This is an answer to a question that was posed by @CCP_Rattati in his recent interview with Oz
It took me about a year to build up my little industrial empire where I can make just as much as high-level abyssal gameplay, nullsec ratting, incursions, or any other high-level ISK-making activity in the game. However, to get to where I am required a lot of patience because of the current system, patience that I don’t think many players have.
The biggest problem that I can see with the industry at its current state isn’t that there aren’t enough opportunities out there for new players in terms of things they can profitably build. There are many profitable items that you can find blueprint copies for on the market and start making millions on, even with a low-skilled character. You really don’t need blueprint originals to begin with.
The biggest problem is that it’s extremely hard to find these opportunities in-game without using any third-party tools. It’s sometimes even hard with third-party tools. Another huge problem is that minerals are extremely hard to move which is counterintuitive to where we are moving with the dynamic changes to the ore distribution. Different kinds of ores have been spread out around New Eden which should incentivize players to move around more to get a hand of different ores, meanwhile, Tritanium is almost impossible to move at its current state. Yes, you can always buy Compressed Veldspar but for a new player with really bad reprocessing skills, that’s simply not an option since he will lose 40% on reprocessing.
So what needs to change?
A blueprint simulator where you can rank all original blueprints and blueprint copies in the entire game by profitability and factor in the cost of the blueprint/blueprint copy. You should be able to simulate all blueprints that you don’t own and also check how profitable it would be to produce and sell to different trade hubs. You should also be able to simulate blueprints to all existing structures as well as making your own simulated structure set up to simulate a blueprint to a structure you and your corp haven’t built yet. This simulated structure setup should also be possible to simulate in different regions like HS/LS/NS and WH-space. Preferrably this should also be able to be saved so people have something to look forward to.
For new players, it’s also especially important that they can simulate the blueprint copy price from contracts and for example rank blueprint copies by ISK/per copy and add that into the overall simulation. Right now, it’s extremely hard to find all of this information without singlehandedly searching each and every blueprint one after another. The 3rd party tool ISKperH does a decent job at ranking blueprints by profitability but it doesn’t factor in the cost of blueprints which is a big problem. Preferably, all of this should be integrated into the same tool.
Make minerals like Tritanium/pyerite/isogen easier to move by decreasing their m3 size. For a new player, you should be able to fill a Kryos transport with all minerals that you need to build something worth the trip and the effort. That should be a goal to aim for when you’re changing the m3 size.
Consider adding a kryos,miasmos,epithal type ships to all the other races since most players only find out that Gallente is the only race that has them after they’ve chosen to train into a particular race. I’ve heard so many disappointing players that have trained Caldari/Minmatar/Amarr transport ships only to find out that Gallenete is the only viable one to train if you want to do industry.
Reprocessing simulator where you can simulate how much you will get back when buying (for example) veldspar off the market and reprocess it with your current skills. It should also be possible to simulate how much you will get by adding on skills/implants that you don’t have and simulate that. This simulation tool will give new players something to strive for since they can then look ahead and see when it will be profitable to reprocess themselves and when it’s best to buy minerals off the market. This tool should just like the blueprint simulator make it possible to simulate reprocessing at different structures that either are in the region or structures that you haven’t built yet in different environments like Hisec/LowSec/NullSec and WH-space.
Make all different mineral reprocessing skills equally as easy to train into. The current training structure of skills follows the old way of how minerals were structured by value. Because of that, all of the former null-sec minerals are extremely hard to train into since you need to train Reprocessing Efficiency to lvl 5, Science to lvl 4, and Metallurgy to lvl 4 to even be able to reprocess minerals like arknor, bistot or crokite.
Rather, make all different mineral reprocessing skills equally as easy to train to lvl 5 just like veldspar is. Reprocessing and reprocessing efficiency should still be a ladder to climb up to perfect skills and they should be hard/take a long time but they shouldn’t be a prerequisite to reprocess any ore type, they should just be the endgame of reprocessing.
Make easier guides of how to do industry in game. There should be an ingame Wikipedia not just for industry but for every activity in this game. This Wikipedia could be totally run by players if players that write good posts are rewarded with more access and players that spam or are new have very little access and have to build that access up to overtime by showing they write good posts.
Lastly, I want to say that I agree with Oz on the point that making diminishing returns for bigger producers is the wrong path to go down since that will make it so that industry players won’t have an end-game. Just like any activity in this game, you start small, and if you’re good at what you do you grow your income over time to get to a more profitable end-game.
I would also like to mention a youtube channel that has done a brilliant job of showing new players how to build up an industrial empire from scratch (even in the current climate). I think you can learn a lot about how the industry works for a new player by watching his videos because this guy (just like me) started doing industry about a year ago and now has his industrial empire. Gaming since the '70s - YouTube