12/07/2009

Collecting Taxes

There might be one thing I sometimes enjoy more than the hunt itself: ransoming pilots for their pod or even their whole ship. Unfortunately, this opportunity doesn't arise very often on lone roams. Demanding ransoms for ships is particularly difficult when you sit in small vessels. Frigate vs. frigate is always a matter of seconds where no chances are taken. Cruisers that can be dealt with so easily to allow the time and comfort for a conversation with the pilot aren't worth any ransoming to begin with. Decently fitted cruisers still have time on their side if you manage to get under their guns and destroy their drones - alone you cannot put enough pressure on them to make them pay up quickly.

Even ransoming capsules is rarely an option when your onboard scanner is displaying lots of potential malefactors. So most of the time you can only safely afford a quick strike. A pilot in a quiet system, who isn't capable of warping his pod out, but still has valuable implants in his head is a rare find. And only if he isn't angry enough already to deny you yet another triumph over him, you will be able to squeeze out some ISK of him.

All these factors are the reason that I so far could score a mere 5 million ISK in ransom money, from a single salvager's pod.
But all this changes when you fleet up with only a few savvy businessmen the Tuskers harbour aplenty.

What else is needed are a skilled prober, some courtesy and a system that are the destination of lucrative missions. What maximizes this combination's profit tenfold is a simple and customer-friendly service: The Mission Tax. For a nominal fee, clients may not only keep their ships, but are also granted to finish their missions. The thing is that mission runners will much more willingly hand over their ISK when they don't have to choose between leaving - not getting any speed bonus for their mission - or exploding. In case of poor coorperation on their part they would still go boom of course (accidents happen), but they will much more likely settle with Pay to Stay.

The fact of the matter is that they lose less, maybe even still gain something. A deal where everybody wins is the key to healthy customer relations.

2 comments:

  1. Aye, a kindred spirit I sense in this one!

    Unlike my rich corpmates I cannot piss away ships on the offchance that I might get a kill in..
    But finding fits that not only work well but cost less is a game in its own right, and I enjoy being the cautious pirate.

    Nice idea with the mission tax :)

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