Header art by Cryo Huren
After a turbulent week of protests and general unrest, CCP has announced a series of drastic changes to the ‘From Extraction to Production‘ Devblog. The proposed changes, detailed by CCP Psych, see compression of moon goo/gas delayed until 2022, reversal of the mining ship modifications and a substantial re-calculation of the new mining waste mechanic. The post displays a remarkable U-turn for CCP, which has clearly been paying attention to the vast amount of discontent shown across all EVE media platforms.
Let’s start with Mining Waste. There has been a switch; instead of reducing wastage as a mining module upgrades from T1 – Faction, wastage will increase with the speed at which a module cycles. T1 Mining lasers will have no wastage (a vast improvement for newer players) whilst T2 will mine substantially faster, but with 34% wastage. The full overview on the calculations can be viewed here with samples taken from the post below.
CCP has also doubled down on the mining crystals, attempting to reinforce the introduction of “offensive mining” as a gameplay style. The notion that players will spend their time to destroy the resources of their enemies is a strange one, especially considering that this patch has doubled the quantity of resources across all space. The one resource that hasn’t changed is players’ available time. Therefore, it is unlikely that individuals and alliances will waste the time or organization dropping a fleet of Type C crystal fitted Covetors into enemy space.
Although the players had been requesting the ability to compress moon goo and gas, the initially-proposed changes were one of the most despised. Highlighted beautifully by Cryo Huren, it would take an insane amount of time for Rorquals to compress materials from a moon. Just for 6,000,000m3 of R64 would take a max skilled Rorq pilot around 7-hours to compress. It was clear that CCP had not done the maths, a further careless attempted implementation that caused uproar amongst capsuleers.
In light of the feedback CCP, has decided to delay any compression until the new year. “We want this to be a feature of the Industrial Command Ships, but we also want the user experience to be good, too. To that end, the update to compression will be delayed to early 2022 as we re-evaluate the implementation. Until then, existing compression methods will remain unchanged.”
Reversing Ship Changes
The Rorqual Capital Industrial Ship has also seen the proposed nerf, specifically in relation to mining yield reduced. Although not at its peak of 400% bonus to mining drones, it will be rebalanced to pull slightly more than a Hulk across all resource types. Its real strength remains its ability to boost both it and surrounding ships, drastically increasing mining speed and yield. Rorqual pilots will be relieved that their expensive toys are not resigned to sit on an Athanor compressing, but there will be those who long for the days pre-scarcity.
Hunters alike will see the redesigned changes as a positive, increasing the likelihood of finding T2 mining barges in space, whilst hopefully retaining the opportunity to hunt down mining whales as they boost fleets. However, although the players will be pleased that CCP has listened to complaints about these changes, especially to the Rorqual, overall they feel like being grateful for a kick in the nuts rather than just being shot in the head.
The Abyssal Endurance Dies
Those theorycrafters who had seen such potential in the massive boost to the Endurance expedition frigate will now be left wondering. The buffs that included an increase to all resists, an ability to fit a Covert Ops Cloak, and a 20% small and medium drone damage increase, have been reversed. Dreams of owning the Abyss in a mining frigate are gone, as are the hopes of many cunning wormhole gankers who found a new ship to replace the Astero. The Venture, Prospect and Porpoise also have their changes reverted – critically keeping the door open for new players to attempt more interesting mining activities in their Ventures.
A Nerf In Buffs Clothing
In summary, this hard U-turn by CCP is positive in isolation. It was also completely necessary. The player base has rightfully been in uproar at another flopped devblog, made worse by the positive anticipation at the end of scarcity. However, in totality these changes still amount to a nerf by pre-scarcity standards. What is more worrying is the lack of economic understanding or explanation by CCP’s upper echelon. To paraphrase the Imperium’s economic aficionado, Angry Moustache: “the counter to rampant inflation isn’t deflations; it’s managed inflation.” ISK remaining in player’s wallets is as damaging to the “fun economy” as rife Rorqual proliferation is to the real economy.
The task befalling CCP is a difficult one, and despite their blunders they are maintaining course in their attempts to reverse the economic boom of 2015-2018. Unfortunately, the cat is out of the bag. The only way to remove the excess in capitals is for them to be destroyed. At present, they are irreplaceable and therefore impossible to justify losses on a large scale. By removing players incentives to gather resource and craft, they are at risk of causing hyper inflation to other ship classes and only reinforcing the HAC meta.
The other question about this Devblog would be to ask, once again, “where are the spaceships?” Surely a redesign of the entire mining and production system would see mega-corporations like ORE use this opportunity to build a new class of ships. If CCP really wanted to push offensive mining/scorched space gameplay, where is my ORE Destroyer with eight mining lasers and no ore hold? Where is the T2 Mining Frigate? Or the Battleship sized mining ship? These would be easy wins for a company that really needs to remind its players that their time and fun is a valued commodity.