Industry in EVE needs work. It’s not been touched, save for the addition of new things to make, in quite a while. When people talk about it, they tend to talk about things like changes to the UI, to make it simpler to put in jobs in batches, or adding a queue. What I’m going to suggest here is more involved than that. It’s not a ‘This should happen’ piece, but more a discussion point, to see if it sparks any ideas with people.
Industry in EVE, except for big multistage projects like capitals, can be very reactive to market shifts. It’d be interesting to introduce something which interferes with this. Which promotes longer term planning. The easiest, and simplest, way to do this is to introduce a retooling delay. So to install a job, you’re going to have to wait a little time for the facility to get ready to produce your things.
You could probably get away with having the ability to ‘prototype’ a thing, reducing the retooling delay, for an increased cost and time per unit. So if you just want one thing, you can get it made custom, for double the cost of mass production, but quicker.
It would be wise have a cost involved with the retooling as well. Materials, rather than ISK. Another use for R.A.M. and some PI things perhaps.
This would favour long runs, over short ones.
It would probably be worthwhile to change the process to get away from the ‘Put a job in to cook, come back a week later and hit deliver’, and move to the ‘set up the production line, make sure it’s kept fed, and you can retrieve the product when you want’ that you have with PI. You can always leave it for a long time, but you don’t need to. beneficial from a cash-flow perspective, as you don’t need to tie up your isk for a very long run.
This would impact of the use of low run BPCs. So you’d use those as a material in the production line. As long as you can keep it fed with new BPCs, you can keep it running. Run out, and the line comes to a halt, waiting for you to reload it.
We’d have to move to personal production facilities, as station lines would become clogged. With the code in place for personal structures, I don’t think that’s a major issue. Though you’d want to be able to chain facilities together. Say, a central storage facility, that nearby manufacturing facilities can pull from, at a corp level (Ideally something with a decent permissions model)
The PI model really would work quite well, as long as you could reduce everything to a drag and drop. Having to set up routes for 15 odd materials would be a pain. Being able to drag and drop multiple at a time from a storage facility would be easier.
Multipart ships could become a more complex thing, instead of the ‘make all the parts, then make the ship’ you could do ‘make the parts, and have them feed into the ship building as they’re made, requiring X of each part to get past each milestone. With each milestone taking a minimum length of time.
So, for milestone 1, you’d need X capital construction parts, and takes a minimum of 4 days.
Milestone 2 would up the requirements to an additional X capital construction parts, Y cargo bays and Z engines, and take a minimum of 5 days.
Milestone 3 would take the rest of the parts, and another 5 days.
You could just build all the parts at once, then build the ship, but then you’d be looking at the time to make the parts + 15 days. Or you could set up the lines to feed the ship build. If you’re making multiple ships at once, then you can change it to flow differently. So you have lots of lines doing capital construction parts, and not many on engines and armour.
T2 already does this in places, with the requirement of the T1 module/ship. Some T1 things could have their complexity increased.
It would be important to have ‘running a production line’ and ‘owning a production line’ being different things. Players who don’t use their own/corporate facilities have to pay the retooling cost, or a fee to keep a line inactive. Personal lines could be set up then mothballed (Materials fee after it’s been inactive for an extended period, to bring it back up to spec), or left running.
The entry fee would have to be fairly low, in terms of skill and material costs, so as not to disadvantage dedicated new players. Add a skill to cover how many lines you can manage inactive?