I've always held aspirations for Kirith to be self sustaining, well that overstates it actually. It would be better to say that when I started out with Kirith I wanted him to be self sufficient. For the first eight months he actually was. Somewhat coincidentally this change in sustainability occurred around the time I joined The Tuskers!
As I've said before, out of EVE I'm an accountant which tends to result in me wanting to create a spreadsheet for pretty anything EVE related. Therefore it probably wouldn't surprise you that I maintain a log on a spreadsheet of every ship I've flown which links directly to the kills it caused and the isk efficiency of every ship. Sad, yes. True, also yes.
Overall Kirith's efficiency when we look at the cost of losses versus the income generated from module drops from those I've destroyed it appears that my piracy career has cost me around of 800 million isk, this while my actual lifetime efficiency is incredibly high at around 95%.
So what useful conclusions can be drawn from all this information which I have at my disposal?
Statistics by hull type:
Assault Frigate: 92% efficiency, Isk loss of 382 million
Battlecruiser: 98% efficiency, Isk loss of 133 million
Battleship: 0% efficiency, Isk loss of 156 million
Cruiser: 0% efficiency, Isk loss of 167 million
Destroyer: 95% efficiency, Isk Profit of 35 million
Faction Frigate: 95% efficiency, Isk loss of 136 million
Frigate: 95% efficiency, Isk Profit of 155 million
Kirith doesn't really fly ships with added bling, so very few faction or deadspace modules have formed part of this isk sink. I consider that I fit ships fairly frugally albeit not as much as I once did, but still I mostly fit a meta scram over T2 on the basis of cost vs benefit.
Kiriths drop into negative efficiency occurred when I started flying T2 frigates, by the third Jaguar loss all my months profitable flying had been undone. Granted, I state a cost to me of 800 million isk which is not the truest reflection as it ignores the ransoms of over 600m which I've received over my career.
There are other pursuits which a soloist can do while actively hunting. A couple of examples being ratting and anomalies, the rewards while certainly not high are reasonable and are an excellent way of getting people to fight you.
When I first set out as a pirate I needed all the isk I could get, I meta 2 fit my Rifter and they cost me less than a million isk each. I also ratted despite originally not actually being able to destroy a Battleship rat in my low skilled Rifter. In addition I looted everything, including making return trips if necessary. None of these secondary income streams are reflected above.
Now that I have other income sources I'm far less concerned with sustainability almost to the point where I don't think about it at all. If I wanted to be more sustainable and efficient I would stick with fleets and gang work. This strays from my heart which is more of a soloist and as I like to fly with some degree of reckless abandon it would change the way I play the game significantly.
Can piracy be self sustainable? Simply put, yes it can but with some considerations:
- Fly T1 hulls, preferably small ones.
- Carefully fit your ships and don't spend where you don't need to.
- Balance the risks when considering your targets.
- Some ratting doesn't hurt, when you find yourself with a Battleship rat pop it for an easy 500k isk.
- Most profitable ship: S&M Freak, an armour tanked Thrasher bringing home a profit of 61 million isk.
- Biggest loss: Duellist, an active tanked Tempest I took out to spring a trap which got swiftly overwhelmed losing me 156 million isk.
- Most efficient ship: A cheap meta fit cookie cutter Rifter which took down 257 million isk total in five ships back in 2010, achieved efficiency of 96.3% as it only cost me 955k isk in hull plus fittings!