Posts Tagged ‘Ganking’

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

 

Gully

Well as I predicted in the last few updates things have gotten a bit quieter on the eve front. PL has returned from a Rapid Deployment and gone almost immediately onto another. I had to delay going onto the second one due to a long weekend trip to Europe. With that all done now, I have successfully deployed to our new staging zone and am eager to see how much activity there will be. Before I went on my holiday however I did purchase a small gift for myself in the form of a Panther Black Ops Battleship. I have to say that the CCP art department did a stellar job on the rework of the Typhoon Battleship hull the Panther is based on. Without a doubt the ship is the best looking one of my meagre collection, shortly closely by the Crow (again masterfully reworked). I don’t think I have been as taken by the look of a ship in eve since I first set eyes on the Chimera, and even then I think the Typhoon might just have it beaten. Seeing as a large percentage of the pings I’ve seen so far in this slow summer have been for BLOPS, I hope that the panther might just increase my kill count a good measure. We’ll see on that one however.

 

On other fronts things are looking… pretty good actually. Xa is still wearing her ganking hat, and we just finished selling our first loot haul of 1bn ISK. Sorry that’s a spoiler for my ganking posts, I’ll put up the story on how we got that soon promise! Admittedly we have been a bit quiet on the ganking front, but it’s because it’s such a slow burning activity (much like a lot of eve), you spend literally hours doing nothing then suddenly it’s an adrenalin overdrive for 30 seconds. The ISK/Hour is pretty good (although that’s dependent on your luck) but the time spent doing nothing is a bit bleh. Still we shall see if the interest wanes over time, I’m almost surprised that we have lasted as long as we have to be honest, but then again it seems to be the only activity in eve which encourages groups of our size to work together.

 

Trade wise, things are also looking pretty good with 1.5bn made this month, despite some massive asset devaluations. The industrial character also paid back her start-up debt including the compound interest owed, so any further money earned on that account is pure profit. I expect to see a return on my other investments next month meaning that she will have no debtors. That’s good in the sense of my profitability, but it also means I should look into some new income streams to invest in. Diversity is after all the key to a good portfolio.

 

Speaking of the Indy character, she is currently sitting on about 400m of PI produce (I’ve been lax) and a further 700m of liquid and asset ISK. I am considering shutting down production until the industry changes hit TQ on the 22nd, so that I can spend the time assessing future profitability of the endeavour. So far the enterprise has been run very slap-dash, with finger in the air calculations. If you know me at all this might come as a bit of a surprise given my predilection for spreadsheets and exacting standards, but the simple fact is that although I have kept a loose eye on the profitability of the endeavour, this has been a learning experience rather than a profit making one (although if it had started haemorrhaging cash I would have shut it down) . Knowing that I had literally zero knowledge of the trade, recording exact profit would have highlighted exactly how much my mistakes were costing me. Something that while learning might put me off a little. However now that I am getting better versed in the process, and the industry changes are looming closer, it seems like it might be time to take stock and look at more exact numbers. Should those numbers become less profitable in the future, I will consider moving one of my dual training character to that account to cut costs and increase utility. But that’s a matter for next month at the earliest.

 

Time wise things haven’t been great this month with 42 hours of gaming played of which only 3 were spent in eve. The total hours played has been inflated by the Steam Summer sale which prompted me to boot up some game in order to farm some Trading cards. To be honest I am not certain that this next month will be much better.

 

Fly like a summer sloth,

 

Hark

 

Dandy Highwaymen: Part 1

So as I mentioned in the monthly update, last month I decided to try out suicide ganking as an effort in profit, and to sample the darker side of Eve’s lifestyles. This is an attempt to write up the experience, as I found it an interesting endeavor both in the learning curve and in the psychology.

So what started it all? I think I can best attribute it to the fact that I’ve always said that eve is a harsh game, and that I enjoy it because of that. So I have always wanted to see what it felt like to be the sharp edge of that curve, could I cope causing the damage which I claim holds my interest so well? To be honest I expected it to be a short endeavour, something done just to say I had. I’m still not sure where I stand on that. So when early last month I decided that it was time to give it another shot, I started my research.

We have tried to suicide gank once before, but to be honest it was a spur of the moment thing, with no planning or research, and so went as well as you might think. This time however I spent at least a week looking for locations to gank in, and looking at people who were doing it successfully, and what they were doing it in. I soon found a prime system, and a fit which I thought would do the job. I also had what I thought was the blueprint for a standard heist:

Three Operatives: The Lookout, The Highwayman and the Getaway Driver. The lookout sits innocently on a gate somewhere on a trade route (preferably a one way pipe) and quietly peaks through the windows of parsing Haulers. If he spots something worth stealing, he lets the Highwayman and the Driver know, who make best speed to the ambush point. For the Highway man this is on the other side of the next gate the mark is about to jump through. For the Driver it’s 200+km off the same gate. As soon as the Mark jumps through the gate, and begins the spool up process to warp to the next gate, the Highwayman pounces. Unleashing everything he has on the Mark and, hopefully, destroying his vehicle. As soon as its destroyed, the Driver warps to the freshly smoking wreck, grabs whatever survived the explosion, and warps out as quickly as possible to the safety of a station. A short while later the Highwayman does something illegal elsewhere in the system, to pull the lingering police force away from the ambush gate.

That’s pretty much it. The advanced version uses an Orca as a “Fence”. To do this The Driver steals the loot (which marks him a suspect, and thus a free target to world + dog), and Immediately offloads it into the Orca’s Corp Hanger. This means that even if someone does catch the Driver, killing him only loses the ship, not the newly acquired loot.

Sadly I only had the skills, and the characters for the basic version, so I tooled up a character with each of these roles, and started moving towards my Target system. At this point I mentioned my plans to the Dirties, and they being them, elected that this was a “good idea” and begun making their own plans to join me.

This is where tragedy one occurred. Traveling to a nearby trade hub, with three characters, while looking at possible fittings distracted me from the Highwayman’s screen and I left her pod on a gate for slightly longer than I should have. A few moments later, I was relived of my pod (and life) by an enthusiastic local. -1 pod, and a now in a clone further away than where I started from. Great.  Looking at who did the dead, I realised the fullness of my error, the clone was outfitted with low-grade Crystal Implants. Facepalm, I shouldn’t have been trying to gank in a Crystal set anyway. The irony, losing a 500m pod to a gank, while on the way to a gank. I’m pretty good at taking a loss like this, so I laughed a bit and set myself a goal to make the money back through ganking. At least it proves I can take as good as I intend to give.

After making it successfully to the target system, I returned to looking at fittings. Eventually I elected to go with a Rupture, with the Highwayman’s specialism in Projectile Weapons (and lack of skills in much else). The fit was something along the lines of, Guns, Gyrostabilisers, Disruptor and a Sensor boosters (more on that fit in a bit). Ex Elected to bring a scramble web vexor.

At this point Ex turned up with his own Highwayman, and we began our hunt for targets. We decided that as I was running both the Driver and the Lookout, Ex would be the primary Highwayman, with mine acting as backup. Before long we got our first test. A hauler carrying ~800m of equipment. We undocked the highwaymen, and the Driver, and they all warped to their positions. Ex was ganking in a short range “DPS” style ganker, and unfortunately was still trying to close range as the hauler warped out. Miss 1.

A little while later we spotted a second hauler carrying about 300m worth of kit. This time we had the Highwaymen and Hauler ready at the gate. But he still slipped through. Miss 2.

The next time we saw a 500m hauler, we were ready. Drones were out, guns were pre overheated, and this one was not getting away. Ex opened fire, and the hauler warped out before he could close to Scramble range. Concord however wasn’t, late and promptly removed the ship from around Ex. Miss 3. This is the point that we learned that losing your ship to concord doesn’t remove the suspect timer gained from ganking. Having missed the gank Ex, typed a standard “oops” kinda message in local, and we further learned that Suspect timers make a pod a valid target when an Eve-Uni Legion podded him. Second pod down, and it turned out that Ex was running a +5 set.. Another 500m isk we needed to make back.

Now in a pair of no implant clones, and having swapped the ill-advised scramble for a disruptor, we looked at other way to improve our odds. To double our chances of finding targets, Ex used some free SP on another account to create a secondary Lookout, allowing us to cover both side of the system we were in. We also realised that with kill rights available on us, we were free targets sat on a gate. Knowing that we could be needed at either side of the system,  and that we needed to be hidden away, we made a safe spot midway between the gates, and set up base there.

At this point Ex spotted a 500m hauler auto piloting away from our location (we think he came from a station), and Ex gave chase. With his Highwayman burning into the distance, and my Driver running to catch up, we thought we might have a free kill. Eventually catching him three jumps away, Ex engaged… and promptly died to gate guns before he could finish the job. Miss 4. It was at this point we elected to put a stop to the attempts for the night, quitting while your behind and all.

We restructured our fittings (more tank), and promised that we would continue the next day. After all we reasoned, we had a 50% success rate at Suicide ganking. We had the suicide down pat, now we just needed to get the ganking sorted.

Fly like a bad,

Hark

Tuesday Training: Mining Foreman V (Multi-Purpose)

Every so often on Tuesday I take a skill which one of my characters is training and discuss why I am current training that skill. I will also look at other uses for the skill, and who else might benefit from it. As I have several Characters across the skill spectrum I expect to cover skills for Young, Middle Age and old players.

This week’s Choices:

      • Em Shield Compensation V
      • Mining Foreman V
      • Hull Upgrades V
      • Amarr Industrial V

This week’s Tuesday training I am picking not because it’s an interesting skill, but because it’s an interesting insight into the gameplay of Eve, as well as the peculiarity of the Skill system. As always I will begin with the in game description:

Mining Foreman (x2) Char, Will

Basic proficiency at coordinating mining operations. Grants a 2% bonus to fleet members’ mining yield per level. Note: The fleet bonus only works if you are the assigned fleet booster.

Why do I claim this is a peculiarity? and why am I suddenly training Mining skills? Firstly let me stress, I am not planning any mining (although I do find the Prospect of hot dropping Nullsec Ore a cool idea). No, I am training MF because it is a requirement to fly the Orca. In the next few days I will be posting a piece on Suicide Ganking (a pursuit the Dirties have been enjoying for the last few weeks), and in this I make some notes on how the use of an Orca can greatly reduce the risks of  loot scooping during a Gank, referring to it as a “Fence”. As such one of my characters is now training to fill that support role.

The Orca has always been the best friend of the Criminal and the Carebear. I find it a wonderful reflection on Eve, that a ship designed explicitly to aid the more Carebear of activities (mining) has, throughout its history, been used equally by those who hunt bear-pelt. Gankers, Ninjas, War-deckers, all these professions can be aided by the use of an Orca. Which makes me wonder, should CCP recognise the multiple uses of some ships in their training?

I accept that there are not many ships which would qualify (there are few which are used so diversely as the Orca), but what if there were multiple options on how to unlock certain multi-use ships?

For example, with the Orca, I am forced to unlock it by training Mining skills I never intend to use. What if, instead, I had the choice, either unlock it by training the Mining Leadership skills (If I were a miner), or by training skills for Gank/Wardec support? Say, Shield/Armor leadership skills, or something which will actually benefit my usage of the Orca?

It’s really not something I’d develop out into a full proposal, but I do find it interesting food for thought.

 

 Fly Diverse,

Hark