Last night I finished rearranging my planetary interaction colonies to make them more efficient. Making nanite repair paste is complicated and I'm not using a guide. That means figuring things out on my own. The process isn't too bad, except operating in low sec I got stopped transferring products to my factory planet by some PvP activity. Having a Slasher warp in 30 km off the customs office isn't the greatest feeling in the world when you're only armed with a festival launcher. I did manage to stay cloaked and warped off, although he did get within 8 km. Maybe I should have fit at least one of my low slots with a nano. My align time wouldn't have changed but the extra sub-light speed would help. Especially after I had 2 pods warp 10 km off the CO the next time I tried to approach. That was a sign; time to go to bed.
Is all the effort worth it? I'm not going to make nearly the 830 million ISK per month Proto wrote about last week in his column on Crossing Zebras. Not even half that amount manufacturing nanite repair paste. I figure I can make 5000 units of paste per week. Anyone who's interested can look up the price. And that's gross, not net. On the bright side, all the smart people have already figured that out and are going for the maximum profit. In other words, I don't have to compete with them. I plan on making a good profit, yes, but I also get the satisfaction of
making something in low sec requiring a lot of travel between planets. Supplying the market with a niche product mainly used and touted by PvPers means I have a much smaller population of players as potential buyers than a manufacturer of Damage Control IIs.
A niche market catering to PvPers that doesn't pull in maximum profit. Sound familiar? EVE Online is a pretty niche game catering to PvPers (and the sandbox crowd) that doesn't maximize profits. Think about that fact. Could CCP make more money if Hilmar moved the company out of Iceland to avoid all of the currency restrictions the government imposed after the banking collapse? And while 500,000 subscriptions was what EverQuest drew at its peak (which is when EVE launched), I actually read some fool on the forums call EVE a failure because the game only has 500,000 subscriptions after 10 years. I call him a fool, because outside of World of Warcraft and Lineage, what games 10 years and older have a 500,000 subscription base? And I'm not sure of Lineage's number.
The min/maxers in the world took a look at WoW and figured they needed to do what Blizzard did because of the numbers. CCP, on the other hand, so far has largely resisted the call to do what the rest of the market thinks is correct. Perhaps because of embracing their niche status, those techno-Vikings sitting in the middle of the North Atlantic also have another distinction. Ten years of year-over-year growth, with an announcement of an eleventh year of growth probably coming soon. Perhaps filling a niche in an industry isn't so bad after all.