Nullsec industry does exist, but not as you would expect. There are significant more logistical hurdles involved, which makes it a strange incarnation when compared to industry in the contiguous Highsec world.
While reading over the CSM7 Winter 2012 Summit Minutes, I felt the desire to expose my method of industry to help the CSM and CCP better understand how large-scale people are working with the current design of Nullsec.
For reference the Nullsec industry discussion that sparked this post starts on page 45, second to last paragraph of the CSM Minutes.
I’ve built over 663 Battleships, 1,270 Battlecruisers, and 32 Carriers.
Since I hold a disdain for the UI involved in the Invention process, I’ve done limited amounts of Tech2 Invention. This means that I have purchased my items mainly in bulk from manufactures. My report shows that I have moved around 28,000 modules.
The amount of ISK I’ve touched is quite amazing, coming in at 836 B ISK.
In CCP’s new terminology I’m called an enabler.
Seagull: Enablers are the people who make the logistics for these large-scale things actually work. They are people who run mad spreadsheets to organize production lines for war efforts… … – Page 5 of the CSM Minutes
All my efforts are to supply hordes of nullsec warriors with tools to win battles — to make sure that our troops on deployment have Autocannons and Hulls that can fit the doctrine.
Here are my C-level objectives to keep in mind as I outline my process for building in Nullsec:
- Minimize risk by securing assets.
- Minimize time sinks so that I make more for less play time.
- Maximize market velocity so the ISK flows.
Wait, people mine in Nullsec!? Yes, over the past three years of building I have found small niche groups that do mine locally in null. I’ve even developed a few agreements to source discounted materials in bulk when available.
I don’t want to disprove that people mine and do Tech1/2 industry in sovereign nullsec stations, but rather to show that there are paths of least resistance to getting better [faster] results.
Despite local groups mining, sourcing your materials in from Highsec is far more efficient that waiting for miners to produce results while periodically dodging AFK neutrals. Buy in bulk in Highsec, compressing, jump in, uncompress, and building is quick. Elise (@EliseRandolph) clearly understands this process as noted on page 45 in the fourth paragraph of the CSM Minutes.
Bringing in assets from Highsec reduces my timesink as I can buy in bulk from a large pool of suppliers.
The POS System
This may be a scary point to accept, but the easiest solution to making sure your industrial assets are secure is to not use the POS system.
With a deployed asset out in space, you are vulnerable to attack. Your ships, minerals, and datacores can all be locked if the tower is put into reinforced. Rather than use a user-deployed structure, I have opted to use NPC pockets withing large alliances or a Lowsec system that is within close jump range to the alliance main staging system. Additionally I detest the process of fueling, deploying, anchoring, and onlining structures so I have gravitated away from the POS system.
Not using a POS in space allows me to secure my assets inside a NPC station. There is no risk of my assets being locked in a station when sovereignty flips. For me, there is no clear need for an industrialist to setup a POS network, maintain fuel, and defend assets when there are logistically easy options available.
Side conversation: I’ve heard so many ramblings about reducing jump range to combat this logistical option. If jump ranges are reduced, I will create another cyno alt and place him in-line of my path efficiently making the range adjustment pointless. Two jumps now rather than one? Bleh.
Large hubs are not hard to find in Nullsec. If you go to Dotlan, select a region, and filter by jumps over 24 hours, you can easily see where the traffic is located.
For TEST’s old capital region of Fountain, you can clearly see that 6VDT-H is the focal point of traffic. The main system of 6VDT is in within one jump of Ogaria, a factory system in Solitude. Here you can peacefully uncompress minerals, construct, and have easy access to Solitude research slots in a Highsec island.
Selecting a place with a large amount of Nullsec people enables you to have high market velocity so that you can transform your goods back into ISK, which can then go right back into your construction projects. Money makes money.
So, Game Mechanics
I don’t claim to be a game designer so I can’t offer a 1-2-3 punch-list of what to change in order to reach an ideal state of Nullsec industry. What I want to show is that given the current system, one person has the ability to produce large amounts of change on the industry landscape in Nullsec without the need for any locally sourced goods.
My sentiments for Nullsec industry change are very basic. There needs to be a reason for an enabler like me to setup shop locally. Conversely there needs to be a reason for the instigators to defend what I have build.
Contiguous Highsec may have a large number of stations for research, but they are almost always busy with long wait queues. If you have the mettle to speed around Lowsec or have access to jump capable ships, you might want to consider other areas for your research.
When I could not find an open or low wait slot in Highsec, I usually took a shuttle into a neighboring Lowsec region to find open research slots. Thankfully I never encountered a boosted locking ship or smartbomb camp. After a few months of easy access to ME research slots, my Lowsec area started to get overrun so I started to look elsewhere for my needs.
After looking at Eve maps a few areas stood out to me. The Solitude region in particular contains a Highsec island (non contiguous to normal Highsec) that I have found to be perfectly isolated in terms of researchers.
There are several Highsec stations with (at the time) open or extremely low wait ME slots: Stoure, Vecodie, Octanneve, Maire, Oerse, Gererique, and Niballe.
I flew around between these systems with Capital Part and Ship BPOs with no trouble at all. Every gate between the Highsec island systems was never manned with campers.
I imagine that this type of Highsec island is perfect place to get additional ME/PE levels or copy your Titan/Supercarrier BPO. No POS to get reinforced means no risk from external factors. If I were vested in these type of large research projects, I would home here.