I tend to abstain from EVE drama for the same reason that I abstain from real life politics, it rarely affects me and if so, I can’t do anything about it anyway. But I feel compelled to add my voice to the chorus of screamers, may my two remaining loyal and intelligent readers forgive me. I’ll be quick.
So, background, this week, CCP announced several changes to carrier and Rorqual income generation that collectively aims to reduce income from NPC (carriers) and mining (Rorqs) significantly. The only relevant forum for EVE players – r/eve is writhing in spastic convulsions, unsubbing en-masse and shooting monuments. EVE is dying, dead and buried, a decaying corpse, Gevlon was right etc etc.
When I started reading it, I was not sure I could trust my sensitive eyes (wormholers are used to live in the dark). People were complaining that they could not achieve their risk free carrier “ticks” of 150mil + ISK. Or they complained that the 15bn Rorqual now is now only twice as good as pimped out mining barge but of course much more expensive. As an example, when our corp runs C4 sites with T2 fitted Dominixes, we may pull in together 1bn / night in loot and salvage that we need to export before we can realize the value. Sure, you can make (much) more in C5/6 but you are putting a lot more ISK at risk as well and of course once you known in WH circles that you fly blinged out PvE ships you become subject to eviction.
So, I was truly blindsided by the whining of players who mine or rat in the safest possible place in New Eden (deep, sov nullsec) and make literally per hour solo what we make as a 10 man team. But unlike us, they have access to unlimited “Havens” or other PvE content. I.e. afk mining with dozens of Rorquals and carriers is a viable method for risk-free ISK accumulation. No wonder CCP saw this and counteracted.
CCP_Quant said very clearly:
I totally agree with CCP_Quant that this is not sustainable. The raw ISK faucet without risk and without real activity is damaging to the game and the community. It needed to be changed. And I do believe many rational EVE players would see it the same way.
So, what the problem. CCP_Quant (or anyone else) fail to acknowledges’ that the screw-up is entirely CCP-made. Moving the Rorqual from a mining support ship to the (by far!) best mining ship in the game should have given everyone pause. Of course, they would run dozens of them afk for as long as there was ore, what were you thinking? That people didn’t have Rorqual pilots? Oh, you introduced injectors. Anyone can have a Rorqual pilot within a few minutes if he throws down enough money. Same with carriers. The high-end PvE was never supposed to be solo-able. When they came out, carriers (all caps) were a thing of rarity and – like Incursions and that Blood Raider citadel now – were meant to be team work. But skill and ISK inflation allowed individuals to skill into massively expensive ships that obviate the need for team play.
CCP solidly goofed – again – by not realizing that EVE is a system. Yep, the company that become famous with the butterfly effect ad, blatantly forgot that every change and new feature will always be used for a single purpose: to reduce risk/reward. And once that math is set, players will be scaled until a ceiling is reached. Unlimited rocks + Rorqual afk mining + skill injectors = expectations to farm unlimited ISK forever. Same for carriers of course.
So, while I wholeheartedly agree with CCP_Quant that things needed to change, I am annoyed that they goofed so hard, so solid and that it can impact the game that I actually like.
So, what to do?
- CCP does need to unscrew their economy and take the marketing hit that comes inevitably from dozens of Nullsec players verbosely unsubscribing their human bots.
- CCP needs a massive balance pass on all things PvE. I personally would advocate removal of all bounties from nullsec and as consequence add value into the salvage, exactly as in Wormhole space. I don’t specifically care about the ISK itself but the market has to create a ceiling in the value of the activity, not endless bounties from Concord.
- PvE needs to be engaging, valuable and worth it. I.e. Havens and Sanctums and whatever the end-game content in Nullsec are called need to be re-done with the oh-so-hyped new AI mechanic that took the goons nearly a week to figure out. Or similar.
- EVE needs more conflict drivers in Nullsec and Lowsec. There have to be hard reasons for fighting and taking regions. Evicting the goons during Worldwar Bee was a fine reason but player-made. At the rate the goons accumulating assets and installing citadels, this will likely never happen again.
- New players need to be far more engaged in the game than they are with the NPE currently. Missions, PvP, faction war, all of this needs a balance pass that borders on replacement. New players can not just be cannon-fodder for the large coalitions, each one of us started at some point and discovered what we liked by trial and error. All of EVE needs to change to make it a solid experience that generates stickiness and ongoing revenue.
Phew. That’s it, politics hour is over. Now I can write positive things again, for example how elated I am that the current balance pass on my beloved Proteus probably allows me to keep flying it. Yes, that’s my big thing for 2 years of product development in EVE.