3rd Party API Advocate

Jason Parks, the creator of the popular Aura suite for the Android platform, proposed a few questions on Google+ in regards to my platform for CSM7. For the past few months we have exchanged a few emails about our Eve projects, which would not even be possible without the wonderful API.

Given our shared passion for development work, he invited me to contribute to the Aura project. The fancy graphs and reporting logic that I have been able to generate out of my Wallet Manager site would be a wonderful addition to his suite (I hope to bring some of this design to the Eve client — more on that later).

Sadly, I don’t have a lot of time to pickup the Android framework so I haven’t taken him up on his offer to collaborate. I would, however, like to declare that given my background in 3rd party projects for Eve, the struggles of developers will be a major source of direction on my part if I become a member of the CSM.

The Questions

Here are responses to Jason’s questions that will hopefully lock-in his vote for me:

POS management redesign
Can you elaborate a bit on this? I made a post here on Google+ that has my ideas (https://plus.google.com/u/0/115407184179295920691/posts/hJyoCgbo6tZ). What do you think about it? Would you push for something like this?

From what I have read from various CCP developers, the code that runs the POS’es is old and terribly maintained. I’m sure it was written years ago with no commenting or documentation and nobody wants to open that Pandora’s box. I need more time to solidify my stance on the POS rework. I need to pull up a recent CCP post about “castles in the sky” (?) and review CCP Greyscale’s Nullsec Development: Design Goals post. Look for a post soon on this.

API
Will you be our API champion? I would like someone to raise the suggestions that many of the 3rd-party devs. I have ideas that I will raise at fanfest when I can again but we have no one to follow through on them. Making a post in on the forums doesn’t help until we have a champion on the CSM.

This sounds like a perfect tagline for me. “Blake Armitage — API Champion”. I would not be so involved with Eve if there wasn’t such an active and passionate 3rd party community. The ability to get data out of Eve breeds innovation and allows us to work with data in ways that CCP wouldn’t have envisioned.

Traders and industry focused people have come up with systems to track profitability, product movements, and margins. Large alliances would not exist if they could not keep track of their POS network, reinforcement timers, and sovereignty information.

The free time that developers put into these applications shows us the depth of intrigue that Eve brings to our gaming lifestyle. Expanding the API, while keeping security and automation exploits in mind, can do nothing but enhance the game.

I do hereby accept the title of “API Champion”.

Representation
Will we be able to engage with you after you are elected? This past cycle we didn’t have CSM contact and I’ve been forced to troll The Mattani and Hilmar ;-)

Most definitively. I love to talk shop with the other space nerds.

API Fanfest News

In other API news CPP has a session at Fanfest this year where they will talk about a read/write API called “Carbon REST“. This topic is of particular interest to me and it saddens me that I have a conflict for Fanfest this year.

A developer preview of a new RESTful, oAuth based read/write API for Eve Online – Carbon REST.
link 

Carbon… REST…? Carbon (CCP’s new Framework) + REST (fancy client/server software architecture). From what I can gather, there are going to be some advances to the current API structure.

Having the ability to write data to the Eve database opens up a wide array of options for developers. Some of the items that I would like to see exposed are:

  • ability to send mail
  • add/remove and set standings for contacts
  • add/remove/manage calendar items
  • update the skill queue
  • update personal and corp (role dependent) ship fits. This would allow applications such as EFTPyfa, or Aura the ability to work directly with the fits stored on the server. You could walk around with your phone, update your fit, put your phone in your pocket, get home, and have the updated fit on the Eve client. Drag that fit to the market window (thank you CCP) and purchase. No more managing XML files posted on forums

All these benefits do come with a price. First, CCP will have to remain conscious of the ability to script input. Having the ability to update market orders or submit industry jobs opens up a dark sea of automation. Additionally, the mentality of actually making us login to the game will have to remain a priority. If you can do all of your work outside the client, why even login? The social aspect of Eve will suffer as less and less people login. No more posting “creative” images to local while you gaze at a POS bubble.

As with everything computer related, there will need to be a balance between available and security. Given my background in network security I feel that I can keep these interests in mind. Seriously, look at my books at work:

I feel that exciting times for developers are in the works and I would love the opportunity to be a strong representative of the 3rd party development community on the CSM.

tl;dr

“the struggles of developers will be a major source of direction on my part if I become a member of the CSM”

“Expanding the API, while keeping security and automation exploits in mind, can do nothing but enhance the game”


Making Profits with Reactions

A very popular way for starting an income stream at the Alliance, Corporation, or individual level is to become involved in the T2 production chain by reacting moon materials. The process requires you to set up a tower with Reactors in either nullsec, wormhole, or lowsec (below 0.4) space. Reacting cannot be performed in highsec space.

The goal is to take Reactants and by either a Simple or Complex reaction process, produce a product further down the T2 production chain.

Here is an example of the costs for setting up a Vanadium Hafnite chain.

Setup Costs

1x Caldari Large Tower (230 M)
2x Reactor Array – Simple (5 M each)
6x Silo (4.8 M each)
1x Shield Hardener – Ballistic Deflection (round out the Caldari tower resists)
2x Shield Hardener – Explosion Dampening
2x Shield Hardener – Photon Scattering
144k Vanadium (month worth of reactants for about 284 M)
144k Hafnium (316 M)

Hourly Production Breakdown

Reactants:
200x Vanadium – 400,000 + 200x Hafnium – 439,786 = Total Per Hour – 839,786

Products:
400x Vanadium Hafnite – 2,358,188 = Total Per Hour – 2,358,188

Profits

Reaction Net Per Hour (Products – Reactants) – 1,518,402
Reaction Net Per Month (Hourly x 720) – 1,093,249,440

Fuel Costs: 370,000,000 (est)
Tower Net Per Month: 723,249,440

Notes

Reacting moon materials is a new industry line for me and I have discovered a few items to take into account before you go out and setup your own reaction chains.

I picked a Caldari tower due to the stability of Nitrogen Isotopes as compared to the recent Oxygen Isotope spike caused by Goonswarm’s Ice Interdiction campaign. Yes the Caldari tower lacks the Silo bonus, but the costs of Oxygen Isotopes at 1,000+ ISK/unit drastically eat into profit margins.

You have to take into account POS defense. Hopefully you are a member of a major nullsec powerhouse with Alliance sanctions to run your own unregulated towers. If your tower were to become reinforced (always always always have Strontium Clathrates in your tower), you (hopefully) have the backing of Alliance members and Capital ships for defense.

No you say? For the non-Alliance aligned industrialist, you are limited to lowsec or better yet wormhole space. In lower class wormholes, such as C1-C3s, Capital ships cannot travel through wormholes due to mass limitations so you are limited to being attacked by Battleships or smaller. A popular setup is a C1/C2 with a static to Highsec as this makes getting materials and fuel around very easy. Remember with lowec or wormhole space to take in account the lack of Sovereignty, which will affect fuel consumption rates.

Another point to note is the wild nature of the Jita moon material market. Prices fluctuate as many people are heavily involved in price manipulation. A month after I started my reaction chain, the prices fell and then someone bought out and reset the price of Vanadium Hafnite in Jita right after I put my stock up for sale.

Note the 2M+ unit volume spike. This did work in my favor as my stock was all bought so I now have more liquid ISK but if I had some more Vanadium Hafnite being processed, I could have higher profit numbers as I would be selling at the new 4,300 ISK/unit price.

Real World Profits 

Due to my lack of attention to full Silos, and that I estimated my profits closer to a 4,000 ISK/unit sale price, my monthly profits were much smaller than expected. My estimation was about 723 M/month yet I only was able to produce about 384 M/month off of one tower.

The next time I setup a reaction chain, I will not go with one reaction and I will investigate not only Complex Reactions, but chaining your reactions. This is where you take your Resultants and put them into another Reaction chain. From speaking with other Alliance members that do reactions, this seems to be the way to increase your profits.


November Financial Report

Following the trend of EVE-fail, I am going to continue releasing monthly financial reports.

November saw a resurgence of trading as the anticipation of Crucible brought me back into the game. With all the PI changes, there were ample opportunities to turn a profit. The change over to Player Owned Offices meant a tax barrier and therefore an increase to PI goods. Now that PI goods are involved in many production chains (POS’es, POS modules, T2 components), there has been an increase across the board.

New to the net value charts is the inclusion of Corp assets as I have taken the CEO role and put a lot of ISK into our ventures.

Here is a sneak-peak at my top trading groups. As you can see Implants far outweigh the other items. When a person goes to replace their implants, you are not only selling 1 implant, but 4 or maybe 5, as people will replace the entire set.

I have not tested the market with Skill Hardwiring implants but now that they are visible on killmails, I may have to parse what ones are popular. Expansions always bring new trading opportunities, you just have to look for them. I might write something to scrape killmails and give me a report on what are the top 10 by volume per month.

There was a large growth in November compared to October due to a renewed effort into trading. I expect that December will be a good month as the introduction of the new Tier 3 Battlecruisers opens up many avenues. They are going to be popular and will die quickly.


Crucible Fuel Blocks

If you haven’t read the upcoming POS fuel change, check it out on the CCP Devblog. Also read over Jester’s review of the upcoming change as he outlines the modification of each fuel type.

Caldari Towers

How much, how big, and how long? Here are the estimates for running the three sizes of Caldari towers at current Jita fuel costs.

For one month a Large Caldari Control Tower will cost 360 M to run, 144,000 m3 of Fuel Blocks moved around, and 1.5 days of build time for the Fuel Blocks.

Icon Change

The current icon set doesn’t differentiate the racial fuel blocks with color very well. James at k162space came up with more colorful icons to match the racial color styling as seen with the ECM modules.

CCP Proposed Icons

K162′s Proposed Icons

James has posted in the comment thread for the devblog and we’ve received some feedback from CCP Dropbear on Twitter. Perhaps the art department will give it a second pass. We would be happy to send along the 256×256 transparent PNGs!

[Edit] As Poetic Stanziel pointed out, color-blind people will have an issue with our proposed icon set. I think if CCP were to add our colorization to the existing icons, which have different metal bases and frames, we could have a real solution.


POS Fuel Costs

I’m a creator at heart and now that we have gotten back into sovereign nullsec, I want to setup a research POS. Working with eve.1019.net’s POS planner, I setup a tower with six Advanced Mobile Laboratories to estimate fuel costs.

Two major events are increasing the cost to run a POS. GoonSwarm’s Gallente Ice Interdiction campaign has driven up prices for not just Oxygen Isotopes. All Isotope prices have gone up due to market speculation and general Mackinaw killing campaigns.

Gallente towers are used for moon harvesting due to their bonus 100% bonus to Silo Cargo Capacity values. Since I will not be moon mining, I picked a Caldari tower which uses Nitrogen Isotopes.

Additionally the announcement of Player Control Customs Offices in the Winter Expansion has caused all PI products to rise in price due to market speculation. Practically every PI item has been affected with precious Robotics taking a hard hit.

With Isotopes consuming a large amount of the ISK to run the tower, any ice mining that we do as a corp will help bring down the costs.

Faction towers do have lower fuel requirements than Racial ones. Putting the same 6 labs on a True Sansha Control Tower shows a 44.2 M/month savings on fuel.

 

Sadly the high price of the faction towers means that it will take 3.5 years to make up the cost difference using the lower prices True Sansha variant at 1.99 B ISK.


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