This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss the newly unveiled Industry overhaul coming Summer 2014.
Feast thy eyes upon it, for it has been ten years in the waiting. This summer EVE is getting an expansion focused upon overhauling Industry. For reals this time! CCP are actually biting the bullet and trying to make EVE’s industry intuitive, visually appealing and require less than three dozen clicks to do anything. As a part time industrialist, I approve. But it goes far beyond a flashy new UI.
I’m actually a little surprised to hear that Industry is the core theme of the 2014 Summer expansion. It makes sense as we have had a couple of expansions themed around war/conflict drivers and another on exploration, but I wouldn’t have guessed it would be the follow up to Rubicon and the next step towards the mysterious player-built stargates and new space beyond. I probably didn’t think about it hard enough to be honest, as it actually does link into some of my recent thinking. I guess I was just expecting CCP to pitch the theme as something ‘sexier’ and more adrenaline-pumping than ‘Industry’. Props to them for calling a spade a spade, I suppose!
I really like the ‘core values’ CCP have gone into their revamp with.
- Any industry feature must have an actual gameplay attached to it in order to exist
- Any industry feature must be balanced around our risk versus reward philosophy
- Any industry feature must be easily understandable and visible to our player base
I think that 1 & 3 represent significant mileage for players both new and old. There is a considerable amount of stuff lingering in EVE’s now decade-old core systems that could do with dragging out into the light and subjected to thorough scrutiny. I have to give CCP credit for this introductory blog, it certainly looks like they have audited some core assumptions and old (bad) habits of EVE’s ancient industry mechanics and are ripping out some dead wood wholesale.
The first thing I thought of when I read about the mineral compression nerf (reprocessing overhaul) was that it should eliminate the need for those damned ‘excess materials’ clogging up the required materials lists on half the items in the game. And sure enough, they’re gone. The R.A.M./R.db ‘damage’ (consumption) mechanics I never did quite get as they were unintuitive and badly explained with no obvious reason for existing in the first place. Solved! This is the kind of simplification and streamlining that just makes the game better to play and less off-putting to learn. On a related note, I still don’t miss pre-fuel block POS fuelling, that sort of unnecessary complexity holds no game play value.
But that isn’t the big news of course. Industry slots are going to become a thing of the past. And I honestly didn’t think for a moment that CCP were going to come out with that! I’m very much looking forwards to CCP Greyscales follow up blog explaining the fine details but in principle this could be a game-changer for EVE’s industrial landscape.
The proposal in a nut shell is that instead of each station having an arbitrary number of slots available for a given activity (manufacturing, research, invention etc) which you must queue for if they are all in use, it will no longer be necessary to select a slot for your job. If the station has a blueprint copying facility then you may always start the job immediately. The catch now however is that the more demand there is to use that station’s services, the greater fee you will have to pay on the job. In a particularly busy station, the costs will probably wipe out your profits entirely.
That change should achieve a few things. Firstly it wipes out a big chunk of the industrial click-fest straight off the bat. It will also push manufacturers away from trade hubs and encourage us to build in quieter systems then transport products to market for maximum profits. That of course introduces the risk vs reward factor as stuff in space can be blown up. It also means that building in quieter areas, like low or null sec, could become cheaper than high sec production. And finally, removing the slot limitation greatly benefits null sec outposts as their capacity has historically suffered in comparison the NPC stations. I know from my days in null how easy it could be to fill every slot on even an Amarr factory station with just a handful of players using it. Perhaps now null sec will actually have the industrial capacity to compete with high sec and maybe become cheaper to boot thanks to the lower populations.
In theory it is a significant change. The question is going to be if builders are able to acquire the local resources they will need to run those manufacturing jobs. Increased demand coupled with nerfed mineral compression reducing competition could create an environment where miners see the value in heading out to ply their trade in null sec. If they don’t then CCP has another problem area to address, unless they declare it the player’s problem to solve for ourselves. 😉
After the specifics of the slot removal change the biggest question of the blog for me at the moment is ‘WTF are Teams’? This is some new mechanic being added to the production process. I’m guessing that they are going to be an item that can be added (like a decryptor in invention) to modify time or resources required in the process. How we will acquire them, I have no idea. In exploration/Ghost sites maybe? Oh you tease, CCP.
I am looking forwards to hearing more details of where CCP are going with all of this and what content there might be for non-industrialists in this expansion. As much as I think EVE needs these changes, I’m a little worried that EVE also needs something shiny and new. So, roll on Fanfest and the rest of the feature list!