As I said the other day and as I've inferred a time or two, T2 and some light T1 manufacturing are my current main income source in EVE. I don't claim to be anywhere near the level of Blake over at K162space. As far as I've been able to tell, he's probably EVE blogging's most prolific industrialist. Still, I'm able to pay for my PvP ships this way plus buy myself a couple of PLEXes and something nice every month or two. I'm never going to get rich this way -- to do that, I can tell I'd have to pump a lot more of my EVE time into it. But it meets my goals and I have a really good understanding of the industrialist play style in EVE because of it.
So let's talk about the rest of CCP Ytterbium's post the other day. In particular, I was asked if I think CCP should change the refining rate for ores in high-sec.
The answer is simple enough: doing either of these things would only serve to increase the prices players pay for items in Jita. It wouldn't alter the fundamental nature of how industry happens in EVE at all. I'll explain. Again, to get to a point here I'm going to have to delve quite a lot into EVE economics so I apologize in advance.
As I said, I'm not anything close to a tycoon industrialist. In particular, I don't produce ships at all. I produce modules, anchorable warp disruption bubbles, ammunition, and rigs. For the most part, I stick to T2 production, though in a few of these things I also produce the T1 variants. I also mostly stick to specialized modules since I don't own any T2 BPOs and for a lot of modules it's folly to try to compete with players that do own a T2 BPO.(1)
At any given time, I have about 300 stacks of items for sale in various markets scattered around New Eden. Those 300 stacks of items, between them, comprise about 300,000 cubic meters volume of items. My average turn-over for the stacks that I sell is 30 days or so. As a matter of fact, that's part of my "business strategy": I try to set the size of a stack for a given market such that it will sell out in about 30 days. Some things sell faster than others, of course, and to simplify I use common numbers of items for like stacks, but in general that's the rule I follow and it works rather well.
Think this through logically and you'll quickly realize that I'm moving about 300,000m3 volume of items to market every single month. And again, I'm not building or moving ships. Ships are huge. If I built ships, I could easily easily see a need to move ten times this volume. And since I don't mine, I also have to buy and move raw materials. I go through large quantities of minerals, moon goo, and datacores every month that roughly come down to another 200,000m3 of material every month. So, I'm moving a freighter load of stuff every month and I of course own a freighter to assist with this process though I also use Orcas to move stuff to smaller markets.
And again, I'm a small fry in the EVE economy. Just one more little cog in the machine. In the run-up to Burn Jita, out of curiosity I spent several hours watching freighter and jump freighter traffic into and out of Jita. The purpose of my surveillance was to get a feel for how many potential targets the Goons could go after. But it was interesting data in its own right, too. The answer is that hundreds of freighters and jump freighters move in and out of Jita every day. A hundred freighters an hour in Jita is very, very common.
That's 72000 freighters in and out of Jita every month, of which I am exactly one, maybe two if I have a busy month.
Hopefully at this point, you're starting to realize the enormous volume of materials that are flowing in and out of EVE's biggest trade hub. A quick conservative Fermi estimate convinces me that 100 billion cubic meters enters and leaves Jita every month inside freighters alone.(2) And sure the other trade hubs are smaller, but there are enormous volumes moving in and out of them too.
Now CCP Greyscale might think that realistic logistics is fun, but I assure you that those of us that do it think otherwise. We don't want to move that stuff even one more jump than is absolutely necessary. Jita could vanish from the map tomorrow and it would be replaced by another trade hub. That trade hub would be in high-sec somewhere reasonably centrally located. What it wouldn't be very close to is a lot of low-sec and null-sec refinining and manufacturing locations, nor is Jita very close to these things today. Sure, if you know where to look, there's a low-sec system four jumps from Jita but today it's mostly used to get jump freighters close before their run to market.
What you're definitely not going to see are freighters en masse jumping into those low-sec systems just to refine a few minerals. ;-) A few, sure. Hundreds per day? No, no, and no again.
This is a very long way of answering the question, I'll admit, but now you'll understand my answer. CCP can raise the price of refining minerals in high-sec all they want, or reduce the percentage of minerals gained from refining ore in high-sec all they want. Result? Players will keep refining ore in high-sec. Prices in Jita will go up. And that's pretty much all that will happen. Oh sure, a few brave souls will slip freighters and jump-freighters full of stuff into low- or null-sec to eke out a few more percent profit from refining there. But there's no way -- in Hell -- that such players will be able to meet the required volumes of material to keep Jita running.
So, what if CCP reduces the number of manufacturing slots in high-sec and moves them to low- or null? This post is long enough, so let's talk about that tomorrow.
(1) This goes double for drones, so I don't produce those either.
(2) Put into perspective, there's a good size hill, about 300 meters high, visible outside my window as I type this. I calculate its volume at 4 billion cubic meters. To equal 100 billion cubic meters, you'd need a mountain with a base of 14000 square meters (8.7 miles), 1600 meters (one mile) high. It's a lot of stuff. ;-)