Market Trading

Having decided to spice up my Eve life and break feeling that logging in is a chore, one of my accounts went wandering through space exploring and boldly going but I was at a bit of a loss when it came to the other one. He was tending a small industrial project deep in Null Sec space that, due to the economy, had become redundant.

I made a decision to move him back into High Sec to have a go at station trading. He had all the required skills at lvl5 and a 200 mill pot to begin with. I headed off to Jita and quickly learned that I really didn’t know nearly enough about trading.

A quick search of the internets indicated that I should have been an Eve Billionaire by now. I wasn’t holding my tongue right when I set my sell orders. Station trading is simple if you buy an expensive pdf file because it unlocks the secrets. Ok.. maybe not. Further research uncovered a wealth of information that explained a lot of what I took for granted but also provided insights into how the market worked. The biggest ‘ah ha’ moment was decoding how to identify whether people were selling to buy orders or just buying. It was at that point that it all began to make sense.

Armed with this knowledge, and a better understanding of trade in general, I headed back to my home region. I knew that the markets wouldn’t be quite as active, but I had good standings and the taxes would be less. I decided on cross regional trade for t2 items that were familiar to me. I seeded the buy orders playing the 1 isk game and waited.

While I was waiting for the buy orders to fill I thought it would be a good idea to run some missions for the faction I was going to use as my point of sale. Yad came out of his wanderings and picked up his missioning Vargur to assist. So two accounts and two beer fit ships headed off to a nearby agent. The Marauder is almost a set and forget ship when it comes to L4 missions so I didn’t have to pay much attention but I always have a look at Eve Survival and see what I am up against.

At the end of each mission I checked the orders and hopped in a fast small ship to pick up the buy’s. Ferry them to the sell hub and pop them on the market. I had identified a few items that didn’t seem to have active sellers and for 4 out of 5 of them I was right. Placed on the market they stayed at the top of the list for several hours and as luck would have it sold well above my break even price.

By the end of the week I had sold everything that I had bought and expanded my wallet. While the total amount made didn’t come close to the mission rewards it was still a win by my standards. I had entered into a facet of the game that I had no real experience in and made a few isk.

More importantly I had enjoyed myself.

Special mention to Bad Trader who provided some interesting links and information.

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad

Empty Space

I had a few days last week where I was able to fly around Low Sec during peak player time. The thing that struck me was the lack of pilots. I flew 100 jumps through Derelik and Devoid and only saw the occasional player. Last time I was in Devoid I was setting up a cyno toon to move a Dreadnought and there was a fair amount of Faction Warfare activity. Not so this time.

I checked the map for players currently active and docked and players active in space in the last 30 minutes. Both views showed a huge black expanse of lifeless systems. The exceptions being Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Hek and Rens. Of the twenty eight thousand players online these trade hubs accounted for less than three thousand players. So where are the other twenty five thousand players?

There are five thousand two hundred and one systems in K-Space that are accessible. Each one of them was visited by Katia Sae in an epic voyage of exploration. EveNT has a good article  on her exploits. There are approximately 2500 W-Space systems. I say approximately because the small amount of research I did was inconclusive and often the number quoted did not include the 75 systems added with Thera.

A very simple view would be that if we placed the 25,000 missing players in the available 7,700 systems then the saturation would be about 3 per system. The in-game star map supports this to some extent. As mentioned earlier, huge tracts of empty space with little if any activity. I see this as a problem.

One of the draw cards to any game is a community that is visible. When you start that first character, and take those initial tentative steps, visible interaction within the game is important. I remember undocking my little Reaper and seeing a Freighter. This enormous ship was right in front of me and I was about to crash into it. The mechanics didn’t allow that to happen but the memory remained. There were dozens of other ships just outside the station,  rookie channels full of chat. It was exciting to be part of it.

Same doesn’t seem to apply these days. I have read old players accounts of starting a new character and most make comment that the rookie channel isn’t as vibrant as it was. To check that I would have to re-roll a toon, something I won’t do until November when I bring my third account out of hibernation. So taking the accounts at face value, it appears the new player experience, while polished and positive, seems to lack interaction and a sense of belonging.

As part of my recent travels I visited a few of the new player staging areas and found them surprisingly quiet. A few rookie ships braving space for the first time, but not much else. Nothing in local chat. While new players have exclusive access to school based rookie channels there was always a question or two in local. Travelling from these staging areas to the main trade hubs was uneventful. I remember my first flights marvelling at the ships I saw and the amount of people. From Ryddinjorn to Rens the pipe was packed with little Reapers flying all over the place, lost at gates and drifting off into space. These days it is quiet.

Did everyone go to W-Space?

Possibly, after all the amount of Isk you can make is staggering. I was introduced to W-Space during my involvement with SCALE. The concerted efforts of all members paid for the first two Titans owned by that alliance and ultimately lead to the reformation into Conflagration. I think the Titans were the joining fee. Back then W-Space wasn’t owned. That didn’t start occurring till players got an idea of how the static systems worked and started building towers. CCP didn’t intend for players to permanently occupy W-Space but accepted it as a player driven outcome. An unintended feature that gained massive support.

My recent  involvement in W-Space has been limited. I spent a few months ninja mining in the new Venture with my main scouting the sites. It was exciting and somewhat profitable but the thing that struck me was the amount of corp participation in W-Space. Almost every class three system I visited had a multiple towers. Most of the planets were being actively harvested and the POCO’s belonged to the tower builders. One of the drawbacks, or some would say more positive features, of W-Space is that there is no local chat. Without local chat you have no idea how many players are in that system unless you see them on scan, or worse, run into them.

Has Eve become too big?

I think the introduction of the Drone regions, combined with the expansion of W-Space has reduced the amount of players in each of the systems. With the decline in new borne players, space has become a big empty place where the likelihood of interaction is rare. I don’t believe it has always been like this.

If the lack of visible interaction is really an issue, and not just something I perceive, then adding more players might make a difference especially if they are limited to High Sec. I am beginning to wonder if this is what CCP intend with the introduction of Alpha Clones. Free toons with limited abilities suited mainly to High Sec. If this is taken up with real numbers it could bolster the declining visibility of players and reinvigorate the missing new player interaction.

While I wait for November, I will continue to explore the vast expanses of unoccupied space, run few missions and do a bit of trade.

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barge Changes

So while most of us, myself included, were blindsided by the announcement of Alpha Clones there was something else going on. No that’s not quite right, there was a ton of stuff going on. Alpha Clones focused the discussion but behind that CCP had placed a sizeable queue of enhancements in the November Patch. Kind of like parents hiding vegetables in kids meals, they had me fooled.

What else happened?

The EXEFILE is being discontinued and I didn’t read much past that until this morning. I like the new launcher, it does what I need it to do, I like the functionality of being to log multiple characters in with a built in delay. I read the comments and none of the issues raised effect me.

Celebratory rewards for being actively subscribed characters. Another bunch of stuff to dump in a container called ‘stuff’. This container currently holds about 15 billion isk worth of handouts from CCP which underestimates its worth given most of the items do not have a current value on the market and the cost can only be realised on contracts. I am not complaining mind you… I love free stuff.

Patch notes for YC118.8 include:

  1. A new song.
  2. Some graphical changes.
  3. Asklepian implants being available in Serpentis LP stores – price dump expected.
  4. Low Grade Snakes also – price dump expected.
  5. Blue Prints for Serpentis Capitals. Now everyone can own one.
  6. Mining Barge changes – Strip miner price to explode.

It was the mining barge changes that caught my eye, firstly because I made my original fortune producing them and secondly because I wondered if they were going to make mining less tedious.

CCP Fozzie starts the forum thread with an interesting diversion. ‘At that time Tallest added role bonuses to the Procurer, Skiff, Retriever, and Mackinaw to bring their effective strip miner count into the same general range. He also asked the art team to make a note that next time the Barges and Exhumers were up for a regularly scheduled visual refresh they should be unified at the same number of strip miner hardpoints. That day has now come!’

My understanding of regularly scheduled is very different to CCP’s but that aside, the post from Fozzie doesn’t do a very good job at linking the art work and the patches proposed changes. It is almost like he is trying to make an argument that the changes are important because otherwise the skins wont make sense. Why make sense now? all ships have more visual hard-points than they actually have.

In essence they are going to remove a strip miner from the Covetor and Hulk and add one to the Procurer and Skiff. Grid and CPU will be changed accordingly. There are some changes to modules with a slight buff to the Faction strips.

Most of the replies to the thread think the changes are stable and should work, end of the day the whole idea was to make the skins match the fit and not to change the current attributes. Some are concerned that the changes make the fits too tight or sometimes impossible but people good at crunching numbers have already worked out what will work and what won’t.

On the 24th Aug someone picked up 5,828 Modulated Strip Miner II’s in Jita for about 3.7 mill each. The current buy price is 3.5 but the sell is 3.9 and rising. I wonder who has the MSM BPO. I can’t remember if strip miners were around when the lottery finished but have a feeling that this change could make someone very rich, including the person who bought all those miners.

Just another example of the game within the game.

Fly Safe as Always
Yad

 

 

 

Alpha Clones

There are some well considered and comprehensive blogs arising from the recent announcement about “Introducing Clone States and the future of access to Eve Online”.  It seems that 2 days later CCP felt the need to clarify and enhance their original message to calm a community that was basically in melt down. The “Clone States post announcement follow up” deals with the fall out.

Regardless of the tone of CCP’s follow up message there was serious confusion regarding the original message. Not everyone disagreed and there are quite a few articles supporting the change, however most of the players I spoke to asked why?

Why introduce Clone States?

CCP Seagull said that “The monthly subscription is a big barrier for new players and the most common cancellation reason.”

As it is, the free trial account doesn’t require cancellation or a reason to discontinue, it just runs out and this in itself could be an issue. How many trials do not respond to the call to return? How much feedback is coming from the end of a trial account? Are trail players unhappy with the experience and how does CCP gauge this?

My reading of other players forays into the re-roll world, where they open a new account to run the trial period, indicates that it is a fuller experience compared to when they started and the result is a viable player that is capable of the basics. According to the accounts I have read, the new player experience is quite enjoyable. [The counter to that is the re-rolling player has all the knowledge of the ancients, when they start the new toon, which colours their judgement] Either way, CCP have made meaningful changes to the new player experience over many years to draw people into the game. The new player experience, through the 14 day trial, may well be broken to the extent that CCP see the only fix as the introduction of Alpha’s.

Alpha Clones will allow a player, who has not committed to paying for the game, to continue to play for free. The internal restrictions in skills, ship and modules should stop an unsubscribed player from specialising and limit their ability to advance, but it won’t stop the initial enjoyment of the game. Are CCP betting that this free game time encourages subscription?

CCP Seagull also says that “Eve is was designed fundamentally a subscription game from the start and it has been a challenge finding a way to change that without messing with the Eve we love.” 

CCP want more people to enjoy Eve which makes sense considering they are in business and growing a player base is a positive business outcome. But that outcome is only positive if people pay, or are enticed to pay at a later date, and this is the bit that concerns me. I can’t see how Alpha Clones, as they have been presented, encourage subscription. Having said that, the introduction does allow CCP to remove the ‘trial account’ facet of the game and may allow for better reporting outcomes.

The time spent playing a new paid account is crucial – be it a month, three, six or even a year – the experience the player has in that time will be the deciding factor when it comes to opening the wallet again. Alphas won’t change that. Only the game can deliver an experience that encourages players to continue to fork out real cash.

November’s release will be interesting.

My travels took me to Tash Murkon last week.

Saminer
The Traumark Installation in Saminer

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad

North Again

 

 

So my travels took me North and looped around the Eastern edge of the map before a long overdue pit stop in my PI system to conduct maintenance. I was careful to avoid Co2’s  known systems after the last little adventure but it seems that Co2 were not finished with me.

The interesting thing is that to date, Circle of Two are the only alliance that seems to actively defend their space and, in my travels, they are the only alliance I have seen that roam in force outside their domain. I had another brush with them right on the edge of their space at QFF-06 and this time I took the prudent option of not being herded into a corner and killed.

I need to qualify the above with two disclaimers:
Firstly, I haven’t been East or West to any great extent and so there may be savage guardians over there.
Secondly, Eve is time zone based. There are a greater portion of players on-line when I am off-line. It might just be the Co2 have a strong contingent that cover my time zone.

The process of choosing a new sector to roam in generally begins before I log off. I find a quiet system and safe up before plotting a course, using the Eve map and Dotlan, then set 20 or so jumps for the next log in. That way I have a planned path and don’t have to spend valuable time looking for a way out. Most times this is not necessary as I log into empty systems, but sometimes it can be quite a challenge, especially down in Delve at the moment.

As you can see from the above the bright line of Empire travel is darkening and my recent travels North and West have been highlighted.

The point is to see more, not to visit every system, but most importantly it is about igniting my love of Eve and it is doing just that.
I am looking forward to logging in.

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad

West

New Claw fitted for a bit of harmless travel – headed out west.

Spent some time looking around Fountain before heading into Delve. The idea was to look at the Southern reaches of the Universe before heading back up North.

Fountain was empty.

PNQY
PNQY

Things started to get a bit more interesting as I headed off to Y-2ANO and into Delve. The plan was to go through D-W7FO and off to Blood Raider Territory but there was a massive amount of Goon activity at D-W so I decided to head back to Fountain.

Gate agents in Fountain took me by surprise, I guess they shouldn’t as there are some in Syndicate but the idea of them being in Deep null was new to me and just another reason that this little exploration trip is worth the effort.

agent
My standings are not that good

Standings aside, I am not set up to do missions out here even if the locals are nowhere to be seen. These event agents might go some way to repairing my standings but that will have to wait for another day.

I am off North.

Fly Safe as always,
Yad

Travels

Given my pathetic lack of coverage of the Eve universe, and the absence of anything better to do, I set a goal to explore as much as I could before the next shiny thing came along and distracted me.

The map function that shows ‘systems you have visited’ updates approximately every second downtime, although it isn’t quite that precise and tends to leave a few systems off which makes the task of tracking them quite difficult. No doubt people developed massive spreadsheets that plotted optimum routes when this type of exploration became the rage back in 2006, but that doesn’t interest me. I just want to go and have a look, I am not fixated on seeing everything.

The Roden Shipyard at Heluene.

Heluene_2
A quick fly past

I am fairly cautious about what I look at. I didn’t have to worry about Citadel traps because the Interceptor flew right through them, and yes – systems were lousy with them as Talvorian Dex pointed out recently. But there was one that nearly got me, quite ingenious really. It combined a Caldari Encounter Surveillance System which was bubbled behind a Citadel. Since I was looking for interesting things I warped to 100 and saw the trap. Didn’t get a screenie unfortunately because I was wondering how long it took a Citadel to lock and wasn’t going to stick around to find out.

I got a fair bit done up North before I went pop.  The stuff in the hold was just rubbish I picked up along the way, people leave the strangest things in space.

Why did I lose my ship? I forgot golden rule of Eve – never warp directly to the gate. I had become complacent and was happily transiting various systems without drawing the slightest interest from the locals. Then I entered the space held by Circle of Two and they took an interest. The plan was to go deep and log out safe then wait for the map to update and proceed from there. I was being chased by a frigate which was nothing new, but the hackles rose and I had a feeling that I was being herded, I failed to act on gut instinct and took one gate too many.

All props to the killers, they executed a block and stopped me from going deeper into their territory. No idea how my capsule survived but now I am left with a minor problem, self destruct or try to get out? (Solved, they got that on the Taisy gate )

Not to be discouraged I jumped in another Claw, stripped it down for fast flight and took off once again, this time minus implants. I am hard pressed coming up with a training plan as it is – so why speed up the process with costly chips? This way I have no burden that could cause me to hesitate at the wrong moment.

Hope to bring you a few more interesting screen shots from my travels.

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad