Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Last week, while casually browsing through Placid in my beloved Astero, I spotted a Megathron on scan. In a belt. Which could only mean one thing: juicy target. I sneak up, uncloak, get point, and start chipping away with my little drones. It looks like I am breaking his tank, but it will be a while--maybe a long while. And I have a problem: I need to get the bus in 10 minutes. Fortuitously, the player offers to random his ship! We settle on 250 million (which seems high for a vanilla battleship, so I'm torn--I really want to know why he is willing to take the risk on a ransom almost twice the cost of his ship). I agree, and let the player go, for which he is quite thankful. This might not be my first ransom, but it is surely my first memorable one.

That isk ended up going to PLEX for Good. EVE is a funny game.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Exploring and Trading - Charting My Progress

As I've described in some of my first posts, my alt functions as a trader, explorer, and hauler. She's been exploring for three expansions now, and recently hit 10b in sell orders. Tracking the progress since last January increasingly gives me the opportunity to see the results over a long timescale. 

The numbers are in millions. I don't collect exploration results on a monthly basis, for various reasons. Mostly, my play time varies so much week by week and month by month that it is not a reliable guide (for me) to how much I make in general, so I collect the data expansion to expansion.

With trading, however, I'm much more interested in fine-grained analysis, particularly because my play time is not the only big factor in determining profit--market trends also play a large role. For example, in the last five days alone I've made almost one billion--nearly half of what I made in the previous three weeks of November. This is only partly due to an increase in my own play time. There's also, of course, more people playing since the launch of Rubicon. Trading is incredibly profitable during those peak times in player activity before and after the release of expansions, but that's not to say trading at other times isn't worth it (e.g., October had the usual pre-expansion lull in player numbers, but was a great month for my trading). 

All of this isn't terribly interesting for veteran traders and explorers, but I'm still charting new ground here and the large-scale data is my main indicator for whether my efforts are paying off. 

Assuming the next expansion releases in early June, then, what are my goals for the next 6 months?

For exploration, I hope to bump up the monthly average to 900m while also decreasingly my actual time spent exploring, primarily through skipping data sites and most relic sites and sticking to combat complexes. This goal is already looking feasible, as, thanks to Pilgrim in Exile, I've started making a lot of isk off gas sites, once I realized I could scan the containers and hack them only if they contain expensive items. Further, the low end DED sites just added to low security space have already proven profitable for me. 

For trading, I'm on track to hit 20b in sell orders by early March, and perhaps 30b by June though that's a bit more of a stretch. I'm not yet sure when I will stop investing in my regional markets and turn to, perhaps, other long-term but less time consuming investments. 20b in sell orders might just be my limit for how orders I want to restock and update. Until I come to that point, though, I still have more I want to add to my current markets.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Market Milestone - 10 billion

I've reached 10 billion in sell orders. Small fish, by EVE trader standards, but a significant milestone for me. A marginal 175m in buy orders, but I also have 600m in isk and around 2b in assets, some of which are or will be liquid. At the end of the month I will do an overview of my progress with trading and exploration, but suffice to say I'm quite pleased I've made it thus far considering 1. my limited active play time, 2. my limited play time on my alt, and 3. my limited starting income. If I can do it, anyone can (and will probably do better!).

Trying out the Mobile Siphon

In my little, empty corner of low security space, a bit of moon mining takes places. The owners are rarely ever around. Now that the price has dropped on some of the mobile siphons (and with a convenient wormhole out to high security space), I picked some up just to experiment.

I don't see it as an isk making venture, though so far it looks like I may just turn a small profit. It is more of a rude gesture type venture.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What I do in EVE

I enjoy hearing what other people “do” in EVE—where they live, what their character(s) primarily do, how they make isk, what their goals are, etc.--so as part of the introductory posts to this blog I will describe a bit about what my two characters in EVE do and what their goals are.

Main character – Sven Viko Vikolander (

PVP: At just over 2 years old and 37m skill points, Sven focuses solely on PVP—my main reason for playing EVE. I've always planned to try every form of PVP, sticking with those I find most enjoyable. Sven has done everything from RVB, faction warfare, and low sec piracy, to smart-bombing, baiting mission runners, and ganking miners/haulers. I still have a lot to try, and even more to learn, particularly since the majority of my EVE PVP career has been solo (or in largely anonymous RVB fleets). Sven has lived primarily in Placid, Verge Vendor, and a bit in Genesis (and obviously the RVB systems). However, he is currently in the process of visiting every system in low security space, a project a hope will eventually come to fruition...
Goals: Sven's long-term skill plan stretches over 700 days. He is primarily skilled for frigate and destroyer combat, the vast majority of my PVP experience so far, but is currently working on cruiser and medium turret skills. I am in the process of making a number of videos with him, but I've played EVE solo for far too long, and am looking to finally join a PVP corp and be something other than an anonymous solo member.

Non-combat Alt

Living in low sec:
My non-combat alt primarily lives in an isolated low security space region. Unlike Sven, she avoids combat entirely (however, I've learned a lot about how to find targets in low sec by living there as a noncombatant—avoiding PVP—in part of my EVE career). She does not travel to this region, but either jump clones in or uses a wormhole (my main method of transporting goods in and out). However, she also functions as an occasional combat scanner for Sven, and is closing in on perfect scanning skills.
Goals: In terms of skill training, she covers everything Sven doesn't. Currently, she just acquired the ability to fly freighters, and is working toward a blockade runner (dat warp time!).

Exploration: As you can tell from my earlier post about exploration, this character does casual exploration in a low sec region. While this is no longer my main source of income, I plan to continue living and exploring in this region when I have some free time and don't feel like PVPing. For a little side income, she also does some casual PI in this region.
Goals: With Rubicon comes some new content for her, which I've prepared for by training into an AF to run low end DED sites (mostly for something new). Perfect scanning skills are about a month away. However, I am thinking about different ships to use in 5/10 and 6/10 DED sites besides my lowly HML Tengu, and may add some options in the future.

Market Trading:
I got into trading primarily by reading the blogs of other traders (some of which I track in my blog list). I gave station trading a try but found it too time consuming, so I switched to managing two regional trade hubs, shipping items myself from Jita and only restocking/updating orders once every few days. I am going on 4 months into this project and I am closing in on 10b in profit—not bad for a small, inexperienced start-up. It fits my play-style because I have a lot of time semi-afk—time in which I am close to or at my computer but can't devote much direct attention to EVE (e.g., reading at the computer)--which is perfect for tasks like hauling.
Goals: In October, I made 2.7b in trading, as much as 260m on one fortuitous day. November is looking more like 2.1b in profit. I am worried that my profits will plateau while my number of sell orders will continue to rise. Unlike some (serious) traders, I doubt I will ever have more than one character trading. That means I will only trade up to the total number of sell orders possible on one character—beyond that, and it eats up more time than I am willing to devote to trading. Long-term, I hope to reach 100b in profit—small fish for serious traders, but massive for me considering that Sven has only lost 2b in isk in 2 years of PVP!
I also hope to feature a lot of posts on trading in the future, but I am reluctant to describe my locations and orders etc. Instead, I plan to pick a new region and describe the process of starting a regional trade hub there, going through potentially good items and so on (without actually starting the hub).

Future Projects?
There is so much in EVE I haven't done, but would like to try one day. Mostly this involves PVP, but also manufacturing, living in null, and living in WH space.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rubicon Patch Notes - Some Small Things

Sometimes patch notes contain overlooked changes which turn out to be significant for some players. Here are a few small things I noticed in the Rubicon patch notes:

1. "New jumpgate sound implementation to support new effects (activate, deactivate etc.) - players can now hear when someone enters." This is nice, since I will be able to hear if someone activates a gate if I am alt-tabed out. I'm also strangely excited that they are adding "5 new music tracks" to low sec, and the music in ghost sites is pretty awesome from what I've heard so far.

2. "The maximum number of fittings that a user can save has been increased by 100. As a result characters can now save 200 fittings and corporations 300 fittings." Finally! Though, to be honest, it won't take me long to reach the new max saved fittings.

3. "An issue which caused the in-station environments to disappear has been fixed." Minor, sure, but this happens on my laptop quite frequently, so I'm hoping it fixes my problem.

4. "Removed clouds from a few missions and exploration sites, which caused frame rate drops." Hurray!

5. I don't think this was on the patch notes, but it was confirmed in the forums recently that cloaked ships will not start the timer in ghost sites. I will be taking full advantage of this mechanic if/when I find these sites...

Looking forward to Rubicon more than any expansion I can recall...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Exploration and Isk - 7 Months of Statistics

Last winter, primarily through the outstanding exploration videos of JonnyPew but also out of a need to fund my PVP addiction, I decided to create a new character for exploration. She was to find a suitable home in low security space and make isk through exploration sites, with a goal of bringing in enough for one PLEX and extra for pew every month. She moved into her still current home in January, and has tracked data on her isk earnings per site. I compiled that information right before the release of Odyssey. The original post with that data and more extensive discussion of it can be found here:

Since that time (for 7 months total now), my alt has continued to explore and track the data. My exploration habits have stayed roughly the same: averaging roughly 2 sessions per week, I explore three and only three systems for sites and occasionally check those three again later in the day. She can fly a T3 quite well now, and though she makes most of her (/my) isk elsewhere (through trading--posts on that to come), she nonetheless continues to pay for a PLEX plus a few hundred million extra for pew from exploration. So, let's look at both sets of data:

-----> Pre-Odyessy (Jan 31 - June 4 / 4 months) - (apx 2.8b or apx 700m/mo)
Provisional Blood Outpost - 6  10m faction loot, 4mil, 1m (15m)
Mul-Zatah Monastery - 7  340m faction loot, 2m, 340m, 2m, 2m, 2m, 2m (690m)
Blood Outpost - 9  17m faction loot, 5m, 2m, 12m, 1m, 70m, 18m (125m)
Blood Raider Psycho - 2  80m (30m in faction loot), 75m (155m)
Blood Annex - 3  95m faction loot, 55m, 1m (156m)
Gas - 4 74m
Data - 55 695m (AV=12.6m)
Relic - 38 576m (BPCs 315m) (AV=23.4m) (Highest: apx 125m) 

-----> Post Odyessy (June 4 - Nov 19 / 5 months) - (apx 4.15b or apx 830m/mo)
Provisional Blood Outpost - 4 70m,
Mul-Zatah Monastery: 7  25m, 5m, 190, 4m, 2m, 2m, 7m (235m)
Blood Outpost: 8  110m, 7m, 25m, 1m, 1m (143m)
Blood Raider Psycho: 10  60m, 80m, 40m, 400m, 80m, 200m, 55m, 220m, 280m, 75m (1.490b)
Blood Annex: 3  3m, 125m, 1m (128m)
Crimson Hand Supply: 2 50m, 50m (100m) 
Data: 45 330m (AV=7.3m)
Relic: 42 580m (100m bpc) (AV=16.2m)
Belts: 170m tags / (since 7/29): 730m (900m)
Gas: 2 24m
Null: 1 Relic 41m, 1 Data 14m (55m)

[Extra PI: 200M per month since August 4]
-----> Post-Rubicon (Nov 22 - )

I will discuss this data in three sections: First, comparing my earnings during these two periods. Second, thinking about what exploration will look like in my third period, from Rubicon to the summer expansion. And third, focusing on how new players can best profit from exploration, post-Rubicon.

I. Odyssey, before and after

Obviously, Odyssey brought some changes to exploration, and my alt's skills improved quite a bit during these two periods of time. The largest change, though, was simply the massive increase in players exploring. As is well known, this caused a sort of crash in the data/relic loot market. (For instance, capacitor consoles went from a high of around 18m before Odyssey to 2.5m or so after). As you can see, data and relic sites were my largest source of income pre-Odyessy, and I averaged about 30-40% more per site. The other main difference in income after Odyssey came with my ability to easily run the blood raider 5/10 site, and in some cases I got quite lucky with the spawn rate (I once had three in one system in one day). Finally, the next biggest change is the added income from tags found in belts.These amounted to around 25% of my income. My average isk per month has thus slightly increased, but my total time exploring per session has likely stayed the same. Overall this is a positive change.

II. Exploration post-Rubicon

Rubicon will bring a number of changes to exploration, which will affect what my third set of data will look like months from now. First, Rubicon will likely further hurt the data/relic loot market, as new and returning players will be doing a lot of exploration. This market may recover a bit in the lull before the summer expansion, but for me, this means I probably will stop doing these sites unless I have little else to do. Second and thanks partly to the suggestions of low-sec dweller Sugar Kyle, the lower end DED sites in high-sec are going to spawn in low. I've prepared for this by training for an AF for my alt, and I expect to run these whenever I find them. I have no experience with them, so we will have to see what kind of isk they bring in once we compiled the next set of data. I'm at least very excited about new sites to run. Ghost sites will also add new content, although since my alt stays in an isolated area I do not expect to run these often, if ever (the current word is that there still be one per region spawning). Finally, my alt's skills continue to improve, and I am hoping she will make more off 6/10 sites in the future. 

III. Exploration for new players, post-Rubicon

Based on my experiences thus far, if I were starting over as a new player and looking to get into exploration here I what I would do: I would find a suitable place in low sec or null to live, avoiding high sec exploration almost altogether (I hope to make a video series covering how to find good places to live in low and get started at some point in the future). I would skill first for scanning and hacking skills, running relic and data sites as well as low end combat in a frig (like a LM Kestrel). However, before training toward running higher end complexes, I would focus on getting into a stealth bomber and farming security tags in .1 and .2 space. This would likely end up more profitable than exploration until the 5/10 and 6/10 sites could be run reliably.

Hopefully this data has been useful. If anyone else has any stats of their own, especially different experiences than I've had or suggestions for where to focus in the future, I'm all ears. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Story

I don't have the extensive game resume that many EVE players seem to have. Prior to EVE, I played Ultima Online and then Lord of the Rings Online. My dissatisfaction with both led me to try EVE Online in late 2011. I sought a game with a vibrant community, yet one which abandoned the traditional theme-park model in favor of player-driven content with real risk and consequences. Naturally, I gave EVE a shot.

I started in Verge Vendor, around the Clellinon system, doing typical newbie activities like mining in an industrial (earning an amazing 1m isk per hour) and doing the Sisters of Eve arch where I first learned that if at first you fail, try again with bigger guns...

Then came an almost inevitable day for each new player in EVE. Finally able to fly (and afford) a cruiser, I ventured out of my familiar home in the Verge into the unknown, low security space. You know the story: new player, starting at the top asteroid belt, oblivious to local intel and dscan...

For some players, events like this mark the end of their EVE career--particularly when they lose a lot more than I did. For me, though, it was at this point that I was hooked. I lost everything I owned (17m was a lot to me, then) but found the event thrilling, exactly what I wanted in a game. Chatting with the pirate (who still plays, and in the same--fantastic--small pirate corp: I learned how he found me, and how he, in a frigate, could kill a cruiser. I also learned that I, too, could do the same--even return the favor. 

The fact that I could lose everything made my previously meaningless actions like mining significant. And the fact that I could destroy virtually anything made my goals meaningful. 

It wasn't too long until I started down the path toward primarily PVP game-play. Here I am can-flipping and getting one of my first solo kills (this is back before cruisers were rebalanced, where exequrors were only good for lolbait):

I made my way into Red versus Blue, an incredible place to learn the ropes of PVP, and I found it so addicting I've returned multiple times in my EVE career. 
Here I am in my first large fleet during one of the weekly "ganked" null roams--completely disoriented and about to die

After two years of EVE, I still have a huge amount to learn, but I hope I can at least contribute a bit of content in this blog and upcoming videos. A few series are planned, including posts/videos on living in low security space, combining exploration and pvp, how to pvp in unorthodox ways, and my reasons for why after two years EVE is still one of the only games I find worth playing--and only getting better.