Posted by: shatteredblog | February 21, 2012

Alt Allowances

I hate having to pay my alts a weekly fee. Where is that coming from? Well, it’s related to what I did the couple days I was at home sick last week when I wasn’t sleeping or being sick. It’s also a subject I haven’t touched on in a while so probably a good time to revisit it. The subject is EVE Online, and more specifically Planetary Interaction. The way in which PI works in the game got a few major changes with the release of Incursion, some good and one unceasingly frustrating. Let’s start with the good.

The way in which you set up a colony was changed greatly. In Tyrannis when PI was new there were six different command center modules for each planet type. These corresponded to the levels of Command Center Upgrades skill you can train. The effect was that if you wished to upgrade a command center on a planet to the next level it required buying a new structure and then because you could only place one per planet destroying the old colony. The new system has one command center per planet type and upgrades are bought from the PI interface, making it much easier.

The second issue was resource extraction. Previously you could build as many extractors as you had cpu and pg to support on your command center, but once built they were immobile. This is sort of a problem, because without perfect skills you don’t know when placing where the greatest extraction position is, and even with perfect skills density is dynamically changed by how many people are using that deposit. They also each needed to be separately told to harvest resources which meant three clicks per unit per planet and a considerable amount of time. The new system has a compromise solution to these issues. You now have extractor control units that you build, which then can control from 1-10 extraction ‘heads’ inside a wide radius of the structure. You can no longer place more than 10 heads without buying a second structure but you can move them to adjust for resource density.

What was the bad, that has me upset about the isk my alts are frittering away lately? That has to do with customs offices and the export tax. In Incursion the export tax was changed in two ways, neither good for the end user. The percentage tax was changed from 5% to 10% on npc owned customs offices, which was sold as a way to make player owned offices more rewarding and has some merit in that.

The second change was the base tax numbers were changed to be 100% – 200% higher than the initial values. This was said to more closely reflect the market value of the items but is in my view an unnecessary penalty, especially in highsec where the resource levels on planets are already a fourth of what 0.0 planets provide.

The end result is that for my two PI alts I pay approximately 3 million a week in customs tax each, requiring constant cash transfers and tying up a large amount of capital. Another effect of this is the nullification of refining income, it used to be you could buy p1 material on the market and refine them to p3 or p4 at a profit. It was not a large profit, usually a few thousand isk an hour but it was an option. With the new tax, that is a loss in every projection I’ve run.

So there’s my frustration with PI lately. In a corp that owned it’s own customs offices none of this would be an issue, as you can set the tax to 0% and let the product fly. It means that when I do move into a new area, my current colonies are getting demolished and the alts are coming along too.



  1. On the other hand, any time I buy unrefined materials in Jita and process them in low-sec, I make isk hand over foot.

  2. Serpentine, how is that? Is the base tax lower in lowsec, or are you working with a planet that has a poco with a low tax rate set?

  3. The Interbus POCOs in low- and null-sec are set to a usurious 17%, presumably to encourage their destruction.

    Luckily, I have access to 1%-tax POCOs through my alliance. I think it’s only 5% for neutrals, so it’s still better than highsec.

    • *nods* I think an easy way to make it better in highsec would have been to tie the offices not to Interbus but to a corp you could raise standing with… or the empire standing itself. Give people a way to reduce the burden of taxation and hold with existing game lore. I dunno.

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