"Sugar, when are you going to push for bombs in low sec? I want to bomb things."
Such was a piece of my talk over the weekend.
All space is not created identically with all other pieces of space. Ideally, we want them to be different so that we have different places to go. Fantasy games will have forests and rivers and oceans and hell and heaven and chocolate factories. Eve has different types of space. I had this argument several times this weekend. The four (and a half) types of space that we currently have all work together. They have their pros and their cons, giving players choices and distinct features that they do or do not enjoy. When you live and fly and have had your experience in playing Eve matters. Not because one is better than the other but because they are all different and those differences will dictate your game view.
I once spent a lot of time bristling and growling when people bad mouthed low sec. How dare they call it a kiddy pool? How dare they call it a stepping stone for null sec? How dare they say only corps that could not succeed in null go to low sec. I've written about these grievances, huddled in my station in low with my darkened security status and glowing eyes. I did not want their area of space. I did not want the mechanics they lived with. I did not want sov. I wanted what I had. The assumption that I settled was beyond me.
Now, I've grown up some and taken my battle to a higher meta level to have low sec acknowledged as the unique area of space that I've always believed it to be. Because of this, my concept of Eve is grounded in the individuality of various types of space. I've even fought against the idea of making all of low sec, faction warfare. Why would we have everything the same when things are so wondrously different?
Different viewpoints are wonderful. It makes the game interesting. However, we have a habit of bringing our ideal game view with us when we change what we are doing in the game. This can be both good and bad and it is not something that i am exempt from. I jut try to notice if it is happening so that I can control the raging desire to edit core game mechanics to what Sugar likes to do and only what Sugar likes to do.
While all space is not created to be the same.I will not use equal because like balance it leads to the assumption that things should be the same. It is the differences in the various areas that bring their positives and their negatives. Yes, I said negatives. If you can only do a level of a game with the ability to survive that level, is it bad? To bring that into Eve, if mechanics work in some areas of space and not others, is that bad? Sometimes, something work better in some places when doing other things. One simple challenge that Eve allows us is that we can continue to try to do things in the method that we want to do them because few of the differences are hard coded into the game. But we need hard walls to brace against.
I believe that should be treasured. Low Sec is different from null sec because of gateguns and sec loss. There are no bubbles and there are no bombs. Yet wormholes are different from null sec even thought they share bubbles and bombs and no sec penalties because of the lack of gates and the mass limitations. High sec differs from low sec although they are both empire space because of Concord and Faction Police responses to aggressive actions as well as the increased penalties of security status loss. Some are cool. Some are annoying. All create the terrain of the area.
Finding myself in another argument (for it was a weekend of such things) about risk between null sec and wormhole space, I thought, "Why am I in this argument? I don't really belong here." However, I also pointed out that the two areas of space are different. Both carry separate types of risk that a player will have to deal with and potentially mitigate. But the key word is potential.
Out of all of our areas of space there is one common factor. Players are often our most dangerous and risky interaction, But that danger and risk is a potential. It is not hard coded into the game. Players are a random factor. They may or may not warp to your site. They may or may not hunt you down. They may or may not....
We can make tools and add features to mitigate and work for and against the presence of players. A site will despawn and respawn elsewhere to be done again in a region. However, it will also carry with it a random change of dropping loot. In a wormhole the sites may spawn and sleepers may pour forth from the sky but there will only be so many sites in a system and once harvested the players will have to decide to make a new series of decisions to get more, to wait, or to make another series of decisions to reap the end reward of their work and sup upon the succulence of sweet, sweet ISK.
I like gateguns because they force low sec to have choices. The choices may not be what we want. They absolutely inhibit casual frigate fighting. Considering that there is all of null sec and wormhole space to engage in such things, as well as the complexes of faction warfare spare I think that forces an interesting dynamic. It makes fleets make decisions. It means that interceptors are a committed choice. It gives more meaning to being an outlaw. As annoying as gateguns are and as stupid as they may seem to those who enjoy life in fully lawless regions, without them the entire dynamic of low sec would shift.
The case was made to me, in that earlier null sec vs wormhole argument I did not belong in, that DED complexes have gates and wormhole anomalies do not. I was not sure why that mattered but it was a equation about the potential risk vs reward of the end result of both things. In that one bubble of comparison it might make sense, but there is rarely a moment when Eve is a small direct bubble of comparisons for an event or action.
Things cannot be observed in a void and acted upon in a void when they do not exist in a void. Direct comparisons are rarely fair to the topic. The use of a Legion in high sec, low sec, wormhole, and null sec will always be different. The first time I saw a Sleipnir in high sec I had to check to see where I was. But that did not lead me to decide that the Sleipnir was broken because it was not a common ship in high sec.
We are approaching a lot of future changes in Eve. And as we approach those changes we will have to embrace change and shake off encrusted habits. But, as we do that and look to the future we have to remember to preserve the past. There is the type of past that you can bulldoze down and there is the type of past that contains the culture and diversity o f the players and areas that makes those things fascinating.
Nothing can touch change and not be changed, but the core can still be preserved and must be even in our most frustrated and bitter moments. Even when we are most excited and ready for the future.