Monday, October 13, 2014

High-Stakes Roaming in Brutix Navy Issues

French vs British at the Battle of the Chesapeake

We've been trying to get enough qualified pilots to field a Brutix Navy Issue fleet and last night we finally got the numbers.  We took out our BNIs, supported by Oneiros and Exeqs for reps, plus scouts and a smidgeon of other support roles. I think it's the most expensive roaming fleet I've ever been in, pound for pound, and there were some jitters at first. But we worked them out and went out looking for a fight.

We ran into a nice Templis CALSF gate camp in Heydieles, this Gila, Hyena and a couple of Caracals. It was very satisfying to take out that Gila at range. After docking up in Fliet we heard that some GalMil allies had found an Orca on a gate in Indregulle. We jumped into our disposable Catalysts and went to help kill it. It turned to be a bait Orca, equipped with a cyno generator! He jumped in a fleet of mainly Proteus ships, but it was too late, and their numbers too low. We killed the 700M ISK Orca, losing our disposable Catalysts -- an acceptable trade :)

We re-shipped into our BNIs, hoping to catch the Proteus's and their support ships. As we undocked, though, there were two ships watching us.  One was an Orthrus, a very juicy cruiser. Our FC had us all overheat guns and lock/fire at the same time, hoping to blap him before he could warp *almost* worked! He was in low structure when he finally managed to warp out.

Our BNIs arrived at Indregulle just in time to see the last Proteus warp away, so we didn't get a fight there. We headed back to Fliet with lots of happy discussion on the night's events, when someone found a Harbinger that had been around our area for a few days making life hard for our smaller ships. We sent in a reasonable force to engage him and point him, then jumped in our hungry BNIs to finish him off.

After that, we DEFINITELY docked up the BNIs, imagining that we'd be hot-dropped if we stayed out any longer.

That was a really fun night of Eve, with one fight flowing into the next, and quick re-ships.

Sadly I didn't get any video because my recording software had an identity crisis.


In trade news, I managed to nurse my buy/sell orders for most of the day at Jita; I was curious to see if would make a difference in the volume of trade I did. It did so, but unfortunately not in anything very valuable: apparel/tattoos/cybernetic arms continue to be pretty elusive. But I bought and sold a lot of other stuff and got good deals on the PI inputs I need, a lot of equipment I use to build ships for the corp.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Our awesome Battalysts in action. This is one of the ships I build for the corp. Thanks to Keewee for coming up with the fit and this video!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Making a killing on Meta 4 mining laser upgrades

From flickr user Psycho Al

I had a lot of fun doing these trades, and it's going to be more fun to share it!

I've mentioned this item, the mighty Aeode Mining Laser Upgrade, a few times in the past, but I got recently got lucky and acquired three of them, for 500M each just as the sellers market dried up. So I was holding three valuable items and nobody else was selling. What should I do?

Jack up the price!

The sales history showed it had never sold for more than 800M, not in the past six months anyway. I decided to try for a 1B isk sale, after taxes. I needed to sell for a little more than 1B to pay the sales tax and broker fees, so here's my first listing. I put two separate orders up to give the illusion that two different sellers were doing this. Notice the orders are a few hours apart to add to this impression.

Partial success! Another seller appears, reinforcing this as the new price for this item.

I don't have a screenshot of my next step, but here's what happened. The other seller made his sale, leaving me with 2 orders still up and still no competition from other sellers.  I decided to raise the stakes and raise ONE of my order's price to 1.5B. That would make the 1B isk item look cheap by comparison.

And it works! I make my first 1B+ sale, netting about 500M profit.

 The buyer immediately relists for 1.5B. If he had checked the sales history he'd have seen the item has never sold that high, and only just start selling at 1B in the last couple of days. He should have smelled a rat.  I list another Aeode that I'd picked up from my buy order at the new 1.5B mark, just in case someone actually is willing to pay that much.

It doesn't happen, sadly, but in the next few days as more sellers enter the market and the price drops back to 1B, I get a pleasant suprise.

A buyer pays me 1B isk for this item, then sells it back to my buy order 1 minute later! 500M profit and I still own the item, ready to sell it again!

Since the events shown here the price has drifted back down to about 590M on the sell, while the buy is still at 500M. What worries me most is that with the ongoing module tiericide that CCP is doing, this module may disappear or get nerfed, so I'm selling my remaining stock.

But this was a fun, fun few days of station trading!

Market Manipulation

A couple of months ago I indulged in a little market manipulation. It stemmed from a need my corp had: we were producing a wave of cheap hull-tanked Catalysts to help in our conquest of the entire Gallente/Caldari warzone.  The key ingredient was the Small Transverse Bulkhead I rig, which, despite only costing 100K ISK to make,  cost about 500K at all the major trade hubs, thus making the ship more expensive than we'd like.

I offered to make them at cost for the corp, a nice way to help Aideron out after all the enjoyment and free jump freighter services I've been given. I bought 10 BPOs, bought the materials started churning out about 400-800 a day.

Why so many? I wanted to also see if I could reduce the price at Jita, and perhaps at the other trade hubs, although I wouldn't go to those directly. It's a really useful rig and hull-tanking is the flavor of the month, so I'd like to see if I can push the price down and get the existing sell orders, and new sell orders to come down to my level.

If I make my sell orders too cheap, and too small in number then people will just buy them and re-sell them at the prevailing higher price. My sell orders need to be too big to ignore and too big to casually buy out.

On the first day at Jita, with my 400 rigs in hand I'm looking at the market. There are two sell orders of 500-600 rigs each at 394K and several buy orders offering about 200K each for 100 or so rigs.  I decide to put up a few sell orders at 225-250K to see what happens. They're snapped up immediately...nice for my wallet, but I need the orders to stay around.

The next day I start higher, listing my rigs at 350K. One of the other big sell orders comes down from 394K to beat my one! The market is moving!  I add more sell orders at 299 and 259, and also fill the the buy orders that were offering 200K. I add a buy order of my own at 100K. I'm trying to create the perception that the rig wants to cost between 100 and 200K, not 200-400K as it was.

Dawn comes and I list 160 rigs at under 179K. By this time, other sellers have been joining me at these levels. zKillboard lists the average market price at 299K. That evening I post another batch of 200 rigs at 138K...there are two good sell orders at 169K. I fill the remaining buy orders and, just to see what happens, put up a buy order for 200 rigs at 75K -- well below the cost of making them.

A wild large order appears, right where I want it.

Then the whale arrives.  Somebody lists over 4500 rigs at 138,599 ISK.  That's a huge order and if it doesn't move, that will lock the market down for a long time. Perhaps the drop in price worries them and they just want to get their stock's still a 30% profit, after all. zKillboard reports the average price of the rig, not surprisingly, as 138K.

Trying to keep the market low

Interestingly, this is only happening at Jita. The Rens/Hek/Dodixie markets are staying at 300-400K. I'm surprised that no enterprising space trucker hasn't bought our Jita stock and flown it to the other hubs yet.

I think that's what victory in market PvP looks like, though it is much easier to drive the price of an item down than up.

September 3rd
We don't need the price of this item to stay low any more, so I'm going to stop pushing it down. I'm curious to see if it will go back up again. If I stop undercutting that huge order (now around 2800 units) he may feel its safe to raise his price, which should drag the market back up again.

September 9th
After a few days of not forcing the price down, it has returned to the 500-550K mark. My hopes of getting rich quickly have faded, however, since the rig is selling quite slowly. C'mon people, hull-tanks! HULL TANKS!

September 19th 
Competition on this item has been fierce and the price got pushed down rather quickly. We're at 229K, but since Sept 9th I've sold 795 of them at Jita for a total of 318.9M, yielding a profit of 239M. I'm continuing to sell these to corp-mates in Fliet on contracts for 110K each, in sets of 30.

September 29th
In the last week the price has kept swinging between 225 and 550K. It started with a surprise overnight buyout that cleared out all the available stock under 500K, leaving me with a smile and a steady stream of high profit sales. But the price has been gradually pushed down to a mere 220K. That's still a 100% profit, though, which I'm happy to take any day, especially when I can so easily obtain the ingredients to build the item at Jita. The extra cost for building there is only about 10K per item.

October 9th
The price has stayed low and seems like to stay there. You can continue to track the price here, if you're interested.

Monday, October 6, 2014

How not to fly a brawling Vexor

We got into a rather fun fight in Akidagi last night, with Templis CALSF. I died just as we were breaking their tank and taking control of the fight, so here's a look at the first half. It was really exciting, high pressure stuff! Our logi said several of them finished in low structure.

But I made a lot of mistakes; I pointed out a couple in the video subtitles but I've been shown a couple more by our CEO. So in the interest of educating brawling Vexor pilots, here's what I have to work on.

Our Vexors' main drone flight is 2 Ogre IIs, 2 Hammerhead II and 1 Hobgoblin II. Mine also had a Minmatar jam fitted.  Ideally I should have launched drones on landing (waiting till the warp-in was completed!), and tried to jam a Minmatar target. Scythe would have been best, but the Sleipnir I eventually picked was good too. I'm not quick about recognizing the race of ships above cruiser.

Secondly, I spend a lot of time trying to fly to the primary targets as they are called. This is not how I should be flying. My drones should be sent to the primary, but I should have picked my own target to orbit at 500 and hit them with my guns, scram and web. Ideally, make sure nobody else is doing the same to your target, so you're keeping as many enemy ships pointed as possible.  I've heard our FCs give these instructions dozens of times, but I didn't properly absorb the lesson.

(Update: Or not. Sometimes it is better to fly to the primary, MWD on, and burn through it. When the "spread points" command is given, that's when we start looking for other targets to lock down.)

By not noticing my drones hadn't launched, and spending a long time not firing my guns, I missed out on applying a lot of damage.

Lastly, I should have broadcast for reps when all those yellow boxes appeared. I did notice it happening, but I didn't want to distract our logi squad from the repping they were already doing. They said afterwards, just broadcast and we'll get to you if we can. At the very least they'd have time to have me locked up and ready to send reps when the damage started landing.

And on the killmail-whoring side, I had the Loki targeted for the whole time and didn't actually do anything to him! So I missed out on that 200M+ ISK killmail, not that it matters.


On the other side of the game I'm continuing to build Catalysts, Comets, Enyos and Atrons for the corp. My pet wish is that CCP add a "rename your ship to match the fitting name" in the fitting window, so each ship automatically gets renamed. I've already sent it up the usual flagpoles and I hope CCP Punkturis sees it sometime soon - it seems like an easy change and a good time saver.

My PI operations have slowed down, but I'm still acquiring the P3 inputs I need when the prices are low, then building the P4 outputs, then selling them when P4 prices are high. I'm sitting on a good cash buffer, so I don't need to chase PI quite so hard any more.

I just completed Gallente Cruiser V, so I'm a short train or two away from the Proteus (FW missions!) and Ishtar (kill all the things!).