To head out of town on a mildly contentious note, one topic that comes up a lot is, "What can be done to stop the gankers?" Oh, I tend to dislike discussion this topic. It opens up huge doors of emotion and anger. It touches upon how Eve is defined and people crouch on each side hissing insults over fitting and gameplay and assumed personality disorders. I don't hate the topic because of the topic, I hate it because of how people respond to it.
Coding in behavior is rather hard for CCP. They can try to give carrots and sticks out to get players to do things. But reward is not as tangible as a cookie may make it seem. With organization and cooperative work, players tend to over come hurdles and learn to dodge or mitigate the damage of sticks. The only thing that can challenge a player is another player.
What does everyone think about the shape of space? A few years ago, CCP opened up a few gates in the Amarr/Minmatar warzone that made a world of difference. The entire warzone no longer had to funnel through a pipe to get to the other side. A few years before that, upon the creation of Faction Warfare, Black Rise was created to give the Caldari warzone a large enough space.
We've also had the creation of the dronelands since Eve's creation. I am not adding wormhole space because it is not anchored on gates that a group can live on and camp in forever.
The shape of space started to chew at me when the Phoebe jump changes were first announced. Some areas are very, very far from others. This leads to bottlenecks in all areas of space. Areas that are predictable because a pilot wishing to move from them does not have another option.
The thing is that Eve's space is not some sacredly laid out masterpiece. It was created randomly. Yulai lost its gate and the original super highways were removed to ease server load. Over time gates have opened, regions have been built. Randomness is cool. After all, Eve is a spaceship game, but some of that needs to be looked at.
Often, when the case comes for miner ganking, people are advised to just move. Find a new system, there are thousands. Get off the major pathways. Look around. Players are often homebodies and tend to slowly move away from their home base like a drop of water into a still pond creates ripples. Habit traps us as well as any snare.
Are bottlenecks good? I ask because I am curious about what people will say. I expect someone will say that people could always just take their freighters through low sec if they wanted another route. That type of logic will get an eye roll. Instead, I'm curious about giving people choices. There is the lazy choice which is the easiest. And then there are the more complex paths people could take if they wished so. I don't want every bit of space connecting to every other bit. But two or three pathways create more options.
I do admit, I'm not a fan of gate camps. Thinking of methods to work around them appeals to me. I've turned around and flown another way, gone through another region, and doubled my travel time to avoid a gate camp. That came from awareness. I've also died to them when buzzing along without thought only to hear that high rattling buzz that says I'm fucked because someone has pointed me.
In my dreams there are ways that allow the hunters to hunt and the hunted to have make a decision about what they want to do. I'm not a fan of nerf this and buff that to fix things. I don't think game mechanics are going to fix every problem. Sometimes, we have to be willing to help ourselves and the mechanics give us the tools to do so. I'm fond of allowing people to screw themselves over by not looking or thinking before their act. I am just as fond of choices.
I've spent a tremendous amount of time in a freighter. I've had evenings when I decided to dock up and leave for the day because something told me if I decided to push, I'd push to far. That was a choice and one that adds excitement and depth to my game. I've also decided to roll with it and hope for the best. Both things were choices and choices, I believe, are very, very good for us.