SP-Farms and why they will stay profitable 1/3

Around half a year ago, I thought that my impetuous “change” to making ISK via SP-farming would not be profitable in the long run. At least at the end of the year 2016, the margins would be too low, so I thought. To be honest, I was never thinking of this quite disastrous possibility, while I was setting up the whole thing in this late night in the chinese dorms.

But now, I am pretty sure that it will stay quite profitable in the long run. Because this way of making ISK will only be lucrative for players who will be willing to invest the following things per character:

  1. ~3-3.5 billion ISK for setting it up
    A SP-farm needs around 2.8 months (5,500,000 SP / (2,700 SP/h * 24h * 30 days) = 2.82 months) to reach the minimum SP to use a extractor. During this time, there will be absolutely no profit from him being a SP-farm. It will be only profitable, when used for mining / PI / producing / whatever. You will also of course never get it back via extractors. In theory, these costs are not lost completely, as you always can sell these chars on the bazaar, but still – these ISK are lost until then, nevertheless. In reality, it is also not only 2.82 months of training, as Cybernetics V needs 2 weeks of time and is not possible to train it at 2,700 SP per hour. On the other hand, a new character is also not starting at 0 SP but with around 400k. So it balances itself out quite well.
  2. +5 – implants
    SP-farms without implants are far away from useless, but also far less profitable. We are talking about 25% less profit when using +3-implants instead of using +5. But they are also quite expensive in comparism – 200 million ISK for at least 2 implants.
  3. at least 10-13 months of active playing
    The investment above is amortising itself only after 8-10 months of active SP-farming, if we assume an average profit of 350-400 million ISK per month. Adding the 2.82 months of skilling the character, we speak of about 10-13 months until the farm pays off. And nobody knows, how the price for PLEX will develop even in the next two months – it can easily rise up to 14 months or more, if plex will rise again to 1.2 billion and the delta between injectors & extractors might not move accordingly.

Hey, Cthon – sorry to pop your dreams, but 3.5 billion ISK is easily farmed for an active playing, skilled player
True, skilled players are easily able to create a couple hundred millions of ISK in a short time with simple PVE-activities. But lets consider the normal case: a casual missionrunner, who makes about 100 million ISK per hour. He still needs about 30-35 hours of active gameplay to build a single sp-farm, which maybe pays only after about a year. So my guess would be that this group of players is less predestined to build a large amount of SP-Chars – it is a bit risky, the profits are not immediate and more important: there is absolutely no fun included. In my opinion most of these players simply do not consider the possibility of building a SP-farm, as it has absolutely nothing to do with their active way of playing EVE.

How about traders?
An active trader is able to make way more profit with 3.5 billion ISK during 10-13 months and he is also more flexible with the money itself while doing so. So it would be a comparism between short/medium-term investment a trader would most likely do and the long-term investment a SP-farm represents. A pure trader therefore is less likely to spend his ISK in a SP-farm, as long as there is a more lucrative way of investing (which is existing right now in the form of salvage – more on this toppic later on, as I still need to translate it).

Aren’t you a trader & producer yourself? Why do YOU do it then?
Me personaly, I gravely started to hate these self-imposed obligations I tend to create within the games I play. Even though I realy love tables, calculating and optimizing, I absolutely hate setting up a couple of dozen contracts for redfrog. I even hate just hauling stuff from station to POS to the bone, after doing it for hours and hours on a daily base. On top of this, an optimized production program also dictates the time schedule of my real life to a certain degree, as there is no point in optimizing it if I would not do so. So the life of a producer and my sometimes obsessive behaviour in this matter is colliding.
That’s the reason why SP-farming is so perfect for me: 1-2 hours per month is enough to keep it going without any strong obligations.

How about Producer?
I think that most injectors currently listed are indeed generated via this or similar sources, as producers have a defined cap on their SP, where they can produce without any problem – any SP after this is a lost SP for this character. So these chars can easily transformed into SP-farms, true. BUT: each producer has a cap of chars he/she is able/willing to keep running. If a producer has 4 characters, he still would need to set up additional characters he needs to take care of, just for SP-farming. They also need excess ISK to build them in the first place. And like the rich PvElers: they have no fun doing it and it has nothing to do with their main profession. So the motivation of setting up a huge amount of SP-farms is simply not there.

On the next article: alpha-clones and how they affect SP-farms.

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