Floating in Space: Sov and Null Sec Warfare

Posted: February 6, 2013 in EVE Related
Tags: , ,

On my commute into work this morning, I was able to finish up Jade’s latest episode of Lost in Eve, where he had 4 members of the CSM on to talk about the recently released winter meeting minutes. I guess I had paused it right before they got into the part on Null sec and Sov warfare, because that’s where I picked it back up, which was serendipitous because I had been thinking about it while I was failing to rid Delve of the Blood Raider menace yesterday evening.

Seriously, I need to work on my Oracle fit. I couldn’t even finish a hidden rally point last night because I take too much damage from Cardinals at my optimum range, and if I move out past 75km-ish so I won’t succumb to enemy fire, I can’t break the battleship tanks with my DPS. Roar. I really do dislike ratting, but daddy’s gotta bring home the bacon somehow, right?

In any case, it seems as though the EVE spotlight is currently held on the HBC and CFC members in a pretty big way. Much of EVE has been talking about the failed war between the two, and much of that talk seems to want to blame the Sov structure grind as the cause. Many members on both sides were vocal about this, but from my perspective I saw a lot more QQing coming from the CFC.

And now Fatal Ascension has deployed to the Great Wildlands to involve themselves in a structure grind. I feel very confused about this.

It’s obvious at this point we’re not going to get The Greatest War New Eden Ever Saw, at least not anytime soon. Perhaps this incident should be known as “The Greatest War New Eden Never Saw.”  It’s a dead horse long overbeaten now, and I really have nothing further to add that hasn’t already been said, so let’s put this tragedy behind us, and see what we can come up with the make sure this kind of thing doesn’t keep happening.

One of the points brought up in the Lost in Eve podcast was the need to shake up the null economy a little bit before the devs start to really make sweeping changes to the Sov system. I think I can respect this approach, and it seems to fit in well with CCP Seagull’s revamp to the expansion system. I do think it is more wise to make baby step iterations across a wide range of game systems and then watch their effects on the live game, rather than big sweeping changes to one system (while other systems are neglected), in hopes of radically changing things. This latter method has been the one traditionally used by CCP, and it has worked alright, but not as well as they had hoped. You can’t really fault them, as they were simply following the established business model of our MMO hobby. But CCP has made a name for themselves doing things differently, and I applaud their branching out and trying something new. It seems like a good plan to me.

Back to the economy. One of the biggest gripes from the Eve “little guy” is the major coalition stranglehold on tech moons. OTEC specifically could probably be considered the most powerful entity in the game. I would go so far as to say OTEC is more powerful than both the HBC and CFC, as the threat of tech moon loss was probably the major reason the coalition heads decided against the war. If it was really about the Sov grind, why is FA in The Great Wildlands now (yes, I know it’s NPC space; they’re staging from there nubbins)?

I feel like this stranglehold on tech is probably the easiest to fix, really. I don’t understand exactly why this idea hasn’t been implemented yet (though, admittedly, I’ve never manufactured ANYTHING, so I am not overly familiar with the process), but why must tech be the only way to create tech 2 products (the connection really has nothing to do with the name similarities…at least it shouldn’t…)?

So why should we need tech for all tech 2 products? The tech moons are predominantly situated in the north, behind Caldari space in the seat of CFC power. As I said before, I have absolutely zero experience with these raw materials but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard somewhere that the other factions (Amarr, Gallente, and Minmatar) have similar moons behind their space that specialize in another form of raw material. So, as an example, let’s say the Gallente have a crapload of moons behind their space (say, The Great Wildlands, Insmother, and all those regions north ish of there) that produce promethium. I don’t know if this is true, it probably isn’t, and after reading the description, maybe it would be better suited behind Amarr sapce. Either way, you get the point.

In that scenario, why couldn’t we make it so all Gallente tech 2 stuff would replace it’s technetium requirements with promethium? And then do the same for Minmatar and Amarr stuff, only with a different raw material.

This would certainly cause the balance of economic power to shift, and this little change I think would make for some great stirring of the pot. Suddenly, people would have a reason to invade other space again.

Of course, this only addresses the “top down” alliance income, and wouldn’t mean too much to your average grunt (besides maybe the possibility of more fights). Another great point that was brought up in Jade’s podcast was the need for null sec alliances to rely on their line members more for income.

This would be where the whole “farms and fields” thing comes into play. I still like the idea of keeping moons important, because I think they can be a great catalyst for full on alliance vs alliance or coalition vs coalition engagements, but I think the wealth needs to be spread out a little more.

As far as the line grunts contributing more economically to the alliances, I feel people’s pain here. I’ve lived in null pretty much my entire EVE life, and I moved out there because it made sense to me that the best rewards would be found in the most dangerous places. This has not always been the case, unfortunately.

With the direction New Eden is taking now, and the addition of Dust 514 to Tranquility, I see a great opportunity to express the farms and fields idea through the use of planets. I know I’m going to sound like a broken record here (and I know I kind of just dissed your Alliance, Zagdul, but back me up here because I know you feel the same way), but I think in the next expansion we should get some small sov mechanic similar to how it’s working in faction warfare at the moment, where taking planets is an incredibly important part in determining who has control over a system.

CCP could use this opportunity to iterate a little on PI, as well. With so many planets in the game, it makes sense for them to be a powerful, and regular income source for pilots. I really wish they would add some things so that the materials we pull off of planets are used in more than just pos fuel. The planets really should be a place of major production, major income, and major conflict.

The POS moons are big targets with timers that would attract the giant blob fleets we all know and love. The planets, on the other hand, should be able to change hands a little more fluidly. This would give those small roaming fleets everyone wants more content for an objective when they venture into enemy territory. If the numbers we’re seeing in Dust keep up (Dustboard has us at 1.2 million mercs now, more than twice as many as the number of pod pilots we have), it would be a simple matter for the small roaming gang to hire a merc company to either help them take a few planets on their roam, or to cause a distraction in one system while they focus on another, more important system.

I don’t think these are really huge changes like the kinds we’re used to seeing in major focused expansions. I could see these two little iterations sneak their way into a summer expansion if we can provide evidence to their positive impact. I don’t think it would be too difficult to pull off… but then, I’m not a programmer or anything, so I could be totally off base. As a writer, I’m fond of the joke shared between other writers where we all talk about that one friend we have who always says, “You’re a writer?! Holy crap! I’ve got a great idea for a book. It’ll be my idea, and you just write the book! We’ll split the enormous profits 50/50.”

I hope I’m not being that guy.

– JRD

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