Game Mechanic Change: The ability for Capital ships to activate and travel through Highsec stargates, this would be the only mechanic change in this proposal.
Why this should be implemented?
I have always been a believer in the need for different regions of the game to work together, especially with the very large and realistic game economy that EVE Online has. I view capital ships as the shiny toys that everyone wants, they are effective, they are big, and can serve as great content generators. In addition, I also love to see capital ships get destroyed in fights, not only because of the fun that such fights tend to cause, but because destruction of assets is healthy to the economy, as it stimulates demand in order to replace that which is lost.
Therefore, I propose to allow Capital ships all the way up to Titans to be allowed in highsec. The only change will be the gate mechanics, the superweapons would be banned, both for balance and for lore reasons, cynosural generators will also be banned, in order to force decisions between travel and useful fits, and all capital ships will not be allowed to dock in NPC stations, carriers must use fortizar outposts, and supercarriers and titans must use keepstars, hopefully causing many fights as groups strive to drop outposts to escape their capital tombs, and to make a capital in highsec an expensive toy, both in purchase, and in storage.
In addition, since capitals will only be able to be built in lowsec, nullsec, and wormhole space, with supercarriers and titans being exclusive to nullsec builders, this would help to buff the recently nerfed nullsec region, as the vast highsec demand can only be met by nullsec alliances with upgraded solar systems. Does an alliance gain riches by selling these ships to eager highseccers, or conserve them to further their own fleet strength? Finally, this would help increase the revenue for CCP Games, as players with deep pockets would want to show off their new toys by buying plex, helping to increase revenue.
Flaws in this proposal include more power to capsuleers for missions, incursions, and invasions. This can be countered by having missions be buffed with extra high speed frigates that exclusively attack fighters, to add annoyance to the mission runner in exchange for his new power, incursions are now limited to only one spawn at a time, meaning mass contests and friction between capsuleers, and invasions can easily have a dreadnaught that spawns in presence of capitals, similar to a wormhole escalation.
In addition, presence of capitals for the highsec wars would help drive up demand for capital ships, both to kill structures and defend them. This would also open up an avenue for nullsec alliances to wage war across the game, as striking your rivals capital reserves in highsec, and controlling key solar systems with capitals, is now a valid option.
Thank you for reading my proposal, I hope it helps you to both think of new ideas in order to improve this great game, and to come up with improvements in order to make my idea even better.
EDIT: I would also combine this proposal with a broad nerf to total capital hitpoints, reduction in starting resist, and increase in mineral cost, to better balance cost with effectiveness. A high end battleship is around 500m-1.5B isk in value, thus the tank of a carrier shouldn’t be that much greater than a battleship, instead the price gives you jump drive capability and increased damage and application vs a battleship. Same with supercarriers, several million hitpoints and an increase in mineral cost is balanced, compared to the price of a frigate through a battleship. Having such a high jump from battleship to capital ship is arguably the biggest contributor to the capital supremacy doctrine that dominates the nullsec meta.
EDIT: Another balancing feature that would help make CCP money is to release a ‘licensing’ fee for each capital that you want to enter highsec. This license lasts until you leave highsec, and will be on a scaling feature, say 1000 Plex for carrier/dread, 3000 plex for a supercarrier, and 5000 plex for a titan.