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Stepping Stones

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#1 - 2015-08-13 14:01:21 UTC  |  Edited by: FT Diomedes
BLUF: Add more NPC 0.0 space to make Null Sec more accessible. This will pump new blood into 0.0 and promote content in stagnant areas of Eve.

As mentioned in Larrikin's thread, I'll expand on what changes I think need to be made to the map in order to make Eve the right size. I believe that during the Dominion Era, Eve gradually went from being the right size to being too small. As Supercapitals and Capitals proliferated, jump bridge networks expanded, coalitions grew, every place in Eve became subject to an enormous escalation. The threat posed by the Eye of Terror or a huge Supercapital fleet dropping on you exacerbated the growth of coalitions, as everyone had to be able to win an Asakai at all times. In Eve, fair fights are a rarity. You either win big, or blue ball each other. Usually, you have to trick people into fighting or force them to fight by putting something at risk. At B-R, both sides thought they could win. As it turned out, however, one side lost catastrophically and realized that it could not win a re-match. Once there was a clear loser, Dominion Sov was doomed. Eve stagnated under the fear of another catastrophic B-R defeat.

Phoebe changed Eve substantially by limiting power projection. Eve became bigger again. Without the fear that every fight could turn into another B-R, conflict briefly revived. Some of the post-Phoebe wars, such as last December's Fountain invasion, were a great deal of fun. Post-Phoebe, Eve feels big again, but Eve's geography makes it just a little too big. Some parts of space are just a bit too inaccessible. The attractions found in the furthest reaches of space are insufficient to overcome the difficulty of being there. And once you get there, you learn there is not much to do there.

Unlike some, I do not advocate shrinking Eve. Instead, I recommend adding more stepping stones to enable people to spread out, while not totally isolating any population. Isolated populations stagnate and die.

In order to grow, every society needs some minimum level of security. In order to be fun, Eve requires an element of danger. Preferably close enough that the game does not become tedious. CCP's challenge is finding that balance.

Some parts of Null Sec include relative safe havens - NPC stations where anyone can dock. Once you undock, other players might kill you, but you can at least play casually in this part of 0.0. You do not have to rely on others for logistics support, although it certainly helps. It is very unlikely that you will lose access to your stuff if you take a break from the game for six months. These NPC stations also provide an excellent base for smaller groups to harass the large coalitions. This is undeniably a good thing - for both sides. NPC Space is the heart of 0.0. It pumps new blood into 0.0 and keeps it from becoming stagnant and barren. Low Sec and NPC space provide daily doses of danger, excitement, and content, but without the threat of total annihilation for either side.

For all the bile spilled between MOA and the Imperium, they need each other. MOA derives great joy from harassing Imperium. Imperium derives equal joy from crushing MOA whenever possible. It's a symbiotic relationship. When I lived in Fountain, the Fountain Core provided the same thing. When I lived in Delve, PIZZA/PASTA provided the same thing. When I lived in Tenal, the NPC space in nearby Venal provided ample staging for raiders. The alliances in Cobalt Edge across the long regional jump divide also provided great content. Because neither side could easily project Supercapital power across that gap, it became a vibrant borderzone with raiding on each side, without a serious existential threat. Unfortunately, someone decided to huff and puff and blew IRC's house down. The threat of 10,000 Goons coming to CE was enough to make them fold completely. It totally stagnated that part of Eve for months.

In some areas, NPC Space and Low Sec space provide stepping stones for a well-prepared pilot to get from High Sec out to Null Sec. If CCP truly wants to see smaller corporations dip their feet into the deep water, they need to add more NPC 0.0 and Low Sec stepping stones. Unlike some, I do not want to see more long-range smuggler gates providing direct connections to High Sec or Low Sec. I would prefer to see lily-pad constellations that allow anyone, with some effort and time, to conduct logistics operations. I would like to see geography that gives people the option to save several jumps by taking the right gate with their Carrier or Jump Freighter, but not geography that turns that spot into the obvious camping spot for anyone with a jump route planner. I do not want to see regions that can be completely locked down and isolated from hostile threats. These stepping stones do not have to have NPC stations at every stop - it may just be an NPC system. A place someone can discretely establish a temporary POS (or the future equivalent of a POS) without alerting a player-owner. CCP can mix it up. Ideally, these stepping stones would spider web across Eve. Each one a little hub of activity. Each one a staging area, logistics pit stop, or home to a small corporation.

No part of Eve would be totally isolated. No part of Eve would be totally secure. But Eve as a whole would have that minimum level of accessibility to encourage growth and exploration.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

#2 - 2015-08-13 14:01:50 UTC
If you look at the Eve influence map ( http://go-dl1.eve-files.com/media/corp/coalitionsov/Coalitioninfluence.png ), you can see vast coalitions that currently claim almost all of 0.0. I do not say live there, since population density statistics show a very different picture. What you see is that the Imperium owns the North and that it is densely populated, as dictated by strategic concerns following Phoebe and Aegis. Then you see other areas where there is relatively low population density, many uncontested timers, and relatively little happening. Why haven't new bold capsuleers moved into these areas? Why haven't bored members of the Imperium split from the coalition and moved into these areas?

I believe it is at least partially due to the difficulty of getting there and the fact that there is relatively little worth doing once you get there. With that said, I also believe that "If you build it, they will come." If CCP built some NPC 0.0 and/or Low Sec stepping stones to places such as Omist, Cobalt Edge, or Esoteria, then those areas could be more viable. New groups could conduct logistics using the stepping stones - without having to blue up with everyone in between, without having to rely on rare WH connections to get to and from markets. It provides a staging area for an invasion. Pure PVP groups - those with no interest in taking and holding sovereignty - could take up residence in those shallow areas to harass the sov holders. This provides immediate content for both sides.

Now, hand in hand with this, CCP must provide a reason to want to hold sov. It used to be that you did this to build Supercapitals and/or because you wanted your name on the map. Now, with the current state of Supercapitals, you do it for your name on the map. This is not enough.

There should be some redistribution of resources to encourage people to stake a claim to a particular part of space and hold it. These resources should be exploitable by any player who is a member of the sov holding alliance. It should require people to be undocked and active in space in order to collect it. Other people should be able to interdict the collection process, if they put forth the effort. It must be a resource that people want to compete over. It must be a resource that people can crowd each other out. The Aegis anomaly buff was not the correct solution - allowing Imperium to cram additional people into the North is counterproductive. Maybe it is something as simple as giving a significant bonus to bounties for NPC's killed by members of the sov holding alliance in their own space? Maybe it is a real buff for 0.0 refining in sovereign space? Whatever incentive CCP chooses, it must be enough to make living in 0.0 preferable to having a money-making alt in high sec and log in your PVP main only for rare pings.

Without getting too side-tracked, along with that, CCP needs to get the new structures out as quickly as possible. New things to build. New things to destroy. They need real benefits vis-a-vis existing stations. Existing stations need to lose many of their current advantages.

Eve is only good so long as there are players in space interacting with one another. More NPC stepping stones will help make this a reality. Please make this happen, CCP.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

#3 - 2015-08-13 14:04:10 UTC  |  Edited by: FT Diomedes
Further fleshing out the details: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5997021#post5997021

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

Spaceship Bebop
#4 - 2015-08-13 14:35:20 UTC
Dude... tl;dr.

I got about 75% of the way through the first post without seeing any suggestions for features or ideas. I tried to skim the rest to find any. I couldn't.

All I saw was another "CCP needs to [somehow] make sov worth it". Which we've heard a thousand times in every corner of the forums.

My tip... way too much anecdotal storytelling of "when I was in [X] we used to do [Y] and that was fun but had the problem of [Z], and [V] provided content that was fun but could have had improvements, and then things changed blahblahblah..."

I'd just suggest you do some editing and shrink things down a bit, and maybe I could have found your actual idea, if there was one.

Spaceship Bebop
#5 - 2015-08-13 14:38:54 UTC
Skimmed some more and I think the idea is "more NPC 0.0 space and stations".

+1 yea absolutely, but man that was a long winded way of saying that.
Goonswarm Federation
#6 - 2015-08-13 14:59:25 UTC
If I read it correctly there would be lowsec islands in null helping connect the more remote regions, as well as NPC null. Kind of hoping I'm wrong about the lowsec. I'd like more lowsec buffer zones, including lows between regions of highsec( different thread, no need to go into that here). This would be expanding eve, but still making it seem a bit smaller.

I lived in omist a long time ago, and as a cute hauling newbie ran the pipe quite a lot. All red until omist, that was a long ride. Great training for null paranoia though, a nice steep learning curve. Kind of on the fence, but I'll say supported for the NPC null islands

+1

Use the force without consent and the court wont acquit you even if you are a card carryin', robe wearin' Jedi.

#7 - 2015-08-13 15:54:48 UTC
Zimmer Jones wrote:
If I read it correctly there would be lowsec islands in null helping connect the more remote regions, as well as NPC null. Kind of hoping I'm wrong about the lowsec. I'd like more lowsec buffer zones, including lows between regions of highsec( different thread, no need to go into that here). This would be expanding eve, but still making it seem a bit smaller.

I lived in omist a long time ago, and as a cute hauling newbie ran the pipe quite a lot. All red until omist, that was a long ride. Great training for null paranoia though, a nice steep learning curve. Kind of on the fence, but I'll say supported for the NPC null islands

+1


Zimmer, I primarily want there to be useful islands of some kind. Some could be low sec, others could be NPC 0.0.

I also agree that more lowsec buffer zones between the empires is a good idea. It still fits with my overall theme of evolving the Eve universe. It fits with the lore that the Empires are losing some of their control. Ironically, it might also make trade between the different empire regions safer.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

#8 - 2015-08-13 15:58:39 UTC
Leto Aramaus wrote:
Skimmed some more and I think the idea is "more NPC 0.0 space and stations".

+1 yea absolutely, but man that was a long winded way of saying that.


Thank you for the feedback, I added a BLUF.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

Shadow Cartel
#9 - 2015-08-13 16:51:46 UTC
If you want to get more people into "stagnent" areas of the game (and cause more instability that challenges the status quo) you do not intruduce more "safety" or "connivence" mechanics.

That just creates a new "status quo" that centers around the new mechanics.

IMO... if you want a more dynamic null-sec then you should look at aspects from two other areas of the game where things are always shifting around; low-sec and wormhole space.
- low sec space is always in a state of flux because...
----- no one can keep other people out (no bubble mechanics).
----- no docking restrictions (except for people in FW but that can be easily bypassed).
----- nothing is "offical"... if you want to claim" a place then you make everyone know about it by killing them! Repeatedly.

- wormhole space is terribly hazerdous because...
----- no local chat (no intel, can't see if there are any threats)
----- no one can dock... at all (no security for anyone at all)
----- multiple entrypoints for people to enter that are constantly shifting around
----- nothing is "offical"... if you want to "claim" a place then you make everyone know about it by killing them! Repeatedly.



tldr; cause more fights and instability by removing mechanics that allow people to "claim" space and keep people "out."
#10 - 2015-08-13 17:40:13 UTC  |  Edited by: FT Diomedes
Shahfluffers, normally I agree with your points, but not on this one.

Inconvenience is one of the things which causes large bloc formations. Anything horribly inconvenient is best overcome by harnessing more players to overcome the task. See, e.g. The Imperium.

Perceived risk of loss also encourages large bloc formations. As a Low Sec resident, you know that you cannot really lose anything except for your ships and maybe a tower. Your pod is safe 99% of the time. No one can really evict you.

Low Sec is partially successful because the barrier to entry is so low. All you have to do is take the first jump out of the High Sec cradle.

NPC 0.0 is just Low Sec with bubbles and bombs. Bubbles add an increased level of risk, as well as a way to more easily catch Capital and Supercapital ships. NPC 0.0 is therefore ideal as the next continuum towards more open game mechanics from Low Sec. You can more easily get big kills in NPC 0.0, but it is also easier to suffer big losses.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

Workers Trade Federation
#11 - 2015-08-13 17:47:19 UTC
After the nerf of jump fatigue, it made the previous active npc-nullsec alliances become lazy and just sit in their system building up an incredible defence and high ground.

To many, including me who has spent all his time in hisec and lowsec thinks of nullsec as completely unaccessible because of these behemoth alliances. So I say yes to expand it further, as it makes it harder for the powerful alliances to keep all of their ground.

And as an active forum dweller I know you know what you're talking about FT Diomedes, so you have my support.
#12 - 2015-08-13 23:34:07 UTC
I think I could support this.....
what I will also say about WH's - is whilst it's very easy for a big(ger)-boy to come in and disrupt your operations for a day by virtue of spilling in in assault frigs and logi-frigs (from null) or T3's (WH corps), they then can't stay there forever or they lose their home connection, and can be whittled down and thus re-evicted..... unless they're putting forth a serious effort, into an area they can't easily resupply (in which case fair play)
in NPC low/null - they can't be evicted, but nor can they evict you

in sov-null, it's too easy for large groups to project their power and stomp out a smaller group trying to gain a foothold.

For posting an idea into F&I: come up with idea, try and think how people could abuse this, try to fix your idea - loop the process until you can't see how it could be abused, then post to the forums to let us figure out how to abuse it..... If your idea can be abused, it [u]WILL[/u] be.

#13 - 2015-08-14 01:48:11 UTC
Neither for or against this but I do have a question for the OP.

If you do not change many of the other mechanics / aspects of nul sec how long do you expect this new 0.0 space will remain a contested area?

If it was to become a thing I would give it 6 months max before it was the same as the rest of 0.0 space.
#14 - 2015-08-14 01:55:32 UTC
Donnachadh wrote:
Neither for or against this but I do have a question for the OP.

If you do not change many of the other mechanics / aspects of nul sec how long do you expect this new 0.0 space will remain a contested area?

If it was to become a thing I would give it 6 months max before it was the same as the rest of 0.0 space.


Please describe the "rest of 0.0 space." What do you mean by that?

My experience has been that there are huge differences depending on who your neighbors are.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

Central Omni Galactic Group
#15 - 2015-08-14 06:49:36 UTC
I could see something like this -

I believe I stated before, when they first talked of the new structures, that CCP could introduce Interbus station(s) in to each null region. This would allow, no matter their alignment, players a place to stage from and to leap frog around for logistics purposes.

I also posted in the Jump Fatigue post, that Capital systems would be cool if they increased the jump range of ships going from and to it. I don't have any jump capable toons so I don't know what numbers would be needed from deep null to NPC space, but I wouldn't be bothered by seeing double the range for JFs and the such, 20 LYs should be more than enough range in a JF (would have to include reduction for jump fatigue as well)

"The Lord loosed upon them his fierce anger All of his fury and rage. He dispatched against them a band of Avenging Angels" - The Scriptures, Book II, Apocalypse 10:1

#NPCLivesMatter #Freetheboobs

#16 - 2015-08-14 07:13:13 UTC
Amarisen Gream wrote:

I also posted in the Jump Fatigue post, that Capital systems would be cool if they increased the jump range of ships going from and to it. I don't have any jump capable toons so I don't know what numbers would be needed from deep null to NPC space, but I wouldn't be bothered by seeing double the range for JFs and the such, 20 LYs should be more than enough range in a JF (would have to include reduction for jump fatigue as well)


I do not think the frog should be able to jump completely across the pond in one bound. I do think there should be some lily pads for the frog to jump to, so that he does not have to swim the whole way.

20 light year range in a jump freighter is absurd.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

#17 - 2015-08-14 14:15:07 UTC
FT Diomedes wrote:
Donnachadh wrote:
Neither for or against this but I do have a question for the OP.

If you do not change many of the other mechanics / aspects of nul sec how long do you expect this new 0.0 space will remain a contested area?

If it was to become a thing I would give it 6 months max before it was the same as the rest of 0.0 space.


Please describe the "rest of 0.0 space." What do you mean by that?

My experience has been that there are huge differences depending on who your neighbors are.

The vast majority of 0.0 space is held by one group or another and even though there is more fighting going on now post Fozzie Sov there are still huge blocks of nul that are for practical purposes empty and void of any activity.
So the question is after your idea becomes a thing how long will it take for it to be owned by one group or another and fall into this same general pattern of large areas of space that are devoid of any inhabitants and activity?

Nul is a place where player groups are supposed to go and carve out a piece of the Universe to call home.
When they do that home space becomes as safe and in many ways even safer than high sec.
This results in all manor of complaints and laments around the theme of there are no fights to be had.
This is, was and always will be the source of great amusement for me because the very idea of owning a reasonably safe home area and having fights close to hand are mutually exclusive yet this simple fact seems to escape the conscious thought processes of many nul sec inhabitants.
#18 - 2015-08-15 13:50:09 UTC  |  Edited by: FT Diomedes
While one can never predict how players will react (you cannot make people stop setting new blues), this at least allows the possibility for new groups to get to different parts of space. It also gives those willing to fight pathways into the under inhabited, poorly defended parts of Eve. Almost as important, it gives those who try and fail a path to retreat so that they are not forced to blue up and bend the knee.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

#19 - 2015-08-17 04:06:54 UTC
Donnachadh wrote:


Nul is a place where player groups are supposed to go and carve out a piece of the Universe to call home.
When they do that home space becomes as safe and in many ways even safer than high sec.
This results in all manor of complaints and laments around the theme of there are no fights to be had.
This is, was and always will be the source of great amusement for me because the very idea of owning a reasonably safe home area and having fights close to hand are mutually exclusive yet this simple fact seems to escape the conscious thought processes of many nul sec inhabitants.


That is why having NPC space only a few jumps away is a good thing. It provides an impregnable base for raiders and pirates. It prevents people from being able to destroy their own content.

As I mentioned above, you can have a reasonably safe home and have fights close at hand. That is why I spent so many words describing my differing experiences in Fountain, Delve, and Tenal.

I originally had a rather lengthy paragraph about my experience in Malpais, where I saw hostile roaming gangs at best once a week. We had exterminated everyone not blue for quite a distance and there was no way for them to get in to bother us.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

#20 - 2015-08-17 06:17:25 UTC
I read through your post. I don't know enough about low and nullsec politics to say definitively, but it sounds like your proposal makes sense and would do good. I'll give a +1 for you on that.

I do appreciate the time you took to put things into context and lay out what your hopes are for each change, rather than just listing changes you want and hoping people understand it without context. Anyone who says two posts is "TL;DR" can pod themselves :P It is 5 minutes reading, tops. And it is necessary context to understand the proposal.
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