tl;dr Using mineral compression enables you to haul the minerals needed to built 344 battleships in one Jump Freighter.
When I started playing, I knew that I wanted to be a builder; I wanted to become an industrial gear in the alliance war machine providing materials to advance the cause.
At the height of the Northern Collation, the Alpha Maelstrom was king. The ability to deliver bursts of coordinated damage in high lag situations was the method to win battles.
Over the life of the Northern Collation, I built and sold around 344 Maelstrom ships in Cloud Ring, Pure Blind, and Deklein.
You might assume that these were hauled in from Empire or built from nullsec minerals, but that is not the best way to operate. I’ve wrote about mineral compression before, but now I wanted to disclose my building operations with a concrete example now that my Maelstrom production line has been retired.
Side note: TEST officially announced the end of Maelstrom reimbursements yesterday. RIP bucket of rust with solar sails.
The volume of raw minerals equals around 48,800,000 m3 (140 Jump Freighters or 55 Freighters) of hauling if you were to bring them in uncompressed. Even given perfect jump skills, this would eat up 2.1 B worth of Isotopes using the jump path I took to my production system, effectively killing your profits.
If bringing in the minerals is a Herculean task, what about bringing in the built ships?
Built ships have a better compression ratio. 344 Maelstroms, if hauled in from Empire to Nullsec, comes out to 17,200,000 m3 (49 Jump Freighters or 20 Freighters). Moving built hulls would bring fuel costs down to 764 M, but you can still do better.
1,000 425 Railgun I’s
Taking minerals in empire, compressing them into modules, and refining in nullsec is the best way to transport large quantities. 1,000 425 Railgun I’s equal 10,000 m3 of space yet produces around 1,407,000 m3 when refined (!).
This screenshot shows what you can achieve in a station with a 50% base refine and high refine skills. You could even push the yield to perfect by getting better standings (details and math here) with the station corporation.
Using only 425 Railgun I’s will leave you with a disproportional lack of Tritanium for battleship builds. Other items, such as the Passive Targeter I, can be used to balance out your needs.
The following screenshots are from the test server that was opened to the public today. I’ll keep updating this post as I find interesting items on the market.
Vehicle Armor Plates
In addition to trading, I’ve started up a small invention and Tech 2 production line. My initial approach is to start small and see how well items perform. For now I am going to be working with drones, bombers, and some popular modules. I’ve invented a few ships, but am holding off on producing them.
I’m saving the invention job history to my database and wrote a small display to show overall and individual item invention success rates. I’ll add this summary to my monthly updates as I’m sure inventors will find it interesting.
My first Jump Freighter invention job was successful despite the ~39.8% calculated success rate given my 4-4-4 skills.
Attempting the job cost 36.3 M of items that are destroyed regardless of the job output:
1x Collision Measurements – 7.6 M
64x Mechanical Engineering Datacore – 7.231 M
64x Gallente Starship Engineering Datacore – 21.438 M
Obelisk BPC – Copied from my BPO
Since I am not actively producing Freighters due to their low markup and currently dropping mineral prices, I put the Obelisk BPO back into an open copy slot. It takes around 43 days for one copy in an empire slot so you can see why Jump Freighters are slow to produce.
Further details of Jump Freighter production can be found here.
Along with the rebalancing the roles of the mining barges, their mineral requirements were also adjusted. The build requirements for the Tech 1 barges about doubled and therefore the BPO NPC price was adjusted to reflect the new value.
Here is my research on buying Procurer BPOs at pre-Inferno 1.2 prices to sell after the patch.
[Aug 9 update] It looks like CCP changed the NPC price in the Inferno 1.2.1 patch.
Since these BPOs are only seeded in the Outer Ring in two ORE stations, I was able to get a good view on how many were bought by using the market window.
Out of normal BPO purchases in ORE space amounted to 1,264 units starting in late July.
CCP changed the values before going live. They had a different number published on the Test server and knowingly seeded a different value on the live server. *shakes fist*
I looked considered the increase in BPO price, the new role, market velocity, and added in a little bit of my own gut feeling. This showed that the Procurer BPO was the item with the most potential for profit.
Given that these were purchased for 450 M and are now worth
0.508 B 0.838 B that means 73.3 B 491 B was created from nothing, or about 0.3% 2% of the normal 24 T ISK faucet amount stated in the 2012 Fanfest presentation. This amount doesn’t seem too noteworthy.
Speculating on Profits
In 76 days about 124 pre-Inferno 1.2 Procurer BPOs moved in Jita slightly above their NPC price of 450 M. If 1,264 out of normal units and around 561 move in Jita in the same time period, that means it will take about 1,118 days (3.06 years) for this stock to clear assuming that demand remains the same.
I bought 20 Procurer BPOs at the old NPC price for a total investment of 9 B. Taking in account the new price of
0.508 B 0.838 B, we can value them at 10.16 B 16.8 B. This shows a 1.16 B 7.76 B increase in the NPC value of the items. I was expecting more profit, but that’s what you get when you speculate on patch day.
I have a few options on how to turn a profit with the BPOs:
- Sell them in Jita. I believe that due to the market saturation with pre-Inferno 1.2 prints, it will be a while before we start to see the new NPC cost in Jita of
0.508 B0.838 B + a good margin. I could slowly sell the stock off as prices rise.
- Improve value by researching them and then sell.
- Produce BPCs for invention/manufacturing. As of this writing, there are not a lot of BPCs available on the open market.
I plan on doing all three to help spread the risk and start to get a return on this speculation adventure.
Speculation had driven up the price of barges to the new expected price after the 1.2 patch, but the BPO on Tranquility still had the original requirements.
We purchased 3x Procurer and 1x Retriever BPOs, found empty build slots a few jumps out from Jita, and began to build. Even selling directly to buy order gave us a good return on the simple Tech 1 construction. We moved 288x Procurer and 45x Retriever ships since the announcement of the barge changes and still have some stock left over made with the pre-Inferno 1.2 BPOs.