My friend and fellow blogger Oreamnos posted about our recent meeting in his home(town). While we live an Ocean apart, we have been friends for 5 + years through EVE with daily contact. We never met in person until that day and one may think it weird to meet like this but it wasn’t. Over the years we saw all the normal things friends experience and if anything, I think these types of friendships will be the new normal in the near future. But while there, we drank great Scottish beer (who knew they could brew?) and chatted like the old friends we are. Lets do this again!
And while I was in the UK during the Brexit referendum, I should have called this post “Old, stupid and racist” as a nod to those who made Brexit possible.
What amazed me was not the result per se but the naivete of the press and the financial markets who genuinely did not see this result coming. Never trust “the people” to make decisions based on logic or facts. Collectively, people make decisions based on raw, gut emotions, the stronger the more effective. Fear, anger and hate are the strongest emotions and hence the vote of the people will go to who can conjure up the most frightful future in the minds of the masses. This is democracy’s Achilles heel and will stay so until all people will have unlimited capacity to learn, process and make decisions based on nothing but fact. I.e. when we are all Vulcan.
And while pundits lament, demagogues position and the populace awakes to the realization and “protest != governance”, I see this all with a rather positive view. The EU was founded on very specific post-war needs and maybe the time has come to transition and evolve. And evolution is messy, bloody and – in contrast to high-school teaching where it is represented as a very slow, gradual adaptation – often accelerated by cataclysmic events that shake up the status quo, destroy the old structures and open opportunities for those who adapt and move fast.
So, back to EVE Online. As promised, I did not log in for a few weeks until yesterday when I pulled in 2 weeks worth of PI from High Sec planets. It would be a decent amount of cash if I transported it out of my pocket but I dont think I will for now. Basically, I am stockpiling over (so far) 1 bn in minerals and PI material. Even some gas from WH diving expeditions but not much. The reason for my stockpile is simple, the upcoming release of industrial arrays in the fall. See, I am sure the blogsphere has realized this already by industrial arrays and citadels together will change the landscape of EVE quite a bit. No more need a solo player like myself rely on NPC stations or highly predictable routes with inevitable choke points. Islands of high sec become fair game if a negotiation with someone who owns a citadel can be completed. For example, I have a good relationship with a German mining corp in the area where I hang out at the moment. I rent an office in their citadel and they have competitive pricing for refining – far beating the nearby NPC station. There are no NPC industrial stations in the region and for me to do anything with the material would mean that I either build a POS (and hence get wardecced) or haul it through pretty active low sec space (only way in / out of my pocket). Once the citadels have industrial arrays, I will be able to build what I need with limited risk. And in that I am of course not unique. Many will see the exact same opportunities and prepare for it.
So, for EVE, what do I predict as consequence? Well, I expect that High Sec will have less long-range hauling of low-cost goods (like minerals, PI etc) and more specialized transport of finished goods. A stronger presence of regional trade hubs will depend on the availability of regional manufacture and distribution and compete with long-haul on cost and time.
In low sec, I am pretty confident that specific groups will open tradehubs for war materials, such as frigates, destroyers and the like within highly active regions – maybe Black Rise. These will of course be wardecced permanently but I would not be surprised if specific tradehubs will be negotiated between the warring parties as neutral ground. Supply in / out is of course fair game and I dont think that these hubs will contribute to the feared “blue donut”. Rather, I think that these Citadels will create a regional focus point for trade, fights, creation of new cultures and “drama”. And of course, some will be blown up. Thats expected and necessary.
Nullsec is a bit different. The cost for jump freightering is not great unless one is the far reaches of Drone Lands where regional manufacture and mining truly will happen and is happening. This could be said for low sec as well of course, the difference is income. Especially in far-flung regions, the income potential in nullsec is far greater than in any other region (except maybe wormholes). I dont think however that citadels will change the collaborative aspects too much. Citadels are de facto sovereignty structures and thus fair game for any invading party. On a smaller, regional level, I can see how two or more hostile groups may share one but I see this as pretty unlikely. For any party that wants to live in nullsec and make a presence, the cost of their own Citadel is insignificant to the cost of all the other hard assets required to bring in. Here, EVE Citadels also fulfill the role of their counterparts in medieval Europe – power projection. Lastly however, Citadels make it so much easier to start in Industry that more and more new bros in null will want to start it as a means to earn off-line ISK.
Wormhole space – curiously, I dont see that much industrial impact. WH corps generally have high-SP, experienced players who have mastered POS-mechanics already. If they want to build something, they could have. The real issue is raw material – mineral – that still needs to get hauled in. Large scale WH industrial operations are dependent on the presence of anomalies which are dangerous and limited. Unlike all else in EVE, WH do not have an unlimited supply of raw Ore after every downtime which limits their industrial output.
So, I am very much looking forward to the new structures which complement both the existing Sovereignty system as well as the Citadels. EVE is in a great place right now and I can’t wait to see the regional conflicts light up our skies.