Renting slots from players is something that came up in a forum thread I was keeping an eye on. And it’s an interesting one. The CSM has heard about it, but I thought I’d bring it to a wider audience, as it was a trifle off topic for the thread it was in. The person who brought it up has since posted a blog post on it. Go have a read. I’m not stealing the idea, just posting my own views on it. 🙂
Right now, a lot of industry, in Highsec, happens in NPC owned stations, in NPC owned slots. Some of us do production in POS, but that’s generally because we need slots which are not easily available. such as copy slots, and ME research slots. Anything other than those tend to be just because we’ve got space in the POS to stick things.
NPC services are, while a minor isk sink, not something I’m a major fan of. What is being suggested is:
Players/Corporations can make slots at their POS available for Public use, accessed through the normal station services. Materials will be moved back and forth by Magical Fairies. Well, by NPCs who you don’t see.
Prices will be set by the owners of the POS, with a little fee on top for NPC services to get the things back and forth.
Things to consider
There are a few things which need thought about. I’ll cover each in turn below.
- What happens when a POS array with jobs is taken down/offlined/blown up.
- Will people put up enough slots.
- Griefing Potential
- What speed do the slots run at
The slot goes away, while in use:
Blown up, taken down, offlined for more than X hours: The job is cancelled, and the materials are lost. I’ll cover something else to happen in the Griefing section.
Offlined for less than X hours (over the entire course of the job): The job is delayed for that long.
Numbers of slots:
I don’t know about you, but I certainly would rent out slots, if I had spares; and the price should level out to something barely profitable, due to the invisible hand. I wouldn’t get rid of /all/ npc slots, initially. But I’d probably increase the price for them, so PC slots are better to use. There are 60,000 odd manufacturing slots in Highsec. That’s not such a good thing.
There is certainly potential. But there are ways to mitigate it, without entirely eliminating it. The main ones are:
- Add an uptime counter and a jobs run counter for the slot, reset on offlining. So someone can tell if it’s being bounced up and down.
- Add an escrow fees. You get paid when the job completes.
- Add a penalty escrow, based on the number of slots. So if jobs are cancelled by your actions, the people who installed them gets /something/ back. Have the escrow level displayed as well.
At that point, people have a way to determine if a slot is ‘trustworthy’ and they may pay more for that. Or cheap out, and risk having it lost.
I figure slots should run at the reduced speed. Possibly with a small bump on it for the delivery of materials to and from the stations. 30 minutes or so.
And of course, all of this should also work with Outposts. putting things into player hands is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned. I’d prefer for it to be possible to break POS away from moons by the time this happens. Allows things to scale better. Deep space manufacturing ftw 🙂