Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Share Your Ideas: How do we make null-sec “Worth It”?

I’ve covered my thoughts on the FozzieSov changes in a few recent posts.  Overall, I’m very pleased with the direction CCP is taking the game.  The mechanic changes suggest a heavy emphasis on coordinated combat among small fleets, rather than blob warfare, as well as a fusion of PvE and PvP components, which should help draw people into the PvP game a bit more.

But let’s say you’re a small alliance looking to cash in on FozzieSov mechanics to re/claim a bit of space for yourself.  The best space in the game will go to established entities. The second-best – areas near Empire on travel routes – will likely go to well-oiled pirate groups and PvP-centered entities.  So that leaves small alliances with the worst of the null-sec space.  Your logistics will be a nightmare involving multiple jumps, you’ll be prone to constant disruption (meaning your primary game activity will have to be cultivating your space) and your systems will have a minimum of the really lucrative sigs, anoms, moons, and belts.

Put simply, a lot of null-sec may not be worth the hassle of holding it.  What should CCP do to make it “worth it” for alliances to own and defend their sov from the significant threats FozzieSov will impose.

I’m going to limit my personal comments to, “That’s a great idea,” at a maximum, and turn this one over to you folks entirely.  Please share your suggestions for specific new/changed mechanics/features.

Please note: If you reach this page from another source (EN24, reddit, Eve forums), by all means post there, but consider duplicating your comments here as well so everyone can read your ideas.


  1. (cross-posted to reddit, as requested)

    I question the premise. There are already tens of thousands of people living in nullsec, people who presumably think it's "worth it" to live there. Even nullsec alliances that died and went to lowsec (Nulli and TEST, most notably) couldn't resist the pull and eventually moved back out.

    All the clamoring about making nullsec "worth it" seems to come from people who already live in nullsec and so presumably already find it worth it. Much like Malcanis' Law, these people are making noise about how nullsec needs to be profitable/safe/easier to find fights/whatever under the guise of attracting more players there, but really it's almost entirely the established nullsec groups wanting to make their existing lifestyle more profitable/safe/easier to find fights/whatever.

    Nullsec does not have exclusive claim to being "the sandbox," it's not the be-all and end-all of EVE, and we shouldn't be trying to push everyone there. Nor should we be too worried about rewarding more richly the players who already find it worthwhile to live there. There certainly are quality-of-life changes that would be very nice--for example, sov nullsec missions agents or other sustainable sources of income for alliances living in more cramped space post-Fozziesov--but those should not necessarily mean increased income or the various other things that people talk about when they say they want nullsec to be "worth it."

    tldr: nullsec is already "worth it" for tens of thousands of players, something something Malcanis' law, something something sandbox.

    1. This post smells the "I don't like those pompous asses in null-sec so I hope they won't get buffed".

      People wanting to plant their flags in the game or be a part of something equals them automatically rolling in the interstellar credits.

      Being attracted to lower levels of security is a fundamental part of EVE, and thus null is supposed to be the richest part of space, and that to entice even those who would not care about the more "spiritual" advantages of life in actually contesting sov space.

      So yeah increased incomes would be something good for null-sec.

    2. (It looks like we're not going to get more submissions, so I'll stick in my 2 isk.)

      If that's all you got from that post, I suspect you didn't fully consider it.

      I disagree with your premise that EVE is designed to attract people to lower levels of security. Low-sec and Null-sec are not the 'end-game' content that you believe it is. I think that you're thinking of EVE as a game with only one route to one destination, whereas EVE is a game with paths to destinations.

      I think EVE is a game to be played in whatever area of space, with whatever styles. There is a supposed 'scale' of risk vs reward for each area of space, but I think we've moved beyond such an un-nuanced idea.

      Each area of space should have its own positives and negatives.

      They should be treated individually, and as an ecosystem.

      This creates the question: If there are parts of null-sec as safe as high-sec, then surely the rewards should be the same?

      (First of all, this is using the broken metric of risk vs reward, but no matter)

      I'd say 'No': if players have endeavoured to make their space safe, they should have the rewards of that space. However, those rewards should be for the players and not for the alliances.

      Players should taste the fruits of their labour themselves. It shouldn't be handed out sparingly by their overlord. This would incentivise players to play EVE, and not just have SRP doled out to them over for the ships they lose.

      Rob K.

  2. First off, I disagree with the premise. I normally do :P. The space you write off as poor is more valuable than you suggest. To you, with Deklein and all of the North available, they're not amazing. To Joe Highsec, even low-truesec systems are reasonable isk. (Presuming he takes the effort to extract the wealth).

    So, how I am meant to reply to something I disagree with? I'm not sure.
    *deep breath*
    This answer is exceptionally off the wall. I won't promise anything.

    Sovereignty that is regularly contested to the second stage has a higher likelihood of low-sec WH connections. These would occupy 70 to 80% of all the low-sec --- null-sec connections.

    Aim of this: increase ease of logistical support for far-from-empire sovereignty. (relying on your premise that FFE Sov will be regularly contested (and mine) but not taken).

    This makes such sov easier to bring ships to, but has enough downsides (I think) that it is less likely to be exploited. I know that some low-sec pirates might be tempted to 'honourabru third party' some of those engagements. Perhaps they could even be mercenaries?

    Lore-wise: So many massive Capsuleer egos being beamed across space tear the even horizon into low-sec, home of other massive egos :D.

    Rob K.

    1. Your thinking follows a similar line to my own: What's important is to provide some sort of income catch-up mechanism for folks who live in highly-contested space. The idea here is that those who can effectively secure their space can pull out the various absurdly-efficient ways of making money in nullsec that made rental empires so profitable. People joke about nullsec being safer than hisec, and, while it's not actually true, it's not completely inaccurate.

      Raising the profitability of nullsec isn't going to do much for people who don't already have their space secured, though: the ones who can manage to reduce their risk by securing their space will have higher incomes which can be used to make it even more secure.

      Instead, what we need is to make objectively-insecure space more profitable. I propose using the Drifters and Seekers for this. First, they want corpses, right? Have their appearance be proportional to podkills. Since they drop the Antikythera Element, this means that there will be some greater amount of income-producing things available in less-secure space. (It would also have the interesting side effect of the material being more available on the front lines of conflicts, encouraging people to bring their supply chains with them.) Additionally, we can use them as a lore excuse for your above suggestion of extra wormholes to contested space. The extra wormholes could then be used for any number of logistical purposes, although they could also easily bring more invaders than you already have.

      I expect a certain type of organization, probably looking sort of like Brave Newbies, or perhaps Provibloc, could thrive under a high-wormhole, high-seeker environment, while other types of organizations might be more comfortable in space where they could, to pick another example, carrier rat in peace. Also, Drifters seem to be most efficiently taken down by swarming them under with cheap ships that minimize losses to drifter doomsdays, and which is completely different from the high-dps/high-tank/high-cost trend for running anomalies.

    2. I agree, Rob. The premise that only the best nullsec is worth it is flawed. It's the same thing I see in w-space as players get more established. I've had players poo poo running C4 sites as "not worth it" simply because they couldn't make as much as running a C5 site.

      My response to them, and to the "we have to make even the crappiest nullsec worth massive amounts" proponents is that the space is already worth a lot more than high, or low. It's not worth as much as -1.0 truesec, sure, but it is by no means worthless :)

  3. Simple: 1) Establish a baseline of "worth" that all SOV null systems must adhere to. 2) Assign value to various content types ( I'll just throw out: moons, sites, plexes, mission rewards, and mining anoms as "columns" in this chart ). 3) Much as is done with the point system to increase System Index ( and therefore ease to defend ) in Fozzie Sov, create a distribution of these elements per system such that they combine to create an equal value per system but are weighted lower or higher per activity. 4) Randomly distribute these attributes to every SOV system in game.

    Moons may have to remain static, since changing their relative worth would create quite the shakeup. Or not, this may be exactly what the devs want. However, making systems all have equal relative "value" depending on what exactly you as a group prefer to do would end the stalemate of system value through the game wherein DroneLands or Catch systems have lower value than Fountain for instance ( I don't know that that's specifically the case but you get the idea ). Mission & Site Runners would have systems that appeal greatly to them while Moon gooers would have a different set to focus on. A random distribution ensures that no particular constellation or region is better or worse to live in than any other per se. It just depends what your group is good at / set up for / wants to focus on.

    [ Cross posted from Google Plus ]

  4. Sideline corp-wide permissions. Make them specific to individual structures. That way, everyone can be stakeholder, and you don't need a small trusted team to manage absolutely everything.

    Most players joining corps don't even expect corp hangars to be something that exists for the members' immediate use and benefit. There's barely even a front office, much less a janitor's closet.

    Anchoring as a skill? Do we really need this? Everything in space now has a time limit on it, and disk space is almost too cheap to meter. Are we worried about trial accounts for some reason, or should I say potential new players? It should be easier to share specific structures with other specific people, even excluding other members of the corp, or including individuals from different corps.

    Finding structures should be dependent on anchoring your own array structure. This gives defenders time and means to challenge incursions. Even virtue set equipped ships really don't have any business finding most of them. If the system becomes vulnerable in some way, then perhaps it makes sense to drop the sensor strength on some structures.

    Aside from that, null just needs unique products, and cheap manufacturing overhead. If highsec were importing goods from nullsec, then you have a game. Let people put their money where their muscle is, and let them fight over their interests more directly.

  5. This could be a bit to general, but anyway:

    1. Passive Income that can feed alliances has to go. That means moons. They should only be able to deliver a baseline of Moonmats, the rest should be minable. This would make miners a valuable asset in Null.

    2. Make all activities taxable. Mining, Industry, Trading (especially, and I say that as a trader), Ratting (already is), all activities should be taxed according to Corp tax. Also we need an alliance tax. That way people need to be in space to keep the Ally well fed. Again makes non-PvPers a valuable asset.

    3. Move a good chunk of the Nullsec income over to loot and increase it slightly. So ISK is created mainly in high, but Meta Items (which will be more interesting with each Module rebalance) mainly in Nullsec anomalies. Basically you Null income would be the same as now, but in Meta Items and more if you use this Bounty deployable. Also helps Null support itself.

    4. Make all I-Hub Upgrades useful. For example the WH upgrade should have settings like "Where you want the WH to lead?" So you could increase the chance of a Highsec WH. That shouldn´t be a sure fire way, but one High WH every week could be useful. (Remember it could be to small for a freighter for example, so it won´t make logistics to easy).
    Maybe make it so, that the Scansite Upgrade also increases DED Chance.

    5. Basically the worth of a Null space should be directly linked to the deployables present. A non upgraded System should be about as useful as lowsec, and upgraded one highly desireable. Oh, and make Ihubs conquerable, maybe just lose the highest levels of upgraded instead of all.

  6. I think that the moons are the problem. There is a lot more isk to be made in null sec then any other space. It is Just not in the hands of the members but in the alliance moon wallets.