Call it coming off a break. Call it looking at things from a distance. Call it madness. I am finding that EVE is still like no other game out there. But it's got it's flaws. And warts. And maddening idiosyncrasies. And like most games it ignores some realities of human ingenuity when at war. It also ignores a whole bunch of possibilities and gradations.
This post is part of a series that going to be a look into some of what I see as issues and some possible ideas of ways to implement changes to the game to resolve said issues. Vague semblances of possible plans.
Risk vs Reward.
That right there is one of the major problems with EVE online and the cause of it's population distribution. Specifically it's industrial base in this case. Let me ask you a few questions:
Is manufacturing something in a station safer than at a POS? Then why does it cost less than manufacturing at a POS? When one puts up a POS for any industrial purpose (as opposed to for a tactical or strategic PvP purpose) it represents taking a risk. You need to invest in the infrastructure and you need to invest in defending said infrastructure and there are ongoing fuel costs or it's just an item sink. All of this costs. There are some time savings with POS but in reality that is much less of a consideration than you would think since the time scales are so short and the differences are less than an order of magnitude. Besides for most things the rate of resource extraction is more of a restriction on rate of manufacture than the strict manufacturing time itself. As far as I can tell only super capital construction and T2 ammo are scaled at what feels right-ish time scales.
The point here is that CCP seems to want to have a risk vs reward scale on things. But they fail in a lot of cases to set things up so that riskier stuff has more rewards than safer stuff. And I'm not talking about mission levels either. A Level 4 mission is actually LESS risky to a skilled battleship pilot than a level 1 mission is to a newbie in his first Rifter.
My point here is that a) manufacturing (and researching) in stations is WAY to cheap for the level of safety delivered. The time scales of manufacturing for the most part are too short relative to the materials investment so allow for any change in manufacturing time at the scales that CCP allows to have a significant or even relevant effect.
So, what would I do? Ideally you want some incentive for those carebears to set manufacturing facilities in places that can be attacked. Although I would SERIOUSLY like to totally revise POS ... fuck it while we're on a lets revise things kick let's go all the way.
So lets look at this:
1) Industrial work in attackable facilities must either be NECESSARY or CHEAPER than industrial work in stations. This is to provide incentive to industrialist wanting a competitive edge to move out of stations. Stations should primarily be market locations rather than service locations.
2) Attack-able facilities should have as little impact on the physics engine as possible. Look, the current situation where a POS is made up of a whole bunch of separate pieces that are individually anchored in space is bad design. Looks cool, but has a cost since the physics engine must keep track of them all. This can't but help add to lag. This is bad
3) The cost of manufacture needs to go higher. MUCH higher in empire stations. Heck Dr. E was complaining that the new anomalies in 0.0 have caused the balance to tilt too far in the direction of faucets than sinks. Increasing the direct isk sink in empire accomplishes 2 things simultaneously. 1st it provides an isk sink in the one spot where it'll not impact the people directly involved (from the spreadsheet point of view it's simply an increase in cost passed on to the customer). Two it provides incentive for people to get into player corps and put things that PvPers can attack in space.
4) Two the basic station hanger that each pilot gets at each station is currently effectively unlimited in storage space. Provide a minimum. Add extra storage for pilots an ongoing fee. Ditto for docking space. Make it cheaper for corporations to expand storage in stations but charge them as well. Make it cost competitive with exposed storage in space.
The whole idea is to make safe spots more restrictive and more expensive than less safe spots. NOT THE OTHER WAY ARROUND!!! friggen idiots.
So... Let's think about this. How would I change current station/pos/something else design to accomplish this. Hehe, I'm going to save my ideas that for the next post but I'm going to let people think about what we're trying to accomplish here as a thought exercise.