Thursday, October 2, 2014

Be Careful What You Ask For

"Preface: this is a big change. Yes, the way you play now is, as it relates to things touched by these changes and to varying degrees, no longer going to be viable. If that wasn't the case, these changes wouldn't be worth making in the first place.

"This isn't a business-as-usual tuning pass, this is redefining what jump drives are *for* in this game."

Yesterday, CCP published one of the most significant dev blogs concerning EVE Online in a long time.  The issue addressed involves force projection.  On 25 September, an article on covering the first episode of CCP's new Twitch show, "o7", briefly described the issue:
"Force projection has been hotly discussed over the last year, and it appears CCP agrees with the most common criticism: that big gangs of capital and supercapital ships can travel too far and too quickly. Smaller groups of players have been afraid to engage, knowing that a supercapital hammer could be dropped on them from a galaxy away. Greyscale and Nullarbor intend to slow down long-distance travel, with nerfs planned for long range use of jump drives (short range use should be relatively unimpacted)."

"Without a dev blog detailing exactly how the long-distance jump drive shift will work, we can only speculate, but it certainly sounds like what many players have been lobbying for."
According to the story, the dev blog was due out the second week of October.  Instead, CCP Greyscale's published the information on the first day of the month instead.  This move caused some consternation from at least one member of the Council of Stellar Management, Sion Kumitomo, who sent the following tweet:
I can't help but wonder if the posting of the dev blog was accelerated in response to the publication of "The Null Deal" on 28 September.  The document, signed by alliance leaders controlling approximately 90% of sovereign null sec, laid out three principles they wanted CCP to incorporate in a null sec revamp.  The principles included some sort of occupancy-based system for determining sovereignty, each region possessing NPC-controlled systems, and the value of null sec systems increased across the board in order to support an increased player density.  That last sounded like the alliance leaders assumed that some sort of force projection nerf would occur.

I found one part of the manifesto particularly alarming.  Nine of the fourteen members of CSM 9 signed the document.  With the summer summit concluding only 9 days previously, did that mean that the Council of Stellar Management was not confident in the plans CCP had devised for revamping null sec?  Perhaps one or more devs felt the same way and accelerated their plans in order to try to minimize the influence of the null sec power brokers and their Null Deal.  Or perhaps because the majority of the CSM signed the document, CCP Greyscale decided to go straight to the player base.
"Decided it was better to get feedback from players as early as possible, rather than trying to spot all the awkward cases ourselves and release a blog at the last minute. So far, it seems to be working."
In the dev blog itself, CCP Greyscale indicated that the systems CCP is looking at some sort of occupancy-based sovereignty system in phase 2 of the null sec revamp.
"It is during this phase that we expect to make greater progress towards smaller and more diverse Nullsec holdings. It is too early to go into great detail about what these changes will contain, but currently most of our conceptual prototyping has loosely fallen into categories that could be described as “occupancy-based” systems and more “freeform” systems that decentralize sov to focus more on control of the individual pieces of infrastructure. As we continue this investigation we will be working closely with the CSM and following all appropriate player feedback."
However, in the comments, CCP Greyscale doesn't come across as a fan of the "NPC systems in every region" plan:
"Staging in hostile space is definitely a thing we want to look at, although not for this release. If we can find a solution that doesn't involve proliferating NPC space that would probably be more optimal, as it would require us to give players the tools to solve this themselves rather than solving it for them."
I haven't included any analysis of the plan in this post because the plans, even in their incomplete state, are too complex to write about on a weekday night.  Any analysis I do perform will have an Empire slant as I don't know very much about null sec.  But with the threadnaught having reached 130 pages and 2589 posts as of 6:10am EVE time, I figure I needed to at least provide a little background on some of the issues we will probably hear about over the next few days.


  1. Clearly, the NDA is a farce, as the CSM cartel reps obviously told their leadership what was looking to happen, and the cartels are exerting every bit of political muscle they can. Frankly, they will very likely come out even stronger than they are today, because there is zero doubt that CCP will be enriching each null sec system to balance the huge nerf to ranges.

    mynnna is getting precisely what he wanted. He is getting very rich, very localized bastions for the various cartels.

    Yes, there will be space opened up for new vassal groups, as the cartels slightly contract their held space. But make no mistake, the existing will be entrenched forever, richer than before, and unassailable in their home turfs.

    As for high sec, this yet another huge hit, as null sec will indeed now localize all industry and trade. Given that each null sec system, courtesy of years of gifts, is now far superior to high sec in all aspects of the game, soon there will be no need for high sec. The cartels will establish their own local trade centres and industrial bases, because jump freightering just got a lot worse, even with the 90% mitigation factor.

  2. This "Force Projection" fix is the same thing Greyscale's been pushing, unsuccessfully for at least 2 years. I dunno what they're discussing in those meetings but this was mentioned specifically by the CSM two years ago.

  3. Hi Dimmy! o/

    (if yer not Dimmy, yer his cousin... same same either way LOL)