Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In Defense of Low Sec

Before Low Sec can be fixed, helped, improved, buffed or anything else, Low Sec needs to be defined (a bit better).

The discussion and thoughts on low sec continue. It is still nice that the section of space is receiving some type of attention. As disinterested as I am in Faction Warfare, I believe that the latest poorly structured game mechanics around it opened a lot of eyes to the fact that low sec was there at all.

The argument in this thread boiled down to the idea that the fix for low sec is to nerf piracy. The idea was presented by a player named pyr8t. He seems to represent himself as a pirate. I therefore pulled his killboard on battle clinic (eve kill being down as I wrote this) to discover that his successful kills were in high sec and when he ventured into low and null he tended to die. That explained the comment made by him that 'pirates' will have their butts handed to them in low and null and that is why they do not go. He may have an amazing alt somewhere that is incredible. May.

A kill board is not 100% the way to judge a person but it can give you a lot of information about them. Where they fly. Who they fly with. What they fly. For this conversation, his PvP background is relevant. His character creation date was in 2006. He may not have been active that entire time but he is not brand new.
There is also a good bit of hatred for pirate players in this thread. Honorless, cowards, griefers, the fact that we should have been banned from the game a long time ago. So much rage. It is fascinating. I take their words and turn them around to study them. These are words that they are applying to me. Yet, the application process seems to be fault because it does not stick.

It may be obvious that I consider myself an okay person. I like the game, enjoy helping others, love my corporation, enjoy a side project of industry and my standing fleet's name is "Sugarbearing". I'm even a tad bit friendly. I also commit spaceship violence and I enjoy that as well. I also have spaceship violence committed against me. I don't overly enjoy it but I'm fine with it happening. I have to admit, I have a hard time understanding why I'm a terrible person because of this.

Now, the author of the message amuses me. He is complaining that Pirates are Pirating in low sec. To a certain extent, I can understand the complaints about pirates pirating in high sec. I do not agree with it but I can understand how it causes angst and problems.

What I cannot understand is the complaints about pirates in low sec. What I hear is, "These people are playing the game as they are allowed to play and I don't like it!" To continue in my effort to be fair, there are lots of 'cross life' arguments about nerfing high sec and null being to safe and low having to many pirates and in general nothing will make everyone happy at all. Therefore, I'm stepping past that to look at a smaller picture.

Why is piracy in an area that piracy is allowed bad?

I feel some of this may come down to perception. Low Security space is not no security space. It still has rules and it is still technically owned by the NPC factions. The question is often asked, why are outlaws allowed.

Well, the first issue is that without negative actions in security ranked space there would be no outlaws. If all pirates were evicted to null (suggested) they would no longer be pirates. A lot of the piracy aspect is linked around the actions that they are doing and the space they are doing those actions in. But defining piracy is not that easy and in no way is that small bit of information an in depth definition of a pirate in Eve Online.

The concept of High Security Space, Low Security Space, and No Security Space creates the idea of a descent into difficulty that one can step down in a controlled manner when in actuality it is a cliff that one dives off of. One goes from extremely restricted PvP to pewpew all the things. Many feel that it should be a gradual descent but I passionately disagree. I'd prefer that nothing happen to low sec then have the area made more secure. One person suggested that piracy can be allowed as long as stations and gates concord people if they are aggressive.

It has turned into a defense situation. Low Sec is broken, but its undefined form is affected by preconceived notions. For some, there should be a high --> low --> null path. For others, it should be pewpew. For another set, NPC pirates should control space. A different group feels that low = Faction Warfair.

The attention while good can also be bad. Low Sec has to be defined for what it is. For piracy to continue, Low Sec needs to be defined as a place for Pirates to be. I will mention again that Pirate is one of CCP's character paths on their website. While people may want to change Sov no one suggests that Sov not exist at all because Sov Null is for Sov Null. In this situation, I would almost think that putting NPC pirate stations into low sec (but not faction warfare) would help to define Low Sec as a place for pirates, the edge of civilization.

While my life in low sec is a normal game life, it is also about my pewpew. I am not discussing opinions on the safety aspects of high sec. I am pointing out the decision to leave that security and walk into something with an inherent danger level by choice. A choice I do not want removed from me. I came here because I want to be here.

I live there. It makes me want to voice my opinion. I've learned to take the accusations of gatecamping and newbie consumption with a roll of my eyes and a shrug of my shoulders. When I undock my sleipbear, I do it with the knowledge that people want to violence my spaceship. I just want to violence NPCs. Yet, I do not resent other's desires to see my sleipbear burn.

Low Sec does not need to be cleaned up. This is not an urban renewal project. It needs to be defined. That definition can be that it is a slum. That is okay. But even as the words trickle from my fingers tips I fear them. I fear definition. However, the ambiguous state that it currently thrives in is as much a danger as definition. At least, with a push to give it some type of form, amebaious it may be, the residents can hopefully have a hand in its creation before someone steps in and burns in a brand that can never be removed or healed.















8 comments:

  1. I died my very first death trying to cross Rancer in a shuttle on my third day in EVE. I was trying to scout low-activity systems to find a home from which I could explore.

    I am now a full-time lowsec resident at the ripe old age of one month. I didn't make the move to low-sec alone though. I convinced a good buddy of mine, one who was originally afraid to buy implants for fear of getting podded by opportunist, to join me in pursuing the riches of exploration. Together we headed to 0.4, together we asploded and together we learned. We also got quite rich along the way. We are now some of the most violent, bloodthirsty newbies in our region.

    The drive to explore lowsec is not a common one. Having been born in the safety of hisec, very few players have the means or the will to live in an area where all players are likely dangerous. There are few incentives to jump right in, as frigates and destroyers will have a difficult time running missions or belt-ratting, never mind killing NPCs. In addition, gate guns prohibit newbies from participating in much of low-sec PvP before they can fly cruisers, which is several DAYS of training. The first few days are the most important for leaving impressions, and the inability to jump straight into lowsec is definitely one of the first fixes I would suggest.

    It is my opinion that drawing players to lowsec while they are still young is the best way to revitalize this somewhat forgotten sector of space. Large 0.0 alliances ask their new members to pod over immediately to a new home. Unfortunately, there is little incentive for low-sec corporations to ask their new members to live in low with them full time, as the ease and convenience of highsec is often less than five jumps away.

    TEST and GSF claim that newbies are their lifeblood. Perhaps newbies may also be the lifeblood of lowsec. Whether this is via CCP-created incentive or low-sec corporations directly recruiting from the newbie pool, I do not know.

    -A newbie.

    P.S. I'm fairly certain sugar has personally attempted to violence me before <3

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  2. I don't really see why you want to buff low sec... Do you want to see more people in low sec ? It surprises me because you don't seem to like the crowded nature of high sec anyway.
    The income in low sec is not great but it's not worse than in null sec right ? Sure more income would make sense because of the risks involved but the game already suffers from inflation and i don't see how to make mining viable...

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    1. That is why I say 'if'. I make a pretty good living down here. The aspect of buffing is an if value and relates to the entire 'reward' vs 'risk' thing going on.

      I'm not insofar saying that I want industrialists and carebears to cover the horizon from end to end. But people assume that is a goal as they are in high sec and their breathern in sov null sec. But, if that is *not* a goal that is fine as well.

      Which roles around to the lack of defines. We don't actually know what low sec is beyond low security space where PvP has sec status penalties and kinda empire like funtionality but not...?

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  3. Agreed that lolsex is in SERIOUS need of definition. So far, I've heard 3:
    1) Nullseccers (and CCP): lowsec should be nullsec-lite. Introduce sov mechanics, but don't introduce all the fun stuff like sov upgrades and jumpbridges, that make sov "fun".
    2) Carebears: lowsec should be "hi-sec lite", making it much safer. Introduce CONCORD, but in a really nerfed way. Well, at least to start. ;-)
    3) Hans & Co: lowsec should be FW-centric, and since FW is "Fight Club", lowsec should by extension be "fight club" also.

    Other than "nullsec-lite", "hisec-lite", and "FW Fight Club", I've yet to see any actual _ORIGINAL_ ideas for lowsec that don't involve one of those. And before anyone asks: Nope, I don't have any myself....yet.

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  4. I don't really understand why there is this need to 'fix' low sec. IMO it's just fine. It's a great transition between null and hi sec. Can you go in alone and start doing industrial sort of work like in hi sec? Of course not. But by learning how to network, building up your own personal corporation as well as collaborating with local corporations and alliances you can set up a network of protection that will not only keep you relatively safe but profitable. Sure low sec doesn't have CONCORD protection, you have to create and MAKE that protection. That's the fun thing about low sec and why I always love living there.

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  5. Low sec is as you said, kinda a step down from high sec in dificulty, but not as bad as null. People tend to point out super insta lock camps, and how pirates tend to come out of the woodwork when the sent of blood hits the water. In my opinion tho they tend to go to the spots that a natorious pirate areas like Rancer, Amamake, and Old man star and they base their opinion of of how bad the pirates act there. Most the time I could run a BC or hauler trough most of low sec and as long as I wasent autopiloting i would be rather safe.

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  6. Looks like I'm very late to comment. Here's my perspective. I'm a facwar pilot and I don't see anything that needs fixing in lowsec. In fact, the only thing I wanted fixed was facwar itself, which does not define lowsec. We just happen to play in the same arena as you fine pirating folks. And seeing how we (gallente) are currently winning the war, we're glad to have you around because we'd have nothing to shoot at otherwise.

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