Thursday, August 30, 2012

August financial report

A few things to note this month.

First, as pointed out by eve industrialist, I have been using the term "margin" incorrectly. Accordingly I have changed my old 'margin' column to 'profit %' and changed the elegant 'profit/outlay-1' metric to a filthy percentage.  Better than being wrong, I guess.

Second, merging my main manufacturing process and abortive second one has allowed me to sell off a number of component blueprints. Unfortunately, the liquidity from this went straight back into minerals for the new ship blueprints that the process merge added to my production line and I continue to have basically zero liquidity.

Also, with mineral prices possibly dropping I have decided to sell off some naglfars that I have been holding and waiting for prices to rise. Run 69 has finally finished, and 74 will too... if I can find a buyer.  My naglfar blueprint has been in research for 2 ME levels since the last time building them was a good idea. At this rate I'll have it in PE research before they're worth building again.

Oh, and taxes are starting to sting a bit. It might be time to work on that a little.

Server status widget

On the right sidebar you can find a new widget showing the status of my home server, and thus the availability of old screenshots and files.

Turns out making it was a simple matter of putting an image with the word "Up" on the server, then making a widget with that image and the alt text set to "Down".

Speaking of the server, I'm having loads of fun playing with virtualbox. I've gotten it to run invisibly in the background, and disabled the windowing system on the guest OS (ubuntu 12.04) so that it uses less memory. One of the nice things about linux is that it doesn't bloat over time like other operating systems tend to, and as you can see in the below screenshot it's running just fine on a whopping 64 MB of RAM.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Old screenshots are UP

A year or so ago my home server went down and all my screenshots from 2011-5-25 and earlier went offline. I wasn't playing much at the time, and didn't feel like fixing it.

On an extremely temporary and intermittent basis these are back online, being hosted via a virtual machine running on my work computer. My legions of screaming fans are encouraged to use this opportunity to review my lovely screenshots and pointed toward the screenshots tag. Also online are other files including old spreadsheets, source code files, teamspeak recordings, and old coalition maps.

At some point I may set up something more permanent, but this will probably last no more than a few days.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Capital manufacturing update

Minerals aren't falling as quickly as I had feared, so I'm back to buying mins to build with.

All my replacement and new component blueprints have finished researching and are in production.

All my ship blueprints have finished researching and are in production, except that:
-I decided to skip the third archon blueprint I was planning on getting.
-My phoenix and naglfar blueprints are not in production because the margins on them are low.
-I decided to add a fourth rorqual blueprint.
-And maybe a second revelation blueprint.

I finally got around to creating my fifth building character. I have been blagging under the name "parasoja" since 2009-ish and only now have a character with that name.

In previous posts I have talked about increasing the number of ships per run, which will lead to me moving more minerals less often and reduce some spreadsheet overhead. I have been doing 4 ships per run, and was thinking of changing that to 6 or 8. Then I tried a run of 6 and noticed something:

When building 6 ships, you need more than 80 of many components. 80 is the "correct" number of components at which to split a run between two blueprints, because 80 (actually 89, so there's some leeway) components takes the same amount of time to manufacture as a carrier or dreadnaught hull. So if you install runs in a timely manner and split batches of more than 80 between blueprints, things will run smoothly.

Now, when installing 6 ships you need more than 80 of nearly all components. This is obnoxious because of the way I format split runs, and because most of them were barely more than 80, like 90-some.

I decided to resolve this by further decreasing granularity to 10 ships per run and changing the split run formatting to a multiple-column arrangement, so each one color-coded cell equals 80 components (except for the rightmost cell). This means that I will have far fewer runs in production at a time, each run will take up more space on my spreadsheet, and I will move much larger amounts of minerals at a time.

The first 10-ship run was mostly carriers, and the minerals ran 12.8 billion isk.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Capital blueprint research income, part 5: Copying component blueprints

Seeing this post first? Start at part 1.


1: Overview 
2: Researching hull blueprints
3: Copying hull blueprints
4: Researching component blueprints
5: Copying component blueprints (you are here)

What is it:

If you own a researched capital component blueprint, you can copy it and sell the copies. However, due to the high volume of copies created you would spend what I consider an unacceptable amount of time dicking about with contracts. I would not consider this a highly passive income method, and only include it here out of a desire to be thorough.

EDIT 2012-8-21: Blake from k162space confirms this in comments.


The lowest priced non-outlier copy in jita is selected for the copy sell price, and 10 copies per month (actually 27.6-ish days, but I'm not going to bother to be precise here) is used to calculate monthly profit and monthly ROI.

Raw numbers:


High effort, low ROI.

In practice:

Copy blueprint (10 copies, 5 runs per copy). Sell copies in jita.

EDIT 2012-8-21:  Another idea is to assemble your component BPC into packs along with a capital ship blueprint, such that the buyer receives all the BPC required to make a capital ship. Examining this, I found that a rorqual BPC pack sells for 540 million, while buying the same blueprints off contracts only costs 411 million.

After some spreadsheet-fu, and assuming that the BPC pack in question is something which will actually sell, and pretending that the rorqual BPC was the same price as I could find one at the same material level on contracts, I found that this represents an 80% markup for the component BPC. This is almost significant, but it turns out that it only comes to an average monthly ROI on the component blueprints used to 5.5% -- still below the low end of what you can make doing something else which involves much less effort.


Ha ha ha.


This is the end of this post series.

Capital blueprint research income, part 4: Researching component blueprints


1: Overview
2: Researching hull blueprints
3: Copying hull blueprints
4: Researching component blueprints (you are here)
5: Copying component blueprints

What is it:

You can buy a capital ship component blueprint from an NPC seller, research it, and sell it on contracts for more money.


We look for the lowest priced, reasonably researched (minimum 100/10 ME/PE) blueprint on contracts, and use that and research time for 100/20 ME/PE to find monthly profit and monthly ROI.

Raw numbers:


  • Note: Research time is for 100/20 ME/PE because that's what I, as a capital builder, would want to buy.
  • Note: Although far too high to stay where it is, the current sell price for the propulsion engine is for real -- I sold one for 2000 just a few weeks ago.


To someone who actually builds capital ships, there is a pattern here: Components which are only used to build one type of ship (e.g. clone vat bay, siege array) have very low ROI, while ones which are used in most or all ship types tend to have higher returns. I present you with a table of components, where they can be found, how much they cost, and which ships they are used for.

In practice:

Buy blueprints from the NPC systems listed in the table, research them (I do recommend 100/20, but you can probably get away with 100/10), and sell them.  Do NOT buy components in jita which are listed in a different system. Those aren't NPC sell orders.


Pretty solid numbers here. As someone who has actually done this I tend to suspect that overall you will have a better time researching component blueprints than ship blueprints, but I do intend to test this.

Next, part 5: Copying component blueprints.

Capital blueprint research income, part 3: Copying hull blueprints


1: Overview
2: Researching hull blueprints
3: Copying hull blueprints (you are here)
4: Researching component blueprints
5: Copying component blueprints

What is it:

If you have a researched capital ship hull blueprint, you can copy it and sell the copy.


We use the price of the cheapest reasonably researched blueprint copy available in jita, and the time to copy, to find monthly profit and monthly ROI.

Raw numbers:


Only the orca, at 6% monthly ROI, even reaches the acceptable range; and with the recent mining changes orca BPC are probably for selling substantially more than we can expect them to in the long run. The rest of the numbers look pretty accurate based on my experience.

In practice:

If you wanted to do this, you would take a researched ship blueprint, make copies, and sell them. I disrecommend buying researched blueprints off contracts for this purpose, as it would take much longer to make up the difference than it would to research them yourself.



Next, part 4: Researching component blueprints.

Capital blueprint research income, part 2: Researching hull blueprints



1: Overview
2: Researching hull blueprints (you are here)
3: Copying hull blueprints
4: Researching component blueprints
5: Copying component blueprints

What is it:

If you buy a capital ship hull blueprint from an NPC and research it, you can then sell the researched blueprint on contracts for more than you bought it for.


Sell price numbers are gathered by checking contracts for each type of capial ship (not including supercapitals) to see what price reasonably researched blueprints are selling for. The ME/PE numbers for the blueprints being sold are used to find research time, and sell price and research time are used to find monthly profit and ROI.

  • Note: Capital ship hull blueprints are a very low volume market, and prices can vary substantially. The data used is a random snapshot of the market which we hope turns out to be somewhat accurate.

Raw numbers:



Unfortunately, what we're probably seeing in the case of the higher profit blueprints are ones which are sitting on the market because potential buyers look at them and say "nah, not worth it". I think that figures in the 5-12% monthly ROI range are much more realistic. Selling a 2/1 archon for 2500 would be very surprising.

Also, note that at the time of writing profits from building ships are higher than normal. This could mean that increased demand has driven the price of blueprints upward; and if so, then in the long run we would expect them to be lower.

Still, this looks pretty solid.

In practice:

If you wanted to do this you would buy a ship blueprint from jita (caldari), vittenyn (gallente), amo (minmatar), bhizheba (amarr), or 4c-b7x (ORE), research it, and sell it.

It looks like the way to go would be to research the blueprints to the minimum level you can get away with (e.g. 2/0 for carriers), then undercut other sellers. Spending longer in research in order to sell at a higher price seems to have diminishing returns.

For your convenience, I present you with a material level table showing which material levels cause a reduction in mineral requirements, and how much the reduction is. Note that this is somewhat old, and with higher mineral prices at the time of writing the savings and ME0 mineral price will be somewhat higher. Ignore the color-coding, which is for building purposes.

Which ships to research:

I would recommend starting with any and all carriers. I can tell you from experience that their blueprints tend to move more quickly than other jump-capable capital ships, and that they tend to have solid margins, if not quite so high as we're seeing here.

I would avoid freighter blueprints; although they would sell quickly, the ROI isn't great. Sort of like building the hulls -- enough people do it that the profits are sort of pathetic.

In dreadnaughts, avoid the phoenix. Everything else is fine. Naglfar blueprints might be quirky and slow to sell, but since it's extremely rare to see one on contracts you can set your own price.

With ORE, the orca looks like a very good possiblity. As for the rorqual, the demand for the blueprints is high, but the high cost of the blueprint and longer research time leaves the monthly ROI merely solid. Note also that ORE blueprints can only be purchased for NPC price in NPC nullsec.


The numbers here are higher than I would have expected.  This is probably an activity which I will get involved with.

Next, part 3: Copying hull blueprints.

Capital blueprint research income, part 1: Overview


1: Overview (you are here)
2: Researching hull blueprints
3: Copying hull blueprints
4: Researching component blueprints
5: Copying component blueprints


Doing research on capital blueprints is a highly passive income method. Although the per month profit on a single blueprint is not huge, running around 6-12% with good blueprint and research activity choices, the barriers to entry are low and the player only needs to interact with the blueprint about once per month. This makes it perfect for someone with a little isk sitting around who wants to turn it into more isk without having to spend time or effort.

There is more than one way to make money researching capital blueprints:

  • Hull blueprints can be researched and sold.
  • Researched hull blueprints can be copied, and the copies sold.
  • Component blueprints can be researched and sold.
  • Researched component blueprints can copied, and the copies sold.

This guide-ish thing will cover each of these four items.

About this guide:

This guide exists because I don't know what the numbers are and want to find out, not because I'm highly experienced with all of these methods and want to share my experience with you. I have accrued some experience with the first three more or less by accident, though, and will be able to tell you if the numbers I find seem right.

Caveat emptor.

  • Note: All price and profit numbers are in millions.
  • Note: Research times assume you are using an NPC station. Wait times for research slots are not factored in calculations.

Supplemental material:

Rather than write new posts about how to research and transport blueprints, I give you links to earlier posts on the same topic.

Researching blueprints.

  • Note: I do not recommend using a tower for this. It would make the activity less passive, and fuel costs could cut into your profits.

Moving expensive blueprints safely, including through lowsec.

Without further ado, part 2: Researching hull blueprints.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Capital manufacturing update: Getting there and oh bugger

I'm still short one building character (haven't gotten around to creating it...), but as of now all four of my current building characters have their manufacturing slots full. The blueprint sets I chose seem to be working out pretty well; it's been slightly bumpy, but components are finishing before the hull blueprints come available, and 12 out of 13 current in hull blueprints are currently building hulls. I'm still short one archon, 1 nidhoggur, and one drone bay blueprint from my goal blueprint set, but I expect those to be taken care of within the next few weeks.

Also, the station I'm building in currently has wait times on manufacturing slots. This was expected; my goal is to drive the other builders away.

Unfortunately, with the mackinaw buff it looks like there might be rough times ahead for manufacturing. If low-ends follow the example of isotopes at all, they could be in for a dramatic drop in the near future. I currently have 56 billion isk of minerals-and-things-made-out-of-minerals in my manufacturing process, so that could end up sucking. It may be necessary to put a hold on buying minerals for a while.

On a related note, profits since minerals went up have been substantially higher than pre-inferno. If they drop back down, I might expect profits to return to that baseline as well. Which will also suck.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Isk per effort: Capital manufacturing

I'm a big proponent of non-grind professions, and of maximizing isk per effort.

To illustrate this concept, consider PI. Supposedly, a plasma planet makes 500m/month. That's not a huge amount of isk, especially over a month of time, but if it only takes you one hour per month to keep it running you are making 500 million isk for one hour of effort.

Traditional grind type professions - mining, exploration, etc. - make numbers like 15-150m/h. In these cases, isk per effort is easy to measure: Work for an hour, and see how much isk you've made. You may have to factor in LP, if you do missions or incursions, or take an average over many hours with exploration, but the principle is the same.

I decided to do this with capital manufacturing. It's a little harder to measure time spent, and there are some grey areas which require consideration. I decided to tally it thusly:

Only time when I have to be at the keyboard counts toward the total. This includes time spent playing with spreadsheets, setting up and modifying buy orders for minerals, jumping minerals to lowsec, installing and delivering jobs, and setting up and modifying sell orders. It does not count time spent autopiloting, but does count the few seconds it takes to drag minerals to/from my cargo on each end of the autopilot route.

Using these criteria I measured the time required to build and sell a 4 ship run consisting of two tier 1 capital ships (carriers) and two tier 2 capital ships (dreadnaughts, rorquals). This came out to almost exactly 1.5 hours. Then I found all the 2x1+2x2 runs since mineral prices stabilized a few months back, which turned out to be only two. That's a very small sample, so I also filled out two 2x1+2x2 runs which are in progress with current lowest sell order prices for their ships.

Averaging the 4 runs returns an average of 1648 million isk in after-tax profit, or 1100 million isk per hour of effort. This is a fairly ballpark figure, but feels approximately correct.

So, newai. That's how I roll.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Capital manufacturing update: Process merge

Last update I mentioned that I was thinking about making one large manufacturing process instead of starting up a second small one. I am going to do that.

Thus, I need to identify what blueprints I want to build on. The goal is to balance ships and components so that (a) my manufacturing slots are filled, and (b) I don't flood the market with hulls of one type.

I picked the following:

Chimera: 2
Thanatos: 2
Nidhoggur: 2
Archon: 3
Phoenix: 0-1
Moros: 2
Naglfar: 1
Revelation: 1
Rorqual: 3

Using my handy component tool, I can see that I need the following components:

In all, this will be 52 blueprints. Since most of the component blueprints will have some downtime I could probably add another ship blueprint or two, but since this will be quite a large expansion in my output I'm going to wait and see how things go first.

Next I need to work out what blueprints I have, so that I know which of the ones I own I need and which I don't. The blueprints which were intended for the second process should more than fill the needs for the expansion of the first, and indeed I found that in some cases where I would have needed two of a blueprint for each process (intending them to each be 30-slot processes), I found that only two blueprints are needed for a single 50-slot process.

Newai, the rest is just a matter of playing with spreadsheets and moving blueprints around.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July monthly financial report

This month the seven billion isk which disappeared from my net worth when I reprocessed the phoenixes came back. Otherwise, nothing interesting happened.