Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Sunday, April 3, 2011


In a few days, CSM6 is going to take office.  The Mittani called the first war for Geminate "Chronitis's War", after the CCP dev he felt precipitated that war.  This CSM is even clearer: this CSM is "Greyscale's CSM".  CCP Greyscale created this CSM when he started what was intended to be an off-hand conversation about Jump Bridges during the December 2010 CSM Summit.  Had that conversation not taken place, then the 0.0 power blocs would not have been motivated to go after CSM seats, and the CSM we'd have now would be very different.

Greyscale has already made one major change to 0.0 living, and has promised more.  CSM6 will be dying to cut the head off this snake before it gets any more powerful.  The May 2011 CSM Summit minutes are going to make for some very interesting reading.  Greyscale wants to put hands on the 0.0 levers.  CSM6 will want him to leave them alone.  And CSM6 might have a point, because if you pull on one 0.0 lever, you don't just change the setting for that lever; you change all the settings.

It's funny how a lot of subjects in 0.0 are intertwined.  It's a tapestry, really, just like out of that old Star Trek: The Next Generation episode (one of my favorites, incidentally).  Pull one thread out and the entire tapestry will threaten to unravel.  Right now, there are eight subjects in EVE 0.0 that are so intertwined that it's going to be a tough job to untangle them.

Jump Logistics.  It's too easy.  I've spoken of this one before, so I'm not going to do so again.  And of course, Greyscale's CSM is going to object to any major changes in it.  And if you pull too hard on this thread, then...

Super-carriers become ridiculously too powerful, instead of just way too powerful.  The December 2010 Summit minutes also specify that CCP is strongly considering nerfing them.  Right now, the only counters to a super-carrier blob are either a bigger super-carrier blob or a jump bridge network, so again, the CSM is not going to be open to touching them.  And if CCP pulls too hard on the super-carrier thread or the jump logistics thread, weakening either of them too much, then...

Supercaps will proliferate.  It's bad enough that the big alliances have 20, 50, or even 100 of these monsters in one fleet.  But if you weaken super-carriers or God forbid make them cheaper, the big alliances that have gotten used to having the super carrier "I win" button will call for even more of them to make up the difference of a nerf.  Nuke jump bridges and Titan bridges will instantly become more common for the big alliances the CSM members are part of.  They can realistically and easily build more supercaps, because...

Mineral compression is also too easy.  I need to get busy and write a full post on this one, because it's a major issue.

BUT... also attached to easy jump logistics, and also deeply affected if you pull that thread too hard is deep 0.0 living.  It's already hard enough to get into and out of deep 0.0 regions.  PvPers are already unmotivated to live there, because that's not where PvP happens.  If you nerf jump logistics too much, it will become even harder.  The NC is the only group that really goes into the drone regions to fight any more, for instance.  And if you further isolate the NC from the drone regions and vice-versa, then...

Bots proliferate even more.  Bots work best in empty, quiet regions which nobody ever visits.  If you make more of these hard to reach regions, you get more bots.  This is also tied to both the super-carrier proliferation problem and the mineral compression problem, because...

RMT, both "legal" and "illegal", is a major part of the supercap production process.  Many supercaps are purchased with RMT either directly from CCP as PLEXes or black-market RMT ISK traders.  And of course, there are people out there that make a real-life living from ISK production.  We've seen that with the iskbank article a couple of weeks ago.

And finally, attached to both jump logistics and deep 0.0 living (and to a lesser extent, supercap proliferation) are the massive BLOBS and lag that make up many 0.0 fleets these days...  But of course, blobs are the major cause of lag in the game, so there's a lot of incentive on CCP's part to discourage their use.  Somehow.  Except for the minor detail that Comrade Chairman will argue for the blob, and massive fleet fights are a major competitive advantage for CCP.

So where does Greyscale start?  Which tapestry thread does he pull on first, and how hard?  And how much will the CSM object when he does?

No, I wouldn't want to be in CCP Greyscale's shoes right now.  Not at all.


  1. Good post. You mentioned the tapestry of null-sec life - note that mineral compression is a direct competitor to jump freighter logistics: nerf low-end mineral transport and null-sec industry withers further - it's hard enough getting manufacturing spots without having to replace hundreds of maelstroms every week.

    T2 modules are also not worth producing in null-sec due to the attenuated supply of the full spread of T2 components.

    IMO, null-sec mining needs a source of low-end minerals that can be extracted at renumeration levels closer to that of ABCM ores before mineral compression can be tackled, but I remain unconvinced that the trade between nullsec and highsec is an undesirable thing.

  2. The thing is... Greyscale isn't the one making the actual decisions.

  3. Neither was Chronitis. And that didn't stop him from taking blame for the moon goo remix. You yourself take credit for removing Titan AoE Doomsdays in one of your campaign graphics. Was that 100% your idea from concept to implementation? ;-)

    The simple fact is that whichever dev is most visibly attached to game changes is going to take the credit or blame for them in the eyes of the players.

  4. In terms of perception / blame, you are certainly correct.

    What bothers me the most about this blog post is how it crystallizes the lack of communications issue with regard to high level game play changes. Certainly "Greyscale's" recent changes must be part of a larger overall play (right??), but I would love to see a bit more open communication with the players with regard to what CCP is thinking on each of the different points you raise.

    "Hey guys, we know all this stuff interconnects, so here's some of our thoughts on each issue."

    Right now, we've got a 'nerf' to anomalies. What is next? How do CCP determine what is next?

    Basically, this blog post just makes me mad again that you didn't at least make alternate on CSM so you'd have access to the CSM forums. Never stop.

  5. Enjoyed the whole Tapestry analogy thing. Had a whole lot more (smarter & intelligent things) to say when I read it a couple of days ago, but didn't get around to writing it. Now its noon & I haven't slept last night, so I kinda forget. But keep up the good work.


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