Sunday, 23 March 2008

An old grizzled grumpy EVE veteran

I realised recently that I need to readjust my approach to the EVE University forums. Why? Well, I'll explain.

I have been making posts quite frequently (still pretty inactive in-game but enjoying the social aspect of the forums) aiming to be helpful and to provide information. I stand by everything I have posted but I realised that recently these have tended to focus more on the problems with other people's ideas.

I need to be much more positive. I ought to be posting helpful suggestions and encouraging people to explore the game I have enjoyed so much for the last 5 years. The thing that attracted me to EVE, and has kept me in its thrall, is the massive sandbox to sit and play in.

So, that's my resolution going forwards. To continue to get the information and views I hold across but to do so in a positive manner so I stop sounding like I am talking from the point of view of someone who has been there and done it all. I have been there and done everything I wanted to and do have a lot to share, but it is by no means all there is to know.

I am also thinking of writing a guide to production. It'll have to be after my exams but I'd like to do a guide that contains the usual "this is a blueprint", "these are the skills" but as sidenotes while it explains how to get into production. What to look for in terms of goods for sale, how your skills might progress and how you might go about building up a production side to your character. basically, something that isn't quite as dry and factual as I have seen to date.

Anyway, something to work on. :)


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Kassie was right

So - long time since I last posted and let's just say that Kassie was right - you never really leave EVE University. :)

I am back in the corp after a few months break when I ran my own small manufacturing corporation.

I am currently taking a break from the game - it has been hard to be totally inactive (and I haven't managed yet, although a week's absence etc is probably going to be the norm) - I get on well with the people and it is nice to drop by a chat and help out a bit. I am not actively playing the game but the big shiny chat client and the community are harder to put down. Current skill plan is very long skills for a bit.

I think my first blog back ought to look at what I have done.

I decided in the end to try manufacturing. I restarted M.A.D. and with a pile of blueprints I have (I tend to be a bit of a collector in games and have 450 or so blueprint originals) I set about doing some copies and selling tech 1 goods.

The first thing that struck me was how much profit could be made from selling tech 1 goods. It isn't as profitable as trading but with careful stock selection I was able to make roughly 10% profit above the cost I could sell the minerals for by putting them up on sell orders (not fulfilling existing buy orders). Some items sold better than other and a wide spread of goods with some ships and cruisers (I built one battecruiser but otherwise stuck to smaller stuff) kept the isk rolling in. It was only a small operation and I bought all my minerals but it was turning 30-50mil profit per week. Which isn't bad for something that doesn't require much work and I wasn't building intensively.

I've always wanted to get into invention to see what it was like. I see it as a nice progression on the career path of a producer:

  • you start off with a few blueprints and PE4, doing small bits of ammo and perhaps a cruiser or two
  • you build up your blueprint collection and get PE trained to 5 and other skills, such as mass production trained, and train the research skills
  • you set up a POS to research your own blueprints, training up the research skills, expanding the blueprint collection further
  • you use the POS to make copies and use those in invention, starting to produce tech 2 goods

All the time, a producer will be mining or running missions, as production is very much a side-career I think.

So, I got into invention. I started off with modules as they have a higher success rate, the BPCs are easier to get hold of and they are actually more profitable.

My first success was an Invuln II BPC. There is something fun about Invention with it's chance of success. I went on to cover a wide range of caldari Tech 2 goods and it increased my income nicely.

The approach to producing Tech 2 modules is the same as for Tech 1 really - pick the items well to guarantee a profit, have a wide range of goods to get a good volume of sales and don't forget to build in your invention costs into the pricing!

I made perhaps 20-30% on average build profit on tech 2 modules and they helped solve the problem you face with tech 1, where it is the turnover of sales rather than the profit margin that limits earning capacity. Tech 2 modules sell for higher values and further diversify your market to those interested in tech 2 and not tech 1 goods. I was making perhaps 200mil per week with minimal activity.

I did try ships - I got luck and got 2 10-run Onyx BPCs and a 10-run Cerberus BPC. However ship profit is not great - perhaps 10% to 20% and you need something like 20 days to build 10 Onyx for something like a 150mil profit (ie not great). For a small operation like mine it wouldn;t have been an option. For a larger more intensive operation, they'd further add to the capacity to generate return.

So - that was me and production. I enjoyed it and am glad I tried it.

Why did I rejoin EVE Uni?

Well, I had experienced invention and it was curiosity more than anything that led me into it, not the isk. (I don't have a lot of cash in my wallet - perhaps just shy of 1bil isk- but then I don't play for isk and, if I did, I would be trading.) Real life has been hellishly busy with work running riot so I decided a break was called for and after loggin on occassionaly to skill train, I decided I missed my old corpmates and would rather have people to chat to when I was on.

Will I come back to active play?

Not sure yet. For now, I am pretty active on EVE University's forums during lunch hours and when I need a break from the evening slog.

I don't think I will ever really escape EVE Uni (I even bought an IVY League t-shirt designed by Kel as the picture shows) but then the people there are good friends and make the game special in so many ways.

I'll no doubt post more musings in the next few days and will try and make this more frequent.