Greedy Goblin

Friday, May 25, 2012

Would I welcome the IMMORTAL module?

Rohan figured out how could the "I just skip the boring part" argument for PLEX turned back: let's introduce the IMMORTAL module. It is made of PLEX and has one effect: making someone immune to PvP. Of course it's not God mode module, it only works in high sec (so you can't even scout with it) and make one unable to use smartbombs or target other players (so can't repair or scramble either). You can't use it if your corp is in war either, be in an NPC corp if it bothers you.

This module is the perfect counter-argument against those who think PLEX trading is an OK way to play and not just an alien element that CCP uses to limit illegal RMT and keep bad players in the game. The logic is simple: if one is allowed to skip one part of the game for real money, why shouldn't one be allowed to skip another part. Please note that this module doesn't help at all with PvP, it just make you avoid it.

I doubt anyone can come up with an idea why IMMORTAL module is not OK while buying ISK via PLEX is OK.

However the real value of the IMMORTAL module is to make the main point of the PLEX discussion clear: who would benefit from the module? On the first sight, everyone who don't enjoy blowing up random strangers. For example my main will clearly never attack anyone, so if I ever participate in PvP, it can only happen as gank victim. The module takes that out, I should love it. And indeed if it would be introduced, I would buy one as not having one would be serious disadvantage. However would I be happy about it? Not at all. My money comes from proper risk assessment. I know when it's safe to fly and when it's not. This is what separates me from my competitors who lose cargo to pirates or stay away from hauling. This is why I got 1B extra on the weekend of "Burn Jita". The IMMORTAL module would get rid of that. Any random guy could effectively compete with me autopiloting in a shuttle. Hauling would become another fixed ISK/hour grind without the risk of pirates.

So the IMMORTAL module would help the bad haulers, bad miners, bad missioners to get away with being bad and keep competing with the good ones. It would be dumbing down the game by letting people skip competitive content. Now it's easy to see who is the good and who is the bad trader: the one who gets the cargo where it sells highest is the good one, the one who runs with cheap crap or gets blown up is the bad one. For this reason I actually wish as many gankers, griefers and troublemakers in highsec as possible (I mean, as a player who wants to win. I still think it's preventing EVE from growing.)

Now I wish someone could tell me how the same doesn't apply to PLEX? Because I'm sure that PLEX is the IMMORTAL module for those who are stupid to the economy. Without it the good pirate would be separated from the bad as the good one could keep flying as he has lot of loot and little losses, while the bad one gets his hardly farmed ship blown up and back in a Rifter. With PLEX it's just like autopiloting with IMMORTAL: every living body can afford PvP ships and have easy kills. A good pirate should wish for as harsh economy as I wish for more griefers for the same reason: the harder the conditions are, the bigger the gap between skilled and M&S.

Finally one more question: would IMMORTAL make the game unplayable? Probably not. Since it's made of PLEX, it would seriously increase the demand for PLEX, increasing its price so probably wouldn't be that popular as you'd guess. However it would clearly make the game worse and less enjoyable for everyone, except those who are currently farmed by griefers because they are too dumb to learn some really basic moves like "don't use an untanked Hulk during Hulkageddon".

EVE Business report: Friday morning 27.8B. (0 PLEX behind for second account, 1.1B spent on triage carrier alt)
Don't forget to join the goblinworks channel to discuss trading and industrial ideas and laugh on the morons of the day (50-80 people on peak hours).


Anonymous said...

The impressive thing is that people are willing to pay a sub /and/ buy PLEX on top so that they can PvP without having to play the economy.

RP said...

A PLEX only allows bad piraes to PVP because the playerbase buys PLEX. If nobody brought PLEX then simpily buying a PLEX wouldn't allow you to PVP.

With the IMMORTAL module you propose anyone can stop PVP no matter what the market and players dictate. They buy a PLEX from CCP and turn it into an IMMORTAL module and they are free to avoid PVP.

In your scenario, buying a PLEX automatically gives you 500million which allows you to PVP. This isn't true, its up to the market. With the IMMORTAL module you are automatically made safe from PVP no matter what other players do and think, because its not dependant on any market factors

It is a good idea but you somehow need to factor in the ability to make it dependant on players, much like PLEX

Jason Ambrye said...

Having PLEX around means people who enjoy the economic game and are reasonably good at it (such as a certain goblin...) (or own 0.0 moons) can play for free / have multiple accounts without spending any RL cash. If PLEX went away, that would not be possible either (or it would be replaced by some RMT cash shop, as CCP needs to get their money from somewhere).

Anonymous said...

"I doubt anyone can come up with an idea why IMMORTAL module is not OK while buying ISK via PLEX is OK."

a plex equals gametime.
It allows someone who is able (has time / drive to to the boring stuff) to gather isk to have someone else who does not want to do the boring stuff pay for him in exchange for the reward of a bit of the used gametime.

this is not paying for a game mechanic that allows you to be taken out of the main factor of the game to be on easy mode.

I'm creating a reasonable amount of isk myself and pay for most of my accounts with ISK by buying plexes, and i'm glad it is there.

Also i had times where my ingame income would be far from what i needed to sustain my characters (eqipment wise) and where it was quite helpfull to be able to give the gametime i bought by realmoney to someone who actually did the boring stuff that i don't want todo with it.

Hivemind said...

"I doubt anyone can come up with an idea why IMMORTAL module is not OK while buying ISK via PLEX is OK."

Challenge accepted!

> "Non-consensual PvP, anywhere, any time you are undocked" is one of the fundamental aspects of EVE. Grinding for ISK is not. Certainly the rich player-run economy IS a fundamental part, but PLEX don't interfere with that - they're just another commodity made by players, sold to players and used by players.

> The existence of PLEX doesn't invalidate any playstyles in the sandbox; they only function because other players are putting in the effort to generate ISK that the PLEXer cannot (due to time constraints or similar) or will not put in themselves. If everyone in EVE tried to fund their ingame activities via PLEX, the bottom would drop out of the market and PLEX would quickly become worthless. The existence of the IMMORTAL module on the other hand would kill off gameplay for the gankers, emergent content like Burn Jita and Hulkageddon (though Freighters have no module slots, so hmmm...), harm traders as you've mentioned and so on.

> Making ISK in EVE isn't always competitive - Mission rewards and NPC Bounties are given out regardless of how many other players run that same mission or kill that same rat type. PLEXing to avoid those activities has no knock-on effect for other players. Making yourself invulnerable to PvP in hisec has a direct effect on other players by default, as it affects a lot of activities that ARE competitive with others - hauling, mining, trading etc.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: You really need to stop talking about playstyles you haven't tried or even so much as researched, making assumptions for what they do and don't want.

You're still assuming that it's possible to buy success at PvP with PLEX and that there are players out there who are terrible at PvP but are winning anyway by buying PLEX and spending them on the best ships and modules in the game. This is not the case; they do not exist. The difference in performance between say a 300 million ISK battleship plus T2 fit and a 3 billion ISK faction battleship and faction fit is about 10-20%. That's a 10x price increase for a 1.2x performance increase. It is nowhere near enough to offset a lack of skill with the ship - the shiny 3bil ship with an inexperienced pilot will lose out to the veteran in the 300 mil one.

The better ship/fit will win out when the players are of more-or-less even skill, and a better ship can help a slightly less skilled player beat a more experienced opponent, but that's a far cry from your assumed horde of M&S blowing up veteran players in extremely expensive ships paid for by PLEX.

Aside from those close fights, the only way ISK affects PvP is it allows a player to throw more ships into a fight - eventually they'll wear an opponent down or find a less-skilled player they can beat or otherwise get lucky, but that's going to come at the expense of a terrible efficiency rating (value of losses vs value of kills) which is the main metric PvPers judge themselves/are judged on. On the other hand, it is a great method for learning - lots of trial and error, learning from defeat and so on, but then if the player were inclined to do something like that they wouldn't be an M&S, would they?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Hivemind. Greedy Goblin you are exaggerating the effects of buying ISK for plex. No way for average players to reach the compatitive level of good players (including you) by buying plex.
Of cause there are always some players that 1.very rich 2. have much time and 3.are very talented ,and those players simply can not be beaten.( in every MMO out there in the internet)

The problematic side of eve gaming philosophie lies much more in what is called "the goon" gaming attitude (or what i shall call the terror of total freedom).
Thats why an articel like "the singing ransom" shapes the actual state of eve much better then your plex posts.

You have played a lot of (internet) multiplayer games so you may be competent on reflecting about another eve characteristic. ... i mean the existence of some very old and very rich gaming accounts. (since server and account have never been resetted since gaming start)

Anonymous said...

I have written a long comment about it in the past, but I have never seen you talk about it:

What about alts? Are those fine? If so, why?

In my opinion alts break more and more important game rules than buying ISK could ever do. Yet you are constantly bashing PLEX but haven't mentioned the impact of alts ever yet.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: PLEX is not a player made item. It's bought from real money and "magically" appear in your hangar. The buyer will make it (equally magically) disappear from New Eden.

The Immortal modul wouldn't make nonconsensual PvP go away, just remove you from it. Just like buying PLEX removes you from the player run economy.

Hivemind said...

@ Gevlon PLEX are player made items; they are only created through the actions of players. Certainly those actions take place out of the game, but does that make any difference to this particular discussion? I'm not sure what you mean by it magically disappearing when used either - that's like saying boosters magically disappear when you consume them, or ammo magically disappears when you shoot it. Using a PLEX item adds time to your pilot license, aka your account.

The IMMORTAL module does make non-consensual PvP go away for those who buy one, and for those who want to attack someone who's bought one. That's the whole point of it; with it attached, if you do want to PvP you just remove it, or you go to low/nullsec where it doesn't work. If you don't want to PvP though, you won't be PvP'd.

As for buying PLEX "remov[ing] you from the player run economy" that's the opposite of the case; selling a PLEX is a buy-in to the economy, not an opt-out. You have nothing, you pay IRL money and now you have ingame ISK that you can and presumably will spend on the economy, to obtain goods and services. You're making the economy flow, not shutting it down.

JimL said...

There are some key differences between your IMMORTAL module and buying PLEX that makes the comparison invalid. PLEX just gives a player some ISK. A bad PvP player will use up that ISK much quicker than a good player will so skill still matters. Your IMMORTAL module was permanent which means that it affected all players equally and skill did not matter.

A better comparison would be an IMMORTAL module that had a set number of charges before it was used up. For example, let's say an IMMORTAL module allowed a player to avoid PvP three times before it was used up. Bad players would be forced to use it more often and would go through it quickly. Good players (such as yourself) who scout, plan, etc would not have to use it as often. Skill would still matter.

Anonymous said...

Well besides a lot of other factors such as removing a large part of the game and removing a big isk sink it has one fatal flaw. It never dies, it doesn't matter if it's expensive, if you need just 1 of it everyone in high sec is going to have one eventually and that's really taking a huge chunk of the game out the window.

Rohan said...

@Anon, the IMMORTAL module in my post only worked for one month of real-time. It was as close to an analogue to PLEX as I could make it.

george said...

I wasn't reading closely enough to be sure but my impression was that the Immortal module would have an expiration date.

Plex can equal isk and isk can represent power. Skill does play a part in the game but isk and large numbers can effectively nullify any amount of skill. Whether or not it's worth the isk is debatable though. If/when I get to the point that I'd rather buy plex than spend RL money I'd probably opt for an immortal module if I thought it was worth the cost. The one time I've been suicide ganked it was essentially an accident, the ganker thought I had 50 faction boosters or some such instead of the 50 faction transporters that were actually in my hold. So I got ganked when carrying 70m or so worth of stuff. I'd be happy to have a way to at least prevent screwups like that.

Anonymous said...


Although I submit you are making a common EVE Forum mistake: in economics I think it is called static versus dynamic scoring. E.g., saying "removing hisec missions would force..." which it would in a fixed game. What would actually happen is that fewer people would subscribe.

So while if everything was constant, the Immortal module would disadvantage you for the reasons stated. However, in practice, if it grew the market enough (more players) then it would net benefit you.


Speaking of challenges, can you think of anything that would increase EVE subscribers that would also be popular in the usual forums? I can't

Anti said...

the plex system is a triangle / loop

CCP -> buyer -> consumer -> CCP
Cash -> PLEX -> ISK -> GameTime

CCP gathers cash
bad(time poor) players buy PLEX
good ecconomic players gather ISK

right now your immortal module is missing an important step. good PVP players need to be able to generate the module through skilled PVP in the same way good ecconomic players generate the ISK.

CCP -> carebear -> pvper -> CCP
Cash -> voucher -> module -> GameTime

PVPer gathers some resource via pvp. the resource is converted to the immortal module. or perhaps the immortal module has a chance to be looted from PVP wreck. (higher chance from bigger kill? or winning against worse odds)

the module can only be used once exchanged with the voucher sold by CCP. once combined it behaves like previously discussed (limited uses or time though or else everyone will have one. they need to expire or it will be as bad as gear in D3)

the voucher can be used by the PVPer to pay for game time.

Anonymous said...

One thing tat I'd add...
the thing with ISK in eve, is that even if you had trillions of it, you still have to play and you still have to play within the game mechanics available. the Immortal module is essentially changing the game mechanics and that is not a thing that should be done.

the other point which I'm sure you've encountered before: A 1 trillion isk carrier may easily defeat a 2 billion isk carrier and therefore you could say that isk=win for the purposes of pvp, but that 1 tril isk carrier won't stand a chance against a small fleet of dreadnoughts.... it is this ballancing that CCP have done is what allow a 1 month old toon to be effective in battle (in certain roles) while a 3 year old character is equally effective in other roles in the fleet. it's the MM part of MMO that makes the win in EVE.

Hong WeiLoh said...

You can't because there isn't anything: The playerbase is far too polarized, to make a change that helps one "side", or even looks like it might maybe sorta one day possibly benefit one side, will enrage the other. Look at the wardec changes, even though it makes it more expensive no matter what, some bears still rage that it's "making wardecs easier".
CCP has for far too long been playing us, trying to "please all the people all of the time", after all, they want as much money as possible. So as long as they can avoid doing anything to avoid another Summer of Raeg! incident, they'll keep merrily trolling us along ( even if we grumble about it)

Anonymous said...

Reading the post and its comments it seems that your propositions "Plex skips the eve game mechanics" or "PLEX is the IMMORTAL module for those who are stupid to the economy" aren't verified enough to give an immortal-module a solid reason.

If I break loose the conjuction between the immortal module and "Isk for plex argument", ... what is there to say ? I quote:

"However would I be happy about it? Not at all. My money comes from proper risk assessment. I know when it's safe to fly and when it's not. This is what separates me from my competitors who lose cargo to pirates or stay away from hauling. This is why I got 1B extra on the weekend of "Burn Jita". The IMMORTAL module would get rid of that. Any random guy could effectively compete with me autopiloting in a shuttle. Hauling would become another fixed ISK/hour grind without the risk of pirates"

In short words someone might say the blogg articel is founded on an attitude like "Hey, there is a broken feature and let me propose another one because we already have a broken one implemented in the game"

Anonymous said...

An immortality module is not OK since it allows you to skip PVP without giving a crap about it.

You argue that selling plexes is similar to this approach, in that you detach the isk generating part of the game, however, isk is only a currency. Even with all the isk in the world, if you're not a good pvp'er you can't kill someone who is good at pvp. He will outrun you, or plainly kill you. ISK in the game has no meaning, other than providing you with the ships you wish to fly.

ISK in eve is only a currency, hence removing the ISK aspect through plex trading only affects currency and not game balance. You could argue that generating ISK is tough and that they gain an unfair time-related advantage since you have to spend time to make ISK and they don't, but I'm sure you know of passive income a long standing player can make.

Lets say player A has unlimited ISK through plex trading. He has the power to spend all of that isk and buy himself a pimped out mach and run L4's. Player B decides to smash his mach and goes on about his business. Player A rages, but keeps playing. The "unfair" ISK factor does not affect anything.

The point is, you're never safe in EVE. If someone wants you dead, it doesn't matter where you are, he will get to you.

As you grow as a pilot, both in ingame skills and real life skills, ISK becomes less of a factor. Buying a plex using in game ISK is a joke, even at 500M. You only have to set yourself on it, and do some industry for passive income.