Another day, another Dev Blog from CCP:
My immediate thought – got a few concerns, but the underlying idea is excellent. It adds to the industry within the game, and provides new dynamics. I won’t repeat the contents of the blog, aside to say that Customs Offices will be removed from Low and Null Sec, and will need to be replaced by Player owned Offices. Hi Sec Custom Offices will remain, but will be nurfed a bit by the doubling of the tax.
You can view the feedback thread here – which for the first 20 plus pages had a lot of clarifications from CCP Omen:
A summary of those responses:
. Customs Office Gantry HP:
. Customs Office HP:
. The shield regen is extremely slow!
. The Customs Office is still operational while in reinforcement, so unless the aggressor sticks around for the entire time you’ll just rep the office back up when they are gone. If this becomes a big problem, CCP have solutions to mitigate it.
. Currently no defenses will be able to be anchored on them
. They acknowledge the fear that all customs offices will be griefed – they will monitor that.
. The CSM helped in significantly lowering the costs from what they had initially planned. (CCP really doesn’t seem to get what the average player thinks is an acceptable price for things in game!)
. There is no current upkeep cost. They are very relevant in their future plans, so increased capability and cost will probably be added in future
. The tax is quite complex – but basically CCP sets a default value on every PI item that can go through a customs office
. The Customs Office can be anchored a certain distance from a planet. It doesn’t perform any more checks than that. So it might be possible to have it close to an Outpost
. Customs Offices are always visible on the Overview – no matter who owns them
. When destroyed, the stuff that you have in the CO’s will be teleported to a station hangar. He forgot the exact details
. And giving the reason for that – CCP don’t want to incentivise taking Customs Offices down, other than if you want the spot or want to refuse the current owner access. They want it to be a political feature more than a mechanical one. They will monitor the kill ratio of the offices themselves to see if they have to make changes.
. You will not be able to name them
. CCP are operating under the assumption that most PCO owners will allow “neutral” access at least for the extra ISK. (That is a very, very big assumption. I expect that aside some low sec areas, the only access you will have to CO infrastructure is if you are in the local alliance etc.) If that assumption turns out to be wrong, they might intervene with a future update. They hope however people will set them up and allow others to use them to get income from the taxes.
. If there turns out to be too much of an upset to PI price and supply, they will take action. (I got the impression they do expect price increases though)
. It’s ready to go now, but is waiting on adjustments from feedback. No indication of when it will go in though.
. High Sec apparently produces 50% of all current PI goods!
. A player suggested the current costs would be 30mil for the first stage module, and another 30M in parts to add the CO. The BPC cost 6k LP and 20mil from CONCORD LP store (incursion) or 3k LP and 10mil from factional warfare LP. He guessed the first mods would be around 200Mil, drop to around 100M after a month, and probably won’t see bottom dollar (~75M) for at least 3-6 months. No one argued too much on those figures.
. There was a bit of attitude in one CCP response which irritated me – indicating it is cheap for a solo person to create their own Corp to allow them to Anchor these (true), but the advice is for the “little” guy to just use the CONCORD customs Offices in High-Sec. (Grumble)
. They will have to put in a method to transfer the ownership of a CO
There were a couple great little player suggestions that bare comment – in particular that there should be some way to allow ninja-PI to continue. The suggestion was the idea of a Smugglers office. (I like this – a much cheaper but easily destroyable structure.)
Another player was curious as to how much the current ‘small operators’ contribute to the supply of PI materials, who then might give up on them with these changes. (I assume if 50% of supply comes from high sec, CCP are not so concerned about the supply all disappearing)
Another player was afraid the bigger corporations and alliances that already have much power will have another way for having more income and gaining more power. (This is a concern I also have.)
Personally – I think PI has encouraged more empire dwellers into Low sec. I don’t think the removal of CO’s from low sec is a good idea. They should be left. I also noticed no one seems to be talking about the obvious implications that this is a two stage setup – a gantry and a office module. What else will you be able to add to the gantry going forward!
Last of all, props to the DEV for answering so many questions, and giving a clearer indication of what is happening. So it has faults, is too expensive for the smaller operator, and is likely to be griefed more than CCP expect. BUT.. the approach is a good one. I like it a lot.