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Make ISK By Crunching Numbers In EVE Online

Updated Thu, Dec 30, 2010 by Space Junkie

Here at Ten Ton Hammer, we have already published a plentitude of guides to inventing tech two goods. These explain the nuts and bolts of invention and tech two production in great detail. Since the basic nuts and bolts have have been well explained, I think it might be fun to outline another business plan with extra emphasis on the maths. It will be a bit spreadsheet-heavy, but it will be a good example of how to think about business plans and compare them with each other.

Use this business plan as inspiration for devising your own. Do the math like I have done it, or better. Most importantly, assess how long your scheme will take to pay for itself, and how sustainable it is in the long term.

The Model

Making any popular variety of tech two ammunition will turn a steady profit. This plan involves specifically training the skills needed for making Scorch crystals. In particular, "Scorch L" crystals. Scorch is a powerful form of ammunition that allows Amarr ships using close-range pulse lasers to hit out to medium-range distances without especially reducing their damage against most targets.

Because it is so darn great, lots of players use Scorch, and particularly Scorch L. Battleships using it in missions can use it to destroy NPC ships much faster, because of the high damage and good range. Tech two crystals (and for that matter, faction crystals) eventually will break after use, and so they are in constant demand. That's where you come in.

Training Requirements

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Analyzing your business plan with spreadsheets is the key to assessing how to improve it.

In order to invent and manufacture Scorch at a profit, you will need to train the following skills:

  • Amarr Encryption Methods IV
  • Hacking II
  • Electronic Engineering IV
  • Laser Physics IV
  • Science V
  • Engineering V
  • Electronics V
  • Industry V

That's quite a hefty list, and will likely only appeal to pilots that are already industry-specialized. So it goes. As always, Production Efficiency helps by cutting down your costs, and most industrialists will eventually train it to level V.

Investment Costs

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As you can see in the graph to the right, this project costs a rough total of about 31mil ISK to throw together. It also requires the considerable skill investment listed above. This plan's ISK portion should should pay for itself within a couple weeks. That is pretty good money without any real risk and with only the work of selling the goods and bringing the required ingredients to a factory station.

Treat the graph as a shopping list. The skills are needed to invent Scorch ammunition blueprint copies, and then to use them.

The Process

To quickly recap the invention process: max-run blueprint copies of your main blueprint (in this case, Ultraviolet L) are used in tandem with datacores (in this case, Laser Physics and Electronic Engineering datacores) to make invention attempts. The ones that succeed will be usable to make ten "runs" of the blueprint, each producing four units of Scorch L.

The Maths Of Profit

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This is a fairly simple look at the manufacturing costs required to produce Scorch ammunition. Any time I am seriously considering a new business idea, I make something along these lines. A spreadsheet can give a good idea of the costs involved, and help you make shopping lists for goods that you need. Knowing how much of something you will need, ahead of time, can help you save ISK by putting up buy orders will before you will need the goods, in order to have time for the orders to be filled.

Some explanation of the spreadsheet: the total material cost is the sum of each ingredient amount multiplied by price. The R.A.M. ammunition will cost a bit less if you make it yourself, as you probably should. The success chance is based on having Amarr Encryption Methods, Electronic Engineering, and Laser Physics all trained to level IV. Also, I have a totally nonsensical price for mexallon in there for reasons that are not quite clear, even to me.

Having done the math, we can see that each Scorch L produced will cost about 350,000 ISK. Since they retail for over 700,000 ISK in Jita, that means you should be able to make a profit of about 350,000 ISK per unit made and sold.

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