Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Eve: PI Economics, part 2 SBUs

Build cost of a SBU based on current Jita prices:

Capital Construction Parts: 5 * 7 000 000 = 35 000 000
Broadcast Node: 13 * 1 600 000 = 20 800 000
Integrity Response Drones: 9 * 1 670 000 = 15 030 000
Nano-Factory: 19 * 340 000 = 6 460 000
Organic Mortar Applicators: 19 * 957 000 = 18 183 000
Recursive Computing Module: 13 * 939 000 = 12 207 000
Self-Harmonizing Power Core: 13 * 1 895 000 = 24 635 000
Sterile Conduits: 19 * 695 000 = 13 205 000
Wetware Mainframe: 9 * 1 200 000 = 10 800 000

Total = 156 320 000

The actual price of the cheapest SBU sell order is: 191 000 000

SBUs were introduced with the Dominion patch in November 2009. They have been available in unlimited supply on NPC vendors until June 2010. Many players will have planned future use and stockpiled wisely. Those are not the players we're trying to sell to.

The people buying SBUs from the market are nullsec admirals who didn't plan ahead plus speculators. Both are likely to be willing to pay more over the next 6 months because the supply from PI and from speculators cashing in should be considerably below the demand created by sov war and speculators accumulating. Many of the expert Eve players who will have seen this coming will not be inclined to cash in as they may be involved in sov war themselves.

We don't yet know how effective PI will be in supporting the SBU market. However because it's not a massive profit (191 million sell price for a manufacture based on 156 million's worth of materials) there won't be a gold rush at this time.

I would conjecture that PI will be a long time sorting itself out into a viable supplier of SBUs. It's like one of those dinosaurs which, if bitten on the tail, jumped a week later because the nervous system took so long to send the message to the brain.

What will happen to start with is PI will be producer-oriented. PI producers will tend to make what is convenient for them, so for example p3s which can be entirely manufactured on a single planet. Most people (me included) have gone for the comparatively inefficient method of producing from start to finish rather than, say, filling a planet with Higher Processors and importing P3. The market will correct errors in supply over time by making oversupplied materials cheap and undersupplied materials expensive. However if there's a big war, then a spike in SBU prices it takes a long time for the change in market prices to cause people to entirely uproot their carefully planned out PI networks and replace them.

There are a number of factors that give inertia to PI networks. It is an investment of a lot of time and isk to destroy all your PI networks and replace them. People are often proud of their networks and feel that they have cleverly worked something advantageous out like a spot with very high base extraction or whatever. And the market distortions will cause some producers to get burned out because they planted the wrong crop.

And even if people uproot and find new planets with the correct resources it will take time for those resources to be processed all the way up into SBUs. This means even if SBUs spike to 10 million people won't necessarily switch production because it's a spike and they won't be quick enough to catch that spike.

A number of other factors constrain the SBU market. High sec carebears lack awareness of the 0,0 sov system and nullsec industrialists might feel uncomfortable placing SBUs on the market that might be used to conquer their space.

So here's a detailed breakdown of SBU production:

Asteroid minerals:
Isogen 250 265
Megacyte 525
Mexallon 343 080
Nocxium 7 575
Pyerite 464 195
Tritanium 384 326
Zydrine 1330

P4 products

Broadcast Node: 13
Integrity Response Drones: 9
Nano-Factory: 19
Organic Mortar Applicators: 19
Recursive Computing Module: 13
Self-Harmonizing Power Core: 13
Sterile Conduits: 19
Wetware Mainframe: 9

P3 products

Biotech Research Reports 54
Camera Drones 78
Condensates 114
Cryoprotectant Solution 54
Data Chips 78
Gel-Matrix Biopaste 54
Guidance systems 78
Hazmat Detection Systems 54
Hermetic Membranes 78
High-Tech Transmitters 78
Industrial Explosives 114
Neocoms 78
Nuclear Reactors 78
Planetary Vehicles 54
Robotics 114
Smartfab Units 114
Supercomputers 54
Synthetic Synapses 78
Transcranial Microcontrollers 78
Ukomi Super Conductors 114
Vaccines 114

P2 Products

Biocells 700
Construction Blocks 560
Consumer Electronics 560
Coolant 560
Enriched Uranium 560
Fertilizer 560
Genetically Enhanced Livestock 260
Livestock 560
Mechanical Parts 560
Microfibre Shielding 520
Minature Electronics 560
Nanites 440
Oxides 560
Polyramids 520
Polytextiles 560
Rocket Fuel 260
Silicate Glass 520
Superconductors 560
Supertensile Plastics 700
Synthetic Oil 560
Test Cultures 440
Transmitter 700
Viral Agent 560
Water-cooled CPU 440

P1 products

Bacteria 16760
Biofuels 14560
Biomass 12160
Chiral structures 18040
Electrolytes 11040
Industrial Fibres 12800
Oxidising Compound 12800
Oxygen 14560
Plasmoids 21120
Precious metals 14560
Proteins 11040
Reactive metals 16760
Silicon 12800
Toxic metals 13440
Water 16760

There is also a very interesting point of game design. Three p4s are easier to make than the others, requiring 2 P3s + a P1 instead of the 3 P3s the others need. Those three "easy" P4s are the ones that SBUs use most heavily (19 each). So CCP seem to have anticipated that there will be an issue of supply here and designed to mitigate it.

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