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.