I leave for two weeks and you all accidentally the market. I was not able the participate in the Odyssey speculation, but I am enjoying catching up on it.
The wild swings that we are seeing in the Moon and Ice markets due to Odyssey adjustments made me reflect on the stability of the items that I trade.
I used my historical database to come up with a report to provide quantitative insight to help give values to the items that I instinctively know are high risk. Here is a snapshot of the lower and upper items listed in my Stability Report that covers three years of trading sorted by standard deviation (σ).
Here are some general observations about the items listed:
- Basic minerals, ammo, and modules are the most stable.
- Capital modules weigh in somewhere in the middle.
- Tech2 ships fill the upper band of the report.
- Tech3 hulls and associated Subsystems are randomly spread over the middle band.
- Certain battleships are high on the report because their popularity has changed over time due to shifting fleet doctrines.
- The Procurer BPO was an item that I speculated on heavily during the last patch, which netted very positive results.
- Capital ships are subject to large swings due to mineral price changes.
A tenant of becoming a good trader is minimizing your risk while trying to maximize your rewards. My advice for new traders is to work with more stable items as shown in the shaded green area of my report; they are subject to less swing and therefore will help minimize risk. As your ISK resources grow, you can move into riskier items that will [hopefully] yield larger returns.
Thanks for all the feedback in the comments. I actually spent some time recently to figure out how to calculate item volatility here https://k162space.com/2013/08/20/hac-price-volatility/. I’m working out how to pull numbers for all my data for a new post soon.
Another year of growth and transitions into larger projects.
Module, gun, ship construction and trading proceeded as it did the previous year. With reliable income from trading, we expanded our operation into heavy construction by adding a Carrier construction wing to our operation.
From these numbers we can see that our operation is facing more competition as margins were slightly lower than the previous year. To overcome this, we migrated our inventory to higher per-sale profit items. The drastic change in quantity can be explained by dropping Ammo as a common trade item.
This overview shows the benefits of spreading your trade load between high ticket, low volume items and more volume centered low price items.
Q1 and Q2 saw renewed vigor into trading as I started to invest more time into logistics and product research.
Q3, July especially, was a record breaking time as I took any liquidity and moved it back into assets. This also marked our shift into high ticket items. Additionally, at this point in the year my trading partner and I had a lot of time to devote to our operation.
September into October is a busy time for me personally. I took a long vacation October and was away from Eve for a few weeks. Everyone needs a break and our performance numbers directly show this.
Procurer speculation with the Inferno Patch.
Outsourcing some Highsec logistics with Red Frog Freight during busy periods.
Expanded trading into High Meta items.
Expanded construction and sales into Carrier hulls.
Invested 133 days of training into Racial Cruiser Construction V and Jury Rigging V to enable Tech 3 hull and subsystem production in the coming year.
Though there are profits in invention, I found the process of gathering materials, inventing a BPC, putting the component parts together to be uninspired; I had no real focus this year with invention. Most of the time I spent in this area was spent making Drones and increasing my stock of -1/-1 Anshar prints for a rainy day.
My two invention characters have 4-4-4 skills. I have found the training return of getting 5-4-4 or even 5-5-5 skills to marginally increase profits. Since the train time to get a Science skill to 5 is around 20 days, I have not felt the need to sink time into polishing off the skills.
I did keep a database record in order to produced the below summary of my invention statistics The overall success average came out to be 48.2%, which falls in line with any invention guide.
With the addition of Faction, Deadspace, and Officer modules to the market, I saw several trading opportunities throughout the year to work with these items. I had little to no interest in using the tedious contract system to trade these items so when they were added to the general market, I rejoiced.
Here is a summary of the performance of items by Meta levels. Faction and Deadspace items traded well and brought consistent high profits.
Escalation Barge Teiricide
With the changes to mining barges in the Escalation patch, my partner and I mainly targeted the Procurer hull as its build requirements changed the most with the patch. We speculated that the new barges would cost more post-patch so we build a large stock before patch day.
We ended up selling 288 units for a profit of 2.48 B. We put a smaller amount of effort into Retriever hulls and managed to build and sell 44 for a profit of 431 M.
Fear the Sabre
I had limited success with trading other racial Interdictors. The Sabre is the champion of them all and hopefully we see some further balancing to these hulls in upcoming patches.
Alpha Maelstrom to Rail Rokh
This year we saw the popularity of the Alpha Maelstrom as a viable Nullsec fleet composition fade away in favor of the Rail Rokh. I was slow to react to this change and by the time I got my Rohk BPO researched to an acceptable level, the switch to the new doctrine was already underway.
Rigs and Guns
The core rig types (Trimark, CCC, and Field Extender) continued to be a solid performer. If you sell a ship in an area, you should also sell related rigs to popular fits. Let this be a lesson in item cross-selling for anyone building, stocking, and selling ship hulls.
The core gun types seen below also provided some income over the year.
GoonSwarm Shrugged, I Smiled
During the GoonSwarm Ice Interdiction, I speculated on POS fuel and turned a profit. I made 648 M doing some passive trading in Jita on Oxygen Isotopes. In addition, people started to panic and predict that other Isotopes were going to be affected also. I made some early buys on Nitrogen and then sold them off at the height of their price level.
I have focused on and found a number of High Meta items that have proven to be very profitable. I’ve blanked out the names of them because I don’t yet want to disclose the item types at this point in time.
As expected implants were a high performer.
High volume modules provide a small source of income as working with these items means you are in a competitive and often saturated market.
The new Drone Damage Amplifier modules sold very well, but I had poor success with the Reactive Armor Hardener.
I have continued to have limited success with ammo. I have found the velocity of trading to be very slow which I think is due to the nature of ammo production and consumption.
Since ammo jobs are batch based (meaning that when someone runs a production job they are producing a large bath of ammo rather than a single unit), production has periods of high volume. Additionally when someone buys ammo, that person tends to buy a large stock and slowly work though the pile.
I keep stocking ammo with the intention that it will move, but I always am unimpressed by the numbers.
Tier 3 Battlecruisers
The popularity of the Tier 3 BCs remains high as I was able to make a profit on every racial type of them. Surprisingly the Oracle and Talos have been outselling the Tornado.
The Cerberus has remained a poor performer with no production or trading opportunities arsing this year. The Ishtar remains a strong seller as a preferred AFK mission ship while the Vagabond holds up the PVP end of the HAC spectrum. I fully agree with Kirith Kodachi’s recent comments on the upcoming rebalance initiative that will eventually hit HACs.
Tech 2 Logistics Falling From Grace
With the recent rebalance of Tech 1 logistics, I expect my production and trade of Tech 2 logistics ships to decline. As Jester pointed out, the proficiency of the Tech 1 variant can cheaply replicate the Tech 2 variant.
Champion CREST API changes and development with the community to enable 3rd party tools to flourish.
Pressure the CSM for industry and mining changes.
Though the Carrier project is new, it is proving to be profitable so we expect the expand the operation. We are going to look into Dreadnought production in addition to carriers.
Build from stockpile of Tech 3 hulls and subsystem BPCs.
Build backlog of invented Anashar BPCs.
tl;dr Using mineral compression enables you to haul the minerals needed to built 344 battleships in one Jump Freighter.
When I started playing, I knew that I wanted to be a builder; I wanted to become an industrial gear in the alliance war machine providing materials to advance the cause.
At the height of the Northern Collation, the Alpha Maelstrom was king. The ability to deliver bursts of coordinated damage in high lag situations was the method to win battles.
Over the life of the Northern Collation, I built and sold around 344 Maelstrom ships in Cloud Ring, Pure Blind, and Deklein.
You might assume that these were hauled in from Empire or built from nullsec minerals, but that is not the best way to operate. I’ve wrote about mineral compression before, but now I wanted to disclose my building operations with a concrete example now that my Maelstrom production line has been retired.
Side note: TEST officially announced the end of Maelstrom reimbursements yesterday. RIP bucket of rust with solar sails.
The volume of raw minerals equals around 48,800,000 m3 (140 Jump Freighters or 55 Freighters) of hauling if you were to bring them in uncompressed. Even given perfect jump skills, this would eat up 2.1 B worth of Isotopes using the jump path I took to my production system, effectively killing your profits.
If bringing in the minerals is a Herculean task, what about bringing in the built ships?
Built ships have a better compression ratio. 344 Maelstroms, if hauled in from Empire to Nullsec, comes out to 17,200,000 m3 (49 Jump Freighters or 20 Freighters). Moving built hulls would bring fuel costs down to 764 M, but you can still do better.
1,000 425 Railgun I’s
Taking minerals in empire, compressing them into modules, and refining in nullsec is the best way to transport large quantities. 1,000 425 Railgun I’s equal 10,000 m3 of space yet produces around 1,407,000 m3 when refined (!).
This screenshot shows what you can achieve in a station with a 50% base refine and high refine skills. You could even push the yield to perfect by getting better standings (details and math here) with the station corporation.
Using only 425 Railgun I’s will leave you with a disproportional lack of Tritanium for battleship builds. Other items, such as the Passive Targeter I, can be used to balance out your needs.
I’m following the trend that Rixx Javix started and posting my goods. As mainly a trader and researcher, I don’t feel like I have a large fleet of PVP ships as I try to maintain a lean operation. ISK goes back into trading and manufacturing operations instead of sitting as a rusting Minmatar hull in a hangar.
I’ve blanked out the majority of my ship name but I’ll let you know that I name them all after Babylon 5 ship classes.
This character sits in Jita 4-4 and moves and/or ships items around. I think of this guy as the holding account.
(396) Various capital part BPCs left over from copying capital part BPOs for passive income
(293) Various Tech1 BPCs left over when I used to do Invention
(14) Invented Tech2 module BPCs
(5) Invented Anshar (ME -1) BPCs for JF building
Ishtar, Onyx, Phobos, Pilgrim Invented BPCs
(2) Jump Freighter
(5) Iteron Mark V
This character is working with around 290 BPOs worth around 13.59 B. I’ve always wanted to be able to produce anything in the game so I bought up the majority of the common module, frigate, and cruiser prints. The only Battlecruiser prints that I own is a set of the Tier3 ones. I have no intention to ever produce Drakes/Hurricanes due to their small profit margin. I also don’t own any Battleship prints as I like to fly T1/T2 cruiser hulls.
Capital Bittervet Pilot
I’m training this character to fly all four racial Interceptors, Recons, Logistics, and standard BCs. I also have him trained for the standard T2 Alpha Maelstrom because it is such a common request in nullsec fleets.
Out of the spreadsheets and into the fire! I have always been interested in the ebbs and flows of power in nullsec and as such, I have a subcapital character in TEST for participation in the pony giggles.
I saw a Jabber announcement go out for a fleet that worked perfectly for me — after US dinner, before bed.
A lot of firsts happened on this fleet. It was my first official non-kitchen sink/random home defense subcapital fleet, the maiden voyage of my T2 Alpha Maelstrom (finally have Large Projectile Turret V), first time using optimized overview settings, and my first nullsec final blow.
(don’t laugh all you PVP’ers — I’m going to try to do a battle report)
Alpha > Scimitar > Huginn formup in Fountain. 140 in fleet mainly consisting of a Maelstromball with fast tackle support that headed into Delve. We encountered and played catch-up/evade/backtrack with a Nulli Secunda AHAC/T3/Dictor gang of about 100. Now blue’d Pandemic Legion joined us on a few jumps as we played around with the Nulli Secunda gang.
Three major encounters resulted in us blapping their ships as they came through gates while being tailed.
Once we jumped through, our Alpha Maelstroms pulsed MWDs and sat at optimal using Depleted Uranium L (1.2x tracking) ammo while fast tackle stayed on gate to lock down targets.
After a few T3s, some Guardians, and all their Dictor were down, they retreated home while we reinforced a few structures with the help of PL.
This was also my first time using Liberty Prime’s UI Generator settings and I have to say, their standard theme is quite nice.
I was easily able to flip between friendly/hostile/warp points and the color highlighting really helped when identifying targets. I recommend trying this theme out if you have any issues with your current Overview setup.
So watch out, this industrialist is growing teeth!