NPC-based delivery of goods sold from player-owned markets


Early in the discussion phase of Upwell Structure design there was a promise to consider NPC delivery services for Citadels. The basic idea was to spawn an NPC convoy that woudl haul your stuff on demand to and form Citadels for a moderate fee. The concept luckily did not make it into current game, so we still have guys from Red Frog saving the day for everybody else.

With the recent rebalance of Broker Fee for NPC-owned stations CCP hoped to motivate people do bring up their own Citadels and Market hubs. However, sole monetary penalty for using NPC station seems not to be enough alone to solve the issue for consumer products - ship, equipment, charges. The reason, as it seems to me lies in two tools, that simplify everyday life of capsuleers - multibuy and autofit. The latter effectively forces people to buy fits from a single station, that should contain a variety of modules in stock. This requirement limits use of this tool outside of NPC trade hubs and discourages customers from seeking that 1-2% discount that can be provided in citadel.

It is possible at the moment to use the bonus from citadel for buying things using range 1 orders set from a nearby system. Though, this is a quirky solution. No solution exists for sell orders.


I suggest addition of NPC-delivery mechanics to player-owned citadels with active market hub against a % fee per jump (i.e. 0.5% per jump). The implementation should allow owner of the station to select a target NPC station, that would act as masquerade for all sell (and possibly buy) orders issued in the citadel. The intended result is for end-customer to be unable to distinguish between orders placed on a nearby citadel from the orders in the target NPC station allowing them to use multi buy tool as is. The physical relocation of goods between stations should be handled instantaneously or with a small, not extremely annoying delay, so that end-customer is kept unaware of origin of those wares. The fee is to be paid to SCC by seller or owner of the station, who can in turn raise its own broker fee appropriately.

Expected benefits

Spreading trading and production activities around and solving the single trade hub issue without ruining convenience tools for consumers.

This is not an issue. And you suggestion does not fix this because under your suggestion you would have to pay fees on top of the sell price to get your things into one place. This makes things even worse and it motivates people to buy everything in one place, which is Jita.

There is nothing to fix. Every “fix” only increases the annoyance and frustration with the market and general activity in EVE.
If you want to spread the market, stock the useless and utterly annoying Fortizars/Sotiyos around Jita or other hubs with lower prices than in Jita or Amarr. That will bring buyers to your structures. The fact, however, that nearly no one does that goes to show that, for one, players are not capable and willing to do it because it is inconvenient, and secondly, that it’s not desired by the buyers.

Bump up npc fees a bit and/or add the same index mechanic as industry where the more orders made at a certain location increases fees.

I’d wager most players don’t care what items cost as long as they can get all of them in one place, which is usually Jita. You pay for convenience…

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Exactly that I see as a core reason. Industrial-oriented players will stock low broker fee stations IF that is a viable option at all which is not the case here.

Not in the situation as it is. There are few categories of goods that have migrated to citadels as they are not related to ships and fitting (i.e. plex and skill injectors, partially true for compressed ores). So in general your point is correct. However, for consumer goods there is very low incentive to spend extra half an hour gathering your ship and necessary modules to save 6 mil ISK of 300 mil fit. Even less so for smaller ships.

My argument is to make the fee scalable with distance and for certain the value should be lower than that of NPC stations (0.5% is sure cheaper than 2%). This still motivates players to create independent trade hubs at some point, when they have enough turnaround in their structure.

I just have to disagree with that one. Having a single central trade hub as optimal solution for supply and demand is indicative of bad underlying model. As far as I understand CCP recognizes this as issue for years now.

Even when price difference is 10-15% over the Jita sale people still buy things. Flat increment would help nothing and index mechanic would help but make citadel market hubs pretty useless in HS as indexing suggests you would have systems with low fee regardless of whether it is a citadel or NPC station.

Well not quite as players structures get bonuses to index costs.

The way it works right now(i.e. same way as industry index discout is computed atm) is not going to work. I.e. the structure would have even a 10% bouns to index cost and an index in given system would be 20% - then bonus would compirse only 2% (0.2*0.1)

Yes, because buying fittings, in particular in big volumes, in different places is utterly annoying and utterly undesirable. Your suggestion is not changing this and will not be able to fix it. In contrast, it will make it worse because now you have to pay additional money to get the stuff transported or transport it yourself, which costs more time and more effort without providing any benefits but only more work and wasted time.

No, this is how markets work. CCP only recognizes that they want to screw up the markets more so that players spend more time there than in space and build up more frustration instead of flying space ships. This is not an issue and CCP would do well to leave things as they are. There are already ways for marketers to draw buyers and sellers to their structures. They are just too lazy to stock their structures with enough goods to make them viable market places, and by viable I mean market places with a supply as comprehensible as that of Amarr, Dodi or Jita.

Either I am missing something, or this simply makes hauling obsolete. You’d just configure your structure near the intended destination to buy from the market where your goods are to get super-fast, risk-free and cheap delivery. Just… no.

Unless NPCs can be ganked, it’s a no-go. Full stop.

Why not - the sweet loot is still physically inside the citadel until it is sold?

Is 0.5% per jump really so cheap? At the current rates Red Frog delivery from Jita to Amarr for 10 jump costs about 15 mil for 1.5B worth of goods. That is 1%.

Just to restate the contents of OP since you tend to misinterpret them. The proposal is to leave the current buy all in one place system AS IS from buyers’ perspective, while allowing the use of citadels as less secure but broker fee free storage for producers.

Judging by this “summary”, I do not see where I misinterpreted anything. You want to spread out the markets and make players use an annoying, costly NPC or player transport service to gather the things from all over the place.

Besides, producers don’t “store” things somewhere insecure just because of lower broker fees (if they did that, they’d already use structures more). They “store” their thing where they sell them, and for that goal structures are utterly inadequate and annoying. They not only put additional costs on the buyers but also the sellers should a structure get destroyed, abandoned or the services turn off for other reasons. Suggestions like these do not want to leave the BAIOP intact, they want to ruin it and make buying things more frustrating and time intensive just because some people cannot be bothered to stock citadels as comprehensively as Jita or Amarr under the current system for prices that Jita and Amarr cannot compete with easily. That’s the entire problem. And to “fix” that, you suggest to make EVE worse for everyone else.

You know what CCP needs to fix that’s more important than broker fees so that people use structures more? That you can sell to a structure buy order from another structure. That’s currently not possible even within the same system because structures are nothing but scams. Those are 2 things CCP ought to fix first before they even considering ruining NPC markets more.

No, I don’t want to spread out markets. I want players to STAY in the NPC stations.

No, I don’t want players to even notice that their stuff is moved from somewhere else. This should all happen in background and preferably with no time delay - exactly to avoid any additional inconvenience.

Yes, I want this service to be more expensive, than local sale of goods from citadels, but LESS expensive than selling them in NPC stations as t is now.

As far as I understand this is unfixable to prevent scam sale where people would sell you stuff in their own private citadel leaving you with 0 chance of getting those things back. The orders can still be filled from NPC stations in the area.

P.S. This is completely irrelevant to the topic, though.

That is not going to happen because it is not EVE-esque. You would get a lot of benefits (lower taxes, secure, uninteceptible transport) without downsides. That’s the problem.

5B ISK investment + 20M ISK per day upkeep + need to defend the structure if wardeced. Completely free.

Edit: Plus actual transport service fee

The producers won’t own these structures. They will just use structures from other groups. For them, there would be no downsides compared to the benefits. Even the transport fee is not if it’s effectively lower than brokerfees in NPC markets.