Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making The Game: Billing

I know, what a boring topic... Only one with potential, I think...

I'm not entirely sure why this topic came to me as I was sitting down at the breakfast table to study the scriptures. (Yes, I'm religious.) But I put it on the mental backburner to write about during the day today, and the more I think about it, the more this seems like an important tool that is missing in EVE.

Sure, we can enter into hand-written contracts, kept track of in an Excel sheet somewhere on our desktops back in meatspace, and try and remember to double-check our corporation finances tabs on a regular basis to see who has paid their monthly dues, whether that is as a renter, or for 'protection' from pirates, or whatever. But would it really be that hard to build it in?

Imagine the possibilities if not only could you create contractual bills, where individuals required to pay their bill would get reminders in the notifications tab just like when they need to pay for an NPC controlled office or headquarters, but you could set up consequences?

I'll give you an example. Or two.

Ok, I'll admit, I used the S word because it gets people to read what I'm saying... *Grin* But, that aside, this really does touch on Sovereignty in an important way.

Sovereignty costs. Nowadays it costs more than it used to, and from what I understand, some folk find it harder than others to raise the capital on an alliance level to pay for all the toys they want their systems to have. But, Minuit, you ask, how can billing and consequences help us to pay for our toys? Well, I'll tell you, dear reader.

If your corporation, or alliance, is anything like mine, you get access to certain tabs of your corporate hangers based upon your skillset, the amount of trust you've earned and your needs. Well, imagine that, instead of taxing folk for their bounties/missions and hoping that none of your corp-mates earn their money through silly things like: Wormholes, Trade, Invention, Production, Mining, or any other untaxable method, why not drop that Corp-tax down to 0% and institute a corp-wide bill. Every member pays X-Million a month for the priviledge of access to Corp/Alliance resources. Anyone in arears will be visible as 'unpaid' to the corporation leadership and can be removed if they don't address the matter in a timely fashion. Suddenly, you go from 'herding cats' to get people to donate towards paying for that Jump Bridge network, to automated smoothness.

This one has a wide array of applications, from Renters to Non-Aggression Pacts to Pirate 'Protection' rackets. Put quite simply, you pay, or your standings change.

Seems straight-forward enough to me. Pay your bill on time or lose Blue status. Pay your bill on time or have your Neutral status dropped to Red. Whichever function suits you best, you really ought to pay your bill if you don't want that carefully negotiated deal to go sour all of a sudden.

In conclusion, I believe that adding in a Billing system would be a huge asset to corporation and alliance management, would provide an effective solution to Sovereignty issues of raising capital, and also provide any number of other options in true sandbox style that the players of EVE would rally around excitedly.

What do YOU think about introducing Billing?

Can YOU think of any different uses for such a system?

Fly Straight, and post comments! ;)


  1. I agree that a way to bill others in game would be beneficial. Renters and whatnot selling ratting rights etc, these would all benefit from a billing system. Good idea, lets hope CCP would use it!

  2. Think over some details and put it up as proposal in the CSM forums to get it by other players as well. I like it alot!