I've spent much of the past 24 hours reading posts about the changes to Jump Drives coming in Phoebe and investigating how they will effect my logistics network in order to move products and materials to and from high sec.
Let it be known I like the changes in terms of limiting Force Projection of Capital Ships but the changes in relation to Jump Freighters/Capital Industrial Ships I am not liking at all.
What I Do In NPC Null
Normalised to the minimum I have found that I do the following in NPC Null:
- Manufacture in NPC Null of T1 modules using locally sourced and imported materials
- Manufacture in NPC Null of T2 modules using some locally sourced but predominately imported materials
- Manufacture T1 and T2 rigs using locally sourced and imported salvage materials
- Ship out Reacted Materials for sale in order to fund Manufacturing and Research operations in NPC Null
- Sell Manufactured T1/T2 modules/rigs on my local market
I also mission and rat in order to supplement my income in and around my market system (these aren't primary activities though and aren't listed above) nor is my my high sec trading/speculation listed as it is out of the scope of this discussion.
I make metamaterials for sale to help fund my operations, it contributes to my income that I then use to purchase the minerals, T2 components and salvage needed to manufacture the range of T1/T2 modules and rigs I produce.
I never leave NPC Null with a partially filled Jump Freighter, it is always full whether that is with materials I need moved or courier contracts from corp/alliance that need to go to high sec.
My logistics network at the moment means I have to do two jumps to get to high sec, approximately 20 light years in total distance. I have two dedicated cyno characters in my primary jump systems but with clones in a secondary system should the primary be too dangerous to use.
Fuel wise it costs me less than 700 liquid ozone and 22,000 isotopes per trip to leave my NPC Null home. Once I reach my high sec entry system its a matter of dropping off any courier contracts or shipping materials to Jita for sale by my trading alt.
It is rare I make more than one jump a week but I do ad-hoc services, for a fee, should someone need it but I import raw materials for my metamaterial reactions as well as minerals, T2 components and salvage as needed to meet any shortfalls I have for production.
I try to plan at least 4 weeks ahead in what I need with at least 2 weeks reserve in case of unforeseen difficulties. As a result I typically make one run a week from Jita to NPC Null and if space is available carry courier contracts for corp/alliance in addition to what I need bought in.
I'd estimate at least 75%, probably closer to 90% if I'm honest, of what I need has to be imported from High Sec.
Local politics and supply issues mean that even if I tried I could not source all my requirements locally.
I'm surrounded by entities that are hostile to me and my alliance, not to mention that roving gangs are regular visitors to Curse that make it extremely unwise to pilot anything larger than a hauler more than one or two jumps.
Those that I have spoken to aren't interested in selling me what they make at a reduced price, Jita price is the base but more often than not its Jita plus 10% or 20%, but they'd rather move it to Jita to sell than helping a "red" locally.
There are a lot of reactions happening in the Constellation I'm in, I've performed a full moon survey of the nearest 12 systems and have a good idea what is being made. However most of the high end moons are being extracted rather than reacted with other materials. It seems its easier to extract Hafnium or Mercury and move it for sale in Jita than it is to setup production POS'es and manage them.
PI materials are non-existent in the local market and everyone produces for themselves or, again, for export to Jita. Again I've spoken to some PI producers who aren't in my alliance and they aren't interested in making materials for sale to me both because I'm "red" but also because it will not be as profitable (so they have said).
Minerals I am able to get from reprocessing wrecks, although this no longer yields as much as it used to, as well as the odd hauler spawn but these do not provide all or even the quantities I need of minerals to produce items. I could mine, and I do sometimes, but I am missing out on Mexallon, Isogen and Morphite bearing asteroids so I continually need to import these minerals above all others. Tritanium I've got nearly a billion units of and most of the rest I have between several tens of million (pyerite) or thousands of units (nocxium/megacyte).
I salvage wrecks in belts or mission sites I've been given access to and over the course of 30 days this provides a lot of salvage materials but none is for sale, at least at reasonable prices, locally and anyone else who stockpiles is either doing so for shipping to Jita for resale or produce rigs themselves and do not want to supply a competitor.
Major Consideration - Jump Range Change
Changing the maximum jump distance to 5ly for all jump capable ships will very possibly kill my efforts and I'll leave NPC Null for something either significantly closer to high sec or I may just move onto something new. I just don't know, I'm not feeling quite so fatalistic about this situation as Lorna is but I am facing a serious threat to my activities that I cannot see a reasonable or simple solution to.
As I said in my opening, my Export route is currently two jumps and requires two cyno characters and no more than 10 minutes of action at the keyboard to do.
Using DOTLAN to simulate the 5ly limit for my JF pilots (JDC 0, JFC V and JF V) I find now that 2 jumps becomes 7 jumps with four of those jumps requiring stops in non-NPC Null systems held by entities that are hostile to me. I can't see any way of getting blue status with them nor can I really "ninja cyno" as a Jump Freighter cannot fit a cloaking device and thus would be easy pickings for any probe carrying combat ship.
Looking for alternative routes I can change two of the stops to other systems but again they are either held by the same hostile entities or another one entirely. Some choice I have there.
Then of course there will be the two other "minor" changes I'd need to keep abreast of:
- Additional jumps means additional cyno characters, ships, modules and fuel needed
- Using jump clones for cyno characters could increase the jump time from minutes to at least a day or two depending on setup
Instead of adding new characters maybe I can use jump clones instead... And if I did use Jump Clones I'd have to train them up to be able to have multiple clones (at least 5) and be maximum skilled in Cynosural Theory so as to not require cargo modules and use the minimum amount of fuel per lighting.
And then of course you've got to take into account the jump clone timers, what takes 10 minutes now and I don't need to do any jump cloning may take one or two days to complete the full journey due to the cool down period between jumps. I could add more cyno characters but I'd need to start another new account dedicated to cyno characters and I have more than enough accounts at the moment.
Of course jump cloning would only work if I had access to friendly stations on the route that I can install a clone and store ships, modules and fuel in. Ah, wait I don't.
- Use the gate network to move cyno characters ahead of the jump freighter and light as needed
I'd could use my cyno characters to travel through gates each time I needed a cyno but this would opening up the opportunity that I could die on the way (very likely) or be followed and have someone spring a trap and catch my jump freighter (very possibly).
What About Wormholes
I did have someone say that wormholes may be the saviour for people like myself. Find a nice Null->Low Sec (which I could jump out of) or Null->High Sec connector and I'd be all good. In theory it could work but in practice it wouldn't (I don't think).
I've seen four WH's in my home system in the past 2 weeks. 3 were to WH space and one was a null->null connector that was even deeper located than I was. I really don't see WH's being able to help.
The jump range change will more than half my JF range (11.25ly to 5ly) and limit the systems I can use whilst increasing the stops I must make on the way in hostile systems.
As a result my conclusion is simple, based on what has been announced, I will no longer be able to, as of Phoebe, be able to run a logistics network from my NPC Null home to high sec.
We still have almost 2 months until Phoebe is released. Things can change, although as this post says:
Since this is a dev blog, this means it that CCP is a lot more solid on its decisions here than it would be in a trial balloon dev post on the forums
meaning that these changes are probably decided and unlikely to significantly, if at all, change between now and release.
We'll have to wait to see what happens and whether the feedback CCP are getting is going to see changes or not.