As expected, CCP’s final update for July, named The Grand Heist, went live today. It brought with it the long awaited ESS reserve bank keys, allowing players access to ~20 trillion ISK that has been piling up and inaccessible since the introduction of the mandatory ESS structures last November.
In a surprising move, CCP also decided to straight up hand players ISK. But I’ll get to that in a bit, first the reserve bank thing.
The reserve bank keys are now available in low sec sites that need to be scanned down. The keys are available in four “flavors” with two variations. The flavor is which quadrant of space they are useful in, the break down being:
- SW: Feythabolis, Impass, Delve, Period Basis, Querious, Catch, Esoteria, Paragon Soul, Providence, and Stain
- SE: Geminate, Curse, Detorid, Great Wildlands, Immensea, Insmother, Omist, Scalding Pass, Tenerifis, and Wicked Creek
- NE: Cobalt Edge, Etherium Reach, The Kalevala Expanse, Malpais, Oasa, Outer Passage, Perrigen Falls, The Spire, Vale of the Silent, and Cache
- NW: Branch, Deklein, Pure Blind, Tenal, Tribute, Venal, Cloud Ring, Fade, Fountain, Outer Ring, and Syndicate
The variations are the durations,15 and 45 minutes, which is how long the key in question allows you to siphon encrypted bonds from the reserve bank. As with the main bank, the payout is in bonds that need to be turned into an NPC in order to convert them to ISK. So the robber can get robbed trying to cash in.
So you don’t get all the reserve bank, but a steady payout for every minute that you and your crew sit in the ESS, up to the duration of your key. The payout apparently ramps up over time, with a potential peak payout of 150 million ISK per minute. That is some decent ISK, though it is still going to be a while before the current 20 trillion ISK is drained.
As I noted previously, some alliances have already nationalized some of their reserve banks, declaring that their output will go into the general funds to support the organization and its programs, like SRP. Those not nationalized will likely still be harvested by the local residents.
In addition, the ESS structures and UI got a complete overhaul. The small percentage of capsuleers than actually end up in an ESS will no doubt appreciate the new visuals.
Further details about the ESS update are linked at the end of the post.
But that is not all the update brings. CCP seems to be all about the ISK at the moment, which seems a bit odd after the panic of the starvation economy and trying to make us all poor over the last year or so. In order to celebrate the Grand Heist CCP is handing out ISK as login rewards for Omega clones.
That is hard to see unless you enlarge it, but if an Omega account logs in for six days they will get rewards of 10, 15, 25, 40, 60, and finally 85 million ISK. Not bonds or other items of value, but straight up in-game currency totaling up to 235 million ISK.
Handing out in-game currency as a daily login reward is pretty common with free to play mobile games, but I cannot recall an MMORPG giving out cash like this. And this isn’t even an trivial amount. For a lot of players, myself included, 235 million ISK is a useful sum. I won’t be resubscribing any accounts to collect it, but I will certainly be sure to log in my subscribed accounts to gather this ISK largess.
But wait, that’s not all!
CCP is also trying to stimulate the economy by declaring something of a tax holiday, reducing sales tax and broker’s fees by 50% for the next three months. So selling will net you more profit on the market between now and the end of October.
Both the ISK handout and the tax holiday are unprecedented in the history of the game. CCP not too long ago went through a phase of raising taxes, again due to concerns about too much ISK coming into the economy. Now they’re giving away ISK and reducing taxes. It is almost as though they are reacting to something. Can we be bribed to log in with ISK?
Anyway, I’ll be interested to see if there is a blip in the July or August MERs that line up to these two things.
The update is live in the game now. Information is available at the following locations:
- Patch Notes
- Grand Heist Live Announcement (Also the tax holiday details)
- Grand Heist Dev Blog
- Reddit Post with Grand Heist Details Explained (note payout update at the top)
I now have a screen shot (thanks to Reddit) to prove the keys exits.
Go forth and heist I guess.