The incursion nerf, I mean. Not a news flash at all, but as time as slowly sidled along, another example of CCP using a nuke on a mosquito.
All the e-peen/dog-in-the-manger types railed against incursions. Not ALL incursions, fuck no, just HIGH SEC incursions. The elitists and their little wanna-be parrots were always always always quick to chant "risk vs reward" as their mantra. It really had fuck all to do with that. The problem was that players were making money, and HAPPY, and they were doing it in high sec. There is less risk in null, buried deep and snug in their player controlled sov areas, than there will EVER be in high sec. True fact. And that's why all the biggest money making faucets and bots are all living in null. Can a high sec player run a ratting macro and scoop faction drops? Nope. Can high sec players drop capitals and monopolize plexes, DED sites and incursions? Nope. Do high sec players even get 100% payout on their incursions? Uhh, nope. Players were grinding away in high sec, not the fabled, uber-player zone of null, but high sec, where at any given time, about 80% of the active players are doing their thing. This also pissed off the null power bunnies. How are they going to have a CTA when so many of the small minority of Eve players, have jump cloned up to high sec to make some money for THEMSELVES by running incursions? As the player (supposedly) council was, and still is, chaired majorly by null representatives, they have a voice closest to the ear of CCP, and they used it. So did their little ass puppets.
The parrots liked to spout the 100 misk an hour" chant, along with the anti-incursionists, and yeah, that amount of money could be made, but it required nearly a perfect combination of few players being on, a strong and smart, but small, group of incursion runners in the system, and plenty of time to run the shit out of a system before the rest of the unclean masses logged on. As the incursion whines made more and more news, more and more players showed up to grab their handful of this magical 100 million/hour wind fall. It was happening less and less, and people ACTUALLY IN THE INCURSIONS, could see it was bullshit, knew it was bullshit, but their voices were not the loudest nor the largest in number. The incursions were self equalizing. It was well into the process of happening, it was obvious it was happening, but the whiners wanted some Jack boots to stomp the shit out of the incursions and the incursion runners anyway. Fuck them. Null sec should be the only ones to be making money, yet, every time I was in system and fleeted up, more than half the fleet members were either null sec toons, or null sec alts. Go figure. With all the money down there, and the "epic" game play, WTF were they doing up with a bunch of high sec pubbies??? At any rate, the more people that heard about the wonderful incursion money, the more people showed up to shoot. The more people that showed up, the more fleets there were. The more fleets, the fewer open rooms there were. The fewer open rooms, the more time contesting or jumping from occupied or finished room to the next site. The more time jumping, the less time shooting. As time went on, EVERYONE was making less money. Some times, it was below level 4 mission earnings. It was a good social atmosphere though, depending on the people who hooked up with. But anyway, FUCK INCURSION RUNNERS!
CCP is trying to force players into null. That's the "end game". That is the ultimate fucking sand castle in their little sandbox. The parroting losers from low sec don't give a fuck about null, but they want high sec incursions fucked-up too, because in their 3 year-old delusions, they figure people will "maybe" run low sec incursions, or maybe fly billion isk + ships through low sec to go run null incursions. Thick, I know, but that's the mental horsepower when you're two-fisting your e-peen, I guess. The null bunch, I think, don't really give a fuck about whether the high sec players will ever end up in null or not, they just want their players BACK in null, "where they belong", and in the end, if they fuck with the game enjoyment of a bunch of high sec bears, and fuck with their ability to generate game currency, they're happy, mostly. After the dip shits from "Team Five 0" gathered their "valuable feedback" from the player base, they cozied up to the demands of the null crowd, and used a nuke on what could have been a simple solution.
CCP is funny. They make so many aspects of their little sandbox SO predictable and SO fucking procedural, that players in very short order either macro/bot the shit out of it, or min/max the ship fits and tactics, or both. They make incursions sites so that you don't even need to shoot all the fucking rats, make the spawn sequences almost 100% predictable (aside from the odd, insignificant glitch in spawn order) and then wonder that players start farming the shit out of them? So the two most obvious things that would fix everything, they finally got to, but added a bunch more unnecessary shit. 1) MAKE THE SPAWNS RANDOM. Wow. and B) YOU HAVE TO KILL EVERYTHING TO COMPLETE THE SITE. Double wow. So right there, the biggest problems are solved. The only way for ANYONE to blitz a site, is to kill everything. No more running in and blasting the shit out of a handful of rats while you tank the rest. No more cherry picking specific rats to accelerate the spawns and accelerate site completions. And right there, you let incursion popularity continue, and as more players show up to run sites, the whole thing is self limiting. Of course, players would whine and moan about the "nerf", but it's a minor nerf, and populations would still stabilize and remain high in the incursion systems. Hundreds of players per system would limit the amount of isk per player (exactly the way it was happening before the nerf), reduce site completions per player, and force more players to choose the assaults and HQs instead of everyone cherry-picking the vanguards. Incursions would be run down faster, and that too would limit the isk per player. The random spawns and 100% kill requirements would also slow down the isk and LP earned per player. Problem, fucking, solved. I'm sorry though, but that is no where near fucking good enough. Fun + decent cash in high sec = bad fucking deal for the whiners. And, as the whiners have the ear of CCP, their deal is the only deal that matters :)
Of course, the next "watch words" are things like "generated isk" or "injected". In other words, high sec incursions are bad because raw isk and LP are just generated out of thin air. Apparently, all the null "wizards" have a pretty good idea of where all the macroed drones, and rats, and moon goo come from. Maybe out of their asses? Of course, my bad, these things aren't "isk" OR LP. No no. These are things that you SPEND isk on and such things as those don't "break" the game by generating themselves out of thin air and ruining the economy, especially the RMT economy. Too much "magic" isk being generated out of thin air, well, that fucks with everything by causing rampant inflation because people will piss too much isk up against the wall for any and all items, because they have lots of money (from those evil fucking high sec incursions) to piss up against the wall. Thing is though, and the null power brokers were likely aware of this while their little ass-puppet "yeah what he said!" drones were (and still are oblivious), the entry fee to the incursions so you could "run with the big dogs", who were also mainly null sec'ers, was in the form of shiny mods and ships. Now, where oh where would the shinies come from? Oh yeah, null. So, in standard fashion, it isn't about high sec incursion runners getting the shit end of the stick, they didn't get an end at all. Null minority is holding one end of the stick, selling all the shiny pirate and T3 boats to the pubbies, and of course they also provide all the uber faction mods, and then they've got their other hand on the other end of the stick, and they are whining to CCP that incursions in high sec need to be nerfed. The money all ended up going to the same place anyway, null, but then, null has all the big money fountains down there too. They don't want even a little piss-stream of money in high sec. Either from the elitist standpoint, which is a big factor, but also from the point of view of maybe trying to make null look better by fucking up high sec.
So, looking at the incursions of late, pretty sad. CCP fucked with the payout for vanguards (which they didn't have to do if they only fucking THOUGHT for a second), and they also fucked with the influence rate formulae. Incursions are pretty much ghost towns now. Server populations are still fairly high though, considering goon-fuck-ageddon, the drone alloys going bye-bye, and school/exams/summer on the verge, but I'm wondering who is, or if there is any way to, chart the effects of the incursion changes. Likely there were too many other player-influencing changes going on at the same time to be able to pick out individual causes, but the amount of players running incursions is definitely way off. You've have hundreds per system at peak, and now there are barely a hundred in the entire incursion a lot of the time. I could probably check, but I think I remember that if the MOM site wasn't taken down if/when it finally spawned, you didn't collect your LP. That would suck.
Also, looking at all the shiny boats and mods that incursions runners so loved, it looks like the ships are moving fairly slow and few now, compared to the markets of even mid April. Obviously, T3s and pirate BS have more uses than just incursions, AND there is also the matter of mineral prices likely driving down the desire to spring for billion dollar boats, plus the goon-derps fucking with the T2/T3 market, plus HA5, plus, well, fuck, looks like a grey time is coming down the pipe maybe. Or maybe not.
Don't know how many incursion runners will say fuck it and bail. Don't know how many carebears have said fuck it because of HA5, and have bailed. Don't know how many poor-baby null macroers have bailed on their accounts, or been banned because of the mod and alloy nerf. Summer is coming too. Mayhap plex prices will stop yo-yoing a bit (after the alliance tournament) and the player population changes will maybe allow them to drop a little, unless the players leaving were also some of the ones supplying plex. Might be a bit of a glut on the market for pirate boats and faction mods. Maybe their prices will go down some. Volumes and supply are pretty low on the pirate BS compared to prior to the incursion nerf announcements. With fewer, far fewer, players running incursions, that's going to be a lot less money to spend on things, but then, more money will be needed because of the mineral and technetium fuckery too. Maybe some incursion runners will swap their nightmares for hulks as there's decent money in mining now, although not up to level 4 mission rates yet in high sec.
With fewer incursion runners, and tougher incursions, apparently fewer layers are willing to risk their shinies. Sever numbers are still in the high 37K during my normal play times, which is interestingly high considering HA5 and the incursion nerf. I wonder what players have switched to for play options?