Highsec War: How Much?!Mangala Solaris
For my previous two columns I have discussed the who & why of highsec warfare. This week I want to look at how to declare war and how much it can cost.
To fight a war in highsec, a corporation or an alliance needs to seek sanction from Concord. If you do not do this and attack someone in highsec, Concord will give you a swift and fiery end. To gain sanction for legal combat, it’s simply a matter of a person with the correct roles in either a corporation or an alliance executor corp clicking the obviously named Declare War button, filling in the target name, and ensuring there is the ISK to pay for it. 24 hours later, you have your war. A war that lasts for a week; a war where anything goes. Following this week, you must either pay the butcher’s bill again or let the war end.
Once upon a time the cost of the sanction was a fixed sum, multiplied by how many active wars your target had at the time. However, since Inferno, and later Retribution, the cost is now based on how many characters are in the target group.
For example, say I decide that a 30 man corp I have control of wants to declare war on various bodies. The weekly cost to do this would range from 50 million ISK per week for deccing a group with under 50 members;
160 million ISK per week to declare war on a group with around 300 members; 350 million ISK per week to declare on either side of RvB who have over 3000 members each;
all the way to 500 million ISK to declare war on an entity like the Brave Collective would. 500 million ISK is the weekly cost cap for war decs.
These sums are quite low in my opinion, and for your ISK you get to wage war for a whole week against your target, with no actions prohibited by the po-pos. And yet, there are groups out there who say that these costs are too much for what you gain; that such high costs break the war dec system to the extent that no one uses it. Hell, some say that we should return to the pre-Inferno days of super cheap wars. Frankly, I think such people are wrong, especially when you consider that 100+ wars have been declared this week alone between many different entities.
Look at this way: theoretically, if I as a CEO of a small corp decced a medium size alliance of 300 characters, and was successful in killing 2 or 3 of their miners and missioners or knocking over their POCO or research POS (or heaven forbid killing their PVPers), then that war has paid for itself. This ISK invested to ISK destroyed ratio improves if my corp members fly competently and only lose ISK on the ammunition expended. Killboards are green, holds are full of loot, my members are happy; and if we did this as a mercenary contract then profit has been made, and our reputation gains another gold star.
In fact, the larger the target entity, the easier it is for a group smaller than them to recoup its initial outlay, be it in loot, killboard statistics, or epeen. In no way would I consider the ISK spent wasted.
Now some will say “Mangala, these costs ARE too high when our targets members can just leave, depriving us of kills. Or they could take down their assets before the war goes live. Or even fight back and kill us in return.” (I admit that no one has ever said that last part out loud anywhere in EVE!)
I will say that while I do think that simply being able to leave a corporation under war dec is pretty messed up, considering people can just drop to non-player corporations and get on with their lives, it does have to be noted that this mechanic works both ways. If a member of a war dec corp has targets that fight back, they may not like losing and leave said corp because the war isn’t going their way, with the only consequence being that they cannot join another player corp for seven days. As for taking down assets during the “warm up” period – surely thats a win? You may have wanted that moon for a client or your own use; now it’s empty. You win, right? Just because it doesn’t provide a killmail does not mean the costs are wasted or too much.
Actually, consider how easy it is to make ISK in EVE, then tell me that current war dec costs are too high. I’ll be waiting.