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Journey to 100B ISK

Visions of power come in many forms in the Eve universe. Some people aspire for political wealth and the ability to spin the wheels of war with a few verbal orders. Others find power in numbers, the blinking of a wallet ever increasing towards a higher value.

I have always identified with the industry people, who wish to put disparate pieces together to create something grand. Ammo to Jump Freighters — I’ve built them all and have quite the journey.

In March of this year, I hit a new milestone as I saw my net value pass 100B for the first time.

Carebear Stare

As I reflect, I find the notion that I once held of an Iteron V being a masterful machine to be almost comical. Powerful Mining lasers from a Navitas frigate don’t seem to bring me the same thrill as before.

Now I am playing with what I consider to be the real industry and market people, who shift prices en mass and send ripples down the chain. I can now fund large conflicts and build something from nothing.

For one individual, vocal clout on comms provides wealth. For me, the work I am doing to drive conflict with money is far more entertaining.

The Vast Unknown

All journeys start with a decision that drives change. In 2008, fresh to the space opera, I found myself making small amounts of gains in highsec and eager for larger things. One day a corpmate approached me and lured me into unknown space with the promise of riches.

The introduction of wormhole space brought new fields of ABC ores to the galaxy. As my wormhole corporation climbed up the class ladder from a C3 into a C6, we grew in mining, production, and salvage efficiency.

In early 2009, the number of roaming gangs and gankers was drastically smaller than the current numbers. We would often mine for hours without seeing another incoming connection forming. The field was new and full of new mechanics that are drastically different than aged nullsec.

We used newly discovered mechanics to keep ourselves isolated.  Knowing that not warping to an outgoing connection will keep it despawned, helped keep our isolation from neighbors. When we saw a new signature from a nosy neighbor, we used the mass of our carriers and battleships to collapse the connection.

Isolation kept the Arkonor flowing and with each jetcan worth 14M ISK, our wallets fattened. We purchased carriers, a Rorqual, battleships, and funded second or third characters.

Clicking on Planets

Liquid ISK, which was created by piles of Megacyte mined in wormshole space, gave me the capital for my next venture.

I speculated heavily on the PI market before the Tyrannis patch. When NPC orders were removed, it paid off. I put 10B into NPC items such as robotics, construction blocks, coolant, and mechanical parts. As the prices peaked, I sold off the stock pushing my net worth up to 20/25B.

Market Epiphany

Another breakthrough came when I took up missioning as a side interest.

Running L4 missions.
Hmm, I need ammo and to rig this Dominix.
Hmm, why are rigs 3M more than Jita.
Hmm. Hmm. *click*
I should stock this mission hub.

Major Performers

Playing with Large CCC’s in major market hubs was my first journey into market PVP. I was able to 0.01 competitors out of the market and slowly saw the number of people competing with me in mission hubs go from 15 to maybe 5 or 6. I don’t have exact numbers, but this is my guesstimate based on the aggression of 0.01’ing.
These are the core rigs as I call them. Almost all ships will be rigged with a Trimark, CCC, or a Field Extender.As you can see, the price of them has fallen. The introduction of the Noctis has pushed rig prices down over the past year. Sadly, my profits on these items have been shrinking in line with the rig prices.
Salvage all the things! The Noctis was a huge seller for me and continues to be a powerful performer.I find that with new ship introductions, especially when the fulfill a role better than their predecessor, there is a huge amount of profit to be made. The Noctis replaced the salvage Destroyer for many people.
To my surprise the Ishtar has been a high performer. Despite not seeing these as standard nullsec doctrine ships, they sell well both in nullsec and in mission hubs. The Ishtar fills the role of your semi-AFK mission/belt ratter.
As lag remained a constant in Eve, the sheer power of an initial barrage of ammo from Maelstrom cannons took hold.In 2011 the standard T2 Alpha Maelstrom was a hot item. I have sold my BPO and reduced my involvement with battleships, mainly due to the fluctuating mineral market, yet the Alpha Maelstrom still remains a standard nullsec ship.
When people buy Capital ships in lowsec, they often want to fit their ship with a few modules. If you produce capitals in lowsec, be sure to stock the same station with common modules such as Armor Repair, Remote Armor, Remote Energy, Shield Transfers, and racial fuel. Also stock plenty of Cap Recharge and Power Relay modules as many people go for a travel fit out of their purchasing system.

Advice

Close Jita local and pretend it does not exist.

Expansions breed change. Pay attention to leaked patch notes, and review for manipulation attempts. If there is a change to loot drops proposed, get on the test server and figure out the refine value or use the static data set that CCP provides.

Stay away from the Official Eve Online forums, especially for market information. The reliability and quality of information is far too low.

Put on your tinfoil hat and join the r/eve and kugutsumen.com communities.

Read, read, read, use Excel or another tool, read, and read.

Take a risk and do something that you have never done before. Some of the most important trade data or inspiration has come out of new aspects of the game that I have never attempted before such as large 500 person fleet fights, mission running, or Incursions.

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K162 Trade Index

As a trader you continually ask yourself, what are the best items that I need to be working with?

This is a hard question to answer as there are many ways of using statistics to derive an answer. A common method is to use weights on criteria to come up with an index. The better this number, the better the item performs.

My trading partner James and I put weight on an items total profit, profit per transaction, profit per itemvolumeopportunity cost. We have 35,852 transactions dating back to October of 2010, but I wanted a current snapshot of my trading performance so we limited the interval to 3 months of history.

$sql = ('SELECT SUM(wallet.quantity) as totalQuantity, invTypes.volume, wallet.typeName, wallet.typeID,
 (SUM(wallet.profit) / 100000000) +
 (AVG(wallet.profit) / 100000000) +
 ((SUM(wallet.profit) / SUM(wallet.quantity)) / 40000000) +
 ((SUM(wallet.profit) / (SUM(wallet.quantity) * invTypes.volume)) / 1000000) -
 (((SUM(wallet.price) - SUM(wallet.profit)) / SUM(wallet.quantity)) / 500000000)
 as ticketWeight
 FROM wallet
 JOIN invTypes ON (wallet.typeID = invTypes.typeID)
 WHERE wallet.transactionDateTime > DATE_SUB(CURDATE(), INTERVAL 120 DAY)
 AND transactionType = "sell"
 GROUP BY wallet.typeID
 ORDER BY ticketWeight DESC');

We’re open to critiques of our method, as this is our first attempt to come up with more intelligence beyond ‘what items have the most profit on average per time period’.

K162 2012 Q1 Trade Index 50

Note that PLEX is very over-weighted due to its extremely small size (0.01 m3). We are not currently eliminating outliers.


2011 Trading and Industry Report

This post serves as an expansion on the 2011 Trading and Industry Reflection post where I outline some of the high level items that brought success to my efforts in 2011. After some further database work, I created a page that shows items in groups on a more granular level.

Q: How was your list created?

I spent a lot of time looking at items that are consumed for mission runners, PVP, and nullsec fleet doctrines.

Q: I might want to take a stab at creating a report of my own. How did you create this page?

All the items have been manually entered into an array.

...
'12773', //Barrage M
'191',//Fusion M
'193',// EMP M
...

The array is then used in a very non-optimized query to produce volume and profit numbers over the past 365 days.

$eveDate = $this->getEveTimeSql();
$sql = ('SELECT typeID, typeName, sum( profit ) AS totalProfit, sum( quantity ) AS totalVolume
				FROM wallet
				WHERE DATE( transactionDateTime ) > DATE_SUB( DATE( :eveDate ), INTERVAL 365
				DAY )
				AND personal = 0
				AND transactionType = "sell"
				AND typeID = :typeID
				GROUP BY typeID
				ORDER BY totalProfit DESC');

956 x 2993 report page:

Q: What happened with the Improved Cloaking Device II?

I fat fingered the sell price and was off by a power. Whoops.

Q: Surprises or unexpected trends?

I was completely floored by the amount of Capital Shield Transports that I was able to move in 2011. The new Tier3 BCs did not sell as well as I expected.

Q: Why didn’t you trade xxx or yyy?

There are still a lot of markets that I need to test out.

If you have any more questions, please ask!


War is Good for Business

Rule number 35 in the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition states that “war is good for business”.

In the world of Eve, major wars mean that shinies are going to get destroyed. Your Maelstrom going boom drives the economic engine. People, Corporations, and Alliance all need to be resupplied either from local production or hauls from Highsec (due to the current terribleness that is nullsec tech2 production).

The below graph shows my trading activity in differing regions based on the number of transactions per day.

I started recording trading data in November of 2010 and saw an increase in transactions until January 2011 as Evoke and friends were being pushed out of Cloud Ring by the Pure Blind locals.

From February 2011 into July of 2011 the amount of trade conducted in Pure Blind slowly faded as I took up more operations in Cloud Ring supplying Wildly Inappropriate and Goons on the war path into Fountain to remove IT Alliance.

A major shift occurred in July as I was called into Catch to assist AAA defend from the Russian invasion. On August 6, 2011, I saw the largest amount of transactions ever recorded in Catch. This was due to a large push by AAA against the invasion. After the fall of GE-8JV, the heart of Catch for AAA, the majority of people were on a full scale evacuation out of the region. This, combined with my disinterest in Eve at the time, caused my trading activities to fall idle.

In November I came onto the production and trading scene again in Pure Blind to help build up the war effort into Branch and that is where I currently stand. It appears that Vale of the Silent and Tenal are next on the list for invasion so perhaps I will get involved in those campaigns.


2011 Trading and Industry Reflection

Overview

Moved my operations completely out of wormhole space and into known space. Attempted to get into the 0.01 fast flip market in Jita and Amarr. My interested in Eve faded over the Summer with the lackluster expansion and Monoclegate sentiments. I eventually expanded into Capital production with the acquisition of Carrier and Capital Part BPOs. Later on in the year I attempted a Invention/T2 production line but ultimately decided it was far too click heavy for the effort.

Profit Summary

The start of the year, I found great market niches and was moving 35-40 B/month to achieve around 7-9 B/month profit. Later on in the year due to personal life commitments and a lack of interest in Eve, I wasn’t logging in as frequently; I found that I was moving about 15-20 B/month in order to turn a 3-4 B/month profit.

Top 30 Items of 2011

The image on the right shows the top 30 items by profit for the last year. This was definitely a breakout year for me as I experimented with the market to find what Ships, Modules, Implants and other items produce the best profit.

#1 Large CCC’s. The best performer as these rigs are used in Capital and Battleships to reduce the Capacitor recharge cycle time.

#2 Capital Shield Transporter I. Producing Capitals in lowsec and keeping these items on the market was a great cross sell.

#3/4 Large Rigs. No surprise here as these are put in every Battleship.

#5 Maelstrom. I was slow to move into the Maelstrom market but after looking at the standard 2011 nullsec Alpha fleet doctrine, I quickly realized that I needed to be trading these heavy hitters — pun intended.

#6 Ishtar. This HAC was a surprise performer for me as they kept getting sold. My theory is that they are great AFK mission ships.

#7/8. Capital ship and the popular module. Easy cross sell like the Shield Transporter.

#9 Noctis. Everyone wants one.

#14 Oxygen Isotopes. I did not make any profits from the GoonSwarm ice interdiction. I was working through a stockpile of about 2-3 M Isotopes before the announcement hit. I was trading all four racial Isotopes but due to the popularity of Gallente towers, Oxygen Isotopes traded better than the other three.

#19 Hulk. Surprisingly a good performer. The majority of Jita flips came in at 5-6 M profit each.

#21 Dominix. The Space Potato is a great mission ship.

#22 Anshar. I wanted to build one as the project was a end-game build for an Industrialist. Details about the build costs and profits can be found in this post.

#26/27/29 Blockade Runners. This item was also a nice discovery once I started trading them.

#30 Dramiel. With the nerf in Crucible, I have seen a slow down in sales.

#12/13/18/20/24/25/28 Implants. People die.

SQL Profit Query

If you have your own wallet table, here is the query I used to pull up the stats for the year. Granted I took the output and made a nice table with it using PHP, but you can easily work with this query.

$sql = ('SELECT typeID, typeName, sum(profit) AS totalProfit, sum(quantity) AS totalVolume
				FROM wallet
				WHERE DATE(transactionDateTime) > DATE_SUB( DATE( :eveDate ), INTERVAL 365
				DAY )
				AND personal = 0
				AND transactionType = "sell"
				GROUP BY typeID
				ORDER BY totalProfit DESC
				LIMIT 30');

2012 Prospects

I’ve found a new, painless method for moving around large amounts of minerals using compression techniques. The new Tier3 Battlecruisers have great market potential not only in the ship hull, but the associated Large guns and modules.

I have been considering shutting down the Capital operation and venturing into different areas. This will move about 20-25 B worth of BPOs into liquid ISK. More spreadsheets are needed to illuminate my path.


November Financial Report

Following the trend of EVE-fail, I am going to continue releasing monthly financial reports.

November saw a resurgence of trading as the anticipation of Crucible brought me back into the game. With all the PI changes, there were ample opportunities to turn a profit. The change over to Player Owned Offices meant a tax barrier and therefore an increase to PI goods. Now that PI goods are involved in many production chains (POS’es, POS modules, T2 components), there has been an increase across the board.

New to the net value charts is the inclusion of Corp assets as I have taken the CEO role and put a lot of ISK into our ventures.

Here is a sneak-peak at my top trading groups. As you can see Implants far outweigh the other items. When a person goes to replace their implants, you are not only selling 1 implant, but 4 or maybe 5, as people will replace the entire set.

I have not tested the market with Skill Hardwiring implants but now that they are visible on killmails, I may have to parse what ones are popular. Expansions always bring new trading opportunities, you just have to look for them. I might write something to scrape killmails and give me a report on what are the top 10 by volume per month.

There was a large growth in November compared to October due to a renewed effort into trading. I expect that December will be a good month as the introduction of the new Tier 3 Battlecruisers opens up many avenues. They are going to be popular and will die quickly.


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.