Why a Risk-Free Highsec Would Kill EVE Online

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Can we also have a history on how the nerf encouraged by mittani has destroyed most off 0.0 and handed it over to the goons and there pets?
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This is wrong, leave high sec as it is or you'll get even more unballanced eve.Mittani your ideas are just stupid.0.0 was already nerfed to hell when they removed anomalies from -0.5 systems and above.So the only thing that is good right now are incursions and wormholes, everything else is shit.
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You really think TheMittaniPropaganda.com is ever gonna publish anything that paints their Glorious Leader in a negative light?
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Except the Mittani didn't even write this article....
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TL;DR Bittervet pvper/griefer hates miners. Considers them targets made only for the amusement of himself and his greifer pals and doesn't like it when things go their way for a change.
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Mittani had absolutely nothing to do with this article. If you don't like it, take it up with the author. And what are you talking about removing anomalies?
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your arguments are laughable. Hi Sec population is the only reason ccp isn't bankrupt yet, so you'll have to deal with it.
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WHAT NERF?? What are people talking about?
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Well written article. Ignore the haters, people will support anything if they stand to gain from it. I mean, there were people who supported Hitler and Stalin. Of course, the irony in this case is that the only thing they will gain is boredom.I wonder what the CSM had to say about these changes?
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every time i hear the word "Nerf high sec" i facepalm..... 60% of eve active subscriptions is in highsec. so please don't nerf highsec. it will cost the game to much.so how do we get more highsec dwellers to lowsec and nullsec? my suggestion is increased both ratting values and mining yield in low sec. Null sec mining IS safer then high sec mining IF you pay attention to the intel and the local and avoid doing retarded stuff like jumping to a belt while there is a red or neutral in system.slap on a capital class mining barge that only can operate in low/null and give better yieldnow thoes two changes might even get the highsec miners to start to looking at some "Endgame" mining in low/null.and as your increasing the value of the rats your giving lowsec ratting some love also.the only part of highsec i would like to "restrict guns" is the 1.0 systems as i hate flying in to Jita with a pvp setup seeing 200 in local sitting around undock. just waiting for the loot egg to spawn.
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Wall of text and then you use only about 10 sentences for telling how you think it should be fixed. Well, let me help you out.Mission rewards should be cut down, especially in LVL 4 missions, 50% from rats and 90% in LP side. LP nerf should be applied straight to lvl 3, 2 and 1 missions, but rats only perhaps 25% cut.Mining: I would go as far as changing the ores completely:- Couple high sec ores which would give 2 materials- 3-4 ores that would be found in low sec and null, offering materials for everything- Couple null sec ores that would be better than low sec ores- (Maybe one ore specially found only in low sec that would be keeping low sec mining viable even if big alliances really start doing mining in heavy levels)Or just the alternative easy way: introduce much thicker ores to nullsec and low sec. So that mining yields would be 10x in null and 7x in low sec.Ratting is pretty useless in high sec already, but I think low sec and null could use little help. Low sec rats to current high money null rats and current null rats to double that.Incursions:50% cut in high sec income, low sec to null level or even higher (because null incursion is usually even easier to do than low sec if it happens to come in your alliance space).
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Buffing low / null sec has exactly the same effect as nerfing high sec, so your point doesn't really make sense. Also the figure of "60% of subscribers live in high sec" is horribly skewed, because almost every single null sec dweller has at least one neutral alt sat in high sec that never leaves. For example, I live permanently in null sec and I have four. In reality, the majority of active accounts probably live in low and null, but we have no way of telling without CCP doing some intense research.
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Ah and forget to write the most important thing:Change most of the high sec systems to low sec and make high sec mainly as trading route.
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As it turns out, James 315 is the author of this article, not The Mittani.
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You're basically reiterating one of the very arguments he discussed in this article. Mind explaining that?
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I assume you intended to persuade a broad group of Eve players to a particular way of viewing the game. If that's that case, you failed by the third paragraph."Non-consensual PvP" is just an abysmally stupid rhetorical device. If you want to convince people that your vision of Eve has merit for all concerned, you need to have the sense not to lead with a rape metaphor. For anyone that doesn't already agree with you, the words "non-consensual" cast a shadow over everything else you write. You could just as easily use a euphemism like "unrestricted PvP" ... something that would actually give the impression you're arguing for greater freedom in the game. That alone would bring a few more allies to your cause.Instead, you've gone the "creepy" route. You ought to think about what message(s) people are getting that you're not intending.
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"Non-consensual PvP" is the term generally used in EVE and seeing as this website targets an audience that plays EVE, well!
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The terrible legacy of Trammel rears it's ugly head again?
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Nerfing highsec is not the answer. Making industry+mining worthwhile to do in nullsec is the answer. At the moment, there's just not enough *room* in an entire nullsec constellation compared to a single highsec system because of the one-outpost-per-system limit. The mineral balances and ore sizes are not conductive to intensive industry either. People just cherry-pick the highends and complain when everyone else insists they clear out the entire grav site so it respawns.
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Non-consensual is the proper term, simply because it conveys the idea without any bias or rhetoric. It's about as bland and clinical as you can get. The fact that when you hear the words non-consensual you immediately associate it with sexual violence says far more about you than it does the author of this article.
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Some people are guilty of cherry picking, My corp prides itself of doing full flips of the large and x-large sites but we still have problems getting sufficient trit and pyrite to build ships. And i agree on capacity of industry in null vs highsec for sure. People wonder why most industry happens in highsec? Maybe because over 75% of the industrial space is in highsec? And I don't have to be worried about someone flipping the station and losing my BPO's.
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So newbies can be ganked even faster than they are now? Brilliant.
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i entirely agree with this post, as a miner, ship builder, pirate, i have done pretty much everything the game has to offer...accept build t2 shit....way to complex for me. but i think that highsec ice should be taken out totally, i think that all highsec ore belts should be heavily nerfed...i mean if u can spend a full hulk laser cycle on a veldspar roid and not kill it its too big. the mining noob frigs and haulers really dont have that good of a yeild...and highsec belts should support them....nothing bigger, those barge pilots need to get a corp, a life and some fucking balls and go to nulsec or lowsec.i feel that highsec should be a safe haven for noobs getting off the ground in eve...but also a sharp slap in the face to welcome them to the most stunning, harsh gaming environment in gaming today.
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While I completely agree that low-sec and null-sec need buffs, you completely contradict yourself by praising the sandbox intent of EVE's game design with one hand and then calling for NPC seeded items to control market prices with the other hand. EVE is not one sandbox, it's several, and completely nerfing one sandbox (i.e. the market) into the ground to suit your sandbox doesn't appeal to the majority of players.
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While I will agree with Andski and Zaand about the use of the term "non-consensual" being more semantics than anything else. The idea that you are going to suddenly change someone's way of thinking to accept it is downright hilarious. After all we are here to play the game and have fun, and that means playing it our way, on our own terms. For some people its having a TCU up with their alliance ticker on it. For some it's watching their wallets get bigger providing the means for the gun bunnies to get replacement ships.There are people like the author who deem miners as "soft targets" Translation: can't be asked to pick a real fight. They are opportunists, bottom feeders. In reality they are the base of pvp chain, the miner is just a victim of failing to watch local or dscan.
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Please elaborate on how a nerf to 0.0, where the goons live, is beneficial to them? It is possible for a CSM member to make a suggestion that is not necessarily good for his faction, but is good for the game as a whole. And at the end of the day it is up to CCP whether or not to implement said changes. So if you have a complaint, aim it at the devs.
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Hope you plan the redistribute some of that veld and scordite to the rest of the cluster because it is lacking in nullsec. It also doesn't solve the capacity problem. Highsec has most of the production slots for industry.
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It's a common narrative to call for a nerf to this or that to satisfy the needs of another group. It's happened a thousand times before.
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Right. While it's clear James spent hours thinking about and writing down his problem, he didn't take any time to consider the impact of his solution. NPC-seeded items create a floor on prices. What happens when mineral prices go up and the NPC price of a module is less than its combined production costs to a player? If high-sec receives the nerf James calls for combined with the NPC seeding he wants (unrealistic, but I'm working under the assumption), mineral prices will spike and the NPC orders will be cheaper than the items can be produced. Because there's no market for player-manufactured modules, there's no market for minerals; because there's no market for minerals, there's no benefit to anybody mining anywhere, whether it be in high, low, or null-sec. Miners leave the game entirely. CCP loses massive subs. EVE becomes World of Tanks in Space.
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not to sound retarded...i mean i hope i dont come off as an idiot. but perhaps remove some of those slots...i mean nulsec is only allowed one player build station per system...to increase risk of course, but really not offering much in the way of rewards.yet in highsec we have many stations in single systems all bursting with research offices industry slots for the taking.and yes most definitly send all that veld and everything to nulsec. and lowsec. frankly it simply makes sense even game lore that highsec be harshly mined out of most resources.and nulsec mining is indeed safe enough...just stay at your computer and keep ur eye on local.
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so you also play counterstrike without firing at others and just run around spraying tags cause they look so nice?
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Well, besides the risk vs. reward argument, there is the botting argument, more exactly the ice botting argument.You could handle that by changing the ice fields, instead of the huge roids which last like forever, let them last only 1 or 2 cycles (i.e. 5 to 10 minutes) but add more ice roids to compensate.
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When the first of those pieces came out I was waiting for the rest to then write a devastating polemic against it. By now I have come to the conclusion that by doing so I would only embarrass myself by actually taking this seriously. Every other paragraph of this work contains yet another glaring hyperbole which is completely unsupported by anything factual.This and James' so-called Manifestos (you can find them on Eve Search if you look for his name) are basically the EVE Online version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion: A work of paranoid delusion.My suggestion to the author is to go and look for fights with real opponents rather than spending hours upon hours complaining about why you supposedly can't kill inexperienced, lazy or defenseless people in highsec.
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It's still a terrible idea. A player-based economy will correct itself with time. Stopgap measures like NPC seeding are terrible because they're 1) prone to exploitation (never forget guidance systems) and 2) solutions to symptoms rather than problems.Further, what James is proposing is a solution to a symptom of something that isn't even a problem. FW is not an ISK faucet; it does not result in the inflation of item prices because it only puts faction ships, modules and charges on the market - it does not take them off the market. Mining is not an ISK faucet either. Highsec L4 missions I could understand nerfing into the ground, but from an economic standpoint, any PvE activity which generates a trade item (either directly or through an LP store) rather than liquid ISK is handy for driving down prices while rewarding grind.So the sandbox can remain intact and happy without such intervening measures as NPC seeding.
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No it doesn't, or it would be called totally secured space, instead of high security space. High -sec should NOT be the wild wild west of Eve where you get to fuck over whomever you want there, with minimal consequences. For real, getting insurance pay-outs on your ships for commiting crimnal acts in high-sec, was just plain fucking stupid, and you know it as well as I do.
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Good article. You should organize a weekend where all null/low pilots move their alts out of highsec, not all will do it but it might be cool to see what happens.
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I strongly agree with this post. I was drawn into EVE by the big wars in null sec, only to find that CCP was in the process of totally screwing up the risk vs reward balance and null sec wasn't really worthwhile outside of moons that were getting nerfed. The safer high sec becomes, the more victory in warfare becomes a question of "who has more AFK highsec mining alts".Boosting the rewards for nullsec by a large amount is long overdue. Nerfing high sec income is needed but should be selective to target veterans instead of newbies who already have a hard enough time making money. Even better, altering null sec to give a greater role to newbies so more of them can start off there.
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you're right, suicide gank victims are almost always newbiesthe officer-fit faction battleships, the 20b freighters, etcall newbies
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Your strawman is on fire. You should put that out before it gets out of control.
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Highsec carebears might leave the game because of your proposed changes, but it would probably result in a net increase of players, simply because the game would be more fun.
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Perhaps if you read the next few sentences, you would see that he wants to shoot people who shoot back. Why comment on something you haven't read?
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I don't think you "get" EVE.
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Suicide Ganks don't net insurance payouts anymore, it was manipulable for a time, but was actually fixed in semi-record breaking time. High Sec isn't the wild west, there are griefers sure, but in the end your own ignorance nails your coffin shut.Learn to Game Mechanic.Stop whining because you lose a ship.Learn from your mistakes.
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Here's an idea: Null Sec alts.
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It's called high security, not "I want to be able to do everything risk free, and if it's not I'll bitch until it is risk free."
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The author points out that, while it is unfortunate high security space has become as attractive as it is now, a nerf to the wealth available in high security space is at this point not advisable. Rather than sell to the playerbase, "You're doing too well in high security space," it might be easier to suggest, "There's way more riches in low and null security space," and buff it accordingly.There is no need to remove anything ostensibly overpowered from high security space `a la Blizzard Entertainement. Keeping progress positive by only touching and buffing null and low security space is the suggested solution of the author.
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"I can't gank miners in highsec like I use to, fuck ccp." might have been a possible message from the last two James315 articles; however, he is here focusing on the simple solution of buffing null and low security space. Promoting violence is not the direct goal of this article -- the suggestion is simply that more internet spaceship murder may result as a side effect of greater low and null security space populations and that, God forbid, more people might come to realize how fun it can be.The message is more positive than a first read-through might reveal. The 'tl;dr' of the article is that, rather than making complex and controversial changes to high security, it would be far simpler and ostensibly ~awesome~ to open more opportunities for growth and wealth in null and low security spaces.Keepin' it positive.
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All the articles in this series have been a confusing mess,and I’m trying really hard to follow his arguments. As far as I can tell hisgoals are to nerf high-sec mining into the ground by rolling back the exhumer changes,while introducing NPC seeded markets to keep the minerals flowing into thehands of the ship builders. James will then be allowed to merrily gank the few masochist-minerswho are dumb enough to remain in the profession.His solution to suggest NPC seeded markets runs counter ofCCP’s design goals of having a player control marketplace, so mineral seeds arenot going to happen. I also think that a completely safe high-sec (strictly enforcedby game mechanics) runs counter of CCP’s design goals, and will also neverhappen. A player in high-sec should always be able to be ganked by a determinedopponent, as long as the appropriate consequences for the aggressor are inplace.If it’s a goal to encourage more low-sec mining operationthen perhaps one way to start would be to introduce a line of “Mining Boosters”, alongthe same line as “Combat Boosters” (e.g. ‘Improved Blue Pill Booster’), thatcan only be used in low-sec/null-sec.If James is really concerned about the amount of resourcesflowing into the game, then he should start in on the real ISK faucets. Ratterscollecting bounties, missioners collecting rewards, and wormholers doingwhatever it is they do in wormholes. Of course, this means he would have to shootan opponent who has a chance to return fire.
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I do not believe James315 talks about mining as a source of raw ISK and a contributor to inflation; as a matter of fact, I do not see him focusing much on the economy.On a second go-about, I retract my point about seeding ships. You are correct: while a high security space nerf might dramatically disrupt production, leaving high security space alone and only buffing low and null security space disrupts neither miners nor industrialists disinterested in newly opened opportunities. The world would keep spinning as it had before, and increases in primary production would be gradual as folks might capitalize on increased riches in dangerous areas.I appreciate the mature discussion here, Hilmar. It is relieving to talk with someone who abstains from personal attacks or fearmongering :D
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I think his comment about seeding items wasn't really considered of great importance. I didn't get the impression that seeding was part of his solution at all Hilmar."If it really came down to it, you could have the markets seeded by NPCs." That's not his argument. He is making the point that if something bad did happen because all the miners stopped mining, then it could be rectified, or that his further point is that we are already in a situation where the market is being seeded because bots are effectively NPC's.I think you're getting fixated on an insignifcant part of the article Hil.
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Thats not retarded at all Khendon. In fact, nerfing hisec stations is an ongoing discussion I believe.
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Not really. In fact, James is making a pretty good go of annoying hi-sec miners with even fitting guns, so I think you're just ship-toasting to be honest.
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Yeh, see you don't get to admit to not reading the whole article and then pass it off as a whine.The base of the PvP chain is all non-combat ships. It has to be; or else you lose a key component of warfare: logistics interference.
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That's your prerogative, but equally, the game has never been 'your playstyle'. You're asking for change to be made to suit your playstyle in an established game, with a long-standing player base. That is fabulously selfish.You cannot do what you like in Eve, without challenge, and creative thinking. That's what makes it so good. I, and the other long-standing fans politely ask you to leave for a game more suited to your needs.
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Well its a good thing Highsec isn't risk free, look at all of those dead freighters on eve-kill.
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Non-consensual is not a rape metaphor. It's not even a metaphor. Non-consensual means without consent. Restricted doesn't mean non-consensual. Consent implies the consent of the two taking part. Restricted implies the consent of a governing body. To illustrate... players consent to PvP... CCP restricts PvP.
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As a nullsec main with a highsec alt I have to agree. While I appreciate the extra ore hold space in that I'm not constantly making trips to unload ( I don't sell my ore mind you, I build things to move to nullsec and sell to my alliance mates on the cheap ) the HP buffs are pretty extreme. The Mack getting a Drake style tank left me blinking. I feel guilty using the thing. I remember only a single gank attempt ( failed ) against it and that was before the mega-buff. I appreciate the buffs on a -can tank nullsec rats more easily- angle ( and may live a few seconds longer in nullsec VS real players ) but the best fix is possibly increasing the nullsec only mineral requirements on blueprints. There are some minerals you can really ONLY source reliably from nullsec and increasing that reward would draw people back. I'll admit, I near zero risk mine from work. I do. I mine while I'm playing W.O.T. I, however, do it with the expectation that every time I alt tab back I'll be in a pod or a clonevat, and it never happens. I would not complain if it happened. That's part of the game. The gankers have indeed been scared off.
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I agree that lowsec could definitely be a bit more rewarding to be at, but nullsec? Really?I live in WH space, and we get nullsec exits every once in a while. I can basically solo most things there with little or no effort with my omni-tanked siterunning ship which is not even fit specifically for the local NPCs and I am a neutral/hostile there. I guess most nullsec PVE'ers just breeze through those sites and they have a security buffer of intel coming from several systems away.Not to mention all the ores that can only be found in nullsec or WH space.and are extremely valuable both in ISK and in refined minerals necessary for T2 production.The flaw that lies on the basis of James' whole line of argumentation is, that the mining barge changes did not benefit highsec miners specifically, but miners in general, and if I were a miner in the CFC, HBC, -A- or Solar Fleet I could make _much_ more ISK and be _much_ safer because I have scores of alliance mates that will prevent a ganker from even reaching me, other than CONCORD who would only kill them once my ship were destroyed.
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It is my belief that the buffs to mining barges are less to make high-sec mining safer, but rather to make the miners more comfortable mining in more dangerous places. You may see some tanked barges solo mining in low sec systems now - something that was never seen before. As miners become more complacent/comfortable with not getting ganked, I think we'll see more of high-sec getting turned into low-sec, and this will be part of the next faction war revamp. In this projected revamp, the rationale will be that faction X is losing, so they have to stop protecting lower security systems, so in X-space, 0.5 and up to perhaps 0.7 security systems will be unguarded by faction militias, with Concord being retired to the donut farms of Yulai. Low-sec is a ghetto because the folks who want to shoot other players don't really want to shoot players capable of shooting back. And the potential targets don't see any benefit for showing up disarmed. The risk-reward ratio for industrialists - and with that I include folks making ships/modules/ammo as well as miners - have no rewards for visiting low, and 110% risk. If you want to see low-sec mining, one will need mining ships that can shoot back, and industrial ships that can lock onto a target "sometime this month would be nice." 1 mid slot (the t1 barges) isn't sufficient for fitting any sort of tank, 4 mids (the exhumers) is reasonable for fitting EW and/or tank. I predict that if the goal of CCP is to get more carebears out of high and into low, they'll need to buff barges at least once more (and probably a buff that prevents bumping from interfering with warping), to be able to fit offensive weaponry in order to shoot back. CCP Ytterbium wants to move more production to low and null. It will take major game breaking nerfs & buffs to do so. The sort that makes half the players quit in disgust. Any buff to outpost refining to bring them even within the same ballpark as highsec will outrage the folks who spent tens of billions of isk on setting up refinery upgrades.So, while you see game crippling concessions to carebears, I see an exercise program to harden carebears up. HTFUing them up in a progression that's about as fast as you can move the demographic without frightening them into quitting.
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All 3 parts have been a fantastic read James! I agree with you completely and hope this article reaches out and opens some eyes.
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Article makes a lot of great points. Unfortunately, one of them that hits home is that convincing CCP not to listen to that chorus of carebears when it comes to risk in highsec is extremely difficult.
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When the incursion nerf happened I could no longer fund my account and pvp. It just lead me to play less eve and not to pvp since my time was now taken up by less effective carebear activities. I adapted to making isk in null but the changes just stunted my PVP and time spent making nullsec interesting.
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Newbies don't get suicide ganked... they wander into lowsec on about day 3 of their game, with no idea how the rules of engagement are changed and get blown up in their shitfit catalyst.Urziel's point is that turning highsec systems into lowsec would just increase the number of newbie-deaths at lowsec gates.
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Freighter extermination probably does more economy wise, too. A hell of a lot of minerals goes into a single freighter, let alone it's cargo.Minilov is doubleplus good for the economy.
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JAMES 315 FOR CSM. STICK IT TO CCP!
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I agree totally. This article has taken me from being on the fence to ready to revolt against highsec. The fact that lowsec ores are less valuable per m3 is a glaring issue that CCP has left unremedied.
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Where did I say Hi-sec is or should be "risk free"? Hint: I didn't. So get your ass back in the cage monkey, before I taze your stupid ass.
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Damn Bittervets spreading disinformation! All thats happened is buffs to exhumers/barges, and only leading to a few thousand perfectly gankable AFK retrievers. But that would require a change to your precious, 1337 solo PVP ganking. You'd have to gank in groups! (2 catalysts face-rape retrievers, which are now more expensive by way of compensation for more ships for ganking). Your mindset is the problem. If I cant solo gank them its OP nerf pls im a bittervet who needs tears everywhere with faux concern for the game. Meanwhile, I''ll just sit here rolling in moongoo pretending it isnt broken.Personally, i'm after consistency or at least randomness in null that will force people to MOVE. I'm in favour of the moon resources moving and changing, as per someone else's suggestion I read somewhere. Not randomly, but in a cycle, so that sov wars have a definite direction that throws a significant risk into null resource gathering - at the moment, null has far, FAR too few risks if you happen to have a regional intel channel and a pulse. By forcing people away from structures, and into a mobile warfare platform in null rather than a exercise in coloring the maps, you dislodge the blobbing power structures and help break player difference that acts as the largest barrier to nullsec entrance.
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This is a great point that I gladly support. Making ISK is a component of EVE, it should not be the be all and end all of EVE. I had not considered the wider implication of the barge/exhumer buff [though not all of the changes are, IMHO, a bad thing], but the most terrible thing foisted upon EVE is to remove the risk from it. It changes the character of the game and it will drive away the people who care about it the most. Then the carebears too will leave and CCP will be left with empty space and wonder what the hell happened.It is essential that CCP gives EVE what it needs, and make the players understand they have to adapt or die. If CCP gives players what they want, it will be the players who kill EVE.As I said a few years back: it won't be the players who kill EVE, it will be CCP that kills EVE.
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Then why would you be stupid enough to use it as a point, if you know it is irrelevant?
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Where's the risk, except through war decs? With a war dec, only by being an idiot or fighting back would you die. Without a war dec, hi sec miners don't play eve, they just sit there collecting isk. Allowing easier suicide ganks makes them have to pay attention at least a little.
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If you ask me, getting killed like that early on is one of the best ways to get into eve. At first newbies will complain, but at least they'll learn how this game works, rather than just staying a carebear forever.
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Can we get a book review post for this article?
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Where is the risk in using a 1 mil ship to kill a 200 mil ship? Today you have to use 2-3 tornadoes to do the same work, the buff ends at that point really.Also make mining more interactive, its boring as fucking a rock as it is now.
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James, I'm a supporter of most of what you say (in spite of being a relatively new PVE-focused player), but the key point (the solution at the end) gets lost in the wall of text that you have to plough through to get there.That said, I would love the risk / reward balance to give me enough incentive to go chase missions in lowsec / nullsec. Keep on preaching brotha! (with less words, maybe)
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Game warns about jumping to low sec.That was the thing which stopped me from jumping in low sec first time and I think I would have stopped from jumping even if I had found it faster than second day in EVE.
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The risk-reward argument is the sort of a stupid argument, when one has nothing else to say.1) There are many players in high sec just dedicated to industrial activities. In this moment when they are facing endless wars, they are canceling the accounts. This will never happen, because the CEO of CCP has to deliver profit.2) "Cheap" ships are the basis for a low effort to earn new ships for PVP. Making ships expensive payed by plexes will again cause canceled accounts, because it's then nothing more than a WoT.The PVP world in EVE is awesome as long as pilots uses the brain like R&K or the goons. Goons have organized a coalition never seen before. R&K delivers PVP on a very high and entertaining level. All those whiners demaning more risk are low performers not realizing the options individual pilots have in game. Instead they want nothing more than easy targets. The risk-reward argument is not just hollow but very stupid too. Many alliances demanding today a workload like a fulltime job and noone gets the garantee of a success. The risk-reward argument ist nothing more than a excuse for a homemade incompetence.
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Just to piss you off, U mad bro?
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Your tears are already overflowing my freighters, but keep em coming anyways!Edit: And just to further insult your "intelligence", I'll just leave you with this: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_de... or even this one: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_de...Yep, no risk in Hi-sec, you may now piss off back to whatever shithole you crawled out of.Told you get back in your cage or I would taze your stupid ass.
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So you're perfectly fine with one part of the game becoming entirely uncompetitive, an "everybody wins" game?
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So only those who can shoot back should be taking any risk in hisec?
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yep, with the most recent one being a GOON kill. http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_de...
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oh god... I hadn't even considered the BPO issue. The BPO risk is GIGANTIC for an indy player. The barrier to entry is incredibly high and the potential around loss is very large as well. Granted, you have a long lead time to see station flipping coming. But I'd hate to be in a situation where I go from comfortable to pauper because I went on vacation with my family for two weeks and came back to my BPOs gone.EVE is notorious for punishing player mistakes but there are some things that are so catastrophic that they shouldn't eve be considered.
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or they rage quit because they just lost 3 days of grinding... Can you imagine if Everquest had allowed lvl 10 characters to revert to level 1 due to a single mistake? That's effectively what's being proposed. SOME people may gravitate to a game that harsh but I suspect many, many, many players would be instantly turned off by it.
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THIS I agree with. The low-sec wasteland of mining. It's ALWAYS been insanely stupid. The differential between Veldspar/Scordite and Hemorophite/Hedbrogite has always been small. Null-sec had ABCs and Megacyte and Zydrine drove that market (and Noxcium technically) to be profitable (and we can agree to disagree about the risk reward equation when comparing null-hi). But low-sec has always had just stupidly low rewards. Let's look at what low-sec has:Slightly better PI (this isn't THAT big and it doesn't actually encourage people to do anything in low-sec other than train for a blockade runner and take a trip to low-sec once a week right after downtime).Slightly better exploration sights (I have hit the $50MM lottery doing exploration in low-sec... I've also spent whole evenings scanning down sites only to end up with a hull full of crappy, NPC seeded skill books and whatever those useless things are that you get by the 100s)Slightly better ratting (do people rat in low-sec? I guess they must but the yield is still far worse than hi-sec missions so why bother).Slightly better mission rewards (and I do mean SLIGHTLY)More types of roids (all of which yield less than hi-sec ores at present and none of which are unique qualities)One suggestion would be to take all the Nocxium producing roids OUT of null-sec (you can remove the tiny amount of Nocx you get from Pyrox as well, I suppose). If low-sec was the sole source of Noxcium, that would have interesting ramifications.You could also reduce the spread on exploration sites that spawn in low-sec. I'd also be in favor of wiping out skill book seedings in EVE. Let them come entirely from exploration (and seed them slightly more heavily in those sites). An exception should probably be made for the "base" skills (Mechanics, Gunnery, Engineering, Trade, etc).Finally, upping the rat compensation (along with the mission rewards) wouldn't be a bad thing either.
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Dear CCP,As a person who has not yet begun to play EVE, I would like you to fix this injustice before I subscribe. I started my research into playing EVE for the simple fact that players used to control the world. I wanted to play a game where I put myself as risk to come back with a bountiful harvest, a game where it made sense to do risky things.Learning about EVE has taught me much about the game before I could even play, I even did a trial of the game for a bit. Someone had once suggested that I fly around nullsec in a cheap ship and try to survive. The point was to know what it was like to be blown up in space. As I was trying to flee for my life I felt it was a great rush. Actually having consequence for flying in nullsec, having a risk of losing something, made it a greater experience for me.Then I go and read more into your game and find something like this? Easy reward for easy work? I have played WoW before (I used to like it, but ask me these days and I will tell you I hate it. It was my first MMO) and one of the reason I dislike it was the grinding. Grind your way for reputation. Grind your way for gold. With what I read today, I see EVE becoming that repetitive grind.What you aren't seeing, CCP, is all the potential players of EVE, and those who potentially will leave. If you hold the hands of the carebears all their EVE life, they will get bored and move on. It's the exact same thing that happened with me and WoW. But if you fix this situation, you will see more players like me. More players that want to go out and play the risk game. More players that don't see EVE as a second job for them. Those players are the loyal ones, the ones that stay for years. While under the delusion WoW is a good game, I spent 5 years playing it. Tell me CCP, does 5 or more years of subscriptions from a player not sound good to you? Because I doubt any autonomous carebear will be willing to play that long,Wake up CCP. Start thinking with your heads, and not your wallets. Helping the highsec wimps will only save you in the short term. What you need to focus on to save yourselves are the core concepts of the game, and even though I have not been here that long, even I realize that core lies in the heart of low/nullsec.If anyone who has read this wishes to deliver it to CCP, let me know. My reddit username is novadies.
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As I said, it's a game I play my way, on my terms. If I don't want to compete in your way I will find ways around you or if I can't I'll leave. I'm here to have fun not be a target for some random nimrod who can't be asked to shoot things that can shoot back.
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The focus of my post was hi sec miners, as was this whole thread, in case you missed it
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If they rage quit instead of searching for an explanation, or trying to find a corp or help, then they probably don't belong in a game like Eve. Especially if they ignored the warning that pops up first.
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Hmmm...by your logic it seems like Tech moon mining ops in nullsec ought to be massively nerfed since they are even less susceptible to being ganked, have outlandish payouts, and occur primarily without any continual user interaction (no need for bots or hunting for new belts). I'm no fan of mining but I am even less enthralled with hypocrisy.
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lol, you still here quibling symantics? I showed you that there is risk in hi-sec, and you're still mealy mouthing like there isn't any. Fact of the matter is, you're just not worth any more of my time.
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Then why did so many of them whine (including the OP) about the Insurance nerf? And you obviously don't visit Jita very much, do you? EVERY DAY somebody gets ganked in Empire (and not just in Jita either, oh and uh, it's .9 hi-sec, just fyi)....Again, where did I say losing ships is breaking hi-sec? Hint: I didn't, and now your just making shit up, and just too stupid to know when you've lost the arguement. Look, CCP obviously doesn't agree with you, or the OP, or you wouldn't be here now whining like a lil bitch, that "HI-SEC IS KILLLING EVE". And newsflash, even drag bubbles can be gotten around, IF you pay attention to intel (among other things) and know what you're doing. (and yes, I DO KNOW, I avoid them all the time where I'm living at now, HINT: Tribute).
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This is like reading a Tea Party blog wailing that government and elected representatives work in the favor of brown people.
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IDK, I agree and disagree with the thought process. I believe their intent wasn't to buff HS mining, but buffing ships in order to lure more people in LS. Would I have gone into LS to mine in any of those ships before....not a chance....I'd most likely mine in a Rokh. But now, you'll see more mining barges since they are buffed. I don't think anything needs to be done to HS, I think it's fine the way it is. The problem, honestly, I think has more to do with, as you said, risk/reward.While I agree that NS is not safer than HS on the whole, if you take out wartime and use your intel channels, it really is safer. the difference is, I can only make marginally better money in NS than I can in HS....and then I've got to move it to HS to sell it, or take a price cut selling it to someone else so they can burden the move. To me, it's more a question, why is the bounty no better on a pirate in NS than it is in HS. You can reason it all you like, but the bottom line is if you want people down there, it has to be somewhat more profitable. Is there a chance at a deadspace drop....minimal, but sure....i've yet to see one really worth it. You can argue moon goo, but that is not for a personal player to make money. That is for the corporation/alliance/coalition to farm, we just protect it with a free dps ship that is replaced. It doesn't allow us to make our own money. So we are left with ratting and mining. Mining in NS is usually pretty safe as long as you have intel, and it's reflected in the mineral prices...in fact, across the board, mineral prices for NS has fallen, LS has been pretty stable...and oddly enough, HS has risen. 6 months ago you could buy trit for 4 isk, pyerite for 6...not it's 6 and 12ish respectively. And the rats, as I've stated, aren't much profitable than they are in HS missions. No, I don't think HS needs to be nerfed...50 mil isk/hr isn't too high, imo. but why should I only be makeing 70 mil isk/hr in NS *granted, this is based on the randomness of the and soloing, because the bigger sites, while requiring more people, your isk/hr tends to go down in groups.while I'm not sure i entirely agree with this, the only way to bring back small gang/solo PVP would be to kill boosters. I shy away from those in HS and LS because most likely, they have a booster sitting somewhere offgrid....and even if they were on-grid, the bottom line is I have to kill his booster, and then him to come out on top...so changing to on-grid boosting only would NOT solve that problem. And if I bring my alt with me too boost, now I'm risking TWICE the isk in LS, so that isn't happening.
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Why Nerf HS Mission? Why not boost LS and NS isk opportunities? Nerfing HS mission running and mining still isn't going to push those carebears into LS and NS....they will still be carebears, just with less money, and if nerfed enough, unsubscribed.Like it or not, Eve NEEDS carebears! You start nerfing their income, they say screw it and unsubscribe. The Eve Elitest says, "good riddance", right? Wrong...then, when less people are playing in HS, the price of HS minerals would skyrocket, then a new wave of veterans turned HS carebears appears, because once again, HS mining would be more profitable with less risk. So you nerf mining in HS again, those guys quit....prices skyrocket again....do you see where I'm going with this?However, if you increase the rewards exponentially in LS and NS, yes, there will be a fluctuation in HS vs LS vs NS, but people stay. driving people out of the game only HURTS the game instead of bettering it, as many Eve players seem to think. If i can make 50 mil/hr in HS, why shouldn't I be able to make 100 in LS....150-200 in NS where I've sometimes got to spend weeks engaged in war and my isk flow is put on hold.
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I don't grind isk in empire or nullsec. Up until recently I was building crap to go onto your CFC combat ships. However the costs were not leaving much room past break even for pos fuel so I stopped, and have shifted focus to helping my corp build hulls in nullsec while importing mods/ammo.As to the "problem" you allude to. It's a well known fact that risk vs. reward has been fucked in nullsec for years. Especially for miners, legions of cloaky fags descend on our systems since they can see industry indicies even though it's not their sov. Leaving us fuck all to do since there's no way to get rid of them. That's a problem. Where's the OP with a solution to that.
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Because I prefer the pleasure of taking people out of their comfort zone when they try to do it to others.If shooting fish in a barrel is so entertaining why don't you try Duck Hunt? The Freighter bit only demonstrates more shitty design by CCP, forcing a person into a position of powerlessness is generally regarded as a pretty dick move.
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You're fixated on the idea that the risk/reward issue is specifically "nullsec isn't as rewarding as it should be" rather than "hisec is far too rewarding in comparison to riskier space."It's fairly obvious that the latter is the elephant in the room.
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Why would I visit Jita, when VFK has a better market anyway?
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Nullsec is very profitable, and I live in NPC space.
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Some of this I agree with and some not really.Accept for some noobs I'm not sure there are really that many pure bears in eve??If you play eve ultimately its about pvp. At least it should be.But we all do pve. Very few of us actually live of pure pvp income. And we all love isk regardless of how much we pvp or pve. Mostly we love isk because isk represent an ability to pvp. I however believe that eve's risk/reward ratios are out of sync. Been for a while now. But I like to say that risk:reward is not the right way of looking at this. The third element is effort.So the ratio between risk+effort vs reward should be balanced. And yet I still believe its out of balance, perhaps even more so.For the individual living in null-sec is a loss: Its easier and safer to make close to the same amount of isk in high-sec. However nullsec offers moons and sov and other things which offers benefits to the group which high-sec does not.I recently played SWTOR. (bioware's newish MMO) Its a story driven MMO which is a bit different from eve :)but it also offers pvp. You click a button and a few seconds later are teleported to a an arena to PVP.If you die.. you respawn in a few seconds and loose nothing.Your gear doesn't matter if you play under level 50 cause everybody is bumped up to lvl 49 status.Do you guys have any idea how meaningless and boring this is? Why?Because risk = 0. Investment ~ 0. Therefore reward is irrelevant as well.Now sure I'm not trying to knock SWTOR, it caters for a different market. But there are many of these MMO's in existence. Eve offers something unique. In eve when there is even possibility of pvp your heart starts racing. You get excited because both you might do something that matter and loose something that matters.Without the possibility for loss, winning is meaningless. Yes this doesn't seem to be what everyone wants. Some people like the meaningless pvp of SWTOR and other MMO's finding pleasure out of there jedi knight swinging a shiny lightsaber which they don't have to risk losing.But it would be a really sad day when EVE loses its uniqueness of offering something that is worth playing.And lets be honest being safe in high-sec eve is NOT hard.Even going back several years to the good old days eve online high-sec was very very safe.If you paid attention and wasn't a complete idiot your chances of getting ganked/scammed/killed ect was/is very very low.
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You could keep the BPOs in a well hidden secure can in a safespot and only pull the ones you need at any one moment out - you can't probe down secure cans currently. That would let you sneak in and retrieve the library if things go completly south. You'd have to be slightly mad to do that though.
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The answer is simple actually.Tier one materials to build tier1 ships and modules come from high sec and high sec connected worm holes.Tier two materials to build tier 2 ships and modules come from low sec and low sec connected worm holes.Tier three materials to build tier 3 ships and modules come from null sec and null sec connected worm holes.Put effort into the distribution method across regions so there are no monopolies.And you let the player base sort out the details.Wasn't hard and doesn't take rocket science to figure out.
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Most marketing for EVE is pretty damn explicit about a dark and dangerous universe. The Butterfly Effect video even has "pirates" attacking a miner. Exactly how that darkness and dangerousness comes about isn't necessarily explicitly mentioned, but it's not like it's hidden from prospective players.
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You go from saying miners are carebears afraid of any risk, clinging to highsec for dear life, to saying they alledge null sec is safer... who taught you flow, Jerry Lewis?There's just so much else I see wrong with this article that it's too daunting to even begin to respond
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meh, that's debateable, some stuff you can get a "better deal" in Jita (and have your JF jews deliver it, ours deliver to the "hubs" at no cost), than you would at VFK (even without adding in the JF/jew mark up), BUT VFK does offer some "convenience" I spose.
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if the majority of players are "carebears" what happens when those players are elliminated?
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you don't have to be a "carebear", that is the point that I feel is being missed here. We do the shitty grind so you don't have to...
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This article was completely biased and not based in the reality based community (as much as you can in EVE). There are numerous fallacies in the authors arguments however, the biggest fallacy of the author is that he appears to have forgotten that EVE is a game, and unlike other games there are hefty consequences (usually related to isk loss which can be directly correlated to in-game time, out of game money or both) that come with ship and implant loss. Since this is just a computer game that some of us pay $15.00 USD per month, why would I want to lose my assets to a player who has played longer than me, has higher skillpoints, and kills my ship just for 'lulz'.Also it's quite sad that the argument for 'mining ships shouldn't be buffed' is because of the need for 'soft targets' for pvp. That is absolutely ridiculous. The circular logic used by the author to compare EVE pvp to some sort of food chain was comical at best.Flying around shooting defenseless ships is weak and cowardly. Why shoot a ship that can't fight back? What is there to gain (nothing)? If the ship is a bot, then I can understand. However, if it's in 0.6 space in an ice field, doing YOU (the author and those who think like him) no harm, then why waste the ammo and the time?On top of all of that. The opinion/belief that people will flock to low and null if the rewards are high enough is not based in fact. There are plenty of rewards in low/null, and dare I say w-space. Hidden complexes in low and null with faction and deadspace mods that sell for 1bil is quite lucrative. However, simple math has shown that MINING in low and null is generally not worth it.At the end of the day. EVE is just a game. It's a fun game, but if people like the author had his way then CCP might as well just close up shop, because nobody would pay RL money just so they can be a 'soft-target' for an Internet Spaceship Tough Guy.
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This is the final installment of a three-part series exploring the future of EVE. In part one, I scrutinized the official rationale for the exhumer "rebalance" and determined the changes were solely intended to appease highsec miners distraught by suicide ganks. In part two, I offered a guided tour of the history of nerfs to highsec aggression and laid out my theory: CCP intends to boost subscriptions (that is, revenues) by making highsec safer, resembling the theme park MMOs that dominate the market.

Today, I would like to share my view of how a risk-free highsec would affect EVE, should CCP decide to take the game further down the path toward carebear paradise.

 

INTRODUCTION

If you've read the previous two installments in this series, it probably won't surprise you to learn that I am very much opposed to the concept of a perfectly safe highsec. I could write you an essay on the virtues of EVE's unique "non-consensual PvP with consequences" model, or the value of rewarding ingenuity in a sandbox environment, or the adrenaline rush of a galaxy where no space is safe. But I'm not going to do that, at least not today.

Instead, I will describe what I believe are the likely consequences of an EVE where CCP consistently attempts to satisfy the demands of a teeming population of highsec carebears. Since the transformation is already underway, this won't be a purely speculative endeavor: I will point to the effects where they are readily observable, and I will follow them to their logical conclusions.

There are essentially three components to today's post, the first two of which address the two most common responses I get from people who agree highsec is being made safer by the day. First is the response that a risk-free highsec would benefit EVE by creating an industrial "safe zone" that supplies everyone with cheap ships and equipment. Second is the "so what?" response: The idea that a risk-free highsec would have little or no impact on the rest of EVE, and that people who live in nullsec, for example, shouldn't care.

The third component addresses how the desire to please carebears could lead to the death of EVE and end up shrinking, rather than enlarging, CCP's subscription revenues.

 

JUST KEEPING THE PRICES DOWN

There are quite a few EVE players who welcome the idea of a completely--or almost completely--safe highsec. Obviously, this group includes the carebears: Highsec industrialists who daily demand a safer highsec, or worse, those who came to EVE with the assumption highsec is supposed to be risk-free--the kind who suffer a meltdown when faced with the slightest inconvenience to their AFK mining.

But the carebears are not alone. In fact, there are battle-hardened nullsec dwellers who welcome the prospect of a risk-free highsec. Why? Because they believe it would benefit them by providing a steady supply of cheap ships and equipment. This view became more popular as the price of goods increased and lead to a greater fear of inflation. Prices went up for various reasons: Anti-miner activity in highsec, bot banning, the removal of "gun-mining" from the drone regions, etc.

For those who feared that inflation would cramp their style, the exhumer rebalance appeared to be a godsend. More safety in highsec--along with a greater ability to mine AFK--means more miners, which means more minerals being sold, which means lower prices.

In answering this argument, I will begin by admitting certain prejudices straightaway. Keeping prices down is not my highest priority. I'm not very concerned whether someone needs to AFK mine in safety with his Orca/Mackinaw gang for three hours instead of two hours in order to purchase a ship. Nor do I think it's axiomatic that a Raven must cost the same 100 million isk today as it did several years ago despite the current availability of so much more easy isk.

But even if you think it's absolutely necessary to keep prices at a certain level, I think we can all agree that something cannot be justified solely on the basis that it helps keep prices down. After all, that's exactly the same excuse given for botting: "We're just keeping the prices down." There are many different ways to keep prices down. The question isn't whether a risk-free highsec would lower prices; the question is whether it's the best way, and whether the benefits are worth the downsides. In my view, a safe highsec flunks both of these tests. The cure would be far worse than the disease.

Before I go into a detailed explanation of why a safe highsec would be harmful, I would like to say a few other things on this point.

First, let's not forget why PvP is different in EVE. In EVE, losses have consequences. It's possible to inflict lasting harm on another player or alliance. Low prices allow you to jump into another ship more quickly, but they also allow your opponent to do the same. Your losses mean less, but so do your kills. Cut the prices in half and you'll just have to kill twice as many enemies (or grind twice as many structures) to accomplish the same goal. You can fly tengus more often, but also you'll have to destroy more fleets to make that -A- fleet commander cry.

If your goal is to fly around and shoot at stuff, join Red vs. Blue. They fly inexpensive ships and blow them up. In essence, they have the kind of consensual, consequence-free PvP that you can get in other games. If you think EVE would be improved by making everything cheaper, you don't understand what makes EVE combat special.

Having thousands of EVE players mine AFK in safety isn't the only way to keep prices down, of course. If it really came down to it, you could have the markets seeded by NPCs. Don't act so surprised at the suggestion. And don't be offended by my earlier comparison to botters who excuse their activity because it "keeps prices down". In fact, the mineral market is already being supplied to a large extent by bots, and since bots essentially are NPCs... In a real sense, the mineral market already is being seeded by NPCs. But more on that later.

If you want to improve mineral production, don't incentivize it by buffing highsec mining. Buff lowsec and nullsec mining instead. Give them rewards that reflect the added risk they take. And by encouraging players to take risks, you give the PvP'ers more targets. But again, more on that later.

Low prices don't justify the potentially game-breaking side effects of a risk-free highsec. But how would removing risk from highsec harm the game? Read on.

THE FEEDBACK LOOP

At the conclusion of part two of this series, I offered a thought experiment for your consideration. We know that in the past, CCP has always nerfed ships, modules, tactics, etc. that were too popular, and they have tended to buff things that were unpopular. This policy was based on the understanding that if something is too popular, it's probably overpowered and in need of a nerf; if there's something nobody uses, it's probably underpowered and needs a buff. That's reasonable enough.

The question I asked was, what if something became so popular that CCP couldn't nerf it, for fear of upsetting all the people who used it? And what if its popularity meant that CCP actually buffed it instead?

The most likely result is a feedback loop. If it gets buffed instead of nerfed, it will become even more overpowered and therefore even more popular. Now it's even more "un-nerfable" than before, because an even greater number of people would be angry if it got nerfed. Then they demand more buffs, and how can CCP say "no" to so many players?

What is the endpoint of the feedback loop I described? There really isn't one, not until the popular thing becomes so overpowered that everyone uses it.

What I've just described is, I believe, the situation with highsec. At some point, CCP looked through its statistics and determined that most EVE players live in highsec and do PvE all day. Since risk-free PvE is essentially what you have with any other MMO, CCP could easily draw the conclusion that most of EVE's players are similar to the players of any other MMO: They don't want the possibility of non-consensual PvP, and they certainly don't want to risk taking heavy losses. They want to steadily make "progress" by accumulating spacebucks.

In other words, CCP probably believes that the overwhelming majority of EVE subscribers are carebears.

Another way to evaluate the statistics would have been to say, "Highsec is very popular. It's probably overpowered, so let's nerf it. We need to get the risk/reward ratio back into balance and encourage people to go to lowsec and nullsec."

Why didn't CCP do that? Because once you've concluded that your game is filled with carebears, you've given up on them. Carebears don't fight. They steadily grind money, whether in EVE or any other MMO. You can't get them to take any serious risks, so nerfing highsec will only make them quit EVE rather than travel to lowsec or nullsec.

But what if CCP was wrong?

RISK VERSUS REWARD

EVE players disagree on many things, but one thing they'll probably agree on is that the risk/reward calculation is at the heart of EVE's game mechanics. Ideally, you incentivize high-risk activities with big rewards. Low-risk activities offer low-value rewards. If the balance is out of whack, everyone will flock to the low-risk, high-reward activities and abandon the high-risk, low-reward activities.

On a superficial level, EVE follows this principle. Take mining, for example. High value ores are found in lowsec and nullsec, where risk is higher. But the question isn't whether the ore is more valuable, the question is whether the risk/reward balance is properly set. If it's much more dangerous to mine in lowsec than highsec, the ore needs to be much more valuable. If it's only slightly more valuable, then the risk/reward calculation favors highsec. The same goes for any other isk-making PvE in the game.

I'm probably not being too controversial when I say that the rewards of lowsec and nullsec mining are not sufficiently more valuable than highsec mining to offset the risk. The same goes for other forms of PvE.

Why isn't it controversial to say this? Because EVE players, by the tens of thousands, have independently reached the same conclusion. And they went to live in highsec where they could make plenty of isk without the risk. That, I believe, is the reason why highsec is so populous. Not because EVE players are all carebears who won't take risks, but because the risks of leaving highsec are not properly incentivized with higher rewards.

At this point I would like to address the popular carebear refrain that goes, "Nullsec is safer than highsec, because you're surrounded by a sea of blues."

This is a myth. Even with a sea of blues, you're still going to have enemies around who are constantly looking for targets. To the extent that your space is safe, it's because players make it safe by creating gate camps and intel channels. By patrolling their own space, alliance members put their ships at risk, even if it's not the same alliance member who's mining at that given moment. Moreover, carebears cannot see the risk of losing one's space. As -A-'s coalition partners in the southwest recently proved, it's still possible to lose huge swaths of nullsec to an opponent, and at a rapid pace.

There's an even more obvious counterargument to the carebear myth of a safe nullsec, and it comes in the form of the nullsec crowd's own popular line.  Whenever someone points to the statistics showing a large percentage of players in highsec, what does a nullsec player say? "But a lot of those are alts." No one denies it, a lot of lowsec and nullsec players have alts in highsec.

I ask you, if nullsec is safer and offers better rewards, why do players with access to nullsec space put their alts in highsec?

THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB

Most highsec miners feel that they make an important contribution to EVE. "Without us," they say, "You would have no ships!"

It's not true. If properly buffed, mining could be done in lowsec and nullsec, or minerals could be seeded onto the market by NPCs. In fact, considering how much botting is being done already, the mineral market is being seeded by NPCs.

However, let's put that aside for the moment. Highsec miners do provide minerals so that things can be built. But that's only one of the jobs they perform in EVE. The most important thing miners provide is not minerals--it's targets. Miners act as soft targets for PvP'ers. They are the base of the PvP foodchain.

You've probably heard it described before: Industrialists get targeted by solo pirates and protected by small defense gangs, who then come under attack by larger pirate gangs, which, in turn, are chased by larger defense fleets, and so on. Take away the soft targets at the base of the foodchain, and there's nothing for the solo pirates to kill, so solo PvP dries up, small-gang PvP dries up, and all the way up the foodchain. You're left with consensual PvP, and the structure shot/defense ops of the big nullsec alliances.

All of it depends on the industrialists putting themselves at risk. Why should they do that, though? If risk/reward is properly balanced, they'll do it for the greater rewards. If, however, risk/reward is stacked in favor of highsec, there's no need for a miner to put himself at risk. Simply mine all the money you want in highsec. Goodbye, lowsec mining. Goodbye, lowsec PvP. Goodbye, lowsec.

When I first started interacting with highsec miners, I was surprised how often I would get an angry convo from their corpmates in lowsec. These corpmates had negative security status and thought themselves quite menacing. Why did people who fancied themselves macho lowsec residents even care about defending the honor of highsec miners? Because "lowsec" corps do all their industry in highsec. That "macho" lowsec pirate with a -9.9 security status could very well spend most of his time as a highsec ice miner.

Critics of EVE often say lowsec is dead, and that solo PvP (or small-gang PvP) is dead. The critics are right. Lowsec, for all intents and purposes, is dead. Solo PvP and small-gang PvP are, for the most part, dead. And who killed them? The targets, by moving into highsec. Why did they do it? Because risk/reward directs them to do it. Why? Because CCP wants to cater to highsec residents. Why? Money.

If you want to know why "bring lowsec back to life" has been on the agenda year after year, it's because it can't be brought to life without fixing the risk/reward imbalance. And that can't be done without upsetting highsec carebears. So it never gets done.

WHY SHOULD NULLSEC CARE?

Buffing highsec killed lowsec. Should nullsec residents care? Could the same thing that happened to lowsec also happen to nullsec? There are differences between the two; you can claim sovereignty in nullsec, and there will always be people who play for no other reason than to put their color on the sov map. But basically, the answer is yes. Nullsec can be killed in much the same way lowsec was killed.

Killing nullsec is not so different from killing lowsec. It all comes down to the risk/reward calculation. If you buff highsec rewards enough, you can drive the PvE'ers from nullsec into highsec the same way they were driven from lowsec into highsec.

PvE'ers will risk venturing into nullsec--or putting down roots and defending it--only as long as the rewards are sufficiently better than those of highsec to justify all the extra risk (and work). Nullsec started from a better position than lowsec. While both areas carry risk, nullsec goodies are much better than lowsec goodies, in terms of the advantage over highsec. Buff highsec enough, and the gap between highsec rewards and nullsec rewards disappears. Nullsec will always be far riskier than highsec, so that gap needs to be big to keep nullsec viable. That gap is closing all the time.

Consider the common nullsec-dweller's observation, which I mentioned earlier: Highsec has a big population, but a lot of those highsec residents are actually alts from lowsec and nullsec. Why do nullsec players put alts in highsec to make money? Because highsec is that profitable. The dirty little secret is, for many players, in many situations, highsec is already more profitable than nullsec.

And just as we saw in lowsec, every time a PvE'er moves from nullsec to highsec, a soft target is lost. Take away enough of those targets, and the predators of nullsec disappear, and the PvP foodchain rolls right up. This process is well underway. People have been complaining about it for quite some time. But if highsec is buffed further, things can get worse. A lot worse.

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE

What was CCP's biggest mistake with EVE? Some people say it was Incarna, when CCP sought to attract carebear theme parkers from other MMOs by abandoning development on EVE's core gameplay and putting all its resources into "walking in stations". Others say it was Monoclegate and the flirtation with "pay-to-win" that led to the Jita riots.

Yes, those were both big mistakes, big enough to cause CCP's CEO to apologize and reverse course. They were big enough that EVE could have collapsed if CCP hadn't changed direction. And it shouldn't escape notice that both of those mistakes were caused by the same thing motivating the highsec buffs: The desire to boost profits by appealing to the lowest common denominator.

However, I don't classify either of those as the biggest mistake, precisely because they were corrected. CCP changed course. While CCP may have sought to attract theme parkers with walking in stations, they were able to essentially remove it from the game, because nobody wanted it--and it wasn't finished, so theme parkers who did want it weren't EVE players yet. People didn't fill the forums with tears about how CCP "nerfed walking". The "gold ammo" scandal was also corrected by abandoning the idea.

That's why I think the single biggest mistake CCP ever made was the exhumer rebalance. It can't be corrected, because you can't nerf highsec without angering highsec carebears. If we've learned anything over the last few years, it's that CCP will do just about anything to avoid angering highsec carebears. So they can't reverse their decision to hand out the exhumer buffs.

Why was the exhumer rebalance such a bad thing? Again, risk/reward. It decreased the risk of highsec mining, and it also increased the rewards. Both of these changes moved the dial ever closer to the point where PvE'ers simply abandon nullsec the way they abandoned lowsec.

The risk of highsec mining declined due to the EHP buff. People theorized about how killing mackinaws would "only" require using multiple tech II fitted destroyers, and so on. At some point, you have to stop looking at theory and just look at the reality. I've spent a great deal of time in highsec ice fields, both before and after the exhumer rebalance. I can tell you it's a night-and-day difference. Before the rebalance, there were at least a few gank attempts in the popular ice fields every day. You would almost always see Concord show up eventually. After the rebalance, the ganks dried up almost entirely. Not only did the mackinaws stop blowing up, people stopped even making the attempts.

It's true, you can still find mackinaw killmails. You may even find some that involved suicide ganking, as opposed to wardecs. Awhile ago I saw someone running five accounts of destroyers so he could score a mackinaw kill. But for every dead mackinaw, you now have thousands of miners who never even see a gank attempt anymore. In fact, I see more suicide gank attempts against my miner-bumping ship than against miners.

So the risk of mining in highsec has been substantially reduced. Perhaps even more important, the rewards have been substantially increased, because for some reason CCP felt the need to buff AFK mining.

THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

The exhumer rebalance included a massive buff to certain mining ships' ability to carry ore and ice. It is now possible for a mackinaw to sit in one position and mine ice for an entire hour before its ore bay is filled. All of this takes place without any input from the player; it's entirely automated. As the hour comes to a close, the player can drag the ice from the mackinaw's ore bay into a secure container or hauler. With that one mouse-click, the next hour begins. Depending on his skillpoints, that pilot has just made several million isk, and he will continue to do so every time he makes that hourly mouse-click.

In highsec, there is virtually no risk involved in this task. Nor is there any skill, creativity, or thinking of any kind. In fact, it's a lot like earning skillpoints: Imagine if every skill in EVE had one hour of training time and there was no skill queue. Show up after an hour and switch skills - it's pretty much the same thing.

As you might imagine, miners perform this task AFK. The miner's presence at his computer is neither necessary nor even helpful in any way. Today's highsec ice fields are filled with the mining dead, zombies that grunt once an hour but otherwise may as well be inanimate.

If you visit one of these ice fields, you'll notice the swarms of Mackinaws. But you'll also notice huge swarms of Retrievers. The Rackinaw is superior for the task in every way; the Retrievers are flown by people who are new at mining and currently training up toward the mack. This is natural. Highsec mining was buffed into becoming even more overpowered, so now even more people are shifting over.

That's right, the highsec mining population has increased yet again. CCP is probably thrilled, though they'll be less thrilled when they realize how many of those new "players" are bots. With the growth of the miner population, it becomes even more difficult for CCP to nerf highsec mining. They're long overdue for a nerf, given how overpowered their ships are for their purpose. But apparently, there's just too many players mining for mining to be nerfed.

They're too big to fail.

CARGO IS YIELD

Okay, so AFK mining has been buffed. It's now a bit more convenient for the miners, but so what? What many people don't realize is the extent to which being able to mine AFK increases one's ability to make isk, period.

We all recognize why some people use bots; they can mine 23/7. Botters can mine while they work, while they sleep, while they eat, whatever. Being able to mine for an hour without any human input - and without any risk - is the same thing on a smaller scale. With the new, improved Mackinaw, you can go eat dinner while your not-a-bot automatically makes isk for you. If you return in an hour, it's just as good as a bot.

Or suppose you leave the house for two hours. The first hour your Mackinaw happily mined, so it was half as good as a bot. Going to be gone at work for eight hours? Set it to mine and at least you'll get an extra hour of free isk every day you work. Set it to mine before you go to sleep and you'll get an additional hour's worth every day. If you happen to wake up in the middle of the night, you can groggily make your mouse-click, return to sleep, and earn extra millions of isk for your effort.

In the second season of the TV series "Lost", we were introduced to the Desmond character. He lived in an underground bunker and, for reasons which don't need to be fully described here, was required to enter a series of numbers into his computer every 108 minutes. Mackinaw pilots have it better. They need to make their own click every 60 minutes, but that's only to maximize yield; they're not required to do it right on time. Still, I imagine there are many miners out there who arrange things in a Desmond-like fashion so that they can be back in time to make their hourly mouse-click as often as possible.

It's not just easier, it's also a lot more profitable, because it greatly increases the amount of time you can spend "playing" EVE. As an example, consider this scenario: Suppose a PvE activity in nullsec offers three times as much isk/hour as highsec mining. If you can spend close to triple the time highsec mining because it only requires an hourly mouse-click, then highsec makes far more economic sense; you'll make nearly as much isk per day, with zero effort and risk. With that calculation having been made, another nullsec PvE'er disappears from nullsec, and your "roaming op" in nullsec loses another target.

Who needs risk when the game throws free money at you?

THE RISE OF THE MACHINES

In time, those botters flying swarms of retrievers will graduate into swarms of mackinaws. From what I can see, CCP has not taken any action to crack down on these bots. Then again, reducing the number of subscribers was never the point of the exhumer rebalance.

These days, quite a few human miners are feeling the temptation to drop the pretense and join up with the bots. In time, I believe, CCP will permaban the bots, or at least make an attempt to root them out. Everyone agrees botters are a plague that deserve to be permabanned for their grievous sin of automated mining.

Human-controlled miners, on the other hand, are treated like royalty. After all, they only engage in automated mining for an hour at a time. For their heroic act of dragging ice into storage one per hour, they are considered to be active, fruitful members of the EVE community. CCP will spare no expense in making them happy, even if it distorts or destroys other aspects of the game.

The difference in treatment of bots and highsec miners reminds me of an old joke about extreme religious sectarianism. The joke goes that an old man walks across a bridge and sees a young man preparing to jump off the side of the bridge. The old man attempts to reason with him, encouraging him not to commit suicide because he has so much to live for. The conversation turns to religion, and the old man is surprised to discover that the young man, like him, is religious: a Christian, a Protestant, a Baptist. They're even from the same sect, the "Reformed Baptist Church of God". Finally, the old man asks if the young man is "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?" The young man answers "1915". The old man yells, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushes him off the bridge.

The botter is scum and will be removed from the game. But the highsec miner who is almost exactly identical in every way is the ideal EVE player, too important to nerf, and too important not to buff, if he demands it. Assuming CCP doesn't legalize botting, the bots will eventually be wiped out. The miners, having saved their souls with an hourly mouse click, will inherit the EVE galaxy - whatever is left of it.

People criticize the carebears for wanting to play a single-player game. The criticism is on the mark, but it doesn't go far enough. If carebears want to be able to make money while AFK, they're not interested in a single-player game, what they really want is a zero-player game. The rise of botting and AFK mining have made this a reality for many. You can go to highsec systems with lots of characters, but no players. The lights are on, but nobody's home.

WHO SPEAKS FOR HIGHSEC?

The continual buffing of highsec PvE means the highsec population will continue to grow. With its population growth, it will also grow in influence, as CCP becomes increasingly concerned with pleasing this majority share of its subscribers.

So how does CCP know what highsec residents want? Who speaks for them?

As I've written, I believe highsec is filled with both carebears and non-carebears whose alts live in highsec because of the risk/reward imbalance. In my opinion, CCP thinks the highsec population is virtually all carebears.

My opinion is based on the coddling treatment CCP gives to the carebears. They don't, for example, say, "Most players are in highsec. Let's buff wardecs for the genuine highsec residents, and buff nullsec PvE to bring those alts back where they belong." Instead, they say, "Look at all those carebears. Let's protect them and reward them so they don't unsubscribe."

In part two of this series, I wrote about the means by which the whiniest, most carebearish miners are the most visible to CCP, while the "good" miners who fit tanks and avoid dying are invisible. The whiners inundate CCP with countless petitions every day.

I didn't realize just how many petitions carebears file until I started interacting with them. They petition me pretty much every day, because their view of the EULA is, when stripped of all disguise, "if you get in my way, you're breaking the rules."

That's not just because I occasionally see fit to bump miners; they said all the same things when I used to suicide gank and wardec them, too. A large percentage of highsec miners genuinely believe "extortion", i.e. taking a ransom, is against the EULA. Let that sink in for a moment. They think space piracy is forbidden in EVE Online.

Now consider the non-carebears in highsec, including all of the "good" miners, all of the lowsec and nullsec alts, and even all the wardeccers and can-flippers. Who speaks for those highsec residents? Most of them wouldn't even think to speak, because they consider themselves merely alts for the mains who live in low/null. As for the rest, part of the reason why they're not considered carebears is they don't spend much time explaining their feelings to CCP. You can't very well file a petition saying, "My alt in highsec makes more isk than my alt in nullsec. Nerf highsec."

In reality, the opinions of highsec dwellers are diverse. They run the entire spectrum, from people who would have me elected to the CSM, all the way down to to the people who would have me "eliminated" in-game, or perhaps resort to out-of-game alternatives. But from CCP's perspective, every character in highsec is represented by the whiny carebears who fill their inboxes each day. Even if you're an alliance member in nullsec who hates the carebears, your PvE alts in highsec are, without your intending it, being counted as Carebear #101532 who desperately wants more buffs to exhumers.

CCP can see the total number of characters in high/low/null, and they can see the complaints from highsec carebears. When it comes time to vote for CSM, they assume nullsec players win elections due to organized bloc voting, not due to EVE players as a whole sharing the elected representatives' opinions. Without some kind of scientific polling system, there's no way to gauge the opinions of the characters in highsec. And I suspect it's not a top priority. Until then, if you have a character in highsec, the petitioners speak for you.

GIVING THE CAREBEARS WHAT THEY WANT

Several months ago, I wrote some posts on the official EVE forums in which I accused the carebears of wanting to be like bots, automating their mining as much as possible to maximize AFK time. I also accused them of wanting to be effectively invulnerable in highsec, so that they could make tons of space money without any risk. Presumably, CCP agreed that those are the things carebears want, because that's what CCP gave them.

The exhumer rebalance, though a horrendous problem in and of itself, is a symptom of the greater problem, which is CCP's desire to please the theme park crowd. Incarna and "pay-to-win" almost brought EVE to its knees. But all CCP was trying to do was make carebears happy. Yet they were punished for it. Could future efforts to please carebears also result in catastrophe for CCP?

Some people say they don't blame CCP for trying to broaden EVE's subscriber base by catering to carebears. CCP is a company, and companies are supposed to make money. They should be trying to making a profit, and they have every right to do it. It's capitalism at work. Greed is good, they say.

Yes, by all means, greed is good. But greed is not necessarily wise, and it's not infallible. Consider this: The computer companies that failed all did so while trying to make money by trying to get more customers. Computer companies don't go out of business because they aren't greedy enough. They go out of business because they make poor decisions that reap unintended consequences.

Based on the changes made to EVE over the past few years, I believe CCP has determined it can make more money by giving theme park MMO players what they want. The process was slowed, and temporarily reversed, when the disasters of Incarna and Monoclegate made them realize they could lose EVE's current playerbase if they made changes too dramatically.

I also believe giving the carebears what they want is ultimately self-defeating. What do they want? A steady flow of points, which in EVE come in the form of isk. CCP is trying to give them that: When you can make money risk-free and thought-free with a mouse click per hour, the game is almost as close to an ATM as it gets. The game throws money at the carebears. Does it make the carebears happy?

After the exhumer rebalance first took place, the carebears blew kisses at CCP and resubscribed. Of course, there were also whiny carebears who thought their Hulks should have been buffed as much as the Mackinaws were. And before long, new whines began to appear on the forums. After enough time, the whines will increase in volume, and they will be just as unhappy and demanding as before.

Pay attention to the carebears over the next several months. They whined for near-invulnerability and AFK ability, and they got those things. What happens if they whine for more isk? Maybe the carebears see the ice prices falling, and they think highsec PvE should have even greater rewards. Can CCP deny them what they ask?

The carebears want space money. What happens if you pour space money on them? In the end, they will not be happy because their "accomplishment", when handed to them, becomes meaningless. If making a successful theme park MMO were as simple as making carebears happy, anyone could do it: just have the GMs throw out trillions of isk to each player. They'll all be ecstatic, and they'll pay subscriptions forever, right? No. They'll be happy at first, and then they'll all quit.

If CCP transforms highsec into theme park, will EVE be a success? I don't think so. EVE has been a successful game so far. It's one of a very few MMOs that has continued to thrive over a long period of time. CCP would be rightly annoyed if they didn't get due credit for that. However, EVE has succeeded precisely because it is different from the theme park MMOs. Remove the differences and you remove the success.

Can EVE compete as a theme park MMO? It may be unfair to call EVE "spreadsheets in space", as some do. But it's true that some of the main interfaces of the game really are just spreadsheets. Many players live in their overviews and the market, which are literally spreadsheets. And in all the years of EVE, no one ever thought to give player ships different symbols on the overview; everything's a bunch of square brackets. And most of the square brackets are about the same size. Can this game compete as a regular theme park MMO with the likes of World of Warcraft or others? With all due respect to the talented people at CCP, I wouldn't bet EVE's future on it.

BRINGING HUMANITY BACK

In the wake of the Burn Jita player event, which was as fine an example of emergent gameplay as we've ever seen, there were a lot of whining carebears. They were indignant about losing their ships while in highsec. One of these carebears made a thread on the EVE forums complaining about the fact that her freighter got blown up. She demanded the game mechanics be changed so that Burn Jita could never happen again. She received a reply from a Goon named Andski, who asked her a question that stuck in my mind. Andski wrote:

"So CCP should step in, stop everyone from having fun, including us, the guys that wardecced us, the guys whoring on GCC killmails, and everyone else who is taking part in this in some way or another - just so that you can do your little freighter run?"

It's a brilliant question, one which a carebear cannot answer without condemning himself. The answer is yes, the freighter pilot wanted to eliminate all kinds of fun for players so that she could do a routine freighter run with zero risk. That's the fate of any game which seeks to fulfill the expressed wishes of the carebears. You eliminate fun, and you replace it with something routine - robotic, even. Something a player would rather AFK than experience.

Allow me to suggest an alternative.

Fixing the problem is simple, because the problem is simple. Once again, it's the risk/reward calculation. If highsec has virtually no risk, it should have virtually no reward. All forms of PvE in highsec should be nerfed into oblivion, not unlike the "starter systems" in which can-flipping is banned. People could still mine, rat, and run missions in highsec, but they wouldn't be able to make any real money there, even if they were botting it 23/7.

Going into lowsec and nullsec carries big risks, so there should be big rewards. Buff lowsec and nullsec PvE into, well, whatever the opposite of oblivion is. Nullsec would have greater rewards, given the greater danger, but in terms of rewards, the gulf shouldn't be too great, since the difference in risk is not that big; there are no bubbles in lowsec, but you can get blown up almost as easily. (As a side note, I would also remove the security status penalty for hostile actions in lowsec; it's just a relic of the nerfs to highsec ganking.)

Carebears who cannot handle non-zero risk wouldn't like the changes, but those people are probably on their way to the next WoW expansion anyway. As for everyone else, they fill highsec at the moment because of the risk/reward imbalance and would head to low/null if it gets fixed. EVE would be filled with people playing "EVE" again, and would attract players who like "EVE" instead of players who only like isk.

People might say this is impractical because lowsec and nullsec are inaccessible. They're wrong. In all the years I have played EVE, I have seen that while a relative handful of gates to low/null are perma-camped, the rest are left open most of the time. It has always been, and still is, quite easy to get in and out of low/null, even without the use of gatecamp-busting fleets or even scouts, especially during off-peak hours. People who say all entryways to low/null are perma-camped are either looking for an excuse not to go there, or are fixated on a taking the most direct routes, instead of looking for alternatives with less traffic.

How big should the buffs to low and null be?

At the moment, PvE is a routine grind. Highsec miners log in, enable their 1-hour or 23-hour automation, and patiently await their isk. If the system is corrected to put risk/reward into balance, everyone who wants to make money would be induced to go to lowsec and nullsec for the rewards. They would either infiltrate and ninja out resources, or they would organize a defensible operation and invade the space for resources. In either case, the conclusion of an operation in low/null would give the players a sense of accomplishment, as if they had grabbed a treasure chest, because the rewards would be significant.

Meanwhile, because low/null would become filled with these soft targets trying to carrying away the PvE loot, low/null would also be full of people trying to steal from or attack them, from solo pirates going after the ninja miners, all the way up to large pirate fleets trying to crash the mining ops, who protect themselves with defense fleets.

PvE operations would either end in riches or disaster. PvE might almost be considered fun under such conditions. Like a video game, even.

THE CHOICE

EVE is host to a lot of player-driven, sandboxy drama. In the end, however, the fate of EVE rests with CCP, not the players. EVE's future belongs to either the human players, or to the automatons who bot and AFK.

CCP can fix risk/reward in EVE and bring the best parts of the game--the human parts--back to life. Or they can pursue the present course, nerfing aggression in highsec with "crimewatch", buffs to freighters, buffs to faction police, buffs to highsec PvE. That path would make EVE less resemble a video game and more resemble an IV bag hooked up to a comatose patient, delivering a steady drip of isk until the patient awakens and leaves EVE for a more attractive theme park.

CCP, the decision is yours.

James 315
MinerBumping.com

James 315 has a distinguished history of combat in nullsec, mostly fighting against the Band of Brothers alliance, which was a bad alliance. Recently he has moved to highsec, where he currently serves as Father of the New Order and Saviour of Highsec