EVE Blog Banter 21: Low Security Space
Welcome to the twenty-first installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month topic comes to us from @ZoneGhost who a few month ago asked “Is Low Sec the forgotten part of EVE Online?” Is it? I’d like us to explore this even further. Is Low Sec being treated differently by CCP Games than Null Sec (Zero-Zero) or Empire space is? Can one successfully make a living in these unsecured systems where neither Alliance nor Concord roam to enforce their laws? What’s needed? Or is everything fine as it is?
When I 1st began keeping a personal blog, I posted some thoughts on LowSec. I think some of my thoughts from that post are still relevant, but then… I’m biased 😉
The NPC empires are set up completely backwards from how a real empire would be. The highest security areas have the worst resources. As the security level drops, the resources get better and better, and once you’re in to NullSec the best asteroids and moons for resource gathering are found there. There’s no police presence to protect the direct routes (“pipes”) from the HiSec trade hubs down to NullSec space where ostensibly you would want the highest possible security for the valuable resources coming in to your home systems from the frontier.
This is born out with the Planetary Interaction — hisec planets have the lowest yields, lowsec is middling, and nullsec is the best. As I said in my old post, I can see the gameplay reasons for it. After all, if hisec had the best resources then no one would ever leave.
I think that the “EVE SOB” had it right when comparing the 3 security zones in EVE to a shoreline. Hisec is easy, and while the waters of null are deep, it’s still relatively smooth going. But lowsec being the breakers with all the chaotic currents and riptides and such……yeah, it seems to fit. My prior post had some ideas which I still am rather fond of, in that lowsec is still technically “Empire space” and therefore IMO should be patrolled by the various Navies of the 4 races. Patrol routes would be more or less static, so a “true carebear” could stick close to the patrols, but this knowledge would also allow pirates to avoid them. They would be defeatable — no “concordoken” powers, so if pirates really wanted to they could still do pvp with a navy around. I also kinda like the idea of giving players a distress signal of sorts, which would summon the navy (but not quickly). This would be more “real life-ish” I think — a ship on the sea can call for help, and if the navy happens to be close, perhaps a rescue can be made, but then again perhaps not. . . . .
Still and all, in looking at it now, I don’t think it goes far enough. There needs to be more stuff added for both pirate and anti-pirate alike.
Pirates need to be able to dodge gate guns, so they need a lowsec equivalent of the nullsec jump bridges. Some people like to call this “smuggler gates” so choose whatever term you want. With either name, though, I think they should be player built and that players should have the option of setting up gate guns on them themselves so that the pirates can have some help vs anti-pirates, and I also think that they should have some flexibility on choosing the destination when they are built. Put a different way, the pirate or pirate corp building a smuggler gate can choose a destination that isn’t necessarily in one of the contiguous star systems. I’d say limit the range to only allow 1 or 2 jump gates to actually be bypassed, but nothing like a full Jump Bridge’s range.
I also think that pirates need to be able to make their own bases. Tortuga is legendary, and frankly there were many known “pirate harbors” in our own history. Currently, no mechanic exists for this in EVE, though. Sure, on can point to a system like Old Man Star and say “that’s a pirate system” but it’s still completely NPC controlled and the pirates are still subject to standard lowsec rules. I think that player pirates should be able to build limited outposts and not necessarily have to anchor them at a planet, but let them anchor at any point a player can actually drop it (ie let them make a deep safe spot and then anchor there so that it’s “hidden” from anti-pirates and also not subject to navy patrols) and also let player-controlled sentry guns be anchored around it, so that if someone the pirates don’t like stumbles on their outpost and/or the place is attacked, then there is sentry fire for defense as well as whatever defensive ships the pirates can muster. Unlike a nullsec outpost, make it destructible by anti-pirates, but not easily so.
I also think that creating a way for the pirates to register themselves as such and always show flashy red as though they have a -5 or lower sec status, even if they don’t actually have one that low. I don’t know of (m)any pirates that aren’t proud to claim such status, so if they want more targets this might be a way for them to set it up. As a bonus, this could eliminate the need for the Global Criminal Countdown timer. Allow registered pirates to forgo the timer completely, but with the downside that if they ever approach a gate or NPC station that the sentry guns will open fire. This would be incentive for them to build their own outposts and smuggler gates as well. Put a “registration station” in each lowsec constellation to allow both registering and unregistering (but make a -2 or higher sec status a requirement to unregister). This would also possibly create a new “target hub” for anti-pirates to go after newly registered ones, but also for pirates to protect to allow their ranks to swell, or perhaps battles between the 2 “factions.”
This is quite long now, so I’ll wrap it up. Critiques in the comments are very welcome!
Other participants that I know of (so far):
In the Ghetto — A Mule in EVE
The Lure of the Wild — Crazy Kinux
Yer Talking About Low Sec — The Elitist
Low-Sec — Chocolate Heaven
Lowsec – the forgotten part of EVE Online — Subs’ Suds
Losec = Low Priority? — Keith Neilson
Lowsec = Wild West — Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
Is CCP Indifferent to Developing Lowsec? — Omnis Arcum
Lowsec = ??? — Diary of a Space Jockey
Lowsec, I wanna talk to you! — A Merry Life and a Short One
Change? — Sarnel Binora
What’s Good for the Goose. . . — Where the Frack is my Ship?