Thursday, July 18, 2013

Careful What You Wish For

Last night, I joined the hosts of Cap Stable to record an interview.  I had met the hosts at Nerdtacular, and (despite being opposite sides of the current "great war" in Fountain) was interested in talking more with them.  I was invited to talk on the show this week as an interview guest to talk my favorite topic: industry!  I will update the blog sidebar and this post once the show goes live.

Interview can be found here: CapStable Episode 23: All Things Considered Industry Edition

One of the topics we talked about was revisiting my Odyssey predictions from my article.  In that rehash, I couldn't help but spill some spoilers on my moon goo article that's currently in the works.  The big reveal was along the lines of:
R32/R64 materials will not become bottlenecked [like Technetium] unless T2 ships can regain primary status in PVP doctrines.
And to dive a little deeper than the interview, it's important that T2 cruisers become popular, because that's the only way enough of the new metamaterials will be consumed to drive R64's to bottleneck.  T2 cruisers will not be consumed in large enough quantities unless ships like Heavy Assault Cruisers become viable as DPS backbone for PVP doctrines.  Recons and Hictors just aren't consumed in very large volumes.

I then went on a bit of a rant about "why field a T2 cruiser when for the same price and half the skills you could field a T1 BS?"  Before the T1 rebalances hit each ship class, T2 offered a significant edge where skillpoints + ISK bought you an edge against your opponent that let you "hit above your weight class".  Simply put, where T2 bought roughly a 3:1 advantage, currently it's like 1.5:1 or less... why go all that extra distance for such a small gain?  Why spend 8-10x more on a hull when it's only a few % better than T1?  It is still worth flying T2 where there's a specific bonus: Bombers, Recons, Black Ops, Hictors... but PVP doctrines have a >60% fleet composition of DPS, and only bombers fill that niche.

Furthermore, as a producer, my focus is on demand.  Larger demand fuels larger supply; but T2 production bottlenecks mean as demand grows, margin will tend to follow.  Today, I am enjoying mass-producing T2 frigates since that realm is pretty evenly balanced, and the volumes demanded are difficult to bring to market.  But I am technically idling more-skilled characters since the cruiser-and-larger market is so anemic.  I'd love to be able to take the new larger investment purse I've grown to and leverage it for better net returns on cruisers... but I have to follow the demand.

As if reading my thoughts, CCP announced a one-two punch to put me in my place.  First, a rebalance to long-range medium weapons, and second, a rebalancing pass over Heavy Assault Cruisers.  This is exactly the kind of change that could really change the demand for T2 ships and really diversify the medium ship PVP realm.  Also, it refreshes an entire meta that has been completey missing for a while: mid-sized long range cruisers.  Unfortunately, I am garbage at EFT theory-crafting, but so far the bonus and slot changes really bring a lot of ships into unique and strong roles without completely outclassing T1 choices.

Also, CCP Rise hints that these changes are due out sooner rather than later.  As such, I will be going over the changes with a fine-toothed comb and prepare my BPC stockpiles to attack the juiciest part of the market.  Though, as my Odyssey speculation article should have highlighted, the first wave is where the most money is, and the market is usually settled in by release day.

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