The Great Fuel Crunch

In terms of effects on the market, this year's Fanfest has been the most violent in recent history. The R64 shakeup has led to all R64s being bought out and relisted in Jita. Meanwhile, Technetium is being dumped on all existing buy orders. Previously minor players, like Thulium, are also being hit by a massive wave of speculation.

But the biggest impact thus far has been CCP's announcement regarding ice.  With the exception of ice fields in Amarr/Khanid/Ammatar space, all ice fields are being removed and replaced with scannable anomalies. The total volume of all highsec ice is being limited to supply, at most, 80% of New Eden's current demand. Ice harvesters are also getting a 50% buff, but it looks as though AFK ice mining will be effectively removed from EVE.

The Bad News

The results over the last 24 hours have been dramatic. Before the Devblog was even released, ice was reportedly being removed entirely from highsec, which caused a minor panic and spiked isotope and fuel block prices by about 30% immediately. Since the Devblog, which is actually better news for highsec miners but nonetheless bad news, fuel prices have been kicked up anywhere from 30 to 60% across the board, with all isotopes looking to double in price within a the next few days unless stockpiles are emptied in Jita. If it uses ice products, expect the cost of operation to go up.

This will be compounded by 277 additional R64 moons being introduced across low and null-sec.  You might notice that Caldari Fuel Blocks have more than double the demand of the next most demanded racial block - this is because Caldari space is vastly preferred for moon mining. Assuming every moon receives a Caldari POS, and at least a Medium to run a reaction, the demand for Caldari fuel blocks will be increased by as much as 8 million blocks per month. At the same time, the available supply will be cut by 20%. Don't forget that isotopes aren't just used for fuel blocks - they also support your JFs.

The Good News

Many are hand-wringing anxiously over these changes. Will it crash EVE's economy? Will it cause harm to low and null-sec logistics? Will it make running POSes for anything but R32s and R64s a waste of ISK?

The answer is simple: CCP wants 0.0 space to be capable of, if not entirely encouraged to be, independent of highsec. In terms of cost/benefit analysis, everything checks out. Low-end minerals will finally be available in bulk for nullsec miners. R64s will be scattered throughout the regions, not concentrated in specific regions, and T2 production bottlenecks will be aggressively eliminated. Jump freighter and Carrier logistics will be prohibitively expensive, and only profitable for moving 'bling' items (think T3 and Faction goods). Outposts are getting the manufacturing buffs they've needed. It spells out one loud message: it will be so much cheaper to do it all from home that it won't be worth the time saved to jump it up from Jita. 

Highsec ice miners have nothing to whine about. Their harvesters are getting a 50% duration buff, and with fuel prices going through the roof, they can expect their per hour income to at least double, if not triple or quadruple by the summer expansion. Finding ice won't be as easy as sitting in one system for hours on end, but the efforts will be rewarded. Since highsec ice will be significantly harder to find, we can expect more ice miners in low and nullsec as well, which works great for the PVP folk. This could very well be the change that makes everybody happy.

Except the people paying the POS bills, of course.

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