Friday, April 29, 2016

The Citadel Age Begins

Monty Python's "Money" song - video

I thought it was worth doing a quick update to let you know how sales are going, since I've been banging on about this damn PI stockpile for a while now. The short version is...pretty good! I was hoping for all six products to see soaring prices in a buying frenzy reminiscent of feeding time in the shark pool, but that didn't happen. Still, the prices are mostly at, or slightly above, the price points I wanted.

I'm selling Nano-Factories and Sterile Conduits for about 2M isk and Broadcast Nodes for 4.5 - 5M. I haven't really touched my Wetware stock or Integrity Response Drones yet. I've sold, in total, about 1/3rd of the stock I produced for the Citadel launch.  I think prices will hold steady, as the buy orders are pretty healthy for these items, so these levels may be the "new normal". I'll make a nice profit even at these levels, but I'm counting on spikes, the way Broadcast Nodes hit almost 5M yesterday, to sell into.

I also fat-fingered one order and sold 250 Nano Factories for 199K isk, losing 450M isk. Ah well - coulda been worse; I'd considered selling 500 in that order!

The new tax regime CCP has imposed on all NPC stations really hits you when you look at Jump Freighter trading. What was 200M in fees/taxes has become 400M in fees. The buy/sell spread on all four freighters has now moved at least that far apart. I'm actively trying to buy them again, because the spreads are up to 800M now. I'm still buying plex too; I got one for 900M yesterday and will keep picking up one a week, as my dollar/isk-cost-averaging plan suggests.

It will be interesting to see if much trade moves to citadels near Jita. They take at least five days to come online, so the first ones are no doubt cooking right now. Personally I'm not planning to move. Citadels can be attacked and the recovery of your stuff depends on someone putting up another Citadel in the same system, or waiting twenty days for it to go to another NPC station, at which point you have to pay 15% of the value of the goods to get them back. I've got ninety-thousand pounds in my pajamas, I 've got forty thousand French francs in my fridge and I've got 65B ISK of stuff in my Trade container. I'm not keen to pay 9B to get it back.  I don't mind knocking 3% off my profits to keep it guaranteed safe, or even 5% when CCP get around to pushing it up to that level.

After I've sold this pile off I'm going to revamp my PI operation to be less...intense. A friend has a PI wormhole and I'll move my PI alt there to make whatever he can from scratch. All locally sourced, no more 0.01'ing buy orders at Jita for me, at least not for PI materials. I'll do the same on my main too, since his PI skills are high enough that it's worth continuing, albeit at a slower pace.

I'm preparing a few fit ships that are ready to go into various PvE activities, the kind of sites we get in our local area. Besieged Covert facilities, 3, 4 and 5/10 Serpentis DED sites and maybe C1/C2 wormholes.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It Begins!

Trade - PI

Well, I'm excited!

I logged in a few nights ago and some had bought ALL the Broadcast Nodes on the market. They usually sell for ~2.5M each, but this deep-pocketed individual bought the lot and  listed them all at 9.75M. I quickly put a few hundred up for 8.7M and started checking the other P4 products. I assumed other sellers would quickly list theirs too, the question was how far down would the price go? (Note to the deep-pocketed guy; it's hard to corner the market - you can't do it with an item that people create by the thousands every day)

As you can see from the sales below several other P4 items had decent price spikes too and I managed to sell a few.  They have all settled down somewhat today, but my aim/hope of getting 3M each for the "big" P4s and 2M for the "little" P4s seems achievable.

A day or two after writing this part of the blog, the prices spiked again. I sold more Wetwares for 4.9M, Sterile Conduits for 1.9M, Broadcast Nodes for 4.9M and 3.8M. Prices continued to fall; at time of writing they're above their pre-spike prices. Power Cores and Integrity Response Drones haven't spiked at all yet, which is interesting. I've sold about 1000 P4s at most and still have about 13,000 to go -- I'm definitely betting that prices will increase after the Citadel launch.  If I'm wrong about that, well, I'm pretty certain prices won't be lower than they were before so I should be able to at least break even.

The market for P4s is an interesting place. You're betting on interacting human psychology, between sellers who make them and buyers who want to build Citadels and other stuff. Will buyers who want to build Citadels jump in now and buy what they need because they think the price will go up later? Or will they think that sellers will flood the market and push the price down, and be content to wait a while? And will sellers put their goods up for sale now to make a quick sale, or wait for eager hordes of Citadel constructors to beat a path to Jita after April 27th?  And, of course, they're thinking about what other people like themselves are doing too: buyers thinking about other buyers, and sellers thinking about other sellers, and trying to get the best deal by outsmarting everyone else involved.

I have listed a few hundred for sale at quite high prices in each of the products I have. If there's another surprise buying spree, I'll make the sale and be happy with those profits.

Turning to Jump Freighters, Nomad and Rheas have had a good price spread recently and I flipped a couple for 400-600M profit each time. However the gaps have all closed and they're not worth trading at the moment. 

My investment in plex isn't working out at the moment; I have about 35 of them, purchased at regular intervals during the long slide down from 1.2B to just under a billion now. I'll just consider it a long-term bet; when they next spike up I'll sell a few, but I'm going to keep buying.

My total value, cash, escrow and goods is sitting around 180B right now.

Trade - Rat Loot

One consequence of the recent module tiericide is that two of my best trades are dead: I used to buy Faint Epsilons and Phased Muons, which are dropped by our local rats, for about 1.3M-1.5M each. I'd use public contracts to move them into decent sized piles, with other stuff, and ship them to Jita where I'd sell them for 3M or higher, during spikes. Imperial Navy Major Insignia I tags were also really good, buying for about 1M in my home region and selling for over 2M at Jita. I'd throw in low-ball buy orders on meta 4 jammers (BZ-5, Enfeebling etc) and between them I'd get some very good profits.

Tiericide made the modules worth very little, and the price of that tag has dropped a lot. I'll keep looking for something else to trade, but there doesn't seem to be much profit in buying pirate loot in region-wide buy orders and shipping it to Jita any more. I tried doing this for the various Disruption Field Generators that our rats now drop, but the price spread is not great and they're 50 expensive-to-ship cubic meters each, versus of the tiny tags. I'll keep checking, though, especially for opportunities in tags.


We got into a doozy of a fight last week, teaming up with a GalMil/CalMil fleet to take out two Archons, two Vindicators and a Bhaalgorn. My killboard got 7B of green on it! 

I got an escalation to a 5 of 10 difficult Serpentis site, the Hydroponics Corp. It was too far away for me, so I gave the site to a corpmate of mine. Thus began his six (?) hour saga. It cost him a Stratios and a shitload of travel time, leaving and entering the site, which was 140AU from the gate, as he tried different tactics to handle the final room. Eventually he upgraded to a Dominix and succeeded in clearing the final room. The loot fairy was kind and he made enough to cover the cost of his Stratios, but I think he's swearing off PvE for a while!


I'm building some T1 rigs again; I might as well name them here and see if that affects the market :) Small Particle Dispersion Projectors cost 19K to make and sell for 120K. My old favorite, Small Transverse Bulkheads cost about 150k and sell for 220k, which isn't a huge profit, but they sell fast.

I did quite a bit of Project Discovery - enough to get the SoE combat suit for my two main characters. I'm really glad they added this to the game and I hope the results we give them are considered good. The interface is a bit annoying and the tutorial has some problems, but I believe they're working on revising both those things.

I had loaned 5B isk to a corpmate who wanted to set up a PI operation. He'd borrowed money from other friends before and paid it back, so myself and a few others pitched up to help him out again. He made monthly payments, then paid back the principal after just a couple of months. If you can find someone to help out, and you trust them, do it! And if you want to build up trust from people you intend to scam later, smart small and work up to the big con! :)

Lastly, I was very pleased to get an in-game email from someone telling me that they really like this blog and that the ideas I share here are valuable to them. It's always nice to get confirmation that you're helping people get into Eve.