Yesterday, frustrated with timers, Kaeda gifted me his POCO empire (and frustrations). Before I wrote about it I asked him if he minded my writing about it. He said go ahead and gleefully, I seized the topic. I was gleeful because sometimes people tell me no or ask me not to write about things. I don't write about everything but I'm somewhat unpredictable and anyone that has read for a while knows that interesting interactions will tend to bubble up to the blogs pages.
Part of gaining the POCOs was setting them up. My POCO rates are as such:
Corp/Alliance/+5/+10 all have a 0% tax rate.
Everyone else has a 3% tax rate.
I started taking POCOs in Bosena a few months ago. It is quite an irritating place to shoot POCOS due to it being so busy. My goal was to take all of them but that requires people helping me out and, well, it gets boring. I have some. I may get more. I did it as something of an advertisement for TCS and because it was something I had not yet done. I also got to play with some planning. I set up cyno inhibitors when people decided to put their dreadnoughts to the cause. I sent out an alt network to watch gates and generally had a lot of fun doing the support and intelligence work needed.
Over the months the POCOs have started to pay themselves off. It is not a huge stream of ISK. Often it is 20k here and 100k there. Still, I find the entire PI process fascinating. It is should I really wish that I was better at doing. My TCS alts would make great PI characters. Maybe, I'll give it a try again and figure out what I keep doing wrong.
CCP opened up player owned POCOs in high sec with Rubicon. As with many things we ask, "Is this a conflict driver?" the answer is yes. While various people may have had dreams of what would and would not happen with POCO they have indeed been conflict drivers. Beyond the drama happening in high sec as groups wage war against each other for ISK and morality, there are smaller ripples like my corporation mate who has shut down all of his high sec POCOs due to the tax rates.
I was reminded of groups that lock their POCOs down for corp/alliance/allies and up the rates for everyone else. In high sec, as players claw for ISK from their POCOs and reduce the ISK for themselves, they are creating a ripple that pushes people away from the populated areas and out of empire all together. It increases the possibility that a place like Bosena that sits just outside of high sec becomes more appealing. There is the 'safe' high sec 20% tax rate or a low sec 3% tax rate that requires a little bit of prior scouting and maybe the loss of an industrial now and then.
Raziel commented in chat that with the current state of taxes he believes that a C1 is the best PI choice. I do not disagree with him on that. However, there are more potential negatives and decisions for a wormhole then there will be for a low sec system. The PI will also be a lot better, as it should be considering the difference between toe dipping in low and wormhole diving. But, the two are both reasonable options that reflect the amount of risk the person is willing to take and how much gain they are willing to take that amount of risk for.
I'm reminded of a Plasma planet that is deeper into the Molden Heath loop that always had a steady stream of activity around it. The owner cut the tax rate low because if he didn't people would shoot the POCO. He ether had to add them as blues or decrease the tax rates if he wanted to keep it. While my POCOpire is not that networked to be the most amazing series of planets, I'm curious how the long term results of what I consider to be a reasonable tax rate will be.