Bottoms Up Part Two: Sovereignty

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It seems this largely comes from the crowd of elite "pvpers" that think it's CCP's job to serve up carebears to be ganked on demand. Newsflash, ganking a miner/ratter/indy/whatever with a n-man gang is hardly "pvp".
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CCP's idea for DUST as it stands is public and involves moving system upgrades to planets, and hinging the upgrades on planetary control. See the recent CAST 514.More daring than I expected.
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Doesn't matter, the "ratter/miner/indy" guy is ridiculously safe in 0.0 right now, and if you leave the safety of highsec, you should be a target, currently if the person is alive, breathing, and even remotely coherent thats not the case, so while you say that its not real pvp, I say if you wanted to be safe you should have kept that ass in empire.
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Or maybe it comes from the very large crowd who feel that having more incentives for people to actually be in their space and do things is a good plan. But you know you are probably right, it's likely just a bunch of people who feel that CCP needs to hand them, poorly fit, inattentive, foolish ships to slaughter. Wait no those are NPCs.Promoting changes that make being active in space is a good thing. The more cause I have to undock my ships the better whether it be for industry, ratting, orbital bombardments, massive fleet fights, or a small gang that goes and offlines a little POS that was making large shield extenders.
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But the way null sec should work is the miners/ratters need protection from their alliance and the alliance is motivated to protect them.
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I'm going to go ahead and tentatively label this as "really lame" but I'd need more info first. Got a link to the cast?
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No, its not.The issue is that, right now, if that miner/ratter/indy guy safes up, nothing happens ... so thats what the PvP types want the Indy types to do. "Watch intel, safe up, dont feed them cheap kills" is the watchword.But under a system where "Contributions from actually using the space, however, should almost certainly be left uncapped—an alliance could quite literally 'use' its way to level 100 sovereignty in a system.", the PvPers cannot just abandon the miner/ratter/indy guys, because no miners/ratters/indy guys active causes sov to fall.
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To add my input, other things that should be feasible at high index levels would be: 1 - the ability to deny local to hostiles (or everyone depending on the sov holder's settings). 2 - the ability to deny cloaking to hostiles (or everyone depending on sov holder's settings) . 3 - at the highest level, if you have sov on both sides of a jump gate, to deny use of that gate to hostiles. This sort of stuff will drive a lot more sov warfare than currently exists.
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I like it. Would also encourage smaller groups from establishing sov as well based on incorporating your idea on the production level of 0-100. Such as not being able to build a capital until you attain a specific level (L80 for isntance). You can then actually put risk to the capitals since it would almost be impossible to build a replacement since everything would reset to 0.That or making those "levels" increment by time, passively, not actively, by sov owned. All in all would allow small as well as large to be regulated and contrained to specific forms of combat without just throwing isk at things (which would stillb e possible but not endless). Would also put a matter of TIME into the mix, not simply just bluing up your neighbor and reaping the rewards for being risk adverse!
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I generally agree with Mynnna's opinion here. Which surprises me tbh.
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Better yet a revamped PVE system might make rats more like players. One day we might get rats that needs webbed and pointed for those 4-20 man PvE fleets to kill and earn proper recompense for their skill and efforts. No more dumb OCR bots and afk Ishtars / carriers.Then every PVE fleet is ready for a skirmish with the invading hostiles and more than likely eager to have it rather than hide and let the invader reinforce their system upgrades etc.
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I'm hesitant to support anything beyond controlling local - afk cloaking would actually mix the situation up a bit if sovereignty was revamped in this way - ratters could /not/ just pussy out of using a system due to an afk cloaker because their indices would drop, so it becomes a risk/reward style thing - do you take the risk and keep your indices up or do you let the afk cloaker disrupt the system entirely and make it a target?Disabling stargates is simply a dumb fucking idea, it eliminates risk entirely.
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I don't know the first thing about mechanics of sov warfare, but I do know that it's almost universally referred to as "sov grinding." So it stands to reason that anything that makes the mechanics deeper *and* more interesting *and* allows for more (meaningful) small-scale activity would be an improvement.While this proposal seems to dovetail nicely with CCP's new "instigators and enablers" design philosophy, I'm wondering about the amount of development resources that would have to be dedicated to implementing it. My question for Mynnna is: do you think these changes are something CCP could accomplish alongside all the other things they have planned for 2013 and 2014, or are we talking about a much longer time frame?
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I endorse the goals as expressed in your wrapup, they are appealing on a philosophical level, and if the right system is found, will create fallow space which new groups will have a shot at obtaining. The actual proposal itself is an interesting perspective and starting point for discussion.I haven't been in a sov-holding alliance for some time, but I've never heard anyone say they love structure grinding and timers, other than for the fights they can generate. So an interesting question would be: is it possible to devise a system that minimizes these, but also provides the focii for fights of all sizes?I would also be interested to know how you would handle sov if given a blank sheet of paper. Is there a way to cut the gordian knot?
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Agreed, afk cloaking as annoying as it is, is part of the game. And it would play an even bigger part with this type of revamp. It would force a protective fleet to either discourage said individual from decloaking altogether, or be ready to brawl if he does.
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I think the main problem is that with you proposals it makes it incredibly hard to defend a system, because once it is under siege you can't rat and mine => Sov level gona drop pretty fast!
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I like the Gate-Block Idea, yeah it kinda gona destroy roaming gangs, but it would create geographical warefare!EDIT: Maybe too harsh, I already see the downvotes...
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While I despise afk cloakers as much as the next guy, I have to agree with Madlof. Denying local is about the only thing I would consider an acceptable addition. Denying local would actually offset the use of afk cloakers anyways. Afk cloaker can sit in a system all day but without any knowledge of how many could be docked in that station while the ratters and miners go about their business, it would mean he couldn't safely call in an assaulting force given the lack of knowledge of what they're currently up against in system.And yeah. I've heard this denying use of a jump gate before and is something I would NEVER agree with. This could easily become an exploited method of entirely cutting off huge swathes of space simply by increasing the indices of a handful of entry systems into however large an area you want, and shutting down the stargates.
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It's roaming gangs that need to be given targets to revitalise null, not blocked off from systems altogether.
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Okay, maybe it would be to bad, but how about only being able to take the Sov?
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Honestly, doing SOMETHING about AFK cloaking would probably be something to do alongside the rest of this. And I say that as someone who does a lot of it.
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There's no way that shutting down stargates would ever help remove stagnation from 0.0 and it shouldn't even be considered.As it stands, sov-holders already have better movement capabilities than hostile gangs by way of jump bridges - the only thing you get from being able to shut a stargate down is to have your own private little playground where you can do whatever the hell you want. No roaming gangs can target you, no blops droppers, no capital drops - nothing.If such a mechanic was implemented I can tell you what would happen really easily - every alliance would pound their indices up on chokepoints and lock down their space entirely. There are usually 1-4 entry points to a region and you would only need to lock down about ten or so systems to cut a region off entirely.Not only does that fuck up roaming gangs but it'd make sov warfare a slog too because you'd have to grind down system by system to be able to get through the next stargate while reinforcements spew out at you from inside the region. Nobody would ever attack anyone. No alliance would lose their space to anything apart from internal issues.itwouldsuck
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something tells me your comment got truncated
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More like I started it half an hour ago, went and did something else, came back, and posted without remembering that I had more to say. But I can't remember what else I was going to say now. :)
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Well, I don't know what they have planned alongside 2013-2014. I think, though, that it's probably something that would have to follow more of a background development path, where they lay the groundwork as a secondary task several months in advance, and then bring it all together in an expansion. But I'm not sure.
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If exercised with the utmost care, incorporation of planet control to enable system wide bonuses could acutally work out well. Particular planets could be fitted with specialized infrastructure to provide unique bonuses to industry and other infrastucture in that system and contribute to the sov level as a result. Ofcourse this is simply blind speculation, the actual result of such a thing is pretty much anyones guess. :P
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I'm sorry, but these ideas are TERRIBLE....-- If we put them all together, you get to purge all non-friendlies from your systems and make it impenetrable to hostiles except via WH's and cyno-bridging... No.... just NO...
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I worry that making the HP of sov structures depend on sov level will make recently conquered systems too easy to take back if the conquering alliance has even a moment of downtime. You'd end up replacing the structure grind with a mandatory ratting grind after you've taken a system which would suck even more. If a sov 0 system can be put into reinforced by a small gang, a freshly conquered system is going to pingpong like mad. Alliances need a way to fortify a system they just took if its important enough.
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Overall, I like the idea.Even as a member of a large alliance in a larger coalition, I sort of hate that we have so much space and do so little to defend it. I want to see small pirate groups pillaging a constellation on the east while we're in constant, fluid warfare with a large power in the west. I want to see regions that are currently empty (but protected by a large power far way) being attacked by swarms of small rival alliances. I want to see border skirmishes and guerilla attacks, alongside large, doctrine fleet combat.And, as much as I hate to say it, I agree with PGL from the other article. The ability to mobilize entire fleets and send them across the map in a matter of minutes kills any chance of the above. A once-a-day jump clone thing is ok, as it does allow for rapid deployment = fights. But being deployed so far way on one side of the map, often not even in your own territory, and being in complete control is stupid. I don't want someone to nerf the RANGE, because being able to hop drop is still fun and being hot dropped is still (sort of) fun. But at the very least some sort of timer on the ship so that you can't zip around the universe with it (basically what PGL said).If you move all of your assets, pilots and power to one side of an empire, the other side should be vulnerable. If I moved all my armies from Rome into North Africa, (Rome: Total War ftw) the homefront will be in trouble. Military directors in EVE should have to manage their assets like you do in any other logical game. Up the skill level, force people to adjust.
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Exactly; you have to break the siege. Or you lose the system. Escort your caravan of supplies and weapons (ratters and miners), fight off the people attacking your walls (POS's), destroy the siege engines (SBUs and enemy POS's). etc.etc.
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Not only will this never happen, it should never happen.At least not as a complete replacement for solo ratting - if you remove Anoms as a viable way for players to make money on their own, all you will see is more alts in highsec running L4 missions. As an adjunct to anoms, it wouldn't be a bad thing to have.
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It may suck, but the idea proposed here would also suck because it would be almost imposible to hold, because they would just siege multiple systems, because they would hot-drop you all day long....Also, nice wall of next for saying screw you :)
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To some effect I have to agree with this logic. However, I'd go totally on board with this proposed system where I can grind AND make isk doing so then the current grinding of structures that equates to no real return to me as a grunt in the war machine.
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Gates start shooting, screamer starts screaming ... One more system needs to be implemented in addition to that. It will automatically warp all AFK ratter / miner ships to a POS or dock them in a station.Carbear dream ...
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I like these ideas for the most part. 2 things I think are necessary:1: I think hard numerical limits on (most) metrics is a bad idea. 'available at industrial level X' and such are good, but a hard limit on the number of systems controllable by an alliance is a bit anti-sandbox. I think for numbers like that a diminishing returns thing is great, maybe even critical.2: A lot of respect for doing this already: Imagine your system in place and ask yourself the easiest, most time/cost efficient way to break the system and fuck with people. If someone had vast sums of isk, enough members, any timezone, whatever ships they want and malicious intent, how would they go about sticking the knife in?Would it be too easy to keep the little guy's sovereignty down? How would large alliances most efficiently fuck with each other? How easily could bottom-up harassment between large entities begin a sovereignty-failure cascade? Could a large roaming subcap gang maraud around crippling the sovereignty of everyone in their path?I myself am not familiar enough with sovereignty to be able to design a good system, or really criticize yours with any certainty. Most of these ideas seem great to me.
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"You don't see people policing their space at the moment" I'm not sure what game you're playing. If you bring a fleet that wants a fight into hbc, cfc, or n3 territory you are going to get some action in a hurry. If you bring 5 nano or cloaky ships nobody will bother policing that because those "gangs" are after cheap ganks and will run from a fight.
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speaking as a miner i have no issue with the idea of cloaky campers, but you should have to actually be at your keyboard to do it, so put a 5 minute timer on the cloak with an ingame warning that pops up warning you that you need to re-click the cloak before it deactivates
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I rescind my screamer idea, it would be wayy too easy for a griefer to annoy the crap outta the players in a system by jumping back and forth thru the gate, and would be nothing more than a completely new mechanic with limited usefulness anyhow. Now to defend gate guns, based on a 0-100 sov level system, provided proper I-hub install of upgrade:sov60 - can install one small pos firing gun/launchersov70- can additionally install 1 med OR small pos gun/launcher AND 1 pos web, scram, ECM, or nuet.sov80- can additionally install 1 med OR small pos gun/launchersov90- can additionally install 1 large, medium, OR small pos gun/launcher AND 1 pos web, scram, ECM, or neut.So at max you will have an additional 4 pos guns and 2 screw you items to deal with on gates. Also, note that if sov drops below 90 in a system that is fully upgraded, the last gun and utility module go "inactive" and cannot be reactivated until sov returns to 90+. In a sov fail-scade, the gates become less and less helpful. Also we are talking POS locking times here or perhaps even a bit slower, so as long as you don't hang around the gate long enough for the gate to unroll the "unwelcome mat" it wouldn't be too difficult to evade. These modules would also be able to be knocked down just like normal POS defenses, and the very action of knocking down/out gate guns would have a mild negative impact on system sov. What it would do is provide defenders with additional assistance in repelling invaders at a gatecamp put up to defend their hard-earned sov space.
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Diminishing returns seems to fit in with other mechanics within Eve - blueprint research, cap and shield recharge rates, module stacking penalties, all work on a principle that you'll get less and less benefit back as you put more and more in.
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Only problem with bottoms up sov is: who the fuck actually want to do PVE or mining/logistics (in 0.0) to support industry in eve?
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How do you fix the bootstrapping problem of someone taking sov? You've got a huge advantage to both the defenders of their space and the mischief-makers. Defenders can retake hard-won sov quite easily (especially as there's no way in hell people are going to rat on an active combat front), and mischief makers can interfere with peaceful sov transfer by wreaking havoc on a newly vulnerable system -- a system which is vulnerable *even if* the previous/current owners are active users of the space.Here's a couple of potential suggestions:-Weakly count PvP activity by an owning alliance. If they're defending it, they should get some reward for that-Introduce some basic defense advantages quickly, or in some kind of temporary state. This may best be achieved with pos-spam -- get in, set up, set sticks up on the moons you're going to want to mine/TCU moon/whatever. Ensure that a no-ratting but high-pos situation can get at least a basic structure HP upgrade...although the pos-fuel-reduction upgrades should probably not be accessible by pos-spam alone (to ensure that alliances have an incentive to keep the pos-spam period brief)-Separate peaceful sov transfers, in which someone grants someone else space, and hostile takeovers. If you move sov transfer onto a treaty system, you remove the awkward business with holding/transfer corps, you allow new alliances granted land to get a leg up, everyone is happy.
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Keep your PvE out of my PvP.
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Dude, he didn't use the word "feel" once in his post. But I guess you're proving how "manly" you are.
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Or you could make defending your system (e.g. killing enemy in system) something that also raises the index. So in place of ratting, active (successful) defense keeps your index high. Contrarily, losing ships to enemies lowers your index...

Introduction

In the first part of this series, we looked at bottom-up income, industry, and the null-sec economy. The long and the short of it is that bottom-up sovereignty is, by definition, heavily dependent on the activities of an alliance's pilots within their space. In turn, all sorts of activities have to be both viable and appealing to do in null-sec. The proposals in the previous article were an attempt to get us there.

With that foundation laid, we can move on to looking at the sovereignty system itself. Sovereignty has never been a bottom-up system—quite the opposite. Both before and after Dominion, it was a numbers game, and Dominion only made it worse. Large-scale combat involving enormous fleets and plenty of capitals and supercapitals is the name of the game, and smaller scale combat plays a tangential role at best. Frankly, I'm going to just serve up a quote here, as the author puts the issues far more eloquently than I ever could:

… fights for control of systems under Dominion turned into a sequence of all-or-nothing engagements that would often result in the attacker failing. The ability for the defender to choose the time of the engagement in a reliable manner alongside the fact that if the attacker lost a fight just once it resets the whole process, means that many wars aren’t even worthwhile. It’s very demoralizing to lose all progress in a campaign from a single narrow or unlucky defeat. This means that in order to achieve anything tangible from an assault, the attacking side must show up with absolutely overwhelming force and steamroll their opponent. This is anathema to the overall goal of sov warfare— providing reasons for sides to fight each other and enjoy the game. Encouraging huge battles and only huge battles just serves to bore players as they square up to an opponent at a pre-set [sic] time and find they cannot win, and therefore do not fight at all.

That was from Xttz, who has been quoted here before and is undeniably one of the game's experts on sovereignty. In fact, I should acknowledge his role in this article. When I came to him and said, "Hey I have a few ideas on sovereignty I want to talk about", I got back all my own ideas and more. The contents of this article are as much, if not more, his as mine.

So, sovereignty is broken, and we want a more bottom-up system. What do we do? Throw out the existing system and start from scratch? No. It's more than possible to work within the system to create something fun and engaging. Like the previous article, all numbers are meant as examples only, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Revamping Sovereignty

As a first step, throw out the existing sovereignty levels, as well as the military and industrial indices, and replace them with levels 0-100. Strategic upgrades would be tied to sovereignty as they are now; jump bridges and cyno beacons could be placed at level 30 or so, for example, while potent defensive upgrades like cyno jammers and some of the others I'll present later require a much higher level. Military and industrial upgrades, on the other hand, would rely on both their respective index and sovereignty. In other words, you couldn't plant a Pirate Detection Array 5 at level 1 sovereignty like you can now by simply ratting a whole bunch; you'd need level 80 sovereignty in addition to level 80 in the Military Index.

Claiming a system would occur just how it does now—by planting a Territorial Control Unit. However, unlike now, passive gain in the sovereignty index would happen only very slowly (especially with just a TCU) and be capped at a very low level, making a solitary TCU little more than a flag planted on the system. The claiming alliance could then increase both the rate and the cap through any number of factors, which could include:

  • PvE activity as measured through the military and industrial indices already within game (although modified to a 1-100 scale as previously mentioned.)
  • Industrial activity, most likely measured in terms of value of goods produced in the system, or perhaps of the value of inputs used to build those goods. Ideally, the system would be engineered to weigh the contribution from large or high-value items, such as several battleships, more heavily than cheap items, such as a month's worth of shuttles.
  • Ownership and use of player owned customs offices (POCOs) within the system. Care would need to be taken to evaluate for actual use so as to avoid the obvious abuse, but either way, contribution would be evaluated based on material flow through the POCOs.
  • Ownership of POSes within the system, especially industrial oriented POSes (see previous section about POS revamp being ideal for industry!). The maximum number of POSes that contribute should probably be capped, although the idea of leaving open the possibility for a space holder to secure a high sovereignty index through mass POS spam in a system with a high moon count is entertaining in a ghastly sort of way.
  • Ownership of infrastructure hubs and outposts in that system. Military, industrial and economic upgrades (such as Pirate Detection Arrays) would contribute indirectly by improving the ability of the members of the alliance to use the space.
  • Number of nearby systems and outposts controlled by that alliance. This is probably best capped as well; perhaps any given system should only gain a benefit from the nearest two or three, allowing an alliance with smaller holdings to reap the benefits without allowing them to get too out of control for a larger alliance with more space. An interesting twist would be to have the sovereignty level of nearby systems be the metric for this effect instead; high-level systems would reinforce each other, while low-level border systems would barely affect each other.

And so on. To unlock high levels of sovereignty, and the military and economic benefits that accompany that, requires investment by both the individuals and the alliance. In addition to the caps mentioned (e.g., only the first x POSes contribute), most factors would have a maximum possible contribution to the cap and the rate of gain. Contributions from POSes, for example, could be a maximum of five points on the sovereignty index. Contributions from actually using the space, however, should almost certainly be left uncapped—an alliance could quite literally "use" its way to level 100 sovereignty in a system. Likewise, the strongest defensive structures and best benefits would be placed well above the maximum possible sum of passive contributions, and so some level of usage would be a requirement.

Conversely, those seeking to attack an enemy's sovereignty would now have plenty of avenues to do so, which could include:

  • Attacking the military and industry indices by preventing ratting and mining.
  • Disrupting the manufacturing contribution by crippling industry structures, whether those are modular POSes configured for industry or station upgrades depends on the flavor of the industry revamp discussed in the previous article.
  • Anchoring their own POSes and destroying POSes belonging to the defenders.
  • Anchoring revamped Sovereignty Blockade Units. They'd come in multiple sizes and pull down the sovereignty level at a given rate each day so long as they are online and intact; armor or hull damage would render them non-functional.
  • Blowing up POCOs, infrastructure hubs and upgrades, simultaneously imposing a one-time penalty and denying the defender the ancillary benefits. Rendering upgrades non-functional by dropping sovereignty below the level required for their operation could also impose a one-time penalty.
  • Taking control of adjacent systems and/or outposts to weaken area control.

And, again, so on. The entire point is that all scales of combat, from supercaps assaulting structures directly down to solo or small groups harassing the miners and ratters, contribute to attacking sovereignty. Even the smallest of actions, left unchecked, could lead to a cascade. Half a dozen guys allowed to terrorize a defender's ratters would lead to a cessation of ratting, which would lead to a drop in the military index, which would shut down the upgrades relying on that index, which would incur a sovereignty penalty, which would shut down other upgrades, and so on… a literal failure cascade.

We can build on that cascade concept. One of the upshots of the Dominion revamp was the addition of new ways for those holding space to upgrade their regions. With the exception of POCOs, we have received very little since. That can be fixed by adding some new upgrades to redress some of the other issues with sovereignty warfare. Let's start with raw structure hit points. Even if the defender collapses outright, their space remains littered with millions and millions of EHP worth of structures that must be swept away. Solve that by nerfing the base hit points of sovereignty structures significantly, down to the level where a reasonably sized subcap fleet or a small capital fleet is all that's required to reinforce and destroy them in a timely manner. Then add upgrades that boost the HP and/or resistances for those structures based on the level of sovereignty in the system. As explicitly stated before, even the lowest level of such an upgrade could only be installed at a high level of sov, requiring activity and restricting it to key systems. There could also be an extra cost that scales with sovereignty (rather than a flat cost), further enforcing the idea that they be for key systems only. Outlying systems would remain softer and provide a way in for an attacker, and as an empire falls, so would the amount of clean-up as the upgrades are knocked offline.

We can take a similar approach to reinforcement timers, another key aspect of sovereignty warfare. Currently, structures have a fixed level of random variance in their reinforcement period. Increase the default window, then add an upgrade that lowers it at higher levels of sov. Again, higher levels would only be obtained above levels of sovereignty that require use of the system and could be accompanied by an increasingly large fee.

What else? A few possibilities:

  • Upgrades that give bonuses to alliance-owned starbases: higher HP, lower fuel usage, more effective weapons and production modules, etc.
  • Upgrades to allow supercaps to interact with outposts (without docking) similar to a POS capital hangar array.
  • Upgrades to lower the setup time of structures in the system or in nearby systems.
  • Upgrades to allow multiple jump bridges per system; this one would come at a very high level and so be disabled very quickly by any attack.
  • Upgrades that lower fuel/capacitor use for alliance capitals jumping to or from the system.

And (yet again) so on. The possibilities are myriad, both functionally and for vanity—anyone remember Two Step's "penis in space" comment from the minutes? After all, an empire has its grand monuments and its testaments to its power… or hubris.

We're almost done, but there are a few more details. We'd need to revisit the reinforcement mechanics for outposts and infrastructure hubs in this new system, as they're no longer the sole focus of an invasion. One option is to allow them to be shot as soon as SBUs are online, and then always attacked at the end of a reinforcement cycle until fully repaired. Destroying a hub would cause a major drop in the sov level in the system, and a replacement couldn't be anchored with SBUs present. Similarly, capturing an outpost would result in a large drop to sov level. At this point, station ping pong could become a problem, halting the progress of both parties. As an alternative, the station could enter the ownership of a neutral party, such as the DED, limiting access until one contender meets certain conditions… or, for an interesting twist, throwing access open to all until those conditions are met. Offensively, SBUs may need to be reworked themselves; "drop them and they work as long as you have them at half plus one of the gates" would be rather outmoded in the new system. Most likely, they'd become just like any other structure, reinforcement timer and all.

DUST

DUST 514 is the looming specter in the room. Right now, its involvement with EVE is extremely limited, but CCP intends there to be more integration in more areas in the future, including null-sec. We don't know very much about the nature of that interaction yet. Within this proposed system, though, it could play a role in a variety of ways. Mercenaries could assault planets, inhibiting their use for PI. More directly, control over the planets could increase or lower the maximum sovereignty cap—an analogue to the current interaction with Faction Warfare. If CCP were feeling especially adventurous, the mercenaries could play a role in capturing structures and stations as well. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Wrapping It Up

The overall goal here is to make using one's space more important to the idea of holding it, and conversely, make all forms of warfare relevant to taking and defending space. Between the usage requirement and a dramatic increase in player density per system, even the largest of empires could live on far less space than they do now, opening up more room for more alliances of all sizes; this is something most would agree would make null-sec far more interesting. Balance it all correctly, and regardless of the size of an organization, excessive sprawl makes their empire weak and unstable, with outlying systems ripe for the taking. On the flip side, a tight empire is much stronger and more resistant to attack. Even then, though, your foes have ways in, undermining your strength from the bottom, capturing unclaimed territory at your borders, and working their way in. All kinds of activity, PvP and PvE alike, would have a whole new relevance, all contributing to create a new, vibrant dynamic.

Seven year veteran & economics guru of EVE Online as well as CSM 8 representative. On the side I play PS2, WOT and Hearthstone.