Greedy Goblin

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Highsec POCO ownership

I usually don't make posts on Weekends, but Rubicon is upon us and the main feature, highsec POCOs need further discussion. I already wrote that the only "empire" I can think of is nothing but a price cartel and a wardec price increaser alliance, without any real alliance function.

It wasn't really popular, because people want a "real" group (corp or alliance) that actively defend POCOs. Below I prove that such entity cannot exist in a significant scale. I don't question that a group of friends can own a few POCOs in the middle of nowhere, allowing themselves to do low-tax PI, but in any significant scale, such corp cannot exist.

The main problem is - just like with nullsec moons - POCOs are a top-down income source: the money comes from taxation of the POCOs and go to the corp wallet, where the corp leadership can control it. On the other hand it needs lot of players who do the busywork of capturing and defending these POCOs. The question is why would anyone do this work to let other people get ISK?

In nullsec it's done by propaganda. The alliance leadership upholds a positive image attached to the alliance tag, and for that image, a bunch of dumb socials are doing unpaid work for them. No, reimbursement isn't a payment as you wouldn't lose your ship if you wouldn't be in their fleet. So people shoot structures in bombless bombers for hours for the ability to tell "we aren't highsec pubbies, we are Goons". People are ready to pay scam money to "goon recruiters" or join Sniggwaffe for the faint hope that one day they'll be in PL (actually, did anyone, ever got to PL from Sniggwaffe?). I can (and do) call them stupid, but they are still exist and can be exploited by smart manipulators.

This will not work in highsec, because highsec itself has no respect in the EVE community. No one will do unpaid work just to belong to a prestigious highsec corp, because such thing cannot exist. The "join friends, have fun, shoot stuff" recruitment of lolpvp organizations doesn't work either since in highsec you can't really shoot anyone but war targets.

Of course you can try to borrow the prestige of a nullsec group, by being their official highsec arm. But I wouldn't bet on this, because nullsec alliances often get into wars and need everyone there. Unlike with Sov, you need permanent presence to protect your POCOs, due to trivial logistics, lower structure HPs and less reinforcement timers. Someone can drop a dozen of 2 month old, 5M AFK Catalysts on your POCO and take it down to reinforced in less than half an hour, with trivial risks of loss. If you can't show up, you lost it.

In lack of dumb socials to be used as slave army, the members have to be paid. Any payment method can be gamed and the administration of protecting your POCOs can be a larger task than actually protecting your POCOs. Who were there, how many hours, what shiptype and above all, how much that POCO worth?

If the POCO-corp is a one-man show, such administration is not needed. You know how much it worth, and you can't cheat yourself. If you can protect it alone, you do. If you can't but the POCO worth it, you hire mercs. If you can't profitably hold it, you give it up, or sell it. Since you are already fine alone, you don't need an alliance. My original idea just added a little bonus by gaming the wardec costs.

Of course we don't have hard numbers and the whole highsec POCO thing can be unprofitable due to low utilization. Remember, there are 25000 planets, so lot of places to go for someone who doesn't want to pay your tax.


Jeff said...

Just because you treat this game as a job and 90% treat it as a game doesn't mean they are idiots doing unpaid work.

Anonymous said...

I can log in, take some free Catalysts, gank some miners and log off. Or fit some Vexors, kill Industrials, get the ISK for the Vexors back and keep the loot for myself. I don't need to be on a single structure bash. I don't need to do ~honorable~ pvp. Seems like your information about "Goons" is outdated.

Anonymous said...

Let's see... I think the initial rush on POCOs will be by some large alliances. The majority of players will be too unorganized, and until they have worked out a plan the rush will already be over. The rest will be too few to have a noticeable impact in comparison to the large alliances.

After the rush, the interesting places will be taken, so you need a wardec to change things. There will be few high-seccers willing to go that route. But you can pick any left-over (which will be many), not so intersting place, and build your own tax heaven.

So the interesting landscape will mainly change between those who are willing (to risk) figths. That is, PvP alliances.

I agree with you, that null-sec alliances won't have a good case for high-sec dominance. But on the other hand, that doesn't matter, if there is no one to really challange them.

Considering this, long term, I would expect null-sec alliances to own whatever they are willing to grind. PvP alliances without Sov (like RvB) hold the majority of interesting POCOs.

And the most intesting little spots, like those around trade hubs, where even medium corps can have an impact, either be battled over, or dominated by a strong party (who knows, maybe a mercenaries group or something like that). Those planets must be worth a fortune alone.

You are correct in theory, that people can move when taxes get too high, but on the other hand, don't forget that people are lazy and setting up PI is a major PITA. And you have no guarantee that you won't have to move again in two weeks.

Considering that there is no player limit, I would guess that the major money is in the production planets around Jita.

Lucas Kell said...

"In nullsec it's done by propaganda. The alliance leadership upholds a positive image attached to the alliance tag, and for that image, a bunch of dumb socials are doing unpaid work for them."
Just to clarify, the payment is actually the content given to you by the null groups which you otherwise wouldn't get. It's fun to fight in wars, and fun to be in a group helping each other out. Then on top of that, for the amount of time I spend playing, I make about the same amount of isk.

The thing is, most of us don't care about just gathering isk and sitting on it like some dragon guarding his piles of gold. Most of us want to gather isk so we can go do something with it. For example, without reimbursement and a group behind you, a trip out in a carrier would be short lived and rarely repeated. So when you look at it from that way, null groups generally offer more real reward than any other style of play. You don't like this style of play, and that's fine, you arre welcoem to play the game however you want. But when you simply turn around and say that anyone with that style of play is a "dumb social", you are coming across and an arrogant moron.

Von Keigai said...

highsec itself has no respect in the EVE community.

True. But this is not axiomatic; it is a result.

a prestigious highsec corp... cannot exist.

False. You must understand the roots of prestige to understand this. Like other human beings, EVE players respect strength. Strength is proven in fighting. As such, living in zone X is only respected insofar as you fight and prevail, or at least try to. This can be either as a collective (nullsec), or individuals (lowsec), or small gangs (all areas except highsec). But you must display fighting spirit, skill in fighting, and you must prevail at least occasionally.

Now that's clear, we can see why highsec has no respect: because you need never fight to live there. At most, you need to take basic precautions to avoid gank. But in fact there are entities in highsec that fight: wardeccing corps. Insofar as their wardecs are basically pay-to-gank, nobody respects them. (A gank is a fight that is so unfair that nobody respects it.) But insofar as they fight each other, I'd respect that. (My impression is, they don't.)

So to return to POCOs: this is something new in highsec. It is an objective worth fighting for, and an objective that cannot be simply taken down to duck wardec. As such, anyone who can monopolize them, or even put some up and defend them, will get respect. Respect comes to highsec.

And as such, yes, you will be able to "pay" players with respect.

Gevlon said...

Von Keigai: what makes Kim Kardashian famous? She isn't an actress or a singer, nor she is a model. She is actually a pretty mediocre woman. Yet everyone knows her name. Why?

Because she is in television. She is known because she is known.

You believe that respect is earned. But that's not true. Most "lowsec PvP-ers" are just frigate lollers, risking nothing and "defeating" people who really didn't want to keep their ship, just flew around looking for some lol. WH-ers upkeep the image of participating in the most cutthroat environment, while in truth there are more deaths in highsec than in WH space.

The Goons haven't earned their name, simply got it by propaganda, lies, and forming an image. Same for PL who are practically just a bunch of cap ship gankers who never ever put their name on any structure that could be taken from them.

RvB lives in highsec and fights day and night. They don't gank "innocents". Yet no one respects them. They are liked, sure, but they are considered a red-headed kid who just stumbles around.

While it's theoretically possible to earn the public respect in highsec, but that would need unmatched propaganda effort, something that no one would do for a few dumb POCOs, because from the same effort, you could rise the largest null empire ever seen.

Von Keigai said...

Your understanding of "respect" is almost completely opposite mine.

The goons are respected. They have taken half of sov null.

RVB is respected. They can fight.

Lowsec PVPers are respected. The complex farmers with warpcore stabs, cloaks, and "run away" are not.

BTW: Kardashian is famous because she is stunningly beautiful; that is sufficient. She is not respected.

daniel said...

gevlon, gevlon, gevlon ...

learn to do your homework. you really should.

"RvB lives in highsec and fights day and night. They don't gank "innocents"."

sure they do.
not only for fun, but as well for profit.

they offer a hs-pos removal service.

"The Goons haven't earned their name, simply got it by propaganda, lies, and forming an image."

i am sure you can specify that.
i don't think you just wrote this sentence without having done a proper research.
i am sure that you understand the political side of eve.
and i am sure that you understand that the mittani excels at this thing that the community calls the metagame.
propaganda, misinformation and all the stuff that is to be done outside the gameclient surely is one of the major strengths of the goons.
goons are where they are because of years of dedicated work. the dedicated work of many many people.
what would mittanis propaganda be worth without massive amounts of isk in the backhand to "pay" people to fight his sov.war?
to just blame it on mittens and his roleplay is a bit - lame.

i understand that you feel miserable cause you failed at the game, again.
i understand that you want to blame others, but yourself.
i understand that you still do not get the metagame side of eve.
i understand that you can't take the game as a game.

reading you blog for 1.5 years, i, by now, understand a lot about your personality and what is driving you into videogames.
i am not happy for you, as i understand that you do not have a good time playing computergames.

but your constant denial of other peoples achievements is getting a little bit annoying.

mittani/goons is/are doing the following:
they recruit people into their corp/alliance.
they enable them to play the game without understanding every single aspect of it.
they enable them to be in combat ships.
and they provide these people with an epic roleplay that assures that people like to login another time to do "the work".
it's like reading them an interactive book.

the one great thing about eve is that one has the total freedome to roleplay whatever one wants.
some want to roleplay a fleetgeneral, a powerbloc leader, a financial guru.
other want to roleplay the common soldier, the logistics driver.

some want to roleplay a superich coporate leader, while others want to roleplay the little man doing a little job for loittle money.

and there are some that want to roleplay a cowboy wandering the wild west, looking for duels.
other want to roleplay a pirate, sailing the ocean looking for prey.

e.g. i like to roleplay a small company specialized in spaceship fitting enigineering.

this is a game.
a game that gives it's players the absolute freedom (within it's game mechanics) to do and be whatever one wants to be.

deny it and you will be denied.

accept it and you will be accepted.

as for your constant search for goals and objectives within the game.
why don't you step down a bit and find yourself a project that is achievable?

Anonymous said...

solo it.
mbox software did come a long way. like tech in general. the only thing capping someone is RL tech investment and EULA section 6 (mainly ONLY reading memory/cache not changing it)

maybe not this expansion but maybe next.

also the POCO change was the only highsec change. without it highsec would have cried on this to be a null-bit-vet addon. Ok maybe SOE ships that are also highsec buyable.

(maybe the big 3k+ plus fights where already mbox fleets ... hmm who knows)

Anonymous said...

"The Goons haven't earned their name, simply got it by propaganda, lies, and forming an image"

Surely goons should be your heroes. They were the unknown guys who everyone was making fun of who took on the powerblocs and won. Just because you only know of them doing lolz and ganking does not mean that is the entirety of their history.

As for high-sec prestige....where do you think all the industrial corps are? Prestige isn't about having your name all over every front page, and you know it. Think of the difference between a famous designer and a prestigious one. One is the brand all the people know, it is advertised heavily, name-dropped like crazy. The other is the one where so-called discerning clients go to get their clothes.
You want fame, not prestige. It could be argued that you already have fame.

Anonymous said...

"As for high-sec prestige....where do you think all the industrial corps are? Prestige isn't about having your name all over every front page, and you know it."

I have to agree with Gevlon here. I am playing EVE for about 2 years now. But while I can only name 1 high-sec corp and/or alliance that matters (Red Frog) from my head, I can easily name 10 PvP ones (obviously not high-sec) - and note I am a high-sec carebear myself who isn't interested at all in PvP.

Funny side note: I read two or three industry blogs, but I have no clue what their corps/alliances are. Almost seems as if they don't matter to those bloggers themselves.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered whether there are enough people in EVE with your values to accomplish something? The culture seems to be far more about retaining the lolgoodfight customers than the create/accomplish something customers. The culture may be set?


Is there any opportunity to profit from the inevitable destruction that the griefers (I mean sophisticated null and goodfight players) will bring to this?


What about the mbox idea? Do you have the hardware to multibox several accounts, especially when your girlfriends computer is available? I.e., if you could control a fleet of a half dozen to dozen ships could you profit from being a one-person grind squad? Probably not since people are so cheap.