Removal of exploration loot spew – effects on industry


With Kronos the decision has been made to remove the loot spew mechanic from exploration that disperses your loot across space in a maddening RSI inducing click fest. Right now there are a lot of happy explorers thanking CCP for the decision many of whom have been strong opponents to the mechanic since its introduction.

What they may have missed in all of this is that this change is not all positive for a start the reason that the mechanic was introduced was to encourage exploration with a partner as a team of two are more than capable of looting every single container. Additionally with the change back over to the old mechanic we should expect drop rates to reduce on all items, CCP designed the sites for a proportion of the loot to be lost now that won’t be the case it’s only natural that drop rates will be reduced to counteract this.

The way in which the drop rates are changed will make a massive difference to exploration and invention as a whole. Right now players pick the cans they know are most likely to give them the highest value loot leaving components to turn into space dust. If we see a uniform reduction in drop rates then this doesn’t take into account this player behaviour meaning that decryptor supply will be reduced increasing their value. Since the introduction of loot spew and the new decryptors we’ve seen prices drop massively on a wide variety of decryptors

incognito symmetry

The graph above is for the Incognito Symmetry, formerly called Engagement Plans prior to the Odyssey expansion. Back in April 2012 the prices were exceeding 10mil per unit now prices have dropped massively and are in the region of 1mil per unit averaging closer to 800k, the largest drop is just after the 4th June 2013 which is Odyssey release day. Some of this price change will naturally relate to the introduction of new higher run variants of the decryptors whilst a large proportion will relate to the change in supply due to drop rate tweaks and additional players getting involved in the exploration mechanics.

Depending on how the drop rates are changed during loot spew removal the overall value of exploration sites could go a couple of different ways, it’s impossible to tell whether prices will go up or down on invention items such as decryptors and datacores and it’s a market I’m steering clear of for now when it comes to Kronos speculation. One area where I feel players will massively benefit from this change is the drop of super high value items, there are a few rare gems still out there in exploration and there is nothing more frustrating than losing that shiny loot due to choosing the wrong container.

The good news for those of us doing invention is that as long as you don’t have a massive stockpile you really can’t lose too much either way as costs are simply passed along to the buyer of your products in the long run. However changes in cost can affect how much you can build at once and how many new players enter the market as with everything industry it’s a careful balancing act and will be interesting to see the impacts come the Kronos release. Personal opinion is that it is much more likely we’ll see prices increase so if you’re speculating it may be worth hoarding a couple of billion worth of popular decryptors.