Which brings me to another facet of the new ships which remains to be discussed is the price.
there are two elements to this- the mineral price, and the actual price.
how expensive does CPP make the new ships compared to the lowest tier BS and the Tier 2 BCs? the gap between the two classes in comparison to every other class is staggeringly close- the gap between the stabber and the rifter is almost 6 times the price, and it’s the same thing for the wolf and the vagabond- while the rupture and the cyclone are 5/6 to 20 mil, only 4 times.
BCs are meant to inhabit the space between cruisers and battleships, a bridge across the 10x price increase. and so the gap between BCs and BSs are already very close- the typhoon sits at 48-55 mil while the Hurricane is 24-30 mil, as little as two times. the Tornado and it’s siblings raise the question of should it be more expensive than the phoon or the other tier I battleships? at best an estimate of 40 mil, the halfway point seems the best.
However the ACTUAL price will have absolutely no correlation with the mineral price for months. unlike the last combat vessel blueprints to be released, the T3s there is no unique and difficult construction using newly created materials from previously inaccessible regions of space.
T3 production took years to begun mainstream simply because the wormhole industry needed to be developed along side it, and then the very, very complex logistical task of managing to transport vast amounts of w-space building materials into highsec for assembly and/or production (a strange quirk of t3 production meant that you could fully produce and assemble t3s in w-space sytem for ages and ages- apparently that has now been fixed- a thing with swapping subsystems being previously impossible in a POS). that’s why missioning tengus and nullsec fleets of tengus (pandemic legion thundercats) only appeared in the later stages of Incursion- a year and a half after W-space opened up.
by comparison, for these ships EVERYTHING is already in place. there is no complex production, no exotic matierals. the only thing missing is the Blueprints.
And that’s where the fun begins.
In the first few hours of the winter expansion we can image that several hundred billions of ISK will go into acquiring the BPOs. it will intially start out as a war of who has the best internet and can download the fastest, and then grab as many BPOS as possible from the spawn points.
a small fraction of those BPOs- of people who simply grabbed them because they were in the right place at the right time but lack any production skills whatsoever, will end up being sold at an auction in Jita contracts. the first ones could easily go for 10, 15 times the NPC price, maybe more.
However the vast majority of the BPOs will be grabbed by production/market metagamers who have about 5 different ults on at any one time and tens of billions of ISK in revenue. they do exactly the same thing but they will simply buy ALL the BPOS at the spawning station- a well placed mission runner might be able to buy one or two due to financial limitations and fastship them to Jita, but one of these guys could buy 50, a 100, and not blink.
Now the production phase starts. some of the BPOs will immediately go into the copying phase, selling off the really crap BPCs at a massively inflated price to less hardcore industrialists. Others will simply send them straight into production, because the first few thousand ships might sell for over 300-500 mil apiece- probably much much more than that if you manage to be in the first 10 or so in jita- you could pratically name your price.
to compound things market warfare will break out in earnest. in the weeks leading up to the expansion we can expect just about every major industrial corp to be mobilising every and any mercenary outfit against rivals. research POSs in empire space will become pivotal for the days ahead, and as each indy corp attempts to cripple it’s rivals research and copying capacity, while simultaneously defending their own. Large scale PVP in populated empire space may begun a norm as different mercenary corps duke it out. there might even be an inward migration of nullsec corps seeking to get a slice of the pie- which i suspect shall carry the day- wardeccing and mercenary corps are no real match to a Pandemic Legion fleet after-all. nullsec alliances, especially the pvp “non-carebear” alliances will be acquring as many of the more promising hull types, probably the tornado and naga, after extensive trials in SISI with the aim of figuring out how to use them effectively before anyone comes up with a reasonable counter- the same sort of shock effect as when the PL tengu fleets first appeared.
Serious BP research to bring the ships down to the sort of price that is at least a vague reflection of the base price, will take months of BP research and production- and the end of any market warfare. so don’t expect to see any cheap tornados any time soon.