This article is the second half of a two-part article that explains the process of manufacturing Hulks, the most effective mining vessel in EVE Online. Having a private source of hulks is cash money in your wallet, and will also make you popular with any miner friends that you may have.
Hulks are chosen as an example of the tech two ship manufacturing process. With a little research, the process cam be re-purposed for any tech two ship that you like. In this article, I break down the manufacturing process and connect all the dots for manufacturing hulks, so that you don't have to. If it seems overly complicated, it probably is, but not so much so that you should avoid learning how to do it. Especially since it is one of the most continually lucrative areas of industry in EVE Online.
For information about how to invent hulk blueprint copies (abbreviated as BPCs in this article), why hulks are so desirable, and other information, see the first part of this guide to manufacturing hulks.
An Overview Of Manufacturing Hulks
style="font-style: italic;">Making Hulk hulls will have you rolling in dough, in no time.
The goal of this process is to take limited-run blueprint copies of hulks and turn them into actual hulls. This must be done with an eye toward minimizing costs and maximizing profits, but also without sinking too much ISK into startup costs.
The basic process by which tech two ships are made is moon mining products to assemble tech two component parts, which are then used to manufacture the actual hulks. The process also makes use of some specialized NPC/planetary interaction goods, a special item call a R.A.M., normal asteroid minerals (including a healthy dose of morphite), and a tech one hull of the ship (in this case, a covetor).
Assembling the parts yourself can save you a great deal of ISK, but may not be cost effective and also has some onerous skill requirements, though not badly so if you are already inventing hulk BPCs for yourself.
Part One: Preparing To Manufacture Hulks
In order to manufacture hulks from BPCs, you will need the following skills:
- Gallentean Starship Engineering I
- Mechanical Engineering I
- Industry V
- Science V
- Mechanic V
Though not requires, having Production Efficiency trained to at least IV is a good idea, though most industry mavens consider having it at level V to be nearly essential, and use it as a baseline for profit calculations.
Astute readers will notice the crossover with the skills required to invent hulk BPCs, described in the first half of this guide. Thus, if you are inventing your own BPCs, no extra skill training is required except for Industry V.
Part Two: Sourcing Tech Two Components
Hulks are made with the following materials (amounts given are for a -4 material efficiency on the blueprint copy, and the Production Efficiency V skill trained):
- Base Hull
- Covetor x1
- Tech Two Components
- Crystalline Carbonide Armor Plate x3000
- Fusion Reactor Unit x45
- Ion Thruster x60
- Magnetometic Sensor Cluster x225
- Oscillator Capacitor Unit x600
- Photon Microprocessor x3000
- Pulse Shield Emitter x225
- R.A.M. - Starship Tech x10
- Construction Blocks x75
- Morphite x108
Any material can be procured off the market, preferably via buy orders. Wherever you can cut corners by making things yourself, you should. For example, purchasing a covetor off the market will cost at least 10% more than manufacturing one yourself, even if you need to buy the covetor bpcs off contracts.
Hulk Ingredient Cost Breakdown
Consider this breakdown on Hulk construction costs (again, assuming -4 blueprint material efficiency and Production Efficiency V trained):
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style="font-style: italic;">Viewing the total cost of each part will help you identify where saving on costs will be the most effective.
Since most of the costs are from Photon Microprocessors, it is likely that you can save the most ISK by making those yourself. Likewise, you may also wish to manufacture your own Covetor hulls, Oscillator Capacitor Units, and Crystalline Carbonide Armor Plates. The reasons that I do not recommend manufacturing every part yourself are twofold: first, each tech two component blueprint costs 10mil ISK and takes specialized skills to research. Second, the manufacturing time required to produce all of these items is intense, and requires the acquisition of many different advanced moon materials with very competitive markets. In the interests of not having to mind too many Jita buy orders at once, it is probably better to focus your attentions on where the profits are easiest.
Sample Cost-Cutting: Photon Microprocessors
Each hulk that you make is going to require 3,000 Photon Microprocessors. The market cost of this particular tech two component runs at about 2,500 ISK more than the production cost, per unit. This means that if you produce them yourself, rather than buy them off the market, you save around 7.5mil ISK per hulk that you manufacture. Pretty darn significant.
The drawback is that to make Photon Microprocessors to supply a business necessarily requires a 10mil ISK blueprint original. Researching that blueprint original is a pain, too, requiring Metallurgy V to be trained. I truly advise against training this painful skill. Rather you should check the contracts market and the in-game blueprints channel to try and find a pre-researched blueprint for sale.
Fortunately, Metallurgy V is not required to manufacture with the blueprint. Unfortunately, Electronic Engineering III is. That's another 10mil ISK skill.
Each Photon Microprocessor requires the following ingredients:
- Crystalline Carbonide 12
- Nanotransistors 5
- Phenolic Composites 1
These are obtained easily enough via in Jita, and buy orders are often filled by moon reaction industrialists looking to dump their stockpiles. Unlike many of the tech two components that they are manufactured into, these are competitively priced and tend to cost whatever their "real" value is, more or less.
This process may be repeated for Oscillator Capacitor Units (requiring Electromagnetic Physics III), Crystalline Carbonide Armor Plates (requiring Molecular Science III), or any other component that you think could give significant savings when produced in-house.
Other Ways To Cut Costs For Your Bottom Line
R.A.M. - Starship Tech blueprints are easily purchased, researched, and manufactured, without onerous skills or lengthy manufacturing times as factors.
Construction blocks can be purchased for much cheaper outside of Jita than in it, so you may want to consider a bulk purchase. Once the Tyrannis expansion is fully implemented, you may also want to consider manufacturing them on planets, rather than buying them.
Morphite is best obtained via buy orders in Jita or, if you are fortunate enough to live in a Mercoxit-asteroid-rich area of null-sec space, you can mine them yourself or buy them from someone that does. You may even be able to work out a trade where you give them a hulk hull in exchange for its value in Morphite.
You should always strive to obtain your ingredients via buy orders, especially with the ingredients that make up the most significant portion of your costs. It helps if you have a good idea of what your material needs are, ahead of time, and so can put your buy orders up sooner, rather than later.
[protip] Most raw moon products (like those used to make Photon Microprocessors) are sold on the weekends, because that is when the people running moon reactions have time to empty silos, export them to empire, and sell them.[/protip]
Part Three: The Mathematics Of Profit
Assuming that you cut costs on the Photon Microprocessors as described above, you are looking at a total materials cost of about 103mil, per hulk produced. Your hulks will probably cost a good amount less than this, depending on what other cost-saving measures you decide to use.
In part one of this guide, we saw that inventing a 1-run hulk blueprint with material efficiency -4 cost about 23.87mil ISK. In total, that means that making a hulk costs around 127.55mil ISK per hull. Since they retail in Jita at about 132.5mil ISK a pop, you're looking at a solid 5mil ISK profit per hull. Not amazing, but then again any cost-cutting measures that you enact will be pure profit.
Decryptors: A Superior Profit Model
style="font-style: italic;">Manufacturing hulks turns a profit even if you use blueprints with poor material efficiency.
Using decryptors to get a better blueprint material efficiency than -4 can pay dividends, as well. According to my math in the first part of this article, using Collision Measurements to produce a -1 ME BPC costs 36.77mil ISK, but reduces the total material costs to 85.87mil ISK per unit. This means that the Hulks produced will cost 123.14mil ISK per unit. Definitely more cost effective than raw invention.
Using ME -1 BPCs, buy orders, my own POS reactions, and my own component blueprints, I have been able to get the cost of production of my hulk hulls down to about 78mil per unit, for a total cost of 114.77mil ISK per hull, meaning a profit of about 17.73mil ISK per unit sold on Jita retail. Very, very nice.
If you can maintain a steady supply of max-run covetor blueprints to invent with, you will probably want to look at the profitability of inventing with other decryptors and their various ME and numbers of extra runs.
For your reference, hulks made with -1 ME and Production Efficiency V trained require the following materials:
- Base Hull
- Covetor x1
- Tech Two Components
- Crystalline Carbonide Armor Plate x2400
- Fusion Reactor Unit x36
- Ion Thruster x48
- Magnetometic Sensor Cluster x180
- Oscillator Capacitor Unit x480
- Photon Microprocessor x2400
- Pulse Shield Emitter x180
- R.A.M. - Starship Tech x10
- Construction Blocks x60
- Morphite x86
So that's that. If it seems complicated, you may want to print it out and highlight particular areas, which has always helped me with EVE Online's more convoluted processes. Good luck with your business, and happy mining!
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