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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 Some of these sheets are old with broken formulas or outdated build requirements.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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Blake’s Papercuts

Inspired by Jester’s post about accepting Eve as it stands, I started to record my own personal headaches while performing Industry and Trade related tasks.

Manufacturing/Invention
1. Menu items on Blueprints: I want to be able to Right-click, build or Right-click, invent from the hangar.
3. Batch processing: multi-select right-click, build/invent.
3. Two stage jobs, like capitals that have components that are build from minerals, can be built with one click from the capital Blueprint.
4. Easy display of Blueprints ME/PE from hanger view.
5. Stack Blueprints of equal ME/PE levels.
6. Multi cycle runs. Make 10 items 10 times as long as you have the required items in stock.
7. Pause jobs if they run out of materials and allow resume when sufficient items are placed in the hangar.

Booster Trade
1. Expand profession. Currently I know of a few major manufacturers of drugs and distribute to niche markets. I want to be able to have more players in the market, many more markets, and a feeling of sneaking contraband around the galaxy.
2. Given the limitations on production to POS’es, the barrier of entry for manufacturers is high. I remember a long time ago hearing about how Mittani proposed a drug manufacturing ship; imagine a stealthy ship that arrives out of nowhere, makes you drugs, and retreats into the abyss.

API
1. Expose Blueprint ME/PE/Run/Remaining.
2. Expose tower CPU/Power utilization and any timers such as anchoring, on-lining, or reinforced. (Metagame++;)
3. Expose saved ship fits for read/write to allow developers to create alliance/corp/mobile 3rd party applications for working with fits using XML.
4. Do not allow the buying, selling, modification of orders (I’ve wrote about the potential botting implications here).

POS Rework
1. Grant the ability to move POS’es between characters, corporations, and alliances.
2. Scrap the worthless Refining Arrays. They refine at too high a loss, are cumbersome to load and start refine jobs. In the new system you should be able to create paths between modules like we have in PI to transfer goods for constant production.
3. Add a mechanic for hacking/taking over offlined and abondoned towers.

Unified Inventory
1. Dragging something to the station Item or Ship hangar should automatically place it in the proper hangar. I hate having to drag ships to ships and item to items. The goods are going to my local hangar, just put them there.

General
1. Automatically remove me from my ship, stop skills from training, and initiate the clone jump.
2. Prompt/warn me that my clone is out of date before undocking.

Timers
1. I want to be able to see the time remaining for various things (GCC, etc) in the same fashion as the undock timer.

Kill Reports
1. Add Logistic repair amount.
2. Add coordinate and time data down to the millisecond to allow people to develop applications to replay and analyse battles.


Increasing Faction Standings with Tags

For some time I have been queuing up production jobs that would be well suited for highsec. In order to anchor a POS in highsec, your corporation needs to have 5.0+ standings with the appropriate faction [detailed guide].

Since my main character has run a lot of Gallente missions in the past for ISK and has Social IV, he started off this task with a standing of 3.12 to the Gallente Federation.

Rather than grinding out more missions, I found out that there are a series of one-time agents for each faction that will trade in tags for standings. There are four Data Centers, one for each empire, located in New Eden where you can turn in tags.

You can collect these tags by running missions or by buying them off the market. A bunch of tags for one empire’s Data Center agents came out to around 352 M ISK on the Jita market. I didn’t see any major swings in prices or obvious market manipulation attempts, so I bought enough for all the agents.

Turning in these tags raised my standing from 3.12 to 4.95 with Social IV. After Social V completes, I should have more than the required 5.0 base standing in order to anchor a POS in highsec. [edit] Apparently Social skills do not come into play with anchoring rights. It appears I will have to do some more grinding to get the base standing up to 5.0+.

Chatting with all the Data Center agents

Since corporation standings are calculated as ‘the average of all corporation member standings towards that faction after the period of a week’, I will have to move this character into a 1 member corporation and wait for the standings to update.

No rush on this project, but I wanted to get the standings in order now so when it comes time to light up the production lines, I can immediately drop a POS. If you don’t want to raise your corporation’s standings yourself, you can even hire a guy to do it for you.

Perhaps I will wait for the POS rework before starting this production project. From what I have gathered listening to current CSM Chairman Seleene, the POS redesign is in the works. I haven’t been able to determine if this is slated for Winter 2012 or for Summer 2013.


Mass Tech 3 Hull Production

In addition to the massive stock of Subsystem BPCs that I recently acquired on a bulk deal, I have also picked up a large amount of Tech 3 hull BPCs.

I thought that a large batch of hulls would go along nicely with the production run of the Subsystems so I bought them after running the numbers.

The bulk deal was for enough BPCs to make 443 Hulls. The average BPC price per run on the deal came out to 18.35 M. On public contract right now, a Tengu BPC is trading at about 20-25 M/run.

Construction Skill Prerequisites That I Need

Frigate Construction IV
Cruiser Construction 5
Amarrian Starship Engineering 5
Caldari Starship Engineering 5
Gallentean Starship Engineering 5
Minmatar Starship Engineering 5

I will need to train up Cruiser Construction to V and each racial Starship Engineering to V. Each one will take around ~22 days to get to V.

I currently have 6.7 M skills in Science on my industry, invention, and research alt so this will help round him out by giving him the ability to produce a large variety of Tech 2/3 ships.

The Stock

I now have enough BPCs to make 119 Legion, 61 Loki, 51 Proteus, and 212 Tengu Hulls.

Production Run Considerations

Tech 3 Hulls and Subsystems can only be made in an Subsystem Assembly Array anchored at a POS.

A mobile assembly facility where advanced subsystems and hulls of strategic cruisers can be manufactured

3 manufacturing slots:
Base time multiplier: 1.0
Base material multiplier: 1.0

(Note: Tech III hulls cannot be assembled at starbase structures. The hulls and subsystems can only be assembled whilst docked in a station.)

Just the 212 Tengu Hulls will take 7 months to produce on 1 production line. I’m not sure how many Subsystem Assembly Array modules will go live for the run or how many characters will be trained up to produce yet.

Profit Estimations

Making 443 Hulls will produce a profit of 12.9 B minus the investment for the BPCs at 8.1 B.  The profit estimation is around 4.7 B.

Note that the previous profit number does not account for the cost of running POS.


Botting Journey to Deep Nullsec

After seeing JonnyPew’s videos on how to fit a bomber and search for bot activity in nullsec, I set on my own journey to see if I could find them action.

His guide shows how to fit a Hound, which I cannot fly. Luckily the fitting differences between racial bombers are not that high so I changed one or two modules and bought up Nemesis fit. The total was around 36 M, which included four bombs and a compliment of torpedoes.

After looking at a few regions on Dotlan, I found a pocket of space that contained a high (inhuman) amount of NPC kills. You can easily see these by filtering for NPC Kills over the past 24 hours and seeing areas where 10,000+ NPC kills occurred.

I set course and flew out of Jita 4-4 towards the unknown, 67 jumps to be exact.

I’ve spent a far amount of time in nullsec, navigating with large fleets and going on solo roams in cloakey ships so I was confident in my ability to dodge bubble camps. I did have to pass through the N-RAEL system, which is a known hotspot as it connects Empire space to the Great Wildlands. I watched the gate and picked a quiet hour to sneak in after seeing a few industrialists go back and forth.

Pretty uneventful until I got into the destination constellation, where the locals were pretty active. The final jump laded me right into a pile of bubbles. It was clear that the locals did not want a lot of traffic to get around easily.

I found a celestial, aligned, cycled the MWD, and cloaked. When I breached the bubbles, I went into warp. I made a few safe spots and refreshed the directional scanner to get a good feeling of what was around me. There was only one Force Field on scanner, a Drake, and a few frigates.

Note: Count the number of towers and force fields listed on the directional scanner. If the count does not match, then a tower is offline and you might be able to see if any goodies were left anchored.

I’ve been hanging around the deep nullsec system for a week now, monitoring activities and taking names. I haven’t pounced on a ratter yet as every time I login, I see a lonely Drake warp to a safe POS and disconnect.


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.