Tidi fest = Credit Card Pest (CCP)?


9-4 was barely slipping from the news when we got the chance to do it all over again. A24 was the next system to be invaded by more pilots than the CCP servers could handle. Two timers had gone by and it was the final countdown. Another night of tense combat, daredevil FCs plotting the downfall of their opponents, everything hanging on the slightest error – thrills and spills galore. We couldn’t wait.

OK, so I lie. We could wait. We could wait because we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that 10% Time Dilation (tidi) was coming and did we really want to experience that again? The thrill that comes from targeting an enemy and then waiting a minute or two to see if it actually locked, or if they already weren’t there and you were just chasing ghosts. The thrill that comes from hearing, ‘Warp drive active’ and the knowledge that you had successfully got off grid… and then two minutes later, watching your ship get shredded (very slowly) by pilots who didn’t even appear on your overview. No warp, just death. Death by a thousand disconnects. Death by – Bah! Enough! You all know what I’m talking about. Fun factor – close to zero for everybody involved.

Is it only the fighters

I’m really grumpy. I should be long gone and I’m dying and I can’t even molest the people who are molesting me. I want to blame someone. I want to… oh bloody hell. I’ve disconnected again. Sat in my pod on the Keepstar. RIP. It’s 2am. I have to get up for work in less than 4 hours and I need to go to bed, but I really want someone to blame. I should sleep but half-heard snippets of conversation in fleet chat keep nagging at me.

“Of course, it’s the fighters.”

“The fighters cause the tidi and there are so many fighters.”

More snippets on that theme.

Now, I know that it isn’t just the fighters. The players cause far more tidi than the fighters, but fighters are responsible for a massive chunk of it… because there are so damn many of them.

Skill injector effect

My question is this… Is CCP to blame because of the single-threaded code, or is something a bit more insidious at work? How about addiction? Oh sure, the game itself is addictive, but within the game there is another level of addiction – a new addiction – and CCP are responsible for this one too. Skill Injectors.

“I want, I need, I must, must have,” goes the mantra. Out comes the wallet. Out comes the credit-card. Away goes the hard-earned money. In come the needles.

Carrier <ker-ching>. Super <ker-chiing>, Titan <kerrrr-chhiiiing>. I’m a two week old character and I’m sat in a ship that used to take years to train – and for some, still does. CCP are rolling in cash and the Mittani is making sure GSF run regular cap training sessions. I think the cap training sessions might even be more frequent than the newbee training sessions at the moment. It’s so important that the Mittani devotes part of his latest Fireside Chat to make sure everyone knows the sessions are coming up.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that the Character Bazaar has been around for a while and that if isk wasn’t an issue you could always buy yourself a cap-trained character, but it wasn’t that many. It wasn’t that many because regardless of how much isk you had, it still took time to train that character. Now it takes as long as it takes you to be prepared to shell out for the injectors.

Lets ask another question

Would there have been so many caps (and I’m using that term to mean anything of capital size and above) on grid if it wasn’t for skill injectors?

How about this? If there were less caps on grid, then there would have been less fighters. If there were less fighters, would there have been less tidi?

I began to wonder how much it would cost to skill yourself into a cap on day one. I enlisted the services of fellow contributor, Paramemetic, a man who is a dab hand with spreadsheets. We collated the skills needed and then Paramemetic did some calculations.

Fancy a carrier on day one of your Eve experience? No problemo. $250 worth of plex will let you sit in one and idly spin it in station. Want to actually fit it and feed it? Grab another $250 pack and (if you are a bad) add a $100 pack. If you are a good, make it a third $250 pack.

$750. That’s a fair chunk of change in any currency and that’s just for a single carrier. Then you need to fund the fax alt and the cyno alts and of course you need to keep all these accounts running at omega status, so day one could see you looking at a fairly serious financial outlay.

I started asking questions about just how many new cap pilots had appeared since the introduction of skill injectors. One veteran player put it at a 2000% increase, others were more conservative at a mere 100% increase. A great many thought that there were at least five times as many cap pilots now and that the figure was rapidly increasing as more and more players became richer and richer in-game off their mining activities, for example, and then splashed the ISK on the injectors needed.

Would it therefore be fair to say that CCP are effectively responsible for the increase in cap pilots and thus the increase in fighters available for use in situations that are bound to generate a hefty dose of tidi? That the extra revenue generated by the sale of PLEX to purchase injectors is being used to improve the performance of Eve servers struggling to handle the extra demands placed on them by the sale of PLEX to purchase injectors that has led to a significant increase in the number of cap pilots?

Without injectors it is perhaps reasonable to believe that the tidi would have been there regardless, but it would have been tidi generated by more players, rather than by fighters. More sub-caps on field than caps. Would that have made it harder, or easier, to take down the Keepstar? A decent fight, or just another way of experiencing 10% time dilation? If there were no skill injectors at all, would there have been as many players present? Eve is thriving. Is that because of injectors and alphas, or would the alphas alone have been enough?

We’ll never know, of course, just as so many players will never really understand the sense of achievement that comes from completing a lengthy train, because injectors take care of all that tediousness. They’ll also never experience the sheer frustration of having to do that train either. I wonder which of us is better off?

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  • Rammel Kas

    I for one didn’t really indulge in reaching for the card. Previously I did sub with it. But now I earn all of that with in-game activity.

    So suggesting that they reached for the sky without the necessary time in the game is perhaps a misnomer. Fair few new minted carrier pilots in Imperium are the children of Aryth’s Delve Miracle. And more than a few of us were there through all the dark days of the Casino War and beyond.

    I would posit that a few people have simply acquired sensible habits and applied a fair dose of elbow grease to get where they are in the game… and can sustain their efforts there.

    February 16, 2018 at 7:19 AM
    • Canis Fangborn Rammel Kas

      I would totally agree with you and I hope I haven’t come across as having a go at anyone for doing it. I think injectors – regardless of how you obtain them – have changed the face of the game and will continue to do so. What I don’t know is whether it’s a good thing, or not. Maybe they are essential to the longevity of the game.

      February 16, 2018 at 12:15 PM
      • Rammel Kas Canis Fangborn

        I do not suggest the injectors are a bad thing. They are a mechanic to catch up IF you are willing to put up with either cost. Coupling that spend to a credit card is the thing which can create trouble if it’s not done responsibly. As is over-indulging in the game for too many hours on end.

        February 16, 2018 at 3:44 PM
    • Matheus Pfitscher Rammel Kas

      Doesnt matter if you sub with ISK, someone used the credit card for that plex to be there, most likely that day one cap pilot…

      February 16, 2018 at 8:36 PM
  • Alot

    I wonder if there would be a noticeable effect on tidi if they disabled all drones and fighters when tidi hit 75%?

    February 16, 2018 at 7:21 AM
  • Aivolen

    I do agree Skill Injectors may have helped increase the amount of cap pilots in EVE however I don’t believe that is the biggest reason behind the appearance of all these new capital pilots.

    Personally I think the primary reason behind the increase in caps is inflation, a few years back a capital meant a lot more than it does now, they would be used conservatively and were expensive. Now everyone has a capital and most use them without a care in the world.

    I think its too late to reduce the number of cap pilots now, the inflation in EVE is just ridiculous and with the amount people make isk, there is no sink. Soon enough we will have this problem but just with supers instead. (Personally I think its already happening, lots of people are getting into supers.)

    I believe there is only one way which is pretty extreme that can help fix the inflation problem EVE is hitting. With the advent of the new null stations and the removal of outposts, the only places players will be able to dock in sov is in a citadel (which can be totally destroyed). With that I believe mechanics similar to how wormhole citadels work where ships are lost with the station.

    Why the extreme solution you ask? It’ll give people something to lose, it will make people fight tooth and nail for their citadels, you’ve seen wormhole citadel fights, they’re a lot more important than any sov citadel. This will also give people something to lose and not have them retaining wealth through everything. At the moment if someone is in an alliance and their alliance loses a war, does that player lose anything? No, not really. Maybe access to some systems and such but honestly he just picks his stuff out of asset safety and there you go, continuing merrily onto the next sov empire to make some isk.

    People won’t stop making isk, with no way of losing anything, I don’t think that’ll stop.

    February 16, 2018 at 9:39 AM
    • Canis Fangborn Aivolen

      Losing everything would certainly make people sit up a bit, that’s for sure. My concern with that radical a solution is that if you end up on the losing side after a 10% tidi fest, how inclined will you be to continue playing? I don’t have an issue with losing stuff in a fight I have some control over – even if I do get blobbed – but I would have a very large issue if I had lost everything to tidi rather than to my own limitations as a capsuleer.

      February 16, 2018 at 12:22 PM
      • Aivolen Canis Fangborn

        However take in mind if these mechanics were in place, they would change how people fought and what people would do, there would most likely be less caps for starters, people wouldn’t hold as much down in sov, if they did they would know the risks. Personally I have little to no experience in 10% tidi fights as I personally do small gang stuff in NPC Null so I have no professional opinion on it all, its just my thoughts from an outsiders view. However I am sure if a situation like that was in place people wouldn’t have all their eggs in one basket.

        February 16, 2018 at 2:24 PM
    • Axhind Aivolen

      So we will all become PL and NC docked with all our stuff in those 100% safe NPC stations. If NPC stations everywhere except high sec go poof then maybe you have a point. Then there is no way to have all your stuff 100% safe. On the other hand that would have cost eve quite a few players in the casino war.

      Reason for more supers and capitals is that there are more people, and they are far better organised. Capitals are much cheaper in delve than anywhere in EVE (actually my boosting ship was 10 mil cheaper to buy of the market in delve than in Jita the other day) because we have well organised industry and actually protect each other.

      Compare that to the likes of PL who want pets not allies and who live of CCP handout called AT

      February 16, 2018 at 12:40 PM
      • Aivolen Axhind

        Yes, groups like GSF have an impressive industry and market in Delve which although I am typically anti-goon I do envy it as personally my industry stuff is all small in NPC-NULL. However I don’t believe that is purely the reason to more caps.

        People need a sink in the game, a way to lose isk. Currently people just accumulate isk and regardless if their alliance or corporation take a hit, personally they don’t lose out. They keep their assets and nothing of value is lost. I know the asset safety fee does party counter that and is the step in the right direction however I don’t see it as damaging enough for it to make a real impact on the game. As for NPC stations, I see the only real reason to counter that would be to remove them or add restrictions to them, limiting the assets stored in them therefore allowing them to remain to not break agents and such but limiting their usefulness for people like PL and NC.

        February 16, 2018 at 2:30 PM
        • Axhind Aivolen

          Nobody will have all their eggs in a basket that can go boom easily. Well, nobody except us because soon nobody is going to be able to attack delve. We will have enough numbers and ships to TiDi servers to death every single attack.

          But, on the side of that. Nobody in Eve takes more risk than necessary. Even in WHs not a single corporation has all its eggs in one basket. Majority of assets are in those perfectly safe NPC stations because why the hell would you risk years and years of effort on one bad decision?

          Issue with TiDi is serial nature of Eve (balance is designed around order of commands mattering) and players refusing to manage TiDi. The only reason we won B-R is that Laz learned the lesson from Assakai (unironically thanks DBRB) and kept the TiDi manageable in the system by deploying fleets around and making sure enemies couldn’t pile in to save their titans with TiDi and lag.

          Problem is that citadels reward “pile in everyone and laugh at enemy as they can’t apply DPS to our in RT repairing citadel”. Of course the change that CCP did some years ago of mapping geographically close systems to same node doesn’t help either.

          In the end huge amount of resources sit in strategic forces and are thus not really a factor in the normal fighting of eve that is more on tactical level (even when it has strategic implications).

          February 16, 2018 at 3:25 PM
    • Aderoth Anstian Aivolen

      I think it’s more likely that inflation of available skill points is a much bigger factor than isk inflation.

      February 16, 2018 at 6:44 PM
  • Michele Manfredi

    more ppl in game = more in ppl in battle = more funny battle (if server work).
    They need fix this problem or change the keepstar hull value(maybe not all keepstar need the super dock hangar) and find a way for spread out the combat in different node. (try) Kill a keepstar now is the best booring stuff u can do in this game.

    February 16, 2018 at 10:04 AM
  • “Free to play” ruins every game it touches. Are we really surprised?

    February 17, 2018 at 9:47 AM
  • Frans Bovens

    If your thought train is correct then this connection should push ccp harder then ever too fix tidi, since fixing it means more injectors, more caps, more rl cash. So in that case its a temporary bump. Either fixed by players disengaging in a negative way, or positive by fixing tidi. Btw 6 k players logged in… we used too think 500-1k was troublesome. Lets hope they fix it quicker then usually, or favor weaponsystems that require less processing in biggger fights, if there are any.

    February 19, 2018 at 12:14 PM