How can we encourage competition and combat in Eve, how would we speed up the thrill of virtual war? This was one of the questions asked most in my recent discussions here. To answer this and come up with a concept to bring more excitement to eve we first need to look at the hard numbers.
Alright, let’s check the last monthly report: Right now destruction is happening mainly around Jita and the starlane to Amarr. Why would that be? Because there’s probably more players per star system (or region) there, so wars are fought easily on short travel distances. And because there’s a huge trade volume, with plenty of opportunities for piracy. The latter is somewhat hindered by Concord, but there is a solution at hand also. The other important figure here is bounty income as the main ISK source in New Eden, which is way higher in Null than in empire space. Right now we largely have an economy of Hisec production of goods, bought and paid for by Null money.
So, let’s move both trade and combat into combat-friendly areas, which happen to take up 80% of New Eden: Low and Null. How would we achieve that?
- By replacing bounty payout outside of empire space and replacing the value by loot items. Some minerals and modules for production and fitting. And some new items for i.e. “research” and “investigation”, which only will be bought by Hisec NPC stations, so you’d need to transport your loot to empire space. Which in turn will create wonderful new opportunities for piracy and combat along the new trade lanes, all without Concord interfering.
- By moving all combat outside legal wars from Hisec to Low and Null, so criminal careers would continue there only. The switch to flip here would be “empires deciding to ban perpetrators after the first non-legal ship kill, under threat of being killed on sight by faction navies upon entering empire space”. This would push all combat activity to the warzones of New Eden.
Both measures may sound upsetting to some people, but would change to galaxy into a more vibrant state. And make Lowsec important again, as trades lane would now lead from Null to empire, rather than between different empire hubs. These would still exist and be of use, but lose some importance, up to the point of possibly relocating to border systems in empire space, right next to the new space lanes leading into the void.
But, wouldn’t this be end of the atmosphere of fear in Eve? The risk of being shot down upon undocking? To be honest, this would only happen in Low or Null, or in Hi in a largely undefended ship, so there’s more myth than reality going here.
But, wouldn’t this be the end of all PvP in Hisec, rendering 20% of New Eden into a boring desert? No. Remember: Trade is PvP, too. Competition is everywhere. And so is cooperation, of people who just want to play a space game together. Fly safe.