Sunday, 1 August 2021

Return to Eve Online

I'm Back! After a 6 year hiatus from Eve Online I've started playing again (albeit far more casually).

A few months ago one of my Unreal Tournament friends was asking some questions about playing the market in Eve. That got me curious about my old accounts so I logged in to one of them to check it out. One thing led to another from there. Next thing I knew I was PLEXing all my accounts (with PLEX I already had from before) and restarting training queues.

One of the first things I noticed was that PLEX had changed. What used to be 1 single PLEX had been broken up into 500 smaller PLEX. I also noticed accounts now had Alpha and Omega states with severe limits on training and usable skills in Alpha state and requiring spending 500 PLEX a month for Omega state to lift the restrictions.

I posted a bunch of orders all over hisec / lowsec and even a few places in nullsec/deadspace/pochven to buy PLEX at around 2.2-2.3 million each. A lot of those orders got filled within days. If I'd realized at the time that PLEX was currently at the low end of the cycle I would have bought a whole lot more than the 60,000 or so I wound up with!

I also noticed broker fees and taxes had gone way up and there were player owned market hubs in many places with far lower fees and taxes than the old familiar NPC market hubs which I'd spent so much time and ISK on improving faction standings for to lower broker fees. Not being sure what to think of that or how it would affect my market strategy I decided to play it safe and not post many orders until I had a better idea of how the markets had changed.

I really didn't care for the player owned market hubs for multiple reasons which for the sake of brevity I won't get into here. However I was pretty much forced to use them in order to compete on buy orders.

About a month later, after a 2nd round of PLEXing accounts I started posting some more orders to test a few ideas and check out how the markets had changed. I bought a bunch of multiple training certificates to get 2 or 3 characters training new skills on most accounts too.

That was around the time I noticed the Margin Trading skill was gone, replaced by a new skill Advanced Broker Relations. That combined with the changes to broker fees and taxes made a big difference in how many orders I could post for how many items, at what prices and how often I could modify them. I didn't mind that at all it actually meant you had to have a strategy and post sell orders at sensible prices. Those who just mindlessly played the .01 ISK game with constant undercutting would very quickly be losing ISK.

Another month and another round of PLEXing accounts later I felt I had a pretty good handle on how things had changed and a strategy in mind for in. I spent an hour or two a day for a couple weeks posting lots of buy and sell orders and disrupting markets everywhere.

Then a few days ago (around the 26th or 27th of July) everything changed again... I was posting / modifying a few orders when I noticed the broker fee was well under 1%... Looking more closely I realized the order was on Jita 4-4 rather than Perimeter. At first I thought it must be a bug or glitch but I soon realized it was the same on all NPC hubs. If I had 0 standing with the station owning faction the broker fee was 1%, if I had positive standing (which most of my characters do) it was less than 1%. That's terrific, the best news I've had since coming back to Eve! Now when buy orders get filled I post replacement orders on the same old NPC hubs as in the past.

I've pretty much figured out my strategy for the future now. It'll involve getting out of some old markets and into some new ones. I'll probably get into skill point farming soon too, it seems like a very easy source of mostly passive income. All by itself it'd be more than enough to PLEX all of my accounts and add new ones every month.

One final note. One of my characters bought some PLEX on a player owned market hub in Pochven for something like 1.1 million each. The very next day I no longer had access to post on that player owned hub. That's no problem, Ichoriya suits me just fine and after the change to taxes and fees it's cheaper to post orders on Ichoriya anyhow.

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