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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Will the Technetium Cartel work? (Part 2)

Paul Atreides: "What's in the box?"

Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam: "Pain."
In my last post, I suggested that after a few months of market turmoil life in New Eden will normalize. To be sure, it will be not be the normal we have all grown accustomed to, but capsuleers will adjust. Prices will be higher, but we will adjust. Space travel will not come to an end any more than people stop taking vacations when gas prices spike. They may alter their plans, but they take vacation nonetheless. They adjust. We will adjust.

However, do not let my easy words sway you into thinking I am saying this will be a painless transition. It will not! Change never is. Change like this has not been seen in New Eden since before I took to my pod. It is something all will have to endure.

In  my post about Photon Microprocessors and market manipulations, I alluded to one of the worst pains we will face. Read question #2 towards the bottom. Of all the many things that depend on Nanotransitors, Covert Ops Cloaking Device IIs are perhaps one of the most critical. The alternatives to that one module are limited in their capabilities. The only alternative commiserate in capability is the faction "Smokescreen" Covert Ops Cloaking Device II. They require Talocan technology. I've never even seen one fitted to a ship though there is one on contract in Essence.
That's a painful price for certain. That makes the current price for the non-faction cloak seem painless by comparison even when it is not.
Not very long ago, there were many hundreds of cloaks on the market in essence. Now we are down to  less than 200. I don't believe those will last long. Even if there are hidden stocks out there (because some wily trader bought them a month ago,) and even if the owner were willing to part with them, the prices are already steadily climbing. To be sure, there were at least 4 separate days of speculation-driven buying in the past month, but by and large this is not a speculation curve. This is a supply and demand curve: less supply, same demand, higher prices - inflation pricing volatility [1].

This will continue to happen for T2 items over the next few months. But this particular item is different. It is unique in what it does. The T1 models won't even let a ship reach half speed while cloaked and forget about a target lock after de-cloaking. That's significantly different than say the gain of a T2 MWD over its T1 predecessor. There is no replacement for what the T2 cloak does.

So where does that leave us? Will we pay the higher prices? Will we be less willing to lose a cloaked ship? Will our game play change? Will capsuleers who rely on cloaks become more cautious? Will PvP suffer because of this? Will Worm Hole existence come to an end?

Probably nothing quite as melodramatic as all that. But the noob pilots of EvE University will feel the pain. Pirates more concerned with tears than loot will feel the pain. Incursion runners will feel the pain. Corporations not allied with the Goons will feel the pain. There will be a strong urge to join the Goons to avoid all this pain.
Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam: "You've heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There's an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind."
I trust you can read between the lines. So, do we react as an animal or as free and independent capsuleers?

Fly careful.

[1] Edited 5/1/12 to use the correct term since their manipulations don't effect the cost of everything in the economy which is the root definition of inflation.


  1. I think everyone can and will eventually get used to higher prices. Ever since Incursion i been hearing how much ISK those that run them been making since incursion, granted not everyone do them or have ever done. But allot of ISK flowed into the system. There is much more ISK in New Eden as a whole now more than ever. I guess its just time capsuleers finally get used to it or start making extra pocket change.

  2. I agree with Argent. I think people will just pay.

    This has interesting knock-on effects regarding the players who fly black ops:
    a) people who cover their ship losses with real money will sell more plex.
    b) people who cover their ship losses with game money will rat more and pvp less (and, no doubt, whine more about Goons)
    c) people who don't pvp will make more money as "passing the cost on to the customers" generally involves raising price a little higher than our costs were raised.

    Also it's a very interesting time to fly black ops as the nullsec mining boom will see a target-rich environment for sneaky fleets.

    Another question is can the Goons keep their space now that they've declared nullsec to be a game of King of The Hill. Maybe the Russians will give up the now-nerfed drone regions and move north west.

  3. Take your right hand from the box and look at it. Young human...

    That is such an awesome movie just from the visuals alone. Dated a bit now, and flawed in all sorts of ways, but awesome still the same.

  4. I don't know if this will do it, but if there does come to be more and more pressure to join the Goons, then sooner or later people will get organized to fight back against the Goons.

    The Goons aren't fluffy bunnies. They're aren't happy imperialists that people would just be willing to join. Or even that people would be reluctant to join. They foster an image that many people find, shall we say, distasteful. They've been growing in power and influence over nullsec, and increasingly over the game as a whole. Sooner or later, people will organize and smack them down -- or, they'll fall apart from the inside, if they get too big to go.

    They seem to have a pretty good "cult of personality" going right now with Mittens. That is, even though he doesn't dictate everything they do, he sets the tone, and he's not only a hero but a martyr to them now as well. (It's kind of amazing how much the CFC in general fawn over him.) That can't last forever, because as anybody who actually watched the recordings of the alliance panel knows, he's an embarassing immature schoolyard bully (and that was from before the oneliner during questions that caused the blowup)... or at least that's his online persona. And *that* is the personal that seems to unify a lot of the Goons, and that eventually a lot of the rest of New Eden will tire of.

    (Even some current Goon allies may well jump ship if they thought that there was another alliance that didn't come with the misogynistic baggage. Interestingly, the Goons do treat their allies well and with respect (better than many alternatives), so it's not such a bad thing to be a Goon ally... as long as you're good at holding your nose. Sooner or later the nose-holding aspect will drive some others away.)

    (Or maybe I'm all wrong, and everybody on the Internet really is a misogynistic antisemetic racist homophobic insecure 12-year-old, and as such the Goons are where we're all going.)


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