With Kronos due on the 3rd of June there isn’t much time to prepare for the massive shake up that’s about to hit industry in EVE Online. As a miner, manufacturer or research POS owner should you be concerned about the changes coming? Yes without a doubt. Is your ISK cash cow about to dry up? Maybe, it all depends exactly what you’re doing to make that hard earned ISK. This article explores how the coming changes are going to impact different areas of EVE online industry and exactly what that means for you, starting with the obvious changes and impacts and then diving deeper with issues such as POS and jump fuel usage impact on isotope cost and ice mining.
Getting the obvious out of the way
You only need a single POS – Life got a little bit easier for large scale research POS owners no longer will you need to run multiple large POS’s to run copy jobs with a single POS doing the work of the whole of your previous network now that slot limitations are being removed. Whether you choose to use a POS will come down to whether you’re willing to risk your BPOs being in space rather than the safety of station but the bonus’s to research time and the lack of incentive for people to actually shoot your POS will most likely mean more serious industry players will continue to be POS based.
BPO copying won’t be as profitable – With the copy time being dramatically reduced we’re about to see supply skyrocket whilst invention demand remains steady, the result of this being a substantial price drop. Also whilst the details aren’t clear how the output price is being calculated for copying we do know that there will be increased job installation costs for copying. Most will argue that this cost will be passed onto the customer and on the whole it will, but as it is a variable cost only expect the average to be passed onto the customer with copy alts in high usage systems making lower profits that is unless you choose to keep moving your research POS around New Eden a prospect that won’t sound fun for the majority who chose copying as a passive income source.
Mining risk reduced slightly for null sec – With the second pass on the barges and exhumers a drone damage bonus is being added, this makes mining gangs much less vulnerable to lone roaming interceptors and belt rats. Overall it looks like mining in null sec becomes a bit more viable which is great news as the increased jump fuel costs will mean if you want to do cheap null sec T1 production you need to have a local source of minerals.
Any change to prices will be slow and progressive – To see the true impact of the changes we’re going to have to wait until current stockpiles of ships, modules and materials are exhausted. With an expected increase in cost I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of people doing some batch job installations before the changes hit to make the most out of the current low costs. Once again a bit more math work is required here once the changes are ready for testing as we may find that increase in costs from job installation are effectively cancelled out by reduction in costs from 2% material saving for POS based manufacturing. Whilst it’s not crystal clear the exact changes that will happen we can expect them to take some time so don’t worry you don’t have to login on release day to profit from Kronos.
The first few Prospects will be sold at crazy profits – Every time a new ship is released day one is a crazy scramble to be the first to get one built. We often see profit margins that are in the hundreds of percent rather than the usual 5-10%, in the past modules such as the new T2 drone modules even pushed profit margins in the thousands of percent for the first 12 hours of sales. This could impact other industry too with people starting to copy ventures now ready for release day invention jobs.
If you built manufacturing or invention POS modules wave goodbye to profit – Now that production and research isn’t limited by slots you don’t need to have half a dozen of each lab or array, expect people to be throwing them back onto market with prices dropping below build cost for about a month after release. Even then unfortunately it’s highly likely that your blueprint will be near on worthless with lower demand and profits it’s probably a good time to start to move over to manufacturing POS defences ready for if/when they get buffed.
If you’re a CEO no need to bully members to become POS gunners – Announced today CCP Ytterbium has reduced the skill requirement for Starbase Defence Management to anchoring 4 rather than anchoring 5 to encourage more POS related pew. I’ve personally felt the pain of encouraging people to train SDM and now it just got so much easier I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more corps making it an entry requirement at level 3 now that it’s a matter of a fortnights work rather than over a month.
The pretty likely
Ship prices are highly likely to increase – With increased costs of job installation and the tax on top of this whilst building in station expect ship prices to increase. This will affect PvPers more than everyone else but anyone else setting up in industry whether that’s buying your first Mackinaw or that new freighter to haul your ore is going to be hit too. If this changes PvPer buying behaviour we could also see shifts in profitability on certain ship types it all depends on how much your average wallet feels the hit of increased prices, remember that it’s not only the hulls but all of the module prices that should increase too. There is one thing that could change this and that is the balance between POS fuel costs, material savings and job installation costs so much is changing that it’s rather unpredictable without a lot more data on current POS usage.
Hyasoda laboratories likely become more affordable – With an additional 16% increase to ME and TE (formerly PE) research there’s no reason not to use one of these nice shiny faction labs, also as you will only ever need one of them we can expect them to surge back to market and be in lower demand substantially reducing the prices. Hyasoda mobile laboratories come from the Caldari Epic mission arc which can be repeated every 3 months, this allows for a steady stream of them to market I wouldn’t be surprised to see prices drop to close to half of what they are currently. This is dependent upon the player communities response to the POS changes and industry revamp, if we see industry become more popular then demand may actually increase in the short term.
Expect the procurer and Skiff to become more popular – Whilst higher popularity does not guarantee higher profits it’s normally a good indicator in the short run at least until the market reacts and people begin to see the opportunity. Large scale manufacturers may see the Skiff as a new opportunity for large scale production as quite often when producing in bulk you’re more concerned about the volume of stock you can shift rather than the profit per unit, having your ISK tied up and unable to maintain 24/7 production line usage is something that the more dedicated industry player never wants to see.
Industry will become more transitory increasing Red Frog usage – Right now I’m expecting people to move around a lot more as the game mechanics encourage players to follow the bonuses and find systems with low usage to reduce costs. As generally we’re a lazy bunch freight companies such as Red Frog should massively benefit from this change. Ore compression and haulage volumes will remain the same thanks to the Ore compression module as POS’s
Ice mining will be less profitable – With POS networks in high sec being downsized to a single POS for a lot of research corps it’s highly possible we’ll see lower overall POS fuel consumption. To try and counter this CCP have already increased the isotope usage of jump drives but it may not be enough. We could see ice mining really drop off in value, currently the changes that have been put in place are a bit foolhardy as this could go the other way with all industry players moving to POS for the 2% bonus to material usage and reduction in production time. The fate of ice mining hangs in the balance depending on players reaction to Kronos something which we really can’t predict. Personally in CCPs position I would have waited to see what happens to POS usage post release and then announce a change to jump fuel when there is data to base such a decision upon. After all moving to a 6 week release cycle should allow for more reactive changes why not start to take advantage of this change now, it may simply be the case that whilst procedure for development has changed the mind-set will lag behind during adoption and we’ll see CCP make better use of its flexible release system in the future.
Manufacturing will become less profitable – With the integration of the production efficiency skill back into the base material stats no longer do new players have to wait to skill to level 5 before they can start building. This reduced barrier to entry is a massive advantage, especially as it was a tier 3 skills. With mass production only being tier 2 a player should be able to get up to building on 5 slots really fast and using the full 10 within a matter of a couple of weeks. Building could become something which is seen as the norm and a secondary activity for the majority of players for a little extra ISK on the side. We should at the least expect mission runners to start building their own ammo more often and generally a little bit more incentive to build to use. This all depends on how well the overhaul is received and an experienced player will still have room for increased profit simply by knowing the best places to build bringing in a skill element.
Mining will become more profitable – With the changes to reprocessing we’re going to see fewer minerals generated by gun mining. Some of the larger weapons looted in missions reprocess really well into a fair amount of low end materials; whilst gun mining has already been nerfed historically it’s still a problem. This will especially benefit low end miners in high sec as any mineral price increases will be seen in primarily in the lower end materials. On the other hand with null sec mining in a Skiff being buffed and the increased costs of importing materials due to rising jump fuel consumption we may see null sec industry becoming more independent and drops in the value of low ends in Jita due to more people using local resources to keep transport costs low.
Using a POS for everything improves profit – Currently if you’re manufacturing from a station you’re already losing out, but if you don’t move to a POS post release then you’re missing out. With a 2% reduction in material costs paying for POS fuel once you’re at the point where you build in the region of 50 to 60 ships per week you’re more than paying off the POS fuel costs, even less if the price of isotopes starts to drop. The biggest gain is from the 25% reduction in manufacturing time and all in all my initial numbers showed increases in profit as high as 55% when producing 300 T2 cruisers a week compared to station based manufacturing. The biggest challenge for POS based production will be the lack of flexibility, as we’re going to see installation costs vary with activity it’s a bit of a pain in the ass to have to rip your setup down and put it back up every single time you want to move to a less active system to improve profitability.
Highly researched BPOs become super valuable – A basic rank 1 blueprint such as T1 ammo will take just over 5 days to max out its research, a Battleship BPO at 60 currently will take just over 300 days to fully research for ME alone. Then take it to the extreme of a Titan BPO at rank 3414 will take over 46 years to fully research for ME. A ME 6 Moros BPO currently takes just over 260 days to research this is equivalent to the new ME 9% based on CCPs conversion scale in the blog, I wouldn’t be surprised to see capitals at rank 400 meaning 800 days to get to the equivalent of the old ME 6. Even with the boosts to research time in POS we could potentially be looking at double the time for top end capital BPO research. Most likely we’ll just see small price increases relating to this in the future with the majority of construction being on lower ME BPOs as the EVE player base grows, still it’s an interesting change I feel the pain of all the people with capital component BPOs already above ME10 as their additional work now means nothing.
Inflation may be reduced – My understanding of increasing the ISK sink from job installation costs and work team taxes is that increased ISK sinks reduces inflation. Overall more ISK sinks and balancing the flow if ISK in and out of the economy is really healthy and should help to keep prices down which is especially important for PLEX. I’d really love to read more from an economics expert on this as if there is one thing that catches the EVE communities eye it’s the price of PLEX.
T1 items will drop in price – No longer will T1 items be pinned to their material value we may well find that unpopular items drop below production cost across the board and large amounts of old mission loot become worthless. The changes to reprocessing mean that there may be a load of T1 junk out there that people simply don’t buy, previously it would have been reprocessed but with the changes expect to see piles of junk sky high pile up in mission runners hangars and on market in Jita.
T2 profits drop – With T1 item manufacturing suffering more players may give T2 item production a try putting additional pressure on profits and dropping margins, this really depends on how players react to the changes and there is so much going on at once that it’s difficult to be certain.
It’s clear that a lot is changing with the Kronos release and the impact of this on the market should be dramatic and very interesting to watch. I’m currently trying to figure out exactly where to put my money before and after the release and it’s not easy with so many things changing and many unknowns still at this point we’re in for a world of pain come patch day figuring out all of the changes and how to take best advantage of the shifting market.
Currently the EVE community doesn’t appear to be overly excited by Kronos but everyone has a stake in the changes coming to industry whether you’re a PvPer looking to buy a new ship or a hard-core industry player you should be trying to keep an eye on things as they develop. What surprises me is CCP are changing so much at once that they literally can’t have an idea of how we’re going to react, still change is good and EVE will be a much more newbie friendly place because of the changes that are ahead.
– Danny Centauri
I’m Danny Centauri an EVE player on and off since 2006 having left the game and come back most recently in 2009 I decided to get into EVEs industry, to support my new-found career as a mercenary. If you like to read more about EVE Manufacturing feel free to come by evemanufacturing.co.uk.