I want to acknowledge the art up front. If you're fitting out a Rapier, you may be looking for a webifier with the greatest range to be bonused up. If you're fitting out a blaster Thorax, the sig bloom of the MWD may not be considered an issue because you're only going to run it long enough to scram the target. But I think this analysis potentially gives us a way to find good value in general. What you do with it from there still will need your best judgment.
Starting simple - Explosive PlatingHere is a simple module. There are only two attributes we care about: price and resists. All Explosive Plating has the same fitting attributes. From the Resist value I derive the "Module Value", which is the ratio of the shiny module to the base module (in this case, the T2 module). From the Price value I derive the "Price Pow" value - this is a bit more complicated. The idea here comes from the guideline given in the ship rebalancing rationale from CCP that an incrementally more powerful ship should be exponentially more expensive. So the Price Pow is that exponent (i.e. I'm using the log function). The Shiny Ratio is the ratio of the Price to the Value.
|Explosive Plating||Shiny Ratio||Module Value||Price Pow||Jita Sell Price||Resist|
|Explosive Plating II||1.00||1.00||1.00||300,250||26.40|
|Imperial Navy Explosive Plating||0.86||1.14||1.32||17,999,000||30.00|
|True Sansha Explosive Plating||1.15||1.14||0.99||250,000||30.00|
|Shadow Serpentis Explosive Plating||1.11||1.00||0.90||89,000||26.40|
|Domination Explosive Plating||0.97||1.00||1.03||425,000||26.40|
|Centii C-type Explosive Plating||1.07||1.20||1.12||1,379,991||31.75|
|Coreli C-type Explosive Plating||1.11||1.20||1.09||889,674||31.75|
|Corpii C-type Explosive Plating||1.08||1.20||1.11||1,208,520||31.75|
So - if True Sansha and Imperial Navy have equal values why do they have radically different prices? And since the True Sansha module has a better resist than the T2 module, why does it cost less? If all of the C-types have the same value, then why do they have different costs?
The reason why they have different prices has to do with the cost of producing and the perceived value of the units. Ideally in an economy that shouldn't matter - we should see nobody producing T2 explosive plating if it cannot be made at a price that competes with faction drops. But since a lot of people will never open up the Faction / Deadspace submenus on the market, they never notice this.
These are differences that you as the smart consumer can exploit.
This continues into the higher range of the modules too:
|Coreli B-type Explosive Plating||1.10||1.27||1.15||1,988,889||33.50|
|Centii A-type Explosive Plating||1.10||1.34||1.22||4,550,000||35.25|
|Coreli A-type Explosive Plating||1.11||1.34||1.21||4,000,000||35.25|
|Corpii A-type Explosive Plating||1.11||1.34||1.20||3,900,000||35.25|
I'm guessing many of you wouldn't think anything of spending 2M ISK on a module for your ship. You spend that for many of your T2 modules already. 4M ISK isn't even particularly shiny in terms of cost.
Now, this price to value gap is also showing here because of the limited use of these modules. I've had an alliance-mate tell me he has dozens of faction drops like this in his hangar, but since they have a low demand they aren't worth taking to market.
I've seen some Gallente T2 fits that use these explosive platings - when you only have two rig slots, you may not want to use one to plug your explosive resist hole. There is a similar price discrepancy for Thermal membranes that might be of use for people with Amarr T2 ships.
More Complicated - 10MN Microwarpdrives
I fly a lot of cruisers with 10MN MWDs. When should I go shiny? Only for T2s? For T3s? The analysis here gets more complicated. Let's consider three factors for value: Cap Penalty, Sig Bloom, and PG Fit.
|10MN Microwarpdrives||Shiny Ratio||Module Value||Price Pow||Jita Sell Price||Cap Penalty||Sig Radius||PG Fit|
|Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I||1.00||1.00||1.00||17,139||0.81||500||150|
|10MN Microwarpdrive II||0.64||0.99||1.54||3,403,900||0.86||500||165|
|10MN Digital Booster Rockets||0.52||1.05||2.01||328,999,800||0.83||500||135|
|Domination 10MN Microwarpdrive||0.53||1.01||1.89||96,985,489||0.89||467||175|
|Shadow Serpentis 10MN Microwarpdrive||0.56||1.03||1.84||62,000,000||0.86||489||150|
|Federation Navy 10MN Microwarpdrive||0.54||1.03||1.90||115,993,000||0.86||489||150|
|Corelum C-Type 10MN Microwarpdrive||0.59||1.10||1.86||71,811,999||0.92||433||150|
|Corelum A-Type 10MN Microwarpdrive||0.57||1.14||2.01||334,489,744||0.97||411||150|
I've equally weighted these three factors for this publication after playing with it a lot. If I was flying a blaster ships I might change the weighting to emphasize the value of reducing the cap penalty. I would expect that a projectile/missile kiting cruiser might want to increase the weighting of the sig radius benefit. This is getting back to the art vs science again. But what do we see here?
Why would you buy the Shadow Serpentis when you could get the Corelum C-type for a fraction more money, but dramatically better cap impact and sig radius? Why would you ever buy the Federation Navy MWD? Why would you buy the Digital Booster Rocket over the Coreulm A-type? (Granted, I don't expect I'll ever buy either of those)
So audience out there - what did I miss? What should I tweak? Do you have a favorite hidden shiny gem that you're willing to share?
I may come back to this topic in the future if there are good finds I see, but the message I want to put out is that people should take a peek at the faction and deadspace submenus on the market. Sometimes you don't even need to be looking to spend 100M ISK to make a real savings. I do admit that I'll be hitting the market before I publish, but I'm not trying to set up a real trade in these. If you do and make a killing, I'd appreciate a tip in the old ISK jar. :)
So buy wisely! Maybe it well help make sure that the next explosion is not your own.
p.s. Blogger's non-handling of tables is a pain. Anyone have advice on that?