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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lab Etiquette, Please

Originally published in the September 2013 issue of The Industrialist

If you are an industrialist, chances are you have tested the waters of the blueprint research pool. You were most likely in an NPC corp or you were in a corporation that may or may not have had a POS. If you were in a corp with a POS (and you were given access to the labs) this guide is still relevant for you, however I intend to focus more on the highly used NPC labs. If you don't mind going into low and null sec space to move around and research blueprints, you have weighed the risk vs reward question and found that finding lab space is more important than safety. That being said, A LOT of younger players stumbled into low sec by accident early in their career and were quickly dispatched for their error in judgment. They would just assume not do that EVER again, especially with a cargo hold full of BPO's to be researched or already having been researched. Having looked at using NPC high sec labs when I first started buying and researching blueprints, I was quite dismayed by the sheer inability to find an open material research (ME) slot. There may be a bunch of labs in the solar system you are in, but I have a hunch that you have found that the slots are not available for months! That is crazy. You wonder why anyone would want to research at all. If you can, find a corp with POS labs available for usage and stick with them (like FDA Shipwrights). Many corps set up a POS just for research. I am getting off the subject I want to convey. When using NPC labs, I like to use as few slots as possible. Here is my thought process and I will tie it all together at the end. I do invention in the NPC station simply because I don't have to run around to different POS labs to install the BPC's. I can pile all the invention material (BPC's/Datacores/Decryptors) into one of the office hangers that I have in the NPC station. That way, all my alts can just invent directly from there without having to have their own stock of invention materials in each hanger. Plus, a director level character can complete all the inventions in one window instead of on each character. Most people are either greedy or don't realize that other people need to use the labs. Unless it is the weekend and I fully intend to sit at my computer and play EVE, I will only be on for a few hours at the most. Why use every free slot in the lab for 22 jobs (2 alts with max skills)? It is wasteful and inconsiderate (whether intentional or not).
You have to think of lab slots as a premium and that makes them very valuable and important to someone who makes a living using BP's. Instead, I stack up my own jobs under 3 or 4 lab slots. Basically, I stack them until about 12 hours (or to complete just before the next time I might be online).

Example:
20 lab slots / 20 free (open).
I am inventing 22 bpc's, and each invention has a 3 hour cycle.

Instead of me taking all 20 slots @ 3 hours and 2 slots at 6 hours, I would use 2 slots @ 15 hours and 3 slots at 12 hours.
I don't plan on being online for at least 12 hours, so why use all the slots when someone else can use them. Maybe they are stacking as well.

Researching ME/PE is kind of different due to the extreme research times, but it can still work.

In the scheme of things, it really isn't the end of the world, its just nice to let other people enjoy the game and their time is important too.