Daily Archives: July 25, 2019

Planned VNI Nerf Hits By Surprise

Back in June at EVE North one of the things that CCP announced that they had in the works was a planned nerf of the Vexor Navy Issue, the ubiquitous ratting ride across all of null sec.  Nosy Gamer has a summary of CCP’s EVE North statements.

The Glacial Drift SKIN on a VNI

A dev blog followed that up up last week with more details as to how the VNI problem would be addressed.

The problem itself is that a single hull had become generally accepted as the right answer for null sec anomaly ratting to the point that it is rare to see anything else.  The hull was also usable by Alpha clones, meaning that disposable accounts could be used to snuffle up ratting ISK, and if the account was run by a bot, caught and banned, the perpetrator could just roll up a new account and start over.

The approach to taking on the VNI scourge was two-fold.

First, to change the VNI to make it more of a railgun platform by adding in bonuses for that while reducing the drone control bandwidth so it couldn’t field the full flight of heavy drones it had before.

Second, to reduce drone skills available to Alpha clones so that it is more difficult to AFK rat with drones.  Those changes were:

  • Reducing Heavy Drone Operation from level IV to level III
  • Reducing Medium Drone Operation from level V to level IV
  • Reducing Drone Interfacing from level IV to level III

The VNI would remain a decent ship, just not for unattended ratting, and especially not for Alpha clones.

That was what was under discussion per the dev blog, which came out last week.  However, people logged in today to find that the VNI and Alpha clone changes had been applied without much in the way of notice.  The update was appended to the June release patch notes.

This move was unexpected for two reasons.

First, CCP generally saves these sorts of changes for monthly updates.  They get announced, mulled over in the forums for a couple of weeks, get a final dev blog, and become part of the release.  They generally don’t just show up randomly on a Thursday unannounced.

Second, there was a feeling that that CCP wouldn’t bother with the VNI nerf until the local channel blackout in null sec had run for a while.  Part of the appeal of the blackout to many in null sec was going out and blowing up VNIs.  Why make them even more scarce when they are such appealing targets?

But there we go.  The nerf hit today and people were surprised.  CCP moves in mysterious was.  I heard that earlier today CCP Falcon blew off a scheduled meeting with CSM9.

The June MER and the Effect of War on Delve

CCP got out the Monthly Economic Report for June 2019 last week, apologizing for its lateness, though it has come out later in some recent months.  But as long as we get it I’m happy enough.

Every month I try to have a theme when I look at the MER, this month the theme is “What happens when the Imperium schleps up north for a war?”  With that we can look at what happens in Delve while they are gone and what happens in the regions where they show up.

We will start with mining, one area that Delve has consistently dominated since Goons tamed the region in the back half of 2016.  But last month?  Not so much.

June 2019 – Mining Value by Region – Bar Graph

The stack rank takes Delve out of the top… I was going to guess top five, but it almost fell out of the top FORTY regions when it came to mining.

The top ten regions for mining value in ISK were:

  1. Esoteria – 3.31 trillion
  2. Detorid – 1.84 trillion
  3. Insmother – 1.78 trillion
  4. Domain – 1.31 trillion
  5. Branch – 1.25 trillion
  6. Querious – 1,19 trillion
  7. The Forge – 1.16 trillion
  8. Fountain – 1.12 trillion
  9. Sinq Laison – 843 billion
  10. Metropolis – 829 billion

And, way down the list, in 40th place, between Oasa and TKE is Delve.

  • Delve – 276 billion

That is down, way down, from the 4.9 trillion mined in the region during May, which itself was way down from the 9.8 trillion mined in the region during April, which in turn was down from the more than 13 trillion ISK in minerals mined in the region in the month of March.

So, without a doubt, the Imperium deployment put the reigns on mining in the region as those who ignored the fact that the supercap umbrella was gone paid the price in Rorqual losses.

Overall mining numbers looked like this per region.

June 2019 – Mining Value by Region

Mining was down in other places, so we should probably look at the mineral price index to see if some of the decrease in value was related to a drop in market prices.

June 2019 – Economic Indices

As it turns out, the mineral price index was up so, if anything, the ore mined was worth more, so less was needed relative to May.  Mineral prices still remain well below previous highs, but appear to be climbing slowly.

June 2019 – Economic Indices Long Term

Turning to NPC bounties, Delve fell out of first place last month, with Branch grabbing 5.6 trillion ISK in bounties to Delve’s 5.1 trillion ISK.  That changed further with June’s totals.

June 2019 – NPC Bounties by Region – Bar Graph

Delve did not fall as hard as it did on the mining front, but it still fell out of the top ten, landing in the eleventh position overall for NPC bounties, behind even the Imperium rental region of Period Basis.

  1. Branch – 4.90 trillion
  2. Esoteria – 3.56 trillion
  3. Detorid – 2.88 trillion
  4. Insmother – 2.71 trillion
  5. Deklein – 2.70 trillion
  6. Cobalt Edge – 2.15 trillion
  7. Fountain – 1.96 trillion
  8. Tenal – 1.80 trillion
  9. Perrigen Falls – 1.70 trillion
  10. Period Basis – 1.67 trillion
  11. Delve – 1.57 trillion

Overall NPC bounties actually picked up as the month headed towards a close, though overall NPC bounties remain down from recent peaks.

June 2019 – Top Sinks and Faucets over time

The bump at the end corresponds somewhat with the commencement of the Drifter attacks on null sec, when everybody pulled back home. During that first week of attacks the Drifters ignored those ratting and mining in anomalies, concentrating Upwell Structures and those who came within range.

Overall NPC bounties totaled up approximately 48.2 trillion ISK in payouts, down from the 55.5 trillion ISK in payouts delivered in May, and well down from the pre-nerf total for March, where 71.4 trillion ISK was paid out for NPC kills.

That led to an actual reduction in the money supply in game over the course of the month.

June 2019 – Sinks and Faucets

Faucets were down by almost 15 trillion ISK, though sinks were also down, coming in 8 trillion ISK less than in May.  However, the active ISK delta, which includes ISK seized by GMs for botting and RMT, was up 14 trillion ISK, leading in an overall reduction.

And, finally, since there was a war or two going on in null sec, we might as well look at the destruction numbers.

June 2019 – Destruction Value by Region

Stack ranking that by region ends up looking like this:

June 2019 – Destruction Value by Region – Bar Graph

The top ten regions saw the following destruction:

  1. The Forge – 3.46 trillion
  2. Detorid – 2.3 trillion
  3. Sinq Laison – 1.69 trillion
  4. Tribute – 1.58 trillion
  5. The Citadel – 1.53 trillion
  6. Black Rise – 1.37 trillion
  7. Delve – 1.28 trillion
  8. Placid – 1.11 trillion
  9. Lonetrek – 1.10 trillion
  10. Vale of the Silent – 1.10 trillion

The Forge, home of Jita, is also a nexus of high sec suicide ganking, and is always at or near the top of the list, was up from 3 trillion last month.  Detroid, where TEST and Fraternity were clashing, made it into second place, up half a trillion from May.

The war zone for the Imperium, Tribute, only managed to make it into fourth, even with some Keepstar kills.  There were no great battles of titans.  Likewise, Vale of the Silent, which also saw structures and ihubs attack, only made it into tenth spot.

Delve, with no supercap umbrella, was in seventh, down from second in May, with a decrease of 700 billion in destruction.

Other regions, The Citadel, Lonetrek, Black Rise, Sinq Laison, and Placid, see action from their proximity to trade hubs. (Domain, which covers the remaining trade hub, was in 11th place.)

And so it goes.  The war pulling so many people out of Delve had an impact.  But with the coming of the Drifters we all came back home.

The theme for the July MER, when it comes out, will be what the Drifters, who did end up hitting ratters and miners this month, and the blackout, did to the numbers.  I suspect that the day the blackout shows up and forward will be dramatic on that sinks and faucets chart.  We shall see.

As always, all the charts and spreadsheets that make up the MER are available from CCP if you want to wallow in the data.