Thursday, March 27, 2014

Creating a Foundation

Niden writes a column entitled "Low Life" over at Crossing Zebras. He sent a question out to the low sec candidates reference an article that he is writing. I do not know what his entire article will be about, but his question struck home. It is a subject I've harped on a lot and one of the reasons that my path has taken me to the path of the CSM.
Q: You have stated that you think lowsec is in a sort of identity crisis. Being called the red-headed step child, the black sheep and the stepping stone to null. Many will point at BNI's recent move to null as proof, for instance. Why, in your words, is lowsec in this state and how does it get out of it?
Niden
My response becomes today's blog post.

I started writing about low sec needing an identity in October of 2012. In May of 2013, after going to Fanfest, I started to define some basics of the problem as the very old infrastructure that Eve was built upon. The concept that low sec is a middle ground between high sec and null sec can be found in many places. I disagree that low sec is a mid point leading the player to null sec. I have disagreed with that from my earliest days and I believe that the players have turned it into its own environment.

To fix this, low sec needs real attention. When I lobbied my idea to CCP Masterplan at least years Fanfest I wanted to convince him that low sec was stuck with mid level content. The removal of static complexes removed a lot of lower end PvE content. I decided not to open the argument about the farming of those complexes. After all, I am not the one with the metrics. Instead, I argued that if farming was the problem with the static sites why could we not have them back as regular exploration sites? That without these lower end complexes, low sec had sites that required mid level skills and ships to complete. Here we are encouraging new players to not stay in high sec but explore all of the options in the game and decreasing the methods that they had to thrive in that environment. That didn’t sit well with me. When CCP finally responded about the removal of the static complexes in low sec there was an admission that they did not know how we had used those sites.

While a simple thing, it showed that whatever idea CCP had for low sec was not aligned with the player life in low sec. There was also the chance that they did not have an idea for it due to the middle ground for a player to head off to null sec. There may be an assumption that every player will want to go to null sec when some will never head that way and others will leave once they experience it.

One thing that low sec is missing that the other three areas of space have (the other three defined as high sec, sov null sec, and wormholes) is newer player accessibility. Wormholes have low end wormholes. Sov Null has stations and tracts of controlled space filled with comrades.  Low sec is a middle ground where entering in the first few months tends to be frustrating and unrewarding. This was started with faction warfare but faction warfare is a complex system where a new player can unintentionally harm their game future trying to access the richness of its content in regards to standings, the high sec roll over of the war, and the high rate of loss. They may make a lot of loyalty points but often they do not have the liquid ISK or the game knowledge to make the most of what they earn. Frigate fights are low cost to get into but they are often high skill to compete in. It means that the easiest way to get fights are some of the hardest fights to take. 1v1s and small gang battles in Eve are contests of skill and strategy.

Similarly, faction warfare covers half of low security space leaving the other half without some type of similar accessibility. I believe that both Faction Warfare and Non-Faction Warfare low sec should be given more tools. Optimally at the same time. Tags4Sec were a wonderful addition and the combat flag changes have improved things tremendously. They are both examples of how a small addition or change can have large quality of life improvements.

This means playing on the fluid environment of low sec. The space teaches players to be highly mobile and acutely aware of their surroundings. Recently, I proposed an idea for mining opportunities that I feel work with the dynamic situation a player finds in low sec. With the addition of methods to gather resources that fit into the environment and PvE that is accessible and productive to lower skill point characters, I believe low sec will start to stand on its own feet.

Whatever CCP does for low sec I wish for them to do with an understanding of people who live in low sec. I don’t want them to ignore the player base who has devoted their game to low sec and make changes without taking the denizens into consideration. That is why I am running for CSM9. To help provide CCP insight on low sec and to help support the space that I love.

-Sugar


5 comments:

  1. And that's why I intend to vote for you *even though I don't live in low sec*. We really need solid representation for an important part of the game.

    To me low sec is the real "free" zone - it's outside the full control of both the New-Eden empires *and* player-made empires. That's very cool, and I think Eve definitely needs a place like that.

    ... that being said, as I wrote this a part of me went "well, what about NPC Null-sec"? That *sort* of is like low sec?

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    1. I am disturbed by the witchcraft that let's you see my original drafts. After I wrote the above post I drafted a line that said I know I excluded NPC null sec so good job on seeing what I very much did not say.

      The problem is that I've not lived in NPC null to have an informed decision. I see it and I think of it but I realized that I did not have the expierence with it to discuss where it stands or know the cultures that thrive in it to base my thoughts off of.

      It seems to me that they share many similarities. But, it is outside of my scope. I've always muttered st how pirate NPC null was tucked into Sov but beyond that I'd just be making noise for the desire to speak.

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  2. Low sec can only be defined by its PvE TYPE. I mean a type of resource that you can only get in lowsec or you can get it much more effectively there than anywhere else.

    Nullsec has T2 materials (moongoo) and anoms (pure ISK). While you can mine a few moons in lowsec and get ISK for even highsec missions, their efficiency is much better in null. And Mercoxit.

    WH space have T3 materials. No other space has it.

    ABC ore is also only available in WHs and nullsec.

    Faction warfare lowsec has pretty good LP payout.

    But what does normal lowsec have? Can you name any item that I can only or predominantly gain in lowsec? If there is none, why should anyone bother doing PvE there? If no one does PvE, who will the "PvP-ers" gank?

    You need to find a unique income source that binds people to lowsec. I have an idea: booster gas! Remove all booster gas from nullsec, so everyone who wants (non-synth) boosters, must mine it in lowsec! It's newbie friendly (ventures!), it's not trivial to gank (ventures!!), it's fast paced (ventures!!!) and it's yellow!

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  3. "Frigate fights are low cost to get into but they are often high skill to compete in. It means that the easiest way to get fights are some of the hardest fights to take"

    That rings very true with me. I always end up feeling a hinge of guilt when I realize the brave soul who just landed his frigate upon mine is 4 months old and his ship while largely the same as mine is lacking about 90 million skill points by comparison. And that is a *huge* deal, frigate combat is all about range control and small margins (fights last a minute tops most of the time, if that) so stuff like prefect navigation and tanking skills actually matter *more* then they do in a lot of other hulls and combat scenarios. Placing older frig jockeys like myself at a huge advantage. Something that is not only not enjoyable for the newbie, it is also not enjoyable for me, I'd much rather get a very close fight then clubber somebody down.

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  4. Mining-my-own-businessMarch 28, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    The idea of specialising LS to booster gases is interesting. LS would become the drug cartel region. Maybe this could integrated in anoms as well: attacking a NPC drug storage or meth lab and grab their loot (even more so than just background for normal security missions).

    Kaeda's point is very true. I never realised that. Even a single level in a skill can weigh a lot in the balance while fighting in frigates. It's funny to think that where the highest skills matter more are the smallest ships (i mean skills work every level, but there less of a buffer for lack of skill in frigs).

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