19
Sep
12

James 315 on lowsec

Following on from the recent theme of low sec, a very long post, but worth reading. Just in case, here’s some quotes:

On the risk/reward balance:

On a superficial level, EVE follows this principle. Take mining, for example. High value ores are found in lowsec and nullsec, where risk is higher. But the question isn’t whether the ore is more valuable, the question is whether the risk/reward balance is properly set. If it’s much more dangerous to mine in lowsec than highsec, the ore needs to be much more valuable. If it’s only slightly more valuable, then the risk/reward calculation favors highsec. The same goes for any other isk-making PvE in the game.

I’m probably not being too controversial when I say that the rewards of lowsec and nullsec mining are not sufficiently more valuable than highsec mining to offset the risk. The same goes for other forms of PvE.

Why isn’t it controversial to say this? Because EVE players, by the tens of thousands, have independently reached the same conclusion. And they went to live in highsec where they could make plenty of isk without the risk. That, I believe, is the reason why highsec is so populous. Not because EVE players are all carebears who won’t take risks, but because the risks of leaving highsec are not properly incentivized with higher rewards.

On industrialists in the PvP foodchain:

Highsec miners do provide minerals so that things can be built. But that’s only one of the jobs they perform in EVE. The most important thing miners provide is not minerals–it’s targets. Miners act as soft targets for PvP’ers. They are the base of the PvP foodchain.

You’ve probably heard it described before: Industrialists get targeted by solo pirates and protected by small defense gangs, who then come under attack by larger pirate gangs, which, in turn, are chased by larger defense fleets, and so on. Take away the soft targets at the base of the foodchain, and there’s nothing for the solo pirates to kill, so solo PvP dries up, small-gang PvP dries up, and all the way up the foodchain. You’re left with consensual PvP, and the structure shot/defense ops of the big nullsec alliances.

All of it depends on the industrialists putting themselves at risk. Why should they do that, though? If risk/reward is properly balanced, they’ll do it for the greater rewards. If, however, risk/reward is stacked in favor of highsec, there’s no need for a miner to put himself at risk. Simply mine all the money you want in highsec. Goodbye, lowsec mining. Goodbye, lowsec PvP. Goodbye, lowsec.

On the absurdity of null players making ISK on high sec alts.

Consider the common nullsec-dweller’s observation, which I mentioned earlier: Highsec has a big population, but a lot of those highsec residents are actually alts from lowsec and nullsec. Why do nullsec players put alts in highsec to make money? Because highsec is that profitable. The dirty little secret is, for many players, in many situations, highsec is already more profitable than nullsec.

And just as we saw in lowsec, every time a PvE’er moves from nullsec to highsec, a soft target is lost. Take away enough of those targets, and the predators of nullsec disappear, and the PvP foodchain rolls right up. This process is well underway. People have been complaining about it for quite some time. But if highsec is buffed further, things can get worse. A lot worse.

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1 Response to “James 315 on lowsec”


  1. 1 Jensaro Koraka
    March 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Today I went on a roam in which we found no targets. One of the people in the fleet mentioned he was mining on his other character. I can’t speak for others, but in my case you’re preaching to the choir.


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