Nullsec Anomaly Rebalancing

CCP Greyscale announced plans to rebalance sovereignty-related cosmic anomaly spawn levels so that system security level affects the rewards.

There has been a huge outcry, with posts and blogs opposing and supporting the change, with some even criticizing CCP for not going far enough.  A post that struck a chord with me was from Claudius XIV, who wrote:

While 0.0 should be more lucrative than empire due to the risks, the main draw of 0.0 is the ability for players to strike out into the unknown and make their mark on the cluster without the shackles of Concord, not its ISK value. There was plenty of conflict in 0.0 before anomalies went in and there will be plenty in “worthless” regions if the proposed changes go through.

There are small groups fighting all over New Eden to be the top dog in some backwater lowsec system. Providence was far and away the most populated and developed null-sec region pre-Dominion, with crap NPCs and moons, and there was plenty of PvP action to be had.

Clearly Providence residents did not have access to the riches that anyone with sov and an ihub does now. Despite it being one of the consistently most violent regions residents still managed to replace ships. So counter arguments based around being unable to afford PvP have little merit from where I sit.

I guarantee that if you make vast tracts of 0.0 “worthless” in the pre-Dominion Provi sense, you will still have people staking a claim there. These people will still (as-always) be at the mercy of the big powers knocking over their sand-castles. The difference will be there will be much less incentive for powers to fill that space with renters after knocking the sand-castles over.

So called “little” corps/alliances in this thread worry they won’t have a chance in null sec because they won’t be able to make their rent? They could grab this “worthless” space that supposedly no one would want and save on rent!

I do agree that CCP really don’t understand their game so this is a right change for the wrong reasons. The reason for the influx of people to 0.0 is not because there is suddenly more isk to be made there. The reason for the increase in 0.0 population is that current mechanics provide an incentive for the great powers to offer security in exchange for rental fees.

Unfortunately the double edged sword of making all space desirable rental property, is that you reduce the diversity and quality of conflict in 0.0. The best conflicts are ones in which both sides are in the same class, and where numbers on both sides allow it to be playable. Sov battles between two renters of neighboring superpowers will inevitably escalate into full block warfare.

Lots of “worthless” space allows what some may term “cripple fights” and encourages gathering of coalitions of the same “class” rather than a superpower that can maintain balance with other superpowers and it’s sea of renters.

Yes NAPs and power blocks will always remain in a sandbox game, but all space being equal value (combined with the ease of projecting power, and the ability to knock over empires in a fortnight) encourages power blocks to grow as long as they can find renters to fill their conquests.

Making space “worthless” to top tier power blocks encourages the formation of more independent middle and low tier blocks. Mix that with making projection of force more difficult and you have things going in the right direction as far as encouraging variety in 0.0 conflict.

I have spent time in Providence so I know what it’s like to be in a hard-scrabble alliance, hurting for cash. I also know that the Dominion upgrades made Providence just as valuable to the average alliance grunt as anywhere else in null-sec, so I also know the feeling of being kicked out of your territory by a larger fish. I’m not saying the proposed changes will reverse this (especially since alliance-level income like supercap production and moon minerals remain unchanged), but I am mindful that the best place to build up your skills and strength is a backwater where you won’t get immediately kicked out by someone a lot stronger. Being a renter alliance does nothing for your independence; being a guest still does little better. Standing on your own requires a backbone.

1 Response to “Nullsec Anomaly Rebalancing”

  1. March 28, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Your comments make a lot of sense. I recall setting up as a small alliance out in the drone regions ‘back in the day’ when they were seen as generally useless space. Poor quality null sec is necessarily “bad”. Im more concerned about the stagnation after the fact.


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