Low-security ecosystem

I’ve written about low-security space as well as the storyline and game mechanics around it before, but haven’t written a cohesive theme to tie them all together and explicitly state the way I perceive a healthy low-security ecology.

Mynxee continues to show incredible committment to this game and it’s players; she has set up a site where you can post your own ideas about the theme or game mechanics that would make low-security space better. I think we all hope that it will spawn some great ideas and that they will bubble to the top of the list and gain some visibility.

This post is a pretty close copy of the theme I posted there (added pictures and formatting just for fun). It’s meant as a statement of what I think low-security space is all about and designed to benefit everyone: criminals, victims and vigilantes alike. If you agree, vote it up; if you don’t, vote it down. Either way, please take some time to look at the other ideas and/or post your own.

A Stiletto-class interceptor docking above a beautiful temperate planet.

In the EVE storyline, low-security systems belong to some empire faction. They are not, as is a common perception, a no-mans land — that would be null-security space. Nor are they the domain of pirate factions and criminals.

Low-security space is the wild west of New Eden where lawmen are rare and moral lawmen are rarer still; criminals prey on wary and hardened victims and victims sometimes take the law into their own hands. Think back to your childhood days of watching the Lone Ranger, Bonanza and John Wayne movies. yes, there were bad guys; but I think you’ll see a common theme in that there were good guys, ordinary guys and bounty hunters mixed in as well — the bad guys were a relative minority.

Criminals need victims. Victims need vigilantes. Vigilantes need criminals. It is the circle of life. What low-security space has now is a plethora of criminals, a small sprinkling of victims and an occasional vigilante. My contention is that attracting more vigilantes and victims (sometimes they are the same) is in the interest of all low-security dwellers.

Most criminals are only interested in killing other players; if they do PvE it’s primarily to feed that habit. If this is true, then adding special content and benefits for these people is truly not in the criminals’ best interest; benefits only for criminals will do nothing to attract new victims (which I’ve established, with nary a sign of proof, are part of the circle of life). Further, benefits for criminals will only further the perception that criminals have all the advantages in low-security space and deter victimsvigilantes.

Victims are only interested in making money. They aren’t interested, or are only lightly interested in player-versus-player conflict. Only the promise of quick cash will steer these players to low-security space. And flying very expensive, vulnerable battleships into an area where they are easily probed down and ganked or stopped short of their goals conflicts sharply with making fast cash. These cupcakes must be persuaded to fly combat-worthy ships into missions where the opportunity to gank them is shorter but failure is an option that won’t destroy their faction reputation. We need something new.

Vigilantes are the rotten and moldy cupcakes whose interest in quick cash has been eclipsed by the rage over one too many ganks. Or they are violent pilots with an e-conscience. The only lure necessary for these fish is a clear and visible signal that a pilot is a criminal and the freedom to act on that information. A reward from CONCORD couldn’t hurt either.

A small gang makes their move through a jump gate.

For a healthy low-security environment, we need all three of these archetypes. Sure, criminals will prey on criminals, vigilantes will sway outside their moral values to gank a juicy victim and victims will turn into vigilantes — but that too is part of the circle of life.

In the interest of being clear, I’m not suggesting that ideas about criminal-centered PvE are wrong; I’m suggesting that these ideas really appeal more to the victims and must be aimed in their direction. I am suggesting that benefits to criminals such as turning off gate guns or providing other advantages are a poor idea for a healthy ecology.

~ by paritybit on 2010/07/28.

5 Responses to “Low-security ecosystem”

  1. You hit the nail on the head. I can’t add anything useful as you said it all perfectly.

  2. Agreed. And maybe I can boil it all down to a single thought, make low-sec more profitable. Then everyone will want to come visit, the more the merrier.

    • I would agree with that simplification … except we don’t all have the same ideas about what would really make low-sec more profitable.

      For example, I’ve seen suggestions that the missions there get bumped up in profitability (rats with better bounties, even more reward, etc); while this would increase profitability of completed missions, it wouldn’t do anything to increase overall profitability. More high-value PvE targets means the price of combat probes increases and those guys head back to high-sec because they either can’t finish their missions or they get ganked in their missions.

      So yeah, in my head it’s “make low-sec more profitable” — but it’s the getting there that’s the problem.

      Man, I am disagreeable today. I even disagree with people agreeing with me.

  3. How about this, instead of more “profitable” we say more “fulfilling”? I think most Eve pilots view low-sec as the ‘in-between’ barrier, something to grit your teeth and fly thru. That’s the majority speaking. So how do we make them want to stay?

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