TL;DR on the industry devblog: Industry will become far more solo (if nothing else changes) #tweetfleet
— Lockefox (@HLIBIndustry) April 15, 2014
Yesterday CCP announced in a dev blog that this summer's expansion for EVE Online will focus on industry as a whole. Now, I'm not really qualified to judge the changes that CCP is making. Sure, I do some mining, manufacturing, and run some planetary interaction colonies, but I'm more a hobbyist than a serious industrialist. I'm slowly expanding my product line and finally reached the 250 million ISK total in sell orders on the market last night. Basically, my operation is a rounding error to the serious industrialists and traders in EVE. But I have fun.
People who do know something about industry have started to give their impressions. Lockefox wrote a post with his impressions:
"The proposed changes are bad for cooperative industry and strongly incentivize solo industry as-is. Though the changes aren't a catastrophe for corp-level/frontier industry, a lot of the changes will make many of the tools people use difficult."No, CCP is not catering to my play style. If I understand Lockfox's concerns, a lot of his concerns trace back to bad corporation role design and the possibility of corp theft. Also, note that he stated "as-is". CCP still has four more dev blogs to release that may address some of his concerns.
I don't know how important some of the changes are. The rearranging of items into materials, components, and research equipment on the market UI might make things easier to find. Getting ride of the "damage per run" on Robotic Assembly Modules (R.A.M.) and Research Databases (R.Db) is a welcome development. I've created objects using these things and I never really did understand how they worked. And getting rid of extra materials? Hallelujah!
I wanted to discuss the POS changes next, but I need to address the biggest change for me first: the elimination of industry slots. Yes, CCP is killing all the slots. Living in low sec, I never have to wait on manufacturing, time efficiency, or invention slots. But having to wait on copying and material efficiency slots is a pain and really slowed me down. Instead of slots in manufacturing and research stations, CCP is instituting a cost scaling system, where the more activity in a station, the greater the cost. CCP Ytterbium stated, "Expect costs ranging from 0% to 14% of the base item being produced for the most extreme case." I expect the cost scaling system to become another major isk sink, although we will need to wait for CCP Greyscale's dev blog to learn all of the details. But the one thing for sure is no more waiting for a slot to open. Yes!
The last part of the dev blog concerns POS changes and blueprints. As I've never owned a POS (and probably never will), I'm just going to copy the relevant section:
"The Blueprints in question can be researched remotely, by installing them at a station while using a Starbase Mobile Laboratory in the same solar system. With the removal of slots this use case is no longer that important, as we expect research slots to be widely more available.From watching Twitter I believe the big objection isn't exposing the BPOs to PvP loss, but to corp theft. Under the current system industrialists had figured out how to safeguard their valuable blueprints so that other members of their corporations could use them. Now? The possibility for theft is much greater. This is why Lockefox believes that the changes that we know about incentivize solo play. An industrialist in a one-man corporation doesn't need to worry about the theft of a valuable library of BPOs. I think CCP foresees players working around this issue by using blueprint copies, but that introduces additional issues that I don't quite understand, including running into the 1500 item limit in stations.
"In turn, this allows us to change several points:
"So player corporations will now have the choice between the safety of NPC stations or the efficiency of Starbases to operate. The core goal is to motivate player entities to actually defend their Starbases if attacked or be reactive enough to take the blueprints out before they go into reinforced mode.
- Allow Starbases to be anchored anywhere in high-security space and without standing requirements (minus some protected solar systems, like Jita or new player starting systems of course).
- Remove the ability for players to use stations to safely store their blueprints without putting them at risk in Starbase structures. Players will still be able to start their jobs remotely (via the use of Supply Chain Management and Scientific Networking skills), but will now have to move their blueprints directly into the starbase structures that require it, like other materials.
- Improve Mobile Laboratories and Assembly Arrays to compensate for such risk – we’ll give you final numbers as soon as we have them.
- Reduce copy time on all blueprints to be less time consuming than manufacturing something out of it. This gives the option to use blueprint copies to build items at Starbases without risking the original.
"We are aware of the significance of this change and do not expect very expensive blueprints (Battleship and above) to be risked in such a manner, but we do feel it to be a good trade-off for smaller blueprints."
I don't want to get too excited one way or the other because CCP still has four more dev blogs to publish. Also, I expect to hear additional information once inside Fanfest. But at this point I'm cautiously optimistic I'll like the summer expansion more than I liked Odyssey.
Edit 16 April 2014: The original version of this post stated that the theme for the summer expansion will be industry. While industry is getting a comprehensive revamp, CCP stated last year that expansions would no longer have a single focus on one area of play or on a "Jesus feature". I've changed the introduction to reflect that change in CCP's development philosophy.