I have to admit that I am completely flabbergasted. I previously wrote that it didn’t make sense to farm LPs for the Stratios, because I thought it would be much more cost effective to simply buy the ship using ISK. That has historically proven to be the case for most faction ships. And I was not alone in this estimate, with TMC estimating that the cost price of the Stratios (even after 50% markup) was going to be 293M ISK and that the market was going to be saturated with these ships with the thousands of mission runners grinding LP before the patch.
Well fast forward to today, the first weekend since Rubicon was deployed. The price of a Stratios in Jita now is 470/490 million ISK. In fact, not only has the price not dropped, it has been steadily increasing (with a corresponding decrease in volume) from about 400 million when the patch was released to around 500 million.
Granted it has only been what, 5 days? So, not a long time. But still out of curiosity I popped over into a Sisters of EVE station to check out the manufacturing costs of a Stratios to see if that could be the reason.
Hmm, nope. With perfect manufacturing skills it only comes out to about 10 million ISK in minerals. So even if I consider a 15 million ISK mineral cost and ignore the discounted price in null, at 500 million ISK a Stratios currently gives (500-30-15)/120000 = 3791 ISK/LP which is astronomical given it can be grinded in high-sec.
Another possibility springs to mind. I noticed that in addition to buying the BPC, which doesn’t seem to require any special skills to manufacture (am I wrong on this?) you can buy a prebuilt Stratios for 300,000 LP and 20 million ISK. This is, however, an amazing ripoff because the mineral cost of the ship is so low. BUT, if for some strange reason people are actually buying this prebuilt ship then that could explain the 500M ISK price since that would give a ISK/LP return of 1600 which is reasonable. High, but at least not retardedly high.
It remains to be seen how long these prices will stay… depending on whether people notice the mineral disparity or simply are too lazy to bother manufacturing it themselves for a huge discount. Of course there is also the manufacturing time to consider, at about 4 hours per ship. In the meantime, if there is such a huge discount available if I get the LPs myself then I will start grinding standings with SoE for level 4s. I made my way over to some level 2 SoE security agent in my Ishtar and Nighthawk (originally meant for WH ops but repurposed into another hangar doorstop) and started blitzing through them. In terms of opportunity cost I would still be better off just buying a single Stratios for my own use, but it will still be a while before my alt can fly one yet so I might as well take my time.