Design Goals in Aegis Sov


My problem with Fozziesov—though it has some strong points—it is that the mechanics encourage trolling. I honestly believe that when the design team came together to hash it out the new sovereignty system, they had the idea in their heads of breaking up the CFC. Well, maybe that’s a little hyperbolic. Let’s just say that large sov empires were in the crosshairs. Maybe the goals on the whiteboard were:

  • Punish oversized empires
  • Lower the barriers to entry
  • Make it so that capitals are not the ultimate doctrine
  • Reward small gangs

To me, “Punish oversized empires,” is definitely poisoning the system. It breaks down into units such as “Let people troll oversized empires”. Ideas about making sov unpleasant pass through the vetting process because they promise to demoralize the big players, and that’s a problem on many levels. For one, these tools are available to everyone. Anything bad enough to stagger the Imperium is a nightmare weapon in the hands of the Imperium. The Reavers and the entire organized sov machine of the Imperium will march out to make life unbearable for everybody else. Pandemic Legion, Black Legion, NC. and the few remaining power blocks will harvest tears in unprecedented quantities. Even if these guys somehow disappeared, any new crop of power blocks would deliberately spend time tormenting each other.

I think that CCP needs to have another design meeting. Strike out “Punish oversized empires”, and add “Make this fun”. A low barrier of entry is sufficient to give new guys room to breathe. People are more satisfied with a process when they lose, if they perceive it to be fair. Go over all the mechanics and smooth them out so that trolls don’t find a home in them. These would be mostly superficial changes and minor tweaks.


I am not trying to say that the system should be thrown out, or demands complicated and intensive programming changes. Let me give an example by discussing Entosis ships.

Entosis ships cannot be remotely repaired. CCP believed that Entosis would not be activated until the fight was over. This was wrong. People try to win the fight by finishing entosis. Fights devolve into gimmicky affairs with both sides trying to kill their enemies’ Entosis ships while keeping their own alive. You can see where this might become frustrating. Fights end early when one side finishes capturing a node. Particularly bad situations arise where you lose Entosis ships that you otherwise could have saved. In the end, you throw your hands in the air and spam suicide ships saying, “It is the cost of doing business.” You might even decide to find ways to force the enemy to field some Entosis ships for you to blow up.

What if Entosis ships could be repaired? Both sides would show up and activate Entosis. This would result in a stalemate where sov capture was concerned. The fleets would fight as normal, and eventually one side would win. The losers would flee the field or be destroyed. With no reps, the losers’ Entosis ship would be annihilated, and the winners would proceed to capture the node. Of course this does not stop long fights of attrition where neither side can get the upper hand. However a player will feel that outcome is more ‘fair’ than one where some snipers came by and blapped all the Entosis ships. (Snipers will still enjoy a buff because an Entosis ship cannot warp away from them.)

Timers are another big deal. Trolls can leverage timers so that 10 minutes of work for the attacker translates to 100 minutes for the defender. Anything like this should be looked at seriously. Yes, the timer disparity is an important part of Fozziesov. The problem is that people are going to do a few quick calculations and jump to the conclusion that the system is unfair. They are going to feel cheated every time they go out to deal with it. Then they realize that they can inflict this experience on other people (starting with whoever did it to them).

Regardless of any details, it is vitally important to make the system fun. The next few years of EVE rest on the success of Fozziesov. Fun is more important than whether it can kill the Imperium, stop the wrecking ball, or elevate the solo pilot. CCP, get together and look at this again. Ask yourselves, “How can we make this a positive experience as often as possible for the people doing it?” Yes, we will still troll each other and use misery as a weapon to beat each other with. But you do not have to encourage it.

Tags: Entosis, Fozziesov, Mukk, sovereignty

About the author

Mukk Barovian

Mukk is a long time skirmish FC with a penchant for overpropping his ships.

  • Clerical Terrors

    Won’t allowing entosis ships to be repaired favor the defender too much? Technically you could create a response system where you just put down an overtanked entosis ship everytime you get attacked and keep it repped until the attacker grows bored and leaves?

    • Dave Stark

      unless you’re using something with an absurd buffer as an entosis ship, pretty much anything subcapital can and will be blapped off the field by anyone with enough alpha.

      what it really does is simply push out the “little guy” again if he can’t field enough alpha to take down an entosis ship before it starts catching reps.

      the problem is basically which is the lesser of two evils. ships that can’t be repaired that are essentially free kills, or ships that can be repaired that require x alpha or you’re never going to break their reps putting a “you must be this tall to ride” sign on any kind of sov contest.

      or, i could be full of shit. *shrug*

    • MukkBarovian

      If you can’t push an entrenched defender off the node, why do you deserve to win the node?

    • Dermeisen

      Indeed, I hear second hand (listening to DoW) that a number capitals with marauders equipt with the entosis is popular when taking stations. The capitals see off supcap fleets, with a bit of grid-fu you can make getting near the entosis ship damned difficult – the suggestion was that if you have the capital fleet this is might be used for the spawned nodes also.
      …. or so I hear

  • islador

    An excellent piece as always Mukk. You hit on the timer disparity a bit, but I can’t help but feel that you’ve left it largely unsaid. In my mind, the best way to encourage people to not troll is to ensure that the defenders always have to do less of the unfun task than the would-be-trolls do.

    Consider if it were identical, a one to one trade. Now all of a sudden trolling is far less rewarding. If it were a negative ratio, where ten minutes spent reinforcing a structure resulted in say, eight minutes of recapturing now trolling isn’t rewarding at all. Attackers will be paying a high enough price differential to discourage trolling, but not a high enough difference to make attacking distinctly more damaging than defending.

    • Naughty Dred

      Pretty sure that is that case mostly, if it’s a service turning it on is quicker. Nodes are also quicker for defenders.

      If reinforcing a system you need to entosis for anywhere up to an hour, with a fleet (allbiet not a large one)

      With out resistance defenders need to entosis 10 nodes for 10 minutes, so in man hour terms the attackers are nearly always losing out.

      We have been involved in the duality test, and we are by no means large, we have however got in place plans and doctrines to defend our space against the big players in the test, something we could not do under the current system.

  • Messiah Complex

    I’m having a hard time understanding how the “break the enemy’s will, then entosis all their shit” model is substantively different from the “break the enemy’s will, then grind all their structures” model.

    • GrouchyOldGamer

      I think one of the objectives is removing the endless sov grinding.

    • Arcturus

      The main thing about fozziesov is that you dont need capital to successfully capture a system. In a fight, the stronger/more numerous/better organized opponent will still always win.

      It is just that you do not need capitals to reinforce something. So yes, to win a real war against a big powerblock, it doesnt change much. But it makes it way easier to get a little bit of space for a smaller group. I wont take dekklein with 100 dude, but there is plenty of regions that would be partially conquerable for this kind of groups (i.e. former NA/BOT/renter space)

  • BS

    The changes in sov are awesome and you are just old people afraid of changes… EvE needs them, it’s dying

  • Random Guy

    I think the rep idea is a great one, and should be implemented immediately, but the solution to all the trolling is simple…undock and fight.

    If you are a huge empire you should not be able to sit in a station 90% of the day and be immune. It’s just a shitty system. If you have a standing fleet and actually defend people coming into your system, then great.

    • Random Guy

      I will say, repped entosis links in conjunction with the idea about logistics having diminishing returns, the fight system could turn into a huge war of attrition and that just feels awesome.

  • GrouchyOldGamer

    I don’t believe fozziesov was designed to ‘punish oversized
    empires’ more importantly CSM members of sov holding alliances don’t either.

    From what I’ve read and inferred the new sov mechanics has
    two design goals:

    To make sov difficult to scale
    Make sov warfare much less resource intensive so
    small groups can defend their homes

    Is anyone going to seriously argue against the proposition that
    two or three sov holding coalitions shouldn’t be able to hold the majority of
    player owned space?

    Sov shouldn’t scale, the more space you own the harder it
    should become to hold it. The combination of changes in both the mobility and sovereignty
    mechanics have already had a significant impact on large sov holding groups.

    There is no doubt that highly organised groups like GSF and
    their allied foot soldiers will be able to trigger timers and make fights
    happen safe in the knowledge that their homes are under very little threat. So
    large are their numbers that they can cover all their bases all the time.

    We started from a positon where PL, N3 and Goons ruled
    almost all space and even when the changes haven’t been completely deployed
    that we’ve seen rental empires crumble, coalitions retreat and the beginnings
    of a ever so slightly more diverse null sec appear.

    I don’t doubt null sec will still be dominated by large
    groups but I’m hopeful that fozziesov can create a foundation on which smaller
    city state alliances with a few systems will
    eventually be given the tools which allow committed and organised small guys
    resist large alliances.

    • Dermeisen

      A good deal more credible than this article!

  • The current choices made by CCP are fine, and remote repairing entosis ship would destroy the design goals CCP wants to achieve.

    The defenders have to undock and fight off the attackers, they can do it with overwherming numbers if they are active in the area, and with logistical advantage, if they are competent.

    If they can not provide that, then they do not deserve the space they are in, and it will not be trolling to entosis it away from them, even when small gangs.are just looking for fights.

    • Altrue

      You didn’t read the part about this sov having to be fun above all, did you?

      • I did, and I am sure his notion of fun is not the same as mine, or yours for that matters. Remote repping entosis ships is not what will put fun in Fozzie Sov… Creating small engagements around entosis ships with the goal of destroying them will.

  • Lioso Cadelanne

    Isn’t a bit early to be calling for a reassessment of Fozzie sov? The system hasn’t even come out yet. At least give a majority of players a chance to break things before calling foul.

  • JZ909

    It seems that allowing entosis ships to get reps would mean that fights go like this: Side A has capitals. Side B does not. Side A cynos in a couple triage carriers to each site, and sits ready to escalate if they get third partied. Side B, well, it doesn’t really matter what side B does. Side A wins. The end.

    If the entosis ship can’t recieve reps, at least a smaller defender will have a shot at nueting out the entosis triage carrier and/or killing it, so the capital fleet actually has to do something more than sit there and survive until the other side gets bored and leaves. That would be worse than the current system, where at least the little guy can prepare with cyno inhibitors and rape cage bubbles that make cap fleets difficult to use and extremely vulnerable to third parties.

    Someone please correct me if I’m not understanding the mechanics.

  • pushist1y

    I really fail to understand why group having capitals should not be stronger than the group not having capitals…

    • BS

      But it was stronger and it will be stronger in future. What are you talking about ?

  • Viince_Snetterton

    Look, if CCP wanted to get serious about crushing the cartels, it would be easy enough. To start with, you introduce maintenance fees that grow exponentially with every system that flies under an alliance flag.
    1st system is free.
    2nd system, 1 billion / month.
    3rd system, 10 billion / month
    4th system, 100 billion / month
    5th system, 1 trillion / month
    etc, etc

    So clearly, the developers are still deep in the pockets of the cartels. How many open goon members are on this CSM, is it 3 or 4, and how many sympathizers?

    Granted, this new system is idiotic, and yes, the cartels will make life miserable for each other and everyone else. And yes, the PL member who shall not be named and the team responsible for this debacle should all be fired.

    But don’t suggest that CCP does not still kowtow to the cartels.

    • GrouchyOldGamer

      Are you dinsdale?

      • Viince_Snetterton

        Watch Ethel the Frog.

  • LlamaStar

    Having already messed around with defending against trolling entosis cptors on station services, I can assure you that the system has two major invigorating aspects:

    1) The barriers to entry are completely removed. A couple of guys in ceptors are enough to provoke a response, and a couple other guys in destroyers and cruisers are enough to qualify as a reaction. This is huge for the average player looking to get into SOV and null space who doesn’t have the resources to make a cap affordable to lose, even if they gave the SP to fly one.

    2) It makes people undock. We undocked. We had a fight. It was content. Dominion SOV was not content for a LOT of people.

    Having flown through system after system of utterly empty unutilized SOV space over the years pinned to an Alliance ticker by the threat, not the reality, of capital escalation; I have the following to say to all the Fozziesov naysayers: “Problem?…”