CZ Minutes: The Greed Carrot

Since the announcement of Fozziesov, one of the constant topics within the nullsec community has been income that makes taking, maintaining and defending sov worthwhile. CCPs response, as revealed in CCP Fozzie’s dev blog Summer of Sov – Nullsec PVE and Upgrades, is a buff to the Pirate Detection Array as well as Survey Network and Entrapment Array (read more about it in Sarin’s piece, here). The idea is to close the gap somewhat between bad space and highly lucrative space, in essence making it possible for smaller groups to cultivate low profit systems into something useable, among other things. How do you feel about the level of income in nullsec currently and are these buffs needed? Do you think it will influence the game in the way CCP intend, or will it make the disparity between the haves and the have-nots worse? Gorski car: Why would I krab in 0.0 when I can krab in FW and make 3x as much ISK? Tarek: During the time I lived in nullsec, I never had a problem making enough ISK, and I wasn’t even one of those alpha nullbears who raked in crazy ISK/hr amounts. I wouldn’t say income is the main problem of nullsec in an upcoming era where logistics are made more difficult by shorter jump ranges and fatigue and where large buffer zones become impractical or even impossible to maintain. What nullsec really needs to make sense in this way is an increased level of self-sufficiency. It should be possible to source, build and sell almost everything out there at competitive price levels. Right now it is still more practical to bulk-import minerals and manufactured products from highsec. Refining is still terrible, the Rorqual was made practically useless and there still isn’t enough incentive to really start up a local market that doesn’t involve jumpfreighters going to highsec.
“I see an opportunity here to re-introduce the shelved team mechanic.”
I see an opportunity here to re-introduce the shelved team mechanic. Introduce the teams to nullsec only and make them gain experience the more often they are used, up to a point where refining, invention, research and manufacturing levels become higher than anything achievable elsewhere. A similar concept could be introduced into PI. Allow players to bring colonists to systems and make them improve the PI gains through resource mines and farms they create over time. Naturally teams should not be subject to the previous auction mechanic but available as goods in highsec (that’s where people come from right) so as to prevent local superpowers from crowding out the market. Nullsec markets could also gain something by allowing corporations and alliances to set sales taxes, transaction taxes and broker fees for themselves similarly to the model customs offices are using now. Finally, give the Rorqual something new and better to do. How about a built-in mobile refinery instead of having to bring ore to a POS or station? Of course larger alliances will make more ISK that way than smaller ones, but there would also be nice opportunities for political games for the smaller guys like making arrangements to get access to desirable markets and manufacturing bases. The whole “Empire Building” aspect of nullsec needs to become more pronounced for it to remain important. Just cranking the ISK faucet up isn’t going to be enough to make nullsec more interesting to live in. At the end it’s a game, and games are about content and not about seeing your wallet grow by doing more boring stuff like ratting. Apoth:  Anyone who cares about sov should look at the recent reddit discourse between Vee and Elise. These are two of the most talented and prolific EVE players of the past few years. I hope that the promised land cometh, but I am certain it will take months, probably years of iteration to get right. Tarek: Oh damn. I just went through that thread you linked there Apothne. What a massacre. People really have to lighten up. I’ve said it before and I say it again: That nullsec life is doing people’s heads in. DREKAR_TCU Neville Smit: I sigh when I hear that nullsec should be able to operate totally isolated from other types of space, or by inference, that highsec needs to be crippled in order to make 0.0 worthwhile. This game isn’t just Nullsec Online, folks – a certain amount of inter-dependence between different types of space in New Eden is a good thing. Still, I think I like Tarek’s idea to revive Teams for industry, though I would simply make the bonuses stronger for 0.0, while letting them operate everywhere. We can justify this with stronger versions of the Inferno drug available in lawless space. In fact, scale the Team bonus relative to system security, and now you have buffed industry a bit in low-sec, too, which isn’t a bad idea. I think the arrays buffs that Fozzie announced are a good start, but I agree it’s going to take several iterations to get the balance right. I’m not convinced that these enhanced arrays will enable smaller alliances to develop their own successful niches in 0.0, on their own.
“These array buffs become fairly irrelevant if the fundamental cycle of EVE Online accelerates to a more rapid pace.”
The driver to making a lot of ISK anywhere in New Eden is the amount of demand for ships, modules and ammo – and that demand is driven by the velocity of the harvest-create-destroy cycle, with emphasis on destroy. If Fozziesov increases the number of fights significantly, and stimulates more conflicts in competition for desirable space, then everyone in the ISK-making game wins, in every type of space. These array buffs become fairly irrelevant if the fundamental cycle of EVE Online accelerates to a more rapid pace. Tarek: Just to clarify, I did not mean that highsec should be crippled. Actually, I would find it particularly interesting if there were a new blueprint only available for mission LP that would allow you to assemble teams from janitors, militants, exotic dancers, tourists and all those other irrelevant human resources. Production of those teams would only be possible in highsec where the appropriate training facilities are present. Nice interdependence that is way more fun than just moving cheaply mined tritanium around. WH space has T3 pre-production components as unique resource. Why not give highsec human resources as its unique product? Neville Smit: Now you’re speaking my language, Tarek. I like that idea a lot. That’s a form of inter-dependence I can get behind. But the question is whether there is enough opportunity to make ISK in 0.0 space, and if the array buffs are needed or enough. I like the idea of being able to develop low value systems into something worth holding. In that regard, the array buffs are necessary and a good step in the right direction. But I suspect they will mostly just enrich the largest and most organized power blocs further. Apoth: I am far less interested in buffing the raw ISK of null than the industrial opportunities so that an organisation can make what they need without a Jita JF umbilical cord. Tarek: I think Apothne just provided the TL;DR for all the stuff Neville and I wrote 😀
Tags: cz minutes, income, isk, nullsec, pve, sovereignty, Summer of Sov

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12 year EVE veteran, Snuffed Out scumbag, writer, graphic artist, producer, Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras and the second most influential player in EVE, according to EVE Onion.