Markets are fragile; trust is built over time and fractured in an instant. Spook an investor, and they are much less likely to reinvest. Surrounding the Jita constellation, tax havens have taken on a large portion of the market share, and constitute a considerable profit for the faction willing to fight for them. These structures are more commonly defended by the mercenaries of highsec such as PIRAT, who IChooseYou operate under a contract to deter harassment of IChooseYou trade hubs from small and medium-sized groups. That is until PIRAT, confirmed in the Talking in Stations interview of IChooseYou, flipped in bad faith on the contract to protect the citadels. This flip follows an underwhelming defense when put under the pressure of Pandemic Horde’s advances earlier this year where Pandemic Horde allowed ICY Holdings to operate for a cut of the profits.
Until now, IChooseYou worked with Pandemic Horde giving reportedly up to 500 billion per month to Horde for protection. Test and The Imperium took this opportunity to cut at the heart of Pandemic Horde’s income. This war will be over the control of the highsec tax haven income, with potentially hundreds of billions a month depending on the market share taken.
Traditionally, these structures are defended by small to medium groups such as Vendetta Mercenary Group, PIRAT, and Marmite Collective. A quote from the PIRAT CSM election candidate Faylee Freir via the Talking in Stations Discord indicates that the highsec wardeccing alliance will likely not provide a defense.
Traditionally, these highsec mercs are usually the side with the superior force having the firepower, skill levels, fleet composition, and numbers. That is given their normal targets are that of opportunity often picking off solo targets often unaware of wardec mechanics as they travel down the trade lanes of highsec.
Highsec tax markets are likely one of the largest passive income sources that remain in the game. Seeing as the income source is as valuable as it is a set of large-scale battles should take place, and a full-scale defensive effort from the owning bodies would be the prudent financial move. An alliance ping from Pandemic Horde leader, Gobbins, states the following regarding the multiple-front war they face:
Marketers may shift assets and orders to rival citadels, or even back to NPC markets that they consider acceptable with their risk-to-reward preferences. This leads us to the big news, as previously highsec market structures have been Fortizars or Sotiyos that have high EHP, requiring long-range sub-capital battles to grind the structures. Investors may rejoice or cringe in fear at Test’s new Tranquillity Trading Tower, the first highsec keepstar in Perimeter.
Alternatively, marketers have the choice of the Eve Mogul Citadels which have negotiated a backroom deal to avoid issues with their citadel network. This information, verified by the Eve Mogul Discord announcement channel, via the following ping from Jeronica.
It’s up to the players to react. Will they stay with the backup structures of the Pandemic Horde protected corps and the industrial powerhouse structures of Eve Mogul? Alternatively, will they move to the large-scale investment of the TEST Perimeter Keepstar, or focus on security at the cost of ISK and move back to the NPC-owned Jita 4-4. Until then, expect turbulent pricing in PLEX, extractors, injectors, some compressed ores, and many other high-flow items frequently traded in the Jita area.