I am not going to rehash the details of the Dev Blog, since really if you are too lazy to read it, you are not going to care much about WTF I think of it either, but hey thanks for stopping by. Before you stop reading I will just say Stealth Bombers are cool toys, but paper thin.
Okay, back to the indy talk.
We have now had 24-48 hours for the news to sink in, for the cost of POS fuels to skyrocket, and for mass hysteria to sink in.
So is turning over the Low Sec, Null Sec and W-Space PI Customs Offices to players a good thing, or a bad thing?
Well that depends a lot on who you ask.
I agree for Low Sec a lot will depend on the strategy the "controlling entities" use. Are they going to look at this as a way to make some isk? or a way to shut all the ninja PI people out of business. In an area supposedly still controlled by Concord (they do still have Gate Guns and shit) I find it interesting that they are allowing players to control a tax stream. I am not sure it fits with the overall "story" of the game. These areas in Low Sec are still part of one of the big 4 States. Would Caldari business men really allow a small band of pilots to control a tax stream? Why would Expert Distribution not jump at the chance to gain this tax stream for themselves? Sure it sounds great, but I am not sure it fits the "story" of EVE. Low Sec is where I would worry the most about the implementation of the POCO.
NPC Null. Even more fun. This is an area where there are plenty of bored, pissed off people willing to shoot at anything to pass the time. Personally, I would not spend much to setup a POCO in NPC Null. I don't see how they last long in an area like this.
Sov Null. Already has restrictions on doing PI. The POCO will just be one more structure that needs to be built and installed to "upgrade" a system for renters and alliances. Will provide a small boost in income for the major alliances.
W-Space - I think this is one area that will be interesting. Some people have said that not a lot of PI comes out of w-space. I think they are trying to deter people from competing with their vast W-Space PI empires. I can easily justify the cost of the POCO's to continue to do PI in w-space, but it will increase the "value" of my system to me, which means I am more unwilling to move, and will mean I am more likely to invest in system defenses also. I see a rise in the number of people/corps entrenching themselves into w-space. More carriers in C1's, more presence in C2-C4's, more activity. Either that or a reversal in w-space living like we saw when the price of ABC ores crashed.
The other thing with PI in a WH, if POS fuels continue to remain high, the cost of POS ownership in general will deter people from being in W-space, and put more and more value in w-space systems with proper PI to support a POS at a premium.
Time will tell if this is a good idea or a bad idea, but I am all for something that will:
Drive up PI costs
Deter people from doing PI
Allow me to better "control" access to planets in "my" system
Potentially make small to mid sized fleet battles happen around them
In the end, I think this will drive fuel prices higher (as we are already seeing), and will continue to move PI towards an alliance and corporate level. I do not want to see PI ever become something that can be a Corp activity, especially the ability to move PI goods in the Customs Office between Corp Members, as I think that would absolutely kill the ability to disrupt PI operations.
Eventually, people will adapt and find ways to make Isk again with PI in areas they don't control. If the POCO's do not drop any of the goods inside, I think people will eventually grow tired of messing with them for grins and giggles.
The major questions are still if people will look to these new POCO's to be an income source, or a way to lock down system. I know in W-space, I would use them to lock down the access.