2. Ship blueprints
3. Component blueprints
4. Researching your blueprints
5. Moving capital blueprints safely
7. Location, location, location (you are here)
8. Moving minerals
9. Actually building stuff, finally
10. Selling your ships
So. Where to build?
Picking a region:
Broadly speaking, you want to build and sell your ships in a region where you can sell all the ships you build, and where you can get the best prices. Let's start by counting how many capital ships are sold per month in the major trade hub regions, plus lonetrek because there is also known to be an active capital market there.
Forge (jita): 631
Lonetrek (n/a): 238
Domain (amarr): 154
Sinq laison (dodixie): 57
Heimatar (rens): 42
Forge has by far the largest market volume. I attribute this to the jita effect -- everybody goes there to sell because everybody goes there to buy, and everybody goes there to buy because everybody goes there to sell. I would also postulate that selling in forge is similar to selling in jita -- the volume is high, but you can usually make better profits somewhere else if you know what you're doing.
The real question is whether so few capital ships are sold in other trade hub regions because nobody buys there, or because nobody builds there. It's not uncommon to see zero units of a hull on market in some of those regions, and if you decided to build there you could set the price to whatever you like and make hilarious isk.
That, or everybody would keep going to forge and your hulls would sit on the market forever. If somebody tests this, let me know.
Picking a station:
I'm not even going to go into all the considerations to look at when picking a station, but here are some things to keep in mind:
- You want a manufacturing station with enough free slots that there won't be wait times once you start building there.
- It should be adjacent to a highsec system.
- If you are using a jump freighter, you need to make sure that you can warp from the station undock to the highsec gate without getting stuck on the station. That would be no fun at all.
- Buyers may prefer ships which are closer to the regional trade hub. Plus, if you're hauling minerals to the adjacent highsec, closer is better.
- If you are using mineral compression you probably want a station with 50% reprocessing instead of 30%. More on this in section 8.
- Mods and fuel in local. If there are capital mods and fuel for sale in the same system, people may prefer to buy ships there so they don't have to haul fuel and mods from the trade hub. If there aren't, you may choose to stock your system with them; I do this, and while it's usually impossible to tell whether somebody bought there because the mods and fuel were available, there is decent money in it. Unfortunately I am unable and/or unwilling to quantify my trade profits.
- Other things equal, it may be preferable to maximize the number of different alliances' jump beacons which are in range from your building system. More on this topic can be found in this post, though weirdly enough a strong majority of the people who buy capital ships are not from nullsec alliances. This probably should not be a major consideration.
- Is the system full of lowsec elitepvp scrubs who camp your highsec gate and kill cynos? That's annoying.
Go to part 8: Moving minerals