Consequence is a cornerstone of Eve Online, so, when you elect to perform an act which is deemed “illegal” by the games NPC Empires, it is obvious that there should be a consequence. This is supplied by the Security status mechanic in eve, which lowers you Sec Status from as high as +5 down to -10 every time you commit a crime in a policed system (High or Low Sec). Should your sec status drop below -2 you will be persecuted on sight in High Sec by the police (Starting with a ban from 1.0 systems at -2 and lowering as you drop). Currently CCP supplies two options for paying for you crime, cash or time. You can trade in ISK & tags with Concord to raise yours Sec status, or you can kill NPC’s for a standings gain (highest value every 5 mins) think of it like a fine, or community services. You can also blend these two by hunting down certain NPCs who drop tags, while at the same time farming NPC kills to lower your sec status.
So when PL announced that in order to make fights more accessible members would need to raise their sec status to allow for High sec travel I paid the gold price to lower my sec status down to -1.8 via Tags for Sec (costing ~300m). This is because I needed to ensure that I could immediately participate in any fights which cropped up and at the time I thought that this would likely be the end of the issue. However twice since then PL has taken fights in Low Sec and both times I have had to immediately pay to top up my sec status ready for the next fight (generally around 90m per fight). Now although I have plenty of cash, to sustain this, I am against dishing out cash where I don’t need to. So I began investigating the most time and cash effective method of maintaining a high sec status. Clearly buying Tags to Trade in for sec was very time efficient, but not very cash efficient.
I decided that I would look at the other extreme: bet ratting. Belt ratting (the act of killing NPCs in 0.0 belts for cash) fell out of fashion a very long time ago, and has a reputation as the least efficient way to make money in Null Sec. However I was interested in it for standings gained rather than the cash. On average this was netting a 0.003% increase in standings per ~1m rat killed. At 0.003% every 5 minutes (assuming I can always find a 1m+ BS rat to kill exactly on the 5m mark) would mean 1h55m spent ratting per low sec fight (let’s call it 2h30m to account for the likely searching time + travel to a belt ratting site). Exceedingly cash efficient, but not very time efficient at all. It also had the added negative that because the time spend ratting my sec status down would be a down time during which I could not participate in further fights.
Two thoughts sprung to my mind a more middle ground “front loaded” sec status removal scheme. First I could try raising my sec status so that a single fight would not make me a wanted man. This would be even less time efficient than ratting sec status after a fight (due to diminishing returns on sec status gain at higher levels), but might work better in terms of missing fights. The other option is to look at collecting the Clone Soldier tags myself, meaning that I will only have to pay the concord “Administration fee” for exchanging the tags. I suspect that the Tag collecting method might be the optimal solution as it provides a balance between time and cost. I already have some thoughts on how best to do it, so this is where I will look next!
Fly like a vigilante,