One of the characteristic events of a new EVE expansion is the rush to buy (or sell) items that have had their value or availability changed by that expansion. Retribution has seen a certain amount of this - T1 cruisers, some specific LP store items and no doubt others that I'm too financially illiterate to know about until the bonanza ends and some smug bastard posts in Market Discussion about how he made a hundred jillion ISK stockpiling Meta 4 Capacitor Flux Coils or whatever obscure, previously worthless piece of crap is now fairer than a summers day, more lovely and with reduced base cap penalty.
The denizens of MD freely speculate -some honestly, some with intent to distort the market for their own gain (or simply out of pure mischief) about whether this moon mineral or that salvage item will boost or plummet in price, and savvy players will quietly run their own calculations and invest accordingly. Firm information is often lacking, with only teasing hints being dropped, because of course if you found a vein of gold in them thar hills, you'd keep it quiet until you'd registered your claim.
Yet each EVE expansion sees a flood of items onto the market place of inestimable long term value that largely goes ignored. Even those players who are aware of the value of these items largely ignore this motherlode, preferring to make their own. Well Malc, I hear you ask, if you know about this incredible opportunity that everyone else has neglected, why aren't you rich?
Well first of all, many lucrative market opportunities in EVE require considerable capital investment, and quite a lot of effort to set up - moongoo reactions being a stellar example here, and I don't have all that much capital or inclination to effort. This opportunity is such a one. I'm not talking about moongoo though.
Others require a lot if skillpoints in specific skills to be really worthwhile, and often a stable of alts - those who supply the battleship market or who are seriously into invention will absolutely understand this and I do have the required skills on an alt as it happens. This opportunity is such a one. I'm not talking about invention or building battleships though.
Frequently, major game changes will offer fantastic opportunities to those who might most kindly be described as social engineers. Social skills, charisma and the ability to spin a glib line to a potential "customer" allow enormous profit potential when dealing with those who haven't yet acquainted themselves with the mechanics of the game. I'm not really charismatic enough to make this venture fly, although I've given it a try in the past and it turned out OK for a while. This opportunity is such a one. I'm not talking about scamming though.
By now you've probably worked it out. If you haven't, stop and think about it again for a moment; loads of them with every new expansion; require lots of effort to develop; leadership skills required. Incredible potential value.
Of course you have. I'm talking about new players.
Whilst there are several existing organisations that deal with new players essentially as a service - EVE Uni, Agony Unleashed, etc., what I'm talking about here is a perspective of viewing new players as an investment opportunity. As I discussed in my article "The Outsider", organisations like Goonswarm and TEST do treat new players as a development opportunity, but they primarily recruit from outside EVE. To date, no high-profile alliance has openly declared their intent to harvest the new expansion's crop, capture those fresh new hearts and minds, and turn them into accultured members. Even after The Mittani's excellent article "The EVE Born", which essentially handed us all a map marked with the route, exact location, depth, annotations on the local geography and an approximate value of the claim, this goldmine has been almost entirely neglected.