If there is one sure thing to come out of all the Citadel dev blogs, Providence is going to burn.
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Providence is a weird null sec region. Its shallow null sec, with not one but two exits to high sec directly and another two connections to low sec. Its true sec is not very good so making ISK from ratting is consequently poor so its never been overly desirable to large coalitions to add to their empires. As a result the CVA alliance / coalition often lives there due to role play reasons and because other coalitions like to have someplace to roam for farming kills. Occasionally CVA gets kicked out but they bide their time in nearby lowsec and slowly work their way back in eventually. No one wants Providence more than old CVA.
But the most peculiar aspect of Providence is the fact that its positively infested with player constructed outposts. Its easier to count systems without an outpost, 8 this morning, than it is to count the rest. That's 8 empty systems out of 84 systems in total. That's right, 76 outposts. There are other similarly heavily constructed regions, but Providence is the only one not claimed by a major null sec coalition.
As a result, the major empires often visit Providence for various reasons with varying degrees of force. Sometimes just a "for fun" deployment to get fights out of CVA and their small allies, other times to drop in on some other's deployment as "honourable third parties", rarely with the goal to remove CVA because they are known to at least try to defend their space and give a fight.
But other times, most notably this past summer, major empires use Providence as a testing ground for new mechanics or doctrines. For example, when Fozzie Sov replaced Dominion Sov mechanics several entities invaded Providence to get a handle on the intricacies of the new mechanics against and opponent that did not present a significant threat in retaliation. CVA is not a threat to invade Deklein ever.
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Player Owned Stations, aka Outposts and Player Owned Starbases, aka POSes, were both designed to give players something to own where they could exist and perform certain tasks or store assets. However they are two entirely different mechanics with vastly different rules about owning, destroying, taking, and working in them. You could not have purposely designed two more disparate systems for accomplishing roughly the same goals at different scales.
CCP is smart and rather than trying to marry two vastly different and barely understood legacy code bases into one working system, they are circumventing the issue and creating a new system to obsolete the old ones: Citadels. The new constructs will fulfill the goals of player ownership at both the small corporate or even personal level up to the alliance / coalition level under a single fresh code base. As Citadels come online, the lights in the old POSes and Outposts can go dark.
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Or can they?
For POSes, its pretty straight forward. Stop allowing fuel to be made for them after Citadels have been around for a while and you have encouraged players to make the transition to the new constructs. Those players that have left the game and the POSes abandoned in space will slowly go dark as fuel runs out and will be destroyed by attrition over time if their owners did not take them down themselves.
But Outposts cannot be so easily retired. They don't require fuel and cannot be destroyed. How can we convince players to move to new Citadels when old Outposts offer much the same funcitonality but in safer confines?
The only answer is that after Citadels have been introduced and established as working as intended, CCP will add the ability to destroy Outposts and remove the ability to build new ones, thus allowing attrition over time to remove the old structures to be replaced by the new Citadels.
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So you are a large coalition and you hear that CCP is going to allow Outposts to be destroyed. Are you going to destroy your own assets in your own space? Nah, not unless Outposts lose a lot of functionality and it becomes an economic necessity to remove them. Invade a neighbour and start a full blown war? Maybe. Or will you descend on Providence, filled with Outposts defended by an enemy that cannot effectively retaliate, a region known for being a test bed of new mechanics? Think of all the juicy tears and killmails to result from going from system to system and reducing the years of hard work to ashes without any repercussions at all...
Providence will burn.