/ EVE Online

Clueless Intervention Part I

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Yet another blog about that wonderfully detailed and in-depth game, EVE Online which I play on a fairly regular basis.

This time it’s less about what I do on the day-to-day basis and the War and so forth. I’d like to take a step back, or out, if you will and talk about CCP‘s intervention in the game.

The case in point is that over the last 6 months or so, CCP have implemented a number of changes to the game, some of which have been beneficial, while others have been detrimental. Take, for instance the “Titan Nerf” (discussed as part of a dev blog here). This meant that:

  • Titans could no longer fire doomsdays with impunity.
  • Titans could no longer fire doomsdays remotely without even being on the battlefield.
  • Titans were no longer immune to being caught in an interdictor bubble which stops warps/jumps.
  • Titans could not use their jumpdrive for 10 minutes after firing a doomsday.

This basically made Titans killable. As shown in this YouTube video.

Then, things seemed to go even better with the introduction of Jump Bridge Arrays.

  • Normally to navigate from A -> D you needed to pass through B and C through jumpgates. This was tedious and in 0.0 space, dangerous
  • A jumpbridge array circumvented this by allowing ships to jump from a starbase with a jumpbridge in A to a starbase with another jumpbridge in D, bypassing any need for dangerous pipe running. (pipe: any route between a set of systems)

CCP were finally on the right track.

Then somewhere, someone lost their mind.

Two things happened:

  1. CCP dreamed up the Rorqual, which is a capital ship used to provide bonuses to players in its gang who are mining. It also compresses the ores that are brought to it at a 20:1 ratio.
  2. CCP is planning to nerf the existing mineral compression techniques.Existing technique is to buy up minerals in one area, then use a manufacturing character to produce a lot of one type of module which takes a lot of a certain type of mineral. These are then carrier jumped down to the target area where they’re needed and the module is refined back into the component minerals. The waste factor is roughly 1-2% where the refinery operation skills are high enough.

CCP suddenly thought that there is a massive problem with mineral compression being way out of control and that this was an enormous problem and a massive imbalance to their game. So they sought to fix it:

Currently, there are a number of items whose total volume of required ingredients are many times that of the resulting product. This leads to imbalanced compression rates as high as 430:1, such as the 1,000m3 Jump Portal Generator, a module requiring 430,000m3 of minerals to make. Upon completion, these modules would be transported to a new location and reprocessed with nearly zero waste, thus allowing the transport of a Freighter load of minerals with an Industrial.

While this imbalance has been around for a long time, it wasn’t until the introduction of high resource capital modules that we began to see its use increase. In kali 3.0, we aim to introduce a wider range of fixes to not only resolve the issue which has lead to an increase in use of modules such as the jump portal generator or tractor beam but also provide more suitable alternatives, for example, addressing some of the reasons why low end ores such as veldspar for example are not mined in null/low-sec

Veldspar is the lowest-value ore available, but it is essential to production of anything as it contains a high quantity of Tritanium which is a staple ingredient in ship manufacture. You can mine Veldspare in COMPLETE safety in highsec space. The higher-end ores are mined in 0.0 where the risk of pirates and hostile gangs is always present and the risk of death is much greater.

If I may use an analogy borrowed from fellow Goonfleet member and miner/marketeer/jew extraordinaire Jakiri:

You can mine coal in Scotland. You can mine coal in the Congo. You can also mine diamonds in the Congo. You don’t mine coal in the Congo, you mine diamonds.

This is apt as it applies to lowsec economies. The high-end ores are only found in lowsec. It makes NO economic sense to mine the low end minerals when you can import them from highsec. It is economic suicide. And the importation is exactly how ALL lowsec alliances have supplied their factories and so forth since the dawn of time.

While this imbalance has been around for a long time…

This has existed since the inception of the game. The market has built up around this (possibly unintended) feature. And now, CCP wants to “fix” it. By reducing the compression ratios for modules through a nerf on refining.

This is the issue with them. They don’t know their own game. These “fixes” are based on a very limited set of data gathered from primarily the market hubs and Empire space. This means that the picture CCP see is VERY different to what goes on in the game. They know next to nothing about how 0.0 alliances conduct their business and don’t realise that the nerf they are planning on introducing will bump prices in 0.0 by upwards of 20%. The prices of lowsec are already inflated past the Jita prices which is more of a free market and is closer to a perfectly competitive model than 0.0 where cartels, arbitrators and production magnates control the prices.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.