Blog Banter #25
Welcome to the twenty-fifth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Bantershould be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month’s topic comes to us from @Tetraetc – “Tetra’s EVE Blog” – who asks: “Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? Imagine a Null Sec where anyone could build outposts wherever. Would the reduction of the alliance game mechanic, and the removal of the sovereignty game mechanics (or the modifcation of it from Alliance level to Corp level for that matter) force more PVP into Null sec, or would giant power blocs like the NC still form themselves?”
To me EvE is broken up into three meta-groups.
- Highsec Carebears – people who avoid PvP at all costs, happily mine and mission their time away and generally have a very limited place in the EvE community due to their low impact outside their immediate circle.
- Empire PvPers – From can flippers to Lowsec pirates, these are people who seek PvP in an individual and small-group format.
- Nullsec inhabitants – This group is defined by two things – bridges and bubbles. What makes most roams into nullsec by non-inhabitants come to a screeching halt is the nullsec group using their jump bridge network to get ahead of the raiders, and a heavy deployment of bubbles to trap and murder them. The only counter to a large group that can move quickly and deploy bubbles to completely stop their opponents is a larger group
I realize this leaves out Wormholes and NPC Null, both of which blur the lines between low-sec and null sec by having less population density due to the greater difficulty of extracting the value of those systems.
So how does nullsec get its massive populations? By offering a massive upgrade on potential income to its players. I’ve been in nullsec, and I’ve never made so much money for so little work, and all I was doing was ratting. The PvP was either blobs or roams hoping to catch a few guys off guard, then scampering away the minute opposition firmed up. Pretty fun, great for the killboard stats, but not the most challenging. Add in the fact that putting Corelin in your alliance is just begging for a failcascade (Sorry Ignus Mortus, Cult of War, Legiunea R0mana and Vae. Victis.) and my desire to head to null has been pretty harshly cut back.
Now lets look at how EvE manages diminishing returns. Lets say you are fitting a ship. You want to put an EANM on your ship.
Meta 0: 75k isk, 15% bonus to resists.
meta 5 (T2): 650k isk 20% bonus to resists.
You just paid about 867% of the cost for a 25% increase in ability.
Meta 9 (Imperial Navy): 40 million isk 22.5% bonus
6153% increase for a 12.5% increase.
Meta 13 – Centum A-type: 660 million for a 28.3125% bonus to resists.
a mere 1650% increase for a slightly more than 25% increase.
So what we have is an exponential increase in the cost to the individual player as the return goes up, with generally diminishing returns (except at the extreme end of the curve)
“But Corelin,” you demand “What has this got to do with Why nullsec is such a blob-fest!?!?!?”
Well, there is no real increased cost for people to inhabit nullsec. There might be docking fees, there might be the occasional loss, but you can get those during level 4 missions, and you don’t see a multi-million isk rat in those missions for often, let alone faction or officer drops. For the average pilot nullsec is far, far more profitable than empire, mining, ratting, plexing, site-running are all simply ridiculously better than in Empire. Imagine if the curve for the above was
Meta 0: 75k isk, 15% bonus to resists.
Meta 5 (T2): 100k isk 20% bonus to resists.
Meta 9 (Imperial Navy): 110k isk 22.5% bonus
Meta 13 – Centum A-type: 175k isk for a 28.3125% bonus to resists.
Who wouldn’t be all over deadspace and officer mods?
So nullsec is too “cheap” to be in relative to its rewards, too “easy” to defend with bridges and bubbles (provided your leadership can manage its end of things) and the powers that be in nullsec have access to huge amounts of money to stock the war chest whenever the wolf is at the door. This isn’t to say that taking SOV is impossible. Ask the clowns about that. But the only entity that can enforce its will on a Nullsec entity that is not riven with internal problems is another nullsec entity. New players on the scene just have too high a mountain to climb.
The problem with nullsec is not the alliances, the NAPs, or the Sov game mechanics. Its the extreme difference between Return on Investment created by the relative cheapness of inhabiting nullsec for the average player compared to the rewards offered.
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- More to come…