So I have moved my blueprint set to null-sec and set up my invention and production line. Currently I’m completing around 120 inventions a day to work through my backlog of 10,000 BPC’s. I could quite easily do many more inventions, but I don’t really want to be logging on multiple times each day just to click my mouse 488 times per 60 inventions, and that’s not including the time taken to log each character in and get to the right hanger.
My first problem is production slots. Yes I know that CCP updated the Outposts, and that the Amarr Outpost has 50 production slots available for normal manufacturing (excluding the 20 which are only for drug manufacturing). The problem is that I have 7 characters with 10 slots each that I would usually keep busy. I’m already 20 slots short and that’s not accounting for other corporation production efforts that would need slots reserved.
What can I do about this? The first thing I’ve done is arrange with our landlords to have a Foundation Upgrade Platform and Amarr Basic Factory Upgrade brought in to add an additional 20 slots to the Outpost. That still only leaves 70 slots available with me wanting to use 70 slots. The cost of doing the basic upgrade is not inconsequential, and the cost of the second level upgrade to give a further 40 slots is also rather expensive, with the Upgrade Platform alone costing over 7 billion ISK, let alone the 1.8 billion for the Factory Upgrade, 900 million for a second Basic upgrade, and then all of the materials needed to put inside the upgrades to deploy them.
I think I’ll leave those for a little bit and maybe rely on doing some of my manufacturing in a POS assembly array. Still, it unfortunately demonstrates how lacking the Outposts still are. Even after spending all that ISK on an Outpost and possibly the basic and standard upgrades, you would only have enough manufacturing slots to keep a couple of industrialists in business.
I’ve just purchased around 6 billion in materials to be brought in to move onto the next manufacturing cycle. Currently I’m finishing building some T2 propulsion modules and T2 electronic warfare modules. The next cycle will see me move onto just over 8,000 “tanking” modules (think armour and shield). I’m also planning to throw in some T3 hulls and subsystems and T2 ships.
The logistics cost of moving the basic materials in is something I have had to take into account, as your own freighter in hi-sec is just your time, whereas jump fuel or an alliance courier service have tangible costs. Moving T2 modules back isn’t really much of a cost, as they are usually substantially smaller than their component parts. Hulls, however, are a completely different matter, and I’m going to have to look at that more seriously, as the profit margin on hulls generally tends to be significantly lower than on modules, and the transport costs will increase that profit gap further, potentially to the point where it will actually result in making the production of a particular hull economically pointless in null sec when compared to hi-sec.
Another serious consideration with the upcoming summer update, will be mineral compression. Currently I use mineral compression to bring in things that I’m short of, like Mexallon for example. When the update hits, I presume I’ll be able to purchase blocks of compressed mexallon, that somebody has made at a POS module in hi-sec, and have those shipped out. In one sense it could be better as I’ll be able to choose to import only what I want, but in other ways it will once again hit my profits as I doubt that the compressed blocks will be as efficiently compressed as the current mineral compression modules, and so will result in higher import costs.
CCP – from FanFest 2012 you made it clear that you wanted null sec to be made up of smaller alliances who were net exporters of things rather than net importers, and yet on the face of things you’re not really supporting this for the smaller entities who depend on much smaller logistics networks and so need to move as much as possible in as small a space as possible.
On the other hand, when I take my mobile telephone to pieces, I don’t end up with a small room full of pieces unless I was to spread them thinly over the floor, and so when a 425mm Railgun I is taken apart, it shouldn’t really give me nearly 30 times the volume of minerals back.