Posted Wed, Jan 18, 2012 by Space Junkie
Outside of high-sec, the main problem EVE industrialists have is shortage of materials. Necessarily, this means that making titans, supercarriers, or fleets of ships is especially difficult. That's where mineral compression comes in. Read this EVE guide to find out more!
Why Compress EVE Online Minerals?
Mineral acquisition is the main obstacle to industry in null-sec space. EVE minerals are needed for pretty much everything: from ratting ammo, to ships, to station parts. Yet the mineral supply is not what it could be. Unlike in EVE Online's high-security space, there are generally fairly few miners in low- and null-sec, and these are far more likely to use their minerals than to sell them on the market.
Oftentimes, there are some small local supplies of minerals produced on a market, as ratting players refine their loot and sell the result, or players get rid of leftovers. But these rarely amount to more than a trickle, and are certainly not enough minerals to supply the Big Things of EVE Online: mass battlecruiser/battleship construction, capital construction, fleet replacement, and supercapital construction. These projects require huge amounts of minerals that most local mineral markets in EVE Online absolutely cannot provide.
Here's where mineral compression comes in: by compressing minerals to approximately 1/20th of their original volume, you can either make moving your minerals twenty times easier, or else increase the scale of your operations by twenty times. A good way to think about it is if you would normally be importing enough minerals for a single battlecruiser that would sell for 10mil ISK net profit, suddenly you have enough minerals for twenty battlecruisers and 200mil ISM net profit.
Is Compressing Minerals Right For My EVE Online Play Style?
Whether or not you should get into mineral compression depends on a lot of things, but chiefly whether you live at a place where you can turn those minerals into profit, and whether you have a safe line of travel to get there.
First of all, finding uses for minerals is not usually difficult. Even stacks of humble tech one modules will turn remarkable profits, given customers and a long enough time frame. The question is more whether or not your personal or corporate operations are large-scale enough that it is worth the bother of getting set up to do mineral compression. It's usually the kind of situation where you know for sure when you need to start, or you probably don't need it at all.
Secondly, the travel issue is tricky. With a little bit of elbow grease and scouts, one can use blockade runners, deep space transports, or even freighters to move cargo. However, most players would agree that it is better to use jump freighters, which can travel in EVE Online with near-total safety. Even if you do not own one, there are frequently members of corporations willing to use theirs on others' behalf, especially if they are paid. If you are near NPC null-sec, it is also possible to use the Black Frog Freight Service or another collateralized freighting company to move things, though these often cost enough that it is difficult to justify their use.
If you have a good spot and a safe enough way to move compressed minerals to that spot, it's time to start skilling up.