Controlling conquerable space is one of the milestone achievements that most serious corporations or alliances will eventually make. Having your own territory staked out in outlaw space will provide a significant boost to your organizational prestige, member morale, and with any luck, income generation. It is also very difficult for new players to understand.
Once you have taken control of a solar system, you can anchor other structures and farm the system to improve the value of available resources and increase the number of players that the system can support. You can also build a station, which will improve the productivity of the system, allow a market to develop, enable your corporate cash flow, and make the system more resistant to invasion.
This is the first in a series of guides to setting up control of a system in EVE Online. It will be especially useful to returning players that are unfamiliar with the changes to the sovereignty system that were enacted in the Dominion expansion, who may find the new mechanics strange or difficult. For the second half of the article, check here.
The mechanics differ significantly from these, when invading a system that already has occupants. Sufficiently so that it is better to cover it in a separate article in the future. For players unfamiliar with how anchoring mechanics work, this Ten Ton Hammer guide about POS is recommended.
An Outline Of Claiming Unoccupied Solar Systems
- Online A Territorial Control Unit
- Online An Infrastructure Hub
- Accumulate Sovereignty and Development
- Install Upgrades
Claiming space is much easier than you think.
In order to anchor, online, and configure the various structures involved, you will need to have the "Config Starbase Equipment" and "Station Manager" corporation roles. Being a director or CEO will suffice, of course. Your corporation will also need to be in an alliance.
1. Online A Territorial Control Unit
Control can be taken of an unclaimed solar system by means of a Territorial Claim Unit. This structure is sold on the markets in high-security space. It is the keystone of claiming space, and costs about 56mil ISK at the time of this writing. It takes up 5000m3 of space, so you can carry it out to your chosen system in an industrial or a larger ship.
Once in your chosen system, right-click on it in your cargo and select "Launch For Corporation". Right click on the structure in space and anchor it as you would a POS module. It takes only a few minutes to anchor, but must then be right-clicked on to online it. The onlining process takes eight hours to complete, and during that time the structure is vulnerable to attack. For this reason, it is best to anchor the "TCU" somewhere safe, like at a moon that already has a well-defended POS on it. Note that for whatever reason, it is impossible to anchor a POS at a moon that already has a TCU anchored there, so you must have the POS already set up prior to claiming the system. You should also treat any attack on that POS as you would an attack on the TCU itself, even if it is not specifically targeted.
Once the TCU is online, the system is yours, and your corporation will immediately begin being billed for rent to CONCORD, to the tune of 6mil ISK per day (at first). You can now anchor an Infrastructure Hub in that system.
2. Online An Infrastructure Hub
The "IHUB" is a solar system's strategic crux. With it, you can install the various upgrades that allow the system to be used more effectively. It is quite large, taking up 750,000m3 of space. This is so large that it necessitates a freighter to carry and deploy it. Neither a jump freighter nor a rorqual will do. It is relatively faster to set up an IHUB, taking only an hour to anchor it, and another hour to online, but must take place at a planet.
The IHUB is now running your solar system. Any attackers seeking to steal your territory will eventually need to blow up the IHUB, in order to take over the system.
3 & 4. Accumulate Sovereignty and Development, Install Upgrades
Once the IHUB is online, the real fun starts. Right click on the IHUB once it is online, and you will be able to see how developed and upgraded it is. There are three categories of development and upgrades. The higher that index is developed, the more options for upgrading it will be available.
Strategic: This measures how long you have controlled the system. Once high enough, it allows you to install upgrades that block or project cynosural fields in order to inhibit or assist capital ships, a structure that allows the manufacture of supercapitals at POS in that system and, most wonderfully, up to two jump bridges. Jump bridges are essentially private gates that connect two systems under your alliance's control in order to allow easier, safer travel within your space. While incredible, installing any of these upgrades actually increases the rent that must be paid to CONCORD, sometimes dramatically.
Claiming space is more about keeping your bank account out of the red, than upgrading for its own sake.
Industry: This measures the volume of asteroid ore mined within that solar system as well as the successful uses of hacking or archeology. Because of somewhat sorry state of mining in EVE right now, there are relatively few systems that develop their industry at all, let alone to level five. Usually, it is done by medium or large production corporation that wants a full spectrum of ores, rather than just the really valuable kinds. Corporations seeking to boost their industry index usually end up mining various kinds of Spodumain in order to get as much volume of ore mined as possible. The two industry upgrades currently possible cause there to be more mining belt anomalies and more radar and magnetometric exploration sites, respectively.
Although we will take a more detailed look at solar system revenue streams in a later guide, it is important to realize that controlling the system is only worthwhile if it is enabling the members of a corporation to earn more ISK than they otherwise would, to the point where the cost of paying rental fees is covered, and the cost of setting up the system is repaid within a timely fashion. Ideally, it should also be lucrative enough to pay for the efforts required to defend it.
If the owners of an upgraded system are collecting taxes from inhabiting members and otherwise generally making a profit from the improved resources available, then the system should be able to more than pay for itself. The system scales up very well, and so
One way to make more ISK from your upgraded system is to recruit members from unusual time zones. If your corporation is primarily European, try recruiting more Americans and Australians. This will make the maximum use of your upgraded system, and also keep your military and industry development indexes from decreasing too much.
A Word About Selecting Systems
Finally, here are some things to look for when selecting a system to claim:
- Low "true-sec" so that the NPCs are more valuable to kill. This has no bearing on cosmic anomalies but is nonetheless nice to have.
- Good asteroid ore, and many belts of it.
- Moons with valuable moon minerals in them.
- Planets that are considered to be more valuable. As of this writing Plasma, Magma, and Storm are generally considered better.
- Proximity to a friendly alliance with whom you might conspire to defend your space.
- Failing that, seek placement that is distance from any major aggressive entities.
- Proximity to high-sec space or tame low-sec space is a plus.
- Ice belts for fueling POS are a nice bonus.
- If you belong to a PvP organization, or want to attract them in the future, you must also have an accessible source of people to shoot at. Without this, PvP players will get bored.