Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eve Online Crucible - Are You Ready To Profit?

The Crucible Expansion is going to bring new ships, modules, and bosses to Eve Online. This is going to be a great time for anyone looking to make a profit. These changes are going to shake things up in the Eve Economy, and those that are quick can make massive profits.  Best of all, there are going to be so many ways to turn a profit anyone can do it.

This includes people who have no prior experience trading.  This expansion is going to be a "dash for the cash" expansion.  The first few industrial pilots that turn out some of the 4 new battleships are going to make a huge profit before everyone catches up.  Explorers are going to get brand new anomalies and DED complexes.  Traders get to trade in all the new things, but there are a few things to watch out for.

Eve Online Crucible: Traders

This patch is going to be bring in a bunch of re-balancing changes to the game.  Specifically, they are re-balancing hybrids, Minmatar Ammo, and POS fuels.  This means that the price of these things may or may not change due to demand.

There are a few things traders need to watch out for with this patch.  T2 rig BPC's and their salvage components are having their drop rates INCREASED.  This will probably cause the price of T2 rigs to crash.  The four new battle ships will also be in free fall during the first few days of their inception, mainly because of the low barrier to entry for industrial pilots.  Robotics consumption on player owned stations is also getting reduced, so watch out for a price change in Robotics.

The POS fuel change is going to be interesting.  POS no longer need to consume a bunch of different things, instead player owned stations will require the use of a new Fuel Block.  Faction towers will no longer receive bonus in reduction of fuel costs, but instead receive larger cargo holds.  Traders should keep a close eye on the price of isotopes over the next few weeks!

Eve Online Crucible: Explorers

This patch is going to show some love to high sec exploration, and those lucky pilots who find the new loot might be able to make a killing.  They are adding new DED complexes rated at 3/10 and 4/10.  This means that they SHOULD be able to spawn in high sec, but who knows if they actually will.  These complexes are going to contain new modules, and like usual the first few are going to go for a fortune.

Since the complexes are only going to be 3/10 and 4/10 the loot may not be super amazing, but their might be a gem or two the new stuff.  Exploration complexes should be spawning a bit faster because they will now despawn once they are completed, and not when the complex is empty.  Explorers also get the added benefit of more T2 rig salvage and BPC's in improved Magnometric Sites.  Overall, this patch is definitely showing some love to exploration.

Eve Online Crucible: Industrial Pilots

Industrial Pilots are getting a tiny bit of love this patch by the implementation of the four brand new Tier three Battlecruisers.  This is likely to have a low barrier to entry, meaning that everyone will be able to jump right into producing these 4 babies:

Caldari Naga
Amarr Oracle



Minmatar Tornado

Gallente Talos




Eve Online Crucible - Everyone Else

Everyone else is pretty much intended to cover our friends who make Eve-Online the game that it is, the PVPers.  CCP is showing everyone a bit of love by fixing a few of the small annoying things that bug pretty much everyone.  They are reducing the size of metal scraps so they do not clog up your cargo hold, they are making to so anomalies should spawn a bit faster, and they are giving more options for pew pew!

The patch is including a lot of brand new items, and those players who make the dash to get them first are likely going to make a bit more isk.  Anomalies are going to be rebalanced yet again, but this time to increase NPC bounties, not sure how that is going to work out.  Jump bridges no longer require a password to use, so no more typing in the same password over and over again.  Overall, it should be a interesting patch for everyone involved.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

4 New Battlecruisers = Patch Day Profits!

I'm sure just about everyone heard that there will be 4 new ships in Eve-Online.  The 4 new battlecruisers are all teir 3 ships, not to be confused with tech 3.  This means that the BPO for these ships should be seeded on the server at npc stations.  These ships appear to be battlecruiser sized ships that sacrifice their tank for battleship sized weapons, which would make sense.  There are already battlecruiser sized ships that can tank level 4 missions, so a class cannon like battlecruiser would make sense.  This is all off topic, though, whatever the ship does it will be new a shiny.  We can profit off new and shiny!

This is all speculation, but we can us the Noctis as a model to make a few educated guesses. We can use this model to predict how things will progress on patch day, other then the fact that CCP probably break the game for a few days.  Heres some of the things we can make educated guesses on:
  1. All 4 BPO's will be seeded on the market through their respective factions.
  2. They will have relatively short production time.
  3. The BPO will be reasonably priced around 3-4 hundred million isk.
  4. The skills to fly them are already in the game.
  5. They will be made out of regular minerals.
All these factors likely mean that within a few days these ships wil be reasonably priced, because the barrier for entry for these ships is pretty low.  It will be a little more difficult to produce then a drake.  This means that only the hardcore professional industrialists will be able to make those redicious profit margins for making the first few ships.  It should be reasonably priced in just a day or two as the lemmings and small scale industrialists start producing.

The areas that are likely to be lagging behind is going to be null sec.  There might be a bit of profit for those willing to risk the dangers involved in producing these things for their alliance, assuming there is enough interested in trying out a new ship.  It might be possible make a bit of isk selling these ships at null sec trade routes for null sec pilots who want to buy the nearest available one.

Those who feel like gambling can try and buy up a bit of regular minerals like Tritanium, Pyerite, etc.  These new ships, again speculation, are likely to be made up of these, and every producer and their mom is going to try and get in on producing these things.  The hardcore industrialists are likely to have stockpiles of all the required minerals, but the lemmings might create a temporary increase in demand.  This increase in demand will likely be small and short, unless it is paired with any changes that effect mining.  Keep watching those dev blogs!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Isk Watch: The 51 Day Challenge

The 51 Day Challenge is the newest and greatest thing brought to you by the authors of Isk Watch.  The 51 Day Challenge chronicles my attempts at making well over a billion isk in just 51 days with a brand new character with no seed money.  Basically, it is a attempt to show newer players step by step how they can play the game for free.

51 days is the amount of time a new player can receive by having a 21 day free trail and upgrading it to a paid account.  The general rules are set up so I can do anything a new player can, but I cannot use my alts to give myself any advantage.  This includes hauling, seed money, etc.  Everything else is allowed, including mission running and scamming.  Everything I do and trade in will also be revealed on a day by day biases.   Come check it out!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Massive Exploit Ahoy?

CCP just announced that all new paid accounts are going to receive a Cerebral Accelerator implant through the redeeming system.  This implant can be traded on the contract market and is currently valued at around 100 mil isk. This price will most likely not be lasting very long, but it still might be profitable for those who want to hold on to the implant!

It is unclear if CCP realizes this, but currently the buddy program lets players get a free plex or 30 days game time added to their accounts when the invited account upgrades to a paid account. This trick is used by many to create a free 51 day head start on their alt account since they would have to pay for the main one anyways.  The interesting thing is that the announcement specifically says that it includes accounts that update from the buddy program.

Where is all this going?  Well, it is possible to sorta mass create items worth 350 mil isk.  All players need to do is send themselves a buddy invite and create an account. They then plex that account, and receive a free plex or 30 days to their main account.  They can use that new account to claim a Cerebral Accelerator Implant and a Apotheosis.

Players can just forget that account or use it as an alt account once the Cerebral Accelerator Implant and Apotheosis is transferred over.  Once this is all completed you can rinse and repeat, and make as many implants and shuttles as you can send out buddy invites.

This is untested! I haven't had any sleep yet so this could all be wrong!

Edit: Received reports that buddy invite accounts no longer receive the implant.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

War on Bots - Update

It is time to review the ongoing war against botting in Eve-Online.  It now has been months since CCP announced their ongoing war, and it would be interesting to see if it was just propaganda to silence the masses. Hopefully, CCP is keeping their word and making it extremely difficult to bot, but we shall see.

Bot 1 Status: Unknown

This bot claims to be working, and they just released a new update.  They claim that it works perfectly with Incarna 1.1, but the site itself looks like terrible.  It does have a forum, but they only have three posts in the public forums since September.  This site cannot be confirmed to be working, and it appears to be a scam.

Bot 2 Status: Working

This bot looks pretty professional, and it has active forums. The site itself looks slick with a lot of information, and there are a few tips on avoiding bans.  This makes it seem like it is possible to get banned for using the bot, but it is not a sure thing.  There are a few posts of people claiming to receive two week bans for using this bot, and others who claim they have no problems yet.  This bot also includes a trading bot...

Bot 3 Status: Working

This bot is a Russian mission running bot, and it appears to be fully functional.  There are a few discussions bugs and settings to make the bot run more efficiently and nothing about avoiding bans. Again, this looks fully functional with little risk of being banned.

Bot 4 Status: Unknown

There is no way to tell if this bot is legit or a scam.  It claims that it is 100% undetectable and working for the Incarna patch.  There is no forums to tell how active this bot is, but it claims to use optical reading and supports up to 3 clients at a time.There is no way to be sure how well it works and if it is actually getting detected.

In Conclusion

It appears that the war on bots is not going any more effective then any other game.  They released one or two small different patches to detect some of the free common bots, and it probably cut down a lot on the casual botting.  It did little to nothing to stop any of the professional botting, but that is sorta to be expected.

CCP managed to kill off the free public bots that were getting out of hand, but the ones that people pay for continued to work.  Maybe, this is because there is a market out for them, and it is just a very lucrative business.  Bot makers simply could have found out what anti-botting measures CCP put in place and circumvented them.  These circumvention measures do not seem to be 100% effect, though, and it is still possible to receive a 2 week ban. The ball is now in CCP's court.  It all depends on CCP releasing an update to their detection measures.

There is a disturbing thing about the war on bots, and that is bot number  3.  The Russian bot is still active.  It is the same Russian bot that was still working in the first War on Bots post, and it seems to be just as active.  This bot is really active with a lot of posts on the forums daily, and it would be nice if they did something to detect this bot.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Site Redesign In Progress

We're back, better, stronger, faster, more endowed, smarter, and better at math then ever before. We are going to be in the process of a major site redesign over the next few weeks.  The idea is to have some guides, permanent pages, and a few other surprises in stored! The redesign will happen in the following stages:

1.) General Layout - Complete
2.) Information - 80% Complete*
3.) Graphic Redesign - 90% Complete*
4.) Final layout Redesign - Not Started
5.) New Host - Canceled
6.) Relaunch - 75% Ready*
*Best Guess

This list may or may not be updated...
Stay tunned...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dev Blog - WHAT?

Do you have your heads in the sand CCP?  I am not one to really complain about changes even if I don't like them.  I would rather focus on how I can profit and adapt, but this is ridiculous.  I will leave my opinions to myself but I just have to butcher this dev blog.

The dev blog is in green followed by my comments in black.

This week has seen quite a controversy unfold. In almost the same instant as we deployed Incarna...
I'm pretty sure it was related to the deployment of Incarna, and not almost the same istant.  "Almost the same instant" implies that people are not upset with Incarna, but last I checked on the forum people are quite livid.

...which by the way is one of our more smooth and successful expansions
 Really? Is causing a 216 page, 6,472 replies complaining post as of 8:30 EST on June 24 and a riot in Jita (and reports of similar riots in other trade hubs) is a successful expansion?  I mean you guys didn't delete any boot.ini files (again) so I guess it could be considered "successful" if those are the standards you want to be judged by.  It's all in the eye of the beholder.  

not to mention absolutely gorgeous
Yeah, gorgeous.  Tiny single player room makes my graphic card sound like a freaken helicopter taking off.  I also get the bonus feature of only running 2 gorgeous clients at a time instead of 6 functional ones...  I get to actually re-log when I want to get on other accounts... It's really convenient!  

an internal newsletter with rather controversial topics addressed leaked out. To further compound the confusion there was a clear and rather large gap in virtual goods pricing expectation and reality with a large segment of the community. I‘m going to address both these issues right here.
 I really liked the part about selling NON-VANITY items, going completely against what you said in the past. Now industrials get to compete with CCP instead of just themselves!  YAY, spawning things out of nothing!  I like how it wasn't considered a big deal that you wanted to spawn the painted scorpions without consuming a regular scorpion.  They stop becoming "paint jobs" when a entirely new ship is coming into existence.


Fearless is one of our company values. It‘s also the name of an internal newsletter that has been designed and developed specifically to catalyze discussions on controversial topics. One of the biggest elephants in the room these days, not just for EVE but for the gaming industry as a whole, is virtual goods sales and microtransactions.

Therefore we dedicated an entire issue to exactly that topic. It‘s worth mentioning that the topic of the issue was "Greed is good?" as a way to ask a question that would then be debated back and forth and often exaggerated purposefully to draw contrasts and make points. The result of that is now widely available on the internet.

The opinions and views expressed in Fearless are just that; opinions and views. They are not CCP policy nor are they a reliable source of CCP views as a company. The employees who submitted articles to that newsletter did exactly what they were asked to do, write about theories and opinions from an exaggerated stand.

While it‘s perfectly fine to disagree and attack CCP over policies or actions we take, we think it‘s not cool how individuals that work here have been called out and dragged through the mud due to something they wrote in the internal company newsletter. Seriously, these people were doing their jobs and do not deserve the hate and shitstorm being pointed at them.

First of all, I agree that attacking people personally is stupid.  If someone is assigned a job they should do it, even if they disagree with it. 


This is a red herring. This completely ignored any of the legitimate concerns players are having, but instead just says that were all assholes for attacking the authors.  People rose legitimate concerns, but the main on is: Is the Noble Exchange going to have non-vanity items? Yes or No?  

People have been shocked by the price range in the NeX store, but you should remember that we are talking about clothes. Look at the clothes you are currently wearing in real life. Do you have any specific brands? Did you choose it because it was better quality than a no-name brand? Assume for a short while that you are wearing a pair of $1,000 jeans from some exclusive Japanese boutique shop. Why would you want to wear a pair of $1,000 jeans when you can get perfectly similar jeans for under $50? What do other people think about you when they see you wearing them? For some you will look like the sad culmination of vainness while others will admire you and think you are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Whichever it is, it is clear that by wearing clothes you are expressing yourself and that the price is one of the many dimensions that clothes possess to do that in addition to style and fit. You don't need to buy expensive clothes. In fact you don't need to buy any clothes. Whatever you choose to do reflects what you are and what you want others to think you are.

We will gradually introduce items at other price points, definitely lower and probably higher than what‘s in the store today. We hope you enjoy them and are as passionate about them as you are of the current items that are for sale.
Go ahead and charge whatever you want for designer clothes.  The issue I have is that you guys are just going to STOP developing free stuff.  I mean why add any more vanity items what so ever when you guys can charge 5, 10, 25, 60 dollars for a pair of virtual pants.  Keep the current selection at the bare minimum and have all the cool stuff in the Noble Exchange. 

I hope I‘ve addressed your concerns and cleared up a lot of the issues you‘re having. We‘ll continue monitoring the forums and other communications channels and pick up and reply if there are concerns not covered by this blog.
You only address the thing about price, but completely ignored the MAIN issues.  I understand if you don't know if there will be non-vanity items in the store.  I just hope you understand that I don't know if I want to keep playing a game where someone can buy things from CCP to be better then me.  Other players yes, CCP no.  This is purely from a Industrial point of view, the PVPers I know are more pissed then me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

War On Bots - A In-Depth Look

I decided to take a in depth look on ccp's war on bots, and to see if they are actually having an effect.  The problem is how to approach this, and to see what effect it is having on the game.  There are a lot of criteria to look at, but at first lets look at the source.  Actual botting websites, and for obvious reasons I will not be listing their actual names. I also highly recommend reading Reporting from the front line of the Bot-war on the eve-online forums. 

Website 1 - Status: Appears Dead
This is the first website that popped up on my Google search., and the site appears to be pretty professional looking.  It has some pretty nice php effects, but the forums are pretty much dead.  The last post was in march.  The forums appear to be censored, and the admins might be removing all negative posts.  I find it weird that their is no discussion about ccp's announcement to fight bots, and not one complaint.

Website 2 - Status: Working
 This site is more of a discussion site, but it is well alive and functioning.  There appears to have been a few people banned for about 2 weeks.  The complaining seemed to have died down, and it is unknown if they are now just censoring the forum.  There is a new bot out that claims to be undetectable as of 3 days ago.  People are complaining it is hard to use, but no one reported being banned.

Website 3 - Status: Working
This bot seems to be a popular ratting bot, and appears to be favored by the Russians.  The site does not have very many posts in the English section, but the Russian section is very active.  There are no complaints about being banned on the forum.  There is a lot of discussion about bugs the bot has, and this makes me believe that people are in fact using this bot.

Website 4 - Status: Unknown/Working
This is another ratting bot, but it is a lot less popular then website 3 based on the amount of forum posts.  There are no posts or discussion about CCP war on bots, and no one complaining to be banned.  There is discussion about the bot bugging out occasionally, and optimizing its usage.

Website 5 - Status: Shutdown/In development
I guess this is a touch out of order, but this appears to be the most popular mining bot.  The forums have been completely taken down except for a few announcements.  The developer says that he does have a stable version that will not be detected, but it has not been released to the public.

Those appear to be the major bots out in the game. It appears that ccp is doing something, but is it really that much?  Eve-online anti-botting has been a JOKE for years, and now they are doing small things that should have been done long ago.  So far they have only gone after the mining bots, and seemed to have left the ratting bots alone.  I guess it is possible that bot sellers are doing an amazing job covering up that their product does not work anymore.  I guess it is time to look at the market.

The first thing to look at would be the more popular LP shop items. I don't want to go into a great detail listing every item I looked at, but for the past 2-3 weeks there has be a small increase in the amount of sales.  This could mean that bot users are a bit worried and have been liquidating their accumulated LP, but the increase in trades isn't really that substantial.

The other thing that needs to be looked at would be the mineral market, but that appears to have no real change.  I guess I could see a small decrease in the amount of Trit traded in Jita lately, but that could be any number of things.  Again this is not really substantial, but the price of Trit is already high, and seems to have stabilized in the 3.20 range.

I guess time will tell if CCP is going to actually win the war against bots.  I believe that they did NOT come out swinging, but just made it a bit more complicated to write a bot.  I understand that botting is a widespread problem, and they could not ban everyone permanently.  It would have drastically punished players for a behavior that sort of became acceptable.  They released the bare minimum of anti-botting technology, and it seems to only be able to detect certain things.  This could be a new approach, though, make it more and more complicated to write a undetectable bot.  I guess time will tell.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Anom Change - Time to Mine?

I've been messing around in null to see what the anomaly change will have for those of us unlucky enough to live in a system that will no longer have havens or sanctums.  I ran around and used a ishtar fitted for max dps and I was getting a steady income of about 10-11 mil isk a tick (20 minutes) in bounties in havens.  It comes out to about 30-33 mil a hour.  I then started to run hubs and I was getting between 3-5m a tick.  It comes out to about 9-15 mil a hour.

This means that those who rely on anomalies for income will see a 50% drop in their livelihood. Now I realize people are able to clear havens and sanctums much faster then I was.  They can probably get much higher ticks then me, but this should still give you an idea of what you will be making after the patch.  Those that run anomalies in carriers will suffer even more, due to the high number of frigate spawns in hubs. 

Those mining in null at current mineral prices could in theory make around 50 mil a hour.  It's not going to happen for the average pilot.  It would take a hulk pilot with max skills, tech 2 drones, tech 2 crystals, mining implants, getting a perfect rorqual boost, mining Arkanor, and having someone hauling the ore for him.  Realistically, you can probably pull in 30-40 mil, but that is even after IDEAL circumstances.  It does not include any refining fees, hauling fees, etc.  It is also based on current Jita prices.

This is where things get complicated, because it all depends on your alliance and corp.  What are you really going to get for the ore?  What percent is the outpost owner going to take for a refine tax? Are you going to haul the stuff to Jita yourself?  What do you pay the booster? What do you pay your haulers? What do you pay the pilot that kills rats for you? More importantly are you going to be able to mine Arkanor the whole time? Realistically you are going to make maybe 15-20+/- mil a hour mining at pretty high skills, but it all depends.

Now the pilot running hubs will be making 9-15+/- mil a hour, and they also get loot and salvage on-top of the bounties.  This is where calculating gets hard, because the average null sec pilot will not have the salvage as you go capabilities of say a Marauder.  The easiest and possibly the best thing to do would be to find a low skill point corp mate to come salvage and loot for you, and just split the profit.  Your profit will vary based on the faction of the local rats, but it should still put you way ahead of the miner.

The hub pilot will also have the advantage of faction spawns and escalations.  Hubs can escalate to 8/10 DED complexes, and the occasional faction spawn.  I personally never seen either, but I hear they exist!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Escrow Scam

This is possibly the most clever scam out in the universe of eve for the amount of time it requires to set up.  I've seen someone pull in 10 billion isk in one weekend minus the cost of the stuff he was using.  The scam involves abusing the Margin Trading skill and finding items that are never traded.  It can be done with dog tags, overseer effects, etc.  You basically want something that literally has no market, and for our examples we will use a imaginary item just called DNA.

This DNA is absolutely worthless, but there is very little of it in the game.  The hard part of this scam involves getting between 3-5 of the scam item, but it can be done.  The person will then create a buy order asking for 3-5 (depends how many you are using for your scam) for a ridiculously  high amount.  This makes it look like the item is worth a lot of iskies, when it is worthless.  The scammer can get really creative and use multiple buy orders and even put some up for sale at the high price.  The goal is to make it look like the item is worth a LOT.

This is where margin trading comes into play.  The scammer will intentionally create one or two orders per character and then transfer the rest of the isk off the character.  This means that if anyone tries to sell to his buy order it will simply fail, and to prevent someone from messing up his scam he will have min volume set to 3-5.  This is to prevent someone with one of the item from canceling all his orders.

The actual scam takes place on the contract market.  The scammer will create a contract asking for a lot of isk for there worthless item, and spam the contract in local.  People will click on the contract and generally have no idea what the item is or what it is really worth.  They will then view market details and see that it is selling for hundreds of isk, and that by accepting the contract they can sell to the buy orders and turn a profit.  The problem is the buy orders will disappear as you sell to them and leave you with a worthless item.

I guess the tip of the day, all contracts in local are scams.  Stay away.

Suicide Ganking - A More Advanced Method?

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the fact that you are not to fly in tech 1 haulers on autopilot when you have stuff in your cargo hold.  I would not even fly tech 2 haulers on autopilot unless they were empty. There seems to be a new wave of suicide ganking, where high sec pirates are going after haulers that are not on autopilot. 

The way it is being done is quite simple, but it involves a group of people or someone with a lot of alts.  They camp systems where they can predict the way you are going to travel say between Amarr and Jita; this is the key.  The easiest way to explain this is to make a simple diagram.

---->(Gate:A)Scanner------->(Gate:B)Gank Team-----(Gate:C)

The scanner scans and identifies the person to be ganked (on gate A) while they are aligning to the next gate (Gate:B).  He then communicates the target to the gank team sitting in the next system.  The team will wait for you to jump threw gate B, and they will jump you while you are aligning to the next gate (Gate C).

The ganker will probably be in a battleship fitted with as many sensor boosters and amplifiers as he can fit for a wicked fast targeting.  They will also have a warp scram, and this will serve as a dual purpose.  First, it will stop you from warping away (assuming u don't have warp stabs). Secondly, it will stop you in space, and make it even easier to hit you.  The team also have someone to haul away the loot.  I guess in theory there could be someone to remote sensor boost, but i'm pretty sure they would be concorded as-well.

How to protect yourself?

Fit your ships - if your going to be hauling expensive things, then drop the cargo expanders.  Go for the agility mods (inertia stabilizers) and warp stabs.  Fit a high buffer tank so you do not killed in the first strike.

Dock and unload - If you get scanned, warp to a station and dock.  If you don't care about losing a indy then unload your cargo quickly and see if they still try and attack you on the other side of the gate.  Remember the scanner already called you out as a high value target; and they might have been sitting at the gate for a few hours looking for a kill.  WARNING: There is a small chance you might poded; warp away quickly - don't loose your implants.

Freighters -  God awful idea for small items, but it takes a lot to gank it.  I would say that if your hauling under 5-6b in one go ahead and autopilot and go watch tv.  People hauling 20b+ need to remember that a single ship could probably keep you from aligning somewhere.  This means his buddies have all the time in the world to organize a effective gank. 

Courier Contracts - 1-2 mil reward for someone else to haul your stuff?  Yes, please.  The reward size really depends on what your hauling and where to.  If it requires someone to take a freighter into low sec, then your contract might not get filled for a 1-2 mil reward.  Be sure to place a high collateral as well.  I generally do sell order price + 50%, but everyone has their own little method.

Orca - You can not scan anything in corp hanger bay. AFK away?

Cloaky Hauler - If you are hauling small amounts, then you can't go wrong with a cloaky hauler.  Properly fit, it should be entering warp right when your gate cloak drops from you trying to enter warp.

Auto Target Back - A lot of null sec players will have this turned off, but it makes it pretty easy to know if you have been scanned.  Just be sure to turn it back off when you get back to null.

Passive Scanners - Just because you haven't been targeted doesn't mean you haven't been scanned.  Try and watch for the scan animation.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scamming 101 - Contract Scams

I have already covered courier scams, and now it is time to cover the annoying scams... local contract scams.  These are really easy to spot, but occasionally the contract spammers get lucky.  CCP actually made it a bit harder to check if a scammer has been successful in the past, but you can still do it if you are curious.

1.) Find a scammer, just check Jita local.
2.) Open up contracts and click on my contracts tab.
3.) Type in the name of the scammer in Owner and change status to finished.
4.) Click Get Contracts.

I just did a quick check on everyone who is scamming local, and only one managed to succeed.  I realize that most likely the people really spamming local are just bots, but is running a spam bot to get one plex a week ago really worth it?

I did a quick check of people pulling the 960,000m3 scam I posted about here.  Oddly enough, people seem to be succeeding at the rate of one per week.  It seems that the standard is to offer 1 mil/100 mil collateral, and while some get finished about one for every 5-10 gets failed.  So the successful ones are making 90 mil average on their scam.

Don't Believe me? Look up courier contracts and find someone who wants 960,000m3+ hauled. I I found 3 people with an active 960,000m3+ scam up and they made about 200mil each over the last two weeks.  I guess it's up to you if you want to try scamming, but there are much easier and faster ways to make isk. 

I will cover phaserinc in another post.  I guess I can't call them a scam, but I won't call them legit either.  Personally, I would never invest one isk with them, but that's a story for another day.

If you are familiar with basic scams (Reverse buy and Wrong Price) then don't bother with the rest.

I guess I should cover the types of contract scams, but they are pretty easy to spot.  In fact, they are so easy to spot that I am having a bit of trouble trying to explain them.  There are really two types that I can think of.  The more clever of the bunch is what i call reverse want to buy.  The person puts up a contract that he wants to SELL something at a outrageous price, the usual being an Elite Drone AI (worthless btw), and then they advertise the contract as a WTB contract in local.  They are hoping that the person in local doesn't realize that it says they will pay 100 mil to buy one, and not get 100 mi.

The other is so common it is hardly worth mentioning.  Its trying to buy or sell something at the wrong price but trying to make it look like it is the right price.  Basically, a person says they are offering 380 mil for something but the contract is for 380 thousand.  They are hoping that you don't notice the missing zeros.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gate Camps and a Little Known Fact.

It is my understanding that the Eve-online servers process nearly everything in about one second intervals.  This is not one second from when you click the module, but every one sec the servers do a process of everything that happens.  Now you may think that this really doesn't matter, but when seconds matter it can mean the difference between life and death.  Seconds couldn't matter more then on a gate camp.  You have seconds to catch your prey or to get away.

How can someone take advantage of the one second processing though?  Why does it matter?  Well did you know you can activate a Covert Ops Cloak and a Microwarp Drive at the same time?  The Microwarp Drive will finish its cycle before it auto-deactivates.  If you are caught on a bubble in null sec; this gives you a chance to haul ass and get out of dodge.

Gate campers can take advantage of the servers as well.  The fact that eve servers only process once a second means that you have a full second to scramble the prey before they re-cloak.  The trick is to get your targeting speed under a sec and be quick with your targeting and scrambling.  This is where things get interesting.  If the gate camper is quick enough then the server will process both events (cloaking and being targeted) at the same time.  It appears that targeting wins.

I guess the way to take advantage of this for gate campers would be to set up their overviews so they can spam target on the first spot in their overview whenever they see gate fire.  This combined with a bit of luck and ungodly fast targeting speed would mean disaster for their prey.

Another worthy note is that organized gate campers have the advantage even without a scout in the next system.  The player jumping into a low or null sec system does NOT have any element of surprise. The gate campers get to see gate fire and see the person in local long before you are done loading.

Let this post serve as a warning.  It is very unlikely that your covert ops hauler is going to get caught by a gate camp, but it is possible.  The only way to really be safe is to scout, scout, and scout some more.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trade 103 - Jita

I feel I should skip around a little bit and explain how to make money in Jita.  Jita is the most populated hub in the game, and pretty much is the center of the Eve-Universe.  This means that miners and industrialist will usually come to Jita to sell everything, and this means you can buy a lot of stuff quickly.  Players will go to Jita and fit whole ships because it is convenient and cheap.

All of this means that 90% of the other people in local are other traders.  Competition is absolutely insane, and in some buy orders will be over cut in under 5 minutes.  There is a lot of profit to be made here, but the margins are TINY.  The key to Jita trading is taking advantage of what it does best, high quantity of trades.  You have to move massive amounts of things to make a profit on the low margins.

WARNING:  Price can change FAST, and that profit can disappear before you can resell your stock.

This is where most traders will tell you to find something to trade in, by starting at the top of the list and working down.  I figure I can do a lot better.  I will tell you what to trade in and why.  I just cant tell you specific items like hulks, because I have no idea what price hulks will be.  I will tell you groups and some generalizations about them.

Faction Ammo - Low Risk, Slow Moving, Medium Margins
Faction ammo prices are pretty stable, and they have nice margins.  The problem is the fact that they are relatively slow moving, especially when you are trying to resell your stock.  People generally don't buy more then there pvp or mission ship can hold.

Moon Materials - High Risk, Fast Moving, Decent Margins
Moon Minerals are probably the most dangerous thing to trade in eve.  The competition is the worst, and you will be over cut in minutes.  You have to trade in rather large amounts to make any isk. You will want to layer your orders so you can get around the 5 minute lockout time.  The profits can be pretty insane.

Planetary Materials - Medium Risk, Medium-Fast Moving, Decent Margins
Planetary Materials are like the little brother to moon materials.  You have to trade in large amounts, competition is pretty bad.  The only thing is NOT all planetary materials are really profitable.  You will want to focus on pos fuel.

Faction Ships - Medium Risk,Fast Moving, Decent Margins
The nice thing about faction ships is that you can really easily see the profit.  Trading one ship will net you a profit of 5m-20m, if not more.  The taxes and fees can be rather steep if you do not have the proper skills.

Ships - Medium Risk, Medium Moving, Questionable Margins
 Ship margins in Jita can be so small that you will lose money on fees, but it can be possible to make a profit on good deals.  Just keep your eyes open.

Modules - Low Risk, Slow Moving, Questionable Margins
The key with module trading is to jump on the good deals.  Find things that have high margins, buy up a lot and sell them slowly over time.

Skill Books - Really Safe, Slow Moving, Really Low Margins
I consider this brute force trading.  Buy up the skill books at a NPC station, and haul them to Jita,  Since Jita has so much traffic it won't be uncommon to find someone that will want to buy one or two.  The price is set by NPC, and as long as you don't sell below npc cost you will be fine. 

Attribute Implants - Low Risk, Medium Moving, Low Margins
You will want to find implants that have some sort of margin, but it still possible to turn a profit.

Other Implants - Low Risk, Really Slow Moving, High Margins
This is a bit of a generalization, but you can make nice margins on certain implants.  The problem is that the turn over time might be a week if not longer.

Trade 101 - Basic Mechanics

I guess this is part two of the stuff I have to get out of the way.  The mechanics of trading are a little bit hard to grasp. The market is divided between buyers and sellers.  Players put up "buy orders" for items, and another player can fill this order.  They can also decide to put things up for sale, and hope someone comes along and buys it.

The first thing anyone should do is orient yourself.  The comparison here is the overview.  A pvp pilot won't try to pvp with a screwed up overview, and a miner won't try to mine without having asteroids in their overview.  Why would a trader have a screwy looking market tab.

To get started, when you open up your market you will see two sections, buyers on the bottom and sellers on top.  Generally, you want to orient yourself so you see the cheapest sellers and the most expensive buyers.  You do this by clicking on "Price".

Now to explain the BASIC concept of trading.  You put up a "buy order" so that your offering the most amount of money for a item, and then putting it up for sale so your the lowest "sell order".  The easiest way to explain this would be taking a item, we will say hulks.  Lets pretend that there are hulks for sale for 197m, 196m, and 195.9m isk. and buy orders for 150m and 151m.    This means that there is a gap of 35m, which could be your profit.  There is also the variable of range which will be discussed later.

Buy Orders and sell orders ALWAYS get filled by price.  A player will ALWAYS buy the cheapest ship (even if they want to play more) and sell to the most expensive buy order.  So if we use our hulk example: If you put up a buy order for 151m - .01 isk, then your order wont be filled until the 151m is filled.  If you put up a buy order for 151m +.01 isk, then your order will be filled first.

The issue of range is the other major variable.  Your buy orders can have a range of "region", and anyone in the region can fill your order.  The problem is that items don't magically move, so if you buy something 10 jumps away you have to go 10 jumps to go and get it.

I realize that I probably butchered the mechanics of trading, but this has been explained so many times before.  I figure I will just post links.

I recommend reading:
http://eve.grismar.net/wikka.php?wakka=TradeBasics - good and simple explanation

Scamming 101 - Courier Scams

Scamming 101 - What to watch out for... or try...

This is a pretty hard topic to address.  I personally never had any luck scamming, but it was never my cup of tea.  This makes it a bit hard to write about.  I am note sure if this should be a warning or how to guide, but knowing eve players... This will be a how to guide. 

Courier Scams
The point of these is to make it impossible, or highly unlikely that someone will be able to finish a courier contract, and thus resulting in the scammer getting the collateral for the cheap items they want shipped.  They accomplish this in three common ways:

Null Sec Courier Contract - The destination is one that you might not even be able to dock at.  These stations are owned by alliances and generally they will only let other alliance members and their allies dock. CCP changed the contract system so it WARNS you that you might not be able to dock there, but a sucker is born every day.

Massive Cargo Scam - This scam is pretty clever.  The target is newer freight pilots, specifically those who do not have freighter 5 trained (since it is a long skill a lot of people don't bother).  Level 4 freighters get 940,000 m3, so the goal it to go over that. The common way is to make a courier contract to haul 8xGeneral Freight Container which comes out to about 960,000m3. Level 5 Freighter pilots can still haul this, but its all about balance.  If the collateral is 150m and the reward is 2 mil, then you just need to find one sucker for every 75.

Suicide Gank - Simple Enough. Set a really high collateral, a destination that freighter pilots normally don't go to, pray they use a industrial, and suicide gank them at all costs.

Trade 101 - Skills

Where to begin?  I guess the most logical place is to start in the beginning, but that has been done to death.  Who really wants to reread all the same stuff, over and over.  I guess the problem is I don't know what the average eve player knows about trade.  I guess this is one of those things that just has to be done so everyone is in the same page.  Those of you that already know all these, bear with me.

Trade is mostly about information, but skills matter.  There have been multiple attempts to turn 5k isk into 1 billion isk in just 30 days. The most notable attempt was by Bouncer Ricdic. This lead to various competitions and spin offs, but the problem is the amount of work they have to put into trading to make it work.  Do yourself a favor and train some trade skills.What skills, though, really depends on what kind of trading you are going to do.  Which is another post for another day.

Accounting Level 5 - Saves money from fees when selling things.
Broker Relations Level 5 - Saves money from fees when buying and selling things.
Margin Trading Level 3-4 - Each level takes ~25% off the amount you put in escrow when you put up a buy order.

Trade Slots:
Trade - 4 per level
Retail - 8 per level
Wholesale - 16 per level (Requires Retail 5)
Tycoon - 32 per level (Requires Wholesale 5)

Day Trading level 4 - Lets you modify sell orders you already have up within 20 jumps. (level 5 for region-wide)
Marketing Level 4 - Lets you place things within 20 jumps up for sale. (level 5 for region-wide)
Procurement Level ? - I don't use this skill, but it lets you place remote buy orders.
Visibility Level ? - I don't use this skill but lets you extend the range of your REMOTE (Procurement) buy orders.

Those that are interested in more details about skills can read a pretty good explanation in this forum post. I will cover the basic mechanics of buy and sell orders in Trade 102 - Basic Mechanics.