Posts Tagged ‘trade’

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

 

The Gaps in-between Our eve

By now I suspect we’ve all seen the fantastic “This is Eve” trailer, and no doubt noted its success. I don’t want to spend much time critiquing the video (as in my bias opinion its clearly fantastic), but I do want to talk about the bits in-between the video clips. Sure the fights and flights shown represent the best bits of eve, the peaks of intense excitement that make this game worth playing, but what is the video not showing? What happens in-between those peaks? What is the humdrum maintenance and preparation work that supports these potent moments of excitement?

 

Let’s start with money, it makes the universe go around after all. In eve, PvP Costs money, there is pretty much no way around this. PvP almost never ends in profit for an eve player, and so most of us dedicated PvP players spend a lot of our time in-between the fights in one way or another generating cash with which to fund our habit. For me this means logging in every day during my lunch hour (I take the weekends off!), to update trade orders, prod my PI chains and occasionally shovel minerals into a production line. It’s a fairly tedious process, but one which I do enjoy on at least some level. Keeping track of my investments, and watching my asset value chart slowly climb upwards is always gratifying. I doubt CCP’s next advert will be about it however.

 

Keeping up with the meta is also something that fills the time between the fights for me. Eve online is constantly moving forwards in Fleet PvP. Especially since the beginning of the fast cycle releases the FOTM and fleet rock paper scissors has been changing at a rapid pace. When your Alliance is stationed deep in Nullsec, with no easy access to Jita, changing fits can be a time consuming and even risky process. This mostly entails checking the Alliance forums frequently, and watching for potential changes to established fleets, and new and  upcoming flavours which might take over the meta.

 

New compositions are the easiest to accommodate, most of the time you simply buy a new ship from alliance contracts, as the new fleet will be shipped out by your logistics network. Although you do have to keep an eye on how many runs you’re going to end up doing with the carrier to ship them all home. In the post Phoebe universe, nobody wants to do an extra set of jumps for just one ship. Changes to fittings on the other hand are the hardest to accommodate, as most of the logistics people will be brining entire fitted ships out, conversion kits are rare at best. Often, you’ll need to source individual modules at highly inflated prices, or run out to Highsec to source the items. Alternately most Alliances (mine included) have frequent jump freighter runs which you can leverage to keep your fits up to date. It’s not glamorous, but in its own way refitting ships is kind of fun, if nothing else but in anticipation of the fights to come.

 

We also send a lot of time waiting for the fights. Eve is a demanding mistress, and one who doesn’t generally let you dictate the times of your liaisons with her. You can spend hours by the phone waiting for her call, or you might find her calling you before you can even finish booting your PC. Most alliances (all of the ones worth joining) have some sort of electronic “paging” system. The most popular of which are IRC and Pidgeon, these are simply ways of FC’s or leaders mass messaging people who are not currently logged in, to let them know that something is afoot. If I have more than a few hours free time for some gaming, I will rarely log directly into eve, instead I will throw open MIRC and await the sirens that calls us to arms.

 

With all this administration work to be done, you might be wondering how often you actually get to have the fights depicted in the trailer and of course this varies from group to group. For me, I find that I need a window of around 5 hours free to find a fleet(during peak times at least), and that if I am looking for something to do I will find it on average within that timeframe. Of course you can never guarantee what that fleet is going to look like; combat in eve is, after all, like a box of chocolates (assuming your incompetent enough to have lost that little menu card).

 

None of these things are as exciting as the segments highlighted in the trailer, but they are all enablers for the lifestyle I choose in eve. As such I enjoy them for what they bring me. Speaking of which I believe I have some ship fittings to sort out, so I’d better get back to it sharpish!

 

Don’t always be flying,

 

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

 

Precipice

It’s been another great month for my PvP record, with Providence providing some good fights. I saw a some complaints/propaganda/opinions that PL were “Dropping caps” everywhere during our last deployment, but speaking only for what I saw, things were pretty even. If anything in the fleets we were in, were constantly attempting to nurture the fight out of the Provi fleets, getting annoyed at other (then) blue fleets for over powering, and FC assassination.

 

Like I said, this is only my personal experience of the situation, so perhaps I was just on the “good” fleets. Either way, it was a good fun RDU, and the fights/fleet comps have been excellent. Certainly its lasted longer than I have expected, and provided more content. I’m a bit worried about what happens next however. With no sign of news for our next deployment and the usual lethargic waves of the Summer lap against the content generators. Add into this the devotion of our chief content providers to engage in the wind up to the Alliance Tournament, and I am beginning to think that we might be seeing a slower pace over the next few months. Still make hay while the sun shines eh? Perhaps I need to look into getting my PvP fix elsewhere?

 

Ganking has been on the down as well, although I still need to write up the full length of our adventure so far. It’s in the place where if you say to any of the team (myself included) “You still want to do some ganking at some point?” they say yes, but we never actually get around to that “Some point” being “now”. I suspect that Watch_dogs has had something to do with that my on part.

 

Industry has been on a bit of a low as well. I expect to see me increasing my industry schedule with the changes to the Manufacturing system coming in so soon, but instead its caused me to become more fatigued with the horrid interface. I think that where before I had not even thought about the terrible design (and the number of clicks needed to do anything) is, so I accepted it as “the only way”. However now I have seen a better system on the horizon I feel less forgiving of the clunky old way. That said I have increased my PI production by one planet, and I have also been ticking over the production albeit at a far reduced rate. Still not breaking that mythical 1bn profit mark, but its edging ever closer. I’ve no idea what the industry changes will do to my profits, so at the moment I’m ready to shut up shop at a moment’s notice, should it prove less profitable.

 

This month the traders ledger shows that I have made a paltry 300m profit this month. However part of that does include two investments in longer term schemes of 600m and 800m (1.4Bn total). I expect to be able to return at least the same as my initial investment, and hope to turn a profit higher than if I had left the money invested in the trader. So hopefully I will see a good month in exchange for this low one further down the line.

 

This month I spent around 70 hours gaming (inflated by a LAN party we held a few weekends back) of which 25 was spent playing eve. Eve kill attributes me with 122 kills during this month, including one Aeon (player event though), not bad, but not breaking that record set in Feb.

 

Fly Idling

Hark

A game of two halves

Nearly a month since the last post? You know how this post is going to go right?

 

So it’s been busy… But although its directly affected my attempt a regular posting (like that would ever happen), it’s not affected my game play all that much. PL’s campaign in finishing of the Rus block wound down in the first halve of  this month, going from fleet after fleet of action, to fleet after fleet of blueball’s. When even the smack talk in local died down we were recalled home to Ama for an overnight stop moving onwards to a new mini deployment. Hopefully the locals will put up a good fight. Unfortunately that’s resulted in only 56 kills this month on the main, which isn’t great, but there were at least 2 carriers in there somewhere.

 

Another character suffering from a quiet month has been the trader, with only 300m profit. I’m not sure what to put this down to as I’ve logged into her more than I usually would in a month, and only had one negative day where I begun a sell initiative (re pricing items where the market has dropped away underneath them). I think people are holding onto assets more with the upcoming industrial changes, it’s that or I’m just being unlucky. Either way, it’s not been a great month, hopefully I’ll make up for it next month.

 

So with the main and the trader not doing much, your likely wondering why I called it a good month at all? Put simply it’s because of the indy and Xa. The Indy char managed to sell all of her bulk produced items, and is now underway building the second massive batch, and inventing for a third. At the moment I predict she might break the billion mark for the next monthly update (but it’s certainly not guaranteed). I’m starting to lose sight of where to go next however. I think I need to begin production of a second item. However I’m simply running out of slots to do it with. I could move the copying process to the Trading character, to free up another 5 slots for invention but that adds another layer of complexity and logistics to the whole endeavour. Some of the time changes with the summer expansion will help I think, so I’ll likely coast until then before making any massive changes to my lines.

 

Xa on the other hand has been resting on her laurels lately, selling assets and generally bumming around. However a short while ago, I found a new direction to move in with her: Suicide ganking. I think it was Burn Jita which put the idea in my head, but one way or another I decided earlier this month that it was time I at least tried this dark area of eve’s profession list. Even if it was to only say I tried. Things have gone… interestingly but I think our exploration really merits a post of its own, so eyes open for that soon!

 

In terms of time, this month I played 9 hours and 30 minutes of eve, out of a full on 99 hours and 45 min for all my gaming. The all game number however is artificially boosted by a family visit, where I booted up Kerbal Space Program and left it running for a few days (popping on here and there to do a quick launch).

 

I’ll try and get back to the usual posting “schedule”, but no promises. I will defiantly write about the ganking adventure.

 

Fly infrequent

Hark

The Hero we need?

Wow, what a month it has been. Despite what has been a crazy few weeks, I have had a wonderful month in eve. With our new deployment only calling for Slowcats once so far, we have been out and about in all kinds of fun little ships, including the brilliant Talwar/Harpy/Crow mixed missile fleets with which we have fought the HERO coalition.

 

Let me just say now that until a few nights ago, I would have bad mouthed the Talwar fleets as a failed experiment. Based on the last time we used them (pre-Halloween War) they just got bombed to hell by Pizza/Bombers Bar, rarely ever firing a shot. A lot of PL were raving about them, however I just couldn’t see the appeal of being bomb-podded home every night. I get it now. The simple fact is that a Talwar fleet needs to operate within Lowsec (where bombs are not allowed). Fighting with these things in Sendaya over the past few nights has been amazingly good fun. Pretty too with the fleet fitting about like a flight of starlings fitting about the grid throwing missiles out. It’s been pretty much a free for all out there with 1000 pilots in local, including Razor, Test, BNI and even BL. (I’m sure he didn’t want that carrier anyway, and it was replaced immediately…). Despite dying once in each fight, it’s been such as blast, I love that HERO are up for fights in this way, and I hope we can fight again soon!

 

The result of all this has been a record-breaking month for me, with 284 kills recorded (Eve kill seems to be missing 20-odd), beating my previous best monthly kill count by 40 odd (that was back in 2010 during the Russian/NoCo war in Etherium Reach). I also managed to scrape in at the 4th highest killer in the corporation (at time of writing) this month, so no worrying about participation issues this month!

 

Xa has also been busy continuing to liquidate unused assets. It looks like the group is taking a bit of a temporary break from FW at the moment, so the corporation has left in order to help us towards each of our goals (without the issue of war targets to contend with). Xa has personally contributed 2.2bn towards this month’s trade total (not included items given to the dedicated trader to sell). Which certainly helps. I calculate that I have about another 1bn left in assets to sell spread across 9 more systems, hopefully I can mop them up next month to allow me to decided what to do with Xa next.

 

Speaking of trade, it’s been another slowish month. When life is busy at work, I get less chance to pop online over lunch to update orders and/or PI. This is reflected by the fact that this month I have only logged into that account 6 times this month, but I have managed to make a good 1.1bn through trade alone (added to the 2.2bn made from asset liquidation on Xa). Slow, and not as much as I would like to make, but at the same time enough to keep me going at my current rate of ship loss.

 

Lastly the industrialist has been working hard to sell my first mass manufactured item. I made a bulk batch of my usual trade item, and am now having issues selling it on for a reasonable price, due to intense market PvP in my sell area. I think that the number of items I have up for sale make it less likely for others to ignore my orders and instead .01isk me. As a result I am reluctant to build any more of the item until this batch has shifted. From this I take the message that I need to expand to multiple items to allow me to continue building even while I am waiting for my mainstay to finish selling. Still from 0 to 650m isn’t bad so far, and there is certainly room for improvement!

 

This month I also managed to mail in a reputable 24 hours of eve online out of a total of 54 hours gaming. Not too bad considering I lost two weekends too overtime.

 

Fly shagged out,

 

Hark

Don’t call it a comeback…

One month I will come on here and tell you all about how wonderful everything is, and how well all my endeavours have gone. This is not that month.

 

Activity wise however, this month has actually been pretty amazing, with PL finally recouping and deploying after the wrecking shot which has B-R (#NOMAD). The new deployment, while a little unclear on purpose, has both promised and delivered great content. The deployment has, so far has already used more Turret based ships that I have used since the beginning of the Halloween war in total. I’ve never been a huge fan of capital combat, but as a realist I have to accept that Slowcat doctrines do get the job done. They just don’t get it done in a fun way. So returning to the turret based ships of yesteryear has been a truly pleasant experience.

 

I’ve also had the chance on this deployment to use a new Turret based ship, I’d never used before: the Dreadnaught. My Moros moved with me to our new staging system, and I got the opportunity to deploy it on what was a fairly (for eve) safe fleet. This gave me the chance to get used to its operation, and  foibles so that I now feel confident enough to deploy it in earnest. The staggering damage output has blown me away, and I look forwards to doing more with it

 

Xa has also begun to shake of the sluggishness of a winter hibernation. Other than the casual selling of assets in the name liquidation, she’s really done nothing since late last year. With the liquidation now coming to a close, I am starting to think about what to do with her next. Exploration was fun, and I intend to go back to that at some point, however first I think I need to finish the Epic Arc quest I started well over a year ago… the Isk/Hour ratio on that one is way down.

 

Unfortunately to finish that, I’m going to need to move Xa from her current corporation (which is in Faction Warfare), to allow her free movement across New Eden. As Xa is currently the CEO of the corp, I will need to train another alt to take her place during her absence. Still it’s worth it to make more money and play more eve.

 

The Manufacturer has also remained busy this month, with production increasing exponentially again this month, something I doubt will continue much further. With any luck I will bring her total assets up to about 600m next month, allowing me to pay back her loans, and begin processing blueprints I bought in a fit of unfounded ambition before checking build costs. It’s all part of the learning curve they say. Still I’m not counting my chickens before they are hatched here, this is after all New Eden, and all kinds of things can go wrong between now and then.

 

She has also dusted off the PI factories and actually started to process the glut of raw product I have been building up over the last 5 months. When Highsec POCO’s hit TQ, I was stupid and forgot to empty my materials out of the now vulnerable Interbus POCO, losing about 50m’s worth of Raw mats to an entrepreneurial capsular. For some reason, since then, although my extraction planets have been going from strength to strength, I was never bothered enough to shift it to the production planet for processing. The net result is a massive build-up for Mats, I am now starting to work my way through; though again not counting that profit until it’s in the bank.

 

Regular readers will have a good idea of my current skill status from the now (slightly ir)regular Tuesday training post I do. But to give a month forecast:

Hark is finishing sub systems this month and moving into perfecting tanking

Xa is filling gaps in her racial skill set

The dread Alt is finishing Fuel conservation and considering her next move

And the Indy is perfecting her production before moving into PI

 

Isk wise is where the slight bump in the road for this month lies. They say never to fly drunk, however I would further add to this, that trading when ill is also a poor life choice. While home ill last week I attempted to do my regular trading log in, and managed to sell 3 Rokhs for 100m under their RRP, netting the trader a loss of 300m ish. This is now third top on my most costly mistakes list, after Jumping to a beacon blind, and accidentally trashing a Hulk and then confirming it (drunk).

 

Despite this I am still cruising in for 500m profit this month, even including the 500m I have spent on Dreadnaught insurance. This is pretty impressive as between a cold, and bone-idelness I have only logged in the trader ~6 times in the 30 days. I’m expecting next month to come in far better, both in logins and in profit.

 

Fly with turrets,

 

Hark

 

 

 

 

BB49: As Croesus

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 49th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

* * * * *

This month’s topic comes from a few sources and focuses on that most important of measurements of an EVE Online Pilot: how much money do you have?

What is “rich” in EVE? Is it simply having more ISK than most everyone else, is it measured in raw numbers of some other ethereal quality? Can you actually be poor? Have you ever lost nearly everything and had to claw your way back? If you are rich, how do you know and how did you get rich?

 

From<http://www.ninveah.com/2013/09/blog-banter-49-rich.html>

 

I think Jester really nailed it when he writes about Rich begin a perspective thing, but at the same time, (he would approve of double think I am sure) I also believe that you can laydown Class boundaries in eve, just as you can (if you are so inclined) in real life. As I mentioned in my last update post, by the class boundary set which I like the most, I am somewhere around the upper ranks of space middle class. The personal perspective of your wealth is just as applicable as the grand-scheme-of-things scale. I can be middle class in the grand scheme of things, Rich from my personal perspective, and poor from the view of my Alliance all at once. Aren’t I clever? But the most important scale of wealth is your own perspective so let me explain what “Rich” is to me.

 

Apart from anything else, rich, is unfortunately an equilibrium I can’t seem to break out off. The more ISK I have the less I want to put effort into making money, and the more likely I am to buy flashy ships (see my monthly updates for details). The less money I have, the more inclined I am to play my trader I am, and the less likely I am to spend lots of ISK. As a result I bounce around the same money range like a rubber ball in the ISS.

 

But is that so bad? I don’t need to be (grand-scheme) space rich to feel like I have achieved something in eve, I don’t need 1 trillion Isk to win the game. My rule of thumb is that I would like to have enough money to re-purchase all the important ships that I own, and still have enough left over to restart my trader. That breaks down something like this:

 

1 Carrier (3bn)

1 Black Ops BS (1.6bn)

1 T3 (1bn)

1 Napoc (0.7bn)

1 Hic (0.3bn)

1 Freighter (1.1bn)

Assorted T1&T2 Ships (1bn)

Trader starting Cash (5bn)

Total: 13bn

 

Add a bit of a safety margin to this and you have the region at which my wallet tends to hover. I will often make a concerted effort to break above this level (right now for example I have a 50bn target set, but in all honestly I doubt I will ever reach it). The issue is that making “enough to get by” is about as much effort as I am willing to expend on the ISK making side of things, pushing higher is almost always a short term phase soon corrected by lethargy or a big purchase. But that’s fine with me, I’ve still got enough to cover my spending and cope with dire emergencies.

 

Over the years in eve I have made my cash through a lot of different avenues. Mission running being my starting profession. From there I went to null and tried some Complexes. About the same time I met a very successful station trader who helped me start my trader, who has since been the backbone of my funding. That’s not to say it’s been my only source of cash, the trick in eve is to diversify. In my career I have tried wormholes, Incursions, exploration, Faction Warfare, hauling, manufacturing (that’s recent), services (selling bookmarks) and even made a little money out of administrative roles. Through all of this, I would consider myself rich, certainly in the last few years of playing, I have never been limited in what PvP ships I buy because of a lack of cash.

 

But what about the flip side? Space Poor. In relative terms; I would class “poor” as the point when you are limited in what you can do (that you want to do) by your wealth. For example, if I were suddenly to develop a need/want to get into a Titan, I would be poor (my means do not cover my goals). Furthermore if a newbro was aiming to upgrade to a cruiser with 50m in their wallet, they are doing fine, if however they are aiming to get a Battleship, their poor.

 

In my early days I clawed my way out of “poor” several times, both through silly mistakes (it’s good to learn the golden rule when your still in frigates), and because my aims shifted faster than my wallet did. I was lucky in that I had a close group of friends to help me out when I made mistakes (the very same Dirties you know and love today), so the depths of despair always had a light at the end of the tunnel. But all the same I can remember the days when I lost a stream of frigates to hard missions, and had to go back to my Ibis to claw back enough cash to start again.

 

I can also vividly remember coming back to the game in a war deck and losing my (accidentally) poorly-pvp fitted rokh (p.s. to understand the true fail of that fitting, you have to know that I thought it was a PvE fitting) to Guiding Hand Social Club. As at the time I was attempting to break into Nullsec, and was only intending to fly frigates (Indeed I think I was on the way to Jita to sell the Rokh to fund a stack of Kestrels) the loss, despite being about 70% of my net worth didn’t make me poor.

 

So to summarise, there are three scales of wealth; Your opinion of yours, Others opinion of yours, and the scale of the grand scheme of things (which is still based on opinion). But I feel that Isk is too often used as a scoreboard to players, null, low and high pilots alike. Honestly the only score board in eve is how much fun you have. If a player gets enjoyment out of bombing around Lowsec in frigates with only 100m in their wallet, who am I to declare them poor? Equally some of the Super capital owners in the Alliance would likely declare me poor, but from my point of view, I don’t need more than I have to continue, I might want more but I don’t need it. The most important scale of wealth should always be your own, do you have enough money to have fun? If so, don’t sweat it.

 

Fly Rokhs more,

 

Hark

 

Expanding the IP

DUST 514 is going to hit the market (well the F2P market) very soon, and CCP is likely hoping its success could spell the end of its reputation as a one trick pony. With Dust now almost in the bag (at least in terms of release, success is never guaranteed) and World of Darkness deep into development (?); CCP should be looking at further ways to expand its IP and game portfolio.

I believe that with two very different markets covered CCP should be looking to reinforce their current holdings by brining in further games which strengthen their position in the market, while providing potential additional income streams. In layman’s terms: Create some easy to play games which hit the biggest potential markets, and encourage people to try out their core holdings.

IP expansion objectives (in rough order):

  1. Publicise existing products to the biggest market
  2. Encourage new players to try existing games
  3. Create new profit streams for CCP
Now for the purpose of this blog I am going to ignore Dust 514, for the simple fact that I really don’t know enough about it to make observations on game play expansions (or relocation) to other platforms. But for eve I have some thoughts:
Case 1: Browser Games
In this example lets look at a VERY wide market area CCP could expand into; the Browser game market. Other AAA titles such as Age of Empires and Command & Conquer have successfully explored this market and CCP has what I think is a great basis to create a Browser game on. Most browser games are based around construction, as the “build times” allow for a slower pace of game play bringing players back at regular intervals to refresh their build queues and units. Lets look at my idea of an eve IP browser game.
Players log in to create and manage a planetary extraction and production chain. Players are given an initial planet at random on which a command centre in placed. With this they can begin extracting materials from the planet. To begin with players are limited to extracting raw materials and placing them on a market (available to eve players & other PI players). However once the begin earning money, they can spend ISK on upgrading the science and capacity of their planet. This leads to further extraction plants and processing facilities being added to the planet over time. At the top level players will have manufacturing plants on several planets (advanced players may even have holdings in different regions, which require them to use eve courrier contracts to move goods around) and buy and sell goods on a regional sale to and from eve players.
Objective 1 is met: browser games can be played by anyone with a PC
Objective 2 is met: the browser game would introduce players who enjoy management games and industry to eve, and encourage them to jump into the deeper world of eve for further fun. We could get a whole new generation of industrialists
Objective 3 is met: Browser games can, and are monetised. Cash for extra build slots, is a normal occurrence.  CCP would need to ensure that P2W features don’t affect the eve markets but monetisation is a definite possibility.
Case 2: Mobile Gaming
The mobile gaming market is a very popular place at the moment. Lots of big game manufacturers are getting involved in “App” versions/spinoffs of their AAA titles, and the market is massive. This would most likely be the hardest type of game to tie into the eve universe as a direct affecter, as popular mobile games tend to follow the formula of easy access, simple games (not exactly what CCP is known for), but we could see games such as “Danny Dare the Planetary Archaeologist” a simple pause-able exploration game (procedural generated dungeons) where completing a level gives items which can be sold to eve/dust players for isk, which can then be spent on upgrading Dannys exploration suit.
Objective 1 met: Mobile games have a massive market
Objective 2 met(ish): causal mobile players are most likely not exactly grade 1 eve online players or even great dust bunnies. but if CCP could develop a popular high profile game it could bring in a few new players.
Objective 3 met: mobile games can be popular, assuming CCP can make it using very little resources and garner at least some popularity with mobile gamers. again microtransactions are very much the norm in mobile gaming.
Case 3: Browser game or Standalone
This one is really open to any platform as its pretty simple. We have all seen the NPC industrialist caravans leaving and entering stations. Why not turn these into a strategy trading game on another platform? I’d like to think that 90% of players find moving their things around the galaxy is one of the most boring activities in the game. So why not take the boring game play out of eve, and place it in a new context where people can enjoy the process. The game could work by allowing players to transport goods as a freelance logistics expert (or part of a logistics company). Players would start with a single automated hauler, and slowly upgrade their fleet and ships/ships AI to more efficient and faster models. The main aim of the game would be to complete eve player contracts for goods movements. But some money could also be made from transporting goods from region to region buying low and selling high.
Objective 1 met: A good platform would have a large market
Objective 2 met: Players who are interested in logistics and trade might be interested in exploring the wider game
Objective 3 met: Game purchases and or microtransactions are the norm in both these markets.
Final thoughts
I find the idea of eve expanding to further platforms, partly because it would give us eve players other ways to interact with the game outside of the Home PC environment, but also because it would help CCP develop itself as a major producer, and out of niche market they are currently in. Further more every new player in eve, is someone else to blow up.
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Hark¬