Monday, 3 November 2014

Caveat Ratus

The full patch notes for Phoebe make interesting reading, in conjunction with the CSM notes (which ate a bunch of my day yesterday).

Wormhole dwellers may have noted the price of nanoribbons spiked recently, and quite sharply. This was due to the announcement that build and material costs for hulls and subsystems have increased. What happened, essentially, is that the old system ran entirely on Random Number Generator. You began an invention on a subsystem and sometimes you got the one you wanted, sometimes you got a crappy one like the Gravitational Capacitor. Therefore there is a huge amount of BPCs for subs which are not popular; prices for these subs have kept at or below the build cost because they just don't move and the relative value of the BPC's for them is zero. The popular and vital subsystems keep a good profit margin and the BPC's themselves are worth trading.

After Phoebe, not only does the material cost go up (by up to 35%) but suddenly when inventing, you have the ability to choose not to invent a subsystem that is worthless, hard to turn over, or just unprofitable.

So what has happened with MNR's is the canny producers have realised that they are sitting on a massive stockpile of BPC's for subsystems at the old build cost; post-patch these will be rewritten to require vastly more material input and the supply of these BPC's will tail off until market equilibrium is reached between inventors and producers, and consumption. True, the price of the unpopular subs won't ever attract a premium, but there's a 35% profit margin relative to the incoming new costs just by having these subs lying around now.

So there was a bit of a buying frenzy; it is logical that if you can build now before the price increase, you will do so to lock in the profits. This requires an inordinate amount of nanoribbons, and the market got cleaned out within hours. Hopefully the build time for these things wasn't too slow, because it is an interesting question to ponder whether the production capacity exists to churn out thousands upon thousands of subsystem BPCs within the 7 days before the patch drops.

Secondly, hull costs have gone up. This saw a bout of speculation on hulls themselves, and prices have risen from 135-145M a pop to 155-175M a pop, depending on the market hub. Yours truly was involved in this, and has made a modest profit. Given consumption of MNR's post-Phoebe will be up about 15-20%, and given MNR's are also more pricey by about 30%, in the short term I see hull prices going significantly higher (say, 245-275M). Add in 200-250M of subs, and the buy-in for a T3 is now going to be closer to 450-550M before rigs and crap.

The doubling of low-end blue poo (data libraries) prices is a good step towards addressing the reality of C2 life toward the perception. What happens is that everyone sees wormholers having pitched battles involving 40 capitals and resulting in 200-500Bn ISK in killmails, on a monthly basis. This is C5 level ISK, and C5 level pimp and C5 level rare fights. But the perception bleeds downwards so that there is a perception - including in the mind of CCP Greyscale if one reads the CSM 9 minutes - that C1-2-3 residents are rolling in ISK, and that ratting these wormholes is inordinately rewarding.

The work of Corbexx in proving ISK/hr of wormhole PVE to CCP Greyscale and presenting the facts to him and Fozzie has proven my line of the past four years - C2 ISK is shit. C1 has always been better because you can get more MNR's from certain frigate-heavy sites, which you churn through stupidly fast in the right ship(s). Tractor units make this even better, but I could achieve 80-100M ISK/hr in C1's (at MNR prices of 5M; less recently).

Clearly the moment Fozzie and Greyscale actually looked at facts, not perceptions, they realised it was in fact shit. It is also clear that w-space got beaten down, despite their blithe assurances to the contrary due to "metrics", so a buff was required. This came about via doubling blue poo income for low-end Sleeper rats.

All up, this is great news. I have known, but rarely said, that C2 data and relic sites were great sources of ISK. This is because the right sites have fuckloads of frigate rats to kill, so you get decent MNR drops. Now, with blue poo doubling, you can rat for an hour and clear 120M IS in the Habitation Coils and Transponder Farm - provably.

Increase MNR prices in the next 8 weeks to about 5M ISK, and it seems I shall be lucratively farming in a cheap-ass Tengu for the forseeable future. This is also good news for newbros, and daytrippers. Well, unless you're connected to me, in which case, caveat ratus.


  1. The real question is, how do you know so much about everything? I want to not believe you but the two facts I checked were legit (price of hulls, chance of success making subs).

    On an off note, I ran three new sites (the null anoms that are popping up in our c2). And they turned out to be mostly shit. However, a corpmate ran one and made off with 30 million. Which mostly goes to show you, I'm going to have to burn down his tower.


  2. I ran 15 relic and data sites (all nullsec type) yesterday. My haul, according to the cargo hold, was 45M. Shit, i thought, till i realised that the decryptors had all changed name and been replaced on the market, so had no market averages to work off and thus reported at 0 ISK.

    55 decryptors. No idea what it converts to in the old ISK, but it's not a bad haul.

    Note, these weren't wspace type relic and data, which is what I was referring to. Those aren't (weren't?) worth hacking.

  3. Shit. I sold the decryptors without doing any research and just got ripped off.

  4. isnt it funny how far off the mark CCP were with the perception that peeps in low class holes are swimming in isk... it does raise concern that they make changes without a single f'ing clue (no news there i guess, but a special thnx to corbexx for his hard work).

    After the september patch, low class w-space became emptier than Uranus (which by all accounts i hear is more active than c5-c6 space vov). Since Phoebe, i've defo seen more ppl move back in which is good cos we desperately need more population. The fact is alot of chains are still empty, but hopefully these changes will draw people back.

    I'm still not sure what the new space (Thera et al) shenanigans is going to be about. It seems to me ccp should focus on getting players to use the existing space, rather than add more empty space... but who am i to question the mighty wisdom of CCP assumption and co.

    On a more positive note, at least phoebe undid some of the harm of the previous patch.

    ps. nice blog, always a good read o7


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