One of the nice things about production in EVE Online is that you do not have to be there for it. Production there is at the polar opposite of the way it works in EverQuest II, where you must actively (or proactively if you want pristine results) participate in the crafting whack-a-mole mini game.
No, in EVE you show up at the production facility, blueprint and materials in hand, submit the build job, and then sit back and wait.
Or log off and wait.
Or run off and do something else.
In fact, sitting back and waiting is pretty unlikely, as production jobs can take time.
Sure, running off a single production run of low level ammunition might only take a minute or two, but generally to produce items in the quantity you want, the wait time can be anywhere from hours to days.
I have had my share of material efficiency runs that have lasted up to three weeks because of queues to use the facilities.
So it came as a bit of a surprise to me to learn that there is also a cap on the amount of time any job you submit can take, including time in the queue.
I decided to start producing ships.
I found a ship model that seems to sell reasonably well and which I could produce at a profit even at the price range of some of the buy orders available.
That is a pretty rare thing for items I have been dealing with so far, ammunition and ship components. But ammunition and ship components drop off of NPCs with such regularity that production turns out to be the least efficient way to obtain them. The market will provide, usually at prices far below the cost to produce.
NPCs, though, do not appear to drop whole ships. At least not on the missions I run.
So I started getting things lined up for ship production. I bought the blueprint. I got my miner account out of storage to start generating raw materials.
I also decided that while, according to my calculations, I could make a profit immediately from the ship blueprint, any reduction in raw materials would be of great benefit. So I decided to do a material efficiency run on the blueprint before I committed to production.
Which is how I found out that fifty days is the upper limit on how long a production related job is allowed to last.
Queues for starting a material efficiency run were sitting at the 15-20 day range. I chose the shortest queue I could find locally, selected my blueprint, and chose a material efficiency target of 20, then submitted the job.
And it was rejected.
A message came up telling me that jobs which take more than 50 days to complete cannot be submitted.
First, I had not imagined there was such a cap.
Second, material efficiency on a ship blueprint takes a long time! I am not talking about a battleship blueprint here either, but something quite a bit more modest. (And no, I’m not telling you what ship. I am not looking for competitors.)
I was able to fit the run into the 50 day limit by dialing back the desired material efficiency target to 12.
A target of 12 put the run at just over 48 days, of which a little over 14 was queue time. The remaining 34 days were actually run time for the blueprint.
But that gives you a taste of the time scale in which you must sometimes work in EVE.
At least that will give me plenty of time to pile up raw material.
I just hope the market does not change dramatically before I can put some ships up for sale.