Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Out of the fire into the frying pan

"What is the future of low sec and NPC null sec as the economic center of gravity shifts from high sec toward null sec?"
Blog Banter #56 - UPHEAVAL
With Kornos and the upcoming industry changes following 6 weeks behind it, things are set for a vast upheaval in the coming months. Before he packed his bags and left Mord Fiddle asked some interesting questions:
The common wisdom in EVE Online is that, beyond the odd high-value moon or Faction Warfare scam, there's little in low sec or NPC null sec to the attract ongoing attention of the big-dogs of null sec, with their large fleets and super cap doctrines. It's assumed that NPC space simply isn't worth the bother of controlling even if one could control it.
Is this about to change?
The shift in industrial inefficiencies from high sec to NPC low sec/null sec has begun, adding value to NPC space outside of high sec. In the recent B0TLRD accords CFC claimed two NPC null sec regions, Venal and Syndicate, as part of the CFC sphere of influence.
What is the future of low sec and NPC null sec as the economic center of gravity shifts from high sec toward null sec?
Also, you can take this banter as a chance to discuss the ramifications of the style of play in low sec and NPC null sec if it does happen that major industry shifts there.
With the departure of CCP Dr.EyjoG and Fiddler, i give you two quotes from both of them that will shed light on my trepidation about the cliff CCP is marching over to the tune of null sec.
But the development team still has to tweak things, and a trained analytical eye can be useful to that end. "My role is to ensure that there is a certain level of stability," concludes Gudmundsson, "and that no changes are made without understanding the economic impact. ~Gamasutra interview (2008)
"In order to realize their in game agenda, The Mittani® and company are pressing for changes to a number of foundational game mechanics.  While pitched primarily as attempts to 'fix' the self-inflicted paralysis in nullsec, the desired effect is quite the opposite.  The primary immediate beneficiaries of the desired changes are The Mittani® and company.  They are intended to make holding sov nullsec even more profitable than it already is, and allow nullsec's dominant entities to further lock in their control of that space.  Further, the proposed changes allow the lords of nullsec to gain a stranglehold on New Eden's means of production and key inputs thereto." ~The Icarus Agenda
Conversely, my trepidation is most likely tinfoil hattery. #1 - The economist most likely left for a prestigious posting, since if he's going to start afresh why not start completely fresh?  #2 - I never liked the old economy mechanic as a way to entice n00bs to enjoy the game. #3 - CCP cannot be blind to the fact the entire purpose of their game is to drive players to null sec in order to have more control, regardless of how truly clueless they are about the way the game is actually played by people forced to adapt to CCP's mechanics coded by people long gone.

So, with that out of the way, what's my take on what will happen in my neck of the woods? Well, there's not many industrial centers in low sec Fua (Amod SOE and Naguton SOE stations), Goinard to the north and not much until you get to Ami constellation's Ministry of Internal Order factories...although there are no laboratory services among the locations i just sketched other than Goinard's Impro station (the old home of VETO)
What do I think will change? Well, those stations i mentioned have always been the magnets for players anyways so it's not like the landscape will radically alter. I don't see the being dramatically different. In fact, i think the only thing this huge economic restructuring will result in is more profit margin for null sec - same price costs as high sec, just more profit for them...Would they attempt to undercut their high sec competition? possibly, but i doubt it since it'll still be the same 0.0001 game in Jita.

To me, Eve has always been a screensaver game with a built in chat function. Since those that play this game obviously realize this fact as well, therefore this myth of the high sec WoW wannabe carebear who're rabidly risk averse is about as prevalent as the naysayers who themselves are usually risk averse pvpers wanting easy targets. Assuming i'm correct, and the risk-averse are in everyone's imagination, the corollary is that I don't think there's many that will bother changing their ways if they're risk-averse...it is, after all, a game and people enjoy playing it at a lower efficiency all the time; Conversely, I seriously doubt null sec will reduce their market share just to undercut their high sec brethren (remember the cartels of old?)

Amod SOE station is one of those huge dockring caldari monsters just calling out to be a homebase for industrialists escaping the industry hubs close to mission centers. I'm sure cyno wrecks will be common place IF the doom and gloom "the end is nigh" drama queens are even half right. I seriously doubt it'll be a huge shift nor will any new work force teams gets hired on there. I just don't see the attraction of spending jump freighter fuel in order to undercut high sec producers...i really don't see it as a non-trivial event. I'd be shocked if Amod factories became busy with industrialists...Well, maybe a short trial period where the clueless carebears get ganked left and right until they slink back to high sec?

Will there be more targets in low sec? I hope so, since low is becoming alot more attractive to those that actually WANT to live there opposed to selfish greedy anti-social high sec denizens. Maybe i'll find more like minded industrialists flocking to my neck of the woods...that would be bad for competition but great for socialization and hopefully intel sharing. Yet, realistically speaking, there will be no real increase in population other than old veterans giving it a whirl or clueless folks getting ganked in the chokepoints.
But, you see, either way I welcome the changes as a positive thing and am actually excited about the Prospect. I'm excited about actually having fun in low sec now (not just the feeling i could do MUCH better in high sec)...In my eyes, a career choice of a low sec miner is viable and thus 'fun' because the ability of others to interrupt my gameplay is greater than high sec but no prohibitively so (if the prospect is that game changer, which i think it will be)
The question for myself is simple:  Do i want to spend all my time safe and snug in high sec mining ice or actually enjoy the short time i get each day to play eve? AFK play is rewarding knowing that i can do both chores IRL and play eve at the same time, but i really would like some excitement that i initiate sometimes...most times i'm busy investigating, exploring and/or surfing the web.

In my mind's eye i see those that really enjoy mining, without stupid botting hulk fleets silently sulking on depleted belts, making a living in low sec for the first time. Blops mining (a redeemer to keep the field clear of rats & wrecks, and everyone cloaking up when the roamers go by) will become a reality especially if miners can warp while cloaked.  The issue of giving links to such a fleet would need a strategic cruiser, yet that would tie up two pilots (blops and t3 linker with covert subsystem)...Personally, i'd set up shop with a BC (tech1 or 2) with links and a cloak just in case...or maybe a deepSS with ECCM out the wazoo to make it unprobable...that even possible with a ship that size? hmmm
Anyways, point is, i'm a miner for life. I love mining. I've also loved the idea of mining in low sec with pirates around to gank the unwary competition...A place where i don't have to be beholden to the local 'presence' if i felt like it. The prospect, and the new industry changes, actually makes a low sec existence viable (albeit probably not as lucrative as other careers) and therefore fun. 
I define 'fun' as being able to finance my losses and modest ambitions from my own virtual pocket, not plex via $$$. I've always, except a few short instances, been paying $ for my subscriptions. I'm fine with that...i don't need to prove anything beyond those requirements in the first sentence.

TL;DR - plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...For myself it seems like i'm finally leaving the chaotic 'fire' of trying to jury rig ventures and procurers to cloak up and landing on a 'frying pan' of prospects and blops. It'll still be the same old low sec, just with a reason to leave my safe high sec ice belt and start living in low sec for real.

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