TL;DR: If your primary 'play' is research; then a POS is nearly mandatory. If you merely tinker; then use a NPC station and suck up the wait time; or simply buy a researched BPO/BPC from a contract.
Gevlon claims that the amount of research is number_of_alt*10*/research_time.
I believe that the amount of research is more complicated : number_of_alt*10*lab_efficiency*player_efficiency*access%/research_time
Lab Efficiency: Doing research research as a POS research lab (either mobile or advanced) only takes 3/4's of the time. That is :
- 3 alts * 10 in an NPC station = 30 research 'points' or
- 4/3 * 3 alts * 10 in a POS = 40 research 'points'.
Access %: Getting access to a research slot won't take long? Surely not in this region? The shortest queue was 1 month; 4 days.
Your access % is research time / (research time + waiting time). If you are trying to crank out research that takes 15 days and have to wait 30; you only have access 33% of the time. Oh, and one of your toon's research slot is consumed by waiting. For the purposes of this post; I did crank out another toon, gave him a few points in research; and loaded up the assembly line as far as I could.
Other things to consider:
- BPO's tied up in a waiting queue are ISK sitting idle.
- To get 10 research slots per toon; you are dedicating 2 lots of level 5 skills (1 easy; 1 less so)
I have a dirty confession to make; I am not using all of the research slots I already have access to. Research is not PI; and I seem to be mildly OCD about PI at the moment.
But even with that; I purchased a few new destroyer blueprints and sent them madly off to get my very crude guess as to what saleable blueprints might need. I was not sure about what the value of the new ships will be, with this being the first release of BPO's I have seen in Eve; but I have played that other MMO enough to have a gut feel that new BPO's are likely to be better than old BPO's, and it seems that well researched ones should sell well; either that or every industrialist will jump on the same gravy train; and spread it a little thin.
Remembering the formula of number_of_alt * 10 * lab_efficiency * player_efficiency * access% / research_time. If your primary 'job' is research based; then you have two options:
- 3 alts * 10 slots * 100% * 100% * 33% station access = 10 research 'points'
- 3 alts * 10 slots * 4/3 * 1.05% * 100% = 42 research 'points'
If you have 3 alts per account all with maxed research skills; all cranking out 24/7 then a POS research slot makes sense.
If you do not have a POS with spare capacity already, and are only looking at playing with the odd BPO; then NPC station researching would be preferable.
For all else; it is a judgement call;
Some are very worried about the security of owning a POS. I have personal experience in a WH; and observed behaviour in low and high; very little of null.
A defensive POS is a pain to knock over anywhere;
The thought of trying to kill a powered POS in a C1-C4 wormhole is daunting; especially if you only have battleships to do it. I have a hard enough time with customs offices.
It is very unusual for High sec POS to be knocked over assuming they are correctly fuelled. I am sure it happens. However in Highsec; placing blueprints into NPC stations leaves you safe. Off lining research structures and have defensive modules anchored and ready to online works.
I have seen 're-arrangement of furniture' - including POS in low. But even there; the 'goodies' can be kept in very cheap NPC stations. For that matter; it is unusual for even POCO's to be knocked over in lowsec, and POCO's are much more fragile than a large POS.
If you are in a huge fleet in null, then maybe you can steam-roll one; I don't know; haven't been in either a huge fleet or null enough.
PS. I have just seen a theoretical 'lets bash highsec pos for fun and profit' post from The mittani website. The comments already lodged against that post cover most of the issues; that is; you had better bring a very large party to bash a Highsec POS without capital ship support.
PPS. In his favour; Gevlon produces a daily post, where it takes me a lot longer to think about and mull over items.