NRDS, Blackout, and the Vibrancy of NullSec

Erasmus Grant 2019-08-05

Header art by Redline XIII

CCP recently began efforts to take EVE into an ‘Era of Chaos’. Part of this is aimed at breaking up the stagnation in nullsec with measures like the Blackout. But nullsec is not a uniform, featureless plain, and the Blackout is hitting some areas harder than others. This is especially true of areas under NRDS.

NeRDS?

Before we dive into things, it might be useful to present a primer for those unfamiliar with NRDS.

There are three primary schools of thought when it comes to how players engage other players in New Eden. You may also have heard them referred to as Rules of Engagement or Codes of Conduct. These three primary schools are Not Blue, Shoot It, or NBSI; Not Purple, Shoot It (NPSI); and Not Red, Don’t Shoot (NRDS). Most players outside High Sec, regardless whether they realize it or not, subscribe to the NBSI school of thought. If someone is not known to be a friend, assume they are an enemy. NRDS takes the opposite view: don’t assume someone is hostile unless you know they are. Two ideas that are core to NRDS are Anti-Piracy and Open Borders. Naturally in a “dystopian” universe that encourages piracy and the “worst” in humanity, a stabilizing element would arise to go against the grain.

You may have heard of NRDS mentioned in the same sentence as ProviBloc. However, that is not the limit NRDS. NRDS communities have come and gone in New Eden, formed for different reasons over time. Often, this means capsuleer groups acting in lieu of Concord and Faction Police that you have in High Sec. In the sov null region of Providence, ProviBloc acts as the policing on behalf of the Amarr Empire. Provibloc’s capsuleer sovereignty is an extension of the Amarr Empire’s sovereignty. Electus Matari (an RP Minmatar Faction Warfare Alliance) acts as a policing element in Minmatar LowSec, with incursions into Great Wildlands on behalf of the Minmatar Republic. There are also smaller NRDS groups spread out in New Eden who do their work without Role-Playing element of being affiliated with any of the known NPC factions.

Making It Work

The core mechanics that have enable NRDS in-game are Local and standings. Local obviously, due the degree of open borders practice by NRDS, lets the community know who is in their jurisdiction. Over time, they can determine who is a random, regular, or resident. Knowing who is in your space is key to NRDS so the NRDS community may have the opportunity to interact with them positively. While neutrals have the freedom to do their own thing and never engage positively with NRDS organization, as long they do not engage negatively with anyone under NRDS, they will for the most part be left alone. Indirect cooperation can become direct in order to build the friendship machine. Local was the only sure way of knowing who was living in your space. Depending on what the neutral was doing in your space, they may not use any of your structures or services.

With standings, if you engage with the local NRDS organization positively and consistently you will earn positive standings. This means you can achieve, if you will, a renewing work visa (+5 standing), or permanent resident status (+10 standing). Given enough time and engagement, it can even lead to full citizenship by joining the local NRDS organization. Standings get you access to various in-game chat channels, restrictive markets, better tax rates, and several other benefits.

Negative interaction, such as firing upon non-red capsuleers unprovoked, hijacking a signature or anomaly site, or other obnoxious or hostile acts can get you set red (-5 or -10 standings). These can usually be referenced in a diplomatic/public channel or the NRDS organization’s website. Once this happens you are a legal target for anybody in that NRDS community to engage at will. If it was a mistake or you later have a change of heart and no longer want to be on the KoS list, you can contact the local NRDS and talk to their diplomats or KoS admin. In most cases the opportunity exists to SRP the loss, pay a fine, or have a probationary period with no pirate activity. It often depends on the context of your KoS listing and the Diplomat/KoS Admin you deal with.

The KoS List

There are a few challenges to maintaining a KoS list, especially one as old as CVA’s.

The first challenge is that an alliance can only have so many contacts. You can only have so many +10s, +5s, -5s, and -10s as an alliance. Provibloc, for example, has a Red Donut issue. They have maxed out their contact slots. This means they cannot set more capsuleers and organizations red. The contact limit can fill up pretty quick, even if you only do alliance and corps, instead of individuals. This is because when word gets out that your space is NRDS, people will likely make it a point to come looking for content.

The second challenge is setting individuals KoS who are created as disposable alts. Often, these are neutral alts in NPC corps. Because of the limits on alliance contacts, alliances usually do not have open slots to use on these individuals. In addition, NRDS communities will never set NPC corps red. The newbie, returning player, or other innocent in an NPC corp who hasn’t found a home yet should not be punished by actions of the few who try to take advantage of standing limitations to get kills. As a result, individual standings have to be set Red at the corporation or individual level.

The third challenge is syncing these contacts across a NRDS coalition. This led to the development of third-party standing databases where a player can look up an individual, corp, or alliance on a website to see if they were a legal target, true neutral, or friend, but they have to either tab out of the game or take their eyes off one display to another.

NRDS: The Gateway Drug

NRDS nullsec has been a gateway to nullsec for new players and veteran players alike, long before the rise of Pandemic Horde, Brave Newbies, and others. In Minmatar FW, Electus Matari’s NRDS provides a pathway for extending activity from lowsec into Great Wildlands. In sov-null, Providence has four connections to empire, the most connections of any NullSec Region. All other nullsec regions have at most one or two connections to empire. These pathways, combined with NRDS, enable capsuleers to experience and experiment in nullsec without getting caught in the larger political meta, having to sign up for third-party services, or being coerced to doing things they don’t want to do. In other parts of the game, you have to hand over ESI immediately, sign up for host of services, have to participate in a fleet, or pay rent. Depending on your experience you could stay in a place like Providence, or go deeper into null with a NBSI group with no meta repercussions. This why there is a need for strong and healthy NRDS community in NullSec that is close to Empire.

In a recent interview, CCP Falcon had this to say:

“I’m in the same boat as Hilmar. I hope in like 12 to 18 months, we’ve got, uh, an a chaos written, you know, hellscape on lunatics that are, they’re all having fun together and blowing shit all up. I mean, it would be wonderful to see EVE go back to sort of, you know, the, the 2007 to 2009.”

Ironically, this time was more or less the Golden Age of NRDS. There was a robust NRDS community in Providence, which one of the more densely populated regions in NullSec. There was also a solid NRDS community in Great Wildlands. This was despite the low security index, poor moons, geography that worked against you more often than not. Early NRDS communities formed out of mutual cooperation like the Coalition/Confederation (Data corruption from Blackout makes it unclear) of Free Stars, or role-playing reasons like C.V.A. or Electus Matari.

Nullsec Is Easy?

Most capsuleers today in ProviBloc core went NRDS to escape the “blue donut” political meta that plagues most of LowSec and NullSec space. They believe that NRDS is New Eden on Hard Mode due to the Red Donut that has developed over time and includes almost all capsuleer organizations outside HighSec, and the sheer number of pirates in the region. Even Rocket X’s Purple Helmeted Warriors, who were famous for whaling (faction capital, super, and titan hunting) have settled on farming Providence. Providence was never “too safe”. It has been burned to the ground several times, and rebuilt again and again. There has always been a good balance between the amount of pirates in the region and the amount of people living in the region. With the nature of NRDS you have to wait until someone does something to justify being listed as KoS, which usually involves losing ships before it happens. 

Even with Local, intel channels, third party tools, and defensive roams people died regularly and in all kinds of ways due to pilot error. People have literally sat on a gate spamming in local and intel that there was a red camp on other side, but their peers would still jump into deathSo when Local was removed from nullsec, NRDS—particularly Provibloc—lost a critical community tool more than an intelligence tool.

The New Dark Age

Black Out has been very detrimental for the NRDS community in NullSec. It was the pulling of the plug for what was left of the Great Wildlands NRDS community, which seems to be moving back to Empire. People disappeared from Providence almost over night. The only true neutrals that come into Providence now are explorers or escalations runners for the most part. Former non-core residents have disappeared leaving behind empty structures. Trying to figure out where they went is a challenge. Core and non-core member of Providence alike have stopped logging in. Some went to empire, and some have wagon-wheeled to safety in the blue donut of NullSec (GG CCP).

What’s left in Providence now is its PvP core who want to be in NullSec, but not part of the big blue donut. From the chatter in CVA/Sev3rance comms, the people that are left in NRDS nullsec are divided. Some do not want Local back the way it was. Some do, believing it is critical to the viability of NRDS. Others would prefer to have an actual delayed local connected to a structure and/or security index of the constellation or system, or a more robust D-Scan tool. Some want Region chat, Constellation, or something in between available to a NRDS community to see who is active in their space. That way, the residents could possibly interact with them to some degree like they did before the loss of Local, without actively hunting them down and possibly scaring them off. At the same time, that kind of solution would not take too much away from hunters.

There are segments of the community that hate the idea of structures, but in Providence, and other parts of nullsec, it’s a part of their meta to simulate what it is to build a space civilization. It seems odd to not know what is happening in your space, simply because the sandbox does not offer all of the infrastructure that may be possible in a futuristic space-based civilization.

Is There Hope?

Providence has never had the safety, or the dream of safety, that other nullsec regions have historically had. Nor does the NRDS community in Providence want it. The hope is that CCP will do two things. First, refine Local, or give a tool that the NRDS community could use with the loss of Local to help interact with the people in their space, while expanding the number of contacts an alliance can have and allow contact syncing so they do not have to resort to third-party tools for figuring out who is or is not in the Red Donut.

Second, we hope CCP will refine other factors in the game and nullsec to make them as vibrant as Providence. In the end, the focus of this article is to focus on NRDS issues—not Provibloc issues—with the Blackout. CCP can study it and see how NRDS counter plays NBSI and how Providence has generally been considered a balanced and vibrant sov null region even before the Blackout. Hopefully this may give insight to make the rest of nullsec and New Eden more vibrant, healthier game, and less of a big blue donut.

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Comments

  • Guilford Australis

    Hilmar has made it very clear his team no longer considers ‘balance’ to be a design priority. Their design philosophy at this point, described in last week’s Talking in Stations interview, is to nuke every gameplay system as thoroughly and often as possible because – we are assured – this will make EVE ‘chaotic.’ Given that CCP’s echo chamber consists of a few dozen cheerleaders entrenched in a predictable groupthink on Reddit and the EVE-O forums, this new development goal should please the only people whose opinions matter to the devs.

    And with Falcon going all-in on his yapping dog routine with Hilmar (“Oi, yeah, what ‘e said, mate!”) I see no evidence that anyone at CCP is going to slow this train down to consider little details like consequences and unintended effects. The changes so far – along with the weird SP incentives – have rolled out in such rapid sequence that CCP will not be able to discern the effects of any particular change. Moreover, CCP’s assumptions will make it difficult for them to assess these effects honestly as any decline in player engagement will be explained away with hand-waving about how those were all just bot accounts, anyway. Yessir, 10,000 bots, I swahr.

    The upshot is that communities such as the NRDS folks who are threatened by these changes are experiencing exactly what CCP wants for this phase of EVE. CCP assumes that players will adapt no matter what changes are tossed at them; that may not be a good assumption. Besides login metrics (publicly accessible on EVE-Offline.net), which show that the Drifter invasion and the ‘blackout’ did jack shit to improve the long, slow decline in player logins, only CCP knows whether any unintended consequences will emerge.

    August 5, 2019 at 1:21 PM
    • I think the best we can do right now is just boycott the game entirely. Don’t subscribe, don’t buy PLEX from the cash shop or the market: don’t do anything that gives CCP money. If you *can*, avoid logging in entirely: I know some people may still really want to play EVE, or have industry projects or whatever that may need periodic attention, but try to minimize your login footprint as much as possible. I’m sure CCP are going to find every way possible to inflate participation statistics, including alpha accounts that log in for two minutes a day to do menial tasks. So just don’t log in, if you can avoid it.

      I logged in for a few days of the free-SP event, but figured ultimately the token rewards weren’t worth contributing to their DAU count.

      EVE’s not that fun right now anyway: once you take a week or so off and get out of the habit of logging in daily when you get home, you won’t miss it.

      August 5, 2019 at 11:45 PM
      • Guilford Australis Ganthrithor

        I kept one account because I still love EVE despite the devs’ best efforts. I’m on deployment with a squad, and I still enjoy joining some corp fleets. But I let four alts lapse to Alpha and don’t plan to resurrect them. I’ve simply concluded from CCP’s flurry of asinine changes and Hilmar’s new philosophy that EVE is best when no one has a clue what is going on that I shouldn’t invest too much in this game because I can’t trust the devs to make good decisions. They’re looking to Reddit for the direction of EVE, not to the CSM which players elected to fulfill that very purpose for them.

        August 6, 2019 at 3:39 PM
      • zeenkz Ganthrithor

        I’ve already taken that route. I’ve removed my credit card number from my two paid accounts. I’ll check in every week or so and secure some assets. If things don’t get right by the time my current subs run out then I will have probably moved on to another game.

        Meanwhile I’m making a lot of progress on the online courses I was neglecting until Blackout.

        August 8, 2019 at 9:35 PM
        • Sometimes I’m tempted to write an article just about the things you can accomplish if you stop playing video games 😀

          August 11, 2019 at 6:33 PM
    • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

      krabs mad

      August 6, 2019 at 6:47 PM
      • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

        Calm down, miner.

        August 6, 2019 at 6:48 PM
        • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

          You’re complaining about black out and saying there’s a “reddit echo chamber controlling CCP” but calling others miners. So projection as usual.

          August 6, 2019 at 6:49 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            Perhaps one day even a slobbering doofus like you will learn to use a tone of respect when addressing your betters.

            August 6, 2019 at 6:50 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            I’m sure it sounds really cool when you talk like that with your college Japanese anime club.

            August 6, 2019 at 6:51 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            Ah, there’s that projection you’re always mumbling about. Bugger off back to EN24 and write another cringey blog piece about how the comments on INN hurt your feelings.

            August 6, 2019 at 6:52 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            stay mad about black out krab

            August 6, 2019 at 6:53 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            You continually provide these convenient reminders of why no one in the EVE community respects you. You are replying to comments in which (1) the single mention of ‘blackout’ was a purely factual observation that it did not increase login metrics and (2) I stated that I am on deployment with a squad and enjoying it. I suppose when confronted with statements you are incapable of comprehending your natural Pavlovian reaction is to drool “krab.”

            August 6, 2019 at 7:36 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            “Why no one” literally who? And why do you think I care about whoever “they” may be or what their opinion is?

            Your entire statement was a complaint and whining about black out. I can only assume you don’t like the change. The other option is that you are complaining that blackout hasn’t fixed all the problems. No shit, nobody said it would.

            August 6, 2019 at 7:38 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            “Your entire statement was a complaint and whining about black out.”

            Quote my complaint about blackout.

            August 6, 2019 at 7:38 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            “Hilmar has made it very clear his team no longer considers ‘balance’ to be a design priority. Their design philosophy at this point, described in last week’s Talking in Stations interview, is to nuke every gameplay system as thoroughly and often as possible because – we are assured – this will make EVE ‘chaotic.’ Given that CCP’s echo chamber consists of a few dozen cheerleaders entrenched in a predictable groupthink on Reddit and the EVE-O forums, this new development goal should please the only people whose opinions matter to the devs.

            And with Falcon going all-in on his yapping dog routine with Hilmar (“Oi, yeah, what ‘e said, mate!”) I see no evidence that anyone at CCP is going to slow this train down to consider little details like consequences and unintended effects. The changes so far – along with the weird SP incentives – have rolled out in such rapid sequence that CCP will not be able to discern the effects of any particular change. Moreover, CCP’s assumptions will make it difficult for them to assess these effects honestly as any decline in player engagement will be explained away with hand-waving about how those were all just bot accounts, anyway. Yessir, 10,000 bots, I swahr.

            The upshot is that communities such as the NRDS folks who are threatened by these changes are experiencing exactly what CCP wants for this phase of EVE. CCP assumes that players will adapt no matter what changes are tossed at them; that may not be a good assumption. Besides login metrics (publicly accessible on EVE-Offline.net), which show that the Drifter invasion and the ‘blackout’ did jack shit to improve the long, slow decline in player logins, only CCP knows whether any unintended consequences will emerge.”

            August 6, 2019 at 7:40 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            Not seeing it.

            August 6, 2019 at 7:40 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            So which issue was your statement regarding then?

            August 6, 2019 at 7:41 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            CCP’s design philosophy, as I explain in clear and vivid detail.

            August 6, 2019 at 7:42 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            Just general design philosophy? You aren’t referring to any recent changes or anything of the sort? Nothing addressed to the article talking about black out?

            August 6, 2019 at 7:44 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            Read the comment for yourself. Blackout and the Drifter invasion are part of Hilmar’s new plan to shake up all of EVE’s gameplay systems. He said those changes are only the beginning in the coming “age of chaos” and that EVE is in the best place possible when experienced players are kept off-balance. The point I made in this comment is that the way this strategy has been implemented, with rapid-fire changes and SP incentives, does not inspire me with confidence that CCP will even be able to process possible consequences or unintended effects (such as the article’s NRDS angle, which I explicitly address in the comment).

            Blackout and the Drifter invasion, as I have said in many comments on this site over the past few weeks, are not the issue for me. My concerns at this point relate to CCP’s decision to abandon ‘balance’ as a design priority in favor of quickly-implemented and half-assed features developed without input from the CSM – our elected representatives (as I said on a previous article, one of last year’s CSM reps publicly stated on Reddit that CCP did not approach them about the Blackout or the Drifters either before or after both major changes were implemented).

            August 6, 2019 at 7:58 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            So you don’t like how CCP implemented things in a half assed manner and you view this as a failure to address balance. And the only things that have been done so far in this new trend was the black out changes. And you complained about that…That’s just complaining about blackout with extra steps.

            Whats your complaint? How CCP changed things.
            What did CCP change? Black out.
            So your complaint is black out…but in a round about way.

            August 6, 2019 at 8:09 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            No.

            August 6, 2019 at 8:15 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            Okay so you don’t like Hilmar’s plan to shake things up. So far the only things that have happened were Drifters and black out. So the only expression of Hilmar’s plan (which you dislike) is Drifters and black out…but this isn’t a complaint about drifters and black out.

            Then very specifically and succinctly what are you basing your critique of Hilmar on? Which changes?

            August 6, 2019 at 8:21 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            I used to think you were a troll who enjoyed bewildering people with feats of stupidity. But I’ve learned you really are the unbelievable simpleton you appear to be – incapable of grasping literally anything no matter how clearly it is explained to you.

            I’ve stated my position and stand by it. You’ve puked out a bunch of incomprehensible garbage, as usual.

            August 6, 2019 at 8:23 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            People who constantly accuses other people they disagree with as being stupid are seldom intellectual themselves and almost always projecting their inadequacies on others.

            To recap since this was difficult for you to grasp, you complained about Hilmar’s plan. The only thing of Hilmar’s plan that has been presented to us so far is Drifters and Black Out. Really just Black Out since Drifters were/are kind of a minor inconvenience at most. Thus the only thing you have to complain about in Hilmar’s plan was Black Out. That goes to follow that you are complaining about Black Out.

            August 6, 2019 at 8:44 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            First, it’s not an “accusation” of stupidity, which would imply uncertainty. It’s an observation of stupidity. Second, it is not driven by disagreement. It’s driven by stuff like this:

            Guilford: “Blackout and the Drifter invasion, as I have said in many comments on this site over the past few weeks, are not the issue for me.”

            Seraph: “I’m going to spend the next twelve comments claiming that you secretly harbor a position you have explicitly repudiated.”

            August 6, 2019 at 8:55 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            Again people who harp on about the stupidity of others are usually the ones insecure about their own intelligence and insist on projecting that onto others. In any case I’m not your psychological councilor so I’m not interested in helping you work through those issues.

            But again if the only thing in Hilmar’s plan to have been presented is Black Out, then what else are you specifically critiquing?

            You say it’s not black out, but only black out has been really been presented to us. If not black out…then what?

            August 6, 2019 at 9:27 PM
          • Guilford Australis Seraph IX Basarab

            You’ve reached the point – it’s inevitable in a Seraph threadnought – where your position has been reduced to terminal lunacy in a particularly humiliating way and no one (other than you, naturally) would continue pursuing it. But because you are incapable of self-awareness, you continue pursuing it.

            Oh, and stay mad about blackout, krab.

            August 6, 2019 at 9:29 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Guilford Australis

            But again if the only thing in Hilmar’s plan to have been presented is Black Out, then what else are you specifically critiquing?

            You say it’s not black out, but only black out has been really been presented to us. If not black out…then what?

            August 6, 2019 at 9:36 PM
          • Just to point out: it’s not just the Blackout. Invasion (all of it, not just the Drifters). The Blackout, VNI changes, Alpha Clone skill changes, tax increases, the unavoidable pollution of the Blackout’s data with the Season of Skills promotions, promises of another change ‘every week’, which pretty much guarantees that none of the changes can see their impact well-understood before something else comes to introduce another system shock. This has been CCP’s MO for years: change half a dozen things almost simultaneously, and then completely misunderstand what’s happened.

            I’m not going to respond to you past highlighting the number of things you’re completely glossing over in a dishonest attempt to try to score cheap points. I’m just pointing out that it doesn’t take much to see the topics with velocity in the dev blogs and announcements forums.

            August 6, 2019 at 10:04 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Arrendis

            Invasion’s a PvE event that began at the tail end of the glassing of Tribute and anyone who is being honest knows was going to end anyway. Not a factor.

            VNI changes put a damper on easy low SP botting. You can still PvE it just isn’t going to be AFK ratting.

            Alpha clone skill changes…what’s the issue here?

            Tax increases…This simply pushes more business/emphasis into citadels. What’s the issue here?

            So all of these are almost all non factors or changes that are clearly good.

            That only leaves black out as an issue. But again this is only an issue for pve oriented krabs that want local to provide perfect intel.

            Lastly “CCP’s MO for years: change a half dozen things…” They’ve been extremely slow about introducing changes. The “change every week” isn’t a common occurrence at all. Oh and heaven forbid CCP gives out promotional SP to incentives the screeching nerds to play the game without local.

            August 6, 2019 at 11:34 PM
          • I hate the invasion and blackout content, and I’ve spent my thirteen year EVE career almost exclusively as a nullsec ganker.

            So there’s that.

            The point is that changing a bunch of things at once (which is what Hilmar has promised to do, even if he is– in typical CCP fashion– failing to deliver, eliminates your ability to distinguish effects of individual changes and make informed decisions about what’s positively affecting your game. If I told people I’d give them $100 per account each day they log in, I’d get a ton of logins even if I literally deleted the gameworld and all you could do was click a character on the selection screen. You can’t run a bunch of promo gigs and then draw meaningful conclusions about mechanics changes’ impact on DAU. Hell you can’t even produce meaningful data on the blackout change alone in two weeks– even without adding noise– as we’re seeing demonstrated by this very article: it’s taken two or three weeks just to kill NRDS play– that’s one, extremely niche facet of nullsec gameplay. Who knows what the longer-term impacts will be on other aspects of the game.

            August 7, 2019 at 4:07 AM
          • If I announced a plan to summarily execute everybody on earth who’d chosen Seraph IX Basarab as their online username– but I hadn’t actually shot any of you yet– would you find yourself morally obligated to wait and observe the effects of my crusade before rendering an opinion on its content or philosophical underpinnings?

            August 7, 2019 at 3:59 AM
          • Ho Lee Phuc, man: he’s talking about CCP’s Talking in Stations interview where the fucking C-E-O literally said in no uncertain terms: “Our development strategy going forward is going to consist of less thinking and more erratic changes in order to induce an AGE OF CHAOS in EVE online.”

            August 7, 2019 at 3:55 AM
          • Ok, first thing, “Calm down miner” is an eve meme, as you are extremely well aware.
            Secondly, did you want to add a constructive comment to the user submitted article, or just shit up comments.

            August 6, 2019 at 7:07 PM
          • Seraph IX Basarab Rhivre

            Yeah. NRDS nerds complaining about blackout wear sonic backpacks and tilt their face to the ground when they run. Furthermore presenting CCP as being beholden to an echo chamber of “reddit minority of hunters” is simply dishonest.

            August 6, 2019 at 7:35 PM
  • So it begins.

    At the rate we (Goonswarm Blackops, that is) have been tearing Rorqual fleets and home defense fleets alike to pieces since the blackout, I reckon it won’t be too much longer before Delve is the only viable region in space. Everyone will join Karmafleet and we can all laugh at how TQ became Serenity. Or maybe NorthernPandemicHordeDotte will get their act together and create a Northeastern equivalent: then you’ll have two choices. Hooray.

    August 5, 2019 at 11:38 PM
  • Rammel Kas

    We’re up to our 12th bucket of popcorn in Delve.

    If you haven’t realized it yet… :ccp: are busy trying to do a series of things to shake up what they perceive the imaginary boogeyman of a specific and vocal activist group of redditors to be. So if random public redditor from hi-sec without a single week of null-sec daily living experience says something in a loudly discordant enough screech of a post you can bet they are just eating that up for truth.

    Change should be a good thing. Misguided efforts that do not appear to have been consulted on through knowledgeable and obligated parties… not so much counter productive as an active hazard to the rest of EVE.

    You’re welcome to get friends together and protest the case on reddit of course. But to be open about it: /r/eve has become a saturated battleground of entrenched interest groups who will abuse the upvote system to twist which threads appear near the top. If anything you say does not agree with their choice of play style, and will not hand them what they like the petulant mob will simply drown you out because someone handed them the system to do so. It may help to arrange with likeminded friends before you enter that ground so that they can in turn counter-vote with alt accounts like these other groups do.

    August 6, 2019 at 11:46 AM
  • Arrendis

    This would be the deathblow for the game though.

    It would come pretty damned close, yeah. It’s also more or less required under the currently-enforced mechanics. You cannot afford to give your enemy any respite. If you do, you will regret it down the road, and that’s been pretty heavily beaten into every major player in nullsec for over a decade.

    If the best CCP can come up with is half-assed bullshit and screaming ‘CHAOS!!!!’ like they’re actually doing something… maybe they’ve run their course.

    August 6, 2019 at 9:53 PM
    • Erick Asmock Arrendis

      ding ding ding.

      August 7, 2019 at 1:42 AM
  • Alaric Faelen

    The first question CCP needs to ask is whether there is actually a problem to begin with rather than starting with the assumption there is. Nothing they have done has caused any great exodus out of high sec for the majority of the player base. The reason a few giant blocs own most of the space isn’t because little guys can’t get in- it’s because there isn’t a whole lot of people to fill all that space. We can’t even get that space rented out to people that won’t have to fight to protect it. So first CCP needs to establish that the current state of sov is in fact…bad. Currently it is only Sov null that drives Eve online. No one is joining the game for the epic mining or amazing orbiting of FW beacons. We have huge numbers of very active and involved players that have never needed gimmicks and SP giveaways to keep paying subs.

    There is this weird obsession with ‘the good old days’ right before Incarna when Eve was supposedly so much better. But looking back is always done thru rose tinted glasses.

    Today’s null sec is a direct evolution based on CCP’s direction for several years now. So much so that the rest of the game has stagnated horribly while CCP desperately tries to polish the turd of FozzieSov. CCP is all of a sudden claiming they need to shake the etch-a-sketch despite this being exactly the predicted outcome every time they announce changes.

    There is an arbitrary line people like to draw in the sand and declare that anything beyond this is ‘too much’. But where that line is is completely individual. Many of us have spent years developing characters in Eve, and progression is a necessary part of any RPG. It’s ridiculous to simply say that some point in the more primitive past was the ‘sweet spot’ of Eve Online. At every point in the 8+ years I’ve been playing there has been massive issues that players have complained about, so this ‘golden age’ of Eve is a myth. We are where we are because people weren’t happy with how things were, so I reject the argument for nostalgia outright.

    August 6, 2019 at 11:52 PM
    • Erick Asmock Alaric Faelen

      The sweet spot in EVE was when it was growing. That was around 2013, Since then we have been in decline.

      August 7, 2019 at 1:46 AM
    • I think there’s a strong argument to be made that there *was* a golden age for EVE: it just didn’t have anything to do with the game being perfectly balanced. EVE was chock-full of real, actual problems (technical problems, balance problems, you name it) back in 2007, but it was fun to play despite its shortcomings because the structure of the gameplay resulted in a ton of player interaction. Nullsec people are happiest playing EVE when there’s a lot going on in EVE. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to make happy EVE-O posts: 07-09 were FULL of people bitching up a storm about AOE doomsdays, POS grinding, logistics headaches, OP HACs, etc etc etc. But those same people also logged in fucking CONSTANTLY to fight each other round the clock, fuel fifty-gazillion POSes, and babysit their battleships through an endless torment of black-screen, hell-lag fleet fights.

      They complained like fuck, but they had fun.

      Ever since Dominion sov came around and basically dictated there’d be just a handful of big timer fights each week instead of the hell-scape clusterfuck of timers every forty minutes around the clock for months on end that characterized the POS warfare system, EVE got boring. Less time trying to fist each other means more time to krab, get rich, and be bored out of your goddamn mind. Making sov stuff highly dependent on having massive cap and supercap fleets meant people were highly incentivized to krab so they could afford the dreads and supercarriers that were basically mandatory now for knocking over giant sov structures and having any chance of being effective in large fleet battles. When the only weapons that work reliably in a fleet fight are doomsdays, everybody wants a titan.

      Fozziesov is basically just Dominion sov (the Upwell gameplay strongly resembles it: tiny number of infrequent, high-stakes structure timers that are contested primarily with supercaps) with the addition of an obnoxious, mandatory faction warfare layer slathered over the top. It manages to combine the worst features of both previous systems into one: supercap-focused strategery where one must always maintain the biggest super fleet to win, and fucking endless tedium for line members who have to play fifty bullshit games of persuasion-beam tug of war every day just to defend their space from some morons in trash-fit Mallers.

      At the end of the day, I think the best ways to measure the game’s health are:

      – How many big groups of players hate each other’s guts and are actively trying to fuck each other
      – How much time do those groups’ line members actually devote to actively engaging each other in interesting fights
      – To what degree does engaging in strategic conflict cripple and ultimately consume the player groups engaging in it? How quickly do I become poor fighting a war

      Right now the answers to all these questions don’t look good at all. There’s been barely any strategic fighting over the last few years, and when Goonswarm gets off its lazy ass and goes to fuck with people, those people just straight up run away rather than fight (not impugning their e-bushido: we did the same shit in the Casino war– it’s the only logical course of action). Engagements mostly consist of a few un-contested structure shoots each week and a lot of running around playing whack-a-mole in tiny dumb ships to entosis shit. Fighting these wars doesn’t make anybody poor because both sides spend most of the war krabbing due to the sheer infrequency of strategic ops, the fact that krabbing space is available literally everywhere, and it’s super easy to just park an alt a region or two over and do whatever. Also nobody loses anything because nobody engages in strategic meatgrinder battles anymore. Enemy brings more supercaps than you to a Keepstar fight? Fuck it, just stick your titan somewhere else, lose the Keepstar, and let asset safety teleport your shit to lowsec. It’s not worth losing fleets over.

      The game is super unhealthy right now. No incentives to fight, no content provided if you do try and fight, mega inflation from OP krabbing gear, and the strategic meta still revolves around simply bringing as many supercaps as you can to every fight. Dumb stuff. All game-design problems. All potentially fixable provided you have a stomach for tolerating some Reddit rage and a strategy that consists of something more than, “Let’s just fuck with everything randomly and see what happens!”

      But CCP would rather listen to a bunch of Redditors who get hard by pretending they’re good at PvP when all they actually do is shoot at miners in stealth bomber hotdrop gangs than actually sit down and try and figure out what makes sense for their game.

      August 7, 2019 at 4:38 AM