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, March 5, 2013

Things could be worse

This is the first post in a series, a promise I'm fulfilling to Marc Callan who asked me to respond to the proposals of James 315's "New Order" to "fix" high-sec.

Under normal circumstances, it wouldn't be my thing to directly respond to another CSM candidate.  But this case feels different.  For one thing, a lot of candidates are talking about whether high-sec is "too safe" right now with all of the nerfs that CCP has applied to ganking in the last twelve months or so.  It's going to be one of the big issues of this year's campaign, particularly if there are debates between CSM candidates.  For another, even CCP is talking (in the "EVE's Next Decade" CSM Summit session) about what they can do to encourage more high-sec residents to move to low-sec or null-sec.

So yeah, it's a thing.  Therefore, I'm going to talk about these proposals.  And then later on, I'm going to write down my own impressions of how safe (or lack thereof) high-sec is at the moment.  Some of that will be leaking into this post as well.

First things first: it's very important to understand that two years ago, some 80% of all EVE characters were in high-sec.  Know what's probably changed in two years?  Very little!  Though we don't to my knowledge have hard numbers on this lately, it's a good bet that the vast majority of EVE players are still in high-sec.  So CCP is going to be extremely cautious about making changes to the part of the game where the vast majority of their business's income comes from!  They are going to be reluctant to endorse any massive, sweeping changes to the game's financial bread-basket.

For this reason alone, I am against most of James's proposals: they are too radical and are likely to be game- and company-breaking.  Even more than that, though, I am against most of them for a more fundamental reason.  EVE is a sandbox, and that means that EVE is a sandbox for everyone.  I value every type of EVE player.  I'm all for making some parts of the sandbox "better" than others, but not at the expense of destroying other parts.  There should be room enough in New Eden for every type of EVE player.

But before I go any further, let's look at the actual "seven-and-a-half" proposals, one by one.

  • Highsec mining will be nerfed into oblivion. We'll have one or possibly two different types of ore available, just so new players can learn how to distinguish between them on the overview.
  • Highsec missioning will be nerfed into oblivion. Nothing higher than Level 2 missions will be available. All the rest goes into lowsec.
No, and absolutely not.  As I wrote last year, EVE does an excellent job of attempting to strangle new players in the crib.  There simply must be a viable high-sec income source for brand new players.  In their first two years, new players need upwards of two billion ISK to buy skill-books and the expensive ships that they'll need to be viable on the modern PvP battlefield.  James solved this problem for himself by becoming a Goon.  It's no surprise therefore that he's dismissive of the difficulties.  While I'm sure being a Goon was a fine solution for James, and joining a mega-alliance remains a fine solution for many EVE players today, it should not be the required solution for everyone.  It wasn't my solution, for instance.

EDIT (6/Mar/2013): I have been reminded that James solved the problem by running a large scam, then becoming a Goon.  Although fine for James, neither solution is a solution for everyone, or even for most people.

Related to this, there remains and there will always be a contingent of EVE players that wish to play this game casually.  They just want to log into the game when they get home from work or school, run missions or mine for a couple of hours, sell their take at market, and log off.  There have been repeated attempts to demonize these players around the blogosphere and all of these attempts, including James's, are misguided in the extreme.  They are not inflicting harm on the game; quite the opposite, this sort of casual player is making PvP cheaper for the rest of us by injecting minerals into the market.  CCP and the community together should continue to work toward guiding them into closer social ties with the rest of the game.  But at the end of the day, EVE is a sandbox for everyone and that includes the "filthy casuals".  You do not solve this problem by nuking that portion of the sandbox and rendering it a barren radioactive wasteland.

Rather than demonizing the Other, James might try showing a little empathy and understanding what the Other wants out of the game.  It's a good trait in a prospective CSM member.

Further, if the interview James did on Crossing Zebras is any guide, his motivation here seems to be "PvE sucks in null-sec and low-sec and players there are miserably unhappy with it.  We should make the high-sec players just as miserable."  Not only is this not true -- from what I understand, low-sec players are pretty happy with their PvE options as they stand right now and those are about to get better(1) -- it's an issue that should be solved in null-sec, not high-sec.

As for mining, what's happened with mineral values isn't the fault of the high-sec miners.  It's the fault of grav site miners which I believe is primarily happening in null-sec.(2)  Later in his proposals, James believes that mining should be pushed back toward the belts and that's actually something I can get behind.  Grav sites shouldn't be eliminated entirely, but they shouldn't be the majority source of high-end ore in the game and I believe today that they are.  Their spawn rate should be dialed back some.

Finally, keep in mind that I do not include mining or missioning bots in any of what's above.  They are and continue to be a cancer that should be cut out of the game and ruthlessly stomped on when found.  But I do not personally believe bots comprise a majority of missioners or miners.

  • Highsec incursions and the like will be scrapped completely. I will eliminate all highsec PvE aside from the (virtually useless) mining and missioning.
No, and no.  I say that twice because I assume the second sentence means that James also wants to eliminate static sites and scannable sites from high-sec as well as all incursions.  As I've said a lot on this blog, in my view more PvE in the game should be made like incursions to encourage players toward the social aspect of the game.  As I've also said, I'm OK with increasing the risk in incursed constellations.  One of James's later proposals makes sense to me there.  More on that when I get to that proposal.

Once alliance income is "bottom up", incursion income can and should be taxed at the alliance level as well as the corp level.  Incursions will at that point become a valuable source of alliance funding and competition will increase beyond where it is already.  Even as it is, though, the ISK made from incursions that isn't circular -- going right back into better incursion ships -- goes nearly immediately into null-sec.  Many high-sec incursioners are the alts of null-sec players who simply do not have access to good income sources in null.  In addition, a solid portion of the income from high-sec incursions ultimately goes straight into the pockets of null-sec residents in the form of pirate faction ships and dead-space modules.

Again, if there's a problem with incursion income it can be solved in null-sec, not in high-sec.  Make null-sec income sources more valuable and attractive and their convenience to where null-sec players already live will keep those players there.  Meanwhile, high-sec players that don't immediately want to get suborned into a mega-alliance need viable high-sec income sources until they decide what they want to do in this game.

  • Concord and faction police will take twice as long to respond, effectively making it twice as easy to be ganked.
  • The firepower of sentry guns in highsec will be cut in half. I think it's excessive at the moment.
Mostly no, and no.  The main point to these proposals is to make single destroyers credible gank platforms on gates.  This dramatically cuts the risk associated with ganking, raising the odds of a successful gank on a gate to near 100%.  These changes would also cut by two-thirds the number of ships needed to gank freighters and Orcas on gates.  Today, gankers have to actually do a little bit of work and have to work together, scouting through belts to find targets.  Ganking a freighter or an Orca takes a large commitment with a large number of actual EVE players involved.  The whole point to buffing mining ships was to make it much more difficult for solo gankers to blap exhumers solo all day long.  These two changes would return all ganking to a solo activity.  In particular, single players would be able to gank freighters solo on gates with as few as six accounts.  No.

That said, there's one area where I could be talked into saying "yes": incursed constellations.  It makes sense to me that in an incursion, CONCORD and faction police would be slower to respond.  It would help make incursed constellations feel more dangerous rather than just another place to fly around.

  • The "boomerang" will be brought back. Concord will still kill you, but you can warp away as before. Boomerang ganking required sufficient skill, effort, and luck that I consider it a fair, legitimate tactic.
Mostly no.  James wants this change because it allows a solo ganker to gank a mining barge in a belt, then pull CONCORD to the sun so they can gank another barge in the very same belt once their crim flag runs out.  My opinion is that once a given belt is "farmed" for a gank, the ganker should be forced to move on to the next belt.  This isn't much of a burden.

That said, there are few enough ice fields in high-sec that it's probably possible for a ganker to farm all of them in a day.(3)  Rather than bringing the boomerang back, I'd rather see the number of ice fields in high-sec both greatly decreased in size and increased in number... four or five much smaller ice fields per ice system instead of one big one.  I think it'd even be fun to have two types of ice available in border regions.  Once that was done, my answer to this would be a more firm "no".  As it is today, I can understand the frustration of getting a gank on an ice field, then having to wait for CONCORD to disperse.

  • Security status losses will be greatly diminished. I don't have an exact figure, but I don't like the idea that people who commit "crimes" in highsec should need to spend a long time grinding to make up for it.
Yes.  I'm OK with this one.  Sec status losses for "illegal" activity are set far too high right now, in my opinion.  Currently for every "illegal" kill, a player has to kill between three and eight null-sec battleships either at 15 minute intervals or in different null-sec systems.  That's wildly excessive; the punishment is far worse than the crime.  Here is a low-sec example that happened to me recently:

That is the result of a single low-sec roam I was on that lasted about 90 minutes.  The net result of that 90-minute low-sec roam is that I will be forced to kill 52 null-sec battleships, a process that I expect to take me six hours of game time over the next few weeks.  That's just insane.  And there's literally no rhyme or reason to the penalty for killing "illegal" ships other than some badly-defined math regarding the security status disparity between the shooter and the target.  Ship cost doesn't seem to factor into it at all.  See that -0.4751% reduction at 0542?  That was a kill on an unfit Corax worth less than a million ISK total.  See the -0.8373% at 0635?  That was a T2 battleship worth a billion ISK.

I agree this system needs looking at.  It's not well thought-out at all.  "Tags-4-Sec" will help, but not enough.

Finally, James mentions this (it's the "half"):
I'm toying with the idea of changing some highsec systems into lowsec, and some lowsec systems into nullsec, to increase the number of entry points. If we're going to encourage everyone to go to low/null, we can't have a handful of gatecamps seal them off. I would still keep highsec contiguous, though.
And in general, I'm in favor this one too.  The lore says that we've been involved in all-out faction war for several years now.  This is also built in the lore of DUST 514 as well as the descriptions for many of the new ship classes, notably the new logistics frigates.  But if you're not involved in faction war yourself... could you tell?  The border regions of the galaxy should feel more dangerous than they are currently and this would be one way to do it.  Rather than single entry points from high-sec into low- and null-, there should be single entry points between factions at war and those entry points should feel like armed camps.  Checkpoint Charlie, the Korean Joint Security Area, and places like it felt or feel like armed camps where widespread violence could erupt at any moment... and the countries involved weren't or aren't even technically at war, the way the Empire factions are today!  So yeah, this one could be looked at, too.

Shew!  OK, that went on a bit longer than I intended.  Sorry about that.

Anyway, the purpose of these proposals is to make high-sec so disagreeable and unbearable that players that live there will be effectively forced into low-sec, null-sec, or wormhole space.  But of course this entire premise is based on the fallacy that these are the only options.  The alternative to high-sec space for an EVE player that spends all their time there isn't another part of New Eden, it's Star Trek Online or Guild Wars 2.

This is particularly true for brand new players.  EVE is already so difficult for new players that the majority of them never get out of their trial period.  Now imagine a trial period made even more difficult.  The return of the boomerang, weak gate guns, and long CONCORD spawn times would mean that a trial player who made more than 20 million ISK would immediately be a gank target for a single destroyer.  The destroyer pilot would easily make a large profit on this guaranteed successful gank and the depopulation of the rest of the players from high-sec would ensure that his suspect-flagged hauler wouldn't be interfered with as it made off with the loot.  The ganker, meanwhile, would take only a small sec status hit and would be off looking for a new trial account victim soon after.  You are the trial account player involved.  Are you gonna pay money to play that game?  I certainly would not have.

EVE is a cold, dark universe all right, but the game wouldn't long survive this "vision" of high-sec.  Even if you think things are bad in high-sec now, trust me, it could be a lot worse.

(1) The new "Tags-4-Sec" will drop only in low-sec, according to the CSM December Summit Minutes.
(2) This is one of the things I'd like to see direct data from CCP on, where all the high-ends came from in the last year.
(3) And I wonder if anyone has.


  1. An elegant dismissal of a troll's populist pandering.

    1. I enjoy reading this opinion as a first reaction. It deserves first place.

  2. You know how to clear Concord from a belt, right? Take your pod and dock in station, any station, then undock and drift. Wait for it, wait for it and wait for Concord to travel to the station and kill you after your undock timer expires. No more Concord in belt.

    1. CONCORD doesn't and has never shot pods.

    2. Anon1727 meant that you undock in the free noob ship you get whenever you dock your pod in a station where you don't have any ships already.

    3. Obviously you take your free noobship or a shuttle and undock to clear concord.

    4. I believe he meant docking with your pod to get a noobship, then undocking and waiting for CONCORD to kill you in the noobship.

  3. Overall, nice post. You've started to persuade me that your position is more reasonable than some have described it. I look forward to hearing your positive proposals in detail. However, one thing bothered me:

    “First things first: it's very important to understand that two years ago, some 80% of all EVE characters were in high-sec.  Know what's probably changed in two years?  Very little!  Though we don't to my knowledge have hard numbers on this lately, it's a good bet that the vast majority of EVE players are still in high-sec.  So CCP is going to be extremely cautious about making changes to the part of the game where the vast majority of their business's income comes from! “

    This “Statistic” has been bantered about ad nauseam, but it doesn't actually tell us as much as most people think it does. It doesn't tell us, for instance, how many of those players in high sec are alts for low/null/wormhole players. 4 of my 6 characters are, in various duties, high sec alts. But 98% of my play time is in low sec. What would be MUCH more informative is if we knew how many players (not characters, note) were exclusively high-sec players. That is the statistic we need to know to make informed judgments on where the majority of the playerbase falls.

    1. You're absolutely right, and the reason we don't know that is because *CCP* doesn't know. Studying how many *players* they actually have, their account break-down, and what all those accounts are doing is one of the things Seagull specifically said she wants to do this year, and I'm 110% in favor of it.

    2. Despite rumors to the contrary, there are a *lot* of exclusively high-sec players.

      My mates and I have been playing EVE for over 5 years now, and we stay mostly in high sec, with an occasional low sec roam. Our 100+ member corp is made up mostly of casual players, who don't have the RL time to dedicate to a null, WH, or even a low sec corp.

      Most members typically log on for a few minutes each day, during the work week, to do "boring" stuff like mining, manufacturing, researching blueprints, running missions, and all that non-PVP sort of thing (or play with EFT outside of the game) - all just to relax for a few minutes. On the weekends, they might play an extra hour or so, but they don't have the blocks of time required for fleet battles. A low sec roam is about the limit of RL time our corp members can allot to PVP; many of them also have alts in RvB.

      Everyone pays for their subs with RL money, each month. No PLEX, since none of us believe that our limited game time should be wasted grinding ISK (yeah, the miners in our corp actually do like mining - they aren't doing it AFK just to grind ISK).

      Is CCP really all that gung-ho to lose our sub money? It would be a rather stupid business decision, but, hey, its their company.

    3. Correct me if I am wrong, but if you look at average numbers in space on the in game map, isn't high sec always significantly brighter than everything else? Doesn't that tell us that even if all of those characters are alts, the majority of the actual play time of the universe at large occurs there?

    4. It occurs there because it is nearly risk free profit and nul/low players tske advantage of it. Of course they would! Just like banks take advantage of free money from the fed. That safe near risk free environment directly anf negitivly effects all other areas of the game as it gives an unfair advantage to those in high sec. Yes, we take advantage of it just like the pubbies, but unlike the pubbies, we realize the situation is damagimg the game. Nul and low player spend significant time in high sec, pubbies never really leave and have almost no idea of the effects of "free" money they recive. Like entitled classes everywhere, they don't want to admit to and indeed, can't even recognize the damage their perks cause.

    5. If you aren't making 5-50 times as much ISK in nullsec as you can in highsec, you ain't doing it right sir.

  4. "Even if you think things are bad in high-sec now, trust me, it could be a lot worse."

    So you are saying yes, low sec is bad but you the low sec dweller, while trying to run lvl 4's and not lose ships, be a sport and try to be supportive of that hi sec afk miner! He needs to be able to make bilions of isk while watching TV or he will leave the game!

    1. Patently false. As a high sec missioner and miner I can tell you that if I watch TV and provide anything else than drunk attention, I will a) lose my maelstrom and/or all my drones
      b) make 8mil PER HOUR in high sec mining, and to be honest, thats a longshot from a billion.


    2. 8 millions per hour it's a lot of money for someone who's not actually at the computer

    3. You're still AT the computer making that 8 million an hour. Its not terribly different from shooting belt rats in an appropriately fitted combat ship, with much worse payouts.

      Locate target, click target, activate modules, wait for target to disappear, repeat ad nauseum. AFK mining is more along the lines of ice mining where one can click a button and return 20-30 minutes later for realistically minimal amounts of isk worth of ice. Anyone doing ore mining without being a bot actually has to be at the computer to be even marginally effective at what they're doing.

    4. Shadowblade EdgeMarch 6, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      I guess 8M/hr is a lot if you've never heard of PI, manufacturing, marketing, copying researched BPs, running reactions, moon mining, and such.

  5. "First things first: it's very important to understand that two years ago, some 80% of all EVE characters were in high-sec. Know what's probably changed in two years? Very little! Though we don't to my knowledge have hard numbers on this lately, it's a good bet that the vast majority of EVE players are still in high-sec. So CCP is going to be extremely cautious about making changes to the part of the game where the vast majority of their business's income comes from! They are going to be reluctant to endorse any massive, sweeping changes to the game's financial bread-basket."

    "First things first"; the problem as originally stated is basically this: highsec money making is too easy, which means that many people in low/null have multiple alts in highsec, for market trading/buying, and for making money out in space in highsec. I.e., the problem, as originally stated, is that we know that highsec is unbalanced because too many people are now in highsec. Your response, which is a response that you've made to a quote of the solution, without quoting the problem the solution is aiming to fix, boils down to "But you've failed to consider that most people are in highsec."

    Uh, no. That is hilariously misguided. Addressing only the proposed solutions is fine, but it has to be informed by reading the description of the problems which these proposed solutions are aimed at fixing, and the reasoning thereof. Your response makes it seems as though you've neglected to do so. I hope this is not the case.

    I certainly agree that CCP should be careful with highsec. Careful =/= inaction. Your argument for leaving highsec alone works incredibly well as a defense for Trammel. Trammel ruined UO, both as a game, and in terms of playerbase retention. This is a giant black mark against this argument of yours.

    Boomerangs: Your description of boomerangs is not at all what they actually are. Your understanding of the term is actually a method for moving Concord around a system which is currently still possible and legal, and widely used by gankers hundreds of times per day. The real Boomeranging is no longer legal, but isn't even similar to what you argue against. It's real description is contained in your article, since you quoted James describing it accurately. Glance it over again, and you'll know what boomeranging is. Current system: commit a criminal action in highsec, dead in 10-30 seconds (depending on system sec level and concord positioning). Old system: commit a criminal action, warp away (boomerang), land, shoot more ships, finally concord catches up to you at some point(Initiating warp before aggressing used to let you warp, now concord has infinite range perfect warp scramming which shuts down the initiated warp). this could take well over 30 seconds, and is no longer possible.

    "Anyway, the purpose of these proposals is to make high-sec so disagreeable and unbearable that players that live there will be effectively forced into low-sec, null-sec, or wormhole space. But of course this entire premise is based on the fallacy that these are the only options. "

    No, 'of course' it is not based on that fallacy. It is based on the premise that a version of EVE online which strongly encourages people into low/null will last longer and make more long term profit than a version of EVE which does not. You could argue against this premise, although I personally believe this premise to be correct: as a prediction about the future, there is inherent uncertainty in it. But if you do not bother to even argue against this premise, and argue against an obvious fallacy instead, then you are committing a fallacy yourself--the straw man fallacy.

    1. The "real" boomerang was *never* legal - it was an exploit, allowing players to avoid getting popped by Concord, which is a long stated no-no.

    2. "It *(James's proposal) is based on the premise that a version of EVE online which strongly encourages people into low/null will last longer and make more long term profit"

      James's proposals don't encourage anyone to go to low/null, they are an outright 99% nerf to everyone in HS and as such are a discouragement in the extreme. Not one of his proposals is a buff to anyone's game but his. Not one of his proposals is in CCP's long term profit interests.

    3. @anon: I don't want to argue semantics. It was possible, now it's not, call it whatever you want. I talk to the guy who popularized it all the time, so it wasn't enough of an exploit for him to get perm-banned--close enough for me.

      DSJ--"James's proposals don't encourage anyone to go to low/null"

      They would encourage me to spend more time in low/null, so you're already wrong there, as I believe I do fall into the category of "anyone". Perhaps you'd like to rephrase your argument in a slightly more reasonable tone.

      " Not one of his proposals is in CCP's long term profit interests."

      Well, it's interesting. We have a long history of games that started out PvP friendly and slowly became more carebear friendly, and failed shortly thereafter. How many examples of games do we have that started off with a real PVP emphasis, slowly became more carebear friendly, then returned to their fierce roots? I don't know of any. Personally it's hard to resist hoping CCP goes that direction just because it would be a first in the history of MMORPG's, as far as I know. Obviously, having skin in the game, CCP is going to proceed a bit more carefully than that. Anyone who looks at a situation without precedent and pretends to know with 100% certainty what will come next is either speaking tongue-in-cheek, or is delusional.

    4. @ Rammstein: You sir, are incorrect. It is not a question of semantics when CCP have deemed the action an exploit. As much as it may stick in your throat, CCP's called it exploit and their word is final.

      @ DSJ: Completely agree with what you said. If CCP felt that it would be financially in their favour to dramatically adjust hi sec, I'm sure they'd have done something long before James_315 began his spergefest.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. When they call it an exploit and don't ban anyone and make it impossible to do it again, that's one thing. When they ban everyone who did it, that's another thing. I'm not going to argue semantics, but there are 2 different situations above. I don't care if their word is final, because I don't care which about their word. I only care about their actions. Let's drop this side topic.

      "If CCP felt that it would be financially in their favour to dramatically adjust hi sec, I'm sure they'd have done something long before James_315 began his spergefest."

      Since they have in fact been dramatically adjusting high sec every year, your argument doesn't support your conclusion. The historical evidence is that most MMO companies have had no @#$@#ing clue of how to adjust their MMO's properly. I assume this is as clear to CCP as it is to me. They may even feel like they themselves have made some slight mistakes in choosing a development path over the years. I'm not going to name names (Incarna), but it was a recent expansion (Incarna) which probably drove this home to them (Incarna). Arguing that CCP's behavior in the future will never change is ascribing perfection to them which no human possesses.

  6. Sometimes people say things they don't understand. Mining isk/h income is determined by the market, mostly. If low-ends are historically high and high-ends are low, it's only because there are not enough people mining low-ends to supply the demand to the same extent than high-ends are being supplied (for all we know, there have been a huge boon in null sec mining after the drone poo nerf, and we just don't know the details because we are denied hard data).

    When people say nullsec mining income should be boosted and highsec mining nerfed, I don'd really know what they are expecting to see. It's not like CCP will interfere with the market with the sole purpose of holding ABC ore value artificially high.

    1. "It's not like CCP will interfere with the market with the sole purpose of holding ABC ore value artificially high."

      They already have. That's why they removed the drone alloys in the first place - at least one of their stated goals was to "improve the value of mining in nullsec". That's a near direct quote, though I'd have to dig some to find the devblog it's from again. Unfortunately, they couldn't be assed to look at the data and failed to realize that while something like ~40% of high end minerals were being provided by the drone regions, 50-70% of low ends were as well. End result was that the game went from no mineral being scarce to low ends being relatively scarce compared to high ends. As a result there hasn't been a "huge boon" to nullsec mining after the drone poo nerf, and all we have to look at to know that is the prices of zydrine and megacyte before and after the nerf (hint: they're basically the same.)

    2. mynnna is right.

      Unfortunately, the current crop of CCP devs has repeatedly demonstrated that they have no experience nor skill in economic models, and it also seems that DrE has more or less been sucked into a wormhole, perhaps never to have any influence in the game ever again.

    3. How much of the relative lack of value of null sec mining comes from the fact that you need buckets of Trit and Pyerite to build anything, and only a comparatively small amount of everything else? What if the high end ores just produced more of everything when refined, instead of producing smaller and smaller amounts of Trit, while adding on the more "valuable" materials?

  7. Great post with a lot of good points. I've always been a fan of using the carrot over the stick, especially when, as you pointed out, moving out of high-sec isn't the only option players in this game have.

    On the topic of mining and in resect to the aspect of gathering the raw resources that fuel the industry of EVE, I have long felt that it is backwards for so much of these resources, especially low ends, to be mined in high sec. I do understand the need for new players to have something to cut their teeth on, so I do not feel that resources should ever be totally removed from high sec, but I do feel that the vast majority of these resources (in excess of 60%) should come from null sec mining. Unfortunately, there is no public statistics on cubic meters of ore mined per sec status for people to refer to, but I do not believe this to be the case atm. If, for instance, high sec systems were to be limited to a single belt per system, low sec to possibly 2-3, and null to its current arrangement there would still be a vast excess of mineral to mine per day but miners would be more prone to explore they're adjacent space and bots would become very impractical.

    1. The primary effect of this would be to push the price of trit, etc., up and thus the price of just about every manufactured item in the game. A secondary effect would be to drain high-sec of wealth because one of its primary sources of revenue would dry up.

      I do not believe that impoverishing a large, and central, region of the universe would be good for its economy as a whole. Also, with low- and null-sec miners having to spend more time mining low-end ores, unless there's a huge flow of miners from high-sec (don't bet on that), they'll suffer a drop in income and living standards.

      And remember those inflated prices? Yeah. Everyone will suffer a hit in living standards.

  8. Wow. You really have a boner for lots of static belts. Is this because you're a PvPer and you find your PvP action at celestial markers instead of exploration sites?

    Having a static, predictable location where you can place a bookmark to ensure access to the five best asteroids in a belt is awesome for enabling and assisting botting. Moving all mining to grav sites so the belts have to be probed down, and they will disappear will increase the interaction required to mine, while not significantly altering the process of mining (point lasers at rocks, sip on a pina colada). No more simple bots warping to bookmarks and back to station.

    I agree with the general sentiment of reducing sec status penalties in lowsec. In hisec, I'd like to see more penalites that aren't so easily worked around by running lowsec incursions for a few hours (you did know that incursions are great sec status boosters, didn't you? Were you deliberately holding that information back to support your argument?). As an example, a suicide ganker should suffer local empire standings penalties in addition to the sec status penalty. Thus enough ganking will lead to the need to appease the local faction. But I do agree with your sentiment regarding the absurd mathematics of basing sec status penalties on the difference in sec status between the lowsec roamer and the hisec ganker wandering lowsec to build their sec status back up to 5.0 in preparation for another ganking spree. If you deprive the other player of a month's worth of income, why shouldn't you pay a few hours of your time for the privilege?

    The fact that CONCORD can be drawn away from a spawn point is a bit silly. Once CONCORD spawns, they should stay put for 10 minutes to suppress any further violence in that location. If a GCC person appears in space, a new CONCORD fleet should spawn to address that violation of hisec rules. The GCC lasts 15 minutes as it is: having CONCORD hang around for 10 minutes isn't going to make ganking any harder (though it will suppress organised gangs committing mass suicide ganks in one belt all day long). And of course if mining is moved to grav sites, there will be no CONCORD spawn there to start with.

    There was no mention in your article about the overpowered nature of the recently buffed Mackinaw. Why is that? Surely reversing the buff on the Mackinaw is easier and more sensible than changing CONCORD or sec status mechanics? Maybe you're not a miner, so you don't understand just how imbalanced the current range of mining ships are?

    Then there's the unspoken question of why nullseccers are running hisec incursions rather than nullsec or lowsec incursions. The tone I hear in a lot of whining about nerfing hisec income is, "as a nullsec resident I am forced to hisec in order to optimise my ISK/hr income, and I expect CCP change things so that I am forced to log in on my nullsec main and be subject to CTAs and AFK cloakers while making my ISK in the optimal possible manner."

    1. "The fact that CONCORD can be drawn away from a spawn point is a bit silly."

      Yeah, I'd agree with this. CONCORD AI is probably the dumbest I've seen in any modern game.

    2. I would regard it as fair. Think outside of the box Shrodinger. CCP released a ship into a PvP game with a single middle slot, then put on a certificate for active shielding. I would love an answer to this: did the developers not think that such a flimsy ship would attact the attention of players looking for easy kills? The ganking side of the equation - why would they point this out - they have a vested interest not to.

      Frankly it should never have happened in the first place. What we have now is years of gankers in a practical welfare state mentality for easy kills.

      Consider if the barge had never been introduced to the game, would there really be a major draw to high-sec piracy otherwise?

      I do disagree with how the tiercide of barges was handled. I have my own ideas how it should have dealt.

      But as for the Mackinaw? It can still be ganked, and many die everyday. This line about not being profitable is a misleading statement. It is up to the pirate to select profitable target - no upto CCP to guarantee a handout.

      At the end of the day, it look many long years of ganks for CCP to realise that barges are too easily killed. If it takes many years more before any re-address to the current situation of the barge buff - that is a fair trade to me.

  9. I will login all of my accounts and vote for you when the time comes. So nine votes (yeah maybe I am a bit excessive). At least you think things through whether or not I agree with your approach.

  10. Excellent write up sir!
    How large a contrast between your mature and well thought out post and the twitterings of the "thebotsaregonnakillusall!!" brigade, who are really just butthurt failed PVP'ers who want to shoot at things that can't shoot back.
    I wish you all the very best in your run for CSM, I am sure you would be a valuable asset to CCP and their customers; as opposed to the other bloke, who would just be an ass.

  11. I would prefer an engaged and active HighSec instead of the current situation we have. Our latest area of operations - Kamio - is infested with AFK'ers and botters. We're now six days into our current compliance campaign and the situation is only now starting to turn around.

    A lot of people want to dismiss James 315 but he is at least proposing concrete positive change to EVE instead of many of the other candidates who simply want to play politics and produce a lot of hot air. As it stands HighSec is a box of candy that drops isk like a fat piƱata with little to no effort. Luckily the New Order is here to correct that situation and save people from their own stagnation and ignorance.

    1. I don't think you understand what "positive" means.

    2. It's great that you enjoy your role-playing troll corp. More power to you. But it's pretty obvious that this whole campaign is more-or-less a joke for you all. Trolling on steroids.

      If James### even got a sniff at the CMS seat I'd be pretty discouraged. But the Goons may have him elected as one of their pets, I suppose. No doubt that's what he's expecting.

      Anyway, making High Sec a ganker's paradise is a dumb idea. But you know that. You're obviously not the types to play with the big boys, though. And like I said, at least you guys are having fun. You GO!! lol.

  12. James is following Mittens method to win elections: "It's better rally your bases than have a mature discussion between reasonable men".

    All he wrote in that website has no merit on it's own, it's only bullshit to rally gankers in dreaming that the "good easy days" will be back. None of those topics will be even discussed by CCP. Maybe Fozzie will do another balance on barges and a big maybe here.

    CCP has a very particular way to deal with CSM that pressure for things they don't want to discuss: They ignore them. They did with all those carebears elected in the past and now that they will chose who goes to Iceland it will be even easier.

  13. "In their first two years, new players need upwards of two billion ISK to buy skill-books and the expensive ships that they'll need to be viable on the modern PvP battlefield."

    I'd like to see some numbers to back up this claim.

    1. The bulk of the math is in the Strangled in the Crib post linked in this one ("strangle new players"). A few of the metas have changed since I wrote it -- HACs aren't as big, for one. But the basic principles in the post are still just as valid as when I wrote it, if not more so (since even Goons are now comping faction ships).

    2. 2 billion is a funny number, because that's almost exactly how much isk I had when I went into null with 5 month's of experiance. And within 2 weeks, i was broke and had to start ratting endlessly to keep up with the costs of PVP. In a twisted situation, the newbie had to pay more for his ships because he needed specific non doctrine mods to fit his ships. Even with reimbursement, we still burned at least 50 mil a week/person in delve, and that's just flying T1 cruisers.


      my wallet journal in graph form, I just learned how to parse CSV's in compsci and was eager to apply it. Hopefully it will give me better insight into how to maintain a healthy wallet.

    3. @Jester - your "Strangled in the Crib" post is woefully out-of-date.

      The ship rebalancing effort over the past year has made cheaper T1 ships much more effective, for both PVP and PVE. The gap between them and T2/T3 ships has been significantly narrowed, as Fozzie planned. And, new players are no longer skipping over frigs and cruisers, in a mad rush to train up and fly BCs.

    4. @Anon

      I notice your graph starts at 1.6 mil, but you don't show the slope of increase.

      High sec mining is not THAT profitable. A person mining in high sec makes 4-15 mil/hour with a single account. Buy and fit a cruiser and that's 2 hours work. Fly a cruiser into low/null and it can be gone in less time it took to make the money to buy it.

    5. @ Anon above, the graph is measured in millions, so 3 months ago I had 1.2 billion isk, mostly from flipping a margin scammed item for a billion. the graph doesn't have a "slope" because it's a connected scatter plot of every wallet journal entry for the past 3 months or so.

      Living in nullsec can get very expensive very quick, i can't even imagine how newbies of groups without SRP or redonkulus income like WH/FW abusing are able to keep PVPing. Nobody would want to risk losing their ship if it meant 2-3 hours of ratting to pay for it.

  14. Sounds reasonable.

    You really are pretty sensible most of the time

  15. "Tags-4-Sec" is ridiculous. I'd rather listen to high sec carebears whining about suicide ganking than listen to so-called PVPers whine about sec status loss. Which group are the *real* carebears? Hmm?

    Let's set the record straight. You don't need positive sec status to roam high sec and kill things. Many of us with -10.0 sec status do it all of the time.

    Sure, we can't use autopilot, and we can't sit around playing oh-so-fun station games. And, yes, anyone can shoot at us (but rarely do... gutless) and we need to keep moving, in order to avoid gate guns, empire navies, and all that.

    But, this is all part of the challenge. Ganking ships in high sec, then grinding up sec status *is* an exploit used by carebear wannabe pirates only, no better than recycling toons to shed negative sec status - and it is about damn time for CCP to recognize this fact.

    If you can't fly in high sec, blinking red, then, you don't belong there. Go back to your lame-ass part of null, and leave the high sec targets to us, the true pirates and real PVPers.

    1. I want to be able to follow suspect-flagged people into high sec. I've done this a couple of times now, and it is entirely awesome to see the rage in Local. They were supposed to be SAFE!

    2. Confirming hi sec ganking and station games is the real men PvP, man you're a joke. As an w-space dweller we often shoot low sec pirates and we have strat ops, which usually begin somewhere in hisec. If could not recover my sec status I would never go to low for pewpew and all the low sec dweller will be crying that there is no wh loot pinatas to shoot...

    3. So, follow them.

      You don't need to have a positive sec status to travel in high sec. Empire navies and gate guns always do predictable damage, and can be tanked.

      Alternatively, you can fly around in your pod, if you've got the balls.

    4. @Ignas - WH dwellers are the worst PVPers and biggest pussies in the game. They camp the wormholes into their pocket, afraid of what might come through. When confronted, they always hide behind POS shields, since they know that we can't bring in the dreads to take them down.

      WH space is nothing but another form of carebear PVE, endlessly mining Sleeper sites for ISK. Maybe James and Co. will suggest a new effort to push these WH pussies out of the game, as well.

    5. "WH dwellers are the worst PVPers and biggest pussies in the game."

      I'm guessing you aren't a WHer, and have local and probably an intel channel. Trying living without these tools, and you too will learn that you're always being watched, that you should always have cloaked eyes on everything, and to hit dscan every couple of seconds. And we don't have blue neighbours either.

      As for your dreadnaughts - well we can't hit the batphone and have some friends jump in a fleet of supercaps if things go wrong either.

      One last thing - there are plenty of people in WH that don't run and POS up in the face of a half-way fair fight.

  16. All this and I know firsthand that Ripard is a ruthless nulsec PvPer. This is why I love you.

  17. I hate mining, missions and all that other crap. Why do we need to mine minerals, build ships from blueprints, and buy ships from players anyways? Why not just put them up on an NPC market, at a fixed price, and then give players money each time they kill someone? Then, we can all just focus on blowing up ships, which is the whole point of the game, anyways, right?

    1. Why don't we all just play on the test server where all the stuff is free?

    2. No, bad dog. No treat for you. Stop trying to make this game world of spaceships.

    3. Uh... I think CCP is a little more ambitious than that.

      There are more pure role players out there than you suspect, I would imagine. My guess there is a significant portion of players who just love the look of the game, love flying spaceships and building their characters (I'm one of them). No pew pew necessary for them to have fun.

      You seem to be mistaking Eve for a FPS. Let's hope CCP fixes the Sov/POS system to stir up Null and make conflict there more fun, rewarding and common. That way Null, (you know —no security) can become the PvP paradise everyone would like it to be.

      Especially those who think blowing up spaceships is the whole point of the game (and I know CCP often opines that this is exactly is the case- it's good marketing for them, but as I said they're more ambitious than this).

    4. Whole point of the game is that it's a sandbox.

      You want to fly around blowing stuff up.
      Others get a kick out of logistics.
      Others from spying.
      Others from leading.
      Others from manufacturing super caps, and the thought and logistics that go into it.
      Others love PvE, and loathe PvP.
      Others love PvP, and loathe PvE.
      Others simply love to scam.
      Others have made friends, no longer really play, but just log onto chat to their buddies.

      SANDBOX. You decide what you want to do.

      Go play a themepark MMO if that's what you want. There are spaceship ones out there, if that's your thing.


    5. "Uh... I think CCP is a little more ambitious than that."

      Are you talking about Incarna? Or maybe WoD?

    6. @Jack - Who cares about the sandbox? Sandboxes are where pussies go to take a dump.

      If you want to go play in a sandbox, then go play Second Life. If you want to roleplay, then go play WoW. If you want to chat with your friends, then go play on Facebook.

      EVE is a spaceship game.

    7. No, Anon, Eve is a sandbox. And you know who says so?

    8. "If you want to roleplay, then go play WoW."

      Hahahahaha! Not much roleplaying on most WoW servers, mate.

      As for "EVE is a spaceship game." - that's not what it says on the tin. It says it's a game about immortal demi-gods who happen to be spaceship pilots, and what they do with their power and potential.

  18. IMO what needs to change in highsec is it needs to be more dynamic.

    Reintroduce something like quality score on agents. The more missions that agent hands out, the lower his quality score goes. His quality score gradually returns to 20 if he is left alone.

    The more a system is mined, the less asteroids are present.

    Maybe even the more a market is used, the higher the market taxes go.

    All of these changes are intended to result in a situation where the ISK is available in highsec, but you have to go find it. You can't simply find the best mission running system and run missions there for the next 12 months. You can't pick your system and mine it furiously for 12 months. You need to move around. You need to be aware of what the rest of the players are doing. The best system to run missions today isn't necessarily the best system next week.

  19. EvE is falling into the same old trap of trying to be everything to everyone. James is an extremist but he has to be to fight against whats coming.

    Enjoy your inflation. I'm out.

  20. Strip-mining a null grav site won't produce sufficient low-ends for a single battleship. Null grav sites are tilted heavily towards the production of high-end minerals. The mining economy in EVE currently is designed from the ground up so that null is poor in low-end minerals, and high-sec is poor in high-end minerals, so that null is forced to ship high-end minerals to supply high-sec (and consequently truck in low-ends and ships from high-sec). Since the man-effort-hours required to mine in null is close to that required to mine in high-sec, and the high-sec and null economies are very closely linked, the ISK/hour of mining high-end and low-end ores is slowly converging.

  21. Wow, you really are a useless carebear, aren’t you? Why do you always assume that newbie = carebear? Why is carebear your default setting? By the time I was bored to death by WoW’s gear grinds in November 2011 (I played strictly PvE), the Gallente Ice Interdiction had been going on for months. I remember reading the Kugu thread and being fascinated – the tactics, the global impact, the meta. I started devouring the EVE forums, wikis and sites. I wanted all of it – the murder, the bloodletting, the megawars, the drama, the everything. After finishing my tutorial missions, with less than a million ISK in my bank account, I pointed my tutorial bonus Slasher(I don’t think I had a point fitted) to Tolle and started stalking the ice belts like a vulture drawn to the smell of rotten carebear flesh. As luck would have it, one evening, the great Atrum Veneficus himself landed right on top of a miner I was stalking and blew him to bits in his Brutix. I saw the pod on my overwiev and just instantly went for it, in my Tech 1 autocannon Slasher. Atrum was paying some 10-20 million bounty for a miner podkill to any empire pubbie hunter back then. Instantly I had more money than I could ever make doing L1 missions, -2.5 sec status, with all my precious tech 1 stuff stuck in a 0.9 station. It was awesome! Two weeks later I was a CFC grunt, roaming nullsec in a Thrasher with my homies, invading Russians and having a blast. Titan bridging in a meta artycane with 256 ships to shoot a TCU at 2AM localtime, living in POSes with 349 rounds of Republic EMP M left in the cargo and three enemy gatecamps between the nearest market station was the most awesome thing I had done in my MMO career! But it wasn’t enough – soon I rolled a second account Gallente pilot, and started solo blasting Retrievers and Covetors in hisec. My first solokill of a useless afkbear barge was more exciting than any WoW hardmode 25man first-kill! I remember being so drunk on internet spaceship pixelblood that I went out and bought a frozen pizza and beer. It was awesome! Today, I am proud to serve The Supreme Protector And Saviour of Hisec (And Of All Of EVE), James 315, and put to use my perfect Catalyst skills (small blaster spec V) for the salvation of hisec and all minerkind.

    The point is – why is everyone crying over the poor fate of the useless themepark bear? What about the sociopathic turbonerd, living in his mom’s basement, with a desperate need to pwn other space turbonerds? The null-F1monkey, shooting TCUs in a Drake on a Saturday night, because structureshooting is the only form of null PvP left? (I was there, many times) The small-gang l33t-pvper, roaming 50+ jumps though the depths of empty space, finding nothing but barren rock and pos-safed botengus? (O hi, didn’t you use to complain about this every other post, asshole?) The competitive PvPer coming from FPSes and Starcraft games and such, drawn by the marketing of a “cold harsh universe” to this nonsense, asking “wtf is this shit”? Are you a chickenshit , scared-of-your-own-shadow carebear, entitled themeparkbear? Good for you, there are plenty of themeparks out there to cater to your every need, and sell you The One Ring in the itemshop. Good riddance! There is only one, ONE, single-shard, meta-rich, true MMO, offering (the potential of) real impact, hi-stakes PVP game. Do we need more illiterate, whiny, entitled, total risk-adverse, afk botter bears? No. We need more competitive PVPers, a living, breathing nullsec, less strutureshoots, more murder, more war, more bloodshed, more drama, more of everything.

    Nerf hisec, buff nullsec (and destructible outposts). James 315 for CSM!

    1. Is James's campaign relying on lots of people TL;DR voting?

      Sell your argument with reason and logic, rather than slurs and inanity.

    2. You have to realize James 315 is the only candidate for whom the majority of campaigning is being done by his many followers/alts and not him directly. The message becomes very personal to the one delivering it.

      At any rate, vote James 315 for a more entertaining time in our great sandbox.

    3. "..., more of everything."
      Great then. I'll take more missions, more sites.

    4. Wow.

      People are idiots.

      If hisec got nerfed, the servers and staffing levels at CCP would soon follow.

      Think before you speak, and take a look out your window once in a while. It's not all about meta game. There's a real world we live and work in.

    5. Great. Wonderful that you had fun. Now take a step back and consider how and why the fun you had happened.

      "Useless" carebears funnel minerals into the production stream, making your slasher as cheap as it was, and enabling your PVP. Good luck having fun with PVP once the bottom of the foodchain is eliminated, and your ship costs skyrocket.

  22. There are various things I disagree here, but the largest is the "newbie must buy 2B skillbooks in his first two years". The period of "newbie" is measured in days or weeks for the especially slow learner. A 2 months old player is anything but newbie. He should be able to go lowsec to mission or mine. I am a 13 months old "newbie" who barely ever left highsec. I made 350B. With a 90% highsec income nerf, I'd have 35B. A bit more than 1.09 that I need to earn 2B in two years.

    1. Are you bragging? I did over a 1T in the first year, in high sec, playing about 5-15 minutes per day. Never bothered with mission running or mining.

      Nerfing high sec income means nothing. Players will either learn to spend less, or find another way to earn more.

    2. "Are you bragging?"

      Gevlon never posts without reminding everyone how much ISK he makes. Rather pathetic, actually, since he spends most of his time grinding ISK. He can't PVP worth a damn, either.

    3. But, but, but... ganking barges was supposed to be elite pvp!

    4. And while anyone can earn that much, not everyone can earn that much, otherwise the inflation would be insane (and would wipe out the value of everyone's 350B ISK).

  23. Let me offer a new player's perspective here. I've been playing for 5 weeks; mostly mission running and a little PvP, 99% in high-sec. I think I like the game so far, but what I have going on right now is definitely not going to keep me entertained for much longer.

    I could be wrong, but the way I see EVE right now is this:

    - Noobs pay for subscriptions and tons and tons of PLEXes. These PLEXes go on the market.

    - Vets fuck around in null with things I barely understand. Soveregnity, the Great Game, etc. The alliances and their members appear to rake in trillions and trillions of ISK from endless and safe sources: moon mining, ratting, etc. They spend a portion of their income on the aforementioned PLEXes, being super proud of not actually paying for the game.

    I think the problem CCP has is that virtually all of their income comes from the former group. Vets are around, but for what exactly? Are they supposed to provide content in the game for the paying audience? Because if that's the case then it's not working. I read about shit you guys do but it'll be a long time before I'll experience any of it. You're busy with each other, we're busy with noob crap in highsec, and these are two separate universes. Exactly why are we paying for you to have fun?

    I could be wrong here. Am I? Do you guys actually pay CCP regularly?

    1. Actually, each player is completely and wholly responsible for providing his own content to enjoy.

      The trick is in finding what you really want to do in EvE and being honest about it. I've been playing for over a year and when I started, I was certain my goal was to go to null and be involved in all that stuff I was reading about. In order to get there - in order to make isk - I've mined, ran missions, gotten into light industry, incursions and, finally, Planetay Interaction. I've also managed to get out to null and back and try out wormhole life.

      The end result is, I left null for faction warfare because it turns out I only thought I wanted to live in null. Took me a year to realize it, but still, better late than never.

      I never once bought plex to fund my activities and I hope I never will.

      I have only recently begun being able to consistently plex my accounts (largely due to PI).

      For most of my time in EvE, I have lived in highsec and have had fun. Yes, I used to mine for fun and mission for fun :)

      If you're not having fun, figure out why. Is it lack of isk? There are many income streams out there; PI is an example and to make even "only" 10-15 mil/week requires 2 skills trained to level 4. And it's passive. Takes 10-15 mins/day (a little more when actually hauling to market) and the rest of your time is free to do whatever.

      If you're not part of an active corp with a decent number of members in your timezone, find one. Seriously. The reason I stuck around as long as I did doing the "boring" stuff was because I was doing it with a bunch of other people. If you just absolutely detest mining/industry/PI, etc, get with a group like EvE University or RvB. Hell, try Faction War; though again, that requires playing the market to make money - almost every serious income stream in EvE involves touching on carebear activities, even if only peripherally.

      But like I said, you have to first start by figuring out what it is you really want to do. And while you're figuring that out, you also have to find a way to pay the bills. Will you be able to do straight away in 5 weeks what other players that have been playing for over a year are doing? No. It will take time to train skills and accumulate isk. Get used to it - that's EvE. That doesn't mean there's nothing you can do, however.

    2. I doubt that a massive amount of plex is sold by highsec citizens - I know that when I ran level4s an hour each day I had more than enough ISK to PLEX my account. When missioning got boring I went to RAZOR in sov-null - and despite having the generous ship replacement program I still had to invest significantly more time to earn enough ISK. Naturally, I trained up an alt to make me money - in highsec. Near zero risk and unlimited missions - way easier than the constant local watching and sharing the 10 available anomalies with 15 others.

      And that is while living in one of the most valueable 0.0 regions (tenal). But even with a buffed 0.0, as long as people can make enough ISK to plex their account(s) in highsec safety they won't ever leave that safety behind.

  24. Buffing Null/low sec wont solve the problem as you (Jester) propose. Why? Because you wont be able to semi-afk (or AFK) grind ISK there like in high-sec.
    Nowadays you get enough ISK in high-sec to "feed" your main account.
    Why should I move to null/low sec, when in high-sec I can go afk (mining/missioning) and get enough ISK for new ships/modules etc.
    Sorry Jester, but you are defending afkers/boters. They ruin fun/income for people who do activities like mining and missioning actively (not-afk).
    You say its sandbox and everyone can do what they want, even if you do that away from keyboard.

    1. "They ruin fun/income for people who do activities like mining and missioning actively (not-afk)."

      I call bullshit. Stop trying to play the victim. No one is buying it.

    2. What the strawman?

      Logically, if grinding ISK in null-sec was worth your time, you'd do it despite the increased risk.

      As it currently stands, null-sec ISK grinds are not worth the risk and time, compared to the ease and simplicity of high-sec methods.

      Ergo, make other avenues more appealing. Nerfs are well and good, but the point is that *high-sec PvE is goddamn awful as is* any nerfs there will make it unplayable for the 80%.

  25. Good post!
    I had only heard of James ideas loosely, and not realized they were this crazy!
    He comes off as a bully that wants the right to hit and abuse retarded kids because they have no right to be happy doing what they do.
    EvE is a sandbox, but should not be lawless for that reason.. Police will exist inthe future, and some places will be safer then others..
    I do feel that buffing lowsec for pirates and the like (not just FW) is the way to go rather then nerfing highsec

  26. Unless that James is boringly trolling, he is simply stupid. Making the life of the wolf better by eliminating sheep. Stroke of the genius.

    1. No, James just thinks the sheep should be null-sheep, and this is how to "return" to that state.

    2. But null is no place for sheep.

    3. Null is already mostly made up of sheep. In the Goons, we call them cannon fodder and meat shields, though.

    4. I was only referring to "sheep" in the sense of the food network, where they graze passively and provide wolves with targets.
      Null is a fine place for sheep, as long as they have wolf friends. And many do.

  27. Good post Jester, James might have a point in some cases but he exaggerates too much. There are many ways to improve the game and non of it needs to smash another part in the game.

    It's a sandbox, if he want to live without high sec he should start doing so.

    You mention some changes to game design, grav sites, PvE, all places to iterate on but too exhausting to comment constructively on such a long post.

  28. "James solved this problem by becoming a goon."

    Uhm, no. He solved it by running a very successful 30b ISK scam, aka winniing at EVE. When are you gonna print the apology, Jester? You've been proven dead wrong once again.

    1. "... a very successful 30b ISK scam, aka winniing at EVE."

      30B ISK scam is nothing. Most Jita scammers pull that much in every day.

  29. Well I for one think CCP should iterate more on Incursions.
    how about a NPC incursions from all factions in game can and will attack other "enemy" systems. i think it would make more fun especialy if you could get hold of "rare" ships this way
    for example Faction capitalships singlerun blueprints. ship that emphazise on the factions strength.

    then I want higher penalty for beeing hated by a faction.
    why can i dock to a Gurista station when im -3 to them? its not logical i shouldn't be able to dock in most of them unless im at sec status 0 with them. a few stations should be unlocked so you can grind your way up with them but that should be only level1 missions.

    But yes i don't hold James very high. He is a Troll and should be treated as one. --- DONT FEED THE TROLLS

  30. Good response and you bring up some good points regarding some changes which could make high sec more interesting without driving away subscribers.

    What is really the problem that james sees though? Is it actually the amount of ISK that can be made in high sec or is it the fact the population vastly prefers high sec to other areas of the game?

    Nerfing high sec so people are forced to go to low or null will just cause people to leave the game which in the end will result in even fewer people in low/null.

    However, adjusting the popularity of the different sections is something that can be done without losing subscribers. However there are going to have to be some fundamental changes to how low/null work in order to make them more appealing.


    First, restrict low sec to capitals only, no super caps allowed.

    Then there needs to be a way for alliances to claim portions of low sec without the need for sovereignty. Perhaps create a governor for each system and then an alliance can either conduct a hostile take over by destroying the local defense forces (NPC ships on par with incursion rats of BS and lower) or choose to assist the governor by destroying the pirate invasion force (also incursion equivalent BS and smaller ships). Once the system has been taken over the new owner is shown on the map and has the option to invest in stronger NPC police forces for the system.

    Gates would have patrols ranging from simple gate guns to BC size NPC ships. Sec status -.5 and higher wouldn't be engaged by the police but anyone with lower status would get a warning and then a timer to leave the system. The NPC's would have a 4-8hr respawn rate so once they are destroyed from a specific area there wouldn't be any reinforcements.

    There is more I could add about this idea but the basic premise is to make low sec more dynamic by having players hold a system and allowing for both positive and negative consequences for claiming an area.


    as discussed on many posts and blogs there is a lot that needs to be done to null sec and I'm not qualified to provide a lot of suggestions as I've rarely ventured into null. From my point of view the biggest change null needs to have is a graduated progression so that smaller alliances have a chance to build up infrastructure instead of being forced to rent from a large alliance or simply be absorbed by a bigger entity. Right now null sec is not a sandbox, it's a pool with a deep end and no hint of a shallow area. I've always liked the idea of a home system which limits the attacking forces to a similar level as the defending forces. As different milestones are reached the system is upgraded to allow for a bigger attacking force. Eventually the alliance will have to stop progressing to sustain a reasonable defensive position or else jump into the deep end and compete with the larger groups. In the end it will be each alliances decision on what risk they are willing to assume and at the same time their rewards will scale accordingly.

    There would still be open systems with no limitations where battles can be fought by the biggest ships and fleets with no limitations.

    If these types of changes were implemented then I see null and low becoming the goals for high sec players who want to enjoy the game, who want to play in pvp, but don't want to feel like they are overmatched, outgunned, or at the mercy of a super hotdrop. While the reality might be such things rarely happen the perception is that low is constantly dangerous and not a place for new players to venture into because they will die.

    Improve low and null first and see how the population shifts. Then look towards manufacturing and making industry easier to conduct in low and null than in high. I think if those areas were adjusted the disparity in population would be reduced and the players would try new areas they previously avoided.

  31. A significant proportion of null sec players have high sec alts for making isk with PVE activities.

    This very statement is sufficient proof that high sec needs a nerf in PVE income and null needs a buff. It should be neither viable nor desirable to fund your null sec PVP with high sec PVE.

    Sure, high sec income should be sufficient to allow for frigate/t1 cruiser roams into low/null. But if you want to be losing 70m+ ships on a regular basis, you had better be doing your farming where you do your fighting.

    NB: the existence of high sec traders making tons of isk and manufacturers making healthy sums with sufficient investment is both acceptable and unavoidable, given that they are the capitalist class of EVE.

    By the way, James 315 solved his newbie problem by running a 30B Ponzi scheme while a few weeks old. He joined goonswarm after more than a year in game, as your link shows.

    1. Isn't the more desirable alternative to provide bottom up line member ISK generation within sov null, as opposed to alliance level moon mineral income?

    2. When you balance something, you don't add to one side, and take away from the other.

      You carefully add OR subtract from ONE side, and ONE side only.

      The major issue for CCP is that it wants to continue attracting new players (driving the business forward, and allowing it to grow), whilst keeping its veterans coming back for more.

      Unfortunately for the veterans though:

      CCP = Business
      Business = $$$
      $$$ = # of Players
      New players > Veterans

      So as a transitive equations, CCP cares the most about the number of players, and the vast majority of players are in high-sec.

      Having James on the CSM will be a waste of a seat, as CCP won't instigate any of these changes.

      CCP will NOT, repeat ~NOT~ drive away the majority of its customers. To think that a business, no matter what industry they're in, would do something like that is totally insane.

  32. I totally agree you. People forget that when they started, they were always out of ISK (having to buy implants and to upgrade their ship, while keeping a reserve for rainy days) and that HS income wasn't that great. And they forget that to move up into w-space or NS (LS seems to be more accessible), which are more rewarding, you need to be already wealthy.

    However, I also remember that 2 years ago you failed to realise that incursion rewards in HS were totally out of line. That's why I am not sure I could vote for you.

  33. As a 4 account , with 9 toons in hign n wormhole and have done Fw. James is a complete Whack job, to coin a NYPD Blue phase, and a complete idiot if you watch House. You are the only sound mind in this game Jester and I will be voting for you. Live long and prosper. Sheldon.

    1. "You are the only sound mind in this game Jester"

      Nice to see 1 out of 500,000 players could meet your standards. Perhaps you should give James' blog another read, and drop any preconceptions you come in with. It's genuinely funny and well written if you spot it for the elaborate troll it is.

  34. It should also be noted that the CSM has never had and likely never will have the kind of power over the game which James claims he will exert. I guess he is living up to the proud political tradition of making election promises he has no hope of meeting.

    1. He hasn't claimed to exert the power, he has just laid out a platform he will advocate for. I'd be happy to be shown links that prove me wrong.

    2. From the article on his own website that outlines his platform, he most certainly implies that he has the power to implement his platform simply by being elected. Which anyone with half a brain would know is false, but when he makes statements like "Highsec mining will be nerfed into oblivion." and "Highsec incursions and the like will be scrapped completely." it sounds precisely like what Silus states; a politician making promises he has no hope of meeting.

  35. James is the initiator of minerbumping.com and interested in 1 thing: To gank players. As you can read in his post all suggested changes are focused on ganking itself.

  36. I'm with you all the way, except for the sec status hit. The reason for getting the hit is attacking illegal targets in Empire space - a space that is subject to the rule of law and hence punitive punishment in cases were that law had been broken.

    By the same token, would you also be arguing for the removal of sec status gains in null sec (since there is no CONCORD, how can they award sec status)?

  37. Ah it's interesting to see Jester capitalize on the anti-James sentiment that no other candidate was truly tapping into. Who will win? James' emergent gamers or Jesters carebear creepers? Or maybe both will end up on CSM! Such drama in the air!

  38. I'm only halfway through this article, but simply had to write a comment.

    This guy is a, to put it gently, 'tard, through and through. As a carebear myself (although I'm starting to move with one toon to null), he really needs to understand one (huge) thing:

    Nerfing high-sec into the ground will NOT force people into low-sec and null. No. It will force people onto other games. Simple as that.

    This is a game at the end of the day. The high-sec players are not ACTUALLY living in new Eden. They live on Earth. If their GAME stops being what they enjoy, then they'll simply move onto what they do enjoy.

    On the reverse, look at SWG's. It got toned down, a lot of sandbox elements were removed, the state of the game radically changed, and everybody f-ed off.

    If high-sec got nerfed in 10% of these ways, my playtime would considerably drop, and at least 2 of my accounts would get cancelled, maybe even all three.

    TL;DR: James seems to be an idiot... And for good reason. He is... He also seems to think that one member of a council can make HUGE changes to gameplay. CCP call the shots at the end of the day, and they're driven by $$$'s, not individuals opinions.

  39. I currently have 6 distinct accounts on eve. I pay for all of them. I do mining, industry, trade and faction warfare (1 Character). If HS were to be nerfed as James would like it to, all 6 accounts would be deactivated. As well as 2 of my friends accounts. These changes are a literal make or break for me.

  40. i am a fairly new player and a carebear at the moment. the two things that stop me from getting involved in more PvP and head into low/null sec are

    1) 24 hour cooldown for jump clones
    2) medical insurance

    if i could hop in a clean jump clone for a session and know that i would be able to hop back to my clone with implants at the end of the session i would be much more likely to go roam or move into low sec or mission there or in general start to experience life with more risk. maybe something like 2 jumps per 24 hours? or one every 6 hours or something?

    my main character is at 20m SP and the medical insurance is starting to get significant. it is a barrier to my starting life in low sec. it is something i want to do and i am sure i will do at some point but these two things have kept me from trying it out very much so far...

    p.s. love you blog ripard

    1. Very much yes on the jump clone timers. Even 24 hours per clone wouldn't be so bad.

  41. Teg, I don't think you really grasp James 315's "food chain" argument. Anyway, you give no indication of that here. And without that understanding, you seem to think that 315's motive in "nerf highsec" is simply to make people miserable. No. His point in wanting to nerf highsec is not just for kicks. It is to save the game by saving PVP in low and nullsec. 315 believes that PVP is endangered by the safe ISK grinding of highsec.

    What is the "food chain"? It is an analogy to how food chains work in nature, particular oceanic food-chains which tend to have more carnivorous steps. The idea is that to create wealth, one should have to risk his ship. Weak PVE ships (miners, PVE-fit warships, industrials, etc.) are broadly spread all over space to create wealth, but also creating viable targets for solo gankers. (And note they do not need to be easy targets, just easy enough that they can sometimes be caught.) These solo gankers are prey for solo PVPers or smaller gangs. Because these low-level predators are out there, they are targets for larger gangs. The larger gangs in turn are targets for fleets, all the way up. Large fleet battles may be seeded by an attempt to defend a mining op.

    If you break the bottom of the food chain, what happens? Well, most of the PVPers give up. The gankers in particular do, because they are not looking for fair fights. But with them gone, most of the good fights for soloers are gone, as are the ganks for small gangs. So many of them give up too. And so it goes, all the way up the scale of fleet size. The end result: a blue donut in null. The only fights are ganks in highsec and sov warfare in null.

    Sound familiar? Are we there? No, not yet. There is still some small-scale stuff being seeded in lowsec, with faction warfare. And, there are also lots of PVPers looking for good fights, and they occasionally run into each other. But it is alarming.

    Anyway, that is the argument that 315 is making. Listen to his Crossing Zebras interview. Or just read it at minerbumping.com. I am not making this up. I think many people agree with him.

    Myself, I have no experience of combat in null and almost none in lowsec. And I am too new to know how things were 2 years ago. However, you are old. So you can speak to the "food chain" argument.

    If you won't, then I find your criticisms pretty worthless, because they are coming from misunderstanding. I do not agree with 315 in terms of how to nerf highsec. But I do agree that, given that the PVP food chain is an accurate description of things used to (and still can) work, it is a desirable thing to attempt.

    To summarize: James 315 has put forth a theory of EVE's game design. (I doubt it is original to him, but I don't know.) The theory is: EVE provides enduring fun because PVP, and PVP is good because of the food chain. The food chain is broken; thus EVE is nowhere near as fun as it used to be / could be. This is why EVE languishes player-wise: bittervets who only like PVP are unsubbing due to its lack. To save EVE, save the food chain. To save the food chain... what? 315 has a plan. What's your idea?

    One way to respond is to say: this whole food chain idea is just wrong, and here's why. I would love to see you respond this way. That would be a real exchange of views.

    Or you might argue that it is right, but that it is more important for EVE to ease newbs into the game than keep bittervets. This is my best guess as to your actual position. But I think you ought to acknowledge the tradeoff you are accepting here.

    Alternatively, you might agree with 315 about the food chain but argue that his proposals would not resurrect it. I am skeptical -- his ideas do seem to be well targeted. But it changes your argument radically. It is no longer, "no no and no". It is: "this won't help at all, because X."

    Or you might put forth your own ideas about how to nerf highsec in a better way.

  42. About the grav sites you want to to spawn less.
    Is that only in HS or every where?
    Because it is the only way to mine in w-space... .
    Less spawns there would mean less targets for pvp'ers and even less population in w-space.
    Other then that i think the best way is indeed to fix 0.0 k-space.
    What 0.0 needs is that the space is used more.
    The best way to do this is not to nerf high sec, this won't be recieved well by anyone.
    So the only thing left is to buff 0.0 .
    The best way is to make people be IN space to earn isk.
    That way every one is happy, one didn't get a nerf and the other got more isk.
    Only problem will be PLEX it will go bananas.

  43. Just to clarify with you some points Jester - I believe James is talking about grav sites in high sec, not null. For those that put in the extra effort, this provides hi-sec miners access to some of the ores located in Low. There is also an additional safety buffer since gankers have to bother with scanning instead of just warping to a belt. The bulk of his proposals are about more convenience for the gankers.

    These hi-sec grav sites are heavily contested, quickly located and the more valuable ores mined in short order. (grav sites were the prime reason I bothering maxing out all my scan skills).

    sub-note. I wish these occured throughout the day. The common wisdom is that they largely occur with DownTime - making players in different times at a disadvantage. There is also a trick whereby mining crews will strip a grav down to only a few counts of ore. This prevents the de-spawn and spawn of a site elsewhere. I would have a perference that a site despawn within a given time frame - a behavior already in the game for wormholes.

    The boomerang was a method of performing a gank then warping off before concord arrives or is able to point. In some instances it meant warping between various belts. So the ganker gets multiple ganks out of one ship. One worthy on the Eve-O forums boasted of using a 'nado to get the job done for multiple ganks, the being able to get to a orca and strip off the fitting before succumbing to concord. CCP made the claim some players had used the boomerang for the entire 15 minutes, retaining their ship.

    As for Security - I support a reduction the sec lost for low-sec piracy. But not for hi-sec. And yes I admit my own bias for that. But you did submit that CCP would like to see immigration out of hi-sec. It just does not apply to industrialists but pirates too.

    Before you launch into your post about risk vs reward. I would point out to you Jester - that missions are a static reward. It now costs twice as much for ammo, drone or hull replacement in the last couple of years. Essentially it equates to twice as many missions for the same reward. Dare I suggest that missions are market indexed? Also when hi-sec minerals were at an all time low (owing to drone poo and module reprocessing), Eve-O forums would recommend to any post questioner thus; 1. there are too many miners 2. go do something else, like missioning. 3. it is a market driven environment

    So in prospective when there was risk and no reward - not a word about buffs. Now that the shoe is on the other foot. Continuous howls for nerfs, from essentially the same crowd. In game were the prime motive to is take joy in someone's else misery - I am on cloud nine.

  44. Because there are people playing this game who like to build/mine/trade, not all of us want to pew-pew all the time

  45. Dinsdale PirannhaMarch 6, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    I love the fact that all these null sec zealots are working with the premise that high sec income is too high, without ANY hard data. Since when is propaganda FACTS? It is abundantly clear that the null sec zealots within CCP are working hand in hand with their compatriots outside of CCP. The propaganda teams outside of CCP push hard with lies, while the ones inside CCP suppress any data that would blow these lies out of the water.

    What high sec needs is someone protecting it from the likes of you, who want to destroy it solely to improve you own position in the game.

    If high sec is destroyed, it will be impossible for any group, EVER again, to be able to build up enough resources to take on any of the null sec power blocs. Not that idea is even feasible now.

  46. "The whole point to buffing mining ships was to make it much more difficult for solo gankers to blap exhumers solo all day long. These two changes would return all ganking to a solo activity. In particular, single players would be able to gank freighters solo on gates with as few as six accounts."

    Sounds like someone's not a fan of lone wolves. Did you get shot a lot as a noob? Why, exactly, should it take six accounts to gank a freighter? Why do you want to set piracy to be a "serious players only" sort of thing?

    Here I thought most of the ship based gameplay was supposed to be accessible even to noobs, but nope, Jester here thinks six accounts is reasonable to expect. Good lord, man.

  47. I'm late to the party here, but the problem with the proposals of James is that it is predicated on the fact that players must be moved along to lowsec or nulsec but doesn't say "why?".

    Its a sandbox. Highsec must remain viable. Bitter vets who don't want lowsec or nulsec or wormholes shouldn't be forced out there. Forcing them out there will lead to unsubs.

    The upshot is that CCP's financial department isn't entirely stupid and many of these proposals will be shot down without a second thought as meritless garbage which will hurt CCPs business model.

    1. 315 does say why. See my comment above.

  48. Jimmy123 is just a coward that couldn't live in null with with the big dogs.

  49. I am a Hi-sec carebear. Here are some changes I like to see made.

    1. Remove Ice Belts, move ice manufacturing to Ice Planets.
    2. I think Asteroid Belts should have to be scanned down (d-scan should work) and move from system to system. There should be no set belts in any system.

    Just an Idea for low-sec security status, how about if the kill was not on a gate or station in low-sec there is no sec lost. Keep the security lose on gates and stations.

  50. A much more modest, reasoned post than one James would make. I enjoy your articles immensely. I'm waiting because I know he will break your article into a million little manageable bites. He's sad and annoying like that.

  51. I was with you and agreeing, Jester, until your comments on grav site mining. Very, very far from the mark, blaming the industrial/mining situation on grav sites. The real problems are A) The status of nullsec industry, or rather, how unbalanced it is in favor of producing in highsec, and B) mineral distribution. The problem with grav sites is not that they give too many high-ends, it's that they give practically no low ends.

    additionally, you commented In particular; 'single players would be able to gank freighters solo on gates with as few as six accounts. No.'

    This shows a clear lack of understanding of current freighter gank mechanics, as it is already possible with as little as 7 characters (6 to kill, including 1 running the ship scan, and a 7th to loot the wreck). While 7-8 is more practical, and reliable, if you could do it with 2/3 less people, you'd be ganking freighters with as few as 3 characters, with 2 to kill it, and 1 to loot.

    Keep in mind I am not disagreeing that slowing down concord would be bad, you simply are rather misguided on how many pilots it currently takes to gank freighters. Here is some evidence behind my point.

    http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=16860064 (6 pilot kill)
    http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=16854694 (7 pilot kill)
    http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=16934252 (6 pilot kill)
    http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=16934252 (7 pilot kill)

    Unfortunately, without actually doing much research into what you are discussing, before openly discussing it, as a CSM hopeful, I can't vote for you in good conscience.


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