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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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rent to own

This is going to be one of those posts I write sometimes that someone out there might be able to blow out of the water.  And if you can, fantastic!  I'm going to make a statement and maybe someone out there can disprove it.  And after you do, I'll be more than happy to say that I was wrong and you were right.  Ready?

I think renting is bad for EVE.

Matter of fact, I can't think of a single alliance that has enjoyed long-term success in New Eden that started out renting some null-sec systems.  If you can, please tell their story in comments because I'd love to hear it.  In the meantime though, after long thought on the matter, I have become completely hostile to the idea of renters.  How we remove them from game, I have no idea, but I think they need to be removed.  More than that, I'll take it a step farther: I think the very idea of renters hurts the game.

I came up with a list of reasons I think this:
  1. Renters fill null-sec fleets with bloat, engorging fleet sizes and adding little value by their presence except the requirement that the other side have a lot of meat shields, too.
  2. In so doing, they make null-sec fights less likely and less frequent.
  3. When the fight starts, renters die in larger numbers than non-renters both impacting your fleet's likelihood of winning the fight and the morale of the rest of your fleet.
  4. Renters directly contribute to CCP making structure shoots more boring by giving them such high HP... because with fewer HP they'd be too easy to kill with a renter-engorged structure shoot fleet.
  5. Joining a null-sec coalition as a renter has a chilling effect on your potential PvPers by making them worse at the game: they become poorer pilots only able to fly properly in enormous fleet doctrines and unable to think for themselves.
  6. Renters are less likely to defend "their" territory from small-gang raiding parties.
  7. They're more likely to turtle up if facing bigger threats.
  8. When their time comes to die, they are quickly and easily smashed by enemy forces.
  9. They're the most likely groups in EVE to be awash in care-bears with no loyalty to their parent organizations.
  10. They're the most likely to abandon their parent in droves if trouble starts.
  11. Renting stultifies or just flat-out wrecks many budding FCs by forcing them into fleets or fights too big for them to handle.
  12. And finally, renting teaches their leaders nothing about holding sov since the renter is beholden to their master to play the both the sov mechanics game and the meta game on their behalf.  Renter leaders are therefore no more qualified to be sov-holding alliance leaders than the roughest high-sec care-bear.
If a bottoms up income system for sov comes to pass, under such a system, renters are only going to become even more common and more beholden to their enormous masters.

Aside from the very ephemeral and short-term gains a renter makes in terms of making a few ISK, I can hardly think of any benefit the renters get out of this relationship at all.  And that assumes your corp or alliance isn't just the target of a rental scam of some sort.

I'd love to hear a counter-argument on this one.  Go!


  1. All your points apply equally well to rank and file "owner" pilots too. How do people learn to be "real" nullsec pilots if they have nowhere to start?

    Also: Sturgeon's Law.

    How do you blow something out of the water when it sinks happily of its own accord?

    In the meantime, please show us on the doll where the bad renter fleet touched your Rote Kapelle roam.

  2. Y'know, I detest the idea of renters too, would do everything in my power as a GSF finance director to avoid having to use them. That said, if people want to use renters, and renters continue to be willing to be used, more power to them. In fact, in the ground-up proposal I'm working on I've made a note to actually go out of my way to ensure that renter/landlord (or warlord/slave, if you prefer?) setups still work. CCP provides the tools, I want to make sure the tools continue to exist in the idea I'm forming. The fact that neither you nor I nor quite a lot of players think it's a good setup is pretty much irrelevant.

  3. Renters are currently the closest thing to a good bottom-up alliance Income that exists in the game.

    I don't think 5-12 are issues from a game balance side of things, as they result entirely from player decisions. They are, however, completely valid points for someone who wants to become a renter to consider (they're also almost the exact points that were always made about the old-fashioned strict master-pet relationship of the GBC era).

    1. I'm not sure is true anymore. The days of victory by black-screen turkey shoot are largely over, and I don't think renters contribute significantly to most fleets, or if they do they primarily fly doctrine ships (I haven't seen any big fights where one side has half doctrine and half random bags of crap).

    2. I don't see how that follows

    3. I've never known any fleet to have a morale issue in the middle of a fight. Especially not simply because everyone's dying.

    4. I think that's more a SuperCarrier issue than a Renter issue. "Gotta keep the non-Sieging Dreads from killing the structure too quickly, or ninjaing them will be almost effortless."

    And then why I like renters:
    1) I can easily get a ratting character in to make ISK.
    2) I can easily get an AWOXing character in to have fun.
    So what if I don't have any big game design reasons for liking them. You wanna fight about it [/Bostonian].

    Why should they be allowed to stick around? Primarily practicality. You would be hard pressed to get rid of them while maintaining nullsec as being a better place to live (i.e. make ISK) than HS, because rental agreements are a relationship that emerged from someone controlling a system they didn't strictly need and someone else wanting to live there but not being able to kick them out. ISK transfer happens and both are better off.

    1. "Renters are currently the closest thing to a good bottom-up alliance Income that exists in the game."

      This! Income is earned by the renter and the Null landlord by members working and populating the space. This is what you have been calling for more of Jester!

  4. Even if all your points are valid it's hard to dispute that the existence of renters is due to emergent gameplay and a sandbox game mechanic that allows it. The (vast?) majority of renters aren't all that interested in holding sov and are probably PVP-averse in general. If a sov-holding alliance has space they're not using and can find someone willing to pay for the privilege of living in it, whether to mine or rat or run anomalies or do industrial-type stuff, who's to say whether that is "good for the game" or not? It is what it is and with the game mechanics such as they are you might as well ask, "Who wants to refute my argument that water being wet is bad?"

  5. So Islador gave a nice presentation on null renting at EVE Vegas last year. Having sat through that, I learned 2 things: 1) You're right that the rental arrangement benefits the "null slumlord" 99.8%, and the renters barely get a .2% "benefit" of "hey we're in null! \o/", and 2) 50% KB efficiency is pretty damn good. Wait, what?
    Yep. If you're a null renter, 50% KB efficiency is "good", apparently. ;-)
    Most likely that 50% stems from most of your points about renters being a "meat shield", so, yeah, :seems legit:.

    I think renting is bad just from the standpoint that it encourages "blue donut" tactics and stagnation in null. After all, why fight for a piece of turf, defend it, play the sov game, etc, when you can just hand over 55% of your profits and, as you correctly pointed out, have someone else handle the :sov: and :meta: for you, and just run anoms, plexes, etc, and get slaughtered in shit-fits??

    So since you're not going to FanFest, why not take that budgeted expense and transfer it to EVE Vegas??? ;-) Just saying...

  6. You seem to be under the impression that alliances want their renters to fight.
    Renters are simply an economic resource: their job is to make isk for themselves and pay their landlords, who protect them because if the renters can't make money they can't pay rent.

  7. Renting doesn't make strong leaders or fighters that's for sure. It would be a positive change if the game did not allow it as a mechanism.

    And now I wait for all the big blue donut people to come and spin the propaganda about how renting somehow wonderful and interesting for the game. There is a good propagandist born every day.

  8. Just remove half the systems in null and the sov holders won't have enough systems to rent.

  9. Similiar to the Coalitions, I doubt there is any decent way to address. It is simply a players work around the imposed limits by the game design.

    However, you note that this arrangement typically lends itself to limit the longevity of an Alliance - in this view it is a self correcting problem.

    On the other hand - one of the big complaints about null-sec is the lack of utilisation of all that space. Renters therefore help this fill vacuum. Renters are least willing to take some risk towards the end-game of null, unlike the hi-sec welfare state.

  10. I think you are incorrectly conflating pets and renters. The proliferation of both is bad for the game, in my opinion, but they do very different things. A renter is just a tenant, essentially. They're not expected to do much except pay their bills and perhaps perform maintenance. A pet is the sort of group that operates within the pseudo-vassalage you describe above i.e. they are nominally independent, but they are expected to support their liege and don't get to make any important decisions. Any nice things they get are dispensed from on high.

  11. Most of the renters as are stereotypically thought about do not exist. There are some, but to most renting is just a rest stop between curb stomps.

    They go off, grab sov in pocket sized kingdoms with other corps built out of renter alliances, and shoot each other in fun filled wars until someone large finally looks toward the backwater they were too busy to deal with and ends the fun. After that it's back to renting to rebuild before the next foray.

    Or they leave renting status to do something else only to come back and rebuild and leave again. Corps are coming and going all the time. Very few of them are the evil things everyone claims they are. And in pure skill some of them are better pilots than you're giving them credit for. The best PVP pilot I've ever seen was in the type of "renter corp" described above.

    As for the fleet bit. Once, once per rental agreement I'll try it. Normally it's a nightmare from a renters perspective to join a fleet with the people we're currently renting from.

    I've been in fleets where the only information I got was the staging point. Period. Showed up, FC warped us around, I gated when everyone else seemed to be doing it, hit the fight, and that was it. Nothing else. Renters weren't allowed comms or slotted into any sort of command structure. Technically I was in that fleet fight, but in any sort of real sense I was more of a third party. If you don't die more than everyone else in that situation it's because you figured out faster than most how shafted you were and ran first.

    I'm not saying all of what you said is wrong, but a lot of it is a vast over-simplification.

  12. I think you have to differ between "Renters" and "Pets". You mix those two up.

    "Renters" pay for a specific system (or in TEST's case, region) and are allowed to live there. Most of the time, they don't participate in PvP at all, because they don't like PvP. That's why they are renters. They pay in order to not have to PvP.

    In contrast, Pets are small alliances which only live in a space because the holder allows them to (current example: SOLAR + BCA, ED, ROGUE). They are encouraged to take part in PvP Fleets together with the Overlord.

    1. We rent from Test. Renters are not allowed in the PvP fleets. Some of our guys like PvP, some like PvE and some mine/manufacture.

  13. Test? It wasn't quite renting, but it was something close to it...

  14. The counter argument will surely involve the words sand and box.

    I have no issue with renting myself, after all they enter an agreement with those who grinded structures in the first place and they are not forced into it. If they enter a sub-optimal relationship with their land lords then that quite frankly is their own problem, the 'problem' isn't a game design issue, it's a player issue.

    Personally I don't understand why anyone would want to be considered a renter, I don't understand what it is that makes them think it may be a good way to play the game. But at the same time I also don't understand why people have their main accounts shooting asteroids in highsec or why some people consider suicide ganking fun pvp.

    The renters make a conscious choice to become renters. If they regret their decision then they can do something else. I don't see it as an issue that needs addressing by CCP.

    1. ...and that just made me notice that Jester nowhere said that it was an issue for CCP, but that doesn't mean that it's not an issue. Woo...the sandbox is meta designing itself :-)

      Also, a reason to become a renter: You're a well off high skilled age old power high sec ratter. You heard about that green grass out in null and wanna try it out. You have some high sec ratter friends who're less experienced than you (age/ISK/LP) and suck at pvp, but will follow you to the death any day. Your little band tries to find a way to set up in null without loosing all independence and becoming a rank and file trooper, getting CTAd to death and/or getting steamrolled by the people who know the mechanics (which you don't yet). What do you do?

      Point being that the above profile is actually quite widespread and joining in as a renter could very easily sound like a fine stepping stone off the safe comfortable waters of high sec.

  15. Renters, good or bad, are not something that needs to be dealt with by CCP, nor would we want them to do so.

    The more that CCP restricts or enforces particular game play styles, the less of a sandbox we have.

    Let's not ask CCP to go there. Please.

    Rather, let's ask CCP to implement more creative features which allow the players to do more to develop the game into exciting and unforeseen directions... a true sandbox.

  16. It's a sandbox... The world, universe, whatever, is what you make of it. The majority of the time, people rely on structures they already know.

    So, as a side example:

    You currently live with your parents. You pay a small amount of rent to dwell in your bedroom. Life is fine, but you'd really like to see what else the world has to offer and try out some new activities.
    You decide to move out.
    Unfortunately though, you can't afford the deposit on a mortgage, and you certainly can't afford to buy a property straight up. So what's the alternative?
    Move in with friends/lover(s)/etc who already have their own place, or start renting from a stranger who has more property than they can currently live in.

    The example I gave has many mirrored points that apply to any renter in null. Most importantly, the only REAL way to move into null at the moment is by either joining a corp that already lives in null (that's moving in with friends), or alternatively becoming a renter yourself.

    Getting that mortgage just simply isn't possible with the resources you have at your disposal.

    Going by your argument, you imply that I should continue living at home until I have saved enough money to BUY somewhere. By which time I'll be old, bored, and the reason I desired to move out in the first place; diversity, excitement, change, etc., have all but withered away.

    In the case of EvE, mining, running the same missions and incursions over and over simply become a tedium, and the player quits. CCP realise this, and as they're a business and wish to turn a profit each year, I can't see them withdrawing an avenue that allows customers to get more out of their subscription based product.

    Put simply, the more content a subscriber has access to, the longer they'll be entertained, and therefore the longer the $$$'s will keep flowing.

    There hasn't been a new 'game-mode' (for want of a better word) released since incursions, so if you want to keep drawing in new players, the best way to do that is by letting them access a side of the game they probably wouldn't normally be able to.

    TL;DR: I don't see renting as a problem. It allows carebears to experience new game modes, boosts the numbers of people in null, as well as provides income to landlords. If people are willing to pay a monthly fee for a home in someone else's space, for some new experiences, and a chance to be a part of something new, is that really so different to any one of us paying CCP for exactly the same privilege?

  17. I don't think renting is as bad for the game as you say, Jester. It's certainly emergent gameplay, and it does get more folk out to null. If anything is broken in the renter/pet model, it's the use of those very terms and the way that the EvE playerbase has come to define them.

    If you call someone a renter or a pet - and, most importantly, treat them that way - you'll get what you deserve. Vassalage is really what we should be aiming for. Proper, traditional vassalage, where the territory the vassal occupies is his to exploit and defend, but where he also has obligations to aid his liege when called (and vice versa). Encouraging a proper feudal structure of vassalage throughout the game certainly would allow for a better chance of the CCP vision of null to prosper.

    The CFC is really a liege/vassal structure, if you look at it. Goons run the CFC and the other alliances are Goon vassals. That doesn't mean Goons tell them what to do or who to fight on a daily basis - coalition members can go off and shoot who they want, it seems - but on matters of CFC-wide consequence, the Goons certainly appear to call the shots.

    I do, though, wonder about renters and the way they are administered. If an alliance can't pay for the space they give to a renter, if they just want more folk in their space generating money to help with the sov bills, why not just bring in individual industry corps instead of alliances they look down on?

    Then again, I've never understood this absolute hatred of anything industry-related that the "pure PvP" crowd seems to have.

  18. It seems that most of your pains go to the large fleet F1 battles, so attack that problem directly instead. In many wargames your fleet size is limited by the command ship and command skills. What if we introduced command limits so that you actually needed to have a command ship, and the larger the fleet the bigger the command ship. Eventually to bring a big enough fleet you'd have to put your Titan on the field - and everybody likes having a Titan to shoot at, seems like.

  19. HBC tried renter with a different mind on the relationship, would like some input from people who rented on HBC, or HBC members who see their renters often.

  20. I honestly have no idea what you're talking about or where you got your info from as that's not even close to how renter/Alliance relationship functions.

    Basically the renting corp pays rent and gets access to space. This may be on a system by system basis for each renter or it may regional access. The way access is facilitated is by inviting the renter corp to the renter alliance (owned by the parent) such as NOFKS or Solar Citizens.

    Renters are not part of the coalition/alliance, they're renters. Renters do not have access to fleets, they do not have access to services such as reimbursements, auth, coms, or forums. They are not expected or allowed to engage in Sov warfare, and causing a diplomatic incident by attacking someone's structures means they get kicked.

    Your whole argument revolves around the assumption that renters are treated like a member corp which is simply not the case. Not to mention that even if renters were allowed into a strategic operation 50-60 pubbies in kitchen sink ships aren't going to make a difference when we're already fielding 250 Foxcats with a second full fleet of newbro support along with 100+ guys in the capfleet.

    As far as FCing in coalitions (which you hinted at) learning to FC it's not about the numbers but the type of ship. Since most alliances hand out frigates like cookies a 50 man wolfpack is the perfect place for a newb FC.

    As for defending local space... That's actually funny because a single cloaky neut can afk camp a ratting system and semipermanantly deny usage since nothing says "fun times" like having your ratting ship get covert dropped.

  21. I think you're not aware of sov alliance internal power structures. The CFC and HBC depend, not upon renters, but on subordinate alliances. The subordinate alliances are guilty as charged of practically everything on your list and are where the meat for the grinder comes from, the reason blobs get so big. They supply troops in return for sov - this is the reason sov is not entirely Goon/Test/PL in their areas.

    Renters don't supply troops. CFC has hardly any renters, Goons are firmly against it philosophically. Test rented out some of Fountain but that's more or less stopped since it became a warzone. In any event renters were actually barred from joining HBC fleets.

    Now you may argue that there are other entities in null sec apart from HBC and CFC but there really aren't. N3 has become a HBC pet and SOLAR a CFC pet.

  22. This Alliance/Renter-Alliance analogy can be extended both up and down to Coalition Leader/Coalition Partner and Alliance Holding Corp/Sub Corp and so forth.

    The problem as I see it is that there is way too much space. The big Nullsec players got way more space than they know what to do with. Apart from the Techmoons, there is no space thats worth fighting for over space elsewhere.

    We got the same problems in Wormhole Space. There's too much space. Nobody have to carve out their space because there's simply enough space to go around. We have to invent reasons (dishonoring ransoms, smacking in local etc) to get to go to war against someone. There is noone who actually have something that we want. If some of the systems out there were significantly better than other systems, and we didn't own it, I'm pretty sure we'd wage war until we owned it. In some ways it would be incredibly interesting to see what happened if some of the Class Wormholes had Tech Moons. I don't give a fuck about the money, but I'd fight tooth and nail to own those systems.

  23. I think you are going about the problem the wrong way. Renters are not really any different than other null residents who don't rent as far as skill, ability, and desires.

    The problem is the way SOV is designed which forces renting onto smaller groups who want to participate in null-sec. If you don't rent then you have to break up and join already existing super alliances or else live in NPC regions where there are no concerns for owning territory.

    Perhaps there are a few small groups out there able to scratch a living in null without renting, but they seem to be the exceptions not the rule. They certainly don't control any significant resources.

    How can the issue of renting be solved though?

    I'm not sure any change to the economy or SOV will do the trick. in the end numbers will always count so the more you have the better off you are.

    The only solution I can see is to provide a specific area designed for small groups which puts artificial regulations on a given sector of space. Basically you'd have parts of null-sec where there is a hard cap on the number of ships/capitals/supers able to be in a given system. Something similar to WH gates which have a finite amount of tonnage which can be transferred before shutting down, but without the randomness of WH's appearing and disappearing.

    The ability to upgrade your system would be available to the alliance would be able to progress at their own pace. Eventually if they got big enough their system would turn into the same as any other regular null-sec area without the option of reverting.

    The problem with this solution is many hardcore/veteran EVE players will be against such a change because it doesn't fit their idea of what the "sandbox" should be.

    Personally I think the only way EVE is going to pull in a bigger share of the market is to get away from the sandbox idea and actually cater to different play styles. PVE players need places where they are immune from PVP. PVP players need places where they can build resources and test the waters without getting roflstomped. Miners need a mechanic where they aren't just floating pinata's waiting to be ambushed. Haulers need some form of stimulus to make transporting goods a profitable business.

    The game has so much more possibility than just a PVP playground. However the game will remain basically stagnant until CCP is willing to recognize they can still offer plenty of PVP options while providing the ability for other play styles to enjoy the game.

  24. I will keep saying that EVE is a pvp game, but not everyone wants to pvp. Like it or not, it provides the balance that allows such a complex universe. If you think nullsec is fairly empty now, imagine if it was only filled with hardcore pvpers. Yeah, you could probably reduce nullsec down to a single region and still have a few empty systems. What if every Goon was an elite pvper, and then you faced a 1500 person fleet of elite pvpers? How much fun would your roams be then?

    I would argue though that renters are just a manifestation of people working within the system. I suspect if they weren't renting, they would just be part of the main alliance living in the same space doing the same things. At least with renters, you kinda knew that AAA Citizens, etc., were just there as meatshields and the "real" fighters were from -A-. Just accept that as in real life, everything isn't a predator. You need those nullbears to have an indepth universe instead of just a big World of Tanks battlefield.

  25. Renting is helpful as a non-aggression pact or mutual benefit agreement of sorts.

    Back in the day™, I was part of a renter group under Atlas. We were too small to take a large swath of space or defend multiple entries, so we rented a nice dead-end with a single chokepoint.

    Against the roaming locals, we were quite capable - small gang PvP ensued (their roams vs our summonable defenders at any given time). When RA, GSF and PL came to conquer the region, we were gnats - crushed by superior tactics, firepower and sheer scale.

    Renting works as a fine method for small groups with good Instigators to find their feet and build up in security beyond what they'd be able to provide for themselves.

    I recall CCP intended to provide Pacts as an extension of Dominion. It never eventuated (and no doubt ever shall, since the purpose of them is ephemeral) but structure would certainly give more visibility (if not depth) to the spirit of renting.

  26. Jester, your arguments seem to boil down to "Renting is bad for PvP ship fights". I agree with this, but who cares?
    Corps/individuals who join rental alliances or rent in their own right have basically decided that aggressive PvP isn't their thing, but they still want to be part of null-sec. Whoever rents them space has decided that they're ok with that (provided they pay their bills). Not everybody enjoys, or needs to participate in, consensual PvP.
    Those who rent for a while and decide they want more and better PvP can (and do!) leave to go join a more PvP-focused group. Wherein lies the problem? There's a path for those who want to fight and a path for those who want to run anomalies. Everybody wins.

  27. The last rental agreement I saw explicitly forbade the renter from trying to join fleets. There are any number of reasons why that's a good idea. Then again, the alliance offering the agreement doesn't exactly want for members.

    Renting is bottom-up income combined with alliance- or even coalition- level taxation (in effect, by means of rent). It basically is "farms and fields," only emergent rather than designed.

    I consider the practice considerably less objectionable than just having the alliance hold the systems and do nothing with them. At least renter space is occupied, and at least the nature of many renter corps bring a diversity of play styles to null sec.

  28. "I think they need to be removed."

    WHAT? Just because you don't appreciate something does not mean it needs to be removed!

    Let's say that all your points are valid. (Note that I doubt this is true: revealed preference suggests that both sides are getting something they value out of the relationship.) But OK, let's posit that economics does not apply in EVE. Anyone who rents is an idiot. Landlords are idiots too. Renting is sheerly bad for anyone involved.

    Here's what I don't understand, Jester. Why should this concern you? Let people learn the hard way. EVE is hard, remember? If you want no part of this awful renting thing, don't be a renter yourself and don't rent. Problem solved.

    What's next? Officer modules don't belong on frigates. Will you therefore propose that CCP should implement code to disallow it? Shall CCP hold our hands and prevent us from doing Incorrect Things in the sandbox?

    I started reading you pretty recently and think you'd make a good CSM in many ways. But when you write stuff like this it really makes me wonder.

    TL;DR: SANDBOX. Which word don't you understand?

  29. Jester, I think you've either never been outside null, or have lived outside of it for so long that you've forgotten how it works.

    (1) Renters generally do not participate in null fleets, and almost all rental agreements specifically stipulate that renters cannot be forced to participate in fleets, no matter their importance. And not a few alliances prohibit renters from joining fleets.

    (2) Care to explain? First you say that renters bloat fleet size, which is not an issue since the opposing alliances will have their own renters to draw on (it's a sandbox). Obviously Rote, as a small antisocial alliance, isn't going to want to (or be able to) stick its hand into the null sov war grinder, but why should CCP hand it the benefits of sov on a platter simply because it doesn't want to put in the effort of organizing large fleets and coalitions?

    (3) See No.1 . You will almost never see substantial (or often even any) renter participation in a null fleet. And if renters are useless, then their presence is irrelevant.

    (4) A hundred-man Oracle fleet can take down anything short of a station in a fairly short period of time. If you cannot draw on allies to field even a hundred people, you have no business holding sovereignty. Stations can be flipped using a decent dread fleet, or a supercapital fleet, with a good amount of safety, provided your FC is semi-competent. This assertion is patently false, and suggests you don't engage in much structure shooting.

    (5) Um, wut? So the only valid form of PvP is wulfpax and e-honor 'solo' PvP? If you've ever been in a good large fleet, you'd know that there is a huge difference between a good pilot, and an F1 monkey. All the tactics required of a solo or small gang PvP pilot are applicable in large fleets. And you assume that large fleets are the only thing null alliances field, which is an idiotic notion. I've lived for three years in sovereign null; large fleets are formed to defend important objectives (against organizations which have a good chance of defeating us or inflicting sizable losses). But we also do almost daily small roaming fleets, of two dozen or so people. So where do you get the notion that null residents don't engage in or know about small PvP?

  30. (6) So ... renters are useful for fleet padding (even though you say they die like flies), but they won't defend their space. Pick one assertion and stick with it, although all are rather silly. Core industrialists don't PvP. They rent because they want the benefits of sovereign null, but aren't interested in its PvP aspects; think of renting as bribe money for the neighboring PvP alliances.

    (7) Depends on the renter. Most renters aren't interested in PvP. Are you going to force it down their throats? Can you? Should you? Why should someone have to be forced into a course of action. This is a sandbox afterr all, and if a player would rather turtle, why should they not be allowed to do so? And renters do provide tasty gank targets for folk like you when you come rolling through their space. Considering that most so-called PvP in EVE is nothing but ganks, especially for roaming gangs, you should want more rather than fewer renters.

    (8) So why were you claiming that they make fights less likely? In null, residents tend to know one anothers' reputations. (That's Verge of Collapse, they have a Tech-3 gang with Archon support in a wormhole next door. That's IRC, they provide tasty kills.) A fleet made up of an alliance known for inept FCs and pilots is not seen as a threat. And why is it bad that some folk die to others? Just because an alliance repeatedly suffers massive losses, yet cont

    (9) So what?

    (10) Again, who cares?

    (11) Says who? And again, you assume for some reason that there are no small fleets in null. Which is, again, an idiotic notion that flies in the face of reality. Renter alliances don't have good FCs because corporations and pilots who are interested in PvP move into sov-holding PvP alliances. You might as well complain that an industrial corporation in high-sec does not wardec Moar Tears. They're not interested in that playstyle, and they do not attract players who are interested in that playstyle.

    (12) Because they're not sov-holding alliances. They're not interested in holding sov per se, or in the metagame. They're interested in mining, or in industry, or in PvE, which provides content for the PvPers (in the form of minerals and ships) and for _you_ when your merry band of misfits rolls in and gangs an Orca or a Golem. Are you going to complain that some lowsec residents aren't part of faction war? Or that they don't all fly PvP ships? Maybe their playstyle is just as, if not more valid than yours.

    In short, you assume that only PvPers should live in null. Which is stupid. For the obvious reason that this is a sandbox, and if a group of PvE players want to get into null, but don't want to PvP, they should be able to do so. And in the process they provide perhaps more content than does a group like Rote.

  31. Honestly, I frickin' loved it if you would stop putting people down who do not share your play style. I really love your blog, your posts are informative and educational. And I do understand that PvP is at your heart.

    But every time you are using this condescending, derogatory care-bear meme I am literally shouting 'f*** you' at my screen.

    I love to be an Industrialist. I started out as a Miner and still do it. I love Research, I love building stuff, and YES, I love PvP too. I am training a kick ass Minmatar PvP girl that will shoot your ass out of the sky. Well, at least she may try it :)

    But seriously, this game is centered around PvP, clearly, but it has so many other facets that makes it interesting and appealing and people who choose to explore those areas of the game should be at least respected. And I like to emphasize 'respected', not necessarily 'liked'. Especially by someone who runs for CSM.

    Got it?

    On topic, I do see a place for renters, I actually think that alliances should have a dedicated 'department' for them. They should charged for the (protected) space they occupy and taxed for the services they might use. Think of rented out POSes. I think there are great possibilities if done correctly.

    Thank you for your time.

    1. I don't see Jester putting down any particular play style. What I am seeing are all the idiots that have been fucking up this game with their "Meeeee First, fuck you" attitude shitting proverbial kittens because at long last people are asking WTF their play style of shitting on people benefits the game.

      For a group of people that love puffing their chest and telling everyone to HTFU...well, you guys sure look, sound and act like pussies on a daily basis...

    2. Thank you for proving my point. I think it it rather typical that you bash entitlement with entitlement, which is true for both sides of the argument.

      Is there really no common ground. no virtual possibility to integrate both play styles? That would be regrettable, for both sides.

  32. This is just another one of those game mechanics (call it emergent game play or sandbox or empire building....) toward which some people have a visceral reaction. Terms like "good" or "bad" or "hurts" or "improves" are completely subjective.

    In the sense that these pilots are NOT in Hi-Sec, renting is "good". In the sense that these pilots provide targets, renting is "good". In the sense that these pilots are continuing to pay their subscriptions to CCP which allows CCP to continue to develop its product, renting is "good".

    What is "bad" is when high profile players make suggestions that one game play style is better than another. What is "bad" is when such suggestions contribute to a hostile atmosphere for those who don't participate in that play style. What is "bad" is when emergent game play styles are quashed by mechanics written into the game. What is "bad" is when players unsubscribe.

  33. The same is true of all 'Bottom Up' income streams.

    As much as you may dislike goons, their massive top-down revenue has allowed them to be one of the easiest paths for new players into the game. New Goon (or Test) players are brought into the game and shown how to PVP practically on day one. There are events, training, roams and free ships / books for new players and a strong environment of 'dont mess with the new-bees' - all of this is funded by top down income.

    The income has allowed them to enable member PVP on an unprecedented scale. Virtually risk free PVP means that if you ever want PVP, go to goon space and you WILL get it, all the time, without exception.

    And, unless I am mistaken, you are strongly against that sort of income source.

    Here you acknowledge that the replacement is going to make the game worse.

    So, why do you want to get rid of top down income sources again ?

  34. This is so wrong. Renters do not fight, they pay the rent to landlord exactly so they don’t have to fight in blobs and structure grind, their landlord does that.

    I think you are confusing renters with pets, there is a difference.

    Renter: corp or alliance that pays with ISK or goods for access to system(s) conquered by landlord.

    Pet: corp or alliance that gets protection and possibly sov territory and another valuable 0.0 assets, like moons, in exchange for military service, i.e. for adding numbers to the blob and helping to grind structures.

    IF you want RL analogies renting is standard contract not unlike one you would have with your landlord for an apartment, living space for monetary or material compensation. Pet system is more like old stile feudal relation between lord and his subjects to whom lord grants land in exchange for military service.

    All you have to member is no renter will ever fight for their landlord, nor will landlord demand form them to fight. If you don't believe me just check how much people -A-, RA and XIX had from their respective renting entities (AAA citizens, RA citizens and shadow of xDeathX) on their side during big fleet fights.

  35. As the other comments have said, renters are an income stream and due to #9 (so mostly not allowed in fleets) and that they are paying to earn isk as carebears (so mostly not interested in fleets) so renters do not cause/do #1-#5, #8 nor #11. The rest are true mostly because renters *don't* have an interest in PVP so don't care.

    I would be interested to know your background with renters as integrated in an operational alliance structure, as I suspect Rote doesn't have any?

  36. I'm inclined to agree with some of the other comments here -- there's a difference between renters and pets. You can't really eliminate either of them, since they both exist by virtue of metagame mechanics.

    Renters are a fairly mercenary sort of bunch; I think of them as just another revenue source. They're paying rent (which is usually a reasonable fraction of the peak value of that space), and they aren't expected to do anything for the landlord except keep the rent checks flowing. Some renters are PvP-minded and can defend their own space, while others expect their landlord to shoo out any invaders. Attendance to strategic ops is optional at best. And, they'll leave on short notice if they aren't making enough isk from their home to justify the rent.

    In contrast, pets -- or as some alliances call them, second-tier "allies" -- generally aren't paying rent for their space. It's more of a noblesse oblige situation; the core alliance is giving them permission to take space unopposed, in exchange for services rendered. However, this also puts both parties' reputations on the line; if a pet is perceived as underperforming (relative to the quality of the space they've been given), it reflects poorly on both master and pet.


  37. The game needs carebears. That doesn't mean CCP should pander to them. But, the game does need care bears. And, it needs some in nullsec, too.

  38. Okay, addressing some of your points.

    3. Not sure what you're saying. People dying in your fleet affects your fleet? Well, yeah. Not sure how that's different from corp level grunts.

    4. Large scale supercap proliferation is worse for this. Nerf renters as well as structure HP somehow, and the big supercap groups will be even worse to fight, since structures are, IIRC, based around defending against supercaps anyway. Life wouldn't get any better for the small guy.

    5. That seems to be the case for coalitions as a whole, frankly. Though if SRP is passed down on the coalition/alliance level, there'd be nothing stopping renters from going off in their own fleets. Besides, good, current doctrine is often a very good fit, and something to learn from anyway. Depending on how the renters get treated, they might or might not have contact with the theory-gurus in charge of creating the doctrine. This seems like an alliance-level issue.

    7. Everyone turtles up when facing bigger threats, forum hurf-blurf aside. Everybody.

    8 & 9. Point. But that's been the case since feudal times of serfs & peasants anyway.

    10. All Eve players flee sinking alliances, no exception. In the case of renters, they likely aren't there out of loyalty, anyway, so much as a decision made more on profit/loss.

    11. This conflicts with 5. Either renters are being forced into grunt level no-decision no-thinking stuff, or they're being given responsibility. Also, that sounds like an alliance issue when dealing with FCs.

    12. True, but how often do renter alliances strike out on their own, anyway? That's not the point of their existence.

  39. If this isn't just a giant troll, I'll be really disappointed.

  40. Being an outside observer, I hardly see any difference between renter and pet. They both:

    a) pay (in money or troops) to get sov
    b) depend on their big brother when there's trouble
    c) do not have a presence large enough to get sov on their own
    d) are the first casualties when war comes knocking on their door (pets die a lot, renters dia and get evicted)

    The general principle is the same...

  41. I'm guessing, based on Jester's previous musings on null, that the issue is the whole powerbloc map of 0.0 as it currently exists. Truthfully, I think it's always been this way. If we, as a playerbase, want a more 'granulated' map then the only way to make that happen is to allow sov to be determined by who is in the system, mining, ratting, etc. Much as activity can push up a system level now, that same activity pushes up the sov. Renters are still necessary but now a path is created whereby a small corp can rent a system and then, over time, take it for themselves. They can then become part of the coalition/alliance or forge their own independence. Over time, new, emergent alliances may develop within the unused systems of null.

    Renting/pets/etc. aren't going anywhere. Instead of trying to get them out, let's use them to granulate null.

  42. Is anyone will to rent out a solar system, or a wormhole?

  43. Great post. I always prefer purchasing properties instead of renting. That is a much better long term investment than renting. As I constantly guide my customers to buy instead of rent a contractor here in Burlington MA.


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