Tag Archives: CONCORD

Tax Increase in New Eden

CCP will, at times, let the lore drive changes in the game, or at least pretend to do so.  The local chat blackout in null sec and its indefinite duration was pitched as a Secure Commerce Commission directive to preserve the supplies of “Quantum-Entangled 4-Helium” which are, within the game, said to power the “liquid router network” on which com channels rely.

Now CCP is going the same way with a tax increase.

Last week a CCP posted an in-game news report in which CONCORD proposed the establishment of a “New Eden Defense Fund” in order to raise funds for in order to support the resistance to the Triglavian invasion.

This was followed today by a news report that the CONCORD Assembly had passed the resolution to raise taxes, specifically:

Substantially increased tax and broker fees are to be levied on interstellar market transactions by the Secure Commerce Commission, following today’s passage in the CONCORD Assembly of the “New Eden Defense Fund Act YC121” (NEDFA). SCC markets will see base transaction tax increase from 2.00% to 5.00%, while the base brokerage fee will rise from 3.00% to 5.00%.

Because of the Triglavians you will now be paying more in taxes on the items you sell in New Eden.

And you’ll be defending New Eden all the more so now

Over at INN Rhivre wrote a post calling the first post a sign that a tax hike was coming, though she suggested that her conclusion might just be tinfoil.  But it turned out to be anything but.

In New Eden the broker’s fee and transaction tax come out of the seller’s take, so expect seller’s to boost prices to reflect the increased cut CONCORD plans to take.

The transaction tax will hit everybody.  That is the fee collected on every market sale in NPC stations and player owned Upwell structures.  Boosting from a base of 2% to 5% is a big markup.  At least Accounting, the skill you can train to reduce the transaction tax… because of course there is a skill to do that… lowers the rate by percentage.  With the tax change there will also be an update to the Accounting skill.

With each level of Accounting you have trained reduces the tax by 11%, so those of us with Accounting V trained up get a 55% reduction so will see the fee go from 1% to 2.25%.  If you are a seller in New Eden and do not have Accounting V yet, this might be something to invest those free skill points into.

The broker’s fee side of this will hit those trading in NPC stations, so it will be more of a Jita tax.  Player owned Upwell structures set their own broker’s fee. (So far at least.) The primary way that player hubs like the Tranquility Trading Tower Keepstar in Perimeter lures sellers… at least sellers of PLEX and skill injectors… away from Jita is with lower broker’s fees.

Now the Perimeter market will have an even larger advantage over Jita.

The Broker Relations skill, which can reduce the the broker’s fee in NPC stations (but not at player owned structures), is not as generous as the Accounting skill.  Currently the Broker Relations reduces the broker’s fee by .1% per level trained, so that Broker Relations V knocks off .5%. With the proposed change CCP wants to make that a .3% change per level, boosting the reduction with Broker Relations V to 1.5%.

With the broker’s fee going from 3% to 5%, those of us with Broker Relations V will see a drop from 2.5% to 3.5%.  That should pull some additional ISK out of the economy.

(The EVE University Wiki has more on market related skills as they stand before this proposed change)

And pulling ISK out of the economy seems to be the likely goal of CCP.  In the monthly economic report, the transaction tax and broker’s fees are the two largest ISK sinks in New Eden.  Together in June they pulled about 21.5 trillion ISK out of the New Eden economy.

June 2019 – Sinks and Faucets chart

That amount was approximately one third of the total amount removed from the economy in June.

This should make for a couple of interesting monthly economic reports in the coming months.  When the July MER comes out we will see the effect of the local blackout in null sec, which ought to have an impact on NPC bounties, by far the largest ISK faucet.  And, presuming this tax change is implemented soon (it will be live on the test server tomorrow), the August MER ought to see a boost in the amount of ISK removed via these two sinks.

Also of interest will be the breakdown of where broker’s fees end up.  In the June MER, 78% of broker’s fees were collected in NPC stations, thus were taken out of the game, while 22% were collected in player owned Upwell structures and thus stayed in the economy and were simply put into the pockets of the structure owners.

June 2019 Broker’s Fee Split

If all else remains equal, that balance should tip more towards the NPC side of the equation.  But if the tax drives people to sell in player owned structures, it could very well move the other way. (And no, I don’t know why neither of those numbers, or their total, match the broker’s fee number on the sinks chart.)

All things to keep an eye on in the upcoming reports.

In the mean time, you and I and everybody else will likely soon be paying more for our market transactions.  Whether or not this is part of Hilmar’s “Chaos Era” updates has not been indicated.

Related items:

Lessons from Hulkageddon II?

The week long Hulkageddon II event is over.

If you look at the statistics on the kill board, you will see that over a twelve hundred exhumers were destroyed along with over 300 mining barges.

Along with that, over 200 of the pilots were also pod killed as part of the action.

They even managed to knock off a dozen Orcas and, according to the kill board, one carrier.  I’m not sure how that last one fit in.  Was somebody drone mining with it, or was that just a target of opportunity?

And what does all this mean?

Certainly the people who participated in the event voluntarily had a good time.  Achievements were made, prizes were won, videos were shared.

And they will point out how many macro miners… automated mining bots… they knocked off.  And, certainly, messing with the botters is a cherished tradition in MMOs.  When you zap a bot and you see his pod continue to fly back and forth to the belt for hours after the kill, it is hard not to feel a sense of accomplishment.

But not everybody who lost a ship was a bot.  Some of them were just regular players.  Those in mining barges especially, which are lightly tanked and thus easily killed, were likely to be newer players.  People like that got screwed.  Somebody’s fun became their misery.

And you can take the cliche attitudes that people throw around in EVE.  Don’t fly what you cannot afford to lose.  Don’t ever assume you are safe outside of a station.  Don’t AFK.  EVE is about PvP.  Sandbox, landmines, blah blah blah.

But all that amounts to is throwing a teaspoon of kitty litter over the steaming cow turd that is the loophole in the way things work in EVE Online.

Because you cannot deny that a loophole exists when a group of people can slaughter hundreds of mining ships in high security space and face little or no sanction.  They slip past CONCORD, head to a belt, blast somebody, get their own minimally equipped ship blown up, collect the insurance payout, grab another ship and do it again.

CONCORD doing its usual bang up job

Don’t like the security standing hit?  Just make an alt and finance it with your main.  A few skills and you’re ready to go.

And I am not anti-pirate.  That is a legitimate play style in the game and part of what makes EVE what it is.  I am not even anti-ganking per se.  If you’re willing to pay the price, you ought to be able to do what you want.  But the price does not seem to be high enough at the moment.  An event like this shows that there is something out of balance in the game.

How do you fix it, or do you even try?

A few possible changes come to my mind.

  • Don’t offer insurance to people below a certain security level
  • Don’t pay insurance claims if CONCORD kills you
  • Make the attacker pay for the insurance outlay for the victims ship if CONCORD gets involved
  • Make CONCORD more responsive
  • Have CONCORD pursue low security players when they enter high sec
  • Give mining ships better default tanks
  • Give mining ships a huge shield booster bonus
  • Remove insurance from the game

I am not sure any of them are actually good ideas.  They all change the flavor of the game to some extent as well as leading to other avenues to be exploited.

Somebody attacks a freighter full of donuts though, and suddenly...

So what do you do?

How do you close, or at least tighten up, this loophole without killing off that which makes EVE the game it is?

Does EVE need big changes?  Little changes?  Or do should we just leave it alone?

What lessons do you think come out of Hulkageddon?