Basics chart analysis 2/3

The donchian channel
The donchian channel was named after his inventor, the economist Richard Davoud Donchian, who first named such a channel in the article “High finance in Copper” in the “Financial Analyst Journal”.

At this point, I will just cite wikipedia, as the explanation is quite good:

“[The donchian channel] is formed by taking the highest high and the lowest low of the last n periods. The area between the high and the low is the channel for the period chosen. […] If a [good] trades above its highest n periods high, then a long is established. If it trades below its lowest n periods low, then a short is established.”

(For everyone who is not accustomed to the terminology: you can read “going short” as “selling” and “long” for “buying”, then it should make a bit more sense.)

Transfered to EVE, this means if we connect the highest prices and the lowest prices of the last 100 days, we will create an area which is called the “donchian channel”. Easy, right?

Right now, the donchian channel is shown as a grey area – I highlighted it a bit on the right side… dont judge my paint-skills, please

Now we have the donchian channel and the question is, how we can use it in our decision-process in regard on how, when and what we trade.

First it is important to say, that the donchian channel is an indicator for the stability of the price of a good. In EVE as well as in reality, this means that a “small” donchian channel is a sign of a more stable good, while a “wide” donchian channel means that the price of the good is way more volatile, the prices have a higher fluctuating. If you e.g. are more into stationtrading, a wider donchian channel is a bit more primissing, as there may be a higher spread between buying and selling, meaning that your profit from pure arbitrage-trading is better. But for this, it would be better to use the “minimum/maximum”, as the donchian channel in EVE is not real-time but delayed by 5 days. If it reaches a new high/low, it uses the actual number, otherwise it will only change if 5 days pass.

In the case of EVE, I need to say that the analysis of the donchian channel comes to a kind of an end. While it is still in use in real life (I wont dive into the discussion if this is adviseable or not) for the analysis of trends or for the exact point in time, when to leave or enter the market. Basically, it is used like this:

  • buy, if the moving average (5 or 20 day is a case-to-case – decision) reaches the top of the donchian channel and
  • sell, if the graph reaches the bottom

This sounds a bit strange at first: buying when the graph reaches an high and selling if it reaches a low. But we need to take into account that the donchian channel is there to measure trends. “Trend” means that the price is rising of falling over a period of time and we use this information to sell our product in the future at a higher price than we bought it for. It is a classical investment, which means buying –> holding –> selling and not an arbitrage activity, which utilize more the difference of price at the same time, like we do in the classical stationtrading.

But EVE is still a game and the margins as well as the volatility of the goods we trade with are rarely shown in real markets (highly speculative exceptions aside) in the amount and time. Every patch, every change in the meta influences a good and can either let it skyrocket or fall down like a stone. Of course, this can also happen in reality, but here the conditions are fundamentally different. A market in real life can go down as a whole (last seen in the financial crisis 2007/2008), as there are many complex interdependencies and connections (state politics, securities, mentality, regulations on a local as well as on a international level etc.) between all participants on the market. In EVE, there is no such event as all markets going south as a whole, but only single products or at most a couple of groups of products, as the connections between these products are more known, less influenced by these interdependencies and most of all: known to everybody. As long as you have no stockpile, ridiculus amounts of a good or a monopoly (like the CFC did with technetium some years ago), it is hard for you to influence something in the long run. One way would be of course manipulation of the crowd via e.g. faking a news from CCP on twitter, but this falls more on the section of scamming and does not require analysis of financial tools like the ones we talk about here.

Anyway, I start to digress. Investment in EVE is also working different from investments in RL in the first place. While in RL you rely on instruments like the donchian channel and in some cases advisory from e.g. scientists who are working in this field, this role is mainly distributed to patches and their conclusions. One example for this is Salvage. Compared to the price of last year, the prices of salvage went bonkers and will most likely rise up even more in the future. The reason is simply logic. Because CCP has announced to remove the POS-system a long time ago. Producing then is only possible on Citadels and Engineering Complexes. But Citadels and Complexes need Rigs, just like a ship. And Rigs need a huge amount of salvage – the bigger they are, the more salvage they need. There is no need for a donchian channel to know that the prices for salvage will rise up a bit more during this year and even more when the point in time when POSes will be obsolete is finaly public. Same goes for Meta-4-Items and any POS-Module which is unprofitable to produce right now, as the payment CCP gives out for these modules might be oriented on the resources needed to build them.

Basics chart analysis 1/3

As I had a very positive feedback on the german version of this post, I thought about translating, updating and expanding the part on chart analysis in EVE. The first two parts I will simply elaborate the informations that are available ingame, their usage and some history. In the third part, you will find some techniques I use / used with third party – tools and excel.

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EVE is also called “Excel in space”. The reason for that is obvious, because you encounter tables in every single aspect in the game, be it mining, trading, production, PvE or PvP. A newbro rarely gets a grasp on these tables or what they might tell him – it needs a bit of learning and thinking about what he has on the screen, after which he can use this information.

Getting informations from the graph ingame itself is not always easy, but concluding the correct informations is even harder and most the time a bit of an issue of instinct, which comes with time and experience. At first some words on the graphs itself: it shows the market data of one year of the most famous item of EVE: the PLEX or the “pilot licence” for capsuleers. Recently, this item suffered from a spike upwards, as… well, there are many theories and countertheories out there – it is up to you, which one you believe.

 

This graph however contains several informations: the traded volume per day, the moving average in 5 & 20 days, the median day price and the donchian channel.

1.) Volume traded
The amount of units traded every day is shown at the bottom of the diagram. This information alone is of little use, as it alone can only be an indicator of a stronger or weaker demand and therefore rising or sinking prices. For a more distinguished picture, we need to take into account one more information which is not shown in the diagram, but in the table alone: the amount of orders under the “table”-view of the diagram.

You can – in theory – get the amount of orders (which is a bit misleading, as it is more the “amount of transactions done today” and not “amount of orders currently on the market”) and calculate an “average amount of items sold/bought per order”. I said “in theory”, because this number is only of little use, as long as you do not get data dumps every hour or so. If you do this, it might be possible to locate regular rush-hours for this specific product.

2.) Moving average
The moving average is nothing more than the information about the unweighted mean over the last 5 (blue) and 20 days (orange). This means, that the price of all orders of the last 5 or 20 days will be added up and then divided by 5 or 20 – simple and easy, just as we all (hopefully) learned in school. This means, that the orange line with the mean of the 20 days will react way slower to changes in price than its counterpart. The picture shows this pretty good: the blue line always reacts faster than the orange one. If both of these graphs rise up, it can mean 2 things: that the demand is higher than usual or that the supply is lower than usual. Which one of these situations is correct does not really matter in EVE, but the consequence is the same. Either you start to produce the good now, speculate the on that the price is rising even further or do whatever you like to do with this information.

3.) Median day price
The median day price is a simple information, but other than the concept of the moving average, the foundation of the median is not always taught in every school. And also we need to keep in mind that not everyone in EVE attended school recently or is working with mathematical formulas in his everyday life. In our diagram, the median day price is shown as small orange dots which are not connected with each other. 

Anyways, the median day price is easily explained with a simple example. So let´s imagine that I have 7 Kestrels (a small caldari frigate) and sell one of them each day of the week at the following prices:
Monday: 1 million
Tuesday: 2 million
Wednesday: 3 million
Thursday: 2.5 million
Friday: 1.5 million
Saturday: 1 million
Sunday: 170 million (as a customer accidently forgot the komma)

While the average take the sum of all these sales divided by the amount of the results, the median is somewhat of the “middle” of all sorted transactions. The average price would be totally messed up by the one las tlucky transaction, meaning that we sold our Kestrel for an average price of (1+2+3+2,5+1,5+1+170)/7 = 25,86 million ISK. Obviously, this information is not useable.

You will see that the median on the other hand is quite robust against such exceptions. To see this, we need to sort the amount of data, beginning with the smallest number: 1, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 170. The median is the exact center of this numerical sequence: 1, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3.0, 17. So this means that the median of the same data is far more realistic than the average of about 25 million. Thats the way the median price works – but not on a weekly basis but on a daily one. It is easy to say that the median day price is one of the most hardest one to significantly manipulate as a single player.

The last two informations “donchian channel” and “min/max” will be the toppics of the next entry.
Fly dangerous o7.

What is ‘spacerich’?

Behold: you will see a huge amount of uneducated philosophy, wrong assumptions and borderline stupid conclusions. It is more to entertain and to casually elaborate, if the average capsuleer can consider himself rich. It is also just a blogpost about EVE Online, not an in-depth analysis of an economy or something like that.

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A question which comes to the mind of many capsuleers at some point of playing EVE: “am I spacerich?”. Right now, we live in times in which dreadnoughts, carriers and FAX are thrown into each others faces fight like frigates into a fw-complex. So is it normal for the average player to have 4 alts ready to camp in a Moros, just in case someone with only 2 working brain cells travels his shitfit-titan through a gate? Are you normal, if you pay your main via hard earned reallife money, even if you are playing this game for 10 years?

Well, the most likely answer to the second question is “no”. But the answer to “am I spacerich” in general is quite complicated. In RL, some consider a certain amount of net worth (e.g. 1.000.000 €/$/₤) as the border, others go quite a bit higher than that and multiply this number by a double-digit factor. And I feel already quite rich, when I still have a positive bank account at the end of the month, because student life without rich parents, only a small allowance from the german state and the nonexisting cash from a not yet founded startup.

So you see, it is also a quite personal question, when you are “rich”. The same principle applies to EVE – a smallscale pilot which only flies frigattes in fw-plexes will consider himself rich, when he can afford to fly his frigattes without a big need of gathering ISK. A miner who mines 12 hours a day is happy, when he… well, when he can mine.

This is the reason why we fist need to simplify the possible answer to this question. So lets take a relative approach. Lets take germany as an example: if you have a single net income of around 3.700€, you belong to the top 5% group of income. While in the USA you need almost 7.000$ on average to reach this position. I will not dive into a deeper analysis regarding currency exchange, purchasing power parity, taxes, additional costs like health insurance etc., as this could fill books and this is not an blog about economics. But it is safe to assume that with this money you are able to afford a house, two cars, a good lifestyle, holidays abroad one to two times a year, college for your kids and a retirement fund which does not let you chose between beein suffocated by your nurse or starving to death in a run down retirement home. So yes, I would say this is rich in comparism to what the other 95% have (even tough many people say “no, I am middle class” with this amount of money…).

Also there is a graph in EVE which offers data to this discussion. So lets just take this 5%, transfer it to EVE and assume that the top 5% of players represent the “spacerich”-group. Yes I know – beeing rich is subjective. Yes I know – corporate assets are excluded. But this debate will never end, if we include all of these factors, because we cannot know all factors (hell, I guess even CCP will not know all of this), let aside including it. And as the income distribution in the USA and in EVE is quite similar, we will go with this assumption. Deal with it.

wealth distribution USA (source)

official distribution of wealth among the players in EVE (source)

According to this graph, 80% of players in EVE own 10,5% of all liquid wealth. In the USA, the same ratio owns only 7%. So EVE is a bit more balanced regarding income equality than the USA. Just let that sink in: the most nerdy spaceship-game of all time, advertised with the argument that you can rob, kill, betray, lie and backstab as much as you want, has a more equal wealth distribution than good ol’ murica. Land of the free, land of the poor, land of the pathetic orange presi…

Sorry, I digressed

… and thats why I became my own grandfather by marrying my dead stepsister.

Anyways, back to toppic: now we do have an rough estimation on how much ISK is in the wallets of the characters and how it is distributed among the playerbase. And yet again: dont take these numbers for granted. First: the data is around half a year old. Second: corporation assets and non liquid assets (aka items, ships, modules, ammo etc.) is not taken into account. It is purely an estimation on how much ISK is lying on the wallet. So no, your blinged-out dreadnought-fleet with officer-invuls is not accounted.

Now we need an estimation on how many players are actually playing this game. The last official numbers from CCP stated, that EVE did breach 500.000 subscriptions in 2013. Problem is, that this number included the chinese subscriptions. And as we are right now in the middle of 2017, this number is also heavily outdated. So it might be a bad idea to blindly assume this number. There is a good analysis to this number from 2015, which puts the number closer to 350.000 players on Sisi.

Again, we not realy have precise and up-to-date informations and need to rely on estimations. So lets be a bit conservative about this and give it a go with 300.000. But we also cannot blindly take this number and go for it – we need to at least consider the fact, that many capsuleers have more than one account. So lets divide this number by the confirmed median of 1,5 alts per player and ignore the fact that many players with much ISK most likely has way more characters than the spacepoor newbie who started playing EVE last month (hell, I have 10 paid accounts…). Now we are around the mark of 200.000 players. Just let us stay with this number, as we can discuss this issue over hours.

The final calculation would be something like that:
773.780.587.844.708 ISK * 65,91% / 200.000 players * 5% = 50.999.878.545 ISK per player

So one could say that if you are borderlining 51 billion ISK on your wallet, you are part of the top 5% of EVE players in respect of pure ISK alone.

Yes, without corporate assets, characters and items. Yes, with skewed assumptions which might be or are indeed completely false, e.g. because this number is just the average amount of ISK a player in the top 5% owns. Because of this alone, you can safely say, that you need even less ISK to be considered part of the top 5%. Me personaly, I would say that this number is more around the mark of 10 to 15 billion ISK.

But after all: this is just an estimation. EVE is not about becoming rich on a virtual currency, which cannot pay your bills – it is about having fun. Because it is a game. If you are content flying Merlins and Caracals in FW, this is fine. If you are happy hauling in highsec with a freighter: this is fine. If you like to mine, it is the same for your accountant in RL: thank you for your service, someone needs to do (and like) this boring stuff. Dont chase the dream of beeing rich because “rich = good”. Most of us run this hamster wheel our whole life, it does not need to be that way in this lovely game we all like to play. Even tough it is considerably more easy in EVE to let the wheel running by itself.

 

Tl;dr: if you have more than 15-20 billion ISK in the year 2017, you can consider yourself borderline spacerich in respect of your wallet. This number is flawed and most likely wrong. Now go and do something you like in EVE.

SP-Farms and why they will stay profitable 3/3

Finaly the last part of this series. Now it is more about historic data, some basics and how it looked in 2016. In theory, you may add additional costs like broker-fees, but I decided to cut this part due to clearness.

The more expensive the PLEX, the less profitable the SP-farms – they will just become unprofitable!

This criticism is partly valid, as a not profitable SP-farm is still justifiable. Reason is that the chars which need a omega-status regardless of the profitability of SP-farms will still get cheaper – if I can run a cloaky camper for 500 millions instead of 1 billion, it makes sense to do it.

But all in all, 65% of all players still use only one account. Yes, this data is a bit outdated, but according to CCP_Quandt, they are relatively stable around 1,5 accounts per player, so I personaly have no reason to assume it changed drastically.

Now to the math:
The earnings of SP-farms are based on the different prices between injectors and extractors as well as the ratio between this difference and the price of PLEX. At the time I translate this post, we are talking about the following numbers:

PLEX: ~1.250.000.000 ISK
Extractors: ~290.000.000 ISK
Injectors: ~695.000.000 ISK
Delta: ~395.000.000 ISK

One character can fill 3,88 injectors per month.

To get break even under these circumstances, the profit of these 3,88 injectors need to match the price of one PLEX. Which brings us to the following equation:

y

Y is the amount of ISK the difference needs to match to break even.

x

X is the absolute difference between injector and extractor

resultat

“Gewinn” = profit, “Verlust” = loss – yes, I am indeed too lazy to make a new picture

Now we could say that there are 3 scenarios, which would imply a negative profit (aka “loss”):

a) PLEX rise
b) extractors rise
c) injectors fall

However, PLEX and extractors share the same foundation of their worth, as they are both able to be acquired by real money. So if PLEX rise, the extractors will do the same. At the first glimpe, this might be not optimal, as two negative factors in this equation follow a rising tendency.

So can we say, that it will sort itself soon? Will SP farming alts die out? Does this business make any sense at all?

Well, lets look at some actual numbers and put them into a shiny graph (damn excel, you are sexy):

Data from jita avg prices, the rest consists of calculations of fomulas which you can find above

All in all, since the introduction of extractors the profit of an SP-farm (including PLEX) we only saw 3 days of negative productivity and only 16 days of low profit of <100 million ISK. Indeed was the profit above 300 million in ~73% of the days in the last year (yes, the ratio even rose up from ~66% to ~73%):

<0 <100 Mio 100-200 Mio 200-300 Mio 300-400 Mio 400-500 Mio 500-600 Mio 600-700 Mio 700-800 Mio
3 (/) 12 (-4) 55 (-8) 26 (-14) 68 (+29) 79 (-5) 59 (-1) 55 (+3) 9 (/)

In the long run, I expected a negative trend to manifest itself in repsect of the profit, but I need to reverse this expectation. I think that it will settle around 350 million ISK in profit per character, even though the average even rose from 395 million to 408 million ISK in between the time I wrote the original post in german and this translation.

SP-Farms and why they will stay profitable 2/3

But via alpha-clones it is possible to create SP-farms! Everybody can do it and the market will collapse, as soon as they are finished!

Well… in theory.
The reality looks different, if you ask me. Because if we look at the limitations of alpha-clones & what they mean for the players:

  • they skill half as fast than omega clones
    this alone doubles the skilltime from 2.8 months to 5.6 months
  • restricted skills & implants
    Cybernetics V is not a skill which can be skilled on a alpha-clone. So 5.6 months will grow to whoping 7 months, as there are only +3-implants possible
  • alpha-clones cannot skill focussed on max. SP/h
    as the skills are spread out on every field possible – lets just say +1 month on top, just for simplicity
  • skillqueue is restricted on 24h
    Meaning that you need to log in at least every 2-3 days to refresh the queue (no, it is not possible to bypass)
  • In the end, there is still a PLEX needed
    It is not possible to skill the alpha clone to the necessary amount of 5.5 million SP for the extractor, there is a need for at least one PLEX, meaning that SP-farms skilled this way will amortise itself after 3 months minimum. After this, although it is in theory possible to extract alpha-skills, but there is no way to bypass the need of one PLEX.
  • It is only possible to log on one Alpha-clone at the same time
    Have fun logging in, adjusting skills, logging out, logging in, adjusting skills, logging out… starting accounts in bulk is not possible, so this tedious routine is not possible to bypass.

So everybody who created 100 alpha-clones, has many things to do. Over months. And at the end, every alpha still needs a PLEX. The investment per character might be dropped from 3,5 billion to 1,1 billion, but in return there is the need of continuous attention. Over months, every day. And this amount of time does scale linear, meaning that with one minute per character & 100 characters this continous attention equals more than one and a half hours of attention per session.

So lets say that this is needed every two days for 8 months we end up with a workload of: 8 months * 30 days / 2 *1,5 hours = 180 hours over 8 months. During this 8 months, there is no profit whatsoever in doing this. 4.5 weeks of workforce, 1.125 monthly earnings. Even if you can do it in half this time, it might be more profitable to work some overtime at your everyday job and buing PLEX than doing this.

To be honest: if there are 50 players in whole EVE to face this madness (which is quite a high number, if you ask me) and sustain it to the very end, there will be 5,000 SP-Farms. They will get 3.88 injectors per month, so around 20,000 injectors all in all. There are around 6,000 injectors traded every day in Jita. Assuming that the ration between buy/sell in this market is around 50/50, these 5,000 characters will create around 6 days of the monthly demand in Jita. So even if this number is correct, the influence in the market is not so devastating as it seems.

My opinion: if someone realy goes through these efforts to create a cheaper SP-farm, then he deserved it, as long as it is not achieved via a bot. For a bot on the other side are more profitable options (like e.g. ratting in nullspace), which pay itself way faster.

And the other way around?
Another perspective would be, that not few players create many alphas but many players create few alphas to create a small farm.

The same situation: a single alpha still needs 8 months of nearly daily attention. And also a PLEX in the end, which will itself pays off months later.

So in theory, every player who:
a) cannot or does not want to spend a PLEX on this
b) has not the endurance to keep 8 months of continous attention to the characters
will not go this way.

So same result: the amount of players who build SP-farms via alphas is few, if any. So the influence of alphas on the market from this direction is also not so much existent. Whoever does it has my deepest respect, really – not everyone can do something like this for 8 months, if it hast nothing to do with the thing they do in EVE normaly (like flying spaceships, shooting red symbols, shooting other players, scamming them ect…).

But if I pay for a month of omega, fill it with alpha-skills at the end and…
All skills which start later than the imposed queue-restriction of 24 hours will be deleted. So forget “I can circumvent this restriction”, CCP is not as half as stupid as we think (at least sometimes, I guess). 😛

So who is building SP-farms, if it is only reasonable to do it via omega-clones?
Well, for everyone who is paying multiple accounts anyways, where more SP is not needed anyways and where these characters exceed 5.5 million SP:

  • producers
  • multiboxing miners
  • Supercap-Sitter
  • Hauler-Chars
  • slightly richer players with less time on their hands and the need for a continous flow of ISK (kinda my reason for doing this)

I am missing several kinds of players, for sure.

Salvage, Citadels und Engineering Complexes

Wer den Markt für Salvage (also dem Kram, was man mit einem Salvager aus normalen Schiffswracks bekommt) beobachtet, der wird in den letzten Monaten einen bedeutenden Anstieg vieler Salvagegüter festgestellt haben – vor einem Jahr wurden Broken Drone Tranceiver noch für 600 ISK das Stück gehandelt, heute streuen sich die Preise zwischen 31.000 ISK (Buyorder) und 39.000 (Sellorder) ISK. Der Preis hat sich also um mehr das 50-fache gesteigert, selbst wenn man sein Zeug “nur” in die Buyorder reinprügelt!

salvage

Natürlich ist nicht jedes Salvage so durch die Decke gegangen. Manche haben ihren Wert behalten, andere sind im Wert sogar leicht gesunken.

Für diese Preisexplosion gibt es mehrere Gründe:

a) Citadels
Damit Citadels funktionieren, brauchen sie ähnlich wie ein Schiff Module. Und auch Rigs. Und woraus werden Rigs gemacht? Natürlich: aus Salvage.

Nun gibt es Citadels allerdings auch schon eine ganze Weile, ganz neu ist der Mehrbedarf an Citadel-Rigs also nicht. Was aber neu ist und für den gravierenden Spike ab November hauptsächlich verantwortlich ist, ist der nächste Punkt.

b) Engineering Complexes
Die neuen Complexes funktionieren ähnlich wie kleine Citadels, geben anders als Citadels aber Boni auf Produktion / Invention / Kopieren etc. und sollen auf absehbare Zeit die POS ablösen.

Jeder, der schon einmal eine POS aufgebaut hat, wird sich denken: “Wohoo, eine Alternative zur POS-Produktion – endlich etwas Abwechslung, endlich kein herumfummeln mit der POS mehr, endlich etwas Entspannung, Zentralisierung und… moment, wo ist der Haken?”.

Der Haken ist folgender: der kleinste Complex ist mit 3 laufenden Services teurer im Unterhalt als eine große POS und die Möglichkeiten eines Complexes im Bezug auf seine effektive Variabilität sind auf die installierten Rigs beschränkt. Und “mal eben” die Rigs entfernen ist teuer. Von daher dürfte die Menge der Produzenten, die derzeit an Complexes produzieren und nicht an der POS, sehr eingeschränkt sein. Sobald aber das POS-System aus dem Spiel genommen wird, braucht jeder Produzent mindestens einen Engineering Complex. Wenn er breit aufgestellt ist, sogar mehrere. Die brauchen alle Rigs.

Und nun müssen wir uns vor Augen führen, dass auch unter Produzenten die Anzahl der unbelesenen Spieler eher überwiegt, wird die Mehrzahl dieser Spieler irgendwann eher merken: “Ups, die POS funktioniert ja gar nicht mehr.”. Ähnlich lief es Ende 2011 mit der Umstellung des POS-Treibstoffs auf Fuel Blocks – überall waren offline-POSes zu finden, weil die Besitzer den Patch verpennt hatten. Also werden besagte Spieler dann hektisch nach einer Alternative suchen und darauf kommen, dass Engineering Complexes der neue Shit sind. Und was brauchen die neben den Complexes selber? Richtig: die passenden Rigs.

Folglich würde sicherlich nicht nur ich sagen, dass Salvage eine recht sichere Anlage für die nächsten Monate ist. Nicht nur im Anbetracht, dass CCP gesagt hat dass sie das POS-System abschaffen wollen sondern dass sie dies beabsichtigt haben sobald eine Alternative zum bestehenden System im Spiel ist. Dies ist der Fall, weswegen es meine steile These ist, dass wir uns derzeit in einer Art “Zwischenphase” befinden, in der beide Systeme nur deswegen nebeneinander existieren, weil man noch am Engineering Complex – System arbeitet.

Die zentrale Frage ist also nun, wann genau man seine Investitionen im Salvage zusätzlich zu dickem Profit zurück erhält. Diese Frage kann wohl nur CCP beantworten, aber meine rein subjektive Schätzung ohne jede Ahnung von CCP-Interna ist der Zeitraum vom Ende Juni / Anfang August.

Spätestens mit der Ankündigung zu diesem Schritt könnte der Salvage-Markt noch einmal einen starken Schwung nach oben nehmen.

 

Nur meine Meinung – sehen wir mal, ob es sich bewahrheitet. 🙂

SP-Farms and why they will stay profitable 1/3

Around half a year ago, I thought that my impetuous “change” to making ISK via SP-farming would not be profitable in the long run. At least at the end of the year 2016, the margins would be too low, so I thought. To be honest, I was never thinking of this quite disastrous possibility, while I was setting up the whole thing in this late night in the chinese dorms.

But now, I am pretty sure that it will stay quite profitable in the long run. Because this way of making ISK will only be lucrative for players who will be willing to invest the following things per character:

  1. ~3-3.5 billion ISK for setting it up
    A SP-farm needs around 2.8 months (5,500,000 SP / (2,700 SP/h * 24h * 30 days) = 2.82 months) to reach the minimum SP to use a extractor. During this time, there will be absolutely no profit from him being a SP-farm. It will be only profitable, when used for mining / PI / producing / whatever. You will also of course never get it back via extractors. In theory, these costs are not lost completely, as you always can sell these chars on the bazaar, but still – these ISK are lost until then, nevertheless. In reality, it is also not only 2.82 months of training, as Cybernetics V needs 2 weeks of time and is not possible to train it at 2,700 SP per hour. On the other hand, a new character is also not starting at 0 SP but with around 400k. So it balances itself out quite well.
  2. +5 – implants
    SP-farms without implants are far away from useless, but also far less profitable. We are talking about 25% less profit when using +3-implants instead of using +5. But they are also quite expensive in comparism – 200 million ISK for at least 2 implants.
  3. at least 10-13 months of active playing
    The investment above is amortising itself only after 8-10 months of active SP-farming, if we assume an average profit of 350-400 million ISK per month. Adding the 2.82 months of skilling the character, we speak of about 10-13 months until the farm pays off. And nobody knows, how the price for PLEX will develop even in the next two months – it can easily rise up to 14 months or more, if plex will rise again to 1.2 billion and the delta between injectors & extractors might not move accordingly.

Hey, Cthon – sorry to pop your dreams, but 3.5 billion ISK is easily farmed for an active playing, skilled player
True, skilled players are easily able to create a couple hundred millions of ISK in a short time with simple PVE-activities. But lets consider the normal case: a casual missionrunner, who makes about 100 million ISK per hour. He still needs about 30-35 hours of active gameplay to build a single sp-farm, which maybe pays only after about a year. So my guess would be that this group of players is less predestined to build a large amount of SP-Chars – it is a bit risky, the profits are not immediate and more important: there is absolutely no fun included. In my opinion most of these players simply do not consider the possibility of building a SP-farm, as it has absolutely nothing to do with their active way of playing EVE.

How about traders?
An active trader is able to make way more profit with 3.5 billion ISK during 10-13 months and he is also more flexible with the money itself while doing so. So it would be a comparism between short/medium-term investment a trader would most likely do and the long-term investment a SP-farm represents. A pure trader therefore is less likely to spend his ISK in a SP-farm, as long as there is a more lucrative way of investing (which is existing right now in the form of salvage – more on this toppic later on, as I still need to translate it).

Aren’t you a trader & producer yourself? Why do YOU do it then?
Me personaly, I gravely started to hate these self-imposed obligations I tend to create within the games I play. Even though I realy love tables, calculating and optimizing, I absolutely hate setting up a couple of dozen contracts for redfrog. I even hate just hauling stuff from station to POS to the bone, after doing it for hours and hours on a daily base. On top of this, an optimized production program also dictates the time schedule of my real life to a certain degree, as there is no point in optimizing it if I would not do so. So the life of a producer and my sometimes obsessive behaviour in this matter is colliding.
That’s the reason why SP-farming is so perfect for me: 1-2 hours per month is enough to keep it going without any strong obligations.

How about Producer?
I think that most injectors currently listed are indeed generated via this or similar sources, as producers have a defined cap on their SP, where they can produce without any problem – any SP after this is a lost SP for this character. So these chars can easily transformed into SP-farms, true. BUT: each producer has a cap of chars he/she is able/willing to keep running. If a producer has 4 characters, he still would need to set up additional characters he needs to take care of, just for SP-farming. They also need excess ISK to build them in the first place. And like the rich PvElers: they have no fun doing it and it has nothing to do with their main profession. So the motivation of setting up a huge amount of SP-farms is simply not there.

On the next article: alpha-clones and how they affect SP-farms.