Mabrick is a carebear. That’s the life he chooses. It isn’t a life forced upon him or one he wishes he could change. It’s what he wants to be. That said, don’t take him for noob. He’s been around the block a time or five. With over 15 years of MMO playing under his belt and a memory that reaches back to pencils and dice, he offers his insights into the not so virtual reality we call Eve Online.
Mabrick’s Mumblings: The Nature of a Carrot
Last week Jester said I dropped the ball. First though, he said I was “usually very good about care-bear concerns.” Now that’s a masterful way to take the sting out of just about anything. It wasn’t that I dropped it so much as delivered too much toe under the ball and missed the goal. My ball sailed over the defender, the upper bar and straight on out of play. And it was a free kick even! C’est la vie.
Then on Thursday, EVE News24 ran this article from Syncaine: The highsec Player does Not Exist. “That’s the right play!” I thought to myself. Syncaine is so absolutely correct. There is a group of players living and working in high-sec who will never leave high-sec unless it is to move to a different game. Let’s call them True Carebears. They are the ones I don’t want hit with the stick. They are the ones I was thinking about when I wrote that post. This group by default includes all new players regardless of PvP disposition as far as I’m concerned.
Everyone else living and working in high-sec is in the second group. They are in high-sec to make ISK or for whatever reason they feel high-sec is more advantageous than anywhere else for the things they do. They are the malleable group. They may grumble about change, but so long as it isn’t something like Incarna they will adapt. They are the ones who CCP can “entice” into low-sec. Let’s call them Pseudo Carebears.
The nut of the problem is CCP can’t use high-sec station changes to target one group without also targeting the other. Increased taxes and reduced refining rates and all those sorts of things apply to everyone. When too much of the stick is applied to things they value most, True Carebears will leave. CCP can i’ll afford to drive out any subscribers.
That leads to my overly broad observation that low-sec needs to be more advantageous than high-sec for the things they do – they being the Pseudo Carebears. But as Jester correctly pointed out, you can’t make something less expensive than practically free. But can you make it more advantageous?
What CCP needs to do is better understand how those two groups are different. CCP needs to identify high-sec benefits for the Pseudo Carebears that hold little value to True Carebears. Once they identify those benefits, CCP does not need to worry about driving off the True Carebears. They can target changes to those benefits with significance only to the Pseudo Carebears.
Here is my attempt at listing high-sec benefits and which group values that particular benefit most. Initially I was going to do a them-us-both sort of categorization. After getting most of the way through it, I think that may be way too simplistic. All things are valued by both groups but usually more so by one than the other. So I whipped out Excel and I did up a quick spreadsheet with relative percentage valuations and a nice chart.