My name is Denis and I am a programmer from Russia. In this first post, I’d like to tell you the reasons behind my making this site, as well as its history henceforth.
Ever since I started playing Eve, I’ve felt it a degree of automation would benefit my game play greatly. That is to say, there are plenty of repetitive, mindless tasks which one must perform to various extents depending on what one is doing. Furthermore, some of these tasks, like repeatedly mining and returning minerals to a base, account for a large amount of the work required to reap an income. In short, Eve is a prime target for the development of process automation tools, or “bots”, as they are referred to when applied to games.
I’ve been gaming for a long time. I don’t consider myself jaded, but I expected to discover some kind of scripting supported by Eve when I looked into this. A cursory googling lead me to little information on the matter. I was shocked, “a popular game like this without an API?”. I found no mention of automation tools. If they were out there, I’d have to dig deeper, as I realized I’d have to resort to less accessible means to interact with the game client. I eventually found some material on injecting code into the game’s process (more details on that in a future post).
Missioning was my moneymaker at the time and so I used my new found knowledge to create the LP Store you see on this site. Jitonomic grew from that one tool, which was only made possible by pulling data from the game that isn’t available from Eve’s developer’s (CCP) static data dump, which they release with each patch and is fully intended to be used by 3rd parties.
I knew I wanted to do more work in this vein, and so began creating a personal market database. This would be for my own use only, to further my market speculation efforts. I was able to make a considerable amount of ISK (the in-game currency) using my combined tools. A majority of this time was spent while I was under the care of a player corporation who I decided to make a market browser tool for their private use which used my personally gathered market data.
While this was going on, I was studying the Windows Azure platform and wanted to try developing an Eve tool with it, a test application. I spammed local chat with bots to get attention. It worked. I got traffic and improved the site based on feedback. My spamming also attracted another kind of attention, that of the GMs, and my bot accounts started getting banned. This did little to diminish my tenacity, and they eventually started banning by IP address (which also had little effect). I came out of the ordeal with a good feel for how CCP handles botting and their levels of tolerance for different activities, as well as their guidelines for punishing users.
Sometime shortly before 2011 came, CCP issued a patch that changed a significant amount of internals in the Eve client, such that my bots which source much of the data used in this site no longer worked. I was in the midst of a real life move and was unable to update things on my end, but, much to my surprise, Jitonomic still received about 50% of it’s usual visitors despite the fact that market data was all stale data from before the patch. After my move, I got things back on track and continued to update the site after fixing my bots. I was working on an online fitting tool, which was about 75% done, however my general interest in Eve was falling short as my other workloads became larger.