The next W-space. and Player Owned Gates.
Okay, here’s a long one.
New Upwell structure(s).
Upwell gate, in three sizes, and effective ranges, just like the NPC ones. Usable in null, and to connect null K-space with a set of new systems that have no existing gates.
Establish three new hulls, all capital sized, (and capital levels of resources consumed in the making.)
- The macrowarpdrive battleship
- The macrowarpdrive “rorqual”
- The macrowarpdrive freighter.
Whether or not there is one of each for each empire or not, doesn’t matter. Might be fun if everything but the freighter had two empires making it, while the freighter was an ORE design. Say, Amarr and Caldari for the battleships, and Gallente and Minmatar for the ship haulers. This puts a shield and an armor option on each type.
three new deployables, about frigate sized, that are, in effect, single-use jump-drive equipped probes.
- One that can be used to scout a system, and relay back useful details about that system.
- One that can be used to look for incoming ships, such as any of those mentioned above. (It might be more appropriate if this one looked like a pepperbox full of drones or missiles, since it is covering a swath of sky.)
- One that can be used to, try, to shoot down (one of) those incoming ships.
Each ship should take one jumpclone. The “rorqual” should take many more. The battleship should be about as capable as a regular battleship, despite its much higher price. As heavy hitting, as tanky, as fast, maybe just pick two but it’s also going to be as easy to lock as a capital ship, anyway. The “Rorqual” should, naturally, hold a number of fitted subcapitals, and be able to deploy them using the jumpclones it has stored. The freighter would be just that, a very expensive freighter, capable of carrying anything a freighter can, including Upwell Structures.
All three would be single-use. Too big to go through a gate, (once assembled), and unable to bridge, or jump more than once. (Well, not too big, since supercaps can use a gate, but, maybe it has a funny resonance that makes it not jump by any mechanism but its own?
A new module for stations, POSSIBLY only the largest, that can be used by someone with astronomy to a high degree to find new systems beyond known-space. It would be fair to require they also know Planetology in order to get a good report on the detected system. This should be a SLOW process, made faster only by having multiple stations in multiple systems searching under the direction of the same player. When a new system is found, the player should then be able to drop, and launch, an interstellar probe to check it out. Whether or not it’s launched from the corporate hanger bay, or hauled out in an industrial, assembled and deployed doesn’t matter. If the information that comes back is desirable, they should then be able to send a special ship, or a fleet of them, to whatever that probe found, BUT, there should be a real chance of losing the probe on any given day it’s in flight. Yes, any given DAY.
Once they launch the ship, or fleet of ships, there should be a real chance that any of them, individually, will be lost in the same way.
It should be possible to detect and defend the system from incoming long-warp ships. First, it should be possible to use astronomy modules similar to those used to find a prospective system in the first place to watch back toward known space, (or any direction, really), for evidence that there is a ship in route. I’d go with 4, 8, 12, 16 interconnected stations, with each station, in four, covering a different quadrant of 3D space, (with the option of leaving some quadrants uncovered, or lightly covered, if you’re confident nothing will attack you from that direction,) all with on-line astronomy modules. One, by itself, should give enough heads up warning to assemble the fleet. Maybe a weeks warning. 2 should provide more warning. Maybe 2 weeks.
Detection shouldn’t come cheap. The detection should depend on regularly manufacturing and launching early warning probes, one per station. If you have AT LEAST two weeks warning, you should be able to launch a frigate-sized, long-warp missile to TRY and kill ONE of the oncoming ships a week away. There should be no limit to how many missiles you should be able to fire at once, but any that “miss”, or any that are more than necessary to kill THEIR target should just be wasted. Such missiles should fly for a week, or more, and increase the CHANCE of the oncoming ship being “lost”. The missiles should give a diminishing return on the chances of stopping the ship. It should make firing a dozen missiles at a target seem like a good, though expensive, idea, but two dozen clearly a waste.
Mechanics. a scenario of a populated system and the taking of.
Littlebunnyfufuswarm has detected that there is a system west of ORE space that has a number of good planets, moons, and belts. (They also know, from their spies in Legionaires Outbreak, that the system is owned by them…probably, it looks right. Right number and type of planets, right number, composition and position of moons and belts.)
They detected it by having almost a dozen astrahouses, over as many weeks, scan that direction, looking for a hit, and wasting no time to spare no cost in sending probes toward any “hits”, 3, 4 at a time, to see what they saw, (one probe may be lost, but one of four is probably going to survive to report). The probes are small, and Legionaires Outbreak didn’t stand a chance of detecting them before they reported back exactly what the system looked like.
The system is some 36 LY away, that will take 36 days to traverse in the new macrowarpdrive ships. For most of that time, the ships will be unmanned.
Littlebunnyfufuswarm deploys a small fleet of the macrowarpdrive ships. Three, because there is always the chance of losing one, are freighters carrying new Upwell Structures Gates. Littlebunnyfufuswarm has already placed their counterparts deep in a staging system outside of Alliance space, waiting in hangers until D-1 day.
The rest are a mixture of the new, oversized battleships and ship haulers. There are far fewer ships than jumpclones, and most will be lost, unused. 3 of the massive new ships are the Battleship type ships, and the remaining 6 are carrying subcapitals…generally around 8 Strategic Cruisers apiece, or quite a few more Tactical Destroyers and even a few Frigates. The ship haulers have over 200 jumpclone pods apiece in them. Every member of Littlebunnyfufuswarm was told to set a jumpclone in each ship, and fit them with useful implants for the coming battle, just in case they were needed to fly on D day. (Also, one of their spies has been tasked with making as many sub-caps as he can get away with, to distribute among the pod pilots that didn’t get a ship from the warpcarrier.)
Legionaires Outbreak, however, know that they are likely to be attacked, and they’re pretty sure the attack will come from K-space. They have set up no less than 13 astrahouses with deep-probe telemetry modules, (they aren’t too worried about one of the quadrants, and skimped on stations that cover that direction.) Every DAY they launch 13 frigate sized probes in every direction.
Since they have enough stations for 4 weeks of warning, they get a ping 8 days after Littlebunnyfufuswarm launches its fleet of invading craft, and 28 days before it will arrive. They have a stockpile of interstellar missiles, but don’t know much about their targets, except there are 12 of them. They pick their targets blind, and shoot missiles at them. They don’t have THAT many missiles, but they’re quick to build. Less than a week, easy, (but not too fast.) They fire what they have, holding back an even dozen, at the twelve ships. The odds of losing a ship are small…ish, but the odds of being taken out by a missile when each ship faces five are …better than 75% chance of getting blown out of the sky.
Nonetheless, two weeks go by, and Legionaires Outbreak is building as many missiles as they can, while not impacting warship manufacture. At the end of this time, both sides are informed that there are only 4 of the original 12 ships still flying. (Hey, 75% of 12 may be 3, but that doesn’t mean that 3 survive every time. They could have scratched all but 2 of the ships, or gotten lucky and nailed them all.) All anyone knows is the ships are gone, but everyone pretty much “knows” why. 67% of your fleet doesn’t disappear on the same day by chance.
Legionaires Outbreak, still making missiles, (SOMEONE goofed, and started a batch that won’t finish until later NEXT week,) fires off their remaining reserve of 12 missiles at the remaining 4 targets. The targets are 2 weeks away, and the missiles will reach them in one week. This time, they decide to skip a target. It MIGHT be the one carrying a gate, but, if so, they can kill it easily, if it doesn’t have any escort. It might be any of the others, too, but if one survives, they may have a sub-cap battle on their hands, but nothing they can’t handle.
A week later, they’re informed that two of the three ships they fired on are gone, but the other remains, as does the one they didn’t fire on. (It was always possible the one they didn’t fire on would run into a dust particle and vaporize, but no luck.) They STILL haven’t finished cooking new missiles, (someone will be visiting the roles of their chief industrialist, you can bet,) so they’re out of missiles. They’re now facing two ships. Their spies in Littlebunnyfufuswarm tell them it SHOULD be one of the freighters, carrying an Upwell Gate, and one of the small ship carrier vessels. On D Day, they will have as many people on line as possible to take out these ships, and (try to) prevent the gate back to a little pocket that Littlebunnyfufuswarm controls, that is NOT swarm’s home space, or even all that close to it, from opening.
Meanwhile, Littlebunnyfufuswarm knows exactly which ships have been lost. Several pilots, checking their notifications, have been informed their jumpclone aboard Deep Space Probe AX2109-38, or whatever, has been destroyed. Some of these are the small ship pilots that were expecting to fly those T3’s against Legionaire’s Pandemic’s home fleet. Ten of them were the pilots that would man the macrowarpdrive capitals when they came out of warp.
The day before the big battle, they preposition one of the three gates they have sitting in inventory. On the day OF the battle, a few minutes before the other ship can even start, someone in a regular freighter, (or even a jumpfreighter,) will anchor one end, and stand ready to link it to their fleetmate who will be assembling the other structure. Fortunately, the structure goes up fast and is either invulnerable or finished within an hour, so the beachhead fleet only needs to fight for an hour before they can take a break, or have a large number of reinforcements.
Everyone who hasn’t been tapped to fly the T3’s has been told they Will be in the stating system, they Will be ready to use that gate, and no, their brothers wedding, or their own for that matter, doesn’t matter. They Will be there, ready to go through that gate and fight, or they Will submit their resignation. And they better submit that resignation sooner rather than at the last minute, or they’ll be KOS for the rest of their Eve career.
Meanwhile. Sorority of Sisters has warped well past that system, and set up a STAGING system on the other side of that one. It has only a couple Barren planets, no belts, and only one moon, so no one (else) who saw it wasted a ship to claim it, or very many probes to investigate it. They’ve managed to keep it very quiet: having learned their lesson about trusting even corp officers too much. They will be warping in from the back side, and no, Legionaires Pandemic doesn’t suspect a thing, because that’s the side they only covered to about a weeks depth.