Slots and billing

In version 1077 there was a bug in the billing system for station resources. It basically caused it to not send out bills for the slots. This let to players using the slots without paying for them.

One of the fixes in 1105 was to fix up the billing system; a part of that fix was to work on the backlog of unpaid bills. The backlog of bills is being sent out a 60 min interval. How many bills each renter gets is varied according to how much free time he has gotten. Not paying a backlog bill has the unfortunate side effect of canceling the slot rental. As the rent logic basically works of the rule that if you have no outstanding bill at the end of a rent cycle and have used (are using) the slot, the lease is renewed and a bill is issued.

There are basically two issues that stem from these bug fixes

1. Players that had kept a lot of slots for later use and have not gotten bills for them are getting a huge backlog. The amounts can be quite high. There is little unfairness going on here, the price was known and you should have expected to get billed eventually

2. Players that were honestly using their slots but didn’t have the chance to pay the bills at the right time (as they weren’t sent out) and were not logged in when the backlog was worked down and therefore didn’t have a change to pay the bills, have gotten their slots cancelled. I agree that this is unfair but this is a case that is difficult to fix as new people have taken the opportunity to rent the slots. The new people have already started manufacturing and have some right also. The worst cases involve players that have lost many days of research time

We realize that 2. quite unfair, but it does not merit a rollback. Considerable unfairness has encircled the station slot rental concept. We feel that after these 2 changes (billing actually being done and requiring renters to use the slot) will increase fairness. The short term is of course that now we are faced with a considerable reshuffle of slots. It can be argued that people that started playing EVE sooner than others had a gold rush with regards to the slots and this issue with the cancellation due to backlog has leveled the playing field and given new people a change. It is maybe not the best argument for leaving things in this imperfect state but I am going to state it anyway.