Highsec is being looked at by nullsec entities with great interest of late, and that is something that was not really expected a mere couple of months ago. For a significant amount of time, Pandemic Horde (PH) have been heavily invested in “protecting” trade hubs in the Perimeter system, in the region of The Forge. In fact, PH has had a monopoly on hisec trade hubs for over a year. It was reported last year by the CEO of PH that the highsec trade network generates 200 billion ISK a month for PH. It is very likely that this figure has increased since then.
As you would expect from a member of PanFam, deceit is ever present. Not willing to put the PH name on all of the trading citadels under the control of PH, they use proxies. “I Choose You” has been a front for the highsec scam employed by PH, for instance.
In recent months PH has increased their tax rates on trades made within these highsec citadels. At the time of writing this rate is at 0.5%. It has also been reported that there has been some foul play with tax rates being adjusted unexpectedly. This has, of course, caused issues for highsec traders, especially where margins are already tight in a very popular trading hub.
In an attempt to combat these trade issues, TEST Allliance Please Ignore has deployed the first ever highsec Keepstar structure just off of the Jita gate in the system of Perimeter. The Keepstar will be entering the repair cycle of the anchoring phase on 2018-10-14 at approximately 19:30 Eve time.
This development seems to have given rise to ire from certain parties. Vily relayed to me that there have even been a number of threats against this Keepstar. One of these threats comes from Raknor Bile of “Higher Than Everest.” This corporation is a member of Pandemic Legion, and prior to that was the lead corporation of The Culture. It is also notable that the CEO of this corporation is Harvey Skywarker, who is also formerly of Black Legion. Just goes to show what a very small world it is.
The Keepstar was purchased from Matterall during the Talking in Stations show on October 14. Vily stated that Test had been looking for a Keepstar or two to purchase for a few of weeks, but without any luck, so it was quite fortuitous that TEST were able to pick this one up. The Keepstar in question was previously used as an outpost of the New Eden Trade Consortium (NETC), and also as a waypoint for northern capital and supercapital forces to deploy across the galaxy.
I managed to catch up with Vily from Test and he had the following to say:
“We aim to provide safety and security to all members of the high-sec community. This is about stability and benevolent leadership and assistance to the people of high-sec. We all came from high-sec and now we can give something back. We are setting a 0.3% tax rate that we will never lower. This is 10% of Jita and 40% lower than the standard many are used to and will allow for a comfortable middle ground as people adapt to new managers.”
If the Keepstar onlines successfully, it will allow the highsec traders of New Eden a choice that has been sorely lacking. To add to this, it will be controlled by TEST Alliance, who have a far better record of honourable conduct than the PanFam alliances. For example, TEST have not turned on their “valued allies” as Pandemic Horde has against Guardians of the Galaxy.
To add another dimension to this, GotG have also declared war on PH. Normally war declarations are of little importance to nullsec entities. However, with the number, size, and capability of the groups declaring war on PH, you would think that Gobbins and other Horde leadership would be a little concerned about the future of their highsec income stream.
Although the Keepstar does not have the same defensive abilities in highsec as it does in nullsec, it is still a formidable structure with a large amount of hit points and significant damage potential. Even if it is put into its final timer, there will be at least 5.5 days before it could be destroyed. Additionally, high security restrictions mean there will not be an opportunity for capital ships to be used in its attack or defense. This means that subcapital battles will determine the fate of this Keepstar in the days to come.
Stay tuned to INN, as I am sure that we will have more news on this Keepstar in the very near future.