Saturday, October 18, 2014

Player Owned Taxation Hubs

Gevlon recently posted an idea for creating fights in highsec.  It's overstrong and not pretty, but it shows the right way to create conflict in EVE: private property.  I mentioned in that thread an idea I had some time ago.  It's not on this blog because I posted it before I started here.  So I thought I'd put it up here for future reference.

The new object is called a Player Owned Taxation Hub (POTH).  A POTH is an anchorable object like a mobile depot.  It should be large, enough to make carrying one around with you casually not an option.  So 4000m^3 at least, perhaps more.

The point of a POTH lore-wise is a means of tax collection for an empire.  To encourage such tax collection, the empires pay 50% of the taxes to the POTH's owner.  To discourage frivolous tax collection, it has a non-zero cost.  Blueprints should sell for perhaps 10m ISK, and require a handful of PI goop to build, say 2m.  We expect them to sell for ~13m ISK.

The point of a POTH game-design-wise is to encourage interesting fights in highsec, and to allow automatic tax collection in nullsec.  We'll see how that works in a minute, but first, the rules.

To operate a POTH, a player brings it to a grid, anchors it, and then onlines it.  No more than one POTH can be onlined per grid.  In highsec, some grids -- those near stations, gates and POSes -- are considered already owned, and disallow anchoring.  Other grids are first-come first served.  A POTH should take a minute or so to anchor and another minute come online.  Then the POTH will attempt to collect taxes from everyone on its grid.  We refer to a grid with an online POTH on it as a "taxed grid".

POTHs have configurable rules about what tax rate is required from each character on its grid, analogous to how POCOs are controlled.  These can be changed only when the unit is anchored and not online.  Once online, they cannot be changed without taking the unit offline (requires 30 seconds), and then re-onlining it.  The empires allow a fixed maximum rate of 40m ISK per hour.  (In nullsec, the character can set the maximum amount by hand.) That's the maximum tax rate that the POS will attempt to charge.  Lower rates can be set, as percentages of the maximum rate, according to relations with the owning character.  By default the per-standings rates might be 100% for terrible, 50% for bad, 10% for neutral, 5% for good and 0% for excellent.  In addition there should be boxes for "don't tax my corp" and "don't tax my alliance".  By default, these are on.

As soon as you land on a taxed grid, there should be a warning message.  Once you have been on a taxed grid for more than two minutes, the POTH demands tax via a dialog.  The tax is a quarter hour's worth as described above.  You have one minute to pay, leave the grid, or be criminally flagged.  Upon payment, you get 15 minutes on grid.  After 15 minutes is up, you get dunned again.  As mentioned above, of the taxes paid, half goes to the character owning the POTH.  The other half goes to the sovereign of that space, which in empire means the ISK is sunk.  If there is no sovereign, the full tax goes to the character owning the POTH.

The player should be able to respond to a tax collection popup by checking an "automatically pay this tax" checkbox.  Once he's done that, he no longer gets the popups and instead pays the tax automatically so long as that POTH has stayed online, and he is on its grid.  Note that the tax rates for a POTH cannot be adjusted without taking it offline.

A character with a green safety who does not respond to a tax collection dialog does not go suspect; instead his ship automatically warps a million kilometers off randomly.  Similarly, a character with insufficient ISK to pay the tax and a green safety will autowarp off.

A character with a yellow safety will never warp off.  If he does not respond to the popup he will go suspect.  Don't AFK-mine with a yellow safety!

Anyone has the option to shoot a POTH.  Attacking a POTH, like other mobile structures, gets you criminal flagged.  POTHs have 15000 shields and 25000 armor.  They have 200000 structure.  Like a POS, when they take any structure damage, they offline automatically.  Thus, it is relatively easy to offline one (perhaps so you can online your own), unless it is defended.  All armor and structure must be fully repaired before a POTH can be onlined.

Clever uses are left as an exercise for the reader.

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