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Jester’s Trek: In Flux

EVE players are not game designers.  I’ve said this often enough, and it’s something that I really believe.  Often, when EVE players make a suggestion to change an aspect of the game’s design, they overlook something obvious that makes their suggestion bad ideas.  As a result, while I’ve always been a big fan of pointing out things I perceive as problems with the game, I often stop there.  I don’t often advocate a solution, even a temporary solution, because not only are EVE players poor game designers, but CCP has flat-out stated on a number of occasions that they prefer this.  They’d much rather have players point out the parts of the game that are a problem and let them come up with the solution.

Still, from time to time, my ability to resist making suggestions overwhelms me.  😉

Everyone knows my annoyance with the current technetium situation.  But I’ve been asked three times in the last week “Is there something that you could suggest to ‘fix’ technetium temporarily that wouldn’t be a major development effort?”  CCP has said they’re going to work on a long-term solution, but have also said that long-term solution will take “several release cycles” or some-such.  That says to me that we can’t expect a fix to technetium for at least a year.(1)  So over the weekend, I thought it over.  Why not me?  I’ve got a good understanding of the technetium production cycle and what it’s used in, and I have a very good understanding of tech2 research and manufacturing.  Is there something I could suggest?  And after thinking it over and running some numbers, yes, I have a suggestion.

My suggestion has the following benefits:

it would be very quick to implement requiring very little developer time;

it would shake up the current technetium monopoly that OTEC enjoys without destroying their finances or investment;

it would create several important new conflict drivers; and,

it would at least partially remove technetium as a T2 production bottle-neck; but,

it wouldn’t completely disrupt the economy or the current production chain.

To explain my suggestion, I’ll have to give a bit of background.  T2 items are built from a combination of minerals, a small amount of morphite, a couple of items that I collectively think of as “tools” (but which EVE calls “Robotic Assembly Modules”, or R.A.M.s), and one or two specialty items built from moon-goo.  These specialty items are ultimately built from “advanced materials“, of which there are 11.  Six of the 11 are materials that I think of as “armor alloys” and they can be ignored for the purposes of this discussion since so relatively little of them are used and their use is specialized.  That leaves five much more commonly-used advanced materials: ferrogel, fullerides, hypersynaptic fibers, nanotransistors, and fermionic condensates.  Technetium is currently a bottle-neck because it is a major component in the creation of two of these five items, nanotransistors and fullerides.

Of the two, nanotransistors are the key one.  The number of things nanotransistors go into is truly staggering, mostly because nanotransistors go into the fundamental “CPU” items for all four races, the “sensor clusters” for all four races, and the “battery” for all four races.  I’m not exaggerating when I say those twelve “specialty items” go into virtually every T2 ship, module, and piece of ammunition.

This was bad planning on CCP’s part, and the long-term fix to the tech2 production chain is going to have to focus on this more than anything else.  Those raw materials needed for those twelve items should be spread out among a variety of moon minerals and other materials, but that’s a big change and that’s the part that’s going to take a lot of time.  That’s why we’re not going to see a long-term fix to the production chain before late 2013.

Fullerides, by contrast, primarily go into tech2 ammunition, weapons, and ship hulls.  It’s probably the second most important advanced material.  But fullerides don’t go into the awesome spread of modules that nanotransistors do.

What’s my suggestion?

Today, the reactions that create both fullerides and nanotransistors use (among other things) 100 units of platinum technite, the intermediate material made from platinum and technetium, or now produced through alchemy.  My suggestion involves one database change: change those required 100 units of platinum technite for either fullerides or nanotransistors to 100 units of fluxed condensates instead.

What’s a fluxed condensate?  It’s another intermediate material, made from two completely different moon-goos: neodymium and thulium.(2)  Both are pretty much ignored right now: there’s only a couple million units of each for sale in Jita.  Where are the neo and thul moons?  Haven’t a clue.  EVE players would have to go out and find them.  But amusingly enough, both are R64 moons like promethium and dysprosium, the previous tech2 bottle-neck materials.  So presumably there aren’t all that many of them out there.  So they’d definitely very quickly become major conflict drivers.  In the meantime, there’s already a fluxed condensate alchemy reaction in the game, too.  That’d keep the T2 production chains working while the war over neo and thul sorted itself out.

Technetium would still be extremely valuable because it would retain its position in one of the two key tech2 production chains.  But the two new moon-goos would take over the other.  CCP could choose the advanced material to change based on how big a change they wanted to make to the market.  Changing platnium technite to fluxed condensates for nanotransistors would be a major change affecting most T2 ships and modules.  Changing it for fullerides would be a more moderate change affecting a far smaller (and more PvP-focused) selection of T2 ships and modules.

So there you go: one small, easy-to-implement change that would totally shake up the technetium bottle-neck for the next year while CCP implements a more permanent solution.  In the meantime, there would be massive new capital and super-capital ship battles to take control of these two valuable resources and the T2 production chain and market-place would get a good hard shake.

Or am I missing something obvious that would make this a bad idea?

(1) And again, alchemy is not a fix.  All alchemy does is reset the price clock to April 2011.  All of the underlying issues associated with tech aren’t addressed in the slightest by alchemy.  It’s not a fix.  It’s not even a band-aid.  It’s a temporary change that will lower the price of tech, and that’s all.
(2) For the record, fluxed condensates are currently one of four intermediate materials going into fermionic condensates, one of the six advanced materials I collectively think of as “armor alloys.”  Currently, other than a few very minor T2 mods, fermionic condensates (and therefore fluxed condensates) are only used for T2 ship production.

Ripard Teg

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  1. Kunnilar

    Interesting Idea, I cant immediatly spot anything wrong with it

    August 29, 2012 at 1:24 am Reply
    1. Hykke

      Yeah I'm hoping someone at CCP reads this and thinks "Why didn't WE think of this".
      I agree that players are bad game designers (We want <insert favourite profession> to get more isk, and nerf <insert other profession>"). But I really really like simple fixes like this one, it may not be the final solution to the problem, and CCP should analyze the situation before making a move, but I think this is a good example of something that could be done by one game designer and one developer in a couple of days.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:38 am Reply
  2. Holger Szukay

    You almost fucked me up in Ostingele last night bud, but you're the only person addressing an issue that will," within a few cycles", create a fixed nul sec environment. We need the wild west back, and to get it we can't have one group with an overwhelming preponderance of isk. +1 and good on you for staying with this. Eveyrone else (especially the mitten) has declared tech "nerfd", but if that's so why do they continue to maintain their control and acquisition of tech?

    August 29, 2012 at 1:25 am Reply
    1. BZD

      Tech isnt nerfed at all,its still about 135K and its still rising. The price for tech is going back to the usually range.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:15 am Reply
    2. increase space

      You can not have a wild west when space is as small as it is atm, reduce jump ranges and make space feel huge again, although I'm aware this is something most of you don't like to hear.
      Only reason the environment is fixed is because alliances/coalitions can simply control vast regions of space, since they can project force too easily and quickly over the entire map.
      With the current jump drives it takes about 10 jumps to cross the entire universe, something a decent organized alliance can do well under one hour, that's not how big space should feel like.
      Reduce jump range by 50% and let's see how that works out, should at least bring strategic and tactical decissions for fleet placements and change shopping behaviour at Jita wallmart for outer edge regions, it might even encourage production in nul-sec more.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:39 am Reply
      1. Correct u rule

        I've been mubling on TS about such a change since 2010.
        Your insight is clear and correct. Make travek a bitch. Fight near home, or travel away and leave home op to attack. (Where u can't move a whole fleet back in 1 day)

        August 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm Reply
        1. just an idea

          I agree cut jump ranges but i think they should look in to how the sov is handled at the same time.
          * i want the Corps to own the sov
          * and the corps to want to be in a defensive alliance

          * The best way to do that is make the sov holding system cost exponentially
          * That way the alliance can't hold all the sov in a holding corp but have to hand out the sov to its corporation.
          * The sov owning should get a small discount for system next to each other.
          *and hand out the Coalition system above the alliance system.

          not only do we give more power to the Corps but alliance jumping will be more costly
          and your will to fight the fight will be greater.

          August 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm Reply
      2. dead= good drake

        but the person with one alt gets screw over

        August 30, 2012 at 11:20 am Reply
        1. NOT Correct

          More alts is always better. Will always make life easier. And should i think, and as long as i pay with VISA, and others do (Hint: Fuck botters) CCP agrees. What's ur point?

          August 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm Reply
  3. anonymous

    Sounds reasonable which is why it probably will be ignored

    August 29, 2012 at 1:51 am Reply
  4. DarthNefarius

    Wanna bet neodymium and thulium will sell out in Jita after this article? :p

    August 29, 2012 at 1:57 am Reply
  5. DarthNefarius

    Potential problems arise if the locations for neodymium and thulium moons end up being all concentrated in Delve and SoCo.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:00 am Reply
    1. hirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

      there is alot of neo in Q and Delve, but it is a mineral that is found in almost every eve region, including pure blind.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:58 am Reply
      1. Ashesofempires

        It's interesting to note that this proposed change would shift the concentration of "valuable" moons back to an area that was dominated by the game's previous powerhouse alliance. One could argue that the BoB/Kenzoku/IT alliance's dominance was due to the predominance of high value T2 moons, and the vast industrial empire that they ran. You could go further, and say that the downfall of the alliance could partially be due to the changes that made R64's relatively worthless, which caused their cashflow to dry up. Alongside politics, it could help explain their fall from power.

        Just a thought.

        August 29, 2012 at 4:30 am Reply
  6. Nerds Unite

    Would indeed be a decent conflict driver, but there isn't much to stop the CFC or OTEC claiming those moons in a relatively short period of time but given how much null is currently blue (or rather regions)

    The a way to break that new dead lock would be to perhaps put more high end moon goo in NPC null. Not like CCP haven't "moved" the valuable stuff around before.

    You want conflict drivers for cap fights, well as NPC offers no cyno jamming or no sov based JBs….. the fighting would be pretty interesting, espeically if enitiies are moving across the enitre of eve constantly to hold on to the precious goo.

    Would certainly change the null dynamic a bit and make the risk of holding those R64's much higher (or atleast demand more commitment)

    August 29, 2012 at 2:01 am Reply
    1. Vanquisher

      You are aware that CFC has enough supers to simply claim those npc space moons. Usualy smaller npc space corps and alliances avoid even touching the sov holders moons in npc.There is simply no point, especialy while your infrastructure is usualy located in a single pocket of space, even a single system. Even looking at their poses ends up with 100 man bloob knocking at your doors and if they are pissed enough having entire infrastructure put in RF over night.

      August 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm Reply
  7. kosmiq1

    I'm sure EN24 is on the bookmarks bar of any CCP employee who's worth his salt so hopefully this will stir up something on the dev end sooner rather than later. Good article and good suggestions +1

    August 29, 2012 at 2:33 am Reply
    1. thatguy


      oh shit…

      hold on a sec…


      August 29, 2012 at 6:40 am Reply
      1. Tinfoil Vendor

        Lol…ok, try 2.

        While EN24 is not quite know for upstandinf, fair and unbiased news reporting, it still does offer a view into the opinions and thoughts of the playerbase who care enough about the game to be visiting news sites like this, or the recently released "news site that you cant spell out in a comment without it being out deleted butim sure we all know about"

        That along makes it something worth bookmarking for a game designer and developer, an easy way to keep tabs on popular opinion and events ingame.

        August 29, 2012 at 6:48 am Reply
        1. John Douche

          Have you completely lost it?

          A game developer has a ton of work on his desk. They read their own forums, they read their issues and feedback threads, they read their bug reports and they read the SISI-related threads. This is just the stuff they have to read and that is hosted on their own network. Then they all have their twitter and facebook accounts, the YouTube comments and more. Again, it is their own stuff. And not to mention e-mail, SMS, telephone, instant messaging, etc.

          They will then read lots of web sites related to graphics design, programming and game technology & hardware to stay in touch with today's trends in gaming.

          The chance that they read Kugu or EN24 in order to care about the most brainless scrubs of EVE and then come across an article, which evolves around their work and makes sense is … fucking close zero.

          Your world has narrowed down your brain to the point where you think EN24 is everything and everything on here is worth reading. It isn't.

          And let us not forget who is making suggestions: Ripturd Tig. God only knows what "magic switch" he thinks he has found next. And then another one, and another, and, … "Oh wait, it has got millions of these switches! I am a game designer now, baby!! Which one to flip next? What does this one do?!? I have no clue, let's give it a try. This should work …"

          August 29, 2012 at 7:47 am Reply
          1. kosmiq1

            Why wouldn't they check EN24? Exacly the point, it is made by the playerbase.. All the drama and big fights and stuff that make Eve, Eve from a players perspective, so yes I would think that many CCP employees would be checking EN24 regularly.

            August 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm
          2. John Douche

            Checking for what? CCP can find feedback directly in their forums! Why go looking for it? And there is so much of it already that they leave the filtering to the CSM. When they come to EN24 then they come for the same reason as most of us do – for the entertainment, the video, the biased articles, the egocentric views of bloggers and other fails. It sure is not the "profound and trustworthy information" that lets us come back each day.

            August 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm
          3. Last time i checked they visited from iceland my site 1,920 times.

            August 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm
          4. John Douche

            I am sure you are proud over this little fact, but where is the relevance? You cannot tell if they are devs, who are directly working on the game, or some guy who refills the printers or only the toilets with paper.

            You could check again and tell us by how much the hit count by supposedly CCP devs has increased after Retard Ted dumped his incense on us! At least this will gives us something to interpret. Maybe he has left a noteworthy impact on CCP. *lol*

            August 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm
          5. kosmiq1

            well I definately never mentioned anything about EN24 being "profound and trustworthy" 😛 but yeah not going to argue with you, valid points.. I'm sure they do come for entertainment. But anyways, hope moon goo gets some changes one way or the other.

            August 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm
          6. what?

            John you still butthurt about this?

            I think I know why Riv hasn't posted any articles, he wants the butthurt to marinate, just keep crying and see how long it stays on the top pages

            August 31, 2012 at 2:31 am
    2. yup


      August 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm Reply
  8. DarthNefarius

    How about a Drone Incursion with new Incrusion drones that poop Goo to replace the Sansha Incursion in NULL while keeping the the Sansha Incursions in HI SEC

    August 29, 2012 at 6:00 am Reply
    1. what?

      Somehow Darth found a way to include incursions in a discussion about moon goo O_o

      August 29, 2012 at 6:33 am Reply
    2. Bob

      Because that would take a hell of a lot of work and this was about a simple solution?

      August 29, 2012 at 8:43 am Reply
  9. John Douche

    TL;DR: Ripturd Teg is now a game designer, at least it is something he really believes. 😮

    On the question where exactly he has lost his head did he answer: "Where is my head? Haven’t a clue. EVE players would have to go out and find it."

    August 29, 2012 at 6:01 am Reply
  10. Raagun

    Baaad suggestion. You (with all your understanding :} ) missed point, that Neodymium now is second most valuable mineral. Now its needed to produce nanotransistors (hint: Neo mercurite). So you can not include it into nanotransistors, because you end up with heavy neodymium based product. And if you include it into fullerides, basicly you would create new technetium also.
    Much better option would be to use Ferrofluid, wich requires DysprosiumHafnium, neither of which is overused atm.
    But any of these sugegstions would end in new bottleneck.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:00 am Reply
    1. Danny_Centauri

      I'm still sticking with the better option being to simply reduce the volume of nanotransistors from 5 down to 3 to cut demand.

      I agree with you using neo would simply create a new bottleneck – rather than jiggling things around do something that balances and makes pvpers happy too by reducing material requirements so t2 ship price drops and the rich are only rich not stupidly rich.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm Reply
  11. Raagun

    Also consider that most R64 moons are located in current CFC/HBC space who control tech :)
    No idea how devs were spreading these r64 moons, bus ex-BoB space has bunch of them.
    Real power and isk shift would be to include another R32 into mix. Like Hafnium. But real solution would be to base these materials an all r32 equally. R32 are much better spread across Eve space.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:05 am Reply
  12. HeartGoodFights

    It is a well thought out plan, and you're logic and thought process is sound. I also like that you aren't asking CCP to remove an asset from one asset. As much I hate to say it, OTEC should be rewarded for their planning and strategy and creating the bottleneck that they have. Further, it resembles real life in that substitutes for RL products are found all the time, a simple piece of story line that this race found out how to develop this product using this alternative material.

    Hope it gets noticed by CCP and injected.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:12 am Reply
  13. Danny_Centauri

    Personally I think this change could be a bit more simple simply drop the number of nanotransitors required for each racial microprocessor.

    The demand for nanotransistors could be reduced by close to 28% if you simply drop the number of nanotransistors in this single component down from 5 to 3. This could also be offset against some other material requirements if CCP wish increasing phenolic composites requirement from 1 to 3. This change would see an average of a 7mil per unit price drop in T2 ship prices.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm Reply
  14. space troll

    Conferming the reason for the dellay is because resources are currently tied up in BUST 514, and the infamous Captains Quartars!, yes we need maor feckiing ashtrays

    August 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm Reply
  15. John Douche

    No, thank you. Your website is not more than an extension of Kugu. You try to be better than EN24, instead of being a pioneer, which is what EN24 is.

    Kugu tried to better than the EVE Online forums and see what happened to it. The same is already happening to this new and so called "news" site.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm Reply
    1. I just came back from my quarterly trip to Costa Rica, time to get some things right.


      August 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm Reply
      1. what?

        Welcome back, John's butthurt/fail damage control is still happening :'(

        August 31, 2012 at 2:33 am Reply
  16. Grotexx

    I still see T2 BPO's as a major problem – one hardly mentioned as most think it not possible to remove or that those that own them have too much sway.
    Good interim fix that you have proposed for the tech issue though.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:21 am Reply
  17. dead= good drake

    keep moon mining but do what ccp suggest and have an bit of random moon goo spawn around planets rings

    August 30, 2012 at 11:23 am Reply
  18. oh snap

    just use vandadium hafnite instead for plat tech in nanos

    August 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm Reply
  19. unsatisfied reader

    Here's an idea let all get together smash goons, and not wait or want ccp to fix problems for you.. It never ends,.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm Reply
  20. newto game

    If we have four races , we should have four different transistors made from different materials which each race will find them in their space.

    August 31, 2012 at 1:58 am Reply

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