Much of this article is speculative. Remember your first rule of EVE and take speculation with a grain of salt. And before I get hate mail for it, when I say "significant” I mean greater than 15-20%.
Odyssey is very nearly upon us. This expansion provides enormous opportunities and features for industrialists, logisticians, and other “enablers." As a brief review, here are features to watch out for:
- Ice is moving away from static belts.
- Nullsec is getting a low-end mineral buff.
- New moon reactions plus a component material rebalance.
- New R64 moons seeded into the game.
- Capital rigs.
Other changes coming that are important, but I won’t be covering for sake of brevity:
- Battleship material changes.
- New faction ship balances (frigates, cruisers, battleships) and navy battlecruisers.
- Exploration revamp to Archeology/Hacking sites.
- Added Decryptor classes.
This is a small subset of changes coming in Odyssey, but also the biggest ones when it comes to impacts on the in-game market. The question remains: with only a few days left before the patch hits, is there still room to make some money?
Bad News First
The bad news is most of the largest opportunities have already played out 90% of their movement by today. Speculation is usually a medium/long term process, and the very best time to speculate is when the news is hot and the outcomes are unknown. Playing the market at the last minute trades an increase in certainty for a decrease in margin. History favors the prepared.
Second, it’s important to remember that if a trading tip is obvious to you, it’s probably obvious to nearly everyone else. The biggest swings on ice and capital rigs are going to be places to tread carefully, whereas less sure outcomes like the moon material changes have yet to play out fully and still present opportunities to be had.
Just because the largest swings are played out does not mean there isn’t room for speculation though. The margins will not be astronomical, but there are still a lot of places for the Odyssey patch to play out. With some patience, luck, and knowhow, the savvy trader can still win.
Let’s Talk About Ice Mining
The changes to ice availability are the hottest and most talked about news in this patch. Long story short, highsec will only be able to produce approximately 80% of fuel demand. Furthermore, the limited systems that will spawn ice have yields capped and respawn timers of 4 hours.
This has lead to a massive speculative spike in ice product prices. The other side of the coin is any miner worth his salt understands, at a high level, that supplies are going to be constricted and has started harvesting and stockpiling as much ice as possible. In my opinion, this has pushed the price near to or over the post-patch normal for the next month or so. I anticipate post-patch offloading may drop prices moderately in the first days, and will depress further rises until ice back-stocks are burned through. If you’re dead set on ice, understand your returns may be thinner than expected and it may take 15-30 days or more to see the price hit what you expect.
The more interesting change I anticipate is that the yield cap and respawn timer coming to ice will push a lot of miners away from ice and back into traditional ore. Combine this pressure with added low-end materials from high-end ores, and I anticipate further drops in Tritanium and Pyerite (though my personal predictions may be more generous than reality).