I had assumed that most industry would now be done in engineering complexes thanks to the bonuses but the vast majority I have come across offer either research OR manufacturing, often neither.
If you do casual industry then bonuses might be not so important as location, access to the materials, market proximity etc.
The bonuses of Upwell structure come from expensive rigs which cannot be unfit and have limited calibration options. So you can build perfect research/invention/copy laboratory but there will be no place for rigs to bonus manufacturing.
Moreover the fuel cost is per service module. So one Raitaru with Manufacturing Plant and Research Lab will consume same fuel amount as two Raitarus with their roles separated.
That drives specialization of public structures because mix of installed rigs dictates what bonus can be achieved.
So my first question is why are these complexes been underused? Are they just too hard to fuel/defend? Are the bonuses just not worth it?
“There is no cloud it’s just someone else’s computer” applies very well to public Upwell structures.
If you rely on someone else’s citadel or engineering complex you risk that any of these could happen any second now:
- owner loses the interest in running the structure and stops fueling it
- owner removes service module
- owner unanchors entire structure
- owner denies you access rights
- owner increases fees
- the structure is attacked
This applies to all Upwell structure services - manufacturing, research, invention, blueprint copying, cloning, market etc. and users of the structure will not get any in-advance warning. They need to deal with surprise and consequences.
In best case - it is just annoying situation, you need to find another place and move all your operations there.
In worst case you will suffer financial losses - clones and implants are dead, materials lost in cancelled jobs, materials and assets are blocked in asset safety for a week and need to be paid to be recovered.
In possible scam situation - you can rent an office for 100K ISK / month then set bill to autopay just to realise later that the rental fee was increased to 1B ISK / month and automatically paid from your wallet.
In High Sec attack on the structure can happen only when the war is declared giving the owner 24 hours window on war preparation. If the structure is fueled you have another min. 24 hours of reinforcement.
The owner can use this time to plan the defense (or not), evacuate the structure (or not), unfit modules (or not) etc.
But he will not inform users unless he has established relationship and notification channels.
So unless you are constantly checking owner’s war status you can be surprised and have no way to prepare by yourself.
That’s why people either use NPC facilities (where none of above can happen - except sudden increase of office rental fee) or stick to established places run by bigger groups even if they are more expensive (where risk of above is minimal).
Or they can always decide to invest and deploy own private structure where they have complete control over it. They can decide if and when it is fueled, which service modules are online and in case of war declaration or attack they get instant notification and have at least 24 hours for reaction.
Secondly, I’ve seen that there’s often a citadel in systems near trade hubs like Rens or Jita that’s used to place buy orders that cover the trade hub, presumably due to lower taxes offered. But sell orders still seem to be based in the trade hub itself (eh Jita 4-4), why is that?
Buy order in X jumps range around trade hub is inconvenience only for the buyer because he needs to run around and collect the items or pay couriers. 1 jump around Jita is not only Perimeter but all systems around. But if buyer is happy and prepared for that he can benefit with low broker fee on citadels (and the difference in broker fees % is big…)
Sell orders even in 1 jump range from trade hub reduces your chance to sell the item quickly because it is major inconvenience for customer who usually needs to buy more than one thing to achieve his shopping goals. Unless he finds all needed items in your citadel or the price difference justifies the travel then he will not waste time just to collect items for his shopping or pay and wait for courier delivery.
If you buy and fit ship in Jita and one of modules is couple ISK cheaper in Perimeter would you travel there just for that single item? Probably not. People want to spend they gameplay on using the ship, not buying it. Unless the price difference justifies the costs of wasted time for collecting the item they will not go even single jump.