Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm Trying To Be Reasonable...

I'm really trying to see the issue from all sides, I really am. But its hard to see how this change makes sense. Its hard to see how this was not put to the CSM 5 last summer or winter first. I just... I just don't get it!

Let me start from the beginning. CCP Greyscale posts a dev blog about changes to anomalies (aka complexes) in null sec. The idea is that null sec has gotten too flat with the advent of upgradable systems and that the anomalies that spawn from the upgrades will have their quality determined by the system's true sec:
Those changes in full
We've batched nullsec up into five security bands, based on the current truesec values that are already available via the datadump: 0.0 to -0.2, -0.3 to -0.4, -0.5 to -0.6, -0.7 to -0.8 and -0.9 to -1.0. (And yes, we're rounding in the same way that we do in the UI currently, so the boundaries actually lie at -0.25, -0.45 and so on.)

Firstly, we've evened out the upgrades so each one has four sites in it now, rather than five in the first and four in the rest. We're also retaining a mix of the sites that we're aware are regarded as "filler" by high-end players, for several reasons: to act as genuine filler so the earlier upgrades in some systems aren't empty; to give newer players resources they can use without much competition; and to give people running anomalies a little more safety from marauding enemies.

In terms of the high-end sites that high-end players are after - Havens and Sanctums for normal factions, and Hordes for drones - the break-even compared to the current system's maximum of four is around the 3rd and 4th band (-0.5 to -0.8 space), which are -1 and +1 respectively. Below this, things get worse (0.0 to -0.2 systems won't get any high-end sites after the change), but the -0.9 to -1.0 band can potentially gain an extra six top sites with full upgrades. 26 of the 34 regions have at least one system in this security band, with half having 5 or more.
Emphasis mine. I've seen it said that a player running the Havens and Sanctums pulls in around 30-35 million an hour while the next quality complexes down bring in 9-10 million. So essentially the lowest quality upgraded systems in null sec lost over half their value.

But one of the goals of Dominion in providing upgradable space was to increase player density in null sec. This change seems to indicate that player density got too high and they want to cull the herds so to speak. Sure, some players will glom onto the alliances in control of the high value space with its plethora of high end sites, but most will be forced to look back to high sec mission running.

There was an outcry about this change and CCP Greyscale took to the forums to post this:
Hi again,

Update on the above post: we've looked at the concerns brought up here, and done another evaluation pass as mentioned above. The outcome of this is that, while we understand and appreciate that these changes will negatively impact residents in some areas of space in the short term, we feel that on balance they are still likely to result in a noticeably positive overall outcome in the long run. This decision is mainly predicated on the fact that we still have a sufficient degree of confidence in our models of nullsec causality.

We understand that many players have alternate models that predict negative outcomes; we will of course be monitoring developments post-deployment to confirm whether or not things are developing in the way we are predicting, with an eye to modifying the proposed system if we see unexpected negative outcomes occurring, but we don't believe that the arguments raised by players in this thread weaken our model sufficiently to justify changing our plans at this stage.

We appreciate that this decision is not going to be regarded as a positive one by most participants of this thread, and we of course respect your right to continue to express your previously-noted disapproval here in a civil manner.

That's all for today,
Of course the natural question is, "can you show your work?". Give us the models, show us how you expect to see the outcome of more conflict out of this. Show us what you expect to be acceptable losses in null sec populations. Make us see what you see, Greyscale, 'cause its not coming through at the moment.

Make no mistake, this change hurts my corp and alliance at a wallet level. This will make it harder for us to live and fight in null sec. Coupled with the bitterness of the perceived rampant botting and CCP's unwillingness to combat it to any serious degree and there is some serious concern that many veteran players will give up after this change.

While I understand the desire to make different parts of space have differing values, I do not feel that pulling the rug out from hundreds if not thousands of grunt players is the right approach.


  1. I've seen the number for sanctums at around 75 million an hour, and in the threadnaught someone posted that they are making 100 million an hour. I think the real concern is that nobody has provided real data, neither CCP nor the legions of tearful sanctum pilots in the forum. I feel like I need to go run some nullsec anomalies (but not Sanctums or Havens) to see what the isk/hr rate is on them, to get a real feel for what these changes mean

  2. Also wonder if the baseline is what the average income is for L4s in Hisec. What's that number nowadays?

  3. I think the idea is to create areas that are more "valuable" than others. Having a dynamic system in which any area can be upgrade means no one has to fight for the space. They can simply put up their TCU's and start upgrading the system.

    Wouldnt these changes bring in a larger need for alliances to fight for more valuable property...

  4. Whether a player can make 100mil vs 25mil an hour in a sanctum will have no impact the population in nullsec. Isn't it more likely that CCP's goal has nothing to do with population control, but rather with the ease of vastly concentrating ISK? Put another way, should EVE's 360,000 players have 20,000 who can afford super-capitals or should it only be 1,000? Should super-capitals be personal toys or something an entire alliance needs to scrape together?

  5. I gave up on 0.0 anoms some while ago. Topped out around 50m an hour if I was lucky. Then I pit an alt in a wh Corp. Problem solved. And if that was nerfed? I'd park the alt to run l4's in hisec. 65m easy with a T2 fit, and way less risk of losing a faction/deadspace fit.

    Back to th original point. This effectively re-creates sec status 'waterfront' in 0.0. Which makes it easy to perma-afk-cloak alts in all the best systems. In fact, there are so few -1 systems, they will all be perma afk-cloaked. Which really, is win. Can you imagine how hard the tears about afk cloakers will fall? Seriously, exploration will take off.

    Did I mention I don't run anoms?

  6. I don't have any hand in anoms so the hell do I know. I just know that it seemed a little strange that any system could upgrade to be as good as a -1.0 truesec system could be. I think this is supposed to provide a reason to go out there and fight for better systems. Think of the strife this will cause among big coalitions if one ends up suddenly better off. That's just a guess of the impact but I hardly think it is "pulling the rug out from hundreds if not thousands of grunt players is the right approach."

    ISK is still super-easy to come by if you have the time to do so. This just seems to be taking a step to turn off this particular isk-faucet.

  7. Conspiracy Theory! CCP is trying to influence 0.0 politics, because they hate coalitions. Remember when they put all the Tech moons up north? They did that in hopes that alliances hungry for moon goo would break up the NC. Now, they want to tackle the DRF. Because the Russians have so many systems with low true-sec, CCP hopes that again people will break them up to get good anoms. My money is on it not working.

  8. The problem with this solution is that it kills the major isk income source for the casual player, and makes them less able to fight. On the flipside, had they made any changes to how mining works, they might be able to eliminate or reduce the bot problem, which in turn, reduces both income and material into the larger alliances, which then reduces the use of super caps in the field, which then allows for more space to be opened up because you will then only use supers for critical operations.

  9. I would support this change if the value of systems in 0.0 was dynamic, so those who always wanted the best space would have to periodically invade people and move to maintain it, rather than just bunkering down.

  10. With regard to asking CCP to show their work, well said.

    Given their tendency to pratfall from one unanticipated macro level outcome to the next, there's a certain irony to CCP's design team leads acting as though they're Eve's solution when they're demonstrably the problem.

  11. I'd love to see an investigation into this by someone in the NC with a credible ability to collect, analyze, and present data (ehem, like you KK!). Personally I've managed something around a sustained 60-80M / hr, running sanctums in Delve, using two accounts - BS + Carrier. Not 60-80M per acct, that's total (avg 12M ticks on each acct). That's without the 10/10 escalations, and I have not invested that much effort in perfecting fit/skills/ships, so maybe 120-150M / hr is possible (2 accts). I've seen others get higher using ridiculous means (ehem, titans / moms for ratting), although, as PLs last trip north demonstrated, that can come to a rather rapid and poor end.

    That said, I think the change is a good idea, they've just slightly over-shot the break-even point. They should have aimed break-even slightly lower, with top end space being that much more lucrative. Give a REAL reason to fight over the best stuff.

    I get that people with crappy space (in terms of truesec) don't like it...that's, ehem, the point! If you don't like it, go take better space.

  12. Just to put this here, but the major bot problem is NOT mining. K, thanks.

    We'll just all have to see how it turns out.

  13. I don't live in null-sec so I'm not at all sympathetic to players not being able to afford super caps for ratting.

    Though CCP's change to null-sec does seem very arbitrary. Maybe they could rebalance the "true-sec systems" to spread them out more and redistribute the high end moons?

  14. Well my uber long wall'o'text got lost this time :( oh well heres the shortened version :)

    these so-called "high-end" sites sanctums and havens are quite low isk/hr there are many better ways to make isk if one actually takes the time to look for them. Frankly i dont get how people can sit there and keep turning there guns/missiles on and off as they cycle from rat to rat.

    Other forms of isk making for NULLSECCERS only:

    1) bomber farming in a sabre: 99% of bombers fit arbalest sieges and ofc a covert ops cloak not to mention they usually carry phased weapon target painter thingies
    please note my prices are heavily dated
    cov-ops cloak : 5-7 mil
    phased weapon thingy : 4mil ish(usually 1-2 per bomber)
    so apprx: 10-12 mil plus the other t2 shit you get.

    While the bomber farming is a tad comical they are quite easy to catch in a sabre. but whats better looking for pew and making isk off it or staring at a screen half brain dead pushing f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 f1....... to infinitum and beyond. anyone?? oh and not to mention if you get good at bombers, cloaky haulers are just as easy.

    (sry if i mentioned something that actually takes skill but well this is eve)

    2) actually take the time to probe out the cosmic signatures even the lower end nullsec plexes(6/10) can dorp several hundred milions worth of isk for the same amount of time it takes to run 1-2 sanctums.

    This change will only really effect the people who used to go from belt to belt and mind-numbingly push f1 after locking targets and now merely go from sanctum to sanctum making a bit more isk due to not haveing to warp all the time. frankly its depressing how much time the average nullseccer spends killing rats when they could just as easily

    3) I've found wh diving to be quite profitable myself but well.... cant go too much into that, dont want too many people farming my sites now.

  15. woops...

    "just as easily" go pew for the iskies.

  16. Have a cry kiddies... you cant make as much isk unless you fight for the better space... and not just pay for it.

    Isnt that the point?

    Also, Kirith, In response to your comments about a sec status hit being the only punishment during hulkageddon, doesnt Kill rights count?

  17. It's not about the density in null sec becoming too great, its the economy. I keep hearing about how the money supply is growing too fast. At Fanfest, CCP Dr.EyjoG said he wanted to see the growth in the money supply slow from 2-3% per month down to 1-2% per month. The Dominion sov changes are THE biggest money faucet in the game. Maybe these changes will slow that faucet down.

  18. I fully support this change and think it makes perfect sense and is long overdue. And while it is only a small step in the right direction, it is an important one that will form the foundation for future changes and resolutions to long-standing problems that exist post-Dominion. Congrats to CCP for having the balls to do it and the wisdom to see that it needed doing.

    And that was as low-key and well balanced as I can be.