The Nosy Gamer kicked off this long U.S. holiday weekend with High Sec Station Nerf Coming. That certainly got mine and several other blogger’s attention. The source of this proclamation was this question of CCP Ytterbium on the forums and his answer (emphasis mine,)
Q: ONE OF THE REASONS FOR LOW-SECURITY SPACE BEING CRAP REMAINS THAT HIGH-SECURITY STATIONS ARE TOO GOOD IN THE FIRST PLACE, DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO ADJUST THIS?
A: Indeed we do. This topic brought quite an internal discussion, and while this most likely won’t be part of a Factional Warfare iteration, we do want to have a look at reducing high-security stations effectiveness to make other areas of space more interesting. Some examples could be reducing refining rates, increasing ISK payment to install jobs. Nothing is set in stone as this is not planned for the immediate future however. Another good idea we noticed here was to tie high-security tax with the war performance of its related Factional Warfare Militia. So if, by example, the Caldari Militia are losing the war in Factional Warfare, all taxes in Caldari State high-security space could go up to support the war effort.
Needless to say, there are many, many upset high-sec carebears right about now. I’m one of them, except I don’t live in high-sec any more. However, I do visit and I still have to sell my wares in high-sec stations. These possibilities that CCP Yyyerbium mentions, and they are only possibilities at this point, poke a stick at every one. I’m going to address each of the things CCP Yb mentioned after his bombshell statement and then provide an alternate way of promoting low-sec. One that doesn’t piss in the face of everyone doing business in high-sec, and BTW that is everyone.
The first thing he mentions is reducing refining rates in high-sec stations. For the love of all that’s good in mining, this makes no sense. All the best equipment and the best workers are in high-sec. Of course it should have the best refining capability. It’s peaceful space where civilians love to work and refine ore. Besides, reducing station effectiveness is only going to hurt the little guy. By little guy I mean the noob who struggles to make that first 100 million ISK. By reducing high-sec effectiveness, you are just making the game harder for that player. As a result, drop rates will go up. No one wants that. Let’s not make the cliff any steeper, okay CCP code name atomic number 70? There are better ways to encourage more experienced players to the edges.
The second item is to increase ISK payment for install jobs. To be honest, this isn’t a bad idea in general. They did this with PI and it hurt, but it didn’t kill PI. PI in high-sec is still profitable. It’s just not possible for a two month old character to generate a quarter billion ISK in profit for less than 30 minutes work a day any more. Two months is about the amount of time it takes to train Command Center Upgrades and Interplanetary Consolidation to level 5. Any character can then setup a P3 or P4 production system and make a quarter billion ISK a month easy under the old taxing system. Now it is much harder to generate that sort of revenue.
But back to install jobs. Has anyone tried doing a copy job in high-sec lately? It takes a damn month just to get started. Same goes for researching BPOs. Anything that would get those guys out of high-sec stations and into their own research POS would be a good thing. However, just increasing the fee probably won’t do it – but more on that below.
The next thing mentioned was linking high-sec tax rates to Factional Warfare effort. Isn’t this just a little bit like making all high-sec into a Factional Warfare zone? And what about us that live outside high-sec? Should those that live in wormholes and null-sec be penalized because one faction sucks? Sure, I could warp to the side that doesn’t suck, but why should I have to use my valuable playing time warping long routes because of Factional Warfare incompetence?
Also, claiming that a new tax rate is to support the war effort breaks lore. The Caldari Empire and the Gallente Federation are not at war. Increasing tax levels to support an illegal militia action is an act of war, and CONCORD be damned, there will be hell to pay! Get my point? Tread carefully when getting the Empires involved. Until an actual state of war exists between the Empires, something I’ve discussed before, there should be nothing done in Empire to support the militias.
Now, since no one likes a person that points out problems but never offers solutions, here are a few better ideas (IMO of course, CCP Penultimate Lanthanide and you may freely disagree.)
1. Instead of penalizing high-sec refine rates increase the refine rates in low-sec. Do this for both stations and POS arrays. Let POS arrays match high-sec stations and I say let low-sec stations do better. You can’t let them be better than 100% success, but you can eliminate any taxes or fees for using them. And make these benefits available to anyone who comes to the station. What you need is a Gold Rush, not a Prohibition. If you allow low-seccers to strike gold, there will be a rush by high-seccers to get in on the action. Use carrots, not sticks.
2. Make manufacturing cheap, cheap, cheap in low-sec. Who doesn’t believe that U.S. companies like to manufacture things in Asia because the cost of doing business is low? The costs of doing business in the U.S. are high wages and high safety standards. There is a plethora of laws that ensure worker safety in the U.S. and prevents things like sweat shops and child labor. Couple that with higher wages and it’s damn expensive to manufacture things in the U.S. The same would be true where empire standards are rigorously enforced. But things are expensive enough for the most part and any increase is just going to preclude new players that can’t afford it and don’t have the skills to survive in low-sec. Fortunately, enforcement in the outer systems is not so rigorous. Make industry dirt cheap out there and you will have every high-sec Fortune 100 company knocking on its gates. Hell, give them some bribe ISK if you have to! But reduce rates in low-sec, not increase them in high-sec.
3. And do all this for all low-sec, not just Factional Warfare systems. Give stations 10 times the number of manufacturing, copy and research slots. Make them practically free. Make the cost of doing business so low that greedy industrialists can’t resist. Do this, and they will come.
So, rather than make high-sec an industrial barren wasteland, make low-sec into the next Yukon Territory. Rather than lay the whip into high-sec industrialist who have done nothing wrong, lead them to greener pastures with a nice juicy tax exemption. Emulate what RL cities, states and countries do when competing for that next Facebook data center or that next Apple factory. Stop thinking negatively and start enticing people to move.
EDIT 16:19 EVE Time –> FYI, I am not making fun of CCP Ytterbium’s name. I actually adore the name. It is a rare earth metal from a peculiar area of the periodic table. Besides, the name just rolls off the tongue and is fun to say out loud. All the other references I use for the name are from the periodic table. He chose the name so I figure he’ll like the references. If he doesn’t, I apologize in advance for my poor taste.