Privateer Space: Accessible small gang PvP

PvE content in Eve is often very accessible in terms of time to start playing whatever the content is from the time you log in - you can go grab a mission from your favourite agent / station that never moves around, undock and start shooting, and now you can just right click an object in your cargo hold in the case of Abyssal Deadspace.

PvP is my (and many others) favourite part of the game, but in comparison actually finding some PvP content besides a gatecamp/blob can be maddeningly difficult. Eve’s PvP is deep and immensely fun, however it’s also bizarrely incredibly hard to access, like it’s rationed out in minuscule portions or kept under lock-and-key - this makes no sense! Why is it so hard for people to find the perhaps the most fun content within the game?

On a null / low sec roam, it’s quite normal to sometimes play for several hours and not find a single fight, or at least one that you could possibly win / enjoy in some way (check various streamers if you’re not convinced). CCP has for some reason made high end 1 vs 1 PvP accessible to rich players with Abyssal Space - it’s time to make a form of small gang PvP accessible for all Eve players so we can all have fun blowing each other up far more easily.

I know some people are probably thinking Factional Warfare fits this description, but I’ve been in FW the last month and it’s almost completely dead, and the incentives are completely broken.


  • FW is spread out over an enormous number of systems for the number of players involved, meaning everyone is spread so thinly they barely come into contact with one another. The fact there are automated FW bots shows you how much you are required to interact with other players to take part, i.e. not at all.

  • Killing an enemy militia player gives an insultingly tiny amount of LP (a few hundred compared to many thousands for orbiting a beacon in space for 15 mins) and requires a huge amount more time and effort in comparison, sometimes hours of searching to find a single fight.

  • If you actually want to “contribute” to the war you just need to avoid other players and plex as much as possible, the literal opposite of “PvP”

  • Hilariously you can just join the side that is already winning for big LP boosts

  • If you just want to PvP - you are better off just being a pirate and shooting everyone, and also people will lose security status for shooting you when you turn up in a plex (even though you’ve entered a contested “war zone!”) There are more pirates in FW space than people in Militias, however it’s still incredibly hard to find some sort of fun / balanced fights being a pirate.

Null has PvP - but it’s frequently along the lines of waiting 3 hours for a fleet to form, spending an hour jumping around, gatecamps, and dropping blobs on people. The “stakes” in Null make it fun for some, but FW and pirate corps are also full of people that have fled null looking for something else.

My proposal instead is something completely different, a way for all Eve players to easily access the immense fun of relatively fair small gang PvP, something that perhaps could be called Privateer Space.

Privateer Space

Privateer space is made up of newly discovered solar systems that are being fought over by all the existing factions / and corporations in New Eden. In the same way that nations allowed civilians to engage in naval warfare against their enemies during the Age of Sail as privateers - entities in EVE will allow access for players to fight in Privateer Space on their behalf.

Players form small / mid sized gangs (there could be different gang size categories - using alliance tournament values, T2 mods only, etc), and pay isk for a commission into Privateer Space by a particular faction or corporation. Commissions could even be bought from factions with loyalty points and sold on the market perhaps. The gang makes their way to some sort of gate / wormhole, and enters a system with another gang full which is full of different celestials to make fights interesting and encourage cat-and-mouse play.

The details of what objectives players would have once within the system don’t matter that much (kill some specific rats, capture a beacon, plant a space flag etc) - the point is simply to put two similarly sized gangs in the same place to explode each other.

We would see so many more interesting fits, ships combos and unusual hulls being flown if people were able to consistently and easily find other players to shoot. Right now anything I undock has a very high percentage chance of just being blobbled to death, or it will take me a whole evening to find someone to shoot it with. The very high chance of wildly uneven fights in Eve has made a huge percentage of the playerbase avoid PvP like the plague, despite it being central and one of the best parts of the game - the situation sucks for everyone!

I can’t think of another game where I need to spend 3 hours doing something mind-numbingly boring to get to the tiny bit of content I actually enjoy. The fact I can’t access the fun content means I quit for very long periods, along with lots of other people I know - hardly a great thing for the life of the game.

The rewards from Privateer Space don’t have to be particularly big or profitable - it doesn’t have to be a serious isk making endeavour for the winning players. Perhaps some fights could have very high entry costs / relatively higher rewards for gangs that think they’re top stuff, whatever. My guess is that just allowing players to actually access PvP fairly quickly with their friends, in a realm that is somewhat balanced in turns of ships, would make it very popular. Screw the isk / hour, can we have more PvP / Content per hour, please? Thanks.

You’re right about the state of faction warfare, but you lost me when you started talking about alliance tournament values.

You forgot to mention that at that plex with that 1 FW fight, the other 10? more? pirate fights you get.

I just don’t see the problem or the solution in this case.

You didn’t read:

“There are more pirates in FW space than people in Militias, however it’s still incredibly hard to find some sort of fun / balanced fights being a pirate.

… and clearly haven’t spent much time searching out decent PvP. I have spent the majority of my time in Eve as a pirate, it’s extremely slim pickings. I just dipped my head into FW briefly to check it out, and it was dead as a doornail as expected. Watch a streamer roaming around for 3 hours without finding a single fight, and you might get a hint of what the “problem” is (lack of content).

Games are supposed to be fun to play. PvE in Eve is doled out merrily and with abandon to anybody who wants some, that’s great. Meanwhile you can literally spend an entire evening playing Eve without getting any fun PvP fights at all - the majority of the playerbase avoid them like the plague because of the very high possibility of a unfun one sided fight. It’s also boring as hell for the attackers actually - 90% of the kills I get are in fights that the other side has no hope of winning.

Right now Eve PvP is mostly engaging in or being the victim of seal clubbing - so barely anyone does it. This idea is a way to give people a structured and reasonably fair way to fight other players. The ships are still blown up and lost, but everyone has a chance for some fun and glory. Piloting skills, fits, game knowledge and guile will decide the winners, rather than greater numbers, or isk spent. More fun for everyone. Games are supposed to be fun, remember?

I like the spirit of the post if not the exact implementation. I’m no expert, but I do think that the best PvP in any persistent-universe game comes from participants who are engaged in the conflict both mechanically and in context. Eve does most of the constituent parts of those concepts well, but I’d like to see a way to tie them together for the small-gang pilots, especially in a way that can provide a meaningful progression for newer PvP’ers who’ve already wet their feet in some of the quality new-player-friendly blobs out there.

See I don’t get this, I park in a small or med plex and I rarely get through the timer without a fight. Mostly pirates but a fight is a fight.

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