The latest dev blog pretty much confirms that the summer's expansion is going to have a heavy focus on basic heavy industry. Called Building Better Worlds it outlines some pretty massive changes to industry and science that, when coupled with the mineral changes announced previously (in Reprocess All The Things), upset the apple carts in very fundamental ways.
Let's hit the major points and try to determine the winners and losers of each one.
Changing Market Groups - This one is neutral. While some of the re-grouping will make more sense, people used to the old way will get turned around until they learn the new categorizations.
Icons on Market Groups -
Winners: Everyone. More icons to break the wall o' text.
Losers: No one.
No More Damage to Parts In Builds -
Winners: Everyone. This makes sense and will relieve some unnecessary complications.
Losers: No one.
Removal of Extra Materials -
Winners: People getting into manufacturing or people setting up spreadsheets and trying to figure out how Material Efficiency.
Losers: People with existing spreadsheets, and coupled with the reprocessing changes, anyone planning on reprocessing stuff for minerals.
Removing Industry and Science Slots -
Winners: Alright, now we get into the big one. What we are basically doing is trading a time bottleneck for a cost bottleneck, and the big outstanding question is how much the cost scaling will impact the bottom line. At first the big winners will be small time producers who will no longer be dissuaded from the insane wait times in high sec stations for almost any activity slot and who don't mind spending a bit more ISK for their efforts. At first. But as bigger producers decide to reduce risk with the changes to blueprint usage I expect the stations in high sec to actually become more busy and thus drive costs up all over as they can more easily absorb the extra costs than small producers can.
Losers: Short term, no one. Long term, small scale producers will find themselves squeezed out by shrinking margins and forced to look into low sec or null sec.
Starbases Anchored (almost) Anywhere In High Sec And Without Standings Reqs
Winners: You think high sec is polluted with starbases now, wait until this change goes through! This is going to encourage more small groups and individuals to anchor POSes and allow more use of their unique mineral compression and research capabilities. No word on if the fuel requirement for charters is going away though, so assuming it isn't, big winners are people that produce those charters and small groups/individuals that want their own POS. As well as high sec war deccers that will have something to force the targets to fight or give up.
Losers: Small groups / individuals that don't understand the Byzantine controls and roles of starbases, nor how to protect for high sec war decs. High standing corporation creators (a niche but profitable occupation).
Blueprints must now be present at POS to start research / industry jobs
Winners: Hard to find a winner here. Perhaps some high sec war dec corporations might get the opportunity for some rich BPO drops from a POS bash. Corp thieves in corps that mess up security in the POS hangers.
Losers: Large organized POS farmers who kept their blueprints safe and locked down in station hangers and are now faced with the added risks of putting the BPO in the POS, or the added cost and effort of making BPCs. More on this subject from my corpmate Lockefox at his blog.
Copy Time Reduction
Winners: Hard to say. There is going to be a lot more copying going on in order to use copies in POSes instead of originals, but some copy pack manufactures might benefit from faster turnaround. On the other hand, those high end copy pack producers used POSes to make the copies so it might be a wash and loss for them.
Losers: Anyone who depended on the long copy time to reduce availability / supply of a particular item. Another perspective at EVE-fail blog.