“Any industry feature must be balanced around our risk versus reward philosophy.”
      – CCP Ytterbium

For those of you who missed it, the value of nullsec real estate went up the other day

As more comes out about the changes I’ll weigh in.  However, at first blush this strikes me as a high-risk strategy that rests on some very wobbly assumptions with regard to what the industrial actors in the EVE economy will do. I would very much like to hear what Dr. Eyjog’s opinion of the changes were, assuming he was closely consulted.  He expressed misgivings with such a direction during the CSM7 summits and seems notably quiet on the matter during the CSM8 summits.  But then, more immediate concerns than the health of the in game economy may be driving design at the moment.

As Drackam over at Sand, Cider and Spaceships writes, this beneficence occurs on the heels of CCP’s 20 million dollar write-down, and the collapse of their World of Darkness development project.  Meanwhile Dust 514 continues to perform poorly in the market, it’s player base languishing under the 4,000 mark.

These dismal tidings are made all the more ominous with the departure of  Jon Lander, CCP Unifex,   who Ripard Teg credits with saving EVE Online after the Summer of Rage. CCP Unifex’s departure is only the latest in an exodus of talent that has seen some of CCP’s best and brightest seek greener pastures elsewhere.  Indeed, Poetic Stanzial commented yesterday on Twitter that all of the good CCP employees are jumping into life boats, and that none with any vision remained.

But perhaps visionary designers are, at the moment, superfluous to the situation on the ground.

With all of CCP’s eggs now in the EVE Online basket, CCP seems suddenly and profoundly dependent the upon the good graces of sovereign nullsec.  Sov nullsec is, after all, home to many of EVE Online’s ‘elite’ and high-profile players, and nullsec is the part of EVE Online that receives the most publicity from both the gaming and mainstream media.  With this in mind, CCP’s sudden willingness to risk their game by handing the keys of the in-game economy to the sov nullsec player-base is not surprising.

Highsec and lowsec may pay the bills, but they rarely make press.

And I suppose, if there is an advantage to be had in any aspect of EVE Online, sov nullsec should have it. CCP’s design philosophy says that a player’s reward opportunities should be closely tied to the risk they face.  And as every capsuleer knows, life in sov nullsec is, without exception, one long unending roller coaster ride of heart-stopping peril and certain doom. Those who survive there are the steely-eyed masters of New Eden, the two-fisted heroes of EVE who eat lightning, shit thunder and before whom the very gates of Jovian space tremble.  Who among us would gainsay these digital demi-gods an absolute advantage in all things industrial?

Lowsec? Please! Doing industry in lowsec is for risk-averse pussies. 

With CCP’s business model weathering recent set-backs and their design team apparently betting the farm on CSM Mynnna’s nullsec-centric vision of EVE Online as their last best hope, one should not be surprised that CCP’s visionary employees are seeking employment elsewhere. 

– Mord Fiddle

About the Author: Mord Fiddle’s writings are an invitation to high tea in a world of rave parties. His readers gather at for thoughtful analysis, daring prose, deep insights, and Mord’s tendency to use words not writ nor spoken conversationally since Middle English went out of fashion.

  • Homophobic John

    Nulsec is high risk? Someone should go tell everybody who lives there. The sov may change a little but it is never high risk for anything, unless you’re just a careless idiot.

    • riverini

      Read in between the lines…

      • Muul Udonii

        But there is nothing written in those spaces… Google translate is no help either 🙁

    • .

      Maybe not high risk, but much more work goes into acquiring and maintaining Null Sec sov than freeriding elsewhere.

      • lol

        “Maybe not high risk” tell this to all the players who take a break from the null sov game and come back a year later and find billions in assets locked up out of reach.

        • Homophobic John

          Taking a break from the game and not moving your shit to highsec is a careless move, Thus circling back to my post. I see no fault in logic here.

        • Simon pieman

          Idiots will always be idiots.

      • Mord Fiddle

        As I recall the philosophy is risk/reward, not work/reward.

        • Ciaphas Cyne

          in a game, where you cant actually be hurt, the only thing you CAN risk is your time/effort/work. stop being a dummy.

          • Mord Fiddle

            I don’t accept the premise that everyone outside of sov NS is a ‘freeerider’. And I don’t accept the premise that most sov NS pilots work really hard relative to lowsec or NPC nullsec pilots. Frankly, life in NS is pretty easy. Roll out of bed, run a few AFK sanctums in an Ishtar while you’re in the shower. Cha-ching. Even highsec bears scratch harder for their money than most NS fleetbears. Stop going on about how entitled you are.

          • Ciaphas Cyne

            holy fuck dude you really are a dummy. first of all the comment in the article about null sec being “a hard life” was SARCASM. Second, I live in low sec and have done so for the entirety of my eve playing life! and please explain to me how my post made you think i was talking about any of that shit?

            the only thing i said was that:
            a) you need to cease being stupid
            b) you cant risk anything other than your time in a fake reality

            your comment about “work/reward” was blindingly ignorant. stop talking. now.

          • Mord Fiddle

            Well, as I wrote the article I think I’ve solid insight into the author’s intent. 😉

            You were defending the premise that defending null sov is more work and therefore deserves higher rewards (see the comment I was originally responding to). I disagree on both points.

            If the philosophy is risk/reward, then you are rewarded more because you are taking on more risk – i.e. operating in a part of EVE space that makes the probability that you will lose assets higher. Thus, lowsec and NPC nullsec are higher risk parts of New Eden than sov nullsec and should be rewarded accordingly.

            The amount of time the average fleetbear puts into acquiring or defending sov is not a measure of risk. Indeed, on average most NS fleetbears put far less time into PvP than their LS counterparts.

          • sadleric

            If I’m reading this correctly and can take liberty to try to oversimplify it a bit, it’s sounding like your take is that sov null is low risk, low work, high reward at present? I get that 0.0 pilots often don’t pvp nearly as they who typhoon-smartbomb gates in lowsec, but the rest is fuzzy.

            Maybe I’m asking for your take on the breakdown between work / isk / risk / reward between low and null, specifically.

          • Mord Fiddle

            Ah, that’s a post all its own 😉

          • sadleric


          • Ciaphas Cyne

            “You were defending the premise that defending null sov is more work and therefore deserves higher rewards ”

            no i wasnt….this is really like talking to a brick wall. my comment was in reference to your “work/reward” statement. not in response to the whole “null is scary” bullshit. please fucking pull your head out of your ass.

          • sadleric

            I don’t necessarily disagree with you, Ciaphas, but you need to stop just saying “you’re dumb I know better I live in lowsec” and tell us what about your experience in lowsec as compared to nullsec speaks to your point about work / isk / reward / risk. As it stands, the post to which this replies contains no examples or facts.

          • Ciaphas Cyne

            its very simply. the only thing one can risk in a FAKE REALITY IS TIME! i really dont know how to explain it any other way. what else can one risk in a video game? certainly not your body or possessions. its just the amount of work and time you’ve put into something.

            its like building a sandcastle. when the wave comes and crashes into it you arent mad about the sand being taken away. you are mad because you spent time and effort to mold the sand into something you liked. sand itself has no value on the beach. its the time spent working the sand. just like in eve. you cant risk anything real in a game. you can only risk the work you’ve put into making the game your own.

    • Blank

      The writer was employing internet sarcasm.

      • Homophobic John

        The weakness of text everywhere.

        • Ciaphas Cyne

          god you’re stupid

          • Homophobic John

            At least I can capitalize and punctuate my sentences.

          • Ciaphas Cyne

            congrats, i know a 6th grader who is proud of a similar accomplishment

          • Homophobic John

            You should ask him to teach you.

          • Ciaphas Cyne

            shes a girl you sexist penguin fucker

    • sadleric

      Seconded — but it depends on the space you’re in. The West? There’s so much deep NPC space and so many entrenched reds I was never able to go ten jumps without seeing a neut on a gate or otherwise in local.

      The east? I can see why the Russians want it back so much. I’ve stopped moving my ships in multiple carrier runs between the northeast and southeast — I just autopilot them now. My last move was fifty-five jumps — moved six ships, lost none. Never saw a neutral.

      I can see now how SOLAR and much of the rest of RUS became the kings of RMT. The dronelands are literally cash in your pocket if you’re an alliance that converts rental isk to RMT.

  • Billbo

    “CCP Unifex’s departure is only the latest in an exodus of talent”
    If he had so much “talent” why hasn”t their mobile dept release anything since it’s inception?

  • Hunter S. Thompson

    Dinsdale was right!!!111!!!

    • Dinsdale Pirannha

      On so many issues.

  • One could argue that ‘visionaries’ caused the summer of rage. I agree though that visionairies are needed, but they need pragmatists with them help shape their vision. With all the expansions after the summer of rage I think we’ve seen pragmatists voice their opinion more… I still long for a pragmatist who can shape walking in stations into something worthwhile *sigh

    • Mord Fiddle

      As with witches, there are good visionaries and there are bad visionaries. By all accounts, Unifex was one of the good ones.

  • Lee Thrace

    I hope that the proposed changes will make individual null sec systems more valuable so that alliances can support their member base with less sovereignty. Of course, there is always the chance that null alliances are only using the fact of the low economic value of null systems to justify large sov holdings that they would keep anyway.

  • brian

    Sov null is as safe as highsec.

    • finishing him

      safer in most cases.

      • Chris

        It is, but there is still the potential for everything to go horribly wrong overnight.

        • Puchoco_Voluspa

          Not really. Sov losses take time and for someone to conquer a deep null system there will have to be other losses first. In that time frame every semi competent alliance can either form a defense or evacuate its valuable assets, or even both.

          As a null resident, in fact as a resident of the most active sov null region in the game, I assure you that sov null is indeed safer than any other space if you’re not an utter shitlord.

          • DD-Grunt

            You probably never heard of Darkspawn, Darkness of Despair, Nulli citizens and other nullsec alliances that got disbanded in one night?

          • Puchoco_Voluspa

            You probably never heard that they achieved a temp blue status with N3 for them to safely evacuate their assets?

          • artuitus

            True, they got temp blue status. But this was because the player-base allowed it. Similar to what goons did for PL after B-R. The truth remains that you can lose everything and are dependent on other players’ good will if/when things go to hell. Null sec is safer than lowsec if you pay attention to be sure. But the potential does exist that everything you own can be lost. I keep ships in highsec just for that reason-if everything goes to hell I can still play.

      • Citizen 3

        Sov is safe because the players work together to make it that way, high sec is safe because of the way the game works, if you want to make sov less safe buy a interceptor and go roaming.

  • Red Teufel

    The true saviors were the EvE players during the summer of rage and the CSM for guiding EvE on its current path.

  • qwer

    Cite Poetic Stanzial, lose all credibility.

    • Ming Tso

      Remember when Poetic Stanziel went to Deklein and “called out The Mittani” in VFK and then kissed the ring and joined the CFC? And then loudly quit EVE but won’t shut up and go away because he’s too proud to admit he was wrong?

      Yeah why does his opinion matter? Cite someone who plays EVE and not some random faggot who plays Hearthstone.

      • Space Pirate

        Poetic’s still around on alts, and I’m convinced he never sold his main – only bought it with an alt.

  • GFY

    What a retard. Riptard….Poetic….Why didnt you name some more of the biggest dumbshits around.

    Also…”Doing industry in lowsec is for risk-averse pussies.”

    Risk adverse is the deep blue nullsec space, and hisec. Youre more likely to get shot up in lowsec that anywhere.

    Whatever your in game character is, just biomass please, cause you are dumb as fuck.

    Edit: I guess reading the comments below, I was supposed to detect some of this as sarcasm. Fail on your part or mine, Im not sure which.

    • Mord Fiddle

      I’m sure. But I admire your passion. Come work for me.

    • Ciaphas Cyne

      haha you dumb fucker. never cease to make me chuckle, gfy.

  • iskbot#1337

    “Any industry feature must be balanced around our risk versus reward philosophy.”
    – CCP Ytterbium

    And that´s the big mistake. Forcing the industry to go to the risky places is unnatural and wrong.

    If we look at the strongest industry nations of the world we have USA,China,Japan,Germany,France,Brasil,UK ….
    if we look at the worldmap of ongoing conflicts we see that the strongest industry is always at places with the lowest risk.

    • Chris

      But this is a game not real life. It has to be balanced along the precedent of risk/reward.

      TBH highsec industry is basically free money.

      • yatter

        That’s like saying station trading is free money. Both statements are obviously untrue since both give isk in exchange for effort. Working for isk is the opposite of getting free isk and simply because there aren’t many risk vectors involved doesn’t mean the work isn’t worth reward. A better solution to fixing risk v reward would simply be to introduce more risk vectors into highsec production.

      • Mord Fiddle

        Running Sanctums AFK in an Ishtar, on the other hand, is very hard work.

    • Ciaphas Cyne

      yea theres no risk in Brasil….

  • -_-

    As an industrialist that enjoys cooshy game play that is watching my wallet grow, I hope CCP doesn’t completely F up industry, if they do looks like I will have some extra time on my hands. I dream about being controled by some nullsec overlord that tries to dictate my somewhat rare free time over a game (just kidding).

    Not gonna jump to conclusions before I try it, but moving industry into null almost exclusively if you want to make a profit sounds like a terrible idea.

    • guest

      I have bad news for you…

      Just kidding, there are plenty of enjoyable, life fulfilling hobbies you can do in your newfound free time.

  • Scott Lockwood III

    I think they have lost their damn minds. They will end up having to seed the market with all the shit people like to blow up, because those of us who make everything from frigates to caps will give this a GIANT middle finger. This, to an industrialist, is easily as bad as IIncarna..

    • lol

      All they are doing is giving you reasons to charge more.

  • erik

    just imagine if ccp would have just focussed on eve…. we could have had 2 or 3 more new regions, jove being real instead of a fairytail… maybe a instance thing where u could hook up witha few friends no matter where they r in the universe and then get teleported into a agent mission or ded site type of thing….

    ive said it before and ill say it again.. i havent spent a single euro on eve for several years now.. and i dont think i ever will with things going the way they go now….

    eve is boring, eve is dieying… lets just have a party and the last fcker pls turn of da lights :p

    gl hf gg 😛

    • Chris

      Your point is valid, but jove was never meant to be something a player was allowed to use. That’s all it was meant to be, mysterious lore.

      • Bravefart

        Actually Jove was the 5 intended playable race intended for a start if u Care to Read the eve lore and dev threads from EVE start.
        The Jove race just Got so Well defined they decided to make it a mythical race for a later expansion to play – so in the future, WHO knows?

  • No bang like interrobang.
  • I just do not know

    To give even more power to such powerful entities is insanity, but in any case I have not even bothered to reply or post about it, because I am only playing Eve until Star Citizen is up and ready at which point I am off.

    • Chris

      Inb4 Star Citizen is a flop. All promises and nothing to show for it.

      • Drakula

        inb4 we release Star Citizen early like Diablo 3. Simcity 5 etc…

  • X-Eve-Player

    This has to be the worst idea Ever, the reason people start playing is because of the Big Battles, but then when they find out for themselves how crap these fleet fights really are & Eve has no content then why stay. Plus Null Sec full of ego driven madman who like to control how you play the game high sec & Wormhole space is the only real place to be if you want to be your own spaceman & moving industry to null sec is a killer

  • Kinis Deren

    Hehehe, Mord had me going there until he mentioned low sec industry is for the PVP averse (my paraphrasing). Without some kind of sov/force projection re-work, that encourages a more fractured null sec, I think the vision will quickly turn into a nightmare of falling subs & PLEX purchases.

  • DjM

    Double edged sword the big null sec powerblocks. On the one hand the like of Goons and Test churning a significant intake of new players from Something Awful and Reddit communities is a big commercial benefit to CCP.

    On the flip side null sec dominance by a few stifles the game and turns-off many who arrive from other routes off the game. Most new players will believe there is a ceiling to what they achieve where new player in 2005/2006 would have been filled with dreams and possibilities.

    Also the very set up of those blocks is anti-sandbox. They churn grunts to make up their fleets, pay for all the ships and equipment for those grunts so all they have to do is Pew Pew and just like that a proportion of subscribers never experience or are even aware of a fraction of what is on offer.

    Null sec blocks already had enough passive income sources to survive, keep SRP programs going and continue to draw in players from their online communities.

    CCP dropped the ball here, pandered to the most vocal/well organised parties and nerfed styles of play and elements of sandbox that will lead to less players but gain nothing for them with the big powerblocks (other than make them even more hungry to press for game mechanics that skew things even more in their favour).

    Bad move.

  • artuitus

    It seems to me that CCP just likes to over-complicate things. For instance the problem was toons shipping in modules to reprocess because it was more efficient than moving minerals, so they decide to change all of reprocessing. Why not make it possible to compress minerals to ship out instead? If you could achieve greater results by compressing minerals directly rather than build/reprocess you would have fixed the initial problem while at the same time making the rorqual (spelling?) useful.

  • The Rifter

    Please doing industry in null sec is for pussies real men live in W-Space. Giving goons more power will achieve 1 thing a continuing stagnation of null sec

  • Sold

    What is the point of this article?

    • Captain Obvious

      To make you read.

      … possibly also to make you think.

  • Besbin

    Ever heard of CCP Seagull?

  • Mord Fiddle

    CSM Ripard Teg has come out and said that CCP’s intent in making the industrial changes is to break the back of industry in lowsec and highsec space and drive it into sov nullsec space. He says this ‘go null or go home’ approach to industry is good for EVE Online.