Sunday 23 June 2013

Industrial Rebalance

There's been a lot of talk lately about the upcoming industrial rebalance. CCP Rise says they intend to make a fast, tanky hauler and a max cargo capacity hauler.

I think that's a bad idea. The fast, tanky hauler will be popular (very) but the max cargo hauler won't get used much. If one hauler has the best tank, the highest speed and the fastest alignment time there's almost no reason to use the other unless it's a lot cheaper and will be operating exclusively in "safe" areas.

What I'd like to see instead is 3 different types of industrials.

1. A fast hauler with good speed, good alignment time, 9 Au warp speed, low sig radius and a smallish cargo hold. Similar to blockade runners except they wouldn't be able to use covert ops cloaks and can be cargo scanned. Suitable for quick trips to or through dangerous systems.

If you can catch it, you can kill it.

2. A tanky hauler that's slow, has a longer alignment time, lots of mid / low slots and 2 high slots. Similar to existing T1 Industrials but with much heavier tank. Suitable for extended operations in dangerous areas and could even be used as combat haulers.

You can catch it easily, but can you kill it quickly enough and even then is it worth the trouble?

3. Max cargo hauler, inexpensive, slow, long align time, poor tank, very large cargo hold. More economical to purchase than the other 2 but really only suitable for hauling large loads of bulky cargo in less dangerous  areas.

You can catch and kill it easily enough but the cargo probably isn't worth it (bulky and low value).

The fast haulers would get a speed and/or agility bonus, the tanky haulers a shield or armor bonus and the max cargo haulers a cargo capacity bonus. Racial variations could include things like tractor or salvage bonuses.

Deep space transports should also be buffed though that's beyond the scope of this article.

And please, no ships with specialized cargo holds.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Dread Guristas Modules

I've touched on Dread Guristas modules vs Caldari Navy modules stats and prices before here but it needs revisiting.

Most Caldari Navy modules have Dread Guristas equivalents with exactly the same stats, skill requirements and fitting requirements. Other than the names they are identical but the Dread Guristas versions are usually much cheaper.

I've checked more than a dozen CN mods vs the DG versions. All of the ones I checked had identical stats and requirements. Missile launchers (all of them), shield boosters, shield boost amps, etc. I didn't find any that were not identical. I assume the ones I haven't checked yet are identical too.

Caldari Navy modules are purchased from faction stores with Loyalty Points while Dread Guristas modules are drops. Generally speaking the CN versions are available in somewhat greater numbers but there are nearly always plenty of lower priced DG mods up for sale too, especially at the main market hubs.

As far as I'm concerned, DG/CN modules are the same modules and as such should sell for roughly the same amount. If anything the CN version should be a bit cheaper due to being in somewhat greater supply. Yet the cheap DG version sits there piling up at the market hubs and not selling very well, while the (usually) far more expensive CN version not only sells quicker but in greater volume too.

Being a trader this drives me nuts!

I've had CN X-Large Shield Boosters sell for over 200 million each (they're usually 120-150 mil) within hours of posting. Buy orders for them are often over 100 million and rarely much lower. Yet it can take weeks to sell even just one DG X-Large Shield Booster (with the exact same stats) for 60 million on the same station. The same is true for other CN / DG module pairs too, the CN version is usually priced 2-3 times higher yet sells faster. For missile launchers DG are often around 1/2 the price of the CN equivalent. I've seen DG shield boosters and boost amps at 1/3 the price of CN.

This can only be due to players either not knowing DG and CN modules are identical or not bothering to check the price of DG mods before buying CN mods. Otherwise it'd be a no-brainer, everyone would buy the cheaper DG version until stock runs out or the price rises to the level of the CN version.

There is a technique that sometimes works to sell DG modules for more. When the price of a particular DG mod is high, I'll post one for quite a bit more than it usually goes for but still significantly lower than the CN version is currently priced at. Then I'll ask in local chat why the DG mod is so much cheaper when the stats are identical (linking both versions of course to make comparison easy for potential buyers). When it works someone buys a DG mod (or several) within minutes. It's win/win, I get a higher price than usual and the buyer pays less than he would have for the CN version.

I've also noticed the same phenomenon with a single item across a couple other factions. That has me wondering if other modules for those 2 factions are identical too. In fact I'm wondering if there might be several pairs of factions with identical mods. I haven't done any research on that yet but it's definitely something I want to look into eventually.

Hopefully this article will help some players find better deals and save some ISK. Maybe if enough players start checking DG prices vs CN prices it'll help equalize prices too.

Oh yeah, Caldari Navy Torpedo Launchers are for dummies. I leave it to you to figure out why. :)

Friday 14 June 2013

Mailbag - Order Posting?

This post covers several points I've wanted to clear up for some time about my order posting/updating process. A few days ago I received an in game email with questions along the same lines. After answering that email I realized with a little polishing and expansion on a few points posting it here would be a great way to finally get that blog post done.

The email

love the blog
From: Zosius
Sent: 2013.06.11 10:19
To: Moxnix Induli,  

Hello Moxnix,

I love your blog. have been reading it awhile. I have few questions that i was hoping you can help me with.

When it comes to trading how do you do your order updates? I own 3 accounts in major hubs and update buys and sells 1by1 moving through quickbar simultaneously in all ccounts. This is to see the price balance and reallocate stock or trade more cautios if price is out of balance between the hubs.

This method takes time but is quite profitable. I noticed that I can manage to 1-1.5bil a day if I spent 2-3 hours updating orders one time a day including houling (30min). However after sometime i burned out and got demotivated. I felt in position where finding new ventures was costing more isk/effort  than just updating my items list.

I constantly read that you update very casionally. How much time do you spend updating orders a day and how frequently you do it to sustain such large growth. If you update sells and buys sepearetely, don't you get annoyed once you are done with sells, you move back and update buy orders only to see your sell order is far behind already.

thanks for any advice and regards,

Re: love the blog
From: Moxnix Induli
Sent: 2013.06.14 08:24
To: Zosius,  

My Response

Thanks, it's always nice to hear from my blog's readers.

My order updating process is fairly simple but difficult to explain properly. I mostly just use common sense, a simple priority system (do the most profitable things first) and make most decisions quickly by using simple rules of thumb. But there are a lot of rules, special cases and exceptions to the rules which makes it seem far more complex than it is and makes it very difficult to explain in detail.

I also like to mix things up frequently to keep the competition on their toes. When I say I do something a certain way it doesn't mean I never do it differently it just means that's what I usually do most of the time. Hence why I use words like "usually", "mostly" and "generally" so much.

At the most basic I start by checkiing my inventory for newly purchased items. I post most of the new stuff and while posting I'll also update existing orders (both buy and sell orders) for the same items.

Sometimes that's all I do though I'll generally do it on 3-5 of the most important characters. The ones that tend to move items in the highest volume and make the most ISK.

Once that's done, I'll usually (but not always) check all my sell orders on those characters and update those too. When I do that I'll usually update buy orders for those items (the ones I have sell orders for) too.

I also tend to concentrate on the most profitable, highest priced and highest volume items. There are many days about all I do is spend 5 or 10 minutes on each of the 3-5 most important characters checking nothing but sell orders and the top 20-50 items on each character.

If I have more time I'll do a few more characters and maybe update all buy orders on a couple too. I do try to update all buy orders on at least 2 characters once or twice a week but sometimes I skip that and take it easy for a week or so too.

My cuts tend to be big, generally around 10% of the difference between buy and sell orders and I don't normally camp, but there are exceptions to everything. Sometimes I'll cut by 1 ISK either to confuse the competition or because the profit margin is so low I'm only cutting to keep the no-lifers and bots on their toes. Large cuts discourage camping no-lifers and bots, when margins are low they'll often not cut you and let your items sell. It might take a while but after a few days of big cuts once or twice a day they'll usually slow down or stop camping and your stuff will sell. Raising buy prices at the same rate ensures that when the price gap closes it'll be at a decent profit over the price you bought at. Conversely if you don't raise buy prices by large increments too the campers will just continue 0.01 ISKing you out of business.

I hate camping but very rarely when my sales on a particular station have for a long time been greatly reduced by obsessive, perpetual campers constantly 0.01 ISKing me. I'll camp for a short while (a half hour or so), updating several key items every 5-10 minutes to see how the no-lifers and bots react. I'll adjust prices with large cuts and quickly reduce profit margins until I either find the sweet spot where the no-lifers and bots slow down enough that my items start selling again or margins are so low it's not worth my bothering with anymore.

Slightly more often I'll do what I call semi-camping, leaving a character logged in all day while I'm mostly afk (not even in the same room as the computer) but able to drop by and spend a couple minutes checking key items periodically throughout the day. The character might be online 12-16 hours but I'm only actually at the keyboard a few minutes at a time for maybe a half hour in total. This is extremely useful both for finding out just how hard a particular market is being camped and for screwing with the no-lifers and bots that are camping it. It's also a great way to sell off some overstock and balance assets, sell orders, escrow and cash in hand on a character that has too much in assets / sell orders and not enough liquid cash without becoming an obsessive camper and starting a perpetual cut war myself.

I don't worry too much about the price balance between hubs. Generally I have a pretty good idea of the usual prices and when I'm unsure the estimate I get from mouse hovering over an inventory item is usually close enough. I do usually notice when something is priced very high or very low and buy, sell or ship items to take advantage of it. Also there are certain items I tend to buy on 1 station (mainly Jita) and ship off to 1 or more other stations to sell.

Burnout... That's why I sometimes go for a week or so where I don't do much other than let orders sit and post new purchases. It takes maybe half an hour to do that on 4 or 5 characters. Sometimes I even go a few days without doing anything, I just let everything sit for a few days.

I usually spend 1-2 hours a day but there are days I spend far less time and there are days I spend 3 or 4 hours instead. On average it's about an hour a day when I'm taking it easy and 2 hours a day when I'm being more serious about it.

It does take patience and at times it can be difficult to be patient enough. When I find myself getting annoyed or angry is when I realize I'm starting to take it too seriously. I'll log off then and not do very much at all for a few days. The really interesting thing is markets often rebound nicely after leaving them be for a while like that.

Anyhow I hope this helps. I'll probably base a blog post on it later. I'd include your mail in the post but not your name unless you tell me posting your name ok with you.


1. My response has been edited to correct minor mistakes (typos/grammar fixed, ambiguous wording changed).
2. My response has also been expanded upon in several places to make things more clear and bring up a few additional points I wanted to make.
3. Zosius' mail to me is un-edited. It's a straight copy/paste of the in-game mail he sent me.

Monday 10 June 2013

Milestone - 200 Billion

I hit another milestone today with over 200 Billion net worth. It took a little less than 4 months to go from 100 billion to over 200 billion.

We're only a third of the way through June and my net worth has already increased by 16 billion. I doubt that rate will be sustainable but if it is, I'm on track for a 50 billion month.

A lot of the sudden increase is due to greatly increased demand (and prices) for Sisters probe launchers (both types) and even more to someone suddenly dumping piles of the 4 high priced Technology books (Sleeper, Talocan, Tahkmal, Yan Jung).

Sisters launchers have been moving like crazy, selling quickly for 60, 70, 75 million ISK and sometimes even more. I sold several (on Jita yet!) for 90 million ISK each.

I bought at least 10 billion in technology books alone, maybe more depending on exactly what they sell for in the end. Sure it'll take a while to sell them all, but I've already moved a few and the rest were cheap enough to make it worth sitting on them for a while. Buy prices were very low for a couple days but are already ramping back up to normal levels. I expect to make big profits re-selling them for 100-150 million each.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Market Quickbar Issues in Odyssey - how to fix it

I was having some problems with my quickbars after installing Odyssey. All my accounts use identical quickbars. On most of my accounts the quickar was only showing about half the folders it should have been showing.

When I opened my "Faction Modules" folder, the quickbar was being truncated like this:

Truncated Quckbar

The truncation was always after the sub folder "Sisters of Eve" so I figured it might have something to do with the Sisters Deep Space Probe being in that folder but no longer existing in game (Odyssey removed Deep Space Probes from the game).

Also clicking on the Sisters of Eve folder would cause the quickbar window busy indicater to come up and stay up forever (it wouldn't open, just go busy and stay busy).

The fix was easy. I deleted the folder containing the no longer existing probe and all my other folders immediately reappeared. The quickbar data was there all along, it just wasn't being displayed properly.

Next I created a new Sisters of Eve folder, then added the Sisters launchers and probes that still do exist (2 of each) to the folder.

Yea, it's all good again!

That's the only item I had in my quickbar that no longer exists in game. There may be other items that no longer exist causing similar issues too. It shouldn't be difficult figuring out what they are if you need to.

Sunday 2 June 2013

Eve Offline Again!

You may have noticed Eve is offline again today. According to Massively CCP has taken the servers down due to a DDoS attack.

All of the servers are down, even the ones hosting the forums.

CCP is starting to remind me of Blizzard lately. Broken programs released with obvious bugs that still haven't been fixed properly weeks later. Servers down repeatedly, etc., etc.

Saturday 1 June 2013

The Ichoriya Project

My main has been working on a special project for several months now, developing business in Ichoriya. Ichoriya is a small regional hub in Black Rise region. Ichoriya is a bit of a crossroads between several regions, it's one of the few hisec stations in the area and not far from major gatecamps at EC-P8R and Aunenen. Though there isn't a huge amount of traffic there is a steady stream of players passing through with a wide variety of needs.

Originally I just put up a bunch of low-ball regional buy orders on both Ichoriya and EC-P8R (Pure Blind region) and let them sit. That part was a complete failure, not one single item was purchased in the 3+ months I had those low-ball orders up.

However, while I was at it, I'd occasionally dumped a few loads of excess stock on the Ichoriya market to see how it would sell. It did sell... Slowly but surely and at pretty good prices. There was some competition but not a whole lot and not on everything. For the most part I could just post stuff and let it sit with a reasonable expectation it would sell eventually. On several items I was the only seller.

Then I removed all the low-ball orders and started bringing in more items about once a week. Still mostly just overstocked items that weren't very profitable on Jita at the time, but my stock of items for sale on Ichoriya slowly got bigger and bigger.

I noticed a certain few items tended to sell out quickly, even when priced 50% over Jita prices. So I started bringing in more of those items. I'm talking here about items that go for 50 - 100 million or more each and often sell in bunches.

Generally if there's no competition at all I start the price a little high, say 50% over the Jita price and slowly adjust prices down until I find the sweet spot. The last thing I want is to sell too reasonably at first, have a competitor buy them all out and re-post for more. With that in mind I'd rather start out a little high than too low.

If there is competition, I generally start out around 20-30% over the Jita price even if the competition is priced significantly higher than that.

I always try not to price things too high but sometimes I get a little greedy, price something a bit too high and have to cut the price after a few weeks because it isn't selling.

Sales volume wasn't great but it was ok and profit margins were more than good enough to keep me experimenting with bringing in different items, adjusting prices and slowly building up the business there.

Eventually I decided to experiment with some lower end items I don't normally deal in at all. So I brought in a bunch of +3 implants, 20 or 30 of the most commonly used T2 fittings, a few stacks of ammo, tank rigs of all sizes and some other odds and ends. I posted most of these items for around 20-30% over the Jita price. There was competition on most of these items but in many cases 20-30% over the Jita price was a huge undercut on existing Ichoriya prices.

I noticed the presence of a decent amount of stock at reasonable prices on basic items like +3 implants, certain ship hulls, common T2 fittings, nanite repair paste and ammo seems to attract more business to Ichoriya. They come to Ichoriya to buy the basics at decent prices and once there they might purchase other more expensive items too. IOW, my business in expensive items like faction mods and +5 implants seems to have increased due to reasonably priced lower end items attracting more players to Ichoriya.

There are a few items I stock at very little profit just because of this. Manticores, ammo, nanite repair paste, several T2 mods, etc... When I don't stock them, prices quickly go sky high and my overall business goes down. When I do stock them prices are down to Jita levels in no time (due to competitors trying to dominate sales, which I let them do once prices are low enough) but my overall business goes up. So, while I don't make much on those items, stocking them seems to have a positive impact on sales in other more profitable areas. It's well worth stocking them for that reason alone.

While sales on Ichoriya isn't a huge part of my business (YET!) it's more than enough to keep at it and the growth potential looks promising. I started a new trader to take over in Ichoriya permanently and expand upon the business there. He'll have 125 orders (the same as my main) tomorrow and 305 orders in 2-3 months. He's ready to start taking over right now, but I probably won't get around to it for several days since I have 5 more new traders all going active now too.

Related reading anyone considering starting up a new secondary trade hub or expanding existing hubs might find useful.

Cpt Bunny's Trading Guide
Sugar's Non-Technical Guide to Her Low Sec Market

Cpt Bunny has some good info on trading in general (from a haul trader's perspective) and an excellent list of items to stock trade hubs with.

Sugar has good general information on building a new trade hub from scratch and terrific insight into pricing strategy.

Buy low, Sell reasonable!

Financial Report - May 2013

Financial report for the month of May 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 covering all 5 major trade hubs (Jita, Amarr, Dodixie,  Hek and Rens) plus several regions that don't have a major trade hub. I play fairly casually and update orders infrequently, often going several days between posting/updating orders. Some characters get updated more often than others and I update sell orders more consistently than buy orders.

In May I made 27 billion after expenses. Not bad, that's 3 billion less than last month but I spent less time working the market this month and I also spent nearly 5 billion extra this month starting up 6 new accounts.

Current net worth is 186 billion with the majority 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. 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 2 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.

Next month will be interesting since my 6 new traders are just starting to go active after close to a month of skills training. Two started trading today, two more will start tomorrow and the last two will be active within a week. All but one of the new traders will handle skill books. Initially with only 125 orders they'll just do books valued at 5 million ISK (school price) or less but eventually they'll handle all skill books (unless I decide to leave the most expensive books with the original traders on each station). The 6th new trader will be taking over and eventually expanding the business my main developed on a fairly remote station over the last few months (more on that tomorrow).