Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Getting things done before Attribute Swapout

Well, I am finally completing my Trade skills shortly. With the new Nueral Realignment program that lets you redistribute your base attribute points around, I have decided to focus on combat based attributes. I have been training combat related skills for many months now, and have developed some very good skills. However, since you can only do this once a year, and since my attributes now are better suited to training Trade than anything else, I have elected to finish training Trade skills before I redistribute my attributes.

Are they perfect for training trade? No, but I need to complete Tycoon training because I am now very quickly and too often running out of market slots, and maybe even Broker Relations and Accounting to level 5 as well. It is not worth focusing my attributes to train those since we are talking at most a couple months of training, so instead I have halted my combat training, and will complete my trade skills, and then redistribute my skills to be a more balanced but slightly combat heavy training arrangement and return to combat training.

No matter what, once trade is done, my training will be MUCH MUCH faster in combat and other areas than it ever was. How many of us made poor decisions when selecting attributes as a new player? I was one, and I stuck with my character who is now 1 ½ years old and exceeds 22 million skill points.

Once done with trade, I’ll be returning to combat training…most specifically training for the Ishtar….mmmm I have been in love with my Ishkur for many months now and it is the little ship that made me train for it's bigger brother too.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hevrice Market Report #1

So it’s been an interesting week. First, I'd like to thank the people who provided their valuable input and guidance regarding which items to be avilable would be most valuable to them most likely to sell quickly at first. I think otherwise, that I have received mixed feelings from the regular denizens of low sec regarding the establishment of a low sec hub. Many individuals have disbelief that a trade hub in low sec will be possible or have any effect on their lives. Some are happy to take advantage of having supplies readily available. Then there are those in the middle who seem disinterested, but have stated something along these lines, “if you put it up for sale, maybe we’ll buy it”.

The first thing I did was a mistake which was to make a run to Jita and picked up some quick items to throw up for sale. The costs of doing business that way ended up being too much, I mean this is how organizations were getting their goods anyway, so what positive affect would that have? None really, it just made sure I made a very skinny profit. I did need some things right away to make good on my promises though, and so I went through with it. Most items I was able to put up for sale at a fair profit, a few items I took a loss on (as a loss leader), and other items I simply couldn’t offer as cheaply as I would have liked. I do however hope that those items will still move simply due to the convenience of them being there and present along with the rest of the product I placed on the market. On Friday I put up a few billion worth of Railguns, Blasters and Autocannons, plus some Warp Scramblers/Disruptors as well as some Armor plating. I however will not be making runs to Jita for this project again. I will gather the items from around the all the regions as I have in the past with minerals finding the best deals and picking them up as I make my regular rounds. Now that I have the first part of the market in place, the rest will slowly come. I have been gathering Rifters and Incursus as well as the most used ammo for the guns I put up for sale already and almost had time to get them to Hevrice before it finally got so late that I had to abandon the delivery until the next day. When I get into my pilot seat tonight, I will make that my first priority.

Next comes the cruisers, I placed orders for Stabbers, Vexors and Thoraxes last night, and so I hope I will have something to collect within the next day or few, as well as some other items that were requested such as various propulsion modules and other miscellaneous combat oriented items. I will probably add T2 ships to the market once things really start rolling and I can count on the Hevrice market to move everything I have placed for sale. T2 ships tend to not move as quickly as the simpler frigates mentioned above, plus they are a greater investment for any trader.

I am sure there are going to be traders who are going to look for ways to get between me and Hevrice and knock me out of the market loop when it starts moving. It may surprise you or not that I invite all traders to Hevrice. I however would encourage each and every one of you that might be considering bringing competition to Hevrice to reconsider just a little, and instead of bring in completion, bring in new goods that aren’t already available. You’ll be doing a service to yourself by not competing for profits, which are already slim by being the cheapest goods in empire already, but by finding the best deals and bringing them into Hevrice and being able to provide the best prices in empire yet still turn a profit. You’ll be bringing other pilots out here looking for those deal and you’ll make this market the hub it could be. The very first and very real lowsec market hub. I invite all of you to come and be part of bridging the gap between high sec and low sec.

I have also made some good friends, which in many ways is more rewarding than the ISK. Some I might not yet trust to be in the same system with but people I enjoy being social with and talking with none the less. I really believe I have found my calling and circle, or at least am making a significant move in that direction and I enjoy spending time with the folks in low sec. These are good people, pirates and faction warriors yes…They are callused warriors and scurvy rats, but they are good and honorable people within those tough exteriors. I am happy to be there and I am happy to know them.

Finally, I encourage ALL Lowsec individuals, corporations, alliances and other organizations to participate and take the stuff that you collect and PLACE IT FOR SALE on the Hevrice market as well. As a single trader, I can only keep so many open market orders, and 2/3 of them are used in procurement of goods to sell at Hevrice. The more cheap stuff we as a group can provide the denizens of empire out here in Hevrice, the more these people will be forced to pay attention to us, no one will be able ignore Hevrice. Bring them all out here, FOR GLORY…FOR GOLD!!!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Shopping List

Ok, I have started shopping for things I think need to be sold in low sec, however I am sure many of you have better ideas than I. So I request that you place your wishlist in the comments below. Please be complete, even if you see something in another comment, please go ahead and list it on your wishlist too, this will let me know how much demand there might be for an item.
Keep in mind I can only provide so many different things, so I will need to prioritize what I supply initially, and hopefully drawing other traders out here to bring more of other stuff too.


Don't try this at home!!!

You know, i am a pretty good guy and I try to share a market with people. There is usually plenty of buyers and sellers to go around. I try to take my turn when it comes to buying and selling stuff, and let the other guys get their buys and sales in too.

Well there is always one apple that spoils the barrel for everyone. I had a region-wide buy order for megacyte at a reasonable price and for not so much in quantity that I was being abusive to other traders. Another trader came in an upped me a penny, ok that's fine I'll wait my turn. When my turn came, he placed a new 100,000 unit buy order for 1,000 ISK per unit higher than everyone else. I guess he decided he needed the minerals more than the rest of us. Or perhaps he was trying to discourage the rest of us.

It ended up being ok, because I happened to have 100,000 units of megacyte which I happily supplied for him. I hope he appreciates how quickly he was accommodated.

All is well that ends well.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

People of Lowsec, lend me your ear!!!…and give me your opinions, your love, and your money too

Ok guys serious, hopefully you read the last two posts, and perhaps even the earlier posts before I dropped off of the blogosphere, and you know I don’t really believe that Mule Characters and Multiple Accounts used for muling are truly a good thing for eve. Yes the income for CCP is important, and I do think multiple accounts are good for CCP and even good for Eve when they are used to experience different facets of Eve, but mule accounts I don’t like them. One of the things that I believe is that ALL of you are missing out on a rich facet of the Eve experience of YOU having to interact with traders and high sec residents as YOURSELF. Look, let me us myself as an example, I started out as a Miner and I did really well, but I got bored of it and moved on to trade, and I do really well there too. I also run missions out in low sec, and I now I also trade in low sec and hopefully will bridge the divide between these two aspects of Eve. I don’t run multiple accounts to “get away” with having a lowsec life as well as a high sec life. I live that life together. I want people to remember me, as a badass. I don’t mean someone who can just Yarr, I mean I want to be remembered wildly as a success in all aspects of my life.

I want people to say, “Ooo Escoce, he’s a good guy…and he’s all over the place…he controls vast swaths of the market in high sec, he goes anywhere he wants, he opened low sec up to everyone bringing good ands people out there, he’s not afraid to fight and can fight really good, and he’s got lots of friends and lots of money and so you don’t want to screw with him either...get on his bad side and he and his friends will damn well make sure you and your mates spent most of your life in the recovery room of the medical facilities. I am glad he’s my friend, and I am glad to know him. Eve is a richer place because he cares about Eve.

So do you see what I mean? I am not threatening anyone here, honestly. I am just sharing the “image” of not using mules and shadow accts. I am talking about the fact that, I am not using multiple accounts to “get away” with being a shadow. Escoce is my identity and everything I do is as me, whether that is to organize a mining operation that wipes out twenty belts of asteroids in an hour, or bend the market to my will, blitz thirty-five low sec missions in a frigate in an afternoon or bring freighters filled with goods back and forth between highsec and low sec and create new markets and defend those markets with zeal. Or guarding miners with my Nyx to make sure they at least have time to fly to safety when molested. It [is/will be] all me and the other great real people I do or will work with…no mule and no hiding behind a shadow pretending to not be me to “get away with” doing something entirely out of character to avoid the consequences of who I am or the path I have chosen.

Dread pirates can too, instead of having shadow accounts that let them fly to high sec like a good ole pretend newbie good guy and sneak those good back to home, they can live the life of a pirate and still have people of their corporations perform things such as public relations, get traders out to low sec and bring competitively priced goods out to places where you can buy and trade and mingle and sell your loot. Perhaps instead of expecting ultra high prices, you work with the traders to get them out to you and then back home safely, this service you provide might convince traders to come out there with normal competitive pricing who would otherwise be afraid of the risks, or otherwise brave the risks but hike their prices to offset the risks. Me I am not afraid, I am already out there with you, but I can’t create a market by myself, I can only try and help get one started. If you want more targets and you want more people to brave the colds of low sec, the only catch is you gotta give them reason to come out. In other words, you gotta have the most reasonable prices, not the most expensive. So if I can do this, and you can work with me and we encourage more and more people especially traders to get out here, what say you?

Anyway, I solicit your sincere thoughts and opinions…please…I am no wanker, and some of you already know me in game and out. This is a sincere attempt to enrichen the experience and life in lowsec.

What say you?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

6 Months later, highsec trader to lowsec regular

So what has been going on in Escoce’s life? I have been thru and done a lot in the last 6-ish months. I gave up on securing my old mining constellation operation. In this now defunct operation, I was developing the market of a small constellation in Gallente Federation space. By providing consistent and fair pricing to miners for their minerals, and also by ensuring there was a ready and cheap supply of mining ships, equipment and consumables ready and for sale, I was able to develop a high volume/high profit market. I communicated with miners about the presence of the mining constellation and the market and slowly built a multi-billion ISK per month operation that included my picking up low end minerals from four contiguous systems and carrying those minerals to trade hubs first in my Iterons and then finally my freighter when I could afford one. Of course I also borrowed some money to make the final purchase, but let us just say, I was able to pay off that loan ( 1 billion ISK principle + 50 million ISK interest paid weekly) in 1 month. Before I got my freighter, I was making too many several trips between my mining hub and the market hubs and never quite catching up with the volume ever. When I finally got my freighter, I was moving 300-600 or so million units of minerals EVERY DAY, except maybe on Sundays and Thursdays when many miners take some time off for other activities. So it was a good operation. Now due to circumstance entirely out of my control (OOC – I moved and my internet connection was down for three weeks), it flew the coop. Other traders caught on, and moved in and the lack of consistent service and pricing to the miners caused them to move on to greener pastures.

I didn’t feel like starting over, so I moved on to something new. I do that occasionally, such as when I got bored with mining, I moved on to trade, when trade couldn’t keep me occupied, I added combat and missions. I still keep tabs on that constellation from time to time, and it has never come close to even a fraction of the productivity I helped develop.

Moving on I started placing buy orders for minerals across the region, doing pretty well and eventually building my capital enough to spread out to cover 4 regions of select systems and constellations, never quite having the ease of point to point trade I enjoyed before, but still producing honorable profits. I shrank out of one region simply due to the logistics of managing 4 regions of market space, and now focus on 3 regions and doing quite well.

After having honed my trade skills to what I call near perfect, they aren’t perfect. I have level 4 or 5 competency in all the trade skills, but it is enough for me to be a very effective trader, and I began to focus on combat skills. I had already trained most of what I call the core skills to level 5 already (skills such as navigation, electronics, engineering, etc. etc.). All the skills the unlock the various modules needed and learning how to use them so effectively that the equipment becomes more efficient. I started running missions, and practiced enough at that so that I was comfortable running all level 3 and most but not all level 4 missions in a T1 or T2 frigate of whatever sort suited me and the mission at the time. Many of the best agents are in low sec, and I was becoming comfortable with flying out in low sec, confident in knowing how to fit a ship to get through the fray when the fray comes to me.

I should say here that I don’t think of myself as a PvPer, I just feel comfortable operating in low sec normally, not that I am looking for a fight by doing so. I still avoid the fights if I can. But becoming comfortable with Low Sec, and having had to retrieve errant goods from misplaced buy orders on several occasions I decided to try low sec trading on purpose. I recently decided to carry my operations out to low security space in a test region, and I placed some region wide test buy orders to see how well I might be able to do this. The test was quite successful, and it became worth it to fly out into areas where others weren’t willing to go to pick up my wares. I have estimated that if I get killed once a day, I will still be turning a profit (albeit a small one) from low sec. I haven’t been killed yet, but just for mathematic’s sake and for safe financial planning I use 1 death per day in cost analysis for operating in low sec.

This isn’t to say that Low Sec is safe, it isn’t. It is dangerous, in low sec, people want to kill you. Many Pirates will be cordial and kind after the fact, and honor their word when they give it, but have no doubt. Their goal is to take your money, get you out of your ship and sometimes even get you out of your clone. On the first day out collecting my goods, I was attacked I am guessing 6 times in the period of 45 minutes. I was even attacked by a pilot flying an Archon, which I didn’t expect, but there you have it. I didn’t die, in fact my ship was barely scratched. I however, didn’t stick around to get killed either. I simply have learned how to properly fit a ship to escape and learned how to fly those ships properly. This doesn’t mean I can’t fight either, in a ship fitted properly to fight I do very very well, it simply isn’t my goal right now. My goal is trade, and some lowsec public relations and hoping to develop genuine realistic and fair market places in low sec for low sec residents, and thus in turn hopefully pulling more people from highsec into lowsec.

And with this, I move on to my next post which will hopefully tie the loose ends …

My thoughts on Blog Banter #5: Meta Gaming and Multiple Accounts

I know I am not a member of CrazyKinux Eve Blog Pack, and I haven’t been invited to comment, however I felt the need to comment. And, once again, it’s been quite a long time since I have posted. I really ought to post more. Lots of stuff has gone on and many exciting things to report. I have no excuse other than I didn’t feel like. Oh I have had moments when I wanted to say something about what is going in New Eden, but I haven’t taken the time to write anything. However, the recent blog banter #5 about Meta Gaming and Alts has made encouraged me to make a few points. I’ll try to keep it short.

I am one of those of the opinion that multiple accounts do take away from the game. Do I feel like forcing this posture on other players? No not really, but I would hope to encourage other players who do have multiple accounts to use them for different purposes. The game was designed to strongly encourage team-work and player-to-player interaction by making certain activities much harder to do when performed alone by providing logistics challenges or training time limitations so that a person who wishes to become an expert in a particular field really needs to focus their time on that, and not multiple fields at once. It is designed to be more realistic in the sense that one person can only do so much.

I do however believe that Alts can and should be used to play two completely different play styles. One might have a pirate character, and another industrial character, however I would stress by this I mean that they are separate operations, not facets of the same operation to used to support each other. Perhaps even in vastly different parts of the galaxy with little to know chance of ever meeting.

Anyway that’s my take on multiple accounts. In summary, I believe that multiple accounts should be used to experience different aspects of the game, but I don’t think that alts should be used as mules. Mule here being the term coined in most MMORPG games meant to mean an alternate character used to carry stuff for the main character. This game was specifically designed to be as social as possible, and I do think mule characters are just a way to get around that. Think of the social possibilities of real reliance on other player character and organizations. For PvPing players, this can provide gaming elements to give you reason to yarr when disatisfied or disappointed as well as provide rewarding and potentially profitable elements for the friendships developed outside the Circle of Yarr (tm).

DISCLAIMER: This is only my opinion, I certainly do not wish to force my ways on others.

P.S. In this vein I have more to tell soon to be posted on the next post or two later today or tomorrow, a proposal of sorts I’d like people to consider.