Heating a POS in the cold of space is a very expensive endeavour. To the tune of $240M per month. So the question becomes how much do you have to do to justify not sitting in a nice .5 systems, mining scordite in an Orca fleet, and having to only fear gankers?
Well let us count the ways.
1) Mine. Looking at the facts. Scordite returns are at record levels, and zydrine and megacyte prices are as low as I have seen. You lose 25% refining in the WH, and right now we don't have the fleet sizes to justify breaking out the orca, at the expense of losing a Hulk. Even so, I figure I get about 150% the isk per hour in my two Hulk fleet, then I got High Sec using 2 Hulks and a Retriever in a almost maxed out Orca Boosted Fleet. In fact, it looks like I get about $250k isk per minute more. So first way to crack into that $240M nut is to mine 1000 minutes, or about 17 hours. Again, this assumes I am taking on the entire $240M burden.
2) Run anomolies/Radar/Mag sites. So variable here, since the majority of the isk running anomolies is from the Melted Nano's. Again using a base number of $24M/hour as my High Sec Scrodite mining, and figuring I can clear and salvage about 1.5 anomolies per hour solo, it really is a wash here. Some hours I have cleared 11-13 meleted nanos, while others I have only gotten 3. I know there are tags and other salvage, radar site stuff and mag site stuff, but in the end it is really all about the Melted Nano's in a Class 2.
3) Ladar. Just starting to get into this area. Spent the night last night clearing some ladar sites and gathering gas. Looks like I spent about 3 hours clearing 4 sites and from what I can see I will make about $40M once I can "react" it. Not really a great return, but better then doing nothing.
4) Other reactions. The real wildcard here. Since reactors are limited to .4 security or less, and the Amarr tower has plenty of power and cpu, why not look to run simple reactions when the refinery or polymer reaction is not needed. Looking at the numbers, it looks like there are reactions that can net $250k to $500k per hour, every hour.
And of course the best way to crack the nut, is to split it (among corpmates).
So bottom line, after about a month in w-space, when comparing it to high sec.
1) Be prepared to spend more time doing non isk generating stuff. Sure in high sec you still have to make market runs, but they are not usually 20 jumps. Overall, I think I spend about twice the time doing non-isk producing stuff in w-space (a lot more recently with a POS setup/teardown/setup).
2) Be prepared to do whatever is available. Our order right now is as follows:
Mine a grav site in our system of ABC ores
Mine a neighbor system of ABC ores
Mine our system for Dark Ochre or Gneiss
Combat sites (either in our or neighbor system)
Ladar (either in ours or neighbors)
3) Think of ways to make money off POS when not needing the w-space equipment.
Overall, I do not envision struggling to justify the $240M it will take to keep a W-space Large POS running. Alone, I am fairly certain I would at least get the 17-20 hour of mining in that is needed to justify the w-space existance. As I also look to grow the corp (visit "Life In The Hole" channel ingame for our public recuitment channel), this nut will get even easier to handle. So after about a month in w-space I am confident that there is plenty of Isk to be made, plenty of ways to lose a crap load of Isk, and a lot of fun to be had.
So as we work to establish our Class 2 presence, I continue to look towards getting the corp into a Class 4 hole within the next 45 days.
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