News on the next QEN and a new Econ Devblog

News on the next QEN and a new Econ Devblog

Unfortunately we were not able to finalize the 2nd quarter, 2008 Quarterly Economic Journal before Thanksgiving despite our best efforts in mining through hundreeds of gigabytes of mission data.  So instead of giving you a QEN with thin discussion on missions and their statistics we decided to work a little further on getting a better dataset and delay the publishing by another week.

However with new team members we are able to churn out recent data in much faster way than before and in an effort to satisfy your hunger for numbers we made a devblog on the new ORCA.  So with dedicated work from CCP_Recurve, CCP_Diagoras and CCP_Spectrum we were able to find some interesting facts about the Orca.

Please enjoy.

How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love Carebearing

Quantum Rise introduced the Orca, a capital sized industrial command ship, which was covered in technical detail in Chronotis' devblog of October 23, 2008.  The feedback to that devblog indicated considerable player interest in the ship, which, coupled with relatively low production cost, should translate into a large demand.  Therefore, we at the Research and Statistics deparment of CCP were very eager to see how its entry into the market would turn out.

The First Days of the Orca

The first Orca blueprint was sold on November 11 at 23:30 and within an hour 67 Orcas were in production.  Within 24 hours the number of Orcas being produced had risen to 478.  The first production job completed on November 15 at 17:07 while the first sale on the general market was on November 16 at 02:38.

From November 11 to November 23 a total of 1814 Orcas had entered production.  Of those, 1121 ships were completed which means that 693 ships were still in proudction at the end of November 23.  Over the same period, 548 Orcas were sold on the market.

It‘s interesting to see that during that period 2935 Orca blueprints were sold.  This suggests that at least a thousand Orca blueprints were put directly into research rather than production and the number may actually be closer to 2000 since many of the 1814 ships that entered production will be made from the same blueprints .  The producers that take the research route will, to some extent, miss out on the high prices experienced when ships first are introduced to the market.  Instead they gain the competitive advantage of lower costs compared to those that go straight into production with unresearched blueprints.

Like other capital ships, the Orca is made out of components.  Orca producers can either buy the ready made components from the market or produce them themselves.  The latter option requires the extra investment in the component blueprints.  The following graph shows the daily average price of Orcas and our estimated constuction cost.  The construction cost is shown both as the cost of buying the components and as the cost of buying the minerals needed for the components production.  We assumed a mineral efficiency of 20 on the component blueprints and no mineral efficiency on the Orcas.  The cost data does not include the fixed cost of buying the component blueprints or researching them.  Orca prices are world averages, while component and mineral prices are average prices in the Forge.

![](//cdn1.eveonline.com/community/devblog/blogs/Orca prices.gif)

It‘s evident from the graph that it‘s far more expensive, in terms of variable costs, to make Orcas from purchased components rather than making them yourself.  Of course, this stands to reason since sellers of capital ship components will want a markup on their production cost.  Each Orca producer must then figure out if their expected volume of Orca production will warrant buying the component blueprints.  Most likely, the main function on the capital component market is to fill in any gaps in the component production of newer capital ship producers.

There has been some speculation about how often we‘ll see Orcas blown up, given their strength and expected focus on high-sec.  Well, the first numbers are in.  By the end of November 23 a total of 5 Orcas had been turned into short lived, but very pretty balls of flame.  The first kill was scored on November 18 at 20:41.  Of those 5 losses, 3 were in high-sec., 1 in low-sec. and 1 in 0.0. 

Comparison to Other Capital Ships

We decided to take a look at the number of Orca blueprints purchased in the first 13 days of its release compared to the number of blueprints of other classes of capital ship in their first 13 days. The numbers surprised us greatly:

Orca Blueprint

2,935

Freighter Blueprints

260

Rorqual Blueprint

257

Carrier Blueprints

186

Dreadnought Blueprints

114

As you can see, the Orca blueprint sales were a great deal higher - over ten times the number of Orca Blueprints were sold compared to freighters when they were released, with almost three trillion ISK being spent on Orca blueprints.

Summary

The Orca seems to be living up to the expectations in terms of popularity.  The main surprise for us was to see the large number of Orca blueprints sold.  This should lead to a massive supply of Orcas in the future, which in turn should lead to very heavy competition among producers.  It‘s therefore tempting to predict that the price of Orcas will fall rather sharply in the coming weeks and that profit margins will be low in the future.  As a consequence, we may see many Orca producers turning to the production of other capital ships that require similar components but may offer larger profit margins in the long run.