Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Welcome to the eighth installment of the EVE Blog Banter , the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here . Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's topic comes to us from me, Ga'len at The Wandering Druid of Tranquility. He asks: "What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums."

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How can you have a space game without planets? You can't. A space game has three elements that are mandatory: space, stars, and planets orbiting stars.

And yet, Eve doesn't have planets.

Oh yeah sure, it has things called planets but all they do is provide a spot in space you can warp to. They could be replaced by beacons or nebulae or Dodge Caravans and no one would notice a difference in terms of gameplay. The "planets" in Eve are noninteracting and a space game should have planets as destinations, places you go to do something like trade, exploit, conquer, explore, etc.

Currently in Eve that role of destination is filled by Stations so Planets can be ignored. They are so ignored in fact that in a game with 5000 systems and upwards of 9 planets per system we can see that the total number of planets with actual names that are not can be counted on one hand. Click show info and you can see every planet has a description of "planet". How pathetic.

At least moons have resources to be scanned and mined. Planets need some love too!

So how do we integrate real planets into Eve? Well I have some ideas.

1) Some planets should have populations. These planets should be named something original but that is not mandatory, but they should stand out so people can tell at a glance which planets are populated with a colony or full blown society.

2) Planets with populations should generate resources that can be purchased by pilots and shipped to their hanger in the nearest station. The distance to the nearest station determines how long it takes the goods to get there. The resources could be minerals and moon materials but be at a base price much higher than usual market values. I realize this puts a possible price cap on items so maybe it could have a fluctuating price determined by demand.

3) In 0.0 planets with populations are the sources of the crews that operate and maintain the stargates and provide civilian crews for local stations and starbases. Hence, controlling the colony means control of the system. That is to say, I am proposing a replacement for the current sovereignty mechanics which are POS based. But how does one control a planet?

Enter a new ship class: Planetary Landers. They would have a new module called Landing Craft which represent armed troopers ready to go down and fight on the planet for control of it. Your PL ship would go to the planet, activate the Landing Craft, and a new window would give progress of the invasion based on how strong the opposition is and how many alliance PL ships are participating. Unclaimed planets would give a little bit of a fight, but claimed planets by other alliances could be upgraded with garrisons and defences meaning a solitary Planetary Lander ship would not be enough to take it over. You'd need a fleet and more time giving the owning alliance time to respond.

I picture Planetary Landers as ships similar in size and defenses to Industrials, with tech 2 versions having superior defenses and more utility slots. I would also have a timer on the Landing Craft module such that if the ship warps off or is destroyed before, say, 10 minutes has passed than the planetary assault for that ship's landing craft automatically fails (telementry from the ship in orbit is essential to coordinating the descent).

Furthermore, with ownership of 0.0 planets you can do more than defence upgrades (shields and defense turrets), you could make upgrades capable of producing more minerals/moon materials (mining crews), perhaps increase the population size (biodomes) for example. Hell, with established sovereignty in a system who's to say we can't move to creating more colonies to make the system harder to gain control of by enemies? Then with creating colonies we can look at destroying colonies ( can you say planetary bombardment?).

Also, there could be new anchorable items that can only be anchored in orbit of controlled planets, items like sentry guns and corporate hanger arrays like at a POS but with internal power sources and fuel supplied directly from the planet. The size of the colony determines available CPU and Powergrid. These items wouldn't be protected by a POS shield so would require decent hitpoints but could be useful for helping to protect the planet and organize fleets for defense of it.

Of course, warping to a planet might not put you in the right position to see or attack these orbital assets. Currently a point on a single grid near a planet or moon is designated as the "warp to" point of that object. I would change it so that the warp to zero of a planet or moon put you in orbit at the point closest to where you came from, so that a pilot warping to a planet at zero would be on the completely opposite side of a pilot warping to zero from other direction. That would give combat near planets a very real feel and force probes to come out to locate the exact location of the enemy fleet. It could also open up feints and sneak attacks against the defenders as they rush to meet one attack on one side of the planet while another fleet sneaks in to invade the other side.

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Doing all this would accomplish several tasks. It would make sovereignty in 0.0 less reliant on POS spam and the mind numbing boredom that can entail (as well as being a completely unintuitive mechanic), it would make planets more than just a warp point and make combat more tactical away from gates, provide more resources for production at a higher price but with less direct effort making systems more valuable, and it would allow the expansion of the game into planetary combat.

List of Participants:
  1. CrazyKinux's Musing, EVE Blog Banter #8: Care for a little game of SecWars?
  2. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, Wow, that new thing is so shiny!!!
  3. I am Keith Nielson, EVE Blog Banter #8 - Return of the Top Gun
  4. Once More from the Beginning, 8th EVE Blog Banter May 2009 Edition
  5. A merry life and a short one, EVE Blog Banter #8: In the Year of Our Awesome
  6. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Planets
  7. Helicity Boson, Bantering the blog
  8. Achernar, Unique adventures
  9. Ecliptic Rift, OOC: EVE Blog Banter 8: Standings and secondary factions
  10. The New Edener, EVE Blog Banter #8
  11. Journey to New Eden, Eve Blog Banter #8: What new mechanic should be added to Eve?
  12. Life, The Universe and Everything, Blog banter 8: mentorship
  13. EVE Guru, EBB 8: Yarr! Prepare to be boarded!
  14. The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works
  15. Rifter Drifter, Blog Banter 8: Strategic Gunnery
  16. A Mule in EVE, Expanding EVE
  17. Letrange's EvE Blog, 8th Blog Banter
  18. Roc's Ramblings, Blog Banter #8
  19. The Nude Nerd, Blog Banter #8
  20. Scop's Log, Blog Banter #8: "We're caught in a tractor beam! It's pulling us in!"
  21. Speed Fairy, EVE Blog Banter #8: Charisma Tanking
  22. Industrialist with Teeth, EVE Blog Banter #8: It’s Like Tetris for OCD People
  23. Diary of a Pod Pilot, EVE blog banter #8: Killing in the name of
  24. Talk Unfraid, Physical Communications
  25. More to come...


  1. I couldn't agree more, I think the problem is probably just how far do you go with it?

    When I first read about this game and alliances controlling huge regions of space, I kind of just assumed planets would be an important part of it. I had these grand images of huge fleets laying waste to a planets population from orbit and then reseeding the planet from more loyal 'homegrown' colonists ferried from an already controlled system.

    Terraforming dry uninhabited rocks, colonizing and then building up some kind of industry on the planet that would supply said alliance with needed resources.

    It could get so involved and complex that it was almost another game in itself, I'm sure CCP will get around to doing something with planets one day.

  2. Anonymous11:56 am

    CCP has, I think, said they wanted to be able to have players fly down to planets and land on them, eventually. Perhaps "Walking In Stations" will be a precursor to "Walking On Planets"?

    - Erbo Evans, Abbot, Rho Alpha Delta

  3. I think this is great! But honestly, before they go giving planets purposes they really need to up the Planet Textures... They look so bad next to these new graphics.

  4. I fully support this idea! I play a web-based game called Star Wars Combine and its more about planet development than Eve is. I'd love to see it implemented here though... it'd really give you more of a feeling of having "sovereignty" over an area.

  5. Anonymous6:41 am

    Revamped planets really would be awesome. Even if they just got a bit of a facelift that would be a start. It would add a whole new layer of richness that everyone could exploit. Obviously in Empire it would be mostly handled by NPCs but it conquerable nullsec there's lots of potential for harnessing planets like moons are currently used now. It does seem wrong that moons are more useful than planets.

  6. Anonymous7:56 am

    Awesome ideas indeed! The expansion of point 3 indeed is worth much praise. The ideas between your ideas and mine would be phenomenal to see. You obviously have had the similar thoughts that I have had but for much longer. Scale would certainly allow things to move along incrementally to be sure. Great ideas indeed Kirith!

  7. With regards to you point 1, some planets already look like they are populated. You can see all kinds of little lights, looking like cities, coastlines and highways. A nice example of such a planet is on one of my snapshots here. So, CCP could take it from there and make those little lights real destinations to go to.

    Walking in Stations could indeed be a start for such an expansion. Imagine that.. 5000+ systems (excluding wormhole systems for the moment) with planets waiting to be colonized!

  8. Anonymous3:35 pm

    The devs played with planetary flight a while back at a fanfest. I think they need to continue on that path. Ambulation phase two, life on planets.

    Yeah, we need this.

  9. This makes total sense and I just can't see why we can't get this soon! Great idea Kirith!