Sunday, 30 December 2012

PI Commodity Relations tool

Just a short quick post to link a really nice interactive planetary interaction chart I found today.

Planetary Interaction commodities relatiions

You mouse hover over a PI material or product and it highlights the relationships between it and other materials and products. Makes it easy to see exactly what things are used for and what it takes to make  them.

Although I don't do any PI now, I wish I'd had this chart when I was doing it.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Trade Hub Analysis

There are 5 major trade hubs in Eve Online. Roughly in order of market size they are, Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Rens and Hek. In terms of how profitable they are for me it's Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Hek and Rens. In order of profit vs how much time and effort it takes to make that profit (or iow, how much I like working the markets) I rank them Amarr, Hek, Dodixie, Jita, Rens.

Updated version:


By far the largest of the main trade hubs with a bigger market than all the other main trade hubs added together. Usually has more than twice as many pilots around than all the other main hubs combined too. Far and away the most active and most heavily camped of all the major hubs. Profit margins tend to be smaller than on the other hubs but if you have enough isk to play with you can make more total profit through sales volume than anywhere else.

You'll usually see 1200+ pilots docked and active in Jita, sometimes over 2000.

Jita is very good for buying most items in bulk, especially manufactured items. It's also great for finding things you're having trouble finding anywhere else.


The second largest market. Easily the most consistently profitable and reliably performing market in my experience. The market is larger and more active than anywhere except Jita. It's not as heavily camped as Jita or Rens either so it takes less effort to make the same isk here. Along with Hek this is one of my favorite markets.

Usually has 150-200 pilots docked and active, 250+ during peak times.


The third largest market. I found Dodixie a very poor performer at first but as I got more isk and more orders to play with it got better. Now it's almost as good as Amarr for me. I guess Dodixie is just a tough market for smaller, newer players to break into but for larger, more established players it's fine.

Usually has 150+ pilots docked and active, 200+ during peak times.


Fourth largest market by market order value. The least profitable in my experience. Very heavily camped considering it's the second smallest market of the major hubs and not much bigger than the smallest (Hek). Even some regions without a major hub are more profit for less work than Rens. Definitely, without a doubt my least favorite major trade hub.

Though I haven't any data to prove it I believe Rens is in decline and slowly losing business to Hek. I expect Rens will soon be the smallest of the main trade hubs, though since it's in a different region than Hek it will still be quite a bit larger than any of the smaller hubs and remain a main trade hub.

Usually has 100-150 pilots docked and active, 150-200 during peak times.


Hek is a boom town that's still growing. It's the smallest market but has probably the best profit margins of all the major hubs. This is one of my favorite markets. The market isn't that much smaller than Rens but Hek isn't camped very much at all, meaning you can update orders less often yet still move items in decent volume and for bigger margins than on the other hubs.

Hek is the newest of the major hubs. I've only been playing for 10 months or so myself so I'm not sure just exactly how long it's been around but when doing google research Hek is never mentioned as a main trade hub in older posts. I figure it's been a main hub for at least 1 maybe 2 years.

Considering Hek hasn't been a main hub very long, yet is already almost as big as Rens, I believe it'll soon surpass Rens as the main trade hub in Minmatar space. In fact due to it's central position among the hubs (close to both Dodixie and Rens and closer to Jita than Rens is) I expect within a year Hek will be as big as Dodixie. Though I wouldn't bet on it (at least not yet) I wouldn't be surprised if it starts pulling a little business away from Jita and eventually grows as large Amarr.

Usually has 100 or so pilots docked and active, 150 plus during peak times.

Smaller hubs

Besides the 5 main trade hubs there are many smaller hubs. Most of the smaller hubs are mission hubs, FW hubs, industrial centers, systems where miners flock and the like. There is a reason why pilots tend to congregate in these systems. If you figure out why they're there you should have a pretty good idea of what they have to sell and what they need to buy too.

Some of the smaller hubs (listed in no particular order) are Arnon, Aldrat, Osmon, Oursulaert, Akainavas, Umokka, Sobaseki, Clellinon, Couster, Deepari, Penigrman. Experienced regional traders will recognize many of these systems as places where a lot of their buy orders get filled. They make great places for new traders to get their feet wet before diving into the deep end with the obsessive overly competitive station traders found on the major trade hubs.

Pretty much any system that normally has 20-30 pilots docked and active is a good place to do business. The more pilots around the better, quite a few of these smaller hubs have 50, 60 or more pilots in system during peak times. A handful frequently have those numbers during off peak times and occasionally hit 100 or more during peak times.

The simplest and best way to find smaller hubs is to open the map and set it to Starmap > Stars > Statistics > Number of pilots currently docked and actived. The huge red blob towards top center is Jita, The next biggest circles are Amarr, Dodixie, Rens, Hek (the other 4 main trade hubs) and depending on the time maybe Osmon too. After that are the smaller hubs.

Osmon is a special case, it frequently has 150+ pilots but it's often well under 100 too. Osmon is a major mission hub for level 4 Sister's of Eve agents (the best missions for repairing faction standings) and a major ice mining center that's notorious for botting operations too. It's not a major trade hub though. It's really not any better than other small hubs in spite of it's greater size and activity mainly because it's in the same region as (and very close to) Jita. There are a lot of items sold on Osmon, the problem is you're buying them in competition with regional buy orders on Jita and there are a LOT of buyers on Jita.

Bulk hauling supplies mission runners and ice miners need (ammo, modules, even ships) into Osmon to sell is probably quite lucrative.

Certain null sec hubs can get very busy at times, usually due to being staging points for war operations. When this happens they can rival the best of the smaller hubs. However the busy times tend to be short lived as war fronts move and wars end.

Listing null sec hubs is really beyond the scope of this article, however if you find a war staging hub, it'd be a great place to use remote order skills from a cloaked ship to do a little ninja trading (buy up all their cheap war supplies and sell it back to them for big profits). If you're part of the alliance staging out of the system, don't jack prices up on your main, that'll just get you yelled at and possibly kicked.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Trading T1 Best Named Modules

Best named modules (meta 4 for the most part) are always in demand. Besides expensive faction and deadspace mods, they're the best fittings new players with low skills can use. They're typically as good or close to as good as T2 equivalents while taking less cpu and/or powergrid which makes them easier to fit than T2. Consequently they're often better for players who can use T2 modules too.

The following is a list of some best named modules that sell well. There are others, these are just some of the most popular ones that I've used and traded myself.

Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I
Eutectic Capacitor Charge Array
F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines
F-90 Positional Signal Amplifier
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Limited IMN Microwarpdrive I
Local Hull Conversion Nanofiber Structure I
Phased Muon Sensor Disruptor I
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron
Upgraded EM Ward Amplifier I
Arbalest missile launchers (all types but particularly heavy, light and rockets)
Regolithic Shield Extenders (all sizes large, medium and small)
Photonic CPU Enhancer
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Faint Warp Disruptor I

My absolute favorite T1 module to trade is Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I. I've been trading these since my first week playing and I still trade them now. Plentiful supply, they drop everywhere and are in extremely high demand. Prices can be very spiky with sell orders ranging from extreme lows of under 75k to extreme highs of 2 million plus when someone tries to corner the market.

Someone has been trying to corner the market on all best named modules for a couple weeks now. He's camping and throwing an awful lot of isk at the market trying to dominate sales and keep prices propped up high. As a result all the best named modules are extremely high priced lately.

This means right now is a great time for new players to break into trading best named modules. As the little guy your advantage is you can spend more time concentrating on a smaller area, fewer items and smaller orders than the big guys can. Update and renew your orders frequently and transport stacks of modules to sell on whatever nearby hub has the best sell prices. Buy them cheap in out of the way areas and sell them on main trade hubs and/or major mission hubs. If you do it right you can sell well under his prices, make big profits and easily more than double your money every day until your volume gets large enough to start slowing you down.

For a little market pvp fun I like to put up a 10 or 20 jump buy order for 100 or so just a little over the highest priced 40 jump / regional order. That way I get the close ones and the regional buyer trying to corner the market with massive buy orders gets stuck having to travel 10, 20 or more jumps to pick up all the ones he gets.

One caveat, if you engage in this type of market pvp be aware a smart market manipulator would have amassed huge cheaply purchased stockpiles *before raising prices. Assuming he did, eventually he's going to dump those stockpiles so make sure you don't buy too much at high prices now and get stuck with them when prices go down again. Only buy what you can reasonably expect to sell in a few days.

Please feel free to comment on other best named modules that sell well and I'll add them to the list.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Vigil Trader - Post Retribution

Vigils were one of the ships with significant changes made in Retribution.

When I first heard about the changes planned for Vigils I wasn't happy. I'm a trader specializing in small, high value items that can be transported in small fast ships. The Vigil as the fastest, cheap T1 frigate (not counting expensive pirate faction ships) was my ship of choice for transport. I trained all my trader alts into flying Vigils because of it's speed and slot layout.

They were taking away the speed bonus and changing the slot layout. I was pissed! A little later I found out the base speed was being increased too but I wasn't sure if it would still be fast enough and I really didn't like losing a low slot (nano) either.

The cargo space was being increased by 100 m3 (from 150 to 250) but I really didn't care about that. Sure more cargo space would be nice but speed and alignment time were more important to me.

Now that the changes are here, I've changed my mind. The Vigil makes an even better light trade hauler now. While the speed bonus was removed, the increased base velocity makes that pretty much a wash. A little faster with low skills, a little slower with high skills and about the same with mediocre skills. They're still fast enough. I can only fit 2 nanos instead of 3 now but alignment times are still very good so that's ok. In fact, while I'm not certain, I think alignment times might be even better now.

Then there's the extra cargo space. I didn't think another 100 m3 of cargo space was all that great but after flying Retribution Vigils for a few days I've found I like it a lot more than I thought I would.

This is my new standard fit for Vigils

[Vigil - Light Transport]

Local Hull Conversion Nanofiber Structure I
Local Hull Conversion Nanofiber Structure I

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Eutectic Capacitor Charge Array
Eutectic Capacitor Charge Array
Eutectic Capacitor Charge Array
Eutectic Capacitor Charge Array

Salvager I
Salvager I

Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I.

What's in the highs isn't important, leave them empty if you want. This fit isn't intended to fight or do anything besides fly fast and align quickly while moving small, valuable cargo.

With 4 cap rechargers I almost never run out of cap while warping repeatedly on low skills alts. Higher skilled alts could drop the rechargers for something else or leave the slots empty for even cheaper ships.

The 3 Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizers increase warp speed to 10.4 Au (more than 70% faster) and they're cheap.

For extremely low skills alts that might be having trouble making long warps all in one go you can always replace one or more velocity optimizers with Small Warp Core Optimizers (40% less cap needed to warp).

In conclusion, the Vigil is even better for light transport now than before and the new fit is cheaper too. It's win win all around!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Skill Planning for Traders

There are a total of 13 trade skills,  7 of which I consider important primary skills and 6 that I consider less important secondary skills.

The primary skills are order skills that increase the number of market orders you can place and money skills that affect costs. Trade, Retail, Wholesale and Tycoon are the order skills, Accounting, Broker Relations and Margin Trading are the money skills.

The secondary skills affect remote orders or contracting. They can be useful or not depending on your particular market strategy. These skills are Contracting, Corporation Contracting, Daytrading, Marketing, Procurement and Visibility.

I'm going to assume the reader already knows what the different trade skills are, what they do and how to use them. I won't be describing trading or the skills involved in great detail because that's already been done very well many times before. For anyone who needs those details here's a link to a good article on Trade skills.

Regional Trading vs Station Trading

Before deciding what skills to get and what order to train them in you should decide on a trading strategy first. There are many subtly different trading strats you could use but generally speaking there are 2 main types of trading strategy, Regional Trading and Station Trading.

Station Trading is buying and selling on a single station with no travel involved. Your trader just sits in a station (usually one of the main trade hubs) buying things and posting them for resale on the same station at a profit. He never needs to undock. Your buy orders are limited to being filled on the station you're at. Profit margins tend to be lower than with regional trading but once you find the right price points volume can be very good.

Regional Trading involves a lot of travel, flying to pickup filled buy orders on one station and hauling them somewhere else for resale (typically the main trade hub in the same region). Your buy orders can be filled on many stations within the region, whether it's every station in the entire region or just those within a certain number of jumps. Profit margins tend to be higher but all the traveling takes more time. The bigger you get the more time it takes.

If you're going to do Regional Trading secondary skills can be handy, especially Daytrading and Marketing. I find these two skills particularly useful for reselling items that were sold to me in or behind major gatecamps in low/null where it may not be worth the trouble of transporting the items out. Marketing allows you to post sell orders without traveling to the station the items are on and Daytrading lets you modify orders remotely.

If you're just going to do Station Trading you don't need any secondary skills other than Marketing and you only need Marketing because it's a requirement for other skills.

As the first commenter mentioned Daytrading is also very useful for updating orders while away from the station doing something else like traveling, mining or ratting. Not a must have skill but certainly very convenient. It's great for Regional Traders and characters who do more than just trade. I used it a lot when I was doing mostly Regional Trading. Being able to update orders while flying around in space picking up goods cut the time it took to go through my whole routine nearly in half.

The 5 main trade hubs roughly in order of market size are Jita (by far the largest), Amarr, Dodixie, Rens and Hek.

Most players will do best starting a trading career with Regional Trading. Only move into straight Station Trading once you have some experience playing the markets and a good amount of capital to play with... Or when you find yourself spending too much time hauling all the stuff you're buying around.

Basic Trader

For players who just want good basic trade skills I recommend the following skills.

Trade IV
Retail IV (requires Trade II)
Accounting IV (requires Trade IV)
Broker Relations IV (requires Trade II)
Margin Trading IV (requires Accounting IV)

Regional Traders will probably also want Daytrading IV and Marketing II or III. That'll let you place sell orders from 5 or 10 jumps away and modify all orders (both buy and sell) from 20 jumps away.

These skills give you 53 market orders (out of 305 maximum possible) with lower sales taxes and broker fees. Margin Trading could be considered optional for more casual traders. If you always have plenty of cash on hand you don't need it. If you keep running short of cash when entering buy orders you do need it.

Note: Most players will also want to get Contracting I (requires Social I), it makes moving items between characters a whole lot simpler but it isn't absolutely necessary to play the market.

Serious Trader

For the serious trader who wants more diversification, higher volume and needs to shave costs even further.

Retail V
Marketing II (requires Trade II)
Wholesale IV (requires Retail V and Marketing II)
Accounting V
Margin Trading V

Broker Relations IV
Trade IV
Daytrading IV (for Regional Traders only, requires Trade IV)

These skills give you 125 market orders, lower costs a bit more and stretch your investment capital even further. What order you train the skills in depends on how you want to grow your business. You can diversify into more varied items with more active orders, you can lower costs and stretch your investment capital further, or you can do both.

To get more orders Retail V and Wholesale IV are the skills you want. To lower costs you want Accounting V and to stretch your capital further, Margin Trading V.

Personally I'd recommend getting Retail V, Marketing II, Wholesale IV, Margin Trading V and Accounting V in that order. If stretching your capital is more important to you than getting more orders, get Margin Trading V first. I wouldn't bother with Broker Relations V until after you already have all the other trade skills you intend to get.

On most of my traders I actually trained Tycoon IV before Margin Trading V. Having gotten Margin Trading V first on the last couple characters I feel it works a lot better for me and my trading strategy with that training order. On the next trader I'll probably get Margin Trading V before Accounting V. In fact, I'm considering leaving Accounting V until after both Margin Trading V and Tycoon IV.

Master Trader

This is where I consider a character "finished" training trade skills.

Wholesale V
Marketing IV
Tycoon IV (requires Wholesale V and Marketing IV)
Broker Relations V

Acounting V
Margin Trading V
Trade IV
Retail V
Daytrading IV (for regional traders only)

That'll give you 269 active orders with all money skills maxed, able to place sell orders and modify all orders from 20 jumps away.

Additional Notes

There are still more skills you could learn or train further but do you really need them?

If you're a station trader you don't need remote order skills.

Even if you do need remote order skills who really needs Procurement and Visibility anyhow? Maybe a handful of players working unusual market strategies deep in enemy space.

You could always get another 36 active orders by maxing Trade and Tycoon too but is that really worth nearly a month of skills training time? Eventually sure, but most of us can probably find better things to do with a month of training for the immediately foreseeable future.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Character Progress Report - December 2012

Report on the status and progress of all my characters for Dec 2012. Mostly Trade oriented since making ISK is my main focus and trading is how I make ISK.

Current net worth is just over 61 billion with about 2/3 of it in cash and escrow. Most of the rest is in sell orders and stock I haven't posted for sale yet.

Account 1

Transferred my main off this account to his own account.

Couster Regional Trader, 53 buy orders, Retail IV, Accounting IV, Broker Relations III, Margin Trading IV. Buys a bunch of different things, transports to Dodixie and contracts to the main trader there for resale. Currently training Broker Relations IV, will get Retail V and Wholesale I - IV next.

Inactive trader. 53 buy orders, Retail IV, Accounting IV, Broker Relations III, Margin Trading IV. Currently inactive, sitting in Jita and not doing any trading. Used to trade implants and mods on Dodixie until  the main trader there got Tycoon IV and took over all the business on Dixie.

Account 2

Amarr Station Trader. 269 orders, Tycoon IV, Accounting V, Broker Relations V, Margin Trading V, does nothing but station trade. Finished training trade skills.

Dodixie Station Trader 269 orders, Tycoon IV, Accounting V, Broker Relations IV, Margin Trading IV, does nothing but station trade. Currently training Margin Trading V.

Rens Station Trader 273 orders, Tycoon IV, Accounting V, Broker Relations IV, Margin Trading IV, does nothing but station trade.

Account 3

Lonetrek Regional Trader. 273 orders, Tycoon IV, Accounting IV, Broker Relations IV, Margin Trading IV. Mainly a buyer, does sell a few things but mostly just buys, flies to Jita and contracts most of the goods to my traders there for resale.

Hek Station Trader 269 orders, Tycoon IV, Accounting V, Broker Relations IV, Margin Trading V, does nothing but station trade.

Jita Station Trader 125 orders, Wholesale IV, Accounting V, Broker Relations V, Margin Trading IV, does nothing but station trade implants and mods. Currently training Wholesale V.

Account 4

Jita Station Trader, 269 orders, Tycoon IV, Accounting V, Broker Relations V, Margin Trading V, does nothing but station trade and only handles skillbooks. This was the last trader I made but the first one finished training trade skills. I may come back to train Tycoon V and Trade V eventually but for now I consider him finished training trade skills.

Exploration / Scout pilot, newest toon, training Cov Ops and Int/Mem support/scanning/exploration skills. Minimal trade skills, 21 orders, Trade II, Retail I. I don't plan on doing any serious trading on this toon. Has enough order slots to put up plenty of buy orders for things he needs and that's it. Currently training Caldari Frigates V, the last skill he needs to fly Cov Ops, then it's back to int/mem skills.

Account 5

My Main, transferred to his own account. 125 orders, Wholesale IV, Accounting IV, Broker Relations IV, Margin Trading IV and most of the "remote order placement" trade skills at III or IV. Finished transferring his business to dedicated Jita station traders freeing him up to do other things. Hurray, he's not tied to Jita babysitting market orders anymore! Currently training Weapon Upgrades V.

Future plans

Get both toons on account 1 Retail V, Wholesale IV, Broker Relations IV, then work on flying support skills (mainly Navigation, Engineering and Electronics skills). Will probably train both toons into Cov Ops soon. Might eventually train one into Jump Freighters and/or Blockade Runners too even though I hate flying big slow haulers. One toon is back on Couster, I'd like to find another decent regional market (one without a major hub) for the other to work.

On the main I intend to start doing bombing runs as well as some exploration, mission running and searching for new markets. Finish training Weapon Upgrades V, get Advanced Weapon Upgrades I - IV and start working on T2 launchers.

Finish the Trade skills training for the traders of Dodixie, Rens and Hek by getting Margin Trading V and Broker Relations V on all of them. All of them already have Accounting V, Tycoon IV and most have Margin Trading V.

Get Cov Ops on the new Exploration/Scout toon and then continue training Int/Mem support skills on it. Will probably continue following the Cov Ops line to get Recon cruisers next and eventually Black Ops.

Get Wholesale V, Tycoon IV and Margin Trading V on the second Jita trader. Then get Margin Trading V on the Lonetrek buyer and Broker Relations V on the Hec trader. Finally get Accounting V and Broker Relations V on the Lonetrek buyer.