Sunday, August 2, 2015

PI Google Doc more robust

I have made my PI spreadsheet on google docs more robust.

For those that don't know, I have a google doc spreadsheet that lists the buy and sell prices for PI (planetary interaction) mats at different trade hubs, and also list what is profitable to manufacture on planet based on those prices.  The manufacture profitability is split up in several scenarios: Import all, import some + extract some, or extract all.

Google docs don't like pulling lots of data from eve central (or even crest) on a regular basis.  It works (mostly) ok for the spreadsheet owner, but not so well for other users.  I also have a 'force refresh' option by changing a 'cachebuster' parameter, to insist that I get new prices.

The fix is that I now have 3 'pricing' tabs:
  • Central : grab the prices from eve central.  This is up to date when it works, and broken otherwise.
  • Snapshot: Every so often, I will copy the data from the Central tab to static data on the Snapshot tab
  • Main (first tab): If 'Central' is working, use that data, if not use then use the Snapshot tab
As an end user, you will know whether you are using 'live' (ish) data or how old the snapshot is from the top left corner on the 'Main' tab.

If it is still broken for you, please leave a comment preferably with links to screenshots showing your errors.  If it is working I will already know by the growing number of users keeping the google doc open.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Returning to Eve Special

For the record, it is my teenage son that is returning to Eve. 

When signing him back up again, we were presented with the above offers:
  • 1 Month for $9.99
  • 1 Plex for $17.49 
  • 2 Plex for $29.99
I do not know who else it would be valid for, or what the criteria are, but thought it might be of some value to some 'extended AFK' pilots.

I have been quiet on the blog due to a mix of working on my crest market downloader, which is now satisfactory if not complete, and increased 9-5 duties spilling over to Eve time).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fighting with markets (and software)

Despite being moderatly quiet on the blog, I am still busy in Eve.

My current project that I don't understand anywhere near well enough is how to use the Crest API, for pulling market information.

What I used to do.

I had previously used google docs and eve central's API, but google docs are flaky on something as small as my PI spreadsheet, and is unworkable for a full market listing.

What I am currently doing.

I use Steve's python based crest downloader to pull down all buy and sell orders for a region ( ). I have some success, but what works reliably for him in pulling down an entire region of market orders in 15 minutes, takes 4 hours for me and only works 1/3 or the time.

I also pull down my current asset list and market orders using jeveassets, peeking into both corp and personal assets.  Despite having my own division in the corps that I am currently in, I have to filter out 'others' assets from my own. (using sql per below)

While I am no wizard at either Perl or Java, I am very good at SQL.  So I upload these 2 data sets and put them into a MariaDB instance (MySQL fork/clone - but much less hassle to download)

Knowing how to map item ids to names, groups, categories and meta levels is useful.  For that I use Steve's SDE dump, and as MariaDB/MySQL is my preferred database, works well (other databases and versions in the same folder).

With all of this, a final SQL script can show me, by whatever market group I want to filter on, what my current stock counts are, and what is currently on market, the local price (if any), the jita price, my markup.

When this comes together, it works well.  When it doesn't it is a pain.


Evernus is a reasonable alternative for some of this functionality and I have looked at it.  It is not enough.

I cant work out how to make it show me all the skillbooks missing off the local market, then swap to look at either T1 or T2 ammo, then flit to the next part of the market I am interested in.  I have  2 tycoon and 1 wholesale level pilots, but there are 400 different skillbooks alone, and I have less than 700 market slots. If I was better at working out what was needed, I could probably make sure that was there, but have little chance of stocking everything wanted.

I got mildly excited by seeing Evernus Alliance Market ( ).  It looks to be a good group logistics tool, and despite being written for a Linux environment, with a bit of fiddling, got it installed on a windows instance (there are a couple of evernus 'bug reports' with tips that I found useful ).  But .. it too didnt have the functionality I needed, much of which is in Evernus (including a quick crest sales/buy orders download).

The future

I am (mostly) enjoying the challenges of doing nullsec trading, but I want better tools.  Evernus is an open source software package, and I am in the process of downloading it plus the tools required to enhance it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Supply and Demand in Nullsec

In Eve, if you can not find what you want at a price that you are willing to pay for it, buy 3 of them at a trade hub.  Use 1 and put the other 2 on market for other people to buy, at the price you think it should be sold for.

When I first started Eve, I was very intrigued as to how to run a market in isolated space.  I have run a PI buying program in wormholes for a long time, and have more recently been seeding a nullsec outpost.

Recently I received an interesting juxtaposition of emails in the nullsec hub that I am seeding.

Email #1

SOV is changing and shit may hit the fan, If you got stuff in <nullsec> you don't want lost get it out now while you can. If you plan on not being around you may want to send you stuff to <highsec> while you can. Hope no one has to firesale there eve life.

Email #2
Someone is playing games in <nullsec> market and has bought up and relisted cruiser hulls to double their value.
If you need ships, there are builders that would love the business, don't get caught paying rediculous prices. Let them rot on contracts so that the numbskull who relisted them loses money.
Thank you, have a profitable day!

Details of systems have been obscured and who sent these emails are not included.  Spelling error are (for once) not mine.  For those that really want to know where I am in game, it's not hard to find out.

I had just manufactured several cruiser hulls and listed them on the market ... for double Jita price.

My market strategy is OK, but not brilliant:
  • Find a T1 item not on market.
  • Find a blueprint for that item (a while ago I went on an aimless BPO research spree that I am now tapping into, and supplementing with imported BP's)
  • Buy raw mats locally
  • Build it
  • Sell it
Sometimes, it is:
  • Find an item that can't be made locally (especially skillbooks)
  • Import it
  • Sell it
I charge double Jita prices on T1 cruiser hulls, and charge even more on cheaper stuff.

I use long sell orders, and revisit them very rarely, on average every 6 weeks.

When I am undercut, I pull the items from the market and put them into storage, and find something else to sell.  I am also training for more trade slots.  Far too often, then undercutter sells one batch, realizes it's work and then gives up.  I then put my items back onto the market.

Some items move slowly.  Some move quickly and I am not good enough at keeping on top of these.  Some don't move at all and these are pulled from the market.

I have not 'flipped' anything in null.  The closest I come is putting up buy orders on PI and then reselling it, and even that is currently rare.   I don't have the spare trade slots.

I currently have 600 trade slots in null.  Small fry for some of the bigger industrialist bloggers, but far exceeds most of the local players.  Many of the better locals have 30 trade slots, and I encourage them to fill every one of them.

My strategy means that if I were not there, then no one would be selling those items.

If I wanted to make stuff for Jita prices, I would do so in highsec, with the risk that comes from being a station builder in highsec.  Instead, I am currently trading in null, and add an 'at risk' component to the pricing.  At the moment, all sales are re-invested into new raw materials or items.  One day they will be taken as income.

I welcome people undercutting me.  Buyers on the market use others undercutting as their trump card to 'force' me to lower prices, and find my attitude on this confronting.  Sellers find it confronting because I should instead be defending 'my turf'. 

Any seller, listing anything adds to the market.  I have 600 market orders.  There are thousands of items just in ships and their various fittings.  Then there are just as many components in various stages of refining in order to make these ships and fittings. 

For every item currently on sale in my nullsec patch, there are at least 2 other worthy items not being sold.  I choose selling a new item that no one is covering over fighting over an existing one.

Buyers want to buy stuff.  If there is no one selling it, they cant. My experience is that buyers want to buy complete fits.  If they have to go to 5 different systems, they will often give up and wait until a jump freighter run, or simply go without. My experience is that if they can fit in one spot they will do so.  If they come for a shopping trip, they also buy for their future.

There are some that think that Jita + 200% is too low. makes for an interesting read.

So, if you happen to find yourself in a nullsec region, and you can not find what you want, at a price you want to pay for it, then import or build it, and put spares on the market.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tweak to PI spreadsheet

I have made a small tweak to my PI spreadsheets.

My PI spreadsheet prices have historically been based on average sell prices across 4 trade hubs (Amarr, Jita, Dodixie, Hek)

For me being wormhole based, Amarr is mildly preferable to Jita (and yes that even includes my stocking of nullsec) as Amarr is well overrepresented as the closest wormhole route, but any of them may be closest.

What I (and commenters) have noticed recently is that sometimes the average of 4 hubs is screwy because (generally Hek) has one or two really bad prices.

So now, I am using a slightly more complicated 'sell' price which is best sell of Hek or Rens and then averaging 'Minmatar', Amarr, Jita, Dodixie.

For those who have not seen the spreadsheet before, it's master is at

As google docs is no longer reliably playing with eve central nicely, I also have a PDF version linked manually from (linked at the top of this blog). The most recent PDF version is

PS.  My last post a fortnight ago was me saying I was rebuilding my Eve setup.  This turned into something more involved and ended up being a complete PC re-install from operating system up.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Re-install of Eve

As you might gather from the title, I had issues ... with my Eve install.

I run multiple concurrent sessions of eve, described in more detail in

Compared to many of you, I also have a poor internet connection, so I also run with downloading with all data.

The first symptom was the Eve launcher warning me that I had problems with the cache of the skins file.

The second symptom was that after that Eve would not start.  The task manager (I run windows 8) showed there was something running, but nothing would happen.  And I could not even get the above error message.

I tried using the task manager to crash Eve to restart.
I tried rebooting my computer ( always try this ).
I tried evefile.exe
I tried different install folders

All of these failed.  Sigh.

Ok delete the Program Files (x86)\CCP folder and reinstall.  Still failed .... Grr.

Delete the local cache folder ... and restart ... Nope

Delete %localappdata%\CCP\EVE and restart ... Success.  I can log in.

Download on demand makes the initial Eve experience much faster. 

I am still not sure about everything.  I tried to bring up a PI management window and can now have a largely unusable session with a black screen, apart from what is behind the overview window.  I can't bring up the options window (for a safe logoff).

I  logged a Help desk ticket (being able to paste but not write makes this frustrating but *shrug*, whenever you are lodging help desk tickets, it doesn't take much.

But ... for those who sent me emails the last couple of days, this is why I have been slow to respond

Monday, April 20, 2015

You profit from fixing my 'broken' PI spreadsheet

I occasionally get reports that my PI spreadsheet is broken.

Sometimes it is not working at all as I am fighting with Google itself, which is why it now is cached via

But generally it is because the prices are 'wrong'.  I get my prices daily from Eve Central, and take the average prices from Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, and Hek.  I primarily do my PI in a wormhole, and one trade hub is as good as the next, with a mild preference for Amarr (due to ~40% wormholes ending up close to there).

So, there are 2 ways the prices can be wrong.  Firstly my cache of prices can be 24 hours old.  Shrug, you can copy my spreadsheet and change the CacheBuster parameter on the main sheet at A2 to force a price refresh.

Secondly, my price is an average over 4 trade hubs (ignoring no price at all).  If one of those hubs has a price that is wildly wrong, then all pricing running from that will also be (less) wildly wrong.

As of writing this post, my spreadsheet is getting the 'wrong price' for livestock, with an average sell of 145,000 ISK/unit.  The Jita price sell price is 9,500 ISK/unit, and my average buy price is 7,000 ISK/unit.

Both Eve Central and my spreadsheet see the only sell order for Livestock in Hek as 550,000 ISK/unit which by anyone's account is overpriced, especially for a trade hub.  I have no intention of fixing my spreadsheet, as it is working as intended.

However, there is a good trade opportunity for those wanting to fix the data I retrieve, buying some livestock anywhere, getting red frog/push x to haul it, and selling livestock in Hek.  If you are so inclined, I also note that some of the other trade hubs are also missing sell orders for PI. 

  • Hek is missing Polyaramids, Silicate Glass, Ukomi Super Conductors
  • Dodixie is missing Synthetic Synapses
  • Rens is also missing a few items.

Yes, I could fill these gaps myself.  That would involve me spending more time in highsec.  If no one else does this inside of another week or so, I will get some stock sent to Hek, if only to fix my spreadsheet.

Two of the complaints I read about market trading are that there is no way to find things to trade, and how everything always is immediately undercut.  In the third biggest market in Eve ( Dodixie - ), for Synthetic Synapses at least, neither of these complaints are true.