Should Alliances unable to fight during the day be allowed to hold space?

The current mechanics mean that Alliances are able to hold space to make isk yet are effectively combat inept for 20hours of the day. Relying on blob mechanics and swarming doctrines to ensure their position.

Yet when it comes down to real skirmish PVP where each pilot actually has to be competent these alliances are astoundingly useless. Many feed billions of isk to ess raiders every day. This is partially down to pilot skill and partially down to the hubris of the alliance leaders who are currently taking advantage of a system allowing them to maintain monopolies on vast swaths of space because the core mechanic is weighted towards who can bring the biggest blob for a short window of time.

Is this fair? There have recently been calls for an end to the coalition system that stagnates null space. But this is impossible in the current mechanics.

I suggest that the sov system is altered to take into account the successful defenses of ESS somehow. If ESS are not defended when they have x amounts in them this should significantly affect how easy it is to hold that system and surrounding systems for the owners. Things like jump bridges and cyno jammers should go offline for X amount of time if an ESS is not defended.

To encourage this. ESS reserves In a region should have a trickle-down mechanic into the main banks of tactically important systems (region gate systems, systems with jump bridges, cyno jammers, sots, keepstars) in the order of say 100m an hour. However, the trickle-down is not distributed back out and rather goes back into the original reserve on the payout to be trickled back down. And can only be stolen from a trickle-down main bank.

While this would help encourage skirmish PVP it still doesn’t answer the main question and its contribution to the coalition problem.

So yeah, Should Alliance who are combat inept for 20h’s a day be able to so easily monopolise space?

You can’t get rid of this “coalition problem” through game balance. It’s a social construct created by the players. Players will always band together in blocks to preserve their space. At the same time, you can’t expect an alliance to be able to defend 24/7. They form based on similar play times.

While parts of space may be stagnant, those are centered around alliances that are actually active and established. It takes time to actually oust them, but it can be done. That really only covers a few regions though. Everywhere else, there is constant change. CVA is taking back Provi for the Nth time, Feythabolis is seeing a mass of sov loss/gains, Scalding Pass/Wicked Creek is seeing a rush of smaller alliances populate the area, plus countless other conflicts that happen all over null sec.

It’s normal, both for people to build powerful groups and for leaders to squeeze out all the isk they can to remain a powerful group. No powerful groups ? No jaw dropping content to attract new players !

The biggest concern is with renter space, which, apart from pve doesn’t offer much of any pvp content. Some of the biggest alliances in the game only own one sov region and have plenty of action both in pve and pvp, while others… you do the research.

Imo it’s not alliances/coalitions that need death-by-new-mechanics, it’s renting out space. Renters are not the most pvp-minded players. If somehow the sov system could check on renting it could improve the quality in sov space ?

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What if a successful ESS hack randomized the schedule of a single reinforcement timer somewhere? Or i guess it would be more fun to let the hackers set it

Why? while i do suggest a feature change. I am more interested in the general feelings about the title problem. Do players feel its fair? Do CCP feel it’s fair?
Do alliance leaders think it’s fair? Especially the ones calling for an end to the coalition “problem”?

Yes. You can engage them in those 20 hours with other means and enlarge the attack windows by denying them usage of their space.

If you can’t engage them in those 4 hours, should you be entitled to take their space away from them?

The OP is like asking if nation states deserve to exist when cartels, gangs, and bank robbers exist. You could perhaps tie ess into sov mechanics by having the frequency of recent thefts decrease a stability meter which could have various effects… such as increasing the vulnerability window from say… 4 to 6 hours, but it shouldn’t wholly replace sov.

It would be good to try to make sov stuff less of a grind though. I’m hopeful the shooter will add extra dynamics for sov warfare to make the experience more engaging and less of an hp grind.

Ah you do misunderstand. There is a distinct difference between Party B being able to take the space away via skirmish PVP exclusively and Party A being able to hold it via blob PVP exclusively. I am saying there needs to be a balance not either or.

Especially as I’m mainly talking about the majority of space alliance’s hold that they don’t use or use enough to bother defending. Nearly every alliance in the game makes primary use of 1 or 2 constellations within a region but often claims the entire region and surrounding ones.
Even then these alliances don’t tend to defend their core constellations well for the majority of the day.

I am asking if we are happy with the current status quo of Blobing for 2 hours being the defacto decider in who can hold what space. Or at least how easy it is for them to hold that space.
I am a member of a blob alliance and find it incredibly frustrating we are not incentivized to improve our skirmish pvp via mechanics that effect our ability to hold space.

And i have spoken with many others who feel the same about their own big blob alliances. There is currently no reason for alliance leaders to promote good skirmish pvp skills or gameplay. I am saying that for both the health of Null and for the health of alliance members skirmish pvp needs to become relevant to holding space in some way.

Right now the status quo means for 20h a day many alliances are zombies and that’s bad for everyone.

imo, this is already in effect to a certain degree. Ess deprives the holder of money (and ships if they die tryign to defend.) Those resources then can’t be used for blob warfare.

What is stopping you from starting an initiative to create that which you’re frustrated doesn’t exist? If you don’t have the skill for it, reach out to your alliance’s alliance tournament (AT) team and ask for assistance. If you don’t have an AT team, ask for help in the greater community, there’s quite a few people who have endeavored to try to help people get better at pvp. (You can check out the eveiseasy youtube channel among others.)

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You are clearly missing the point.

Why? You said you wanted sov to change to reflect a more skirmish play style. I don’t know that you need to hard bake that into the sov mechanics to have it affect sov in totality. It’s the reason why cloaky camping is / was a thing. Meta strategies that effect the larger war plan. Ess can easily fall into that.

As for the second point, you are the primary arbiter of your ability to do things. Don’t sit around being frustrated that other people aren’t accomplishing goals that you think are important. ie: be the change you seek.


Renting is directly related to power projection and the terrible design of Citadels. You can only rent out space if you can threaten to “come and burn everything someone else might dare to put there, anytime, without breaking asweat, and be back for dinner at the same day”. So you can demand money from anyone wanting to settle there, “or else”. CCP has catered the demands of the big groups for years now, following the illusion that they would be the drivers of conflict and fun. But they aren’t. If you feed someone for ages, he will simply become fat, lazy, ever more unsatisfied and demanding.

CCP should buff solo, small, medium content by a huge degree, so all those mass-member-alliances that entirely rely on solving any problem by throwing ever more ships, capitals, supercapitals on anything will get pushed into the defensive, unable to really defend far away outskirts, needing to significantly reduce their amount of space, else they can’t react to skirmish assault any more. Any system that is not actively maintained by people actually living there or close by should be a burden, not worth defending so space frees up for other groups to settle there.

They also should give Citadels a LOT more firepower and defensive capabilities, bringing them to the level of well-armed large POSes (hello 40 jammers randomly cycling through your fleet). This way, it becomes mandatory to actively survey the area you control for hostile attempts to anchor Citadels there. If you fail to notice it and fail to prevent it because your activity level there is too low, you will have a problem because removing them will require quite some effort because even a smaller opponent can fight your larger force with the EWAR power of a Citadel in the back. And rightly so, you simply don’t deserve to hold that space.

But of course, thats exactly the opposite of what big alliances want. They don’t want challenges. They don’t want losses. They just want targets, easy to access, easy to overwhelm by numbers.

Only if you let them. You can camp their systems 24/7 and widen the sov vulnerability window a lot over time. Put some work into your attacks.

I am a member of a blob alliance and find it incredibly frustrating we are not incentivized to improve our skirmish pvp via mechanics that effect our ability to hold space.

The ESS provide plenty of skirmish activity as is, and so do ratting activities. I know that first hand from Delve.

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While I agree with you, personally, I want ccp to open up the planets for gameplay as well. Warp disruption effect within 100km of the surface, warp scram effect wihin 25-50km of the surface. Warp strength goes up incrementally each km toward the surface.

I think that would open up new gameplay types, where people are both not needing to fit warp disruption… and large open expanses that allow for exploration.

As for the content on or near the planet, the pois would serve as static “anom” sites for various dungeon types, and hackable / interactive objects. These would both be on the surface, and “in atmosphere” objects within 100km of the surface but not on the ground itself.

While I’m not a huge fan of FozzieSov mechanics, I also remember the days of POS Warfare and Sovereignty Blockade Units…

Chewing through 10+ dickstar large POS towers sucked balls.

(edit: although I do miss the Mobile Siphon Unit. I made a mint with those little buggers).


That’s partially correct, in the sense that renting empires have existed long before Upwell structures were implemented.

I think we all agree that sovereignty/renter related things are amongst the hardest to solve - and they do need solving or at least iterating on, become more intelligent (e.g., should activity by non-sov holders affect (positively or negatively) the ADM, should low activity of sov holders affect the properties of Upwells in renter systems, should taxes be affected by sov holder (in)activity etc).

Upwells vs. the old POS’s ? They both have pros and cons. A dickstar is not exactly fun to handle either, lol, and an enemy could drop quite a few of those at once. An Upwell with the offensive/defensive capabilities of a an old pos ? If you give it to one party, you also give it to the other party in the conflict, I don’t see how that would help, or inadvertently even benefit the already more powerful large group, or turn it into an endless conflict ?

Avoiding that large groups can dominate smaller groups ? I’d say that’s as good as impossible without breaking the game’s social fabric and sandbox character entirely.

And that’s imo the issue with trying to fix sov related questions: sovereignty is tied not only to game mechanics but also to players’ behavior. Any idea that goes beyond the “give bigger shields” or “give bigger guns” has strong repercussions on other aspects, it seems. Perhaps Upwells are the least of all evils :smiley:

P.S. :

… and right now that’s the best chance for small groups who want to strike out into sov space. Establish diplomatic relations with the large groups that support your intentions and allow you a chance to grow, and fight alongside.

Yes they have, and if CCP would have realized what was good with the old POSes and what made them annoying, they could have easily made the new Upwells a real improvement that combines the good sides while removing the bad sides.

Thats the good side. A dickstar made sure that it is not razed or even attacked for the smallest reasons or “just because you can”. Or even worse: because you have guaranteed loot (Upwell Core). Because it takes quite a capable subcap fleet or forces you to bring vulnerable Caps on grid to do it. Thats an excellent thing, because it allows small and medium groups to use an own structure for economic competition. It allows them to have some little square they can call their “own” and use it as a base for progress and motivation, as long as they don’t step intentionally or accidentally on someones biggers toes or annoy powerful people or take strategic valuable spots with it. Their “unfun” to handle was the only layer of protection smaller groups had and it worked well.
Bigger groups still always had the option to remove any of them if they saw a good reason to, but they wouldn’t do it just out of boredom, because grinding them was even more boring. This is good balance because it allows growth from the roots. It at least forces the big guys to pay for their dominance with effort, and probably some losses. This is a good thing.

And this is the bad side. These POSes were too quickly anchored, to quickly armed and it could happen that basically overnight just right out of your timezone a few of them “spawned” in your home area and caused a great annoyance to remove for little investment of the offender. Thats bad design. The new timed and stepwise anchoring process of the Upwell Structures is the far better one, because an even decently active home-owner can and will spot these Upwells during their anchoring process and can go and respond to that hostile anchoring with a fighting force, without the Citadel being already active and being able to fight with its full power (if at all). On the other hand, any entity that simply overlooks hostile Upwell structures being anchored within their space deserve nothing better than having an “unfun scenario to handle”. It is rewarding activity and punishing lazyness. That is good design.

If you would combine both things from above, that wouldn’t be a problem at all, since you win in the long run with the better activity rating and more clever decsions on the battlefield. Structure removal wouldn’t just be a rag-tag-wrecking ops out of boredum but a planned operation. POSes just like the Upwells in my vision would be able to repel low-level cheap&crappy attacks on their own by randomly shooting into the hostile fleet, even if unmanned and deter small out-of-boredom attacks by the sheer time-consuming process to overcome all that HP and EWAR. But against a serious attack - something every group can pull off if they really want - they will lose efficiency greatly if not manned, so constant attacks out of timezone or when the owners are occupied elsewhere will still allow it one or the other side to score wins. The huge force-multiplier ability only real matters if the defender can bring gunners and ships to the fight. And since usually the smaller groups don’t want to full scale invade bigger alliances homeland and burn everything, but rather fight to take one or two outskirt systems and hold them for their own purposes, the argument that the bigger side also gains the advantages of more powerful citadels doesn’t matter much if he is not able to dedicate enough pilots to actually defend them against constant pressure. Yes, they would fall a bit later, but a small dedicated group will always win that war of attricion over time. Or they are repelled by an organized and dedicated defense operation, well thats also okay. They can come back another time or try it elsewhere.

Nah, people see that idea to strictly. Nothing game breaking is needed. Every group size and playstyle shall have their space with mechanics that benefit them and the playground to clash against others is huge. Bigger groups should and will always have options to dominate smaller groups. In terms of holding own and denying other’s structures within their area of influence, in terms of holding and denying access to key resources or key locations. What simply is not needed are mechanics that give big groups the power to just drop the hammer out of the blue sky anywhere, anytime, instantly, effortlessly. There must be ways to counter the big-guns projection, by being small, mobile, agile. There must be ways for smaller groups to grab at least small pieces of the cake and being “not worth the effort” to remove their single Astra or Athanor (as long as they don’t cause trouble of course). This way, smaller groups become neighbors instead of just prey. They will of course be watched by the big guys, they will have to know how far they can go and over time they will have to build some kind of relation or at least tolerance.

I know that people are always afraid of change and always the worst possible fears of game breaking and sandbox ruining are thrown around. But in reality, this is just not happening. Right now, EVE is simply too favored towards big groups in all areas and that needs to change. The new FW areas are well accepted, Pochven was a good addition (even while being way too small) and the WH-expansion was the single best expansion EVE ever had - why is that? Because all these areas restrict instant-power projection to some degree. Alliances should be greatly rewarded for all kind of activities and get benefits out of them, no doubt. But those who only rely on N+1 blobs should also be punished for being lazy, not really protecting their outskirts with activity and people living there but only “holding” them by the threat of “being there pretty fast if someone dares to place a foot in there”.

And yes, you are right, not “all” big alliances are that way, of course there are degrees and maybe exceptions. But the willingness to share the big cake that the EVE universe is with others looks very small among them. Smaller groups are mostly seen as easy targets and many already argue that “this is exactly as it should be”, not realizing how much fun that attitude costs everyone over time.

Nullsec, the lawless (and largest) part of the map, where players can do what they please, requires an entirely different approach than FW, w-space etc. Upwells were/are part of that design, sov mechanics are a part of it, so is power projection, and swinging the bigger stick. They all reflect the needs of nullsec gameplay.

Instantly projecting power outside of one’s region ? Not feasible with the current mechanics. It requires a lot of planning and deciding, in other words time. Yet, I can’t imagine a “fun” sov space (or the entire nullsec portion) without being able to move troops across the map to have the conflict. “Fun” is not border skirmishes with bad neighbours. “Fun” is not having to plan and build and move for months to get to the content. But that as an aside. The power projection, N+1 and ansiblex discussions, in my opinion, are a diversion from the core problem with bloated claims (sov itself) across unused regions by sov holders. A radical solution could be: no significant presence + activity over time = no defendable sov. Perhaps establishing sov should only be possible after an initial “pre-claim” and achieving an ADM index threshold. And, admittedly, those could be garbage solutions…

Lots of us can produce ideas on how to fix stuff, but which are the right ones ? The behavior of pilots in New Eden is fluid. Windows of opportunity open up in nullsec, not only to gain a foothold for smaller groups to grow in and become the next significant force, but also for CCP to implement changes that give leverage to those opportunities if they have a vision on healthy gameplay in sov space. Today’s solution may be a death knell in two years time, so today’s solution should be replaced at that time. And that should be a constant effort with a relatively short cycle time (5+ years is not a short cycle time).

Take the redistribution and its effects on both the economy and the use of the biggest toys in the game, as an example. You really want to hold your sov space ? You’ll have to have the guns to support your ambitions. Good luck in today’s economy, bloated market prices, ridiculous mineral price index, dito production schemes (not to mention the SP needed), the logistical problems that grew worse, etc. Good luck as a small group in sov space to even cope with those issues. No level of flexibility and agility of small groups is ever going to provide an answer to the firepower of large groups, without fixing the resources and the manufacturing as the very first step.

Scarcity/redistribution was a very poor move, and as often is the case, the biggest groups were the least affected. They still have their big tools, they’re just not being fielded. Instead of flood planes we now have quagmires and bogs, allowing for very little movement in any direction (see the so-called war in the north). Instead of people enjoying their toys they’re afraid to use them because the only solution that was implemented was the one that made them unaffordable (for literally everyone), to use, to lose, and to build. Quite unimaginative, and also a deterioration of too many aspects for too many players across the entire map. That needs fixing, first of all, I think. Give people their favorite toys and activities back so they can get some return on their invested time again. Clearly, for nullsec, it was a mistake !

You can’t squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube, and you should never take away what you’ve given to players to play with. And, related to the renting question and sov holding etc, it’s obvious that also the smaller groups need similar toys as the ones the big groups have. So make them available again. And make some new toys to counter them, so we’ll be good for the next two decades…

Then turn attention to purely sov related questions, review and revamp the rules for sov claiming and holding. There’s plenty of devs that could come up with novel solutions for exciting gameplay if one lets them and, like you say, take the lessons from the past into consideration when designing these solutions.

Oh, I absolutely agree. Those holding SOV should gain a lot of offensive, defensive and economical benefits from maintaning and developing that space. Thats the main difference between nullsec and the other ones. It was never my intention or suggestion to make all spaces equal. Quite the opposite, all spaces must be hugely different, with shifting the advantages around between group sizes.

Well, there is a fine window for “instant” becoming just “quickly” becoming “decently” becoming “really slow”. I’d like to cut back the geography skipping a bit so distance becomes meaningful again. But I am absolutely open for suggestion how quickly is quickly enough to give a reasonable response to offenders and how quickly is too quickly, so outsiders are simply discouraged from seeking conflict at all because they would have the main staging fleet against them within minutes anyway.

Again, no one wants that. Big alliances should always be able to “move troops around”. And they always will be. I question the “need” for being able to “move around anything, anytime to anywhere quickly”. You know, even 0.0 groups can scan WH chains and use the good old HAC gang squeezing through some holes instead of bridging Leshaks/Marauders to shortcut 30 or 50 gate jumps for convenience. And if they really want Cap/Supercap support for their ops, yes that should cost a lot of time and effort. Rightly so.

I like those thoughts a lot. I always liked ideas that basically “empty” 0.0 systems come under constant pressure from NPCs that are going to fortify them (protect all the resources, engage all the structures) and you basically have to “pre-claim” them as you call it by using significant force to shoot them free before you can claim SOV. And then you have to maintain them by being present, or the pressure will begin again until you lose the system again. Could be garbage? Maybe. Can’t imagine it being worse that the currently hundreds of literally empty 0.0 systems. That no one but a handful of Ishtar bots is using.

With the rest I mostly agree as well. Many mistakes have been made in the past with poor design decisions. And while you cannot squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube, you simply have to wipe it all away when the bathroom becomes just too messy. Yes, people will cry when changing things. But they always will. The current situation that huge blocks and alliances sit on ungodly amounts of caps and supercaps but are afraid to use them because of the effort to replace losses is just not healthy for anyone. I can understand that the owner of Titans and Supercarriers want to use these. And they should. Content and Roles shall be created where you really need these ships to progress towards an alliance goal. They should reduce their build costs by a lot, give them a good balance spot among the combat ships and then go for it. Currently the old saying is true: “Everything you own ends up owning you.” And this can only be changed by making them basically as disposable as any other ship, reasonably strong, reasonably expensive to replace.

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