With the talk of “propaganda” structures being on the roadmap (no surprise, we knew these were coming for a long time) I feel it is important to bring up something that has been on my mind for a long time, from when proper player structures were first announced back in 2014.
CCP had to be “enlightened” to the need for citadel interiors to exist. They admitted that it was obvious in hindsight; that it is critical for players to feel like they are at home. Their home. And that the “outside” view was insufficient for that. Good, a step in the right direction, but it went no further. Years later and all space is the same. Every where has the same structures, serving the same purposes. No culture in our space cities; colonization is uniformly bland.
Player controlled billboards are a step in a better direction, and the new decorations on gates will likely help to make you feel uniquely at home when in familiar territory, and likewise alienated when away in foreign lands.
But why are billboards the first step CCP have taken here? It has already been shown that is is difficult to maintain the current player content of billboards, and a replication of that system will not be sufficient. Players will need tighter control within their domain, and ideally speedy deployment of new media to these propaganda structures. I don’t have faith we will get what we really desire from them, if only because CCP lacks the manpower to properly vet content at the scale required (and they will want to vet it).
Why not statues? Player statues. Nothing to vet here. Just give us predefined postures, utilizing already existing character models, slap on some material textures, maybe some alliance/corp logi holograms and you are done! Give us small statues. Large statues. Statues to block out the sun! Give us simple statues, cheap materials - for an efficient state to boast their organization. Give us illustrious statues made of rare metals, that shine against the glow of the stars and planets - for the truly wealthy states that hold the glory of their leadership, and their empire above all else.
Player 3D models don’t exist within the same engine that EVE uses (if i recall correctly), but would it really be so difficult to develop such a system? Think of the consequences. Productivity sunk into glory, not utility. No doubt large wealthy empires would use their vast wealth to ensure all know of their proud leadership, enemy and friend alike. Smaller, groups, might dot their enemies land with statues to antagonize them. Insighting responses, creating targets, starting conflicts around purely petty conflicts. What could be more EVE?