Showing posts with label Citadels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Citadels. Show all posts

Saturday, 12 March 2016

In search of a carrot

The Citadel guru, CCP Yitterburn has listened, juggled the figures, and re-presented the player logon taxes. OK that might be a little harsh and they are definitely more mellow. But CCP Yitterburn has reserved the possibility of reinstating the original proposal at some point in the future. So the principle remains. The "choice" CCP present is to either be taxed heavily by NPC stations or submit to the gameplay of the large ingame groups. 

Consequently, if you wish to remain independent then it is likely if not certain that you will be paying more ISK for the privilege . It then follows that to make up for the additional costs incurred, you will have to spend more time on revenue earning activities rather than purely fun activities. There are no new benefits being introduced to offset this. So in effect it is a new activity tax. Perhaps my imagination is running a little hot but it feels like being forced to pay and undergo dental surgery before going out to have a meal with friends. The risk is that unless you are one of those weird people that actually enjoy dental surgery, there comes a point when pavlovian conditioning kicks in and you just stop going out for a meal.

Now I don't want to believe this is CCP's intention, but I am struggling to see how it isn't. I was a Citadel enthusiast but where is the carrot? To my mind it just feels like CCP are a little to desperate to force citadels on people. If a citadel was a new ship - which it basically is, plus services and minus movement, then CCP wouldn't nerf every other ship in the game to make it a win button and then limit who is allowed to own it and benefit from it to a select few. Imagine the outcry if they did. But this is what Highsec Citadels appear to be. In the end, everything in Eve fundamentally boils down to the Highsec markets. Citadel/NPC station activity taxes will effect everyone but only a few will benefit. (to the extent they conquer Eve if Gevlon's maths works out.)

At this point, I should be coming up with a startling alternative whizzy way that would fix everything Citadel. That is the constructive thing to do. But even if I could, it just seems CCP are progressing on the basis that they are incontrovertibly correct. Maybe they are, but I don't see their vision or how I get additional joy instead of additional trips to the dentist. I genuinely want to understand this. I suppose it is possible my playstyle is just incompatible with the way Eve is envisaged by CCP in the future. It would be disappointing obviously but helpful to know nonetheless.

More widely, I wonder how many people are actually aware of what is coming. The highsec natives are notable for their lack of participation in the various Eve forums. There are many reasons for this, be it language, casual playstyle or whatever. They are the sort of people who don't vote for the CSM because they have never been aware of its existence. I worry many people are going to be in for a rude awakening when Citadels land. Quite how that pans out ought to be a worry to CCP because their subs could well outweigh those of the Hisec market Citadel owners.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Planned changes to NPC / Citadel taxes and services

So as the heading says the planned changes are out and CCP are seeking feedback. Take time to read them because they will impact everyone. I sort of covered this in my CZ article back in November
It seems I wasn't wrong. While the figures might change a bit following this consultation, the thrust is the same as it was in November. CCP have decided to press the nuclear button and force players out of NPC stations. The crowbar CCP are choosing to use is to make NPC stations stupidly expensive. CCP has thus thrown down the gauntlet. I am not a fan. After all the player interaction it basically boils down to financial bullying. Play Citadels or else. 

The headline lunatic proposal you will hear is it will cost of 5 million ISK to operate a jump clone from an NPC station. The justification is this is the cost of the service the citadel owner will face so in order to force you to use player owned citadels. This is so dumb it must surely change. But there are other planned changes that continue in the same vein. 

Offices: Unlike NPC's, there will be no office limit in Citadels so this contrivance allows NPC's to be undercut. 

Medical Clones: Remarkably stay the same for NPC's and Citadels

Jump Clones: To be 5m ISK in NPC stations to enable them to be undercut by Citadels. 

Reprocessing: NPC taxes are being revised and Citadel owners can undercut them. 

Compression: CCP are planning to merge this service with the reprocessing service module.

Market: The line goes: "To create an environment more competitive for Citadels, we plan on increasing the transaction tax to 2.5% and the broker's fee to 5-6%. Players trading in citadels will still receive the transaction tax, but the broker's fee will be at the complete discretion of the owner." So another contrivance to make citadels look good. And of course, only groups that can afford L or XL citadels will be allowed to run a market.

So the carrot is firmly aimed the large groups because only they can afford the L and XL Citadels. They rightfully will also dictate who can and can't have access to their services. There will be only a tiny proportion of players that actually get the full benefit of this - namely, the small population of citadel owners. The stick? Well, the only way a  'normal' player can compete is to 'play' with (by joining an established alliance) or get permission from the Citadel bosses. Solo players or small emerging groups (who will now remain small) are being left to hang.

I personally would hate the scenario where I am coerced into a situation where other players can effectively dictate how I play Eve. CCP are asking for feedback so things might change. Let's hope they do. But so far, the whole top down approach to this design process completely fails to acknowledge the little guys. The Spring Citadel release is increasingly  playing to a very small gallery and there are some rather awkward consequences coming CCP's way if they fail to wake up to that.

Final thought: While I might be unimpressed with the direction Citadels are going in, this is just a small aspect of Eve. People make Eve what it is today. Devs certainly play a role, but players and the communities they participate in give it life. When times get hard we have been known to rally round and help each other out. In that context, you might be aware that Rixx Javix is in a hard place right now. He has certainly given more to Eve than most. If you feel you would like to understand more and help him out then check out his blog.