Friday, December 14, 2012

Sugar’s Non-Technical Guide to Making Boosters


Welcome to my non-technical guide to boosters.    This is just a walk through on my wobbling path to booster production.  It took me half a dozen different documents to figure out what I needed to do to make these mythical things.  Its what I do.  It may not be perfect but it works.

This is pirate focused industry.

This guide brought to you by Lain asking me to write it after I tried to explain it in chat.


Why make boosters?
Because drugs are good.  Really they are performance enhancers and performance enhancers can give someone that extra edge in PvP.  It was also because my boys used them and when they ran low they often ran out, I could be their supplier.  They would no longer hoard their drugs due to the length of time it takes to get fresh product.. The thought of being a drug kingpin was also very appealing.  Plus, it meant I was building things.  Lacking any business sense the payoff of ‘yay I made it’ is so powerful for me that it negates all of those sensible things like cost, profit, logistics, and sense.

I was told that few people stay with boosters by someone.  This automatically kicked in my “Oh really?” stubborn mode and I went into over drive the next day to set up my processes.  I've had a few out of corporation sales but business has been slow for me.  I'm terrible at selling myself that way.

What are Boosters?
Boosters are Combat Improvement drugs.  They come in several types.


 "Combat Boosters are specially designed drugs which allow the user to temporarily boost certain combat related abilities at the risk of more or less harsh penalties to other combat abilities.
Currently there exist eight different boosters, each of them affect a different attribute and each of them have different possible side effects. Each of the eight boosters come in four different   flavors, each one more potent but also more dangerous regarding the side effects."
The Law on Boosters
Synthetic Boosters are legal in high security space.  The other boosters are not legal.  The customs agents that inhabit each high security gate have a chance of scanning your ship when you enter a system.  If they find contraband in your ship they will offer to let you confiscate it or pay a fine.

Or you can trigger an aggression flag and ignore them.  They are only illegal at the gates.  The stations do not have customs offices.  Also, Concord and the various Faction Police Agencies do not do blood tests.  

Consumed boosters are therefore legal.

What are the types of Boosters?

                                Booster                                        Effect         
                                Blue pill                             Shield boosting amount               
                                Exile                                   Armor repair amount     
                                Mindflood                          Capacitor capacity           
                                X-Instinct                           Signature radius               
                                Drop                                  Tracking speed 
                                Frentix                               Optimal range   
                                Sooth Sayer                       Falloff range      
                                Crash                                 Missile explosion radius

 Where are Boosters Made?
I have read that the modules cannot be anchored in 0.4 security space.  I have not tried to confirm this.  If so, it means 0.3 security space and down.  High sec is not an option.  Look to most(?) of low sec, all of null sec and all of wormhole space.  They cannot be made in high sec empire space.  They are considered illegal contraband in high sec.

Boosters are made with a POS. A POS is a Player Owned Starbase.  Often they are called Structures but the wiki page calls them a Starbase. 

They need to be made in the Drug Lab POS Module.   However, there are several steps before the end product of making a booster.  How many of these steps you want to complete are up to you.  Technically, you can buy all of the end materials off of the market and just make the end production booster.  It's your finances after all. 

How are Boosters Made
The very basic explanation is that Boosters are made of harvestable gas from gas clouds found in ladar sites.  Ladar sites are cosmic signatures that are found through the use of scanner probes.  Some of these signatures contain clouds of gas.  They are then mixed with other things depending on the type of booster you want.

The Skills
Eve’s skillpoint trap is right here for more things for you to learn.  The nice part is that none of the skills needed are time intensive.  You can have the skills to make your own boosters with one trip to a station with NPC skill books and a quick market search.
  • For the POS - Anchoring III.  Because it will not be in high sec NPC standings are a nonissue.
  • To make the Drugs - Drug Manufacturing
  • To consume the Drugs - Biology, Science
  • To negate some of the negative effects of the drugs - Neurotoxin Recovery, Nanite Control
  • If you want the ability to remotely run blue prints from the safety of a station you need to learn…
  • Scientific Networking - This skill runs the blue prints from the station.  Its prerequisites are Science III and Laboratory Operation IV

 Materials
Gas comes in two types.  Cytoserocin and Mykoserocin.

It comes in eight flavors: Amber, Azure, Celadon, Golden, Lime Malachite, Vermillion, and Viridan.

Mykoserocin is used in synthetic boosters. Cytoserocin is used in standard boosters.  Improved boosters use two different types of standard booster combined in a reaction.  Strong Boosters used two types of standard boosters in their reaction. It is a stepping stone process that starts with the two base gases.

Reactions: Each booster has a reaction for each strength (synth, standard, improved, strong).  The reaction is the basic recipe that creates a Pure form of the booster.  This Pure form is only a material and not something that you can use directly.  It is what feeds either the blueprint copy for the actual booster or feeds the next step of the reaction process for Improved and Strong boosters.

Other stuff:  Garbage if you are making Synth boosters.  Water if you are making standard boosters.

Material Acquisition
 Gas.  You can mine this stuff yourself.  I go to Jita.  Gas is large in volume so it can quickly become a pain to transport.  Mykoserocin spawns in high sec and low sec.  Cytoserocin spawns in low and null.

Megacyte can be mined in null or purchased off the market.

The POS - Buy it or build it from blue prints

What size POS?
The smallest size POS is going to be a medium POS due to the needs of the modules.  The drug manufacturing will consume the entirety of the POSs capabilities to support.  However, the fuel consumption is pretty low.  Thank CCP for giving barges Ore holds.  AFK ice mining has caused fuel to plummet.

A large POS gives more options but consumes twice as much fuel as a medium POS.

I personally run a large POS on a moon with minerals.  Not a tech moon.  It however has two minerals that I also mine.  This brings in enough to put a dent in the fuel bill.  Far from spectacular but tending my POS is like puttering around a garden for me in game.

I also have two labs running and researching blue prints.  To save myself some money if someone decides to come destroy my tower, I’ve learned the skills to let me remotely manage blue prints.  This way I keep as few assets in space as possible at any given time.

Each POS has bonuses and pros and cons.  That isn't my discussion.  There are lots of POS guides out there.

What Modules?
  • The Tower
  • A Biochemical Silo
  • Biochem Reactor Array (complex reactions, improved or strong boosters)
  • Medium Biochemical Reactor Array (simple reactions, synth or standard boosters)
  • Drug Lab
  • Two General Storage Silos
  • Hazardous Chemical Silo

You can now name your modules.  I suggest this because it will make life easier when you are trying to link everything together into a process.  I named my silos silo one and silo two. The labs are lab one and lab two.  The naming method can be as simple or as complex as you wish it to be but it will make your life easier for each module to be its own, unique individual.

What Permissions?
I suck at the corporation management stuff.  This is why this is a non-technical guide.  Basically, you need to be able to build things in labs and access silos and manage the production line.  A lot of people set up an alt corporation  for this because the materials involved are expensive.

An alt corporation is one run by another character on your main or secondary account.  This corporation often only contains that one character.  This allows you to run the POS by yourself with no interference.  If the corporation joins the alliance, alliance members can also access the POS.  Due to the poor security capabilities of current Eve Corporation Management, alternate corporations are a very secure way to move forward with projects.  This also keeps primary corporation and alliance killboards empty of expensive structure loses for those that care about such things.

 Mixing the Materials
The POS interface is terrible. 

Anchoring a tower is terrible.  It's one of those terrible mechanics that I actually like while hating.  The time that your POS is vulnerable in space for the ganking or tanking is nerve wracking.  Every ship that enter the system wants to come and kill you and your POS.  You are about to watch a few hundred million ISK evaporate while someone cackles gleefully.

Then it anchors.  You rush to it to online it.  Then you discover that it will be another wait while it onlines.
More stress.  That is how eve should be.

But the managing of the actual process was enough to reduce me to trembling tears of frustration.
What I could not find and did not learn until Razor logged on and I tackled him was how to make my reactions connect to each other.  It turns out that in the land of right clicking the answer was drag and drop.  Not obvious at all.

You drag the ‘links’ onto what you want them to do.  So, if you have your reactor needing gas and water, you drag the gas from the left corner gas icon onto the reactors right corner gas icon.  You do the same for water.  You then drag the produced booster from the icon to the right of the reactors line to the left of the biohaz silo.  You drag the excess water from the right to the left of the second silo.



I’m adding pictures so that it makes more sense.  It made absolutely none at first.  The sheer patience people must have had to have figured this stuff out when it was introduced boggles my mind.

The Actual Booster
Each Booster comes in four strengths.  Each strength creates a PURE form of the booster.
  • Improved – This is considered a complex biochemical reaction
  • Standard – This is considered a simple biochemical reaction
  • Strong – This is considered a complex biochemical reaction
  • Synthetic – This is considered a simple biochemical reaction

The second step of the process is to use the blue print to turn your pure booster material into the actual consumable booster that everyone knows and loves.

Look at the blue print and see what it requires: #units of pure booster #units of Megacyte

This process is like any build process in Eve.  Take the materials to the drug lab and drop them in.  The drug lab, interestingly enough, has hanger divisions on it.  This, I assume, allows different booster to be made in different areas by different people.  It uses the corps hanger decisions.  I just drop all of my materials in the first compartment.

This is where the POS interface sucks some more.

Right click on the blue print and go to manufacture.  The selection will look just like the normal selection when you build things in a station.  This is when you go to the tab that says "Owner" and under it it says "Me".  This is a drop down box.  Change it to "My Corporation."  Now you should see the Drug Lab as an option to select the build slot from.

The Numbers
I’m not good at numbers.  I don’t have pretty spreadsheets with nice details that update constantly.  Instead, I figured out the simple formal of ‘how many do I need.
    BPC – 50 run
    The average 50 run BPC is what I pick up.
    I need 250 Megacyte per 50 run BPC
    It takes 1340 units of gas to make a 50 run BPC.

Even with improved drug skills, making a 50 run copy will take about a day.  The base time is just under 30 minutes per booster.   This means all 50 runs take just under 24 hours to complete.

BPC – 1000 run:  I’ve never used one.  The only difference between this and a 50 run copy is that it has 1000 copies.  I’m sure if there was a large demand this would be a better investment. These can be gotten from the pirate factions

Selling Boosters
  • The Market: Boosters, amusingly enough, can be placed on the market.  
  • Contracts: Boosters can be purchased over contracts but not sold.  The buyer places a “Want to Buy” contract for the booster they want.  That booster is then delivered to that station and the contract accepted.  The seller gets the ISK and the buyer gets the booster. 

                
Profitability
For me it isn’t.  I make back what I put into it.  I’m terrible at business and my goal is to undercut anyone that might sell to my boys and sell it to them myself.  Therefore I break even.

Without mining the gas myself, my profit area is very small.  The ingredients are expensive to buy and a pain in the butt to move.  If I had my own jump freighter it would be a lot easier.  The most expensive part of that process is getting the drugs INTO low sec from high sec.  The size of gas means that it takes many, many trips in a blockade runner to move an entire BPC run of gas.  Black Frog costs 50 million for the jump.

Things You can Do to save ISK
  • Mine your own gas
  • Harvest your own blue print copies from ladar sites
  • Pop your own drug manufacturing skill book from combat ladar sites
  • Pop your own gas harvesters from combat ladar sites
  • Make friends with the pirate factions to get 1000 run BPCs
  • Build your own POS fuel

5 comments:

  1. I wrote a two part on booster use and production back in 2008 for the Eve Tribune. Just re-posted to my blog today. DOn't know if they have any use for you, but here's the links:
    http://www.ninveah.com/2012/12/boosters-part-1-eves-little-pick-me-ups.html
    http://www.ninveah.com/2012/12/boosters-part-2-secrets-of-drug-cartels.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I never found it when I started, sadly. I was looking and looking and skimming forums and the web and bashing my head against the desk.

      Delete
  2. First violencing spaceships.
    Then flashy red sec status.
    Now drugs.

    Your corruption is deepening.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Really well done sug. Love you

    ReplyDelete
  4. I may be a little late to the party, but..

    While, by now, there is more information out there on the process as a whole, this is the best guide I've found for explaining everything that you need, start to finish, in an easily understandable way. Especially for those of us who have never seen the POS or manufacturing UI before getting into booster production.

    Thanks for the time spent, and good luck on CSM. o7

    ReplyDelete