So you own some Player Owned Customs Offices (PoCo’s) in different systems, and you decide to play around with the configuration to tax people according to who they are and/or how much you like them.
We did this in Sov space, which also means that unless people were in our alliance, they couldn’t do anything new on the planets in the systems.
Being all nice and Alliance friendly, we set tax rates as follows:
- Corp = 0%
- Alliance = 0%
- Terrible (-10) standing = 100%
- Bad (-5) standing = 100%
- Neutral (0) standing = 5%
- Good (+5) standing = 0%
- Excellent (+10) standing = 0%
This seemed reasonable. We weren’t into profiteering from our Alliance mates and we were using the PoCo’s ourselves for various things and so thought that this would be fine.
We forgot that this was Eve.
A series of small diplomatic incidents later and we’re at the stage of possibly jumping a cap fleet into a system to blow up our own PoCo to do the classic “cut off your nose to spite your face” fleet op. A little bit of investigation shows that the Alliance were still being taxed by our PoCo’s. Why???
Well, in the PoCo interface you can choose to allow access by standings or not. If you tick the box, you get options to set tax rates by standing (see above) like we did.
Have you ever looked at your own Alliance in your standings? Unless you actually physically set your own Alliance blue, they’re technically neutral to you. Therefore, Eve being Eve, when Alliance members used the PoCo’s their standings were checked and they were found to be neutral, and therefore taxed 5%.
After filing a bug report, CCP are, apparently, aware of this problem, but the easy answer was to either not allow access by standings (which would mean Corp and Alliance access only) or to allow access by standings, and set the Alliance as a Corp contact at either +5 or +10.
The first option would be easiest, but that would then stop one of our landlords players who might have Corp hopped to set up PI on a planet in system and then returned back to their main Corp. I can see the drama-llama again.
So, the only sensible option is to set Alliance as +5 or +10 and then run tax rates based on standings.
This is fine for us, but if we were trying to run a PoCo cartel in lo-sec or NPC null sec (look how well that idea worked for Interbus!), it would make things more tricky as the taxation system doesn’t exactly work properly. Also, if CCP ever decide to allow players to run PoCo’s in hi-sec, then this would also probably cause many annoying situations where work-arounds would be needed instead of the optimal configuration that the interface suggests would be possible.
It’s unfortunate that this is an issue, as some simple testing should have spotted this, however there is a working band-aid for the problem, and it’s working well for us for the moment.