Posted Sun, Nov 27, 2011 by Space Junkie
Crucible is almost upon us, and with it will come a new tool for managing planet colonies: the player-owned customs office. This will allow players to earn ISK by taxing all exports from a given planet, and will be a huge opportunity for small corporations to make their mark in EVE Online. Crucible goes live on November 29th.
The Crucible expansion is rightly hailed as the mother of all iteration expansions. Tons of long-untouched corners of the game will receive a thorough dusting and perhaps a wipe with some lysol. The best example of this will be the new customs offices. Read on to find out why. If you could use some more information about planets in general, you might check out some of our guides to that effect.
Planets In EVE Online: The Present
The whole system works well and all, but isn't exactly riveting gameplay. Well, CCP is about to make things a lot more interesting.
Changes EVE Online's Planetary Interaction
After the patch, every customs office currently not in high-security space in EVE Online will automagically be the property of the Interbus corporation, an in-game faction that is on pretty good terms with most of the other NPCs in EVE. These customs offices will levy a slightly high tax, but generally function as they do now. What's the twist? Well, we the players can blow them up and replace them with our own corporate-run customs offices. Think of it as aggressive privatization.
Once a customs office has been replaced by a player-run corporation, that corporation will collect the taxes coming off the planet. The taxes are player-controllable, within a certain range, so they can make them high or low, as they prefer. You most definitively cannot stop other players from using a planet, except in ways that you could already, such as by having sovereignty in null-security space. Otherwise, you can only reduce the profitability of items by taxing them. If you don't like how a planet is being taxed, you can either move to different planet or destroy the new player-owned customs office, then replace it with your own. I expect a lot of plasma, lava, and storm planets to change hands, over time.
Over time, we can expect pretty much all of the planets in EVE Online to slowly become player-run, depending on how valuable the planets are and where they are located. Player-run null-sec will switch over pretty quick, but I expect low-sec and NPC-controlled null-sec to convert piecemeal, over time. The best spots will probably get fought over quite a bit, at least at first. The customs offices will have a reinforcement timer similar to starbases or territorial control units, and have a big chunk of hit points (50,000 last I heard). They will otherwise not have any defenses, though, meaning that if you want to keep control of them you will need to be able to defend them over time.