•August 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’m still planning, haven’t yet gone fishing to see if I can get a buddy invite (and start my 21 day clock). I’ve pretty much decided that I can’t do it in a 14 day trial. Some people might, I’m just not that good.

Anyway, as already noted my only real avenue is trade. One thing I’ve noticed in preparing is that a lot of people don’t get trade. Oh, everyone gets the basic rule of buy low, sell high. And they manage that for what I’m going to call tier zero and tier one trading.

Tier zero is when you sell your loot on the market. Whether it’s from NPCs or other players or mission rewards or production, everyone accumulates these things that are for the most part useless to them. They take it to the market and sell it. Pretty much everyone looks at the current lowest ‘sell’ price, picks a number some distance below that, and puts it up. They don’t really care about the price, they want it gone — and any money beats no money.

Tier one tends to turn into hauling. Basically, you watch the market – usually several markets – and look for someone selling something for which there’s a higher buy order elsewhere. Buy it at A, haul it to B, sell it for profit. Much of the strategizing here deals with getting the most money per jump.

An interjection for the non-EVE players, especially the WoW players. EVE has a complex market system. In other words you can not only put up things for sale, you can put up standing orders to buy things. You have to put your money up (though you can get skills that let you only put part of it up front and promise payment on sale). In addition there is not a unified market. Oh, you can see markets at other stations in your region, but there are a lot of other regions. And while you can buy at range (and with skills sell at range as well) the deal isn’t closed till the package reaches the station. Mostly.

Anyway, there’s a thriving trade-haul opportunity that is buying in one place, hauling, and selling it somewhere else. There’s also a little niche: pure hauling under contract. But that’s a digression and is not something I can do right now.

What I call tier two trading gets a little trickier. Here what you do is see there’s a gap between the highest buy order and the lowest sell. You offer to buy the stuff at a price better than anyone else. Then when you’ve got it, you offer to sell it at a price lower than anyone else.

This, by the way, is most of what I’ll be doing. I’ll offer to buy some things at a price higher than others are asking, then I’ll offer to sell them (perhaps elsewhere) for less than others but at levels that still make me a profit.

So what are the big challenges? Basically there are three. First, there need to be available sellers of the goods. The people who’ve got buy orders up are competitors, not customers. And since you’re offering to buy at a price below that of the current sell orders none of them are going to sell to you. You have to have someone(s) who will sell to you.

Second problem is the flipside of this. You need to have buyers. Paying for a bunch of widgets and seeing them languish on your shelves gathering dust is bad.

Third problem generates harsh words. That’s dealing with competition, usually through bidding wars. There are two general camps here: the coppercutters (or .01 iskers) and the bidjumpers. The former enter the market (or change their offer) to be .01 ISK (or 1 copper) more desirable than the current best bid. The latter jump wildly – frequently by ten or twenty percent. The former tend to be players with plenty of time who can get on and stay on, making another bid each time they’re jumped. The latter, well, they’re usually one-shotters. They’re people who do not want to stay and watch the bids.

As a rule, the cutters tend to be players with very large inventories while the jumpers’ inventories are (relatively) smaller. Cutters expect to be selling their goods over a period of weeks, Jumpers expect their goods to go in a couple of days.

Both camps despise the other. The cutters accuse the jumpers of destroying the profit margins. The jumpers accuse the cutters of smothering sales. They’re both right. And both are successful sometimes, sometimes losers. Hey, some people PVP, some PVE, life goes on. But I digress, again.

Are there more tiers? Yes, but they require skills I won’t have for a while. Are there more complications? Oh, yes – taxes and broker fees, scammers, pirates, cross-region trading, and more.

It’s a challenge.


PI road closed for now

•August 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The planetary interaction I mentioned last post looks really good but has a major road block, one that makes it unavailable till I get past the trial barrier. See, you have to carry the equipment to the planet on which you’re installing it. It’s large, about 1000 m3. The ships and skills available to me have a max capacity of 700 m3, and that’s only by doing games with cargo skills and expanders.

Um. It is possible that the device can be carried “packaged”, then unpackaged on site for delivery. I just thought of this, I’ll check. See, it’s not a lot of income – probably as low as 100K ISK per day. However it’s money that doesn’t need me standing over it to earn it. Multiple small low-effort income sources add up, and for my goal I need the additions.

But as of this instant I think PI is off the table. It’s back to pure trade and haul.


•August 26, 2012 • 1 Comment

Is this thing on?

Hi, I’m back. Sorta. Not WoW, sorry. Finances and time preclude. I almost started another blog for this, in fact, but I’ve got a little bit of a reputation here so…

I’m going to try something and would like to document the attempt in semi-live time. The game is Eve Online. The short-term goal: earn enough while playing a trial account to pay for the next month’s account – and keep that up while I continue to play.

The simple outline goes this way. Eve Online offers a trial account of 14 days. They also have a 21 day trial account; an existing account can issue a buddy offer to another player.

A month of play costs $14.95. Yes, for some that’s a pittance. However, I’m in a situation where I have to be tight with my money – that amount pretty much kills my “fun” budget for the month. Besides, there’s this challenge.

See, you can purchase a month in-game. A player can buy a month supply, go into the game, and offer it for sale. Right now the prices are running between 450M and 550M ISK. (ISK: InterStellar Kredits, the unit of exchange within the game). The last time I had a trial account I fiddled around, did a little money stuff on the side, and had 20M ISK over ten days – of which I only played about six.

Yeah. 20 is a bit short of 550, or even 450. It’s a challenge.

Part of the work is done. I’m not a good PVP so that route’s out – even if it were likely. And it’s not, not at the start, not when I’m flying low level stuff against other good gear players. PVE is a nice solid route but it’s too slow. Mining and various industrials are like PVE (with one possible exception I’ll mention in a moment).

ugh. I’m wasting your time. Let me get down to tacks.

I will see if I can get an ingame player to send me one buddy trial. I will then run that account through one set of beginner tutorials in each of the four factions: Minmatar, Gallente, Caldari, and Amnar. That’s 50 missions in each place. I’m going to wind up with a range of supplies, several ships I will need to move or dispose of, and money. I will also increase standing with all the main factions.

With the exception of the exploration series, each set of ten takes less than an hour to complete. Exploration can take as short a time or it can take forever, it depends on skill with the scanner probes. Regardless I should be able to finish a region in five to six hours of play – call it two days apiece at worst. That gets me to ~100M ISK (yes, that much) at the end of day 8 – or more likely day 7.

It took me three days of casual play to double that amount. I need to double it twice at least. It is tight at that point for the two week trial, easy for the three week trial. I’m going to be doing region hauling and station trading at one of the second tier trade hubs – something like Agil or Nourvukaiken. Which actual hub? Well, I’m still figuring the details – this is still planning stage.

I also I mentioned I was going to try one set of production, but I need to do a bit of research first. I’m going to see about setting up a Planetary Interaction (PI) base. As a trial account I’m limited to the smallest which means it’s not going to generate lots of income. That said it looks like it’ll do enough to make some difference. Even better it’s income that requires minimal action from me – not quite absentee landlord, but close.

Last thing before I close. I’m going to keep a full and open journal. I am aware that this may screw me as anybody playing can see what I’m buying, what I’m selling, and grief me. The thing is, even if they do I’ll learn. The only thing I won’t do during the trial is to tell you my name – I only need it to last for a short time. But I’ll tell what mission I did where, what happened, how much ISK I got for what equipment, and so forth.

If it fails, well, I’m no worse off. If it succeeds, however, I might wind up writing a guide or two – doing what I did here for WoW.

So hi, all, whoever is still there.

Real World Study

•January 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I get emails, still, asking me to link to this or that thing because of this blog.  I tend to check them unless they’re obviously spam, but I don’t tend to link them.  I’ve encountered an exception.

Over at Deakin University (in Australia for us furriners), there’s a psych research study (student research, but those have sprung to interesting things before and will again) on body image.  Actually, on virtual body image, difference from real body image, and related, well, psychological issues.

If you’re willing and interested – oh, yes, and if you’re a male age 18 or older – you can participate by dropping in at .  That’s the permission form and plain language explanation to get started.

I’m going to note the date of posting: 9 January 2010.  If it’s March or later that you’re reading this you’re probably too late.

And to Dr. Alexander Mussap and Mr Jon-Paul Cacioli – good luck and good hunting.


•December 10, 2009 • 2 Comments

My,  it’s dusty in here (grin).

No, I’m not “back”.  I just dropped by to do a bit of housecleaning and noticed I’ve had a bunch of people still dropping by.  Hi, be welcome, but be aware I’ve not freshened anything since I quit playing WoW.  That was (as of this post, which is likely to last a while) well over a year ago – around October of 2008.

The point is that while everything I wrote was to the best of my knowledge at the time, it’s probably just a wee bit different now, what with one or two major expansions and a LOT of lesser patches being done.  If what I’ve written is still of use, you’re welcome.  I ask only that you be cautious with something that old.

Oh, yes, and don’t expect me to drop by to converse very often.  Life isn’t stagnant, and while I enjoyed WoW and I may someday do so again, now is different.


Fable 2 tactic and spoiler

•November 5, 2008 • 4 Comments

I’ve been playing my daughter’s copy of Fable 2.  I was watching, and spotted what I thought to be a.. I’m not going to call it a flaw, just a tactic that’s almost overwhelming.

Basically, how to get rich.  (sigh).  I want to note that if you’ve lots of money you can purchase statistic-enhancing potions, becoming significantly overpowered against most of the foes you’re facing.  Instead of having to choose which to emphasize and hope it’s enough, it’s possible to be… well, it’s possible to be an all-around god if you go long enough.  But it takes money – lots and lots and lots of money.  (Note, you can also use all this money to become King/Queen of the realm.  If you own a largish proportion of the land – and yes, you can buy property here – you get the reward. )

So how do you get money – or rather, what’s the tactic/flaw?  It’s in trade.

At the simplest level, purchase weapons from either the Bowerstone blacksmith or the Oakfield weapons dealer, take them to Fairfax, and sell them to one of the wandering Weapons/Rifle/Melee/Pistol traders.  If you do absolutely nothing to earn a discount, Bowerstone will cost you 1.07% (approx) base cost, and Oakfield will cost you approximately 96%.  You can modify that by making them like you at which point you get to purchase the Bowerstone stuff at an additional 19% discount – that’s about 89% and the Oakfield stuff for about 77%.  The sale price at Fairfax is around 125% (132 if you are buying).  You can do this purchase and sale every other “day”, though if you’re using Oakfield as the far end (and walking instead of using the carriage) you’re using up one day just to travel.  Using Oakfield and the “we love you” numbers, every 77 gold you spend will return approximately 125 in return — just over a 58 gold (or 75% profit).  And it’s possible to be worse. Or to be more accurate, get even larger returns.

First, there are sales.  (and, sometimes, shortages).  Sales and shortages modify the amount by 25 or 50%.  Yes, that means you’re purchasing your stuff at a 55 or 69% discount.  Those are great, but there is another action.  As I said, you can purchase buildings. And if you own the shop you get a 39% owner’s discount.  Now the owner discount overrides the “we love you” discount.  Big deal – you’re getting 39 instead of 19 percent off; and the sales prices still modify.  Catch the 50% and you are paying 11% of the base price, modified by the economy.  The game won’t allow the shop to give the items to you for free, but it’s darn close.

And if you own the shops the sales are just gravy.  In a few hours of play I raised my wealth to over 100,000 while not yet getting deep in the game.  (I just saw Garth captured, if that helps – i was at 125,000 gold on hand.)  Let me run the detail, again.

Take your first job – blacksmith – and earn a thousand gold or so.  Sweet talk the blacksmith, then buy as many weapons as you can afford.  Run to Fairfax, find a trader who’ll take them, sweet talk them, and sell the weapons.  Go run the story line and quests to get through two days, and come back and buy, then sell.  As soon as the quests take you to Oakfield, do this with the Weapon’s trader as well.  At this time you can stop quests for a bit – till you get bored making money anyway – and start the following.

Go to Oakfield.  Buy weapons.  Go to Bowerstone Blacksmith.  Buy weapons.  Go to Fairfax.  Sell weapons.  Go back to Oakfield.  At the earliest opportunity buy the Oakfield stall.  As soon after that as you can manage buy the Blacksmith store.

One last curlicue.  As you get enough, start purchasing other stores in Bowerstone.  You get the discounts.  You can pull things off the shelves and as owner it’s not stealing.  And most important, every store generates more income.  That 125000 I’m at right now is after purchasing all but one of the Bowerstone Big Stores (haven’t purchased the furniture shop or the tailor yet – hmmm, need the stylist too.)  I also picked up the Oakfield tavern.  I get about 3,600 gold every 5 minutes while I’m playing – it’s almost to the point where being a gunrunner doesn’t pay enough to make it worth my while (grin).  That’s a lie, of course.  I purchase all the weapons at the two stores for about 30,000 these days, and sell them for about 60,000.  That’s ~30,000 per 15-20 minutes of play.

I’d be a lot richer but I keep buying stat enhancing potions.  shrug.

Jumping to a story

•October 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Don’t take the link if you’re afraid of insects.  Seriously, don’t.  If that doesn’t bother you, however, you might just enjoy this.

David Brady’s been doing something rather fun for this Halloween.  He’s written a detective story and is serializing it through the month of October.  It’s not a GREAT story, but it’s fun.  Why?

David Brady’s page is  That’s Insect Picture Of the Day.  He posts very, very close-up pictures of insects.  Our detective in this tale is a grasshopper.  He’s investigating a few things, some of which are deaths.  A recurring gag: “You gotta help me, my wife want to kill me.”  Well…. yeah.

The story starts here.  The homepage is here.

Have fun.