The markets of New Eden are in play, but not in the way you’d suspect. For our loyal readers, you’ve been reading every Monday as Roedyn has build up a small cabal of like-minded investors to dabble in a little market arbitrage. As time has gone by, we’ve noticed some of the obvious movements in the offshoring of buy and sell orders from the main market hubs because we’ve been on the leading edge of that trend since Fortizar citadels started appearing in systems such as Perimeter, Niyabainen, Kemerk, Algogille, and Renyn just to name a few.
See for yourself:
In what appeared to be a move initiated by a presumed third party, Mercenary Coalition, as well as various unaffiliated mercenary corps such as Vendetta, moved in on a series of Citadel bashes via wardecs, starting in the systems around Amarr and Rens then working inward to adjacent systems in Dodixie and Jita. These Citadel operations focused mostly on Fortizar Citadels, but did include various Astrahus complexes if they were essentially “dead sticks” or affiliated with target Citadel corporations.
When hostilities in Amarr systems subsided, Roedyn kept a close watch on systems around Jita to see if there was going to be a domino effect of movement against independent offshoring Fortizars. He took a closer interest when Mercenary Coalition movements were reported after the first batch of Citadel bashes. As we started pulling corporation wardec information from the remaining Fortizars, it became clear that only certain Fortizars were going to remain.
The cleanup of Fortizars belonging to Riemannian Manifold Torus [RMT-C] started suddenly, and didn’t take long. Within hours of the beginning of hostilities, [RMT-C]’s Fortizar in Perimeter was renamed to “DEFENDERS NEEDED”. Marmite Collective came to the defense, but only seemed to delay the inevitable. Now, as the reinforced Fortizar gets ready for its final death knell at the time of writing, [RMT-C] has anchored a new Fortizar under the name Blackblood Trading Corporation, but not before Mercenary Coalition dropped a Fortizar of its own; the movers and shakers of this new market are beginning to emerge.
According to the descriptions on both corporations, Lenny Kravitz2 of I Want Isk is thought to be bankrolling the move to keep satellite market Fortizars around major trade hubs in a type of “Good Ol’ Boy” Petroleum Club, pushing out any outside influences. The following is taken from Blackblood’s corporation tab:
We got intel that Lenny Kravitz2, the IWI banker who bankrolled World War Bee, is planning on destroying our citadel (acutally, all the Fortizars near Jita, to monopolize citadel markets). It would be really hard to defend them us alone. So we are looking for volunteers who is willing to share your power with us, protecting our citadel. We would be willing to pay 30%* on what you kill, and 70%* on what you lose. And we promise that anyone who helps in defending our citadel will be rewarded with having 0% fee PERMANENTLY.
If you’re willing to share you power, defending our citadel, please join mailing List “Friends of The Torus”
Thank you very much!
I had the opportunity to talk with Lenny about the situation:
Proto: RMT-C has posted in their Corp Descriptions that they claim you are financing a Fortizar monopoly run of the trade hubs. Are you financing these Mercenary attacks on these markets and if so, what precipitated these actions?
Lenny Kravitz2: I am financing the attacks. The reason mainly is to discourage the tax haven concept for Jita and to encourage individuals to move out to the hisec rim and set up shop there servicing low, null, and to an extent hisec in that area.
So your intention is to try to drive more markets into the less secure areas of space then? Is that realistic?
Not less secure. It will still be in hisec.
So just out of the market hubs then like areas outside of say, 5 jumps or more of a major trade hub?
Yeah pretty much. Oh and to answer the second part of your question, yes it is realistic and wont break the Eve economy. People don’t realize how much actual stuff everyone has. I bought up in firesale, from just 1 corp in INFAMOUS, 200 million m3 of stuff.
There are still Fortizars that remain in systems like Perimeter, belonging to entities such as Eve-Mogul. What of those?
Fortizars in the area will be razed on and off until the other hubs come online; other areas will likewise take a hit.
So this isn’t an attempt to create a monopoly as RMT-C claims, but rather an attempt at seeding other areas. So, no Fortizar in trade hub areas is safe?
That is correct. If people don’t seed other areas, I will. And I will end the Fortizar hits as well, but I would rather not monopolize on that.
I see. So for people who want to seed other areas, the further away it is from trade hubs, the better?
Not necessarily. There are areas that are prime for trade. Vale/Tribute/Lonetrek is a good point. There are other areas in HS that would provide good logistics to those who live in Pure Blind/Fade/Cloud Ring, and the lowsec areas nearby.
What you’re proposing is attempting to break a long tradition of major trade hubs. CCP Fozzie alluded to that being a goal of his a couple of years ago before Aegis sov. Was this an influence?
Do you have any closing thoughts you wanted to get out there?
Markets take years to be established. If CCP has plans to make NPC stations vulnerable in a few years, now is the time to start setting up those trade hubs, and let competition figure out who wins it. Once those are set up, the economy has more stability in the event someone decides to kill Jita down the road. If that never materializes, you still have a good setup where the major consumers of the game (lowsec and nullsec entities) have easier access to assets, and it helps prevent them from being cut off from supplies if they are in a no-joke war.
[World War Bee] had an influence in this as well because I hired Vendetta Mercenary Group and Complaints Department to shut down Imperium logistics in hisec, and they hit the Imperium so hard that we broke a couple of the alliance’s logistics backbone. FCON threatened to kick JF pilots that lose a JF. Some alliances didn’t have doctrine ships because they lost 500 fully fit ones in a week or two – stuff like that. So, mix in the whole [thing where] CCP wants to make for a bigger sandbox (destructible NPC stations).. eventually (TM) and you have a situation where starting this project NOW will be better for everyone later. The whole tax haven bit detracts from actual trading because the focus is still Jita or wherever.
I think that’ll be a more difficult case to make later since the asset safety mechanic is key to citadel play at the moment. But like you said, that’s future CCP tinfoil. Thank you for your time, Lenny!
We have reached out to Courtney Flee of [RMT-C] as well for comments regarding these claims and we hope to have further information as the situation settles.
While it was inevitable that some kind of market cartel would form with the release of Fortizar Citadels, a giant cloud of unanswered and speculative questions arise from this “War”. Concerns about powerful monopolies over the offshoring market have already arisen in trading back channels. Meanwhile, since this is being funded by Lenny Kravitz2, players are bound to ask whether his continued ISK injections into projects to spur content in different areas of the game a benefit or detriment to EVE Online. After personally funding World War Bee, and the subsequent injection of a trillion ISK to TEST alliance to follow the remnants of the Imperium into Delve, a reach into the markets of HighSec could set off a backlash, depending on the perceived motivations. How much is too much?
There’s also another angle to consider: If the main offshored trade hubs around Jita manage a monopoly, how will that play into Lenny’s vision of more market hubs in more areas? Will players actually buy from hubs locally? Arguably, in order for marketeers to want to seed those areas, you have to have both demand and competitive, profitable prices. Unless these proposed markets are fully stocked with everything available, including PLEX, buyers’ convenience will often trump price; even if some items are less expensive locally, they will still visit their one-stop-shopping emporium – Jita 4-4.
On the market fronts, this has been both a blessing and a curse. Because of the people pushed out of the offshoring markets, there is substantially less competition to keep prices low. Relegated to standard trade hubs and facing higher broker rates, competing with a Fortizar taxed at 0.1% is difficult at best – especially when it comes to PLEX and Skill Injector sales. On the plus side, remaining marketeers are taking advantage of the shifting markets and filling the demand at much lower margins. They can do this because as traders leave the markets, buyers are still wanting goods. If you adapt by shifting to steady items that will net you 3% profit instead of always trying to stay at 10% or above, fewer marketeers in your hub mean less modification of your orders. So those that are riding the low percentage lines are seeing an increase in profit overall.
The battle for New Eden isn’t just in Nullsec. There is influence, power, and a whole new facet to domination with the advent of Citadels, and Highsec is going to play a vital role in the economic future of EVE Online. How will the trade and manufacturing markets continue to evolve as industrial arrays are introduced? Will there be new players in the trade wars as more Citadels are built? Who will they be, and maybe more importantly, how can you be a part of it?
…or put a stop to it?