This is an unprecedented time in Eve History for the industrial aspect of the game. The following events have taken place, or will take place in the space of a single month:
- Player Event: Ice Interdiction – This was a plan to stop the amount of Gallente ice being mined in Eve Online by taking out anyone who was mining Gallente Ice. The operation appears to have been a financial success.
- Player Event: Burn Jita – A Player Event that had one of the most influential null-sec alliances invade high-sec, and for a day, wiping out all transportation going to the central, and biggest, trade hub in the Eve Universe.
- Player Event: Hulkageddon – Another Player Event, done annually, where pirates focus on taking out industrial mining ships. Hulks, Mackinaws, Orcas, Rorquals, are on the list.. and are not safe even in high-sec.
- Security: Bot – CCP Sreegs has been on the forefront of taking down bots of all sorts. The majority of these bots either mined or ran missions in high-sec or ratted in the Drone Regions. The materials and modules were then shipped, in mass, to Jita for sale.
- Escalation: Drones – As of April 24th, Drones no longer drop “Drone Goo”. Those unique ores dropped only by Drone NPCS, which could in turn be reprocessed into high-grade, null-sec ores, no longer are dropped.. by anything.
- Escalation: Meta 0 Modules – Also as of April 24th, no NPC in Eve will drop meta 0 items (it turned out not to be entirely true, as some things like Expanded Cargohold Is and Ship Scanner Is still appear to be dropping). Meta 0 items were used in two particular fashions: First, they were reprocessed to get to their more valuable minerals, and Second, they were used in Invention. Removal of these means that more Meta 0 items will have to be player manufactured. So instead of having a resource pool, we now have a resource sink.
- Player Intervention: OTEC – Technium is the most valuable substance in Eve currently, and it is produced only from certain rare moons.. all of which happen to be own or managed by the GooNIP (yes, say it like how Stewie says “Cool Whip”). However, this has been pre-countered by CCP desire to step away from “conflict resources”, by stating possible changes that include Ring mining for what was formerly Moon goo.
Now, let’s think back about who started the concept of “Farm and Fields”. This was a major platform for the Mittani of Goonswarm when he went into the election of CSM6. Of course, the “farms and fields” initiative had to take a backburner in order to save Eve Online from the Space Barbie fixation that CCP had gotten itself into. But the question remains, is the Mittani still trying to push “farms and fields”, even after he has been defunct?
Considering all that he has been able to accomplish in CSM 6 as well as with Goonswarm, it is a sure bet that he just didn’t say, “Whelp, guess that’s not going to happen.” And the majority of Goonswarm players, after all the success they have had, will likely do whatever he bids. Add to that the reality that I think he honestly cares about Eve Online as a whole and we have a strong group of focused players, with the resources necessary, to influence change.
Let’s look at the Burn Jita plan, which had been in the planning stages for months, seems from the outset just a plan to mess with people.. just to prove how powerful Goonswarm is. Here is his quote from his blog, Sins of a Solar Spymaster,
“The truth is that we did it because we could: we wanted to see what would happen to Jita if we hit it with all the organizational might of a nullsec bloc.”
Now, if he was truly just wanting to show off, he wouldn’t have written this statement in this way. He is a lawyer, after all, so he is going to be very precise in his wording. It also helps to note that he goes on to talk about how Escalation has made mining viable again. I think the Gallente Ice Interdiction was a test case, to see if he could organize not only Goonswarm, but also others in the low-sec community. It also tested Goonswarm’s ability to weather out major events, even those of its own making. But it also was an introductory course into seeing just how much control large player organizations could exert against smaller organizations, particularly those who have little need to be concerned about game politics.
The Gallente Ice Interdiction turned out to prove to be quite successful on all the deeper issues that were behind the event. Prices for Gallente Blue Ice raised sharply on news that the POS fuel would be much rarer to get and once relatively cheap at 800isk per fuel unit, now were being sold for upwards of 2200 isk per fuel unit. This was despite the fact that the actual inventory appeared to be hardly dented at all. Goonswarm made isk on that sure.. but the real treasure was seeing just how reactive the Eve Online Industrial populace had become.
The Burn Jita project, now coupled with Hulkageddon, went after another point in the industrial complex. The Burn Jita project struck at the central hub of the Eve Online universe.. hitting everyone who ever dealt with Jita: Mission Runners, Minor Traders, Major Industrialists, Miners, Haulers, etc. The targets were picked in such a way as to discourage people from both buying and selling goods in Jita,which is why it was done on the days that Jita has the highest amount of trade. In other words, Friday going into Saturday. The constant converage of those systems forced people to more localized places, as well as put into danger trade routes that had existed for years.
Hulkageddon also served a more distinct purpose and with Goonswarm putting up tons of isk for bounties, more pirates are risking sec status losses as well as more expensive fits, to hunt down Tech 2 Exhumers.. most of which fly in high-sec, busily mining away without a care in the world until they were caught.
But let us not forget CCP, which up until recently, still had to deal with The Mittani as the CSM6 chairman. CCP Sreegs campaign against the bots was intensely pushed by the CSM. This despite many of the null-sec alliances that they hailed from were using bots or had a number of members using bots on a regular basis. Many of the updates you see coming into Inferno, some via Escalation, are changes directed and influenced by CSM 6. This includes the removal of Drone Goo and solving the problem of having Meta 0 modules being melted down for the rare minerals they house.
Finally, there is OTEC, a null-sec organization designed to manage the flow of Technetium to the rest of null-sec. A powerplay move to be sure.. but against who?
Personally.. I think its a powerplay move against CCP, forcing them to bring the concept of “Ring Mining” to Tranquility as soon as possible. The Mittani mentions it this way,
“Just like with the real world’s OPEC, ‘Everyone’ in this case means ‘us’ and ‘benefit’ means ‘ahahaha f**k you scrubs’. With discussion of ‘ring mining’ being a method of nerfing tech income, most of the organizations in nullsec that have tech moons are interested in jacking the prices as high as the market will bear, with twin benefits: making us (CFC/NCdot/Ev0ke/PL) comically wealthy at the expense of literally everyone else in the game, and making literally everyone else in the game howl in a rage about it.”
Remember, when this was developed, he was still the CSM Chairperson. I think, by allowing this particular e-mail to be, ahem, “leaked”, he is essentially forcing CCP to make something happen before OTEC becomes a real force in the world of Eve Online. Why do I say that? Because this plan goes absolutely against his “farms and fields” initiative that he thinks will save Eve Online. It also goes against what I think he hoped the lessons would be with the events that he both directly, and indirectly, interacted with.
Here is what I think are the lessons he wanted people to learn, and to work off of:
First – Gallente Ice Interdiction – Since much of the ice for all of Eve was mined in high-sec space, the Mittani had hoped to enforce the idea that, with High-sec no longer being a stable source of this resource, it might be good for alliance to start mining for that resource locally, rather than just jump to Jita, pick up what you need and go back home. At the corp and individual level in those null-sec alliances, local resources would still be harder (though more valuable) to get and so would increase the number of mining ops, as well as having local PI directed more toward filling local needs rather than just dumping whatever on the market.
Second – Burn Jita – This is the second part of the Ice Interdiction aspect. By removing the availability of Jita, null-sec alliances would be force to upend their usual logistical trade routes for new ones. These new routes might not be as useful or as profitable as Jita was and as such, might influence local industrial corps to start mining resources locally as a safeguard.
Third – Hulkageddon – A nice addition to the Burn Jita idea. Again, much of the low-end resources used for industry is mined in high-sec space, where it is quite safe to mine and ship your minerals to Jita or wherever and gain maximum profit. Hulkageddon disrupts this with a venegence and makes high-sec mining a less reliable source of resources. By adding bounties to every ten kills, Goonswarm could possibly force this to continue on even longer.. disrupting the current flow of resources in and out of null-sec and possibly making null-sec mining a more profitable and easier experience.
Fourth – Bot Removal – Bots have been seen in all sectors of Eve Online space, and the neglect of CCP to really cut these guys out has caused the eventual proliferation of supercapital ships all across Eve, and is one that will still be felt for a least a couple more years. Removing these bots has cut off a large portion of incoming resources to the Eve community as a whole, further increasing the price of all minerals.. and also making it more profitable for young miners to be viable again.. even in Null-sec.
Fifth – Drones and the Drone Regions – A few years back, in order to give new life to the recently added Drone Regions, CCP removed all drone bounties and added more drone goo to their drops. This turned out to be a gold mine to what has now become known as the Drone Russians, who using bots, both mined and blasted minerals into their holds and were able to corner the market. With the Drone Region NPCs changed, Drone goo now gone, and botting accounts being banned by the hundreds, the minerals that once flowed into Jita for all to take with ease are now gone. This has forced null-sec alliances to see revise the prices of supercapital ships.. and to see if perhaps local mining might not be a better alternative.
Sixth – Meta 0 Module Change – This change removes the ability for mission runners to also influence the mineral market. Although a minor change in the grand scheme of things, some of these Meta 0 modules could be reprocessed to give out Mercoxit, a null-sec rare ore that requires a special exhumer to mine. Now that this resource is consistantly available only through mining, there will be more reason to mine out there in the deep dark.
Now, to me, this sums up, not a war against the players of Eve Online, but an ideological battle to save Eve Online by stopping players/corporations/alliances/coalitions who are too reliant on others for support. The “Farms and Fields” initiative is still active. It still is being pushed, even as the Mittani is no longer the CSM Chairperson, he still wants null-sec to be a better place to live. And even if I am a pawn in this scheme (which I am, I don’t delude myself), this still looks like a good plan to me.
.. then again.. I could be wrong. They are Goons after all…