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

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

20 Jan 2013

Blog Banter 44 - Local, the Universe and The Rest

The echo chamber is reverberating loudly with the subject of Local Channel these days, and Seismic Stan decided to put the subject out there for a Blog Banter.

"The local chat channel provides EVE players with an instant source of intel of who is in the system. With a quick glance you can tell who is in system and what your standings are to them. War targets, hated enemies, friends and corp mates all stand out clearly. Is this right? Should we have access to this intel for free with no work or effort? Should the Local chat channel even exist? Should normal space be more like wormhole space where the Local channel appears empty until someone speaks?"

Many others have already responded and there are opinions a-plenty.

I will take an entirely in-universe approach here. You will read points and arguments others have made already, but I hope I can still add something.

To begin with...

It has been stated, that capsuleers are registered with their Pilot Licenses by CONCORD. Along with that license, CONCORD keeps a file of the capsuleer which is in the public domain (how else would you get info on another capsuleer at all). As others have pointed out, that information is sent across the system by the stargates as soon as a capsuleer jumps in.

That concept works perfectly in Highsec and Lowsec but it quickly falls apart everywhere else. I will address the in-universe aspects of the different regions.


Lowsec systems are generally held by Empire factions. Those are bound by the Yulai Convention which established CONCORD and a number of other general rules of conduct. CONCORD has limited authority there. They still register security status violations, for example. That would also extend to the provision of a local channel information network to keep the playing field level for the contesting parties.

NPC Nullsec

Here we still have gates and they can register capsuleers, but CONCORD holds no authority there. The only authority is held by the local faction, be that the Thukker Tribe, the Guristas Pirates or Sansha's nation. Would they have any reason to provide information to capsuleers about roaming brethren?

Well, for some they would.

Capsuleers who have sufficiently high standing with a local NPC faction could actually be granted access to the gate transponder network. The game mechanic that regulates this would be the corporation's standing. If your people ran enough missions for the Serpentis, well then the Serpentis will let you know whether potential enemies enter. For everyone else local would work just like in wormhole space: A pilot only appears there if they actually say something. As for the rest, happy dscanning.

Sovereign Nullsec

Sovereign Nullsec belongs to nobody until someone sets up sovereignty structures. CONCORD also has no authority there. Gate operators would not have any reason to provide jump records to others except if those third parties have established full control.

In terms of in-game mechanics, such a solar system would function just like wormhole space does, until some faction actually upgrades the system to provide a local channel for themselves. This would require a specific sovereignty structure or an upgrade to an existing one like an Infrastructure Hub. The local channel would work only for sov-holders and allies, others will see an empty chat window until someone actually speaks there.

As with other sovereignty structures, I would argue that the necessary upgrades should be open to hacking attacks. A ship with a hacking module should be able to basically deactivate local chat for everyone and revert the system to wormhole-space levels of obscurity.

On top of that, I would argue that black-ops ships' pilots should not appear in local no matter what. After all they are moving in covertly with a covert cyno field. That should be worth something.

But, but ...!

I know, all of this has a lot of pitfalls and problems. For example, it would benefit the defender of a Nullsec system a lot, especially in NPC Nullsec. It would also introduce even more cost to the maintenance of sovereignty. Neutral small-gang and solo PVPers will have a harder time roaming through Nullsec.

I just wanted to take a look at the issue from the in-universe perspective, but not everything can and must make sense in that context.


  1. Based on this method; ships entering via jump should not (immediately at least) appear in local.

    Also; should logged out pilots still appear (have not left system)?

    Do gates know about podded pilots or docked ships?

    1. I would say Helena Khan made a few of those things clearer than I did (see )

      To sum it up, the whole thing is connected to a pod pilot's transponder and gates would figure less in the whole equation.

      Looking at it from my approach, I guess ships entering through cyno-jump would not appear until they get on grid with a gate or a station. Podded pilots or docked ships would still figure (the pilot is still registered in the system).

      Logged out people would not show up just because it's not consistent with in-game presence. I guess that's one of the things that can not really make sense withing the in-universe context (like, where do our ships go if we log out in space?)

  2. I like... I like... "That'll hold water." as my father would say... Makes sense in both Lore and Technological views. A good variation that agrees with my basic stance... let US gain more control over Communications in New Eden. These are technology based systems and therefore open to technological interruption/degradation/spoofing and hardening/enhancing/counter spoofing... IE Let US Mess w/ Local!

  3. Well I would doubt the point that CONCORD has no authority in Sov-0.0. You may try it out yourself but if you don't pay your bills to concord you will loose your Sov. ;-)

    Whether you hold sov or not, the stargates are still there, working for everyone and the crew there is not payed from the sov holder, else every jump would be charged. Even if concord doesn't execute law in 0.0 they still have the authority and technology to track capsuleers.

    And if local chat can be disrupted it should also be possible to disrupt any other chat in some extend. You can disable local chat which has the shortest transmission distance but channels with people from w-space to empire to 0.0 just work fine and undisruptable?

    Many thoughts floating around this topic. But I think local isn't our big problem. Its the locations to fight for/over whe lack.
    If a roam doesn't find a fight but still gets profit because the absence of defenders means they could raid valueable stuff would improofe PvP don't you think?

  4. Well, I guess the sov issue could be argued away as basically just a registration fee for being allowed to establish yourself as a sovereign entity. The stargates could possibly still be under CONCORD authority though, but then they certainly would not register ships that cyno-jump into the system like Foo pointed out above.

    I am actually not standing behind my post squarely. I just wanted to put it out there for consideration.

    As for the idea about raiding undefended space, I absolutely agree. In fact, I wrote about that in an other one of my blogposts: