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.