Monday, 14 November 2011

Blog Banter 30: The Crucible?

"With the Winter expansion possibly being named 'Crucible', it certainly is a melting pot of refinements and tweaks aimed at making the EVE experience smoother and more wholesome. If the developers suddenly found themselves some spare resources and approached you for an additional feature to include before release, what single concept would you pitch them and how would you implement it?

For bonus points, the one thing lacking from this "patchwork" of iterations is a cohesive storyline to package "The Crucible" together. How could this expansion be marketed to potential new customers?"

So what single thing would I do if I had control of the EvE online development team? I would make low-sec more enticing to live in.

I believe there are some simple ways of doing this so I hope you will forgive me in doing multiple small changes instead of one big change.

The first thing I would do to make Low-sec livable is up the rewards and pay from scanning sites found there. Better rocks, better salvage, better bounties and more chance of faction/officer spawns. I would not up the bounty on belt rats, these are fine and don't take any skill to do. 

I would use the system rating (0.1 - 0.4) and balance the rewards vs the sec status of the system. IE you would find better plexes in deep low-sec 0.1 systems than you would in 0.4. 

I would also use a 'local counter' and based on the number of people active in a system in a 24 hour period it will cause more (or less) deadspace plexes to appear the next day. This should create more traffic in low-sec and more groups working together... and more pirates to target them.

Along the same lines I would also put some pirate missions into low-sec systems. I enjoy a little roleplaying in other games and enjoy reading the background of the pirate faction in EvE though I have never done a pirate mission. Making these more accessable would be interesting and bring more people to low-sec. I would make the pirate frigate blueprints (Dramiel, Cruor, Daredevil and Worm) the main drop of the mission arcs in low-sec while reserving the Cruiser+ blueprints for null-sec'rs. 

Now to have pirate missions in Low-sec I believe you should have faction pirate stations as well. Here is my thinking on how the new pirate stations and pirate mechanics should work. 
  • Faction Pirate stations do not agress players who are below -5.00 security status even if they have GCC or aggression. This means that criminals can engage on station without worrying about the guns.
  • Faction Pirate Stations will not have bounty offices but will have an Assasination Bureau where people can post rewards for the destrustion of players with a positive or negetive sec status. The reward can only be claimed if the kill happened in Low-Sec or Null-Sec.
  • Faction belt rats will not aggress anyone who has a +5.00 status with their faction unless shot first. They will then defend themselves as normal. 
  • Faction plex rats in low-sec will continue to aggress as normal as they are protecting something. 
 These idea's are very basic. Having faction missions available, especially to low-sec dwellers means you can twist the mechanics to give yourself an edge if you get the standings with the pirates of that specific area.

I see it working well for people who wish to role-play. 

So if you want to hunt for targets in Amarr low-sec you get some standings with the local Sansha pirates. You can then warp into a belt and help 'Defend' you friendly pirate from evil carebears. 

This will help immersion too because as a Sansha RP'er you don't really want to kill that 'Friendly' rat in the belt do you?

My last idea is, I think, rather clever. 

Have NPC targets as well as other players. Now I don't like shooting little red crosses for hours on end. I would rather shoot another player but to do that I need to find them. So what would be good? BAIT.

My Idea is to have NPC Battleships, NPC Industrials and NPC Frieghters running around in low-sec. I mean how else will the eagerly awaited new holo-reels and spirits get to that station in Resbroko without moving through space??

So you see a NPC fleet, Maybe a NPC Charon with a couple of NPC Ravens and Scorpions for support.

Anyway as a Pirate you have 3 options.  

1. You call your mates in and destroy it, picking up the loot from the ships and making a quick profit.

2. You get in a cloaky and you watch. You get an alt online and let your enemy know where this convoy is and were they are heading. You get your fleet ready and follow it a couple of jumps behind. Your enemy engage the convoy and you then jump thier fleet. Epic lols then ensue. Trap sprung!

3. You don't have a fleet but you do have a stealth bomber and you wait until a fleet aggresses and start whoring when possible. 

Aggressing the NPC fleet will cause GCC and aggression just as you would get if attacking  another player. You will also lose security status and reputation with the convoy's parent corp/state. The Charon could be carrying anything including ships, minerals or general crap. 

The convoy will behave like sleeper rats from wormholes and will include webs, scrams, neuts and remote reps. They will swap targets and work as a team. This will make for a fun engagement and should bring out more fleet fights and small gangs.

I have described a 'big' convy here but they could be as small as a one industrial with a frigate scouter. 

Another thing you could do with the above is make the NPC transports vital to maintaining the war effort and bring Faction warfare into it. This Charon could be bringing in specific equipment to help the Caldari war effort against the Gallente. 

The FW miltia need to make sure it gets to it's destination and have to guard it through it's journey. This could bring FW alive with rewards at the end. Player Pirates could make hit and run skirmishes on the miltia fleets and the iopposing FW gangs could try and set up a blockade that the convoy fleet must clear.

My idea's all centre on bringing more people into low-sec and then making thier stay enjoyable and profitable. Low-sec needs more and I think some of these ways... maybe all of them... would help.

The bonus point question, that depends if we are talking  with my new features or not. 

If we are then I would go down the pirate faction line and really big up the fact that you can effectively 'Join' a pirate faction and get help from local belt pirates and live in pirate owned stations. Push the ideology and backstories of each pirate faction and have incarna style events where the pirates sieze the stations from the previous occupier.

If we're talking the real ecpansion then I don't know. It is hard to market something that won't change the game that much. Maybe bigging up the destroyer buff and explaining (again I know)that even a young player can use theses ships to get under the guns of the new Tier 3 BC's and show a fleet of them attacking a Tier 3 gang. I'm not sure but thats the best idea I have at the moment. 

If anyone out there in reader land (IE YOU!!!) would like to make a blog post to go with Blog Banter 30 but have no where to post it then please feel free to email me at with your pre-written blog post and I will post it live here on The Beginnings Of Piracy. (I will spell check before posting =P) 

Fly dangerous o/

Other blog banter 30 writers:
Inner Sanctum of Ninveah
Beyond Space
Sand, Cider and Spacerships 
*New* Finders Keepers 
*New* 2nd Anomaly from the left
*New* Mad Haberdashers
*New* Poetic Disclosure
plus more to come I am sure....


  1. Damn, you beat me to the joining pirate factions.

  2. Won't help. Still noone will come to Lowsec.
    Why? Because you cannot do Plexes or missions there. As you very well know.
    How long does it take to scan down a mission runner? 15 seconds.
    Or to put it differently: it is the pirate player corps' fault that there are no people (except themselves and some clueless noobies) in lowsec.

  3. @ Norbert: lol stop being bad. I live in lowsec and we get mission runners here all the time.

    Guess what....we don't catch all of them! /Gasps

    Do your research. Find out about the locals. Find out what times they are active. Use a scout alt. Add probes to d-scan. Dump a can on the gate warp in point to decloak cloaky tacklers. Only accept missions that can be completed quickly.
    And last, but not least, and my personal favourite: when your getting probed, call your corp mates and set up a counter gank. Tanky drake with dual webs works great for this. I've done this and we would have killed an SFI if I hadn't burned out my webs.

  4. Oh, don't get me wrong. I like to go to Lowsec, but not for mission running.

    What I wanted to express is:
    99% of the Highsec Carebears will not got to Lowsec, no matter what.
    They just won't. They avoid everything that can lead to being shot at. I don't know why they are playing Eve at all, but that's how it is.
    They will not fight, ever.