Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No Swiss Cheese Please!

"No matter how brilliantly an idea is stated, we will not really be moved unless we have already half-thought of it ourselves." ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

So the costs and more details of the new Sovereignty mechanics has been released and let me say, I’m not at all impressed. I actually did have high hopes for D-day but those hopes were quickly snuffed out.

First of all, I’m in agreement with what many others have been saying about the costs. I was fully expecting a tiered expense. Meaning, the more systems you own, the higher the bill gets. Not statically as in ‘this system costs 2 mil. That system costs 2 mil. Oh, and that system costs 2 mil. You want all three? Okay, that’ll be 6 mil then.” Simple, sure, but this is certainly not what I had in mind. CCP’s mindset seems to be if they make it expensive enough and make the upgrades even more expensive, that will control the number of systems people own. I seriously beg to differ.

Now when it comes to talking numbers and values and all that other jazz, I’d be like the kid in gym class who gets picked last every time. I can barely manage my own finances let alone the idea of watching market values and fluctuations and actually comprehending what I’m reading. What I do know is that if it takes farming complexes on a daily basis just to help pay for our systems, then I have to wonder, where is the time to go shoot someone else. Add to that the fact of not having a reason to take their space because that would just mean even more systems to pay for without any real value of actually having them, and it ruins the whole beauty of 0.0 and the epic battles for space superiority. I said not too long ago we’ll fight because we can and because we have guns. But epic fights come from having goals and objects, trophies to be won other than just another notch on the killboard.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, the revamp of 0.0 is not at all going to be like people seem to think. It’s not going to consolidate the current alliances into smaller blocks in space. Based on the new prices posted by CCP, I can actually agree with a comment made on the CAOD forums by a Goon member, Nobani, when he said the following:

Originally by: Darriele
And those are basic expenses, but when upgrades are implemented the cost can double or even triple. Ofc no ally will try to keep up sov. in so many systems,they will try to compact their "sphere of influence" around a single spot.

Originally by: Nobani
It's more likely we'll get swiss-cheese sov. Station, cap ship construction, jump bridge, key moon mining and key PvE systems will have sov claimed. Transit systems with four belts and no R64s will not have sov, but the local alliance will still drop a hammer on anyone who tries to set up shop there.

Frankly, here’s what I was sort of hoping for:

You start off with choosing your home system. This would be like your capitol system that you would spider web out from. For that capitol system, you pay a measly amount. Let’s say 1 million. You’re able to upgrade it, put in an outpost, build whatever. From that system, you can then claim any of the systems around yours. The systems next to your claimed capitol system will each cost the number of jumps from your capitol system multiplied by itself.. This would exclude the first jump which would automatically be double whatever the base amount is. In this example, it would be 2 million. From there on out, a system 2 jumps away would be 4 million. Based on 2 x 2. Three jumps out would be 9 million based on 3 x 3. Four jumps out, 16 million based on 4 x 4. Five jumps out, 25 million based on 5 x 5. I’ll assume you get the picture by now. As a side note, the prices shown here are for EACH system. Like systems four jumps out cost 16 mil a piece. So if you want say all 6 systems that are 4 jumps out from your capitol system, you would owe 96mil (16x6) a month for those systems plus whatever other systems you owe closer to your capitol.

Of course these numbers could be adjusted based on the findings of people who know more about the isk flow. However, I have no doubt this system would be more effective towards alliances making serious considerations towards the size of the space they own. I would also propose an alliance can only have one capitol system thus preventing the swiss cheese effect.

Now yes, this would create the issue of people just creating alt alliances to mitigate the effects of the tiered costs. However, how many alt alliances do you really think they’d make? Imagine the complications that having numerous alt alliances would create by way of logistics. Imagine the chances of those alt alliances being more easily torn apart through internal conflicts. On top of that, the more alliances you have, the more isk you gotta sink to create em.

I’m sure others could come up with other loop holes, or just outright disagree. But frankly, at least in my own opinion and I think many others, it would be a MUCH better system than what CCP is proposing to implement and is the design I think most had in their heads already.

Either way though, no matter what happens, people will adapt….. Or die in trying…

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Dominion: Gold Rush or Fool's Gold?

A lot of buzz has been going around about the upcoming changes to sovereignty, what I've termed D-day. With a severe lack of solid information (even so close to it's supposed release dates), I've been hard pressed about writing anything and giving any sort of firm opinion on the subject. I can however say a few things with almost complete confidence. This is NOT going to be end of the current 0.0 empires! This is NOT going to be the mad space rush that people seem to think it will be.

Pay enough attention to the forums and you'll begin to see, the only people that will be in 0.0 are the people familiar with 0.0 as it currently is. Yes, there may be some alliances that fail cascade under the new mechanics. But alliances such as Goonswarm, Atlas, AAA, Tau Ceti, Razor, and even my alliance, Systematic Chaos, are not just going to suddenly disappear. And all that space they hold? Okay, sure, they may consolidate the actual space they have their names on, but if empire dwelling corporations and alliances think they're suddenly going to move out to 0.0 and stake their claim in the vacated areas, well I say they're in for a real eye opener.

I think Eve Monkey said it best in the last line of his blog post. " will be difficult to gain any space your neighbor doesn’t want you to." And that is 100% true.

Basically, take a look at this map. We'll take Goonswarm space as an example. Currently, on that map you see a huge yellow blotch covering the areas that Goonswarm maintains sovereignty over. After D-day, yes, that may very likely change. That blotch of yellow will probably shrink quite a bit. Does this mean the surrounding areas, the areas that will no longer be covered in that ugly yellow, will suddenly be open turf and gobbled up by other, previously unknown, formerly empire based alliances? No. It may no longer have their name on it but don't think for a moment that it will suddenly become open game to just about anyone. They may not have their name on it but in essence it will still be controlled by Goonswarm. It will likely still be patrolled and regulated by their fleets on a consistent basis.

In my opinion, Sovereignty will no longer be a "put your name on as much space as you can" game. Instead it will be, "this is our home, but nobody can live around our home unless we want you there and you pay us to live there or at least work out some sort of agreement."

So okay. Not being one to beat my own chest and insist I am completely right on a subject of which a lot of information is still lacking, let’s consider the other difficult aspect of 0.0 living. This isn’t like wormholes. This isn’t a situation where you’ll fairly often be able to find a nice route back to Empire space. You have got to take into consideration logistics.

Currently, my alliance resides in the region Esoteria. Referring to that same map, you can see it’s quite a distance between there and empire. And between us is a number of other alliances. However, the reason we’re able to survive there is because we have a very well established and organized logistics system. But more importantly, we have agreements with those alliances between us and empire allowing us use of their jump bridges and safe travel through their systems. Without that, we would be hard pressed to survive in the area we are. Not impossible mind you, just a lot more difficult. This is what Goonswarm was actually trying to break in this last war. They had hopes of ruining our relationship with the other Alliances and thus breaking our ability to survive. Unfortunate for them, they failed.

So I suggest to all those corps and alliances that intend to move to nullsec after D-day, start thinking about where you'd like to go. Then speak with the diplomats of the current sovereign alliance about possible relations or treaties. Otherwise, don't be surprised when you get your butt handed to you and sent back to empire via the clone vat express.

Oh, and for those wondering about the war, it ended just about as quickly as it started. There was a lot of bullshit that flew around about it, but I think this sounds to be the most logical.

Originally Posted by The Mittani


1. Withdraw to TPAR.
2. Prepare to defend PA-V in Period Basis against Romulans


Vietnam is a poor gimmick for this war, because since we're opting to cut our losses it has instead become something of a Bay of Pigs. We could bog down in A1 after losing a host of towers in the face of 700 hostiles last night in our primetime, or we could say "Here's what went wrong" and sever.


First, the attack should have focused on stations, not logistics hubs, with GS at the tip of the spear and not ZAF. Instead, ZAF was given a station to take, and GS was assaulting a bridge system. Should GS have succeeded, the enemy would have been impacted somewhat, but not as grievously as if we had been grinding on a station. ZAF was distracted by their loss of sov in PA-V and the Romulan invasion of that system, and so couldn't really concentrate against their Esoteria station target; moreover, they don't have much experience in the vanguard assault position. That station was not taken and the hostile bloc could concentrate against us in A1.

While losing a capfleet is no big deal to us, combined with the IGNE titan loss, our enemies saw weakness and surged over the weekend to bring 700 people against our 100 in our primetime. Pubbies don't understand that we think the IGNE thing is funny, they just smell blood in the water and swarm. Our timers and pos-fittings haven't had a chance to recover in A1 and our foothold on that system never fully established.

This invasion was planned by someone who does not usually do our war planning. It was a 'final exam' of sorts, and that exam was failed. However, you can legitimately blame the directorate for entrusting such an important plan to someone who screwed it up.

For example, allies were going to be making some distracting assaults on the blocs involved to draw attention away such that Atlas couldn't gangpile in along with Stainwagon, ROL and -A-. Those assaults did not happen because the person who was planning the war never confirmed these plans with our allies, nor followed up with them.

Logistics was also a disaster with GSOL essentially being unprepared for the invasion and left scrambling to pick up the pieces while understaffed.

In sum, the directorate fucked up by delegating the invasion to the wrong person and not making sure these critical issues were being handled competently.


Expect an energized foe to strike us. Romulans moved six Jump Freighters into PA-V, in Period Basis, a former ZAF station system. In the near term we will be retreating to TPAR and preparing to help defend PA-V.

Meanwhile, ROL has been running distraction attacks on us in Querious, so we need to trim out a few small staging towers they dropped on us, and possibly make some reprisal attacks on their moons in Khanid.

Now, honestly, given my lack of time in the pod lately, I’m not sure what happened after that between the “Romulans” and Goons. As for Systematic Chao’s involvement, if you want a better look into what transpired from our perspective of the war, hop on over to Prometheus09’s blog. He did an awesome job of writing about it.

For me, all I know is that things in Eso have gone back to its usual business. In fact, with D-day coming, and the latest war, we haven’t been bothering much with Brick squad. Guess they were so saddened by the sudden lack of engagements, yesterday they decided to declare official war on us through Concord. All I can say is, good luck with that…