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.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

System shock

As more and more information is dropping about April 24, I'm getting more and more concerned about what the next few months brings for New Eden.

Let me make one thing clear right off the bat, though: long term, I think the changes discussed in today's "Carebear 2.0" dev-blog are pretty much all net positives for the game.

But make no mistake: the short term prospects of a substantially higher cost of goods combined with a substantially reduced income for EVE players generally is going to make for a very scary few months.  I think we're facing three different situations, which are going to combine and reinforce each other like an evil Voltron.

First, I suspect that the loot tables for mission drops currently look something like this for any given drop:
Meta 0: 52% chance
Meta 1: 26% chance
Meta 2: 13% chance
Meta 3: 6% chance
Meta 4: 3% chance
That means for any given dropped mod, you've got about an 80% chance of a meta 0 or meta 1 drop.  These two types of drops are currently only useful to players for their mineral values and are priced on the market as such.  For about 50% of the modules in the game, the meta 2 through meta 4 are also not particularly valuable.  There just isn't all that much call for meta Sensor Backup Arrays or Cargo Scanners.  Other than the ultra-rares (meta Shield Boost Amplifiers, meta Mining Upgrades), the real money has been in meta guns and missile launchers.  Most everything else eventually ends up getting refined, and the bulk of the ISK for missioners from loot has been from the meta 0s.

When it was announced that meta 0s will no longer drop from rats, I naturally assumed that the loot tables would be adjusted and meta 1 through 4 would become more common, similar to what was done with some meta mods in 2010.  Not so, says CCP Greyscale:
If we just removed the Meta 0 stuff, we'd end up dropping WAY more Meta 1-4, which isn't desirable, and the only way to resolve this is to alter the table pick rates, which are authored on a per-NPC basis, which would mean recalculating and adjusting every NPC in the game.
So instead, in the same posts he says all meta 0 loot drops are becoming metal scraps.  Wow.

That means we're being denied even the half-strength nerf on non-Tritanium minerals.  We're going to get the full effect of both this and the drone regions nerf in the same patch.
With the changes to rogue drones going in, we're already committing to a mineral supply "shock" in this patch, so we decided when planning this release to roll in the Meta 0 removal at the same time so we only have to go through this process once.
So that's shock number one.

At nearly the exact same moment, Helicity Boson and The Mittani are launching Hulkageddon V, which they have promised is going to last for the entire month of May.  Goonswarm has also promised that for every 10 Hulks or Mackinaws ganked by a given character, they will pay that character a bonus of 100 million ISK.  That's in addition to the regular prizes that are already part and parcel of this event.  That's enough money that I suspect even people who've never ganked a soul in their lives are going to get in on it just to try it out.  Even with higher mineral prices, that means there's likely to be more hunters than prey during that month.

So, immediately after CCP dries up the two of the biggest sources of high-sec minerals in the game, Hulkageddon will dry up the third.  That's shock number two.

Kirith Kodachi is putting his hopes on large scale mining ops.  And again in the long term, I think that's a viable strategy.  Shorter term, I don't think it's going to happen that way.  The inflation of the average EVE player's skill-point count means that there are a surplus of cloaky and Black Ops pilots out there just dying to drop in on a large mining op.  And the low- and null-sec miners know this.  Most will refuse to start a mining op if there's even a single neutral in Local because they realize that neutral is likely to be a stealth bomber with a Covert Cynosural Field Generator fitted.  That one in Local could nearly-instantly become 20 or 30 in Local, each capable of pointing up a Hulk and ruining a mining op's day.

So initially, I don't think we're going to see a lot more low- or null-sec mining either.  That's shock number three.

So where's the ore going to come from?  Over the next few months, I think the bulk of the high-ends are going to come out of wormhole space.  You can't covert drop on a wormhole mining op.  And the more-controlled nature of the warp-ins means that I think we'll see a lot of bubbled-up grav sites in w-space.  Sure, Hulks will get caught there, but not nearly as many or nearly as successfully as could be easily caught by a Black Ops drop.  Like I said the other day, expect certain members of the CSM to again make a stink about this.  Two step might or might not be able to contain the rage.

Meanwhile in high-sec, even after Hulkageddon ends, any corp that starts running large scale mining ops in high sec is going to find itself war-dec'ed faster than they can say "Hey, don't war-dec me, bro."

Over time, I suspect we'll see a greatly-increased number of bubbled gates in null-sec, followed by more mining ops there.  This happens in null-sec already to protect mining ops from this sort of drop.  But I think it will become common-place to see whole pipes and constellations bubbled.  Black Ops ships have a very short bridge range and as such, I think we'll see more wholesale gate-bubbling to make the job for these ships much harder.  Catching a mining op will be possible, but it's going to take a lot of teamwork and patience.  You'll have to get the Black Ops ship into range, then log it out for a couple of days.  Over that time, you'll have to trickle in bombers and Recons a few at a time so as not to arouse suspicion, and then log those characters out as well.  Few PvP alliances will have that kind of patience, so as whole constellation's gates are bubbled and the miners feel safe coming out, we'll start to see null-sec mining ops.

But it won't happen right away, and in the mean time, those three shocks are going to be working on increasing mineral prices.

And with them, the price of almost every item in the game.

I've been accused of being a bit too negative on this issue, but if anything, I feel like I'm underestimating the impact a little.  I think it's going to be very expensive in New Eden probably until late summer...

68 comments:

  1. Greyscale on refitting in combat:

    "Yeah, we know that taking this out is going to remove interesting options for PvP, and we're sad about that. But not sad enough to not take them out anyway."

    Greyscale on meta loot drops from rats:

    "The only way to avoid dropping lots of meta 1-4, which for some reason we don't want, is to just replace all meta 0 table entries with metal scraps. That, or adjust all the NPC drop tables."

    I have to wonder, what does Greyscale actually DO at CCP? He seems to very very loathe to do any work whatsoever. God forbid the programmers have to edit every NPC drop table, that would be, gee, actual game programming or something!

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    1. There's a reason this guy is the bane of my existence. He seems to default right to the laziest solution. He did it last year with the sanctum/haven nerf too, even though thousands of people (including me) told him flatly the lazy solution would NOT work.

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    2. People loot rats? I thought the opportunity cost was quite high as you are potentially giving up either LP or more bounties.

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    3. I think Greyscale has a good bit of reason not to shift the meta 1-4 tables.

      When you said that these modules give only half the minerals than their meta 0 counterparts that's not very accurate. It depends on the type of the module (about 50% more or less).

      If they shifted the loot tables they would be reducing gun mining by roughtly 33%. Not changing the loot tables means they are reducing gun mining by about 66%

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    4. Or they could, gasp, adjust the refine rates of the meta stuff. Almost like real game programmers.

      Seriously, if the reason for CCP solving a problem with a quick and dirty fix rather than solving it with a well-crafted solution is "well, it's too much work guys", then they can fuck right off. It's not like EVE is some indy project they're doing out of a basement in their spare time, these people, ostensibly, work for a living.

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    5. Quote:
      "Anonymous 03:41 PM
      People loot rats?..."

      Uh yea... I made over 400M ISK this week alone off of Lewt & Slavage... solo Noctis, workin my solo & fleet runs and any sites others ran and dint want to L&S themselves... and no, I dint spend DAYS online or do naught but Slavage... I ran approx 1/3rd of the sites w/ the guys before reshippin to my Noccy.

      I made slightly moar from L&S than I did from bounties for the week... =]

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  2. EvilSamaritan says:

    I'm pretty sure the days of Battleship hulls for less than 200-mill isk is now over. And the popular hulls? 250? 300? who knows?! I keep looking over my collection of ships and trying to round out the gaps, thinking "hey, might not need it now, but I might soon, and they are cheap now!"

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  3. The problem with all these nerfs, is that nothing makes mining particularly more fun, or more enjoyable. It's still a grind, and now an increasingly paranoid grind - no more AFK mining.

    Does CCP really think that eve can rest on the backs of a bunch of people who are essentially paying to do a second job?

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    1. Right here, this guy's got it. Not only is it "lazy" like Jester and others have pointed out.

      Mining is going to become a key component of progression and stability to the market and the eve common-folk - and yet for such a key role it remains, perhaps, the worst of all possible activities an "active" player could pursue.

      I would rather only wear one hat at a time, and if the choice is PvP or mining you can bet your ass it's going to be PvP, and when that becomes prohibitive I may have to look at...alternatives for entertainment.

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    2. Soon, we will be crying for the return of mining bots.

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    3. Most if not all income making activities in EVE are "not fun", and ultimately dull. Once content is mastered and no longer a challenge, its just a matter of doing ABC ad nauseum to profit. Missions, sleepers, incursions, ect are all rather predictable and as such, uninteresting after the 2nd, 10th or 100th time doing it. Instead they are jobs you choose to do to earn an income, just like you might get a job in real life to pay your bills. You don't necessarily enjoy it, but you do it anyway to do stuff you'd rather do.

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    4. ^^ what these guys said.

      And while "the quintessential carebear" may become ever more important in the grander scheme, don't for a second think that that will change their standing or status in the overall scheme of things. ;-) They'll still be the sheep that the PvP wolves love to pick off. Unless, of course, my prediction comes true and hisec becomes :totallysafe: (consentual PvP only -- if even that), which means mining, industry, etc, will all become hisec-focused, and low and null will be useful only as "PvP playgrounds".

      And then....EVE's devolution to WoW in Space will be complete. *cue Emperor Palpatine/Join the Dark Side pic/video*

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    5. Making mining "more interesting" will not draw more people to mining, it will drive existing miners away. Mining in hisec is already dangerous enough, it doesn't need any extra demands on attention to distract miners from the life saving eternal mashing of d-scan.

      Most gankers can enter a system and warp to a belt in much less time than it takes a Hulk to align and warp out. A hulk moving at 75% max speed will overtake their orca, and be out of range of their rocks before too long.

      As long as hulks are paper thin, stationary beached whales, the cost of minerals can only continue to rise. I would happily keep paper thin if I could get the orca and hulks into warp from a standing start inside 10 seconds. I can get the orca out in 10 seconds if I sacrifice tank and gang links. The hulks will not be so lucky. I can jettison the cargo and stow the hulk in the Orca's SMB if I am fast enough with the mouse.

      In the meantime, this expansion will challenge the assumption that the only reason people don't mine in nullsec is ISK/hr. there is more though, such as the mandatory CTA mentality, the lack of desire to watch gates for hours, and the ribbing given to people who want to mine instead or shooting rats all day.

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    6. Agreed. I never understood why CCP made mining ships sitting ducks, no matter how you fit them. I expect to see a lot of mining Rokhs around during Hulkageddon.

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    7. From the Hulk description in Eve: "They are also far more resilient, better able to handle the dangers of deep space." CCP must have been describing another ship :)
      I think there are 3 areas for changes to make hulks relevant again:
      - cheaper cost of hulks hull (changing the requirements in the BPC),
      - higher survivability (higher agility or defence),
      - higher profitability (higher yields).

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  4. Sounds like I should buy me some hulks now, and wait until prices are high enough to use them.

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  5. One side effect of the high prices (well, more like a direct effect) is the increased economics of using T1 cruiser hulls. CCP recently stated they wanted to make them more useful, and by driving up the price of battlecruisers/battleships, the basic T1 cruiser is looking a lot better for casual PvP, isk-wise. It might make people think twice about jumping into their ubiquitous hurricane/drake hulls.

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    1. Jester. The sad part is that it took CCP several months to go through a single database and edit a few lines. That said, I am still hopeful that CCP will iterate further on the drone regions, although considering CCP's track record so far those hopes are not terribly high.

      I think you're overly optimistic about the value of bubbles in protecting a mining fleet. Bubbles are a threat to conventional ships, but no threat at all to a competently-piloted covert ops ship unless camped by skilled interceptor pilots. They merely pose a minor inconvenience. And a single hotdrop can wipe out billions of ISK unless the miners use Retrievers, at no risk to the hotdroppers, because no player is going to babysit a mining operation for free hour after tedious hour, day after day, for free. And a miner would be better off mining Veldspar in high-sec than paying most of his income for dubious protection.

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    2. With regards to the months to edit a few lines of code - bear in mind that there's a lot that has to be done before those few lines can be edited. I'm not a programmer, so I'm guessing a little here, but I imagine they need to make sure they're altering the code in the right way - EVE is sufficiently complex that they may not have notes on how to accomplish everything they want to. It also has to go past QA, to make sure that the change they're implementing is properly balanced. I'm not saying all these steps are effective, but they're what happens nonetheless - or what should happen, at any rate.

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    3. LOL at the notion that CCP has any real QA. Despite last year's wakeup call that got us Crucible, the fact remains that serious bugs are found on the sisi test server all the time, duly reported by players and completely ignored by CCP. You could take it to the bank that most of these bugs eventually go live on TQ.

      CCP Quality Assurance. LOL at this fantasy.

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  6. I am happy to see these changes. Ship losses have become too easy on the wallet and the game is saturated with isk.

    Sort of off topic, but a huge issue is that mining vessels are un-tankable and un-defendable. I have run on about this on my own blog.

    If these ships actually had the PG to fit some sort of defense, and possibly some remote rep then we could have fight escalations on our hands. Instead we have only miners scared out of their wits.

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    1. ^^I am too lazy to look it up, but I remember there being a concerted effort by Dr. E to drive up inflation in EVE...that it was actually vital for the good of the game. This will certainly do it!

      I also agree something should be done to defend a mining barge. It doesn't seem that two <$6mil ships should so effortlessly destroy a $400mil (and increasing) ship. Even minimizing the ship's mining ability in favor of a tank is futile, especially the Mackinaw. All of these changes are putting a bigger target on the miners. At least make it take a BS to one shot em instead of a cheap destroyer or two. http://poeticstanziel.blogspot.com/2012/04/hulkageddon-gank-catalyst.

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    2. Read your blog a bit. I might run a similar Catalyst for ganking, myself.

      Hulkaggendon is a large event. The more of us take advantage of it to abuse issues in game, the more CCP will feel a need to do something -we'll see.

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  7. A quick question.

    "Most will refuse to start a mining op if there's even a single neutral in Local..." That thought is predicated on local not changing; we were told before the summer of rage that a change to local and how intel was collected/delivered was in the planning stages. Since I live in WH space, I'm all for removing the glorified watchlist that is currently local.

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    1. Just as WH dwellers don't want nullsec principles inflicted upon them, nullsec doesn't want WH principles either. Removing local from nullsec will also remove miners from nullsec. As was noted, wormholes don't contend with hotdrops. I know WH miners can be caught, but how often does a fleet of 20-30 with carriers drop in on their mining ops? We get hotdrops for single BCs. Imagine if there was absolutely no warning for this daily ambush. It would certainly decrease boredom but not in a good way.

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    2. In null we have a local to see people coming, in WH you you dscan for probes. Image WH space if you could find the sites with your dscan.

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  8. Jester said: "I suspect we'll see a greatly-increased number of bubbled gates in null-sec, followed by more mining ops there."

    Thus shrinking the area that even a large alliance can effectively control to protect a now profitable activity. Wheels within wheels, or just fortuitous?

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  9. please keep feeding the public paranoia with tales of how the economy will implode, you are only making me more rich ;)

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    1. Send me a percentage and I'll consider it.

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    2. You will keep doing it anyway to keep driving up your T2 warp bubble sales.

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    3. I took down my tower some months back during the tower fuel price flux and have never bothered putting it back up. As a result, I'm not manufacturing T2 gear ATM.

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    4. I didn't claim you were still manufacturing :P

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  10. There will not be an increase in WH mining ops because you don't know when a grav site will spawn. There are WH corps who specialize in this, but they're more the exception than the rule because mining in a WH is dangerous, the ore is bulky, and it's difficult to transport out or refine properly in the WH.

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  11. I'm worried that these changes, like most things in Eve, are being viewed through a a lot of very narrow windows. The first narrow window is that of the "too much isk in game" window. This is the perspective of older richer players who have older richer friends in space. For them ship losses may have become too easy, if you and your friends can loose T3 after T3 and not think about it, it could seem like Eve players are all too rich. But is that the norm? Is everyone in high-sec really getting rich of Incursions? Or just a few elite fleets? In my little corner of low-sec the last two months have seen a new influx of newer players in T1 ships wanting to, and learning to PVP. It's been a breath of fresh air, yet most of the ones who ask for advice will eventually ask "how do you get your isk for ships?" I hope that these changes don't start to price the newer/poorer players out of PVP altogether.

    And that leads to the other narrow window I see. The window of economic driven actions. These people say that if mineral and ship prices go too high, people will stop fighting and start mining. Well, this might have some relevance in real life (if there is not other jobs I would have to go into a mine since I have to eat, I have to pay rent). But the Eve world is a voluntary one. Can you really drive people into gameplay they do not like when the have the option of playing another game (or gasp, going outside)? Would people who like to run a mission then PVP really get in a hulk and shoot rocks?

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    1. Exactly, I keep hearing people talk like this is going to get so many people mining because it will be more worthwhile to farm vs X (mission, explore, rat, whatever). But the fact is the people who don't mind mining will be the only ones mining. Everyone else will find something else to do. You can't force a play style onto someone in a game, especially a game they pay for monthly.

      Though I imagine ganking haulers full of minerals will become pretty damn profitable.

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    2. People run missions for the ISK. Why wouldn't they mine for ISK?

      Having done both, I can assure you that mission running is far more tedious than mining. Mining involves repetitive mechanical processes (i.e.: "move the ore to the Orca"), but that is a simple enough process that one doesn't actually need to be paying attention. Mission running involves remembering triggers, targeting new ships, counting missile launches, watching tank, etc.

      Given the option of mission-running for 60M ISK/hr versus mining for 50M ISK/hr, I'd take mining. While mining I can also be updating market orders, setting up research/invention/manufacturing jobs, and generally taking care of my industrial activities.

      Heading off down this path of trying to make mining appealing as an activity in its own right is a mistake. EVE has a wide audience, some of that audience doesn't want to spend their evening amped up on the excitement of shooting other people in the face. They play the game to relax during the week nights. Mining is a great activity for relaxing, almost as relaxing as AFK cloaking.

      Mining is for shooting the breeze, chewing the fat, and catching up with civilised people over an after-work glass of port or three. Some people don't get that, and want to change mining into an activity that is just as adrenaline pumping as small gang PvP in low sec. Those people are fools.

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    3. one aspect of all these changes and the rise of prices for plex i have decided to delete 4 out of 5 accounts ive always had and to play just one account. i refuse to spend all my game time trying to make isk to plex my accounts. i stopped having fun when the price of plex moved above the 350 mil isk mark. now its always a grind trying to make iskies to pay for plex. forget about it. ccp loses. i gain from not having to think about it anymore. a side note to these coming changes is yes the ganks will continue and i refuse to waste my time mining and building to have my ships blown up by some idiot in a 10 mil isk ship. there is a lopsided 'fun' balance in that perspective. because ive noticed hi sec systems becoming increasingly crowded and a higher number of gankers ive decided to move to low sec for peace and quiet. i will rat when i want to or just not log in and go play something else. maybe i will delete all five accounts and just find a book to read. the whole point to eve was to have some fun, but its not that way anymore. not to me.

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  12. Jester, are you up for a billion ISK bet (your preferred 3rd party to hold it) that mineral prices will NOT rise above xxx ISK. (to be discussed, choose your minerals)

    I think we are reasonably close to the new prize level already.

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    1. I don't have enough billions to bet one of them. ;-)

      That said, let's look at Zydrine alone. Multiple, multiple sources have said that before the drone regions came along, Zydrine cost twice what it does today. What makes you think that it won't climb to at least 3000?

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    2. Before the drone regions, Nullsec was a wide open expanse of nothingness and people would dash down there in cruisers to mine out what they could, then dash back to hisec before they got caught.

      These days null sec is highly populated. If the price of Zydrine rises too high, those kids out belt ratting or running anomalies will get out their skiffs and start mining the stuff. They will probably keep mining it until it gets unprofitable, at which point they'll have stockpiles to clear.

      So whatever value Zydrine needs to have in order to beat other forms of income (belt ratting, anomalies, incursions) is where it will rise to. What other forms of income? Incursions are about 100M ISK/hr, belt ratting in a T1 drake is about 60M ISK/hr.

      Note that Jaspet, Hemorphite and Hedbergite are available in hisec grav sites. Once J, H & H rise above 600 ISK/m3, there will be miners actively hunting down those hisec grav sites since mining those rocks will be competitive with L4 mission running and Incursions.

      One refining batch of Hemorphite is approximately one cycle (2 minutes) of a max-yield T1 strip miner, and refines to 212 Isogen, 60 Mexallon, 424 Nocxium, 650 Tritanium, 260 Pyerite and 28 Zydrine. One hour of collection would theoretically net about 135000 m3, so Hemorphite at about 740 ISK/m3 will be competitive with incursion running. Of course the catch is that the hisec sites only provide about 100k m3 of material, and there's the work of hunting the sites down.

      So the guesstimate as to the "stable" price of Zydrine is a bit more complicated than "five years ago it was 4400 per unit."

      Hemorphite is already over 300 ISK/m3 in Jita sell orders, though there are sane buy orders for around 200 ISK/m3 around the place. Thus there is room for the mineral basket represented by Hemorphite to double in price. After that, mining Hemorphite will be more profitable than running Incursions.

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  13. Greyscale really seems to be against emergent content, which honestly is the only thing that eve has going for it. He, or CCP in general, seem to be attacking player creativity all over the place. I understand the impulse to make the only source of minerals in the game mining, but the game mechanic is so bad: no human should ever have to sit around and mine veldspar. There is just so much stupid in this set of changes that I really can't get my mind around it...

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    1. If you don't like mining, don't do it. If you aren't a miner, why are you commentating on the mechanic or the environment?

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  14. The Mineral nerf would also seem to make Super Capitals a whole lot more (comparatively) expensive.

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  15. Do you guys remember the Incursion Expansion?
    I'm pretty sure some do. The learning skills were removed in Incursion and at that time i read the following in the devblog:

    "Secondly, it would mean dumping ~16 trillion ISK into the economy, and CCP EyjoG (our economist and qualified numbers-guy) nearly had a heart attack when we asked if this might be a problem. (He also said "don't do that, please" once he'd recovered from the shock.)"(Source: http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=824 )

    What I'm asking myself right now is: What is this guy doing atm? Isn't he totally insane about this changes?

    Think about it!

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    1. "He also said "don't do that, please" once he'd recovered from the shock."

      ROFL!!

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  16. Isk/h was never a motivational factor for my game. I take fun in successful common operations. Makes me space poor, but I'm considerably more relaxed than posters here.

    And fankly, I do not see how minerals from drones is emergent content. It has been designed mechanics; and as such not emergent.

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  17. I seem to remember though I may be wrong zydrine costing in the 4400 range before drone regions, and megacyte in the 10k plus range. Trit was 3-4 isk per unit and a tier 1 geddon cost about 100m isk to produce. With the apoc costing about 130-150.

    It will be interesting to see where this all ends up, I know many people who's industry toons have come out of their hangers and put to work in the last few days trying to build up reserves to see what happens with the mineral market.

    I think definitely good changes to the game making other play styles more profitable once again. I can remember many times hearing the deva say the drone regions and mining with guns was a huge mistake, I am glad they are finally fixing it.

    Zandramus

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  18. I really cant see the sense in sticking it to the miners/indys just for a KM. Its like shooting a near dead animal just to say you shot one, its not sporting IMHO. Some might take offense to that but frag 'em. Don't get me wrong I am not a miner-hell no- but if you want to shoot at something at least make it sporting or with some degree of difficulty. Or like someone else said give the miners/indys some teeth to bite back with,,,wait that means someone will have to work doesn't it.

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    1. There are people who shoot street signs because animals are too hard to hunt.

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    2. No, they shoot street signs to set up the aim on the guns.

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  19. Greetings from the insane asylum! Yes, I am indeed one of those psychotic hermits known as 'Solo miners'. Actually, I enjoy mining and the way it's implemented. You'd be surprised how many people out there do, we're kind of a quiet bunch.

    As to the person who talked about Zydrine at 4400, yes, that's what about it was. I remember back in the day, it was a lucrative business snatching up people selling modules that refined either Zydrine or Megacyte for the pure reason of reprocessing it, and doing them in batches of 1 to make sure you don't get any Zydrine or Megacyte that is unrecoverable. Man that takes me way back. The learning skills took me way back too.

    One day, I think I'd do a blog about being a solo miner and how it actually is, so many misconceptions out there. However, from a solo miner perspective, in reality this is going to start a cannibalization process in Hi-Sec. Low sec will continue to be low sec, and I think in Null Sec you'll see more intrigue than anything else. Now it won't be as advantageous to just blow up a mining operation, you'll want to wait until they have enough resources first and then blow them up, taking as much hard work back with you as possible. It will be less 'stop them from mining' and more 'make them mine for us'. This will probably drop minerals by about 30-50% in nullsec.

    The cannibalization will be in the fact that gankers will blow up 400m ships with a 7 mil ship, sooner or later those 7 mil ships are going to be 10+, and if the cost of the ship gets to the point you lose money, it could actually turn off people to Hulkageddon. I mean, let's be real here. The same people talking about 'Too easy to replace ships due to too much isk' kind of gloss over the whole hulk thing. Hulks have gone the same way as battleships, at one point your average hulk could be gotten for 180m.

    However, here is what I can see in the future if mineral prices do spike. Drop your Ore and leave or lose your ship. If prices are high enough, taking their ore will definately cause more tears, and most hulkers at that point will be so scared they'll probably do anything to save their ships.

    A final note, the single rule of eve is also I think being glossed over here. 'Don't fly what you can't afford to lose.' Hulks are going to become much more rare, heck, we may end up with 'Covetorgeddon', and hulks will be just ignored because they are just too rare in high-sec. Personally, that would be good. Turning the Exhumers into a more null/WH/low sec designed ship and the Mining Barges proper into high-sec ships would be perfect. With Exhumers being specialized ships, makes more sense. Something like the Hulks getting the same output as a covetor (of course, bump of covetor a little), but Covetor bonus only works on ores in +.5, and Hulk only works on ores in under .5.

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  20. As a experienced miner, i mine for my own and corps need. The proposed changes will not really affect me as production from BPO's should not change. My concerns are the new kids on the eve block and whether the increased ship costs will demotivate and lead to a mass exodus as they simply cannot afford them.

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  21. @Antivyris : I'll be honest, no PVP fleet is going to wait to engage a fleet of miners for ore they hold.....

    It is just too big, that unless they happen to have a rorqual available and in jump range, and a POS in the hold to put up to keep it safe as well..... I can't see it personally, they would be better off asserting space superiority in their own systems and mining there, maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

    However I would be interested to read your blog should you write it :-)

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  22. The new 100M ISK reward, per 10 Hulks/Macks killed, in Hulkageddon V, does not offset the fact that ganking no longer pays ship insurance. And, while Goons may reimburse ships, but not everyone who participates in Hulkageddon is a Goon.

    With the official ban on the "boomerang" exploit, you can now only really count on one kill per gank ship (excepting the now rare idiots who group up within disco range in untanked ships - the ice interdiction "cured" a lot of those fools). Keep in mind, too, that the increased mineral costs will increase the cost of the gank ships.

    So, we'll have to wait and see if the 100M ISK reward is sufficient incentive to keep the number of Hulkageddon participants up, due to the much higher cost of ganking.

    In any case, Hulkageddon has been relatively popular, but most of the market "damage" in the past was due to trader speculation; the percentage of miners affected by Hulkageddon was actually not all that large.

    But, perhaps, Jester is trying to use his blog to raise fears, and spike those mineral prices even higher? Hmm.... ;)

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    1. Errr... you seem to be unaware that a gank-fit Catalyst costs about 7m ISK and those ships are being purchased by the boat-load now. If you choose ideal targets (ie, dumbly-fit Macks), that 100m ISK will allow you to MAKE A PROFIT on Hulkageddon without insurance.

      THAT assumes, though, that ganking is about profit. It NEVER is. The gankers will scoop your stuff and salvage your wreck hoping for an intact armor plate, sure. But they're ganking for laughs, not for ISK.

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    2. A single Cat cannot take down a Mack or a Hulk. You need a gang of them to ensure a kill. Solo Cats (and Thrashers) are mostly used to take down Covetors and Retrievers.

      To reliably solo a Mack or Hulk, you need a Brutix (see The Mittani's gank Brutix for details), and a Tornado is a much better choice.

      Weak-tanked Hulks still foolishly fly around high sec, but most of the untanked Macks are a thing of the past. Funny thing is, you can actually thank the Goons for that one. The ice interdiction had a few positive effects on the ice miners - many learned how to tank their ships, as well as use gang links to boost something other than just mining efficiency. They now also tend to work together to watch local and keep an eye out for gank alts, looking for soft targets.

      The tanked Macks are still the norm; untanked Macks dock up as soon as a possible hostile enters local. As you noted, the Macks now drop Intact Armor Plates, which has provided a higher incentive for ongoing ganking of ice miners, even after the interdiction was officially ended.

      Ganking is not about profit, but it also isn't about losing massive amounts of ISK either. The old insurance payout plus a couple of dropped T2 mining lasers and modules made ganking a slightly profitable, or, at least break-even, adventure in the past. Now, it is more a provence of players who can afford the ISK in exchange for the tears. The removal of the insurance did not stop ganking, but it did put a crimp in it.

      Also, with regards to Hulkageddon, note that you don't get 100M ISK per kill - you get 100M ISK per every 10 kills. That is, you only get 10M ISK per a single kill. The rules are also a bit vague as to whether or not this amount is diluted on a shared kill (ie. a 10-dessie gang destroys 10 Hulks - do they all get the full 100M ISK each?).

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    3. "A single cat cannot take down a Mack or a Hulk"

      Never Ask Why corporation has plenty of proof that you are wrong. Over 100 Hulks killed by solo catalysts so far in April.

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    4. Thanks, Mara, I stand corrected.

      Perhaps I should have said that a single Cat *should not* be able to take down a properly tanked Mack or Hulk.

      Good on Never Ask Why corp, though. Those fail fit Hulks deserved to die. Less than 5000 damage to kill a Hulk? WTF? I've got more tank on my old Covetor.

      I guess that it's just been too long since the last Hulkageddon. The uber greedy and utterly stupid have been breeding like flies in high sec again.

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  23. Ofc, higher mineral costs will affect newer and younger players, more than the older and richer players. But, I don't see this as a bad thing.

    Currently, new players are moving as quickly as possible from rookie frigs to BCs, rarely pausing to use any ship in between. And, with the incomes being high and loss costs being low, the new players aren't really learning any of the old PVP skills - they just fit, undock, shoot any old thing, get blown up, buy another ship, and repeat. Losing a BC doesn't mean as much as it once did - relatively speaking, they are as disposable as frigs used to be 4-5 years ago.

    Making ships more expensive, and thus relatively more painful to stupidly lose in battle, is good for the game. It is actually a direct counter to brainless blob warfare, which we all hate and despise.

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    1. Don't count on the blobs going down. A Goon only has to buy ONE Maelstrom and ONE Drake. All follow-on ships are replaced by Goonswarm with moon goo.

      If ship prices go up too high, that will hurt small-gang PvPvers, not the blobs.

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    2. Lately for every one new idiot dying repeatedly in an assault frig or BCs, I see 2-3 new guys in T1 frigs and cruisers worrying about how to pay for them without spending two of their three nights to play doing something they hate grinding for isk as is.

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    3. I wasn't speaking of the Goons. Ofc, any large, overly rich group can afford to keep running endless blobs, even supercap blobs, if they so choose. That is another problem which everyone has admitted needs to be addressed.

      However, small-gang PVPers will need to replace the "I really don't care if I lose it 'cause it is cheap to replace" blob mentality with "well, perhaps we should try to fly smarter" strategies and tactics. The ones which do not learn and adapt are likely to run out of ships and ISK rather quickly.

      I don't see this as hurting small gang PVP, though. I see this as forcing an improvement in the overall *quality* of small gang PVP.

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    4. "Fly what you can afford to lose" - I seem to recall hearing that a lot from the vets when I started playing.

      Thus, I spent a long time in my early PVP career only flying T1 frigs, and learning how to fly them well, so I wouldn't be constantly losing them by flying them stupid (I hate grinding ISK). By the time I could afford to lose a T1 cruiser in PVP, I actually knew how to fly one smart, too. So on with AFs, BCs, HACs, etc.

      Nowadays, on the forums, I see "experienced" players recommending T2 frigs and BCs, and even T3 cruisers, to noobs. From checking out some of these "experienced" players, it seems that losing ships stupidly has become an acceptable strategy these days, just as it is in a lot of FPS games.

      Easy ISK and cheap ships simply makes for bad PVP. If you just want to shoot things up, die, shoot things up, die, etc. - then go play a FPS. I got into Eve 'cause it required a bit of smarts and skill, too - not just lock target, press F1 button.

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  24. There's also massive inflation going on accross the board at the mo - Hulks are 360 MIl - Nanotransistors are almost 8k each

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  25. As I'm not a miner myself, I wonder if logistics ships will become a major part of highsec mining ops as a deterrent to the Catalyst gank that has become so common.

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    1. yes, i've seen more than a few small corps using scimitars. there's at least more attempting to use RR bs or even the orca as shield logistics, but of course THAT'S doomed to fail if the griefer has an alt with a 100mn mwd battlecruiser. PUNT!

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  26. To me, mining as always been the equivalent in Eve of fishing: you do it to relax while making a bit of ISK. And I do enjoy fishing in space :D
    Maybe CCP could turn mining in a mini game (the better your score gets, the better the ore yield) like Demolition City ( http://armorgames.com/play/4611/demolition-city-2 )?

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  27. could this be a possible ninja salvaging ninja-buff?

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