Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Who controls nearly half nullsec?

Someone had an ironic suggestion: "Just look at the way Null is being held, hundreds of bootstrappy young Randian supergods. It's totally not being held by multi-thousand strong groups of players, bound together by common social activities and groupings. The evidence is right there guys, just build a graph and study it out!"

Actually, it's a great idea. Building graphs is always the solution! So, based on the data of the coalition mapping of Marlona Sky, let's see how the control of nullsec is distributed:

As we can see, the largest Sov holders are indeed not groups bound together by social activities, but businessmen: the renters. They don't talk to each other, not even welcomed in the systems of each other and connected to their landlords only by business contract. They don't socialize, nor fleet up. Yet, even the infamous Goons had to bend a knee to them, give them land and ban their members from their favorite activity: rental scamming. In the last 30 days renters gained 1076+512-375=1213 new members, which is very good growth.

Using Dingo's data we can also calculate how much land a single member controls in a coalition or among renters:

You might think that renters don't control their systems, as N3 owns the Northern Associates land, CFC owns PBLRD land and PL owns BoT land. But it's like saying the cops control your country and not the taxpaying citizens. Without renters, these coalitions couldn't continue to operate, just like a country without taxpayers or a hotel without visitors. While the coalitions could indeed evict their renters, it would be a suicidal move. The renters would lose some assets and would just move to another landlord. The scamming landlords would be back in NPC space in no time. Who needs the other more? Then who is in control? If you are still in doubt, I urge you to test your power by attacking your own renters. If you are right, everyone will laugh and you'll totally won't be kicked for it.

There is only one question remaining: why don't businessmen control all of it, and why was their control much smaller earlier. The answer is former top-down income sources. Back in the age of Tech moons, the wealth came without action of players. The moons generated the income, no people were needed. It was the age of oil dictatorships. In real World countries with lot of natural resources are usually not democratic, simply because the people aren't needed by the leadership. As soon as Tech was nerfed and the main income source became the ratter, having people on your land became important. But not just any people, friglolling punks don't suffice. So to keep having income to survive, the former empires had to hand over land to effective individuals. There is still income from moons, so there is some top-down power left. Would all income be bottom-up, most (or all) land would be renter controlled.

PS: those who serve without a decent contract are minions like this one.


Anonymous said...

The statistics are not at all surprising to me but some of your conclusions are way off I think.

For a start, renters can and do often get evicted. You are right that it would be a huge hit on the income of some if ALL of them were thrown out, but if one group becomes haughty, or refuses to pay their bill, or refuses to put up with an increase in rental then bam, they are out on their ear before they can garner sympathy or complain.

The landlands keep renters down by tuning rent and imposing some pretty restrictive terms on where income can be earned by the renters. Thus the actual amount of money that is streaming from these large regions to the renters is strictly controlled. Don't fool yourselves, renters are not savvy business men who are in control. They are servants paying outlandish taxes to their masters.

Renters have always been there, even before the tech nerfs. In fact, only really the Goons were fabulously wealthy on moon income. Other organisations have long used the renter model for their basic income needs. The choice for goons to sacrifice the sacred anti-rental cow and become landlords was financially motivated because without it they couldn't keep their OUTLANDISH SRP going. They could still keep a massively scaled back SRP going without renters so I don't think a loss of renters would see them back to NPC null however it might harm N3 who almost entirely rely on it.

tl;dr: they are not business men, they are cotton pickers who are paying a large portion of what they reap for the privilege of having a place to live and a job.

Gevlon said...

Isn't that true for coalition members? If the don't do their job and become annoying, they are kicked too.

Having to pay the bills you agreed isn't exactly slavery.

Von Keigai said...

I think you're looking at a transitional form of labor. CFC members rat and fight. Their renters just rat. Other things equal, CFC should prefer members, not renters. Just as modern nations have made citizens out of everyone -- better for the levée en masse.

Of course, CCP may get around to nerfing large empires before the logic plays out.

As for the renters controlling their land: ha ha. You're such a dreamer. Yes, if only the proletariat were somehow miraculously organized, they could throw off the chains of capital, take the factories, and work for themselves! It's like imagining that sheep rule the sheepdogs, because after all, if there was no herd of sheep then that shepherd would not have that sheepdog. True, but it misses some important aspects of the situation.

Organized, aggressive, violent men will always control a state when warfare is a significant threat to the state. The sheepdog controls the sheep not because it's more powerful, but because they are sheepish.

joepopo said...

It is a nice article but as always the logic seems flawed: Number do not make power. And renters are utterly powerless because they are just too lazy to claim power.

Sometimes you see renters participate in fights and I believe involved renters get to be rewarded if they prove constant and significant involvement.

Anonymous said...

"But it's like saying the cops control your country and not the taxpaying citizens"

That's a stupid analogy, it's like the government controlling the country which they do.

Gevlon said...

Why do you think power has anything to do with fights? The Mittani doesn't have a single fight since March:

Is he powerless?

Governments MANAGE the country. Whenever they think they control it, they get voted out. If there is no voting, they usually get a nasty revolution ending with them in exile or killed.

People control their country.

Anonymous said...

Governments MANAGE the country. Whenever they think they control it, they get voted out. If there is no voting, they usually get a nasty revolution ending with them in exile or killed.

Maybe so, but the metaphor breaks down with eve. In eve, it is easy to "change nations" so many would sooner leave something they don't like than fight against it.

Secondly, there are always more workers to fill the void. Every day there is some new mining/ratting corp in highsec that dreams of living out in null and farming anoms or mining higher end ores. So a few disenfranchised renters are easily replaced.

Mass uprising is also quelled by the fact that access to the tools of war are limited. If goons thought that there was a mass renter insurrection coming they would first kick all corps out of the alliance and second throw them out of any in or out of game organizational tool they could (comms, forums, joint channels). Assuming insurrection could take seed then there is the issue of building a war machine large enough to deal a crippling blow and take sov in their own right.

It's not impossible. Hell, it'd be funny as hell to see it happen. But it is highly unlikely. The deck is stacked in favor of the masters.

Gevlon said...

You are still talking about fighting (the uprising) as the proof of power.

The source of power is money. If the renters are unhappy with the CFC, they can just quit PBLRD, move to NA and Goons are hanging out in Syndicate within 3 months.

Anonymous said...

Given that renters flock to Cfc, it's safe to assume they are happy there. And don't forget rental space is limited. There isn't enough room for people in the unlikely event renters choose to leave Cfc. And at the moment Cfc cannot be beaten.

DJB said...

You're missing the point that it would take every renter to agree to not pay rent to make such a tactic financially significant. And frankly eve is a game that alliance and corp members want to play. The job of renting alliance and corp leaders is to enable their members to enjoy themselves. If they all decided to up and leave null their members mostly seek membership elsewhere.

You see this happening every time there's a failscade.

As it was said before, the barriers to migration for the rank and file are non existent. For renting alliances with sov the simplest method of retaining members and holding at least the illusion of self determination is to just pay their tribute as required. Though with all the coalitions transitioning to a sovless rental model and as I was told by a rental director when I inquired about expanding my alliance's systems "people just got to get around the must have to hold space thing when they rent. N3, cfc nor bot let anyone do it, and once all our current renters stop rent who own space it wont get re rented with sov.

Gevlon said...

@DJB: "every renter stop paying rent" won't happen on an ideological basis. Just because I don't like Goons, I can't tell them to stop renting from Goons. If they would decide it's a bad deal, they would leave. That's the point of the post. They are in control.

Anonymous said...

It's true, the blocs are becoming more like real world democratic societies, with all the bourgeoisie dullness and soul numbing risk aversion that modern democratic life entails.

Oddball basket dictatorships are bad in the real world, but in a EVE they are exactly what is needed to drive conflict and get in the NYT.

DJB said...

@Gevlon It's not that it's a bad deal, it's that it's the only deal available. The meta and mechanics are in their(N3, PL and CFC)favor.

I would liken the state of eve to the perpetual war in the book 1984, but I think it's a bit on the nose and I think it has been done before.

Anonymous said...

Renting was around long before techmoon income was nerfed, back then Xdeaths renting empire was the largest entity in the game, and Solars renting empire was just behind it.

The only thing that has changed since the fall of tech is it's a more compeitive market, and this has made it cheaper, and by and large the renting pop. has gone up. One thing you have fail to mention(probably because it's impossable to speadsheet) is how many renters are just alts in those entitys, and their sole purpose is to produces supers/titans for themself, or produce them for profit. Clearly this number is much higher in PL/N3 side of the map, because CFC renters can't build them(huge mis-step by them IMHO). CFC can't even attacl botlord CSAA, and PL is in good relations with anyone else that could realistacly threaten a CSAA. CFC is at the end of the day fooling themselvse if they think they can keep up in production.

Anonymous said...

They are not in control at all, they ether pay and keep the space, or don't pay and lose the space....... If they lose their space and move to another renting empire they get pretty much the same deal that they presumably just refused to live up to. How is that power? The only power they have is if, and who they pay tribute to, if they don't pay tribute then they don't live in null, pretty simple.

The whole idea of connecting it to real world gov. is stupid, yes us in the real world have power, we vote in whichever party we like, and if we don't like what they are doing we can push for a gov. change via an election. There are no elections in renter corps, sure you can change who you rent for, but it's essentially the same deal. In the real world, it's more like having a choice between going to Mcdonalds on 5th street, or the Mcdonalds on Jane street.

Gevlon said...

No, it's like going to McDonalds or Burger King.

Guess what would happen to McDonalds if everyone would pick Burger King?

daniel said...

burgerking would be full of ppl, with a long waiting.line, while mcD on the other side of the street is empty.

i am outside, wanting to eat something shit, i could go to bk, wait half an hour in line, or i go to mcd.

while bk has the better tasting burger, mcd has the better fries - not to mention the milkshake.

as a customer i really don't give a shit about the company itself - they are greedy exploiters selling me a crappy product for a high price, both of them.

Gevlon said...

@Daniel: that's not what would happen.

Burger King would have lot of money while McD would suffer. So Burger King could simply buy the McD restaurant and run it.

Before you'd lost in the analogue: if all renters are in line for N3, N3 would afford to invade more land, likely from CFC.

Anonymous said...

renters are not very clever. If it's ISK they are after, they should never leave highsec and start training trading alts.

daniel said...

what i tried to tell is,
from the consumers/renters perpective, mcd/cfc and bk/npl are very much the same.
but i also tried to say, that each brand has it's (tiny) (dis)advantages - therefore there will always be demnad for both.

cfc opening it's space for renting catered for a demand of good ratting space (loot) which is a product that n3pl simply cannot deliver (mostly droneland, nice for earning isk, but no shiny loot***).

in rl, it's much more likely that the product in general (fastfood) will suffer demand, therefore leading to bad business for both companys.

***yep i know, angelspace, soe bpc's, etc pp

Anonymous said...

If a rental alliance got big enough it could exercise monopsony power. That would be a real game changer. Two military powers and three economics powers the rental alliance probably being the richest.

I suppose you could consider Empire as a whole to act that way in a manner of sorts. But, it would be interesting to see what would happen if renters organised.

BeBopAReBop RhubarbPie said...

Ironically this is one of Gelvon's more intelligent posts. The issue is that its completely pointless without action. Yes, coalition income sources are more and more based on renting space, and any coalition losing all its renters simultaneously would have an adverse effect on its war chests (especially if it happened simultaneously with another BR5 or Asakai). Gelvon has stated that he has no intentions to trying diplomacy in his holy crusade, so a boycott will not happen.