“If you never flew why would you cut the wings off a butterfly?”
– Lying In The Hands Of God, Dave Matthews Band
I was tempted to go with a title pointing at the concept of collateral damage, but upon reflection that lyric is quite poignant given the circumstances.
As mentioned before in previous posts, I am a member of the industrial wing of a null sec based corp. This means I am based, not on the front lines, but in our home systems. When a new member joins the corp, they are brought to this home area and given a six-week period to get used to the ways of null sec. They will then progress to either a combat or an industrial trial period, after which time they are made a member proper – assuming they’re still around.
As all new members are at home with us, it generally falls to us indy guys to help the new members out.
One of the ways, in fact the primary way, we do this is to help them get ratting. For nearly all of the general combat pilots, ratting is how they earn ISK. Which they need to pay for plexes and keep the wallet topped up to cover ship losses that aren’t covered by, or are waiting on, reimbursement payments.
Now, this is where the problem lies. Everyone is writing about the upcoming changes in the next expansion; in particular, the nerfs to ships and rat AI’s. However, most seem to think of the damage to high sec mission runners. Either that, or the impact these nerfs will have on small gang PVP.
The changes to missiles, Drakes and Canes are a fairly obvious tilt at CFC fleet doctrine, giving their enemies a bit of a boost. This, of course, is an attempt at balancing power a bit more evenly in null sec sovereignty wars.
Even though I am, by proxy, a CFC member; I see this as a good thing. It’ll make the war a bit more interesting, that’s for sure and certain. I’m sure the CFC and HBC are big and grown up enough to adjust, they certainly should be.
There are other consequences wrought by these changes, though.
When a new member arrives in our home area, the chances are they’re going to be at the battle-cruiser stage. For ratting, the go to ship for them is going to be either a Drake, or a Cane. Both – To Be Nerfed.
The Drake’s DPS from heavy missiles is copping a significant drop – don’t understand the technicalities, I don’t fly ships that come with handbag racks.
The Cane is losing power-grid, making a decent ratting tank and 425’s almost impossible to fit. Changing to 220’s will gimp the ability to kill BS rats badly, I would think.
One thing that helps them both to stay alive and be able to warp out at any time is to use drones as a goodly part of their DPS. Also To Be Nerfed.
This is going to mean some changes to my little part of the world.
I and my fellow faction battle ship pilots are also going to lose 200 to 300 DPS in drone damage. Flying one of these things properly is clicky enough without pulling drones in and out all the time. That, though, is a side issue.
CCP say they want more pilots in null sec and low sec. Then they give the major income stream for new null sec pilots a kick to the testicular area?
These guys are what you NEED in null sec CCP, not as fresh meat for the grinder, but as pilots who will never fear null or low sec again. Sure, most of them will get sick of the politics, the meatshield, the F1 PVP, the blobs, the hot drops and so on; but they will have made the jump. They may go back to high sec, but it’ll be like moving back to your parents place, way too safe and secure, much too dusty and homey.
From there they will maybe go to low sec for small gang PVP, or get their YARR on in a pirate corp, or go indy, or WH space. Whatever! They will no longer be a high sec bear, though.
Same deal with new corps. You need these guys to have a shot at null sec. This means renting, to start with.
Smaller corps and alliances rely on ratting tax to get a foothold in low and null sec. This damage to ratting won’t hurt the big corps and alliances much CCP; you’re just putting another nail in the coffin of the little guy.
None of the major corps and alliances rely on ratting tax as their major income stream, anyone that thinks they do is deluded. Their major income streams are supposedly on the chopping block, but apart from a silly non-event of a nerf to tech moons, nothing has changed.
Is this a major problem? Not really; at least, not for the status-quo. If CCP were hoping to actually CHANGE the situation in null sec with all of this, in my opinion they’re dropping the ball.
It’s a pretty big, heavy ball. It looks like it’s going to land smack on top of the little guy … yet again.
It’s all in the mind, you know.