So far I’ve bought and fit two ships for Incursion running. I bought a Raven to start with, and yesterday I re-fit my newly skinned Rokh to run Incursions. And that’s about all I’ve been able to accomplish. It’s not that I’ve not been trying either. Unfortunately Incursions suffer from the same problem they’ve always suffered from. There are more capsuleers wanting to run them than there is available content.
Yesterday I spent two hours in and around Bereye. That was where the U0R channel said they had a fleet active. I didn’t even bother to ‘x’ up. A quick count of the number of pilots in local and the number of Vanguard sites available showed more pilots than fleet slots. If you’ve never done this type of estimate with an Incursion site, here’s how it works. Assume all fleets are filled to maximum for the site you are aiming to run. That would be 10 ships per Vanguard site. Count the number of Vanguard beacons. If there are five beacons, you can assume they need 50 pilots to clear them. If there are over 100 pilots in local, as was the case in Bereye when I was there, you have more than twice the number as needed to run the sites. It’s a quick and easy way to determine how long your wait will likely be. In most instances, numbers like the ones I just listed mean you’ll get into a fleet in no time soon. That was bore out yesterday as I watched the U0R channel. Periodically the lead FC would list the waiting list. It never shrank the entire time I watched it except when people said they had RL stuff to which to attend.
I didn’t watch it the full 2 hours though. For a time I went over to Aice, the Staging System, and messed around with the Scout sites there. Even with four mag-stabs, a tracking computer with tracking script, and a Federation web I couldn’t always hit those damn frigates. However, with 20 kilometers range, an Optimal Range script and Null ammo they were toast! But within 15 minutes all the Scout sites were done, and there were over a dozen ships hanging around waiting for the next spawn. In a battleship, I’d be Johnny come lately at every new site that spawned. It just wasn’t worth my time.
That’s the same problem Incursions have always had. There is far more demand than supply. The Incursion channel itself had nearly 700 capsuleers in it. That’s just too many. It makes getting into a fleet a hit or miss proposition unless you can sit there for hours waiting on a list, doing nothing. I don’t know about you, but I’m not inclined to sit around and do nothing for hours. Mining is more stimulating than that. Incursion game play just isn’t compelling enough to make me sit around. I can make ISK in other ways. I can’t say this definitively, because I’ve not really made a lot of ISK waiting for Incursions, but I bet if you factored that wait into the ISK per hour calculation everyone is so fond of, you could do better running L4 Security missions. So unless you have an “in” with an Incursion fleet, you need to consider that wait.
To be certain, this is a high-sec issue. From what I can tell, no one ever really bothers with null-sec Incursions. I believe the same can be said of low-sec Incursions. Taking them on in that space is just too much risk. I don’t think anyone reading this will disagree when I say PvE fleets are no match for PvP fleets. It’d be like lambs in the slaughterhouse to try and run Incursions in insecure space. When a pilot can run a dead space complex and make as much ISK with less risk, and do it by themselves, who’d want to bother with an Incursion? I know I wouldn’t.
And aren’t Incursions in non-secure space a sort of lore breaker anyway? Sansha Kuvakei’s real beef is with the Empires and their invention the capsuleers. Why is he wasting his resources on non-empire space anyway? That seems like a really poor strategy. I’m certain there are those who know better than I. Can anyone explain why we even see Incursions in null-sec? Wouldn’t it make more sense if Sansha concentrated his forces against his hated enemy’s main bastions?
Here’s a thought. Since there is more demand for Incursions in highsec than supply, and no (or very little) demand for them in null-sec, why not just swing all those null-sec Incursions into high-sec? In the end, EVE Online is a game, for people who want to play the game. It is obvious to me more people want to play Incursion EVE in high-sec than anywhere else. Why doesn’t CCP give them what they want?
I suppose that’s the nuts and bolts of it, isn’t it? CCP will say EVE Online is their game and they know what’s best for it. They’ll say too many high-sec incursions will <insert negative consequence here, like breaking the economy> and they won’t ruin their game in that way. That’s wrong headed. It’s not their game. It’s our game. We pay for it every month. CCP may have created EVE Online, but like selling stock, they gave up absolute control of it the day they accepted their first subscription.
That makes CCP a service provider. Service providers cater to demand. Its obvious where the demand is. Big null-sec battles may give CCP their marketing spikes and make them quiver all over with new found popularity, but they need to see high-sec for what it is – the place where most of us play; the place that has the most demand. It’s incumbent on CCP to understand where the demand really is (that’s where the player numbers are if you haven’t figured that one out,) provide the service desired (as indicated by those numbers,) and make it work in a manner that doesn’t break the game – in that order. That’s their real world charter. Failing to fulfil demand will harm the game more than breaking the economy will. There are plenty of games out there with broken economies that still earn money. There are none that have survived a lack of participation due to unfulfilled expectations.