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A week ago, I was decisively elected CSM.

I ran a campaign grounded my Eve background and balance ideas. In my CSM bid I had more concrete ideas than any other campaign this year. But even in that document, I admit that CSM members seldom get their concrete ideas inside the game; this is particularly true when these ideas involve conflicts of interest among players. So today, I want to sketch some principles instead, which have been themes that I kept defending in the past and during the campaign. Even if there are multiple ways to implement these principles, we can at least find common ground in principles and begin working from there.

I got elected without bloc vote support. Even supporting major ballots did not have me at #1 position; yet, my #1 votes were enough to get me elected. The election results should show that a good portion of Eve players is behind these principles. They used their judgments and conscience to put me on top of their list, and I ran with these ideas; this legitimized (or should legitimize) the principles pursued during the campaign in the eyes of CCP, other CSM members, and the rest of the Eve community. So I hope the community, particularly nullsec PvE’ers find it in themselves to respect that this is what we are bringing to the table and that without drastic measures involving their playstyles this game cannot be sustained for years to come.

So here are the main principles I and my constituents strongly believe in.

 

1) Eve is better with more player interaction and explosions.

The “asset acquisition” gameplay that null line members are typically put inside simply isn’t enough to sustain healthy amount of players playing the game. It has an expiration date. When players gets all assets and accounts they want, they stop farming to acquire more. What’s important is giving these players conditions which they can sustainably interact with other players with these assets, and lose them at a macroeconomically healthy rate.

Let me be clear. This point is my most important bottom line. During my CSM tenure, I will judge every proposal with my projection of whether it will cause more explosions or not. And this will override every other consideration.

2) Eve needs to be more dangerous, and mechanics should be developed keeping this in mind.

If we need more explosions, then Eve needs to be more dangerous. Particularly nullsec, because it is the space in Eve that’s supposed to be inherently dangerous. Last few years has seen methods to make null a dangerous place take major blows. Many such activities are dwindling or dead. Station games are gone due to tethering; bubble-trapping is gone due to structure spam; capital hunting is unrewarding, inaccessible and costly due to the proliferation of supercap umbrellas. Solo blops is at the brink of death. Small gangs face either huge capital blobs or vast empty spaces of VNI botlands. Even dreadbombing in most active umbrella regions was almost dying until we in DPCI revived it a bit in Delve.

As nullsec hunters, people making Eve more dangerous, we have seen CCP hit time and again to our playstyles with mechanical nerfs. We can’t jam fighters, “wear out fatigue” of defending fleets due to the ansiblex gates, can’t fit as much tank to our T3C covert hunters, can’t use jump bridge travel to catch targets, can’t engage with moon mining fleets under citadel protection. Our subcap playstyles were invalidated during the transition from drone carriers to light fighters, and with proliferation after that. Even the highly niche Excavator booshing took two hits, first with 250 to 500 range increase, then with m3 increase. And I can keep counting many more developments here.

Unfortunately, most of these things happened in an unintended “collateral damage” way. As I argued during my campaign, part of the reason was that no insider knowledge about these methods was represented in CSM. We are not at all saying that no positive changes happened. There has been plenty of mechanical improvements as well. But overall the invalidation of our playstyles left many PvP oriented entities bleeding members, or otherwise disbanding. One last example was SkillU.

It pains us to see that the trend continues. With “mooring” for example, being able to bump/kill afk titans/supers off-tether will be no more. With each specific way of killing things in null being invalidated, the game becomes safer, playstyles die, players leave. This is a case of organic stagnation. As a CSM member, one of my priorities will be stopping and reversing this trend.

3) Ships/assets dying is a plus for the Eve ecosystem and CCP’s bottom line.

Sometimes we get asked, “what about the linemembers’ suffering when they lose ships”?

A deeply inherent mechanic in Eve is that PvE income motivates risk-taking activity (e.g. undocking in nullsec/wormholes to farm), and then this creates PvP interaction. The more rewarding a solar system is, the riskier it is supposed to be. Each Rorqual, carrier, supercapital dying is a reason for fleets of tens, and at times hundreds of players to play that night. 5 or 10 such targets a month keeps many players subbing for another month. So the utilitarian calculation of whether a ship dying is beneficial for the overall game is decisive. Farmers farm for ISK. Hunters hunt for content. And the ecosystem continues. All this is why, the safer the game becomes, the more severe the organic stagnation it experiences.

We play this game to build our dreams and wreck others’. If you remove the latter from the equation, then Eve is no different than Farmville. So null linemembers and leaders should understand that PvE’rs dying is an inherent part of nullsec lifestyle.

4) Nullsec risk should factor-in the individual player behavior, not just the alliance strength and organization.

When we argue that certain parts in nullsec are too safe, people point out that it is the player organization that enables that safety. Our argument here is that even in regions with the best of organization, there needs to be a minimal amount of risk inherent to null PvE. Secondly, the response doesn’t take into account how low the standards are for individual PvE’rs to survive in umbrella regions. Right now all that’s expected from a nullsec PvE capital is not being afk and lighting a cyno. The entry level to not dying in nullsec for individual players should be higher.

5) Umbrella mechanics need a revamp.

The most determinant mechanic providing the low entry point to riskless farming in null to individual players is umbrella mechanics. There needs to be viable counters to cynoes, in the form that if a ship is inhibited, the mechanics actually force defending fleets to warp instead of directly bridging inside the intervention range (e.g. 400 km).  As of right now, mobile cynosural inhibitors are too weak to accomplish that.

6) The blue donut isn’t nullsec’s fate written in stone.

Many nullseccers argue that CCP and game mechanics have nothing to do with people’s motivation of coming together and organizing to be safe, and to conduct Eve activity. We agree with that this is indeed a real motivation. We disagree with that it can’t be balanced. Wormholes are great examples in which big blue donuts are discouraged hard. They prove that with right mechanics this game can have a meta where blue donuts are smaller. So we need to think hard about the mechanics.

Particularly, we think the combination of infinite spawning anomalies and umbrella mechanics create today’s situation of “stagnant wars”, in which one side has twice the amount of pilots/ships/capitals and triple the speed to replace them. Eve needs even wars, in which FCs and leaders are able to take actual risks to duke it out on the battlefield with their most expensive armadas. Or else major wars from now on will turn out to be structure bash festivals and nothing more. That is unexciting and uninteresting.

To fix the blue donut, we need to look behind what happens in wars and who blues who. In particular, we need to look at mechanics under which people join alliances and grow their assets. And that is mainly about farm and safety mechanics, and not at all about on-grid skills of alliance FC’s or social allure of alliances.

7) A drastic balance shift is needed between capitals and subcapitals.

Up until injectors capitals were tools which it took time and ingame effort to get inside. Injectors lifted the minimum time barrier to access them. Rorquals reduced the amount of player hours to replace them. The typical nullsec player can farm a titan in under 80 hours or less. Macroeconomically, that’s nothing compared to what it was in the past. Cost and accessibility has always been a balancing factor when it comes to ship capabilities. AT ships for example, are overpowered but extremely costly, thus preventing them from being an Eve balance issue. Capitals too had privileges that were previously justified by cost and accessibility.

Think about it. We have this nice balanced ship progression system from frigate to battleship. The rule of thumb here is that bigger ships have more EHP and damage. Smaller ships have better speed and application. But suddenly the rule breaks when it comes to capitals. They are faster cross-regional travelers because of jump drives. Carriers lock faster due to NSA’s, apply better due to fighters, have better ongrid speed due to fighters. Capitals also have other special abilities such as doomsdays, ewar fighters, phenomena generators and so on.

All these abilities were previously justified due to cost. A couple of rare titans bosoning gates is fun to watch and interesting game play. When it is hundreds of titans defending a single region with the same method, it suddenly becomes too oppressive. This is why we argue that there needs to be drastic balance efforts to bridge the gap between capital ships and subcapitals to retain the viability and meaningfulness of subcapital playstyles.

8) Slogan justifications are bad.

Unfortunately, many of the above changes are being made without regard to their effect to the Eve ecosystem. In many occasions, CCP and CSM used “slogan justifications”, such as “Ansiblex needs to be like Eve gates”, or “Citadels need to completely replace POS functionality”, to implement these. What we forget here is that if we wanted new structures exactly like the previous ones, then we wouldn’t need new structures. As CCP implements structures in all the different (than POS) ways that benefit their owners, and ‘fixes’ all the ways in which they don’t replace the POS functionality, we end up with a safer Eve. One can find a “slogan” that sounds prima facie reasonable for a lot of bad proposals. The metric we should use to judge proposals should be whether they create more meaningful interaction and gameplay between players or not, and not slogans that do not in itself mean anything.

26 Comments

  1. jjs

    i read…. fuck goons, fuck goons, fuck goons.

    Please just support people like me with 700 accounts.

    -Olmeca Gold

    June 27, 2019 at 23:16 Reply
    1. badgamedesign

      i read… i’m a fucking smoothbrain who can’t think for himself, i’m a fucking smoothbrain who can’t think for himself, i’m a fucking smoothbrain who can’t think for himself.
      Please just support people like me who want to play space WoW
      -Random retarded goon

      June 30, 2019 at 07:48 Reply
      1. Erond

        I read Fuck Goons and all alliances that make it hard for me and anyone I associate with to get away scott-free because they have a response fleet that might kill me. I have to insult anyone who disagrees with me because my dick is smaller.

        July 1, 2019 at 19:30 Reply
      2. fr fr

        get Fuqed

        July 3, 2019 at 00:44 Reply
    2. Olmeca Bronze

      Olmeca says “stagnation is bad” and if you think of Goons, well, that speaks for itself.

      July 9, 2019 at 07:22 Reply
      1. Olmeca Silver

        Olmeca doesn’t give a dam about “stagnation.” If you ever read anything he wrote on Reddit; you’d quickly realize mostly the changes he wants are self serving.

        July 9, 2019 at 22:20 Reply
  2. Loots

    Sounds reasonable on paper and as a lowseccer i Totally support making nullsec people actually play the game.

    Hope you manage to push some of this through the massive doughnut bloc.

    June 27, 2019 at 23:43 Reply
  3. razer maden

    so if u can have it one can is all i am reading

    June 28, 2019 at 00:18 Reply
  4. Alathea Khaprani

    Looks like we elected an ecologist to CSM… cool

    June 28, 2019 at 01:09 Reply
  5. FreezerWeasel

    HAHA, spoken on one persons agenda, you speak for the players not for what you want personally LMAO

    point 1 Nerf Nullsec alliances, they don’t help new players… where do you think the new players go when they figure out the game 90% of the time…

    point 2 Nerf Nullsec more, its not dangerous enough, don’t like it go to a WH.

    point 3 PVE is dieing nerf Nullsec even more than last anom nerf.

    point 4 pissed that your alliance isn’t as strong as other Nullsec alliances…

    Point 5 pissed at Nullsec responses to protecting their own stuff with massive amounts of reaction forces…

    Point 6 Angry at not owning enough space in Nullsec, go get some and protect it…

    point 7 pissed at Super captial strength when a super and titan can’t even defend itself from frigates now…

    point 8 I actually think this is a great idea..

    June 28, 2019 at 01:32 Reply
    1. Arcypoo

      But…. But… Null is for the big boom booms and without null – you hi-sec babies wouldn’t be able to make isk

      Also – if you really think that Nullsec alliances don’t help new players, you need to at least have tried to be part of a nullsec alliance to get an idea of how they work. Because first of all, nullsec alliances will go out of their way to help newer players to improve both their skills and also to improve their isk making methods (whether thats ratting, mining, or DED sites).

      Main think you need to understand in regards to Nullsec responses… Think through your own perspective. Say you owned an super shiny Ragnarok – and you get tackled by a 200 man bomber gang, what would you rather do… die in a ball of fire? or call friends and alliance members to save you? Your point about not being able to shoot frigates in supercapitals is fair, yes… But you need to understand the way that the game works. You’re obviously going to have tracking issues against the smallest ships in the game. Hence the response fleets.

      Main point I’m trying to get across is, don’t go moaning about nullsec and it’s ‘overpowered nature’ – when you don’t give it a real try yourself. You want to live in nullsec, you make friends, not enemies – you form bonds, create alliances, and gain that support you NEED in order to prosper.

      June 28, 2019 at 01:50 Reply
  6. Manicsar

    While I agree with some of what he is saying, the solution isn’t make null more “dangerous” or put a different way with the same meaning, make hunting easier. Also he is listing problems not really giving many solutions. Just like on the plains of Africa, the prey win way more then the hunters. If 2 people make all the right moves and one will always lose, then the later will find something else to do. There are only a couple regions in Eve null sec where you have an organized response fleet ready to go and even then, they don’t always live.

    The solutions I would look towards CCP has already started to implement, make players spread out more. Reduce the amount of ore the Rorqual can hold and nerf it’s yield even more and make it more interactive. The VNI nerf is great as well, do away with the AFK play styles, “P.I. is not an AFK play style.” Some of what you are saying is what killed groups like FCON, that you loved to hunt. Delve should not support 30,000 accounts and hundreds or thousands of players.

    June 28, 2019 at 01:37 Reply
    1. Kristalll

      That’s because these are principles, not specific agenda items.

      And “make null more dangerous” encapsulates “make hunting easier”. Those aren’t mutually exclusive, they are the same.

      June 30, 2019 at 08:33 Reply
    2. Twilight Winter

      “If 2 people make all the right moves and one will always lose, then the later will find something else to do.”

      This is already true though: if the hunted player makes all the right moves — watching intel, staying aligned, managing siege cycles, paying attention and lighting a cyno before an inhib goes up, etc — it’s near impossible for them to lose.

      I actually have no problem with this; but when the hunted player *just* has to be cogniscent enough to light the cyno in a 60 second (plus intel plus d-scan) timeframe… that’s a problem.

      July 1, 2019 at 10:00 Reply
  7. Rhogar Delacroix

    Interesting enough. This is well thought out from only one type of player’s insight. However, I think you miss the point of CCP gathering intel on over 90% of new players leaving in the first few weeks. Eve needs new players much more than you need kills, which you are undoubtedly excellent at. The reason is that way more experienced players, such as yourself, have such a complex of letting only the players you deem “worthy” to enter nullsec, that after a while you think you are entitled to put down the corps that welcome newer players into the space that you think you own. So, interesting, but narrow-minded viewpoint; how are you going to make Eve better for new players?

    June 28, 2019 at 04:27 Reply
    1. zane

      Didn’t the data show that players are more likely to stick around if they lose a ship?

      June 28, 2019 at 21:29 Reply
  8. Rhogar Delacroix

    Still not accepting comments now, huh?

    June 28, 2019 at 04:28 Reply
  9. Rhogar Delacroix

    Interesting viewpoint from someone that is very narrow-minded. Instead of complaining about corps that take in and nurture newer players to enjoy the game; how are older and far more experienced players like yourself helping new players? Or are you only letting those that you deem ‘worthy’ to enter nullsec? Looking at CCP’s chart on new player retention, shouldn’t you be more concerned about helping newer players versus your dire need to increase your kills?

    June 28, 2019 at 04:35 Reply
  10. Farconer

    I don’t think the problem in null sec is the lack of content. The problem is (and always have been) the tons of empty system in null sec. Big alliances (or coallitions) take a lot of systems but they don’t use them.
    The ADM system forces alliances to use as many systems as they can, that way the system will be more difficult to be taken.
    The last difficulty is that small alliances are afraid to take a system and get destroyed just after. You can see it in Oasa, lots of system have no TCU and nobody wants to take them.
    Your problem, as I understood it, is “I lack content” but if you fill null sec you’ll have more content.
    I’ll agree with you on something big organisations like Goons and their minions are killing the game because you can’t attack them without being outnumbered, it allows them to be afk with capitals and supers, one solution would be to prevent caps and supers to fit a cyno on them.
    Keep people in the game is a problem, new or old player, new players don’t understand the game or have no patient for skills and old player lack content or are bored. Most of the “elite” PVPers I know just want to have PVP without having sovs, they just want to kill PVEers and get their kb bigger, but try taking their sovs and if they know they can try fighting you, they’ll be there.

    June 28, 2019 at 08:38 Reply
  11. Elrond

    First off let me say Olmeca Gold is a skilled player; he can be a worthy opponent. Also, while I can not prove it since CCP hasn’t cough him yet; in my opinion a regular/constant ELUA breaker. I say in my opinion cause I can’t prove it and to my knowledge CCP has yet to catch him. Regardless, I have seen him pull off impossible feats that can only be done using input broadcasting and macros. Yes, he’s had a ton of pvp practice using multiple accounts but you tell me can you launch bombs from 6 bombers so they all hit simultaneously?

    Never the less, lets get to his article. Olmeca Gold’s “Eight Principles for the Betterment of Eve” are really just a more codified version of things he’s said/complained about for over 2 years on Reddit. Nothing and no one who posts on Reddit should be taken seriously; its a shit show of shit posting. A amusing shit show and good for a laugh.

    Point #1 – Agreed and I don’t think anyone in EVE disagrees.

    Point 2-8 – Can be summarized this way – Goons makes it hard for me to kill shit so how can I convince CCP to make it easier for me to operate in Delve so I can kill them without worrying about a response fleet?

    Its not that he doesn’t make some good points here and there but pretty much this is directed holy at Goons.
    1) Every thing about EVE can evaluated under the guise of risk-reward. IF a player/corp/alliance think the risk-reward is worth it regardless of which side of the scale its on they will do it. You can’t force a player to undock or willingly engage in PvP/PvE if he doesn’t want too. Olmeca Gold himself is a prime example of this, when he encounter any meaningful force regardless of size typically he’ll run away and hide. The times he does stay and fight are because he thinks its worth it or he’s committed to the point he has no choice. Now tell me this isn’t true so we can all know you as a lair.

    2) There are very few areas in New Eden that allow of a effective use of a cap/super umbrella Delve is one of them which is why Goons moved there. Even in areas where it isn’t as effective as in Delve, cap/super umbrellas will exist as long as Caps & Supers are a effective defense. Goons perfected the use of the cap/super umbrella.

    3) Caps/supers overall should always be better then subcaps. Olmeca, rightly admits Caps/supers abilities are justified due to their cost and complains how they are “too oppressive” because they make the cap/super umbrella possible and make it harder for HIM to hunt and kill ships. That in fact IS the reason they exist in order to secure/control the SOV space from those who are hostile. The only way you’ll change that is to nerf them into oblivion or eliminate them entirely.

    4) Caps/super proliferation was inevitable even if Rorquals NEVER existed in the game; it just would have taken longer to reach the current proliferation level. The only way Caps/supers wouldn’t inevitably become common is if they were never introduced to the game. If Goons had only mining barges while it take longer we’d eventually reach the same point.

    5) Nullsec even under a cap/super umbrella isn’t safe, Olmeca proves this every day with exploding Delve ships. Its just not as unsafe as Olmeca would like it..

    6) People band together for many reasons creating Corps and Alliance. Primarily at the core they exist because of the reduction of risk they provide to the individual player; operating as a group is less riskier then solo. This is a basic EVE truth and PART of the foundation of the EVE Corp structure. Alliance, corps that banded together, exist to control/protect a area of space under the same risk-reward reason. Goonswarm as a Alliance live primarily in Delve and operate a cap/super umbrella ONLY in Delve for this reason. Allies, like Initiative operate their own version of the cap/super umbrella. Even if cap/supers didn’t exist there still be a unbrella in subcap form probably with black ops as the main/initial response fleet and Olmeca Gold would still be complaining how its not unsafe enough…

    5) This is getting long so I’m going to rap it up. What Goons and Allies have done in Delve can be replicated and is being replicated by TEST. Olmeca Gold wants to suppress Goons legitimate use of mechanics in favor of HIS play style. Even if Olmeca Gold got EVERYTHING he wants tomorrow; which would include the dissolution of the Goonswarm Alliance (too many people in a small space which is the reason the cap/super umbrella is effective AND why Olmeca hunts in Delve) Goonswam would adapt and he’s still be complaining how Delve is too safe..

    June 29, 2019 at 05:42 Reply
    1. Kawira

      You nailed it bro. Everytime we attack TEST Rorquals we get instant response with caps. We kill a Dreadnought or 2, lose helltons of stukas and everyone is happy.

      The real problem of pvp imo is refusing to pvp like some northern alliances did. If your excuse is: “we are too small” then maybe acquire new allies…or you know remove that “every new applicant has to fly cap” you elitist prick. PanFarm lost the war only because they wished so (spamming reddit with how much they don’t care every few hours) and now they got salty through the roof.

      July 1, 2019 at 16:03 Reply
      1. Elrond

        The thing is that people don’t see is the fact for game to stay reverent it requires introducing new features and eliminating old ones. This is the only way the game will not stagnate which means people playing the game have to adapt and change. You can argue the changes are good/bad with how they change the game and player’s play style. It’s inevitable something has to give making some happy and others unhappy. That being said there is always room for improvement and that too leads to more change which affect the game mechanics and play style.
        As I said, like any PvP/PvE game it is driven by risk-reward and the player determines at what point the risk-reward is worth the risk investment. The leads to the question how “safe” is “safe” and for whom is is it less “safe”? People will find a way whenever possible to use the existing game mechanics to lower the risk for themselves & their group thereby increasing the risk for their opponent. It is human nature to do so. The Cap/Super Umbrella is just one example.
        The only way to achieve Olmeca “game fixes” is to totally eliminate & ELUA ban all organizational structures which make it possible to have a response fleet and eliminating all Capital ships in game thus making the player base on equal risk-reward footing. Of course that doesn’t mean equal economically which has its own risk-reward implications.

        July 1, 2019 at 21:01 Reply
        1. Kawira

          True. I had 9 years of break and I’ve seen completely new game (except jump bridges) but instead of raging I learnt anew and found decent alliance to stick with. I’m fine with new stuff, even Drifters our allies bitch so much about

          July 2, 2019 at 08:27 Reply
  12. Daichi_Yamato

    Glad you got in olmeca and pretty much agree with what you’re saying. Null is easily too safe and your thoughts here are why you got votes. However, you’re coming across as very focused on null but that’s not the only place that’s too safe.

    The new player conundrum is a big one. They aren’t engaged. So what are your principles regarding the npe?

    And hopefully your sentiment on making eve more dangerous extends beyond null.

    June 29, 2019 at 12:19 Reply
  13. offroad

    What about the plex and all the toxic gameplay it generates ? People want safety so that they can plex their account(s)..

    July 3, 2019 at 02:16 Reply
  14. A.C.

    I’m a vet who is just returning to the game after a two-year hiatus. The last time I was active was during World War Bee. I am presently part of a large, nullsec alliance. I disagree that it is safe; or at least, I disagree that it is safe for the individual player. I know that there are many who have multiple accounts and serve as their own scouts and intel. That’s not the game I play, though, and I think the generalizations about nullsec being safe and dull do not capture my experience at all. I do agree that longevity depends on player interaction, but with there being a large number of vocal bitchers and moaners about the game losing its luster for them and the need to shake up the snowglobe (not a concept I disagree with, but just some of the methods for doing so coming at the expense of a certain group of players) and coming up with ways to change the way OTHERS play the game to make it more interesting to THEM, I think is a mistake. Rather than force people together, it will harden opinions and cliques within the game. Making the game objectively “harder” is certainly NOT the way to attract new players.

    I’m never gonna rage unsub if changes occur; for example, if this nullsec blackout becomes permanent, I’m not going to leave the game. However, this current “test” strikes me as punitive and illogical. there being some artificial scarcity of a resource that prevents FTL comms from going to nullsec is a ridiculously foolish excuse for punishing those who a vocal minority believe needs to be punished. It makes ZERO logical sense to me. No local in WH space makes complete sense since there is no infrastructure that records entrances and exits, but with the structures in null being there since way before the residents arrived now being somehow strangled of resources is massively stupid, IMO. Gates record who comes and goes. Its automated and sensible.

    I’m glad that Olmeca got on the CSM, but not for the reasons he laid out here. I’m pleased whenever a grassroots campaign is successful (I’m a political scientist IRL) and I wish him and the new CSM the best in their efforts to improve the game. I hope it is not driven by large blocs trying to use changes and game mechanics to “own” their in game adversaries.

    July 15, 2019 at 01:46 Reply

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