Risk and Reward

10 Aug

Have no fear, its another Eve post.  Not that I’m not thinking about all the WAR news of late.  Nor that I’m not playing anything else– the WoW group rolls on, etc.  But, Eve continues to capture my attention of late.

The interesting thing is that almost every curve ball Eve seems to throw at you or every misstep, noob move or mistake seems to create an interesting opportunity if you look for it.  Sometimes, you just stumble on it.

For example:  a corp mate noted that in the course of running missions in a far off (16 jumps away) system, he was able to sell sweet sweet kernite for a 40% premium over the already mission-required inflated price (about 130% premium over normal) we had been selling locally.

Adventure in Moving

As the local market had been a bit sluggish, it seemed too good to pass up.  Time is isk in Eve and the goods must flow.  Time.  16 jumps through mostly reasonably secure space.  Thats quite a few jumps.  Quite a few opportunities for gate campers too.

Still… for a noob who just spent quite a bit of isk (for me) on getting my Retriever up and running and a new hauler fitted, the idea of high margin sales was too good to pass up.  Everytime you “step up” in Eve means your bank account takes a hit and you hold your breath waiting to get back to where you were just before you bought that new ship/skill/toy etc.

In many ways, you can measure your success in Eve by your TTR– Time to Recoup– sort of a time based ROI since time is really the only currency in Eve.  If you make more isk with the new item more quickly than the time it took you to earn the isk to buy it, you are making progress.

Even though this run is mostly high sec, the fear of losing the load to suicide gankers meant this was no autopilot run.  Since I’m not the trade magnate that Syncaine or Wilhelm is, I wouldn’t have a backhaul which means I’d be deadheading it for 16 jumps back to base.  I haven’t explored nor have I the isk (yet) to become a trader.

Too bad I couldn’t fit more into my Badger.  Made me wish my Caldari could fly my Minmatar’s Mammoth…. Hey, wait a minute…

Yup.  While I was beginning to fear that my hauler/miner role swap would gimp me, the fact that I did now meant that I had two fully fitted haulers with two toons ready to fly them.  Sudddenly, I was a one man trucking company. [Cue CW McCall’s “Convoy“:  I sez Pig Pen, this here’s the Rubber Duck and I’m about to put the hammer down]

Lemons, lemonade.  So, I pulled my kernite off the local market and hot footed it out 16 jumps to the land of opportunity.

Now travel for most players is the most boring part of Eve.  Let me tell you, all you need to do to jazz it up a bit is pack an unarmed industrial ship with 1/2 your net worth for a 16 jump run and read about the suicide gank problem in high sec Eve to add a little pizazz into your warp/jump routine.  Multiply that times two and its better than huffing paint fumes.

Being slow on the uptake, it only occurred to me about 1/2 way through the jumps as I saw my companion self toon warping into a gate that I realized what conspicuous targets we were.  I mean, two industrial ships from the same corp, warping right into a gate and jumping as quickly as possible to the next stop.  If anyone noticed, they should justifiably smell opportunity– a convoy without an escort.  Easy marks.

Needless to say, you get pretty good at minimizing the time at any gate, jumping as soon as humanly possible and waiting the agonizing seconds for the ship to align and finally jump.

In those few seconds of anxiety, you inevitably notice one or two other ships in your proximity and begin to worry.  Even more so when you see the dreaded skull icon.  And even more still, when they seem to be following you gate after gate…

So I made a trial run packed to the gills with kernite to see if it would really be worth it.  I listed the ore and then made the run back home.

Hedge Fun

Kernite was still stagnating in the local market and there was quite a bit listed at a competitive price, so unless the new promised land started paying off, I was thinking about either clearance pricing or dumping some in a nearby market just to get liquid.

After looking at the dearth of business locally, I found a market only a few jumps away that had buy orders for about 11% less than I was asking.  11% haircut for an immediate certain safe sale only a couple jumps from home in high sec systems that I was familiar with.

Great if I could sell all my ore at the super premium price in the far off market, but transportation time (and risk) would limit that as primary source of selling my ore.  Knowing there’s no isk like the isk actually in your wallet, I decided to hedge my kernite portfolio with some low risk, low premium immediate sales.  R-I-S-K is just -ISK with out the R-eturn…

Sign on the X

I spent a good deal of time Sunday alternately filling both markets with my ore when I finally hit the point where one toon had more than he could haul and the other had less than a full load and all of this ore was in a station that our Corp had no hangar.  So how to efficiently transfer it?  Jet can swap?  That sounds slow and about as inconspicuous as passing “documents” from one stall to another in an airport men’s bathroom…

Again, every roadblock in Eve is an opportunity.  I recall a long time ago, even before Wilhelm had formed our Corp, we tried to figure out how he could give me one of his hand-me-down frigates.  After some fumbling, we remembered from the then-interminable tutorial about the wonderful world of contracts.

Contracts permit all manner of tom foolery among capsuleers.  Being both master of the obvious and the oblivious, I have no idea what made the one synapse in my brain remember that player to player trade could be effected (even remotely) through the use of contracts.

In this case, a private contract whereby character one offerred to character two x units of kernite in exchange for absolutely nothing.  And since we were in the same station, voila! ore redistributed.

As a result of all the market hijinx, surprisingly little mining was accomplished this weekend.  One other dividend of this diversion was that during the course of all this, I managed to get both of my characters “caught up” on their learning schools so they can finally turn in their short bus passes and get on to bigger and better things in a much more timely fashion.

I’m not at the point where Syncaine is in making a pure play trader, but with this minor excursion, I see where it is certainly possible and quite possibly an entertaining alternative.  Opportunities abound.


Posted by on August 10, 2008 in Eve Online



2 responses to “Risk and Reward

  1. syncaine

    August 11, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Um… you do know you can just outright ‘trade’ between two characters at a station right? In the same area that has the agents tab, click the ‘guests’ tab, locate in the list of visitors who you want to trade with, right click, trade, drag items just like in any other MMO, and bam, trade done.

    I trade hundreds of items between my two pilots this way all the time. Combat pilot runs a lvl 4, loots and salvages, trades it all the to the market guy, he lists or refines it. No need for contracts.

  2. p@tsh@t

    August 11, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Actually, no. I didn’t know that. That makes you an Eve god and me, the perpetual Eve noob. Again.

    Which is why, ironically, that the Eve community kicks my ass almost as much as the game.



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