High-Sec Inter-Empire Connections

Note: This isn’t a finalized proposal. It’s more a statement of observation, or a starting point for discussion to flesh out some ideas and get the feedback of others. I concede I may be missing something important in my thought process.

That said, is it just me, or does anyone else think the current high-sec connections between empires are a bit nonsensical (both in terms of lore and game design)?

These are (AFAIK) the high-sec conduits between empires (meaning paths with no low-sec transit):

Gallente / Minmatar (1 connection)
Colelie ↔ Bei

Minmatar / Amarr (1 connection)
Lisudeh ↔ Lashesih

Amarr / Caldari (0 connections)

Caldari / Gallente (4 connections)
Tennen ↔ Unel
Yashunen ↔ Jolevier
Kassigainen ↔ Synchelle
Kassigainen ↔ Algogille

In recent times, empire relations have soured a little between Gallente and Minmatar, and Caldari and Amarr, respectively. But in both cases, if no longer allies, those factions are still at least neutral to one another. And while the Gallente have one high-sec conduit to the Minmatar, the Amarr no longer have any to the Caldari since the fall of Niarja. And yet, the Amarr maintain a high-sec conduit to the Minmatar, with whom they are at war? And the Caldari maintain no less than four connections to the Gallente, with whom they are at war?

:face_with_monocle: Does that make sense? Lore-wise, why would the Caldari Border Zone be so open? Why would warring empires have any (relatively) safe/easy pathways between them? Logically, wouldn’t an empire instead interdict traffic across a hostile border?

Also strange, every empire except Caldari has one or more high-sec conduits to the Sanctum constellation (controlled by CONCORD). Why is Caldari the exception? Perhaps there is a lore reason? I don’t know.

Thoughts / questions:

  • Should empires at war with one another have any high-sec connections? Or should there be low-sec border zones between them that are defended by navy and/or militia forces?

  • Given the current state of relations between them, should any empire have direct high-sec connections to another? Or should all inter-empire high-sec traffic pass through Sanctum, to be regulated (maybe even taxed) by CONCORD?

  • For purposes of game design, we obviously want to enable player mobility between the empires. Otherwise, an ill-informed choice of starting empire could have significant and long-lasting impact.

  • But what would the topology of New Eden look like if we dropped direct high-sec conduits between empires, expanded low-sec borders, and routed high-sec inter-empire trade through Sanctum, with perhaps some kind of transit tax that scales with ship class? This would still facilitate high-sec trade routes (and probably improve the current Caldari to Amarr 45+ jump route), but would also implement a tariff mechanism for trade between empires. That tariff would have the effect of making local goods cheaper and import goods more expensive in regional markets (something that would encourage local production and trade).

  • Under such a system, taxation on non-haulers might be fairly low, taxation on T1 haulers somewhat higher, and then T2 haulers and freighters would have the highest tariffs. From a mechanics perspective, toll gates could be used to collect the taxes when jumping to Sanctum from the empire sides (no pay, no jump).

EDIT TO ADD: High-sec trade tariffs would also create a profit motive for bootleggers to haul across low-sec (with higher risk/reward).

Anyway, just a few thoughts that have been rolling around my head lately. Curious to hear the opinions of others. Would this be good for EVE, or bad?


All these ‘wars’ are by definition just border skirmishes, because in order to maintain the various empires to which players belong you can’t really have any of them all but wiping out others. So Eve is not just dystopian but also to some extent Orwellian in the sense of perpetual wars that exist purely for their own sake. Which reminds me…I must log in and see what today’s chocolate ration is.

Due to the threat of mutually assured destruction, conflict between superpowers rarely escalates beyond border skirmishes and proxy wars. Anything more is too dangerous to the status quo, and all-out war is considered a measure of last resort. This is why we saw two world wars in the span of thirty years, but we’ve not seen another in the nearly 80 years since the invention of the atom bomb. The stakes of all-out war are just too high.

Eh. Bit of a sidebar, but I would say the border wars between empires aren’t being conducted (at least, notionally) for the sake of maintaining Orwellian-style perpetual war. Obviously, the usual side benefits probably exist (fostering nationalism, externalizing internal aggression, and enriching the military-industrial complex). But on its face, the empire wars are territorial disputes. I suppose in theory the Amarr would love to crush the Minmatar uprising and re-enslave their population. And the Gallente would love to subjugate the Caldari, and either re-absorb the State into the Federation or conduct a genocide to eliminate the secessionists for good. Whether either outcome could ever realistically occur (lore-wise) is dubious. I think all parties are simply clutching for territory at this point, and as those systems continue to change hands, the wars carry on.

Theoretically, in either conflict one side could “win” or both sides could reach a stalemate. But in a PVP-oriented game, what fun would that be?

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No, they are not directly bordered. The Ammatar Mandate is a vassal state of Amarr, made up of Minmatar loyal to Amarr.

Did you know that the Caldari homeworld is in the same system as Gallente Prime? These two empires are very much connected due to their shared history.

Also as a point of note, security of a system only indicates how fast CONCORD responds and has no bearing on the actual safety of systems for the Empires. CONCORD mostly governs over Capsuleers, but does enforce the CONCORD Emergency Militia War Powers Act of YC110 outside of the FW areas and maintains the peace between the Empires.

No offense meant, but it seems like you’re not actually addressing the substance of my post? Specifically:

  • Should empires at war with one another have any high-sec connections? Or should there be low-sec border zones between them that are defended by navy and/or militia forces?
  • Should any empire have direct high-sec connections to another? Or should all inter-empire high-sec traffic pass through Sanctum, to be regulated (maybe even taxed) by CONCORD?
  • What would the topology of New Eden look like if we dropped direct high-sec conduits between empires, expanded low-sec borders, and routed high-sec inter-empire trade through Sanctum, with the creation of a tariff system?

And in case it was not clear, by “high-sec connection/conduit” I mean “a route which does not require the transit of a system with security status below 0.5.”

You seem to not understand how or why things are the way they are and why your suggestion doesn’t make any sense. CONCORD maintains peace between the empires. The security rating show how much presence CONCORD has in each system. If the borders became low sec, then it means that CONCORD is not doing its job. The Minmatar Gallente border is .5 because there is no conflict between those empires, and thus less of a need for CONCORD, where the Gallente Caldari border sees higher security need and thus the higher rating.

You can’t just change the lore or workings of how things are willy nilly. Changes need to make sense.

This was how Eve started. Yulai was the universe’s hub. The easy connections to Yulai were purposefully nuked so there wasn’t as much strain on the servers.

So no, it shouldn’t come back. Or else the CCP devs would have reverted it already.

The real reason is that CONCORD has lost control.

And you seem to be purposefully ignoring the substance of my post. The thrust of my point is that logically, there should not be CONCORD-protected (i.e., high-sec) routes (specifically, trade routes) between two nation states at war. When a country goes to war with another, it doesn’t allow open borders and free trade with the enemy.

Further, your statement “CONCORD maintains peace between the empires” is an oversimplification. Straight from the lore (emphasis mine):

CONCORD is an independent organization founded a century ago to facilitate negotiations between the races to improve relations, as well as to foster inter-stellar trade through policing and regulations. Starting as a fledgling meeting ground for diplomats CONCORD has in the decades since it was founded slowly increased its power and influence. It has become an entity independent of the races, as it is able to largely fund its own operation through customs, confiscation of contraband goods, and other means.

CONCORD’s job isn’t to actively prevent or interdict war between the empires (if it was, there would be a CONCORD presence in the war zones). So I think this argument is fallacious.

CONCORD’s job is to police and regulate inter-stellar trade (see above). Which I think is inline with a tariffed trade border such as I proposed.

From a game-balance perspective, I think the current trade situation is less than ideal. The fall of Niarja was a good start for encouraging regional markets, but I don’t think it went far enough. Jita is still the preeminent trade hub, and I think that’s probably suboptimal. My supposition is that if high-sec trade routes were restricted to a tariffed trade zone, it would create profit incentives for both intra-empire production and sale, as well as gameplay in the form of low-sec bootlegging to beat the tariffs and undercut competitors.

All 4 factions should have their own high sec islands with a band of low sec in between and with multiple entry points so not just choke points, The factions at war should have a wider band like 3-5 systems wide all with different connections. The friendly factions perhaps 1-3 systems wide.

That way trading and hauling will require more effort and be an actual and active play style that adds real capability and value (and thus profit for successful and informed haulers) and it will make each faction more meaningful and allow the different areas to grow and prosper on their own instead of just being marginalised more and more because of Jita.

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Server load was not the driver. The Yulai change was made to diversify trade and reduce the preeminence of Jita. Dropping those trade routes gave rise to the regional markets (Rens, Amarr, Hek, and Dodixie). The devs thought lengthening the routes to Jita would be enough incentive to encourage other marketplaces, and they were partly right. But that solution was somewhat ham-fisted in that it relied on inconvenience as a motivator instead of directly impacting the profitability of inter-empire trade. I’m suggesting a tariff system would be more effective.

I’m not suggesting the Yulai situation should be reverted. I’m suggesting a new trade zone be created through which inter-empire trade is tariffed, and existing high-sec trade routes between empires be disrupted.

This is because the very premise is seated in something that does not make sense with the lore.

“From the outset interstellar relations were strained. That being the case, the main purpose of an agency like CONCORD was to ease the tension and create a foundation for peaceful cooperation between the empires. This endeavor is widely regarded as a success, given that while several flare-ups have occurred, and indeed the empires have come to blows since CONCORD’s formation, a situation of all-out war has been avoided through careful mediation and negotiation.”

“The organization does, however, continue to serve its original purpose: to maintain peace between the core empires, even if at times conflict may occur under strictly regulated conditions. A perfect example of this was during late YC 110, when a fleet belonging to the Minmatar Elders and the Thukker tribe conducted a strike against the organization’s core communications hub, crippling its rapid-response teams and enabling the Elders to mount a large-scale offensive against the Amarr Empire. This marked the beginning of what would become known as the Elder War.”

None of the Empires are at war though. They are only able to “fight” each other via Capsuleer Militia through the legislation that I mentioned beforehand…that came from a result of the above Minmatar attack.

CONCORD exists at strength at the borders of the Empires, it would not make sense for them to have no presence there.

I agree completely there should be low sec’s between the empires then at least all 4 sectors will have their own markets.

Having Jita as the only market is very unhealthy for the game and having low sec in-between will change everything.

If I had my way cyno range would be nerfed as well, so moving huge amounts of goods accross the galaxy would be harder making more spread out markets much more appealing.

Albion online is very healthy when it comes to the market there is what 5 or 6 if I remember right and people are constantly moving things between them.

In Eve you have Jita and then Amarr in 2nd both on the same side, so if your Mini or Gallente good luck you have to travel much much greater distances than your enemies by default and if you decide to shop locally the prices on avg are about 50% more expensive than Jita which is just not reasonable.

Wait the system has been your enemy this whole time?

You are literally makishima shogo, concord is the sybil system and CCP are the brains in jars.


It was.

Yulai was larger than Jita. It only became preeminent after Yulai’s demise. “Time will tell”.. And only because people were overwhelmingly creating Achuran characters in Caldari space because of the better attributes, leading to higher market demand in that area.


Correct. Before Yulai got neutered Jita was just another lvl 4 mission hub that turned into a local trade hub, nothing more. It was AFTER Yulai’s connections being severed that Jita suddenly became more prominent turning into the main trade hub.

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Informative and noted. But the great thing about lore is that it is always evolving. There’s no reason tensions between the empires could not escalate, or the status quo could not change.

Perhaps not in the sense that they are (yet) fleeting navies against one another. But I would contend the opposing axes are certainly in a state of Cold War. And using a historical example for comparison, it was not the case that the United States and the former USSR permitted unregulated trade between their nations and open border crossings. Outside of constructs such as the EU, most nations don’t permit that, regardless of a state of war.

It would make more sense if the border systems represented a buffer/exclusion zone, which they currently do not. Realistically, what should happen is that a capsuleer transiting from (for example) Caldari space to Gallente space would make two jumps, in and out of a checkpoint system.

Caldari Border Zone ↔ CONCORD-controlled system ↔ Gallente Border Zone

When jumping into the CONCORD-controlled system, tariffs are charged for trade goods, and perhaps other interdictory measures are also applied (e.g., prohibiting transit to those with sec status below -5).

I think such a thing would better model reality, and would make for better game mechanics as it would cement the empires as distinct territories and foster stronger regional markets. I also think it would add a new dynamic of low-sec outlaw smuggling.

@Io_Koval and @Aisha_Katalen
Conceded. My understanding of the history was incorrect, and so thank you for the information.

That said, are we not still in a situation where one marketplace dominates? And might that situation be remedied by taking further action to diversify trade through the disruption of policed trade routes?

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We are.

I personally feel the complete opposite: less NPCs and less artificial game restrictions on player interaction. Let player piracy flourish again, reduce the projection power of Jita via safe trade routes, promote local industry. The piracy ensures arbitrage cannot happen, organic blockades and trade cartels can form, and smaller markets are protected from todays „buy in Jita and haul it cheaply anywhere“ status quo.

Whether that means game mechanics of low/npc nullsec between high sec empire islands, or a crimewatch complete makeover, or reintroducing station production slot limits, I don’t know.

What I do know is making the universe smaller with more geographic shortcuts is definitely NOT it. The playerbase is already freshly complaining about Ansiblexes, Shipcasters, and Zarzakh, we don’t need yet another Zarzakh in high sec.


I agree. I’d like New Eden to feel more expansive, and for the empires to be more like distinct nation states with active local economies. Leaving one empire to visit another should be a meaningful event, not just set destination, jump, jump, jump…

And honestly, I’d be fine with simply disrupting the high-sec trade routes and calling it a day. But I have a feeling such a proposal would be a non-starter for many, and the objection would be something like “but new players won’t be able to safely get from one empire to another, and they’ll quit the game.”

I thought a compromise might be to create a jump path/tariff system that would permit the inexpensive travel of non-haulers between empires while still levying tariffs on the haulers to reduce the profitability of inter-empire trade. To do that though, we’d need some form of a toll gate and designated routes to allow it. Having CONCORD run it just made sense to me.

Anyway, thanks for the great feedback. That’s why I did this post, to hash out the idea.