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Help: Asteroid Belt Management

Asteroid belt management is an activity that is rather different from the others available in the game.

You can begin asteroid belt management when you have 25 industry points. This activity does not earn you any money. In fact, you must pay in order to keep doing it. However, when properly set up, a belt station will passively earn points for you for up to two days without input from you.

TO BEGIN

Each alliance has an asteroid belt management station in one of their sectors, usually the capital. Land at a station belonging to your alliance, and type MENU. If you have 25 points and you can cover the starter fee, you will immediately get your very own station with one small drill and one employee to run things.

The MENU command is the only command you need to access your station's interface.

COMPONENTS OF YOUR ASTEROID STATION

There are three major elements to running your station.

* PARTS - Your asteroid station can be equipped with a number of parts, such as the small drill it starts with. Each part increases your station's ability to produce. You gain access to better parts as your industry points increase. Old parts are never obsolete.

* EMPLOYEES - Employees are necessary to install, operate, and repair each part of your station.

* SHIFTS - A shift is an eight-hour period of time. One employee can perform one task per shift. However, an employee must rest after two shifts of work.

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR STATION

To properly manage your station, you will give orders to each employee for each shift, for up to two days in advance. Remember to give each employee their rest shift after two shifts of work!

Employees are able to install new parts, repair a damaged part, or operate a part to gain points. They can do one of these tasks per shift.

Operating a part causes damage. How much damage depends on how careful that employee is. When a part becomes too damaged, it must be repaired before it can be used again.

A part's actual productivity depends on the quality of your employee.

Each employee will be owed half of their daily salary per shift that they work.

You can hire up to two new employees per shift (or three per day). Hiring the best employees is key to maximizing your station's efficiency.

HOW TO SET SHIFT ORDERS

Setting shift orders is an option under MENU.

You will first be presented with a list of shifts. You cannot set any orders for the current shift, only for the next shift that has not yet started, and up to two days past that.

Once you choose a shift, you will be presented with a list of possible tasks for that shift. Note that the list of available tasks is NOT predictive. In other words, you are able to give orders to install the same part three times in a row and the system will not warn you, because it is not paying attention to shifts that haven't happened yet. It's up to you to look out for redundancies and invalid orders.

Upon choosing a task, you will see a list of employees that can perform it (unless only one employee is available anyway). Along with their names, you will see how productive they are, how careful they are, and how many consecutive shifts they will have worked by this point. (The number listed for consecutive shifts IS predictive; in other words, it will take into account shifts that haven't happened yet.) REMEMBER: Employees will only work two consecutive shifts before they will demand a shift off.

AUTOMATIC SHIFT ORDERS

You can also toggle automatic shifts using the MENU command.

When automatic shifts is toggled on, your employees will arrange their own shift orders and the belt station will work constantly. However, your employees will be owed a greater salary for managing themselves. Also, they will not arrange their shifts as efficiently as you would be able to do.

HOW TO COLLECT YOUR POINTS

When a part has been successfully operated, the points you are owed are available for collection. You must go to the station in order to collect your points. You MUST NOT OWE ANY SALARY PAYMENTS in order to collect your points.

Discouraged at your initial progress? Spend a few days building up your station, then just watch the points accumulate!

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