Astrahus.01

My Astrahus build is underway.  This was started by my main character last year but was abandoned when I realised it would tie him down for too long in the one location.  I used the Raitaru spreadsheet as a template.  The minerals are now covered..

.. and I have started the long process of PI extraction and processing.

It has been a much quicker and easier project to kick off using the resources and knowledge I gained in building the Raitaru.

 

Raitaru.07

The kids have started their new School year, and overnight most of my EVE time disappears into Taxi duties.

I finish off gathering the extra resources using my partially rebuilt PI infrastructure.  It seemed to work OK, particularly in lowering the taxes I pay.

The final required component is manufactured.  The result was slightly strange.  The blueprint copy remained in the build project container after the job was delivered.  I couldn’t interact with it however, and it disappears after a nightly downtime.  I also have some left over Nocxium and Pyerite.  More mistakes in my spreadsheet for me to hunt down.

I find a useful tool online for displaying the manufacturing cost index for a region:

https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/blueprint/costindex.php

It turns out that Akes is by far the most expensive system to build in across Devoid.

If I was to do this for profit, I would have to move my manufacturing elsewhere.  At this point getting it built safely is more important than saving 10M ISK.

The final process is pretty much an anti-climax.  I have all the components and am good to go.

I start the job.

I wait for it to complete.

Then I deliver it.

If I anchor it, it will look something like this:

This has obviously been more about the journey than destination.

So what do I do next?  Do I build another one to test, refine and hon my processes?  Do I build all the fittings required for it?  Do I start on an Astrahus?

I’m leaning towards the fittings.

Whatever my next step, I’ve been reminded over this project just how important having goals is for solo play.

 

Raitaru.06

I manufactured 8 of the 9 components needed for the Raitaru.

Whether from psychic abilities or pessimism, my suspicions about not having fixed all my spreadsheet issues then came to fruition. I was missing 10 Self-harmonizing Power Cores required to build the Structure Reprocessing Plant.

I updated the spreadsheet and it automatically listed what I was missing and dropped the progress from 100% to 95.8%.

Annoying.

I contemplated buying what was needed off the market, but I decided to use it as an opportunity to start retooling my planets for the P1 Extraction > Factory Planet approach I’ve theorised would be more efficient.

I listed out all the planets I had access to with low tax rates and added any extra I was already using. I then checked them for the density of each of the resources they held.

 

This was illuminating but stumped me for a little while. What does a 5% density really mean when compared to 50%? Where do you start?

I went back to the basics. The processing of P0 resources into P1 are done with Basic Industry Facilities.

Every 30 minutes, they can take in 3,000 P0 and convert them into 20 P1. Over a day that equates to:

. For 1 Facility – 144,000 P0 into 960 P1
. For 2 Facilities – 288,000 P0 into 1,920 P1
. For 3 Facilities – 432,000 P0 into 2,880 P1

I’ve been running 24-hour cycles, aiming ideally to gather around 290,000 P0 units to keep 2 Basic Industry Facilities busy per extractor.

I ran some tests. There are so many variables in this that it can only be taken as an extremely rough guide, but I found

. Between 2-5% density two Extractors with 16 heads could gather around 250,000 P0
. Between 12-18% density one Extractor with 8 heads would gather around 240,000 P0
. Above 25% density one Extractor with 5 heads would gather around 300,000 P0

I have two characters doing PI, with a total of 12 planet slots available to me. Without any concept if it was even possible, I wanted to set up my P0 extraction so that it was mostly done on my secondary PI Alt and would not require me to change schema. If a spreadsheet told me to gather X number of this, I would go straight to the planet and kick off the required cycles.

I looked very closely at the combinations of resources and tax rates and ended up being able to cover all the P1 goods across 8 planets and using 9 planet slots. That left 3 spares for Factory Planets.

The new setup is more efficient with where I extract resources, reduces the number of systems I must visit to collect, and cut out two of the planets I had to use with 10% Tax rates.

It makes quite a difference, and there are still some areas I can improve, with some planets holding spare capacity for extra facilities.

Next – and with a bit of trepidation, I investigated setting up Factory Planets where the build would all be automated and I would not need to change Schema on. I would just dump all the P1 ingredients my spreadsheet told me onto a Launch Pad, and it would automatically generate the P2, P3 and P4 goods without any wastage or further effort from me.

Here I am not too sure how successful I will be. First – I messed up as I forgot you could only process P4 goods on Barren or Temperate planets. I will have to shift some of my extraction between planets and PI toons to get 3 suitable planets. Next – there are 8 P4 goods to cover, but on my first attempt I was only able to shoehorn the infrastructure to automatically build 2 of them on one planet. I don’t have enough planets to do all 8.  (A solution might be to free up a planet by buying instead of extracting Oxidizing Compounds, but I would prefer to get my factories more efficient.)

The P3 into P4 process is easy – each P3 only goes into one P4. That might be the same for the P2 into P3 as well. The problem is the P1 into P2 processing, where your ingredients are used in multiple P2, which makes the automatic routing difficult.  I am thinking I could pre-load resources to stop the unwanted routing from happening.  I would only have to do that once.

 

Right now, I am processing the final (extra) P4 goods needed for the Structure Reprocessing Plant.  The automatic build for them is working well, and it seems to be noticeably cheaper with regards taxes, only exporting / import P1, and exporting P4.

Something I haven’t mentioned, but I did calculation on was volume. My basic setup of using a launch pad for storage and with two extraction units keeping Four Basic Industry Facilities continually busy, means I must collect the P1 output around once every 3 days.

As I said, the delays are a bit annoying, but I’ve been enjoying the overall effort.  I am really surprised at just how complicated PI (and industry) can get.  All the decisions you have to make, all the tuning and finessing you can apply.  Even how different things are if you are working solo in Empire or as part of a huge Alliance in Null Sec.

Raitaru.05

My spreadsheet tells me I have gathered all the resources I need to build the Raitaru. It is more of a “thank goodness” than “fist pump“ moment.

I’m fearful I’ve made a mistake in my calculations – but we will cross that bridge if we have too.

My Raitaru project container has 94,954 m3 of stuff ready to manufacture. The client suggests it is worth around 441M ISK. The Blueprint Copies would add around 20M ISK. Probably not something you want to move around lots.

That figure of 461M ISK is interesting. So far, I’ve paid out approximately 130M ISK in PI fees and taxes to gather the PI goods. (It would be cheaper the next time round if I reuse the infrastructure.) If I sold everything now, I would come out with about 331M ISK for my efforts, minus the cost of sales.

A manufactured Raitaru is currently selling for 527M ISK. That leaves an extra 66M return, minus the cost of manufacturing, and of course minus the cost of sales. I’m not doing this for profit, but it is the sort of thing you need to pay attention to if you are serious about your manufacturing.

It has been a long time since I built anything of note, and I wasn’t sure how the costs were calculated now. I went back to the Eve University Wiki:

https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Manufacturing

Simplistically, you are charged a production fee based on how much manufacturing is being done in your system over the last 28 days, compared to the rest of the EVE universe. The busier the system is, the more expensive it is to manufacture.  This is CCP’s way of trying to spread out manufacturing.

The wiki article also outlines the various skills you should train. I ignore these. I will visit later if I decide to put more effort into my building.

There are not that many decisions you have to make at this point.

There is only one station in system which supports manufacturing, and I had already planned ahead and stored all the ingredients there. I right clicked on the first blueprint copy and selected “Use Blueprint”. This opened the industry panel and I was able to look at how much the build of the first of 9 components would cost me.

The system cost index is 5.42%. I’m not sure if that is high or low. It is applied against the estimated value of the item being manufactured – in this case, 20.6M.

So, 20.6M ISK x 5.42% = A Job Cost of 1.1M ISK.

But wait – there’s more. The Job cost is then multiplied by an additional Facility Tax. In this case it is 10% – paid to the NPC Station Owners.

1.1M x 110% = 1.2M ISK

I open the structure browser and filter on manufacturing services with a range of the current constellation. There are several player structures available with Facility taxes of between 5 and 8%. There is one at 2.8%, but I am weary to use it (even to buy something from there) as it is run by a Pirate organisation.

I roughly calculate that using one of the local player structures would save me around 1M ISK in fees across building all the 9 components. That isn’t worth the hassle or risk of moving the manufacturing. I stick to the using the NPC station.

I submit the blueprint copies one after another until – thump, I quickly came to a screaming halt.

My Industry Alt can only run 5 Manufacturing jobs.

I go back to the EVEUni Wiki to check over the skills after all.

Each rank in Industry reduces the manufacturing time by 4%. I’m sitting on 20% with Rank 5.

Advanced Industry reduces manufacturing time and Research time by 3% each rank. I’m sitting on an extra 6% off my manufacturing time. I can improve that, so I adjust my training queue.

Mass Production allows 1 extra job per rank. I have rank 4 – giving me a total of 5 jobs. I need more than that. I adjust my training queue again to get this skill to rank 5.

Advanced Mass Production allows 1 extra manufacturing job per rank. It requires Mass Production 5, which I have queued up.  I add this skill to the training queue, aiming to have a total of 9 jobs.

My plans to be flying a freighter are stretch out a bit further.

Currently I am looking at about a week to finish it, assuming I haven’t messed up.

Just an aside – I have two characters training on my Alt account – using Dual Training certificates I got with some special deal a while ago. The first certificate had expired so the training on the lower SP character (my Industry Alt) was paused. There was however no warning or notification that I noticed – it just happened quietly in the background. Looking around, I am not sure there is any way to identify how long you have left on the certificates. Annoying. I use another certificate to restart the Industry Alt’s training. I remember how the character already had all these skills in her past life. Sigh.

Raitaru.04

So now I had a plan and the required skills to perform it. The next step was to setup a glorious chain of Planetary Infrastructure to extract all the PI goods I needed for the Raitaru. This stretched my brain a little more than usual.

To begin I went back to my spreadsheet and noted down what sort of planets you could source each of the P0/P1 goods on.

I then repeated that step to identify what P2 goods you could create on just the one planet.

(In future when building P4 goods I don’t think I will bother with exporting P2 goods. I will instead export P1 goods, then do all the P2, P3 and P4 goods on factory planets. This time around however I exported both P1 and P2.)

Next, I looked at what planets I had available to my Alt with low tax rates.

I have four Empire based POCO, anchored under my Main Character’s Corporation. Each has the 10% NPC tax rate, plus an additional Tax based on standings.

Pilots in my Corporation, Alliance or with positive Standings are charged a 0.1% Tax. I’ve left it at the minimum (aside 0%) so that I can see via my Wallet Journal who is using the POCO. Neutrals are charged 2%, those with poor standings 3.5%, and those with bad standings at 5%.

My Alt has Customs Code Expertise at Rank 5 and positive standings with my Main’s Corporation. As a result, the base Tax Rate is 5.1% on those four Planets. There are also another three POCO in the system where the Owner (who I am friendly with) has set the tax at 0%.

That gave me a starting point of 3 Barren, 3 Gas and 1 Lava planet I could use with minimal additional tax.

Now an example of the impact these Taxes have. I want to move 1,000 units of Bacteria off one of the planets I have a 5.1% tax on.

I can move the Bacteria into a Launch Pad and shift it up to the Orbiting Customs Office. The game currently values each unit of Bacteria at 4,000 ISK. So, 4,000 ISK x 1,000 Units x 5.1% tax means it costs my Alt 20,400 ISK in tax to do the transfer. 20,000 ISK goes to some mystical NPC, and 400 ISK goes to my Main’s Corporation.

If I want to avoid giving any ISK to the POCO owner, I can move the Bacteria into a Command Centre, and launch it into space where I can pick it up from a container. There are two limitations for doing this – the first is you can only launch 500m3 at a time with delays between them, and second it costs a flat 15% NPC tax. In this case it would cost me 60,000 ISK, which would all go to the NPCs.

If I need to move Bacteria from space down to the Planet Surface, I only have one choice. I must go through the Customs Office. The tax however is calculated at half the export cost. In my example, importing 1,000 units of Bacteria costs 10,200 ISK – 10,000 to the NPCs, 200 to my Main’s Corporation.

In the 3-jump range I was willing to travel to find planets to work on, most Player Owned Customs Offices charged an additional Tax of between 5 and 10%. (The 10% likely set to equate the cost of exporting via the Command Centre.)

The maximum extra player Tax I was willing to pay was 5% – so I only used other POCO with total taxes of 10% or less. At that rate exporting my 1,000 units of Bacteria would cost me 40,000 ISK, half going to the NPCs, half to the POCO owner.

At these volumes that might not seem like much – but I had to extract 34,880 units of Bacteria for my Raitaru. That meant a cost of:

7.11M ISK at 5.1% Tax
13.95M ISK at 10% Tax
20.92M ISK at 15% Tax

With no skills in Customs Code Expertise, that would have been:

14.09M ISK at 10.1% Tax
20.92M ISK at 15% Tax
27.90M ISK at 20% Tax

Factor that across 400,000 plus units of P1 materials, and add in Import Taxes, and it gets bloody expensive. (It can be a sizeable proportion of the overall build cost and can make it very difficult to complete against players using low tax POCO out of Empire Space.)

This was why I paid close attention to the Tax rate on the POCO I was using and tried to carefully consider and limit the times I exported and imported goods. It was also why I cared so much about the number of units I was extracting. Sure – I appreciate the efficiency and timeliness, but mostly I didn’t want to end up paying taxes for things I didn’t have immediate use for

Just to add to all this – you must remember that the POCO owner could block my access to the Customs Office or set the tax rate up to 100% at any time they wanted!

With an understanding of the taxes and what Planets I needed to extract resources off, the next step was to start scanning. I began with the 7 planets I had cheap access too, looking at their resource levels.

(32% is high for Empire space.) I then looked at how the resources were distributed, and if I wanted to extract P2 goods, eyeballed where this distributions overlaid.

Picking the best option for each PI good that I had available, I used the same basic layout on most of my extraction planets. (Setting up PI infrastructure can get expensive, so I wanted a flexible layout I would not have to keep changing.) (This is not an optimal setup!)

I would put down and upgrade to level 5 a Command Center. Next to it I would place a Launchpad, which I would also use for storage. On planets I was extracting P2 goods from, I put down 4 Basic Industry Facilities. The first pair would process one lot of P0 goods into their corresponding P1, the second pair would process the second P0 good. I then put down one or two Advanced Industry Facilities to combine the two P1 goods into the P2. Finally, I laid two Extractor Control Units with as many heads as I could manage, on 24 hour cycles. I tried to match the total amount they extracted by allocating different numbers of heads between them so there was minimal stockpiling of one good or the other.

I reused these planets as much as I could, but there were resources I had to gather through other player owned Customs Offices, including on Temperate and Oceanic planets. There were also some planets that had 0% resources for some of the P0 goods they were meant to contain.

I visited all systems with the planets I needed and noted the total Tax rates on each of their POCO. Approximately half the planets were taxed above 10% so I did not use them on principle.

Working away at half a dozen resources at a time, I managed – across two alts and with lots of extraction schema changes, to obtain and export all the P1/P2 goods I needed for the Raitaru build. It probably took almost a month, although would be quicker the next time around!

The last stage was processing all this into P4 goods, ready for use with the Raitaru Component Blueprint Copies. I did this on a very sub-optimal Factory planet.

I used two Launch Pads, 4 storage containers (1 or maybe 2 too many), 8 Advanced Industry Facilities (for creating P2 goods), 8 Advanced Industry Facilities (for creating P3 goods), and 4 High-Tech Production Facilities (for creating P4 goods).

This meant however I had to continually change the schema being used and to be careful to only route the exact amount of goods to each set of industry facilities. On that last subject, I mistakenly left routing in place at times that grabbed new resources I would transfer to the planet and place them into facilities I did not want them to go.

For example – when I was building the P4 Organic Mortar Applicators, I moved 1,560 Bacteria down to the Factory to be used. The Launch Pad already had a route configured for Bacteria and moved 40 units x 8 to Idle Industry Facilities previously configured to build Fertilizer. You can’t remove those goods once transferred into a facility. You can either fulfil the needs of the Facilities current schema or change to a different schema that also needs that ingredient, otherwise it is lost. In this case I needed the Bacteria in a High-Tech Facility. Because I was so careful to only extract and store the amounts of materials I needed, I then had to go extract more Micro Organisms to convert into Bacteria, export it and then re-import it onto the Factory planet. I made this mistake more than once – so had to get into a habit of removing routing once I had finished.

As I write this, I am finalising the processing of the last required P2 and have three P3 and three P4 goods to complete. It is about a day or two effort. After that I will be able to complete this series – with the notes around the actual manufacturing step.

Assuming I move into building an Astrahus (or another Raitaru), there are some changes I will make to these set ups. First, I will only extract P1 goods. That will cut down on the number of facilities I will need to build on those planets and increase the number of extractor head units I have available. Second – I will set up several Factory planets with as much permanently set schema and routing as I can manage. As Red Neckromonger suggested, I’d like to be able to dump a set amount of P1 goods into a Launch pad and have it all automatically routed through facilities and built into P2 / P3 and finally a P4. That would save a great deal of time (and mistakes) if I can manage it.

It has been quite a complex and interesting process to do solo, which I hope is apparent for non-industrial types.  For those who do industry, sorry for all my mistakes!

Raitaru.03

The EVE University Wiki gives you an overview of how to do PI, with links to videos and details of what everything means and does.

https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Planetary_Interaction

Again, my posts are not really a How-To guide.  Instead they are looking at the complexity, planning and decision making.

I now reviewed the skills I had and what I felt I needed to have for this project.

I knew I would need the maximum number of planets available to me – being six, so I trained Interplanetary Consolidation to rank 5. (As expected, I ended up needing more than six planets, so I had to bring in a second Alt to help.)

To fit in with CCP’s Risk v Reward mantra in EVE, the planets in High Sec generally have poorer and less concentrated resources than what you might find in Low Sec, Null Sec or Wormholes. From previous experience doing PI in High Sec, I knew I would have to upgrade my Command Centers to level 5 to allow me to maximise the number of Extractor Heads I could use. Command Center Upgrades Rank 5 was added to the training queue.

While you can’t remotely interact with Custom Offices or install Planetary Command Centers, you can do a lot of your PI work without undocking. The skill that determines the range at which you can remotely do planet surveys is Remote Sensing. I am not completely sure about this skill, but this is the logic I follow.

The skill gives you the following remote scan ranges:

Level 1: allows scans within 1 ly
Level 2: allows scans within 3 ly
Level 3: allows scans within 5 ly
Level 4: allows scans within 7 ly
Level 5: allows scans within 9 ly

Obviously outside of Capital jumps, Light Years is not really a measurement you think too much about in EVE.

I knew I was going to do all my PI in and around the Akes system in Devoid. I also knew I did not want to have to travel more than 3 jumps to any planets I was going to work on.

I used the Dotlan EVEMaps Navigation tool to work out how far away in Light Years all systems within 3 jumps of Akes were. This is a part of the tool I use when planning capital jumps.

http://evemaps.dotlan.net/planetrange

I simply put in the Akes system, and ensured the Range Options were “Sub-Capital”, Max Jumps (Gates) was “3”, and I had Planet Type as “Show all planets”.

This showed me I had 21 systems (including Akes) within a 3-gate jump range, a count of the type of planets they each had, and the distance in Light Years they were away from Akes:

This tool also crosses into different regions, giving system options you might not always be aware of.  The longest distance was only 3.057 Light Years.  Since that was (just) further than 3 Light Years, I figured I needed at least Rank 3 to survey all planets within 3 jumps.  As I had rank 4 already, my needs were covered.

The last two PI skills – Planetology and Advanced Planetology increase the number of gradient bands and the precision of your scans. The logic I guess is that you can better place your extraction heads.

I settled on Planetology at rank 4 so I could train Advanced Planetology, which I also trained to rank 4. While this rounded out the character, I am not sure it is critical. In the past I’ve compared doing PI on an Alt with Rank 5 in both skills with another Alt with just Rank 3 in Planetology. The amount the better skilled Alt was able to extract with better head placement wasn’t that much more than the lessor skilled Alt.

The next critical skill was getting Customs Code Expertise to Rank 5.  (It is part of the Trade group.)

Another way CCP has made PI less rewarding in High Sec is by setting an additional NPC tax that you must pay to import and export PI goods. This tax doesn’t exist in Low Sec, Null Sec or Wormhole space. You can mitigate up to half this tax however with the Customs Code Expertise skill. (Each rank reduces the NPC tax rate by 10%.) If you are moving any sort of serious volume around, or trying to compete on the market, getting Customs Code Expertise to Rank 5 is almost mandatory.

Last of all from a skills perspective I needed to work out what hauler I would use.

There is a Gallente Industrial called an Epithal which has a special hold for Planetary Commodities (a base size of 45,000m3 +10% each rank you have in the Gallente Industrial Skill). This is a cheap hull that can carry a lot of PI goods, but I don’t like using it. It at times will have to carry goods worth 50+M ISK but is difficult to tank well, and other players know exactly what you are carrying.

I went back to my spreadsheet and added a column for the total volume of each PI good I had to collect. The most was around 13,000m3. I also knew I had to have room to haul multiple Planet Command Centers to allow me to initially set up my planets. I settled on using a Caldari Badger Industrial that was able to carry 14,750m3, with a 20K EHP Tank, and importantly fit a Cloak. The second Alt I am using for PI flies a Transport Ship for their PI. The First Alt will be training to get into a Transport Ship, once she finishes being able to fly a Freighter again.

So that covers my thinking with the skills I needed.  Next post, I will look for planets to work with.

Raitaru.02

In my last post I mentioned I made a spreadsheet outlining the Minerals and P4 Ingredients I needed to gather to build my Raitaru (using the Blueprint Copies I had purchased).

I knew how and where I could gather the minerals, so it was just a case of working through mining them.

Gathering the 227 units of P4 goods however was more convoluted.

My next step was to go back to my spreadsheet and add a section identifying what ingredients were needed for these P4 goods. There are online tools which map all this out for you – but I wanted to ensure I had a proper understanding of things the first time around, so I worked it out for myself.

The ingredient list for each P4 good is listed on its information window, under the Planetary Production tab.

I dutifully listed these out. Each P4 ingredient needed either three types of P3 ingredient, or two types of P3 ingredient and one type of P1 ingredient.

I then repeated this process for the P3 ingredients, P2 and P1.

I linked each new section so it would automatically calculate how many units were required based on the higher tier ingredients.

The result showed my 227 units of P4 goods would require 61+ Million units of P0 goods.

 

Next, I incorporated a way to keep track of my progress. I did not worry about this for the P0 goods as these were always immediately converted into P1 goods. The P1 goods were more problematic. Some I would extract from a planet and store in my hanger for later use, others would be converted into P2 goods and then extracted.

 

To keep a running total, I took the amount that I needed of each P1 good and subtracted from it what I had stored. Wherever the P1 good was extracted as a P2 good, I used the stored total of that P2 good to calculate how many P1 ingredients were used and subtracted it from the amount remaining for me to gather.

In the end all P2 goods were extracted and stored, so the calculation of my progress for them was easy.

The calculation of the P3 and P4 goods were also easy. The P3 goods were all created on the one factory planet and fed from there into the creation of the P4 goods.

The only variation I had to accommodate was where the goods were being extracted on multiple planets. My stored total of Silicon might look like this:

= (1,000 + 1,500) + 2,000 + 5,000

That meant I had 9,500 Silicon –

2,500 units on Alt2, across two planets (1,000 on one, 1,500 on another)
2,000 units on Alt1, on one planet
5,000 units stored in the Corporate Hanger

If I collected some of these the calculation might change to –

= (0 + 1,500) + 0 + 8,000

Which meant I had 9,500 Silicon –

1,500 units on Alt2, across two planets (0 on one, 1,500 on another)
0 units on Alt1, on one planet
8,000 units stored in the Corporate Hanger

All my Calculations using multiple characters used the Alt1, Alt2, Corporate Hanger notation / format.

Last, I used a simple colour coding system to highlight when I had collected the perquisite number of each ingredient (green) or was actively extracting or processing an ingredient (yellow).

Now – I made several mistakes in my spreadsheet. Some I picked up early without impact, but some I missed until towards the end of this process. That resulted in delays and me having to go back and extract more P1 goods, such as Bacteria.

The first mistake was I did not add the extra P1 ingredients needed for three of the P4 goods. They were not that voluminous however, so it was more a mild inconvenience.

The second mistake was I wrote down the wrong number of goods stored once or twice, leaving me short when I went to process a higher tier good later.

The third mistake was I missed accounting for an ingredient or two when calculating the total number of P1s needed. An ingredient might be needed in four P2 goods, but I only added three of them.

If I consider all the calculations I typed in, I only got 1 in 100 wrong, but it was a bit aggravating.

None of these calculations were smart or tricky or even optimal. I followed what seemed like logical step after logical step, so built lots of simple calculations into an overall project plan. I remark on it here to highlight the sort of complexity that exists in EVE industry which might not be apparent to some.

The more complex decision making aspect was deciding where and how to do the extraction, which I will look at next.

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.

Crunching

This was me earlier today.  When you zoom in, the game can look rather spectacular.

This was also me earlier today.

It has been a very, very long time since I have done any PI.  There were some tweaks since last time I used the interface, which had improved it.  I still stumbled around a bit at the start to work out how to lay the command centre. I didn’t worry about getting my first setup efficient – instead just aiming to get something that worked.

I’ve chatted a bit to an old EVE friend over the last few days.  He is always enthusiastic about his plans and endeavours in the game.  I was reminded how important it is to have some sort of goal, which I have been lacking.  So – biting off far more than I can chew, I’ve decided to build myself an Astrahus, gathering all the raw materials myself.  Should keep me busy for a couple years…

Taking a step outside

I noticed in the September release patch notes that there were 9 new skills being introduced to the game in preparation for the Lifeblood expansion next month.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/patch-notes/patch-notes-for-september-2017-release

They are all under the Resource Processing Group.

Four relate to running reactions: (Name – Price – Each Rank Gives)

Reactions – 1M – +4% speed
Mass Reactions – 5M – +1 extra reaction job
Advanced Mass Reactions – 25M – +1 extra reaction job
Remote Reactions – 15M – start remote reaction jobs +5 jumps

Five relate to processing the new moon Ores – each provides +2% reprocessing yield for each rank for a set of new Moon ores: (Name – Price – Moon Ores)

Ubiquitous Moon Ore Processing – 10M – Zeolites, Sylvite, Bitumens, and Coesite
Common Moon Ore Processing – 15M – Cobaltite, Euxenite, Titanite, and Scheelite
Uncommon Moon Ore Processing – 20M – Otavite, Sperrylite, Vanadinite, and Chromite
Rare Moon Ore Processing – 25M – Carnotite, Zircon, Pollucite, and Cinnabar
Exceptional Moon Ore Processing – 30M – Xenotime, Monazite, Loparite, and Ytterbite

While unlikely, I could use these skills, even if I wasn’t personally involved in moon mining.

To give me an excuse to undock and do something in EVE, I grabbed my Interceptor Shuttle and flew around and grabbed all 9 skill books.  I found them in two separate stations.  146M ISK later.

I’m training most to rank III, but will skip Advanced Mass Reactions for the moment.  I purchased the skill book and stored it away, but don’t expect I will train it unless actually needed.

I noticed something today that I hadn’t realised before.  The skill queue now shows what training a skill will unlock (new skills or access to new equipment):

That’s a neat enough feature.

I also noticed the new market ticker introduced with this September release:

Seems interesting enough.  Apparently you can hide it if it annoys you.  My only concern was when I first opened the market window it took almost a minute to display all the panels.  Hopefully that was just a once off thing to download components, and doesn’t happen every time I start a new session.

And with that small effort to do something, it seems I played EVE for a bit.

Unusual

I did something unusual today – I played EVE for more than half the day. Well – played is a subjective description. I spent a great deal of time looking at my BPO library.

I am coming up to the last month or so of the project to ensure all my BPO are researched appropriately. I can’t remember when I started this process, before Christmas I guess. Today I cross checked what BPO I had against what you can purchase on the market. I found I am missing 336, give or take.

I don’t want more than half of those – such as the Titans, Outpost Components, and the Advanced Capital Ship Components used in T2 Freighters. There are however bits and bobs I will grab, the largest group being the Capital Rig BPO. I also missed a few of the newer BPO, such as some of the Mobile deployable structures and the Scan arrays.

The effort has triggered more in game work – the selling off of the excess BPO I don’t need, primarily duplicates, and a lot of time spent undocked flying around collecting the missing BPO that I want to add to my collection.

Time off does not mean time in game

I had last week off. I normally do 32 hours of paid work, so I thought I would end up with around 15 hours of uninterrupted downtime for myself across the three days were both kids were at school and kinder. That should have meant some good EVE sessions, but that did not eventuate. I ended up with only 6 hours of downtime, and spent most of that in DDO mucking around with a solo Swashbuckling Bard (splash of Rogue) that I’ve been finding amusing.

I realised that I am not a working professional who fits in Dad duties during the week, but instead a full time Dad who squeezes in paid work. I am not entirely sure how I feel about that distinction.

I also realised that EVE is not especially compelling at the moment where I can have a week off with so little extra time spent in it.

I am however still logging in every day.

My blueprint research continues, with my count of fully researched BPO increasing from 270 to 390 over the last fortnight.

I have pulled the Medium POS down. Everything is now going through the Small POS. Whoever decided these things would have 20+ minutes of un-anchoring time was a sadistic so and so. While I understand the reasons, it was a nervous wait. Oh – and a tip, remember to bookmark them before they finish un-anchoring. You can’t warp to them afterwards.

My second Industry Alt completed the training required to perform 10 Science jobs at the same time.

My POS equipment sell off is on going, but the prices are progressively falling. I really burnt myself there.

Hyperion arrived and there wasn’t anything worth a full blog post on. I glanced at the market tooltips, looked at the extra items in the New Eden store for a couple of minutes, and smiled when the Scan ID’s didn’t change over downtime.

I have spent a lot of time trying to finesse my overviews. Thanks to a bug from CCP I lost my Main Toon’s overview settings so started from a clean slate. I have really appreciated being able to set up everything on the one client and then send an alliance mail with a link for my other Toons to just click on.

I’m not sure why they had to use two Share options – the one at the top of the Overview Setting window that only transfers the tabs and associated presets, and the one under Misc > Export Overview Settings, which allows up to 15 extra tab presets to be exported.

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And speaking of Tabs – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CCP, GIVE US MORE THAN FIVE OF THEM.

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I have currently settled for two travel tabs – safe and unsafe. The second doubles as a PVP overview. I have a third tab for PVE, one for POS related stuff, and a Run-To tab. I really need several more tabs to minimise the need to swap presets in and out, such as for Mining, and an extra two for PVE and PVP.

I also ran a few exploration sites – so I guess I have been a bit busy.

Will wonders never cease!

I actually managed to log in for a Saturday morning EVE Session – although it was only half-length. It was good to be able to actually do something in space.

I’m one month into my renewed BPO research, and it has been a bit of a godsend. Between setting the POS up that I wanted, and logging in daily to keep jobs ticking over, it has generated a surprising amount of in game activity.

Over the last fortnight I’ve moved from 200 to 270 confirmed BPO being at ME/TE 10. That leaves 500 odd more to go in my collection, and a similar number donated. I have more than a year worth of POS fuel stockpiled, so I should make a hefty dent in those.

I was careful not to over research my BPO when I first got them – but I am amazed (and slightly miffed) at just how many of them were converted with Crius to ME 9 and TE 9, requiring research.

There is one noticeable negative with this activity, it makes you inclined to leave your research characters in the vicinity of the POS, which could end up stifling your game a little. To that end I am trying to do the longer research times on my Main and Main Alt, leaving the shorter jobs to my Industry Alt who is generally around the POS’s location anyway. I also used a PLEX to start dual training on one of my accounts, to get my Second Industry Alt skilled up in the same area.

Now that the Small POS is all set up, I have mostly dismantled the Medium POS. The shorter offlining and unanchoring times for many modules makes this a far less arduous chore now. I’m just waiting for the last couple BPO to come out of its Lab before putting it offline and going through the nervous process of unanchoring it.

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(Some of the defense that was mounted on the Medium POS)

I have also consolidated my POS equipment, and put up for sale the unnecessary gear I gathered during this process. I’ve been rushed and short on time, and my shopping efforts reflected that. I am still annoyed at myself for how much ISK I wasted.

(I also purchased quite a lot of stuff at abnormally high prices, and will take a bath on sales. Not much use sitting on them longer term either, I’m not likely to ever recoup at those prices.)

The last thing I managed to complete over this week was to move a couple more ships into my Low Sec home. I’ve been logging in my scouting Alt every so often to look for Wormholes to empire and check how busy the systems were. Pirate activity seems to have finally started to die down so I might try to spend some time down there. Today I found a wormhole that cut the trip to my home base from 28 jumps to 12, with only 2 of them through low sec, so I moved in a PVP Frigate and a Covert Ops.

Changing my mind again and then again

I missed both my weekend EVE sessions again, which are the only time during the week I can play for a few hours without fear of interruption. While this restricted what I could do, I still ended up spending a lot more hours in game than is normal.

My BPO research continues, and will be doing so for quite some months. I am just finishing the first part of my collection, close to 200 BPO relating to consumables (ammunition and whatnot). Most of these were quick to train the gaps to get them to ME/TE 10. The process will slow down as I move into the more expensive BPO.

Since I will have the POS running for quite a while I continued the process of investigating the best one to use to cover my needs. I primarily need it to run a Design laboratory and a Research Laboratory, and until I can do my investigations, a Compression Array. I also want to be able to offline these and turn on a basic defence.

I currently have a Medium Faction Tower running, but I can get away with running a small POS. I had originally planned to use the Dark Blood Small Control Tower I already owned, and went so far as to anchor. It doesn’t however have the CPU to run the 2 labs and 1 array. (I should have foreseen that.)

The prices for Small Faction POS are currently much higher than normal and availability limited, so I ended up purchasing and anchoring a Dread Guristas Small Control Tower to use instead. This has more than enough CPU for what I need. However I couldn’t find a basic defensive setup that did what I wanted it to.

So finally I purchased a Shadow Small Control Tower and anchored that. This runs what I want it to, and will allow me to configure a suitable basic defence. (I’m under no illusion as to its ability to defend itself; this is more for amusement and inconvenience value.) I also picked up various faction POS modules to squeeze on the defence I was happy with. I now find myself with some 7 or 8 control towers.

While going through this long process – including some extended shopping trips to far flung systems to pick up some of the POS equipment, I also spent a great deal of time collecting all that POS Fuel I mentioned I purchased over the last few months. I thought that I had spent around 4B ISK on it, some for my own use, and some for speculative trading. This turned into quite a task for my risk adverse self, as it turned out to be closer to 8B ISK worth that I ended up moving in 220M and 800M ISK lots.

I will transition from my medium to small POS over the next couple weeks as some of the longer research jobs finish up.

I’ve been a bit bumbling in my approach to this. I would not normally have committed to spending so much on equipment and fuel in earlier years, but I tend to find myself a little rushed when I do get a chance to the play the game at the moment and am not as patient. I’ll have to re-sell a lot of what I have collected, and hope my actions haven’t cost myself too much.

Nightly

I’ve settled into a pattern of having a short session in EVE most evenings. I check the status of my BPO research, cycling through logging in up to 3 characters to submit new jobs as required. I then grab my Occator Deep Space Transport and go collect some of the 4B ISK worth of POS fuel I had scattered around. Moving a couple hundred million ISK worth at time means I’ll be at this task for a while.

I’ve had the Occator for a long time, but only really used it for setting up POS. Now it is far more useful with 70K+EHP and 60K+m3 cargo space. I find myself flying it regularly.

Good to see CCP seem to have fixed the issue where BPO values were coming up as zero. Makes it easier to judge how much value you have sitting in the POS research Lab.

This is not the reprocessing you were looking for

One of my vague ideas for exploring the industry changes with Crius was to check out the POS reprocessing array. To that purpose I dutifully purchased and anchored one.

I didn’t actually have anything to refine because – well, I had cleared my hangers of anything suitable before the last update nerfed the return rate. The other evening I ran a Covert Ops and DED 1 combat site which netted me 60M ISK and some loot to reprocess. I figured I would make use of that POS array to see how it worked and if the different return between array and POS were worth it.

(Errr, Ummm and Ahhh might be on the minds of those in the know)

The reprocessing array of course wouldn’t accept my rat loot. I tried several times and looked at the right click menu, then looked at the description of the module. “Able to take raw ores and process them into minerals.” Ahhhh, ores (and I think ICE) products only.

Not really of any value to me, so I offlined, unanchored and removed the array from my POS. As I remarked previously, I wasn’t paying enough attention when I wrote my Crius to do list.

I will say one thing for this sudden rush of BPO research. I am logging in more frequently, even if not actually doing much more in game. That means I’ve been noticing bugs and quirks – which I was pleased to find were already in the list of known issues so should be resolved over time.

In somewhat shoulder slumping news, I am missing out on my Saturday morning EVE session again today. My wife went into banshee mode on my 9 year old son after he cried inconsolably when asked to get off his laptop. Instead of a quiet house to myself and EVE, I now have to take my son to Indoor Soccer. I’d cry about it, but I wouldn’t want my wife to go all banshee mode on me.

Sting like a non-goon bee

Unfortunately my usual Saturday and Sunday morning EVE Gaming sessions were lost this weekend. The first due to a half day trip to catch up with my parents, the second due to a 30 minute work task taking most of the day.

I have however been logging in nightly to continue my BPO research, running up to 28 jobs across three of my characters. I’m working through my 779 BPO, getting them to ME 10 / TE 10 where practical. (I found a lot of cheaper BPO were at ME 9 and TE 9 after the change-over.)

There are another 553 donated BPO which I will turn my attention to later.

I will say again, the new Industry interface is much improved, and it is quicker and easier to submit research jobs. New players should be able to research their cheap BPO cost effectively, even with 10% Tax and a heavy job index in their system.

However, the performance is clunky and seems to be unnecessarily slow. I thought it might have just related to my BPO Library, but it is still apparent when interacting with my POS when it had less than 40 BPO in it. It can take too long to display a BPO in the top half of the industry screen when you click on it, it can take too long when you click between ME and TE research options, it takes too long to refresh the BPO list when you deliver jobs, move BPO in or out of displayed containers, or submit new jobs.

Again – the whole thing is improved, better, and I don’t want to go back. It just doesn’t seem to be working optimally.

I also spent some time arming my medium POS. It is now a scary and formidable foe with 16 small batteries, 8 sensor dampeners, and a couple each of Warp disrupters and Scramblers. I might put up more once I finish experimenting with the Reprocessing Array and remove it. Ok – when I said formidable I was only joking, it won’t stop any group of consequence, but it amuses me.

I did practice controlling them and shooting an Alt. They do a surprising amount of damage.

I did have one strange occurrence to remark on. While launching batteries from the cargo hold, one seemed to bounce off the POS and slowly move away. It would then rubber-band back before moving away again. I tried to anchor it, and while it followed the little green box, it gave some odd message about being out of sync. I had to scoop it up and jettison it again before it would work.

Researching Research

Time is POS fuel, so I made the effort this evening to start looking at the new Industry interface.

I began with something I’ve had plenty of experience with – researching BPO.

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I opened up the Industry window and clicked on the Material Efficiency icon. I then selected the Blueprint tab and displayed those owned by the Corp, in the current station, and restricted to Originals. I then sorted on the Material Efficiency to see what lost out in the Crius conversion and would need some research to get up to the perfect ME 10.

So far so good – the process was logical and there were interesting tool tips everywhere. I was mindful however that I understood this concept already, having previously researched 1,000 odd BPO. I could see it might be useful to have a help button or a link to a tutorial to explain the overall process to a new player, and why they would want to do it.

The other thing was those BPO without ME research had that field greyed out. I had initially thought this reflected that they gained no benefit from having a ME rank (which was why I had not researched them originally). In clicking and playing around you can actually research these. The field will turn blue I expect once they reach ME 1. I’ll have to see if these BPO are different now and need to be researched.

I arbitrarily selected 10 BPO to move to the cargo hold of my ship. I looked for a way to right click / move them through the interface, but it looked like I would have to separately grab them from the Inventory window. Later with some experimenting I found I just had to drag and drop their icons.

Each BPO I moved however would kick off a refresh of the Blueprint lists, which took a while as I had 1,000 or more in the current station. On one hand I’m impressed it is as quick as it is with the number of BP’s I have, on the other I wonder why it has to do a full refresh of the list after each individual move.

The other area where performance was an issue was between selecting BPO or activity type, and having that update reflected in the interface. There were some long delays, or you’d suddenly get 2 or 3 quick updates reflecting a couple button presses you made while wondering if it was going to respond or not.

I undocked and flew to my POS, dropping the 10 BPO into the Research Lab.

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I opened up the industry tab again, selected blueprints, the research lab, selected a BPO, and put in whatever job runs were required to get the BPO to ME 10. For this batch it was mostly 5 each. The timings seemed about what I would have expected, and the cost was minimal.

9 ME research jobs kicked off (the most my main can do), and I am pretty happy overall with this single aspect of the game.  I expect I will make an effort while the POS is still running to get as many of my BPO as possible to ME 10 / TE 10.

I will say however – be extremely careful about the job cost. I experimented with cheap BPO and the cost was minimal. Later I was looking at Time Efficiency research costs and on some fairly innocuous BPO the price was staggering. To get my Amarr Control Tower Small BPO from TE 8 to TE 10 it would cost 2.28B ISK. Yes – Billion. That would be an expensive miss-click.

 

* EDIT – after the patches on 23.07 and 24.07.2014, the job cost field is now blank unless you move the BPO into a facility with the appropriate activity available, and fixes were made to the research cost calculations.  (Confirmed in patch notes.) To get my small Amarr Control Tower TE from 8 to 10 is now showing 2.03M ISK (and 128 days).  Much, much cheaper!  Getting ME from 0 to 10 is 155 days and 16.7M.  Again, more reasonable.  I don’t want to fly the capital related BPO about to check their prices, but I suspect they should all be more reasonable.