“So how boned are we?” asks CB.
“Boned?” I think about the question for a second. “Oh, the Goon-scam thing?”
I shrug. “I don’t know if it’s really going to make that much difference.”
“Really.” He doesn’t sound convinced. I know he’d hoped to make a bit of ISK off of the rewards available via the TLF, so his doubt is understandable.
“Well, look at it like this,” I explain. “Basically we get better payouts from the TLF if we control more of the warzone. A lot of that has to do with how much each of our systems are upgraded, and the Goon scam definitely affected that — they pumped resources into our systems to push our net warzone control high, based on system upgrades.” I pulled up the current-as-of-twenty-minutes-ago situation map of the warzone and spun my monitor around to face him. “But any upgrade scheme works a lot better and is a lot easier when we control more systems. Diminishing returns kick on those upgrades in a huge way — it’s a lot easier and less resource intensive to do minor upgrades to five backwater systems than it is to upgrade one system from nothing up to Gold Plated Faucets and Hot and Cold Running Escorts.”
The screen reflected in CB’s glasses. “All I heard out of that is that it’s good that we control a lot of systems.”
“It is.” I turned the monitor back around and pulled up a few other displays. “I mean, we’ve got control of over fifty systems. The Amarr have 11.1 A lot of the system upgrade stuff was because of the Goons cooking the system, but that was five pilots screwing with the Jita market — they didn’t have anything to do with actually capturing systems in the warzone. Hell, as near as I can tell the Minmatar have controlled a majority of the systems for…”
I scrolled through the history of what some some called the Forever War, watching the dips and minor fluctuations in territorial control until it all started to blur together, then shook my head. “… a really long time.”
“So this isn’t going to affect anything.”
“I didn’t say that,” I replied. “Overall warzone control is dropping right now, and if I had to guess, I’d say it’s going to continue to drop for a couple more weeks. Maybe three. Here’s why –” I flipped on the Militia Chat, which poured forth a never-ending stream of requests for fitting advice, queries about available fleets and — a recent addition — dejected moaning about the drop in warzone control.
“Because everyone’s a whining bitch?” CB threw the barest hint of a scowl in the direction of at the wall-mounted speaker. “Turn that shit off.”
I did. “Because people are used to the warzone control just…” I waved my hands like a conjurer “magically upgrading itself every weekend or so, at no cost to themselves. They’ve formed habits. Those habits will take about three weeks to break.”
“Then they’ll stop whining?” I looked at him, and he made a face. “Of course not.”
“Everyone whines. All the time –”
“– and they never stop.” CB pushed himself out of the chair. “Sounds like normal. Let’s go blow some shit up.”
1 — This conversation took place several weeks ago. The day after I got back from ComicCon this week, the Amarr were actually down to four systems. Like most people who pay attention to such things, my assumption is that the Amarr forces have turned their attention to the more lucrative Caldari side of the Caldari-Gallente war, rather than claw out of the fiscal hole they’re currently in. Until some (more) changes to faction war go in, that’s probably the best plan.