OOC: Simple Machines

Among the subjects I have taught is science to 14 year olds.  Physics is pretty simple, at that age, for a while the curriculum included simple machines. Inclined plane, screw, lever, pulley, wheel/axle.  Now I used to tell the kids there were officially six of them but I took issue with the list and we would argue about it . . . a lot.  This is because arguing about it made them think more about the topic of discussion.

Oh, the sixth?  The wedge. That is the thing that came to mind over the past day as I have been reading the forums and following the threadnaughts.  From a school workpage . . .

A wedge is a pair of inclined planes
attached back-to-back. A wedge is used
to force things apart.
Have you ever seen someone chop wood
with an ax? The head of an ax is a wedge

Mike, you are probably saying, why are you telling us about a wedge?

Because you are experiencing one.  I tried explaining this in an Eve Radio chat today but I did not have my head in the right place to be clear.  That bothered me.  The wedge works by starting with a sharp edge then moving the paired inclined planes inwards with force, pushing things apart.

Get it yet?

Force projection change is the thin edge of a wedge but if you think that is the end of it you are probably good at deluding yourself.  There is more to come.  Now I have heard some folks ask why CCP did not just do ALL the changes at the same time.  I point to the wedge.  If you hit a piece of wood with a splitting wedge you want to make sure it has a good bite before you drive it in.  No major knots on the splitting line.  Then you drive it home with a hammer.  What you don’t do is hit it with the side of the axe, trying to just shatter the wood.  The simple machine focuses the effort and makes the work easier and more controlled.

Getting it?

So what are we splitting, here?

To quote Greyscale

Why this?/Why now?

  • Nullsec is stagnant and needs a change. This is the first of many steps in our plan.

  •  . . .

  • We expect the impact of these changes to be emergent, and as a consequence are unpredictable and will take a while to develop on TQ. This plays into our longer-term plans, as you’ll see in a second!

In my youth I split a lot of wood.  I doubt the wood enjoyed the process but it made it easier to light on fire.  Take from that what you will.  Just be glad I didn’t go with the screw as the first machine that I thought of when writing this.

fly it like you won it


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22 Responses to OOC: Simple Machines

  1. I’m pretty sure we got the axe reference last night, but if it takes them another 6 months to actually strike the match, well we’ve got some problems. Although the wedge reference is good when focused exclusively on force projection and its relationship to conflict, it doesn’t quite relate as effectively to the actual “living in nullsec” part. As it relates to conflict, this may have an effect on making the empires harder to defend and thus drive different forms of conflict or result in contraction. Chances are that follow-up iterations will fragment things further, and that’s great. Insert how we all want that and its good for the game here. However, several other things have to happen to make the living in nullsec part a reality for those who do things other than logout, spin their ship, or do things that do not require inputs to result in outputs.

    The deeper into nullsec one resides the more important resource acquisition becomes. Nerfing force projection also nerfs the capability to go to market. Which is fine, assuming the area in which you live allows for living off the land. However, Nullsec doesn’t really accommodate that just yet. Manny, who came on the show after you left, seems very confident that is coming soon ™; somewhere in the two to six-month timeframe. Lack of clarity results in uncertainty, and while uncertainty could lead to chaos, we need to hope that chaos is of the conflict-driver variety and not of the unpleasant game experience variety. Its great to focus on the headline grabbing war and conflict aspect of nullsec, but this change, in the absence of changes to resource acquisition and resource redistribution do little for actually living in these places. Lots of things have to get made made and it has to get made on a scale that supports both incomes and the war machines. Again, I think its just the uncertainty of timing.

    Fine, you’ve split the wood into two pieces using a wedge. You now have two pieces of wood that may catch fire easier. Sadly there isn’t a sufficient quantity of wood in the forest to adequately maintain the fire, or the trees that do exist aren’t of the variety that allow homes to be built. Because its great to have a fire, but once cut off from civilization one finds that there are a lot of other things you need to survive in the wilderness than just an axe and a book of matches.

    Why the hell are we speaking in metaphors? You know what I mean, or you should know. So long as resources are varied from one part of the galaxy to the next, trade is a requirment. This isn’t the early 20th century. EVE is a global market and global markets require trade hubs. Not necessarily one, but hubs are centrally located to suppliers and demanders. Unless we are seeking to create an entirely new structure of middlemen that bridge the gap. And if that is the case then a lot more needs to be built and a lot more uncertainty will exist than just what CCP is going to do from their side. Trade needs to flow in both directions when all sides suffer from scarcity of specific resources. Without the ability to import or export effectively, efficiently (or just plain enjoyably – it is a game) inhabitants will seek to produce locally. But under the current circumstances, this is not possible. Not effectively. So the question becomes: what is the plan to make that possible? Should we expect that to change, and on what scale and over what time frame?

    I’m all about roleplaying survivalist or settler, but to some degree, we in nullsec were beyond being settlers. We had built a society based on the available technology at the time and that technology was pretty advanced. Trade routes were strong. Until the envisioned, yet not communicated, changes come into effect, IF they come into effect, we’re taking a step backwards in time. Again, perhaps it will be fun to roleplay that aspect of an industrialized society in decay. Then again, maybe it won’t be as much fun to login to a video game and find that you’re going to spend the next several hours performing some mundane task that used to take you 15 minutes before you went on to some other aspect designed to be more enjoyable.

    EVE could be on the precipice of many things, but one of those things may be whether its subscriber base is choosing to stay or not. Evidence before this change would seem to point to a decline so I’m not saying that it’s all about this. However, nonchalant views towards an already displeased player base probably isn’t the best tactic for a company that can’t get its damn act together and whose employees are already sweating about its future. Know what I’m saying? A bit of understanding of what the future holds, other than “Trust CCP to get it right and deliver in a timely manner”, will do a lot to keep players from just hanging up their hats as it relates to contributing to life in nullsec. The kinds of contributions that allow others to live there and be the warrior class that force projection was attempting to target. No, I don’t mean people quitting. Players who just quit, well, they are what they are. But the path of least resistance may be that producers don’t want to deal with a task that became overly burdensome (for a video game) for some undetermined period of time.


    • mikeazariah says:

      Ok, your comment is bigger than the original post. I don’t know if that means I wrote well or poorly. By paragraphs
      1) Yes, If they stop here, they screwed up. If they hesitate too long before continuing, ditto
      2) Agreed, being the wood seeing just the leading edge of the axe causes uncertainty. And right now the hinter regions look screwed
      3) Bear Grillis might disagree. But even this set of changes are not the last. If CCP plans to continue it is obvious that they will have to keep working at it, iterating, innovating (and all those other buzzwords)
      4) I always like a hook to hang my ideas on, in the instance it was metaphor. Trade DOES need to flow. That is why I am still fighting to get JF’s a bit more love or a bit less hate
      5) Yup. agree with this paragraph completely. But that is again the trade aspect. Can I take this to mean you are fine with the caps and supers being hit as they have been?
      6)Dirk, thanks for the input, seriously I KNOW you put a fair amount of effor tinto this comment and a hell of a lot more into the game



      • 5) As far as I am concerned I’d kill titans and supers tomorrow. Would probably nerf carriers in terms of range down to dreads & remove sentries (maybe triage) and leave dreads completely as is. Besides the fact that I don’t think CCP really even likes capitals anymore, I don’t believe that EVE is a game that requires the ships be the end game. The end game should be about getting better, not bigger ships. But that is a different story and is probably less likely than anything. Wanna see rage? Yeah, that would do it. I’d rather see them get rid of supers and put other capitals in very niche roles than make it where the use of capitals is really localized and results in nerfing range. Who cares about range if there is no power to project from them.

    • alundil says:

      All metaphors aside, your assessment is well thought-out and, imo, the most likely. As I mentioned to another friend earlier this morning:

      “It comes down to the reality that EVE is a game of resource management. But the only resource that matters is Pilot Time. People are very defensive over things that affect their store of and use of “time” as the currency to do “things”. Placing that currency at risk (unexpected/unmanageable explosions, lengthy “job-like” tasks, etc etc etc) with no commensurate trade in something that the currency of time is most typically exchanged with (isk or “fun”) means people are much more likely to tread cautiously where the investment of time is concerned. Ultimately boiling down to “F-that I’m not going to jump x through y for z hours more than it used to take” and other things like that.

      I really hope (because that’s all I can do) CCP is thinking of the downstream long term effects, otherwise we’ll be up the creek without a paddle (couldn’t resist).

      • mikeazariah says:

        Suuuuure, drag another one in.


      • It always boils down to time. We all (CCP too) need to realize that saying something takes a long time to do in game also means a long time out of game. In game time is limitless when compared to a player’s ability to set aside time to play a game. ISk is not the currency of EVE and neither is PLEX. Time is the currency of EVE, because with enough time, the rest will flow.

    • Vivi says:

      Holistic thinking, the best kind of thinking. Nicely done MacGirk o7

      Sometimes it comes across that CCPs employees cant logically figure out this level of complexity in their own game. Then again, when they speak to the public it’s never in a holistic manner anyway. A DevBlog here, a DevPost there. Hopefully those in CCP responsible for the broader aspects of Eve don’t underestimate the complexity of the game they created and the one they are now progressing towards, as well as the potential for a $h!t storm when making the transition from the old to the new.

  2. Dinsdale Pirannha says:

    Yup, some fragmenting of Eve is going to occur. But the superpowers are going to come out of this stronger and more entrenched than before. And high sec, well this may be the final nail. Demand for high sec ore is finished, T2 materials being moved to high sec become a trickle, and all the null sec powers move even more griefing alts to high sec because they are utterly rich, fat, and bored in their new totally unassailable bastions.

    Read the interview from one of the lead PL scumbags on Crossing Zebras. Throughout his comments he states that null sec will be given even MORE production potential than it has today.

    High sec is facing yet another massive nerf, strictly on a comparative basis. It will become the equivalent of some desperately poor 3rd world nation, with no resources of any value to trade to other nations, and where hauling costs essentially isolate it from any rich nation anyway.

    • mikeazariah says:

      Funny you use the term Bastion. As that is the meatshield for CFC these days. No I think this will have an effect on hisec but not a death knell. But the hisec alts and alt corps who move things for their null mains, what of them?

      Manny wrote the most predictive piece prior to the news. Thinking that means he is the piper calling the tune is saying I control the tides because I know the right time to step outside and yell ‘recede’. Nostrodamus got things right AND wrong, in his time.

      T2 stuff? I am waiting to see what happens

      I have to ask, banned as in forums or game?


      • Dinsdale Pirannha says:

        I am not saying Manny knew this was all coming down like this, or in a position to control the changes. No, I leave that to the goons. What I am saying is that now that CCP has taken one thing from the cartels, you KNOW that they will have to give them something back, and what the cartels presented in their manifesto, and what mynnna et al have been lobbying for some time will come to fruition: Each null sec system with richer potential than it has today. It will most likely be in anoms, as I don’t think that the ore potential is anywhere near touched yet.

        Oh and it was forums, Someone has been gunning for me for a long long time and 2 weeks ago dredged up a November 2013 post, which I can find no record of.

  3. Jester says:

    Rote is currently having a discussion about if we should move and if so, where we should live once this change goes into effect. I built my case on three possibilities: “CCP follows through on this all the way”, “CCP does a couple more things and then gives up”, and “CCP only does this one thing then moves on to something else.” I recommended different move-to locations for us for each possibility.

    The tricky bit is that it’s damned hard to know which to gamble on. Traditionally, CCP has chosen #2 or #3. Not even a single time in EVE’s history has CCP done #1. If we move based on betting on #1 and CCP actually does #3, we’re screwed since it’ll be damned hard to move again after this change.

    As I said in Alumni last night, this is a good change, but it’s step 17 of what should have been a 20 step plan. Will we see the other steps implemented?

    • Dinsdale Pirannha says:

      CCP will have to roll back partially the fatigue and cooldown counters, or at the very least do something for JF’s. The nerf is just too much. Rest assured though, the these changes are going to enrich and entrench the cartels even more so. Because we know the other shoe to drop is the further enhancement of the wealth generation potential of each null sec system. That is going to have to happen to allow the farflung nether regions of null to be a viable place to set up and live, independent of empire Eve.

      And you are right about this being step 17 of 20. It sure looks like CCP is running scared because of the obvious subscription drop, and is panicking, ramming through stuff that was not supposed to happen for a year. So much for Seagull’s roadmap. When greyscale comments in his own blog that CCP really does not know how this is all going to work out, you know they are just throwing stuff at the wall as quick as they can.

      • mikeazariah says:

        As I have said often and in a lot of places. JF’s need some fixin on this one.

        If you have 20 changes to do, all intertwined, sometimes you have to go with one even if others could have been first as well. The thing is you gotta move and do something.


    • mikeazariah says:

      To Ripards text)

      Damn, I hope so.

      Good, having plans for various iterations of what is to come


    • TacticsFan says:

      Jester, given some of your previous analyses of tactics, strategy, and history, I’d love to see your detailed opinion on how this and other changes will affect the game, and what sorts of strategies will emerge in the aftermath. If you were to re-open your blog even just for occasional posts on subjects such as this, I know that I for one would not mind!

  4. Pingback: The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Super Caps… | The Ancient Gaming Noob

  5. Mara Rinn says:

    To address the issue of jump freighters and fringe-dweller logistics, CCP would only need to ramp up the number of fringe-null-to-lowsec wormholes, such that a dweller in a particular constellation (or group of constellations?) should be able to find a null-to-low wormhole at some point within any given hour (or two?). These wormholes should be sufficient for one JF and a bunch of smaller craft.

    Thus rather than jumping all the way from the fringe to Jita, you would hunt for your null-to-high wormhole, shove the freighter through into low sec, then hunt for a return hole.

    CCP can deliberately create wormhole types to fill the gap where jump logistics makes fringe regions untenable. Then when it becomes possible to produce stuff locally, those wormholes can be reduced or removed.

    • mikeazariah says:

      Interesting workaround, I like it.


    • Vivi says:

      I never understood why people never did this more to begin with. Not many people in null seem to use wormholes on any level…but that’s just my experience.

      Just a thought, since special frig wormholes that show up in wormhole space to encourage PVP, could null or low sec get a special version of wormhole for small to medium gang PVP? The new version of ‘hot dropping’?

  6. lynxartrald says:

    I love the metaphor, and like most people in this thread, I do hope CCP follows through with the rest of the axe head in good time. Thanks for the thoughtful post, and for Dirks comments as well. A good read.

    On a side note… As someone who works in a software company IRL, with products that have a decades long history – let me assure you, a large amount of old code is something terrible to behold. I really do sympathize with CCP when it comes to making these massive changes to that kind of product…
    It’s quite easy to call out “they have to changes X and Y and Z and do it all together RIGHT NOW” from the sidelines of a forum post. But from a technical point of view, doing just that is a recipe for disaster when you’re dealing with a complex and convoluted codebase…

    – Very much OOC and even out-of-meta, this comment, I know, but something I feel is disregarded quite often. My 2 cents and all…

  7. Marnora says:

    The axe and the Eve. Sure has a lot in common 🙂

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