But this is trying to do CCP’s job for them. Ultimately, we’re customers, so let me take a different tack by sharing what I’d like to see null-sec become.
1) No alliance or coalition should be invulnerable.
Null-sec thrives on conflict, politics, and vulnerability. Every structure can be shot, stolen, or destroyed. Empires can rise or fall. But for this to happen, every entity needs to be vulnerable in some way. We shouldn’t be able to do the equivalent of sitting on Australia in Risk and piling all our armies up on one chokepoint. No null alliance should have Gallifreyan sky trenches that protect them from attack. There’s a reason every region in Eve has gates to at two or three other regions.
Right now, mechanics tend to focus attacks on one battle front, with very little happening outside of that front. I’d like to see that change.
2) Null alliances should make money from the consistent work of their entire membership, not just the efforts of a few.
In keeping with the sentiment of creating vulnerability, null alliance revenue should definitely come from the actions that occur within their space. However this money comes in, the actions of as many players as possible should go into determining alliance finances, not just the actions of a couple players who haul fuel to POSes and bring moon minerals to market. If 90% of alliance members suddenly decided they would only log in for sov-defense CTAs, the finances of most alliances would only improve (reduced ship replacement costs).
This should change so alliances are rewarded by having players logged in doing things. This would create content for more players, which would increase player engagement. This, in turn, would encourage increased recruitment to draw more people into null-sec, which will only help CCP finances.
3) Sov defense should include components of both small-gang and black ops, as well as large fleet fights.
More of a good thing is always better, and fleet engagements shouldn’t be removed entirely. But, there needs to be a role for detached wings operating independently behind enemy lines. Some sort of sov adjustment that encourages strike teams, misdirection, and multiple points of vulnerability would liven up the strategy for sov defense and provide a place for small gang players. As of right now, sov warfare is interesting only to people who want to fight in blobs.
4) Null-sec should offer all the same activities as low-sec and high-sec, but with sufficiently better rewards to outweigh the increased risk.
Right now, high-sec players run missions, rat, mine, engage in industry, explore, war-dec, and gank. All of these should be available in all areas of space (player-owned mission agents, maybe?), but the profitability of all three areas needs to be brought into line.
5) DUST should be able to influence null-sec sov.
If small and black-ops gangs should play a role in null-sec sov, then why not include DUST mercs too? By allowing them to disrupt or assist with sov defense, DUST could no longer be ignored by sov blocs. Such a mechanic would also create another vulnerability to null sec alliances.
6) Null-sec life needs to be fun.
So often overlooked is the fact that Eve players log in for fun. There are dozens of other games out there that do combat simulation, market trading, industry, etc. Yes, Eve combines them all, but a frustrating environment that doesn’t engage you won’t keep your attention, let alone your loyalty. Sometimes, veterans forget that we play this game for fun, relaxation, entertainment, or satisfaction. If null-sec isn’t fulfilling that role, no one will live in it.
Hardly an earth-shaking set of expectations, but the consequences mean null-sec life is a little less secure, a little more dangerous, but a lot more fun and engaging. This seems to fit with the narrative CCP wants to promote with null-sec, and one I think a lot of null-sec players would enjoy. But, ultimately, this is a personal vision; it suits me.
Feel free to promote your own vision, just be sure to know what that vision is before you do so. Argue honestly, and we can make a game we all love.