Alliances and sovereignty
Welcome to the twenty-fifth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month’s topic comes to us from @Tetraetc – “Tetra’s EVE Blog” – who asks: “Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? Imagine a Null Sec where anyone could build outposts wherever. Would the reduction of the alliance game mechanic, and the removal of the sovereignty game mechanics (or the modifcation of it from Alliance level to Corp level for that matter) force more PVP into Null sec, or would giant power blocs like the NC still form themselves?”
The latest EVE Blog Banter raises an interesting question – have alliances and the sovereignty system limited the PVP and RP potential in Null Sec?
For starters I think you can ignore the RP aspect – as frankly if someone is determined enough, that can be done in just about any situation. I also think that over the last 12 months there seems to have been consistent region sized warfare across Null sec, with common large scale fleet battles. For all the complaints about the current mechanics, it does not seem to have killed off grand scale PVP.
But I don’t think the question is referring to that sort of PVP. I think it relates to solo and small fleet PVP. So what do you want in that regard? A good population density in the areas you roam, a willingness of those in the area to engage, or at least some chance of catching people off guard. When you are engaged, you want it to be where skill and ship fitting make a difference, and not just numbers.
I am not sure the current sovereignty mechanics promote that sort of combat. It encourages very large alliances – which by its nature mean intel channels covering regions, shared jump bridge networks, and large numbers of blues all working together. Not conducive to small scale PVP.
I think the old Providence was probably a reasonable example of a good PVP hunting ground – but that was in part enhanced by the general inexperience of many of its pilots. Its replacement – the now defunct Providence Fight Club, or possibly the way Delve is currently being divided might be newer versions of this, although to be honest with non-aggression pacts it seems to be too artificial to me. There is little meaning to such fights.
You have the old suggestions of having local removed or more recent demands such as having jump bridges and jump freighters nerfed. All these are designed to force people to use gates, and so jump into camps. That is not really PVP.
I believe if you want more meaningful and readily accessible small scale PVP, you need to make it much easier to live in 0.0 in small groups. Make it so that you don’t need to join a huge conglomeration to forge your own little home in space, and that you can earn enough ISK by doing so to offset the dangers and loses you will incur.
I imagine it might be seen counterproductive for those wanting easier access to PVP, but some ideas to start out with for NPC 0.0 to really encourage small groups to migrate:
. Cut down on choke points in and out of NPC 0.0; make it easier to gain entry to the region. So new gate routes, or even two or three gates between the same border systems. Smuggler gates, Pirate Gates, etc. Whatever to make it more appealing for unaligned people to move around.
. New gate routes or methods to cut down on the depth of some pockets, or increase the options so that you are not stuck having to move though a relatively limited number of pipes. This benefits both hunters and gatherers in moving around.
(Right about now I can hear the pirates screaming…)
. Living out of a POS is frankly not a good option. There needs to be a new type of habitation module that small corporations can use to live out of. These can be anchored in systems without stations – call them super POS, or mini stations, or even large ships that can be anchored. Allow multiple to be anchored in systems, but not for the same corporation. Require them to be scanned down to be found.
. Change exploration sites so that while in them, local is not available.
This apporach is not about forcing people into PVP – it is designed to greatly increase the number of people living in 0.0, and thereby increasing the number of targets.
The habitation modules should be a target for small gangs. Something like…
. They should be able to be destroyed by gangs of as little as 10 to 20 people in 15 to 30 minutes – but need to have 3 or 4 cycles over a week to allow the owners to evacuate assets, or try to mount a defense. (Or maybe un-anchor…)
. I am thinking along a limited station – allows docking, but only a certain volume and size of ship. (Think Carrier Ship Maintenace Bay Capacities per user). It might allow jump clones, but only limited numbers and range. Have personal hangers, but limited volumes in each, and a maximum number who can have them. Limit docking to corporation members only. Limit the number of people who can dock concurrently, etc. Maybe have different sizes, one to accommodate up to 10, one up to 25, and one up to 50.
. You could consider some level of customisation – less docking space makes the module harder to scan down, less personal hanger space, but an extra industry slot, and so on.
. Like Stations, have some aspects that can be disabled by very small gangs – 2 to 5. Make it annoying, repair, industry or fitting services, etc. Have it so they can be disabled in 5 or 10 minutes.
Forcing people to fight just builds resentment, and reduces the number of people willing to live out of empire. Basically if you want target rich fields of smaller groups, you need to make it a viable, attractive and enjoyable option for small corps to live in Null Sec. Be that with this type of mechanism or something different. Get that right, and you might end up with something a little like the providence of old.
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- Blog Banter #25 – Mad Haberdashers
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- More to come…