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.

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