These forums have been archived and are now read-only.

The new forums are live and can be found at

Player Features and Ideas Discussion

  • Topic is locked indefinitely.

’Farms & Fields’ - Nullsec Reform

Doctor Invictus
Station Crew
#1 - 2011-10-17 06:38:42 UTC
’Farms & Fields’ - Nullsec Reform

*This is a long, sometimes technical proposal,so a quick summary is directly below, followed by the main proposal. This is a refined version of an earlier proposal based on feedback.*


Modular, destructible outposts roll together sovereignty, industry, and infrastructure. Multiple outposts can exist in a single system, increasing the total units of claimable space. Player groups are given substantial powers to improve the quality of their space based on a revised index system. At the same time, continually disrupting activity of space will both increase the costs of holding it and lower its value, boosting small gangs.

An overhauled sovereignty system is linked to the control of the outposts – each has a population that is ‘claimed’ by troops loyal to player groups. Troops have cyclical maintenance costs, introducing an efficient, flexible pricing mechanism for sovereignty claims – the cost of holding space will be set by the value it has to players. Troops also provide a difficult-to-game timing mechanism for conflicts.

A series of incentives encourage more local and small-scale warfare, without pre-empting large fleet battles in any way. This system allows for player-created stargates, effectively making jump bridges obsolete by allowing route optimization. A vassalage treaty system allows for the subjugation of neighbors without removing them from the space.

The entire cyno-technology mechanism is given an overhaul. The ease of transit using cynos will now vary from system to system, creating a natural topography of ‘mountains’ and ‘rivers’ as far as non-gate travel is concerened. The revised cyno and outpost/infrastructure systems are combined to allow territory holders to interfere with their immediate neighbors’ operations. POS are effectively rendered obsolete as game constructs.

Modular Outposts – Overview, Management and Upgrades

Outposts would be modular stations, rolling together sovereignty claims, infrastructure, and economic capacity – anchorable at planets, moons, and asteroid belts (one active outpost each). The basic unit of these structures is the outpost core (~1 billion ISK set-up cost), which can be used as a platform to attach a wide variety of modules (with the goal of replacing POS-infrastructure entirely with outpost-infrastructure). Several assets are required for an outpost to be operational. Population living aboard the outpost act as support staff for attached modules; each module requires a given amount of population dedicated to it in order to go online. Initially, population will be bought from NPCs, but once purchased it will grow on the outpost when combined with consumer goods, eventually becoming its own player-traded commodity. Outposts also require fuel in proportion to the size of the population, to remain functional. Without fuel, stationed population gradually dies off.

Outpost cores would be limited in the number of modules they can attach. Each module type requires a certain amount of superstructure space to be anchored, but cores only have a limited amount. Additional space can be purchased through a revised upgrade system. This system allows for the accumulation of upgrade credits via a revised index system:

Industrial Index (I): Affected by ore mining, ranges from 0-5. Reduces the fuel requirements of outposts at a rate of +10% per level .

Military Index (M): Affected by NPC ratting, ranges from 0-5. Decreases the minimum ratio of troops to population needed to maintain a sovereignty claim over an outpost at multiples of 10 (i.e., 0 = 1:1, 1 = 1:10, 5 = 1:100,000) (see below).

Strategic Index (S): Affected by the distance in light years to the nearest non-allied or non-vassal outpost (player or NPC) or unclaimed star system. Reduces the amount of time and spare parts needed to repair outpost modules/services (-10% per light year for both) (see below).

Development Index (D): Total number of outposts in a system. Allied/vassal outposts decrease the amount of population needed to online/use modules (-1% per friendly outpost). Non-allied/vassal outposts increase population requirements (+2% per outpost).

Daily Credits = (I+M+S)/D

In addition to increasing superstructure space, system sovereignty holders would be able to spend upgrade credits on increasing the quality of their space in several key ways. Probably the most important would be by attracting agents to their system. Agents’ price in upgrade credits would be based on their level, quality, and type, with each agent having both upfront and maintenance costs. Similarly, belts’ contents or size could be modified using a similar method.

This means that alliances can gradually increase the quality of their space and infrastructure by increasing activity in that space, and expanding their territory as far as possible as a single, continuous unit. Outposts in core systems would be relatively immune from disruption by small gangs, but border outposts could be heavily disrupted raiding parties. Disrupting activity in a system will slow the rate of growth/development of established stations and system upgrades, and if persistent, may actually cause the quality of systems’ attributes and outposts’ infrastructure and services to backslide (outposts shrink and lose functionality/belts revert/agents leave/etc).

To be continued...

'Farms and Fields' Sovereignty Revamp:

A Computationally Cheap Line-of-Sight Mechanism:

Doctor Invictus
Station Crew
#2 - 2011-10-17 06:41:26 UTC
Sovereignty Warfare – Battle Mechanics

In this proposal, there are two methods of wrestling sovereignty away from an enemy: 1) conquering their outpost or 2) destroying their outpost.


The population of an outpost will generate troops at a rate determined by the size of the population and whatever bonuses are in effect. Troops are tools for sovereignty warfare. Each troop has a cyclical (daily, weekly, monthly?) cost associated with ownership (e.g., 10 ISK per troop per cycle). This allows for a fine-grained pricing mechanism in sovereignty claims, rather than the one-size-fits-all that currently prevails. It also creates a large, but non-intrusive ISK-sink into the game.

Troops would be stationed aboard outposts to make sovereignty claims on them. Based on the index system (see above) a minimum troop-to-population ratio would be necessary to make/maintain a sovereignty claim over an outpost, meaning that, on balance, larger/more populated outposts would be more expensive to hold than small/undeveloped ones. Ships can transport troops, offloading them to outposts at a fixed rate (e.g., 10 troops per second per offloading ship). Ships can not activate modules while offloading troops, meaning that safely offloading troops requires some measure of control over the area surrounding the outpost.

The on-the-ground battle mechanics would be simple. Every second of sustained battle, a maximum of three troops are killed. Every second, the smaller force loses two troops while the larger force loses one - until one party withdraws or is eliminated from the outpost entirely. Dreadnaughts can bombard the outpost for an additional 1 kill per second (KPS), with all of the damage going towards enemy troops. Total damage from bombardment to enemy troops maxes out at 3 KPS for each side.

Example A (medium battle): 100,000 (Alliance A) vs. 80,000 plus two ships providing supporting bombardment (Alliance B). Initially, Alliance A loses three troops per second and Alliance B loses two troops per second, until Alliance A ‘s troop levels reach the tipping point (i.e., become the smaller party) and eventually start losing four troops per second. The entire battle would take approximately 8 hours and 20 minutes to resolve, with Alliance A’s troops being wiped out and Alliance B having 30,000 remaining troops.

Example B (epic battle): 2,500,000 plus two supporting ships (Alliance A) vs. 2,000,000 plus three supporting ships (Alliance B). Both alliances lose four troops per second for the duration of the battle, which will take approximately 138 hours and 53 minutes. Alliance A would win with 500,000 surviving troops while Alliance B is eliminated.

Attackers (or defenders) can offload their troops onto the outpost and then leave – there is no need to remain near the outpost for more time than it takes to offload (although doing so may prevent enemies from offloading their troops). Once offloaded, troops from both sides will grind each other down until one side is victorious. The defender will lose their sovereignty claim if the ratio of troops-to-population is too low (and the attacker will only gain sovereignty once they are above said ratio). Every second a battle goes on, some number (or percentage) of the population will be killed as collateral damage. For major battles, this could leave the outpost under-populated and unable to operate installed modules.

Defenders are able to station as many troops as they want aboard an outpost, meaning that they are (basically) in control of the minimum amount of time it would take to conquer it (at minimum). At the same time, owning more troops means having a larger daily (weekly/monthly/whatever) maintenance bill. Player groups will be constrained in terms of how many troops they can field at any one time by their collective income (and savings).


The second option for taking sovereignty away from an enemy is to destroy their outpost(s) outright. Outpost cores would have ~150 million HP, and a single reinforcement timer (18 hours). Each layer of superstructure purchased (see above) would add its own HP (50 million?) and reinforcement timer (12 hours?). Attackers would need to grind through each layer to get to the outpost core. Layers themselves would be completely destructible, and would take modules (and population) with them as they went. Individual modules could be targeted and taken offline by damage without worrying about reinforcement timers or affecting sovereignty. Heavily damaged modules are taken offline until repaired. Repairs take a set amount of time and consume spare parts, which are manufactured by players. The outpost core would be semi-destructible; once its reinforcement timers and HP have been ground through, the outpost will become a ‘ruined outpost’. All troops and population aboard the outpost are destroyed and any sovereignty claims are neutralized. Ruined outposts can be repaired at a lower cost than building one from scratch, or salvaged by passersby.

Players docked at an outpost when it is ruined can take however much of their property they can carry in their current ship and undock as usual. They will not be able to (re)dock or use services/change ships while docked at the ruined outpost. Pilots will be able to access their property when and if the outpost if repaired (and if they have good docking rights with the owner).

'Farms and Fields' Sovereignty Revamp:

A Computationally Cheap Line-of-Sight Mechanism:

Doctor Invictus
Station Crew
#3 - 2011-10-17 06:44:07 UTC
Sovereignty – Holding/Bonuses Related

The sovereignty system would be hierarchical, scaling up from individual outposts to encompass entire regions. A series of special rights granted at higher levels of sovereignty allow large-scale sovereignty holders some measure of control over alliances in their area, creating incentives for neighbours to attack one another.

Level one sovereignty (“outpost sovereignty”) involves having a sovereignty claim over an individual outpost. The holding player group can set restrictions and fees for docking and the using services at the outpost. Holders of belt outposts can establish belt usage fees, charging ISK for mining in the belt. Outpost-holders can become vassals of territory-holders (described below). This level of sovereignty can be claimed by individual corporations without an alliance.

Level two sovereignty (“planetary system sovereignty”) involves holding the outpost with the highest population in a planetary system (planet and all orbiting moons and belts). Sovereignty holders can set belt usage fees for all unclaimed belts in the planetary system. This level of sovereignty can be claimed by individual corporations.

Level three sovereignty (“solar system sovereignty”) involves holding planetary system sovereignty in the most highly populated planetary system in a solar system. The sovereignty holding alliance can set belt usage fees for all unclaimed belts and build (destructible) Standard Stargates to connect to other systems in the same constellation. The system holder can set fees for using any Standard Stargates in the system, as well as manage upgrade credits accumulated in the system. The system holder can restrict certain types of strategic modules (e.g., cyno-related) that can be anchored by other outpost-holders in the system, and consent to having other alliances connect their system/constellation/region to theirs via a stargate. This level of sovereignty allows the holders to accept vassals via treaty (described below) and determine how the system’s upgrade credits are spent. This level of sovereignty can be claimed by individual corporations.

Level four sovereignty (“constellation sovereignty”) would involve having solar system sovereignty in the majority of systems in a constellation. Constellation sovereignty holders can build (destructible) Constellation Stargates to connect to neighboring constellations, and can set a fee for using any Constellation Stargate in the constellation. Increases frequency of scan site spawns in solar systems held by the constellation-holding alliance, decreases them in others in the same constellation.

Level five sovereignty (“regional sovereignty”) occurs when the majority of the constellations in a region are claimed by a single alliance. The region-holder can build (destructible) Regional Stargates to connect to neighboring regions and set fees for the use of all Regional Stargates. The holding alliance can designate an outpost in the region to be the Regional Capital. The system holding the capital taxes 1% of the upgrade credits generated from each system in the region each day, allowing for faster growth and the maintenance of a greater number of simultaneous upgrades. Taxed credits can only be spent in the capital system.

Level six sovereignty (“empire sovereignty”) occurs when an alliance has regional sovereignty in at least three adjacent regions (e.g., Providence/Catch/Teneferis). The alliance can build (destructible) Capital Stargates in their space, which can move capital and super-capital ships. An Imperial Capital can be declared, which receives a 1% upgrade credit tax per system in each region where regional sovereignty is held by the alliance, and from every system in constellations where the alliance holds at least one outpost (outside of regions where it has regional sovereignty). Taxed credits can be spent in any system located in a region where the alliance holds regional sovereignty. Achieving empire sovereignty unlocks an additional system upgrade – the ability to modify security status (without affecting system infrastructure or upgrades). This process would have enormous upfront and maintenance costs, meaning that an active, sprawling empire would be necessary to maintain hi-sec status in more than a handful of systems.

Vassalage Treaties

As noted above, non-allied outposts disrupt systems’ Strategic Index merely by existing in proximity. While this will encourage large alliances to expand their space out as far as possible, it might also encourage holding worthless space for the sake of upgrading core systems, freezing smaller groups out of making sovereignty claims. To adjust the incentives, territory-holders would be able to sign vassalage treaties, allowing minor sovereignty holders to become vassals of major sovereignty holders. Vassals’ outposts would not disrupt the Strategic Index of the major partner, and would count towards the major partner’s hierarchical sovereignty claims above level 3 sovereignty. Systems held by vassals would always have a Strategic Index of zero (slowing the rate of development and making their outposts more susceptible to raids), and vassals would only be able to claim up to level 3 sovereignty, even if their holdings qualify for higher levels of sovereignty (the higher levels being awarded to their major partner).

'Farms and Fields' Sovereignty Revamp:

A Computationally Cheap Line-of-Sight Mechanism:

Doctor Invictus
Station Crew
#4 - 2011-10-17 06:45:32 UTC
Re-Working Cyno-Tech

Since jump bridges recently came to everyone’s attention, I thought I would go over how cynos could be modified in the outpost system above. The major concept introduced here is Cyno-Interference Fields (CIFs), which act as multipliers to the amount of fuel required to jump into a system. For example, jumping into a system with a CIF of -99Hz (lowest possible level) would have fuel costs reduced by 99%, whereas jumping into a system with a CIF of 500Hz would increase fuel costs by 500% (there being no upper limit to CIFs). CIFs are influenced by both natural and player-created effects. Each star would generate a CIF with effects being either limited to its own system or occurring over a given range in light years, affecting nearby systems . Similarly, cyno-related outpost modules can have effects beyond the system they are anchored, raising or lowering the CIF across a given range. Overlapping CIFs are cumulative (i.e., positive and negative influences balance out). Given a minor tweek where nearby ships can pool their fuel together, it would never be technically impossible to jump into a system, just mind-bogglingly expensive in some cases.

Jump bridges, assuming they aren’t removed, would also be affected. Rather than act as ‘highways’ for established, developed sovereignty holders, I propose that jump bridges be used more as ‘dirt roads’ for smaller organizations. In the context of player-built stargates becoming available, route optimization (even for capital ships) would be available on a basically unlimited basis once various levels of sovereignty have been established. For lower-level sovereignty claimants, jump bridges would provide the same function in a manner which is both more flexible (does not require large-scale sovereignty claims) and less effective (operate on capacitor recharge model, does not use fuel). Jump bridges would also ignore CIFs, allowing them to offer limited transit through high-interference areas.

Depending on the distribution of natural CIFs, there will be clusters of systems which are inherently ‘mountainous’, in the sense that jumping into them would be prohibitively expensive. The main access point would be gates, wormholes, and jump bridges if the local inhabitants can set a network up. Conversely, there would be areas with naturally low CIFs, where jumping would be much cheaper than nearby alternatives. Player infrastructure could be used to enhance these natural ‘mountains and rivers’, as well as tamper with nearby sovereignty holders’ cyno-related infrastructure.

That's it, thanks for those of you that read it all the way through. Feel free to ask any questions or post any comments you might have. Cheers!

'Farms and Fields' Sovereignty Revamp:

A Computationally Cheap Line-of-Sight Mechanism: