Sorry about the recent EVE fixation. It will pass :P
There has been a lot of debate on the EVE forums recently about high security space vs low security space vs 0.0 space. Basically CCP (the company that makes EVE Online) prefer 0.0 space and would like everyone to move there. This is for a few reasons. Since it’s all player controlled it is a more accurate example of a world controlled by players. This also means that CCP don’t have to create content for it to be interesting (although they still do).
The problem is that a certain amount of dedication is required and some players simply don’t have the time and prefer a more casual play style. And low security space is even more dangerous than 0.0 space essentially forming a no-mans land. At least in 0.0, alliances have control of it (or have the option to control it).
I have a proposal to alleviate some of the problems. Many people on the forums have had proposals and most of been bad - and there is a chance mine would be no different. But read anyway :P
The basic idea is to remove the divide between players and NPCs. Previously I would have said this had no chance of happening. CCP want the player interaction to be most important and not let it become a “Massively Single Player Online Role Playing Game”. But with the announcement of factional warfare it seems more possible. In fact my whole idea is essentially an implementation of factional warfare (unfortunately the details about how it will work are probably set in stone by now so suggestions may not help). More details of that in part two.
The first step to bring NPCs and players closer together is to make Concord “real”. At the moment surviving a Concord attack is considered an exploit. The second step is to put Concord in low security space. If it’s considered “empire space” it should be protected. The clever part is to scale Concord involvement to the security level. And also have more patrols and fewer stationary blockade type setups. Having a concord fleet at every gate is kind a silly, and even if they’re become theoretically killable, it would still need a massive fleet.
This would make low sec a bit safer and high sec a bit more dangerous. You’re open to attack anywhere, however you’re more likely to be saved by Concord the higher the security status you’re in. In 0.1 Concord may send a couple of ships eventually, in 1.0 there’s probably 10 patrols just “round the corner”.
Next is the issue of NPC pirates and how Concord should react to them. It doesn’t really make sense for Concord to ignore them. At the moment NPC pirates are important to the game since they
- add a bit of risk to new players in high sec
- provide bounty for the more experienced
- are a necessary storyline part of agent missions
Number one is required in some level so players get to learn combat but this could easily be replaced by training complexes, or even normal rogue drone complexes that Concord could conceivably not be interested in. Number two is certainly not required, there are enough ways to make money. I’ll address number three later. But for now, lets assume NPC pirates are still needed in high sec. A way round this would be to have different parts of a system have effective security statuses lower than the rest of the system. Perhaps make asteroid belts 0.2 lower than the listed security status of the system they’re in - at least as far deciding Concord response. And they should try to run away if they think they’ll lose (and choose not to attack certain ships). This would frustrate experienced players trying to get bounty but would make sense for miners who are, after all, supposed to be the victims of pirates, not the other way round. And remember, you’d be vulnerable to real pirates anyway.