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...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oh, just one more thing...

When planetary interaction materials became the method for constructing POSs and POS mods, there was a very quiet change made at the same time: faction POS BPCs no longer dropped as rewards from exploration sites.  These BPCs can be used to build faction POSs, which have been beloved forever because they require less POS fuel than the standard towers.  This makes them particularly well-loved in wormhole space, where every cubic meter into the holes is weighed and measured.

It took a while for the word to get out about the change.  CCP didn't announce it in advance so far as I can tell.  It just slowly got out among the anomaly runners that they weren't getting the BPCs any longer.  There was a mini threadnaught created two years ago about it.  And for a month, various players bumped that thread and bumped it and bumped it, with no response.  Finally, in a "Devs Answer Everything" thread created by CCP, CCP Greyscale responded to the issue thus (it's post 38 in the thread):
We're looking at adjusting the supply of these at some point in the reasonably near future, possibly
Needless to say, this answer was kind of unsatisfying so the threadnaught slowly continued.  About a month later (presumably after a few dozen bug reports), CCP Dropbear put out a much more explanatory response (it's post #204):
So...we are already aware of it. No need to file bug reports.

Faction towers will go back in someday if we can ensure a better distribution of them. That's the issue here, and as others noted, it's exacerbated by high-sec (low-risk) POS, and so on. End of the day it's a distribution method that wasn't working as intended and needs a fix, if one is even possible (hence the "possibly" in Greyscale's reply).

I'm sorry we can't provide more details right now, but that's where this particular thing is at right now. BFF has much bigger fish to fry, I think you'd all agree, so it'll get some attention, but only once other priorities are dealt with. :)
And two years later, here we are.

In the time since, the number of faction towers and mods has been going down slowly month by month as some of the limited number of them have been destroyed.  And of course as this has happened, the price has gone slowly up and up and up.  A full size Dread Guristas POS peaked well over four billion ISK before settling down to its slightly more sane price of 3.2 billion.  The others aren't that expensive, but they're pretty expensive, with mediums and smalls at comparable relative prices.  And because they were none too common before the change, some types of faction POSes aren't available at any price.

So given that the removal of the BPCs was pretty much a stealth change to the game, I think it's entirely appropriate that CCP Soundwave casually mentioned yesterday, in his dev-post about the new sites, that faction towers are coming back:
Have you played it after Sisi was deployed today? We've doubled the loot in each site (to account for cans you don't get), added new types (the faction towers are back in) and cut the number of cans in half. This should be in much better shape now (if it's not, we'll continue making changes of course).
Emphasis mine.  The other hidden message?  Loot from these sites is doubled.  That has the potential to be very lucrative... but given what we saw of these sites at Fanfest, it's going to be impossible to get all the cans by yourself.  Early tip?  Don't expect to scoop those cans alone.  Bring a friend!

Or you potentially leave what is initially going to be a multi-billion ISK BPC on the table.

For the time being, the faction tower market hasn't reacted to the stealth announcement.  It'll be interesting to see how the market reacts...  In the meantime, kudos to CCP for this change!  It's yet another great reason to try out the new sites and the new hacking mini-game.  I should write a blog post about that mini-game.


  1. Karbox DelacroixMay 23, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Speaking of expensive faction towers: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=17911944

    1. I'm trying to decide whether to write a post about that fight. I probably will, from my perspective, though I was strictly a grunt and not involved in the diplomacy at all.

      OTOH, large sov alliances so commonly think of NPC null alliances as "having no friends" that it'd be sorely tempting to write about that aspect even though I wasn't involved.


    2. I don't think any of the large coalitions think that NPC null groups don't have friends, and at this point if the CFC doesn't realize there are plenty of people who will temp-blue to hit their capfleets they are idiots. CFC capfleets seem like the easiest target in null right now given their recent run of soaring incompetence.

      It just goes back to how different groups in null are playing different games with different objectives. If Rote decided to become a sov-holding alliance (I know, its hypothetical), how many of your friends would help? If BL or 401k said they were going to fight someone for sov takeover, would you help them? How far would either side go to help the other? That's what the CFC means by friends.

  2. is that faction tower post related to that twx domination tower today? ^^

  3. You should write a blog post about that mini-game. :-P

  4. I should write a blog post about that mini-game.

    Please do.

  5. The faction tower market has reacted to the change; loads of them were sold to buy orders at Jita at _well_under_ the going rate

  6. One thing I thought about was simply the 'supply and demand' of exploration sites.

    If they are pushing exploration in the next expansion I think they need to consider the rate in which they spawn so that players can get enough supply of sites to try out - especially in high sec.

    Any good explorer will know is that sites in high sec are few and far between; and at least to start with I would guess that the number of explorers out there will grow to at least try out the new exploration tools - so they will need a better number of sites to keep those players busy or risk people being put off exploration completely because it'll be seen as over farmed to the point of extinction (at least in high sec) - and if people don't pick up the exploration bug in high sec, the chances of them wanting to carry it on into low is quite slim, even if the chances of a site are much higher.

  7. Apart from catching cans how is the new exploration a multiple player experience? Thx in advance.

  8. "but given what we saw of these sites at Fanfest, it's going to be impossible to get all the cans by yourself. Early tip? Don't expect to scoop those cans alone. Bring a friend!"
    This makes me sad, it's only been a few weeks and CCP propaganda is already being regurgitated around here.

    I kid, I kid. But seriously it seems the entire exploration community in that thread and has tired it out on Sisi is taking, to put it politely, a much dimmer view of that idea and the mechanic CCP is using to force you there.

  9. While these explorations arn't ISK faucets I'm curious just how lucreatitive they'll be... I hope CCP learned their lesson with last years FW LP summer bonzanza how they have a way of over incentivizing something to the point of breaking PLEX markets.

  10. Yeah, the new sites...
    To whomever hasn't tried one on Sisi yet, please do.
    The hacking mini-game has some potential to it, CCP has good ideas for its future (let's hope they'll get implemented...)

    But about the collecting of the small cans: I have no words. It already looked so-so when Soundwave demoed it at Fanfest, but actually doing the thing is a nightmare. There hasn't been a single positive feedback on the test server forums regarding this system. And bringing a friend simply won't cut it, you'll just be sharing the same clicking hell.

    Oh, and don't forget to spam d-scan while you're grabbing the loot, of course.


  11. While the hacking game is ok(ish), I wouldn't bother with the loot clickfest if it yielded PLEX. I am not playing fetch with those cans and I am sure as hell not going to introduce a noob to a game mechanic THIS bad.

    Besides, a billion is NOTHING.

    1. If a billion is nothing, please send Ripard Teg five billion. Thanks!

    2. Calling my bluff is not fair! Besides, sending you money thus enabling you to murder me more efficiently is not a sensible thing to do, I think.

  12. "For the time being, the faction tower market hasn't reacted to the stealth announcement."

    Not quite true, people dumped their towers into buy orders. Check True Sansha Medium for example. There's not much of a market left, though. I reckon this is why towers are back in, afters three years or so.

  13. "doubled the loot", sigh. They never do anything moderately do they?

    Evidence suggests CCP not only doesn't care about a balanced game but actively wants to maintain an endless chain of unbalanced Macguffins for the players to chase.

    It makes a fair bit of sense though - by making extreme changes to the game they continuously remind the player that he/she has no ownership or control over anything.


  14. "We've doubled the loot in each site (to account for cans you don't get), added new types (the faction towers are back in) and cut the number of cans in half."

    Yep, yet another much needed buff to null sec alliance income, so that we *never* have any economic reason to start a major war - courtesy of our buddy, CCP Soundwave. Next step, moving all of the ice to null....

    What a major fail of a game designer.

    Doesn't Soundwave know that the underlying cause of RL war is economics, ie. fighting over control of *limited* resources? No one fights when there is unlimited resources. Give null a few more resources and no one will *ever* fight a war there - it will just become another carebear haven.


    A *real* game designer would cut Tech moons down to 1/4 of their current number, scatter them around the borders of the current null alliances, remove 1/2 of all other null ISK generation sources, and then watch a real war erupt as everyone fights for what's left.

    The current changes for Odyssey will just increase the proliferation of supercaps, make war even less desirable for the fat alliance leaders sitting on even fatter wallets, and further discourage new alliances from trying to gain a toehold in null.

    Don't believe me? Come back and read this comment on 1 Jan 2014 and tell me all about the great null war of 2013.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.