Raitaru.01

This is the first of what should be a series of posts.  It is about the process I am following to build a Raitaru – the smallest (and cheapest) of the Engineering Complexes.  While I hope it is of general interest, it is targeted more towards those who do not normally dabble in or understand the Industry side of EVE.  It is by no means a guide towards the best way to build a Raitaru – just the way I happen to be stumbling along.

The very first step of the process is the spark of the idea.  From memory this came from the blogger Kirith Kodachi and his posts about his Structure Assembly lines. He was building lots of structures Solo – so why not set myself a goal to build one?  To take this further – I would follow the example of The Nosy Gamer and gather as much of the raw ingredients as I could myself.

Economically this is a horrible idea.  With consideration of Opportunity Cost, I should concentrate on the tasks I can generate the most ISK per hour from and outsource the resource gathering and building of a Raitaru to those more skilled, better located and with optimised tools to do so.  If you have followed this blog you would know I don’t think much of Structures for Solo play, so I am not likely to even use what I build.  Instead my interest lies in the challenge of doing the largest and most complex build I will have done so far in my EVE Career.

My initial goal was to build an Astrahus on my Main Character.  It soon became apparent however that it would require a lot of time and focus, which I didn’t want to tie my Main down with.  The goal withered on the vine.

When I reestablished a separate Industry Alt months later, I quickly revisited the goal.  To make it a bit easier for myself I decided to switch over to the cheaper (and I hoped easier) to build Raitaru.

The second step is to identify what you have to do to manufacture one.  This is outlined in the Raitaru Blueprint – the details of which you can find using the client search function or looking it up via the Market.

Under the Manufacturing section of the Blueprint it tells you how long it takes to build, what skills you need to build it, and what ingredients it needs.

I needed the Outpost Construction skill to rank 1, and 9 structure components.  My industry Alt did not have the required skill – but I had plenty of time before I would be ready to build, so I added it to her training queue.  (As shown above, that is now complete).

The third step was to source the required Blueprints.  Using a tool like https://evemarketer.com/ I found an Original Raitaru Blueprint cost 4B ISK, and the Structure Component Blueprints cost 200M each.  That is a 5.8B ISK expense.  I would then need to research most of them to make them more efficient.  Given I don’t plan on building many of these, I decided to search through the in game Contracts looking for a Blueprint Copy Kit. This is where the owner of a set of original Blueprints made one or more run copies of them for sale (and profit).

The important factors in purchasing such a kit include price, location, completeness, and how well they were researched.  By researched I mean if their Material Efficiency (ME) and Time Efficiency (TE) were better than 0%.  This is shown on the top of the Blueprint (original or copy) information box (below is my Hammerhead I BPO):

Material Efficiency is shown next to the Diamond like symbol and Time Efficiency is shown next to the Hour Glass.

Material Efficiency reduces the required input materials needed during the manufacturing process.  The maximum ME a Blueprint can have is 10%.  That can save you a lot of ISK on big builds.

Time Efficiency decreases the time it takes to manufacture a Blueprint.  The maximum TE a Blueprint can have is 20%.  Given the Raitaru takes over 4 and a half days to build, a better TE would be nice (but not mandatory).

Once you start looking at these kits you will find they come at different prices and have different ME and TE amounts.  Looking at the original BPO I could tell it wouldn’t matter what ME a one run Raitaru BPC had.

An ME of 1% would only have a positive impact on each individual ingredient where 100 or more were required.  1% of 100 is 1 less unit required.

An ME of 10% would only have a positive impact on each individual ingredient where 10 or more were required.  10% of 10 is 1 less unit required.

The Raitaru had 9 ingredients – of only 1 unit each.  10% less of 1 is rounded back up to 1.

I looked through the 9 Structure Components and they all required Minerals and P4 Planetary Materials.  The P4 material were in low volume – at most 10.  The Minerals were all at least 100 units – normally in the thousands of units.  Any ME level would reduce the volume of Minerals required, but only an ME of 10% would reduce any of the P4 ingredients.

There were no additional Blueprints required for the ingredients of the structure components, so my kit would need just the 10 BPC – the Raitaru and its 9 required components to build.

If you are looking to maximise profits, you can use tools like Fuzzworks Blueprint Calculator to see the impact of the different researched levels.  A link to a Raitaru Blueprint is shown below:

https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/blueprint/?typeid=35825

The most reasonable kit I found at the time was one for 20M ISK for the Raitaru (ME4, TE12) and 9 components (ME7, TE14).

(At the time I did not find any ME10 Blueprints for the Structure Components.)

Below is one of the Component BPC’s in the kit:

It took me an EVE session or two to research, purchase and move the required Blueprints, and a number of weeks for my Alt to do her required skill training.

So when I had that all covered, the fourth step was to open up my EVE Spreadsheet and add a new Tab for my Raitaru build project.  I listed out the 9 components I would need to build first, what minerals they required and what P4 Planetary ingredients I would have to make.  These volumes were taken direct from the Blueprint Copies, taking into account their Material efficiencies.

I then set about mining and starting up Planetary Production.  I put my Blueprint Copies and all the ingredients I was collecting into a Station container.  As my screen capture shows above – I have now collected all the required minerals for the build, but I have not completed any of the P4 ingredients.

The Tritanium, Pyerite, Mexallon, Isogen and Nocxium were readily available in High Sec Asteroid Belts.  I mined using three characters – mostly on my Main (who is very skilled) and my Industry Alt (who is not so skilled).  I picked the Asteroids I mined based on what minerals I needed the most instead of what was most profitable.

Zydrine is not available in normal High Sec belts, but I was able to source most of it by hunting down Jaspect, Hedbergite and Hemorphite Anomaly sites in High Sec, and adding a bit from refining loot salvage.

I did not pay close attention to how long this process took.  I think there was around a month of sporadic hour long mining sessions, including some semi-AFK time in a Retriever.  Making use of every mining Anomaly site, and hauling minerals from the various locations I ended up mining all added to the effort.  It didn’t seem too arduous however as it was spread out.  It encouraged me to undock and look around.

Megacyte is also not available in normal High Sec belts, and can’t be found in any Anomaly belts in High Sec either.  I could either have mined extra to be sold to cover the cost of buying it, or looked to Ninja mine in Low Sec Anomalies or Wormholes.  Instead when I moved my Main’s Industry collection over to my Alt, I found he had enough of a Megacyte stockpile to cover what was needed.

So at this point I have the required blueprints and minerals, but I need to finish sourcing my PI ingredients.  I have a collection of P1, P2 and P3 ingredients covered.  By the end of this weekend I will have the last of the required P1’s extracted, and just need to process everything with some level of efficiency through factory planets.  Here is my current P1 status:

More to come on the much more time consuming PI gathering in my next post.

(Post Version 1.1)

Into the last 10 percent of the Extraction

I have 91% of the required P1/P2 ingredients for the Raitaru Build now. I am powering forward with the involvement of a second Alt.

This endeavour has been more successful than my goal to build an Astrahus with my Main. It is a lot easier with a character who stays in the one area and is focused only on Industry Goals.

I will move what I have accomplished so far on the Astrahus from my Main Elmis to my Industry Alt Illesha, and get her to complete the task.

Speaking of moving, I’ve decided to transfer most of my Industrial assets to my Industry Alt. After an effort spread across a couple days, I finished transferring my BPO library to Ilesha today. It required a total of eight round trips of forty jumps each, hauling on average 600M ISK worth of BPO each time.

I managed to do this without the intervention of the multiple ganking groups I passed on almost every journey. These groups were more plentiful than usual and stationed in systems I am not used to seeing them in, particularly on the Amarr side of the trade route to Rens.

One day I am going to get caught and generate an embarrassing killmail in my hauling Exequror.

I used the spare time while hauling to set up a Factory planet with Illesha to start the process of converting my P1 and P2 supplies into the P3 then P4 ingredients needed for the build. I haven’t created a full Factory planet before, so I expect there will be some costly trial and error as I work it all out.

A lesser solo game with age

I’m 85% through all my old Blog posts. I have not been reading them in strict order – instead I have tended to randomly pick a starting point and read a few months at a time. Today I was working through the second half of 2014, and my endeavours relating to the Cruis Industry Expansion.

Back then I had anchored a Medium POS, then swapped it for a Small, fitting and playing with a variety of different Industry Arrays. It has been a very sad reminder about how functional POS were for my Solo play, and the enjoyment and value I got out of them. To try and do the same thing with a Structure comes at a ridiculously higher cost, 500+% more to buy and fuel.

There have been a surprising number of areas of my solo game which have suffered, or I have had to abandon due to how CCP has changed their game.

Despite the odd aggravation, reading through all my old posts have been a cathartic process, and overall, I have enjoyed the trip down memory lane. It has highlighted types of blog posts I should do more of, and other styles I should focus less on. It has even prompted me to revisit areas of the game.

To that end I found myself in Jita the other day purchasing some Orca’s. Since I had time, I figured I would try buy orders to save myself a little ISK. I don’t often do that in Jita as I am never going to be able to reliably beat the fanatical Traders and Market Bots. After an hour of 5-minute price updates I managed to stay on top of the order heap just long enough to snag one purchase, saving me 35M ISK. I then got the remaining hulls off Sell Orders – which required much less time and aggravation.

One of my Alts on the move

My Industry Alt continues her collection of material ingredients for building a Raitaru. (Even though I can’t justify the silly expense to run one.) She has 93.8% (by volume) of the minerals, and 78.7% of the P1 material requirements.

I hit a roadblock with the last 25% PI ingredients. I couldn’t cover everything using just the 6 planets on my Industry Alt. I don’t want to have to dismantle setups from one planet and re-tool on another as it would become very expensive. To address this, as I mentioned, I upskilled my EveHermit Alt to fill in the gaps in the process. Today I had him visiting dozens of nearby systems finding sources for Complex Organisms (which turn into Proteins) and Planktic Colonies (turn into Biomass) which did not have unreasonable tax rates on them. With perseverance he found them.

I have been very busy in game for the last month. Not having to spend every night of the week transporting the kids to all their normal school term activities frees up a lot of time.

Meet the Crew

Meet my new scout / scanning Alt.

She is one day old, has 10.8M SP, and is able to fly Gallente & Minmatar Covert Ops and Interceptors.  She has reasonable navigation, tank and scanning skills, and can use the T2 modules for Analyzers, Light Drones and small Projectile and Hybrid Turrets.  She has several caches of ships and clones set up across three regions, and will occasionally amuse herself running Hi and Low Sec Exploration sites.  She will remain nameless and out of my Corporations / Alliance, so she can undertake the occasional scouting / spying job for my Main.

 

Next is my new Support Alt, Ardaven.

He is 11 days old, has 34.9M SP, and is able to fly most T2 Amarr Frigate, Destroyer and Cruiser Hulls.  He can also fly an Orca and Porpoise.  He can fit, tank and fly these all appropriately, use Amarr EW, T2 Sentries, and T2 Large Laser Turrets. He is starting to build up a cache of ships and clones, but it is taking a little while to review fits.  He is in my main Corporation / Alliance, and will be regularly flying in support of my Main.

My last main Alt is the refreshed Illesha Rose.

She is 9 years and 3 months old, has 14.4M SP, can fly most T1 ship hulls to basic levels, and has moderate Trade, Industry, Resource Processing and PI skills.  She can also fly T1 Barges ok.  She is only a fraction of her old (before SP extraction) self, but will keep watch over and use my Player Own Custom Offices, and re-train her large library of injected skills if I want her to do something Industry like.  She already has a cache of ships to cover off this task.  She is in a separate corporation, but it is not much use trying to hide her.  She was the one who created my Alliance for me.

So my initial plan was to build three Alts using Skill Point Injectors for scouting, support and industry on one account, which I have done.  I lost count of the number of times I have heard “Skill Training Completed” over the last fortnight.

Not in my initial plans, I also threw SP at another existing Alt – EveHermit.

He is 1 year and 11 months old, has 14.5M SP, and has joined Illesha’s Corporation to cover off her remaining PI needs.  He has reasonable scanning skills, and can appropriately fit, tank and fly T2 Amarr Covert Ops, Assault Frigates, Interceptors, and their Tactical Destroyer.  This will allow him to run Hi-Sec Exploration content on occasion.  He can also fly Amarr Transport ships and the T2 Expedition Frigates.  He will help out Illesha, and is already located in the same system with an appropriate cache of ships.

The other characters to get SP injected is my Main Toon – Elmis.

He is 12 years and 3 months old, and has 245M SP.  He can tank, fit and fly every hull in the game aside Titans and the Flag Cruiser, and has almost every skill available to rank IV or V.  He also now has an additional 17M SP in his unallocated pool, thanks to the Absolute Injection Augmentor Boosters given as Christmas Gifts this year.  I used these for all my Alts (one or two doses) during their setup, giving me an extra 300 to 600K SP for their development.  The boosters were selling for as little as 4M ISK towards their expiration (which I think just happened with the latest Downtime.)  They were an absolute boon.

Now that I have come this far, I might as well finish this off.

This is a second Scout Alt:

She is connected / linked to my main if you search.  She is 5 years old, and has 5.2M SP.  She has average scanning skills and can fly Gallente Covert Ops.  I have occasionally used her for purpose, including during my last two War Decs.  The problem is I hate her name, and have considered scrapping her for that reason alone.  I think she is safe for now.

Those are all on my main Account.

My last Alt is on my Third account, Orkorde.

She is 11 years and 5 months old, and has 1.3M SP.  She has been nothing but a price check Alt for all that time – which hasn’t been needed for years with tools like EVE Market Helper.  Just recently I have been training her in all the Alpha skills possible, just for the interest of it.  This is a very slow process at half training time – made worse by me regularly forgetting to update the skill queue.

If my quick calculations are right, I currently have around 344M SP.   That is quite a drop from the 475-500M SP I had before (foolishly) deciding to extract SP and bio-massing most of my Alts.  When I started this process I had the vague plan to spend all of the ISK I gained from that earlier extraction process.  I still have a bunch of ships to buy and fit, which should bring me about to that ball park figure.  Quite an ISK and SP drain to remove then re-add Alts.  Anyway – hard lesson learnt – EVE is more fun with Alts, especially when you are playing solo.

The cost of savings

I’ve spent a couple days recently in game working on my second replacement Alt.

I spent 77B ISK on Skill points – ingesting 34.5M. After the purchase of skills, implants, ships and some holding cash, we can round the cost of the Alt to 80B ISK.

I presume I could have done better on the character market – but this way I’ve got exactly what I want (or at least, think I want).

The Toon has no Structure Management, Planet Management, Resource Processing, Science, Production or Corporation Management skills, aside what was given at the start or required as prerequisites for other skills. Most skill points have gone into flying and fitting Amarr ships.

The primary goal of this character was to be able to support my main in the defence, repair and any required recapture of my handful of Player Owned Customs Offices. That has been covered off.

One of the ships the Alt had to be able to fit and fly

As a bonus they can also fly Amarr Logistic Frigates, Covert Ops, Electronic Attack Ships, Interceptors, Assault Frigates, Tactical Destroyers, Logistic Cruisers, Recons, Heavy Assault Cruisers and Strategic Cruisers, along with being able to fly an Orca and Porpoise. The last two were a bit of an unexpected bonus, and were why I put a couple more million SP into the Alt.

That all allows the Alt to also support my Main in Missions, Mining and out of Hi-Sec explorations if I need.

I enabled dual training on the Alt account and am currently working to get the Alt into the Amarr Transport ships.

All told it is an interesting little Toon, more useful than expected.

Been visiting this a lot lately for SP Injectors

Meanwhile I have proven myself a liar. When the timer runs down, and I remember, I have continued to ingest Absolute Injection Augmentor Boosters and Large Skill Injectors on my Main. The difference between 150K and 500K SP feels a bit too good to pass up, even if all I am doing is storing it for a rainy day. While the result won’t be many new skill ranks, it has grown into a big enough pool of SP that it can’t be argued as doing anything other than moving me forward / further away from most newer players. Both my new Alts have used the same boosters to get an extra 300K SP (500K instead of 400K x3) towards the end of their SP ingestion.

I haven’t kept a close watch, but I’ve spent over 100B ISK on this entire process over the last month or two, and still have one more Alt to set up. This is not ISK earnt through great in game play, but SP ISK extracted from my previous Alts. As the bank balance has been reducing, I have been mindful of one of my favourite quotes:

“You can not save up your life, it has to be spent to have any value.”

And so – within reason – it is the same with ISK. That 100B ISK sitting in the bank for the last year was adding nothing to my gaming experience.