Posts Tagged ‘Russian civil war’

Blood Money: Rogue Drone Special Edition

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).

TLDR;

    – 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,

Hark

*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.

Battle of U930-A 17:15+

Calm before the storm.
Local is hovering at around 360, the vast majority of that is Solar and their allies, the Solar maelstrom fleet and -A- Tengu fleet are drawn up at range of the 4YO in gate waiting for the battle to begin, anticipation is high with relatively low key smack in local between Solar and there Allies and the XDeath coalition members already in local .(well to be honest most of the smack seen during the whole engagement would be be between -A- and PL but no one expects anything else.)
First Blood.
Advance warning had been given of hostile White Noise and XDeath Bomber ops in system with them filtering into system early in the main and although a few stragglers failed to make it in safely it was generally known a large number had successfully entered the system so it should not have come as a surprise when the -A- Tengu fleet once more came under a massed bomb run from white noise and XDeath at 17:47. While not as wildly successful as a previous run by white noise that wiped out a -A- Tengu fleet this run did succeed in killing 3 Tengu, 2 Cerberus and as will not surprise anyone a drake. (there is always a drake 🙂 )
This bomb run forced most of the -A- fleet off the gate briefly, but they rapidly returned in good order, first serious blood to XDeath and friends but this may have also have shown a repeated deficit in XDeath and friends coordination as this did not coincide with the conventional fleets jumping in as was expected. This failure to capitalise on the disruption caused and the lack of coordinate between different groups would impact the outcome of the battle and seems from observation of many of the battles of this war to be a regular flaw in XDeath and allies operations.
Instead of XDeath and friends jumping in now over the next few minutes a light smattering of pilots who were obviously incapable of not jumping through gates until told to would jump gate into U930-A from 4YO and be introduced to Darwinian theory at its harshest.
Battle is joined.
A full 23 minutes after the first bomb run at 18:10 the XDeath lead coalition finally jumps on mass through the 4YO gate into U930-A, Tidi takes effect (though this was a smooth transition that rapidly righted itself, well done CCP) as local swells from 360 to over 700. The game was on! After XDeath and white noise had taken the early initiative with there first bomb run they were conspicuously absent at this important moment.
This is a fault that can not be levelled at Solar and allies, as the gate in became flooded with XDeath and allies they were duly bubbled in place and multiple wings of Solar bombers de-cloaked and dropped their payloads into this target rich environment. As this engagement continued further rolling bomb runs would be conducted by Solar, Gypsy Band, Imperial Legion and allies, although few more ships appeared to actually be killed entirely by subsequent bomb runs the area damage of these runs must have caused considerable issues for Xdeath’s coalition logistics. Bubbles were kept on the gate for a long time and the fight continued at a frantic rate, A combined Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition. Fleet of sniper Tier 3 Battle-cruisers (Tidi cats) joined the fray and the XDeath coalition appeared to be fighting back against the superior Solar coalition positions off gate, much death on both sides as the high alpha of both sides fleets made a mockery of logistics. The PL/ NC. Fleet began to make its presence felt, skirting the edges of the fight and using their superior range and agility to pick there fights. Unfortunately this status quo was not to last.
At 18:17 Gypsy Band bombers uncloaked of the PL/NC. Fleet and dropped their payload, although PL and NC. attempted to escape they lost 9 Oracles, 2 Naga’s and a smattering of support (including a prober which may have impacted their later ability to get good warp ins though it would be expected and hoped that there would have been multiple prober’s in there fleet for just such a happening.)
By this point the battle was starting to become fragmented, with XDeath Coalition fleets attempting to get themselves out of the shooting gallery that was the 4YO gate, unfortunately due to effective bubbling this led to fleets becoming fragmented and getting killed piecemeal by The Solar coalition. The effective Solar Coalition bombing was still ongoing throughout in-spite of bubbles. At 18:27, 10 minutes after there first successful bomb run Gypsy band got another successful bomb run on the PL and NC. Fleet, this time 21 Oracles, 3 Naga’s, a Tornado, a Talos, a further bubbler and a large number of pods died in the conflagration.
By this point the battle was already effectively over and settled into small little fights as stragglers were picked off or escaped from system, The first SBU was destroyed by the Solar coalition at 18:55 less than 50 minutes after the XDeath coalition jumped into system.
In Summary.
In Summation the battle of U930-A was won convincingly by Solar and there allies, the system saved and a great deal more damage done to the XDeath lead coalition. Bombers again showed themselves to be a massive tactical asset when used effectively and in a coordinated fashion with other conventional forces, a trick Solar and Allies appear to be able to achieve more regularly than the XDeath lead coalition.
Here is a link to the Gypsy Band kill-board that shows a nicely effective time line of the battle.
http://killboard.gypsyband.ru/battle/b3457/#timeline
The ongoing war.
Anyone who believes this war will be over soon in favour of XDeath may need to re-analyse their sources as at the moment Moral in the Solar camp appears to be high and the XDeath coalition forces also fought hard from a poor position, whichever way this campaign goes it looks it will be giving those involved “good fights” for a while yet.