Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Taxes WERE Too Damn High

Today is the launch of the Citadel expansion for EVE Online. Honestly, I am not excited. Sure, we got a couple of cool videos, but as far as I can tell, that's the highlight.


Well, for me anyway. A lot of players are excited, but if anything, the expansion looks like a slight nerf to the way I play the game unless the change to loot rates in data sites has a bigger impact than I foresee.

The situation did get better yesterday when CCP Fozzie posted an update on the tax situation with the introduction of citadels:
As we announced in the Fanfest Structures presentation, we are planning a smaller change to market taxes than had been announced earlier. This more incremental change is intended to reflect the fact that some extra features such as contracts that are ideal for a market hub will not be released in Citadels until a future date. We also want to gain the ability to observe how the market adjusts to these smaller changes and then use that information to advise future tweaks.

The currently planned market tax values are:

3% Broker’s Fee
Reduced to 2.5% with skills and 2% with both skills and max NPC standings
Is sunk from the game in NPC stations, is paid to owners in outposts, is customizable and paid to owners in Citadels
Skills and standings don’t apply in player structures
Broker’s fee formula: 3% brokers fee - ([Broker Relation skill level]0.1 + [Faction Standing level]0.03 + [Corp Standing level]*0.02)

2 % Transaction Tax
Reduced to 1 % with max skills
Is sunk from the game in all locations and is not customizable

We intend to tweak these taxes further at a later point after contracts have been added to citadels. The exact values of that next round of tweaks would depend on the metrics after this first release.

We are also making an adjustment to the plan for reprocessing rigs in Citadels. The earlier plan had two security bands for reprocessing rig bonuses, one for highsec and another for low/null/wh. We are separating lowsec into its own band with intermediate reprocessing rig bonuses to preserve the advantage of nullsec refining.

The new values are:
Unrigged Citadel (in all areas of space): 50%
T1 rigged Highsec Citadel: 52%
T2 rigged Highsec Citadel: 54%
T1 rigged Lowsec Citadel: 55.12%
T2 rigged Lowsec Citadel: 57.24%
T1 rigged Null/WH Citadel: 58.24%
T2 rigged Null/WH Citadel: 60.48%

Thanks and good luck with all your post-Citadel plans!
I never had a desire to own a POS and citadels, if anything, are even less attractive. Overall, I think we will see a lot of solo players and very small corporations forced to abandon the use of all but the smallest structures in EVE like mobile depots. Still, the reduction in the tax hikes from the previously announced levels is a welcome development.

As a general principle, I don't like nerfing an existing game feature to make a new feature more attractive. In the case of citadels, I realize that the tax and broker fees in the existing NPC stations were too low to give a slight advantage to player-owned structures. However, I think giving the new citadels a 3-4% tax advantage was a bit much. Lowering the tax differential while giving citadels better active game play I think is a much better decision.

I do want to start logging into EVE a lot more going forward. Not because of the expansion though. I usually don't chase after the new shiny objects CCP throws out. I do, however, want to lose myself amongst the virtual stars and leave some of the more mundane cares like the Council of Stellar Management behind me. The metagame is getting old and I need to start pressing keys and clicking buttons on my mouse again.

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