Friday 16 October 2015

PLEX Report October 2015

Well after another month long hiatus, I've been back again for a little more than a week. I logged in 4 or 5 times, spending half an hour to an hour each time updating and placing PLEX orders.

The no-lifers and bots seem to be pushing really hard to raise PLEX prices again, which is great for my business. Rising prices means I can easily make big profits with almost no effort. :)

Like this:

Note those transactions are over a ~3 day period where I *didn't* log in at all.

Easy money...

I also posted some more sell orders on old stock (stuff bought months ago when I was working hundreds of different items) in a couple places. Even though it's months later and it takes time to sell it off, the profits I'm making on most of that old stock are quite high. In some cases amazingly high (well over 100% profit).

Here's a small sample of that business:

Friday 21 August 2015

Uedama - Nice Try Ganker

So there I was minding my own business on a 12 jump trip from Motsu picking up stuff scattered all over the region when I passed through the gank camp in Uedama.

As usual I was on auto-pilot and afk... During prime time on a Friday. Some ganker must've thought afk Blockade Runners are easy targets.

He was wrong...

Dead wrong...

I made it all the way through and jumped out of Uedama on auto-pilot, he got Concorded and all it cost me was a 143k repair bill at the next stop. :)

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Vlad the Bot

Yesterday I said I'd disclose the name of a market  botter in my next post. Here it is, the botter's main character in Genesis is Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putain

I've been watching this guy (or more precisely his orders) for a long time now. Over 2 years though I didn't know his name at first. Another player contacted me in private telling me he'd had the exact same problem with the same character over a year earlier (more 3 years from now). In fact that player told me the botter's name before I'd figured out who the botter was myself.

Vlad the bot is virtually always online other than once or twice a month when he goes offline for a couple hours. He responds to cuts on any of his hundreds and hundreds (more than one character's worth for sure) of orders within a few minutes... No matter what time it is or how long it's been since the last time someone cut him. Three minutes or 3 months, it doesn't matter, he'll nearly always respond within about 5 minutes at the most and often much quicker than that.

Here's an example from today. I logged in and raised my buy price on PLEX. Less than 4 minutes later he'd raised his buy price to exactly 0.01 ISK higher than mine.

The next cut took even less time for him to respond.

I waited more than 15 minutes before cutting again, it only took 58 seconds for him to respond this time. That's pretty much standard operating procedure for him, the first cut might take 4 or 5 minutes before he responds but subsequent cuts are responded to even more quickly, usually less than 1 minute, regardless if I wait 5 minutes or several hours between my own cuts.

I could put buy orders up on many other things, many different faction mods (sisters launchers for example), most popular ships (including almost any T2/T3 ship) and the same thing will happen. Practically anything that's worth very much, is popular and sells reasonably well. He'll cut it within minutes.

To put it all into perspective, in Genesis roughly 20 PLEX sell every day. That's 600 PLEX a month and the bot gets virtually all of them. Sell orders are generally at least 20 million over buy orders and sometimes 30, 40 or even 50 million higher. With half decent faction standings that's at least 10 million profit per PLEX. 600 PLEX at 10 million profit each is 6 billion ISK.  Even if half that 600 is buys and the other half sales, that's still 3 billion a month profit.

And that's just the minimum profit on only one of the many hundreds (possibly thousands) of items his bot has been controlling for years.

I'm Back!

After a fairly lengthy hiatus playing UT4 pre-alpha, I logged back into EVE again some 36 hours ago. All but 2 accounts had expired and one of those was about to expire in a few more hours. I burned a few PLEX re-activating several accounts and reactivated all but one of the rest the next day (today).

So I'm back for now though uncertain for how long.

It's been almost 3 full months since the last time I logged on so nearly all of my buy and sell orders had expired. I was surprised to note my net worth hadn't dropped very much at all. In fact it was up slightly until I burned those PLEX reactivating accounts.

So with plenty of ISK burning holes in my pockets I decided to do things a little differently this time.

First I put up buy and sell orders for PLEX in most empire regions. Then I went to work on the new part, the market raider with hundreds of billions to spend buying up low priced stock and resetting prices higher.

Of course prices won't stay that high for long but I sold 3 at that price which represents a profit of 75 million each on 3 of the ones I paid 45 million for. That's 225 million in total profit on just 3 sales, enough to more than cover the 13 I paid more than 40 million for with another 100 million or so profit left over.

Then I sold another 20 or so for 60-65 million each. At least 20 million profit on each of those for about 400 million more profit. So another 500 million plus to cover "overpayment" on the ones I paid between 35 and 40 million for. That covers at least another 100 I "overpaid" for, the price is still over 46 million right now and I'll still be making decent profits even if the price drops well under 40 mil.

It'll be interesting to see what happens next. A lot depends on what kind of stockpiles others have been holding onto. Maybe the price will go back up again in a day so, or maybe it'll drop low enough I'll do another buyout to put even more pressure on the market.

I'm mostly doing this to shake things up and see what happens. So far it's looking like I'll be making ISK and maybe a lot of ISK.

Oh yeah... It didn't take the Malma bot long at all to respond to the 3 new buy orders I placed in Genesis yesterday. The only 3 buy orders I have up in Genesis period right now. For 3 months I didn't even log in once, yet shortly after do log in and post those 3 orders he's right back to cutting me again. Within minutes just like always. I've had enough of him and his shit. He's been getting away with it for years, next post I'm going to disclose his name so everyone knows exactly who the lowlife cheating bastard is.

Monday 2 March 2015

Unreal Editor for UT4 now available for free

Great news from Epic for FPS players and especially mappers!

The new build of Unreal Tournament 4 released today includes a downloadable map editor for the game. The mapping scene for UT4 is going to explode now.

It sounds like they've done a lot of work on optimizing weapon effects this build. Hopefully that'll fix my problems with extremely high CPU usage and make the game fun to play with more than 3 or 4 players again.

There are also at least two fully meshed maps available now. It'll be interesting to see what performance is like with plenty of eyecandy in the maps instead of just being basic BSP shells.

And of course I'm really looking forward to playing with the map editor though that's going on the back burner until I play the game for a few hours (at least).

 Finally here's a quick copy/paste of the major changes from the patch notes.

TLDR: Major Changes This Build:
  • New DM-Outpost23 fully meshed visual bar level.
  • New Malcolm and Necris characters are playable.
  • Re-skinned and updated Launcher.
  • New Unreal Tournament Marketplace with cosmetic items by community contributors.
  • DM-Lea by CaptainMigraine is available for free from the markeplace.
  • Unreal Editor customized for UT is now available for free from Launcher.
  • New set of web tutorials to teach you how to create content and mods for UT. Check them out at .
  • Polished and optimized weapon effects.
  • Revamped menus with new graphics and layout.
  • Hubs are now fully functional.
  • First pass on performance optimization, barely touched the surface.
  • Polished and optimized weapon effects.
  • Revamped menus with new graphics and layout.
  • Hubs are now fully functional.
  • First pass on performance optimization, barely touched the surface.

Thursday 19 February 2015

PLEX Business Progress

Just a quick screenshot to show the PLEX business is going good.

I'm slowly increasing my volume and making better than expected profits. Slowly grinding those broker fees down on more characters too. So far I'm finding as those fees go down both volume and profits per PLEX go up. I don't expect that to last long though. Once I have the fees down on all my traders I'll push even more aggressively for volume. At that point the competition is likely to get fierce and profits per PLEX will go down.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

UT4 - Spam Online

I've been playing quite a lot of UT4 (Unreal Tournament 4 pre-Alpha) lately. While the game is still early in development the core gameplay mechanics are coming along and starting to give us a pretty good idea of what we can expect in the end.

I'm not sure I'm going to like the final result. The thing I liked most about the original UT is it was what I consider an inbetween game, a well balanced game that didn't favour one playstyle over another.

It wasn't just another twitch reaction game with absurd movement like Quake, nor was it a too realistic slow paced camper game like CoD.

It was in between those extremes, a game you could be successful at playing either way.

It wasn't all about long range instant hit weapons like the rifle, nor was it all about close ranged in your face fighting with rockets and flak.

In fact the best strategy was often playing to an opponent's weaknesses. If your opponent preferred close combat, fight him at medium or long range with sniper and shock. If he preferred long range combat, take the fight to him at close range with rockets and flak.

Then you had the mini, a terrific midrange weapon, very good at short range and as a finishing weapon but not so good at point blank range and weak at long range. And of course the extremely versatile shock which has always been UT's signature weapon and a favourite of better / more experienced players in almost any situation at almost any range.

Ever since UT2k3 the game has moved towards a Quake-like twitch game where the one thing that matters above all else is reaction time. Most of the time ping, hardware and configuration settings make more of a difference than actual skill. The guy with the lower ping and the least video/input lag wins.

In the original game you could compensate for that with various different strategy and tactics. And the guy with the ping/hardware advantage couldn't just fly across the entire map grabbing all the powerups in under 5 seconds either.

Now you can cross the entire map much more quickly. Strategy is pretty much just "whore the armor and spawn rape". If you control the powerups nothing else really matters much. And tactics have devolved to the platform jumper level of just moving quickly and unpredictably while spamming the fire button.

The shock rifle is insane right now. High damage, high rate of fire and extremely spammable. It's the only weapon that's good at any range and in virtually all situations. In fact about the only situation where shock isn't clearly best / tied with the best is at point blank range where flak beats it... But that'll likely change soon since all the shock whores are crying to nerf the flak.

Just about every match on every map is one giant spamfest with the better, more experienced players spamming shock (or maybe Flak) and everyone else spamming whatever they can get their hands on and get a few shots off with before dying again.

Online player numbers were at their highest with the original game and have been dropping ever since. Since the original game had the highest player counts why do they continue taking the game in a direction that reduces player numbers rather than going back to it's more successful roots?

I don't care for the direction the game seems to be taking. It's turning into a 3d platform jumper with guns.

How about putting some of the skill back into it?

Tuesday 10 February 2015

The PLEX Experiment - Week Two

Last week I started ramping up the volume of my business in the PLEX market. Last weekend I bought over 200 PLEX on Friday and Saturday with another 50 plus on Sunday. I bought a lot more than I sold that weekend and I still had some from before too. The following Monday I still had over 200 left with about half in inventory and half posted in sell orders.

So the big question going into this week was if I could sell enough of them (at a profit of course) throughout the week without becoming a no-lifer and camping or if I was going to be stuck with a pile that would take a while to sell.

Though I wasn't able to sell even half of them during the week, I did sell the rest this weekend and prices went up a bit too so I made more than I would have if I'd just dumped them earlier. I picked up a bunch more at good prices to resell over the next week too so the experiment is going well so far.

Here's a quick example of my most recent PLEX transactions.

While these transactions were mostly on Monday with a few on Tuesday, transactions this weekend were similar with more sales than buys. Buy prices this weekend were a little higher than last weekend, but so were sell prices.

Also during the last week I managed to get broker fees on 4 more characters down to 0.50% or less. The majority of my traders are at 0.50% or less now and the rest should all be there in a couple weeks too. Then I can start working on getting them all down to 0.35% or less.

Right now about half my traders are at 0.50%, several are around 0.35% and some are even lower than that.  For the most part I need 12-14 million markup to make a profit and I'm doing quite a bit better than that... Better than expected, though I did have to be patient and sit on quite a bit of stock for a few days.

A character with perfect skills (Accounting and Broker Relations both at V) and neutral (0) standings pays 0.75% broker fee on every order posted (both buy and sell) and pays 0.75% tax on sales. With PLEX at 800 million each his total cost to buy and sell 1 PLEX is 800 x 2.25% = 18 million.

Perfect standings of 10/10 with corporation/faction brings broker fees down to just 0.1875% per order cutting the total cost in half. Cost is then (2 x 0.1875) + 0.75 = 1.125% or just 9 million.

0.50% fees put costs around 14 mil and 0.35% a bit under 12 mil.

I've come to realize I was thinking too small before. Way too small. I was just hoping I could buy around 50 PLEX a day or 1000 a month and make 10 million profit on each for a total monthly profit of 10 or 15 billion. That's just not very feasible, the no-lifers and bots won't let anyone sell that many PLEX at that big a profit unless they turn into a no-lifer or bot too. To sell that many without camping I'd have to cut margins and markups to the point where most of the no-lifers and bots can't compete anymore.

I should be setting my goals much higher. 1000 a day at 1 million profit each would be 1 billion a day or 30 billion a month. Of course to do that kind of volume I'd have to do a lot more high volume / low margin business on Jita and that means I'll probably need to get cost under 10 million per PLEX.

A few of my traders (including the Jita trader) are already well under 12 million cost. It'll take a while yet to get even just the Jita trader under 10 million but I will get at least Jita there eventually. In the meantime I'll just continue working on increasing my share of the PLEX market and putting as much pressure as possible on the no-lifers and bots.

Friday 6 February 2015

WTB Eve Character with Caldari State Standings

I'm looking to purchase an Eve Online character that has high standings with Caldari State faction. At least 8 and preferably 9 or 10.

Trading skills and Caldari Navy corporation standing would be nice too but aren't absolutely necessary. Nothing else matters, I don't care what other skills it may or may not have trained, the only thing that really matters is high Caldari State faction standings.

I'm almost afraid to ask just how much someone would want for such a character but I might as well find out.

If you don't have such a character for sale but know of one that is for sale, I'll pay a substantial finders fee to the first person to direct me towards any character I do wind up buying.

If prices aren't too ridiculous, I might be interested in characters with high SoE, Amarr, Minmatar and Gallente faction standings too.

Sunday 1 February 2015

The PLEX Experiment - Ramping Up Volume

This is an update on how The PLEX Experiment - Buying and Selling PLEX for Profit is coming along.

I've been slowly increasing my presence in the PLEX market, testing theories and trying different things to see how the market and the competition reacts.

This weekend I got extremely aggressive in the PLEX market, increasing both the prices I was paying and how many I was buying in each of 22 different regions. I wanted to buy and sell a lot more PLEX than I usually do and see what kind of effect greatly increasing my sales volume would have on profits.

It worked very well on the buying side. On Friday I bought 63 PLEX, on Saturday I bought another 108 for a total of 171 in 48 hours. It looks like I probably can buy 100 a day, at least on the weekends.

Unfortunately sales weren't nearly as good, I only sold 17 on Friday and 18 on Saturday for 35 in total. Once I started selling more than 1 or 2 PLEX at a time anywhere the no-lifers and bots quickly came out of the woodwork and began undercutting me constantly.

It didn't take long before sell prices were down into the low 800 millions in most places and even under 800 million in some places (Jita for one).

Of course if I can't resell PLEX at a profit quickly enough, I won't be able to buy 100 a day for very long before I'm out of cash and sitting on stacks of PLEX. Many competitors will happily sell PLEX for 12 million markup and some even less. It looks like the key to doing any real volume (selling more than a few PLEX a day in any one region) is going to be grinding faction and corporation standing even more to lower broker fees even further.

Unless of course those competitors are bluffing and can't keep up the undercutting game for much longer. In that case I should be able to sell all or most of my PLEX during the next week and buy more the following weekend.

Strangely enough, one place were my PLEX sales did do very well this weekend (much better than usual) was Genesis. For some reason the Malma bot backed off on PLEX this weekend, but not on other things.

I've noticed several patterns in PLEX sales, some seem to be natural and others manipulative. The main thing is there's a weekly cycle (often hidden by manipulation) where prices go down on the weekend and back up during the week.

Though I can't prove it, I'm quite sure this is due to more PLEX being purchased for real money on the weekends and sold quickly for ISK which tends to bring prices down. Then during the week, fewer new PLEX enter the market, prices tend to go back up and many of the PLEX purchased on the weekend are resold for profit.

It's also interesting how shortly after I ramped up my business and grabbed more market share prices dropped significantly. That's not the first time that's happened either. It happens every time I try to sell more than 1 or 2 PLEX in the same region, prices go down and undercuts become far more frequent. To me that's a strong indication bots are very active in the PLEX market.

Then again, considering how much prices have dropped over the last 2 days and how the blocking orders have disappeared again, it's possible the market might be starting to crash. In that case I picked a very bad time to increase my volume and could wind up losing some billions or even 10s of billions.

Monday 26 January 2015

Unreal Tournament 4 (UT4) Framerate Optimization

My computer is getting old. When I built it, it only cost 500 dollars (CDN) but it was a pretty good gaming rig for the money back then. That was a few years ago though, it's certainly not a very good gaming machine now, especially not for playing a fast paced new shooter like Unreal Tournament 4 pre-Alpha.

My computer specs:

ASUS M4N68T-M motherboard
AMD Athlon II X3 440 CPU
8G RAM 2x4 DDR3 1600
Radeon 5670 512M DDR5
Samsung Evo 840 120G SSD
150G WD Caviar HD

The original machine only had 4G of RAM and no SSD, those are recent upgrades. I also upgraded the OS from XP to 8.1 (UT4 does not work on XP).

Initially I found UT4 to be practically unplayable. It almost seemed ok with nothing going on but stuttered badly whenever any fighting was going on. My FPS would start bouncing all over the place. I was having big trouble hitting anything and just about every time I died was a WTF moment. Even just playing bots in a local game was extremely frustrating and attempting to play online was much worse.

So I went looking for config tweaks to improve FPS stability, reduce stuttering and input lag and make the game playable. I soon found a thread on Epic's UT4 forums suggesting a console command that turns off ambient lighting.

r.SimpleDynamicLighting 1

It helped a lot, practically doubled my FPS, but the maps were very dark, some so dark I really couldn't see much of anything.  So I went looking for a console command to brighten the maps up and found this.

r.ExposureOffset 3

Some maps are very bright with r.ExposureOffset 3 but a few were still too dark in places with it only set to 2. I'd rather have a few maps a bit too bright than any too dark so I went with 3.

These can also be set in Engine.ini by adding the following lines under [SystemSettings]


These settings do make it harder to nail shock combos at range because without dynamic lighting you don't get the reflected glow along walls and floor that helps you gauge exactly where the moving core is.


Further down in the same forum thread a user named furiio posted his ini settings. I tried his settings later with  r.SimpleDynamicLight=1 and a few minor changes that seemed better for my hardware. That improved FPS and input lag a little more. They didn't increase my FPS but helped with FPS stability. My framerate didn't drop quite as low, nor nearly as often as before. Then after playing with that for a couple days I tried turning dynamic lighting back on tonight (r.SimpleDynamicLighting=0) and played a few local games.

The game feels smooth enough in local games, it looks better and it's easier to judge distances for shock combos with dynamic lighting on. But there wasn't anyone online to test it against so I'll have to wait till tomorrow to see if it's smooth enough for online play. I sure hope so, it'd be nice to be able to gauge distance on combos better.

Nope no luck with that, I had to turn dynamic lighting back off. The game just wasn't smooth enough for online play with it on.

I still can't play in the smaller, tighter maps with more than 4 or 5 players (including myself). It turns into a massive spamfest which kills my FPS and induces enough input lag that everything gets sort of wobbly. It feels like I'm dragging the screen around behind me and it doesn't want to follow me. I can't move very well and I can't hit the broad side of a barn unless it's not moving. But some of the larger maps are playable even with 8 or 10 players, I can move ok, I can hit other players and I say WTF a whole lot less.

My favourite maps so far are DM-Canon, DM-SidCastle and DM-DeckTest.

The following are furiio's settings.








Tuesday 13 January 2015

PLEX Price Trends

It's too early to say for sure but it looks like the recent PLEX price trend may be changing. The price rose somewhat quite recently and has been holding fairly steady since at around 820 million each.

Of particular interest is that for the first time in over a month the 5 day average is above the 20 day average. This is an indication prices are rising (or have risen recently).

Normally I'd consider that a strong indicator the trend is about to reverse and prices start going up again but right now things are still very much up in the air regarding the multi-boxing policy changes.

The next week or so should give us a better idea if the downward trend is going to continue (possibly at a lower rate), if prices will drop even further, begin to stabilize, or start rising again.

Really what happens next is heavily dependent on how well (or conversely how poorly) and how strictly CCP enforces the new policy. And it's probably going to be a while longer before we know for sure about that.

If you think CCP will not be effective at enforcing the new policy, then it's time to start buying now. If you think they'll be banning cheaters left and right, then it might be a good idea to sell before the price starts going back down again.

Monday 12 January 2015

Windows OEM vs Retail Versions

Trolls, being trolls aren't very bright. I understand my personal troll is saying I'm stupid because he believes there is no difference between OEM and Retail versions of windows.

There are 3 major differences between these 2 items. The physical DVD disks themselves contain exactly the same content.

1. OEM copies of Windows come in either 32, or 64 bit flavors. You must decide which version you want, and make sure you purchase that copy. With a retail copy, you get both 32 and 64 bit Windows DVD’s in the same box.

2. OEM copies cannot be transferred from one PC to another. Once you install an OEM copy of Windows on a PC it must remain with that PC forever, unless upgraded to a newer version of Windows in the future. Retail versions can be moved from PC to PC, but your retail copy of Windows cannot be installed on more than one PC at any given time.

3. OEM copies do not come with any support from Microsoft. If you need to call Microsoft for support with Windows, you must pay a fee to do so. Retail copies come with a phone support incident included in the price.

Added 13 Jan 2015

Ironically enough now the troll says I don't know MS changed the licensing agreement terms for personal use in 8.0 and that proves I'm stupid. The fact is I did know but it's clearly obvious he doesn't know it reverted back to the old way with 8.1

Just like I said in the first place, trolls aren't very bright.

Running UEd 3.0 on Windows 8.1

I figured out how to get UEd 3.0 working properly under Windows 8.1

The problem was when using the mouse to move around in a viewport with "realtime preview" on it would move a mile when you only wanted an inch, making UEd pretty much unusable.

The fix was pretty easy, I just clicked "properties" on the icon and set the following Compatibility settings.

"Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" was the setting that did it.

I tried "Run compatibility troubleshooter" first but it was useless. Then I noticed a checkbox for high DPI settings. Since my GS502 gaming mouse is capable of up to 6400 DPI I figured that might be it. Checking it solved the problem.

Note that Epic's version numbers can be confusing. UEd 3.0 is the editor for UT2k4, not for UT3 as one might think.

Sunday 11 January 2015

New Toys

I've been running a Win XP box I built for under 500 dollars a few years back. Nothing fancy but it was a really good little gaming machine for the money back then. It ran everything I played perfectly fine with good framerates at decent resolutions and reasonable settings.

Lately though I've been running into new software I want to try that won't even run on XP at all. I finally decided it's time to upgrade the OS. At first I was going to get Win 7 but after doing some research, checking prices and thinking about it for while I decided to go with Win 8.1 instead.

I've also wanted an SSD for a long time and I've always preferred doing major OS upgrades with a clean install on a brand new drive so it was time for a new drive too. Doing a little research I found a couple great little 2.5" SSDs available at terrific prices online.

Samsung 840 Evo 120 GB for $82.99 CDN
Crucial MX-100 128 GB for $72.99 CDN

The Samsung 250 GB and Crucial 256 GB versions were around $139.00 and $111.00 respectively. The Samsung is faster and the Crucial is cheaper but they're both good fast drives with great prices.

Win 8.1 (full version, not OEM) I found online for $99.99 CDN

London Drugs price matches online retailers (even the ones with the most aggressive prices) and they had Samsung SSDs in stock but not Crucials so that made the SSD decision easy.

If I'd had another 60 bucks to spend I would have gotten the 250 GB version instead but my budget was too tight for that. If they'd had the Crucial 256 GB I probably would have justified spending another 30 bucks on that and grabbed it instead.

So I took my new toys home, slapped the SSD in and did a clean new install of Win 8.1 leaving the old HDD Win XP install intact.

I was most impressed with the Windows install, it was the simplest and fastest Windows install I've ever done. The only things I didn't like about it were:

1. It seemed to be forcing me to create an email account with MS. Not sure if that's what it was actually doing though since I found out later that was my computer logon ID. Which leads to point two.

2. It also forced me to set a funky longass password with caps, numbers and all that crap for the login account. I hate that, I don't want a phreaking password on my personal computer that nobody else uses and making matters worse they forced password rules on me too. If I was a hacker trying to brute force hack passwords these days, I'd make damn sure NOT to waste my time trying any combinations less than 8 characters long, containing spaces or punctuation characters or NOT containing both a number and a capital letter.

Once the OS was installed the first thing I did was search the web to find out how to turn off Metro and make a few tweaks to get the desktop looking and functioning better (more like XP or 7). Then I installed Classic Shell and was pretty happy with the look and feel of the OS at that point. I'll tweak it more yet but it's pretty decent already after only a few minutes of tweaking.

Next step, install Chrome and make Chrome the default browser. Then onto a few must have apps like GiMP and WinZip. Then Eve, Evemon, Evernus (which doesn't run on XP). Eve took the longest since I decided to go with a full install from download and the download takes a while. Once that was done it took another half hour to find and copy all the settings files over from the old OS.

Everything worked perfectly with no problems at all. The OS seems at least as fast and responsive as XP was. And of course the SSD means it boots orders of magnitude more quickly.

Finally I installed Unreal Tournament 2004 (mostly for the map editor). UT2k4 ran great too but unfortunately there does seem to be a serious glitch with UEd 3.0 under 8.1 that makes it pretty much unusable. I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time trying to figure out a fix for that just yet though. I'll be busy re-installing other old apps, installing a few new ones that wouldn't run on XP, plus tweaking and configuring everything for at least a few more days.

Next month I think I'll upgrade the RAM from 4G to 8G. It'll be interesting to see how much of a difference more memory makes. At the very least I should be able to run more concurrent accounts in Eve, edit and compile UT maps faster (assuming the UEd problem is fixable).

Friday 9 January 2015

The PLEX Experiment - Buying and Selling PLEX for Profit

Following up on my last post where I mentioned wanting to be a bigger player in the PLEX market I'm slowly increasing my PLEX market presence in 22 Empire regions. The following is a report analyzing all of my PLEX transactions on the 8th of Jan 2015.

I bought 27 PLEX for a rough average of about 770 million each and sold 19 for an average of more than 815 million each. 815 - 770 = 45 million spread. Assuming my costs to buy and sell 1 PLEX are 15 million each that would represent a profit of 30 million each.  Actually my average cost is less than 15 mil (a bit more on some characters, much less on others), but 15 mil is a nice round number to work with.

So far today (09 Jan 2015 which isn't over yet) I've bought another 34 for around 775 mil each and sold 26 for close to 820 mil each. 820 - 770 = 45 mil, about the same average margin (45 mil) and same profit of 30 mil per PLEX.

That's roughly 3.75% profit (using round numbers 30 / 800 = 0.0375). 3.75% doesn't sound like much but it adds up with volume. Buying and selling 25 PLEX per day at 30 mil profit each equals 750 million a day, or 22.5 billion a month. Not too shabby when you look at it like that.

Double the volume (50 per day) and it comes out to 45 billion a month.

Of course 30 mil profit per PLEX is probably too much to expect over the long term, especially when dealing in greater volumes. Even 20 million profit might be too much but I shouldn't have any trouble averaging 10 or 15 million profit per PLEX in such low volumes.

The big questions are

1. How tight will margins and spreads get as volume increases?
2. Will it be possible to increase volume to 50, 100 or more without becoming a no-lifer and if so just how much time and effort will it take?

Assuming I can reliably (and without too much effort) move 50 per day at a profit of 10 mil each that'd be 500 million a day and 15 billion a month. Move 100 a day and the numbers double, 1 bil per day, 30 bil per month.

Over the next weeks and months, I intend to continue slowly increasing my presence in the PLEX market until I find the sweet spot between volume and profit margins where I make the most ISK without too much effort.

Several of my characters have 0 standings and better standings are definitely necessary to stay in the game when spreads drop under 18 million. I'll have to grind standings on all of those characters and doing it the quick way is going to cost 3+ billion per character.

If the experiment works out really well, I'll probably wind up dropping out of most of my current markets and whittling my list of items down to just the best of my current items (no more than 50, probably more like 25-30 or even less).

Thursday 8 January 2015

Changing Market Strategy

My Eve Online trading strategy has served me well for over 2 years. When I spend 1-2 hours a day working the markets I make more than 2 billion per day. But I'm getting bored with all the repetition, doing the same things over and over again. Maybe it's time to change my strategy and start using a simpler but more advanced strategy.

Currently my strategy is all about diversification and wide coverage. I buy a lot of different things in a lot of places.

I have 26 traders covering 22 different regions (at least 1 trader in every Empire region except Solitude).  I have around 8000 market orders in total and normally use about 3/4 of them. That's a lot of orders, far more than I can possibly update in a couple hours a day.

Lately I've been thinking maybe I should change things up and start doing things differently. I could cancel hundreds of orders on each character to free up capital and invest more heavily into a smaller list of items. Then boil the list down to 40 or 50 items that are relatively expensive for the volume they move in.

I'm not afraid to say what those items would be either. Sure people might read it and decide to jump into those markets but about all that'll do is drive prices up (or maybe but far less likely drive them down) for a while. I'll make bigger profits until they leave (which usually isn't very long) and then it'll go back to business as usual again.

+3, +4 and +5 attribute implants (15 in total)
mindlink implants (4 different ones, armored, skirmish, seige and mining).

That's 20 items already

Throw in a handful of the most popular faction mods and the list is up to 40 easily.

Sisters Core and Expanded Probe Launchers
Around 10 Caldari Navy faction mods.
Around 5 faction mods from each of the other 3 main factions

Already well over 40 and getting close to 50

Maybe throw in a few skill books, like the always popular Mining, Distribution and Security Connections books.

Then if I concentrate mostly on those items I'll be able to significantly increase my investment into each of them and pay closer attention to those markets on more characters in less time than I can now.

In particular it'd let me become a bigger player in the PLEX market (something I've been wanting to do for a while now) and test a few theories. I have been doing that to some extent for several months already but not nearly as much as I'd really like to.

If I can significantly increase my share of the PLEX market it might be possible to make a billion a day or even more just on PLEX sales. Even if it turns out I can't do that much, 10 billion a month should be possible (I'm doing at least 4-5 bil/month on PLEX in a good month now) and 10 bil is enough to cover my basic monthly expenses right there.

As a nice added bonus, I could do that *and free up another 50-100 billion for diversified investments in Genesis to crank up the pressure on the Malma bot. If I send my spare, unused trader there I'd be able to squeeze him on twice as many items too.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Sleepy Blunder

It's been a while but last night I did it again. Stayed up a little too long and made a typo while entering buy orders.

76 million is just a wee bit more than 76 thousand. That little typo cost me nearly 1.5 billion.

The really annoying part is I actually typoed twice entering that one order. The quantity was supposed be 200, not 20 and if I hadn't typoed that too, the order would have failed due to not having enough cash in my wallet to buy 200 at 76 mil each!

Needless to say I stopped entering orders after that and logged out for the night.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Officially Sanctioned RMT

A recent article on The Nosy Gamer got me thinking again about something I've often wondered about in the past.

What would happen if an MMO allowed players to sell in game currency (or other in game assets) for real money?

For example imagine an officially sanctioned auction/market type system, monitored and policed by the game company where players can buy and sell in game currency for real money.

The game company would act as banker taking a percentage of the real money proceeds off every sale and players would have a legal (legal isn't quite the right word but it's close), much safer and more secure option to make some real life money playing a game.

Of course the bots and boxers would be all over something like that, but that really isn't very different than how it is now.

One thing that would need to change is the game company would have to start making real efforts to find and stop cheaters instead of just going through the motions and pretending they care about it. They'd have to become much quicker at catching cheaters and be far more effective (probably ruthless too) in dealing with them.

Friday 2 January 2015

Jita PLEX Sales

This is to show that despite claims to the contrary by a very confused troll, I actually do make ISK buying and selling PLEX. Even in this downward trending market.

In fact I sort of specialize in working downward trending markets, that's where I make many of my largest overall profits. In several of my very best markets I'll even intentionally push the price down, buy in bulk while the price is low, hold stock until the price goes back up and then sell for nice profits.

The following is a screenshot of my most recent PLEX transactions in The Forge region only. For PLEX purchases in The Forge I use full regional range buy orders placed on Jita.

Only transactions in The Forge are shown here. I choose to use The Forge because it has by far the largest sales volume of any region and usually the tightest margins too.

I'm not going to say exactly how much of a spread I need for it be profitable for me (no sense giving my competitors too much intel) but I will say it's closer to 10 million ISK than it is to 18 million (roughly what I'd need to break even with maxed skills and 0 standings).

Transactions aren't FIFO (First In First Out) either. They don't necessarily sell in the same order they were bought in so comparing buy and sell price to each other in order doesn't always work, especially not when the buy and sell orders aren't even in the same region.

I do however usually resell PLEX within 24 hours and usually in the same region they were bought in. Comparing what I paid for PLEX one week to what I sold PLEX for a week later really doesn't mean much.

When I do transport PLEX to another region it's because I have more stock than I can move quickly in one region, little or no stock in the other and sell prices are higher in the region with low/no stock.

But for this screenshot the PLEX were all in the same region and I didn't transport any large numbers of PLEX in or out of The Forge so considering these buy and sell orders to be in FIFO order does give a fairly accurate indication of profitability.

Doing so, one can see there are exactly 4 bought on the 23rd and sold on the 24th that are cutting the margin pretty thin. With a spread of just 10.9 mil those transactions would represent about a 7 mil loss with 0 standings and about 1.3 mil profit with perfect standings.

The rest of the transactions were all more profitable than those 4, most of the other transactions would have been profitable even with 0 standings.

Why did I cut the screenshot off at 14:21 on the 19th and not go back even further?

Simple, not to hide anything, it's just because that's all that would fit in one screenshot.

Thursday 1 January 2015

Moderated Comments

I don't really like having moderated comments. However a certain obnoxious troll who is obsessed with me has made things unpleasant here lately.

As a result this blog is once again moderated only with a whitelist now.

That means regular posters making intelligent sane comments will be put on a list enabling their comments to bypass moderation and be published without delay.

Unfortunately it also means new readers will experience some delay before their comments can be published and anonymous comments cannot be made at all.