Monday, March 2, 2015

The Null Sec Sov Problem

In the next few days we should get CCP Fozzies 7000+ word epic dev blog on how CCP intend to fix null sec sov.

It isn't going to be easy. Having done a stint in Null Sec Sov and been part of a decent sized sov war I know what a grind it is capturing sov. The issue is you have two massive conflicting things when thinking about reworking Null Sov...

1. Taking Someones Space Should not be Too Easy
You have moved out to Null Sec. You have your own patch of space to call your own. You have invested time and effort in growing your little alliance. You do not want it to be very easy for someone to come and take it from you. This is Eve. Its not like other games where you can evac your stuffz (tm) and move elsewhere easily. You could potentially lose everything. You don't want it so anyone can attack you and kick you out of your home in a matter of hours.

2. Taking Someones Space Should Not be a Boring Grind.
Drop super-fleet. Grind structure hit points. Try not to fall asleep..... I've bashed a station (and got final blow too!) so I know how boring it can be. Without Supers it soon becomes soul-crushingly boring. Even with supers its still boring. Structure grinding, is, in a word, boring!

So what's the solution? A Sov mechanic that is not easy but also isn't boring?

One idea that's been touted about for a while is using faction war capture mechanics. Personally I do not feel in Null Sec that would work if simply moved over. However, may be a combined approach could work. Part existing mechanics, part faction war type system capture.

In faction war complexes spawn throughout the day in each FW system. They appear on the probe scanner but you do not have to probe them down. You can warp to them direct. Once the first person warps there they become a celestial beacon and will remain on the overview. Novice (T1 and faction frigates), smalls (all frigate and destroyer sized hulls), mediums (all cruiser and below but not T3 cruiser) have acceleration gates that lock what ships can get in. Large plex are not gated so you could put a Titan in there if you really wanted.

Inside the plex is a rat. In Faction War this belongs to the Navy who control the system. If you are trying to capture the plex the timer (10 minutes for novice, 15 for small, 20 for medium and 30 for large) will not tick down. You have to kill the rat to make the timer tick. If you are defending, you leave the rat alone.

Each plex captured gives victory points. 142 plex (ish) will bring the system to vulnerable where you can attack the iHub. Kill the iHub and the system flips.

To defend the system you sit in the plex with the friendly rat and watch the counter tick down the other way. Every plex defended (closed) is VP to your side. Its a tug-of-war with the invaders needing to capture 142 plex more than what the defenders capture over time.

This means you get a wide variety of ship combat. It is mostly frigate and destroyer with some cruiser. Of course on the iHub bash you can bring what you want.

So can this work for null-sec? I don't think so as it stands, but perhaps it could be a small part of the mechanics. It would allow small gangs to seriously harass alliances and to take a system would need a variety of ships rather than one Tengu fleet, one Ishtar fleet and a ZOMGSUPERBLOBOFDOOM fleet.

Plex could spawn representing the alliances running of the system. Gated dead-space pockets that the invading alliance has to capture and the defending alliance has to defend. Mercenary rats could replace the navy ones used in FW. Mordu's Legion provides support for defending each alliances space? Perhaps alliances could hire pirate factions? Serpentis hired to defend your systems?

Of course this would need to be part of a wider Sov mechanic. With careful thought, it could work? I have no idea, its years since I was in Sov Null but wondering if CCP are having some of the same ideas? We'll see....


  1. I can't get excited about this much. Sov as it is works fine for me and any change is for the wrong reasons.

    Line grunts don't care about sov, they mostly care about getting fights.
    Alliance leadership only cares about bottom-up income.
    Neither group needs a sov revamp. They just need a better way to provoke fights and force a response.

    1. I call shenanigans :)

      I didn't go to null for the fights, I went for the sov, to be part of owning and defending my patch of space. But that's not what sov null actually is, so I moved to w-space, where I own and defend my own patch of space based not on how many SBUs I've used to make my own system vulnerable so that it takes 2-3 times as long to take it, but where I and the people I fly with own our hole because we actively live there and defend it.

      Sov null definitely needs to be looked at, just like FW needed some love.

  2. I think you're on to something - a hybrid faction warfare capture process. As you stated, a similar process would cause alliances to use fleet compositions that use all ship types. That would be sweat! Btw, it takes 20 minutes to capture a Large not 30.

  3. The problem is what it always will be; some of the people all of the time, all the people some of the time. Unless it something miraculous; CCPs record is a roulette wheel; I look forward the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    As an aside I wonder when haulers will finally receive the full fatigue. Historically elements in null sec have proven adept at meta changes. Yet so far they seemed to have done little to foster a "recovery program" should they finally get weaned from teat of Jita. Perhaps a roadmap of sov's future will allow plans to be made.