On Tuesday CCP deployed Crius, their first six week sprint expansion for EVE online. It was known for about four weeks beforehand that CCP would implement changes to anchoring of POS-es and modules in both high- and low sec. While there is a rush for moons in high sec currently going on, the same for quality moons in low sec happened weeks ago. With Crius, moon harvesters were allowed to mine moon minerals in 0.4 systems, adding another ~12000 moons as source of profit and industry.
As soon as I read the changes in the developer thread on EVE-O I logged in my Jita alt and bought 2500 moon probes. The last moon rush in Rubicon was already very fortunate for me, so I hoped for for a similar success. Time is everything, so I pushed very hard on probing moons. Fortunately CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise gave covert transports a second high slot recently, so the process became a lot easier for me as my OOC traders usually fly gallente ships.
“Did I probe that moon already? Where is my list? And another system probed with no success.“
The probing mechanic is pretty dull and makes you numb. DOTLAN allows you to find systems easily, plot a good route, and prepare your spreadsheets so you don‘t forget that single moon that actually is worth mining. I have “control towers“ and “forcefield“ on one of my tabs on the overview. Also I have an overview that adds “moons“ as well – so I can be really lazy and do everything with left clicks. POS-es are not dangerous at all when you just are visible to them for a few seconds, even when set up correctly. When jumping into a new system I warp cloaked to the first moon on my overview (a to z). Towers never anchor at zero on a moon and the chances of bumping into a shield are minimal, sometimes there are PvP pilots waiting at zero however. Warp core stabs and warping at random ranges counter that easily though.
On the first moon I do a short range scan on the “control towers“ and “forcefield“ tab and count numbers. When I see three towers and one forcefield I know that on this cluster there is only one moon where I have to be careful. I switch to the combined overview and align to the first moon. When I am aligned, I launch the probe, cloak, select the next moon and warp there until all the moons around that planet are probed. I then warp to the next planet and restart the cycle, and I keep repeating that over and over again, a hundred times until my head explodes and I need a break. Depending on skills you either have to reload immediately or you might have two probes. When the activity is low in the system, or the number of scanned online POSes are few, I sometimes don’t have to cloak and can reload openly while warping. Otherwise I have to make a safe spot where I can reload the probe launcher. The moon probes will give a result after 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the type) but the results will 100% correct.
When ever I found a valuable moon I checked if the owner is active and if they are blue to me or not. Upon discovering the moon I sent my PL alt on his way to anchor either a medium or large Amarr tower. When I was out of probes I had a small but fine list of R32 / R64 moons. Many were towered by BRAVE, some were already covered by CFC alliances but some were still available. But not for long…
When siphons were introduced in the last winter expansion CCP made the boring, rather low, but fully passive income of moon goo a little bit more annoying. Now days you have to have an alt checking your POS every few hours, and in some cases that means you log them in before you go to work, when you come back home, a few hours later in your prime time, and just before you go to bed – and you might never see a single siphon for weeks and months on end. This is especially true for the uncharted moons, for which you might be able to skip the “fixed” alt in the system and just patrol the tower from time to time, especially when you are mining two minerals and you need to empty the silos often.
One of those moons was on my list: Obalyu P7 M10, a combined Technetium / Titanium moon. But this one did not go as I would have liked, it’s location was way off my usual routes. On the Friday before Crius I planned to online all my anchored towers but my ISP decided it was a good time to pull the plug, forcing me to postpone it until Sunday morning. I logged my alt in to online Obalyu, just to see an attack notification on this very moon: a small corp shot at the anchored tower for about two hours. As I had the fitting and the fuel for the tower next door, in a high sec station, I was able to fuel it, online it and put two guns in, which were reinforced very fast with those guys swirling around the tower. I checked on the killboards for the prime time of the corp, to time the reinforce timer. Sometimes the POS management window is bugged and shows the wrong shield level – allowing you to see when the tower is about to get into reinforced mode. So it went to max stront time which was unfortunate for me – in the middle of the night.
On the Monday before Crius this particular tower was destroyed by the small corp, after which they anchored a large Amarr tower on it. Contrary to popular belief, a single moon will not make you rich, even a R32 is only worth mining when you put a medium tower on it. At current prices the profit would be at ~700 mil ISK per month. With a large Amarr tower it gets down to ~400 mil ISK, but only if the prices come down from where they are at the moment, due to the moon rush. The initial investment for a medium tower is ~600 mil ISK, a large one fitted with faction mods, like Obalyu P7 M10, is around 1.3 bil ISK at the moment. Your return point on a medium POS is one month, but with a large POS you are looking at two or three months, and only if it does not get reinforced or constantly siphoned. POS’s value comes over time and constant logistic work, and only when you have a lot of them the same time. They also require a lot of effort and available characters. A single alt in CFC’s renting alliance makes more ISK ratting with an AFKTar than small scale moon operation. I considered calling for a fleet to clear them out, but in the end the marginal profit combined with the possibility of daily siphons from these baddies really made that moon unattractive to me, and nobody else from my corp wanted it either. A known moon is a bad moon.
Tags: crius, forlorn, isk, moons, pos