Material Envy

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:

Material Level 0 
Pyerite    75 
Tritanium  60 
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:

Material Level 0 
Mexallon   6 
Nocxium    3 
Pyerite    2 
Tritanium  741 
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.

4 thoughts on “Material Envy

  1. Eric

    Just look at it like it’s a long term investment ;). As you might understand the ME research is more worth it, the more minerals a BPO takes. For stuff like Battleship it’s a must to do ME research first.


  2. Drew Shiel

    An improvement of 8% isn’t bad. But with regard to the people who are selling missiles for less than material cost + manufacturing – buy them! You can then sell them for a profit with no effort on your part, and also guarantee that your missiles are going out at the lowest price.

    For low-volume items in regions that are not hugely populated, you can control the market like this fairly nicely, and as long as you don’t push prices too high, people will keep buying.


  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I agree that 8% isn’t anything to sneeze at. The problem is purely perception and the fact that I chose a very low-end blueprint to run first. Waiting 23 days to save 6 pyerite and 5 tritanium per 100 missiles can make you question your dedication. But with the Widowmaker blueprint I am happier. And I could see how, on a big item like a ship, that even 8% could run into millions of ISK in materials.

    With the Widowmaker I may start rounding up low cost sellers in my region. Flameburst margins are fine enough that even people selling below cost are not selling for very much below cost. But with the Widowmaker I see people selling around 20. I’m happy enough to scoop those up and sell at 40.


  4. syncaine

    Great post.

    My Corp provides me with BPO’s, most of which are already researched, but it is interesting to see the breakdown of it all. Since I’m in a very low pop region (Kador), I will have to test out some of the market control stuff Drew mentioned.


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