First, if you haven't already done so, go out and read this masterful article by Lockefox on TMC. It is -- by far -- the best thing written on TMC so far this year, an incisive, well-researched article into the history of moon-goo in general and its impact on the CFC in particular. Go read it, in full. I'll wait.
Back? OK, let's talk about it. In particular, I want to call your attention to this graph on page three:
That single little graph, more than any other factor, is probably what sealed the fate of TEST in Fountain. It documents the collapse of a financial empire that makes the Great Depression's tumble pale by comparison. Presented in that context, the doom of anyone near CFC territory holding the new R64s is obvious. If tech was a drug, that graph charts the withdrawal symptoms and they ain't pretty. The corresponding graph detailing the prices of the new R64s post-Odyssey finished the job. That thick green line, showing the average price of R64s at a bit over 20k ISK per unit tells the tale. As I write this, technetium is below 14k per unit. At 80k per unit for tech, the future of the CFC's empire was secure. At 25k or less? Not so much.
Short version: even if the CFC held every moon in EVE, they probably couldn't finance the lavish ship replacement program that their empire was built on.
I could have easily called the blog post "Be careful what you wish for". Or just maybe "The heavens blaze forth the death of Princes". I'll let Mord Fiddle have that second title, because I can't imagine it's too long before he starts gloating. I just checked. He hasn't posted his CFC post-moon analysis. It's definitely coming. I can feel it.
So let me say it again and let's talk about this bit in particular: even if the CFC held every moon in EVE, they couldn't finance the lavish ship replacement program that their empire has been built on. CCP has... very quietly... very sneakily... given people what they've been asking for for going on four years now. We live in a post-moon New Eden. Sure, moons are still going to be valuable. At today's prices depending on the size of the tower, dysprosium and neodymium are going to be worth about 1.5 billion a month, promethium about 1.3 or so. It's not money to turn your nose up at. But it's also not the seven or eight or more billion per month that tech once poured into an alliance's coffers every moon. After those three moon-goos, the values drop precipitously. Tech is barely worth a half billion per moon per month. A few moons have to be mined at a loss.
We live in a post-moon New Eden. And it happened very quietly while most of EVE wasn't looking. Now we have to stop and seriously consider: are things about to get better or worse?
The CFC had a long, long time to think about this. We were hearing about their post-moon plans and strategies and ideas as long as two years ago. But I'm not convinced they ever really actually truly believed it would happen. Make no mistake: the CFC is addicted to its SRP. But now the bottle is empty, the liquor store is closed and bankrupt, and the alcoholic is looking around in a bit of a bleary stupor wondering where the next fix is coming from. And the answer has come down from on high...
Pubbie scrublord money is where the next fix is coming from. Goons are about to become that very thing they have despised forever: slumlord renters with a contact list even more full of blues, their space full of blue Tengus and Ishtars and Retrievers and Taloses and even PvE battleships that they aren't allowed to shoot... that they aren't even allowed to think about shooting... that they aren't even allowed to scam into thinking that they might shoot. Oh dear Heaven, how the mighty have fallen.
And what makes it doubly glorious is that the long asked-for treaties and rent control measures that EVE's existing slumlords have been asking for for about a thousand years aren't in the game. The fixes and changes and mechanics that could have made this at least semi-palatable to the average Goon -- that CFC leadership could have started stomping their feet to obtain two years ago -- are not in place and aren't going to be in place. Meaning that CFC leadership had to announce a little bit shame-facedly that Goons aren't allowed to scam would-be renters any more because of the danger of scaring off the real renters that they are so desperately going to need... nowish.
Wherever SirMolle is, he's cracking a beer and having a good long laugh.
Anyway, the full court press to convince Goons that this is a good thing -- really! -- has begun in earnest, spear-headed by that very same TMC. All the while, CFC members are also doing their very best to convince themselves that they are definitely not Band of Brothers... mostly I think because they're saying they aren't expecting their renters to die gloriously for them as cannon fodder or even to form up to defend their homes because Goons -- Goons! -- Goons! -- will be doing it for them!
And holy crap I can't believe I just typed that.
When The Mittani was bounced off CSM7 last year, one of the things he said in his first GSF address to the troops afterward was that he wasn't even all that upset about it. The reason was because being a good CSM member -- whose job it was to stand up for EVE players -- and being a good Goon -- whose job it is to troll and torture EVE players -- were fundamentally incompatible goals. Needless to say, it's going to be quite interesting watching GSF having to adjust to having some pubbies that they have to treat well and protect while having other pubbies that they can still gank in high-sec somewhere.
But finally, let's come briefly back to the question I asked earlier: is this better or worse for New Eden? And that I think deserves a post to itself. Look for that tomorrow.