Lowsec is Dead

 

Sometimes, having and not having a vision for an idea, project or, in this case, a part of the universe, leads to the same result. CCP doesn’t know what to do with lowsec … or they know exactly what to do: kill it. In the past few years, EVE has seen some fairly significant changes in the direction that CCP has decided to steer the future the game.  This “vision” for the future of EVE Online was laid out in the 2013 Fanfest Keynote Address by the then Senior Producer of EVE Online, Andie Nordgren (CCP Seagull). The video below features the portion of the Address where CCP Seagull speaks on the future of EVE Online following the Odyssey release (at the 01:17:00 mark). For those who don’t have the 20 minutes to watch the video or have forgotten the specifics, let me share with you the key points that led us to where we are today.

 

“I want to ask you to dream with me here, beyond the details of how EVE Online currently works…Think about space colonization—think about the space scale construction required to make it happen. Think about building things, think about destroying things. Think about the rise of the capsuleers taking over what the empires used to control… Imagine what you want to build in EVE Online, from missiles to an empire… Imagine your corporation flying its own colors. Imagine the might of your alliance used to build up whole areas of space. Think about raiding and stealing from your enemies. Think about all the opportunities for crafty capsuleers to make money and fame in this new area of colonization… Think about home, and then imagine what could lie beyond the known if only you could construct the right kind of stargate.”

– CCP Seagull 2013 Fanfest Keynote

 

Lowsec appears to have just been a side project

CCP has had a clear vision about highsec for years, probably since the beginning. After the 2013 Fanfest Keynote and the Citadel expansion the vision for the future of nullsec became even more clear: empire building and colonization. In the last couple of months more and more focus has been given to nullsec gameplay. The Rorqual changes together with engineering complexes provided huge boosts to sovereignty holding alliances and their future growth. With highsec being a safe heaven and nullsec being the empire building colonization space, what purpose does lowsec serve? Lowsec appears to have just been a side project and thus has suffered from a lack of attention.

Last time CCP seriously worked on lowsec was in In 2008 when Factional Warfare was introduced as part of the Empyrean Age expansion. The addition of the Factional Warfare system offered a new game experience where you could sign up to fight for one of the four empire factions, in order to help gain control over certain areas of lowsec space. At the outset of the Empyrean Age expansion, CCP wanted to introduce Factional Warfare as the entrance to more complex PVP gameplay. The expansion also saw the addition of a brand new lowsec region in New Eden: Black Rise. This region would connect Caldari and Gallente space and following its release, would become one of the most active PVP regions in New Eden.

 

An era that almost ten years later, is about to come to an end.

The introduction of Factional Warfare added a lot of fresh air to the lowsec experience. Lowsec had previously been populated by smaller groups of pirates and loners who, possibly as a result of too many hard nights and one too many poor life choices, may have accidently left safety of highsec and jumped into a spooky system below the magical safety-net of 0.5 Security space. With the introduction of Factional Warfare, lowsec system populations went up, with PVE and PVP activity increasing as well. New corporations and alliances were formed, some old school alliances joined militias, factions began to fight over systems, loyalty points were gained as reward, and most importantly, fun was had. It was a beginning of a new era. An era that almost ten years later, is about to come to an end.

Little to no attention has been paid to lowsec since 2008. Lowsec space has been the unintended beneficiary or victim (depending on your point of view) of the balance passes on the very limited aspects of the game that it shares with nullsec, in addition to the evolving meta that the rest of the game benefits from. In order to understand why some of the planned changes to the core mechanics of player structures will ultimately kill lowsec as a whole we must first take a look at the driving forces behind player conflicts within this region of New Eden.

 

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has taken part in medium to large-scale PVP in lowsec over the last few years that POS’s and POCO’s are the primary source of content creation within lowsec. These structures are always vulnerable, can be attacked by any group at any time, and are the primary source of income for lowsec dwelling corporations and alliances. Prior to the release of citadels, these two types of structures were the only way to provoke fights and encourage conflicts (outside of FW). Add in the Thukker Array which for years made lowsec the cheapest place to build capital components with its flat 15% material reduction cost and you had at least a variety of ways for groups to not only create conflict, but to fund themselves.

a significant reduction in the capability for lowsec entities to fund themselves

Lowsec is certainly not devoid of income opportunities, and it does provide individual players with the ability to acquire wealth, albeit largely in form of LP from Factional Warfare and Level 5 Missions. However, neither of these activities provide any form of income for corporations and alliances. This means that outside of a small number of R64 and R32 moons and the occasional POCO tax, lowsec entities have no real way to passively fund themselves like nullsec entities do, namely through ratting taxes.

The “leaked” changes from last week threaten to devastate lowsec in way that many in nullsec groups simply will be unable to relate to. While the mechanics for the new mining platforms have not been revealed yet, aside from having to physically mine the ore that gets shot out of the structure, removing one of two passive ISK generation mechanisms will result in a significant reduction in the capability for lowsec entities to fund themselves. This isn’t to suggest that I am against “active” ISK making, only that lowsec will be left with only POCO’s tax while nullsec continues to reign supreme.

If these mining platforms use similar mechanics to citadels such as their vulnerability windows, this will only further enable bigger groups who wish to “timezone tank” their structures, preventing any meaningful content from being created outside of people who currently reside in Australia. Mining platforms and active moon goo mining will remove the only real passive income all lowsec corporations and alliances had. And this is when lowsec dies. Let me explain you why.

 

Everyone liked the T1 cruiser brawls years ago when that was the meta in Factional Warfare fights. With the game progressing, the meta went to battlecruiser hulls, heavy assault ships and later on to strategic cruisers, finally culminating with the “endgame” of faction battleships with capital and supercapital support. This is the progression that the rest of New Eden went through. This is the evolving meta that everyone was a part of and from which groups who were ahead of the pack benefited from the most. But with the new mining platforms and citadel changes this meta progression – at least in lowsec as we know it – will end.

Rorqual changes and engineering complexes were the nail in the coffin for lowsec industrial production

After World War Bee an arms race started. All bigger alliances and coalitions started building carrier and dread caches. Production of supercarriers and titans is a strategic priority for all the larger entities in New Eden who are getting ready for the next North vs South conflict. Rorqual changes and engineering complexes were the nail in the coffin for lowsec industrial production, with the introduction of the scaling bonuses that come with the EC’s and their production Rigs, nullsec now reigns supreme for any budding industrialist. Once Thukker Arrays are removed lowsec will lose the only industrial advantage over nullsec that it had.

But how does all this affect the PVP aspect of lowsec? In order to support capital and supercapital warfare, corporations and alliances need steady income and funding. Nullsec is lightyears ahead of lowsec in this regard.

Eternal Recurrence is a concept suggesting that the Universe and all existence and energy has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time and space. If CCP goes through with all these proposed/”leaked” changes, what is left of the bigger lowsec entities (F for EE and a likely F for SC too) will be forced to move to nullsec in order to leverage corporation taxes and their own renting empires in order to provide enough passive income to support their growth and gameplay. Activity in lowsec will go down together with its population and thus leave this area of New Eden for smaller pirate groups, stabbed frigates who farm faction LP, and loners who make questionable life choices and jump into 0.4 and below security status systems.

If CCP is doing this with a vision or without, planned or not, the result is the same. Lowsec – as we know it – is dead.

 

 

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Tags: lowsec, reza najafi

About the author

Reza Najafi

Reza is the leader of SniggWaffe / WAFFLES and a head FC with a prominent history in lowsec warfare.

  • Messiah Complex

    Lowsec has always been the square peg that CCP mashed into the round hole. It’s supposed to be some kind of buffer between HS and NS, but I’ve never seen an adequate explanation of why that buffer should exist, either from a mechanics or a lore perspective. That’s not to say it shouldn’t, but until someone says something sensible and logical about why LS is both “Empire Space” and functionally lawless, there’s never going to be any direction to development. Honestly, LS should probably be re-conceived as a disconnected and unclaimable class of 0.0 systems with certain special restrictions (such as they have now, like the “no bubbles” rule). Invent some specific and significant advantages for certain types of industrial activity for LS over HS (and possibly even NS). You’d have to completely revamp FW, but that’s fine, because FW is also not terribly sensible or logical.

  • Pointed but not bubbled?

    The sort of people that care about low sec are the types of Carebears that use it as a safe way to jump freighter loot out of null sec to the high sec market.

    Everyone else is just a “I’m afraid” types that refuse to go back to high sec or upgrade to null sec.

    The latter, need to HTFU and play EVE. The jump freighter pilots should however get at the very least, some help with cyno’ing on gates to leap to high sec (perhaps a protection from being pointed and unable to access the gate).

    Low sec failed to deliver the day super caps lost their invulnerability to being pointed. On that day, bubbles and bombs should have also been allowed. That decision to “not go all way” was and will remain the reason for low sec being being not worth keeping. Make it [> 0.0] high sec.

    Make -0.0 null sec.

    Stop trying to be an edge case.

    • Lugiathan

      Or because sov is aids.

      • Lex Arson

        if only there was some way to play in nullsec without owning sov

        • Lugiathan

          NPC null is even worse than low tho

          • Oh don’t even say it. It’s like an island WITHIN and island down there.

        • alfius

          Don’t even get me started on NPC null.

    • Andy Barr

      Is that you TaraRead? I could recognize the smell of your bullshit from a mile off and this has the distinct whiff of your lippo-suctioned gut to it.

  • Xavi Bastanold

    Low sec is a strange place, not quite null sec and not hi sec. My logic is it’s too close to hisec for Concord to ‘allow’ bubbles and to be left completely without a sentry presence. On the other hand Concord doesn’t have the resources to expand any further. So, it stays as this ‘housing-development-on-hold’ sort of thing. Maybe low sec is meant for the smaller sorts as well and the masses can flock to hisec or null as their social needs pull them.

    Factional warfare is one big hatfields and mccoys feud that masquerades as a proxy empires war. Like a bunch of terrorists legitimizing their actions for mayhem under a recognized flag. Which is on par with EVE as a whole, don’t you think?

  • kaahz
  • rixxjavix

    So many tears in this article that I can’t stop laughing! Please do Low Sec a favor and go play in Null, the rest of us will be just fine.

    Low sec needs and deserves a lot of love from CCP but it is far from dead or dying. We are the most adaptable and constantly changing region in all of Eve and we will continue to change and evolve no matter what happens. All I hear in this article is a lack of imagination and short-sighted whining.

    I expected better from Waffles.

    • Grath

      Pro tip: after you send your woman begging because you’re unable to pay for your own children and got your ass locked up its probably best to just keep your mouth shut and never insult anybody again.

      I mean you’ll ignore me but you’ve proven that you’re an actual piece of shit out of game as well as in it, theres no mystery here so any argument you start where you call somebody a whiner or ‘filled with tears’ is always going to circle back to what kind of cocksucker you actually are and always will be.

      • rixxjavix

        I’ve wiped things off my shoe with more knowledge than you Grath.

        • Grath

          Yea? Did you send your woman out to publicly beg for a napkin to do it with?

          • rixxjavix

            She just called you a pussy piece of shit, but she’s too nice to write it here.

          • Grath

            How much of her money did you use to get your dead beat ass out of jail?

          • rixxjavix

            You have zero knowledge about what you are raving about and you look more ignorant every time you comment, so please, continue.

            I do hope you will be at Fanfest so you can tell me all about it to my face. I would enjoy that very much.

          • Grath

            I’ll be at vegas, bring a friend, you’ll need it.

          • rixxjavix

            Well now I have a reason to go. You have some begging to do.

          • Grath

            Just make sure you’re all paid up with your kids, dead beat dads taking vacations is frowned upon.

            Also your one safety warning:

            One of us is a legitimate ex con with an extensive criminal record and the other one of us is a piece of shit who doesn’t pay his child support.

            You should be careful how you approach people IRL, or what you threaten to do IRL, because at the end of the day I’m sure nobody you know whants to help you eat through a tube for the rest of your life

          • Fuck You

            It’s not actually child support you dumb ass. Did you actually read or didn’t they teach that in the fucking prison where you got your GED?

          • Grath

            Nah as you could tell the way you were mocked in that thread most of us laughed it off that you came begging because he’s a bad father

          • rixxjavix

            Wow. Y’know up until then I was mostly joking around with someone on the internet about how ignorant they are, but you went and took it to a whole other level.

            You need help my friend. I can suggest some good people that can help you.

            You have zero concept about my life and my challenges, as I do yours, but I don’t go around making your life my business.

            I feel only sadness for you.

          • Grath

            You were joking around? In what way, in that you literally directly challenged me IRL? Sounds jokey, dont back down now, you were almost there superstar.

            And as for your life and your challenges, YOU put that shit on Reddit, not me, so YOU put yourself out there not me, I’m just extremely comfortable standing back and passing judgement.

            So, the next time you threaten somebody IRL with some “i hope you come to fanfest so i can personally explain it to you’ bullshit and talk about the ‘begging’ people have to do to you irl you should probably think about the potential ass beating waiting for you on the other end of your threats. I have in my life been shot once and stabbed twice, I take threats seriously at every turn and I confront them head on, I do not sit around waiting.

            So when you type that you’re ready to meet my IRL, I believe you, you dont get to waffle on it after the fact with some ‘oh you need help’. No bitch, its you that needs help, so you either better have it with you or an apology on your lips if you ever approach me the actual person behind the video game character Grath.

          • Grathfag

            Lets see what CCP thinks about your RL threats at their event

          • Grath

            I’ve made them aware of the number of times im threatened like Rixx here did, There’s more than enough documentation of it all throughout the years. Its something generally they’ve always had to deal with but its never actually a problem as dudes like Rixx are just air when it comes to shit, when confronted by the actual fact or person IRL they’re all sheepish enough to just not do anything so its basically a non issue

          • Grathfag

            Saying the things you do should get you removed from Eve, it has no place here

          • Grath

            Ok I’m glad you have an opinion, I think people that threaten you out of game should be met with aggression, so you see I too have an opinion.

          • rixxjavix

            “I do hope you will be at Fanfest so you can tell me all about it to my face. I would enjoy that very much.”

            You have a very low threshold, if thats a threat then Im Santa

          • Grath

            Here let me help you identify the part where you fucked this up

            http://i.imgur.com/Y2PAiuC.png

            Now tell me more about how you’re not talking about confronting me IRL

          • rixxjavix

            All I said was I hope we can meet in real life and you can tell me that to my face. Y’know, like people do.

            Its not hard to understand for most people. In fact, most people tend to enjoy those conversations.

            You are the ine throwing threats around.

          • Grath

            haha, whatever boss, that statement has a very direct meaning and you can now in hindsight claim what you need to but its fairly fucking obvious in the context of the argument what exactly you meant

          • tara read

            You are such a hypocritical mooching pussy it’s frankly stunning.

          • tara read

            Better get a kickstarter going so someone can donate bus fare for you to go…

      • tara read

        Holy shit Grath. <3

      • Brothuhbob

        savage

    • James Smith

      Shouldn’t you be at work making money so you don’t have to beg for it?

      • rixxjavix

        Who are you?

        • James Smith

          I’m James ”motherfucking” Smith, who are you? Oh wait I guess you are Santa.

          • tara read

            Rixx is just another mooching deadbeat who doesn’t pay child support or take responsibility for his own actions or lack thereof.

          • rixxjavix

            Wannabe

    • Reza Najafi

      Arguments?

    • He didn’t really disagree with what you just said though, Rixx. I mean, he said “lowsec, as we know it”. So no point in making a point here, even though he seems to want to brawl it out in the comment below.

  • some highclass guy

    ok, maybe lowsec did not get buffed as much as nullsec, but atleast it didn’t got nerfed all the time like wspace

  • luobote kong

    Eve comments sections be like
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6Y9aNntfK8

    • Niden

      Yeah, no, not on my watch.

      • Kamar Raimo

        Did a whole shitflinging thread just get deleted from this comment section?

    • Epic post is epic.

  • Kamar Raimo

    I don’t really see a problem if the bigger advanced groups who need dozens of billions of ISK per month to support their faction-battleship/t3/(super)cap meta migrate to nullsec. There are a lot of complacent fat alliances out there, and things can only become better if they get shaken up by an eager PvP alliance that has outgrown lowsec. This will make room for newer and/or more casual players who still like a bit of an edgy gaming experience but are not quite up for the second job that life in null or w-space is.

    All this obsession with income generation is a bit of a feedback cycle: We need higher income so we can sustain the advanced doctrines, implant sets and numbers which we need to protect our high-income facilities which are also quite expensive so we need higher income to build and maintain those to begin with.

    • Owen Wells

      This kind of misses the point that a lot of people in lowsec are there because they dont want to go to nullsec. I mean I know I dont and I’ve lived in lowsec for almost eight years now.

  • Evidence

    Low sec is the most fun place in EvE.

  • Decklin Quark Reiger

    I’ve lived in low sec for all of my time in EVE. ( 10 months so far). I can follow the logic of your argument, but it’s based on a couple flawed assumptions.

    Basically, your argument goes along the lines of:

    Passive moon goo income in low sec will be nerfed, as is (super) capital production. Therefore, large alliances that are used to generating alliance income from these activities will have their income reduced. Therefore low sec will die.

    The problem with this line of argument is that you assume that large alliances in low sec is what makes it healthy. I suspect that actually it’s small gang or solo skirmishes that make low sec what it is. These skirmishes are enabled by faction warfare.

    You’re definitely right that low sec is not going to be an economic powerhouse, but… So what? Does it need to be?

    • Reza Najafi

      This is actually a good reply to my article. And my answer to you is: perspective. I’ve said lowsec as we know it, as the “bigger” corps/alliances know it. That is coming towards an end of a cycle that lasted for the last decade.
      The rest of what you wrote about FW and smaller and mid-sized skirmishes I completely agree with you on that and can not argue.
      Main reason for the article was to provoke critical thinking and find an answer to the question: what should low sec be? Because CCP didn’t give us one.

      • Owen Wells

        Larger corps /alliances dying out is not necessarily a bad thing though, and I’m saying this as a long term member of Shadow Cartel just so you know. Thinking back on my time I think if I’m being honest once we got past the point were we could compete with the people around us on an equal footing then the bigger we’ve got the less overall fun I’ve had. I mean its nice being the big dog on the block but it does limit your ability to just go out and get a fight if youre bored.

    • Erik Kalkoken

      I disagree. The big alliances also make up a big part of the overall low sec population. So small gang skirmishes and solo PVP will suffer as well with them leaving since there will be much less players in the area. You can see this effect e.g. in Black Rise. Whenever big alliances like Snuff or Waffles are deployed the region becomes much quieter.

      • Kamar Raimo

        Doesn’t that contradict itself? On one hand you say big alliances result in more targets but on the other hand you also say that their presence results in less activity.

        • Erik Kalkoken

          No, that is not what I said. “deployed” means temporarily staged in a different region than your home. So what I am saying is that activity is noticeable lower in Black Rise when those big alliances are deployed to other regions.

          • Kamar Raimo

            Ah right. I misread that.

  • sero_hito

    “Mining platforms and active moon goo mining will remove the only real passive income all lowsec corporations and alliances had. And this is when lowsec dies.” Why can´t the big lowsec alliances not do active moon mining? I really don´t see why it has not be passive, in order for lowsec to thrive…. no work, no gain. And is it really to much to ask, that the alliances have to work a bit to get income? You are also ignoring how Citadels actually are bringing content to lowsec, I have been in plenty citadel bashes. Why wouldn´t the mining platforms do the same? I think you made a wrong assumption in the beginning of your article, which in turn paints the situation much more dire than it will be when these changes hit tranquility.

  • alfius

    Low sec is pretty pointless at this stage, opaque and largely arbitrary mechanics make it a poor substitute for null. It’s easy mode for players and alliances unwilling to deal with the harsh realities of null sec (what, you mean I might actually lose my slave pod even if I mash warp repeatedly?) Just kill it now, make it all null and go with the waxing capsuleers/waning empires lore justification. Good riddance.

    • MackTruckerGirl

      This kind of statement usually comes from people who haven’t truly lived any length of time in lowsec. Pirates travel to null sec on occasion for random pvp and even deploy there sometimes too when needed. However, in my opinion, pvp is most fun in low sec BECAUSE of the mechanics that you have to learn to adapt to. Popping a neutral in low sec gets you gate gunned if you’re not smart enough to warp off before you die. Popping a neutral in null sec, no consequence. Null sec is easy as hell. Which in some pvp’rs mindset equates to boring as hell. I, for one, hope CCP can come up with a way to make LS not be just an afterthought or a test that they never really focused on.

  • Erik Kalkoken

    You make some good points. CCP needs to think about how bring new income an content opportunities to low sec. If the big alliances loose their ability to fund themselves sufficiently and move to Null Sec it will be game over for low sec. (and potentially for many low sec players that will just stop playing if the there is no content anymore)

  • Drone from Above

    Something that never had life to begin with can never die…..

  • Lavoie

    Low sec is the best. It’s like being a viking ! “Dead” has been used for quite some time about the game in general. Depends on your bordum level 😉 (take a brake). Eve used to have 7000 to a max of 15000 players and it thrived. The only mmo of it’s genre, point!

    *In my whole eve carreer, the only thing that really bothered me was the reduced % drop rate of dead space.

    Lavoie

  • jasperwillem

    Just put low-sec FW warsystems between the major trade hubs. The shakeup that would make to HS and the game in general would be awesome. Lots of content and economic opportunities.