Warehouse ownership is only available from the Home of Light DLC. They are unique in that instead of possessing production lines, they can be set up to buy or sell any ware. In this respect, they are similar to some NPC stations. See the initial DEV note here
Bugs and things to be aware of:
1. If you're going to assign trade ships to your warehouse, avoid having wares with Buy and Sell orders at the same price at the same time! Otherwise, assigned trading ships may get stuck in a loop buying and selling wares to and from the same Warehouse.
2. Assigned miners will not deposit nor mine any resources, unless the Ware is added to the ware list for trade offers and has Buy checked on the ware. Universal cargo ships are great Miners for Warehouses (Tougher with large cargo bays).
3. Your stations actually transfer credits between each other for trades with your warehouse, The Manager will not send you credits for any trades made between your stations; only non-player NPC trades are accounted for when sending you credits - so keep an eye on Manager's budgets & adjust them as necessary
4. Your stations take into account the buy order price of your Warehouse. If your Warehouse doesn't offer the best price for either buying or selling their wares, then they can go elsewhere instead of using your warehouse. Pay attention to the System's market!
5. Once you've edited the storage allocation or sell/buy prices for added wares you can not reset them! You have to click the X to remove the ware, and re-add to let the Manager control those values again (Grey text).
Taking into consideration the presence of NPC traders throughout the galaxy, examples of things they offer include:
- Trading of wares for profit.
- Ability to acquire or stockpile wares, even when hostile to major factions.
- Centralised supply of harvested resources to other stations (see Mining Base section).
- Cost-effective strongholds, covered in guns.
- Centralised drone resupply point for ships.
Selecting a location
As with any station, identifying a suitable player build spot is key to keeping the Warehouse busy and helping you in whatever task(s) you plan for it.
Things to take into consideration:
- Stations without Command Relays (the big radar dish) can only trade sector-wide. Are trading partners in range?
- Will ships be able to reach the Warehouse safely?
- If you're assigning mining ships, how easily and safely can they reach resources?
- With up to ~300 weapons, where would you like to place your fully armed and operational
Warehouses are built like any other station, but only the Terracorp Construction Vessel has this option. The first stage of a Warehouse requires surprisingly few components, costing ~2.5 million credits.. although it bristles with the ability to mount surface elements, so an aditional 16 million credits offers 102 HIT/MA, and 56 Plasma/MAs, 2 V Launchers and assorted Force Field Projectors.
Note that the initial stage only offers Container storage. Whilst that is a popular & profitable class of wares to trade, it is worth emphasising that this means that the Architect must extend the Warehouse with additional storage modules before Bulk, Energy or Liquid wares may be stored and/or traded.
In general, Warehouses are set up and managed just like regular stations, with crew and Manager settings such as Supply Options. Where they differ from other stations is that the Manger has an additional option called "Manage trade offers" instead of "Manage trade offer prices". "Manage trade offers" allows us to add or remove wares to the list of items the Manager may trade.
After pressing "Add trade wares" and selecting one, we are presented with number of options:
- The ability to select whether the Warehouse will Buy and/or Sell the ware*
- A definable Stock Limit.
- Definable Sell price**
- Definable Buy price**
- An 'x' button for removing the ware from the list; (at the bottom of the list (scroll down if necessary) is the 'Add trade wares' button)
*The option to both buy /and/ sell the same ware is available only to a manager with 5* management skill; this restriction is shown in a tooltip but not quantified.
**Be advised: as for every station, automated wares prices are set regarding the stock compared to the limit. This means if the station has 0 stock, its manager will try to buy/sell at maximum price.; if the station has reached the defined limit, its manager will buy/sell at minimum price. Considering this, if you use your warehouse for trading purposes (NOT restricted trades), and if you don't define both buy and sell prices, you may lose money!
As noted above, the first stage of the Warehouse may store, and therefore trade, only Container class wares. Until the Warehouse is extended with further storage modules, Bulk, Energy or Liquid wares will be greyed out within the initial "Add Trade Wares" menu.
Setting up a mining hub
For various reasons we may want our manufacturing stations in inconvenient locations with respect to the location of the harvestable resources they may need. Or, we may have many stations needing harvestable resources and some of our Mining ships may be standing around idle some of the time. The unique ability of Warehouses to sell anything means that if we wish we can set them up to collect and supply things such as Ore and Plasma just like other wares; then our Bulk and Liquid Trade ships assigned to our other stations can collect what they need from the Warehouse.
Other than potentially saving on the number of Mining ships we may need to buy (& replace!), it can allow for placing these well-defended stations in or close to mining zones. Minimising travel time for mining ships can increase their individual mining rates over time, and consequently minimise their exposure to hostiles while travelling (particularly if using Medium Miners). Additionally, compared to Miners mining far from other stations, mining close to a Warehouse means that any combat ships assigned to the Warehouse DO will tend to be closer more of the time.
A peculiarity of Warehouses is that unless they have a Buy order set up for a particular ware, assigned Mining ships won't offload their mined resources as they won't see a demand.. although on the other hand, it helps reduce over-filling with harvested wares, and it allows a Warehouse to only accept specific harvested wares if desired. In conclusion: in order for the Warehouse to automatically accept harvested wares from assigned Mine ships a Buy price is required. If the Buy price is set to the minimum, it will minimise purchases from NPCs if "Restrict trade to other factions" is set to NO. If that setting is YES, setting it to the minimum is still a good idea to minimise the possibility of other assigned ships buying a harvested ware from one of the rare stations (spoiler link).