Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Weaving a New Pattern

I've been having a lot of logistics discussions this last week. A lot of them. I've stated my opinion. I've laid out here my life and times of doing logistics. And I am fascinated and frustrated by the arguments raging back and forth.

I have said that being a non-PvPer is often the route to being considered a second class citizen. One rarely hears songs of the blacksmith in history unless the blacksmith takes up his hammer to become a warrior in a time of need.

It bothers me. It bothers me because I like to do many things in Eve, many of which are considered unacceptable. It bothers me because I tire of seeing people told to stop doing what they enjoy and go and do PvP which is fun, no matter what the player says that they enjoy. And it bothers me because it is a game that requires so much detail and minutia but so often that is crushed down as people are ordered to go and do something fun.

In reaction, we've developed a culture where player on player interaction is considered PvP. We have market PvP and Industrial PvP as well as spaceship PvP and so forth and so on. While the descriptions are all true I feel that they were developed more as a justification for others actions. Actions that should not be justified.

I play as I do because I wish to.

Now, some people are stuck in a rut. And getting them out of said rut can help them enjoy the game more. However, lots of people are just leaned back, playing Eve and having fun doing what they do. And that should be a good thing. Yet, it does not seem to be.

The game is in a stir and that stir is not unexpected. Yet, with it comes the unpleasant reality of how things will impact other players. As I discuss logistics and have people tell me that they are easy or even worse, use 'harden the fuck up' I sigh. I sigh because it does not often go both ways. I sign because the better you are at what you do the more people assume that it is easy to do.

A while back, I started a post. It was a very irritated and frustrated post about the fact that when you do something well people stop seeing it as any effort. They tell you that it's easy, or that you have it easy. They demand more and appreciate less until resentment builds. At that time, I found myself resentful and I realized it and pondered. Just being frustrated was not useful. Impotent rage is a waste of energy.  I decided that I may always be a second class citizen to some. But, I will be a second class citizen dressed in citizens clothing. I refused as a newbie to spend my time frightened and that stubbornness carries me over today.

I look at the future of Eve and the changes that are coming and I wonder if the player base is willing to change. I don't mean things like learning new jump ranges and taking capitals through gates. I wonder if we, as a societal groupm will be able to change radically enough to adapt to what we think we want.

We speak of regionlization. But, those regions need to be somewhat organised by someone. Of course, they do not have to be fully independent and in many ways it is good for them not to be. But, Eve corporations often thrive on narrow specializations. Very few groups who become successful have various 'wings' or 'branches'. The PvPers and the industrialists tend not to get along until they are one and the same. And those that are one and the same often do the support work as well. And that is how it has been and the game has supported that with a reasonable grace.

Will it continue to do so in the future?

Unlike many, I don't speculate. I don't know. Speculation is not my super power. I understand motivations and reasons. I can break down what people say and what they need and why they may have done things. but guessing what they will do is beyond me. I rarely know what I will do much less another.

Every time I hear someone say that they will just have to find more freighter pilots or that they will just have to ask for PvP escorts I almost chuckle. Its a dark, frustrated chuckle with no joy and only an exasperated quality to it. Where are they going to find more freighter pilots when their current group does the work? When people are selling their casual pilots off because it isn't worth it anymore? Where will we find the PvP escorts when PvP fleets can so often not be bothered with the boring? If people won't log on for anything less then X will we be able to convenience them to do Y?

One person, or a few people, should not be able to supply many. It should take many to supply many, I am told. But where is that line? Where do we make that decision? And if that future if fulfilled and it takes many to supply many will that happen?

I have this worry that people will just move to the high sec fringes in low sec due to convince and because roaming is still roaming. I don't know what will happen to deep null. I can only listen to those who live there and what they speculate.

In an ideal world, corporations would be healthiest when balanced. I think that is the dream of many groups when they start. They will start with industry and mining and build a PvP contingent for their warriors and live in symbiosis. Yet, those corporations rarely thrive and grow into more. The PvP group breaks off after bickering with the industrialists. The logistics people grow tired or steal everything one day after someone says something nasty about a late delivery and go somewhere else.

It may be the place where paper ideas and reality clash. We don't seem to get along. We have a warrior class that is often idealized. People call their own corporation members surfs.

I worry.

I also hope.

I have been slowly working to producing some of my own store needs locally to decrease my own logistical needs. I started this after Crius. I'll simply accelerate this. If anything, I started on the regional market idea before it was cool. Being a hipster of regionalism, I think that I will do okay and along the way maybe I'll be able to convince other people that it is also not a bad thing.

Playing Eve comes in many different ways. I've been scolded before that I don't write enough about low sec because I don't write that much about PvP. Well, low sec, like Eve, is a pretty big place with a lot of things that can keep a person occupied.

23 comments:

  1. Thank you for voicing the frustration of the JF pilots. What people don't realize is how these changes will affect day to day operations. Cyno pilots will be affected by the med clone changes, and JF pilots will be affected by all the jump range and fatigue changes. It comes down to TIME. This is just one more example of how EVE is work. These changes mean more work, more drudgery, more bullshit.

    No one yet realizes how it affects Black Frog and Red Frog and the line freighter pilots of every corporation in EVE. CCP just made what was already a full time job even more fucking work.

    good luck. it won't be fun.

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    1. Aye. We're all going to be nerfed. I just think/want/feel that a bit more focus is needed to how things will get around the map.

      With stuff in hand, people are productive.

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    2. Red Frog and PushX seem largely uneffected as far as high sec hauling goes. The delivery times from low and null will probably be a lot slower if they continue serving those areas (Some places will probably become unservable, such as Stain/Tenal/Blue Alliance Spaces, if any jumps through hostile territory are needed) What this means is that if you can move your stuff anywhere in low/high, you can ship it the rest of the way via the pushers/frogs to reduce your fatigue growth (While having insured cargo and other benefits).

      These changes sort of ensure that there will be trade hubs in every nullsec region, connected to each other by the jump freighters. A pilot picks things up at one of the highsec/lowsec hubs and carries it off to the first null one, where other pilots pick up their needs and take it further in, and so on, passing the baton so to speak. T1 stuff will have to be built out there, and it's quite possible that moon stuff will just go straight to the local market for the dedicated haulers/reactor people to pick up. Towers/Capitals will also probably be switched to the local ice, as out of region products become more difficult to import.

      As for highsec needs, I believe lowsec now has plenty of material to supply both itself and highsec. Adding the 0.4's for moon goos and reactions and the ark/bistot/cro anoms seems to have been a warning that these resources would be needed in the future. Highsec moon mining could be turned on if nullsec can't/won't ship any moon goo to empire at all, and it's already seeded as I have seen on many moons.

      All the previous expansions are starting to make a bit more sense. Covert Mining Ship, Industry Changes, upcoming Invention changes, wormhole changes... They are applying a gradient to space... Going from easier to hardest. The farther out you go from empire, the harder it will get...

      The only question left for players is how hard do they want their game to be?

      - Serinas Setzuni

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    3. The complaints I've read in response to these changes from both freighter and combat cap pilots often boil down to, "it will make it more difficult and take more time to do the same things we do now."

      Have you considered that maybe the intent of these change is that you will not be able to do the same things that you do now? What if the intent is to break up the vast distances in EVE so that they actually feel vast by making it unrealistic for any single player to easily cross those distances? Maybe the future of EVE means that instead of JF pilots individually hauling loads from Jita out to the furthest reaches of null, pilots will specialize more on hauling shorter distances within individual areas of space. What if it is meant for some pilots to haul goods from highsec trade hubs down to secondary hubs on the edges of lowsec, while other pilots pick up from those secondary hubs and haul out to smaller markets within lowsec, or to tertiary hubs near nullsec, and so on?

      It just seems that many players are arguing that they cannot preserve a system that is not intended to be preserved.

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    4. Not so much that we're not aware. Many of us just don't have the time or the inclination, we're not concerned because of aim of the change.
      I'm all for a more regional EVE. We have concerns because we fear that there won't be a place with enjoyable content for us in the brave new world. A thing we're sad about because we enjoy EVE at the moment and hence we raise our concerns.

      I live only 8 jumps from the nearest highsec, but post changes I will have major issues doing what I do in EVE. Which will force me to consider is this still worth my time? And please don't take this the wrong way, this is not a veiled threat of some sort, I *want* change and I don't *want* to leave EVE, I'm upset out how the proposed change (in my opinion unfairly) affects my gameplay.

      I fear that I am about to become a dinosaur after the meteor strike. Wiped out by sudden change after which my form of EVE life will simply no longer be viable.

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  2. Sugar, your “stream of consciousness” style is often exquisite. This piece is no exception.

    Commenting only on one item among the broad swath of observations you deliver, I worry that we players may try to deposit too broad a set of responsibilities on the shoulders of a single corporation. If you’ll forgive a little real life comparison, corporations aren’t nation states. Rather, they are comparatively specific business ventures. Even massive real life conglomerates like, say, General Electric are far away from doing everything. GE doesn’t operate farms. GE doesn’t operate mines. GE doesn’t . . . well the list just goes on and on.

    I find it revealing that in EvE the basic unit of player union chosen is “corporation” rather than or “city” or “state” or “planet”. It gives a feel of fractious specialization right from the get go. This may well be a good thing.

    Now EvE does have its player built nullsec nation states and they are astounding artifacts but I fear it may be a disservice to most of the player base to hold up those rare entities as the model for ideal EvE play. For those that partake, it often appears an enjoyable way to play but for many other players EvE is more about finding a particular niche and delving into that niche until interests change and one moves on to something else.

    Importantly, I’m not accusing you of making this ‘must build a nation state’ mistake but as your example shows many players do:
    “I think that is the dream of many groups when they start. They will start with industry and mining and build a PvP contingent for their warriors and live in symbiosis.” That is, indeed, a mighty big goal.

    You often state, “I play as I do because I wish to.” It’s not only a personal observation about how you play the game, it’s good advice about how to approach the game in general.

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    1. I'd speculate that people value their independence. 'the dream' is to be independently wealthy and able for many people (both in rl and eve).

      If that can't be achieved by oneself the next best thing is doing it with a selected group of (trusted and liked) peers, hence the corporation (or clan/guild).

      Once you start involving 'strangers' it doesn't feel like it's your accomplishment as much anymore (not saying this is true but emotions govern us as much as if not more so then reason).

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    2. Interesting observation Kaeda. I highlighted specialization/generalization. You highlighted independence/cooperation. Sugar explored envy/disdain (“You have it too easy/Hell no I don’t want to shoulder your shitty niche”). All difficult tensions to resolve. EvE can be such an exasperating/intriguing game.

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    3. I once read an Eve dev say that if it's too easy, it's not really that fun.

      Guess he's on the nullsec team now....

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  3. So THIS is what the old Chinese curse meant...
    "May you live in interesting times..." =]

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  4. I guess the lolpvp corps that does no "work" and just "having fun" will either base from the edge of highsec or disband.

    They won't be missed. They are the problem. They make EVE a shallow space World of Tanks.

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    1. All active players are missed.

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    2. Are all non-active players not missed?

      Define: 'Active'

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    3. In this, Gevlon points to the lolpvp corp that will not be missed. I disagree.

      If said anon was for me.

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    4. As that is where they are already based, I don't see why anything would change.

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  5. Sugar, just so I can get an idea of what these changes mean... is it possible to get a breakdown on a ballpark figure of what you ship the most of, ships and modules?

    I'm not asking for absolute numbers you use in the TCS, and I know you hold two regions with differing consumption profiles at the moment. But instead just a back of the envelope, "I move about 10% frigates, 5% destroyers, 20% cruisers, BCs and BSs are another 5%, and the other 60% of my sales are in capitals and super capitals.".

    Again, I know the TCS isn't representative of the game, just a snapshot of a part of the game. But, since I don't know anyone else who owns a regional market, it'd be nice to get some sort of idea of what the current usage breakdowns are pre JF nerf, and then come back and look at it 6ish months from now to see what sort of effect it had on usage from your perspective.

    Sorry, I know I'm asking for a lot. Just seems like it'd be interesting to see where things actually do go from an industrial perspective after a change of this sort.

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    1. Nothing as neat as you'd like Halycon. It is about hulls and modules.

      Modules move easily. I can fit billions and billions into one jump freighter. But, modules use hulls. Plus, hulls have other uses.

      A jump freighter has roughly 350m3 of space per load.

      And then add this across the four racial types and suddenly movement of hulls becomes an issue. Now building frigate and cruiser hulls locally is totally doable. But once you get above that level the cost and the material needs also climb dramatically.

      If I sold no hulls and no high volume items like fuel, I could use blockade runners to supply low sec. It'd be irritating but doable. But a blockade runner carries about 3 days worth of fuel for a large tower.

      To wander back on topic last move to Bosea involved three BS hulls, three BC hulls, five T1 hauler hulls, a handful of frigate hulls, and about 10 cruiser hulls. It took two jumps to move everything.

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    2. Sugar is absolutely spot on about the considerations here. (This is not surprising; I just wanted to echo it.) I seed about 300 orders in nullsec, but they're mostly modules and ammo, and I actually build a certain amount of the modules locally already. In any event, I think I could keep all the modules supplied with a BR run every couple days. Ammo would be dicier. That would be at least one more BR every couple days just for ammo.

      Because of political vagaries, it looks like my single-midpoint JF run is going to get about 6 midpoints, which is a lot more cynos than anyone in the alliance wants to deal with. (If we took one or two border systems, this could drop down to three midpoints, which I could be okay with.) Unfortunately, this makes hulls a big problem, because a blockade runner can fit ... one cruiser. Building local T1 small hulls is good, because the import cost is currently about 60% fuel. For Cruisers, it's about 30% fuel. For bigger hulls, it gets down below 5%, but you can't fit those in blockade runners. We're really not sure how we're going to source BC+ hulls, and T2 hulls are in just as bad a spot because we're going to have to import either parts or hulls no matter what. We haven't figured out how we're going to square this circle yet.

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    3. For perspective, we run a large tower in a low class wormhole with a low sec static. We don't have a JF, and one wouldn't fit through our hole anyway. We buy all our fuel in high sec and haul it in Iteron V's (recently starting to use DST's occasionally -- we can't all fly them). It is only a few runs for a month of fuel. Depending on circumstances, these runs could be solo, scouted, or fully escorted. And you know, the fuel runs are kind of fun, because there is an element of risk. We could make a greater number of trips in more secure ships like blockade runners, but that would be more like work, and we're trying to have fun in what is, after all, a game.

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    4. TBH, the biggest value to running market stuff in a blockade runner is that I'd be able to run one (dangerous) high-null gate, bridge to a jump from home, go through another (much more secure) gate, and be there. But I can only do that jump a couple times per session. ;)

      Battleships are particularly awkward, though, because, if we don't do it by JF, the options are: one battleship per DST, use a wormhole and a freighter, or spend a billion isk (plus research fees which won't be cheap) for a BPO and then be able to build a single battleship type locally.

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  6. I'm guilty of assuming that people only created things in Eve because they couldn't destroy. I made it a personal goal to take the so called carebears in my corp on PvP roams. I found they were more than capable of blowing things up, they just didn't enjoy it.

    I'm hoping that this change will make players respect logistical teams more. On one hand JF pilots are getting screwed. An alliance or two may fall apart because they aren't able to support their work horses. On the other it may decrease the name calling and mockery of those who enjoying building sand castles instead of destroying them.

    Or at least I hope.

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    1. I fall into this category. I enjoy pvp from a economic/strategic vantage point, but throw me right into the fray and the stress + fear + information overload + adrenalin is the perfect storm for me to have a blackout or seizure, and so I avoid those situations when possible.

      Many would assume (and have assumed) that I'm a pure carebear, but it's only the unique combination that Eve and Minecraft have that seem to cause this problem. I have no problems at all killing players in other games. I did it in Dark Age of Camelot, First Person Shooters, and currently do it in Eldevin. Humans are usually much more satisfying opponents.

      - Serinas Setzuni

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  7. I believe in the short run there will be a bit of panic, prices will go wild and things will be blown up as people learn new "safe" places to cyno and such. In the long run though, Eve like most real economies will submit to supply and demand. prices will go up the farther from manufacture they get, things may not always be in supply as easily as it is now, but people will cope. I think you will see as prices for JF services go up, people will pick back up that casual character they may have moth-balled, or even sold, because hell, now a run or two every so can pay for X, where as now, it may be too cheap. Being that dedicated JF pilots will feel the brunt of this due to fatigue and such, there will be more of a need to have others help out, and where the money is, the pilots will be. This also should spur the local building of modules and things of the sort because again, if the components are available locally it will become cheaper to build it. As was pointed out, things like fuel and such may become more localized to match what's available, and perhaps even see a swing into that races huls if the other fuels are not that cheap any more. I agree Sugar, it will be tougher to run TCS on your own, but this may give you a chance to reach out to local building and perhaps contract huls and such to help you not have to carry them as far, as for modules, as you pointed out, you can fit more than you probably need each time you jump so if planned correctly, that should not be as tough to do. May have to keep a bit more of stock in the hanger to make sure you can cover what you need in between jumps. I have faith in the market, people will go to the money, and if there is money to be made they will find it

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