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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Place to Call my Own

Anyone versed in EVE Online's latest blog-o-sphere controversies knows the shit-storm brewing for this year's expansions. No, I'm not referring to BB44 and the "local" discussion. I am talking about POS changes - or lack there of - and the growing comment thread about it.

So, up until about six months ago I knew two things about POS living: diddly and squat. Now that I've had nearly half a year living exclusively in a POS, I certainly know their shortcomings. Still, I am not an expert, having recently just learned how POS management works. Therefore I am not going to discuss how to make the existing POS system better.

The biggest issue doesn't even seem to revolve around how difficult the POS management interface is. Don't get me wrong now. I've seen it. It's a nightmare. But that's not what most pilots really care about. What concerns them is the fact they have no control over their ships, their production runs or their possessions while living in a POS. I understand that. I've had my ships "borrowed" without permission myself. I've had arrays off lined in the middle of a production run. I've also partaken of "corp" assets to refit ships for special occasions. I've flown "corporate" ships - the Vengeance I was using for example.

Living in a POS is a 50-50 deal that's plagued with issues and one unscrupulous corp mate can ruin it in about 10 minutes. We've all heard the horror stories. The guy who off lined the hanger, found a smartbombing Raven and destroyed everything. Search You Tube, POS security failures are well documented.

And that leads me to addressing the real issue most capsuleers talk about. Reading through the various blogs and comments about it, I see one recurring sentiment. I've named it "a place to call my own" syndrome.

While I have no solution for the POS problem, I do have something that will address the "place to call my own" syndrome for most capsuleers. CCP has already laid the ground work for it. I'm not sure how far it's gone, but I'd wager further than we let it.

I am talking about Incarna. Yes dammit, it's that walking in stations bullshit again. If that pisses you off go read something else. This isn't for you. This is for those who long for a place of their own and an alternative to vulnerable POS industry. A place CCP might be able to implement without too much fuss. First, let's review the types of space and how this idea will apply to them.
  • High Security Space - Highly Applicable
  • Low Security Space - Applicable
  • NPC Null Security Space - Applicable
  • Player Null Security Space - Probably Not Applicable (Outposts?)
  • Wormholes - Not Applicable
So straight off this will not help wormhole dwellers. We will continue to exist as we do for some time to come. That's okay. The freedom is worth it. Player owned null-sec will also see little benefit from this. However, that's only 25% of the player base.

For the rest, all they need to do is get CCP to open that damn door. You know the one I'm talking about. However, there needs to be one caveat to opening the door. It only opens on one station, in one system. CONCORD makes Captains Quarters available in every station. They give you personal hanger space in every station. But only one station is your home. That's the station in which you can expand.

Having visited a lot of low-sec systems over the past half year, I've always been amazed at how may POS there are. In some systems, every fracking moon has a POS orbiting it. In addition to that, there is usually at least one station if not four.

Would it not make better sense to move the functionality players want from their POS into the existing stations? Incarna is the framework to do that. You can purchase whatever additions you desire for your personal office/factory. It gets handled separately from local space, it does not impact node performance for Internet spaceships, and it resolves the biggest downside to POS usage by taking the usage out of the POS. That's the idea at least.

"Okay Mabrick, what can I buy?" I thought you'd never ask. With ISK or Loyalty Points or both, you can buy the following:
  • Personal Manufacturing Lines
  • Personal Research Labs
  • Personal Copying Facilities
  • Gambling Dens for separating pilots from their ISK
  • Tattoo parlors where players can sell custom tattoos they create to other players
  • Anything else CCP can use to separate you from your ISK
That last bit is not a mistake or a lack of coming up with something else either. It is more of a nudge for CCP. We've all read discussions concerning ISK faucets and ISK sinks. CCP is always in need of sinks to soak up extra ISK coming into the economy. When they can't, they nerf very popular game play elements to limit ISK creation. That's very unpopular and ultimately self-defeating for CCP. They want to attract new players, not drive them away.

This would give them a perpetual and expandable ISK sink. Besides charging you a healthy sum for your personal station space, there should be a tax on every transaction just as there currently is. If a station has 20 public invention slots and they are all busy all the time, it is at the limit of how much ISK it can soak up. However, if 100 pilots have four personal invention slots each, not only does it quadruple the tax base, but the increased turnaround time will actually have another multiplying affect on the sink as more jobs are completed more quickly. What are you waiting for CCP? This looks like a dream come true for CCP Dr. EyjoG. And it will give capsuleers what they seem to be clamoring for the most over on the POS thread.

Fly Careful


  1. This, This and THIS DAMMIT!!! *prints out Mab's post, adds another ream of blank paper and slaps Alistair across the face with it* Go back to World of Tanks you twerp.

    (BTW who's this Alistair guy?) =]

  2. I love these ideas ( especially the tattoo parlour since I'm an artist myself!). Now let's pray CCP will get mindblown by it!

  3. Just a note .. there is already a new subtle isk sink .. insurance costs. With each rebalance the mineral cost goes up - but as these are 'extra minerals' they don't get reflected in insurance payback.

    The biggest swizzle is the BC rebalance, the tier2s go up in mineral cost by about 7-15% .. for what is effectively a nerf (they are all being balanced downwards).

  4. I think the 'space of my own' is actually a great selling point for new players and actually works towards giving Incarna content a little more desireable because once players have a home what are they going to want to do with it? Furnish it! Customise it, and make it their own space how they want it!

    Want to store more ships? Buy more hanger space / modules & pay rent on the upkeep of those modules.

    Low / null / WH POS modules could also be combined to make larger 'bases' and again would allow for Incarna to flurish - how cool would it be to attend an op meeting / discussion by docking up in your own POS / star base, meet up with your friends in avatar form and walk into a grand meeting room to hear the op planning meeting with slides, diagrams and videos etc!

    Next imagine that your POS / starbase is under attack and all the players undock enmass to defend the base - how cool is that! :D

  5. While this isn't a bad idea you're looking at the problem from a pure researcher/builder perspective.

    I don't see any good reason to limit this to one single station, or to keep NPC null out of it. As long as each station only has the upgrades you apply to it, and that the cost is high enough that you wouldn't upgrade every single station just for the heck of it, let people organize themselves as they will. And while there certainly aren't many people who would chose to do industry in NPC nullsec, why should they not have that possility if they so want?

  6. This is Inception all over again: how did you get in my brain to steal this idea of mine =)
    The difference is that I viewed these modules as build-able by the players, and the players would pay a rent to the owner of the station for a certain amount of space. The players would then fill that space with these modules. A bit like the factories/stores in the game Capitalism. There would be different level for the modules. Skills would be needed to be able to install, use and be more efficient with the modules. The modules can interact with each other (like in PI).

    Example: I rent 90m2 from the Caldari Navy in Jita 4-4. Since everybody wants space there, the price is high. Then I buy a factory module (10m2). I install the module in my newly rented space. I then install my BPC and select what kind of run I want. I can then add storage spaces (40m2) for the inputs and output of that factory if I want more than 1 run. I then pay the energy bill to the station owner using ISK. Finally the job starts.

    I got other ideas that would built on top of that:
    -each run damages the module, you can select how fast the run will take to complete - but the module will take more damage and could break up destroying the BPC. This would be based on skills as well.
    -maintenance skills to fix the modules

    I think that would make for a nice industrialist centred expansion =)

  7. ^^ This plus your this. Keep the ideas coming folks.


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