Butterfly effect: industrial edition
After writing yesterday’s post, I had an opportunity to take part in the
slaughter aggressive export control operation. What struck me was the number of people willing to take the risk; they came to us one after another — sometimes we barely had time to reset our position before a new target jumped into us.
We often had more luck with targets heading toward Outer Ring than blueprint-laden convoys headed back to civilization. I chalk this up to other
bloodthirsty pilots export evaluation officers between us and the Outer Ring Excavation stations where the blueprint was sold. We were at a sort of middle point in the inspection process.
We caught about 50% of the traffic headed home with their precious cargo. After carrying out inspections off and on for a day, our kill records show that we prevented 50 Noctis blueprints from reaching their intended destinations (with a 50% drop rate). I imagine the export control teams in 4C-B7X are having similar success rates (though clearly Rote Kapelle’s team has superior execution).
So this morning I read a few blogs talking about the situation, and it occurred to me that what we have is the much vaunted EVE butterfly effect in action. Rebecca Aventine of EVE Privateer posted her account of the situation in 4C-B7X from a outside point of view. I posted an observer’s point of view from kill records and alliance chatter. Illectro at EVE Illectrocuted posted his observations as a blueprint smuggler. And for a finale, we see the Ardent Defender’s blueprint consumer perspective from the safety of empire-controlled space.
These perspectives can be put together to form a soon-to-be famous EVE trailer: Butterfly Effect: Industrial Edition.
Let’s say this is you. One combat-ineffective industrialist flying in the far reaches of space. And in your travels, you hear about a new blueprint sold only in remote and lawless space. You can take advantage of it’s scarcity, but only if you act fast.
You have mere moments to make a decision. Without your bravery, your wallet will remain lean. You decide to make your mark and prepare a sturdy but stealthy vessel to carry you on the path to riches.
You set out with hundreds pilots flying alongside you. Strategic cruisers and covert ops ships blot out the once beautiful sun. The first hiccup in your travels is entry into low-security space. It passes, uneventfully, and you and your competitors surge onward.
Next comes null-security space; with the enormous gate, the local marauders have a difficult time stopping any ship that can cloak; but still, the pack thins.
Adrenaline surges as you enter a system with only one exit and your overview fills with deadly interceptors and interdictors. You manage to make warp, but many of your competitors are not so lucky.
When finally you reach a station containing a small stock of blueprints, you spend all of your isk buying a dozen of them. 390 million isk each is not cheap, but this effort will be rewarded.
When you undock, the station is surrounded by warp interdiction bubbles. Thankfully you’ve outfitted your Tengu with a subsystem that prevents these from affecting your warp drives and you warp effortlessly as another wave of your competitors are systematically locked down and destroyed behind you.
Only one obstacle remains between you and success; that’s right, the pipe system you’ve visited once before. You know they’re waiting, and now there are fewer sheep to throw to the wolves. But you make it.
Of the hundreds that started with you, half were able to arrive and purchase blueprints. Of those who set a course home with blueprints in their holds, only a handful remain.
Bravery and luck have won out, and you are able to make a 20% profit selling your blueprints to those who remained behind, unwilling to brave the outer reaches of space. As it turns out, one of these cowardly pilots has just bought one of your blueprints which he’ll now use to produce salvage ships for his alliance.
Those salvage ships will be used to obtain the necessary parts for rigs. Rigs which you use on your ships.
Your decision to run the risks in search of profit led to this moment: an epidemic of new salvaging ships unleashed on the population. A fall in the price of rigs. And hundreds of thousands of people can hear about this. Why so many? This is one big sandbox where actions resonate. The choices you make shape the outcome of events. The experience was emergent.
In the sandbox all actions, no matter how subtle or bold, have an effect. Welcome to the sandbox. Welcome to EVE.