My idea for SOV revamps
We all know that CCP has long had a history of having difficulty working with the EVE codebase. Being that said codebase is hideously out of sorts, it’s becoming more difficult for CCP to make the kind of sweeping changes that are desperately needed to reinvigorate the playerbase.
It’s an abject fact that the game is stagnant for SOV holders. Even HERO, the youngest coalition in EVE acknowledges that this is true. The way I see it, there are two things making SOV joyless. Power projection is still somewhat broken, even after the Phoebe nerf of jump ranges. It’s somewhat an indictment of the way the game is played. Getting hot dropped by supers is often countered by dodging fights in some form of coward move. Take for example the way BRAVE took Catch, they faced some opposition early on, but quickly dodged it by switching to stealth tactics to focus on stratops. This resulted in their opposition getting bored and leaving. Boring your enemy to death does win wars, as bad as it is for those not having fun. Without some way to encourage more players to want to fight there’s no way that power projection nerfs can work as intended. Black Legion slow boated for 3 hours to kill PL titans alongside HERO, and that will continue to happen as fights can be had that sufficiently motivate a group of players.
In my opinion, player motivation cannot be forced. The organic creation of content within the game mechanics has to come from players themselves. Coming from my last post about leadership. it should be said that energetic FCs can do a lot to get players ready to fight. Famous FCs like Elo Knight are well known for the ability to marathon the minutia of running fleets with limitless enthusiasm. And this would be a more interesting and engaging game if the playerbase focused on finding that same mindset.
Now onto the second primary reason nullsec is stale and boring for many people.
Lets consider that last point about BL, they did that partly because there was nothing else to do. Why is that? This part is obvious. It’s because the primary reason people hold SOV at the moment is for high value moons. The economic boost that R64 moons provide can easily fund large alliances. And Billions of ISK are lost in their defence all the time. There is no denying that vast swathes of space lie unused except by small groups of ratters or miners. Currently, the only way for coalitions and alliances to monetize this space is by renting it out. This leads to a problem that a lot of people seem to have with nullsec. The existence of massive rental schemes that swallow up as much space as possible, while the landlords don’t have to worry about engaging with, or even defending their space. Unless of course it holds moons or CSAAs for the controlling alliance or coalition.
This leads to the point we’re at now, where most of the major powers in null are pushing for a new form of SOV mechanics. And I feel like throwing my hat in on the subject. Despite not being a game designer, nor a leader in null, oh well.
Occupancy based SOV gets thrown around a lot. And I’ve always felt that is a bit of a misnomer. Engagement based SOV feels more appropriate. Let me explain.
I see the future of SOV as a fusion of three main mechanics. All of which have existed in some form in EVE previously. Again, this is just my personal idea and is in no way meant to be taken as fact.
The primary mechanic would be a repurposing of the current SOV upgrade tiers. Take each game mechanic present in SOV and tie it to a tier. As a group holds SOV for an amount of time, that tier ticks up. The purpose of the tier is to give the players in that group a means to gauge what they’re engagement with a given mechanic inside of a system is. These tiers would then tie into the next mechanic.
A resource based lottery mechanic, with an element of the “Research Race” mechanics employed for T3 releases. As a group holds and engages with a system more often, their system becomes of higher value. In the leadup to this new SOV, CCP would tell players they need to decide which systems they want to hold, and which one they need to engage with to setup income generation at high levels. The lottery comes in when the new SOV deploys. Systems and groups with the highest engagement get a slight advantage in terms of initial income, with an element of randomness thrown in. That way there would be little chance for larger group to bully their way into the best systems before SOV changes. I also imagine that the difficulty of income generation with the new mechanic would increase over time. Think of cryptocurrency mining difficulty and limitations creating scarcity. That’s kind of what inspired me for this. This would of course have to be heavily monitored and balanced so it wouldn’t turn into a slog.
That higher value would then be related to a new income generation mechanic. This new mechanic would have to be active, and challenging enough to balance out the creation of a new set of sinks and faucets for ISK. But also lucrative enough to encourage intra-regional competition for the most prized systems. The main goal of this new mechanic is to compete with other forms of income generation. Maybe even a nerf to previous forms of income generation to shake things up and encourage intra-regional conflict would accompany this.
Of course if the system falls out of use or changes hands, it shouldn’t reset to tier 0. I imagine timers would be involved that allow for other alliances to blockade their enemies and delay their wealth acquisition. These same timers would give the controlling alliance/coalition time to make up lost ground if they fall behind on system engagement. Meaning alliances will have to plan and choose which systems they can defend and generate income with.
Remember how I opened with the blurb about the EVE codebase being a mess? That’s the reason I think the new SOV mechanics will be a reformation of previous mechanics. Because CCP can’t just throw out everything and start over at this point. This is the basis for why I think if CCP were to revamp SOV drastically, it would involve new iterations of previous mechanics.
I know that was pretty rambly. So I’ll summarize.
A new set of mechanics that allow for a new form of progressive income generation.
The new income levels would be decided by a mix of random chance, tiered metrics for player engagement, and the activity and strength of the player group holding the space.
Other mechanics would be introduced to balance this new SOV form with previous alliance and coalition methods of ISK generation.
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