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Looking at Words

I sometimes get caught up on the definitions of words and how they alter our concept of the game.  When I started writing this my original idea started with my thinking, “We need fiefs”.  It was all part of the whole thinking about what null sec is and how the various groups interact with each other.  There was a whole 'the small guy' in null discussion and how smaller groups should be able to entrench themselves inside of larger groups.

I was playing around with ideas because it has been conceptually world idea for Eve time of late.  While low sec lacks definition from CCP and has mostly become a blurred slurry of ideas by players Null Sec has always been defined.  Kingdom building, world building, its supposed to be a place where a player can carve themselves a piece of the game.
fief•dom   (f f d m)
1. The estate or domain of a feudal lord.
2. Something over which one dominant person or group exercises control:
My idea of a fiefdom came from a book.  After doing some reading I see that the author took a bit of a liberal use to the definition.  That is fine.  What interested me was the way it seemed to define null sec's game design to me.  I went looking for information about fiefs and came across Middle Ages.Org
Fief Definition
What exactly was a fief? Fief Definition: In Medieval feudalism a fief was a vassal's source of income, granted to him by his lord in exchange for his services. The fief usually consisted of land and the labor of peasants who were bound to cultivate it. The income the fief provided supported the vassal, who fought for his lord as a knight. Dignities, offices, and money rents were also given in fief. A fief was basically a favor awarded to a vassal. A fief was primarily the land held by a vassal of a lord in return for stipulated services, chiefly military.
What was a vassal?  A Vassal or Liege was a free man who held land ( a fief ) from a lord to whom he paid homage and swore fealty. A vassal could be a Lord of the Manor but was also directly subservient to a Noble or the King.
We go on about Sovereign space in Eve but it may be closer to medieval feudalism.

If I use the Wikipedia description for Sovereignty:
Sovereignty is the quality of having independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make laws that rests on a political fact for which no pure legal definition can be provided. In theoretical terms, the idea of "sovereignty", historically, from Socrates to Thomas Hobbes, has always necessitated a moral imperative on the entity exercising it.
For centuries past, the idea that a state could be sovereign was always connected to its ability to guarantee the best interests of its own citizens. Thus, if a state could not act in the best interests of its own citizens, it could not be thought of as a “sovereign” state
This may be old hat to anyone playing Eve forever and looking at defines but it is new to me.  If I take the two things together I’d simply say that Sov is the wrong way to look at the space in Eve because players will never have Sov.  The corporations and alliances have taxes and rules and restrictions.  They are not forced to look at the best interests of their people.  They can neglect vast tracts of their own land.

But feudalism.  As I have been reading about it seems to define Eve better.  I entered with the thought that Eve needs fiefs within its kingdoms.  I walked away thinking that Eve only has fiefs granted by lords (alliances) but no Kingdoms because those are all owned by Concord.


  1. So basically if I kissed enough TESTicles, I could be Hong, Duke Von YX-LYK. NICE!

    That leads to kind of an intriguing idea. Instead of importing null mechanics to FW, integrate a FW mechanic into null: occupancy. Would go well with that whole "coalition" level thing if that ever happened. Alliances/coalitions would maintain "sov", but "occupancy" could be granted to "pet" alliances and corps, for a set "tribute".
    In the end it would just kinda "formalize renting" into the game mechanics officially, and I'm sure there's plenty of room for "gaming" such a system....but yeah, resurrecting feudal titles for system and constellation ownerships seems bad-ass. :-D I'm in. lol

  2. The feudal structure of lord and vassal already exists in null, so why not? I'd really like to see the current concept of sov removed. Currently, you only need sov for PI and supercap construction. Get rid of those requirements, and you get rid of the need for sov.

    Of course, there's so many holes in that idea it's not funny, but still... :)

    1. Speaking of Lord/vassal, I'd also like to see some more Lord Vader-style Force Choking in the game. Can we work that in too? :-D

    2. There's several other game mechanics related to sov including the installation of upgrades and reduction in POS fuel costs.

  3. I think the meta is changing to encourage the sort of sovereignty that you describe. Sov warfare is based on participation, mainly participation of your supercap pilots who are all semi-burned out bitter vets almost by definition. Failure to inspire these people to take a huge personal risk with a ship worth the best part of 100 billion isk leads to failure to hold space.

    This may become even more true if the bottom up farms and fields rework of null comes in - basically leaders will have to encourage some people to rat and mine and some other people to hunt the people ganking them in order to generate alliance income.

    I do think Mittens sees himself as a "prince" and devours Machiavelli, Sun Tzu etc because the advice they gave to princes is still sound.


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