The following blog was written by Pleniers who is a member of Appetite 4 Destruction. He writes his own blog which you can check out here!

Not many changes in EVE affect both my Trading and PVP gameplay. The ISBox ban (or input broadcast if you want to be picky about it) and Sov changes changed my PVP experience a lot for the better! No more roaming for 30 jumps in empty space, only to find systems with 30 accounts that belong to one miner guy hiding on a POS, or to find the solo bored carebear that rented a system alone, far from everything, and that is still afraid to engage my Vexor with his Vagabond, because he has no backup.

The ISBox ban took out the big chunk of fake “most active people” statistics spots in the map, so if I roam someplace with “15 active people”, there’s actually a good chance for that system to have 5 or so real people willing to kill me, and thus having some action.

As for Sov changes, the new system cleared out most rented isolated system that belong to only 1 guy. This still happens nowadays, but a LOT less. Nowadays, carebears (renters or “real owners”) tend to live in populated constellations. This means that an engagement is substantially easier to find, even though it also means it will be harder to win because the locals will have more people, and thus more firepower to kill me. Nevertheless, I prefer the results achieved by this new Sov system a lot more!

For my Trading experience, neither of these huge EVE changes made a minimal impact… I tried selling the new “Sov Laser Wand”, but it really never netted me that much of a profit anyway, and I never really traded TCUs or SBUs or other Dominion structures.

Citadels were announced and speculation has been already HUGE! The Control Tower market, from all races and all sizes is going completely “bananas”. I been making of profit of 30-50mil in small towers where previously I was lucky to get 10 mil profit. I sold a couple Capital Ship Assembly Arrays for 150mil profit and their price, not long ago, was 130mil in Jita. Large Towers are relatively scarce in the market and they sell ridiculously overpriced. I’m really not aware of big changes in mineral prices, so for me, this is all due to Citadel impact and producers holding on creating new Control Towers and related structures alike.

On the other hand, market wise, I’m looking with some suspicious the eventual removal of all POS related structures from the game. I make a ton of isk selling those things after all, and it’s too soon to figure out if the new Citadel mods are going to prove themselves as profitable as POS mods.

The Market side

Let’s talk about isk making 1st. Everyone is jumping into the Citadel wagon, so competition from other players will be huge. Reason is simple… POS are going to be phased out due to mechanics that annoy everybody and due to old legacy code within the game that needs to be taken out. Not only that, Outposts will also be phased out, and “soon” players won’t be able to build new ones as part of that process. I would not be too surprised if within 2 years we have no more Outposts nor POS in game.

How are people making isk with Citadels today?

Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

1 – People been selling the Citadels way overpriced. I don’t want to do this because I don’t want to deal with all the manufacturing hassle. Also, I bet the “fair” price will be reached soon enough as more people start manufacturing them, so this is tactic has a very limited window of opportunity.

2 – People been selling the Medium Citadel BPOs at Jita main trade station at 6.8 billion, while buying them in same system, at other station, at 6 Billion. This is simply genial! Also, from what I’ve seen at the Medium Citadel BPO market history, it works! People bought the BPOs for 800 million more, while available at same system quite cheaper. I also don’t want do this sort of trade for now, but… it sure is a few hundred millions profit after taxes…

3 – I’ve seen people contracting unresearched Medium Citatel BPOs for 6.8 Billion, at other trade hubs. Checking contract history from those people, some have managed to make sales, so it’s interesting. Unfortunately I don’t want to haul a 6 Billion BPO myself around, and paying someone to haul it would eat any potential profit, on top of contract taxes.

4 – People been selling Citadel BPCs, even unresearched. So far I’ve seen some being sold by more than 175 million, but this prices will go down further for sure. It’s seems to be easy isk as BPCs are copied in a day or so and are pretty much “free” do make.

5 – For now it’s too soon to see people sell a researched Medium Citadel BPO, so can’t say for how much they’ll go, nor what level of research they’ll need to have to be attractive.

I stated before that I needed a more long term project to make some isk, so I decided to buy a Medium Citadel BPO, research it somewhat, make some BPCs and sell those BPCs. Within some month I’ll decide if selling Medium Citadel BPCs is worth or not, and if it isn’t, I’ll try sell the BPO.

Where to research the Medium Citadel BPO? Well, not in hi-sec for sure due to insane costs, so I’m taking it to Curse to research it in NPC Null. Sure it isn’t as good or cheap as Sov Null, but it’s home for me, and I have free Jump Freight logistics provided by amazing corp mates. (No, I’m not moving that crap myself, not even in a quad stabbed cloaky nullified Tengu… I know I’d mess it up).

Due to the factors mentioned above, I went deep in and alongside with the Medium Citadel BPO, I bought most mods BPOs and even some rigs BPOs, for a total of 13 billion. 500+ million BPOs will be taken to Curse along the Citadel BPO to be researched and copied into BPCs there. BPOs costing 200 million or less will be researched in hi-sec at a station. (No I’m not putting those in my small defenceless research POS).

I took the opportunity to look at more Citadel Modules. It seems all modules are labelled “STANDUP”, so it’s easy enough to search for them in the market window. Also, for time being, they are unique… Every Citadel (at least in null, WH and low) will want a Warp Scrambler for sure, or launchers, or even a couple Webs. Right now there are not many fitting choices so investing in fitting mods is probably also worth it, so I added most “STANDUP” items to my Sell Items list… Even though competition will be focusing in the exact same items…

How do I define “having a profit” with BPCs? For me, the BPCs will generate a real profit once I managed to sell more than the cost of the BPO and respective research. Example: If I spend 9 full billion into the Medium Citadel BPO (random value here, let’s assume 6 billion for the BPO purchase and 3 Billion for the Research Cost), I’ll have a profit once I manage to sell 9 Billion in BPCs… I’m probably being too harsh with this definition because the BPO does increases its value as it gets researched, but until I eventually sell it (if ever) it’s a plain dead weight and a heavy investment cost that needs to be supported by the BPCs it generates.

This is why I always ran away from investing in a Battleship BPO and making BPCs from it. Considering a researched Battleship BPO costs 2 billion (usually it’s even more) and that a BPC sells for 1 Million (or even less) I’d need to sell 2000 BPCs to get my investment back! Two THOUSAND! Not to mention there are 16 different Battleship BPOs, insane competition, etc etc…

By the way… What experience do I have selling BPCs? Not much… As stated previously in other articles, I research and sell about 300 different low tier BPOs, but I do dwell in 3 Sov Structures BPCs since September 2015, all researched to ME/TE – 7/14.

Cynosural Navigation Blueprint, BPO cost: 500 mil, 24 BPC sales: 718 Million

Survey Scanner 1 Blueprint, BPO cost: 250 mil, 10 BPC Sales: 78 Million

Ore Prospecting Array 1 Blueprint, BPO Cost: 250 mil, 9 BPC Sales: 67 Million

Only the Cynosural Navigation BPC was really worth. It was the only one that in more than half a year surpassed the cost of the BPO. I must confess I did not take notice how much isk I spent researching the BPOs though… this probably means I’ll try to sell the Survey Scanner 1 Blueprint and Ore Prospecting Array 1 Blueprint in the near future.

What have I learned from this experience? BPCs sell slow and my business model was also not the most convenient to sell the Survey Scanner 1 Blueprint and Ore Prospecting Array 1 Blueprint. These BPOs are just a piece of a bigger picture, because you have the “upgraded” versions up to lvl 5. People are most likely to buy a pack with all 5 BPCs instead of just buying my isolated lvl 1 BPC. The Cynosural Navigation Blueprint is a “stand alone” item, so sells better outside a “full pack”.

So… When am I expecting to profit from all this Citadel BPO/BPC? I don’t even risk a timeline… 2, 3 years? Yes I know that not having a specific goal makes me an awful investment manager but… oh well…

How about the new Capital Mods? So far I added some to my Sell Items list, mostly some of the new T1 non-named mods and some T2 mods. Overall, its less items than I was expecting. I’ll keep an eye on some of the named modules to see if they’re worth selling in Hek, but for now, I’m taking the cautious approach. In fact, about one week after the new patch had come out, the Hek market was missing most of these new capital mods, so I’ll probably be among the first couple guys to seed them there… For a price of course.

The PVP side

And what about PVP wise… How do I foresee the Citadel impact?…

For starters, I hope to never shoot at one. I haven’t shot a POS in 4 years and I expect to go by 4 years without needing to shoot a Citadel.

My PVP style is basically to go into an enemy system, try catch a ratter or miner in an anomaly as I enter, and afterwards warp to the local Outpost in order to introduce myself, while the local carebears round up enough pitchforks to try overpower me. Nowadays, an Outpost is a central place for all local residents and all hostiles alike. Both parties can indeed be “safe” at a station. Local carebears can just hug the undock and dock if shot at, and hostile pirates can circle around the station like vultures waiting for stuff to develop, warping off if needed. Today, it’s the perfect spot for an engagement to brew.

Citadels are going to, eventually, replace Outposts too, not only POS. Problem is they have guns like a POS and electronic warfare like Warp Scramblers, ECM and such. Sure they need to be manned, but somehow, I don’t think that finding people to man those Citadel guns to be a problem. That’s the reason people today don’t warp to a POS in order to stir up an engagement… It will shot the hostiles with impunity to the residents.

Also, will people prefer to have their own personal Citadel to store their ships, or will they use the Alliance Large Citadel? Will the Alliances have 1, 7, 18, or 25 Large Citadels in a System, as abundant as Control Towers today in many regions, none being the “Central Alliance Place”?

How will the lack of a “Central safe-ish” place, like an Outpost, change the face of small/solo gang pvp? Of course there’s still the gates as static “meeting points”, but usually action only reaches the gates once it has brewed a bit around an Outpost. I’m really really curious to see how this environment change will affect small scale pirate raids.

I also wonder if a new overhauled version of the “Electronic Encounter System” (or ESS), in the Citadel age, could provide as a central place for locals and hostiles alike. Let’s face it, there is currently no reason for local carebears to undock and engage hostiles pirates looking for some action and pillage, other than probably human nature and ego kicking in. Giving some incentive to small gangs to go out there and win some isk while doing PVP, as well as some incentive to local carebears to defend their holdings (other than a full Sov invasion), could spark small scale conflict in interesting ways… Even today, an ESS not deployed inside and anomaly (a truly rare sight) provides a great stage for nice engagements or an opportunity to make some isk.

Sov changes (and Capital Ship jump changes) brought an end to many people’s playstyle, but changed my experience for the better. Citadels might be THE change that affect me drastically, both PVP and Trading wise. I really wonder if other small gang pvpers have similar thoughts or not about the upcoming Citadel age…

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