Affording Your First Battleship

First things first, it seems I got some attention from a post I wrote yesterday that was a little more philosophical in nature. Due to this, I don’t want to risk chasing anyone away who is interested in those kinds of posts. I am going to make it a goal to keep my actual game update posts short, to the point, frequent, and broken up by longer philosophical posts.

So let me start by saying that this post will be an update on my in game comings and goings. However, I will offer a sneak preview of my next “think piece”—a compare and contrast of Ultima Online and EVE Online. Following that, I plan on writing a post called “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees” about the metaphysical implications of items appearing out of thin air in games.

Today though, we pick up where we left off. Having just hit the 6 week mark playing EVE Online, I produced about 45 million ISK worth of goods in the past 3 days across 3 characters.

Keep in mind though I have colonized 8 planets currently. So I have quite a bit of bandwidth left to play with. When all is said and done I am planning for an income of 25 Million per day. That puts me squarely in “playing for free” territory.

Here is a screenshot of me turning over about half of that 40 million in goods hauled out of low-sec. All the sales happened over night, so when I swiped into my phone this morning to check Aura I had a pleasant surprise waiting:

Image

My plan for this post was to summarize my current financial situation, and that’s what I have decided to commit to. Two weeks ago I had 160,000,000 ISK in my wallet. I felt that I was approaching the purchase of my first battleship. Four days ago I had 30,000,000. Let me tell you, it certainly felt like I had done something terribly wrong. So let me document those steps.

First, understand that as a gamer I do not believe in buying wealth in game with real life money. This has bit me in the ass 50 times in the past, and will probably bite me 50 more. Nevertheless, the one or two times I have done it have been hard enough lessons to never want to try again.

This means that by the time I hit 160M in my wallet, I had fought the hard way for every penny. Actually, around the 80M mark arbitrage and a little market luck took me the rest of the way. So what have I learned in the past two weeks? Luck in EVE is so very fickle. There is no substitute for a guaranteed bet.

So being so close to my goal of owning a battleship, you can imagine it was hard to invest heavily in a Level 3 mission running ship. But that is precisely what I chose to do. My reasoning was twofold. One, I was not ready to fly a battleship yet from a skills perspective, despite 100% of my training over the past two months going to fitting Large Turrets and a Tech II tank. Two, I figured I would make back the money invested in a level 3 runner within short order.

I invested 60,000,000 in a level 3 ship. As fate would have it, the next morning I was officially accepted into the E-UNI. The E-UNI that was currently at war. Doh!

Being terrified of losing over 1/3 of my wealth in a ball of fire, I decided I’d need a new strategy over the next week. I mothballed the mission running temporarily and stacked a bunch of exploration frigates up in Aldrat. The way I saw it at the time, it was dangerous enough travelling anywhere with the war-dec. So I might as well hop around in low-sec in a low cost frigate and try to make some cash.

I’ll be honest with you. Exploration is just not my cup of tea. I spent about 6 hours flying around low-sec. Although not fun, it was immensely helpful. I learned a lot about the mechanics of safe-ing, cloaking, and using the MWD trick. I also really enjoyed my time in less lawful space. The constant fear of aggression is not an entirely bad feeling for someone who is willing to prepare themselves with a steadfast defense.

So I had to figure out how I was going to make money in low-sec if it wasn’t going to be exploration. I got Remote Sensing and decided to start gauging the kind of yields low-sec planets would offer. Compared to high-sec, looking at individual resources, it was possible to find planets that were absolutely off the charts. Over the next 5 days I spent another 60M ISK on a pretty robust PI setup.

I also think it’s worth mentioning that I spent 2 PLEX as well. This was strictly for the multiple character training. There is only one thing all players HAVE to buy in this game, and that is skill training. It is simply unavoidable not to pay to train at least one character.

So my total outlay so far would be the time spent training thus far, plus the time spent gathering the initial capital for PI, plus two PLEX. I calculate that out to be 1.5 Billion ISK invested, essentially. I consider this important however because this investment was the magic number required in order for me to generate enough passive income to PLEX my account (theoretically). By theoretically I mean that you still have to log in every day to reset the extractors, and you still need to haul the goods.

Another way to look at it would be that I paid 2 PLEX for 2 characters that can each generate 150M of passive income each month. In other words, the investment pays for itself within 4 months. Every consecutive month beyond that is just pure profit.

The moral of this story is that my overall wealth in liquid ISK has finally returned to the 100M mark. It has been an exhausting 2 weeks of getting here, but it probably won’t be a tough week getting back to 160M by next Friday.

I’m  going to cross my fingers I don’t blow it again so badly next time.

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