The sixth and final Industry dev blog was released today at the start of Fanfest and covers a completely new feature of manufacturing and research: Teams.
The Elevator PitchMore details on what a team is:
Let’s start with a quick elevator pitch of what "teams" are. We’ll then dig into the details in later sections.
All jobs now require a workforce. All jobs automatically have regular workforce attached, so no special action will be required to start jobs We're not exactly sure how you capsuleers were able to build things without one before!
A "team" is an expert NPC labor force, that players can choose to hire instead of using the regular, provided workforce. A team consists of specialists that give bonuses to certain jobs.
These specialized teams are not available everywhere at any time. They are hired into a system through an auction. Once in a system, the team is available for anyone doing a job in that system for month, at which time the team retires and goes on a much needed space "vacation".
There is a vast variety of specialized teams. Each specialized team affects a particular job activity (like manufacturing or copying) and a limited sub-section of items. For example, a team could affect manufacturing of frigates, but have no effect on manufacturing of cruisers.
- Each specialized team is linked to a specific activity (manufacturing, copying, material research, etc.).So with four activities (for instance) and six types there are 24 combinations of activity/type a team can be.
- Each specialized team has a type, indicating what kind of stuff it can affect. There are six types: structure, components, consumables, ship, mobile and equipment. For example, a team that could affect the manufacturing of Rifters, would have the “manufacture” activity and the “ship” type.
- Each team has four members, and each member has a specialty. The specialty can be broad, but with less bonus (for example Ship – Small Class) or narrow and bigger bonus (like Ship – Frigate). Team members cannot have the same specialty.I *think* this means that once the team activity/type is determined, each team member has a specialty within that category. So someone would only have a specialty of "Frigate" only in a team with a type of "Ship". Is there a list of all the specialties somewhere?
- Each team member affects either material efficiency (ME) or time efficiency (TE). Members of a team can affect either and don’t all have to affect the same.
- Each team member also has an efficiency level, which dictates how big of a bonus he or she gives. There are five level of efficiency, with each level above 1 being a multiple of the level 1 bonus. The bonus given by level 1 is determined by whether the team member has a broad or narrow focus and whether it affects material efficiency or time efficiency.And the exact bonuses in a readable chart:
Broad is for team members that have a broad specialty (like Ship – Small Class), narrow is for team members that have a narrow specialty (like Ship – Frigate).Did you follow all that? To reiterate, a team will be good for an activity like manufacturing, research, etc. They will only be good for one type like Ships or modules or structures, etc. Within that team of four members, each member affect either Material Efficiency (i.e. less materials) or Time Efficiency (i.e less time in factory) and will either have a broad specialty (for example, Ships - Small Class) with a smaller bonus to the efficiency or a narrow specialty (for example, Ships - Frigates) with the larger bonus to the efficiency (see chart). And each team member is different.
How much extra cost a specialized team demands depends on the overall efficiency of the team. The extra salary is a percentage that comes on top of the normal salary cost. The percentage can range from +2% to +18%.
In addition to its stats, each team also has a unique name that gives an indication of what it can do and where it originated.
Teams are randomly created, auctioned for a week, and work in the winning system for four weeks. I can't tell if a team is available for all relevant jobs in the system for the four weeks, or if players need to book them and share them.
Let’s look at the life cycle of a team now.
Teams are seeded into the game over time and become available for auction. The stats, name, home and activities are all randomized, meaning there is a wide variety between teams.
All auctions last seven days. Bids are placed on a team on behalf of a solar system. This means bids made by multiple players on the same system are pooled together.
When placing a bid, the default location is the same system you’re in, but you can edit this to bid on a system remotely. A bid can be entered for any system, including wormhole systems. Bidding on behalf of a system that is far away requires a minimum initial bid. Teams have a home location when they are created and the minimum is higher the further away the team’s home is. This represents a relocation cost and gives a small amount of geographical differentiation without it being too stifling.
Note that while a team is up for auction, it cannot be hired on any other jobs.
Again, no word on how they are shared in the system. At this point, I'm assuming its available for all jobs or else it would put a damper on the cooperation aspect for bringing a team to a system during auction.
When the auction ends, the solar system with the highest pooled bid wins. The team becomes immediately available for hire in the winning system. The team will be active in the system for 28 days (four weeks), at which time it retires (or is institutionalized; Inferno does not treat its users well). Any jobs the team was hired for are completed normally even if the team retires while the job is still ongoing. If no bids were made on the team, the team retires immediately at the conclusion of the auction.
There's more in the dev blog so go give it a read.
Overall, I'm disappointed. When I saw teams were coming into things from the second dev blog I had more of an image from World of Tanks where you get inexperienced tank teams and train them up over time to become proficient experts in various abilities. Instead we get temporary random components to fight over in auctions.
And again, I feel this feature will aid the large scale rich heavy industrialists over the small scale and casual industrialists. Those with the wherewithal to hire the best teams to their hubs can amortize the hiring cost over their jobs and produce more cheaply even in busier systems than those who work with generic default teams or the poorer quality teams. I'm also willing to bet that capital ship production teams will be in highest demand even if poor quality because the large capital jobs makes savings more significant.
On the other hand, the devil is in the details. What's the spread of randomization of the teams? How many teams will be created? Will null sec powerhouses achieve any benefit from outbidding everyone to bring teams to null sec? How much will freeloading affect benefits (which ties back to my question of whether or not teams are tied up in jobs once they are working)?
Together with all the other changes coming this summer means I don't even know how this is going to shake out. Time will tell.