Tag Archives: Neocom

PLEX Trading and the EVE Portal Companion App

I am not a big fan of the EVE Portal App, which was rolled out to us last August.

EVE Portal App

I’ve tried it a couple of times and… well… it is kind of shit.

That probably isn’t fair.

Say rather that it does not fulfill any useful purpose for me in a world where the Neocom II app exists.  That gives me all the game info I need in a format I prefer.  This is largely because I want to run the app on my iPad (aging people like bigger screens), and the EVE Portal App is strictly designed for phone screens, so even when resized to the tablet screen it looks awkward and cramped and mis-aligned, while Neorcom II is designed for a tablet screen. (Though the EVE Portal App is a lot worse than other phone focused apps in that regard.)

Take the skill queue view, for example.

Skill queue EVE Portal App

Skill queue in the Neocom II app

That is the exact same amount of screen real estate being used or mis-used.

The EVE Portal App does have the advantage of letting you change your skill queue, along with a few other things the Neocom II app cannot do, but nothing all that important to me.

All of which doesn’t mean much because, as a general rule, I try not to go out of my way to bang on things I don’t like if they are peripheral to my game play.  But today, today I feel the need to bring it up.  Why?  Because CCP just pushed out an update that introduces a PLEX trading feature to the app.

PLEX Trading on you Phone

As briefly described in their announcement:

A new feature has come to EVE Portal, the official EVE Online companion app. Exclusively for players in Omega Clone state, the Jita PLEX Market will enable you to trade PLEX anytime and anywhere, directly from your mobile device via the EVE Portal app.

The Jita PLEX Market gives you the ability to trade PLEX for ISK and vice versa. All transactions go through the Jita 4-4 market where players can browse and create PLEX sell & buy orders. In addition, you can browse and modify/cancel outstanding PLEX orders and browse your PLEX transaction history.

CCP mentioned something about this being a plan in the past, but if we started listing out things that CCP brought up as possibilities that never quite came to pass, we might be here for a while.  But now that it is here, the question that springs to mind is, “Why?”

I know why CCP would want this.  Anything that sells more PLEX is money in the bank for them.  But is there a group of players out there who are dying to buy and sell PLEX in game to such an extent that they need access to the market on their phone?

I am also curious about this going through the Jita 4-4 station exclusively, regardless of where your clone might me.  I guess it simplifies things somewhat, just pegging it to that location, and is something of an incentive to use the app if you don’t already have a Jita alt.  It also officially cements that station as the central trade hub of New Eden, as if there were any doubt.  But it does leave out the Perimeter Trade Towers one jump over where the prices are a bit lower.  That is where the serious PLEX traders go as the fees are lower.

You do get an advantage selling PLEX through the app, at least if you want to sell immediately to a buy order; you get a pass on the broker’s fee, which can run around 100K ISK alone per PLEX.  I guess that is something to tempt people who just buy PLEX to sell it for ISK right away, effectively a little extra ISK in your pocket with each sale.

But was it worth the effort?

Again, it isn’t going to impact me as I am not going to use it since the app looks horrible on the iPad.  I mean, seriously bad, worse than that first screen shot might lead you to believe.

EVE Portal – not for tablets

But it might impact the EVE Online economy I suppose… if anybody uses it.

Addendum: CSM14 member Dunk Dinkle can’t figure out who this is really for either.

Neocom II for EVE Online

Third Party utilities are part of what makes EVE Online the game it is.  Without them it would be a much poorer experience.

I have been using the Neocom app on my iPad for a few years now.

Neocom for iPhone & iPad

It hooks up through the API interface and lets you view all the usual bits of information about your EVE Online characters.  You can see you wallet, your skill queue, your in-game mail, you financial information and such.  Basically it has about everything I could ask to keep an eye on, and is all bundled up in a reasonably attractive package.

So I was definitely interested when I heard that there was a Neocom II app available.

This version is made with moon goo

The Tech II indicator on the upper left corner turned out to be fairly apt.  The requirements are higher and you cannot fit as many characters.

Neocom II is a rewrite of the original Neocom app that dispenses with the old and now somewhat neglected API interface in favor of CCP’s single sign on interface.

In some ways this change is great.  When you use the SSO interface you get a lot more information out of CCP about your character.  Probably the biggest change is that SSO knows about Upwell structures in a way that the old API has not been updated to handle.  You want to see your assets in citadels, get details on sales from them, or see your market orders in such structures, you are now set.  You also get more detail on a number of things.

The down side… the bigger fitting requirement I suppose… is that the “single” in “single sign on” in this case seems to also indicate that you can only sign into a single account at a time with the Neocom II app.  [Addendum: You can get multiple characters going, as noted in the comments on this post, but you can to cancel, log out, then log in with the new account when you are in CCPs SSO interface.]

Previously, with the original Neocom app, I had injected APIs for characters across four accounts and was able to swap between them in the same way you can have multiple characters in EVE Mon.

With Neocom II I can have more detail, however I am limited to viewing characters on a single account at a time. [Edit: Not true, see addendum below]

Fortunately, the two apps are not incompatible so I just run them both on my iPad, with Neocom II keeping an eye on my main, who does most of my market stuff, and the older Neocom to peek in on the status of a wider ranger of characters.

If you have just one account, the Neocom II app is all you need.  It is a very nice addition to the family of third party EVE Online apps.  However, being a new app, it does have a few minor flaws.

For some reason I cannot make up its mind as to how many skill points I really have.

Neither number is actually correct

I don’t know if that is a flaw in how the app is calculating or if CCP is handing the app a bad value… or a value that is calculating something different, like all completed skills, leaving out the one being trained.

And while the app now includes assets in Upwell structures when calculating your total wealth, for some reason it believes I have 31 billion ISK in blueprints.  The old app put that number at about 300 million, and was very optimistic in that call.  Again, I am not sure if CCP is handing over bad data or if it is the app.  I do know I ought to just get rid of those blueprints.  I have a pile of blueprint copies from back when I was doing invention and I am sure they have no value at all.

Anyway, a nice little app.  It runs on the iPhone as well, though I prefer not to put it there.  I don’t need to stare at my characters that much and the small text on the small screen means I need to put on my reading glasses to see what is going on.

Addendum: Per the comments below and my own experience, the Neocom II app does support multiple accounts.  CCP just makes you go in, cancel the add it tries to do with your current account, then log in again with the account you are trying to add.  I’d bitch about bad UI design from CCP some more, but you only have to do it once, so I guess I’ll live.