Monday, 22 December 2008

Great weekend profits

Very happy this weekend, started selling a new line in starships - and said ships are selling very well indeed - to tune of over 1 ship an hour. This is good because due to a lack of said ships on market, its a raw 300K ISK profit per ship.

The good and bad news is one of the corporations founding members, David decided to quit playing for the next few months. He donated his wallet to the corporation in a great "have my stuff" moment. We'll invest it, and when he chooses to return we'll return the cash from industrial funds. Because of this as of yesterday afternoon, corporation wallet had around 170mln ISK available. Thats on top of the 180mln ISK worth of goods I've currently got on the market (Jax likely has similar)!

To recap this year so far:
September: Corporation started around this time and was initially funded exclusively by myself (Deafplasma). All available funds not going into my characters development, but into buying and researching blueprints for future use. Market trading started in earnest, buying low, selling high... Some bad decisions made until we got better at only buying profitable/useful BPO's for tech 1 manufacturing. Jax and Senx joined corporation.

October: Corporation in growth phase - total funds under 100Mln. I go on holiday and return to find 70mln worth of items sold on market in under 2 weeks.

November: One expensive blueprint purchased back in late September and researched REALLY starts to pay, to tune of 500-700k ISK per item sold. Total funds and buy orders > 100Mln

December (now): Total corporation worth - probably over 500mln isk total (in funds tied up on mkt, in the corp mineral stash and 170mln of on-hand cash). Blueprints in corp hanger are definitely worth over 400mln ISK also. We're also sitting on a huge pile of salvage... worth hundreds and hundreds of millions - to be used by corporation to make cargohold rigs for use on our Itty V haulers initially.

Now, in the Janurary timeframe I feel we'll be ready for new-ish players to join and learn with us I would say - I'll be chatting with Jax as to the framework for this tonight, but basic requirements are 1.5-5mln skillpoints - a full paid acct(no trials), an interest in industry or pure combat (mission running right now, but pvp later). Voice essential - we typcially use eve-voice, mainly because its built-in... (and as we ain't doing pvp the risks of using EV are minimal). We play UK timezone, and play evenings mainly (9pm evetime onwards), so if you will be interested in joining us - let me know via evemail or comment.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Industry update

Well, its been almost a week, so I thought I'd give an update on trading situation:

1/ Tritanium is increasing still. 3.87 was the last big buy order I got filled. Considering Trit was under 3.0 last year, this is massive inflation.

2/ High-end minerals are continuing to fall. Zydrine/Megacyte orders get filled quickly typically and our stockpile of these is reasonably large still. Still having issues getting Mexallon orders filled in a timely manner.

3/ Mineral stockpile stands at very high levels. I don't think I can complain when the manufacturing hanger has > 11 mln Pyerite (from a all-time high of > 14).

In blueprint news:
We went shopping, and spent > 90mln on new blueprints on Sunday. Some aimed at T2 production, some aimed at profit. Profit margins on some of the items are > 100%, and this is for tech 1 stuff that sells reguarly. We actually ran out of BPO's needing ME research believe it or not on Saturday...

We plan another blueprint shopping spree on Sunday I think - a trip down to amarr space for more T1 item bpo's.

Oh, and around 150mln on market for sale from my personal characters on Sunday too :) Total sale-orders = > 200mln now. When this was 100mln a month ago, I'm still happy with the approx 100% month on month growth rate. Also am using less sales-slots to accomodate this than I was last month too..

A question - are there any good transation/journal API applications that allow us to monitor sales volumes/growth corp wide easily? Or will I need to cut my own?? This is because I want to monitor on a per-corp member basis their contribution to the corp (this is ahead of a recruitment drive planned for new year to add 2-3 industry folks to the corp).

Thursday, 18 December 2008

7 facts meme

I've been tagged by Karox Lomax So its time to do a response.

Now, unfortunatly I can't find anyone EVE related to tag - so I'm calling end to this, as tagging someone twice would be plain stupid and make this continue ad-infinitum, and result in an ever-increasing volume of facts to fill.....

Some facts about me:

1. I'm a bit of a jet-setter most years, typically travelling a lot with work (3 months a year on road is common), and also a lot personally - although this year work wise has been quiet with visits only to Sweden & Italy, and only 2 weeks out of office. Personally this year, its been UK (a massive road-trip over 2 1/2 weeks) & Germany... Next year however, places the work project plan could take me to include - Colombia, Argentina, USA (Vegas, LA, and Nashville), Sweden(again), Denmark, China.. lets hope I get to visit a few more places.

2. I have an interesting-ish job IRL - I security test applications for the banking & insurance industry as well as being responsible for making security architecture decisions. Unforuntatly this does not mean I can scrape 0.00001p off every transaction or similar, but it does mean I'm responsible for finding cases where this kind of thing is possible. Most days I'm on phone to China in morning, and USA/South America in afternoon - as spend more time working with the non-UK sites.

3. I love beer - real ale in particular. I brew my own ale (from kits right now, as doing it from raw hops is a horrible smell). One batch of my homebrew once resulted in one of my friends being barred from drinking it again by his wife, as it was the "1st time he'd ever been even mildly drunk".

4. I live in the county of suffolk, UK - notable nearby residents include : Delia Smith. The excellent, but sadly deceased John Peel also was local.

5. I have cooked for Delia Smith on more than one occasion - she was a regular visitor to the Fish and Chip shop in which I worked as a chip/fish fryer from the age of 14-17 (prior to University) and came in at least once a month, if not more frequently.

6. I went to school with an stage star in London/Broadway... didn't really know her, but she was the one a lot of the guys in my year fancied. Link - Kerry Ellis

7. I love gadgets, and according to my girlfriend spend far too much money on technology related purchases every year (and she believes far to little on clothes etc)...

I hope people enjoyed this post, and found a little more about me.

Oh, I also didn't mention, I have another proper published blog (by a REAL publisher) over at Itpro magazine, that I'd appreciate all you EVE folks linking to and commenting on if you enjoy.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Music to listen to while playing EVE

While playing EVE I tend to listen to music... I'm sure I'm not unusal in that regard.

The main music I listen to is either Eve-Radio (Check the schedule, and tune in for DJ Ion and also for Funkybacon - both I enjoy a lot), or my own MP3 collection. Unless ER are playing music I positively hate I will have that on in the background. Some of their DJ's I enjoy, some I can't stand..

Other "Free music" I have found recently is the Above and Beyond - free podcast. Its's called Trance around the World and is in the iTunes podcast selection. 2 Hours a week of the latest music for all around the world. Well, dance music anyhow. I've been enjoying this more than any other podcast recently, and cannot reccomend it enough. Above and Beyond are 2 of the hottest DJ's/producers in the music industry and I really like their style - its less bang bang bang music (can't stand hardcore), and more chilled beats... I can't wait for the release of the new podcast every week.

Below is a selection of tunes that are seem to fit that I enjoy listening to when playing Eve - when the above sources don't suit my taste.. If you use or Pandora, check out the below albums (or buy them on iTunes).

Oceanlab - Sirens of the Sea (album). This is a combination of chillout style music - my g/f likens it to Morcheeba (but I don't), and some dance tunes.

In compilations :
Above and Beyond, Anjunabeats volume 6 - 2nd CD of this is excellent imho.
DJ Tiesto - In search of Sunrise

Friday, 12 December 2008

CSPA Charges

Someone I was going to send an eve-mail and a convo request to had a CSPA charge set of 1 mln ISK (when he was online yesterday). I mean seriously? I may want to do business with you but I'm not going to pay 1mln ISK.... Crazy money to just talk. Added to fact person in question had asked me to contact him (and had failed to add me to his addressbook). Blerg, if he wants business from DSTIC he'll have to contact me now as I'm not persisting...

I honestly don't know why EVE-online even persists in these charges, sure they may cost spammers money, but in the past 4 months of play in busy systems I have not had a personal eve-mail or convo request from spammers.

So another rule to add, I'm not going to deal with folks with ridiculous CSPA charges.

Whats your opinion on EVE's CSPA?

Thursday, 11 December 2008

EVE - another Timezone

Is it just me - do you lose track of time playing EVE?

Yesterday I seemingly went into the twilight zone... had a chat with Jax while running some L3 missions and setting up some buy-orders in different regions (far far easier to do this using EVE voice/teamspeak - and chat over different prices). Then it was midnight and I started Angel Extravaganza. Next thing I know it was 2am when I finished.... and I had work at 6am. Double Doh. EVE Timewarp, or warp-drive.

I also had major issues with my broadband at midnight with disconnects from EVE 4-5 times with a 10-15s connectivity loss. Most annoying and lost a few drones (but thankfully nothing else) due to this. On this subject wouldn't it be great if EVE coped with this better? - EVE voice certainally does - still shows me who's speaking, and they can still hear me... even if according to their eve client I'm offline.

Going back to subject of UPS a few months ago and why I have one... . This morning up late. Not down to tiredness, but due to no alarm due to house power being out. Was most annoyed.... indeed. Power came back as I left at 8... but have had 10 power cuts from 7am-2pm today... average length of ~10 mins each. UPS on my server thankfully lasted through all, but the battery is complaining as its not recovering enough between outages.. Oh for reliable electric.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Weekly update

Back from Germany and Gluhwein induced sleep... great great trip - and great company. But limited net acccess due to lack of European data roaming (it does cost the earth) so only now catching up on the blog-o-sphere.

In corp news - last week we finished some strands of COSMOS, we're going to leave the rest for another trip to that area of space, and in the meantime grind missions while we skill up for Battleships and L4 missions.

With the recent COSMOS missioning however, the standings gains took immediate effect - both of my personal characters can use the L3 & 4 Fed Navy agents whereas before they were stuck at L2.

I almost lost my T1 setup Myrimidon last night to rats, having underestimated a L3 mission significantly (I think it was "Break their Will". Got out with ~25% hull, and a long repair cycle. This reminded me that when missionrunning that I really should spec out this ship with rigs and other life-preserving T2 items asap (at the moment only the cap rechargers are T2). I've noticed recently that L3 missions have got significantly harder recently (even with the new "Quantum Rise" loadout of both small and Med drones) - this despite my skills being focussed almost 100% in combat and engineering/electronic support...

The plan to start doign invention is still progressing. At the moment around 1 day away from Research V, which will alllow me to train the skill that allows the use of multiple R&D agents (as using only one would be kinda crazy). Now just need the Mechanical Engineering and Gallente skillbooks trained.

Industry, well thats doing very nicely - even despite a recent drought in last 2 days in ship-sales. We have 40mln ISK of ships up for sale currently with not much movement. Corp still has > 100mln ISK of items for sale exclusing the ships, and a huge huge mineral stockpile, as well as >100mln in buy-orders outstanding. We still really need an industrial mining partner, but I havn't been able to reach the folks that commented on my blog last week... as they never are online when I am. I hope to be able to reach them on Sunday as thats usually a good time.. I could just eve-mail, but prefer to vet a potential partner with online or voice chat 1st...

Unfortunatly the volume of recent sales means I need to put some massive build's into production asap... but lack of certain minerals is stopping this from occurring unfortunatly...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

More COSMOS missioning

The standings increase mentioned earlier this week worked! With connections trained, to level 3 both my characters could begin the University of Calle series of missions without faction getting in the way...

After 1 and a half hours of completing 2 strands of courier missions (10 missions total), I had substancial faction gain, and 6m ISK in the pocket, along with some unique storyline BPC's. Basically a surprising amount of reward - it appears the further you get into the COSMOS chain the better the reward gets- which I can't complain about as most missions could be shot through! Prior to signing out last night I got my first real "combat" mission in the series... and will report on that on my next blog post..

Personally I'm off on an out-of-pod holiday from Thurs -> Mon - so will not be online at all for this period, and blogging will not be occurring. The wonders of German beer & Christmas markets await due to a fortuitous cheap flight deal.. £65 for 2 people for return flights from London, England to Dusseldorf - both in the Earth planet in the Sol system.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

EVE and stupid people

One of the reasons I love the EVE Market is it means stupid people can be punished.

In most other MMO's I've experience, you can't really do buy-orders - you can however buy stuff at someone elses pre-set price (and in some cases participate in a auction).

Recently the corp made 35mln isk from one persons stupidity, buying an item we had priced at 450k.. by what it seems was him placing a buy-order for a silly price (probably trying to place at 350k and adding two 0's) - or by him trying to buy a more expensive item on Market. I only wish the guy had brought more than one of the item in question - as 35mln isk for an item that costs ~250-260k to build is good business :)

I've mentioned before, but I also will punish anyone pricing an stack of items for below their mineral worth (its gotta be a stack to be worth me flying a hauler over for!), as with my 0% loss on item refines I'll take the cheap minerals thank you very much.

But how do I figure out whether its worthwhile? Simply put I work out the cost to build an item with perfect ML level with mineral prices that are 15% lower than buy-order rates for the region I'm working in... for this I use the brilliant EVE MLcalc tool which is also my main tool for finding out if a blueprint is profitable or not(based on current market prices).. If the price of an item is lower than this, its 15% cheaper than buying the minerals themselves... so I'll buy the stack.

I have 2 copies of the tool installed, one updated 15% below price of mkt, and one 15% above. This allows use in both building (with a safety margin) and for getting cheap minerals with the aforementioned setting. The 15% margin I put in means I rarely need to update MlCalc with daily updates - and also means I know I'll be buying minerals 15% below what they usually cost in the refine example...

Carebears/pirates can also use this tool to find out true costs for items they buy - so when negotiating on items player-player, it can be used for this vital information.

Monday, 1 December 2008

EVE Cosmos missions

Last week, I started my first steps into Cosmos (aka "Agents in Space"). Or "Pigs in space" if they are the enemy of my Gallente brothers... The Gallente COSMOS constellation is in Algintal consellation in Sinq Liason.

My aim - was to increase Gallente faction standings to raise Corp and personal standings with both my characters.. Cosmos is good in this regard as every 4-5 steps you get a faction gain vs every 10 or so missions in a normal mission-running scenario.

I did however get off to a bad start - having made a criminal mistake in not reading up on the Agent locations and relevant factions online, I started by doing a mission for the Thukker faction unwittingly. This was of course the 1st agent I found that would speak to me. This reduced my Gallente standings so was just a bit counter productive. Luckily I realised this after completing the 1st 3 part mission before starting the 2nd level missions - so it wasn't all bad fortune.

Once I found the correct agent to start L1 standings for Gallente, all was well, well apart from fact one of my 2 characters could not speak to him yet (the other could). This was down to a lack of the "connections" skill. I started training this, and moved over to doing some Gallente Datacentre missions - this was all good, until I hit a bugged portion of EVE, which has been Bugged since 2006 it seems.

Basically you eventually get to see Avrue Auz - and once I completed all the missions for her she asked me to take a token to Boismevier Mals. Now annoyingly... Boismevier Mals does not currently exist in the game. Checking forums, it looks like its been this way since 2006.... So I have a useless token.

Overall though so far COSMOS/datacentres have so far been remarkably fun and most importantly unique. I would 100% reccomend any character go and do them (even if experienced), as the faction gains are worth the grind. The stories are completely different from the "same old" missions you get when running for a normal agent - as eventually saving that Damsel who keeps getting into trouble does get somewhat tired. They are also very well written. Each mission can however, only be done once, so its not a source of unlimited faction. For some missions I should add you do need the Hacking/Archaeology skill available on your characters.

The loot is also unique in being T1 BPO's for "storyline" items, that are just below T2 items in their utility.

As of today Connections 3 has finished - thus I should be able to continue the COSMOS chain and I really can't wait to get back in there and find what happens next.

Industrial update for last week

Industry is progressing so well now.. turnover of at least 100mln isk last week (its hard to compute without going to excel right now!) Personally I turned over around 50mln. A turning point was hit earlier in week when mineral buy-orders exceeded sell orders for a 2-3 day period.

Ship sales - are going through roof and are definitely our top seller - in fact so successful we're putting around 45m isk of ships for sale tomorrow.... We make from 500k to 800k per ship depending on location.

At the weekend to save on build costs we even bought some low-priced ships and resold for the "going" rate successfully a few times. A maneuver christened "poaching". Its as if some folks don't want the huge margins possible on this line :)

Yesterday was almost 100% focussed on Industry in the period I was online, building massive amounts of stock (several of the manufacturing jobs were 4+ days in length) for frequent sellers we were low on. Whats nice about these items is the competition is low, and we can place an order on and leave it without micromanaging, and still make 50-75% profit over a month or so.

Mineral prices - stable, even decreasing slightly in past week from my mineral guidelines. High end minerals such as Zyd are available, and cheap. We now have a massive stockpile of Zyd and Megacyte - enough for a few weeks I think.. Problem is volumes, some weeks we fill a buy-order in a day, sometimes it takes a week. Now instead of placing a once-weekly order for the items needed to build, we're actually constantly buying items.

Mineral stockpile - decent, at least 100mln in stock currently although some holes - Mexallon and Trit in particular is lower than I would like.

Due to above, hauling is becoming an issue, in fact a Iteron V will be the next major skill trained for (above all invention/probe skills) on my main industrial character.

A question - does any corp want to contract for some regular mineral supplies (priced to be negotiated but should be competitive with buy-order rates) (to a station of our choosing)? With us growing exponentially, and buying 100mln a week on average - I'm thinking we'll need to start partnering with a mining corp to get to the volumes we need longer-term. We have no immediate plans to mine ourselves.