Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dust514 and the Future of Planetary Conquest

For fuck's sake...

I've posted a few ideas in this blog on how Planetary Conquest (PC) could be handled. I actually like that some of the ideas I mentioned in my first blog on the subject became staples in the current PC version we "enjoy" today, and I sincerely hope that Dust will have a larger impact on how Planetary Interaction in EVE. But there is a stagnation in the existing PC system that needs work at the core, but overnight change to a perfect system is still a ways away. Changes will have to come in stages, of course, but there are a few things that can be done from the get-go to make a difference.

Clone Sales / District Maintenance Fee

Currently, a district produces passive ISK to the district holder by automatically selling surplus clones to Genolution corp. This needs to stop, immediately. It creates a passive ISK generation that benefits district owners and makes it economical to attack friendly districts to lock them from attack, while still creating net profit.

Clones should have to be sold from the existing pool on a district. Once a district reaches it cap, the clones should stop producing, and the only way make money from them is to expose the district to risk by selling part of the stock.

SMERG tends to land in the top left.

In addition, district ownership should have costs involved with sitting around on them. A district should have a flat cost of 1M ISK per day, which should escalate if the district is not producing clones. Sitting on a district filled with clones, not moving or selling them, will increase the fee to a point where it can reach a 5 million ISK cap (or so) for 5 consecutive days of inactivity.

These costs should immediately ramp up once a PVE system is implemented, making it so the current ISK generation of a production facility would break even with the costs of a district. More on this later.

Clone Purchasing

The next stage would come when a player market is finally created. The clone packs should be removed once the market is implemented, and the only place to purchase clones will come from current district holders. The holders will be able to sell their clones for whatever price they deem as fair to other players, who will then use them to attack districts. The free market will dictate the real value of clones.

To promote EVE-synergy, a mandatory attrition rate for clones purchased through the market and then transported by NPCs should be relatively high (~50%), as well as requiring a fee. If an attack is launched from a corporation using clones purchased on the market, an EVE player should be able to transport those clones from point of sale to the district with 0 attrition cost. The contract will be visible as a courier contract that will automatically complete by NPC the day of the match, but until that point an EVE player can transport the goods for his Dust players. When he arrives at the district beacon, he'll "open" the district satellite like a can and drop off the clones. This, of course, is a filler concept for something more involved, that could potentially include reinforcing an active battle by launching clone packs from orbit onto the ground or something equally bad ass.

You know... like something they keep showing in trailers.

Physical point of sale of the clones becomes a murky cloud since Dust characters are based out of systems across New Eden and are immovable. But I imagine this is a hurdle CCP is having to jump for the creation of the player market. I would say, however, that it is not unreasonable to automatically place the clones in the closest station-system to the District they were produced on and put on sale from.

Too hard to implement?

What Is The Incentive?

With all these costs, what then becomes the incentive to own a district? If I'm getting taxed so much, why would I want to own a district if there is no sweet NPC-generated faucet pouring down my fat gullet?

"My economic policy was inspired by Dust514 Planetary Conquest." - Anonymous Former Fed Chairman
Here's a shocker: You should have to work to make money. 

This requires the most effort from CCP, of course. They have to complete their idea from Fanfest 2013 by implementing PVE on the districts, where the owners will be able to log into their district and fight off rogue drone hordes in exchange for construction materials (NOT ISK). These materials will come in the form of salvage at the end of the match which are then sold to EVE players where they are the building blocks for weaponry/tanks/dropsuits, which would then be sold back to Dust mercs on the free market.

As a benefit for using the district, clone generation during that time should double, giving an active corp more avenues for profit. Clones lost during the actual PVE-ing should be removed from the district's pool, allowing for griefers to join PVE matches and potentially clean out a district by dying ~300 times and/or team killing.

While PVE content itself will require a lot of planning to make it engaging and fun, the basic rules for match generation/behavior should be: 
  1. A match can be initiated by anyone with the squad leader role. 
  2. Only one match can be active at a time. 
  3. Its difficulty/size should scale, allowing it to be content for one member to a full team.
  4. It should be dynamic, so people can come and go as they please. This would allow for maximum participation within a corp, and maximum activity on the district, but restrict access enough that large corporations will require multiple districts if they want PVE for all their players.
  5. Records should be kept in a corp log as to who uses it the most, gains the most salvage, dies the most, etc.
  6. No PVE should be permitted during the reinforcement window. This makes the window both a blessing and a curse for the owner, since they won't be able to use their district during their prime time UNLESS it is under attack.
  7. District locked status should have no effect on PVE.
  8. If all the clones of a district are lost during PVE, the district is lost. Be careful who you give roles to, idiot.


The current situation in PC is what CCP worked so hard to get rid of in null with the removal of the Technetium bottleneck. Profit should be based off of activity and risk vs reward, not passive generation. The latter leads to the rich getting more rich to buy/secure things that get them more rich so they can buy/secure more things so on to infinity. Sounds a lot like crony Capitalism where the passive generation represents corrupt politicians and those getting fat are too big to fail. And we know how that shit ends.

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