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September Financial Report

Overview

This month saw two major shifts for me. With the fall of Imperial 0rder, I lost a lot of access to nullsec stations. I had spent a lot of time in Catch playing with AAA and now that time has drawn to a close.

I’ve since withdrawn to highsec and have started up a manufacturing line with a corpmate. My hopes are that some rebalancing and sovereignty changes will hit with the Winter expansion and my desire to return to null will come back.

Also, a lot of real life events kept me from playing. I finished up with my last Triathlon of the season, had a fun open water swim competition at the end of September, and moved into a new apartment complete with no Internet access for a few days! Real life > Eve.

Notable Events

Shift a lot of liquid ISK into BPOs:

  1. 2x Archon
  2. 2x Thanatos
  3. 1x Chimera
  4. 1x Charon (in research)
  5. 1x Obelisk
  6. 1x Providence (in research)

Sift of ISK into raw materials for production to start production lines.

Locked up 5 B in Jump Freighter Production.

Purchased a fancy mission Tengu.

Capital Project

I wasn’t on Ever much to update prices so only 4 Carriers sold. I am looking to ramp up production in October since I will also be adding a researched Chimera BPO to the factory line.

Long-term Growth

Over the past few months, I’ve seen a steady groth in net worth with a slowdown in August and September due to real life commitments combined with stagnation in game.

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20 Questions with Blake

This week I opened up the floor for questions on Twitter and here are some of your questions answered.

If I review the type of games that have really captivated me, they all contain a sandbox element. You are given a place to play, a set of tools, and you can do what you want within the limits of the game framework.

The Doom series, with it’s ability to create custom levels, textures, and game logic drew me into game design at an early age. The Sim City series was especially entertaining as you could build something up, save it, and then see how it performs under disaster scenarios. Alien invasion? Four volcanoes? <evil laugh>.

An amazing game called Star Control II really stands out. The first time I pulled up the map in Star Control II my eyes went huge with anticipation. You mean I can go to any system at any time? It isn’t all scripted? Eve mimics this type of exploration possibility.

I think I saw a ad for Eve on a side-banner ad at PCGamer’s site in 2009. At the time I wasn’t playing anything with any dedication and I had never played one of those new-fangled “MMORMOOPMMGOOPGs” so I thought I would give it a try.

I spent a few weeks trying to figure out how items were structured. Lows, Mids, and Highs? Lasers, Artillery, and Rails? Armor, Shields, and *gulp* Hull? I remember that I put some lasers on my Gallente frigate to run Level 1 missions and I exploded almost instantly due to not knowing how to tank damage.

After pouring through guides, forum posts, and chatting in the NPC channels I came to the conclusion that joining a corporation was the next course of action. Mining is fun, right? So let’s join a mining corporation.

Three years later, I still have relationships with some of the people in my original corporation. I can tell you who has kids, when time they wake up, go to work, and how drunk they can get and still warp to a gate. Space friends I tell you.

My dad’s name is Ray and he is a architect and private pilot. Here’s a picture of me flying with him in his Piper PA-32.

Please note that I have a fear of heights and yet strangely I feel very comfortable in a plane when my dad is piloting. I have major anxiety issues on commercial flights which I believe has to due with a trust factor; I trust my dad to pilot the plane well because I know his abilities. In the commercial setting, I have no control over what is going to happen.

And yes, I got the Kindergarten Cop reference.

I wish. have you looked at the T2 production workflow?! Eve Journey has a good summary of the skills and people involved but honestly, who at CCP came up with it?

I understand that it was designed so that no one person can control the entire chain from raw materials to end product, but come on. I’m an industrialist-spreadsheet-custom-sql-database-wallet-manager type of guy and have spent hours trying to figure out to optimize my Tier 2 production chains.

Try this trick: if the room is spinning, you should lay on your back on the bed. Place one leg on the floor. Strange, but it helps me out!

If you haven’t read this post about one corp member’s failed April Fools joke, then do so now. Here’s the crux of the post:

This year, I turned my brain towards a simple, yet massive prank: In between the hours of midnight and five AM, I was going to move the WH PoS one moon to the left, then, send a corp mail saying “har har i wuz spy and stole your iskies”.

I have not. It is all about chance. I can say that if you are in a C6/5 and scanning around there is a very high probability that you will run into Aperture Harmonics. When you get an undesirable WH link, you hop in your battleship, Orca, or Capital and close the wormhole.

One time we got a link to a Aperture system with a few Capitals in it. My corpmate wanted to close the link quickly so he got into his Orca. As he was about to warp to it I yelled over comms, “stop! hold position!” as a Aperture Dreadnaught appeared on our side of the wormhole. I sat quietly for a few seconds, taking a deep breath while looking at the ferocious Revelation waiting out his jump timer.

Before I reacted, he jumped back to their side, closing the wormhole. Apparently they also wanted to link closed! As always in wormhole space, have cloakey eyes everywhere.

Sound? Rain and thunderstorms. Favorite color? Navy blue. Eve in the next few years? I would like to have a BPO of every Capital, Subcapital, Module, and Ammo and become a industry giant. I’ve collected 3 Carrier, 3 Freighter, and the majority of the useful Module and Ammo BPOs, but I still have a long way to go.

Sleepers! Ah, yes. I spent an afternoon doing some reading on the origin of the Sleepers and found some very interesting comments from CCP Dropbear:

The complexity of the Sleeper’s story runs so deeply that it may take some time to understand.

The pieces of this puzzle are scattered across a wide area, and a stretch of time unlike any event in EVE has seen before.

We are watching and waiting for the day to come when the capsuleers will move this particular storyline forward. We are still waiting.

Ominous yet intriguing. Hopefully we are in store for the same type of depth as in the Babylon 5 “Space Opera” (as I call it) series.


TTP: Time to Pony

TTP, abbreviation for time to pony
1. The time it takes for items in game to degrade into Ponies.

Following the directions in the latest devblog, which officially states that we can add videos to our Captain’s Quarters, I converted a highres version of a Test Alliance’s  “Lasers are Magic” video into a .BIK file and placed in my cache folder.

28 minutes for my TTP. This number included time to enable my Captain’s Quarters, which has been disabled because I can’t run my three clients without my GPU fan going into overdrive. ಠ_ಠ

Transcoding the video increased the file size by 64.5% so make room for all your new videos.


Nullsec Alliance Data Transformation

Messy numbers to some, or a wealth of information for others. Here is a quick rundown of how I processed the data to form the Nullsec Alliance Growth and Decline post.

1. Get raw data from Wollari at Dotlan.

allianceID,date,members
151380924,26.06.2007,622
166439722,26.06.2007,1130
284278305,26.06.2007,252
288377808,26.06.2007,1151
386292982,26.06.2007,412
477769446,26.06.2007,252
628991027,26.06.2007,1062
632866070,26.06.2007,2267
673381830,26.06.2007,416

2. Load Eve Alliance information via API into a table.

3. Import Dotlan data into MySQL table and join allianceID on both tables to generate more human friendly data set that includes Alliance Names and Tickets.

SELECT alliances.allianceID, alliances.name, alliances.shortName, date, members
FROM allianceHistory, alliances
WHERE alliances.allianceID = allianceHistory.allianceID

4. Export data into an Excel readable file.

I spent some time debating about working with this data using a MySQL table and a charting engine such as Highcharts, but settled on using an Excel PivotTable. The time involved with me tinkering with the JavaScript (not my most proficient programming language) would really hinder progress.

Once in Excel, I had to reformat the date from dd.mm.yyyy to yyyy-mm-dd to allow proper chart generation. First, I used the text to column feature with a comma ‘,’ set as the deliminator. Secondly, in a new column, I used a formula to combine the date in my desired format.

=DATEVALUE(F1&"-"&E1&"-"&D1)


Hide the D, E, and F columns and we’re got a good set of data to analyze.

5. Select all 87,543 rows and generate a PivotTable using the Alliance Name as the legend, date as the Axis Fields, and a summation of the Member Count as the Value.

Now the fun part is thinking of WHAT is significant.

Some of the first things that I wanted to show was the rise and fall of the NC, growth of the DRF, and some charting for the larger Alliances like Goons and Test. These charts can be seen in the original post linked at the top.

RipardTeg of Jester’s Trek came to me with idea for a new report that I think will prove rather interesting. I’m going to be working with him to answer the question of ‘whether small sov-holding null-sec alliances are surviving in the last two years, or being folded into the mega-alliances over time’.

This type of Eve Community collaboration with passionate, exemplary individuals is what really keeps me playing. Stay tuned.


Nullsec Alliance Growth and Decline

Individual Influence

One of Eve’s tenets is that anything created can also destroyed. With the passage of enough time, anything will eventually crumble as the universe is slowly heading towards a state of ever increasing entropy.

Players in Eve can be an agent of this entropy. Given enough time you can gain trust within your corporation, perhaps even eventually becoming an identifiable leader figure. If you choose to become involved at a higher level, you could propel yourself into alliance politics. Over time you could leverage your alliance clout to move into a leadership role and thus gain valuable privileges at the alliance level. Access to information, privileges to disband, and access to assets and money could all be yours.

Perhaps you will use that type power to hone the military might of your alliance into a campaign of territory conquest, or perhaps your goal is to engage in a take-the-money-and-run scam.

We’ve seen both scenarios play out and as shown in the Causality video, major events can be enacted by just one person. Large, influential alliance have formed out of nothing — TEST, while major contenders have declined and reformed again and again — BoB to KenZoku to IT to Raiden.


All Good Things

Things ebb; Delve Dysprosium and Northern Technetium fortresses have fallen and changed hands. When I started playing Eve in 2008 people were using plate sniper Megathrons to wage war in nullsec and BoB was king; nothing could topple them. If you follow Eve politics, take a second to reflect on what has changed.

Visualizing the change of power can be done through the membership growth and decline rates of major alliances.

In order to graph alliance changes, I needed access to a lot of historical data regarding member counts. The alliance API only returns the current statistics so I reached out to a high profile member of the Eve community for assistance.

A special thanks to Wollari at Dotlan for providing me with the historical data for analysis. This post would not be possible without his data, which he so generously reproduced a few times after corrections to my source query were needed.


The Data

  1. Ranges from 2007-06-26 to 2011-09-15.
  2. Contains alliances that were in the Dotlan top 100 list on 2011-09-15.
  3. Added BoB, KenZoku, and IT Alliances to the query since they are historically significant.
  4. Anomaly on 2009-10-28 where the majority of member counts were inaccurate. The data points for this day has been removed.
  5. 87,543 rows of membership information for 114 alliances.


tl;dr Charts

Grown and decline of the Northern Coalition next to the rapid growth of the Drone Russian Federation over the past year.


Combined numbers for the NC and Deklein Coalitions.


On 20010-02-03 GoonSwarm (OHGOD) forgot to pay soverignty bills and lost all of their claimed nullsec space. They have since reformed under Goonswarm Federation (CONDI). Test is still smaller than the current incarnation of the Goons.

The above stacked graph shows the Big 10 (12) alliances over time. It looks as if there were only a few major powers back in 2007. Note that this shows how the current big 10 have changed and does not show who was the big 10 over time.

BoB transitioning into KenZoku seems to be an almost one to one member switchover while the formation of IT Alliance brought in a lot of new member corporations.

The fall of IT Alliance seems to have fractured the group. Corporations that were in IT Alliances are now in Black Star, Cartel, Nulli Tertius, Executive Outcomes, Northern Coalition., AAA, Razor, Cascade Imminent, and the Initiative. Only 33.2% of the members moved into Raiden.

Sev3rance is an interesting entity as they have been moving around a lot. Historically they have been the guardians to one of the entrance routes (KBP7-G) to Providence. Having lost their constellation systems in 2010-03 to Ushra’Khan, they found a home in the NC in Pure Blind and Cloud Ring only to move back to Providence in 2011-07.


Messy stacked graph of all 114 alliances in my data set. It does look like there is definite stagnation in nullsec in 2011.

If you would like to see additional graphs or a separate post on how I transformed the data set, please let me know. I only created a few graphs that I thought would be interesting for the vast majority of the Eve audience. Additionally, my nullsec political knowledge may be lacking and I am open to corrections. Again thanks to Wollari for letting me work with his data.