Friday, April 26, 2013

Eve Online Fanfest 2013: Dust 514, Planetary Conquest, and Low Sec

I regretted not going to the Dust 514 Keynote when I learned that they officially announced what we all knew, that Dust 514 Planetary Conquest was coming to Molden Heath.  I decided to correct my knowledge gap and go to the Dust 514 sessions that involved Planetary Conquest and see what I could learn.

I know very little about Dust and this is not about Dust. It is about what Dust will do to Non-Faction Warfare Low Sec. I want Dust to succeed but I am not personally interested in it. It is a first person shooter and all of the fascinating gameplay does not take away from the fact that its run around and shoot things in a first person view. The only time I am sucked into First Person views is exploration games like Skyrim and Fallout.

Anyway, I was there to hear about Molden Heath. I sat with Ueberlisk. I am pretty sure that we were the only Molden Heath residents there.

All of the temperate planets are going to become controllable  They will be randomly split into 5-24 districts. These districts can be claimed by Dust corporations. There, they can build infrastructures. They will have three types.

  • Production Facilities
  • Cargo Holds
  • Research Labs

Currently only Faction Warfare interacts with Dust. The changes will allow the Eve side of the Dust Corporation/Alliance to receive bonuses to Planetary Interaction on the Planet and Player Owned Star-bases anchored on the moons around the planet.
  • Production Facilities - Will Increase PI
  • Cargo Holds - Decrease Manufacturing time at POS
  • Research Lab - Decrease POS Fuel Usage
I was not sure if these things were big enough carrots. I went to the Round Table for this and asked. The Devs said that they can adjust the reward up if they need to.

My concern was this: They are asking for corporations and alliances to move into low sec and anchor a POS to receive these rewards. Molden Heath is full of pretty aggressive residents. All the POCOs are owned. If someone wants the PI reward they will have to take the POCOs. The Devs felt this was great because it creates conflict. I agree but my question is, is the increase enough for people to want to deal with taking a POCO and defending the POCO constantly? And if the increase was great enough that the answer is yes will it just be yet another case of null sec powers rolling through and stomping over everyone else and controlling another resourse.

I cannot see the manufacturing time increase to be enough. People don't want to keep those types of assets in space in low sec.

The decreased POS fuel usage is nice but again, is it that big enough of a deal to be a carrot?

The Devs feel yes and pointed out that we might not be the ones stomping but someone might come and stomp us.  This is very, very true. As a small gang group we already deal with the simple fact that no matter how good, prepared, organized  or capable we are, we will be eradicated by a large enough group. Is that what they want? That large group will then come in and plant itself on the resource until the end of eternity.

Is that conflict?

Then later, Druur then told me that they were discussing changing all of Low Sec to Faction Warfare in the FW Round table.  "The players?" I asked. "No the devs."  WTF? I've expected it to happen. It is a hammer fall situation. Eventually, someone is going to look around and decide that all of low sec should be FW and people will say it makes sense and living in low sec will be about dealing with Faction Warfare and the unique non-FW low sec will go away.


I wound up pissed enough that I was cursing up the storm for most of the rest of the evening until I calmed down in the keynote. Low Sec needs attention, I agree. Yet, it does not seem as if Low Sec residents are sought out for these changes. Now that FW has gained popularly it feels like not being in FW is to be a subset of a subset (someone that lives in low sec).

The interesting part is that I made a note about something else said during the Planetary Conquest presentation. Foxfour was explaining that the low sec Dust battles spawn in the systems that have the most plexing happening by members of FW. This made me wonder what was going to cause fights outside of PC in MH. It made me worry that FW might be slated to come out way. I hate being the harbinger of doom or making random, wild guesses out of my ass. Yet, I was still worried and when Druur mentioned the feeling that 'FW should be Low Sec' I started to get more worried.

I was also, already angry.  When the presentation started they explained that they are not bringing this to null sec because they do not want to break null sec and have null sec angry with them. I am sure that the side effect of, "we will break this in low sec instead because we don't care if they are upset" is not what was intended. It is what I picked up and I got a bit mad.

I know that Low Sec is my little platform over here to the side. Its mocked by null sec, wished to die by high sec, and seen by Wormholes as an exit or something to come poke at the natives in. The CSM 8 elections focused on people with little to no interest in low sec. We are Eve's bastard children but I picked up this dreadful feeling that we were about to be excised completely as the solution to what and who low sec is.

I want dust to succeed. I want CCP to succeed. I am just starting to wonder if in that path of success the individuality of non-FW low sec is going to be one of the sacrifices they will be making. Its hard to say 'look at me' when you are such a small, unimportant number to a business that does have to look at its numbers. If non-fw focused low sec pilots vanished what blip would we make on the radar?

I hate to ask that question. I want to stand up and announce that we are the most important thing eve. Yet, I have to be a bit rational. The impressions are creeping in from all sides and as much as I may scream and kick at them, I'm one small, unknown voice screaming to protect a niche. How viable, at the end of the day, will that really be?

8 comments:

  1. I legitimately believe they are setting up low-sec to be a very hunter vs. prey scenario, and that we will be the hunters.
    Everything I'm reading from Fanfest so far sounds like it will incentivize coming to low-sec for the chance of ISK and risking being preyed on by more experienced pirate hunters.
    But I'm an optimistic kind of guy.

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  2. Altaen: Because they've been so successful at that in the past, right?

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  3. I'm getting the same feeling with the Tags4Sec plan to turn low sec belts into places people fight over rats that drop tags. Mining? What's that?

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  4. I also fear that Low-sec is to become FW-sec. Perhaps we are just a dying breed and EVE no longer needs/wants the kind of gameplay we enjoy. I wonder if this is how arrows felt when they invented gunpowder.... #doomandgloom

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  5. My mistake, I wasn't clear enough: It was a player who asked to extend FW to larger (if not all) areas of lo-sec - the devs did not like the idea, because they want to see a variety of activities taking place in losec, even if they don't know yet what all those activities could be. The devs brought up 'Planetary Conquest' as one example of such an alternative activity.

    Sorry for the false alarm.

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  6. Thank you for your thoughts on this. I am trying to get more information on planetary conquest and its effects.

    From your last reply I take that planetary conquest is not to be extended to FW low-sec?

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    Replies
    1. Foxfour has a post up on the Dust forums that explains why they picked Molden Heath. Like so much of the Dust rollout they are starting in one contained place before they decide to expand further into the game.

      My first fear was that low sec would all become faction warfare. Dusts reverse travel into FW low sec for planatary conquest is unknown. I believe the presentations are available to watch for finer detail.

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    2. Thank you for pointing me to that post. Really interesting, as I was making up my mind which region could be next to receive the planetary conquest feature... will safe me a lot of disappointment later on :)

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