Possible Idea for how to generate more content and things to fight over in null
Since ESS reserve banks where added I have noticed that once an attacker has x number of marauders set up on grid its generally unfavourable for a defender to ever contest, I have seen people just run key after key uncontested and while I accept this might just be down to my alliance/space I suspect its due to the way the risk reward calculation is made. Which goings something like this.
Defender: The money is not my money it gives neither me nor my alliance any manful income. It will cost x b to contest this. In the time it takes to take the fight and contest it the bank will have closed so we will not get any income back in order to mitigate the cost.
Attacker: I open bank with 100mn phantasm once set up with marauders at 100k if people come in large numbers phantasm can run if numbers are too big, we un-siege warp to safe
Now what I am suggesting here is no small overhaul and it would need balancing properly (initially this would only work for sov null sec since it would require the ihub sorry snuff). The idea is that you make these ESS banks mean something for the defender. People will always work harder to stop you taking what is theirs than to stop you taking something that is essentially a natural resource. It the difference between you robbing a bank and robbing my house.
My suggestion comes in 3 parts
Firstly, and here is the bit that gets all the none null sec groups up in arms I am going to suggest you bring back a passive income generator for alliances that hold the ihubs based off the size of the main bank (with some breakpoints or diminishing returns, I’ll come back to this later)
Secondly, you add a new type of key that has a wind-up mechanic say 15-30 min where the system is broadcast exactly so FC’s for the defending alliance have time to rage ping. This new key will not generate any income but will empty the bank into the void at a faster rate for a period of say 1h. Ideally some way of closing the bank once grid control is achieved (maybe they opener has to remain on gird within 100k of the bank and if they die or leave the bank is closed and the defender has preserved their alliances passive income). You can leave the current keys the same as they are but alliances might encourage better fast responses from small gang groups/fc since they will be helping defend the alliances income.
Thirdly, because as I suggested you would include some form of breakpoint(preferred, or diminishing return) this would encourage large alliances to try and get their members crabbing as many systems up to the highest breakpoint of course there is no stick saying they have to get fringe systems crabbed up but there is a big carrot at alliance level if they do so alliances might be encourage their players to do so ever by incentives to players that rat in systems that have very low ESS reserve banks or by banning ratting in systems where the ESS reserve bank is full. You also see alliances organize around use of super caps to fill up the ESS reserve banks more quickly which could generate content as well. For this to work alliances need an active crabbing player base which is good for the game as it gets people out in space.
In this new world the risk reward calculations for an ESS reserve bank heist for the defender would be wildly different maybe not at a player level but an alliance/fc level and you would see more pings going out for ESS defense and more opportunities for alliances to get instant content as they attack each other’s passive isk generation.
Sorry for the long one going to leave it there was just an idea I had after seeing the 6th ESS key activated go undefended while I was chewing rocks thinking well it’s not my money.
P.S. I have deliberately left numbers out of this as that would be a matter for balance I am more interested in the general principle of the idea and seeing what people think. I am also aware this does not help low/npc null sec content but without an Ihub I don’t see how you could replicate the same there unless you have a deployable structure that gives an alliance the same benefits.