Sunday, 26 October 2014

Wholesale Trading

I've just updated the blog with the long overdue page for the Wholesale Trading mailing list. This is an in-game mailing list designed to replace the old Bulk Trade mailing list, allowing players a free to use place to advertise the sale of or desire to purchase items in bulk. Anyone is able to join and use the list as long as they adhere to the rules. For more information on the list, head on over to the Wholesale Trading page.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Blog Response - Ship Bumping

Recently over on Merchant Monarchy, a post has gone up complaining about CCPs response to the recent titan bumping exploit.  The exploit is that multiple titans are jumped into a cyno nearby to a POS with a safe titan inside, and all of the titans are pushed away, bumping the titan out of the POS.  Since he's decided to moderate out all of the comments he disagrees with (pulling a Gevlon) I figured I'd respond to it here.

Now if you read the post and comments, and try to bear though the "null cartels" this and "null babies" that - which has become all too rife from MoxNix of late - you'll see that what he's crying about is that highsec players can be bumped while he believe null players cannot.  Undoubtedly his freighter has been bumped and this is the emotionally driven response from a player unable to separate games from real life.

Realistically, the reason the titan bumping has been declared an exploit and (partially) fixed is simple.  And it has nothing to do with bumping.  The reason it's an exploit is that without a password to the POS granting legitimate access, no ship should be able to interact with a ship inside the shields, regardless of the mechanic used.  If however the aggressor had legitimate access to the POS or if the ship inside the POS was partially protruding, then bumping them is fair game.

The thing is, this is the same regardless of what space you are in.  If you are in a POS in highsec in a freighter full of goodies, you also cannot be bumped out by a player with no access to the POS without it being an exploit.  So whether he's willing to acknowledge it or not, complaints that this is somehow "null sec cartel favortism" is complete lunacy at best.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Quick Tip - Market price scrolling

If you use the market system a lot for trading, you tend to find yourself updating market orders a lot.  When you need to change the price in a large increment, you just type in or alter the number where you need it.  If however you need to make a minor adjustment, many traders advocate the use of the scroll wheel.  Scrolling while your pointer is over the price window will change the price in 0.01 ISK increments.  This is handy to know, and is pretty common knowledge.

Slightly less common knowledge is that if you need to make slightly larger adjustments, you can hold the CTRL key while scrolling, and you will instead change in 0.1 ISK increments, allowing you to more quickly change prices when you need to.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Understanding the Market System

If you're a follower of other EVE blogs, you may be aware of Merchant Monarchy, a trade focused blog which is run by Moxnix Induli.  It used to be a pretty good blog, but more recently he's begun to tranform into a mini Gevlon Goblin, copying or following in many of his ideas. I helped along his transformation when he converted his blog to moderated comments yesterday, merely by having an opinion that opposed his own.  Perhaps it's the warped mindset of people distanced from the game who play purely to increase that ISK counter in their wallet rather than for entertainment like the majority of us.

But ah well, it did raise a good topic that has been raised before and I felt like publishing my opinion on.  The market order system.

The system and the problem
The way trading works in EVE is a pretty simple brokering system.  When you buy an item for a given price, the system will find the lowest matching sell order for that item and will purchase it.  The price it uses for that is the price you have chosen, not the price of the lowest sell order.  The same thing works for selling, it will find the highest matching buy order and sell to that order, at the price you set.  This way, the system favours benefiting the player with the outstanding order over protecting the player actively buying or selling.

The problem that this normally causes for some people is that if they sell an item for way under the price they wanted, they potentially sell their item at a fraction of the price and lose out.  Take for example a PLEX.  You go to sell a PLEX for 800m ISK, but you miss a digit off when setting up the sale, and you sell it for 80m instead.  You get 80m, the buyer gets a PLEX at a massive discount.  The system warns you when you do this, so you would either need to have that warning disabled or click though it to do this, but it is possible and does happen.

The solution
The solution to the "problem" is simple.  Nothing.  The system is working as intended, and delivering the desired effect.  If you aren't careful and you don't pay attention to what you are doing, you will lose out.  As the EVE wiki puts it: "To sum up, other players will benefit from your error if you miscalculate your buy or sell order price".  This add some well needed risk to the trading system, without which you could just dump everything on the market for 1 ISK knowing that you'll always get the best available price.

Personally, I believe that there's not enough risk in the trading system.  It's possible to make vast amounts of ISK with very low effort and with relatively low risk.  I pretty much make all of my ISK from trade these days with a few offshoots into industry to mix things up, and have far more across my accounts than I'm likely to use.  Speak to any serious trader, and the response will be the same.  Maybe half an hour updating orders now and then, a few contracts out to haulers and the rest takes care of itself.  On most items if you are even half awake you can foresee price drops, hauling can be covered by collateral (I make ISK when a courier fails to devliver) so the only real risk is trader error.

An actual solution
How could this be changed?  How could trading have more risk introduced?  Personally I think a longer time between order updates and a considerable increase in tax and broker fees would be a good start, but long term, I think shaking up how items are introduced, making industry less predictable with fluctuations in readily available resources across the universe would go a long way to creating patterns that are harder to predict.

But I put it to you, would you change anything about trading, and if you would, what would it be and why?