In just over two weeks Crius will be deployed and with that a whole raft of changes to industry, star bases and one major change to jump fuel usage for capital ships.
CCP are trying to stimulate the isotope market and keep prices steady due to changes made in Kronos that could have seen a significant drop in the number of player star bases being operated.
In order to stimulate the market there really needs to be something that will take over the need for the isotopes that previously would have been used in POS fuels. CCP have decided to change jump drives (and jump portals) and make them consume 50% more isotopes on use.
It's a bold change and one that has had plenty of comments in the official forum thread and it turns out that one of the comments was such a good idea that CCP have implemented it as part of the changes.
The changes coming will be as follows:
- 50% increase in fuel usage by all jump drives and jump portals
- 33% decrease in isotope volume from 0.15m3 to 0.10m3
The latter change is especially good against the first as without it it was probable that some multiple jump courses could require refueling stops but this means that you'll be able to carry more 33% isotopes without changing fuel bay.
I've calculated the costs for fuel usage in Kronos and post-Crius and come up with the following based on the following isotope costs:
|Isotope cost as of 7th July 2014|
|Highlighted in red isotope quantities that exceed the ship fuel bay size|
It's clear from this that any pilot not trained to at least Jump Fuel Conservation IV is going to seriously cut into any profits or rewards for jumping.
Fuel costs are definitely going up but the reduction in isotope volume will mean most pilots will be able to continue without the need for refueling points. Only really low skilled pilots will have an issue and realistically I don't think this is an issue as any jump freighter pilot will be trained to have all jump skills to V.
How This Affects Me
Not a huge amount but for me my costs will increase by 11m per round trip.
It looks like I'll be increasing my shipping prices for Corp/Alliance/Friends. My current price per m3 almost covered the increased costs but not quite so I'm going to increase my shipping prices by 10% per m3 to cover this and still jump "at a profit".
What will happen post-Crius will be interesting. Will we see a reduction in isotope costs or will they stay pretty much unchanged.
I think the latter is most likely, isotope usage will increase over time but people will have stockpiled before hand to ensure that they have stable costs, at least until they use what they have stockpiled, and the convenience of a supply to last any further fluctuations.
Personally I've bought enough to survive a couple of months worth of normal usage and I know friend who are/have done the same. It's good planning to have stockpiles for situations like this.
Changes to Ice mining and certain events have certainly fluctuated pricing over the years I've been in game but the one thing that really makes no sense to me is the limit that isotopes can only be mined in the racial area that they are used by.
i.e. Helium can only be mined in Amarr and aligned regions, Oxygen in Gallente/aligned regions and so on
I'd like to see this change and instead all ice belts should provide a good mix of different types instead of just the one.
Imagine warping to an ice anomaly and seeing not just Dark Glitter or Glacial Mass but maybe a group of Clear Icicle or Blue Ice. Certainly limit the amount of non-local/region racial ice that appears but start making it appear everywhere and maybe that will also stimulate the market as there would be more supplied from all over New Eden and not just certain regional places.