Thursday, January 16, 2014

So We've Crossed the Rubicon... Now What?

Part of the big promise of the Rubicon expansion is the beginning of the three year plan it represents.
Looking Ahead
There has been a lot of talk and hints in the various dev blogs and interviews that suggests that something major is coming. The image of the badgers assisting in a stargate construction, hints about new space being accessed, talk about the control of the empires and CONCORD slipping. They are flashes of parts of a grand vision we have not been made privy to yet. Intriguing yet frustrating.

So I'm going to half speculate and half dream and lay out the vision of what I think the end goal is going to be or should be.

Welcome to Polaris

I think Jove space is finally going to be opened up but not with full stargate access like all other null sec regions. Instead it will be accessed through special constructed stargates that are not permanent, but rather destructible and require fuel.

These stargates will be constructed by capsuleers from several mobile deployables that combine together (like Voltron!) and will only allow access to the corporation that built it (or based on standings), but hostile forces can take control of it through hacking. Constructing it will not be overly difficult or expensive for small ships, but larger ship classes will require larger and more powerful gates constructed.

Inside Jove space we will find what we already knew; the Jove are gone, either completely died out or mysteriously vanished, and Sansha has moved his most powerful and obedient forces into the region. The Jovian stations are in disrepair or destroyed, either by the departing / last Jovians or by the marauding Sanshas. What this means for the players entering this space is a slew of extremely tough incursion level rats and complexes / exploration sites, where the rewards are parts and blueprints to new technology in the forms of new modules, deployables, ships, and implants. Hacking, Ghost Sites, and new site mechanics will all feature heavily in this space.

Another feature of this space is that most if not all normal stargates will be dysfunctional so in order to delve deeper into these Jovian region you will need to construct more temporary stargates in Jovian space. The deeper you go, the greater the rewards but the greater the risks (especially if someone else takes over your stargates!).

Local will be in delayed mode in this space like wormholes but there will be a deployable to anchor that will activate the beacons which keep track of pilots in space so that local returns to immediate mode.

Players will be allowed to anchor starbases (the new kind, not POSes which will have been obsoleted) but not claim sovereignty due to CONCORD not having authority in these regions. Due to the dynamic nature of stargate construction (which will require something from known space to build) and destruction, living in the Jovian space will be difficult and fraught with risk of getting trapped inside, but players will find a way to the lucrative rewards for the prepared.

End Day Dream

So that's what my wild guess is. I'm putting the crystal ball away for now.


  1. Sounds like great fun :)

  2. If that happens, I'm buying a new PC and coming back to EVE come hell or high water!

  3. No way the cartels will allow the area you have described to be designed, unless they have been assured by CCP that the cartels will completely control the access (ie. It will be the exclusive playground of the null sec cartels).

    What you are likely to see before then is high sec stations will become conquerable, meaning the cartels will then gain control of them a la the PoCo disaster. That means the owners of the high sec stations can charge whatever they like for the use of the mfg/science slots, and also charge taxes on any other service or mission agent found in that station.

    Also, very very soon we will see the high sec version of the ESS, also designed to allow the cartels to siphon off 20% of high sec income directly into the RMT coffers of the cartel leaders. The high sec ESS's will be designed so they can only be accessed by a password (which mittens will give to very few), and can only be destroyed with a war dec.

  4. And it is up to CCP to go: nice vision Kirith but not ambitious enough. When you see what we really have in store for you will be blown away (or up?)

    All the new deployables allow players to live away from stations so they are preparign us for this future. Instead of undocking and going on a solo exploration trip you and your corp/alliance will go on a month(s) long deployment to reap the riches.

    I wonder how this compares to how wormhole space as it was envisioned. A changing non-static environment that won't be a permanent home but will feature mostly roving gangs of explorers that are not afraid to fight other players for these riches.

    1. Houm, what could go wrong with devoting 3 years to the implementation of a space even more challenging than WH when 95% of the players totally avoid WH space because it is too challenging for their liking?

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  6. Well if something like this were implemented, I'd re-sub, that's for sure.

  7. KK, what you describe is a mix of nullsec and WH which only would appeal, IMO, to a tiny demographic.

    What I fear is that no matter how CCP makes it, the stargate thing will end up fixing the wrong issues for the wrong people. In the current state of the game, those stargates will become more toys for the Goons and nothing for everybody else.

    Meanwhile, hisec population is on the rise, server PCU is stagnating and real noobs are few and usually are strangled at the craddle.

    And "more nullsec for three years" does shit to change any of the above.

  8. There's one thing you forgot in your fantasy: Only subcapitals can access the space.