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CCP Proposes Tax Changes for Citadels

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CCP has revealed proposed changes to the tax system within New Eden. These changes take the form of increased fees and taxes levied on players via NPC station services. A proposed system that allows player-owned Citadels to collect manufacturing and market taxes oon Large and XL Citadels has caused quite a bit of stir though. The major focus is clearly to herd players toward using the forthcoming Citadels as the hubs for all of their in-game interactions. Although the changes are in need of a bit of work, especially the contentious 5 Million ISK fee for Jump Clone usage, as these system tilt the balance of power even further into the hands of established players and groups. After all, with every new complex system, the most powerful have the best advantage to game the system. These kinds of changes demonstrate the Matthew Effect at work in the game. In sociology, the Matthew effect (or accumulated advantage) is the phenomenon where “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”.

The Jump Clone changes do levy a hefty ISK sink on all players, but it’s clearly in need of further flushing out. Perhaps a system based on a sliding scale of usage would be better. With a flat fee of 1 Million ISK, increasing as more Jump Clones are added to a player’s existing stock.

The market tax changes seem to be a punitive tax on NPC manufacturing operations, while CCP has been doing quite a bit to equalize with other forms of the process, this seems a bit confusing at first glance. CCP seems to believe that the risk versus reward ratio is titled unfairly in favor of invulnerable NPC stations, and wishes to use taxes to push more players to Citadels and established player groups. Taken as a whole, the change makes sense in a strange sort of way. If CCP has a goal of wanting players to group up and use every possible advantage, then shifting the advantage away from solo manufacturing might be a way to do that. Markets in EVE are prone to extreme reactions, so the exact tole in terms of ISK value being shifted remains to be seen. The change does present the issue of creating more inflation, as instead of ISK and manufacturing tax leaving the economy through NPCs, Citadels owners will now be able to garner more value from their investments.

All in all, this bit of groundwork for Citadels is interesting, and worthy of more discussion and feedback. See the full excerpt containing the changes below:

Hello people, Team Game of Drones is having a look at the Citadel structures services (reprocessing, clones, market, compression, offices) and we would like to make a few changes that will impact NPC taxes. The goal of such changes is to give more flexibility for Citadel owners to make a profit when charging their services to the public, while making sure they are profitable enough to compete versus NPC station services.

Offices in Citadels: unlike renting offices in NPC stations, there will be no office limit in Citadels. As long as you are granted access by the owner there will be no limitation about creating an office there. Office rental will be a flat fee, fixed by the owner. The fee will not have a NPC tax of any sort.

Medical clones: we are thinking of keeping the 100,000 ISK fee for changing the home station in a Citadel, just like NPC stations. As long as you have access you will never face an artificial limit to medical clones in Citadels.

Jump Clones: current price for installing jump clones in NPC stations is around 100,000 ISK. We are planning to increase that amount to 5m ISK to install a jump clone in NPC stations. That price will also be payable anytime a clone is left behind in a NPC station – so, if you jump clone away from a NPC station from previously established jump clones you will still pay that price. Jump Clones installed in Citadels will not have any NPC taxes, but the owner can charge his own pricing for the service. We also want to remove the maximum limit of jump clones for Citadels: like Citadel offices, your alliance, corporation or public customers will never be denied usage of this service if you grant them access in the first place.

Reprocessing: we are thinking of changing the way reprocessing taxes work. Currently, the taxes are expressed in materials, so if you get 100 units of tritanium the system would take 5 for a 5% tax. We would like to change that tax to be payable in ISK only to make it simpler for structure owners to get their fees. This would apply to NPC stations as well and still be reduced by your standings tower the NPC corporation owning the station. In addition, the tax will be properly logged into the transactions part of the journal. Reprocessing taxes inside a Citadel will be left entirely to the owner, no NPC tax will be enforced.

Compression: after internal discussion we are planning to merge this service with the reprocessing service module, so you won’t need to install two modules in your Citadel to get this functionality. Compression is not going to be taxed because there is no NPC counterpart to compete with (only available in Starbases at the moment).

Market: markets currently have two taxes, transaction’s tax, applied for sold items, and broker’s fee for non immediate orders, which are set at 1.5% and 1% respectively. To create an environment more competitive for Citadels, we plan on increasing the transaction tax to 2.5% and the broker’s fee to 5-6%. Players trading in citadels will still receive the transaction tax, but the broker’s fee will be at the complete discretion of the owner. To avoid confusion for the owner, the broker relations skill will not affect player set broker’s fee in Citadels.

Contracts: while Contracts will not be available in Citadels for the first release, the transaction’s tax and borker’s fee will also go up by the same amount than markets as mentioned above.

Please remember those are still work in progress changes (especially the market broker’s fee tax amount), so please use constructive feedback in your replies.

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