But via alpha-clones it is possible to create SP-farms! Everybody can do it and the market will collapse, as soon as they are finished!
Well… in theory.
The reality looks different, if you ask me. Because if we look at the limitations of alpha-clones & what they mean for the players:
- they skill half as fast than omega clones
this alone doubles the skilltime from 2.8 months to 5.6 months
- restricted skills & implants
Cybernetics V is not a skill which can be skilled on a alpha-clone. So 5.6 months will grow to whoping 7 months, as there are only +3-implants possible
- alpha-clones cannot skill focussed on max. SP/h
as the skills are spread out on every field possible – lets just say +1 month on top, just for simplicity
- skillqueue is restricted on 24h
Meaning that you need to log in at least every 2-3 days to refresh the queue (no, it is not possible to bypass)
- In the end, there is still a PLEX needed
It is not possible to skill the alpha clone to the necessary amount of 5.5 million SP for the extractor, there is a need for at least one PLEX, meaning that SP-farms skilled this way will amortise itself after 3 months minimum. After this, although it is in theory possible to extract alpha-skills, but there is no way to bypass the need of one PLEX.
- It is only possible to log on one Alpha-clone at the same time
Have fun logging in, adjusting skills, logging out, logging in, adjusting skills, logging out… starting accounts in bulk is not possible, so this tedious routine is not possible to bypass.
So everybody who created 100 alpha-clones, has many things to do. Over months. And at the end, every alpha still needs a PLEX. The investment per character might be dropped from 3,5 billion to 1,1 billion, but in return there is the need of continuous attention. Over months, every day. And this amount of time does scale linear, meaning that with one minute per character & 100 characters this continous attention equals more than one and a half hours of attention per session.
So lets say that this is needed every two days for 8 months we end up with a workload of: 8 months * 30 days / 2 *1,5 hours = 180 hours over 8 months. During this 8 months, there is no profit whatsoever in doing this. 4.5 weeks of workforce, 1.125 monthly earnings. Even if you can do it in half this time, it might be more profitable to work some overtime at your everyday job and buing PLEX than doing this.
To be honest: if there are 50 players in whole EVE to face this madness (which is quite a high number, if you ask me) and sustain it to the very end, there will be 5,000 SP-Farms. They will get 3.88 injectors per month, so around 20,000 injectors all in all. There are around 6,000 injectors traded every day in Jita. Assuming that the ration between buy/sell in this market is around 50/50, these 5,000 characters will create around 6 days of the monthly demand in Jita. So even if this number is correct, the influence in the market is not so devastating as it seems.
My opinion: if someone realy goes through these efforts to create a cheaper SP-farm, then he deserved it, as long as it is not achieved via a bot. For a bot on the other side are more profitable options (like e.g. ratting in nullspace), which pay itself way faster.
And the other way around?
Another perspective would be, that not few players create many alphas but many players create few alphas to create a small farm.
The same situation: a single alpha still needs 8 months of nearly daily attention. And also a PLEX in the end, which will itself pays off months later.
So in theory, every player who:
a) cannot or does not want to spend a PLEX on this
b) has not the endurance to keep 8 months of continous attention to the characters
will not go this way.
So same result: the amount of players who build SP-farms via alphas is few, if any. So the influence of alphas on the market from this direction is also not so much existent. Whoever does it has my deepest respect, really – not everyone can do something like this for 8 months, if it hast nothing to do with the thing they do in EVE normaly (like flying spaceships, shooting red symbols, shooting other players, scamming them ect…).
But if I pay for a month of omega, fill it with alpha-skills at the end and…
All skills which start later than the imposed queue-restriction of 24 hours will be deleted. So forget “I can circumvent this restriction”, CCP is not as half as stupid as we think (at least sometimes, I guess). 😛
So who is building SP-farms, if it is only reasonable to do it via omega-clones?
Well, for everyone who is paying multiple accounts anyways, where more SP is not needed anyways and where these characters exceed 5.5 million SP:
- multiboxing miners
- slightly richer players with less time on their hands and the need for a continous flow of ISK (kinda my reason for doing this)
I am missing several kinds of players, for sure.