Sunday, 14 September 2014

Market History Lies

As I've said before, market history does NOT always reflect what really happens in the market.

Here's some more proof.

PLEX prices in The Forge (screenshot taken at Jita 4-4)

First off, according to market history there were 0 PLEX sold in The Forge on 2014-09-14. I know that for a fact that's completely out to lunch since I logged in several times throughout the day for the sole purpose of checking the price of PLEX on Jita.

Second, as recorded in my wallet transactions, I bought 5 PLEX myself on 2014-09-14. I'm also certain a bunch more sold to a large blocking order even lower than my own buy order since the stack size of that blocking order (which I've been watching quite closely) went down by at least 16 since earlier on the same day.

Third, I paid 33 million (and change) less for each of those 5 than market history says was the lowest price for the day. Yet history reports the low price for the very next day (the 15th) is even lower (by just 3 ISK). No, this isn't due to GMT time differences since both times are in game time (in fact it's still the 14th here in Canada as I'm writing this).

Fourth, how do you get non-zero low, high and avg numbers if there were no sales? That's something I see often with rare, low volume items that sell maybe 1 a week, month, or even less frequently. On those kind of items you'll see a whole bunch of 0 sales to 0 orders days with the occasional sale of 1 or 2 usually at a much lower price than the so called low, high and average prices.

I'd guess there was some kind of server error leading to the loss or corruption of market data for yesterday's PLEX sales and when that happens it defaults to numbers for the last day or average numbers for the last week/month or whatever. Not a big deal with high volume items like PLEX but a bad practice for more rare items that don't usually sell even 1 a week far less every day.

Obviously when there are no sales CCP must be substituting high/low/avg numbers derived from history in leiu of actual real data. In some cases it even looks like they might be using listed prices of items priced so high they are not selling and just sit there not selling for months. If they are using listed prices they should stop because not only is that very misleading, it's also highly subject to manipulation.

BTW, during the hour after I started writing this post, I sold 4 PLEX at 791 million each and bought another 3. After taxes and broker fees that's a little under 20 million profit per PLEX or about 2.5% profit at roughly 4.7% margin. Typical numbers for me in PLEX markets on the main hubs though I usually make at least 4-5%, sometimes as much as 10% or even a bit more in other places.

Considering I made nearly 80 million in an hour from PLEX alone on just one trader *without camping I have to wonder just how much ISK I could make per hour camping PLEX + a few other items on Jita during weekend prime time. Especially if I ground faction standings to chop another 1% off combined taxes and fees. It'd be interesting to find out but I hate camping and grinding.

Edit: After a short unscheduled server downtime now there is market history data for the 14th.

But the low price is still 27 million higher than I paid.

PLEX Price

For quite some time I've been saying the price of PLEX is bound to drop eventually. It's a bubble being pushed higher and higher by speculation and manipulation but that can't go on forever. Eventually it will drop and the higher it goes before dropping the further it will drop.

It might even crash hard, maybe even comparable to the real life gold crash of 1980.

The pundits keep telling me I'm wrong, the price of PLEX will always go up, any downswings are temporary and caused by the latest PLEX sale.

Yet I continue to see indications PLEX prices are on the way down.

The screenshot above shows the history graph of PLEX prices for the last 6 months on the Jita market. It's obvious the price has plateaued and dropped somewhat since early July. There have been a few price rallies but each rally has soon been followed by another drop. The price keeps going down.

I've also noticed particular orders that seemed to be there strictly for the purpose of price manipulation (keeping the buy price high that is) have been slowly disappearing. If they ever all disappear, particularly on Jita and the other main hubs, the price of PLEX will start dropping faster.

As an example, here are my PLEX purchases over a 6 hour period last night.

Both buy orders were completely filled (one for 6, the other for 5). I just wish I'd made them larger, particularly the one at 704 mil.

As far as I can tell someone big who was manipulating the price of PLEX to keep it high seems to be dropping out of that game. My guess is that someone is Somer.

Sure someone else could and very well might step up and start doing the same thing. The question is, is there anyone else with a big enough vested interest in keeping the price of PLEX high to sink trillions of ISK into doing it for little or no profit?

Somer undoubtedly had plenty of reason to keep the price high, *even if doing so cost them ISK. In fact the scheme that got them shut down in the end proved beyond a doubt they were perfectly willing to do that.

But who else has both the resources and the motivation to do the same?

Nobody I can think of, except maybe some of the largest corporations and alliances with huge memberships and PLEX sales affiliate links of their own. But I don't think any of them could generate anywhere near the number of affiliate link clicks and subsequent volume of PLEX sales that Somer could.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Dead Goons - A Token of support for their killers

I've decided to throw a little support behind one of Gevlon's Goon killing projects. I've made a small donation to Mordus Angels in support of their rebellion against the evil empire.

Here's a link to the Mordus Angels donation board for anyone else wanting to do the same.

It's a great cause so lend your support. Maybe one of you can bounce me out of the number 1 spot on the donation board.

UT 2014 News - Gameplay Video

The original Unreal Tournament (often referred to as UT99) was the first FPS game I really liked. I'd tried Quake, Quake 2 and 3 but I didn't much care for them. The first time I played UT I was hooked.

UT99 finally gave me a reason to put my beloved old Amiga 4000 to rest and buy my first PC clone.

I played UT99 until UT2k3 came out. I never liked 2k3 for a number of reasons but by far the biggest reason was double jumping. I hated double jumping. UT2k4 promised a return to a more UT99 style of gameplay but failed to deliver. Though 2k4 was an improvement in many ways it still had double jumping and I still hated double jumping.

When UT3 came out I wasn't going to be fooled again. This time my mind was made up beforehand, if double jumping was in the game I wouldn't be buying it. I could have lived with it being a mod like it was in UT99, or even an option as long as the default was off and most maps were designed to be played without double jumping. But double jump was in, on by default and all the maps were made for it and so I was out.

Then earlier this year the news broke that Epic was going to start developing a new version, UT 2014, only this time in conjunction with community developers (mappers, modders, etc.) and asking for input from the public on everything. I was quite skeptical but there was a nice looking artistic concept screenshot plus they had some very interesting things to say that caught my interest in spite of my skepticism and gave me reason to think they just might get it right this time. I made a post about that here.

Since then pre-alpha builds of the game have been released periodically. These builds are available to anyone for gameplay testing. Keep in mind these are very early builds (hence the pre-alpha designation) with pretty much everything subject to change. The maps are just basic BSP layouts without any texturing, static meshes, fancy lighting, or other atmospheric touches. Right now it's all about nailing down basic gameplay mechanics, the fancy stuff will come later.

Here's a link to Epic's official thread for downloading the latest pre-alpha build

Note you do have to register with Epic's forums in order to download the pre-alpha.

A gameplay video has also been released showing legendary Quake player Fatal1ty playing a couple different maps.

After watching the video I have to say gameplay looks extremely good at this point. I was especially pleased to note that double jumping doesn't seem to be in the game at all so far (YEA!!).

I hope it stays that way, if it does I'll definitely be checking it out once development is a little further along.

But if they put double jumping back in, my interest in UT 2014 will end right then and there. I'm pretty sure most UT99 fans will feel the same way too.

Finally there's a UT Movement Mechanics Design thread over at Epic's forums. This is the place for all us UT99 fans to make our voices heard and let Epic know just how badly double jumping ruined our game.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Burn Mittanigrad

Just a quick post to link a Gevlon post that's worth reading and some commentary on the subject. In it he talks about doing virtually the same thing I've been working on myself

Good for Gevlon, it's about time he started thinking about hitting goons where it hurts them the most. In their wallets and in their own space. That should be far more effective than paying hi sec gankers to do what they'd do anyhow (ganking in hi sec).

Gevlon calls it "Burn Deklein", while my own working name has been "Burn Mittanigrad" but it's basically the same thing (Mittanigrad being the goon capital VFK-IV which is in Deklein). Get fleets (preferably covert fleets) roaming goon space, killing goons, camping, afk cloaking and doing everything possible to disrupt their day to day operations and especially their income stream.

Disrupting goon's personal income streams by killing them while they're ratting, mining and hauling should be particularly effective because of the effect it's likely to have on moral... Especially if goon leadership proves as ineffective at countering such covert fleets as I expect they will.

It doesn't have to be in VFK-IV but the closer to their capital and core production systems the better.

I'm willing and able to spend many billions towards this end every month.

I have approached a few ... groups lately about the possibility of sponsoring them to do so. While there seems to be plenty of interest in slaughtering goons nobody has stepped up to the plate and taken me up on it yet.

I'm still negotiating with one such group. If those negotiations don't work out I have one more group in mind to talk to but I'm also willing to consider offers from other groups (scammers don't even bother trying, I'm not stupid, I won't be handing ISK out to just anyone).

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Financial Report - August 2014

Financial report for the month of August 2014 (last month). Trade oriented since trading is how I make virtually all of my ISK.

I buy and sell faction/deadspace mods, ships, skill-books and implants with an army of 24 traders covering 19 regions in most of empire space (everywhere except Aridia and Solitude). All of those traders are also Blockade Runner pilots, capable of doing their own transport (mostly on autopilot).

I surprised myself this month, I took it easy and only expected to make 35 maybe 40 billion yet I wound up making 50 billion again. Then again I didn't burn many PLEX this month, most of the PLEX I bought in August were resold for profits.

Current net worth is 738 billion with roughly half in cash and market escrow. Most of the rest is in sell orders and recently acquired assets I haven't gotten around to posting for sale yet. Very little is in assets I don't intend to sell soon, with maybe 5 billion worth of ships and fittings I keep for my own use.

Monday, 1 September 2014

PLEX Crash - Somerblink Connection?

PLEX prices have been climbing and climbing ever since they were introduced. A while back I predicted PLEX prices could only go so high and would eventually hit a level where they'd be too expensive, demand would drop and prices would drop. I predicted that would happen before prices hit 1 billion ISK and if prices went too high prior to dropping they could crash hard.

The last month or so I've been seeing indications a price correction was beginning.

I've had a number of "guard" buy orders set up somewhat lower than the going price in various regions for some time. When those orders started getting filled (around a month ago) I knew something was up and started paying closer attention to the PLEX market. For more than a month I've been getting some pretty good deals on PLEX purchases and it seems to be picking up steam lately.

Lately the frequency with which my buy orders get filled seems to be increasing.

During the same time period the price of PLEX on Jita started going down on almost a daily basis, refusing to go back over 800 million and mostly staying in the 770-780 range. There was a brief rally where the price went back to slightly over 800 million (probably a failed attempt at price manipulation) but it didn't stay there for very long at all and was quickly right back down around 770 mil.

I believe we are now on the verge of a PLEX price crash. The big questions are will it actually crash and if so how hard will the crash be?

Then there's the question of a possible likely Somerblink connection.

I've long suspected someone was continually manipulating PLEX prices upwards and Somerblink was an obvious suspect. They had plenty of reasons to drive the price of PLEX up and keep it up. At any rate someone certainly was putting up quite large buy orders (100 on Jita, 50-100 on the other main hubs and 20-50 on most large secondary hubs) that didn't seem to be there to actually buy PLEX but rather to get overcut and continually push buy order prices higher.

Someone with very deep pockets (deep enough to make me look like a pauper) seems to have been manipulating PLEX prices for a very long time. Is it just a coincidence PLEX prices started dropping and those large buy orders began slowly disappearing right after Somer got shut down?

I think not. I believe Somer had been manipulating PLEX prices upwards all along. Without them around continually pushing the price up anymore, it's probably going to crash now.