Monday, March 25, 2013

What does Odyssey have for Low Sec?

CCP announced Eve's newest expansion theme.  Everyone immediately started to write and write about it and rip apart the bit of information they had to guess what the future might bring.  I looked at article after article ticking up on my reader and decided to wander off to do other things.  I read the splash page.  It is blue and very pretty.  I approve of that.  But, they discussed exploration.  That tickled a memory I had been repressing.

I haven't commented on the plight of the removal of static complexes from low sec. There is a lot of anger there and I try not to post when angry or point rants and rages.  I've never thought it would get me far.  The chances of being listened to seem greater when one is attempting to communicate when I'm not tempted to call people names and snarl and stomp my feet. We received some response, gave a lot of answers, opinions, and feed back and then heard nothing else.  The last reply was at the end of January.

What does this have to do with Odyssey?

On January 30th, Fozzie said:
"We in Team Five 0 have also been working hard to produce designs that would improve traffic and combat throughout lowsec, starting with all the crimewatch improvements we released in Retribution that improve life for every pirate, and continuing with our designs that were detailed in the CSM minutes. We can't commit to the next stage until we have the theme selection process internally and with the CSM finished, but we're dedicated to building upon what we achieved for lowsec in Retribution."
That was the last day our thread received communication.  There is a second post where Fozzie also points out the increases in ship kills since Retribution. It is agreed that everything is dying. However, that didn't change the fact that non-faction warfare low sec was less inhabited and drying up.  Faction Warfare was active and it was bringing in the people.  However, not everyone in low sec lives in Faction Warfare space and while it is wonderful that faction warfare is successful the rest of low sec had nothing.

However, the new expansion is about Exploration (at least).  That makes Fozzie's January 7th post more interesting to read in hind sight.
"Back in the day when most of the DED complexes were moved from static spawns to the exploration system, the 1/10 and 2/10 plexes were left static because it was thought that leaving them accessible for people who had not yet learned how to probe would benefit new players. A happy side effect of that decision (that most of you are very familiar with) was that the lowsec plexes became geographical landmarks that give people a location to fight over to a certain extent.
However during this last release we went over some of the available data to look at how the 1/10 and 2/10 plexes were serving their various purposes. Our metrics made clear that they were not living up to their primary purpose as interesting pve content, with the majority of the completions performed by the same small group of experienced players, some of which were clearly farming the content. The decision was made that special casing these plexes from the rest of the DED system was no longer worth it, and that the content would serve its primary purpose much better and to a much wider variety of people as exploration content.
This of course meant losing some of the interesting and positive gameplay associated with the 1/10 and 2/10 plexes, just as the old removal of the 6/10, 8/10 and 10/10 statics removed interesting gameplay in its time. However with hindsight it's fairly clear to us that the benefits of the old static plex removal outweighed the harm, with the content being run by many more people than could ever use the old farmable statics. The benefits of this change will be wider access to the pve content provided by these plexes and hopefully more people exploring lowsec as a whole (although less concentrated than previously). The downsides of course are a reduction in the number of geographical features that make some systems unique, as well as the easily seen focal point for players in space. We feel that as a whole this change will be a net positive, although I completely understand that it may not seem the case to those people who strongly benefited from the previous mechanic.
One idea that came up from the CSM discussion that I would like your opinions on (no promises at this stage):
What would you guys think about the plexes being reintroduced with the same size restrictions but without the NPCs (or without the NPCs in the final room) as a simple location for size restricted pvp decoupled from the DED loot?"
There was some discussion on this.  However, with hindsight and new knowledge I wonder if that is what we are going to get.  Or at least, something along those terms.  Now we have a theme of exploration.  Ripping out 'problem' areas to revamp them would be a first step.  Of course, leaving their bleeding husks behind as they gasp for a few breaths of air has been an unpleasant side effect.

No one can throw us a bone.  To say, "hey guys we're doing stuffs for you" and those things not happen will only create more problems. We want it. It would be great. But, realistically  that is not the conversation I expect CCP to have with us.  The unfortunate part is that people tend to become hopeless and walk away, head down and another layer of bitterness coating them.

Eventually, CCP will feed us more details. I'm going to hope that positive information will crop up for low sec.  Because right now, whenever I hear low sec it is in synchronization with Faction Warfare.  "low sec has faction warfare" and "faction warfare fixed low sec".  No.  Not really.  Faction Warfare is a part of low sec just as Amarr space is a part of high sec.  It is not all of low sec. I don't care if Faction Warfare is the best ISK and Faction Warfare has this and has that.  Not everyone wants to live in Faction Warfare space but they still want to live in Low Sec.

3 comments:

  1. Before I get to what I really want to say, I want to state where I'm coming from: I've lived in lowsec for most of my 2.5 years in eve, a good 6 months in the dead end area of Amarr FW a couple jumps from Sahtogas and Kourmonen. I'm currently living a couple jumps from Amamake. So my experience with non-FW space is somewhat limited aside from roams out and about with friends.

    I can say from my time both as a Minmatar FW pilot and occasional rogue pirate that shot at anyone, that the FW side of the lowsec house has definitely picked up in PVP, good thing right?

    Well, there's caveats.

    Aside from FW and the occasional exploration gig, there wasn't a lot of incentive to do much else besides PVP. Sure, there's some L4/L5 agents where I live. In fact those agents are the primary reason I'm basing out of where I am: it's something to do when I don't feel like going out and facing off against the hordes of linked/slaved/crystaled faction frigates/cruisers or people who have shitfits.

    Now, my understanding of non-FW space comes from R1FTA and their fight club they had in Heild, the plexes allowing for frigate action that wouldn't otherwise take place.

    In other words, it's a corp taking a system for whatever reason it may be, making it their home, and getting fights there/nearby systems. That is, in my humble, inexpert opinion, what makes lowsec a lively place.

    So, after saying a that, what I really wanted to say is, what do you think needs to happen for non-FW lowsec to thrive?

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    Replies
    1. Low sec is lively but PvP is not self sustainable and Low Sec should be livable space. I've had a lot of thoughts on that.

      I have no idea as to what needs to happen. None. I suck at that type of thing and I admit it honestly. I don't have grand ideas. I don't understand the pros and cons of things well enough to develop reasonable, balanced solutions. There are others who do and I hope they speak up. I think of random stuff like my Origin posts not useful things like game balance.

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    2. One thing which always comes to my mind on this topic is the imbalance of sec status loss to repair. One reason why industrialists are loath to enter losec is that they can't really defend themselves without the risk of losing access to the hi-sec tradehubs. It is better now than it was before, now that killrights are no longer given out like candy, but the time cost for sec status repair is still too high.

      A few more things to do for the discerning non- or part time-PvPer (which don't immediately need investments of POS-scale) wouldn't hurt either. What these could be, I can't really say - I'm not really a creative type.

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