Summary / TLDR
Replicating features found in 3rd party industry tools into the EVE industry UI would help new industrialists tremendously. EVE industry requires significant investment by the player to internalize a highly complex ecosystem of dynamic relationships which is something that cannot be avoided, however making it easier in game to develop this knowledge would help greatly.
This post is a response to the Twitch stream by Oz_Eve on March 3rd, 2021. Link below:
It is a great talk, I highly recommend to watch it.
A comment was made around 1:22:00 by @CCP_Rattati that new players have a very rough time starting out in industry. This is true, seasoned industry players have spent an enormous amount of effort to understand the nuances of market behavior. Breaking into EVE industry with zero prior knowledge is a hard journey; however, I would argue the reward is worth the effort.
I completely disagree with the comment that new players cannot compete on margins, the market has 1000s of viable items that new players could start manufacturing profitably and I have the data to show it. However this knowledge has taken years of effort to accumulate and internalize, so this post will outline suggestions to make it easier for new players to gain this knowledge.
For an EVE industrialist to be successful they need to be able to do the following (simplified list):
- Scan for and rank opportunities
- Determine location(s) for acquiring resources, production, and sale
- Acquire assets required for production
- Manage and transport assets
Industry in EVE has three fundamental characteristics that one must either optimize or compromise for when they develop industry processes. When selecting a contractor in real life, a common phrase is “Pick two: Cheap, Fast, High quality”. For EVE industry you can only fully optimize for two of the following: High profits, Low effort, and Low risk. More commonly every player’s preferred process is some compromise of these characteristics.
Problems & Suggestions
- No reliable way to compare opportunity value of multiple items in game. The industry window does a pretty good job in providing players guidance on single item profitability. (Though having to scan 2 tooltips for revenue and cost variables with no easy way to read an estimated profit aggregation is not great.) Currently, a player requires a 3rd party tool to compare multiple items within a single view. Much like how players can compare module stats, industry players need a way in game to compare aggregates of item sale value, input cost, taxes, etc. Being able to rank the relative opportunity value of comparable items to manufacture is the most useful feature that 3rd party tool can provide to industrialists.
- Finding a manufacturing location is very challenging. A player should be able to filter by structure type, rig bonus type, and desired index (< x).
- Without 3rd party tools it is very time consuming for players to understand price trends of products and inputs to gauge if spot price (or the EVE client’s suggested price) can be considered a reliable estimate for profitability after production has started. Add visuals, like simple arrows/line curves, that provide indication if the product or input cost dynamics. Common examples are found on brokerage sites comparing multiple similar equities. Add variable/visual for displaying the weighted cost value of an input relative to the total. From the gif below we can see the light neutron blaster price is flat, and that mexallon is the majority of the cost and is in price decline, knowing this the builder can adjust strategy to anticipate further decline or call a bottom. Being able to see these statistics without busting out a spreadsheet provides critical information when planning procurement strategies. A market depth visualization that works with the history chart would be super awesome graph porn.
Reprocessing skills take too long to train. The opportunity cost is too great when comparing to the fun (and financial) value of other skills. To justify the expense, one really has to really diehard and be operating at a large scale to spend over a year to max out these skills. Not to mention more skills just keep getting added…
Add into the new player industry experience lessons on time value and opportunity cost. Sadly 3rd party tools or a better EVE industry UI cannot teach players how to think. There are countless examples of players learning real life skills from solving problems in EVE. Acquiring mastery through a video game and applying it out of game is a highly rewarding experience. For myself personally I get much joy from using EVE as the sandbox to develop real life skills, this relationship is what has kept me “playing” for over a decade. We do not know what we do not know, not everyone walks into EVE with a science and business background. I am speculating here, but I believe small nudges/examples covering market/business theory topics provided in game on concepts like the two above could go a long way in helping more industry players find success.