I applaud you for the move to the blackout. This is a good move for the game. Now you should look into the following.
The first step should be to encourage player-grouping and interaction.
Improve the aspects of group-based game play. Abyssals are a great direction for this, but look at adapting the current systems:
- Add a bonus for grouping together for missions, based on player count and size. Example, a bonus of 500% for mission rewards (standard missions L1-L5)
- Change missions so that the reward is granted to all group members, instead of splitting it.
- Move Level 5 into high sec, and investigate means to encourage nullsec.
The next biggest thing you need to focus on is the quality of corporations.
Look at ways to increase corporate accomplishments, the greatest of them should be stations.
- Stations now are something that can be spammed by alt accounts. The value of this you are significantly ignoring. Stations could be done in a way that makes them hard to build and upkeep, but difficult to destroy, especially in high sec. **PvP does not have to be the end all for all things, and the best way to challenge pvers is through pve. so shift that challenge, that difficulty through pve. ** try looking at stations being upgraded through the phases, instead of having three station sizes (fort, keep, etc) This will add a huge sense of accomplishment. Make upgrades to each level cost a large amount of time (month first time, 3 months additional) but allow for the benefits to be active while it’s upgrading.
This could also benefit the economy if done correctly.try looking at a cycle, where players as a group need to contribute to the corp through activity and team work, but benefit from the station greatly. Introducing a “upkeep” mechanic to stations based on how many people use one station would be a good way to dispense population, which in return will blanket population over area’s, high sec, null etc. This may encourage more cooperation and team work by the corporations and its members.
an important and key point here is to understand that corporations cannot have 10,000 players to them. eve is limited in its population. as the break up takes place you need to reduce the size of corporations. This will make the game much more fair. Think about it, 10,000 players against say 300 average? is that fair? certainly not. But more importantly, when larger member count populations exist, the devalue the corporations, its interaction, and benefit.
You must understand how extremely vital this point is to revitalizing eve. I promise you, if you hear this point and act on it great things will come from it. Corporations must have purpose, the player needs, to need the corporation. Do not confuse this with the corporation needing to have players. When players need a corporation for progression, they search, and work, cooperation, and compete. this is vital to the future of eve.
While we are on this point a feature that would allow players to advertise themselves for recruiters to look through would be a good way to reverse - recruit. You could gui it in game like the guild recruitment forums but limit it to “player posts”. You should add the requirements that the corporations can select now for what they are recruiting, but also include “corporation located in xx region”.
Third, I know you dont want to hear it but
In your step to improve difficulty, you must destroy afk anything. People may log in to farm afk, but after a while, they will quit. Think about it, What is the key to a game feeling new? Why do we enjoy new games so much? The answer is because you dont know, or cannot predict what will happen, often that failure to predict results in death, and destruction. Fair to all, but cruel.
the easiest way to change mining that i can think of is to remove the names from the asteroids, rename them small, medium, large, huge asteroid, then spawn the mineral type/count in them randomly. Shift the mining rate of collecting ore in the hold very fast. and create a lot of travel/searching time, then add some environmentally based danger, like gas clouds that explode when your beam touches them, etc. with some careful calculations there should be little impact on the economy out side of invalidating the multi-box spam.
You must touch the pause code on mining and get rid of this. You should also look at capital to capital level of ratting, and removing sub-capital / capital engagements. This significantly improves the danger factor to capitals. If you have a need to fill cap to sub cap fighting, then create a bridge class, call it warship or what ever, and make it a sub cap class that is larger then battleship but capable and specialized in killing sub-caps, so you can keep capitals and sub-capitals in general (with this one exception) out of each others zones of influence.
I will say this if you really care for this game and want fix the problems i encourage you to press on no matter how hard the feedback comes. Wait 6 months before you decide to reverse a change dont be hasty.
One of the signs of progress is upheaval and difficulty. You must recognize that any improvement to the game will come with some conflict.
Keep in mind, the people that benefit from the game existing like it does, are resistant to the change because of the loss of their power. ignore them. Your job is to fix eve, not cater to them.