Oops

Just a quick update.

The trade battle is in effect over.  I stayed online for long periods of time, quickly trumping most of my opponents aggressive order updates.  After a week of this they seem to take a step back and now only update a couple times a day.  That gives me enough room, so I’ve also been a lot less aggressive.

Otherwise I haven’t done much.  In part because I spent a few days away without Internet Access, in part because I put my back out yet again and can’t remain sitting for too long.  I’m aware that I am not undocking my main characters at the moment – and really have no goals for them either.  While I am sort of looking forward to the next Expansion, I’m not sure it will alter the fact that the only thing I am really doing at the moment is relatively mild trading.

Easy come, easy go

I had an unexpected ISK injection from a very generous competition run by Ardent Defender

I didn’t want this to just disappear into the bank balance, so I spent some time considering how I would spend it. I wanted this to have some sort of impact on my game.

This weekend I went to Jita on a shopping trip, purchasing:

. 60 odd Shield and Armor Ancillary modules and a pile of Nanite paste and Boosters to feed them. (I haven’t actually used them before, so I am going to play around with some fittings)

. One of each of the Aliastra, Intaki Syndicate and InterBus Catalyst’s, to add to my collection

. A couple Keres and Sentinel hulls – as I’ve never used them before

. And Curse hull, just because

Goal achieved – should keep me busy and interested for a while.

Following some fairly heavy market PVP, my Trade nemesis has at least temporarily stepped back. After a week of up to 10 to 15 order changes per item each day, they have dropped back to 2 to 4 updates. (Which is still a lot for our little backwater area.) Having them watchlisted, and a seeming level of good luck is helping keep on top of the buy orders around 70% of the time.

There you are – gosh that is a horrendous hair cut

It cost me about 10M ISK and 50 odd jumps on 2 Toons, but I have the name of my new trade adversary.

(Manipulate prices until one of their hull buy orders was within 5M of Jita price.  Fly my main to Jita (he was the only one able to fly that hull), buy one, and return.  Move one of my out of Corp Price Check Alts to a nearby station.  Transfer the hull to them so it doesn’t have my finger prints on it.  Sell to their buy order.  Move my Price Check Alt back to its trade hub.)

They are 21 months old, and haven’t moved out of their starting NPC Corp. Their updates were infrequent today, and they seem to only log in for short periods then log off. It doesn’t appear to be a main – but one of possibly many trading Alts. I’d guess the speed at which they identify what orders they need to change suggests at support from 3rd party software.

Combating this one will likely require a lot of stamina.

Maybe I am the bot

I am still playing the 0.01ISK battle with the recent arrived competitor. Their updates are more sporadic and human like now – although they come in spits and spurts at almost any time of day. They are quite persistent.

I wonder what they think of my updates. I’ve left my trading toon logged in all day since the weekend, and am generally adjusting my orders within an hour of theirs. (Or like just now, within minutes.) It isn’t a huge effort, given I work from home and I just leave the EVE client running, but my doggedness probably suggest at a character flaw. As it stands, my behaviour is probably more bot like than my competitor.

I am still completing on a couple of items, but I ruined the market on half a dozen other items with buy orders at or just under the breakeven point. They dropped out of all but one of those markets immediately. The remaining item I left their buy order at the top, as it is not worth playing the 0.01ISK game for the profit that remains. I’ve left my order there however to keep theirs high.

By pure luck, there has been more turn over in these markets than usual, and I have been at the top of the buy orders for most of them in recent days. I don’t expect that will continue, but profits for the month should be higher than my average.

If I took this effort into a market hub I’d have made substantially more ISK. Strangely that doesn’t seem appealing.

But then again, who cares about bots

EN24 posted a news article suggesting players were making substantial ISK on market plays, using information gleaned / hacked from the internal CCP EVE Development server.

The reported response from CCP was rather lame.

If it is actually true, I call that straight out cheating.

http://evenews24.com/2013/05/13/fists-full-of-isk-chaos-testbed-server-market-wizardry/

 

Bot batting

I update my trade orders any time between 5am and midnight local, on any day of the week. I can go days between updates, or I might make 20+ updates in one day.

I’ve remarked before about how much you can learn about the people you compete against in a backwater region. When they update, how they update, what sort of competition they provide. Some are in it for the long haul; others appear in a rush and then fade away.

Then every so often you run into a Bot.

Mostly these only appear during hot moments on hot items – after a DEV blog or expansion hits the markets. Just lately however I’ve been competing against one in a particular segment of the market.

There initially seem to be randomness to its updates so I thought I was up against a no-lifer trader, who just happens to be online 16 hours a day. But then patterns started to stand out.

I update a buy order, only to have it beaten within 5 minutes. I update my buy order as soon as I can, and it is again beaten as soon as the competitor can. This cycle continues a number of turns before the opponent appears to give up. Exactly 60 minutes later however they update their order again. This then repeats, on the hour, for another set number of turns. I haven’t worked out the next cycle fully as I simply can’t play and pay attention to EVE for that long, but the whole process will restart again with the 5 minute cycle and progress in the same pattern.

I know the person behind the bot turns off his computer to sleep – as there are 6 to 7 hours a day where there are no updates.

When I have had enough of working out how the bot has been configured, I will deliberately crash the market in all the items we are competing on, with buy orders than only break even or even take a small loss. I’m happy to be annoying like that.

That is not however taking a huge amount of effort – I have been catching up on some recorded TV shows this weekend, and just left EVE running on the adjacent screen.

Tonight I actually undocked and did some running around. I’ve had various POS fuel components stockpiled, but was missing bits and bobs and wasn’t able to convert them into fuel blocks. I finally remedied that, and those are now in manufacture. There should be around 500M worth, which makes me wonder why I didn’t get around to that earlier.

I also spent some time watching JonnyPew’s latest EVE Youtube videos. I do like both the radial menu and cinematic stargate effects coming up in the next expansion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUv73akegEM&list=UU6L76TQIxYnWrkQrF7tErSg&index=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoAMoRNZICU&list=UU6L76TQIxYnWrkQrF7tErSg&index=3

Owl

Like many, I use the Google Reader to keep up to date with the EVE blogs I follow. Due to it’s incoming demise, I’ve been searching for an RSS Tool to replace it. I think I’ve settled on

http://www.rssowl.org/

It is a freeware tool with plenty of features and configuration options, including archiving, category tags and various search options and the like.  It is not a cloud type solution – it downloads the articles to your local PC (which is what I was looking for).  It can be linked in with your Google Reader – while it lives anyway.  My only disappointment so far is I don’t think you can mark a news item as “unread”, which is annoying.

 

Edit: As helpfully pointed out by Mekhios, you can mark a news item as read / unread by using the Mark Read option.