Renting on the rise, again
To players of other MMOs, this may seem a ridiculous situation to even consider. But as we know Eve is not your usual MMO. The premise is just the same as you would expect in the real world. You make a payment to the “owner” for the use of an area with certain restrictions and conditions.
For many nullsec alliances, renters are considered a lowly caste that deserve derision and contempt. Renters are simply a resource of convenience to be milked for the resources that they can offer. This will normally be in the form of ISK but can also extend to industrial capacity.
Historically renting within Eve has existed for many years. In this fine article this issue is also spoken of at length. The graphs and comments alone make this a very good article for those with a taste for history.
So how does it work?
Renting in Eve only really takes place in nullsec space. Quite simply an agreement will be made between the landlord and the client as to what systems they have access to and what they are permitted to do in that space.
The renters are then required to make payments on an agreed schedule with even a down payment being required.
These rental agreements are a legal document in their own right. Often of considerable length and detail they contain every obligation required of the involved parties. This is a fine example from PL/NC who have a storied history of renting.
The reality of renting
As a renter you will often still find yourself being shot at by your landlords, especially when transiting to your home systems. Roams can still come out to the space you rent and shoot at you. Hostile entities to your landlord, of course, have no restrictions in what they can do to you. They can cloaky camp, hot drop or shoot your structures. Often these will all be issues that you will need to resolve. Assistance may be available to you from your landlord but again this could incur additional expenses to be added to your bill.
This makes the selection of your chosen landlord quite crucial. Laying down any infrastructure at all has a cost associated to it and it is only right that you should factor this in and expect a return on investment. If you have to move for any reason then there will also be additional costs and lost income to consider. So if you are planning on renting then you need to have a time frame for your investment to be worthwhile as well as an exit strategy for when it is required.
So who can you rent from?
There was some hope that with the changes to sov mechanics that the entry barrier to nullsec would be lowered. This would make it easier to take sov even for a new found alliance. The increase in the number of anomalies would also make it far easier to have more players living in a smaller space. This has been demonstrated by Pandemic Horde only too well in the past. As a 10k player alliance they lived seemingly quite comfortably within two constellations within the region of Fade. Even now PH still only have a fraction of the systems, 21 at the time of writing, that are held by far smaller groups.
It is possible to rent from most of the larger nullsec alliances. Some have even taken to running adverts on Eve related sites such as with “S0utherN Comfort” (Test) and “Rate My Ticks” (PL/NC). Of course there are also other rental empires such as with XIX and Darkness. To be quite honest here you would be hard pressed to find many larger nullsec alliances that do not rent, with one noteable exception. At this time you cannot rent from The Imperium. Although some describe the Querious Fight Club as a rental region it is not actually the case. The Imperium have a long history of helping alliances form and the QFC is a project to help foster more inhabitants of nullsec.
What happens when it all goes wrong?
As the landlord you simply inspire your troops and make plans to remove the renters from “your space”. Although a hassle it is not too tricky to do. Most renters are focused on industry in one form or another and have limited PvP capabilities. Often renters will even be give some leniency in order to get out of the landlords space as it is simply less hassle.
The renter will of course have to take down and move out all of the assets that they have accrued in the space that is due to be taken back.
It is also possible that your landlord will just turn up one day and tell you to get out. If this should happen, and I assure you it can, then you will either fight for your space, join the landlord in some way or leave.
So why even rent?
To the landlord renting out spare space is simply free ISK for little effort. So if you happen to be the biggest dog in the area then you too can have access to free ISK.
For the renter it is entirely possible to reap some of the rewards of nullsec life without having to get embroiled in the politics. This is very attractive to some and with good reason given the additional tasks required of playing the meta game.
Alternatives to renting
Renting is of course, a choice and not an obligation. If you want to live in nullsec there are still ways to achieve this without having to pay the rent. Arguably there are even additional benefits to some of these options, but equally, there are likely to be different costs.
Taking space for yourself. Now many will tell you that this is too tricky to do. But given the way that sov mechanics currently work it is very possible for a small determined group to gain a system or two just to give the larger entities less hassle from sov hacking. How long you can hold onto it will be an entirely different matter.
Join an alliance/coalition that already holds sov. There will still be costs associated to this move but equally, there are potential benefits. One major risk, however, is that there will be ever increasing demands on your corporation or alliance up until the point you are thrown out of the alliance. There are many examples of this when looking at the history of Darkness who have become experts in such things.
Credit where credit is due
I actually did not plan on writing this article despite my own experiences with renters. I should note that my experience has been in interfering with such schemes to the point where they fall apart. This article was inspired by an article on EN24 last week. Although the author had got a few points wrong there has been an apparent resurgence in rental schemes since the collapse of the casinos. This makes renting a topical subject again, which is worth writing about.