Friday, 3 August 2012

CCP vs Mercenary Corporations

Scenario: you are a small industrial corp. You have a couple of research POSes set up in some hisec systems. You get wardecced by a small PvP corp.

Scenario: you are a small industrial corp. You have a couple of research POSes set up in some hisec systems. You get wardecced by a huge PvP corp.

In which scenario would you hire mercenaries? From an industrial corp's perspective: neither.

In both instances, there are two basic options: if you are 40 people (as opposed to four people running 10 alts on 4 accounts each), you offline a few labs, switch on the defences and ensure that your bat phone network is up to date (SMS, iMessage, actual phone numbers, Skype details, whatever). When the "bad guys" attack the POS, you log in, man the guns, bring in the Scorpion & Guardian fleet, and have at thee!

What sense would it make to hire mercenaries in this instance? None. Why? Because you'd have to pay an exorbitant fee to hire the mercenaries compared to what is at risk. A hisec research POS will run to about 2B ISK of materials, most of which can be unanchored and whisked away before the POS is sieged. A mercenary contract is worth far more than 2B ISK for two weeks. They'll want ISK for their time and ISK for replacement ships.

“But what about repping the station?” you ask. Well, if you have friends in other corporations, there's nothing stopping them bringing in an insured Osprey fleet. If you think you can hold of the invaders, you can run an Osprey manufacturing line in a nearby station and give your friends free ships in return for them spider tanking each other and repping the station. If you can't hold off the invaders, you pull the POS down and hide for a fortnight (and transfer assets to a new corporation, set the tower up in a new location, keep doing your industry).

“But hire some mercs!” No. The POS is not bringing in enough income to justify the cost of hiring mercs. Hiring mercs for 2B a fortnight means you've just incurred an extra expense. Pulling the POS down means you lose the income from the POS, but you have time to focus on other activities (playing the market, heading to w-space like you've always been thinking of, etc).

“So make some friends”. Well, you already have: you have 40 people in the corp who share your interests. You probably have contacts in a mission-running corp and a w-space corp. These are the people who you can bribe to join you in POS defence for the paltry sum of an Osprey replacement programme.

“Find cheaper mercs” — you could have done that prior to the wardec ally system “fixes”. But now your mercs will cost a minimum of 10M ISK a week. That is ISK better spent on replacement Ospreys in the situation where the wardeccing corp is small enough for a defense force to have a chance of saving the POS.

“Build a more profitable POS” — to make more profit from a POS, you need to be in low sec doing reactions/cooking boosters, or in w-space building T3.

If you can think of a scenario where it would be worth paying for mercs to help you in a hisec wardec, please let me know.

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