Module Madness

Posted in EVE Online on January 28, 2012 by cailais

Buried away on the Features and Ideas sub forum CCPs developer SoniClover has asked what type of new modules we would like to see introduced into EVE.  A multitudonous host of suggestions have followed but for todays blog post Id like to put my own subtle spin on how to approach this subject…

As a ground rule we probably want new modules to add fun to EVE, something new which, whilst not upsetting the natural order of things too dramatically, gives players new and old pause for thought in how they set up and utilise their ships.  Rather then give specific examples of some ‘technetium ion lance cannon’ and a bunch of stats I would suggest some broad themes.  Why “theme” new modules?

I say theme’s because if you have a group of modules based around a core idea of form and function  it streamlines the design process.  New card sets for traditional games such as Magic the Gathering do this well – new mechanics which serve a purpose and guide the next iteration.  Onwards then to those theme’d modules:

1. Cerebus – two heads are better than one.  This class of module is a ‘heads / tails’ concept: the module can exist in one of 2 states. Usually these states are diameticraly opposed for example a module that in state 1 is a weapon system, in state 2 is a defensive module. In either state the module is typically sub par compared to a vanilla module, trading performance for flexibility.

2. Flawed Masterpiece.  This class of module takes a vanillla module and markedly increases a specific attribute but with a significant disadvantage (a rapid rof hybrid turret, which is prone to extreme overheating for example). Here the trade off is between one extreme of performance against a major flaw.

3. The Sacrifical Lamb.  This class of module is a ‘one shot’ wonder which, rather like a lizard detaching its tail, gets you out of a particular problem.  An example might be a turret that you can ‘jettison’ to expunge all heat attributed so far.

4. Oddball. This class of module defies existing norms by matching the function of an existing module but in an unexpected fashion.  An example of this type of ‘oddball’ design would be a low slot turret, or a high slot armour plate.

5. World Shaper. This class of module quite litterally allows players to act in ways that aren’t currently possible, changing how a ship flies and fights.  An example might be a module that generates wormwholes in close proximity to the activating ship.

Once we have these broad themes creating hybrids of them (and thus spawning new ideas) is relatively straight forward.  To give an idea of what I mean by this would be a Sacrifical Lamb/Cerebus/World Shaper combo: In state 1 our module is a vanilla turret, in state 2 it becomes a 1 shot wormhole generator.

Whilst there are some valid concerns that new modules could, if not designed carefully, make existing modules redundant or ignore the plight of existing modules that are rarely used (hi there FoF missiles) expanding the selection of modules to me seems a worthwhile aspiration and Im looking forward to seeing what CCP are able to develop.

C.

Prophecies

Posted in EVE Online on December 28, 2011 by cailais

The timeline of 2011 is receding away from us, shifting into the red as the memories of New Eden’s past year fade into the mulch of half remembered battles amongst the star-scape.  The future of New Eden it transpires is one already foretold by those prophetic Mayans and their fiendishly clever calenders – one of TOTALHELDEATH.  2012 looks to be the year when EVE Online morphs into something else entirely with the coming of DUST514.

I say ‘something else‘ because DUST514 defies easy categorisation. I’ve looked for a convenient box to put it into, somewhere on the shelf between MMO and FPS but it doesn’t seem to fit.  I also say ‘something else‘ because quite what DUST514 means for EVE itself is still an amorphous gelatinous goop of an idea – not fully formed its edges bleeding off into dimensions we cannot see.

How will DUST514 link with EVE? Will its coming signify a radical and fundamental shift in the nature of War, Trade and Diplomacy? Will the denizens of DUST514 be welcomed with open arms by New Edens cheery and huggable forumites? Will planetary warfare be relevant or an irrelevance?

Few of these questions can even be approached with an answer.

It is with not a little concern that we read that closed Beta trials of DUST514 are starting, yet with no word of how DUST514 will link to the complexities of EVE.  The cynic within me nods firmly in the direction of  the sign post marked ‘irrelevance’ – how can something so fundamental to DUST514s success (namely an FPS within a MMO sandbox universe) be left undisclosed?

Herein lies the Great Dilemma.  If DUST514 and the conquest of Planets determines how the socio-political map of New Eden is drawn then EVEs F’iS depends rather greatly on the success of DUST514.  Alternatively if those battles fought down on the rocky surface of EVEs planets are little more than a side show, largely ignored by Capsuleers, then DUST514 could fade into the memory abyss of 2012 as 2013 dawns.  A passing footnote in the history of console games.

Not a few have predicted (perhaps with Mayan calendar at hand) that DUST514 will be a “failure!”.  It can’t compete with the console behemoths of COD / MOH / HALO they cry.  Consoles are dead! Wail others arms flailing in the general direction of sales figures, mobile gaming et al.

Of course it would be a foolish thing to do to judge DUST514 on release sales alone: even if this is the accepted ‘norm’ for the FPS genre. DUST514 – at least in its fuzzy quantum potential state – isn’t truly like other FPS games.  DUST514, like EVE, has the potential to be a “slow burner”, adapting, morphing and shifting as it develops alongside EVE.  One cannot escape however that symbiotic relationship where once EVE and DUST are conjoined into a singular MMORPGFPSTHINGY it will be difficult (and therefore costly) to dis-conjoin them.

Our first taste of what DUST514 means to the pantheon of EVEs experience will come not from the flicker of electrons but from the pen of author Tony Gonzales with his forthcoming novel Templar One.  Having cut his proverbial teeth on his first work (The Empyrean Age) it will be interesting to see how TonyG has evolved as a writer albeit with the bitter after taste that his talents have been scythed down in the recent cull of CCP employees.  Sacking your lead IP writer for your forthcoming new gaming title is indicative of CCPs unhinged approach to, well almost anything. I have it on good authority that one segment of the Mayan Calender translates as follows:

Gaming Hack “So Tony! Great to see your latest book “Templar One” has hit the shelves you must be very excited! Tell me what are you doing now with CCP Games? What new project are you working on?!”

TonyG “Er…actually I just got sacked. I’m looking for a job”.

Gaming Hack “……..”

2012 for New Eden and DUST514 – relevance or irrelevance? Only the Mayans know.

C.

Post Crucible

Posted in EVE Online on December 2, 2011 by cailais

As the dawn of the Crucible expansion arrives capsuleers across New Eden will raise their eyes to the heavens to gaze upon the splendour of universe with its swirling nebulae and glittering stars.  Whilst Crucible hovers on the margins of a true expansion (a buffed glaze might be a better description) it does at the very least herald an exciting vision of EVE.

Orbiting those nuclear spheres of fire however are the Planets of New Eden.  Here also we can see increasing details of what the future holds in the form of DUST 514…

For those who can happily sit tweaking ship set ups well into the early hours of the morning – and would like to do the same in a FPS then DUST514 looks ready to deliver.  I think we can also assume that industrialists will raise an enquiring eye brow at the potential to produce and bring to market those items.

For those that are wondering ‘what next?’ post Crucibles release then DUST514 must surely feature heavily in CCPs plans.  The integration of the existing EVE Universe with DUST514 will pose not only technical challenges but game play obstacles also.  Take the image above as just one example: will EVEs ‘in space’ pilots be able to manufacture and trade those modules?  Its a well trodden path but with DUST514s reliance on a micro transaction model how will items manufactured ‘in space’ be realised as items owned and used by the ‘grunts on the ground’.

What will be equally fascinating is how an EVE Online ‘FiS’ player determines the relative value of a given DUST514 module, if (as well may be the case) they don’t play DUST514.  Just how useful / valuable is a Fusion Accelerator any way? Over a protracted period of time the relative popularity of any given DUST514 item (factoring in the time and resources to manufacture) will be become apparent through market trades – but at least initially the ‘value’ of DUSTs products will be something of a guessing game.

The other aspect of EVE post Crucible is that of the mechanics of conflict – and here I mean conflict to include the mechanics around Sovereignty, Faction Warfare and the classic ‘war dec’.  Into this mess of various mechanics and ‘rules’ will sit the idea of DUST514 as a mew dimension of war fare.  Will Empire ‘war decs’ translate into DUST514 battles? What of Faction Warfare? Or Null Sec Sov?

DUST514 offers CCP an opportunity to re work those conflict mechanics – hopefully into some sort of homogenised system – to the benefit of both those battles on the ground, and those in space and on the markets.

C.

Seeing through the DUST.

Posted in EVE Online on November 9, 2011 by cailais

Whilst EVE Online’s players chew on every morsel of information about the Winter Expansion little drops of detail are also falling from the DUST514 table.  Most recently regarding the Mobile Command Centres – essentially floating command and control platforms for the aspiring DUST General.

What this blog really got me thinking about is how EVE capsuleers will perceive DUST514s battles.  At first glance this might seem a trivial question but if we remember that EVE and DUST are supposed to intertwine really rather closely then this question becomes quite fundamental.  For example we already know that it will be possible, encouraged even, that DUST and EVE players will share the same corporations and presumably the same goals.

With this in mind it seems quite likely that EVE players will be ‘spectators’ to an extent to what is happening planet side.  But will this actually be realised?  To date all we know in general terms is that EVE players will be able to issue contracts to DUST Mercs to conduct certain operations.  This naturally suggests that the contracts system (or one very much like it) will be used to enable these contracts, open them for auction or exchange much like current items or courier tasks.  Is this it though?

If that all it is then I would suggest that EVEs players are going to find it quite hard to relate to their DUST colleagues or really get all that excited about DUST at all.  Its one thing to review the results of a sports match: its quite another to be a spectator and see it happen.

Should EVE players be able to view an on going DUST battle and to what level of granulation? Live or semi live feed from DUST Mercs themselves ‘helmet cam’ style? Or a super high level satellite view – little green and red dots moving across a map? Or – as the MCC suggests – will their be an intermediate view point like that of the MCC commanders?

My preference would be for something akin to a satellite perspective (top down with limited detail) – to do otherwise might make a MCC commander rather irrelevant. Anything less than such a view will make the entire experience of DUST – at least for the EVE player – an extremely dull affair. CCP need to give this some decent thought if they hope to see the actual interaction between the two platforms communities as they hope – recognising that the majority of EVE players will never have experienced DUST and vice versa. With no shared experiences, and no shared understanding the meshing of two radically different genres could ultimately fail.

C.

 

Gunboats and Glass Cannons

Posted in EVE Online on November 2, 2011 by cailais

Speculation is rife regarding the forthcoming additions to EVE Online’s pantheon of ships – the Tier 3 Battlecruisers. Whilst others will be pouring over the specific data for the Tornado, Naga, Talos and Oracle its worth taking a step back to look at the wider picture.  EVE is going to get a whole lot more violent than it has been for some time.

What’s my reasoning behind this? Well not only do we see the new Tier 3 BCs coming in and packing a not inconsiderable punch with their BS class weaponry but Destroyers also are looking likely to receive a decent buff with the removal of their ROF penalty.  Winter will be the season of the Glass Cannon.  Additionally Player Owned Custom Offices are on the horizon – replacing the current ‘NPC’ controlled custom offices used with Planetary Interaction.  These POCOs are (in null sec and low sec at least) vulnerable to destruction.

Pool together these elements at what we start to see is a a lot more ‘universal DPS’.  Universal DPS is my way of thinking about how much potential damage is ‘out there’: something comparable to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or in simple terms more players with the ability to dish out more damage.  Both destroyers and the Tier 3 BCs are inherently weak when it comes to absorbing damage however and I don’t think we should be too surprised to see kill boards filling up with the wrecks of these ships.  In medium sized gangs they’re both likely to be able to deliver maximum gank in the shortest time: get it wrong though and failure will be swift and decisive.

POCOs also suggest (much to the dismay of the comfortable PI manufacturers) a far more aggressive field of play.  At least some players will fight, and fight hard, to defend or destroy this low level infrastructure.  Its also worth bearing in mind what the ramifications of this could mean.  With POCOs being destroyed the PI materials market (which in turn fuels pretty much everything else) could become rather volatile, at least in the short term.  If POS fuel costs rise, so will the manufacturing bills – ‘stuff’ will cost more and competition may well increase resulting in more conflict and more demand as players scuttle back to buy (yet another) Tier 3 BC.

The DPS to COST ratio of both Destroyers and Tier 3 BCs are sure to make these ships popular – players will get more bang for their buck: a fragile investment but one which is likely to appeal to the ‘gank’ crowed.  Hulk owners beware. With both vessels offering a relatively cheap option to shoot someone in the face hard the appeal of low cost PVP is definitely there.  But it doesn’t stop there.  AF changes have been hinted at (even the elusive ‘4th bonus’ and even if the changes proposed to hybrids don’t suit everyone’s tastes we can be confident that players who are currently gathering dust in their CQs will undock that old Astarte or Vengeance if only to try it out.

All in all this will be a good, even great, thing for EVE.  Yes there will be the inevitable forum howls of pain that ship ‘X’ is useless, gate camps unfair, blobs increasing etc etc: but the changes currently on the far horizon will, I believe, act as a catalyst that will stir up the rather placid waters of EVE. Don’t believe for a second that this will all be plain sailing – the rules of engagement will change and with that change will come both winners and losers.

You can choose to adapt to that change, or die.

The price of soul searching

Posted in EVE Online on October 19, 2011 by cailais

Just as my hopes for CCP and EVE are raised a little by the publication of the POCO dev blog another crushing blow is delivered – and one which is all the more real to those developers and staff who are losing their jobs.

Having experienced unemployment I really do feel great sadness for those who must suffer it due to the strategic mistakes made by CCP.  Hubris is the only term for it and it is disappointing to see that people have to suffer the consequences of that in very real terms.  Those that have been treated most harshly, in my view, are those community reps CCP Zymurgist and CCP Fallout who despite their angst ridden player base stayed true and upbeat throughout: quite literally keeping the fires burning in the depths of winter.

Cutting staff whilst overstretched suggests a fairly large degree of corporate insanity.  Something we’ve come to more or less expect.  But we must also recognise this news post for what it is: damage control.  Between the lines it is quite readily apparent that the business case for WoD no longer stood up, NeX had not delivered the piles of gold expected and it risked entering a market bloated with new and current MMO titles. The loss of the community reps and the telling line ” We attribute this to our own mistakes and poor communications with our players” clearly marks the apportioning of blame to those responsible for selling the message.

The sad truth of the matter is that many Devs and community reps really did try and sell those new concepts – but those concepts (NeX, Incarna) were fatally flawed.  Equally disturbing is the relationship between the community rep element of CCPs staff and the Council for Stella Management (CSM).  Are those being removed from post carrying the can for ‘allowing’ the CSM delegates to become too vocal and thus a risk to CCPs self image?  What might this bode for the CSM process?

These are all questions for another time.  For now, whilst we are able to sit comfortably back and await the “fruits of this realignment” its worth considering the cost of those fruits.

I wonder quite how bitter they’ll taste.

C.

It’s an Omen

Posted in EVE Online on October 18, 2011 by cailais

 

CCP Omen took advantage of capsuleers busy ship spinning to throw out a new dev blog on, of all things, Planetary Interaction.  From the outset, regardless of the minutiae of the player owned custom house as an idea, this blog is encouraging in and of itself.  It suggests that CCP are actually prepared to go back to a previous mechanism and iterate upon it. Let’s hope we see much more of this kind of thinking going forward.

The concept – PI custom houses being constructed, placed and owned by player corporations – is an interesting one.  A number of spin off elements and implications immediately present themselves:

  • Players using their own custom house to improve the income of their own PI.
  •  Players placing custom houses in order to tax other (non allied) players
  • Players spending ISK to protect / blow up said custom houses (perhaps with Corps specialising in this)
  • Low Sec PI communities evolving?
  • Encouraging emigration to Low / Null sec
In terms of the mechanics in detail the application of a HP total (with owner selected ‘window’ of attack post reinforcement) is somewhat concerning.  The current HP values have been described as follows:

=HP scpecification=
* Customs Office Gantry
** Shield: 10,000,000
** Armor: 500,000
** Structure: 300,000

* Customs Office
** Shield: 10,000,000
** Armor: 2,500,000
** Structure: 2,000,000

HP targets bring up the age old problem of “Builder VS Destroyer”.  Obviously the builder wants their structure to remain in place: after all its an investment of both time, effort and ISK.  The Destroyer conversely wants stuff to go bang.  HP structures don’t have a glorious history in EVE (POS, TCUs, SBUs etc) being, by and large, rather dull affairs to attack and rarely prompting the defender to actually mount some form of defence.  It remains to be seen what actual value players place on having / removing these custom houses and what effort they choose to employ in either defending them or breaking them down.

CCP Omen hints that custom houses will play a role in future elements of PI (perhaps a reference to DUST 514).  Personally I’m not convinced that individual players will actually expend vast amounts of effort in protecting these structures – PI can bring in a steady income but its rarely vast wealth and planets are pretty plentiful when alls said and done.  The primary issue is that PI is, well just a bit ‘meh’.  The original concept for PI, your own world with attendant populace and industry was a good one: but are today’s players really that attached to their PI processes that they are prepared to mount a sustained defence of them?

On the flip side, dominating planets with your own corporate network of custom houses may indeed be quite profitable.  The best way to think of this is that PI is an individual concern, tariffs are a corporate concern.  Corps may well bust out the big guns to protect their custom house network.  What is missing from that equation is how corporations can deliver incentives for random strangers to conduct PI under their own umbrella?  Preferential tariff rates may be one solution – but one which would need advertising in some fashion.

There’s an inkling of some good ideas within the player owned custom office (POCO), one which suggests expansion into concepts like smuggling mechanics.  Personally I’m just very pleased to see CCP getting back into the long neglected mechanics of EVE.

Oh and ship spinning.  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee………………….

C.

The moments that define history…..

Posted in EVE Online on September 23, 2011 by cailais

CCP Zulu has once more sallied forth from behind the barricades.  Once more he has been sent scurrying back to the trenches by a fusillade of fire from the awaiting muskets of EVEs citizens.  And small wonder:

“Over the past days and weeks, CCP has been doing extensive and intense introspection and revitalization. The result of this is a refocusing and reprioritization on a scale unheard of within our company.

These are indeed defining times”. – CCP Zulu

Defining times indeed. Defined, it seems, by yet another Dev Blog of no substance with the usual :soon: / :awesome: hints at great things ahead.  We have, of course, heard all of this many times before (a la Hilmar’s “you called bullsh*t on us” speech) and witnessed the depressingly predictable results – or rather lack of them.  EVE’s contentious issues used to be about lag (a fairly common issue in online games) and the merits of nano ships or if Amarr were OP.  Now it seems as if the conversation revolves less around EVE and more around the strategy, approach and communication skills of CCP itself.

EVE of course has had its defining moments – the infamous GHSC heist, The Great War, the fall of Band of Brothers, the routing of CVA, EVE Bank scams, and so on and so forth.  It’s worth noting of course that these ‘defining moments’ were not scripted by developers or written in code but emerged unbidden by the actions and efforts of the players.

It very much remains to be seen what CCP has in fact planned to ‘deliver’ and the hints coming from certain quarters of the CSM suggest that even with CCP there is a conflict as to what should be produced which is less than encouraging news.  For now we can only watch and wait to see if CCP really can pull EVE from the brink.

C.

Storm Clouds

Posted in EVE Online on September 21, 2011 by cailais

We live in austere times.

Almost regardless of which direction you look the story is one of economic woe, unemployment and financial hardship.  It is against this backdrop that CCP finds itself attempting to develop two new titles, DUST 514 (a first person shooter) and World of Darkness (a spin off from White Wolfs ‘vampire orientated’ pen and paper RPG).  Both titles will enter into a crowded market place and are aimed at a demographic whose disposable income is shrinking.

Alongside these development CCP has attempted to introduce micro transactions to its flagship title EVE Online.  Whilst micro transactions could be seen as very much in vogue at the moment the steep prices of those transactions coupled with some unfortunate revelations regarding $1000 dollar jeans and high fashion cat walk displays has resulted in a rather understandable backlash from CCPs current consumer base.

In short CCP looks completely disconnected from the ‘real world’ pressures that many of its paying (and future) customers are enduring.  This, in and of itself, may not be viewed as a total disaster but CCP is also facing extreme competition in its core market going forward.  Triple A titles such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos), Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (Bethesda), Guild Wars 2 (Arena Net) and Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic (Bioware) are all either released now or will be in the months ahead.

From a personal perspective I would be keen to play any of those titles; being a nerdy geek with a mild obsession with all things sci-fi/fantasy orientated.  I would think that a good proportion of EVEs player base thinks likewise.

In straightened times however players are likely to be much more discerning and selective about what products get their money.  Does a player crack open their credit card on a monocle for their EVE avatar (to be worn in a single room with no player to player interaction) or buy Bethesda’s latest offering of open world RPG goodness?

Everything has a value, but that value is relative.  Incarna’s vanity items hold a proportion of their value in that they can be displayed, flaunted and shown off to other players – or at least that aught to be the case.  Except with the door firmly shut that isn’t an option.  The decision by CCP to release Incarna and the NeX store before player interaction (surely a staple element of an MMO) was in place and working must be seen as choice bordering upon insanity.  It was certainly a monumentally stupid one.

Now CCP is desperately trying to repair the damage done – Dev blue bars abound as CCP Navigator tries to drop a pithy quip or comment into every forum post and ‘ship spinning’ is scheduled to make its return.  Will these acts be sufficient to mollify the community? That is hard to say, all I can tell is that my previous corp mates have long since departed EVE.  They’re still playing games like World of Tanks, or Dead Island – Steam tells me so: theyre just not playing EVE Online and I really do wonder if any will come back.

C.

nullsecworkings

Posted in EVE Online, Uncategorized on August 23, 2011 by cailais

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.

C.