Every new EVE Online expansion is an opportunity to line your wallet with more EVE ISK, and the Crucible expansion is no exception. Check out this Ten Ton Hammer EVE guide and be ready to get rich when Crucible goes live on November 29th.
As has been described so well elsewhere, Crucible will touch on and affect a tremendous cross-section of EVE Online. Everything will be shaken up to some extent, including missions, small-scale PvP, suicide ganking, capital warfare, planetary interaction, and moon mining. There will be a huge possibility of profit from each of these game areas. Here are five suggestions for ways to earn ISK from EVE Online's upcoming Crucible expansion.
5. Colonize Planets Outside High-Sec
Export taxes are about to go up on planets in high-security space, even as the plasma and lava planets become more crowded with competitors. Planets in low-sec and null-sec already produce more abundant amounts of materials, but now they will also be cheaper. It's not going to be a pretty day for high-sec planeteers.
This is of course a good thing for EVE players that will retain their access to the more coveted planetary materials, as prices can't help but go up. This is especially true because there will be a colossal hiccup in the supply chain on patch day as all of the customs offices in null-sec and w-space disappear overnight. Prices on important goods will go up, it's just a question of whether players' stockpiles can handle it or not.
The sensible thing, at least for a player willing to accept the risk, is to leave high-sec. But where shall he go? You have several options:
Conquerable null-sec will have all of its customs offices removed on patch day, and will likely remain sparse for some time. Areas controlled by alliances that don't have a working relationship with you are also out for the casual planeteer.
NPC-controlled null-sec is an easier bet, and is safer with regard to visiting the colony, and storing the contents in a nearby station. You will probably need to assemble and install your own customs offices, though, and there is no guarantee that someone out there won't take offense and shoot your office down.
Wormhole space is kind of its own can of worms, especially in the systems that have static connections to high-sigh space. Like standard null-sec, you will likely need to install your own customs office. Still, the planets there are just as good as anywhere else, not to mention it is really unlikely that anybody would bother removing your customs office unless they regard that wormhole solar system as their personal territory. If you are comfortable with wormholes, this merits serious consideration.
Low-Security space is perhaps the most consistently available space to those seeking to have better supplies of planetary material in high-security space. The planets will have neutral customs offices, at least until players blow them up. Even then, it is likely that any player who blows up a customs office will want to replace it. Even with the maximum taxes allowable within game mechanics, it is likely that the increased output will still make these planets more profitable than those in high-sec. Of all four options, this one seems like the best opportunity for a high-sec player to get the hang of moving through low-sec and keeping his planetary materials rolling in.
4. Build Customs Offices
Player-owned custom offices are going to be the next big thing to fight over in EVE Online. EVE is a game that sorely needs more things to fight over, and as far as accessibility, this blows everything else away. There are too many planets for anybody to hope to hold all of them down, even the big organizations. And no customs office empire is going to sprawl too far, these things need to be defended with minimal time lapse, locally. Local defense means that you will mostly need to live in an area if you want to retain control of the planets.
The way things are shaking out, a small corporation could very easily reinforce an entire solar system of planets in an evening, and return the next to finish them off. That's excellent news for small corporations looking to start small and work their way up, and bad news for the big mega-alliances, who will most likely not bother with the relatively small incomes from customs offices, anyway.
The income from customs taxes will be just a trickle, especially at first. But they won't require any effort to run, and will likely require little to defend unless it is a particularly choice location or one of the more valuable planets (plasma, lava, and storm). Over time that will all add up, especially if more people begin to move to low-sec and NPC null-sec over time, as I suspect the nouveau CCP will make a priority sometime within the next year.
3. Manufacture Fuel Blocks
EVE Online is full of what I'd call intermediate markets. These markets are for items that are not in and of themselves useful, but can be used to assemble things that actually have applications and value. The components used in tech two production are the best example, but the product of simple starbase reactions are also an intermediate material, as are capital components and most planetary materials.
The planetary fuels that have previously been useful in and of themselves will shortly become an intermediate ingredient for building fuel blocks. These fuel blocks will be an absolute necessity for alliances that want to keep jump bridges and moon harvesters active, as well as industrialists throughout high-sec and low-sec that run starbases for reactions or blueprint copying. So will the guys with corporate starbases as their homes inside of wormhole solar systems. In short, everybody is going to need these fuel blocks, and it is unlikely that all of them will want to assemble their own fuel blocks.
The result is that there will be a certain amount of value added by transforming piles of fuel into fuel blocks, and therefore a certain amount of profit. How much profit is uncertain, and will likely be dictated by the tremendous initial demand, then affected by how well the market sorts itself out with supplying the rest. If the margins are incredibly tight and the fuel easy to make, it is likely that there will only be a small amount of profit. If the margins are a bit looser and the fuel takes time to produce, profit will start and remain great.
Planet colonizers should make fuel blocks to complement their planet setups and earn more ISK from the same amount of materials. Starbase-using industrialists should do the same so they can cut as many financial corners as possible. Meanwhile alliances will do so with local fuels, as a matter of convenience. Finally, you should be making them because there will be a hefty profit and brisk trade in the commodity. Buy the blueprints for each of the four fuel types in a Thukker station near you, and hie thee to Jita.
2. Sell The New Battlecruisers
The four new battlecruisers that will be introduced in the Crucible expansion are the Tornado, Talos, Oracle, and Naga. These ships are beautiful to look at, and will be incredible for PvP of all sorts, as well as level three missions. Beyond that, players will simply want them because they are new. The rush to be the first person in a corporation to get them will be tremendous, as will the rush to supply them on the market. As we saw when the Noctis salvaging vessel was introduced, there will be a huge initial surge of people buying, using, researching, and copying the new battlecruisers. If you are a part of this surge, you stand to make a great deal of ISK.
Don't wait for researched blueprints, nobody else will. The battlecruisers on the market will all be priced accordingly, so you will certainly be able to compete, even with waste costs added. If you can afford it, you might want to throw some blueprints into research, as well.
Some thoughts about what to build and sell:
- The Tornado (Minmatar): Arguably the best of the lot, this is going to be a really popular fleet ship. And the neat thing about these (along with the other battlecruisers) is that they are extremely fragile, so they will need to be replaced, en masse, quite frequently. A great investment for a blueprint.
- The Talos (Gallente): The king of blasters, this ship is going to excel at on-station combat and suicide ganking. The latter activity will consume quite a few ships, and will probably be very vogue once the next Hulkageddon comes up, shortly after the expansion goes live, due to its cheap price and huge gank.
- The Oracle (Amarr): In a world of battlecruisers with EM-damage holes, the laser spewing man is king. Whether they are a fleet of snipers or ammo-less structure-destroyers, I expect a good amount of these to be used.
- The Naga (Caldari): The particulars of this ship keep shifting, but it has thus far been regarded as the worst of the new crop. I don't think that's quite true because, like many Caldari ships, I expect the final bonuses will make it excel at PvE and missions more than PvP. Then again, it might end up being as fine a blaster boat as the talos, and therefore great for suicide attacks and playing station undock games.
#1 Speculate On The Jita Market
With changes of such magnitude in the works, some of the EVE Online markets have been jumping like a rodeo bull. The most obvious example is heavy water, a key fuel ingredient that has increased in value by a factor of ten overnight, largely in response to a huge market buy-out. If you knew about that ahead of time, your bank account would have an extra zero appended to the end of it.
Other market changes are perhaps less obvious: many industrialists have been buying up large tech two turrets of all types in anticipation of the new battlecruisers driving up their price. There is some speculation about a rise in the cost of tech two components, generally, which might affect the turrets, as well.
Still other market PvPers are betting that the introduction of player-owned customs offices will be such a big hiccup that the price of starbase fuels will rise, especially the high-use, high-cost items like coolant. I kind of feel like the rising cost of heavy water will actually force the price of coolant down as a sort of "basket effect", but that's pure guesswork.
Whatever you choose to invest in, it is likely that there will be any huge price crashes due to the Crucible expansion. As long as you don't buy something that has already inflated its price a tremendous amount, you should be all right. Use buy orders when possible, and try to have a broad portfolio in case something doesn't work.
Got that? Good. Now get out there and invest, young man.
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