Monday, May 26, 2014

Blog Banter 56: Home Field Advantages

Blog Banter #56

With Kronos and the upcoming industry changes following 6 weeks behind it, things are set for a vast upheaval in the coming months. Before he packed his bags and left Mord Fiddle asked some interesting questions
The common wisdom in EVE Online is that, beyond the odd high-value moon or Faction Warfare scam, there's little in low sec or NPC null sec to the attract ongoing attention of the big-dogs of null sec, with their large fleets and super cap doctrines. It's assumed that NPC space simply isn't worth the bother of controlling even if one could control it.
Is this about to change?
The shift in industrial inefficiencies from high sec to NPC low sec/null sec has begun, adding value to NPC space outside of high sec. In the recent B0TLRD accords CFC claimed two NPC null sec regions, Branch and Syndicate, as part of the CFC sphere of influence.
What is the future of low sec and NPC null sec as the economic center of gravity shifts from high sec toward null sec? 
Also, you can take this banter as a chance to discuss the ramifications of the style of play in low sec and NPC null sec if it does happen that major industry shifts there.

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This blog banter topic annoys me. Not with Sir Kirith. For I thank him for taking the time out to deal with these questions. I was actually irritated at Mord for casually kicking aside low sec players with the seeming assumption that null sec will always be the be all and end all decision makers. I tasted a bit of anger because this is the very same bias that set me on the path to run for CSM. I was annoyed because like so many others in this game I am passionate about the game of Eve that I play and I do not care to be treated as a random after thought to someone's opinion.

Or I might say, "You don't know me." With a snap of both head and finger.

Before I started writing I read two responses. They were both from low sec residents. There are some stark thoughts laid out by Dravi (Faction Fit Pod Blog Banter #56) about this topic. I was amused because two pilots, of independent groups, who both live in low sec, in very different ways had lept onto the topics back and screamed defiance at the assumption listed in the topic.

The assumption that null sec rules all and that this shift, if it was not productive for null sec would automatically default to them just having and winning everything else. Game over. Null sec wins and low sec is cast aside and that is just how it is.

No.

I'm not going to agree with the framework that even created this topic. Call me not bitter enough about things.  Perhaps, I am in truth the barbarian who stands upon the open plains and screams defiance at a sun they do not understand the science behind. And maybe I am naive in my ignorance, not understanding the complexities that run behind those that make massive interstellar empires and run the pulsing heart of civilization. And maybe my confidence comes from lack of experience and the small window of knowledge that I learn through which shines upon the lurid depths of low sec space.

And there is the simple fact that low sec is not null sec and the very mechanics of the place is also one of its greatest protectors.

Low sec's ecosystem is somewhat delicate. It flourishes It is an urban jungle where meals are picked from balcony gardens or small shops. It does not have the resources to support the major armies of null sec. I think that they would starve. In many ways, the movement into low sec would create the environment that currently cannot grab a foothold to exist in null sec. The ability for the barbarian hoards to climb up their gates and roar in defiance.

There is a cliff, when someone steps outside of high sec. Be they headed to null, wormholes, or low sec they stand on the edge of a chasm. Off in the distance the sun rises on an unknown land and below their feet the void beckons to those who believe. But this cliff may be a leap of pure faith to take but it is one that can be climbed with the ease of taking a step. If null sec were to move into low sec they face the simple problem that high sec exists right over there. For even the deepest of low sec is a shallow pool in terms of space. And the hoard has a impregnable fortress only a few feet away.

I do not believe that there is enough in low sec to bring forth the forces of null. I do not believe that there is enough value in what is in low sec to feed their vast machines. And those machines of war that grind so ruthlessly across the landscape of null security space are to wide for our streets and will mire in the mud of the streets.

I think many underestimate the value of owning space to players who seek their home in null sec. There is great value and motivation to fight for resources, but there is a greater one to fight for a homeland. To wash into low sec in a wave that can conquer it is to wash across the malleable sand and crash into the breakers of high sec. High sec is rich brew that will be only a few jumps away. And that fortress I mentioned? It is the fortress of temptation.

It is so easy to define other peoples actions in neat ways. It is easy to point out potentials of their leadership. But in Eve, even more than real life, the fact that the corporation is composed of the membership is apparent and at its weakness when placed into some situations. Membership must be entertained or they will leave. Because, at the base of it all we have a video game and the players of that game are not held in the same way as they would be in a real military.

Or such is my opinion.

That is why, when this question was posed in its original form I closed my eyes and decided not to comment. The tone suggests that if null sec wants null sec will just take and the only thing that stops them is it not being quite worth their time. And, in many ways, I am used to being brushed aside in this game. The meta game does not whisper about the importance of low sec. Why would it.

You can't own it.

You don't own low sec. You don't own its residents. No amount of changes to industry will create the base claimability that is important to those who indulge in the political structure of null. It is not a place for me or mine and the assumption that the politics of null control the lives of low comes from the same incorrect base that the assumption that low sec corporations cannot thrive in null comes from. An incorrect one that assumes the people there want to be there or in the case of this topic that the space is even such that would support them.

There is a reason that this space breeds the type of resident that it does. And I do not think we are so easily brushed aside.

6 comments:

  1. "Sir Kirith" ... *preens*

    I don't know if I accept your assertion that a part low sec can't be owned. I have seen what a determined group of pilots could do in a portion of low sec given enough of them. If the rewards were worth the effort to hold low sec, I suspect we'd see the rise of alliances like null sec despite the nearby refuges of high sec.

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    1. It can't be owned in the value of having your name stuck on it. The ability to stick a visual claim is powerful.

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  2. Its kind of an odd situation in Lowsec, Sugar is right that you may not be able to put your name on something but you can still stake a serious claim to a portion of space provided your pilots can be active enough to have a serious effect on traffic in the area.

    I think laying claim to a lowsec area is really as simple as making the following statement apply - 'If you go to this area you will have to deal with us in some way even if its as simple as working out when our people are inactive and sneaking through' - it doesnt need to have your name on it if everyone in the area knows you live there and will have an effect on anything that happens around there.

    Not to toot our own horn too much but Shadow Cartel is a prime example of that, alongside guys like SNUFF, BALEX and even STAY FROSTY.

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    1. I do agree that we stake a claim and make it not worth others time to live there. I also agree that a null sec group could come and damage us. But I think our nature and interests would cause an unexpected clash.

      Even thou groups own their own space (7-2 does as well) we can't stop anyone from living there. People still live in the system/station/stations. They PI. They run missions. They do markets. We can add a serious weight to it but we cannot lock it down.

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    2. Having lived out of and in space people in lowsec 'claim' I kindly disagree. If people know what they are doing it is exceptionally hard to restrict movement of solo/small group-operators in lowsec.

      You might be able to affect larger groups, but where in 0.0 you can restrict lone or small groups of pilots by not allowing them to dock or by bubbling the undock, in lowsec it is exceptionally hard to lock down a competent few (it can be done, but do you really want to dedicate multiple people to lock down a few people?). Or can you affect people that don't undock but just run their things in 'your' station? No.
      We have a very careful alert Ukranian dude living in isto who L4 missions there, could 7-2 conceivably make his live miserably (if we even wanted to or cared) maybe. Would it take an excessive amount of man hours and resources to do so (not to mention be incredibly boring)? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No.

      But you while can 'claim' space in lowsec, your control over it is going to be severely limited. The only remotely successful example is the united in Rancer back in the day and they basically got booted out by 2 PL multiboxers... so even that is debatable.

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  3. You'll be amused to know that my high sec alt corp is more and more active in low sec and I'm starting to like it!

    To me, you *can* claim low sec... but it's an ephemeral claim. It's only real as long as you have "boots on the ground" (or cruisers in space). If you are gone... if most of your members are logged off ... poof your claim is gone.

    And I kind of like that. We have allied with a larger group and our lowsec is "safer" than normal as a result - but it's not an ironclad claim. It's like putting tents in the plains as opposed to fortresses

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