Inflation, Economics and the Lack of Light

I’ve been moving old ships around. As a precaution I do a quick review of their fit and its value before I undock. I am finding many of the faction modules I’ve been using have dramatically increased in price over the last year or two. Some so much so I’ve had to remove them and go for cheaper options, otherwise I make myself far too much of a gank target.

I wonder at the cause of this inflation. Is it a reduction in module supply? Is there more competition for the original supply? Is it – as I’ve read elsewhere, related to there being so many super rich players willing to mindlessly pay a premium to pimp their ship hulls?

As announced, Local disappeared in Null after Downtime on Friday. went into private mode for a while as acknowledgement of the change. It was back to normal by this morning. With more impact, went black and is not showing any information. It will return after Monday’s downtime, but they are looking to implement an hour delay in future before displaying API sourced kills, making it less of an immediate intel source.

Well organised corporations and alliances will adjust and even benefit. The disorganised and more casual player will suffer. For solo Null Sec players there will likely be a big shift in the risk verse reward equation. The risks increase with limited options for them to mitigate it.

Interestingly not all hunters are crowing. One remarked on a recent roam that covered 60 Null Sec Systems, where they saw only 9 other players. If they entered an empty system, they could immediately see that and move on. Now they will have to scan / probe every system they travel through, including the dozens and dozens that have no targets. I guess you need to be careful what you wish for. That does open the opportunity for solo players to still ninja resources from quiet systems.

What I am not sure about – does NPC Null Sec still have Local?

What I am sure about – this change has caused the strongest and most angry PVP verse PVE player hate that I have seen in a long while. I am reading comment after comment about how much better off the game will be if people who don’t focus on PVP get up and leave.

I wonder at the lack of basic economic common sense.

It is hard to get people to subscribe and stay subscribed to EVE.  In the long run an overall reduction in subscription numbers hurts the game. It doesn’t matter if in the eyes of those remaining it becomes a better game. Less subscribers means the game becomes less economically viable. Lose too many subscribers, and you lose the game.

People who PLEX accounts are in fact financially contributing to the game. This is because someone has had to pay for those PLEX for them to be available. Once the PLEX is spent, it stops being deferred or unearned revenue. That has a positive impact on CCP’s balance sheet.

So – even if you are philosophically opposed to the concept of a Carebear, most Omega Carebear accounts contribute financially.

They also contribute by giving PVP players extra targets. If players struggle to hunt these extra players, then the solution is not to get rid of them, but to campaign for balanced game rules that give both the hunters and prey choice and fun.

There are some areas where I feel CCP has managed to get this reasonably right.

When I haul goods, I am a target. However, there are a wide range of skill training, hull, fitting and tactical choices I can make to impact the risk verse reward equation. I can choose between volume and tank and speed and value of what I haul.

It is the same when I mine. I have real choice between where I mine, what I mine, the yield I achieve – against the cost of the hull, its tank and its capacity.

I am not that enamoured with the simplistic idea to just turn off Local in Null as an experiment to see how it goes.  I’m still hoping CCP has additional development ready to be released to suggest they put more thought in to it.

As with Hauling and Mining – I would prefer a situation where there is real choice for both Prey and Hunters in Null.  Have Local turned off – but give the defenders / prey choices.  Have anchored and vulnerable to attack infrastructure that turns Local back on.  Give it more than just a fuel cost.   Have a system with Local spawn fewer and less profitable combat sites and smaller and less profitable asteroid belts.  Allow attackers to hack these structures to remove their names from local.  Create new pulse or probe equipment that temporarily shows the number of pilots in local – while also telling everyone else in system that they are there.

These are just thoughtless ideas and I am not suggesting at their balance or suitability as a solution.  The idea however goes back to giving all types of players choice.  Instead what we have ended up with so far seems unnecessarily toxic and damaging to the game.  It doesn’t feel like it needed to be that way.

3 thoughts on “Inflation, Economics and the Lack of Light

  1. My Republic Fleet Light Missile Launcher’s went from not even being listed on the market to 100 mill each overnight with the change to allow them to use T2 missiles.

    • Sadly I don’t think I had a single faction weapon in my stocks when that change was announced. I never used them as I could always get more DPS out of the T2 variant.

  2. The toxicity is unfortunate but I think the local blackout is a really good thing. I would contend that it is actually good for pvers, pvpers, and CCP alike.

    Starting with CCP, a major effect of the blackout is the elimination of ratting bots. Normally some entire regions are composed of nearly uncatchable vni bots ratting 23/7. Much of the isk generated from this is RMTed and directly competes with CCP plex sales.

    For pvpers, finding occupied systems is still quite possible using the intel provided by the in-game map. Smart and creative play is rewarded. Smaller groups or solo players can strike larger ones using surprise tactics.

    For pvers, in the short term there will be more challenges. The risk/reward ratio has tipped a bit, this is a good thing since the risk was too small previously. Macroeconomicaly, too much isk and minerals are generated in the game. Pvers compete with each other on the market so now an active player has an advantage over a bot or an inactive one that relies entirely on intel networks. With more risk, the best option is not necessarily just the one that gives the highest yield which opens up the meta more.

    There are ways to mitigate risks too, just look at wh space. Join a small group with everyone on comms, it’s easy to keep track of who is flying what in your space. Restrict mobility with bubbles on gates. Use a second account to watch a gate.

    There is a lot of speculation that CCP will announce observatories at eve vegas. I sincerely hope that they will have limited function and be restricted to sov space.

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