Perhaps I am not a complete EVE noob any more.
For example, when I decided to get into manufacturing, I went and trained the skill Production Efficiency up to level 3 right away, and notched it up to level 4 once I decided I might continue on that path. (I did not include the cost of skills in my “The Price of Production” post, did I? I will have to go back and calculate that!)
That is one nice thing about having taken the time to train all of the learning skills in EVE up to at least level 4, it does not take me very much time at all to get a new skill up to level 3.
Anyway, I was pretty proud of myself for getting this skill trained up in advance of my experiment. Pride is, of course, a danger signal for me. It is almost a sure sign that I have missed something.
And so it was that I began hearing about “material efficiency,” which I have sometimes seen referred to as “ME” for short.
As I understand it, material efficiency is a type of research that you can do on a blueprint that ends up reducing the amount of raw materials that the blueprint requires when used for manufacturing. Mike De Groote, in a comment on my production post, said that I ought to shoot for a material efficiency of 13 for my flameburst missile blueprint.
In order to increase the material efficiency of a blueprint, you have to go to a station that has a material research installation. Then, as with manufacturing, you select an available assembly line, set the blueprint and level of research you want done, submit the job, and wait for the process to complete. Once done, the blueprint you selected now has a reduced resource requirement.
That sounds easy enough.
Only there is a catch.
In my local region, Lonetrek, there are 56 stations that have material research installations. Each of those installations has a total or 20 assembly lines each.
And each and every one of those 1120 assembly lines is in use. When I went through the region, station by station, they all looked pretty much like this:
The minimum time I saw was a bit over 7 days, with the vast majority being over 20 days.
Well, the popularity of material research certainly indicates I am on the right path. Too bad I cannot actually get the work done. Is every region as booked up for material research?
I suppose I will look into research next. Stations with research installations seem to have open slots. Tech II items are popular. I will take that as a positive sign.
Along with pride, thinking that I am not a complete noob is another danger signal. There could have been few better indicators that I was going to put my foot in it.
I wrote this up a couple of days in advance, as I often do, and put it in my queue for posting.
Later I figured out that an assembly line does not have to be available “now” for you to submit a job. You can queue up jobs for a given assembly line, which explains why some of those lines are booked up to 40 days into the future.
So once I finish up the next production run of flameburst missiles, I will have to go out looking for the material research facility with the shortest queue, fly out and install my job (I do not have the skills for doing that remotely yet), and then wait.