Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fixing nullsec without a highsec nerf

In EVE, the risk vs reward is extremely skewed since highsec is completely safe unless you do stupid things. This makes an infinite reward/risk ratio in highsec that can only balanced if the reward goes near zero, so removing L4s, maybe even L3s, incursions, all ores but veldspar. CCP obviously don't want to turn half the universe into a newbie zone where no one else can live.

However nothing else seems to work. Not even the extreme buff to FW (before the fix) moved large population out of highsec. Sure, the brave few moved. But most preferred continuing to AFK-mine ice. Something else must be done.

It seems people refuse to give up safety while farming. If they want safety, the only way to make nullsec profitable if we give it to them. How? At first, I'd suggest to make larger part of nullsec NPC null, to preserve the current Nullsec environment. Move whole regions into the hands of Sanshas, Guristas, Blood raiders. The rogue drones could get their own NPC null with a human NPC anti-drone faction owning the stations as bastions against the drones.

The Sov-null would get a huge transformation: the sov-holder could set up upgrades that make solo and small gang roams very hard, along with AFK-cloaking. For example an upgrade that pulses every minute, breaks cloaks, places a beacon where non-blues were at time of the pulse, and lists them both on local channel in the system and in all nearby systems. Local would be changed to delayed like WHs, so blues who are not revealed by the pulse are not seen. Skilled hostiles could still sneak in, so there wouldn't be perfect safety, just like you can be suicide-ganked in high, but a bored kid in a trasher couldn't lock down a constellation.

Of course nullsec is not highsec as it can be conquered. Intel doesn't help much against an invading fleet. Sov null is already blob vs blob PvP, not much would be lost if other forms of PvP would be cut back. Small gang and solo roams could operate in NPC null and lowsec, hunting those who mission to pirate factions. So while Sov-null would be safe, it wouldn't be safe for free. To have it, you must defend it flying in the blob.

This way there would be reason for "carebears" to move to nullsec. Some of them would settle at a renter status, paying for the ability to PvE in null. Others would get to their introduction to PvP with it's easiest form: blob F1-bashing, as a grunt of the nullsec holder. Some might actually leave the safety of Sov-null for pirate LP or small gang PvP.

Of course Wormholes need some help too, or they would be emptied by this safe-nullsec. I'd suggest to give them the ability to set IHUBs in WHs, formally claiming Sov, getting equal buffs, and some really juicy extra: the ability to build supercapitals in their holes. As a bonus, Sov would also allow outpost construction, making the POS problem obsolete.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Building Supers in Wh's is not really a good idea, since the defender will already have that much more of an advantage and skew the fights towards capitals, (carriers and dreadnaughts could still be killed by subcaps rather easily, not so much for supers). And local should be fixed to be delayed as to eliminate free intel. maybe not like wh but under 5-15 mins delay. That will also solve the problem of ratting botters. And your solution for cloaks is rather sufficient but maybe it should be more than a min? giving sufficient time to actually set an ambush with cloacked ships.

MoxNix said...

I disagree. You have it exactly backwards. It isn't hisec that needs to be fixed to *force people into null, it's nullsec that needs to fixed so more people will *want to go to null.

A good start would be fixing Sov mechanics so it's relatively easier to hold a small bit of null (like a single system) than the vast tracts the big alliances currently hold.

There's not much reason to go to null, especially not to stay permanently if you can't dock anywhere. Yet there are entire regions of null you can't dock anywhere in unless you join a corps belonging to a particular alliance. That needs to change too.

OskaRus said...

Your refusal of positive motivation as movement factor is based still on only one observated occurence of FW boost. I suggest to support your claims by some hard numbers and other observations like your bussines posts which are awesome ;-).

FW is weird mechanic and most people (for example me) avoided it because it just sounded weird and uncomperhensible. I was not in hi-sec is lived in null at that time.

I think something much simpler might lure people to null like doubling rewards for NPCs or something else understandable, simple and well known.

Gevlon said...

Positive rewards won't work because highsec income is ENOUGH.

Would you quit your job to become a mercenary in Somalia for 10x more?

Since highsec missioning/mining pays for everything you need in EVE, more income would only let you spend on luxury (titan you never actually use) so why bother?

Anonymous said...

I agree with MoxNix regarding that it should be fixed to make it more interesting to go to null.

There is a lot of isk to be made ratting in null, you have the advantage of knowing (for the most part) if there are any non-blues within a decent range, and much of null is empty.

One of the problems right now is the persistent telling of new players that null is full of scary people, and that high sec is safer.
It is true that in null you are technically permanently at war, but that does not mean you are permanently scared to undock if you want to go ratting/plexing.

People also assume null = only pvp. Yes, there are some people for whom that is true, but there are equally many who do nothing but mine or rat down there.

For a small guy without a big alliance, null is (outside of Providence maybe) perceived to be impenetrable. This is what needs to change.

How this perception is changed I do not know, whilst null players hang onto the "You need a bazillion sp, and you get shot at every 5 minutes" mentality.

Anonymous said...

Reason casuals don't leave hisec is because thers nothing out there for them in null. Empty hostile wastelands with barely any stations to dock. If you're not part of any the aliances or corps out there the logistics are way too complicated for casual play. The only things worthwile for single more casual minded players are exploration and ratting+bomb running in SB's which you want to remove with your cloak idea.

FW is a bad example. For once thers plenty of people who do it. Thers plenty of activity in many of the systems. The only reason not more people participate is because the mechanics suck. Farming LP is as boring as it gets. The missioning sucks because you spent most of your time jumping from system to system instead of actualy doing something fun. And even then you would just moan about it like you do with people running missions in hisec.

So the only way to get casuals out of hisec is better infrastructure and ressources in null + PVE activities that are fun and worthwile and don't require a lot of logistics or skills. There need to be safe havens with trade hubs and stuff like that. And perhaps some noob ships that make traveling and hauling a little less risky and intimidating. Like say a t2 mining frig that doesn't get trapped in bubbles. Add to that more stations for docking and selling your ore and i'm sure more noobs/casuals would feel compelled to at least try teir luck out there.

MoxNix said...

Quite frankly that cloak breaking idea idea is terrible.

All it would accomplish is to make things even easier for the big blocs and convince even more people it's not worth going to null anymore.

That's the exact opposite of what needs to happen. Things need to be harder for the big blocs and easier for the little guys.

Also you should have to scan to know someone's there. Automatic free local intel from chat is just plain stupid, you shouldn't show up in any local chat channels (including hisec) unless you talk.

maxim said...

I don't think questions like that can be resolved without tackling the concept of fun.

You are trying to measure objective risks versus objective rewards and think that it is because of this disbalance that people stay in highsec and don't go to null.

Well, yeah, it is a part of the story. But it is not the whole of it, and i don't think it is even a significant part of it.

What makes Eve fun for people who stay in highsec? Why do they keep coming back to highsec? How can one make highsec fun progress naturally into lowsec involvement? How would lowsec involvement make highsec fun more varied and fun?
Is there such a thing as lowsec fun? What is it? How can one go from having highsec fun to having lowsec fun through lowsec involvement?

The "carebear" moniker is reductionist and useless, but it gets one thing right. The promise of flying around in a blob does not really mean "more fun" to highsec players.

Anonymous said...

I agree that something needs to be done about AFK cloaking, but a straight up 'you can't cloak in enemy space' mechanic as suggested is way too much.

Better would be something like cloaked ships can be scanned down, but their scan resolution starts low enough to be unscannable and increases slowly over time, so that they are detectable by a skilled pilot after say 30 minutes, and by anyone after 2 hours.

Anonymous said...

"Positive rewards won't work because highsec income is ENOUGH."

Which is the problem with your argument and why CCP will never implement anything like this.

Make highsec horrible and people will just choose not to play.

Anonymous said...

>Positive rewards won't work because highsec income is ENOUGH.

Highsec income is enough because anything seriously expensive is nerfed. In the supercarrier with sentries and tracking titans era, serious pvp require serious drone dropped minerals. Of course, having effective pvp be expensive means less pvp.
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The problem isn't income anyways. Your own experiences should tell you that most players do not try to make money efficiently.

As far as I know, dedicated highsec only players usually does the following:
1. Builders: They like the idea of mining and making stuff and created the meme of "the minerals i mine is free"

2. Missioners: while hardly good pve content, but it can be fun in smaller doses

3. Traders and large scale Indy guys: that is where the money is for a soloist

Nullsec offers little for the above, except perhaps supercap production that has massive barriers of entry.

Nullsec today is not really all that unsafe, it just offers little interesting content while imposing costs of integrating into large organizations.

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