Greedy Goblin

Friday, April 1, 2016

The official end of the sandbox

The whole post-citadel economy is designed around New Jita. The transaction tax is increased exactly to sink out as much ISK from the economy as the old tax plus old broker fee. If people would keep trading in NPC stations, the new, 1750% increased broker fee (from 0.2% to 3.5% with perfect skills and standings) would sink out all the ISK from the economy in months. People must switch to New Jita and must do it fast.

There is one and only one thing that could prevent New Jita from being created. If people wouldn't use it in fear of destruction or because many contestant citadels are built and despite the owners of the "real one" pop them, they live long enough to create confusion. Remember, New Jita prints nothing on its own, it needs the highsec masses to move there and trade and they are both uninformed and suspecting scam, gank and tearfarming everywhere.

-How could it be made clear which is the "real" New Jita? - CCP wondered:

Yes, they designed a faction Keepstar just to make sure no one misses the right one. With this, the sandbox officially ends. There is one and only one meaningful gameplay left, a "king of the hill" style game fighting for the one and only Palatine. Everything else is just fluff, like pet battles in WoW. You are having this citadel, or you are a scrub. Being a "nullsec Sov-holder" without Palatine cartel membership will be just as "cool" as being a "highsec mining corp" now. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against those who just ignore it and live in Null or WH or wherever they want, but social people don't work that way, otherwise they wouldn't mock highsec miners who are playing a completely valid part of the game. Social people want the "cool stuff". Currently CCP didn't decide what is considered "cool", players did. With Palatine, it will be obvious.

Though giving up the signature quality of EVE is a dangerous choice, the sandbox didn't really function well as a video game, since there were peace times for years and players secretly making deals instead of wars. This is great for scientific simulation, not so great for an entertainment product. Shifting to a clear-goal PvP game could actually end well. However in such games, the end goal is game score or trophy or bragging right for a reason. It rewards the current winners, but allows other players to try to take it. The New Jita cartel will be totally unbeatable from the outside, since New Jita literally sucks out the ISK from EVE and hands it to the owners. I mean the total ratting income (the main faucet) will be equal to the income of this citadel. There will be no possible way for anyone to create a war chest needed to challenge the owning cartel.

The huge price tag (about 200T or 2000 titans) is also a great tool to cement the cartel and make sure that it won't implode from the inside. No alliance has such money in its coffers. To get the Palatine up in timely fashion, not just the cartel alliances, but their corps and individual members must chip in by selling personal titans, firesaling assets or running incursions as corp ops. Whales must open their wallets once again. After giving in most of your corp assets and asking your members to sell personal assets, not even the most egomaniac corp leader will walk away because of an insult or perceived demotion. Or if he does, he does so without his corp as line members will immediately jump ship to another cartel corp to preserve their investments. Similarly, if Joe anybody sold his hard-earned Nyx for that Palatine share, he will sure as hell logs in when the ping goes out for a defense fleet, guaranteeing that the cartel can field an absolutely no-fun blob that not only defends the citadel, but also scares off anyone who would attack it to get fights. Finally, it prevents any top leader from going Winet and solving disagreements with right-click, kick. He knows that if he kicks someone from not only a royal monthly income but from most of his personal assets, he makes an enemy that never forgives and spares no amount of effort to get revenge, no matter how unfun it is. So after they chipped in, the cartel members are totally committed to stick together and defend New Jita forever.

Since it's no-brainer who will be the most powerful when the expansion hits (PL), it's clear that CCP willingly declares PL the king of the hill, the never-to-be-defeated rulers of EVE. I believe Goons were selected originally, but the players united to get rid of them. Since PL became eligible for the Whaletopia title by creating PH, CCP can accept this last choice of players.

By creating the Palatine, CCP thrown any appearance of sandbox to the wind to be able to send a clear message to the whales out there: come play EVE, here you can pwn thousands of players, permanently destroying hundred-thousand dollar worth of assets without any risk of defeat and show off a $3M "housing" to your imaginary friends.

This was my last post about New Jita or the EVE economy. When I saw the Palatine I've lost any hope left that EVE can remain the game we loved. From now I'll focus on defeating Goons before the sandbox ends and summarize the knowledge we could learn from it. Playing EVE was a great adventure and I was much more engaged than I was with WoW or WoT. I'm not burned out, I didn't plan to leave EVE, I had two projects planned after GRR is complete.

Would I be oblivious of the end of the sandbox, April could be an awesome ending of GRR, without the current bitter taste. After all, Goons are going down exactly the way I've planned and predicted years ago, in posts mocked and linked everywhere for comedy. The fact that it's IWI and not me providing most of the money is irrelevant. My blog was always about the idea of meritocracy and control via money instead of "friendship" and my actions were mere examples. It was never "look at me as I can pwn socials" it was "look at the money as it pwns socials".

So for the next month I try to act like the Citadel expansion wouldn't exist and focus on the moments. The moments that bring dead Goonies, lost Goon systems and above all: the death of the idea that social ties and "leadership" can hold together an empire against market forces and meritocracy. I love how Goons picture this war as "mercenary war", playing exactly to my narrative. I have 30 days and 900B to spend. Join me at this last ride, let's make April worth remembering. After that I'll be gone and remember EVE as it was, a vibrant, ruthless, hard-to-understand but finally solved socio-economical simulation and not as the repulsive pay-to-win videogame it becomes with Citadels.


Fresh news from PB:
And another 7 timers won (IHUBs and freeports)

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Serious? Did you miss the key, that it was April 1st? For someone pointedly so clever...

Hanura H'arasch said...

I don't know, this sounds more and more like someone at CCP just went "wouldn't it be cool", without ever giving a second thought about the consequences. And, in proper CCP fashion, everybody just dropped everything (including their common sense) to make it happen.

I mean, if this would be Blizzard then it would be malice without question. But with CCP? I'm not so sure.
In any case, it does not make a difference, sadly.

I do have two question though, how did IWI acquire *that* much ISK and what's their agenda in this war? Do they want a piece of the New Jita cake as well?

If I knew there were that many idiots gambling their ISK away I'd have made one myself.

Anonymous said...

I too hate the fucking pay to win bullshit that Eve has become. CCP you really suck.

Niko Lorenzio said...

I'm pretty sure it's an April's Fools joke. I know their recent record is pretty terrible but to consider such a herendous idea without even mentioning it to the playerbase seems far fetched even by the "New CCPs" standards.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I admit I was in the "No way CCP will actually do this, they will see the danger and back out" camp. Guess I'm not anymore. o7 EVE.

Out of curiosity: what other two projects you had planned after GRR?

Kevan Smith said...

Since you are leaving, would you mind sharing what those two projects after GRR would have been?

Anonymous said...

I re-subbed to eve JUST for this glorious month of burning down the Goons. Finally!

Just need to find a way into one of these merc fleets.

Looking forward to your next game endeavor Gevlon - Been reading your blog since early WoW days, will continue for years to come. Keep it up!

Gevlon said...

@April 1st is today. This was posted 2 days ago.

@Hanura: please! IWI don't have money from "gamblers", it's an RMT sales house and yes, he has trillions, because RMT is huge.

@Kevan: will do.

Jeff said...

You can't courier contract to or from citadels.

No citadel will replace any trade hub.

Hanura H'arasch said...

> @Hanura: please! IWI don't have money from "gamblers", it's an RMT sales house and yes, he has trillions, because RMT is huge.

I realize that, but if you don't have enough legitimate gamblers that mask your RMT stuff then you'll get banned pretty quickly, especially when you're under observation since over a year now.

Unless ... I'm right and CCP just doesn't care/is too incompetent to fix the problem.

I guess I've defeated my own point.

Gevlon said...

@Jeff: contracts matter for nullsec staging systems, not highsec hubs.

@Hanura: I believe there are thousands or even tens of thousands gambling with a few million ISK each, consisting 1% of IWI income. And there are a couple dozen botter selling him 99% of the ISK. And there are a couple hundred ISK buyers "winning" this 99%.

Amarr-Zon said...

@Jeff
I never heard about not being able to set courier contracts from or to citadels. Do you have a link?
I would expect this function to be part of the market service module...

@Gevlon
If courier contracts don't matter for High-Sec hubs: What is Red Frog doing all day long (besides other HS-truckers)? If I remember correctly, they even mention on their contract page to set start and/ or end of the courier contact to a big hub to get it faster done.

Vincent said...

Couriers will be available "not at release"-CCP but they will be available eventually.

Gevlon said...

@Amarr-Zon: I don't have the link but seen it in a dev post. It's not a decision, they merely didn't implement it yet and working on it.

Courier contracts are a convenience and not a necessity. If you want 10 freighter worth of stuff to New Jita, you just Red Frog them to an NPC station in the same system and freight into New Jita yourself. One warp won't kill you.

Dagobert I Duck said...

CCP Fozzie: 'Honestly we designed it to be practically impossible to build, knowing that our definition of "impossible" tends to underestimate our players.'

Sounds a lot like an April fool

Anonymous said...

"After all, Goons are going down exactly the way I've planned and predicted years ago, in posts mocked and linked everywhere for comedy."
They aren't going down how you predicted since you've been saying that numbers aren't important, yet they are only being affected because they are heavily outnumbered. This just proves that the only way to win EVE is to be in a big coalition.

Anonymous said...

Are there no serious forces who would work AGAINST PL or Goons having new Jita(huge personal ISK faucet) for ISK or without it and help out consortium of traders themselves running new Jita with minimal tax?

Gevlon said...

Fleet numbers obviously matter, that's 1x1=1. Alliance size doesn't matter, number of friends doesn't matter. The Imperium still "outnumbers" Moneybadgers 2:1, but their numbers don't show up in fleets because they are worthless morons and slackers. They contributed only to the hubris of The Mittani. Also, what matters is what moves the numbers: money.

There isn't a "consortium of traders". There isn't such group, so there isn't any point planning around it.

99smite said...

Hahaha...
I don't know, but it has become pure fun AGAIN to read your blog.

My friends in EVE have joined the MBC side via lucrative merc contracts.

My CO2 buddies have finally come to their senses and left CFC.

So far, 0.0 is burning pretty brightly... CCP will be so proud...

Anyway, can't wait for Gevlon's new MMO...

Anonymous said...

http://i.imgur.com/QZoHjHp.png

Have this screenie from the o7 show, there's some beauty in it.

Anonymous said...

I agree to your idea that money went a long way to cause the current Goon predicament. Year-long, widespread Goon dislike across the cluster was evidently not enough.

As regards New Jita, you seem to think that no-one except the New Jita owners will be able to accomplish anything meaningful anymore since practically all the money will be in their hands. But how about you start to blog for (and fund) an even bigger victory than now over Goons: over the New Jita owners. Since they will have an enourmous income which will dwarf even yours, you can show what assymetrical warfare can do. And the rebels need ISK too, you have experienced that with Mordus Angels, no?

E.g., not thought through yet but as an idea: Fund suicide smartbomber squads that appear randomly at the undock or the gates of New Jita - ships that are meant to be destroyed anyway cannot really be countered, even if the defenders have far deeper pockets. Carried out often enough, traders will rather pay the NPC tax than lose their cargoes 1 times out of 10. Or, being risk averse, even if the risk is actually lower than the NPC tax.

You can help deter the rise of one New Jita, and if one does arise, diminish its success.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: and why? I don't hate PL. They did nothing wrong. They didn't preach anti-meritocracy like Goons. Them taking New Jita is merely "a group of players win a stupid P2W game". I have no reason to care more than I have about the winner of Clash of Clans or whatnot.

mugg said...

You do realise that the Palatine will not be 300 times more powerful, or even 3 times, than a standard Keepstar, right?

mugg said...

Isn't Karmafleet everything you wanted in Goons? They let everyone join and would probably let you join too.

Anonymous said...

Eve is finally dying.
Give the Goons the rest !

Regards
Doc Know

Anonymous said...

I don't really see the problem with this. If people want to sink 200 T of their 20 T per month added income into this, why not just let them?! If anything, this should alleviate the economic problems you mentioned earlier. Aside from the fact that lots of people would probably just itch to blow those things up...

jkmack said...

I just found this blog and I love it.

I have one quibble with your argument though, people who wield power, are corrupted by that power and abuse that power, this creates ill will which consolidates opposition to that abusive power. Therefore, a new jita controlled by a sufficiently small consortium will eventually create a consolidation of opposition, great enough to challenge it. Now if the game mechanics require a 5 year or 10 year, or x number of hours time investment for that challenge to happen, then yes, the players may say eff this and quit, and the game dies. Or they may get raging murder boners and rededicate themselves to the long road, and work to oppose that regime.

Therefore, if Eve Online sees that the players choose to leave the game, they will of course adjust the mechanics and players will come streaming back, as is the case with fozzie sov itself. I am assuming you know this but have no clue as to what your end game might be, but I will definitely be watching.

Ben Ishikela said...

Have you spoken to a CCP game designer in person about this?
I think there is a valid concern here that needs to be tackled before the release!
Is anyone at fanfest to do this for Gevlon. However he has the insights that i and many other do not have to prove his point.

If it fails, i just hope the Palatine wont a monopole that strong.

What about restricting its anchorplace so that it cant be anchored in Highsec?
Im not trying to get you back Gevlon, i want to keep the Game healthy.

Anonymous said...

I respect what you say and I feel for you that your favourite playstyle is changing...

On the other hand there are lots of other playstyles. You probably don't intend to dismiss the people who play that way as 'scrubs' but that's how it comes off.

Suggestion: don't be so judgemental and just develop a different play-style. Mine used to be BattleClinic rankings until that vanished. Well... I have new ways of tracking how i'm doing and keeping up with the meta...

The sandbox is still there. YOu just need to find it.