Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ISboxer: A Tale of Two Items

CCP issued a rather surprising ruling before Rhea: client-syncronization utilities such as ISboxer are an exploit that will be dealt with the same as botting.  Though slightly tongue-in-cheek, CCP Random released a handy infographic about the new ruling:

This is a pretty huge change of direction on the part of CCP.  For years, tools like ISboxer have been in a gray "not illegal, but not endorsed" space.  This has allowed people to automate large fleets of miners or ratters and stay on just the other side of the botter line.  It has also enabled some rather hilarious one-man fleets and outrageous account counts for a very small collection of players.  But automation is always a contentious issue, and especially when humans are playing against robots (or puppets) the game quickly stops being fun or fair.

Impacts on PLEX


I spend a lot of time talking and writing about PLEX.  People want to know where it is going and what the greater impact will be.  Though I think the general populace grossly overvalues PLEX, pinning extra meaning to it that is not there, it is an important metric to look at that tells us something about account activity and ISK supply indirectly.  The recent fall can be broken down into three parts: general instability, ISboxer ruling, and Black-Friday Sales.  

Price Instability

As I said on EP005 of the Prosper show, the PLEX crest to 1B was a hilariously unstable rise.  It tripped our most extreme price tracking bins and was an unprecedented spike in the history of the product.  Given no outside force, I would have expected the price of PLEX to fall down to 950 on its own.  The first few days after the spike shows that deflation back to normal.  Also, since October, PLEX has been in the "overbought" territory on the RSI chart signalling additional instability, but was not responding to those signals at all.

ISboxer ruling

This really kicked PLEX in the teeth.  Simply put: demand for PLEX will fall if people aren't going to run as many alts.  There was a lot of weirdness going on the day of the announcement, namely some "blocking orders", or large buy orders meant to soak up the downward pressure.  Though social media was ready to announce the return of 700M or less PLEX, there just wasn't a way to drive the price that far.  I put some predictions out pinning the price at 850, but I was a little disposed the day of the announcement, so I wasn't able to get in the thick of the speculation.  

The effect here is pretty simple to explain: demand fell, so the price could not be sustained in the 900s any longer.  Pair that with a panicked sell-off trying to retain value before the crash completes becoming a positive feedback loop driving the price further down.  It's interesting to look at the RSI part of the PLEX chart (bottom plot) and see that the price stopped falling just-shy of the "oversold" line.  This is what I based my predictions on, and came out wonderfully smug for the prediction.

Black-Friday Sales

When I recorded EP005 of the Prosper show, I gave two pieces of advice ahead of the Thanksgiving break.  First, that the spike was unstable, and it was a good time to sell if you were holding, and that there should be Black-Friday/Cyber-Monday sales, prompting a good opportunity to buy.  It really isn't a surprise that GMG and PLEX retailers like EVEtimecode.com had 15% or better deals in this pre-Christmas season.  It's traditionally a huge recruiting time for MMOs in general, and deals should be expected.  It's hard measuring the efficacy of this latest sale when paired against the ISboxer ruling so close, but the bottoming out at 850 falls inside expectations as a floor.

Additional sales should be expected over the Christmas break through to New Years, though I don't expect these to correspond to dips as strong as seen a few weeks back.

Impacts on Tritanium 


The other side of the coin with the ISboxer ruling is that automated mining fleets aren't going to be as easy to run.  This has the biggest impact on the low-end mineral market, where HS belts could be stripped bare with little actual effort.  But the demand for low-end minerals is outstanding, and any significant disruption in their supply will move the bar quite significantly.

There are two secondary effects that are also interesting: the run in high-end minerals, and the lack of spike in the ice markets.

Other Minerals

There is a paradox in mineral markets: low-ends are usually undersupplied, and high-ends are oversupplied.  This has a lot to do with the freight weight vs value of low-ends, and the way NS/WH space export mined materials.  Especially after Crius, NS/WH miners will want to keep low-end minerals stocked locally, but will be overwhelmed by a glut of high-ends, which end up exported to Jita.

If we look at Megacyte/Zydrine, the highest tiers of normal minerals, we can see they also spiked with the ISboxer announcement, but are quickly falling back toward their original trend lines


Ice Products

You'd think that if minerals were in a tizzy because of the death of "automated mining fleets" that ice would not be far behind.  It's even more laborious to harvest, and suits itself better to set-it-and-forget-it mining.  Unfortunately, we may be waiting a while to see a constriction in these markets due to a speculative bubble pre-Phoebe.  Also, with the spike of minerals driving up ISK/hr for traditional mining, ice may never see the pop I would have expected


Conclusions

The ISboxer ban is good for the game in general.  Players should be fighting players, not robots.  It's interesting to see both expected and unexpected reactions to the news, and I think we will continue to see some effects bubble through all the way to Jan 1, when the bans actually take hold.  I'd expect that upward pressure on PLEX will remain anemic, and the low-end mineral markets will stay high but flat.  As we go into the new year and settle into the new normal, these markets should return to their established trends pre-announcement.

It's also interesting to see the timing of the ISboxer bans fit so nicely with the release of the CREST market feed, ending the need for cache scraping.  If I were going to put on any tinfoil about this change, it's that CCP is shoring up their positions with respect to the EULA, eliminating a lot of gray-operations.  I couldn't be happier about it, since it's always better to have everyone operating inside the rules, rather than having to do wink-and-nod exceptions that weaken enforcement options.


Don't forget to tune in weekly to the EVE-Prosper Market Show!
Twitch: twitch.tv/hlibindustry 0300 Fridays

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How It's Made: Price Flagging

I owe my partner in crime, Etienne Erquilenne, a huge debt for adding a much needed second pair of hands onto this whole Prosper project.  His IRL expertise is completely invaluable, and has freed me up to accelerate the development schedule measurably.  But, as I've expressed on the blog before, I'm very much a fan of open sourcing.  So let's look under the hood.

Volume Flagging

Volume data was straight forward.  Since they never go negative, and rarely jump by orders of magnitude, it was pretty easy to wrap the values up into a normal-ish histogram.  Below is Tritanium:
1yr of Tritanium Volumes - The Forge

Not perfectly normal, but close enough where we can use percentiles to check the "sigma levels".  
For those who aren't statistics nerds, we can say things about values depending on how far they are deviated from the normal.  +/- 1 deviation (sigma) should be relatively normal behavior.  +/- 2 deviations should be extremely rare.  The further we deviate from the norm linearly, the exponentially fewer values we should see at those levels.

Since volumes are largely well behaved, I used this principle of sigma flagging to highlight extreme outliers to report for the Prosper show.  

Price Flagging

Price values aren't so well behaved, and using the same approach is not going to flag useful data:
Just looking for straight price outliers isn't useful.  The only things that will flag are long rises/declines which represent the extremes of the last year.  We'd like to use the same extremity methodology for prices, but a different approach would be required.

Deviation From a Trend

The inspiration came from the Bollinger Band chart.  Simply, it puts a simple-moving-average trend line and then moving-deviation bars around the chart (red lines on matchstick above).  If we instead characterized the distance from a trend, we'd be able to say things about "this is an extreme deviation".

This is a far more "normal" plot.  Also, Etienne rolled in simple-moving-median to compensate for items that might have outrageously bi-variate behavior because of a paradigm shift due to a patch.

Unfortunately, without some sort of second filter, we're going to flag everything every week, and that's not a useful filter.  So Etienne added a voting scheme and "highest votes" binning technique to properly classify the outcoming flags.



Results So Far

So far, this is my favorite validation that the pull is working as intended:


Here we see a peak last week, and a drastic crash in progress.  Though we would have reviewed the data anyway (fuel is a forced group in the tools), finding it in the expected flagging group is a great sign.

To explain what I see in the first graph: we see a spike in pre-Phoebe stockpiling, then a rapid dump off once the patch hit.  What I also see in the above is an heavy overcorrection in the price, dumping it much lower than really makes sense.  If you were watching this product, this would be a great opportunity to buy hoping for a snap-back.  Especially looking at the bottom RSI chart, closer inspection shows that the product is crossing heavily into "oversold" territory, and is strongly signalling an artificially low price.  Of course, balance these price signals against the volume flags (perhaps slightly anemic) to temper expectations. 

What's going on under the hood is the tool is checking the closing average against the white-dotted moving average line.  Though the moving average will catch up, right now the distance from the trend is WAY out of whack.  Especially since it's voted for "very abnormally low" for 5 days, along with 2-3 votes for "abnormally high", this was going to end up in the charting group regardless.

Great... but

Now I have a new problem... too much good data.  To keep the outlier segment inside 15 minutes, I have to filter the pick list to 15-25 items.  Etienne's new tool flagged 500 items, and the true-positive rate is astounding.  For those looking to get into some powerful market automation, this methodology is extremely powerful and should help boil down opportunities like nothing EVE has seen before.  Though we still lack the means to automate "black swan" events like expansion releases, the flagging methodology is very useful for the active trader.

Also, for all of its power, we're up against a problem where the show format and the goals don't match.  Two of the chief goals of the show is to showcase investment opportunities and general trend information going into the weekend.  Unfortunately, the flags are very good for a very short period.  Many of the flags show high pops during the week, after the action has expired.  So, if the trend isn't cooking on Tues-Weds, the show will miss the opportunity to report it.

Lastly, it's a little hard to use this as a direct day-to-day trading tool because of the way the CREST feeds update.  Rumors are that CCP is going to roll out a "one day" CREST feed to simplify keeping the dbs up to date.  

What's Next?

We have some tasks on the table, but the short term goals are:
  1. Bring in destruction data
  2. Do inter-hub analysis
  3. Build indexes
Things are moving along pretty well.  I expect that zkillboard data will be live by the first week of December, and a few more QOL updates should make the show prep move along easier.  Also, rumors of new CREST feeds should improve the quality of data we're pulling (or make our lives even more difficult).  Regardless, with new hardware coming in at home, the ability to automate more should make things move more smoothly.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Who Reads the EULA?

The developer portal went live recently, and I've been excited to see it finally release.  I've been specifically eager for the blog portion that should serve as a better direct communication channel between CCP and 3rd party devs.  It has been an excellent resource so far about API updates and changes.

HTFU Devs

Though CCP's new ~6wk release cycle is a great boon for the community at large, it's really demanding to keep up as a 3rd party dev.  Recently, I've been spending more time building/anticipating flex capacity, because without being able to quickly change at release, 3rd party devs will never be able to keep up.

I think it's telling with the lag in the release for IPH in the face of Crius changes that we're going to have a really interesting tool environment coming forward.  If you have the ability to code, or want to learn, better get in while the getting is good.  There is going to be more and more need for 3rd party developer support in the community.

Thankfully, CCP_Foxfour and CCP_Nullarbor keep the hits coming on the 3rd party dev side.  So, despite the challenge of getting started, the API's and resources have never been more solid.  Tune in to #devfleet on twitter and /r/evetech on reddit if you're interested in tracking more of the player-side of the dev environment.  And subscribe to the official developer portal!!!

New API EULA

As an active or aspiring developer, go read the new EULA.  Like actually read it.  It's been very well written and is pretty easy to understand as far as TOS go these days.  In all, I'm very pleased with the vast majority of the language.  SSO remains free to develop for (as long as you've ever had a paid account), CCP won't be throwing any surprises on the license/TOS without appropriate notification, and overall the terms are by and large agreeable.

The one point I want to complain against is the monetization rules.  TL;DR there are 3 valid ways to monetize an app or service:
  • ISK for service
  • Ad support to cover costs (but frown upon profiting)
  • Donation jar style contributions
The problem I have is that it's verboten to gate features behind a paywall.  Some of the older players may remember "EVE Is Easy" causing a shitstorm a couple years back when they tried to sell subscriptions to exclusive PVP tutorial content.  Though I still think CCP was right to stamp down this particular type of service, the standard Patreon model isn't far off from this, and I'm kind of a fan of that kind of service.

Monetization

"If you're good at something, never do it for free".  Though I'm doing the project for the actual love of the work, you can't talk about doing this much work without someone asking about: how do you become one of those YouTube/Twitch guys who quit their job and play games 24/7?  And though I'm not against making a few bucks on the side (beer and coffee are always appreciated), I'm not looking to quit my job and make EVE graphs 24/7.  This work is squarely in hobby territory, and I'm more than happy to keep it there.  

Unfortunately, CCP kind of ties my hands on how to grow the work to something more.  To cut to the chase, I hate ads.  I don't serve them on the blog, YouTube, or Twitch.  I would only include ads for a direct EVE product like PLEX retail, news site, or player service.  And then only as live-on-air style.  This is no way to keep up with dev costs or hosting services for anything more beefy than this blog.  

I've been mulling starting a Patreon for the project, but am hesitant to start it up.  I don't think it's kosher to gate content, even if it's a "Patrons get it 1wk early" kind of service.  Though I'd never gate the main show (delay would make the show worthless), doing interview supplementals might work... except that I'd feel like a heel inviting guests to help enable me to make a quick buck.  Another option is syndication with another service like TMC/EN24, but I would probably be paid in ISK.

So I want to open up the question to the readers/viewers.  How do you feel about monetizing the Prosper show?  Would you be okay with ads?  Syndication?  Patreon?  "F$#k you, everyone else produces for free"?  Leave comments here and I'll mull it over.  I won't be gating content or holding anything hostage, but I'd love to hear what the audience thinks.  I'd like to provide more services, and some amount of monetization would enable more... I'm just uneasy about taking the plunge.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

EVE Prosper Market Review - EP003

I know I missed the report from last week.  Cramming two shows into one week, plus a new project assignment at work made it hard to get enough time to get pieces out the door.  As always, check the show-notes if you're looking for reading material.  A common piece of feedback I received is how much people want an article style, so enjoy the wall-o-text.

This week's show had the very special guest +Diana Dial from EVEtimecode.com.  With Phoebe release, and the recent record high PLEX prices, and the recent 10-day resub drive, PLEX has been a hot topic.  Though I spoke at pretty decent length about PLEX analysis on the supplemental show with Ashterothi, and wrote a more dedicated blog on the topic, it continues to be a hot topic.

EP003 - Show Stuff

Phoebe Launched

Phoebe has come, and everything seems to be going well.  There was a bug v feature argument around jump clones clearing capital fatigue timers, which CCP quickly ruled: Bug.  Also, the 10-day trial offers should be expired, which is important (IMO) for those watching the PLEX market.  Lastly, as TitaniumTrout pointed out EMDR feeds don't seem to be working since launch, though as of posting, EVE-Central and EVE-marketdata both seem to be up to date with their data.  Also, be sure to check out the responses to Sugar Kyle's call for data visualization of cyno activity pre-Phoebe.

Source: @Fuzzysteve

developers.eveonline.com launched

I have another blog in the pipeline about this.  Great to see a communication channel dedicated to 3rd party devs.  Also the SSO EULA launched, and it's actually a lot better than expected.  

CSM Minutes Released

I haven't had time to read them.  I hesitate to work the CSM politics into a market show, since most of the nuggets worth using in speculation should be NDA'd out.  

o7 Rhea Announcements

Couldn't tune in live, and hearing a lot of the news second hand.  Biggest pieces being no more medclones (hooray for my 3x >100M SP chars), and a new WH hub called Thera.  The details are still a little sparse, but it will not allow capitals, and will have special static wormholes.  

I have some questions out to CCP FoxFour on whether there will be CREST feeds will be enabled for this special system.  Currently CREST doesn't report industry data for WH systems, and Thera is a bit of an odd point between known/wormhole space.  If I can get automated data feeds from Thera, I can guarantee you it will be part of the regular analysis in the Prosper show.  Though it may take up to 60 days of data to really get the current tools to work.

Special Guest: Diana Lynn of EVEtimecode.com

The show ended up a little bit more commercial than I was originally intending, but I think there is enough good content to leave it as is.  Also, keep tuned for the post show because we talk about some of the other retailer-side stuff behind PLEX.  It should be up on twitch by the weekend.

One of the bolder points brought up in the interview was "why should I support someone who doesn't play the game", and I did like her response in the end.  Diana is a huge support to the community at large, and is incredibly active among those who play the game.  And as she bluntly pointed out, a pretty large number of fanfest/eve vegas attendees are players who have been out of the game for years, but still feel at home among the community.  I can't even fault her about it at this point, as I watch my login time dwindle to zero, instead servicing this show.

The trend that keeps getting reinforced is "there is nothing outstanding happening with PLEX [other than the actual price]".  Sales outside of game continue to be on-trend with yearly swings.  Consumption seems to be also on-trend, not that I can get data to prove/disprove it.  The data flags say the current price is an unstable high, but it continues to chug upward.

I do expect some relief to ease the price back down to ~800M in the nearish future, but so far PLEX has been performing outside my models/expectations.  This may be because of the recent 10-day reactivation drive, or the lack of a decent holiday sale, or just mass hysteria.  I do expect to see a daily-average PLEX in Jita hit 1B ISK by Feb 1st, but that will probably be followed by a long flattening as player numbers wane into the spring.

Special Analysis

I didn't have time to really provide depth on the T3 impacts.  It was announced very close to release that the BOM was being boosted for Electronics/Engineering/Propulsion subsystems.  I included one chart to show the trend, but most every other subsystem followed the same trend:
A large crest right before the patch, and a quick crash.  There are a few parts that are probably still shaking out, but I didn't want to key through 12 extra graphs to show off the same trend over and over.  Be sure to check the chart dump if you want to know more.

The other charts I included this week were from the moon product sphere.  I am still on the fence if I trust my speculation in these markets yet.  The truth is material markets are going to be driven by demand, and I don't have a way to boil down net demand yet.  I've added it to the dev todo to use the blueprint stats to work back a "demand" stat for some of these charts, but it's a pretty low priority versus the other todos.  I included both because the MACD signals seem to indicate a price climb.

Regular Analysis

I usually wouldn't include this in the blog, but the fuel markets seem to be going a little weird right before the Phoebe patch.  If you check the segment in the presented slides, most every fuel spiked, and fuel blocks are lagging the recent spike.  

Again, this probably is temporary due to capital stockpiling.  But it is interesting to see such a drastic rise in such a widely used commodity.  I'd also expect fuel prices to wash out into the T2 moon material supply chain if the prices stay high for over a week.

Prediction Review

50/50 seems to be my prediction rate on outliers.  The one I feel worst about is the Imperial Navy ENAM plot:
I really expected this item to rebound hard after recent doldrums, but I may have underestimated the Amarr FW payout.

Also, I feel a little ill-at-ease about suggesting speculation on moon products, but I believe the partner indicators of increased T2 production and higher isotope prices make them worth watching.  I suggested Nanotransistors and Sylramic Fibers last week, and I'm looking at Hafnium and Caesium this week.

Tool Development Progress

Just some quick notes from behind the scenes.  A corp mate, Etienne Erquilenne, has chipped in some help on the tool development.  This week was helped by his recent change to thread the CREST scraper to get all the hub data in one pass.  He's also currently helping implement a plan we came up with for price flagging using deviation from the simple moving average trends.  His assistance is really catalyzing solutions in the back end.

I also started work on bringing zKillboard data into the report.  Though I think I need two more weeks to get the data localized and charted, it's very nearly over the horizon.  Between these two new feeds, I think we'll get a lot more interesting data as we go into the holidays.  

I still have several todos on the list, chief among them being indexes to help boil down the forced-analysis section.  I am also planning on charting some consumption trends as well, but I don't think those will be delivered until the new year.

Conclusions

I want to extend a huge thank you for all the support the show has had so far.  This week has really proven my previous feelings totally wrong, and I feel like feedback is back on track with expectations.  Also, the help from the community both inside and outside the show has been outstanding!  Continue tuning in, and continue sending your feedback so I can make a better show in the long run.

And shout out to Zero Gravity for the review.  Hope the blog dump is more to your liking ;)

Monday, November 3, 2014

CNBC for EVE?

I'm of two minds about the response/feedback I've received about the Prosper Market Show over the last month.  On the one hand, I'm floored with a lot of the successes.  Those that are vocally supporting the show really mean a lot.  And this week's show was the best stream I've had by far.

  • New peak live viewer count: >45 (EP002)
  • almost 200 youtube subscribers (thanks delonewolf)
  • almost 200 Twitch subscribers
On the other hand, I've been annoyed the traction hasn't been as high as I was expecting.  For years I've heard from a lot of friends things like "We get great war reports, and news reports... but where is the market reporting?"  The response from /r/eve was particularly anemic.

When I wrote for TMC, market/industrial analysis was my niche.  Unfortunately the truth behind that style of analysis is it's a metric butt-load of work try and roll that analysis for every investigation or report.  Every major article I wrote for TMC took weeks to fetch, crunch, build charts, and publish.  And despite all that work, I was always outclassed for pageviews/comments by editorial work, or ALOD content.  I never received a best-of-the-month bonus on any article I produced (though I always ranked in the top 5 articles for months I wrote for them).

Now, I'm sure the issue has to do with the reactionary nature this level of analysis requires.  It's a serious undertaking to try and strike while the iron is hot on news like Burn Jita when the goal is serious analysis.  People want to know about the future, and really don't care about the past, when it comes to market analysis (no matter how periodic EVE data tends to be).

The part that has me riled up is the "Why isn't there a Jim Cramer of EVE?" question.  I find this frustrating because I don't think the people asking it realize the true depth of analysis that is run on the IRL markets versus the EVE ones.  Though I'll gloss over the part about EVE != IRL because of things like lack of credit, and no derivatives/futures markets, and our trade is purely in commodities.  Instead, I don't think people understand the difference between the level of spreadsheet-jockeying that is commonplace in EVE versus what it really takes to run a show like Mad Money.  No one is doing indicator analysis, no one has rolled up machine learning algorithms to suss out interplay between items, no one is plugging RSS news feeds into a bot to automate predictions.  Instead, any serious analysis either requires painstaking time investment, or years of "gut tuning" to be able to play any truly speculative market game.

I know what the bulk of EVE actually wants out of a market show: Push-Button Receive-Bacon trading advice.  They want to be able to tune in, and within 15-30mins be told which secret item du juor will make them space rich.  The reality is that quality of tool does not remotely exist in EVE today.  And though developing tools for this Prosper Show will probably get us to a place like the high-frequency robot traders of IRL, the journey there is going to take quite a lot of development and time.

To those providing critical feedback, I do hear you.  I will be working to tighten up the show to add more value for the time frame I'm committed to (~40min/wk).  I will be adding and removing segments to better serve up the info that is most important, and try to dig into the gross trends so everyone can get what they want out of it.  But know that unless others join me in a market analysis arms race, the breadth and quality of information will never be able to deliver "CNBC for EVE".

Presented without context:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

OMG WTF PLEX - An introspection on PLEX

PLEX recently crested 800M and as is customary, everyone is losing their collective minds over the perceived significance of crossing some round-number boundary.

Current articles as of publishing:

I am sure I'm missing a bunch, but there is a common thread: what is the maximum price PLEX could reach?

In the short term, we are seeing prices come down off their rally to 800M.  I don't expect this respite to be long, and unless CCP announces a PLEX sale for Phoebe or the holidays, I can see PLEX at 1B shortly after the start of the year.

Demand Side: The Price of Gold

PLEX behaves a lot like gold does in the IRL markets.  Though it has a variety of actual uses, its value is more a barometer of fears of inflation than its actual value.  People trading in PLEX are doing so because they fear that if they don't, the purchasing power of their ISK will drop because of inflation elsewhere.  

This becomes a self-fulfilling-prophecy, because the trend has (to date) been correct... but mostly only in the PLEX market.  
The speculation that PLEX is an indicator of rampant inflation is really just laughable.  If we compare the price of PLEX against any other day-to-day consumable (Like the CFC Isktar) we see that general ISK inflation is basically 0.  Especially using the Ishtar as base, we can draw that the value of static resources (moons) has stayed flat.  Also, watching mineral prices starting to turn around since Crius shows that the general purchasing power of ISK is staying rather healthy.

Supply Side: People are Cheap

We only see PLEX dip in price when there is a sale or other big event pushing supply.  Otherwise, the demand between people upkeeping accounts and traders hoarding PLEX far outstrips the supply of those cashing-in.

I think the behavior of the PLEX market says a lot more about what people are willing to pay to play EVE, rather than anything about the macro market.  When PLEX prices drop near the 3-month subscription numbers, people tend to buy a lot more... but when they are equal or greater than regular account fees, then people would rather not buy PLEX directly.

Though I do expect a substantive shock when the price of PLEX crosses the 1B mark.  Though I still expect the price to climb, we may see a wave of people unsubscribing.  I hesitate to speculate about CCP's plans for PLEX in the long term, they may be okay with never having to deliver on the outstanding credit PLEX represents.

Conclusions

There's a reason I've put PLEX at the front of my analysis on the Prosper show: People want to know.  I've also only dedicated 2-5 minutes/wk to the "analysis" of PLEX because there isn't much to say.  At this point, PLEX is not so much a general market indicator as it is a player one.  It doesn't serve to track any macro market moves, instead it only works as a point to discuss "the cost of play" and "the value of loss".

My major take-home for PLEX is this: it's an orouboros.  People think it has value, so it trends up, people panic because it's up, and buy more.  Though I believe the real "value" of PLEX is grossly overvalued, though I hesitate to call it a true bubble, because I have a hard time imagining a "pop" dropping the price back more than 10%.  If you're looking for a place to park long-term value, PLEX is the tool to do it.  If you're actually using your ISK through investment or play, then I'd avoid speculating on PLEX because it lacks a decent periodicity to buy-in (outside of sales outside the game).  

The end outcome, at least in my eyes, is the only value you're having deflated is against PLEX... The same ISK buys the same PVP equipment, or operating budget.  The only value "lost" in this case is how many PLEX you could have bought with that cash.

Friday, October 24, 2014

EVE Prosper Market Review - EP001

Went ahead and moved a couple pieces around for this show.  I've removed the moon analysis (because it's dry and really needs to be boiled down into an index or two), and replaced it with a "Prediction Review" section.  Hopefully that makes the show go along a little smoother.  Also, I'm going to try a little bit of editing to try and make the show sound a little better.  Lastly, I finally figured out how to get the youtube/channel_name to work, so feel free to point your friends toward: https://www.youtube.com/user/EVEProsper.

Though the Twitch participation was lower, I was happier about the format of tonight's show.  Shoutouts to One Man Wolfpack and Dirk Macgirk for participating in the chat.

EP001 - Show Stuff

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Invention Changes

Though the specific news is a little old, I wanted to touch on the expected impacts of these changes.  Most of the changes wash out, and will probably end up with net-drop in T2 prices, it probably won't change the T2 production margins much.  So, for producers things should stay mostly-similar.  I still think the full effect of teams hasn't hit the main stream yet, but the best industrialists will be taking those opportunities to maximize returns.

The T3 changes are far more interesting, because it should no longer be a dice-roll, but instead be deliberate.  This should kick a lot of the demand for reverse engineerables in the teeth, and margins will probably narrow... though I expect the net to be positive, since there should be a lot less waste going on.

SOV EHP Changes

Though I'm not particularly interested in the specific HP/resist changes, I think this will be interesting in the short term after Phoebe.  To keep it simple: if the HP changes lead to a lot of Sov shuffling, high-end PI producers should be cheering

3rd Party Developer Blog

CCP is testing the waters on a blog for tracking 3rd party stuff like CREST/API updates.  I love the interface, and I'd love to see the feed move to full syndication.  In a similar vein, there were some great talks at EVE Vegas for/from player-devs and I'll be talking about them next week.

But, this is required watching IMO:
Hallelujah!  Saving stupid clicking and improving quality of life for trade players.  Though I don't expect a bunch of direct impacts on any particular item, I do expect the volume of trade to go up.  This might be bad news for some margins, but it might also make the buy/sell market more interesting.  Either way, this is a great piece of news, and I'm just excited to get it.

Outlier Report

Make sure to check the presented slides.  The few I'd like to point out, I'm going to call the "Black Legion Meta effect".



Though I am still lacking a good way to display the destruction data, it's interesting to see my filters actually work to fetch up mass trends.

Prediction Review

As a matter of record, I'd like to highlight hits and misses.  The hopes are to make the "hits" list longer and the "misses" list shorter.

First, a hit I was surprised about: Imperial Navy Acolyte
Though I was expecting it to be mostly level or keep doing the waffling thing it has been doing, it did seem to crest over the weekend justifying itself as a "outlier worth watching"

Second, a miss that I was also surprised about: Morphite
I had written off Morphite as "in a tailspin", but I was completely wrong.  The low looks now, in retrospect, as an overcorrection.  I'm hoping I can use this as a test case for notes going forward.  Also, it will be a good indicator of T2 trends, and might become more volatile as we go into the generally high-traffic period of the year.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

EVE Prosper Market Review - EP000

Not sure yet how I'll be parsing out these show notes to automate it onto the blog here, but see below my quick notes for the Cliff's Notes.

This first show went much better than I expected.  I had worried that I'd be hard-pressed to make my 1-hr mark, instead being wildly over and droning on and on.  Thankfully, I hit ~50mins, which leaves me a lot of space to boil down some analysis and add more topics down the line.

Also, I'd like to keep the project as open source as possible.  Unfortunately, some of the setup I've chosen so far are not really user-friendly (yet).  You can grab my scripts and do your own analysis (or cut me out entirely), but it's as-is, and will require a little hacking to get going.  https://github.com/lockefox/EVE_MarketAnalyzer

EP000 - Show Stuff:

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Twitch


News

Jump ranges are being reduced, and fatigue is being introduced.  Though the initial proposal was pretty bold, especially with the exponential nature of the fatigue numbers, a lot of the riskier features were beaten back to a far more reasonable, but tough change.

Personally, my corp and I have had our eyes on the Jump Freighter changes, since combat logistics are a particular specialty of ours.  Though the 5ly original plan was going to be somewhat painful, putting our HQ out of range of both Jita and Dodixie, the new 10ly jump limit means we can keep our established supply lines running.  Also my original predictions about capital/POS fuel getting horded probably won't come true.

The best illustration of the changes is still this gem from /r/eve:

Uedama Freighter Ganking

"As an act of protest", the CFC and CODE have teamed up to gank freighters in Uedama.  Though I think the excuse is thinly veiled, and it's traditionally a time of year that CFC comes to HS to cause drama, it is having effects on the EVE economy.  Chiefly, Red Frog is raising its rates in general, and adding an additional fee for transport through Uedama.  Details can be found in their mini press release.

Though the general rate hike should be regarded like IRL postage (The cost of stamps will rise ever higher), I think the Uedama fee is interesting.  If this does wash out into any sizable effect, I expect there to be pent up supply coming from Gallente space once the ganks subside.  Though I doubt the rubber-banding will be as drastic as we've seen post Burn-Jita events.

Sleeper Research Event

I was just going to make a couple of bullet points about the spike in demand for "blue loot" (thanks Ravas for that).  Instead, after recording Hydrostatic Podcast with guest Ravas, I learned about a far more interesting outcome.

In his piece "They're Lying to You", Ravas outlines a lot of the player-driven WH lore generated since the space was released.  As an act of defiance, to try and revitalize an old player-dev partnership project, the WH community is rallying around Gillome Renard to stick it to the empires.  If I get my hands on any of the designated loot for this event, I will definitely be throwing it Gillome's way!

Outlier Report

Tonight, I'm going to point readers to the show/notes for more information about specific outlier reporting.  I should dedicate this section on the blog to more texty analysis, but I am running out of time to publish this post.  Instead, I'll give you some info about HOW I generated this episode's outlier report, and the methodology I'll be using going forward.

To automate finding interesting things, I went ahead and filtered items based on weekly sales volume.  My script pulls each item, profiles the distribution of daily sales, and then saves off some information, assuming it fits a normal distribution curve.  Continuing with that assumption, I then use "sigmas" to pick out specific percentile levels.  If the weekly average volume for an item crosses one of those percentile levels, it flags for further analysis.  

I know that it would be better to look at some sort of price-based flagging, but I don't have a great methodology for that yet.  Long bouts of growth or decline will break the method I'm using today.  I will probably look to leverage more of the methods enabled by Quantmod, but we'll start with volumes today, and work on better methods over time.

Conclusions

I am reasonably pleased by this first test show.  The tools work well to enable reasonably quick prep, and general interest seems high.  We'll see over the next week how the twitch/youtube subscriptions/hits go, but I'm pretty excited.  Also, I will be trying my best not to be all emo about not being able to make it to EVE Vegas.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Back From Hiatus

I haven't posted here since Crius launched.  This summer has been characterized by burnout in pretty serious fashion.  You could trace my burnout back specifically to some financial troubles that have taken most of the summer to clean up.  In all, I've been trying to figure out what is worth investing my time into, and keeping up appearances in EVE hasn't really been one of them.

The long-and-short is that though Crius represented a significant and important improvement in quality of live for industry, personally, my heart isn't in grinding space money.  This is largely due to a need to rebuild tools coupled with the lowered direct margins.  This would be surmountable, if I had any interest in growing my personal wallet above a 10B waterline.

Extracurriculars 

Computer Case Painting: #PCMASTERRACE

Instead, I spent the summer trying out some new projects.  First, I've been working on my general geek cred with something a little more creative.  It should be finished this week just a little after the Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel launch:


More pictures should be out this next week.  I'll probably do a whole /r/diy post here once it's totally complete.

More Data Projects

I have some pretty big data problems at work I've been trying to digest.  I'd like to build new methodologies to explore that data, but hammering at work data after-hours is a great way to go completely mad.  Instead, I've been working on some IRL/EVE market data scripting.  Specifically been playing with Quandl a bunch, and that has reignited the sparks on a lot of half-baked scripts I had sitting idle.

This has sparked a two-way development scheme that is paying dividends on a lot of fronts.  Quandl/IRL data is serving as the test bed to write really "good" code; the kind that is clean and extensible.  EVE/CREST data is giving me the sandbox to try "new" code and work out mistakes and structure in a better behaved environment.  

The end goals are:
  • Become familiar with plotting software
  • Become familiar with neural network tools/methodology
  • Learn high parallelism code: threadding/GPU

On the Horizon

Hydrostatic Podcast has been one big pull back to the game, and I have some ambitious plans for a new show in addition to the podcast.  During the Alliance Tournament (grats Camel Empire), there was an ad for an EVE market show.  After checking it out, I said to myself, "I bet I could do something like that".

To commit to a regular stream like that, I knew the pre-stream work was going to be the breaking point.  So, I've been working on a batch of scripts to help scrape and generate the visual aides automatically, so I can just broadcast without much issue.

Sample outputs:

I plan to have episode 0, of the yet unnamed project, airing this upcoming Thursday night US (Fri, Oct 17 0200 in game).  I expect the show to be ~1hr weekly.  I'm targeting Thursday night so people can have the info they need to speculate on the weekend.  Check out the draft show notes and let me know what you think!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend Update

Crunched on some work this weekend.  Getting dangerously close to complete on the spreadsheet front, and pushed some updates out.  Just posting this as a quick update for those that may have missed them.

Crius Industry Tools for Google Drive - Update

I pushed some updates to the script this weekend.  This should address some bugs with the getPOS() routine, as well as some features that @CCP_Nullarbor added to the Teams CREST feeds.
  • Fixed issue with getPOS(): Was trying to fetch location names with the wrong function call.  This issue has been resolved and all valid TQ corp keys should return good data now
  • Fixed issue with getIndustryJobs(): Was not fetching personal jobs correctly.  Changed key validation to be correct now.  Can fetch corporate or personal jobs automatically off a single key/vcode
  • Added teamName/activity to Teams and TeamsAuction feeds: Were "TODO" placeholders.  Now reports in-game names and valid activity information
Go fetch a fresh copy from either source, and continue reporting bugs
I still need to clean up some errors and hanging bits.  I'd like to push this tool to proper add-in status, but I am a little unclear on what to do between what I have now and what it takes to be considered "release ready".  Also, probably time to bite the bullet and buy some icon/banner designs.

More Crius Utilities for Devs

This one won't be as useful for the veteran 3rd party devs, but should be invaluable to the amateurs.  I put together some SQL queries and the resultant CSVs into the github.  If you're trying to update your spreadsheets with new data, these feeds should help you save a boatload of time.  If you're not sure what to do with the CSV files, I suggest you read up on pivot tables.

Let's Build a Spreadsheet Series

I did a pretty long set of streams on Sunday.  The goal was to help show off the spreadsheet fu and help people learn to build better spreadsheets with the tools at hand.  I will have the raw streams up on YouTube and Twitch tonight, but I want to boil down the lesson plans into 5-15min function lessons.  I still need to write up lesson plans and get my hands around video editing, but it's a goal for this August to put together a series that will help people build their own calculators.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Building Better Spreadsheets - Crius Toolset

Crius releases on Tuesday, and most industrialists are scrambling to replace their spreadsheets (I know I am).  What's worse, the job-cost equation requires live data from the game, which can be difficult for someone relying on spreadsheet feeds.  Fear not!  I have great news!

Crius Feeds In Google Spreadsheets

These functions let you read in the CREST/API feeds of common calls and import them directly into your spreadsheet.  Furthermore, the triggers are set up to automatically refresh the data periodically so your spreadsheet will always be up-to-date.  Though this is not an exhaustive API tool, and still could use some more features, it should be a huge leg up for any spreadsheet jockey.

Most of the feeds are designed to dump the entire feed, and don't offer much filtering in the call.  Instead, they were designed to be used in a reference sheet that could then be leveraged using VLOOKUP() or QUERY().  This might lead to some issues with complexity down the line, so I intend to eventually add some finer calls that will just return single-line kind of data.

Getting Started

Method 1: Clone the Master Spreadsheet

This will give you the tools and triggers, but will not stay up-to-date with the master sheet.  Until I can wrap up the code as a stand-alone Drive app, this will be the most stupid proof way to get a copy:
  1. Open the spreadsheet
  2. Go to File -> Make a Copy
  3. Set the name of your copy (do not share with collaborators)
  4. Remove any extra sheets/calls you need to and start developing your spreadsheet
This method is the easiest to start with, but has the issue that it will not keep current with updates.  

Method 2: Copy-Paste from Github

The codebase is free and open source, and is designed to be copy-pasted into the gdoc script interface.  This method is a little more tedious, but will be easy to copy updates as they come out.
  1. Get plain-text code from the GitHub repo
  2. In your spreadsheet, go to Tools -> Script Editor...
  3. This opens a new window.  Select "Blank Project" from the initialization prompt
  4. Copy the raw code into code.js space
  5. Set the name of the project
  6. Save the changes
  7. Configure the app triggers.  Set get/All functions to 1hr timers

This will give you all the utilities in a fresh, or existing codebase.  Also, configuring the triggers appropriately will keep the data up-to-date automatically.  It's technically optional, but without time triggers, it will require a fresh open to pull fresh data.

Also, as updates come out, you'll be able to drop in the new code.  I expect to keep this project backwards compatible, so each drop in should ADD features.  Though, of course, if you go editing the code, you will need to be more careful about dropping in changes.  

Function List

  • getPOS (keyID, vCode, header_bool, verbose_bool, test_server_boo l)
  • getFacilities (keyID, vCode, header_bool, verbose_bool, test_server_bool )
  • getIndustryJobs (keyID, vCode, header_bool, verbose_bool, test_server_bool )
  • getAvgVolume (days, item_id, region_id )
  • getVolumes (days, item_id, region_id )
  • AllItemPrices (header_bool, test_server_bool )
  • AllSystemIndexes (header_bool, test_server_bool )
  • AllTeams (header_bool, verbose_bool, test_server_bool )
  • AllAuctions (header_bool, verbose_bool, test_server_bool )
The functions are designed to be referenced as simply as possible.  CREST feeds like AllItemPrices and AllSystemIndexes can be referenced without arguments if desired.  Also, the classic API feeds are designed to return as much information as they can, with internal switches to try and use the /corp/Locations feeds if possible.  Also, most feeds come with a "verbose_bool" trigger to add/remove ugly or useless raw ID kind of data.  Lastly, the test_server_bool has been left in the release.  For TQ this value can either be blank or false.

Function guide below the cut

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Can I Play With MA(C)Dness?

Blame this one entirely on @K162space.  He got me playing with Quantmod in R.  Also, shout out to CCP Quant for showing off the original bits, and CCP Foxfour for the CREST market history.

After all my EVE data experiments, I've had a very hard time finding predictive correlations between datasets.  Even trying to bring in destruction data showed no predictive properties, instead only showing correlation to corroborate market volumes.  Also, I've tried my best to get into Varakoh's analysis, but have never been able to internalize his methods enough to consider rolling it into my own analysis (also getting reliable candlesticks for EVE data is a pain)

Then Blake over at K162space.com sent me this tidbit:

Quantmod opened a whole new realm of tools I never knew about (full listing here).  The most interesting to me has been Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD).  I wouldn't be so bold as to say "use this to make money", but the results are extremely interesting when using IRL stock data.

INTC - YTD
For those that have never seen an MACD plot, the theory is relatively simple: Different line crosses are signals for buy/sell operations (specifics here and here).  Though the signals are imperfect, and will by no means catch every peak and valley, they can be an excellent sanity check for the longer trend.  For many IRL stocks these trends can have very strong correlation and are a popular tool among amateurs.  It is less useful for the minute-to-minute daytrading or arbitrage, but can be a powerful data source for the long-term investor.

Can this be useful for an EVE trader?  Well....

Let's look at a few plots:
PLEX - YTD - click to embiggen
Tritanium - YTD - click to embiggen
Phenolic Composites - YTD
I had to do a little fudging to get open/close bars to work correctly (though high=close=avg is roughly the same).  The trend information is interesting, but the crossover signals aren't lining up well.  Using the traditional 12,26,9 configuration, many of the crossover signals arrive 2-3 days late.  If you ended up using these charts as-is, I think you'd end up at best breaking even.  Though there are some secondary things you could do like buy and sell in the swings up and down, these charts aren't going to be immediately useful.

I then started playing with shorter windows, and pairing a fast and a slow chart might be a better way forward.  Unfortunately, I'm blindly fiddling knobs right now, but I'm actively hunting down documentation to better fine tune the charts.  I was thinking a 10-15d window might be more accurate, and a 25-30d window would serve well as a "slow" chart.

Also, I think the weakness has a bit to do with the quality of data here.  Where MACD is looking for close prices, we're feeding it daily averages.  This might be a good excuse to finally work on a better snapshot tool using eve-central data.  Though I had a lot of trouble processing down the raw archive, starting up a stupid-script that pulls periodically from the traditional API would be a quick solution that could start crunching in the background.  Once I can get my industry tools refactored, I expect to get back into the data mining game pretty seriously.

In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to my channel on Twitch, and follow on Twitter.  I will be doing some random streams over the next week as I get back into a reasonable routine again.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Crius stuff - Getting Ahead in Code Development

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/upcoming-api-changes-for-industry/

Crius isn't that far off, and I'm starting to get a little anxious about getting started on new industry tool code.  Though CCP_Foxfour has been extremely outspoken on Twitter and Reddit about API rollouts, it's been harder to get the other base math information needed to make calculations.

Beta Data Dump

Thanks to FuzzySteve and CCP_Nullarbor for dropping this pro-tip in my stream.  You can take a look at the current BPO data inside the Singularity client files:
<sisi client path>\bin\staticdata\blueprint.db
 There you can find a SQLite db of the individual BPO data roughly the same format as will be delivered in the SDE when Crius launches.  I had a little trouble exporting the whole thing because I'm a noob and SQLite TEXT/BLOB rules are weird.  I ended up whipping together a little Python script to dump as csv.  The final version will be published as YAML, but should still be the JSON-string type for extraction.

Just to reiterate, we probably won't have a real set of tables for attributes like before.  Instead, each blueprint will be an individual object with all the attributes inside it.  There's nothing stopping you from expanding/transforming this data back into tables, but don't expect CCP or Fuzzwork to do it for you (EDIT: maybe after release, but will be custom project).

New APIs

The API is dead, long live the API

Until SSO rolls out, we're still going to have the classic-API for private data, and CREST for public/global data.  I will need more time to whip up real guides, and I will probably just update dev wikis rather than post wall-o-text here on the blog.

Classic-API Feeds

  • [char|corp]/IndustryJobs: updated format, will break classic tools
  • [char|corp]/IndustryJobsHistory: updated format, will break classic tools
  • corp/Facilities: will list corp-controlled facilities like POS/Outpost

CREST Feeds

  • /industry/
    • more info soon(tm)
Personally, I continue to use Entity's eveapi Python module for classic API queries.  Mostly because Python + XML kinda sucks.  Thankfully CREST is JSON and much easier to handle.  I still haven't seen an all-in-one CREST module, so you're gonna be stuck writing handlers for each new API feed.  This shouldn't be too much trouble, since the only things that need to change between requests is address and perhaps HTTP request headers.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Crius Industry - Features You May Have Missed

On Saturday, I had my stream, and crashed +Ali Aras's stream afterwards along with Mynnna, Salpun, and a few others I didn't immediately recognize.  Also, +Chella Ranier dropped into my Friday stream (and I will have her segment isolated into its own video soon).  It's been exceptionally helpful to get all the various perspectives on the industry changes, and we're still only scratching the surface.

If you're relying purely on the dev blogs for info about the changes, you're going to have a bad time.  Mynnna showed me how grossly out of sync I was by missing important information about CCP Grayscale's BP migration on the forum.  Also, I almost missed some of the POS stuff in the most recent devblog.  Lastly, it's worth messing with the UI on all the devices you expect to play EVE on.  It's a pretty big window, and I anticipate issues with shorter form factors such as laptops.

Note, none of the following are set in stone yet.  Provide feedback if you don't like the changes!  It's also worth noting the entire CSM is incredibly active on this Crius front.  Feel free to reach out to your personal favorite(s) and include them in your feedback!

Invention Math Changes


There are three big changes for Invention that might have gone unmentioned elsewhere.  
  • Invention will only consume 1 run off a copy per attempt
  • Invention times are far more dynamic to match up with manufacturing times
    • Copy + invent = 0.5x T2 build time (roughly research = build for T2)
  • Invention results will all be +ME/+TE.  No more negative results
    • Base materials will be increased to keep prices roughly flat
Both of these changes are pretty big for T2 producers.  Reduced copy consumption clears up two problems for most inventors: BPC clutter, and reduce errors with T2 outcomes.  Though copy-time vs build-time is being reduced, this results in a big increase for module copies.  This ends up being balanced out by the one-run/invent feature.  You will still need multiple copies for parallelism, but that supply should last for quite a while.

Personally, I find the invention time balance far more interesting.  The goal is noble, to make invention time a far more meaningful choice, but I think this change misses the mark in its current state on Singularity.  For periodic gaming, I imagine a few different time groups:
  • <=1 hr: multiple per session, up to 6x/day
  • < 3 hrs: once per session, up to 3x/day
  • < 10 hrs: twice per day
  • < 22hrs: once per day
  • n-days - 2hrs: once per n days
Lastly, the ME/TE changes should make the T2 BPO tinfoilers jump for joy.  Until the material quantities balance out (using a modified refining equation, causing weird material costs) and the SDE comes out to better run the bulk numbers, this will be a very hard thing to judge.  BPOs will still have a slight advantage due to the requested runs cost scaling, but I think you will be able to get better ME/TE than most BPOs in the end.  I'm particularly interested in how decryptors will drive the margins, since we probably won't see the big savings factors at 6-8% savings like we saw between -ME steps.

What I Don't Like

Personally, I only care if something is >2hrs, because I won't be able to do more than 1/day at that rate (without mobile app).  Also, I care that jobs hit at 22hrs rather than 24, because it can be hard to keep up with a strictly 24 or 25 hour cycle time.  Though the whole spectrum is interesting if you're going to optimize to share BPs over timezones, as long as jobs are a per-character mechanic, the times can be blocked into the above categories IMO.  

Also, I'd rather that the invention time balance be 0.4x or 0.35x to account for specializing in the science skills.  I'd like to put a tangible benefit for taking some of the obscure science skills to 5.  Lastly, another "between the lines" message here will be wider decryptor-type use, because of the reduced research-time/run.

Currently POS math is broken, so I am not sure how this will wash out in the end.  Also, I still need to play with some of the corners to check the balance.  Lastly, the decryptor math is going to be something worth checking with a fine toothed comb.  On TQ today, decryptors pay for themselves off the ME savings, and the difference between positive steps is much smaller than the difference between negative steps.  I have a hard time imagining that better research/build ratios or lowered datacore costs will drive consumption.

POS Changes


There are a bunch of little things that changed between pre-Kronos and now.  
  • Additional labs/arrays will reduce job install costs
  • "Invention" and "Research" labs have been split:
    • Design Lab: able to copy/invent
    • Research Lab: able to ME/TE research
    • Hyasyoda Lab = meta Research Lab
  • Lowsec love
    • Intensive refining array = mid-grade null outpost refinery
    • Lowsec-only Thukker component array
      • ME better than outpost
      • Built from ghost site materials?
  • EDIT: moon mining/reactions will be available in 0.4 sec systems
As I covered previously, the people crying the biggest tears were solo capital producers.  With the new POS array changes, the playing field becomes much more even between LS/NS.  There's still the risk v reward metric, and a supply chain bottleneck for compressed ore, but the ability to participate in the capital game is still there (even if it's not entirely solo any more).  

Also, I really like the flat differentiation between "invention" and "research" labs.  This makes POS design far more direct for the amateur.  It's still hard to judge the job-cost benefits (in general) because of math and UI elements not being better solidified yet.  I'd also like to see the fitting requirements for both arrays be equivalent (or swapped) and a meta Design lab to match the Hyasyoda offering.  With the BP@POS rules, I'd like the choice to utilize blingy equipment for both Design and Research labs.  

Other Notes

The features are designed for an incredibly wide swath of EVE to participate in industry.  Though I am not wholly convinced it's great for high-powered and cooperative industry, it's a big step up from TQ historically.  Also, a lot of the bigger scale horsepower will rely on +Regner Blok-Andersen getting CREST/API/SDE stuff out for developers to start moving some of the every-day calculations outside the client.

Lastly, I have this grandiose idea that job fees will be the bar that separates the men from the boys.  Though right now, costs still account for <5% of business.  I can see where taxes + fees start to eat your lunch, but it's still a death-by-inches mechanic, and that makes it hard to justify a lot of effort to minimize it.  Also, with the job cost UI lacking a lot of the promised breakdown, it's hard to feel like it represents a meaningful choice yet.  If the costs are going to be this complex, I need to have a fighting chance to make good decisions.