The OP asked what the bs about BS production was. I’m sorry that my “venting frustrations” functioned as a McGuffin, or even a red herring (you choose) . My personal feelings in the answer I wrote are of course a momentary sign of weakness (red herring), but not completely irrelevant either (McGuffin). The two screenshots are the true, factual answer. We went from “simple” (if one invests the sp and isk) and “normal” (for two decades) t1 battleship production to what I, a mediocre eve player who approaches the game as a generalist, deem to be a convoluted mess that reduces the number of players involved in that type of game activity - t1 bs production - for different reasons.
Assuming that cap/supercap proliferation was ever the number 1 problem that needed tackling, there were several approaches possible. The common approach of adding a counter to caps/supers would only result in perhaps another 20 years of a renewed path towards another level of proliferation, spanning several generations of devs and their managers. Instead they chose a particular approach that was less controlable because no one on this planet understands it: the economy.
The apprentice wizardry demonstrated (you can tell I am frustrated if not angry by this, but apologizing for it would be hypocritical) tried to remedy a number of historical errors introduced since even the conception of caps/supercaps: said proliferation + rorqual mining + highsec moon mining (with its structure spam). The latter two design flaws were introduced after 2015, well meant as new and fun gameplay elements, but inherently flawed nonetheless. Prices on the player driven market of course followed suit. The rest is history. CCP swung the hammer and hit the game in its economical heart, approaching it like a gigantic spreadsheet, in an effort to fix the numbers in the columns. They forgot, however, one thing. And that thing is simply the fun factor necessary for any game to be viable and, in the end, truly rewarding. As I am the type of player who is mostly product oriented, and not so much process oriented (I can manage a process, do the number crunching for producing x number of ships in the most time and cost efficient manner etc, but in the end I especially want to use those ships for their intended purpose in the game), the changes to e.g., t1 battleship production are nothing more than gratuitous, collateral damage to the game, brought about by extra changes that are hard to justify at any level. At that point one starts to lose confidence in the decisions made. If it doesn’t make sense, and no one is able to demonstrate the sense, it is simply non-sense.
Now, some of it may indeed have been necessary to address the cap/super proliferation - I am in no position to judge on that or even experience it. The rest is a collateral effect that anyone not involved in capital ship production feels sharply and which, quite frankly, comes out of the blue. Where, for bob’s sake, did the rest of changes come from ? What is the reason for changing t1 bs blueprints, changing faction bs blueprints, mixing in typical t2 components, taking away ore anomalies in hisec, removing entire asteroid belts from at least a third of nullsec (especially in the eastern part), introducing extremely annoying rats on gates in nullsec because the belts are gone, introducing the most boring asteroid distribution scheme ever seen in New Eden (as if mining wasn’t boring enough to the casual miner and active player), denying players to have the satisfaction of building modest ships from the basic materials they can gather themselves for the most part, and probably some more stuff I know nothing about.
When I think back on the time I started out in Eve, exactly 11 years and a day ago, the first battleship for “my” race (armageddon) cost around 80M, the second one was more expensive (the apoc), followed by the third (the abaddon). Most of my isk at the time went to skill books which, the further one progresses, became increasingly more costly. and the occasional (wrong) ship hulls and fits. Even a modest armageddon was not something I could buy every week in the first couple of years of enthusiastic daily eve sessions. I think the situation has not changed much since then for any new omega player. 80 - 100M is still a lot of isk and effort for a real new player who is still exploring the game in many aspects (and spends isk to do that). So, there is a new problem with that same ship costing 300M in Jita, instead of 80-100M. That is an added 200%, not something that needs to come down “a bit”. At the same time, the income generation of new players has not increased with 200%, has it ? To be honest, at one point I was able to generate 1B per month in hisec, on a single 7M sp alpha character that I specialized in killing triglavians in their conduits (and 3B in hisec on my omega toon). That, however, is totally irrelevant. I was not a new player, and I knew perfectly well how to do it. And it was limited in time, because ccp adjusted the difficulty, the cycle times of the conduits, the payouts even before the trig invasion was reduced to Pochven. And that is not even mentioning the fact that back in 2011 account plexing was well below 500M (an enormous amount of isk for any beginning omega player).
Here’s a provocative thought that may lead to some interesting discussion on other forums: inflation happens because money acts like gravity. In my opinion, ccp tries to find solutions against the pull of gravity. Good luck, because the economy in this game is what scientists call an open system over which you can never exert full control.
But let’s come back to the fun factor, which is the achilles heel in the whole business of game design and where we are now. If one loses a considerable part of the fun provided by a game to a player/customer, simply by trying to fix numbers that appear wrong, one is making the wrong decisions however justifiable they may look on paper in relation to those numbers. And before we get to the point where someone replies with “yeah, but that’s only your opinion, if you don’t like it go find another game”, it seems the PCU is a strong indication that it is not only “my” opinion. And that PCU drop must include subscriptions. I would even say it is still too high because of all the alpha visitors we get… I stated it in another thread (ganking part 3) recently. If veterans start leaving the game in large numbers, the players who are especially well trained in coping with changes to the game and overcoming challenges, then there is something genuinely wrong with the design of the game changes and their result. While CCP may need more data to reach a conclusion, at this rate they do not have the usual 2-3 years they seem to need before they start thinking of a counter.
No, Jonesy, this is in my opinion no longer a simple matter of finding the right price for ships, or fixing the numbers on the spreadsheet of economy. It is a dire matter of re-introducing the fun back into the game. Human psychology here is very straightforward: if you have to pay for a game, and the game no longer serves its intended purpose of providing fun, when the game designer takes out too many toys from the sandbox, you stop paying and playing. The knock-on effect here is that there are so many changes that affect different gameplay styles at the same time that it becomes increasingly more difficult to find the root cause (or is it ?), while the discontent of one player group spreads to other player groups as well, generating an overall feeling of doom and gloom. If one gets the numbers right on paper (for which there isn’t even any evidence, on the contrary), but there isn’t a player left, what good was the solution ?
The t1 battleship production question is merely a symptom of a much wider problem with the fun factor.
I rest my case