Working on my refinement

13th April 2009 – 10.12 am

Back when I was making the move from mission runner to industrialist in EVE Online I looked at the certificate system and the skills available to determine what I should train to be effective. As there is no Mac version of EVEMon I had to create my own low-tech version, a note floating around my desk with a list of skills I wanted to train to which level. However, I have been what can politely be described as distracted by the lure of Tech II production, mostly because whenever I find myself needing to train a skill that will take longer than a week I get a bit fidgety and would rather see some more immediate gains.

Taking a dozen days to learn a skill to a high level is only a matter of perspective, though. Quite often, a week can fly by, as can a fortnight or more, depending on what else I am involved with, so whilst quick gains from short skills are quite satisfying there is ample opportunity to learn a longer duration skill. The extra efficiency or ability granted from the level IV or V skill is a good benefit, perhaps offering bigger profit margins directly, but often it also allows a new, better skill to be learnt that can significantly change the way I run my operations. Such as it is with refining.

Ever since I scribbled down my basic skill training plan refining V has been on the list, which although is perhaps aimed at refining mined ore can also be used to melt down modules for the mineral contents. I have hundreds of modules stored in my mission base from level three missions, all of which refine to feed my production lines. My training distractions moved me away from refining to learning Tech II production skills as well as improving my drone skills, helped along by the useful training queue introduced in Apocrypha. On top of that, I realise that my core skills are still languishing below even the standard certificate level in nearly every case and have tried to correct that.

At the moment, I am buying all the minerals for my production runs from the market. Whilst this is not affecting my ability to profit, thanks to the economic value of labour in EVE Online, if I could get the minerals using my time rather than ISK my operations would then be pure profit. It is a little disheartening to see my wallet bulge from good sales only to have to spend 80% of my profits on minerals for the next run.

I could sell the modules on the market to make ISK, with which I can then buy the minerals and effectively make the overall available profit, but even though some loot is lucrative many of the modules don't sell readily. Rather than trying to sell the randomly looted items I can instead melt them down and produce modules that I know sell quickly and for profit. Without good refining skills, though, there will be significant waste when extracting minerals from the looted modules, hence the modules have been sitting in my hangar gathering dust for months.

I need to focus a few weeks of training on getting my refining skills improved. Each level of the refining skill decreases my waste by 2%, which isn't too bad, but now that I finally trained refining V I have access to the refinery efficiency skill, which reduces waste by another 4% per skill level. This is why a small push past the level V skill to train the next tier is worth the investment in time. Once I have trained in refinery efficiency I can then learn scrap metal processing and finally be able to scrap all the modules I have looted without unnecessary waste.

With an efficient refining process that can feed my production lines I will also have more options available to me. Being able to melt down mission loot efficiently means that I can guarantee the loot will be profitable. Rather than avoid time-consuming encounter missions when I am trying to increase faction standings I can take on the encounters knowing that I am also feeding my industrial endeavours. Indeed, it may be a more profitable use of my time to loot several missions, also gaining the mission rewards and bounties that go with it, than to pilot my Badger half-way around the region to pick up cheap minerals.

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