Thursday, October 23, 2014

Super Belts: A View From A Small Fish

Before the week ends and EVE Vegas becomes a distant memory, I just wanted to comment on CCP Rise's intriguing idea of just having one super-sized asteroid belt in a system instead of several smaller ones like currently exists in New Eden.    Perhaps having one big belt, like exists in our own solar system, would make EVE more realistic, but from the perspective of this small fish in the EVE PvP ecosystem, I'm not a big fan of the idea.


In the grand scheme of things in EVE, I'm the tiny yellow fish feeding off the plankton, except in my case the plankton is the ore in the asteroid belts.  As such, my gameplay partially consists of frustrating the bigger fish and leaving them hungry.  One of the tactics I use is searching out belts that are out of d-scan range of all the gates in a system.  I've found in low sec, most pilots on a roam won't bother to check the belts that are off the beaten path.  Between that and mining in factional warfare space, I manage to mine with neutrals in system (aka everyone else except EVE University) fairly successfully.

Creating one big belt, while having the attraction of bringing players together, has the drawback of putting all the small fish in one place for the predators of New Eden.  Instead of PvPers having to go to a lot of mom and pop stores looking for an item, we would instead see a Wal-Mart pop up in every system.  On the face of it, that sounds like a great idea, right?  If so, try thinking like a small fish.

Small fish, if they have their way, don't want to wind up as someone's breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I know, I know, hard to believe, but true.  As such, we don't want to put ourselves in too much danger.  PvPers would call us "risk adverse".  Ha!  Whatever makes them feel good.  But in low sec, would only have to check one asteroid belt instead of eight lead to more visits to belts by roaming gangs or less?  I'd predict more.

I know that if I have a high chance of encountering a ship in a belt that I would just stop going to that belt.  I had that happen to me with Kronos.  I had a pilot hunting me who would show up  whenever I tried ice mining.  Guess what?  I stopped ice mining and found something else to do.  Think that might happen with super-belts?  Maybe not.  CCP was nice enough to create the Higgs Anchor, so I might stick around.  But I think you would see some falloff.  In low sec, I wouldn't be surprised to see the share of ore mined in low sec drop from 0.4% down to 0.2%.

I'll briefly mention one other item that could hurt some of the bigger fish as well.  I have set up bookmarks in several constellations in Great Wildlands in preparation for doing a little mercoxit mining in my Prospect.  I discovered that having a lot of asteroid belts to warp to is helpful in avoiding bubble camps.  Asteroid belts, combined with bookmarks around the gates, helps get around those obstacles.  Do we really want to see less celestials to warp to in order to avoid bubbles?

Those are my thoughts on the concept of super belts.  Perhaps we need the challenge to shake things up.  But I think CCP should think about the effect on us small fish.  After all, without the small fish hanging around, what are the big fish going to eat?

16 comments:

  1. Yeah, the super belt idea doesn't seem like a great idea unless you are a multi-boxing miner who just wants to vacuum up ore a little more quickly. They are also more likely to simply make miners easier to find if you are a ganker, ala the old giant ice belts of yore. Think harder CCP.

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  2. I agree super belts seem like a horrible idea. There are a lot of places in NS, and LS where I can mine without trouble as the system has 6+ belts. It's also bad for causal ratting too. It's bad enough the mining sites are now 100%ers, but moving all the ore to a single belt basically makes you easy meat to a inty scout. He could go from gate to belt before you have time to react.

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  3. Well... I'm not a miner, or at least I dunt mine in Empire anyway, moar A,B,Cs out in Anoikis (wanna be skeered mining? try mining inna hole). But IMHO the little 2 and 3 degree arcs of rocks that have NO connection to any kind of orbital planetary mechanics (reality) in any way have always bothered the hell outta me... talk about an immersion breaker.


    But how about 'actual belts'... rings of rocks AROUND a system... mebbe 2 or 4 or even 8 spaced 'between' the planets... Some really thin areas with little clumps of rocks in some places and some really really thick sections in others parts of the ring... with a full mix of ice and ores depending on security.


    Mebbe have the ice belts be in the rings around gas giants... and due to the huge magnetic field, scans and probes accuracy is degraded...



    Then it would be moar like RL... with the little fish using the sheer size of the belts and their 'weather like' effects to hide in... Again, mebbe make it so that in the large denser sections the density of the rocks messes with ships and probe scans, so that the big fish can only get rough general direction, but not a fix on a ship... so they'd have to come out and play hide n seek... giving a little fish with his head in the game enough warning to find a 'cave' to dock up in.


    Think about the real world and ask how would it work here? Seriously, do you think it will be easy to find a ship in our real world Asteroid belt? I don't... and all the most pessimistic predictions say that we would not be able to mine out (deplete) Sol's AB in a million years... So like planets the belt would never be used up... easy enough to fake that ingame, just have more rocks spawn into different areas over DT...


    Just one wormhole miners musings... =]

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  4. CCP could probably get away with this if they made solo mining (no alts whatsoever) more interesting mechanically and somewhat more profitable. But those things aren't on the radar.

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  5. I need more information on this topic, if the belt was so large that it ended being on several grids that would be awesome, as a person has to probe you out or travel the entire belt to find you, using the D Scanner to figure which way up the belt to travel.

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  6. CCP Rise's view--which I fully share--is that he wants more ways for people to come across each other in space. Even if you don't like this proposal, it seems it would benefit a larger number of players. Would you be happy, instead, if there were some small belts left, as well as a combination of larger belts? I think Rise mentioned that in the larger belts there would be potential team work or cooperative goals. I'm also not sure *what* the basis for your complaint actually is. Ice belts are a type of what Rise is talking about--large numbers of people gather at these single spots in solar system. If there were more types of game play like that, and added content where people could cooperate etc., wouldn't that be a good thing?

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  7. They already did this in nullsec with the ore anomalies. Most miners would never mine in the standard belts except to raise the industry index enough to spawn the first anomaly. That plus interceptors is what drove me from null mining. It made it super easy for roaming gangs to warp right into a mining op without needing to scan. At least null had intel networks. I couldn't imagine trying that in lowsec.

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  8. Actually, Sol system has the big belt between Mars/Jupiter, the Kuiper Belt, and the Oort Cloud (let's not consider that a proper belt for sake of argument). There is also a minor belt between Venus/Earth that most people don't know about. There are two fair-sized belts in the Trojan areas of Jupiter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_belt There's also the Centaurs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaur_(minor_planet). There might be more. I'd read there were a few between Earth/Venus, too.

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  9. This is an old idea, it was one of the lost exodus features. It was called 'System wide asteroid fields' then and like comet mining was cut

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  10. I've ducked into a wormhole to mine arkonor a few times in my Procurer. You can keep your sleepers :)

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  11. The complaint, basically, is: do we really need to make mining more dangerous? Perhaps the cooperative game play will work in high sec, but in low sec mining would get really dangerous. Which would be a pity since CCP is introducing the Higgs Anchor which should make mining safer. Even in high sec, though, combining everyone into one giant belt would just make the gankers jobs easier. They wouldn't have to search as hard for victims.

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  12. And we will!!! But, what did you think of my ideas? Does my reach exceed CCPs grasp??

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  13. Multiple belts scattered out like you suggest would be cool. But that just might exceed CCP's grasp. Unless they have something like that in mind for Seagull-space, which is why Rise is mentioning the possibility now.

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  14. Giving players a place where they could meet in space is a nice idea, indeed. For now a single players or small groups can sneak into nullsec and "steal" ore until locals show up. With single belts per system it would be a lot harder to "ninja mine". That is a small niche - but an exciting one! You already encounter some ratters warping from belt to belt looking for Mordus spawns in lowsec or officer spawns in nullsec. That's when you have to leave.
    While many player are not motivated to check 8+ belts on their roam from system A to system B they will always check that single belt. Like using a bouncing bookmark to avoid bubbles. You won't lose much time but can easyly find a miner, a rat with sec-tags, a Mordus spawn... always worth a try! It would make rat-farming a lot easyer. Next step would be to remove belt spawns and move them to POCOs. But talking about POCOs, why not introduce a super-planet with a super-POCO to force people to meet in space?
    Don't want to be too negative, a single ore grid would be nice to have in highsec, but lowsec mining is already barely existent and should be buffed.

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  15. How about going the exact opposite way? Mini belts scattered across the system that need to be scanned down. Not worth much but relatively safe. The rest of the Ore in anomalies.


    I never got the concept of fixed belts that respawn exactly after downtime. Makes not sense to me,

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  16. Gotta second the "I hate this" crowd. As someone who mines all the time in wormholes, I can't begin to imagine the sheer terror this would cause every single time someone jumped into the system. All the miners would scatter, not wanting to take the chance that they would be the one caught.

    Mining is already too dangerous. We have absolutely no warning in wormholes anymore against cloakers, and putting all the ore in one place would make it soooooo much easier on the players that already have huge advantages against miners.

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