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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Carebears Keep Out!

I read with some interest the report on Eve News24 last week about the change to NCDOT recruitment practices. In a nut shell, they only want proven killers in their alliance. This means perspective members must have quadruple digit kill stats among several other requirements including a 35 million SP requirement. I wasn't very troubled about this because they oppose Goonswarm and the Deklein Coalition.

This evidently did not go unnoticed in the coalition, specifically Fatal Ascension. Today I received this, "Just this weekend, 2 corps left on their own (they were asked to go), 2 or 3 more were told to merge with other corps, like [my old corps] did, and a couple were outright booted. Total of 7 corps changed status. Interestingly, they were all at the bottom of the alliance killboards." The pilots in the booted or asked to leave corporations were given an ultimatum, join a new corp higher up the kill-board or get out. DOTLAN seems to confirm this report.

And the difference between being part of the in crowd and part of the out crowd in FA is staggering. My friend says, "They talk about setting up POSs in the system we are going to call home in Pure Blind where FA jsut [sic] set up a new station. A permanent station. IT's amazing the difference between a corp in good standing and a corp on probation all the time."

So what is really going on here? I'm glad you asked. I can't really speak to the inner politics of null-sec or rumors of war. That would be out of line with the purpose of this blog. What I can discuss is the possible consequence of these sorts of requirements on Eve Online and the Industrialist community in general.

Now we have FA, though not so forthright in their proclamations, dumping low-kill corps and filtering out the Industrialists as they go. The same correspondence that brought me the news from within FA also stated that many of the pilots that moved to new corps did so because they had considerable assets in Fade they need to get out and no guarantee was given they could do so later. For an Industrialist you might as well put a gun to their head. We are all about assets. They are our livelihood.

But how will those large alliances make ISK you ask? Automatically is my answer. Moon mining is mostly that now. It requires a little upkeep but it certainly is not a full time job. With most of the null-sec alliances signed up for the Organization of Technetium Exporting Corporations (OTEC) or passively supporting the goals of OTEC, there is no more need to worry about ISK. In just a few short months OTEC has managed to almost double the price of key T2 components and perma-geddon has almost doubled the price of ice isotopes.

Null-sec alliances no longer have to worry about their coffers. As my friend points out, "At the same time, Pure Blind (our space) has more tech moons than any place else in EVE. FA has tons of ISK from this stuff." They can either keep the pre-OTEC cash flow going nicely with almost no work required or nearly double it with part-time work. It may even be that all the l33t PvPers have alts that run this stuff for them to pay for their PvP habit. Who am I to really say.

What I can say is that these policies, by two of the biggest alliances in null-sec, are patently Industrialist unfriendly. Goonswarm is frankly no different. TEST may have their carebears but they too are a PvP alliance. I don't think many can argue with these observations.

The alliances that control null-sec are creating a climate where full-time Industrialists are not wanted nor tolerated. A true carebear will probably never have a 1000+ kill-board. That's not what we find fun in Eve Online. I personally will never have a 1000+ kill-board - there is no reward for me in blowing someone up. I've had enough of that RL. That precludes me outright from one of the most prominent null-sec alliances in the game - period. This puts industrialists between a big rock (CCP) and a large hard place (NCDOT, FA, Goonswarm, TEST.)

There is a feeling within the EvE community that the game is at a crossroads. I share this feeling, but not in the way most feel it. These latest developments have me worried about viable future playing styles within Eve Online. It is clear to me that CCP favors conflict. It's what Dust 514 and Inferno are all about. Dust 514 requires a New Eden burning like Jita never burned. In an age where CCP is trying to push as many experienced players as possible out of high-sec, we now have these alliances, who control much of the space we industrialists could move to, saying in effect, "keep out, we don't want you!" What's a hard working industrialist to do?

Fly careful.

16 comments:

  1. There is a significant point missing here (both at you at the "l33t PvP" crowd): ISK can't fly. Ships are made of materials that someone has to mine and haul.

    The reason why they can live on Tech profit is that there are lot of carebears in highsec who mine them Veld and ready to sell them for pennies.

    If CCP manages to somehow make people move out of highsec, there will be less veld, veld price goes up and the Tech ISK won't pay for ships.

    So don't worry, the invisible hand will sort it out.

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    1. Gevlon, have you been to 0.0? Actually gone out and done industrialist stuff out there?

      Lets see. Mining is safer in deep Null; gates are bubbled, systems are cyno jammed. It's also faster; asteroids are larger so less wasted cycles and a higher % of high quality asteroids.

      PI is better in null too.

      All the moon goo is already out in Null as well.

      There is only one reason that nullsec is not the industrial base of Eve. Build slots. Highsec has them, null doesn't. So everything has to be shipped to highsec to be put into an oven. But that is about to change. Part of the revamp of POSs is significantly upping the number of buildslots available in Null.

      Why would I be a highsec industrialist when I have a better source of minerals in Null, better PI in Null, direct access to tech goop in Null, and access to as many build slots as I need in null? The only thing I'd need to outsource is invention mats and tech3 mats. And highsec needs to outsource for those already.

      The invisible hand only works in a free market, but Eve isn't truly a free market. There are outside pressures influencing prices. And in the next year or two the balance of industrial power is going to drastically shift away from Highsec to Nullsec. To a limited degree it's already happening because the new Super Alliances[tm] are able to manipulate the availability of key resources through economic or military influence. Ice, Tech, yada yada. CCP's game design choices coming down the pipe are just going to accelerate it.

      Eve isn't just at one cross roads btw Malbrick. It's at several. Industry is in the process of being rebuilt. Sov warfare, if you listen to CCP, is having a facelift soon. Ship rebalancing. Yada yada. By the end of next year CCP will have chosen a path for the entire game to head down for the next several years. All the basic building blocks of New Eden that have sat mostly the same for the last 10 years are being reshuffled in the next 3-4 coming expansions.

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  2. What's a hard working industrialist to do?

    I think you're being unduly alarmist. There are always fluctuations in levels of elitism in null recruitment, there are always upcoming or returning alliances who will recruit any warm body. So if you did want to join null you could.

    I also think high sec is pretty healthy. Trading volume is a little slow but margins are really high. A lot of my long term slow sellers have sold leaving me almost uncomfortably cash rich (I hate owning isk that could be, say, Guidance Systems instead).

    Wormhole space is very viable. I'm planning a series on my blog soon on wormhole space carebearing so watch out for that.

    DUST will see a huge upsurge in trade and manufacture, particularly PI-related orbital structures. Now would be an excellent time to do PI and prepare for the early 2013 launch of DUST. (I'm slowly turning billions of isk worth of P2s exported from W-space into P4s waiting for the new orbital structure blueprints).

    Mining could be amazing. High sec mining is interdicted because mittani (and pretty much only him) wants to spend Goon alliance money on this project. I think he said it's costing 100m a month. When null heats up and when he leaves the CEO job Goon funding for that is likely to stop while Trit and Pye remain absurdly high. (I actually gave up mining in w-space because nothing was significantly more valuable than Scordite). Goons on the AT panel mentioned that Mittani is probably going soon.

    So I think Eve is in a pretty good position for industrialists. There'll be ring mining soon too!

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    1. Maybe it's just because I'm coming at this from a mining perspective rather than an industrialist, so I'm actually a fan of lower supply since it makes my time more valuable, but I'm not seeing much evidence of the hisec mining interdiction these days.

      As I've said before icebelts seem to be full of Macks and there are hulks back among the rocks as well. I'm actually wondering if mineral prices at this point aren't something of a bubble that's going to burst; it's already happened with Nitrogen isotopes and seems to be happening with the other 'topes as well - 3 weeks ago nitrotopes were about 1250-1300 each in Jita, now they're in the high-900s and I've seen them drop as low as 950; they're coming closer to their pre-Hulkageddon high of 800 (which was slowly increasing as well, until Hulkageddon spiked it). Looking at other isotopes it seems the same is happening to them, they're just a little behind the curve.

      I have to admit I've been using the isotope prices as an indicator for how much the interdiction is affecting mining, seeing as they can only be mined by barges and exhumers and only exhumers (in particular the more-fragile Mackinaw) get any bonuses to doing so. If their prices are coming down it seems a good forecast for the rest of the low-end minerals.

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  3. Why not the rise of the mining/industrial corporation and then alliance. Part of the issue is always you are not leet killa or leet skill points or leet numbers if joining any corp or alliance irrespective of your preferred playstyle.

    So, why not do it yourselves? Then, once you're of a size, negotiate either space on a supply terms basis or an area of space plus blue standings?

    There are ways and ways. But they all predicate on being sufficiently big. A lone pilot or ten is not going to sway any diplo. A couple of hundred plus indy people(esp carebears with teeth) is something they will take seriously...

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  4. Goonswarm has a ton of industrialists. Hope that helps.

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  5. "What I can say is that these policies, by two of the biggest alliances in null-sec, are patently Industrialist unfriendly."
    You can probably comfortably add SoCo to that list. Wasn't _exactly_ that way when I joined En Garde, but has since become that way. l337 PvP or GTFO.

    Surprisingly (since apparently I'm an ebil, carebear-hating, froth-spewing, die-hard PvPer who condones and participates in griefing ... and can't disagree because never let facts like killboards get in the way of a good smear I always say!) ... I'm seriously considering Option B. ;-)

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    1. You wear your froth flecked spittle well.

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  6. "But how will those large alliances make ISK you ask?". Actually, I didn't ask since it was reasonably obvious. Between ratting / salvaging, moon mining, bots and PI you can make a pretty easy passive income. PI is fiddly but nowhere near as soul-destroyingly boring as mining.

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  7. I recently applied to a corp associated with CFC (Yea, even people who don't agree with your view read your blog) and got rejected.

    Reason: No PVP experience.

    Now that isn't surprising at all except they explicitly say "No PVP experience required" which made me apply in the first place. Result was a waste of their time, a waste of my time and the impression that they are not very well organised.

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  8. The restructuring of the sov-holding alliances towards PvP only isn't a surprise. It allows them to focus, get a good idea of the number of combat pilots available, and measure member corp performance. This is all possible with an alliance that comprises both PvP and industry focused corporations but is more difficult. Think of it as simplification of management rather than anything against industrialists per-se.

    The option is to form an industrial alliance and rent space from a sov-holding alliance. The PvP sov-holder gets what they want, passive income from renters, and a lure for roaming gangs. The industrialists get what they want, access to the bounties of 0.0, with defined overheads.

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  9. One quick thing to add - anyone wanting pvp experience on their cv just join RvB for a few weeks. It's great fun, they're lovely people and you'll get more kills than most of the elite pvpers you're hoping to join.

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    1. Stabs is correct. I have an Alt in RvB, she can barely fly a T1 fit Rifter, badly... and her Kill/Loss is 37/12... and the fleet fight are crazy fun!

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  10. erm...price of isotopes is dropping. welcome to last month's news

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  11. All functionaly nullsec alliances have lots of industrial/logistics players, for exactly the reasons outlined above. In Goonswarm, they're in the regular corps in the alliance, and GS's outstanding industrial and logistics players are central to Goonswarm's success. In most other coalitions, the industrialists are in secondary alliances (frequently renter corps). For example, a number of corporations in Northern Associates (NCDot's renter alliance) do a large amount of industry in Tribute. CVA and their allies in Providence do lots of industry, too, and are certainly open to people from highsec.

    If you want to find a corp or alliance in nullsec that does a lot of industry, look for a system with a high industry development index (on the in-game map), look at the alliance that holds sov there, and find out see what corp the pilots flying/living in the system are in. You'll find systems like that all across nullsec, as every nullsec alliance needs those players.

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