Tuesday 31 December 2013

Christmas PLEX

The Christmas holiday season usually sees a rise in online gaming activity. More subscriptions are bought, more players are playing longer hours, more items are being bought and sold and there are price fluctuations (both up and down) on many popular items.

In Eve Online one item that's affected by price fluctuations is PLEX. This year buyers went into a bit of a frenzy a few days before Christmas, frantically trying to buy them all up, raise the price and make a killing over the holidays. I don't think they were very successful raising the price (other than temporarily and in out of the way places) but the most obsessive ones probably did pretty good on volume.

Post Christmas, there seems to be a bit of a glut of PLEX on the market, particularly on the buying side. Buy prices have come down a fair bit over the last few days. I've been stockpiling while they're cheap. If you're looking to buy a few PLEX for subscriptions, multiple character training or w/e, right now is a great time to buy!

The screenshot above shows my last day and a bit's worth of PLEX sales and purchases. Business for the week before was similar with somewhat higher prices (for both sales and purchases). Obviously I've been buying more than I'm selling but that goes hand in hand with recently bumping subscriptions on all 12 accounts from re-subbing just before they expire to subbing at least 3 months in advance.

I'm also keeping a small stockpile of 10-20 PLEX on hand so I'll never have to "overpay" for PLEX to sub accounts with before they expire again. This also means I have some PLEX handy to take advantage of short lived local price increases in different regions and make better than usual (for PLEX) profits.

Saturday 28 December 2013

Bitter Lonely Old Men

This started out as a comment on another blog that I decided to flesh out a bit more and make a blog post out of.

A while back I was doing regional pickups on one of my trade alts and had a fair bit of stuff to pickup in Aurohunen. [BLOM] had a camp on the gate and a bigger camp on the dock at the station my stuff was on. Crashing the gate and docking at the station wasn't a problem but I knew better than to try leaving with a camp waiting for me to undock.

So I waited...

They kept calling me a coward and asking why I wouldn't undock. I'm like "I'm a trade alt flying an unarmed blockade runner, what do you think?".

So I asked them what it was like being Bitter Lonely Old Men and having nothing better to do than gang camping a backwater station for hours on end waiting for targets that can't shoot back to undock.

3 guys in particular took exception to that and went off on me.

No big deal to me, I just tabbed between accounts, doing stuff on other accounts and checking the one they were camping occasionally. It was amusing tabbing in every now and then, reading the 3 guys' rants and saying something to wind them up more. I even told them that's what I was doing.

I didn't bother mentioning that I was in the middle of doing regional pickups, had about a billion in cargo that I really wanted to fly out of there soon and more to pickup elsewhere. Instead I implied that Aurohunen was my trading station, I'd just flown a load of trade goods in and wouldn't need to undock again for days.

Then they decided since I was running multiple traders at once, I must be a bot so they were going to report me for botting. I laughed, told them to go right ahead since I was confident I make enough ISK that CCP has probably investigated me before and already knows I don't bot. I also reminded them that making false reports like that could backfire and get them a nice little vacation from Eve.

We went back and forth like this for a while with me getting a good laugh out of it and them getting madder and madder.

Eventually the Bitter Lonely Old Men gave up, the 3 loudmouths logged off and I flew off safely with a o/ for the rest of them on the way out.

Saturday 7 December 2013

Unlocking The Power of JEveAssets

jEveAssets is a desktop tool that helps players manage their assets in EVE Online. It has a number of different ways to display data from assets, wallet, market orders, industry jobs, etc and even more ways to tweak and filter exactly what is displayed.

JEveAssets handles multiple characters on multiple accounts fine. Since it gets the data from API queries you have to setup API Keys for each account first (through CCP's account management page) and then configure the Key ID and Verification Code for each account before JEveAssets can query the keys.

The most basic way to change what JEveAssets shows you is with the "tools" menu which gives you a number of options to open different tabs that display the data in different ways. Most of that is pretty straightforward, just click the menu item and a tab opens.

Most players will probably find the Values, Tracker and ISK tabs most useful at first. Other tabs like Assets and Transactions can be incredibly useful but can be daunting to use properly in the beginning. Traders and Industrialists (or anyone with a lot of assets / transactions) will find it's very well worth learning to use these tabs well!

Many (but not all) tabs have data cells arranged in rows and columns (the aforementioned Assets and Transactions tabs for example). In these tabs you can drag column headers and move them around to rearrange the order the columns are displayed in. You can double-click a column header to select it and then single click it to sort the data). You can also right click on any cell to open a menu containing a number of powerful features.

Transactions tab with right-click menu open

If for example you click on the highlighted Eve-Marketdata menu item shown in the screenshot above, it will automatically open your browser and look up the selected item (PLEX in the example above) on the Eve MarketData website.

Probably the most powerful feature is Filters. Filters are the key to unlocking the full power of JEveAssets. Without filters the Assets and Transactions tabs would be practically useless for any half serious Trader or Industrialist. There's just way too much data to find what you're looking for quickly (far less make much sense of it all) without filtering. But with filters, these tabs are extremely powerful.

For example here's an un-filtered Transactions tab.

The screenshot only contains the first few lines of the list but the full, unfiltered list has nearly 5,000 entries. So let's make it more readable by filtering the list to only show a single item 30 Day Pilot's License Extension (PLEX)

Under the Name column (the item name) right-click on 30 Day Pilot's License Extension (PLEX) to open a menu like in the screenshot below.

Then click on Contains to add a filter like in the next screenshot

When the filter is added the list automatically refreshes to only show PLEX like so

The filtered list contains just 129 lines (vs nearly 5,000 unfiltered) and makes it much easier to see how my PLEX sales have been doing lately.

You can use filters to sort by any data cell not just the item name, you can filter by date, price, owner (character name), region, station, etc., you can use different filter methods like "contains", "does not contain", "equals", etc., and you can even use multiple filters too.

For example to further reduce the PLEX list above you could use 2 filters to only show items that are named 30 Day Pilot's License Extension (PLEX) AND are in a particular region. Which in the example I've been using throughout this article lists just a single PLEX and looks like this

Owner name removed to protect the innocent

Hopefully this will help some of you unlock the full power of JEveAssets and get better use out of it!

Monday 2 December 2013

Training Report - December 2013

Training report for 02 Dec 2013

First some numbers:

12 Accounts
30 Characters

27 Traders (19 finished training trade skills, 8 in various stages of training)
21 (out of 23 total) Empire regions covered by traders

5 Covert Ops pilots
15 Blockade Runner pilots (more in training)
2 Tengu pilots
1 Recon pilot
1 Rattlesnake pilot
30 Vigil pilots =)

16 PLEX per month (12 subscriptions with 4 accounts dual training)

I work a mix of regional and station trading with a fair bit of hauling and courier contracts between regions. I'm always moving up market (dropping cheaper items and replacing them with more expensive items).

I train my traders for 305 orders with the following trade skills: Trade V, Retail V, Wholesale V, Tycoon V, Accounting V, Broker Relations V, Margin Trading V, Daytrading V, Marketing V, Procurement IV, Visibility IV and Contracting IV (6,716,785 SP). I consider them to be "finished" training trade skills at that point.

I've been cutting back on the number of accounts dual training (for a while I had 9 dual training) while building up wallet balances, escrow cash and inventory on the newer traders.

Account 1

dual training active

3 fully trained traders, all flying Blockade Runners, covering Essence, Tash-Murkon and Verge Vendor Regions.

Future plans: Continue training navigation, capacitor, shield and fitting skills higher on all three characters for another month or two. Possibly train Industry skills or Covert Ops after that.

Account 2

The traders of Amarr, Dodixie and Rens. All characters on this account are finished training trade skills. Two are Covert Ops pilots, all three are Blockade Runner Pilots.

Future plans: Remain in the Int/Mem remap and continue training support skills on all 3 characters. In particular, Capacitor, Navigation, Engineering and Shield skills. Will probably train one into Industry eventually.

Account 3

Lonetrek Regional Trader - Finished training Trade skills. Covert Ops and Blockade runner pilot. Not currently training.

Jita Station Trader #2 -  Finished training skills. Does nothing but trade officer/deadspace/faction mods. Not currently training.

New Trader - Newer trader, about halfway through training Trade skills. Has 128 orders with all money skills (Accounting, Broker Relations and Margin Trading) at V. Currently training Wholesale V.

Future plans: Continue training trade skills on the new trader. Will train Blockade Runners next after Trade skills are done.

Account 4

Jita Station Trader #1 - Finished training trade skills. Does nothing but station trade skill-books. This is the only character that still deals in very many items in the 1-10 million ISK range. Not currently training.

Exploration / Scout / Scanning pilot - Flies Covert Ops (Buzzard), Recon (Falcon), Tengu and is working towards Black Ops. Has Astrometrics V, all the rest of the astrometrics skills at IV and most shield, navigation, fitting, EW and exploration skills at IV or V. I don't plan on doing any serious trading on this character. He has 29 order slots, more than enough to buy things he needs and that's it. Currently training Jump Drive Calibration V. Might train a few more Int/Mem skills yet but he's getting close to remapping Per/Wil to start training Missiles, Battleship and Black Ops skills.

Future plans: Finish up Int/Mem skills, remap Per/wil  and train for Black Ops battleships and Missile skills. Will eventually start a new character on this account. The Jita trader will probably eventually train Blockade Runners too.

Account 5

Dual training active

My Main - Covert Ops, Tengu, Rattlesnake pilot with all racial Battlecruiser and Destroyer skills at V. Concentrating mainly on Per/Wil combat skills, with particular focus on missile skills (nearly 11 mil SP in missiles). 125 orders, Wholesale IV, Accounting IV, Broker Relations IV, Margin Trading IV and all of the "remote order" trade skills at IV. He hasn't been involved much in trade for some time now.

Currently training Heavy Assault Missiles V

Orvolle Trader - Will be finished training Trade skills tomorrow. Currently training Visilbility IV. Will remap Int/Mem and start training Blockade Runners next

Future plans: My main is finally nearly finished training Missile skills now (nearly 11 million SP in missiles). He can use T2 Light, Heavy, Cruise and Torpedo launchers now and will have Heavy Assaults in a few more days. I hate flying slow ships so battleships are low priority for me but I'll probably get Black Ops eventually. I might go for Recon Cruisers, HACs, Interdictors and HICs too. He'll be staying in the Per/Wil remap for a while yet and will get at least some Gunnery skills to IV or V before remapping. The Orvolle trader will start training Blockade runners tomorrow, once he has Blockade Runners I'll probably start a 3rd character on this account.

Account 6

Hek Station Trader - Finished training Trade skills. Covert Ops and Blockade Runner pilot. Not currently training.

Jita trader #4 - Finished training Trade skills. Handles the Jita implants market and dabbles a little in other markets. Not currently training.

New Trader - Just started actively trading in Devoid. Has all money skills at V and is currently training Retail V.

Future plans: Finish training trade skills on the new trader, then train him into Blockade Runners. Eventually get BRs on the Jita trader too.

Accounts 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

accounts 7 and 9 have dual training active

Six accounts I started just before the news about dual training broke. They're all traders following the same training plan with the first two a day ahead of the next two and the last two roughly a week behind that.

All six are finished training trade skills and fly Blockade Runners now. Several still need another 2-3 weeks training to get Navigation, Engineering and Shield skills up to where I want them at.

All 6 accounts also have 2nd characters in various stages of training Trade skills. All but one of the characters on these accounts are following the same skill plan of training Trade skills (along with a few days worth of basic flying skills) first, then Blockade Runners and finally topping up Int/Mem support skills.

One character is following pretty much the same training plan, only training Block Runners and Int/Mem skills *before Trade skills for a change. That was actually a mistake, I accidentally remapped Int/Mem instead of Cha/Mem as intended but oh well whatever, I'd been thinking about trying that for a while anyhow. In some ways it makes a lot of sense, especially if I start basing more traders out of low and/or null.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Financial Report - Nov 2013

Financial report for the month of November 2013 (last month). Trade oriented since trading is how I make virtually all of my ISK.

I buy and sell skill-books, faction/deadspace/officer mods and implants with traders covering all 5 major trade hubs (Jita, Amarr, Dodixie,  Hek and Rens) plus secondary hubs in most other empire regions. I have 23 active traders, 3 on Jita (one each for mods, implants and skillbooks), 20 more with each covering a different region and a few more in training.

In November I made 27 billion after expenses. I spent less time working the market than ever, logging in less frequently and spending less time updating orders too. I changed my inventory up quite a bit, dropping a number of cheaper items from my buy list and buying more expensive stuff (both buying more of the most expensive items I was already buying and adding a number of expensive items to the buy list).

Overall the total number of orders dropped quite a bit (most of my characters have 75 - 100 orders free now) but my escrow went up slightly (about 4 billion). Having more free orders is good, they come in really handy at times, for walling off bots with multiple orders for the same item and for selling off overstock when someone unexpectedly dumps a huge amount of stock on me.

I also sunk another 5-6 billion into getting all my accounts subscribed at least a month in advance (into late Dec or Jan).

Even though that's my lowest total in a quite a while I'm happy with this month. Considering all the inventory changes (making a big push up market usually means lower profits at first), the 5-6 bil ISK that went into subs and how things were looking going into the last week of the month, I only expected to make about 20 bil this month, maybe 25 biil if I was lucky.

Current net worth is 360 billion with about half in cash and market escrow. Most of the rest is in sell orders and recently acquired stock I haven't gotten around to posting for sale yet.  As I get bigger and spend less time updating individual orders I find myself carrying more and more of my net worth in sell orders. Very little is in assets I don't intend to sell soon, a few ships and some mods I keep in stock for my own use, maybe 4 billion in total.

That's my actual current total net worth, I don't pad the numbers by counting ISK I've earned but have since spent and no longer have. That'd be like calling myself a real life millionaire because I've earned over a million dollars during my life when the reality is I've never had anywhere near a million in total.

Note: I initially posted this as a 32 billion profit but later realized that was 5 billion too high due to API call refresh times causing information pulled from the API to incorrectly list a bunch of stuff (mostly PLEX) twice. Just because the API calls are all available for all accounts doesn't mean the info is completely uptodate on all accounts. Especially for the Assets API call on a 6 hour cooldown, it may list the same item(s) as being on the market and still in assets too, or after transferring items between characters as being in assets on both characters.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Ranking Regional Markets in Empire Space

It's useful to know the total market size of regions, so here are the 23 regions of empire space sorted both by sovereignty (Caldari, Minmatar, etc) and by market order size for all 23 regions. The sovereignty list is further broken down into which pirates are in the area (helpful for deciding what to buy there). All data (several days old) was pulled from http://eve-marketdata.com/.

Sorted by sovereignty

Caldari Space (Guristas)

The Forge 130,443 orders 30,137,310,597,270 ISK
Lonetrek 40,992 orders 2,835,952,919,398 ISK
The Citadel 29,557 orders 2,108,965,930,169 ISK
Black Rise 14,669 orders 923,661,026,698 ISK

Minmatar Space (Angels)

Heimatar 47,912 orders 4,249,919,677,100 ISK
Metropolis 43,157 orders 3,412,777,388,159 ISK
Molden Heath 10,543 orders 589,852,832,717 ISK

Gallente Space (Serpentis)

Sinq Laison 54,149 orders 4,842,811,416,077 ISK
Essence 33,756 orders 2,155,119,081,662 ISK
Placid 23,634 orders 1,388,225,291,147 ISK
Everyshore 15,663 orders 899,629,938,222 ISK
Verge Vendor 20,012 orders 881,916,332,290 ISK
Solitude 6,107 orders 284,916,819,863 ISK

Amarr Space (Sanshas)

Domain 67,709 orders 7,884,414,092,573 ISK
Tash-Murkon 21,251 orders 1,424,221,181,822 ISK
Derelik 18,960 orders 1,252,071,888,805 ISK
Devoid 9,516 orders 664,747,633,607 ISK

Amarr Space (Blood Raiders)

Khanid 13,724 orders 1,101,590,959,464 ISK
Genesis 14,121 orders 700,858,157,625 ISK
Kor-Azor 11,339 orders 668,413,268,198 ISK
Kador 13,197 orders 680,114,499,773 ISK
The Bleak Lands 6,478 orders 368,640,361,594 ISK
Aridia 4,410 orders 325,079,022,907 ISK

Sorted by total sell order value

The Forge 130,443 orders 30,137,310,597,270 ISK
Domain 67,709 orders 7,884,414,092,573 ISK
Sinq Laison 54,149 orders 4,842,811,416,077 ISK
Heimatar 47,912 orders 4,249,919,677,100 ISK
Metropolis 43,157 orders 3,412,777,388,159 ISK
Lonetrek 40,992 orders 2,835,952,919,398 ISK
Essence 33,756 orders 2,155,119,081,662 ISK
The Citadel 29,557 orders 2,108,965,930,169 ISK

Tash-Murkon 21,251 orders 1,424,221,181,822 ISK
Placid 23,634 orders 1,388,225,291,147 ISK
Derelik 18,960 orders 1,252,071,888,805 ISK
Khanid 13,724 orders 1,101,590,959,464 ISK

Black Rise 14,669 orders 923,661,026,698 ISK
Everyshore 15,663 orders 899,629,938,222 ISK
Verge Vendor 20,012 orders 881,916,332,290 ISK
Genesis 14,121 orders 700,858,157,625 ISK
Kador 13,197 orders 680,114,499,773 ISK
Kor-Azor 11,339 orders 668,413,268,198 ISK
Devoid 9,516 orders 664,747,633,607 ISK

Molden Heath 10,543 orders 589,852,832,717 ISK
The Bleak Lands 6,478 orders 368,640,361,594 ISK
Aridia 4,410 orders 325,079,022,907 ISK
Solitude 6,107 orders 284,916,819,863 ISK

The bottom four + Placid and Black Rise are primarily PvP markets. This doesn't necessarily mean PvP is bad for business, it just means business is riskier in PvP areas.

I've always said Lonetrek is one of the best trading regions in the game. This list backs me up on that. Not only is Lonetrek tops among regions without a main hub but if you subtract the numbers for the main hubs themselves from the numbers for their regions, Lonetrek is ahead of the main hub regions too, even beating out The Forge (Jita region) by a few hundred million.

Sunday 24 November 2013

Grey Cup Prediction

Tonight is the Grey Cup Game with the Saskatchewan Roughriders vs the Hamilton Tiger Cats. For those of you wondering "What's a Grey Cup?", it's the trophy presented to the winner of the championship game (Grey Cup Game) of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

That's football (not soccer), as in similar to American Football with some different rules that make for a more exciting game. A longer, wider field with bigger end-zones, an extra player on the field for each team, motion being allowed in the backfield before the snap and only having 3 downs instead of 4 are the big differences.

The Tigercats are a good team but the Riders are just too strong right now. They're healthy with no serious injuries incurred while getting out of the semi-finals and finals in the strong West Division. They have a good offence (one of the best) and a great defense (the best).

It's a great team (the best in the league) out of the strong West Division (with 3 teams better than any team in the East) against a good team from the weak East Division.

They've done the hard part already beating BC and Calgary to get out of the West, beating Hamilton is just a formality.

I'm predicting a Riders win by at least 14 points.

Saturday 23 November 2013

New Major Secondary Hub - Or Not?

Right after Rubicon dropped Hageken in Lonetrek suddenly jumped from 20th place to first place on EveMarketData's regional station ranking list. The number of orders remained about the same but the value of the orders rose by nearly 8 times.

Naturally I was curious what was going on.

Did Hageken actually become the largest hub in the region overnight?
Did it have anything to do with the new Customs Offices and/or PI market manipulation?
Did someone buyout a bunch of stuff on the station and relist it for 10x more?

Or what?

After spending a few minutes going through the evemarketdata list I found a single item listed as "Unknown Type" priced for "sale" at 150 billion ISK.

That explains it. Hageken didn't suddenly become the largest hub in Lonetrek overnight. It's probably just one of the new items extremely overpriced at 1000 times or more over it's real value. Maybe a Stratios he's hoping someone who actually has 150 billion in cash on a single character (I don't) will misread and think is priced at 150 million?

There is someone in Lonetrek who likes pricing a lot of things at 10-100 times the usual going rate. For example he really likes posting stacks of Connections (Security, Mining and Distribution) books on Sobaseki for 290-300 million each which is roughly 10x the usual going rate in sell orders.

Or maybe it was just an expensive mistake, the posting fee was probably a billion or more (1.125 billion at 0.75%).

A quick update on the PLEX market venture, here's one day's worth of business.

It was a pretty good day for buying PLEX. I bought another 10 the next day too.

Thursday 21 November 2013


Just fooling around today doing some simple math based on my net worth I came up with the following:

I have 350 billion ISK and 12 accounts

With PLEX at 550 mil each, 350 billion / 550 million is enough for 636 months worth of account subscriptions.

With 12 accounts, 636 / 12 = 53, enough to sub one account for 53 years or all of my accounts for 53 months (nearly 4.5 years).

If one were to pay real money for 636 months of subscription time at $19.95 per month it would cost $12,688.20

My accounts are worth more than I thought, maybe I should start playing this game seriously!

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Pyfa v 1.1.17 - Rubicon Version

It's been difficult finding download links for Pyfa for quite a while. I posted a link to a new version with data for the SoE ships a few days ago and got a ton of hits from people looking for that so here are some more links to the even newer v1.1.17 for Rubicon.

The first two links are to the most recent versions (at the time of this post) for Windows and Mac.

http://dl.eve-files.com/media/corp/Kadesh/pyfa-1.1.17-rubicon-1.0-win.zip (for Windows)
http://dl.eve-files.com/media/corp/Kadesh/pyfa-1.1.17-rubicon-1.0-mac.zip (for Mac)

The next link is to Kadesh's full list of downloadable files on eve-files.com which has links to the latest version of Pyfa, older versions and some other stuff too. Check this link in the future for more recent versions.


And a Github link


And here's a link to the Pyfa for Rubicon release post on the official Eve Online forums


I have noticed at least one Pyfa error related to the warp speed changes. On Prowlers the warp speed calculation is still using the old values. I haven't checked any other ships, but there are probably others (maybe all ships) with the same problem.

On another note, I have to say the warp speed changes have not disappointed. They're every bit as awesome on Prowlers as I expected. On frigates (Vigils with 3 Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizers) they're even better than I expected!

Monday 18 November 2013

Rubicon Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day we've been waiting for. The day Rubicon finally lands. Everyone's talking about the Sisters of Eve ships, the new COCOs and other deployables but there's not a whole lot out there about the rest of the changes.

While there hasn't been much talk about it, IMO the change that will have the biggest impact on how the game is played and the one I've been looking forward to the most is the Warp Speed Changes.

Make no mistake, the warp speed changes are going to have a profound effect on everything from the ships we fly while soloing to fleet composition, strategy and tactics. Smaller, faster ships are going to become even more popular and Battleships will just be bricks with guns that nobody wants to fly very far in.

Interceptors will be extremely popular. EW frigates are getting some serious buffs too but IMO they'll be overshadowed by interceptors. What it boils down to is most players are going to want to fly interceptors rather than EW ships.

The new POCOs, make that COCOs since they're really Corporation assets, should make for some interesting times in high sec as various PvP entities fight for control over them. Especially near the main market hubs and Jita in particular. RvB and Eve University have both been rumored to have big plans along those lines and you can expect a number of the big null sec corps and alliances to get involved too. Interesting times to be sure.

It'll be interesting to see how RHMLs work out too. They sound great in theory and would likely be quite popular on battleships except battleships themselves are probably going to be less popular due to increased warp times. I can see them being useful on Black Ops battleships and maybe in capital fleets as an anti cruiser/BC screen too.

Rhavas has a comprehensive article on the Rubicon changes over at Interstellar Privateer. His writeup is extremely good, a must read if you're at all interested in the Rubicon changes.

I'm probably a little biased with this next one since I like Prowlers so much but I liked Nosy's article on Prowlers in Rubicon too.

Friday 15 November 2013

Pyfa for SoE ships

For Pyfa users looking for a version with the new SoE ships and other changes on Singularity, here's a link for you


Just in case anyone's wondering what Pyfa is, it's a ship fitting tool (Python Fitting Assistant).

Rubicon release update: You'll find a bunch of links to the Rubicon version here


Wednesday 13 November 2013

PLEX Market - 13-11-2013

Just another quick update on my PLEX market venture.

I'm starting to use the PLEX market as a general indicator of market movement and a pretty good barometer of how lively the overall market is in the area. When PLEX sell in a particular region it often means a bunch of other stuff sells soon after.

The more PLEX move, the more players are around and the more ISK is being spent.

In the slower regions I find if PLEX move in decent numbers over time, most other things will move eventually too. If PLEX aren't moving very much at all that seems to indicate there aren't many players or much ISK being spent in the area at all and other things don't sell very well either.

Which leads to a new rule of thumb for me. If PLEX move ok, so will just about anything else.

Monday 11 November 2013

PLEX Blunder

Another larger than expected profit due to some poor buyer's mistake and CCP's ass-backwards order filling logic.

He must've entered a buy order, probably intended to be for 580 mil each, but mis-typed and wound up paying 200 mil extra (100 mil each). The going price for PLEX sell orders in the region was barely over 600 million (I sold 2 others to someone else less than 1 minute earlier for 602.9 mil each).

No sell orders in the region were priced as high as this guy paid, even the highest priced one in the entire region was more than 40 mil less.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Bombless Bombers - The Solo Hunter

Some players think bombless bombers are a big joke but they do have their uses.

For example they make nice solo hunters in low/null/wh space, providing good dps and covert stealth at a low cost. Here's a manticore setup for hunting industrials. It can take out a lot of other ships that aren't too heavily tanked too.

The target painter and rigs pretty much guarantee full damage vs Industrials and increase damage application vs smaller targets too. The EM Ward Amplifier is really just a placeholder. It can be replaced with a cheaper, lower meta version, an AB for dual prop, a shield extender for a bit more tank, a sebo for faster targeting or whatever you like.

This post was inspired by a Hound Fit posted elsewhere. It was so similar to one of my Manticore fits I thought I'd post my fit for comparison. Both have the same dps and volley damage, the difference is the Manticore has an extra mid slot and the Hound has an extra low slot, making the Manticore more versatile and the Hound faster (a lot faster actually).

I forgot to put them in the screenshot but the Manticore is with the following implants

Low-grade Snake Alpha
Low-grade Snake Beta
Low-grade Snake Gamma
Low-grade Snake Delta
Low-grade Snake Epsilon
Zainou 'Snapshot' Torpedoes TD-605
Zor's Custom Navigation Hyper-Link
Zainou 'Deadeye' Target Navigation Prediction TN-905
Zainou 'Deadeye' Rapid Launch RL-1005

Without the Snake implants, it goes 1922 m/s (the Hound goes 2433 m/s).

Friday 8 November 2013

Turkey Shoot in Null

So we just had a CCP organized planned live event turkey shoot in null.

10% TiDi, 20+ jumps, null bloc death trap gatecamps along the way CCP directed players to go and so on.

Anyone with half a clue and two brain cells to rub together could see this coming the minute the event was first announced.

You have to wonder why CCP didn't see it coming. Or maybe they did. Maybe that's what it was really about all along. To lead the clueless, unthinking and overly trusting to a slaughter (theirs) and keep CCP's restless null sec bloc favorites happy with lots of easy kills and plentiful tears delivered to them on a silver platter.

It would have been too easy to simply bridge participants to the event rather than forcing them to endure hours of travel with 10% TiDi just getting there. Or they could have put the entire event in a wormhole on a reinforced server node which would have minimized both the TiDi and the problems caused by griefers and gatecamps.

Regardless of whether it was intentional on CCP's part or not, this "event" was a disaster, a complete, utter failure. Unless of course you take the null bloc perspective, no doubt they consider a clusterfuck of this magnitude a resounding success.

Before some dull witted null troll suggests it, no I'm not crying about it. I did see it coming and declined to participate. A lot of others didn't though, they're screaming about it and justifiably so.

Trade Hub Analysis - November 2013

There are 5 main trade hubs in Eve Online. In order of market size they are, Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Rens and Hek.

In terms of how profitable they are for me I rank them Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Hek and Rens.

In order of profit vs time and effort required to make that profit I rank them Hek, Dodixie, Amarr, Jita, Rens.

Top 10 Trade Hubs

The following is a list of the top 10 trade hubs ranked by market value pulled from the "all regions" station ranking list at Eve MarketData

1Jita IV - Moon 4 - Caldari Navy Assembly Plant100,26526,638,220,288,848ISKView Rank History
2Amarr VIII (Oris) - Emperor Family Academy50,9176,553,472,837,645ISKView Rank History
3Dodixie IX - Moon 20 - Federation Navy Assembly Plant36,1693,822,492,279,422ISKView Rank History
4Rens VI - Moon 8 - Brutor Tribe Treasury31,1043,396,734,263,963ISKView Rank History
5Hek VIII - Moon 12 - Boundless Creation Factory22,1032,429,866,852,989ISKView Rank History
6Oursulaert III - Federation Navy Testing Facilities6,496823,477,865,437ISKView Rank History
7VFK-IV VI - Moon 1 - Mittanigrad5,461611,705,630,438ISKView Rank History
8Motsu VII - Moon 6 - Caldari Navy Logistic Support3,689570,562,427,019ISKView Rank History
9Tash-Murkon Prime II - Moon 1 - Kaalakiota Corporation Factory5,481529,766,043,636ISKView Rank History
10Agil VI - Moon 2 - CONCORD Logistic Support5,767510,694,901,963ISKView Rank History

The 5 main trade hubs stand out due to having much larger markets (both in number of orders and total value of those orders) than the others. The smallest main hub (Hek) is 3 times larger than the next largest market hub (Oursulaert).


By far the largest of the main trade hubs with a bigger market than all the other main trade hubs combined. Usually has more than twice as many pilots around than all the other main hubs combined too. Far and away the most active of all the major hubs. Too many no-lifers and bots perpetually playing the 0.01 ISK game. Profit margins tend to be slimmer than in other places but if you have enough isk to play with and the patience to deal with the 0.01 ISK campers you can make more total profit through sales volume here than anywhere else.

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

Jita is 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 by a fair bit. One of the most consistently profitable and reliably performing markets 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. Rens is very heavily camped, especially considering it's the second smallest of the major hubs and not much bigger than the smallest (Hek). Even some regions without a major hub are more profitable than Rens and for a whole lot less work too. Definitely, without a doubt, my least favorite main trade hub.

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


Hek is the smallest of the main hubs but often has the best profit margins of the main 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 a year and a half 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 the older posts. I figure it's been a main hub for 2-3 years now.

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

Secondary Hubs

Rounding out the top 10 are:

Tash-Murkon Prime

I was on Oursulaert for a while but I found the no-lifers and bots camping Ours were even worse than the ones on Rens. So I moved 1 jump over to Renyn and found much better business there.

VFK-IV (Mittanigrad) is in nullsec and I don't have station access so I can't say anything about business there. I find Motsu and Tash are both good for business and though I haven't been on Agil very long yet, so far it's looking good too..

Other secondary hubs of note include:

Kor-Azor Prime


Kamela (low sec)
Solaria Vehan (low sec)

The first bunch are ones I've been actively trading on for a while and I'm happy with the business on all of them except Orvolle which is a bit disappointing. But then again it's in a PvP region and my product mix is more PvE oriented, with a more PvP oriented mix business would probably be just fine.

Cistuvaert reminded me so much of Oursulaert I never even tried it (Alentene right next door suits me just fine). Stacmon I was on for a short time but I wasn't happy with the business there so I moved to Orvolle. Business doesn't seem to be any better there.

The last bunch are in regions I have little or no experience in but look to me like the best places to trade from in their regions. I have just placed a new trade alt on Kamela (still needs a lot of training) and plan on expanding to the others eventually too.

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, Akainavas, Umokka, 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 and many of the largest secondary 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.

IMO, the best way to find trade hubs is going to Eve MarketData and perusing the station rank lists there. You can have it show ranked lists of stations in a solar system, a single region or all regions.

Other methods of finding stations to trade from can be found in this link: Choosing a Trading Station.

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

Hub Clusters

Large secondary trade hubs tend to be clustered together around the main hubs. You can find clusters of several large secondary hubs, spread across multiple regions, all within a few jumps of each other and with one of the main hubs more or less central to the cluster.

Here's a link to a more in-depth post about Trade Hub Clusters.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Market PvP - Taking a loss

Sometimes traders worry too much about making a profit on every single transaction. They'll go to extreme lengths, trying to track the buy price on every single item they ever purchased and sell it at a profit no matter what. They'll cancel orders, buy out cheaper orders and transport items all over the map trying to prevent taking a loss.

It often backfires. The harder they try to avoid taking a loss, the bigger the losses get. For many reasons it's often better to just cut your losses by lowering your price, selling quickly at a small loss and moving on.

Market Adjustments

Sometimes the market just adjusts on it's own without any player manipulation involved. When there haven't been many big fleet battles for a while demand goes down for many items, trader's stockpiles grow and prices drop. When this happens a trader basically has 2 choices:

1. Drop his price and sell it quick (even at a loss) before things get even worse, or
2. Hold onto it waiting for prices to rise again (they usually do eventually).

Option 1 often means not making much profit or taking a loss. The advantage to it is you get your ISK back to reinvest quickly, whether in the same item at a lower price level or in another item with better margins. Normally the sooner you decide to drop something at a loss the smaller the loss is, while the longer you wait the more you tend to lose.

Holding onto items waiting for the price to rise again is fine if you're confident the price will go back up again real soon. Of if you're so rich you couldn't invest all your ISK even if you tried then you really don't care how long the ISK sits idle as long as you make a profit in the end.

Also, it often happens that the longer you wait to dump overstock the bigger the loss is. So not only is your ISK tied up (and not working for you) longer but you lose more in the end. The flip side is the faster you dump it the sooner you can reinvest the ISK and make back any (usually small) losses.

There are exceptions (mostly relatively cheap, high volume items) but in most cases I'd rather take a small loss than hold onto something for too long.

Beating the bots

And then there's player price manipulation, mostly from the no-lifers and bots. Eve has a lot of no-lifers and bots camping the market. They're always there, constantly camping, undercutting everyone else by 0.01 ISK, trying to corner markets and manipulate prices so they get all the sales. The higher the profit margin on a particular item the harder they camp it. Their goal is to gain "control" over the items they camp, drive sell prices sky high, buy prices into the dirt and get all the sales at ridiculous prices with huge profit margins

When moving into new markets I often find there's a bot "controlling" the items I want. I have to buy a few at unreasonably high prices before the bot reacts, prices and margins drop to reasonable levels. The nice part is I can usually sell a few well under his sell price but still at a big profit for me before he decides I'm competition and drops the price. Typically, the bot has it priced at 200-300% profit. I'll post at 100% cutting his profit by half or more. He thinks I'm just a 1 time seller and let's it slide without undercutting me at first. Eventually he realizes he has competition, drops his prices way down and I take small losses on a few before prices settle at more reasonable levels and I start making a profit again..

The thing to remember when that happens is over time he's 0.01 ISKed everyone else out of the market. He's pushed prices up so high and persistently undercut everyone else out of sales for so long that everyone else just gave up. That means he has a large stock that he paid quite a high price for (if buy prices were low other bots would be all over it too).

All you really need to do to break into "his" market is buy a few (sometimes even just one) at high prices, drop the sell price and keep it down. Buy prices will usually drop soon after, the bot won't be able to move his existing stock at a profit and stops trying to buy it all since he can't count on 200%+ profits anymore.


Many times when prices drop it's best to just take a loss, get most of your ISK back and reinvest it. Often in the same item at a lower buy price. So technically you lose on one transaction (or a few) but you make it right back on the next one(s).

Sunday 3 November 2013

PLEX Market - Update III

This is the third in a series of updates on my PLEX market venture which began 8 days ago on Oct 26 when I first started buying PLEX for resale.

I now have buy and sell orders up on several characters in different regions. To date I've bought 35 and sold 12 as shown in the JEveAssets Transactions screenshot below.

Besides the 12 PLEX that were resold another 10 were used to resub accounts, leaving 13 as yet unsold. I'll also need another 6 in about a week to resub more accounts. That leaves 7 more to sell.

I paid an average of 568 mil ISK each for the 35 I bought and sold 12 for an average of 616 mil ISK each. Or about 48.8 mil profit per PLEX sold. Before taxes and fees that is. After taxes and fees of roughly 12 mil each that leaves about 36 mil profit per PLEX or 432 million in total profits.

Assuming the other 7 sell for the same 36 mil after taxes and fees profit, that'd be 684 mil in total profits.

That's over an 8 day period, extrapolated over a full 30 day month, that'd be 2.65 billion per month. Considering I've barely gotten started in the PLEX market I should be able to do considerably better than that. There's still plenty of room left for expansion both in the number of regions I'm working and in the number of PLEX I buy in each region I am working. I haven't transported any PLEX between regions yet either, there's probably more profit to be gleaned that way too.

This is under the worst conditions, while PLEX prices are going down. Once prices stabilize and start going up again, my profit per PLEX might even go up. Note how the first ones I bought, which I paid the most for, also netted the biggest profits (68 mil ISK before taxes and fees on the very first one)

I'll be moving slowly but surely, continuing to increase my presence in the PLEX market until I have it maximized to net me the most profit for the least work.

Saturday 2 November 2013

Spam Referral Sites

I was all excited when I checked my blog's stats today and saw I'd received over 1,000 hits yesterday. "Finally, broke the 1000 hits/day barrier and hit a milestone!", I thought.

Then I checked traffic sources and saw this

Yesterday's referral hits

Most of the hits yesterday weren't hits from real readers, they were just garbage hits from Spam Referral sites. I thought I was finally rid of them a few weeks ago but they suddenly showed up on my stats again today.

I really wish they'd go away and stop messing up everyone's stats like this.

For other bloggers who may not know I'd like to point out that one of the worst things you can do regarding spam referrals is to click the spam referral links on your own stats page. That's exactly what they're looking for, clicks, the more you click on their link, the more garbage hits they send back your way.

The clicks aren't on a 1 to 1 basis either, for every click you do they'll send back hundreds of fake hits.

Friday 1 November 2013

Financial Report - October 2013

Financial report for the month of October 2013 (last month). Trade oriented since trading is how I make virtually all of my ISK.

I buy and sell skill-books, faction/deadspace/officer mods and implants with traders covering all 5 major trade hubs (Jita, Amarr, Dodixie,  Hek and Rens) plus secondary hubs in most other empire regions. I have 20 traders in total, 3 on Jita, one each for mods, implants and skillbooks, the rest covering 17 different regions.

In October I made over 29 billion after expenses. I spent less time than usual working the market. Pretty decent, considering Oct has been a slow month for sales with prices dropping radically on a number of items.

On the other hand, big price drops and the resulting losses aren't a big problem if you handle it right and act quickly. Just take the hit and lose money on 1, then make ISK on the next 10 bought cheap when most of the competition bails out because prices are low. They're stuck with capital tied up in stock they can't move at a profit and are reluctant to let it go at a loss while it's still just a small loss.

Current net worth is 333 billion with about half in cash and market escrow. Most of the rest is in sell orders and recently acquired stock I haven't gotten around to posting for sale yet.  As I get bigger and spend less time updating individual orders I find myself carrying more and more of my net worth in sell orders. Very little is in assets I don't intend to sell soon, a few ships and some mods I keep in stock for my own use, maybe 4 billion in total.

That's my actual current total net worth, I don't pad the numbers by counting ISK I've earned but have since spent and no longer have. That'd be like calling myself a real life millionaire because I've earned over a million dollars during my life when the reality is I've never had anywhere near a million in total.

Three blog posts in one day, that's a record for me!

Somer of PANIC - 1 Billion "bonus" ISK per GTC

Just when I thought we were about done with the Somerblink RMT scandal Somer has gone into full panic mode and started dumping ISK for dollars as quickly as possible. They've put on a 1 billion "bonus" ISK credit per GTC for purchasing GTCs from them.

I'm not going to repeat what someone else has already said (and said very well) but you can find the dirty details here: Liquidation Sale

In other words, Somer is selling off as much ISK as quickly as they can before the Nov 7th deadline and that definitely changes everything.

Knowing that, now I'd say it's the main reason why the ISK price of PLEX dropped so far so suddenly rather than slowly over time. But let's call a spade a spade, what it all boils down to is Somer and Markee Dragon are selling ISK for $5.00 per billion. How that 5 bucks is split between Somer and their dirtbag partner in crime Markee Dragon nobody else knows.

Expect PLEX prices to continue dropping until the situation is resolved and prices for just about everything else to go up as the sudden influx of large amounts of ISK into the economy drives increased spending and ultimately higher prices. The longer this situation goes unresolved the more profound effect it will have on the economy.

Really CCP, enough is enough, Somer and Markee should both be shut down immediately and permanently for this. They aren't even trying very hard to hide their real business anymore, this is nothing but a blatant RMT cashout!

Apparently Markee has already temporarily run out of GTCs so the solution is really simple. Make it permanent, don't let him have any more GTCs. EVER!

The longer this is allowed to go on the worse the already terrible publicity over it is going to get for CCP. Does CCP really want to be known for being easily manipulated, outmaneuvered and taken advantage of at every turn like this?

The Sky is Falling - PLEX Prices Drop

I've been saying for a while now that PLEX prices would drop soon and it looks like it's finally started. Buy prices have suddenly dropped from 590 - 610 mil to 575 mil or less nearly everywhere. Some of the more off the beaten path regions do still have higher buy prices but only for small numbers. Those will likely disappear quickly, unless I miss my guess, probably overnight.

That's in Hek, right next door in Rens buy prices are even lower. Time to log onto the Rens trader, right now!

PLEX prices historically tend to reach their highest point of the year in October or November and drop after that.

This is contrary to most other markets which (IME during the time I've been playing anyhow) tend to drop in price in the fall and reach their lowest point around the same time.

Over the next while we can expect PLEX prices to drop further and prices for everything else to eventually start going back up.

Many things could be behind this seasonal trend but the most likely culprits are students. Summer vacation ends and they go back to school. Exactly why is more difficult to say.

Some believe it's because with the students back in school they have less time to play. I don't know about that though, from my experience in other games, it's exactly the opposite. Students tend to game the least in the summer when the weather is nice and they're off school.

My theory is it's because as a group students are major suppliers of PLEX on the market (buying with real money and selling for ISK) and big buyers of other items with the ISK. In the summer they aren't playing as much so the supply of PLEX goes down while demand remains relatively high and prices go up. They aren't buying as much of anything else either so demand for everything else goes down while supply remains fairly constant and prices go down.

In late fall, after an initial "settling back into school routine" period both trends start to reverse. Prices for PLEX come down and prices for other things go up.

In both cases the market takes some time to adjust to the presence or absence of students. At the start of summer there are a lot of cheap PLEX on the market which have to sell off before PLEX prices go up. At the start of fall there are a lot of other items on the market for sale cheap, they have to sell off too before prices go up on them. That takes a month or two and only then do prices start to react significantly.

At any rate, it explains why PLEX prices go up in the fall while virtually everything else goes down. If someone has a better theory, I'd love to hear it.

Thursday 31 October 2013

Choosing a Trading Station

One of my readers recently left the following comment:
Hey man logged in just to say thanks your blog has helped me immensely with my own trading ventures. 
One thing I was still curious about and hopefully you can do a blog on, is HOW you choose what regions to trade in, apart from the big trading hubs I've never been able to figure out what would be a good region to place buy orders in and whatnot. 
Thanks once again 
Jerex Deka

This is a great question. One of the problems I have writing articles for the blog is there's so much I could write about with so many complex permutations, qualifiers, circumstantial / situational subtleties, and related subjects to get sidetracked on that it's often difficult to cover a topic well without straying into too many other things and practically writing a book in the end.

The trick is finding topics that are focused on something specific without being too simple and Jerex' question is a good one for that. Today's topic is about how to find good places to trade from.

Though Jerex asked specifically about how to find good regions, pretty much any high sec region is good to trade in. I'm in 19 high sec regions now and they're all good. IMO picking a station to trade from is more important than choosing a region to trade in.

Once you have a good station picked out you need to figure out what to buy and how much to pay for it as well as what to sell and how much to ask for it, at that location.

Like they say in real estate it's all about 3 things. Location, Location and Location.

The 5 main trade hubs (Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Rens and Hek) are obvious choices. However, the main trade hubs are infested with bots and no-lifers which can make it difficult for anyone else to do business on them. Depending on your business model and how much time and effort you want to spend working at it, you might be better off avoiding the main hubs and sticking to smaller hubs.

There are many things that can help you identify good locations to trade from, including in game information, websites and offline utilities/tools.

For websites and offline tools I really like:

EVE Marketdata for their Station Rank Lists
Ombey's 2D EVE Maps (or Dotlan if you prefer)

Some of things I look for are:

Map Statistics "docked and active"
Level 3 and 4 mission agents (the more the better)
Sisters of Eve
Facilities, especially Clone, Repair and Manufacturing
Starter systems
Number of asteroid belts
Proximity to ice fields
Travel choke points
Regional gates
High to low/null gates

Generally speaking the more of the above a particular station has the better it is for trading. Unless it's infested by bots (Oursulaert for example), then you're often better off on another station. In that case I particularly like stations only a jump or two away and straddling the main traffic route(s) to either the rest of the region or to other (preferably more populous) regions.

Knowing as much as you can about the above factors should tell you a fair bit about the players in the area, giving you an idea of what they're likely to sell cheaply and what they might pay dearly for.

I've used a few different methods to find stations to trade on in the past but right now I pretty much just use information from EveMarketData and Ombey's maps leavened with my own personal experience in the area.

I check EveMarketData ranked lists of trade hubs within a region to find out the size of the market on all the different stations. I look at Ombey's maps to get an idea of likely traffic routes, chokepoints, proximity to ice / asteroids / facilities and the like. Finally I consider my own experience in the area, things like "I pass through this system a lot on the way to other places" or "There always seems to be a lot of players in this system".

Then I choose a system after considering all of the above. I don't always choose the largest market, in fact a few of my best (favorite) locations are far from being the largest hub in the region.

Map "docked and active" used to be my primary method of finding new stations to trade at. But that isn't nearly as useful now as it was before Dust was released. The problem is now Dust players show in the "docked and active" list too. Pre-Dust, you could count on it any system that normally had 30-50 players docked and active was a good sized secondary hub and any system with more than 50 was a big secondary hub. But now players on the docked and active list could just as easily be a bunch of dust bunnies and a ghost town as far as Eve players are concerned.

Stations with mission agents, especially level 3 and 4 agents, make good trading stations too. Generally speaking, the more agents and the higher level those agents are the better.

Sisters of Eve agents are particularly good. They have the best missions for repairing faction standings and they have some very desirable items in the faction LP store too. Any sisters station is good for trading and if they have level 3 or better yet level 4 sisters agents (Osmon for example) they're very good. Having a sisters station nearby (within 5 jumps or so) is pretty good for business on other trading stations too.

Facilities attract players to particular stations too. I find clone, repair and manufacturing facilities are more important than labs. Most of the better trading systems have at least 2 of those 3 facilities though there are exceptions. Some of the best have only 1 or even none. Manufacturing often means competition from manufacturers, depending on what you sell and just how much competition there is, that competition could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Starter systems are pretty much guaranteed to have good numbers of players around and not all of them are newbies either. The regions around them are generally fairly well populated too. One big advantage of starter systems is the no-lifers and bots don't seem to be very active on most of them (or at least not in my markets).

Travel choke points both between regions and within a single region. If you notice you seem to be passing through a particular system more often than most it's a travel choke point. As long as there's a station in the system, travel choke points often make great trading locations even if they don't have any of the other indicators of a good trading station. Just watch out for gankers they like travel choke points too! Be particularly wary of gankers in 0.5 security choke points, especially if it's a choke point on the route to low/null. Ombey's or Dotlan maps are great for finding travel choke points. Dotlan is more up to date but I prefer Ombey's because I find it easier to read and it shows trade hubs too (I double check trade hub status on EveMarketData).

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Trade Hub Clusters

Everyone either already knows what the 5 main trade hubs are (Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Rens and Hek) or can find out quickly with a simple question in chat or a quick google search.

Beyond the main hubs there are a multitude of secondary hubs of varying size. Most regions have several fairly large secondary hubs and many smaller hubs.

What isn't immediately obvious is there are clusters of secondary hubs associated with the main hubs. Several large secondary hubs, spread across multiple regions, all within a few jumps of each other and with one of the main hubs more or less central to the cluster.

For example there's what I think of as the "Minmatar Cluster" covering the regions of Metropolis, Heimatar, Molden Heath and Derelik.

Hek (Metropolis)
Rens  (Heimatar)
Teonusude (Molden Heath)
Tanoo (Derelik)

This cluster is rather unique because not only does it contain 2 main trade hubs (the others only have 1 main hub) but it also encompasses regions in both Minmatar (3 regions) and Amarr space (1 region). In the other 3 trade clusters (1 for each of the other 3 main hubs) the regions are all of one faction.

Heimatar is a large region and Metropolis is huge, Rens and Hek are the main trade hubs in those regions. Or you could argue Rens being central to the cluster is the main hub of the cluster while Hek is merely a super secondary hub in the cluster that just happens to be much larger than any other secondary hub (anywhere) and nearly as large as Rens.

Molden Heath is a small region with Teonusude being by far the largest of the small handful of secondary hubs there and one of the few high sec systems in the region. There's an active PvP community in the region which drives a small but thriving market that's surprisingly good for such a small region.

Derelik is a large region in Amarr space that's very close to Rens. Seven of the other secondary hubs in Derelik are larger than Tanoo, but I like Tanoo because it's closer to Rens than any of the larger hubs, directly straddles the route to Rens and is a bit of a chokepoint between large parts of the region.

Travelling from Rens (the central hub of the cluster) the distances involved are:

Rens to Hek 6 jumps
Rens to Teon 5 jumps
Rens to Tanoo 4 jumps

All distances are using high sec jumps only (no low/null shortcuts if there are any).

As a trader you can simply send big loads to Rens or Hek and supply the rest of the cluster with a series of short trips from there.

I generally courier a big load from one of the other main hubs to Hek and post anything that has good prices there. Then I load the rest up plus any excess stock that was sitting on Hek into a blockade runner (gotta love that unscannable cargo hold!) and fly to Rens. I contract everything to the Rens trader, he posts everything worth posting there, then contracts everything back to the Hek Trader (including any excess stock that was just sitting on Rens).

Rinse and repeat for Teon and Tanoo. Anything that was gathered up along the way and not posted anywhere goes back to Hek. Some of the gathered up stuff gets posted on Hek, if there's at least a billion or so worth left over that I don't think I'll be able to sell soon in the cluster, it all gets shipped out (usually via courier) to one of the other main hubs.

I tend to do this about once a week (a different cluster each time) or about once a month for each of the 4 clusters I work.

Monday 28 October 2013

PLEX Market Update II

48 hours after the experiment began (1 day after the first update) I've bought a total of 6 PLEX in 3 different regions. I've sold 3 for 40 - 65 mil profit each, used 1 to sub an account and have 2 more up for sale. I have buy orders up in 4 or 5 regions now.

From what I've seen so far, I figure at least 10 day should be possible with that kind of profit.

As many as 20 a day might be attainable with profits in the same range but even that many might be pushing it a bit. Any more than that is probably only possible with lower profit margins around 20-25 million which won't leave much after taxes and fees.

I need to move PLEX purchases quickly because I expect prices to begin going down now. It's that time of year when prices have historically gone down anyhow and the Amazon pricing snafu yesterday will only help push things along.