Monday, May 26, 2014

BB 56 - My Manor!

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 56th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

With Kornos and the upcoming industry changes following 6 weeks behind it, things are set for a vast upheaval in the coming months. Before he packed his bags and left Mord Fiddle asked some interesting questions

The common wisdom in EVE Online is that, beyond the odd high-value moon or Faction Warfare scam, there's little in low sec or NPC null sec to the attract ongoing attention of the big-dogs of null sec, with their large fleets and super cap doctrines. It's assumed that NPC space simply isn't worth the bother of controlling even if one could control it.
Is this about to change?
The shift in industrial inefficiencies from high sec to NPC low sec/null sec has begun, adding value to NPC space outside of high sec. In the recent B0TLRD accords CFC claimed two NPC null sec regions, Branch and Syndicate, as part of the CFC sphere of influence.
What is the future of low sec and NPC null sec as the economic center of gravity shifts from high sec toward null sec?

Also, you can take this banter as a chance to discuss the ramifications of the style of play in low sec and NPC null sec if it does happen that major industry shifts there.


Low sec, best sec!

Other than a few months where I went to F1 space I've been living low sec since 2009. Do I personally see a major change coming... no. Low sec is almost impossible to control. You cannot lock people out of stations (whilst the mechanic exists in FW, you can just use neutral alts) and you cannot bubble gates. There are no cyno jammers to secure your system. Low-sec goes somewhere usually so you get lots of traffic passing through. You cannot control low-sec without massive resources and a lot of boring work. It really is like a frontier town on the railroad in the old Wild West.

During the low-sec roundtables at Fanfest it was CCP Fozzie (I think, it could have been CCP Vbi... Viber.... Vybr... no it was Fozzie) who said one of the reoccurring questions for them was 'What is low-sec for?'. And nobody at CCP has been able to effectively answer that question. Hi-sec and null-sec are both clearly defined and everyone knows what they are for. However low sec is a bit of a mystery. I feel the issue here is risk vs reward. CCP are reducing rewards in hi-sec to keep the balance of Low Risk/Low Reward, simple. Null Sec has High Risk/High Reward, simple. Low-Sec is High Risk/Low Reward, wait... what? High Risk/Low Reward?

Whilst CCP are trying to address the balance it is very difficult to make low-sec properly balanced. It might even be impossible. Low sec has got in the last year, or is getting soon (tm) - more wormholes, Mordu's Legion ships BPC drops, better roid belts, tags 4 sec, new implant drops, bonus to manufacturing and research and the list goes on. But the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Low-Sec residents are PVP'rs, and that will always make it high risk. In fact low-sec is higher risk than many areas of null sec.

During my time in F1 Space (aka null sec, named after the only action you perform in most fleet fights) I felt safer than in low-sec. Due to the lower amount of PvP available deep inside blue territory (not a lot) we'd carebear. Running sites in PvE fit ships as you knew that you'd be alerted to any non-blue from about 10 jumps away. Are the guys mining in the heart of Goon space 'at risk'? Are those running Sanctums in carriers worried? No, its as safe as you can get not including Awoxers.

If you are a small alliance holding some space then you have the 'big risk' that is supposed to accompany the 'big reward'. Do the core members of the CFC have this 'big risk'?

With low-sec this level of security cannot be provided. The enemy can cyno in carriers full of ships and dock up at your home station. You cannot bubble gates to provide time for you to dock up your ratting carrier when a non-blue enters system.

I think that a brave few industrialists will relocate to low-sec. They'll come to an arrangement with the local pirates and PvP'rs for blue status. However I think that null-sec will see the biggest boost to industry but mainly in the big bloc heart-lands. Low-Sec will remain as it is, a battleground for residents and a place for daring hi-sec'rs or bored null-sec'rs to get their occasional PvP fix. Are we going to see hulks and Orcas blotting out the sun in low-sec belts? No. Are we going to see 60bn ISK T2 BPO's dropping from POS's in low-sec? No. That will remain in the bluest regions of null sec and in high-sec.

What we will get is a bit more activity in low sec. The question is, will it even be noticeable?

I was going to end it there, but I don't want to sound negative as I sign off. All the stuff CCP is doing for Low Sec is great. However, the mechanics of Low Sec mean that most people will not dare to do industiry in Low Sec, preferring either the safety of Hi Sec or the productivity of Null Sec. My point is that in many cases null-sec can be safer than Low Sec but rewards in Low Sec should not be higher than those in Null. Therefore Low Sec can never work on the risk/reward balance.

1 comment:

  1. Great point. CCP should shift to special unique content in low sec to act as the reward. They are headed in the right direction with Pirate Faction stuff