Campaign Trail – Jump Bridges

Thank you for your interest in my campaign to be part of CSM 6. It is my intention to work diligently, effectively, and tirelessly to bring the concerns of the player base to the CSM, to CCP, and back to the players.

The following is a user submitted request for my stand on a topic important to them. I have given thought to the topic and formulated my opinion, but it’s just that; my opinion. Nothing more. There is no guarantee the opinion expressed herein will ever see the light of day.

My platform isn’t one of issues, but rather one of integrity, tenacity, and the willingness to hold the CSM and CCP accountable to the players that support everything we do. I will not push my own agenda, unless it coincides with what the majority of the player base wants for a given topic.

Never start a fight you can win. #RocTheVote

QUESTION: Hot topic – Jump Bridges. Keep them or remove them?

Ok, we’re finally getting to the meaty topics. I like that.

Preamble

Skill Training Time = Real Life Time

This is one of the things about the structure of EVE Online I enjoy most. I’ve played games where you have to grind incessantly to level your character. Most of your time spent in game is trying to get to the next level. A lot of the time once you’ve reached the maximum level, you really don’t know what to do, as you just spent the last x months of your life grinding.

EVE Online engages you right from the very beginning. CCP understands that you want to spend your time playing with content, not grinding skills. I applaud that thinking.

At the same time, however, there are many other grinds (by that I mean unnecessary repetitive actions) within our universe: mining/missioning for ISK, having to repackage items in order to sell them every damn time, clicking & dragging to optimize your Harvester Control Units, the list goes on.

Some of these may be necessary. Others might not. I’m not debating that right now. I’m trying to get to my point, albeit slowly.

To me, static unchanging content is a grind. There are what, 5000 solar systems in EVE now?

The point is that when travelling around New Eden, it feels very much the same. Oh look, red space background. Green space background. Blue space background. Lovely.

Oh look, gate camp. Warp bubble. War target blob. I’m in a pod. WTF.

Courier mission? I’m a capsuleer. How many times do I have to save this damn damsel? I’m going to have a long nap while my mining drones do their thing. Ok, I’ve got all agro, you guys go kill them.

Ok, ok, Roc, I get it; get to your point already.

TL;DR

Eve needs to feel alive.

Two views, but one really

Jump Bridges. If you don’t have a good Jump Bridge Network (JBN), you want bridges nerfed/removed. If you do have them, you don’t want them touched. It’s really the same point of view when you think about it.

One party says “We don’t have that advantage; take it away.” The other party says “We have that advantage; don’t take it away.” What both are really saying is “We want to have the advantage.”

Fine, let’s create a solution together.

Life in Nullsec (see what I did there Mynxee?)

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m not an expert at life in nullsec, but I do know what it feels like to be stuck in a grind. Jump Bridges fall into that category for me. I didn’t know the intricacies of this particular topic. So what did I do? I asked, and I researched.

I asked my own alliance, Ushra’Khan, to explain it to me. We spoke about logistical advantages for fleet activity, how easy JBN make it to trap an enemy fleet, or escape from one. Low upkeep costs, they don’t appear on the overview, etc, etc. There are a lot of reasons why nullsec alliances love jump bridges, that’s for sure.

I also spoke with three other alliances. I received pretty much the same information, leading me to believe that the information my own alliance provided was relatively unbiased. That’s the key for me, really. There are always two sides to a story, and in the middle is the truth. I want to work with the CSM to provide a solution that is best for everyone.

I researched at eve-search, reading numerous posts and opinions on the subject matter. Everyone has an opinion. That made me happy.  Opinionated players are caring players.

Making nullsec scary(er?)

Imagine if you would, a dynamic landscape in nullsec. Imagine jump bridges being anchored to rare planet types, types only found in nullsec. These planets have a random distribution, meaning some systems may have a few, some may have one, most will have none. There would need to be rules around having at least one per constellation.

Now imagine jump bridges appearing on overviews at all times. Nothing hidden. Imagine them more vulnerable and more expensive to maintain. Imagine them tied into Planetary Interaction, where one of the rare planet resources is actually routed directly to the jump bridge. That would mean it only has so much use before that resource is depleted, or the controlling alliance needs to buy from the market in order to increase the mass capacity of the bridge. Wormhole physics anyone?

Imagine tying that into DUST 514, where Dusters could actually disrupt JBN simply by virtue of destroying the connecting offplanet routes.

We’ve now created a new market for PI and for DUST, as well as new challenges for nullsec alliances. That’s a good thing, right?

I would like to say all of these are original ideas. Some of them are. Some of them aren’t. I think the point here is that players are thinking.  Thinking of themselves mostly, and what works best for them, but like I said, at the end of the day, it’s the same point of view.

My point of view is to create a system that makes nullsec more engaging. Each system feeling more unique. Main corridors changing as the larger alliances fight for sovereignty, but at the same time, smaller alliances are still able to setup and maintain their own JBN. You would know the hot spots to avoid, much like most of avoid Jita at all costs.

I think nullsec needs to cater to change. It shouldn’t be easy to control a vast amount of space. It should be very, very hard in my opinion.

Tie this in with my Factional Warfare idea for dynamic landscapes, extending that same AI idea across nullsec, and you now have a very dangerous, very dynamic environment in which to play.

Food for thought. Now I’m hungry.

11 responses to “Campaign Trail – Jump Bridges

  1. I can see where you are getting at, and CCP also wants smaller alliances to be able to have a foothold in null-sec.

    However, removing or altering how jump bridges work would add more of a grind, especially considering the fueling of POSes and alike.

    And to be honest everyone currently living in null-sec likes the way they work now, they work well, everyone uses them, and everyone is happy with them.

    Why would you alter a game mechanic that pretty much everyone that owns Null-sec space is happy with?

    ~Xeross

    • As I mentioned, there were two things I found evident in my discussions and research:

      1. Those that control the jump bridges are happy with how things are
      2. Those that don’t control the jump bridges are not happy with how things are

      There are a lot more in point 2 than point 1, and surprisingly, even in point 1, I found many that thought reasonable changes were necessary.

      And yes, I can see how making it more challenging could increase the grind, but at the same time, if they outsource, or divide alliance activities, it should become like any other smooth operating production pipeline.

    • I think you have many good ideas Kirith, and yes, these are partially based on yours. There were also good ideas from within my alliance, as well as other places.

      I took everything I learned, threw my own ideas into the big picture, and voila, here’s my post.

  2. If you’re under the impression that a larger group of people live without JB’s than with them, I believe you may be mistaken. The numbers are likely close to equal.

    This is one of those polarizing issues that will make people either hate you or not hate you, but it won’t win more votes than it loses.

    Takes some balls to step up and say what you think about it, but I’m firmly in the very large camp that says JB’s should be easier to use, not harder.

    • Thanks for that, Hallan. You know I respect your opinions. To be honest, I’m not going to pander to win votes. I have my opinions, and will continually show how my opinions can evolve as I work with other CSM members.

      I don’t think any candidate will earn favour with all of their opinions. That is what makes elections challenging: I like him for these three points of view, but I really disagree with him on this one.

      I’m just keeping it real: for me, for the players, for the CSM, for CCP.

  3. Bridges are a classic case of zero iteration of CCP prior to Zulu getting the helm. As a topic they are also ideal for “state of fear” type of political manipulation for the CSM 6 elections, for understandable reasons.

    Regardless of that, the issue (if you can call it that) of bridges comes down to “intended use” vs “unintended use. It serves no purpose to fully dig into the causes (it’s a combination of :CCP: and :lolcustomers: really).

    The intended use of bridges is to act as enablers of population (migration, concentration, growth, etc) with a derivative element of economy attached. The unintended use comes from zero iteration and a bit of a lapse in vision in the game design on a macro scale at the time, combined with typical player behaviour: we always take everything into excess. Which brings us to the challenge of force projection.

    As enablers of population and (derivative) economy, bridges work quite well. As instruments of force projection, we have come to a point where we have to ask whether we should all look at what this means for just us, as individuals or groups of, or what that means for the continuity of EVE on the basis of its principles (sandbox, risk vs reward, balance, etc).

    Which is where there is a bit of a problem. As much as I can see the benefits of bridges for nullsec, I can also see how we have come to depend on them, and how we use them as instruments of mere force projection without creativity or sense of balance, or even fun. It is only natural, we are human beings – and so are CCP.

    Keep in mind that “come to depend on them” is not just an observation of “lazy, easy, shortcut, alliance blocks” or any of that. It is also an argument of “time to play”. The more subscribers EVE gets, and the older it grows, the more people with lives that play. This is something that directly touches on the concept of “time sinks” in game design, and is of growing importance for both intended and unintended use.

    We’ll still have to deal with it, if only because CCP have a traditional challenge in understanding its customers and their perspectives within the dynamic of EVE. CCP not only strives towards macro scale effects, but also just approaches the challenge from that level. And that is simply not healthy, as we have seen the past four years in deliverables and zero iteration.

    I cannot see CCP simply remove bridges, at least not without falling prey to kneejerking and singular macro level perspective management. I can see their concern for how what has been done with them (thanks to both customers and CCP) and that this affects the dynamic itself. As such, I can see the necessity to change them. Not to restrict, but to rebalance risk vs reward but also dependancies and enablement functions.

    Removing? No. That would be not smart, even counterproductive to the dynamic as it evolves along subscriber “addiction” curves.

    Change? Yes, definately. Change can be scary, even among pixels.

    What is important in the debate, is the challenge for both customers (and thus CSM) and CCP alike to work out the different perspectives that apply, and to translate those to each other.

  4. I guess we are indeed afraid of change in this case, it works as it is now, and we risk it getting worse if we let change occur. Then again change could also make it better.

    • Xeross, that’s a very open-minded point of view, and I applaud you for it.

      Change IS scary. It’s always the devil we know that is easier to cope with than the devil we don’t.

      Should I be part of the CSM, I will use every iota of my real life expertise and experience to make sure that the most logical solutions are what become reality, not simply what any one of us wishes to bring into existence.

  5. Why not seperate the issue into the two issues it clearly is:

    *Combat ships using JBs, Titan Jump Portals, and Capship hotdrops can (arguably) project their strength too far around the universe, and to start and evade fights with otherwise unmatchable speed.

    *Industrial logisitics in 0.0 appears to mostly consist of ferrying stuff from Jita, with little/no local production which (arguably) makes 0.0 logistics too easy and too uniform.

    The dispute is partly from the mixing of these two debates and there are not many who agree that both of these should be nerfed, or nerfed by the same amount.

    I could suggest ways to do this mechanically (lots of people already have) – but I think it’s worth just logically separating these in the discussion first.

  6. I can’t say I’ve ever escaped from anyone through a jump bridge. In my experience of defence, when we were sieged during Max 2, the SC disabled enough to keep Pure Blind cut off.

    Primarily I’ve used JBs within the secure space of an alliance to make day to day travel easier. Get to a staging system in your space with JBs simply because it’s faster, but you titan bridge or fleet out to attack and do the same to return to your space.

    As to putting them on the grid, god please. It’s a pain to keep them bookmarked and everyone in nulsec knows where the enemy’s JBs are anyway. Along with where the enemy’s POSes are, the passwords for the shields on the enemy POSes, the location of their fleet, etc. “We’re a very knowledgeable family”

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