Look, forcing you to buy some equipment in order to build something is not a bottleneck. It's the equivalent of forcing you to buy a BPO if you want to make some T1 ship hull. It's expensive but it's not a bottleneck, it's just a barrier to entry. And a rather feeble one at that.
Then his argument was that it had to be located in low sec.
Um... no. Wormhole space works fine and empirical evidence suggests it's actually safer than high sec, just less convenient.
Anyways people have been asking me "how much does it cost to setup aT3 production line from A to Z and what's involved".
Let's break this down:
First off, you need a POS. Since this can do quadruple duty as a base of operations, refinery, research lab, reactor pos and manufacturing hub, it's not as crazy as single expense as it may seem. Mainly because you don't run the reactor/research/assemble 24/7. In fact you'll usualy do that in that order and the rest of the time it acts as a forward base for resource extraction. Experience has shown that a Medium POS is the minimum size you want. Large allows better defense and more parallelism between the manufacturing phases but at a greater expense in fuel. Remember to pro-rate the fuel costs by function (i.e. if your fuel is going to power different modules you can't realy say all the fuel of the tower is going for T3 production. Some of it is going for defense, some of it is going for forward basing needs etc...)
- Medium Control Tower = 200mil
- Corporate Hangar Array = 9mil
- Ship Maintenance Array = 18mil
- 4 Medium Guns @1.8mil or 2.25mil ~= 8.1mil
- 4 Small Guns @ 0.36mil or 0.45mil ~= 1.62mil
- Stasis Webification Battery = 4.5mil
- Warp Scrabling Battery @ 2.25mil or 4.5mil = 4.5mil
Next we need to consider industrial modules that will usualy alternate as to who is online at any one time. Larger POSes or multiple POSes can keep more online at the same time but that costs more fuel. And we're realy looking at a "minimum effective" setup here anyways.
There is the reverse engineering step:
- Experimental Laboratory = 100mil
- Medium Intensive Refining Array = 42.5mil (optional)
- Polymer Reactor Array = 11.25mil
- Hybrid Polymer Silo = 6.75mil
- 2 x Biochemical Silo @18mil = 36mil
- Silo = 13.5mil
- 9 x Polymer Reactions @13.5mil = 121.5mil
- Component Assembly Array = 9mil (optional)
- 11 x Component BPOs @ 10mil = 110mil
- Subsystem Assembly Array = 90mil
Note that you will need high sec datacores for the reverse engineering step. You will also need R.A.M. - Starship Tech for the assembly of hulls. These can be sourced in high sec or manufactured at the POS (note to self: find out if the component,equipment or ammo array is responsible for R.A.Ms...)
Note that the above is what I consider the MINIMUM you should have for this. So be prepared to invest: 750-800mil in infrastructure. Your fuel costs should run your 80-100mil a month. If you're not prepared to invest at least this much please do not come crying to me. Remember that this is not un-reasonable at all, a Teir 2 BS BPO usualy costs arround 900mil-1.05bil and you can only manufacture one type of ship. With the above investment you are capable of manufacturing all T3 hulls and subsystems (skills permitting). And let's recall that battleships are cheap as hell compared to the carrier to dreadnaught costs of T3 cruisers atm.