The side effect of not undocking due to a somewhat laggy hotel internet connection and a lack of a headset to join in on fleets is that I can write a blog post or two a day instead. There is a lot that is bubbling up from Fanfest.
Vov and Detta have been having these intense, technical discussions about tags 4 sec and their potential usefulness. I'm the simple minded one that finally said, "We know nothing about their spawn rates you are just making guesses." This is probably why they are good at intense technical game mechanics and I am not. The perception of a min/maxer is not one that I can or do automatically understand. Optimization for the sake of optimization rarely appeals to me.
The discussion dove into what makes something worth doing in different types of space. PvE in low sec is not much better then PvE in high sec. While CCP may not be walking along the path of inherent steps of space, Low Sec is more dangerous then high sec. Currently, low sec, outside of Faction Warfare does not have a payout that makes it better then high sec and Vov cannot figure out why.
Nor can I other then the fact that hte equations are antiquidated and no one has touched them because PvE is a mostly neglected category At some point in the somewhat recent pass, I complained that PvE has been allowed to stagnate. I do not mean the changes such as improving the AI (it is better, I guess technically but I won't say I have more fun because of it) which was very recent and one thing. I mean that PvE content should be added with each expansion.
When I say PvE content should be added I don't mean new content requiring new code. I mean new missions and new sites and new DED complexes with the exact same mechanics should be added. The mission text should change. The room should be different. The spawns should be shaken up. It would be something that would have to be mapped and added to the massive bank of 'how to do missions by the numbers' that the player base has created. It would stop or at least decrease the chances of someone getting the same mission four times in a row and create variety the first few times around.
Even as I wrote this I thought that it would be cool if the missions that were added would have their mission story line reference back to the lore and live events that have been going on. Little things like that add a layer of immersion for lots of people. Those that don't read the story and just senselessly grind missions will continue to do so no matter what the mechanics For many, who want to play Eve as a game with a story it would give them more access to that story.
But this was supposed to be about making ISK. At the end of the day, Eve is always about making ISK. ISK is the big drive and the big limiting factor. The way the forumals work is that in high sec you get a certai ISK payout. As the security status of the system lowers the payout increases. This counts for bounties, mission rewards, and loyalty points. The ISK gained from mission PvE comes from direct ISK injection i the form of bounties and mission payouts. The second way is from loyalty points.
Loyalty points are a somewhat more complex method of gathering ISK. They are not instant Bacon. A player must decide which faction they wish to gain loyalty points for and what they can use those loyalty points to purchase and supplement their income. Some people never pay much attention to them and some pay lots of attention to them.
And then there is Faction Warfare. Faction Warfare is all about the gaining of loyalty points and converting them into ISK. This removes direct ISK injection and adds a layer of complexity. That's fine and well and good. What Vov was discussion was the way loyalty point payouts work in faction warfare and the way they surpass anything that can be done outside of Faction Warfare.
As a min/maxer Vov works through level 4 faction warfare missions. The negatives are you have to deal with FW militia that is able to kill you in high sec and low sec. You will also lose standings to the opposing factions and lose it very quickly. Faction standing is easy to lose and ridiculously, mind boggling hard to gain. On the upside, because Faction Warfare mission loyalty points are affected by the tier the faction is currently at when they are at their 4 the pay out is. Between the ease of the missions and the high level of the pay out the draw for a min/maxer is high and with a loyalty point to ISK conversation the ISK per hour can be in the hundreds of millions. He feels that it is obscene that he can make so much so easily and quickly.
My counter argument was "so what?" How can they balance the payout against a min/maxer without harming everyone? No matter how good faction warfare is I don't want to do it. I will never taste the liquid ISK that flows from its missions. It is balanced against me because I won't do it. How is stopping him not going to harm the average person.
His response was that the reason he goes to faction warfare is because it is so high. Not only is the reward incredibly high the reward is worth it elsewhere. He pointed out that a level 4 mission in low sec pays out a few k more loyalty points and maybe a million more ISK then a level 4 mission in high sec. A level 4 mission in faction warfare pays out a a magnitude more and that only increases with the tiers. Running missions or even doing anomalies in low sec has such a slight gain over doing the same in high sec that it does not cause anyone to wish to do it.
To avoid the math of faction warfare and the arguments of faction warfare I will move back over to the true point of my argument. Why is there not a more significant increase in payout for missions outside of high security space? Level 5's are nice but I don't think players that would pull their income from level 2 and 3 missions find level 5 missions a viable, immediate future. I also don't wish to answer every need to make ISK outside of high sec and without joining a null block to be "go to faction warfare". It goes against my entire little "help low sec" thing.
This is not a carrot post. I'm not discussion drawing people out of high security space and into low security space or null security space. If people want to come they will come. There are ventures that mine in the belts. There are explorers that die in the sites. Those that want to leave high sec will leave high sec. What I speak of is feeding those that live in low sec.
While we spend a lot of time discussing giving low sec its own defined feel and reason, as I look around me of late I wonder why we don't have some of the very basics life needs. If risk = reward, even in a small way, why do our gains suck? The risk that is taken when one steps through the high sec gate into low sec is a sheer cliff. It is not just 10% more dangerous. On top of that, for those that go to live in low sec they are bound to low sec and null sec to make their ISK. But, the increased risk taken by the life style means an increased loss that is also taken. There is no pimped out mission boat that you crack out and use to cruse through some missions while reading the forums. You use the same ships that you are going to fight in or you use a pimped out boat that you try desperately to keep and you will sometimes lose.
Low sec lacks decent ways for its player base who stay in low sec by choice or choice given by game mechanics to thrive there. And unlike wormhole space, where they have to trade their goods to make the ISK the space already contains the basic building blocks. The bounties are there. The missions are there. They have just not been looked at or touched for a tremendously long period of time.
I was told when discussing many aspects of this that I speak of solo play. I do. Eve's mission system and bounty system does not reward corp play on very many levels. The payouts split. But, outside of that, for a new player they often need a certain amount of independence. Low sec is populated by small corporations of people who work together on many levels but the chances are high that there will not always be someone on to help. Having content for people to do when alone is very important. It does not mean that you play Eve solo to do something alone. I'd never define my game play as solo but I do many activities by myself. Yet, when I undock, and place myself out there to be hunted down the reason that I undock needs to have value to me. It can be that I am moving around to do something. That means I'll take a fast ship, built for speed and avoidance. It may mean I'm looking for trouble. I'd pick a different fit for that.
If I am going to go to make money I have a duel need. I need to be ready to face the NPCs in whatever situation they are in. I also need to be able to face whatever player situations I may face. I don't mission the same way that I would in high sec. I cannot do so. I've spent a lot of time being hunted down by people and avoided it. I've spent a lot of time hunting down people and maybe catching them and maybe not.
None of that is what I would experience in high sec.
I've often heard that becoming outlaw is a choice. It is. But is it a choice that should be punished by making the game suck? The innate loss of low sec is already there. The average low sec pilot is going to go through a higher number of ships on a day to day basis. They are going to need a higher number of ships available to them to deal with situations they come across. They are going to have to turn down rewards and make decisions not to do the things they want to go and do because of the situation that may currently be in space.
Soundwave spoke that not every player is entitled to success. That is true. However, success and basic gameplay are two different things. A neglected game mechanics such as the payouts for missions and anoms is still a neglected game mechanic.
Mission payouts need work. They need to be looked at more often then they are. People often ask why newbies turn to mining because its boring and no one should mine. They do it because it is the most profitable activity that they can do for quite a while. Everything else takes time and skills. People kind of sort of want to play right now. They may not play well but they want to play. Level 1 missions do not match newbie mining for income. They don't turn to level 1 missions because level 1 missions are done for standings and to get better missions.
Someone will shout station trading and I will only roll my eyes. Not everyone is cut out to station trade. While not everyone is cut out to earn oodles and oodles of ISK there is a particular level that they need to progress in the game and that is why they turn to mining instead of running missions even if they dislike mining. Later it may be about ease and afk value but at first it is simply the fastest way for them to make the income to earn the things that they need. Such as a cruiser to do higher level missions.
People, playing a valid game style, need to be able to support the basics of the game style. They should be able to earn a cruiser. "Don't go outlaw" should not be the answer. Viability does not have to mean billions. It does not have to mean ISK fountains. It needs to provide the player with their basic needs if the needs are currently expected to be met in the area. And if there are things like missions in low sec I'm going to gain the expectation that they are there for players to do and function from them. I don't think they need to feed every need and desire for the eternity of the eve career. But for a new player just starting with the need to finance themselves the options need to keep up with the demands. It would be nice if they could make the same as a high sec newbie mining veldspar in a venture off something like missions.