Radical Rock Reductions in New Eden

Someday, if someone asks me the day I knew it was all over. It was today.

-Aryth – CSM14 member, Jan 31, 2020

As I noted in the comments on Tuesday’s post about the February updates, I think I may have buried the lede.  I was mostly on about the events CCP announced and the new implant set and only later got to the part about changes to mining, which I will repeat here:

  • High Sec Asteroids:
    • Pyroxeres, Omber & Kernite quantities reduced.
  • Low Sec Asteroids:
    • Veldspar, Scordite, Pyroxeres, Plagioclase, Jaspet, Hemorphite & Hedbergite quantities reduced.
  • Null Sec Asteroids:
    • Scordite, Omber, Kernite, Jaspet, Hemorphite, Hedbergite, Gneiss, Dark Ochre, Crokite & Arkonor quantities reduced.
    • Bistot quantity increased.
  • Ore Anomalies spawned from Sovereignty Industry Index upgrades:
    • Level 1, 2 & 3 respawn times adjusted.
    • All variations of Crokite in all levels replaced with the equivalent yield variation of Kernite.
    • Gneiss, Dark Ochre & Spodumain quantities reduced.

There was also a follow on dev blog about CCP’s plans for mining, which will hit moons next.  We are in what they are calling the “shortage phase.”  This phase is said to be a requirement for gathering data.

None of that meant much to me initially, though I admit I didn’t stop to look too hard at it either.  I have not mined in ages.  I still think of mining anomalies as something “new” in the game and nearly every second I have spent in one has been in a combat ship, either shooting miners or shooting people who were shooting miners.

When I think of mining anoms, this is what comes to mind

But there are plenty of people who do mine, and they were quick to start calculating the level of the nerf that hit mining on Tuesday.  A post on Reddit by Alcoholic_Satan of Pandemic Horde showed not only a reduction in the quantity of asteroids available, but also the amount of ore each asteroid held.  The top comment is an estimate that this represented a reduction by a factor of 1,000, and assumed it had to be an error, that being such a drastic change.

But the comment has an addendum, a link to a screen shot of a statement from CSM member Sort Dragon who was authorized by CCP to let people know that this level of change was not a mistake.

A clip of the image mentioned for posterity

So when I wondered if we would see some impact from this on the February Monthly Economic Report… well, now it seems almost certain.   This level of “shortage” will cause mineral prices to rise, but probably not enough to offset the reduced amount or ore being mined, so the values harvested per region will likely also fall noticeably despite any boost in price.

Left untouched for the moment was moon mining output, which led the Imperium to change the harvest cycle on public moons, currently running on a max duration pattern, down to seven days to get in as many mining opportunities as possible, because CCP is coming for moons next.  According to the CCP dev blog for Moon Mining, we should expect the following for moons with the next release:

  • Complete removal of all basic ore types from all moons
  • Adjustments on ore volume extracted per day, per moon
  • Adjustments on moon ore type yields of basic minerals

So we can expect minerals to become more rare when that hits, all of which seems like a pretty radical approach to the problem of mining, whatever that problem actually is.  CCP has been regularly nerfing Rorquals and mining anomalies for over a year, and that has had some small but noticeable impact.  Now, however, they are going for a huge strike against mining game wide.

And I am left wondering why the hit needed to be this big.

As I have said before, mining is not an ISK faucet the way NPC bounties are.  All of that ore mined doesn’t add any ISK to the economy, save for the few people who run mining missions, and agent mission rewards are tiny, falling a distant fifth out of six faucets, even when rewards and bonuses are combined.

The desirability of mining ought to be based on the market price of ore, with an over abundance leading to a reduction in price below a point where it is worthwhile to undock Rorquals.  Or so it would go in a real world economy.  However, in the New Eden economy, where there is no real costs to running a Rorqual unless you lose it or some of the drone, there is likely no price point so low that people would stop undocking.

Furthermore, there is a price floor on minerals.  There is a point where you can take your mined minerals and build something like a Charon freighter, insure it, have somebody blow it up, and turn a profit.

So I get that CCP cannot really expect the market to adjust itself based on cost and pricing as there are artificial elements, like the apparently infinite resources of Pend Insurance, which will keep people going.

Instead though, they seem to have charted a course for a fresh new Chaos Era, this time focused on industry in New Eden.  Minerals are the life blood of production, and introducing what could lead to huge shortfalls and accompanying price spikes which will no doubt have an impact that will be felt by all.

And some people are pissed.  In the forum thread for the release the horrible red dot is getting more immediate attention… another ill-considered UI idea, though the appear to have muted it for the moment… but some industrialists are clearly at a boil.

CCP says they are keeping an eye on things:

It is understood that the changes that will go live throughout phase 1 will affect the macroeconomic environment and the market reaction will be closely monitored. Predictions have been made and the readiness to take measures is in place.

But they also said similar things over the summer, and it took the game a couple of months to recover from that.  We might be in for more interesting times as this is all likely to get worse before it gets better.  This and the red dot certainly seem to have swept away whatever resentment was left over selling skill points.

As for the quote at the top of the post… it is clear that the CSM was informed about this plan in advance and I suspect that tweet may mark the day it happened.

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3 thoughts on “Radical Rock Reductions in New Eden

  1. bhagpuss

    I have to say that as a complete outsider I’m finding the ongoing story of how CCP is dismantling their own game every bit as thrilling as any account of spaceships going to war. I’m just glad it’s not happening to a game I’m playing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nosy Gamer

    @bhagpuss – As someone watching what’s happening to EVE from the inside, I’m glad I started playing Final Fantasy XIV back in July.

    Like

  3. Mailvaltar

    It seems to me like all CCP is able to do is make the rich richer – or at the very least mostly unaffected by changes – while kicking the little guys in the nuts.

    I mean, who will really be hit by this? The people who multibox a dozen Rorquals to mine or three supers to rat? Oh, of course those will bitch and moan too, no doubt about it.

    But if mineral prices go way up due to these changes (and afaik they already have) this will hurt those the most for whom one billion ISK is still a lot and who can hardly afford to replace a fleet-fit Muninn for 360 mil a pop every time one gets blown up.

    If CCP goes on like this I’m afraid only the no-lifers will be left to play their game sooner rather than later.

    Like

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