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Friday, May 3, 2013

Thoughts on Odyssey Industry Changes - Part 2

In part one, I took a look at how the Industry changes in Odyssey will affect Eve Online in the short term. I had to think about them for a few more days before the long term ramifications all started to gel in my brain.  I am not certain that process is done but it's done enough for this post. I'm sure we'll have opportunity enough later for more thoughts.

Hopefully you saw, or since heard or read about, CCP Seagull's Eve Online vision piece at the end of last Friday's keynote. On Saturday she had another spot where she discussed how CCP now conducts product planning. They are, for the first time according to her, using a 5-year vision, a 3-year road map and a 12-month rolling plan. At least that's where they want to be by the end of this year, and we're already a third of the way through it.

According to her, this new process began when she became Senior Producer. She confirms the Odyssey expansion has been part of this process from the start. I translated her statement thusly: anything coming in Odyssey is going to comply with this new planning process. These changes will enable the 12-month rolling plan, support the 3-year roadmap and enable the 5-year vision.

More succinctly, these changes are not happening in a vacuum. They are part of the plan, the map and the vision. They aren't there to make you happy. They are there to ensure Eve Online's future and only part of that future is about making you happy.

So how do these industry changes fit into all that? The tl;dr is it makes building super-gates in null-sec possible. Giving null-sec direct access to low end minerals starts the process. Increasing the industrial capability of Outposts realizes this possibility. The moon-goo changes, and this includes Alchemy, means every null-sec entity can do it - not just the Technitium Cartel.

Facing reality and the fact that past performance proves future actions, the space colonization vision is not viable under the current New Eden economic realities. Those that currently try to manipulate New Eden through its economy would try and manipulate the vision for their own gain. I am quite certain T2 products will be involved in super-gate construction so this would likely succeed to some extent. I'm not saying the intent would be to deny access to these new colonization areas and monopolize them - though I'm sure there would be a temptation to do that. I'm saying those manipulators would try and become New Eden's highwaymen, exacting a price from every capsuleer who wanted to be part of the new space colonization phase. Their past shenanigans more than support this supposition.

CCP understands they can't let that happen. If they did, this new vision becomes just another failed null-sec. In order to make it work, it has to be equally available to anyone who makes the effort to build a super-gate. Stopping your foes will require a fleet, not an embargo, and that's good for Eve Online. Eve Online is not a game about embargos. It's a game about blowing up ships. Even this admitted carebear accepts that premise. It really is a shame that much of this game's power playing isn't done with fleets but with diplomats and large wallets. That's not a vision CCP has ever had for Eve Online no matter how much they talk up emergent game play. How ironic is that? You could interpret it as, "Mabrick rues the day the super-carebears took over null-sec."

Well, they did and I do. The really good fights should be happening in the wholly capsuleer areas of New Eden. High-sec should be a learning ground for new capsuleers, not a stomping ground for gankers and industrial alts. CCP has always maintained the vision for null-sec was capsuleer empires beyond the control of CONCORD, even if they didn't effectively communicate it. They thought veteran players would go there to test their mettle against each other. What they got instead was a big blue donut and veteran capsuleers making all sorts of excuses as to why they have to return to play in high-sec.

Add to this the fact that mass quantities of low end ore could only be found in high-sec and you have plenty of reasons why players gravitate there. Gevlon likes to say that's where the money is. In truth, that's where the game play is and the ISK is just a result of that fact. Bottom line, there is no incentive anywhere else in New Eden to encourage experienced players to leave high-sec and play elsewhere. What little there was the big blue donut squashed. These pilots therefore remain high-sec oriented and that smothers the noobs in their crib. Now isn't that an unlovely analogy? Not ugly enough? How about this one? We eat our young.

That is not what CCP wants to have happen with the next Eve Universe vision. As CCP Seagull said, "We don't want to open new space in Eve Online that's just full of the stuff you already know." That works several ways and includes the big blue donut to my way of thinking. Odyssey is the first step in that direction, and these initial changes to resource allocations are necessary to insure it works. But it's just a beginning  That's why they seem disjointed. There is more to come I'm certain - thank the gods. The coming adjustments will change the very nature of New Eden, shake up its economic hubs and hopefully shift the balance of gameplay out of high-sec once and for all.

I can't wait! It is very exciting to contemplate  It's been a long time coming. There is plenty of evidence that these changes are not only needed but long discussed. Take a look at this Google search. Read some of the blogs it reveals. I really liked Adding up the cost of Nullsec - Part 3 on A Scientist's Life in Eve from June of 2011. Have a look at the issues with null-sec industrialism he lists. Now line up his issues with announced plans for Eve Online: adjusted mineral compositions, moon goo changes and super-gate construction with its potential for conflict.

That's point, set and... well, we'll just hold off on the last part of that cliché until more details emerge. In the end, it requires that capsuleers not only support the changes but also act on them. That's the big catch. As CCP Fozzie clarified, CCP doesn't want to force anyone out of their preferred play-style, and for many (most?) that's currently high-sec. But if Eve Online is to thrive and shake off the stale status quo currently afflicting it, we need to embrace these changes. And frankly, CCP needs to highly encourage us to do so even if that requires unsubtle methods. In other words CCP, don't force anyone to change, but make certain they have no viable alternative - please. Do so and I predict CCP will realize its vision for the Eve Universe and we will all prosper in the next decade.

Fly Careful


  1. "don't force anyone to change, but make certain they have no viable alternative"

    Sounds like forcing people to change to me. What happened to the idea of encouraging people with carrots not sticks?

    1. There's a difference between forcing someone to change and presenting them the illusion that they want to choose to change, even if its only perception.

    2. No 'other' viable alternative, can BE the 'carrot'. If you have alternatives, then there is no 'stick', you are not being forced out, it is not an 'offer you can't refuse' (with the unspoken 'or else' look)... you still have freedom of choice. I think Mab means to make the carrot so 'carroty' that the lure is too strong to resist.

      My take on this is that CCP has stated approx 50% of the playerbase plays some form of solo game and solo gameplay can only be successfully played in 'relative' safety (keep in mind I said RELATIVE), due to the simple fact of being 'solo', IE one man (possibly multiboxing yes, but still just one guy).

      If solo play is 50% of the playerbase they have no choice but to respect that playstyle and as they said, create opportunities for it... which means a level of safety (something like Hisec CONCORD) that allows and supports the solo playstyle in the new exploration...

    3. In this case "viable alternative" is a wholly subjective term. Look at it like weaning a child from breast milk. You don't do it cold turkey and you tempt the child with yummy solid food. Eventually, the child wearies of only one taste in his/her mouth all the time and leaves the teat for the wider pallet choices of regular human cuisine. Then the mother stops producing milk and the deed is done. The child has no viable alternative but to eat solid food from that point on. No child beating was involved in the making of this analogy.

    4. Agreed, the fully subjective was what I was referring to (albeit sideways) by the "make the carrot more 'carroty'" thing... (unless, of course, you hate carrots...)

      Which is very different from: "You there!! RELEASE AND STEP AWAY FROM THE BOOBIE!!!" (your analogies slay me!!)

  2. Yeah I can see that they are already walking down a set path for a plan, ever since Incarna blew up in their face I'm sure they've been more inclinded to keep the existing EVE player base happy.

    I think we're starting to see the plan ramp up a little more with the next and following expansions as the previous few have been more around fixing broken systems (ie, crime watch, FW, bounty hunting) as well 'quality of life' items like the inventory, contracts and to some extent the market. Along with the rebalancing efforts its a good solid foundation for them to build upon.

    We're likely to see more fixes come our way and this expansion is no exception but its more of a universe fix than a system fix as I believe they are trying to move towards the 'bottom up' method of alliance financing rather than the 'top down' via tech moons etc - and to do this they are giving null sec something to fight over - resources.

    Almost every single war in human history one way or another has been over resources, either defending the resources you have over someone who wants to take them off you. The introduction of 'farms and fields' means that you now need 'farmers' to keep up those fields so that you can reap the rewards, sustain your own empire and plan to take someone elses.

    It gives indy players an essential role in null sec as well as providing enough pew pew for those who want to guard or distrupt those operations, hopefully allowing for various scales of production so that every 'farm' isn't simply blobbed out of existance.

    It doesn't stop null sec alliances from being nice to each other and not fighting at all, but the universe is too big a place for someone not to have an itchy trigger finger and have the need to scratch it - and (hopefully) there should always been sufficiant tension and ability to fight rather than having the 'nullbear' situation we have at the moment where players have endless cash but still moan about cloaky afkers stopping them running anoms and not willing to take risks.

    1. Something that has been tickling my mind over the past year and a half has been the analogy you can't build a car without a lot of nuts, bolts and rivets. I see what CCP has been doing as not only fixing things, but more importantly creating a foundation where capsuleers can have a truly independent society from CONCORD and the old empires. You know, there's a bit in the Odyssey trailer about the old empires coming to fear the immortal capsuleers. I don't think that's hyperbole. I'd really like to see a capsuleer Empire (or twelve.) It could be really awesome, but it could also be really bad if CCP isn't very careful. Here's hoping they are very careful!

  3. I'll say again, I really don't think these new gates will be a nullsec based thing. It would just give more of the same old thing. Imagine if nullsec alliances could build more gates into lowsec. It would highly enhance their power projection that is instrumental in maintaining the blue donut and hurting any effort for anyone else to start anything in nullsec.

    And even worse, what if these gates were nullsec based and were destructable. That would surely encourage some nullsec fights as the blue donut would have a new, fun reason to have supercap gate-gank roams, further hurting any effort to colonize nullsec. That is a huge reason why we still have no destructable outposts. I believe these gates will be openings into some new space that severely restricts supercap influence, much like w-space with sov.

    1. I haven't figured out exactly where these super-gates will be and I don't think CCP has either. Time will tell, but I do think most of them will be null-sec based. I could also see them in fac-war systems. High-sec - I'm not so sure about. I think they will never come to WH space. Gate work both ways.

  4. Dinsdale PirannhaMay 3, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    Prosper? So as you say, CCP gives a high sec player "no viable alternative" but to leave high sec, is that not simply ruining the supposed sandbox and forcing these players out?

    I have lived in wh for extended stretches, helping run multiple POS's for T3 construction in our pocket. I have run the industrial wing of a 100 pilot null sec corp, manufacturing T2 items in null, making ISK for the corp. And I am back in high sec.

    Why, because I hated the politics and the type of attitude and sense of entitlement the typical null player has. "I am in null, everyone else is scum, I deserve all the riches null provides, even though I have never was involved in a sov war".

    And you say that CCP destroying high sec income potential is a good thing? The only way that happens is if CCP decides that they can live without 10-20% of the current subs from high sec players. But it is quite likely they have decided that already. If Dust grows and more importantly retains its sub base, CCP will not care about the group of hard core high sec players that will simply quit.

    It is no co-incidence that CCP does not hire devs and game designers that profess to live in high sec. The null sec group that run Eve will not hire anyone who does not share their vision.

    1. Let me be very clear, I am speaking of veteran players here who loiter in high-sec and do things like miner bump for lulz. I hear you on the political BS that goes on in null-sec, but let me tell you, it goes on in every corporation and alliance weather they are in null-sec or high-sec. CCP is committed to solo play, or at least they say they are. I've no reason to doubt that. This new colonization vision will no doubt allow veteran players to solo play elsewhere. If not, you are welcome to stay in high-sec. Your income will not be destroyed. You may have to adapt some, but you'll still make plenty of ISK.

    2. Dinsdale PirannhaMay 3, 2013 at 11:03 AM


      Define "plenty of ISK".
      50M / hour / char, best case scenario?
      20M / hour?
      5 M / hour?

      What is your definition of plenty of ISK. And please don't say, "you can make 100M / hour, with 3 miner chars and an Orca char with the new ice belts.

      In your world, how much is "plenty of ISK", for a person flying solo with a single char?

    3. @Dinsdale

      In any world plenty of money - from a purely financial point of view - is having a positive cash flow. Just take in more than you spend and live within your means. Now, like so many people IRL, you can make yourself terribly unhappy about it by feeling you deserve more money - like high-sec should have the ISK payouts of a C6 wormhole. NOT! You can easily convince yourself you deserve more ISK for your effort though. You can buy hundreds of things you never hardly use. You can throw good ISK after bad in lousy business deals. You can let down your guard and get scammed. You can waste ISK doing all sorts of questionable things. I can't help you there because that's all your doing. But to have plenty of ISK all you have to do is make more than you spend. It really is that simple.

    4. Dinsdale PirannhaMay 3, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      @ Malbrick.

      Way to bypass the question.
      How about someone that wants to buy a plex every month and work out of high sec.
      Say the plex costs 550M.

      Am I correct in saying, if the player is smart, takes no losses, and the max ISK they can make in high sec is 10M / hour when all the changes by summer 2014 are done, then they are making "plenty of ISK" as soon as they hit the 56th hour of play every month.

      Oh, and BTW, I don't get scammed, I don't buy anything I don't use, and I am not broke.
      Not broke, yet, I should say.

    5. @Dinsdale

      *See reference to ISK payout entitlement issue above.

      Seriously dude, if you think you deserve to get a plex every month for living in high-sec you need to find a new game. Eve online isn't Free2Play. I can't help you.


  5. Totally blowing my own trumpet I got pretty close 6 months ago:

    1. Indeed you did Stabs and I think you were even in the search results. I wanted to go farther back though and show how long this has been booted around. Pop it up anyway!


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