Eve News24′s resident analyst and market guru takes on the low-sec dilema.
First and foremost I would like to say this article takes a break from my usual industry perspective of EVE and takes a look at something else I have been involved in for many years, lowsec warfare. Whilst this article is purely hypothetical and I don’t claim I can build a better system than CCP, if one thing is clear is the density of players in lowsec leaves something to be desired.
Revitalising Low-Sec, the Lost Systems
Before Faction Warfare lowsec was a barren place, with a few people running static complexes and a lot more people looking to kill said people. Pirate groups were king and preyed upon everyone from complex farmers, to new players wondering out the safety of highsec and the occasional freighter pilot who failed at setting their autopilot settings.
Whilst Faction Warfare gave lowsec a kick up the ass and renewed the player bases interest in lowsec it didn’t go very far in making lowsec useful in the grand scheme of things, it has remained without purpose and with FW limited to certain areas of lowsec there are still vast areas of space are void of players. To resolve this two things need to change in lowsec:
- Players need to be given greater influence over its control, and be rewarded for said control.
- Something needs to be done with the rest of lowsec so that it’s not a barren wasteland.
Whilst CCP have moved towards iterations instead of features I feel that part of EVE is still missing in these barren areas of lowsec that warrant a feature. As such I propose ‘Faction Warfare Escalation’, whilst the factions have been hard at work fighting each other the pirates have been preparing in secret. In a single swift move the pirates strike and take control of the remaining lowsec systems in a single coordinated strike.
With vast stretches of lowsec effectively controlled by pirates and the factions resources stretched due to the ongoing faction war the factions call out for help once again from capsuleers. With capsuleers ready to retaliate on the behalf of the empires the pirate factions call upon all pirate capsuleers to defend their newly captured space.
Pirate corporations would be able to enlist themselves to fight on behalf of the pirate factions, with a single heavy penalty zero access to empire space. A penalty which most pirates already suffered the fate of a long time ago. Upon enlisting to the pirate factions pirates would be awarded LP for killing non-pirate capsuleers, as well as opening up a mission system for additional LP.
Anti pirate players on the other hand would be offered rewards for fighting against the pirates, and taking space back on behalf of the empires. Anti pirates wouldn’t have to commit by enlisting but be more casual with anyone able to dive in as and when they please. This offers a middle ground to enlisting which comes with the restriction of not being able to fly in the opposing factions space rewards would be slightly lower but with easier access. This would also be another opportunity for poor standing players to recover their faction standings which they ruined grinding level 4 missions.
These pirate FW rewards would be similar to the pirate faction rewards in 0.0 but with increased risk, due to higher player density. This would warrant the reward being the same as the 0.0 space and would strongly encourage previously dead areas of space to thrive.
All of these actions somehow still do not seem enough now onto addressing my initial point, being rewarded for the control of lowsec space. The major problem at the moment is not the ISK rewards and potential cash in lowsec for individual members, but the fact that there exists no way for corporations and alliances to utilise this high individual member income for a greater cause. What I propose is that lowsec facilitates the growth of new alliances and their member corporations by providing a sustainable income at an alliance level.
So what would this involve:
- Make it very hard for 0.0 alliances to control lowsec moon resources. Low sec alliances should benefit from the control of their own space if this means reducing POS HP outside of your controlled space to 10% then so be it. The 0.0 alliances should not be able to control the growth of lowsec alliances; otherwise EVE slowly stagnates with no one growing to take on those with the current control.
- Make it easier for lowsec alliances to maintain control of their space, this ultimately means one thing cyno jammers. Preventing hot drops by larger alliances ultimately allows growing room and shifts the balance of control into the defenders hands.
- Provide big bonus’s to industry in lowsec (and nullsec) for controlling the territory. Stations should have 100 manufacturing slots at their most upgraded level and should offer a 5% reduction in T1 mineral requirements and 2.5% reduction in T2 material requirements for construction alongside production time reductions. Whilst this is quite radical it allows lowsec alliances to grow in power with the correct organisation.
- Make lowsec asteroid belts viable to mine with a T3 sniper mining ship, hey even make it covert ops. This would allow ninja mining with a decent yield, a slight buff to the ores in lowsec would also be appreciated. I would go for the belts consisting primarily of the +5% and +10% yield ores instead standard ore.
- Allow corporations to tax their members effectively. Right now the tax system is flawed for FW alliances as you cannot automatically tax LP income. The base FW corps should tax LP 15% to encourage movement into player corps with their own tax rates. Tax income could be used to fund early stages of a ship reimbursement scheme and investment in POS assets to create a reaction and moon mining network.
Without massive changes to the fundamental mechanics lowsec shall remain dead for a long time to come, and in time without viable growth opportunities for small alliances nullsec shall stagnate also with power house alliances dominating the political landscape. For many alliances their death is being kicked out of nullsec with nowhere to regroup effectively.
So what do you think, should CCP turn lowsec into the stepping stone for the vast gap between highsec and nullsec, or should it be left alone with EVE accepting that lowsec shall never flourish?
- Danny Centauri