This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

16 Nov 2012

OOC Entry 59 - Let a thousand flowers bloom

In my last feature, I was basically playing the funeral dirge for EVE. This one is about the possibility for revival. It will be as universally positive as the last one was gloomy. So the reality will very likely turn out to be somewhere in between.

If we look at the changes the last year since Crucible has brought us, and with Retribution on our doorstep, there are many doors that have opened for the beginning player in rather subtle ways.

Apart from EVE having become more easy on the eyes - which is always nice as an advertising point - the change most significant for the newcomers is the ship rebalancing program.

Before that became a reality, you were quite likely to find yourself in a rather annoying situation if you chose Amarr, Caldari or Gallente as your character's race: As soon as you want to do anything related to PVP, everyone with only a bit of experience would tell you that you are pretty useless in your T1 frigate. Very likely they would tell you that you basically have the choice to train for the Rifter, then the Rifter, after that the Rifter and maybe, possibly, but unlikely, they would tolerate you with your Incursus or Merlin. Now each race actually has quite viable combat frigates and you don't have to cross-train right away.

That is particularly useful when considering one important detail of the tutorials: In the end - if you do all of them - you will be presented with the option to join faction warfare. In the past, that choice was not only a dangerous one to make which was pretty unlikely to get you much except entries on someone's killboard, you also did not really have a ship you could fly that would make you a valuable participant that early in your EVE career (except if you were Minmatar or had trained for the Rifter regardless)

These days faction warfare is very much alive. Of course there was the initial hype when nullsec alts descended upon it like a plague of locusts, but that has started to subside. Mostly because of changes to the system that are forthcoming in Retribution. However, there still remains a vibrant community. Much more alive than it once was, and with more suitable tools even new players can become a viable part of it.

The second ship most people get into is the destroyer, and they have also seen positive changes and now there are going to be new ones that set players on a course to diversify their skills, another good entry point into faction warfare where destroyers still see regular use.

Regarding nullsec, the massive campaigns of the HBCFC (face it, despite all kinds of assurances that only TEST and GSF are really blue to eachother, it's basically one collective entity) have driven many established alliances from their space. Many of them have begun to change their approach. No longer will they be sov-holding entities, but roaming bands which basically prey on the large supply of targets the big powerblocs provide.

Since those two superpowers of nullsec contain so many new and inexperienced players with no real concept of self-sufficiency and independence, a beginning player can actually find ways to be successful against them. With sov warfare out of the picture, it is no longer necessary to function as a part of a massive fleet. One does not need to have the ability to fly a dreadnaught or carrier and sacrifice one's social life to reinforcement timers any more.

A more casual and flexible style of playing that benefits new players is emerging from those circumstances.

In addition to that, the upcoming criminal flagging system and bounty mechanics will allow for many more engagement opportunities against those who prey on the highsec population.

Real PVP will finally become a part of highsec.

Not the one-sided griefing which left the victim with little opportunity to fight back or have friends help them, but a system that allows for active participation of corp members and even third parties.

On the more peaceful side of things, we have new mining ships that are not just a step by step progression which basically made the very expensive Hulk the only viable option for the serious miner.

Now there is a choice.

 Particularly the fact that the Covetor has been increased in usefulness and that there is now going to be very effective mining frigate, creates new possibilities for the aspiring industrial tycoon.

Now there are still battlecruisers and battleships to rebalance and then the stage is effectively set for an actual content-based expansion that enriches the world of EVE rather than just fixing it.

In other games, the developers add new lands, new opponents to fight, new races to play and so on. In EVE similar things can and should happen.

I want to close with a few suggestions of features which I think could be great as an addition to the game that would benefit new and experienced players alike:

More Incursions

Sansha Kuvakei deserves a rest. I guess by now he has collected enough victims for his empire of cyberzombies.

What about the Angel Cartel, Serpentis Corporation, the Guristas, the Blood Raiders? Wouldn't they want to make a move too?

The mechanics are in place, so all it would take is a little ship redesigning and off we go. Also, why should such incursions just be about sitting somewhere and blocking a system. They could camp gates which would have to be liberated to open the spacelanes again. They could shoot TCUs in an effort to drive capsuleer empires off their borders and force them to actually come out and defend their sovereign space against NPCs. This would also create an opportunity for other alliances to capitalize on that weakness, effectively allying themselves with the NPCs until the locals are driven away.

Dynamic PVE content

Missions are repetitive and boring. Why not make them more dynamic?

A mission could be to clear a system of invading pirates. Those pirates would not just sit in a deadspace complex but appear in belts, at gates and at stations. They can then of course be killed by other people too, and would also be in fights with the local navy at the gates and stations. So the mission would be a race to get as many of them as possible before others do. Navy ships and players killed would count against you. NPC ships you kill would do the opposite. Once a certain threshold is reached, the pirates withdraw.

That also creates competition and keeps the highsec environment in flux. Today you might be safe mining in a belt with only the occasional frigate spawn. Tomorrow, there might be cruisers and battleships in large numbers and you need to find a mission runner to beat them back for you. This way, more cooperation between the notoriously isolated highsec PVE players could be encouraged too. Not to mention that it would be terrible for bots.

Alternative Sovereignty Mechanics

Today, sovereignty can only be gained by grinding through static timers which require large siege fleets. A very linear and boring affair.

What if that were different?

What if it were possible to hack a TCU to purge the sovereignty from the system?

Not for good - that would still require destroying and replacing it - but for a certain time. It could be a base time of 24 hours plus six hours for every level in the hacking skill. A small group of players could thereby intrude into an unused part of sov-space and create their own temporary zone of control without having to grind through structure timers that require 20 dreadnaughts. It would also keep the large empires on their toes. No longer can they just let their systems sit there unwatched and unused. Someone has to actually be there to prevent the hacking attempts.

Combine that with nullsec NPC incursions and you get a really dynamic mix that helps against the static nature of nullsec as it is today.

Dynamic Security Status

Last year Goons and others killed scores of ships in Jita. Strangely enough the place is still 1.0 security.

What if that could actually be changed by all those ship kills?

What if a system could turn into lowsec by the actions of capsuleers?

It should be hard enough and require large numbers of kills - on the scale of a "Burn Jita" event - to bring down the security status of a 1.0 system, but a 0.5 system could be easier. Pirate corps could make fringe regions less safe. Such systems would automatically become faction war territory, and kills by faction militias would increase the sec status again.

At the same time, NPC navies could also intervene. If you are with an alliance that has started to take down the security status of a highsec system, the local navy will shoot at you, regardless of your personal security status or standings.

In conclusion

I am just tossing around a few ideas, and the particulars would have to be worked out by people more meticulous than me. I guess some of my suggestions could be open to exploiting by throwing large masses of players at it in the way how some do, but there are ways that problem could be mitigated.

My general point is, though, that there should be more dynamism. More content that fosters cooperation. More content that creates RP opportunities even. A corp could be envisioned that specializes in keeping highsec safe against invading pirates, defenders of local order. On the other side there could be terrorists looking to destabilize the system of control. This way the progress from PVE to PVP also becomes more gradual.

The important part is to create an environment which encourages and rewards cooperation while at the same time making New Eden more than just a bunch of dots on a starmap, but a living, dynamic, environment.

That will attract players and keep them in the game, because it immediately gives them something to do and actual influence on the starscape from their first weeks on. 


  1. Part 3!!! A vision for the connection to wormhole space, Sleepers, the Old World and possible integration with World of Darkness. The Sansha invasions being the harvesting of sacrificial victims for the alien terrors we left behind that come to follow us back to envelope and destroy New Eden. We have eaten the fruit. Time is no more. Will the branches of our heavens burn?! The possibilities open for back-story is endless... -oreb w.

    1. lol ignore me. I felt it followed the theme of past, present and envision what could be or come. Great review of events.

  2. It will begin with an invasion of bloated monstrosities flesh-crafted from the frozen corpses of capsuleers that drifted into the void beyond the heliopause. Fuelled by all the hatred, the violence and the death in New Eden, which - like a concentrated metaphysical acid - finally weakened the last barriers that would keep the beings from beyond sequestered away in a realm that is nor space, nor material, nor energy but the pure essence of undoing. The downfall of reality in a dark storm of destructive excess that could not be described with words.

    And none shall remain. Only a turgid mass of insane minds shattered and shredded by inconceivable horror.

    I guess that's when they shut the servers down.