When a player-owned station first comes under attack, the attackers can continue damaging it until it takes a single point of armor damage. This happens at about 25% shields. At that point, the POS stops consuming its regular POS fuel and begins consuming an alternative fuel (in a second bay) with the ridiculously over-complicated name Strontium Clathrates. "Stront" is consumed by the hour at a rate depending on the size, quality, and location of the tower. During this time, the tower is invulnerable. It can't be destroyed, but it can't be repaired either. Once there isn't enough stront to fuel the tower for a full hour, the tower "comes out of reinforced" and only then may it either be repaired or can be destroyed the rest of the way, depending.
Reinforcing a tower, therefore, puts it at a tipping point. The critical battle for a tower doesn't take place when it's being reinforced. The critical battle takes place when the tower comes out of reinforced. Both the attackers and the defenders gather, and that's when the fate of that tower is decided: will it be repaired or will it be destroyed?
I'm going to say something that I think a lot of EVE players subconsciously realize, but nobody's put into words yet:
EVE Online is a tower that has been reinforced.
We're approaching the tipping point. The battle for this game's future will happen very soon, and either the game will be repaired, or it will be destroyed.
Just in the last 120 days, we've had drama after drama, most thanks to CCP:
- the Sanctum/Haven nerf;
- the new forums debacle;
- Alliance Tournament IX final match;
- :$99: "Commercial licenses";
- Incarna over-utilizing and overheating graphics cards;
- the Incarna "off button" and "show them the door" meme;
- Monocles, and the "space-barbies" meme;
- Gordon Gecko;
- Scorpions for Aurum; and,
- the Jita riots (related to the three above).
And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. There's probably more that I'm forgetting. CCP can't seem to stop the flood. It's gotten to the point that when they speculate about making changes to Local in the CSM May Summit, they have to make sure to insert a bolded, italicized, underlined disclaimer in the minutes to make it clear that they're speculating! (It's on page 7 of the minutes.)
Even more than that, though, there's very good reason to be distressed about the directions that they're developing the game in, and the impact that it's having on the player base. The "Curves" post from a week or so ago is far and away the most visited post I've ever made on this blog; more than 2500 people have read it. And that curve is worrisome as hell. I used to have a good number of RL friends playing EVE. The last one quit a couple of weeks ago because he's tired of sov warfare and wasn't impressed by the Incarna expansion.
When I posted that I myself was going to quit EVE and maybe come back to it in a couple of years to see how things had developed, that showed rather a lot of confidence on my part that there would be an EVE Online in two years to come back to. I'm starting to worry that this might not be the case.
EVE dying is not something I want to have happen. At the end of the day, I've got a lot of fond memories of this game, and I enjoy a lot of aspects of it. It's clear to me now that if I want there to be an EVE to come back to, and I want that EVE to again resemble the game I loved, then sitting out the fight when EVE comes out of reinforced is not an option. As I've said before, it's hard to influence an environment from the outside.
So, consider me resubbed, and X'ing up for the fight to come.
P.S. Dumbest reason for resubbing ever, I'll bet. ;-) -J
P.P.S. I suppose this means I'll need to find a corp. -J