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I’ve been playing the game for quite some time. There have been times in the game where null sec stagnated. In the past, CCP usually only allowed this to go on for a short while before stepping in with nerfs and buffs to change the balance, and break the stagnation.  They have a history of doing this:

2005

– Null sec had the feeling of the wild west on the tail end of the Great Northern War. Vast stretches of null were open for grabs. Small gangs roamed through the space looking for targets. Mining gangs collected the (then) precious ABCs. Convoys of industrial ships, and later freighters, moved precious minerals and invaluable loot from null to empire. In the eyes of some of the influential devs of the current CCP, this was the golden age of null sec in Eve.  It saw Goonswarm’s formation, as well as BoB’s consolidation of power and rise to prominence.

2006

– Outposts were changing the face of null sec, providing the large organizations of the day near-impenetrable castles. In response to this, the size of fleets began to rise dramatically. No longer could a couple dreads be dropped into a system and destroy everything a player group had worked to build and collect. With this new-found stability grew the first period of stagnation. There was a period of violence first though, as some player groups began to balloon in member numbers, alliances were formed, and the previous loose confederations fell under the onslaught of fleets with more than a hundred pilots in them. At the end of November, FIX erected their first outpost and it led to the largest fight in Eve up until that day. AAA and IAC assaulted the outpost. Mercenary Coalition was called in by FIX to help defend their new outpost. FIX/MC brought a then staggering 144 ships to the fight. IAC and AAA responded by batphoning Red Alliance to their aid. FIX and MC brought the upcoming powerhouse that was BoB. The resulting second fight, a week later, resulted in a staggering 177 ships destroyed in one battle (a total of 650 died during that day of fighting) and IAC/AAA/RA limped away with their tails between their legs.  Beaten.  Meanwhile, the unorganized sprawl that was ASCN built Steve in the midst of the Pendulum War.  That first titan was built and died in the span of three months.  By the end of 2006, null sec was beginning to see signs of stagnation for the first time.

2007

– On the heels of the end of the tech 2 bpo lottery of Revelations 1, the North became stagnant with the consolidation of the Northern Coalition.  BoB/MC held the SW and had been in a poking war with IAC, where little more than roams to mess with mining/ratting occurred.  At the end of March, that changed when RA/IAC/IRON/Goons/NC all attacked BoB’s CSAA, which was constructing a titan.  The resulting battle was again bloody, and the baby titan died.  This broke the stagnation of null.  BoB was mad.  They paid MC to attack the north to pay them back.  A major battle took place which broke the NC.  The NC was able to regroup, but D2 had collapsed, BoB placed YouWhat in Cloud Ring and Pure Blind, forming their northern meatshield.  Triumvirate took advantage of the instability of the NC and expanded into Tribute.  But, after this initial burst of fighting, null stagnated again.  It had become clear the sheer numbers required to take space in this new era of Eve.  The sov map stabilized to look like this:

2008

– The majority of the first half of this year saw the Great War ignite.  Meanwhile, Triumvirate destroying BoB’s pet You What unimpeded.  Despite months of fighting, the map had only shifted from this to this:

.

MC’s Tortuga had shifted BoB’s focus.  BoB redeployed against Period Basis.  Then, in July, BoB (some say spurred on by CCP Devs) opened their first MAX campaign.  They pushed north, but the NC pushed back.  Meanwhile, Goonswarm had expanded into a behemoth in the south.  2008 was the second most violent years for null sec (per capita).  CCP slipped in alchemy as the year ended, reducing the cash-printing machine that was r64 moon minerals, which reduced the value of stronghold Delve.  By the end of the year, with frightening numbers of ships destroyed, the map looked like this:

2009

– Stackless IO meant this year would see fleet fights double the size of any previous year.  This year began with BoB being dissolved, leading to Goonswarm’s “burn the bridges, ATTACK” invasion of Delve/Querious.  In the span of two months, in the face of some minor battles, the map had shifted to look like this:

The rest of the year saw MASSIVE fighting.  The Southern Coalition began to form.  The Drone Regions Federation began to form.  With the formation of such entities comes fighting, to clear out threats to the coalitions.  As 2009 was coming to a close, the fighting began to noticeably die down.  Then CCP pulled the rug out from under everyone.  Dominion came out, with an overhaul of sov mechanics, and the Southern Coalition attacked the Northern Coalition.  Wildly Inappropriate began to rapidly lose Geminate, as it quickly became apparent that some flaws in the space mechanics meant a fleet jumping into a system would indefinitely black screen.  Meanwhile, in the West, BoB Mk 3 (IT Alliance) attacked Sons of Tangra and Pandemic Legion.  Neither Goonswarm, nor the NC came to their rescue, busy fighting the Southern Coalition.  Sons of Tangra collapsed, their most hardcore remnants later forming The Godfathers.  Pandemic Legion, however, was forced to re-evaluate the way they played.  This loss of space, and their severed relations with both Goonswarm and NC, led to the rise of the guns for hire PL that heavily influenced null sec for the next two years.  2009 ended with a map looking like this:

2010

– AOE doomsdays were removed, allowing subcap numbers to rise to prominence once more.  The Southern Coalition returned south after Geminate, not willing to further risk cap fleets to the buggy Dominion mechanics.  Goonswarm began fighting IT Alliance.  In February, Goons imploded, then reformed as LODRA.  BoB Mk3 reclaimed their space in Delve.  AAA spent several months destroying CVA.  IT Alliance convinced the Southern Coalition and the reincarnation of Triumvirate to join them in yet another attack of the Northern Coalition.  After some bone-headed moves and horrible miscommunication, the Southern Coalition withdrew back to the south.  IT Alliance left to rat up their space to improve it under the Dominion Sov Mechanics.  Meanwhile, Triumvirate was at war with NC all by themselves.  As tough as Triumvirate was, they simply could not come close to the numbers NC could casually throw around, but still made sure that it hurt the NC to fight them.  By this point, the rise of the titan was becoming ever more apparent.  Meanwhile, the swarm of new players known as Dreddit formed Test, looked at a map upside down, and ended up right beside Goonswarm in Fountain.  Noticing the rising number of supers held by the DRF, NC attempted a preventative attack in October, which led to major fighting.  Two further major battles occurred before the year ended, first was the destruction of a few NC supers by IT Alliance.  The second was due to the increased realization that Technetium was THE bottleneck.  PL held tech moons in Venal, NC wanted them, major battle for them led to the destruction of a nine supercaps.  The map ended like this:

2011

– To break up what was becoming a stagnation, CCP made a few changes to sov mechanics, such as a limitation of one jump bridge per system.  These changes further shifted power in the north, that had already been under threat by the rising super capital might of the DRF.  This was the beginning of the stagnation that we still live in today.  Like previous stagnations in Eve, it was marked by massive fighting at the beginning.  DRF first destroyed the NC, then the SC.  The map was left as the CFC v everyone else as the year came to a close, with very little fighting for the last several months of the year.  By the end of the year, a year that had seen the most impressive upheaval of sovereignty, very little was happening and the map looked like this:

2012

– It was extremely apparent that null sec had stagnated as this year began.  CCP attempted to stir up fighting again with a nerf to the Drone Regions, removing drone ore.  This destabilized xDeath and led to a month of fighting, primarily PL being paid first by xDeath to fight SOLAR, then by RA to fight AAA.  PL withdrew after several controversies, and began collecting Tech moons while SOLAR quickly rolled back xDeath and AAA offered RA Delve if they would stop fighting.  Despite CCP’s pressure on the sandbox, fighting ceased after only a month.  Goons had a series of quick victories in the north, leading to taking Branch and Tenal over the span of two weeks.  Pandemic Legion, meanwhile started shooting people in Delve/Querious in an attempt to find some action in Eve.  Test joined in as things escalated.  Things continued to escalate, then Goons joined in, and resistance basically ceased.

Now we sit, months away from the next expansion, and CCP is rolling out a hail mary attempt to spur on fighting by rolling out a full alchemy mechanic for all moon minerals.  Will it have any impact on the Technetium Cartel?  Not likely.  Will it spur fighting?  It doesn’t seem to be shifting the sandbox in any way that could drive combat.  Rather, it is a devaluation of strategic targets.  At this point, CCP has allowed the moon goo problem to fester for too long for them to have many options.  Devaluing technetium might actually lead to tech holders being less likely to fight for space “just because” while everyone else will continue to be constrained by the, well, lack of technetium (or drone goo, sorry SOLAR), limiting their ability to attack the wall that is OTEC.  Breaking OTEC, and the stagnation of null sec will require a change on the order of a complete rebuild of Tech 2 construction mechanics.  Soundwave had been talking up ring mining at Fan Fest.  While it could conceivably be better than the current mechanic, CCP would also have to make mining actually… interesting for it to work.  I am not a game designer, but it is hard to miss when something doesn’t work in a game.

– Bagehi

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195 Comments

  1. some w-space hermit

    So the sov map has stagnated and parts of the macro-scale economy with it, but I would hardly say that EVE as a whole has stagnated. If you're bored with you lack of opponents in 0.0, go somewhere else. W-space is lovely this time of year.

    Besides, that section of the game has been going through cycles of stagnation and upheaval since I started playing in late 2009. Every time it looks like the sov map has solidified, people get restless, someone does something stupid, someone forgets to pay a bill, someone pulls a big smash-and-grab…EVE players are naturally fractious. I give it another month or two at most before something happens and starts the next cycle of war.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm Reply
  2. Mono

    TL:DR, evenews24 writers need reduce waffle.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm Reply
  3. EVE4Life

    I didnt read this, but it seems like another post about how the CFC are killing nullsec? amirite?

    July 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm Reply
  4. M_D_

    This article has "Cry more" and "You mad?" written all over it.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm Reply
  5. Derpy Derp

    Simple, get rid of goons and that fuckhead in madison wis and the game gets better, nuff said.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm Reply
    1. Bueller?

      Without them, who would become the next Bob? Test? I think not… Let the Goons stay until nature runs it's course

      July 25, 2012 at 10:45 am Reply
  6. Jarod

    In my view, what brought such stagnation was the nerf to anomalies back in '11 and the drone poo removal. Money in a grunt's pocket decreased as prices for ships rose.
    Plex also increased from the usual 330mil in '10 to the usual half a bil these days.

    Alliances may have a lot of money, if they hold good moons (like tech) but that money doesnt pour down to every grunt. and those alliances that dont hold those moons, depend on their grunts to replace their own ships… and that is harder today.

    These nerfs/patches i referred only strengthened the larger. The larger and older the alliance the more it benefitted. (not strictly.. but mostly)

    my 2 cents

    July 25, 2012 at 1:02 am Reply
    1. CFC Grunt

      On the contrary, moon income (especially tech income) does filter down to the average grunt. Consider the typical CFC alliance. They are not branded as PVP alliances, but rather nullsec alliances. That means they are full of industrials (miners, builders, inventors, etc) . As ships are blown up, they are reimbursed at a fixed amount. This empowers the pilot to buy a replacement ship. PVP'ers who fly preferred ships break even or make a profit. Industrials supplying ships to alliance make a profit. All of this profit is directly provided by moon mineral sales.

      Mineral sales also power construction of stations and upgrades to sov – which directly benefit the line member of an alliance.

      Individual income does not filter. If a single individual makes ISK, that income isn't shared among the members of the alliance. The player that logs in only for fleet fights doesn't benefit from someone else's individual income.

      Plus, anomalies were un-nerfed and made better, yielding profits that rival the old incursion profits.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm Reply
      1. Jarod

        I'm sorry for not being a native english speaker. But i am of the opinion i did say clearly something that is not the contrary of what you started off from.

        I said NOT EVERY grunt. And i believe you picked the sweetest berry of the pot to serve as an example of balance.

        I have two questions: how were anomalies un-nerfed? and have you ever been anywhere else but a CFC alliance?

        July 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm Reply
      2. Actually, this is quite true. Very accurate. However, the key in that piece is "CFC Alliance". Outside of the CFC, NCdot and their pets, no one else holds tech, and no one else is able to pull off replacements like that.

        So yes, if your alliance has access to high value moons, and huge swaths of sov space, then yes, your model is accurate. For everyone else, not so much. But the more resilient amongst us still manage quite well.

        July 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm Reply
      3. Simon

        I pretty much disagree with everything you said, and when did this anomalies un-nerf happen?

        July 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm Reply
    2. derp

      I agree, you simple have to grind a lot more to go roaming, which is much more fun than being a grunt in a big fleet. And to that goon guy: I doubt anyone reimburses those losses.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:03 am Reply
  7. Imigo

    An alternative to "stagnation" is "maturing".

    The game and its community have grown to the point where there are plenty of players who have been around long enough to know what works and what doesn't and are able to use the methods which work to their best advantage.

    Never forget that this is a player driven game, and it's the players that make the stories. One group of players gaining advantage over others is not necessarily a bad thing. There are plenty of opportunities for groups to exist, and even thrive, in the EVE universe without having to hold or fight for sov.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:51 am Reply
  8. Just a guy

    I agree that the alchemy will not really majorly reset the moon problem.

    What CCP needs to do is grow some balls, they had no problem removing the east alliances advantage in materials in one fell swoop and they shouldn't be concerned removing the tech advantage from the western alliances.

    Just remove the current spawns of all moons. Reseed the spawns as rings around planets, evenly distributing all moon goo throughout all regions. New rigs to go with the mining changes that give bonuses for moon goo mining. (Even if you don't want to move to the rings like they mentioned some months ago redistribute to new moons, they should of used depletion of moons and had them respawn elsewhere from the start, kinda like how Star Wars Galaxies had their material spawns used up and respawn).

    July 25, 2012 at 5:45 am Reply
    1. McLoven

      awesome call

      July 27, 2012 at 6:00 am Reply
  9. babede bupi

    Its more like the Alliances wont split apart for some time… Maybe in the south, there its more like: Y U Look at me? and pif paf, beef is on and a war rolls off.
    In the north its more like, hey dud sup? chillaxe and sometimes go rampage shit over everything, like a bunch of trolls over half of eve, and in the middle its like punch a bit DekCo in the balls and fist a bit South up the ass. But in the end its always the same, just give them dudes enough time to piss them off each other and watch the firework, whore some mails and nest yourself in until the next war :)

    July 25, 2012 at 9:43 am Reply
  10. who

    The massive alliances, corps and coalitions are what's stagnating EVE, You have the super group that own one half the map, then the SoCo own an bit and as do a couple of others. You cant get into Nulsec now unless you talk to one of the coalitions and become renter or a pet. I say limit Corps to 100members, Alliance sizes to 10corps (or 1000players),

    July 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm Reply
    1. anonymous

      If you think limited member numbers would change a single thing, then think again.

      Playercoalitions are part of the player choice and therefore part of the sandbox.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:56 am Reply
    2. what

      Drop all organizations and large fleets. Bring back 4-6 player parties. Muuaahhaahahhahaahaaa!

      July 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm Reply
  11. I was there

    Alright so im just a noob here thats only been playing for 4 months, but I've read a lot about the wars of the past and such. Tech moons do produce a lot of money for the owners, so breaking up OTEC would be a good thing, but what really needs to be done is a revamp of the supercapitals. Titans are almost never used for combat anymore unless they are shooting a structure. This goes the same for Supercarriers. Dreads and carriers are becoming less common in battles as they are only really useful in shooting other dreads or carriers. (carriers have more use then the dreads these days). If you revamp these ships to allow them to be the behemoths of comat that they should be you will see more of them used in battle. Now the more they are used in battle the more that will be destroyed. Right now nullsec alliances such as -A- and Goons have enormous supercap fleets that they just use for grinding sov. They only fight each other if an allaince has to make a last stand, and then there is the possibility of a rare fight where one Supercap fleet cynos into another…but that hasnt really happend so recently. If all supercaps were able to fight along side their subcap companions and be useful, then more would be destroyed. And with alliance waving their giant supercap sword around they will fight and start shooting at more sov structures and tec moons which might just end this tech moon crisis that people are complaining about that causes stagnation.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm Reply
  12. Wusti

    You're stilla stupoid cunt Bagehi – adn blue or not Im going to shoot you when I see you in space

    July 27, 2012 at 10:27 am Reply
  13. Marshmallow Man

    Nullsec just isn't what it used to be. Nullsec used to be unexplored and wild space where small groups would duke out with one another.

    But nowadays its just a fight between massive coalitions with quick and easy power projection. Fairly small fast gangs are the way to go nowadays when shooting the residents. You can never fight for too long, otherwise you'll have a very large group coming after you.

    To live in nullsec requires you to be a pet of a corp, that is a pet of an alliance, that is a pet of a bigger alliance, which is a pet of a coalition. In all you're paying subscription to be someone's servant.

    I hate being someone's pet, a true spacefarer flies free.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:09 pm Reply
    1. bored

      Yes, wellcome to null sec of pets. Everyone is a pet in EvE today.

      October 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm Reply
  14. Whaaaaaat?

    http://dl.eve-files.com/media/corp/verite/2012010… – Beginning of 2012 http://dl.eve-files.com/media/corp/verite/2012080… – Today
    So when almost every nullsec region has had major sov changes you call that stagnation…. I don't get it…

    August 2, 2012 at 2:56 am Reply

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