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During Fanfest 2011, CCP Fendahl and I attended the Planetary Interaction roundtable, and what was discussed there helped shape what we are about to share with you now. We hope it excites you as much as it excites us!
One of the standout ideas that was mentioned during the roundtable was that players should own and operate the Planetary Customs Offices rather than some nebulous NPC entity. Guess what? That is exactly what we are doing! Behold the Player-owned Customs Office!
What we are doing
Making planetary taxation a profitable business!
Customs Offices in all Low Sec, 0.0 and Wormhole systems will be decommissioned and removed. Customs Offices in High Sec will remain under the authority of CONCORD who will, in turn, charge doubled import and export taxes. Customs Offices are now targetable and destructible.
This downsizing and price-hiking of NPC services should leave you, intrepid capsuleers, with some interesting opportunities. EVE Online should not be about bowing to NPC authority, it should be about player-to-player interactions and making the Customs Offices player owned is honoring that tradition.
How to seize the opportunity?
In order to become a proud owner of a Customs Office you need to erect a Customs Office structure in orbit of a planet. There can only be one Customs Office per planet.
The process of operating a Customs Office requires the Customs Office Gantry to be hauled into position and anchored first then upgraded to the Customs Office. The upgrade process consumes additional materials for it to be completed.
The Customs Office Gantry itself is a 9600 m3 compact structure that is manufactured in assembly lines in stations (for exact materials, see the Material Shopping List) and must be anchored no further than 100,000 km from the planet.
The blueprint copy for the Customs Office Gantry will be available from the CONCORD loyalty point store for 6000 LP and 20,000,000.00 ISK. Alternatively the factions in Factional Warfare are also handing out the blueprint at a 50% discount! The blueprint original for the gantry will not be released. In case you forgot which corporation to sign up with for factional warfare, here they are:
You can of course just buy the Gantry on the market, provided that someone is putting it up for sale.
Operating a Customs Office
A lot of work has gone into making managing a Customs Office a smooth and potentially profitable experience. Here is the breakdown.
Corporations and roles
A Customs Office can only be owned by a player corporation and only players with Station Manager role can edit the settings of an operational Customs Office. A player with the role "Config Equipment" can perform the upgrade from Gantry to Customs Office.
At the heart of customs lie taxes (or "tariffs," if you are technical). The new tax formula will allow the owner of the Customs Office to modify the tax between 0 and 100%. 100% of what you may wonder? Good question; every resource that can pass through the Customs Office has an associated "tariff." This is an ISK value controlled by CCP and this is the value that is taxed. The taxes you paid before can be translated into this new system, and that would equal 5% tax in a player owned customs office. So, if you set the tax to 5% you will pay the exact same as before.
All ISK generated by the Customs Office are immediately paid to the Corporation Wallet.
Reinforcement is an established system in EVE where a structure becomes invulnerable for a period of time. The purpose is for the defending corporation to have a chance to react when their structure is attacked.
The Customs Office enters reinforced mode when it reaches 25% shield and exits reinforcement somewhere within the time of day, specified by the owner at least 24 hours after it entered reinforcement. So if you set the reinforcement time to “23.00 – 01.00” that means that the Customs Office will, if attacked, exit reinforcement at some time between 23.00 and 01.00 the day after the attack was initiated. Your corporation will receive notification if your Customs Office enters reinforcement mode and that leaves you at least 24 hours to plan the defense.
In order to reset the reinforcement cycle, the Customs Office Shield must be repaired back above25%, not that it exits reinforcement with 0% shield.
If you operate a 0% tax Customs Office from the warmth of your heart, wouldn’t you want to deny your enemies access? Well you can. Set which minimum standing is required towards your corporation in order to access the Customs Office.
It will still be possible to use the command center for launching stuff into space but that is quite limited for any larger quantities.
Improved import/export window
While working on the Customs Office we felt we wanted to improve the experience of actually using it, as a “consumer,” so to speak. After all you are being charged to use it! Besides, in a hostile environment, speed is important, so we made the new interface much quicker to use.
Here is the news:
Material Shopping List
Manufacturing and successfully deploying a Customs Office requires two main steps with different material needs.
Manufacturing the Customs Office Gantry:
Integrity Response Drones:
Organic Mortar Applicators:
Capital Construction Parts:
Upgrade to Customs Office:
Recursive Computing Module:
Self-Harmonizing Power Core:
Oh and one more thing, we have increased the bandwidth on all planetrary links by a factor of five! Get those materials flowing!
CCP Omen, on behalf of Team Pi