Pirates in Force: Growing a Healthy Lowsec Ecosystem

2016-11-18

In my personal experience, there is nothing better than roaming in low security space with friends to blow up lone wolves and “welcome” new players to low security life. With that said, how do you keep your space healthy when it comes to having friends to fly with and targets to shoot? In this article I will discuss some strategies that will spawn great fun and opportunities for corporations of all sizes and interests in low security space. This is more of an opinion piece than a straight informational article, so I will be using my own personal experience as my cited source.

Any further discussion of this topic in the comments is encouraged as I would like to know more from those more experienced in nullsec and larger lowsec alliances that hold infrastructure.

Chum the Waters

There are no fish without bait, and those small fish attract the larger predators. This has been talked about extensively in the community, but what does it really mean? Players need opportunities, and those opportunities should be connected to a corporation goal. This is because there are a lot of ways to make more ISK/hr than PvE in lowsec, but what is the ISK for? ISK is useless to the individual and the organization unless during the procurement you are creating or engaging in entertaining content. Moreover, if your guys are all over space making ISK instead of doing things locally, people will miss out on small, exciting, emergent PvP engagements that randomly occur in your organization’s HQ system.

For example, my corporation builds our own T1 hulls. We have ore buy orders up, but we could just as easily ship in the minerals at our current volume. The real answer is that we want all kinds of activity close to home available to fill times in between PvP opportunities. An active system both attracts other players and keeps them wary of engaging our own members, which is a great environment for communication to occur. We want to reach out to players outside our own organization to see what kind of relationship we might have, both with and against them.

Make a Connection

Contrary to popular behavior, Blue Donuts are not good for this game. Everyone around you being your sworn ally breeds apathy and boredom. You have to go far to find a fight, and there are no interesting third party dynamics or politics, except for those that violate said alliances. An Awox opportunity can be entertaining, but it can also be very demoralizing for individuals. This gameplay mainly spurs emotional decisions, like changing organizations (as it did for one of my new members, Nicara,) and is not as healthy a bit of uncertainty as there would be in space full of neutral players.

In a “kill or be killed” environment, everyone is fully engaged, looking for allies and creating the political metagame. When you blow up or get blown up by a neighbor, take the opportunity to make a human connection. Voice communications are by far the best and allow for the most dynamic interactions. Be ready to deal with an unpleasant chat, but hope that you might learn more about a person or corporation that has their own goals and motivations in EVE. When under stress, the true colors of most individuals show. Take stock of their reactions to you and develop the relationships that are entertaining.

Grow Respect for the Local Community

EVE is like Valhalla Online. We are here to fight, and fight forever. You can’t build a golf course or feed starving children on Eszur I. You can only build a ship with weapons to turn against rock, can, or man. To this end, we all need both sides of a conflict to fight, and in turn buy our spoils of war and industrial wares. A healthy adversary guarantees the need to undock and slug it out. In Faction Warfare space we use the fight over complexes as a proxy war, and most other fights really hinge around player owned structures of all kinds. Bloody your opponent’s nose, but you should never try to eradicate them. The leadership of the opposing forces are not only generating content for their own members, but they are also guaranteeing your corporation has a reason to exist.

All that being said, you should ally with as small of a group of corporations as possible. Preserve neutrality with your neighbors that is built upon respect for what you do as a corporation, and vice versa. Keep communication channels open and allow for occasional cooperation. This dynamic makes temporary alliances possible if a larger threat comes to bare on your local space, while keeping space full of similarly strong gangs who can skirmish and sharpen steel against steel. When outsiders try to flex their muscle, you can show them what your constellation or region is really made of.

Ecosystems start with a base of the food chain, but that base need not be clueless, but bold pilots with little direction. In a game that relies on players to provide a soul to the narrative, EVE needs those that can use the tools provided to lay down the framework for new or less experienced pilots. Management in this game is as complex as with any real business, minus most of the regulation. Lowsec is an amazing part of space for new and growing corporations, as well as a great place for folks that like a frontier-esque lifestyle to stay for the long term. My personal organization aims to bring some life to an area of space that has many interesting stigmas from those who don’t live here. More information about our mission and vision can be found here.

If you as a player or corporation are interested in flying in space where bandit gangs square off on the fringe, please join Carver Club Reception in game, or look up The Carver Club in Recruitment. Don’t be afraid to pop into our TeamSpeak. You can get the connection information from our Message of the Day in the Carver Club Reception channel. We look forward to hearing from you all in the future. Good hunting, and whenever you fly, fly with purpose!

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Comments

  • Apostophe Noodle

    CCP has got the security mechanics backwards. Low sec should be the area with bubbles and be more dangerous than null sec.
    To use the Age of Sail for a template…high sec is obviously the ’empire space’ back in Europe. Null sec would be the new world where powerful companies like East India Trading Co held local control and was where the resources were gathered. Low sec should be that long dangerous voyage between the two.
    It would make more sense that the null sec powers (sov) would have local police (gate guns) and pirate blockades (bubbles) would be rare- sov is often safer for the owner than high sec. Low sec between the islands of safety should be where pirates can intercept soft targets more easily.
    So the mechanic is backwards. Sov upgrades should be gate guns, warning broadcasts like high sec has when a criminal enters system…etc. Low sec should be a vast swath of lawless space full of pirates and thieves. But with warp-to-zero, gate guns, and no bubbles…low sec isn’t very dangerous beyond the occasional gate camp or just bad luck. Gate guns wreck small hulls- but that is exactly what pirates should be flying, small fast hit and run vessels. Let the null sec guys use big ships in big fleets to fight for dominance, but low sec should be more friendly to small hulls and small gangs.
    Instead, we have a system now where interceptors are very common in null sec while to fight at chokepoints (gates) in low sec requires large hull ships to tank gate guns.
    Lastly, low sec needs to be a highway of vulnerable commerce. Less covops cloaks and jump drives. Losing industrials needs to become the cost of doing business. You need to feed the next fish in that pond, the pirate. The pirate then feeds the next fish and so on. CCP is making it ever more difficult to interdict commerce, disrupting this food chain at it’s base.

    November 18, 2016 at 2:37 PM
    • Londala Pox Apostophe Noodle

      I can’t say I agree with making the game more perilous, or sticking to a historical context. The lowsec system as it is allows for people to limit size and scope of engagement, allowing for small groups to have some space to learn and grow. Used correctly, the FW space complexes are a good way to let more niche metagames exist without adding the complexity of interdiction.

      November 18, 2016 at 4:23 PM
      • Apostophe Noodle Londala Pox

        The problem with that thinking is you have boiled all of low sec down to a single bit of content. FW plexing. FW plexing does nothing for industry, piracy or any other type of gameplay, and low sec should not be that limited.
        FW itself is a broken isk faucet of farming that needs it’s own whole article about how worthless it is. I can’t remember the last time I entered an FW plex and got a fight. Just stabbed up farmers running away– people talk about Goons weaponizing boredom, but that is the state of FW, where running away and just waiting for the PvPer to get bored and leave before returning to doing nothing more than hitting Orbit on a beacon is possible again. Other than spamming D-Scan, there is little difference between that and high sec mining for risk or gameplay.
        Warp to Zero and lack of bubbles makes low sec largely irrelevant to anything but farming plexes. Moving around low sec with cargo and commerce is entirely too easy. It robs both the attacker and defender of content and reduces the ‘threat’ of low sec basically to getting unlucky and running into a dedicated gate camp once in awhile.
        Again, it’s broken when the big null alliances fly around in tiny ceptors while scruffy pirates in low sec need battle cruisers just to stop an industrial ship on a gate.

        November 22, 2016 at 4:34 PM
        • MacCloud Apostophe Noodle

          in all honesty i think londala was just using FW complexes as an example. Setting lowsec’s interdiction rulesets to the same as nullsec would actively discourage industry and other non pvp related activity as less experienced pilots wont have the freedom of movement that was afforded to them previously.
          The one ray of hope recently that will and may well already be boosting certain lowsec areas is people placing Citadels down. Some Lowsec areas arent exactly optimal or safe to cyno a jump freighter into. not due to the population there but due to the terrible station types used.

          November 22, 2016 at 5:54 PM
        • Londala Pox Apostophe Noodle

          Sounds like you need to fine a better corp or better part of space. Using FW complexes as engagement areas makes for some of the best PvP I’ve ever had. Check out The Carver Club’s killboard. 90% of those fights come from around FW complexes. Who cares what they’re intended to do. We use them in a creative way that really makes fights happen.

          November 22, 2016 at 10:47 PM
    • “CCP is making it ever more difficult to interdict commerce, disrupting this food chain at it’s base.”

      I agree with this 100%. Jump drives are lame and kill the foodchain.

      November 18, 2016 at 6:06 PM
      • Apostophe Noodle PewPew

        I include CovOps cloaks because again, it’s risk avoidance as a primary mechanic. I understand it’s value, and I get that CCP is trying anything it can to get care bears out of high sec. So I blame the care bear more than CCP for this one. If people weren’t so afraid to lose internet spaceships, CCP wouldn’t have to slap a CovOps bonus to every new ship it releases. Things like hull stabs and CovOps cloaks are just CCP’s desperation at prodding players to do anything but solo PvE in high sec forever.
        To their credit, CCP has tried to get people to take a risk. Before CCP flatly stepping in to wreck null sec coalitions they seemed to be aiming to get care bears to simply go out and steal from the big blocs. Siphons, stabbed mining ships, CovOps cloaks on everything…..but still the care bears squat in high sec spamming isk faucets.
        At some point CCP will either have to admit that there is basically two Eve Onlines- one full of solo high sec PvE bears….and everything else. If giving near immunity to travel still can’t get people out of saving the damsel for the 12th time today in a .8 system, then their only option will be to nerf high sec so badly that staying there forever is no longer a serious option.
        In the end, it still falls on CCP for creating a system of reward so unbalanced and broken that you can’t fault care bears for not participating. It’s honestly a waste of their time to do anything else. To take a risk or accept loss is literally a step backwards for them. Removing themselves from the food chain is an obvious tactic for the care bear– the problem is that CCP allows it.

        November 22, 2016 at 4:51 PM
  • Rhivre

    I actually really love lowsec, and I have always felt like CCP have overlooked playstyles down there, with throwing FW in as a way to get a bit of life in certain pockets. One thing I loved when I used to live down there was that you could be doing a roam with some other locals in the morning, then shooting at them the same afternoon.

    With alphas on us now,I may venture back down there to have a look at it again

    November 18, 2016 at 4:16 PM
    • Londala Pox Rhivre

      We’d sure hope to see you out in our little slice of EVE Paradise. FW could use another look. A system that better incentivizes both sides to be balanced in strength would make for great opportunities for third party piracy.

      November 18, 2016 at 4:19 PM