EVE News | The Industrial Class War

2021-04-05

In an article posted to the revamped EVE Online news site on March 26, titled “A significant update to Industry,” CCP developers announced an extensive set of changes to industry in New Eden. To call the changes significant almost seems to be an intentional understatement, and the responses from the community have been varied, both highly polarized and polarizing.

As a writer with INN who has written some considerably longer pieces, I looked at this news and decided to break it into multiple responses. There’s a lot here, and yet simply too much yet remaining to cover in a single, monolithic article. I wouldn’t want to bludgeon you with the whole of my thoughts. This is because, and I can’t stress this enough, I don’t know who these changes are intended for.

This is the first of at least two articles to cover the enormity of this industry change. Part two will delve into the numbers in greater detail; there will also be wider coverage here on INN.

The Gist

To lay out an overview of the planned changes to EVE Online, the developers have increased the complexity of industry in New Eden. Many of the changes are additional stages to the industrial process, and require a more granular mastery of the resource systems of EVE.

These additions stand in the form of:

  • An increased dependency on Mykoserocin & Fullerite gas clouds.
  • T1 Sub-capitals up to battlecruisers will require only minerals to build; navy, faction, and pirate vessels are no longer considered T1 for the purposes of industry.
  • The following existing products will be introduced as required components for shipbuilding, as well as new products:
    • K- and J-Space Gases: Mykoserocin and Fullerites will be required for new required materials and components.
    • Planetary Products: (For navy, faction, and pirate subcapitals, and all battleships) Bacteria, Proteins, Oxygen, and Water. (For capitals and super-capitals) All Planetary Products.
    • Fuel blocks are a required component now. The following planetary products will be needed more than ever: Robotics, Enriched Uranium, Coolant, Chiral Structures, and Mechanical Parts.
    • Moon Products: All of the R4 moon materials, plus some reaction outcomes from other moon classes.
    • Ice Products: All ice products.

Potential and Expected Outcomes

It is hard to set a sense of scale on the above changes. Every area of space will be impacted by these changes. Every gameplay style will be impacted by these changes. Every market will be affected by these changes. None of this will happen gracefully or gently.

What follows is a non-exhaustive, broad-stroke, list of the changes players in the defined categories will feel. The likelihood of these stated outcomes is entirely dependent on whether or not CCP responds proactively to player feedback once the changes are in place. If CCP dedicates the time to making this modified system work, it has the potential to be less terrible. If CCP does nothing, the outcomes may indeed be worse than what I and others have predicted.

Let me be clear: The silver lining of this release exists in the form of a silver spoon; the wealthy will be untouched. For the rest, these production changes drive away all but the most dedicated of industrialists. It further significantly dis-incentivizes veteran and new players from engaging in industry. At best, material producers will break even. At worst, everyone breaks.

This represents the setting of a new industrial paradigm.

Setting baseline sectors for understanding the scope of changes, here are some economic sub-categories for understanding the immediate ramifications of these developments:

Impacts to New Players

Exploration:

Currently, new players that explore as a means to generate income, or as one of several streams of income, follow a relatively predictable ship progression. Typically it follows T1 exploration frigate, to the Astero, to (T2) Covert Ops or the Stratios.

It follows this progression because the Astero and Stratios are open to Alpha clones; the hulls are just that good that new explorers will elect to subscribe for the benefit of Covert Ops Cloaks. This will change though, as the new material requirements for Sisters of EVE Vessels are about to drive the prices up. (The Stratios is projected to be the most expensive cruiser, full stop.)

Industry and Mining:

It will take new players significantly longer to get into industry and mining. First, the price of all mining vessels, but specifically barges, are going to go up. The Procurer has already increased in price by 80%. This price creep will have a suppressive effect on progression, as new players have to save longer to get into barges and strip miners.

This creates a delaying effect as new players struggle to decide whether it’s more advantageous to get into a barge or an industrial. It’s worth noting that the price of T1 haulers will also likely increase. The new material costs involved in manufacturing industrials will probably make them approximately 1 million ISK more expensive to build. This increase is, in large part, due to the fact that the Pyrite requirements are going up across the board.

New players lose industrials more often. The cost to replace them is growing, but income is unlikely to scale accordingly. This will dis-incentivize new players from sticking with industry. The sense of defeat in losing industrials and barges will hurt twice as much as now.

Gas Huffing:

I suggest that the Gas Cloud Harvesting skill book has intentionally been priced prohibitively for new players. I suspect that this was a measure to prevent botters and experienced members of the community from taking advantage of huffing wormhole gases with new or low-skilled characters.

While I can see why CCP may have taken this approach, it’s a non-sequitur; botters and experienced players don’t balk at a price tag if there’s money to be made. New players are inclined to look at the price tag and cringe.

These new changes make certain gases, specifically Mykoserocin and wormhole Fullerite gases indispensable. These gases will likely command much greater prices than ever before. Why, then, are the skill books priced out of the reach of new players, when their labour to collect these gases could be a vital part of this particular new economy?

Impacts to Independent Producers

Complexity:

Independent producers will see an incredible expansion in the number of skills required to manufacture anything more involved than T1 ships and modules. All faction, pirate, and navy vessels – and all battleships – will require new materials and components: these requirements are comprised of specific gases, planetary goods, moon products, and ice products.

These additional requirements, and the skills required to refine, process, and use the new mats represent a notable increase in additional skill points to be able to build all ships and modules.

Rising Barrier to Entry:

Planetary Interaction (PI) products make up a not-insignificant percentage of the components required to build Upwell Consortium structures. As planetary products are now required for building faction, navy, pirate, capital, and supercapital or titan class ships, demand for planetary products is about to very quickly outstrip supply. This will drive an exponential increase in PI prices.

This is good, right? Wrong.

Sure, anyone doing PI (which requires Omega – sorry alpha newbros) will make off like a bandit, initially. Those gains begin to evaporate when you have to build or buy new Upwell structures and orbital infrastructure to support said PI. This is especially true in a war of conquest, when people are actively trying to remove that infrastructure.

New industrialists face steeply rising initial capital investment. It’s an industrial Catch-22: you can’t build without PI, you can’t get PI without a Player-Owned Customs Office.

Rising Operating Costs:

Compounding with the above, many of the new materials and dependencies in blueprints call for materials which are products of reaction formulae. Reactions take fuel blocks, which require ice products and planetary products. Fuel blocks themselves are also required materials for some of the new components. This feels like administrative double-taxation, but let’s go with this and see where it leads.

If you are a small producer who is currently making fuel blocks in-house, you now need to increase output. If you are unlucky enough to live in one region of space, and the blueprint you’re following calls for fuel blocks from another region of space, you now have the added cost of bringing those fuel blocks in, effectively doubling your cost for fuel blocks.

If you are a small producer who is currently importing fuel blocks, you are about to see your prices for fuel blocks rise dramatically, at least for the foreseeable future. Everyone is going to need fuel and a lot of it.

Forced Diaspora:

As many of the gases required are being moved to low-sec and wormholes, this will force small producers to go farther afield to get the required mats, or trade with those who already live there.

Since reactions cannot be run in high-security space, and because having middle-men is an unacceptable pricing handicap in the markets, independent industrial producers will have to establish infrastructure in low-sec and null-sec space. Since low-sec has a lot of pirates, null has a lot of empty space, and rig sec-scaling is a current mechanic, it actually makes more sense to move to null rather than low, as there are greater returns.

Industrialists are benefitted by moving to null.

Impacts to Corporations and Alliances

Logistics:

One part of the new changes to industry is that the demand on ice products will be tremendous, which is going to hurt isotope supply and increase prices for a good long while. Demand will likely outstrip supply. Basic economics, here.

As this compounds with the demand for fuel, that squeeze gets even tighter. Now, consider the logistical demands of large corporations, alliances, and coalitions still engaged in war. Measure this against the cost of maintaining a fleet of jump freighters and keeping them fueled.

If Napoleon is right that “an army marches on its stomach,” then keeping bellies and bandoleers supplied is of critical importance. Supply lines fail if the jump freighters cannot move; much of the non-critical war efforts are likely to face operational starvation.

Diminishing Returns:

Another significant drain on the war efforts across New Eden is that the same jump freighters which keep armies supplied and ships seeded are themselves going up in price. Both mineral competition and the addition of new materials demand an increase in material cost. Our current modelling suggests an increase of 75-115% in price.

When replacing jump freighters – lost to griefers, the enemy, and professional pirates – becomes too costly, supply lines will start to fail. This compounds with the increased price and complexity to build nearly every ship in the game. This means that every dollar spent by corporate and alliance war chests goes half as far.

It is entirely possible (and, in some organizations, expected) that we will see ship stockpiles entirely depleted and runs on the market for certain hulls, with no replacements to be found in the short term.

Production Costs:

If the production costs are rising prohibitively for independent producers, imagine the costs to large corporations, alliances, and coalitions. These groups maintain extensive networks of jump gates, cyno jammers, and beacons; to say nothing of keeping their capital umbrellas pre-flighted.

The costs of moving capital fleets and replacing capital losses are about to become burdensome in the extreme. There will simply be too much competition from the new demands on resources lower down the chain of industry. Supply will be gobbled-up from the bottom.

The dependence on wormhole gases specifically creates a unique situation, whereas the gas clouds themselves do not predictably respawn in the same system, in the same configuration, or evenly throughout Anoikis. Competition for these rarified resources means that you may have to travel through 6-11 systems before finding clouds which have not already been depleted. Many players will find themselves infuriated by the practice of wormholers of leaving a few units of gas in the cloud, in the hopes that at downtime it will refresh in the same system and not move to another.

The effort to chase these gas resources will be exhaustive, expensive, and time-consuming.

An important note is that one of the most expensive components going into capitals are Neurolink Conduits and the racial FTL Interlinks. These are key components in capital builds. They have blueprints on Singularity; however the FTL blueprints are not seeded anywhere and Hoboleaks has them listed at approximately 1.5 billion ISK. The Neurolink conduits are listed at full price (40 million ISK each).

There is the very real possibility that CCP may, in a fit of panic, attempt to fix things and end up overcorrecting. This is potentially worse than outright starvation, as it could completely dissolve confidence in the EVE markets.

Production cost increases may push a lot of skilled industrialists out of industry, only to rebound and be replaced by people trying to fill the void who are less sure of what they’re doing – adding to production delays and shortfalls.

Production Delays:

There are going to be production delays. Firstly, everyone needs to learn the new systems, the new dependencies, train up (or inject) the required skills, and prioritize rebuilding production chains. Even with the help of tools like EVE ISK per Hour (which has an update) this is going to represent a significant sink in time spent getting our communal heads screwed on right.

Then, there are the system-based delays baked into the primary resources required in the new capital, supercapital, and titan production chains.

One of the primary newly-required components for capital builds are the FTL Communicators. These units are already looking to be very pricey. Because of the gases and mats required to build them, they vary by price for each empire, with the lowest estimated unit price for an FTL sitting at about 1M ISK each, and the highest sitting at about 10M ISK per unit. The Gallente version (the Gravimetric-FTL Communication Interlink), required for the previously-mentioned Erebus calculations, runs about 4M ISK each based on current pricing & supply levels.

The Erebus requires 500 of them.

Just the wormhole gases required to build those 500 FTL units will cost between 11 and 13 billion ISK at current prices. You require them in sufficient quantity that it will take 4-5 gas-positive C6 wormholes to supply the need for a single Erebus.

Fullerines are also used in T3 production, which puts titan production in direct competition with T3 production. It’s not just titans though; all capitals will require wormhole gases.

For example, Fullerine C320 Primary gas sites in wormholes contain a maximum of 12,000 units per cloud, and secondary sites a meagre 2,000.

The C320 sites are found only in C5, C6, and Shattered wormholes. These number 512, 113, and 100 systems, respectively. That is 725 of 2600 Anoikis systems (28% of wormhole space) that may or may not contain an active gas cloud of the type you want.

Let me provide a concrete example I shared in the CSM Discord:

Let’s assume the following are true:
1. You alone are able to get all of the Fullerite-C320 every day, throughout all of wormhole space (a harvest monopoly).
2. You are building only Erebus titans.
3. You have a perfect supply chain for all the other required materials.

You can build an average of 11 titans per day, every day, with the current amount of wormhole gases available in EVE. Even if CCP ridiculously expands availability of these gases, I project that production rates will fall to at least 50% of their current levels.

Divide that amount of gas across everyone in EVE who wants to build T3Cs, Boosters, or Titans. Then, do the same thing for Mexallon, Pyerite, and Planetary P4s (PI). Then, add in the increased build costs of barges, planetary gantries, and industrials.

It’s a problem of the dissolution of outputs across too many manufacturers.

Ask any wormholer how many wormhole systems you have to traverse before you find the gas you’re looking for under current conditions. Then, add all of the above nascent market demand and competition on top of that.

Measure again.

Not only will there be artificial market delays imposed by competition and the gas clouds being rapidly exhausted throughout J-Space (welcome, new virtual gold rush) but we have absolutely no idea what the inciting condition is for wormhole gas cloud spawn incidence, other than downtime. We do not know how long they take to fully de-spawn, what their re-spawn rates are, and how their distribution is governed. So, you might go 1-3 days before seeing another gas cloud of the same type re-spawn in the same J-class system under the current configuration.

Even if CCP implements an even distribution across all high-class wormholes, I don’t think that will meet the demand the market is about to manifest. The above FTL Interlink example I gave is just one component in one class of ship amidst a sea of new requirements. This says nothing of the new Capital Core Temperature Regulators, which at current prices have an estimated unit cost of 1.5 billion ISK each.

Forced Diaspora:

Since I’ve just spent the last three hours explaining why wormholes will be critical to industry in New Eden, it bears noting that the largest wormhole groups have been doing everything they can to make wormhole space inhospitable to anyone less organized and determined than they are.

As the materials found only in wormhole space are absolutely critical to maintaining the capital and supercapital umbrellas of every large corporation, alliance, and coalition, you can expect that major beachhead offensives will kick off in wormhole space – if they haven’t already.

Congratulations, meatsacks, you’re going to wormhole space.

Falling Down, one Premise at a Time

I’ll draw your attention to the statement I made at the start of this article:

I don’t know who these changes are intended for.

On the surface, my first reach was that this initiative (to rework industry in EVE Online) was another of CCP’s desultory attempts to incite change and drive the rapidly-evaporating rhetoric which states:

Abundance breeds Complacency and Scarcity breeds War
Predictable Inputs lead to Stagnant Outputs
Autarky is Anathema to Free Trade

– EVE Development Team

I repeat: I don’t know who these changes are intended for.

Are they for CCP?

A common interpretation of the first line of CCP’s development “Haiku” (it’s not a Haiku) is a denigration of the capital proliferation in New Eden. ‘Too many caps is bad. Abundance is bad. No one was risking their capital fleets and things got stagnant; we should shake it up and maybe they start fighting again.’

Well, that interpretation can’t be right because with these changes, replacing lost capitals will be 300-400% more onerous. I don’t know about you, but if someone told me I was going to total my car and that a replacement would both take a lot longer and cost a lot more, I would instantly become a new student driver. I would not throw caution and sanity to the wind as Baby Driver.

It appears that CCP is convinced the existing system is completely imbalanced and these scarcity changes have been required to address overwhelming abundant stockpiles without invoking a hard stop.

A fellow EVE player said:

… I’m not in for that neo-Marxist “reset” bullshit…

I am inclined to agree with him.

The more I look at the numbers provided by CCP and the scope of the changes, the more this reads like a specific and intentional change: the insertion of a lever whose objective is to move the economy of New Eden by inserting controls on the price of its most expensive assets. It feels like a sledgehammer aimed squarely at the titan.

As true as this feels, and as much as the data seems to support it, there are cheaper and less destructive ways to achieve that end. If the titans were the only target, it would be easy enough to add a new required component to titans and supercapitals and call it done without impacting the rest of the economy.

Taking a broader perspective, the EVE economy gives CCP ‘one throat to choke’ to steer player efforts and energy, but only if we engage. If this industry overhaul is representative of willful coercion, then these also represent thinly-veiled malicious changes. They present a handsome disguise – introducing ‘change that’s good for EVE.’

CCP may be playing a dangerous game of chicken with the community.

Are the changes for the community?

CCP could be trying to help us. Perhaps this is just their flavour of tough love.

One interpretation of the second line in the “Haiku” is that we have become stagnant and complacent. The abundance achieved by gamifying every possible system and outcome to the Nth degree has reduced risk to the point of non-consideration. Much like teenagers with console gaming systems in our bedroom, mom and dad have arrived to make us play outside.

That said, the forced march relocation to low-sec and wormhole space feels pretty heavy-handed. The low-sec and Faction Warfare communities have been complaining about the slow death of their space for years. Maybe this is what CCP looks like when they decide to do something about revitalizing entire sectors of space?

If the hacker collective Anonymous is right, and none of us are as cruel as all of us, is this Pahlaniuk’s “kick to the ant-hill” meant to spur us into action? Is CCP just taking wild swings at our comfort in the hope that something will snap; that we will begin to see the game the way they want us to? That they can ‘beat it into us?’

Even if it works, will we truly turn on one another and give them the cluster-spanning warfare that would represent sufficient upheaval?

Or will we band together and rebuild what was lost to establish a return to the old status quo? Given sufficient time, I am certain EVE players can gamify anything you give them.

In any case, that sounds like a pretty abusive relationship.

Are the Changes for Someone Else?

As much as I hope that CCP wants the best for New Eden, the idea that “Autarky is Anathema to Free Trade” is laughable.

Free trade can only occur if a state exists with enough self-sufficiency to produce a surplus. Without surplus, you cannot have trade. You trade something you have for something you need. Even states which are functionally independent don’t live in a vacuum.

Sidebar: North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

If you’re looking for a real world parallel for the abuse of relationship we’re examining here with CCP, the North American Free Trade Agreement stands as a great example.

It was an agreement entered into by three nations, on the promise that each would benefit equally from increased trade and lowered barriers to interaction. In practice it didn’t turn out that way, with both Canada and Mexico seeing significant portions of their industry, primary harvesting, and manufacture losing ground. NAFTA formed the foundation for an unequal relationship.

Changing the interactions of previously stable relationships significantly hurt the industries of two countries.

Subsistence farmers are not traders. You cannot trade if you are busy trying to feed yourself. There is also a challenging situation in Latin America; that privatization means that a smaller number of individuals are able to concentrate surplus in meagre economies, by virtue of access, force, or capital fortitude.

To quote Julio Piumato of the Argentinian Justice Worker’s Union,

“When the workers lose through inflation, it’s not because that money is disappearing. It’s because someone is profiting with what should be ours and the rest of the workers’.”

So who benefits from this kind of upheaval?

Class War

Who benefits? Anyone who enjoys the conditions of disparity and the development of socioeconomic classes in New Eden.

That is, after all, what is happening here. We are seeing the creation of four new socioeconomic classes. We have thus far identified the three primary groups: new players, independent producers, and player corporations.

We have not looked at the fourth group: the ridiculously wealthy.

Mirroring the real world, those whose wallets, stockpiles, and – at the risk of sounding like a Marxist – command of the means of production will at most face minor bother. Much as in the real world, the costs and responsibility of reorganizing the industrial machinery to accommodate for these changes will be delegated downstream.

The burden of the effort will be distributed across the bulk player organizations, with the most onerous activities being driven to the bottom. The time about to be spent scanning wormholes and populating tools like Pathfinder with the locations of gas anomalies is going to be foisted upon junior players.

In this way, the EVE trillionaires won’t be significantly disrupted. They live so far above the mean of New Eden’s society that they have the freedom to functionally ignore the daily goings-on. They smash the last line of the development ‘Haiku’ like Einstein’s relativistic rock; Autarky and Free Trade are their bitch.

If CCP isn’t hyper-vigilant with “turning the dials” (to quote Kenneth Feld – CSM Discord, #serious_talk, March 28, 2021), we will see the beginning of full-scale systems collapse and outright failure cascade. I am not convinced this isn’t already under way, and we just haven’t noticed yet. All it will take is one of CCP’s competitors to make a better, full-featured space MMO, and players will leave in droves. This should terrify CCP – they have exactly one profitable product.

This is only the second time in my career as an EVE reporter that I’ve had to use the term “failure cascade.” The last was when I was reporting on the collapse of Fidelas Constans (FCON). The notable characteristic of that implosion was how quiet it was. I am once again beset with concern for the community.

CCP is functionally telling us, and apparently the majority of the CSM as well, that “this is how it is, and you’ll have to adjust.” They are dictating terms while accepting that some will inevitably benefit from privileged positions, while morale, sinking again, echoes the collapse of FCON.

“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.”

Noam Chomsky

Currently in EVE Online, players feel helpless. Players feel as if their decision to consume is being punished by CCP. Players feel as if their ability to ratify decisions is being restricted by developers refusing to engage with their elected representatives; the Council of Stellar Management.

Veteran players’ gameplay, virtual livelihoods, and operational expansion are largely dependent on the simultaneous use of multiple accounts. This is by CCP’s own design. In fact, there is very good data to suggest that a significant portion of new character creation is alternate accounts for existing players who are scaling up or branching out.

Why, then, does CCP seem insistent on punching down against those who repeately subscribe to the game? What deficiency do the players possess that we continually succumb to the Stockholm Syndrome that is playing EVE Online?

We will be back with further by-the-numbers industrial analysis. We hope, in the meantime, that you will enjoy our other coverage and seriously consider some of the questions raised here.

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Comments

  • Rammel Kas

    Regarding the forced diaspora point. I do not see a whisk of consideration from CCP for basically destroying communities who developed around daily life in Null. Where is the game if there is nobody going to play it anymore? What worth are they giving back to those communities now, exactly? How are they ever going to tamper to bring that back, if we’ve now seen what their true mettle is first-hand? How much design debt do they now have to pay back? Can they even pay it back at this point in any way which would bring those communities back?

    April 5, 2021 at 11:46 AM
  • Alaric Faelen

    It’s a common theme among new players that Eve is unfair because they can never ‘catch up’ to older players. I always rejected the notion on it’s face but it persists in comments from Reddit to the Eve Facebook group.
    But that gap is about to get much, much wider. The guy looking to start out or break into industry is looking up from the bottom of a well. The guy that has spent nearly a year training to fly his first carrier just saw it’s price skyrocket out of reach- especially in any alliance not able to offer SRP which again is going to happen to even some of the larger null sec groups going forward. Meanwhile, the people that already have a half dozen capitals sitting around are basically unaffected as long as they don’t risk losing that ship.
    CCP’s answer to capital proliferation was to make replacing them harder, which simply means alliances are going to become way more risk-averse to losing what they currently have. That means more stagnation as NiP’s are signed (across a blue donut no less) to preserve capital forces. More blue donut coalitions to blob anyone that stands up or tries to break into the sov game.
    From the viewpoint of someone with terrible industry skills, there is no point in me even trying to branch off into that. I’m just more reliant on my alliance and the people there that do specialize in industry. If I were a solo or small corp guy in high sec, I would just pack it in and find another game.
    W-Space is about to be the new sov, but even harder to attack or even just roam to so you can interdict their industry with PvP. Gas mining is going to be a gold rush controlled by a very few groups. Redistribution of resources also needs to take into consideration ACCESS to those resources. Making W-Space central to basic ship building instantly gives insane economic power to the big W-space groups and is probably the least accessed part of New Eden by anyone not specifically involved in WH content. At least with null sec having ‘too much’ power over the game, that represents tens of thousands of players. Now it seems that kind of influence is being handed to a much smaller number of players.
    I’ll give credit to CCP for pushing players out of high sec. There is going to be a raging river of tears from care bears that can no longer begin to compete by just doing cottage industry manufacturing. This change seems to be a minor inconvenience to industry giants and more complexity is usually seen as more engaging overall. But it seems to crush new player or small time miner/builder gameplay.

    April 5, 2021 at 12:21 PM
  • Seir Luciel

    I sounds like CCP is not only trying to greatly reduce Titan production but the spectrum of tech II and high end production more generally.

    It is possible that, because Tech 1 production will remain primarily minerals, we will see a lot more tech 1 ships being used generally. Long ago Goons attacked BoB with the chant “Your ammo costs more than my ship.” I wonder if Tech 2 cruiser fleet doctrines, etc. start becoming tech 1 doctrines simply due to cost, the idea being that even if a bunch of ruptures get smashed by muninns what they would kill would be worth more than they lost.

    In other words (forget what CCP wants), consequentially, is it time for more zerglings and less ultralisks?

    Another thing I wonder is the long-term effects of these changes on markets. Initial market fluctuations I see going exactly like the Doctor has discussed. But as there is no price fixing in eve as is, would high prices lead to low purchases leading, eventually, to lower prices again? I ask this especially if EVE enters a kind of Zergling trend in its industry and military metas. If something like ruptures become the norm and Muninns become the luxury fleet ships, meaning there is less demand for Muninns, would prices given enough time reflect that decreased demand?

    I think one thing is sure; the norms will be changed. Ship compositions are going to change. What is painful is that players have gotten used to certain ships being more readily available to them, both in terms of price but even more importantly in literal availability. I think moving forward there is simply going to be fewer tech II ships to go around. But this will also mean different things for new players, small players, and poor players. If the norm ship is considerably lower in tier than it used to be — if one only needs to afford a rupture and not a muninn, it might make some players’ experiences easier, of all things. For instance, as someone who has primarily mined for isk I am distressed hearing that barges are going to go up in price. Having said that, I scouted out in lowsec with a venture chasing Noxcium after scarcity started. I was making more money in the scouting venture mining Nocxium than I was in null sec mining arkonor or bistot with a level 5 exhumer (when all the mercoxit dried up) simply due to the greater demand and price increase of lowsec ores. Again — zergling-ification.

    I make no predictions. I’m not saying these changes are good or bad. I don’t think we really can know yet because I think its going to take years to for community adjustments before we really understand all the interlocking consequences of such big changes. At the moment I am in the “wait and see” mindset.

    April 5, 2021 at 3:10 PM
    • Rammel Kas Seir Luciel

      We have seen a fair amount of Ferox online instead of HAC fleets on some fights in especially non-prime hours.

      April 5, 2021 at 3:56 PM
  • Cythrawl

    What’s not been measured is the CCP economic impact that seemingly gets glossed by whenever these changes happen. Current market rates for PLEX push into the 2.5 trillion ISK zone. If these proposed changes come down without a way of deflating the market averages, we’re talking about doubling the price. That’s going to push the “farm for omega” into the higher realms of content. It’s putting the power into the hands of those who’re willing to fork out the cash to buy their way to solvency in the new markets while putting the onus of all the grinding on those who don’t want to pay to play.

    Is this actually a CCP grab for more money with industry being the scapegoat? If you want to deflate stockpiles, make more risk involved in SOV warfare, not less. The wall-off of lower tiers not being able to take on massive alliances due to economic pressure is just another cyno jammer in the way.

    April 5, 2021 at 3:12 PM
  • Guilford Australis

    I got my start in EVE mining. It took weeks of Venture mining to afford my first Retriever. If the cost of the Retriever had been what it is now, I’d have quit and told everyone who ever mentioned EVE to me that it’s a waste of time.

    Then I moved on to ratting for my main commercial enterprise. First with the VNI (nerfed) and later carriers (nerfed) running Havens and Sanctums (nerfed).

    Then I did industry, building capitals with purchased minerals for a modest profit. I guess that may or may not continue to be profitable.

    CCP has spent years nerfing everything I’ve ever done to make ISK in this game. I adapt, redirect some skill training, and then the new approach gets nerfed. I’ve given up on trying to make ISK, and for the past two years or so have only done PVP. How does a game developer stay in business by systematically and repeatedly making every aspect of their game less fun, less engaging, and less rewarding?

    April 5, 2021 at 5:06 PM
    • Alaric Faelen Guilford Australis

      “CCP has spent years nerfing everything I’ve ever done to make ISK in this game.”
      –This is the most true statement ever made about Eve Online.

      I feel like I am punished for every success in the game. In fact the timing is often comical. Just recently I sold a couple carriers and a Blops cheap because I got them cheap and assumed I could replace them later. Lolface.
      I might not ever get back into a capital ship at this point. I have the isk but are they worth it? Can my alliance afford to replace it if I lose it? How much grinding would I have to do for the thing to even pay for itself much less make any profit?

      When I was new to null sec someone lent me a Ferox so I could rat up enough isk to buy a Tengu. That Tengu made me my first couple of billion isk. Then it got nerfed. But the meta became carrier and I moved to that. Nerfed. I was able to fly a capital even without a cyno alt because my alliance had a ‘safe cyno’…Nerfed.
      I’m not gaming the system, I am a single account player just following what the game pushes you toward, only for CCP to suddenly do a 180 and leave me holding the bag.

      Like you, I gave up making isk. I was able to save up a few tens of billions and I consider that the sands in my Eve hourglass. Once I either run out of isk or get bored enough with the game is when I will quit.

      April 5, 2021 at 8:35 PM
  • This is going to work for industrialists and builders as prices will invariably increase dramatically.

    If the point is to make the large power blocs engage in fighting for terrain, what the piece mentions is going to be a more valid interpretation: ships are going to become prohibitively expensive.

    The supply chain is going to become a lot more complex, semi-finished products are going to drive up the price considerably.

    This change is tipping the balance too much against people engaging in EVE’s main activity: warfare. Who is going to fight in expensive ships when they are almost impossible and cost-prohibitive to replace.

    This begs another question: what are all the people trying to get their hands on incredibly expensive hulls supposed to be doing to get the ISK to purchase them?

    I see people looking at these changes, determining that the work is no longer worth the effort and just throwing in the towel. These changes make the sum go to zero in a frightening hurry. Where is the fun in all of this?

    April 5, 2021 at 7:39 PM
  • Gray Doc

    Your Chomsky quote was right on the mark. But I also appreciated the concept of diaspora; if that prediction proves true, the tendency of nullsec alliances to accumulate more null space could have to drastically change. Will WH space become the new null? Will we see power bases spread out instead of clustered? Instead of all null all the time, will we see much alliances spread power over null, lowsec, and WH space? What EVE has been since 2003 might completely change. Will nullsec renting be an obsolete way of doing business? Back to the Chomsky quote: CCP seems to love their players to feel helpless (and thereby enraged), having to “ratify” these changes that have been thrust upon us.

    April 5, 2021 at 11:04 PM
  • Just smile darling: it will all be over soon.

    April 7, 2021 at 6:12 AM
    • Dirk Stetille Ganthrithor

      I look forward to my personal time being freed up…

      April 9, 2021 at 11:49 AM
  • David

    I cringe a little when I see statements like “players feel”, and would remind the author that how you feel, and how those around you feel, is not the entire player base.

    I’d imagine that the majority of EVE players are just like the majority of real world people: they may care about said hot topics (pick your poison, sex, race, politics, whatever), but don’t get involved until it directly effects their day to day lives. If you need proof of this, look at any major hot topic out there, and then seriously look at how many of the total population were actually directly involved in anything having to do with it. Mass “riots” in the US? Thousands, out of hundreds of millions. Brexit? Fine, lots of people voted, how many actually knew what they were voting for? How many actually got involved beyond pushing that ballot button? Again a very small, granted very vocal, but very small number of people.

    The majority of any population is more concerned with paying their rent and feeding their families and doing whatever it is they do that allows them to continue feeling even a little happy.

    In EVE terms, I want this ship or skin or whatever. So these changes mean I have to grind a little longer to get this or that? What does that really matter in a game that literally introduces you to grinding on it’s first day? Most games hand you levels, gear, and a feeling of being rewarded for your time spent on a silver platter and you’ve figured out how to do what you need to do to keep getting more silver platters within a few hours (maybe days in some of the more complicated ones). You can play EVE for months (and in some cases years) and still be clueless, and will never ever see that silver platter. It’s not out there.

    I would also remind you that the moment you use the phrase “players feel” you’re automatically setting some of them into a defensive mind set. Even if you had them on your side from the start of the article, for many, our natural instinct at seeing that phrase is to resist. Because now you’re telling them how they think. You aren’t in actuality, I get that, but that’s a psyche thing. It’s just how some are wired, myself included.

    Bottom line: Let’s face it, EVE is not user friendly in any way shape or form. It’s designed around appealing to those of us who are slightly wacked. Our brains aren’t quite wired right. Nearly anything you want to do in the game (at least to do it well), requires going out of the game, to figure out how to do it. We look at a game that requires far more thought and effort than any game reasonably should and go, yeah this is fun. EVE’s time spent vs. reward is definitely the worst of any game I’ve ever played (and I’ve got a check mark next to nearly every MMO out there), and yet here we are. So even if another space game does come along, unless they’re designers are as wacked as CCP is when it comes to game design, it’s not going to appeal to us is it? And you wonder why they treat us like the kid licking the window on the bus ride to school… that’s kind of who we are.

    April 7, 2021 at 10:00 AM
    • Dirk Stetille David

      You cite Brexit, and the question of how many people knew what they were voting for. I’d counter with ‘How many people actually understand these industry changes?’ These are incredibly complex changes, and even the CCP spreadsheet that was released at the time of the devblog was incomplete and/or un-proofed.

      Jurius, among other members of the INN staff, has spent hours upon hours poring over the numbers and asking questions as we built a model for price changes as a result of these changes. Even Kenneth Feld, the CSM member who was working with CCP on these plans as an “industry expert”, seemed surprised to learn that high-class wormhole gases are involved in these changes, and that was raised by the aforementioned INN staffers.

      In an interview with Oz EVE on Twitch recently, CCP Rattati (EVE’s Director of Product) discussed the “redoubling of efforts on the New Player Experience”, for what I am 99% sure is the sixth year in a row CCP have used that sentiment. EVE is not user-friendly because CCP, at a management level, appear to have been ignoring the lessons learned from prior mistakes, and the salient points of their own (published) analysis. Meanwhile, Jurius had a significant hand in driving the creation of the official ‘pointer tool’ CCP Habakuk introduced last year. I think he’s pretty well situated to discuss the broad strokes of player feeling.

      You boil this down to a change that increases the grind, in an environment that’s already a major grind. You seem to frame EVE Online as a niche game, and you aren’t wrong. But CCP have been increasing the grind, the complexity, and decreasing the incentive to play EVE for a couple of years now, and they’ve yet to produce the carrot CCP Rattati has been promising since March 2020.

      CCP have a habit of asking us to trust them. To believe in their vision for the game, without actually providing a comprehensive vision for the game. CCP suggest that they know what they’re doing, and there is a long-term plan. But CCP haven’t had the complete trust of the community since 2011 and the ‘Greed is Good’ debacle. 2017, they fired 90% of the community management team. Rorquals, citadel spam, the Drifter Menace, the Nullsec Blackout, the entire damn CHAAAOS Era. My personal bug-bear – ‘the Monitor’.

      CCP have consistently demonstrated some fantastic ideas and an incredible lack of ability to execute upon those ideas. These industry changes? it’s just the next big thing that (I believe) CCP aren’t prepared to deal with the fallout from.

      April 9, 2021 at 8:15 AM
      • Jurius Doctor Dirk Stetille

        Small correction, Dirk. CCP Karkur. I’m sure Habakuk worked on it with her, but I’m almost certain it was Karkur’s project, and she was working on it. The Pointer tool, that is.

        April 9, 2021 at 4:18 PM
      • Jurius Doctor Dirk Stetille

        One note I will add, though it pains me to feel like I’m critiquing CCP unjustly, is that I don’t believe the community has felt a consistent voice behind the direction of EVE since CCP Seagull left to work for Unity.

        Now, that was a great opportunity for Andi, and I’m so glad that she took it. Just absolutely chuffed that they’ve gained her, but it was as big a loss to the community as CCP Guard’s departure.

        In watching from a distance, and keeping my ear to the ground – though CCP is notoriously tight-lipped about their internal operations – it appears that CCP internally have really felt Andi’s departure, as well.

        If I were to throw a dart blindly in the dark of the black box that is CCP, I’d put real dollars (in my case Canadian) on that dart landing on Andi’s responsibilities being divided across a few positions and that decentralization being a leading contributor to the seeming game of whack-a-mole that is CCP’s current direction.

        April 9, 2021 at 4:26 PM
    • I cringe a little when I see statements like “players feel”

      I’ll be the first to admit I commited an intentional fallacy of intent, here, but I think it was captured pretty well by Rundle on TIS when he said, “There’s a real atmosphere of fear around this patch that we haven’t seen in a long time.”

      April 10, 2021 at 7:47 PM
  • That is even better resolution – can you share your maths just so we can make out where the differences are coming from?

    April 10, 2021 at 7:45 PM
  • tootiredtoname

    I have only been playing Eve for a short time, but I have been living a lot longer. Everyone seems to be thinking too hard on what CCP is trying to accomplish, the answer is very simple. CCP is a corporation and real life corporations exist for one purpose – profit. Everything CCP does is to make more profit, it only addresses gameplay when it sees it as a chance to increase profit or a risk to decrease profit. Their quote is just a bit of marketing, not an actual statement of their corporate goals.

    Increasing the Isk cost of things and making things hard for newer players is a way to increase the sale of Plex. If it pushes out casual free players, so what to CCP. Maybe it pushes a few subscribers out too. But if someone is actually buying their $500 USD plex pack, they more than make up for a few disgruntled ex-Omegas.

    April 10, 2021 at 10:21 PM