“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy”.
I browse through the Jita Assembly Hall threads every now and then and came across this thread started by Rico Minali here, its an interesting post and has some similarities to a forum post I made back in 2007 – before the CSM had become a reality (the original thread)
I believed then, and I think it still applies in EVE today, that Low Security space has a lot more potential within itself and its interactions with the rest of the EVE Universe. Now you might be thinking ‘bigger NPC rats, greater riches’ and all that sort of stuff – but that’s not what I am looking at here. What could really benefit Low Sec is far more immersion in terms of its style, theme or “look”. Now you could argue that I’m just talking about random fluff that makes no real difference to the game – but I have to disagree; huge amounts of a games structure is basically just ‘fluff’, but it’s that fluffy stuff that draws our attention and pulls us in (so we can experience the meat of the game).
A quick example – compare S.T.A.L.K.E.R to MASS EFFECT. Two very different games at first glance, but they’re still ‘shoot this, collect that’ games and so are far closer theme than S.T.A.L.K.E.R and say Empire TOTAL WAR. What separatedS.T.A.L.K.E.R and MASS EFFECT is a significant pile of fluff!
Just to draw attention to what I am rambling about. Picture a Low Sec System, and a High Sec system: other than the players within it, and the presence of a few CONCORD ships on the gates what are the differences visually? In fact, if youre not paying a great deal of attention you would be forgiven for not noticing the transition from High to Low Sec space. We do of course see at least a moderate change when we transit from High Sec to Null Sec (the sudden sparsity of stations for example), or from High Sec to W-Space (no stations, different background nebulae, no asteroid belts and of course the Sleepers themselves).
If you’ll indulge me for a moment, now imagine a Low Sec System: – but now imagine that the stations are ruins, decayed and collapsing. Lights across the stations burn dimly or flicker as they short out. Debris swirls through the asteroid belts here, and thick gases thread through the tumbling rocks of veldspar. Weird static and the faint hint of long lost screams permeates your audio. This is part of a universe long forgotten and spinning resolutely downwards into criminality and degradation.
Back? Great! Once we have a Low Sec space that has a splash more immersion we can then look at what other actually game mechanics could apply. A black market might sell such goods as not readily available elsewhere within EVE – and this might not mean modules and ammo: how about a market that sold data? Hacked codes that could damage a Territorial Claims Unit? A data trawl that reveals what that players Wallet value was on a given date? A detailed report on the current location of a Corporations pilots (ALL of them) at a that time?
How would such commercially sensitive black market goods arrive at that station? Smuggling of course…..and so we continue to add to the depth of experience Low Sec could bring. Great ideas for EVE Online don’t necessarily need to revolve around a hard mechanic or stat (“CCP should add 4 more turrets to the Minny Gargleblaster BS!!”) – & all to often that’s not a ‘new idea’ but a refinement of what already exists.