Imagine a Null Sec….

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 crazykinux@gmail.com. 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?”

Right now I’m sharpening a knife, a metaphorical knife that I intend to slip between the ribs of the sovereignty system and twist. Why? Because the current sovereignty system needs to die a cold, harsh death.  Neither it, nor alliances limit PVP – that’s a bit like saying the wind and rain ‘limit’ the weather but what it does do is make that weather oh so predictable.

Tetreatc suggests the hypothetical scenario of removing the Sov system – create a completely free form and undefined mechanic one that would no doubt require local knowledge rumour and hearsay by which to determine who ‘owned’ what bit of space.  Whilst this has its merits it is perhaps the antithesis of the current mechanic which rigidly defines in yes/no terms who controls what.  We could term the current system an Imperial system – lines are drawn on the map and whilst those lines wont reflect exactly the conditions on the ground they are broadly accepted as a rendition of the ‘truth’.  It’s a peculiar system, one readily acceptable to modern western thought.  “

I ‘own’ this system, look you can see by that little coloured dot on the map”.

Unfortunately it is the only system and there is only one way of achieving it.  Because of this EVE’s territorial wars are largely homogeneous in that they look the same everywhere.  It doesn’t really matter if you should join the Northern Coalition or the Southern – their mechanisms for holding space and the benefits of doing so are exactly the same.    the means of waging war, contesting that space, defending that space are equally exactly the same.  You see its not the quantity of PVP that occurs but the variety of PVP that really counts. Variety means that the nature of PVP in given conflicts will appeal to different play styles and different groups of players.

By way of an example (and without going into the hard specifics) let’s imagine that alternative means of holding sovereignty exists – each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  We’ll call the current mechanics the Imperial System.  Our first alternative we’ll call the Political System.  In this version sovereignty is decided not by force of arms, but by votes.  Sov can be contested by competing alliances through a democratic voting process – persuasion, propaganda, bribes and cajoling are the tools of war here.  In our next alternative we have the Tribal mechanic.  Here corporations, not alliances, form a patchwork of sov ownership – perhaps the rewards are weaker but you need to remove each corporate ‘tribe’ through system kills to disable sov. Or perhaps in the tribal system POS structures are a determining factor, or planetary structures.

Each variant, tribal, imperial, political can compete against another variant – e.g a Imperial Alliance can wage a type of ‘war’ against a Political Alliance.

Now these are simply random ideas that dropped into my head as I type (please dont start critiquing them as honestly I have not given much thought beyond this) but the point is you could have different mechanics available favouring different play styles (guerillas, piracy, industrial complex, trading cartel, nomadic, etc etc).  The relative rewards would vary and the strengths and weaknesses of differing methods of holding sovereignty would be a critical choice. For example the ‘Political’ mechanic might result in poor moon goop extraction, or reduced complex spawns but would be harder to take down through raw military firepower.  Existing mechanics (like faction warfare) could be another alternate mechanism.

Rock, paper, scissors writ large.

Which brings me nicely to the ‘RP’ question.  Why favour one alliance over another in the current mechanism?  Sure, some players will have long standing feuds vs BOB/IT/Goons/Solodrakban or whatever these guys are calling themselves these days – but the new players, the one we should hope to entice into null sec, and the existing players who have no strong motivation (RP or otherwise) might be drawn to a cause.

Long ago, at least in my dim and distant memory, I recall ISS Alliance being prominent (in Providence if I recall).  I mention them because as far as my memory serves their aim was to ‘hold space’ but make it more open and accessible - encouraging trade within Null Sec.  This type of approach may have worked well with our hypothetical ‘Political’ mechanism (“I’m voting for these guys – they’re maintaining order!”).  Perhaps like minded players would be drawn to such a flag, or to another touting an industrial heartland.  They are not however because ultimately these things do not effect the outcome of a conflict – only massed fleets bashing hit point towers do.

I’m not suggesting we should impose a system of mechanics that makes the current method of waging warfare and holding sov obsolescent: plenty of players love and enjoy the current mechanics and like nothing more than huge fleet battles.  A place should always exist for this type of game play.  But perhaps there are other means, methods of ‘fighting’ that are not dependant upon how big your fleet is, or how many Titans your alliance owns.

Variety and diversity are, in my view, the things that will draw players to null sec and will pull even the attention of those who look on from the outside wistfully thinking “yeah, I could get involved in that….”

C.

In closing congratulations and thanks to CK for reaching the milestone of 25 Blogbanters.  No doubt with more to come…

Participants:

  1. BB25 What sov changes will come? | A Mule In EvE
  2. Confessions of a Closet Carebear: Alliances and Sovereignty
  3. Blog Banter 25: Nerfing Nulsec « OMG! You’re a Chick?!
  4. Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? | Nitpickin’s
  5. Blog Banter #25: Alliance and Sovereignty Limiting PvP in 0.0? | Sarnel Binora’s Blog
  6. Blog Banter #25 – Mad Haberdashers
  7. Alliances and sovereignty | Eve Online Focus
  8. …Shall we not Revenge?: BB 25: What if the Alliance vanished?
  9. Blog Banter: Alliances and Sov
  10. EVEOGANDA: BB25: Sov ‘n Go!
  11. » TBG:EBB#25 – Alliances and Sovereignty To Boldly Go
  12. Freebooted: BB25: Leviathans of the Deep
  13. Wrong Game Tetra ~ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
  14. EVE Blog Banter #25 – Human nature what art thou? | Way of the Gun
  15. Who cares about Sov? – Hands Off, My Loots! ~ well sorta like an entry! :p
  16. The 25th EVE Blog Banter: Alliances and sovereignty – The Phoenix Diaries
  17. Achernar: The space commute
  18. Wandering the Void…my EvE musings. – Blog Banter: Alliances and sovereignty
  19. (OOC) CK’s Blog Banter #25: How To Break EvE. « Prano’s Journey
  20. Captain Serenity: Blog Banter #25 – Crappy mechanics
  21. Helicity Boson » Blog Banter #25 Nullsec and sov.
  22. BB #25 – “With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?”
  23. More to come…
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3 Responses to “Imagine a Null Sec….”

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