Monday, September 30, 2013

Character Bazaar

Turning all of our assets into liquid took a substantial amount of time. Most of us were still trying to test things and see if anything could be done with the contract market to continue the West and Grey trick. With faction items eventually being added to the market interface those ideas were dashed against the rocks.

So here we were with a slowly growing pile of liquidity and no real way to reliably invest it well. Eventually we looked to the character bazaar since not only could you tie up a good amount of liquidity but you could also get a decent return. Getting a character for 11b and then fixing it up for a month or so to resell at 14b was a 1.5b profit after plex and transfer costs, so over 10% return. It was also very viable to just speed train tengu capable characters to sell for 1-2b profit or so per toon.

Kwark eventually took over a large section of the high sp and capital/supercap toon market using the X Atm092 character. He had a number of interesting incidents where people would either refuse to sell to him or try to trash talk him because he generally resells the characters he gets. In nearly all cases he would just wind up buying the toon anyway using an alt. Most of his toons were either quick flips resold as is for a larger amount of isk or fixer uppers that he needed to keep for a month or more to get things like triage or t2 siege.

Meanwhile, we also had a short stint of printing bhaalgorn bpcs in NPC delve. Unfortunately that wasn't really profitable compared to our WG/Character Bazaar standards but it did give us something to do in the meantime while we waited for CCP to screw something up or see if we could stumble on another reasonable source of income.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The West and Grey Contract Trick

After moving to Saranen and getting into the faction web and tracking computer production The Hatchery was doing quite well. Then kwark happened to sell around 26 bil of webs to West and Grey then we started asking questions. Eventually Apturan and Karah figured out that West and Grey wasn't just bulk buying faction items, but selling them as well on the contract market. After a bit of discussion on how this all worked out, kwark got over 100b loaned to him to help his liquidity and actually break into the contract scene.

With a starting base in the faction webs we were producing he quickly expanded that into faction gyros and eanms, as well as a few other items. Things went well and a few weeks later, West and Grey contacted him and talks were had. About a month later West and Grey agreed to sell kwark his contract monopoly for 400b and 9b weekly in exchange for WG's mailing list and stocks. A month after this happened, kwark had built this into a trillion isk monopoly that was even larger than what West and Grey initially had.

Suddenly Crucible 1.1 happened and CCP stealth patched the contract interface, completely stopping the contract trick from working any longer. Eventually the contract market became completely obsolete as faction mods were added to the market interface. Yet kwark still made over 1 trillion isk, West and Greay profiting about the same (likely more depending on how long his monopoly was up and running) and members of The Hatchery getting a few hundred billion each.

Link to kwarks post on the eve forums:

Link to the post in TL forums:

But the question remained: What else could we do with this kind of liquidity and how profitable could it be?

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Ammo Trade and Expanding Conversions

We were blitzing missions out of emol with machariels for some time before we actually sat down and optimized it further. It became clear that when you're making over 100m an hour blitzing missions, taking the time to convert the lp and sell it is wasting time that could be used to run more missions. This was solved by kwark, who decided to actually convert and sell the lp for everyone. He would stock stations with ammo and when we needed to convert lp he traded us the ammo and bought the faction ammo that we turned it into for just below market value.

This obviously cut into the missioners income a bit but since kwark was taking only a couple hundred isk/lp and most of the ammo at the time being around 1k isk/lp everyone was quite happy. Missioners were making more because they could run more missions and kwark set up an rf ammo empire in various tradehubs. Soon he was moving so much volume every day that even when he lost a 14b isk freighter due to not double packaging his cargo it didn't even make any real impact in his operation.

Converting lp also became a lucrative business as kwark expanded his lp converting to the public and other members of the Hatchery started a seperate lp conversion corp Every Day Low Prices, which focused mostly on faction items. Around this time we moved to Oddelulf and were also running level 5 missions out of Istodard in molden heath for additional lp gains.

Spreadsheets were made for many corporations to see what exactly was worth going after. The 5 run bpcs of faction items were very good profit makers and after running the numbers we settled on the quafe corporation. The system of Saranen is a 0.1 meaning that it has much better lp rewards than anything in hisec or most other lowsec, and being able to blitz missions in nanodrakes or pvp fit machs,  lowsec really wasn't that dangerous for us.

Other factors for the move from Oddelulf to Saranen were mostly pvp related. It is important to note that Ueberlisk stayed behind and decided to kill anything and everything in the area. He continues to do so to this very day.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Missions and LP

Shortly after I started semi seriously missioning as a new player, I ended up in a discussion with kwark about lp. No, it wasn't anything like a spreadsheet comparison, as neither of us had actually done any math with lp at all before. We basically sat down and figured out that the amount of isk I was getting for my lp by running missions for republic fleet was substantially better than what he was getting for caldari navy in motsu.

Now this probably doesn't sound very important at all and really it wasn't, but it got us thinking a bit. If you could make so much off of lp, why bother looting and salvaging missions at all? This eventually moved into blitzing missions, which involves shooting only what you need to in order to complete the missions as fast as possible. By doing this we ended up with most of our income being based off of the isk/lp ratio of whatever faction ammo was at the time.

It wasn't long until we started messing around with the decline feature to decline any missions which couldn't be run extremely quickly. We found that with high enough faction standing, I think it's around 6.0, you can chain decline all non blitzable missions and still be fine for an absurdly long period of time with social skills at 3 or 4. It was also vital to get both of the lp skills up to 5 asap since that was a direct increase to your income. Now you only need security connections to 5 to have the same effect.

Another important factor was to have an agent in a 0.5 security system since the lower the security of the system the higher the lp reward is for finishing missions. We ended up choosing to base out of Emol, running lvl 4 missions for republic fleet and converting the lp into whatever flavor of faction ammo was the most profitable at the time.

Finally with the maximum available lp gain per mission in hisec, the only thing left to do was to figure out the fastest way to blitz missions. The best possible ship for this was and still is the machariel. With its absurd speed and agility as well as it's very high damage and decent projection with 800mm autocannons, it clears missions with minimal problems and is even able to hit all of the triggers in the blockade mission without being in danger if you know the spawn locations.

Soon we were cranking out the lp and actually making a decent income running missions in hisec but we still had a long way to go before anything truly interesting happened profit wise.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

General Preface

This blog is meant to be a more technical in depth look on the mechanics of Eve Online and how they can be used to do everything from acquire vast amounts of isk to deal with large gangs and blobs when you are flying solo or with a very small gang (think under 5 people).

In game I'm Viceorvirtue a member of the Hatchery corporation in the Team Liquid alliance. When I first started playing Eve a couple years or so ago I made my first plex off of a 21day buddy invite by using a thrasher to grind the 2/10 static plexs in hisec for several hours every day. Eventually I moved into a maelstrom for level 4 missions, using 1200mm atrillery and salvaging my missions afterwards. Yes, that's right, I was the average hisec pilot who was very bad at the game.

From there I learned about blitzing missions, isk/lp ratios, and a number of other things in an upward spiral of incidents ranging from the west and grey contract trick era to character bazaar, to faction war. Now I don't consider anything under 20 bil to be a sizable amount of money and I don't really find much point in undocking to do any pve activity that gets me less than 500m and hour barring any ulterior motives.

This blog will fallow this spree of incidents while also going into the game mechanics responsible for them as well as which techniques can still be applied and used, since most of this information is no longer usable from an isk making standpoint. Make no mistake, this isn't likely to reveal some deep dark money making secret or anything. The majority of the information can be found by piecing together spreadsheets and doing a bit of math. I'm just writing it all down here because quite frankly I have nothing better to do.

This will mostly be focused on pve to begin with and then branch out into pvp mechanics which require a good deal more math and complexities.