Monday, 1 October 2012

My highsec/lowsec fix


Overview of proposed changes

  • SOS button calling for help.
  • Ship based strontium short duration invulnerabilty module.
  • Split Empire space into 4 levels of safety : High, Medium High, Medium Low, and Low security spaces.  (From my view, ideally it would just be sliding scale but baby steps first.)
    • High is very safe, newbie friendly but otherwise resource limited.
    • Medium high is nearly carebear safe, more resources but not enough.
    • Medium low is a risky for both pirate and carebear, has sufficient resources.
    • Low is pirate haven, plenty of resources.
  • Automated resource adjustment based on desirable population percentages.


I am a relative newcomer to the Eve scene.  I am not (yet) a good player.  I have seen discussion on how to fix the high/low security 'problems', which is probably has long history that I have not fully read.

Here are my 2 ISK.  A good thing that I don't pay by the word.  This is a wall of text. You have been warned.

I fly paper thin ships, and so far, have been pure industrialist.  I am definitely at least part carebear, however with largish kill(ed) log.

Gevlon is probably right about the way to make ISK; station trade and haul between hubs. 
I also agree with some of the old timers that there is too much difference in safety between hisec and low/null/wh.

I however wanted a game where I made stuff.  I was writing down my criteria :
  • A market based manufacturing game.
  • If I stuffed up I would lose stuff but be able to recover.
  • Get my risks right, and I would get my rewards.
  • Open ended or at least re-playable.

Then I released that I already could play Eve that way.

I started highsec PI, moved into lowsec PI, and now am moving into Wormhole PI.

I have little chance of defending against a dreadnought or worse; or against a super fleet going on a crusade.  However C2 wormholes are great. Designed for small groups, with the defenders able to create huge ships but visitors having difficulty.  Later, when I gain more skillpoints, ISK and a larger corporation, we can decide to move into C3 or higher class wormholes : greater risk for the potential of greater reward.

As an industrialist with this play style, I like systems like Niarja, choke points that have some danger;   I should be safe in there, but I care enough to pay attention; stuff up and I am dead.  But there should be more 'interesting' systems.

  • AFK farmers want a place to farm in safety.
  • Haulers want to haul in safety and want to be AFK
  • Manufacturers want facilities to make stuff
  • Pirates want targets
  • Highsec is too safe.  Carebears gather with almost all they need; pirates mostly avoid.
  • Lowsec is too dangerous.  Carebears avoid like the plague; pirates populate.  This means that carebears poking their nose in get it cut off very early, and very hard.

As a goal; More players out of entirely safe space, and into less safe space.  Make the transition safe to not  a graduated slope rather than a binary toggle.  Allow newbies safety, but restrict entirely safe resources; making more resources available in more dangerous areas.

The future as I would design it:
  • better defenses for at keyboard players especially in t1 industrial/miners, 
  • lesser defenses for afk industrial/miners, 
  • and medium zones where the all powerful forces might show up.
  • ????
  • leading to fights for pvp'ers, 

Some of these options may already exist, and I may be unaware of them.  This is also a discussion piece; numbers are merely for discussion.

General items

SOS button

  • All ships get an 'SOS' button, providing a 'warp to me' bookmark to selected parties. 
  • Allow users to chose what channels the SOS message/bookmarks are sent to.  By default : (NPC view only) Concord, (NPC view only) Faction's police (according to standings), Corp, Alliance, Fleet, Local. (local is a two edged sword - probably ok in high, but questionable in lower security spaces)
  • Get a confirmation warning if you issue an 'SOS' but are not under attack. 
  • If you 'call the cops', and the cops don't like you, they are just as likely to shoot you as well. 
  • Yes, you could 'SOS' in local, even as a scammer.
  • 'SOS' calls would have an exponentially increasing delay between available calls: 15 seconds; 30 seconds; 60 seconds; 2 minutes; 4 minutes etc.  (If you get past 4 minutes then the chances are you don't need it anyway.  The only fights I have been in lasting more than 2 minutes are Customs Office bashes).
  • 'SOS' that is sent to concord or the faction's police has an ISK cost; starting as a on default insurance for your ship; doubling each time it is invoked.   As a side note; the better your ship's insurance class, the more likely your insurer (concord) is to turn up.
  • After a suitable delay (maybe the agression timer's delay?) the increased time/costs disapate.
  • Gate guns hit a little harder for each in range 'SOS'.

A ship based strontium module

  • an activated high slot module
  • An at keyboard ability providing 2 minutes of invulnerability, all lock are broken. 
  • While this module is up, you are entirely incapable. (shoot, align, jump etc). 
  • When you come out of your invulnerability; for 60 seconds you are still incapable; your capacitor and shields are both at zero. 
  • Maybe some or all your modules are put offline.  You really are vulnerable after coming out of this shielding.
  • This is a 'delay the inevitable' and pray the cavalry come (spamming your 'SOS' button as often as you can).  For some, it will also increase the "OMFG ****" moment
  • The invulnerability/recovery could be security status based.  3 minutes of invulnerability in 1.0; 5 seconds of invulnerability in -1.0.


Agents should know about supply and demand.  If they have thousands of players doing their missions, they should drop the prices they pay.  If they have gone weeks without someone doing their missions; they should be desperate and pay accordingly.  This would apply to ISK, research and Loyalty points.


In general NPC manufacturing and research spots should be subject to the same demand based costs as offices.  e.g. mostly empty factories are cheap, mostly full factories are very very expensive.  This should be somewhat offset by standing.

High security

First of all, only 1.0 and 0.9 spaces should be 'high security'.  They should include any area that a starter character is likely to be (I think they do, but it is worth checking).  Concord is still all powerful, near instantaneous and deadly.

  • High security space should have all types of basic facilites. 
  • Plentiful but small asteroids.
  • Clones upgrades, but only up to a certain point (maybe 6 months of training?)
  • Insurance on cheap ships only; T1, Meta 0 ships?  The kinds of ships given out in the tutorials.
  • Manufacture/Research slots?  Plentiful but only for short jobs.  Exponential delay as you submit more jobs in any given time frame.  That is, you should be able to do your tutorial missions, and get an easy feel for researching low end BPO's, and generally learn stuff, but serious industrialists doing large jobs should look elsewhere.

Medium high security

This would be 0.8 to 0.6 space.

When you are attacked, powerful NPC has a chance to show up. If you are afk, it will be when they get around to it.  The are far more likely to show up to investiage an SOS or a podkill.  Sometimes this will be all powerful concord.  Sometimes it will be mostly powerful faction.  A faction that is winning at faction war would have more powerful ships than a faction that is loosing.  (i.e. industrialists, you want your faction to have dominance).  Rather than simply time for powerful NPC to show up depend on security, it is also chance of powerful NPC to show up. 

For arguments sake, based on security status 70% in 0.7 space, to 50% in 0.5 space per 'SOS' issued.  1/2 of that for ships attacked but no SOS issued.  Concord/Factions are also more like to show up for high security/standing pilots.

  • Clones, insurance, per existing mechanics
  • Manufacture/research slots should be in demand; many slots, maybe only 1/2 of that required to fulfill player demand.

Medium low security

This would be 0.5 to 0.3 space.

Concord never goes here, but does pay attention (i.e. security standings)

There should be sufficient NPC Manufacture/Research slots to fulfill the player demand in here.  Maybe ME research is still limited, and you may have to go looking for slots as your station is

Well written faction AI's conduct roams of constellations.  These should respond within the same constellation for SOS calls.  They should be powerful but defeatable by a moderate sized gang.  The status of these roams should be determined by agents with the finder service.  Strength based on current faction war status.  They respond 1/2 as often as they do in medium high securty space (say 20% to 10% of the time).  If they are defeated, then new agent missions to bring in parts for them to be re-built are spawned.  Agent missions might also boost the strength of the NPC roams.

Low security

This would be the 0.1-0.2 space; at least all border worlds to null should have a 0.1 system.

NPC Faction roams dont normally go here.  They might be have a small chance to respond to an SOS, and they might perform a weekly sweep if it had high Faction War control.

Even more factories, ore, PI and possibly even surplus ME research slots.


I would also like populations to be self balancing; with a spread of population across the different high/low security statuses, with a bell curve centering slightly favouring medium high security.  I am an industralist after all; Pirates would prefer more population in medium low security space.

Every downtime; take a snapshot of that day's activity. 
  • Too many PVE hours played in high security system?  1% Less respawning of asteroids or asteroid size; 1% of NPC manufacturing/research slots taken offline for 'renovations/repairs', PI extraction etc.
  • Too few PVE hours played in another system?  1% More respawning of asteroids or asteroid size; 1% of NPC manufacturing/research slots put back online after 'renovations/repairs', more PI extraction etc.
  • Too many PVE players ganked in Medium High or Medium Low; 1% buff to faction NPC roams (probably in the respawn times or chances of an extra ship or ship class, or fit).
  • Too many PVP players 'counter-ganked' and not enough PVE players being ganked; 1% nerf to faction NPC roams.

As a possible later change: systems where factions can not control their space (i.e. lots of npc faction roam deaths) would drop in security status;  systems where factions easily control their space would rise in security status.

In Summary

The above changes would be very disruptive; with the automatic balancing, with would continue to be disruptive.  Effort, choices, risk/reward would regularly need to be evaluated.  I also would expect this to push many players further way from Jita.

Players will flock to the perceived best reward for effort, according to their (often unstated) risk profile.
There are Eve players that require :
  • "risk free" gameplay;  This model allows safe gameplay to continue, but encourages resource shortages in safe areas.
  • the best reward; they will have a slow but continuous pressure to move down the security statuses, but have some safety to do so.
  • ships to shoot at; with more rewards being in less safe areas; there should be more targets. 

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