Monday, 20 October 2014

Emergent Gamplay - CCP's Rule of Thumb

So it was a slow night in local chat. Somehow the topic had turned to how some things were inexplicably considered "emergent gameplay" while other similar things were considered exploits.

Me, being kind of bored, I just had to throw my 2 cents into the conversation. I said
CCP has a rule of thumb for that. If doing it means you're being an asshole then it's emergent gameplay and that's ok, but if not then it's an exploit and you'll get banned for it.
The funny thing is, even though I was being sarcastic and I doubt it's intentional on CCP's part, there is a lot of truth to that statement.

Bump a miner... Emergent gameplay
Bump a hauler... Emergent gameplay


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Grinding Eve Standings - The Standing Correction Agency

I've been doing a lot of standings grinding lately to lower broker fees.

For faction standings like Caldari State I've been doing Data Center missions (mostly pirate tag turn-ins) which give some fairly substantial standings increases.

For corporation standings (Caldari Navy for example) the usual way is to do missions for the corporation in question. However, unlike with faction standings, corporation standings can be shared with anyone in the same fleet. You don't have to help them do the mission. You don't even have to be in the same system or region. You can be sitting in a station while AFK, all you have to do is be in fleet with them, which means you can hire someone else to the grinding for you.

I did some searching and quickly found a service that specializes in grinding corporation standings. TSCA (The Standing Correction Agency)  has a very good reputation so I decided to give them a try.

The Standing Correction Agency is a business which provides personal standing increases via fleet mechanics for clients. Their normal service is for standings up to 8.0 with corporations only, for example with Caldari Navy, Home Guard, or Ministry of War, but not faction standings like Caldari State or Amarr Empire.

Beyond that, if you want faction standings or corporation standings beyond 8.0 you can always try talking to them about it. They might agree to do it but only on an individually negotiated basis.

After having TSCA grind standings for me on 2 different characters, Republic Security Services 1.5 to 3.0 on one character and Caldari Navy 1.52 to 8.0 on another, I'm very pleased with the service. Everyone involved was courteous, professional and efficient, right from the initial contact with Imiarr Timshae all the way through to the end with the two pilots who did the actual grinding.

I was particularly happy with the Caldari Navy grind. I expected it to take at least a week and probably longer but it only took 3 days. It did help that they had two pilots with 2 characters each working on it for me. Many thanks to Tovar and Drake for getting that done so quickly and for being so friendly during the entire process.

I will almost certainly be using TSCA again in the future and very highly recommend them to anyone else looking for help grinding standings!

BTW, are machs FoTM now? I've been seeing them all over the place lately.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Multisell coming soon

Just a short post to point out a new beta feature: Multisell thread that's up for discussion on the official forums. There isn't a whole lot of information in the thread about exactly what it does yet but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping they'll finally fix the braindead way orders are filled now.

If not they might as well just call it multiripoff instead.

To reiterate what they need to do is change the way the system fills orders so you get the best price of the price you typed in or the price in existing orders.

IOW, if you type in a buy order for 100 at 1 mil each and there are lower priced sell orders, your order will be filled from the lower priced orders at the prices in the sell orders until either your order is completely filled or there are no remaining sell orders equal to or lower than your price. At that point any remaining orders would be listed in a buy order at 1 mil each.

And just the opposite for selling. If you type in a sell order for 10 at 100 mil each, there is a buy order up for 5 at 110 mil each and all other buy orders are under 100 mil, you'd immediately sell 5 for 110 mil each while the remaining 5 would be listed as a sell order at 100 mil each.

Fair to everyone, less susceptible to getting screwed by lag and less favorable for botters who usually have the lowest sell orders and highest buy orders and reap most of the windfall profits with the existing system.

CCP Nerfs Stealth Bombers for Null Babies

Apparently on the test server CCP has nerfed the one thing that works well against the null sec cartels and their overpowered ezmode teleporting, fleet-warping blobs. Stealth Bombers. They've changed Stealth Bombers to decloak when within 2km of each other again.

The null babies cried for stealth bombers to be nerfed and once again CCP is obediently complying with their demands.

The null babies cry that ISBoxing bombers is too easy (and yes it is) but then again ISBoxing anything is too easy. Including capital ships in the null cartel blobs. Why not fix the real problem, the use of ISBoxer, rather than nerfing the one thing that's actually effective for smaller groups trying to fight cartel blobs?

Oh but that wouldn't be fair because all the cartel pilots boxing multiple accounts in those blobs wouldn't be able to do that anymore. And we certainly can't nerf anything the null badies like to (ab)use can we? We just have to make sure it isn't very useful *against* them.

Why not remove fleet-warp since it's just an ezmode way for the cartels to ensure perfect blob drops with everyone landing on target at the exact same moment?

Why not make it so orbiting the Fleet Commander is detrimental rather than optimal? How about making it so having living, breathing, *thinking* pilots behind the keyboard confers some slight advantage over the mindless F1 mashing blob monkeys of the cartels? And how many of those F1 monkeys are using an autoit or ahk script to do the incredibly simple button mashing for them? Why not require a modicum of personal skill from and coordination between individual pilots rather than making everything so damned easy one person can control everything?

OMG, CCP might lose a few null sec F1 blob monkey subscriptions if they can't ISBox all their accounts, teleport and fleet-warp perfectly into fights. But damned if anyone should have an effective countermeasure vs blob drops, nerf the hell out of that!

And while we're at it, lets remove jump capability from capital ships too and put them back into the role extremely large and powerful ships belong in.

Really CCP get your heads out of the sand, stop pandering to the guys that broke null sec in the first place and start listening to the rest of your player base before you lose it entirely and have nothing left besides a few thousand assholes from those awful forums chasing away any new players dumb enough to try the game.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

No Characters in Training!

I dropped the ball playing skill queue online for the first time today. Something that's never happened to me before happened on not just one but two accounts!

So I put social to V in the queue on both accounts. After that the two characters on each account are pretty much done with phases 1 (trade skills) and 2 (int/mem support skills + Prowlers) of my usual training plan. It's almost time to either start training a 3rd character on each account or start training one on each account into bombers and missile skills.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

How to Block a User on Blogspot

Got a problem user who just won't shut up and keeps spamming garbage comments on your Blogger blog?

If he's "following" your blog you can block him and be rid of him.

Bye Lucas, have a nice life. If you show up on another account maybe I'll do what everyone else does to rid their blog's of your presence and go with moderated comments.

Edit: Unlike he claims on his blog (no I'm not going to link it) this isn't about me banning him for not agreeing. It's about him acting like a child, always insisting his opinions are right and everyone who disagrees is stupid.

When someone repeatedly spams comments here calling me stupid, idiot, retarded and autistic because I don't agree with him he's going to wear out his welcome here quickly. That's all there is to it.

Monday, 6 October 2014


I mostly dabble in the PLEX market, moving in when markups are at 30 million plus and dropping out when they're under 20 million. That usually works out to 3-7 days of good business before margins drop under 20 million again.

Usually I wind up buying and selling around 100 PLEX per month at an average profit of about 15 million per unit or about 1.5 billion per month. I want to increase my presence in the PLEX market and start playing the low margin segment of the market (particularly on Jita) more.

My goal is to buy and sell 100 PLEX per day with 0.50% (1/2 of one percent) profit or 5 million profit per unit which works out to 500 million a day or 15 billion a month.

The problem is markups (especially on Jita) are often around 15 million which would be a loss of 3 million per unit with an 0.75% broker fee. I need to get my broker fee down to 0.25% to really make trading PLEX in greater volume viable on Jita. I'm working on that (already have it down to 0.50% and expect to hit the target 0.25% in another 1-2 weeks.

Lately I've been playing the PLEX market more than usual. The last week or so I've been buying and selling 20-30 PLEX per day, mostly at a markup of 30 million plus. For example here are my PLEX sales and purchases since yesterday.

That's 30 PLEX sold and 15 PLEX purchased. But none of them were on Jita where the real volume market is. In fact margins on Jita have been pretty consistently under 20 million for the last month or two so I've hardly done any business in PLEX on Jita lately. It's not much better on the other main hubs either, most of this business was done somewhere other than Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Rens or Hek.

In the last week, I've bought about 200 PLEX for an average of less than 760 million each and sold them for an average of at least 795 million each. With an average markup of about 35 million and average profit close to 20 million each, that's nearly 4 billion in profits. That's a pretty high markup though, I don't expect to be able to do that all the time. Not even away from the main hubs where virtually all of this business was done. In fact margins are already getting tighter, they'll probably soon be around 20 million again in most places.

The PLEX market seems to have reached a point of resistance in July. People keep trying to drive the price over 800 million and occasionally succeed for a few days before it drops back down again. About once a month there's a big drop and it seems to drop a little lower each time that happens too.

The Forge (Jita) 6 month history
I tend to be a stabilizing influence in the Eve markets. Whenever I make a serious move to capture volume in a given market profit margins tend to drop quickly, spike up and down for a while and finally stabilize at a lower (often much lower) level. Depending on the particular market involved overall price levels might go down significantly too (sometimes so low others call it a crash).

I'll be making a big push into the volume PLEX market soon. It'll be interesting to see how my push and the existing downward price trend interact. Maybe that crash I keep saying could happen will happen.