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The ‘Maelstrom Hour’ Unit

Raiden. has stood down in Tenal and the CFC is currently working through structure grinding in order to conquer it. According to my intel channels, Tenal will be back in RAZOR Alliance‘s hands in 2 weeks.

I find the current Tenal situation reminicent of the CFC Branch campaign. After a few major battles, White Noise. stood down and the only thing left to do was to structure grind. Hundreds of Maelstroms and Supers were used to blob and grind.

In order to express the magnitude of work that needed to be done, a unit of measurement was coined.

Maelstrom Hour – noun.
The amount of damage a T2 gun, perfect skill, and always in optimal Maelstrom produces in an hour.

20 Billion HPs were required to conquer Branch, which comes out to about 7,407 Maelstrom Hours. Given an average fleet size of 100 Maelstroms, that equals 148 hours of fleet time — or over 6 days of non-stop shooting (credit for this post goes to Lake on Kugutsumen.com for the research).

With sovereignty being looked at in the upcoming expansions, there cannot be more higher HP structures. The answer to this mechanic has always been n+1, bring more of the things.

What are the alternatives?

I’m not an expert on Dominion-style sovereignty warfare so any links to constructive threads would be welcome.

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Nullsec Industrialization

In Eve we talk a lot about vision. With Dominion, we were going to be brought into a new  era of Nullsec gameplay. Small alliance were going to gain a foothold in space, industrial powers were going to rise, and major conflicts were going to arise over these resources.

Here we are almost two years later and not much has changed in Nullsec. There are major powerblocks controlling the majority of space and conflicts are over a few precious moon types.

I don’t think the vision of Dominion came to be fully actualized. Some major steps were taken, such as removing the POS bowling that had to occur to gain sovereignty and the addition of upgrades with the Infrastructure Hub, but overall the gameplay hasn’t moved forward as far as the vision promised.

People have been talking about the “Independence from Jita” that Nullsec needs and I haven’t seen a concrete plan to reduce the dependance of goods from Highsec.

Here’s a graphical overview of how I see the current flow of Industry:

Industrialists are supposed to be producing all of the goods you PVP types want locally with no reliance on anything from empire. This statement could not be farther from the truth.

Let’s use me as a case study. I’m a industrialist that owns many ship, module, and capital blueprints. I have the ability to produce anything from Cap Rechargers, a Heavy Interdictor, or even a Carrier. All of my production occurs in Highsec/Lowsec. I have three characters that work night and day to produce goods that get shipped off to Nullsec.

Why should I move my operation into Nullsec?

Right now there is a low amount of risk for getting my Highsec/Lowsec goods into Nullsec due to proper scouting and intel combined with a high reward because everything in Nullsec is marked up. Why move?!

Yes there is the topic of nerfing Jump Bridges, Cynosural Generator Array, and Jump Freighters but that will do nothing but drive industry out of Nullsec. Making it more difficult to move items around is not the answer. The main problem is the availability of materials and the lack of industrial infrastructure that Nullsec currently provides.

Moon Source Dependance

In order for me to make a Tech 2 Drone, I need a few moon materials that come from many regions. There is no way that I could get all of the materials from one Nullsec region. What’s the simplest answer? Eve people always go for the simplest answer — get the items from Jita of course! Why would I spent hours getting wild trade routes setup in Nullsec when I can take a freighter to Jita and buy everything that I need en mass?

There will be a huge amount of player uproar if the current distribution of moons is altered. Instead there should be a new method for obtaining moon materials other than POS moon harvesting. Perhaps we can see scannable comets emerge? Perhaps a Tech 2 moon harvesting Noctis hull?

Outposts

I can understand moving research (ME/PE/Copy/Invention) slots to a POS structure, but having manufacturing slots so few and hard to come by in Nullsec impedes industrialists from starting operations.

New players that want to get into manufacturing should be able to spend a few days polishing off skills and have access to slots in Outposts. This reduces the barrier of entry and keeps POS permissions and corp politics out of the arena.

Why would I fight with other people in a Outpost for use of the 10 available slots when in empire I can have access to 50+ in one system? When I do a Carrier build, I get all three characters on the job and I have 30 capital parts building at once. Adding a 3x or more time multiplier on my overall job doesn’t encourage me to move my operations to Nullsec.

Players should have access to cheaper, more robust upgrades for Outposts and be able to have multiple Outposts in systems. If you truly want to make a home capital system in the sky, then we should be able to have the ability to construct facilities that rival Empire systems. This is how Dominion could have created some really valuable territory that people would like to own. Imagine how encouraging it would be to solicit to an Industrial corp to join your Alliance if you controlled a system with six outposts dedicated to manufacturing. Imagine how attractive it would be for a foreign power to take that away from you!

Lowend Ores

The amount of Lowend minerals (Tritanium, Pyerite, Mexallon) is very unbalanced. Making Capital ships requires a huge amount of lowends and the small sized in the belts is not enough to meet the demand. The current method for building a large amount of ships or Capitals is to mine the Highends, compress and ship the off to Jita, buy high compression ratio items/minerals, bring back to your production area and manufacture.

Industry Index

Currently it is too difficult to keep the Industry Index at 4 or 5 compared to the Military Index. Make it easier to maintain and spawn better sites at high levels.

Time-based Disruptions

Increasing the amount of HP on a structure rather than going with the time-based model of taking structures will only encouraging more blobbing. Any new method for taking sov or disabling station services should be timer based.

Nerf the Logistics!

Nullsec logistics is already hard enough if you are far away from Empire. Jump bridges and Cynosural Generators perform well. If any change to Logistics is to be made, increase the consumption of Isotopes or Liquid Oxygen.


Son of Dominion nullsec mining

The father.

Let me just start this with a phrase I’ve always, always wanted to use but could never achieve the correct context:

I effing called it.

As of Dominion, WH mining is no longer the best mining profitable task, having been completely outstripped by nullsec mining. For the chain of logic that lead to this conclusion, look no further than the following paragraphs:

I was sitting in a WH belt, mining and thinking about how much I love mining in WHs, when I saw probes on the directional. Entering a professional state of panic, I told my ship to warp to PoS and waited the agonizing seven seconds before my 200 mil ship was safe, all the while asking if the probes were ours or someone trying to kill us for the fun of it.

The probes weren’t ours, so you can imagine my surprise when I wasn’t trapped in a bubble on my way to the PoS; and the greater surprise I had when the pilot convoed me to say hi and not “Grrr, Grrr, you win this time, but we will have your very expensive ship for our killboards. Arrrrgh” or whatever pirates say. Apparently, through some act forgotten to me and him, our respective corporations had set each other to blue, which was strange, as his corporation was a nullsec habiter and we were a highsec mining corp. He revealed himself as an old WH miner that left the WH for nullsec come Dominion, with good reason, so he said. He invited me for a look around his nullsec, as his alliance and all nearby alliances were NBDS. Immediately suspicious, I took my sister gear off my covops, slapped on a normal scanner and flew after him. After flying past an impressive warp bubble on a gate:We made it to his alliance’s industry V system, and he excused himself while I scanned out some gravs. The small ones were easy to get too, and contained about 80k of ABC ores, and the large ones were slippery, but similarly had a goodly amount of ABC ores and some BS wrecks, one of which I found a survey scanner on, one of the items we never seem to have in the wormhole.

The dude explained to me that the belts would refresh themselves about every 36 hours, and were able to support thirty hulks with orca and rorqual bonuses happily, aside from some hostile stealth bombers who liked to AFK in system.

The feeling I was experiencing at this moment was akin to beating your head against a brick wall when suddenly someone walks up and points out a Styrofoam wall a few feet to your left. That… dispenses candy or something when you beat your head against it. This nullsec system had cyno jammers up for five systems in any direction, local chat, an intel channel to point out threats five jumps before they came near, and most mortifying of all, a station where the ABCs that in the WH we had been carefully compressing and hauling slowly to Jita, were being refined at a 4% tax w/ a 100% yield.

In Apoc, the WH was king. It seems that the WH has been king for too long, and I have heard from CCP from somewhere that “We never intended to have long-term habilitation in wormholes”, which would probably explain why grav sites stop appearing in our WHs after a week and a half, and why we can’t set up moon miners.

If CCP wants to shift focus from WH mining to nullsec mining, that’s fine. I mean, Apoc made WHs king, now Dominion comes along with vast changes to nullsec, they’re gonna want attention to nullsec more, and better belts seems the best way to do it. It just seems ta me that they overdid it just a tad. Unless a nigh-infinite source of every conceivable ore type next to a perfect refiner seems reasonable to someone out there?

(Actually, the dude told me that they don’t have enough tritanium for their manufacturing, so they’ve been jump freightering it in. I kid you not)

Similarly heard from the dude, CCP made the belts overly rich because they expected the changes in sovereignty to make everyone and his dog start fighting bloodily over every square mile of space-dust. Since in actuality, the big alliances are consolidating their space to conserve cash and there really being no reason to expand, there’s much, much less fighting than expected, the market is going/already has been flooded w/ lowsec minerals, ecetera. I really hope that CCP makes a few small tweaks to these gravs before WH turns into the equivalent of mining veldspar in lowsec with local minimized, one jump from highsec.

Also, the dude explained to me how to use that newfangled sovereignty button for something other than remembering how to spell sovereignty, and it’s pretty detailed on every concivable system, but it is odd that there’s been seven ships and one pod destroyed in my wormhole’s “region”, whatever that is.