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Friday, December 4, 2009

Open reply to Sage and Manasi

What we have here boys is a failure of analysis and un-realistic expectations. For those that don't read the comments, these were comments left in response to my un-expected consequences post:

A _wee_ problem? If the nullsec you're holding does not have direct highsec/lowsec access, it's a HUGE problem. Those freighter fleets that got hotdropped were owned by large alliances and had capital fleets escorting them. If even they cannot survive, how will smaller alliances with, say, less than 50 capitals total get a freighter in through hostile space? I think your "HTFU" mentality here is directly countering one of the main points for even making sov changes - to make it possible for smaller, newer groups to enter nullsec.
And Manasi:
Freighters in low sec or 0.0 is a joke, and a sick one at that, no way in hell a smaller ( read poorer) alliance can even get started without a freighter)

I want new people to come to 0.0, so anything that outright discourages then from doing so is well...counterproductive IMO.

I know of 6 0.0 Corporations that have no heavy lifting or logistics wings and exist purely to PvP, I also know several corporations that ditched their industry/mining/logistics guys months BEFORE dominion.

freighters still cost too much IMO, and making pilots fly through vast reaches is idiotic.

As far as someone claiming to own a system, without dropping a TCU( be under someone's influence) I think that people will not be able to project power too far from their homes for quite a bit of time. The sheer amount of manpower needed to MAINTAIN their particular sov/ military/industrial level cannot me underestimated.

As for moon mining? look at dysprosium/prometheum prices they are in the toilet, so that revenue stream is dead.

I normally agree with you on a lot of points but today I disagree, meh win some lose some I guess.
Bear in mind that I've been looking at the Dominion changes from the point of view of a) an alliance leader (however unprepared my alliance is for life in k-space 0.0 I have looked at it and what would realistically be needed to live there and I do frequently get asked the question "have you looked at moving to 0.0").

First of all, sage:

- Welcome to the biggest problem with eve from the care bear's point of view. It has always been pretty impossible to directly defend carebear assets in EVE. The fact that 0.0 alliances now need to worry about what the rest of us have had to worry about all along is actually refreshing. I have zero pity for anyone bitching about this. Having flow industrial ships in dangerous circumstances before it's all about scouting, op-sec and avoidance. It's like this in empire, it's like this in low sec, why should it be any different in 0.0. This is the way CCP set it up and they are not about to change that aspect any time soon. The problem is not that it's impossible to get the freighters through it's that large alliances are trying to get it all done simultaneously and immediately. Dominion just hit. All the large alliances are doing exactly the same thing. This provides ample opportunity to target the currently abnormal shipping patterns.

-Why the hell smaller entities are trying to slip thru right now? All the major and minor entry points are probably camped to a because of this. We all know there are pure PvP corp/alliances that like to gate camp the entry points. That's not going to change. Did you honestly think that ANY changes to the sov system would affect that fact? Most of these guys maintain a policy of reduced blues in order to ensure there's ample PvP.

-Third, the changes to the sov system were never meant to allow smaller entities access to 0.0. That was simply a miss-interpretation of what CCP said. The sov changes had two objectives. One stop the absurd tower spam warfare with something more logical. Two allow more of an alliance's population to LIVE down in 0.0. It was hoped that this would EVENTUALLY allow space to free itself up in 0.0 for other entities to settle there. But for that to happen existing empires would need to reduce their foot prints. This hasn't happened yet.

-This however totally ignores the political realities of 0.0 life. Namely that from the point of view of large alliances they need: targets for their PvP'ers. So you have newbie corp/alliances who don't bother to hammer out their political relations BEFORE they move down there? All their doing is setting themselves up as squishy targets for when the local big boys have some free time they need their PvPers occupied and out of trouble. No changes to the mechanics of sovereignty is going to change this reality. The truth is that to even register on the diplomatic scale of most 0.0 entities you need to be of a certain size in the first place. Otherwise why even bother talking to you? You're just a target to keep the PvP'ers occupied and out of the alliance leadership's hair for a day or two. It's never a question of IF you'll get hammered, just when.


- Corps or alliances don't do anything serious in EVE without some form of heavy lift capacity. You don't get serious in wormhole space without the Orca and you don't get serious in 0.0 without freighters and jump freigthers. Any corp/alliance that can't arange that has no place as a space holding entity in 0.0. Heck even in empire space you aren't a serious player without freighters.

- The failure 0.0 to attract new people never had anything to do with the mechanics of sovereignty but with the local politics. Changing the mechanics without changing the politics will have very little effect long term. Unless there is a reason for large alliances to WANT smaller friendly neibours (as opposed to pets - those who pay off the larger alliance to leave them alone or punching bags who are let in solely to provide targets for the pvp'ers). None of the current changes engender that at all. Nor do they discourage anyone more than was already the case.

- As for the guys who don't have or ditched their logistics guys. Pardon me while I play the worlds smallest violin for their problems. Guys like that are the REASON there is less people in 0.0 than there could be. Besides on of the reasons to be IN an alliance is to have friends with capabilities that your corp does not have due to it's focus.

- Freighters are cheap, they cost less than most battleship BPOs. Now it might be the fact that I'm into T3 manufacture and production but I fail to see the issue with the cost of freighters. Not to mention the fact that before there were jump freighters, how do you think most of the real logistics work was done? Haulers just don't have the heavy lift capacity.

- Power projection is the state of things currently. None of the changes to sov structure have done anything to reduce the mobility of the larger gangs. If anything the lack of potential doomsdays has INCREASED the ability of alliances to project power (since battleship fleets no longer need to fear the one button splat).

- Lets' be very clear on something. There is a rather large difference between ALLIANCE income and PILOT income. The system upgrade and so on are really aimed at PILOT income, not at ALLIANCE income. Teritorrial alliance income will come from where it always did: Moon mining. That won't change under the new system. The only change was which moons would be the source of the isk, not the income levels. If anything passive alliance income has INCREASED in the short term due to the speculation in the T2 materials markets. This has been evident for quite a while for those who've been following the T2 materials discussions in the MD forum. Since alliance income will largely remain unchanged in source (if shifted from moon type a to moon type b), the system development stuff is aimed at the pilots income.

- Dispro is hardly dead - it's just not the sole source of isk from moon mining any more. Tech and other moon minerals are headed WAY up. Now if an alliance set itself up that all R64 moons were alliance level property and the rest were corp property then it may need to restructure itself a bit. But Moon mining as a whole's income will actually be up over the short term. Just do some costing on manufacturing costs based on current jita prices and trends and you'll see that alliance income from moon minerals should actually be UP not down.

The changes do nothing to lessen the power of large alliances. If anything they increase them by allowing their pilots to be in 0.0 making isk instead of having to log into a mission alt up in high sec. It seems very clear to me that the changes were not aimed at attracting new pilots to 0.0 but at getting the 0.0 pilots who make their personal isk in empire (running level 4 missions) to make similar isk in 0.0. The rest of the changes were to get rid of "tower spam" warfare which everyone agreed was idiotic.

Reading into the tea leaves I suspect that they considered this to be one of the key things they needed to get in place before they bite the bullet and move all level 4 missions to low sec and make the changes necessary for mission availability in 0.0 outposts and stations. Now the removal of level 4 missions in high sec would be the key thing to REALY moving people out of empire space. I suspect they are heading that way, but they wanted to make sure that mechanisms would be in place to allow for similar income levels at decent population densities in 0.0 BEFORE they pulled the plug on the empire cash cow.

I suspect that Dominion is just Phase 1 of a sequence of changes that CCP wants to do to get things moved to 0.0 and that this particular phase was not the phase that was supposed to encourage the migration of population from empire to 0.0 itself. Dominion is just the ground work. They wanted to make sure that a) the new sov-system works as intended as far as the territorial wars themselves go and b) that there were income streams for the mass population of pilots that would find themselves in 0.0 down the road following future modifications. The fact that most people miss-interpreted these changes as being the ones that would facilitate the displacement itself is the problem of those making that miss-interpretation.


Cozmik R5 said...

And this is one of the reasons this man is the godfather of my boy; I agree from A to Z. I just wish I could've put it down words the way you did :)

When CCP said "HTFU!", they meant it.

Tom Hoffman said...

Also note that the Incarna trailer from Fanfest suggests that there will be new super seekrit missions that you need to get out of your pod to negotiate. Presumably these won't just be lvl 4's at an empire hub.

Manasi said...

Letrange, thanks for the open reply. :) Quite enlightneing on some front less so on others.

I am only responding to what I see and how things 'used to be" prior to dominion.

Prior to Dominion we actually made money by placing down towers deviding this by total towers needed and then selling the high end dyspro and prometheum minerals to pay for this. This netted us a decent sum of money.

I have been tracking the dysprosium and promethium moon minerals values and they are 50% less than they were.

So that's kind of where we used to be.

As for an easy target actually I am not looking for that although that might be expected, from some that is not my intent. I like the freedom in 0.0 to do whatever people want to do.

Perhaps your right and I am looking to far down the road, because even though we disagree on the semantics perhaps the long term goal is as you said a slower shift to move people, probably a good call, in terms of intel, perhaps I was just jumping the gun a bit.

As for change of income, because we were so dependent on the high ends for the way we made money ( both Corp and alliance wide) it is a big shift for us. No where NEAR the amount of money that used to flow from moon minerals, although your probably right and the uptick in the need for the R32's may indeed be a boost.

As for targets, there is a huge target to my left on the Sov map, namely goons, Zenith Affinity and others, so no I don't need new pilots to shoot at I need em to mind the house while I go and shoot stuff.

Letrange said...

Well if you were concentrating only on the R64 moon in your territory for alliance level income, I can see why you would say that your income went down. But this means you were not even using the R32 and R16 (that are now needed in larger quantities and have now become much more profitable than they used to be). I suggest you go over Akita T's analysis of future usage rates to see where the moon minerals are tending and that you get ready to re-allocate your moon mining efforts a bit. Technium moons in particular are probably going to be worth a lot according to that analysis. Remember I was observing that the BASKET value of moon minerals has gone up (mostly due to speculation). Specific moons have changed their profitability levels up or down but on average they are worth more and will be for the next two weeks to a month. Remember the R8's that used to not be mined at a loss? Due to the increased demand for armor plates they may become profitable suddenly. Whatever goes into Syl fibers also just got a massive demand boost. Based on advanced material prices all T2 ships just went up by like 20-60% in materials costs. This means that their base materials that go into T2 components just went up by the same factor (as a whole).

Jared said...

i agree with your sad violin for 'pvp pure' corps and alliances. they need to stop being 'hardcore' and maybe train up industrial 5 so they can get at least some transports.

my last corp just got kicked out of WI 2 months ago because we were too 'industrial' focused.

Diametrix said...

Great post. I concur w/ Cozmik; very well said.

And I especially like the tea leaf reading. I think that A LOT of people are not looking at these changes in the LONG TERM (12-24 months). CCP is, I assure you.

They have DUST on the way, Incarna and whatever else they've not revealed. I do hope you're correct about the likelihood of LVL4s moving entirely to low sec.

That move would be HUGE for the game. It would ramp up activity in large sectors of space. It would mean the establishment of whole new markets and opportunities for escort/protection, scouting, logistics.

Of course it will make the forumn whining that we saw in mid-November look like a whimper compared to the onslaught of carebear cries of anguish. But I expect there have been studies run on the ratio of subscription losses to emo-rage-quit posts on various MMO boards.

And my expectation is that the emo-rage-quit posts FAR outweigh the subscription losses.

I say do it. Move the LVL4s and while you're at it - make LOCAL in low sec and 0.0 the same as W space.

Love the drama

Calderus Rex said...

Great points. One thing I partially disagree with, though, is whether or not CCP intended to create the possibility for more people to move to 0.0. I agree that for more people to move to 0.0 the large alliances need to reduce their footprint. System upgrades for active / pilot income are one part of this - enabling more pilots to live in less space. I believe that the rather high maintenance costs per system that CCP has specified for taking and maintaining SOV, and specifically cyno jammers and jump bridges, are explicitly designed to encourage the other half of the equation - large alliances to concentrate (reduce) their sov footprint.

Now, enter moon income changes. I think you're right in that the potential exists for Alliances to make as much or more off of moons - the key is they need more moons, and the ability to defend those moons. The key to defending moons is sov, and specifically cyno jammers (and arguably jump bridges) which is expensive - see Pure Blind moon fights in NPC space for the problems defending systems without cyno-jammers. Thus we have tension - need mones for money, but need sov to defend, but sov is expensive. So, the ideal situation for large alliances is to own the moons but get someone else to pay for the sov and cyno-jammer - someone like a smaller alliance.

Thus enters the potential for large alliances to say to small alliances - 'you can live here, as long as you put up a jammer and don't touch our moons'. How the politics in terms of blues, pvpers, mutual defense pacts, rent, etc turn out is harder to say for certain. Obviously if the smaller alliance is not making enough of a premium from active 0.0 income over high sec to both cover the maintenance cost and the risk premium from pvp losses, then this won't work.

We'll see in a week or so as larger alliances reduce or maintain their sov footprints and re-organize their moon mining operations.

seriouslycasual said...

Do you foresee an influx of PVE players to 0.0 as a result of Dominion or do you think that these changes will force PVP players into a bit more PVE? If I understand the nature of the upgrade system then it has to be one or the other….well the third option would be that the PVP focused folks just leave their space as un upgraded and non-cynojammed…

Letrange said...

@calderus the problem with your analysis is that yo don't need to develop a system (indy and pve upgrades) to put in a cyno jammer. That's strictly time based. Have possession of a system long enough and you can put one in regardless of the degree of habitability for the average pilot. The costs are similar to current tow spam costs so that's no change there. This being the case there's no reason to have someone "develop" the system for you. Second of all the primary reason to become a space holding alliance IS the moons. Why would I put my alliance into a section of space were we could not develop the moons we have sovereignty over?

Nope- sorry no deal.

@seriously casual: I think the idea was to make sure that the ability for rank and file alliance pilots to pve in 0.0 instead of logging on to the high sec mission running alt was what was intended. The capacity wasn't there before and I think this is just making sure the capacity will be there when CCP kicks the level 4's out of empire space down the road. Here's where I think this tactic won't have much of an effect until the level 4's in empire go away:

In most alliances there is friction between the fleets and ratters. So much so that rather than rat in alliance space when a pvp pilot needs to go make some isk he uses alts in empire for that. Because the alt is question is un-associated with his identity in 0.0 he can't be hassled when he's on the alt running missions and unavailable for pvp ops in 0.0. This of course gives the impression that he's a good pilot because when he's online in 0.0 he's available for ops, and when he's making isk, his alliance mates don't even know he's online.

Due to this I really can't see rank and file 0.0 PvP pilots making most of their isk IN 0.0 high sec generates much less income for the average pilot than it currently does.

Calderus Rex said...

Re: Costs / benefits of sov. Of course the large alliance wants the moons - my point is they want the moons without the cost of sov, because sov is more expensive now. I'm no expert here, but I believe the cost of defensive sov (sov + cyno jammer) is currently 780M isk / mo - 6M/day for TCU and 20M/day for cyno-jammer (x30 days) - and it was higher initially before CCP revised it down. That compares to, what, 200M fuel cost for a large faction tower under the old system? Maybe twice that if you have 2x large in system?

Even that's under-stating the new cost, since you still need one of those towers for the moon mining operation. Sure, the cost of tower fuel is probably lower going forward since demand will plummet with pos's not necessary for sov, but that's new system, not old.

My point is the cost of sov+cyno-jam in the current system is much higher than old - why not keep the moons but off-load the cost to smaller alliances, who will in turn pay for this through the upgraded pve benefits of living there?

Letrange said...

You're forgetting all the POS that are necessary when you end up spaming them (it's only the un-important backwaters that get a single tower to hold sovereignty). They balanced it so that developed system with cyno jammer capability needed the equivalent of a few large POSes. In the end it's probably about the same. Unless you've looked into logistics on that scale it's hard to know exactly how much alliances are currently paying. I actually suspect that in some cases it'll be cheaper under the current system.

Ahnog said...

Moving level 4s to low sec makes them suicidal in nature. I sure hope CCP doesn't do that.

Rayne Styker said...

Nice post Letrange. Very enlightening and informative, as were the comments. Being a self-proclaimed carebear, the thought of L4s being moved is a bit alarming, but at the same time, I really don't have any intention of staying in High Sec forever. If that were the case, I would probably go find some other game to play. Of course, this is just my personal opinion.

Angus said...

I find it amazing that people are leaving out the impact of corp tax on the ratters that are keeping the military level up to 5. And running all those tasty new plexes. Once anomolies start working correctly the cash will come in quickly.

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