Money on my Mind(links)Forlorn Wongraven
Another Monday, another Forlorn weekly column! He’s decided he also fancies starting a multi-post series and this time round, we dip into the dark and dangerous world of market speculation.
There are various guides to playing the markets Eve Online. But what about expansion speculation? In this, first of three posts, I will take a look at a long-term market investment within Eve Online’s development frame. The second post will cover short-term speculation while the last post demonstrates a more traditional approach, considering competition not just with other marketeers but also industrialists.
In early 2012, a devblog was released by CCP Ytterbium on ship rebalancing as well as skill requirements. It hinted at a full rebalance of my favourite class: command ships. Since trading in ships requires large ISK investment with a low margin (you are competing with builders and, in theory, an unlimited supply), I looked for a niche that would benefit from rebalanced command ships. I made a list of different items and mods that are only used on those hulls. My focus went almost immediately to warfare mindlinks. Those implants were only available in storyline missions so supply was limited. When CCP changed how agents worked in Incarna, the number of mindlinks available on the market went down even further as only a third of the previous storyline missions were available. Common prices for skirmish mindlinks were around 200 mil ISK and approximately 120 mil per unit for both armor and siege mindlinks. The underused information mindlink was being traded for only 6.5 mil per unit – there was my speculation target.
In my opinion, CCP had four options as far as mindlinks were concered:
– a complete mindlink overhaul due to the combined racial bonuses announced in the devblog
– increased availability of mindlinks via the LP store with a fixed value (to reduce the price of the expensive combat mindlinks while increasing the price of the information mindlink)
– removing all racial mindlinks and replacing them with a non-racially specific variants (side effect of increasing the value of transformed information mindlinks)
– removal of mindlinks completely from the game, reimbursing current market value
I set up multiple buy orders in Jita and Amarr to reduce the risk and to avoid a high profile. My wallet was a little low due to investments in other projects, so I set myself a 1 bil ISK limit. Within a few weeks I had a small stockpile of 168 information mindlinks stored in Jita. And for nearly a year this stockpile collected dust in my trader’s hangar…
Early 2013, it became obvious that command ships were on CCP’s schedule, with evidence hinted at in both the CSM minutes and Fanfest. A few weeks before the Odyssey 1.1 update was released, CCP Fozzie released another devblog on command ship changes coming in CCP’s summer expansion. Odyssey introduced new two racial bonused mindlinks as well as fixed value variants costing around 60 to 80 mil ISK per unit – my speculation now had an official deadline. Prices started to rise in early June but had not yet met their full potential. Just a week before Odyssey’s point release was pushed to TQ prices spiked with the release of the patchnotes. Traders attempted to stockpile information mindlinks while the other three combat versions plummeted. Within 48 hours I was able to sell my mindlinks for an average price of 33 mil ISK per unit, again using multiple sell orders. Nearly year and a half after I started my speculation in information mindlinks, I closed the project on September 2nd with a profit of 4.6 bil ISK. Not a bad investment. 😉
But of course, this was not the only project I did for Odyssey… More on that in my next post!