Power Projection: Part 2Forlorn Wongraven
In the summer of 2011, I heard about some broken PvE content that I wanted to exploit. After investigation, I decided to do a solo deployment to the NPC region Stain. My NPC prober was already there, so I had to find a way to move Forlorn and another combat char. Stain was used by AAA members and aligned alliances as well as some independent corps. Due to political changes within AAA, I had no relations or standings to AAA; moving in using the common jump-bridge network (mentioned in part one of this series) was not an option. This meant I had just one option. I had to use my carriers to move two PvE fitted ships. DOTLAN pointed to one system I could use, Sagain – a well-known jump mid point, camped by many low and null cyno alts. Dangerous, but it was the only way in.
Nullsec entry systems are some of the most important systems in EVE. Their value is only higher when they are a direct highsec to nullsec gate. These gates allow players to move under protection of Concord in highsec directly to your alliance’s sov system and jump bridge network with a single manual jump. Usually the alliance that controls this entry point controls the rest of the space behind it and surrounding regions. Depending on the narrative offered by the various heavyweights of nullsec, the alliances and corporations in the back end systems of EVE are renters, allies, or pets. Some examples on the current sov map are EC-P8R for Goonswarm, HED-GP for AAA, and LXQ2-T for Pandemic Legion.
There are two ways currently to bypass these important entry systems. Jump drive equipped ships allow safe logistics as long as they can use NPC regions or empire lowsec systems. Wormholes also allow logistics, but at a much smaller scale and with a highly increased risk. The further away you are from Empire, the chance of getting a wormhole that connects to high or low sec seems to be higher, although I haven’t found any reliable source to prove it. It is easier to have a prober in your nullsec system and find a way to Empire than vice versa, and I used this method quite a few times – though it still lacks the power of jump drives, especially for logistics. Small roaming fleets can exploit wormholes easily though.
The prominent wish to nerf the range of jump drives would basically cut off a few NPC regions from access to Empire. Combat means losses, no matter how good a group of players is. Losses need to be replaced; when there is no resupply, there is also no combat. For safe logistics, the lesser alliances of EVE depend on standings and their diplomats have to align foreign affairs with these entry holders to be able to live and give their members a basic market hub. Either a group has to merge with another group for logistical reasons, join the blue donut, or move out.
Unfortunately, as long as CCP does not work on a complete overhaul for industry, especially in nullsec, alliances depend on the stream of goods to and from Jita. There is no reason to move any industry characters to nullsec unless you are into supercapital production. For a long time it has been impossible even to make enough T1 ammo for all the ratters in an upgraded sov system. Even with the recent changes to station slots, it makes no sense to risk large amount of ISK and assets when you can do that safely in highsec, as well as import products and export raw materials.
While many players believe CCP Seagull’s future vision could provide the chance to build stargates to some new space, I would like to see alliances build their own gates to empire regions. Imagine a direct stargate from Cobalt Edge, Detorid, Paragon Soul or Branch to Empire! Of course, there must be some cost involved, and maybe that gate would not be permanent, but there would be no need to blue up everyone from your home system to empire. It would soften up some long term relationships and drive some powers away from the coalitions. Additionally, new reasons for wars could present themselves – new content in nullsec is always welcome.