Thursday, April 24, 2014

Real highsec industrialists will NOT quit because of the changes

Tears are flowing since CCP announced an industrial rebalance that finally nerfs highsec manufacturing and research. Of course there are also UI changes and other improvements, but the gameplay change is putting up to 14% tax to jobs that are ran on high-traffic stations, typically in highsec. The tears are obvious: this will kill highsec industry, large number of players will quit.

It's not true: there won't be mass loss of accounts. At first, some of the "highsec industrialists" are actually nullsec alts. They are by-product of the current bad design where even those who live in Nullsec are earning their money in highsec. They will go home to nullsec.

What about the genuine highsec industrialists? They can be classified into two groups: those who play this way because they like it and those who want ISK. The first group is unaffected as the gameplay is still there. They will earn less ISK but they can't care less as the ISK was always a byproduct. If you roleplay a creator of things, you can continue. Remember, L4 missions didn't make newbies skip lower missions, despite they could just buy a pilot and jump on L4s on day 1.

The interesting part are those who want to earn ISK. Why do they do it? I mean if they don't PvP on alts, what do they do with their ISK? The only answer (besides RMT) is to use ISK as a success metric: I made more ISK than last month or more than most people, so I'm doing good. These competitive players will simply adapt, either by moving out of highsec or switching to another profitable highsec profession like trading. I mean if they are competitive, they won't give up after the first nerf.

Who are crying the tears then? Those who never liked industry, just did it because it was more profitable than ratting/missioning. They had their safe and easy farm that allowed them to fund their PvP or accounts. They don't want their free ISK go away. But for them, it was always a side activity and they will surely not quit.

Finally: what about those who PLEX-ed their only account using highsec industry and won't be able to adapt? The answer is "who cares"? The PLEX prices are just growing, meaning there will be more than enough demand for PLEX even if they quit.

The same applies to those who did research in POS, locking the BPO on stations: this change will remove this risk and gameplay-free "press button, receive ISK" method. Research will be done by those who are capable of defending a highsec POS some way. Fighting yourself, hiding the POS, getting blue status from locals and hiring mercs are all involving gameplay, not just automatic button pressing.

Final note:
This is my old favorite mineral graph. As you can see, mining in nullsec and especially lowsec is about 25-50% more profitable than in highsec. Not 14%, but up to 50%. Yet lowsec mining is non-existent, while in highsec you can't drop a Catalyst without hitting a Retriever. Why? Because most people value safety over profit. The highsec majority sets the baseline, the few who go mine/manufacture in null will sell for the same price, enjoying premium.

21 comments:

Suzariel Kel-Paten said...

It's interesting that you say that some genuine high sec industrialists aren't particularly competitive about it and do it because they like it. That describes me pretty well. And here all this time I thought I *wasn't* a genuine indy because I'm so half-assed about competing. :-)

For the reasons you laid out, I'm not worried for myself about the game changes. I'll still screw around with stuff the same way I do today. But I am kinda worried about friends who take profit and loss more seriously and might enjoy the game less.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in Iceland and hear what the detailed rationale is behind the changes.

Petri Petrified said...

One of the more prominent complains I heard from these industrialists was that they would have to move several billion cubic meters worth of material to a new site to maintain profitability. If they were to remain in the system they had carefully chosen for the exact purpose that it was close to a major trade hub they would have to run multiple POSes. I don't know how much you know about POSes, but there is a reason I don't use them for manufacturing.

Perhaps if the inventory system a POS uses were unified - in that the storage space was not only accessible from one UI but the materials themselves were seen by the modules across each other. A truely unified storage system would make the transition to the POS easier.

Instead, CCP is ticking off the High Sec industrialists who are in it for the ISK and are not Alts of someone in Null Sec. I don't think you understand the volume a heavy industrialist has to work with to maintain their income and edge.

Now, overall, I don't mind many of the changes and they really won't effect me since I do minimal industry.

Looks like your next project is in the making: taking out Goon Jump Freighters brining in good to High Sec.

Arrendis said...

Ok, who are you and what did you do with Gevlon? This post actually makes sense.

Seriously, though - yes, this is something of a nerf to highsec industry - but at the same time, if it means there's more money in nullsec, then there's more reason to hold space in nullsec. Hopefully, that'll bring people out into null, which means more people (us and them) will get blown up.

And that will drive industry, while thinning out the gankers (slightly), so high-sec industrialists should be able to profit off of the increased industrial activity.

Ultimately, demand drives economies. Supply facilitates economies. The more we can get people shooting people, the more we drive demand.

Anonymous said...

The problem with moving to null is that null is full of assholes. I know several people that have already cancelled their accounts and moved on. These weren't null sec alts, these were people who did industry exclusively and used ISK as a measure of success. Their take on the situation is that more nerfs are coming so why bother with the game. I believe profit will still be there because null sec industry isn't going to work. People who aren't renting now will not suddenly become renters. Goons won't suddenly stop being assholes. I think the whole experiment is a misguided attempt at herding people.

Lucas Kell said...

All they are doing is spreading out manufacturers a bit. The research situation should be better, since right now you have to run a POS to research anything, going forward you will be able to actually do it in stations. Prices will adapt to make things profitable if you are doing it right. All it really means is you can't all cram into a system next to a trade hub. *shrug*

It's called logistics people.

Anonymous said...

What is your take on the removal of the standings requirement and addition of unlimited slots?

The opportunity for screwing with prices in busy stations has just increased :)

And no, players will no more spread out than they did when high sec mission agents changed

Anonymous said...

Guess who will make even more money? Push and Red Frog!

Gevlon said...

Standings requirement was just an annoying loop to jump, a timesink without risk or skill. Won't be missed.

If Red Frog and Push wins, everyone wins. A moving, living New Eden is better than everyone producing in Sobaseki.

Bobbins said...

CCP are compounding the benefits to being in null sec in order to encourage/force players to move there. However I would suggest that they are unbalancing the game by doing so.

It seems that CCP is viewing null sec space as being equal however this is clearly not the case. So which 'poor' null sec alliances are in the best position to profit from these changes? And who in null sec will be disadvantaged by not be able to undertake industry?

It is funny that when one group is clearly ahead of the rest CCP continually buffs them rather than fix the real issues of null sec. If I was cynical I would think that they are attemting to bribe the null sec alliances to keep them playing.

mordis mydaddy said...

It should not be a forgone conclusion that this will spread out industry. I think lazyness will have most hisec industry pass the 14% price increase to customers. The nullsec industry will sell at that same price. There need be no conspiracy to hike prices as the regular industry will push the price in Sobaseki to 14% without nullsec manipulations. And that "logistics" is a bunch of extra effort that isn't necessary if you just keep your production in the major hubs. In fact, I see a concentration of industry even further into the market hubs since there will be infinite slots available at "only" at 14% cost.

Provi Miner said...

Like any other nerf either you adapt or you go play wow. Since I have been playing I watched as everyone has gone from missiles to lasers, from sheilds (with shield tank) to armor (and minimal tank max resist and logi). Same ole thing here if not X then Y. The story of eve what was good today will be something different tomorrow. HTFU

Anonymous said...

One point not mentioned is that the tax is actually a necessity for balance.

For example, right now I run a medium pos with 2 mobile labs and 2 advanced. This lets me run 10 invention jobs and 7 copy jobs while leaving room for the occasional research job, and costs me 20 fuel blocks per hour.

Post summer expansion, why have a medium tower? With unlimited slots, I could run a small tower with one advanced lab, have slots for all needs and cost only 10 fuel blocks an hour. Sure, a small tower can be killed easier, but I am risk far less in assets.

Now I am only running 2 Indy toons. Think of those corps who need to run 2, 3, or even 6 large poses for their needs. Cutting down to one small pos with unlimited slots would be a huge cost savings, and the isk/material sink that is pos fuel would dwindle.

So in the least, the tax is a balance needed to cover the unlimited slot change.

Ragelle said...

A significant and easily overlooked issue is that regardless of whether the increase in taxes causes profitability issues or not anyone that does industry as a primary play style has something in common:

Focused industry players are creatures of routine -- they plan products, logistics routes, market access, etc... forcing a deviation in routine can cause considerable losses (not necessarily in ISK directly but in time).

I have a series of spreadsheets that detail all aspects of the production and process costs --- all these change and require time to update.

I have a series of steps for managing BPO copies, invention, production, and market runs --- all of these must change.

I have a series of plans that depend highly on buying/contracting raw materials --- all of these must change.

I manage cost and have a POS scaled to the size needed to maximize availability and minimize costs --- this must be changed.

The issue becomes one of time. In many cases it may simply be a rational decision to walk away rather than go back and rework the entire way I play the game. Seriously focused industry players have a not-insignificant amount of time invested into very elaborate processes that were difficult to establish and are easy to disrupt.

Anonymous said...

"Post summer expansion, why have a medium tower? With unlimited slots, I could run a small tower with one advanced lab, have slots for all needs and cost only 10 fuel blocks an hour. Sure, a small tower can be killed easier, but I am risk far less in assets. "

Where is it mentioned that all POS modules have now also unlimited slots?
This is only true for Stations. It would be very overpowered to have unlimited POS slots, without costs (only small tower fuel).

Anonymous said...

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=337246

Page 6, CCP Fozzie states:

"The cost scaling will affect all build/research locations, including conquerable stations and outposts. All slot limitations are being removed everywhere in EVE, and locations that formerly had slot bonuses will receive other bonuses instead. More info on that will be in future blogs."

And again, the tax is going to be part of the balance to prevent a large Indy corp from cramming all into one small POS.

Anonymous said...

Or, the tax will be used by large null sec groups to grief high sec industry by loading up hundreds of shit jobs into every station.

Von Keigai said...

CCP said the surcharge on production will range from 0% to 14%. Presumably, 0% will apply in places with only a few jobs in production. Above some number of jobs N, it goes to 1%, then goes higher with more jobs. So, what will N be? Does anyone know? If N is anywhere close to what prevails now for the queue size, then I don't see highsec being affected much. I occasionally manufacture stuff two jumps from Jita. The queue is occasionally full, but usually not. It would seem that most of the slots in highsec are unused most of the time.

Anonymous said...

The logistics would be amazing.

At most a character can run 10 jobs at a time, 11 if you max skills, but it is easier to train an alt instead of go for the 11th slot.

Assuming even a simple item like small anti-matter charges, you would need, have to make 1000 runs to fill a slot for 20 days at a cost of 20 mil isk.

Now, currently stations 50 slots. So to fill a station right now full for 20 days requires 5 characters and 1 billion isk.

We have not seen the tax blog yet, but I would think it safe to assume that these 50 slots would be taxed at 0 as that keeps the current dynamic. It's slots over 50 that start to cause a tax rise. Now mind you the nul sec corp will also have to pay that tax on any character past the first 50 slots as well.

Now let's assume it takes another 10 slots to hit 14% tax. It's a small amount, but why not.

So you now need 6 toons per station. 1.2 billion isk (not including tax on that last 10 slots) just to max out one station for 20 days.

How many gank catalysts can you buy for that? And hey, every 20 days you have to repeat this, including having the minerals ready to go. What nul alliance would waste it's isk in this manner? And don't say goons because they would be more apt to gank you repeatedly for that cost.

Anti-matter is a bad choice you say, let's look at Vexors. 200 vexors fills a slot for 20+ days. It costs 2 bil for those 200. 120 bil for one station, assuming 60 slots leads to a 14% tax.

And mind you, this is for one station. Many systems have 2 or 3 stations that can manufacture, and there are easily 20+ stations per region.

So no, I highly doubt any nul sec group will sit there, spending so much isk to grief hi sec Indies. It would be cheaper to run Burn Jita each month.

Anonymous said...

You are forgetting or omitting several things.

The first and most important is the normal industry that occurs in high sec. How many of those slots, or slot equivalents we should say, are normally used for legitimate production and would already be full?

Second, you are assuming that stations will have 50 slots or some equivalent under the new system. Nobody knows what they will have. At this point, no one knows what slots will cost or the ramp rate at which those costs go up either. If CCP's goal is to move production to null sec then I think it is safe to say that the costs for producing in high sec are going to be quite punitive even from the very first job installed into a station.

Third, you assume that producing the things in the station by filling up slots will be an unprofitable waste of time. Far from it, this will either be a break even activity or turn a small profit. I am not sure why you would say that anyone would be "wasting their time" by doing this. They would be "Meta-gaming" industry which was their plan all along.

Anonymous said...

OMG Devlon,

you have never really done industry, have you?
Most "industrial" POSes are run by 1 man alt corps because of CCPs failure to gent POS Management and personal Assets done right.

Instead of fixing POSes, they are being made worse.

Industrialists were forced to get separated because anyone in a corp could steal valuable BPOs with access rights.
Not only are unresearched BPOs very expensive, a maxxed out BS or Capital BPO is worth billions.

Industry is not about pressing F1, receiving.
It needs careful planning, setting up routes for materials and products, requiring market analysis and so on. The time needed for researching a bpo is not to be neglected.

I don't care for the slot changes as once available htey were always too cheap.

What I cannot tolerate is that there is another riskless afk ISK generation for nul sov holders by charging taxes for slot use...

More money for mittens? really?

The by far worst change is that originals will have to be stored inside a pos... Really?

Besides expensive POS modules, there will be now a 50% drop chance for capital BPOs?
LOL!

There is a solution though! As Gevlon mentioned it. C1 WH!!!!

One usually has a large pos there and since one would have to store the origingals inside a pos anyway... just make sure to have enough starbase defense management chars and capital pilots in your corp and you can at least butthurt any aggressor...

One change should also be made for the sake of fairness:
cancelling a research job should not result in a complete research fail. If a bpo is researched for 30 days for +10 ME and it is cancelled after 15 days due to a wardec, it should at least gain 5 ME...
If a player who wants to be on the safe side puts all his bpos back into a station, then he shouldn't get additional punishment by lossing complete success.
and no, some jobs cannot be set to 24h as 1ME takes several days to research. and forcong players to restrict their research projects to 24h cycles is not making EVE a better game but another clicking orgy...

Sorry Gevlon, you have no idea about industry and you are right, that trading is a shitboring totally riskfree isk for nothing method.

I begin to understand why so many commenters critizise you for publishing biased opinions that are not always evidence-based.

Go on writing about trading, bashing Goons or even about Elois and Morlocks, but please, don't write crap about mining, botting or similar stuff.

Hisec mining is still lucrative, DESPITE all those mining bots because CCP wants us to use tritanium and pyerite in any crap we build.
If they only rebalanced the mineral needs for any product, they could make lowsec or nulsec mining profitable again.

It is not because of botters or risk averse people, it is due to CCPs incompetence to balance things right! FFS!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...
You are forgetting or omitting several things.

The first and most important is the normal industry that occurs in high sec. How many of those slots, or slot equivalents we should say, are normally used for legitimate production and would already be full?"

You say it's most important, but important for what? Certain areas, mostly around trade hubs, have long delays on slots but most empire slots are not. Since slots are going away "full" is not really a thing anymore.

"Second, you are assuming that stations will have 50 slots or some equivalent under the new system. Nobody knows what they will have. At this point, no one knows what slots will cost or the ramp rate at which those costs go up either."

Actually we DO know what they will have. CCP is removing the slot concept entirely, giving each station effectively infinite build capacity.

"If CCP's goal is to move production to null sec then I think it is safe to say that the costs for producing in high sec are going to be quite punitive even from the very first job installed into a station."

Talk about assuming things, since moving production to null is not a stated goal of CCP generally or this design specifically. Since costs will scale from 0% to 14%, it's safe to say via the definition of the English word scaling that the first job will be 0%. And I'm gonna doubt job 2 will be what sends it to 14% ;)

"Third, you assume that producing the things in the station by filling up slots will be an unprofitable waste of time. Far from it, this will either be a break even activity or turn a small profit. I am not sure why you would say that anyone would be "wasting their time" by doing this. They would be "Meta-gaming" industry which was their plan all along."

Well A. they cant fill slots up and B. If they can make a profit producing whatever at +14% cost then maybe you should build it too?


24 April, 2014 23:30"

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