Posts Tagged ‘exploration’

Year in Review 2014: Trade

New Year 2014 Posts:

 

This one is going to be a lot of numbers, charts and spreadsheets. Where to start? I guess point 1 should be the revenue streams for the account in 2014 (not including Region Trading). These were:

  • Faction Warfare (around 1bn)
  • Ganking (around 400m)
  • Industry (900m)
  • Exploration (130m)
  • PI (400m)

 

All of these ventures were profitable past their original investment (except arguably ganking, which caused me to loose 500m’s worth of implants, but I don’t count that :P). None of the revenue streams remains active at time of writing, although I do have plans to activate PI and industry again at some point, and I suspect that ganking or faction Warfare might make an appearance again one day. This gives me an “other investments” total of around 2.8bn this year. Not bad considering I had some fun learning and executing all of the streams to some extent.

 

However as it has been since around  2009 my main income has been generated via the trading character I run. An, the trader has recorded trade data in my spreadsheet 67 times this year (an average of 5 times per month), which is… crap. Although not entirely unexpected in what has been a turbulent year. With next year hopefully being less demanding on my time, I hope to increase this number to 96, which is an average login of 2 twice per week in 2015.

 

Still it’s not the amount I log in that matters, but instead the amount of ISK that has been made, and that figure is far more healthy. Let’s get the big number out of the way: this year I made a total of 10.5bn ISK, after all deductions. That is a % increase of 53% since 2013, or an average increase of 0.58% per day. Not bad all things considered, and has moved me firmly into space upper-middle class. Looking back at last year’s posts it seems I was only just shy of meeting my goal of 11bn profit in 2014, I can only hope that I do as well meeting this year’s goals. But I promised that I would give you some sexy charts and so on, so let’s see the years profit broken down by quarters:

Quaterly

 

I find it interesting that I seem to always have a bad month just once every quarter before returning to a better figure. I think it’s less of a reflection of any accounting, or market trend and more on that of my psyche.

 

  • Month 1: log in lots, earn lots of money
  • Month 2: log in slightly less, earn lots of money
  • Month 3: log in hardly at all, and send money to hark to buy something big
  • Go back to Month 1

 

I guess it could be worse, and at least the cycle is sustainable, rather than draining my cash. Indeed looking at the spreadsheet even taking into account the bad months I earned around 28m isk/day and 859m/month in 2014, after expenditure on nullsec. Up from 25m/day and 750m/month in 2013. Projecting this onto 2015 I hope to average 38m/day and 1.1bn/month (based on average % increase per day from all records and current wealth). Should I succeed this would end 2015 with ~44bn Isk in the bank and increase of 45% on this year’s wealth. Certainly feasible. However rather than aiming for the trend already forming, I would like to set myself the goal of reaching 50bn (~58m/day) banked cash in 2015 an increase of around 20bn in the next year.

 

Returning to looking back however, here is what the year in trade looked like in chart form.

Chart

 

Fly what you can afford to lose,

 

Hark

 

Monthly Update: Back in the Saddle

Well it’s been not been a bad first month back in, although time has not been as abundant as I had hoped. It turns out that eve was not the only thing waiting for me to stop being busy with planning a wedding to consume my free time. I still found time however to get a few things done in eve and indeed help Arian out. As pretty much everyone one knows now Bothers of Tangra (PLs Renting and PvE group) has seeded most of its space over for Shadow of xDeath, and so Arian needed to move his PvE farming Macharial out of its home and back to highsec before the change took place. Unfortunately  the logistics group were doing shipments out of a station 8 jumps (2 constellations) away from where Arian had been ratting. So I flew an alt out to scout him through the jumps with an interceptor. The operation was entirely uneventful, but still quite nerve inducing, reminding me of why I enjoy eve (risk).

 

Since then Hark has also moved home and participated in a good fleet fight (which was a wonderful 5 sided melee in which I managed to bag around 50 kills (iirc). The fight was an excellent excursion for my Legion which hasn’t been aired in a little while now, and I managed to use overheating without burning out my weapons (this time) so clearly I am improving. Skills wise Hark is now really digging into her Int Mem mapping I started way back in July of 2013. That’s 495 days since I began my first foray into attributes. I estimate that this mapping has gained me 450 additional SP per day compared to the even attribute mapping I’ve previously had. In total that’s 222,750 additional over the time period. It’s not exactly buckets, but it all adds up I guess. Currently I have another 262 days of Skill training planned in this configuration before I begin the next remapping. No doubt I will do another Attribute Optimisation post when that time comes picking what I train next.

 

Xa has also been active, after doing the scouting for Arian she invested in an Astero and delved into Nullsec to try earning some cash. I’ve found that shallow Nullsec is pretty much barren of sites at the moment and I am thinking about going deeper to find more. My hope is that I might be able to train up a BLOPS bridge character at some point to make getting loot in and out easier. That’s a good distance into the future however, and for now I am just solidifying my scanning skills to ensure a faster hunting rate.

 

The Trader has also been much more active this month despite being away for most of it I managed to rake in 1bn ISK, which is back to my average (despite only 3 weeks of trading). Current projections forecast that I might manage to break 30bn in non-asset cash before the year is out, but that’s not for certain. I am also negotiating for a small investment of capital on a % profit basis which might up my trading capital for the next year. My growth rate is pretty variable, but tends to average around 0.125% per day. That means that even a 1bn investment could bring my profit per month up by around 40m per month. Again it’s not a signal to start filling the pool with money, but it’s not chicken feed either. We’ll see how the negotiation goes however. On other fronts I am warming up the PI chains as well with an eye to opening that revenue chain once more. I still haven’t sold of any of the created stock from that yet and estimate that I have around 500m ISK waiting to be sold on the market. Something I really should get around to doing.

 

The Industry character is also being warmed up again but to a lesser degree. My struggle right now is getting back into the habit of doing the daily maintenance needed to keep both this and the trader operational and profitable. To begin with my concentration has been on the trader, and so since I got back the Indy hasn’t really had the same amount of time invested in it. Currently she is sitting on around 500m’s worth of product A with another 500m having been sold at market just before I left on Honeymoon. She has also now trained into a second product line, which I will be interleaving with the original. I need to really sit down and work out a more exact plan for how that’s going to work, but have yet to have the spare time to do so. Product B is currently at level 4 of invention training, so I am still bringing her up to level 5 at time of writing, that should end next month when I will chose my next set of training (could be a dilemma!).

 

Finally my Dread alt is coming into the vinegar strokes of her training with only one months’ worth of training left before she is a competent Dread alt. The question now remained as it if it is worth cross training her into the other dreads, finding something else she could do (BLOPS bridge?) or just stopping the dual training on her account. I think that last one is going to win out to be honest.

 

The Dirties are certainly going into a decline within eve, which saddens me, but at the same time doesn’t surprise me. I am trying my hardest to fight that trend for myself, as I am still enthused about eve more than I am for any other game, but it’s hard to predict how the loss of the group might affect my enthusiasm. The group seems to be quite enthused about Elite Dangerous at the moment, and I have to admit that I am enjoying the beta quite a lot at the moment. Who knows perhaps there is a place for two space games in my life. Perhaps the same is true of this blog as well. More on that in another post.

 

Fly active,

 

Hark

Am I being lead Astro? Or is it just Cheetah-ing?

For a little while now my Faction Warfare alt, Xa, has been dabbling in 0.0 exploration, as an enjoyable income source. Since the market crash on exploration items, people seem to poo poo the profitability of exploration due to its risk and ish/hour income. However for me, most people fail to take into account a very important factor in their isk/hour calculations: enjoyment. If you don’t enjoy the money making process, you are less likely to log in and spend your time doing it.

 

Some people enjoy mission running, and likely do get very a high isk/hour rate because they enjoy it. But for me I find mission running (and indeed even 0.0 anom running) incredibly boring, and thus rarely log in to do them past a weeks’ worth of effort. Faction Warfare was another example of this. Here the theoretical isk/hour ratio is pretty stunning, but thanks to the main mechanic being watching a timer tick downwards and pressing a scan button, I bored quickly and stopped logging in for it.

 

0.0 Exploration so far has been a different kettle of fish:

 

Constant danger of death: check.

A good feeling of pissing someone off by invading their space and stealing ‘their’ money: check.

Gameplay which keeps me active from start to finish: check.

A good balance of Risk/Reward: check.

Sign me up.

 

So far Xa has been running around in one of my old haunts (where I happen to have a lot of bookmarks) doing regular sweeps of a large ring of Nullsec regions, running sites and earning money. It’s pretty good fun.

 

But now I am starting to wonder if I should start looking at upgrading my ship to the new Astro Frigate. So far I have been using a Cheetah fit like this:

 

[Cheetah, Exploration]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Damage Control II

Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

 

Data Analyzer II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I

Cargo Scanner II

Relic Analyzer II

 

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I

[empty high slot]

 

Small Memetic Algorithm Bank I

Small Emission Scope Sharpener I

 

And it’s not bad. With Xa’s skills we have a 5 second warp time, a 3k sub warp speed with a virus at 40/120 for both Analysers. At 2.7k ehp It doesn’t tank (if you are caught your dead anyway). It also has the virtue of costing only around 30-40m fully fitted, should it get killed.

 

Now let’s look at the possible replacement, you guessed it, the Astero:

 

[Astero, Exploration]

Damage Control II

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Overdrive Injector System II

 

Relic Analyzer II

Data Analyzer II

Cargo Scanner II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I

 

Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

 

Small Emission Scope Sharpener I

Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I

Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I

 

Warrior II x5

Hornet EC-300 x5

Hornet EC-300 x5

 

With this equivalent fitting, we have a 2 second align time(!). That’s crazy, simply crazy. To put that into perspective, let’s look at some locking times (all at level 5):

 

Instalock Cane (all sebo, T2 rigs + remote Sebo):

  • Astero: 2 seconds (2 second align)
  • Cheetah 1.8 seconds (5 second align)

 

Interceptor (1 sebo):

  • Astero: 2.6s (2 second align)
  • Cheetah:  1.5s (5 second align)

 

Interceptor (1 sebo +5 remote sebo)

  • Astero: 0.7s (2 second align)
  • Cheetah: 0.6s (5 second align)

 

This means that in a worst case scenario when you jump into a gate camp, the Astero only needs  the remote Sensor Boosted Interceptor to hesitate for a fraction of a second, whereas the Cheetah needs to sleep for a full 4 before it can escape, and against anything but a max boosted Interceptor, your chances of survival are almost 100%.

 

The Astero also sports a faster top speed at 3.5k under mwd, and you can pick one of your analyser modules to gain and additional 10 coherence over the equivalent Cheetah fit, or improve your scanning (you can only fit one of these rigs with calibration). The warp speed does suffer a little by comparison to the Cheetah at 5 au base, but in this fitting I have used the warp speed rigs to even this out at 7.5 (.5 au slower) incidentally these are some of the few rigs which will fit in the 150 calibration left. Not that it really matters, but the Astero does also have nearly 1k extra ehp at level V.

 

Drones are also an important factor, with the Astero sporting a fantastic 75m3 Drone bay allowing for either DPS drones, or GTFO EC drones.

 

All in all the Astero is pretty much better in every single way than the Cheetah (except hold space), except for one: The cost. Currently clocking in at 100m (at time of writing). Now no doubt this will continue to plummet as supply and demand begin to draw closer to each other, but just how far will it drop? I’m really no market analyst (nor an industrialist); so any prediction I might make is nothing more than guess work. But by comparison other popular Faction Frigates (the Dramiel &Daredevil) are around 50-60m each. So we are looking at a dramatic improvement, for roughly double (or even triple) the cost of the Cheetah.

 

Is it worth it? I’m drawn on this one to be honest. Yes the Astero would protect against Gate Camps, and has a better chance of survival if you are caught, but there is no bonus or module to improve capsular luck/skill. All it takes is a few seconds (with the new interceptor changes) of inattention to find a Tarnaris on top of you. Yes in this situation the warriors might help you kill a single frigate, or the EC drones might jam him long enough to escape, but if there is more than one ship on you, it’s “goodnight sweetheart”. Furthermore, if you are in Nullsec, there is nothing on board to escape a bubble camp, although the faster speed & align time will get you back to the gate quicker.

 

The question comes down to this: are you likely to lose three Cheetahs to fast locking gate camps for every one Stratios/Cheetah lost to inattentiveness? If so, the Astero might be a better choice. If not… well perhaps the Cheetah is good enough. That’s your call.

 

For me? Well. I don’t know yet. But the Astero is a very, very pretty ship…

 

Fly white,

 

Hark

 

Personal Exploration

Much like distilling, making what I want to say fit in 140 chars, can take a good few days.

Much like distilling, making what I want to say fit in 140 chars, can take a good few days.

In the last few days I have been talking a lot about the new exploration mechanics (and the changes being made to them). All the posts can be found below:

  1. personal exploration
  2. explorin gentitlement
  3. exploring exploration

 

Twitter really isn’t the best medium for communication. I never really got the bug for it, and to be honest I hate having to try to limit my expression to an arbitrary character limit. I hear the argument that imposing the limit distills the information to get you the interesting facts fast, but I disagree. Can anyone truly argue that this is better than the book?

 

“Little, hairy people + wizard/dwarves/elves take a really long time to triumph over evil.”

 

Could a religion (for better or worse) have sprouted from:

 

“God makes world. God makes people, gets angry with them & makes them follow rules.”

 

Source http://memeburn.com/2012/06/10-famous-novels-transformed-into-tweets/

 

I don’t think so. But I Digress. I do have a presence on twitter, partly because it is useful for publicising this blog, but mostly because I believe that twitter & tweetfleet are an important part of the eve community/meta. And both community and meta are important to me. The reason why I bring this up is because I had a good (if character limited) conversation with @MagnificentHaze yesterday evening surrounding my post on the Exploration changes (no I am not as mad as I made out honest). You can find the full conversation on twitter (if you know how to use it better than I do). But it came down to a discussion on what was, and what was not good multiplayer experience.

[edit] Thanks again to Haze, who has given me a link to our conversation: https://t.co/gfwdpASGqR

 

In the end I described how we as a group run the sites, and why I feel that the Loot spray was good multiplayer. First let me reiterate why the loot spray was good for single players.

  • It made you make tactical decisions on what to scope (even more so now that containers are named for what’s in them).
  • It required you to be a good manual flying pilot.

 

Ok so now how we run the sites. As a group of three we fly from system to system scanning down signatures, if there are more than one in a system, we split them up to scan them down faster. Once we have a site we warp in and power towards the can. When we arrive we divide the cans up between us, and all start hacking at the same time. When someone finds their system core they generally say something to the effect of “I’ve got it, ready for me to pop?”. This way we don’t all finish the hack at the same time and get overwhelmed. Assuming everyone says yes, the person who found to core kills is, and the rest of us ignore our hacking screens for a few moments to help tractor loot. This continues until all the containers are popped and the site is done. We do have to be careful about not moving more than 5-6K off the active hacking sites (as this explodes them), but good piloting skills makes this easy enough to do. We also have to concentrate on not tractoring the same target (as this locks you out for a cycle), and ensuring we catch all the fastest moving cans before they stray too far. As a result of our teamwork we complete the site 3 times as fast as a solo player, and scoop 100% of the loot as opposed to the 50-60% of a solo player.

 

I just don’t understand how the change is an improvement over what the loot spray brought to the table.

 

 

Exploring Entitlement

In the last few days I have been talking a lot about the new exploration mechanics (and the changes being made to them). All the posts can be found below:

  1. personal exploration
  2. explorin gentitlement
  3. exploring exploration

So… Things have moved in the prenatal world of Odyssey Exploration and I am afraid to say that in my opinion some of the changes are for the worse. Let’s aim for the jugular first off: Loot Spew.

 

Previously in exploration when you hacked a container it would give you a seconds warning, and then ejaculate loot out in one, sometimes two directions. These directions appeared to be pretty random, and they did cause some issues (as I mentioned in the previous post). My reaction to this was that CCP should simply reduce the number of structures in the vicinity of the Loot throwers and use this as an excuse to find and refine rouge clipping issues, to make the sites less frustrating.

 

entitlementHowever, there was a more sinister plot afoot. You see a large part of our community feels that they are entitled to everything, now, if not sooner. It seems that to them the idea that they might have to fly tactically to collect loot, or make choices about which cans to grab, or worse yet, share the loot was just horrid. So using the Structure issue as a soap box, they seem to have persuaded CCP to slow down the loot spew to a crawl. Seriously!? This really sucks, I liked the fact that the can farted loot out at a rapid pace. I liked that the game encouraged pilots to be good at manual flying to collect maximum loot. Now we have to just sit there like a fat man at a buffet selecting which greasy morsel to shovel into our lazy mouths. Worse still this hasn’t even fixed the issue of the invisible clipping, it’s still there! The old method of spewing loot was also a further encouragement to bring friends. Our group would bring three people and position ourselves around the structure to ensure that at least someone was close to the main spew, ensuring we would collect all the loot. Now it seems one person can collect 80% of the loot by just sitting wherever they are, meaning that its less efficient to bring friends. As you might be able to tell, I am a little bit pissed by this; mostly because I saw the exploration changes as a step in the right direction. Content enhanced by group play, which encouraged pilots to develop useful skills for PvP.

 

imagesOk… Deep breaths hark.. That’s it. Ok.. Wooosaaaah.. Wossaaaaah… oook…. *sigh* With that done, let’s look at some of the other updates.

 

It looks like hacking itself is being made a little bit easier, while at the same time reducing the bonuses on Cov-ops frigates (another reason the last post was out of date, we didn’t even realise the cov-ops frigs got a bonus).

 

It’s also worth noting that currently the rigs that boost Hacking and Archaeology are different, so to get a bonus to exploration, you will need two rig slots on your ship.

 

Anyway, that’s the latest from the forums, I really hope that CCP changes their minds on the spew, or at least iterates on it in another patch.

 

Fly rubbing your earlobe,

 

Hark

 

Exploring Exploration

The following post was written a few days ago, and is sadly a bit out of date now. Later today I will put out a post detailing the changes which have been made to exploration, and the state of play as of today.

In the last few days I have been talking a lot about the new exploration mechanics (and the changes being made to them). All the posts can be found below:

  1. personal exploration
  2. explorin gentitlement
  3. exploring exploration

With only a few days to go now before  Odyssey hits the live servers the Dirtys group set out on SiSi to take a look at the newly refurbished profession: Exploration. We have decided to take a short break from Faction Warfare post expansion in order to go and have a look at what we can make with the new sites. Of course as the man with the spreadsheets in our group, that meant some number crunching.

The key objective to our plan is to make money out of doing the hacking and Relic sites on New Eden. There are two main factors in this plan which needed to be worked out.

  1. What ship?
  2. Where?

VexorSo far our favourite answer to question 1 is the Vexor. A nice little drone cruiser which gives us 4 highslots for utility, 4 mid slots (dual prop and 2 exploration modules) and a tidy 4 slots tank with a final low slot for damage amplifiers. Of course that is by no means final. The Odyssey expansion page notes that there will be new exploration modules coming with the Expansion, and that might mean that we need something with a different slot layout to accommodate the new mods. But certainly for now, the Vexor is looking like a firm favourite. The bonus is that its comparatively cheap as well which ties in with the answer to question 2:

Probably W-space or Nullsec. Jury’s still out on which of these (or both), that’s why were on SiSi, experimenting. Certainly so far these two have come out with the best profit returns, and the support to group roam format we’ve been looking to do.

So enough of our plans, let’s talk opinions. Exploration specifically. The mini game is fun, if a little bit variable in difficulty. One hack I will be met by a blocking node on the first click, others the core is only 5-6 clicks away from the start, unblocked at all. It seems that you quite often get either ridiculously easy, or incredibly hard. It’s not all luck however, there certainly are some tactics to be found within the game.

The best bit of tactical game play so far surrounds the encrypted nodes. These, when uncovered require a second click to decrypt and reveal their contents. Sometimes this will be an item to help you, other times it will be a blocking node which will lock out all its surrounding nodes from you. The issue is this. If you always decrypt the encrypted nodes as soon as you find them, every so often you will block your onward path by revealing a blocking node. “Ah, easy” you say “just move a few nodes onwards and then decrypt it, so the block does nothing!”. But the issue with this is that again, every so often using this tactic, you will immediately reveal another blocking node right next to encrypted node on your next click. This locks out the encrypted node, restricting you from getting the potential goodies inside it.

Other tactical choices you will need to make includes the path that you will take to ensure you reveal as much as you can of the board before having to engage the blocking nodes. This means that you have the highest chance of revealing equipment to help you in combat, or simply uncovering the Core without having to fight.

It is really good fun, and it encourages group play, not only in that you will require a friend to help scoop loot, but also because there is no way to be effective at hacking, and keep an eye on local. You’re going to need a friend for that or it will take forever.

The mechanics are fun, and the group play aspect is great (eve needs more multiplayer PvE content), there is very little to complain about all in all. However there was one minor gripe that I had with the concept, and that was Geometry.

No you MWD into one!

Some of the Hacking/Archaeology (more hacking I think) have their main nodes ensconced within large geometry items. They look grate, but as anyone who has tried to fly through and asteroid belt knows, eve has some “invisible geometry” issues. I get that the more people you have with you, the less chance of a “loot ejaculation” going in an awkward direction there is. That works fine on the Archaeology sites, where being on the wrong site means nothing more than a few seconds and a few missed cans. However in the afore-mentioned Hacking sites, there can be entire stations which get between you and the loot squirt. There is nothing more frustrating that trying to navigate around a structure to grab loot that is rapidly pissing off into the distance, only to find your rubbing you ship along some invisible barrier which seems to extend in every direction except the direction of away from the fucking loot. I get, and applaud that group play means more loot, but missing out on loot because of frustrating mechanics you can’t even see is very frustrating.

I’ve run about 15-20 sites at this stage, and I’m a big fan of them. Looking forwards to seeing how the evolve during the launch. Speaking of which, it’s about time we got a plethora of dev blogs revealing details of the expansion isn’t it?

Fly like a mime artist,

Hark