A Scientist's Life in Eve

Crius – Industry teams… worth their weight in Megacyte? (TLDR – yes!!!)

by on Jul.20, 2014, under Eve online

One of the major new introductions to the industry process into Eve with the Cruis update is the appearance of Teams into the game.  Initially, upon hearing the word “team” mentioned, my corp mates and I thought that it could mean some way for multiple characters to work on a research or manufacturing project collaboratively.  The reality was very different.

In Crius, CCP have added the notion of actual people having to be hired to operate research labs and manufacturing plants, whether this be at a POS in the hidden depths of a wormhole, or in a gleaming Amarrian Station a couple of jumps from the Amarr home world.  To expand upon this further, CCP has also added the ability to bid for a specialised team to come and live in a particular station and offer their services.  Of course, there is a cost for this too.

The bidding process is pretty simple.  You go to the Industry window, choose the Teams tab and click on chartering to bring up the list of teams and various filters such as location (system / region etc.) and speciality.  Teams consist of 4 members, each of which bring something different to the table.  Once you’ve found a team you like where the auction is finishing sometime soon, you can bid on them.  If you’re successful then you get a notification from Concord and the team magically arrives in your selected station.

One really important thing to note is that multiple people can contribute to a bid.  When you bid, if your chosen system is the same as another person’s existing bid, your bid adds to the total for that system.  Strangely, once the minimum bid has been met, other people can then bid low amounts.  For example, I bid 500k on one character and 110k on another for one system, and then when I went to bid with a third character for a different system, it told me the minimum bid was 130k.  I tried again with a fourth character bidding for yet another system (Rancer this time lol), the minimum bid was 150k.

Although it might sound like it’s broken, actually it allows for a group of players to agree to each bid and contribute to winning a team, although it seems that each bidder will be forced to bid at a higher level than the last, so if you each want to contribute 200k ISK, looks like you won’t be able to do so.

The overall beauty of this system is that you can bid from one place for a team to be located in another, so if you operate a regional (or universal) manufacturing empire, you don’t have to be in the target station to bid for the team to go there.  Below you can see that I’ve successfully hired three different teams to come to my Outpost to help:

As you can see, all three teams are for manufacturing and so will not affect other activities such as researching material efficiency.  Also, each team has four distinct effects that can be used for specific blueprint types, and also a salary commensurate with how big an effect they have.

So let’s see what they do.  My first example is going to use the bottom team from Caldari Steel, and I’m going to make some Medium Nosferatu’s

So here we are with 100 runs up on the clock and no team selected.  The first thing to notice is that it shows which members of the available teams could contributing on this job, and what their contribution, and salary, would be.  Below you can see the difference when the team is added to the process:

The first thing to notice here is that both highlighted team members have had an impact.  You can see that the estimated material price has dropped from 15.25 million ISK to 14.41 million ISK, a saving of 834,820.48 ISK.  Not too shabby at all.  The job cost has increased from 263,652 ISK to 284,744 ISK, i.e. only 21,092 ISK more, giving us a total saving of 813,728.48 ISK.

So a saving of over 800k ISK from only a single job? At this point it’s pretty obvious that the bidding for teams with popular characteristics will be pretty fierce, and will no doubt run into many millions of ISK.  This, however, is a bit of a concern once again for me, as it will probably mean that the larger industrial groups will be able to spend big to get the best teams and spread their cost out over lots of jobs, again reducing their unit cost, whereas the smaller operator will not be able to compete on the bidding and will, as a result, have a overall higher unit cost and be less profitable.

Anyway, back to the team information.  You can also hover over the “Job Duration” and “Total Job Cost” display to show a very useful breakdown.  For these, I used the other teams with a couple of different blueprints.  Firstly, to show the Job Duration information, I switched to making a Dragonfly:

It’s another Caldari Steel team, but this time I’m getting a 1% reduction in materials and a 6% reduction in time.  You can see above without the team that I’m enjoying quite a good reduction in time taken already.  Below, you can see the team adding their effect:

I’ve achieved a further 6% reduction, but in this case it’s only reduced it by 8.5 hours, which isn’t really anything to write home about (although in 8.5 hours you could write home several times I’d expect!).  Also noticeable is the fact that it’s increased the job cost by 1.89 million ISK.  However, I can happily confirm that the 1% reduction in materials in this particular example has reduced the estimated cost by 18.09 million ISK, giving a total cost saving of 16.19 million ISK allowing for the team’s salary payment.

Below you can see the cost information breakdown for the above job with no team:

The system cost index is worryingly red, but I’m guessing that’s because on Sisi, I’m probably accounting for a reasonable percentage of the universal industry activity as there’s probably not exactly thousands of us testing the interface out right now.  I also decided that I wouldn’t tax myself.  Below is the final screenshot, this time using a Survey Scanner blueprint and the final team:

With this you can see that the team’s 11% salary has been added to the total job cost.  In this case the team only affects the duration of the production, and so this is probably not a particularly worthwhile addition to this particular job, although as you should be able to make out from the screenshot, the team affects the material cost of other things, and so would most likely have been bid upon for those attributes instead.

So… are teams worth their weight in Megacyte?  The answer is that they probably will be, as long as you can get the right team for the right price and then make sure that you use them properly and regularly.

I have no illusions that bidding on some teams will be very competitive, and as with any auction it is something you should calculate the value first before you bid, to make sure you don’t spend too much.  It will also mean that you will need to plan your activities more carefully if you are bidding, or adjust them accordingly if you’re sharing a team with somebody else who bid.

One thing is for sure with Crius, industry in Eve will not have a fixed cost any more, and if you’re serious about being as competitive as possible, you simply cannot ignore teams.  I think that CCP has done a really good job with how teams will work, and their addition to New Eden is something that all industrialists in Eve should be looking forward to with fingers poised over the “bid” button at the 8 seconds left before auction ends mark, just like on eBay!

The real question here is whether Crest will allow for offline bidding, leading to the Eve edition of BidSniper?

 

 

 

 

 

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Crius – Increasing costs of T2 manufacturing

by on Jul.20, 2014, under Eve online

Listed in part of the patch notes, it states that:

Most Tech I materials have been removed from Tech II blueprints

  • More precisely, minerals that are not morphite and components that are not Advanced Components or Advanced Capital Components have been removed
  • This does not apply to Tech I items required for Tech II manufacturing, those are staying and still have exceptions to the Material Efficiency and skill bonuses so that, for example:In some cases blueprint requirements have been modified to make sure price is not fluctuating too much

This innocuous statement has not necessarily translated brilliantly if you’re doing Tech II manufacturing.  As an example, I compared the manufacture of a ME -4, PE -4 Cruise Missile Launcher II blueprint on Tranquillity now to it’s post-patch equivalent ME -7%, TE -14%.  Look below for the results:

Firstly the Tranquillity version.  This BPC takes 1 day 7 hours to produce it’s 10 runs.  Next, let’s look at the Sisi version:

With what was the same BPC, you can see that the manufacture time for 10 runs has reduced to only 8 hours 55 minutes 18 seconds, and the new ISK sink mechanic has resulted in us “donating” 184,931 ISK to Concord or some other anonymous bureau to the privilege of using our own BPC in our own Outpost in our own sovereign space.

What is striking, however, is that this shows us two things about the new manufacturing system.  Firstly, to make 1 run of this on Sisi uses 2 R.A.M. Weapon Tech, 1 T1 Module, 11 Quantum Microprocessors, 11 Morphite and 9 Robotics, so 1 Morphite less than the current TQ version shown above, but 3 more Microprocessors and 1 more unit of Robotics.  Also, put aside the R.A.M. usage as that has been covered in the Dev Blog about x100.

Now look at the Sisi screenshot above for 10 runs.  Notice that the R.A.M. and Robotics haven’t multiplied up.  This shows that by manufacturing a multiple of the unit, instead of just 1, the BPC didn’t require 2 complete R.A.M. or 9 complete units of Robotics, so by producing in one lot of 10 instead of 10 individual runs, we’ve enjoyed a cost saving.

However, the main thing to recognise here is that the cost of manufacturing is going to be less straight-forward to calculate.  To build a Quantum Microprocessor currently costs 15 Titanium Carbide, 5 Phenolic Composites, 2 Nonlinear Metamaterials and 2 Nanotransistors, regardless of the run length.  On Sisi, the same BPO (which shows -10%, so is “perfect”), uses 17 Titanium Carbide and 6 Phenolic Composites, with the other two items remaining the same for 1 run, but if I put in 1,000 runs that scales up to 14,996 Titanium Carbide, 5,293 Phenolic Composites, 1,765 Nonlinear Metamaterials and 1,765 Nanotransistors.

Life for the industrialist is going to be significantly less straight-forward.  Do you just make what you need for that run (as I do at the moment), or do you keep a stockpile of components and top them up when you get to a minimum level?

It will come down to ISK available for working capital, and if anything will make it even more difficult for the smaller operator to compete with a larger operation who will be more likely to have a greater level of working capital and therefore be able to keep larger stock levels of materials and components, reducing their unit cost.

All I know is that my spreadsheets for manufacturing will be essentially useless post patch, as all the manufacturing costs will have changed in some way or another.  Looks like I have some work to do!

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Crius – Reprocessing

by on Jul.19, 2014, under Eve online

Before Crius arrives on the 22nd, I decided to log on and conduct some tests at some Outposts.

If you haven’t looked through the patch notes in detail, I’d suggest you do so by clicking here, things are changing quite a bit to say the least.

Firstly, you should know that the new interface is gorgeous – it has nice animations when you click on things, although it can suffer a little bit from lag if you have lots of blueprints and locations to view. If you were here when the unified inventory was introduced, you can probably get the idea, although it’s nowhere near that bad and can only get better through CCP’s ongoing polishing.

Reprocessing:

Firstly, let’s look at what used to be called refining, and is has now been called reprocessing. Firstly, I’d like to hold my hands up here and say that I’m a little confused as to why it’s now called reprocessing rather than refining. The Oxford Dictionary description of reprocessing is “Process (something, especially spent nuclear fuel) again or differently, typically in order to reuse it” and for refining it is “Remove impurities or unwanted elements from (a substance), typically as part of an industrial process“.

Ok, so in Eve you actually use the same menu option to both refine, ore and ice for example, and reprocess, mission runners reprocessing modules looted from mission wrecks or the mineral compression favourite 425mm Railgun I. However with how yields are changing, the amount of modules and things other than ore and ice that will actually be reprocessed should drop sharply, as even with maximum skills you will get a very poor return of minerals from those invested in building the item. However, refining ore and ice will actually yield more minerals than previously in specific situations, such as using one of the reprocessing arrays at a POS or with an upgraded Minmatar Outpost.

I decided to use the most simple example in the form of Veldspar for my tests. I went out and mined 10,000 units of the stuff on Tranquillity, and purchased some at 100 ISK per unit from the seeded market on Singularity at an Amarr Factory Outpost in null sec space. For reference, my skills in reprocessing aren’t perfect… well actually for the current way of working they are perfect, as I have both Refining and Refinery Efficiency to 5, and all of the ore specific skills to 4. I also usually have a 4% implant in slot 8 that covers any gaps.

So, on Tranquillity I went to a Minmatar Outpost that has been upgraded to level 1 and refined my Veldspar. The result, rather unsurprisingly, was 30,000 units of Tritanium. Hooray, the system works. Next, I logged onto Singularity and acquired Veldspar, 2% and 4% reprocessing yield implants and got to work.

The image above shows the amount I got, with no reprocessing implant plugged in, at the Amarr Outpost. The image also shows the nice UI and demonstrates how you can have multiple things selected for reprocessing. This is, obviously, less than the amount you can get now – well actually it’s infinitely more, as an un-upgraded Amarr Outpost currently can’t refine anything.

I then plugged in a 2% implant and tried again, which yielded 28,916 units of Tritanium, and switching to a 4% implant gave me 29,483. Even with an implant I couldn’t get to the current “perfect” level, and if I were to train all of the ore specific skills from 4 to 5, I’d need to invest 178 days of training time to do so. If I did though, I’d achieve 30,029 Tritanium in an un-upgraded non-Minmatar Outpost. Not too shabby.

Next up is the Minmatar Outpost, which in this case has been upgraded 1 level for reprocessing.

The above result is without an implant, and already shows that we’re getting more than we previously could have. Adding a 2% implant takes us to 31,229 and the 4% yields 31,841 Tritanium. If my ore specific skills were at 5, that would give a maximum of 32,431, which is 8.1% more than we currently can get. In fact, if you had a fully upgraded Minmatar Outpost with maximum skills and the 4% implant, you’d be able to get 36,034 units of Tritanium, which is a massive 20.1% more than we currently get. Although the ISK investment is massive, if you do serious amounts of reprocessing then the payback won’t take too long at all.

This could be a serious driver for conflict in the future, and if you rent space then expect these Outposts to either have a high tax imposed on them; a high rental value; or both.

Now the bit I’m not a huge fan of – the reprocessing arrays that can be anchored at a POS. They come in two flavours: normal and intensive, with base reprocessing values of 52% and 54%. Immediately this seems rather unfair – you’ve spent billions of ISK buying and deploying a Minmatar Service Outpost in the nether regions of known space, and some upstart plants a small POS at a moon in hi-sec and gets the same refine rate than you do. You spend several billion ISK more only to find out that he’s swapped it to a different POS module that, once again, matches your massive space installation.

This to me, is simply wrong. I tested both arrays out, and the results, with my skills and testing the implants, demonstrated the point. Unless you plan to spend tens of billions of ISK deploying and upgrading a Minmatar Outpost to level 2 or higher, you might as well try and get into either a Caldari or Amarr Outpost instead and just use an Intensive Reprocessing Array at a POS. I personally think this is a shame, but CCP probably have good reasons, and those reasons are probably aimed purely at the hi-sec industry groups, however as somebody who’s spent lots of time in hi-sec (and pretty recently too), manufacturing in null sec is not without its own costs and, as CCP’s mantra goes, risk = ISK.

TLDR – lovely interface; upgrade those Minmatar Outposts now; reprocessing arrays are unbalanced

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Death to 1,000 Clicks

by on Jul.11, 2014, under Eve online

Sisi has recently been updated so that the invention part of the new industry UI is working.  I’ve included a screen shot below so those of you who haven’t looked at it yet can see what’s on the way:

New Eve Industry UI

If you haven’t read the Dev Blogs about the upcoming changes, or played with them on the test server (Sisi), I cannot emphasise how major this change is for anybody who touches industry processes on an even casual basis.

I decided to run a comparison.  With BPC’s in place, I decided to do 10 inventions on Tranquility, and then do the same on Sisi.  It took me 90 seconds and 81 mouse clicks to do on Tranquility, and 75 seconds with 15 mouse clicks on Sisi.

Not a huge saving in time, but on mouse clicks, wow.  As I tend to do at least 70 invention/reverse engineering jobs each day on weekdays, this translates to a saving just under 9 minutes a week, which is nothing, but a magnificent removal of 2,310 mouse clicks each week from my Eve online experience – that is pretty amazing.

The teams are up and running, and I managed to successfully bid on a team to reduce some the manufacturing time on something.  It cost me 490k ISK, and essentially made me think that we’re about to get eBay for New Eden.

As you can see, the interface is fairly simple to use. You click on the columns to sort by type or high to low, and use the filters to find what sort of team you’re looking for.  Once you find that perfect team, you click on bid and enter the system you want the team to be based at, and then the value of your bid.  I’m assuming that even if teams aren’t perceived as useful (which I think they very much will be) this will be a lot like eBay in that it will only really be worth bidding towards or at the end of an auction.

Who knows, perhaps with Crest we’ll see 3rd party phone apps copying Bidsniper and placing last second bids for your Eve team through the two way API :)

One thing that I did find annoying, and perhaps it’s just me and how I’m using the interface at the moment, but if you look at the image below, you’ll see that the BPO seems to be showing the base mineral cost, and that the Industry interface is showing the cost once the BPO’s material research has been applied:

Although it’s a lovely thing to know what the base mineral cost is and to see how much your hard spent research time has improved things, it makes it necessary to change how you view blueprints from this point forward.  Never again will you be right clicking and selecting “info” to look at the material requirements, instead you will need to choose to view it in the Industry interface to see what’s going on.

In one sense, making an indy spreadsheet will be easier, as you’d just need to enter base information, and then add a column for % material improvement from research to modify the cost, and as you research the BPO you will just have to amend that one column (if you weren’t already using this sort of method before, but with the complicated formula).  It would have been a nice touch to add a base cost figure in brackets after the material cost – that way you could glance at the BPO and see how much (or little) your time researching has improved things.

One other little niggle is that, when you have large numbers of BPO’s and BPC’s kicking about as I do, the interface can be pretty laggy – significantly more so than the old science and industry interface.  Had the interface not been catching its breath to update, my time of 75 seconds for completing 10 inventions would have almost certainly have been below 60 seconds.  It’s a small thing, but think back to the early days of the unified inventory and the need to go and make a cup of tea/coffee while the corporate hanger loaded.  This isn’t that bad, but it’s still a bit annoying as the list flickers and updates.  CCP improved the unified inventory (and we also got used to delays), so I’m hopeful this will go the same way after a couple of polishing updates.

So… overall, if you are involved in any kind of industry in New Eden, you should really try to get on Sisi and play with the new interface now before it’s released.  Even if you don’t care about industry at all, I’d urge you to have at least a cursory look when Miley Crius is released – CCP have obviously worked hard on this, and it’s looking like it will be a job well done.

Now… about the pain of locking and unlocking BPO’s and the terribad Corporate interface – CCP I’m waiting to be impressed again in the very near future please!!!

 

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A bit more testing with Sisi industry

by on Jun.27, 2014, under Eve online

I noticed that Sisi had patched again, so I updated it and fired it up.  I’d also hit the forums and found out that the lovely new indy interface has one (for me and probably many other indy people) VERY annoying “feature”.

Copying for inventions will be nice and quick, as you only need a 1 run BPC to invent from, however, having tried one of my max run drone copies for invention, it appears that it ONLY accepts a 1 run copy, as it refused to use a 1500 run Heavy Armor Maintenance Bot I BPC to invent from, but would accept a 1 run Prophecy BPC to invent from.  For me, this means that after the patch I will have several thousand BPC’s which are useless for inventing from. The words “no thanks” spring to mind here.

As far as copying a blueprint for invention, for me in a Design Laboratory in our null sec system making 20x 1 run copies of a Stasis Webifier I blueprint took 3 hours 36 minutes and cost 15 ISK, and to do the same job for a Kinetic Deflection Field I blueprint took the same time, but cost 53 ISK.

I did find some problems inputting numbers, for example I typed in 20 runs, but for some reason it only did 5, so I started the job with another identical BPO and this time it only did 2 runs, then finally I quit the interface and clicked “use blueprint” to bring it back up again, selected 20 runs and it actually worked.

A few teething problems, but still steps in the right direction.

CCP, your “must do” list for the release is as follows:

  1. Make sure that skills and implants affect the reprocessing values at the POS reprocessing arrays, otherwise they’re basically useless
  2. Fix it so that a BPC with any number of runs can be used to invent from, as having several thousand BPC’s rendered useless for invention by this update will be pretty annoying, to say the least!
  3. Fix the interface bugs – I’m sure you’re working on those already, but just a gentle reminder
  4. Can I also assume that some new brilliant interface will be there to let us lock and unlock blueprints in batches?
  5. Any chance of letting us apply the job process to the multiple blueprints that we can select in the interface? Doesn’t have to be for all of the options, but it would be nice to be able to do batch copying, batch invention etc.

Other than that…. it’s actually starting to come together nicely and I can see how it will save me significant amounts of time

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Testing Industry on Sisi

by on Jun.26, 2014, under Eve online

Been quite a difficult past few weeks in RL, so not been able to post, which is breaking one of my New Year’s Resolutions pretty seriously.

Anyway, I’ve been playing around with things on the Eve Test Server, Sisi, and am a little concerned that CCP haven’t really calculated the impact of the changes they’re bringing in.

My main concern is the reduction to material cost when manufacturing using certain installations, the Amarr Factory Outpost being one of the places this happens.  This creates a huge disparity in manufacturing costs between pretty much anywhere and null sec.  Of course this is ultimately part of CCP’s plans – risk = ISK, and so I guess they’ll try to lure bigger manufacturing concerns into null sec, and then when they’re settled in and everything is locked down, they’ll roll out some sort of destructible Outpost idea which will then mean everybody will run back to hi-sec.

I can see the idea of having a lo-sec only module to allow you to build Capital Components in lo-sec at a lower cost, but I’m not sure why it couldn’t match the Amarr Outpost’s 30%, as it will still be easy enough to make carriers and dreads in null-sec and then just fly them out to a lo-sec system to sell if that’s your intention.

So trying out the new POS modules I got the following results:

Compression Array: 100 units of Arkonor = 1600 m3, compression reduces it to 3.1m3
Reprocessing Array: 100 units of Arkonor = 119 Megacyte, 664 Mexallon, 3590 Tritanium and 59 Zydrine
Intensive Reprocessing Array: 100 units of Arkonor = 124 Megacyte, 690 Mexallon, 3728 Tritanium and 62 Zydrine
Level 1 upgraded Minmatar Outpost: 100 units of Arkonor = 173 Megacyte, 962 Mexallon, 5200 Tritanium and 87 Zydrine

My skills are 5 and 5 with the Reprocessing and Efficiency skills, and 4 with the Ore specific skills, and I have the 4% implant too.

I then repeated with 100 Veldspar:

Reprocessing Array: 100 units of Veldspar = 215 Tritanium, i.e. 716 Trit per 333 units refined
Intensive Reprocessing Array: 100 units of Veldspar = 224 Tritanium, i.e. 746 Trit per 333 units refined
Level 1 upgraded Minmatar Outpost: 100 units of Veldspar = 313 Tritanium, i.e. 1042 Trit per 333 units refined

The old way of refining usually gave a maximum of 1000 units of Trit per 333 units refined, so from what I can see something doesn’t look very good here.  Based on reading the forum comments from the Reprocessing Dev Blog, I think that the skills are not being applied to the POS modules yet, so I’ll have to wait until Sisi updates again to see what happens.

If it is fixed however, one of the strongest combinations for a Eve Industrial player might be an Amarr Outpost in null-sec with an intensive reprocessing array in support, or a friendly neighbour with a seriously upgraded Minmatar Outpost.

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Playing with the new indy interface

by on Jun.12, 2014, under Eve online

Well, this will only be a quick post due to time constraints… and massive apologies for the lack of posting of late, lots of RL issues and things which have left me with either no time or no energy to post.

Anyway, I’ve just updated Sisi and had a go with the new indy interface.  At the moment it seems a bit buggy.  For instance, when you enter a run number in the box, it doesn’t always work properly or reset to the maximum level.  When trying to do a maximum run copy on a Hobgoblin BPO, it told me that 600 was the maximum in the box, but set 2000 on the job level.

Also, I thought we’re supposed to be using copies for everything?

Copy time of Armageddon on TQ for me = 15 hours, copy time on Sisi 3 hours

Sounds good, but when you do the same with a Hobgoblin BPO at 20 copies of a max run (1,500 on TQ and only 600 on Sisi) for inventing from:

Job time on TQ for me = 3 days 8 hours
Job time on Sisi for me = 25 days

Whaaaaat?

This will need further investigation.

Nice thing was being able to set a job up and then just keep clicking on a BPC and hitting start.  Disappointing that you could select multiple BPO’s/BPC’s in the list, but that the action wouldn’t be applied to them all (even with a warning of “do you really want to start a batch of 4 jobs” sort of message).

More to come on this definitely, but I’d recommend that you download it and have a play.

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The new cost of making things in null sec

by on May.02, 2014, under Eve online

aka – why T2 production will still be significantly cheaper in hi-sec.

CCP mass released 4 Dev blogs earlier this week:

The main thing I’m going to focus on in this blog post is the changes to manufacturing cost, and the differences in cost between manufacturing in null sec and hi-sec.  CCP have made great efforts to state that they don’t want too many people running from hi-sec into null sec when the expansion arrives.

One quick comment here.  Currently, this does not appear to be an expansion, rather a change in working processes.  The Team Up dev blog hints that they may introduce the ability for players to make work teams, but that appears to be something for the future, not something for the summer.  At the moment, I’m struggling to see any new content beyond a re-working of the processes with a new UI and a complete change in the costing system.

Anyway, on to the prices.

I’ve used CCP’s formula as stated in The Price of Change dev blog.  In the blog, they used the idea of making 5 runs of an Abaddon.  Unless it’s for local consumption, making an Abaddon in null-sec and exporting it to the market doesn’t really make sense.  I’m not trying to argue that it’s going to be cheaper to make said Abaddon in hi-sec than null-sec, as in theory it shouldn’t be, unless you’re comparing a particularly good hi-sec system to building in a system without an Amarrian Outpost.

I’d recommend that you open the above dev blog in a separate tab / window, and scroll down to the formula bit where CCP Greyscale is talking about the formula and building the Abaddon.  That will make this significantly easier to follow.  Also, for the purpose of this, I’ve assumed that the system fraction of global hours will remain at 0.25% for both the hi-sec and null sec systems (i.e. 0.05 square root value), as after all loads of people will move from hi-sec to null sec in summer… right?

My first table below shows the cost of making 1, 5 and 7 Abaddons as per Greyscale’s example:

NPC Hi-Sec Station Non-Amarrian Outpost Amarrian Outpost
 Item Cost  200 million ISK  200 million ISK  200 million ISK
 System Fraction of Global Hours  0.25%  0.25%  0.25%
 System Modifier  0.75  0.8  0.5
 Taxation  10%  0%  0%
 Installation Cost for 1st run  8.25 million ISK  3.2 million ISK  2 million ISK

On the face of it above, things are looking pretty good for making things in null.  You’ll be able to add an extra 5 to 6 million ISK to the sell price, or more likely undercut Jita by 3 to 4 million ISK, when making and selling locally.

Why only sell locally?  Well, say you live deep in null making things, like me as a renter in our small to medium sized indy corp.  We easily mine enough minerals to make battleships to sell to other renters locally.  Many of them will probably be making their own ships though, so what if we decided to export them to Jita?  From where we are, it takes 3 jumps in a Jump Freighter, as well as then slow boating in a freighter to Jita.  This currently uses around 24,500 Nitrogen Isotopes if I was using a Rhea with maximum navigation and jump freighter skills.  CCP are increasing the isotope consumption of ships with jump drives by 50%, this would mean that I’d now consume around 36,750 Nitrogen Isotopes isotopes each way.

Let’s look at multiples.  A Rhea would let me export 7 Abaddons at a time, so let’s re-do the above table for 7 ships:

NPC Hi-Sec Station Non-Amarrian Outpost Amarrian Outpost
Item Cost 200 million ISK 200 million ISK 200 million ISK
System Fraction of Global Hours 0.25% 0.25% 0.25%
System Modifier 0.75 0.8 0.5
 Number of Runs 7 7 7
 Multi-Run Discount 0.8893 0.8893 0.8893
Taxation 10% 0% 0%
Average Installation Cost per Run 6.67 million ISK 2.85 million ISK 1.78 million ISK

As you can see, you’re probably now saving 4.9 million ISK per ship, multiply that by 7 and you get 34.24 million ISK saved.  24,500 Nitrogen Isotopes costs around 950 ISK per unit in Jita, giving a transport cost of 34.91 million ISK.  Assuming you’re always taking other stuff back for different things, we can do a bit of a “Goons” here and say that the return journey costs you no ISK (this is in reference to a Goons quote where they once said that moon goo you mined yourself was free).

Actually, let’s not assume you’re going back empty.  Let’s instead assume that you’re building the T2 Gallente Battleship, the Kronos.  After all, the summer expansion is called Kronos isn’t it?  Now, to build 7 Kronies (my attempt at a pluralisation of Kronos instead of calling them Kronos’s), you need 415,051.5 m3 of moon goo in addition to the usual things like minerals.  I’m not including construction blocks here, as I’m going to assume that you can comfortably produce the 2,520 required in null sec from PI yourself without too much effort.

So, as moon mining in null sec systems, particularly as a renter, isn’t the best thing in the world as all the high end moons are taken by your landlord.  If you doubt that, investigate the rental terms for the bigger rental services such as Brothers of Tangara and, as a comparison, Goons more recent venture.

I’ll be generous here and assume that you can produce one of the components in your system from the “free” moon goo.  It’s likely to either be the Crystalline Carbonide or Sylramic Fibers.  Making either will reduce your import load below that of a single jump freighter, and therefore that return journey we talked about earlier now serves a function.

Let’s re-run the figures above with making 7 Kronies:

NPC Hi-Sec Station Non-Amarrian Outpost Amarrian Outpost
Item Cost 1,000 million ISK 1,000 million ISK 1,000 million ISK
System Fraction of Global Hours 0.25% 0.25% 0.25%
System Modifier 0.75 0.8 0.5
Number of Runs 7 7 7
Multi-Run Discount 0.3509 0.3509 0.3509
Taxation 10% 0% 0%
Average Installation Cost per Run 13.16 million ISK 5.62 million ISK 3.51 million ISK

As you can see, it’s saving you around 9.65 million per ship to build, a total saving of 67.55 million ISK over all 7 runs to build in null sec instead of hi-sec.  But wait – now you need to add not only the cost of importing the moon goo (remember, the POS that you’re running to mine and convert the one or two moon goo types you haven’t imported are “free” – well, they’re not free, but should be costing you less than buying them from Jita and importing them or you’re just doing it wrong!!!), you also need to include the cost of exporting the Kronies.  As we said earlier, it’s broadly going to be a Jump Freighter load each way, so 34.9 million ISK x2 = 69.8 million ISK.

This is a very crude example still, as added to the example of building the 7 Kronies above, you also need to factor in the cost savings in producing the individual construction components from complex moon products.  This will increase the difference between the hi-sec and null sec production, and should bring it just about into a positive experience.

The other thing that CCP have alluded to, but not yet given numbers to, is that specialised Outposts and relevant upgrades are likely to get some sort of ME bonus.  As we’ve found out, ME will now be a strict percentage, from 0% to 10%.  If it is 1% as currently mooted, it would further reduce the manufacturing cost by around 8 million ISK per ship, or increase your profit margin by just under 1%.

However, all of this combined you’ve got to consider Risk vs ISK.  Is 8 million additional ISK per 1 billion ISK ship worth the risk of jumping your Jump Freighter 3 jumps there and 3 jumps back, as well has having to have your moon mining operation vulnerable to attack and the Outpost with your blueprints in able to be captured (or in the future, actually destroyed)? Does it represent enough reward?

What about the capital you need to employ to actually deploy an Outpost?

What about the monthly Sovereignty costs paid to Concord?

Is 8 million ISK extra per 1 billion ISK ship adequate reward?

OK – there are many more profitable things you can build which take up less space, such as T2 modules, turrets and launchers, but as CCP Greyscale used an Abaddon as an example, the numbers were an easier thing to compare and associate with his Dev Blog.

As an aside – is CCP’s answer to everything now to introduce the ability to cloak? We had T2 Covert Ops Frigates, then the T2 Recon Ships, then followed Black Ops, followed by the theory crafted Covert Ops Avatar.  Then suddenly everybody with anything from a shotgun to Heavy Machine Gun suddenly was running around the battlefield cloaked.  Now we have the cloaked mining ship.

Cloaky tanks (Dust 514) and POS to follow soon(TM).

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Building better Worlds part 2

by on Apr.24, 2014, under Eve online

A comment on my last post directed me to this forum post.

Wow, just… wow.

So you make your own station that you own, you ut it up in space that you own, and somehow you can’t control the cost of building things in it?

CCP – you have lost the plot on this one I’m afraid.

is this going to be rolled out to everything then? Will it be impossible to set customs offices to be zero cost? How about repairs? Clones? Repairs?

Seriously, if that’s the industry boosting summer release, you’ve really hurt production in null sec even more than it already is, as to produce there you have more costs already than you do in hi-sec, and now you’re going to take away the only thing that helped level the field.

 

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Building better Worlds – redefining industry in Eve?

by on Apr.23, 2014, under Eve online

CCP have released the second of a series of six Dev blogs on how industry will be changing in the Summer Patch.  They’ve already covered reprocessing and how that’s going to change, which generally will be a good thing, meaning that in Eve, when you take your Smart Phone apart, you won’t somehow magically end up with a room full of tritanium and megacyte.

You can read the second Dev Blog here.

To start off with, it contains some fairly superfluous changes, such as rearranging the market groups for materials and components, which if you have looked at or used these market groups in their current form, you won’t really disagree with the changes as they make good sense, although it’s a shame that the standard and advanced capital components aren’t next to each other.

Stopping the damage is, again, a fairly easy to swallow section.  Previously, when making a T2 ship or module, you might in theory only need 1 whole R.A.M. to make a 10 run BPC of something that did 10% damage per run, however the 10 run BPC would actually need 10 R.A.M.’s to be present that each had at least 10% damage left on them to use.  Very annoying for somebody like me who always tries to run things exactly to the numbers.  This, for me, is a very good change, much like when CCP changed fuel blocks by multiplying them by 10 to avoid fractions in a world of integers.

Also, removing an unnecessary column of data in Eve is always welcome when your screen is so covered with windows that you can’t see the brilliant custom paint jobs available for ships.

Extra materials – thank you CCP.  This was always very much a “work-around” and I’m glad they’ve bitten the bullet and gone for the removal.  Again, unnecessary data being stripped out of the equation to make things easier is a welcome piece of news, and as it’s tied into the reprocessing changes, it’s really not going to be too much of a problem to get used to, although it does mean many changes will be needed in some code and on some spreadsheets.  On this occasion, I actually don’t mind at all.

Now from this point onwards, CCP suddenly tread on potentially dangerous ground.

Removing slots from NPC stations is an interesting approach, particularly as the skills are very much tied into that way of operating.  I can see the logic of trying to spread out the industry a bit by causing competition, but it does raise some potential issues.

Say that you’re part of a big industrial corp that uses hi-sec POS for research, invention and manufacturing.  This is important as you have your BPO set safely locked down at a station so they can’t be taken.  This is necessary as, for some reason, CCP deem it necessary for you to be able to “take” the BPO in the corporate interface sense in order to do anything with it.  It’s not a problem though, as you have Scientific Networking and Supply Chain Management trained, so you can set the job running at one of the corp’s science and industrial slots located at the POS.

CCP’s upcoming changes mean that you won’t be able to do this any more.  You’ll either have to have the BPO’s unlocked so you can fly them to the POS module you want to complete the action at (dude – where’s my BPO set gone? Oh, it was stolen because they were all unlocked), or you have to make a copy first in order to take the copy to the POS (oh look, my POS researching my new set of battleship BPO’s just got blown up, there goes xx billion ISK).

Wait I hear you scream at me, CCP are changing copy time so that it takes less time to copy than to manufacture.  Great, so guess which slots will be the most contested, and therefore the most expensive, to use in NPC stations???

An example of the way I would make a T2 cruiser if I were in hi-sec now.  I’d copy the locked down BPO remotely at a mobile lab anchored at a POS, I’d collect the BPC’s and then invent them remotely from a station at probably the same mobile lab.  I’d then collect the T2 BPC’s and, when a T1 ship has been made at the NPC station and all components have been made at a component assembly array at a POS (using locked down BPO’s), I’d then move things out to…. oh, no…. I’d then make the T2 cruiser in a slot at the NPC station because if I made it at a POS the only option I have is an assembly array that charges me 10% extra materials to make.  Fail.

In total, I’ve used locked down BPO’s to make copies for inventions, to make a T1 ship and the T2 components.  With CCP’s new model, I’d need to either use a (probably) highly contested copy slot at the station to copy the ship BPO for copies to invent from, and unless I want to use the much slower station slots to make the components, I’d need to use the station copy slot to make copies of the component BPO’s.

OK, I could just take the component BPO’s to the component assembly array, but that means they have to be unlocked, which leaves them open to theft.  Even if it was only me in the corp, it still means that they are open to being lost if my POS was destroyed.  OK, maybe not a huge ISK loss, but do I really need to have multiple sets of component BPO’s researched to cover that eventuality so that if I did lose a POS I could continue production without having to wait for component BPO’s to research again?

Now currently I manufacture in an Amarr Factory Outpost in null sec, and use mobile labs at POS to copy, research, invent and reverse engineer from. This only amplifies the problem for me, as unless you want to build something, the Amarr Outpost is pretty terrible at anything else.  Say we put a Caldari Research Outpost in a nearby system.  Great, however now we have BPO’s being researched and copied in one system, and then if we need to use those to build from we really have to copy them as we’re not going to unlock and transport them through space.

With the truly terrible corporate interface currently in place, there will be a lot of CEO’s or Directors having to vote on things to move them to the appropriate Outpost, assuming that the Corp even has access to one in the first place.

I know that CCP haven’t released details of how non-NPC installations (i.e. Outposts and POS modules) will be handled, but as with the cost increment system, I imagine that it will be based around the same mechanic, but a time effect.  TiDi for manufacturing could be on the way! Yay! Wait… what?

My first guess is that CCP will set it so that if (using an un-upgraded Amarr Factory Outpost which currently has 50 slots to build with) 50 identical jobs are put into production at the same time, they will take 100% of the time you would expect, and so the Outpost owner will get 100% of the charges they’ve set.  If, however, another 50 of the same job was simultaneously put into production 10 minutes later, they might take 200% of the expected time.  As the Outpost owner charges by the hour (isn’t that the Minmatar Outpost?), they will now get 200% of the fee they would have expected for those jobs.

The first 50 jobs might take 1 day to make, and the second 50 jobs would then take 2 days to make. Ironically, if the people had co-ordinated, then they could have put the second set of 50 in after the first set had finished, completing all 100 jobs in the same amount of time, and costing less ISK.  Maybe this is where CCP are heading with the “Teams” idea?  Currently, this situation would mirror the second outcome, as the second set of 50 jobs would just stack and start after the first set.

Another question is whether CCP really understand how hi-sec industry works.  The manufacturers tend to be “hopeless noob carebears who are too scared to undock”, and if another corporation war-decs them with the intention of taking down a hi-sec POS, they are usually a large, well-organised PvP corp. Does this mean we’ll want to defend our POS more… well… probably not as it would still be against a large well-organised PvP corp.

Also, seriously CCP, hi-sec POS without needing standing? Imagine if Goonswarm decided to spend 200 billion (a not too silly price), to put a small Caldari POS on every single hi-sec moon in The Forge region.  With the current failed mechanics, all they’d need to do is have enough fuel in each to get them through a downtime, and enough Stront in to ensure that they go into reinforced mode.  Suddenly they’ve interdicted POS deployment in the region where Jita is.  If you want to anchor a POS in The Forge now, you have to either: war-dec Goons and try to blow up the POS; pay somebody else to do this for you; or contact a friendly Goonswarm representative who will let you rent the moon from them at a very reasonable ISK cost per month.  Fail to pay it and they’ll war-dec you and come and blow up your POS, or pay somebody else to do it.

Risk = ISK I hear you cry.  OK, but how much risk? Already CCP have made it so that grav sites in null sec don’t need to be scanned anymore. They’ve made interceptors not affected by bubbles on gates. They’ve (sensibly and as it should be imho) made smaller ships enter and exit warp more quickly than bigger ships. That’s quite a lot of risk of quite a lot of ISK. It’s already possible (as many Outpost users have found out in the past) to lose everything in an Outpost.  You could be barred from docking by the Outpost owner if it’s not you. You could have your Outpost attacked and hell-camped with bubbles and a 23.5/7 guard (as recently happened courtesy of Goons), which means that you would lose your BPO collection. Risk = ISK, and when you manufacture in null sec you understand the risks, as I do.  I have a lot of ISK tied up in BPO’s in an Outpost, and I fully understand the risk of having them there.

Glimpse of new Industry UI – looks very nice. I hope that the actual implementation is as easy and quick to use as the new interface looks.  Due to previous comments by CCP, I’m assuming that BPC’s still won’t be able to be stacked, and this raises the issue that if CCP are realistically pushing industrialists towards using copies instead of originals, will they change that or have [are] they writing a nice interface to allow us to batch jobs together? They’re promising (well, not actually promising) fewer mouse clicks and a pleasing experience. I’ll be counting the clicks on SiSi when the test is released.

CCP need to seriously consider the impact of some points, particularly the change of use of the Scientific Networking and Supply Change Management skills. This really is a game changer, and if you’re living in null sec could easily make industry even more of a pain than it is now and actually drive more industry from null sec out to hi-sec.

Bring on the next Dev blog please.

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