A Scientist's Life in Eve

Building better Worlds – redefining industry in Eve?

by on Apr.23, 2014, under Eve online

CCP have released the second of a series of six Dev blogs on how industry will be changing in the Summer Patch.  They’ve already covered reprocessing and how that’s going to change, which generally will be a good thing, meaning that in Eve, when you take your Smart Phone apart, you won’t somehow magically end up with a room full of tritanium and megacyte.

You can read the second Dev Blog here.

To start off with, it contains some fairly superfluous changes, such as rearranging the market groups for materials and components, which if you have looked at or used these market groups in their current form, you won’t really disagree with the changes as they make good sense, although it’s a shame that the standard and advanced capital components aren’t next to each other.

Stopping the damage is, again, a fairly easy to swallow section.  Previously, when making a T2 ship or module, you might in theory only need 1 whole R.A.M. to make a 10 run BPC of something that did 10% damage per run, however the 10 run BPC would actually need 10 R.A.M.’s to be present that each had at least 10% damage left on them to use.  Very annoying for somebody like me who always tries to run things exactly to the numbers.  This, for me, is a very good change, much like when CCP changed fuel blocks by multiplying them by 10 to avoid fractions in a world of integers.

Also, removing an unnecessary column of data in Eve is always welcome when your screen is so covered with windows that you can’t see the brilliant custom paint jobs available for ships.

Extra materials – thank you CCP.  This was always very much a “work-around” and I’m glad they’ve bitten the bullet and gone for the removal.  Again, unnecessary data being stripped out of the equation to make things easier is a welcome piece of news, and as it’s tied into the reprocessing changes, it’s really not going to be too much of a problem to get used to, although it does mean many changes will be needed in some code and on some spreadsheets.  On this occasion, I actually don’t mind at all.

Now from this point onwards, CCP suddenly tread on potentially dangerous ground.

Removing slots from NPC stations is an interesting approach, particularly as the skills are very much tied into that way of operating.  I can see the logic of trying to spread out the industry a bit by causing competition, but it does raise some potential issues.

Say that you’re part of a big industrial corp that uses hi-sec POS for research, invention and manufacturing.  This is important as you have your BPO set safely locked down at a station so they can’t be taken.  This is necessary as, for some reason, CCP deem it necessary for you to be able to “take” the BPO in the corporate interface sense in order to do anything with it.  It’s not a problem though, as you have Scientific Networking and Supply Chain Management trained, so you can set the job running at one of the corp’s science and industrial slots located at the POS.

CCP’s upcoming changes mean that you won’t be able to do this any more.  You’ll either have to have the BPO’s unlocked so you can fly them to the POS module you want to complete the action at (dude – where’s my BPO set gone? Oh, it was stolen because they were all unlocked), or you have to make a copy first in order to take the copy to the POS (oh look, my POS researching my new set of battleship BPO’s just got blown up, there goes xx billion ISK).

Wait I hear you scream at me, CCP are changing copy time so that it takes less time to copy than to manufacture.  Great, so guess which slots will be the most contested, and therefore the most expensive, to use in NPC stations???

An example of the way I would make a T2 cruiser if I were in hi-sec now.  I’d copy the locked down BPO remotely at a mobile lab anchored at a POS, I’d collect the BPC’s and then invent them remotely from a station at probably the same mobile lab.  I’d then collect the T2 BPC’s and, when a T1 ship has been made at the NPC station and all components have been made at a component assembly array at a POS (using locked down BPO’s), I’d then move things out to…. oh, no…. I’d then make the T2 cruiser in a slot at the NPC station because if I made it at a POS the only option I have is an assembly array that charges me 10% extra materials to make.  Fail.

In total, I’ve used locked down BPO’s to make copies for inventions, to make a T1 ship and the T2 components.  With CCP’s new model, I’d need to either use a (probably) highly contested copy slot at the station to copy the ship BPO for copies to invent from, and unless I want to use the much slower station slots to make the components, I’d need to use the station copy slot to make copies of the component BPO’s.

OK, I could just take the component BPO’s to the component assembly array, but that means they have to be unlocked, which leaves them open to theft.  Even if it was only me in the corp, it still means that they are open to being lost if my POS was destroyed.  OK, maybe not a huge ISK loss, but do I really need to have multiple sets of component BPO’s researched to cover that eventuality so that if I did lose a POS I could continue production without having to wait for component BPO’s to research again?

Now currently I manufacture in an Amarr Factory Outpost in null sec, and use mobile labs at POS to copy, research, invent and reverse engineer from. This only amplifies the problem for me, as unless you want to build something, the Amarr Outpost is pretty terrible at anything else.  Say we put a Caldari Research Outpost in a nearby system.  Great, however now we have BPO’s being researched and copied in one system, and then if we need to use those to build from we really have to copy them as we’re not going to unlock and transport them through space.

With the truly terrible corporate interface currently in place, there will be a lot of CEO’s or Directors having to vote on things to move them to the appropriate Outpost, assuming that the Corp even has access to one in the first place.

I know that CCP haven’t released details of how non-NPC installations (i.e. Outposts and POS modules) will be handled, but as with the cost increment system, I imagine that it will be based around the same mechanic, but a time effect.  TiDi for manufacturing could be on the way! Yay! Wait… what?

My first guess is that CCP will set it so that if (using an un-upgraded Amarr Factory Outpost which currently has 50 slots to build with) 50 identical jobs are put into production at the same time, they will take 100% of the time you would expect, and so the Outpost owner will get 100% of the charges they’ve set.  If, however, another 50 of the same job was simultaneously put into production 10 minutes later, they might take 200% of the expected time.  As the Outpost owner charges by the hour (isn’t that the Minmatar Outpost?), they will now get 200% of the fee they would have expected for those jobs.

The first 50 jobs might take 1 day to make, and the second 50 jobs would then take 2 days to make. Ironically, if the people had co-ordinated, then they could have put the second set of 50 in after the first set had finished, completing all 100 jobs in the same amount of time, and costing less ISK.  Maybe this is where CCP are heading with the “Teams” idea?  Currently, this situation would mirror the second outcome, as the second set of 50 jobs would just stack and start after the first set.

Another question is whether CCP really understand how hi-sec industry works.  The manufacturers tend to be “hopeless noob carebears who are too scared to undock”, and if another corporation war-decs them with the intention of taking down a hi-sec POS, they are usually a large, well-organised PvP corp. Does this mean we’ll want to defend our POS more… well… probably not as it would still be against a large well-organised PvP corp.

Also, seriously CCP, hi-sec POS without needing standing? Imagine if Goonswarm decided to spend 200 billion (a not too silly price), to put a small Caldari POS on every single hi-sec moon in The Forge region.  With the current failed mechanics, all they’d need to do is have enough fuel in each to get them through a downtime, and enough Stront in to ensure that they go into reinforced mode.  Suddenly they’ve interdicted POS deployment in the region where Jita is.  If you want to anchor a POS in The Forge now, you have to either: war-dec Goons and try to blow up the POS; pay somebody else to do this for you; or contact a friendly Goonswarm representative who will let you rent the moon from them at a very reasonable ISK cost per month.  Fail to pay it and they’ll war-dec you and come and blow up your POS, or pay somebody else to do it.

Risk = ISK I hear you cry.  OK, but how much risk? Already CCP have made it so that grav sites in null sec don’t need to be scanned anymore. They’ve made interceptors not affected by bubbles on gates. They’ve (sensibly and as it should be imho) made smaller ships enter and exit warp more quickly than bigger ships. That’s quite a lot of risk of quite a lot of ISK. It’s already possible (as many Outpost users have found out in the past) to lose everything in an Outpost.  You could be barred from docking by the Outpost owner if it’s not you. You could have your Outpost attacked and hell-camped with bubbles and a 23.5/7 guard (as recently happened courtesy of Goons), which means that you would lose your BPO collection. Risk = ISK, and when you manufacture in null sec you understand the risks, as I do.  I have a lot of ISK tied up in BPO’s in an Outpost, and I fully understand the risk of having them there.

Glimpse of new Industry UI – looks very nice. I hope that the actual implementation is as easy and quick to use as the new interface looks.  Due to previous comments by CCP, I’m assuming that BPC’s still won’t be able to be stacked, and this raises the issue that if CCP are realistically pushing industrialists towards using copies instead of originals, will they change that or have [are] they writing a nice interface to allow us to batch jobs together? They’re promising (well, not actually promising) fewer mouse clicks and a pleasing experience. I’ll be counting the clicks on SiSi when the test is released.

CCP need to seriously consider the impact of some points, particularly the change of use of the Scientific Networking and Supply Change Management skills. This really is a game changer, and if you’re living in null sec could easily make industry even more of a pain than it is now and actually drive more industry from null sec out to hi-sec.

Bring on the next Dev blog please.

4 Comments for this entry

  • spanner

    This post from Fozzie confirms that the cost scaling will apply to outposts and conquerable stations too:

    The difference from highsec will be that the station owner will be able to control a portion of the cost, much like customs offices (prior to highsec ones being destructible).

  • TurAmarth

    I’ve been awaiting your take on the new changes with breath baited with anticipation… =]

    I really respect you and for me, your opinion on all things Industry related in EVE is, well, Professional level in breadth and understanding… This, …actually drive more industry from null sec out to hi-sec. I did not expect at all…

    May I ask, (as yer there and I dunt ever wanna be again…) we hear all the time bout the Big Blue Donut, and we read about Rivers of ISK and free ships (very liberal SRP I know is true at least for Goons)… I assume this is for ‘Made Men’, the Card Carrying Members of Goones et al, (not the pubbie renters they so despise…) and as I assume you still are (yes?)… But we hear a lot from various sources that Nullsec is overall safer than Hisec due to the power of the Coalitions…

    Do you see it as actually of a higher risk or just more of a pain to do business in/from?

    • A scientists life in Eve

      Definitely a pain in the… Well, you know what I mean. The possibility of needing to split BPO sets between different outposts or spend even more time having to play around making copies of everything before you start a project.

      Unless CCP are very careful, they might end up asking the interface nicer to use, but the workflow more complicated.

      I will remain hopeful that this system will somehow work and possibly even develop a bit before release on TQ, but otherwise I’m anticipating using slots all over the place copying things that I just simply used before, and having to use the horrible corporate interface to regularly lock and unlock BPOs as they get moved from a manufacturing outpost to a research outpost and back again depending on what’s happening. Well, actually my CEO will be doing the locking and unlocking, so I’ll just have to put up with his rage sessions when he uses the corporate interface :)

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