Monday, February 10, 2014

A Low Sec Challenge

I know that I play EVE Online a little differently than others, but I would sure love to see some of that ISK flowing through low sec.  Looking through the scant records I have, the most I've ever made is 830 million ISK in the five weeks leading up to the launch of the Odyssey expansion.  That is enough to let me replace my most expensive ship, but nothing to brag about.

I guess to those living outside low sec looking in, low sec is a land of milk and honey where ISK flows from the buttons in factional warfare complexes that faction bears circle in multi-stabbed frigates.  But low sec is more than factional warfare.  I play the game doing the usual MMORPG crafting activities.  You know, going around gathering crafting materials and creating interesting and valuable items.  I then sell (or use) the items and sell off any materials I don't plan on using.  I just play in a PvP environment where a ship loss is marked down as a financial loss in the ledger books.

But is Xander right?  If I just applied myself instead of wandering around bookmarking new systems and taking screenshots, would I find myself drowning in ISK?

Not making ISK
That leads to my next project.  Since I did a comparison of low sec at the end of Retribution and the beginning of Odyssey, why not do the same for Rubicon?  March is the last full month I can play EVE before leaving for Fanfest, so coming up with an evaluation of low sec after the two expansions makes sense.  At the same time, I want to see how much money I can actually make in a month.  I keep hearing about how much ISK people make running missions or trading.  Can I break one billion ISK for the first time?

The rules are fairly simple.  No factional warfare activity.  Travel in high sec is allowed, but all agents handing out missions must live in low sec.  That includes all the research agents I may use for datacores.  Only run data and relic sites in low.  All minerals are obtained from either mining in low sec, a wormhole accessed from low sec, or purchased from a market system.  I sell all my manufactured goods in a low sec trade hub in Molden Heath.

The only difference for this experiment is where I may sell excess ice, minerals, and planetary interaction items.  I'm thinking that this time I may sell these types of items in either Rens or Hek.  I think I could sell the extra ice and minerals in low sec, but I'll have to see how big of a market exists for PI items.

Some people may think my rules are too restrictive.  But I want to try to concentrate on low sec and just how hard or easy it is to live and make money in the region.  Besides, EVE is a sandbox.  I can play with any rules I want.


  1. How would Xander know if LowSec needed a ISK buff or not, its not like he has ever seriously lived in LowSec. In fact I smell the same general stench of contempt for other areas of the game from his output as I detect in the output of many a Null citizen. I suppose it comes from believing that F1 mashing is the pinnacle of the EvE experience.

  2. I did a similar experiment one year ago. I started with 5mil (no assets) and wanted to see how fast I reach 100 mil (lucky drops didnt count). Difference: I was allowed to sell in a highsec Hub (one jump out of lowsec). After 20 days I was done with a combination of PvE. PvP, Mining, Industry and PI. Was a good experience and still today I am getting convos about that thread. Good luck to you.

    1. 20 days to make 100 mil ISK in lowsec? That sucks. When I'm not PVPing, i.e. when I'm going to PVE or do some industrial activity to make ISK, anything less than 50 mil an hour isn't worth it.

    2. Well, with a well equipped char surely. But as I wrote: No assets, just 5 mil. I had to grind my way up to Barge and Cruiser. The experiment was about experiencing the life of a newbie in lowsec.

  3. One thing to try would be to look for faction-war losec trade hubs to sell your manufactured goods; faction warriors can run through equipment at a terrifying rate, and a lot of them can't access the main hisec empire hubs. So it's quite possible for you to make good money off of faction warriors without directly participating in faction warfare activities themselves...

  4. Noizy, I go to low sec on a regular basis. I rat there. The basic rats are terrible, but the clone soldier rats are quite nice. Now, the RNG gods are capricious, but all in all, I can usually pull out 50M worth of tags in about a 2 hour session.

    But compared to high sec, that is awful income, and is a merely a rounding error compared to null sec income.

    The issue is the predator/ prey dilemma.
    If you buff the rewards prey will arrive, quickly followed by more predators.

    I suppose a new balance will be arrived at, but the predators will quickly drive down the prey population.

    And the way CCP "balances" stuff, I just don't see them achieving some sort of new, better equilibrium.

  5. I think your low sec mining income would be capped around 20mil/hr (per miner) if you weren't interrupted. That would make 1B take 40 hours best case scenario.

    High sec security missions can be done at 80-100mil/hr with high skills. I doubt you'd beat this with mining/exploring in low sec.

    I suppose the comparison to make is low sec security missions but even with the extra rewards i don't see it making up for the effort, losses and frustration.

    I wish you luck and hope you don't get burnt out in the process.

  6. If you are willing/able to do cosmic signature combat sites and drug sites, you can make a very nice living in lowsec. It is dangerous, but not much more so than running missions in lowsec and a lot more profitable. I recorded 10 sessions of about 2 hours each over the course of 9 weeks. I made about 3.4 billion isk.

    1. Aye: those sites are rare enough that they are often contested in more popular areas and random enough to be a pain. I went two months without a drop once. They are also time consuming depending.

      Its unreliable burst ISK. Fun but many wind up going back to reliable things.

      I should probably not spam Nosy on this topic.

    2. Depends on where you live. In a Gas Constellation they are very common.

  7. I've never lived in lowsec, but I've lived in w-space with a lowsec static, and in a hisec 'island' surrounded by lowsec: lowsec exploration was a nice change of pace in either case, but the good/easy money seemed to be running hisec sigs/anoms and taking the escalations to lowsec. The hisec sites were quick to blitz out, perfect when your agent is only giving shit missions and you're out of declines.

    I imagine if you can find a quiet spot of lowsec, you can just run sites in peace till escalations pop. Arrida, maybe? I remember that being the vast empty wasteland we didn't want to see when the static rolled over.