Market Data API – What I’d like

There’s been a bunch of posts on the forums about how cache scraping is bad and against the EULA and how CCP Sreegs hates it. Now, it’s been said by some GMs that it’s ok, so that’s not something I’m going to go into.

Sreegs did say that, while he doesn’t like scraping for market data, he’d prefer to see that in an API. This is something I heartily agree with. We need a source of market data, available outside of the game. There’s a few things which I’d want from it, however.

  1. The data, while accurate, shouldn’t be ‘perfect’.
  2. To make 1 work, this means you don’t get to ask for data for a particular item, in a particular region, at the current time. No requests for specific data.
  3. It should, however, be timely. For common data, I should be able to get it fairly up to date.

The thing is, right now, I have a source just like that. It’s EMDR. And it’s pretty much perfect. A firehose of market data, to do with as you please.

It’s not an ideal source for use with spreadsheets. You’ll need something listening to it 24×7, and then processing it. But that’s what eve central does right now. It’s what I do right now. I do provide exports of the data, for use in spreadsheets, which quite neatly takes care of this.

So, the actions I think CCP need to take:

  • Define a rarity list of items and regions. Common items and regions should be updated often. Rare ones less often. So if you’re listening to it, you should get the mineral prices in jita every 20 minutes or so. Imp navy large emp smart bombs in 760-9C, however, should be maybe once a day
  • Set up a zeromq (or similar. No real queue, just a stream) end point for people to subscribe to. Maybe add an IP level filter to allow people to subscribe to it with their eve accounts, with an ip address. It’s not suitable for the general person, but it’s perfectly good for the enablers (such as myself)
  • Sit back and watch the data stream out.

Yes, it’s not a minor job. But it should reduce the number of characters who just sit in a market hub requesting market data once every 2 seconds.

And it totally removes the possibility of people poisoning the data (unless they provide a service themselves)