It lead to a question. It was the type of question that crops up in a broader conversation and derails thought. The question was simple enough and I discovered I had no answer for that wish I wanted to ponder.
Can Eve, in its current state, actually support a system where most groups create, build, and defend for themselves alone? Does Eve work on that level or does it only work on the level of many supplying the few?
This started as a discussion about removing the reliance of groups on places like Jita and creating an Eve where PvPers and Industrialists worked in harmony. One supported the other in symbiosis. The PvPer, cut off from Jita would need the Industrialist to gather and create. The Industrialist would need the PvPer not only to consume but protect. It sounds great. It seems as if that was how things were supposed to be. And then players and twelve years happened.
As I spin back up my own industrial machine to feed the relentlessness destructive maw of low sec, I wondered how feasible having fewer independents and more groups would be. Currently, there are thousands upon thousands of players that build things for whatever reason they happen to have and place those things on the market. The consumers who consume in a rather complete sense of the word gather from all of these smaller sources at a communal watering hole, and go and consume them. To change this, the consumer would need enough producers to produce.
But that means the producers reason to produce would change. Currently, people produce for many reasons. From the beautifully mapped out intricate sheets of profit tot he casual foray into creation, people produce. And at the core of that production is blueprints. If a group were to depend only on internal supplies for the bulk of what they need instead of the convince of Jita, where would they get it all?
Where would they get the industrialists to build and gather the supplies? And then the blueprints to build them all? I've been working on my own blueprint library since the summer. I'm through frigates and my haulers are almost done. I've started on ammo and modules. Now, I have cruisers to look at and that means not just the cost of the blueprints which near a hundred million ISK, but the months of research time for them.
In the current market I could go for copies. But to assume I am in the ends of space and reliant upon my land to feed me, I'd need to research my own. Or have my own researched. Then I'd need to make copies. Then I'd need the materials to build them. Followed by the time. I never thought much of the time it takes to build until I started trying to produce small stacks of frigates for TCS and learned that a small stack of frigates will still take half a day to produce. They could be consumed in minutes of use.
I have my own sample to work from. I'm not a high volume producer so it may be a smaller task then it seems to me. Yet, I wonder if Eve now is able to fulfill that vision of Eve then. If the memories of the past are still possibilities of today or if the tint is to thick on those rose colored glasses.
End goals are pretty things. They sparkle on the horizon like an Oasis in the desert. But there is a path to cross to get there. With the way production currently works in Eve, what it was molded off of and what is needed in it, will it thrive in a fragmented and insular community? Are there enough people to go around? Will they even want to be gone around with?
I haven't even touched on proft. This is straight up working for the team just to. Adding profit or some type of compensation into adds complexity. Nor am I pondering how much interdependence there should be in space be it sectors of space or even just regions. I do believe that should also continue. Even a hundred man corp takes a lot of energy to keep fueled. How much for a thousand? Or fourty?