Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Associate Update

My associate is a trader / industrialist. When I started my Eve career, I started as a miner / explorer. Eventually, like many, I realized that mining was really not all that entertaining, I’d chosen to sell my other self and used the isk to buy my new, combat focused self a plethora of ships and gear to sustain my life out in Nullsec for quite some time. Well… funds started running low and I began to consider real options for making isk.

One option I'd looked into, and found a small niche for, was building and trading. But that created a couple of significant hurdles for a fairly young pilot. First, I could not feasibly do the training myself. The time needed to train the necessary skills for building/trading as well as for flying an efficient hauler (and eventually freighter) would be time lost in training my combat skills. I did train enough to do some light building of T1 stuff such as rigs, T1 ammo, cap charges and T1 ships. (up to cruiser size I believe.) However, anything beyond that would just be too much time wasted.

The second hurdle was that much of my trading would have to be done in empire, given I have no intentions of investing that much time into training for a proper nullsec hauler. Flying an Iteron IV and with the improved cloaking device II, I’m able to give myself some bit of safety but it certainly is no blockade runner, transport ship or even better, jump freighter. Eventually, I do intend to be flying a carrier but that’s still a good ways off as far as I’m concerned. I mean, even if I focused entirely on a carrier now, it’d still be a solid 6 months before I would even feel comfortable enough to sit in the pilot’s seat.

So if I am to seriously get into industry / trading, I felt I had only one real option. Hire an associate.

Now, standing at roughly 5 million skillpoints, my business partner is already proving to be an invaluable addition. Amarrian by race, he can effectively fly the Amarr freighter, known as the Providence, along with transport ships, blockade runners and even a retriever, though lacking proper skills for energy consumption and T2 mining crystals. He also is a fairly decent trader now as well as builder and researcher for the same things I can do… and then some. Basically, he makes enough now to sustain himself and get the numerous skillbooks he needs, but not enough to support my combat life out in Nullsec.

A lot of his training comes from my past experiences in Eve and a lot of the knowledge I’ve gained about skill training since I first got my pilot’s license. When I hired my associate, I was adamant about spending the first couple months training his learning skills up to 5 for all the basics and 4s for the advanced. I also spent a good bit of time on EveMon and created a skill plan for him that pretty much maps out the next two years of training. In doing so, I also took into account the available times for him to do his neural remaps, keeping in mind to make him as useable as possible from early on…. but still managing to map it so that I feel I was able to give him the most efficient training plan a person can get for an industrial manager. Keep in mind, this plan does create a slight vacuum for the next 3 months as he will be training a couple of skills that won’t see their real use until much later on. However it was necessity to make best use of time and the 2 initial remaps a new pilot gets.

Now I just gotta get up enough collateral for him to invest in some real market trading as well as buy a freighter to haul it in.

Given I have not, nor do I plan on bringing my associate into my corp at this time, I’m considering putting a jump clone and a PVE ship in a station where I’m able to run level 4 missions. With me killing everything and my associate following behind with a salvaging ship, I could make a lot more isk, a lot faster, in Empire than I could doing it solo out in Nullsec. It might also give my roommate some more opportunities to run high level missions to help raise his standings, as well as get a chance for us to hang out in-game. Sure it’s spending time in Empire that I don’t really want to do, but to roll in the isk without bringing my associate into my nullsec corp, I think this may be the most viable option.

So……why did I write all that? Major reason is that writing things out helps me organize and rationalize to myself my own thoughts. :D Second reason is to give yet another example of what experience can give a New Eden pilot, besides just how to fly and fit your ships.