Monday, 30 June 2014

Know Your Scams: Contracts for Fitted Ships


The scammer sets up a contract that appears to contain the modules and support items (e.g. Mining Crystals, Drones etc..) for an Orca in a mining support role. The contract is priced very competitively when you take into account the price of the ship, modules and any extra items.

Example contract setup

The scammer will then actively advertise the deal in Local with the contract linked with some favourable information on the contract.

Local advertisement by known scamming character 

What Happens Now

The mark clicks the link in Local, sees what appears to be a really good deal and clicks Accept.

Look closely at a scam contract and you'll see one thing is missing, the modules are present are as all additional support items but the critical item, the Orca, is no listed. 

The scammer is relying on the mark not checking the details in the contract under You Will Get, by putting often used modules and items they are hoping that they won't notice the lack of Orca.


There is another variation of this where instead of the missing Orca you will see one of the following:

  • A large General Freight Container renamed to Orca
  • An Orca blueprint copy

Regardless the scam is still the same, there is no Orca ship so you're overpaying for what is there under the belief that the contract is for an Orca with mining support accessories.

How Can You Protect Yourself

Spend a little time reading the details of the contract closely will help you. Verify that the green text shows you receiving what you're expecting. This type of contract implies a ship with rigs and fit, so verify not just that you can see the fit and rigs but also the ship is there.

If you see a contract make sure you block both the issuer AND the person who advertises the contract (they could be different).

Friday, 27 June 2014

Know Your Scams: Index


This is the Index page for the Know Your Scams series, as I add new scam posts I'll link them here to this index page so you only have to bookmark the one location.

You may know but there is almost certainly a player, new or old, who doesn't. This page is for those that don't know but want to know.


  1. ISK Doubling/Tripling
  2. The Missing Zero's
  3. Buying PLEX
  4. Blueprints
  5. Rage Quitting
  6. Margin Trading
  7. Hanger Clearance
  8. Contracts for Fitted Ships
  9. Rare/Officer Item(s) for Sale
  10. Mining Operation in WH/Low/Null
  11. PLEX Wraps
  12. High SP Character for Sale
  13. Rare Ship
  14. Trade In Station
  15. Deadspace/DED/Faction Loot
Posts without links are scheduled for release in the near future.

Rules To Remember

The trap cannot be far away...

Rule #1: In Jita, anything that appears in Local is a scam
Rule #2: See Rule #1

Your experiences at other trade-hubs may vary but I find that these two Rules work extremely well in any system that has a Local channel.


If you have any feedback about a post (or posts) please leave it as a comment on the post, if I'm wrong or am out of date I will take the time to update my post. Your feedback is appreciated and valued.

If you have suggestions for new posts on scams in EVE Online please leave a comment on this post.

Loving and Loathing PI

I both love and loath Planetary Interaction.

I love it for the passive income it generates and the setup of the planets/systems really appeals to my OCD loving brain.

That said I do not like the process to setup planets, the lack of tools to test and theorise PI setup (think EVEMon or something more graphically orientated) but most importantly the time it takes to setup more than 1 character to produce anything.

I really shouldn't complain, I know a lot of people have more characters to deal with and have it much worse. One of my friends had 16 or so characters to setup when he moved to a new alliance in null sec. He managed to do it without, much complaint, so why am I procrastinating about this.

Anyone able to suggest good webistes and/or guides for setting up and running PI?

Monday, 23 June 2014


Had to attend a birthday party on Saturday and whilst I thought I'd be home by early evening I wasn't actually home til after 11pm. Great party as I got to see people I haven't spoken to since New Years Eve but it did mean most of the weekend was away from EVE Online.

Caught Out

The travelling on Saturday meant I had reduced EVE time and it didn't help that the Steam Summer Sale is on as well.  I was gifted a new game and have been enjoying that instead of logging into EVE... it feels like I've cheated on EVE Online :\

But that said, I did update a few things over the weekend and made sure my "minuscule empire" was ticking along, even managed to get around 30,000 LP from missions so it wasn't a wasted time.

Remember the basics

I did forget to empty my towers though, inputs were fine but I needed to empty the output material silos last night (Sunday) but I forgot and only did it this morning about 9 hours over due from the extra moon goo I now have. 

Aside from those things it is still very much quiet, the war that my fellow alliance mates are waging against "the insidious pirate gang" who live in the next system over is continuing and I'm making new friends in the "pirate corporation" which is both amusing and confusing at the same time.

Know Your Scams 

I'm going to be finishing up the remaining Know Your Scams posts. I've been waiting on a lot of screenshots and scanning through Jita local for new or variations scams but I think I've got the major ones sorted. The KYS will be updated as new or interesting ones come along and I'll be putting an index page once I'm finished (for now).

Industry Posts

I'm updating a lot of my external spreadsheets at the moment, simplifying forumlas and also verifiying (where I can) that the data is still accurate. Once I'm happy with what I have I'll be doing a series of posts on my spreadsheets and releasing access to all of them so you too can utilize the knowledge I've gained and how I management my "minuscule empire".


I get some feedback via comments and a lot more via in-game mails but I would really like more, are there posts you like to see more of or want to just tell me I'm wrong about something please leave a comment. It also helps me know that people do read what I'm posting and it's not just me that reads it too....

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Know Your Scams: Selling A Ship


The most often seen example of this scam is the substitution of the Charon freighter with a piece of Carbon. 

The advertisement in local will appear such as:

 "WTS Charon for 1.2b , i need isk now !"

Clicking on the link will show the contract which will contain a Pay section of 1.2 billion ISK but in the Get section will be a piece of carbon:

Yes, I'd like a cheap deal on a Charon
Along comes Mr (or Mrs/Miss) Mark... "oh a Charon for under market price, I've been wanting one of those for a while..."

What Happens Now

As you can see in the screenshot the Info by Issuer clearly states he wants to sell a Charon for 1.2b but looking at the details section there is no Charon only a piece of Carbon.

The price of a Charon at the moment is ~1.325b ISK so the contract advertisement looks like a good deal. The mark will be expecting to get a freighter and they'll see something beginning with C in the Get section so may just go ahead and clicks the Accept button.

Except they'll receive a piece of Carbon, worth 300 ISK instead and see 1.2b ISK in their wallet.


There is a variation of this, not often seen now due to the freighters being much higher in price, that swaps the Charon for a Onyx Heavy Interdictor and the Carbon for a piece of Onyx Ochre.

How Can You Protect Yourself

Rule #1 in Jita is: anything in Local is a scam to take your ISK.

Rule #2 in Jita is: See Rule #1.

A visual check, and a hold on pressing that Accept button, would easily confirm this as a scam. There is no complex UI to navigate or confuse you. The contract clearly states 1.2b will be paid for a piece of Carbon. Apart from the advertisement in local AND the Info by Issuer at the top of the contract nowhere is Charon mentioned.

Pass on the contract and add the person to your blocked list.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

CVA makes us Persona Non Grata

I log in this morning to be told that we are now Kill On Sight to all Providence entities, including my former corporation/alliance.

I'm surprised at this as my Alliance CEO has always stressed how we must abide by the KOS list when engaging people outside of Providence. Obviously we want to be able to work with them and we all have friends still there.

But Why?

Intrigued I asked for a little more information, mainly "why" and I get sent a copy of the eve-mail between my Alliance CEO and the CVA KOS Admins.

It's interesting to read, some names I recognize and after reading I see why, quite plainly. Turns out a NRDS corporation had moved into a nearby low sec system and claimed a moon with the intention of (no doubt) mining it once the new Crius change comes in that allows moon mining in 0.4 systems. 

A cease and desist evemail was sent to the corporation, stating we considered the system our territory and the erection of the tower was an incursion into that. They responded "negatively" and so they KOS requested us.

How Rude!

It certainly was rude of them to do that and CVA have backed them up by stating, in the evemail to my Alliance CEO:

Because that space belongs to the Amarrian empire and trying to lay your claim on it and extort/bully others out of will not be tolerated.

So we're now Red to Providence and all entities who abide by the NRDS system.

I like the idea of CVA but I must say, personally, I've never had a good experience with any character that I've had to deal with. I don't mind being set Red although I'll have to be a little more careful in case -7- do a freighter gank in high sec and/or come roaming through our area.

Take That!

We got our own back though, we went and RF'd the POS they'd erected. 


And then earlier today, as I'm at work, we finished the job and cost them a few billion ISK by killing the four Scorpions they tried to save it with. 

Know Your Scams: ISK Doubling/Tripling


A message is posted in local advertising, by someone purporting to be either "an alt of a very rich player" or the "alt of a player who wants to give back to EVE", a "multiplication game" whereby you send an ISK amount to the player and they will multiple it and return a larger value. 

The scammer will then write in their bio details of the game along with instructions, in varying font sizes so as to confuse/mislead the reader, how to play:

Reading this bio you can see the "game" breaks down into several brackets depending on how much you send, the more you send the more your money is multiplied and you get back. Some variations even have a link so you can "view their wallet" transactions and see that they are legitimate, that's a more involved version of the scam that is more work for the scammer but does help.

Notice the tiny text at the bottom that states "Amounts not listed are considered donations and there is no refund", so send in 49m or one cent over 300m ISK and it's a donation.

What Happens Now

When the mark sends ISK the scammer will receive it and just keep it, but they'll post in local something like this:

As we can see, we have a real character as they're interacting in Local but they aren't paying out and keeping all monies sent. This tries to show a semblance of respectability by the interaction and how some people do benefit but those that do typically are friends, alts or characters only a few days old.

Update: It's been pointed out that the site is fake and is actually a payout simulator setup by someone in order to help perpetuate this scam. I cannot confirm this but the site is very suspicious.


There are a few variations of this, typically ISK Doubling or Tripling will be seen although I have seen ISK Quadrupling offered in Amarr but not Jita. The advert and details within the Bio of the scammer will vary but generally the same details will be used (copy and paste anyone?).

A minority have their perported wallet linked for you to view but it will be a man-in-the-middle scam that is a fake wallet journal, that looks like a legitimate one, that is on a site that is setup to appear like its one of the character valuation sites.

How Can You Protect Yourself

Rule #1 in Jita is: anything in Local is a scam to take your ISK.

For simplicity, and this should be remembered, anything that appears in Jita (or any system) Local should be ignored. 2013 was the "Spaceship Barbie "my isk for a single piece of tritanium"" and copycats, this year it is this scam that is the favourite. Like the real life "Microsoft and AOL want to give you FREE money" emails, why in their right mind would someone want to give away all their ISK, it doesn't make sense.

The age of the character will be days and not weeks or months, they've been setup especially for this scam and as such they have no audit trail or history with anyone else so the money received can be laundered quietly and without any links to legitimate characters. 

For ones that include a wallet link, make sure to check the URL or web address you're seeing, most likely it will not be from one of the character valuation sites but a name very similar or mispelt in a minor way.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Combat Boosters

What are Combat Boosters

Simply put Combat Boosters are like temporary implants, when consumed the Combat Booster will temporarily (~30 minutes base) enhance a single certain combat aspect of the pilots capabilities such as increasing armour repair amount, decreasing ship signature radius or increasing the tracking of the ships weapons. 

Like Implants where you have ten slots, boosters are injected into a Booster Slot within your character. Each character has three slots and Combat Boosters can only be consumed into a free slot,. 

Combat Booster and what Booster Slot it utilises
As a result of these slots you cannot use an Exile and Mindflood at the same time, but you can use a Drop and Mindflood at the same time. The division appears as:

  • Slot 1 are Tank related boosters
  • Slot 2 are Turret related boosters
  • Slot 3 are Missile related boosters

Combat Booster Variants

There are eight different types of Combat Booster and they come in four different strengths (for a total of 32 available). 

Available Boosters with Bonus Type
Unfortunately along with each bonus provided there is a chance that a number of penalties (also called a side effect) could occur whilst using the Combat Booster. The likely-hood of a side effect occurring is linked to the type of Combat Booster being consumed and each side effect has it's own probability of happening.

Only the Synth Combat Booster is free of any side effects and the probability of one occurring increases depending on the Strength of the Combat Booster being consumed:

Available Boosters and their Side Effect's
Example: Using a Improved Exile booster would yield a +25% increase in armour repair amount per cycle but I would have a 30% chance of one of the side effects occurring with a 25% strength.

How Do I Use Them

Firstly you must have the Biology skill injected and trained to, at least, Level 1. 

Each level that Biology is trained will grant a 20% increase in duration that any Combat Booster will be active. Two additional skills, Neurotoxin Control and Neurotoxin Recovery can be used to help reduce the chance of side effects and the severity of any that you do have.

Make sure you are carrying the Combat Booster(s) in your cargohold,  right click on the Combat Booster and select the Consume menu item to activate. If you look under the Augmentations section in your Character sheet you will see your active Combat Booster(s) and how much longer they have active.

Why Should I Use Them

Combat Boosters are powerful and can make a huge difference in any type of  fight. Carrier pilots regularly carry the Exile and/or Mindflood variants whilst Dreadnaught pilots may carry Drop and/or Frentix when "in siege" or in "gank" configurations.

That's not to say that smaller ships don't benefit, long range sniper fits can benefit from the same Drop and Frentix whereas heavily buffered and active repair ships (i.e. Triple Rep Myrm's or ASB Claymore's) can get that extra buffer from using Exile or Blue Pill.

Boosters, especially the Improved and Strong variants can be expensive for a one-use bonus but the cost is trivial compared to a fully fitted T2 ship, Battleship or Capital Ship. And if the extra you get from a booster means you survive that bit longer and are able to kill those three or four more ships then it's worth it.

Close fights are always fun but losing a ship is never fun, Combat Boosters may provide way of making sure those close fights go your way and you fly away with the glory.

Where Can I Get Them

You will find a number of Boosters, especially the Synth variant, in the various trade hubs around New Eden however due to the legality of them in these locations it's very probable that should you buy them and undock that you will receive a fine and standing loss for having them in your cargohold.

More annoying is that you cannot create Want To Sell/Item Exchange contracts that contain Combat Boosters, in order to transfer them between pilots you have to use the Trade window and that's if they're in the same station. That said it is possible to make a type of contract where Combat Boosters can be put but it requires a Want To Buy contract that can then be filled and the transfer of Combat boosters will take place.

Due to these "restrictions" I highly recommend that you find one of the few "Combat Booster Sellers" that are in New Eden. You will have to buy in bulk but these people make the boosters and also do the delivery to null and low sec, best of all as there is no market or "middle people" the prices are very competitive and special offers are usually very enticing.

I've both made and bought boosters from many sellers, some no longer around but the one that I've used in the past and hold in high regard is Saucemeister of Es and Whizz.

How Can I Make Them

I will be covering in a future post how to source raw materials and manufacture your own Combat Boosters.


I am indebted to Kirith Darkblade and Myyona for their help in researching this article. The guides written by both provided excellent confirmation and verification of the mechanics that are still within EVE Online.

Know Your Scams: The Missing Zero's

Along with the ISK Doubling/Tripling posts this is one of the most common scams that appear in Local chat in the trade hubs. Like the Rage Quit one this scam relies on the greed and inattention on the part of the Contract Acceptor to work.


The contract issuer sets up a contract for an item or items, typically PLEX, for an amount that is missing three or more zeros from the actual value. So instead of offering 395m for a PLEX they'll actually only put 39.5m or 395,000.

Once the contract is setup they will then advertise in local that they urgently want to buy "[item(s)] for [x] ISK":

Image credit to Broadscope Corporation Online

A look at the contract shows 395 in the Get and a PLEX in the Pay, so it must be right so I'll just click Accept...

What Happens Now

The PLEX you had in your inventory is traded for the 395,000 ISK that the contract stated was what you would get instead of the actual market value for the item.

Not much else happens, you might laugh or curse but face it, if you Accepted the contract you traded that PLEX not for it's actual market value but for a fraction of that.

How Can You Protect Yourself

As with the Rage Quitting contract, spending a little time reading the details of the contract closely will help you prevent such a mistake happening. The green and red text are right, at a glance but reading the full You Will Get shows that you will be getting far less than you should be.

If you see a contract make sure you block both the issuer AND the person who advertises the contract (they could be different).

Monday, 16 June 2014

Quote of the Week

I was talking with Lorna from A Scientist's Life in Eve about a few things when she came out with probably the best quote to describe EVE Online:

Eve is basically an Instant Messenger where you can also fly spaceships

From now on I'm going to use this to describe EVE to anyone who asks what it is, everyone knows what an Instant Messenger is.

Know Your Scams: Buying PLEX

PLEX are one of the most wanted items in EVE Online, they represent game time, in-game ISK as well as being one of the best trade able commodities. 

The market for PLEX along is worth trillions and daily hundreds, possibly thousands, are traded in Jita and other market hubs across New Eden. The price of PLEX has been steadily increasing, with a near 50% increase in price over the past 18 months (from around 480m ISK to just over 720m ISK per PLEX).

Based on this it's no wonder its a prize item for scamming.


There are multiple variations of the PLEX scam (buying or selling), it might be for one PLEX or multiple, the contract may offer the stated price but you'll be paying for a PLEX but also handing over a PLEX as part of the transaction (shown is the Sell variation below):

One of the many PLEX Contract scam variations
Just like all other scams the setup is simple, a contract is setup stating that a PLEX is wanted and they are willing to pay "x amount" for it. The amount is typically under the current market price so it looks like "a really good deal".

Depending on the variation contract however will be setup to only give a fraction what the advertisement will state (700k instead of 700m) and in some variations you may find that you'll be receiving a PLEX but also providing one along with the ISK (as seen above).

The advertisement in Local will appear simple and innocuous like this:

"No I don't want to sell my item on the market, I'd like to save the fees" 

What Happens Now

The mark sees the advertisement and thinks to them self "Oh discounted PLEX, I'll have me some of that" and clicks on the contract and glances at the details. The Pay section says I'll be paying 700 so it must be million and the Get section shows a PLEX, so it must be the real deal.

The mark clicks accept and then realizes that they've been conned. 

In the Buy variation the user pay change the contract so they'll pay only 700k for the item, as a result you've sold a PLEX for 1% of its true value or they'll offer the actual price (700m) but state that you're actually providing two or more PLEX instead of the one they advertised. The Sell variation has much the same ending, you either pay too much or find you are providing two or more instead of the one you had wanted.

How Can You Protect Yourself

As with all Contract scams, read the details. Spend time verifying that the contract is setup correctly and the right amounts/items are in the right sections. 

The PLEX scams especially are too good to be true, seriously consider yourself in the position of owning a PLEX, under what circumstances would you knowingly sell it for LESS than the market value (even taking into account fees). None that is the answer, no legitimate owner of a PLEX will sell it for less than its worth and even if you did need ISK fast why use a contract when the Buy Orders for PLEX will pay you nearly the market worth.

Moon Mining comes to 0.4

CCP Greyscale has sneaked something into the coming Crius release, and it's a long overdue change:

We changed a >= to a > so the code does what the authoring was always assuming it did. I just fixed the display text for the attributes this afternoon to reflect this, but the code should already be in place.
What this means is that moon mining can now take place in 0.4 systems and lower instead of 0.3 systems and lower as is currently the case. 

Looks like a simple logic change has finally happened, well overdue and I can see a lot of 0.4 systems will be getting an audit of their moons.

Thanks to Serpentine's EVE for the heads up on this change.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Know Your Scams: Blueprint Scam

This is another old scam, I remember back in 2010 more of these than the ISK Doubling/Tripling Service ones. As with all contract scams take time to verify the details of the contract before thinking about clicking that Accept button.

It's a variation of the Ship scam where instead of a ship in the contract it is the BPC for the ship/item.


The scammer will setup a contract containing a basic variant blueprint copy of an faction and/or T2 item/ship that people want, a common example is instead of a Megathron Navy Issue BPC they will use a basic Megathron BPC.

The contract will contain the item, which at a glance loojs like a BPC of the item the mark wants and of course the price for this item will be around the price of the more expensive faction/t2 item/ship.

Example of the Blueprint Scam
They will then advertise the contract in local:

Advertisement in Local for the scam contract

What Happens Now

The mark comes along and sees the advertisement, they click on the link and see the item at a good price and although they look at the item they will get, they see it has the main part of the name and is a copy of the blueprint but not that it is not the item that is being advertised.

They click on the Accept or Place Bid button and, once they win any auction, receive the blueprint but on closer inspection notice it is not a blueprint they were led to believe it was.

How Can You Protect Yourself

As with other contract scams the ruse plays upon the mark not looking at the contract too closely, the use of a similar named, but much cheaper, item would allay some suspicion and the use of a price that is much lower than the actual value screams "awesome deal". The mark may well be inclined to accept the contract without spending the few extra seconds checking the details, after all if they can see the contract so can everyone else in the same system.

To prevent yourself succumbing to this type of scam, spend time verifying that the contract is for the right item, at the right price and that the Get and Pay sections are correct. 99.9% of the time these contracts are too good to be true and common sense dictates that if it is too good and you can't believe your eyes, it is too good and there must be a catch.

Crius deploying to Singularity

The next release of EVE Online, Crius, is starting to be deployed to the EVE Test Server a.k.a Singularity or SiSi.

Why Use SiSi

You can experience any new changes before they are officially released but this isn't the only reason to maintain a SiSi installation, other good reasons include:

  • Want "early access" to new changes
  • Want a place where they place with expensive ships and fits that they would never do on Tranquility (basic modules are seeded by NPC's for only 100 ISK per unit)
  • Theory-craft or practice on a server with new fits, doctrines or just have a bit of fun.
  • Want to continue playing while the primary, Tranquility, server is unavailable (e.g. downtime)

There are downsides, being a Test Server what you do here will not impact or affect the TQ server nor will you be able to keep anything you get here forever. SiSi is periodically wiped and replaced with a copy of the TQ data so training skills is an effort of frustration if you want to fly that Titan that you can't on TQ.

How Do I Access SiSi

The great news is you don't need special software or be in a special programme to get access to SiSi, just a few steps need to be followed to setup a installation for SiSi:

  1. Create a copy of your EVE installation folder
  2. Create a new shortcut to the EVE executable in the new folder and change it to point to the SiSi server 
  3. Login and explore SiSi
  4. Leave comments/feedback in the right forum(s) when you discover or have issues with the game 
If you are interested in accessing SiSi then follow the above steps or read the guide at Foo's EVE Musings (who has been kind enough to provide more in-depth instructions and screenshots)

Anything Else

WH dwellers will find that their POS homes will no longer exist, all POS'es are moved from SiSi automatically as well as Sov from all Alliances (go claim VFK for your corp on SiSi, the Goon's can't stop you!).

The biggest thing to remember about SiSi is combat is not permitted outside of a small number of specific systems, if you do attack someone randomly then you may find yourself banned from the SiSi server.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Stupid, just plain Stupid

Learning the Lesson

Over time in EVE you learn lots of lessons, some small, some larger and at some point your CEO will yell at you for doing something stupid.

Last night I took a chance and was made to look, at minimum foolish but in all honesty I was stupid in travelling through Doril, just after DT, on my way to high sec in an Amarr Shuttle:

I don't think my CEO has seen that yet, as I'm still alive.

"You lost what!"


When I jumped the grid started loading but there was no bubble visible in space so I clicked to enter warp but nothing happened. 

I tried again and even selected the gate in case I could make it back before dying but the EVE client did not appear to be functioning as the right side of my screen was just white and my overview was not updating or responding to my actions.

The result: I died and woke up in my clone in high sec.


After I awoke in my new clone I decided to petitioned this, I believe I would have been safe had my ship entered warp as I instructed it to had the graphical issue not prevented the UI from reacting to my actions. 

I submitted the ticket, including details of my system setup (I don't overclock), what happened and why I'm petitioning along with the screenshot that I took showing the graphical issue.

I then went to bed.

I woke this morning and logged into the character and noticed that I had an Amarr Shuttle in my hanger that had not been there last night, so I clicked on the Inventory icon and was greeted with this:

Petition Successful
Yes, my petition had been successful. I needed to upgrade my clone but I had had my implants returned and the shuttle to boot!


One: simple, the lesson for me was don't fly stupidly. 

I did and it's only due to luck that I have not lost anything but ISK (on the new clone). The character can't fly my runabout Interceptor fit (he needs Evasive Maneuvering V) but I will now be altering his skills to make sure he can fly that fit in the future.

Oh and of course: 

Two: don't fly through Doril in a shuttle just after DT.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Know Your Scams: Rage Quitting

When I started playing this was the scam of choice in the trade hubs, one careful look at the Contract on offer was all that was needed to see it was a scam but there were so many that it had to work. The fact there were so many meant it really had to work and was bringing in ISK.

If you were a visitor to Amarr then one look in local for Spaceship Barbie and you would see the top dog of this scam and one that, according to their biogaphy, had netted the character over 40 billion ISK. Freebooted even interviewed Spaceship Barbie in 2011 and it's worth a read.

Anyway, the details of the scam are as follows.


The player will advertise in local that they are quitting the game and have setup a contract to trade all their ISK for one piece of tritanium. 

Thats it, I'm done with this game!... Take my money whoever wants it, trading it for 1 tritanium... enjoy.... [Want To Buy]

As shown above (as used by Spaceship Barbie) the text of their post will include a link to contract that they have setup: 

Image credit to Broadscope Corporation Online

Look closely at any contract before accepting, make sure you're paying the right amount and/or the right goods. The use of the seemingly random number for the amount to pay helps convince, those that don't look closely, that this is a legitimate contract.

What Happens Now

The contract is correct with a casual glance, there is an ISK amount and a piece of tritanium however closer look you'll see that the items aren't correct. The contract states YOU will pay for the tritanium and not GET as the issuer has stated. In this case you'd pay 687m ISK for a piece of tritanium instead of receiving the 687m ISK as you expected. 

The red/green text in the contract is helpful but most people do not look closely at the actual details before clicking Accept and this is why this type of scam has been successful. 

How Can You Protect Yourself

Read any Contracts carefully, more than one, to verify that the Pay and Get details are correct. Thirty seconds confirming these details could save you a lot of ISK and, of course, embarrassment.

That said, a generalised rule that everyone should follow is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true and should be ignored. Blocking know scammers via the in-game context menu should be a must, the more spammers and scammers that are blocked the quieter your Local chat window will be but more importantly the less chance that you could get caught out.

Prospective Prospects

I'm currently working with someone from the other local corporation (whom our Alliance are at actively waging war on (long story, still trying to decide whether to do a post on it)) to make four T2 Prospect ships, two for each of us. It'll be a good test of co-operation between ourselves and may, later result in further collaboration but for now I think we're both testing the waters.

Fortunately we're not shooting or smack talking each other, but that could change...

The end result will be the production of four Prospects, two for him, two for me.

The Ship

It's certainly a good looking ship, it's the Venture hull but with a more polished colour scheme:

Bring Sexy Back

The ship is a T2 variant of the Venture but with the ability to fit a Covert Ops Cloak and through the new, Exploration Ships skill, a reduction in signature radius (which will be helpful to avoid incoming rat fire). The only disappointment is the removal of the Venture's +2 warp core strength that meant it was much harder to catch.

The following screenshot shows the full Ship and role bonuses along with the difference between the Venture and Prospect in build requirements:

Build Requirements and Statistics for the Prospect

Currently the ship is selling for 21.5m in Jita (other locations may be more or less expensive) with production costs around the 13m/16m bracket (depending on component BPO ME levels), so there is profit to be had if you do the invention yourself as the price of BPC's on the market make the profit margins razor thin.

Test Drive

As I have yet to fly the ship I cannot comment on how it handles or functions, but once I do I will report back.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Know Your Scams: Margin Trading

The period shortly before and after a new expansion is released typically sees an increase in scamming from people in the major trade hubs. Most are obvious scams, even for newer players who take the time to look at them, but some are not obvious and the most common example of this is the Margin Trading Scam.


The premise for the scam is quite simple, encourage someone to buy an overpriced item or items by providing bait in the form of a buy order for the same item(s) but at a significantly higher price than what they are being sold for.

An example would be:

I place for sale on the market three Tobias's Modified Torpedo Launcher at 650m ISK each and then I put a buy order up for three Tobias's Modified Torpedo Launcher with a buy price of 1b each but I set the quantity to 3.

Now the Seller goes around advertising in various channels that obviously the person who put the Buy Order up must have made a mistake (perhaps playing while drunk) and put an extra zero in their buy order. They wish they had the ISK to take advantage but perhaps someone else could and make some money on this.

What Happens Now

Eventually a a player, the mark, will see the advertising, investigate and very possibly try to profit by this "obvious mistake".

Off they go to the market and find three being sold for 650m, which they then buy and they try to sell back to your buy order but it fails because there is not enough ISK in the wallet of the character who placed the Buy Order. 

Result: The mark is now out 1.95b ISK, the 'failed' buy order is removed disappears and most importantly you're richer because you sold those pesky officer modules so quickly.

How Margin Trading Makes This Work

The key to this scam is the Margin Trading skill and the higher the level it is trained the more useful it.

Without the skill any buy orders that a character places will result in the ISK needed being removed immediately from the players wallet and places it in the "market escrow" account. When someone fulfills your buy order the money is transferred from the "market escrow" account to the other players account.

The Margin Trading skill allows you to lower the amount of ISK needed to place buy orders from 100% to 24% of the total value, of the order, when the skill is trained to V. 

For example with Margin Trading trained to Level I:

  • When you put up a buy order for an 100 items at 10,000 ISK, the game removes 750,000 ISK (75% of the total) from your wallet, and puts that into the "market escrow" account. The remaining 25% remains in your wallet until the buy order is filled 
  • The remaining 25% is not in the wallet of the seller when the order is filled it will be cancelled, the seller keeps the item and receives no ISK and the buyer receives their monies back but no item because the sale never occurred.

The higher Margin Trading is the less ISK you need to raise the buy order and so long as once the order is placed you keep the wallet of the character empty you have no risk to yourself and just need to advertise and get a mark.

Remove Margin Trading, Remove The Problem

No, this isn't a solution. Margin Trading actually is a skill any legitimate trader can make use of. The ability to not have to have the entire buy order value taken from your wallet means they can put what remains to good use and either raise more buy orders or cover others that will be filled. 

I use Margin Trading to help me get my monthly raw materials for my towers, placing buy orders for two or three billion ISK worth of materials but only having to provide a few hundred million ISK upfront really helps my liquidity. It's my own fault if the ISK isn't there and someone wants to fill my buy order, but combined with good Sell Orders and common sense (don't overextend) you don't.

How Can You Protect Yourself

You cannot stop these types of scam let alone any of the dozens that any trade hub regular sees in local, instead you need to be aware of what they are and how to find them.

Now you know what the Margin Trading Scam is you can, hopefully, better identify it and avoid becoming the mark

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Wheelin' and Dealin'

It's been a nice week, long skill queues are nicely coming to a end and I've been able to buy, at very good prices, lots of faction modules to fit out ships to add that extra dps or resistance that they deserve.

I've also been spending too much time idling in Jita local, reading the messages from the people I haven't blocked for scamming. One thing I've noticed is a lot of people do not understand Margin Trading or many of the other scams that appear so I'm aiming to produce a few posts on these for educational purposes.

Buying and Making

I've spent nearly 4 billion ISK in the past week buying modules, salvage materials and T2 materials for a variety of purposes. Faction and deadspace modules will be used to replace lower meta/T2 modules on a few of my major ships where as the salvage materials will enable me to finally produce T2 variants of rigs I use without having to buy off the market.

The T2 materials I've purchased are for a small production run of the new T2 Venture variant, the Prospect, I managed to secure a 4 run -4/-2 BPC last week from a friend for the excellent price of nothing so I'm going to make them and keep two for myself and give two to friend who is helping to make them. It's a nice test to see if we can work together and more importantly develop some trust because there may be more we can do in the future, war withstanding...


It's been reasonably quiet, my Curse inventory is nicely selling for a mininum of 15% profit per item and I've been able to manufacture any new items myself without having to resort to trips to high sec.

My best news for the week was the Revelation dreadnought that I had spare in Mai finally sold after nearly two weeks on contract. I put up the T2 rigged Revelation that I had spare for 2.5billion ISKand received a counter offer rather quickly of 2.25b, I declined as I really wanted 2.35b mininum and so I left it and late last week a member of Nulli bought it from me.

I only hope they were successful extracting it from Mai :)

Freighter/Jump Freighter Changes

Kronos introduced the low slots to F and JF's and as such I've invested in a set of T2 Reinforced Bulkheads, Cargo Expanders and Nanofiber Internal Structure's to help my ships. 

The cargo expanders are fitted to the Jump Freighter and this gives me an extra 5000 m3 of space and trust me, this is used. When I jumpt o high sec I transfer the cargo to a freighter with either two bulkheads and a nanofiber or triple bulkheads (depending on the cargo carried). Of course I keep a full set of each nmodule in my cargohold so I can swap out as needed.

I have cut down on my trips personally but I have found myself doing a few more "urgent" trips for alliance people and so long as the fuel cost is covered I have no problem with this.

Monday, 2 June 2014

The Trek Has Ended

Ripard Teg has announced that he is closing his blog Jester's Trek.

This came out of nowhere I'd say to most people and even I had to read the post a few times before it dawned on me. The EVE Hermit said he had to check it wasn't a very late April Fool, but it wasn't.

I am surprised, Ripard had expanded a bit into other games in his writing and I found this just as interesting as the EVE material. I'm a little disappointed but as he says in his message he wasn't enjoying it anymore.

It's a big loss and I shall miss the afternoon (my time) posts I would enjoy reading as I waited for my working day to finish. He promoted EVE Online in a very positive way and his recent stand (for example) on the unacceptable behaviour of some EVE players was brave and the right thing to do.

I've sent him a private message thanking him for his blog and wishing him well, it's the least I could do. It was his blog, in a large part, that got me to revive this one and I continue to strive to be as productive and well written as he was.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

A Friendly Reminder

Supercapitals are getting some changes in Kronos, have a read near the bottom of that DevBlog to understand them.

I've know about these since the devblog was released but there are no doubt going to be people who haven't because they don't login often or have stopped playing on their Supercapital account. The changes are enough that unless you're prepared it could stop you moving your Supercapital and thus be something of a major issue.

CCP know this and as a result I received the following mail on my Supercaptial  pilot (Yes, I have a Supercapital  pilot):

This is an excellent example of Customer Support, they are being proactive in telling a number of players that there are major changes coming and that they would do best to know about this and be ready to take any necessary actions.

Nice one CCP.