Disclaimer: I have followed the advice in this post and have tens of billions of ISK worth of salvage; while this isn’t intended as a pump and dump post, you should at least entertain the possibility that it is.
Consult independent financial advice before acting upon this information, I reserve the right to scam you out of your ISK, yadda yadda.
The introduction of drilling platforms will shake up the salvage market.
Salvage is mostly produced by highsec mission runners and their minions (Pro Synergy etc); explorers; and the odd nullsec multiboxer who will run as many ratting ships as they can actively control, running salvagers on other accounts.
A small amount of salvage is produced by salvaging wrecked citadels, but not enough to make this a lucrative source.
Nothing much is changing on the production front for salvage on the immediate horizon.
Importantly it only scales with player active effort, which is a limited resource in EVE, and salvaging doesn’t lend itself overly well to massive multiboxing.
Salvage is generally used for three main things.
Rigging Small Ships; Rigging Large Ships; Rigging Structures.
Small ships can be mostly ignored as the salvage consumption is pretty low.
If you don’t believe me, check out the cost of Contaminated Lorentz Fluid (CLF), a major component in hybrid DPS rigs. Prices of CLFs do not correlate at all with the price of Light Neutron Blaster II over the last year, despite a high correlation in use between hybrid DPS rigs and LNB2s. CODE in particular use a lot of both and prices do not fluctuate with CODE’s activities, despite the alliance being (probably) the largest consumer of small ships in the economy.
Large ships historically dominated the demand for salvage. Battleship rigs use a lot more salvage than frigate rigs, and carrier rigs use much more again.
There’s been a moderate increase in demand for large ships lately which can only help salvage futures overall. But I don’t believe this is the decisive factor overall.
Structure rigs are the new kid on the block.
Other than Astrahus citadels that are used as disposable staging posts in war, new structures pretty much all require at least one rig to be useful at anything. And those rigs require enormous amounts of salvage to build, starting at ~300m for a medium rig, x5 for large, x5 (again) for XL, and x5 (approx) for T2.
It’s reasonable to expect the same to be true of drilling platforms, when they are released. I expect the vast majority of DP owners to invest in 1 or 2 rigs for each of their new shiny structures, with a moderate minority using 0 or 3.
Some of these rigs may be ones that exist now (for example, the missile precision rigs, while not popular at present, will likely do at least something useful on a drilling platform). However I expect new rigs - ones not currently in the game - to make up the majority of rigs fitted to DPs.
It’s completely in CCP’s hands which particular salvage pieces are used most in the new rigs.
Historically, however, each time a new class of structure has been launched, the most in-demand salvage pieces have changed.
Prior to the first structures, it was Alloyed Tritanium Barsa and Armor Plates that were in the shortest supply gamewide.
After Astrahuses were introduced it was the various Power Circuits (Tripped, Charred) that jumped to the top.
Now, it’s CLFs.
I’m making an 11 figure gamble that this trend continues.
I’ve purchased a basket of tens of billions of ISK worth of T1 salvage pieces that are presently at low prices (1000-20000 ISK), and T2 pieces that are under a million.
I don’t expect each of these gambles to pay off individually, in fact I expect that the majority of them will lose me ISK. However, if one of the salvage pieces I have bought tens or hundreds of thousands of (or better yet, millions) becomes the next Contaminated Lorentz Fluid, I will be very, very happy indeed.
It’s up to you whether you try to follow in my footsteps, or discover flaws in my analysis that allow you to profit at my expense.