Greedy Goblin

Monday, May 14, 2012

Miners, manufacturers, refine!

Now that I have my Orca, I checked out the business that helped me get my starter funds. Considering that now I found it slow and low ISK/hour, the memories of doing the same with a Badger II lost a lot of their golden nostalgic status, despite I still consider my newbie steps enjoyable exploration. But I won't return to this business. Maybe with a Charon. But what is the business?

I typed the Jita mineral prices into an Excel table that calculated the breakeven ore prices. Then I opened the market window and checked for ores that are way below them. Flied out, bought them, refined to minerals to compress them with 96%-100% efficiency as I had all the refining skills and the "we take" part was 0-4% depending on my status (with Connection 3, 4% is the minimum). Then I flied the minerals to Jita and sold them. Now I repeated it. 8 jumps away from Jita I found some underpriced ore. Spent 129M buying them out before my ship filled and in Jita I gained 135M for them. I was unlucky as I had the minimum standing with the station, providing 96% yield. If I'd be lucky and get a 6.66+ standing station, the sell price would have been 140.5M. So in ideal case my profit rate was 8%, which isn't bad for no-risk flying of 2*8 jumps. Actually I could skip the flying as the ores would fit into a freighter, I could just buy them remotely, set them into a courier contract and Red Frog would have delivered it for 4M to Jita where I could have perfect refine. Oops, sorry, I have to go...

OK, I'm back from Sobaseki, checked the Lonetrek ore prices, found a moron who sold various ores 5-10% below Jita mineral price, bought them, they will be in Jita by tomorrow, thanks to the frogmen.

Anyway, that's not the point, besides the business idea of fishing for underpriced ore and freight them to Jita. The point is the stupidity of the miner for not doing it himself. He is always "lucky" with the stations as he can choose which system he mines, so he can always pick a place close to a station where he gets perfect refine. Please note that there is absolutely no reason to not refine it. The ores cannot be used for any other purpose than refining them. Every ore will be refined. By doing it himself, the miner cuts the middle man with a single click. Unlike a third party refiner, he doesn't have to fly to pick it up as he already has the ore in his hangar, nor he have to pay sales tax and broker fee for selling it to himself.

If you are a miner and you sell ore, you are doing it wrong. You shall sell refined minerals, even if you don't want to haul them yourself to a hub. Minerals are smaller and more advanced products so they can be picked up by generic haulers or even producer buyers, not just refiners.

If you are a producer who uses lot of minerals, you can exploit the stupidity of the miners who don't know the above: you learn refining skills and set up buy orders for ores on the station you manufacture. The dumb miners will be happy to fill your station with cheap ores that you can refine and use without moving them. If they don't send you enough, you can find them yourself and courier contract them to your base.

Finally if you are a hauler with a freighter looking for something to carry that surely won't be shot down, pick up ores and carry them to the station where you can refine it. Then carry the minerals to Jita and sell them!

The UI suggestions page has been turned into a permanent page, feel free to discuss and add.
EVE Business report: Saturday morning 21.0B. (2 PLEX behind for second account, 0.3B spent on Titan project)
Sunday morning 21.9B. (2 PLEX behind for second account, 0.3B spent on Titan project)
Monday morning 22.7B. (2 PLEX behind for second account, 0.3B spent on Titan project)
Remember that you can participate in our EVE conversations on the "goblinworks" channel (60-80 people on peak time)

PS: moron of the day is #1 in the comment section.


Anonymous said...

Your words make no sense. There is no 'right and wrong' in Eve. It is a sandbox, and for those miners wanting instant gratification by selling ore in system (thus saving time, and time is money!) it is a perfectly valid play style choice.

Gevlon said...

Yes, just like driving their Hulks to Goon null is a valid play style choice. Also, refining is exactly three clicks, that's lot of time to save. Thanks for the moron of the day comment, idiot!

Anti said...

refining is not just three clicks though.

its three clicks plus the time it takes to train the relevant skills. a little over 9 days.

refining 5
refinery efficency 4
[ore] processing 1

At a 50% base facilities station with Refining 5 and Refinery Efficiency 4 and no material skill, you get 97.85%, so just 1 point in the material or a 3% implant will put you over the top for a perfect yield.

the point being that for a complete newbie, mining in an osprey without hauler or refining training, selling in the local station is probably the best option.

selling at a slight discount to mineral price ensures someone with the relevant skills is willing to do the work.

Anonymous said...

Buying up T1 modules below mineral prices via regional buy orders and reprocessing them is a similar business (that scales very well and is mostly passive) along the same lines.

The removal of meta0 drops from rat loot tables has probably made that business a little less attractive, though.

Vis coos said...

Most miners won't skill up refining until they can use at least a covetor because its time to use modulated strip miners, with crystals.

Are you saying that newbie miners should refine even if their refine rate is at 90% (refine yield after doing tutorials) due to minerals having less volume than ore?

Or are you saying that miners should skill up refining first before going to mining barges which would sacrifice mining yield to better processing of raw goods?

Anonymous said...

The miner may not have the refining skills, or standings to get the refine rates you do. Therefore is happy that he's getting the most ISK he can for the skills he has.

He may be mining in an out-of-the-way system currently as it's Hulkageddon. That way he can still get full mining yield and watch local for the gankers.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the miner doesn't have standings or refining skills high enough to make it worth his time and he earns more isk/hour by mining? Although yes, in most cases it will simply be your M&S doing charity by giving other people the chance to haul stuff from one station to another and earning isk.

Gevlon said...

So you think it's newbies who filled a freighter with ore for me?

If you are a newbie, you shouldn't mine at all. You should be doing distribution missions since that earns more money than Osprey mining (LP included) and also increases your standing. You can do that until you learn refining and a decent mining barge.

If you already have some mining barge then off you go doing mining missions to up your standings and earn money.

Hivemind said...

"If you are a newbie, you shouldn't mine at all. You should be doing distribution missions"
You're not the boss of the sandbox, Gevlon. Some players will enjoy distribution missions, or at least enjoy the ISK generated from them enough to tolerate the missions themselves. Some players (myself included) find them very very tedious, and would rather mine instead even without the skills to maximise profits, for example by refining. Other players find mining completely intolerable and would rather do combat missions, or sell PLEX and dive in into PvP. The good thing about EVE is they're all completely valid ways to play the game, regardless of what you think.

There's also the minor note that I'm betting distribution missions mostly require industrials (never spent much time running the L1 or L2 missions, so not certain) which can't be trained by trial accounts, which would be a problem for newbies trying EVE for the first time.

Anonymous said...

Actually, yes, it could be newbies.

I moved 400k m3 of ore for a 1 month old player to a hub so he could sell it better.

My general advice in rookie help is always "Find an ore calculator, so you know the value of the ore, and sell it for around that price"

Training the specific ore skills + getting standing to 6.6/8 without implant is not something new players have done.

I am training 3 chars atm for indy/trade/mining, and while they get into the barges, they are station trading, its far better isk/hr than L1 distribution missions

Anonymous said...

"If you are a newbie, you shouldn't mine at all. You should be doing distribution missions since that earns more money than Osprey mining (LP included) and also increases your standing. You can do that until you learn refining and a decent mining barge."
Again Gevlon, just because they are mining doesnt mean they are doing it because they think it is the best way of making money, they could be doing it for any number of reasons personal to themselves, including those people who want to be the best miners possible. And why should be people do distribution when they dont want to? You dont shoot goons in what some describe as a PVP game, does that make you wrong? No, it just means you have taken the path which isnt the most obvious. You see "winning" the game as reaching your personal objectives and not attaining these objectives as "failing", but you seem to reject the possibility that people may be playing the game for different reasons.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind and others: one is obviously free to play the game sub-optimally. However it doesn't change the fact it's sub-optimal.

Paying someone 20M for a combat while sitting in a pod to get the mission complete isn't my idea of fun. But that was the optimal way to get my standing up. Also, shotting a structure for 3 hours is not the idea of fun of anyone, yet all nullsec people do that.

Mining is an industry profession, its goal is to make ISK, therefore the miner making more ISK is better.

PS: I never said L1 distributions. I meant 3-4 which can be done after learning faction industrial 3.

Anonymous said...

Anti's skill training plan is suboptimal for a complete newbie:

refining 4 - 45255 sp
ore special 3 - 8000 sp each

1 day for first ore type, 3 hours for each additional ore type.

All a complete newbie really needs is Veld in today's economy.

Yes, whoever gets the ore to the station should refine it before sale (except that one ore for missions).

Anonymous said...

So what is the "optimal way" to have fun in a game?

I play games because they are fun. I do it for enjoyment. The time I spent playing a game is lost if one considers that I could be doing something else that could generate RL money. But it is necessary to point out that a person who works 24/7 with no relaxation is really a horrible person to be around.

Enjoying yourself, relaxing, having fun, some recreation are all ok things to do.

When some people go to Disney World (huge amusement park in the United States), they believe that in order to get the optimal value for their $$ being spent, they must spend everyone waking moment in the park. That means getting there at 8am when it opens and not leaving until 10 or 11 that night. All with their tiny children in tow, who by 6pm are the most tired, whiny, crying creatures around. But hey, they get to spend 14 hours a day in a park for 5 days straight.

Me on other hand, I do not find that optimal. Why? Because it is not fun to be tired and having my children screaming at the top of their lungs for 5 hours straight. So we go to the parks for about 3 hours in the morning. Then return to the hotel, swim, take a nap, eat something, and then return to the park at about 5pm and enjoy the evening there. That is optimal for me and gives us greater enjoyment for a recreational activity.

Same in Eve. You are trying (and failing to do so) outline a one size fits all path that people must take in order to "win" at Eve. Which is impossible since there is no definition of winning in Eve.

Sometimes your posts are spot on, and other times they are way out there.

Anonymous said...

Mining is sub-optimal, period. (Station) trading will ALWAYS beat it at isk/h, at any skill level. Even security missions is still beating it at current (already increased) mineral prizes.

So your post today is a tip for a sub-optimal activity. If you hate sub-optimal game play, what's the point of the post? Making a sub-optimal game play a tiny bit less sub-optimal?

On a related note: you made 6m on a 16 jump travel. Assuming 1 minute per jump (which isn't possible in a frighter) that's 6m in 16 minutes, not counting the time to reprocess and setup the sell order. That's about 24mil isk per hour. Seriously?

Anonymous said...


Yes, L3-L4 distribution missions are more rewarding isk wise, however, you are talking about new players, and making an assumption that they, like you, will pay 20m per X missions/whatever to get combat mission runners to fleet them for standings.

If they have Xm to throw at standings gain then they are unlikely to be right click selling their ore in the first place.

Unless of course, you are suggesting that they use PLEX to fund their start in eve.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon your playing sub-optimal too, you spend alot of time worrying about trade, rather than infiltrating huge corps.
Corp Theft makes you more.

Anonymous said...

"Paying someone 20M for a combat while sitting in a pod to get the mission complete isn't my idea of fun"

How do new players following your "I am not social" guidelines get to know some friendly player who will run missions for the corp of their choice for 20m?

How do new players (who after all, are the target of your advice) have 20m to throw at standings boosts? If they have that much, then they are not sitting out in an frigate/cruiser mining.

Are you recommending no one run missions prior to L3-4, and get boosted by others?

If so, how does the brand new player go about finding people prepared to run these missions for them?

Also, why not just set up regionwide buy orders for the cheap ore. I guarantee you will get it cheaper than you are buying it off the market, then you can run round with your ship, haul it to jita and resell, or, turn it around on the station where you buy it without ever having to leave Jita, for a nice mark-up above Jita prices.

The "lower" prices are the way to get you to come out and pick them up. You assume no body knows that they could run to jita. Of course they know that.
Do the paid 129m for them, and sold for 135m. You did 16 jumps. you got 375k per jump.

A quick look at a route finder gives better returns. Buy orders set up remotely give even better.

Gevlon said...

If we accept that "everyone plays the way he wants and all ways are equal", we can't have ANY discussion. An industrial profession must be measured for ISK profit, the way that provides higher is better, period.

Station trading isn't "better" than mining. It comes with a huge opportunity cost: you bind your pilot to the station. You must learn skills that are useful for trading, you must bind HUGE capital into items you trade and you must have a scheduled play. You can't station trade 8 hours on Sunday and nothing on the weekdays. You MUST trade 30-45 mins every evening and preferably another 30-45 every morning. Those who are unable or unwilling to do so are better off not doing it.

Anonymous said...


You are only bound to the station if you wish to be. What is to stop you mining/pvping/combat mission running while you market trade? (PvP might not be optimal while updating orders, but that does not mean it is impossible)

You also do not have to log in every day to do it. You can, and a lot do, but then a lot also do trading as you say is not possible, a few hours one day a week.

So, station trading neither ties your character to the station, nor requires constant attention. Hauling ties your character to the ship, has a risk of being ganked.

If you want fast trading, then the trade off is smaller returns per item, and activity required. If you put orders up, let them fill, then sell them, larger margins, less time required.

It depends how urgently you need/want the isk.

Hivemind said...

@ Gevlon
You've made it abundantly clear that you're willing to tolerate a significant amount of frustration in order to maximise your ISK/Hour in the long run. Because of that, ISK/Hour is the only metric that matters to you, and that's fine for you.

Not everyone is willing to do the same in a video game that they play for fun in their spare time, and so for them simple ISK/Hour isn't the best metric to judge it by. Fun/ISK or ISK/Frustration would be more accurate for them.

You can judge any activity by any of those metrics, though obviously what's frustrating and what's fun will vary from one player to the next. What you can't do is take one of those measures for an activity and declare "This activity is objectively the best for all players who want to make ISK".

The easiest example I can give for why this doesn't work is that there will be some players who find whatever the best ISK/Time activity is so frustrating that they can't stick with it for any length of time (or in the most extreme cases quit, as happens a lot with new players) whereas they would find another activity that offers lower ISK/Time enjoyable enough to stick with it for longer and thus come away with more ISK overall. For that player the optimum activity isn't the one with most ISK/Time, it's the one with the most Fun/ISK or ISK/Frustration.

Unless that person's goal is specifically to make the maximum ISK/Time regardless of method (which I don't think I've ever seen - even you specify making maximum ISK via trading) that's a perfectly legitimate decision to take within the sandbox, and at worst all it means is that (using your own terminology) the player is a casual in the field of maximising ISK income, even if they're a highly skilled pro at maximising it within the field(s) they're interested in.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: while theoretically true, completely irrelevant in this case. The post is about refining. The activity is 3 clicks, can't be funkiller.

Learning it is 9 days, if that kills your fun, EVE is clearly not for you.

Azuriel said...

If we accept that "everyone plays the way he wants and all ways are equal", we can't have ANY discussion.

Sure you can. All you have to do is preface your advice (explicitly or implicitly) with "If you are mining for ISK, then do Y instead of X." As opposed to "mining only makes sense if you do X."

I would say at least 80% of the comments on every single one of these EVE posts have been "you can't win a sandbox" which is absolutely accurate. Stop pretending EVE can objectively be won, and simply say "my goal is X." Then if people continue to argue with you, they are morons who believe opinions and worldviews are objective reality.

This won't legitimize M&S, as you can still demonstrate they are "doing it wrong" by pointing out the internal inconsistencies (e.g. mining for ISK? Then you should refine too).

Anonymous said...


I think a lot of the players here are pretty spot on. If you're piloting an exhumer, there's almost no reason why you shouldn't be refining what you mine. You're already going to have Ore Processing IV for whatever ores you're mining in order to use T2 Mining Crystals which means you'll have Refining IV/V and Refining Efficiency IV/V depending on which ore you're mining and the combination of them basically means you'll have no waste from refining and only have to deal with the station tax. You also don't really need to reduce station tax from 5% to 0% to make it worthwhile. It's helpful but the biggest loss comes from the refining waste.

So it's mostly just a question of when a dedicated miner should train refining skills.


@Everyone else

What you're missing is that a miner refining his own minerals makes them far more marketable to traders. Let's ignore Mining Barges and Exhumers. Everyone can probably agree that it makes sense for them to train refining skills just to use T2 mining crystals.

The fact of the matter is that you are the sales person selling your product (ore). Refining your ore so that you're selling minerals instead makes the fruits of your labor significantly more marketable just because of compression alone. You'll end up with at most 30% of your original volume and like it or not, the more profit you can fit in a m3 the more appealing it is going to be to a trader.

Bristal said...

To all EVE playing new readers: having read Gevlon for years, the number of posts that devolve into the definition of "fun" are far too numerous to count.

Gevlon talks in absolutes about his personal point of view, and if he observes behavior that doesn't fit that view, it's idiotic behavior, and by default the person is also an idiot.

He will never, ever change that stance. Empathy is not on the board.

Despite that, I just can't quit him.

Hivemind said...

Not irrelevant since your post wasn't just about refining, it also included hauling to Jita, often across region borders. That's the step a lot of people don't enjoy, making multiple trips back and forth in an Industrial. You didn't mention whether the stations you were picking up the ore itself from also had mineral buy orders in range that were worth more than the ore was being sold for. There's also the point where hauling takes time which could otherwise be spent mining more ore, which can sway the argument if you don't particularly want to haul, and helps offset the reduced profit as well.

9 days is a long time training if you're new to the game - it's 2/3s of your 14 day trial, for starters, or nearly half a 21 day buddy trial. It's also a huge sink if you happen to be mining for ISK but not planning on a long-term industrial career; in those 9 days you could get a bunch of combat skills to 3 or 4 for missions or PvP.

All that being said, I'll concede that if someone is planning to be a professional miner, training to get their refining skill up is definitely a smart move and they should be doing whatever will get the most ISK from their ore, which will usually involve refining it.

Kristopher said...

BTW, Hek and Aldrat are a great place to sell t1 ships and modules right now:

I was on Blue Republic there today ... great fight ....

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: read more carefully! I only told miners to refine. I told haulers to look for unrefined ore. I know miners should not haul as their time better spent on mining.

Anonymous said...

Just an example that doesn't fit in your black and white "mining is for ISK", so maximiz ISK by learning refining.

For the first few months in EVE, I went mining while I was raiding in WoW three times a week. Of course, I did it for ISK, but my main goal were combat skills. No way I would consider spending even 10 days (at start the majority of my skills, later still a significant amount) for a filler activity.

It made sense anyhow to get only about 90% of the market price... not doing it would have made me less (there are not a lot of ISK-earning activities you can effectively do during WoW Raids).