Forcing it to fit

If there is one thing that annoys me about CCP, it is their habit of trying to force people to play EVE in a certain way.  It spits in the face of the sandbox.

As I have already remarked, I don’t see any value so far in Citadels for my style of play. They are frankly indefensible bar for a few groups in game.

CCP has put out some initial suggested NPC station changes to make it easier for Citadel owners to profit from making services available to the public. On initial view it seems very much like a nerf to NPC stations to try and force players to use Citadels:

In particular, an increase from 100K to 5M ISK to install a new jump clone in an NPC station – and an increase from Free to 5M ISK every time you jump to another clone, leaving the old clone in an NPC station. I use jump clones all the time to move between regions and into and out of Null. If I jump my Main and Alt into Null sec for a couple of days, then out to Hi-Sec for a couple of days, then across to my Mission running clones for a couple of days –I’ll end up spending 30M ISK in jump fees.  A sort of disincentive to move around and play the game.

I could use a Citadel – but last time I read you lose your clones if it is destroyed, or if the owner decides to remove the Clone module (deliberately or by mistake).

Further – if you want to use the markets in NPC stations, transaction taxes will increase from 1.5 to 2.5%, and broker fees from 1 to 5-6%. That is a huge impact if you turn over any sort of volume on the market.

I could use a Citadel – but again you are at the whim of the Citadel owner.

But then I read this:

So CCP have come up with some arbitrary cost to run a Citadel with certain services.  To try and make those made up numbers work for Citadel owners, they are going to nerf all NPC stations.  Errr – CCP, your numbers are made up, fricken change them so they work, without nerfing the game of every player who doesn’t intend to use your Citadels, because, well, sandbox.

8 thoughts on “Forcing it to fit

  1. See, I’m okay with making it more expensive to operate out of NPC stations. You can’t have a system that presents a no-risk option without cost for using it, then expect people to choose a higher-risk option willingly. Citadels didn’t exist previously, so the cost structure didn’t need to account for them. That’s changed now, and so too do the costs need to change.

    Beyond that, though, from a lore perspective it makes no sense for empires to make it easy for capsuleers to operate out of their stations. We’re maniacs, we’re psychopaths, we’re free from the fear of death. It’s pretty clear we’re bad news and to be kept at arm’s length.

    I really see a lot of this argument about these costs as a result of fixation – players who locked onto a certain “version” of Eve as the true Eve, and every change that happens as screwing with that perfect initial state. I understand that, of course – I feel the same thing from time to time, but I have to force myself to remember that things change, and we need to change with them. The tactics that worked previously will not work in the future, and we need to find new ways to overcome those challenges. Isn’t that what makes the game fun?

    • If I remember my lore correctly, the Empire encourage the horrible Capsuleers to dock because of the wealth they bring in through taxes and what not. They won’t like us not docking and using Citadels instead.

      I don’t think you (or I) play the game most of the silent Hi-Sec dwellers do. All those pilots who never moved out of NPC Corps when they increased the tax rate. I suspect that same type won’t use Citadels regardless the cost. Citadels will be transient in nature, risky, and will allow the owners to grief you by off lining services, unanchoring, restricting access, changing pricing and so on. If you use a popular Citadel – a market hub of note, someone will indeed take note of it and destroy it for the laugh.

      I think if CCP mess up their calculations, Citadel owners reliant of public use to cover their costs will not break even, and the silent masses will get annoyed, stay in NPC stations, but possibly play less.

      That idea of 5M ISK for jump cloning doesn’t make sense. How long does it take for a new player to make that much in Hi-Sec mining or running L1/2 missions? An hour? Hell, I can make as little as 5M ISK an hour if my exploration drops suck. I don’t think that pricing is in touch with the reality of many newer players.

      I have seen lots of players salivating at these changes, and encouraging the heavy nerfing of NPC stations. They do so as they think they might finally get access to these risk averse players – force them to play a different sort of game. I don’t think it will work that way. As I mentioned above, I think if CCP mess up the consequences will be overall a negative.

      It just seems another example of CCP trying to encourage with sticks instead of carrots.

      • I hope that I can phrase my thoughts clearly;

        At a micro level we have Player Owned Custom Offices throughout New Eden. Currently in the high-sec constellation I reside, several have been attacked multiple times. Reaching the point that no one will replace them. There are a couple of problems here. I do not have enough information – but have observed three periods of enforcing over a two month period. But the final attacking force, did not replace the POCO. In terms of content generation – there is none anymore. Maybe after a given time a new group might attempt the anchor. (but you perceive the cycle, the new group will be war-decced, the POCO lost and back to square one). My concern which general with Eve – is that aggression requires no investment. Without the preceding investment – then risk factor within the prized Risk/Reward metric is lost. Which can be juxtaposed to the removal of the Entosis Link Interceptor. Successfully argued that this type of play required no investment from the attackers.

        About the only time in the game’s history I have seen that. Think of mining, now a reviled activity, the most removed skill in the history of the game. (comment by CCP Rise on the o7 show). You do not have be vested in Industry or Harvesting to kill miners. i.e. No investment, no risk yet total reward.

        On the macro-level, now think of citadels. My concern is that like the situation with the POCO. It will go through a couple of cycles of build and destroy – then the builders will quit. Which is why I have trouble seeing Citadels being anything other than a short-term solution the game’s slow death spiral stalemate.


        As a casual, solo player – I will not be welcoming my new station overlords. Nor will I sign up for some snowballing alliance/coalition. On the day it becomes possible to remove NPC stations, I will call it a day.

      • I have mentioned before that I suspect the only safety most Citadels will have is large numbers – where the griefers just don’t have the time or inclination to go about and destroy them all. If they are not all over the place, then I think you will get a situation where their builders get burnt once or twice, then stop deploying them. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  2. I always resist when someone forces me to do something. Unless I really really have to, I won’t be using anyone’s citadel.

  3. I suppose the number is “made up” because everything in EVE is subject to someone’s whim but it isn’t just some arbitrary number for the cost of running a clone bank or market at a citadel. It is fuel. Just like a POS. And like anything that carries an ongoing cost, there should be a reason you pay it. That reason for a Citadel is fees and taxes.

    As Talvorian correctly noted, the current tax structure leaves no room for alternative structures to have a meaningful choice made to use them or not. A 1.5% sales tax and 2% broker fee (reducible by skills and standings) is so small as to be inconsequential in the consideration of Citadel or no. 2.5% and 6% (again, still reducible by skills and standings) is better. It may not still be enough but it is a good place to start.

    Fact is, NPC stations are the OP structure of the new EVE structure world. They need nerfing and CCP is right to do so to keep things balanced and give meaningful choice. I look forward to seeing who in EVE chooses to take advantage of these new structures to try to capitalize on the market and traders through lower than NPC fees. Those players, yourself included, who you believe are screwed by this change, will then have the option of buying from the lower fee Citadels, thus sparking the new age of player built markets. In the end, you may actually have it better than you have today depending on how small the Citadel owners are willing to go. Unlike POCOs, Citadels may face fierce competition between each other in the same system giving owners a bigger incentive to keep their fees as low as possible. Or it will spark some of the best market PvP EVE has ever seen…

    • I don’t feel like I am being screwed by these changes. I can see what CCP and the vocal supporters want. I just don’t think they are going to get it.

      My bet is that in High and Low sec that next to no one will move markets of note into Citadels. Why would you? It takes a substantial effort to set up a new market or move one. Why would people put them into Citadels that few owners can defend, and just hope the owners don’t go on holiday or quit the game or try to scam you or forget to fuel it. The same goes for putting 500+M clones into them. That is not a meaningful decision.

      Oh – but it might be 5% cheaper to buy from a citadel? I’ve dabbled in the markets for years – the majority of players won’t make just one jump out of Jita or Amarr to save themselves 5% on an item unless it is happens to be rather expensive.

      I can see where it might work ok in areas of Null and within Alliances and Corps of suitable size. It does not however seem to be designed to suit solo or casual play, which is what I play devil’s advocate for in this blog.

  4. The market will not shift to citadels. The price of everything will just go up to cover the new tax.
    1. No contracts on launch will mean no bulk transfer of goods
    2. No CREST feed for market orders in citadels will mean no market tracking or automatic updating spreadsheets

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