Thursday, 3 March 2016

Planned changes to NPC / Citadel taxes and services

So as the heading says the planned changes are out and CCP are seeking feedback. Take time to read them because they will impact everyone. I sort of covered this in my CZ article back in November
It seems I wasn't wrong. While the figures might change a bit following this consultation, the thrust is the same as it was in November. CCP have decided to press the nuclear button and force players out of NPC stations. The crowbar CCP are choosing to use is to make NPC stations stupidly expensive. CCP has thus thrown down the gauntlet. I am not a fan. After all the player interaction it basically boils down to financial bullying. Play Citadels or else. 

The headline lunatic proposal you will hear is it will cost of 5 million ISK to operate a jump clone from an NPC station. The justification is this is the cost of the service the citadel owner will face so in order to force you to use player owned citadels. This is so dumb it must surely change. But there are other planned changes that continue in the same vein. 

Offices: Unlike NPC's, there will be no office limit in Citadels so this contrivance allows NPC's to be undercut. 

Medical Clones: Remarkably stay the same for NPC's and Citadels

Jump Clones: To be 5m ISK in NPC stations to enable them to be undercut by Citadels. 

Reprocessing: NPC taxes are being revised and Citadel owners can undercut them. 

Compression: CCP are planning to merge this service with the reprocessing service module.

Market: The line goes: "To create an environment more competitive for Citadels, we plan on increasing the transaction tax to 2.5% and the broker's fee to 5-6%. Players trading in citadels will still receive the transaction tax, but the broker's fee will be at the complete discretion of the owner." So another contrivance to make citadels look good. And of course, only groups that can afford L or XL citadels will be allowed to run a market.

So the carrot is firmly aimed the large groups because only they can afford the L and XL Citadels. They rightfully will also dictate who can and can't have access to their services. There will be only a tiny proportion of players that actually get the full benefit of this - namely, the small population of citadel owners. The stick? Well, the only way a  'normal' player can compete is to 'play' with (by joining an established alliance) or get permission from the Citadel bosses. Solo players or small emerging groups (who will now remain small) are being left to hang.

I personally would hate the scenario where I am coerced into a situation where other players can effectively dictate how I play Eve. CCP are asking for feedback so things might change. Let's hope they do. But so far, the whole top down approach to this design process completely fails to acknowledge the little guys. The Spring Citadel release is increasingly  playing to a very small gallery and there are some rather awkward consequences coming CCP's way if they fail to wake up to that.

Final thought: While I might be unimpressed with the direction Citadels are going in, this is just a small aspect of Eve. People make Eve what it is today. Devs certainly play a role, but players and the communities they participate in give it life. When times get hard we have been known to rally round and help each other out. In that context, you might be aware that Rixx Javix is in a hard place right now. He has certainly given more to Eve than most. If you feel you would like to understand more and help him out then check out his blog.


  1. I am a small player. Certainly not the solo pilot but definitely small.

    With citadels, just as today, players provide open services. Red frog freight, and poco services, players will be providing open market services.

    I don't know who that will be. It might be red frog, a 'weak and the scrawny' group (they had a huge lowsec poco open access empire when I was still in low), I might run run a market.

    Citadel markets will cost approx 500m/month in fuel to run. Ouch. I have a post to write about what that means. But this is ISK ending up in the pockets of ice miners and pi farmers.

    Running a citadel jump clone service will cost 125m per month in fuel. 5m for clones in npc stations is affordable. (If you have a jump clone you are not a day 1 player)

    Being small fish in Eve is a challenge. It will continue to be.

    But there are definitely blogs to write, and new todo lists to complete.

    1. I am a big fan of your PI work. Obviously I accept there are current services offered by players and you have mentioned some. These opportunities will exist going forward certainly. I currently run some POCO's at a low rate. The key thing is markets in the future will be manipulated by those that run them in by selected use of access and tax rates. Small scale players have no answer to this.
      Besides, when gangs take over the neighbourhood in real life, the local economy dives. I can't see it being any different in Eve. So production costs for the independent, while important, aren't the whole story. The only way of mitigating that risk is to play the game the in way CCP have deemed it must be done. (Join a corp, best ship is friendship etc, etc). While that is a legitimate playstyle, it is coercion at the end of the day. So a challenge it is and I like challenges, but swimming against the tide is a different matter. Lets see how it goes.

  2. I don't think it's anything like as dramatic as you're feeling it to be:

    Jump clones: how often do you jump clone? I probably jump clone once a month tops and I'm in an alliance that deploys away from home. Groups like MOA and Fountain Core don't leave home.

    Refining: I refine at NPC stations and I haven't paid any tax in 5 years.

    Market: it's still a massive risk setting up shop in a destructible citadel not a NPC station.

    1. I basically only have one active account. Each of the three toons will jump once to do the mix of hauling, trading, PI and so on, everytime I log on. So that is 15m ISK a day potentially. Thats 75m a week roughly. I could hire Red Frog for some of that. But that would prove my point. Or I could do it the long way and achieve less in the time I have. So I get less engagement for my sub.
      On your second point I would ask how you would set about destroying an XL in highsec? Assuming your scenario around risk, then as a trader I am not going to stock where the economy is permanently disrupted. Assuming others do the same, then the smaller trade hubs will die and everything will centralise on Jita. Maybe I am being over dramatic, but this is not a trivial change to the ecosystem and as a minimum I will have to do less engaging work in my available time. Citadels as they currently stand will provide me with less fun per hour. That cant be right for a new feature can it?

    2. " how you would set about destroying an XL in highsec? "

      It starts with a ping:

      "To my people, our ultimate aim is achieved. Countless years of manoeuvring by ~our CSM~ has lead us to this moment: the ultimate BURN. Yes, that's right little Bees, we're going to stick it to the pubbies where they think it's safe. We'll make Highsec Goonsec. The only choice will be to pay us. We'll stab them in the heart, we'll twist the knife, we'll cut out off their head.

      And they'll pay us for it.

      Because we deserve the best, and fuck the rest.

      This was a broadcast sent to @all-all by @The_Mittani.


      And they'll turn up in highsec with ~800 people, and they'll find whichever corp was dumb enough to try and do bigger and better things, and they'll kill them and kill the citadel.

      And then they'll stick up their own, with a suitably smug name.

      Perhaps: Mittens' emporium for the downtrodden, The Goonswarm Charity Outlet for the less fortunate or the Charity for the Houseless poor.

      Victorian charity names are great, because they entertain exactly the right sneering tone of paternalism which get Mittens all hot and bothered.

      But that's how it'll happen, and that's what will continue to happen.

      It isn't what anyone would call fun for highsec, but I guess that's what CCP wants. Why else would you notice a trend of decreasing highsec players and activity, and double down on shafting them?

      Mynnna wins, Sion wins, Mittens wins, Goonswarm wins. Eve loses.

    3. In a way that would be brilliant and would be a plausable scenario. More cynically, I think the nullsec cabal will blue up and carve up highsec like the mafia. The outcome would be the same though in terms of diminishing numbers of hisec players