So the fallout from the Building A Better World dev blog continues to embroil the EVE community.
The general consensus which I can be included is that the industry changes so far benefit null sec industry the greatest while nerfing high sec industry the most (see: Nosy Gamer thoughts on mynnna's post, and Neville Smit's post for example). A few people have quit over this information1, a few other have cautioned patience while waiting for the rest of the dev blog chain that these first two are part of. I'm pretty much in the second camp although I think we don't need the rest of the dev blogs to discuss what we see so far.
My Crystal Ball
CCP wants to move people to null sec. Not just PvPers, but miners, industrialists, researchers, everyone. Everything in Rubicon and what has followed after since then suggests this direction in bright neon signs. They want farms and fields and populated by pilots toiling in them, and they can't do that while high sec has safer and more profitable (or competitively profitable) farms and fields with lots of room for everyone. So the carrot and the stick approach: make null sec more attractive while making high sec less attractive to do, well anything in.
Now, I kind of agree with mynnna that null sec cannot possibly hope to match high sec's volume of production and meet the demand of the markets even with these changes, but I am concerned that the small casual producer2 who operated in high sec for fun and small profits is going to be the victim squeezed out by null sec producers with larger margins and high sec producers with POS operations to lower their own margins.
But an even bigger loser in this shell game of production benefits and nerfs is the low sec producer: as much risk as null sec (if not more) but only a portion of the benefit. Low sec capital producers may really see the crunch as the volume there is less massive and can be more easily fulfilled by a number of producers operating out of shallow null sec. I can see low sec eventually becoming an importer of capital ships instead of an exporter for the markets as null sec producers would want to move their product to neutral markets to reach the widest audience. However, the crystal ball is cloudy on this issue and more time needs to pass before anything for certain can be said.
We can kind of guess what is going to happen as a result of these changes, and we can see the obvious motive for doing so (i.e. CCP wants people to move to null sec), the real question is what is the ulterior motive for this direction.
Is it to try and break up the null sec coalitions and destabilize null sec for more war by making the territory more valuable / desirable? God, I hope not! If anything these changes and the subsequent migration of industry to null sec only will calcify the existing power structures in their current configurations.
Is it to create more targets in null sec to increase fighting? I don't think so because the net effect will be a wash. There will be more pilots but their activities are going to be in secure POS and stations meaning they are not viable targets except during transport.
Personally, I think the motive is to lay the foundation of an industrial base that will be ready for the subsequent expansions where players will be able to sculpt null sec far more than they can now. The iconic badgers-building-a-stargate image has been the promise for Rubicon and subsequent expansions and moving a good portion of the industrial base may be considered a necessary component of those plans coming to fruition.
If so, then I think the Rubicon has indeed been crossed and CCP is pinning the future of the game on civilization building in null sec, as opposed to the current detente of pure sov wars in null sec, industry in high sec, small gangs in low sec, and crazy people in wormhole space3. High sec and low sec are going to lose out, in some cases a little bit and in other cases a lot, to the effort to make null sec a larger and more dynamic and vibrant area.
Will it succeed? We'll find out in 2-3 years...
1 - When mentioning I knew of three bloggers who quit based on this dev blog on Twitter, I was saddened by the responses who threw out ad hominem attacks and generalizations about bloggers without even knowing the identities of who I was speaking about or there reasons for quitting.
2 - Like me :(
3 - Seriously, you guys are nuts.