Friday, January 17, 2014

Layers and Patterns

Changes are coming down from on high. I've not spent a lot of time looking at things for several reasons. The most important is that people who are much more capable at running and comparing numbers are looking at them and commenting.

One of the first things that I saw when the newest list of changes came out was that CCP is working on nerfing ISK and ISK making here and there. Vov often discusses how he wants a flat 25% cut of ISK in high sec. I argue with him a lot about it. His grasp of economic and exact numbers are better but he also works in the world of min/max. Even when he comes down to more rational levels I can't see eye to eye with him. I float around and sometimes make money and sometimes do not. I never go out to grind cash like many people do. My lack of grind means that I try to leave those figures to those that actually do and understand the grind. Yet, even though I do not grasp the fine details of ISK per hour I still argue with Vov and Detta as they state the average player can make X amount of ISK in a month and afford X amount of income nerf or account cost because when I look around me I don't see that. The line seems to be very clearly marked between struggling to make ends meat and comfortable with rich people somewhere off into the distance where I don't worry about them.

Now, the new Encounter Surveillance System is an obvious 5% ISK nerf. It is what started our chat where Vov called for a flat 25% ISK cut. He has his reasons and like most of his reasons they make sense. I just don't agree that announcing, "Tomorrow, ISK is cut by 25% enjoy!" and seeing it go over well. CCP has to nickle and dime us down. The player base has proben, time and time again that they will rise up in a frothing rage if and when CCP gets heavy handed in balancing not only their ships and their game.

That is why, when I read the drone shield recharge changes, it took me a moment to realize what those changes meant. My mind flickered to my own daily life first. In PvP I normally deploy drones and that is that. They do or they die or I die or I do but I don't worry about their recharge rates. I am both human and selfish. I did not see what the point of the changes where because meh to my life. And then, somewhere between a dose of Dayquill and a cup of tea I went, "Ohh. It is a PvE nerf. Another one."

After all, the ones who send and recall their drones the most and use large drones the most are the ones out doing PvE. Instead of setting them out to tank all day while the owner AFKs away at the anom or mission, the drones will not regenerate as fast meaning they will absorb greater damage over time if left alone. The light drone buff will be interesting if it means they don't automatically get consumed. I expect that they still will but they will be able to get back out on the field faster for an aware player.

Perhaps, a in the hangar drone shield/armor/structure status is in the works? I can only hope and dream, can I not? It would be a lovely compliment to the changes now that the player will have another thing to manage. Which also makes me wonder at where the line is to complexity and reasonable complexity. With the changes per type, more drone management will have to happen. Fozzie also announced a stack of new modules that will require overheating to reach their full potential. This is what he was saying he wanted to happen at Eve Vegas. I didn't expect to see it this soon. It means more micromanagement per module. Does it mean fits where the owner seeks to avoid overheating will start to come into play for the line soldiers of the biggest alliances or will it force people to do more than 'press F1'. Except, that micromanagement makes life that much harder for the small gang and soloists. While many are upset, I expect that we will survive. PvP will become more exhausting .

Of course I may be very, very off with all of my thoughts considering how bad I am at guessing things.

8 comments:

  1. I am so dang tired of the "nerf" what isn't me attitude in Eve. It's such self centered bullcrap. Many null sec peeps want to nerf high sec, meanwhile they blissfully grind missions, incursions, trading or high sec manufacturing to fund their null sec adventures. Low sec wants to nerf whatever to force people to go into low sec more and be targets/sheep to slaughter. High sec things null sec blobs need nerfed. One coalition wants X mechanic nerfed because they don't like it or can't fight it well. Another wants Y mechanic nerfed because it promotes blobbing. Blah blah blah ad nauseam, ad infinitum. All of this as a selfish desire to make others play the way you want them too.

    All of this to ignore a fundamental couple of facts that are so critical to EVE that messing up just one will very quickly kill the game.

    1. Most accounts and play will always be in high sec and nothing you do as an artificial force in game mechanics will force those players out into low or null to be your hapless victims (and yes, that is what is wanted, don't lie about it). Doing so in the game will simply make those people find a new game and EVE can't live without those subscriptions.

    2. Null sec must exist and have wars to generate the economic flow needed to maintain the game. The massive problem with the economy isn't that there is too much ISK coming into the game, it's that diplomacy and the tech cash cow killed far too much conflict and so now, the wars simply don't destroy enough and there aren't enough of them. Greed beat out aggression.

    3. Any organization that is not growing is dying simply through the act of attrition. If EVE doesn't fix the new player retention issue, then it will forever be on a slide to oblivion. I think it was nearly a year ago one of the large alliance high ups wrote an article about new player retention and how it was important. We need them or sooner or later life will force too many to move on and EVE will die a heat death.

    One thing that null peeps need to realize is the single largest factor in people moving from high sec to null sec is the douchbaggery that is heaped upon them in almost all null sec when they are discovered to be new and/or the rabid and irrational hatred of indy peeps from so called PvP peeps despite the absolute fact that without indy peeps all PvP grinds to a halt. Stop treating new peeps as chum on the water and more like fingerlings in a tidal pool so more stay and life would be better with a larger pool of player talent.

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    1. Fw (which is in lowsec) currently gives 600m an hour since minmatar are at tier 4, do I think this should be nerfed? Definitely, but given its proably the biggest isk sink in the game right now and CCP are having an isk injection issue I doubt it will be. Hisec currently gives you the best income for the least amount of risk via blitzing soe missions and incursions, both of which can easily give you 200-300m an hour after you liquidate lp.

      1) It only takes 21m a day to make a plex a month with prices at 630m per plex. There is no logical reason hisec should be as profitable as most things in lowsec/nullsec given the level of safety you have. Being able to get 100m an hour in hisec should be the theoretical ceiling imo.

      2) War and ship destruction inject isk into the economy from insurance payouts. CCP are nerfing nullsec bounties by 5% because of 'insane isk generation'. Anoms don't even give as much payout as incursions can so nerfing the raw isk payout of incursions and missions in hisec may be able to achieve the same goals without lowering an income source that is already matched by things that also include concord protection. Giving hisec less isk and more lp (or honestly just less isk because more lp can easily break the economy ala faction war) seems more logical to me.

      3) As per CSM minutes, the biggest reason people leave the game is they join eve, only play in hisec, then quit. People who actually join communities (be it rvb, brave newbies, any low/null corps) tend to stick around and keep playing, not so much for the game but for the people in the game which is the point of a sandbox after all.

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    2. Reply to your points.

      1) Often times, null sec is safer than high sec, this argument it vapid and based on an invalid assumption of risk. There are far more mission runners killed in high sec percentage wise than in null.

      2) Insurance payouts refund some of the time needed to make the origional ISK in the first place and they tend to favor those that use lower tech level ships. As I remember, incursions also happen in low and null sec and those pay out more than high sec incursions. The ISK nerf to annoms is to build conflict with their ill conceived new deployable. ISK isn't the problem, lack of destruction of ISK *IS*. Wars and conflict, have been much less wide spread and much less common in the past couple years than before. As a result, everyone in the meta is sitting on a pile of ISK and you have inflation. Diplomacy and greed beat out aggression and so there isn't nearly the level of sink in ship destruction that there used to be.

      3) And the treatment of newcommers in most organizations is often why those who do join an organization leave and quit. The space and security level isn't the issue, the players in the game treating others like crap is.

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    3. Isk is not destroyed when a ship is destroyed. Let me try to explain: When you buy a ship you give isk to the person selling the ship, when the ship blows up the isk is not lost, it is in the other persons wallet. You then get isk generated out of thin air as the form of insurance (which I see no real problem with). If I have completed a cycle of fw missions, I have 600k+ lp at tier 4. When I liquidate the lp, I have to use 600m isk in addition to the lp to acquire items which I then sell. When I convert lp into items like this, the isk used is removed from the game, gone, never to be seen again. When I sell the items isk is not generated, it is given to me by a player who has isk and wants the item.

      You have made no argument against nerfing the raw isk payout of incursions and missions (essentially making it so everyone effectively has negotiation level 0) to lower the ceiling on raw isk generated. These activities will likely still make far more than anoms in nullsec but CCP seems to be focusing on isk generation and 5% is not a very high number, so there seems to be little reason to alter nullsec anoms in a flat nerf given how many people use them compared to activities in hisec.

      This would also allow the ESS to have a much larger % impact, perhaps 60% bounty unless an ESS is active in which case you get full bounty but you can only collect the missing 40% income by going to the ESS where it would print 10m tags at the rate of one every 2 minutes. People refusing to undock/leave their pos when a neuteral is in system is a player problem with no game mechanic that requires people to live in their space to own it.

      As far as 3) please read the csm minutes, they say pretty clearly that the majority of people who leave don't even bother playing for the sandbox, not many people leaving corps and quitting because of being mistreated.

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    4. Isk is a representation of the expenditure of labor over time. Like all fiat currency it is simply an exchange of labor since it has no intrinsic value. When a person makes a ship and mines all that is needed, the ship is not free because of the labor over time invested. This is the mush headed "the minerals I mine are free" argument that ignores the reality of opportunity cost. If you pay for a ship, the ISK came from somewhere, your labor over time. Then you get insurance when the ship is blown up, and it is less than the value of the ship so your labor is reduced in value. Thus, labor is lost and since labor=isk isk is lost from the game.

      You are fundamentally confusing the actual number of isk in the game with the reality that it is simply a representation of labor.

      I am well aware of how LP work and use them myself from time to time.

      I have read the CSM minutes and yes, those people do not join social organizations, that is true. WHY? Do you believe that the public debasement of newcomers and the less experienced along with the derision of those who prefer building or markets over exploding things may play into it? Do you feel that, just like being introduced to a new school, that if the environment looks nasty and mean that you will be less likely to reach out to groups to participate? How can one say that these do not play a large part in the equation?

      Also, why do you assume that playing in high sec is not playing in the sandbox? Is it because of your own bias and selfish view that your way is the only way to play and if someone doesn't participate in the manner that you prescribe, they must be lesser than you? This is the type of thing that I believe plays a large part in the issue.

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    5. As Sugar reminds me on occasion, I am an asshole. Nevertheless I shall try to be somewhat civil...

      Your first paragraph is based on nonsense. It does not matter if you equate isk with labor, the framework of the game and the concepts of faucets and sinks for isk do not rely upon individual interpretation: that is, a faucet is where isk enters the game from nothing and a sink is where isk exits the game to nothing (rat bounties and LP store purchases respectively).

      On to the rest of your paragraphs: being in the sandbox of Eve does not make you immune to everyone else in it with you, just like being in the world "minding your own business" does not make you immune to what other people choose to do. Choosing to be ignorant of game mechanics (or sticking ones head in the sand like an ostrich) is just as valid a decision as it educating oneself on how the game actually works (concord response time, gate gun mechanics, etc), with varying consequences for each decision, some being less desirable than the other.

      Yes, the average Eve player interaction tends to be rude, crude, vile and filled with empty threats or obvious cognitive dissonance, such is the same as the person in front of me at the supermarket checkout counter who doesn't bother to start filling out their cheque until the total has been rung up. Ignorant and proud of it, yet they help keep CCP afloat and the real world economy moving.

      Some people will always be helpless, defenseless sheep there justify everyone else and to be ruthlessly taken advantage of because they can't do any better.

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  2. Ironically, I believe that the issue of high sec income, especially in light of your absolutely correct differentiation of casual vs. power gamers, and the issue of inflation are actually opposed. There are a number of ways that power-gamers make much more ISK--farming good missions over the course of a week, blitzing, using two characters in two ships, and so on--but IMO the biggest differentiator is the way the two kinds of players use LP. The casual player probably didn't pay much attention to the LP store. If he did, maybe it has an implant or a shiny (or in my case, a starbase charter) that he wants. A power-gamer chooses the corp to mission for on the basis of the LP store, specifically the items which have the best ISK/LP conversion ratio. He then blitzes missions to get max LP, buys as many of those items as possible, ships them to a trade hub with a good price, and sells them for a huge profit. This is something which either doesn't occur to most players, or which does, but which is then binned as being less fun than running more missions. So a flat nerf to ISK earned hurts the casual more than the power-gamer.

    On the other hand, LP are a net ISK sink,so nerfing LP payouts would be inflationary.

    It's an interesting problem to consider.

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  3. Ccp has huge interest in nerfing all income. Think about it. Harder pve with less payout = plex sales to them thats what we should really be worried about not this I live in high or null and dont want nerfed bullshit

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