War – what is it good for

I’ve been on the receiving end of a few dozen War Declarations during my time playing EVE. I expect it is a relatively low number considering.

Some were strategic – coinciding with attacks on Null Sec homes, making resupply and escape more difficult. Some were personal, triggered by in or out of game slights or history. Most were from Hi-Sec Pirates looking for easy kills.

In all but a few singular instances, the Corporation and Alliance Leadership told pilots to stop undocking in Hi-Sec, and to only use out of Corp Alts there. Indeed, the PVP pilots said the same. It was not worth trying to pin down experienced Hi-Sec Pirates as they knew every trick and game mechanic to avoid any sort of fair fight.

Inevitably you ended up playing the game less while the war lasted.

Most losses during these wars were from the ignorant, lazy or the dumb. Some never read their EVE mail or the Corporation Forum, some gambled they would get away with risky behaviour, quite a number died in the last 24 hours as they mistook “The War is ending” message for “The war has ended”.

I have traditionally found it interesting in an abstract way. I’ve appreciated the strategic nature if it has accompanied an invasion. I’ve found it a small challenge to resupply using Alts, or to find something else to do while docked or out of Hi-Sec.

When I moved to concentrate on solo play, I went through a period where I looked for a Corporation to War Dec. This was for the interest of trying something different. I did lots of research, but I could not bring myself to grief any of the likely targets I identified.

Another time, after someone unnecessarily annoyed me in game, I went through the process of looking to hire Mercenaries to War Dec their corporation. Again, this was out of interest to try something different. I did lots of research, but every likely Mercenary organisation I approached turned out to be abstruse and dubious to deal with. In the end I placed a bounty on the Corporation and left it at that.

The only time during my solo play my own Corporation / Alliance has had a War Dec is when a newish group of players wanted to take my Player Owned Custom Offices. I couldn’t do much to stop them, but I planned to keep the War Dec running for an extended period to try and give them some sort of consequence. While I had not lived near my POCO’s for a long time, I was still known to some of the locals. They noticed one of the POCO being shot at, and off their own back hired Mercenaries against the attackers.

This was the first time I found a War Dec had enhanced my game and provided particularly interesting / cool content, and I in effect did not fight it.

While I have never lost any assets to a War Declaration, I have tended to lose game time. They usually resulted in my logging in less. In my experience I’ve found very few players who remark on having any sort of fun from being declared war on.

Some might exclaim that with each War Dec I should have gone out and tried to bring the fight to the attackers.  Ignoring the fact I was generally ordered not to, the statistics CCP has been throwing about of late suggest at the folly of that idea. On average more than a 100 Defender ships die to each Attacker loss. The “Fun” of that situation is backed up by metrics that confirm  pilots play less when under War Dec, and some continue to play less and quit.

So, we have a combative mechanism which is not fun for most defenders, causes them to play less and for some to quit the game, and has on average no real consequence for most attackers.

I can understand CCP’s recent focus on this mechanic – although I don’t understand why it has taken them so long.

I’ve been reading lots of comments from players and organisations on the other side of the spectrum – those who are constantly declaring war on others. I am undoubtedly prejudiced against the attackers, and the tone of their voices in my head as I read their words is not particularly flattering.  With that in mind – a common thread is that without War Dec’s continuing in a similar fashion, the flood of untouchable resources would cause the entire EVE economy to collapse.  Low and Null Sec Alliances would collapse – because no one would want to move out of Hi-Sec to join them.  Changing the system would make a mockery of calling it a Sandpit game.  Some comments were defiant – they would work out how to game any new system anyway, or would seek in game retribution against CCP.  Unsurprisingly there is a lot of victim blaming.  Given attackers have been one sidedly winning in this area of the game for a long time, I expect it has been a lot of fun for them and they are disinclined to see that reduced.

So, what is CCP to do?

I think there definitely needs to be a War Declaration Mechanic – it is logical in the combative environment of EVE. CCP does however need to try and stem the flow of players quitting the game prematurely due to the mechanism, make it more difficult to cheat the system, and somehow re-balance it.

I am not actually a real fan of the initial change – no War Dec’s for Corporations without any structures in space. It seems to me by letting people protect themselves by not involving themselves as deeply in the game, you risk having them become less interested in and reward by the game long term.

Frankly I don’t have anything near an answer to what CCP should do. I do know most of what I have heard from defenders or attackers has been self-serving and not seemingly healthy in the long term.

Should the War Declaration fee go straight onto the bounty of the Attacker?

Do you allow the defenders to pay an amount matching the war declaration fee to Concord, as a bribe to invalidate the war?

Should the war declaration fee be on a sliding scale – the more you pay, the more damage the attacker is able to inflict? Once the damage limit is reached, the war is declared over. This might encourage the defenders to fight back as there is a ceiling to the losses they can expect.

Should the defenders be able to invalidate the war if they manage to kill 1 or more of the attackers?

Should there be other ways for the defenders to impact the duration of the War Declaration? If the attackers don’t inflict any damage in a 24-hour period, the War duration is reduced by a day? (Easily gamed by spies letting themselves be killed.) Maybe if the defenders mine a certain amount of Ore, or visit a certain number of systems, or run a certain number of missions in a 24-hour period (based on the number of pilots in the Corporation), can they reduce the War duration by a day?  Repeat this and it might end up going for 4 days instead of 7, or there will be 3 days of safety at the end of the week before the Attacker can extend the war.

Do you bring in a level of match making – where SP totals and player counts need to be similar between attacker and defenders (coinciding with major changes to neutral boosting and remote assistance and the like)?

Do you change the War Declaration mechanism so that while Concord reprisals are stopped, the attackers still get suspect flags?

The obligatory question – how might War Decs be made to work for the Solo player like me?

Now don’t cry and carry on – I’ve put no effort into these ideas AT ALL, and I don’t care to defend or debate the results of 30 seconds of brain storming. I’m saying we will need to have a fresh and out of left field conversation about this.  Historically the Attackers have been derisive of conversations about changes to War Dec’s – harden the F up, cry baby cry, yay for more salty tears, stupid F’up Carebears.  The Defenders have tended to complain.  This time there will be change – and if neither the Attackers and Defenders engage productively in the conversation, they are going to get an outcome they will not be happy with.

I hope CCP get it right, although I won’t be holding my breath.



I was thinking about Neville Smit’s call for an Occupy New Eden movement. What sort of critical mass of EVE players would it need for CCP to pay enough attention to change their development plans?

I think it is fair to say that a notable proportion of players don’t involve themselves in much related to EVE outside of the game client.  I don’t however have any statistics to back that up.

I notice the EVE Online Facebook page has almost 290,000 likes – which seems reasonable, yet on average only a few hundred interact with any of their posts. Most of CCP’s official YouTube videos are viewed less than 20,000 times, their Twitch TV stats are even lower. Their trailers are the exception – but then they are often linked to from Ads and various external gaming sites. Most of the threads in the official EVE forum are viewed less than 1,000 times, including revisits. And of course you can look at the number of accounts that vote for the CSM.

Circumstantial, but to my mind it paints a picture.

If I am right about the possible audience, it seems unlikely that Neville’s idea would be seen and certainly not actioned by sufficient players to make a difference.

That is not to say it could never have an impact – if enough recognisable players, bloggers, tweeters, reporters, podcasters and what not all got behind it, CCP would listen.

I’ve read many of the initial responses from that group of players, and generally found them to be more thoughtful than expected. If you break them down however we return to a rehash of the well-trodden Hi-Sec Vs Everyone else topic. What’s the chance of getting any sort of consensus on that?

So I came to the conclusion Occupy New Eden won’t get to a wide enough audience or result in any sort of large enough common voice to make a difference. This assumption carried more weight after Neville made it clear this was more about provoking discussion than a ground swell movement.

As I kept reading responses I came across this related blog post from Talvorian Dex –


It is a common idea, repeated often. In harsh summation it is the suggestion that people stay subscribed to EVE longer if they get out of Hi-Sec, and so while Hi-Sec should be fun and engaging, players should be encouraged to move through the game to the next step. I think it is fair to say CCP subscribes to a similar view – they seem to try and steer players towards the conflict game styles that their statistics show keeps them engaged longer.

I can see the logic – and you might get some to transition, but mostly – in the most obvious and common sense way to me – that has and will continue to fail.

I think this is actually the crux of the issues Hi-Sec has. It isn’t their slice of development time, it isn’t what part of space CCP is focused on, it doesn’t need a player uprising. The problem is relatively simple and straight forward – CCP, and (sorry) the like of Talvorian really do not understand them. Conflict is not the driver that will keep most of them in EVE longer.

I don’t have statistics, and I am not sure how to convince people my view on this is accurate. I am going to start with just one somewhat topical example.

Have you noticed the derision Hi-Sec miners tend to get? There are groups devoted solely to griefing them, to try and force them to play a different sort of game. I read suggestions that they are saving these players from themselves, and that they deserve this lack of respect.

The Griefers can’t see why someone would like to spend years maxing out skills, and ship equipment, and ship hulls, and refining, and boosting, and implants, and hauling just to get to the point where they can say their mining yield is at the absolute maximum possible. Or why they take that further by bookmarking the optimal positions in each belt to maximum asteroids reached with the least amount of moving, or use survey scanners and PC stopwatches for each mining laser so that they can minimise the length of unproductive cycle time, or the satisfaction they get for totally strip mining a belt by themselves. And they do all this for some of the poorest ISK returns in the game.

The people and voices driving EVE’s development at the moment do not seem to understand why people would do that. I understand – because that is what I spent a couple years doing.

There is certainly a couple years of play in that – assuming the player remains goal oriented and sticks at it despite the contempt sent their way. What can CCP do to extend this?

Update the Rorqual so that it has the largest mining yield possible in game through fighter sized mining drones, and put an area effect superweapon on it that gives a short period of invulnerability for the mining fleet so the Calvary can ride in and save them if attacked?

How many Hi-Sec miners do you think that will entice? How many will stay subscribed for another year to train up all those skills and get the related in game assets?

What if they make a Hi-Sec version of the Rorqual. I’ve mentioned it before. Give it a mining yield marginally better than a Hulk, and balance the crap out of it so it cannot be used as a non-Ore hauler or be safe from War Dec in an NPC Corp. How many Hi-Sec miners would set a goal and spend more time subscribed to achieve that?

Hell – add two versions of Mining Titans, one Hi-Sec, one excluded from Hi-Sec, if you really want to stretch out the end goals for such players and keep them subscribed.

I’m not championing this as a solution – it is just an example. If the idea annoys you because you think it will take away possible new targets, then you probably don’t get Hi-Sec. Don’t worry, you are in good company with CCP.

It seems like it should be easy to fix – just sit down with CCP and explain what Hi-Sec enjoys about the game and why a sizeable number won’t ever be taking steps out of it, no matter what they do.  Give transition options, but concentrate on keeping them subscribed longer doing what they want to do.  Maybe the Council of null Sec influence and Management (CSM) can speak to them?  Or maybe not.  At the moment we have a PVP focused group thinking they understand and know what’s best for the Carebear focused, and they at not getting it right.


I’m not sure what to think about this one:


It is in the early days, but CCP is considering allowing people to extract and sell their Skill Points.

The skill points – possibly in blocks of 500K, are collected by a Transneural Skill Extractor and placed into a Transneural Skill Packet.

Both these Transneural items can be traded on the market.

The Extractor will be purchased with AUR.

If a player consumes a Transneural Skill Packet they will get unallocated skill points.  This will be scaled to reduce the benefits for older players.  The initial suggestion was:

. 0 – 5 million skillpoints = 500,000 unallocated skillpoints added
. 5 – 50 million skillpoints = 400,000 unallocated skillpoints added
. 50 – 80 million skillpoints = 200,000 unallocated skillpoints added
. > 80 million skillpoints = 50,000 unallocated skillpoints added

In some / many ways it cheapens the time you spend developing your characters, and seems to be a further step towards pay to win.  Having said that, we already have ISK for PLEX and the Character Bazaar trading, so this just formalises it a little more and makes it more flexible.  It also acts as a SP and ISK sink for higher SP toons.

Interesting CCP…

The EVE theme park

Sugar Kyle raised an oft repeated, heated and hijacked topic – what sort of development would people like to see in Hi-Sec.


I’ve seen discussions on this deteriorate into two very loud, hostile extremes – one side wanting their version of utopia, the other side wanting to burn it all to the ground. I expect the majority of Hi-Sec players would be frustrated by that. I saw in Sugar’s blog post a challenge for them to come out with some serious ideas.

While it is not possible to neatly pigeonhole everyone, I am going to start off with my assumptions. Plenty of people do not want to play EVE out of Hi-Sec. Attempts to force them to do so will result in many leaving the game instead. My ideas relate to what I think are two large Hi-Sec groups who can play a more theme park version of EVE – Miners and PVE Content Runners.

I think they are commonly motivated by aspirations to level up. Miners start off in Frigates, then Barges, then Exhumers, they work on efficient hauling, boosts from Orcas, implants, refining rates – with the long term goal of achieving the highest possible yield. PVE Content Runners work up from simple Belt ratting through to a selection of Exploration, Level 1 to 4, COSMOS, Epic Arc, Incursion and Drifter sites and missions. All the while they are upgrading their skills, equipment and hulls.

There is plausibly a couple years of content available for people with such motivations, slowed by having to complete against other players, and stretched further if they have good social interactions.

These groups have value to the game – both financially through their subscriptions, and because when they undock they are still part of our MMO and available to interact with.

Interestingly within the context Sugar provided, was a warning not just looking at creating more theme park content. I am basically however going to suggest just that – but hopefully in ways that won’t require so much development time.

So my first suggestion is give these people something to further aspire to. We have capital ship rebalancing coming next year. Adjust the Rorqual and let it move through Hi-Sec via Gates. Allow Hi-Sec Miners to use it to compress ore at the Belt and provide a very small boost to yield over the Orca. By doing this you give such players an extra year of goals in skill training and acquiring and fitting one. Add Level 5 missions to Hi-Sec – but with only a minimal increase in LP rewards over Level 4 missions. Give the Mission runners a further challenge. I emphasis both should only provide a small incremental increase in ISK generation, but will expand the levelling options in Hi-Sec using existing game assets.

My next suggestion is to quickly add content – there needs to be more variety. As I discussed in my recent Blog Banter – https://evehermit.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/bb67-i-am-ccp-hermit .. start spreading NPC factions around. Have a small percentage of cosmic anomaly sites in a region be for different Factions. You can come across a Guristas or Serpentis or Blood Raider site in Sansha space for example. Give the players a reason to swap modules on their ships and adjust their tactics. The same could be done in the pools of missions available for an agent. Have the occasional one thrown in against an unexpected pirate faction. This might fit in with when Faction Warfare becomes a four way battle – have the pirates also spreading their wings. Again it uses existing game assets.

I think CCP should review all their theme park content and see what they might plausibly add to Hi-Sec from other areas of the game. Gimp or tax it to ensure it doesn’t became a particularly rewarding process, but give the Hi-Sec players a chance to experience it.

I am already hopeful that some of the existing work CCP is doing will have a positive impact on Hi-Sec. The NPC AI changes might shake things up a little. Having NPCs target drones for example made a notable difference in how many players had to approach their PVE content. Could you imagine if Faction Rats try to warp off once they drop below 50% EHP?  Pilots would need to change their fit to include a warp disruptor if they wanted to hunt those spawns.  Further changes could be good for keeping players interested. Some of CCP’s balance changes have also impacted Hi-Sec a lot – such as the Hauler and Mining Hull tiericide updates. Giving players a choice between yield, tank, speed and capacity changed the face of the Hi-Sec belts and space lanes.

If CCP has a little Development time to spare, I would like them to add lots of simple and small exploration sites. I already outlined my ideas in my blog banter –upsized rats (a couple battle cruisers or one battleship), out of place rats (wrong faction for the region), entirely out of place rats (a handful of sleepers or incursion rats) or out of place resources (1-3 rare small asteroids). It would also be nice if there were solo low reward options in Incursions, such as clearing incursion rats off gates or belts, just so everyone can play a small part.

As I said in my previous post – this is not to homogenise space or making Hi-Sec so interesting that you won’t want to move. The rewards from these sites should be low, and the frequency they can be found balanced. They should also be scaled up and placed out of Hi-Sec. The idea is to increase the variety in the theme park with hopefully somewhat limited development effort.

There are two further areas I would suggest be looked at, but which will probably involve a lot more development work.

First – if new missions are to be created, think about making them a little more dynamic, and possibly look at some of what is done well in COSMOS missions. Your agent sends you to speak to someone in space who gives you four tasks, of which you need to complete two in any order. One might require you to scan down a site to run, another to fly through the neighbouring systems to find your mission beacon, or another to visit an open / shared DED complex for something, much like some COSMOS missions.

Second – try to have most of the traditional out of Hi-Sec mechanism available in Hi-Sec. Have exploration sites containing a Pirate NPC Moon mining operation. Let players use Syphon units on them for minimal ISK across a few days or a week, or give the players the option to try and destroy them instead for drops and bounty. Find hidden Pirate Citadels, and get a Concord bounty and some loot for going through the process of capturing / destroying them. Similarly find Pirate Structures that require Entosis links to be used on them. I would prefer if different players can complete in various ways over these, and for the NPCs to defend them. For some players it will be enough to train up the required skills and purchase different hulls so as to do something different, for other players it will be a stepping stone to moving out of Hi-Sec and using their new learnt skills against other players.

So, in case I’ve rambled on too much, a summary. I think there are a noteworthy number of EVE players who at the core play a levelling up theme park version of EVE.  They still add value to the game.  I think with smart use of existing game assets, CCP can relatively simply and quickly expand their game play options and experiences. This might add a year or two more content to the “average” life of such a Hi-Sec player.  Also work to expose them to as many mechanisms of the game as possible, to make it easier to transition to different Space if they happen to change their minds.

BB67 – I am CCP Hermit

BB 62 – There has been a catastrophic accident in the CCP Offices and you have found your player account has been upgraded to a senior CCP staffer! You are now CCP Hermit and have a team of developers eagerly awaiting your commands. So what are you going to have your team work on?

For obvious reasons if you follow this blog, I am going to focus on the niche of solo or small group exploration and nomadic movement.

I would like to dramatically increase the available exploration content, starting with the ideas in this list which are relatively easy and quick to implement before moving onto the harder options. They should fall into the category of sites or cosmic anomalies as appropriate.

The idea is to increase variety and mix up the ship hull and fitting options people might use or carry around during exploration. It is not to homogenise space or making Hi-Sec so interesting that you don’t want to move. The rewards from these sites and the frequency they can be found should be balanced and scaled.

Now the site ideas:

. Upsized Rats – on occasion find a solo NPC Battleship with a bounty of 500K in High-Sec, 1000K in Low-Sec, or 1500K in Null Sec. Mix it up with occasional doubles or triples (more commonly out of Hi-Sec), and small support wings.

. Out of place Rats – on occasion find a small group of NPC ships out of their usual Regions, such as Guristas in Sansha space, or Serpentis in Blood Raider. You might just use their version of the standard cosmic anomaly.

. Entirely out of place Rats – on occasion find a small group of Sleepers or Incursion rats.  The later would just give a small number of LP as reward.  (I wouldn’t mind seeing solo options added to Incursions – for simplicity maybe just having clearing Incursion rats from belts giving you minor LP rewards when the incursion is finished.  The rewards would only be a small fraction of running the proper sites – this is more just for variety.)

. Out of place resources – on occasion find 1-3 Asteroids in a mini-field in an area where you would not normally find them – so a single Mercoxit or a couple small Arkonor asteroids in High Sec. Consider mini Gas sites.  These sites should be small and not worth a great deal – it is more for variety.

. NPC Convoy Ambushes – you warp in on an NPC hauler with a number of guards. Consider these to be like Hauler spawns but they carry a much wider range of goods. The difference here is that these Convoys will warp away. You need to quickly lock a ship and warp disrupt it, then force the guards off before you find what loot it might be carrying.  This mechanism (having to scramble rats) could be implemented in multiple areas.

. Burner NPC sites – in effect small exploration sites that mimic Burner Missions with very difficult rats.

. Hidden NPC structures doing moon harvesting or reactions which you can place siphon units on to steal small volumes of goods. You possibly need to remove defenders or defensive weaponry. Have them only last a day or two before they are pulled down by the NPCs.

. Hidden NPC structures that you need to use Entosis links on. I’m not sure on the specifics of these – maybe listening or scanning arrays that you need to put through a number of defended reinforcement stages and get a bounty from Concord if you destroy them.

. Have a rare COSMOS type site which drops COSMOS type ingredients

. Have a rare COSMOS agent. They offer up 3 or 4 quests to any pilot who asks. However only the first to hand in a quest gets the reward and that quest is dropped as an option from the agent. The Agent disappears once all their missions are done or completed. These could be tied into the current COSMOS sites or be new / different ingredients.

I expect there would be many more viable options.  It think the feeling of exploration would be increased if you had a lot more different sites to come across.

Next are movement ideas:

. Smuggler Gates – an old topic for me. These are temporary NPC gates you have to scan down. These should last longer than normal locations – a week give or take a day. Generally Hi-Sec Smuggler Gates will go to neighbouring Low Sec areas, and Low Sec to Null Sec. They will reliably only connect to bordering zones or regions – so if you search Derelik Low Sec you might find Smuggler gates into Great Wildlands, Curse or Providence. This is one way of bypassing normal Gate bottlenecks. Either you need to pay the pirates operating these gates to pass, or destroy the guards and sentries to pass, or use Hacking or Entosis modules. In addition – these Gates can also be destroyed via DPS. Find a Smuggler Gate into your Null Sec constellation? Drop a small fleet on it and blow it up.

. Introduce a new class of ships somewhere between a Nestor and Orca. These would be Mobile Exploration bases you take with you on long roams. I’m thinking a Ship Maintenance bay of around 150,000m3, a Fleet Hanger of 10,000m3, an Ore hold, no offensive modules aside a couple flights of drones, and remote repair bonuses. Maybe even a bonus to movement under cloak. An Explorer would move around with a small selection of ships they can swap in and out of to run different sites.

. Allow jump clones to be moved in ships and stored in the same locations. Either move them in a new class of ships, or simply have a container they can be stored in and carried as cargo. Allow a much shorter jump clone timer if you swap within the same station. Maybe give the Mobile exploration base above a clone hold and reduction bonuses to the time you have to wait between clone changes.

I expect that should keep my development team busy for a while.

Other posts can be found here.

Lots of Info

There is a lot of information coming out about the game at the moment, multiple bits and bobs that I would have preferred to discuss in a timely manner, but I am not sure I’m going to be able to.

It has been great to see the CSM Summit minutes coming out in quick order.  These are so much more useful now.  The first 3 days worth are available here:


Adding context to these and giving a nice picture on what the process is, I’ve been following the blogs of various CSMX members, particularly:


There is a Dev blog about a change in how big releases are done.  The 5 week releases will continue, but they will also do a couple of expansions.


I think this is – overall, a good thing.  I might discuss this more.

There was also a structure Dev blog


I need to re-read that one a couple of times.  I think it is a good idea to bring back a form of HP grind.  It just needs to be carefully balanced.  It references Capitals as retaining a role in Structure take downs.  That should please people.


Bits and bobs

A small collection of links I found interesting over the last day or three.

. http://nosygamer.blogspot.com.au/2015/08/a-new-protest-in-jita.html

The Nosy Gamer mentioned some Russian Alliances were protesting in Jita over the Sovereignty changes. That is useful to know if you are planning a shopping trip. Ironically they seem to be protesting that the changes are having the impact they were designed to – making it harder for Alliances to hold huge sways of space that they do not actively use.  CCP Goal achieved?


. https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5964850#post5964850

CCP Nullarbor mentioned the capital rebalancing has gained some momentum. They may have a role around controlling a grid, impacting the Entosis link mechanism.


. https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5966867#post5966867

CCP Ytterbium suggests Cyno Beacons might be put in space near Structures, while CCP Nullarbor suggested they might be moved to Gates.


. https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5965058#post5965058

CCP Nullarbor indicated the medium structures should take around a week to destroy, the larger structures longer.


. http://denofiniquity.net/?p=70

I first noticed this linked to on Sand Cider and Spaceships.  While I don’t agree with every comment, it is a very reasonable overview of a lot of issues flagged around Fozziesov and suggested solutions.  I will say one thing – a lot of these were flagged by players well before the mechanism was introduced.



The first set of changes to Null Sov have been announced.  A step towards what some players have been asking for.


Too much to ask?

Without trying to add to the drama, and mindful of the solo focused way I play EVE, I did want to remark on a concern I have about the Entosis mechanism.

It expects pilots to be consistently available to play EVE in certain windows of time. Step outside of Empire or want to use larger structures, and those windows grow in size.

It puts casual players defending at a distinct disadvantage.

In 2014 the average age of the EVE player was around 32. That is a prime time to be managing a career, marriage, kids, mortgage, and all the responsibilities of adulthood. I have a suspicion that many EVE players are actually more casual in nature, with limited free time and flexibility.

I currently only have one semi-reliable window to play EVE each week, between 10 am and Noon on Sunday. I manage to play then maybe 50% of the time. The rest of my EVE sessions are a sporadic 30 minutes here, 60 minutes there. I commonly only spend a few hours a week undocked. There is no way I can cover even the most basic of vulnerability windows.

Boohoo, it’s tough to be me.

What if the 4 or 5 real life friends I’ve historically played EVE with returned? They are busy like me. What sort of vulnerability window would we be able to reliably cover as a group? A medium structure in High-Sec should be fine, but we wouldn’t manage a large structure in a wormhole.

How many casual players would I need to get together to do something in Null-Sec?

The Entosis mechanism should work ok for a large, well organised group of defenders – even if mostly casual. They will have their procedures documented and down pat, suitable doctrine ships available on contract, and a critical mass of pilots. Even if only a couple percent of them are online during vulnerable periods, they can put up a suitable defence and not burn out.

But these same groups were able to exist comfortably enough under the Dominion Sovereignty system. I didn’t want to join them then, and I don’t want to join them now.

For defending groups without that critical mass, I can see a situation where their pilots quickly tired of having to align their play time and in game focus just on the Entosis Mechanism.

Thinking at the smaller end of the scale, I don’t think there should be such a focus on pilots being online. A POS can currently automatically defend itself – so should sovereignty and player structures. Make a player have to configure them appropriately, and accept a loss of utility for this defence. Obviously also make such a defence more effective if manned, like POS are now.

I don’t like the idea of being trolled out of assets because I don’t have hours of free time to sit around, not having fun, babysitting them. I am far more likely to put the time and expense into using mechanisms like this when I feel attackers have to make some non-trivial risk and effort to remove them.

It is hard to say all this without looking like a tool with a large sense of self entitlement. I don’t expect EVE to cater to my unique circumstance. Hopefully I am wrong and casual players are in fact in the minority. If I am right however, I’m not sure the current mechanism as is will be healthy long term.

Is CCP asking too much of its players?

Live Fire

There was a live event in game recently which was well reported here


And here


On initial view it seemed more sedate than the usual live event fare, but it might have been more world shaking than it first appeared. One of the actors used an Entosis link on a Titan. While it might just be poetic license, could you imagine the impact if this became a game mechanic? Using an Entosis link to gather intel, or control some small aspect of a ship? Turn off a hardener, slow a repairer, shutdown a propulsion mode, eject a pilot from his Titan? (That last one was just a troll.) Some disturbing ideas there.

Edit – another view, this one CCP linked to on their Facebook account


Obstacles to death

I was lowering my IQ earlier today reading the Eve Online forums when I noticed a question from Cpt Buckshot.

“So why can missiles fly through asteroids”

What an interesting idea if structures in space provided cover from weapons fire? Keep it simple, ignore other players and most objects, but allow you to use asteroids or stations to hide behind or fly around to mitigate damage.

I don’t imagine it would be easy to do, but you already collide with such objects in space so the client is aware of them.

It probably makes it easier for people to escape death, so might not be liked from that point of view. You would want to allow EW to bend around the objects, but lasers and projectiles are blocked in line of sight, and missiles would be blocked depending on their spread / trajectory. It does make drones more powerful though.

Anyway, probably lots of holes in the idea, but it stood out to me.



I watched the Fanfest 2015 Keynote on the weekend. It was run by EVE Executive Producer CCP Seagull (Andie Nordgren). She received a great reception at the start – a sign of how many fans she has within the player group.

In the past CCP Seagull has had an endearing lack of polish to her presentations, but she spoke with far more confidence here. Her enthusiasm and passion however were as clear to see as they have always been.

I am not going to go over everything in detail – it is old news and has already been covered by others. I am just musing over what I found interesting from my perspective as a solo / long term player.

The speakers and the transition between them were all fine, but for much of the presentation I felt it lacked a real Keynote vibe. It wasn’t until towards the end – with the discussions about structures that I felt it had been worth my while to watch instead of just sticking with the blog summaries others had already posted.

The keynote started with a short outline on how much CCP had accomplished over the last year within the game, and it was frankly impressive. I’d simply forgotten the half of it.

The next bit that I noted was a well presented section of Statistic Porn. While it covered the types of damage being done within the game and highlighted anomalies such as the battle in B-R5RB or the move to player owned POCO in High-sec, it was their graphical depiction of how they classify their players which I found most interesting:


Less than 10% of players are considered to be the archetype of Aggressors. They are well outnumbered by Social players (who don’t undock much), Traditional MMO players (who tend to play solo or in small groups and interact more with the environment), and the Entrepreneurs (whose statistics fall more into the industry type tasks). I could almost crow that the people who yell the loudest in EVE are clearly in the absolute minority.

I would be wrong however. The largest group of players in EVE are the Professionals. These players basically do a bit of everything, including combat. If you consider a proportion of the Aggressors would have ISK generating Alts in the other classes, it would seem that around half the player base are the type who would occasionally check their killboard statistics. More than what I would have thought to be honest.

Not sure where I lie – my statistics might say Traditional. I don’t however ignore other players, I make a pointed effort to avoid being on their killboards. Maybe I am in the Entrepreneur bracket.

The next item I noted was reference to a new EVE site, where they will highlight up and coming changes, and keep an archive of past changes to the game. You can view it here. Worth bookmarking.


We should see functionality this year called Ghost fitting – basically an EFT type clone in the client. From the example shown it won’t be as detailed as EFT, but it is functionality that EVE should have had years ago.

There was a longish section on new physical products, including the latest EVE related book “The Art of New Eden”. I haven’t mentioned it here, but I have already ordered the Limited Edition. I got a tracking email this morning suggesting it will be delivered today.

I have the EVE Collector’s Edition and the EVE Source Limited Edition books – but frankly I have to admit I have barely looked at them. I questioned myself on why I was considered ordering the Art book, and came to a somewhat surprising realisation. I have been playing EVE for more than 8 years now, and frankly there is nothing concrete to show for it. The books give me something physical to show my future self or others which give an indication of what I have been a part of.

CCP reiterated that they would be looking at the roles of Capital Ships – and I get the impression it could be a substantial change. However they said they would be aiming to make it worthwhile and aspirational to own them. I hope I am given reason and opportunity to undock my own capitals more often.

The section I found most interesting was about where In-Space-Structures should be heading. There is a blog covering the basics here:


I think it pays to listen to the presentation to pick up some of the nuance behind the explanations and ideas.

I have an active POS and a number of POCO. I have always found it aspirational – like owning Capitals – to have my own space homes. I would very much like more access to this sort of thing moving forward.

There are apparently 62,000 active POS in game, and 1,100 Player Build Stations.

While we should start seeing some of these new structures this year, it will be a long term process to introduce all of them. They will run the old and new structures in parallel to allow a transition. There will be a lot less restrictions on where you can place them (no longer just on moons for POS for example). They are looking at different sizes and personal, corporation and public use. The structures will be role based – Assembly Arrays, Research Laboratories, Market and Office Hubs, Drilling Platforms, Observatory Arrays, Gates, Administration Hubs and Advertisement Centers. They will have a fitting window like ships do with High, Mid and Low slots. You will be able to customise them further with Rig and Service slots.

They mentioned possible new game features such as Datacore farming on Research Labs, Belt mining with Drilling Platforms, Clone and Market services in the Office Hub and Player Locator agents in Observatory Arrays. Basically players should be able to replicate almost everything the NPC’s are doing. They will also be introducing the concept of docking in these structures – or mooring if your ship is too big.

It seems the larger structures will use a subset of the upcoming Sov Mechanics – specifically the Entosis link, as part of the process to take them over. If a structure is destroyed they will have a wreck mechanic to allow people to extract their assets which are stored in them. This is really a requirement to encourage people to accept using them.

I am going to be very interested to see how these changes are done, what impact they will have on Hi-Sec, and what parts I can be involved in from a solo point of view.

All told the Keynote speech left me with lots to think about.

Let there be luxury

If you haven’t already noticed, the Victorieux Luxury Yacht BPC is available in the redeeming system. The manufactured hull is selling at close to 180M ISK at the moment in Domain. Given the hull has a level of usefulness it will be interesting to see where the final price settles.  I assume it will drop a fair bit lower than that, but over time it might appreciate like the Leopard has.

(Thinking of some of the other special give away hulls that have use, the Gnosis (made available in greater numbers) currently sells for around 70M ISK, and the Leopard Shuttle for 100M ISK.)

Continuing my review of the Fanfest summary, the next item of interest were ship skins. It is possible the average Solo player would get more out of these – assuming they have a tendency to spend less time chatting in game, allowing more time to stare at the ships they are flying.

I’ve remarked before that I liked the idea of such customisation, but that I wasn’t really a fan of how they were implemented. Primarily I thought they made the market place unnecessarily complicated.


I am glad the direction of the new skins is to remove that permanent tie to the ship. It will make things less complicated. I am pleased the new system should be easier for CCP to add too – and note there will be about 4 times the number of skins available upon release as are currently in the store. I like the idea of skin licenses possibly being owned by Corporations, and maybe structures being able to be skinned. That is all good – and I can even suspend belief about how they can be turned on and off on the fly.

There is however a “but”. I don’t really like how they won’t be destructible once applied to a character.

Thinking about it, I would have preferred the complication of having an extra “skin” slot on each ship – like the rig, or high / medium / low slots. The skin can be applied or removed like a module. When you repackage the hull for sale the skin will drop like modules do. That way you can swap skins around, but you will always risk them when you undock.

It appears however CCP have their approach chosen, and I will still use it as they outlined.  Looking though my assets I found I only had a single skinned ship – a Rorqual ORE Development Edition. While I purchased multiple skins earlier on, they fell victim to my asset consolidation. (I sold them off because frankly they were hulls I did not use.) Aside the Rorqual I also have the three Fanfest Quafe skins. I looked at the New Eden Store for skins I liked and might possibly fly the hulls for, and purchased the Nugoeihuvi Caracal and Krusual Stabber.  I am guessing that once these become permanent assets that the costs might increase on them.

BB62 – Incarcerated wishes

BB 62 – What is and/or should be the future for walking in stations?

I am not sure what EVE players really think about walking in stations. Oh – I know what the loudest and more forceful EVE players think, and they tend to be against it. I am not really sure about the remaining majority. I wonder what CCP’s survey and poll data shows?

The basic mechanics of walking in stations seemed ok – visually it looked ok, the way you could interact with the environment was ok, and you could sort of imagine your avatar living in such a place. It wasn’t earth shattering, but it was a starting point that CCP could have grown from.

Let’s change history. Let’s assume CCP didn’t make a hash of the implementation. They didn’t force all players to use the Captain Quarters, and they kept working on subsequent features.

It is June 2011. You log in after the Incarna release to see your usual hanger bay view – but with a new icon in the top right corner to enter your Captain Quarters. You enter, spend 20 minutes walking around, take some screen shots and change the clothes you are wearing. It is a little buggy and has some performance issues. You return to the normal hanger and mostly ignore the Captain Quarters. Over time the performance issues are ironed out.

In November Crucible is released, with extra Captain Quarters added so that they now match the station type. If it is a player station, the controlling Alliance logo is also displayed on several walls. CCP allows you to invite up to 2 other players into your quarters. It is mostly pointless – but some characters with clothing glitches are in high demand for amusing screen captures. Subsequent patches allow you to purchase cosmetic updates, including being able to turn up or down the ambient light and dynamically change the color scheme.

Inferno comes next in April 2012, and Concourse and Corporation Meeting rooms are released. The Concourse is instanced and the number of real players shown in each one is limited, but NPC characters fill the space depending on how busy the station is. The main draw card is the undock viewing window. Aside being simply fascinating to watch in a trade hub, it proves useful to have a friend or Alt watching it when you undock in unsafe space. Finally there is a reason to regularly use the Walking in Station feature.

There was a bit of unrest about the Corporation Meeting rooms. As you enter the door you immediately find yourself seated in a darkened room. Around you are the shadowy figures of your Corp mates. Their Avatars are not generated – that is limited to the 2 or 3 designated speakers who stand at the front, next to a large display.  This allows basic power point presentations to be shown and is surprisingly immersive – particularly once 50+ people attend and the room fills around you. You actually have to fly to the station to be in the meeting room, but you can view the telecast from other stations.

Retribution arrives at the end of 2012 and CCP introduces the Bar and Shop feature. The shop is just a nicer interface to buy clothes through, including preview modes. The Bar is again instanced, but you are able to chat to some mission agents there if you wish, and it is the hub for the new smuggling game mechanics.

2014 sees an excellent New Player Tutorial available in station, a black market, and various gambling games.  The smuggling and black market basically add another complete profession to the game.  Towards the end of the year espionage options are introduce and are well received.  They consist of a variety of hacking games use for intel gathering.  One allows you to see into the bay of another pilot, to view their active ship.  Another allows the station security system to alert you when another player requests to undock.  Another gives you a cargo hold manifest.  Most popular is the hacking game that allows you to show who is selling or buying an item on the market without first purchasing from them.  Of course failing such games alerts the pilot to what you are doing and has other negative consequences.

As you move forward to 2015 CCP is talking up their latest in station hacking game – where someone docked can temporarily bypass security to allow another player – who normally couldn’t dock, to do so.

CCP has been careful with their development of walking in stations. You have a functioning Captain quarter with a variety of cosmetic changes available for purchase. You can invite up to half a dozen other players in for meetings. Outside there is a concourse, corporation and alliance meeting halls, interview rooms, bars, and a handful of public spaces station owners can purchase.  The Planetary Interaction room in particular looks stunning. CCP has had to be smart about using generated NPC avatars to fill spaces and keep performance sharp. While you don’t have to walk around in stations, there are many reasons to do so.

In the meanwhile the game of flying space ships in EVE has continued to involve into what we know of it today.

I wish I was more creative with my ideas, and I wish I could paint a better picture of the possibilities I can see with Walking in Stations. I wish CCP did not make such a hash of its original implementation, and then become so hamstrung by the player’s reactions. I can see how it could have become a seamless part of the game which added to the “cool” factor, and catered for the type of player that is engaged more by seeing themselves walking around than looking at themselves as a ship.

I suspect however CCP would not have the fortitude to do anything with it, and the player base would not have the courage to allow them too.  It would also take so many years to get to the point where it viably added to the depth of the game that I wonder if it will ever be viewed as worthwhile.  I expect not.

Other posts can be found here

Venn Diagrams

I love the new EVE Online trailer. It is the best one CCP has done since I started playing 8 years ago. There is (justifiably) a lot of hype about it.


There were solo aspects in the video, but most of it was about group play. I could still relate to those because I have played the game like that in the past. It struck a strong chord with many EVE players, and encapsulated some of those awe-inspiring moments you can get from this game but can never fittingly explain to others.

I know I have said I don’t like PVP, and I don’t. But a well-run Fleet on or defending your own turf is an exception. Many of my most memorable moments of EVE ecstasy have come from battles like those shown in the trailer. I felt a pang of regret that it is not the sort of EVE I can achieve at the moment.

Susan Black wrote an interesting post a week or two ago about the idea of separate functional and social corporations.


It is something I recall seeing before, but I have never been particularly enamored by the mechanics suggested for it.

Sugar Kyle followed it up a couple days later.


I’ve been thinking about it, and the concept has some appeal.

I currently play a solo game. I have my own Alliance with my own Corporations within it. This allows me to make use of shared assets such as a POS and BPO library, and play around with the related game mechanics. As I remarked, I don’t feel I can join a typical player corporation because I can’t undock enough.

What happens however if there were different types of corporations, and that I could join more than one? Could it increase the amount of social interaction between players? Might I find a more casual away to get back into some EVE fleet battles? How might it work?

For simplicity, let’s leave the current corporations as they are and add new entities called associations.

They can’t be declared war on. They have no Corporate Hangers or in space assets associated with them. They can’t own systems or stations. Players can’t attack other members. They can’t set tax rates. Members can join or be kicked in short time frames. People can set standings against them and they can have standings of their own. The base entity is a glorified chat channel and maybe mailing list.

Now how to make them useful? The two most obvious examples that come to mind…

Have a rental association that charges a member fee at the start of each month. If the bill is not paid you are automatically kicked out. The Code could use it for miners who want to pay protection money; Low Sec Pirates might use it to allow people safe passage in their home areas for a price, and Null Sec landlords might use it for a simple way to rent to large groups of individuals. They just set suitable standings against the rental association.

Have a “friends of” association that provides a standings list and the ability to have fleet invites sent to it. A Providence Standings / Kitchen Sink Defence association comes to mind initially, where you get the complex Providence NRDS standings list, maybe an Intel channel, and the ability to join the kitchen sink fleets (which are assumed to be spy infested and so out of the Holders fleets). Replace Providence with any other region or area or group where mutual support might be helpful.

I could also see offshoot Null Sec or Wormhole Associations for Part Timers, the ability to join EVE University Classes, Empire mining groups, trading groups and so on. Basically a less formal corporation with less requirements for members, but with key services or attributes that encourage people to join.

As you can see, it isn’t an in-depth and fully analysed post, just a light weight thought about how you might be able to make more social connections in the game. I can see various benefits and negatives looking at these quick suggestions. For starters standings could get rather complex across alliance, corporation, personal and multiple associations.

Suddenly there is excitement

I was astonished by CCP’s latest DEV blog, outlining jump travel changes coming likely in the next release, and giving the sort of very rough path they are looking to take with Null Sec.


That has the capacity to be a real game changer, both obvious, and in ways I’d never likely consider.

After contemplating the huge weapons caches the current Null Sec Lords will likely spread around, my next thought was of an old pony express style situation where instead of changing horse at each station, a new pilot without cool down timers will step into a ship. Obviously that is only in the realm of those with great resources, but already I find the mind racing at all the possible ways players might unexpectedly adjust to this.

Now – frankly, you are not going to get insightful analysis on this from me. (As the pony express idea clearly shows.)

It does not change the ability of the current Null Sec lords to retain their power. They might not be able to respond as quickly, but an unassailable Capital armada moving via gate will still ruin the plans of any smaller group to hold space.

It makes the life of the Null Sec grunt more difficult. It almost forces then into wide spread Null Sec industry. It makes some space more valuable and other less desirable.

What I am really waiting for is to see how the current Null Sec lords respond. Do they take the opportunity over the next 6 weeks to punish CCP by scorching the earth, leaving no one else with any sort of foothold in Sov Null? Do they kick off one of the biggest wars in history against each other to try and get the upper hand over their rivals before it hits?

For the first time in a while I actually feel a sense of excitement about a change coming in EVE. Of course, all I have to do is consider where I want to park my 3 capital ships sometime over the next month or so. In the long run I think this sort of change will make for a more interesting and healthy EVE. In the short term I can see a lot of very unhappy people.

Invalid Space

About 34 minutes into the first “o7” – the EVE Online Show, there was a discussion with CCP Greyscale and CCP Nullarbor about Sov Null Sec.


To quote CCP Greyscale – “It has got kind of stagnant out there, people have, the major coalitions have basically solved the game and figured out how to win, and now they are winning and now it is boring for everybody”

CCP are working on fitting in some changes in the short term to try and have an impact on this. The initial steps should be detailed in a DEV Blog out around the second week of October, and will be based around movement and force projection. They mentioned capital ships, jump drives and clones.

I’m guessing at jump drive cool down timers and maybe range limitations on jump clones.

CCP indicate the CSM were mostly onboard with the changes, with some suggesting the changes don’t go far enough.

The people that have won EVE subsequently put out an open letter to CCP on what they think must be included in changes to Sov Null Sec.


It pays to be circumspect when listening to the propaganda of the Null Sec Lords. It is not difficult to see how they try to control the narrative of these discussions and debates. A classic approach is to say if you do not live and breathe Null Sec, your opinion shouldn’t be heard, and doesn’t matter.

At the forefront of the suggestions is to add NPC Null Sec space to every region. That will make it easier for people to stage offences into Sov Null Sec. It seems to have merit – until you stop and think about it. In a new world where Capital ship movements are restricted, it allows the current Null Sec Lords to leave caches of Capital fleets all over the map, safe in NPC stations. It allows them to bypass new force projection rules. It allows them to more easily harass other groups or defend themselves.

None of the suggestions will shake up the current status quo – it won’t open Null Sec up to new powers, it won’t topple the current winners of EVE.

Blastradius posted a similar warning on his blog:


If you are interested in EVE, you really need to be vigilant in reading between the lines when it comes to Sov Null Sec changes.

As I have remarked before, the current Null Sec Lords have done a brilliant job. Even CCP agrees they have won EVE. A part of me feels uncomfortable about just arbitrarily handicapping them for their success, or throwing away all their achievements and starting all over again with new rules. CCP is however in effect being forced to do something. The players at the very top could have done something to shake things up – but they have become too comfortable behind the diplomatic accords that ensconce them in their thrones.

Even risk adverse solo players who hide away in Hi-Sec can have an opinion on that.

Now the trick is to be patient, and do your best to enjoy the ride.

Our own worst enemies

There’s a problem with a lot of the discussions that go on about EVE.

Raise an opinion about Null Sec or Wormhole space or Faction Warfare or Incursions or just about anything, and if you are not already deep into the game mechanic your thoughts tend not to be received well.

At first this might seem just to be common sense. However those players living and breathing these areas of the game have a tendency to be strongly myopic with their views. We get tainted discussions that usually circle back to either protecting or improving their current status quo.

That is not to say CCP is kowtowed by this. They seem to stick fairly well to the core of whatever vision they bring to the player base for discussion. This lack of inclusiveness however means we can miss unique or fresh ideas, and the direction usually heads away from shaking things up for the better. The end result seems to be a less adventurous CCP.

Be what we want

Something this blog has taught me is that I should not make assumptions about what people enjoy doing in EVE.

I can remark on some pretty mundane things, the process of neatening and organising assets, hauling, undocking to earn unremarkable ISK, and people pipe up in comments to confess that they too like that aspect of EVE.

People find their EVE joy in so many different nooks and crannies that I couldn’t begin to guess at half of them.

I really like that. To me it is one of the attributes that holds EVE up as a sandbox game. It is important.

The discussion about the new player experience is popular again. I tend to find it a touch disheartening. Despite the best of intentions, the ideas often seem to end up trying to direct players into specific play styles.

Force people into Player Corps – they will be happier and stay longer.

Force players to lose lots of ships during the tutorials so that they become less risk adverse.

Force players into Low Sec, or Null Sec, or Wormhole space, and the game will suddenly be much better for them.

Of course they don’t use the word “force”, but they might as well do. I can’t argue that some of the suggestions might well come with a measure of success, but they also weaken the sandpit and marginalise the people who might want something different out of the game.

I’d prefer that the new player experience start with a common basic tutorial of standard game mechanics, and then ask the pilot what they would like to try or learn about?

Gathering resources

.. and so on. Describe the categories based on the sort of favourite Sci-Fi characters people might start off thinking they could emulate in EVE. A deep space trader, a smuggler, a Pirate, a Naval officer.

Each category would then be divided up into logical sub sections, such as ore or gas mining, blueprints, manufacturing, invention, pirating, faction war fare, war declarations, kiting ships, brawling ships, sniping and so on. Cover the skills, ship options and basic fits, and walk them through actually doing it in game.  Flesh these out so that in the end there are 60+ individual tutorials that you can run covering most accessible mechanics in the game.

I started EVE 7 years and 10 months ago.  If some of the suggestions I have read were in place back then, I’d have quit after a day or two because I’d have assumed the game was obviously not for me.  It is a confronting thought.

Have the best damn possible PVP tutorial possible – but don’t push the player through it if they don’t want to.  As I started out saying above – don’t assume you know what the new player is here for.  Open their eyes to the possibilities, but then let them explore it for themselves.

Unfortunately I don’t think that is what we will end up with.

No, that’s not right

After some interesting feedback and further reading, it is apparent my naïve view on Sov Null Sec renting was wrong.

Corporations will of course want to rent from the largest and most powerful landlords – those that can defend their holdings, provide region wide Intel channels and reasonable access to Hi-Sec. Renters don’t want lots of tiny fiefdoms to choose between.

Despite them being an income source, Renters will still be looked at with derision by those who feel they are weak and don’t deserve to be there. I’ve lived in Null Sec, I know the divide between PVPer and Carebear, and I should have thought that through more. There could be synergy, there should be synergy, but there isn’t and probably will never be.

So I need to refine my thoughts.

First – I like that there is an option to rent Sov Null Sec. That was reinforced by the pragmatic view of some renters, who make their decision to hire out parts of null sec based on logic, economics, and the fun factor. They are there because they want to be. I don’t want to see that option removed. Frankly, I want that option to remain open for myself.

Second – I don’t think the current status quo is a good thing – where the only viable option for most is to rent, and the options of who you rent from are limited. I know it is (again) naïve, but it would be nice if a group was still able to gather resources and strike out to own a small piece of space land for themselves.

The Alliance of one

Sugar Kyle asked the interesting question on her blog – why are so many things tied to alliances?


I still have my Alliance that I duly pay the fee for each month. I find value in it even from a Solo play point of view, but the justification can be a little hazy.


So I spent a little time thinking about what an Alliance means for the solo and small group players – and what it could mean. Keeping in mind my input is very lightweight…

. First and foremost, it amuses me to have an Alliance. While the functionality is not designed for my sort of play, it is nice that I am not excluded from the mechanic.

. By far the most useful gain from having an Alliance is being able to keep contacts up-to-date across my Corporations in the one place. This is particularly nice when you spend time living out of Hi-Sec and use Scouts in different corporations.

. It costs effort and ISK to create an Alliance. It was a long skill train, 1B ISK to create, and 2M per corporation per month to maintain. These are not however out of the scope of my play style. I would be disappointed if the cost was increased to exclude the likes of me.

. You get an Alliance Chat Channel and the ability to send Alliance EVEMails and bulletins. From a solo point of view these have no value. If you share your Alliance with a small group of friends and family who run their own corporations, you might use this – but it could easily enough be replaced in game with a shared chat channel and a mailing list.

. There are different rules around War-Decs – which from memory make it a little more costly for a war declaration to be made against you, and a little more fiddly for you to declare war against someone else.

. You get an Alliance War History

. A bounty can be placed on your Alliance

. There are some Alliance related settings on POS, although functionally they are very limited and not worth discussing until the impact of Crius are fully explained.

. You can arguably get involved in Sovereignty related activities, but for all intents and purposes you are excluded from anything meaningful.


So where or how might it improve?

. I can see it would be useful to have an Alliance Wallet and ability to set taxes, bills or pay dividends to member corporations. It would just make it a little easier to manually or automate pushing ISK between my Corporations.

. I would absolutely love shared Alliance bookmarks. It would make my scouting and wormhole travels much easier. I expect most Alliances could see value in that.

. I would love the idea of an Alliance Hanger (in station or on a POS). Again it would be of value to both small and large Alliances, depending on how the access permissions worked.

. I would like to see a mechanism where you can set an Alliance to a certain management style, and not have to be concerned about being voted out / losing control of it.

. Frankly I would like to see some of the sovereignty requirements brought to Corporation level, so you don’t specifically have to create an Alliance for them.


In reality, and unoriginally, most of that basically comes down to making an Alliance more like a Corporation, to allow easier sharing of resources and efforts between member corporations.

So – in answer to Sugar’s original question – for solo and small group play there is minimal tied into being in or out of an Alliance. Having an alliance however is achievable and has benefits. Changes to allow easier sharing of resources between member corporations would make having an Alliance even more beneficial.

I don’t however have thoughts on all the tools required to run proper, large scale Alliances, and of course their coalitions.  But that is not what you would be reading my blog for…