Thursday, March 20, 2014

Economics of the New Reprocessing

Check out the latest dev blog.  It seems that CCP is going to substantially overhaul the reprocessing system (both ore and stuff).  ("Reprocessing" == "refining".  The latter word will be retired.)

The gist of it is that reprocessing will top out at much less than 100%.  For ore and ice, at a 50% efficient station, the max will be 72.4% with perfect skills and a 4% implant.  To compensate for this, they are going to increase the refining yield of all ores by 38.1% (1/0.724).  This keeps the value of mining essentially constant.

(Update: this is wrong.  Thanks, Gev.)  There is no mention of increasing all ore stocks by 38%.  So I infer they won't do that.  Which means something interesting: all ore held on patch day will suddenly be reprocessable for 38% more minerals than the day before.  Ore holders get a nice windfall.  Thus, we can expect the market for ore to go up, starting, well, now.  Or even before now, depending on how much the news has leaked.  But a quick look at tritanium at Eve Markets does not show anything.  A profit opportunity.  (Of course, the "interest rate" for holding ore is not going to be huge.  Still, anything is better than what one currently gets, namely, zero.)

Meanwhile, I expect a lot of manufacturing to be put on hold.  Consider the situation of a miner: if you simply hold on to ore for ~2 months (or whatever), you get 38% more for it.  So, why refine/sell now?  Many will sell to fund this or that, but many others will be happy to bank their ore.  This means minerals will go up, and indeed the entire manufacturing chain down stream.  However, these other things won't go up as much, because come patch day, they are not magically worth 38% more.  Thus, in effect, manufacturing is squeezed.  You can still make good profit, probably, if you are fast about selling.

Scrap reprocessing is going to be heavily nerfed.  The maximum efficiency will drop from 100% to 55% (maybe a bit more with an implant; not clear).  This means that a bunch of low-meta items will drop to about half their current price, since much of their demand is tied to mineral prices via reprocessing.

There will also be interesting effects on other markets.  In particular, scrapping is a vital means for getting minerals out to null.  This change will in effect abolish that practice overnight.  As such, anything built in null will be much more laborious (more jump-freighter runs), or perhaps locally sourced.

There are two interesting changes for wspace (and null) dwellers.  First, POS refining will be de-nerfed from far, far worse than a station (max yield of 75% and takes four hours), to be slightly better.  An intensive refining array will get a base rate of 54% to reprocessing yield, as versus the 50% at a station.  An outpost will be able to get up 60%!  And it will take 10 seconds.  (The current situation is insane.)  So, good for CCP!  I was planning to leave mining entirely, but now I am not so sure.  

Second, the medium refinery will go away to be replaced with a compressor (acts like a Rorqual).   I am not sure whether we'd use that or not; it depends on whether compressed ores are allowed into ore bays.  


  1. My recollection was that compressed ore can be held in the miasmos. seems to agree.

    As such, I see compressors going into every wh that does not have a rorqual.

    My understanding is that null will move to compressed minerals. I also see POS fuel getting more expensive with more highsec POS being used to compress them. And WH ore will be slightly more valuable because of this.

    I need to check the compression of ore values more carefully

  2. Currently compressed ores are allowed in ore bays.

  3. As foo was trying to say, the goal with the new ore compression is to replace the existing mineral compression by perfect refining of manufactured goods.

    Yeah it seems a little bit odd to compress the ore rather than the refined product (minerals), but other than that the null manufacturers will be jumping around loads full of compressed ore rather than loads of 425mm Railgun's and the like.

  4. I'm sorry, but you got it wrong. Holding ores gives you nothing. While on patch day the mineral contents of your ore increase by 38%, your reprocessing skill drops to 72.4%, so you will gain the same minerals: 1.38*0.724= 1

    1. You're right. Thanks.

      No need for the "I'm sorry", at least not for me. One should never be sorry for correcting someone. Of course, you have the usage correct in that English-speaking people today say "I'm sorry" for all sorts of things they are not a bit sorry for, as a matter of social lubrication. But I am autistic and a language reactionary, so you need not apply that to me.

  5. There's also that the Rorqual will actually be useful for mining now. They're making compression helpful, and completely removing compressed ore BPOs from the game, making it so the Rorqual can just right-click and compress.

  6. I can see this affecting the traditional mineral compression business. No more 425mm autocannons, and instead shipping things like "Compressed Fiery Kernite". I'm sure the nullsec industrialists have done the math on this already (I've moved back to empire).

    In a previous corp, we'd sometimes set up a POS in a system that had a lot of belts (10-20 belts) and no stations. Instead of having to wait for the Orca pilot to log in and haul, the compression array would let the mining happen as folks wanted, and a lower skilled player with a Miasmos could haul the blocks back to the HQ system. Since I don't have much playing time, I don't think I'm going to gear up for this, but I can imagine a number of mining corps doing this.