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Spreadsheets in Space

My side interest in information aesthetics is present in my work, both professional and personal. I’ve received many comments on how clean and clear my analysis charts, reports, and spreadsheet work can be so I though I would share some of my Eve related spreadsheet work to inspire people.

Here are screenshots from depreciated spreadsheets that I used for industrial production, speculation, and fuel estimations before switching to a custom web-based solution that my partner, Raath, created.

My design goal has always been to use small type-face Arial text that is boxed and columned with important information highlighted in primary colors or shaded in gradients to denote best to worst status. Some of these sheets are old with broken formulas or outdated build requirements. Pay more attention to the organization rather than to the numerical content.

Ammo

Ammo

Compression

Compression

Copy BPOs

Copy BPOs

Copy Capital BPOs

Copy Capital BPOs

Freighter Construction

Freighter Construction

Jump Freighter Construction

Jump Freighter Construction

Margins

Margins

POS Fuel

POS Fuel

POS Fuel Blocks

POS Fuel Blocks

Procurer Speculation

Procurer Speculation

Ship Construction

Ship Construction

T3 Construction

T3 Subsystem Construction

T3 Hull Construction

T3 Hull Construction

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February Financial Report

Overview

In Winter of 2012, I approached my partner Raath to see if expanding our operation into Heavy Industry was a viable means to take excess liquid capital and start to produce return for our efforts. After scouting markets, running numbers, and placing production characters in proper locations the operation formed.

We’ve reached a state of industrial nirvana as our operational inefficiencies have been reduced and logistic kinks have been worked out over the past few months. Given that we’ve nailed down a solid production cycle, we know what we are going to be spending in minerals every few weeks.

Graphs

A large portion of capital went into the start of our Heavy Industry branch as seen by the grand change in expenses between November and December.

Two periods of expansion can be seen in December and February’s relatively small growth numbers as during these months we poured more capital into Carrier and Dreadnought BPOs, reducing final growth numbers. Also in February a large amount of minerals were purchased for another production cycle that extends into March. Since we operate on a two week cycle, materials purchased at the end of the month show up on the books in the next month.

2013-02-28_heavy_industry_campaign

Historical profits clearly show when the operation started to run.

2013-02-28_historical_profts

Dreadnought Blueprints

2013.02.25.22.03.53

In January and February we acquired three researched Dreadnought blueprints, two with perfect ME research. Our production lines have expanded to include these ship hulls and in March we should start seeing profits from these jobs.

Industrial Trophy

*rabble rabble rabble*
*throws fuel into the fire*
*rabble rabble rabble*

cartoon_fire

Have a look at the research I’ve conducted about how just poor of an investment these items can be: Tech 2 BPO Returns and Percentage of Items from Invention vs Tech 2 BPOs.

Having the Tech 2 variant of the BPO means I run a serial production operation (1 BPO) at high margin with a lack of ability to change items in reaction to market changes.

The Tech 1 invention process is a parallel operation (1 or more BPOs) involving lower margins that can over saturate a Tech 2 producer. Inventors do need to maintain of a POS for ME/PE/Copy slots, but the ability to change items in response to market shifts is highly beneficial for Inventors.

Here is a quick rundown of the performance of my Tech 2 BPO vs inventing from one copy of the Tech 1 BPO.

tech_2_bpo_performance

If it was such a poor investment, then why get one? For me the lack of clicks in the invention process and the removal of the wretched POS in the production equation is worth the cost. I have stayed away from large-scale invention specifically due to these two reasons.

Future Plans

No major expansion desires are on the plate at the moment. Right now we are in a ‘slow and steady wins the race’ mode.


November Financial Report

Overview

My trading and industry focus tends to ebb and flow over time. Station trading, ship building, reactions, tech2/tech3 construction, and other types — one venture may not be the most appropriate  path to success at the given time. Focus on daily ‘0.01 ISK’ trading has fallen off as we’ve moved our focus to Carrier production.

Our mineral compression location has been fully stocked with compression appropriate blueprints, logistic supply lines to our production system have been sorted out, and the initial ISK investment in Capital blueprints has taken place.

Sales from our first Carrier batch have proven profitable, so my partner and I are pleased with the initial results.

Heavy Industry

Current industry jobs contain guns for mineral compression, Carrier hulls, and getting more ME/PE work done on idle ship blueprints and Capital related blueprints.

My two industrial characters are polishing off Advanced Laboratory Operation and Advanced Mass Production to V, which is around a 27 day train each, to maximize their production abilities.

2012-12-03_industry_jobs-1

Procurer Blueprints

In an attempt to sell off the stockpile of blueprints that I acquired from price speculation in the Inferno expansion, I have started to become more aggressive with their pricing.

Profits per blueprint have come down into the 250-350 M range. Though they are now worth much more when sourced from NPC suppliers, the market is glutted with people that made the same move as me. My preference is to sell off the stock of 20 prints that I have and to move the ISK into minerals or Capital prints.

2012-12-03_procurer_bpo_sales-1

Charts

I’m seeing a slow, profitable burn the past few months despite spending money on a Capital Ships and Racial Carrier skillbook in addition to a PLEX for a friend to keep his account active.

We’re still turning a profit and I expect the pace to accelerate as our Capital ship production line grows into a full-fledged, efficient operation.

2012-12-03_net

2012-12-03_net_chart

Retribution

I did not make any moves on the market for Retribution as I did not see any major profit potentials with this patch. The scan changes to Blockade Runners did drive prices up, but I was online far too late to purchase stock.

I did have a plan to place a Jump Freighter in one of the NPC ORE stations that sell blueprints and buy as many BPOs of the new frigate as possible, but the move of liquid ISK into capital prints took precedence.

The rush to build the new Destroyer hulls also did not interest me as I expect their profit potential to rapidly vanish over the next two weeks.


June Junk Drawer

1. Interested in the current tone of CSM-CCP relationship, the future of industry, and hints into the Winter expansion? Listen to VandV Podcast: Special Edition: Spring Summit Wrap Up podcast which contains an hour of content with current chairman @Seleene_Eve.

2. Chribba posted a screenshot of his Titan mining operations in lowsec.

3. I gasped at the sov map for a minute before discovering that there was a zero in the name.

4. Endless Space, a 4X turn based space strategy game, has been recieving a lot of my attention over the past month. The Beta is available right now on Steam and patches have been coming out every week or so with balances, new UI elements, and bug fixes.

I’m really interested in this game because the same game format is XML that is compressed in a .bin file. You can uncompress it with 7-Zip and then edit it in Notepad++ to change planet or hero attributes, technologies, global events, or even star system locations. The mentality of the development team is one of openness with the community and they are very active on the forums while polishing up the Beta.

5. I’ve contacted some Tech2 manufactures and have started to buy in bulk. You can generally get 5-10% Jita price, which does nothing but increase your margins.

6. Since I haven’t been actively playing much this month, I put some idle BPOs into copy research for some very passive income. There are idle or low wait empire copy slots, you just have to look for them. Hint: go to lowsec. I just know one of these days I will encounter a smartbomb.

7. To help solidify my claim as a bittervet, I picked up some Anaconda Mines.

8. I have an itch for a large scale public investment project, but lack any type of formal finance training. I wish Eve had a stock market so people could invest in my trading and manufacturing operation. I don’t have any idea of where to start, what the payout would be, or how to manage risk when you start to work with other people’s money; I would not want to be Eve Bank 2.0.


Capital Industry Calendar

The industry posts at Eve fail have inspired me to start producing Capitals and this has spawned some new requirements out of our Wallet Manager program.

Problem: Expensive Capital BPOs that are idle mean that they are not producing profitable items

Solution: Use the Corporation Industry Jobs API to display a visual aid of capital job production progress as to easily tell when BPOs will be idle

As always, James and I start off with a quick sketch on paper of what we think the final layout should look like. After some scribbling, debates about tables/CSS/javascript, and layout design we settled on a design.

Here is a shot of our paper sketch.

My knowledge of javascript is rather limited and James is usually the one spearheading new and innovative solutions when I present a design challenges.

Notes from James:

Blake often comes to me with a “I need this thing. Can you make this thing?”, to which I often pause and perform what I like to call shriveled programmer stare. This maneuver involves me scrunching my face as much as possible, raising one eyebrow, and giving a bit of a pained look. I’m quite sure I gave this look when the idea was first proposed. The basic idea actually is just a Gantt chart. I have x number of capital ships in production at any given time and I would like to know exactly, at a quick glance, when they come out of the oven so the next batch of parts will be ready. Simple enough, on paper. The real question is implementation.

A first idea was to use a table, and just change the background color if the job is still running on that day. However, we decided we would like to have the chart auto-scale, so that it would always display far enough out to have the end of the longest job on the chart. Doing this as a pure table would have been inelegant at best, with quite possibly a ludicrous amount of table columns needed for very long jobs. Instead, I took a more difficult, but ultimately more elegant approach; use a single row per job and utilize the margin-left and width css properties to control the positioning and length of each bar.

This, however, required that we have non-table-based vertical lines to delineate our days. For this I used Raphael. Raphael is a nifty little SVG canvas library with decent documentation and a good community base.


//Initialize our variables
var width = $this.width();
var height = $this.children('.industry-job-calendar-table').height();
var offset = globals.headerOffset;

var canvasDiv = $this.children('.industry-job-calendar-table').children('.industry-job-calendar-canvas')[0];

//Create the canvas
var paper = Raphael(canvasDiv, width, height + offset);

A lot of work went into getting our start and end dates, and anyone who’s worked with the JS Date object knows how painful operating in the non-native timezone (even if it is UTC) can be. After our fancy date math, we set the job bar properties, draw the canvas object behind the table rows, attach our tooltip hover() events to the bars, then do a pretty animation of the bars to their final widths.

All in all, a nice little idea that came in at around 325 lines of JS and 20 lines of PHP. And to use it is quite simple:

$('#industry-calendar').phdIndustryCalendar({url: './getCapitalJobs.php'});

And the final result is a clean looking display of our Capital production line.


Screw you, Murphy

I should be doing physics II questions right now.

Anywho, back in WH space, I’ve had a bit of a snag. By which I mean several snags.

By which I mean if I didn’t know better I’d swear I was intentionally screwing up just to have something to post about.

Which I’m not. Pinky promise.

Anywho, to shoot the most NPCs in nullsec, I have two alts trained up to domis and not much else. They can use t2 RR, t2 energy xferr, some drones and that’s it. I’m not entirely sure if I bothered to pick up gun skills at any point. Oh, and they fly itty Vs and (in another week or three) will have perfect learning skills in preparation for “operation triple character carrier”.

If anyone can think of something to do with multiboxing three carriers please let me know as I honestly haven’t thought it out past “OMG 45 DRONES”.

Anyway, this is becoming a bit of an issue in a wormhole as anything bigger than a cruiser requires more reps than Eve’s public image after a typical dev post in the forums is met by a truckload of people who appreciate that they’re working on lag, they’d just rather they work on it a bit harder.

Coupled with the fact that the warp-in points SOMEHOW always spit you out 70km or more away from the actual sleepers who seem to be exploiting that AHARM C6 with reckless abandon.

So, you’ve got the equivalent of walking towards someone half a mile away at a brisk pace while he shoots at you with a handgun with perfect range the entire time and you can only hit about ten feet in front of you because you’re holding five or six riot shields and throwing duct tape at your friend to patch the holes the guy is shooting.

This is irritating as I somehow perfectly calculated my tank to be EXACTLY however much DPS sleepers tend to do, so I’m constantly sweating and cursing as my armor has made such a frequent habit of dropping into hull I’m not sure how much of the original armor remains as compared to whatever the hell RRs actually do to the ship they’re repairing.

So, to fix this whole brisk walk towards man with a sniper rifle issue, I’m using a zephyr to get myself warp-in points about 500m away from the BS, whaling the crap out of them, then warping away, zephyr, repeat, hooray.

In my latest use of this strategy, I was in a mostly cruiser wave. Not wanting to warp in and out and such, I dropped a cap recharger and fitted an AB to each battleship. Warp in, turn on the ABs and start approaching the sole remaining BS. It goes down, and these three annoying warp scramming frigs show up.

Fully prepared for the situation, I launched my hobgoblin IIs and made a humorous comment in WH colonists:

haav0c > “Hello, warp scrambling frigs. Meet tiny whirring balls of hobgoblin death”

God, I’m so witty. Unfortunately I was so busy thinking “crap, Murphy’s Law now states that I cannot possibly survive this wave as I have already predicted its successful outcome” to notice that my ships had drifted/ ABed away from each other at top speed and were now upwards of 10km from each other.

For those who don’t know, the range of an RR module is something like 6-8km. I don’t remember, but the important thing is it’s less than 10km by a good 2km or more. Now, I want you to imagine a scenario:

You are taking heavy fire in a battleship and are traveling at top speed (200m/s) in the x direction. If your tank will only hold for another 20 seconds without RR, will you survive if you are currently traveling towards your RR partner?

Will you survive if you are traveling at top speed in EXACTLY THE WRONG DIRECTION?

Will you survive if you are traveling at top speed in exactly the wrong direction and in your haste you forget to turn the afterburner off?

Will you survive if you are traveling at top speed in exactly the wrong direction, you forgot to turn off the AB AND you are currently in a Black Hole C4 wormhole? (+44% inertia)?

For those of you reaching for a book on Eve physics and a pencil, I can save you some time and reveal that the scenario in which everything has gone horribly wrong will result in one destroyed RR BS while three warp scrambling frigs, unamused by the hobgoblin tomfoolery, are still alive. Consequently, the other RR BS follows, followed by the DPS BS.

SO.

After half an hour of an entertaining movie and picking up my loot and the destroyed sleeper’s loot 10 m3 at a time in a zephyr, I check my fuel levels.

20 hours of coolant, enriched uranium and nitrogen isotopes left.

Ok, that’s manageable, I can scan a route in that time, I just need to force collapse some WHs with my Orca and BS.

*Inner Voice* what BS?

…that pile of metal over there.

*Inner Voice* surrounded by the angry sleepers?

Yup.

*Inner Voice* good luck with that.

I hate you.

So, after two hours of collapsing our static C4 which seems to only be heavily occupied and/or leading to C5s, C6s or more effing C5s, It’s the last pass of the Orca through a X-something-something-something WH to close it so I can scan another useless WH and then preferably find another, better one.

Again, up goes the witty comment, this time in the local chat I will soon be separated from and never see again, ever.

haav0c > DIE WH DIE!

Once again, just as I said that, I thought of Murphy’s Law. Then, once again, I jumped through with the AB on just to make sure that my eight passes (with a 250 mil mass ship) would collapse this hole (2 bil mass).

As you can probably guess, it didn’t effing close.

With corp mates complaining about the fuel alerts and 18 hours of fuel left, I make an executive decision. Since all I have left is some itty Vs, GSCs and destroyers/scan frigs, I stuff everything in the Orca, offline the tower and logoff.

It is an incredibly short term solution but is also viable for long term, assuming no-one bashes it. As to you people bashing it, why in all the hells would you bash a tower with nothing possible to be gained from it?

Anywho, I’ll keep looking for a BS capable route while studying for the Physics test Tuesday. Electric potential energy and all related constants and variables are jerks.


POS Defense in Wormholes C1-6

Not so recently, CCRES came into our wormhole, noticed an orca floating in the shields, killed all our defences and reinforced our tower in case we had forgotten to put strontium in a tower in a dread-accepting enviroment.

The fact that they felt that the lack of strontium was a possibility makes me lose a little faith in the foresight of the Eve wormhole community.

Recently, I was contacted by a CCRES member who told me that they put the PoS into reinforced mostly for fun. Acting on various word cues in his description, I managed to decypher THIS message:

“Our reason was far grander than a petty Orca and what we had in the corp hangar, for the legendary tales of your pvp prowess and twisted cunning in use of cloaky ships was so utterly terrifying that we could not just close the connecting WH but attacked your tower in hopes that having their ships destroyed by your considerable defenses, THEN closing the connecting WH with what few ships remained would be the only way to appease your unquantifiable wrath. Unfortunately, the tower’s defenses had been mostly offlined and unanchored into the corp hangar due to a spy, who after his two year infiltration campaign only now had the courage to act on his orders to mildly inconvenience you, then immediately killed himself out of fear and shame. We were thus forced to put the inconvenienced tower into full reinforced, to better reflect it’s former armed glory until a point in the future where you could reanchor your powerful and majestic defenses.”

Anyway, we had the full compliment so they settled for sending us a mail essentially saying:
“Hey, we put your pos in reinforced looking for free ships, you should probably try this configuration next time”
(For those interested they recommended dickstar)

After the reinforced timer ended we repped the PoS in a rorqual, orca and a few BSs which got MUCH faster once we realized the ending of reinforced meant that we could access the cap rechargers, power relays and energy xfer arrays in the corp hangar.

Anyway, this shite got me thinking. Wormhole territory is fast becoming a shifting battlefield. PoS takedowns, once the product of Amarr BS fleets that passed out at their keyboards firing at abandoned structures, are becoming more frequent and frankly, kinda alarming. Between a friend of mine getting attacked by two dreads w/ BS support fleet, Planet Risk owning then being owned by R&K, and CCRES’s “Stront check” of our PoS, I’d like to give an overview of PoS defense in a wormhole:

You’re screwed.

Here’s a little more detailed and less cynical view:

C1:
Size restrictions allow only battlecruiser hulls or smaller, but know that haulers, which can hold cap parts, large towers, fuel, x-large ship assembly arrays and everything else required to build a dread to kill your PoSes, can.
Recommended defenses:
Small guns, some medium guns anchored but not online. BC hulls or smaller usually means your only attackers will have poor dps, so hardeners are recommended. By the time they’ve built a dread you should already be gone >.>

C2-C3
Battleships are allowed in here, good for sites, bad when someone hates you, has a route to you and has a BS fleet handy can be a significant threat to your well-being. Build a carrier and rent/own/know someone who has a carrier pilot handy to scare off/murder/ambush attackers.
C4-C6
Carriers are “allowed” to jump in here, hence you should be prepared. Don’t ask me how, we still haven’t come up with a a counter to a carrier/dread with support fleet.

Essentially, the deeper you go, the more likley you are to be screwed, because the less time attackers have to invest in beating you into the ground. A battlecruiser takedown of a PoS is torture, a BS takedown isn’t much fun, and a dread-assisted takedown is about less than an hour, so an attacker’s time invested in making your life a living hell is much less than what it took for you to get two capitals, orcas, and the other thirty ships you’ve amassed over several months into the wormhole.

Point is, if someone wants you out of a specific hole, they can motivate you to get out. If you fit guns, they’ll wait for your offtime and have RR gangs. If you fit ECM, they’ll bring a dread and sensor boosters. If you go full hardeners, they’ll bring a dread again. If you find the most amazing awesome pos configuration ever, they’ll just starve you of fuel. They can activate all your sites with a scan ship every morning, camp your static, build a dread, any number of things in mind to make you think “boy, I wish they weren’t here or I wasn’t here”. The best defence, IMO, is two fold:

The first and more reasonable method is to have several friends and/or piles of isk to hire several friends. Eve is a spreadsheet game, but is refreshingly simple in combat calculations, which usually amount to “Whoever has the most experienced friends wins”.

The method that, us lacking large groups of friends and a general sense of comradery, is to be ready to be gone. Write the PoS off as already dead, and have the expensive gear in capital ships/industrials. When, not if, WHEN you get attacked by a superior force move to a deep safe you’ve created before deep safes were nerfed(before May 18), and/or make a safe in system and logoff in it. Then, scan your static, which, since you’ve been preparing for this exact situation for a while, goes to a C4 or higher WH and will close exactly after you pass your entire operation through it, once it’s been shoved into cap ships/orcas. If said static has a static C4 or higher, move in, setup the backup pos and either rebuild there or go through the next static.

The third method, that dedicated people of eve will probably do, and do better than me, is to want the hole more. Have an Orca/carrier cloak in system w/ lots of SB hulls, scan ships hulls, and fits. Get 5-10 people in. Proceed to activate every site after downtime, bomb the static periodically and generally make whoever tried to take your hole/lives in the hole you want wish they’d never heard of a local-lacking environment. Take 200 combat scan probes, launch seven, cloak. Repeat every 2 hours or so. Eventually, they will leave. Wait a week. If they come back, do it all again, if they don’t, setup a small pos and put a maint array/hangar in it. Have one big ship and one small ship for each pilot. Pilots logoff in big ships w/ scan ships/SBs in orca and CHEAP haulers/other ships in the small tower’s maint array. Don’t bother putting anything in the small tower’s corp hangar, as anyone who finds it will try to put it into reinforced, making removal of the stuff difficult. Don’t worry about defenses, again, if someone wants the tower dead, it’s dead. Make sure to have stront, and if the dudes come back lookin for trouble, unanchor the pos (using a cheap hauler w/ SB support), stuff it in the Orca and go back to step one. Repeat as necessary until they stop coming back and you feel safe enough to anchor a large pos and/or keep living out of orcas/capitals. Use any spare orcas/carriers to collapse the static at inoppertune times, and restock your equipment (using cheap haulers) at 5 am their time and/or downtime. Bubble the static and cloak SBs nearby.

People attack your wormhole because they’ve either been hired to do it, they want your sites, or they’re just bored. The bored will leave, the hired will eventually stop working for the hirer, and the people that want your sites won’t get your sites because you activated all the sites every downtime. An Orca, a few scan ships and SBs w/ fits is not expensive at all compared to WH sites, so you can make their lives irritating w/ very little expense on your end. The person who wins will eventually either be the person/people who get bored first. Or, someone runs out of money. Who’s gonna run out of money first, the people w/ covops cloaks or the people who can’t cloak while they fight sleepers or mine?