And that's not surprising given Grayscale's expressed opinion that "all this [logistics] stuff" has made players lives too easy. I've held forth elsewhere on the outright elimination of jump bridges without a profound corresponding nerf to supercapital ships. However, Greyscale should also bear in mind that CCP aggressively pushed the Jump Freighter at an Eve community whose initial reception to the ship was tepid at best. A little bit of background is called for on that subject.
The Jump Freighter was first introduced to New Eden in the November 2007 Trinity expansion. According to CCP Nozh, Jump Freighters were developed by CCP to be "the ultimate low security and 0.0 transport ships". However, a slight snag was discovered soon after their initial release.
Nobody wanted one.
The original Jump Freighters were a bit faster and more agile than conventional t1 freighters and had 20% more hit points in each of the hull, armor and shield categories. However, while able to use both jump drives and star gates, the original Jump Freighter had only 30% of its t1 cousin's cargo capacity. Not so bad, you say. Certainly better than trying to schlep that much freight across low/null sec via many industrial or a transport runs.
Trouble is, those crazy kids in the Eve sandbox had already come up with workarounds for the low/null sec schlepping problem. By the of the Trinity release, players were already using cargo fitted dreadnoughts and Rorquals for moving large volumes of freight. Such ships were nearly as good at jump haulage as the new Jump Freighter, were cost competitive, and could be re-tasked for their original purpose when not doing freight work - a very important consideration given capital ship costs. Despite the Jump Freighter's ability to use star gates and enter high sec, which the other capitals could not, the cost/benefit trade offs weren't enough to make Joe Capsuleer shell out the big pile of ISK required to buy one.
Frustrated by market forces, CCP could have simply cut bait on the Jump Freighter; leaving it as it was, or retiring the ship altogether. Instead, the CCP designers (who tend toward escalating commitment - see Incarna) doubled down. They buffed the Jump Freighter with abandon to increase demand by giving it a competitive advantage over its jump-capable competition. They upped the Jump Freighter's cargo capacity by 25%, made it more agile, survivable and fuel efficient than its first iteration. They boosted Jump Freighter production by giving their blueprints a maximum of ten production runs. I don't think they worried overly about the impact of these improvements on the game. After all, this was just a freighter, not a combat ship.
The buff worked like a charm. A bit more than three years later, the Jump Freighter is standard equipment for low and null security operations. It has profoundly changed the economies of low and nullsec - as CCP should have known it would.
Now they're unhappy with it.
CCP has a tendency to introduce changes without thinking through their long term ramifications. The evolution of the Jump Freighter is a case in point. For all his talk of "desirable macro level outcomes" and "the higher systemic view", CCP Greyscale doesn't seem to be putting much thought or serious research into how his proposed changes would impact Eve's economy, politics and game play. He sees only the input factors and outcomes he wants to see, forgetting that Eve is a sandbox where even modest changes, like a Jump Freighter, will be seized on by players and change the game in ways the designer never intended.
At the bottom of CCP Nozh's post there's a very interesting statement:
Of course [Jump Freighters] are still a very role specific and expensive ship [that] should be considered a tool for corporations and alliances rather than individual players.In other words, CCP assumed at the time that Jump Freighters were such a big ticket item that they would be out of the reach of the individual player. Of course we all know there are any number of individual players with Jump Freighters in their garage today. Make a ship attractive enough and those pesky players will find a way to afford it.
Likewise combat-oriented capital ships were supposed to be big ticket items exceedingly hard for individual players to afford - supercapitals even more so. However, by making capitals a must-have ship for null and lowsec and turning supercapitals into an "I Win" button unless countered by a larger force of supercapitals, CCP has turned the market for these ships white-hot. Much of nullsec's production capacity is focused on them as corporations, alliances and coalitions work feverishly to increase the number of supercapital pilots and ships at their disposal.
The proliferation of supercapitals is so out of control that they are commonly used for ratting by PvE players. Titans, once rare enough that the number of them in game were actively tracked, have become commonplace. Where the loss of a capital ship used to be a profound hardship, they are now considered a disposable item and their loss only causes comment when it occurs in large numbers.
It is interesting that when CCP Greyscale speaks of "desirable macro level outcomes" and "the higher systemic view" he does so almost exclusively in terms of Jump Freighters and Jump Bridges. While these have had an impact on the game at the systemic level and adjustments may be warranted, their impact has been neither as sudden nor as profound as that of supercapitals, which have single-handedly reshaped the economy and political landscape of nullsec. Still, Greyscale is profoundly tentative when it comes to more than minor tweaks on those ships. This blind spot in his higher higher systemic view of Eve is troublesome. It is a leading indicator of other such blots on CCP's field of vision; each a guaranteed driver of unanticipated macro level outcomes.
Design driven by wishful thinking does not end well in the Eve sandbox.
By now one would think that CCP's designers would be aware that there's been an acceleration of unintended consequences resulting from changes introduced over the last few years. It has not, by all appearances, made them more cautious. If anything, its made them impatient and prone toward "macro-level" changes without stopping to consider how the human factor in the Eve sandbox will play hob with their intentions and planned outcomes.