Capitals and Low-Sec: An abusive relationship

Let me start with a disclaimer: I like capitals. They have an epic role in the game.

When that is said, I feel like they have become so common that they are starting to become the new battleships.
Low sec PVP is especially hurting under their ubiquity.
Most Low sec groups, that have capitals, have them docked up while having a scout/bait out and/or just waiting for a smaller group to call for their assistance.
When they find a target they deem to have no real risk to them, they cyno in, get a kill or two, cyno back to station and dock up.
I’ve had a carrier drop on me when I was alone in a Procurer.
I’ve seen an Avatar class Titan gate-camping a high-sec gate.
I’ve seen, and been in, small BC/BS fleets get dropped by a couple of carriers and/or dreads (with 1 to 4 support vessels).

As late as yesterday I experienced this in a 9 man cruiser fleet. We where hitting some pirates mining ops, and when they hid in station upon our arrival, we decided to go back through the gate to go home. There was a battleship of theirs, baiting us on the other side.

He engaged after a minute or so, and we retaliated.
Not 30 seconds into the engagement: A Force Aux., a Super-carrier and a Carrier cyno’d on field. We had no counter to that. Just a 6 to 8 battleship/cruiser drop would have been an intense and very difficult challenge to deal with. But no…
Forced to leave the battlefield, we retreated with low morale and dissatisfaction of the game. Not because we “lost” the fight, but because the response was so disproportionate. Now we know we cant engage them in low-sec, other than a few strays we might catch.
They are just going to drop their friends capitals on us.

Even if our fleet is easily outmatched in conventional ships, they’ll still go for the nuclear option.

Low-sec used to be a place to let skill decide encounters… Now it seems like overwhelming force is the only viable tactic.

These situations make me sad… Not that I loose some ships, but that I basically always know that there is a capital capable group within range. If they are bored, they can drop in and ruin whatever I am doing.
Even sizeable Battleship fleets have a hard time taking on capitals if they don’t have capitals too.

Nullsec and FW
These issues are not that bad for areas in Null sec (I believe), where player cohesion and communication is far, far better. Null-sec groups have an easier time mustering defences against a capital incursion than a semi-cooperating area of low-sec has.

Response times in low-sec are far larger and fleets (capital and sub-capital) on standby are much, much less organised. I also see less capital ship deployment by Null-sec groups into benign PVP Engagements, as they are more valuable in political battles (Invasions and defence of space).
In low-sec, capital drops are mostly just for kicks, it seems. Swatting enemy fleets that pose no threat to capital fleets.

Honestly Low-sec is beginning to feel like Null-sec’s “wild west” cousin. With entities that are so powerful that they can sweep anyone but groups of their own size/power aside, if they wish to do so.

Faction warfare is not affected as much by this, probably because of the nature of FW space and FW. But it might get there as well.

I wish there was an easy fix for these issues…
One of the things I’ve discussed with people is simply to limit capital cyno jumps to Jump Freighters and Capital Industrials in low-sec. Simply forcing combat capitals to take the gates.

Capital ship usage would become cumbersome and resource intensive to use in low-sec, not to mention risky. Just taking a capital fleet a few jumps could take 15 mins. A fleet, capable of protecting the capitals, would be needed to make them viable for any use. Even moving them.

This would make the capitals a lot more risky to use in low-sec, make more fights and generally make low-sec a more balanced battlefield. Capitals and Super-capitals would suddenly become the oversized, specialized, force-amplifing battleships they are meant to be, instead of “ninja structures” that can jump across an entire !empire! region in one jump.
Side note: I’m emphasizing on empire here, as the empires would be able to control these low-sec mechanics. And it would be desirable for the empires to limit this enormous display of power from the capsuleers.

Hot drops can still be totally overpowering, but would not leave conventional ships against capitals.
At the same time Capitals balance would remain the same in combat, when they finally arrive, that is.

Low-sec would finally return to the hands of the roaming fleets and sub-capital battles.

I know, I know. I might sound a little butt-hurt, but I’ve heard stories from several people that left the game because of this issue. I am genuinely concerned for the low-sec community at large. Many of these issues comes from the rebalancing runs that capitals have received over the years, becoming more deadly to sub-capitals in the process. Especially with the wide-spread nature of capitals these days. I see Low-sec being a victim of unintentional neglect on this specific issue.

So… When all this is said, I want to ask you people:
Have you experienced the same as me? Or have I just been unlucky with my observations of Low-sec life?
Have I missed something, or overlooked some details in the mechanics?
Null-seccers! You too. What are your experiences with Capitals in Null?
Please leave your opinion and suggestions. Much appreciated!

TL;DR: I wish for more balance between sub-capitals and capitals in low-sec. Any thoughts?


I suggest you find more friends. This is not the cop out answer. This is an MMO and the solution to being out gunned is to bring more guns.


It kinda is a cop out answer.
Finding more friends is not always the answer. Nor should it be.

Se what happens on the Chinese server. That exact philosophy has brought them to a state where one group, basically, owns half of the game.

And it isn’t like these capital dropping groups are ‘that’ big. Some are only 20 man strong.
They just have the isk to field them, and it is to little or no risk to them. That does not sound like eve to me.
Risk free capital deployment.
Low-sec should be lawless, yes, but reserved for capital wielding groups? Really?
In my mind, that is more a Null-sec thing.
In Low-sec it just excludes a ton of people and a plethora of different engagement types, when the tactic and deployment philosophy is so widespread as it is.

If i wanted to fly with a hundred or thousands of friends, I would move to Null.
I can. I just don’t have any interest in that type of PVP.

I remember when Low-sec was the place to go for roams and interesting engagements. It isn’t any more. Haven’t been for some time.
Null-sec offers more of that content these days, but also involves a lot of politics… Meh…
And to be clear, My suggestion to fix this, is just that… A suggestion.
Capitals would still be insanely dangerous to dance with. But they would also be subject to the same risks as any other ship in low-sec. Seems fair to me.

Once upon a time we were the guys that were outgunned - We have more guns now. :thinking:

The idea of limiting cap jumping to null is silly and will never happen.


Might be… Might be…

But I am not the only player that are tired of capitals ubiquitous nature in low. I meet many experienced players that have become apathetic to PVP in low. Still hoping to get good engagements… They are slowly drifting out of the game though. I don’t blame them.

I have also been playing 10 years or so.

Low-sec used to be fun for a much wider spectrum of groups. Small, big, same same, different day.

I feel you are misinterpreting what i’m saying. All I’m saying is that, right now, capitals are OP in low.
Not the amount of guns, nor the size of groups. I would not care if i met sub-cap gangs 5x my fleet size while roaming. That would still be more fun, as there would be a chance to kill something. Even if my entire fleet was lost.
Even meeting a cap fleet on the move would be almost certain death for the groups i fly with.
But meeting them on the move would be fun.

If not limiting Cynos in low for capitals, then what? Please enlighten me?
Rebalance capitals themselves? I would rather the Null-seccers be about that. Their tool for war, really.
Change the engagement philosophy of risk-averse low-sec cap droppers? Yeah… Not going to happen.

The risk of fielding capitals in low should be higher, because it is not really in balance with what capitals are capable of.

And don’t tell me being hot-dropped by a carrier while in a lone procurer, or gate-camping Titans isn’t totally ridiculous. Come on…

Remove cynos period imo

LoL Seems legit. :smiley:
But why?

maybe u should support this [Proposal.] Make Low sec a place PVP for All

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So people can’t just power project everywhere on the map. Carriers used to have low scan res but now not only are they able to jump in on top of a fight they can also lock your interceptors instantly. Remove the stupid scan res buff and reduce jump range vastly or remove it all together.

That or give battleships interceptor align times with nullification because that’s pretty much the equivalent of this super mobile cap proliferation.

Never mind it doesn’t matter. Small gang is dead and bots are rampant. This game is gonna die just like l2 since the bots can just skill inject their replacements. Great idea btw ccp, buying sp that is.


You do have a point. I mean it’s one thing to bring in too much stuff for a simple mining barge, but just dropping caps ‘because you can’ for something so small would be something I’d look at on a killboard for a potential recruit when I was in the role in an alliance and go, no threat, didn’t look like it escalated, yeah I’m gonna pass on him, cap pilot or not. Sure I can do the same thing in something much less expensive but I’ll just take my insert expensive high performance car here to the store to buy that gallon milk from the store a block away in perfect weather.

Small gang is not dead:

Severely nerf cynos, problem solved. Globally.

  1. Make ships jumping through cyno to be combat inoperational for few minutes (cannot activate anything that would give weapon aggression timer - no weapons, remote reps, ECM bursts and whatnot).

Possibly in addition to:

  1. Make ships unable to cloak, dock or tether for that duration. Makes mainly logistics riskier.

This eliminates hotdrops, but you would be still able to deploy capitals - open cyno in a SS, have them warp to another SS and wait until they are ready to fight, then warp in action.

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I would have said remove jump drives for normal caps and go back to blocking gate jumps for supers and titans.
The old arguments surrounding capitals being especially rare or expensive are manifestly untrue. With Haw dreads how are these not just glorified battleships with even more of the good stuff and mitigated drawbacks via jumpdrive?

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IMHO capitals belong to null sec soverenity warfare. So I am for the certain limits for them in low sec. Like you can not drop carrier on me if I am in novice plex. Wait… oh, you already can’t… never mind.
Low sec should stay as cool place for small gang or solo PvP. Where you do not need to roam for hours to find someone who agree to fight you. And if that someone will expect you to drop capitals on him, you chances to get the fight get lower.

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Your problem isn’t actually caps. It’s their application to subcaps.

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Well, 9 vs 4 isn’t being outgunned. How many more people do you need to counter a few with deeper wallets?
The next time, there might be 20 battleships. Either no-risk no fight, or perhaps the response might be 3 titans.

The big problem is that the only viable counter for a hotdrop is a counterdrop.

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I think i must fall in line with the peoples that think CAP dont have any “home” in LOW SEC
as combattants. Remove their ability to use fighters, or top slot modules (all caps.) in Low sec EMPIRE space…

Can always write it up as CONCORD taking measures to ensure the degree of lawlessness in low sec
space dosnt plumit of to a place they cant controle, and one wich the empires can stand aside to watch.

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Pffff… Well… I wouldn’t call piracy against industrialists, small-gang PVP.
Nor would I define small gang PVP as fielding capitals on capitals. Even if it only 2-7 people in the km.
And seeing how you have large capital groups/known hot-droppers on speed-dial, well… Resistance would be suicidal for most sub-cap fleets anyway.
Exactly my point with this post. I know, I know, you haven’t really dropped caps since august, but you haven’t really dropped much of anything in September, so yeah…

Interesting … :thinking:

I see what you are saying, but I would not like to see insta-warping battleships though… Nasty…

I like the suggestions! :smiley:
Would make capital ship deployment require more tactics to deploy at all.
Good compromise to Low-sec cap cyno ban.

But is it enough for lowsec? I mean… It would be pretty awesome hunting capital ships travelling in low…
I digress.

Thanks for the input, I’ll write it down together with the other stuff I’ve discussed as solutions.