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Blog Banter 25: Nerfing Nulsec

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 crazykinux@gmail.com. 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?”

Well the answer to this is obviously no. In fact, some of the assertions made in the question are themselves rather dubious.

First, the current alliance mechanics didn’t appear out of nowhere. They appeared because players demanded them and created workarounds for them before they were added to the game. At one point, Goonswarm was a corporation. And while I wasn’t there (at the time I was in NBSI on the other side of that war), it was by all reports a pain in the ass to deal with before the alliance skills were seeded. And that pain is what a disproportionate number of suggestions about nulsec seem to be about: making it more irritating to play the game out there.

Would getting rid of sov mean more PVP in nulsec? That implies there isn’t enough right now. I just looked at eve-kill.net, which is about as comprehensive a resource as possible for PVP kills. I had to go to the third page just to find a single kill that wasn’t in nulsec and that was a classic lowsec special, 4 pirates in battlecruisers ganking a T1 frigate flown by a newbie. That’s the kind of PVP we need more of?

If you’re looking for PVP, nulsec is where it’s at. Small gangs wandering looking for ratters, black ops hot drops, stealth bombers taking out dozens of ships and disappearing into nowhere, and of course, huge fleet battles between the great powers. It’s all there. Every day.

Also, nulsec without sov? We already have nulsec that is uncontrolled space, it’s called NPC nulsec. It has plenty of PVP too, but not significantly more than you find in sovereign nulsec. There’s a lot of nulsec, it has room for a lot of different types of gameplay.

In terms of building outposts anywhere, if you were to remove the sov component would this change anything? Building a station is an extremely expensive endeavor. Nobody’s going to do it unless they have full control over the system. In terms of providing a base for PVP and since there’s a lot of ignorance going around about nulsec, let’s make this clear, you can build towers anywhere and it’s not just common, but ubiquitous for an invading power to build a tower in a system they’re attempting to take.

The RP potential? By this I assume we’re talking about “roleplaying.” In this, I revert to an opinion I’ve held for quite some time. Roleplaying in Eve is redundant because the interactions between corporations and alliances in the game is itself far more interesting and authentic than any sort of play acting roleplaying in which players pretend to be Minmatar or Amarr.

An arrogant empire annoyed by a foul mouthed savage in a frigate leading to a four year war engulfing half of the galaxy and the empire’s eventual collapse? Someone singing songs over fleet coms to keep pilots awake during a long siege, in the process coming up with something that becomes that alliances themesong? A huge empire destroyed by a traitor in the highest of their leadership circles? This is the stuff that roleplayers in other games only dream of being able to do. We just call it Eve Online.

Would changing mechanics lead to fewer groups allying with each other? Stop the Northern Coalition? Ah yes, let’s get down to the real issue. The nasty old NC. Mere minutes after the IT Alliance collapsed, we heard that the era of nulsec peace had begun: an all blue, completely peaceful nulsec that would last in all perpetuity. The game was ruined! The NC had to be stopped!

A week later the Russians invaded Geminate and almost immediately obliterated an NC super capital fleet. Since then we have seen some days that saw literally thousands of ships lost in a single system. Too many people being set blue is not a problem. Alliances will come and go as the needs of players change. It’s in the nature of humans to band together against their enemies, but it’s also the nature of Eve to be violent. And let’s not forget, the NC isn’t an alliance. It’s a group of alliances and people can’t even really agree on who’s part of them and who isn’t.

Heraclitis was right “There is nothing permanent except change.” A year ago Goonswarm didn’t hold a single system and almost broke up. Atlas and -A- were allied with IT in a grand Southern Coalition. TEST, the alliance that actually lives in IT’s former systems in Fountain didn’t even exist. Not exactly stasis.

Yes, there are issues with nulsec, but they aren’t about it not being dynamic enough. Supercapital proliferation and the gap between super capitals and other ships is a large issue. The requirements to take a system are tedious and give the defender a huge advantage. There’s some huge imbalances in moons. But how players play isn’t a problem and people should be skeptical about any changes to nulsec, or anywhere else, that are intended to socially engineer the behavior of people who live there, particularly if they’re based on the musings of people who don’t.

Other Views:

  1. BB25 What sov changes will come? | A Mule In EvE
  2. Confessions of a Closet Carebear: Alliances and Sovereignty
  3. Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? | Nitpickin’s
  4. Blog Banter #25: Alliance and Sovereignty Limiting PvP in 0.0? | Sarnel Binora’s Blog
  5. Blog Banter #25 – Mad Haberdashers

 

2 Comments

  1. S.W. February 28, 2011 1:49 pm

    Building an outpost is cheaper than building a titan, and on par with building a supercarrier. Hence the recent proliferation of stupid outpost deployments (and some smart ones).

    The OMFG “DRF invaded Geminate see the NC isn’t invulnerable” argument falls flat as the NC is the one winning that battle, in fact just this weekend some NC leadership are declaring victory on the whole campaign. Yet another supposed superpower crashes helplessly at the walls of the NC. Don’t use this argument (from one side or the other) – it’s far too flawed.

    Otherwise, I agree with a lot of this.

  2. DeVadder February 28, 2011 2:13 pm

    I came to this blog with this BB and hardly ever agreed as much on any blog before.
    Until i read your older posts…
    Now you just have to run for CSM ^^

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