Isk isn't so much the problem but more so the fact that Structure's determine sov not actions, lets say you where to apply faction war system to sov, (which if you have have a brain you would see CCP is using FW zones as the tester for future sov) Large alliances would live in one or two systems like now, but you wouldn't need massive super fleet to grind sov just a group of friends that pick a corner of space that no one is really using, sure big boys could come in and push them out but it would be a huge pain in the ass to do so cause they wouldn't be living in the space unless the small group of friends, and they wouldn't need to be any pet or renter to do so. Also with CCP removing Pos Shields and moon mining in the future you won't see tech cartels able to control inflow of materials, and the people living in the space would have to ring mine to get the minerals aka only people living in there space would be able to take advantage of the things there not some one like PL many regions away getting rich and fat with zero sov and a ton of blues.
(In the first part of this series I explained the differences between "Little Guys" and "New Blood". In this part of this series I will explain the barriers keeping new blood out of Sov Space.)
I've been in nullsec on the fringes for years now. Three years ago I was a Director of modro. We were in Gentlemen’s Club, an Atlas satellite alliance. Back then modro was stressed financially - just being in nullsec was expensive. We lacked the raw isk and tools to setup profitable reactions or run an import/export market. The alliance’s finances were a mess as well. They, too, lacked the tools and isk to manage profitable reactions.
Gentleman's Club fell shortly before Atlas did and modro and I parted ways several months later. I started FELON with the hope of one day holding space. FELON grew, and eventually I lead it through a year of nullsec in two separate renter alliances. The first we joined was The Methodical Alliance. I watched TMA struggle with finances, unable to pay its 15b/month rent check to NCdot. TMA's first couple of months and its first station were paid for by an 'angel' investor. That investor lost nearly everything when TMA was evicted from the area during CFC’s Tribute invasion. The second alliance, Rebel Alliance of New Eden, was much more together, but once again foisted into existence by an angel investor, nearly wiping him out in the process.
Why there is no New Blood in Sov Space
There are dozens of competing views on why there are no independent alliances left in Sov space. Some say that Super Capitals keep them out, or that rookie forces can’t take the moons needed to fund a sov empire and the raw EHP is too much for young alliance to chew through!
While these are all semi-valid or valid reasons as to why there are no 'new' alliances in sov space, I would like to posit another reason: ISK. Sov is expensive and offers little in return for its costs.
ISK is the Problem
The tools of sovereignty are costly. Below is a list from most to least expensive.
Titan ~90 Billion: A bridging titan is an amazing logistics resource, allowing you to jump regular freighters as if they were Jump Freighters. It is essential for safely and swiftly moving the Ihubs, upgrades and station components required for Sovereignty.
Station ~ 20 Billion: A station is essential. Without it there is no private storage, no market, no contracts and two fewer reinforcement timers for a system. A system with a station is also more likely to see bling ratters and hardcore miners.
Jump Freighters ~ 6.5 Billion: Jump Freighters are essential for supplying markets and handling basic POS management. The number of Jump Freighters necessary to supply an alliance is determined by distance to Jita, supporting infrastructure and the alliance's rate of consumption.
Dreadnoughts ~ 2.5 Billion: Dreadnoughts represent the bare minimum in efficient DPS. A close range dread can deal 10,000 DPS which makes them essential for stripping away the raw hitpoints of Sov Structures.
Carriers ~ 1.6 Billion: Carriers are the hallmark in sov structure repair, without a sizable carrier fleet repairing any damaged sov structure will take dozens of pilots and the better part of a day.
Freighters ~ 1.5 Billion: Freighters are required to move sov structures around. Infrastructure Hubs in particular are 750km3 and thus may only be moved by freighters. Upgrades for those Ihubs range from 5km3 to 500km3 and as such require freighters as well.
Control Towers ~ 750m: Large Control towers cost ~350m on their own, must be fueled and armed/armored, averaging another 300m for the first month, more outside of sov. Towers are used primarily for staging during conflicts and as safe spots and supply depots in peacetime.
Infrastructure Hubs ~ 300m: Infrastructure hubs are the lynch pin of Dominion Sovereignty. A system may house only one online Ihub at a time, the Ihub makes the TCU invulnerable and has two reinforcement timers. Ihubs are invulnerable as long as the system is not contested.
Sovereignty Blockade Units ~ 175m: Sovereignty Blockade Units (SBUs) are required for invading space and can have defensive uses as well. SBUs are placed on the gates in the target system. The system’s gates must be 51% covered by SBUs in order to contest the system and make the Ihub and Station vulnerable.
Customs Offices ~ 100m: A Customs Office (POCO) is required to efficiently leverage Planetary Interaction. Running PI under POCOs you do not control subjects you to their tax rate and sometimes prohibits the use of the POCO. This often necessitates the destruction of existing POCOs and their replacement.
Territorial Claim Units ~ 75m: Territorial Claim Units (TCUs) are the proverbial flag in the ground. A TCU must be placed in each system sov is desired in. It is invulnerable as long as the Ihub and Station are still under your control.
The above list details the cost of the tools. It does not include the upkeep costs for sov once you’ve established it. It does not include the fuel and ammunition costs of your dreadnought and carrier fleet. It does not include the attrition cost of losing dozens of SBUs, Dreads, Carriers, JFs or other critical tools. Just assembling the basic tools of even a tiny sov empire is mindbogglingly expensive.