Fair warning: this is likely to be a busy week on the blog, and it's going to revolve around a little southern California phrase: "May gray".
marine layer" fog or low clouds to form. This layer will be pulled into the L.A. basin and for several hours a day, it will be uncharacteristically gloomy in southern California. Thus, you'll hear the expression "May gray" or "June gloom." People who should be out spending money on California outdoor leisure activities... don't.
We seem to get the same effect in New Eden. ;-)
Every May, students that should have been spending all winter studying suddenly realize that their finals are only a few weeks away and they stop playing EVE. As a result, the overall economy slumps. This year, the effect has been exacerbated by Burn Jita, but in an unintended way. Market bots which up to that point had been content to stay more or less restricted to Jita now seem to be invading the smaller market hubs as well. The combination of nobody buying and the fact that the bots automatically lower their prices under external pressure from other sellers means that prices are down across the markets for many items and raw materials.
A secondary impact of this is that margins are also down across the board. This effect is primarily caused by market bots quickly raising the prices of raw materials while other bots (or the same ones) simultaneously drive down the prices of the finished consumer products. This one is also being exacerbated, but this time by the Goon Technetium cartel: people are hoarding the ships they have and not buying new ones. Last year at this time, I pointed to the rig market as a really good indicator for how many new ships are being fitted out in New Eden. I called this the "underwear index." Well, right now, the underwear index is in the toilet.
Net net: it's shaping up to be a really depressing month if -- like me -- you rely on industry for ISK for your PvP ships. Off to the left is a little graphic showing 30 or so items I manufacture for sale in one of the smaller markets on one of my alts. As you can see, they ain't selling or they're selling very slowly. In some cases, people aren't buying. In others, I can't compete with the market bots that keep their prices lower than mine every five minutes.
Hopefully, while CCP Sreegs is busy looking at other bots, he'll take another look at the market bots, too. I ended up researching a couple of the common market bots to learn how they work so I could learn how to compete with them. I'll have some more to say about that.
There are also a couple of other factors that are contributing to the "May gray". I'll talk about them in other posts later this week, too. As I said, expect a busy week around here...