Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 19: 30 Day Market Challenge

I got bored again today.  Instead of station trading much I went out and collected a bunch of items on 5-jump buy orders.  First, I am never doing that again.  Not my play style.  Second, I got to see a lot of stations I had never noticed before.  That was fun, but not something to repeat in this context.

I also closed out a lot of orders, hence the lack of buy orders when I ran these numbers.  Trying to decide if I want to stay where I am or engage in more options afield.  Remote buy orders are something I need to look into in order to get more large margin modules to take to the trade hub.

Finally, I think I am getting close to PLEX time to keep the account going.  I have a few more days, and I'd like to get up around 700m before trading in a large portion.  Having a big pool of isk allows for more freedom to manipulate orders into my favor, and I don;t want to drop back down to 50m in total cash at this point.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 17 & 18: 30 Day Market Challenge

It's another double day.  Weekends are a pain in the butt to keep updated, so I didn't really bother to try this weekend.

I also bent the rules (or broke them).  I've started reprocessing some items that are essentially printing isk.  I moved a large order of modules to another hub to not lose out on some 20m in profit.  I have also deployed long term buy orders across many stations that I will pick up once a month or so.  None of these things required any extra skills training though.  I am in the process of getting a throwaway Badger going, as I will need some hauling capacity later.  Finally, I am also reselling skills, because apparently people are too lazy to fly one jump.  I'll take their money gladly.

The biggest change in the last few days is I have gotten out of the Tech II market almost completely.  It's rather hard to compete with players throwing around billions in orders, whereas the the lower volume in some of the meta mods is a bit more manageable and bulk buying power is a bit less annoying.

I've also spent a bit more time trolling orders looking for those buy-order-fill orders, and items that are way below the next group of sells orders.  That's a nice quick way to flip inventory and make small margins on it.

Oh, there was one other thing.  I cleared both the PLEX goal AND half a bil!  Woo!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 16: 30 Day Market Challenge

I didn't make much today (yesterday), and that's because I was weary of market trading.  I did expand my operations a bit though.  I'll talk on that a bit more tomorrow (or later today).

I hope you enjoyed the temporally displaced post.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 15: 30 Day Market Challenge (With Charts and Stuff)


Started out slow, picked up, and then someone decided to crash a few items.  I still profited, but I lost out on 30m of potential profits.  It would have been fun to clear 400m today, but oh well.  I also missed out on the US TZ evenings, which is always a nice time to make some quick flips as people come home to unload and stock up.

Now for some more info on my character.

Trade Skills:

  • Accounting 3
  • Broker Relations 4
  • Marketing 2
  • Retail 4
  • Trade 4
And now, Charts!  I have been tracking all of this using the wonderful program Excel.  I love Excel.  It does maths and makes charts.  My main book tracks the stats I give in results everyday, and lets me "keep score" against myself.  Two graphics I use are shown below, and to reiterate, I track:
  • Ending Isk (Sell Orders + Buy Orders + Cash)
  • Sell Orders
  • Buy Orders
  • Cash
  • Liquid Isk (Cash + Buy Orders)
  • PLEXline (PLEX Sell Order / 30 Days * Current Day)
  • PLEX Goal (Plex Order)
  • Margin
Overall Results

Daily Margin

The PLEXline is the lowest value of a PLEX that I can buy in the region I am in, plotted from $0 at day 0 and increasing each day by the PLEX value divided by 30, and multiplied by the day I am on in the month.  That means on day 15, the PLEXline is 245m isk, based on a lowest PLEX value of 490m.  This lets me see  the pace at which I need to make isk to pay for the account, and how far above or below that amount I am on any given day.

The PLEX Goal is just a horizontal gate I need to reach to give a relative idea of where I am overall.

The Margin graph shows my actual gain each day relative to my starting isk amount.

Fun fact:  The buy order and cash line are mirror images of each other.  This makes sense if you think about it for a while.  They are simply two sides of the same pool of money varying based on how much I am investing into the market.

An important note in all of this is that I track Liquid Isk separately from Ending Isk.  I do this because Sell Orders have no real value, they are only the estimate of how much I stand to gain when I complete all the Sell Orders.  Liquid Isk is what I could actually spend if I cancelled every Buy Order.  I do not include assests or the real value of Sell Orders, as the real value of those would be the highest buy rates, and that's a lot of extra typing in Excel.  I tracked the "real isk" amount for two days and stopped.  Most of my margins sit in the 25% to 50% range, so I guess a useful estimate of real isk would be (and the graph):

Buy Orders + Cash + Sell Orders * .65

The graph:
How much isk I actually have?

One last chart.  I fit a trendline to my current data, and this is what happens:
I can haz PLEX?

The PLEXline will be crossed on day 21.  Not too shabby.

Also, as a bonus, here is the EveHQ Prism Report of everything I have completed some form of transaction on.  I have no idea how accurate it is, but I wanted to add it to show that I am not doing anything exotic.

Transaction Trading Report
from Monday, April 09, 2012 to Thursday, April 26, 2012
Item Amount Traded Average Unit Profit Total Profit
100MN Afterburner II 10.00 696,441.72 6,964,417.21
10MN MicroWarpdrive II 2.00 168,664.68 337,329.36
1200mm Artillery Cannon I 7.00 334,995.60 2,344,969.17
1200mm Artillery Cannon II 12.00 1,229,084.83 14,749,017.98
1200mm Heavy 'Scout' Artillery I 3.00 760,119.10 2,280,357.30
125mm Prototype Gauss Gun 6.00 136,897.88 821,387.30
1400mm Gallium Cannon 8.00 458,853.80 3,670,830.38
1400mm 'Scout' Artillery I 13.00 807,271.50 10,494,529.46
150mm Light AutoCannon I 70.00 24,171.72 1,692,020.58
150mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I 5.00 401,670.29 2,008,351.45
1MN Afterburner II 10.00 528,613.80 5,286,138.03
200mm Compressed Coil Gun I 14.00 95,853.95 1,341,955.32
200mm Light Carbine Repeating Cannon I 20.00 198,975.35 3,979,506.96
200mm Railgun II 5.00 640,696.27 3,203,481.37
200mm 'Scout' Accelerator Cannon 10.00 153,799.95 1,537,999.53
250mm Light Artillery Cannon I 20.00 52,497.07 1,049,941.41
350mm Compressed Coil Gun I 5.00 698,689.97 3,493,449.85
425mm AutoCannon II 58.00 329,119.97 19,088,958.43
425mm Medium Gallium Machine Gun 10.00 471,987.32 4,719,873.18
650mm Artillery Cannon II 4.00 228,790.37 915,161.48
650mm Medium 'Scout' Artillery I 1.00 2,667,239.76 2,667,239.76
720mm Howitzer Artillery II 6.00 646,737.61 3,880,425.67
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II 68.00 157,413.69 10,704,130.74
Advanced 'Limos' Heavy Missile Bay I 51.00 251,540.95 12,828,588.43
Anode Electron Particle Cannon I 5.00 362,997.51 1,814,987.55
Anode Neutron Particle Cannon I 15.00 360,456.20 5,406,842.98
Arkonor Mining Crystal II 3.00 496,999.20 1,490,997.60
Basic Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane 36.00 65,316.19 2,351,382.99
Beta Reactor Control: Capacitor Power Relay I 10.00 143,621.09 1,436,210.89
Beta Reactor Control: Diagnostic System I 10.00 134,489.90 1,344,898.95
Cap Recharger I 78.00 20,190.13 1,574,829.98
Command Processor I 10.00 304,994.96 3,049,949.55
Conflagration L 10.00 332,865.95 3,328,659.50
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II 3.00 1,466,335.07 4,399,005.21
Damage Control I 6.00 452.02 2,712.12
Drone Synaptic Relay Wiring 171 2.1 359.1
Dual 180mm AutoCannon I 23.00 109,948.96 2,528,825.99
Dual 250mm Prototype Gauss Gun 20.00 55,231.23 1,104,624.67
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II 8.00 1,038,092.90 8,304,743.23
Dual Heavy Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I 10.00 324,178.02 3,241,780.23
Dual Light Pulse Laser II 25.00 234,712.98 5,867,824.46
Dual Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I 13.00 443,497.86 5,765,472.21
Electron Blaster Cannon II 3.00 988,993.19 2,966,979.56
Expanded Probe Launcher II 3.00 1,875,631.86 5,626,895.57
Experimental 100MN Afterburner I 50.00 51,279.43 2,563,971.37
Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I 150.00 71,752.98 10,762,947.68
Experimental 1MN Afterburner I 157.00 33,494.67 5,258,663.82
F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines 1 -0.01 -0.01
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I 4.00 1,599,994.47 6,399,977.86
Heat Sink I 50.00 18,319.04 915,952.14
Heavy Modulated Energy Beam I 10.00 223,806.74 2,238,067.43
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I 15.00 186,308.13 2,794,621.93
Ion Blaster Cannon II 9.00 538,250.56 4,844,255.05
Kernite Mining Crystal II 7.00 190,701.46 1,334,910.21
Kinetic Deflection Amplifier II 5.00 189,998.69 949,993.44
Large Armor Repairer I 60.00 260,078.24 15,604,694.11
Large Automated Carapace Restoration 20 -1.01 -20.2
Large Energy Transfer Array II 9.00 963,890.86 8,675,017.74
Large Remote Armor Repair System II 5.00 458,622.08 2,293,110.40
Large Shield Booster II 6.00 255,266.13 1,531,596.75
Light Electron Blaster I 100.00 10,919.84 1,091,983.89
Light Electron Blaster II 2.00 526,061.25 1,052,122.50
Light Neutron Blaster I 288.00 24,411.14 7,030,407.57
Mark I Generator Refitting: Diagnostic System 100.00 13,322.19 1,332,219.34
Medium Anode Pulse Particle Stream I 10.00 76,479.45 764,794.50
Medium Inefficient Armor Repair Unit 19.00 17,678.86 335,898.30
Medium Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I 4.00 819,009.95 3,276,039.80
Medium Nanobot Accelerator I 5.00 875,687.91 4,378,439.54
Medium Pulse Laser II 33.00 358,652.64 11,835,537.14
Medium Remote Armor Repair System II 5.00 547,998.41 2,739,992.07
Medium Semiconductor Memory Cell I 1.00 2,147,877.19 2,147,877.19
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I 10.00 88,996.35 889,963.50
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II 5.00 1,867,970.90 9,339,854.51
Mining Laser Upgrade II 18.00 737,279.38 13,271,028.88
Mobile Medium Warp Disruptor I 3.00 1,279,051.74 3,837,155.21
Modal Electron Particle Accelerator I 3.00 2,120,966.12 6,362,898.37
Modulated Strip Miner II 20.00 1,596,866.37 31,937,327.35
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron 12.00 1,287,903.89 15,454,846.69
Prototype 'Arbalest' Heavy Assault Missile Launcher I 2.00 565,279.21 1,130,558.41
Prototype Cloaking Device I 1.00 209,993.82 209,993.82
Prototype Sensor Booster 50.00 86,737.80 4,336,889.79
Scorch M 2.00 194,843.99 389,687.98
Scorch S 4.00 186,791.91 747,167.64
Shield Boost Amplifier I 10.00 169,872.73 1,698,727.27
Shield Boost Amplifier II 9.00 111,651.74 1,004,865.64
Shield Power Relay I 100.00 20,028.50 2,002,849.58
Shield Power Relay II 10.00 158,981.66 1,589,816.64
Shield Recharger II 36.00 63,734.36 2,294,437.07
Small Auxiliary Thrusters I 10.00 67,691.84 676,918.40
Small Cargohold Optimization I 2.00 349,998.97 699,997.94
Small Energy Neutralizer II 5.00 636,564.96 3,182,824.79
Small Shield Booster II 4.00 175,395.40 701,581.58
Tachyon Beam Laser II 4.00 1,114,158.30 4,456,633.20
Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I 45.00 260,934.48 11,742,051.62
Thermic Dissipation Field II 26.00 258,636.17 6,724,540.40
Upgraded 1MN Microwarpdrive I 5.00 41,323.18 206,615.92
Warp Core Stabilizer II 35.00 384,619.21 13,461,672.34
Warp Scrambler II 2.00 299,888.33 599,776.65
X-Large C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I 10.00 753,397.99 7,533,979.93
X-Large Shield Booster II 15 581,089.96 8,716,349.34

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 14: 30 Day Market Challenge

Late update, but I had a large presentation today and Wednesdays are always slow for me given my schedule. Anyhow, the only big news is that I royally borked an order by typing the wrong digit into a sell order and losing about 10m in potential profit as I sold to barely over my buy orders.  If you missed it, I culled some knowledge into the post immediately preceding this one in order to try and actually teach people a few things that I have learned in the last two weeks.

Tomorrow I plan on putting up some pretty charts that show some fun stats about my adventures.  Lines!  Colors! Invented terms!

Also, anyone notice that PLEX prices seem to be creeping down?  That's good news for me.  I am trying to go all PLEX in Eve Online, so I will embrace the falling price trend.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Miscellaneous Market Tips

I've given a lot of results, but not too much advice in my 30 Day Market challenge.  Here are some musings on Eve market trading:

  • Do not accidentally list a large quantity of items at a buy order price instead of the sell order price.  Mistakes like that can cost millions.  In my case about 10m in one go.
  • Check all the figures on the orders when you are playing the .01 game.  Players like to list orders at one decimal higher, and then change the dollar amount too.  Then you get to wait another five minutes.
  • Sometimes you should just let that one or two item order sell or fill if it is too far away from your price.
  • Watch for people setting sell orders to catch the next buy order bump.  You can grab inventory cheap that way without losing your buy order.
  • In the price history, there is no indication as to the nature of the orders that moved.  They could all have been buy, or all sell.  I'm looking at you, rigs.
  • Sometimes it makes sense to flip inventory as you get it, sometimes not.  Decide when you set each order if you are going for quantity or speed.  It can save you time and order slots down the road.
  • Know when to give up on an order.  Sometimes it's a bot or a bot-like player, sometimes the movement has stagnated, and sometimes the space gods hate you.
  • Do keep a few (only a few!) random, hard to get orders with insane margin.  It makes your night when someone docks up right after you bumped you buy order over that damn robo-updater and sold you 5 Cov Ops Cloaks that you have been trying to get for days.
  • Pay attention to the hulls selling in your region, and buy up modules that will fit those hulls.
  • Turn on the new "Mark My Orders" setting.  It is glorious.

Day 13: 30 Day Market Challenge

I broke $300,000,000!  Hooray!  I was really hoping to get past the 300m mark today, and I did it.  And boy did the market get busy today.  Patch brings more people to the game I guess.  A few notes on the day:

  • You can't see it, but I dropped about 8m on skills today, so the real total would have been 309m, but such is life.
  • Faction modules are on the market.  I put in some dummy orders to maybe catch some people unawares.  We'll see if that ever pans out.
  • At my current rate, I should be able to afford a PLEX, but I imagine we are in for some market volatility soon (tm), so that remains to be seen.
The net change percent was low today, compared to yesterday, but the actual change was my third best day.   I'm also running out of order slots, with Retail 3.  That is going to be upgraded once I finish some Accounting training to lower the loss to Sales Tax.  Yes, it's fractions of a percent, but as my volume of isk traded goes up, those percents make a difference at corner cases for margin.  At some point I may also have to consider standings.

Finally, I have only been station trading so far.  In a few days I may be able to start training for distance.  That will present a new sets of questions and challenges.

Velocity of Money

A commenter asked me why I keep insisting that the velocity of money is important, so I want to talk about that a little bit.  Examples and numbers will be involved!

According to the vast knowledge of Wikipedia:

"The velocity of money (also called velocity of circulation) is the average frequency with which a unit of money is spent on new goods and services produced domestically in a specific period of time."

The main concept behind the velocity of money is that an order that takes 6 hours to complete at a relatively low margin can be far better, in terms of net profit, than an order that takes 24 hours to complete at a high margin.  This is because you can repeat the 6 hour order 4 times in 24 hours and end up with a higher net income than the high margin item.

Below is a table that illustrates how velocity of isk can work in a completely theoretical manner.  The setup is: 
  • Widget A can be bought for $100,000, sells for $150,000, and each item sells in 1 hour.
  • Widget B can be bought for $1,000,000, sells for $2,000,000, and each item sells in 6 hours.
  • The example player starts with $1,000,000 isk.
  • Sales tax and broker's fees are ignored.
Here is what happens in one day (24 hours):


Widget A is an insane money maker!  At the end of one day of trading it made 16 B isk!  Obviously this is not a real case.  There is no item in the game that moves 100,000+ units an hour and has a price near $100,000.  There are also very few items that will consistently flip every single hour of each day.  But the theory is sound.  Push the Widget numbers out to every 3 hours, and drop a cycle near the beginning to diversify the profits, and you will get a few staggered version of that curve, limited by the daily trading volumes. Widget A will still net far more than just betting on that 1 million isk high margin order!

In summary: diversify across a lot of small orders that are all moving quickly in order to keep your volume clipping along.  Add in big orders as your capital allows you to take longer-term investments.  If all of your isk gets tied up in order that take forever to move, you may be missing out on more boring, but useful trades.

The Little Things

Just logged in to check my orders before heading out.  I clicked the "Show My Orders" option.

Best. Update. Ever.

I no longer care about anything else ever done in Eve.

CCP has won.

That is all.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 12: 30 Day Market Challenge

So that's a good day.  My best overall margin so far.  Nothing special happened, except I left Jita and went to another major hub.  Rhymes with  a car.  I'm still using a similar mix of boring ship modules as my bread and butter.  There are less orders, so the .01 isk game is a little less intense.  On the flip side, people will raise prices or lower them in much larger amount, so that's fun.  An entrepreneurial note, watch the sell orders that are  a few isk above the buy orders.  They can help when you want some stock, or they can be a sign to get out if the quantity is higher than you can snap up and turn around.

I'm glad the day went well, because I was starting to get a bit weary of the Jita trade scene, and a nice day makes the whole trade enterprise more fun.  I may have some fun charts coming, If I can be arsed to censor the data down.  Maybe I'll post it on Day 15 as the "Half Marathon" post.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 10 & 11: 30 Day Market Challenge

Not trading = not making any money!  I also realized some loss winding down Jita as I prepare to move to another trade hub.  Trying to get one last set of items to move.

Tomorrow shall be a new day in a new hub, onward!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 9: 30 Day Market Challenge

Not too much to say today.  I am going to be gone over the weekend (Days 10 and 11), and I have been trading in Jita so far.  My plan, given the whole "Jita Burns" event on the 24th, is to let my orders wind down while I am gone and move shop when I get back.  I suspect business will not be good once the camp hits, and I plan to be out of the way.  In order to stay true to my plan, I am going to move only myself when I go.  Since I will be missing this weekend, it seems fair to move when my orders have essentially stopped, and just transfer my pool of isk.

Due to all of this, I expect a loss come next post due to losing some broker's fees.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 8: 30 Day Market Challenge

Getting back on track.  I made good on my promise of more, smaller trades.  This is my third best day so far.  To answer a question in previous comments, I'll elaborate on my strategies a little bit.  I'm not going to tell which items I am working in, but the general approach I am using.

I tend to look for items that have at least 20% margin.  The only things I break this rule for are some items that have very high turnover (500+ per day) and that will net me in the 1 mil range on turnover.  There are a few reasons for this:
  • High margins tend to burst after a short window, as someone undercuts to try and move items or, I assume, manipulate the market to their advantage.
  • Turnover, as listed in game, does not tell you if those are buy or sell orders.  Nothing is fun like buying 50 items and realizing that the movement is all on the Buy Order side of the equation.
  • Many of the large price, large spread orders seem to have robots updating the buy orders.  I can't say these are bots, but I am sorely tempted to get a stopwatch and log attempts to talk...  I'm not bitter, at all.
I also limit orders to some extent because of how long it takes to update when I start to get over 30-40 total buy and sell orders.  Market trading is literally spreadsheets in space as no other action in the game I have yet undertaken.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 7: 30 Day Market Challenge

Late post, but I pulled the numbers at the same time as every other day. I can lose money on the market!  How I did this is simple.  I bought too many (~50) items at a price that gave a total margin of about 36 million.  Someone came in and placed 200+ at a price that halved that margin, so my sell orders fell by 18 mil.  I managed to recoup about 3 mil during my limited time today.

Lesson 1:  Reported sell values are not how much you actually have in the bank!

The underlying problem was that I assumed that buy and sell orders will only move in small increments.  But sometimes someone comes in and crashes the sell price or inflates the buy price.  Smaller inventory and smaller batches can help you avoid this if you cannot do the same, or are looking for short term profits as opposed to longer term investments.

Lesson 2: Don't count on prices being stable.

I also pruned my buy orders (lost broker's fees), consolidated inventory in to sell orders (new broker's fees), and reallocated my buy orders to items that have lower margins but move a little faster.  In the last three hours I recouped another 8 mil, so things should be back on track.

Lesson 3:  Sometimes you have to give up a few high value, high margin orders to increase the velocity of isk.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 6: 30 Day Market Challenge

Back on track, although a few things are still staying more tied up than I would like.  A few nice margin orders that should reap good rewards should I get them, and a few items that are of such low value that I am letting the orders just run in case the markets swings back in my favor.

I am rapidly reaching the point where simply doing market triage on margins and updating orders is becoming far more time consuming.  The isk per real time I spend in the game is not quite what I would get from, say, missioning over the same period.  One hour with 1 or two mineral checks is not equivalent to one hour of blasting through L4s on my combat character.  With current mineral prices, I am also better off just semi-afk mining when I am at home.  That is to say, my velocity of money has hit a bit of a (personal) ceiling, in that to increase it anymore, I would need to devote more time, and have orders move quicker due to other players.

This brings up an interesting quandry:  Due to my self imposed rules, is it acceptable for me to venture out of the station for trade-only related activities, like regional arbitrage?  And will it make me enough money to be worth the extra time I cannot spend managing orders?  I have not decided.

Tomorrow will likely be slow along with the weekend, as I will have a much busier schedule and will not be able to monitor orders as much.  I predict a rather flat Day 7.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 5: 30 Day Market Challenge

I was very inactive today, and you can tell.  A few lessons:
  • Just because you can buy more expensive items does not mean you should.
  • Large margins on smaller items are often better than huge margins on big items.
  • The number of items traded only tells you part of the story.
I went on a big buy order spree and my velocity of money has slowed.  I am learning that velocity of isk is more important than margins in a lot of ways.  You can't flip things unless they are churning, and less churn means less total profit from quantity sold.  Tomorrow will be a return to more smaller items as opposed to less big items.

That's all for today.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 4: 30 Day Market Challenge

Good day, inventory is almost nil, orders moved around nicely later in the day.  I had to unload some items due to annoying price swings, so I spun the wheels in place a few times, but overall things are looking good and my range of modules is starting to spread out a bit.  We'll see if I can keep this level up.  So far I  have been roughly doubling my isk, after the first day.

As a side note, at this point I am beating Beamer $94 mil to $6.6 mil.  I wish he was around so we could compare notes...

(Update: Beamer started with $473.47 isk, so that last comment may not have been fair.)

Blobs: An Aesthetic Quandry

Go take a look at this fleet.

I lifted that link from Corelin, and he nicely summed up the gameplay implications that fleet represents, so I don't need to go there.  But I have a few more examples:

 Found here.
 Found here.
  Found here.

The theme, if you hadn't guessed, was how godawful massive fleets look in big space fights.  Compare that to this:
Notice the difference in the fleets?  I think this is something that, long term, could use some love.  Not necessarily now, but some sort of fleet formation component to Eve could make this look a lot nicer, and make AARs look a lot nicer than the current pile of crazy ships all sitting in space looking confused and ready to smash into each other.

That's all, just a random thought about blobs that has nothing to do with the actual mechanics, and everything to do with the visual presentation.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 3: 30 Day Market Challenge

Doing ok, since I didn't pay much attention today as compared to previous.  Apparently a bit of patience is a virtue.  Still working on balancing margins and quantity.  

I also am starting to notice weird behaviors and trying to figure them out.  For example when a high margin exists and then a player puts up a sell for a few isk over the highest buy order.  Obviously this is not because that .01 isk matters...  Some sort of manipulation I do not understand.  I'm also learning the value of not overbuying one item when the margin looks nice.  That can backfire, although I have not lost money yet.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 2: 30 Day Market Challenge

Results for Day 2:
There you have it.  Results are little less than I wanted, as I have a lot of inventory as of writing time.  I've been going for low quantity, fast turn over, but that slowed down in the afternoon.  The .01 iskers are killing me this afternoon...  I got into some nice margins items, but the competition is fierce, and I have not been able to .01 isk it as much as yesterday.

Also, a bit of a side note due to financial considerations: if between my current accounts and this experiment I cannot PLEX the market account, I will have 26 days on the market account, so this may be a 28 Day Challenge depending on how well it works.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Growing Up

Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. 
Is this perception deserved? Should "The Nation of EVE" be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?

Any discussion of the Eve community is tricky.  When you think of Eve from the inside, there are myriad groups all work with and against each other.  How do you succinctly capture a community that includes the CFC, R & K, Rote Kapelle, Tuskers, Faction Warfare, RP junkies, pirates, miners, inventors, manufacturers, wormholers, carebears, and traders?  Then add the flavors of each in all the various parts of space.  Then look at the meta community, which adds yet another layer. 

I suppose the common theme to all the players who keep coming back is one of involvement.  The only way to succeed in Eve is not play, but if you ignore that, you reach a semblance of success by being involved.  Involved with other players, with the markets, with whatever your chosen niche of the game is.  On to the questions: Is the perception of Eve as a suspect community deserved?  Should the Eve community care about this? Will Dust 514 impact either of these things?

"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.  We must be careful."
-Obi-wan Kenobi

The gaming media loves Eve.  It seems the pace of scandals, scams and general player outrage have picked up pace over the last year.  Some of these things were intended by CCP, some… not so much.  But Eve is the juicy steak at the MMO table, the friend who you don’t remember inviting to the party, but always shows up and everyone remembers that one thing he did.  There are two sides to this reputation. 

Almost every person I have talked to who is a gamer says “Hey, I heard about that crazy Guiding Hand thing…” or “Wasn’t there some ship blown up that was worth a lot of money and people made fun of the guy for being stupid?”  If the conversation continues, my companion usually eithers says something along the lines of “That’s awesome!” or “I would never play a game that risky!”.  This is a good thing.  Eve requires a level of devotion not seen in other games, and the people who say “Awesome” are the players we, and CCP, want playing our game.  They add to it, and help create the story that is New Eden.

The other side of the coin is “cyber-bullying”, photo-shopped Tyrano-Dictators, racism, sexism, terms like “spacejews”, and the unsavory RMT/Botting/Espionage events that happen in the client and the meta-game.  Some of those things are good.  Espionage, for example, is a great aspect of the game.  Some of these things, like racism and sexism, are not Eve-centric, but rather afflict gaming as a whole.   I’ve written about some of these habits before. 

The gaming media is more than happy to jump on these events, and often “Our Eve” and what the rest of the world sees as “Eve” can be very different.  Accurately portrayed or not, the gaming media is where a lot of players get information, and informs where players put their paychecks.  Eve thrives on players, and alienating the gaming public at large is not good for growing the subscriber base.

“This speaks to a larger point. We need to revise how we showcase the culture of EVE… …This solemn effort has already begun. Time for us to grow up a bit.”
– CCP Navigator

CCP has acknowledged the power of the media in the wake of Fanfest.  As a company CCP has always taken a very broad view of acceptable behavior in the sandbox they run, but things change.  Creditors are owed money.  Subscription bases need to grow.  Business partners may not have the same attitude towards the perceived behavior of the player base.  When Hilmar fell on his sword last summer, it was done late but well, and contrition was and continues to be delivered to an audience in the hundreds of thousands.  When The Mittani fell on his sword, he did not have any meaningful way to prove his contrition, and his offense happened on a larger stage – the stage of media relations and corporate interests.  CCP responded as harshly as possible without passing a death penalty.

This new approach means that the Eve community does need to care about the perception of Eve to others, because CCP has decided it matters.  A sandbox full of danger can exist without being offensive.  The players have a lot of power in this.  How you carry out an action is often more important than the action itself.  Take piracy as an example.  You can be a cut-throat fiend of the spacelanes without being a douchebag.  It involves not saying things you would never speak to another human in person.  Danger and abuse are not the same things.

“The drink will flow and blood will spill
And if the boys wanna fight, you’d better let ‘em”
-Thin Lizzy

Dust 514’s integration will be very interesting in light of recent CCP’s response to Fanfest.  FPS players are a bit of a different breed, and I hope there is no crouch button in Dust.  The games are still somewhat partitioned, as Dust Bunnies won’t be chatting in space with the Pod Jockeys.  But CCP will have fun with the chat language used in the common console FPS.  If anything, I imagine there will be two standards, one for each game. 

Also, with no PC integration for Dust, the player bases may be different enough, and partitioned enough, to not really have an impact on each other.  The genres are completely different.  FPSs and MMOs tend to draw from very different player groups, as comparing an MMO to an FPS is like comparing French to Russian.  Aside from Sony money, not launching on the same platform as ALL of your existing users is a bold bet that a lot of non-Eve players are going to jump on the New Eden train.

Most of the arguments to which I am party fall somewhat short of being impressive, knowing to the fact that neither I nor my opponent knows what we are talking about.
-Rodney Dangerfield

The short answers to the questions: Eve’s reputation is partially deserved, but only if you consider that all games have the same knobheads in them and Eve just gets the bad press of late.  The players should care about this reputation, both as humans and in regards to keeping Eve and ongoing concern.  And Dust is a wildcard, bringing a completely new player base into contact with serious internet spaceshippers,  As it stands Dust needs to stand on its’ own.  Only if the game is worth playing will the perception of Eve matter.

Oh, and the button on an Eve keyboard.  I would make a special key that tabs only between Eve instances. Call it the "FAIL" key.

Day 1: 30 Day Market Challenge

The results of my first day of the 30 Day Challenge:
Not bad for my first foray out.  I bought two skills, Trade and Broker Relations.  As far as modules, I am using a strategy of looking at volume and the margin between buy and sell orders in one station.  The most challenging part of today's work was playing the .01 isk game.  Some items are much more heavily contested, and also have nice margins.  Those are for days when I have lots of time to look at the markets. 

The biggest question is how to scale up from margins of 10k or a few 100k to something that is more profitable!  A few more days to manage the income, and then I think I'll ahve to start looking at that question.

Borrowing From Others - 30 Day Challenge

I'm blatantly stealing a project from another blogger, the 51 Day Challenge.  Beamer Grey started this but never finished it.  I'm going to pick it up, dust it off, and run it for 30 days.

Make as much money as possible on a new alt by ONLY trading.

  • No leaving station
  • Only market transactions can be used
  • Start with 5 million isk as seed money
Each day I will report the following:
  • Starting Isk: The Total Isk from the previous day
  • Cash on hand
  • Buy Orders Value
  • Sells Orders Value
  • Total Isk = Cash + Buy Orders + Sell Orders
  • Liquid Isk = Cash + Buy Orders: This seems to me to be a useful term to have to illustrate what the actually accessible isk is each day.
I started last night, so the first report comes later today!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Daddy Was Tritanium Miner Like His Daddy Before Him...

I never thought mining, drones or salvaging would become the hot topic they have lately.  To read the blogs, you would think Eve is going to implode in a few weeks...  But oh what a beautiful implosion it shall be.  A few things about the incoming changes.

Short Term
Buy you gear now.  I mean it.  I've been quietly building a small stockpile of minerals, and the value is increasing just by letting it sit.  Weapons, modules and ammo haven't caught up yet, ships are already starting to.   Thinking of moving to that WH?  Buy your Drakes, Retrievers and haulers now.  Maybe some fuel...  I think in a few weeks weeks you'll be wishing you laid in supplies for a hot summer.  Speaking of which...

Update Your Queue
Want to gank some shiny hulks?  Best get those last few skills ready now.  I predict miners are going to be hiding for most of the summer.  Better get in on the initial kills, because Hulks are already ~50 mil more than they were this time last year.  Can't wait to see the price on those pop up over 300 or 400 mil.  Want to be ready for the clear(ish) skies after Hulkageddon?  That takes a bit of training.  And if you want to use those minerals you will eventually be mining.....

Want to cash in on resupplying all those ships and mods?  Get your BPOs or BPCs before that chain gets hit like a brick.  You know those manufacturers are going to have a field day trickling out the nuts and bolts of New Eden, so you might want to have your own supply chain going, and get a jump on some of the slots if you are a high-sec-er.  And if you make a lot of your cash from salvage...

Take a look at your hangars.  Do you need all that stuff?  Is your Noctis worth hanging on to?  Have you moved things to useful locations?  If Jita goes down and the minerals dry up, a lot of things are going to change.  Hulkageddon often has casualties beyond just the barges in the belts.  Should you start stocking up on things you know will sell if a few weeks/months?

A lot of markets are going to change soon, so you better get out in front of the changes, or get ready to pay a bit more for your bottles of Space Perrier, er, Quafe.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jita Blog Talk

MOre than a few people have been talking lately about the upcoming Jitahellcamp.  Ripard Teg thinks CCP have their collective backs to the wall.  Syncaine is musing on the urban planning challenges of holding all the tears that will come and the health ramifications of drinking said tears.  Poetic seems to have not really noticed, with his latest adventures in a stream-of-consciousness pile of posts.  I;m sure you can find some others to read too.

I talked about this in regards to the philosophical context of the conflict that is coming.  But what about the day to day?  Here are some thoughts and predictions.

I cannot wait for the Jitahellcamp to come, and I think it will be a wonderful moment for Eve.  So I am a bit more Syncaine than Ripard.  There are also some long-term implications if the Gooswarm wins the field.

The economy of Eve may finally have to split up and the players will realize one mega-hub is a terrible way to run the economy.  The only reason attacking Jita matters is because it is THE hub of the game.  Sure, other empire hubs exist, but they do not hold a candle to the volume that is Jita IV.  If trade is significantly disrupted, that makes a strong argument for spreading out a bit, which in turn opens up greater options for buyers, sellers, traders, and just about anyone interested in a more dynamic market geography.

Get ready to profit!  I think there is a good chance many traders will ignore the warnings, or don't pay enough attention to the metagame.  If the camp is successful and shuts down trade into and out of Jita there will be a lot of opportunity to make some isk on the edges.  Not to mention the stockpiles in Jita being temporarily removed from market circulation.  I leave it to you to decide what is going to be valuable, but you may want to make preparations.

Buy your stuff now.  If you think you might need anything in the week or two after the 24th, you may want to get those supplies before supply chains and trade convoys are disrupted.

Put your bibs on, because there just might be an all you eat buffet of non-Eve players writing, blogging, and generally mucking about in and around New Eden.  I cannot wait to see how Massively tries to spin the hellcamp.  Be prepared for the sound of a thousand voices screaming, followed by... more screaming.  As Syncaine and Ripard said, the forums and blogs will be awash with lots of people complaining about the GSF and CFC.  Although this is rather the norm, I think the volume will go up to eleven.  Time for a wonderful chance to simply observe people in Eve responding to actual content. People say they want more, but often regret getting what they want.

Is CCP reinforcing nodes, and will Jita get TiDi-ed in the days leading up to the jitahellcamp?  I can see a lot of pilots getting a fresh clone and a few ships to enjoy the pretty colors when hundreds (thousands?) of Tornados, tacklers, Orcas, freighters, pods and god knows what else shows up in Jita.  I know I'm thinking of trying to get good seats, and maybe onto a few killmails.  You might want to set up some safes  now though, for all the good it might do.  If I go or not, this promises to be an interesting few days.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Stealthy Bombers

Hanging in corp the other day I was asked if I wanted to practice some PvP tactics.  Being ever the eager nub, I agreed.  Twenty minutes and a few frustrating warps to get modules later, I was in a Manticore, practicing bombing runs.  The first attempt ended rather poorly, with my shields empty and my corpmate saying "See that red bar?  That means I killed you."

A few tries later I had the basic strategy down, no target lock from the enemy, but as I was one Manticore and he was in a Battlecruiser, and a passive regen stalemate ensued.  Then my shields dropped by 50%.  What the hell?  Let's just say I have a newfound respect for many of the lesser used items in Eve, and I learned a lot about trying to hunt down foes in a stealthy piece of aluminum.

Here are some takeaways for players new to the SB:

  • Patience.  Lots of it.  They can't see you until you decide to drop cloak, and that is hugely important.
  • Understand the range of ALL your modules, and the modules your opponent is likely to fit.  If you burn in like a nub, all the range dampening in the world won't make a difference.
  • Find some friends.  Torpedos seem powerful, but your opponent may have more tank than one SB can handle.  Without tackle, not much will stop your prey from leaving with some new intel.
  • More patience.  They don't know you are there, and may warp off for some random reason right as you are getting ready to decloak and open the Tubes of Hell.
  • The ship you are fighting may not be fit the way you would fit it.  There are a tremendous number of mods in the game, and just because you don't know or use something, your opponent may have a nasty trick or two hidden in that juicy hull you want to pop.