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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Thoughts on Odyssey Industry Changes - Part 1

For those that haven't heard, Odyssey will usher in a change to the mineral composition of high end ores. These are the ABC ores (Arkonor, Bistot and Crokite) as well as the midrange ores Dark Ochre, Gneiss and Spodumain. You can read the whys and wherefores here and you can get the actual numbers here. Please take a moment and review them now.

So first off, putting all game concerns aside, I personally like these changes. It's a real pain in the ass right now to gather the appropriate resources for what I'm currently manufacturing. For instance, I've been making ammo for corporation use running anomalies. That's one less thing to have to haul to deadly unknown space. Taking medium hybrid antimatter as an example, I need 404 Tritanium, 375 Pyerite and 6 Mexallon for one batch of 100 rounds. This change will make it much easier on me.

How's that you ask? Well, as a miner in Anoikis I have two choices. I can mine for profit, which means go for the ABCs. Or, I can mine for production. That means go for Veldspar and Scordite because I need a lot of Tritanium and Pyerite to make Tech 1 ammo. After this change I can do both at the same time. The only non-ABC ore I'll have to worry about is Gneiss so I can get my Mexallon. At only 6 units per batch, one ore hold full of Gneiss will set me up for a long time and I'll still make some ISK. So as you can see, making things and making ISK at the same time is far more preferable than having to choose between one or the other. Anoikis carebear life just became that much less of a hassle and I know that'll translate fairly straight across to null-sec carebear life.

Now onto the meta-game ramifications of this change. There are several industry affecting changes happening in Odyssey that separately don't make much sense. To make sense of them I needed to think not only about everything CCP is doing in Odyssey, but about their vision for the next decade of Eve Online. When viewed in that framework I see astute reasoning involved.

It was said by one blogger I read that these changes will end the "greater rewards for greater risk" philosophy CCP has had for a long time. I don't see it that way. The rewards are still there. They haven't taken any minerals away from these ores. I will still make the same profit for the same risk. But I am in Anoikis where everyone scans routinely and whether it's a gravimetric site or an anomaly makes no difference. I just won't have to give up profit for production's sake. The risk may increase in high-sec and low and more on that in a bit.

The locations these high-end ores occur in hasn't changed either. They are still a very long way from the high-sec market hubs. Some other bloggers I've read have worried this will cause the market to collapse. It isn't going to happen. There is not enough ISK in New Eden to make me want to haul an Orca's worth of Tritanium to high-sec to sell it. These extra minerals are not likely to saturate the markets of New Eden. Even if they did, the inundation will be met with increased demand when CCP unleashes Dust 514 item manufacturing. That is coming. CCP said so during Fanfest. It is only the timing of it that is in question.

There is only one thing "worse" than hauling Tritanium to the market. That's hauling railguns from the hubs back to the POS. There will no longer be a need to haul Tritanium out of high-sec once these changes go into effect. In that light, these changes actually shift Tritanium out of the hubs having an overall lowering effect on market availability in high-sec. It could break either way.

Now let's throw the next piece of the puzzle onto the table. Outposts are getting a major manufacturing boost. For the first time in the history of New Eden, a null-sec carebear should be able to mine and manufacture in a single system - or constellation at the most.

That will probably lead to a loss of population in high-sec. As many have pointed out, one of the safest places to mine is alliance null-sec. It is arguably safer than high-sec. I know several people who mine in null-sec. They can attest that there is nothing safer than deep null-sec when intelligence channels are well run and miners have ample warning to bug out. And to a person, all these acquaintances have multiple alts in high-sec to mine low-end minerals, manufacture railguns and haul them back to null-sec. There are many small high-sec corporations that are nothing but a single person's carebear alts. I know this is a fact because I know the real people. After Odyssey, they will no longer need these alts in high-sec nearly so much. They can all move to null-sec and become rich while also maintaining their manufacturing lines - in null-sec. That is a big part of what I believe CCP wants but more on that in a bit.

If we see the above population shift as more likely than not, it brings the gravimetric sites moving to anomalies, and why CCP did that, into perspective. Yes, it may make high-sec and mining riskier. I don't think it'll do squat to the risk in low-sec. Like Anoikis, low-sec is routinely scanned and since they know you're in local... yeah, same risk as always. But, if all the alts leave high-sec for the now greener pastures of null-sec, who does that leave in high-sec? No, it isn't the gankers I'm talking about though they will likely remain. It's the new bros I'm thinking about. And I don't mean the new bros playing today. I mean the new bros who are going to sign up in the future.

Think of it this way: the new, beautiful scanner isn't for us old timers. Those man hours were invested for future players. It improves the new player experience. It's more intuitive. When I first started playing I expected to see scan results on the HUD and was flummoxed by the list I actually got. Do you know it was over six (6!) months before I even learned there were gravimetric sites in New Eden? I read lots and lots and lots of stuff about how to play Eve Online, and I never came across that juicy tidbit. After Odyssey, that will not happen to new bros.

You see, noobs really only need two things: time to learn and a way to make ISK. However, there is something else that's needed to meet one of those requirements. A noob can't make ISK if he has no idea where to start. Moving gravimetric sites into anomalies that are detectable by the pretty and easy to understand new scanner should do that. To my way of thinking, that's worth a little more risk. I know I'd have welcomed it when I was a noob.

***

As this is already pretty much a wall of text, I have split my thoughts into two parts. Part two will be my next post. In it I will look at more reasons for these changes, and why they are critical to the future of Eve Online.

Fly Careful

15 comments:

  1. You'll probably cover this in your next post but I believe all these changes are designed to be the 'farms and fields' that CSM / CCP has been talking about all this time.

    War takes up a lot of resources and being able to be self sufficiant within your own boarders is extreamly valuable. But wars are not always won in face on engagements; some wars can be won by cutting off supply lines and starve them out and so the indy side of null sec alliances will soon become a target in order to starve the alliance of resource - so overall this provides more content for PvP by giving alliances a reason to protect their indy pilots as well encourage them to take more space as it provides them with more resources to grow and expand.

    My only concern with all of this is the 'tag4sec' business in low. Your right that a good low sec pirate would have already scanned down any grav sites but currently they have no reason to visit one except for a potential gank - with the next expansion not only will they have a different reason (ie, rats for tags) but the sites themselves will receive a greater influx of players visiting looking for these rats - if they find a nice juicy miner there just ready to be poped im sure that they won't pass up the oppertunity - so all those high sec indy players without connections into null will still fail to see the reward for risking their ships in low sec if the risk is higher than it was before now that grav sites won't need to be scanned down with probes and there will be belt rats that everyone will want to farm for tags.

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    1. The tag program is a completely different program than mineral composition. What you say is likely true, but it is a risk caused by something other than the mineral change. I will defer to better experts than I on sec-status, etc. on the overall ramifications of this. I will point out though that if miners keep the anomalies cleaned of rats and this becomes well known the tag hunters will learn to look elsewhere. Also, do rats respawn in anomalies? I've not seen that one answered yet.

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    2. Well they said that grav sites are being removed and replaced by 'ore sites' which are scannable without probes.

      So I would assume that this means that 'standard' ore belts are to be the 'only' belts and the mechanics will remain the same (ie standard belt rats).

      In some grav sites I've mined I've had battleship rats spawn on top of me so I can only assume that its already part of the existing system.

      Your right that the risk isn't 'created' by the composition change but it seems like two different departments that have made a choice over something but they've not spoken to each other and that has resulted in two statements that work against each other (ie, "come to low sec, we have better ore belts" and "come to low sec, where the ore belt rats now drop tags") and the net result is more miners in null and high but even less reason to mine in low.

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  2. The worry to the hi-sec market isnt that you are going to haul your minerals to hi-sec, but that you will no longer have to buy them from high-sec. Null is Hi-secs largest customer.

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    1. I'm glad you brought that up. *grin* I agree, null-sec is the biggest customer of high-sec. They buy all of the Tritanium mined by those carebear alts I mentioned. However, it is a net zero change. They do stop buying all those minerals. They also stop mining them - whether by choice or the drop in ISK per hour reward. Over time, the overall quantity drops but the supply still matches the demand, albeit a reduced demand. Since supply matches demand even when reduced, the price remains stable over the medium and long view. Speculators will cause volatility in the short view but that's life in the commodities market. Concern may be warranted but worry and, gods forbid, panic are not.

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    2. Same amount of null sec isk will be there. Cheaper low ends will mostly mean more supers and titans.

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  3. LOL If that's what you call a Wall o Text then what I do every post is the Great Wall O Text!!

    I do often wonder if I type too much... =\

    Oh and damn good post... a take on the ore changes I had not seen and I agree that the scanner is to make thing easier for noobs, that's why it is not coming across as such a hoorah for vets, we're used to things the way they were and don't see 'more' functionality just 'different'... but for noobs it will be a lot better, good call that...

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  4. The grav sig->anomaly change will make null mining a bit more dangerous as well. Right now if you're in a grav sig, you're pretty safe from normal roaming gangs and even from the average cloaky camper. As long as you keep an eye out for scan probes, you're mostly OK.

    Having said that, habitually switching to a tanked procurer with point does a lot to discourage small gangs of various sorts, especially when coupled with habitually having a decent gang of bored PvPers around to blob any attackers.

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  5. I like your reasoning and I hope that we see the results you imagine.

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  6. The changes to grav sites mean certain death in WH space.

    At least the appearance of probes gave us some indication that we were being scanned for. Now, there is no notice at all.

    Risk vs Reward. Huh. Undefendable space, no warning, random incoming links, no sov, no outposts, no complexes, no belts, and less reward than safer-than-hisec deep null.

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    1. We've always faced certain death in WH space. This really changes nothing. I can launch probes outside d-scan range and you'll never know a thing. The past couple of weeks have been filled with WH denizens not paying attention and paying heavy prices for their lack of precaution. Will this change make it easier to find miners in Anoikis? Yes, it will a little. Does this really change the dynamics of the rick involved? No, I am fairly certain it does not because you should already have been practicing the techniques required to keep you safe when in an anomaly even though you were in a grav site. If you were not, the onus is on you. If you don't know what these procedures are here's a quick list:

      - have a scout (cloaky of course) identify all signatures in your hole
      - close all WHs into and out of your system
      - if you leave a WH open (like your static) post the scout on it
      - have the scout launch a single deep space probe or enough to cover your whole system and scan for new signatures juist like you are all spamming d-scan
      - start mining once you are certain you are alone
      - stop mining the second another signature shows itself

      If you are not doing those things already you are doing it badly. And yes, deep null-sec would be easier but that's not why we live in Anoikis.

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    2. Living in... wait, just BEING in W-space means [Da da da DAAAA] 'Certain Death!' a some point. But as I must admit to wondering how the new scanner will work in Anoikis... CCP has stated that W-space is just fine the way it is, they have no plans to change it... makes one wonder if we might find the new scanner returning not quite the same data as in 'normal' space...

      "Error: Radiological Effects are inhibiting the Scanner, please use Scanner Probes"... hey, a wormholer can dream can't he? =]

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    3. And to tack on my .2ISK, IF you do do steps 1 thru 6, you will actually be SAFER then Hi, low or the Big Blue Cheese Round... because once you have close all the holes INTO your W-space system, and you have BM'ed your static but NOT warped to it, you are totally cut off from ALL of EvE... Hi, Lo, Null & Negsec... same as if you had NO gates at all into your system, cause as long as a K162 doesn't pop, you don't.

      You "could" mine AFK as long as as your scout is spamming his probes and Dscan... but, of course, in our Alliance if you DID we'd kill you, but you could... and be as safe, temporarily, as in a station.

      ...as long as you do it right. =]

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  7. "The changes to grav sites mean certain death in WH space."

    I think it makes it easier.

    The way I used to mine in my class 1 didn't involve D-scanning. I'd pulse the DSP and see if a new sig had turned up in a hole which had only an unopened fresh static.

    That techniques now tons easier because new K162s show up on your overview and as big green boxes in space.

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  8. @Stabs, actually yes, looks like they will show up on screen... but only if you are looking that way... if not you will have to pulse DScan and then do a 360 roll both laterally and ventrally... I sure as hell hope they keep the Scan Window so you can be alerted that something is off screen behind, or above, or under you too... =\

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