Thursday, July 19, 2012

Full Market Alchemist

So, this morning CCP Fozzie made his devblog debut with some announcements regarding changes to the production of technites. Remember that technites are produced by reacting technetium and are the principle material involved in T2 production. Technetium, of course, is that super-rare moon-goo that exists only in the North and is currently the focus of a price-fixing cartel known as OTEC. OTEC at present is comprised by the ClusterFuck Coalition, NCDOT, Pandemic Legion, Test, and probably someone else I'm leaving out. But those are the big ones. For the rest of this post, you probably only need to remember that the CFC includes Goonswarm, since that's all most people tend to focus on.

The reactions to Fozzie's post have fallen into three relatively predictable categories: A) Yay! Prices are coming down! B) This is market manipulation and potentially game breaking. C) Fuck Goons.

Let's address these quickly. I'll have more to say about it a bit later, but in the interest of getting a "inb4 Jester hogs all the angles" post up, I'm opting for brevity.

    "Yay! Prices are coming down"

Probably. The changes announced are intended to be a pressure-release valve for the currently sky-high tech market. The only issue with this is the looming possibility of similar lockdowns in the markets across the other materials in the alchemical matrix. Already, Jita has been completely cleared out of Cobalt, one of the most efficient alchemical reagents currently being proposed. Whether or not this will prove to be a lasting shift in the demand-supply curve or a temporary market shock driven by speculation will remain to be seen. My money is on a relatively swift market correction once these changes go live.

    "This is market manipulation and potentially game breaking."

Actually, these changes should prove to be neither. Fozzie makes a good point in his post that currently the EVE market doesn't mirror real markets in that opportunities for innovation in response to market factors doesn't currently exist as a mechanic available to players. Instead, the devs have to step in once in a while and provide it for us. The reason such a deus ex machina-type action isn't game breaking is that given the tools to do so, players would already have done exactly the same thing. Only they would have done it two years ago. In other words, we're being given the tools to decide what the market for tech should be, based on supply and demand factors that already exist in the EVE market. Again, more on this later.

    "Fuck Goons."

There's always a healthy dose of this kind of sentiment in basically every thread on the forums, so seeing it here as well isn't all that surprising. The interesting thing about this, though, is that a lot of players who think this spells the end of the CFC don't realize that The Mittani has actually been advocating for these changes for a long time. He realized how imbalanced the the technetium situation would be at its introduction and knew it would inevitably be changed, either through liberal use of the nerf-bat or through the introduction of new game mechanics. So why not take advantage of it while the opportunity existed? If there's one thing EVE players are good at, it is finding and exploiting opportunities. Mittens is no different.

The second part of the "Fuck Goons" sentiment that is being overlooked on the forums right now is that despite the proposed changes in technite production, harvesting moon goo is still going to be VERY profitable. Just less so.

So, as I said before, I have other thoughts on this, but in the interest of expediency, I'm going live with this post now.

No comments:

Post a Comment