"Any industry feature must be balanced around our risk versus reward philosophy."For those of you who missed it, the value of nullsec real estate went up the other day.
- CCP Ytterbium
As more comes out about the changes I'll weigh in. However, at first blush this strikes me as a high-risk strategy that rests on some very wobbly assumptions with regard to what the industrial actors in the EVE economy will do. I would very much like to hear what Dr. Eyjog's opinion of the changes were, assuming he was closely consulted. He expressed misgivings with such a direction during the CSM7 summits and seems notably quiet on the matter during the CSM8 summits. But then, more immediate concerns than the health of the in game economy may be driving design at the moment.
As Drackam over at Sand, Cider and Spaceships writes, this beneficence occurs on the heels of CCP's 20 million dollar write-down, and the collapse of their World of Darkness development project. Meanwhile Dust 514 continues to perform poorly in the market, it's player base languishing under the 4,000 mark.
These dismal tidings are made all the more ominous with the departure of Jon Lander, CCP Unifex, who Ripard Teg credits with saving EVE Online after the Summer of Rage. CCP Unifex's departure is only the latest in an exodus of talent that has seen some of CCP's best and brightest seek greener pastures elsewhere. Indeed, Poetic Stanzial commented yesterday on Twitter that all of the good CCP employees are jumping into life boats, and that none with any vision remained.
But perhaps visionary designers are, at the moment, superfluous to the situation on the ground.
With all of CCP's eggs now in the EVE Online basket, CCP seems suddenly and profoundly dependent the upon the good graces of sovereign nullsec. Sov nullsec is, after all, home to many of EVE Online's 'elite' and high-profile players, and nullsec is the part of EVE Online that receives the most publicity from both the gaming and mainstream media. With this in mind, CCP's sudden willingness to risk their game by handing the keys of the in-game economy to the sov nullsec player-base is not surprising.
Highsec and lowsec may pay the bills, but they rarely make press.
And I suppose, if there is an advantage to be had in any aspect of EVE Online, sov nullsec should have it. CCP's design philosophy says that a player's reward opportunities should be closely tied to the risk they face. And as every capsuleer knows, life in sov nullsec is, without exception, one long unending roller coaster ride of heart-stopping peril and certain doom. Those who survive there are the steely-eyed masters of New Eden, the two-fisted heroes of EVE who eat lightning, shit thunder and before whom the very gates of Jovian space tremble. Who among us would gainsay these digital demi-gods an absolute advantage in all things industrial?
Lowsec? Please! Doing industry in lowsec is for risk-averse pussies.
With CCP's business model weathering recent set-backs and their design team apparently betting the farm on CSM Mynnna's nullsec-centric vision of EVE Online as their last best hope, one should not be surprised that CCP's visionary employees are seeking employment elsewhere.