I started working on this idea during Fanfest when CCP Soundwave said, during his presentation, that he wanted to support people who wanted to live in high sec because that is the game that they wanted to play as much as any other area. I wrote for a bit and shoved it aside because it was to controversial feeling to me. But, today, after I read that the spawned containers from the new exploration mechanics will carry over the normal Crimewatch system, I decided to finish up the thought some.
It was the post that helped spur me to debate Ripping off the Rails to allow Low Sec a greater definition as well. If the previous progression bar of high sec to low sec to null sec and/or wormholes is to vanish then the acceptance of high sec as something other then a newbie area has to start if all areas of the game are to
become a functionally, integrated environment.
Eve is very much a little world. It becomes more and more so as it ages. Thousands of people live together inside of the game. We form societies associations, friendships, groups, hangouts, games, and business. You can join random fleets (RVBGanked or the Bombers Bar) or take classes Eve Uni/Agony Unleashed) or go to war. Or you can get a job (Red FrogPushX) and go forth and make money or attempt to create your ideal job or reality. I find it interesting that people consider high security space to be a training zone or a tutorial zone or a newbie zone. I have been reading arguments and discussions over making players leave high security space and experience other parts of the games. Arguments focused on ways, both stick and carrot, to get people to leave the starter zones. These are endless debates. They go on and on, back and forth on forums, on blogs, and I believe on pod casts and in chat rooms. People have to leave high sec. They must be lured or beaten into low sec, null sec, wormhole space, anywhere but high sec. Yet, I have always been puzzled by why people are so adamant that high sec is not a viable place to play and live out your Eve existence. It obviously is.
I do not think that Eve, as it currently functions - a richly detailed world with thousands of options and possibilities - would function as the game that we enjoy without high sec being so full of people. My thoughts say that it could not function the way it currently does because it currently functions upon the fact that the game is non-linear.
High sec is not safe. To many people spend too much time making sure that does not happen. It can be safe in the way that civilized, policed areas are. You can fall victim of random violence. You may exacerbate your chances of being a victim of that violence by filling your freighter with 20 billion in loot or you can try to keep that number around a billion and make the chances of you being a target less. High sec is like living in a very nice city such as New York or LA. A place where people flock to go and live in tremendous numbers and find themselves the victims of random violence. Yet, they continue to stay for all of the other things and because of this society functions. One can say that they feel high sec is 'to' safe but that does not mean that it is safe.
(Even as I write I watch the boys ganking miners in high sec over and over again as they announce themselves in local and people still pay no attention to the warnings handed tot hem on the platter of local chatter. And still they do not understand why or where the violence comes from.)
If high sec was a true newbie zone, we’d all be automatically moved out of it. We would not advance inside of it. We would be stuck in the gifts the tutorial gave us until we left it. But you can reject the tutorial and run off into the street to get hit by a car immediately because you didn't know to look both ways before crossing the street and no one told you to check because no one was there to hold your hand.
t just seems that Eve is too economically focused to not have a large, stable population of working, law abiding citizens. People who work and consume. People who turn into targets. The mentality of those who live in the presumed safety of decent society is vastly different from the mentality of those who live in a more survival based existence. And as titillating as all war and all battle all the time would be, the game does not function in that manner.
People would be reduced to a very hand to mouth existence because the plush consumer would be removed from the food chain. The new player would focus only on survival and soon be pushed out into the vast unknown. The vast unknown would have greater rewards but it would have a vastly multiplied risk. A risk great enough to consume the current reward.
As Eve stands right now it is not worth the time of people who live in high sec, without the desire to enter the consumptive process of lower and no security space, to go to that space. Even with the greater reward it is not worth the multiplied risk. The risk increases in a sudden drop off and the consumption process is so fierce that more people would be consumed then would thrive. The worth of stuff is going to be different for every person. You need stuff. You consume stuff. Stuff is not infinite. But someone has to consume it. Right now people argue about the power of moon goo and the ISK of vast alliances. But that will change. Next it will be the worries about ice materials and the sudden strain of those suit clad new co-workers being gang members who have had their tattoos removed. No matter what it is someone will always be unhappy. That is okay as well. Some people will always be risk averse in some manner. On the flip side, some people are almost success averse and flaunt their low wallet numbers the same way someone flaunts their high. The consumption and acquiescent of stuff is endless for all sides. Not all groups will consume the same amounts in the same way. It is the nature of the beast.
People form cities. They form towns, councils, markets. People create security forces well defined or not. People want to go about their lives with some security. And some people do not. They either leave society and go off to live in the mountains (wormholes) off into the vast tracks of ranches and farms (null sec) or out into the edge of town to cross to the wrong side of the tracks (low sec). Some never want to leave the bright lights of the city and they stay (gankers) and live in the stark shadows cast by the city lights.
High Sec is not going to go away. It has a place in the game. That place may shift and flux but it will not vanish. There is no end game. There is no funnel. The sandbox is a sandbox for each player. If the sandbox is to be respected on one side it has to be respected on the other. But that same sandbox can be used. It can be pushed to push and force the situation. People will always have beliefs and goals and the game has given us many of the tools to attempt to pursue them. However, failure is also an option. It is one of those things that drives us to plan.