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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Well, that was less then exciting.

Hulkageddon IV has come and gone. The area of Essence that I work had Sardaukar Merc Guild flying around all over the place. They were mostly in cheap fit Catalysts. They had some success against noobs but I never saw them except in local. I still took care of my 6 planet production network. I still ran my recycling operations. I still visited all of my R&D agents and sold my datacores in Oursulaert. I still made over 100M ISK profit these last 9 days. Was this Hulkageddon supposed to slow me down? It sure as heck didn't make me quake in fear.

I did get the chance to take my Ishkur, June Bug, out most nights and try to catch Sardaukar members as they ran from one system to the next. It was damn hard work. They never hung around long enough to get eyeballs on them let alone a target lock. I did manage to get Saggy Ballz targeted before Concord got him. That was 15 seconds of fun! Too bad he was way out of range of my guns. *LOL*

[ 2011.02.20 05:39:38 ] (notify) Saggy Ballz, Criminals are not welcome here. Leave now or be destroyed.
[ 2011.02.20 05:39:50 ] (combat) Your group of Light Ion Blaster II misses Saggy Ballz,3XXXD](Catalyst) completely.
[ 2011.02.20 05:39:51 ] (notify) You have started trying to warp scramble Saggy Ballz,3XXXD](Catalyst).
[ 2011.02.20 05:39:51 ] (notify) Gallente Police Captain(Gallente Police Captain) has started trying to warp scramble "Saggy Ballz,3XXXD](Catalyst)"
[ 2011.02.20 05:39:52 ] (notify) Light Ion Blaster II deactivates as Team Jacob begins to explode.
[ 2011.02.20 05:39:53 ] (notify) CONCORD Police Captain(CONCORD Police Captain) has started trying to warp scramble "Saggy Ballz,3XXXD](Catalyst)"
[ 2011.02.20 05:39:53 ] (notify) Small 'Knave' I Energy Drain deactivates as Team Jacob begins to explode.

That was it. So much for Hulkageddon IV. Their kill board claims to have destroyed 3549 ships and done 217.3B ISK in damage. That was 2173 times my profit during the period. I know there are way better industrialist than me out there. I imagine together we made at least 2173 times the Hulkageddoner's damage total. 

Life goes on. This'll be a distant memory after I finish my next Jita run: barely a ripple in my daily toils.

Fly careful.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The easy way to realize a 50% gross profit margin.

Carebears make money the old fashioned way: we toil and sweat and fly all over EVE mining, manufacturing and making deals in the hope that with all said and done we realize a profit. Mining is a relatively straight forward way to make money. I think everyone gets how to do it. Manufacturing is a little less straight forward but is not much more difficult than mining.

Then there is trading or, in the parlance of big money, the art of making the deal. The economy in EVE is very robust. You can trade in commodities: buy ore low and sell it high. You can be a distributor, the much maligned middleman, and buy ship and station parts cheap in High-Sec and sell them for a tidy profit in Low-Sec or even Null-Sec if you have access.

Then there is the garbage business. Picking up other people's trash and removing it from their sight. Now, EVE is a very progressive place. There are few junk yards and no land fills that I know about. So what does this have to do with making a 50% margin you ask? The name of the game is recycling!

Just as every circuit board has a treasure in rare metals encased within, every component in EVE has a wealth of ore. The trick is to decide what is more valuable recycled than not. The first task is to decide on an item to test. It is not so hard to do. Think of an item that is extremely common. It should be Tech I. It should be rat loot. It should be everywhere. Hmmmm, microwarp drives and afterburners come to mind!

Now you just have to decide which one to use. You may need to buy one of each for this next step (or use an offline tool, perhaps I'll cover those in another post.) Once you have one of each, right click on it and select "Reprocess." That will tell you how much of each type of ore you will get from the item when recycled. Lookup the going price for the ore types listed and do the math (again, an offline tool is most helpful in this.) That will tell you approximately how much you can get from recycling the item and selling the ore. Don't forget there will be tax deducted on the sell and ore taken by the reprocessing plant!

Next, look at the market for that device. Compare the highest "buy" price to the recycle value you just determined. If the highest buy price is a lot less than the recycle price you have a winner! Setup a buy order (there will be a broker's fee involved which adds to your overhead!) and do a test. I typically run a test for 24 hours. This will give you a real market test for your projected recycle endeavor. Sometimes the item isn't as common as you think. Sometimes sellers aren't interested because someone undercut your price. Be savvy, take all those things into account and set a high enough buy price to attract sellers. Remember, the sweetest honey attracts the most bears.

Once you have your items, reprocess them. Make sure you do it in a station where you have high standing so as to minimize how much they take. Also, having good refining skill will reduce the amount you lose. Every single cubic meter matters so minimize it all the best extent you can.

You'll be surprised how easy it is to make money and you don't even have to sit there minding your barge to do it. The market is automatic. The most work you'll need to do is perhaps hauling your recycle stock to another station for a better reprocessing deal. Here is the result of an MWD test I conducted to illustrate my point. Oh yeah, being at a market hub ensures large enough volumes that it won't take forever to realize a profit.

Fly careful!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It figures.

So here I am, sitting in a hotel because of RL job needs, with a fast broadband connection and time to burn and...


This slight outburst brought to you by boredom. Compared to this, mining Veldspar in High-Sec is a veritable party.

UPDATE: Turned out it was a network disconnect on Verizon Wireless' part. The trace route got to Seattle and then just disappeared. I disconnected and then reconnected and everything seems fine. Go Verizon Wireless you nut bags!

Monday, February 21, 2011

To whom should CCP dedicate their resources?

I've been around long enough to "hear" a lot of players smack talk CCP about not doing this or not addressing that. One on going whine-fest concerns lag. Another has been Incursion because it caters to PvE players and not the "elite" PvP crowd. Obviously since I put "elite" in quotes I have an opinion about that but I'll need blog material later. I'll just set that aside for now.

When I think about where I should allocate my resources I always look to satisfy the most people I can. I know I can't satisfy everyone. That is impossible. However, I'd like to at least hit 80%. That's a good mark to aim for IMO.

So the quarterly financial statement came out and in it was a figure that caught my eye. It said 86% of players inhabit High-Sec. Really!? That surprised me. From everything I'd read on the forums and in EVE blogs I figured over 50% of all players were in Null-Sec. Of course, the first explanation that hit my brain concerning this discrepancy was the thought that all Null-Sec players have alts and usually on second accounts. So I pulled out my trusty 'droid calculator and crunched some simple numbers.

If there are 500k players in EVE, then 70k (14%) live in Null-Sec. If they each had a second account then they could have as many as 210k alts in High-Sec. If they also threw in the 2 extra alts on their main account that would be another 140k alts in High-Sec. That means of the 430k players in High-Sec 350k are Null-Sec alts. Is that likely? No way. Let's be real, how many alts does it take to support a Null-Sec life style. From the blogs I've read, no more than 2. So, if each of the 70k Null-sec players had 2 High-Sec alts, that leaves 360k High-Sec players. That's more than 50% of the total number of players: mains, alts and all.

Now, this is s simplistic way of looking at it in the extreme. It does not take into account the plethora of robo-miners and robo-ratters infesting Null-Sec. It does not address Low-Sec space. It doesn't even touch W-Space. It's just a mental exercise to confirm in my mind that, regardless of what logical or even semi-logical assumptions you make about Null-Sec alts, there are more Carebears and PvE players in EVE than not. Mayhap I'll gather more detailed data and run some real numbers but that too would be for another post.

So what's my conclusion after this bit of mental juggling? If I were CCP, I'd keep working on exactly what they're working on and not cave to the squeaky jump drives. That's where the most bang for development ISK lays, not in reducing lag so all 70k Null-Sec'rs can pew-pew themselves to death.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's a start.

After nearly three years of being a Carebear (and proudly so!) I have my first kill. I did no damage. Hell, I barely had time to target, scram, web and get a nos on him. Concord did the rest. Still, it got me a kill mail and it got me on Griefergeddon's kill board. Five points, WOOT! Unfortunately the miscreant took out the Retriever he was after before he popped. Still, it's better than nothing.

Fly careful!