Welcome to the twenty-fifth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month's topic comes to us from @Tetraetc - "Tetra's EVE Blog" - who asks: "Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? Imagine a Null Sec where anyone could build outposts wherever. Would the reduction of the alliance game mechanic, and the removal of the sovereignty game mechanics (or the modifcation of it from Alliance level to Corp level for that matter) force more PVP into Null sec, or would giant power blocs like the NC still form themselves?"
Hello fellow pilots!
I have lot of things on my mind about all of that SOV stuff, that is something that we often discussed over the years with my friends, also RL ones. From 2006, I was in many corps, I had few "skilling breaks", I was always at move, changing places, making variuos things. I think I've chosen important moment to get back to EVE after almost a year of non-playing, nor skilling. Player count looks the same as one year ago, that gives me feel that game isn't growing. Why? Maybe because of some of things related to Alliances and SOV? I remember my early EVE times, when there was no wrecks, no T2 ships, no JumpBridges, nullsec was "the far unknown" and you couldn't jump to 0km. It was different.
I've been in few-men Hi-sec mining corporations, and in deep 0.0 corps which were parts of alliances, or powerblocks, so I know what you can get when a pilot can quicky use dozen of JBs to get to Jita instead of flying 50 jumps or so.
But, that ruined a big part of my gameplay to be honest. I really enjoyed and loved null and low-sec hauling. It was like dangerous player-given missions for brave (or stupid) pilots. There were escrow contracts when You could courier goods for money and those contracts was plenty.
When Jump Drives, Cyno, JBs and stuff was given to pilots, that part of the game was gone. I missed it so much that I was still going "manual" way to Jita from time to time, instead of putting order for corp JF or Carrier. For me, not taking a risk connected with hauling goods looted in nullsec if strictly farming, to say brutal. If you are not taking a real risk ratting in less or better protected alliance territory, and then not taking a risk with earning some money with selling loot and salvage, where there is a game?
First conclusion: SOV/Alliance is taking away a big, good part of game like organizing transport fleets, hauling goods, it just makes transport related things too easy, and unfair in some way. Rich players could always build a fleet of freighters, and escort and haul from time to time large amounts of stuff. Why not? Because it takes too much time? Because it is too hard? Because they can loose something... maybe? Small corps or single players have brains, shadows and blockade runners at their disposal which makes the job done for them very well. That's how we operate in for example, 0.0 NPC areas. We have to handle our operation by ourselves, and there is no "short way".
That brings me to second thing connected to SOV. It is not a mystery what happened to some of the alliances and how NC looks like now. The word is, few guys are "ruling" EVE Universe. So, by "owning" good, rich systems with shiney moons and lots of resources, they in fact are the winners of that game. Ok, but that is completely not ruining my game. I will not complain that someone else is richer, looks like his gameplay style is effective and good for him. That doesn't affects MY own wallet or my skillplan, or my adventure plan.
But, very large game areas owned by Powerblocks are narrowing my area of possible exploration. Of course, I can always fly anywhere and I think that being in 2 or 3-man fleet makes us a minor threat and in most cases almost undetected. But being in SOV territory makes me not aware of pirates and roaming gangs, but rather of players guarding their ISK. Is that healthy?
Second conclusion is: The Galaxy is just too small. That's all. Players will always form clans, gangs, powerblocks, alliances, whatever. You can't run from it and you shouldn't. It is good experience, great for community and makes occasions to raise wars and hell. Just give the rest some "sandbox" space, not force us to play almost all the time on other's turf. Enlarge the galaxy! Twice or triple it. PVP is plenty anywhere with or without Alliances.
Do we need Alliances and SOV in EVE? I think Yes, but mechanics of both need to be changed. Something has to be done, not to take with force something from players, but to make travelling, systems controlling, intel, and possible exploration different and a bit old-school way - harder. That will bring back some RP.
One last thing:
Controlling SOV forced players to tactics like NBS and such. Why? Cant't there be civilians? Free traders? Small corps delivering goods, not being part of an Alliance because they would like to work for both sides? Every stranger must be killed on-sight because he can be spy or other threat for SOV. It is connected closely with Outposts where only alliance members can dock, JBs - Alliances do not need us, not-alliance pilots. Can they live without the rest of the EVE universe?
Player outposts everywhere? Hmmm, let's take all those abandoned POSes out first, OK? :)
And, last word, I feel lucky, lucky, lucky that I have no single business connected with SOV or Alliances haha :D Because tears there will be many! Not mine.
Fly safe - Anywhere :) !
Update from Keen Fallsword, CEO of Weekenders,:
There is a very advanced technology in hands of pilots: Jump Drives. So, do we need Stargates anymore? Let everyone jump on their own JD, can you imagine that level of freedom? Jump Bridges given to Alliances are far more advanced that Stargates. Low upkeep costs, you can't see them on overview, they give great tactical advantage. This, with ability to jump thru them for big distances makes them perfect tool of war and trade. Aren't they ISK-printers? Why making the game easier for players who are so advanced and organized that they can control entire Regions of the Universe? Will controlling SOV be possible without Jump Bridges? Of course yes, but harder, in a fair way. It will not take out 0.0 PVP from the game, nor RP. And here we are - at that moment, Alliances and SOV are not the tools for playing together with other pilots, they are money-making machines for a few. Maybe galaxy is small because of JBs?
Hard for me not to agree with Keen. When there was no railroads on the U.S., it was country of pioneers and brave. Building Railroads makes U.S. small, and who soon started ruling? Corporations of course, if that's good, judge yourself. I am not a caveman symphatic, nothing like that, but do we have to face not-perfect-real-world mechanics in our beloved game? :)