Monday, November 09, 2009

The Post In Which I defend CCP

I'm sure you've heard of the dev blog post that came out last week and caused some head explosion amoungst the playerbase, myself included. It was easy to look at the costs listed above and see that a basic claimed system with no upgrades was 600 million isk every month and wonder what the hell CCP was thinking.

But in that very post CCP told us what they were thinking. Allow me to quote:
The base cost is currently 20 million ISK a day and mirrors the approximate current daily operational fuel cost of five starbases fuel cost.
And they are correct:  five large POS will cost upwards of 600 mil in fuel costs per month.

So the question becomes why is the majority of the playerbase especially those in large alliances so upset? Well, simple really. Most territory is claimed by only one or two starbases, sometimes not even larges. Only the crucial systems get the larger POS networks for defense and industry.

Some players claim that these costs would prevent small alliances from ever moving to 0.0 space but really, if they can't afford to run 5 large towers should they be in 0.0 space? Going out to null sec unprepared for the harsh realities of large alliance warfare will lead to a lot of crushed dreams.

So, I say that the costs originally published by CCP were logicial and ultimately reasonable.


I would like to point out that I am not pleased to see its a static cost instead of rising one as an alliance claims more space. And I have serious doubts that the listed upgrades will allow 50-100 pilots to live in a system once its fully upgraded.

Time will tell.


  1. Anonymous8:12 am

    but surely "two additional guaranteed anomalies per level" will be more than enough to keep 100 people occupied!

  2. But would said alliance still require the 5 large POSs? Or would the station and upgrades replace the required POSs?

    I don't see any ability to add industry upgrades to stations, so if you want to augment your income with industry and invention you still need a POS, no?

  3. page 33 of the threadnaught has some updated values.

  4. @FS Thomas: You would need a POS but it would not need to be the Deathstars/Dickstars for Sov defense. A more modest solution could be available and funded by those using them.

    @Letrange: Yes, the new values are much cheaper. Interesting.

  5. Apologies for the long post, but I want to set the record straight.

    I'm a director in one of the 10 largest sov holding alliances, and I have no objection to the original prices posts (20m+10m). The major backlash from those prices came from small alliances, who wanted a sliding scale like Kirith advocates. I think a sliding scale is stupid, both because it ruins the concept of a sandbox and because large alliances would just make a large number of "tax shelter" alliances to hold space. If they want to do it this way, the way to do it was already advocated in the thread and accepted as a good idea by CCP: Make it so the more a system is utilized, the more the fee is reduced. This eliminates sprawling AFK empires and makes it easier for smaller but active alliances to hold space, and can't be dodged with shell alliances. I think most of us in large alliances hate having to control so much space and would love a solution that let us concentrate in small areas.

    What most of the large alliances protest, and that everyone else seems to be overlooking because it's more complicated than "they're greedy/cheap" is that they're raising costs (and while the base cost might be equal to the fuel for 5 large towers, post dominion you'll need to pay it AND fuel your towers, because towers do more than just claim sov), but not raising the value of the territory to compensate for it. Take the upgrade hub; you spend 300m a month to maintain it to get an income source *almost* as good as level 4 missions, according to CCP. Instead, why not just save the 300m a month and run level 4s in empire, without risk, and just fly(or jump clone) out to 0.0 in fleets to PvP? Except if everyone does this, there will be nothing in 0.0 to fight over, and no PvP.

  6. >> alliances would just make a large number of 'tax shelter' alliances to hold space

    This could be simply avoided by making higher grade upgrades depend on # of systems controlled. By doing this you would

    1) Give more of an incentive for larger alliances to expand - rather than none really atm (and not seek "tax shelter" fronts)

    2) Allow for smaller alliances to start-up without the fancier upgrades that would come if they decide to expand into additional systems

    With this model you can scale costs per system. With current model - the smaller alliance is getting penalized bigtime for having even a single system.

    I also agree with Lantine - probably the most significant problem with the new release is not the cost - but the rewards. I think CCP got a bit mixed up because of the ongoing rare moon problem - but went about trying to fix it with an idea that hurts everyone - not just the rare moon holders.

    CCP would be better off changing the nature of the rewards in null-sec, which include de-raritizing the moon stuff a bit and scaling the cost of # of systems controlled - so it does get more expensive the bigger you are - exponentially, not linearly.

    But you need a working reward model. It's as if they thought a lot about the penalty model and created a half-baked turkey for the rewards.

  7. Good fix for the tax shelter problem Dante!

    What I want to know is what effects these chance based upgrades will do?

    Surely complexes will not respawn in the system after they are completed right?