Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The true purpose of highsec

Why is highsec safe and profitable? Why does it exist in EVE Online? What is its purpose? I mean if EVE is a PvP game, we would be better off without it. There is no highsec in World of Tanks. If CCP can't get rid of it since most of the players prefer to live there, the logical move would be to remove the rest of it and turn the game into a huge space-WoW. If most customers are so fond of the safety of highsec, why doesn't CCP get rid of PvP completely and enlarge its playerbase? After all, there aren't many MMOs where players are not represented by a human avatar shooting bullets/spells but as a various of devices (spaceships in EVE), the "be a spaceship instead of a mage" could provide it a niche!

But no, CCP seems to accept something that looks like an unstable situation, like a coin standing on its edge. Yet the coin did not fall to either of its faces over a decade: most players didn't "grew a ball" (how I hate this sexist term) and moved to null where the "big players" are, nor a living highsec community formed. CSM has only one member who somewhat represents highsec, despite the majority lives there.

The answer was provided by a late news piece: Spacemonkey's Alliance, one that is known to have a strong industrialist arm was ordered by The Mittani to cut this arm down and keep only PvP-ers, or be kicked from CFC, therefore its space. This is just one of the countless series of the events when a nullsec entity "cut down the fat" and removed "carebears" from its ranks. But this time it hit an alliance that was famous for calling itself industrialist. They did not look at PvE players as fat and they functioned. Now they got the order: you go full-PvP or go to Hell!

The question is simple: how will the surviving "full-PvP" players pay for their ships? How did the "full-PvP" alliances were to paying for their ships? "Moon money" is bad answer. Tech was used in T2 production and highsec does not consume T2 materials. An item in EVE is consumed when it disappears, either as a used ammunition or as a destroyed ship. While a highsec player might purchase a T2 module, he will sell it back when he upgrades to faction. While he might buys a T2 ship, he will replace it to a T3 or faction one. Besides the Hulks ganked, not much Tech was consumed in highsec. Most of the Tech sold by Goons were blown up the hands of other nullsec, lowsec and WH residents. While Tech might took a trip to Jita, it eventually died outside of Highsec. If it's used outside of highsec, the money for it also came from out of highsec, so the question remains: how can a PvP-er pay for his PvP?

Remember the production-consumption graphs:
The point is not that the value (any item, LP, ISK) is made in highsec, the point is that it's destroyed in nullsec. What is created by "highsec carebears" remains in highsec, either without being destroyed, or ganked in highsec. How do majority of the value go to low/null for destruction? There is only one explanation: alts. The value is created by a highsec "carebear" alt and then gifted to the "PvP-er" main for consumption.

The purpose of highsec is to allow PvP-ers upkeep their PvP-er image. He gives the "fuck carebears, give no shit about ISK, let's just go have some fun pewing" attitude while he runs 3 retrievers and an Orca on the other screen. The selling point of EVE is similar to WoW. While in WoW the skill-less, dumb faceroller is a "hero" who killed all the dragons and has the most epic sword (of the patch), in EVE, the same failplayer is a "no fucks given" badass PvP-er. Everyone can be a badass PvP-er, since he has no reason to give a damn about his ship, it is already replaced by his AFK Retrievers. Take away this secret farm, force them to compete for their resources and they would fail.

What would happen if highsec would be removed from the game? The very opposite of what PvP-ers claim: not the carebears would disappear but the PvP-ers. Sure, in the first week the real carebears would be in trouble adapting. Some would quit. But most would quickly adapt, like those who already did and moved to WH space or doing lowsec exploration. On the first week the PvP-ers would have their feast they've been dreaming of. But after they got popped by other PvP-ers, they couldn't log to their 3 Rets+Orca setup! They would have to do PvE in their space! They would either become carebears themselves, like the WH players, or stop playing. In an EVE with no highsec no one could be pure PvP-er. And without that image, the game couldn't be a massive success. Sure, a small hard core could enjoy the game. But the masses who parade around with their highsec-paid badass life would quit.

Don't believe it? Just suggest on the forum that the welfare system of "insurance" should be removed and watch them scream. Some "no fucks given" dudes!


Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

I wonder if this was the original design, or an emergent "he saw it and it was good" kind of thing.

I find it hard to believe that Eve devs actually imagined that their game would be played this way, when they designed it 10 years back.

Rammstein said...

"What is created by "highsec carebears" remains in highsec, either without being destroyed, or ganked in highsec. How do majority of the value go to low/null for destruction? There is only one explanation: alts."

Incorrect, there are many many explanations, a large number which owes much of its size to the multitude of possible numerical facts which could be described by the words "production/destruction" in that graph. this point was made in the comments to your blog the last time you posted this image, but was not addressed--my interpretation is that in that graph, "production" = isk value coming off assembly lines, and "destruction" = isk value of capsuleer killmails in that system. With those meanings, the graphs simply do not support your conclusions here.

The answer to your question: "How do majority of the value go to low/null for destruction? " would then be 'it is traded for things of large isk value which don't come off production lines and so don't show up on that graph.' I.e.: technetium, officer modules, rat dropped skillbooks. If CCP releases the exact definition of 'production' in that graph, or has already done so, then these possibilities will collapse into a clearer picture, of course.

Anti said...

"production" = isk value coming off assembly lines

what a crock of shit. the _only_ reason the lowsec production graph isn't narrower than the nullsec production is the massive FW exploiting that occurred duing the period of the graphs.

without FW exploitation the production graphs would be more like;

High *****************************
Low **
Null ****

Those graphs show ISK generation and destruction.

Another Byte on the Web said...

I think you are missing the true genius of CCP here, and why while their playerbase is relatively small, Eve is very profitable. Players have "fun" in NS/WH, and then recoup their losses in HS, but they either do so a-) in another account or b-) by buying Plex. In either case CCP will get the money, far more than if he could have fun and stay in the game by playing only in HS or NS.

Think about it: You most likely gave CCP more money in your few months of Eve than you gave to Blizz in all your WoW career (even if by buying other players Plexes).

Rammstein said...

"Those graphs show ISK generation and destruction."

You've replaced vague one-word descriptions with different vague one-word descriptions. I.e., you haven't said anything.

Even if you had said something meaningful, you didn't cite any sources, so your hypothetically meaningful alternative interpretation would have merely supported my claim that there are multiple meaningful interpretations.

Let's address your FW example. What does "ISK generation" mean with respect to FW? How are FW LP valued? Are they credited in this graph when/where they are given out, or when/where they are redeemed? Under my theory, all of these questions have a definite answer. Under your theory, they do not. Therefore, your theory is not a well-defined/described theory. I'm certainly open to your theory being right, once you actually put forth a theory which is well-defined, i.e. one which exists. So far you seem content to spend the majority of your time hurling insults such as "crock of shit", instead of using that time to fully describe your ideas, which I must admit leads me to conclude that you've done so to disguise the fact that you haven't actually thought your ideas through yet.

Anonymous said...

You seem to forget trade. Without a safe tradinf zone everything would be much harder. Even wh and 0.0 people need a safe trading zone.

Anonymous said...

@Anti the FW you are referring to is a HUGE ISK _SINK_, it's LP production, and in turn item creation.

It makes the most sense that the production graph is showing the system where items are created. But this is only my best guess, CCP hasn't told us exactly what the data represents.

@Another Byte
Every WHer I know makes almost all of their money in WHs. Null is more split, though I don't know anyone who makes their money by highsec mining or missioning. The top money makers seem to be null content (either bounties or faction/DED/officer drops), trade, and FW alts, and WH alts.

@Gevlon you're absolutely right, PVPers rely heavily on High Sec to do production at the moment. I would imagine the VAST majority of ore is mined in high sec, as is ice, and most of the manufacturing occurs there. Low sec provides us with most of our faction items. Were high sec to go away, it would be a strain on us for sure.

However, I think you're still completely wrong that things like high sec afk mining are a serious source of income for nullsec dwellers. I literally know noone who does this. As I said, the income that does come from high sec is almost entirely trade.

Anonymous said...

Your post is interesting, given how you you supported J315 and his vision of turning hisec into a wasteland. It is good that you finally come to your senses. Too bad there are a lot of morons still supporting that vision.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a lost cause but posting anyway.

SMA has (had?) problems internally. They had openly recruited many corps that never turned to any CTA to defend even stuff of their own when they are hit by hostile entities. People that only undocked to mine and rat, while never commiting any effort to defend and contribute to what the alliance offered them. This is what has earned SMA their nickname.

There is no "pure-PVP" alliance in 0.0 and will probably never will be since you always needed both industrialists and PvPers to hold space. Jump Bridges and POS don't refuel automatically. POS and Capital/Supercap production doesn't happen by magic.

It might be the same person running an industrialist (carebear?) operation with alts as you said, but the big difference between the person that lives in null/lowsec and the highsec player is that one of them only cares about how fat his wallet and how pimped his ship is (what he considers fun), while the other cares about funding his pvp (and hopefully to a lesser degree about his pimped ships).

Anonymous said...

Oh if it only were that way. If only so many had an industrious mind like that.

Most of the real PVP Badasses I know are either actually quite poor and now and then buy a PLEX, having their pvp ships paid for by moongoo-SRP and insurance.
Or they rat in carriers.

It is my hope that Odissey will actually force some of the PVP sustainng industry to move into nullsec due to higher shipping costs.
Suddenly a lot of fucks would have to be given about the outcome of the "goodfights".

Von Keigai said...

How do majority of the value go to low/null for destruction?

I expect the answer to this is "ratting". It is not clear what is being shown in CCP's graphic, but my guess is that "Production" as shown there does not include bounties. It probably only shows the outcome of processes where some item is generated. Ratting (specifically, anom running) produces few items, and it is the main income source in null. The answer is thus pretty simple: ratting explains the disproportion.

Alts are part of the equation I would guess, but a much smaller part than you think. And as others have pointed out, trade alts are probably a much bigger proportion of null alts than say mining alts.

I'd also point out, as someone already did, that buying PLEX is probably a significant source of "production", and it is probably almost all done in highsec. When you buy a PLEX wanting to sell it to fund your in-game activities, you want it to be in Jita or perhaps a lesser market hub. This probably does happen on an alt, but it could be done on a main almost as easily via jumpcloning.

Note that regardless of the degree to which transfers of ISK from highsec alts happens, it's not that material. What matters is that null gets massive ISK infusions, to permit the large fleet PVP that players pay money for, and which creates battles that get money-can't-buy headlines in the gaming press.

Anonymous said...

What is created in highsec involves much of T2 production (You think those POS are making T1?)

Production = stuff being built. So, the graphs show that most stuff is built in highsec, and blown up in null.

Anonymous said...

honestly the purpose of highsec is more complex than that, but for once you seem to be trying to be reasonable. and the POS's produced everything, researched blueprints for feeding the whole market most of all, without POS's less caps, T2, and T3's would be built, some out of imposablity others out of not being able to make it so cheaply. high sec produces the condutions to build darn close to anything in eve.

Anonymous said...

You are misinformed on the situation within SMA. The industry arm is still just as strong. The change that was made is that the corporations within the alliance that were producing volumes of isk, but not contributing at all the the alliance as a whole were dropped. That isn't just a PvP contribution, that's overall contribution. The corps that were dropped were looking after themselves over the alliance as a whole. For that reason, they were remvoed from SMA space. Why should they burden the alliance with their presence, but not help with keeping their space?
Now SMA is stronger as a unit and still has just as strong an industry wing, just a lot less people looking for a place to safely amass personal wealth.