Some days it is good to have a freighter on hand…
Cleaning up after some mining.
Some days it is good to have a freighter on hand…
Cleaning up after some mining.
Everybody knows somebody with a vehicle that is useful for hauling things. (If you live in the US, it is the curse of owning a pickup truck.) They may not be a close friend, but they are surprisingly dear when you need to get a dining room table home or a couch moved and you aren’t keen to pay a steep delivery charge or rent a truck for the day.
For our corp, I am now that guy. I own a freighter, and with great cargo capacity comes great responsibility.
Not that I mind. That is what I bought the ship to do, haul things.
And, as usual, I have been allowed to learn new things in EVE Online.
Wanting some stuff moved16 jumps from our main base of operations without having to make the trip with me, Gaff figured out how to create a contract that allowed me to haul it at my leisure so it was there for him to pick up at the destination the next day.
It turned out to be pretty easy. At the hauling end of things you get a freight container with the destination as its name.
It would be nice if you could right click on the contain and set the destination, but you can’t have everything.
Potshot also went the contract route so I could move some goods for him.
In addition to learning about contracts and hauling, I have also learned a couple of things a freighter cannot do.
You cannot, for example, take a freighter through a mission gate.
You also cannot use a freighter for near infinite mining storage.
Darren and Jonathan were mining the other night and I said I would haul for them. I wanted to show off my new ship and surprise them with its immense size, so I did not mention I would be flying out in the Charon.
When I warped in they were suitably impressed. But when I went to start emptying their jet can, I got a surprise message.
My dream of, say, hours of travel free ice mining were dashed.
So I got my alt out and hauled for them in a much-less-impressive Badger while I flew the Charon around hoping to scare off any can flippers with the sheer size of the thing.
I brought it up and over in a loop, which looks unnatural.
When in the verticle position monolith quotes from “2001 – A Space Odyssey” began to come out. It might be full of stars, but it was not full of ore.
Still, having the freighter there ended up being handy. When the mining was done I was able to haul the whole take from the station to market.
One of the things I did before I went into my holiday EVE Online lull was put up a series of buy orders out in a few more remote regions of space for ore. It was veldspar mostly, but also kernite and omber. And those buy orders were at prices that made resell of processed minerals attractive back then, when tritanium was under 3 ISK a unit.
And, in the sort of “out of sight, out of mind” way that things sometimes work for me, I forgot about those orders. They ran their course while I wasn’t looking.
Then, this weekend, I did a search on my stuff to see if I had any veldspar laying around, as I sold every last bit or tritanium I had on hand, when I noticed a couple million units of the stuff loitering 8 to 16 jumps away from my main area of operation. And about 400K units of omber and another 400K of kernite were sitting out there as well.
All in all, there were more than 30 mammoth loads worth of ore sitting out there in sizable clumps. So I had a choice.
I could spend all day flying back and forth, loading and unloading my industrial.
Or I could buy two skills and a new ship and scoop the whole lot up in one round trip.
So, at last, months after I staked out the costs and the skills I would need, I finally bought a freighter.
45 million ISK and 22 minutes of training time for Advanced Spaceship Command.
67.5 million ISK and 75 minutes of training for Caldari Freighter.
Over a billion ISK spent in a few minutes. A big shopping spree for me. That was a bit more than I thought I would have to pay for the ship itself, but with the rise in the price of tritanium lately, I was okay with it. At least you don’t have to worry about fitting out a freighter once you buy it. There are no slots to fit anything!
Of course, now I have a few things to learn about freighters.
I was disappointed right off the bat that I could not stuff an assembled ship into the thing. I flew out to pick it up in a destroyer, my salvage craft, thinking I would just toss it in the bed and drive home. Even assembled the destroyer was smaller than the hauling capacity of the charon.
I got a message that said I would have to package the ship up to store it in the glove box of the freighter.
Unfortunately, I have two Auxiliary Thruster rigs on the destroyer, so I am loathe to repackage because you lose the rigs.
Are rigs seen as that expendable? Do you just expect to lose them if you move ships via freighter?
And then there was getting the beast in motion.
Yes, I expected it to be slow. But with Advanced Spaceship Command and Caldari Freighter both only trained up to level 1 (one gives a 5% agility boost per level, the other a 5% speed boost) it was painful.
Going through warp is fine, but making the slow turn to align for warp… oh, the agony. I can hardly wait to take a few trips from my home base, an Amarr Navy station that pushes you out pointing almost exactly 180 degrees from the warp gate I use 90% of the time.
Slow it may be, but once pointed in the right direction, the charon jumps. When flying manually and jumping directly to each gate, flight times are only slowed down by the need to align for each jump. And even then, the ship sometimes jumps before it is pointed completely in the right direction. More than once I notice the ship in warp pointed about 20 degrees off target.
But if you let it fly by itself, it is a long crawl to cross that 15 km to the gate.
I sent the freighter off on a 12 jump trip, turned on the autopilot, then went off to take a shower. The ship was empty, the security levels were high, I figured I was safe.
But I got back and found myself only 5 jumps along. The autopilot had managed to get itself hung up on a CONCORD billboard and could not get itself unstuck, a first for me.
After I managed to free the craft and get it back on course, I started looking up skills that would help freighters along.
But even at the slow speed and agility that my skills allowed, picking up all my ore and hauling it home in one pass was much, much faster than many trips in my mammoth.
And while I was out and about, I set up another one hundred million in buy orders. Now that I have the big ship, I have to keep filling it.
As mentioned previously, a freighter is in my future.
There are, however, prerequisites.
Building up my ISK reserves was the first item on that list. I have been working dilligently on that and will continue. The point of the freighter is to enhance that.
Then, of course, there were the skills required: Advanced Spaceship Command and Caldari Freighter. I have yet to purchase those, but it shouldn’t be too long now.
And then there was one more skill to increase the number of buy and sell orders I can have open at a time. The skill called Tycoon.
Without Tycoon I am limited to 145 open orders.
That seems like a lot of orders, but buying and selling in a few different quest hubs eats up order slots pretty quickly. I have been operating with only a few free slots for a while now.
Each level of Tycoon I train will give me another 32 slots.
Finally, last weekend, I hit the limit. I had juggled, merged, and cancelled orders so that everything I had left was productive and viable. There was nothing I felt I could cancel. Time to go buy the skill Tycoon.
The reason I put off buying the skill was the price: 90,000,000 ISK.
I believe that to be the most expensive skill I have purchased so far.
But I needed it. I took the plunge. 90 million ISK left my account.
I flew off to pick up the skill.
Once at the station, I immediately went to train it and got that seeming ever present message in EVE Online: I was missing a prerequisite.
Two more days of training.
Finally, yesterday I was able to train up Tycoon. And it quite a high ranked skill. Just training the first level ran 51 minutes. I don’t recall another level 1 skill that took more than 30 minutes. I trained it to level II, so now I have 209 slots open for buying and selling with another 96 available, should I want to train the skill to level V. Level V is only 36 days away, with 30 days of it being V itself.
But for now I have other skills to train.
Crossing the one billion ISK mark in EVE Online, flying a freighter became one of my more immediate goals in the game.
Clearly, with my distributed network of buy and sell points, having 750,000 cubic meters of hauling would be an advantage over the 29,000 cubic meters of hauling I can currently muster. I have a number of commodities that I could use to exploit regional differences with that much hauling space. Heck, I wouldn’t even have to build Badgers exactly where I wanted to sell them. I could deliver.
But to economically exploit that much hauling, I would need enough ISK left over to increase my buying and selling.
So how much is a freighter going to cost me?
The freighter itself will be around 850,000,000 ISK.
Of course, that is never the whole equation.
For example, if I am going to pour that much ISK into something, I had best insure it. I don’t know how much the platinum insurance plan is on a freighter, but lets call it 100,000,000 ISK. Somebody will correct me if I am wrong.
And, I will need to be able to fly the freighter, which means buying skills! I will need Advanced Spaceship Command for 45,000,000 ISK and Caldari Freighter for 67,500,00 ISK.
All of which brings us to around 1,062,500,000 ISK.
And, truthfully, to support any expansion in my sales operations, I will need to increase the number of sales slots I have. I currently have 129 and that will increase to 145 once the 20 day crawl to Wholesale V finishes, but that will not be enough. I can fill up 145 slots with my current operations.
No, I will have to invest in one more skill, Tycoon, which sells for 90,000,000 ISK.
Which brings the total up to 1,152,500,000 ISK.
That number, give or take a couple million ISK, is about what I have in the bank right now.
So, really, I need to get out there and earn some more ISK if I want to buy a freighter and some skills so I can get out there and earn even more ISK!
And here I thought having a billion ISK made me rich! To buy and exploit a freighter I need closer to two billion ISK.
Back to the Mammoth I guess. Back to exploiting regional differences on a small scale and feeding that hunger for kernite.