As previously mentioned, one of the major factors in moving INQ-E into a C5 and joining HAHA was ISK, and more specifically just how much more ISK you can make running C5 sleeper sites than you can in a C3. In this post I want to talk a bit more about that, and also compare it to Incursions.
Running sleeper sites in the C5 is all about capital escalations. In fact, other than clearing the initial wave, we leave one ship up and never ‘finish’ a site. The 6-8 BS sleeper waves are worth far more in terms of ISK/hr, especially if we have more than a couple dreadnaughts in the fleet. The last time we were doing sites we had 5 dreads, and their DPS was so high that it was almost pointless for our Tengu pilots to shoot at anything but the initial wave of smaller ships. Why shoot a missile volley for 1k when a dread can blap something for 15k, and their combined firepower kills the sleeper BS before more than a few missile volleys hit?
I don’t have an exact ISK/hr number, but even running just a few sites is worth more than a billion ISK, and tens of billions have been collected in one night more than a few times. And when I say in a night, I don’t mean anything close to an old-school night of raiding, where 4-5 hours is expected. Rather, fleets generally wrap up in about two hours, sometimes less depending on the number of sites. Furthermore, pilots are free to jump in and out as needed, and their payout is adjusted based on a rather simple shares formula (Google spreadsheets ftw).
C5 sites generate far, far more ISK than Incursion sites, yet you don’t hear much about how they are unbalanced, or are wrecking the EVE economy. Part of the reason is because living in a C5 is far different than just showing up to an Incursion site, and this greatly limits the number of possible participants and the general exposure.
The other major factor is that while we make running C5 home sites as safe as high-sec Incursions, that security takes some effort and knowledge. We post scouts on critical’ed WHs, scan often, and have FCs who know how to respond should anything threatening come along. And even with all that, the slim possibility of disaster exists, and with capital ships on the field, the cost of such a disaster could be rather high. Add in all the other challenges of living and defending a WH, and one could very easily argue that the amount of ISK made in a C5 is more than justified.
The best part of all of this is that with the ISK flowing as it does, HAHA can focus much of its efforts on USING that ISK to enjoy ourselves. That process is a bit circular. We make ISK to have resources, such as POS towers, T3s, and capitals. We use those resources to, in part, boost our killboard by blowing up expensive stuff, be it ships or structures. A boosted killboard allows us to charge higher rates for merc work. High rates mean more ISK to do more ‘stuff’. The circle of EVE life is quite wonderful like that, and the actual making of ISK is just a small part.