This series of posts is intended as a discussion and my thoughts in how ISK affects PvP and how PvP Affects ISK; further entrys can be found here.
A few days ago I posted a quick and dirty commentary on the Micro Jump Drive module possibly being added in either crucible 1.5 or Inferno. Within the same “leaked” document, a large chunk of information was also given on the soon to be changes to drone bounties, which I very briefly touched on. I want to now go a little deeper in to what the drone changes mean for us as players. First a short explanation for those not acquainted with our artificial brethren.
Rogue Drones, which can be found in the Eastern Low/null regions of New Eden, are in essence Drones which have developed an AI and gone all “Virus” on us. Unlike the human pirate factions, the drones don’t have a bounty on them, but instead drop Alloys and Compounds (sometimes called drone poo), which can be refined into minerals. Now CCP has begun to acknowledge that this needs to be changed so that Drones begin to give bounties like the other factions.
Drone poo has been a thorn in the side of industrialists for quiet some while now, with miners unable to compete with the speed and efficiency of killing drones for minerals instead of mining ‘roids. Some have even gone so far as to state that the primary source of minerals in New Eden is not the humble hulk; but instead these devious drones. I’m not sure I would go so far, but it does show the level of the problem. Now this is no new issue, and people have been complaining about Drones for some while*, so why has it suddenly changed?
It seems to me entirely possible that CCP has been planning this for a long time and just never gotten around to it. After all changing an entire faction’s (races?)’ bounty is probably no easy thing. But it seems quite likely that the catalyst for the change has been the Russian Civil war. For quite some while the Eastern provinces of New Eden have been quite in terms of war. Sure the citizens have shipped out and attacked other seventy, and some fringe space has changed hands, but until the Russian Civil War, Conflict hadn’t really been seen in the Drone Lands since the dawn of EvE. Then, a few months ago several big Russian Alliances drew a line in the sand and started picking fights. Along with this came an internal change, Minerals which were bound for high-sec were re-routed to fuel the War Machine in preparation for the long drawn out fight to come. With the majority of Null-Sec minerals now not leaving 0.0, the control of the markets returned to the industrialists overnight, and we all saw the price of minerals skyrocket as a result. I suspect this realisation of just how much the Drone Poo was changing the balance of the markets is what finally tipped the balance for CCP, who at the time were looking for balancing changes to fit in with their new attitude. But this is just the start, the real market changes will happen when the Drone Poo dries up entirely.
Anyone familiar with the laws of supply and demand (or indeed anyone who can open the market window) knows what happens when this hits. With demand for minerals staying the same (or indeed likely increasing) but let’s say 40% of Supply disappearing, it’s now a sellers’ market for minerals. Mineral buyers will be forced to increase their buying prices to ensure they get a chunk of the (mineral) pie, meaning more profits to the miners. In the short term prices of anything made from minerals will increase as the increased costs of mineral is passed on by industrialists to customers, along with the increase in profit margins (most margins are calculated by a percentage of the base price). However before miners break open the Cava and start forming conga lines, the spike will likely be short lived, as more miners join their bejewelled playing fraternity in the form of both industrialists looking to cut costs, and money seekers jumping on the band wagon. That said; when the prices do finally settle they will likely be higher than the previous average.
In short, things are going to get very very very expensive and then drop down to just very expensive as supply begins to meet demand.
But what does this mean for the variety of the game? I do agree that low-end minerals should be controlled by High-Sec & its miners. But I disagree that bounties for drones were the right way to go. I believe that eve’s un-uniformity is its lifeblood, and this smoothing of the rough is detrimental to the game. Indeed I would argue that other faction bounties should be changed instead. I would advocate that every Ratting faction should supply a different way of rewarding the player. We will keep one faction with the “press button get reward” system we know and love (let’s say the sansha so we don’t mess up Incursions). Each other faction gets a new method below are just a couple of rough and ready suggestions (aren’t they always with me):
– Loyalty: A new Corporation is founded opposed to the faction in question. Every Faction rat gives loyalty points with the faction, which can be saved or spent on items.
– Standings: A new sub corporation of concord is founded. Each rat you kill increases your standings with the corp. Every week a payout calculated on your standings is given, and your standing is reset with the corporation.
– Fertiliser Pellets: Really throwing the boat out here, let’s make drones drop a fertiliser which increases an asteroids yield (each is set to a type and rarity.. i.e “Minor Veldspar enrichment” and “Glacial Golden Omber deployment”. 0.0 players can sell this roid’ manure to High Sec miners so they can increase their asteroid pools. Hell while I’m on this trip, let’s say we remove the refilling of belts during downtime, and make it reliant on the fertiliser to keep minerals.
Again, I’ll emphasise here that I don’t want ALL rats to follow a single, different system; but for EACH rat to have a different system of profit. A usual this is pulled from my arse as I write, and only intended to give a gist of what I mean (although I do quite like the fertiliser one).
– Drones will be giving bounties
– Minerals are going to spike in price
– Items will also spike
– I think the change is bad for eve, because it doesn’t go far enough
Thanks for reading,
*including the people who farm them. The Russian Alliances who have traditionally held drone space have always complained that drones are less profitable and more risky than bounties due to the need for logistics to ship them to High-Sec. Although I always hear it in the same tone my father says “Oh no this is awful, urg no horrid, you wouldn’t like this at all!” while tucking into a cake. Except of course the Russians are Building titans, not eating cake.