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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Do I belong in High-sec?

For quite some time now, I've seen a pattern. It’s not GSF and TEST sweeping all before them. It isn't an uptick in grief-play. It isn't any pattern players themselves have wrought. This pattern indicates to me something more insidious. It is changing the very nature of the game we all love. I've mentioned my concerns about this before and recently. It's time to throw it down on the table and discuss why, if I’m right, it's "terrible" for Mabrick but probably good for New Eden (and maybe even Mabrick.)

I alluded to this pattern yesterday. It’s encapsulated by the “more risk more ISK” program. That line has all the earmarks of propaganda. It’s short, jingoistic, easy to remember and appeals to a basic desire - making gads of ISK. As far as jingles go, it ranks right up there with “loose lips sink ships.”

Propaganda, at its very root, is an attempt to change how people think. “Loose lips sink ships” was an effort to get people to become aware spies could overhear their discussions of letters received from deployed relatives and use that information to kill them. In the United States at least, the government had to overcome decades of isolationism and not thinking about non-Americans. Uncle Sam used the “loose lips sink ships” jingle to change the American psyche in ways it had never been bent.

So, if “more risk more ISK” is propaganda, what mindset is it trying to change? What’s the purpose of it? After giving this considerable thought, I’ve concluded it’s to entice/drive experienced players out of high security space. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, there are some really good reasons to so.

By dropping the amount of ISK that a high-sec dweller like me can earn, they are souring the proverbial milk. Working harder for less ISK is extremely unappealing. With every dev blog, it becomes harder and harder for me to maintain my profit margins. Without good profit margins, there is no incentive other than security to remain in high-sec.

And speaking of security, the new war declaration system really makes security problematic. It certainly encourages those who are already inclined to attack high-sec industrialists to become bolder about it. I think the perma-geddon declared against high-sec miners quite clearly illustrates this trend.

Another change that weakened the attraction of high-sec industry was the datacore change in the invention process. Not only are they charging high-sec industrialists for traditionally obtained datacores, they have created a system of easy LP farming through Faction Warfare that further reduces the value of datacores. In fact, it is so easy to farm LP I’ve read one week old capsuleers can even do it in crap-fit T1 frigates. That’s disgusting – from a hard working high-sec industrialist perspective.

Then there is the first Technetium “fix.” The alchemy change doesn’t help high-sec manufacturers. I think I covered that well enough last post so I’ll spare you the details here.

Taking all this together and not forgetting the so called 20% tax increase for high-sec PI, the pattern emerges. Profit margins are down in high-sec and up everywhere else. The reason for this has not actually been discussed. All we are told is “more risk more isk.” That’s disingenuous at best.

So why is CCP doing this? I believe the answer is Dust 514. No, that’s not a stretch of imagination. Hear me out.

The basic premise of Dust 514 is that a bunch of mercenaries conquers or defends planets for capsuleers. What planets? Certainly not high-sec planets! Those are all still firmly under the control of NPCs. That leaves the contestable planets in null-sec, low-sec and WH space.

What else is needed to make Dust 514 work? Well, there actually has to be capsuleers who want to contest those planets. Dust 514 will not work if Goonswarm controls all these planets. There must be war in New Eden (does that sound like an Inferno jingle to you?) or CCP doesn’t make a dime from Dust 514.

Not only must there be war, but the combatants must also be wealthy. The more mercenaries they can hire the more Dust 514 revenue CCP gets. It’s a synergy effect.

Eve Online will enable Dust 514 to exist. Dust 514 will drive future development in Eve Online in return. That future isn’t about mining barge changes or Technetium fixes or even internet spaceships in so far as they don’t serve the broader goal. The broader goal is planetary conflict. The future is war, but not in space. The future is Dust 514.

So is that a bad thing? I suppose that depends on your own preconceptions but I’m inclined to say it is not. It may be the only thing keeping Eve Online alive in fact. We’ve all seen the subscription numbers for Eve Online. To say they are not good is to commit a massive understatement. There hasn’t been any real growth in subscriptions in years. If CCP isn’t concerned about this… never mind, they are smart enough to be concerned. You should be too.

If Dust is successful, if planetary defense/conquest takes off like many think it will, Eve Online becomes a critical cog in that machine. CCP can’t pull Eve Online out of that mix. It will kill their bread and butter – the free-to-play but pay-to-win Dust 514.

The only thing that CCP can’t directly control is where capsuleers make their home. To be blunt, they need us all out of high-sec. They need us all fighting each other. And I’ll admit this only once: they need five more The Mittani driving that migration (intelligent, copious ambition and unfettered megalomania.)

This of course means the end of Mabrick Mining and Manufacturing as it has existed. If what I’ve just said is true, even a little, I can’t expect to make a living or have much fun in high-sec. High-sec will become the realm of rookies and those who only want to walk around in stations and chat (yes, I still believe that is coming.) So what is a high-sec carebear to do?

Well, I won’t tell you right now. Suffice it to say that all is not lost. If you don’t have a plan, within a plan, within a plan you are doing something wrong. I plan on doing something right. And if I’m lucky, it won’t look like I capitulated.

Fly careful.


  1. You can always mine. Veld still have price.

    You can TRADE. No other null or low-sec activity is even in the range of the ISK trading provides.

    You can manufacture.

    You can haul. Highsec is the middle of the map, the big trade hubs are all in highsec.

  2. Gevlon, the problem is that manufacturing is making less and less profits in high sec.

    One little quibble I have is the statement that the number of subscriptions has been stagnant for years. That is simply not true. For example, the number of subscriptions from Q4 2009 to the launch of Incarna rose approximately 20% (~300,000 to 370,000). A 20% in less than 2 years is not flat. And Eve's 361,000 subscriptions on its 9th anniversary in April makes it the most successful long-running (4+ years) western MMO not named World of Warcraft.

    If you would like to say that the fact that CCP has not recovered the number of subscriptions it lost from Incarna, that would be more accurate. But that is a minor quibble since it doesn't change the point you made.

    I'll be really interested to hear how your plans to deal with the situation pan out.

  3. Mabrick,

    Been reading you for a few months now, and finally posting my first comment here.

    I'm coming up on 1 year of playing Eve now. And while I'm not driven by PVP I struck upon my own solution, as I almost quit the game feeling it was rigged for longer term players, PVPers, and new players didn't have much of a place in CCP's heart.

    For months I have been out of high sec, working with a low sec corp. I've got a small "alt" corp that mines, does industry, PI, moon mining, and market trading. We support the low sec corp, and they provide us with a relatively safe area for our mining and industry activities. If a war breaks out we benefit through selling ammo and other items to all parties involved in the war.

    I actually feel safer mining low sec than I do high sec. Non-blue enters system? Get to a POS and offload. You have to watch local and DScan, but the returns are worthwhile.

  4. You're starting to sound like Ripard Teg with your wild conspiracy theories.

    CCP tries to nudge people into lower security space because it is much more interesting. Players have to play politics or bring a lot of guns to set up towers. They have to be cautious when transporting. There needs to be cooperation and intel. Low/Null/WH space are much more exciting and story-worthy than highsec, and player stories are the product of Eve.

    And many (if not all) null-sec blocks require supplies from high-sec markets. They are unable to meet demand of their distance markets because they lack either materials or manufacturing slots.

  5. Rich C just exemplified what I said. Good stuff :)

  6. If they are trying to force players out of high sec then they are misguided, to phrase it politely.

    I suspect that many players will simply percieve it as having their toons frogmarched in front of firing squads composed of drooling sociopaths and facerollers. If that happens then lots of highsec carebears will quit.

    It should be interesting to see what happens, but I suspect that CCP aren't actually capable of understanding this until the sh*t hits the fan.

    Still, it's always amusing to watch a f*ck up and maybe this could turn out to be one. It'll take its time as people are quitting atm, the corp I'm in is losing players to 'acct cancelled, cya' and all my RL friends who played Eve have moved on, mostly saying things like "what's the point? CCP suck the sweat off Mittani's balls anyway. Why waste time playing Eve?"

  7. For anyone even remotely paying attention, it's not hard to see that the decs are trying to get people to move to more dangerous game areas, mainly null. By the last numbers, less than twenty percent of players play in low and null, and the numbers were slowly dropping, especially prior to the incursion nerf. The risk/reward chant is good bullshit sung by the little griefers, and it fits with what CCP wants too. After all, they're only making changes that are in stride with what the "player base" thinks, right? The vast majority of players don't read blogs or forums. They don't want to, and don't have to - it's a fuckin' game for most, not another job. They play for fun, not another source of information overload. As such, they are oblivious to how many advantages are handed to null sec and how riskless the huge isk fountains for the big alliances really are. They're safer than high sec.

    CCP has no clue how to get players to move to low and null. They don't "get" players who just like to fly spaceships and build things and don't have a chip on their shoulder. They need those players for the bottom line in accounting, but they don't want those players screwing with their dangerous space game image. They have no clue how to make null appealing, so the only way to do it is to fuck up high sec and make null look better in comparison. Stupidly, they figure high sec players will move. They're going to get a rude awakening in time. With every pro-null update, and every fucked up patch that adds more effort to "playing", it's no surprise that subscription numbers are basically flat-lined. And for the wizard that thinks Eve is growing, you need to check the REAL numbers, the numbers that NEED to increase along with increased operation costs. The subscriptions aren't keeping up regardless what fan boys will like to imagine. I doubt dust is going to bring the horsepower to CCP like they want. What will likely happen is Eve players will play dust, and that isn't going to work either. They need console players playing dust and eve, not the other way around. I've already seen it and heard it by console players. "I have to buy armor and shit, and I lose it each time I die?? That's lame." The console players I know that play fps console games aren't interested in bigger concepts like dust offers. Games and free downloads are a dime a dozen and the least waver in interest, and the game is dead - free skill points or not.

    They'll keep trying to herd players into null, in stupid patch after stupid patch, and more and more people will walk away. For me, I'm tired of their mistakes. They broke incursions, then replaced it with the FW mess, producing multiple times more broken isk. They fucked up he UI, still bugs everywhere in it, and the lag is pathetic. Time to give Eve a pass for a while. GW2 is on this weekend, and it's simple, mindless fun, which is why I PLAY games. For fun. Eve really isn't fun right now. Maybe later in the fall it will be again if the decs ever get their heads out of their asses.

  8. But some new players actually read blogs, and try to understand the big picture, but how can a new player go to null,low or hw, and enter the "PVP" game, if I know the moment I leave Hig sec my ship will be blown up?

    Or at least this is the what I think will happen. Because hig sec are the prey to low/null/wh player, until we learn to survive and adapt.

    1. Actually, a lot of players read alarmist bullshit and "propaganda" of the opposite sort: "hisec! hisec! hisec!", said alarmist bullshit generally being propagated by people who've never been to low or null, or went to a high-null entry system like HED (which yes, those ARE all camped virtually 24/7), and were immediately popped...thus confirming the "fact" that all gates in low/null are camped 24/7, and it's a terribly dangerous place to be, always resulting in fast, instant death.

      Yes, it's true you can't AFK in low or null (unless you're in a station or POS), but you don't have to be 'powerless', and you don't always have to be a victim, and just because a couple ships are sitting on a gate doesn't mean you're going to :instaDIAF:, either.
      Yes, living in low or null takes careful action, consideration, and planning, along with doing a lot of homework, but it certainly can be done... if it was truly _that_ hard, nobody would even make the attempt.

    2. Most be more reward and frustrating the hig sec I imagine, but where does one start to think about to go to low/null/hw?

    3. "Yes, living in low or null takes careful action, consideration, and planning, along with doing a lot of homework, but it certainly can be done... if it was truly _that_ hard, nobody would even make the attempt."

      And here we have, in black & white print, the crux of the issue...
      EVE is a GAME, and many many people who play it do not want to "take careful action", "consideration, and planning", and the last thing in any world they want to do is "...a lot of homework" JUST to stay alive... hence they will NEVER willingly live in lo or null.

      They want to enjoy their time here doing things that are of INTEREST to "them"... not what is of interest to YOU.

      And believe me they'll do all the "careful action, consideration, planning and homework" they need to mine perfectly, and run massive PI ops, and even market PvP... but those are the FUN aspects of the game for "them"... losing they stuff, is NOT. Having to spend any of their limited gametime on "careful action, consideration, planning and homework" to avoid losing they stuff in lo or null (where there are NO cops) is, for many, a complete 'waste their gametime'.

      For those into PvP, THAT is their FUN and they will spend their limited gametime on "careful action, consideration, planning and homework" in order to plan and execute the perfect gank, to run a successful gate camp, to FC a ship killer roam, to wipe out every miner in a system...
      That is YOUR "fun"... not theirs. And the two shall never meet.

      Two play styles, one 'verse... endless conflict. THIS is what CCP wants.

    4. Albert, get a T1 frigate and go into low sec. Once you're past the entry system, you just need to look at who's in local and what is on your directional scanner. Unlike nullsec, there are no bubble to worry about so it's pretty forgiving :) Once you're familiar with your environment, you can use a blockade runner and start doing business.

    5. Buddy key yourself and instantly plex it. You have spent one month's sub money and now have one month's game time on your main and 51 days on your second account (and no annoying trial restrictions). Train a character to fly a T1 Frigate with a Prototype cloak on your throwaway account. Training a salvager too is great as you'll find a lot of valuable T2 wrecks in nullsec. Off you go as a space tourist. If you get blown up buy another T1 frigate. It's close to free, will teach you a lot about the game and may make you some isk.

    6. @Fluffy Hyena, thats for the tip i will try that.
      @Stabs I saw that promotion on the web site and was think about it, but now with your tips, the buddy thing seams more appealing.

    7. Fluffy, that's the kind of bullshit I'm talking about... as if one HAS to be "a carebear" who likes spreadsheets, mining-optimized Hulks and cargo-optimized Orcas... OR you HAVE to be "[ebil] l337 PvP", and there IS no in-between (join a "l337 PvP alliance" or coalition, and you'll constantly hear "we don't do that carebear shit. we're l337 PvP.").

      Maybe for most(?) of you, that's true... But you mean to tell me that I am really the _only_ person around who enjoys doing carebear shit sub-optimally (running plexes/anoms in low/null in PvP-fit ships), and sub-l337 PvP... or at least the only one who actually bothers to be vocal about it? Really? :-/ Is the playerbase SO split between black (PvP) and white (carebear) playstyles that there's literally no room for in-between???

    8. Hong, I didn't think I needed to spell it out in my previous comment, but here we go:"[...] doing business to fund your PvP habit". And I think most PvPers fund their habit through carebear activities (PI, manufacturing, trading, etc.). So the whole PvP/carebear divide is mostly between 10 (extremely vocal) percents at each end of the spectrum, while the rest of us is mostly in the middle doing a bit of both.
      Finally your grumpiness makes you unique, not your flying skills :)

    9. Albert,

      Make friends join a corp :). People are out there to hand hold the new

    10. I do not have any friend interest in EVE, but my 5 mates coop is doing good I followed Fluffy Hyena Advice and today went the first time to Low sec, we even killed a "red" target.
      So I got my first taste of PVP.

  9. "The risk/reward chant is good bullshit sung by the little griefers, and it fits with what CCP wants too."
    ^Too true... and it has RL allegories too, you know. The Gold Rush of 1849 was just a cleverly-executed tarp to lure unsuspecting carebears out of the safe, civilized hisec of the East to the then-nullsec of the Wild, Wild be ganked and looted. I promise you, no monies were really made, and many sweet delicious life-sustaining tears were to be had at the hands of the evil robber barons of the mid-19th century. All that "history" shit you see in the museums is just cleverly-crafted lais to cover up the real truth. ;-)

    Always remember, there's a gatecamp at every mountain pass and bridge out West, and all that bullshit about breaking it big and making tons is just lies to draw you in. Best to stay in your easy, comfortable, civilized life in New York or Boston.
    /history-lesson with a dollop of condescention and sarcasm

    I keep hearing about how "daaaannnngerous" low and null are. I've "lived most of my life" in low, and spent much of the past 5 or so months in null... and sov null, other than a few scattered population centers, is largely desolate. You can go jumps and jumps without seeing another soul in local, blue or otherwise.
    Even Fountain and Cloud Ring, regions belonging almost entirely to the mighty CFC (lol), have only a few small pockets of "civilization", with tons of jumps of very, VERY empty space in-between.

    Don't believe me? Go to DOTLAN. Look at null and low regions. Look at jumps per 24hrs, ship/podkills per 24 hrs, and NPC kills per 24hrs, and stations, and kinda meld all those maps together in your head. Especially in sov null, you'll see large swaths of _nothing_, with small areas that show lots of activity, usually in and immediately around station systems.

    Or is DOTLAN part of the vast conspiracy to herd carebears rank-and-file into the gaping maw of we 'ebil PvPers'? ;-)

    1. Using the Wild West mythology to support your argument? Hong your trolling really has gone rusty :) Because you're omitting two big parts:
      - that rush only lasted 5 years,
      - and after that local government was established.
      Maybe you should complement your knowledge of history with books?

      At least you've gone off poasting, so there's still hope you might become witty again.

    2. Actually, local government was in place before the Gold Rush. I don't need to read books... I work in the Sierra Nevada, and live about an hour from some of the best-kept-up historical boomtowns of that age. Don't need books, I can (and do) easily drive up and check out the history first-hand. ;-)
      But you sadly missed the whole point I was making (obvious hyperbole should've been obvious, obviously not to everyone)... here, have a Jack London book. ;-)

    3. My point is't with the hyperbole, it's with the metaphor comparing the Gold Rush to moving to null sec, California in 1849 to null sec and late 19th c. New York to hisec :)

    4. Thanks for bringing up the Gold Rush, I was wondering what to read next :) So I've just bought a history of California and another of the compromise of 1850.

  10. Man... Hong, I ead your blog and respect you as "one-of-us", both as a blogger and a citizen of New Eden... but man, sometimes you sound so outta touch with virtulity.

    Deserts Are Dangerous. Full of rattlers and scorps and things that go PEW in the black. The REASON null is a vast wasteland and Empire is where 90%+ of the New Eden citezenry live is because it regardless of poulation density, it is enherently vastly moar dangerous to fly through than any route taken thru Hisec. Period.

    My CEO once got stuck on the wrong side of a closed hole in null in a very spensive DS. Another corpmate went down and scouted him out... No Prob, they dint see even ONE pilot in local all the way back. That is not the issue, the issue is when you DO see ANYONE in local not Blue, they want to, can and often will attack without provocation or reason other than IT'S A NEUT!!! SIC 'IM!!

    You know this as well as anyone. If you do not want to join the CFC or some other Sov holder in Null, if your game is not PvP based and you want the risk/reward that comes with life in NPC Null, then, in Lo and Null, you are nothing but a target, 23/7/365. Now yu 'can' go for weeks without seeeing anyone... but when you do, and eventually you will, YOU ARE A TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY, period.

    Deserts are deadly... in RL and in EVE. and you know it.

    1. Deserts are deadly to the _untrained_. Then again, people who train for it, or just simply grew up in it, knowing no other life... are just as "safe" in the desert as a New Yoikah is walkin by Madison Square Garden.

      Problem is, people forget that "there are other places than these". I've lived and worked on a daily basis in the Sierra Nevada for going on 5 yrs now, including in the backcountry and wilderness areas. Were I to take a city-dweller and drop them off out there, with only "take what you think ya might need" as advice, I could expect to find them dead in a week, on a fairly-consistant basis.
      Someone who's had training, though, or help... would eventually learn, adapt, and do just fine.

      Same thing. :-)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. (First I dunt know what happened, but my 1st post above lost like half the text... weird. Let's try this again...)

      Ahhh, correct. Deserts ARE deadly to the untrained... but cities are not NEARLY as deadly...

      Cities have dangers, yes, but they also have Police and Fire Departments and Ambulance Services and Hospitals and Leash Laws and Sanitation Services and publicly available running water and Stations and Station Guns and Gate Guns and CONCORD and NPC Police... get it???

      Deserts have... well, sand and snakes and no shade and NO FREE FLOWING WATER (it is a desert right) and moar sand and cactus and rocks and uh, sand... and... well, not much in the way of tax paid for public amenities and readily available pubbie assistance... and stations you can’t dock in and a very sparse population of people who, if/when they see you or find you, WILL KILL you on sight for no reason other than that you are there… (unless you play their game, their way).

      Oh and NPC deserts do have publicly accessible stations... and... uh... rattlesnakes and scorpions... and a sparse population of… ya-da ya-da (you get my drift right?)

      Again, you are tasking people to spend their valuable free time, their game time, to train up on things YOU care about so they will play YOUR game. City dwellers dunt wanna play with you out in your desert... strangely enough, it’s why they live in 'cities'. Quit trying to make a case that they "should" just cause you want to live where there is NO LAW and yer lonely...

      Yes there are statistically vastly more ship kills in Empire... Duh, 99% of EVE effin lives there. I would bet ANYTHING if you moved ALL the Hisec population of EVE to Null tomorrow the percentage of ship kills per capita would:
      (1) skyrocket of the charts instantly...
      and as a consequence:
      (b) 98% of EVE would quit and go play Tanks or WoW or canasta...

      And all the dedicated Lo & Nullbears would be left all alone... with no one to play with but each other.. until CCP shut down due to a sudden unexpected financial crisis.

      All Lo and Null sec dwellers who argue so hard that Lo and Null are the be all and end all of EVE are like... ghouls creeping around in the dark, squinting into the bright lights where all the other people live… having fun and doing things… and ya’ll are desperately trying to entice people out into the dark so you can kill and eat them. Effin Creepy.

      And no, it’s not the same thing... =]

    4. Wow... Talk about a meandering rant that pretty much completely misses the point... tl;ra, but whatever.

      The problem isn't that there's cities, suburbs, and wildlands...or Murrica, Ecuador, and Somalia, to use one of my other analogies... The problem is that like RL, city-dwellers show up in the wildlands completely unprepared for it, are surprised as fuck to find there's no 5-star hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and cops within a 5-minute response window. How do I know that? Spent the past 3 yrs bailing out city-dwellers who made said mistake and were lucky enough to have someone come along at the right place and time to help them

      Likewise, in game, many "city dwellers" take a vacation jaunt to low or null completely uneducated and unprepared, encounter the wrong people at the wrong time, and have a very unpleasant experience resulting in either their never returinng and likely proliferating the rumors that "here be they dragons" (more likely), or deciding to learn the ways and become a "dragon" themselves (heh yeah right).
      Some, like me, moved to low or null for reasons that really have nothing to do with "l33t PvP" or being a "nullbear"... Again: there's more sides to things than 2... just saying.

  11. uh sry, in the above my spelin were bad and I dint check... will spel betah in da footure... =]

  12. Sometimes it looks to me as if CCP would be very happy if their customers would only PvP using multiple accounts and paying for the ships using plexes. Having their cake and eating it twice, if you like :)
    Maybe CCP should do a new ad:"Why spend your fun time on ISK making activities, when the money from 2 hours of real life work can buy you 500 million ISK? That's half a billion ISK! Less grinding, more PvPing!"

  13. Sorry Mabrick, I've got to disagree that CCP are nerfing hisec income to try and drive players to Null/Lowsec, especially as part of a wider goal of driving conflict in Dust.

    CCP have undone a lot of the nerfs to Incursions, putting them back on the map as a viable ISK source. They've massively buffed hisec mining by removing drone poo and meta 0 loot - mining in hisec is now the most profitable I can remember it being. Hell, Scordite is now worth about as much per m3 as Bistot is. I'll grant that the PI taxes are a pain, but as far as I know they're cutting into profits rather than driving PI into the negative. As for Technetium, CCP have committed to fixing moongoo monopolies and are taking the first steps on that path in about a month or so. Whether or not you agree that it will work, it's definitely not going to make things worse. Even with the wardecs, CCP aren't working against hisec. It now costs MORE to dec a small hisec corp than it used to (I think the old fees were something like 10mil per week, definitely less than the 50mil minimum now).

    I think you're looking a little too closely at what's happened to you personally and you're applying that to everyone else in hisec; you got singled out for a Goon wardec in the new war system, so hisec wars must be a problem for the rest of hisec. Your profits from T2 invention and manufacture are down, so everyone's profits in hisec must be down. Bear in mind that the tech prices hurting T2 production aren't any plan of CCP's - Tech has been broken for over a year now, but it was bearable right up until Mittens got control over the majority of tech production through conquest and diplomacy and decided to troll the rest of EVE. That's player action, not CCP design. The same is true with the Goon bounty on exhumers which, incidentally, seems to have lost a lot of its allure; I've been mining in hisec for a few weeks now and not seen any more gank attempts than I did pre-Hulkageddon, and the local icebelts are full of macks once again.

    1. Mining in high sec is insanely profitable because it's safer to mine in Deklein if you're blue to all the neighbours than it is to mine in the Forge. Risk v reward, high sec mining is very high risk, hence a lack of people mining Scordite which is trivially easy to find near Jita but is now the second most valuable ore.

      The minerals market confirms Mabrick's point, it doesn't contradict it.

    2. ALL mining got boosted, not just high sec. Singling out high sec and inferring that it's a change aimed at high sec, is pure bullshit. It was a change aimed at dealing with the rampant bot use in null in the drone region. Read the dev comments. It worked though, and put ALL miners back in the game, but hasn't dealt with all the ratting and site bots in null yet though. Null mining is also, predominantly, safer because few will venture deep in a big alliances territory to go after their miners. EVERYWHERE in high sec, at anytime, is fair gAme Keith minimal effort.

      PI was nerfed in high sec to try to force players into low population low sec, or move PI into null, where the planets already have a production advantage over high. Another plan by CCP to make players play somewhere other than high sec. Technetium has been broken for years, far longer and far worse than high sec incursions, but it's been like that for years and is a big isk draw and big benefit to null players. CCP isn't going to rock the boat much on that, and they've shown how slow they are to do any rocking at all.

      War dec fees are laughable and the recent changes changed none of that. As a solo player, I could easily keep the goons perma dec'd. If you're trying to claim that an extra forty million a week is a big change to griefer corps, you know little about Eve. If CCP actually DID want PVP to rule the Eve universe, which they don't, they could have had that until they changed the war dec mechanics. With allies, the whole Eve 'verse could have been a huge combat zone, including high sec, including MAINLY high sec. But CCP didn't want that and neither do the griefer corps. High sec players could have taken it to the griefer corps and big null sec alliances. Instead of the griefers hiding in null and screwing with eighty percent of the player base when it was convenient for THEM, the other eighty percent, the high sec players, actually had a mechanism where they could say fuck you to people like the goons, and now the high sec players were in the driver seat. No more griefing and no more could griefers control high sec players with griefer decs. CCP wasn't going to sit while they "screwed up" and actually put power BACK in the hands of high sec players. They've been taking shit OUT of high sec, not putting it in. So they changed allies to put the power back in the hands of griefers and null.

      Doesn't matter whether things like OTEC are player constructs or not. The monopoly is allowed to happen because CCP wants players to look at it like "Hey! I'm moving to null so I can get in on all the crazy tech isk too!". The more advantages given to null,and the more that high sec is nerfed, the more CCP figures players will want to play there. They're wildly deluded. You claim Mabrick has a skewed perspective. He doesn't - it's exactly the way things are stacking up in high sec. YOU, however, have the typical "downplay everything" from the null/low point of view. Propaganda as much as the whole risk/reward bullshit schtick

    3. Without wanting to go into massive amounts of detail, in the last couple of months I have made billions of ISK mining in hisec with Exhumers. In that time I haven't had an attempted gank on my ships, and have only seen about 3 or 4 attempts at ganking in the systems I mine in. At the risk of inviting Goon wrath upon my head and the heads of my fellow miners, people have grown bored of constant ganking and the ongoing Goon bounty isn't enough to change that. It still happens in the lower end of hisec, but you don't need to go anywhere near that to find the likes of Scordite. Even in those systems I don't think anyone goes for heavily tanked Hulks

      In general, I'm not arguing that things like the drone poo change or the wardec change are intended to buff hisec specifically, I'm arguing that they are not mechanics that were aimed at moving players out of hisec by making life there harder than it is now, which is what Mabrick was suggesting. I'm not sure how you can argue that making Wardecs *more* expensive is a nerf to hisec simply because the new fee is still a pittance. For the mining, yes it's across the board, but it didn't need to be, did it? CCP could have modified refining for drone poo so that it only gives out trit, pyerite, maybe mexallon and isogen as well so that the value of mining in nullsec rose while mining in hisec stayed unprofitable, which would still have evened out the value of Drone regions. Instead they buffed all mining, which includes hisec. That's not the path I would expect to see if there's some overarching goal of forcing players out of hi and in to low/null.

    4. Making war decs more expensive isn't a nerf to high sec. The war dec cost s are still a joke. The nerf to high sec is the way CCP changed the ally mechanics because that allowed a small high sec corp, the frequent target of griefer decs, to actually have an adequate chance at defending itself against huge griefer corps/alliances. It's ok for griefers to perma-dec a small corp, but it's not ok for the small corp to be able to turn the table with allies. CCP didn't want that, especially when the tables were turned on a null sec group, so it was changed.

      The drone region was the biggest source of minerals in the game. It was also the biggest target of macroers and bots. It was also one of the biggest sources of rmt, because of the bots. CCP had bigger problems to worry about than their plan to try to get players into null. The fact that miners were brought back into the game is a side effect of dealing with the massive imbalance that the drones brought not only to the game economy, but also to The issues of rmt. CCP helped high sec miners indirectly, not intentionally.

  14. As for Dust, it will stand or fall on its merits as a console FPS, not because it's linked in with an internet spaceship game. I'm actually not sure the EVE-conquest thing is really going to be attractive to the Dust-only players; as I understand it, taking contracts for players will require those players to run logistics for the mercs, moving gear and clones in for them to the areas they're attacking or defending, which is probably going to result in very one-sided matches when attacking established territory. Imagine a match where your side only has 50 lives and your enemies have 500. For an EVE player they'll understand why this is happening and maybe even be able to influence it with their EVE character, but someone who just plays the console FPS isn't likely to care that much about why the last match was unwinnable, just that it couldn't be won.

    On the general level of risk/reward, CCP can't really influence anything that revolves around buying one item, doing something with it and using it to make a profit (buying, moving and relisting for more or buying, using for invention/manufacture and selling the products) because they're inherently in the hands of players and subject to speculation and sudden shifts in demand as something becomes the new FOTM. The broad-level controls they have, they are using; hence the changes to tech that are coming soon. The parts they can affect, ratting, missions, incursions and mining, do seem to practice what's being preached. Running anomalies in nullsec is better reward than L4s, but has higher risk. Mining arkonor is more reward than mining Veldspar, but again, more risk. When people say "Nullsec is safer for mining than hisec" what they mean is "In hisec when someone warps into the belt I'm in I have no idea if they're another miner or setting up a warpin for a gank squad. I don't know if any of the random people I can see in local chat are about to drop on my head in a destroyer and start shooting. In Null as soon as someone who's not blue shows up in local I know that they're out to get me and can take appropriate precautions." It's that difference between having know idea if you're at risk or not in hisec and knowing with certainty when you're in danger in Null that people are referring to; you're not actually less likely to encounter a hostile player in Null, you'll just know sooner that they are hostile.

  15. I had an alternative take on DUST 514; EVE subscription numbers are relatively tiny but once someone is over the hurdle they are committed/invested in the game they are motivated to stay. But imagine a console player - who is used to beating a game in a week and moving to the next one - downloading a F2P game. I can not imagine a less committed "customer." So this person pays their $0.26 for the BiS, lost-upon-death armor and then goes out and dies due to CFC being CFC. If CCP lets EVE players treat new DUST players the way they treat new EVE players, I estimate that DUST revenue will be quite disappointing.

    I found it preferable to leave EVE than keep trying to swim upstream. Partly because there are so many interesting games out there now. In particular, in a world where MMOs are under real pressure from people who like to log on for LoL or WoT for 30-45 minutes and play immediately. This is not 2005 EQ; a typical play session may be shorter than my travel time in EVE. It's not just the UI and single-core engine; it's the sensibilities that are also showing it is a decade old game. GW2 & WoP versus learning to be self-sufficient 30 jumps into 0.0?

    Most of what I read about in blogs, posts and CSM minutes are about making a game that the most active enjoy more but that fewer people want to play. That does not seem like a profitable way to grow a subscription business.

    I am not sure how important EVE is to the future success of EVE. If DUST does really well, the CCP and EVE are in good shape. If DUST is a big disappointment, then CCP has layoffs again this year. Whether EVE numbers go up 10% or down 10% is less important than the markets verdict on DUST.

    1. DUST, well, DUST is like Halo. Aside from the skill points, which I can get me head around, the in gam players that know nothing of Eve don't understand the point of it, or the concept, but they understand how it works. There's fewer than 500 players on at any time I've been on, and for a beta, the options of locales is pretty limiting. With a spring release, the scope of the game isn't very impressive. Two maps. The spawn camping is mind numbing too. Where Dust COULD go, is pretty exciting. Where it WILL go, I think, is pretty much nowhere. 500 players? Pretty weak. How CCP plans to handle the control centre captures, planet control, and the like, remains to be seen. Hopefully they don't fuck that up like they've done so many times recently with Eve updates. I think what will mostly happen is DUST will be played byEve layers with a PS3. There are thousands of games out there, and I think console players will maybe try DUST, and then they'll walk away. I'm also interested to see how they plan to port communications between Eve and Dust. Especially real time comms.


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