Weed and Feed

Plus one.

A little over six months ago, I started a side project.  

You have a lot of side projects Bren. Faction War. Hauling. Mining. Wormhole Ops.

Yeah.  Well this time, I decided to get back into trading.  On a very small scale.

Now, I am not a uber badass market trading expert.  I dabble.  When I was new at this, I just bought stuff and moved it for profit.  That gets old, especially when hauling stuff around was cutting into my blowing up other people’s spaceships time.  When I moved to null permanently, I stopped that aspect of trading and confined my trading activities to pure market speculation.  Minerals.  Modules.  I bought things cheap, sold them for a profit.  I would, and still will, sit on stuff for a year if I have to.  

For instance, six months before the last Hulkaggedon, rather than compete with everyone buying and selling minerals or Hulks, a friend and I bought all of the Covertors in Derelik.

Buy. Wait. Sell. Profit.  

For the most part, I’ve worked the relatively poor region of Derelik, where OUCH has it’s high sec base in Berta. Derelik has two minor trade hubs: Gamis and Berta.

Gamis and Berta sit in the Subi constellation and act as gateway trading hubs to low sec Derelik, NPC null Curse and the bordering sovereignty null in the southeast.  Both Gamis and Berta are fed from jump freighter and carrier traffic coming in and out of Hothomouh and low sec.  Berta also sees the traffic of pilots moving back and forth between null and empire through Sendaya.  Both systems are inside of 10 jumps from the major trade hub of Rens in Heimatar, but because Rens is in the next region, you can’t see it on the market.  

When a new student joins OUCH, we tell them to get set up with Student Fit frigates and that the modules and ships should be on sale right in Berta.  Over the years I’ve learned that markets being what they are, availability of ships, modules and ammunition in Berta may vary.  To ensure availability, we used to fit up ships and place them on contract for the students, but to be honest, it was a lot of work.  Students, conditioned by Eve Vets to think they were going to need lose lots of ships, would buy up all the contracts.  So we tried putting ships up for sale on the at reasonable prices.  That didn’t work, because traders would buy out stock and move them someplace else for profit.  

What’s the use of buying a ship to fit out at the home base if you still have to go to Rens to pick up ammunition or a stasis webifier?

It’s not the money, it’s the time.

I’m a patient guy, but I’m not patient enough to manage my market orders every day playing .01 isk games on T1 frigs and T1 modules in a minor trade hub.  I’m a stubborn guy, but not as stubborn as Sugar Kyle, who relentlessly relists items to force her market adversaries to follow her lead and use reasonable prices.

I want three things from the local market.  I want all the student fit ships and modules available in one station so our students don’t to have to travel around to find them.  I want the student fit items to be reasonably priced.  I don’t want to touch the market more than once a month.  

It is the last part that is the challenge.  If I would take a little time and list items every week, I could guarantee that items would always be available.  I just don’t want to; side projects are supposed to be something you do on the side.  I had to figure out how to make the market work for me.

So I flew to Jita and bought everything I needed for student fits and shipped them to Berta.  I ignored the local prices and listed all of the stuff at 120 percent of Jita price.  That seemed reasonable.  No one is going to buy all the stock and ship it back to someplace that sells it cheaper.  Over the first few weeks, some things sold, some things stayed on the market.

I bought more of the things that sold and put them on the market at 140 percent.  Some things sold and some things stayed on the market.  I bought some more stuff and relisted it between 130 and 150 percent of my buy costs.

As it stands right now, I probably have no more than 150 million isk invested in the Berta market. Just sitting there on the market.  Every so often, someone might actually end up buying from me something from me, which covers my broker fees.

My stuff mostly sits because there are traders who see that this stuff sells a little bit and they can’t help but compete with me.  They list a few ships, a score of modules.  I rely on their competitive nature, their desire to “screw me over” with their low, low prices to provide a service to my corporation:   low cost frigates and modules to our students in their home base.  At the worst, a student has to buy a frigate from me at the cost of convenience, but they get it back in the end, because we replace their ships for free if they lose it in a fleet in null.  

So now I check my orders and if I see something has run out, I jump to high sec, buy some locally, move it to Berta and relist it at 130 to 150 percent.  I only have to mess around with the market every couple of months now because within a week of listing something, someone is usually undercutting me.  

You’re not going to get rich off the Berta market that way.

Well, not if I can help it.  

Minus one.

Favoritism

Plus one.

Hey Bren, what’s your favorite cruiser?  

You’d think that is an easy enough question.  When I was asked this by a student, two weeks ago, after a little deliberation with my corpmates, I finally settled on the Stabber.  I’ve had a lot of fun flying Stabbers.  

Liked them before they were good.  

I’ve a thing for flying the ships that other people do not fly in PvP because they are not the “best ship in the class” and I don’t want to fly the Flavor of the Month.  I flew Stabbers, even Caracals, when everyone was flying Ruptures.  Manticores instead of Hounds.  Raptors instead of Stilettos.  Flycatchers instead of Sabres.

When everyone was flying Rifters, I flew Merlins.  When the Merlin, Incursus, and Tormentor got buffed, I jumped back into the Rifter.

The poor “underpowered” Rifter.

Ships are tools.  I rarely fly a ship just because I want to fly it.  I usually fly a ship in the role that the fleet needs me in.  Since I can fly every ship that my fleet typically needs, I can afford to be more flexible that some of our pilots.  

But I only have to be flexible about 10 percent of the time because OUCH’s fleet compositions are pretty simple.  Our primary fleet doctrine is role driven and not ship driven:  Tackle. DPS. Support.  

20 percent of the time, I fly a Manticore.  It’s my preferred ship for FCing.  In an OUCH fleet, it’s a combination DPS and EWAR support platform that lets us punch above our weight class.  

70 percent of the time, I fly a Falcon.  It’s a very powerful tool.  Possibly the most hated ship in the game.  It suits Art of War Alliance’s “Guns versus EWAR” fleet doctrine.

Lock target. Ruin fun.

It isn’t quite that simple.  The Falcon is a complex weapons platform that most people think is easy to fly. I’ve become very comfortable flying Falcons.  Still, it’s not my favorite ship.

Favorites come in different flavors.  For some, the reasons why they love a ship are purely performance based.  Damage. Tank.  For others, its the ships esthetics or special abilities that get them.

I love the Ashimmu.  I had one.  I would sit in it and admire it.  So beautiful.  With neuts and webs, it’s a mean, close up and personal, electronic warfare platform.  I took mine into combat once or twice.  Good times, until we got into a fight with some Noir battleships that escalated into something a little more than we could handle.  My baby got hotdropped and I ended up in my pod.

I vowed I would never own another.  Too specialized, too expensive and not compatible with the fleet compositions we had been using at the time.

There’s one in your hanger.

Yeah.  It was a gift.  I don’t fly it.  

Uh-huh.

I love the look of every one of the Arbitrator variations.  The Curse is my favorite, beautiful ship. Mean weapons platform.  I do not own one.  One of the biggest problems with the Curse is they can’t warp cloaked 

You’re killing me, Bren. 

Wait a sec, it gets better.  The second and more annoying problems with the Curse is it needs a cloak, because no one in their right mind gets in a small gang fight with a Curse on the field.  And you can guess what the big problem is with the Pilgrim?

It’s not a Curse.  

Damn right.  So I’m going to be looking at a lot of the ship’s I can fly a little more critically, and try to get in a few different ships.  Maybe I’ll figure out some more favorites.  

Tell me what you find.

I’ll do that.

Minus one.

Humor the Crazy People

Plus one.

A lot of people in the world got to hear about the Battle of B-R5RB in the news last week.  $300,000.00 worth of ships were lost, from what I’ve been told.

300 thousand USD.

It’s good for Eve Online.  It’s gotten a bunch of buzz going, new players signing into game and asking on the forums where do they get their capital ships.

But it’s bad for Eve online, too.

See, CCP has carefully designed a system where you can pay for your game time by allowing people to use in game currency, ISK, to buy the Players License Extension or PLEX.  PLEX are bought with real money and sold in game on the market for ISK.  This gives people the phantom idea that things that are valued in ISK have a real money value.

Why is that bad?

Get up, go out in town and find someone you know who does not play Eve Online, look them in the eye and tell them that “Last week, I was playing Eve Online and I lost an internet spaceship with a real world value of 2500 dollars”.

Try it at work, with your boss.

They will look at you like you are Crazy.  They will ask you, why you would you buy an “internet spaceship”, did you say, for 2500 dollars?

You immediately will have to explain how PLEXs are game time and you can buy PLEX and trade game time to other players for in game money and buy spaceships, but you didn’t actually buy the spaceship for 2500 dollars, rather you and some other people gathered and sold resources in game and bought that ship on the private market.

Whew.

Your friend will nod their head and say “that’s amazing” and walk away thinking that you’re another one of those “silly gamer people with more money than sense”.

When Eve Online makes the news, it’s always because ships worth tens of thousands of dollars were destroyed.  We all think it’s cool.

Regular people, they see it and think, Why would anyone spend $300,000 on a video game?

That’s completely stupid.  That’s possibly insane.  

So they smile, nod their heads at crazy people, and wander away, hoping that you don’t follow them.

Oh, he’s a nice enough fellow, but he’s not quite right.  You have to humor him.

Minus one.