Why Are You Writing This?
For a long time I’ve mulled over ideas of how System Security status, resource distribution and related mechanics don’t really make sense to me. CCP’s rules, while clear, seem to strongly favor certain areas over others in their outcomes. The above graph encapsulates my personal perception in graphic format. As I said on Twitter today, Lowsec needs more carrot, and Sov null needs more “null”.
The seeds of these thoughts go back to Mynxee’s efforts to improve lowsec (sadly, Mynxee’s blog appears to have disappeared) as well as things like Rixx Javix’s Gooder Eve series. I took a first stab at the subject matter in Stand By To Repel Boarders, my response to CK’s Blog Banter #21 in September 2010. In the end, I’ve decided to finally write the whole thing down, sparked by today’s Twitter debate about how bad the GCC mechanic is. That has already spawned several blog posts:
- Rixx Javix kicks it off with GCC Reform Now. I agree with him strongly on this matter, by the way.
- Rixx follows up several days later with Criminal Intentions – a semi-in-character justification that his -10 pirate is not really a criminal. This kicks off the real debate. In the next few hours:
- Garheade tweets numerous points suggesting that even highsec is not safe enough, and GCC and ratting are not punishment enough.
- I post the risk/reward graph above on Twitter.
- Logan Fyreite posts his rebuttal to Rixx’s article.
- Marc Scaurus posts his well-considered opinions on the matter.
- I post this introduction to my broader thoughts.
- Thansoli adds his take.
So despite all that buildup … I’ll address GCC later. TL;DR of that is that Rixx is in fact a criminal and GCC is horribly broken. But I’m a holistic kind of guy, so I’ll start from the big picture. We’ll get to GCC specifics in the Lowsec discussion.
High security space isn’t very exciting, but it’s very safe compared to the others. Not entirely safe mind you, but much more than the other options. Sovereign nullsec is extremely rewarding, and in many places nearly as safe as highsec for corps that have sovereignty in that area, but with less rule mechanics than highsec. These two places are unsurprisingly the home to most Eve players for these reasons – safety and/or income and power in numbers.
Wormholes are a middle ground where small groups can find sizable profits and decent safety (for the wise) for medium risk, but at significant inconvenience.
The rest – Lowsec and NPC Nullsec – is a wasteland. Risk to Reward ratio is a sad shadow of the others.
So… What is “Feudal Eve”?
Instead, if I ran CCP, I would throw this four- or five-tiered system out for one that is admittedly more complicated, but in my mind also more fair and that would incent broader use of the entire cluster as well as increased competition and conflict to keep the engine of Eve’s economy moving.
The basic precept of this idea is that Eve is not “Empire vs. Nullsec” – the popular and CCP-promoted view of things. For a long time I thought about it as Rixx Javix suggests – like Lowsec is the wild west, complete with frontier towns and sheriffs. That, I think, is a good model for how things could be in lowsec. But it doesn’t work as well to describe a paradigm for the whole of Eve.
But the more thought I give it, I am convinced that a better analogy to be applied in order to bring a leveling factor to the game is feudal europe or city-state Greece.
At the heart, you have the major empires – “known civilization”. Rome. Greece. Persia. Egypt. Or France, Spain, England, Austria if you prefer. Or Athens, Corinth, etc. You get the picture. This is Eve Highsec.
Between them and around them lies land that they call theirs, but is in fact more the province of the local warlord, duke, earl, or count. The law – if it exists at all – is local, not national. This is Eve Lowsec. Sometimes, wars raged among the lands of these fiefdoms. This is Eve Facwar Lowsec.
Across the sea, over the mountains, or across the desert in feudal times were distant and strange civilizations – empires in their own right, but with unrecognizable customs, rules and laws – but just as secure, stable and massive as the known imperial powers. This is Eve Nullsec – we pretend like null dwellers are roving herds of marauders, when in fact they are closer to the Chin Dynasty. Sometimes, massive wars broke out between distant empires as well – as they do across sovereign nullsec.
Finally, there are mysterious and little-known regions from ancient days. Oases in the middle of the Sahara. Tibet. Switzerland. Iceland & Greenland. Atlantis. Places dangerous to reach, but relatively safe once arrived with proper preparation, planning and guidance. This is w-space in Eve.
Over time I hope to work my way through these different areas in regards to how Eve, and particularly security “zones” (i.e. high/low/wormhole/null), which I admittedly know to differing extents, could be changed for the better by viewing it through a “feudal lens”. I admit upfront that I am not a sov null dweller and I expect to make a few erroneous assumptions, which I am sure will get plenty of feedback.
To set this up, my base premise is that risk and reward should be matched. This means that real safety is the measure by which resources are distributed, and by which punishments and patrols are handed out. So, in order of highest security (and lowest resources):
- Tier 1: Safe
- Long-uncontested sovereign nullsec
- Tier 2: Risky
- Occasionally-contested sovereign nullsec
- Tier 3: Dangerous
- Faction War Lowsec
- Proven pirate havens (i.e. Rancer, Amamake, etc.)
- NPC Nullsec
- Current- and recently-contested sovereign nullsec