I’d like to propose a new NPC structure: a Cynosural Beacon. They would have the following properties:
Scattered intermittently* and randomly throughout losec and NPC nullsec, and owned by the faction whos space they occupy. They will be visible everywhere in-system and be easy to warp directly to, just like an NPC station.
Players with positive standings towards the owning faction may use them as a destination point for their jump drives, just like the player owned structure equivalent. (Alternatively, require high standings in order to use them?)
No cloaking within the jump arrival sphere, just like a FW plex. (Ambushers could wait cloaked just outside of it though.)
The bridges will be placed off-grid in relation to any existing NPC structure (station or stargate) or player structure and no player-owned structures could be placed on-grid with it.
The owning faction will charge any player an ISK fee every time this structure is used. (Higher standings with the owning faction will reduce this fee, assuming high standings aren’t required for use.)
(*“Intermittently” in the sense that at any point in space you shouldn’t be in range of more than one or two of them.)
So, why do this? Depending on how it’s implemented, it could open up an alternative network of travel routes through losec or null, but using them would be risky since you cannot cloak, dock, or tether upon landing and would have to warp to a safe spot in order to avoid being attacked. Cyno alts who were forced to retire due to the recent cyno changes can act as scouts for these beacons instead, and players bold enough to jump blind to one of them could gain some benefit…or get ganked by someone waiting on the other side.
The fee would not be exorbitant (tens of millions of ISK?) but would be enough that using a cyno alt would definitely be the cheaper alternative (not counting the price of replacing a lost Recon obviously).
Thoughts? Suggestions? Am I on to something here or should I just get bent?
I would contend that, while it does reduce the number of players necessary to complete a limited set of actions, it would increase the opportunity player interaction by funneling those actions into a public and easily accessible place.
Exactly. Having too many would just trivialize moving capital ships in those areas. But a handful? So few that you only ever have one or two in range in any system? That would introduce new chokepoints. And they’d be one-way chokepoints because you can’t just turn around and jump back to where you came from (unless you just jumped there from another beacon that you can just jump back to).
I’d gladly give you the beer to have someone else hold.
And that’s kind of the point for this idea. Sure, these NPC beacons could potentially save the behind of someone being stupid in a capital ship, but just as likely they could get someone being stupid in a capital ship killed. I see that as balance, an equal opportunity exploder if you will.