It all adds up

I try to get myself to spend at least 5 minutes actively earning ISK every time I log in for a proper EVE session. In 0.0 this might be to run through the belts until I get a Battleship Spawn. In Empire it might be to update my trade orders, or do a PI run, or clear out an anomaly or fill the hold of a Venture. It doesn’t matter how much it earns, it is just important that you are active.

There are two reasons for this. First – don’t undervalue the small ISK windfalls from these endeavors. They have a habit of adding up over time. Second, it can help get you into a mindset of achieving something with your EVE time, and reduces the chance of you ending up spinning ships for a while then logging off.

I remarked the other day about earning only 4M ISK from an hour of Hi Sec exploration. Despite the jokes, I did not view that as wasted time. I was 4M wealthier than if I had of remained docked. I was also playing the exploration game with its random drops. A couple of months ago I undocked, ran one of the lowest of low Anomalies, and had a faction Spawn which earnt me 180M. It took less than 5 minutes.

It’s that old adage of having to be in it to win it.

On the weekend I started my EVE session with running two Level 4 Mining Missions. I dual boxed these with my Main and Main Alt, which halved the time. It took 40 minutes from logging in to completion, and between LP and payouts, was worth around 10M ISK.

While I was mining I logged my Industry Alt in and update all my Trade Orders, taking around 15 minutes. The value of this time is not clear cut – but over the last few months I have been earning well in excess of 50M ISK for each hour I put into trading. I’ll estimate my earning at a very conservative 30M an hour, so that session was worth around 7.5M ISK. **

I moved back to my nearby home system and noticed a lot of anomalies on scan. I grabbed the PVE Retribution and ran 6 in quick succession. It took around 15 minutes and my journal suggested I earnt 2M in bounties. I did not loot or salvage, but bookmarked the first wreck in each site.

On the last site I had a Faction Spawn, which dropped a 5M module.

I returned to station, swapped into a Noctis, and quickly cleaned up the 6 sites. I got lucky with Armor Plates and an expensive T1 module in the drops, and made another 4M ISK.

So after a bit over an hour of just doing small little tasks, I ended up earning myself around 28.5M ISK.

Now – I have three accounts so I could dual box mining while also updating trade orders. You could argue the ISK return was poor. Still, I’m not complaining. As I said, that sort of ISK – which is very achievable, adds up over time.


The example above – obviously there to make my point, was not entirely honest. I actually took note of how much I earnt in those 15 minutes of trading. I flipped a ship hull which gave me a profit of 100M within a few hours, picked up a Faction Mod (60M profit a few days later in Jita), a Mining Barge Hull (20M profit turned within a week), and a dozen smaller items (which would have flipped for more than 10M profit over the next week or two). In effect I earnt closer to 200M in those 15 minutes, for a total of around 220M for my hour. That doesn’t happen every day, but it can be surprising what you can achieve when you are in game and active.

Trading Changes

At the start of the month I swapped training from my Primary to Secondary Industry Alt. That Alt has historically been used for PI and minor hauling, but is now getting the full assortment of trading skills. The thought was to send her out to another backwater region and set up a second trading area.

Over time I’ve built up a list of goods that turn over in my little backwater in enough volume, with adequate margins, and sufficient frequency to make the effort worthwhile. I’m not talking about making me lots of ISK – it is only small change, but it is worthwhile because it keeps me amused and I find it fun.

A couple weeks into the process I was hit with a dose of reality – what the hell was I thinking?

Setting up a second trading area, to do in effect what I was already doing, wouldn’t make the game any more enjoyable. So that left doing it for the ISK – and I already know it would not be worthwhile in that regard. So I dismantled the fledging trading hub and moved the Alt back home.

At the moment about 30% of my trading income comes from flipping T2 modules, small ship hulls, and a spattering of T1 items like probe launchers. The margins are good – around 50%, and the turn over consistent. 70% of my trading incomes from flipping expensive hulls or stuff like faction gear. The margins can be as low as 10%, but the profits can be as much as 100M on each sale. This is much less reliable, and there can be months on some goods between sales to buy orders.

Competition from other traders varies. Most of my buy orders for the smaller stuff last only a few hours at the top, so I tend to update them 2 or 3 times a day. Competition on the more expensive stuff varies wildly, from none for weeks, to updates just as often as the small stuff. I check those maybe once a day.

Knowing I am doing this more for fun, I decided to make some changes to cut back on the amount of work the trading is taking me. It will certainly cost me ISK, but hopefully I’ll be less inclined to burn out on it.

First of all I have dropped a lot of the T1 stuff. The T1 probe launchers would turn over quite well at very high margins (buy for 6K, sell for 50K) – but a month of sales would only be worth a Mil or so in ISK. Not worth it.

One of my longest and most reliable sources of income has been flipping destroyer hulls. I tend to make 500K ISK on each flip, and might do 40 to 50 a month. However they can be a bit annoying to shuffle about and centralise, and competition can be very active for them, so I dropped those and some other small hulls too.

I also made a bit of ISK on flipping T1 Industrials – but again, they were a big pain to consolidate purchases for minor (~500K ISK each) profits – so they were dropped.

There are other items that I buy on occasion with very good profit margins that won’t sell locally, and turn over only slowly at major trade hubs. While I could make 50+M on each flip, I might be stuck at a trade hub for days constantly undercutting prices until they go. Some of the faction gear and even certain Transport Ships fall into that category of annoying to re-sell – so I dropped those too.

It has been an odd turn of events. At the start of the month I was branching out into a second region, by the end of the month I’ve halved the number of orders I was managing and scaling back my efforts. The training of the second Alt in trading won’t be a waste however, they will be used for some of those more annoying efforts to sell stuff at trade hubs, and also pick up more goods for resale.

As an aside –the trade volumes have been odd this month. Even before I started dropping lines there would be a couple of days where the turnover is exceptional – and then it could go days where literally nothing happens.

Inflation and Deflation

It might not be apparent, but I am actually very active writing blog posts at the moment. I am just not managing to finish them.

I might need to throw up smaller sound bites for a while.

I was sorting through my hangers on the weekend, upgrading a number of my ships. During the process I was setting aside equipment and hulls that I no longer required, putting them all into a container to be sold.  The end value of this container was suggested as being 4B ISK.

Figuring that couldn’t be right I delved deeper into where my unexpected wealth was coming from – and found it to be mostly from inflation. One example was the half dozen Gistii B-Type modules that were surplus to my needs. I remember buying the Small Shield Boosters for 12M ISK – now they are going for 125M. Even the 1NM AB and MWD modules were two to three times more than I last paid for them. Remind me not to die in my PVE Assault Frigate.

Sometimes the game seems to just keep throwing ISK at you.

Conversely I was also hit with deflation. I collected a couple of True Sansha Webifiers through my High Sec Exploration (unusually lucky). They were worth 160M each at the time, but I didn’t get around to selling them straight away. Their price has plummeted since, and I sold them for 120M each. Still a nice amount of ISK, but 80M lost to being too busy to travel to Jita for a few weeks.

Time = Titan

In my last post I remarked on being in a position where I don’t need to be concerned about the rate at which I earn ISK. This is because I don’t tend to burn / lose ISK, so whatever I earn just keeps adding up over time.

Part of my thought process came from an epiphany recently when I realised I had the ISK on hand to buy and decently fit a Super Carrier if I wanted. I don’t want to – but I could.

If I continued my Solo Carebear approach, I will likely end up with enough ISK to buy a Titan. Again – I don’t want to, but it would be achievable.

I’m not patting myself on the back here. This situation doesn’t come about because of the smarts, efforts and multiple accounts of the like of MoxNix or Greedy Goblin. It is simply that time rewards the half decent Empire Carebear.

It’s an awkward realisation.

Before we go down the – there is too much ISK in Empire / Empire is not dangerous enough path, what this has flagged for me is that there probably needs to be an Empire equivalent of Super Carriers / Titans.

No, no, calm down, relax, wipe the spray off your screen and just hear me out.

I am not talking about force projection or power. I am not talking about something safe from being ganked.  I am talking about aspirational hulls for Carebears – with substantial cost, but only minor improvements over what is currently available.

How about a Super Orca? Mildly better than a standard Orca – 5% tougher, 5% more capacity, with some sort of special trick. Being able to fit a rig or module that changes the capacity of the Ore or Ship Maintenance Bay? Then price it at 5 to 10 times the standard Orca.

I can see it being a contentious idea, but is there any merit in it?  An ISK sink for Empire Carebears.


I’ve been thinking about wealth and EVE income recently.

On Tuesday I undocked my Main for its first time this month.  RL has been slamming EVE again.

I ran a relic site, some combat sites and a full escalation.  At the end of my hour or so I added up all the bounties and loot and found I had earnt a paltry sum of around 4M ISK.

That was mildly annoying, but I wasn’t overly bothered.  I try not to focus too hard on the ISK per hour calculations anymore.  Instead I place emphasis on my game time only needing to be an enjoyable distraction.

That’s quite a difference to the first few years of my EVE life.  How did I achieve getting to a point where I don’t need to focus on ISK, particularly as I have never been a skilled earner?

In the very early days everything I earnt was soon spent.  There was a constant cycle of upgrading and improving and experimenting.  I still remember some of those milestones –the more expensive skill books, my first Destroyer, my first cruiser, my first Mining Barge.  I would be constantly saving towards something.

Once I had a bit of wealth behind me I spent a couple years out in 0.0.  ISK was even more important – but for different reasons.  I needed doctrine ships, replacement ships, and contingencies for times of war.  I had to be able to afford to quickly replace stuff.

Next there were Capital class ships.  That was a large ISK investment.  While the skill books across two accounts were a hefty ISK sink, owning carriers actually ended up being profitable.  I could import trade goods and supplies into 0.0, export loot, and when situations deteriorated – evacuate all of my assets out safely.

Over all this time, and since being back in Empire, I have lost very little ISK.  It was from a mix of luck, smarts and skill, but also from a big dose of risk adverse caution.  It doesn’t matter if I earn 4M in an hour (such as last night), or 200M (which while rare, has happened) – it all gets added to my accumulating EVE wealth.

Wealth is a relative term in EVE.  I am aware of the fortune and earning capacity of some of the celebrity players.  I don’t have that.  What I do have is enough ISK to achieve any of my current and foreseen goals.

Is this situation a problem?  I am not that far off being seven years old in game.  Should it just be a given that by now I should be operating without too much concern for ISK?  It opens up some interesting questions about game balancing.

June Done

I post these for myself, as a way of measuring and tracking what I am doing in game.

Game Hours & Play

I would have had almost 20 hours of game time this month – mostly in the first 3 weeks. A bit over half was spent doing Hi-Sec Exploration, the rest trading.


Fluid ISK at the end of month

I only keep an amateurish measurement of my Trade and Industry profits – based around fluid ISK.


Cash & Stock

7.9B Wallet
0.6B Escrow
0.2B Stock on Market *
8.7B ISK

Input Assets

1.6B Manufacturing Supplies
0.4B POS Fuel **
0.0B Long Term Speculative Stock (Not valued)

Fluid ISK this Month

Fluid ISK last Month

Position Change

Known Expenses for the month

12M Office Rentals
4M Alliance Fees

(* Stock Value calculated at 80%, roughly at fire sale to Jita buy orders)


Industry / Trade Details

I’ve added 30+ items to my trading list to test the waters. Makes updates a little bit more of a chore, so don’t update everything as often. There is nothing particularly exciting to talk about.

Competition is back to more normal levels.

There were no PI runs in the month.



Account 1 (Main) – 126M SP. Finished the remaining Social Skills to IV. Picked up Shield Compensation V, Shield Upgrades V and Caldari Electronic Systems V. Now working on Tactical Shield Manipulation V.

Account 2 (Main Alt) – 119M SP. Picked up Frequency Modulation V, Long Distance Jamming V and Missile Bombardment V. Currently working on Drone Durability V.

Account 3 (Industry Alt) – 42M SP. Exhumer V completed, and continued on Armor, Repair and Jamming Compensation skills to IV. Currently working on Drone skills.

My skill training is a bit ad-hoc at the moment – running my eye down the list and just arbitrarily picking the first thing that stands out.



None basically. I will continue with the Hi-Sec exploration, I want to finish the first lot of 16 mining missions, and maybe revisit wormhole space in light of the Odyssey release.