For the last 2 weeks the Foo corps have not been recruiting, as we been under wardec. Now a highsec wardec is not much of an issue for existing wormhole players. We do our PI and sites with a certain level of paranoia, as it is wormhole space and there are cloaks everywhere. What a highsec wardec does mean is that we potentially have pilots actively trying to access our 'special secrets', namely our wormhole entrances. Then a stupid CEO logs out in the entrance highsec system and can be found with locator agents. Such a stupid CEO might just share the same surname with this blog.
For those players looking to set up something similar to what we are running, the costs are roughly as follows:
- 300M for a bookmark to an empty system (wormholesales.com)
- 1B for a large tower and fittings
- 1B for customs office gantries and upgrades
- 500M/month for fuel
- 1 Personal Hanger Array. This provides a small amount of secure storage to pilots, for sleeper loot, ammo, fittings.
- 1 Large Ship Assembly array (or X-large, probably does not matter either way: they hold the same volume). This provides bulk 'secure' storage to 7 players (i.e. one or more pilot/player)
- 1 SMA that is online for holding ships and refitting.
- Optionally a second off-line SMA, requiring elevated privileges containing defence ships, a large industrial with spare guns and fittings, and a hoarder with spare ammo. Advantages are that it is secure storage. Disadvantage that is makes your POS look 'expensively full of loot'. According to my tests on duality, this SMA can be onlined even if the POS is re-inforced, and new guns (not missiles) can be onlined and restocked.
- Optionally 1 Mobile Laboratory and/or Advanced Mobile Laboratory charging 10K/hour for ME and Copy slots.
- Guns and hardeners to suit. Look at http://talocanunited.com/wordpress/designing-a-pos/ and http://talocanunited.com/wordpress/pos-permissions/ . Have at least sufficient guns so that even if the POS is re-inforced, you can use your entire powergrid on newly onlined guns. Consider even more guns that this.
You will probably want to own your own customs offices. On a structure bash; you can never have too much DPS. They are boring. At 700 DPS, a pos bash is an all night affair. At 3000 DPS it is a couple of hours. At 5000 DPS, it is 'short work'. Consider the merits of taking the time to roll wormholes vs the time lost by leaving a scout on the wormhole. This is a challenge for a couple of newbie pilots. 3 afk cruisers (vexors or coercers) with drone and laser dps can do the job, albeit with a certain risk of ending up in highsec with a replacement
In 2 of our 3 wormholes, we blew up the existing customs offices, and replace them with our own. In the third wormhole, we purchased the POCO's in place from a corp that we thought was 'zombie' but had a 'low profile' approach. It was so low profile we thought that it was abandoned and moved in. We paid a little over the replacement price for the Poco's, but did not need to spend the time to bash them down.
POCO tax can be set wherever you want it. As a simple option, roughly 5% tax is considered OK by most pilots. You can have a lot more tax flexibility if the corp that owns the poco's is not the corp with the pilots.
In terms of defence, having big friends is useful. Gevlon found Noir to be good hired friends. He also found that his dread was a trouble magnet. I previously found Daktaklakpak. a wormhole PVP corp looking for something to kill to be valuable. A large POS and a small wormhole are a daunting proposition. Gevlon's fleet took 4 hours with a dread. Not many pilots are willing to devote a 1B ship to evict another pilot on the off chance that they might have something worth looting. If you ever do have a hostile dread attacking in a low end wormhole, advertise it.
Having ships set up to fight at a moment's notice is also needed. Having ships to escape a blockade (covops frigates and haulers, interceptors) should be considered high on your todo list.
You must be able to 'eat' ship losses; they are a fact of life. Sometimes you will be the cause of other pilots losing their ships. Bashes of properly set up POS with fuel happen far less often.
The thing I most dislike about Gevlon's plan for wormholes, is that "replacement tanking" is cheaper. We are in our wormholes for the long term. I would replace my entire infrastructure several times over by not paying his rates. We are however interested in mercenaries to defend us when there are significant fights to be had, and are willing to enter into 'mutual invite' best intention groups.
The single biggest risk for any wormhole corp is having a CEO that is prepared to worry about logistics and keeping the POS fuelled. This a far bigger risk than setting up an undersized POS, or hostile fleets or awoxing. I have seen corps suffer due to invasion. I have personally seen more corps die to lack of fuel.
The Foo style of wormhole corp does rely on a moderate level of trust, but certainly not excessive. It certainly seems more reliable than trusting that highsec customs offices will have a reliably accessible customs office with a reasonable tax rate.
If you would like advice on how to set up the same style of corp that we have, please contact me; either on this blog as a comment or in game (DoToo Foo).