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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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Comment of the Week: Choose two

I opened a Pandora's Box with my post yesterday about moon-goo, but I didn't expect anything less.  The most common reason for people to tell me I'm full of it?  Obviously, I'm butt-hurt because Rote Kapelle lost a tech moon.  Uhhhh... no we didn't.  So far as I know, no EVE alliance under 1500 people owns a tech moon unless they're a pet, though I'm of course willing to be shown that I'm wrong.

Second most common reason for people to tell me I'm full of it?  Tech moons are risky because if you take one, you risk losing it and a lot of ships when the inevitable fight over it spawns.  This concept struck me as really funny, since the very nature of tech moon use in most alliances that have them is to mitigate or flat-out eliminate risk.  In other words, most alliances that have tech moons use them as fodder for their ship replacement programs.  As a result, if you lose a Maelstrom (say) in a fight over a tech moon, profits from other tech moons will be used to replace your Maelstrom.  Even in my short stint in Pure Blind, I took advantage of this twice.  It's quite common.  As a result, the essential risk to the individual pilot drops close to zero.

Even more, though, the argument that "tech moons are risky to hold" is a straw-man.  My concern and my post was about individual pilot risk.  Show me the kill-mails!  Every other commodity, from ice to ores to minerals to wormhole loot to data-cores to L4 mission reward tags and implants gets suicide-ganked before reaching market.  Why doesn't moon-goo get ganked?  Show me the kill-mails!  Show me the risk!  Nobody could, or at least nobody has so far.

Ender summed it up in a way that made me smile:
Riskless vs Rewarding vs Effortless. Choose two.

It can be risky and rewarding with no effort.

Keeping a tech moon and managing logistics does take lots of effort.
Yep, that's a pretty good way of putting it, all right.  Is that the way it should be, though?


  1. As it's often said in the business world

    you can have it


    but you only get to pick 2....

  2. Well, first, high end moon goo is not a personal income stream. You need at the minimum a corp to acquire it, but you really need a bloc level power behind you to hold it. Comparing it to a L4, running anoms, bouncing around the public incursions just doesn't work.

    Second, it still doesn't generate isk, it moves isk around, and is subject to supply and demand.

    Third, the main problem is your definition of risk free. I.E. it can't be or hasn't been ganked. The gankability of something is not the only definition of risk. Moons, sov, Outposts, incredibly rich market alts who never leave station can't be ganked. They can be taken, but it's not a quick rush gank. There are many forms of PVP in eve, not all definition of risk should be linked to a bunch of dudes sitting in high sec looking to gank some isk heavy player being stupid.

    as for killmails, just a quick glance at eve-kill got me these 2
    Not tech, but still moon goo

    1. Both in Highsec due to a wardec.
      For risk isn't that like an incursions or mission runner getting war dec'd and blown up?
      Wouldn't this normally be done by an a nuet alt?

    2. Explosions are explosions, and it's still a risk in the supposedly risk free isk.

      I'd assume those people who handle the moon goo use a wide range of methods to make sure it doesn't get lost, from neut alts to scouting, to not being stupid most of the time.

      I'm also gonna guess that a majority of the moon goo does not go onto the open market, and is either traded by contracts and internal agreements, or is vertically integrated and only the final products end up on the open market, hiding the logistics trail.

  3. Personally, I think it would be funny to enable moon mining in high sec and then add one - just one - tech moon to high-sec, perhaps in Jita.

    Would that help bring some additional PVP to high-sec?

  4. Eagerly awaiting the post on how sov. should work!

  5. I think the idea here is critical mass, as in once you have the critical mass to get tech moons and/or large areas of space, holding them becomes rather trivial due to the income you get.

    It's the late game problem in a lot of 4X games, and international politics. Once power blocks are established, the mechanisms available to hold those power blocks balance towards the power block holders to a degree that makes it very hard for any newcomer to do anything besides choose a side.

    The fairness of this in the real world is moot, but one could argue that games based on conflict should give new entrants ways to impact the big players. So in a lot of 4X style games you see penalties that scale with empire size. Think Civ corruption/upkeep mechanics or Sins fleet size penalties, or RTS food/unit barriers.

    Eve does not really have a counter to the thousand ship blob/supercap-hotdrop mechanics that small groups can field effectively. So you have outsiders saying "I want in on the sov game, but GSF/Russians/WH Deathstars/Insert Bogeyman du jour are too powerful to meaningfully engage".

    1. The last part goes sort of along the lines of a discussion Susan Black and I had on her blog about the varieties of warfare in EVE... "Nullsec" style is akin to Revolutionary/Civil War style-fighting, line up two big mobs and blast into each others' ranks till one side breaks, folds, and runs. Small-gang PvP is like the French and Indian War, or the colonial militias in the Rev War, small, fast, mobile, borderlining if not actually being "guerilla tactics".
      As I told Susan: the problem is that this is the one area where EVE does NOT parallel real-life. IRL guerilla tactics, "hit and fade", etc, work wonderfully. In EVE the question of the colonial militia vs the big blocks of troops ALWAYS comes out in favor of the big blocks of troops. Only thing "guerrilla" to do that MIGHT actually work (and then only sometimes) is SB blobs in well-coordinated bombing runs.

      Bigger and Better is ... Best. <--- yet another RL-EVE synchronicity, what a surprise.

    2. Corruption and Betrayal is how strong powers with control of the resources and military power often fail. Just because external threats are too weak does not imply internal ones are equally so.

    3. Yeah in the minutes, CCP said they are gonna try to develop social reasons for the large blocks to fight each other. They could go with the penalties like ya said, but sounded like they wanted social to work.

      They noticed them fighting for resources didn't work anymore, propably like ya said critical mass. But wonder if the social approach will work or what it will be like.

  6. I for one applaud many of the ideas you have proposed in regards to sov changes.

    Much of sov is currently constructed simply as holding space for x number of days provides certain benefits, bridges, CSAAs, generators and jammers. This is exactly the opposite of what CCP was looking for with Dominion. They stated that their goal was to make it easier for alliances to get space in null sec and hold onto portions of it. The huge blocs currently own space for either strategical or tactical benefits with absolutely no pilots in the space at all. With the existing sov mechanics, it is very hard for smaller alliances to take systems from the larger blocs.

    If an alliance were required to actually have pilots in space, activity (military/industrial) in the system in order to maintain the sov, this would go a great way in making the bloc's have a smaller footprint, and would possibly open up space to smaller alliances.

    Depletion of moon resources is a great idea. And, I come from an alliance that is currently in null sec, and we do have tech moons.

    The possibility that a moon may deplete it's resources, or may spawn a different resource in the future would go a long way towards increasing the amount of warfare over moons, would require that alliances/corps constantly scan down moon resources as they may have changed, and may open a door to smaller corps/alliances getting their hands on better moons.

    As for the actual goo, I have never understood why all goo goes into the production of Tech II ships. Example is that Caldari ships should be built using goo that is found in Caldari space. Now, this goo could be found in limited quantities elsewhere, but the highest concentrations should be found in Caldari space. Currently, the only difference in goo products between the 4 races is the carbide type reaction that goes into the production of the plates. This is great, but really does not have the desired effect on income, moons, and sov.

    Most pvp ships in this game are Minmatar. One would think that the goo required to build these ships should fetch a higher price in Jita. However, that is not necessarily the case. the ships themselves are more expensive (compare a Sabre to a Flycatcher). I would propose that there be a Nanotransistor variety for each of the four races. This would be build using goo that is found in the moons within that space. This would go towards balancing goo prices, and would actually establish a link between demand of products (ships and mods) and the price of the goo.


    Keep it up Jester. Great threads.

  7. Not going to say the obvious that Moon Goo has to be valuable in order to promote virtual space as valuable to hold and spawn big territorial fights. All wars are fought of resources, ideologies are a cheap proxy to appease the masses. You equalize the resources, you reduce wars. Not useful for EVE.

    I am in favor of keeping the moon system as is but add the discussed "comets" containing ice, moon goo and other nice things into WH space, null and low sec. They shall last only a few hours, can be found like anomalies and can be farmed quickly with a stand-up fleet (rather than hours of mindless asteroid mining). Possession of this comet would surely entice good fights and hit-run strikes.

    1. Propably just turned into PL hot drop zone, everytime one spawns, PL hot drops people there.

  8. There are different types of tech moons.
    Not just technetium moons.

  9. Why doesn't eve have upkeep costs? Sure, the janitors are probably slaves, but slaves need to eat, and windex costs money. My computer costs about $30 bucks a month to run (electricity alone, shit breaking is left out), how much would a Titan's supplies cost you? Just toilet paper would probably cost millions a month. All jokes aside, upkeep costs would help balance the advantage held by the mega-blocs. If supply chains required maintenance expenditures holding huge tracts of land (shameless Monty Pithon reference) would cost big money too. Downsides?


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