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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Friday, April 29, 2016

How Are You Earning Your ISK?

I'm finding myself in an odd situation recently. I'll be the first to admit that I have limitations on my in-game knowledge, and I'm certainly prone to failure from time to time.

First, it was the PLEX investment that resulted in a whopping 6.7 billion isk loss. Then it was PLEXing my account for six months... at 1.1 bil each exactly two weeks before it dropped to around 950 million (I deem that another billion or so down the drain). Then there was the highly ill-advised and overly optimistic 3 billion isk loss on eve-bet. Penguins, Penguins... you underperformed on me...

All tolled, I'm down about 10 billion in the past month or so. This has - as you can imagine - thrown into sharp relief my need to earn some more isk.

So, I've started inventorying the means available to me.

My typical go-to strategy is cosmic signature ratting. But over the past month, CCP have clearly tweaked the loot tables to diminish both escalations (down by about 75% from what I've experienced over past severla years) and the loot drops (down by a more modest 50% or so). There's never a reference to this change in the patch notes, but the effects are obvious and certain nonetheless.

The recent increase in taxes/fees with Citadel has made trading far less favorable... at least for the moments between the increase in the taxes and the release of the first citadels, which should hopefully mitigate some of those problems. The blow to trading may be permanent, if third parties prove unwilling to risk a 10% relocation fee in cases where a citadel owner decides not to rebuild a destroyed citadel.

So, two of my isk sources are diminished. What could I do?

Incursions are out - I don't have the patience to fleet up with people for any reason beyond PvP, and my typical play time is limited to the point that I'm unwilling to wait around for hours to form up or get a spot.

Missions? I've tried level 5 missions before, but found them to be poor return on my time than any other activity, particularly as a result of the need to convert all that LP into something worthwhile. Besides, the danger of moving a carrier around can't be overlooked, and if you fly around in a carrier, you'll eventually lose it, which needs to be accounted for as well.

Cosmic anomalies? Beyond the time concern, now we have dreads and carriers to content with which, by all accounts, break all the rules you might assume would apply from your PvP experience. They web and scram out further than typical, can track much better than usual, and have better lock times. Seeing that I tend to rat while PvPing on my other character... no thank you.

I suppose scamming folks or stealing everything not nailed down in your corp can give you a quick infusion of cash. But, I've spoken before about how I just don't have it in me to scam people. I'm just not built that way, and can't bring myself to screw folks over that way.

So, I put it to you. How are you earning your isk today (not a month ago)? What's your rate of return (be sure to include the time it takes to get to, set up, and come back from whatever it is you're doing)?


  1. Incursion groups are well oiled iskmachines you should defintely consider.

  2. Trade. The tax at best is a buff to trading. Do not listen to the Cassandra and test.

    It evened the field. Difference between full standing char and not full standing are now really small.

  3. Why trading is less favorable? Don't you just adjust sell/buy prices? Otherwise I suggest exploration. It doesn't get so repetitive and can be quite fun to do (until you get bad drops several times in a row).

  4. Get into moon mining, reactions etc.

  5. Build an army of alts for pi/industry/datacore research/trading, sell extra sp on each account beyond that, they will be free and you can make as much passive ISK as you want.

  6. If you know the right group with Incursions there is little or no waiting. The chat is friendly and casual. And the Vanguard Incursions can tick over at 100m isk per hour as a minimum. The drawback is the huge repetitiveness of it. Ten sites per hour and its ad nauseam. The upfront investment will be the pirate faction BS hull, tech2 and faction modules. (my 1.2bil logi is currently gathering dust/rust).

    I will be curious to see if the OGB has a major impact. Plus the off-the-cuff comment from a CCP dev that "incursions do not make sense" could possibly mean there is a hidden countdown to the re-work or cessation of the Sansha.

    1. Still, flying a 3billion ISK ship with a group of people you don't know is slightly stressful.

      Then there is the draw of gankers to those shiny ships, and the consistent travel of 20 or more gates every other day when the incursion moves...

      Nice ISK, but nothing is free I suppose.

  7. Import doctrine fittings for your alliance.

  8. i run isk farming fleets twice a week to keep me afloat. Confessors and logi in a C6WR icome just got a huge boost with the drifters 8D Theres a public fleet on

  9. PI. Find a quiet little WH system, C1 or C2 you can run with alts, maybe even one occupied by someone who doesn't mind your tower there, and watch the ISK trickle in. If you reset extraction daily it can be very profitable and not terribly time consuming other than the initial set up.

    1. How profitable had that been for you?

    2. How profitable had that been for you?

    3. Very.I had 6 toons extracting on 5 planets each and my end product was Wetware Mainframes. It would pull in around 2 billion a month with about 10 minutes a day and then about half an hour every couple of weeks. It doesn't sound super profitable, but it's very low maintenance and it quickly adds up if you don't have a lot of outgoings.

    4. Some of the more annoying logistical overhead can be solved by just doing this where we live and making use of JFs/local buyers, or making POS fuel components, which will always have buyers no matter where you build.

    5. Tal, I agree with Wacko. Set up all your alts (and even Tal) to do PI in Fountain. Use the POCOs our corp set up with zero tax.

  10. My last sortie into the world of PVE involved COSMOS missions. There is a little more detail on the blog linked below.

    It completely burned me out so difficult to recommend outright. Those that have the ability to tolerate lots of PVE and the willingness to rotate an alt via biomass button (I'm told people do this!) may find it workable/sustainable. Your mileage my vary.

    Might be worthwhile for a quick injection of cash for those of us that don't biomass.

  11. I am not sure my methods of gaining some isks may help you , I am mainly a wormhole resident but here it goes :

    - Sleeper farming. C3 are a good class of wormhole if you compare the time needed to run the sites, the risk involved for your ship (I use a TEngu worth 800-900m, quickly repaid) and the requirements

    - Planetary Interaction, especially now since the material requirements went through the roof for Citadels. If you never did any, I advice you to go for a 5 + 1 Set up : 5 planets extracting resources and one factory planet.

    - Exploration. Good old exploration. It may not be the best isk / hour but it's one of the most relaxing and beautiful thing to do.

    - Sansha holes. I have alts in one of the three Sansha wormhole, and while it's not the ultimate ISK printing machine it's decent enough (just don't do 8/10 in a HAM tengu like I did ._.) and I often see other people on Dscan.

    - Hauling. Good old hauling. I also have a character in Redfrog, it's aswell relaxing and I sometime autopilot through the day while at work.

    Shoot me a message if you want more details for any of those things

  12. I run 2 trade alts with main doing a few incursions here and there. I do my isk/LP research and sell LP items in my markets.

    I make around 2-4bil per month on my market alts and my incursion income is maybe 1-3Bil per month.

  13. Just started following the act of Titans and piggybacking on their market manipulations. For instance, sentry drones were/are selling in most major trade hubs for half what they were worth over the weekend so I bought a massive pile and will double my isk as soon as the prices recover