Saturday, February 21, 2015

Gas Harvesting (and the "baby fleet booster" 1 month alt)

I was recently considering what to do with my 6th and final open character slot across my two accounts, and so I started a basic exploration character who specializes in gas harvesting--who also provides basic fleet boosts.

On Sven's account, I have Sven, a scout (1 month of skills) and a trader who can also fly interceptors for scouting and basic scanning (3-4 months of skills). On my second account, I have main trader who is also a link alt, perfect scanner, and former full time explorer, and then I have a second scout. But what to do with the 3rd and final character, if anything?

At first, I decided to train an alt type I call the "baby booster," an alt which has a month of skillpoints devoted to leadership skills. You can train leadership and warfare skills to IV, and around 3 to a full V, in one month of training, which provides something like 10% targeting speed, 10% agility, 10% armor HP, 10% shield HP, and 8% targeting range, and you can confer these bonuses while cloaked in a tech 1 frigate or off at a safe spot on a 1 month character. If you think about the size of the bonuses and compare them to, say, implant bonuses, those are some pretty massive benefits for very little cost and virtually no risk. Any newer player who wants to "solo" PVP and has a second account can easily obtain a "baby fleet booster" and, while not yet having a full link alt--which takes a long time to train--you essentially get "free" 10% bonuses across the board, and if the character gets exploded, you lose little to nothing. I also have a nearly complete link alt, but I rarely ever use links  (so far, in low sec, I've used them once, to fight a gang of 9 players) and will rarely use this character.

So, what else could I do with this character that would be useful, something I haven't done before? I have plans of moving into wormhole life soon, so I used another PLEX (one I actually won from an EVE twitch stream, yay) to spend a month training skills for gas harvesting as well as some basic scanning skills. I've come across gas sites for years while exploring, and have killed a few ventures in them as well, but I've never run one myself. I've also started getting into drugs, and am thinking about making my own drugs in the future, so I would like to start a stockpile of gas--for fun, really, since I could just go out and buy as many drugs as I wanted from the market. However, ever since I read about Sugar Kyle's early days in low sec making drugs for her and her pals, I've wanting to try creating them as well (preferably when CCP improves the POS system, which is coming up now, finally). Sugar Kyle still has what's probably the best guide to making drugs on her blog.

So far, I've found gas harvesting to be surprisingly enjoyable. Unlike mining, it is rewarding to find these relatively rare sites in wormholes or low security space (or NS), and then completely clear them. Not at lot of players will hunt down a venture in a gas site in low sec, and the wormholes I enter are fairly dead, so I can clear the gas relatively afk (plus, I don't exactly lose much if I die--certainly not pride, like on Sven). Since I haven't had much time to play that is not semi-afk, gas harvesting has been a nice way to play EVE without being able to dedicate full attention to it, and this character will eventually be able to provide Sven basic fleet boosts while ALSO harvesting the gas to make his drugs...what a tyrant.

Most EVE players seem to "horde" or collect something--usually, ships, or loot, or PLEX, or collectors items--but I don't really collect anything. Maybe gas--or gas and the drugs I make from it--will be the thing I collect?

In a later post, I am going to collect statistics on how much isk I made per site and how long it took. However, I will end this post with a short story about how I met a new player while gassing, one I had only early met on Sven...

So here me and another relatively new player / character are, mining in a wormhole and talking in local. I came into this hole from high sec, and started scanning for gas when Tarrus started up our conversation. He had no problem sharing the gas sites--it turned out there were 4 in the wormhole total! He had already cleared the sleepers. We had a local chat (in local chat, why not) about gas mining and wormholes. I was very appreciative of him for sharing the gas. I had to leave shortly after this, the spoils going to him alone. I am sure I will meet and befriend other new players / characters on him in in the future, and may even join an exploration group like Signal Cartel. What's ironic about our friendly conversation--in the way that EVE only is--is the fact that I had met Tarrus only days early, on Sven...

Well, no hard feelings I hope. I am glad we were able to mine gas together later, though I am not sure that if he knew it was the same player he would have so readily shared. Then again, everyone I have met in wormholes has been chill about losing ships, especially newer players (more stories about this soon!), so maybe he would have been still glad to share the gas nonetheless? I am happy to see him so quickly replacing the loss. Drugs have a way of bringing people together like that, I suppose...


  1. See what I get for neglecting the leadership skills. I had no idea the boosts were so big without even getting to a link ship. Thanks for the eye-opener.

    1. Yeah, when I realized an alt with 1 month of training gives you what amounts to a 5-piece, 10% implant set (armor hp, shield hp, targeting range, scan res, agility) on top of your existing implants, plus the ability to scout, PLUS the ability to do all of this while in a pod, a rookie ship or cloaked up, with ZERO clone costs, I realized that this is a stupidly OP system, and so I decided gas mining would be more enjoyable.

  2. Ok some quick tips from a 4-venture fleet captain and booster cook:
    1. Don't waste your time gathering statistics. Eve mining calc -> gasses. Multiply by the number of ventures, decide by two (scanning, preparations, bookmarks).
    2. Lowsec gas and boosters are joke isk. Really forget it. Nullsec gas only. 150kk/hr per venture. Even WH c32-50 harvesting is more profitable than lowsec.
    3. No disrespect to Sugar, her guide is far from good. Ataraxia booster production ftw.
    4. In be4 you got bored - better buy water and gas in jita and cook boosters in lowsec at possy. Booster market is the thing, that's where social elements and games begin.
    5. If you want to role play breaking bad heroes I can suggest you one awesome adventure I got once in eve. Get rorqual, stuff it with ventures, cyno ships, get companion with t3 scanner-scout-pve gas site clearer and go straight to gas nullsec constellation. We also had small pos and chimaera (fleet booster + fighter assign). 6 characters for 2 players involves.

    Pashko Morgan @ Rg.P

    1. Thanks for the tips! Nothing in the post was meant to suggest I would do gas mining as a serious activity though. It is something to do with a few extra weeks of training on an alt, more or less, and because this character will be in wormholes anyhow.

    2. Bring polymer reactor array %) Total volume of fullerite will be a nightmare for hauling. Also. Park venture right inside the gas cloud. Sabres will be visible on dscan while bombers/prots will be decloaked by the cloud if they dare to go scram you. Though lachesis/arazu with 3 points is still an unmanagable threat.