Tuesday 1 October 2013

Hi Sec POCOs - Dead On Arrival

There are hi sec Player Owned Customs Offices coming in Rubicon but it's not quite as simple as it sounds. It seems the special snowflakes in low and null need advantages, or more particularly additional limitations and restrictions on hi sec POCOs to remain competitive.

"The NPC tax will continue for hi sec POCOs (as we want low sec POCOs to still be competitive). The tax rate stays the same, at 10% for export and 5% for import. This is then in addition to whatever tax the player owner sets." - CCP SoniClover

There is a new skill being introduced that'll reduce the NPC portion of the tax by up to half.

"We are introducing a new trainable skill, Customs Code Expertise, which will reduce the NPC portion of the tax rate, but 10% per level (so at level 5 the NPC export tax rate will be 5% rather than 10%). Again, this skill only affects the NPC portion of the tax, not the player owner tax." - CCP SoniClover

The exact numbers might work out a little different after the patch but what it boils down to is lower output and higher costs for hi sec PI than for PI anywhere else. Just how it is now. Nothing's really changed except of course someone will have to shoot down the Interbus Customs Office and replace it with his own... Which he'll have to pay for and which in turn can be shot down by someone else.

Sounds worthwhile. NOT!

I expect hi sec POCOS will fall into 2 types. Ones with no (or very low) player tax but restricted access (mainly restricted to the corp the owner belongs to) and ones with unrestricted access but higher player taxes. High enough to make the total tax (npc tax + player tax) at least as high as it is now even with the new skill fully trained.

Anyone who thinks the big null sec alliances (goons in particular) won't be sending fleets into hi sec regularly to blow up all Customs Offices (whether Interbus or player owned) they can find and replace them with their own high tax POCOs is dreaming.

Expect all the best planets near main trade hubs to be very quickly taken over by the big alliances. It won't be cost effective for the little guys to pay exorbitant war declaration fees trying to take them back from the big guys either.

I find it ironic how low and (especially) null sec players like to claim they're the elite, yet they always seem to need "special" treatment to give them unfair advantages over hi sec players.

No doubt the self proclaimed elite would rage but why not even things out? Stop pandering to the loud minority. Take away all the special snowflake treatment, all the "meta game" BS and let the players decide for themselves for a change.

Edit: Mabrick's take on this is really good. He brings up a number of valid points, like how tying attacking POCOs to war decs squeezes out the little guys (solo players and small corps) and hands hi sec PI over to the big PvP corps and alliances.

Make no mistake this is not a buff to hi sec PI. It's a blatant resource control giveaway for the big PvP corps and alliances.


  1. So, if I'm not mistaken, that means you'll have to pay NPC tax and player tax, making the high sec PI even less worth it?

    This confuses me

    1. Yes.

      Of course player tax will be zero on Interbus offices. In fact if you find some out of the way spot no one's interested and train the new skill you'll be able to PI cheaper.

  2. There won't be any NPC POCO's in high sec after a few months, so the skill will be useless. High sec corporations will just fly around and blow them up, just to have a killmail. Since CONCORD won't get involved when a POCO is attacked (at least I think that is what I read, I could be wrong), people are going to fly their expensive faction fit ships that they would never dare fly into low sec or null sec, and start bashing POCO's just to kill time.

    My prediction is that high sec PI is going to die completely, which will only raise the value of all the PI that is left, which will come from Low Sec, Null Sec, and wormholes.

    1. But the point CCP SoniClover seemed to make, was that there will still be a 10% NPC tax on the player owned structures. So you'll have the player tax, and the npc tax to work with.

      It's a good idea to start stocking up on PI stuff though, prices will go be going up.

    2. That's pretty much my take on it too Val.

      Mind you the skill does affect the NPC portion of POCOs too so the skill won't be useless but that won't make any difference. PI in Hi sec will still be lower output at greater cost than anywhere else. And like you say players will be shooting them down a lot, making hi sec PI more of a hassle too.

      Hi sec PI (which already sucks) is just going to be harmed, not helped by these changes.

    3. There are still lots of Interbus offices in Null sec after a couple of years.

  3. I don't understand your animosity towards the nullsec players. You have all the individual facts right, but you put them together in the wrong order.

    "I find it ironic how low and (especially) null sec players like to claim they're the elite, yet they always seem to need "special" treatment to give them unfair advantages over hi sec players."

    That's putting the cart before the horse. The nullsec players like to claim they're the elite, therefore they believe they deserve special treatment. this is the correct ordering of events. This makes sense both in analogy to real life (who gets more perks in real life, billionaires or manual laborers?), and in game terms. If the reward for 'winning' individual conflicts is to be treated less well than those you defeated, then there's no incentive for conflict. This also applies to different spaces--those spaces with more possible conflict (not more actual conflict, as this opens the system to being gamed in multiple ways) should have higher rewards, or everyone will just move into low conflict areas and again, conflict in EVE dies.

    Of course, if you disagree that conflict in EVE is a good thing, then you'd disagree with everything I'm saying, but at least your disagreement with me, and the rest of nullsec, would at least be coherently framed at that point. If you agree that conflict in EVE is a prime goal for CCP to foster, but disagree that winning conflicts should be rewarded, and that areas with wider possible conflict should be also rewarded--then I'd be interested to see how you argue that the latter two policies wouldn't destroy that prime goal.

    1. Actually it's pretty simple, CCP listens to and panders to null sec players far too much. I think it's time they stop pandering to the loud minority and start considering the rest of the player base instead.

      I disagree. Just because the existing rules and mechanics heavily favor null sec over everything else does not entitle null sec players to continue receiving even more special treatment and favoritism. If they truly were elite they wouldn't require special treatment at all. So why not get rid of the special treatment and let them prove if they really are elite or not?

      In fact much of my opposition to null sec favoritism has a lot to do with "immersion" and the sandbox concept. Make it more realistic with fewer arbitrary, unrealistic, unbalanced rules that exist solely to benefit a specific minority (null sec mega corps and alliances) just because they happen to be the loudest minority. As for the "sandbox" stop trying to force everyone to play the null sec way, make it viable to live in null without feeling you have no choice but to join one of the mega corps / alliances.

      Let us make our own choices and stop trying to force everyone to do what the loudest minority wants us to do.

      Conflict is not a bad thing. What is bad is when the conflict drivers are intentionally, purposefully designed to favor particular groups and particular styles of play over others. Get rid of the countless arbitrary rules that exist solely to favor gigantic corps / alliances with massive unfair advantages that increase their control over virtually everything in null.

    2. I'm a member of a small nullsec alliance that refuses to join bloc. Tyranny of the minority, eh? Think about that one for a second.

      Please tell me again how nullsec is the golden child when I can't undock because a red gang decided to deploy to my home system, or I have to fly the 30+ jumps to jita to buy anything because industrialist won't build in null since it's too dangerous to mine rocks.

      You want realistic? What's more realistic than the those with more resources win; the bigger, the richer, the stronger, the ones who have more friends. That's why big blocs do better, and the real world supports this point quite well. We choose not to join a bloc because there's BS that comes with that choice. There are more people in Highsec and therefore it's bigger? Which has a stronger voice, 1000 individuals or a single 1000-person group? Highsec isn't larger, it just has biomass, get organized then we'll talk.

      You want arbitrary and unrealistic? CONCORD is arbitrary and unrealistic. The infinitely powerful undefeatable hand of god that shields you from evil PvPers. You want a sandbox? I think you mean making all space to be like null. If I'm able to get a large enough fleet, I should be able to defeat Concord and the Caldari navy fleets and blow up Jita 4-4 station or anything else that floats in space. That's a sandbox, and you can go ahead and rebuild it if you like. But I can't because Highsec is protected by unrealistic arbitrary rules.

      Saddly, I agree with you about highsec POCOs. And while I'm normally the person defending Highsec to null dwellers, seriously, quit whining. As a null dweller i'm not better than you, i'm playing a different part of the game.

    3. I'm not whining, I simply stated the indisputable FACT that practically everything about nullsec favors large groups over small groups.

      Not just in realistic ways either, there are all kinds of unrealistic mechanics added in just to make things easier for large groups and more difficult for small groups.

      Jump bridges, cynos, war dec costs, siege timers, etc., etc. All stupid, unrealistic bandaid mechanics designed to give every possible advantage to large groups or take away the few natural advantages small groups have.

  4. Have only dabbled in PI, but think you are missing the value proposition for PI in hi-sec. From what I've seen it is in factory planets; not harvesting planets. Hence a lot of the commentary has been on the value of planets near the hubs, where P1 & P2 materials can be further refined into P3 & P4 in bulk. Seemed like there was reasonable profit in it last I looked, if you were willing to take the time. Personally find trading more profitable and fun per unit time.

    As to the skills and revised tax numbers, seemed like the goal was to lower the NPC tax with the intent of creating some margin for player corporations/alliances to charge their taxes without wrecking the market. Looks like some tax was retained so corporations couldn't just set-up a POCO and zero out the taxes for friendlies.

    Impact thought: wouldn't be surprised to see PI material prices drop, not increase. Seems like the skill reduction will reduce costs significantly for factory planets, which already seem really profitable. And I imagine that while taxes will be higher near hubs, they won't be unreasonable. If the taxes get too high, people just go one more jump out. And for every jump you go out, you have access to exponentially more planets.

  5. I don't think it's "pandering" I think it's that they want to see industrial activity split between nullsec and other areas. It's overwhelmingly in high sec at the moment.

    Of course even the industrialists on the CSM are null sec so CSM viewpoint will be slanted but if you want that to change you or someone like you would have to stand for office and campaign well. (A well-written blog is by the way an excellent starting point for a CSM campaign).

    1. And why should it be split in the first place? Industrial power being centered in safe locations is the natural order.

      You don't see Iraq, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan being industrial powers in the real world do you?

      Nope the industrial powers are countries like the USA, Germany, Japan, Great Britian, Canada, etc.

      And you don't see 3rd world countries taking over industry in the developed world either. In fact for the most part it's exactly the opposite.

    2. BTW, I have absolutely no interest in ever running for CSM. I'm no politician, I'm way too honest for that.

    3. OK, why should it be split?

      Let's suppose hypothetically everything could be built in high sec, shipped safely to Jita and JF-ed out to market in perfect safety, even packaged titans and illegal drugs. We would have players that crunch numbers in high sec and players that shoot each other in null. A dull 2-dimensional virtual world.

      Because we don't want that we seek a balance. The "natural order" doesn't matter in the slightest, this is a game, guns in space go boom through the vacuum. Realism is second to fun.

      The cycle of Eve is that pvp feeds the industrial machine and industry feeds some kills to a parasitic pvp community. We pvpers stroke our egos as we blow up carebears badgers - a sign of our skill and killing prowess. The game is carefully crafted to stroke players ego, the clever industrialist making a mint is as satisfied as the ruthless ganker with 99% efficiency.

      That is what this change is about, tuning the balance between different parts of the community to create player satisfaction. The barometer for this that CCP uses is mainly the CSM and the Eve O forums. Post, rant and politic if you want a different virtual world or encourage other people to do so for you.

  6. Mabrick's take on this is really good. He brings up a number of valid points, like how tying attacking POCOs to the war dec system squeezes out the little guys (solo players and small corps) and hands hi sec PI over to the big PvP corps and alliances.

    Read it here: http://mabricksmumblings.blogspot.ca/2013/10/we-need-better-than-double-taxes-and-no.html

  7. Little sidenote: I changed my PI planets from Low sec to high sec, making them factory planets. I spend less time updating them than I did my low sec planets (about once a week) and I make more of a profit (time spent vs isk earned) than I did on the low sec planets.

    Doing PI in high sec by extracting etc is indeed not worth your time, but having a few factory planets is.