Greedy Goblin

Thursday, August 16, 2012

License, tax, rent

Yesterday I mentioned an idea that deserves a much deeper analysis, namely that alliances should sell PvE licenses to players instead of taxing them. Let's assume 300M license fee, 60M/hour income, 20% tax:
As you can see, any serious PvE player is better off with a license than a tax. He is more likely to join a licensing alliance than a taxing. Tax is only preferred by casual PvE players, typically PvP-ers ratting on the side. The alliance needs nothing but separating its space between taxed and licensed one and punishing those who were found in licensed land without license.

Why is it good for the alliance?
  • Because it draws the more serious PvE players to the alliance, the ones who pay more
  • The gym-trick: most income of gyms come from people who decide to lose weight/live healthy and pay the entrance fee for a month but don't come at all or just once. Many players who would not do much PvE, therefore pay no tax would buy the license saying "I'll grind hard this month to finally get my carrier". The fact if he actually does or not is irrelevant for the alliance, as he already paid.
  • Easy recruiting: if you recruit someone, he can be a spy, awoxer or simply an annoying idiot. If you recruit him into the licensing corp and have to kick him tomorrow, he still paid his license fee
  • Easy taxing of mining: ratting can be taxed, mining not. You must set extra rules to administer the amount of minerals and collect fees. The typical way is demanding refining on the station which disallow the easy transportation in Rorqual compressed form. With license there is no such problem. Any member will gladly blow up unlicensed miners for free.
Now let's see how such licensing would differ from system renting: The renter is a corporation, the license-buyer is a pilot. When you deal with corporations, you have to take the good with the bad as you lack the administrative power to filter every member. Also most corp leaders wouldn't be happy if you'd tell them who to take. With the licenses you cut the corp leaders out of the loop, you contract directly with the pilot. If he fails to deliver or makes trouble you kick him and only him. If a corporation makes trouble, you have to kick it whole, including the non-offending players. A corporation has its own culture, the players are mostly loyal to the corp. If the leader decides that they leave, they do. A player, licensed alone has no other culture to join so even if he arrived solely for ratting income he'll find friends in the alliance, therefore will more likely fight for them when things get rough. Finally, most PvE players are in highsec and alone (in a crop with 2 alts, family members). If you recruit renter corps, they can't join. By offering personal licenses, you can reach the individual player and can get him to join.

While other administrative means are possible, let me suggest a simple and effective way to handle licensing. The alliance creates a new corp, lead by one of the trusted directors. His job is to handle the PvE players. Both existing alliance members and foreigners can apply. The existing members get in instantly, the newcomers are scanned for obvious spies/troublemakers and may required security deposit. Of course it needs the alliance to be trustworthy, no sane man would pay security deposit to GSF for example. If the alliance used to be scamming, then even monthly fees can be problematic and weekly payments are needed until the system proves itself to be not a scam.

Some trusted alliance PvE players are promoted to officers of the corp who monitor chat against unwanted behavior. Remember that if you want to lure PvE players to nullsec, you must provide answers to their noobish questions and ASCII penises that several people consider answers on chat don't suffice. These "moderators" are also needed to hint alliance propaganda and root out whining, allowing the alliance to culturally assimilate the newcomers, as them joining in fleets would be a good bonus on top of the fees they pay. Of course the promoted officers should receive some form of salary for their work, like discount in the license fee. They should also have enough PvP knowledge to be able to both advise the PvE newcomers in PvP and lead them against minor enemy troublemakers.

The moron of the day is undoubtably him. He transported 7B worth of implants in a Rifter that had no fittings at all. No nanofibers, no tank, no nothing.

PS: quick news, a CCP Diagoras tweet: Top nullsec stations for market trans on Apr 22nd: 6VDT (5,741), VFK (4,055), C3N (1,759), L-C3 (1,711), E-BY (1,691).

Thursday morning report: 143.6B (3.5 spent on main accounts, 2.4 spent on Logi/Carrier, 2.2 on Ragnarok, 1.6 on Rorqual, 1.4 on Nyx, 1.8 on Avatar, 2.6 received as gift)


Anonymous said...

quite a few alliances have "renter corps" which are corps in which single persons can rent-in.

Anonymous said...

The idea is excelent, and it was tried by myself 3 years ago, in anull-sec alliance.

My idea was tho much more complete, comprising BOTH lisence for pvers and payments for pvpers to DEFEND the pvers, otherwise there is NO POINT into just get money without providing protection.

In other words, this license system CANNOT work if there is no POLICE.

Do you really think someone will PAY a nickle just for ACCES to ratting ground, when hostiles are 1-2 jumps away?

No way man, there have to be a PAID "police" force (paid by the licensed corp or the allince from lincence fee) that will CAMP the entry gates of the system/constelation/region so that the ratters can MAKE Isk.

So, the idea is good, but doesn't have the incentive of PROTECTION.

Imagine a local council selling a licence to a shop BUT not providing police patrols on that area.

Not going to work this way.

Johnicholas Hines said...

If the PvE activity causes the system to be more tempting then the sov-holding corp may need to restrict the number of licenses.

Selling them without restriction might cause buyers to expect the licenses to be bought up until they're just barely worthwhile in terms of risk - and PvE buyers have little appetite for risk.

So perhaps an auction format, where N rental spots are auctioned off to the highest bidder would be appropriate. One advantage for the sov-holding corp is that they could get fewer, more dedicated, farmers - easier to keep tabs on / maintain relationship with.

Dejara said...

@anonymous 18:47

You don't have to directly provide protection to your licensees but can simply authorize them to find their own from the ranks of those that are blue to you. Obviously you'd have to have a lesser license fee compared to providing protection yourself (and you might have to draw up a model protection contract), but this would have the advantage of giving another direct income source for your motivated PvPers that you don't have to manage. And if someone is dumb enough to not work out their own protection and they get ganked, tough luck to them.

Historically, this kind of system has worked before in RL...biggest issue tends to be contract enforcement, but that can be dealt with (does anyone actually have a formal judge position in their corp or alliance? or is that always handled by the leadership?).

Znybar said...

No 0.0 alliance in eve has 20% tax, that's a ridiculous level. 10% is the usual tax.

Anonymous said...

you are wrong there, policing your home system only leads to people showing up to mess with the "police". guruanteed fights = roaming heaven.

Alliances don't have taxes, corporations do. And i know a hand full that has 20%, but there are other arrangements too.

For Example one of the BoB corps used to require 100m per Character by its players, per month. Another one had 20% Tax, and yet another one was completely Communist with taxing 100%

NP said...

ss300Mil : 20% is a bad ratio to consider, as it requires ~6 hours / week of pure PVE to break even. That's a lot of gaming, and even more pure PVE gaming.

If you compare monthly time spent in game @~6 hrs to _minimum_ wage in NATO countries + Japan + Australia + New Zealand, the PLEX equivalent is ~1.2B (same as grinding it out, -300M or 20% tax).

Former Soviet countries are at a disadvantage here, provided PLEX is NOT at parity with their GDP.

In conclusion, I will never understand nullbears.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of paying corp/alliance isk to support them in other ways as pvp

However some think differently about this:
This guy was ratting when he was supposed to be in fleet for pvp. To clarify he said he was afk but corp noticed wallet ticks. He also said he needed to rat isk to afford a pvp ship but transferred hundred of millions of isk to his high sec alt account.
FCON is a pvp alliance. Not a renter alliance.