Thursday, 12 July 2012

Day 26 : The Spreadsheet Game

I'm working from home today around an appointment for severe dental work. Annoying but it means AFK mining in a hauler that can just sit there for hours. I run EVE on my laptop and plug it into the big TV. All day in the background is a gigantic hauler orbiting a rock.

After work, once the jaw ache and tooth ache and head ache have faded to manageable amounts, I start thinking about mining and refining. My skills in Refining have just gone up so there is a job I can no longer put off.

Here's how mining works from the perspective of a total noob. You fly out to an asteroid belt and hit rocks with lasers that give you so many cubic metres of ore a minute. The ore you get back is measured in units. Each different type of ore takes up a different amount of space. So you have to calculate what you can carry versus the price. It gets worse. You can refine ore at a station that provides that service. You get units of minerals back. These take up way less space than raw ore so at the moment I'm not interested in their volume, I'm interested in the amount I get back and what it is worth. Is it worth more than the raw ore? Why would it be? Well, the refining process is altered by the facilities you use, your own skills in refining, and your relationship with whoever owns the station. Bad refining skills mean more waste and the station takes a cut. Each different type of ore produces varying amounts of one or more types of mineral. So there may be good refiners out there buying up cheap ore, refining it with mind boggling efficiency and selling it on. I have rubbish skills in refining and already some quick calculations in my head are making it look good. It looks even better when you realise you cut down on hauling time.

With varying prices and lots of types of ore with their own mineral yields doing the calculations in my head is going to prove a pain. I've talked about EVE insulted as a spreadsheet game by someone who uses spreadsheets in other games. I'm about to do my first MMO spreadsheet. Following a suggestion from a work colleague I'm going to look at Google Docs as I haven't got round to doing so yet. Trying something new will make me feel better about using my spare time to write spreadsheets. My initial effort is linked below. It is simplistic but gets me to a better understanding. It doesn't take into account hauling time to the best priced location or contracting out that hauling when I could have used the time to mine more.

Ore calculations if sold at the best price in Essence. Transport not included. Refine at Caslemon

To have any hope of being accurate I'd have to plug it into some live prices and factor in hauling to market. I'd probably have to factor in hauling to dangerous markets. It is a start though and unless I've got the calculations wrong then I've been mining the wrong ore and in certain cases I should have been refining. Refining is only going to get better and the reduction in haulage is going to add to it. Time is money.

So it turns out it is a spreadsheet game, and I've been mining the wrong ore, and selling ore instead of refined minerals. Thank Geoff for spreadsheets! The best ore so far is one of the simplest. Why? Probably because it provides the mineral used in bulk for creating pretty much everything in the game.

EVE track of the day

For a Few Dollars More - Ennio Morricone


I've purchased three large storage containers that I can use to provide separate space for ore samples. Ore samples.... I ask you. I even went out and gathered them in a Navitas. I was the space equivalent of a geologist with a hammer. The containers store a stack of the minimum amount of each type of ore that you need to refine. Not only do the containers keep the ore samples apart from my usual stacks of stuff, they mean I can easily load the samples onto a ship and cart them to a new area. This will make it quicker to figure out local prices and refining amounts. Ore samples.... What the hell is this game?


  1. Two words for you. Station Containers.

    1. Got one in the end! Still amused by the fact that I can carry ore samples around in cans though. Can't do that with Station Containers.

    2. aye, and station containers are really annoying. they tend to grey out things you put in it, they can't be sold nor reprocessed, and if you want to get rid of one they cannot be repackaged for at least 3 weeks (in order for it to be 'trashed' or sold) - same as secure audit cans which are just as distasteful.
      so...three words for you. "general freight containers"

      I know what you're doing tho. I used to be able to make a "package" (plastic container) that was only as large as the volume you put in it, except CCP removed that functionality years ago (the old 'escrow' contract system)

  2. Have you figured out that the storage volume of your containers is larger than the volume they occupy in your ship? A 3000m^3 container can hold 3900m^3 of ore.

    1. Indeed. Alas by the time I figured it out I never seemed to need that amount of space again! I've got a hauler than can move 18K or so without it these days. If I ever need it I know I can go scoop up my old mining cans and use them for an extra 5500 m3, well as long as the stuff I am moving is small. They are bugger all use for shifting manufactured ships!