CCP SoniClover released a devblog detailing the upcoming changes to war decs in Inferno earlier today and I can't help but feel bittersweet. I want to start by saying that i'm pleased with the new cost scheme, i'm pleased with the fact that CCP listened, i'm pleased with the work the CSM did regarding the new changes. CCP promised to make wars more meaningful and regardless of the changes to price, I think the simple change to corp hopping/dropping has a much bigger impact than the new prices and I genuinely hope it fosters more meaningful conflict in highsec. (to all the highsec bears complaining there is no opt out of PVP, well corp dropping was more of a free pass than many of you realized)
As far as Moar Tears goes, i'm excited for the future to see where we end up. In the year that we've been around its been quite the journey. As a 50 man alliance, we left our mark on Highsec to the tune of 2894.02B ISK, just a hair under 3 trillion ISK in damages. By comparison, The 0rphanage has done 4 Trillion ISK in damages, but was around two full years to our one and has had 200+ members for most of its existence. I think even if war decs weren't going to be touched at all in Inferno, we still would have ended up doing something else anyways. With that being said, i'm sad to see the beloved Privateer model go. With the scaling +50m per war dec in addition to the increased costs, theres no way that it will stay viable. The price to dec 10 large alliances is going up from 2.7b ISK to put decs on 10 large alliances to 5b ISK. What a lot of people don't realize is that even though we put up good killboard numbers as far as ISK destroyed each week, the loot drops we get are purely at the mercy of the loot fairy and more often than not end up being pretty bad and the past few months we've had to rely on donations to fund our wars.
I think that ultimately this change is for the better of highsec in that highsec wars had gotten stale, for example, Moar Tears as a whole has been stagnating due to boredom with war decs, still its been our bread and butter for so long that its a bit sad saying goodbye forever. I hope that CCP continues on its path and is able to make mercenaries in EVE viable. As it currently stands, when a highsec merc group is hired against a would be war dec group, there are two scenarios that pretty much always end up playing out. Its a total draw with maybe 1-2 kills on each side in the case of the ~elite~ groups or the newly formed, less skilled, startups get roflstomped into oblivion and disband after a few weeks.
What I am curious to see is how groups that stay perpetually war decced (non-Privateer model) adapt to these changes. While people may think that the cost to war dec is "cheap" in the grand scheme of things, being able to fund your wars with wars for an extended period of time might not be rocket science, but it still isn't the easymode that it always appears to be. The addition of formal surrender conditions and mercenary hiring will be something to pay close attention to.
In closing, I think that a lot of us were on the fence about where CCP would go with the new war dec changes, but I think that with what we've seen so far CCP is very much on track and the state of EVE can generally be considered healthy. I want to finish by saying that the work on war decs is far from over and while the corp hopping change closes a big hole, there are still many more that need to be filled. I'm sure that there will be groups on both sides that manipulate holes on each side to create a system that works, but the key thing to watch is that CCP is good about maintaining the balance in regards to both sides.