A Scientist's Life in Eve

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).

5 Comments for this entry

  • James Travis (@jetravis)

    For the Abbadon you should probably take into account the higher mineral refine for nullsec outpost vs a hisec pos. That will probably increase the profitability quite considerably.

    Even just hauling in compressed ore should give a considerable cost savings over manufacturing in hisec.

    • A scientists life in Eve

      Well, you certainly wouldn’t want to ship in compressed ore if you could avoid it, as that’s just adding additional cost to your production.

      With all skills at level 5 and a 4% implant, you will still be able to achieve what is currently known as 100% refine in hi-sec. However, with a Minmatar Outpost, upgraded to level 1, you will obtain a 4% improvement over hi-sec. On the Abaddon, that’s 8 million ISK. However, as it costs around 5 billion ISK to upgrade the Outpost to level 1, that means you need to build over 625 Abaddons just to recoup your original investment and start to turn an actual profit. If you also consider that you need to be manufacturing at an Amarr Outpost to get the best manufacturing deal, you could also include the 23 billion or so needed to build a Minmatar Outpost in the first place, which increases your Abaddon count by a further 2,875 Abaddons. So in total you would need to build and sell 700 billion ISK of Abaddons to recoup your investment.

      There is a slight possibility that this might flood the market :P

      • James Travis (@jetravis)

        It looks like you’ll want to stick with the intensive refining array anyway. To get a higher yield requites a level 2 upgraded minmatar outpost for a 57% base vs 54% base or a level 3 upgraded non-minmatar outpost for a 57% refine.

        I suppose your typical big alliance will already have access to an upgraded minmatar outpost for perfect refines.

  • TurAmarth

    You live in Null where cloaks are a bane… I live in holes, where cloaks are life… 6 of one half doz of the other… I cannot freaking WAIT to get a Prospect!!!

  • Raziel Walker

    You mentioned the CCP cloaking crazy.
    Perhaps this is tied in to future changes on how local works?

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