Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wish granted !


I, for once, can't complain: most of the changes outlined there seem healthy and sound, and largely match what I had in mind after a bit of pondering on the ISK and minerals in, outs and distribution relative to insurance and loot reprocessing.

The changes on loot reprocessability and distribution as well as the drone alloys recipes balancing, I  can certainly endorse. Increasing the mineral self-sufficiency of drone regions especially is in tune with this part of the map intended design and will not adversely affect the empire-bourne mineral market, although making the other 0.0 regions more self-sufficient on low-end minerals may be more of a mixed bag, yet not a bad move overall.

To be entirely fair, CCP is apparently committed to reach way beyond my expectations by including market value of materials even for T2 and T3 ships, which supposes they actually intend to write a new, all-encompassing insurance system — as opposed to merely tweak and hack onto the existing mechanics.
If they do it and don't get sidetracked: kudos.

A bit of a mystery to me is why CCP seems so shy to approach the issue of self-destruction and suicide ganks/Concordokkage… although I'm fine with suicide attacks remaining a viable tactic, I wouldn't expect my insurance to ever cover me ramming on purpose into a schoolbus with my moped.

Checking the horse's dental work…

One thing I'm a bit more ambivalent, however, is the idea of weighting insurance payouts by the life expectancy of a ship's class. I can see the reasoning, and from a 'gamey' standpoint, it may seem sensible, but it's also totally nonsensical in the context of simulating an insurance system: no company in their right mind will ever consider giving their better payout on stuff that is most likely to go boom, unless the premiums are raised in proportion.

A more sensible approach, in my opinion, could be to reduce the cost of Kleenex-class boats at the production recipe level. 
Provided the insurance premiums and payouts are indeed marked on materials value, making cheap boats cheaper, yet with a poor insurance payout, achieves the same results from a player perspective in terms of usability, and isn't likely to imbalance the mineral or material market by much, although it would decrease the per-unit profitability of some ships. 
This could possibly be balanced by cutting a bit (2/3 of the materials reduction should do) on the base production time for said boats at the blueprint level.

Why, oh why, do you ask ?

Assuming I read correctly into CCP's intentions, the general goal here is to phase out insurance from its current unwanted role of an artificial floor for minerals/materials prices (which marking insurance premiums and payouts should achieve neatly), without sending the mineral prices into a plummet fall (which is what would happen, were loot reprocessing to remain the major source of minerals that trumps mining low end ores).

With that in mind, cutting on the material needs for the shorter-lived, die-a-lot ship classes would make the hulls themselves less expensive without devaluation of their materials' unitary price.

So what ?

Among my last post's suggestions, one is not to be found in this devblog, and that's the idea of increasing premiums (or diminishing payouts) based on a pilot's track record in terms of losing ships — I can see how this reform could prove unpopular, but bear with me for a minute, please.

Another angle, which I suggested in my original post would be to cut on the length of insurance policies: the most likely the ship class to die young, the shorter the policy.
Make the insurance on a tackler last 2 weeks, a T1 BS last 4, and cut the premiums roughly in proportion, with the premium cost for that ship type adjusting up or down with every death or policy renewal that passes by without losing the boat, repsectively.

Starting at 100% payout (market adjusted) for a given T1 ship type, each loss would hit your premium and increase it, while each term passed without loss would bring your premium down by a few % (with a bottom, ofc).
Pilots who die a lot in cheap ships typically keep replacements fitted and ready to roll in order to get back in battle quickly after a loss. Assuming all these boats are insured, the spares would contribute to keep the premium price in check until they're used, while encouraging pilots to have more disposable ships ready, which encourages impulsive returns to the battlefield after a spanking, hence more pew-pew, hence more bizness for shipmakers and miners.

…and I still like the idea of making part of a killed ship minerals salvageable in the form of reprocessable debris: although it would typically benefit whoever holds the field at the end of a battle, it would also encourage the victors to linger a bit after the fight, in order to grab all those mins, thus giving the spankees a chance to come back for more.

What did I miss ?


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