone wolf route though and try to make a living for themselves without help or backup in times of need. And trust me, those times come up often. Whether you are out mining for materials to make new spaceships or modules for them or out picking off pirates to collect some bounties, the need for some sort of assistance will arise. Enter yours truly, fully certain I can make my way alone for at least a little while. I started off in a crappy little ship that could barely carry any cargo. On arrival at my first space station, I found my way to mission agents that could give me an idea of what kind of career path to take. Do I want to be a miner and industrialist? Chipping away at asteroids and collecting the bits and pieces to refine I to needed materials and crafting spaceships doesn’t sound bad. What about a life of commerce and transportation? That is definitely an option out here. I could only imagine jumping into a gigantic freighter and flying across New Eden to deliver needed wares. Then we have the explorer path. Using sophisticated gear to scan for and track down ancient relics and wreckage to extract the goods within. I’ve been told this is a very fun but tedious job to try to take on but very profitable if you can hone your skills. Last but not least, the most dangerous but most engaging job of them, the combat pilot. These folks are both courageous and nutty all at the same time. Some go out looking for fights with pirates and some do work for the empires. Some like to go it alone to maximize their bounty intake and some prefer to run in fleets to quickly dispose of enemies. Any way you look at it, this is the most risky of all ventures in the galaxy. You yourself are not necessarily at risk thanks to advanced cloning tech that allows me to control a clone as if it was actually me. That doesn’t mean my ship and any cargo I may have are immune to being dusted, but I myself will be able to carry on. I went the route of being a miner first. It isn’t a bad racket if you enjoy fairly light engagement. As long as you are mining in a high sec system you are relatively safe. The biggest risk in mining is those other folks out there that may see you as an easy target due to light defense and a valuable cargo load. If you keep vigilant you shouldn’t have too much trouble in high and low sec systems. The day will likely come though when you didn’t see the scanner pick up an unknown pilot snooping in the system you are mining in. Then, before you know what happened, you are warp scrambled and helpless and then you’re toast. All your hard earned ore that you’ve been mining goes to the guy that just blew you up. It’s frustrating, But it happens. You get a new mining ship and find another safe spot to work. Persistence is the name of the game when it comes to mining. That’s what the more experienced pilots tell me anyways. So I saddled up and went out in my Venture class mining ship and found a nice looking system that had one other person in the local scanning window. The process of turning big space rocks I to little space rocks really isn’t all that bad. Not a physically demanding job by any means. I found an asteroid belt that was in a high sec system so I locked into some rocks and fired up the lasers. Yeah, lasers. No more pickaxes or dynamite to make a dent in rocks. We fire up a laser mining module and let it start eating I to the asteroids and a tractor system automatically pulls the spoils in to your ore hold onboard. Spend some time letting the lasers do their thing and you’ll have a full ore hold ready to go and be reprocessed into something more usable. Now that I have this done and have a hangar laden with raw crafting materials, what to do with them…

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