Friday, May 22, 2009

Manufacturing (Reapers Blog)

This was originally posted on the Reapers blog, on the 27th of December 2008.

Manufacturing – Why, Where, How.
Manufacturing can be a worthwhile profession in Eve Online.
This is actually true, assuming you put the training and research into the skills and knowledge you will need to succeed and make a profit if you are so inclined.
However, before you start looking at skills and training time I would suggest you take a moment and think about what goals you are trying to achieve with your manufacturing adventure. For without clear goals your success is certainly not guaranteed. If you decide to manufacture for your own personal use then the training requirements are lower, should you decide to manufacture for profit then you will be going against many players who have been doing it longer than you and are better at it, probably.
Waste is insidious and is your enemy!
When manufacturing items waste is your biggest concern. Waste costs money and time. Money as you need more materials to make up for the waste and time as those more materials take more time to gather.
Training Production Efficiency to V will reduce one part of your waste to zero. You could train it to only IV for personal manufacturing but V should be your goal. Your personal reputation with the faction at your favourite NPC station also has a bearing on your waste level, both in manufacturing and mineral processing, get the reputation above 6.5 and this problem will go away.
Train all the ores you wish to process to V, this will reduce waste in the processing cycle. To do this will also require training Industry to I, Refining to IV (also reduces refining waste across the spectrum of ores), and, Science to III. Obviously training those skills to higher levels will help you in the long run with other pursuits. Science is required to V for example for Research and Invention which will be covered at a future date.
You will become intimately entwined with your favourite spreadsheet package.
It has been said to me that Eve Online is a game of spreadsheets, for much of the game this is just another example of misinformed rubbish, however with manufacturing there is some truth to it. Create in your spreadsheet a list of the minerals you will use and their costs. Also create sections for the items you wish to manufacture. For example I have a spreadsheet which shows me the costs of manufacture for the goods I make, typically Hybrid and Projectile Ammunition, and various ships. So I have a formula to show me the build cost, the profit based on what I think is the local average sell price and the percentage profit I would expect to make. These figures give me a good benchmark to build and sell items in Eve Online.
When you were thinking about what the manufacturing goal was before you would have, or should have, a clear idea of the item you wish to make and also the reasons as to why it is required. Have a look at the market, ask yourself if the item can be bought cheaply somewhere close (avoid low sec markets for the moment), if so then why should you make the item? This does not mean you should not make the item but asking this question can be a useful check and balance against waste. Possible reasons could be:
  • The item is too far away
  • I have all these minerals burning a hole in my hanger deck
  • I just want to!
Lets have a quick look at each one of these.
The item is too far away. This is probably valid for ammunition which is used constantly, but be careful of waste as this could build up over time into quite a staggering accumulated loss if your training and reputation are not high enough, both of these can be built up during the initial production runs however.
I have all these minerals burning a hole in my hanger deck. Be careful with this one as bulk minerals can lead to haste which can lead to waste which leads you to the dark….errrm wrong space opera. Those minerals are not free you know? The quick and dirty formula I work on is the minerals are worth the best price I can comfortably ship them to for an immediate sale, typically 3 jumps or maybe 6 if I’m feeling particularly masochistic that evening. That is what I cost most manufacturing on.
I just want to! (Subtitled - Who filled up my hanger bay with Cruise Missiles!?!)
Making an item for no good reason is probably not a good idea, certainly if that item is made in bulk. For instance if a bulk quantity of cruise missiles had been made and then we have a missile nerf* the demand for those missiles will reduce in conjunction with their asking price. You could reprocess those missiles back into minerals but once again the waste beast raises its ugly head as you will almost certainly have more waste in the reprocessing process.
*Nerf – An action, either intentional or unintentional by a controlling body that reduces the effectiveness of an item and/or ship that adversely, either real or imagined, impacts on the positive playing style of the subscribers. This is usually measured by the rage of the forums, often with posts being all in capital letters and demanding some sort of response from the aforementioned controlling body.
Nerfs are good for business
They can move a large section of the community away from the tried and tested into the unknown, thus creating an opportunity to capitalise on their disorientation, this effect can be temporary but make some money while you can. However it is tricky to figure out where this money can be made and I would say it is more of an art form than a science.
Cost of manufacturing
The cost of manufacturing the item is the cost of all the minerals that go into the item, including waste (both manufacturing and refining) and the cost of the manufacturing facilities in your local NPC station. Often the costs of the station are negligible but are worth thinking about as in the future the costs of the longer manufacturing jobs will start adding up. Your reputation with the faction in that station can help avoid manufacturing waste, bring it to 6.5 or above. Avoid stations that have a refining efficiency of less than 50% as this will also impact on your waste in a major way.
How do I find a station to manufacture at? (Subtitled – Wow! You can’t half talk Yosagi!)
Click on the Science and Industry icon on the left hand side of most Eve Online setups. Then select the Installations tab, change the Activity, Range and Type to suit your requirements. For instance you could have those items set to Manufacturing, Constellation and Public. This should then show a list of available public manufacturing solar systems in the local constellation. I find it easier to fly to the system of interest to check the local refining rate, how available the manufacturing actually is (you can do this by clicking on the listed station without leaving your station if you wish, though I don’t mind flying there to gain a feeling for the local system) and my reputation with the faction at that station. Generally your manufacturing base will be close to your main mining systems to help avoid bulk hauling time so this must be kept in mind also.
To manufacture an item use the Blue Print Original (BPO) or Blue Print Copy (BPC) that you would have obtained earlier. These can be obtained from the market for BPO’s only, the contracts for BPC’s and BPO’s (be wary of scams), or somebody you know. Try and obtain a BPC that has a Material Level (ME) higher than zero, a general rule would be 20-30ME for ships and 150-200 for ammunition/missiles. You will probably also get a Production Level (PE) of more than zero, what this does is reduce the manufacture time thus reducing your station manufacturing cost. Not a big concern but all the costs do add up, ME is much more important if I had to compare the two. Items with a much higher ME or PE will not save you much in the way of materials or time for the items I manufacture. The material use curve is steep downhill. For instance I have a BPO of Tungsten Charge L with a ME of 200, the waste on that BPO is only 0.04% after I researched it from 0 ME and 10% waste (this only took a few days). I could research the BPO some more and remove the 0.04% waste but I feel that is acceptable and I can use the research slots in a better way for other projects. Only a BPO may be researched, a BPC is stuck with the figures it has. Research will be talked about some more in the invention blog which is TBA.
Right click on the blueprint, select Manufacturing, select the Pick Installation button, make sure you have your local station selected. Leave your input/output hanger as the default (my hanger) and select the number of runs (manufacturing runs) that you require. With some training these jobs can be started remotely. Select Ok. If you do not have all the ore required it will show in red, otherwise you can select Accept Quote to commence the build job or close to cancel or change an option. Be wary of short manufacture jobs as the stations time is billed in whole hours, so if your job goes for 15 minutes you will be billed for 60 minutes.
Manufacturing station costs are quite low though. For example the station costs for me to make a Rupture are 1,500 ISK, a Deimos (T2 Cruiser) is 21,000 ISK and 150,000 rounds of Antimatter Charge L is 22,000 ISK approximately. The minerals are over and above the station manufacturing costs of course. I have a 9.75 reputation at this station, your results may differ.
Don’t forget that with ammunition the amount being manufactured is a multiple of your input amount, typically 100, so if I manufacture 1 I will actually receive 100 shells/missiles. Most other items are a single manufacture though.
Well I should draw this to some conclusion, I’m sure I’ve missed some items, I would be happy to read comments and/or in game chat to help improve this article as it will then improve it for us all.
Thank you for your time.
Yosagi Yojimbo - Yojimbo Heavy Industries (YHI)

No comments:

Post a Comment