Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: Outsmarting a ratter

I logged back into Provi-owned Catch. It was just before downtime and very quiet. I was peacefully making my way toward more comfortable territory when I stumbled upon a Deimos, sitting on a station. I couldn’t allow it to just sit there, cluttering up d-scan, could I?

This was a fight I wasn’t at all sure about. I knew that the Deimos can have obnoxious repping power and I wasn’t sure that two medium neuts would adequately counter the inevitable cap booster. But I fought him anyway.

I decloaked 20 km from him and started burning away, wanting to pull him off the docking ring. He chased at MWD speed and soon caught up, well outside the safe zone. I turned around and went into a tight orbit, applying scram, webs and neuts. His shield evaporated almost immediately and his armour was also soon depleted. Sure enough, he immediately repped back to full, several times. And then he hit hull. The neuts were evidently starting to hurt and it wasn’t long before he exploded in a most satisfying manner. Ha!

Deimos: https://zkillboard.com/kill/51191061/

A little while later I spied an Exequror and Megathron sitting in an anomaly. I warped to the site and landed just in time to see them warp away, abandoning their MTU. Aha! I bookmarked it, left the system and loitered on the gate for a couple of minutes. I then jumped back into system and warped, cloaked, to the MTU at 10 km.

Sigh, no battleship. But he was on short dscan! I was soon rewarded with the beautiful, musical tones of a ship landing on grid. Megathron! I decloaked and tackled him. He did not like it.

His tank was pretty tough and I was only about a quarter of the way through his armour when the Exequror landed. He instantly repped the battleship back up to full armour. I was already worried about how long it would take to kill the battleship (there was probably some help on the way) so I switched to the cruiser and killed him instead:

Exequror: https://zkillboard.com/kill/51280660/

Could have been worse. The pilot was not pleased about losing his ship and I received notification of a 10m ISK bounty being placed upon my unworthy head while I was repairing my armour. I thanked him for his generosity in local before moving on.

A couple of systems later I noticed that I had picked up a shadow in the form of a Falcon. Doubtless my Exequror exploits had attracted some attention and a defence fleet was brewing. I turned around and went the other way.

I was soon sitting a few kilometres away from a gate, watching a Vexor Navy Issue. He was waiting for something. Probably me. I decloaked and he instantly dropped drones, aggressing without hesitation. At this point I was almost certain it was bait. However, I wanted to kill him.

This is a common dilemma which I inevitably resolve by betting on stupid. This time, it didn't work out so well. Not for me, anyway.

The VNI had a strong tank but I was steadily chewing through it when I saw a couple of new people enter local. What I should have done at this point was use my superior range control (double webs) to pull away from the VNI’s scram and get myself aligned to a celestial. But I wanted to kill him, and therefore stayed close enough to apply my blaster DPS. Fatal error!

Honestly, the size fleet that descended upon me was ridiculously out of proportion to the threat. I had a good chuckle, and suggested that they should wait because perhaps there were not enough of them yet:

Stratios: https://zkillboard.com/kill/51280923/

Pod: https://zkillboard.com/kill/51280951/

I gave them a gf while waiting to be podded. They all returned it, except for the pilot of Exequror fame. I guess he was still a little miffed. But he did say hello the next day when I returned in a Phantasm!

Good fight, Provi.

Zappity's Adventures: Trading and the importance of item selection

I have been pretty busy lately, logging in mostly for trading. But even this became a bit much a bit much and I decided it was time to take a close look at what was taking up time.

I trade almost exclusively in T2 modules, T2 ships and pirate ships. This gets expensive because I like to keep each station well-stocked to reduce jump freighter runs and this had resulted in the accumulation of lots of inventory items.

Both stations I trade in had roughly 30b on the market plus roughly the same stocked in the station, waiting to be listed when the order was depleted. Inevitably, all my stuff will be trapped in a station one day and I will have to resort to a slow sell. Such is life until citadels arrive and then all my loot will be transported to an NPC station at the cost of a release fee. I don't know which is preferable to be honest. But it will be fun.

But to get back to the matter at hand, I decided it was time to assess my items. I keep a database of all transactions so I was able to write a simple script to calculate the income from each item over the last three months. Here is a chart showing the income distribution of the 370 items I have been trading recently:


Clearly, there are some winning and some losing items. Some simple statistics:

                 Item #  Sum               % of Total
Total            370     170,799,996,434   100%
1st Quartile     93      167,690,548,430   98%
Median           185     155,938,328,213   91%
3rd Quartile     276     128,339,927,851   75%

It is pretty straightforward. I sold 170b of items, ‘1st Quartile’ just means the bottom 25% of items (sorted by income yielded by that item), ‘Median’ is the halfway mark, and ‘3rd Quartile is the 75% mark.

The sum column is interesting. This is the total of all sales ABOVE the cutoff, meaning that if I had not traded the items below the cut-off at all, this is the income I would still have derived. The last column shows this as a percentage of the total. What this means is that I can delete the bottom quartile (93 items) from my inventory and suffer only ~2% lost revenue. Similarly, I can delete half my inventory for ~9% lost revenue. And, as it turns out, free up about 20b by selling items I no longer need to inventory.

Cool. Let’s do that.

So what, I hear you ask, are the best items? Well because I am a meanie I am not going to tell you that. However, I AM going to tell you what the worst items are. Bear in mind that these are from a sov null perspective. Lowsec, or even a different type of alliance, would no doubt be different. Still, there were a few surprises for me.

Lower median items: http://pastebin.com/NY8c1GZh

Ironically, it will no doubt take a lot of effort to sort everything out and move the excess, non-traded items back to Jita!