CCPs expansive dev blog regarding null sec has more than enough topics that I could cover here from intelligence gathering to industry.  However I want to start ‘at the top’ so to speak with the mechanics of Sovereignty, the ideas of ‘small holdings’ and concept of ‘home’.

Sovereignty, as it currently exists, is a flag mechanic: you place a flag (claiming ownership) and defend it.  This is a concept that at its very core is not inclusive – it does not persuade or encourage others not directly part of your tribe (or alliance) to participate, support or interact with your area of space in anything other than an aggressive manner.  In short there is no space for the ‘neutral’ player – the trader or industrialist or explorer.

Sovereignty though implies a status of ‘ruling’ and by doing so enforcing your will.  This is most commonly recognised as applying the Rule of Law; a series of conditions that ‘neutrals’ must abide by to remain in your area of dominion.  Break those laws and the Sovereign power (the “Rulers”) can apply a series of punishments.  Do that currently in EVE is rather difficult.  How does say a small Empire corp, transparently and swiftly, get permission from an Alliance to enter their space perhaps for only a brief period of time? How does that Alliance then police said corps stay within their space, again transparently and swiftly?

My suggestion would be that CCP develops tools that better allow both ‘neutrals’ and Null Sec Alliances to more transparently and swiftly ‘communicate’ with one another.  Laws – or a system of conditions – might allow this. Allow me to provide an example:

SMALL Corp wants to establish a minor base of operations (a small holding) in Null Sec. It finds that its preferred location is controlled by HUGE Alliance, so SMALL Corps CEO opens a UI window through HUGE Alliances Description, through this UI SMALLs CEO can see the “conditions” (or Laws) that HUGE requires in order for SMALL to be granted ‘blue’ status by HUGE Alliance. An example of these conditions might be –

1. SmallHoldings cannot be established in the following systems X, Y Z

2. Expulsion / Excommunication from Vassal status is caused by: destruction of Alliance vessels

3. Vassals contribute 2% tax on NPC kills to HUGE Alliance

and so on and so forth.

SMALL Corps CEO agrees with the conditions (Laws), ticks a box and voila – his corp is now a vassal of HUGE Alliance.  This vassal status contributes to HUGE Alliances influence index in the systems they currently occupy. Now here comes the interesting bit: HUGE Alliances ‘sovereignty’ of a system is determined by the number of Vassal /Alliance Corps who have ‘small holdings’ in it.  Further more, as HUGE Alliance gains Vassal Corps they unlock more ‘conditions’ (Laws) which they can apply. For example gaining SMALL Corp means that HUGE Alliance unlocks access to a new condition tree:

4. Expulsion / Excommunication from Vassal status is caused by: destruction of Alliance vessels, moving Battleships into system DFG-12.

Such a system would allow Alliances to conveniently set the conditions for their own space – conditions could include docking rights, transit, trade, who can be engaged (only war targets, only neutrals etc) and allow current and potential ‘vassals’ to transparently see those conditions.  Such a series of mechanics open up powerful options, perhaps allowing Alliances to exclude certain corporations from certain conditions (i.e you could petition an Alliance for preferential treatment).

Through such a process Alliances could conceivably describe the type of Null Sec space they have dominion over – perhaps your alliance is content to see vasals fight each other? A pvp utopia? Or encourage traders? Or explorers?

What’s interesting about this approach is that Alliance who exert to restrictive controls over their vassal subjects could be subject to losing those vassals to competitor alliances, or suffer uprisings? By enabling a automated process removes the burden from Alliances of attempting to communicate with numerous known ‘pets’ and a multitude of unknown potential subjects.

Before we conclude here consider this: perhaps my corp is interested in exploring in your alliances space.  How do we contact you? How do we know you operate a NBSI policy? Or a NRDS policy? Do you welcome explorers? Who would we speak to? How long would it take to get a reply? How can you be sure that we will stay out of that critical system in your area? How will you monitor us to ensure we don’t pop those miners that moved in last week?

So how does all this relate to a sense of ‘home’? Well if ‘home’ is where we place ourselves, the environment around us describes that sense of place? Well to a degree its the ‘conditions’ applied.  Is your sector of null sec an area renowned as being a sector of free trade? Smuggling of contraband (restricted by an alliance)? A near lawless area where the sovereign alliance actively encourages conflict? To my mind ‘home’ is not simply your house and its furnishings but the locale in which it exists, your local bar, the shops, the neighbourhood and the people that live there.  It’s an ephemeral idea to grasp and define but if we start anywhere it should be with the community in which we call ‘home’ and the relationships within that community – ‘sovereignty’ can help to define that.


8 Responses to “nullsecworkings”

  1. So you are proposing an ‘auto’ pet system? This would just allow the big ‘blob’ alliances and their pets to grow larger and larger without the added challenge of actual diplomacy, etc.

    Null sec is supposed to be a place that is harder to live in then Empire. The whole concept of null sec is to forge alliances, NAPs, etc. Having an auto system would literally zap all inter alliance/corporation communication and greatly increase the presence of bots, farmers, etc.

    • Not so much ‘auto pet’ but rather mechanisms that enable non alliance players to co-exist within alliance territory. I am cautious around the aspect of ‘bots and farmers’ as its apparent that many alliances accept botting / farming as a matter of course in any event – that’s really a problem that can only be addressed through lower level mechanics being made bot unfriendly in their design. Alliances are growing larger in any event – I dont think we can naturally prevent this, but we can make that growth mean something: applying ‘conditions’ or ‘laws’ means alliances will have the tricky problem of pleasing some, but not all, of the vassals under them through application of those laws. As it stands alliances only have the mechanism of blue – red / dont shoot / shoot as a means of applying that influence; to the detriment of other aspects such as industrial growth.


  2. Sounds like ir could be one of two things:
    1) Vassalage never confers any type of blue / “don’t shoot” status AND vassals cannot join alliance fleets. Also, more peeps to shoot.
    2) An awoxers wet dream. And less peeps to shoot.

    • Heh, I had to look up ‘awoxer’ there: yes, in theory you could infiltrate an Alliances space by becoming a short term vassal before throwing off those shackles to cause, albeit short term, chaos. I rather like that idea – do Alliances place increasing restrictions on who is able to access their space, and what they can do in that space (and thus risk not attracting any vassals to bolster their influence) or operate a ‘open door’ policy and risk being over run by the plebians they have let in?


      • Man, it’s not theoretical. Alliance diplos, ceo’s, and intel channels focus too much as it is on which new chars are spies, awoxers, and blue shooters (glitched overview lol).

        For what you are saying to work, there has to be a “won’t shoot vassals” policy available in vassal settings.

        Even still, I don’t see many alliances clicking it. Why would you take space if you didn’t want to shoot people? Only CVA ever did that.

        Give us targets, not blues.

      • I appreciate the need for targets, but Im also looking at how CCP encourages and enables other players to participate in Null Sec. From this perspective your Alliances enemies – their vassals would be your targets.


  3. You could achieve this by implementing the treaty system that was talked about with the dominion expansion. ie a corp would have dark blue standings while in a specific set of systems and those pilots would be light blue or grey elsewise in exchange for taxes, and tie the “strength” of sovereignty to the level of activity. Maybe make the TCUs stronger/more rf cycles in core systems with high military and industrial indices than in peripheral systems.

    This would keep the core of dominion sov which I agree is pretty terrible, but would hopefully reduce the amount of record keeping done by diplomats outside of eve (each core alliance would still have their own standard and vetting process of who they rented space out to) and give casual/roaming pvpers something to do. The idea would be to drive the level of economic activity down with “small gangs” and then a month later when you actually invade a region there are fewer timers to grind through.

  4. Praetor Novak Says:

    As an EVE player for many years I’ve come to the conclusion that “we” the player base or community of hardcore nullsec pilots are eternally dissatisfied with any changes CCP ever makes. Think about that for a minute and ask yourself what changes have CCP made to SOV mechanics that have ever been good or that you agree with? I highly suspect the answer is “none”.

    Basically we get tired of one schema for holding space and look to greener pastures or a “better” way to do it.

    Anyway, CCP, please keep on trying to make us nullsec’ers happy, we enjoy the sport of it at least on the surface. Change is good, right?

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