It was an unexpected question in the quiet depths of my chatroom. My mind has been rather muzzy these past few weeks and it was a slow churn until I produced, “Not really,” as a response. Then I wondered if that was a good response. It seemed like it was. I wasn’t raging out about Tags4Sec. Nor did I find it a forgettable feature that had passed its shelf life. In many ways, it had settled down into a normal part of life. These days people ratted, collected tags, sold them or adjusted their security status. Several players had returned and their first words were, “How do I use this.”
I know my opinions about Tags4Sec. The words spill from my fingertips and splash across the bright backing of the internet. My own opinions at times bore me. Talking to myself can, surprisingly, become old. The opinion expressed to me was one that I found interesting.
“I can’t help but think CCP missed an opportunity here.”
I was interested in my bitter friends opinion on what CCP missed. I asked him to tell me and sweetened the offer by saying that I would write it out and hopefully separate his opinion from my own. There are many fantastic and interesting ideas and thoughts out there in Eve. I hate to see things missed. My own thoughts are not the be all and end all.
For those interested, or not, or just unknowing the tags spawn in a predictable system pattern. We figured it out the second or third day and stayed mum on the topic. It seems to have filtered out into more common knowledge.
Low sec is composed of systems of 0.4 to 0.1 security. Tags4Sec come in 4 flavors. The flavor that increases the you from -10 to -8 spawns in 0.4 systems. That is the least sought tag. People who hover around -10 are normally comfortable with their status. It is not something that randomly “whoopsie” happens after a roam.
Some say that they are no longer worth farming. Worth is very situational. I checked prices when I started to write this. The tags that move sec from -10 to -5 sell for around 2 million ISK each. The tags that move sec from -5 to 0 are the ones selling in the 30-50 million ISK a piece range. I think for a commonly spawning item that is a very nice pay off.
What was pointed out in this discussion over the Tags4Sec was that due to the spawns being hard set to X tag rat spawns in X sec there is little to no reason for people to go hunting tag rats outside of the 0.2 and 0.1 systems. The 0.4 and 0.3 systems do not have the value for someone hunting tag rats for ISK.
There is a general scheme in Eve where system sec status means something about the system. It affects mission rewards, ore, anchoring, site types, etc. But in low sec, where there is only a fanning of four sec system types they mean almost nothing. I’ll have to point out that there is a bit of a mission reward difference for running level 5 missions. But, considering the amount of Eve players who do not even know level 5 missions exist, they are somewhat of an unknown, niche.
Putting tags rats into particular sec systems makes sense following the grand scheme of sec system and product produced. Yet, the flow of low sec leaves security status relatively unimportant when looking at the larger picture of putting content into low sec. If tag rats spawned, randomly, through the entirety of low sec people would have to constantly scan all of the low sec systems instead of cherry picking the two favorite flavors.
It also points to over supply. When low sec lost the 1/10 and 2/10 static complexes we were told that they were being removed because of farming through the entire game. Despite our comments that in low sec we got to blow up the farmers vs high sec where CONCORD petted and gave stamps of approval. So, if farming is so bad as to rip a part of low secs backbone out and leave it damaged and maimed, would not randomizing the spawn of tag rats help to stop farmers from settling into systems and soaking up the more popular tags while sitting under the orange blazing beacon of a 0.2 or 0.1 security status of a system?
For those of us who live in low sec, we live there for many reasons but rarely is that the status of the system. My bitter friend pointed out that Bosena is a 0.4 system and has more ship kills than Egbinger, a 0.1 system. The value of the tag rat in Bosena, where there is a higher danger, is not worth doing. Now, if the rats spawned randomly, the Bosena belts would be worth skimming even if dangerous considering the tags are worth more than the ships.
And his ideas for randomization:
"I'd like to see some randomization to the rat spawns, say 50% of the primary type, 25% of the next sec status up/down, 25% +2 sec status. So someone in a 0.4 has a chance of seeing a 0.2 rat, and vice versa"It was a good conversation with a lot of valid points. Tags4Sec are a good step towards giving low sec a food source. Its implementation has been a net positive. Now, a few more tweaks to settle it into the system would be nice as the Odyssey 1.1 release approaches.