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Wednesday 29 October 2014

Is there Inflation in Eve Online? Yes, of sorts.

The economic lecture at the May 2014 Fanfest would suggest there is no inflation in Eve Online.

The lecture, which can be viewed below, starts with the question of inflation from the beginning.

The data seems conclusive that outside of Plex there is no inflation in Eve.

However, there is a further point to consider - and this may square the circle as to why the player base (or at least many of the blogs i read) say there is inflation but the data says there is not.

This point is: as more of the game opens up to the player base either because the player base gets more skill points on average or CCP adds patches that allow players access to more and more equipment then the amount of ISK required to maintain a similar relative standard of living in Eve is going up.

Think about what you spent in your first 3 months in Eve vs your most recent 3 months in Eve - for sure, you will be spending more today to keep up with the demands of the game.

Furthermore, as ships specialise etc and more addons come about - we all seem to have additional ships / mods for this and that - again, we are spending more ISK to keep up with the demands of the game.

Whilst technically not inflation, there is an ongoing increase in the ISK required to play the game.

Another angle on the whole Plex debate.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Plex over 800m ISK

I will just throw this out there - my view on the Plex price.

The Plex price has broken above 800m ISK yet volumes are on the decline.

Worth considering that the supply of Plex is not related to the demand for Plex in the same way that minerals and ships hulls are related, for example.

The demand for Plex is perhaps easier to think about.  The demand is some sort of a function of the growth in the Eve population and the wealth of the Eve Population.  As those increase then the demand for Plex should increase.  So far, so good.

The supply of Plex though is less obvious (or it may be and i am merely missing the point!).

The question i am wrestling with is why does a player want to buy Plex for $15?  Clearly, the answer is that the player wants to buy ISK (or, occasionally spends US$ to dual train etc).

If so, then the more ISK that $15 of Plex creates then presumably the less total US$ the player need spend to buy the total ISK that they require.

For example, if a player wanted to buy $4bn of ISK, today they would need to buy 5 Plex = spending $75.  One year ago, that $4bn of ISK would have required about 7 Plex = $105.

In other words, for a player to achieve a level of ISK then that player need not buy as many Plex today and so the supply of Plex has gone done.

(For now, lets assume that 4bn of ISK today would get the same as 4bn of ISK a year ago).

Hence, we have a situation where the demand for Plex is rising and the supply is falling.  Leads to a self-fulfilling price rise in Plex until one of the demand factors breaks and then we get a self-fulfilling price fall in Plex!

Of course, someone with a load of Plex could dump on the market and cause a fall, perhaps temporary.

CCP then has a balancing act on their hands - rising inflation leads to more ISK being required by players buying it using Plex (good for CCP, bad for the Plex price).  But rising inflation also leads to more wealth and so a rising demand for Plex (good for the Plex price).  Which will win, not clear.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Bringing the Game into Disrepute

Brace yourselves, a totally non-trading post but CCP / Eve Online related.  No ISK to be made or lost here.

I suspect Eve Online would benefit with such a rule "Bringing the Game into Disrepute".  Actually, i suspect this already exists in practice.

In real life, i am part of two professions.  Both are part of the career path i have taken.  Accounting and Investment.

Both have professional organisations with i join for an annual fee (combined total about $1000 - tax allowable).

They both have rules.

And they both have one rule that can see me expelled / fined for "bringing the profession into disrepute".  Effectively that would see me ending my career.

"Bringing the profession into disrepute" is a very hard to define but most reasonable people know it when they see it.  It is very much like trying to define pornography.

The beauty of such a rule is that it keeps up with accepted society behaviour.  What would be deemed to be acceptable before may not be acceptable today.

The double beauty of this rule is that if anyone on a vindictive trip deploys this rule against another member and the rest of the profession turn around and say this is not the case - then the vindictive  person themselves can be hit with the rule.  Maliciously deploying the rule for ones own purpose is clearly "bringing the profession into disrepute".

If this rule was in Eve Online then suddenly you can catch events where the community goes down the line of "i agree with the banning of XYZ but it is hard to find the line in the EULA where it was caught".

It's a catchall but only works with the consent of the community.

Cyberbullying springs to mind.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Eve Online Trading Podcasts

On a former game I used to play (World of Warcraft) there were several podcasts specifically dedicated to discussing how to make gold in the various markets.

However, such podcasts have been lacking in Eve despite the economy and markets being much deeper and more interesting.  We have market tutorials on YouTube (see my video page for useful Eve videos) and in Eve University - but seemingly no weekly/monthly market or business podcast.  There have been some in the past - but long discontinued.

It appears we now have two podcasts (well, two youtube casts).

One of the Youtube casts has been going longer than this blog and I only just spotted it!

Eve Talk

That is Eve Talk by Delonewolf (I have already highlighted two his market and industry YouTube clips on my video page).  It is a weekly YouTube cast for 20 - 30 mins talking about what he's seeing in the markets.  Focused more on station trading, primarily looking to buy items at one point in time to store in a hanger to sell at later point in time at a better price.

Format is the same week to week: Starts with a talk on the Plex market, moves onto the minerals, then T1 ships, T2 ships, T3 ships and then a different market each week.  The discussion centres on what is happening by looking at charts and then Delonewolf gives his views on why this is happening followed by some trade ideas.

I have listened to the most recent ones and I like them.

Unfortunately they are mixed in with his other youtube clips - so the link above goes to his youtube page.

The most recent youtube cast from 18 October 2014 is below:

Eve Prosper Market Review

The second one, the Eve Propser Market Review, which just started on Thursday night US time is a stream and youtube cast by John Purcell (Lockefox ingame) of the Eve Prosper Blog.

The link above is to the playlist on his youtube channel.  The Youtube cast has the 50 - 60 minute show but not the question and answer session afterwards.

The show notes, including links to the charts used, detail what content is being discussed.

It starts with a general news segement (not really market related), followed by the market charts starting with Plex, then some interesting charts, then Minerals, Moon Products and the  Fuel markets.  Lockefox gives his views on why the prices and volumes are moving, and some ideas on potential trades to make.

The most recent youtube cast from 16 October 2014 is below:

I am excited about all this (albeit Eve Talk has been going a long time and i have not spotted it!) and i am hoping it will bring alot to the economy / business discussion on Eve similar to what was on World of Warcraft when i played it.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

More low priced sell orders in trade hubs outside Jita

I came across a Sell order for 2 Capital Cargo Hold Optimization II in Amarr recently, as shown below.

The normal established Sell in Amarr was 563m or so.  Hence, this Sell order for 2 x 300m is clearly sitting way below the normal market level.

A quick investigation into the Jita Sell price showed that the established Sell price is about 380m and the established Buy price is 311m.

So, i could make 22m immediately - though after Courier costs and Sales taxes that gets to almost nil.  But, i suspect i could post them for 389m as Sell orders and fairly quickly make a 178m ISK profit before Taxes.

Hence, i bought them both and contracted Push Industries to haul them to Jita for me to sell.

And, sure enough, within a day they sold for 390m each.

So a nice 180m less Courier costs and Sales Taxes made.

The beauty of finding lowly priced Sell orders that can be hauled elsewhere to be sold at a profit at the established market level is that they are rarely scams.  Scams work by a Buy order being hugely above the normal market level to entice someone by purchase from a Sell order that is materially above the normal market level.

Thursday 9 October 2014

A one pager for new players (trading orientated)

If i was to put together a one page of bullet points, with a bias towards trading, to give to new players with the aim of giving Eve the best chance of keeping these new players then it would be:

Read around

Trading / Business
  • The economy of Eve is very deep - there is a niche for everyone
  • Start small - learn the ropes first and then go in deep
  • The process that works at 4m ISK will work at 4bn ISK-with different items
  • You don't need to understand the entire market to trade successfully
  • You don't even need to know what the items you are trading actually do
  • Stick to the trade hubs of Jita / Dodixie / Amarr / Rens / Hek to start with
  • You don't need to leave High Sec to make your first 100 billion, and more
  • If mining drives you - there are many Corps that go on regular mining trips
  • You don't necessarily need to use spreadsheets

Staying alive
  • Learn how to make undocking and docking bookmarks if you need to haul
  • Use google to find best fits for ships if you insist on hauling over 100m ISK
  • Use google to find out how much is sensible to haul per transport ship

Avoiding being Scammed

  • Putting <Eve Online Scam> into google is a good start
  • Don't accept anything that originates in Local Chat
  • Ignore trade offers in Jita local chat
  • A Buy order that looks very high is probably a Scam

  • Don't ever fly with more than you can afford to lose
  • Expect to be ganked at some stage - you will lose your cargo
  • You can play Eve alone unless you want to do serious PVP or PVE
  • You can do the Business side of Eve totally alone
  • It is entirely possible to earn enough to play Eve for free

Saturday 4 October 2014

A nervous wait

So, i am updating my Sell orders in Rens.  I get to the 5 items of Capital Capacitor Control Circuit I i am selling and incorrectly enter the Sell order as 32,103,269 instead of 62,103,269, as shown below.

Fortunately, all the Buy orders were at 20.8m or below - so i did not fill any Buy orders.

I then have a nervous 5 minute wait for the cool down before i can correct my mistake.

5 minutes is a long time in the market!

Fortunately i am able to update my Sell order before anyone comes along and snaps up a good deal.

Luck was with me that day.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Flow of cash within my business

It is something of a blessing and a curse that all my alts are in the same corp (Ironforge Commerce Guild) - which only consists of my alts.

(the Corp name is a nod to the last game i played, World of Warcraft).

The blessing is that a corp is a great place to centralise my ISK and contracts - any of my alts can access that ISK and any of my alts can issue Courier Contracts to Push Industries.  It saves me forever transferring ISK from one alt to another to cover costs of buying and hauling contracts.

The curse is that my alts can not be a member of any other Corp.

Anyway, the point of this post is just to detail how the ISK flows within my business (in other words, how i have organised myself).

Very broadly, i divide my alts between those that Sell (gather ISK) and those that spend via Buying in Jita, Manufacturing or Planetary Interaction (spend ISK).

In the diagram below shows the flows of ISK and Items in by business - the ISK gathers are at the bottom, the ISK spenders are at the top.

My business starts and ends at the Corporation.  All ISK flows into it, and all ISK flows out of it.  Bought Items, Manufactured Items and Planetary Interaction Finished Goods end up in its hanger waiting to be couriered by Push Industries to my alt sellers in the Trade Hubs.  ISK made by the seller alts in the Trade Hubs flows to the Corporation.  Anything that can be done in the name of the Corporation, other than placing Sell orders, is done so.  No ISK flows from one alt to another.  The Corporation is the middle man in all flows of items and ISK.

To follow the flow of ISK in my business it is best to start with the Corporation and then work down first, and then up.

The items flow to the sellers in the Trade Hubs:

My Corporation Buys all the items in Jita / or receives all manufactured items from my Lonetrek manufacturing efforts / or receives all the Planetary Interaction finished goods.  The Corporation then contracts with Push Industries to haul those items to my Trade Hub sellers in Dodixie / Amarr / Hek / Rens (i also sell items in Jita).

The Trade Hub Sellers post the items for sale:

And hence the only ISK the alts in the Trade Hubs pay are the broker fees and the sales tax.  Otherwise, they are item sellers and ISK gatherers.

The Trade Hub Sellers then transfer the ISK back to the Corporation:

As the Trade Hub sellers in Dodixie / Amarr / Hek / Rens sell the items and gather the ISK, it is then transferred to the Corporation.  The beauty of this is that transferred ISK is available to all Alts no matter their location (in distinct contrast to physical items).  That is what makes this all work.  If i had to physically transfer the ISK (or pay a fee) then that would be a game changer.

. . . . . and then moving to the upper half of the diagram:

The Corporation then Spends the ISK to run the business:

The Corporation buys all the items in Jita that are to be sold in the Trade Hubs, buys all the raw materials in Jita that are used in the manufacturing in Lonetrek and buys all the Planetary Interaction raw materials that are used on my factory planets.  These items are bought via alts in Jita - but they use the Corporation ISK directly.

Raw Materials are hauled by me to Lonetrek to be manufactured:

I haul the raw materials to Lonetrek to be manufactured and then i haul the Finished Goods back to Jita.  They are then contracted to the Corporation and so end up in its Hanger to be contracted to Push Industries to haul onwards.

PI raw materials are hauled by me to the Factory Planets to be processed:

I haul the raw materials to my Factory Planets to be processed and then i haul the Finished Goods back to Jita.  They are then contracted to the Corporation and so end up in its Hanger to be contracted to Push Industries to haul onwards.

The Corporation then Contracts to Push Industries to ship all items to the Trade Hub Sellers:

All items bought in Jita and manufactured Items and Planetary Interaction Finished Goods are hauled to the Trade Hub sellers in Dodixie / Amarr / Hek / Rens by Push Industries.  Using Rush Jobs.

. . . . . and so the cycle of ISK gathering starts and goes on.

Effectively, my Corporation acts like a Bank and Distribution Warehouse, and the glue that keeps the flow going is Push Industries.