I’d like to amend this OP with the current consensus that I’ve seen Solitude residents voice, in that they would prefer not to have any additional gates to Solitude. As I (an on-off Solitude resident myself) wish for the uniqueness and integrity of the region to be maintained, I would think it feasible to listen to the people living there who have the experience to speak on such matters, as to whether this would be a good idea or not. Most if not all residents that I’ve seen so far say that it isn’t.
TL;DR to this thread, OP and posts included: additional gate to Solitude bad, please don’t do it. However, if it must be done, do it in a way that maintains the fidelity of current access to the region, such as my suggestion where the current Agaullores-Shirshocin gate is disabled, perhaps due to Amarr-Gallente skirmishes, and a new route from Kenninck in Placid to the Babirmoult system is established, as it is about the same amount of jumps whilst still going through all lowsec systems.
In the new World News, there is an article contained within that teases a potential Federation gate to Solitude. For anyone who has never been, Solitude is a Gallente region that has no gate connection to the rest of the Federation, and is only accessible from the Intaki Syndicate region (null) or through a lowsec pipeline in Amarr space. While it’d make sense for there to be such a connection as it’d be annoying to work around those logistics for the Feds, I’d also implore CCP, if they were to do something like this, to consider keeping in mind what makes the region unique. Eastern Solitude is the largest contiguous highsec island in the game currently, and the state of how the region exists has cultivated a unique populace. It may be an ultimately small one, but I’d like to imagine that people there came and stayed because of how unique it is there.
I’m certainly not against a gate from Fed space to Solitude, but I’m hoping that CCP keeps the highsec island uniqueness of it intact, and that they don’t just turn it in to another copy/paste empire region. I’d therefore propose that a gate connecting the two be either lowsec-lowsec, or highsec-lowsec. I don’t think it’d be a difficult ask to keep Solitude as the big highsec island it is currently, even for lore reasons, as there’s a precedent for lore important systems being in such places with the Ni-Kunni home system in Aridia (Mishi). There’s also systems like Intaki that are flat-out lowsec, yet continue to function as a unique home for one of the playable races in the game.
Here’s where I would feel like gates would make sense, from the perspective of keeping the fidelity of the region intact:
1: Covryn (0.4)-Aimoguier (0.2) and Ausmaert (0.1)-Meunvon (0.3)
Covryn is a low-sec FW Placid system a jump away from Stacmon, and while I haven’t really traveled there much, I can’t imagine that it sees much traffic besides people in FW plexing the system. On the map, it’s just about close enough to Solitude whilst also being close enough to the oft-traveled semi-market hub of southern Placid. There’s a couple jumps through lowsec to reach highsec eastern Solitude, but I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal. But perhaps such a situation might lead to gatecamps, and make people not want to travel that route. Which is why I’d propose 1 1/2 to go with it
I’ve spent a little bit of time in western Placid, and I feel like it’s a contender for some of the most desolate space I’ve ever been in. Alselbosier and Ganoure are two lowsec constellations in Placid that are not part of the FW system, and therefore likely don’t see nearly as much traffic as the rest of the region does. Even when it comes to traveling to Syndicate, there’s much faster connections there through systems like Harroule and Reblier in Verge Vendor. I feel like putting a second gate here would incentivize people to utilize space that isn’t often utilized as a way around the Covryn gate, which I suspect would be the target of gatecamps.
The systems listed apart from Covryn, as all the other lowsec Fislipesnes systems are much farther away, can be switched around a bit, but the general idea behind them would be Covryn-(system in eastern Braille) and (system in Alselbosier/Ganoure-system in eastern Braille).
2 - Vivanier (0.5)/Toustain (0.4), Grispire (0.2)/Straloin (0.2) or Mollin (0.7)/Pochelympe (0.6)
I’m aware that one of these is a highsec-highsec gate, but I think with some given context, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Placid has its own highsec island in the Josmaert and Unour constellations which require traveling through dangerous systems like Ouelletta, Oulley or Ostingele to get to. Or Vlillirier if you want to go the really really long way around. Given that it’s sandwiched between FW Placid, it does see a decent amount of traffic. Mobrault, the constellation that all three of these gates would connect to, barely sees any traffic apart from the people that live there. What better purpose could the north-facing growth on the region of Solitude serve than as a welcoming zone for the rest of the region?
I’m admittedly in favor of the two former gates than the latter, as there are people that live in the mini-version of highsec Solitude in the Ondree, Eggheron and Pochelympe systems, but I think if CCP ultimately wanted to do a highsec-highsec gate, that would be one that works without compromising the integrity of the region too badly.
3 - Vifrevaert (0.4)/Pertnineere (0.4) or Ladistier (0.3)/Conomette (0.3)
These would be closer-to-home gates, and maybe since in the lore, Federation President Aguard is the one driving the cause behind a gate to Solitude, these would be more palatable options. I don’t spend too much time in Essence, but I believe that Ladistier is an often-traveled system, which might make the journey more treacherous than it would need to be. Which is why there could also be the other gate from Vifrevaert to Pertnineere. Or maybe Ladistier to Pertnineere would make more sense, since they’re both EDENCOM fortified systems in one way or another? Those systems could be interchangeable, but those would also be good options for connections.
Of course, there’s another connection I included in that screenshot, a “nuclear option” if CCP has it set in their mind that it absolutely has to be a gate that connects to the larger section of highsec in Solitude.
Channace (0.9)-Larryn (0.6). A long time ago, CCP added in these systems near starter systems, that for all intents and purposes, functioned exactly the same as the old starter systems did, although I never created characters around the time these systems were created, so I don’t know if the tutorial ever sent you to Channace instead of the usual CAS starting system of Cistuvaert. Regardless, these systems have languished for the longest time as dingleberries tacked on to actual important systems, with only some such as Urhinichi, Sakenta and Senda for instance, finding new purpose as Trig systems. I’m anti-trig so I’m supposed to grrr something like that, but I can’t deny that those systems are probably seeing more use than ever before because of the fact.
If there absolutely had to be a connection like that, I think the best course of action would be to use a system like Channace to do so. The Larryn system would be a good connection from there, as it’s only a couple jumps away from the now-landmarked Gererique system. Also, at least on the DOTLAN map, it’s just about a straight line. That looks nice.
Anyways, these are just suggestions for CCP, from someone who has spent a not-insignificant amount of time in the region. I think these gate ideas would be good for the region, although I’d like it if CCP considered all except the last one just a little bit more, as I still think that it’s important to maintain the uniqueness of Solitude.
edit: Also, I should mention that I’ve numbered the suggestions based on the screenshots I took. Just because one gate is in one suggestion doesn’t mean that another gate in another suggestion couldn’t also be used.