Paying the rent

The topic of fixing Sov Null Sec seems to have had another flurry of activity lately. I haven’t paid it much attention because it is not an area of the game I am likely to have much involvement in.

In amongst the complex and often heated debates, there was one specific topic that piqued my interest.

I expect most of people reading this blog would be aware of the one man funded crusade against the Goons and their status quo that Gevlon is on. For all the bluster, derision and denials sent his way, I don’t doubt that he is inconveniencing a lot of players.

A part of his campaign has been to focus on the Goon’s renters. I read a related post on Blastrad Tales which suggested renters would still likely be happy with their choice to rent from the Goons. There was another post from Wilhelm Arcturus which also pointed out that rental agreements had seen a lot of corporations move to Null who might not have otherwise been able to.

So against my better judgment, this trio of bloggers got me thinking a bit about Sov Null, or more specifically the singular question – is the availability of renting a good or bad thing?

 

[Insert dramatic pause]

 

Frankly, I had never really considered it before. I know it can be maligned, but is that directed at the idea itself, or at those few coalitions that monopolise the service?

The basic premise of renting seems like it adds something positive to the game. It gives the ability of people to access Sov Null where they might otherwise not have been able to claim or hold it for themselves. It increases the population of those regions. In gives income to those who want to focus more on strategic combat and related assets, and a reason for them to claim and defend space. I guess it actually provides a workable synergy between PVP and Carebear pilot.

It is probably positive enough that it would pay for CCP to make it a little easier with in-game tools to manage bills and taxation.

So what is the problem? I think it comes back to what I said above. The majority of rental systems are controlled by just 3 massive coalitions. If you want to dabble in Sov Null Sec, you either have to be a member of these slumlords, or rent from them. Outside of maybe Providence, the option to claim a system for your self is just highly unlikely.

It is not a situation you would want in your real life.

So if my thinking is right, renting would be accepted in game if there were many more groups you could look to rent from. It’s an interesting thought.

 

Notes:

. I have occasionally researched the cost of renting a system for a few months, to try out various mechanics of the game I haven’t been able to do yet. The reason I haven’t comes back to feeling like I’d have to work too hard to justify the expense.  It is however a viable option for solo or small groups.

. I feel respect should be given to those who managed to create and run these coalitions. I don’t like the idea of just arbitrarily changing the rules to dismantle all their efforts.

. While I can’t envision a new superpower rising up out of Hi-Sec to crush these groups, I do expect over time that they will self-implode or fail. Without some rule changes however they would just be replaced by something similar.

. I specifically used the term Sov Null Sec. I consider NPC Null Sec a different kettle of fish.

6 thoughts on “Paying the rent

  1. Power Projection needs to be fixed first. It’s ridiculous that the largest most powerful ships in the game can move across the entire map faster than anything else.

    Without fixing power projection first any attempts to fix sov will fail.

  2. Without just 3 large coalitions there would not be the security to make renting worth it. You can pay rent knowing that inconvenience (such as Gevlon) is the limit of your losses actual destruction of your in space assets is guaranteed to the strength of your landlord.

  3. @MoxNix – The power projection argument is a chimera at worst or a small piece of a much larger picture at best. Yes, it is a barrier to entry, but is it any more of a barrier than a well entrenched alliance with thousands of members, billions of ISK in income from its rental holdings, and a set of sov mechanics that give enough warning via timers that any of the big three alliances could get supers on the field for a final timer no matter how much you slowed them down?

    And once any fight starts, TiDi puts it in suspended animation so everybody can join in at their leisure. I am on kill mails from B-R5RB, a fight that started while I was on my way to work, but which was still going by the time I got home, had dinner, watched some TV, and then finally got around to logging in. Fast isn’t even required. (And, to nitpick, the fastest travelers are subcaps with a well designed jump bridge network. We are have to wait for the caps to catch up or they have to start moving out while we’re still assembling. Plus we can just go.) The fight will wait for the caps to show up, so the rich alliance with the caps to spare will win even if they can’t move as quickly.

  4. I don’t think the reason renting is stigmatized is because there are only three organizations to rent from. Well, maybe that’s a reason from the outside, but, from the inside, there are cultural reasons that renters are stigmatized. Basically, the reason renting is stigmatized is because it means you are a filthy carebear, and probably one who wasn’t good enough to get into a “proper” nullsec corp. It’s an identity and status thing.

    In general, people consider themselves to be the virtuous sort and consider those who do something else, especially if it doesn’t sound like fun, to be schmucks of some sort. When this interacts with power dynamics, what you see is that people of a privileged class consider what they do that makes them part of the privileged class to be valuable and other things to be beneath them. (Sure, they might do it anyway, but it’s a secret shame or a necessary evil.) Historically, in every society that needed to be militarized, the end result is that people who are not warriors are devalued, no matter how important their job or how successful it is. If it’s important and successful despite being devalued, they’ll probably be resented for it too.

    This attitude that carebears are filthy peasants who ought to be robbed permeates every aspect of EVE Online’s culture, as far as I can tell. By renting, a lot of people see it as wearing a yellow badge that says “Carebear” on it. Actually, for most of the sovnull pilots it says something else, but I like to refrain from ethnic slurs.

    • Actually, the perception of others is something that those very same others take for granted is valid to those they decry.
      Sorry to upset the haters, but the fact is, we don’t care what you think.
      Just like renting a house or apartment in the real world is looked down upon by “Homeowners” who are renting from a bank and paying twice as much so that they can one day “own”their home, renting in null sec is convenient, easy (for an intelligently run corp), and allows casual players to play Eve at a level that most line troops can only dream of.
      Just as the GFC shattered the illusion for so many “homeowners”, reality is just beginning to dawn for some of those who, like me, used to despise the lowly “renters”.
      Personally, I tend to take out of life whatever is available to me, I have no time to hate on someone else for what they’re doing.

  5. Pingback: What Price Convenience? | Blastrad Tales

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