What’s the point of using the other two remaining character slots if you cannot train (without paying extra) or use them concurrently? If you need alts, why not just get a second account? Believe it or not, there are uses and advantages for training and using multiple characters on a single account in addition to or instead of having multiple accounts.
Multiple Characters on One Account vs Multiple Accounts
There are four main differences between using multiple characters on one account versus having multiple accounts:
- Each additional account requires additional sustenance (ie. PLEX or $$$ for a subscription) on top of your main/first account
- Multiple characters on different accounts can be used simultaneously while multiple characters on the same account cannot
- Using multiple accounts simultaneously requires additional computational resources (ie. powerful computer, multiple computers, more/larger monitors or frequent Alt+Tabbing)
- Multiple characters on the same account cannot be trained simultaneously (without paying ISK, Aurum, or $$$ for a Multiple Pilot Training Certification), while at least one character on each different account can be trained simultaneously (across accounts)
While multiple characters on one account is much cheaper than multiple characters across multiple accounts, their uses might appear limited at first. How can we use those slots to our advantage?
Synchronous vs Asynchronous Tasks
Synchronous tasks are those a character can perform even when not being used. Examples of synchronous tasks include but are not limited to:
- Time/Material Efficiency Research
- Blueprint Copying
- Invention (ie. deriving T2 or T3 Blueprint Copies)
- Planetary Interaction (ie. resources are constantly being harvested from a planet you install command centers on)
- Selling and Buying (Market)
- Contracts (Item Exchange, Auction)
- Datacore farming using Research Agents
- Skillpoint farming (maximizing skillpoint gain on an alt for the purposes of extracting the skillpoints and injecting them into another character, or selling the skill injector)
Asynchronous tasks are those in which only one character per account is able to participate in at the same time. Obviously, all synchronous tasks can be done asynchronously. Examples of Asynchronous tasks include but are not limited to:
- Resource Processing
- Buying an Selling (Immediate)
- Contracts (Immediate)
The key to making effective use of all three character slots is to ensure all characters are taking advantage of performing synchronous tasks while also using other characters for asynchronous tasks that might be difficult to do on your main.
Milking Synchronous Tasks
Most synchronous tasks have limits to how much you can do. For example: You are limited in the number of maximum research jobs, manufacturing jobs, contracts, etc that you may have. By training your other characters in these tasks, you effectively triple the maximum limit without having to pay for additional accounts.
It should be noted that some of these tasks can be very time consuming (though all the more rewarding), so tripling throughput is highly beneficial. Also, because these tasks take so long to complete, you won’t have to check these characters very often.
When the tasks are completed, they can be used for yourself, contributed to the corporation, or sold on the market or via contracts. Some of these tasks (Blueprint copying and Planetary Interaction) are effectively “free money” since they require minimal set up costs in relation to their return on investment.
At the very least, it’s quick to train these tasks to Level 3. Your main won’t be missing out on much!
Milking Asynchronous Tasks
Most (but not all!) of the benefits to using an alt for an asynchronous task pertains to your main’s corporation being at war. If you have one or two alts who are not at war, then they can safely engage in many tasks difficult or impossible to do in Highsec due to the dangers of war. Any alt you have that is in an NPC corporation is immune to war in Highsec: they can AFK mine, smuggle freight for your main’s corporation, spy on the enemy without getting destroyed. They can also join and infiltrate enemy corporations as well.
A common configuration is to your main focus on combat while your alts focus on logistics safely in highsec. At least one of the alts would be used for asynchronous tasks difficult/impossible to perform on your main; the third alt can at least engage in synchronous tasks regardless.
Training Your Alts
There are many ways to train your alts on the same account:
- Stop training on your main and start training on your alt
- Acquire (via ISK, Aurum, or $$$) a Multiple Pilot Training Certificate
- Activate Skill Injectors on your alts. Example uses:
- One skill injector can raise you from L0 Science group skills to: Laboratory Operation L5, Advanced Laboratory Operation L3, Research L4, Metallurgy L3, and Science L3 (481806 skillpoints used)
- Transfer a character from another account onto your account
A Case Study
Archer en Tilavine, Founder and CEO of our fine corporation, recently extracted 10M skillpoints for use on his alts. He found that, not being much of a combat pilot (on that account), he could make better use of those skillpoints on his alts in Synchronous task (and, in the case of one of them, the asynchronous task of AFK mining). Now he can run 33 science jobs and 33 manufacturing jobs instead of just 11 each. While he did lose a few hundred thousand skillpoints in the process, he found he could have extraordinary returns on investment on the products of the synchronous tasks. His account would be able to easily generate billions of ISK a month far more easily than if he focused on only one character alone, and without the need for paying for a second account! At that point, he could even buy skill injectors off the market to expedite his skill training and make up for the lost skillpoints.
This is not the only configuration available, but it is highly versatile and recommended for most players:
- Inside main player corporation
- Maxed Asynchronous Tasks
- Alt #1
- Inside NPC Corp (for war-immunity)
- Mining/Freight-oriented (in the relative safety of hisec)
- Can still contract goods to main/corp
- Can still fleet with main’s corp
- Maxed Asynchronous Tasks
- Alt #2
- Inside NPC Corp (for war-immunity) OR infiltrate in enemy corporation (espionage/sabotage)
- Maxed Asynchronous Tasks
Setting your alts to do synchronous tasks is a huge money maker, especially for time-consuming tasks. Having one alt in the NPC corp allows you to engage in logistic tasks difficult or impossible to perform in highsec with your main in a corporation at war. Some tasks, such as Blueprint Copying and Planetary Interaction, are practically free money after the initial costs.