Building An Outpost In EVE Online (part 2)
An outpost is a player-constructed station that can be constructed in the lawless regions of null-sec space. These outposts serve as the base for the corporations and alliances that build them, acting as forts, marketplaces, and home, all rolled into one. As a corporation, controlling an outpost can put you heads and shoulders above the competition.
This guide is the second of a two-part series dealing with constructing an outpost. The previous article outlined why and where to build an outpost and examined many of the issues surrounding outpost construction. This final section explores the particulars of constructing an outpost and includes shopping lists and industrial skill requirements.
Why A Refinery?
Minmatar outposts are usually the best option for the first outpost in a new corporate empire.
Due to unhelpful game mechanics, refining with a POS is a horrible process with poor efficiency. Look up 'Refining Array' and 'Intensive Refining Array' in-game, if you don't believe me. Those x.35 and x.75 yield multipliers? Yeah, those don't care how good your skills are, and they can only handle one ore type at a time, or just modules. In short: crap.
So you want a Minmatar refinery outpost, because it can refine very well or even perfectly, if upgraded. Here are the basic capabilities of this outpost:
Minmatar Service Outpost
- Base Refine Rate: 35% (improved on by skills, implants, and outpost upgrades)
- Offices: 6.
- Manufacturing Slots: 2.
To expand on this a bit: The base 35% refine rate is actually quite acceptable. Even without any implants, one can get around a 95% refine rate for ore, assuming you have trained that particular ore's refining skills to level four. For modules or other rat loot, the rate is going to be more like 84%. Unless you have done the skill grind for 'Scrapmetal Processing' and can thereby get that ~95% rate when refining modules. Every corporation should have at least one person that can do that, and every serious industrialist should probably have a character that can, too.
All of this assumes a tax rate of 0%. As a station owner, it is very unlikely that you will want to have a tax rate so low. But beware of setting it too high, or finance-savvy players will begin exporting goods to high-sec in order to refine them. I would suggest a refining tax of around 5% to be a good rate. Note that whatever amount you set it to, any spare minerals will be dumped into your corporation hangar.
Regarding the office slots, they are the same as the offices any corporation might use, except that as station owner you can set the rental amount, and it goes to you instead of to NPCs. Six slots should be plenty for most start-up alliances.
Stages Of Construction
The basic outline of building an outpost is as follows: train the pre-requisite skills, build an outpost platform (called an "egg" by most players) with a blueprint copy, haul it to the target location with a freighter, anchor it, load it full of goods that require several more freighter trips, and then online it. Assuming it has not been destroyed by pirates, it will appear at the next downtime. Broken down into a checklist:
- Train The Pre-Requisite Skills
- Assemble The Egg Ingredients
- Build The Egg
- Assemble The Egg Fuel
- Haul The Egg
- Anchor And Guard The Egg
- Fuel The Egg
- Hatch The Egg
- Live Happily Ever After
- There can only be a single outpost or station per conquerable solar system.
- Outposts cannot be built in wormhole space (yet).
- Outposts cannot be built in solar systems that have NPC sovereignty. This means that entire regions (like Curse) are off limits.
- Outposts cannot be built in high-sec or low-sec space.
- You must have sovereignty in a solar system in order to build an outpost there.
Train The Pre-Requisite Skills
In order to build the egg, a character must have the following skills.
- Outpost Construction I
- Mechanic V
- Industry V
- Anchoring V
The price of the materials needed to make the egg are absurdly inflated, but should stabilize at a much lower price in the near future.
Assembling Egg Materials (A Shopping List)
First, you need to get a blueprint copy for the outpost egg. It should really be a copy, rather than an original, because EVE Online has reached a sort of saturation for outposts built in prime locations, and because a maximum of one may be built, per solar system. As of this writing, the price tag on a 1-run 'Minmatar Service Outpost Platform' blueprint copy is 150mil ISK.
Below are the ingredients needed to make the egg, assuming that one has trained 'Production Efficiency' to level five and are using a blueprint with material efficiency 10. Note that the station parts are made primarily out of materials that can only be obtained from planets.
- Station Construction Parts x10
- Station Docking Bay x10
- Station Factory x20
- Station Hangar Array x10
- Station Medical Center x10
- Station Mission Network x10
- Station Office Center x81
- Station Repair Facility x10
- Station Reprocessing Plant x101
- Station Storage Bay x10
Things start getting pricey right about now. The estimated price for all of these, as of this writing is, unfortunately for the timing of this article, an absurd 16.1bil isk. That price should be taken with a heck of a lot of salt, as these parts were only recently able to be made by players, in the Tyrannis expansion.
Previously, they were able to be purchased directly from NPCs, pre-made. The market for the ingredients used to make these parts is damn volatile, though, and has yet to find any lasting equilibrium, and not too many people are making parts with it, yet. Some of them aren't even available in bulk, and the price is a rough estimate. Don't worry about that, all this will change over the next few weeks, after the problems with planetary materials are sorted out by CCP. After that, things will crop up on the market and competition will start happing. Right now, nobody wants to buy station parts that are just going to depreciate in value as the planetary material market continues to crash.
When things finally bottom out, I would estimate the total price for this to be more like 10bil. Which means that a lot of people that want to build stations are waiting for the price to go down, which means that there is no demand for planet-produced materials. It's an ugly cycle. A stalled market, if you will. There was also a surfeit of station eggs produced just prior to Tyrannis being introduced, which can't make things too much easier.
Build The Egg
The actual construction time for this is a bit over five days, and the resulting egg can only be carried by a freighter. Especially note that it cannot be carried by a jump freighter. Only the old-fashioned kind will do for this.
When moving this egg around high-security space, do no autopilot. Always warp directly from gate to gate, and never tarry overlong in space.
The egg should end up in a staging system: a station in a high-security system with as few jumps as possible to your destination system. Which is also where you want to locate most of your egg fuel.
Assemble The Egg Fuel (Shopping List)
To recap: once to egg is anchored in space, it is basically an empty container. You need to then load a huge amount of ingredients into it before you can online it. The ingredients for an minmatar outpost egg to be fully charged are as follows:
NPC Trade Goods
(bought from NPCs in stations throughout high- or low-sec)
- Carbon x 5,587
- Electronic Parts x19,871
- Hydrogen Batteries x23,574
- Plutonium x1,844
The cost of the ingredients needed to hatch the egg primarily comes from tritanium, followed by construction blocks and robotics.
- Construction Blocks x155,649
- Coolant x12,489
- Mechanical Parts x16,876
- Miniature Electronics x7,465
- Oxygen x25,468
- Robotics x12,499
- Silicate Glass x8,846
- Silicon x5,489
- Superconductors x897
- Synthetic Oil x17,874
(refined from asteroid ore or reprocessed loot dropped by NPCs)
- Isogen x1,211,009
- Megacyte x11,826
- Mexallon x6,055,045
- Nocxium x252,293
- Pyerite x32,293,575
- Tritanium x387,522,911
- Zydrine x54,062
Again, this is some expensive stuff. By my estimate, it costs approximately 2.58bil ISK if purchased from sell orders in Jita. And hauling it out to the destination is going to take at least four freighter-loads. So bring friends.
Note that 'Plutonium' in particular is a troublesome substance. Both to source, and move. This is because it is not available in all regions, is often not available in Jita, and is illegal in much of Amarr and Khanid space. Be sure to check your route against the item's legality tab before you lose a freighter to customs police.
Hauling The Egg
Moving a freighter is painful, even under the safest of circumstances. But moving it through low-sec and null-sec is a thousand times worse. The odds of you making it without an escort of some kind are, frankly, quite slim. Some tips on making it:
Timing is everything. Set aside a night, and set your alarm clock up to wake you up an hour or two before the server goes down for the night. That's the safest time, and will minimize your baby station's exposure to risk.
If your freighter is webbed with a 'Stasis Webifier', your maximum velocity is reduced and you are able to warp faster. Having a buddy do that to you might be a good idea.
On the other hand, logging off can be a freighter's best defense. It is unlikely that a small roaming gang will be able to kill you or accrue sufficient backup to kill you in the fifteen minutes it will take for a logged off freighter that has been shot at to disappear from space after logging off.
Anchor And Guard The Egg
You need to anchor the egg at a planet, which takes a full hour and the "Config Equipment" role in the corporation that has sovereignty in that solar system. Doing so requires the same skills as building the outpost. You will still need to load fuel into it, so it's a good idea to have some people in the system to at least watch it while you are getting things together. Then again, it may be less conspicuous if you keep that system empty.
Fuel The Egg
A point of clarification: this is not fuel in the sense that it needs to be maintained. Rather, it is what is needed for the outpost egg to hatch, as it were. Until this stuff is loaded in and you have hatched it, the egg is just a big floating target in space. Other people can even take stuff out of it, unless you set a password, which is done by right clicking on the egg and selecting the appropriate option.
It is probably a good idea to have moved most of the stuff that needs to be loaded into the egg in a trio of "Corporate Hangar Array" at a POS that you have previously set up in the system. That way you can use jump freighters to safely move all the station fuel down ahead of time, and then your normal freighter only needs to make trips back and forth between the POS and the egg, rather than back and forth to high-security space. Or you could have a huge herd of beaucoup expensive freighters travel down together and just do it all at once. That's absurdly risky, though.
Hatch The Egg
Once all of the fuel is loaded, right click on the egg and select "Build". Congratulations! Assuming that the egg makes it to down-time, it should build. Sometimes it takes two downtimes for whatever reason, but there you have it: all the work is done and you have your very own station.
Live Happily Ever After
Congratulations, you have permanently changed the landscape of EVE Online. People will be living in and fighting over this station for as long as the game continues to run. Use your new outpost to make your corporation wealthy, and to attract active PvPers. Help realize those players' dreams so that they will be loyal and want to defend your corporation's holdings. Do what you can to train your corporation for defending your space, and to help them earn enough ISK to fly the ships that they need in order to make that happen.
The overall bill for building an outpost is as follows:
- Outpost Construction Skill: .09bil
- Blueprint Copy: .15bil
- Blueprint Ingredients: 16.1bil (estimated 10bil in future)
- Egg Fuel: 2.58bil