Mobile Operating Base - Upwell Industrial Ship - The "Factotum"

Mobile Operating Base (MOB) “Factotum” (Upwell industrial ship)

  • Unlike other deployables, it is a “large” ship that must be piloted to the location for deployment (20,000,000kg and considered “medium” for all wormhole access, can go anywhere a porpoise can go while not deployed, but flies like an absolute brick).
  • Deploying the Factotum involves activating a module (industrial core or something similar) that causes the ship to anchor in space, with a 1 hour cycle time. deployment requires you to be completely stationary (0.0 m/s), not be target locked by anyone, not have an active weapons timer, and not be within 500km of another Factotum, starbase, or Upwell structure.
  • The module will continue to cycle as long as sufficient heavy water is present in the fuel bay, even if the player ejects from the Factotum.
  • A cycling Factotum cannot be boarded by anyone but the player who ejected, or their fleet/corporation members if the option is enabled.
  • EHP while not deployed is similar to battleships/orcas, but activating deployment will increase effective HP by 20x after a 5 minute activation timer. A single reinforcement window of up to 24 hours will be activated if the Factotum is depleted of shields and armor while deployed and holding the necessary amount of strontium clathrates in the strontium bay, after which the deployment module will stop cycling, even if there is still heavy water in the fuel bay. the deployment module will then be unable to activate for 1 hour.
  • If the Factotum stops cycling (i.e. runs out of fuel or reinforcement ends), the boarding restriction is lifted and it can be boarded by anyone.
  • (Numbers need tweaking) Deployment increases EWAR optimal range, Turret optimal range and Launcher velocity by 500% and Turret/Launcher damage by 250%.

Additional modules that can be installed for defensive purposes and/or utility:

  • Upwell Drone Defense System (high slot, only active while deployed, increases drone damage, hitpoints, mining yield, velocity, optimal range, and tracking speed by 250%, drone control range increased by 200km, and allows deployed drones to continue functioning without a pilot onboard. limit 1 fit at a time, no additional fuel needed)
  • Mooring module (high slot, only active while deployed, while deployed fleet/corp/alliance members can tether within 5km, 10 strontium consumed per hour)
  • Refinery module (high slot, only active while deployed, allows reprocessing with +10% yield, does not allow compression, no additional fuel needed)
  • Orbital Operations Module (high slot, only active while deployed, if deployed within 100km of a moon mining beacon that isn’t already occupied by a refinery station, 1 tiny mineable moon ore asteroid will be tractored from the surface per hour and placed near the Factotum at a cost of extra heavy water per cycle. If deployed within 100km of a planet, the Factotum can serve as a temporary customs office with no additional fuel needed. This will trigger limited engagement rights against you for any alliance/corp that owns a POCO for the specified planet for up to 1 hour as retaliation for your smuggling activities)
  • Manufacturing module (high slot, only active while deployed, allows manufacturing jobs with 0.5% material cost, 5% job duration, and 1% job fee reduction (blueprint, materials & fee are lost if the Factotum is destroyed before job delivery, and paused while not in deployed state. no additional fuel needed)
  • Science module (high slot, only active while deployed, allows research, copying & invention jobs with 5% job duration and 1% job fee reduction. same conditions as above. no additional fuel needed)
  • Reactions module (high slot, only active while deployed, allows reaction jobs while deployed outside of high sec, same conditions as above. no additional fuel needed)

Slots & Bays

  • 4 high slots, 1 turret hardpoint, 1 launcher hardpoint (large modules)
  • 5 mid slots (large modules)
  • 4 low slots (large modules)
  • 3 rig slots (large rigs)
  • 50,000 m3 cargo bay
  • 50,000 m3 fuel bay (heavy water)
  • 10,000 m3 strontium bay
  • 100,000 m3 fleet hangar (expanded to 10,000,000 m3 while deployed, but contents are jettisoned into space if exceeding 100,000 m3 when deployment ends. default destination for most job modules.)
  • 250,000 m3 ship maintenance bay (expanded to 25,000,000 m3 while deployed, but ships are jettisoned into space if exceeding 250,000 m3 when deployment ends)
  • 0 m3 planetary commodities bay (infinite amount while deployed, but all are jettisoned into space upon ending deployment. this is where exported PI materials will go by default, but other players will need to access this bay directly in order to export their materials here)
  • 20,000 m3 mining hold (expanded to 2,000,000 m3 while deployed, but contents are jettisoned into space if exceeding 20,000 m3 when deployment ends)

Example fittings for diverse choices:
After careful consideration, I arrived at 4 High Slots in order to enforce fitting choices such that the Factotum is built for a variety of roles, but must specialize each time. For example:

  • Defensive MOB: Deployment module, Drone Defense Module, Turret, Launcher (Mooring module in place of 1 weapon may be desirable with larger fleets)
  • Moon Mining/PI Smuggling MOB: Deployment module, Drone Defense System, Orbital Operations Module, Mooring Module
  • Science MOB: Deployment module, Drone Defense Module, Science Module, Mooring Module
  • Production MOB: Deployment module, Refinery Module, Manufacturing Module, Reactions Module

(Obviously the choice is yours when fitting modules to your MOB, but these are just some basic examples of how one might set them up. I presume most people will opt for a Mooring module in most of their Low/Null/WH fits. As for refitting the modules in space, it should be fine to allow free refitting while deployed just like structures. If not, the same can be achieved by simply dropping a mobile depot next to the MOB. The only ever-present “choice” is the deployment module, for obvious reasons, but theoretically you could also keep it (and other utility modules that only work while deployed) in your fleet hangar and use cloak/logi/smartbomb/neut etc. modules while flying, then use a mobile depot or friendly ship maintenance bay to refit the module in space in order to deploy.)

Some random concept images from around the internet:


In a few sentences or less, how is this different than a Rorqual or any other Industrial ship?

It enables manufacturing, science, or reaction jobs if the given module is installed, as well as reinforces and allows tethering with proper fuel and module installation. It does not need to be piloted to continue operating, and the roles that it can serve are highly diverse, yet limited by the high slot module limit on what you can do simultaneously (unless you bring the modules along and swap them in space as needed). Finally, it can enter high sec and every wormhole, and can be easily stolen after reinforcement period or running out of fuel rather than simply destroyed (assuming owner/player with access doesn’t return in time to try to escape with it) and does not enable compression or mining boosts so as to not steal the role of industrial command ships (plus the ore hold collapses to original size if you pack up, so you can’t just haul away 2,000,000 m3 raw ore with it).

What limits are there for manufacturing compared to structures or NPC stations?

NPC stations are considered “permanently safe” in that they cannot be destroyed and looted like player structures (or this) can. This grants bonuses to manufacturing and science jobs like larger Upwell structures do, but the bonuses are far smaller. The “across the board” bonuses would serve to allow all functions to be fulfilled for a fledgling wormhole outpost, and would enable a good foothold for any corporation that wishes to establish a new area in space that doesn’t have existing structures/stations so that they have a place to deposit resources and build the more capable and efficient refineries, citadels, engineering complexes, etc. by bringing along the necessary blueprints, mining capabilities, and players. Think of this as more of a “all-in-one” replacement ship for the small starbase control towers, rather than rorquals and such.

I meant more in terms of the types/size/quantity of manufacturing (etc.) jobs.

Ah, I hadn’t thought about that. The current system doesn’t seem to place arbitrary limits on how many jobs you can install at any given station or structure, so I assume that would also be the case here. If it seems necessary, I suppose you could limit the number of installed jobs to “1 per player” or something to that effect in order to encourage the construction of an engineering complex as soon as possible. In terms of the “size” of manufacturing jobs, I’d say anything that can fit in the “deployed” fleet hangar while packaged, meaning 10,000,000 m3 packaged items would be the limit? I know that doesn’t limit much, but since POS manufacturing worked similarly then it doesn’t seem like too much to me.

What kind of limits on ship sizes? I’m assuming you couldn’t build titans or other capital ships with this?

I believe you could just barely construct a titan since they are 10 million m3 packaged, but it would take up the entirety of the fleet hangar to deliver the construction job, and currently I don’t think you’d be able to deploy it since it would be bigger than the ship maintenance bay (25 million m3 vs avg titan around 155 million m3) unless there is a “assemble to space” option specifically for titans (though delivering capital ship manufacturing jobs would be disabled while in high sec, of course). Obviously storing a titan or supercarrier in the 25,000,000 m3 deployed maintenance bay would be impossible, so even if you can keep the Factotum alive long enough to deliver such a manufacturing job (instead of using a more efficient Upwell structure to save more time/money/materials) and “assemble to space” you would then be faced with the issue of where to put the thing, assuming you don’t have a nearby keepstar.

This is also very similar to how titans are built in starbases, though.