Thursday, September 4, 2014

Enter the Batalyst

It was a fun and profitable couple of hours in Eve last night. I started by running a couple of plexes in once-more-Caldari-held Heydieles and got a nice chunk of Loyalty Points. I've been spending my LP on high-grade implants. They sell very slowly, but are worth up to 8000 ISK per LP, more than four times what I usually consider a good conversion rate. I'm not in a rush to get the LP converted to cash, so this may be a good way to get the most bang for my buck. Check the fuzzwork lp store for a list of possible targets.
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I've recently been building large amounts of Small Transverse Bulkhead I rigs for use in our cheap hull-tanked ships. Last night I had my first opportunity to actually fly one; a 3M ISK Catalyst that we call the Batalyst (here's one).

You can see a brief video here. We ran into a small frigate gang and we took them apart pretty quickly. I picked up 20M in loot afterwards, on the promise that I spend it bringing more of them in from Jita, which I will do.

We had flown past a 16-ship CALSF cruiser fleet during our travels and they were headed to Fliet, looking for a fight with us. Corp members logged in to bring up our numbers and we took our cruisers out to meet them. The results were...one-sided (see 2:55 to 3:00 AM 2014-09-04). We lost no ships and killed 12 of them. Here's a video from Keewee Maleewi in a neuting ship, a perspective I haven't seen before. I flew logi anchor in this fight and I'm happy to say we kept everyone repped and in-range.








Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Best Trading Day Ever

And I didn't have to get past Hassan either...

My trading alt had a really good day, selling a couple of big ticket items that I'd been trying to shift for a while. She'd sold an Aoede Mining Laser Upgrade for 692M (bought two days prior for 470M) yesterday afternoon, so I was feeling pretty pleased with that already. But she topped that with a tattoo just a few hours later for 850M (bought 10 days prior for 450M). And a few hours after that, I unloaded a Phanca cybernetic arm for a shade under 1B ISK, having bought it seven days before for 652M.  It's worth buying and holding these big ticket items, if you have a big cash buffer already, because when they have price swings, they are HUGE and can give you a lot of profit in a very short time. Total gain here, by the way, is 970M ISK. Maybe people were selling these in order to buy one of the new cybernetic arms that came out with Hyperion?

I've also found there's a decent profit to be had buying blueprints from around Jita and selling them at the station. People will pay, say 1M isk to avoid going six jumps to buy the same BPO for 125K ISK. And BPOs from other regions have even bigger markups.

On my main, I'm continuing to build ship hulls and rigs for the corp new derp fit. The Gallente militia just took complete control of the warzone so I think we'll do defensive plexing and/or FW missions to rake in the LP.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hobgoblin II prices tanked - I suspect a zerg rush of new industrialists

From flickr user Aeter

A few weeks after Crius was released we saw a surprising and rapid drop in the price of the most commonly used drone, the Hobgoblin II. I asked around a couple of industrial buddies to see if they knew why this had happened, but nobody did. I suspect, though, it's a simple case of supply and demand. The demand has stayed the same, but the supply must have increased.

The new industry interface makes it much easier to explore your industrial options and I think it gave a lot of people the idea to try some T2 manufacturing for themselves. Hob IIs would be a logical choice; most people can either use them or assume they can sell them easily. What puzzled me at first was the delay...why did it take a few weeks for this glut of drones to arrive? Training!  If you weren't already able to make these, there's a few skills you need to acquire before doing so. I think enough people buckled down and did the training, then invented the BPCs, then built the drones to result in the wave we saw.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Twenty Kills

Not Exploding

I've had a run of luck lately and last night I racked up my twentieth killmail (August 10-20th) in a row without losing a ship. Perhaps this means I'm excellent at Eve?! No? More likely I err on the side of running away, or fly ships that are too small to be primaried, or I'm name-tanked. Either way, it's a pleasant milestone to hit and I was flying everything from Derptrons to a Vexor Navy Issue.

Somewhere in there I popped a capsule worth 243M.  He was a neutral, unfortunately, so it cost me quite a security status hit - I'm -3.3 now. I locked him during a fleet engagement and didn't notice he was a capsule until I pointed him and got off one cycle of guns (Light Neutron Blasters I). He was still alive when I dropped my point but someone else finished him off. I don't have any reason to go to highsec any more, except to attend to my factory in a small highsec island, but I still don't want to be able to be engaged freely by anyone that sees me, so I need to avoid crossing the -5 line. But neutral pods are soooo tasty!

Update 9/1/2014 -- His killright on me has been made available for 50M ISK.

Bargain Shopping

I took a look through the collection of cheap contracts (under 5M ISK) available at Jita and had a fun time discovering a few bargains.  Check out the "multiple items" contracts, you may find someone clearing out their hangar and pick up, say, a large collection of fully-researched frigate BPCs for 1.5M. A few days later I sold just one of the dozens I bought for 1M by itself, almost paying for the whole transaction.  This isn't any earth-shattering new gameplay, of course, but it scratches an itch of getting something for next to nothing :)


Friday, August 15, 2014

Trading With Stockpiles


Too much cash, not enough flow. 

In an earlier post about station trading I recommended that traders sell their acquired goods as soon as possible, so they'll make a profit right away and be able to put that money into something else. I still think this is good advice, but I've recently hit upon a different "mode" of station trading: trading from stockpiles.

My trading alt has too much money! I know, I know, nice problem to have :)  She was sitting on 3B ISK recently and my usual cash-burner, acquiring expensive Cybernetic Arms (500-700M a piece) and tattoos (100M to 600M each) wasn't working...my buy orders weren't getting filled. She also had about 4B ISK worth of stuff in her hangar: datacores, tattoos (the Prototype/Wreckage style) and some level 4 PI products. My PI production was on hold at the time, so I wasn't spending a lot on level 3 PI products for my factory planets, which is something that usually eats up a lot of money.

I could have been selling her items, but I reasoned that it wasn't worth it. All I would get is cash; cash that I couldn't spend on anything worthwhile.  I looked around for new stuff to invest in but didn't find anything expensive enough to make a dent in the cash pile. So, what to do?

I decided to wait. Specifically, I'm waiting for price spikes

Price spikes come along surprisingly frequently. Small Remote Armor Repair IIs, for example swung between 1M and 2M several times over just a few days. I bought a bunch at 1M, sold a lot of it at 2M...but it's currently at 800K, so I have to wait and see which way the swings will go next. There were opportunities to sell at lower prices, or to panic and get out when the price dropped, but patience has paid off.

The price of the Gallente Datacores I own is strongly influenced by the Faction Warfare standing of the militia. They're at Tier 4 now, so the flood of those datacores has finally started to push the price down. The price had stayed surprisingly high while we were in Tier 3 and I managed to sell a lot of datacores around the 150K each mark, or higher. Patience paid off here too, though it was a long wait for these to go up from the 100K or so I paid for each of them to the 150K I sold them for.  I'm going to look for opportunities to buy the Caldari Quantum datacores - they have spiked to over 200K a few times.

The last example is Vaccines, which I bought in vast quanties for about 40K each before Crius. I sold a lot of it off before the new Industry system came out, waiting to see what effects it would have on PI. But I still had a good amount left at Jita, about 12,000 units. The price dropped below 40K and I held on to my stock. Sellers started to dwindle and the cost of Sterile Conduits, the P4 item that Vaccines are used in, surged by about 50%, from 600K to 900K. The few people selling Vaccines got cleaned out...and in steps me, Johnny-On-The-Spot. I put one-third of my stock up for sale at 60K and it's selling steadily. I'll wait and see what happens next, but I think I can raise my price to 70K and still find buyers.

Edit: Update from 8/18/2014: I had a stockpile of Balmer tracking disrutors, obtained cheaply on buy orders. The Jita sell price has been hovering around 800K for a while, but I waited, and yesterday it spiked to 1.4M. I've sold a dozen or so, and am trying to get the rest out while the price is high.

The vaccines price dropped to 57K and I've decided to use them in the manner they were intended; making Sterile Conduits, which are holding their price in the high 800K range. Their usual range is 600K.

I also saw a price spike in meta 4 damps (Phased Muon) and sold my stock into that spike. I went a bit early, though, and the price rose even higher. Never mind, it was still a very nice of 1M on each item.

Moral of the story: be prepared to change your investment rules if you think you can make more money in a different way.

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A nice industrial thing happened yesterday. Our corp needed to quickly acquire some rigs, and it so happens that I'm set up to make a lot of rigs. The market price on these items was pretty high and I was able to quickly tell the boss that we could make them a lot cheaper...80% below market price! Pro-tip: a lot of rigs are sold at crazy markups; you should get in on that! I got the BPOs (that was my alt's first trip to my main's station) to my main character's factory and started 5 lines running. It's nice to be able to help your corp in new ways.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A starter tip for station traders

Kilbey in glorious 80's-O-Phonics - video
"The man at the desk who takes everything he can find..."


Faction Ammo Trading

If you're just getting started in the buying and selling of items in stations, I've found a good starter item: Caldari Navy blaster ammo charges, small size.  Fly your trader to Jita and find, just to pick one of the 8 or so flavors, "Caldari Navy Thorium Charge S". Now, at the top of the screen you'll see the category in which this items falls. Right click on the word "Small", the last "sub-folder" and, hey look at that! A super useful feature CCP has buried with no visual indication that it is there! Click the "Browse to category" menu command and the left side of your market window will navigate to the folder where all the Cal Navy small blaster charges live.

Click each one and notice all the sell orders average around 500 ISK per bullet, and the buy orders average around 300 ISK per bullet. I've been trading them for a while and these numbers haven't moved, so I feel confident recommending this category as a good starting point. Set up buy orders for a few of the different ammo types, say 10,000 rounds to start with, then sell what you've bought on sell orders; easy-peasy :)

There are occasional spikes and dips in all these flavors. If you can buy and hold, acquire as much as you can of any type when the price is under 300 ISK (some are, right now, close to 200 ISK). When supplies dry up, sellers can achieve around 900 ISK per bullet. Antimatter is the most popular and thus the most stable; I'd avoid it.

Interestingly, even though Federation Navy small charges are functionally identical, there is much less trade in them at Jita, since they are "Gallente" and thus tainted with frog poo.

The nice feature of it is that all the different flavors of ammo cost the same amount to make, so you only need to remember one price range: 300-500 ISK.

Public Contracts and Region-Wide Buy Orders

I have been buying five different items on region wide buy orders, items with a good margin between the Essence (link to region map) region-wide buy order and a Jita sell order. i.e I buy a thing for 1.5M and sell it at Jita for 3M. The hard part is taking the time to pick the items up from the random places I bought them, getting them into decent sized piles and getting them to market.

I was going to create a new alt to use as a high-sec hauler, picking up items I buy and collecting them together for me, in preparation for shipping to Jita. But I've found that public contracts get the job done very quickly and at reasonable cost. I offer 25K to move stuff within a system, and 50-100K per jump between systems. These prices are fine for highsec-only travel; you have to offer more for trips that pass through lowsec, hence my problem with the highsec islands of Allebin and Drosselory.

The items tend to cluster around four main systems: Arnon, Charmerout, Oursulaert and Villore. So I'm using those as staging areas and made the following list of systems that are close to each hub.

Public Contracts for Rat Loot
Jumps to Jita - Collection Point - Systems encompassed
15 - Villore (move stuff to VII-7) : allamotte,pemene,derrintel,mesybier,cat,arant,ommare,vale: atlangeins (3)
12 - charmerout:noghere,yona,jolevier,adrel,
16 - arnon: laurvier,ignebaener
13 - oursulaert:renyn,algogille, duripant, mies,luminaire,synchelle, couster (four jumps from oursu, but whatevs),wysalan (3),

Problems: Allebin,Drosselory (high sec islands), Lisbaetanne (near Arnon, low sec)

You may find a similar arrangement works in your neck of the space-woods: give it a try!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Everythings Coming Up Iskies

From flickr user Jeff Babbitt

The past few days have been pretty action packed for me! There was a grand fight (two capitals were lost, 5 Archons dropped in at one point) in Abune during which I lost my Exequror; I'd burned moved away from the gate and when the order came to crash the gate I was a bit slow in following it. Being the last one on field the guys from Templis and Overload Everything finished me off. BUT that was just the start of the fun! One of our scouts kept eyes on the gate and reported the victors left the field and didn't take the loot...there was loads of great loot just floating around!

I jumped in my travel-fit Imicus and while our mostly Irish gang (God, those guys are fun :) !) were talking about the capital wrecks I grabbed 50M ISK of stuff from the wrecks nearest the gate. I flew back to Fliet and dropped it off. Comms reported visitors from The Irukandji had come to loot too so I jumped into an Atron (our cheap 1.5M Rinzler fit) and headed out to drive them off. We succeeded in doing so and the looting continued: I put 25M ISK of stuff in my Atron and went back to Fliet. I grabbed my Imicus again and put another expanded cargohold in the lows, returned to Abune and grabbed another 30M of loot and drones. I even had a chance to salvage an elite wreck for a bonus 4M ISK of goodies.

That was my first time being in a rich, juicy loot field with good protection and every expectation that we'd clear the field. It felt very satisfying; I hope you get the chance to do it too!

The next night Aideron joined a Galmil fleet which flew out to Nennamalia for a POCO defense; we fought a huge Eagle-based fleet on a gate and , unfortunately, we lost. But I got on 4 Gila kills (1.6B total) with my Vexor Navy Issue, and survived the fight. I think my name being further down the alphabet (so-called "name tanking") has really helped me survive more than my fair share of fights.

And that brings me to last night, when I did a bit of everything and had everything go right. It was quiet on the fleet front, so I did a bit of exploration. I found a relic site in Abune and the first can had 8M ISK of T2 salvage. The rest of the site was not so juicy, but I still got 10M of loot. I had d-scanned Fliet on the way out and saw a lot of T2 drones floating in space so I decided to go and rescue them. I used the new Sisters probe I'd bought to go with the 8 combat scanners I'd looted from the Abune fight and in about 10 minutes I'd picked up 20M ISK worth of drones; most of them were in one cluster, which made it easy. See this video which explains how, if you'd like to try. I really recommend it as an activity for new pilots: you learn d-scan and probing skills and make a good amount of ISK (for a newbie, of course :) )

A friendly fleet entered Fliet while I was taking care of some industrial stuff, so I joined them as they rushed into a FW plex to take on five Punishers and 3 Navitases. We lost three (four?) ships during this encounter, but my name-tank held and I flew through the fight without a scratch. I helped take out all the ships except one. Watching the video I can see a couple of mistakes, though...I didn't have all my weapons running when they could have been. My default orbit was set to 25km instead of 500m...maybe that helped keep me alive?


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Industry: The new UI is nice but is missing a critical piece of information. I'd like to be able to see how many science and manufacturing jobs I can run WITHOUT having to either go to the jobs tab and count the existing jobs OR pick a blueprint and select manufacturing/science-jobs to see the jobs counter display. It's the first thing I consider when deciding what industry stuff to do; what CAN I do right now? All that black space you see when you launch the industry screen is just wasted.

I'm still supplying the corp with ships; the best seller is the aforementioned Rinzler, which I sell in two-packs for 3M ISK. The process of fitting and contracting them has way too many clicks, and I hope CCP revises this soon. The "Copy Contract" function won't work for me; it doesn't recognize that the contract is for a fitted ship, and it will just try and grab a hull and loose modules to assemble. Here's a simple thing they could do (CCP Karkur!) - a bulk ship naming function would be great. Let me select several ships and give them all the same name. Maybe also add a checkbox to the fitting window that, when checked, will rename the ship to the