Post by A.N.U.
On December 4th, 2012, CCP will be releasing EVE Online: Retribution, the 18th expansion to EVE Online. It will include three major changes: a long-needed update to bounties, five new ships and, perhaps most importantly to many players, a new iteration of Crimewatch. But what do these changes mean specifically for the Proveldtariat?
New Ships, New Roles
EVE Online: Retribution will introduce five new ships to EVE’s already-huge collection. This will include four new destroyers (one for each race) and an ORE mining frigate.
Obviously, as miners the ORE frigate is going to have the largest effect on the way we play – and sadly, that might not even be that much. As a frigate, the ‘Dasher’ (not the final name) will be much faster than current mining barges, as well as much lighter and having a considerably smaller cargo hold.
For people who tend to go AFK for a short while and return to the keyboard quickly, this could be perfect. With even the smallest of speed fits, there’s no way that this frigate could be bumped out of range if it was orbiting at 500m. You would, however, need to empty the hold relatively often, so for those who like to leave their ships for an hour or more, this would not be ideal.
How much of a difference does this make? Well, not an awful lot, actually. A speed fit Skiff is already highly impractical for a bumper to bump, and has a much larger ore hold. Using the frigate would be a great way to mock the bumpgeois, but sadly it won’t achieve much more than that that the Skiff can’t already do.
In general, a miner can be expected to have more ISK available than a miner bumper (unless, of course, the bumper is James 315 himself, who is stupidly rich from his ‘shares’ scam). This suggests that if miner bumpers and miners had an equal motivation to place bounties on each other, the miner bumpers would end up with greater bounties.
In reality, miners are going to have a greater motivation to place bounties. Miner bumpers already get their amusement from bumping defenseless miners, and so are less likely to place bounties on miners. There are also far more miners than bumpers. This should mean that soon after December to 4th, many miner bumpers will have significant bounties on their heads, while the percentage of miners that have bounties is much smaller.
However, a prospective bounty hunter would, in general, be more likely to target a miner than a bumper, because miners are easier targets – bumping ships are fast and often field a shield fit, while mining ships are slow and wield mining lasers. This means that, overall, miners and miner bumpers will each suffer similar amounts from bounty hunters – bumpers will have larger bounties and therefore get attacked for longer, but miners will be juicier targets.
In conclusion, then, the bounty changes are unlikely to change the balance in the conflict between miners and bumpers, but will likely cost both sides money.
Crimewatch 2.0 should, in general, make Hisec a safer place for mining. While it won’t affect bumping at all, it will make it so that any successful ganker can be made a free target for anyone who wishes to purchase the kill right. Obviously, this will dissuade many gankers from having go at miners, especially since kill rights are now awarded on aggression rather than an actual kill.
The other side of the coin is that it will become similarly harder for a miner to effectively gank a bumper – it would allow a kill right on the miner’s ship at any time, and that would be a huge inconvenience. However, since the number of miners ganked in a day is, as a rule, larger than the number of bumpers ganked in a day, this should have a greater positive effect on us than it does on bumpers.