Greedy Goblin

Monday, August 6, 2012

Trade guru and hub-builder

Hivemind said "EVE is to control of your own zergling in someone else's starcraft game, with an endless stream of replacement zerglings for when you die handed over to you so you can jump right back into the fray and perpetrate brutal violence on some unsuspecting terrans. Phrased like that I think there's a lot more people who would be interested in saying yes because they don't care about the starcraft game, they just want to be ripping up Terrans and Protoss." Obviously the "starcraft player" is an alliance leader while the alliance members are his zerglinks.

Do I find anything fun in ripping up a random Terran? Absolutely not. Do I find it fun to socialize with other zerglinks, just hanging out with them and chat? I find nothing more annoying than idle chat. It doesn't mean that I should look down on those who are happy to be zerglinks. Yet I'm not one of them and nothing can change that. I can't enjoy "the journey" of massive fleet warfare mashing F1 even if it's spiced up by me being logi and not a Drake. I see it as a grind towards a goal. I'll never be a really skilled logi pilot. I will only participate in sov structure battles. No alliance will take me for being logi pilot. I'd surely hate small gank PvP. That's "good fight", consensual PvP, Arathi Basin bridge in space. I positively hated AB bridge fighting. Can I be a leader, the one who runs the Starcraft game where the bloodthirsty zerglinks kill each other for fun? Clearly not. Both my social skills and my affinity to herd cats make me totally unfit to lead anyone but totally rational people. (who don't want to be zerglinks either)

I enjoyed highsec trading, but having income nearly equal to he ship reimbursement fund of the largest sov holder alliance is kind of "congratulations you won, game over". What goals left for me in trading? Make more money alone than GSF?

Today I planned to announce my leave from EVE and return either to WoW or try out GW2 or something like that. I was busy compiling a list of my old EVE posts and found one of the earliest: "I think that if you are not a moron or slacker, if you can think and act a-socialy, you'll be fine in EVE. I'll document my journey from rags to riches, of course without buying PLEX in the item shop. I will prove that those "terrible griefers" that make EVE "awfully unwelcoming to new players" are just preying on the morons and slackers and cause little problem to players with brain, even if they are new. Let me clarify, I'm not trying to prove that you can progress in EVE, that's trivial (whoa, you can progress in a video game?!). I'm trying to prove that despite EVE has the reputation of mindless violence, you can progress without being better in violence. Actually you can collect masses of wealth without ever firing a gun."

Then it hit me: the point was never to amass pixel wealth. It was to discover something, to disprove commonly accepted misconceptions. This is how a scientist make difference. While no one obeys him, people obey the rational results he found or created. I enjoyed figuring things out. I enjoyed blogging about it. I did not enjoy actually updating the market orders. I wanted to prove that anyone can be rich and prosperous in EVE. I reached that goal and by doing so, I made a change for everyone who'll be rich using my trading posts (full guides will be published on Wednesday, Thursday). I disproved the common belief that the big money is in WH space (it's in highsec trading), disproved that you must join a player corp to make money, and disproved that Tech alliances are dirty rich. This information allows others to make an informed choice and reject a spammer highsec mining corp telling "we make lotz of mony togetr" or even a nullsec one if they don't like PvP. I clearly disproved that trading has anything to do with 0.01, a common misconception that kept lot of people away from Jita.

I succeeded in my first EVE science project but then foolishly attempted to enter the "endgame", the sov warfare. Wanted to be a leader, a job I'm fully unfit. Wanted to be a titan pilot (still do, but it's rather a luxury plan now). Tried to figure out new ways how I could be more useful than a doctrine pilot. All were meant to fail as none of them were an internal goals. I wanted them because I believed that this is the endgame of EVE, that is the way how you become relevant, make those stories. Accepting external goals are the best way to be irrelevant. I was obviously uninformed and untalented in these fields and even if I could get there (got enough followers, find alliance leader who want a titan so much), I'd still be mediocre at best.

The smart move is to start another project on the field I'm good on. To investigate something, disprove an old myth or find results where there were none. To create more guides that people can use and by using it their game change. This is a change that no leader can undo. Even if The Mittani would send all his Goons to Jita to 0.01, a single guy could stop them all from making money by undercutting heavily.

My logi pilot is almost ready but I won't apply anywhere yet. I'll apply to a nullsec alliance when my jump freighter pilot will be ready. Of course my logi will be there for sov battles, but I won't be much of an asset as a combat pilot. I will be an OK-ish asset in the PvE efforts of the alliance with my Rorqual. But I can be a really good asset in the field I'm good at: as a trader. I will supply the alliance nullsec hub with Jita materials and help the local miners and ratters by buying up their loot for a decent price and get it to Jita. This way I will help the alliance without being selfless. Altruism has a serious problem: it doesn't spread. If you find a way to help someone while you get profit, it won't be hard to convince others to do the same. In Jita I practically halved the profit rate on the items I trade. So because of me every seller gets more and every buyer pays less. Did I do it to be nice? No, I did it to be rich. I heard the margins in nullsec "hubs" are much-much larger. Many nullsec conglomerates live in regions with no hub at all. I can solve these problems, letting the local population to buy cheaper and sell higher.

I would rather leave the game than be Drake#845. I could suffer being Scimitar#96. I would be OK as Ragnarok#8. I will be happy as a nullsec hub operator and as the trading equivalent of those PvP gurus who sell PvP videos (except I post them for free)

Tomorrow comes a "mythbuster" post. Not speculation or ideas but hard facts. Really surprising ones.

Saturday morning report: 127.6B (2.5B spent on main accounts, 1.9 spent on Logi/Carrier, 1.5+0.1 on Ragnarok, 1.1 on Rorqual, 1.4 on Nyx, 1.3 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).
Sunday morning report: 128.9B (2.5B spent on main accounts, 1.9 spent on Logi/Carrier, 1.6+0.1 on Ragnarok, 1.1 on Rorqual, 1.4 on Nyx, 1.3 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).
Monday morning report: 131.0B (2.5B spent on main accounts, 1.9 spent on Logi/Carrier, 1.7 on Ragnarok, 1.1 on Rorqual, 1.4 on Nyx, 1.3 on Avatar, 2.6B received as gift).


Andru said...

I still think that Eve is a pretty silly game to play if you're neither interested in pissing off other people, nor socializing with other people.

You should really try GW2. A new game has better opportunities to learn and influence other people, and to find good ideas, without being opposed by the status quo, from which most people are unable/unwilling to deviate.

This happened in WoW with a lot of your ideas, this is happening in Eve now. People are just adamantly opposed to trying anything new, and snubbing everyone that tries to play it differently as being 'wrong'.

This is especially baffling in Eve, where, supposedly, one can make their own fun, but god forbid they try to share it. Noooo, there is only one way of doing it. be a zergling or you're a 'noob' a 'carebear' or whatever other epithets they can conjure.

In spite of the fact that the results are what matter, and your results are pretty impressive, for stuff you tried, they just nay-say ...well... everything.

Try a new game, where you don't have to fight the status quo. This is a golden opportunity for you, to start a new project, to prove that asocial concepts work great in a new game where you don't have to fight M&S at the same time as the status quo. Good games are released few and far between, and GW2 is pretty hopeful.

Steel H. said...

If you want to know more about nullsec hubs, you should check out The compiled data is avaliable, and While you won't find much use for it (uless you end up joining the CFC) it gan give you a direct feel for the market, short of actually sitting in VFK.

Now for a question that has been bugging me for a while. How scalable is your model, how much money is there to be made in total? You said it yourself that a goblins actions push the market towards greater equilibrium, reducing profit margins - in a perfect world, there would be 0 profit in arbitrage. So you may be making x billions per month now, but how much will you be making if everybody starts doing it?

Mary Titor said...

Want to make an impact? Be neither Ragnarok #8 nor Drake #zomfg, but influence things through doing what you're actually good at? Well, nullsec is not the only place where you can make an impact that drastically affects the game as a whole. Faction Warfare can be greatly changed just by seeding the markets in specific locations at specific times, and has a significant indirect impact on nullsec politics, only they don't know it yet. Why? Lots of reasons. Nullsec logistics going through there is one, by the way.

(And before you say 'but faction warfare is just lots of people orbiting buttons' like you did already once, that's actually a myth, and I got the numbers to prove it. Now is not the right time to publish them widely, though.)

Alkarasu said...

Well, now that's something. Mythbuster posts, hard, but surprising facts... look's like you've managed to find back your "why". Good, this search took out more EVE players, then it's current playerbase.

Anonymous said...

Your new plan sounds sensible. With your previous goals I believe you started with the idea that you wanted to end up in nullsec, then invented a goal to get you there. However you realized thses goals were flawed (to your credit).

"I would rather leave the game than be Drake#845. I could suffer being Scimitar#96. I would be OK as Ragnarok#8."

I would like to compare the fleet experience to raiding in WoW, something you have some experience with. In WoW you are just DPS #15 or Healer #5. You target who the raid leader says to, you cycle your DPS or heals in the same way every time. It doesn't seem like it would be fun, but, it is. The same is true in a fleet in EVE, it's a lot of fun. Don't dismiss it so easily.

Have you decided who's markets you're going to cultivate?

I will tell you about my experiences doing the exact same thing you planned. As a rich trader, I decided it was a good way to contribute to my alliance. I used about 20b seed capital and one JF/trader alt. The market seeding was done without any hitches - all our fleet fits were made available at a reasonable price point, high demand items like ammo and fuel were kept stocked up. My prices were on the altruistic side (jita +20%).

Many people appreciated this market seeding, and I believe the alliance benefited massively from it. They were able to reship quickly without having to tie up their own liquidity in their own personal stockpiles of ships (I did the stockpiling and aquisition on their behalf). However, if we have learnt anything, it's that there are M&S everywhere. In this case, they refused to recognize that the service I provided was to their benefit. They decided that by charging 20% above jita prices I was exploiting them (ripping off my fellow alliance members, they said). Many of them spent HOURS of their own time going 40 jumps to jita rather than buying from me on principle (I know this because their haulers often ended up on our killboards, which was hilarious). I told them, of course, that they were welcome to stock the market themselves at their own price using their own 20+7b startup capital. None of them ever did.

You will encounter the "y u ripping us off" team. Have your answers ready.

Anonymous said...

Your "commonly held misconceptions" are not so common though, Gevlon.

There *is* big money in Wormholes (you haven't actually disproved that), but to state that its *the place* for big money is wrong. There are many places in eve to make money if you are skillful enough to do it.

A dedicated and skilled wormholer, who has the skills you have in trading focused at wormholing will make big money. You can also make money in the metagame (checkout Blink for an exercise in making an utterly rediculous amount of isk).

The Nulsec tech holders *are* filthy rich if you take into account the amount of isk their members are earning as a result of that tech holding (through reimbursements, control of valuable regions for ratting, PI and trade opportunities), nore the value of their infrastructure (stations, ihubs, pos's, cyno jammers and whatever else they have anchored around the place). Sure the balance sheet of GSF isn't "great" (they are hardly poor), it is hardly the sum total of the worth of the entity.

Must join a player corp to make money? thats rediculous, and not a commonly held misconception. Many people (myself included) have alts for making money which are not aligned to a player corp. My "main" is a moneypit I use for fun - my alts (all independent NPC corp traders/missioners) make me the money I need to have fun on my main.

Whilst you have obviously been successful, the recipe you have followed is not at all 'uncommon'. Interstation trading and praying on people's laziness to go "a few jumps" to buy things has been the cornerstone of successful medium to large scale trading in eve since the beginning. Anyone can see that this is the recommended approach by spending a few minutes browsing the MD forums on eve-o (the daily "how do I make money trading as a n00b" style threads).

I think its clever that you are moving towards a field you are good at, but be very careful about claiming to disprove myths where the myths are simply a strawman of your own making.

evemonkey said...

Nice: it seems like you've finally figured out what you want to do in Eve. This is what a sandbox game is about - explore everything, find something you like to do or want to achieve and do it or achieve it.

Like many have said, it's not all about nullsec at all. You've achieved one goal, your options were therefore to find another goal or leave. it's unfortunate you've been bashing your head on the brick wall of other people's expectations, but I'm glad you seem to have discovered what it is you want now.

Anonymous said...

Big money are all around EvE. You cannot disprove logically that Trading has THE biggest money until you've tried all the other money generating activities.

I repeat - until you have TRIED them. For instance, you assume 30 mil/hour high sec mission running income but you can't be really sure what is the income when this is done hardcore instead of casual.

For instance, incursions are estimated at around 100 mil/hour. You can have 3 accounts running in an incursion fleet and you will make 300 mil/hour. But how much exactly a good incursion runner makes is not clear; this is what the average makes.

Same is with 0.0 - by running complexes there you can make 1 bil a day easily (and much more if you are dedicated). You can make missions for pirate fractions and get rewards from their LP store giving you more than bil/day. You can make high end mining with 4-6 accounts with huge profits (never done this myself). You can build Capitals, you can sell accounts etc. Hell, you can make big money by playing EvE Holdem poker.

As a conclusion - you made 100 bil fast and that was something. But after that you are regular Joe trader with not so big income. You make 1-1.5 bil a day but with FIVE trading alts and this yields 200-300 mil/day per account. I make 400-600 mil a day with one account and my trading skills are not even maxed. Here ( the guy have also comparable income and comparable capital to you but with less accounts involved.

Kelsier Chevalier said...

I'm glad you finally came around, and found a new goal for yourself.

I never fully understood why you were trying to prove or disprove theories about combat ships. Not only because there are people with way more experience, but mainly because you got no interested for fighting in them anyway.

And you're right in that regard, that you are not the kind of leader that EvE players are used to have. But your rational thinking together with your wealth can make for powerful tools to shape things on a level, most EvE players never see.

Several other people suggested bank-rolling an Alliance, and if you start a 0.0 Trading Hub, you're on the best way to do that.
You just have to realize, that the guys with the money, call the shots. Even if you aren't the Alliance Leader personally, you can have influence on the direction.

Use your money. It's only money. Getting new money is a piece of cake for you.


Unknown said...

Just a info for the above poster. How many accounts u "use" is irrelevant, for the ISK/H calculation. U also don't divide IKS/POS, a account/toon for a trader/indy person is just a asset like a POS, it has setup/start cost and ongoing cost (PLEX). The difference is u can't run incursions with 12 accounts at the same time, but a trader/indy can use those 12 accounts in a linear manner.
So don't be feed up with ISK/Acc, but rather ISK/human.

my 2 cents

Anonymous said...

@ Unknown

I would say that it is important.

If I say I make 60m/hr mining, and then you find out I am running 8 hulks to achieve that, will you be as interested in my technique as if you find out I do that with 1 hulk?

In terms of trading, yes, Gevlon has earned isk fast. No one thought he would not. You should be looking at 200m per trader char per day minimum if you are a "trader", probably more if you are trading jita alone.

What impressed me was Gevlons ability to devote hours to flying around. I can barely stand making 10 one point he was flying 3 chars between the major hubs every day.

At this point I would imagine between his chars he is at the Corestwo point, with
"Total in Escrow: 32,188,692,133 ISK (additional 141,297,109,371 ISK to cover)" if he added the wallets up.
I think he should consider taking the TornSoul challenge

Anonymous said...


"Several other people suggested bank-rolling an Alliance, and if you start a 0.0 Trading Hub, you're on the best way to do that.
You just have to realize, that the guys with the money, call the shots. Even if you aren't the Alliance Leader personally, you can have influence on the direction."

Actually, this is very untrue. First, have you ever been in 0.0 Hub? There aren't many out there, if any. The reason is not that it is so hard to move goods in 0.0, but the local markets are very poor compared to High sec. You must put 100% profit or more per item to reach your high sec profits and your corp mates will rage at you for doing that.

Second, having money is not in ANY way influence for making decisions. You can have influence if you are influential person. Wishful thinking is not a good method for EvE.

@Unknown - it is relevant because the alternative setup will be to have 1 trader and 4 miners (for example). So now you must compare 4 trader alts vs 4 mining alts; or vs 4 mission running alts etc.

When you compare trading with 5 alts vs trading with 1 alt you are right, ISK/human is more relevant. But having 5 alts for twice the profit from 1 alt shows that trading is upper capped as having more alts will yield less and less profit with increased human time spend.

spinksville said...

The thing you want to do you could do in any game. So what makes EVE a good testbed?

Gevlon said...

Extra account count as cost. So if you do whatever on the second account you must subtract 480/30 = 16M/day from the profit of the alt as he must sustain himself by a PLEX. Everything above the 16M is profit.

Only human time matters.

Malar said...

It all comes down to this: if you enjoy whatever you do to make ISK, then it is all cool. For quite a lot (in fact I dare say: most) ISK is merely the means of achieving the goals they've set out for themselves.

As such, they aim to minimize the time spent on the neccessary grind to gain the ISK and are not really motivated in earning any more than what they need as that would mean more of the grind they do not enjoy for no real benefit.

If you happen to enjoy an EVE activity that is a money maker - be that industry, trading, agents, etc - then you are "in luck" and you will be a reasonably rich EVE player even without seriously trying. Not filthy rich, mind ya, but richer than the big majority of capsuleers out there.

If you set out to become rich and pick the best possible activities for that goal, then you can become a really rich EVE player eventually, though it is best not to delude yourself into thinking that a wealth of 150b would qualify you anywhere near the top. 150b was already far from cutting it several years ago and if anything, making ISK has only gotten easier in the mean time.

Still.. this is about the only way to get near or to the top, as all the other ways, you would reach your goal and at that point lose your motivation before you could become part of EVE's financial elite.

As for the PLEX thing.. realize this: there are plenty of us out there who have decent, good paying jobs. If you can buy several PLEXes from a single hour of your RL earnings, then grinding for ISK in any way becomes a rather disheartening exercise unless you happen to enjoy the activity with which you earn that ISK, but then you would not need PLEX to begin with.

So yea.. there are some valid reasons and arguments for buying and using PLEX to "finance" your in-game activities.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to see you evolve; most people can't.

I agree with @andru that an MMO culture won't change. Nothing you have done or will do will be excepted by the "EVE is PvP" crowd. Just because it looks like logical proof to you does not mean that it is proof to them. People spending $15 or $30 per month to be Drake#14637 in 0.0 are pretty immune to logic.

Everything I read agrees with @07:56 - it is rare that a non-combat person is appreciated in 0.0. It will be interesting to read about your exoeriences.

Anonymous said...

If you are looking to learn and test, there is a change coming to EVE - the DUST players. Konsole Kids in a F2P game will probably have more M&S momens than EVE or WoW players.

Surely there is something interesting you can do when they arrive?

Anonymous said...

I still think you should give D3 another try. Instead of pixelated money, you could be making real money just by playing the market.

Johnicholas Hines said...

You have a pulpit and a reputation.

Do you think you could be a market maker in something like commodity futures or sovereignty insurance?

Commodity producers may well know considerably beforehand that they're going to have a batch, and they might be willing to freight it directly to an address rather than to a central market.
Speculators might want to place bets on where the price will go, or to sell liquidity. Commodity consumers might want to buy prompt delivery.

The principals in a sovereignty fight might want to signal confidence by placing a bet on themselves, or they might want to hedge so that a loss isn't a total loss.

Not everyone has the tools to become a market maker, but you might be able to do it. Nobody ever called the Chicago BOT unprofitable.