Sunday, June 15, 2014

CSM9 - Day 42

I would say that this week has been the first one that I would label as quiet. That does not mean we were not doing things. I just feel that I detached my phone from my hand a bit more than I have been. But I read a lot. Reading the invention conversations have been educational.

But CSM stuff isn’t all about talking to CCP. On the outreach and communication front I feel that things have accelerated. I’m pleased. My talk with Eve Uni on Sunday went well. I received a lot of feedback and eve-mails and the occasional e-mail have been coming in. It is leaving me a lot of information to filter. Some I can present now, some will have to wait for other things to happen first. Some are hopes and others are dreams but all of it is valuable. It helps me form an image of what the players want and how they see things.

I think I’ve also developed that player vs CSM balance. I’m still not out and about as I was, but I’m joining fleets again and doing my normal player stuff. On the flip side my chatroom is nice and active with a range of topics. I also have no shame about throwing other CSM members at a person if I can get a hold of them. I guess I am settling in.

I hope when it comes to communication, outreach, and listening, people are happy with me. If not, tell me before I wander down a path unwanted. There is a lot of feedback that I’d like to hear about Kronos changes, especially on the Faction Warfare front. I’ve been keeping up with discussions on that topic. I also heard a complaint that made me very excited. Someone complained that there are so many cruisers out and about in low sec now. I smiled.

That leads to Crius. People are testing and providing feedback. This is a big, big change that is coming in. It is a daily topic in Skype.

Usage restrictions are being lifted from .4 space. I was glad to see CCP Greyscale announce this on the test server feedback thread. This was a question in my campaign and I spent a good bit of time thinking about it and decided that it will be a good thing.

However, a new restriction is that new corporations will have a seven day wait before they can drop a POS. This is a war dec avoidance measure. POS should/may become more appealing due to improved costs. This means assets out in space and that means people war decing those assets in high sec, potentially.  A lot of people do not like it. I’m neutral about it. I will be interested to see if war decers really come to grind POS over and over again. I cannot help but feel it will outlive its potential interest, quickly.

I’ve been rampaging around a bit. I dropped into Lockefox’s twitch stream while he was playing with the UI to see how he liked it and then ask him to write up his feedback. Ali has also been streaming her industry practice on the test server and I’ve set up my manufacturing lines to see what I do and don’t like about it. I do agree with Locke that the blueprint list at the bottom of the interface needs to be separated from the graphical UI for screen real estate reshuffling.

If you have not heard, CCP Punkturis announced that you will be able to flag yourself to not accept fleet warp and that you will be able to fit modules you do not have the skills for.

The first is a small but highly useful change. I like it a lot. The ‘control your ship’ side of me says that it should be default. I know that many people feel that would make life too hard for fleet commanders. It is where I get stubborn. People should be paying attention by default.

The second will make life easier for anyone who fits ships for other people. I’d love if it also opened the door to a future contract ability to sell fit ships. That’s a dream/goal on my list not a NDA thing. However, the side effect of this change is that you can now fit rigs that you could not before. It invalidates most uses of the Jury Rigging skill. There was already a work around for that since other people could fit your rigs and you just soaked up the penalties. The positives are worth pushing this forward. I assume that rigs will be updated in the future module rebalancing. I don’t like leaving things open ended like this. I feel that the quality of life improvements are worth it.

Outside of that I’ve been asking some questions and listening to a lot of feedback as well as working on the little things PvE project.


The First CSM9 Townhall is June 22nd, 2014 at 1900.

My next Open Q&A will be July 13th, 2014 at 1500 and 2200. The last one went well and hopefully we will have plenty to talk about and even more people attending the next. I will hopefully do a better job with filling in quiet spots and drag any of my fellow CSM members that I can get my hands on to join in. I have a new headset and it seems to be working loud and clear.

The VA/DC/MD meet in DC went very well. I’m saying we schedule the next for August and then one for the end of September. I’m going to get them on the forums early so that people can plan.

In game I am still trying to have meetings or just find people to harass for feedback and thoughts.

Feedback Request!
I've been thinking a lot about taxes. Corporation taxes to be exact. What are your thoughts on what we should and should not be able to tax on by our corporations and why?


  1. Honestly I feel corporations should be able to tax everything, even including things like items and market transactions. One wouldn't think many would have such taxes, at least not long term, however I can't think of a reason why they shouldn't be allowed to if they want.

  2. Extensive player corp taxing options is a wonderful option. I’m hard pressed to conjure up any reasons to be against it. I’d suggest something even further . . . enable an option for player corporations to continue paying NPC taxes as well. Here’s why . . .

    Right now, joining a player corporation amounts to declaring financial independence from Empire. Taxes that used to go towards protecting you in Empire space (e.g. being unwardecable) stop being paid. Little wonder the institutions of Empire ravenously opened up a wardeccing market – if you’re not going to pay them, they’re not obliged to protect you.

    If joining a player corporation didn’t *have* to mean declaring financial independence from Empire, we may have the seeds of a functional way for carebear corporations to protect themselves from unwanted wardecs. The basis of the mechanic would be the higher a player corporation’s NPC tax rate, the more difficult (?expensive?) the player corporation is to war dec.

    The idea is farrrrr from complete (there’s always a rat’s nest of details to iron out) but it might point at a functional way for carebears to declare allegiance with a group while continuing protecting themselves on their terms. The heart of the idea is stunningly simple. If you want something, you gotta pay for it. If you refuse to pay for it, you no longer get it.


    1. This is super interesting Dire.

    2. Sugar,

      I’ll take your comment as invitation to elaborate further but first a request to you and your readers:
      One of the fun things about tossing a vague idea up for public scrutiny is finding out *if* there’s actually anything worthwhile in it. Accordingly, I heartily request/challenge anybody interested to think up cleaver ways to abuse/misuse the mechanic. With that out of the way here's some stray elaboration in no particular order.

      0% NPC tax rate gets you no empire protection (automatic suspect status)

      1% NPC tax rate gets you minimal empire protection (no automatic suspect status)

      That 1% minimal protection means it costs nothing to wardec you (you’re purchasing suicide gank protection only)

      Unlike NPC corps, I don’t think player corps should ever be unwardeccable. (If you’re declaring independence from Empire, you can’t expect to retain their full protection.) I’m at a bit of a loss at how to determine how much wardec protection paying additional NPC taxes above 1% should buy you. Some amount, say 6% might match the current system. 11% might double wardeccing difficulty. CCP, being able to actually track ISK flow, would be in a better position to postulate some numbers.

      The primary reason for buying protection via taxes rather than direct ISK payments is to enable all player corps the full range of options whether they’re ISK rich or ISK poor.

      To avoid last second abuse, Empire protection would be calculated off the lowest tax rate chosen over the last 30 days. Sorta like buying vehicle insurance. You aren’t allowed to get in an accident and only then lower your deductible.

      This is a far cry from a vastly more interesting victory conditions approach but it would hand carebears a simple, accessible way to deter unwanted wardecs.

      To function, I suspect this would have to work on an Alliance level as well which might be difficult to code. Sadly, even relatively simple game mechanic ideas often end up being difficult to code.


    3. I think that there should be a level of no deccable player corp. don't let them anchor pos's, join alliances, or on sov. It allows people to form a group identity with less risk (and fewer benefits) also 11% tax rate to NPC, extra % for administrative overhead :) allow this status to be changed while not wardecced, and after a 7 day cooldown. the restriction being that if during that cooldown a dec happens it will only last the amount of time till the cool down finishes.

    4. @ AnEvenonEntity

      Similar ideas have been mentioned before and it did, of course, occur to me. You’d have to add POCOs and the inability to declare war to that list of unavailables. As I recall the NPC tax rate is currently 11% so adding your 1% administrative cost would make the NPC tax rate 12%. One might call this declaring allegiance with an Empire entity. Some hard thought would have to be put into what corp type benefits should remain like those bonus in corp contracts and/or the ability to RR corp members without going suspect (which also allows awoxing), etc . . .

      Specifics aside, what’s nice about your little piece of brainstorming is revealing opportunities hidden away in an initially simple idea. The more you pay Empire, the more services they provide you.


  3. I say you need to be careful with taxes. The more things that corporations can tax means the more reasons someone has to leave your corp and go start their own corp with 0% tax. There are certainly some useful areas, on the other hand, like research jobs in POSes.

    1. Would not that be the responsibility of the corporation owners if they taxed people into not joining or leaving?

      The 'over taxation' problem has been a major reason that I find more taxes uncomfortable. But, is it not a self correcting issue?

    2. Self-correcting the way high prices were supposed to prevent capital and super-capital proliferation?

      I suppose I have no real objection to the principle of expanding areas taxable by corporations, but what are we looking at? Taxing reprocessing from mining and taxing sales on the market. At present, corps can only tax mission/ratting/incursion bounty, so, in one sense, it makes things more fair that those corp members not doing anything taxable have to contribute at the same level as the mission runners. But if we look deeper, that means miners and anyone selling anything on the market will get double taxed, unlike the mission runners, who only get taxed on the bounties they earn. Why, as a miner, would I stay in your corp and continue to mine if it means that I'm losing even more ore when I reprocess? And then I lose money after already paying broker's fees on the minerals as the corp taxes me too? Why, as an industrialist, would I stay and lose more money than if I was on my own for the very same reason?

      Although Dire's ideas are very interesting indeed (VERY interesting and I'd love to see something more fleshed out), my concern about giving corps more ways to take money from players is that we may see even more 1-man corps than we do now, as there could be even less reason for players to group up in corps.

      Right now, in highsec, the only real reason to form a corp is to be able to pay less tax than an NPC corp. Aside from a tax shelter, there's very little reason to leave the protective embrace of an NPC corp for most highsec players.

      If corps can tax everything, does that not turn capsuleers into nothing more than serfs?

      Then again, IF corps were allowed to set tax rates that governed everything (except LP), they should also be allowed the granularity to set tax rates separate for each area; bounties, mining, market trading, etc.

      To make it fair to everyone, this would require a change in the way market order fees are calculated. If PC corps market taxe rates get added to brokers' fees, the same has to apply to the NPC corps (who would have a default rate of 11% across the board). Yes, it would probably drive up prices across the board, too, or at the vary least, additionally reduce the general level of isk as everyone that sells on the market loses more money than before, but at least it would impact everyone equally. It would also create a reason other than lower mission taxes for people to leave the NPC corps and form their own if, in their calculus, the ability to make more money (from less taxation on their market orders) outweighs the safety from wardecs that NPC corps provide.

      I don't think LP should be taxed because that is a direct show of appreciation between a particular NPC corp/faction and an individual player. To use a RL example, it'd be like the CRA getting a cut of all the Canadian Tire money I earned. I just don't see any sensible number or types of hoops that can be jumped through to make taxing LP make sense.

      To once again address (in this ramble of a reply) Dire's suggestion of having corps set/pay NPC taxes (which, presumably would be added to the corp tax rate for a final tax rate) to determine the level of Concord protection, I think it's brilliant! As with everything, the devil is in the details, but a system with sufficient effects should be able to be designed to allow for a number of viable options for PC corps to choose from (though being able to make PC corps free from wardecs is probably a bad idea).

    3. @ Heretic Caldari,


      Don’t get me too pumped up on the brilliant thing, I might take it to heart.

      To avoid confusion I’ll going to separate my response into two sections.

      Section 1) Extending Corp Taxable Areas
      You’re absolutely correct that extending corp taxing options requires great granularity. Hopefully insane corp tax rates will self correct towards points of mutual benefit (keep in mind that it’s not terribly difficult to drop out of an unfriendly corp). An example might help . . . When Crius drops, Hi-Sec POS reprocessing will yield 52% while Hi-Sec NPC station reprocessing will max out at 50%. If you’re a large scale reprocessor that 2% is a pretty big deal. At the same time setting up, maintaining and protecting a POS is expensive and annoying. We suddenly have a point of mutual benefit. Reprocessing-R-US Corp charges a 1% reprocessing tax but their POS provides a 2% reprocessing advantage over NPC stations. Everybody involved gains 1%. \o/

      Section 2) Corp set NPC Tax Rates
      As I recall, the 11% NPC corp tax rate applies only to income generated via working for NPCs (NPC bounties, mission completion payments, etc . . .) It might also apply to bounties collected off player characters but I’m not sure as I’ve never harvested a player bounty while a member on an NPC corp. Other things like broker fees are unaffected by the NPC tax rate. T’was only those ISK faucets I was referring to. This tax option should be set separately from other corp taxes. I think it best to keep the NPC tax options simple since the only thing it applies to is navigating Empire law. After some percolating I suggest 3 options only (slightly varied from my previous comments on the matter):

      0% NPC tax rate gets you no empire protection (automatic suspect status). Low sec outlaws might choose this option since the moment they jump into Hi-Sec everybody gets to shoot at them anyway
      1% NPC tax rate gets you minimal empire protection (no automatic suspect status and standard suicide gank deterrence). In all matters this matches the current situation.

      11% NPC tax rate makes you difficult to war-dec. I’m inclined to think “difficult” should mean reduced wardec length – maybe two or three days. Unwanted wars now last less time (making them less painful) and the expense to extend the war now ramps up quickly. All player owned corps should be wardeccable. If you declare allegiance with a group you should be willing to have that allegiance tested.

      11% tax rate war difficulty implications should apply both to declaring war on another as well as having war declared on you. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

      Empire protection is calculated off the lowest tax rate chosen over the last 30 days.

      I believe that’s the entire proposal. There’s nothing more to flesh out. It’s a very simple idea.


      Reprocessing-R-Us would probably be tempted to chose the 11% NPC tax rate. Being industrialists they 1) aren’t particularly interested in ships vs ship combat and 2) being industrialists they aren’t running that many missions nor bagging that many NPC bounties. So Reprocessing-R-Us sets their reprocessing tax at 1% and their NPC tax at 11%. In both cases everybody in corp benefits leading to a granularity win. \o/


  4. Now I wish I was closer to DC.... though I would miss the mocrobrews in the DET metro area

  5. Taxation of LP is something that a lot of people (especially FW people) have wanted for a long time.

    - Than

    1. this has been discussed before, tax everything, might have been either gelvon or jester who brought the topic up (I think the one I am thinking of was the former, not the latter) The issue with it for corps that don't have a strong central home you end up with worthless resources.

      Not worthless in a really really worthless, but for example I have LP with 12 different npc corps. some I have hundreds of thousands, some I have just a few hundred as I am just starting to work up to L4's.... if you are the head of the corp collecting lp and you have half a dozen people like me.... couple hundred lp from 30 corps... either we need to be able to directly sell lp on the marked (could be interesting) or transfer it some other way. Same issue with taxing refining... where do the minerals show up? 50 different stations? I am a director in the corp I am in, and really it is easier for us to hold a corp mining day every now and then rather than collect tax.