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Starbase Low on Resources

If you have ever owned a POS you know the joy of fueling — or should I say continually ignoring the fuel alerts until your POS is about to go offline.

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Since my main characters are pushing 90, 60, and 50 M skillpoints, I forgot what it is like to not be able to perform basic functions like fly a Badger, use a Expanded Cargohold module, or Cargohold Optimization Rigs.

My research alt in the POS owning corp is a character with around 2 M skillpoints focused for ME/PE and remote laboratory work. When I logged on to fuel the POS, I thought the operation was going to be a simple one. Grab a Badger, some fuel, and warp to the POS.

Error. A Badger requires Caldari Industrial to I. After attempting to add that skill, I got a warning that I needed Caldari Frigate III. Uf.

Fine, I’ll queue up all the Frigate skills to III so I can add Racial Industrial to I.

2013-04-04_skills

Since the POS was going to go offline in a matter of hours, my solution was to use a Frigate with Expanded Cargohold I modules to temporarily alleviate the problem until a proper Industrial ship could be flown.

I present to you my hauling Imicus. This beast is capable of hauling 129 Fuel Blocks (just over 6 hours of fuel time for a Medium POS), no DPS, and terrible align times.

2013-04-04_imicus

Quite the humbling experience that brought me back to my first year in Eve when I ‘couldn’t do anything’.

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War Declaration Profession

Our Highsec industrial operation had a minor setback last week as we logged on after a few days out of game to discover an active and then closed war declaration.

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We had a Highsec POS setup a few jumps out from Jita and it looks like we were targeted by a group of people looking to clear our tower. It seems that there is a profession out there where you hop corporations clearing POSes from Highsec.

After researching their activity on Eve Who, Eve-Kill, and strike pattern on Dotlan, I haven’t found any reason that we were specifically targeted besides our proximity to Jita. I’ve also been unable to link a sale of a open Highsec moon on the forums to them.

2013.02.14.15.39.53-combined

Always remember to write off the cost of a POS as soon as you purchase it. Assume you will not be recovering it as random acts like this can happen at any time.

Nothing of value besides the POS and modules was lost as all BPOs were kept in the Corporation office in a station and researched remotely.


Failed Booster Delivery

I recently reached out to a manufacturer to start buying boosters in large quantities since I lack the POS reactor setup necessary to create my own. The deal was for a bulk order of around 500 M with delivery to any lowsec/NPC nulls system. Since some of my production characters have found a new home in a NPC pocket of nullsec, I requested them to be delivered there.

I thought the manufacturer would use a jump capable ship to transport the goods, but I was wrong. A few days after the expected delivery date I contacted him and it seems he used a Transport Ship and got caught by a Sabre — always watch out for the Sabre.

It also seems that this loss caused some corporation drama.

From my experience in some of the larger nullsec organizations, there are only a few Booster producers in every group. At the height of the Northern Collation, I recall that 90% of the boosters were being made by two people. I wish the trade was more diverse and stealthy and not dominated by a few major players.


Minerals to Alpha Fleet Maelstrom

tl;dr Using mineral compression enables you to haul the minerals needed to built 344 battleships in one Jump Freighter.

Heavy Industry

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.

344 Battleships

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.


Industry Dashboards

I’ve spent a lot of time designing API driven KPI style dashboards for my industrial operations and given the industry changes coming as detailed in the Summer 2012 CSM7 minutes, I want to share my designs to (hopefully) inspire people for upcoming Winter expansion (I wonder if CCP’ers read this blog).

My mission statement with these was to use a clean, elegant format to give a high level display into my industry operations while using Eve icons and market prices. I should be able to tell the materials and price/profit for items at a glance without referring to other menus, applications, or looking up historical prices.

Industry Jobs

The below shot is active industry jobs. I want to know what is being used, who is using it, current and future ME/PE/Copy numbers, and a pretty display for the job progress.

Another dashboard that I created was capital jobs only. Since these jobs were so long, I wanted to be able to see them progress on a calendar. This has allowed me to keep idle blueprints busy and schedule large-scale builds since capital jobs require large amounts of minerals.

Though the current Eve client does display industry jobs, I find it to be inelegant.

The information displayed is all text, almost like I was reading a database table. Also, I am constantly switching between filter options as the window does not remember my past settings.

PI

When I experimented with supplementing my POS network with PI items, I wanted to be able to display my PI network. I needed to know who owned the item, what is was producing, the output quantity, and how much ISK/day that operation was making.

Additionally, I did some work with the database table for PI items (wonderful self-referencing table) to show me what items up the PI T0 to T3 tree I can currently make given what I am extracting. The page ends up being quite long as it displays all tiers so I cropped this shot after T2. The red marks next to the T1 items mean that I don’t have the T1 items in stock so I can’t make the resultant T2 item.

This is a great example of my ‘high level’ approach. I can now easily answer the question of “can I make Robotics?”. No, I need to be making this at T1 and this at T2. I don’t have to spend time looking at blueprints and their requirements — no additional pages or reference material.

Tech 2 Production

Tech 2 manufacturing can get quite complicated. I was spending a lot of time checking what I had in stock, the build requirements, and final costs. This page gives me the ability to simply move a blueprint from the left column (stock) to the right (build queue) and it queries the database to display everything that I need to make that item.

Multiple blueprints can be added to the queue and materials are aggregated together. This allowed me to place all my blueprints in a queue and create a shopping list of things I need to create the run.

Capital Production

The same story continues for capital ships. I can select my BPO/BPC, the ME level, the character producing it, and the production station. When the location is picked the bottom panes pull from the assets and tell me what I have in stock and what I need in order to complete the job.

Industry Advancement

I want to see a reduction in the amount of clicks and an increase in the amount of user feedback and intelligence given to the user. The displays should not just be a simple static display. They should be more dynamic — pull from your inventory when you select a production system and tell me what I need, display a build quote that doesn’t require me to have all the items or know their build requirements, and use the new Inferno universal market price for items.


Increasing Faction Standings with Tags

For some time I have been queuing up production jobs that would be well suited for highsec. In order to anchor a POS in highsec, your corporation needs to have 5.0+ standings with the appropriate faction [detailed guide].

Since my main character has run a lot of Gallente missions in the past for ISK and has Social IV, he started off this task with a standing of 3.12 to the Gallente Federation.

Rather than grinding out more missions, I found out that there are a series of one-time agents for each faction that will trade in tags for standings. There are four Data Centers, one for each empire, located in New Eden where you can turn in tags.

You can collect these tags by running missions or by buying them off the market. A bunch of tags for one empire’s Data Center agents came out to around 352 M ISK on the Jita market. I didn’t see any major swings in prices or obvious market manipulation attempts, so I bought enough for all the agents.

Turning in these tags raised my standing from 3.12 to 4.95 with Social IV. After Social V completes, I should have more than the required 5.0 base standing in order to anchor a POS in highsec. [edit] Apparently Social skills do not come into play with anchoring rights. It appears I will have to do some more grinding to get the base standing up to 5.0+.

Chatting with all the Data Center agents

Since corporation standings are calculated as ‘the average of all corporation member standings towards that faction after the period of a week’, I will have to move this character into a 1 member corporation and wait for the standings to update.

No rush on this project, but I wanted to get the standings in order now so when it comes time to light up the production lines, I can immediately drop a POS. If you don’t want to raise your corporation’s standings yourself, you can even hire a guy to do it for you.

Perhaps I will wait for the POS rework before starting this production project. From what I have gathered listening to current CSM Chairman Seleene, the POS redesign is in the works. I haven’t been able to determine if this is slated for Winter 2012 or for Summer 2013.


Nullsec Moon Mining

Have you ever wondered where the deep pockets of Alliances get created? Moon goo.

It has been almost a month in our new Alliance and we have started discussing setting up a moon mining network in order to bolster the corporation wallets. Since we have limited knowledge of the reaction chains, we have decided to start simple. Perhaps I will take the time to go up the reaction chain and see what items we can make that would truly be profitable. For now, we’re going to start small and just pull the Moon Materials and haul to market.

In an established alliance, the good moons are most likely property of the Alliance. The profits from Tech, Neo, and Dyspro often go to the Alliance wallets for programs such as ship replacement or war efforts.

Given this, our moon selection list is rather limited and we’re left to claim some of the lower profitable income streams. As with everything industry related in Eve, run the numbers first to see if it is even worth your time for the profit.

Recall that time is very important in this game. Why should I spend hours manufacturing a Drake to sell in a mission hub that nets me a 2-3% markup while I can go shoot NPCs for 100M+/hour (Incursions).

Here is the workup for a typical nullsec moon that we have available for claiming.

Material Profit/Month (M)
1. Hydrocarbons 13
2. Silicates 122
3. Silicates 122
4. Tungsten 39
+296

Using the new fueling price model in the Crucible expansion, running a Large POS is highly unprofitable as it costs 360 M/month to fuel. Income from harvesting basic materials will only be profitable using a Medium or Small POS as they cost 180 M or 90 M/month, respectively, to fuel.

A Small POS lacks the necessary Powergrid and CPU to run 4 Moon Harvesting Arrays and Silos so we need to setup up to a Medium. Even with Faction Towers, I was only able to get 3 Moon Harvesting Arrays and 3 Silos to run so we’ll have to not mine the Hydrocarbons.

180 M to fuel and 283 M profit means a 103 M/month or 24 M/week profit which in my book is hardly worth the effort. We will have to either get a better material to harvest or explore collecting these lower profit materials to react into Processed Materials or continue further down the reaction chain into Advanced Materials.