Evasive Maneuvering 5
This 7d+ skill is finally done, providing a nice universal buff for all ships, and now allowing me to train the Interceptors skill tonight if I go buy it.
Since the T2 Interceptors all require their respective faction frigate skill at 5, I would only be able to fly Gallente Interceptors at present, which are the Ares and Taranis (T2 Atron hulls). I really want the T2 Caldari Condor hulls though (Crow and... Raptor?). I think one of them is actually a hybrid turret variant rather than its usual missile weapon systems, but I couldn't comment on either's combat effectiveness. I just have a soft spot for the Condor since it was my first ship, an it looks rather sexy since it got redesigned this year.
Not really sure what I'm training next. I've queued up and started chipping away at the 12d behemoth that is Metallurgy 5 (for industrial reasons that will become clear below). I must admit, I deliberately didn't put much thought into what to stick in the queue next, just so I'd stick this skill in to whittle it down a bit first. It's one of those skills that I've needed to train, but have forever ut off because the return on investment for a 12d project was very low.
The POS / Industry
POS Operations still moving along nicely. I've been enhancing the facilities there over the weekend. Current Facilities are now:
- 1 x Gallente Small Control Tower
- 1 x Research Lab
- 1 x Design Lab
- 1 x Component Assembly Array
- 1 x Advanced Small Ship Assembly Array (NEW!)
- 3 x Medium Hybrid Turret
- 1 x Small Hybrid Turret
Now, something odd happened, because before I bought the ship assembly array, I made a note of available remaining resources (CPU/PG) at the POS, and calculated that I could afford to operate both a Small Ship Assembly array and a corporate hangar. However after deploying the ship array, I didn't. So no corp hangar for mass storage of goods. It's not a huge loss - The four existing facilities have a fair amount of storage between them. Just would have been nice, primarily for stockpiling fuel, but also other resources.
Obviously, this setup puts me in a great position for the design and manufacture of T2 small ships (Frigates/Destroyers). These are not too resource intensive (something that becomes a huge problem with T2 manufacturing). The Small Ship Assembly Array also gives me a slight reduction is material requirements too, and trust me when I say every little helps in this regard.
I've yet to actually use the facility, so I cannot say whether it EXCLUSIVELY allow for T2 manufacture (ie, not able to manufacture T1 small ships). Would be a bit harsh if that was the case, but nevermind.
In any event, this is moving me one step closer to realising my dream of being able to reliably - and more importantly, cost efficiently - manufacturing T2 ships. With all my work put into Invention since I started in that field, I have huge stockpiles of BPCs in the bank. While manufacturing the larger T2 ships is incredibly costly, and something I would only really consider doing for myself, Small ships should be feasible enough to make and sell as a solo player.
Ideally, I'd love to be in a position where I can run a profitable business making T2 ships. The business should be profitable enough to meet my operational and day-to-day costs of plying EVE (POS Fuel, market purchases etc). I doubt I could turn a monthly profit high enough to be able to buy a plex, but to be honest I really don't mind paying the sub for the gametime anyway. There's still no harm in aiming high though.
The business would have several key areas though.
Step One: Research
Frigate BPOs are pretty easy to max out research on, Destroyers a little less so. In any event, maxing the material efficiency of any BPOs I intend to use is not too big a job. I already have a decent collection of them anyway. Granted I don't think this makes any difference at all to any T2 BPCs generated from this blueprint, but don't forget that a T2 manufacturing job requires a T1 ship to perform.
Ignoring the one-off initial cost of the BPOs, and writing off the job costs as a trivial expense, that makes this step effectively free, gated only by time requirements. It does however mean each research job will occupy a science slot (Currently I have 9 max)
Step Two: Copying
Copying is pretty easy to do. The Crius changes mean that Invention jobs now consume 1 run of a BPC rather than the entire blueprint, so I no longer need to worry about spamming 1-run BPCs, and can just produce a multiple run output BPC (Not sure if this saves on copying time or not).
The only costs here are the trivial job costs. So again, this is basically a time investment only.
Step Three: Invention
Invention is by no means a guaranteed result. Frigates should be around a 30% success rate base, so for every three T1 BPCs I have, I should produce 1 T2 BPC.
While I could use some decryptors here to affect the stats on the T2 BPC which I get upon success, I feel that it really is not worth the cost for small ship BPCs, as the cost of the decryptors ought to outweigh the cost of any construction materials that increased material efficiency would save (Math TBC).
Therefore, the only cost at this stage would be the trivial job costs, plus some Mechancial Engineering Datacores and <Insert Faction Here> Starship Engineering datacores. This is the first real step where costs are coming into the equation, and obviously, improving the success rate of invention jobs at this point will save me money (=MORE PROFIT!)
Step Four: Resource Procurement
Now this is the step that will really affect the profitability of the business. At this point, I have the T2 BPC, and now I need to manufacture it. Materials required for manufactuing can potentialy come from three sources:
- Asteroid Mining
- Moon Mining
- Planetary Interaction
Now, obviously I can pretty much cover myself where Asteroid Mining is concerned. Theoretically, this would purely be a time investment, with the exception of Morphite and Zydrine requirements, which may need to be purchased off the market.
Moon mining is flat out beyond my capabilities. Not sure if Crius meant that these facilities can now be installed in high sec (can't see anything to confirm or deny), but even if it can, the sheer POS resources required to run the mining facility itself, never mind associated reaction arrays and storage facilities, are way beyond the capabilities of my small POS. Any moon materials would therefore need to be purchased from the market.
Planetary Interaction is well within my means, although the diversity of material requirements may mean that I cannot self-produce everything I need. My PI skills will need further development in order to maximise and optimise efficiency in this field, but hopefully I should be mostly if not entirely self-sufficient in this area. Any extra materials will need to be purchased from the market.
Step Five: Component Manufacture
At this point, I should have the materials required to build the T1 ship, which hopefully (TBC) can also be constructed at my Advanced Small Ship Assembly array to take advantage of efficiency bonuses. I also have any raw minerals required to produce the T2 Ship. I now just need to manufcature the various T2 ship components needed to make the ship.
This involves a number of BPOs (each faction uses different T2 Components). Unfortunately I cannot research improvements to these at present without a lengthy 12d train into Metallurgy 5, which is otherwise not an attractive training prospect.
In any event, these BPOs (ideally maxed on material efficiency to further drive down costs - a potentially massive saving in costs) can be used to manufacture the components I need at my Component Assembly Array. The Array at my POS will also provide a bonus for reduced material requirements for manufacturing the components, further driving down costs.
This stage will only cost me the job fees, so will pretty much just be a time requirement.
Step Six: Ship Manufacture
At this point, I have everything I need to build the T2 ship from the T2 BPC. I will then take advantage of my Advanced Small Ship Assembly array to build the ship, since this will further reduce the material requirements required to build the ship.
Costs at this stage will just be install costs plus time.
Step 7: Market
At this point, I have built my T2 ship, and now need to sell it at market. Dodixie will be my place of choice, since my POS is just 3 jumps away from it (A deliberate decision when setting up the POS). Besides being a major trade hub to ensure good traffic, it also minimises my sale costs. I have very high (8.5+) standings with the station's owners, the Federation Navy, due to my deliberate mission running for this faction. This therefore drives down the tax for listing and selling products on their market.
Hopefully, if everything works out, this will produce a profit!
So to recap these steps, to maximise profitability of the operation, I need to focus on the following skill training / areas:
- Ore Processing Skills - Maximise return on investment on asteroid mining time
- Planetary Interaction Skills - Maximise number of planets used, and return on investment on mining/refining time
- Science R&D Skills - Maximise number of simultaneous jobs allowed, material/time/ efficiency research speed, copying speed, invention success probability
- Trade Skills - Minimise sales/purchase tax costs
- Low/Null-sec Mining - Maximise return on investment on asteroid mining time, potentially acquiring rarer mineral types in the process.
- BPO Research - drive down material/time requirements for manufacturing
Now, this list is some really long term planning for skill training, likely going to the end of the year and beyond, and there will be plenty of unrelated skill training taking place ahead of it in the meantime.
PI should be relatively simple to develop, since it's a self contained system of just 5(?) skills, so rank 4'ing everything as a minimum should be pretty easy to achieve.
Ore processing, While I'm fairly happy with it at present, I've yet to really test the post Crius effects on my refining yield, and even if it's not worse than before, increased efficiency will still be highly beneficial to driving down costs, as there will now be wastage involved.
Sales skills should not be too hard to rank up to 4's, I just haven't had a real need for it yet.
Science skills will be the problematic one, as there are some lengthy ones in there. Metallurgy 5 (12d) being the key initial one, for gaining the ability to research material efficiency on my various T2 Component BPOs.