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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Managing Highsec Research slots

The first thing to realize is that high sec ME slots suck, and the Copy slots are a close second. This is because these station slots are VERY popular. Obviously ME is needed to reduce BPO waste and since the margins on most items in high sec are razor thin, having at least 10 to 20 ME on a BPO is all that stands between a profitable manufacture and a loss (when compared to just selling the minerals). Copies are also highly popular. They are needed for T2 invention and are a prefered thing to bring to 0.0. With a max run copy you get a limited number of runs. BUT you're still left with original BPO, that way if your copy gets ganked along the way to your 0.0 destination, you're only out the cost of the copy, not the cost of the MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE original and all the research you've invested in it.

PE - not so important - although it is known that the devs would like to change that so that it is MUCH more of a factor in the production costs. Invention slots are also not as over-used. Since they are available in the same quantity as copy slots but copies are not exclusively used for invention it's obvious that they will be free-er. Not to mention the actual invention runs take less time than the max run copy runs. So again not too much of an issue.

The problem is simple. If you put in a job that's going to last a week but that takes 3 weeks to start you loose the use of that skill slot for a whole month. This sucks, but if you don't have access to a research tower, is life. I will also point out that if you can keep the ME slots alone in a high sec reserach tower fully occupied the ME research is cheaper in fuel costs than it is in NPC slot costs and you can consider any other research "free" or allocate a minimal cost to them. Remember this point: High sec research towers are CHEAPER than any NPC research slot IF you can keep them busy. But you may not have access to a tower. I currently don't.

There is also the fact that keeping some skills loose for changes in the situation is actualy a good idea.

So I have Advanced Laboratory Operations 4. This means that I can run 10 research jobs simultaneously. With ME slots being as gummed up as they are, and myself trying to do invention and research my BPOs at the same time, what does this mean? Different people will have different objectives but for myself here's what I've done:

4 slots are dedicated to ME and PE research (currently working on some frigate BPOs and an R.A.M. BPO). 1 slot is dedicated to Copying. The last 5 slots are either doing 1 job of copying or 5 invention runs. Basicaly if the copies aren't ready I can do a copy job in one of the slots I reserve for invention runs. The copy jobs are lasting about a week to ten days at the moment. This allows plenty of time to acquire any missing datacores and what not. It also leaves me with 4 free slots so that if one day I do get a tower I can use some of my research skills at the tower without delay. The best would be to plan and know ahead of time when I'd have access to a high sec tower and make sure that all outsanding jobs in NPC slots are finished by then. Good thing I've got research alts to take up the slack when that happens.

Another thing to note is that although research alts can fill in a big hole in the research capacity one needs for a full blown BPO collection there are certain things they will NOT be able to research or copy. For those the usualy more capable main character is usualy necessary (unless for some reason that research alt is the main of an account).


Jenni Concarnadine said...

Thanks for this -- it looks like about what I need to get started in this area.

Leumas said...

Good information, and well timed too. Thanks.