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.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Eve Pos planner update

The Eve Pos planner at has an update.

0.58 (2015.04.13)

  • Updated module inventory to match recent updates (removal of Medium Refinery Array and addition of Personal Hangar Array, Compression Array and Thukker Component Assembly Array)
  • More updates coming...

Re: eve pos planner
From: Qalten
Sent: 2015.04.13 05:26
To: DoToo Foo, 

Thanks for your e-mail regarding the IGB POS Planner. I've recently returned to EVE (apologies if you're receiving this reply long after you sent your mail) and will be updating the planner immediately to reflect the changes, and will be planning on adding interface improvements shortly.

Please feel free to make any suggestions or comments on what I can do to further improve the tool. I hope it's been helpful to EVE players over the years, and hopefully more to come!



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

FozzieSov - my perspective and confusion

Firstly, I think it is time for a sovereignty revamp.  There are some goals coming with the Fozzie Sov model that I am very much in favour of.
  • Harder for large renter organisations to hold vast territories of unused space.
  • Similarly easier for smaller organisations to take unoccupied systems in nullsec.
  • Simplifying structure setup.  No one that has ever set up a POS thinks it should be this hard and counter-intuitive.  I think this even when I personally have benefited that someone else failed to set their POS up correctly.
I understand that this is going to mean some changes.  Some may benefit, and I fully expect some to be harmed.  Before you pay too much attention to anyone's whining (including mine), please read .

Some things I like:  back into the structure
Instead, we want the user to make a conscious choice after it has been deployed, and decide if they want personal, corporation, alliance or public use. That’s right, we want those structures to be used for the wider audience, so if you wish to establish your own Market Hub somewhere, make it open to everyone and set your taxes to be shamelessly expensive go right ahead.

We will lose our forcefield, and to be honest I don't care. Before the WH groups all evict me (and we really should get that defector first), I care about what the POS forcefield allows.  We can see the overview and dscan while 'safe', and that there are no docking games because I can enter and leave safe space unless there are (clearly visible and destroyable with station guns) bubbles.  Allow me to check for safety, clear moorings and enter warp (unless there is a bubble) and I will be content.  This probably includes me wanting to swap from docked to moored and back again.

CCP is thinking about playing with fuel (Back into structure).  One point we are considering is to remove fuel requirements to online structures and move it as a requirement to operate service modules.  I want overall requirement for fuel to either stay static or even increase. Reducing total overall fuel requirements will have shockwaves through the market and even worse, will nerf my PI wormholes.

I don't understand when structure will be activated, deactivated, reinforced or captured, and when will it be destroyed?  Entosis links are used to wrest control. Politics By Other Means refers to capturing stations. But then Back into Structure refers to destruction of structures with special containers.  Maybe I am slow today, but I can't work out when something will be destroyed and when it will be captured.

I want there to be places that a small group can hold.  I am an industrialist and believe that in Eve, destruction is good for business.  However it is only good for me if it is someone else's stuff that gets destroyed.  If I am going to store billions of ISK of ship and loot, I really do want it to take more than 2 people for 1 hour to steal it from me.  It is common to have 2 to 3 pilots on sporadically over a couple of hours (eating meals, looking after kids etc).  It looks like a single pilot with 40 minutes up their sleeve could make everything vulnerable.  If so, that would cause me to consolidate and reach for more numbers than I have.  If it takes 4-5 well trained pilots to defend a class 1 or 2 wormhole for 4 hours/day, but it only support 2-3 medium skilled pilots running sites for that same time, then there is a problem.  There are always PI alts but ... PI alts are usually just that, possibly with POS gunning or the ability to fly a scanning ship.

Docking up in stations to hide is being strongly discouraged. Trolls can shut down services to cause fights, or simply to punish the AFK. (Politics by other Means)  Although reinforcing of Sovereignty structures may only occur during the owning alliance’s prime time window, station services can be disabled at any time through use of the Entosis Link for between 5 and 20 minutes (depending on occupancy levels).

Today, to bash out a large properly configured POS in a c1-c4 system requires either at least 2 weeks of building a capital, or a couple of squads of kitchen sink battleships (give or take, less required for well fit ships), over 2 days.  What I am trying to work out is what will it take to either disable my wormhole services, and possibly take my POS replacement away from me.  I think it is entirely proper that a well put together couple of squads, over 40 or so hours can evict us.  Similarly, 4 or 5 pilots consistently on over a couple of weeks with enough strength to cause us cower in stations would similarly be acceptable.  So I repeat myself : CCP Please do not let a single bored pilot with an hour to spare wait for us to go offline and reinforce our small corp wormhole stations by stealth.

I am currently spreading my time between wormholes and tending a nullsec market, and probably doing both badly. I spend large amounts of my in game time tending these, 

Market hubs are interesting and powerful places. I would love these to be scaleable, and available in wormholes.  Something small that that could take a set of PI buy/sell orders for my PI farming wormholes, up to something that can support the fleets of the largest alliances.   I do see that, with effort, station contents including market hubs, should be at least partially lootable.

Wormholes space is currently best space for a small group to set up shop.  When I first moved into wormholes, we had 3 or 4 of us set up a tower, bash out customs offices, and live out of our space.  This was exciting and stressful times.  I really was worried about that lone Drake taking out our just anchored tower.  Now I know what is required to knock one over, and it is more than that lone Drake.

I am worried that with Fozzie Sov, small corps setting up their first structures be able to be trolled out of existence by every passing 2 man gang.  Will the small corp wake up with all of their services offline because someone had 15 minutes of spare time while they were asleep?

There is a transition plan where existing structures will co-exist but without bonuses while new structures take over.  For me this works.

Anyone thinking that there will not be losers out of the structures and sovereignty changes is foolish.  If the big boys are not screaming blue murder, then it will be the little player, but hearing discontent from some quarters to make me think that it might be OK. 

References :
* Back into structure :
* Politics by other means

Someone else I am watching for his take on the new mechanics for WH space is Trinkets Friend from  (NSFW) - especially his March 2015 posts.

Edit : Turamarth's post : 

If you have a blog post on this topic, add it as a comment.  I will turn it into a clicky link at the bottom of this post.