Thursday, May 22, 2014

TCS: Tools

Welcome to TCS.

This is a screen shot of my far right monitor. It is my utility monitor for some reason. My left monitor is my browser/skype/team speak monitor and my center is my main gaming screen. My right monitor also is my secondary gaming screen where I may have Minecraft or Civilization running if I don't have an alt available.

I've been asked a few times of late how I manage my store. I don't use spreadsheets. It may be a bit horrifying to admit but a lot of my stick I can just sit down and start naming. Give me the market interface and I can just blind buy about two hundred and fifty items. But, buying is one thing, restocking is another. I use Eve Mentat (Created by Thart) to keep TCS organized and together. Eve Mentat is a powerful third party tool. Without Eve Mentat maintaining Bosena and my sanity would be a terrible exercise. I'm not skilled to create amazing imported, calculating spreadsheets like Locke over at Eve Prosper. I need other people to make amazing tools for me.

Eve Mentat allows me to use my corporation concept for TCS. I have one alt that buys with the a separate corporation wallet. I do not buy with the main corporation wallet to save myself typos. Therefore I can never accidentally spend all of my money in Jita. A few typos early in the day taught me to be careful with my ISK.

All items sold are broken up into hangars for organization. The market alts then sell directly from the hangars. My market alts are all shades of blue or gold. This lets me know who and what I am looking at when I have four accounts logged in moving things around. My hauler/trade/mining alt is green to give her a unique value but also separate her from the combat windows.

Eve Mentat is much to good for me to use with my unappreciative fingers. If you look at the third column (the one right beside the eve window) that tells me what has been fulfilled (everything sold) and what has expired (I'm bad at this game). One thing Eve Mentat has taught me is that hte corporation API is very limited in many ways for a market. I'd really like to have more of a store but this is as close as I can get to mass combining everything. Eve Mentat holds a directors key from TCS' CEO. That way I can have all of my expired orders in one window.

There are all sorts of nifty functions to pull and compare prices, see averges, and do nifty market tricks. For running a market like Bosena under the Cult of Reasonable Prices, none of that is needed. I set my sell orders from my buy orders. What I use Eve Mentat for is to keep track of what I have sold.

I then buy from that list. No scrolling through the absolutely terrible 'orders' window of the market interface. I did that for the first few weeks and it was awful.  I'd check sell orders and check the market and check buy orders and then copy and paste those to my Jita alt in my alt chat room. It was terrible. This system is not perfect. Somethings slip through the cracks. I don't know if its me, the program, or the API. I'm going to blame the API. However it is 95% accurate and when you are stocking 600+ items that is more than enough.

I cannot express enough how invaluable third party tools are for Eve.

When I am at the other side, in Bosena, I go to my transaction history and flip back to everything I purchased. From that, I can set the new prices as I list everything I have from the corporate hangers. Since the buy orders came from the corporate wallet every alt can see what was purchased. They are nice and red as well, making them easier to find.

I keep a market interface up because I always do a 'find in market' before I list. I do this because sometimes I have two stacks of things. Sometimes someone has undercut me. Sometimes I want to undercut someone else. It lets me see how popular an item is and how large of a sales gap there is. While I love being the cheapest price in town I'm becoming rather happy with being in the middle of the pack. That means the local prices are coming down to Jita levels which improves life for everyone.

You can plug all of the alts in and follow ISK patterns and use all of the pretty graphs Eve Mentat can make. I never do. I play my market loose and casual because that is what I enjoy and that is what works. If running TCS has taught me anything it is that I can relax. I love to keep it in tip top shape but it has grown large enough that it can sustain itself for reasonable periods of time now. That is very, very important with the changes in my game life.

The most complex thing that I have to do is sync my desktop and laptop Eve Mentat's by running it before I go on vacation. This allows me to stock when I am out of town (yes I do) and when I get home do an update without missing much of a beat. Not everyone has that particular problem but if you switch between machines for Eve duties it is a little thing.

Some market links. These are websites which can be nice when one does not wish to load up a tool.

Eve Central
Eve Market
Eve Market Data Relay
Fuzzwork Market Display

Discussing this post, the Inferno trailer came up. The inferno trailer (the frist 75%) is my favorite one. But the quote from the mercenary fits my entire store concept nicely. I've said before that not everything in Eve is something CCP can fix. Sometimes, we have to get up and do it ourselves.

Progress... ...what is it? 
Out here progress is numbers
Millimetres, kilometres, 
Head counts, death tolls
This is progress.

Colonies burned
Ships destroyed
People killed
Money earned

It all comes at a price
and if the price is right
I'll set the universe on fire.

That's what my market is. It's part of why I share it. Some things we do have the power to change, as players. And sometimes you have to set the universe on fire to get it done.


  1. Your making it sound rather simple. Set up a market corp. Buy in big market move to own market. Mark up for reasonable profit. Use app to keep track of orders.

    For more profit have alts start manufacturing best selling items?

    1. Manufacturing is very hit or miss. It involves a signifigant investment in blueprint origionals. It also requires mateirals at hand, idling, to use when needed. For a market such as my own I go through more T2 modules than anything else. I also use a lot of meta modules. T0 modules rarely sell.

      That means hulls. Hull demand is all over the place every month. The hulls that I do build, regularly, are so cheap (T1 frigs for cyno ships and such) as to be almost not worth my time.

      It is do able. It depends on investment and interest. For me, I cannot find the work and resources and investment needed to build things for my market to in anyway be balanced by the purchase rate of my market. My market is not at trade hub where huge volumes of items move. Instead, I sell by the individual ship and its needed fit.