Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Getting Busy With Industry

Industry is a complex and intriguing activity in Eve.  Just about everything players use is built in some manner by other players.  This drives a flourishing and expansive economy which itself is nearly unique in MMOs.

Types of Industry
There are a number of different types of industry or manufacturing.  This guide will touch on those you are likely to get to in your early career.  Here is a list of the different manufacturing "systems" in the game.
  • Tech 1 manufacturing - Building tech 1 modules, ammo, rigs and ships
  • Invention and Tech 2 manufacturing - Inventing and building tech 2 modules, ammo, rigs and ships
  • Planetary Interaction (PI) - Mining planets and building materials on planets.
  • Moon Mining and Reactions - Extracting materials from low sec moons and using reactions to make advanced materials. Requires a POS.
  • Polymers and Hybrid Components - Use gas and materials from wormholes.  Requires a POS.
  • Reverse Engineering and Tech 3 Construction - Obtaining Tech 3 blueprints and building the subsystems and hulls.  Requires a POS.
Of the set, Tech 1 manufacturing, rig construction and planetary interaction are the easiest and cheapest to get into.  They also require relatively fewer skills to start and don't need access to special facilities like POS.  The others are included here so you know they exist.

Just about everything you want to build needs some kind of blueprint.  Even PI has "blueprints" or schematics but they are built into the manufacturing facilities.  Fortunately for the Rookie industrialist, the bulk of blueprints are available on the market or on contracts.  These are almost entirely tech 1 blueprints and range in price.  You will need to work hard to afford a battleship blueprint.

Blueprints come in two basic types; Blueprint Originals (BPOs) and Blueprint Copies (BPCs).  A BPO can be used as many times as desired without it ever running out and may also be researched to improve it or copied.  An original will state that it is an original in the attributes.  Beware of people misrepresenting copies as originals.  A BPC can be use for manufacturing up to the number of runs on the copy.  Then it disappears.  BPCs are also needed for Invention which is the current mechanism to create tech 2 BPCs.  Some Tech 2 BPOs still exist from the old days but they are now worth multiple billions of ISK an are beyond the reach of a new industrialist.  BPOs have a darker colour than the BPCs so they can be quickly distinguished.

Blueprints have some stats that define how good it is at its job.  The Material Level of a blueprint is a measure of how much waste is used when constructing an item.  Material Level is usually called Material Efficiency in game and abbreviated to ME.  The higher the number the better.  There is however a point of diminishing returns where the cost to research further does not justify the savings. For example a Carrier blueprint with ME 4 is considered ideal whereas a module might go to ME 100 to be efficient.  The Bill of Materials will tell you how much material is needed for the current ME of the blueprint.

Production Level (called Production Efficiency or PL by players because it made more sense) is a measure of the time taken to produce something.  This indirectly leads to a cost from the construction facility.  However, empire construction facilities charge so little for manufacturing that this is rarely an issue.  only things that take a long time to build really need PL research.  Again higher the better.

 The Bill of Materials tab will show will have a number of tasks on it.  This one has Manufacturing and Invention.  Each tab tells you what skills and materials you need to perform that task. For example the materials and skills to build a single armour hardener is shown in this image.  Each tab will have different details.  Some BPOs require special skills and materials to copy or research.  Check for this before buying a BPO in case you are unable to use it.  Some blueprints produce more than one item per run.  This shows on the Attribute tab where it says "Produces".  This is common for ammo and fuel blocks.

Special blueprints like Reactions and Polymers don use ME or PE.  This is because they are run in a special POS array.  Just be aware that not all blueprints are created equal. PI doesn't have a research component either so its viable as a starting industry.

New industrials are often faced with the daunting task of buying BPOs and then waiting for them to be researched enough to be profitable.  There is an option for you.  People make business of copying well researched blueprints and selling them on the contracts market.  You can start out by buying BPCs that are already profitably researched and work up to the privately owned blueprints down the line.  Make sure you do your sums though.  You don't want to pay your whole profit margin to buy those blueprints.

Essential Skills
The skills you need depend on the things you want to build.  The most important skill of all is Production Efficiency (in the Industry section).  You must get this to 5 as soon as you can because you will be wasting materials with every build until you do.  When you have production efficiency lower than 5 the bill of materials will show you two values for each item.  The first is what you will need and the second is what you would use at production efficiency 5.  While this skill is low your are losing your profit margin to wastage.  Fortunately its an easy skill to learn.

You get one build "slot" with the Industry skill.  Thereafter you get one for each level of Mass Production and one for each level of Advanced Mass Production. If you get MP at 5 and AMP at 4 you will have a respectable 10 build slots.

For pilots looking into Planetary Interaction, the above skills are not used.  Start by getting some levels in Planetology and Remote Sensing so you can start investigating planets.  Next get Command Centre Upgrades to 5.  I say this because this skill dictates how many structures you can put on a planet.  If you start out with a lower rating you are disadvantaging yourself and you will have to redesign later.  You then need Interplanetary Consolidation.  Each level of this skill gets you another planet beyond the minimum of one. A serious network needs all six planets but that can wait.  Get Planetology to 4 and Advanced Planetology to 3 or 4.  This skill allow your to better determine the location of material deposits on the planet so it helps to find the sweetspots for mining.

Invention and tech 2 building take a lot of science skills.  Invention is more a long term goal and I'll cover it more later.

Getting the Stuff
For all manufacturing you will need to obtain the materials for the job.  Many industrial mine their own minerals but you can Buy most materials from the market.  I highly recommend you use buy order to obtain anything from the market.  There are plenty of people who do not have the patience to wait for minerals to sell.  They quicksell to the best buy order at their station.  If fact you can get some great deals on minerals and other materials buying away from the hubs.  Miners love quiet backwater systems and hate transporting their minerals to market.

the truth is trying to get all the materials you need personally is logistically improbable.  For starters, Nocxium, Zydrine and Megacyte don't occur naturally in high sec.  They have to be brought in from low or null.  You will have to buy them.

Next problem is getting the stuff to your chosen manufacturing facility.  There are dozens of public manufacturing stations.  You can find them on the Science and Industry screen under the Installations tab.  you will probably need some kind of industrial ship to move your stuff.  Train for the one that suits you.  Alternative you can use courier contracts to pay other people to move your stuff.  This is the only way to insure your cargo but you do have to pay a decent fee or it wont get done.  Warning: Never transport an expensive cargo in a flimsy ship, especially on autopilot.  If your cargo costs more than the ship needed to blow up yours then people will suicide gank you to get the cargo.  Remember that a destroyer can manage to take out a hulk or industrial before CONCORD kills him.

Building the Item
Once you have collected the materials and blueprint in the one place you can put the build job on to cook.  You can start the process by right-clicking on the blueprint.  You will have done the example tute in the Career Agent missions.  Here's a quick step by step:
  1. Right click on the blueprint and select "Manufacturing".
  2. Select the "Pick Installation".
  3. Assuming you are using a Station Factory, set the Range to "Current Blueprint Location" and the Type to "Public".
  4. In the bottom panel, select the next available Assembly Line.  (double click to select).
  5. If you are using corp resources, set the input and output hangars.  Otherwise skip this bit.
  6. Set the number of Production Runs you wish to build.
  7. Select OK.
  8. You should see a summary of the build job.  If everything checks out, select "Accept Quote".  The job now starts.
  9. Use the Science and Industry >> Jobs panel to monitor your job progress.
  10. When the job is done, select it and push "Deliver".  The product and BP (if not used up) will appear in your hangar (or the corp hangar you set).
Empire installations are cheap and highly accessible.  You can queue your jobs on the ends of other people's jobs if you need to.  No need to wait for an empty slot.   When the job is done you will have to deliver it.  It should be put into the hangar it is set to go to. 

Don't get ideas of setting up a POS and using manufacturing arrays.  For most arrays this incurs a 10% wastage on the build adding to costs.  Its cheaper to build in a station unless you are in null sec or a wormhole.  There are exceptions to this rule but they are for advanced manufacturing.

Planetary Interaction
Planetary interaction starts with some research (as all manufacturing should).  You need to find out three things.  What is material is available, what can be made from it and what is profitable.  It helps if you do PI in your nearby region so you will be looking for likely planets in and around your base of operations.  At this point I should mention that high sec has poorest planets followed by low sec, null sec and the best yields come from wormhole space. Factor this (and the risk) into your calculations.

We classify materials from moons by their tier.  The stuff you get out of the ground is referred to as "raws".  All raws have a single tier 1 item they are turned into.  It is better to extract and process into tier 1 on the same planet due to space considerations.  If you want to build tier 2 or 3 items consider creating a build planet where you bring the tier 1 items and land them into your production line.  I have managed to make my low sec planets run tier 1 and 2 on one planet but it needed planetary upgrades 5 to do it.

There is a useful PDF for planning your PI at the following site .  I recommend POS fuels as a stable income source since there is a steady market for them.

To start a planetary colony you need a command centre. These are specific to the planet type you plan to land it on so choose your planets in advance. For example, a gas command centre is needed to make a colony on a gas planet. The command centre is the only thing that is purchased off-planet. Everything else is paid for from the planetary interface as you submit a change to your network. You need to move the command centre to the planet to land it so a transport of some kind is needed.

There is a basic guide made by CCP to explain PI on YouTube at .  There are a few things that I would suggest counter to what the tutorial says.  First, Extractors and Processors will not store any produced goods so they should always empty into a silo or spaceport.  If a processor has been filled and the extractor tries to send it stuff, the excess is wasted.  I suggest the following design model.  Extractor >> Silo >> Processors >> Silo (can be the same one) >> Processors >> Spaceport (final product).  You can add as many processor steps as you want.  Below is a screen shot of a two tier planetary network I have running.

Invention and Tech 2 Production
Many new players will have heard how profitable Tech 2 production is and want to try it.  I admit it is profitable.  My corp does it.  However you need a large amount of infrastructure to support it and the money gets whittled down with costs.  It also require a large number of skills to make it work.  I'll give you an overview of what's involved as a guide to future training.

On most tech 1 blueprints is a Invention tab under bill of Materials.  This lists the skills and materials you need to make an invention attempt. You also need one BPC of the item you wish to do invention on per attempt.  In general it is better if this BPC has the maximum number of runs on it that the BP can support (so 300 for a normal module).  If you want to invent a tech 2 Power Diagnostic System then you need BPCs of the tech 1 variety.  This means you need to be able to either make copies of an original blueprint or buy them.  In Empire this usually mean you need a POS with Labs or a lot of patience as public copying facilities are heavily booked.  You also need the BPO to make the copies from unless you are buying your BPCs from contracts.

The skills listed in the Invention tab says you can do the invention attempt at level 1.  however your chance of success depends on your skill level in all three sciences (Encryption Methods and two others).  You are probably wasting materials trying to invent with less than 4s in these skills.  Getting 5s is nice but not necessary.

Now take your BPCs, Datacores, and Interface to a lab.  The public invention labs are often available but they take longer to use than a POS lab.  You start an invention job by right clicking on the BPC and selecting "Invention".  Then its just like a build job.  When the job finishes and you deliver it, there will be a % chance that you receive a Tech 2 BPC.  You can use decryptors and base items to try modify the invention results.  Decryptors are items found through exploration that have a specific effect on invention and are used up in the process. Base items are a a tech 1 version of the item you are inventing used as a "guide" during invention.  They are used up in the process.

Important Note:  Date Interfaces are not used up in Invention and do not disappear with each job.  This lets you use one data interface to put on many jobs.  You shouldn't need to buy more than one of two.

If you can invent something you should be able to build it too.  Materials often cost quite a bit though.  You should try to invent to suit your budget or you will be unable to build what you have blueprints for.  inventing 10 Hulks sounds good but you are going to need at least a BISK worth of materials to make them.

Moon Mining
Even I dream of mining moons one day.  Its an income source that does not use up a manufacturing or research slot so you can do it in addition to what you have going elsewhere.  The problem is you need a POS in a system of 0.3 security or lower to do it and many of the good moons are already taken.  What that means is that Moon Mining is largely beyond a new pilot.  Here's a list of what you need to run moon mining;
  • Corp roles to Erect and maintain a POS.
  • A spare moon with profitable materials (don't assume they are all worth it).
  • A POS with Moon harvester, Coupling array and Silo at the very least.
  • Sufficient corp faction standings to build in that security level system.  Corp needs a faction standing of 3.0 to build in 0.3 systems.
  • A way of getting stuff to and from the POS (remember low sec).
  • Capital to run the POS for a week or two before the material becomes available to sell.
  • Ability to defend the POS.
When you are ready to put up a POS and maintain it there are many guides available on the net.

Tech 3 Reverse Engineering and Polymers
Ok I admit I have almost no experience with these.  I'm told Polymers are typically done at the POS towers used by Wormhole corps.  Its a way of covering the expense of the tower.  Reverse Engineering is similar to invention but done of items rather than blueprints.  Again these require either a large amount of infrastructure or skills.  If you are up to this level have a look for guides on the net.

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