Thursday, July 31, 2008

EVE Online: Fun with 800k skill points

Marb Pelico my main pilot has languished in a station reading skill books for the last week while I have been having fun with my 800k skill point alts.

You can actually do an amazing amount of fun stuff in EVE with a brand new out of the box character. Fresh characters make great scouts for exploring dangerous regions of space. The small nimble noob ships can often get away from traps that would catch bigger more heavily armed prey and even if you do get caught you get a free replacement ship and clone. A fresh character is also a good way to explore your dark side if you are that way inclined. Once you accept that there is no hope of besting an opponent in a fair fight you can get up to a lot of mischief in a noobship. All kinds of theft, fraud and general blaggardism can be perpetrated within the safety net of an anonymous disposable character.

Once I tired of exploring and general goofing around though it was time to put my alts to work. It is my intention to use them to earn an honest living in the heady world of EVE trade so I started them off with a seed Capital of 20 million ISK and told them to get to it.

I have just done a quick inventory so I am in a position to post the results of my trading efforts for the first week:

Initial Cash invested: 20 million ISK
Closing Cash Balance: 21 million
Closing Inventory: Approximately 30 Million

The Good: On paper I have more than doubled my investment in less than a week (about 4 days of active trading since I was away for three days). I have also achieved a (barely) positive cash flow which is a significant indicator of sustainability for any business. Overall I have shown that I can identify and exploit market opportunities.

The Bad: I seem to be building inventory faster than I can generate cash. A net cash gain of only 1 million ISK for 4 days work is pathetic, one good level 3 mission would net more than that.

Of course I could increase my earnings with more working capital but I find that playing the market is far more time consuming than I expected. The lucrative markets in EVE tend to be very competitive and you need to aggressively watch and manage your prices in order to complete your orders. I had hoped to use these alts on a casual basis in order to earn a bit of cash in my spare time as it were. I wasn't expecting it to be a full time job.

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