Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No Swiss Cheese Please!

"No matter how brilliantly an idea is stated, we will not really be moved unless we have already half-thought of it ourselves." ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

So the costs and more details of the new Sovereignty mechanics has been released and let me say, I’m not at all impressed. I actually did have high hopes for D-day but those hopes were quickly snuffed out.

First of all, I’m in agreement with what many others have been saying about the costs. I was fully expecting a tiered expense. Meaning, the more systems you own, the higher the bill gets. Not statically as in ‘this system costs 2 mil. That system costs 2 mil. Oh, and that system costs 2 mil. You want all three? Okay, that’ll be 6 mil then.” Simple, sure, but this is certainly not what I had in mind. CCP’s mindset seems to be if they make it expensive enough and make the upgrades even more expensive, that will control the number of systems people own. I seriously beg to differ.

Now when it comes to talking numbers and values and all that other jazz, I’d be like the kid in gym class who gets picked last every time. I can barely manage my own finances let alone the idea of watching market values and fluctuations and actually comprehending what I’m reading. What I do know is that if it takes farming complexes on a daily basis just to help pay for our systems, then I have to wonder, where is the time to go shoot someone else. Add to that the fact of not having a reason to take their space because that would just mean even more systems to pay for without any real value of actually having them, and it ruins the whole beauty of 0.0 and the epic battles for space superiority. I said not too long ago we’ll fight because we can and because we have guns. But epic fights come from having goals and objects, trophies to be won other than just another notch on the killboard.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, the revamp of 0.0 is not at all going to be like people seem to think. It’s not going to consolidate the current alliances into smaller blocks in space. Based on the new prices posted by CCP, I can actually agree with a comment made on the CAOD forums by a Goon member, Nobani, when he said the following:

Originally by: Darriele
And those are basic expenses, but when upgrades are implemented the cost can double or even triple. Ofc no ally will try to keep up sov. in so many systems,they will try to compact their "sphere of influence" around a single spot.

Originally by: Nobani
It's more likely we'll get swiss-cheese sov. Station, cap ship construction, jump bridge, key moon mining and key PvE systems will have sov claimed. Transit systems with four belts and no R64s will not have sov, but the local alliance will still drop a hammer on anyone who tries to set up shop there.

Frankly, here’s what I was sort of hoping for:

You start off with choosing your home system. This would be like your capitol system that you would spider web out from. For that capitol system, you pay a measly amount. Let’s say 1 million. You’re able to upgrade it, put in an outpost, build whatever. From that system, you can then claim any of the systems around yours. The systems next to your claimed capitol system will each cost the number of jumps from your capitol system multiplied by itself.. This would exclude the first jump which would automatically be double whatever the base amount is. In this example, it would be 2 million. From there on out, a system 2 jumps away would be 4 million. Based on 2 x 2. Three jumps out would be 9 million based on 3 x 3. Four jumps out, 16 million based on 4 x 4. Five jumps out, 25 million based on 5 x 5. I’ll assume you get the picture by now. As a side note, the prices shown here are for EACH system. Like systems four jumps out cost 16 mil a piece. So if you want say all 6 systems that are 4 jumps out from your capitol system, you would owe 96mil (16x6) a month for those systems plus whatever other systems you owe closer to your capitol.

Of course these numbers could be adjusted based on the findings of people who know more about the isk flow. However, I have no doubt this system would be more effective towards alliances making serious considerations towards the size of the space they own. I would also propose an alliance can only have one capitol system thus preventing the swiss cheese effect.

Now yes, this would create the issue of people just creating alt alliances to mitigate the effects of the tiered costs. However, how many alt alliances do you really think they’d make? Imagine the complications that having numerous alt alliances would create by way of logistics. Imagine the chances of those alt alliances being more easily torn apart through internal conflicts. On top of that, the more alliances you have, the more isk you gotta sink to create em.

I’m sure others could come up with other loop holes, or just outright disagree. But frankly, at least in my own opinion and I think many others, it would be a MUCH better system than what CCP is proposing to implement and is the design I think most had in their heads already.

Either way though, no matter what happens, people will adapt….. Or die in trying…


Dante Edmundo said...

I agree with your observations and like your suggestions.

That so many players are unhappy with the current SOV proposals I would think would be sufficient enough for CCP to rethink some of it - even if it actually would work.

Yet all the extra payment and the idea that you're going to get more PvE activity in nul-sec strikes me as odd. Why risk all the hassles of nul-sec and the extra expenses when you can do near exact same in hi-sec - without risking your ships getting blown up?

I have come to feel perhaps its not the cost model that is so bad but rather the reward model that needs fixing more.

But definitely - the whole flat rate per system really works against the smaller guy trying to get a foothold in nul-sec.

Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior" said...

Some very great points in there.

I agree very strongly about the scaling of costs. I think it should be a "more system more $$$ per system" instead of a static setup!