Friday, May 21, 2010

Cyno Fields 101 (Part 2)

In Part 1 we covered the basics about ships and fitting of ships for cyno work. In this part we will cover location choices for lighting cynos, and combat concepts for covert ops cyno fleets. Let's start with the basics - when you light a cynosural field, and someone jumps to it, they will appear anywhere from 2500 - 5000m from the field center - in a sphere. Your ship (the cyno destination) is at the exact center of a sphere with a perimeter at 5000m. The traveller(s) will appear anywhere within that sphere, from 2500m away to 5000m away. (NOTE - this can change with a destroyed cyno, which can throw you all sorts of crazy places in system). This can be interesting if you are able to pop a cyno ship before the traveller arrives - they may not land on target, creating an opportunity for combat. Understanding this 10km diameter sphere is critical, and the use of the tactical overlay is very important when setting up cyno bookmarks. So we have a ship, and we know that our friends will appear anywhere within 5000m of it. Where should we park?

Where the heck is that cyno - at the POS:
There are two situations for bringing a ship in to a POS - when the incoming pilot needs to enter a starbase field password or not. We'll go over the easiest one first - no password needed. In this situation, the objective is to get the cyno as close to the POS shields as possible. It is technically possible then for the traveller to appear inside the shields (although I have not seen it happen). From the cluster of POS Modules (silos, hangars, etc.) head towards the closest shield edge. You will want to have a side-view of your ship approaching the shield so you can see as you approach - when you get close, shut down the engines. You will slow down gradually, and should drift just outside the shield if you did it right. If you are just outside the shields, make a bookmark, labeled appropriately, for this beautiful pos cyno spot. This is your spot for ships that can fly into the shields directly.
If the incoming pilot needs to enter a password, you will want to provide some defense for them. You will want to keep in mind the 5000m radius, and light the cyno close to a gun or neut array. That way, if hostiles do approach and attempt to assault the incoming ship they will have to deal with the tower defenses. You must make sure that you are outside 5000m from the POS shield in any direction - if the incoming pilot bounces off the shields you will likely be looking for a new job very soon...

Where the heck is that cyno - at the station:
Station designers have created a myriad of beautiful and functional platforms in space - but we are only concerned with two things when lighting a cyno at a station - range and the undocking ring. When lighting a cyno at a station, the last thing you want is the incoming pilot to bounce off the station, so you want to make sure you are outside that 5000m sphere again. Referencing the image below, you will want to make sure that you are 5000m in all directions from the physical station:

The second part of the station puzzle is the size of the undock. You only want to light cynos for carriers at stations with really big undocking rings. To determine if the station you wish to use has a large undock ring, go ahead and undock. Watch your session change timer (you have that turned on in your options, right?) and the range to station in your overview. If at the end of your 30 second session change timer you are still at 0m to the station, open up your tactical overlay and see how far you are physically from the station. If you are at 5000m or further, then you have a station with a large undocking ring, an ideal place for a cyno. A side benefit of this, by the way, is that during your 30 second session change timer, you are invulnerable - and if you undock into a bubble or a hostile fleet, you can usually dock back up before taking any (significant) damage at the end of your timer - just don't try to activate any modules or change direction - and start spamming the dock button as your timer ends.

Covert Cyno Concepts
The covert cyno is a mainstay of hit and run/terror warfare. This requires some preplanning, to ensure that the system(s) you want to jump into are within range of your Black Ops battleship. The maximum range of a Black Ops battleship portal is 4.5 lightyears(base range is 2 light years), so you will need to either plan on bridging across multiple systems for greater range or set up within your skilled range. A Black Ops bridge can be used by any ship with Jump Harmonics 2, including Stealth Bombers, Covert Ops Frigates, Force Recons, Black Ops Battleships, and Blockade Runners. Tech 3 cruisers with a component to allow Jump Harmonics 2 can also use a black ops bridge. Utilizing multiple Blockade Runners to move fuel and Black Ops Battleships to run additional bridges, you can extend the range of your operation beyond the 4.5 light year maximum.

When we've done black ops, we set up at a staging POS, with bomber squad(s) sitting around 2500m from the BOps Battleship (much like a Titan bridge). The scout, or destination pilot will usually be in a well tanked Force Recon (unless we are going after a mining op), and will uncloak, tackle the target, and light the covert cyno. Always wait to light your cyno until you have your target locked down in this situation - save the isotopes and the element of surprise if the target gets away. The Black Ops Battleship will open the portal, and the fleet will right-click on the BS and bridge to the destination. Light up the target, destroy, loot, and bridge back out, leaving the scout alone again. Rinse and repeat as long as you remain within range of your Black Ops Battleship.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cyno Fields 101 (Part 1)

As documented in the EVE Wiki, nearly any pilot can generate a cynosural field. If you don't know what a cyno field is, take a few minutes to go and read the wiki article.

Ok, now that you are back, and you think you understand the basics of cyno generation, let's cover it with a little more detail. First, cyno travel requires a destination ship (the cyno ship) and a traveller. These ships include Carriers, Supercarriers, and Titans, while the black ops group includes Covert Cyno Frigates, Stealth Bombers, Black Ops Battleships, and Force Recons. These ships must be in fleet together for the traveller to jump to the destination. Since you cannot light a cynosural field in hisec space, there is always risk since the ships jumping to a cyno are popular to destroy, as told many places, including this earlier post. There are 5 basic types of cynosural bridges:

  • Deep Safe Cyno: These will not exist after Tyrannis, but the concept here is a cyno so deep out that it takes more than 30 seconds to warp to it from any celestial in the system.

  • POS Cyno: Common in 0.0 systems without stations, the POS cyno is necessary to get materials in and out of your POS farms.

  • Station Cyno: By far the most common cyno (besides the hot drop), bringing carriers in to stations where your corporate offices exist, to move goods between systems.

  • Hot Drop Cyno: Very different from the transit cyno fields, hot drop cynos are combat oriented - to bring carriers onto the field and overwhelm your enemy.

  • Covert Cyno: The last of the cynosural fields, and the most dangerous, a covert cyno does not appear on the overview, and is not visible to anyone unless you are on the combat grid when it is lit. In addition, it is only used to bridge in combat ships like Recons, Stealth Bombers, and Covert Ops Battleships.

Cyno Ships
Let's start with the options for cyno ships. I'm going to group 3 different kinds of ships: Traditional Cyno Ships, Combat Cyno Ships and Covert Cyno Ships.

Traditional Cyno Ships
Traditional Cyno Ships get blown up a lot. Because of this they are usually the cheapest frigate you can afford, with nothing but a Cynosural Field Generator fitted, and only enough fuel in the cargo hold for a single cycle. Personally this is a Navitas, since I own a highly researched BPO:

[Navitas, CynoFish]
[empty low slot]
[empty low slot]

[empty med slot]
[empty med slot]

[empty high slot]
Cynosural Field Generator I

[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]

Combat Cyno Ships
This is a more difficult ship to justify. A combat cyno ship is an effective combat vessel, but has a cyno generator fitted as well. That means it needs a gang for remote repair and (or) a killer tank, as it will be a sitting duck for 10 minutes. Battlecruisers are usually a good option here, with a solid mixture of cost, tank and overall flexibility.

[Myrmidon, CynoMrym]
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Reactor Control Unit II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Damage Control II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Faint Warp Disruptor I
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
Monopulse Tracking Mechanism I, Optimal Range
F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines, Scan Resolution

Cynosural Field Generator I
200mm Prototype I Gauss Gun, Antimatter Charge M
200mm Prototype I Gauss Gun, Antimatter Charge M
200mm Prototype I Gauss Gun, Antimatter Charge M
[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Ogre II x3
Hammerhead II x5
Warrior II x5

Covert Cyno Ships
These ships are truly silent terrors, since they represent a double threat - they can warp cloaked, and the ability to bridge in a covert ops fleet. The scout ship (Covert Ops Frigate) is the less expensive of the two, while the Combat Recon is the battlefield version.
[Helios, CovertCyno]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Damage Control II

1MN MicroWarpdrive II
Low Frequency Sensor Suppressor I, Scan Resolution Dampening
Low Frequency Sensor Suppressor I, Scan Resolution Dampening
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I, Tracking Speed Disruption
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I, Tracking Speed Disruption

Covert Cynosural Field Generator I
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]

The Covert Cyno Recon has a complex job - get in place, hold tackle, and light the covert cyno. This is the heart of a black ops fleet.

[Arazu, CynoRecon]
Damage Control II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Medium Armor Repairer II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

Warp Scrambler II
Warp Disruptor II
10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Large Shield Extender I
Phased Muon Sensor Disruptor I, Scan Resolution Dampening
Phased Muon Sensor Disruptor I, Scan Resolution Dampening

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Covert Cynosural Field Generator I
Dual 150mm Railgun II, Spike M
Dual 150mm Railgun II, Spike M

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Hammerhead II x4

Although traditionally the backbone (and sitting safe at a POS) in a covert hot-drop fleet, the Sin is also a battlefield menace, although often primaried in combat.

[Sin, Black Ops Leader]
Large Armor Repairer II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Reactor Control Unit II
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Heavy Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Cap Booster 800
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution
Warp Scrambler II
ECM - Multispectral Jammer II
ECM Burst II
ECCM - Magnetometric II

Covert Jump Portal Generator I
Covert Cynosural Field Generator I
Improved Cloaking Device II
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Void L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Void L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Void L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Void L

Large Ancillary Current Router I
Large Ancillary Current Router I

Bouncer II x5
Ogre II x5

This covers the introduction to Cynsural Fields, specifically the ships involved. In part 2 I will talk about actual use of the fields, in both transit and combat concepts.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Commitment is a four letter word...

As an individual pilot, I'm not new to 0.0 overall, although I will admit my life in 0.0 (now approaching a year straight) has been mostly in NPC 0.0. Our alliance has recently sided with the SC in the current "great war" in hopes of gaining some decent sov systems and the benefits that come with it. We successfully have sovereignty in 4 systems, but no station systems. That was on the agenda to change last night, but sadly, did not work out in our favor.

Shortly before 00:00 EST in RL, I heard crickets. That's my "quiet" alarm on my iPhone, the one I use for alarm-clock ops so I don't wake the wife. I get up, bio and settle in to my desk, EVE has been logged in all day in anticipation of an ugly fight for sovereignty in FIO. When I went to bed (two hours earlier) there were only a dozen or so people in local, and half of them were alliance. After an unopposed takedown on a Tech moon the night before, I wondered if MH and the NC would just roll over for this backwater system with station. I didn't expect them to, but I wondered...

I'd been idle in FIO all day, sitting cloaked at a fairly deep (but within Tyrannis bounds) safe in my light dictor. It was the best ship I'd had available when we started this fight, although when I get back to station I can put together some LR battleships and HICs finally since my gear has arrived in 0.0. I watched local hover in the teens, mostly neuts and reds when I checked, so when I went to prep for the final battle I was mildly surprised to find local over 250 with only 20 blues in that count. What I wasn't surprised with was the crappy local spam that is part of current lag-based warfare. Note to CCP - an option to ignore a pilot in local (and have their local broadcasts blocked) would be a godsend in the current game. Anyway, I fire up vent and look for the fleet, join up and am immediately dismayed. Our fleet numbers 62 pilots, and the station we are attempting to take comes out or RF in 30 minutes. That means the current odds are a little under 6:1 against us. Well, I figure, I'll sit it out and see if we actually can put this together. After all, it's 12:30 AM EST, which means our strong Euro group is just waking up, and the U.S. folks are really pushing into the later night. We've had larger fleets in roams - no reason it wouldn't pick up to around 100 - but then the other shoe drops. The majority of our small fleet is still in our home staging system. They haven't even begun the trip out here, and the road is heavily camped this close to the actual combat timer.

After some up and down discussion, it is determined that we will be able to utilize a Titan bridge courtesy of CH (currently blue to us for the war), and they've got a fleet that could be as large as 100. Things are starting to look up, although now the timer is at 15 minutes and counting... Count in local is now about 300, blues account for 20 +/- pilots. As the fleet is warping to the titan bridge, word comes out that the POS the Titan rests at is set to shoot non-alliance. Pilots should be entering a password before warping, CH is working on the POS settings, it sounds like this could end badly before it begins. Well, as it turns out, things get arranged and folks start bridging in a couple systems from FIO. Of course, the timer is up and the NC is now pounding on our SBUs, ready to end this siege. Our fleet arrives at the E9 gate into FIO, are alerted to the enemy count on gate, and the situation, and they call for all alliance pilots in FIO to get into E9. Most of us warp to 0 on the gate from our various spots and jump into E9. Two neuts follow us, and the fleet fails to pop or stop them, as they (in bombers) are able to warp off successfully.

We sit for a while on gate as intel feeds in from FIO. The bulk of the NC fleet is now on the other side of this gate - so our fleet sets up at optimal ranges. Of course, our FCs aren't thinking Sov warfare - why would they jump out when everything they need is on their side of the gate. They can sit there and end the Sov battle by destroying our SBU while we sit on the other side of the gate debating tactics. Finally a tactic is arranged, the whole fleet warps around to a secondary entry gate in FIO. As we approach that gate, the fleet splits back up and half goes back to the E9 system and gate into FIO. Apparently we will try a two-front assault in hopes of...I guess a good fight. At this point, the SBU is reported destroyed. The battle for FIO is over, NC defended. Our allies have jumped in, are trying to engage the NC fleet but are in HACs/BCs and don't have the firepower and armor to survive an assault from the NC fleet, which has at least 5 guardians on the field. After some brief discussion, our FC decides that we came for a fight, and we were going to do it, if the majority supports it. As most pilots are in T1 Battleships, and insurance still pays a win, we decide to jump in and go down in our true suicide fleet way.

As we jump into FIO, the NC bubbles the gate all to hell. Still cloaked, my overview is full of targets, and the FC starts calling targets. I realize that my little dictor is useless in this unless I can get out, so I align to a celestial and start to MWD out. I'm targeted almost immediately, and with two volleys I'm at 20% armor. I get out (in 80% hull) and am able to regroup and repair my armor - but as I watch and listen our fleet is going down steadily. At the end of the day, our KB shows 53 losses, 8 kills. I'm not going to try and paint a rosy picture, we got wiped off the field. But it is the nature of the beast - this alliance is about the fight, win or lose, as long as everyone (or the majority) supports the decision for a suicide fight. Round 1 of the battle for FIO and Fade goes to the NC.

Just under two hours from the alarm going off, I'm headed back to bed. We'll regroup and reassess in the morning, I expect.

Monday, May 10, 2010

War and Piracy (second rebirth)

(originally written and posted July 2009)
The war rages on. But does it impact the life of a lonely pod pilot?

The war between the Empires continues, the blood toll rising daily. Families torn asunder, friends now turned to enemies; such is the cost of peace and politics in New Eden.
Some events go unheralded; victories and defeats all in the name of duty and honour.
Economies collapse, piracy is on the rise. Is there an end in sight? Can there ever truly be peace?

I never felt like a patriot. It wasn't me. My family were immigrants and industrialists, not warriors or statesmen. I had already drifted far from my origins. Becoming a Capsuleer, I knew I had become more than anyone in my family before - immortal, rich beyond their imaginings, and a wanderer in the darkness between stars. When the empire wars began nearly a year ago, I watched from the sidelines. It was, after all, not my problem. However, like many others, I was curious about the war. In the springtime after war broke out, I decided to take a short stint in the Gallente Militia.

As a solo pilot, I had never put much stock in the corporate experience. The company that helped train me was quick to let me go without a second thought, although life in The Scope wasn't much different. A large group of pod pilots fly in The Scope, but they don't have any common goals, aspirations, or the ability to really coordinate and work as a team the way other corporations seemed to. So when I went into the militia office to sign up for a term in the Gallente Militia, I didn't really pay attention to the details, and simply signed on the bottom line. That was not my first mistake, nor would it be my last.

I had recently relocated to Jufvitte, a border system on the edge of the disputed regions. There was a Federal Defence Union station in system, with a variety of agents to work for. I'd been running missions my entire career, and thought this would be no different. I called up the local agent on my neocomm and applied for a mission. I was shocked at the mission offered - fly 13 systems across high- and lo-sec Caldari Space and assault an outpost in their border zone. This mission went smoothly, although flying to and from the system was challenging, as I was chased 4 systems across The Citadel by the Caldari Navy. Several other missions were similar - fly far across space to a Caldari border system and assault an outpost.

One evening, as I was assaulting an outpost, I was surprised to see a Caldari Capsuleer warp into the mission. I hadn't paid close attention to the information packet handed out by the militia recruiter - and didn't realize that my arrival in the system would be noted, tracked, and I would likely be attacked by either Caldari militia or local pirates. My initial reaction was best - I immediately aligned and warped to my exit stargate. There was no ship waiting there, and I should have just jumped out and accepted my failure, as my ship was not configured to battle experienced pod pilots. But I was so used to the life of a hi-sec mission runner I just re-aligned to the deadspace gate and warped back in. At the gate there were two other Caldari pilots, and they were prepared to battle other capsuleers. Within moments I was webbed and scrambled, unable to get away as they locked weapons onto my Catalyst-class destroyer and began assaulting me. I returned the favor, targeting one of them and opening fire, but they were just out of range of my 125mm railguns, especially with antimatter charges. I was missing as often as hitting, and the well-known Caldari shield tank was holding up easliy against my intermittent fire. I continued to attempt to warp away as they quickly ate through the shields on my ship, and began to penetrate the armor. In an unbalanced fight (3 to 1) I sat basically unable to strike back and merely watch my ship dissove from under me. The explosion of my ship disrupted their scramblers just enough for me to get away - but having failed to complete my mission. My personal disappointment (and the frustration from the agent who had hired me) led to a quick end of my contract with the Gallente Militia. I flew for them for a mere two weeks, and had nothing to show but a Pend Insurance payout on my overpriced Catalyst. I was done, disgusted with my lack of understanding and unprepared to lose ships anywhere, anytime, to the raiding Caldari militia pilots. I contacted the local militia office, and resigned, realizing I wasn't made of "the right stuff" for the war.

Fast forward to high summer. I watched from the sidelines as the Caldari conquered system after system across Gallente space, reducing the "safe" space to fly in to small pockets of high-security systems scattered across known space. I was a more experienced pilot today - I still hadn't had to take out a fellow capsuleer, but I was smarter about how to avoid pirates and other pilots, and I had been studying the techniques of ship combat, improving my ability to command and utilize the offensive and defensive systems in my ships - I had even qualified to fly the advanced frigates and destroyers available to the Gallente pilot, although I felt I wasn't quite ready to fly and lose a ship that expensive. I was, after all, still a solo pilot. That was all about to change. I had come across a corporation that seemed willing to let me learn the actual techniques of combat against other pod pilots, and they had recently signed up with the Gallente Militia to fight back against the Caldari horde. I felt like it was time to try again - time to step back up and sign on the dotted line. I was going to re-enlist.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Carebear in me...

The carebear in me is having a bit of fun with PI on Sisi. Assuming that most of it sorts out with good information in the market for the PI command centers and skills, those who have spent a lot of time with it in Sisi and documented things should come out way ahead in the initial PI race, but it will probably balance out soon enough. What I've noticed (and hope is not consistent) is that costs to build items like extractors and storage facilities are 100% out, with no reimbursement when decommissioning a site. I would think that in the "far-future" that some small measure of recycling existed, so those decommissioned facilities return something (like 5-10%) of the commissioning cost. Either that, or they remain available but in offline mode, like various tower modules.

As I test the various processes for POS fuel creation, I know the wormhole crowd is getting excited, to go deep down the rabbit hole and hide their POS, since they can live there all alone without needing to travel out with this change. Of course as CCP does this, and the Meta 0 removal from loot tables, it is clear that they are slowly working towards a completely player-run economy. I wouldn't be surprised if in 6 months, with the next major release (or slowly, over the 6 months) Meta 0 items and those items constructable via PI disappear from the NPC hubs. Guess it's time to get my industry alt up with Production Efficiency V, and my item BPOs to ME/PE 20/20 for the oncoming change. The lag in Sisi today was crazy though - 20-30 seconds for my hangar to show any ships or items after login. Hope that isn't a failure in the battle of Lag that will make its way to Tranquility...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Skills Update: Main and Primary alt

I often enjoy reading about other's skill plans, and where they are in any particular skill plan. Here's a quick summary of the two primary characters I'm flying right now. My main, SW, has just over 34 million skill points. As I spent a long time bouncing around and not focusing my skill plan, they are all over, although 51 of them are at Level V:
Corp Management: 137,180
Drones: 1,092,884
Electronics: 4,426,666
Engineering: 2,306,695
Gunnery: 9.052,096
Industry: 756,427
Leadership: 320,000
Learning: 4,111,530
Mechanic: 1,546,801
Missile Launcher Operation: 602,124
Navigation: 1,568,310
Science: 2,337,496
Social: 103,155
Spaceship Command: 5,648,520
Trade: 30,144
My super achievement is in gunnery - I have all the gunnery support skills to V except Trajectory Analysis, and Specialization in all Hybrid and Projectile Turrets up to at least 4 in small and medium weapons. The goal here is to fly all Caldari, Gallente and Minmitar T2 Frigates and Cruisers effectively. That skill plan is actually less than 6 months, including all T2 cruisers and frigate skills to L4 (except logistics).

My alt (just over 6 months old) is in a very different direction, with 7,777,309 total SP, and only 15 skills at Level V:
Corp Management: 0
Drones: 439,518
Electronics: 157,539
Engineering: 322,829
Gunnery: 22,158
Industry: 1,908,506
Leadership: 0
Learning: 1,359,241
Mechanic: 701,270
Missile Launcher Operation: 0
Navigation: 53,255
Science: 2,012,722
Social: 242,275
Spaceship Command: 549,246
Trade: 8,750

He's got multiple research agents and near-perfect refines on all non-null minerals. He is working towards maximized T2 invention in all 4 races for Frigates and Cruisers. Once that's done, T3 invention skills are in the queue.

I have a second alt, but she is very new, and shares skill time with one of the others, so she hasn't even passed the double-time training bonus yet. She's just getting learning skills in order before beginning her career. I'm considering working towards a focused Carrier/MOM pilot, but that would really require a third paid account to make it an effective plan. She will probably stay a neutral alt/cyno alt for some time...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When in a rut... wander a new direction

So I've lived in the same area of space for most of my 2.5 years in EVE. Well, to be more specific, I've lived in two areas pretty much exclusively. One is Gallente empire space, and the other is NPC 0.0 in ORE/Syndicate space. I've also (as mentioned before) spent most of that time in NPC corps, and one player corp (now two). The hardest part about living in the current region of 0.0 is that we are blue to practically everyone, and our alliance has a reputation for hot-drops and heavy-loss-inducing suicide fleets. This translates (loosely) into fewer and fewer options for good fights. People either safe up, dock up, or just plain leave when a scout from my alliance appears in local. This has made 0.0 boring. I never thought I'd say that, but when I can safely rat in a pipe system in 0.0 with only 1-2 safes because 90% or more of all traffic is blue, 0.0 has lost its lustre.

Fortunately this should all change soon enough, with some opportunities for good fights coming, but the last month (almost two) has seen a rut where we have to go 15-20 jumps just to find a fight. But what has happened is that some of my favorite pilots to fly with have either gone MIA (not even logging in) or rogue in losec. Now understand - I don't think there's anything wrong with going to losec and losing a little sec status, even though I am still too much of a carebear to pod someone in losec. This rut extends even to my game, as I find myself spending more time in my industry alt, getting into POS production, R&D work with datacore collection, ship invention and T2 construction. Unfortunately (for me) I'm not doing it right, as I'm not inventing and building to earn ISK - I'm doing it for the day my PvP character is interesting again.

Most interesting to me, as the fledgling industrialist, is the odd drops and fluctuations of prices as a major update to EVE approaches. The industry CEO is a wizard with this, and regularly modifies what we are building in our POS farm, based on market cycles and material prices. Since I'm just getting started, I'm not really one to say "buy construction blocks" or something, but as I'm learning more I'm realizing that sometimes, the path to success is far from straight. I've been collecting the specific datacores I need for my ship invention, via a decent (L3) R&D agent near my Losec base. A recent returning player to the corp was evaluating the datacore market recently, and informed me that we were better off researching some random datacore, selling them on the market, buying the datacores we want for invention, and still be turning a profit of several million ISK per week - with no real work involved beyond posting buy and sell orders. So rather than researching Caldari and Gallente Ship datacores, I find myself researching odd physics skills. Moral of the story - sometimes the end goal is best achieved with a winding path. I will have plenty of datacores for my invention work, I will be earning additional ISK since I'm researching popular and expensive datacores instead of the ones I need, and buying my starship datacores on the market.