After watching the twitch stream about new features coming in Rubicon I was ecstatic about being able to own Player Owned Customs Offices. This would allow me and my friends to own a small piece of land and make a relatively small income to spend on more pew-pew. That changed when we found out in a dev blog the POCO’s will continue to have an NPC tax in high-sec in addition to the tax set by the owner. Why is this a problem? Because the NPC tax will remain at 10% although it can be reduced with a new skill. So if a player sets a 10% tax those using the planet actually pay 20% in exporting costs. I will admit that this allows the isk sink from NPC taxes to remain in place which was a concern for switching all POCO’s over to players. However, at a base rate of 10% the high-sec planets will almost always be taxed more than they are now. Not to mention that high-sec planets contain some of the lowest quantity of materials found in the eve universe. So there is even less motivation for players to run PI in high-sec. Before anyone mentions it this will not drive players to low-sec/null-sec because they are inherently risk adverse. I suspect that players in high-sec will either have to own their own POCO or be in a small corporation that has almost no tax if they want to continue profiting from PI.
Now there has been a worry in the back of everyone’s mind that the large null-sec powers will rush to High-sec and secure all of the POCO’s to tax the residence extensively. Personally I think that if the null-sec powers were able to accomplish such a feat that I would be impressed, not because it’s difficult but because it’s a ton of structure grinding for something that isn’t as great as it appeared initially. Additionally the income isn’t as great as one would think.
Here’s my quick math on potential income from High-sec POCO’s:
500,000 (accounts) *.75 (75% of players play in high-sec) = 375,000 accounts
375,000 (high-sec accounts) / 10 (10% run PI in high-sec) = 37,500 accounts
37,500 * 7 (average PI planets/account) = 262,500 PI installations
262,500 (planets) / 10,000 (high-sec planets now controlled by players) = 26.25 players per planet
26.25 * 1,000,000 (taxes/month) = 26,250,000 Taxes
26,250,000 * 10,000 (# of high-sec planets) 262,500,000,000
The bottom line is that while 262Billion ISK is a lot of money it isn’t really that much for a mega-corporation. Not to mention the fact that they would have to own all of the POCO’s to see this number in any real amount. Now yes my math is not sound I have to use estimates and I had to make assumptions that players spread equally among all planets which they do not do. I think that those large corporations could easily protect and own the most valuable POCO’s like the ones around Jita that players use to create advanced goods. However controlling the PI market will prove to be impossible with tons of the materials coming from Wormholes/Low-sec/Null-sec and I suspect that players will move to the cheaper tax areas for making advanced goods. I would be very worried if my alliance decided to attempt to monopolize all HS POCO’s so I think the average player has nothing to really worry about.