Updated Mon, Sep 20, 2010 by Space Junkie
This article is the first half of a two-part article that explains the process of manufacturing Hulks, the most effective mining vessel in EVE Online. Hulks made in this way may be used, sold for profit, or sold at-cost to your friends, at your leisure. This is not something a player will want to do during his first or second month of playing EVE Online, but a slightly older player looking to diversify his income sources may find this to be a very worthwhile business project, or at least benefit from having the tech two ship production process thoroughly explained.
In this article, I basically do all the homework and math for making hulks, so that you don't have to. It still may fly over the heads of some people, especially newer players and that's all right. If you need to, print this guide out and highlight the important parts. Just don't be intimidated by how complicated things seem. Half of the ISK made in this game is obtained by bilking it off of people that are intimidated, one way or another. Though hulks are the focus of this article, there will be an addendum included in the latter half that will explain how to do a little research so that the process can be re-purposed for any tech two ship that you have an interest in making. You may wish to familiarize yourself with the invention process before reading this guide.
The Hulk is the best mining ship in the game.
These ships blow up, too. They get killed in high-sec wars, wander into low-sec by accident, or are suicide-ganked by pirates. So there is turnover and a steady demand for new hulk hulls, as well.
Because they are more or less the end-game ship for the mining profession, hulks are also hard to invent and manufacture. They're a big fish, more or less.
The goal of this process is to use invention to turn covetor ship blueprint copies (aka "BPCs") into hulk BPCs in a way that allows you to sell them at a profit or use them yourself.
In order to invent in this way, a number of research and industrial skills will need to be trained, and some investment capital will be needed. Since the end result will be that you are able to make your own hulks, it is certainly worth it.
Throughout this guide, a number of steps are simplified by relying on the market rather than total construction. You may take these steps manually to increase your profit margins, but it may not be efficient to spend so much time on it.
Part One: Preparing To Invent
The first part of preparing to invent hulks is buying and training the skillbooks needed for that process. You will need the following in order to attempt to invent hulk blueprints with any degree of efficiency:
Most of these skills have other applications. Hacking is used in exploration. Science V allows you to use several kinds of lucrative R&D Agents. Mechanic V also allows access to some R&D agents, but is also a pre-requisite for learning Assault Ships, which most pilots eventually want to use, as well as Large Armor Repairer II modules. The encryption methods, starship engineering, and mechanical engineering are not useful be themselves, per se, but will also allow the invention of any other kind of tech two Gallente or ORE vessel, and branching out to one or two additional invention-related skills will allow you to branch out to inventing various tech two modules.
The point is: these skills are not complete wastes of time --they do have other uses and applications beyond this project.
Note that the total bill for these skills will be around 33mil.