I was taking care of some “housekeeping” activities with regards to my PI infrastructure (picking up and dropping off goods) last night. I have a couple of characters that I use to PI, both in the same corp, and they both have their PI networks set up in the same stretch of low-sec.
As I was flying by one of the extreme outlier planets that my other character has a colony on, I thought “wouldn’t it be nice if I could pick up his stuff too.” Pretty simple idea, and a quick forum search shows I’m not the first to think it.
In reading that forum thread on the same topic, I see some people clamoring that it would make PI too risk-free if corpmates could use a POCO like a corp hangar. That the need to physically retrieve the goods at each step for each person is the primary/only means of interfering with that process by other players. And that where currently it might take say 8 trips by various people to pickup/dropoff/exchange goods, if they could just swap goods in the POCO like it was a corp hangar it might only take a total of 2 or 3 trips, and that would be bad.
Really, though? Is streamlining the coordination between players’ independent PI networks really a bad thing. Are pvp’ers realistically that gung ho about stalking POCOs for a random kill, that this would drastically interfere with their gameplay? Granted, in a war setting, maybe reducing the amount of needed trips out into the black to keep PI planets going might reduce the impact of war conditions on a corp’s, or their players’, passive income.
But PI is passive income. Generally speaking, it’s enough income to be significant or worth doing, but nothing too stellar in terms of ROI. So streamlining the process isn’t going to lead to a game-altering impact. It’s just a convenience measure that better enables player cooperation in accomplishing a group project.
One idea is the ability for a corporation to essentially rent an office at a POCO. Rental fees should be automated, not set by the POCO owner, but those fees should be paid to the POCO owner. So, if the ability to transfer goods from the player’s POCO hangar space to the corp’s office/hangar space is worth it to the corp to pay out a rental fee, then yes, I think that should be possible.
Or… just give us the ability to create courier contracts that can be sourced and picked up directly from the relevant POCO. And enable the ability to deliver to a POCO. Also make courier packages relevant to appropriate special cargo bays (i.e. a courier package that’s all PI goods could be put in the PI hold of an Epithal). The ability to outsource the pickup/delivery of PI goods in that way accomplishes everything I’m looking for, and it sidesteps the objections of the detractors. Just as many trips out to the POCOs would have to be made, it just might be by different players than otherwise. And, as a plus, it might open the doors to a lot more intra-regional courier jobs available. And increase the chance of some lucky pvp’er finding an overloaded Epithal with half a dozen PI courier contracts in its hold. Everybody wins.