My corporation – Amarr Will Eat Itself [AWEI] – runs what I call a build cycle. Typically this is a once-a-month thing, which means that at one point every month, stuff takes a whole bunch of time to do, and stresses everyone out a little. Everyone mostly consisting of myself and my army of industrial mule characters.
For tech 2 production, it starts simple, then gets more complex. For the initial cycle, you build all your tech 1, and all your tech 2 components (from advanced moon goo). For the second cycle, you build all your tech 2 output – be it ships, modules, ammunition – whatever, and the tech 1 and tech 2 components. You can see this getting expensive quickly, no doubt. For the third and all consecutive months, you do all of what you did for the second month, plus the additional hauling of produce to a hub to sell.
However, at this point, you have spent a massive amount of isk and so far, made zero profit. Throw in a ‘Dominion reshuffle’ on the component requirements for builds in the middle of your first third-cycle (if that makes sense), and you have a massive headache and an even bigger deficit in the corp wallet. However, this is not what I wanted to talk about today – Just laying some groundwork.
The Dominion expansion changes meant a lot of things – some things became cheaper to manufacture, a lot became more expensive. From the perspective of the builder though, you suddenly needed a whole load more space in your ship if you wanted to mass manufacture. So I set about training one of my mules to fly the secondary corp-owned freighter, a Fenrir.
It took me a while to get her up to some semblance of competency – remembering of course that she’s specced for int and mem and pretty much only builds stuff; she never flies anywhere. A few days ago she managed to get Minmatar Freighter level 3, and so I decided to take the Fenrir out for a double-run to Jita and back. Yup, 48 jump round trip, 2 freighters at the same time. Normally I wouldn’t do it so early in the month, but I wanted to test run the operation, and nothing works like a ‘live-fire’ test.
Ary was always one step behind. Its easy to see why. Mostly level 2 or 3 skills versus full level 5s for the relevant skills. That said, her step was usually only 2-3 seconds behind, which surprised me quite a bit.
Initially I left them both on auto-pilot. No real risk of suicide ganks in high sec if you’re an empty freighter. Well, there is, but its so tiny its about as likely as getting hit by lightning *touch wood*. I came back 45 minutes later and they were both in the same system, with one aligning to warp and the other approaching the gate. Not bad!
Arrived in Jita, bought all the stuff that was needed (having checked this morning versus Rens prices in case I didn’t have to go too far – alas, it was not meant to be), and then cried at my wallet as I had to drop a load of isk into the corp to keep it ticking over until we have more stock to sell.
Loaded up, undocked, and warped to my nice insta-warp spot so I don’t get thrown around like a hot potato. Surprisingly, once you’re away from that blob of ships on the docking tubes, its quite pretty these days:
Another hour or so, and a couple of bounces off gates due to my waning enthusiasm for the alt-tab action and subsequently deviating off to read emails and websites (bad me!), and we were back in Minmatar space. It never ceases to amaze me how bloody long you spend in Gallente space – it always feels like it never ends! It must be the depressing snot-green colour of the systems.
Arrived home safely, and stuff was deposited, with significantly less to buy next week (which may or may not arrive via contract from the U’K). Overall I consider this a great success. Even if it is about 50% more effort on my part, it beats the 100% time and effort increase in having to do two separate runs!