Archive for October, 2011

The Sky is Falling (Player Controlled Customs Offices)

Posted in Gameplay with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by Baa

Having dipped my toe in the waters with my alt I looked at the latest devblog about player customs offices with interest. I’ve also scanned the threadnaught, and read a few blogs on the subject. Rather than just reply on the forums, or on another blog I thought I’d put my thoughts, for what they’re worth, on here.

Once I got past the initial ‘The sky is falling’ comments I can’t see the change having too much impact on the raw and P1 goods. These will be processed on planet and can be launched from the command centre. It’ll take a bit more organisation to get volume off a planet but it should still be possible. The issue I can see for some P2 and all P3/P4 goods where the product of multiple planets is needed. You are going to need access to a customs office to get the materials down to your factory planets.

What are the options?

In 0.0 space things will operate pretty much as they do now. Its a different structure to be shot at, something for the roaming gangs, but other than that there will be little impact. The offices will have enough HP to allow for a defence fleet to be scrambled giving more PVP opportunities.

In low-sec things are more risky. You have more danger than in low-sec, a roaming gang could decide to pick on your offices. They would then presumably be flashy-red to your corp though so more PVP opportunities. You could also open up the customs office and make money from other people that want to make use of it. There is risk and reward for both the player building the office and those using it.

In high-sec things are as now, but with a higher tax. So you could perform your P1, and possibly P2 if you get a suitable planet, in low-sec, and launch using cans. Then ship to a high-sec factory planet to get your finished product. The tax increase will bite a little here but will probably just hit the margins.

In wormhole space Concord run customs offices never made sense anyway. The fact that they would spring up was a bit of stretch. This is rather like 0.0 except the systems are less populated so hit and run attacks on them would be harder to defend from. That said why would anyone bother attacking them?

Its a bit difficult to judge the overall financial impact without knowing where PI is being done now. I suspect that after the initial panic has worn off it won’t be much. The change is a boost for industry outside high-sec, albeit with additional risk added. There will still be the place for solo players to make something from PI, but as with most thing you’ll need to be in a player corp to get the best out of it.

Looking at gameplay impact and the question of why would you attack a customs office, this only seems to make sense to disrupt the flow of materials. Perhaps CCP will allow use of the hacking skill to gain access to the content of the customs office and steal materials. Say once to get into the office itself, and another for each player storage bay within it. The possibility of ninja PI is somewhat appealing.