Monday, July 7, 2014

T3 Ships and Sub-system creation is an ISK Sink

UPDATE: 11/4 None of the below information is useful anymore. Please stop reading it. Or else~!

TLDR: I go super autistic on T3 Manufacturing profitability.  Conclusion T3s are created by people who don’t care about profits.

Disclaimer *** If you don’t give a fuck about money, your time and building stuff just makes you hard, do not open my spread sheet. Go about your business and continue doing whatever you like. EVE’s a sand box, sometimes people just like to eat the sand.***

I’m sorry to haven’t posted in a little bit since the DUCKS disaster, been doing ‘stuff’.

Before you open that up and say to yourself, “Dear god Spear WTF have you done”  read the why.


I like math. I don’t know why I like math, but I use it every day at work and it just gets me going. My family would often sit around the Thanks Giving table and try and figure out random math problems.

Example; If you took up the value of every item in a room. Say kitchen, gave an estimate on its value. Sink, table, microwave, refrigerator, pots, pans whatever.. Then totaled that estimated value into dollars, what would it be. Then take that total, and find out how many quarters it was. Then how much would that many quarters weigh? Then if you could replace all the items with quarters could the room support that much weight? Yes? Why and show your math.

Shit like that was common as a kid. This has lead me to a life of think numbers are recreation.


The question was asked. (by someone, maybe by me talking to myself) Is EVE T3 manufacturing “profitable”.

Let me define what “Profitable” means before I continue. Profitability to me, is defined by you acts resulting in a finical outcome that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Example: Lemonade stand – 1 Lemon+Water+Sugar+Cups = 10 cups of Lemonade. The sum of all parts before you sell all 10 cups must be less than what you sell all the cups for. Or you are simply wasting your time/money. Simple right? You would think.

In EVE people add the “cause I want to” factor into nearly every manufacturing situation. This essentially ruins it for the rest of us. I have found that T3 manufacturing is one of those things. To the tune of trillions of ISK lost because people don’t understand that the sum of what they are doing, should be greater than sum of its parts.


So an explanation of my spread sheet.

Well my data isn’t 100% that’s my first problem. EVE Central which for those of you living under an asteroid is a website that lets you look up the actual in game price of an item and the system in which its sold. They do this with some kind of EVEmon player data scraping  or some other wizardry.  The point is, its live data for the most part. Often is hours old at worst, days. Still really good.

Well these wizards at EVE Central have provided an API that people can use out of game to make super cool spread sheets. This is the data I’m using. Sadly each time I call on that data, there is a chance Google Docks goes full retard and can’t figure it out. The way you fix it, is change the broken/Error formula to something else, then back again. This sorts out the spread sheet temporarily. (I have a /r/EVE ask out there to figure out how to avoid it, no luck as of yet)

With Data issue known, you need to take my conclusion with that grain of salt. 


“How many T3 Units and what kind, do you need to construct to exceed the materials used to create them”?

I’m not talking about just manufacturing materials. I factored skills, POS costs, reoccurring fuel costs, manufacturing materials, research materials and compared them to how much these things sell for at the best trade hub in the game. Jita.


Well, I thought so. 


1st thing I want to point out, NEVER sell to buy orders unless you give no fucks about profitability. You lose millions per unit.

2nd  If one of you mother fucking mouth breathers says to me “I can make it more profitable if I mine it myself” I will punch you in the god damn neck!  Materials and your time have a value. Do not forget this EVER! If the materials it takes to make something are worth more than the final product, you should not fucking MAKE THAT! If the sum of all parts used is less than what you can make by doing any other activity, do THAT activity instead!

3rd Even with my lapses in data, where an item isn’t being sold at Jita at time of the data pull. IF there was some value other than 0 in it, that number beyond 0 would simply remove even more money from its profitability outcomes.

4th The only data that can’t be wrong for this process, and it’s the only data is consistently right, is what people are willing to pay for your hard work and product.You can fudge some of the things going into a cake, but if the cake looks/tastes like shit at the end, you dun goofed.


The conclusion I came to is based on available market sources, every aspect of T3 construction POST reverse engineering is bad.

Like really, really bad, like I should be mining Veldspar with a venture bad.  It’s so bad that simply NOT doing it, is saving you money, I don’t mean it doesn’t pay well, I mean you are throwing money down the toilet by performing this action is costing you money.

What I did find out is, you should really just do buy orders, because based on the volume of transactions that occur between people selling to buy orders the amount of times it happens, you could not only save massive money, but you could actually turn a profit.

If you like spread sheets and like what I have done. Share this with your friends. It’s an awesome way to troll them.

“O I see you like building T3’s and subsystems! Did you know that, you would need to create 300 units of _______ T3 subsystem in order to even pay for that months POS fuel?”

“Let alone over 1000 units sold, to pay for the POS/Skills/Fuel it took to actually make those items?”

"Making ____ ? I see. Ya.. that's a negative number. If you just didn't make it, took those items to the market and sold them. You may profit by your time spent."

You can be the star(turd in the punch bowl) of the PVE party, get cracking!  

***UPDATE! ***  After a very heated discussion on /r/EVE -- I have figured out the mystery. 

The T3 market is supported by people who seem to remove research costs from their profit projection. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes.  .

 "Your spreadsheet is complete garbage." Bearhobag

"Assuming you're selling to sell orders, your profit margins are anywhere from 5%-65%, and that's assuming you're building the unprofitable subs as well." ---/u/Kantastic

"Or, you know, you can just use EVEiph, and realise that your spreadsheet is complete and utter garbage" "All T3 hulls are profitable by 15-25%. Half of the T3 subs are indeed negative, but the rest is very profitable. Check your numbers. Or dont. I'll continue producing lokis at a profit."Fuel costs are nothing, and initial investment cannot be used since it's shared with whatever other industry things you have going on.
.--- /u/Kujara 

When asked to factor in the costs of researching the BPC and using only 1 or 2 of the potential outcomes into his profit projection this was his response -- "Well of course not, I didn't post any of them."-- /u/Kantastic

"Hai Longinus! Don't think I've ever seen you link any of your stuff on the subreddit before. I look forward to the indy butthurt that shall show up within the hour. BTW This is Mike." -- /u/foundryguy

Indi butthurt is right! I figured I would be hailed as a hero, a redeemer of lost causes... NOPE. Even with faced with massive evidence counter to their opinion and given a forum to voice their objections.. we get "Your spreadsheet is garbage". 
One guy was so random and useless that he even went so far as to say he makes 15 billion in profits a month!
I gave him a simple "Mad Lib" style fill in the blank.  

_______ (END Product Sale Price) - _______ (expenses/research costs) = ____ Profits
Nope, he couldn't fill it in because if he did.. He might find to achieve a 15 billion a month profit projection with say each subsystem costing around 40m (that's being very generous)  he would need to turn over 3,750 units a month. 
This would give him an on hand stock of T3 subsystems of around 150 billion.

O well, never cast your pearls to swine.



  1. I am a little too refined to use your language, but I too have seen far too many instances of manufacture at a loss.

    Some of this is because it compresses better as (partially) manufactured. That does not explain ships.

    Some of it is because manufacture is 'what they do'

    In either instance, while I like manufacture, there needs to be something in it for me.

    If it stops being profitable, I will stop doing it.

  2. Kalseth here

    That is an amazing bit of spreadsheet warrioring. A couple points since I am one of "those guys" that make T3s. Some of this might be slightly scued since I live in WH space.

    First point. In your initial cost analysis you make the assumption that all that cost is being born just for T3s. Leaving aside that since I live in WH space the POS is my house as well as my factory I do other things there besides T3's. You spread that cost around to T2 indi , PI , PvE (that I use my house to store my PvE ships at ... the few that I have) ect and the profit made from T3s goes up.

    Whoever does any large scale form of indi and does not use buy orders and shop around is bad :p

    Last point is the wild variation of T3 subsystems. the market is crazy for these with wild fluctuations. That makes it hard in some ways but it also offers apportinities for those with forethought and patience to hold on to stuff until the price is high.

    T3 indi is a great way to poor isk down a hole... but if you are careful and do your homework it can be rewarding.

    1. If the reason for the POS isn't just T3's simply divide the initial costs by the amount of activities performed. have you done that? What is that value? Who is paying for it?

  3. Kalseth again more point ... I hardly ever sell my goodies in jita. Much better markets out there :P

    1. You can change the system ID in the spreedsheet to any other system in the game. I used Jita as a default because of volumes sold and overall availibity.

      I think changing the market place will add factors such as volume and cause the price to far more random. Not good for profit projection.

    2. The market you sell in is not relevant. Any profits you gain by selling in a different market over selling in the majors ones (Jita) are trading profits not manufacturing profits. The reason is that to get those profits you could have just bought T3 ships in Jita and sold them in the other market (no manufacturing required). The same arument holds for buying materials with buy orders when trying to determine manufacturing profits.

  4. Very interesting read :) How will these calculations scale when crius hit?
    I think the reason a lot of people are discounting the pos fuel is because they are just using the pos they are living in anyway. so the pos fuel are counted towards anom taxes or PI or some other income. If you look at the t3 production not as the primary function of the POS but as a secondary function this can make sense.

    1. Crius will have little to no impact on the T3 research and manufacturing. The only real impact a T3 manufacturer would feel is in the cost of things that can be created in (K-space) example : Fuel, POS towers, modules. A possible additional price change may occur with the addition of more towers in high sec. This could drive up the price of materials because more people will be doing t3 manufacturing or it could drive it down because more assets/players are exposed to having T3 materials or hard assets destroyed.

      There is no way of knowing. Estimates so far is an over arching cost increase to nearly all items by around 15%. But those are just estimates.

      Fuel Costs -- You could discount part of the fuel cost because T3 construction isn't the only thing you do in POS's. They are platforms for war, defense, sleeper farming whatever, but that just spreads its cost around to other activities too.

      Its a very real cost 350+ Million that someone or someones must pay every 3 weeks. To NOT factor it in (which is crazy imo) is just bad math. I think I would be OK if people spread it out to all other activities along with T3 construction, but there isn't a way to do that well on the spread sheet.

      The reader is left with the responsibility to have some level of common sense and say "T3 construction is 1 of 3 things I do in this wormhole, there for 1/3 of the fuel cost should be factored into T3 construction."

      But you sure as shit shouldn't ignore it, like some have suggested.

  5. Have you figured this out yet? The first think I looked at was your BPC costs, where you don't take skills into account - Intact RE should give you about a 75% chance at all 4s, not 40% (Reverse_Chance = Base_Chance * (1 + (0.01 * Reverse_Engineering_Skill_Level)) * (1 + (0.1 * (Datacore_1_Skill_Level + Datacore_2_Skill_Level))). This makes your RE costs for intact (1/.4)/(1/.75) = 1.875x too high, and wrecked 2.1x too high. I don't see where you include datacore and decryptor costs but they're smallish and this correction puts your BPC costs close to what I'm getting. I didn't check the manufacturing math because it's currently all broken calls but it should be straightforward if your RE costs are right.

    1. NICE. Useful feed back. Thank you! I can add some columns and tabs to reflect reverse_chance skills.

      I included datacore and decryptor costs on the main research page. I didn't factor them because they are quite small and you often get those back on failures, this brings their cost factors way down. To include them would muddle the spreed sheet well beyond the large costs people are already ignoring.

      As for the broken calls, I don't think Google docs is the correct platform for this spread sheet. Those calls constantly fail and they seem to be a distraction to the goal of the sheet.

      I'll do some research on the skill % modifications, do you have any resources I could reference? Thank you again for the constructive feed back.

    2. Okay, but Caldari decryptors can be a major part of the RE cost especially for wrecked/malfunctioning. I manually set up the concatenated thing instead of using JOIN, I found it was more robust. Assuming you build and sell everything (which I don't do, given market randomness) I'm seeing about half the subsystem groups (groups being like Amarr intact electronics, for example) are profitable selling to buy orders, and every group averages 1+ mil pu selling using sell orders.

    3. Oh and the equation I posted is from, seems reasonable in my experience. Every search result for "eve reverse engineering chance" or "eve reverse engineering formula" gives the same result, and it's the one used in IPH.