17
Sep
12

On Lowsec

There has been a bit of talk about low-sec lately, what with Mabrick, Jester, Syncaine, Mabrick, Jester, Jester again and then more Mabrick.
I’m no stranger to this discussion; I have been collecting good posts on this subject since last year, so it’s good that this subject has become more visible.
My thoughts can be distilled down to this:

Eve’s economy has evolved to be much like that of the real world, so why not use real world tools to manipulate it?

Let’s break it down into the two components.

Eve economy = earth economy

  • high-sec = Europe. Trade is easy and life is safe, but everything is expensive.
  • low-sec = Asia. Factories everywhere, but safety from a contract, personal or intellectual property standpoint is not assured.
  • null-sec = africa. Resources abound, but the infrastructure is very much ‘start from scratch’. Subject to warlords burning everything. Incidence of bad things is possibly lower than low-sec, but if bad things happen your losses will be catastrophic.

Real-world tools to fix it

Obviously, both macro- and micro-economic tools can be used to change the landscape of Eve

  • Tariffs. Currently, I can buy anything I want in Rens and ship it to Jita without paying extra. Imagine if the customs officers at the border checkpoint imposed import duties, but only in highsec. Instant smuggling/gun running profession in low-sec.
  • Higher fees and slower industry in highsec. At present, the protection of CONCORD is a large externality that should be addressed. I do industry in high-sec because, quite frankly, there’s no incentive for me to go anywhere else.
  • At the same time, increased congestion fees for industry jobs would also work well.
  • Resource Rent Taxes. Currently, perfect refining can be done in high-sec once standings get high enough. What if yield were capped at 97.5%? Mineral prices will rise, but those who can mine outside highsec gain more profit.
  • Transport of goods. The modern container ship has drastically increased the volume of trade on Earth. The Jump Freighter has done likewise for Eve. Perhaps it’s time to revisit this.
  • Resource extraction rates: perhaps a capital mining barge would work here, to underscore the relative paucity of resources that (I believe) should exist in high-sec.
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6 Responses to “On Lowsec”


  1. September 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I appreciate the real-world comparisons – but it still just comes down to a nerf on high sec, which doesn’t make any other aspect of the game better. I have spent a bit of time in some quiet areas of low sec recently, and do you know what I keep finding? Lots and lots of solo mining barges… Not because they are being forced to mine there, but because they now have the hull options to make it worthwhile. That’s the sort of changes which are needed, not simple nerfing.

    • 2 Serpentine Logic
      September 17, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      It’s not simple nerfing. Fact is, high sec players who are amenable to moving to lowsec need some incentives to do so. However, the existence of concord in highsec is a massive benefit that is not yet accurately reflected by the cost of doing business there.

      I’m all for some buffs to lowsec. Personally I think that lowsec should get all the asteroid types that null does because frankly the risk is about the same.

      However, taking highsec nerfs off the table limits the options too much imo.

      • September 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm

        What are you trying to achieve?

        The Tariff idea at Region borders could certainly add game play elements – although I’m not sure how it would work in practise. Do you tax the value of everything in a ship, or on a ship, or the value of the ship itself, or only certainly types of goods? What do you base the tax on? The method CCP use to calculate average value regularly comes up with ridiculous prices, especially on low volume goods. (I got a small TS crystal which was apparently worth 230M, although the best price i could find was under 1M.)

        The rest of the suggestions are just taxes on Empire.

        Very few people will move to Low Sec just because taxes increase in Empire, so if that is your goal, you are not going to have much success.

        You mention Concord – so do you think people in Empire should pay more for the relative safety? What is the end result of that in game? Everything you buy that is produced in Empire becomes more expensive, and there will be no change to how people play the game.

        That is my problem – and not just with your suggestions, but the whole nerf Empire carry on. It has no worthwhile effect, except to annoy a large group of players. I want to see suggestions that change how people play the game in a positive way. I what to see changes that add game play and sandpit elements – not restrict them.

        I think the updated mining Hulls were a great example of a positive and worthwhile change which encourages people into Low Sec. Adding small volumes of Null Sec ores to Low Sec will also likely have a positive impact. Your Border Tariff idea is interesting – although I can’t see how it would work properly. I’m not adverse to nerfing – if it adds to the game. So far most of which I read isn’t a positive.

      • 4 Serpentine Logic
        September 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

        The taxes could be on anything you like, depending on your goals. Generally, though, the easiest thing is to tax based on mineral worth, or some sort of premium for anything T2, since you can’t economically reprocess them to get around the taxes.

        Re people moving out of Empire: well, people don’t necessarily emigrate from Europe either, but the high costs there do stimulate competitive advantage elsewhere.

  2. 5 Agnar volta
    September 18, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Some mistakes of your proposal.

    Eve economy is not similar to real life. It’s a sink/faucet model which means that infinit recourse come in, infinit resources go out. Real life people brave bad places due to the limited resources we have available. Low sec has no unique resources that can not be found in safer places. And none can be added as we seen with faction warfare. At this moment is the biggest money maker in eve. There was a increase in participation, but no gold rush.

    Taxes between the empires is a bad idea. How do you control what to tax? If I’m flying a faction bs, fitted with officer modules, should I be taxes to cross the border between amarr and caldari? Or only if I have that same cargo in a hauler?

    People live in high sec because s less stressful, logistics are easy, you can fly around without looking over your shoulder all the time. When this people want action, they go to low and then back to high. If they don’t want action, nothing will make then go to low.


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