Friday, September 20, 2013

New Ventures

I have a sickness.  If I am not utilizing a high percentage of my characters, I feel like I'm wasting something.  Right now, I have 12 characters (4 accounts) to use:

  • 9 are skilled for T2 production
    • 3 are exceptionally skilled for T2 ship/capital production
    • 2 are additionally trained for T2 frigate work
    • 1 is PVP main
  • 2 are "director alts".  Currently idle
  • 1 is cyno bitch for main
Currently, my eyes are on 3 characters:  The main, and his "director alts".  Main is already idling his production capacity, and though I'd love to keep him in regular work, it's a little too much dancing to keep that active.  So, I am turning my eyes from traditional production to some more ambitious ventures.

Moon Reaction Farming

I recently built a tool to help track moon reactions like my T2 manufacture sheets.  If you're interested in the actual numbers, check out FuzzySteve's Reaction Tool.  Though the numbers today are rather anemic, the effort for high parallelism doesn't look too terrible.  Though I would adore having some sov space to save on fuel bills, I am SOL on that front.

The Plan is to be able to drop something like 5 large towers (maybe 2 med ones too) and be able to manage reactions on a weekly timescale.  With a more-agile operation, I am hoping to cash in on some of the wider margins as they become available.  Now that I have a jump freighter in my fleet, this makes managing this operation a possibility.  The up-front costs are a bit high, and I may have to stagger the deployment, but there should still be plenty of unclaimed real estate for milking a little more ISK out of some idle character time.

I'm still 50/50 on this plan.  Even trying to stick to an agile reaction system rather than monthly yield has had some bad results in my tracking.  This will only be viable if the margin (300M/wk) is relatively efficient (>20% margin) and low volatility.  In my experiment, I have been watching fullerides, as if I were reacting them, and it's just recently gone upside-down in a rather significant way.  Until T2 production volumes really start to recover, I am uneasy about dropping a bunch of ISK on this.  The fear is, unless T2 is consuming a high volume of component products, then these products will be wild and unstable.

High Value BPO Science Lab

This one is a bit more ambitious, and looks to put my director toons to work.  Something that has always bugged me is it seems to be more valuable (in the long term) to research/copy high end BPOs than actually produce off them.  Also, I have this frustration with Jump Freighters: BPC acquisition is a serious bottleneck.  Either you eat 10-25% of the profit margin buying off contract, or you're stuck building them at such a low rate that it's more a hobby than a revenue stream.  

Still scratching out the details, and grinding up the skills on some very old alts.  It's going to be a long ramp time on this one before it reaches 100%.  The hope is to add 4B/mo in BPOs to the library being researched and rotate them in such a way that every week has yield of some sort.  The final goal is something like 6-8 BPOs of 2 freighters (leaning Obelisk/Charon) in copy rotation, with some 3-5 slots in research rotation on stuff like Moros/Archon.  But, the napkin calculation puts that at ~40B or more.  I had mentioned I needed more long-term goals to justify the ISK I keep grinding.  

The lead time on this is rather spectacular.  To make the copies viable, I will need 2-3mo of ME/PE research, so the results still have value outside Jump Freighter invention.  This acts as insurance in the long run; the added value of research + viable build copies means I can abort and make back my money and then some.  Also, that means any BPO that is added to the collection has the same lead time before productivity, and leaves me pumping ISK into the project for a payoff that's quite a ways out.  I may need to mix real revenue generators into the work in the first 6mo to at least make the effort pay a little.

Why Not Capital Manufacturing?

I am always in awe of eve-fail and K162space that they can thrive industrially with capital ships.  Personally, I find the whole realm high effort and low yield.  By the time you factor in all the hauling, start-up investment, intermediate work, and operating costs, I find the margins not worth the effort.  Add to that the fact that every corporation and alliance seems to have dozens of capital manufacturers, and that customers are concerned with pinching every penny to get into a capital ship, it's not an environment I really like working in.  I am a little intrigued to see if the BPO research venture is a means to leapfrog into supercap building, but that's at least another year out, and I'm in no rush to get there.

It's not a terrible venture for my PVP main to pursue, but the lack of sex appeal means its a distant Plan-C.  I'd rather do something new and exciting than tread the well beaten capital manufacturing path.  It's not a bad path if you have access to a JF and want a use path for an in-house mining program, but seeing as I'm doing this largely alone or in very small joint cooperation, capitals just don't fit my needs.