Curse you, Captain Market!

Well… we as the WH and nullsec miners of Eve have kinda screwed ourselves over with this. Most nerds players who read this blog probably already know why mega prices are currently in the hypothetical shitter of a race of toilet-people, but for those who enjoy shooting things in their spare time, let me give a general summary. I’m not a marketeer, but I like to think of myself as knowing at least a little.

6 Month Megacyte Prices

Insurance on everything T1 is essentially a cap on how low mineral prices can fall, because once the mineral and manufacturing costs of say, a Drake goes below that threshold, industrialists blow their products up for ISKies. The clever way the eve economy has found around this little cap is an overflow of mega and zyd, via WH space and nullsec.

There are two three types of miners, the risky miner, the safe miner, and the macro miner. The safe miner is content to sit in highsec and mine veldspar all day, safe(mostly) and making reliable ISK. The risky miner goes to WH space or nullsec and mines the best ore. The macro miner sits and mines veld automatically in a way so nerfarious that it’s undetectable by CCP.

In any case, this system used to work because there was not very much ABC avaliable. Miners had two choices, to mine in highsec or join a nullsec alliance that operated deep in nullsec for ABC. Then came Apocrypha, with its WHs. Initially, the combatants of Eve went in and carved a oily swath through the sleeper population, idly noting the presence of ABC roids amist the floating sleeper arms and limbs that they grafted together to make T3 cruisers.

After Mr. Wizz-bang-shooty-fun had essentially reduced the sleeper population into little flying bags of ISK with Hadoken beams, Mr. Industrialist perked up his ears at the mentions of ABC. And so the miners who were given a choice between working for peanuts and working for nullsec alliances chose….rapture I mean WH mining.

After the first few tentative steps in which the miners learned how not to die, stopped using T2 rigs and faction boosters on their mining vessels, they started mining. Quite a bit. This mining operation reached full swing about the same time Dominion came out, and with it nullsec roids. Not ordinary nullsec roids, however. These roids… were infinite. In all fairness, WH roids are infinite too, if you know how to work it.

So essentially, everyone who was bored with highsec mining(90% of the highsec mining population, excluding macro miners) went to the new nullsec belts or W-space, and about…half of them got shot to hell so quickly and efficiently that they went straight back to highsec. Those who remained, with large piles of the best roids in Eve, quickly turned those into large piles of ISK, so quickly that they were having to import Tritanium from highsec to build stuff, which was viable because they could spend an hour mining Bistot and buy three hours worth of Tritanium.

Unfortunatley, the WH miners, being unable to focus on making ships because of lack of stations, safety, ectera, couldn’t make ships, so they carted their mega and zydrine to Jita and sold it, possibly more than the market could handle, at about the same time that tritanium was being bought in droves by the nullsecers. All of this has shifted the balance of nullsec/highsec ores towards tritanium, increasing it’s worth until enough people say “f- it” to null and WH mining to increase the rarity of mega and zydrine so the price goes back up so people go back into WHs and nullsec so the price goes back down so….

ect, ect, ect.

So, who here that mines in null or WH is gonna wuss out first? ABC prices have dropped to about 60% of what they were last summer, and the price is gonna keep goin down. Or it won’t. Or maybe it will. Who knows?

6 Month Zydrine Prices

All I know is, I’m not moving from W-space. They’re no rats here, no can flippers, and the roids don’t explode after two or three cycles. You control who can come in and out of your WH, to a degree, and wardecs mean nothing. My corp’s in a wardec atm, and we’re still mining away juuust fine, w/ rorqual support even. It’s everything nullsec, but without a cap fleet breathing down your neck.

Blake’s Eve Machine

  • Dell Studio XPS 9000
  • Intel Core i7-920
  • 4GB DDR3
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 260
  • Windows 7 64-bit

You can lecture me about Nvidia vs ATI and why I should have gone with the ATI 5800 series which has Eyefinity technology, but I already had that debate when purchasing this box. I went with the Nvidia card because I won’t really want to play one instance stretched across screens and the Nvidia card came with the Dell XPS series. I didn’t want to go with the Alienware uber-watercooled machine from Dell, which does have the ATI 5800 series as a video option.

Looking back I’ve come a long way since the machine that I cut my computing teeth on…

  • 486 DX2 @ 50MHz in Turbomode
  • 16 MB RAM
  • 540 MB HD partitioned into two with DOS 5.0 and Unix

[Feb 24 update]

Here’s an older shot when I only had 1 monitor so you can see the skyline.

Journey to 9UY4-H

I believe in Providence’s NRDS policy. I believe that it is a critical training location for new pilots and a location where you can make some of your first steps into nullsec space. After a few months of playing eve, I wanted to get into the nullsec games so I spent some time mining Dark Glitter in Providence. There I learned how to take orders from a FC, watch local, scout, “run the pipe”, etc… …

NRDS Not Red, Don’t Shoot. An engagement policy of corps/alliances where “red” refers to having negative standing, leaving neutrals as “shoot only after being shot at”. More usual in low security space than in 0.0, due to the greater number of genuinely friendly/indifferent neutrals in areas of higher population.

All good learning experiences that helped me grow in my Eve career. I would hate to see CVA loose Providence as it would rob other new players of the same exposure to nullsec.

I didn’t feel like mining last night so I bought some mods in Jita 4-4, hopped on an alt account, and set a course for 9UY4-H, which was recentry taken from CVA by Ushra’Khan.

Leaving empire and entering through KBP7-G I expected resistance or a Heavy Interdictor Bubble on my way to Unity Station, the outpost in UY4-H, but I made my way through alive. When I reached Unity Station, I wasn’t able to dock as my alt is in a NPC Corporation.

Here are some screenshots of the heavily Mobile Warp Disruptor’ed Outpost.

Perhaps someday I will fight the fight in nullsec.

Hulkamania running wiiiiiild!

Please don’t throw  something at me, but I’m going to draw a comparison to WoW and Eve. In WoW, each server has about 2-3 thousand people. The equivalent of our market is an auction house, of which there are three of. There is no “Want to buy” option, and you can only post auctions, with buyouts.

Here’s where I’m going with this: cornering the market is fairly easy. For those who enjoy shooting things instead of making spreadsheets, let me explain: cornering the market is basically where you feel like increasing your wealth by 30% or so, by making other people complain. The only requirement to do this is to have so much ISK or gold pieces or whatever that a new player would sell a kidney to get as much as you have. In Eve, by comparison, with fifty thousand players online on a good day, you need so much cash a new player would murder a small town for their organs before you can think about cornering. Add to that that the issue I’m griping about today cost 100 mil before the cornering, don’t wonder if you see 3-4 towns go off the map soon.

Where were all these rich players when I was mining in a navitas?

The base concept is simple: pick something that everybody wants, say, hulks, or something, and buy all of them on the market, and relist them at 120% of the price you paid. As regular people see your sell orders for 120 mil, they will either undercut you by a little or a lot. If it’s a lot, like, say, 105 mil, then buy their order and relist it at 120 mil. If it’s around 119.5 mil, either buy it or ignore it if you’re low on funds and might need to buy more of the ships at 100 mil. Anyway, what this does is make all the miners very upset because they still really, really badly want hulks but they have to pay more, and since you have all the hulks, they have to buy from you. eventually, your strategy makes critical mass and you either run out of money and the price goes back down, or the new price becomes the norm and you get rich and everyone poorer than you whines when you pour that money into cornering the exotic dancer market or whatever.

Anyway, according to marketeers who enjoy making spreadsheets and some normal people, the cost of hulks first rose to 140 mil because the moon rebalance made some new goo expensive and the old expensive goo cheap, but no-one wants to sell the old goo cheap, so the prices now include twice as many expensive components as before. The fact that hulks are now at 190 mil is because jerks (read: players) with lots and lots of isk want more isk for some reason so they are all cornering the market AT THE SAME TIME. As such, hulks are spiraling high.

Way, way back in my life, my dad told me a story about the zebra… tulip? I forget. Anyway, the story was that people sold the tulip to other people, and the other people would sell it to other people for more, and on and on and on until one dude said “Why the hell am I trading my house for a case of flowers”. And the price went back down, to the sadness of all the flower sellers.

Since I mine in WH space with several friends, all in hulks, we’re being more careful than usual with our scanning tomfoolery, since 200 mil to replace a hulk doesn’t sit well with any of us. A quick check of EFT shows hulk max yield at 1360, and my yield at 1166. Covetor max is 1234, and 1019 for me.

So, according to that, first:

My mining yield is really sub par, so I should stop training drone interfacing and get back to ABC IV refining skills.

and second:

A Covetor isn’t that big of a step back, and I can certainly weather using one until hulk prices balance back out. God, I hope they balance out. WH mining is stressful as it is without feeling like you’re flying a ming vase.

As a parting note, why the heck can’t I moon mine in WH space? Seems reasonable to me. I suppose the counter argument would be that no-one can attack your PoS without a goodly time investment and luck, but considering we’re limited to one system before the logistics increases exponentially while tied to a fuggin rocket ship, woudn’t that balance things out a bit?

Fly… very carefully.

Thinking in Powers of 10

When I first started Eve, I thought in terms of thousands; skill books that cost 32,000 or 100,000 were high priced and the thought of spending multiple millions on the advanced learning skills was just not justifiable.

After a few months of getting my learning skills maxed out, I found Evemon and saw how beneficial the advanced learning skills were to my character. I mined for hours in my Navitas frigate and hauled with an Iteron III to get enough ISK to purchase the skills. After those skills were purchased, I started to think of items in Eve in terms of millions. Tech I items that cost 100,000 ISK or 200,000 ISK cost next to nothing and I had some 50 million in my wallet.

  • 06.2008 – 07.2009 NPC, Center of Advanced Studies
  • 07.2008 Joined a corporation
  • 11.2008 Corporation joined a Alliance
  • 02.2009 Created a second account

Joining a corporation set me on a mission to pilot the mightly Hulk, which at the time cost around 80-85 million ISK. I slaved, earning money by trading basic Tech I items like Warp Core Stabilizers and Heavy Neutron Blasters. The Hulk was fun to mine in and made easy work of Veldspar asteroids. After the release of Apocrypha, a corpmate of mine and I moved into a C2, then a C3 and now we are calling a C5’s home; my Hulk is eating Arkonor and Bistot asteroids for breakfast.

15 months after starting Eve, I am setting a goal to pilot a Carrier for the Alliance. The skill books, ship, modules, and insurance all add up to around 2-2.5 B with a 80 day plan to be able to pilot the Carrier with proper module/jumpdrive skills. I have perused the killboards and see the multi-billion ISK damage of a Carrier kill.

Am I ready to think in terms of Billions? 1,000… 1,000,000… 1,000,000,000?