Supercap Proliferation: Fixing a Solved Problem

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I am torn here between a desire to not fuck null industry further and DEATH TO SUPERSDEATH TO SUPERS
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This won't solve anything. As noted it will just gut whatever null non-capital ship based industry activity that currently happens. People will find ways around mineral compression, like recycling carriers / dreads.
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A nice timely response from the CSM to the super problem then it seems.There was a brief period where the CSM actually got shit done; such a shame it's come to this.
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It might be simpler to solve the stated problem by increasing the build requirements for supers.Longer term, making 0.0 based industry viable through locally sourced minerals would mean that we could get rid of compression altogether.
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Please CCP don't nerf my super construction business, I don't want to stop making billions from selling IWINmobiles so I'm dressing this up as a nerf to all of Nullsec.
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The key there is locally sourced minerals. To get that requires a whole range of changes, both in-game and player behaviour.First off, there needs to be a source of low-end minerals in null. Ok, there are the veld and scordite rocks in belts and the occasional hauler spawn. Hauler spawns won't come even close to supplying any real amount of industry with the current spawned amounts. Null sec miners chew up the rocks in the anomaly fields and will never drop into belts so long as those exist. Potential solutions - Increase both the number and ore volume of hauler spawns, this will *maybe* get more people belt ratting again. Add bigger and more numerous veld and scordite rocks to nullsec mining anoms. Possibly add a super-dense variant of veld and scord to only the lvl 4 of 5 anoms to make it take actual concerted effort to obtain.Second, you need to provide benefits to production in null sec. That means you either need to make null sec stations more efficient and faster than they currently are or make transport far more difficult. Making transport difficult should be seen as a non-started, because it would have secondary effects of seriously impairing any kind of mobile warfare. If you can't move ships to the front, fights don't happen. Making null sec stations more efficient will end up being a massive boost to the regions that are within a single jump of low-sec. Again, not sure if that is what ccp wants or not. Perhaps tieing producivity to productivity true-sec, but that would be a horrendous mess to code and manage. Not to mention how much that would suck since you can't change existing stations to different types.Third, demand needs to change on the supply-side. Right now it's easy for any really coordinated group of industrialists to supply their own minerals from high sec. This honestly is the only thing nerfing compression would help with. Not sure the pain here is worth the benefit.We've seen all sorts of creative answers to the first problem, but the real question remains how to incentivize people to actually build in null sec rather than sourcing their goods from empire.
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That time also coincided with CFC leadership of the CSM. Oh the horror of highsec dwellers.I like the idea of buffing rorquals to be super miners, capital strip miners, etc, but giving the a siege cycle to use it. Properly balanced, it would entice people to "do dumb things" as an earlier article on this site mentioned- a massive payout on nullsec mining makes highsec mining less attractive, and gives people targets to attack and defend. This nerf to compression does nothing to provide more content.
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PL has 496 titans and 1800 supercarriers so you guys need to step yo game up
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Wow, what's it like back in 2010? I hear you people had good weather and the women were all blonder and with bigger breasts.
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Increasing the build requirement runs into the same problem as nerfing compression - it serves to widen the gulf between the haves and the have-nots and makes it harder for anyone to play catch-up.Nerfing compression without simultaneously increasing the ability to source minerals locally is a recipe for disaster, but given the modern tendency of CCP to apply a five-minute-fix and move on we'll be lucky to get anything better.
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Oh CCP, we need a capital low-end-asteroid miner first, and THEN the change to compression.:/
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Mineral compression is eventually going to have to go away, both for real 0.0 industry to take hold during or in preparation for improvements to 0.0 industry capacity. In the mean time, stopping proliferation is a huge deal. That 20+ titans/month and scars/month does not seem like a troubling amount illustrates a bit of a disconnect between the superblob haves and everyone else.Removing min compression isnt going anywhere with CCP right now, but I'm one CSM who will keep asking for it.
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I don't feel like the proliferation would be as bad as it is, if alliances and coalitions used them in fights.Supers die mostly through traps or slip-ups now-a-days.There used to be huge supercap brawls, now they are just used to mop up structures or bridge gangs.
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Nerf the fuel requirement, supercarriers and titans should not require the same amount of fuel as a regular carrier, that's absurd and makes force projection a breeze. Supercapital fleets should be strategical assets that aren't deployed on a wim and moved around eve in an hour for very little cost. 10 - 20 times the current amount of fuel is not an absurd amount.Remove the remote repairs from supercarriers, they shouldn't be a combined logistic and damage platform with an insane tank. Battleships can't rep as good as logistic ships while doing good damage, supercarriers shouldn't be able to rep good while doing damage and more importantly being ehp bricks that can spidertank a silly amount of damage. Move the capital logistic role from supercarriers to regular carriers that can actually be killed without 20 titans to alpha it.
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I agree it needs to go away EVENTUALLY, but doing away with it now, and for the laughably wrong reasons it's being pursued, is a mistake. If CCP feels (or once felt) that supercaps were proliferating too fast, they should accept the 80% drop in production that supercarriers saw (as of five months ago!) and the similar drop that titans presumably saw following the tracking nerfs. Believe me when I say that implementing it first, with vague promises of fixing mineral supply for nullsec "later", will not be well received. There WILL be backlash for it, I promise you that.
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You're an idiot.
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That wouldn't be a solution unto itself. The fact of the matter is that gravimetric sites still have fuck-all for low ends (relatively speaking). It would also further exacerbate the high end oversupply problem, as it happens.
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Urgh no, why should mining in 0.0 only be profitable for high skillpoint characters?
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So build your own superblob and start having...
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Why not just allow Rorquals in highsec? At that point you can nerf module compression all you want.
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Harder build requirements are a non-nerf. On the short term, numbers build will decrease, but it's a bad argument just as 'making stuff more expensive' is a good idea in eve.
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Supers are notoriously hard to kill when in groups (why most kills are lone supers). There were over 100 supers in the brawl last week, only 7 died because most were able to clear tackle/tank damage.
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Sorry, I've gotta call you on this one. Supercap proliferation is still a HUGE problem. Even if production was reduced by 80%, the number of supercarriers being built would still out pace losses by almost 4 to 1 (using Eve-kill numbers and the numbers provided in your article). The number of Titans, using Eve-Kill losses for the last six months and also using your number of 80% reduction in production, puts production outpacing Titan destruction at nearly 6 to 1!These are essentially IWIN buttons for null-sec sov as both of those ships still retain the ability to quickly destroy sov structures, which cuts off null-sec Sov from alliance who aren't friends with the superpowers already there. Do you realize that if production was completely halted this moment, i.e. no supercaps at all being built, that at the current monthly rate of loss (using again, eve-kill numbers and the numbers posted in your article, it would take 17 years for all supercarriers to disappear? It would take an astounding 26 years for Titans to be gone from the game!No, supercap proliferation is a problem so massive that it has blinded everyone in null-sec who has them.
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Delete my comment, my math was wrong
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The cure will be to fix refining in null-sec. At the moment only by using MInmatar outposts can one get refining efficiencies into the ballpark of "feasible". The POS refining arrays are so bad that you'll try to use them ONCE and never again. Getting the ore into minerals is one of the major painpoints with nullsec industry. It is so painful that folks are willing to make things out of the minerals in highsec and ship them off to null - just to get around the broken system. One of the quickest and simplest fixes that CCP could do, to fix industry in null, is to make refining arrays actually work. Or to put Minmatar level refinining in every outpost.
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Actually, I was wrong in that my math was using the wrong reference number for total Supers in game. At the current rate of loss, it would take 59 years for every single Titan to die at the current rate of loss if all production stopped, and 35 years for every single Supercarrier to die at the current rate of loss.
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low skill miners could still cherrypick highends.
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Exploding capitals > higher production barriers.
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This will really hurt smaller alliances who fund there srp via super sales... i hope the give a way to fix why shit has to be shipped in before swinging a hammer...
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I don't have a super, do not regulatory work around supers. But I can fly a dread. I thought the plan was to reduce the skill requirements for Capitals like dreads, and lower their production costs so that fielding them was effective enough in an isk and time standpoint. Dreads being very focused, capital and structure shooting machines, with almost no outside value. Or did CCP re-think that.
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I was also joking that's more supercaps than we have duders
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Dont you guys store them in CSAA's? :V
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Math wrong or not, I think most understand the point you are trying to make and can agree supers will be around for many years if production halted instantly.
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Increasing maintenance costs is the only good solution of proliferation, if it needs to be solved. This includes fuel, but there could be even more costs. Suppose we introduce some "wear out" mechanics which detriments supercap stats over time. That damage can only be repared while consuming some decent amout of resources. Say, in a year we need to spend about the same amount of material as we would need to build a brand new supercap.
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Low sp scrubs should blow up the untanked afk null sec mining ships.Profit for everyone.
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I like your ideas Nullsec Industry have to be looked at or even better entire Industry work chain.my sugestion for work order for CCP is1# POS revamp - as with a pos revamp you can move the manufacturing from stations to pos:es without getting penalized. Also it gives a WT a mean in highsec to grief industry corps. killing of there production2# Fix the seed of the ore in nulllsec add a ultra Dense +25 - 30% of the common ores in the anomality sites. and im for adding a +35% in level 5 mining system anomality. that makes it worth pushing the system in to level53# Fix the industry interface so a corp manager can make help of his corp members to build items.say you want to build a fully fitted Carrier. now he creates the build order for the ship and modules then decides if the order is for corp / alliance / public level. and what reward it should yield to fullfil the order. (building contracts)4# fix the industry interface so you can build on several slots at once.example select 40 BpC and selecting 10 slots press order and just wait for it to run them all and it will auto restart finish objects once they are done and start the next process.and even better if we take the Carrier example from above you want to build a carrier so you queue up a carrier, since you got the submodule bpo and they are connected to the carrier bpo the building system will start to queue up the module parts.(I admit it, I am dreaming now)
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Because Capital.Deal with it.
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...because you can easily get that rorqual in empire compressing minerals for your nullsec production?
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Or you can reduce their EHP so more die so it doesnt matter how many are build they die more often.
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Dude.. #3 and #4 are what is needed.. +1
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actually wondering out of all those numbers now many of those supers/titans log in other than to swap skills or how many of those accounts are inactive atm , why do they never talk about that . Every time they show those numbers they make ppl think that there are way too many supers in this game , i agree with that point but a employing scare tactics is not the way to do it . The new guys need to be educated to see that supers right now are just huge epeens and a nice way to grind structures faster nothing more .....
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More like they were paid in super capitals to fight wars for sov-holders. The payment method perpetuated and increased their advantage in the super capital arms race, increasing PL's value in a war. This led to the current situation, where PL does, in fact, have hundreds of titans.
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The problem right now is the existing supers, not the as-yet-to-be-built supers. The more they are nerfed, the less they log in, the less they die. The more they are buffed, the more they are needed, the more demand there is for them, the more are built. CCP is stuck in a catch-22 because they didn't have the foresight to not make giant, hard to kill, "kill everything" machines of war.
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Let me mine blank moons for veld CCP.
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Maybe this is crazy, but what if capitals-and-up, when destroyed, dropped significant fractions of the minerals needed to build them?Seems to me it would reduce the Hauling-from-HighSec drudgery, though there'd still be some Hauling-within-NullSec.Would it open an ecological niche for scavengers? Would it create an advantage for the side left in possession of the battlefield? Would either of those be Better or Worse than now -- or just Different?Be kind of like the rogue-drones-drop-alloys pattern, I guess.

Recently, rumors had been rumbling that CCP, or perhaps just the CSM, was looking at nerfing mineral compression (again!) with the intent of curbing supercapital proliferation. More recently, I was directed to a blog post by CSM Hans Jagerblitzen, revealing that this is not in fact a rumor:

Dovinian posted a call for CCP to revisit the issue of "Mineral Compression", as this is one of the major underlying contributors to supercapital proliferation.  Kelduum has been doing detailed research into the specific items that can be manufactured for lower volume than their mineral equivalents, to assist in reaching a faster solution.  CSM is unanimously in support of addressing this long-overdue problem.

For those not in the know, mineral compression is simply building modules with a volume greatly exceeded by the volume of the raw minerals required to build it. Now, to be frank, production in nullsec is basically shit. It's a lousy task, and outside of supercapital construction, not much of it happens. When it does happen in any sort of scale, it is (as Weaselior has recently alluded to) only possible by virtue of compression making minerals relatively easy to source.

Obviously, then, nerfs to compression would cause collateral damage to what little nullsec industry exists, and there are less obvious metagame problems as well. Setting those aside for now, the fact is that "supercap proliferation" is a problem already solved. CCP did a nice job of curbing it with nerfs to supercarriers in Crucible, nerfs to titans this past April, and the removal of drone alloys (which were a huge fountain of pre-compressed minerals) in Inferno. In lieu of some anecdotes as "proof", have some numbers.

First, how many supercapitals were built throughout all of 2011?

1,646 supercarriers built, 370 titans built. 269 supercarriers destroyed, 86 titans destroyed. That's a lot of supers.

For reference, that's an average of about 137 supercarriers and a little over 30 titans per month.

So, how many were around in January?

4,213 supers being flown total. 3,384 supercarriers, 829 titans.

Any reader quick with math probably realizes that nearly half of all supercarriers and over a third of all titans in existence at the time were built in the previous year. "Wow!" they think to themselves, "supercapital proliferation really IS a problem! I'm glad our CSM is tackling that!"

Not so fast; there's one more point of reference. How many supercapitals were active later that year, say, around May 29th?

Current supercap numbers, all accounts. Titans: 942. 369 Erebus, 322 Avatar, 135 Leviathan, 116 Ragnarok.
Supercarriers: 3,463. 2,049 Nyx, 826 Aeon, 414 Wyvern, 172 Hel, 2 Revenant. So, 4,405 characters with a supercap as their active ship atm.

To complete those numbers, 16 titans and 61 supercarriers were destroyed in the time period (those numbers are based on querying eve-kill.net). Combine it all and in a five month period, there were 129 titans and 140 supercarriers built, or in monthly terms, an average of around 26 titans and 28 supercarriers per month.

It's readily apparent that supercarrier production fell off a cliff following their nerf in Crucible. Titan production continued unabated, but it seems likely that it fell off the same cliff in the wake of the tracking nerfs. And why not? Supercapitals went from being a platform for the annihilation of superior numbers of subcapitals (among many other things), to being glorified structure grinders. While they certainly remain valuable in several roles beyond that, they were no longer sexy. The fountain of pre-compressed minerals provided by the drone regions is gone as well, attenuating the nerfs to supercapital demand. That shrunk or ended entirely the supercapital production efforts of several organizations, both within the drone regions and elsewhere. I know for a fact that at least one CFC supercapital yard was supplied via drone alloys smuggled in from the drone regions through an alt corp.

Now, back to the "collateral damage" and metagame point. Collateral damage I already addressed; what little nullsec based production does happen is reliant on production to be possible, so nerfing compression (or removing it entirely) just makes it that much more difficult. More interesting are the metagame implications. First is the simple fact in any scenario short of eliminating compression entirely, players will adapt. They'll find the next best module or combo of modules, and if it costs them a few hundred million isk and a couple more days building modules, who cares? They're already building a ship that costs billions and takes weeks to finish. Beyond that, though, any nerfs with the intent of making supers "harder to build" benefits those that already have them the most. Groups attempting to play catch up will find themselves at an even more significant disadvantage. In the worst case (complete removal of compression), they're all but eliminated from the race entirely, where-as existing titan owners have the option (unappealing as though it may be) of using their jump portals to facilitate freighter convoys. It very much represents a "rich get richer, poor stay poor" situation.

Fortunately, I may be overreacting. Hans' most recent CSM update blog makes no mention of the compression issue, and he characterized it as a "casual discussion, brought up only briefly, without serious followup." And, when asked, Dovinian stated the following:

There's been no real discussion about it other than the post I made [on the internal forum] and mostly just the CSM talking about possible fixes and number crunching on ratios and capabilities. But we'd much rather focus on other areas of the game at this time. I wanted to see if there was some way to make nullsec industry viable without compression needing to happen but there just doesn't seem to be a way at this time.

We can only hope that CCP concurs. Perhaps one day we'll have viable nullsec industry that doesn't rely on compression, but that day is not today, and the last thing nullsec needs is another quality of life nerf.

Seven year veteran & economics guru of EVE Online as well as CSM 8 representative. On the side I play PS2, WOT and Hearthstone.