As long as everything what happens in nullsec is decided by AFK empires, most that part of Eve Universe will be empty of players and player generated content. Players currently living in 0.0 are no less under totalitarian opression from powerblocks that Central and Eastern Europe was 25 years ago. So, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan speach in Berlin back in 1987, “CCP, if you seek nullsec full of life, conflicts and good fight, tear down AFK empires!”

The impulse to write this text came from readling Glevion Goblin’s attempt to diagnose the problem with nullsec being empty and people living there not wanting to fight outside big wars. Contrary to popular belief, apparently shared also by Glevion Goblin, the two biggest problems with nullsec are not “local” and “cynos/bridges”. Both factors were part of Eve almost since it’s begining, but I clearly remember nullsec being populated and full of PvP opportunities around 2010-2011, despite cynos and local. So what changed, what is the problem now? Anomalies were nerfed, turning more than half of 0.0 systems into wasteland not worth the trouble and people got more risk averse.

Right now, there’s lack of incentive to be in the null. You can make better money elsewhere and – that’s important! – without kissing anyone’s ass. Let’s face it – there’s just no way a corp can get into 0.0 unless joins PvP powerhouse and participate CTAs because otherwise will get booted or joins renters and pay for the doubtfull privilege of living in 0.0.

Givining up sov 0.0 to big coalition is the biggest problem. What the hell happened to “no more AFK empires” we were promised in Dominion? Because this is exactly what I see roaming 0.0 from my WH safe haven – just empty, AFK empires. Most of system devoid of any inhabitant and renters not willing to even undock to see who’s knocking on their doors.

To illustrate absurdity of current sov situation. I could easily create alt-alliance with my 1-man alt-corp and then go and ask a leader of one of big coalitions for a single system. Trust me, I’d get it with without so much as a blink. As long as my alt-alliance stays blue to that coalition, my system will be untouchable even if I won’t set my foot there even once. Perfect definition for AFK Empire, right?

On top of that, current game mechanics allow system owners to do nothing when enemy roam arrives. Roaming gangs cannot disrupt local infrastructure in any meaningfull way, so all you really need to do when you see neuts or reds pouring into your system is to dock in station or warp to POS and wait. Why fight when there’s nothing to gain by fighting? Roamers will get bored and move on. Even if there is 1000 enemies knocking on your door, you don’t have to do anything besides showing up for ONE timer.

CCP tried to change that by introducing POCOs but failed miserably. Those things have EHP of small POS so are pretty much untouchable by roaming gangs. Even if 30 pilots prove to be determined enough to grind this thing, all they’ll get is timer arbitrarily set for defenders prime time. But is POCO really worth defending? Nope, it’s just 150 mil ISK, so loosing one med size ship over it is simply too much. Putting new one after the old one dies means less hassle and it works instantly. Seriously, what genius came up with that idea?

So how it really should be?

First off – more better anomalies potentialy available even in 0.1 truesec. A worst 0.0 should be more profitable than best hisec system, period. If this requirement is met, then a constellation is enough for alliance having few hundred players. A region is enough for few thousand players. Ballance sov cost so it will be really expensive to have sov spread over few regions. Force alliances to declare one system as their capital and make sov cost progressively higher the farther from capital given system is. That will kill AFK Empires, because even biggest alliance will only have as much sov as they really need. Stop claiming space just to prevent others from claiming it! Let nullsec be populated by many small alliances that could blue up or fight each other.

Next step is to create targets for roaming gangs. Right now, when roaming, your best case scenario is get “good fight”, but more than often it’s “just kill something”. Worst case – burn 40j and see not even single enemy ship on grid. How about getting roaming fleet to harass your neighbours and ruin their day? Sound like fun?

Let’s create small targets for roamers, with 2-3 mil EHP. Those structures should be easily accessible (so not on POSes) and their status should have direct impact on local infrastructure. Once structure’s HP are gone, there’s only 30% of normal ammount of anomalies in the system for next 6 hours. System owners have to choose – form up and defend or their system will become a lot less valuable for that one evening. 6 hrs timer means that there will be no endless repping ops to keep that structure alive (that’s boring) and system owners can’t be griefed by a group of players from other Time Zone. Of course, those are numbers written on a napkin and should be carefull tweaked.

But it’s a start towards populating 0.0 systems with people that will fight for benefits of living in nullsec.

– SokoleOko


  1. meh

    ccp should adopt a similar system control method like used in incursions. when and enemy fleet arrives in a system they can deploy infrastructure infiltrators that over time slowly infiltrate the i-hubs and thus reduce the performance and efficiency of the i-hub.

    an enemy fleet arrives in system and deploys sbu’s & i-hub infiltrators

    i-hub infiltrators require heavy water as fuel to operate and must be refueled once every 24hrs to keep it operational.

    the effects should be something like this

    1. refine rates in the minmatar outpost goes down

    2. pos fuel consumption goes up and moon goo production gets reduced

    3. build times in the amarr & gallente outposts goes up

    4. research times in the caldari outposts goes up

    5. bounty of rats/plexes gets reduced

    6. jump bridges cost more to use

    to restore the natural order the owning alliance must destroy the sbu’s & i-hub infiltrators

    July 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm Reply
    1. A Merc

      The issue I see with the i-hub infiltrators idea is if they are going to be carried by roaming gangs they’ll be either too large to fit in a hold, (relative to hit points) or too low on hit points in that they won’t be destroyed within a minute of leaving the system.

      You run the risk of providing more incentives to use afk cloaking tactic.

      Would it not be a better mechanic to actually “Hack” the ihub using the new hacking came to interfere with the installed upgrades? You do have the issue of a very large death star POS located on the same grid. You could ninja hack it, not sure how practical that would be.

      July 17, 2013 at 9:47 am Reply
  2. muh

    i like the idea with the capital system, however, how would you invade new space?

    lets say goons loose most of there space and stick to 1 region. then about half a year later they get some strength back and decide to try and capture catch for some strange reason. the moment they capture only 1 system there its gonne be impossible to pay for such a system since its like 80 systems away from there home system.

    so if you wanted to move as an alliance you’d have to drop all your sov, move to a low sec staging system and then try and conquer the new space? and even more funny, loose the war to conquer the new systems, move back to your old space and reconquer that?

    i think you would get a lot less wars with the capital systems in the way it is sayd in the article. though if someone can think of a good tweak on it it might be awesome

    July 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm Reply
  3. Theronth

    And that’s why you shouldn’t even click on any of Goblin’s artcles. If you boost nullsec anoms it will just attract more jews into the same systems, and risk creating higher inflation in the long run. I’d rather see return to the belts.
    Also CCP doesn’t care about roaming gangs and small/solo pvp. They care about block wars like the thing that’s happening in Fountain atm, couse they are good advertising tool (unless they fuck up the node in front of 5k twitch viewers). If you want small gang go to Lolsec or NPC.
    As for the Capital system, what would stop Goons from holding, say Fade, with blue xXx420xXxSMURF.RELOADEDxXx alliance just to lower the sov bills? It’s not mechanics that’s borked, but people mentality has changed over the years.
    You’ve gotta understand that the game has moved on since 2010 and there’s nothing you can do about it. HTFU SOKO

    July 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm Reply
  4. Dwindlehop

    As a small gang roaming PvPer, I will shout at anyone who listens to me: do not add structures to shoot. Structure shooting is not a small gang PVP objective. It is boring. Give me wealth to steal, instead. It’s not any more fun, but it would keep me in space, doing my thing.

    July 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm Reply
    1. Observer

      I think the aim is not that you all start shooting structures, but that there are structures weak enough that even a small roaming gang is a threat that must be honored by ships in system. So if you go in and start blasting away, they have to either fight you or suffer some kind of penalty when you trash their hardware. It would also make smaller fleets an actual strategic asset to alliances, raiding could be used to tie up reenforcements, disrupt enemy economies, keep players out of big battle, etc. With likely only small response fleets available for distant sectors, your style of gameplay and expertise would become much more useful for pvp strategy. That’s actually the one of the best suggestion he makes.

      July 23, 2013 at 2:01 pm Reply
  5. Vorgen Scarok

    I like the idea of adding more content to NULL especially with PVE and making isk.

    I wonder if it would be an idea to add an element of PVE where you can upgrade the facilities of a system by doing so many anomalies per day or something?

    Maybe you gain some bonuses to align time on ships in system or station facilities get unlocked if the system has a certain rating to it in the same way as unlocking anomalies etc.

    Means that people would have to actively do something in the systems they own SOV to gain benefits of the systems.

    July 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm Reply
    1. Theronth

      You might want to have a look at Dominion patchnotes m8

      July 16, 2013 at 8:54 pm Reply
  6. ohnos

    you lost me at Ronald Reagan.

    July 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm Reply
  7. spurty

    Remove timers, add some HItpoints.

    Log in or die

    July 16, 2013 at 11:28 pm Reply
  8. virtualevil

    Perhaps we need a supply chain kind of setup from the Capital System. So the further you go from your capital the larger the supply chain has to be and the harder it is to manage. Perhaps tie this in to stargates, where stargates can only be connected by a powergrid. A bit like your powergrid in command and conquer.

    Having too much just becomes too hard and isn’t worth it. Making systems more customisable, building monuments, cities on your planets, actually having something precious that your alliance believes in and wants to defend, not just wealth, would mean they wouldn’t want to stray too far.

    July 17, 2013 at 6:51 am Reply
  9. Larkness

    I’ve said this before and il say it again make nullsec sov bashing like fw (instead of spawn beacons you would buy them to contest or decontest a system) – would force ppl out of big ship blobs and into frigs and cruisers t1.

    July 17, 2013 at 7:35 am Reply
  10. daveos

    Meh, you fail to understand that even “unclaimed” sov belongs to someone. there are always a few system about with no tcu active in them but just try to put your down on it without permission and see what happens. powerblocks CONTROL space and even if sov cost go up coalitions will still CONTROL as much space and still only allow people they make pets/rent/sponser actually claim or use sov in their stomping grounds. This is NOT a problem within CCPs power to fix, it’s human nature to band together in tribes to fend off other tribes.

    July 17, 2013 at 11:22 am Reply
  11. someredtool

    spelling … is atrocious :/ learn to spell and make reading a lot easier!

    July 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm Reply
  12. Matt Flood

    Good post i think the captial system thing is interesting, but how about a size limit like. over 50 systems sov cost goes up by 5% over 100 goes up by 10% so the bigger you are the more you pay for the sov that would help curb that. number could be edited of course how about the same for alliances increase some sorta smaller tax per person to force many mid sized and smaller alliances just a thought ….

    July 18, 2013 at 5:38 am Reply
  13. twatbag

    civilisation style capital system with higher corruption the further you go? goodbye, holding corp; hello holding alliance

    July 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm Reply
  14. Obliteron

    nice post but your solution still isn’t going to get rid of the uber blob.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:12 am Reply

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