Building A Player-Owned Customs Office In EVE (EVE Online Guide)

EVE Online's Crucible expansion is upon us, and industrialists everywhere are scrambling to build and use player-owned customs offices. These new centers of industry are one of the most important changes introduced in Crucible. Read on to learn about building them.

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This is the first guide in a series dealing with the player-owned customs offices introduced in the Crucible expansion for EVE Online.

What Are Customs Offices Used For?

Customs offices are the centers of planetary industry. Anybody that wants to use a planet to earn ISK is pretty much guaranteed to do so through the customs office. It is there that goods from the planet can be collected, and other goods needed on the planet can be sent down to the surface. Up until Crucible, every customs office in the game was run by non-player organizations, who extracted a very low tax in exchange for this service.

As of the Crucible expansion, the tax rates have been adjusted to reflect the market. This means that taxes are much, much higher, since CCP's economics team vastly underestimated the prices that planetary materials would fetch. Furthermore, CCP has moved the customs offices in high-sec to CONCORD's control, and doubled the taxes. Ouch, right? The result is that serious planetary interaction players will need to leave high-sec for greener pastures, or else accept a tremendous loss of profits.

But what's this? Customs offices in low-sec, null-sec, and wormholes space are now under the control of the NPC Interbus corporation, and can be destroyed by players. What's more, they can then be replaced by players, who can then set a tax rate and collect any proceeds that result, no matter who uses the customs office. And of course, there can only be one customs office per planet. It practically goes without saying that players can blow up each others' customs offices, too.

It seems clear that the demand for these guys is going to be both high and perpetual. Assuming that players decide they are worth fighting over, anyway, which I find quite likely.

Do The Math On Building A Customs Office

Though I will discuss profit and value added in another guide in this serious, the following is important enough to mention here: do the math before you start buying ingredients. At certain points it may be cheaper to buy a customs office off the market rather than build it yourself. Just be sure that you aren't wasting ISK, before you get all gung-ho about building these.

An Overview Of Building Customs Offices

In order to build a customs office, you must first build a customs office gantry, which is the skeleton of the customs office structure. That structure is taken into space, to the planet where it will be used, and is installed. Various ingredients are then placed inside of it, and it will shortly turn itself into a fully functional player-owned customs office. In effect this is a guide to building a gantry that will eventually turn into a customs office.

Step One: Train Skills

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Building a customs office gantry requires that you have Industry V. It's not something most people train, even on production alts, but at least it doesn't take very long to train.

Step Two: Obtain A Blueprint Copy

Unlike many items in EVE Online, the initial blueprints used to make a customs office gantry are not available as originals. They can be obtained from either the CONCORD loyalty point store, or any of the faction war loyalty point stores, but solely as the a one-run blueprint copy. Note also that it costs half as much through the faction war stores, meaning that it might actually be a bit more worthwhile to get into faction warfare.

Don't have any loyalty points to spend with the applicable groups? Fret not, my poppet, there is a brisk market for these blueprints in Jita. As of this writing they are hovering around 20mil a pop, which will surely fluctuate over time.

Step Three: Buy Ingredients

Once you have your blueprint, you can start grabbing the ingredients for building it. Buy orders are best, of course, though somewhat competitive. The ingredients are:

  • x1 Capital Construction Parts
  • x5 Integrity Response Drones
  • x10 Nano-Factory
  • x10 Organic Mortar Applicators
  • x14 Sterile Conduits

With the exception of the capital construction parts, each of these ingredients is produced on a planet. It is probably best to buy them in Jita unless you are already set up to make them, though, due to the complexity of their manufacture.

Depending on the market, it may save some ISK if you build the construction parts yourself, rather than buying them off the often-inflated Jita market. The blueprint original for construction parts costs over a billion ISK (as do the blueprints for all the other capital components), so check the contracts market for blueprint copies. Note that they can often be had for cheaper prices outside of Jita, apparently because the people that sell them are too lazy to move them.

Step Four: Build The Gantry

Building the gantry is simply. Get all the parts in one place with the blueprint, and throw it in the oven. Six hours later you will have your very own customs gantry.

If you are planning on selling your gantry, haul it to a likely spot and throw it on the market. If, however, you wish to install it in space, read on.

Step Five: Install The Gantry And Fill It With Ingredients

First, you need to get your gantry to where it will be used. The planet must already have had any customs office present blown up, whether it was Interbus- or player-owned. The gantry is 7,600m3, which pretty much necessitates an industrial ship for carrying it. I recommend a blockade runner, though any old hauler will do. That's your gantry in a nutshell.

But wait: there's another thing that needs to be done before the gantry can be installed. I think a lot of careless players are going to mess this up, too. Once the gantry is anchored in space, it will need to have additional ingredients dropped into it. Until these ingredients are in place, the gantry cannot be brought online and turned into a customs office.

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The ingredients are:

  • x8 Broadcast Node
  • x8 Recursive Computing Module
  • x8 Self-Harmonizing Power Core
  • x8 Wetware Mainframe

These ingredients are all advanced planetary materials, and their total volume is 3200m3. That means that your industrial ship will need to hold 11,000m3 total, or else it will need a friend.

Use your hauler or haulers to bring the gantry to the planet in question. You will probably want some kind of armed escort, just in case.

To perform the final step here, you will need to be in a player-controlled corporation and to have the "Config Equipment" role. Roles are corporate privileges granted by a corporation's CEO or directors.

Anchor the gantry, drop your ingredients into it, and online it. Voila, you have your very own customs office.

Step Six: Watch That Sweet EVE ISK Roll In

Your brand new customs office will start collecting taxes based on your settings. You can set it to charge your enemies extra and your friends less, with a little bit of self-explanatory tinkering.

Over time you should see a pretty decent return on investment, assuming that the planet is being used by other players. And that's what we will talk about in the next guide in this series. Good luck with your customizing!


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