Updated Wed, Sep 14, 2011 by Space Junkie
Player-owned starbases are one of the most complex and difficult areas in EVE Online. On the one hand they represent the acme of industrial production, but on the other they are opaque, expensive, and difficult for even veteran players to master. Here are five tricks that may come in handy when using them.
This guide is particularly timely because with the price of the all-important technetium mineral sinking, the prices of other moon minerals have slowly begun to rise and take up the slack. The intricacies of running starbased are many, and there are tons of little tricks that can help make them more effective.
If you are generally unfamiliar with what a player owned starbase (POS) is, and what it is for, please familiarize yourself with our other guides on the topic:
Without further ado:
5. Chained Silos
Gallente and Amarr control towers have a special bonus that doubles the amount of space in each silo. Despite this advantage, some players use other races' towers because of the availability of fuel-containing ice asteroids, the extra CPU of Caldari towers, or the defensive capabilities of Minmatar towers. Regardless of the tower you choose, it can be beneficial to string together multiple silos. This cuts down on the frequency with which you must refill or empty the silos, because once connected, your chain will empty all the way down the line into the last silo until it fills up, then begin filling up any other silos. Silos are connected to each other in the same way you would connect a silo to any other starbase structures.
This technique will give you much better capacity, especially if you are also using Gallente towers. It is most handy for starbases primarily used for mining, as it will often be several weeks before your silo chain needs to be emptied.
4. Advanced Reactor Trick
Complex reactors are necessary to take the final step in a series of reactions. However, they require so much CPU, most people expect that they must be used on a large tower. But with a little extra work, you can set things up to react on smaller towers, which will save significant fuel expenses.
But it is entirely possible to cram a two-ingredient complex reactor on to a medium Caldari starbase. The trick is to use coupling arrays rather than silos, saving on space. Use one coupling array for each input, then two coupling arrays connected to each other for the outputs. When the first fills up, the next array in line will start filling.
The down side to this trick is that as the coupling arrays are smaller than silos, they will need to be refilled more often. For example, an input silo that can hold only 1500m3 of material will likely need to be refilled every fifteen hours. For the time-crunched player, that may be a pretty significant downside. But those EVE players able to make this time investment will find it profitable in the long run, especially once they do the math on how much a single complex reaction can make.
3. Bubble Escape Trick
One of the most annoying things that can happen to a starbase in null-sec is that the entire thing can be covered in overlapping mobile warp disruption bubbles. Your enemies can anchor these devices anywhere in space, so that they will project a radius of warp disruption. Within this radius, ships cannot enter warp or use a jump drive to travel to cynosural field. The bubbles can also pull ships that are exiting a warp nearby into their radius, leaving them vulnerable to attack. They are the angler fish of space, luring helpless prey to their untimely end.
Pirate corporations and the big alliances will sometimes anchor several of these mobile warp disruptors around a target's starbase, with sufficiently large radiuses to completely cover the starbase's defensive force field. Any person in that starbase is trapped, and unless the attackers leave the starbase unguarded will likely end up destroyed once the starbase is successfully besieged. This is not a huge problem for players with stranded industrial vessels or battleships, but if a capital ship is at risk, the loss could potentially empty a player's bank account.