Daily Archives: April 24, 2012

Hulkageddon, Technetium, and the Circle of Life

Hulkageddon is coming!

I think that is the motto on Helicity Boson’s family crest.

(May they fare better than the Starks.)

And that means the destruction of many mining barges.  Of course, this time around, for Hulkageddon V, there is a new player.

The Mittani and Helicity together on one stage!

Goonswarm is stepping up as a sponsor of the event and is offering a payout of 100 million ISK if you kill 10 Hulk or Mackinaw exhumers.

This is the “everybody wins” aspect of this round of Hulkageddon.  You do not have to be a top performer on the kill board to get a payout.

And, if I heard things right, the reward process will be at least semi-automated.  You won’t have to apply for your reward, you will just have to be registered on the kill board to get your 100 million ISK and congratulatory note after every 10th Hulk/Mackinaw kill.

The Hulk and the Mackinaw are, of course, two of the high end, Tech II if you will, mining barges.  They are what you aspire to fly when you first start off mining in your Bantam or Osprey.

They are expensive ships, but they harvest at such a rate that they pay themselves off pretty quickly with regular use.  When you get to the Hulk is when you start getting annoyed by small asteroids.

These ships are expensive because they require all sorts of special materials to create, plus the whole cycle of invention to create the blueprint.

Hulk bill of materials

Like all the Tech II blueprints I have seen, you have to start with a basic tech version of the item.  In this case, a Covetor.  And then you have to come up with all sorts of exotic materials.  You might have some morphite sitting in your hanger, though if you do it is likely from reprocessing something.  And I once got some construction blocks as a drop from a mission.  But most of the rest you have to go out and make.

Let’s take Photon Microprosessors as an example.  You need 2,200 of those for the Hulk.  You can buy a blueprint for those, but again the bill of materials may look a little foreign.

Photon Microprocessor BOM

Among the items it needs is Nanotransistors.  Those are created via the Nanotransistor Reaction, which requires, among other things, Platinum Technite.  And that requires Technetium.

And that is just one of the components.  I won’t run them all down to their base materials.  Instead I will point out that I recently saw an estimate that Technetium makes up something like 40% of the sale price of a Hulk.

And Hulks are going for 270-300 million ISK at the moment, so I suppose there could be a good 100 million ISK in technetium in each one of those.

And where does Technetium come from?  It comes from tech moons in the north in null sec.  And who owns most of those moons now?  Goonswarm and its CFC allies.  That was one of the main benefits from the war in the north for the CFC, control of most of the tech moons. (Jester wrote of the stuff and its uses.)

So it is not a huge stretch of imagination or mathematics to wonder if paying out 10 million ISK per Hulk or Mackinaw destroyed (payable only when you have killed 10 total) might be less of a charitable reward for gankers and more of an incentive program to keep a profitable enterprise going… and going stronger than ever.

This whole thing just needs one further twist and then I bet even Gevlon shows a bit of envy.

Oh, wait, there it is.

Yeah, that is starting to get some comments, but I am not sure people have seen the full scope of the cartel yet.  It seems like every Hulk that needs to be replaced means ISK heading to the Goons.

Addendum: Posted at EVE News 24 (I hate when I get alliance updates this way, but at least it means I can talk about them freely)

The New Bropacts and OTEC

During the Venal campaign, Ev0ke approached us about a tech deal; after we had made good on the agreement, NCdot approached us as well. Having taken so many moons so rapidly that GЅОL was beginning to thrash about worryingly, foam at the mouth, and mis-time the same moon twice in a row, we decided to declare victory and go home to VFK. Perhaps amusingly, NCdot’s pets have loudly declared that they were /also/ victorious; perhaps it’s a scenario where everyone wins!

Everyone winning is the goal of OTEC, our new diplomatic initiative. OTEC – the Organization of Technetium Exporting Corporations – is here to regulate galactic technetium supply and ensure stable pricing so everyone in the market can benefit. Just like with the real world’s OPEC, ‘Everyone’ in this case means ‘us’ and ‘benefit’ means ‘ahahaha fuck you scrubs’. With discussion of ‘ring mining’ being a method of nerfing tech income, most of the organizations in nullsec that have tech moons are interested in jacking the prices as high as the market will bear, with twin benefits: making us (CFC/NCdot/Ev0ke/PL) comically wealthy at the expense of literally everyone else in the game, and making literally everyone else in the game howl in a rage about it.

I have announced OTEC before it actually exists just to see if I could spook the tech markets by tweeting; I now have almost 4000 nerds following me, and fuck it. Turns out I can (the price rocketed almost to 200k) and now we’re playing catch up to actually make OTEC a reality.