Friday, May 15, 2015

Welcome to my Citadel

On my podcast I already raved about the dev blog introducing Citadels but I'm going to go into again here because I cannot stress enough how much I like it.

I've lived and worked out of Player Owned Stations, aka POSes, before in null sec, low sec, and wormhole space over the 8.5 years I've been playing this game.

I still remember that feeling of awe the first time I saw one back in Pelille in my misspent youth. Someone was showing me how to scout out moons and we warped in to check it out. The large glowing sphere, the mysterious icons with names I saw nowhere else like Moon Harvesting Array, Silo, Corporate Hanger Array, etc. Some time later my group of friends decided to set up our own POS and I began to learn the Byzantium art to anchoring and setting up a "stick" of our own. And began to learn the horror of fueling calculations (be thankful new players for that evil has been vanquished at least).

Later on I would join a null sec alliance and our corporation would live in a stationless constellation and we, all 20 or so of us, would live out of one or two POSes. In order to have some private space for modules and loot, we each had anchored a secured cargo container at least 150 km from the POS itself so you could do short warps back and forth instead of having to slowboat around the POS itself. God, I hated that.

And then having to unanchor that thing? And all the structures? Evil.

I once had a high sec research POS in my solo indy corp but got war decced and it was destroyed in a long weekend I was away with family. That's when I decided that solo POS was not for me.

All this is to say, POSes are evil. They are overly complex, use mechanics that are not really shared anywhere else, and are generally a pain to setup, manage, and take down. Pretty, but pain in the ass.

And up until recently, the only thing outside of null sec Outposts that players could erect for themselves to live in, and Outposts require a magnitude larger amount of resources to make and then you could lose it in the next sov war.

Citadels hold great promise to fix this frustration. By using well understood and common mechanics (i.e. fitting modules like one fits a ship) and introducing station like docking and asset management, we enter a new age where players can come toegether to erect, live out of, and defend their own home without having to be part of a huge alliance or deal with the terribleness of the current POS mechanics.

I'm very excited.

Of course, there is a fine line to be traversed here in order to make feasible. In low sec, a common conflict driver is control of the Player Owned Custom Offices in the areas in which entities live. They are in a perfect balance of risk versus reward versus effort triangle where it takes enough effort to reinforce and destroy them that people are not doing it willy nilly but not so much effort that only the big entities can even consider doing so. Citadels, being potentially a lot more valuable than a POCO, will attract a lot of attention of people willing to expend more effort to reap the possible rewards of good kills and tears, so need to be sufficiently hard enough to justify the effort while not being so hard as to be impossible to reinforce and destroy.

So I eagerly await to see the final product for Citadels and how they change the landscape of low sec and beyond because I think they have tremendous potential for interaction and excitement.

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