Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The wonderful Orca

You might notice that in the last two weeks I'm near or above 1B/day profit. The market I'm working now is still in experimental phase but clearly has potential. However it's strongly limited by my transporting ability.

You know that in the first months I made my 4-600M/day by hauling skillbooks between Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Rens and most recently to Hek in specially fitted interceptors. These things start to warp when the cloak animation is still on, so a pirate must have the reaction time of a hawk and lot of sensor boosters to even target them. They also have warp core stabilizer and enough EHP to survive a smartbombing battleship. So it's safe to say that they are practically uncatchable.

The above is true as long as we talk about a pirate who is out for some loot. It's absolutely not true if someone is out with the aim to catch me. It's hard, but clearly not impossible. It needs at first lot of observation on gates on trade routes, finding the names of interceptors traveling there daily. Then he needs a team with a forward scout, several sensor-boosted frigates with warp scramblers and an alpha Tornado. No one will bother to make this effort to catch 7-800M worth of cargo, since in the same time each of the participants could catch several autopiloting T1 industrials with 2-300M cargo. So my skillbook industry was safe and so is yours if you start building your business empire by hauling small but valuable stuff in an interceptor.

Hauling 5B of cargo is very different. Not only because the loot/time_spent_preparing is maybe above shooting idiots on the Perimiter gate. But because catching a 5B interceptor is "cool". I mean if the one of you blow up 10 autopiloting morons with 300M cargo each, no one gives a damn. If the five of you blow up one ship with 15B cargo, you'll get to the Evenews24 and the kill of the week of Jester and God knows how many forums, despite the loot/time/person is the same. Battles where 50B value is lost are forgotten in a day. The legend of the 22B Kestrel is immortal. So if someone assumes that you are flying around with such cargo, you will be shot down, no matter how careful you are. If someone wants you dead in EVE, you'll die. Your skills, knowledge, fit and care won't make any difference in that. They make difference in the cost of the gank. If you are an idiot autopiloting an unfitted Kestrel on the Perimiter gate wardecced, it will cost a few minutes. If you are really good, then a small team of pirates will spend a week setting up the trap. But at the end of the week, you'll be dead.

The above issue places a cap on hauling profit. You simply can't fly with anything above 2B in a small ship, and I'd say 5B with a freighter/fully tanked battleship. This is a lot if you are starting up. But I'll reach that cargo in a month and I definitely don't want to stop my profit from growing. Some of my profit is station-traded and the rest is distributed between the various routes. The limiting factor is the Jita-Dodixie path because the cargo of Jita-Dodixie, Jita-Hek, Jita-Rens, Amarr-Dodixie, Amarr-Hek, Amarr-Rens are together here.

Enters the wonderful Orca. It's an insurable T1 ship that has 200K EHP with cheap fittings. But it's more than just a 700M battleship. It has a corporate hangar array. This is 7 different hangars with the combined size of 40K m3. They are unscannable and drop no loot. No loot, no piracy. Griefers can still gank it, but for what? They can't be sure that it had anything in it and above all they can't prove that it had. If they go to some forum with a kill report and claim that it had 20B in the hold, they can write a page of circumstantial evidence, but the only response they'll get is "cool story + an empty orca bro". People don't want to believe that someone else scored big, so to force them to accept, the griefer must provide an API-verified proof. It can't be done if the target flies an Orca.

If you are planning to do some serious business empire based on hauling, you must have Orcas. Since they are damn slow, you need more than one. My current plan is to have one for my Rens, Amarr and Jita interceptor pilots. This way the Jita and Amarr ships meet on Inaro, they put the cargo into one of them and both of them fly to Dodixie. This way two ships are flying one jump behind each other, so the griefers can't even guess which has the cargo (or need two suicide squads). In Dodixie they meet with the Rens ship (which has the Hek cargo too). They exchange cargo with each other, put off and pick up the Dodixie cargo and turn back.

As soon as these three alts have Orcas, I can finally put the experimental business into working stage and introduce it to you in the "blogging my profit away" post of July. So if you want a piece of that, go start learning for Orca.

Tuesday morning report: 48.8B. (1 PLEX ahead, 1.1B spent on LCT, 0.1 on Rorqual)
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Anonymous said...

kudos to whoever started the "orca killmails are incomplete rumor". I've barely seen a rumour holding for that long and causing so many people to make bad decisions.

Can you scan the Corp Hangars of an Orca? No.
Will it drop and will you be able to loot? yes.
Will it show up on a Killmail? yes.

how do i know? i killed my share of orcas.

Anonymous said...

I thought they changed how the corporate hangar works, and it can now be scanned? Be sure to confirm this!

Anonymous said...

All ships are insurable. It is just whether the payout is worth it.

The larger ships give you about 50% of hull value at platinum payout after costs, which is why freighters/orcas etc are not insured.

Gevlon said...

Can you link a single killmail where corporate hangar drops loot?

Anti said...

i have a question.

how long does the trip take in an Orca?

is it quicker to take 5 trips in a 2B cargo inteceptor or 1 trip in the Orca with 10B cargo?

Gevlon said...

The Orca feels slow, but not so bad. It takes about 1.5x more to make the Jita-Dodixie road if you fit an inertia stab and an afterburner.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon the corporate hangar stuff is listed as cargo on those mails.

Gevlon said...

Or, they were in the cargohold because stupid people don't know the difference between corporate hangar and normal cargohold

Hivemind said...

You could make the Orca go faster using an alt with webifiers to speed up warping. Just a suggestion since you have spare alts in training not involved in your trade runs, and a lone alt in an ewar type frig (the Griffin being the Caldari example) could easily provide webs for all 3 Orcas while they're together, drastically cutting warp times.

If you're never planning on using the conventional hold of an Orca for hauling, you might also want to consider using Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer rigs, which will increase its warp speed. I'm guessing at present you use shield extender rigs for more tank, but I'd argue that if you're relying on the stealthy nature of the corp hangars to avoid attracting gankers, the 24k EHP difference between velocity and shield rigs makes little difference, whereas the extra 2 AU/s warp speed you get from 3 velocity rigs will make a difference on just about every warp you make.

Anonymous said...

@ Gevlon & Anonymous
why don't you simply test it?

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: Webbing would add significant human time. Now I just press "jump", double-click AB and just ALT-Tab. The warp speed rigs on the other hand are interesting.

Anonymous said...

I and a friend tested it a few months back on sisi. Neither corp hanger or ship bay or ore bay drop anything or show anything on the KM.

This is probably due to a limitation in the KM code where only a select number of "containers" are looked at for the formatting of the KM. There is no slot for the corp hanger on a KM and as such that is not shown.

The KM is pretty old code, in a recent devmail post and resulting discussion they went into it a little bit and the core seems to be largely unchanged since the days that KM's where still actual mails.

In that discussion the point was the time shown on a KM, which isn't the time a ship is killed but the time the collected data gets processed into a "mail". Which prevented them from getting a more accurate time, since the time is already wrong.

I wouldn't be surprised if the internal killmail process gets an overhaul now that they have given the UI aspect of it a re-doing. Also since they've been collecting ideas from the community for it over the past few months.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous - i have tested it a few times with, lets call 'em "volunteers".

@Gevlon - sure, they might have been to stupid and put more into the cargohold than the cargohold can hold.

Anonymous said...


If your sample set was targets on TQ then how exactly do you know the dropped loot was from their corp hanger?

Anonymous said...

"The ships maintanance bay is used to [...] station. Its contents will not show up on kill mails."

"A special feature of a corp hanger is that its contents will not show up on kill mails".

"Scans the cargo hold of another ship."

Didn't find any place that ever said they wouldn't drop that hat a valid source available.

Just like "Plexes never drop as loot" ages ago.

Gevlon said...

Actually it's irrelevant. If the loot can't be scanned, no sane pirate wastes 1.5B tornados on a possibly empty ship.

If the loot don't show up on the kill report, no killboard junkie will bother.

Random idiots can't muster a 20-men Tornado fleet.

The Orca is as safe as something in EVE can be.

Fade Toblack said...

Before the Inferno release, Orca kills didn't drop loot from the corporate hangar or ship maint bay. Also the contents of those hangars didn't appear on the killmail. I've tested this on Sisi myself.

in the Inferno release, flags were added to indicate that the item in the kill report were in those hangars. I've seen reports that was appearing on both kill reports in-game and via the API, there was a messed-up API-verified kill report for an Orca somewhere on eve-kill at least.

Having said that some of the changes in the kill reports when you pull them via the API were reverted in one of the early Inferno releases. So this may not apply to current TQ.

In any case I'd expect the fact that the stuff doesn't appear to me more down to technical reasons, rather than game design - so expect it to be fixed at some point. Ditto to both scanning and loot dropped.

Belloche said...

If you want an orca that gets into warp in 10 seconds, all you need to do is to put a power diagnostic in one of your low slots and then a 100mn MWD in a mid slot. It allows you to jump through a gate, hit warp then the mwd, and as soon as the mwd cycles once, you are in warp. It does sacrifice the reinforced bulkheads part of your tank but the time saved is enormous. Set the mwd to cycle once when clicked and you will be surprised how fast you can get into warp.

Anonymous said...

"The Corporate Hangars area is particularly useful in that it cannot be scanned by players, making it nice for hauling high-value goods. (Note, however, that your corporation hangar is scannable by Customs agents, so you are vulnerable if you carry illegal items, like booster drugs, in Empire space.) Further, if your Orca is ever attacked and destroyed, anything in the Corporate Hangars area is also destroyed, denying any contents there to the attacker. Most pirates and gankers know this, and therefore assume that a savvy Orca pilot will store valuable cargo in the Corporate Hangars, thus providing a disincentive to attack it in the first place."