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New Dev Blog: Player-owned Customs Office

First post First post
Meldan Anstian
The Night Crew
#761 - 2011-10-19 07:34:05 UTC
Mara Rinn wrote:

For you to produce stuff and launch it into space, it must be worth enough to cover the cost of launching it. Since the presence of a PCO provides cheaper option for exporting goods from the planet, those who use PCOs will be relying on the tax income from a number of people using the planet. A PCO will soak up the profit of one planeteer for 6 months at current prices. With the advent of destructible Customs Offices, expect to see all PI materials rise in price.

That customs offices will remain in hisec is a disappointment — they would have been a nice target for wardecs, and having them provided free and forever by CONCORD provides another bias towards hisec away from lowsec.

PCO is most definitely a feature intended for null sec, especially considering it is possible to set the tax rate to 0%, which immediately provides a material advantage over hisec.

I don't disagree with much you said, but it's not the whole picture.

You assume that a PCO will be profitable. I don't see how it can be, not within a time frame that is on par with other ways to invest your ISK. So it makes sense to invest your ISK in other ways where there is greater return.

I really suspect that putting up PCO's will be pretty much ignored by alliances, since the alliance wouldn't benefit much from them, and it's 1 more thing to deal with. That leaves it to alliance members to make the investment, and guess what, they can't because they dont have the roles to do so. Basically null sec alliances, and perhaps WH corps won't screw with them, they have better more profitable things to do with their time.

I would love to see the proportions of PI stuff coming from high sec, low sec, null, and WH. If my guess is correct, the greatest proportion comes from low sec. WH logistics is a PITA getting to market. Null sec alliance members are doing some, but are probably more interested in PvPing, running plexes and ratting. I don't see that changing.

A big part of your argument is that PCO's will be profitable, both to operate, and to use as a PI.

Here's some real world numbers. Current tax rate is a 5% tariff, doubling to 10% in high sec after this is implemented.

I just got some 1960 units of reactive metals from a CO, and spent 1489 in taxes, and that would go to 2978 (if it were high sec). If I used a PCO, that had it's tax rate set at 100%, I would have paid 29780 in taxes. That's 1 days production, so in a month, I would spend 893400 in taxes. At command center lvl 4 skill, that's maxed production for that planet. If I had lvl 5 skills, I could add about 17% to that by adding 3 more extractor heads, to my max of 20. That brings the max income from me to the PCO owner to 1,045,278 ISK per month.

So in 80 months, you would start to see a profit assuming I was the only person there, and you never get attacked. Now lets also assume that there are 10 people on the planet doing PI, and they are all doing the same amount as I am. In 8 months, you would start to see a profit, and your max profit per month would be just over 10mil? Also, don't ignore the fact that I am sure many people don't use PI to maximum effect and that some are idle a considerable amount of time. I don't think planets can sustain 10 people doing PI on them, not with depletion the way it is. Where is the money????

For there to be incentive for me to use your PCO, your tax rate must be lower that my launch costs. If it costs more in taxes than to launch, I launch all I can and only use you when I have no other choice. You might screw around with your PCO settings, so I can't get my materials, and there is the risk of getting ganked while picking up materials at a PCO. If I launch, I don't have either of those risks. I suspect that currently it is less expensive to launch than it is to pay 100% tax. This means that you would make less in taxes since you don't tax all I produce.

According to the dev blog, they are "Making planetary taxation a profitable business!" and " EVE Online should not be about bowing to NPC authority, it should be about player-to-player interactions".

I think I made a case that a planetary taxation is not profitable given the numbers CCP gave us. Since profitability is questionable, PCO's would be rare, there would be few to attack and few to camp, thereby decreasing the desired player to player interactions from it's current state. You just go to the launch, pick up your stuff and go. It's safer than going to a PCO that might be camped.

You might make an argument that PCO owners would get import taxes as well as export taxes. I can have a production planet in high sec, where resource density is absolutely meaningless since I am extracting nothing, and only pay 10% in both import and export taxes.

It costs me 15 ISK to export a unit of reactive metals. It costs me 6000 ISK to export a robotics. It requires 106 units of processed materials to make 1 unit of robotics. So the more I produce on a planet, the more tax I pay. It only costs me 1600 ISK to export enough processed materials to make a unit of robotics. The clear incentive, dont make higher tier stuff on a planet with high taxes.

Since it was not mentioned in the blog, one must assume that a major change to the economy, the proportions and relative values of products thereof, is not the desired outcome.

I don't think this kills PI. I think it changes it from a state where the use of a CO is almost assumed, to one where the products are launched are almost assumed. Not because of high tax rates, but because no one builds PCO's.
Aubrey Addams
University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#762 - 2011-10-19 07:45:55 UTC
I like the changes, but not interested in PI any more with these changes.
I won't like to log in to the game after work to see that my offices were destroyed while I was offline.
So if PI was this from the beggining, I would not spent skill points for it.
That's why I like my skill points waste on PI back.
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#763 - 2011-10-19 07:46:38 UTC
I like it Cool

But have a question and some ideas from my point of view:

First, is there an ancoring and onlining time for the customs office? I think this is important.

Ideas for 0.0:
The customs offices should fit more in the sov mechanics and players should have a benefit when holding sov.

1. Give a hp bonus for every sov level if you are the sov holder

2. Implement new pos modules to protect those offices. For example a shield emitter array. You can ancor this at a pos nearby and it boosts the hp as well or you have to destroy it befor the office is vulnerable (a little bit like a cyno jammer).

3. Maybe there is a way to install some corp based planetary structures to defend your office. But this makes more sense when you release dust514.

#764 - 2011-10-19 07:49:27 UTC
"a worry that all customs offices will be griefed all the time."

True: a guy could just wander into a system, warp to an office, take a few potshots, and set off alert mails all over the place.

But this is not a drawback. In lowsec it is notoriously hard to get a fight. Now, hunters of men know they can simply sit in their cloaky tengus beside an office and just wait...
Coo gan
Clint Eastwood Appreciation Society
#765 - 2011-10-19 07:58:19 UTC


I see all the same information being answered as posted in the actual blog, yet when you're being pressed for time scale of when these changes are being put in, you haven't yet answered. (Albeit I've only trawled through the first 10 pages)

Can you put the date/patch timescale in the devblog for all to see.
The Chartered Company
#766 - 2011-10-19 08:04:31 UTC
Mara Rinn wrote:
Sleeping Lady wrote:
Week 1 : PvP Corps move in and set the tax 100%

A corp that sets too high a tax rate isn't going to get any takers. Even if you're using PI as bait for those killmails to show how skilled you are at blowing up slow, fat, defenceless ships, you still need to have someone take the bait.

So you set up an 80M ISK bait. You set the tax rate to something that the Planeteers will actually use, then start blowing them up as they come to use that planet. Oh wait — you don't because they're naturally skittish creatures and won't so much as decloak their blockade runner if there's an unknown face in local.

In the meantime you start finding that another couple of million ISK a week isn't actually hurting your wallet at all: in fact, it makes sense to own more customs offices and encourage Planeteers to use your systems. No longer are you entirely reliant on grinding stupid L4 missions for your income: with a dozen-odd planets under your belt you can spend more time out in space collecting killmails of fail fit Rifters and Myrmidons!

Then you get the big fish poking their noses around: a few super capitals drop by to have a nibble, and you get to score some worthwhile killmails of foolish titan/supercarrier pilots who didn't realise just how heavily that planet was defended.

Which would you prefer on your kill board: a few dozen blockade runners, or one super carrier?

So in effect, Planeteers are the burley. The customs offices are the bait, and the fish you're actually hunting is overconfident capital/super capital pilots: and you have a decent income to support your planetary defence and Dust Puppies.

Or you could opt for a low sec devoid of purpose and entirely barren of any life and activity, and simply kill any Planeteers who happen by.

Choices & consequences. Sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Your choice coming back around to impact your future.

There's only one word for this scenario actually happening anywhere within the realm of eve reality.


The same goes for Omen actually thinking that corps are gonna just plunk this effort down for perfect strangers in low sec (as we all know 0.0 and W-space corps will just smoke anyone coming in)

Add me to the "do you even play this game???" crowd.

BTW i'd love to hear how any small scale corp or the screwed over ninja PI'ers are going to field a fleet to take on those cap ships you expect to come a nibbling.

News flash this is EVE, and if there's one thing I've learned about this game it's if you can screw someone over, lock someone out, deny someone a resource, or grief because you can (waves to goons in ice fields) players can and WILL do it. And anyone expecting someone to just open up a PCO for neuts out of the goodness of their heart is a complete and utter moron. Same for anyone who would let others into their space for PI to drain resources and intel gather.

Me: Dear alliance, can you waste 100 million of your isk x 4 so I can donate a pittance into your wallet every few days to do my PI in your space? Oh and have no means to defend your PCO, that and since it's the only custom office in town it paints a big giant camp here bullseye for anyone wanting to blow up my blockade runner?

Alliance: why sure, and pay no attention to all those stealth bombers in the area, they're your "escort fleet" It's not like we'd EVER steal your goods after getting your tax money too, and the trouble of having to defend another blobable structure in case a few griefers come looking for jollies, you let us worry about that.

Heavy on the sacarsm perhaps but I try to picture myself asking total strangers to go through that much trouble for my profit margin, and the risk/reward factor for both them and me now seems totally not worth it if these changes go through as is.

And at their current rate and timers **** rockets. Never mind that not one single PI setup I have is linked to my command centers anyway....

Oh well back to high sec I go. Least if the inflation does get crazy it might make the bread crumbs i'm getting off planets worth it.
Lazor Razor
Whispers in the Void
#767 - 2011-10-19 08:05:14 UTC
CCP Omen wrote:
Starr Tookus wrote:
So this makes setting up your planets for launches important in case jerks run the customs office. I like that.

Question: What kinds of defenses can be installed?

Currently: Nothing.

You will have to defend your customs office with space ships, (beside the reinforcement). From comments to the blog, we realize there is a worry that all customs offices will be griefed all the time. I promise we will keep an eye on this, but our hope is that a new type of players/corporations can emerge that are paid to protect customs office etc.

This won't work in most w-space however. Wormhole space is often quite isolated and getting resources in and productions out is sometimes difficult enough as it is. Invaders into a wormhole system can now force the defenders to fight outside the protection of their POS or lose their only fuel source. Also, you cannot pay mercs to protect your installations since the mercs probably won't be able to find their own way inside.

Other concerns is the fact that without defenses there isn't really any risk in taking shots at one of these (other than being in that system in general to begin with), while you will need a fleet to protect whatever ship has to repair it. Defenses, at least, would deter pure griefers and make people have to plan on taking these things out and only do it when there is a tactical or strategical need to do so.

I also find this idea less than ideal for the fact that PI today is not that profitable, even in null, and at least in w-space without static route to k-space is way too much maintenance to do for anything other than own pos fuel needs really. Putting this huge ammount of extra maintenance on it, and creating such serious security issues around it, sounds like a pretty heavy hit on wormhole corps and their business in particular. Has this been considered? And is it perhaps even a silent goal of the change?
The Red Pill Taker Group
#768 - 2011-10-19 08:43:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Cailais
Dominus Alterai wrote:
Cailais wrote:
Helothane wrote:
Cailais wrote:
Helothane wrote:
So those who belong to an NPC corp cannot extract from planets in low sec, unless someone else has set up a customs office at that planet and allows other corps to use it? If the player can't have roles, then he/she cannot set up a customs office.

I dunno you could like use the launch pad and rocket the stuff up?


As mentioned before, that is very limited in terms of volume. There is a timer after you launch before you can do so again, and it isn't trivial.

Then just use a planet with someones custom office on it - you're paying tax as it is now anyway: just this time the ISK goes to another player, rather than an NPC ISK sink.


you forgot to mention that it'll be ALOT more isk coming out of your pocket to another player and not the standard CONCORD tax. I foresee tax rates in excess of 20-30% being the norm in low sec.

AH but that's where it gets really interesting: if a corp is pressuring PI manufacturers with high tax rates what will be the result? I think it will vary but we might anticipate:

  • Migration away from those systems (perhaps an incentive for the owning corp to lower its tax rate?

  • Tax rate 'wars' between Corps

  • PI manufacturers banding together (mutual support, removal of high tax corps etc)

  • Low tax rates as an incentive for players to join a corp, or to operate in its region / systems

Critically its a LOT more interaction between players - and while that might not be great for a specific individual surely that's good for the game?

Lisa Tayside
Monks of War
#769 - 2011-10-19 08:44:43 UTC
I still don't understand where I can get the CO BPC. The original dev blog says that it will be available in CONCORD LP shop but in addition I can get 50% discount as FW participant. So the question is: could I buy this BPC from LP shops of FW corporations or not?
Joint Defence Force
#770 - 2011-10-19 08:47:22 UTC
Simvastatin Montelukast wrote:
Are these things going to show up on kill mails?

Perfect place to get easy kills if nobody else is around.

Liu Ellens wrote:
Do I read this right, these things are pretty much defenseless (apart from their 24 hour timer)? No guns, no... nothing? Sounds like perfect 'shoot here for practise' signs Ugh

The RF timer gives you plenty of time to organise defences at a time which suits you rather than the attacker. Seems fine to me. Unless of course you want a risk-free way of making money with no effort involved after the initial setup?

Didona Carpenito wrote:

=HP scpecification=
* Customs Office Gantry
** Shield: 10,000,000
** Armor: 500,000
** Structure: 300,000

* Customs Office
** Shield: 10,000,000
** Armor: 2,500,000
** Structure: 2,000,000

Not as if they're that all that easy to kill.

_ I tried real-life once.  The graphics suck._

Via Shivon
#771 - 2011-10-19 08:55:35 UTC
thank you thank you ccp if this is coming Twisted
Snowflake Tem
The Order of Symbolic Measures
#772 - 2011-10-19 09:00:27 UTC
Chaos Incarnate wrote:
Jake Centauri wrote:
The combat players love the change. The industrial players hate it. That about sums it up.

No, the combat players hate it too because it involves more shooting at structures with tons of hp, ie that thing we already hate about sov warfare and POSs

I predict that they'll hate it even more when the Customs Office is brimming with DUSTies on the warpath because they failed to control access to their PI resources.

The Mad Capsuleer Scientists
#773 - 2011-10-19 09:10:20 UTC  |  Edited by: Zaphiem
I appreciate CCP trying to give players more control about the world they live in. However, in this case I believe this a bad idea.
High sec planets have such a low resource yield that it is barely worth doing PI on them, so the smart producers set up their planets in lowsec space. A lot of those people are industrial corporations, many of them being very small (not to mention all those single pilots), who can't commit the people and resources to defend a corp owned customs office in lowsec.
If you play eve for a while you will very soon realize, that everything that can be used for griefing will be used for griefing. Entire alliances exist for the purpose of griefing and they gain absolutely nothing from it besides the "fun" of "harvesting tears". So it is a silly idea that there will rarely be people who shoot customs offices for fun. I guarantee you that if you're not a big alliance that actually "controls" a lowsec system, your customs office, if you actually manage to put one up, will be attacked and destroyed after a few days or weeks, even if the attacker has to wait 24 hours to finish the job and even if you want to run a customs office for the benefit of everyone with no access restrictions and no taxes. Especially since any dreadnought pilot out there can easily do it. Thousands of pirates roam lowsec systems all the time, most of them won't have any interest in PI, they live for causing other players losses and will jump at the new opportunity. No amount of "monitoring the situation" by your side, dear CCP, is going to prevent that.
So what basically is going to happen is that most of the efficient PI that now exists in lowsec will be castrated and small industrial players who need it to fuel POSs will only be able to continue it with irritating launches, the prices of planetary commodities will increase probably a lot (as if pos fuels weren't expensive enough already with the goons' ice project at the moment).
Like I said, I too like more control for the players, but in this case with the griefing culture in eve I just can't think of any way this will make things better and more fun for the majority of players.
Lazor Razor
Whispers in the Void
#774 - 2011-10-19 09:15:28 UTC
CCP Omen wrote:
Aynen wrote:
Well, there goes my wormhole space Ninja-PI operation. I had all my alts set up in one wh system where they do PI even though the system is occupied by another corp with far superior numbers and capabilities. With these changes, my main source of income will be gone, which was substantial when all planets are running at capacity.

When these changes get onto TQ, the occupying corp will make the costums offices, and I won't have access anymore exept for the small canisters I can shoot into orbit.
Personally I'd have created a system where the ninja wh PI player can have his place, like having to bribe the costums officers or something.
Or, in favor of more interaction, building a temporary pirate station that will appear on overview in the system and takes 15 minutes to make ready for use, then, after a certain amount has been transfered through it, it blows up.
This way there's a bit more danger to Ninja-wh-PI and it creates an environment that stimulates pvp.

You have some cool ideas but why do you assume the larger corporation won't tolerate you? Do people hate money all of a sudden? Question On a serious note, do you actually think they are more likely to disallow you? We are operating under the assumption that most PCO owners will allow "neutral" at least for the extra dough.

If they indeed don't allow you, I would bet there will be wormholes that operate free for all COs for profit. At least that's what we hope.

First of all, a corp living in w-space that allows strangers in their system are pure idiots and WILL lose their system sooner than later, or at least make a lot of unnecessary losses. If you own a WH system, lock it down. Hard! Secondly, since a WH corp uses PI mainly for fuel, and not for getting rich (the sleepers make them rich) and the planets will yield them less fuel if strangers use them also, why in the name of all gods would they set their CO:s to allow strangers to use them for some veeeeery small taxation incomes? That makes absolutely no sense.

If YOU who is developing this knows so little about how people are actually playing the game, HOW do you have any hopes on making changes that fits well into that game? All you apparantly have acces to is statistics and code. This scares me a great deal.
Kim Lesley Hartman
Hartman Ornamental Confectionery and Pies
#775 - 2011-10-19 09:19:47 UTC
So far my judgement is that for lowsec and NPC null this going to be a negative change (people in wormholes and sov null should profit from greater control). When the dust settles a few months after the feature has been deployed I think that in lowsec we will see that minor local power blocks will effectively control the customs offices. And independent small pure industrialist entities will have no choice but to move their PI to hisec.
In Metro/Heimater where I know the situation best this will boil down to BANE, -EM- (+greater anti-pirate coalition) and some local FW powers.

Smaller entities, basically anybody that can't muster enough of a 24 hour around the clock presence to discourage bored cap pilots with no interest in local PI from shooting the customs offices or enough of cap force of their own to defend/repair them are **** out of luck and basically at the mercy of anybody that wants to **** with them.

It further affects the way that PI setups operate because if you want to export materials on one planet to import them on another (factory) planet you'll need at least guaranteed access to the factory planet (the export planets can always still launch into space if all else fails that will be tedious and no fun at all but at least it's an option). If I can't have that access guarantee on a factory planet in lowsec (unless I build a customs office that a pure industrialist has no way of defending), it makes hisec the best option, meaning that I will start exporting goods from lowsec to hisec something I was lead to believe CCP did not want to encourage, well then don't make me/us.

I think the change makes sense in wormholes and null, in wormholes the inhabitants can due to wormhole mechanics effectively control and defend them with a smaller group of players, in nullsec well sovereign space is called sovereign for a reason. But in lowsec and npc null it will simply force smaller industrialists out or force us into league with local PvP entities creating more powerblocs something I was also lead to believe CCP doesn't want

We'll have to see how it plays out but I urge CCP to reconsider applying this to lowsec and null npc, until after they have a good idea of the results in other parts of EVE as you can't really roll a change like this back (people will have invested in infrastructure by then).
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#776 - 2011-10-19 09:20:10 UTC
Quick CCP, release the FW blog to divert attention away from this ArrowPirateBear
Silver Kid
Tribal Liberation Force
Minmatar Republic
#777 - 2011-10-19 09:42:15 UTC
Reading the posts here i remembered a little bit of lore about titans.

Their mind-boggling mass can cause small ships to become trapped in the gravity bow-wave before them. A few of these vessels are massive enough that their presence affects planetary tidal patterns. One notable incident occurred on the small agricultural world of Goral, where a Gallente Titan moving into orbit caused an abrupt shift in tides, which flooded crop fields and farmland. The decrease in food production meant that the entire system, which depended on Goral for food stock, had to be supplied by merchants or face starvation. Since then, Titan navigation systems have been programmed with fail-safes to prevent them from approaching a planet so closely.

Wouldn't it be possible to make the biggest of the capital ships like the titan and the mothership unable to jump to the POCO because of the above and that would boost carrier, dread and sub-cap fights.

Anyway my two cents.
Trebor Daehdoow
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#778 - 2011-10-19 09:43:17 UTC
CCP Omen wrote:
The stuff that you have in the CO's will be teleported to a station hangar. I forgot the exact details of which station etc.

Y'all might want to document and publicize that, otherwise some people are going to find their PI goods teleported to an enemy-held station. And at least us WH guys will get a free shipment to somewhere.

CCP Nullarbor wrote:
Also, popping my dev post cherry.

Was it everything you hoped it would be? Twisted

Private Citizen • CSM in recovery

Hard1234's industries.
#779 - 2011-10-19 09:49:30 UTC
CCP Omen wrote:
Raziphan Rebular wrote:
Why require corporations? Okay so I love PI it's something everyone can do with a little skill, and a lot of understanding. But this move, takes PI away from the little guy and moves it into the hands of corporations. Why must these custom offices be ran by corporations and not simply players? Why can't becoming a baron of a ton of profitable planets be another possibility for players? It's always irked me that only Corporations can setup Poses, and now it seems like only corporation will be able to run their own customs office despite the fact they seem to be well with in the range of the single player to afford and deploy.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CCP make it so that we can launch our own personal custom offices as well not simply 'for the corporation'.

It's really quite cheap to create your own one man corporation. Also, the "little" guy is adviced to use CONCORD's customs offices in High-Sec.


Then you must make high sec planets more like low sec planets in terms of amount of resources they have. If this is implemented, you would effectivly make me leave WH I live in. I dont have money to make 5 CO. 1 for each planet, because I use 5 planets setup. And that could mean I leave the game too.

If you make CO cheap, it would be easy to replace them. Not too cheap of course.
Rek Seven
University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#780 - 2011-10-19 09:49:37 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Great, so now someone who runs PI in a quiet low sec system on a small scale basis is screwed.
Now they have to put up PI structures within said quiet low sec system, with a "blow me up" sign on them.

Small scale low end PI in low sec is now dead for small corps.
Once again, CCP has developed something for the huge alliances, and screwed the little guy.

It is one thing to dodge the gankers in low sec to do PI, it quite another to fight alliances.

All hail the megacorps and mega alliances.

A small corp living in a low sec system should be able to control some of the customs offices and reinforce any enemy customs offices in that system.

What gives "the little guy" the right to fly his warp core stab fit hauler into a low sec system and milk the planets when he doesn't even live in that system, without paying for the privilege?

If people are serious about continuing their PI business, they should be considering setting up in WH space or joining a corp that has the power to control a system. If you're not willing to do this then high sec PI is meant for you.