If you try to make sovereignty mechanics harder on the big guy, you will only end up making it doubly hard for the little guy.

Yes, making sovereignty more accessible for the little guy will make it easier for the big guy. There is no way around that. But, just because you make it easier for the little guy to have some effect in sovereignty nullsec, does not mean that the big guy is just going to automatically roll over everybody.

Two things will stop the big guys from rolling through nullsec, taking everything in their paths. Other big guys. And costs.

This post isn’t about a nullsec revamp. It’s just about a few “reasonable things” changes that could make sovereignty mechanics a tad more bearable for everyone, and allow a few more options for the little guy.

Infrastructure Hubs (iHubs)

Have you ever tried slow-boating a freighter through nullsec? It’s rarely ever done. Even with large support fleets. For good reason. It’s a good way to lose a freighter.

Infrastructure hubs only fit into freighters. Basically CCP is telling everyone that unless you own a titan you shouldn’t be thinking about owning space. Because if you want to place an iHub, you don’t slowboat a freighter to the location, you titan bridge it in.

Super simple change. Lower the m3 of infrastructure hubs so that they can fit into a jump freighter.

Contested Versus Uncontested Space

If a defender wants to actually defend a system that is under attack, they should have to show some good faith in their desire to defend. If they do not wish to defend, then the system is easier to take.

iHubs and stations currently have two timers. Basically reduce these structures to single timers, unless a defender shows a desire to defend, at which point a second timer is added.

How does this work? Any time during the first reinforcement timer, the defender has to drop some amount of “fuel” into the structure. The amount of “fuel” required is such that a jump freighter is necessary for the refueling. The cost of said “fuel” should be in the neighbourhood of 50M to 100M ISK. Enough cost to show intent. If the defender does this, then a second timer is added. If the defender does not do this, then the attacker only has to deal with a single timer.

This allows uncontested space to be conquered more quickly. It also encourages to sov-holding entities to make choices, especially when they have multiple systems under attack.

Sovereignty Blockade Units (SBUs)

Reduce online timers for SBUs from three hours to seven minutes. Basically a fifteen minute process, eight minutes to anchor, and seven minutes to online. This three hour business is simply another way to frustrate players and keep them from actually playing the game.

This allows players to get to the business of attacking systems more quickly.

Hit Points and Resistances

It takes too many ships to threaten a system effectively. Reduce hitpoints and resistances on all sov structures across the board. Perhaps by 50%.

Sure, that means that the big guys can take systems more quickly, but it also means that the big guys are under increased threat. If Black Legion and friends were to attack five different systems across CFC territory at once, the CFC would be hard-pressed to defend them all, even given force projection.

If groups like the CFC and N3 want to own a third of nullsec each, they should be under constant stress of attack. This makes guerilla actions against the big guys more viable.

Sovereignty Costs

Reduce the base cost of sovereignty from 84M ISK per pay period to 10M ISK. This allows little guys to afford a few systems or a constellation of sovereignty to play around with.

Increase the cost of jump bridge upgrades (Advanced Logistics Network) by 50% (i.e., make force projection more expensive.)

- Poetic Stanziel

You can read more of Poetic Stanziel’s opinions at his Poetic Discourse blog.

152 Comments

  1. Tim

    “Any time during the first reinforcement timer, the defender has to drop
    some amount of “fuel” into the structure. The amount of “fuel” required
    is such that a jump freighter is necessary for the refueling.”
    This is stupid. This is essentially “make it so you have to jump in a very expensive ship that has no defense and can be blapped in second into the middle of contested territory to essentially click a button that says “No, I don’t want to give my sov away”

    September 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm Reply
    1. Filip Viruk Drab

      now imagine that you’re fighting against GSF, who have the ability to essentially RF all your shit and you’d have to fuel all your structures, while they’d just have scouts everywhere and sit on a titan ready to gangbang your freighter once it shows up :D

      September 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm Reply
      1. Tim

        Indeed. Jumpfreightageddon here we come.

        September 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm Reply
      2. Anti- Troll

        Okay… well try and find a compromise… This idea can work… I know it can, i can feel it in my bones… Think about how much more realistic it would be! What eve Strives for! To be as immersively realistic as possible despite the unrealistic totally unrealistic exploits the player base tends to take advantage of regardless of whether it is right or wrong morally speaking to having a good fun game-play. In the end, people want to Win.
        We need to make the battle-field more realistic to fighting over multiple systems more realistic.. instead of promoting these massive blobs that just.. destroy the greatest and most fun and best militaristic orientation of the game.
        lets find solutions rather than negatively putting the idea down..
        Think of how much fun we would all have.. having the sov system coordinated in such a way that promotes happy fun times… rather than sitting on structure bashing for hours!…
        There ARE solutions to the little problems of this idea… It is all a matter of finding the best compromises to best suit the idea and maybe at least have an impact on the devs future impact on the game mechanics for the better!!

        September 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm Reply
    2. Anti-Troll

      Okay.. i agree that it is kind of unrealistic in the sense of a JF.. But what if we made it option-able…. as in… you give the defending party a means to ‘either refuel via a JF’ OR ‘use several or a small fleet of cloaky haulers!’ it is feasible, don’t just be righting off the entire idea, just because of one single problem that we can definitely find a compromise on.
      :)

      September 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm Reply
      1. Tim

        To be honest, It still seems like a silly idea. Make it too hard to trigger, and the attackers will just watch/spy and kill it en route. Make it too easy to trigger and there would be no point in having it. As it stands, it just means if you want to attack it, you have to put the effort in, just to show up. I’d be cautious of adding things that move the game towards a “ninja attacking” mentality for structures, where a small group could take a structure during times they know the defenders are busy, not to actually own it, but just to make the defenders have to waste time taking it back.
        There’s definitely things that need to be done to sov, but a lot of what gets suggested is knee jerk reactions to get the smaller entities into sov space without having to form relationships with existing entities. That kinda defeats the point, and is what WH space was designed for.

        September 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm Reply
        1. Anti- Troll

          okay.. i totally understand you where you are coming from… But again lets find a compromise… how about, you take one system fine.. but your second system will be 15% harder and so on… exponentially getting harder and more riskier (to prevent ninjaíng as you say) or at least creating block points.. and/or how about it is constellation wide.. i mean.. that considering the size of the constellation.. each system to take of that particular constellation becomes increasingly harder to take as an offending party and easier for the defending party to defend ( a kind of militaristically realistic scenario of ) ‘fall-back defend fall back defend fallback – OFFEND.. Defend etc etc’ you understand? Now think of in the bigger picture… Multiple offending/defensive fleets coordinating over multiple systems.. Mocking a real life militaristic scenario… Endeavoring to accomplish multiple objectives over say.. 3-4 constellations… and then again.. maybe have a system wide… or no.. a constellation wide ‘penalty’ to the defending party’s advantage… but now.. how about keeping the timer based system but as the guy said.. lets keep it at 1 timer rather than 2… but have it so it is reliant on a few or several controlling factors rather than just (one objective, one factor) of … ‘haha i got mroe than you I win’ sort of mentality… I know i am grabbing at straws here a little bit.. but i am just trying to reach possible solutions to the obvious problems….
          There ARE solutions we can find.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm Reply
        2. Muul Udonii

          Isn’t taking territory just to make the enemy have to take it back, exactly the point of guerilla warfare?

          You take a hill, wave flags; the enemy march their army over to take it back, you run off, you take another hill…

          September 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm Reply
  2. Anti-Troll

    I totally and irrefutably approve of this thread!

    It makes so much sense actually.

    It makes for a greater competitive streak within eve!

    It promotes greater pressure on the ‘big guy’ from the ‘little guy’, because smaller groups of individuals can attack forcing these MASSIVE blob warfare tactics to disperse into smaller and therefore much more comprehensive and thought-out processes when it comes to combat scenario’s!

    I have been playing this game for over a decade now… And i think this is ‘the’ best eve related null-sec answer to sov holding thread that i have ever read to date!

    It would be SO MUCH more fun! Think about it for a second.. Instead of ONE GIGANTIC BLOB… There would be multiple fleets of the same fighting force to defend multiple systems and structures!

    This thread is golden! 10 out of 10.

    September 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm Reply
  3. Ryan Easte

    What about a mechanic like incursions but player based applying to uncloaked ships where if you have neuts in your system, system penalties apply or something forcing carebears to undock and remove the threat thus creating a reason to undock and defend

    September 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm Reply
  4. Ashesofempires

    Make sovereignty costs scale exponentially instead of linearly, per system added, and for distance from a “capital” system. Make it a burden to maintain sovereignty across more than a single region. On the other hand, make it so that groups that own a single constellation pay roughly half the amount that they do now, with sov costs ramping up drastically past that threshold.

    September 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm Reply
    1. Aaron

      That would only mean that you’d have holder alliances a1 / a2 / a3, etc, holding space collectively to reduce costs.

      September 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply
  5. Anti- Troll

    Look guys.. I and i am sure allot of you too have been playing this game for many years now… Sov has ALWAYS been a problem…. CCP are …well maybe afraid is to harsh.. but more like… Apprehensive about messing with the one aspect of the game that ‘if they should get it wrong’ has the potential to drastically decrease their player base/subs. They are a company… They are in the end… About creating CASH-FLOW.
    The problem is not idea’s, because there are many great and fabulous idea’s out there for Sov in the game… The problem is the above sentiment, and the fact that CCP operates on a ‘hierarchical’ bases kind of way internally… So while the junior AND senior dev’s may have grand fabulous idea’s. . . And EVEN solutions in there own right! Lack the power to influence such idea’s into even partial implementation..
    It’s sad really… but it’s the truth. Unfortunately.
    As a company, they don’t want to be compromising their exponential growth, especially with SUUuch a some-what failure their DUST514 has performed since its launch, at least been viewed as being… (in saying that.. It does have a continuous returning player base, which is a good thing!)

    September 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm Reply
    1. Ashesofempires

      I am convinced that a lot of the actual fighting aspects of the Sov system go unchanged because they are based on 9 year old code that they can’t easily work with, because it’s hooked into too many other systems that would break if they fucked up even a tiny part of it.

      I am skeptical that people will mass unsub if they redo Sov. It can’t really get much more arduous than it is currently.

      September 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm Reply
      1. Nulli grunt

        I think both of you are right. It’s probably a combination of both actually. CCP does not have the balls to make significant changes to the game and and risk loosing a big chunck of their player base (its stupid cause it could bring new ones and more!). And at the same time, they probably have a hard time “re-coding” the game like you say.

        Anyways, there is also a risk in staying conservative. It is a question of time that a competitor will come up with an internet spaceship sandbox style game, as vast as Eve is but with better mechanics.

        September 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm Reply
        1. Aaron

          Perhaps what CCP need to do, is brainstorm with the community and create a hierarchy of system implementation for SOV, that works in a more streamlined/simple/shorter/better way for everyone.

          September 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm Reply
  6. santa

    1. “CFC members tired of grinding sov for 3 months” – pls make sov conquest faster.
    2. “CFC renting program is crap and we have to many leach aliances” – please lower sov costs.

    Cry MORE pls!

    September 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm Reply
  7. slothen

    how about instead of reducing the size of Ihubs, make freighters unable to use a titan bridge >:)

    September 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm Reply
    1. Pregnant Wombat

      That’s even smarter. Although somehow I’m sure the bigger alliances would find a way around that.

      September 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm Reply
      1. Just Checkin'

        Its simple I guess. One CTA to pass a few i-hubs in a few key systems.
        After all who would challenge a 500-700 member fleet just to kill a few freighters?

        September 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm Reply
  8. DaReaper

    *stractches my head* sov should cost more, not less. if you own a huge swath of space you never use just to mine moons it should cost you a ton to upkeep. If its going to cost you a more per month based on the amount of systems you own, i.e. 1 system cost 84m, two will cost 200m, 3 300m etc, so that each system you own adds a multiplier then you will have to strategically chose what systems you want to own. This would open up space for smaller groups to snag a system or two and bring in possible good fights as these groups get bigger. And about ihubs being smaller.. my alliance, which is mothballed atm, when we rented space form atlas, we just used a wormhole and brought in an ihub via that. If your lucky or know how to scan you can usually find a wh close to your home system everyday. Then you just time it, we brought in 6 ihubs and upgrades this way, never lost a single freighter either.
    Making this easier by reducing time gives a disadvantage to the attacker. Lets look at the real world, if the US wanted to invade.. mm lets just say Iceland. Iceland has a few days to see the the American start to mobiles and several hours while the fleet of the us starts to move towards there lands. They have time to defend, if they have the forces and such. The 3 hour timer gives the defended a chance to pull together a fleet and defend. I agree that if they decide to just ditch the system and not defend at all that one timer is adequate. But they need a reasonable chance to defend there space.
    Honestly making it cost more to hold space will make people drop few systems and let others in. As renters, protectorates, or as nothing. just my two isk

    September 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm Reply
    1. Just Checkin'

      Though I like the changes you propose we both know that this will just create a few alt alt/holding alliances that will just own those systems, though that would make defending them a bit harder I guess.
      I guess that now it’s too late to rebalance sov since there are some too big entities with a lot of isk to spare until they short out those minor setbacks…
      We will either have to learn how to live with them and wait until/if they fall or we will have to start doing something to harass them 23/7 or something until someone strong enough gets a chance to take them down (though I guess taking down CFC or N3 is going to be a bit harder than that)

      September 3, 2013 at 6:57 pm Reply
      1. DaReaper

        Yea in dominion this was suppose to be a feature: i.e. if you own more then x systems the next system will start adding a mulitplyer. and people complained. The only way to fix sov will be ring mining and getting moon goo out of being a static resource, then systems hat are held just for the moon will be dropped.

        September 3, 2013 at 7:15 pm Reply
        1. Just Checkin'

          And the answer will be botting and we both know it…
          Really, people with too much isk/money/spare time will find a way to handle it and make CFC/N3 survive, if not become stronger…

          September 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm Reply
  9. Soldarius

    The only suggestion here that makes any sense is to reduce the size of IHUBs. Frankly, imo none of the sov structures should need to be destroyed in order to flip sov except the TCU. This allows for taking a system intact rather than destroying all the economic upgrades.

    September 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm Reply
  10. highsec carebear

    Not sure why anyone deserves sov that has troubles getting an ihub installed. Sov is for those with the resources and dedication to exploit it and defend it.
    The problem is that sov is so cheap compared to the relatively enormous wealth a handful of the moons might make. For almost no real work, billions can be extracted and transported to market, which leaves the holder free to not bother worrying about anything other than freight logistics and pvp. Which is great, if that is all you want sov null to be. And guess what?
    So maybe the “problem” of nullsec is the moons. Enormous alliances get away with doing nothing but jumping and blopsing in whatever they need from highsec, and jumping out all the goo to fund their srp and supercapital builds, while the rank and file is free to… deploy. It is an industry based around supercapital diplo and pvp: the ability to reinforce a tower in less than 5 minutes, and the very high kind of discussions that happen because of the amount and kind of assets that are in eve now.

    Or maybe there is no problem. Maybe this is working just fine, its just that there is so little content in eve, and the universe is so small, that goons et al have nowhere to go, and nothing to do.

    September 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm Reply
    1. That is that problem. It would appear that it is designed for those with the funds. So make changes that reduce that.

      Null sec should be rewarding for those who can run big empires and also rewarding for those starting out. Right now its a headache for everyone, which leads to people just working together instead of branching out on their own.

      September 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm Reply
  11. alx

    3 things that are tangled in the big mess: POS; SOV; MOON… have to fix the 3 at the same time… Revamp All…(And maybe i subscribe again…)

    September 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm Reply
  12. Kiltedwarrior

    Also take out the stupid defensive Sbu. If a Sbu is online should attack ihub station or Tcu no matter who put it up in system and put them into reinforced

    September 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm Reply
    1. You can do that now. If enough SBU is online in system to make it vulnerable you can attack the Ihub//Station. It does not matter who put them up.

      September 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm Reply
      1. Am I revenant now?

        this is true, but what defensive sbus are used for is that you take them offline so that there is less than 51% gates SBUed if your station or ihub is under attack, forcing the hostiles to destroy the offline SBUs and anchor and online their own. Offlining them is quick, destroying them and onlining a new one takes hours.

        September 4, 2013 at 12:18 am Reply
        1. I know. That is why if the SBU timers get lowered as I proposed here: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=274655&find=unread

          then it does not become an issue coupled with the reduction of HP.

          September 4, 2013 at 12:50 am Reply
        2. Kilted warrior

          Guess I should have worded it little better take out that fact make it once something gets hit they can’t run and offline them

          September 5, 2013 at 12:11 am Reply
  13. LOL.

    one of the worst lists i’ve ever seen.

    September 4, 2013 at 10:20 am Reply
  14. Justin Cody

    this makes me want to come back to FW just to grief you

    September 4, 2013 at 11:04 am Reply
  15. DNSMax

    The mechanisms are already in place to gauge system activity as anyone who’s ground rats or mined belts to raise the indices in their new system will know only too well.

    If every system in Null had a fully upgraded indestructable ihub pre-installed then you have a simple metric, if the ALL the indices are allowed to drop to zero the system automatically becomes vulnerable to having the TCU destroyed, no timers or SBU’s needed at all, this way inactive systems could easily be taken by a single small entity. If no-one takes the system then sovereignty doesn’t change but is simply retained by default.

    An active system on the other hand would need to be invaded in the normal way using SBU’s, the only difference being that the ihub would not be destroyed but would need to be ‘flipped’ like a station with all the various timers involved, only then could the existing TCU be destroyed and a new flag planted.

    Using this simple fix the big boys would still be able to steamroll whatever they wanted but the little guy could ninja a dead system, be a nuisance and make the big boys grind continually for their greed.

    The various timers and hitpoints need some fine tuning and TCU’s should be easy to destroy using subcaps once vulnerable, also cyno jamming a system should be made conditional only on simple possession of sovereignty and not the level of that sovereignty.

    We need more independents and rebels in Null providing additional content for everyone to enjoy.

    These changes would make very large empires difficult, unprofitable or impossible to build and start to get more people out of empire and into Null.

    September 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm Reply
  16. RA dude

    Michael Meio already suggested below that sov structure hp could depend on player activity. An addition to that could be the bleeding of sov structures if player activity (ratting/mining/scanning/…, could be measured in the number of killed rats, mined roids, hacked conts or whole completed sites) drops below some value over certain time. And after some more time of low activity, NPC rats could start attacking sov structures in addition to bleeding, the strength of rats (but not bounty value!) would increase over time, the Sansha-like NPC gate and belt camps would appear to make the space dangerous, so anyone who intends to hold such an abandoned system would have to make an effort to make it hospitable. And who is better for that than a small dedicated group? I doubt large groups would constantly go patrolling the space they don’t use just to keep a bunch of empty systems clean.

    This should go along with allowing to make any number and type of system upgrades and adjustable (maybe via installable modules) numbers/types of station services, because only one type of possible upgrades and outposts with limited functionality promote holding a number of systems for various complementing purposes over compact settlements. No more rather useless for living JB systems, please.

    But system upgrades should also increase the threshold of required player activity in that field. Ratting upgrade? Well, now you should rat more to keep you sov structures healthy. Ratting and mining upgrades? Do both things more. Current ihub upgrade mechanic is already present and is rather fine, but is restricted to only one type of activity upgrade, iirc.

    The rest of the sov mechanics could probably remain in its current form.

    September 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm Reply
  17. just an idea

    another option is to just have Ihubs and TCU’s use fuel. just the same costs as it is at the moment for owning a system but then you have to use fuelblocks to keep your stuff online. system upgrades will make the ihub use more fuel but also increase the fuel bay so you can still put fuel for a month in there.

    it will give options to lower your fuel costs if you build the blocks yourself or get the materials yoursel. which is handy for small alliances. and for the big blocks, yes its possible to hold alot of space, but you got to work for it.

    also gives the option for small pvp operations to harras the big alliances, by finding out when the stuff is fueled, they can intercept the fuel transports to make a tcu go offline.

    September 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm Reply
    1. Filip Viruk Drab

      this would not make any small group that doesn’t own sov to magically have the resources to get some sov and to defend it against the big players. they can harass them even now by reinforcing their stuff. all this would achieve would be:
      1, losses of ships fueling the structures
      2, more work for people that are now fueling jump bridges / do logistics
      3, make some people hate this game even more
      it would not achieve:
      1, the small group having sov

      September 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm Reply
  18. Hawk eey

    Forcing us to use freighters to move I-Hubs is by design. I would not allow freighters to use titans to bridge in order to level the playing field. Or even better, force titans to be out of POSes when they bridge so that the operation becomes rather risky.

    I’ve flown I-hubs by freighter through jump gates before in null sec. It’s tricky, but with proper support and scouts it is very possible. Null sec is fairly empty. If you wait until no one is looking, you just jump and web. If your scouts report that someone is coming, then web to a safe spot (should be predetermined). You just have to be crafty and stealthy. Like a ninja.

    September 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm Reply
  19. guest

    There is no sov for the little guy. Making the cost, difficulty and time to fling blobs across the map would be a start. There is zero penalty for over-extension.

    Over-extension is one of the key principles that leads to geopolitical decline. Gaining too many competitors and forces to thin to fill the gap forces the largest to be excellent. Sending too many armies abroad leaves the home vulnerable. I do not see this real life factor represented in the game.

    September 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm Reply

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