Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Monday, May 7, 2012

May gray

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".

Here in southern California, we have an interesting weather phenomenon.  Thanks to differing pressure between the cool air over the Pacific Ocean and the hot air over the land off-shore, the cooler Pacific air will be drawn over the coast.  But the large temperature and humidity difference between the two air masses will cause "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...


  1. I've noticed the same thing on my station traders. Significant downward pressure on both the bid and ask sides of mostly meta 4 items over the last month.

  2. I have a spread sheet and enter in the amounts I mine to keep a running total. The last batch mined was before Burn Jita and it was worth 1.7b, now that same batch is sitting at 1.36b. I need the market to rebound so I can sell my minerals and buy plex to reactivate my miners.

    I'm a Goon, maybe we actually did hurt the economy with Burn Jita and Hulkageddon. I'm not saying it won't come back, but for the short term /shrug/ I guess I'll leave my miners inactive and enjoy the weather.

    1. The prices went high when CCP started hunting bots again and when they announced the nerf to gun mining. The price is settling down now that we start to see the real effect on supplies, but it's still very high compare to 2 month ago

    2. Someone (Goons, likely) did some profit-taking over last weekend and knocked the prices down artificially. They'll be going back up.

    3. Nothing but market speculation. Too early yet for the loss of T1 mod and drone alloy drops to really affect the market, 'cause of stockpiles.

      Our indy corp - one of many in the game, ofc - has massive stockpiles of unconverted T1 and low meta modules, as well as unprocessed drone alloys, sitting in hangers. Heck, we take in the stuff faster than we can use it up, even building caps and super caps.

      Useless meta stuff is still coming in, so we don't expect to be forced to do any "real" mining until late next year, at the earliest, if ever.

      Never did understand why anyone in this game bothered to mine rocks - it is so much faster and easier to reprocess useless modules. Do you know how many missions a 15-20 man gang can run and loot in just a couple of hours? Pretty damn amazing. NPCs are in endless supply.

  3. Like with previous annouced events, people stocked up beforehand. And as you noted before, the higher cost of ships makes people less likely to risk and lose them. And there is no big nullsec ship-losing war running. It will take some time before people burn through stores of ships and mods. I suspect the downward pressure will remain until the youngins of summer come around.

  4. We have exceptionally good weather in Germany, lots of sunshine and BBQs (called "Grill", "grillen"). Most of my corp-mates don't log in immediately after work but enjoy some outdoor activities, including myself.

    Most of them do mining, and due to rumors of Hulkageddon (we actually didn't witness any activity) mining-ops happen in our WHs. It takes considerable time until our XL storages are nearly full and the Rorqual is being run or a highsec-exit appears...

    "Burn Jita" had no measurable effect for us. One weekend doesn't suffice to shake up the market. And on top of that, that's been a long weekend, the 1st of May has been a holiday and therefore most of us had been making a trip or - had enjoyed the good weather. ;-)

    Turnover is not down for us, too. Indeed our sales have risen and we have trouble keeping up with producing new stock.
    Maybe you do focus on the wrong goods?

  5. I'm one of those students, and I can definitely say my last semester of finals has had an impact on play time. Looking forward to tomorrow evening.

    On the subject of trade though, I've seen a little less competition on both buy and sell orders, but turnover is down a bit. Kind of a net neutral. I'm not in Jita though, so can't speak for that specifically.

    Not too sure about where the prices are heading. I've noticed the (momentary) price stabilization starting around April 22-28 depending upon the item, and its not too uniform across the board. The problem is, its tough to tell & decouple whether thats from Esclation coming out, Burn Jita, or something else all together.

  6. I'm looking forward your next post on market bots :)

  7. Look a the last week's charts for popular meta 4 items

    ECM, Neuts, Sensor Disruptors, and similar items are in price freefall.


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