Daily Archives: December 7, 2021

CCP Begins Inflicting the New Dawn Austerity Plan on EVE Online

But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task, if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us, that when the storm is long past, the ocean is flat again.

-John Maynard Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform (1923)

When CCP announced the New Dawn quadrant for EVE Online, the promise was of “The Age of Prosperity.”  It said so right there in the graphic for the quadrant.

Prosperity Promised

The dev blog for New Dawn opened with some big news, like the doubling of harvestable resources in New Eden before delving into less popular topics.  The devil was in the details and, upon examining the what CCP was proposing it looked much less like prosperity and more like an attempt to institutionalize the past two years to the starvation economy in the name of preserving the game for the “long term.”

For every minor buff to something there was a corresponding nerf to offset it, and even the touted “doubling of resources,” something CCP keeps repeating because it sounds good, doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.  After denuding resources by 90%, including removing all asteroid belts from null sec, doubling what remained still leaves the game far behind what it once was.  Those belts in null sec are still empty.

Prosperity was a lie.  People were angry.  The forums received plenty of feedback.  There were thousands of protestors in Jita shooting the monument.

In response, CCP said they were listening to the feedback and said they would rework some of the more oppressive mechanics they had put up on the test server, like the in-space ore compression, which was similar to a mechanic they removed almost a decade back for being incredibly unfun.

And CCP did rework some items.  Mining barges and exhumers got some adjustments, though their EHP remains lower than before, making them easier targets.  But the plan was being tweaked, not changed.  CCP’s goal remains to keep the economy at starvation levels.  Prosperity, the word CCP chose, the word CCP keeps using, the word that CCP declined to define until it was crystal clear what they really meant, remains elusive.

Not all the changes in the New Dawn plan are bad.  The rationalization of mining crystals was probably long overdue.  The new simplified crystal list looks like this now:

  • Simple Ores – Veldspar, Scordite, Pyroxeres, Plagioclase
  • Coherent Ores – Omber, Kernite, Jaspet, Hemorphite, Hedbergite
  • Variegated Ores – Gneiss, Ochre, Crokite
  • Complex Ores – Bistot, Arkonor, Spodumain
  • Abyssal Ores – Talassonite, Rakovene, Bezdnacine
  • Mercoxit – Mercoxit

Unfortunately, CCP couldn’t stop with six types in tech I and tech II variations.  They remain wedded to the waste mechanic, now renamed “residue,” though to describe what residue means they have to constantly use the word “waste.” Why not just stick with what they mean instead of trying to hide it so badly?  Anyway, there are three grades of crystrals:

  • Type A is low yield, low waste
  • Type B is high yield, higher waste
  • Type C is very low yield, very high waste

The Type C crystals remains a point of proof that CCP doesn’t play or understand its game.  They continue to harbor the delusion that null sec groups are going to fly barges into each other’s space and lay waste to their mining anomalies, and act that is both impractical and would actually help raise the active defense multiplier of the space being mined.

My guess is that the most likely use of the Type C crystals will be to grief high sec mining operations.

Anyway, my ability to care about the details of mining is limited.  Somebody else will have to do the before/after picture in detail.  My days of mining in New Eden are more than a decade in the past and I have never owned a Rorqual so I can’t really get mad about them being nerfed back to a support role (unless I am missing out on shooting them since they’ll be rare on the field now).  The biggest thing for me out of this update is some skill points being refunded from back in the day when I was using a Hulk to mine with tech II crystals.

My main concern remains the economy overall.  CCP was interviewed this week and was bragging about how they hold the levers of the economy.  But an economy where capital ships are too expensive to build, where the null sec meta is now just heavy assault cruisers and battlecruisers, where there is a less than subtle assumption that Rorqual pilots are going to happily spin up multiple accounts for exhumers to make up for the nerf of their main ship, that is an economy that makes me a bit nervous.  They claim that they need these changes, that they have to make the game more onerous in order to secure it for future players.  The focus is on some idealized long term and not what makes the game fun in there here and now.

So new blueprints and skills for the updated mining arrangements are in game, the update has been pushed, and we will have to see what the monthly economic report says about how this plays out as the months go on.


EverQuest gets the Terror of Luclin Expansion Today

Daybreak will launch the Terror of Luclin expansion, the 28th for EverQuest, at some point today.  That is the plan, though after EverQuest II went late into the night resolving database issues with its expansion launch last week, I might feel a little tentative on exact times.

The Terror of Luclin

Though, to be fair, the EQII was remapping a bunch of items into something else, so there was some room for error on the database front when some of us had piles of things like infusers sitting around in the bank.

Luclin, one of the moons of Norrath, has been a location in EverQuest since the Shadows of Luclin expansion hit back in December of 2001, so I suppose this expansion also celebrates 20 years on the moon for the franchise.  The story lead for the expansion is:

The shadows cast by the light of Luclin have been whispering of intrigues. The Akheva are on the move, striving to reassert their power and rebuild their moon-wide empire. Amidst the turmoil of their actions, rumors abound. Mayong Mistmoore has been seen on Luclin. The only known truth is that the master vampire has since disappeared into the shadows and even his devoted followers and sycophants have begun to worry.

Clearly something is stirring on the moon of Luclin. What secrets or magical power was the Lord of Mistmoore seeking? Is he trying to usurp another god? Do you have the strength to peer behind the shades and track down the vampire lord to prevent whatever evil he is plotting?

The vampire lord Mayong Mistmoore on the moon? Up to no good I am sure.

The expansion announcement lists out the features coming with it.  This time around there is a boost in the level cap, bringing that to 120 levels.  Otherwise, aside from the teleport item key ring, it is more of all the things that traditionally make up an EverQuest expansion.

  • Level increase to 120.
  • 7 Expansion Zones
  • New Raids, Quests, and Missions
  • New Spells, Combat Abilities, and AAs
  • New Collections
  • Teleport Item Key Ring – every character on your account will get a 10-slot Key Ring to store teleportation items! You can add slots with marketplace items as you need them.

As with its younger sibling, the expansion options run from the base package at $35 to the friends and family extravaganza that rings in at a very hefty $250.  I will say that EQII throws in so much more with its expansions that I find it a bit hard to find justification for anything beyond the base price… but I haven’t played a new EverQuest expansion since The Serpent’s Spine back in 2006, so my opinion on the value may be less than well informed.

The downtime plan at Daybreak is to commence the upgrade at 6am Pacific time, with an eye on a noon launch.  But if things are settled and ready to go by the evening so players can get in after dinner it will be counted a success I am sure.  MMOs are complex and getting all the parts updated an in sync isn’t always a sure thing.