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The true flaw in game mechanics - bottlenecks

Author
Deviana Sevidon
Jades Falcon Guards
#1 - 2012-07-10 10:33:57 UTC
A lot of people are talking about Technetium, politics etc. But Technetium is just a sympton of serious flaws within the gameplay mechanics.

I am talking here about bottlenecks. For example Tech 2 is more or less the baseline for most serious ship fittings, so everone wants Tech 2 and everyone uses Tech 2. But the number of Tech 2 modules and ships was always limited, the demand often exceeding the available supply.

To build Tech 2 in short descriptions you need a blueprint a tech 1 version of the module/ship and the proper components. A few years ago the number of available blueprints were the limit and formed a hard wall. No matter how much dysposium, technetium etc was mined it was the number of blueprints in production that put a cap on demand of moon minerals. Corps and alliances with players lucky enough to have gotten a tech 2 BPO were the ones who held sovereignity, since they were the only ones who could afford sustained warfare in 0.0.

It took years for CCP to acknowledge the problem, partly because the major 0.0 alliances were quite happy with this situation and lobbying againt any change. Then invention was brought into this mess, with the option to create tech 2 BPC. The entry barrier was high at the time but still practically anyone could start to invent and so tech 2 BPO owners suddenly had a lot of competition. With this competition the bottleneck only shifted, to the high end moons like Dysposium. BoB tried at the time what goons now almost achieved, to control the limited supply of moon minerals and with this effectivly the tech 2 production chain.

A few years forward, a nerf to Dysposium, a POSgate scandal, a half-hearted attempt of CCP with alchemy later we still have the same situation, the production is severely limited by the certain moon minerals that cannot be effectivly replaced and whoever controls the supply, controls the market.

From a gameplay mechanic this is extremely bad because a group that manages to do that effectivly controls the market and has everyone, including the high sec dweller, working for their coffers.

Bottlenecks exist also in the tech 3 productions with melted nanoribbons. While the supply is not limited the droprate-mechanics have the nanoribbons as a somewhat rare component and effectivly one of the few components worth salvaging.


In conclusion, the problem was not created by BoB or Goons or the illuminati but by incompetence in the gamedesign department of CCP and I don't see it being fixed since the ones who profit from this situation are lobbying against any change.

....as if 10,058 Goon voices cried out and were suddenly silenced.

Mara Rinn
Cosmic Goo Convertor
#2 - 2012-07-10 10:44:44 UTC
Deviana Sevidon wrote:
From a gameplay mechanic [bottlenecks are] extremely bad because a group that manages to do that effectivly controls the market and has everyone, including the high sec dweller, working for their coffers.

Bottlenecks exist also in the tech 3 productions with melted nanoribbons. While the supply is not limited the droprate-mechanics have the nanoribbons as a somewhat rare component and effectivly one of the few components worth salvaging.


Bottlenecks in the production of advanced technology are a good thing for the game, especially considering the upcoming "tiericide" where all T1 ships will (hopefully) become viable. You highlighted two cases where bottlenecks are good, though the nature of the bottlenecks means that in T2 production, whoever controls the Technetium moons will effectively have unlimited ISK to play with. The melted nano ribbons bottleneck is good because there is great incentive for players to seek out w-space (i.e.: live dangerously) to procure the valuable resource.

The only issue with Technetium is that it is easy for a large group of players to monopolise the resource. When ring mining is introduced, this issue will wane. If alchemy is spread to all moon minerals, this issue will at least be kept in check by a price ceiling since one moon mineral won't be able to rise in price further than the cost of creating it from lesser minerals.

Bottlenecks (aka "critical resource scarcity") are essential to having something for the more aggressive industrialists to fight over.

Some folks will fight over insults regarding their family. Others will fight over role-play ideology, others will fight over the way you spell "colour". Some people will fight over control of a resource that ensures them an easy income.
Minta Contha
Emergent Entity
#3 - 2012-07-10 10:46:42 UTC
Stop whining about the Goons. They are nowhere near controlling the entire supply of anything. Go look at your map and bring up the sovereignty data and look at what a pissingly small area of nullsec they control compared to the total.

My cooking is like my lovemaking - fast, greasy, and unsatisfying.

Adeena Torcfist
Right Hand Of The Legion.
#4 - 2012-07-10 10:49:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Adeena Torcfist
Youve probably got a point there. The problem wouldnt be so bad if you could moon mine everywhere, with the higher outputs the lower the sec of systems & really poor outputs the higher sec systems.

I still think T2 now, 7+ years on is still too expensive, so bringing prices down, would at least, ironically, be inline with T2 insurance Lol

How is eve meant to evolve when things like this is so outdated.

I also think T2 BPO's should be seeded anyways, with invention as a stepping stone to acquire the isk & skills to own one such item.
Richard Desturned
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#5 - 2012-07-10 10:50:26 UTC
Deviana Sevidon wrote:
I don't see it being fixed since the ones who profit from this situation are lobbying against any change.


[citation needed]

npc alts have no opinions worth consideration

Jonah Gravenstein
Machiavellian Space Bastards
#6 - 2012-07-10 10:52:04 UTC
Bottlenecks exist in every facet of life, in Eve it's Tech, T3, nanoribbons etc, in real life it's crude oil, gold, diamonds, honest politicians EvilP, traffic, data throughput & a multitude of other things.

They are a feature of both natural and man made systems and will never change.

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

New Player FAQ

Feyd's Survival Pack

dexington
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#7 - 2012-07-10 10:57:08 UTC
While it would be a slap in the face to the people who own T2 bpo, CCP would change the -4 me/pe in invented T2 bpc, which would reduce the amount of the advanced components needed for T2 production.

I'm a relatively respectable citizen. Multiple felon perhaps, but certainly not dangerous.

Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#8 - 2012-07-10 11:03:11 UTC
Deviana Sevidon wrote:
I don't see it being fixed since the ones who profit from this situation are lobbying against any change.
Funnily enough, the current tech holders are the ones that have lobbied the most for a solution to the tech bottleneck, and w-spacers are the ones who have raised the most concerns about the disparities in value of sleeper drops and salvage…

So no. The reason it's not being “fixed“ is because it's difficult and not entirely desirable, as Mara Rinn points out.

dexington wrote:
While it would be a slap in the face to the people who own T2 bpo, CCP would change the -4 me/pe in invented T2 bpc, which would reduce the amount of the advanced components needed for T2 production.
That wouldn't alleviate any bottlenecks — just make stuff slightly cheaper.
Ptraci
3 R Corporation
#9 - 2012-07-10 11:05:37 UTC
On the contrary OP, the bottlenecks give people a reason to fight, and a reason to play.
dexington
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#10 - 2012-07-10 11:19:07 UTC
Tippia wrote:
dexington wrote:
While it would be a slap in the face to the people who own T2 bpo, CCP would change the -4 me/pe in invented T2 bpc, which would reduce the amount of the advanced components needed for T2 production.
That wouldn't alleviate any bottlenecks — just make stuff slightly cheaper.


Unless production can not be done without any limiting resources bottlenecks will continue to exist, that much is sure.

I am not sure i understand why decreasing the amount needed of the most limiting resources, is not going to make the situation less severe.

I'm a relatively respectable citizen. Multiple felon perhaps, but certainly not dangerous.

Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#11 - 2012-07-10 11:28:03 UTC
dexington wrote:
I am not sure i understand why decreasing the amount needed of the most limiting resources, is not going to make the situation less severe.
Because the bottleneck is caused by unbalanced ratios of materials needed in relation to ratios of materials produced — not by absolute amounts. Decreasing the amounts needed does not change the ratios.
Halete
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#12 - 2012-07-10 11:35:20 UTC
Mara Rinn wrote:
[quote=Deviana Sevidon]
Some folks will fight over insults regarding their family. Others will fight over role-play ideology, others will fight over the way you spell "colour". Some people will fight over control of a resource that ensures them an easy income.


Is it bad that although this entire post was well-constructed, the most startling realization that came from it was that CCP created a game where I could decide to ruin somebody's week because of the way they spell 'lose' as 'loose'?

"To know the true path, but yet, to never follow it. That is possibly the gravest sin" - The Scriptures, Book of Missions 13:21

dexington
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#13 - 2012-07-10 11:50:41 UTC
Tippia wrote:
dexington wrote:
I am not sure i understand why decreasing the amount needed of the most limiting resources, is not going to make the situation less severe.
Because the bottleneck is caused by unbalanced ratios of materials needed in relation to ratios of materials produced — not by absolute amounts. Decreasing the amounts needed does not change the ratios.


If the problem is the ratio between materials need and materials produces, and the amount of materials produced is constant, is seem to the logical conclusion would be, that reducing the amount of materials needed would lessen the problem.

I'm a relatively respectable citizen. Multiple felon perhaps, but certainly not dangerous.

Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#14 - 2012-07-10 11:59:38 UTC
dexington wrote:
If the problem is the ratio between materials need and materials produces, and the amount of materials produced is constant, is seem to the logical conclusion would be, that reducing the amount of materials needed would lessen the problem.
…except that the ratio remains the same and the ratio is the problem, so the problem isn't lessened by something that doesn't address it.

If you need 10 apples, 6 oranges and 2 bananas to make a fruit salad, and can get hold of 10 of each, then the apples are a bottleneck that constantly constrains your ability to make the fruit salads. If the recipe is changed to only require 5 apples, 3 oranges and 1 banana, then all that has happened is that you can do twice as many batches — the problem with the apple bottleneck is exactly the same as before and you still have as many useless oranges and bananas left over when all is said and done.


Also, and the production isn't constant either, especially not for the non-bottleneck materials.
dexington
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#15 - 2012-07-10 12:37:15 UTC
Tippia wrote:
dexington wrote:
If the problem is the ratio between materials need and materials produces, and the amount of materials produced is constant, is seem to the logical conclusion would be, that reducing the amount of materials needed would lessen the problem.
…except that the ratio remains the same and the ratio is the problem, so the problem isn't lessened by something that doesn't address it.

If you need 10 apples, 6 oranges and 2 bananas to make a fruit salad, and can get hold of 10 of each, then the apples are a bottleneck that constantly constrains your ability to make the fruit salads. If the recipe is changed to only require 5 apples, 3 oranges and 1 banana, then all that has happened is that you can do twice as many batches — the problem with the apple bottleneck is exactly the same as before and you still have as many useless oranges and bananas left over when all is said and done.

Also, and the production isn't constant either, especially not for the non-bottleneck materials.


This sounds a lot more like evaluating productivity and efficiency, the bottleneck problem has little to do with extra resources build up in excessive amounts, as long as you have the needed apples, no bottleneck exists. The bottleneck problem only occurs if the amount of available resources are limiting the process.

I'm a relatively respectable citizen. Multiple felon perhaps, but certainly not dangerous.

Skippermonkey
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#16 - 2012-07-10 12:39:22 UTC
Minta Contha wrote:
Stop whining about the Goons. They are nowhere near controlling the entire supply of anything. Go look at your map and bring up the sovereignty data and look at what a pissingly small area of nullsec they control compared to the total.
As moon mining doesnt require SOV, your comment is meaningless.

COME AT ME BRO

I'LL JUST BE DOCKED IN THIS STATION

Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#17 - 2012-07-10 12:47:48 UTC
dexington wrote:
This sounds a lot more like evaluating productivity and efficiency, the bottleneck problem has little to do with extra resources build up in excessive amounts, as long as you have the needed apples, no bottleneck exists. The bottleneck problem only occurs if the amount of available resources are limiting the process.
…and as luck would have it, the available resources are limiting the process because the manufacturing and production ratios are out of whack.

Oh, and the bottleneck exists regardless — it's just not being strained if the end product is in such low demand that you don't run out of the bottlenecked resource (and in that case, other parts are broken anyway so you it's not really a useful solution). The bottleneck still determines how valuable the other ingredients are and how much use you can get out of them.
Caitlyn Tufy
Perkone
Caldari State
#18 - 2012-07-10 12:49:04 UTC
Deviana Sevidon wrote:
I am talking here about bottlenecks. For example Tech 2 is more or less the baseline for most serious ship fittings, so everone wants Tech 2 and everyone uses Tech 2. But the number of Tech 2 modules and ships was always limited, the demand often exceeding the available supply.


No. Deadspace items are bottlenecked, that's why everyone who can't afford to lose those falls back to Tech 2 as a sort of "baseline tech". No matter how you change the economy, there will alwasy be bottlenecks, more and less desireable products. All you need to do is find your own sweetspot and you can enjoy all the fruits of the labor. Or, to take the above example - figure out how to produce apples instead of blaming the wind for bad spread of the apple tree seeds.
Jimmy Gunsmythe
Sebiestor Tribe
#19 - 2012-07-10 13:14:03 UTC
Just fly tech 1, problem solved.

John Hancock

Lady Zarrina
New Eden Browncoats
#20 - 2012-07-10 13:47:33 UTC  |  Edited by: Lady Zarrina
I view it as a positive.

There should be reasons to the take and control space in 0.0, and resources are a good reason. And without a few bottlenecks (high value resources) all space is the same, and will not be a huge conflict driver.

As an inventor, I do not like the current tech moon situation, but life is not all rainbows and sunshine. But it is not like One corp owns it all. There are multiple alliances who own the lions share. Eventually, someone will bored, **** someone off, or get greedy and want more. The cartel will end.

But for now, if someone was going to call a "wiinner".... I think the goons would be at the top of the list. But 6 months from now... I'm sure they will have screwed it all up somehow :)

EVE: All about Flying Frisky and Making Iskie

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