Well its been a few weeks since I got my Hulk and managed to recoup the investment in short order. Much more so now that I think about it, because I’ve been pursuing a number of parallel endeavors, all of which required more than a modest amount of isk.
Fortunately, the tritanium market has been very strong lately– easily the highest isk/m3 mineral right now in high sec. Drop a footnote for unprocessed specialties like Omber or Kernite which are needed for certain missions, but that market has been unreliable even though lucrative. Even with the outlay associated with these projects, I’ve managed to recoup my up-until-then biggest Eve purchase in about a week and a half.
So what have I been spending my modest flowing wealth upon? Short answer: upgrades, all around.
Missions and more missions. Been trying to raise my miner’s reputation and thereby lower his refining taxes. He’s managed to claw his way into Level 3 missions, but the highest quality agent he can access is 14 jumps from home base. A few more missions and he’ll be able to access a L3 agent at my main hub.
Improved hauling. I decided to drop some isk on a few rigs for my main industrial hauler, the Iteron V. With two Cargohold Optimization I rigs, it can hold a little over 33k m3. If I wanted to stick 11 Giant Secure Containers in there, I could max out at 42,900 m3. Loading and unloading 11 cans is a bit more work than I want to do unless its an extraordinary circumstance. So for most applications, having raw hauling space greater than a jet can works out nicely. This speeds up hauling considerably.
More mining. With the acquisition of the Hulk, that left me with a spare Covetor, so I’ve been able to train up my mission runner/hauler to Mining Barge V. He still needs Refining V to be able to use some of the crystals for the Modulated Strip Miners, but now I can put 6 MSM beams on rock simultaneously.
More passive tankage. Both my accounts have Drake battlecruisers which I initially fitted out with a passive tank of primarily Tech I gear. Pooling our resources from missions has yielded enough salvage parts for Wilhelm to manufacture two Core Field Defense Purger I shield rigs for me. Likewise, I’ve rotated in Tech II versions of my shield extenders, hardeners, power diagnostic systems and shield power relays. All the upgrades cut my recharge from 800 something seconds to just over 500 seconds.
More efficient ops. More missions means more salvage. Where there’s mining to be had in the mission, salvaging is incidental since mining will take some time. On pure combat missions, though, not having a salvage monkey to deploy has meant either leaving isk on the table or taking quite a bit of time to salvage those 50 wrecks spread out over 150km. So now I’m the proud owner of two Cormorant destroyers fitted with 4 tractor beams and 4 salvagers on each. Much faster.
Micro Trading. Running more missions also means chewing through more consumables, so I’ve been increasing the number of buy orders I have in various places for the items I tend to use a lot of as well as trying to take advantage of temporary price/supply discrepancies for the items I tend to follow. After a while you get tired of always having to go buy something you need when you need it 4 or 5+ jumps away. So, I figured that if its something that I need, probably someone else needs it too so why not buy a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand and list them locally? So far, I’ve been amazed at what kind of convenience markup I can get away with on basics like milk, eggs, butter drones, mining crystals and shuttles. As a result, I’ve been actively trying to avoid deadheading on a portion of a trip if I can avoid it. If you’re patient and attentive, all these little things add up. And best of all, the market works 24/7 so you don’t have to.
Since I rigged the Iteron V, I’m more careful about where I take it, so I’ve been using a Badger II for my trading milk runs. Plenty of storage and not very flashy.
The Eve of Manufacturing. Now that I’ve got a little scratch laying around and have become more trade focused, I’ve taken the time to get one account’s manufacturing skills up to snuff– Production Efficiency, Research and Mass Production, so far. He hasn’t actually started to produce anything yet, but that’s just a matter of time until he’s back to base. Of course, I’m sure there are more skills I’ll need that I haven’t thought about yet. Its still Eve. I’m sure there will be hijinx, the loss of isk and the gnashing of teeth. Stay tuned.
Battleship on the horizon? Gaff and Wilhelm are on me about getting a battleship so I can stop playing Prinz Eugen to their Bismark. Certainly in the realm of possibility now, but since I’m still running L3 missions on my own, the Drakes are plenty and I don’t seem to be slowing the fleet down when I get invited to do L4s. Still, it would be nice, but in these recessionary times, its always nice to have a safety cusion of isk in the bank.