Saturday, 18 August 2012

Day 63 : World of Marketcraft

So it turns out there is a form of PVP I can get into with my current skill queue and still have as much success as the next guy. Market PVP. When I log in this morning I notice that sales are lower than yesterday, I’d expected the reverse as we crawl slowly toward the weekend. Checking the market reveals that I’ve been undercut instead. Someone else is in the same business that I am. It’s great for the customer, not so great for my wallet. So what can I do about it? Fly down there and alter the sell order, losing a tiny amount in broker fees and of course profit equal to the reduced price. Time is money though. I have Daytrading skills so I won’t have to fly to the order to alter it. Sale with profit is better than no sale, in a high volume market. If it was slow I could just sit around, wait for my competitor to sell out of stock that he probably wouldn't replace straight away and see if my stuff sold after that. I wouldn’t launch straight into undercutting.

Undercutting. Do I really want to go here again? I’ve been there in Warcraft where a lot of idiotic behaviour goes on in the Auction House. Undercutting wars were rampant. I once got into a cartel involving the sale of small robot pets because of it. I kid you not. Cartel. Small robot pets. I bet they’ll be worth a lot more in the Panda Pokemon expansion (my name, not theirs) coming up where apparently you’ll be able to duel the things. Anyway, as happens in Warcraft, one of the members got bored after an hour and undercut everyone else and we all went back to fighting over sales. Until I gave up and did something more interesting instead. Attention spans and patience aren’t attributes that a lot of Warcraft players remap for, including me.

Here in EVE it is different, I want cash, I've chosen the market, the other people in it aren’t daft. Market PVP may not sound thrilling. Think of it as combat stretched out into hour long gaps between exchanges of fire, where your skills are Daytrading, your target overview is the Sell Orders listing, and your ammo is pure ISK. It’s at least 100 ISK a shot. Don’t waste ‘em. Still sounds dull eh? I’m going to do it anyway. The temptation here is to undercut by as little as possible to secure sales. I could undercut by one ISK and maybe win the battle, though I imagine the battle might be a bit protracted, starting a back and forth of 1 ISK alterations. This strategy wouldn't win a war. If you are going to do something then do it, go for the war. Slash your profits and force the others out of the market then sell higher when they have gone. You don’t owe the other sellers anything, don’t be scared of annoying them.

I don’t have the stock to do this well enough at the moment but someone wakes up tomorrow with no sales and sees that my Buy Order isn’t there anymore. I’ve made profit. Less than I would have but enough to make it worth my while and send a message that I’ll be back. If they fire a salvo of their own then I have the time and materials to fight back again, unlike normal PVP. I am perfectly prepared to take it right down to the wire, where upon I will buy all their low price stock, clearing them out and relist it high while they make some more. Then I won’t even have to build the stuff myself. You can see me shaking my fist at the screen in defiance can’t you? Well I was, and remember this is over amounts of cash that most players would find down the back of their sofa.

A calmer Space Noob goes to work. I’ve dropped off the first batch of manufactured ammo and put it up for sale. We’ll see how it goes. EVEMon is going to entertain me all day hopefully, listing all the sales. I wait and it does. People are shooting a lot of things down there and running out of ammo. I knew they would. It's what I did. This is the best lesson in picking your first market. When was the last time you went somewhere and ran out of something, or forgot something, you needed and it wasn’t on the market, or wasn't on the market for a decent price? Use personal experience to pick your market. You won't have been the only one. Unless you are me who once turned up to mission having failed to fit any guns at all. Do not drink alcohol, listen to cricket on the radio, write blog posts and then suddenly switch from distribution missions to security ones. That’s all I’m saying. Don’t drink and fly might be more succinct.

I end up selling out of ammo during the day. Shame I didn’t have more stock but even so - result! That and the latest piece of fiction on Sand Cider and Spaceships ( keep me going during what is a very annoying Friday at work. Honestly, go read that story. It’ll take you five minutes and it is more entertaining than me jumping up and down about making pocket change. The blogosphere for EVE alone seems to be more entertaining than the rest of the blogosphere. I might have a rather bias opinion.

Selling the ammo is going to make for an interesting conversation when I phone the parents for a catch up. Outside EVE it has been a slow week.

Parents > so son, what did you get up to this week?
Me  > Well I made 100,000 rounds of.... er, I made some, hmmm, then I sold.....
Parents > ?
Me > I made and sold one hundred thousand rounds of ammo. I’m a gun runner but it’s not what you think.

Maybe not. Instead I glory in the end of the working week and the arrival of the weekend which I fully intend to “waste” on the serious business of Internet Spaceships. I set up various bits and bobs, experiment with some fittings, and go zooming around the home system. I'm glorying in the free time, rolling around in it like a 
mischievous dog in a particularly appealing cow pat. Since time is money it has about the same level of achievement. Along the way I pay attention to something I've been seeing for a while. Whenever I'm mining and using the directional scanner, “Dscan”, I keep noticing named stuff I haven’t seen before on the scan result. I think these are POS - Player Owned Structures. Have people built their own stations in high security space? Why? More importantly, what do they do to nosey visitors? Will I rile the neighbours? I’m going to try and have a look this weekend. They say “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. They also say “curiosity killed the cat”. My Cat’ has an afterburner and eight guns strapped onto it. We’ll see how that goes. For now it is time to put my feet up, watch a film, and drink some lager.

Lastly  : "to those in the know - 104". Conspiracy theorists, that’s your cue.


  1. Folk build POSes in highsec primarily for one thing - research.

    Approach at your own risk. Many POSes have sufficient automated defences to scram you, web you, jam you, and kill you. Many don't. Best to warp to 100 (or even better, warp to 10 in a cloaky, if you have/can fly one).

    1. POS in high-sec are safe to approach, they can't be set to attack automatically. Outside of high-sec pretty much all POS will be set to agressive though...

  2. If marketing becomes very important to you, I suggest you create a market alt in one of the open spaces on your account. Use the skill remap, some +2 implants, and the accelerated training time to train those important trade skills that reduce taxes and fees and increase open orders. Leave that alt in the starter NPC corp.
    The reasons for this are simple: if you engage in market pvp on your main character, you may find that you draw a lot of negative attention. Thats not something you want to put up with when preventing it is fairly easy.

  3. "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." -Marthe Troly-Curtin