The Nature of War Profits

Prior to a few days ago, the two corporations in our Anoiki had been struggling a little bit.  Living in a wormhole system is a constant battle in the first place: no stations, hostile neighbors, supply run logistics, bizarre/broken player-owned starbase mechanics, and constantly-shifting routes conspire to raise a high bar for casual gamers to surmount.  And the past week had seen the sudden disappearance of all our local anomalies in our system — likely due to neighbors warping to them uncloaked to set the 3-day despawn timer as token revenge for the fact that we really enjoy blowing away the neighborsships at every opportunity — removing local Sleeper battleship escalations from our profit pipeline.  Aggression, however, has a cost, and several of our pilots were hurting for decent battlecruisers and the ISK to afford them.

Then out of the blue, a war declaration from a tiny eight-man corporation forced us to reset our expectations yet again.  Although the “wardec” posed no credible threat to our primary w-space activities, it presented some new logistical challenges to moving our goods into trade hubs.  Based on their killboard, the war-declaring corporation had a pretty simple strategy: station neutral alts at trade hubs, wait for war targets to arrive, determine their likely course using those same alts, then log in the wardec characters to pop the unwitting victim as they exit the trade hub system.

Their system was simple, effective, and — based upon the killboard — enormously profitable for them.

A wardec from a high-security corporation or alliance typically has one real motivation: finances.  It costs ISK to declare a war, and the war itself is just another job, whether taken on contract or prospecting for potential profits from rich haulers spied in trade hubs.  Denying any financial reward for a war-declaring corporation is the most-common response strategy, typically accomplished by keeping war-decced characters in a station.

However, a W-Space corporation doesn’t really have a station into which we want to retreat. Our isolated starbases are bastion enough for most of our needs, and the center of our PvE and PvP activities, Our alliance’s usual response to a wardec is to stockpile some starbase fuel, ammunition, and PvP ships, line up neutral NPC corporation characters for hauling, then continue mostly with business as usual using dropoff stations and contracts on a given day’s route until those declaring the war get bored with the lack of targets near the station they are camping.  In the few short wars of our alliance, this approach has proven largely successful.

And in truth, we don’t even need the neutral haulers. Public contracts are pretty much equally effective for hauling to trade hubs, and involve little risk or logistical work on our end.

Curiously, for most corporations, target denial for their wardeccers means financial denial for their own corporation. Keeping characters in the station means they are not out earning ISK in whatever fashion is usual (except for station traders).

However, for a w-space corporation, it means the exact opposite. W-space profits often increase during a wardec!

Here’s the basic reason why. If not wardecced, a w-space corporation has a lot of characters engaged in non-w-space activities: hauling or buying supplies, some few players in Incursions, mining ice in k-space for POS fuel, etc.  This is pretty natural: a solo player logs on, finds no corp-mates in or near the home system, sees a decent route to k-space, and decides it’s a good time to pick up a new ship, run some goods to a trade hub, or whatever. This decentralization of supply chain has a snowball effect: when a good route exists, everybody gets engaged in running supplies in and out of the hole instead of engaging in profit-making activities.

During a wardec, most everybody stays near the home system.  When k-space routes are discovered, supply runs are limited usually to the k-space station immediately outside the wormhole chain. Players will haul their goods as far as the closest station, then contract the time-consuming trade hub haul out to a neutral alt or public contract, then return to the home system.

In our home C5 system, we have a one-billion-ton mass-limited static Class 3 connection which provides most of our K-space routes. During a wardec, bored players roll the hole looking for PvP or PvE, leading to rapid-raid squads clearing out sites in neighboring systems (or attempting to clear out the neighbors) and earning an enormous amount of Sleeper loot as a result.

That’s the way it went this past weekend.  So from where I sit, thank you Pod Repo for declaring war. Your war led to surplus billions in profits because our players stayed near home, ran w-space sites, killed the neighbors, and in general ignored your k-space Jita-hugging playground.  Our corporations made billions upon billions of ISK in PvE and PvP profits over the past several days because rather than be preoccupied by k-space logistical concerns, we kept focused on our core W-Space business and PvP activities.

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8 responses to “The Nature of War Profits

  1. Interesting viewpoint. Not sure I agree. These wardecs are minor nuisances for WH corps but enjoy the freedom of taking haulers across high sec on my main character if I have to. The hassle of using out-of-corp characters, contracts etc is useful for wartimes but I’d rather not live that way all the time. If there is too much doctrine and procedure to just move stuff Jita and I may as well fly in nullsec where everything is regulated, follows SOPs and generally a pain in the ass

  2. I disagree with your assessment of what drives hisec wardecs. Not everyone is motivated solely by ISK acquisition. If you are you’re doing it wrong as ISK is only a means to an end, not the end itself.

    A lot of hisec wardecs are for the lulz. Kill the carebears and reap the tears. Denying the tears is what makes the wardec end.

  3. This post is partially correct, but has some commonly believed high sec war myths. Though profit does come from some wars, this is not a driving force for PR high sec wars. Tears and ISK are too easy to get for vet PVP’ers and lost their novelty a long time ago.

    What is difficult is finding people that have the cajones to form up a fleet and put up a good fight. Vast majority of the time a war target must be captured and given no chance of getting back to gate before they even consider pressing the f1 key. Also, the idea that high sec PVP is to nab carebears is misleading- I have seen more competent pilots in high sec than in null sec. As someone having fought solo and against small groups of big name alliances, I can tell you that null PVP alliances tend to contain some of the worst pilots.

    Keeping characters holed up in station is a terrible tactic that, in time, will erode player activity and kill a corporation. Luckily (and as you mentioned), wormhole alliances have the luxury of never being docked in their stomping grounds, which promotes players to get in line and stay together at base.

    If you’d like to send some of that generated ISK as a donation to PR for future war decs, PR would be happy to dec you again- for the well-being of your ISK margin, of course!

    -NotSoRandomWT

  4. This post is partially correct, but has some commonly believed high sec war myths. Though profit does come from some wars, this is not a driving force for PR high sec wars. Tears and ISK are too easy to get for vet PVP’ers and lost their novelty a long time ago.

    What is difficult is finding people that have the cajones to form up a fleet and put up a good fight. Vast majority of the time a war target must be captured and given no chance of getting back to gate before they even consider pressing the f1 key. Also, the idea that high sec PVP is to nab carebears is misleading- I have seen more competent pilots in high sec than in null sec. As someone having fought solo and against small groups of big name alliances, I can tell you that null PVP alliances tend to contain some of the worst pilots.

    Keeping characters holed up in station is a terrible tactic that, in time, will erode player activity and kill a corporation. Luckily (and as you mentioned), wormhole alliances have the luxury of never being docked in their stomping grounds, which promotes players to get in line and stay together at base.

    If you’d like to send some of that generated ISK as a donation to PR for future war decs, PR would be happy to dec you again- for the well-being of your ISK margin, of course!

    -NotSoRandomWT

  5. Unfortunately, I cannot actually approve comments from visitors, but I can read them. I think Epigene/Splatus has to approve them. Sorry about that, Pod Repo Guy!

    Wardecs are an inconvenience I’d usually rather avoid, but I was struck at how much more ISK we earned by focusing on our core “business” (W-space sites & escalations) which in turn funds our core “fun” (PvP). The profits made during the Pod Repo war just funded a pair of Guardians I purchased in haste to quickly help demoralize/defeat a fleet that was camping one of our wormholes which happened to spawn in Perimeter (one jump from Jita). Not many kills because they could just jump the hisec hole and go rep up, but plenty of fun hassling one another, and it’s those kinds of shenanigans and skirmishes with mostly-equal forces which I enjoy much more than random ganks. The killboard rarely reflects it.

    But I do need more experience in PvP. Do you guys do duels? I want to lose a few tech 1 frigates and cruisers improving my 1v1 expertise; with a heavy Logistics focus so far, fleets in which I fly Logi tend to do really well, but I still get my butt handed to me with great regularity when flying combat ships! I’d be happy to come to Jita for some lessons 🙂

    • Sure! Lemme talk it over with some of the guys. Warning: PR is a group of people with varying desires and opinions. Not everyone is as interested in duels as I am. I’m sure we can find a nice spot somewhere (I, possibly or possibly not being a WT 😉 ) where I am not being hunted by five people in system and watched by a dozen spais. It will have to be spontaneous, however, as pre-set locations are doomed to ‘3rd party’ interference. I will send you a PM in game.

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