Content of the article: "EVE industry – the viability of mass production of ships"
My best friend told me that he wanted to start producing things in EVE. While I have only played 2-3 months, and have not even started to consider industry a viable way forward, he has used many years to hone his skill in research, resources processing and production. He would like to focus and PvP, and instead of ratting, he thought that doing industry and earning your ISK in that way would be a better deal.
So, to see whether it would be profitable for him to start producing ships, we had a look at the the numbers. Even though it feels very meaningful to create something in the game, you won't be able to keep doing it, if you invest a lot of time and effort in it, but only end up in a break-even scenario when you start selling stuff. I understand that this is a tumultuous time in EVE, as markets are still adjusting to resource scarcity. Still, based on the current picture, the two of us concluded: It seems that it's rarely worth it to build smaller tech I ships, and the profit of tech II ships does not really seem worth the effort, unless you have a network set up that makes the production easier.
Since I'm new to the game, I am sure that I will have overlooked a lot of elements, which is why I wanted to post here. I realize that the following factors might impact on whether you can profit from building ships:
- Variety and opportunity: If you gather a significant hoard of blueprints, you can allow yourself to produce the ships when the resources they require are cheapest, and only sell later when the price of the ship is high.
- Build everything yourself: If you have blueprints for all parts of what you want to make, you can sometimes make it cheaper than the market price. This means a greater profit, but also means that you will need an even greater influx of minerals.
- Finding profitable markets with less competition: Some markets with less competition will allow you to earn 50% more than other markets. However, you must never flood these markets with product, and you will need to have an infrastructure that allows you to get product to these markets easily.
- Buying ores to reprocess them: If you buy resources to reprocess them, you can, with good reprocessing skills, facilities and implants, get 5-15% added value from this, thus profiting more from the ships you produce. However, as I looked around the markets and did the math, only 3-4 ores occasionally allowed for this benefit (best case was plagioclase). Most ores don't break even if you buy them at the estimated compressed price, and they are often sold at way above the estimated price. I suppose that instead of buying from sell orders, you can place buy orders to just get ores from the casual miners that just want to get rid of their stuff, but I haven't seen much success with that so far, at least not where the time transporting stuff is worth the effort.
- Niche industry production: If you combine other modes of play, for instance using faction warfare to gain LP to then buy blueprints, you have an easier path to making products that will land you good prices. Still, this wouldn't realistically allow you to mass produce.
- Trading: If you use market manipulation, and have a lot of product, I'm sure you could manipulate prices to your advantage, but this would require significant financial muscle and a big volume of produced ships.
- Rely on your alliance: If you're in a big alliance, it's much easier to profit. You can make deals to exchange ships through direct trade or contracts, and you can have everything delivered to your doorstep. You can build a whole ecosystem around selling to your own alliance and getting your resources from them, and if your alliance is in an area without any competition (as would often be the case in null sec, where the only competition is likely other ship producers in the alliance, who you can coordinate efforts with), you can allow yourself to set higher prices.
Given all this, I see how it can be done, but it seems that you really need the right set of circumstances to make it work. My friend has access to a sotiyo where he can build ships with 4,2% material efficiency and has access to a refinery, where he, with implants, can reprocess at 89,3%. And still, the numbers don't look good. The profit is really in the margins, and that makes transporting resources the biggest challenge, since the small margins mean that the time and effort spent doing this not worth it. Then again, I haven't used deep space transports or jumped between keepstars yet, so it might be this part I'm missing.
Also, one thing we quickly noted was that it was never really profitable to produce frigates and destroyers if you compete on the main markets. Jita is in some case the exception, since prices are often inflated for some products there (due to high demand and market manipulation, surely), but I gather that it would be hard to find a good null production facility from where you can easily move stuff to Jita. It seems that some people sell frigates and destroyers in mass, for prices where surely it would never be profitable to produce them. I would guess that to be down to four factors:
- Since frigates and destroyers are give as starter gifts, those with good programming skills, who create mass accounts and "farm" the starter gifts, will end up with a lot of frigates and destroyers and will want to sell these cheaply to get they money quickly.
- Alliances in faction warfare will often use alliance taxes to produce stuff that supports the war effort. Spitting out frigates and destroyers and selling them without any profit, in your faction areas, seems to be the way they sometimes do this.
- Some people have probably stockpiled a lot of ships back from when they were cheaper to produce. They might no longer be in the business, and are happy just to sell quickly, as long as they're getting a profit. Since frigates are cheaper, the margins seem less signficant.
- It seems that some places in low sec, like Misaba and Konora, use extremely cheaply priced ships as way of getting "content", as EVEsuleers like to call it. Wait until you get a notification that people are buying your stuff, and them camp the station and shoot them when they undock. This might not have a direct influence on the high sec markets, but surely selling that many cheap ships will put pressure on prices, and will influence the in-game estimated prices, which has an impact as well.
Below I will go into a few cases that studies to see if it would be possible to profit, based on the fully researched blueprints he had. In the numbers used, I based the mineral prices off the cheapest places where you can buy these minerals in larger quantities in high sec. That means the following prices:
Isogen - 40,99 ISK/unit Megacyte - 655 ISK/unit Mexallon - 133 ISK/unit Nocxium - 1.085 ISK/unit Pyerite - 17,39 ISK/unit Tritanium - 5,89 ISK/unit Zydrine - 1.388 ISK/unit
So, in other words, even that is very optimistic, since it would mean a lot of resource transporting. Since suicide ganking in high is a very straightforward and low effort activity, where CODE have shown the way by doing it so well, and often very profitably, it seems to be all the rage with the kids these days. You can call yourself a pirate and laugh at the poor "infidels" in high sec, as they squeam under your rightful wrath. The frequency of suicide ganking has gotten high enough that transporting enough stuff to make yourself gank-worth is simply not worth the risk. This sadly means that everyone has to spend more time transporting less stuff. I reckon that in some places, placing a buy order to buy at a lower price might give you the minerals at a lower price and enable you to buy "locally", but I doubt you'd be able to get enough minerals to mass produce that way.
Either way, to the specific cases. Mind you, I didn't include brokers fee and sales tax in these calculations, since you might not sell the ships directly on the market or might sell them at a low tax rate. So, add that into the equation yourself (normally, you would subtract around 5% of the market sell price you expect).
Some of the numbers below factor in a 4,2 material efficiency. Those that do no are noted after the ship:
Tech I ships: Vexor
8.631 x Isogen = 353.784 ISK 304 x Megacyte = 199.120 ISK 35.092 x Mexallon = 4.667.236 ISK 2.466 x Nocxium = 2.675.610 ISK 113.811 x Pyerite = 1.979.173 ISK 531.116 x Tritanium = 3.128.273 ISK 1.120 x Zydrine = 1.554.560 ISK Mineral cost: 14.557.756 ISK Job fee: 263.060 ISK Total production cost: 14.820.816 ISK Market sell price: 14.990.000 ISK Profit: 169.184 ISK (1,1%)
Tech I ships: Caracal
8.915 x Isogen = 365.425 ISK 475 x Megacyte = 311.125 ISK 31.299 x Mexallon = 4.162.767 ISK 2.845 x Nocxium = 3.086.825 ISK 104.327 x Pyerite = 1.814.246 ISK 464.726 x Tritanium = 2.737.236 ISK 1.196 x Zydrine = 1.660.048 ISK Mineral cost: 14.137.672 ISK Job fee: 253.108 ISK Total production cost: 14.390.780 ISK Market sell price: 12.000.000 ISK Profit: -2.390.780 ISK (-16%)
Tech I ships: Raven
141.618 x Isogen = 5.804.921 ISK 5.368 x Megacyte = 3.516.040 ISK 567.155 x Mexallon = 75.431.615 ISK 35.357 x Nocxium = 38.362.345 ISK 2.264.259 x Pyerite = 39.375.464 ISK 9.055.325 x Tritanium = 53.335.864 ISK 16.864 x Zydrine = 23.407.232 ISK Mineral cost: 239.233.481 ISK Job fee: 4.433.426 ISK Total production fee: 243.666.907 ISK Market sell price: 275.000.000 ISK Profit: 31.333.093 ISK (12,8%)
Tech I ships: Osprey
506.333 x Tritanium = 2.982.301 ISK 120.900 x Pyerite = 2.102.451 ISK 28.934 x Mexallon = 3.848.222 ISK 8.164 x Isogen = 334.642 ISK 1.448 x Nocxium = 1.571.080 ISK 826 x Zydrine = 1.146.488 ISK 166 x Megacyte = 108.730 ISK Mineral cost: 12.093.914 ISK Job fee: 213.824 ISK Total production cost: 12.307.738 ISK Market sell price: 13.000.000 ISK Profit: 692.262 ISK (5,6%)
Tech I ships: Stabber
436.274 x Tritanium = 2.569.653 ISK 161.232 x Pyerite = 2.803.824 ISK 34.144 x Mexallon = 4.541.152 ISK 8.821 x Isogen = 361.572 ISK 2.372 x Nocxium = 2.573.620 ISK 1.062 x Zydrine = 1.474.056 ISK 209 x Megacyte = 136.895 ISK Mineral cost: 14.460.772 ISK Job fee: 264.567 ISK Total production cost: 14.725.339 ISK Market sell price: 13.500.000 ISK Profit: -1.225.339 (-8,3%)
Tech I ships: Noctis
3.349.411 x Tritanium = 19.728.030 ISK 936.044 x Pyerite = 16.277.805 ISK 276.937 x Mexallon = 36.832.621 ISK 50.714 x Isogen = 2.078.766 ISK 24.631 x Nocxium = 26.724.635 ISK 6.876 x Zydrine = 9.543.888 ISK 3.161 x Megacyte = 2.070.455 ISK Mineral cost: 113.256.200 ISK Job fee: 1.941.915 ISK Total production cost: 115.198.115 ISK Market sell price: 124.000.000 ISK Profit: 8.801.885 ISK (7,6%)
Tech I ships: Iteron Mark V
69.233 x Tritanium = 407.782 ISK 12.814 x Pyerite = 222.835 ISK 8.061 x Mexallon = 1.072.113 ISK 1.086 x Isogen = 44.515 ISK 310 x Nocxium = 336.350 ISK 93 x Zydrine = 129.084 ISK 21 x Megacyte = 13.755 ISK Mineral cost = 2.226.434 ISK Job fee: 34.877 ISK Total production cost: 2.261.311 ISK Market sell price: 2.260.000 ISK Profit: -1.311 ISK (-0,057%)
Tech II ships: Cerberus
1 x Caracal = 14.390.780 ISK 143 x Morphite (73.260 ISK/unit) = 10.476.180 ISK 143 x Construction Blocks (6.500 ISK/unit) = 929.500 ISK 378 x Gravimetric Sensor Cluster (28.000 ISK/unit) = 10.584.000 ISK 37 x Graviton Reactor Unit (119.800 ISK/unit) = 4.432.600 ISK 72 x Magpulse Thruster (39.990 ISK/unit) = 2.879.280 ISK 1.281 x Quantum Microprocessor (59.280 ISK/unit) = 75.937.680 ISK 18 x R.A.M. - Starship Tech (370 ISK/unit) = 6.660 ISK 427 x Scalar Capacitor Unit (58.100 ISK/unit) = 24.808.700 ISK 427 x Sustained Shield Emitter (45.360 ISK/unit) = 19.368.720 ISK 5.335 x Titanium Diborite Armor Plate (11.520 ISK/unit) = 61.459.200 ISK Mineral and part cost: 210.882.520 ISK Job fee: 4.262.736 ISK Total production cost: 215.145.256 ISK Market sell price: 219.200.000 ISK
However, for tech II ship you also need to do invention to turn a tech I BPC into tech II, I learned. So, you have to include the invention cost:
Create Caracal BPC: 57.731 ISK Invention fee: 75.708 ISK 1 x Decryptor consumed 8 x Datacore - High Energy Physics (1.106.000 ISK) = 8.848.000 ISK 8 x Datacore - Caldari Starship Engineering (135.200 ISK) = 1.081.600 ISK Total invention cost: 10.063.039 ISK
So, now we have the invention cost, but factoring in the cost and the attributes of the decryptor will require us to find the optimal decryptor. So, we quickly did the math (Excel spreadsheet here):
So, in the end, we can see that using "Optimized Augmentation Decryptor" and producing eight Cerberus ship (1 run + 7 runs on the BPC after invention) will on average yield the best result. On average, if you buy enough decryptors and invention materials for the invention to succeed, and produce the ships from the resulting BPCs, you will gain 107.967.649 ISK in profit (much less, if you detract around 95M ISK in sales and brokes fees – assuming those amount to 5% for you). Mind you, collecting/build/buying all the materials for this is a great undertaking for most players, so it is not likely to be worth your time for the most part. Also note that this result hinges on you selling at an optimal market fee of 240M. People will be able to go elsewhere and buy significant quantities of Cerberus ships for around 219M ISK, so that's what you're up against (with the "convenience tax" of buying locally having to work in your favor).
Rigs from salvage
Since me and my friend had a lot of salvage from ratting, we felt it would be a shame not to use this as well. It seems that building rigs is quite lucrative compared to just selling your salvage. You can sometimes buy salvage quite cheaply, since the market for salvage seems less established than for other materials, and since it takes up hardly any space, you can transport it safely in small fast-aligning ship. However, due to the market not being very established, it's also hard to buy up huge amounts of salvage at good prices. Often the sell orders are so small, the time you spend click to buy or collecting it, means it was never worthwhile compared to normal ISK-making methods.
Rigs are somewhat easier to sell at a better price. Since they don't take up a lot of space, it's easy to transport them somewhere where the price is 15-30% higher than the low market price. Take it to Jita, but beware that you'll have to sell it quickly, because you'll be constantly undercut by speculative traders.
Note that some of the numbers for the rigs below are so small that they don't get to benefit from material efficiency if you produce just one rig (since you only use whole numbers, the benefit will be rounded down). So, if you produce higher quantities, the average production cost should be slightly lower.
So a few examples (beware! numbers are still based on producing from a material efficiency rigged sotiyo in null sec):
Rigs: Small Core Defense Field Extender I
4 x Tripped Power Circuit (2.400 ISK/unit) = 9.600 ISK 4 x Burned Logic Circuit (31.070 ISK/unit) = 124.280 ISK 2 x Ward Console (38.660 ISK/unit) = 77.320 ISK Total salvage cost: 211.200 ISK Job fee: 4.459 ISK Total production cost: 215.659 ISK Market sell price: 291.600 ISK Profit: 75.941 ISK (35%)
Rigs: Small Trimark Armor Pump I
2 x Contaminated Nanite Compound (95.000 ISK/unit) - 190.000 ISK 3 x Fried Interface Circuit (1.816 ISK/unit) - 5.448 ISK 3 x Armor Plates (33.590 ISK/unit) - 100.770 ISK Total salvage cost: 296.218 ISK Job fee: 4.417 ISK Total production cost: 300.635 ISK Market sell price: 344.500 ISK Profit: 43.865 ISK (14,5%)
Rigs: Medium Core Defense Field Purger
20 x Tripped Power Circuit (2400 ISK/unit) - 48.000 ISK 20 x Burned Logic Circuit (31070 ISK/unit) - 621.400 ISK 9 x Ward Console (38660 ISK/unit) - 347.940 ISK Total salvage cost: 1.017.340 Job fee: 22.483 Total production cost: 1.039.823 Market sell price: 1.290.000 Profit: 250.177 ISK (24%)
Rigs: Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
11 x Contaminated Nanite Compound (91.040 ISK/unit) - 1.001.440 ISK 17 x Fried Interface Circuit (1.850 ISK/unit) - 31.450 ISK 14 x Armor Plates (35.020 ISK/unit) - 490.280 ISK Total salvage cost: 1.523.170 ISK Job fee: 19.634 ISK Total production cost: 1.542.804 ISK Market sell price: 1.601.000 ISK Profit: 58.196 ISK (3,7%)
Rigs: Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
13 x Contaminated Nanite Compound (91.040 ISK/unit) - 1.183.520 ISK 20 x Fried Interface Circuit (1.850 ISK/unit) - 37.000 ISK 18 x Armor Plates (35.020 ISK/unit) - 630.360 ISK Total salvage cost: 1.850.880 ISK Job fee: 25.099 ISK Total production cost: 1.875.979 ISK Market sell price: 1.969.000 ISK Profit: 93.021 ISK (4,9%)
Rigs: Medium Nanobot Accelerator I
13 x Contaminated Nanite Compound (91.040 ISK/unit) - 1.183.520 ISK 20 x Fried Interface Circuit (1.850 ISK/unit) - 37.000 ISK 18 x Armor Plates (35.020 ISK/unit) - 630.360 ISK Total salvage cost: 1.850.880 ISK Job fee: 25.099 ISK Total production cost: 1.875.979 ISK Market sell price: 1.871.000 ISK Profit: -4.979 ISK (-0,2%)
Rigs: Medium Ancillary Current Router I
13 x Tangled Power Conduit (43.100 ISK/unit) - 560.300 ISK 52 x Tripped Power Circuit (2.400 ISK/unit) - 124.800 ISK 50 x Burned Logic Circuit (36.500 ISK/unit) - 1.825.000 ISK Total salvage cost: 2.510.100 ISK Job fee: 29.715 ISK Total production cost: 2.539.815 ISK Sell market price: 2.520.000 ISK Profit: -19.815 ISK (-0,7%)
When you produce fits, you start having another factor introduced. Since many items drop from loot, this, of course, affects the sell price, since loot will be likely to be sold at a lower value and will sometimes flood the market. Eventually, though, the price of all items should at least gravitate towards their reprocessed value.
I was looking for some cheap researched blueprints to buy on contracts for my friend while I was in Dodixie, and I looked at some common items to see how easy they would be to sell. I think a fair amount of people can settle for a tech I tractor beam (and might not have the skills for tech II), and since it seems to be very rarely sold in some regions, I bet you could turn a nice profit from producing a fair quantity of those (similarly to the Noctis).
The numbers below are without the 4,2% material efficiency of a fitted null sec sotiyo being factored in (since my friend wasn't producing these and I just wanted to check them quickly before buying them). So, to get your number, simply subtract your material efficiency percentage from mineral cost.
Fits: Large Cap Battery I
4.574 x Tritanium - 26.940 ISK 1.734 x Pyerite - 30.154 ISK 1.307 x Mexallon - 173.831 ISK 4 x Zydrine - 5.552 ISK Mineral cost: 236.477 ISK Job fee: 2.831 ISK Total production cost: 239.308 ISK Market sell price: 230.000 ISK Profit: -9.308 ISK (-3,8%)
Fits: Miner I
1205 x Tritanium - 7.097 ISK 438 x Pyerite - 7.616 ISK 109 x Mexallon - 14.497 ISK Mineral cost: 29.211 ISK Job fee: 485 ISK Total production cost: 29.696 ISK Market sell price: 12.500 ISK Profit: -17.196 ISK (-57%)
Fits: Small Tractor Beam I
25.001 x Tritanium - 147.255 ISK 11.000 x Pyerite - 191.290 ISK 9.000 x Mexallon - 1.197.000 ISK 2.501 x Isogen - 102.515 ISK 351 x Nocxium - 380.835 ISK 148 x Zydrine - 205.424 ISK 80 x Megacyte - 52.400 ISK Mineral cost: 2.174.204 ISK Job fee: 33.450 ISK Total production cost: 2.207.654 ISK Market sell price: 2.150.000 ISK Profit: -57.654 ISK (-2,6%)
Fits: Inertial Stabilizers I
1608 x Tritanium = 9471 ISK 274 x Pyerite = 4764 ISK 1 x Mexallon = 133 ISK Mineral cost: 14.368 ISK Job fee: 369 ISK Total production cost: 14.737 ISK Market sell price: 19.300 ISK Profit: 4.563 ISK (30%)
Fits: Reinforced Bulkheads I
6.250 x Tritanium = 36.812 Mineral cost: 36.812 ISK Job fee: 1.103 ISK Total production cost: 37.915 ISK Market sell price: 38.900 ISK Profit: 985 ISK (2,5%)
Fits: Stasis Webifier I
776 x Tritanium = 4.570 ISK 713 x Pyerite = 12.399 ISK 477 x Mexallon = 63.441 ISK Mineral cost: 80.410 ISK Job fee: 984 ISK Total production cost: 81.394 ISK Market sell price: 75.000 ISK Profit: -6.394 ISK (-7,8%)
Fits: Warp Scrambler I
452 x Tritanium = 2.662 ISK 268 x Pyerite = 4.660 ISK 301 x Mexallon = 40.033 ISK 178 x Isogen = 7.296 ISK 4 x Zydrine = 5.552 ISK Mineral cost: 60.203 ISK Job fee: 984 ISK Total production cost: 61.187 ISK Market sell price: 54.990 ISK (much more expensive in Jita) Profit: -6.197 ISK (-10,1%)
Fits: Multispectrum Energized Membrane I
5412 x Tritanium = 31.876 ISK 4063 x Pyerite = 70.655 ISK 1451 x Mexallon = 192.983 ISK 2 x Zydrine = 2.776 ISK 2 x Megacyte = 1.310 ISK Mineral cost: 299.600 ISK Job fee: 4.178 ISK Total production cost: 303.778 ISK Market sell price: 200.000 ISK Profit: -103.778 ISK (-34%)
Since I did most of these numbers a few weeks ago, and the market is in constant flux, I hope it's still fairly accurate. Of course, the market sell price is just the leading parameter for bulk sales, but you can always make more than that from selling at the right market, where people will buy your stuff for convenience.
A few quick comparisons I did of compressed ores with their sales price and reprocesed value (using the cheapest values in high sec that you can get them in quantities for – be aware that they be more expensive close to you) while passing through space and looking to buy some (and later regretting it, remembering that the most inexpensive ores wouldn't be worth transporting 40 jumps, even compressed) – reprocessing fees not included in calculation, since they vary:
89,3 % of 1 Compressed Scordite (2.411 ISK): 133,95 x Tritanium = 788 ISK 80,37 x Pyerite (17,39) = 1397 ISK Reprocessed value: 2.185 ISK Profit: -226 ISK (-9%)
89,3 of 1 Compressed Veldspar (1.890 ISK) = 357,6 x Tritanium = 2.106 ISK Reprocessed value: 2.106 ISK Profit: 216 ISK (11,4%)
89,3% of 1 Compressed Crokite (975.000 ISK) = 714 x Pyerite = 12.416 ISK 1786 x Mexallon = 237.538 ISK 714 x Nocxium = 774.690 ISK Processed value: 1.024.644 ISK Profit: 49.644 ISK (5%)
89,3% of 1 Compressed Bistot (350.000 ISK) = 2.857 x Pyerite = 49.683 1.071 x Mexallon = 142.443 ISK 142 x Zydrine = 197.096 ISK Reprocessed value: 389.222 ISK Profit: 39.222 ISK (11,2%)
Ores: Dark Ochre
89,3% of 1 Compressed Dark Ochre (600.000 ISK) = 1.214 x Mexallon = 161.462 ISK 1.071 x Isogen = 43.900 ISK 285 x Nocxium = 309.225 ISK Reprocessed value: 514.587 ISK Profit: -85.413 ISK (-14,2%)
89,3% of 1 Compressed Omber (12.390 ISK) = 80,37 x Pyerite = 1.397 ISK 66 x Isogen = 2.705 ISK Reprocessed value: 4.102 ISK Profit: -8.288 ISK (-66%)
89,3 of 1 Compressed Gneiss (277.000 ISK) = 1786 x Pyerite = 31.058 1339 x Mexallon = 178.087 714 x Isogen = 29.266 Reprocessed value: 238.411 Profit: -38.589 ISK (13,9%)
89,3% of 1 Compressed Plagioclase (8.480 ISK) = 156 x Tritanium = 918 ISK 62 x Mexallon = 8.246 ISK Reprocessed value: 9.164 Profit: 684 ISK (8%)
89,3 of 1 Compressed Hedbergite (258.000 ISK): 401 x Pyerite = 6.973 ISK 107 x Nocxium = 116.095 Reprocessed value: 123.068 Profit: -134.932 ISK (-52%)
- Mining ores – understanding profitability of selling unrefined ores
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- Confused about what to mine to make the most amount of money? Here’s some math to help you make the decision
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