Some beautiful music to read the blog with

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Update on my Business Activities in Eve

The focus of my business activities in Eve is starting to shift.  Below is a summary of what i am doing.

Worth recalling that the aim of my business activities is to spend no more than 45 minutes a weekday on Eve + each activity must be able to generate at least enough ISK to purchase a Plex a month.



Manufacturing

This is working well.  I make up to 15bn ISK per month for what is half an hours work each evening.

I am slowly expanding the set of items i manufacture to sell.  I make good margins here though they are slow moving (just how i like it).

Currently, i sell in the 4 trade Hubs + 4 other regions, though i may scale back in Jita given it is quite competitive.



Trading

This was where i started but i am now winding it down.  The big constraint i now face is that real life (i.e. work) is taking up more and more of my free time whether it be working at home or business travel.

Part of trading is to constantly review what I am selling and filter out the low margin items and find new high margin items to sell - that needs a degree of focus and travelling on business does detract from that!

Hence, for now i will focus on a few highly valued items (i.e. prices over 500m ISK).



Planetary Interaction

In all i made 1.7bn ISK profit from Planetary Interaction.  Mainly hauling P2 materials to my factory planets and selling the resulting P3 materials produced.  Occasionally I would haul P3 items and sell the resulting P4 items.

I am able to make enough a month to finance a Plex whilst spending very little time on it - which is my aim.

This could be a real ISK maker.  So, once i review the set up i suspect i will keep this going.

The margins are about 20% - so pretty healthy.



Plex Trading

I made about 26m ISK through buying and selling 21 Plex until real life caused me to move on.

At this stage i will leave it on the back burner and see if i can get it to work more efficiently at a later stage.

It is a useful business to park surplus ISK into though the margins are very low (1-3% after all costs).


Mining

It has crossed my mind that i do spend about 3 hours a day working from home in the evening and many hours working at home in the weekend.

Therefore, i have decided to start mining and see if i can get this to operate in the background whilst i work.

I plan to get my two alts in Jita (on different accounts) set up for mining and see what i can make with them both out on the job.

At this stage, i am viewing it as playing Eve in the background and making ISK whilst i do.

Back of the envelope calculations suggest that this should achieve the goal of making a Plex a month.  We will see.

(i have to admit, when i watch the video clips of miners, it does look incredibly relaxing!  Could be tricky to weave into trying to work at home in the evening though).



The results

More of this in another post, but in summary my monthly profits vary from 16bn ISK to literally nil.  16bn if i am not on business travel, nil if i am away at lot!

The chart below shows the monthly profit i make since i started back in May 2013.



It can be seen from the above chart that i was on business travel in last August (2014), November and February (renewed my gold cards at BA and Emirates, so can't complain!).  Otherwise i tend to make about 10bn ISK a month.

It is fair to say that my real life work has somewhat dented my progression.  Given my planned business travel in April it is unlikely that i will make 100bn in the 12 months to the end of May - as the chart below shows.

The chart below shows how my wealth has progressed since i started back in May 2013.  The red line shows the average profit per day i make (i.e. the monthly profit divided by the days in the month).


My ultimate goal is to make enough ISK to buy a Plex a day whilst constraining myself to the 45 minutes per week night.

I suspect this is achievable.

Of course, an underlying goal is to enjoy my time in Eve - which is being met.  So good news there.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Eve 101

Continuing on from last week's post on useful quick videos:

I found  this website recently, Eve 101 (actually, i think i heard about it on the Crossing Zebras Podcast given it is part of Crossing Zebras).

It consists of a series of quick 5 to 10 minutes youtube clips going through the basics of Eve Online - so very much aimed at the new player.

So far nothing market related.

But some nice videos nonetheless.

Full list so far:

1. Key Concepts
2. The Pilot
3. The Ship
4. Modules
5. Drones
6. Player Groups
7. The Station Interface
8. The Neocom Menu
9. Ship User Interface





Saturday, 28 February 2015

Eve Online Videos - MagnasisEVE - some newbie guides

One of the Youtube channels i subscribe to is MagnasisEVE

He posts videos typically more than once a week one all aspects of the game.

However, what caught my eye was a recent series of six videos that focused on earning ISK for new players.

all titled the "Rookie Guide:" and covers Mining; Planetary Interaction; Missions; Gas Harvesting; and Salvaging.

It may not be talking making billions but it does nicely introduce a new player to some of the routes to making ISK other than through trading and manufacturing.

His recent uploads are also worthy of a look for ISK making ideas and general game play.

Embedded below is the playlist for the "Rookie Guide"




  1. Adding Color to Your Overview (time 10:30)
  2. Salvaging for ISK (time 18:28)
  3. Gas Harvesting for ISK (time 09:05)
  4. Missions for ISK (time 23:06)
  5. Planetary Interaction for ISK (time 28:53)
  6. Mining for ISK (time 26:31)



Saturday, 21 February 2015

Someone made a Plex blunder

I noticed this when looking at the Plex market in one of the regions.

As shown in the image below, someone sold at least 1 Plex for 8.1m instead of the intended 811m (i suspect).  I can only assume this must have been a key input entry.



The image below shows where the current Buy and Sell orders were sitting:



The point here is that the market mechanics allowed the unfortunate seller to not even achieve the highest placed Buy orders but infact fill the best placed Buy order with the erroneous input Sell price.

Now, i am not sitting here suggesting the market mechanics need to be sorted out to prevent this from happening (Eve, after all, is Eve) but there has to be a good argument for having a toggle switch which the player can set to allow all sell orders they place to be, at worst, immediately settled by the best Buy order.  This will not save the Seller from avoiding the sale going through but it would at least prevent what has happened above.

It is very hard to think of a order driven market where the above can be allowed to happen in real life.

For sure, this would not help where there is only one Buy order of 1 ISK.  But it will help in many cases.

I also suspect that this would prevent some in game "money laundering" where the origins of illegally purchased ISK is disguised by making multiple transactions through seemingly unrelated players at little cost.

I only hope the seller of this Plex had not spent $15 on its purchase.

(For the record, the blunder was not committed by me!)

Saturday, 7 February 2015

CSM9 Winter Summit - discussion on Plex

In the CSM9 Winter Summit there was a discussion on Plex which perhaps deserves more attention for those holding and trading in Plex.  The relevant part is below and my 6 bullet point summary is below that:

"The next topic was PLEX prices. The price has dropped recently from recent high prices (around the 1 billion ISK mark) to around 800mil, but it did dip down to 700-600 mil. CCP Thomas also showed some statistics related to customers using PLEX for subscription. There were some discussion about whether CCP is manipulating the market at present and what their metrics are in that regard. There were some questions regarding player manipulation of the PLEX market, which CCP confirmed as happening just like any other item in game.

There were some questions about the conversion rates following "This Is EVE".

There were more questions about PLEX prices and whether there was a target price. CCP Thomas explained that there wasn't a set price they were targeting, and it was more about the delta in prices. There was discussion about player reactions while PLEX was around 1 billion ISK, and the actual number of players using PLEX was relatively stable.

 There were also some questions about the number of PLEX used for other services, especially multiple character training. At this point, CCP Foxfour also explained that they wanted to move away from people directly buying PLEX and instead move to people just buy AUR. This AUR could then instead just be used to buy PLEX from the NES store along with everything that is currently using PLEX, moving from a three currency system to a two currency system. There were questions about whether it would be possible to directly trade AUR for ISK on the market. CCP Cognac responded that there are no plans to do so. Sugar Kyle brought up the topic of sending AUR to other players. It was explained that while it would be desirable in some contexts (such as gifting someone else some AUR) there are some issues, including some legal ones that need to be covered."

Source: CSM9 Winter Summit Forum Post

The summary of the above is:

1) CCP knows how much of the Plex is being used for Subscriptions vs Other Services vs holding for investment

2) CCP knows / believes the Plex price is being manipulated by some players

3) CCP is more concerned with the change in the price of Plex, not the level

4) When Plex hit 1bn the number of players using Plex remained stable

5) And, the interesting part, CCP may want to move away from Plex for US$ towards Aurum only.  This Aurum would then be used to buy Plex as normal

6) No plans to trade Aurum on the market for ISK


The key points of interest are (5) and (6)

Firstly, the bad news is that CCP may break the direct link between US$ and Plex by gettung Aurum in the way.

Secondly, the good news is that Plex will still be the way to extend Play Time and for Other Services.

But, the route to Plex could be interrupted by a Player stopping at the Aurum store and spending the purchased Aurum on something else instead of Plex.  In other words, the change CCP is thinking about can only reduce the supply of Plex (or leave it as before, at best).

That, all things being equal, would push up the price of Plex.

However, all things are not equal.  Aurum can already be used in the place of Plex (and the other way round).

In Jita prices (1st Feb 2015):

It costs 3500 Aurum to do Dual Training vs 1 Plex at 800m ISK.  That implies 1 Aurum is valued at 0.23m ISK.

1000 Aurum is selling for 500m ISK and buying for 200m ISK (not a very liquid market - hardly trades at all) which implies 1 Aurum has a spread of 0.20m - 0.50m

It I assumed the Buy orders for Aurum were fair, then the current Aurum / Plex price is about right.

So far.

(edit: edited the price of aurum to reflect i missed the "m", i.e. 0.23m ISK not 0.23 ISK per aurum)

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Trying the Plex Market

Having started to read the Merchant Monarchy blog, notably MoxNix focusing on the Plex market - i thought i would give it a shot also.

This would be a departure from my normal strategy of focusing on low volume / high margin items.


Much like MoxNix, i would be going for volume, using Buy Orders and then putting on any bought Plex as a Sell order, making a low profit margin in the process.



As ever, when i enter a new market i dip my toe in first to test it out.

My strategy is to operate in the regions neighbouring a couple of major Trade Hubs.  Plex trading in the Trade Hubs is intense and the margins very thin - however, a jump or two away in another region is much calmer.  Margins are not great but the competition is not so intense.

I put on a few Buy orders and then check back a week later to convert any completed Buy order to a Sell order - in other words, i am Station Trading Plex.

In this case, i bought 13 Plex for 10.2bn ISK with my alt in Jita and my alt in Dodixie (both travelling to a neighbouring region to do the trades).

So far i have sold 11 - the regions neighbouring the Forge sold quickest, the regions neighbouring Sinq Laison sold slowest.

In all, sales so far are 9.1bn ISK and Plex for sale that i still hold is 1.6bn ISK which gives me profits of 429m ISK so far (or 39m ISK per Plex) in January.

Not bad but slow.  I suspect i will need to deploy more ISK into this.  However, the margins are very low - about 4.7%, and that is before i pay the broker fees and sales tax.

Given my broker fees for placing Buy and Sell orders are 0.75% and Sales tax is 0.90% that would indicate a profit margin of 2.5% per sale (=21m per Plex).  Assuming a Plex price of 830m then to achieve my aim of making sufficient profits to buy a Plex each month then i need to sell 40 Plex per month.

If i was to assume that was 10 per week and lets say i therefore need to have 10 Buy orders up to stock up for the following week and 10 Sell orders up to sell last weeks Buys then that implies i need 20 Plex worth of Isk investment = 16.6bn ISK to invest in this project.

The good news is that it is very low maintenance.  I put Buy orders up and then the following week i convert the completed Buy orders into Sell orders.

Given i don't have any other projects to deploy my surplus ISK into i may stick at this and see if it achieves my golden rule of being able to earn a Plex a month.

In fact, i have just invested 7.8bn in 10 Plex Buy Orders in one region and 3.9bn in 5 Plex Buy Orders in another region to see scale up slightly and see how it goes.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Someone blundered on a Sell Order

Came across this whilst going through the market in null-sec.com

Someone has posted for Sale a Capital Processor Overclocking Unit 1 for 1 ISK vs the going price in Amarr of perhaps 20m.



I greatly suspect they meant to post that as a Buy order.

I of course purchased the item - it was only 2 jumps out of Amarr and in Highsec.

A nice small profit for me (once i am able to sell the item).







Sunday, 18 January 2015

Started Planetary Interaction

My newest market i am entering is Planetary Interaction.

In its simplest, Planetary Interaction is is the extraction of resources from a planet and then the repeated combination of these resources, with processors on the planet, to make further products for eventual sale on the market.

The final products are mostly the POS / Sov Structures and POS Fuel.

The beauty with Planetary Interaction (known as PI) is that each of the items extracted (Resources) and all the products processed (P1, P2, P3, P4 where, you guessed it, P1 products combine to make P2 products etc) are available to be bought or sold on the market.

Therefore, it is possible to buy P3 products on the market, haul them to a planet and then process them into P4 products to be hauled back to a station and sold on the market.

Or it is possible to buy P2 products on the market, haul them to a planet and then process them into P3 products to be hauled back to a station and sold on the market.

In other words, you can make ISK from PI without actually extracting Resources from any Planet.  Think of PI as Mining and Manufacturing but on a Planet.

Many claim that PI is "passive income" - mainly because you can set up facilities on a planet to automatically extract resources + combine them to make P1 products + combine them to make P2 products all on the same planet and all this occurs when you are offline, much like manufacturing.  This can be set up to happen over a week and all the player needs to do is adjust the extractors once a week (need not even undock to do that) and turn up to the planet once a month to take the finished products to the market for sale.  Sort of like mining AFK.

Therefore, the way i look at Planetary Interation is in two parts.

Firstly, there is the extraction of Resources to be combined to make the P1 products.  This is best done outside of Highsec given Highsec planets don't tend to have a high concentration of some of the desired Resources.  This is like mining, afk.

Secondly, there is the combination of Products to make higher level products.  This can be done in Highsec and indeed this is there i am focusing with my "Factory Planets".  This is like Manufacturing.

My entire aim with Planetary Interaction is to combine P2 products i bought on the market into P3 products to be sold or to combine P3 products i bought on the market into P4 products to be sold.

In my first month at trying this (having skilled up) i made 681m ISK and in January to date i have made 555m ISK with just one alt operating 5 planets.  I greatly suspect this will achieve my golden rules of being low time usage + earn at least a Plex a month + high margin.

I will be going more into what i am doing in later posts but i note that the likes of Foo who blogs at foo-eve.blogspot makes part of his living with Planetary Interaction in Wormhole space.

The most useful videos i have found are:

The 8 minute CCP Planetary Interaction guide is a good place to start.

Two 40 minute videos by Gorthour Decievers on Planetary Interactions.  The first video deals with setting up an extraction Planet.  The second video deals with setting up a factory planet.  Excellent starting videos for Planetary Interaction.

They are included on my useful video page.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Don't forget to collect your free 20 days dual training time

As part of the Christmas gifts CCP gave each account 20 free days of dual training.

This must be claimed by 13 January 2015 - which is getting very close!

You don't even need to log into the Eve game to do this, just your account via the internet browser.

To claim the 20 free days you need to log into your account and click on the Multiple Character Training box:



Click on the sign offering the free 20 days. 



 

 and then press on "Open Queue":



and in-game you can start training on a second alt in your account.

Its free 20 days of training, makes no sense to miss out.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A new out-of-game market browser.

With the new Crest data feeds coming on-stream (which will most likely stop cache scrapping*) a new web browser version of the Eve Online market place was brought to my attention**

It is at Null-Sec.com Tycoon and it looks a very complete source of market information - though I am still in the process of testing this.

The layout is very similar to the ingame layout.







So far:

  • It is perhaps the most complete data set i have seen
  • I am not sure, though, when the data updates.  For example, i can see that some of my recent orders are not shown

Unfortunately, it crashes my first generation iPad so I am restricted to using it on the PC.

But i am liking what i see so far.



*technically cache scrapping is against the EULA but a blind eye has been turned where the cache scrapping is not considered an exploit etc

**I can't actually remember who brought this to my attention but I am pretty sure it was one of the great weekly market videos by Lockefox at the Eve-Prosper Blog