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Conflict Drivers: The horns of the Null-Sec Dilemma.

July 9, 2014

The 0.0 dilemma, we have all read about it. Eve is dying, the big blue donut, coalitions destroying the game. Before I begin to dive into my idea to spark not only the content machine but a fundemental paradigm shift in 0.0. Lets examine what we agree and disagree about.

What we agree on

Null sec is boring, two major coalitions of bitter-vets running rental empires with more money than the great spaghetti monster. Unwilling and uninterested in destroying the other leaving no one to fight and use as their “Red Menace”. Boring proxy wars designed for no other reason than to give members of said coalitions a reason to continue subscribing to this game and logging in to play it. Tear farming and noob killing simply because there is nothing else fun left to do, been there, done that, got the t shirt. Entire alliances of renters unable or uninterested in embracing all aspects of what this game has to offer in the combat arena because for them the construction and mining mechanics satisfy their interests.

Fill in your own personal gripes and groans as you like these are just a sampling of the multitude of the mechanical failings and ideological roadblocks.

For me things like the Botlords accord and OTEC anger me. The collusion of these major power players is in my opinion part of what is killing null sec. Also to those that think i am picking out CFC or N3 by themselves understand one thing. When I look at them, they appear to me to be Coke and Pepsi, Jack in the Box and Burger King, the same shit just in a different box. They are not THE problem though, they are symptoms of the real problem.

What we disagree on

What needs to be fixed and how we fix it. Some say coalitions need to be killed. Some say renters need to be eliminated. Some say make fleet movements harder. Some say there needs to be one great big war to settle it all. I dont know if I have an answer for what will save our game, I have though an idea which in itself may move the needle towards a more diverse, more dangerous, more exciting, and more in depth game experience for us all. I will not say that my idea will save New Eden, and I am sure it will be shouted down by many, but hear me out before you call for my head on a platter.

What can be done

Throughout human history wars have fought for one or several of a very few basic reasons like national rivalry, different ideologies, tribalistic competition and finally the focus of this piece Control and exploitation of resources and transit routes. Today we see wars fought to control lands rich in minerals, fossil fuels, farmable land with access to drinkable water.

Access to seaports, roads, and airfields for transport of goods and military personnel. Therein lies the problem, we live in a universe with unlimited resources. Every system has asteroid belts, farmable planets, moons, ice belts, and they all regenerate after downtime. But what if they didn’t, what if after downtime the asteroid belt you just cleared out were gone and didn’t come back, and the planet ran out of whatever PI materials you were farming, moons had no more goo. What if the well simply ran dry. What if your neighbor one jump over still had them and you knew he couldn’t beat you back. What if they made friends with someone else to keep you out, and you knew you didn’t have enough materials to throw ships into a battle because you cant replace them, welcome to the new paradigm which I referenced at the beginning, limited respawns of materials means that sov holders now value ALL of their territory. Low and even hi sec become valuable real estate for their harvestable materials.

The economy shifts, prices go up on at least some things, alliances have to decide build a new titan or a fleet of sub-caps to hold onto the system. Use isotopes strategically for jump fuel and for POS’s. Essentially the game becomes a challenge to many that have made their living counting on the infinite resources. Leaders rethink fights, resources become the reasons for wars, salvaging becomes a relevant career, even belt rats destroyed hulls become an income source, leading many to rediscover mission running even. Anomloy exploration matters beyond combat sites. Wormhole space becomes an essential place for day trippers, alliances engage in wars that have tangible consequences for winning and losing.

Starvation and need for economic expansion turn long time friends into rivals. Imagine it, we would finally have the universe set ablaze, no more power blocs (maybe). But definitely no more renters, more localized production of materials. More focus on keeping neutrals and hostiles out of system to protect resources, more patrolling menaing more small gang roaming, more gate camps, more corp recruiting. More spies, more espionage, in essence a more active sandbox.

– J Darkhammer