After a few weeks of waiting, my first blueprints have finally finished their material efficiency runs.
I must say that I am mildly disappointed.
Not that I have any reason to be disappointed, really. I was not sure what I would be getting as an end result, but the effects of a multi-week wait seemed to compound my expectations.
The first blueprint I got back was for Flameburst light missiles. I read on one of the forums that material efficiency hits the point of diminishing returns between level 12 and 20, depending on the blueprint in question. I decided to run this blueprint to 20 just to be sure I got at least to the point of optimum results. The before and after:
Before Material Level 0 Pyerite 75 Tritanium 60 --- After Material Level 20 Pyerite 69 Tritanium 55
For each 100 missiles I make, I save 6 pyerite and 5 tritanium.
Given these current prices:
Pyerite 4.50 ISK
Tritanium 3.30 ISK
I save a total of 0.43 ISK per missile, cutting my materials cost from 5.56 ISK per missile to 5.13 ISK per missile. That is almost an 8% cut in my material cost. I should be happy. I guess that after waiting for more than three weeks I expected a huge cut in costs.
Of course, that expectation may have also been set by some of my competitors. I see people selling the missiles for 6 ISK. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and assumed that their costs were much lower, but I begin to suspect those are people who see the minerals as “free” if they did the mining.
The flameburst material efficiency research cost me 108,066.67 ISK, so assuming all other things are equal, I need to sell another 250K missiles to make this effort worth the cost. Production is a long-term effort.
I also purchased the Widowmaker heavy missile blueprint, mostly to keep myself stocked, as they aren’t as widely available for sale and the prices have a wide variation. I decided to run the Widowmaker blueprint up to level 15 material effecieny. The before and after:
Before Material Level 0 Mexallon 6 Nocxium 3 Pyerite 2 Tritanium 741 --- After Material Level 15 Mexallon 5 Nocxium 3 Pyerite 2 Tritanium 680
It appears that material research may not affect all of the minerals used in a blueprint. For each 100 missiles I make, I use 1 less mexallon and 61 less tritanium.
Market prices for the minerals:
Mexallon 35.00 ISK
Tritanium 3.30 ISK
This change saves me 2.36 ISK per missile, cutting my materials cost from 30.69 ISK per missile to 28.33 ISK per missile. Again, that is close to an 8% cut in price. I was actually happier when I saw this result because I had already seen the flameburst improvements, so my expectations were set somewhat, and because the numbers are just bigger.
The widowmaker material efficiency research cost 81,300 ISK, so if all goes as before, I need to sell another 35K missiles to make this effort worth the ISK invested. That should be easy enough, as I sold out my first production run pretty quickly and had to go buy some missiles while I was waiting the 3+ weeks for the material research to complete.
So there is my first run at material efficiency. I have some more blueprints in the queue for material research. I decided on a couple of them that use more expensive materials to run them all the way up to material level 40. The time, given the queue, is negligible. I will have to see if it is worth the ISK.