"Oh Sugar, how are you going to fix low sec?"Knowing something needs to be fixed and being able to fix it are two different things. The essential nature of low sec is not truely broken, in my opinion. It is undefined. The lack of definition leaves it floating a bit off to the side. When looking to define it we have to ask what it is.
"Dearest, I do not yet know. However, be secure in understanding that I will make bad ideas until I, or someone else, creates a good one."
What we call low sec is low security empire space. It is owned by the empires and is, to some degree, touched by Concord. Molden Heath for instance contains the most Concord stations of any region in the game. The fact that the empires hold sway has to be brought into account. Lore is a very useful tool to create with.
First, I started to look at some of the difference between Faction Warfare low sec and non-Faction Warfare low sec as actual areas of the game. I've never been a fan of turning all of low sec into faction warfare space. In faction warfare the empires are fighting along their boarder lines. I believe that Faction Warfare should exist along the lines of the empire as this territory is struggled over. It is a land of moving armies and bleak shattered landscapes. It is a warzone and should feel that way with air that tastes of burning hopes and raw violence.
However, away from that it is sensible that the warzone eventually ends and normal, poorly secured space forms. In fact, I think the interaction between non-faction warfare low sec and zero security space should be explored a bit more strongly. Without the militias patrolling the merge between the two becomes a bit more unformed and slippery. It would create a more natural flow as space changes and in general give space more character which gives players more areas that fit them to settle into.
Low sec has fighting. The opinion of the quality of those fights may vary from one person to another but the spaceship violance is notable. One of the things we are struggling with is adding non-fighting content to low sec. There is a delicate balance. This is not null security space but it is not high sec. Low sec must keep its danger. It cannot be safe to do anything anywhere inside of it. That is where the struggle is created. What makes an industrialist want to be in a situation where they are in danger all of the time? This isn't about those that thirst for combat, for they will seek it out. Some of this is just going to be the person. There is no amount of honey that can sweeten danger for some pilots. That is fine. We account for that pilot from our planning because we cannot create what that pilot wants. That must be acknowledged so that plans are not over run by trying to cater to everyone. The purpose of verity is to create choice not a singular super food. To create it we will destroy everything else and replicate what we already have. High sec.
Instead, people need to have a reason to travel and a reason to defend. Last year I was reading a lot of thoughts and comments on territory. It also follows the basic conversation about sovereign null sec where Alliances may hold vast swaths of unused space. People need a reason to be in the space that they are in. This reason can be strategic, commerce, interesting, or whatever else pops to the mind. In low sec, an area that is somewhat neglected but not quite free, what would bring people to it.
I like to use the vision of Oases. A place of prosperity inside of a bleak landscape. It is not large enough for a huge society to grow around it. I think that movement in and out of low sec is a key to its nature instead of a static state. However, we have few enough Oases now. Most are in the form of security missions or interesting access points in and out of a region. But, for the industrialist, how does one form an Oasis where they are willing to put assets out while feeling that they have some chance to defend them as well? With it being low sec the system cannot be locked down. But, if people are out in space watching and being careful they may feel that they can be productive in space. And I ask this because often people ask about things such as mining in low sec and I have to ask, "Are low secs belts just for decoration or do we want people to use them?" And some people do use them (I stare at Nosy Gamer here) but, the vast majority are untouched asteroid fields.
Enter my (bad?) idea for the day. I lost my phone when this sprang to mind. I do not know if that affects the quality of anything. I did find the phone but as I searched for it my mind was wandering productively. I thought about something I was explaining to a person about our home system was the neck of a pocket (before I realized that my phone has gone awol). That pocket was once home to a Kelts Alliance. The idea of pockets is an interesting one and a common way to have a bit more comfort in a system. I wondered, if we laid down the star map and used pockets or dead end systems could we create a varied terrain of options for people to use as a reason to set up shop? A system with only one entrance is somewhat defensible.
Last week, we didn't notice a fleet because of the mobile scan inhibitor. It was an interesting mistake and one we will not make again (hopefully). It does show that terrain (for this is what some mobile structures are creating) has a place in Eve.
The goal is to create a reason to put roots down but not so great that everyone is in one spot. A reason to deal with fights. For spaceship violence must always be a focus point. A reason for travel. It gets people into the middle and deep edges instead all cluttered in pipes and boarder systems. It may mean changing the layout of some reasons. If anything, Faction Warfare has shown that changing gate layout is not automatically a terrible thing. Eve's world map was created by a random generator. Inside of this idea it may be time to look over more regions and think of some structural (aka gate) changes would create more options and interests. Be it something that spawns, station services... things that somehow are interesting... I don't know yet what that may be.
The carrot is the stick.
And thus ends this installment of random idea.