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.