Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Big Announcements

May was a very busy month personally, but I have a few announcements to make.  This should be reasonably brief.

First, I'd like to announce that Blake Armitage from and myself have started an industry collaboration   In an effort to burn some of his BPC back-stock, we're teaming up to churn out Jump Freighters: Anshars specifically.  He's supplying the blueprints for the T1/T2 build, and a lump of the cash, I am handling the rest.  So far, things are going pretty well, the first ship is due out right before the patch drops, which should net pretty handsomely.  We're looking to build 6 or so over the summer.  It will be interesting to post the accounting and post mortem.

To tie it together, more of my shiny new charts

Check out his half at

SECOND announcement is that I have been accepted as a writer for  Still getting situated over there and trying to come up with some decent general-audience articles.  Looks like I will be collaborating on a bunch of 3rd-party-dev talk and some industry topics once Odyssey drops.  So keep your eyes peeled for me over there too.

Total galactic domination on track... now if I can convince my wife to let me code at home I might be able to put my graphs back on solid ground.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More Graphs!

Finally got back into town and can start pounding on projects again.  Just a quick interlude before I post some really big news soon(tm).

I hope this helps give a peek into how I think about things and maybe I can get a little feedback on how to leverage the data I'm generating better.

These two graphs represent the historical prices and eventual returns on Vagabonds.  The specific numbers are a bit squishy (long flat spaces are backfilled data) but this represents a good peek into the by-decryptor breakdown of a single ship.

The interesting thing here to remember is decryptors don't just change the price-per-unit of an item (top graph), but they also can change the number of runs on a successful print.  Using the final yield times the margin nets the actual revenue possible from each BPO you put into copy.  The bottom graph doesn't exactly take into account the per-character maximums (the math gets a little funky there), but gets a lot closer than before.

I would love to make more of these, but a single ship seems to use up my complexity budget.  I'll try to put together a similar report like my capital charts... factoring the time-to-market with everything else:

Added the live-charts for fun after a break.  Probably still broken though.

Monday, May 13, 2013

More Graph Porn

This is a test post to showcase a new set of data I just finished tweaking with.

The script might not work... the data feed tends to fall over and break things. If you get the error "All series on a given axis must be of the same data type", I am looking into a fix. Hopefully I can make it stable enough to make a graph page or two here on the blog so you can watch progress.

A quick blurb about the graph above. I wanted to answer the question of "Does the market follow the 'reality' of manufacturing, or just the instant-value". As we can see above, it's the latter. Not all is lost, there are still some gems to be gleamed from the trend above, but the green line highlights the reality that manufacturing on long time-scales is a bigger bet than cashing in on the short term bubble. It also goes a ways to affirm my intuition that build-and-hold is a losing proposition, at least as long as raw material costs fall.

If the above won't load, here's a picture of what it's supposed to look like

Friday, May 10, 2013


A break in your regularly scheduled mathpr0n for something a little more off topic.  I want to take a moment to reveal my dirty rotten RP roots.

One aspect that has kept me rooted so strongly in EVE for all these years has been the story it engenders.  There's nothing particularly nice or friendly about the EVE universe.  Frankly, I think the "we're a small bubble of air in a vast vacuum among infinite forces bent on venting us and salvaging the debris" is really where a lot of science fiction excels.  It's at least the stories that I take the most enjoyment out of.  You can keep your Star Wars/Star Trek, give me that sweet Battlestar, Firefly, FTL, and EVE.

The part that really drew me in, way back in Red Moon Rising, was EVE was (and still is) the only MMO where you can really play as the actual villain.  My main was never envisioned as the "hero" or the Superman... he was always the long-bet villain who would stand behind you as you set fire to your own fields counting his spoils and laughing all the way home while your life was in ruins.  I liked this character because it's so polarly opposite to my IRL behavior... but what's the point in role playing if you are just going to play yourself?  Unfortunately, I have found very little opportunity to indulge in real character-driven play in EVE other than sitting smugly on my pile of your cash for all the T2 you keep buying.

I get it that EVERY game has a "good guy" vs "bad guy" dynamic, but they so often get stuck in tropes that they might as well be "red team" and "blue team".  The evil guys aren't THAT evil... at least compared to those NPCs over there... the good guys aren't bastions of truth and honor.  Too often "evil" is confused for "assholes", too often good is confused with "nice guy".  Also too often RPing turns into bunch of pizza faced nerds throwing out "forsooth"s and playing internet ren-fest.  Not to disparage the upper tier of RPers who actually put time/effort/stock into their RP... but if you've been to one tabletop RPG game, you've seen the tropes and you know what I'm talking about.

The stories that always intrigued me were those of villains, specifically those with class.  You can keep your traditional Snidely Whiplash, give me your Hannibal Lectors, Magnetos, Light Yagamis.  Villains with purpose, and who have the intellect to impose their will and will not be stopped.  Great villains are heroes who made the "wrong" choices.  EVE being so player driven gives you the backdrop to really play out that dream.  We see it over, and over, and over again.  From petty banditos to arch-villainy.

The point of this meandering babble is I've been reading the likes of Sand, Cider, and Spaceships and Lowsec Lifestyle and kind of want to try my hand at the EVE Fiction sphere.  I used to really enjoy the back stories and chronicles (even if the novels are, well, shit), and have desperately wanted to write in this realm.  Also, it could have something to do with me finally redeeming some nerd cred to read Ender's Game.  I have a couple of sparks floating around, but have yet to have them coalesce into a story worth telling yet.

But I have some hope that picking at them will hopefully be fruitful.  I am always encouraged by Neil Gaiman and his spark to write American Gods: "What if they [immigrants] brought their gods?"  And Orson Scott Card said that his original impetus behind Ender's Game was sparked by the idea of the Battle Room.  So, I will pick at a couple ideas and see if they flower.

In the end, the first rule of successful projects is "work".  It will take some shuffling on my part to allocate the time required to "work".  Still have code and spaceships and work and life to take care of.  I might try to make 1 post/month a fiction project of some sort.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Market Graph Cheesecake

Been dinking around with gdoc more than is healthy... again.  But I was consumed, once again, with the need for a piece of data that just isn't easy to get your hands on.

For a VERY LONG TIME, I've wanted to track not only individual product histories, but also their relationships to eachother.  I know it's possible to generate this data by hand... but... by hand sucks.  So I fiddled with EMD's history feed and ended up with a custom javascript that helps put it into a spreadsheet.

With Odyssey around the corner, and the rebalances coming to moon-goo, it was time to refresh my tools for watching it.  Also, after my work-buddy bounced a tidbit of knowledge about ISK/hr off me, it was time to reevaluate how I deal with components/moon-goo all together.  The result?  A new spreadsheet that allows you to split the component load and tracks histories of all the raw materials.  Best part?  I can set the price feeds to any particular region, and it's all automated.

I still have some tweaking to get charts to line up the way I want, but I give you the sexy results of my labor:

I next want to merge the dependencies together so you can quickly pick out which is the trend leader, but I have yet to figure out the best way to process/analyze them.

At the least, I now have another tool in my belt to make due while IRL stops me from doing better code.   I do find it interesting that all the material classes are converging on a central price... but we'll see post-Odyssey how null politics shake out.