Just the first batch, there, 54 units per print. I’ll be doing 648 of each of those, except for the Scorpion; I’m only building half as many of those. I don’t know the exact numbers on the mineral changes yet and don’t actually care, because I’m reasonably confident I can profit regardless or, in the very worst case, not lose money. I figured it might be fun to explain why, though.
Everyone knows that previous tiericide efforts have also resulted in fairly significant changes to the mineral requirements of the ships in question – if you don’t, you’ve been living under a rock. What we don’t know (yet) is what that change will be for battleships. But, we can guess. Take a look at the image in this devblog (direct link). Note how battleships are grouped, though also note that as of earlier today, the Tempest ought to be down on the Attack line, as it had its classification changed. In any case, it’s fair to assume that all Combat battleships will have the same cost, and all Attack battleships will have the same cost – this has been a constant throughout tiericide.
From this, we get a couple of scenarios.
SCENARIO ONE, AKA “THE BEST CASE”
In this scenario, both Combat and Attack battleships have material costs balanced up near the current Tier 3 value, and Disruption (aka the Scorpion) to 80-90% of Tier 3. Build anything that’s currently Tier 1 or Tier 2 and you make out like a bandit, turning 100% or more profit on the Tier 1 and 30-50% or so on Tier 2, depending on what they actually aim for in the Tier 3 price range.
SCENARIO TWO, AKA “BATTLECRUISERS REDUX”
In this scenario, Combat and Attack battleships split prices, similar (but opposite) to the way that battlecruisers did. Combat battleships all cluster up around Tier 3 prices, and Attack stay around or perhaps a little above current Tier 2 prices. Disruption likely lands up around Tier 2 as well. Speculation results are a little more mixed here. As in the first scenario, the Apocalypse & Raven would be up 30-50%, and the Dominix more than doubles. On the other hand, the gain for the other Tier 1 battleships is much lower, though still a healthy 70-90%. The Tempest and Megathron, however, would be losers, yielding no return at all.
SCENARIO THREE, AKA “HAHA LETS SCREW OVER PRODUCERS”
This is the worst case scenario. The Combat line actually gets normalized to what is currently Tier 2 production costs. That’s right, the current Tier 3 battleships actually get cheaper to build. The Attack and Disruption lines are equalized to that level as well. If we’re feeling especially cruel, those lines equalize to the current Tier 1 cost instead. Even in this scenario, though, you don’t lose by sticking to building Tier 1, and outside the “especially cruel” scenario there is still a healthy 70-90% gains.
The lesson here is one to keep in mind for all speculation and, indeed, all market play, especially when you have incomplete information. Evaluate the possible outcomes, and make your investment such that you minimize risk. In this case, you do that by avoiding the Tier 2 battleships. They’re extremely unlikely to actually lose you money, but there are scenarios in which they don’t make any. The chance of non-return is a risk, and in this case that risk isn’t compensated for by a higher return. Tier 1 battleships, on the other hand, have almost no plausible risk of non-return, and a higher reward to boot.
Of course, it’s never that easy. Cruisers are a great example of this. The upside to the Attack line of cruisers was much smaller than the Support line, and yet Attack cruisers proved to be an excellent investment. Why? Most speculators avoided them, and so they matured faster! Time to return is just as important factor as magnitude of return, after all. So, risks aside, investment into Tier 2 battleships is not necessarily out of the question.
Just to wrap things up, I think the first scenario is the most likely, though the second one can’t be discounted. The explanation for the difference between Attack and Combat battlecruisers was “big guns take bigger superstructures to support” or something along those lines, but no such explanation exists for battleships. More significantly, having everything clustered up around the current Tier 3 prices offers a nice price progression between classes. Cruisers are 8-10m for a hull, Combat battlecruisers are around 50m each. A price of 200m or so for battleships continues that price increase rather nicely.