Making money LS
Sent: 2013.12.12 19:02
To: Sugar Kyle,
Just found your blog and since you claim to be an advocate for LS, I thought I just might ask for your help/advice.
I love this game but it just seems to me I can't find a way to last on it. For a simple reason : I don't know how to make money to support some ambitious goals : I wanna fly a Legion. I don't care about how and why, I just like the looks and the concept of the ship.
I heard about a few ways to make money but I can't put my head around it. Say exploration. I like the sound of that. The tutorial was fun. It was also way too short and vague. Can I just do it with a frigate ? do I need a BC or a BS ? if yes how am I supposed to fund it ?
I won't get longer, I just which the veterans on EVE would give some actual tips on how to make ISK (without having to count heavily on donations and help from other players). People talk about incursions, ratting, WH, complexes... all of which can't be done when you're new around.
Thanks for reading.What a huge question. I can only hope that someone(?) will take pity on both me, and the asker, and add to the possibilities, ideas, and options. I can work off of what I have done and what I know others do or have done. I am a terrible mission runner for instance and my knowledge of anything beyond basic mission running is non-existent.
I was sent an Eve Mail about ISK making. I went, "huh", and decided to try to tackle it. One of the amusing things is that I started to write a post a month or two ago that started out, "Detta and Vov disagree with me about ISK a lot. I just lay back my ears and growl in my corner. They are both much richer then I am but I still don't agree with them all the time."
The question of what is and is not rich crops up a lot in this game. You have those who look down from their mountain of wealth and sneer. "10 billion is poverty," some will say. Others have nothing but joy in their hearts and 500 million in their wallet. While the theoretical beauty of the concept is good and well none of it puts ISK into the belly.
One of the first rules about making ISK is that you have to invest in your ISK making activity. I don't mean billions or even hundreds of millions. I don't even, fully, mean ISK investment. It may be time to properly learn skills (scanning/hacking) or skills to make ISK (mission running/ratting) or learning the market or learning PI. Whatever you do, you have to ramp up towards it. While it is possible for new players with a lot of work to make a PLEX in their first month and step into the billions, it tends to take time and dedication. However, that can be fun as well.
To touch on the mail:
Let's look at the Legion. Flying a Legion is ambitious but not improvable. I love the Legion. Many people will tell you to get something more useful like a Tengu for money making. I have to say it because someone else will say it. I'm with you on flying what I like because I like it.
It will also take a bit of time to train into. While that is happening ISK can be made to buy that Legion and afford a replacement Legion as well. At this stage in the game, being able to replace it if it is lost is very important. It is what will stop a huge blow from turning into a crippling one.
You can start exploration in a T1 frigate that costs half a million ISK. The basic modules are not very expensive and the scanning changes have made the entire process much easier. Exploration has several parts.
Data/Relic sites: These sites have the hacking mini-game. There are no NPCs. They exist in high sec, low sec, and null sec, and wormholes (but I think they have the npcs?). The sites are harder to scan the lower the security rating of the system goes and the hacking game gets harder. So, easiest in high sec, harder but not super bad in low sec, hard in null and wormholes. High sec has a mind boggling large amount of competition.
From Data/Relic sites you will get salvage (both T1 and T2) and various bits and pieces to do things like build items used in T2 module production, blue prints for various modules and structure bits, occasional skillbooks and random stuff. Sites in high don't net much income, low is a few million a site, null and wormholes it gets a lot better. However, those items will have to be sold or built if they are blueprints. It is not an instant money maker but it makes money. It takes a lot of patience and interest. Explorers tend to love exploration.
Combat sites are DED complexes. These are similar to a mission but you don't receive it from an agent. These sites will require a combat ship. In high sec you can do them in a frigate to a cruiser depending on the site. Assault frigates are perfect for covering all the types in high sec. They have a chance to drop a meta module that will be worth a few million ISK on its own.
In low sec you will need a battlecruiser and after that it turns into a game of understanding how to PvE and live in low sec. That is its own guide and I cannot recommend a new player or a player with a tight income to risk a battlecruiser in low sec for a hope of making ISK. When talking about raw cold hard ISK things like risk vs reward matter. What a battlecruiser can earn you in PvE vs the chance of the battlecruiser being scanned down and killed by pirates is such that the battlecruiser is not worth the potential loss.
I can go into it but the higher end sites 5/10+ are harder than most level 4 missions and just keep getting harder. I'm not going to go into detail about them because they are not the core of the question of "make money now and become solvent".
To do exploration there will have to be a time and ISK investment. It is not a huge one for a T1 frigate. The skill commitment will take a bit more time to learn the skills for the mini-game. There are tons of exploration guides out there that will walk you through the various bits.
Exploration also covers gas sites. In non-wormhole space gas sites are used to make boosters. Gas mining is boring but can make some ISK. Wormhole gas mining is pretty lucrative if I understand it correctly but comes with the whole risk of wormholes. This, however, is a great hobby for a Venture to have a low cost entry point.
And to make it a bit more complex there are combat gas sites which are a mixture of hacking and combat (and they are not low level things) that have the potential to drop expensive skillbooks.
Also ghost sites. These are hacking sites (using relic/code breaker) modules that have the potential to explode and spawn NPCs. Fun.
At this time exploration at this extent is not considered 'good' money. But what is good money? A few million a day/hour? Enough to replace a cruiser?
How do I fund this?
If you haven't done the Sister's of Eve Epic Arc mission and you've just started the game, do it. Its some cash in your pocket and a good way to stretch newbie legs.
Eve has two things that most players do to get themselves started. Mining and missions. Both have low entry requirements and are more time sinks then anything else. Mining actually makes more money then mission running at first. Mission running requires some dedication to working on standings and learning how to fit ships. Once that is done mission running becomes a steady, solid income.
Mining, while everyone screams, don't do it, its terrible, is done because it is easy, low cost of entry, and you make a few million ISK per haul in a Venture. You can sell the raw ore and make money. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
Mission running makes money in 4 ways. There are bounties. Bounties are spontaneous ISK generation into Eve. Then there are loyalty points. A bit of time and energy is needed to learn how to spend them properly to bring in the best return. Next is loot from NPCs. Selling the loot or refining it and selling the minerals gives a small but constant influx of money. Next is salvaging the wrecks. Again, this brings in money.
After these two things the game is your oyster. So, let's think about how to pry it open.
Flexibility of thought is necessary in Eve. In all of the above things I listed I discussed having to sell things on the market. The market in Eve is its heart. It is the pulse of the game. It pushes the flow of loot and items that we need to actually play. Almost everything you do in Eve will be about selling things on the market. The market is large and complex enough with supply and demand that many people try their hands are becoming a market trader.
These people buy low and sell high. There are many blogs dedicated to learning how to make money on the market. They do everything from moving items from point A to point B to sitting in a big trade hub buying and selling things and making a profit off of it. Traders are commonly known as the richest people in Eve because they understand numbers and how to make money. Many traders start with very little and work their way up.
Markets for ISK is a blogger who started making money in May and has charted his progress and what he has done.
Grinding is always an option. Vov is a min/maxer. He does a grind with such a ruthless efficiency that ISK flows out of it. I can't do that and don't have the mind for it. Instead, I did things like salvage. Salvaging was my godsend at the start. A lot of level 4 mission runners do not touch their salvage. They are going for a min/max goal of bounties and loyalty points. They leave their salvage out in space and the enterprising salvager can ask for it or scan them down, bookmark their sites and come back for that salvage when they are done. It holds a mild element of danger (you go suspect) but can be fun and interesting to do. It also improves scanning ability by getting out and using the skill.
PI (Planetary Interaction) has a low bar of entry and reasonable returns. Again, there are tons and tons of guides and walk through and videos to help you manage your planets properly and make money off of them.
Join a corporation: Although you don't want donations and handouts most of the training corporations teach you how to make money as part of their general program.
Steal and scam. They may not appeal but they are options and some people make a lot of money doing it.
Make friends. Going at it alone, especially at the start is freaking hard. The game is engineered from a group aspect. From battles (bring more friends) to logistics the game function on people working together. I spent my first months in deep low sec, salvaging level five missions with Lue absorbing what knowledge he was in the mood to share. Part of that was that my standings gained and eventually I could pull missions as well which gave him more missions to do. It was a circular system that we both benefited from and a lot of Eve is that way. Not that anything is wrong with being solo but it is hard work.
To Wex's disgust, I have to mention Faction Warfare. It can bring in good money for little cost and low risk to everything but your morals (depending on what they are).
Work for people. Take contracts and haul them. Its boring but its money. You also have to be careful about taking these contracts. A lot of them area scams aimed at getting you to take over priced items into an area where you will die (such as low sec and null).
Creativity is how most of us wind up making our ISK in the end. Stealing, working with others, taking what isn't worth it to someone and making it your own are all building blocks for more ISK. Eventually, it proabbly will not be worth it, but when poor, the sustainable activities are all there and available to you. Not all of them require a lot of skill points or ISK to enter into but may require social skills or technical abilities.
This list is off the top of my head this evening. There are more ways that people make money that I never have tired or thought to do. My goal in this list isn't to make billions in the blink of an eye but cover some common ground of sustainable activities that will bring in a consistent income.