Friday, 1 June 2018

Two Component Problem

The real value of the Abyss to people is still very much a mystery. Except, that is, if you have a stash of Sacrilege (price up 100% in a week), Ishtar, Munnin, Deimos, etcetera. Then you are probably tempted to liquidate them (as I have done).

There's been about 310B ISK +/- 20B ISK lost in each of the five Abyssal regions; a further 700B ISK has been lost to crushing in the Abyss. That's a nice 2.2T ISK lost to PVE in 4 days. This is also only the killmails or lossmails that make it onto zkill, and since mine aren't on there consider that it could be up to twice as much.

Consider the stats for Abyssal Depths (the effect of your ship being crushed to death); 2360 losses to Abyssal Depths in a week for 700 billion at time of printing. Take off the 1,000 capsules and the average loss per ship (of that which makes it to zkill) is 500M ISK!

The whole haul for Deadspace Angel Cartel Cruiser (in combat anomalies) is 29,900 for 6.35T ISK over the past year. The monthly average is around 7,500 for 90B ISK or 12M ISK per ship. This means that the only ships dying to belt rats are shitty frigates, etc. This gives an idea of the relative deadliness of the two forms of PVE, with Abyssal Deadspace 20 times as fatal, at least. The number of 1.8B ISK HACs dying to combat anomalies each month, possibly one or two (predictability).

Note that the Abyss has claimed more PVE kills in a week than the rest of EVE in a month. What's the Abyss's total going to be by the 25th June? 20 trillion?

Gilas lost this month so far have been, on average, 400% more expensive than the usual run of Gila losses. That means that a lot more pimp is being torched than usual. This means that the price of pimp is going to go up hard, and fast, until the price begins deterring people from fitting expensive shit to their ships. Of course, the amount of ISK floating around won't deter people too much in the short term.

Another sink of pimp modules is the mutaplasmids. Very few of these are really nett beneficial to the module; it's a roll of the dice and even for gravid mutaplasmids the chances of getting a fully beneficial mutation are remote at best. That doesn't stop people ruining perfectly good deadspace modules in the hope they can make an Abyssal deadspace module which will sell for....theoretically billions. The chances of that occurring are remote, to say the least, if only because so many stats change, resulting in eg; a warp scram that has extra range but is a PITA to fit into a ship fitting that is already most likely 1-2% away from full.

However, this does expose a weakness with the whole Abyss thing. There's two components to whether or not the Abyss will prove to be a viable environment. Number one, is randomness, and number two is rewards.

Randomness Is Bad

Consider most other PVE in EVE, it's predictable and farmable and 'boring'. It is, however, a reliable way of getting the ISK you need to support you in the manner to which thou hast become accustomed. In fact, people have devoted considerable time and effort to find the most finely-tuned means of generating bulk ISK and bulk resources, including Rorqual mining, etcetera.

The Abyss is not reliable, and it is decidedly not farmable at higher tiers.

The problem with this is exemplified by, firstly, the propensity of billion-ISK pimp mobiles to assplode regularly. This can be due to a spawn of five starving Leshak BS which neut you dry instantly, or even the BC rats which smartbomb your drones to death instantly, rendering Gilas impotent and thence to die to the timer. It can be due to multiple spawns of multiple BS which you can tank but not beat down fast enough with your DPS.

Invariably there's a bunch of guys on the forums, on Facebook, on Reddit claiming their "passive kiting Gilas do these like cakewalks". Sure, guys. Sure. Clearly the guys losing 1.2-1.8B ISK Gilas fit exactly like yours are just shit at it. It's got nothing to do with the bad combo of bad spawns, effects, localised effects and (in some cases) lack of effect beacons to assist you through, eg; if you get a 20 drone spawn and no Deviant Automata Suppressor, you're fucked. Get 3 of these spawns, you're definitely fucked. Just a matter of time, not a matter of pimp.

If bling fits won't save you, will skill? Decidedly not. Very skilled PVE pilots have died. Maybe they will derive a decent tactic for each possible combination of effects, spawns and weather; the chances of this is remote if they lose billion ISK ships. I mean, yeah, maybe practise on SiSi where dying a hundred times takes nothing from you, but that's not viable for everyone. There's not much point making SiSi ISK if you have to then repeat it ad infinitum on TQ to actually make the ISK in the end, neh?

So if you can't fit properly to survive, and can't fly perfectly to survive, then it's just a matter of time before the Abyss swallows you up one too many times and the risk/reward maths swings against you.


Reputedly, according to Reddit (the sewer of the internet, uh, front page) CCP says the loot tables are the same for Tier 1 through Tier 5, you just get more of it in Tier 5.

Having done a couple of Tier 3's (which can eat ships like popcorn) for zero rewards, and 6 Tier 1's for nett 200,000 ISK (Triglavian Survey Sata, woop woop!), and lost 650M ISK in Sacs and a Ruppy, I am nett down ~150M ISK.

I did get some ammo BPC's. 1000 Tetryon M BPC takes 85 Zero Point Condensate (sell orders: 1.5M ISK ea.) and 10 Isogen-10 (2.5M ISK ea.). This took about 15 dives into Tier 1 through 3 to accumulate. This resolves to about 165M ISK per 1000 shots at current market prices or 165,000 a shot. I sold them for 25M ISK, because I was a bit disillusioned by my chances of moving them for the volatile list price of the components.

But this illustrates that to make enough ammo to supply the Triglavian cruisers that will be produced, the supply of Zero Point Condensate needs to rise...dramatically. It needs tens of blueprints per dive, and hundreds of Zero Point Condensate. If your tech 1 ammo is going to cost even 200 per shot the sum total of the component value in market-priced terms is going to have to dive down to 10,000 per Crystalline Isogen-10 and 1,000 per Zero Point Condensate.

If this happens, at the current drop rates, there is no value in running Abyssal sites of ANY tier. This then impacts on filament prices; no one will pay even 1M ISK for a tier 1 filament (current price 20-35M) if they won't see any value.

Another way of thinking about it is as a tradeoff study; if you can take 2 toons into a C3 and make 300M ISK in an hour for very little risk (no personal ratting losses in 7 years) why take a 650M ISK Sacrilege or a 1.2B ISK Gila into any Abyssal site for 20 minutes for less than 100M ISK in rewards?

Players aren't dumb on a long term basis. No one will pay 3.5B ISK for a cruiser long term. The cruisers have to be 3.5B ISk in order to justify the risk, on current drop rates and given the supposed value of mutaplasmids, components, skill books and BPC's even at today's prices.


Abyssal Deadspace is a giant flop, dead on launch, it's just the starry-eyed idiots with too much ISK chasing illusory short-term profits who are doing the sites.

Inside of a month, the lack of consistent farmability will drive away even the supposedly elite who can supposedly (though I doubt it) run them fine at the moment. To make an analogy, you don't build a nuclear plant in an earthquake prone area, or you get a Fukushima. Building two or more Fukushimas after the first one is not viable. A couple of people are either lying, or have just been lucky.

CCP needs to fix the content immediately, in my opinion. The remedies would include;

  1. Putting in some tags in the Bioadaptive Caches, similar to sleeper blue poo, which are bought by NPC factions. This will provide a floor to the income for running the sites and can be scales appropriately based on average run times (eg, If it takes an average Gila or HAC pilot 7 minutes for a tier 1, make it 10M ISK or 3M ISk a can, which is then 60M an hour)
  2. Structure the loot tables and drops so that BPCs and Mutaplasmids drop more, and more reliably, in tier 5, and the components drop more, and more reliably, in Tier 1's. This provides an ecosystem of people taking the big risks for the big rewards, and guys 'farming' the low end sites to provide the raw material needed for building out the BPC's. 
  3. Balance the sites and spawns better so that there aren't, personal peeve here, say 5 Triglavian BS in any spawn in a Tier 3. 

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